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


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rudely Attacked by Nothing

Episode 5.2: Real Me. Original Airdate 10.3.00

"As Harmony and her vampire gang plot Buffy's demise, Dawn adjusts to life with a S

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Ugh. Dawn.
  • Okay so this is actually my first time rewatching Dawn stuff since I really started reading other analyses, especially ones in defense of Dawn, so I'm not sure how that will re-color what I'm watching.
  • I will say that a huge part of my distaste for her stems from MT's acting. I just don't think she's good. She's not listening, she knows the end of what she's going to say before she starts, there's just no discovery, so it all feels performed rather than lived. Blah.
  • We haven't actually started watching yet, I just wanted to get this out before we do.
  • The Adventures of Pete and Pete was an amazing show, for the record.
  • "There is nothing but you," intones Giles. EXCEPT ALSO THERE'S A DAWN.
  • Yeah you go, stunt Buffy! Do that one-armed hand stand!
  • Oh hey where are they anyway? Where are Giles and Buffy doing their crystal meditation yoga-ness?
  • Like actually, where are they? We don't have the Magic Box .. yet.

Seriously, where is this?

  • "Nobody knows who I am." And all the first-time watchers yell YES WHO WHO ARE YOU GO AWAY.
  • "I bet they've had sex." So I read that they originally wanted Dawn to be younger than she is, and then aged her up when they cast MT. And lines like this really demonstrate that they didn't adjust the writing to fit the age change.
  • Aw see at least in this ep Riley isn't at all resentful of Buffy having Slayer priorities.
  • "Giles, are you breaking up with your car?" // "Well, it did seduce me, all red and sporty!" // "Little two-door tramp!"

  • Dawn is apparently not currently aware that Tara and Willow gay together but SHENANIGANS Joyce is and is vaguely homophobic about Dawn's apparent interest in it.
  • Dawn's shirt looks vaguely like a Star Trek uniform. 
Beam me up....Spike?
  • Why does Tara consider herself a non-Scoobie? Or is she perhaps saying that because her actual goal was to look after Dawn, and this is a way of allying them?
  • Yes, Giles, the profit margins may be high at the magic shop, but so is the mortality rate.
  • It's really quite sweet how taken he is with it all.
  • I'm actually kind of impressed Harmony has minions at all. She's always been more a follower than a leader. 

  • Xander's actually really good at Dawn-sitting. He doesn't talk down to Dawn and doesn't seem to resent having to watch out for her. Glad you found a job you're good at, Xander!
  • Oh I forgot they actually address my earlier question, of Tara's feeling outside the Scoobies. Good for you, show.
  • Good subtle foreshadowing - Willow calls Tara one of the good guys, and Tara looks uncomfortable and breaks the embrace - because she still thinks she's part demon and evil and god her family sucks. Fuck Tara's family.
  • Parking lot! Do a shot.
  • "I know it's always been this way. She's the baby. But for some reason lately, it's just really getting to me. She's always around." We are being trolled.
  • "She doesn't get the sacrifices. She's a kid."
  • Anya barely even knows Harmony and her eyeroll is still hilarious.
  • "Afraid you and your buddies will have to come back and be killed by Buffy later."
  • Stop Dawn no. Dawn, you did a dumb.
  • "You'd think a Slayer's house would have more weapons lying around." Fact. Maybe Dawn's presence means they're more gated up?
  • Buffy laughing about Harmony's minions is one of the most delightful things. This may be the last time we see her this lighthearted on the series. Okay, now I'm sad.
Cheer up, Zelda
  • Second parking lot set of the episode.
  • Oh hey Dawn got kidnapped.
  • Bless poor concussed Anya, making sure they know Dawn was taken, even when she can barely keep her eyes open.
  • I do love that the minions are calling Harmony out on her shitty plan that we've seen a million times - there really is no need to keep Dawn alive except for main character reasons.
  • Tom Lenkpire is the first to die!
  • "We've met, Harmony, you halfwit."
  • I love that Harmony's obsession with unicorns gave Buffy one of her slaying weapons.
  • If nothing else, the sister bickering is believably written and acted.
  • "Boy, is she in for a surprise." So yeah the first time I saw this I thought maybe this was hinting that Dawn was some kind of evil premise (and they clearly wanted fans speculating in that vein). But nope, just Dawn being a 14 year old girl writing in her diary.

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Yay! Buffy’s training again! And it’s all spiritually now which it never really was before.
  • Hey! It’s Dawn! Little sisters ruin everything! Always. Because she’s always been there. And she’s in the credits. But was she always in the credits? Oooh.
  • Yay! Mercedes McNabb!
  • I really love Dawn’s diary entry. It’s the epitome of a little sister who feels left out even if it makes her a little bratty.
  • Aww, Riley. He’s trying not to be jealous. He really is.
  • Nice new car, Giles.
  • Aww, Giles is also searching for his thing.
  • The friendship between Willow & Dawn – their first “real” introduction seems forced. It’s like, look, we’ve been friends and chess partners all along, let me say something to prove it to you and the audience right now.
  • But also, the whole Joyce thing not being cool with Willow & Tara. I mean Joyce grew up as a free spirit in the 60s. I don’t buy it at all.
  • Hey! New set! The magic shop is way bigger than it used to be!
  • Crazy guy talking to Dawn. First clue that something isn’t quite right.
  • “Do you wanna thumb wrestle?” “Ok. “ Heh. I can totally see Tara as a mom.

  • The Magic Shop owners do seem to die a lot. You’d think a magic shop would have some protection spells or something…
  • “What kind of unholy creature favors cheap tasteless statuary. “ Cut to Harmony. YAY!
  • Hey! It’s Andrew before he’s Andrew:
Andrew                         Vamp Andrew

  • There’s one of Harmony’s minions – I don’t know if they’re male or female. Peaches? Could be either.
  • Shush, Joyce. You knew Buffy was going to the magic shop.
  • Aww, Dawn wuvvs Xander.
  • Xander’s clothes are getting worse. Does he get his shirts from Uncle Rory?
  • Anya! “Ooh the game of life!”
  • Aww, Tara speaks from experience - getting to be a scooby is hard.
  • Ooh, some foreshadowing for Tara’s secret.
  • “It’s always been that way.” I love all these lines that make the audience crazy.
  • Enough with your leather pants, Buffy! Maybe you should start wearing something more comfortable to fight in.
  • Anya playing Life is wonderful. “Can I trade in the children for more cash?” She's starting to learn the value of money. Seriously, how has she been living up until now?
  • I love when Xander and Harmony fight even if it’s just verbal.
  • Oh, Dawn. “Come inside and say that.” Really? YOU’VE BEEN HERE ALL ALONG.
  • Anya, “A slayers house and no weapons lying around??” HA!
  • Buffy, “Harmony has minions?” I love laugh-y Buffy
  • Harmony is hilarious. I love her interaction with Spike.
  • Harmony gets a point for saying the episode’s title.
  • “It’s not like Dawn hasn’t grown up in this house.” SHE’S BEEN HERE ALL ALONG.
  • I like all the continuity form last week’s ep including the new bite from Dracula.
  • Oh no, Anya!
  • Slayed by a unicorn!
  • I like that Buffy can pop culture reference This is Spinal Tap!
  • “She thinks I’m just her dumb little sister. Boy, is she in for a surprise.” We all are! But Dawn doesn’t know! We only think she knows! Love this!


Zelda; Joyce, what are you wearing?
Daniel: Is that a giant safety pin?
Zelda: And what is that shirt?
Riley: Morning, Mrs. Summers. You look great.
Buffy: Suck up.
Riley: What? It's a nice outfit.

Favorite Lines:
Zelda: "I watched Passions with Spike. Let us never speak of it." - Giles

Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  • Dawn's in the credits.
  • Recurring: Joyce, Tara, Harmony
  • Willow's still taking drama, but Buffy's dropping it.
  • First appearance of the Magic Box set as we will come to know and love (and destroy) it.
It's a lot bigger than it used to be...
  • Also first appearance of one of Glory's mindsuck victims.
  • His "curds and whey" line a reference to Faith's Little Miss Muffet from the dreams.
  • Trivia: Tom Lenk is one of Harmony's villains, but clearly not (unless he sanshued) the same character as Andrew Wells.
  • Anya's love affair with capitalism continues as she learns how to play The Game of Life.
  • Giles is now a small business owner.


Anya's Hair - dirty blonde, curly
Xander's Job - construction/babysitting
Dead Humans - 1
Dead Undeads - 4
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0


  1. As much as I dislike Dawn, this episode was good and I did find her bratty little sister diary entries, at least believable. What makes the episode is Anya playing Game of Life and Buffy laughing at the though of Harmony trying to be a Big Bad with minions.

  2. Those other blogs that defend Dawn you mention: were you reading Snark Squad?
    They LIVE to defend her! I call them the Dawn apologists.
    My real beef with them is that they say Dawn's annoyingness is because she's a teenage girl and teenage girls are by definition, annoying.

    Unfair to teenage girls, much!? Especially when Dawn reacts to something like someone dying in her house and wanting to leave with: "Oh, you just don't want to spend time with me." (Older and Far Away)

  3. I actually thought Dawn was meant to be autistic when I first watched her and I thought it was cool that they didn't make a big deal out of it.
    Then, when the key stuff came up I figured that the twist would be that the key wouldn't work for Glory because it was made human, and humans aren't perfect, and so the Key will no longer fit the lock. It seemed like a Joss Whedon kind of twist.

    Then I realised that she was just written really, really terribly.

  4. This episode is so clever. When I first saw it I was so cross with the writers because I really believed they were trying to make us think she had been there all along but maybe living with Dad…I know I know I am ashamed of myself!
    And hate to disagree with the majority (such a sheep) but I hate Buffy's laughing scenes and find them really awkward. Also HATE Riley laughing along when it is not even funny to him as he doesn't know Harmony.

    1. I agree with you that Riley actually has no context/reason to laugh and also he does it badly, but no one can take laughing Buffy away from me! No one!