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


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ready Randy? Ready Joan!

Episode 6.8: Tabula Rasa. Original Airdate 11.13.01

"Willow tries to solve too many problems with magic, accidentally making herself and the others forget who they are just as a demon loan shark and his boys come looking to collect a debt from Spike."

**A Note: Zelda and I do the NYT Crossword every day, because nerds, and yesterday we discovered that there was a clue/answer that was Tabula Rasa and we both thought that was a cool awesome coincidence, also because nerds.

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • I'd like to first apologize for some of my remarks in our recent posts. It's been brought to my attention that I was speaking in ignorance regarding Buffy's depression and the ebbs and flows of lows and highs that accompany it. I want to apologize if I have hurt or offended anyone with my disrespect. If I have anything further to add, I'd theorize that SMG thought Buffy might be working through it faster than the wrters intended (see: end of Gone), and this would account for a tonal inconsistency. Anyway, thanks for putting up with me. Now let's get our amnesia on!
  • YAY TABULA RASA. IT'S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE. At least in terms of depressingness.
  • "With the rising music and the rising ... music." Spike made a penis joke.
  • Ugh. This shark. He's sooooooooooo badly acted, and the makeup is goofy. The only reason I'm okay with the shark is I consider it a shoutout to Restless: A shark. With feet, and much less fins.
  • Buffy's rolling her eyes at this stupid shark. I'm right there with you, Buffy.
  • Spike runs away. Why don't the vampires chase him? This whole plot is so dumb. It's lucky I love the rest of the episode.
  • "What? I'm just saying what everyone's thinking." In case we were in doubt about Anya being the new Cordy.
  • I'm glad they're not brushing off Buffy's confession as nothing.
  • "We didn't wreck. We didn't know" // "We didn't wanna know. We were so selfish. I was so selfish." See, and at this moment it seems like Willow is actually taking responsibility for her actions. But no, it's self-pity. And she knows how to fix feeling bad about herself. It's called enspelling everything and everyone. STOP IT, WILLOW.
  • "Do you think I'm stupid? I know you used that spell on me." // "Tara, I didn't mean to -" // "To what? Violate my mind like that? How could you, Willow? How could you, after what Glory did to me?"
  • And the way Willow recoils at the word violate, it's the same as Andrew and Jonathan will, when Katrina calls them out on their intended rape in Dead Things. All three of these people, taking the action and not recognizing what it is, not willing to acknowledge they're as awful as what that word means they are. (Warren, on the other hand, he knew what it was he was doing, that fuckface)
  • "If you don't want to fight, you don't fight. You don't use magic to make a fight disappear."
  • Tara is being so mature in this fight. Pointing out what Willow's doing but not in an attacking manner. Trying to make Willow aware of the full violation and implication of her careless actions, and sticking up for herself. And Willow's still in denial that what she's doing is hurting others, is an abuse.
  • "I will go a month without doing any magic. I won't do a single spell, I swear." // "Go a week. One week without magic." // "Fine. Fine, that's easy." Next day: Willow uses magic with no sign of guilt or awareness.
  • "Are you saying you're gonna leave me?" Cut to Giles: "I have to." Me: "Noooooooooooooooooooooo!"
  • Oh Tara. Your hair is tragic today and I don't know why.
  • Goddammit Willow. Look at your life, look at your choices.
  • YOU'RE TRYING TO WIPE BUFFY'S MEMORY. Do you really think no one else would notice? It's not like she's targeting anyone else's memory that Buffy was in heaven. This is such a poorly thought-out plan.
  • More evidence that that damn shark is a callback to Restless - Spike is wearing the same suit he wore in Xander's dream.
  • Why are they saying "jump to the chase"? Isn't it cut to the chase?
  • "I know that you guys are just trying to help, but it's just, it's too much." Buffy needs a hug, you guys.
  • Oh it's naptime at the OK Corral.
  • Wow, they slept all day. It was morning before, and now it's full night.
  • Heh, Giles drooled on Anya.
  • "I'm afraid we don't know a bloody thing, Except I seem to be British, don't I."
  • MORE RESTLESS SHOUTOUT - "Spike's like a son to me" - here we have Rupert Giles's son, Randy Giles.
  • "Oh god, how I must hate you." // "What did I do?" // "There's always something."
  • I love that Spike wakes up complete with massive daddy issues (even though the real Spike had mommy issues)
  • "Made with care for Randy." His look of betrayal is perfect.  

"I knew there was a reason I hated you"

  • You know what I love? Everyone gets their relationships wrong - Annya and Giles, Willow and "Alex," but Buffy and Dawn figure out that they're sisters. It's so damn sweet.
  • "You never showed me affection like that ... I'd wager."
  • The thing is, Spike's not wrong about Giles's car, is he.
  • BEST MOMENT IN THE WHOLE SERIES. That scream. All of their faces. I can't, I just can't.
  • "They seem to want spikes." Spike's epiphany -

  • "Hey! Stay away from Randy!" I love this episode so damn much.
  • "Hey, I'm a superhero too!" And Joan the Vampire Slayer runs away.
  • Oho that's some sexual tension between Willow and Tara. It'd be sweet if, you know, Willow wasn't entirely reprehensible.
  • Oh, in case I squawked in the past, we did just confirm that Sunnydale Airport is not an international airport - he's connecting through LAX to get to Heathrow. Not that solves anything about the One Starbucks Town having an airport.
  • "Bara bara himble gemination. AAAAAH"

  • "I must be a noble vampire. A good guy. On a mission of redemption. I help the hopeless. I'm a vampire with a soul." // "A vampire with a soul? Oh my god, how lame is that?" YES MAKE FUN OF ANGEL KEEP DOING IT IT GIVES ME LIFE
  • Seriously, though, is Anya's book ONLY for summoning bunnies? Why does every spell bring a new bunny? Adorable but seriously what kind of useless book is that, and why would Anya ever permit it in her shop?
  • I love how done with Randy's noble musings Joan is.
  • "What capital? I never know what you're talking about. Loo, shag, brolly, what the hell is all that?" // "What? There's no way that you could remember me saying any of those words." Have I mentioned lately how much I love this episode?
  • Now Giles is dueling with a skeleton.
This is amazing
  • "And I feel compelled to take some vengeance on you."

This is basically Daniel and me.
  • Oh god, Buffy's face as the spell lifts. As she suddenly remembers everything. It hurts.
  • And Tara's face, as she remembers everything. And looks at Willow. Who doesn't even say anything.
  • And Dawn's face. She knows too, what Willow did.
  • This is the genius of this episode. It's so damn fun, but then it punches you right in the gut. Because it's awful, what Willow did. And it fixed nothing. It made the pain all the worse, for the brief absence.
  • Go away, stupid loan shark. Nobody likes you.
  • This sequence right here, is responsible for my owning a Michelle Branch CD. Hey kids, remember CDs?
  • This sequence is amazing though. And the song over it. It's all so heartbreaking.
  • "Feels like I'm starting all over again, the last three years were just pretend."
  • Yeah, Willow, you sit there and cry. You still don't fully realize how this is explicitly your fault. At least not enough to stop the path you're on.
  • Everyone's in so much pain. Giles. Buffy. Tara, Willow. Dawn. Buffy. Buffy. Buffy.
  • "You were the one I loved, the one thing that I tried to hold onto."
  • "And it hurts to want everything and nothing at the same time." Good song, y'all.
  • Man, the Spuffy chemistry is so good.

Daniel Thoughts:

  • Great follow-up episode!
  • There’s Buffy with her giant sweater in sout- Oh, you’ve heard me complain about this enough.
  • Damn Californians.
  • And here we have the worst looking demon in the history of Buffy.  And the worst pun….a loan shark. Get it?  GEDDIT?  Seriously, it looks terrible.  He’s got gills. How can he…oh never mind.
  • Shark Demon’s job offer for debt collecting?  Buffy might want to consider that….Might be better than being a fast food worker. [Legit. - Z]
  • “If I were to stop saving his life, it would simple things up so much.”  Yep.
  • Anya & everyone discussing the aftermath of OMWF.
  • “Who doesn’t look good with a harp?”
  • I like that Tara talks about the million heavenly dimensions similar to what we already know about hell dimensions.  Though I feel like Anya should know about that.
  • And Xander’s argument  that he’s just happy that his best friend is back is also valid. Selfish, but valid.
  • And the memory spell confrontation.  It’s sad to see them fighting but Tara has every right to be angry.  It’s good she brings up Glory because that’s important.  Tara’s mind has been violated before.
  • Willow: “I need you, baby.”  I like her pleading but the use of the word ‘baby’ feels false.
  • Don’t go Giles! Season six needs you!!!
  • And Willow…geez.  She makes this promise.  She knows how fucking important it is to Tara.  And yet, she’s doing it again.  She can’t even change her clothes without magic.
  • Tara and Anya are playing thumb war!  Nice call back to the beginning of season 5 when Tara plays it with Dawn.

  • Oh look, Willow’s spell went wrong.  Must be Tuesday.
  • The fainting is well done.
  • I like that Spike falls with a nice pile of books to catch his head.
  • It’s night out.  How long have they been out for?
  • Giles drooled on Anya!
  • And despite the loss of their memories – Buffy immediately feels an instinct to protect Dawn.
  • Xander goes all “hey” to Willow, like it’s season 3 or something.
  • Magic is all balderdash and chicanery!
  • “I seem to be British.”
  • You Englishmen are always so...  Bloody hell!  Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bollocks, oh God! I'm English!
  • “There is a ruggedly handsome resemblance.” – Anya & Giles!  I SHIP THIS SO MUCH!
  • Willow, funny name!
  • Umad!
  • Randy Giles!  Horny Giles! Desperate for a shag Giles!
  • Anya mispronounces her name! I love it! I love it so.
  • Joan the vampire slayer!  Joan!
  • Spike: “Vampires!”
  • “Blood suckers.  They kill by sucking blood. Take it easy, Joan!”
  • “Stay away from Randy!”
  • “I’m like a superhero or something!”  SMG is so cute.
  • “Ready Randy? Ready Joan!”
  • Giles & Spikes awkward father/son hug.
  • “Hey! I’m a superhero too!”
  • I’m actually surprised Spike didn’t feel the need to feed on anyone before he discovered he was a vampire.
  • Oh hey...How’d they know where the sewers were?  You know, without memory and all?
  • Aww “Alexander” is unaware of the looks his “girlfriend” is exchanging with Tara.
  • The Anya/Giles banter is amazing.
  • And a bunny! Oh no!  Anya still has her bunny fear!
  • “I help the helpless.”  And Spike describes the plot of Angel.

  • "Bugger off you brolly!"
  • Sword fighting a skeleton!  CGI at its best!
  • “And I feel compelled to take some vengeance on you!”
  • “Rupee” Heh.
  • OMG, the Giles/Anya kiss that I ship so much! 

  • And now…Tara better leave.  Because she’s just realized that this has turned completely and totally abusive.
  • Where is Tara moving to, I wonder? Dorms, I guess.
  • Giles on a plane :(  Don’t go, Giles! DON’T GO!
  • "Goooodbbbyyyyeeee toooo youuuuuuuu."
  • Dawn being mad at Tara for leaving is lame but understandable.
  • Ugh. Buffy/Spike make-out.  Again.  Ick.

Favorite Lines: (We get two this ep because it's amazing)

Zelda: 1. "Randy Giles? Why not just call me Horny Giles, or Desperate For a Shag Giles? I knew there was a reason I hated you." - Spike (plus every single time he needles Giles for supposed fatherly neglect)
2. "Oh bugger off, you brolly." - Anya
Daniel: 1. "Bloodsuckers. They kill by sucking blood. Take it easy, Joan" - Anya

2. You Englishmen are always so...  Bloody hell!  Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bollocks, oh God! I'm English!” - Spike

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: kittens as currency, Tara, Giles, Willow abusing magic, Anya's fear of bunnies
  • Callbacks to Restless: a shark with feet and much less fins, Spike's suit, Spike's being like a son to Giles
  • Callback to Doppelgangland "I think I'm kinda gay."


Anya's Hair - soft, wavy curls, honey-colored
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 6
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 1
Xander Unconscious - 2
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Buffy Breaks a Mailbox - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0


  1. I'm with you on the wrongness of "jump to the chase". But they're always doing things like this. Way back in Fool for love Buffy says that she knows she has an "expiration mark" and it drives me crazy!

    Favourite line: SPIKE: Dad can drive. He's bound to have some classic midlife-crisis transport. Something red, shiny, shaped like a penis.

    Also, Willow and funny name a shout out to Band Candy

  2. 1) Not to come at you after the depression-kerfuffle (which I disagreed with you on, but found offensive in no way), but I think Willow is acting like an addict in regard to her lack of remorse/awareness. Good thing I've had such a fucked-up life that I can appreciate these things. Thanks, dysfunctional family!
    2) Am I wrong or is Spike's suit the same one he had in Restless, as well?
    3) The loan shark was a human loan shark, cursed into that form. This is based completely out of being pulled out of my ass, but it lets me enjoy this episode (which _is_ otherwise great, for all the reasons you mentioned).

    1. 1 - oh absolutely, 100% (also, sorry)
      2 - yes, we noted that above :)
      3 - haha, whatever gets you through the night!

  3. I liked the shark. 'Chutzpah must be your middle name'
    חוצפה חחח

  4. I liked the shark. 'Chutzpah must be your middle name'
    חוצפה חחח

  5. I am very ashamed to say that I did not get the loan shark pun until I read this. And I've watched this episode likr 9 times.

    1. that's because it's the most groan-worthy pun ever

  6. Nitpick: Not every international airport has direct flights to London, and if they do, they're not always the cheapest.

    I live in Halifax, NS (east coast of Canada). We have an international airport with direct flights to some places in the US and Europe. When I flew to London (en route to Europe), though, I connected through Montreal on the way there and back, even though that's in the opposite direction by a 2 hour flight.