Author Topic: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018  (Read 1402 times)

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Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #50 on: March 07, 2018, 07:05:59 AM »
We're they ever toying with the idea of putting Giles and Joyce together?  They kind of plant some seeds here but obviously they never bring them to full bloom.

Well, technically they did get together later but it was never more than a one off despite the chemistry there. I'm fine with that never happening to be honest as it would've been weird seeing Giles as a near literal father figure rather than the figurative one that he always was.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #51 on: March 07, 2018, 07:08:23 AM »
Go Fish

So here's how much this episode matters: I switched discs and was five minutes into Becoming Pt. 1 before I realized I skipped this.

This HAD to be a leftover season 1 script and they had an extra week to fill between I Only and the finale so they just threw this episode into the slot.  The lone Angel appearance has to be the most superfluous use of a Big Bad in the history of the series, the entire plot is fucking STUPID and I hate every character besides the Scoobies (from the Taylor Lautner motherfucker that tries to assault Buffy to Wentworth Miller to Snyder to the coach).  I mean, the coach threatens goddamn FISH RAPE on Buffy (how the fuck does that shit work?!).

The only positives are Willow going all Lennie Briscoe on Jonathan and a couple of decent lines.  I had the right idea 45 minutes ago.

Offline CletusVanDamme

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #52 on: March 07, 2018, 09:05:09 AM »
I Only Have Eyes For You

You know what?  This is getting a Must Watch which I did not expect to be saying at all when I started watching this one.

Yeah I remember reading a few times this is the ep that made Whedon realize Boreanaz was good enough to carry a show on his own.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #53 on: March 07, 2018, 10:55:48 AM »
Becoming (Parts 1 + 2)

I mean....do I have to talk about this?  Do I have to tell you how this is one of the best season finales in television history?  How it pays off everything from this season and sets in motion things that will carry on for five more seasons?  I didn't even put together until now Snyder expelling Buffy was to make sure the Slayer was out of the way of the Mayor's plans.  I thought he was just a fucking dick.

And it all culminates with one of the best final battles of the series:





Must Watch is almost insulting.  Essential Episode seems better.  And of course everything doesn't just wrap up all nice and happy at the end; Buffy is completely alone, having matured more than most people will be in their lifetimes.

Season 2 Overall Thoughts: 22 episodes, over half of them being Must Watch along with some of the best one-off episodes of the series.  There's only one real dud (Go Fish) and a couple at worst boring episodes to even slightly drag the season down, but the overall arc and growth of so many characters (main and not) make them feel like ice cubes trying to sink the Titanic.

Season Rankings (so far): 2, 1

Offline geniusMoment

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #54 on: March 07, 2018, 12:41:39 PM »
You're in for a treat.  Season 3 is probably the best of the series.  Seasons 2 and 3 were far and away better than all the others IMO.
Randy!

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2018, 12:47:44 AM »
Season 3[/u]

Anne
.
The gang tries to pick up the slaying slack with Buffy gone which goes about as well as you think (though I don't think Willow's quip was the worst for a rookie) and Buffy is now in LA (?) as "Anne" having run away from her problems and her destiny, stuck in her own private hell working as a waitress and clearly hating every second of her life.  She meets "Lily", one of the people Ford almost had slaughtered by vamps last season and the sight if dumb teenage love drags up too many memories.  So does getting hit by a car and not having a scratch saving one of the many lost old people in the neighborhood.  Lily's boyfriend ends up missing and Buffy finds him, aged 60 years, dead.  Lily runs away from the problem and ends up in the arms of the street preacher who takes lost souls....and pulls them into a hell dimension where they are worked to old age and sent back with the life sucked out of them.

Meanwhile, it's a new year at Sunnydale High and there's a GREAT unbroken 5 minute sequence where the camera wanders the halls as we see the excitement of a new year ("If we can focus, keep discipline..and not have quite as many mysterious deaths.. Sunnydale is gonna RULE!").  Oz and Willow are still adorable and Xander and Cordelia are still....in a relationship?  I love that it immediately cuts from that scene to Buffy sitting silently in her shitty apartment, completely cut off from the world.

Lily seems to snap Buffy out of it as she's basically a mirror into what Buffy will eventually end up being if she keeps denying who she is.  She comes to the rescue in a good action scene (they've really come a long way since the first season in fight choreography and cinematography) and gives Lily her Anne persona because it's better than what Lily had and Buffy doesn't need it anymore.

The first couple episodes of a new season on Buffy are about dealing with the aftermath of the previous, so Buffy needed to learn that you can't run from who you really are and stay in a situation you can't stand because it's easier to hide than face your problems.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #56 on: March 08, 2018, 01:46:58 AM »
Dead Man's Party

If the opener was about Buffy dealing with her decisions from last season, this episode is about everyone else dealing with them.  We also are introduced to Pat (UGH).  Buffy returns and everyone just seems to want to get things back to normal, but there's plenty of tension in the air and "normal" isn't what it was a few months ago: Joyce treats slaying like Buffy's new part-time job, the Scoobies' slaying abilities are improving (they have code names!) and everyone has paired off but Buffy.  Giles seems to be the only one who shows sympathy to Buffy's situation (him quietly getting emotional in the kitchen was a great moment) while everyone else acts happy to see her, but there's a conversation that needs to happen.

Unfortunately, that conversation happens when it all boils over at a "Welcome home Buffy" party when Buffy feels she doesn't belong anymore and packs up again.  Willow catches her and tells her about the things she's been going through all summer and how her best friend left her when she needed Buffy the most, Joyce and Xander berate her in front of almost the entire school about Buffy hiding things and being selfish and it becomes a really uncomfortable scene.  Fortunately, zombies (this episode's incredibly thin monster metaphor for burying feelings) attack and force them to work together and zombie Pat gets a shovel to the face (YAY!).

Giles ends the episode bringing the Ripper out a bit on Snyder (who almost says he orgasms thinking about expelling Buffy IN FRONT OF BUFFY AND JOYCE) and Buffy and Willow have their make-up conversation (with Willow revealing she's been studying witchcraft all summer).

This and Anne aren't bad episodes in the least (they pretty much needed to happen), but I'm ready for Faith to show up and the new season arc to begin.  Also Giles, aside from the beginning scene at home and the end with Snyder, feels like he could have been completely erased from the episode without much difference.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #57 on: March 08, 2018, 01:09:29 PM »
Faith, Hope and Trick

As the title hints at, this episode introduces three new characters who play various important roles in the new season.  Trick is Mr. Trick, a suave, stylish black vampire who comes to town with his boss (?) Kakistos for the blood of the Slayer.

Hope is Scott Hope, a normal, living boy interested in Buffy.  Willow tries to set them up but Buffy isn't quite ready to jump back in the dating pool yet due to one last emotional hurdle she has to clear from last season (but it's probably the biggest one).  Giles pretends to be formulating a binding spell for Acathla (which Willow asks to help with, revealing she's further along in her studies than Giles may be comfortable with) and eventually gets Buffy to finally admit that Angel was "cured" when she killed him, but that she chose to do the right thing, even if it has tormented her dreams ever since.  She seems to finally move on, agreeing to go out with Scott and saying goodbye to Angel at the mansion...only for Angel to suddenly reappear after she's gone. 

And finally, of course, there's Faith, the new Slayer "activated" after Kendra's death.  She seems like a cool chick, outgoing, fearless and full of stories involving nudity (to Xander's delight), but as we find out, that's merely an outside cover for an immature, reckless, scared new Slayer who saw her Watcher eviscerated before her eyes.  Its really interesting in the scene at Buffy's house where Joyce (who still hasn't completely processed the whole Slayer thing) brings up Faith taking over for Buffy -- something Buffy herself seemed to entertain when Kendra arrived -- but this time Buffy's not giving it a second thought and completely embracing the destiny she's been given, showing exactly how much last season changed her.  Faith is basically season 1 Buffy if she never met Xander and Willow and Giles died immediately after they met; she's the lonely chosen one with nobody to guide her or confide in.  That of course changes as we go on.

This is the first Must Watch of the season (though the first two episodes are definitely good at bridging the end of season 2 and the beginning of this season's arc) and they don't seem to want to waste much time getting the story going this year.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #58 on: March 08, 2018, 04:32:33 PM »
Beauty and the Beasts

This episode plays out as a whodunnit, as people are being particularly brutally killed and the suspects become Wolf Oz and a feral Angel who Buffy discovers and chains up in the mansion.  We see that Buffy and Scott are still together, but they aren't as lovey-dovey as Oz and Willow or even Xander and Cordelia; they just seem like two people that enjoy each other's company and that's it.  It doesn't help that Scott's friends are really bland and that every time Buffy actually tries on that "normal" life she keeps wanting, she realizes that it doesn't fit so well.  The love of her life suddenly reappearing, seemingly tortured for decades in some hell dimension probably doesn't help.

Fortunately, Willow does some CSI work on one of the bodies (before fainting) and clears Oz's name and we find out the killer is Scott's friend Pete who has concocted some kind of Jeckyll and Hyde potion that turns him into a monster when he gets mad.

This would be all well and good for a one-off, but they had to include a fucking terrible abuse storyline between Pete and his girlfriend Debbie that is as subtle as a nuclear bomb.  It's the worst kind of "monster = metaphor" they've used so far as Pete's actor is SO goddamn hammy and Debbie is the weak woman who let's him get away with beating the shit out of her which is surprising for a show with such a strong feminist bent.  Angel saves Buffy from Pete (another odd decision since you'd think the woman would defeat the abusive man) and they begin to reconcile. 

If they jettisoned the abuse angle (or at least made it less "Very special episode" like), this would have been a fine one-off, but instead it's probably the worst episode since Go Fish.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #59 on: March 09, 2018, 10:58:45 AM »
Homecoming

Two big events are coming up in Sunnydale:

First, homecoming, where Cordelia's homecoming queen campaign machine ramps up into overdrive but Buffy, having been dumped by Scott due to her becoming "distracted" (possibly because she IS distracted keeping Angel fed with pig's blood and keeping him a secret) and her favorite teacher not remembering who she is, decides she wants some of that normal life she's been craving and runs against her.  This leads to a fantastic, hilarious sequence where they battle for votes with pastry, patronizing and posters.  The gang sides with Cordy in this because Xander's her boyfriend, Willow thinks "she needs it more than you" (which is true; Buffy at least has the whole Slayer thing even if she can't exactly broadcast it) and where Willow goes, so goes Oz.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trick has organized SLAYERFEST '98 (get Kerry King on the phone, stat), bringing in the living Gorch brother (and his cowgirl vamp wife), Emperor Palpatine (!) and his German commandos (who look pretty Initiative Beta) and knockoff Baraka to compete kill the slayers.  It's set up so that Faith and Buffy are sent to the festival grounds by the homecoming limo, but Cordelia ends up in Faith's place after the gang makes them ride together so they can talk it out.  This of course leaves Buffy to protect both of them and confide in Cordy how she just wants one example of a normal life to look back on because she wants to be remembered by more than a handful of people as something other than the Slayer (which makes the upcoming scene later at Prom even more significant).  They are chased back to the library where Gorch and his wife attack but the wife is dusted and Cordelia (in a scene that shows, since she originally auditioned for it, Charisma Carpenter wouldn't have been bad as Buffy) gets the Gorch to back off.  The Germans attack and Buffy outsmarts their tactics and gets them to kill each other.  But alas, they lose homecoming queen in a really funny ending.

But that's not all.  This is the episode where were officially introduced to THE MAYOR (and Harry Groener's amazing performance) as he recruits Mr. Trick to his team and ominously talks about the "big year" he has coming up.  Also (this is a packed one), Xander and Willow are swept up by tuxes and dresses and Lisa Loeb music and kiss, finally giving in to the tension that's been building all series before realizing what a mistake it is.

Must Watch for a packed episode that's more funny than dramatic.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2018, 12:00:17 AM »
Band Candy

I think one of the most enduring things about the show, and why it's still remembered so fondly, is that it can pull off both gripping drama and hilarious comedy and effortlessly switch between the two depending on the story they want to tell.  Band Candy works because everyone completely commits to the bit, ESPECIALLY Anthony Head, Kristine Sutherland and Armin Shimerman who all are goddamn riots.  Our agent of chaos Ethan Rayne is back as he is contracted by Mr. Trick (via the mayor) to flood Sunnydale with candy that turns all the adults into 15 year olds so the mayor can steal a bunch of babies as tribute to a snake demon.

Meanwhile, it's SAT time and Buffy has to deal with that and her mom and surrogate dad planning every second of her life when all she wants is a little freedom of choice, pointing out that yeah, she ran away but she took care of herself, but they aren't buying.  Buffy immediately destroys her argument when she lies to Joyce, Giles AND Willow about studying to go see Angel in a brief (but kinda pointless) scene and gets caught with Giles pretty much sliding right into the father role as they scold her.

Giles gradually shedding his Giles skin as the episode goes on and transforming into Ripper is so great, as is Joyce being the shy girl trying to be cool for the bad boy in school.  He smashes a store window to get Joyce a jacket and steals a cop's gun and they are so fucking great together.  They celebrate the moment by boning on the police car.  Buffy stopping in her tracks seeing them make out is fantastic; you can almost hear the brakes screech.

Also, Willow and Xander are still straddling the line between friends and "more" and Cordelia seems to be pretty happy with her lot in life right now, unaware of the freight train about to barrel into her and Oz.

This is one of the best one-offs of the entire series and is right there with Bewitched as funniest episode thus far.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #61 on: March 10, 2018, 10:12:41 AM »
Revelations

So Buffy's big secret comes out in this episode as Xander catches Angel and Buffy kissing which leads to the gang predictably going off on her in the library, though Willow seems to the least hostile towards her because of the guilt she has hiding her own secret (Xander).  Xander is predictably mad because Angel-hating is his favorite hobby but it's Giles that cuts the deepest, thinking Buffy has no respect for him for not telling him the man who gleefully tortured him mentally and physically is walking around.

Meanwhile, a new Watcher for Faith is in town: Ms. Gwendolyn Post.  She's Giles without the compassion or even the hint of British humor he has.  She's also on the hunt for a powerful glove and the demon who is seeking it.  Faith seems to be enjoying being part of the group but, since she hasn't had the experiences Buffy has had, is still of the mindset "vampires bad, Slayer kill" and Post tries to play on her insecurities to turn her against the group.  An angry Xander gives Faith the push she needs to finally take Angel out, both presuming he has bad plans for that glove.  Giles figures out how to destroy the glove and is knocked out by Post, showing her true colors. 

All roads converge at Angel's mansion as we get Slayer Fight #2 of the season and Post gets her hands on the glove ("Faith, a word of advice: you're an idiot") but Faith and Buffy team up to defeat her and Angel saves Willow from the glove's power, making him ok in her book.  Xander trusts Buffy with Angel but Faith is less receptive, having put trust into two people this episode (Buffy and Post) and having both of them betray her, convincing her even more that she can only trust one person: herself.

I liked this episode, but Post being a baddie is incredibly predictable and the story is pretty straightforward, though it does begin to set up Faith's turn later in the season.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #62 on: March 10, 2018, 11:57:00 AM »
Lovers Walk

So everything seems to be happy in Buffyland as Oz gives Willow a witch Pez and Cordy has put Xander in s place of honor in her locker as a double date is set while Angel and Buffy seem to be doing the "just friends" thing.  Yep, things look pretty ha--



This is James Marsters' best performance as Spike so far (and I believe this was the performance that earned him a series regular role the next season) as he returns, drunk and completely heartbroken after Druscilla dumped him.  He notices Angel is still around and goes to The Magic Box (!) for ingredients to curse him, but runs into Willow, who is putting together a de-lusting spell for her and Xander, turning to magic to try and solve her problems (won't be the last time, believe me).  Xander is...less than receptive at the plan considering his track record with love spells but Spike kidnaps then both.  He is at points incredibly menacing as he threatens Willow with a broken bottle but then breaks down and pours his heart out to her like a lovesick puppy (showing that, like he said in season 2, he's all tough guy talk).

Meanwhile, the SAT scores are in and Buffy scores surprisingly well (I like how she and Cordelia -- who would be the stereotypical "dumb hot girls" on other shows -- score the highest of the group) which again brings up thoughts of her future and this time even Giles and Angel are advising her to consider her options away from Sunnydale.  She and Angel discover Spike is back and is pouring his heart out to Joyce (scenes with Spike and Joyce are always great) and Spike forces them to help him with the spell in exchange for Xander and Willow.

The episode kinda drags at this point as Spike's old minions find him and Angel and Buffy are forced to help him fight them off at the Magic Box and Spike makes the most important point of the episode: Angel and Buffy have been through too much together and have too strong feelings for each other to be "just friends".  "I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it."  He decides to forget the spell and force Dru to love him the old fashioned way: torture.

Meanwhile, Oz and Cordelia are searching for their loves and Oz picks up Willow's scent leading them to where they are...only to catch them in the middle of "we're gonna die" smoochies.  Oz, being Oz, doesn't react much outwardly, but the devastation on Cordy's face is obvious and she runs, only to fall and be impaled by rebar.  One great Whedonesque  funeral twist later and Willow wonders how much groveling she'll have to do with Oz and Cordelia is in the hospital.  Xander tries to visit her, but she wants nothing to do with him. 

Finally, Buffy admits to Angel that they can't keep trying to be something they aren't and two relationships are seemingly done with one severely wounded and everyone is unhappy.

Well...except Spike



Must Watch

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #63 on: March 11, 2018, 09:00:51 AM »
The Wish

Every sci-fi, fantasy or horror show has at least one alternate universe episode and, unsurprisingly, Buffy has one of the best ones.  The Bitch is Back as Cordelia returns to school hoping to reclaim her crown, but everyone sees her as just Xander Harris' leftovers and she may be even less popular than when she dated him.  Meanwhile, Willow tries to talk to Oz and Oz calmly explaining he needs time and if Willow needs to talk to feel better, that's not his problem is a thousand times more gutting to Willow than some screaming match.  Xander is more angry that Cordy won't talk to him and tries to make him jealous, but Willow is focusing more on Oz and Buffy can only offer chocolate sympathy.  A new girl, Anya, seems to really want Cordelia to wish bad things on Xander but, after Buffy inadvertently sends her into trash during a vampire fight, she instead wishes Buffy never came to Sunnydale.

Dark Sunnydale is a depressing, hopeless place where everyone dresses in drab clothes, nobody dares be outside after dark, Xander is a vampire, Willow is Vamp Willow ("Bored now."), the Master rules and Angel is Willow's torture puppy.  There is a definite Spike/Druscilla parallel in Xander and Willow's relationship.  I kinda wish we got Vamp Jonathan too, but he'd probably have been eaten like 30 seconds after the apocalypse began.

Giles is part of a ragtag vampire fighting/rescue service with Oz and rescues Cordy, pretty much the defacto Slayer without the power.  Cordelia tells her about Buffy and the name is familiar, since Giles would have been told about her, but Xander and Willow catch them and have a lovely couple's moment draining Cordelia.  Giles eventually reaches Buffy's watcher in Cleveland and asks for her presence.  Buffy eventually arrives and she is completely different than the Buffy we know: she's unemotional, direct and only lives for the slaying (kinda like Faith if she has been doing it as long as Buffy, wouldn't you say?).  Buffy saves Angel but has the strict "you're a vampire, you die" attitude and only let's him live because he can show her where the big bad is.

The Master has designed a plant to more efficiently drain people and mass produce blood (next project: REALLY high SPF sunblock) and Buffy charges in alone.  She dusts Xander, Oz dusts Willow and Buffy gets her neck snapped by the Master, showing that you can't save the world by yourself.  Giles figures out that Cordelia made a wish and summons Anya, destroying her necklace and we are restored to the "true" timeline as Anya is just a mortal and can't grant the 50 wishes Cordeila suddenly blurts out.

The best one-off episodes are when they get to play with the characters and established world like this.  Vamp Xander and ESPECIALLY Vamp Willow show that even the nicest, most good-natured people have a dark side that can be brought out under the right circumstances.  I wonder who turned first?  I totally buy Willow turning and Xander being the only one she doesn't outright kill.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #64 on: March 11, 2018, 10:28:27 AM »
Amends

This is a strange episode.  It's a one-off but it almost feels like this could have opened the season and introduces a compelling potential villain that would hardly be mentioned until the last damn season.

Angel is having dreams about his past transgressions (so a normal night's sleep) but also dreams of creepy robed guys.  It's Christmas (and this is one of the few times the series acknowledges holidays aside from Halloween and the one Thanksgiving episode next season) and the gang talks about their (lack of) plans because Willow's Jewish and doesn't "worship Santa", Buffy is just hanging with Mom and Xander would rather sleep in the yard than be around his family this time of year (something tells me the Harrises of 2018 have a MAGA hat somewhere prominent).  Joyce suggests Buffy invite Faith and immediately shoots down Buffy suggesting Giles also join them (ha) and we finally see Faith again as she talks about that big party she was invited to but don't ask her details about that big party she was invited to.

Meanwhile, Oz has finally told Willow that he's willing to give it another shot because he misses her so much.  Buffy advises Willow to make Oz know that he's first in her mind so she arranges him to be..well..her first (including the Barry White music and soda on ice which is fucking adorable) but Oz isn't ready and wants to wait until they both are ready.

Angel keeps being tormented, but this time Buffy suddenly appears in his dream and she wakes, realizing that they shared the same dream.  Angel goes to Giles for help and this is the best scene as Giles waits to arm himself before inviting Angel in.  A vision of Jenny joins them (that only Angel can see) and we discover that even awake he's being visited by everyone he not only killed long ago, but those he killed last season as Angelus.  They keep telling him that he wasn't much of a man when he was living and is much better served ridding himself of that pesky soul again so he can truly be himself.  Buffy keeps guest starring in his dreams so she asks Giles for help and the Scoobies spend their vacation researching.  They discover references to "The First Evil"; something that even the scariest things in the world are scared of.  Buffy figures out where the robed Bringers are summoning it from and confronts it, the First telling her she has no idea what she is dealing with.  And then it turns into a devil-like monster and disappears until season 7.

The First tries to convince Angel to basically rape Buffy and get his happiness back but Angel refuses, choosing instead to let himself be roasted by the sun instead of being either the man or monster he has been.  Buffy tries to talk him off the ledge, saying that even after everything Angel has put her through she can't kill him again or watch him die because the last time that happened she ran to LA and tried to be a different person altogether.  It's a great dramatic scene between the two of them.  A sudden snowstorm strikes, turning everything all Christmas-y and magical and it's probably the only time in the series they even flirt with a stereotypical "happy ending" to an episode.  I guess even they like Christmas too much.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #65 on: March 11, 2018, 05:30:54 PM »
Gingerbread

Another in a series of fantastic one-offs this season.  Joyce pops in on one of Buffy's patrols -- again treating her calling like she's working the evening shift at a clothing store -- but discovers two dead children which deeply disturbs her.  The marking on their hands points towards something human and not monster so Joyce enlists the other parents of Sunnydale into one of those advocacy groups that want to do good but have no real idea what they are against and do more damage than if they left things alone.  They even have a stupid acronym (MOO).  We see Willow, Amy and Amy's brother(?) doing a spell with the symbol on the floor but she tells Buffy it was a protection spell for her birthday.  After the mayor says a few comforting words Joyce says too many people have been affected by strange disappearances and "neck ruptures" and says action needs to be made (lumping slayers in with monsters and witches).

Things get downright authoritarian as lockers are searched, Amy's brother is harassed (though Buffy's mere presence gets the jocks to back off which shows how she is seen in school and is actually a hint towards what happens at prom) and Giles gets his books confiscated.  Snyder, since he has the power here, is particularly gleeful about all this.

We meet Willow's mother for the first time and she's one of those child psychologist types who'd rather analyze other children than pay any attention to her own so she simply ignored Willow as she tries to explain herself and grounds her.  Joyce also forbids Buffy from seeing Willow and basically says what Buffy is doing doesn't matter (geez, cut a little bit deeper, Joyce) Buffy storms out for her "pointless" patrol and we see that the dead children are instructing Joyce. 

Buffy is sad but, after a conversation with Angel, realizes that an important piece of information is missing: who the hell are these kids, anyway?  Who are their parents?  Hell, what the fuck are their NAMES?  She goes to Giles who is forced to use a *gasp* computer!

"You useless fad!  No, I said 'fad'."

With Cyber Willow's help they discover that every 50 years the same children have shown up in different places around the world and have torn a community apart.  Giles brings up that there is a belief that fairy tails are real and some demons feed off of human anger, letting people destroy each other instead of doing it themselves.  I LOVE this reveal because it's a clever twist but one that totally makes sense (demons like that would have a field day nowadays).

Willow's mother and other MOOs take Willow to city hall while Buffy tries to talk sense into Joyce, but Joyce chloroforms her (in another neat twist) and Giles (I've been neglecting the Giles KO Counter but Cordy makes a joke about how many times he's been knocked out so I feel the show understands) and they tie up her, Willow and Amy at City Hall, aiming to burn them all at the stake.  "I wanted a normal daughter, but I got a Slayer."

Xander and Oz (who have had some funny scenes where Xander wants everyone to stop beating him up over what happened while Oz looks at him with sympathy) go to the rescue while Giles and Cordy brew up a spell to reveal the demon.  Amy does the only spell she seemingly knows but turns herself into a rat.  Giles busts in and performs the spell, turning the kids into an ogre-like monster who ends up with Buffy's stake in his throat ("Did I get it?" ...did I get it?") and Xander and Oz fall from the vents to give us a funny ending.  Buffy and Willow try to turn Amy back but it doesn't go well ("Maybe we should get her one of those wheel thingies.")

This season has been in a tremendous groove since Homecoming with both really good one-offs and a main plot that is slowly developing in the background.  Faith and the mayor haven't been in many episodes but they're in here enough to keep then in mind without giving away what is planned for them in the second half of the season.  Great stuff.

Offline fazzle

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #66 on: March 11, 2018, 10:31:13 PM »
And then it turns into a devil-like monster and disappears until season 7.

Yeah it's a shame The First didn't stay away for one more year.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #67 on: March 12, 2018, 06:57:28 AM »
Helpless

It's Buffy's birthday!  Who's gonna die this time?

Unfortunately, Buffy's dad cancels their annual ice capades date and in an adorable scene she tries to ask Giles to take her without just coming out and asking him but Giles seems even more down to business as usual.  That night on patrol she suddenly feels off and nearly gets staked herself which freaks her out, but Giles just tells her to take it easy....but he can't quite keep eye contact with her.  Meanwhile, stuffy British men (including the first appearance of Quentin from the Watcher's Council) feed painkillers to a large vampire named Krelik shackled up in an old house.  Yes, these are connected.

During training, Giles puts Buffy in a trance and injects her with a mystery fluid which renders her so weak that Cordeila has to rescue HER from one of Sunnydale High's many meatheads.  We learn that this is all part of a test from the Watcher's Council where, on the slayer's 18th birthday (if she makes it that long) she is stripped of her powers and locked in with a vicious vampire, relying on her wit and cunning instead of her superpowers to show she can be self-reliant.  Giles thinks it's archaic bullshit, but is told he's "too close" to his Slayer to be objective and "this is how it's been done for centuries".

Buffy confides in Angel about losing her identity and how much it freaks her out and Angel admits he saw her before she was the Slayer and loved her even then.  The vampire escapes and butchers one handler while turning the other and attacking Buffy who is forced to flee in terror but Giles comes to her rescue.

Giles spills the beans to Buffy and the shame on his face and in his voice along with Buffy's look of betrayal are heartbreaking.  Giles was the last person who she expected to harm her (her own mother even chloroformed her!)  Krelik (whose actor really goes for it in such a small role) kidnaps Joyce and plans to turn Buffy, then let her loose on Joyce.  Buffy loads up and heads for the house as Giles tells Quentin that he told Buffy everything and doesn't give a rat's ass about orders before going after her.  Kralik and his follower chase after Buffy through the house until he grabs his head in pain.  He goes for his pills and water, but Buffy had switched the water with holy water and burns him up from the inside.

Back at the library Quentin congratulates Buffy for passing but fires Giles as he has "a father's love" for his Slayer and that impairs his judgement.  The scene ends with Giles gingerly tending to Buffy's wounds.

This episode is the first instance of Buffy and Giles butting heads with the Council and how they don't adhere to the Council's patriarchal ways and how they just see Slayers as tools of war instead of actual people (and young, immature people forced to grow up way too fast at that).  This is a must watch but I'm going to stop using that rating because I'm going to basically be using it for almost every episode this season it look like.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #68 on: March 12, 2018, 10:59:44 AM »
The Zeppo

What is Xander's role in the group?  Everyone else has Slayer powers, witchcraft and stuffy Britishness, but where does Xander fit in?  He's not much of a fighter and just seems to be "doughnut guy" when big things are happening and Cordelia calls him the "Zeppo" -- the unremarkable straight man -- of the group.  This episode gives him probably the clearest and most character development of the series so far.  He tries to be "car guy", but the girl he attracts won't shut the hell up about cars and he'd rather talk to ANGEL than five more minutes of it.  He has a run-in with a school bully and saves him from the cops which warms him to Xander and invites him to join with his "boys" for a night of fun.  His boys just happen to be undead Bros who want beer and to "make a cake".

During all this, the rest of the gang are preparing for the fourth (fifth maybe?) apocalypse of the series, but this time everyone thinks it's really super serious.  Enough so that Xander shouldn't be involved.

Realizing Jack is dead too and their initiation into their group means Xander has to die too, Xander drives away and comes upon Faith in the middle of battle so he saves her and they flee to her motel room where she's feeling horny after the slayage and jumps his bones before throwing him out  He comes to realize "baking a cake" means they were building a bomb.  He finds the others and gets the location of the bomb: the high school.  He goes there and fights past the three Bros before a final showdown with Jack where he intimidates Jack into shutting the bomb down, showing that he is willing to sacrifice his life for his friends (who are also there at the moment dealing with that little apocalypse) and that he is the heart of the group, willing (as he talk about later in the series) to be the support for Buffy and the rest without asking for anything in return.

The next day everyone talks about how that whole apocalypse thing went and how brave they all are, but Xander just goes off to get snacks and, when Cordy tries to get under his skin again, just walks off, secure in his role.

I LOVE this episode, if only for how they once again play with the tropes they've established in the series so far, making this recent apocalypse feel like the most dangerous and important thing.....and then making it the B-story of the episode in favor of the A-story they actually want to tell of Xander realizing his role.  The overdramatic acting of everyone in the B-story is so goddamn great (and must have been a joy for the actors to just ham it up; even Willy gets his Emmy-consideration moment!).  Buffy and Angel have one of their dramatic argument scenes with the overly dramatic music which completely stops when Xander interrupts and then starts right up again after he leaves, which is AWESOME.

This season is in quite the groove right now.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #69 on: March 12, 2018, 04:28:25 PM »
Bad Girls

Buffy and Faith are doing more doubles slaying and we're reminded of Faith's impulsiveness and lack of planning gets her and Buffy into trouble.  We cut to the Mayor's office as he talks about the finer points of comic strips and his impending ascension.  Harry Groener's performance continues to be utterly fantastic as he can go from being a jolly guy to the most menacing person ever in one line and change in expression (his aide being extra jumpy around him helps sell it too).

The gang are starting to look at colleges while Xander ponders his college-less future and Buffy has to meet Giles and the new watcher, Wesley Windham-Pryce (of course his name is hyphenated).  This is one of the best scenes of the entire series as Giles' (and quickly, Buffy's) contempt for him just radiates from the screen (he's faced TWO vampires!  In highly controlled circumstances, of course) and Alexis Denisof is just perfect as a complete pantywaist (or more first season Giles) and exactly what you think a just out of watcher's school lackey would be like.  Faith shows up and wants nothing to do with him.  She reminds Buffy of her "I'm a Slayer and what I say goes" philosophy and tries to convince Buffy that she doesn't have to follow anyone's orders and enjoy what she does.

That night, they go on a mission to find an amulet that the demon Balthazar wants and find themselves outnumbered, but Faith just sees that as more to kill and jumps right into the fight with a reluctant Buffy.  Buffy almost ends up drowned (again) because of it but they win the day and Buffy can't deny that the battle "didn't suck", beginning to embrace Faith's outlook.

The next day, Buffy has a chemistry test but won't stop talking to Willow and Xander and bails when Faith shows up as they crash a vampire nest during day and dance at the Bronze at night.  The lesbian subtext of this whole episode cannot be ignored.  Angel shows up and is put off by Buffy's new attitude as Wesley, about as out of place as he can get, admonishes her for not leaving a phone number to reach her while she's out slaying.

We meet Balthazar and it's another really unique and memorable monster design.  Buffy and Faith go for recon and Buffy wants to go to the library for weapons but Faith finds something closer and breaks into a sporting goods store, telling Buffy another philosophy of hers is "Want. Take. Have" as she casually steals, taking a bow that will become important later.  Unfortunately, they get caught by the cops.  As they are in the squad car Faith convinces Buffy to escape, causing a car crash.  Buffy wants to call an ambulance but Faith just wants to get away.

One of Balthazar's goons tries to kill the mayor but Mr. Trick stops him, teasing a relationship between the two.  Willow, feeling left out, gives Buffy a protection spell (with lavender to reduce the stinkiness!) but Buffy doesn't want her going slaying with her, even though Willow has already done it plenty of times.  That night they battle and the Mayor's aide gets involved.  Buffy realizes he's human but Faith is too impulsive and stakes him, killing him.  Buffy is in shock but Faith just wants to run.  Balthazar has had the watchers kidnapped and Wesley is the sniveling wimp willing to talk to save his own ass but Giles joins in the fight as Buffy and Angel come to the rescue in yet another great fight scene that ends with Buffy electrocuting Balthazar.  With his last words, Balthazar says when "he" ascends, they'll wish he killed them all.  We see "him" --:the Mayor -- doing a ritual that renders him immortal, starting the hundred days that lead to his ascension.  He's so chipper that he wants a root beer!

Buffy goes to talk to Faith and Faith reveals she took the body of the aide and dumped it.  Buffy reminds her that she killed someone and Faith says three words that change their relationship and the entire season:

"I don't care."

As you can see, A LOT OF STUFF happens in this one and we're officially deep into the arc for the rest of the season.  This episode flirts with the idea of how much fun ignoring any responsibilities you have is (especially if you regularly save the world from evil), but also shows how far and out of control you can get if you take that feeling too far.  Faith is Buffy without Giles to help guide her and friends to keep her focused and remind her that her actions have consequences, good AND bad.

Oh hey, guess what the next episode is called?

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #70 on: March 13, 2018, 01:32:04 AM »
Consequences

This episode deals with...well..the consequences of last episode.  The aide's body is found and Buffy is wracked with guilt about it.  They go to the aide's office and discover Mr. Trick with the Mayor, realizing that he's no good.  She tries to get Faith to come clean with her and she still refuses, turning the "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" saying on it's head by claiming that they save so many lives nightly, what does it matter that accidents happen?  This goes into the "is the Slayer a killer and is that necessarily a bad thing?" debate that comes up a few times through the rest of the series.  After talking with Willow (who only seems to exist these last few episodes to be mopey) she goes to Giles but Faith is already there..... putting the blame on Buffy.  Giles plays along but knows Faith is unstable and tells Buffy this isn't the first time accidents have happened and the Council has a protocol for this....with Wesley listening in on their conversation.

The Scoobies meet the next day and Xander suggests he talk to her because he had a "connection" with Faith with the rest of the gang figuring out what he means sending Willow to the bathroom to cry some more.  Buffy tries to explain gently how Faith uses guys but Xander goes anyway and basically nearly gets raped and choked to death by Faith, only for Angel to knock her out (quick nitpick: how did he get into the room if he wasn't invited?)

Angel chains her up and tries to talk to her being the only other one who actually has taken a life and knows how powerful that feeling is.  He seems to be getting to her a bit but the Council take him out and arrest Faith.  Willow seems fine with Faith just getting locked up but Faith escapes.  Buffy catches her hopping a freighter to run away and Faith says she sees through Buffy's goody two shoes act and knows that she only has a problem with Faith because she can't handle the fact that Faith does whatever she wants and Buffy can't.  Mr. Trick attacks but Faith shows she still has a little humanity left by saving Buffy and dusting him.  Buffy thinks she can still be saved but we end with Faith showing up at the Mayor's office, willing to replace Trick.

Although the melodrama with Willow kinda has a "gotta give her something to do" feel, this episode shows Faith becoming more unhinged while going into an interesting philosophical debate about the "ethics" of slaying and how someone like Faith can feel justified in doing anything because of what she does.  We're also putting all the pieces in place for the upcoming final stretch of the season.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #71 on: March 13, 2018, 08:09:28 AM »
Dopplegangland

This one is to Willow as The Zeppo was to Xander, but this one is probably one of the most quotable episodes of the entire series.  The dialogue just seems to be the most crisp and funny it's been the whole season and pretty much everyone gets at least one great line.  But this is mainly a tour de force for Alyson Hannigan as she plays both doormat Willow, forced by Snyder to "tutor" (i.e. do the work for) the star jock and called "Old Reliable" by Buffy and Vamp Willow from The Wish, showing that she can be adorable, sad, sexy and intimidating all in one episode.  One thing I'm kind of unclear of is Faith suddenly in kind of good graces again?  They establish she's being a double agent for the mayor and they talk about the Council doing psych tests, but Faith assaulted council personnel and escaped arrest; you'd think there would be a bigger punishment for that.

We also have Anya come back, wanting to not be mortal (and flunking math) anymore so she enlists Willow's help in a spell -- another instance of Willow turning to magic to feel better about herself -- and it goes awry as Vamp Willow is brought to their dimension.  The Scoobies' reaction when they see normal Willow still alive is so great ("You guys didn't go and do a bunch of drugs, didya?")

Vamp Willow takes over the Bronze and goes to kill normal Willow but gets captured ("that's me as a vampire? I'm so evil and... skanky. And I think I'm kinda gay") and Willow takes her place in another great scene.  Cordelia (who was looking for Wesley) finds VW in the book cage and takes the time to teach her the wrongs of boyfriend stealing to put a button on that story arc and lets her out only to get chased into the bathroom and saved by Wesley.

Willow tries her best to be mean ("I'm a blood sucking fiend!  Look at my outfit!") and gets out some of her frustrations about being who she is, but Anya and the vampires sniff it out but Buffy and co. come to the rescue.  They recapture Vamp Willow and send her back...just in time to get staked.

Willow's been kind of on the back burner again at this part of the season, but this episode is just a taste of things to come as season 4 is just as much Willow's season than anyone else.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #72 on: March 13, 2018, 11:49:10 AM »
Enemies

A pretty straightforward "move the plot along" episode as the Mayor's big plans are revealed a little bit more.  Faith murders a demon to steal books of Ascension for him and tries to make Angel believe she's realized she has a problem with killing and Angel is the only one who understands in a ploy to get him to sleep with her and lose his soul again.  Looking back, it's actually a pretty neat play on the misconception of what cost Angel his soul last season: it wasn't the actual sex with Buffy, but after where he's content and happy laying with the one he loves.  Obviously someone who just uses men like entertainment and the most evil man in Sunnydale wouldn't understand that.  Buffy catches them getting too close and is worried, then Faith has the worst poker face when they go to the now-dead demon's apartment and after talking to Willow she goes to talk to Angel and this is where I think they (and Giles) come up with the plan that makes up the rest of the episode.

A mysterious man assures the Mayor that he can take Angel's soul, Faith sets up the trap and Angelus rises again.  Faith takes him to see daddy and Angel finds out he is indesructable and agrees to kill Buffy for him.  Angel even gets to punch out Xander on the street.  They lure Buffy to the mansion and Faith is in her element, railing on about how Buffy got friends and family while she got screwed and nothing will ever change that.  She spills that the mayor has been around since the beginning of Sunnydale (the Scoobies separately find this out in research that he is over 100 years old) and when the ascension will happen (graduation day) and Angel drops the charade in an awesome moment.  Apparently the mysterious man owed Giles for introducing him to his wife and agreed to play along.  The slayers fight and end up with knives to each other's throats, but Faith tells Buffy if she kills Faith, she becomes Faith and runs off.  Later, the mayor assures her that the plan will not be stopped and suggest some miniature golf to make her feel better.  Buffy and Angel are also a bit concerned about how far they both took things and Buffy wants to take a break for a while.

This episode is good (it's a season 3 episode after all), but the plan to trick Faith kind of comes out of nowhere unless you really pay attention and even then there's not many hints.  I get they wanted a big shock with Angelus returning and then it all being a sham, but a few more hints towards what was really going on would have been nice.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #73 on: March 13, 2018, 03:38:41 PM »
Earshot

So this is kind of an infamous one.  Buffy fights a demon and ends up absorbing some of its blood.  Giles tells her that this means she will develop some aspect of the demon and Buffy is terrified of growing horns, but instead develops the ability to read minds.  At first, she thinks this is a great thing; she can read the teacher's mind to sound smart in class and know what her enemies are thinking, but all her friends seem to not want her knowing what they're thinking (except Cordy, who just says what she's thinking all the time anyway).  She tries it on Angel to find out what he really feels about Faith, but apparently it doesn't work on vampires.  He assures her that she's the only person he's loved in his 200+ years and advises her just to ask him about these things. 

The power begins to become too much as the cacophony of the thoughts of everyone in Sunnydale is enough to drive her mad and confine her to bed (not until she learns the truth about Joyce and Giles from Band Candy).  She also hears someone threatening to kill everyone in the school so the Scoobies (with Willow taking charge) try to figure out the potential killer (which gives us another great scene with Willow Briscoe grilling Jonathan). 

Angel helps get the demon's heart so an antidote is made to cure her and she makes it to school in time to see Jonathan loading a rifle in the bell tower.  She goes to stop him and sympathizes with his feelings of being alone and ignored, but tells him her life isn't as rosy as he'd think either and that everyone around them has as much doubt and pain as he does.  The episode ends on a humorous note as Xander catches the lunch lady putting rat poison into the food and Buffy is able to beat something up.  We end on probably the funniest ending of the whole series.



So, the infamy here is that this was scheduled to air a week after the Columbine shootings but WB pushed it all the way to September (right before season 4 began). SMG in particular lobbied hard to let the episode air sooner and I have to agree with her.  Sure, seeing a student with a rifle at a school and them making jokes about school shootings is probably not something you want to see when the wounds are still fresh, but the episode definitely has a good message (you aren't alone if you are constantly doubting yourself and thinking nobody cares about you) and they could have only delayed it until around season finale time (which was also delayed, IIRC).

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #74 on: March 14, 2018, 04:37:30 AM »
Choices

It's college acceptance season and Buffy got into Northwestern!  Willow of course got into every college under the sun (even Oxford, where "they make little Giles'") and Xander....looks comfortable under that tree (although Cordelia is here to throw water on everything)  This gives Buffy another attack of the normals and tries to convince Wesley that if she stops the mayor right now she'll be free to go.  Things focus around a mysterious box that the mayor needs for the ascension.  Also, Xander tries to cut Cordy for not getting into any colleges but she reveals she got into plenty.  A Mission Impossible style caper gets Buffy the box, but Willow ends up kidnapped.  The crew wants to save her with a trade but Wesley forbids it, not wanting to trade one life for many.  Oz has quite the negative reaction to that.

Willow uses her burgeoning power to escape and ends up in the Mayor's office where she finds the books of ascension and somehow reads them without being disturbed (you'd think he'd have a guard or something in there) until Faith catches her.  They have a great scene where Willow stands up to her and tells her she made her choice.  The trade happens at school where the mayor talks about how Buffy and Angel's relationship will never work out because he went through the same thing with his wife cursing his youth and immortality while she grew senile.  Snyder tries to break it up, thinking it's a drug deal but the box is filled with face huggers, one which Faith pins to the wall with her knife (I forgot how Buffy got that knife).

Along with this, we discover that Cordelia is working at a clothing store, which becomes important next episode.

Willow managed to get a few pages of the books for Giles and Wesley points out this means Buffy can't leave, but Willow cheers her up by revealing she's staying too because she's seen what Buffy has been doing the last three years and, with her Wicca power developing, wants to join the fight.

I'd say this is pretty much a Willow episode.  We see her coming along with her magic, becoming more confident and assured, standing up to Faith and fully committing to Buffy's fight when she could have gone anywhere else and pretty much done anything she wanted.  I'm so glad they finally are ramping up her arc because it's probably the best in the series (if not one of the most complete in TV history).

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #75 on: March 14, 2018, 05:49:01 AM »
The Prom

In this one relationships end; Angel breaks up with Buffy since he can't offer her any semblance of a normal life someone like Buffy deserves, relationships are mended; Cordelia reveals she's working at a clothing store just to buy a prom dress because her family is broke but instead of Xander using it to his advantage as payback, keeps her secret and even pays off her dress, and relationships begin; Anya asks Xader to prom ("Men are evil.  Do you want to go with me?") because he seems to be the least repulsive male she's ever met and even Cordy and Wesley share a dance at prom.

Buffy is devastated, of course; even if he's a vampire, her high school sweetheart just stomped her heart out, but she vows to not let hellhounds who were trained to attack formal wear ruin the night for everyone.  The hellhound subplot is as basic as they come; Tucker (anyone know his brother?) got rejected so he's forcing hounds to watch prom movies to get them riled up and kill.  The mayor could have just sent vampires to attack prom and it would not be any different; it's just an obstacle for Buffy to be the hero again.  I did like this exchange:

"I am going to give you guys a perfect night if I have to kill everyone on Earth to do it.,"
Xander: ".....yay?"

So Buffy saves the day and gets into her dress to fly solo, resigned to not have the perfect high school moment she's always wanted.  Then....



Hands down top 5 moment of the series.

Angel, obviously feeling guilty about how they left things, shows up to give her one last dance together and Buffy has accepted why he is leaving her.

Putting this before the finale is interesting because it definitely feels like the "happy ending" capper to the season.  But there's still graduation day to come.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #76 on: March 14, 2018, 10:54:55 AM »
Graduation Day (parts 1 & 2)

And here we are.  I know I said Becoming was one of the best season finales ever, but this one is not that far behind.  While Becoming was more of a personal story between Buffy and Angel, this is on a much more epic scale.  The final showdown between Buffy and Faith is much different from the final Angel/Buffy battle as well; where the swordfight of Becoming was awesome and stylized, the fight in Graduation Day is much more down and dirty and in a lot of ways, more vicious.  Especially when Buffy handcuffs them together and they look like they want to tear each other's arms from the socket.

Buffy wins but Faith jumps off the building into a coma, forcing Buffy to cure Angel's poison with her own blood in probably the thinnest-veiled scene in the series.  Anya also becomes a major character as she wants Xander to leave town with her, Willow and Oz finally sleep together and Wesley and Cordy stoke their fiery passion for one another....and then immediately throw water all over it (that was so great).  Buffy also officially cuts ties with the Watchers Council, but this won't be the last time she has to deal with them.

We also get the first really cryptic dream sequence of the series where Buffy finally accepts her darker side (Faith) and we get the first references to Dawn and "miles to go, little miss muffet counting down from 7-3-0."

The final battle is about as epic as they can make it as the students of Sunnydale High band together to fight off the giant snake the mayor becomes during his speech ("Man, just ascend already.")  Buffy uses Faith's blood covered knife to bait him into the library where a firery surprise is waiting for him ("Well gosh") and the school is blown up in an explosion that got them banned from filming in Torrance ever again.  Angel and Cordelia (and eventually Wesley) head off to LA and their own spin-off (which I just never could get into until the last season) and Oz remarks how they actually survived not only the battle, but high school which is an accomplishment in itself.

Season 3 Final Thoughts: The best season of the series so far, hands down.  Season 2 was great, but it didn't really ramp up until Angel lost his soul.  This season they dealt with the aftermath of that season in the first two episodes and then immediately got going on the main arc.  Eliza Dushku and Harry Groener deserved nominations for their roles (and if anything deserved even more screen time, but that just made their appearances all the better) and this was the season the writers realized the quality of the world and the characters they created and decided to focus on them and grow them instead of the "monster of the week" formula they had bee using, leading to a compelling main arc that reintroduced the "second Slayer" story, but with Faith as a much more fleshed out and darker character than Kendra.  It also led to classic one-offs like Dopplegangland and The Wish.  I can only think of one season (5) that can come close to this one going forward.

Season Rankings (so far): 3, 2, 1


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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #77 on: March 15, 2018, 08:22:40 AM »
Season 4[/u]

I'm going to go pretty quickly through this season since I already watched it a month or so ago.  I think the main thing to say about this season is they definitely tried some new things, but the main Intitiative storyline was a great idea that just did not work in execution.  I also don't really know if I like Riley; he's supposed to be vanilla upon vanilla both to be different from Angel as a love interest and to protect his true identity, but I just did not fucking care about him most of the season.

The Freshman: A good, but unremarkable opener to focus on the huge change in Buffy's life as she starts UC Sunnydale.  By the end of high school she was the most confident she had been due to the students recognizing her value and helping her defeat evil in the end.  But in college she's right back to hiding her identity and dealing with a roomate she clearly can't stand (see next episode).  She tries to find anything familiar but Joyce has filled her room with crates, Giles has a girlfriend (another potentially interesting idea for a character that ends up doing nothing for the show) and thinks Buffy can handle herself and Willow is in her element in college.  It finally takes Xander to give her a bit of a pep talk and she defeats the band of vampires that stole her stuff (as we fall back on the monster of the week formula).  Maybe it's because I just watched two incredible seasons, but it seems like the writing took a step back here.  It doesn't feel as sharp (and one of the vamps being a stoner just feels lazy).  Still, it does a good job completely differentiating this season's setting from what we've been accustomed to and Buffy's trouble in adjusting.

Living Conditions: Now this is more like it.  Buffy being driven more and more crazy by Kathy and their increasing passive-aggressiveness towards each other is hilarious; Kathy putting her name on EVERYTHING in the fridge and then this:



Of course Buffy thinks she's a demon and her friends worry about her, but she ends up being right and Willow moves in...but takes food without asking.



Just a great, funny episode relatable to anyone who has ever lived with anyone ever (family, friends or strangers).

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #78 on: March 15, 2018, 04:11:37 PM »
The Harsh Light of Day: Or: "The one where Buffy gets used by that SON OF A BITCH Parker".  Buffy tries to continue moving on from Angel and seems to have a connection with Parker (shithead) and sleeps with him, but of course he's a player and naive Buffy, who's only romantic relationship worshipped the ground she walked on, fell for Parker's (asshole) act hook, line and sinker.  It shows that, even given how much Buffy has grown up these last three years, there's still plenty of painful lessons to learn.  Buffy is, of course, heartbroken and wonders if she did something wrong and that somehow sleeping with her turns guys evil.  No, Parker (poopyhead) is just a douche.

Meanwhile, Anya is back and wants to get things going again with Xander (who is grasping at any straw that will get him out of the basement) as we reignite maybe the most weirdly sweetest relationship of the series.

Also, Spike is back!  And so is Harmony, who is now a vampire.  They are also in a relationship and it's definitely more of the "in it for the sex" variety (at least in Spike's case; Harmony just wants him to take her to Paris).  Spike is looking for (and finds) a gem that makes him invulnerable and he fights an emotionally vulnerable Buffy in the middle of the day, but Buffy gets the gem from him and has Oz bring it to Angel.

This one continues the focus on Buffy's college adjustment and her continued bad luck with men (which leads to her relationship with Reily).  It's a good episode, but kinda skippable.

Fear, Itself: The second Halloween episode of the series and, like Nighmares in season 1, dives into the Scoobies' inner fears and begins, I think, the real major story arc of the season: Adam and the Initiative aren't the Big Bad of the season, it's the Scoobies themselves as they deal with post-high school life and how it pulls them in different directions which leads to conflict.

So, the fears are:

Buffy: Everyone in her life that she opens her heart to will ultimately abandon her and she is truly destined to fight an ultimately fruitless battle alone.

Willow: She truly can't control her magic and that Oz will leave her.

Xander: He's becoming more invisible to the group because Buffy and Willow have college while he's stuck at home.

Oz: He won't be able to control the wolf in him and Willow will be harmed because of it.

Most of these fears are addressed in one way or another during the season (one not too far from now), but the episode is just a fun one (everyone's costumes, Giles being all in on Halloween and looking badass with a chainsaw along with Anya reveaing her fear of bunnies) that reminds us that our brains suck and will drive us crazy with thinking the worst is always going to happen (believe me, I'm so guilty of this way too much).  Of course, the fear demon that is raised at the end is only half a foot tall because, usually, the reality is much less terrible than what you feared.

Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #79 on: March 16, 2018, 01:39:58 AM »
Season 4 is when I started to lose interest in the show more and more even though there was stuff I loved like Spike and Anya. I hated the Initiative storyline and Riley. Season 4 was at least the last season without Dawn.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #80 on: March 16, 2018, 08:43:15 AM »
Beer Bad: So a lot of people think this is the worst episode of the series (Vox has it at the very bottom of their rankings), but...it's not that bad.  Obviously the anti-drinking message is really on the nose and lacks the sublety the series has become known for, but Buffy's depression about Parker and her inability to handle it driving her to making a bad decision is really relateable.  Also, Willow's debate with Parker is a really good scene where we fully realize what a scumbag Parker is and how Willow is too smart to fall for his act (it also begins to lead towards her distrust of men which only gets worse in the next few episodes and leads her to Tara).  I guess it's a testament to how good the last few seasons were that this ok episode is thought of so poorly.  This isn't even the worst episode of the season.

Plus, Cave Buffy knocking Parker out with a club is great.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #81 on: March 16, 2018, 09:47:05 AM »
Wild At Heart: Seth Green suddenly decided to leave the show for movies around this point, so Joss Whedon wanted to make Oz's departure hurt Willow as much as Seth's hurt everyone on the show.  And man, it does.  This is definitely one of the biggest turning points in Willow's character as the man she loves betrays her and then loses control and murders someone right in front of her.  Oz, realizing that the wolf is more than a few nights a week thing, leaves her until he can learn to control it.  Once again Alyson Hannigan shows she's the best crier in Hollywood as she shows Willow's utter devastation at first finding Oz in his cage with Veruca and then, after once again trying to turn to magic to fix her problems, the shock of watching Oz kill someone and then tell her he is leaving.

Plus, we get a few more hints of the Initiative as Spike returns, but gets captured and Buffy has a run in with one of them in the woods.  I'm actually enjoying the series exploring these characters dealing with new experiences and hearbreak more than fighting a Big Bad so far, but I guess we have to have one and Spike is too obvious.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #82 on: March 17, 2018, 07:20:37 AM »
I'm wicked late but I think Alyson's performance in Doppelgangland is one of the best performances in the entire series as she's playing 4 characters: Willow, Vamp Willow, Willow pretending to be Vamp Willow, and Vamp Willow teasing/luring Cordelia in by simulating Willow. Just the dichotomy of Willow and Vamp Willow alone would've been impressive considering how contrasting as characters they are on a surface level.

You also get a sense of how deep Willow's gotten into magic (and the rush of that in relation to the rest of her life) when she notes that her doppelganger also thinks "this world is no fun," remarking, "You noticed that too, huh?"

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #83 on: March 17, 2018, 10:21:27 AM »
The Initiative : And here we go.  This is where the Initiative is finally revealed (along with Professor Walsh and Riley's involvement in it) and Riley starts to woo Buffy, the two biggest things of the season that just don't work.  Honestly, there's promise in the former with this episode; the reveal of Spike in the holding cell is cool ""I always worried when that bitch got some funding") and the premise is interesting.  The problem comes later when they make some decisions with it that are just bad. 

Then there's Riley.  He and Willow's interactions are cute and he punched out Parker, so he's not a bad guy, but there is just no chemistry to speak of between Marc Blucas and SMG.  Plus they give Riley these cringe-inducing lines that just seem to hammer home to you "GEE WHAT A SWELL GUY, RIGHT?"

Another disturbing scene that turns really good is Spike attempting to rape bite Willow (they sure weren't subtle with the metaphor there) and finding he can't bite anymore, leading to "performance issue" jokes and Spike admitting she's always been bitable to him until Willow realizes whats going on and brains him with a lamp.

So this isn't a BAD episode, just the introduction of some of the parts of the season that will ultimately be bad.

Pangs : There's not a whole lot to say about this one other than it's a pretty fun episode when Riley isn't in it; when he talks about his Iowa (OF COURSE he's from Iowa) Thanksgiving it's gag inducing.  Buffy wanting a perfect Thanksgiving for everyone and turning neurotic over it is great (and understandable given how much things have changed), Anya has a bunch of great lines ("I'm imagining having sex with him again." "Imaginary Xander is quite the machine."), Diseased Xander is fun, poor little orphan vamp Spike wistfully watching a vampire family dinner and then getting thrown out by Harmony before ending up tied to a chair at Giles' and becoming an arrow magnet ("Hey!  Watch the heart!").  The Angel appearance really seems kinda tacked on (I know the Angel episode that goes with this is meatier) and the "monster of the week" seems kind of season 1 lame, but this is probably one of the better standalone episodes because of it's humor.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #84 on: March 17, 2018, 01:20:40 PM »
Something Blue: This and the following episode are probably the high point of the season.  Willow seems to be dealing better with Oz's departure but that is only because she sneaks into his room on occasion, the bit of hope she holds on to that he will come back.  When she finds his room completely empty, reality crashes in on her and she's right back to square one.  Once again, she turns to magic and her spell goes awry leading to hilarious consequences.  This is definitely on the level with episodes like Bewitched..... as far as sheer humor goes and maybe even above them.  Once again, the "romantic" scenes between Buffy and Riley are the lowlight but even he gets a good scene when he catches Buffy looking at wedding dresses.  In this one Buffy realizes she's over the "bad boy" thing (spoiler: she's not) and thinks a safe relationship with Riley is a good idea, but even she doesn't really seem to believe what she's saying.  Blinded Giles is a treasure ("Stop that right now!  I can hear the smacking!"), everyone's incredulity at Buffy and Spike (Xander: "What?! How?! ...What?!" Giles: "Three excellent questions.") and Spuffy's sickeningly sweet canoodling are absolutely hilarious (and shows the actors have tremendous chemistry together).  We also first learn of Spike's Passions obsession and Willow getting drunk off half a beer is adorably Willow.  Top tier episode for sure.

Hush: When Joss Whedon challenges himself, we all win.  Joss thought he was falling into the trap of filling his shows with a bunch of witty dialogue so he decided to do one where nobody can speak for over half the episode.  This allows both Christope Beck's score to take center stage and the actors use facial expressions and body language to sell everything which seems much more challenging than just reciting dialogue.  It all works beautifully and it's laughably ironic that this episode is the one that gets nominated for an Emmy for writing.  I enjoy that this episode is all about communication and Buffy and Riely both can't find words around each other, can't communicate well without voices and then, after getting them back, still can't speak to each other.  Not a good sign.  Of course, this is no gimmick one-off episode as major stuff happens: Buffy and Riley find out their secret identities, Anya and Xander have a sweet couple's moment (which Anya immediately sullies) and of course, Willow meets a new friend in Wicca group.  Some girl named Tara or something.....

Enjoy this stretch, because we're going to be in for a rough ride the rest of the season.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #85 on: March 17, 2018, 01:45:22 PM »
Beer Bad: So a lot of people think this is the worst episode of the series (Vox has it at the very bottom of their rankings), but...it's not that bad.  Obviously the anti-drinking message is really on the nose and lacks the sublety the series has become known for, but Buffy's depression about Parker and her inability to handle it driving her to making a bad decision is really relateable.  Also, Willow's debate with Parker is a really good scene where we fully realize what a scumbag Parker is and how Willow is too smart to fall for his act (it also begins to lead towards her distrust of men which only gets worse in the next few episodes and leads her to Tara).  I guess it's a testament to how good the last few seasons were that this ok episode is thought of so poorly.  This isn't even the worst episode of the season.

Plus, Cave Buffy knocking Parker out with a club is great.

What really hurts this episode is that it literally "dumbs" down Buffy into this Cavechick who's best girl power moment is saving Willow from fire and clubbing Parker at the end. I also felt a lot of the characterization was very lame and surface level e.g. the frat boys, the bartender giving the college kids bewitched beer that literally turns them into cave people, and the few highlights were brief scenes for the most part.

Although I was amused seeing Giles react to Buffy in her dorm room.

As bad as some of those S1/S2 eps were, at least Buffy was heroic in some manner more often than not and had several decent scenes.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #86 on: March 18, 2018, 01:38:05 AM »
Doomed: Why is all Giles' dialogue dubbed in this?  It's incredibly distracting.  This is a skippable episode because nothing really happens aside from a dull apocalypse plot and too much Forrest (who sucks).  It's also the first sign that the Initiative and Buffy/Riley storylines might not be up to snuff because this episode mostly focuses on both of them and is fucking boring.  The only good point is Spike as he calls Xander and Willow Buffy's "groupies" and is at his lowest until he learns he can fight demons.

A New Man: It's Buffy's birthday!  RUN!

Actually, the only thing that dies here is Giles' self-esteem as he feels like he's being pushed out of Buffy's life as he's the last to learn about Riley and meets Professor Walsh and immediately hates her.  Over drinks with Ethan Rayne he laments about how useless he feels and wakes up the next morning a Fyarl demon.  Poor, poor Giles has to enlist Spike of all people to help him (since he speaks Fyarl) which leads to some great scenes between them, including Giles indulging in scaring the shit out of Walsh on the street. 

Meanwhile, Willow and Tara continue to bond over magic and Willow continues to hide their relationship from Buffy, who is getting more serious with Riley and I just don't care (though their sparring session is a good scene).

This episode also gets deeper into the "science vs. magic" theme of the season as Buffy and Riley have very different methods of tracking down Giles.  They find him and Ethan is put into military custody (to Giles' delight).

This one is definitely an improvement over Doomed and is another hilarious episode that gives us different pairings of characters and has a lot of fun with them.  Unfortunately, at the end Walsh enters room 314 which means we're very close to where this season falls off the cliff.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #87 on: March 18, 2018, 07:15:14 AM »
The I in Team: You know, even at this point in the season I'm on board with where they are going with the Initiative storyline.  Buffy gets...well..intiated and immediately upsets the apple cart by doing such dastardly things as asking questions and not just going with orders like Riley.  This, along with whatever weird Oedipal Complex she has with Riley, puts her on bad terms with Professor Walsh who tries to trap her and kill her, not realizing what Buffy can do (and reinforces the Initiative's total lack of understanding in anything they are doing).  This sets up an intriguing rest of the season as Buffy tries to save Riley from the Initiative while Walsh tries to convince Riley to take her out, also using Adam as her weapon against Buffy.

And then Walsh gets skewered in the last 30 seconds of the episode. 

This is one of the rare occasions on this show where they do something to buck convention and it actually being a worse decision than if they just went with the normal story beats.  Professor Walsh is an interesting villain.  Adam is not.

Goodbye, Iowa,: Blech, skip this one.  Basically anything involving the Initiative, Adam and Riley from this point on is crap.  The only positive is Willow and Tara "doing spells" and getting closer.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #88 on: March 18, 2018, 11:07:02 AM »
This Year's Girl/Who Are You?

Faith returns and switches bodies with Buffy.  Obviously plotlines like this are really hard to pull off unless you have the acting and writing, but it's Buffy so of course they do.  I always enjoy when SMG plays sultry but here she also is great at playing a Faith that is slowly realizing why Buffy is who she is and who doing good is a path she could have taken if things went differently.  If Graduation Day was Buffy acknowledging her darker side, this was Faith acknowledging her good side, and it scares the hell out of her.  It was really fun watching both actresses pretty much mirror each other's characters and there was no Initiative and little Adam, so bonus there.  Plus, any Slayer v Slayer fight always delivers.

Also we get probably the closest thing to a lesbian sex scene on network TV (at the time) with Willow and Tara.  Joss really didn't bother with the subtext in that one.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Jonathan Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #89 on: March 18, 2018, 03:05:54 PM »
Superstar

You know how I said they like to play with this world and it's characters?  This is the best example of it.  I LOVE how they don't even try to explain what's going on right off the bat and say "This show has always revolved around Jonathan.  What, haven't you been paying attention?"  The only thing that would be better was if they put Danny Strong first credited in the opening, but once again, they don't half-ass an idea and just run all the way with it.  SMG in particular seems to be incredibly open to pretty much anything at this point in the series.  Danny Strong is, of course, awesome in this as is the James Bond music that permeates the episode whenever Jonathan does cool stuff.  All the subtle background details are so fun to pick out on a rewatch.

I know people slag on this season (even ranking it last) but if you take away the Initiative and Adam stuff (a major part of the season, granted), this season is great.  It's like season 1 if they somehow already had their characters established and their writing was firing on all cylinders.

Where the Wild Things Are

And of course we follow it up with the worst episode of the season.  Buffy and Riley can't stop fucking and we get allusions to child abuse.  Pass.

Offline geniusMoment

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #90 on: March 18, 2018, 03:43:37 PM »
It's not that everything was bad after season 3, but after a show peaks everything after it seems like a letdown.

And I think virtually everyone would agree seasons 2-3 were the peak.

It's why I wish America treated their shows more like England.  End it early, and leave the fans wanting more.
Randy!

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #91 on: March 19, 2018, 08:15:33 AM »
New Moon Rising

So this is the second most important episode of Willow's character as she invites Tara into the Scooby meetings and seems to be on the cusp of revealing their relationship...but Oz suddenly reappears and throws her world into whack all over again.  Of course the fucking Initiative has to get involved (seriously, fuck this storyline already) and Riley officially deserts (though wasn't he going against orders like four episodes ago?).  We do get Adam enlisting Spike's help which feels like the writers giving up on making him interesting and just throwing them together.  I like how Willow "coming out" to Buffy is incredibly subtle (she basically lets Buffy put it together herself) and how Buffy is clearly thrown but she is supportive.  Oz is less progressive as he wolfs out on Tara (though if she were a guy the same thing probably happens) and eventually accepts that she's moved on and they officially break up.  More innuendo between Willow and Tara ends the episode and it couldn't have killed the network to just have them kiss once?  Joss is running out of metaphors!  Like most episodes at this point of the season, ignore all the stuff related to the main story arc and it's pretty good.

The Yoko Factor

So Spike stirs up shit with the Scoobies leading to a big blowup at the end where all the tensions and resentments that have been building up all season (Giles and Xander feeling unappreciated, Willow and Buffy drifting apart) come out.  That's pretty much the most interesting part of the episode as we get a REALLY tacked on feeling Angel appearance as he and Riley act like children around Buffy (I wanted Angel to slap soldier boy around really bad).  It really feels like they lost the plot with the Initiative and Adam a while ago and are just rushing through all the big plot points left to lead to the finale.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #92 on: March 19, 2018, 08:47:30 AM »
More innuendo between Willow and Tara ends the episode and it couldn't have killed the network to just have them kiss once?  Joss is running out of metaphors!

It kind of came to a head in S5 when Joss threatened to literally walk from the show because they didn't want to air the kiss during The Body. So imagine how it could've been metaphorically done through Season 5!

That was also a factor behind the move from The WB to UPN by Season 6, getting more leeway from the channel.

Offline KingPK

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #93 on: March 19, 2018, 03:13:21 PM »
Primeval: And the Adam and Initiative storyline ends with a whimper.  Granted, one with a whole bunch if explosions and gunfire, but the Scoobies make up, Adam reveals his stupid-ass final plan and is foiled an act later, Riley apparently was chipped as well (chip-ex-machina, if you will) but cuts it out of his chest to set up a final fight with Forrest that I don't care sbout, and Spike's plan blows up in his face but the fact that Adam delegates EVERYTHING to his stupid minions he survives and redeems himself.  I'd like to think the Pentagon guy's speech at the end is an apology to the audience for this storyline: we tried something, it failed, now let's just all forget it happened.

Restless: This definitely feels like the trip to buy a toy after you go to the dentist of the season.  Joss was like "thanks for sticking with us through that Initiative stuff, here's a finale where we dive back into each characters' inner feelings and pretty much set up the next two seasons".  Very few shows can nail the weird flow of dreams and how they are a window into what you are really thinking about, but Buffy always seems to get that right.  Marc Blucas redeems himself completely as Cowboy Guy in Willow's dream ("I'm looking for a man.  A salesman").  This is one of those episodes that seemed really fun to shoot.

Season 4 Overall Thoughts: So, this season is not bad.  It has a bad main villain and main arc, but the first part of the season as everyone adjusts to college and post-high school life is really good and if they just stuck with that instead of introducing Adam and giving him way too much screen time (or as I said before, not kill Professor Walsh off and make her the Big Bad with Adam as her henchman, it would have been fine.  This season has some of the best one-offs in the series (Something Blue, Hush, Superstar among others), so that at least puts it over season 1 but it definitely is a step down from the previous high mark of the series.

Season Rankings : 3,2,4,1

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #94 on: March 20, 2018, 09:59:05 AM »
Season 5

Buffy vs. Dracula

Upon first look, this seems like a one-off gimmick episode to start the season on a fun note, but it really goes right into what the big theme of this season is: Buffy trying to understand where her powers come from and how she can stay in control to keep herself from falling too far into the darker side of them.  The guy playing Dracula is suitably weird and all his scenes with Buffy are fun.  Xander is a riot as his puppet.  Giles also becomes more relevant to the story as he was planning to go back to England (I forgot he was thinking about doing that this early) until Buffy tells him she needs him to help her.

Also, Buffy has a sister now.  I kinda remember the original reaction of "Oh shit they're pulling a Cousin Oliver on Buffy!" and Dawn struggles to have much relevance past this season, but I appreciate the "Wait, what?  Did I miss an episode?" feeling most people had to it.

Offline Youth N Asia

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #95 on: March 20, 2018, 11:35:49 AM »
Never liked Dawn. Not once. Not ever.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #96 on: March 20, 2018, 11:42:09 AM »
Never liked Dawn. Not once. Not ever.

She was very inconsistently written. Like the episode Real Me IIRC she was perfectly fine but then other writers would turn her into a raging, whiny annoying brat before she'd be pretty normal just 2 episodes later then suddenly revert the next episode. It was whiplash level.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #97 on: March 20, 2018, 12:10:15 PM »
The Real Me

We focus on Dawn this episode and I like how they used Dawn writing in her diary to establish all of the relationships she's obviously had with the rest of the Scoobies the whole time she's been a character on the show.  I think they are inconsistent off the bat with her because she's too bratty in this one; obviously there's going to be the sibling rivalry thing with Buffy and making Buffy especially resentful about Dawn having the doting teenage life she was deprived of due to her calling is a good turn of her character, but Dawn just comes across as uncaring and whiny.  Buffy protecting her from seeing a body and Dawn inadvertently inviting Harmony in are fine, but Dawn interrupting Buffy's training and acting like a brat in Giles' car doesn't endear her to people.  Although she WAS initially written as a 12-year old, so maybe that's where the inconsistency comes from.

At least Harmony is back and the greatest at being the worst villain ever (unlike Adam, she's terrible on purpose) with her "minions" ('sup Tom Lenk a season early).  Plus Giles buys the Magic Shop ("I bet the death rate keeps the rent down.") and they're making Harry Potter references in 2000 (a deep cut at the time).

Riley is already pretty much shoved into the background two episodes into the season.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #98 on: March 21, 2018, 01:57:58 AM »
The Replacement

We get Xander out of the basement in this one as we see that he's actually doing pretty ok for himself without college.  A spell splits him into his "weak" self-conscious half and his "strong" assertive, confident half and the gang has to figure out how to slap them back together.  That's kinda all there is to say about a fun but uneventful Xander episode aside from suddenly Riley realizes Buffy doesn't love him, which kinda comes out of nowhere, especially considering how much this show loves to foreshadow stuff.

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Re: The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2018
« Reply #99 on: March 21, 2018, 04:22:05 AM »
Out of My Mind

For some reason I thought Glory was at least mentioned by this point in the season, but we at least meet Ben for the first time after Joyce's collapse.  Dawn continues to be annoying in short bursts and I really just don't give a shit about anything Riley, so episodes focused on him and his sex talk with Buffy don't really do anything for me.  We at least get the beginnings of Spike's infatuation with Buffy which will lead to more interesting things.  I don't think this season is bad so far, but I can't say that I'm not slogging through some of this stuff.