Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Buffy Rewatch Week 35: Spoiler Forum

And here is your place to talk about this week's episodes spoiler-free. It was harder this week than ever to avoid being spoilery, but there were so many things I wanted to mention. Can't wait for people to get to next week's Angel eps now that they've seen the first of the bunch, and I somehow avoided saying that BUFFY'S death is the gift. Urgh...


Dusk said...

Okay, this might be a bit werid but does anyone know what instament that is when you first hear the Dark Willow theme? The "Wont-Waa"?

Ah, the Buffybot, the 3rd of the dissapearing robots on Buffy. One more Warrenbot to go.

Tiny nitpick, but could Angel have left his team at a worst possible time? He is just starting to get back in their good graces. He just pops right over and nobody mentions it in LA, and he gives her an open-offer to stay?

OK, so we now know Angel does have memory of Dawn, so I'm assuming so does Cordy, and Wes at least knows of her.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

Maybe Angel only remembers Dawn when he gets to Sunnydale?

Buffy takes the casket they offer without questioning the price. The start of getting in way over her head financially.

When Dawn goes back to Willow and Tara's it's the start of their nurturing her.

Magic can't be used to change the natural order of things - but Willow will try with Tara and appeal to Osiris, as Dawn does.

When Dawn takes the book from the upstairs section she starts her life of crime- which continues with the earrings.

Oh, Spike. By introducing Dawn to Doc, you sew the seed of Buffy's death, since his cutting Dawn will set the apocalypse in motion that only Summer's blood can stop.

Willow lies to Tara - the beginning of the relationship meltdown.

The spell can make people come back wrong - the words Buffy will think apply to herself.

Dawn says that the monks put the knowledge of grades 1-8 in her head, so does that mean she's in grade 9 now? And will be again in season 7?

Dusk said...

Yeah, I always thought she was Grade 11 in S7, but she
"started" Sunnydale High the same grade as her sister. I think she'd be around 19 when Angel ends.

Unknown said...

The music was top in my thoughts this week, too! I would love to have another visit from the cheeseman soon?

Intervention and Tough Love are like one big spoiler to me. Between the Buffy-Bot, the First Slayer, Willow going Dark (due to harm to Tara) and the threat of Buffy losing custodial rights to Dawn, there is so much setup here for all of the next Season!

Over on Angel, I can't believe how long Angel goes before telling them he slept with Darla!

In "Belonging" they further set up Wes' backstory with his father setting the stage for us to meet Mr. Wyndham-Pryce the senior in the future. Nikki, please write a little something about Wes and his character evolution, please? You alluded to it at the beginning, but now that it's in full swing?
Considering this episode is the setup for the next three, and beyond (Fred, her disappearance from the University, etc) it's also like one big spoiler. The plots on both shows are detailed and developed, and unfold over a long period of time. I think this season, on both shows, is where the writers really get the hang of the season-long plot structure and it is smokin'! I would love to know more about how much they had planned out for future seasons and episodes when they were writing these, because the level of foreshadowing and nuggets that are elaborated upon later are just amazing! Either that or they are just really good at retcon;)

kluu said...

Buffy and Dawn both start at Sunnydale High as Sophomores and so are in tenth grade. This makes them 16ish when they first get there. Buffy turns 16 in Season One.

Some High Schools in CA are 10th through 12 grade. This is how my High School in Central CA was.

Dawn's Age has never been really nailed down well. She starts in Season five being 14, I think, though they originally wrote her as 10 or 11 so she acts really immature. This may be because though she has memories instilled in her she doesn't really have life experiences yet and so has difficulty interacting at her appropriate maturity level at first. I think the Birthday where she wishes everyone stuck in the house is her 15th. So she starts 19th grade as a 15 year old at beginning of Season Seven and then midway through turns 16.

Quarks said...

While it obviously can't compare to last week, we have another great week of episodes here, as Season 5 draws to a close.


This episode has the unenviable task of coming straight after 'The Body', but it is fairly successful. Buffy and Dawn are obviously still reeling from their mother's death, but are acting in very different ways. Buffy is trying to keep busy and 'take over' her mother's role in the household, while grieving privately or with Angel. Of course, Dawn doesn't see this and thinks that Buffy doesn't care as much as she does about what happened. Dawn just wants her mother back and, as they live in Sunnydale, that's much more possible than it normally would be. Indeed, next season the Scoobies will successfully bring Buffy back from the dead. But here, as Joyce died a natural human death, like Tara will, she can't come back, at least not as she was. Fortunately, Dawn realises that and destroys the photo before they have to deal with whatever their mother has become.

As Nikki said, this episode was clearly inspired by "The Monkey's Paw". The moral of this story will appear again in the Season 8 comics, with the story actually being referenced (by Dawn, as a matter of fact).

Is the conversation at the end of this episode the only time Buffy calls Dawn "Dawnie"?


This is really the last episode this season which vaguely resembles light-hearted, and is quite amusing. The Buffybot is fairly entertaining, if the concept is a little disturbing. And Giles and Buffy in the desert is hilarious as well.

This is clearly an important episode for Spike, or at least how Buffy and the others see him. They all assume that Spike will tell Glory about Dawn, but when he doesn't it does change Buffy's perception of him slightly. And while she isn't quite ready to declare her undying love for him, they are starting to rebuild the bridges that they burnt in 'Crush'.

Quarks said...


'Tough Love':

I am a massive Willow/Tara fan, so this is quite a painful episode for me, although it is possibly my favourite of the week. Tara getting brain-sucked is arguably the worst thing that happens to her in the series, even more than dying. When she dies it is fairly quick, and then she isn't suffering any more. We don't know if she goes anywhere like Buffy went, but we can assume that she is peaceful. But here, she is trapped inside her own mind, with no way of getting out.

Revenge is a common theme in both this series and 'Angel'. Here, Willow goes after Glory when she hurts Tara, and she will do the same to Warren after he kills Tara. In much the same way, Giles went after Angelus after Jenny's death, and Wesley went after everyone who caused Fred's death. I'm sure there are more examples, but those are the ones that I immediately think of.

Buffy and Dawn are also still having problems, despite their conversation at the end of 'Forever'. When Buffy realises that she could lose Dawn, she starts to take over her life. When I watch the scene of Buffy showing Dawn the list of all the things she needs to get done, I can't help but remember in Season 3 when Buffy was complaining that Giles and Joyce were scheduling all her time and she didn't have time for a life. Then, we as an audience felt as though they were being unreasonable, but now, when Buffy does the same thing, we still tend to side with her over Dawn. Personally, I think that Buffy should have told Dawn straight away about what could happen if she didn't go to school, but I imagine that in some ways Buffy wanted to prove to herself that she could get Dawn to behave by being a good 'parent', instead of by 'threatening' her with what could happen. I tend to agree with what Willow said to Buffy after Buffy had the conversation with Giles at the beginning of this episode, and we do sort of see that Willow had a point, as after Buffy's death, when Willow and Tara become Dawn's parents they are much more successful.

As for Dawn age, I always take it that Dawn is 14 at the beginning of Season 5, 15 at the beginning of Season 6 and 16 at the beginning of Season 7, although I don't really understand the American school system so I don't know if that creates an error. @kluu: I'm pretty sure that the birthday where Dawn wishes for everybody stay in the house ('Older and Far Away') is Buffy's 21st birthday, not Dawn's 15th.

We get a hint of Ripper reappearing in this episode, and he will rear his head again in the season finale.

"You know what else is un-American? French people," is one of my favourite Anya lines of the season.

Next week, Season 5 draws to a close with one of my favourite Buffy finales.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

One thing that bothers me with Willow - Anya often tries to reach out to her, and Willow slaps her down. She also encourages Xander to put Anya down too (bad influence.) I know people don't always get along with their best friend's SO, but it still bothers me.