PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I May Be Dead but I'm Still Pretty

Episode 1.12: Prophecy Girl. Original Airdate 6.2.97

"Giles discovers an ancient book foretelling Buffy's death at the hands of the Master."

Zelda's Thoughts:
  • Xander practicing asking Buffy out and spazzing through it - sad. Willow eating it up - sadder.
  • Buffy's slo-mo land, mid-fight, is a great intro/first appearance for the season finale. Well done, sir.
  • Earthquake! Poor Giles's books.
  • "What do you think, 5.1?" - it's these little moments that make me not hate/be completely bored by the Master. He's just sooooo epic and melodramatic all the time, and blah blah blah all right, I get it. You're evil. Do we have to chat about it all day? But the little quite takeback moments are so well-done.
  • My brilliantly talented friend Trip has used Xander's attempt to ask Buffy out as an audition monologue for a play I directed. That right there cemented our friendship for ever and always.
  • "Willow's not looking to date you. Or if she is, she's playing it close to the chest." FORESHADOWING.
  • Buffy's rejection of Xander is very sad and painful because it's very true. I think they both behave pretty well - Xander takes an unpleasant jab at Angel, but you can see that it's just his hurt talking. And Buffy clearly does care, but she can't love him the way he wants her too.
  • "I would say the end is pretty seriously nigh."
  • "On a scale of 1 to 10? It sucked."
  • I really respect Willow turning Xander down - she's not going to be his self-pity date. It shows more gumption than most hopeless crushy teenage girls typically have.
  • Oh god oh god I can't handle this scene - where Buffy overhears Angel and Giles. I can't. It's so good. ASH is so amazing and SMG is so honest and vulnerable and heartbreaking. When she asks if it'll hurt, I start crying. Every damn time.
  • "Giles, I'm sixteen years old. I don't wanna die."
  • Shenanigans! Only on TV can someone buy someone else a surprise prom dress and have it fit perfectly. SMG is tiny! That sucker would have to be way hemmed.
  • The cartoon the no-longer-alive teens are watching is: Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.
  • This whole episode is just well-done - the way it tracks Willow walking into the room of five dead teenagers - and the way it breaks her, the violation of it - and how that spurs Buffy into doing the job she has to do - even if it kills her. I just love it.
  • Buffy's prom dress is white - white for innocence, white for a wedding - her meeting with the Master, both of their deaths is a marriage of sorts - and white for mourning if we're going Eastern - mourning for her own death she knows is coming.
  • Lovely Giles trying to protect Buffy from it - and Buffy not letting him. PUNCH.
  • "I made up mine first. I'm older and wiser than you!"
  • Children, pay attention. That girl in the white dress, the black jacket, wielding the crossbow? That is a hero. That is our hero. Let's take a moment.
  • Why is Willow in the Library! She totally promised Buffy she'd stay home tonight! What a liar! The trust is broken!
  • Why are the vampires walking slowly like zombies? No sense in any way. Creepy, loomy image, but ... there are more effective means of getting around. Sheh. Nan. Ih. Gans.
  • Only Joss Whedon would kill his title character in the season one finale (sure, it doesn't stick, but ... come on). If only the creators of Lost had done likewise, as they intended.
  • Dear Angel, You suck: "I pant pant have no breath pant pant." [Get out of my brain! - D]
  • Yay Xander gets to save the girl! He don't get to keep her, but he gets to save her.
  • Slowest. Moving. Vampires. Ever. Were they all recruited from The Vampire Nursing Home?
  • Did Joss not think the show was coming back? He destroyed big chunks of set here (no, no he did not think the show was coming back).
  • I get so stupid excited when the theme music plays under Buffy herowalking. It's just a perfect moment. And then: "Oh look, a bad guy."
  • Each character is given a cool moment because it's the finale. Willow turns Xander down, Xander saves Buffy, Giles tries to shield Buffy from the whole death thing, Cordy fights a vampire, and Angel ... isn't consistently awful. Oh, and Buffy saves the world. It's a thing.
  • Dudes, did you know Audrey Two comes from the Hellmouth? I thought she was an alien.
  • I'd call shenanigans on how white Buffy's dress is after all the fighting is done, except I understand that it's a metaphor. Also, pretty.

Daniel's Thoughts:
  • Great opening with Buffy fighting a vamp.  I like that this will become something fans rely on to open many episodes. It's comforting.  Like Mac & Cheese.  Only...staking vampires...
  • I enjoy the comedic moments of the Mayor  Master.
  • "5.1?"  - Such a Californian thing - to guess where an earthquake is on the Richter scale. 
  • Shenanigans! Xander saying "Leave" to some kid. A) It's very bully-like for someone who is not at all popular and B) Like anyone wouldn't just laugh in his face.
  • When Cordy was looking for someone to hook up her sound system, I shouted "Oz will do it!"
  • Buffy's monologue about not wanting to die is SMG at her best. Make her cry more, please!
  • OK, I'm going easy on Joyce this week.  Sort of.  She does seem to be trying, but she's still not listening to her daughter.
  • The first genuinely terrifying moment in this show - when Willow sees all her dead friends in the AV Lab.
  • Also - the bloody handprint juxtaposed with the cartoon pigs.  Very haunting image.
  • OMG!  They killed Buffy! You bastards!  They brought her back!  Yay!
  • I love Cordy driving to the rescue.....through the school to the library!
  • "I flunked the written."
  • "You have fruit punch mouth!"
  • I love that there are different types of vampires.  The Master is so old that he doesn't dust completely.
  • The annoying one is still alive [Patience, pet - Spike]
  • I didn't write many notes for this episode because I was just so...rapt.


Angel: "You're way out of your league."
Daniel: "He's so pretty."
Zelda: "He's so baaaaaad."
Daniel: "But...pretty."
D: The Bronze? Why is the prom at the frikkin Bronze?
Z: Everything's at the Bronze!
D: Why is everything at the Bronze?
Z: My prom wasn't at the high school either. No one's was.
D: Yeah, but the *BRONZE*?
D: *laughs*

Favorite Lines:

Zelda: I have two. Can I have two? "We've fought some blood-sucking fiends, and that's all been a good time. But I want more. I wanna dance with you." - Xander. // "Read me the signs. Tell me my fortune. You're so useful sitting here with all your books. You're really a lot of help!" - Buffy.
Daniel: "When he wakes up, tell him ... I dunno. Think of something cool, tell him I said it." - Buffy because...sometimes you don't always have the words.

Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  • Angel has a phone! And Giles has his phone number! Slash! And Xander knows where he lives! Threesome slash!
  • Cordy has already moved on to Kevin from Mitch. And she seems to really like this dude she's been dating for a whole minute.
  • Buffy dies for the first time.


Voiceover - none
Angel's Character - A Breathless Bastard
Dead Humans - 6
Dead Undeads - 3, but we weren't tracking the final battle well
Giles Unconscious - 1 (by Buffy!)
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 3
Apocalypse Called - 1

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Be My Deputy!

Episode 1.11: Out of Mind, Out of Sight. Original Airdate 5.19.97

Quick! Play "Johnny B. Goode"

"An invisible force is attacking the students and teachers at Sunnydale High. Buffy and the gang must find a way to stop this unseen menace, and determine why it seems to be centering its attacks on Cordelia."

Daniel's Thoughts:
  • Harmony is back!
  • I like that in her English class, Cordy makes these completely shallow comments that are true to character but also have some insight.  It's nice hearing an actual valid discussion in a fake class on TV.
  • Man, Sunnydale High has a huge locker room!
  • Yay!  Clea Duvall!  One of the one-offs that is enjoying a nice career since being on Buffy.I love that this one-off episode is referenced at least twice in future episodes.
  • "Be My Deputy!" ~This is a wonderfully nice and genuine moment between Xander and Willow.  It shows that these two share a fun history. And it's a nice moment for Buffy, too, being the new girl..and not having many memories with...well anyone.  Also, I wonder if Jesse was there? ;) [Daniel! We made a pact with Xander and Willow to never speak of Jesse again! - Z]
  • Snyder continues to be awesome - "Don't sue."
  • In the first half of the episode, at times, Cordy is written as almost cartoonish.
  • Althought later, she has a really nice moment talking about how and why she's often lonely.  It's also shallow as hell which makes me give a thumbs up to the writers for giving Cordy a transitional moment without compromising the character
  • I love the plot for this episode - it feels like a bad 80s horror film....but in a good way!
  • I'd love to find out what happened to Marcie and the school of invisible assassins! 
  • And like before, I enjoyed the 'aw' moment with Cordelia genuinely thanking the Scoobies. I think this is the first time where it seems she almost wants to be part of the group.  She pretends to not know what's going on like most of Sunnydale...but I think she's more aware than we give her credit for.

Zelda's Thoughts:
  • Harmony's back!
  • "My eyes are hazel, Helen Keller."
  • Buffy says her weapons are show-and-tell for "history class." Why is history the catch-all subject? 
    It's weird when Cordy makes intelligent arguments analyzing Merchant of Venice. Until it turns back into Cordelia running over people with bikes. It's hard to remember she's not a total nimrod when she so frequently acts like a total nimrod.
  • Harmony's pants match Cordy's dress! Ew.
  • Mitch (Cordy's bf) is a tool. But he looks good shirtless.
  • "I don't think I need the loony fringe vote."
  • I had this thoughtful analysis of the Be My Deputy moment, and Daniel Kanyed me [Imma let you finish - D] out of some of it. But here goes: while I love AH's delivery of "Be my deputy" enough that it made it to our episode title, I could not for the life of me understand why this moment was in the show - until I actually stopped and asked out loud "why is this moment in the show?" (funny how that works). It's a small throwaway moment, but it goes along with the motif of the whole episode, of watching something from the outside, of feeling excluded or somehow separate. Mostly we'll be dealing with this in this episode in terms of Cordelia (alone in the center of the crowd) and Marcie (so on the fringes that she actually fades from view), and Buffy herself often already feels like an outsider, because of her Secret Identity and Baggage. But it's rarer for her to feel this when she's with her friends who know all there is to know - except that they were a friend unit that already existed, and that she joined. Which means there will be plenty of frames of reference for Xander and Willow that Buffy just can't get traction on. Including "Be my deputy" - a joke that, appropriately enough, we don't get let in on either. Analysis done.
    "Other lawyers call him the beast." Willow = cutest liar ever
  • Buffy's skirt goes all the way to her knees! I'm so proud!
  • "Maybe it's a vampire bat ... I'm alone with that one, huh."
  • Aw, Harmony's pratfall looks really painful. And I couldn't stop laughing. That was amazing.
  • I like Clea Duvall. Too bad she's not actually in the episode much.
  • Lookit! Men in Black!
  • WILLOW'S SHIRT HAS SCOOBY DOO ON IT. I had a minor freak out.
    Can I be Daphne?
    Ironic that Giles saying "You may have to work on listening to people" was so clearly ADR'd?
  • Hi Angel! You're very lurky.
  • It's kind of cool that Giles is barely looking at Angel - can barely look at him - but when Angel offers to get him the Codex he looks at him fully for the first time.
  • Nice segue of Angel talking about not being able to see himself - cut to Marcie, pre-blinvisiblity, looking at herself in the mirror.
  • "Just because the story's about him, doesn't mean he's the hero, right?" - I feel like writing a whole essay on this one. I won't, but I kinda feel like it. Nice throwaway meta-moment, guys.
  • This episode has another X-Files ending with the creepy government  conspiracy of blinvisible assassins. I don't mind it as much as the Teacher's Pet eggs, but I'd like it more if it somehow came back later.


Rhymes with "blinvisible."

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "I think I speak for everyone when I say 'huh?'" - Buffy (I've definitely used this one...)
Zelda: "This is all about me! ME ME ME!" - Cordelia

90s Factoid:
Willow has one of those squeezy drink things

 Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  • Sunnydale has a May Queen.
  • Cordelia, Harmony, Xander and Willow have English together.
  • Buffy was Hemery High's version of May Queen, which ... we assume is like a regular prom?


Voiceover - Creepy B-Movie Guy. We can't wait to be done with him.
Angel's Character - makes his triumphant return as creepy portent guy
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 0
Giles Unconscious - not quite. damn and blast.
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Do They Need All Those Legs For Anyway?

Episode 1.10 Nightmares  Original Airdate 5.12.97

"Buffy and her friends discover that their worst nightmares have become reality."

Zelda's Thoughts:
  • Oh. The Master. We forgot all about him.
  • It's a bad sign that Daniel and I are both talking about Siobhan and Bridget. Wrong show, us!
  • Buffy sleeps in a bra. Is that a thing people do? That's not a thing I ever do.
  • Listen to the book as it goes THUD.
    No wait, that's my head against
    the desk. My bad.
  • What class has a session in Active Listening? Health. Apparently.
  • Xander = worst student ever. 
  • They shoulda cast Billy the Kid here as the Annoying One. He's way less annoying.
  • Thank you, Master, for explaining the meaning of the episode. "We are defined by the things we fear...but fear is in the mind. Like pain, it can be controlled. If I can face my fear, it cannot master me."
  • Reverse of the David Lynch shot from the pilot! Rise from the depths of Master Underground to the schoolground.
  • Not Worst Mom Ever Moment: Joyce advocating for Hank's merits and love for his daughter.
  • Xander's implicit trust in Buffy's ability to conquer all bad things is very sweet. And destined to not last. Because Xander is stupid.
  • "It's funny if you're me." - oh, I've used that one a lot. [Me too! - D]
  • Buffy has a lollipop! Just like her future flashback self.
  • Aw Buffy panics about her history test. Ask one of your five history tutors for help, Buffy!
  • It's interesting that they have the Ugly Man - the manifestation of Billy's nightmare - in addition to the nightmare visions of everyone being realized - two separate forms of antagonism for our gang to fight.
  • Buffy has good bedside manner.
  • Shenanigans! They tell the doctor they're friends, not family, and he gives the full medical rundown of both Laura and Billy - if you're not family, you don't get anything beyond ward and temperature.
  • Poor Buffy is so sad and hurt. I hate you, nightmare version of Hank Summers! So much!
  • Buffy's nightmares in general are the most upsetting - horrifying things rather than embarrassing - probably because it's her show - and her lens - and because SMG is so freaking good. Her face as her father breaks her heart is some truly great acting, with very few lines.
  • "Dreams! That would be a musical comedy version of this." ... foreshadowing?
  • "Things like that are easy when you live on the Hellmouth." - best bit of lantern-hanging/free pass ever.
  • Aaaaaaaaaand swastikas. Thanks, Xander's subconscious.
  • We're not counting Buffy the Vamp in our death tally because ... we're not. We're also not calling shenanigans on her going into the sunlight as Buffy the Vamp because ... she doesn't count as really dead or really a vamp.
  • Calling Willow a soprano? Shenanigans! She's an alto!
  • I want chocolate now. Lots of chocolate. Damn you, Xander's subconscious!
  • So this is actually the first time Buffy and the Master have been face to face. Is this really the Master or her dream manifestation? I feel like he knows too much about what's going on and why to be the real McCoy. In which case ... they've never come face to face, but she knows so exactly what he looks like that he's in her nightmares. Interesting. I'd call some shape of shenanigan, except that she has prophetic dreams, being all slayering.
  • Xander was the first to conquer his nightmare! I'm so proud.
  • "Excuse me, when did they put a cemetery in across the street?" "And when did they make it night over there?"
  • SMG, again, really good acting with trying not to cry, trying to remain calm, trying to be the strong slayer, even as she's inwardly falling apart at being a vampire.
  • Nice li'l Wizard of Oz shoutout, Billy the Kid.
Daniel's Thoughts:
  • I loved the variance of nightmares in this episode - stress to horror to upset to disappointment.  It's not just about being scary.  And kudos for nailing each character's fears.
  • Worst. Mom. Ever.  "Time to get up for school!"  Your daughter is obviously having a horrible nightmare, Joyce.  Be a mom.
  • Fauxsive Gordon Levitt
  • Did the director tell Wendell to say all his lines very intensely?  Even SMG as Buffy made a funny facial reaction to it.
  • For a long time, I thought Billy Parker was played by Joseph Gordon Levitt.  Look!
  • The annoying one is still here?  He's yet to do anything important?  He still has that annoying voice but no vamp face.  I wonder if they just didn't want to put a kid through all that make-up.
  • Why is the Master giving us Webster's definition of 'fear'? 
  • I do enjoy the Master's silliness as well as his scariness
  • Way to lay it on thick, Joss.
  • Yes, Joss, we get it: Smoking is bad!
  • Cordy hair!  I love that this (and unpopularity) is her biggest fear.  Nice continuity from last week when Giles made her conscious of her hair.
  • I always wondered what would happen if a slayer was turned into a vamp.  Would she be super duper strong?
  • I love that when the spell is broken, all the extras don't even have a moment of "WTF just happened".  They go along on their merry way.  I realize this is a pattern in Sunnydale...but it's not often that immediate.  Usually they wonder if there was a gas leak or something. [Oh look, we all had collective amnesia again! Hahaha ... ha. - Z]
  • Kiddie League?  Is "Little League" really trademarked?
  • Nightmares I've had that were included in this episode:
    • Getting Lost in school (Giles in the stacks)
    • Taking a test in a class I've never been to (Buffy: History test)
    • Being in a play and not remembering rehearsing or knowing the words or even what play I'm in! (Willow in the opera).  Also kudos to the writing team for including the classic Actor's Nightmare
Admit it.

Burn it.

  • Ok, I admit.  Vamp Buffy still looks hot.
  • Giles wardrobe: with...that scarf.

  • Crossfire!
    Zelda: Xander didn't draw out his words, I say! 
    Daniel: He did, I say!

    Favorite Lines:
    Zelda: "Well, that explanation was shorter than usual. It's Billy! Who's Billy?" - Xander
    Daniel: "Mmm Hmm!" Aldo the opera guy

    90's Factoid:
    People still used real pencils and carried plastic pencil sharpeners around!
    Arc/Continuity Stuff: 
    • Buffy, Willow, Xander, Cordy, and Wendell all have Health class together.
    • Buffy's Dad, version 1.0.
    • First time hearing Willow sing (sort of). Does squeaking count as singing? 
    • Buffy was born in 1981. (At least this episode)
    Voiceover - Creepy B-Movie Guy
    Angel's Character - Just a figment of our subconscious.
    Dead Humans - None, actually
    Dead Undeads - 0
    Giles Unconscious - 0
    Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
    Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
    Evil Reveal - 0
    Unevil Reveal - 0
    Shenanigans Called - 2
    Apocalypse Called - 0