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


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Metaphor Balls of Misogyny

Episode 6.19: Seeing Red. Original Airdate 5.7.02

"Willow and Tara wallow in their togetherness [wtf is that phrasing? - Z], but things aren't as happy everywhere else. Buffy has to face both Xander and Spike, whilst tracking Warren and Company to foil their next move."

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Aww, look how happy Tara and Willow are! THIS WILL LAST
  • Pretty risqué for 2001, showing Willow and Tara in bed together post-coital and kissing. They came a long way from just a couple of years ago when they couldn’t even kiss.
  • I like Tara being all wise.
  • It’s sad knowing Tara will never leave that house…
  • Ha. Even Dawn knew about Buffy/Spike before Willow.
  • Poor Xander? No. No, Dawn.
  • Oh man, I love this Indiana Jones – Last Crusadeness of this scene with the buzzsaws. Nice reference for the nerds. And what great visual effects for the time.
  • “We need to get Warren and the others before anyone else gets hurt.” You know, like someone in this room being shot and killed.
  • Yay! “He’s a man, look no further.” Heh.
  • Oh man, Anya is so bitter. It’s so sad. But it’s also so funny. And the show cuts her off…because that was gonna continue for a while.
  • Scary looking cockroach demon. Gross.
  • Vodka-Blood, the brunch drink of vamps. I dig it. But really, why is Dawn there?
  • You know, for once I’m on Spike’s side. I think everyone’s mad at him because of their own dumb reasons.
  • Why is everyone all, “how could you do that to her?” Nothing? They were just sleeping together. And Buffy was the one who broke it off.
  • Spike assumed Buffy didn’t care. He wasn’t doing it to hurt Buffy. He was doing it to feel better. Why on Earth can’t he sleep with someone else when Buffy rejected him? And it’s not like Anya is Buffy’s best friend or anything. It’s not like he slept with Willow. Or Xander – (I’ve read slash on that last one.)
  • They’re all so gross – the trio. Such tiny annoying little boys. They can’t even trust each other.
  • Xander opens door, says nothing. Me: Shut up, Xander.
  • Buffy: “She loves you….you know that.” I think on my first watch, at this point, I really thought Anya and Xander would get back together. Even though I hate Xander (and my hate grew upon rewatch after rewatch), I just wanted Anya to be happy.
  • But also, again, Xander seems more upset about Buffy than Anya. Which, another reason why I hate him so much.
  • Buffy: “Xander, what I do with my personal life is none of your business.” DAMN RIGHT.
  • Ugh, Now Xander is walking alone to a sad song. You don’t deserve the montage of sad song walking, Xander.
  • Xander: It’s a good thing I’m part fish. YOU WERE AT ONE POINT!
  • Warren gains ultimate power and…he uses it to hit on chicks… And also somehow thinks that’ll help.
  • Oh no, I actually forgot this part happens in this episode. Damn it, Spike.
  • And this, retro-actively is why I can never root for Spike. This, among other things. But this is just way too upsetting to watch.
  • Andrew’s drink. Tell me again how he’s …ahem, heterosexual?
  • Ok, I guess it’s not about hitting on chicks….and more about getting even with bullies. Sad but kinda reasonable. But also really sad.
  • Who barges into someone's bathroom with accusations? (Xander does.)
  • Yeah, blame it on the chip, Spike.
  • “You really have a problem with strong women, don’t you?” Yeah, you nailed it, Buffy. That’s exactly who Warren is.
  • That roller coaster looks awesome. I wonder where that is.
  • So this is an interesting turn of events. Why is Jonathan helping Buffy?
  • The sight of Andrew jetpacking into a ceiling and falling to the ground is amazing.

  • Aww, Tara’s shirt is cute. I hope it doesn’t get stained with something.
  • Oh geez. That’s good aim. Right through the heart.

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Ugh. Must we?
  • Oh but look how sweetly it starts, with Willow and Tara all snuggly
  • Ah, Willow finally noticed the Spuffiness of S6
  • So um. I get that it's funny when Tara just tells Willow bluntly "they've been sleeping together," but she chases it with "I promised her I wouldn't [tell]" but ... it's okay to tell now? Way to keep the secret, Tara.
  • "She probably really needs someone to talk to." Yeah friendshipness!
  • Awwww Dawn ships Tara and Willow more than the internet even. It's really cute and sweet.
  • It's also heartbreaking, of course, because we know Tara's become one of Dawn's mother figures and she's already had two of those die on her and number three is coming soon to a television near you.
  • Buffy's leather jacket is way looser than I believe she'd wear, if not for the upcoming stunt action with the buzz saws. It needs to be believably far enough away from her skin when it gets sliced across the front.
  • "We'll stop." // "Oh you better not!" Dawn's ship is sailing!
  • Aw Anya. So mad she can't even hear her mark start wishes.
  • Sometimes I wonder if it was scenes like Jonathan in the giant demon skin suit that drove Danny Strong to become an award-winning screenwriter.
  • JM's acting the hell out of this scene. His voice is so small and controlled, knowing if he were to try to speak at full volume he might break.
  • Hey Dawn, what you're doing right now? It's not fixing things. Also hey Spike, what you're now thinking about doing right now? It will really not fix things.
  • Look, you guys. The Orbs of Nezzla'khan aka METAPHOR BALLS OF MISOGYNY.
  • Xander needs to stop being a shit and start being supportive of his friend, and not slut shame her.
  • "You could have told me." // "You didn't want to know." EXACTLY. "What I do with my personal life is none of your business." ALSO EXACTLY. I'm so impressed with how gently she's handling this conversation, considering how shitty her "friend" is being to her.
  • Man, this shot of Sad Anya dusting the shop is reminding me just how pretty the Magic Box set is. Just in time for the show to demolish it, just to hurt me.
  • I'm impressed Tara actually seems to have bedhead in this scene. I thought that was anathema to TV women unless they're making a deliberate joke about it.
  • Warren's motivations are always so transparent. He sees a guy who made him feel emasculated years ago, and that's who he zeroes in on.
  • Fuck. It's the bathroom scene. I don't want it.
  • So, most of the fans know now that this plotline came out of a story one of the female writers of the show told the others, of trying to force her soon-to-be-ex into sex in order to save the relationship, and ... it just doesn't work in the translation. It's just. I can barely watch this. Buffy struggling. Spike spidering over her, all in black. The weird, wide, far away shot alternating with these intense weird close ups. She's weeping, he's tearing at her robe, THIS IS NOT OKAY. It's not a sad desperate last attempt at reconciliation, especially not how it's played here. It's attempted rape.
  • At the time this aired I felt incredibly betrayed - though not by Spike, by the writers. This felt so far out of left field, so out of character with what we'd been dealing with, even with his consent issues we've seen earlier. It's obv on a different level than the out of character stuff that happened for the sake of the joke in The Zeppo, but it makes me distrust the story, when I see the characters behaving differently than I think they should.
  • And then of course we'll see that the writers mostly used that moment to further Spike's story and his redemption, and give nearly no time or space to Buffy, who is not only our protagonist, but the victim of the attack and the one who more deserves our sympathy. It was a misstep in every possible way, this plot development. There are other ways to drive Spike off to "Africa" to get his spoiler.
  • I don't know if there's any good way to discuss this scene/plot. It's one of the biggest mistakes the series made, and it's revealed a lot of toxic rape apologist bullshit and victim blaming in the fandom. Love Spike and Spuffy though I do, there's not a way to make this scene okay. I barely know how to begin to talk about it, and I don't really feel like I'm even close to the person who should try.
  • It should also be noted that Buffy's being victimized by Spike is what will lead Xander to "forgive" her for her relationship with Spike. So yeah he's doing GREAT this episode.
  • Oh look, Spike's the one having traumatic flashbacks of that time he attacked someone. I mean, what even?
  • Clem is here to attempt to rescue this episode. He's got hot wings!
  • "It isn't supposed to be this way. It's the chip! Steel and wires and silicon. It won't let me be a monster, and I can't be a man." Gosh, no wonder JM thought Spike was going to get his chip taken out instead of his soul installed. I get the writers wanting to red herring us for the finale reveal, but it's a disservice to mislead the actor too. I think JM could have handled the ambiguity but instead he's playing the chip stuff pretty hamfistedly.
  • "What's the matter, baby? You never fight a real man before?"

  • I like how this scene really snaps Jonathan out of it (took him long enough, but still). It's Andrew screaming "Kill her!" that finally wakes him up to what they're doing.
  • The fact that Warren thinks he's smarter than Buffy is also hella laughable.
  • Not a big fan of the queerbaiting with Andrew's crush on Warren. Just commit to it, writers. Gayness isn't a punchline.
  • Spike's on his motorcycle trip to AFRICA.
  • Man. We're approaching magic bullet time. THIS WOULD BE SO EASY TO FIX, YOU GUYS. Either move Tara closer to the window and fix the bullet hole trajectory, or move Willow and Tara to the kitchen before Warren's gun goes off. It's just such bad physics. I just don't get why NO ONE CAUGHT THIS during production. Put them in the damn kitchen. Problem solved.
  • Much like S4, S6 has seen our Scoobies not communicating. We're reconciling just in time for Willow to go dark.
  • We just remembered that Tara finally made it into the opening credits for this ep (neither of us were paying attention at the time), as one final troll from the writers before they killed Tara. Fuck you, writers.

  • I remember a lot of rumors about Tara's demise were circulating, and I think the episode itself even leaked early online. Then Steven DeKnight, the author this ep, went on the message boards, all "Guys, come on, we wouldn't kill Tara!" He's a lying liar who lies.


Warren: Oh, Relax. All right, you'll each get a whirl, soon as I'm done playing with them.
Daniel: With his balls.
[Daniel and Zelda giggle like middle school boys]

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "And then you get all excited with the tingly anticipation, but wait! Not so fast! There's the apocalypse, and the back from the grave, and the blah blah blah blah blah, and by the time you're finally standing there in that beautiful expensive white dress you've dreamed about ever since you became human, he's gets all heebie-jeebie and decides, "you know, I'd rather just go steady."" - Anya
Zelda: "I got hot wings!" - Clem

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: the Trio, Clem
  • Sunnydale has an amusement park


Anya's Hair - pin straight, blonde, shoulder-length
Dead Humans - 1
Dead Undeads - 3
Dead Leather Jackets - 1
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0 
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0

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