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Buffy Season 5 Watch-through With My Niece

Discussion in 'Season 5' started by thetopher, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Yeah, that scene is exactly what got my niece wondering- she'd completely forgotten before then. :)

    The Replacement
    And here we have another great comedy-character piece that plays with the 'evil duplicate' trope to great effect (just like 'Doppelgangerland'- which this references with Willow's little aside- 'I handled it fine,') and finally lets Xander start to grow up. Not only by moving out of his basement and getting his own place but also getting serious in his relationship with Anya, it all means we get a fine performance by NB who shows shades of both his 'positive' and 'negative' traits (much better that William Shatner's scenery chewing and flop-sweat! :p) .
    Also kudos to Nick's brother- I don't even know how many scenes he's in, which shows how seemless this performance was.

    It isn't perfect though, Xander's many slap-sticky prat falls can get a bit much, and, besides his brillaint line in the city dump, Spike hasn't shaken that 'Season 4-itis'. The writers really don't know what to do with him. At least that will change from next episode.

    To be honest I like the stuff around the episode's premise a little bit more than all the twin-ing action, JE's witty scipt is a comedy gem- full of great quotable one liners. The Magic Box bits- with Giles being attacked by Toth and the researching afterwards are both hilarious- almost everybody gets a funny quip or two. Additionally the Willow/Xander's scene and the exposition goodness of Giles flat are really entertaining and full of episode callbacks.
    Finally the nice opening scene in Xander#'s basement is the sort of Scoobie relaxing scene that will become sadly much less frequent in later seasons and works on multiple levels illustrating both Buffy/Riley and Xander/Anya as couples. In fact a lot of the episdoe does that very nicely.
    It all means that the episode works well on repeat viewing even after the viewer knows about the main twist of the episode. Success.

    Having said that the episode does work best the first time around, since my niece enjoyed this a hell of a lot. :)
    I can't think of a single thing she didn't enjoy here, this being far and away her favourite S5 episode so far. She loved the premise and the twist (their both Xander- my niece hasn't seen that Star Trek episode) and lots of the funny lines- her favourites were Buffy's and Spike's 'charming tea room over the next pile of crap' line.

    Not much more to say, she even liked Anya here and didn't seem to mind Dawn mostly being absent from the plot. She thought Toth was an effective MotW and the ending- although it threw her a little- got her wondering about the future of a seemingly contented couple...

    What my niece really enjoyed out of the whole thing:
    Aw: Xander's parents embarrasing him in front of his friends. I did like Riley coughing. pretending not to notice and trying to make things less awkward socially.
    Liked: The hotplate's out of comission. 'We think the cat peed on it.'
    Liked: 'I guess I can take a break from all the violence for some, ooh, fighting!'
    Eek! Scary looking demon using a cauldron. Solid first impression. :D

    Liked: Willow's cutsey 'la, la, I'm on my way to Xander's.' Riley saying that he'll probably be doing the same thing.
    Liked: Anya's reaction the the apartment. Xander's 'important' Albert voice, Everyone liking the ceiling fan. :)
    Loved: Giles, surprised by the Toth, before fending him off with a statue of a fertility god.
    Loved: 'So a mythical triump over a completely indifferent foe?' and also this 'He called you a Toth. It's a British expression. It means like moron.' :)
    Liked: 'Well I guess its off to the old factory. I hate that place.' Yes, a lot of this episode had my niece in stitches.
    Loved: The encounter with Toth at the city dump. Spike being annoyed that his nice lamp got smashed.
    Huh? Two Xander's. 'Imposter' Xander and 'city-dump' Xander.

    Liked: Riley worrying about Buffy, which leads to kissing, and then Dawn being a brat. :)
    Liked: 'evil' Xander's comments about living at home. Plus the landlady (?) flirting with him.

    Liked: Xander's 'It's me, Xander and I can prove it' and Willow's 'oh, okay!' puzzled curiousity.
    Loved: Xander doing the Snoopy dance!
    Liked: Giles clever reveal that their two Xander's no robots or demons. Toth's plan to deal with the slayer is actually pretty clever- magically speaking.
    Liked: Xander and Anya talking about her fears, her mortality, growing old together, etc.
    Liked: city-dump Xander pulling a gun on his counterpart. Drama.
    Loiked: Buffy and Riley talking in the car. Buffy asking if he ever wanted 'normal' Buffy. Riley stating that he didn't care, he was in love with all of her (*ahem* well, he said it better...:oops:)
    Liked: 'city dump Xander panicking over the 'evil' smooshed nickel.
    Loved: Hysterical Xander: 'Pick up the little gun-pieces'.
    Awesome: Buffy's fight with Toth.
    Ew!: Anya wanting to have sex with both Xander's. My niece did like Giles instruction to 'ignore the disturbing sex talk.' :D
    Loved: Xander pretty much ordering Anya to help with the moving. :D
    Liked: Xander's nostalgia over his basement. Then stating that he really hated it there.
    Thrown: Riley describing how much he loves Buffy and then stating, matter-of-factly 'but she doesn't love me'. The look on his face and Xander's face. Oof.

    Other points:
    Xander's 'evil robot' line will be a nice little in-joke this season. I'd forgotten that.
    Also, Joyce's headache makes itself known.:(
    Riley's 'But she doesn't love me' is obviously foreshadowing not only the next episode but the downward spiral of badness that will become Briley. I think its telling that he reveals his feelings to Xander (Buffy's 'heart') before anyone else.
    Although I also always thought (even that first time) 'dude, you've been dating for less than a year, you don't have to be madly in love, yet.' It's like Riley can't understand the 'yet' part. It's all now or never. :rolleyes:

    Next week: The writers try and remake 'Goodbye Iowa' but this time making both Riley and Spike much less sympathetic...
     
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  2. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    It is Willow who cracks me up the most. She made a priceless expression of "how can you amuse me" when she sat down to wait the illustration of Xander. Her winking and the "Really?" line after Xander said he needed Anya made me laugh for about a minute in my first watch.
     
    thetopher: Yeah, Willow does a lot with so little. :)
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  3. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Spike's Brain Out Of My Mind
    Oh, boy. A Riley/Initiative plot, how joyous...*thinks about something good to say*...well, I-I guess I actually really liked the first 15 or so minutes.
    Seriously, those were some solid minutes of good Buffy-writing, with the Buffy-on-patrol opening (and her reaction to Riley and Spike showing up), Buffy and Willow talking about a college lecture (Buffy's 'montage' wish and Willow's 'back of your brain' joke), the whole scene at the magic shop- with the gang all there- is a joy. Buffy's reaction to her training room is genuinely sweet. Harmony shows up at Spike's crypt as a 'Big Bad' on the lam, and Buffy and Riley enjoy some actual sexy coitus...

    ...But mostly? This episode is bad. The first genuine misstep of S5. Riley is, not to put to finer point on it, an unsympathetic jerk-hole. On the one hand he dismisses the hospital doctor's concerns by saying that she doesn't know what she's talking about (because she doesn't know about the Initiative) but on the other hand Riley also dismisses Graham and co. (who have apparently been on to him for weeks about this...) because he 'doesn't trust them'...But they know what the problem is dumbass!!
    Honestly, as far as I can see, Buffy hasn't done anything to warrent this level of mistrust from Riley, but even if she had then her heartfelt talk with him in the caves should've erased those doubts and insecurities completely. And yet they don't.
    The other, more minor irritant, is the lack of consequences for Spike's actions. He uses Harmony, tries and fails to kill Buffy and puts Riley's life in danger. In the course of things Buffy actually says 'I've had it with Spike, this time I'm gonna...' at which point it cuts to what Spike is going to do to Buffy (pretty much kill her- that crazy, in-love kid). And yet? We get nothing, no resolution as to why Spike didn't get righteously dusted by Buffy. All joy of seeing the last hurrah of Spike the slayer-of-slayers aside, this smacks of really lazy writing when it comes to the rationale of him being kept alive, and it won't be the last time.

    Anyway. *ahem* My niece enjoyed this quite a bit, certainly more than me. She enjoyed the 'resolution' of the Initiative messing with Riley plotline- although she didn't get a lot of Riley's reasoning for acting the way he did towards Buffy.
    But other than that she liked how the episode built on what came before- the Magic Box becoming more the base of operations for the Scoobies, everyone chipping in to help, Willow and Tara being sweet. And also Spike's plotting to use the Initiative doctor to get his chip removed- more about that below.
    Man, she really thought Spike was gonna get that chip out! She got really invested and actually said 'oh boy' when it looked like there was gonna be a fight to the finish. Instead what she got was...well, a dream. That whole thing weirded her out. :)eek:= exact face) Now, she's glad it was a dream...but she's also seriously intrigued by this. Has Spike flipped his lid? Is this real emotion that he's feeling or something else? What's gonna happen now?

    She was all yay!/urgh! when:
    Liked: Buffy on patrol. 'Why do I even bother showing up?' (answer: cardio)
    Loved: Spike's sinister speech and then him walking straight into an open grave.
    Liked: Buffy/Willow arguing about the French Revolution. Buffy complaining that all this working hard is hard work. 'Aw, poor Buffy's brain' complete with hand gesture. :)
    Liked: 'Oh! I feel like a witch in a magic shop', Giles saying that salamander eyes are just as good as newt ones, Xander suggesting a taste-test.
    Loved: Buffy's new training room, 'cause it looked all professional-like. Weapons on thw all, fighting dummy, pommel horse. I'm guessing that my nece will like the Magic Box hang-out the best. It makes the most sense to her.
    Weird: How hyper Riley was acting (patrolling, jumping Buffy, etc). I agree that it was a bit jarring, since he was joe considered the last few eps.
    Liked: 'You're like my fairy godmother, Santa Claus and Q all rolled into one...Q from Bond not Star Trek.' Cute.
    Meh: Harmony showing up again. She did like that Harmony thought that Buffy was her arch-nemesis (and that was trying to smoke 'cuase 'evil now'), but the whole 'I'll have sex with you if you help me', not so much.
    Liked: Buffy and Riley getting all sweaty. And then again. Buffy's stamina comment made her snigger.
    Oooh..(as in intrigued): Joyce asking 'who are you?' to Dawn before fainting and being rushed to the hospital. Jeepers. My niece doesn't think Dawn's evil now, she called for an ambulance right away and that, she reasons, was a good thing.
    Liked: Buffy rushing to the hospital and hugging Dawn. Dawn playing with the stethescope and listening to a normal heartbeat, a slayer heartbeat, and Riley's heartbeat.
    Disliked: Riley ignoring the doctor's advice and leaving the hospital. Mystifying.
    Liked: Willow/Dawn and Buffy's concern for Joyce. Aw.
    Liked: Dawn talking about Fidel Castro. ('she was tryna help!')
    Hey! Look, Riley has friends that he plays basketball with...
    Disliked: Riley beating up Graham and goons.
    Also disliked: Buffy telling Graham that he'd screwed up. 'It was all Riley's fault.'
    Liked: Spike playing 20 questions with Harmony. The man is truly bored.
    NO!! Buffy telling Spike about the doctor. She just knew what Spike was going to try and do. She thought this was a blonde!Buffy moment. :p

    Liked: Buffy's tearful confrontation with Riley in the caves. She really liked the Buff bits, not the Riley bits.
    Liked: Hamony: 'Can I touch it?' Doctor/Spike: 'NO!'
    Loved: Harmony's reaction to the 'No Smoking' sign. See, she's a sheep at heart.
    Loved: The face-off in the surgery. Harmony accidentally shooting Riley, Spike battling Buffy. Still, not being able to bite.
    Liked: Spike's rant about Buffy as he storms through the graveyard.
    Disliked: Graham talking to Riley- 'you're nothing here man.' ect.
    Weird: The Spike/Buffy dream. The almost staking, the passionate kissing, the overblown dialogue.
    Funny: Spike's reaction when he wakes up.


    Next time (not this Friday though) a certain supernatural blonde pops up to make things harder for our heroine. *gasp*
     
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  4. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I actually think this is one of the better Harmony dialogues. I mean, clueless but not that stupid.

    Does she have any impressions of Ben?
     
  5. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    He didn't even ping her radar. Completely oblivious. I actually forgot he was in this episode myself. I thought he turned up the same time as Glory. Funny that...
     
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  6. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    No Place Like Home
    This is the episode that kicks the season up a gear in terms of stakes, stresses and angst for Buffy. We get the Big Bad reveal, the truth about Dawn and the real start of Joyce's illness. So its a good thing that its a great episode that gets not just the big moments but the little scenes all just right. But then its a Doug Petrie episode and he's good at writing these big, pivotal episodes where big things happen.
    The Giles' Grand opening day subplot is really funny and gives the whole gang a chance to interact together naturally away from main plotage. And although the first time I didn't have time for Buffy's jealousy of Dawn I think on repeat viewing Buffy's performance skillfully showed that contrast, resentment and affection you can have for a sibling.
    And Glory! Boy does she make an impression. Claire Kramer is really impressive here; striking, nutty, catty and charasmatic. A nice change from the Big Bads of old- who have either been coolly villainous or kinda lame.

    My last opinion may have been influenced by my niece's first reaction. :) This whole episode blew her away, in particular the 'mysterious, insane (and insanely powerful) blonde' and the 'awful' truth about Dawn. Not 'awful' as in 'bad', just really heartbreaking, especially from Buffy's pov. My niece didn't have many nice things to sya about those monks.
    The rest of it- the tense mystery of her Mom's sickness, the revelation that Dawn is part of some sort of spell, Buffy's first bruising encounter with Glory, was great stuff in her eyes. Really allowing Buffy to be who my niece loves- a heroine who's really up agaisnt it but will triuph anyway'.
    The only downsides for her- I think- were too much Anya and lack of Tara/Spike (not like, shipped or anything...). Again, I'll re-emphasise that she loves the Magic Box and especially its opening outing here as an actual shop. This was her favourite S5 episode so far, because it was both really funny AND hugely dramatic.

    Things that stood out:
    Intrigued: The opening about the monks being chased by 'the beast'.
    Liked: Buffy fighting the biker-vamp. Especially her 'unexpressed rage'bit.
    Liked: Buffy making non-instant breakfast for her Mom, Dawn 'taking credit' (much to Buffy's annoyance) and Buffy feeling left out of the 'giggle twins' antics. My niece really loved Buffy complaining to Willow later on 'how come I don't get to be lil' punkin belly?' and Willow's answer.
    Loved: Giles Wizard outfit! :D And Buffy just staring at him until he took it off.
    Liked: 'Wow...Check out all the magic junk.' 'Our new slogan.' :)
    Liked: Buffy being confused by 'hand over fist' and doing her little mime.
    Loved: Buffy showing off the blowey ball and Giles reacting: 'Its appears to be paranormal in origin.' 'How can you tell?' 'Well its so shiny.'
    Disliked: Dawn being a bit of a big mouth (this is the first thing she did that has annoyed my niece) and also Riley being overly sensitive and going to 'sulk' in the danger room.

    Eek!: The mad security guard at the hospital and his warning to Buffy. At least Ben made an impact this time 'oh, its that guy. Where's his coat?'
    Loved: The scared monk and the scene where we finally find out who was chasing him, a blonde in a killer-dress.... Those monks take their vows of chastity seriously. :D
    Liked: Giles reaction to serving his first customer.
    Disliked: Anya being 'bitter' ('where does her money come from anyway?') but she did like Giles' sarcastic 'the change is palpable.'
    Loved: Glory interrogating the monk, her crazy talk ramblings that lead to the whole brain suck. :eek: was her expression. 'What did she do?'

    Liked; Giles panic as he's completely overwhelmed by a successful business.
    Liked: Xander's: 'Shopkeeper Union of America' line. She thought that was clever and that he must have oceans of patience.
    Liked: The fact that Willow wraps like her.
    Liked: The whole 'trance to see spells' thing. My niece thought it was very zen. She also liked Buffy badly translating french.
    Loved: Buffy/Riley as she (lamely) attempts to make him feel batter and include him in her spell. Also: 'Have a nice trip.' :)

    Liked: Dawn: 'What are you doing?' 'My boyfriend! Go away.' Basically Dawn being- again- a bit bratty. But my niece felt a bit sorry that Dawn felt left out.
    Loved: The trance special effects- like over-exposed- as Buffy walks around the house, especially the final reveal 'You're not my sister.'
    Eek: 'Sinister' Dawn
    Loved: Glory's battle with Buffy, pretty much effortlessly kicking her ass.
    Mild dislike: Giles giving Anya a job.
    Gasp: The reveal that Dawn is 'the Key' that the 'bad chick' is after.
    Liked: The touching scene at the end between Buffy and Dawn. Aww. Sister feels.

    Next week: The horrible secret about Tara is finally revealed...her redneck family! (cue dueling banjo's)
     
  7. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    LOL. I'd love to see your niece and Anya in the same place.
     
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  8. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Doesn't this episode have one of the best Spike moments: "Out. For. A. Walk... Bitch!" plus "You have stupid hair"?:confused:
     
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  9. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Yep she really doesn't like Anya- although she likes Xander with her. In fact most of my niece's positive praise this season has been towards Xander so far, its one of his best.

    I loved that moment but my niece wanted more Spike than that lil' scene.
    I think she was so caught up in the Buffy/Dawn plot to really notice/enjoy it- but yeah, one of the best Spike lines EVER. :D
     
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  10. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Family
    So we just watched 'Fool For Love' the other day so now might be a great time to talk about...Family! 'Cause I'm way behind, see? :oops:
    *forgot that this episode happens right after the previous one. Nice detail that I miseed*

    *Ahem* Anyway I like this episode, its a solid piece of story-crafting to emphasises one of Joss' key themes- family is basically the people you love and surround yourself with, not the people who make you feel bad and lie by telling you that you have horrible demon lineage! Bad MacClay family! Back in your campervan! :p
    This really isn't a subtle epsisode once you get past the (clever) twist but it does what its supposed to, sheds some light on Tara's character, hints about how she came to be the person she is, and establishes her as part of the Scoobies.

    To be honest, although it stacks up well along side a lot of Season 5 episodes I think its fairly weak as character-centric outings go; thinking of gems such as 'Who Are You?', 'Selfless' 'Doppelgangerland', 'Storyteller', it doesn't have the same quality to it. It's good, but not fantastic, especially factoring in that its a Joss-written one....Unless you're a Tillow and then this is pretty much perfect!
    I did like a lot of the little moments though, the awkwardness that Tara feels about being in the group without being part of the group, Xander/Riley horsing around guy-style (we see why Xander will always be team-Riley), Xander and Buffy's discussion about Tara, gift ideas, and 'wicca' inferences.
    Plus Glory, clown demons and Spike shamelessly scene-stealing when he punches Tara in the face (but in a nice way). The endings are all feel-good rather than subtle but none-the-less beautiful. Aww, okay, the episode wins me over with Tara/Scoobie feels. :)

    The only bit that fell flat for me was Riley hanging out at Willy's Place. Huh? That came pretty much out of nowhere. It seemed kinda off behaviour for him, although it marks the tendancy for many characters to run away from their problems and not actually deal with them.

    My niece loved it all. She was so glad that there was nothing wrong with Tara- unlike the Dawn twist she genuinely thought that something bad would happen to her or something horrible would be revealed about her by the end of the episode- but the whole 'lie to keep the women in line' caught her off-guard. She didn't like any of the MacClay family and loved Bufyf and everyone standing up for Tara.
    Whilst all that plotline pleased her no end she was more hooked by the drama of Buffy's dilemma (as she talks to Giles about what to do) and about who the scary/powerful chick is that's on the rampage. She's still loving the magic shop, (its even made Anya more bearable to my niece) and the fact that everyone hanging out there to research and chat and think about presents.
    She really didn't like Riley acting the way he did around Buffy, running off like he did and hanging around dive places, her sympathies lie mostly with Buffy and what she's just uncovered about her family. She did voice the fact that Buffy should maybe tell Riley about Dawn- because he's her boyfriend and then he could be more supportive...Interesting.

    Other things she was eye-balling:
    Cuter than anything possible: Tara's story about a kitten going to the pound. Sweet. Tillow snuggling. Double aw...
    Liked: Buffy confiding in Gils about Dawn's true identity. Giles sympathtic reaction
    Disliked: The revelation that Buffy's father in in Spain and hasn't even called since Joyce got sick. Dislike is pretty mild understatement actually.
    Liked: The whole moving off-campus thing by the gang. Giles patriacal role, Riley and Xander wrasslin until Buffy breaks it up.
    Liked: Scoobie support by Dawn, Xander saying that this new bad guy is dealing with all of them now.
    Ooh: Tara's joke falling flat. Though she did like Riley making fun of Xander; 'then why didn't Xander laugh?' 'Cause I don't know about that Taglarin stuff.'
    Ew: The clown demons with 'the tongue thing'. Creepy iho. Plus 'What was (Glory) doing lurking in the hospital? Maybe she was hurt.' [side-note Ben must know what the cause of all this crazy is right? And yet he does a good job on not giving a crap/hiding...]

    Loved: Buffy's description of Glory 'kinda like Cordelia actually.' Also Giles reaction to 'I'm pretty sure she dyes her hair.' :D
    Liked: Anya's enthusiasm about working at the Magic Box.

    Liked: Buffy and Xander's awkward talk about Tara, what to get Tara, their insecurity about the upcoming party/Willow's 'status' as a 'wicca'.
    Ew...: Spike's intense fight with Buffy that's actually a fantasy during Sparmony sex. She thought that was kinda gross lol.
    Loved: Giles dry remark: 'You're in a magic show and you can't think what Tara was like. I do belive that you're both profoundly stupid.' His revealing that he's already gotten Tara a cheesy crystal ball...but at least he remembered.

    Disliked: Donnie. Instantly. She loved Xander's 'we're bulding a race of frog-people. It's a good time.'
    Weirded out by: All the awkward tension when Tara's family shows up. Sort of upset on Tara's behalf by her obvious uncomfortableness.

    Loved: Briley flirting 'You're a god. You're like the god of boyfriends.' 'I just like it when you owe my favours'
    Liked: 'Lot of young people out there experiementing with shortness, gotta nip that in the bud.'
    Disliked: Riley taking off. 'Stop making it all about you!' was my niece's phrasing. Maybe a bit harsh.
    Uh-oh: Tara's conversation with her Dad about her inner-evil.
    Liked: Glory's reaction to learning that she fought a lowly vampire-slayer.

    Urk! Tara casting the spell that meant nobody could see the clown-demons. Oops.

    Liked: The scene with Riley and Sandy at Willie's place.
    Liked: Spike wanting to go and watch Buffy get killed, yet being compelled to help out when the time comes.
    Liked: Buffy fighting invisible foes again. Not noticing Spike helping her out because he's also invisible.
    Loved: Buffy's 'You've gotta go through me.' Then Dawn joining in. And then Giles et all.

    Loved: Spike figuring out what's going on by punching Tara on the nose. Willow and Tara's pleased reactions to the pain.

    Liked: 'I swear to god I will beat you down.' 'And I swear by your full and manly beard your going to break something trying.'

    Loved: 'You're dealing with all of us.
    'Except me'
    'Except Spike,'
    'I don't care what happens.'

    Crap!: The revelation that the 'women are half-demon' is a mind-f**k to keep the MacClay women in line.
    Liked: The party at the Bronze, everyone having a good time. Even Riley showed up with a present, which is something I guess.
    Loved: The floaty dancing at the end.

    It's possible...just possible that my niece has finally gotten over Woz. Maybe. We'll see.


    Next time: How William the Bloody really got his name. Also crossover magic!
     
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  11. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I found Buffy's comment very mean to be honest. In "The Graduation Day" they already more-or-less restored their friendship. And it came from nowhere after 1 year and more. It just seems wrong and out of place and everything uncomfortable.

    I think Xander achieved his record high in this episode. Never been so likable. IMO it's Xander, not Spike, who stole the Tillow scene.:D

    Yea it's one of the weaker Joss episode. The final confrontation is a little too melodramatic and OTT, and Tara was cut too much slack by the Scoobies. Willow basically said "you don't need to apologize at all" in the Bronze. Other Scoobies also just waved the blind-magic thing away more than happily. The family is oppressing and bad doesn't mean that Tara's own actions should have no consequences.
     
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  12. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Absolutely, but Buffy can be mean. She was a mean, shallow valley girl for 15 years and it shows sometimes.
    It perfectly in chareacter for Buffy to be catty/bitchy occassionally, especially about a female. I'm actually surprised that we don't see more of that side of her.

    Also there was Cordelia's 'I'm not some whiny little cry-Buffy' in Rm W/vu- which is just as mean a thing to say really, and that was only a year before.

    Nah, when they met in 'IWRY' I didn't see any real friendship, I saw high-school girls readying their claws again. To Buffy Cordelia was still the same shallow and self-obsessed person she's always been even though she had a job now.
    As I remember their last exchange was Cordy lecturing Buffy on the whole Bangel thing. Granted that never actually happened but it speaks to their state of mind towards each other.
    Their high point was S3 'Homecoming' and mutual understanding then Cordelia regressed once Xander cheated on her, Buffy tried to help but Cordelia just started being bitchy towards all of them again.

    Agreed. I think the Scoobies were too 'instantly forgiving' in this instance. I think after Tara explained things to them they could've forgiven an obvious victim of years of psychological and emotional abuse, but they didn't want to do a 'back and forth' reactions so close to the end of the episode.

    But another reason that this episode isn't as good as most other Joss or character-centric episodes is that its also a 'message episode' and they can be very weak actually.

    I do agree that this has lots of great Xander moments in- Season 5 is full of them.
     
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  13. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    I just love this episode. I don't care about the melodrama - I mean Tara is the ONLY BtVS character who gets a birthday episode other than Buffy. This episode inspires to write a What If Tara was a student at Sunnydale High series of ficlets.

    LOL @ your niece's reaction to the Spike fantasy :D What will she say about S6?

    'And I swear by your full and manly beard your going to break something trying.'

    This quote right there is why I can't buy the fanon belief that Xander is a bigot who hates all demons. He defended Tara still believing she had a demon in her. Imagine this was a fic written by a Xander hater, Xander would take Tara's family's side and help her brother drag her to the car. Oh, and he will shut Anya up when she talked about ex-demons being helpful to society instead of smiling proudly at her.
     
    vellavu: Maybe it's gross because Spike cheated (in imagination) on Harmony, not because it's about Buffy?
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  14. Smile Time

    Smile Time The Scattered One

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    Sineya
    Did she like 'Fool For Love' and 'Darla' ? They are both good episodes.

    Your reviews on your niece's opinions are still fun to read :)
     
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  15. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Fool For Love
    I remember the first time I watched this episode, about thinking what a clever set-up it was. Buffy almost losing a fight to some random vamp. A fight there's no way she should've lost, and shaken, goes looking for answers. As it happens there's a certain vampire on hand who knows a little something about slayers losing fights. It's a brilliant concept in which to explore not only Spike's origins and also what it means to be the slayer- fighting for your life night after night- nicely foreshadowing the events of the end of the season.
    Not only is this episode dazzingly shot and very well acted (easily some of JM's best work) but, combined with its Angel counterpart, its a pretty epic tale. I remember it being the first time I actully felt pity for Spike as a character, which is quite something considering that he's basically recalling his best kills- albeit in a romanicised way that fits his character.
    As far as I'm concerned this is Spike's perfect origin story, as good as Darla's or Angelus' or Dru's. And it didn't need the ret-conning it so sadly got.
    There are other enjoyable parts of course, Buffy and Giles researching past slayers that reveals the enevitable pain that will come from the slayer/watcher dynamic is subtly realised. All the flashbacks and the crossover stuff is cleverly and cinematically weaved into each other.
    I was less thrilled with the Scoobies patrolling with Riley, which seemed to make theme deliberately incompetent for weak comic effect. We know they've patrolled without Buffy before (Season 3) and they were at least semi-professional. Then again, maybe that was all Oz and Cordelia?

    My niece keeps on saying 'that was the best episode yet' quite a few times this season- most notably with the introduction of Dawn, Xander getting split in two and then Glory popping up to cause havoc, but this one is gonna be tough to beat. She loved that Spike was a sensitive bookish, poetry-loving romantic when he was human. She loved the snap-shots of two different slayers and their respective last battles (a mini martial arts battle and a subway brawl respectively), she loved the Buffy/Spike verbal sparring and imparting of lessons. She loved seeing Drusilla again and seeing how the fanged foursome developed their relationship. She loved the final reveal- that slayers have a death wish. Her heart broke to see Buffy to upset about her mom being hospitalized. And she thought that the final scene on the back steps was touchingly sweet.
    So yeah, she'd probably put this in her Top 20 or even her top 10, for her it had everything and it showed that everything well.
    I'm just gonna say what particular things she enjoyed most. If something isn't here she still enjoyed it just not as much as everything else:

    Shocked!!: Buffy getting stabbed with her own stake.
    Liked: Riley tenderly patching Buffy up and asking 'how many super-vamps' did it? Buffy admitting that it was just the one.
    Loved: Dawn pulling a slayer-invovled cover-up. Getting called a 'short, annoying man', saying that Buffy's wound was 'cool' and 'gross'.
    Loved: The Scoobies and Riley patrolling. Especially Willow's 'Choo Choo!' interpretations. Xander admiring Riley's 'jungle cat' like stealth.
    Loved: 'This slayer forged her own weapons', 'Gotta love a gal with an anvil' My niece wanted to see that slayer in action. :)
    Liked: Giles admitting that the thought of Buffy's death is too painful to contemplate. Bufyf's reaction.
    Liked: Spike's 'I've always been bad.' not being entirely truthful.
    Liked: 'He's called William the Bloody because of his bloody awful poetry', although we both agreed that the english accents on display (apart from JM) were terrible.
    Loved: The whole scene where Dru seduces and sires William.
    Liked: Darla and Dru's reactions to Angelus and Spike arguing. Plus Spike calling Angelus a poofter. :D
    Liked: Buffy and Spike playing pool as Spike explains what becoming a vampire meant to him. Very elloquent.
    Loved: Spike and the Chinese slayer fighting during the Boxer rebellion, how Spike killed her, her very last words, and how Spike and Dru 'celebrated' afterwards.
    Loved: That slow-mo shot of the four of them as Spike states 'that was the best night of my life'.
    Liked: That Spike picked up his scar from one slayer and his coat from the other...
    Liked: Riley with a grenade. Tomb go boom.

    Loved: The entire sequence in the back alley, Spike's voice over as it intercuts between 70's New York and the present.
    Mild dislike: She noticed that they messed up Spike's age. Twice.
    Liked: Spike trying to kiss Buffy and then covering it well enough. 'You know you wanna dance.'

    Liked: Buffy's disgust. 'It would never be you Spike, you're beneath me.' and Spike's upset reaction at her dismissal.
    Liked: Even Harmony was golden in this episode. She liked that Harmony was trying to be supportive and helpful.
    Loved: In fb- The chaos demon being exactly as described- all slime and antlers. :D

    Loved: Joyce telling Buffy that she's having to go into hospital. Buffy putting on a brave face and later crying alone.
    Liked: Spike's change from homicidal to concern when he sees Buffy's upset.

    Maybe my niece will get behind this whole Spuffy thing that seems to be catching...;)

    Final note: Spike never comes close to pointing the shotgun at Buffy so we'll never know if he was even (physically) capable of shooting Buffy. I very much doubt it from what we've been shown previously.

    Next time: Glory has minions! (but its not half as funny). Plus Joyce has something in her head, but it ain't a chip.
     
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  16. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Well, Kendra is finally forgotten after all.:D

    Makes me wonder what's the point of two super beings with perfect muscle control playing pool. Won't Buffy, say, manage to hit all balls back home in the first turn?

    It would be interesting if there was a hellmouth in the capital. Maybe the Boxer rebellion was caused by the hellmouth? Seems like some good conspiracy theory and fanfic material.

    With shotguns, the projectiles in each shot scatter towards a wide area, so Spike doesn't have to aim exactly for Buffy to hurt her. However I wonder if shotguns can do much to a slayer. The projectiles can't get into the flesh very deep like bullets do.
     
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  17. Fuffy Baith

    Fuffy Baith 2017 (and 2016) Cutest BB member

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    Sineya
    Wow I'm way behind. All caught up now. Seems like your niece is really liking s5 so far, that's good.

    Yes! This is it! Spike staying around from now on, doesn't make any sense! He should have left at the end of this episode to do whatever it takes to get the chip out. And Buffy should treat Spike like more of a threat. He may not be able to harm her but he has every intent to do so, and she just ignores it like "oh silly Spike, he can't hurt me". No! He's just shown that he's still evil, stake him already! Or have the writers write him off for a while til they can figure out a better reason to keep him on the show. That doesn't involve falling in love with Buffy! Ok, my rant is over now. lol.

    Haha. Well he's gotta keep in shape! It is funny to see Riley have a life outside of Buffy.

    I love his line to Tara's dad. "You're a piece of work. I like you." lol. JM's delivery is great! Other than that and seeing a young Amy Adams I don't really care for Family. Tara's family is boring, and creepy and...boring. lol. The ending is a bit sweet it's a nice sentiment and a way to show that she is a full member of the Scooby gang.

    Yea it's not really a crossover episode, but Fool for Love and Darla are just a great pairing of episodes. You get Spike's backstory and you get Darla's and where they weave in together gives you the big picture of the Fanged Four. Plus I love seeing the Master show up in Darla! I would love to have seen Spike and the Master interact at some point! I have no doubt the Master would find Spike annoying, Darla seemed to at times. And it's great to finally see his showdown with the two slayers he killed and how he got his scar on his eyebrow.

    Is this the episode where Dru says that his obsession with the slayer means that he always loved her and she knew it the whole time that's why she left? I don't like that, I think it's bad retconning. His obsession with Buffy in s2 was not because he loved her, but because he couldn't kill her.

    They did? when? You mean his human age? I just assumed he was around 30ish. I haven't seen this episode in a while though.
     
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  18. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Nope. I think Dru foresaw Spike's slayer-loving future. She even (arguably) knew that Spike's gonna be burnt to death (you taste like ashes). She had fortune telling ability even before she was turned.
     
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  19. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Exactly. Logically speaking he should've been dusted after this episode, and after 'Crush', and after 'Primeval', etc

    Tara's family are a bit cliche ridden, but that's because its a simplistic message episode about acceptatance and prejudice etc. I do think its overrated unless you're a Tillow fan. And even then there are better Tillow laced episodes.

    I think that's what gives it that epic sweep, a casst of characters across hundreds of years. I was surprised by how interesting Darla's backstory was because its not one I re-watch.

    Some love to try and ret-con it and say this is proof of Spike's 'love' of Buffy througout but I just think that Drusilla can see the future in a moment of clarity. If she truly thought that Spike was in love with Buffy she wouldn't have bothered returning in 'Crush'.

    No his vampire age. In 'School Hard' Giles says that Spike is 'barely two hundred' (that can be put down to shoddy research I guess) and in 'The Initiative' Spike himself says that he's only a 126'. Actually he's not even that old since he was turned in 1880
     
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  20. Silverspike

    Silverspike Scooby

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    "Exactly. Logically speaking he should've been dusted after this episode, and after 'Crush', and after 'Primeval', etc"

    Well thank god for lack of 'logic' then because for some of us FFL was one of the best things to happen the show and the character. I remember shortly after it aired an interview with Marti Noxon when she stated that before FFL aired Spike was a popular character that used to receive a fair amount of fan mail, but after it aired that volume of mail went through the roof. :)
     
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