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Beer Bad Bad Rep

vznspike

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During a recent re-watch when I got to this episode I nearly skipped it due to all the negativity and comments around this episode.

Since my OCD told me a full rewatch is not full if you skip an episode, you'll have to endure it....

Turns out... this is actually a pretty funny episode, where does all the hate come from?🤷‍♀️

Ok it doesn't do anything for the season arc but we've had plenty of really good stand alone or monster of the week episodes in the run of the series...

The message itself is actually true, too much drink will turn you into a caveperson, but not always something bad happens when you drink too much, so it's done pretty well cause every other show if you get drunk something horrible is going to happen, wether you do it, or it happens to you.

There's very little Riley in it, which always get bonus points from me and we get to see Buffy knocking Parker in the head with an actual club 😬, Willow is just bad ass in her interaction with Parker, giving him a taste of his own venom. There's also very altruistic moments from both Xander and Buffy, Xander ignoring the perfect opportunity to realise his fantasy of being the bartender with the lighter in order to keep an eye on Buffy, and Buffy saving Parker from the fire (only to be made even sweeter by knocking him out afterwards)

Also love the fact that this was meant to be a plot for government money fund which they decided wasn't worth making a terrible episode over

The only bad things I see with it is Buffy's hair 🤣
 

katmobile

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During a recent re-watch when I got to this episode I nearly skipped it due to all the negativity and comments around this episode.

Since my OCD told me a full rewatch is not full if you skip an episode, you'll have to endure it....

Turns out... this is actually a pretty funny episode, where does all the hate come from?🤷‍♀️

Ok it doesn't do anything for the season arc but we've had plenty of really good stand alone or monster of the week episodes in the run of the series...

The message itself is actually true, too much drink will turn you into a caveperson, but not always something bad happens when you drink too much, so it's done pretty well cause every other show if you get drunk something horrible is going to happen, wether you do it, or it happens to you.

There's very little Riley in it, which always get bonus points from me and we get to see Buffy knocking Parker in the head with an actual club 😬, Willow is just bad ass in her interaction with Parker, giving him a taste of his own venom. There's also very altruistic moments from both Xander and Buffy, Xander ignoring the perfect opportunity to realise his fantasy of being the bartender with the lighter in order to keep an eye on Buffy, and Buffy saving Parker from the fire (only to be made even sweeter by knocking him out afterwards)

Also love the fact that this was meant to be a plot for government money fund which they decided wasn't worth making a terrible episode over

The only bad things I see with it is Buffy's hair 🤣
Both the main Buffy reviewers I love Still Pretty podcasters and Passion of the Nerd You Tube channel actually like it although both will admit it's not a classic. It's ok.
 

Puppet

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I agree with everything except - Buffy's hair is great! :D

I love Beer Bad, always have, it's in my top 5 episodes of that season and probably my top 10 of the whole show (maybe 20 ;))
 

HisMrs

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I love "Beer Bad" and totally agree that it gets a bad rap! But I actually like Buffy's wild hair in this episode. I think this was when they started playing around, trying for the gorgeous waves we saw in the end of the season.
 

Athene

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This episode is enjoyable but I'm not into the parker moping at all. The best scenes involve Xander this episode IMO.
 

Ethan Reigns

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This was always one of my favourite episodes. Cavegirl Buffy? Parker getting a tree branch to the side of the head? Willow reeling in Parker then blasting him? Comedy gold. What also showed was that when Willow was in danger in the fire, Buffy was going to save her. And, love the hair.

Maybe a lot of people in Sunnydale have crossed over to the dark side - the head bartender was responsible for making the magic ingredients that made the beer transform people into cavemen / cavewomen. This is sort of like the uncle in The Zeppo who could bring his nephews and friends back to life. Not everyone in Sunnydale is innocent.
 

vampmogs

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I like the fact that the college guys are genuinely trying to cheer Buffy up rather than trying to get her drunk enough so she'd sleep with them.
However, this is somewhat muted by the fact that at least one of those guys is absolutely awful and classist to Xander and berates and insults him for being "just" a bartender and gets territorial over the other college women ("their" women, I suspect) and Xander's "audacity" for speaking to them. Granted, it's not fair to tarnish all 4 guys with the same brush but one of them was an absolute douchebag and gets no points from me that he's managing to be a basic human being for trying to cheer Buffy up as opposed to plying her with alcohol and taking advantage.

There was a good possibility that the other guys were just as awful too. After all, the reason the bar owner poisons them in the first place is due to the fact that they've been awful and demeaning towards him for years (just like they were to Xander) and he'd had enough. I'm not saying that justifies poisoning people but those guys were only nice to people who they deemed "worthy" enough to be nice too. Buffy herself even points out to them that their pompous assholes who "really like to hear themselves talk."
 

DeadlyDuo

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However, this is somewhat muted by the fact that at least one of those guys is absolutely awful and classist to Xander and berates and insults him for being "just" a bartender and gets territorial over the other college women ("their" women, I suspect) and Xander's "audacity" for speaking to them. Granted, it's not fair to tarnish all 4 guys with the same brush but one of them was an absolute douchebag and gets no points from me that he's managing to be a basic human being for trying to cheer Buffy up as opposed to plying her with alcohol and taking advantage.

There was a good possibility that the other guys were just as awful too. After all, the reason the bar owner poisons them in the first place is due to the fact that they've been awful and demeaning towards him for years (just like they were to Xander) and he'd had enough. I'm not saying that justifies poisoning people but those guys were only nice to people who they deemed "worthy" enough to be nice too. Buffy herself even points out to them that their pompous assholes who "really like to hear themselves talk."
Just re-watched that scene The bar owner was fed up of ALL the college kids, not just those particular 4, hence why he was spiking the Black Frost beer. Any college student could've drunk it, it wasn't just targeted at those 4 guys.

As for the scene with Xander, Xander is pretty bad at the job. He's got a lot of disgruntled customers waiting for their drink order which would've also likely included the 4 guys. He should be focussing on the job, not stopping to talk to women, hence why the bar owner tells Xander to get back to work when he was trying to talk to Buffy. What exactly is Xander's ploy? His opening line is "rough day?" and offering to light a cigarette that the girl may have. Xander is clearly offering himself as a shoulder to cry on, then what?

The college girl Xander tried hitting on and the other guy are clearly on friendly terms. Whose to say the guy wasn't doing for the girl what Xander was doing for Buffy, intruding to ensure there was no unwanted attention. The other guy gives a reasonably polite go away "don't keep the good bartender from his job" (a job which Xander is not very good at), it is then Xander who starts intruding by refusing to leave when the guy is then talking to the girl. Was the guy a bit of a jerk to Xander, sure, but does that mean he's like that in general? No. The 4 guys politely ask Buffy to join them and Buffy agrees. She clearly enjoys it because not only is she laughing with them but she goes back again. Her "you guys really like to hear yourselves talk" was an observation, not a jibe, and the guys laughed at it.

What should also be noted is that Xander took advantage of the guys financially in their drunken Neanderthal state. Sure, it can be seen as payback for the guy's earlier remarks, but essentially what Xander did was defraud them by making out that they hadn't paid enough when they gave him the right amount first time so that they then ended up giving him more than they needed to. Because it was a "tip", Xander would be entitled to keep it.
 

vampmogs

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Just re-watched that scene The bar owner was fed up of ALL the college kids, not just those particular 4, hence why he was spiking the Black Frost beer. Any college student could've drunk it, it wasn't just targeted at those 4 guys.
The bartender says he's fed up with kids for the exact behaviour that at least one of these guys displayed earlier in the episode. That's not a coincidence. So, yes, it is unlikely it was just these 4 guys, but it was these 4 guys nonetheless.

As for the scene with Xander, Xander is pretty bad at the job. He's got a lot of disgruntled customers waiting for their drink order which would've also likely included the 4 guys. He should be focussing on the job, not stopping to talk to women, hence why the bar owner tells Xander to get back to work when he was trying to talk to Buffy. What exactly is Xander's ploy? His opening line is "rough day?" and offering to light a cigarette that the girl may have. Xander is clearly offering himself as a shoulder to cry on, then what?
How does Xander being bad at his job in anyway justify how the guy speaks to him? I've come across my fair share of "bad" bartenders and waiters over the years and sometimes their service has frustrated me. Nevertheless, I've never insulted, mocked and humiliated them and told them that I'm the future of my country and they're just there to keep the bowl of peanuts full because that would make me an ignorant classist douchebag.

The college girl Xander tried hitting on and the other guy are clearly on friendly terms. Whose to say the guy wasn't doing for the girl what Xander was doing for Buffy, intruding to ensure there was no unwanted attention. The other guy gives a reasonably polite go away "don't keep the good bartender from his job" (a job which Xander is not very good at), it is then Xander who starts intruding by refusing to leave when the guy is then talking to the girl. Was the guy a bit of a jerk to Xander, sure, but does that mean he's like that in general? No.
Well, wait, hang on, why doesn't it mean he's "like that in general?" Are people only sometimes classist, obnoxious, ignorant douchebags to people in the service industry? I've never spoken to someone like that before in my life. Have you? Chances are, if you feel you're in the position to look down upon someone and tell them they're worthless because of their job then chances are you're a "bit of a jerk" in general because only jerks would ever think like that in the first place, let alone ever say it to someone. Even if you want to be generous and say that the guy was looking out for the girl and wanted to ensure that Xander wasn't harassing her, that doesn't excuse what he said to Xander or how he thinks of himself as opposed to someone in Xander's position. There's a lot of ways you can intervene to ensure that a woman is ok without putting someone down because of their occupation. That just reveals something deeply unpleasant about you regardless of what your intentions were.

Not that I think this guy was worried about that girl, mind you. Why would he be? The girl was very happily talking to Xander and showed ZERO signs that she was uncomfortable with Xander talking to her. This guy then interrupted mid conversation and rather than asking if Xander was bothering her or if she was ok, he condescendingly tells her she's keeping Xander from his job. Xander then proceeds to tell him that it's ok because he was "due for a break" and the guy is rude to Xander again. Xander then tries to leave the conversation ("ah, forget it") and the college guy then stops him from leaving and then proceeds to try and humiliate him. The girl even tells him to "be nice" so she's clearly not upset with Xander and is more put off about how he behaves. He then proceeds to tell Xander that "we are what these girls want" which clearly shows he was not looking out for her at all - he was being a territorial, entitled, classist prick who took umbrage with the fact that he saw a lowly bartender chatting up one his women.

The 4 guys politely ask Buffy to join them and Buffy agrees. She clearly enjoys it because not only is she laughing with them but she goes back again. Her "you guys really like to hear yourselves talk" was an observation, not a jibe, and the guys laughed at it.
These guys are being nice to Buffy because she's a college girl and therefore "one of them." At least one of them have already demonstrated their sense of entitlement and territorial nature when he spoke about being "what these women want." Given his opinion of people in the service industry, do you think they'd have been nice to a girl if she was serving them as opposed to attending college with them? Not likely. So, sorry, but I'm not remotely impressed with them being nice to Buffy. Not that I'd ever applaud any guy for being a basic human being and not trying to get a girl drunk so she's inebriated and he can take advantage of her. Is the bar seriously that low? That's just what I'd expect of someone.

What should also be noted is that Xander took advantage of the guys financially in their drunken Neanderthal state. Sure, it can be seen as payback for the guy's earlier remarks, but essentially what Xander did was defraud them by making out that they hadn't paid enough when they gave him the right amount first time so that they then ended up giving him more than they needed to. Because it was a "tip", Xander would be entitled to keep it.
Lol is that really your biggest issue with these scenes? Not the guys classist comments? Not his ignorance of people and their worth just because of their job? Not the way he acted around that girl? But the fact that Xander gets a little payback after being spoken to so horrendously that he takes an extra couple of bucks from the guy? Really?
 

DeadlyDuo

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@vampmogs It wasn't just an "extra couple of bucks", it was more than that.


Guy: Hey Paula. You keeping this fine bartender from his duty? A man's gotta make a living.

Xander: s'all right.

Guy: So the guys and I are about to celebrate

Xander: Uh, I said it was all right. I'm due for a break.

Guy: Oh, so what were you discussing. Maybe we could all join.

Paula: Be nice

Guy: What?

Xander: ah, forget it.

Guy: Oh, no I rudely interrupted and it sounds like the two of you were having quite the meeting of minds. Possibly debating the geopolitical ramifications of bioengineering. You got a take on that?

Xander: I've got beer. You want some beer.

Guy: Yeah, a pitcher of Black Frost. You see I think we have a perfect venue here for conducting a little sociometry. A bi-polar continuum of attraction and rejection. No given your sociological statuses. I foresee a B rejects A dyad. I'm sorry, lemme clarify. You see, we are the future of this country and you keep our bowl of peanuts full. We are what these girls want. And uh, four glasses.


The guy starts off reasonably polite, if a little sarcastic, calling Xander a "fine" bartender, even though it's clear Xander is terrible at the job. The guy then starts talking to the girl and it's Xander who then interrupts. The thing is it's Xander who starts the macho posturing with the way he says "I said it was all right". The girl knows Xander is clearly out of his depth which is why she tells the other guy to "be nice". The guys response is basically him getting into a pissing contest with Xander and aiming directly at Xander's weak point. Was it mean, yes, but is it necessarily an indicator that he's like that to people in general, no. A lot of people take jobs to help put themselves through college so being in a service industry doesn't automatically mean they're "below" people not in the service industry. Buffy was a college student but ended up taking a job at Doublemeat Palace to pay the bills.

A similar example is that Riley was a bad boyfriend to Buffy (and since he admits he's "old fashioned" in this episode, it could explain why he becomes so desperate for Buffy to need him and why he's threatened by her independence. The "traditional" role of a man in a relationship is to be the "protector" and since Buffy doesn't need that, it leaves Riley feeling a little lost). The point is that just because Riley was a bad boyfriend to Buffy doesn't mean he's like that to other women. Sam seemed quite happily married to him.

The same could be true in the case of the guy and Xander. Just because he was mean to Xander, who just so happens to be in the service industry at this point in time, doesn't mean he's like that to others in the service industry. Note how the girl wasn't telling the guy to go away or refuting his claims. She was being nice and polite to Xander but that doesn't mean she wants to chat with him beyond simple pleasantries.

The scoobies were dicks to Buffy in Dead Man's Party, where people she didn't even know seemed to have more respect for her than Xander did. He chose to publicly berate her, they chose to leave to give her privacy; that doesn't mean the scoobies are like that towards her in general but they were on that occasion.

Buffy was a stranger to the 4 guys, yet they chose to cheer her up, using their own money, without expecting anything in return. They're no Parkers.
 

vampmogs

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The guy starts off reasonably polite, if a little sarcastic, calling Xander a "fine" bartender, even though it's clear Xander is terrible at the job.
Being "a little sarcastic" to someone upon first meeting them isn't being polite under any definition I am aware of. He also immediately defining Xander by his job ("fine bartender") and trying to put him in his place. It sets the tone for the remainder of the conversation.

The guy then starts talking to the girl and it's Xander who then interrupts.
Huh? Xander and this girl were chatting. This guy interrupts them. Under what definition is Xander then "interrupting" by trying to continue the conversation he was already having with her after having being rudely interrupted by this dude?

The thing is it's Xander who starts the macho posturing with the way he says "I said it was all right".
Xander didn't "start" the macho posturing. The guy who interrupted their conversation, belittled Xander with sarcasm, and then proceeded to try and talk to the girl as if Xander wasn't isn't there is the guy who started any macho posturing. His behaviour was entirely unnecessary. He had no reason or right to interrupt a conversation between Xander and this girl and dismissively shut Xander down. And we know why he does this because he later says that "he is what these girls want."

On the other hand, Xander is merely showing some self-respect by not letting someone do that to him. If someone interrupted your conversation with somebody and then tried to act like you were invisible would you not same something? I really can't figure out why this guy is the hill you want to die on unless you really just despise Xander or something.

The girl knows Xander is clearly out of his depth which is why she tells the other guy to "be nice". The guys response is basically him getting into a pissing contest with Xander and aiming directly at Xander's weak point. Was it mean, yes, but is it necessarily an indicator that he's like that to people in general, no.
Again I ask the question, have you ever done this to someone? If so, why? If not, why? I would never dream of talking to anybody like this and if I were capable of it I think it would be a fairly good indication of what I am like in general because people aren't just randomly classist douchebags to service people without it being an insight into who they are. You don't act someone with ignorant classist remarks about their occupation unless you feel that their occupation is worth insulting in the first place. There's no such thing as "sometimes" being a classist. You either are or you aren't.

A lot of people take jobs to help put themselves through college so being in a service industry doesn't automatically mean they're "below" people not in the service industry. Buffy was a college student but ended up taking a job at Doublemeat Palace to pay the bills.
You don't need to tell me that. I'm not the one demeaning Xander by saying I'm the future of the country whilst Xander's only worth is keeping the bowl of peanuts full. Tell that to the classist, degrading douchebag you're so eager to defend.

The same could be true in the case of the guy and Xander. Just because he was mean to Xander, who just so happens to be in the service industry at this point in time, doesn't mean he's like that to others in the service industry.
You're not a "sometimes" classist just like there's no such thing as being a "sometimes" misogynist. You either are, or you aren't. How you choose to insult or attack someone is a window into your own prejudices. He wasn't mean to Xander "who just so happens to be in the service industry." He was mean to Xander specifically because he was in the service industry. He explicitly insulted him for being in the service industry and proceeded to belittle him because he was just a bartender. Ergo, he obviously feels being a bartender is something worth insulting someone over.

Note how the girl wasn't telling the guy to go away or refuting his claims. She was being nice and polite to Xander but that doesn't mean she wants to chat with him beyond simple pleasantries.
The girl was happily talking to Xander before this guy appeared. No amount of spin is going to change this guy's behaviour into some noble act of "protecting" this girl. Do guys have a habit of randomly interrupting conversations between two consenting adults to "check if girls are ok" (which he wasn't even doing) because girls can't chat to a bartender in a bar? lol, no.

Buffy was a stranger to the 4 guys, yet they chose to cheer her up, using their own money, without expecting anything in return. They're no Parkers.
I don't believe I ever said they were like Parker? I said they're classist, ignorant douchebags who are belittling and insulting to those who they deem lesser than them. Where in my post did I say they were like Parker? There's many ways you can be an asshole without being like Parker.
 

vampmogs

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@vampmogs What's with the aggressive tone? You seem to have a real bee in your bonnet about this.
To be honest, I loathe classism in all forms and seeing you hellbent on defending it is really off putting.

Have you never heard of the saying - “How others treat the CEO says nothing, they say. But how others treat the waiter is like a magical window into the soul.”

Anybody who can demean someone, especially in such a cruel and public way, just because of the type of job they have, is disgusting in my book. And yes, it's aggravating for anybody to defend that behaviour as if it's no big deal.

Nevertheless, please stick to debating my points rather then derailing the thread and making it just personal. If you either don't want to, or can't, that's fine, but please stick to discussing the show.
 

DeadlyDuo

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To be honest, I loathe classism in all forms and seeing you hellbent on defending it is really off putting.

Nevertheless, please stick to debating my points rather then derailing the thread and making it just personal. If you either don't want to, or can't, that's fine, but please stick to discussing the show.
What the hell is your problem? I was debating, you're the one that started in with the "you" statements.

The guy was a dick to Xander, doesn't mean he's a dick in general. The same principle could be applied to Xander, just because he's nasty to Buffy and Cordelia on occasion doesn't make him a hater of women. We've seen Xander be nasty to female characters on several occasions, we've also seen him be nice too. We saw the guy be nasty to Xander ONCE, we saw the guy being nice to others in the same episode.

In fact, given how Cordy spoke to Willow and Xander on several occasions, you must really hate her character.
 

vampmogs

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What the hell is your problem? I was debating, you're the one that started in with the "you" statements.
I've already told you what my problem is. My attempt at relating this to yourself was my way of trying to get you to understand why this guy was a jerk because I assumed (?) you would never be such a horrible person to a service person yourself.

The guy was a dick to Xander, doesn't mean he's a dick in general. The same principle could be applied to Xander, just because he's nasty to Buffy and Cordelia on occasion doesn't make him a hater of women. We've seen Xander be nasty to female characters on several occasions, we've also seen him be nice too.
False equivalency.

I'm arguing that this guy is a jerk to service people because he's a jerk to Xander specifically FOR BEING a service person. He wasn't just a jerk to Xander who "happened" to be in a service position as you originally claimed. The whole reason he's rude and demeaning in the first place is because Xander, the lowly barman, had the audacity to try and talk to a college woman "above him." That makes him a classist. And that's not just my inference, the guy blatantly ADMITS to being a classist when he tells Xander that "he is the future of this country whilst Xander just keeps the bowl of peanuts full."

If you want to argue that Xander is nasty to Buffy or Cordy specifically BECAUSE they're women, fine, go ahead. That would be an adequate equivalency but your post doesn't really suggest that. Your comparison basically implies that you think there's an equivalency with Xander sometimes being mean to Buffy and Cordy who HAPPEN to be women and this guy being mean to Xander who HAPPENS to be in the service industry but, again, the only reason this guy is a jerk to Xander in the first place is specifically BECAUSE Xander is in the service industry and he thinks Xander is beneath them.

We saw the guy be nasty to Xander ONCE, we saw the guy being nice to others in the same episode.
We saw this guy be nasty to Xander because he's a barman and then be nice to other COLLEGE STUDENTS. The entire premise of the episode is that the bar owner is seeking vengeance on guys JUST LIKE THIS for always being "snotty nose kids" who are demeaning and rude to people in the service profession and acting like they're better than them. You're insistence that this guy probably isn't mean to other people in Xander's position is odd and has no basis. The ONLY reason he was mean to Xander is because he looked down on him for his profession. Why on earth would you give him the benefit of the doubt that he isn't equally as terrible to other barman just like Xander? Because he's nice to other college students who he deems the "future of this country" just like himself? That proves nothing other than that the guy is only nice to people who he deems of a certain status/class and makes no sense. Again, the entire basic premise of the episode is that guys like this are elitist, classist jerks to barman and the barman gets his revenge by turning them into Neanderthals.

In fact, given how Cordy spoke to Willow and Xander on several occasions, you must really hate her character.
Cordy's classism was one her most unlikable traits, absolutely. But she also grew out of it and specifically rejected Harmony's attacks on Xander when she made snide remarks about his mother's occupation of "working at the drive through long enough to dress him."
 

DeadlyDuo

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@vampmogs And what about Buffy telling Spike he's beneath her? She had every right to reject him romantically, but to use the actual words "you're beneath me", is that not being "classist"? She considers herself "above" Spike and thus she'd be "lowering" herself to engage in a romantic relationship with him. Does that make Buffy a "classist"? After all, she only said it to him the one time, but as you say you're either a classist or your not, you can't just be one sometimes. Therefore Buffy must be a classist because she told someone that she would never consider a romantic relationship with them because they're "beneath" her.

How can you watch a show with a classist as a main character?
 

vampmogs

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So your arguments are now "but what about Xander...?", "but what about Cordy...?", "but what about Buffy...?" At least we've moved past pretending this guy isn't a jerk, I guess.

Buffy said that Spike is "beneath her" because he's a soulless, murderous vampire who just boasted about how he's going to "have a real good day" and kill her one day (after earlier admitting to how he sexually "got off" on murdering another Slayer). It had nothing to do about his occupation or social class and everything to do with his morality (or lack-thereof). You're reaching.

Nevertheless, we are discussing this particular character and this particular episode. I'm not going to keep entertaining "what about-isms" as it's a distraction from the person we're actually discussing and proves nothing about his behaviour.
 
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