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


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I Have Finesse Coming Out of My Bottom

Episode 5.11: Triangle. Original Airdate 1.9.01

"While Giles is in England meeting with the Watcher Council, a bickering Anya and Willow mind the magic store and inadvertently conjure up a fearsome troll."

Sophia's Thoughts:
  • This is a sad teaser. (1) Because I’m sure a lot of the audience would forget that Riley’s gone if it wasn’t mentioned. Xander, I’m not asking myself, “Where’s Riley?” and (2) Next season, when Xander leaves Anya, there will be absolutely no warning for her.
  • Xander, the jury is still out on whether she has a pattern with men. Here is my completely unsolicited and unfounded theory on the nature of patterns. The first time something happens, it is a fluke. The second time, it is a coincidence. The third time, it is a pattern. Buffy has one more piece of relationship debris for it to be a pattern.
  • There’s a convent in Sunnydale?! A convent in Sunnydale!...Actually, nevermind. That makes complete sense.
  • Things to consider when contemplating joining a devout religious community: (1) gender relations; (2) whether or not one needs to be religious—correction, super-religious; (3) the food sitch.
  • Anya and Willow are proof that just because you leave high school, doesn’t mean that high school leaves you.
  • There are several unsettling things with Spike’s convo rehearsal: (1) the mannequin! I don’t want to know what else you’ve been doing with her. But we’ll find out a little later in the season what Spike does with synthetic Buffy stand-ins. (2) Why do you think Buffy would want chocolates from you? Also, did you steal those or find them in the trash? (3) In just this one-sided conversation, we see how volatile your relationship with Buffy would be. You’ll think you’re being sweet and she’ll be reminded of what you are. You’ll fight and then reset to do it all over again.
  • Sorry, Willow, I’m Team Anya on this one. You are stealing from the store and being reckless. Your familiarity and history with the Scoobies doesn’t give you the authority to disregard Anya. Also, in the same conversation, you say Giles wouldn’t mind and that he doesn’t have to know.
  • Guys, stop trying to make fetch happen. I don’t miss Riley. Neither does Buffy—no amount of dialogue, strange emotional outbursts, or hugs are going to change my mind. [I miss Riley....-D]
  • I would totally watch a season from Spike’s point of view. He is really just living in his own world. Buffy is not holding a grudge. And there are bigger trolls to fry.
  • Finally! Anya and Willow are on the same page. The mission of this episode is complete!
  • Dawn knows she isn’t crazy! The crazy people were right! She’s not quite normal.

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • And we have Xander pining over Riley.
  • Don't become a nun, Buffy.
  • Council mention! I can't wait for their episode.
  • "I have finesse! I have finess coming out of my bottom!"

  • Willow is so goddamned condescending. It's awful.
  • Dawn: "What are you doing?" Buffy: [reading] "Playing soccer." - I've used this before.
  • "Maybe [Riley'll] come back?" Yep, he will. With a wife.
  • Stop it, Spike.
  • This spell you're talking about? Simulating sunlight? Might have been great for the end of season 7. Just sayin'. Could have saved a lot of deaths...
  • Ugh, this fight between Anya and Willow. It's so...stop.
  • That's a terrible impression of Anya, Willow.
  • And you know, I'd probably like this episode more if it actually solved all the petty fighting between Willow & Anya but it so doesn't. I will reference this in later episodes.
  • Hey! Buffy and Tara have a scene with each other!
  • They took Giles' car!
  • Anya driving is amazing.
  • "A lot of people never got Dru."//"Well she was insane."
  • "I wish Buffy was here."//"I'm here!"//"I wish...I had a million dollars."
  • Troll hammer! This will come in handy later.
  • Ew, Spike. Stop it.
  • I do like the continuity and the history being brought up, like Cordelia.
  • "Gay now!"
  • Xander just got hit with Thor's is he not dead?

  • The land of perpetual Wednesday!
  • Oh, crying Buffy. I hate crying Buffy.

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • "Maybe it won't happen to us," says Anya. ANYA NO THAT IS JINXING YOURSELF.
  • The nun's pretty funny, I gotta say.
  • Okay so while I recognize that Triangle is nowhere near as bad as The Zeppo, it suffers from some of the same problems, for me. People behaving out of character for the sake of humor, rather than humor arising naturally from already-existing characters. And goofy humor, rather tonally inappropriate to everything else happening on the show. Mostly I'm referring to Buffy's goofy crying jags. But I also don't like how mean Willow is behaving toward Anya. It's not like Anya's a new fixture in the gang. She's been around longer than Tara.
  • "Don't worry, Giles. I'll help her take care of everything." See? It's unnecessarily condescending. Anya's shown COUNTLESS times this season how good she is at retail and also magic stuff in general - she was the one to realize what spell Glory was casting.
  • Buffy and Dawn sassing Joyce. So cute. It's because they think all is well and she's getting better. WE KNOW THE TRUTH, WHEDON.
  • "Whatcha doing?" // "Playing soccer."
  • Oh Spike. Buffy Mannequin is not interested in your chocolates or your apologies.
  • Buffy Mannequin is not wearing a bra. And has nipples. wtf.
  • Okay but Willow you are stealing from the shop. This isn't borrowing cinnamon from Giles's spice rack. This is store inventory.
  • "Hey, don't float the merchandise."
  • "She endangered the money!"
  • At least Xander realizes how not in the middle of the fight between Willow and Anya he should be. Also Tara. Smart cookies.
  • Shenanigans! Willow poured supplies into her mortar and didn't even grind the supplies with the pestle before dumping then in the cauldrony thing. That's some bad spellage.
  • So Willow should pay for the damage to the shop, yes? Yes.
  • "He's not a ball of sunshine."
  • Buffy and Tara taking classes together, so cute!
  • And here's Buffy's first "comedic" sobbing freakout. Sigh.
  • And there's Willow calmly watching her spell fly away from Giles's car.
  • "Puny receptacle!" Olaf is delightful.
  • "Do you know where there are babies?" // "What do you think, the hospital?"
  • "They've got this onion thing." Spike's true love is the onion blossom and we all know it.
  • Gasp! Anya used to date Olaf. But he called her Anyanka, and as we'll see in Selfless, she went by Aud when they were together. So that's a ... ret-incon ... where the retroactive flashback makes the information inconsistent ... okay then.
  • PS Spike: your "good deeds" aren't worth much when you're doing them for show. Also not drinking blood from disaster victims is not really a good deed in the same way as not deliberately tripping people is not really a good deed. Also that.
  • Willow lecturing Anya on the rules. After she stole inventory and attempted spells in uncontrolled circumstances.
  • "I don't do magic now. You're the one with that kind of power. In fact, D'Hoffryn offered you my old job. You're closer to being a vengeance demon than I am, maybe Xander should be afraid of you." Anya, showing her psychic powers. Willow's on a long-term dark path here.
  • It's a cute reversal - when Olaf appeared, Anya hid behind Willow. When he returns to the Magic Shop, Anya pushes Willow behind her.
  • Um. Olaf smashes Xander's head with the hammer, and Xander's NOT dead? Also not skull fractured? Also not knocked out or concussed? Shenanigans!


Spike: *demolishes Buffy Mannequin*
Daniel: So romantic.

Favorite Lines:

Sophia: "I have finesse! I have finesse coming out of my bottom!" - Anya
Daniel: "If you ever decide to go, I want a warning. You know? Big flashing red lights, and-and-and one of those clocks that counts down like a bomb in a movie? And there's a whole bunch of, of colored wires, and I'm not sure which is the right one to cut, but I guess the green one, and then at the last second, "No! The red one!" and then click, it stops with three-tenths of a second left, but then you don't leave. Like that, okay?" -Anya
Zelda: "That's insane troll logic." - Xander

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • First appearance: Olaf and his Hammer, Spike's love for onion blossoms
  • Recurring: Tara, Joyce
  • Sunnydale has a convent.
  • Shoutout to Amy the Rat
  • Willow killed her fish when she was six and wasn't allowed to have fish for five years. And then Angelus killed her replacement fish.
  • More of Willow doing spells wrong, making things worse.
  • Anya became a vengeance demon after changing Olaf into a troll.
  • Shoutout to the World Without Shrimp.


Anya's Hair - shoulder length, honey blonde, curly
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 1
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Olaf Breaks the Magic Shop - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal -  0
Shenanigans Called - 2
Apocalypse Called - 0

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Go Monkey. Choose Monkey.

Episode 5.10: Into the Woods. Original Airdate 12.19.00

"After Buffy catches Riley in the clutches of a vampire-junkie, Riley makes an important decision regarding their relationship."

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Who's up for a round of Sondheim* songs? Into the woods, it's always when you think at last you're through and then into the woods you go again, to take another journey.
  • I'm gonna get through this with lyrics. You're gonna have to deal with that.
  • Seriously, Joyce has no friends? The only people waiting for the end of her surgery are Buffy's people.

  • Joyce's tumor is all gone! Everyone's relieved. Everyone who has never seen a Whedon show before. WE KNOW THE TRUTH.
  • It's so sweet to see them all hugging.
  • "That's disturbing. You're emotionally scarred and will end up badly."
  • Anya, as usual, is amazing.
  • Riley, don't be butthurt she didn't cry on your shoulder. Seriously. Be cool dude.
  • Awkward sex scene. Quick! Distraction needed.

Much better.

  • And creepy Spike being creepy and slowly killing the tree in their front yard with cigarette butts.
  • Again, they don't try to sell the brain surgery much, but it's at least a bit more believable than Spike's chipectomy.
  • Her bandage is FLOATING ON AIR. I take it back.
  • "Just as long as the two of you are spending some quality time ... with the Lord" As religious as this show ever gets.
  • Creepy Spike is creepy. "Are you naked under there?"
  • Spike takes Buffy to the blood brothel. Buffy knows things now, many valuable things, that she hadn't known before. Do not put your faith in a cape and a hood. They will not protect you the way that they should.

  • So while Spike's intentions are anything but honorable - his goal being to separate Buffy from Riley - it is actually important that she know what Riley's doing when she goes to sleep.
  • AGONY. FAR MORE PAINFUL THAN YOURS. When you know she would go with you, if there only were doors.

  • "I dislike that Anya! She's newly human and strangely literal!" // "I don't say that. No one says that. No one talks that way."
  • At least they're laying some groundwork this episode of Anya and Willow bickering for next episode full-scale fight.
  • Gasp! Riley staked Spike! But it's plastic.
  • Spike's reaction is amazing. "OW BLOODY HELL! GOD! ... hey."
  • "You actually think you've got a shot with her?" // "No, I don't. Fella's gotta try though."
  • Seriously, Spike can't invest in some curtains for his giant windows?[He wears sunblock, apparently - D]
  • "Sometimes I envy you so much it chokes me, and sometimes I think I got the better deal."
  • "I wanted to know what you felt. I wanted to know why Dracula and Angel have so much power over you." // "You so don't get it." And he doesn't. Angel has power because he was Buffy's first love. [Is that all?-D] Drac's power was no more pronounced over Buffy than over Xander - he was fixated on Buffy, not really the other way around, except in a thrall-sense. If Riley wants him some thrall, he should contact Drusilla. [Drusilla would love Riley as a toy - D]
  • "Tell me what on earth they were giving you that I can't." // "They needed me." That's kind of unhealthy, yo.
  • "You aren't a passion to them, you are a snack. A willing, idiotic snack."
  • Hey, you know what's not cool? To not only be secretly going off to a vampire crack den, but to also be sitting on the fact that you're back in touch with the military and you might be leaving tonight. And to give Buffy a deadline of get over it now or lose him forever. He can't make these decisions for their relationship like that. And then asking her to hit him. Why? Because in his twisted rationale, that's the only way for him to confirm that she cares, that he actually managed to hurt her. Because yes, that conversation was about hurting her the way he was hurt when she didn't cry on his shoulder. Fuck that. This is not a healthy way to end a relationship, and he does not get off the hook for any of this. Bad communication.
  • Okay, Xander, don't act like Buffy killing a gang of vampires that attacked her was her overworking out some aggression.
  • I like some of what Xander has to say, but I don't know that he's being entirely fair. All Xander can see is his reflection in Riley, the good guy who loves Buffy but who isn't loved the same amount in return. That's all he sees. And anyone trying to take Buffy to task for her behavior over the past few weeks needs to stfu because her MOM HAD A BRAIN TUMOR. 
  • What is true is that Buffy shouldn't let Riley go without at least some kind of real conversation that's not a threat-laden argument. But I don't think Riley ever was the long haul for Buffy, so even though she does run after him, I don't know that they would have actually lasted if she had caught up with him.
  • You think, what do you want? You think, make a decision.
  • Hey Riley - Running away, let's do it. Free from the ties that bind. The trouble is, son, the farther you run, the more you feel undefined.
  • It's a classic Whedon move, Riley looking up and you think he sees her - and no, she's just not there yet.
  • And he flies away. To fight the giants in the sky, probably. Big tall terrible giants in the sky.
  • I remember being much more affected by this the first time I saw it, much more persuaded by Xander's arguments. But on this rewatch, I just ... I really can't see Riley as the one who got away. He's not. He's not even the one who ran away. Angel did that first. He's just one of the ones who ran, who made a decision about his relationship with Buffy without consulting her first. Gosh, that sounds familiar.
  • At least Xander actually told Anya how much she means to him.
  • Bye Riley! Remember: The way is dark, the light is dim, but now there's you, me, her, and him. The chances look small, the choices look grim, but everything you learn there will help when you return there.

*We thought it important to say that the words in blue are Sondheim lyrics from Into the Woods.  Not that you didn't know...but just in case you thought it was ours.

Daniel's Thoughts:

  •  Into the Woods – Zelda will get through this episode by singing Sondheim.
  • Waiting for people to come out of surgery is the worst. I wish I didn’t have experience with that.
  • Really? Giles and Xander, you can hug. It doesn’t make you gay. 90s TV guys. Amirite?
  • Dawn: “When I was a kid…” – Never was!
  • Xander’s awesome apartment is back
  • "The ice is all slippery and monkeys are all irrational…!"
  • Stop it Riley. Just stop it…
  • Isn’t it difficult to have sex with a sheet in between you? Oh, American TV.
  • And stop it, Spike! Why are all men in the Buffyverse stupid? Why can’t they all be like Giles?
  • “Oh, I’m sure he’ll pop over a little later for…bible study.” It's not like the Summers' girls are all that religious.  Why the lame excuse?
  • That gross alley is the perfect place for “Be a Mentor” poster…
  • Oh this is all so sad. And only slightly convoluted.
  • “I dislike that Anya. She’s newly human and strangely literal.”
  • “She bathes you?”
  • “I haven’t seen it since my Ripper days.” – I’M STILL WAITING FOR THAT PREQUEL!
  • Riley staked Spike! Oh...plastic

For one brief moment...

  • This whole conversation between Riley and Spike is fantastic. They’re both so brutally honest. If only Riley could have been that brutally honest with Buffy earlier.
  • See, I think Riley has a point. I think he has a right to feel this way. But he dealt with it all wrong. He could have opened up to Buffy way before it got to this point.
  • Riley has flaws. That’s what makes him human.
  • I hate ultimatums.
  • “You’ve been treating Riley like the rebound guy when he’s the type of guy that comes along once in a lifetime.” Yep. Also, maybe Xander can date him?
  • “Run”. Run where? Buffy has absolutely no idea where Riley is leaving from. He never told her. So where is she running to? SHENANIGANS. [From Sunnydale's world-famous helicopter pad? - Z]
  • Bye Graham. See you in a few NEVER.
  • Aww, bye Riley. Can’t wait to see you next year all happy and stuff.
  • I know I make excuses for Riley but I mean them.  I think he makes huge mistakes here and has huge flaws but so does everyone else in the Buffyverse, yet Riley seems to get dumped on more then anyone else.  In the end of this episode, I'm happy for both Buffy & Riley.  Even though they're both sad, this is the best thing for both of them. He wasn't right for her but he's right for someone and he'll find that someone and then bring her back and show her off to Buffy and Buffy will eventually be happy for him.  And I wish I could say the same about Buffy - that she'd find her one true love.  It sucks that it never happens. But sometimes we just never do.
  • Anya’s apartment is awesome. I like her Victorian furniture. It seems to fit.
  • And I love Xander’s speech to Anya. Too bad it’s all bullshit.

Sophia's Thoughts:

  • Oh look, Riley is wearing a turtleneck. I wonder why. I bet it’s to hides hickeys. It’s to hide hickeys, right?
  • The Scoobies really are a family. I love that they came together to support Buffy and Dawn. Yay! Buffy’s mom is okay!
  • “There’s a chimp playing hockey?!...That’s hilarious! Ice is so slippery! And monkeys are all irrational.”… I think this is exactly how the pitch meeting went for MVP: Most Valuable Primate…and it was basically the same pitch for Ed.
  • Look, Riley, I get it. Buffy is a guarded lady. You keep getting hurt feelings about the fact she’s not sharing and opening up to you. You know what could help with that? Creating an open dialogue where you two talk about your relationship problems. Or we can make sad faces and go to a vamp den to get fed on. Because that always solves things.
  • I’m calling shenanigans on Buffy not noticing Riley’s bite mark. Riley’s naked Buffy. You aren’t curious about his new questionable bandage?
  • I don’t like creepy, lingering Spike. You’re supposed to be a bad ass Spike. Is there a way for you to pine in a bad ass way?
  • Ah, mother-daughter thinly veiled teen sex jokes. We’re going to look back on this as television quaintness if we don’t already.
  • Buffy, I know Spike can’t physically harm anyone, but isn’t he a threat to your privacy? He is constantly breaking into your house! Is he just the creepy uncle now? Also, Buffy sleeps in the buff. (Sorry, couldn’t help it.)
  • Spike still doesn’t get it. Yeah, you just drove a wedge between Buffy and Riley, but you hurt Buffy in the process.
  • It’s okay Anya; I’m strangely literal too… when I’m not being sarcastic.
  • Buffy burnt down a house you guys. I think she’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.
  • People really go out of their way NOT to kill Spike. What was Riley’s thought process? Ugh, I’m so mad at Spike! I’m so pissed! Let me go find my “plastic wood grain stake” (*rolls eyes*), storm into his crypt, and threaten to kill him for the 999,999th time. That will show him!
  • I think this is the first time that Spike has told someone that he likes Buffy.
  • Oh look, Buffy is punching things again with a bent wrist. I guess her slayer powers are continuously helping her wrists to heal.
  • Finally! The talk that needed to happen ages ago! Imagine how different things would be if Buffy and Riley talked before he “cheated”. Yeah, I got your heavy-handed metaphor, Whedon.
  • Often the comedic relief, Xander also functions as a reality check. He is a true friend. Please always tell me what you see in front of your Xander face. [Oh sure, it's all fun and games until Xander loses an eye. - Z]
  • Farewell, Riley Finn. I would say I will miss you, but…

Favorite Lines:

Zelda: "I dislike that Anya! She's newly human and strangely literal!" // "I don't say that. No one says that. No one talks that way." - Anya/Willow
Daniel: "We have to see the chimp playing hockey! That's hilarious! The ice is so slippery, and, and monkeys are all irrational. We have to see this." ~Anya
Sophia: “If what he needs from you just isn’t there – for God’s sake, let him go. But if it is? If you can go deeper, let him get to know that raw, unguarded heart you tried to put away. Maybe you’d better risk something too.” – Xander

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: Joyce, Dr. Kriebel, Major Ellis, Graham, Anya's apartment
  • Shoutout to how Anya likes playing Life. And having money.

Anya's Hair - honey blonde, flippy (not curly)
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 7
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 1
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Buffy Burns a House Down - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal -  0
Shenanigans Called - 2
Apocalypse Called - 0