Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Buffy Rewatch Week 41

6.11 Gone
6.12 Doublemeat Palace
6.13 Dead Things


Follow along in Bite Me!

And if you’re watching Angel, this week’s episodes are:

3.11 Birthday
3.12 Provider
3.13 Waiting in the Wings


Follow along in Once Bitten.

I have to apologize; I’m actually in New Orleans right now putting this together because I didn’t get a chance to do so before I left, and I don’t have a lot of time to put something together right now on it. “Gone” and “Doublemeat Palace” have never been favourite episodes of mine (I thought the “I LOVE your HAIR!” joke got tired in “Gone,” and always felt like it was a way to make sure the fans didn’t split the way they recently had on Felicity when Keri Russell had cut her hair.

“Doublemeat Palace” is the weakest episode of S6, in my opinion, although it does have its funny moments. But you can feel the ennui and angst mingling together as Buffy is forced into this mundane job, finding cold comfort (literally) with Spike behind the place during her breaks.

“Dead Things,” on the other hand, is a fantastic episode. That final scene with Tara is Sarah Michelle Gellar’s finest moment in the series, in my opinion. But I’ll let our guest host say more about that below.

For the Angel fans, I hope you loved “Waiting in the Wings” as much as I did when I first saw it. Summer Glau makes her first appearance in the Whedonverse, and Charisma Carpenter and David Boreanaz do a splendid job in their scenes together. And Alexis Denisof makes me want to cry every time I watch this. (He is unbelievable in season 3…)

This week I have a new guest host, Stacey May Fowles, who first appeared in the Rewatch as one of the defenders of “Beer Bad” back in May. Stacey works at The Walrus, and is the former editor of Shameless magazine, which was a feminist mag for teenage girls. She's the author of several books, most recently She's Shameless: Women Write about Growing Up, Rocking Out, and Fighting Back. I’m thrilled to have her as part of the rewatch, especially having read her beautifully written piece for this week’s contribution.

Heeeere’s Stacey!




Please Don’t Forgive Me

I used to say that everything I knew about life I learned from season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Maybe it was the fact that the season had no real villain; gone was the monster of the week that punctuated early seasons, and the overarching demonic menace that consumed later plotlines. Instead it was apparent that Whedon was more interested in our internal villains, the ones that fill us with doubt, that provoke us to act out, to do damage, to lie to and betray the ones we love, and inevitably invite folly at every turn.

Perhaps I was hit so hard by the delicate nuances of season six because of my own dire personal circumstances at the time of viewing; close to a decade ago, I had just moved back to Toronto after a lack-luster love affair had so disastrously fallen apart out west, and was watching Buffy’s friends bring her back from the grave through the drunken haze of heartbreak and cigarette smoke. I was living in a rodent infested apartment that promised a reduced rent if I assisted in “cleaning it up” for future tenants, my roommate a self-professed pothead who couldn’t maintain employment for more than a few weeks. That circumstance is about as horrific and depressing as you can imagine, but leant itself well to late night episodic television, of which we consumed a steady supply. Marginally employed and maximally miserable, I found myself identifying strongly with Willow’s disastrous narcotic-style downfall, Buffy’s sex-to-feel-anything exploits, and the fact that tiny, irrelevant men had the power to upend all stability. Read into that what you will.

We tend to fall in love with art, both low brow and high, because we see ourselves in its dramas, whether a Romantic poem about monumental heartbreak or a one hour episode about a broken girl who fucks a vampire to “feel anything.” Our personal, very human love affairs with pop culture tend to be circumstantial, and season six came to me at exactly the time it was most necessary. Just as Buffy was discovering that love and sex was not all the romance and puppy-dog faces that her past paramours had served up, I was grappling with the fact that the intended domestic bliss of my west-coast tryst was an all out failure. I was at a personal and professional rock-bottom, enduring the inevitable numbness that our season six heroine articulates time and time again, a void she fills with Spike’s unconventional devotion, ending up hating herself as a result.

Of all the episodes in season six that I watched, and there are many that I have mini love affairs with, “Dead Things” was the one that hit me the hardest on that hideously floral-printed polyester couch in that rodent-infested hovel. While certainly not anywhere near the most beloved episode in a populist sense, “Dead Things” is an ingenious testament to Whedon’s awareness of how blurred the line between good and evil can actually be. We’d of course seen that fuzziness before with the mere existence of characters like Angel, but now it was more about the endlessly confusing struggle between what is good and bad for us. All of a sudden all bets were off and everything was up for debate; love, sex, friendship, magic, and even violence of the consensual variety.

Prior to the episode Buffy says to Spike “I don’t know why you can hit me, but I’m not a demon,” not quite believing it herself. Our beloved archetype of good proclaims this in her Double Meat Palace uniform, an outfit distinctly representative of the fact that her heroic status, her goodness, along with her life, has unraveled all around her. Loveless, motherless, ripped from heaven, and emotionally estranged from her friends, Buffy faces the recent discovery that Spike can inflict pain upon her despite his implanted chip, leading her to believe that she has come back from the grave somehow “wrong.” The only answer in her mind is that she could have been altered in some way, not only in making her susceptible to Spike’s violence, but also with a new desire for that pain. Evidence that she is broken would also explain all the other unraveling; the distance she feels from her friends, the failures she feels in life, and of course, the fact that she’s now in Spike’s bed.

This is why the episode resonates with the rock-bottom set; who among us has not felt somehow “wrong” because of the damage done to us by the things we love? Things that hurt us, make us ashamed or embarrassed, make us feel like we don’t truly know ourselves? This notion that the heart wants what it wants can be particularly unbearable when our wants are demonized by the status quo, whether it is a friend or self-help book that deems the object of our affections bad for us, or a larger culture who believes our desires sick, dirty or to be ashamed of. Loving something ugly, violent, cruel, or broken can be particularly debilitating, but at times a necessity of process little acknowledged by a world that force feeds us what is “good.”

There is a beautiful subtlety to the episode’s message, a parallelism of plot that speaks multitudes; Buffy engages in consensual sexual violence with Spike and despises herself as a result, while the trio attempts a form of mystical date rape without any real awareness that it is, in fact, rape. Spike expresses a previously unseen selfless loyalty to Buffy in this episode, even as she punishes him for her own feelings. We’ve all lashed out at those who love us post-descent, even if our ejection from heaven is more metaphor than mystical trick on the part of our friends.

After the trio’s botched attempt to convert Warren’s ex-girlfriend Katrina into a sex slave, she is killed in a struggle, they are forced to dispose of the body by convincing Buffy she is responsible. It is Spike that comes to her aid, a gesture that only contributes to Buffy believing her love for him signifies her decent into evil. The false knowledge that she has murdered Katrina becomes bound up in her love for him, so deeply that she punishes him for it in the alley behind the police station when she goes to turn herself in. In one of the most powerful scenes in the Buffyverse, Buffy beats Spike mercilessly and severely, announcing, “I could never be your girl.” At no point does Spike fight back, responding only, “You always hurt the one you love, Pet.” (Her repetition of this later on in the episode is her acknowledgment that she does indeed love him, despite the fact [spoiler: highlight to see words]: that it will take many more episodes for her to say it outright.)

The episode offers no answers, more the message that things are not always as clear as we would like them to be, and that its perfectly okay to be unsure. It asserts that uncertainty is process. Perhaps more surprisingly, it suggests that real love and “goodness” can exist in unconventional ways. That kind of messaging is unheard of on mainstream television, generally reserving its exploration of BDSM for the absurdist torture porn of over-the-top crime shows, and relegating those who engage in it under the banner of loony sicko or criminal. Instead it is our beloved (if lost) heroine who is enjoying being slapped around, and despite her self-doubt and hatred, it is apparent to every viewer, regardless of proclivity, that there is real love, or at the very least a much needed solace, that she herself is refusing to acknowledge.

It’s also no coincidence that during Buffy’s reluctant exploration of consensual pain, the Trio is plotting rape. The result is jarring, as we acutely see Buffy’s shame in loving what she loves, and her desperate fear of that love being exposed to her friends. “What would they think of you if they found out all the things you’ve done? If they knew who you really were?” Spike asks her while she is unable to resist him. What she has “done” is nothing more than what was necessary to get by.

Because Buffy cannot comprehend any other reason why she would want to have sex with Spike beyond something being “wrong” with her, she goes to Tara in search of an answer for the change. In the final scene, Tara lets Buffy know that she’s the “same Buffy,” despite protestations. Tara becomes the first of the others to know that Buffy and Spike are sleeping together, as a weak and sobbing Buffy announces that the only time she feels anything is when she’s with him. She fights to understand why she can’t stop; “I’m wrong. Tell me that I’m wrong. Please don’t forgive me.”

I must have watched that final scene a million times a decade ago, and a million times since, and could produce a healthy argument that it is the finest moment in the entire series. Those few minutes between Buffy and Tara speak multitudes on the very nature of human love. When we let someone hurt us, and when we deeply love the person who does, we assume it can’t be who we genuinely are, that we must be broken in some way to allow things to fall apart the way they do. That our true selves are the ones that never make mistakes or missteps, who always take the righteous path and make the best decisions. We seek out the “why” of the thing, grapple for reasons, want to be proven flawed in some way to allow the suffering into our less than armored hearts.

But of course, as Tara says, it’s not that simple.

28 comments:

Marebabe said...

There were several things in the first 15 minutes of “Gone” that I really enjoyed.

Buffy, on the Magic Clearance: “Everything must go!”

So, now there’s an Invisibility Ray! Imagine the possibilities.

I did NOT, however, like social worker Doris Kroger. Nope. Not one bit.

Then, about the time “blinvisible” Buffy started making like a mischievous poltergeist (with the studded cap, and taking the parking-ticket cop’s vehicle), I remembered that Nikki said some of this week’s episodes were not-so-favorites. I’m right with you, Nikki!

Holy cow! I should’ve watched “Doublemeat Palace” first. Then I would’ve felt better about “Gone”. This won’t take long. The kindest thing I can say about our second episode this week is that sitting through it felt like homework. Math homework. BUSYWORK math homework. The only reason I watched the whole thing was that I’ve made a commitment to this-here rewatch. Maybe you can tell, I didn’t like it. (This from someone who actually enjoyed “Beer Bad”.)

Aww... Buffy and Spike had a little pillow talk at the beginning of “Dead Things”. I was so glad (and relieved) that this episode started off in such a good place. And speaking of glad, I’ll be so glad whenever Buffy moves on from her job at Doublemeat Palace. (How is it that she’s still there? Or that the Palace is even still in business after their horrible secrets came out?)

After a few “Yes, Masters”, I was reminded of this exchange from Woody Allen’s “Love and Death”:

Sonja: “Sex without love is an empty experience.”
Boris: “Yes, but as empty experiences go, it’s one of the best!”

Wow. There was big band music and swing dancing at The Bronze. I’m for it, of course.

I was COMPLETELY confused by that trippy time-distortion fight with the three demons and Spike, and Buffy thinking she killed Katrina. Even after watching the episode all the way to the end, I only sort-of got it. I guess I should really watch it again.

I usually make allowances for Dawn, given her age and circumstances, but for this episode, at least, I joined the “Dawn is annoying” group. Tara, on the other hand, was a beautiful, kind, and comforting presence, exactly what Buffy needed at the end of this episode.

Lorne had a great line in “Birthday”: “Jumpin’ Judas on a unicycle!” I’m going to do my part to get this colorful phrase into the mainstream. ;)

I’ve got all kinds of love for “Waiting in the Wings”, and it has earned a place on my Favorites List. Believe it or not, this was the first time I’d ever seen Summer Glau in anything. I was dimly aware of who she was, had seen her on some red carpets, etc. I checked her filmography on IMDb, and was pleased to see that she was in Firefly. I have Firefly in my DVD library (found it real cheap one day), but I haven’t watched any of it yet. I’m looking forward to digging into it in the New Year, after this Buffy rewatch is over.

Dusk said...

I know this season is among the favorites of people to analyze, but it had a lot of backlash upon orginal airing.

The internal struggles and themes are all very well apparent upon reflection, but the actual plot itself seems scattered, even as someone who knows where this is going.

No clear Big Bad, and the Trio were just annoying until "Dead Things" and they do seem like a one-off when you first meet them, but you see them over and over, but the Scoobies don't even know them until halfway through the season.

Having Doublemeat as the first one from a break was also a mistake I think. Although I love Halfrek and Anya meeting up, everyone has either seen or done that when a ring appears.

A part I also dislike is when they try and put too much realistic consequences in the mystical world. We all know there is next to no chance of Buffy or any major cast member going for a long-term stay in jail. It works slightly better on Angel's show with W & H in the background, but it's obvious Faith only stays there if she wants.

That said, if you have too much mysitical then it just becomes over the top, and without some realism it just becomes nonsense, but the jail/job storylines just don't work for viewing expirence only.

On Dawn, yes, this is when she reaches her grating peak, she has real reason to be scared, (if Buffy goes, she's either in Spain or in the system, no Buffybot for cover, Tara's gone, and Willow is unstable) and Buffy wouldn't make much sense from her POV, but she does come across as a big pain here.

Dusk said...

Also the comedy then dark, then comedy makes the season uneven and having the disadvantage of the waits in the TV year, make Buffy's hate-need-hate-need issues with Spike would seem really dragged out, like the Tailies going to the main survivors in Lost did/does to me.

The Question Mark said...

Very well said, Stacey!

The Doublemeat Palace orientation video was hilarious! The only thing that would have made it any better is if Dr. Marvin Candle showed up and told Buffy to fill a notebook with notes before placing it into a tube. :P

"Waiting in the Wings" is one of my all-time favourite Buffy/Angel eps. Summer Glau was heartbreaking and beautiful, and her Russian accent kicked ass! Then, of course, there's poor Wesley. Spectacular!

The Question Mark said...

By the way, seeing Summer Glau made me think:
How awesome would it be to take Buffy Summers, Angel, Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Dr. Horrible, and Echo, stick them all in a room together, and see what happens?

Witness Aria said...

Thank you, Stacey, for that awesome essay. Really good stuff. My circumstances were not as dire as yours, but I was in a bad place when I saw season 6 and it spoke to me deeply in ways you often touched on in your piece. I really appreciated what you had to say.

Annie said...

I actually liked 'Gone', I thought it was light-hearted and I laughed quite a bit which was a nice change from some of the recent episodes!

Definitely wasn't fond of the Doublemeat Palace episode. It's right up there as my least-favorite episode of the series thus far.

I didn't feel too strongly one way or the other about Dead Things. The trio of 'evil' guys annoy me sometimes. I did appreciate the Buffy started to demonstrate some brief moments of being kind to Spike (minus the part where she pounded on him in the alley!)

I really liked Angel this week. Is it weird that I'm a little bit attracted to Lorne lol? I really like his character. I've been very torn on whether I'd rather see Fred with Wesley or Gunn. I think I was happy to see her go with Gunn, but seeing how upset Wesley was just broke my heart.

Annie said...

Oh- what was the Firefly connection in the Angel episode this week?

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I guess I don't get it. Sex with Spike seems pretty awesome, and I cheered when Gunn and Fred got together. Wes - eh.

I like Gone and Doublemeat palace too. Though Xander has some pretty strange ideas about masturbation. And Buffy has magic sex clothing - that's a pants suit.

When Buffy hides the fertility god, what's she really afraid of? I think taking Spike's lighter shows her interest him is more emotional than she thinks.

I think Doris gets a bad rep. Hey, LA Law lady, you want the best for Dawn. That's a good thing. I wonder if she read Buffy's school reports. Though the house is very clean for one where there's supposed to be neglect.

I got my hair cut very short a few weeks ago and very few people noticed - and I was visible! Buffy's had short hair before, and Anya's style and colour changes weekly.

Buffy has a nasty streak. Studded caps and moo cups.

Hey, it's a new series. Willow CSI. Shouldn't Buffy's body be breaking down to the point of death? She was blasted the same time as the cone.

That was a stupid message for Xander to leave on the phone. What if Dawn had played it first?

That had to be the most non-violent fight scene ever. Kind of fun though, with the nobody there.

Warren didn't go to Sunnydale High. How did he know Tucker?

James did a movie with that Vulcan woman from Enterprise.

Doesn't vegetarian food cost more than meat? The secret is silly.

I like Spike's new sweater.

How would Buffy make enough at that job to in any way maintain a house?

Whatever you might say about dumpster sex on her break - it beats watching reality shows in the lunchroom.

Amy is like the bad influence friend who slips drugs in a recovering junkie's drink so she'll have someone to play with.

Spike keeps his handcuffs under his rug?

One aspect of the nerds' misogyny - they describe all the women in the bar by their physical attributes.

Wait - Xander is teaching Dawn how to dance? Didn't he watch OMWF?

The Bronze has varying alcohol laws. Buffy's not 21 but she's drinking.

Why is Spike wearing a wedding band? James wasn't married. Is Spike married to Buffy in his heart?

Technically they're getting away with the sex above their noses. I remember when this aired and a bunch of people on the list I was on talked about their involvement with bondage and public sex. Generally, it was a thumbs up.

I love that Rush song when Buffy goes to the crypt - sexy scene. "And the barriers are all self made."

Buffy has a very conflicted relationship with Spike. She dreams of him comforting her, and of her killing him.

The scene when Buffy beats Spike is very similar to the scene where Faith beats Buffy in Faith's body. Both are more about the beater punishing themself.

This is the episode where a lot of my friends stopped watching Buffy. Or just hated the character from then on.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

Oh- what was the Firefly connection in the Angel episode this week?

Summer Glau.

And thank you, Stacey, for acknowledging Buffy's love for Spike (even when she couldn't.)

Page48 said...

Wow, so much playoff baseball, so little time.

I enjoyed Stacey's writeup more than I enjoyed "Doublemeat Palace".

My issue with "Gone" was Buffy being very un-Buffy-like in her behaviour while invisible. Buffy isn't generally a delinquent. On the bright side, Buffy did utter the title of SMG's current show, "Ringer".

"Dead Things" was suitably dark and had me almost forgetting Buffy's work clothes. Almost as disturbing (to me)as Warren's bludgeoning of Katrina is that Andrew and Jonathan were slightly aroused by the idea of getting away with murder. How easily they parted company with their initial feelings of disgust.

Good BtVS news this week, as Amber Benson hitches up with SMG on "Ringer" and Emma Caulfield gets re-acquainted with Jane Espenson on "Once Upon a Time"

@Marebabe, "Firefly" is essential viewing, followed by (grab your Kleenex) "Serenity".

Annie said...

Thanks Colleen! I thought the ballerina looked familiar but I didn't put 2 and 2 together.

Missy said...

Awww..Stacey,your write made me teary.

For the longest time I really enjoyed the comedy of 'Gone' & 'Doublemeat Palace' and almost couldn't stand the dire situation of 'Dead Things'.

These days of the three 'Dead Things' is the one I REALLY enjoy.

I suppose it's realizing how much the story effects the rest of S6 and Growing up(These eps aired when I was almost 13,Soo the heavy stuff never really connected).

'Gone'
Is still hilarious!I love Buffy tricking Doris into thinking she was nuts and Buffy having to explain that though Willow is gay and living in the house "They don't gay together" Lol.

'Doublemeat Palace'
I'm an Amy Madison fan(It stems from 'Witch' being my first recollection of the series way back when S1 originally aired)
Granted I don't like her attempts to lure Willow back to the dark side.
But I enjoy her...it's NOT a rational like ,I know. ;)

'Dead Things'
Awwww...Poor Katrina,She really had nothing to do with anything and she wound up dead.RIP Katrina.

Warren is a jackass.

And Buffy beating the living shit out of Spike is one of my fav things...because as mentioned she's hurting herself..She doesn't like that Spike makes her feel anything BUT disgust and Spike takes it like a man in love.Seriously Spike is Good guy.

AtS
'Birthday'

Cordy turns 21,too bad she seems to have stumbled upon Buffy's Bad Birthday Curse.
Isn't Skip fun?Lol
I love his little play by play of the events of 'City Of'.

'Provider'
Can't say I'm a fan of this ep but it has some funny as hell moments.
Wrong number on the flyer.
And the sequence of a guy in danger trying to call and getting a chinese take out place..while the gang is back at the hotel waiting for a call.
and the whole money thing is a riot.

'Waiting In The Wings'
YAY for Fred&Gunn ,their too cute together.
Poor Wes :(
Cor & Angel gettin' nekked and kissy is HOT.(Yea,I'm a Cordy/Angel fan)
Summer Glau as the Prima Ballerina is awesome.
Can someone find a link to the blooper of Alexis&Amy doing the Ballet..I want the newbs or anyone who hasn't seen it to give it a looky loo,it's friggin' genuis.
Oh and Summer's male partner was dancing on a broken leg.Kudo's pal.

Christina B said...

@Marebabe--Stop whatever you're doing right now and RUN to your TV. Put Firefly on and sit there for at least 12 hours, watching.
You MUST see Firefly, like, YESTERDAY! ;)


I don't have much to say about Buffy this week that hasn't already been said.
Except, could Dawn get anyMORE annoying?! Argh.

I really enjoyed two of the three Angel episodes this week.

Birthday was great. I love Skip. And Dennis. Skip and Dennis both rock and they should have gotten spin off shows.
Or one spin off show starring the two of them. "Demon Skip and Phantom Dennis" It would have been hilarious!

...okay. I need to stop posting at 3am. ;)

I've said it before, but I just love seeing how far Cordy has come since her Buffy days.

Provider was just 'meh'. It was filler and you could tell.

But Waiting in the Wings.
My God, what a beautiful episode!
I tend to not pay much attention to the opening credits anymore, so seeing Summer Glau on the stage was a wonderful surprise!
I actually went back to see who'd written and directed it, because it had such a Joss feel to it...and, yep! I was right!
I really LOVED this episode! The story, the costumes, the acting...everything was just amazing.

Again, it happened, though! Last week I said I'd like to see Gunn and Fred together and BOOM! It happened!
But I'm heartbroken for poor Wesley. :(
And I didn't see that twist at the end coming at all! I thought Groo and Cordy's story was over and done with...Guess not!

Does anyone know if the ballet they were dancing was an actual ballet?
If so, which one was it?

Also, does anyone have a link to the Fred/Wesley dancing scene that was cut? I'm watching on Netflix and don't have access to the DVD's.

Christina B said...

Aha! Found it!
Hilarious, but I'm glad it was deleted. It wouldn't have fit the episode at all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po94GM4qvBg

Efthymia said...

"Gone":
Doesn't Willow need to go to the bathroom 1000 times with all that water drinking?
I guess the Watchers' Council wasn't all that wrong in wanting Buffy to be able to fight with her eyes closed...
"We're your arch-nemesis...ses!": a line I love and occasionally use for no good reason!
@Colleen/redeem147: CSI:Sunnydale :)
And I guess the cone melting earlier could be explained with it being less dense or having a looser molecular structure or something.

"Doublemeat Palace":
Whenever I heard all the hate towards this episode I would think 'OK, it wasn't great but we've had "Beer Bad" and "Where The Wild Things Are"!', but I guess I kept forgetting how silly an episode it is because I love Season 6 as a whole (whereas Season 4 is my least favourite), just as I had forgotten how silly an episode "Bad Eggs" was because I love Season 2 as a whole.
I reeeealy dislike Amy!

"Dead Things":
This is the first episode where the Trio turn from funny to evil and dangerous.
I am really creeped out by what happens with Katrina, and also by the confused sequence with Buffy; in general, I consider this one of the creepiest episodes and a very good one for that.
You know, Faith (eventually) went willingly to prison, Buffy is willing to go to prison... These Slayers are quite eager to get locked up!
Once again, poor Spike! :(
I disagree with 'You always hurt the ones you love'; I find it somewhat romanticises and excuses abuse, and I'm against any such thing.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Stacey, your post was beautiful and eloquent. Thank you for it.

I'm of the camp that is truly rooting for Spike and Buffy. I don't think he'd act so dark and twisted with her if she'd just act like she did when they were under the carpets in his crypt. It was so natural. And sweet. And he was shocked and amazed by it. But she acts like she is using him and it's not fair. He loves her so that he will take her abuse, both physical and verbal. But it explains why he has to work on her affection from a darker perspective. She is only willing to respond to the darkness and "wrongness" aspect of it all, and anytime he acts loving and sweet and tries to get her to do the same, it just backfires. Come on Buffy. I know you really feel like it's twisted, but even Tara admitted he's done good. It's never ok to hurt the one you love, so love the one you're with. PS. I LOVE Tara (and Amber Bensen).

Quarks said...

Before watching this week I would probably have said that this week was the weakest Season 6 week in the rewatch. Now, having watched it, I would still argue that, but it puts up more of a fight that I thought, as 'Dead Things' is much better than I remember. I don't mind 'Gone'; it's fairly enjoyable although I agree that it could have done with less about Buffy's hair. I hate 'Doublemeat Palace', and it is probably one of my least favourite of the series, and certainly of this season. But this time around I found 'Dead Things' a really good episode, while before I didn't really take notice of it.

Shouldn't Social Services have visited the Summers' household before now? Back in 'Tough Love' (I think) Buffy was warned that if Dawn missed any more school they would be informed, and that was just before Dawn no doubt missed a lot of school due to the Scoobies going on the run, her being kidnapped by Glory, and Buffy dying.

As Buffy is leaving the Social Services office she is whistling 'Going Through the Motions' from 'Once More, With Feeling'.

And I don't really have anything to say about 'Doublemeat Palace'. In fact, I am trying to purge the majority of it from my memory. The only redeeming qualities about it are Willow being able to resist using Amy's magicks and Halfrek's role.

'Dead Things' is the episode where the Trio really go from just being geeks to actually doing something that is considered 'evil'. Like many of the villains on 'Buffy', the Trio are quite 'sexist' about women, and we really see how much here when they try to rape Katrina and end up killing her.

I love Tara in this episode, and it reminds us of how much we miss her being a part of the Scoobies. She is the one person Buffy can confide in, and in some ways I feel that she fills the hole that Giles would have had he not left. She may not have told him the details about her relationship with Spike, but I think she would have trusted him with the information about Spike's chip not working. The scene at the end with Buffy confessing all to Tara is a fantastic scene and is one of my favourites from this season.

Overall, the end of this week far makes up for the beginning, and even one of the weakest week's of Buffy is better that 90% of any episodes of any other show.

Witness Aria said...

@Christina B: The ballet is Giselle. (Once Bitten comes through again with the reference) :)

Marebabe said...

@Christina B: LOL when I read your endorsement of Firefly. I would love to follow your recommendation, but alas, I’m at work, and my TV and the DVDs are at home. I am now thinking that I’ll start watching Firefly much sooner than January. Looking forward to learning what all the fuss is about!

Another thing I’ll have to wait (a little bit) to see is the deleted scene with Wesley and Fred dancing. Still no speakers on my computer at work. Thanks for digging up the link for us! I’ll get to watch it this evening.

And the ballet performance was of a real classical ballet, “Giselle”. I’ve never seen it myself, but it is immensely popular, right up there with “Swan Lake”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Nutcracker”.

Nikki Stafford said...

@Christina B: I don't have much to say about Buffy this week that hasn't already been said.
Except, could Dawn get any MORE annoying?!


Yes. Yes she can.

And will.

Missy said...

@Marebabe


Firefly(and Serenity)are a must.
After watching it it became my fav Whedon show ;)

karoliina said...

Thank you Stacey - I was always afraid that I might be somehow 'wrong' to like seasons 6&7 so much as not so many people seem to do that, but now I think I should rather be glad that there's so many happy people in the world - imagine to have such a good life as to not 'get' Buffy! I think I envy those people.

Suzanne said...

I enjoy "Gone" even though I agree that Buffy does a few things while invisible that don't seem in character for her. Even so, I really liked the way she messed with the social worker (former LA Law actress). There was just something so nasty seeming about the way that social worker treated Buffy that it made me feel like she deserved it. I also get a kick out of some of the silly humor such as Xander walking in on Spike doing "push ups." Of course, it doesn't hurt that Marsters is so easy on the eyes in that seen. Xander isn't very quick on the uptake; how many times has he walked in on something between Buffy and Spike now that looked suspicious, yet he is oblivious.

What I really love in both "Gone" and "Double Meat Palace" (an episode I hate more than any in the Buffy universe -- I just can't stand watching a boring storyline about Buffy at a minimum wage job even though it is a neat idea), is seeing the Willow of old. I like seeing her back on the computer, doing science experiments, and sleuthing the way she used to do. Before she got out of hand with the magic, it was cool to see her using it. However, I never liked the way her personality seemed to change so drastically when she was using it. She didn't seem as sweet and goofy as the Willow of old and that is the Willow I really love.

The only other aspect of the dreaded "Double Meat Palace" that I liked was how Willow came to find Buffy. Their friendship has always been one of my favorites (as I have mentioned before) and seeing Willow standing at the take-out window confessing to Buffy about the magic was great. Too bad, Buffy really couldn't concentrate on what Willow was saying to have that scene become even more meaningful. If those two could rely more on their deep bond of friendship, I think both of them would do a lot better. It seems to me that the distance that came between them when Dawn and Tara entered the picture really harmed the dynamic of their friendship.

Speaking of Tara, I loved seeing her back! As everyone has mentioned her scene with Buffy was amazing. I am glad that she gave Buffy the chance to release her guilt since that is what Buffy needed, but I just wish Buffy had listened to Tara when Tara told her that Spike wasn't so bad. He isn't; in fact, he is fine!

The show really misses something special without Tara and Giles. The characters appear lost without them, which is one of the main points of this season. Maybe that is why so many people have trouble with it. I like the season a lot overall. Of course, I never saw a season of Buffy I didn't like. I don't even think I could pick a favorite!

@Marebabe, I am enjoying living vicariously through your first viewing of all of these wonderful Whedon shows. I hope I get to hear some of your reactions to Firefly. You will love it! It was actually my introduction into the Whedon world since my hubby and I are huge Sci Fi fans. People told us to watch Buffy over the years, but we didn't think it would be our cup of tea (boy were we wrong); however, when someone recommended Firefly, being the Sci Fi geeks that we are, we jumped at the chance to watch it. It is incredible. Of course, after seeing it, we had to go back and watch all things Whedon. Have fun!

karoliina said...

Helen O'Hara is my favourite writer at Empire magazine and not in the least for her love for all things Whedon and articles as this one about Avengers and the Whedonverse - she really gets those things!
But I have to warn you, there's a spoiler in the end of Thor/Buffy comparison, so stop reading before the last sentence, if you haven't seen the end of s6.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

That article confuses me, karoliina. In what way is Riley eye candy? ;)

karoliina said...

Well, in no way, obviously, but it made me laugh still that someone would even compare Scarlett Johansson to Riley (maybe I'm not the biggest fan). And how it would mean that Black Widow would be all straight and serious and do-good and a bit jealous of the super heros and always trying too hard. And silly.
I guess she looks all sleak and serious in the trailer and a little implied silliness always helps.
(I did do the ick-noise, when I read the eye-candy part).

EBethToThePowerOf? said...

I always say that Firefly is one of those shows that I WISH I had never seen, so that I could go back and watch it again for the FIRST TIME--and don't start watching it unless you're ready to mainline it--it's seriously addicting:)