Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Buffy Rewatch Week 13: Spoiler Forum

As always, this is the place to discuss this week's episodes openly without any fear of spoiling things for those who are watching for the first time.

There are two key moments this week that act as foreshadowing for the last two seasons. First, Willow tells Buffy that dabbling in dark magicks is like being torn apart inside. The death of Tara will tear Willow apart, and the physical pain of the dark magicks she invokes at the end of season 6 are probably nothing compared to the emotional torture she’s enduring after watching Tara get gunned down in front of her.

Secondly, Buffy waves her stick in Xander’s face and says, “It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.” Wah. (See the season 4 premiere for Buffy’s not-funny-in-retrospect comment about Joyce.)


Tom D. said...

There's a bit of a role reversal between the start of season 3 and the start of season 6. Here, Giles is the one who's most determined to do whatever it takes to bring Buffy back -- running off to Oakland to chase vague rumors, and indicating that he'll do so as often as it takes. I think that's driven by guilt, as well as love for her. Meanwhile, Willow and the rest of the gang are starting to get the hang of living on the hellmouth without Buffy -- and still doing their best to be heroic, which is awesome.

At the start of season 6, Willow is where Giles is now -- determined to bring Buffy back, no matter what stands in her way, and coming off as perhaps a little crazy because of that. Meanwhile, Giles at that point has come to terms with Buffy's death and left for England.

I can't seem to quite put my finger on why that switch happens or what it means, but it seems to reflect a major change in their interrelationships.

Tom D. said...

Also: the first appearance of Faith. The first outfit we see her in is pretty mock-worthy compared to how well she usually dresses.

I had forgotten how much Buffy seems to instantly and viscerally dislike Faith. I like the times when they manage to get past that and get a bit closer to each other -- like their conversation near the end of season 7 which ends with "well, at least we're hot chicks with superpowers." But in season 8 they were back to normal with a big rift between them again.

By contrast, Willow, who is going to hate Faith later ("cleavagey slutbomb"), initially likes her so much that she starts talking like her ("B--uffy").

Meanwhile, Xander's reaction to Faith causes Cordy to offer, perhaps not entirely sarcastically, to dress up as a slayer and put a stake to his throat. This idea will later be carried out by Cordy's pal Harmony, in an attempt to please Spike, who has a similar attraction to slayers. Ever wonder if Harmony got the idea from Cordy?

Lisa(until further notice said...

I love when Joyce says to Buffy, "you're lucky you're an only child."
Even knowing that Dawn shows up at the beginning of season 5, it's so hard to ever get used to her. I understand how Dawn would always feel "unnoticed."

Delvin Anaris said...

I can't seem to quite put my finger on why that switch happens or what it means, but it seems to reflect a major change in their interrelationships.

Well...I think it's that "death" part, actually. Plus relative age and responsibility levels.

Giles is both an adult, and a Watcher. He has known from the beginning that Buffy would almost certainly end up dead within just a few years. Yes, he's grown to love her as a father, and he is undoubtedly devastated by her death—but he can accept it, both because he's older (and presumably wiser) and because of his prior assumption that such would be the fate of any Slayer who came under his care.

In Anne, by contrast, Buffy is not dead, she has run away. Precisely the sort of thing that might cause a loving parent to go to the ends of the earth to try and find a way to get them back.

Now look at Willow—and, by extension, the rest of the Scoobies. They are, in Anne, only seniors in high school, and in Bargaining, only three years older. They are young and impulsive, and by the time of Bargaining, they are no longer tied down by obligations of family and school (college taking up less time than high school). Also, Willow has become a pretty powerful witch, able to go up against a Hell-Goddess, even if not to actually beat her with power alone.

Contrast this with Anne, where Willow and the others are in school, still living at home, and more or less not even thinking about the possibility of haring off after Buffy, because it's Just Not Done.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

I actually see Buffy being accepting of Faith, at least initially. She gave her a chance, but her opinion of her changed when they went on patrol. When she first met Kendra, she was petulant and jealous at the start, and accepting later. This is because she was initially unable to accept that there was another slayer. Once she got over that, she welcomed Kendra's assistance, and cared for her. She easily accepts Faith as another slayer, but takes moral offense to her. I think that Buffy has trouble accepting Faith's loose ways and sex appeal. She really disliked the fact that Faith slept with Xander. She also cannot accept her zeal for violence and death.

Suzanne said...

I believe that Buffy has trouble accepting someone new in her "family" if they threaten her position in some way. She had an instinct dislike of Ted even before she suspected there was something odd about him; she had trouble with Kendra at first as was mentioned; and then she seemed a bit put out about Faith coming into the Scooby gang and getting so much attention right away. I wonder if the fact that she is an only child has something to do with her initial reaction to some of these characters?

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I had forgotten how much Buffy seems to instantly and viscerally dislike Faith.

I'm with Buffy. Makes it hard to watch Dollhouse.

One reason I like Anne is Lily. I really enjoy her story arc as it continues to Angel. She says to Buffy "I'm not used to taking care of myself" and yet she'll devote her life to taking care of other people. That's a different kind of hero.

Snyder makes a reference to fast food and hats in DMP - and I can't help but think about Buffy's cow hat. Considering what happens to the drive-thru guy when Trick gets peckish, fast food is not the best Sunnydale employment option. Next thing you know it will be cannibalistic penis-head demons.

The scene with Buffy's friends freaking out at the party because she might take off again is ironic because some of those same friends will kick her out of her house in season 7.

Missy said...

I wanted to ask you Nikki
If you caught the incredbily ironic and forshadowyness
Of Buffy calling Faith Lil Sister.

I'm sure you have,having written books and studied buffy.

But I'll expalin why I find it amusing.

Buffy calls Faith Little Sister in this ep.
In 'Grad Day' P2,Faith is the one that gives us our 1st clue to the arrival of Dawn(in Buffy&Faith's Shared dream)....Buffy's Little Sister ;)
and continues to be the conduit in 'This Yrs Girl' & 'Who are you?' until Tara takes over in 'Restless'.

Missy said...

I noticed the Fastfood hat comment for the 1st time on Tuesday.
My explanation being Snyder is annoying and befor watching DMP on Tuesday I hadn't seen it for over 2yrs :)

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I wonder if Snyder eats at Doublemeat Palace.

Ooh, verification gordso. Almost Buffy's favourite piggie.

Austin Gorton said...

I've always thought "Anne", unfortunately, continues Buffy's tradition of, well, not bad premieres, but lackluster ones. Fortunately, it along with the next two form a kind of three-part season premiere that wraps up the second and sets the stage for the third.

I share Nikki's dislike for "Dead Man's Party" and the way Buffy is treated by her friends, particularly Xander, who really can be an ass.

"Faith, Hope and Trick" is really the first essential episode of the season, and the first where is, more or less, back to being herself (even if she's still smarting from Angel's death) which, of course, makes it the perfect time to rock the boat with Faith. When I've done abbreviated rewatches of the series with friends, that's usually the episode I start with for season three.

@Nikki: Giles is more of a father than he realizes at this point.

Agreed. They really did a good job of laying the groundwork for what culminates in "Helpless" and drives their relationship afterwords from very early on in the season.

Blam said...

I won't repeat my comments from the main post's page here, but this seems like a better place to talk about Faith.

The character itself does some valuable things for both specific plots and overall cast dynamics, but from Buffy on through Dollhouse I've found Eliza Dushku's acting a real weak link. Her whole presentation is just so affected: "I am doing acting and speaking words of dialogue. Look, I am being a tough chick. Now I am being vulnerable." I could see it as a take on Faith specifically or even an outgrowth of wrestling with Joss Whedon & Co.'s sometimes hyperarticulate verbiage if it weren't so particular to, and so consistent with, Dushku (who I'm sure is a lovely person; I always hate to rip into an actor's technique or appearance in any way that seems personal). I just have a really hard time watching her and not being pulled out of the story when so many of the other actors portray their characters so believably.

VW: Saffisms — Notable quotes from Edina's daughter on Absolutely Fabulous.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I read an article in which Eliza mentioned she'd never taken acting lessons and doesn't plan to. Not surprised.

Missy said...

I believe Eliza was also spotted at her older brother Nate's acting audition.