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BtVS Season 5 Rewatch

Grace

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Black Thorn
Just a couple of things from the Blood Ties script online. Some cuts to this scene:

BUFFY
Since she was seven. I remember too, Will.
(combat mode)
We have to find her, fast. Before Glory or the Knights of Hack and Slash figure out what she - who she really is. Mom's at the house in case Dawn comes back there. The rest of us'll split up and sweep the city. Spike, reach out to your dank and darks, find out if they've seen -

SPIKE
I'd love to help, but -

BUFFY
I'll pay you. Just do it.

SPIKE
Chip in the head, sweetcheeks. Means I can't kill anything but demons. They didn't exactly vote me most popular this year.
(off their looks)
Well, a fellah's gotta kill something…

TARA
Maybe if we figure out where she'd run to…

WILLOW
Oh! The mall! She loves the mall.
(to Buffy)
I think she gets that from you.

GILES
The Bronze perhaps?

ANYA
Dog park! She's got a thing for the Schnauzers! I remember -

XANDER
But none of those memories are real.

BUFFY
(brusquely)
They were to her. And to me.

XANDER
I'm just saying she might avoid the places she remembers because of that.

BUFFY
Well, for now we have to assume…
(determined)
Anya, stay put in case she shows up here. Giles, Xander - sweep the center of town. Willow, Tara - west side. Spike, you're with me on the east. We have to -
And a cute little Willow/Tara scene:

EXT. WOODS - NIGHT

Willow and Tara are searching the woods at the edge of town. Willow scans the night.

WILLOW
Maybe - maybe that way.

TARA
(gently)
We looked that way. And this way, and the other way. She's not out here.

Willow sags, knowing she's right.

WILLOW
Where would you go? If you felt lost and alone? Where would you go?

TARA
(a beat)
To you.

Willow takes Tara in her arms and hugs her tight.
 

Grace

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Black Thorn
Crush

I don't have much to say about this one. I do enjoy the interaction between Harmony and Drusilla. And Drusilla's train ride to Sunnydale is really something. But I don't particularly like Dru being brought back for this ick parade. And I don't like that Spike gets the sympathy-inducing ending. Or that people actually think Buffy is being a bitca in this episode. Or that Buffy just watches Dru and Harmony deliver their final lines and walk away. Or that the writers have chosen to begin a storyline where what Buffy says doesn't matter, because we all know no matter how much a woman protests her disinterest, she secretly wants it, right? That's why she doesn't stake Spike?

Sorry, this episode is just not my thing.
 

Mylie

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Crush

I guess I'll get it over with since I also don't have much to say about this episode. It's also not my thing.

I appreciate the comparison to Quasimodo/Notre-Dame de Paris. I just think Fury went a bit too far with it by making Tara say the bit about him being all bumpy. He should have trusted the audience more to understand the connection.

Spike is dressed like Riley.

“Spike has a chip, same diff” is possibly my least favorite Dawn line ever.

So both Dawn and Spike bring up Angel and both times Buffy has to remind them that Angel had a soul and was good.

I find it frustrating that all 3 vampires who posed a threat in this episode get to leave with no big deal.
 

Ethan Reigns

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Sineya
This trope needs to die a slow and painful death.
This trope will never die. Look at the first weekend take of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie - $48,000,000, mainly from women. The book has sold over 60,000,000 copies in 52 languages. This trope is as robust as they get and most of the buyers are women, so maybe it should die but it has been a runaway success. The writer is a female and she has tapped into what appears to be a real desire.
 

NeonSlayer

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Positives in Crush
* Buffy read The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Willow & Tara read it too but Buffy is the one who fans keep questioning the academic prowess of)
* the foreshadowing with Buffy sitting in the tape outline
* DRUSILLA
* There is something creepy about murder on a train at night
* No more Sparmony for years
* Xander as Payday Man
* Buffy having Willow do the de-invite spell on Spike
* Buffy seeing Joyce & Dawn in the kitchen and yearning for that level of closeness from her mom but at the same time being happy her mom & sister-daughter have it with each other
* Continuity of Drusilla referring to Angelus as Angel and to Angel as Angelus
* Xander laughing when he was told about Spike's feelings for Buffy

I got Buffy not staking Spike or Drusilla but how could she let Harmony & those two squatter vamps go.
 

Puppet

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Black Thorn
“Spike has a chip, same diff” is possibly my least favorite Dawn line ever.
I kinda love this line, because it says so much about how young and ignorant Dawn is. She just can't understand first of all what a soul means, or why a chip is something completely different. I also like how it's a part of her arc, because by early S7 she definitely doesn't underestimate or romanticize Spike anymore (her fire-speech).
 

WillowFromBuffy

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Argh! I'm two episodes behind!

Blood Ties

There are a handful of things that I may never be able to forgive the fandom for, the biggest one is probably their reaction to Dawn. The popularity of S5 paired with the unpopularity (read: hostility towards) Dawn does not make sense to me.

Why couldn't they drive to an actual beach and take an actual picture? Dawn's gift is as cheap as the botched cut and paste photographs Cordelia has in her locker. Seriously! How expensive would it be to take a simple picture on location?

It makes sense to me that Tara is afraid of having her mind fragmented, because I think she has one of the most well rounded minds of any character. I will say more on that later.

So Xander finally got to live out his dream of being a fireman, even if it isn't fires that he is dousing.

I love Spike and Dawn this season. I love that Spike makes no attempts to be nice to her, but she takes that as a compliment, because she is so tired of being cuddled and condescended. And I love the way Dawn makes fun of him and his crumbled box of chocolate. Spike smashing his mannequin with the box, ruining the box as well as breaking the mannequin, really says a lot about his character. Spike seems to really respect Dawn this episode, as he suggest they share the loot and the way he gloats after he picks the lock.

The best thing about being a child is that children do not suffer from existential dread. In this episode, Dawn goes through a birth-through-death much like Buffy does in "Prophecy Girl." The difference is that Buffy finds herself in her heroism. For Dawn, it is only the validation from Buffy's love that she gets to cling on to. I think we all go through a moment where we realise that our identity and our value to the world is not fixed or given, but it is something we have to fight and negotiate for. The things that seemed solid when we were young starts to appear more fluid and uncertain in our teens. I think the reason that people cut themselves is that the flesh (and the pain that comes from hurting it) offers a certainty that the minds do not. Our bodies roots us in the material.

The scene with Dawn and the knife is really haunting. The way she stands–with her arms out and stigmata blood on her palm–makes her look very Christ-like, and in The Last Temptation of–, Christ undergoes a crisis very similar to Dawn's, as he is thorn between his divine and human identities. Dawn gets to live and remain human.

Crush

Yass! This episode is exactly my thing. I think David Fury is one of the more underrated writers, even if he can be vulgar, for want of a harsher word, but as long as there is no fish-rape, I'm good.

To cut Boo Boo some slack, I must say that the Scoobies never tries with him. He did help the Scoobies fight Glory, so maybe they should make an effort to be civil.

As someone who has studied literature at Uni for seven and a half years (gasp!), it is a special treat to see Willow and Tara discuss The Hunchback, and I assume everyone who comes on here to do close readings of Buffy episodes will agree. I really sympathise with Willow's position. Ever since I was a kid, I have always hated morality tales. It is a pet peeve of mine that the protagonist of tragedies must always pay for every little flaw. But Tara is right, of course. I really love how she is able to strike a perfect balance between naivete and cynicism. This discussion hints at the difference between Willow and Tara that causes their break-up in S6. In Willow's mind, love is love is love and she cannot conceive that she could possibly do anything to Tara that would be against Tara's wishes or self interest as long as she loves her. It is the same quality that makes Willow forgive Tara (in Family) and Oz. There are more Wills than Taras in the world, and there are way more cynics than there are Wills and Taras put together, which is why I still idolise Willow to a degree.

Now, I haven't read The Hunchback since I was of middle school age and it was an adaptation for young readers. The comparison fits fairly well. Tara is right in saying that Quasimodo is not entitled to Esmerelda's love, but I think she is being a little harsh, because I cannot remember Quasimodo pushing or forcing himself on Esmeralda in any way (I may very well be wrong, though, so please correct me). You cannot completely invalidate someone's good deeds, just because they have feelings for the person they help. Quasimodo was rewarding a kindness. Boo Boo is shunned by the Scoobies for his vampirism just like Quasimodo is shunned for his bumpiness, but Boo Boo is also evil and possessive and dangerous and crass and pushy and stalkery. Quasimodo is–as far as I remember–none of these things. Rather than damn Boo Boo, I think the comparison makes Boo Boo seem too sympathetic, because while Quasimodo and Boo Boo cannot help being bumpy, it isn't bumpiness that is Boo Boo's biggest problem.

Sorta like Quasimodo, Boo Boo sorta saves Buffy's life and brings her to his sorta cathedral, which is really a crypt, but Notre Dame also has crypts, even if Quasimodo lives in the bell tower.

I really like all of David's Boo Boo-centric episodes. Morticia appears in two others, and even if her appearances (in the other two especially) are brief, they are always noteworthy. This episode has what is probably my favourite Morticia line ever, which is: "I don't believe in science. All those bits and molecules no one's ever seen. I trust eyes and heart alone." Morticia would have been a great addition to S4.

How can two people look so cool dancing and own a room like that without hardly moving at all. If I tried that, people would think I looked like an idiot. How do you get that effortless swagger?

The scene where Morticia and Buffy are tied up has me in stitches. "DON'T MOCK THIS!" I also love Boo Boo's line about how Morticia saved him from mediocrity, which is such a perfect thing for Boo Boo to say.

There's so much other greatness. "I lie awake every night!" "You sleep during the day." Buffy inside the taped outline of Mortica's victim is such a funny bit of foreshadowing. Boo Boo and Dawn are still great.

Ranking of the episodes so far:
Fool For Love
Blood Ties
Listening to Fear
Family
Real Me
Crush
Checkpoint
Triangle
No Place Like Home
Into the Woods
Shadow
The Replacement
Buffy vs. Dracula
Out Of My Mind
 

Mylie

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I kinda love this line, because it says so much about how young and ignorant Dawn is. She just can't understand first of all what a soul means, or why a chip is something completely different. I also like how it's a part of her arc, because by early S7 she definitely doesn't underestimate or romanticize Spike anymore (her fire-speech).
It's definitely a great way to look at it but it still infuriated me to hear her say that. I am rarely frustrated by Dawn and pretty much always see where she's coming from so this line felt like a big deal to me because I just wanted to yell NOOOOOOOO!!!! haha
 

WillowFromBuffy

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It's definitely a great way to look at it but it still infuriated me to hear her say that. I am rarely frustrated by Dawn and pretty much always see where she's coming from so this line felt like a big deal to me because I just wanted to yell NOOOOOOOO!!!! haha
I don't think the soul stuff is as obvious to the characters in the show as it is to us as the audience. Dawn probably does not know Angel very well. He interacted little with the Scoobies and hardly at all with Joyce. With Riley at the carousel, Dawn talks about how Buffy cried when she was with Angel, but she does not say anything about Angel himself. Also, before Spike and Harmony, there wasn't really any proof that a soulless vampire couldn't be rehabilitated.

The characters in the Buffyverse accept a lot of sketchy stuff as it is told to them, so I see Dawn as simply making up her own mind, and she changes her opinion on Spike later, when she sees cause to do so. At this point, her own humanity has been called into question, so it behoves her to be open-minded.
 

Grace

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Black Thorn
Look at the first weekend take of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie - $48,000,000, mainly from women. The book has sold over 60,000,000 copies in 52 languages.
I haven't read/seen Fifty Shades. But, and perhaps this makes me a hypocrite, I have different standards for explicitly erotic fiction vs. not. People have sexual fantasies that they would not want to play out in real life, and if they want to explore those safely through clearly labeled fiction produced for those purposes, I don't have a problem with it. I'm more critical of those kinds of things showing up in "mainstream" fiction, though you're probably right that there'll always be an audience for it.

In Willow's mind, love is love is love
And yet, she reacts with horror to Spike's "crush"? How does that track with your interpretation? Also, do you really think Willow doesn't think she's doing anything wrong in S6?

To cut Boo Boo some slack, I must say that the Scoobies never tries with him. He did help the Scoobies fight Glory, so maybe they should make an effort to be civil.
Just a couple of episodes ago, Spike was ridiculing Buffy about her saggy breasts, for heaven's sake. She has every right to be wary of him and not want to be friends. For the most part, when he helps her, he's getting paid. Does one pro bono punch really even the score?

The comparison fits fairly well. Tara is right in saying that Quasimodo is not entitled to Esmerelda's love, but I think she is being a little harsh, because I cannot remember Quasimodo pushing or forcing himself on Esmeralda in any way
MF says that David Fury acknowledged that he got the message of The Hunchback wrong in this scene.

The problem is, Tara’s description is totally wrong. Fury later admitted that he completely screwed up the message of the book in that dialogue. He wanted to make a point about Spike and his unsuitability for Buffy in order to set the tone for the episode, but the actual message of the story of Quasimodo is that his love redeems him. As Harmony would say, Oops.
Buffy read The Hunchback of Notre Dame
No, she watched the animated version.

I got Buffy not staking Spike or Drusilla
How so? Dru killed a trainload of people, attacked Buffy with a cattle prod and was trying to kill her. She did by far the most damage in the episode. But you can understand letting her walk? Harmony at least inadvertently helped Buffy escape.
 

NeonSlayer

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I haven't read/seen Fifty Shades. But, and perhaps this makes me a hypocrite, I have different standards for explicitly erotic fiction vs. not. People have sexual fantasies that they would not want to play out in real life, and if they want to explore those safely through clearly labeled fiction produced for those purposes, I don't have a problem with it. I'm more critical of those kinds of things showing up in "mainstream" fiction, though you're probably right that there'll always be an audience for it.



And yet, she reacts with horror to Spike's "crush"? How does that track with your interpretation? Also, do you really think Willow doesn't think she's doing anything wrong in S6?



Just a couple of episodes ago, Spike was ridiculing Buffy about her saggy breasts, for heaven's sake. She has every right to be wary of him and not want to be friends. For the most part, when he helps her, he's getting paid. Does one pro bono punch really even the score?



MF says that David Fury acknowledged that he got the message of The Hunchback wrong in this scene.





No, she watched the animated version.



How so? Dru killed a trainload of people, attacked Buffy with a cattle prod and was trying to kill her. She did by far the most damage in the episode. But you can understand letting her walk? Harmony at least inadvertently helped Buffy escape.
I can't tell if you're serious in not knowing Buffy was joking when she said she didn't read it. The first joke was saying she saw the movie and the second joke was saying she saw the animated version. Then she realized they actually thought she was serious and added that she was kidding. It was just like her joke in Doublemeat Palace "Fill this? I didn't know there'd be drug testing." Except that guy knew she was being funny instead of just thinking she was a dumb blonde. Buffy only even made the first joke because Willow incredulous asked her if she at least read the book since she didn't want to give her opinion on it until the test. It probably reminded her of Willow thinking "Buffy did the reading? Buffy understood the reading?" back in s3.

I can imagine her letting Drusilla go because she is a centuries old powerful psychic and not someone you kill on the spur of the moment. It had only been a couple of minutes since Buffy had woken up after being electrocuted.
 

Grace

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Black Thorn
I can't tell if you're serious in not knowing Buffy was joking when she said she didn't read it.
Guess I'm just dumb then, because she didn't sound like she was kidding to me when she said "Kinda not" in response to Willow's question.
 

NeonSlayer

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Guess I'm just dumb then, because she didn't sound like she was kidding to me when she said "Kinda not" in response to Willow's question.
At the end Buffy adds "I'm kidding" and really hits the emphasis on kidding. She said she was kidding in a similar way to Band Candy when Angel asked her how she got away and she says "I started a fire in the prison laundry and rode out on the garbage truck." She realized he actually believed that. "I'm kidding, see smell me."

Willow & Tara reacted not that differently to Flooded when Buffy joked she'd take care of the overdue bills by burning the house down. Maybe she should've realized not to tell those kinds of jokes because they never went over well. Except with me. I think she's hilarious.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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And yet, she reacts with horror to Spike's "crush"? How does that track with your interpretation? Also, do you really think Willow doesn't think she's doing anything wrong in S6?
I am not saying that Willow is an idiot, but I think she has a bit of a blind spot.

I think that if Spike could convince Willow that he truly loved Buffy, then maybe that would convince Willow that Spike wasn't dangerous to Buffy. Spike can be charming, so it may have been possible for him to do that, but he does not try. But ... Willow has first hand experience with Spike, so it would be a really tough sell.

As for S6, it takes a long while for Willow to admit fault, and I think the reason is that she always loved Tara and her love blinded her to the seriousness of what she was doing. I think this is probably a common conceit of the mind, both between lovers and in the way parents deal with their children.

When someone hurts Willow, rather than take them to task for what they actually did, she usually questions them about their feeling towards her. If they can confirm that she still matters to them, she is very quick to forgive.

Do you think I'm off the mark?
Just a couple of episodes ago, Spike was ridiculing Buffy about her saggy breasts, for heaven's sake. She has every right to be wary of him and not want to be friends. For the most part, when he helps her, he's getting paid. Does one pro bono punch really even the score?
I don't remember the comment about saggy breasts. My point is: The Scoobies treat Spike with the same cold disdain no matter what he does. If they think he is so bad, then they should avoid him or stake him. Spike is soulless. If they want to continue to associate him, they should cut him a little bit of slack. When Buffy uses him as a literal punching back, it is a little bit ... tacky, to borrow a phrase from Giles.
MF says that David Fury acknowledged that he got the message of The Hunchback wrong in this scene.
I think David is too hard on himself. Once again, I don't know the book well enough to give a fully informed opinion, but I think Tara's reading is much better than Willow's. Maybe Tara is somewhat out of line with what the author intended, but I can't really find any problem in her argument. It does fall apart a little bit as a comparison to Spike, but not so much that it ruins the episode. Quasimodo laying himself to die atop Esmeralda's corpse is more than a little creepy and even if they become friendly in life, they do not become lovers.

Intertextuality is tricky. Personally, I like Frankenstein's monster as a comparison to Spike, though it is hard to connect that story to Spuffy.
 

Grace

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Black Thorn
We have this beautiful expression in Norwegian that goes misforstå meg rett, which translates to misinterpret me correctly, please. I am not saying that Willow is an idiot.
I was not trying to imply that you thought Willow was an idiot. I was just trying to understand how your view ("In Willow's mind, love is love is love and she cannot conceive that she could possibly do anything to Tara that would be against Tara's wishes or self interest as long as she loves her.") tracked with what we saw in the episode(s). But I agree with your general point that Willow tends to put more emphasis on feelings/relationships than actions.

The Scoobies treat Spike with the same cold disdain no matter what he does. If they think he is so bad, then they should avoid him or stake him.
But Buffy was trying to avoid him. And she can't stake him because of outside-the-show reasons, so I can't really hold that against her.

Now, she does seek Spike out for help, but she generally pays him for that, so I don't think she's using him, as people charge. And there have definitely been instances where the Scoobies try to be nice to Spike and he shuts them down, so I can't get on board with the view that they're horrible to him for no reason. He has earned their condescension many times over. Perhaps if he dislikes their treatment, he should leave town? ;)
 

NeonSlayer

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I think Slayers in general fit as Frankenstein's monster better than Spike does. And s4 cements it by having Adam parallel Buffy. He was a combination of human & demon & technology created by a patriarchal organization (US government/military). Slayers are a combination of human & demon & magic created by a patriarchal organization (Shadow Men/Watcher's Council). In Restless Adam compared them. Then there's Adam saying not a man can remember his name before he became what he was. That's like them at first not knowing Sineya's name, she was just "the first Slayer".
 

WillowFromBuffy

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But Buffy was trying to avoid him. And she can't stake him because of outside-the-show reasons, so I can't really hold that against her.

Now, she does seek Spike out for help, but she generally pays him for that, so I don't think she's using him, as people charge. And there have definitely been instances where the Scoobies try to be nice to Spike and he shuts them down, so I can't get on board with the view that they're horrible to him for no reason. He has earned their condescension many times over. Perhaps if he dislikes their treatment, he should leave town? ;)
I am not keeping score. I am just saying that when Buffy and Xander are mean to Spike, it is a little unseemly. A better example is Harmony in S5 of AtS. Vampires are evil by definition. If they make rude remarks about your breasts, it is only because they can't help themselves :p

Not that I would want people to stop being mean to Spike. It is one of the best parts of the show.
I think Slayers in general fit as Frankenstein's monster better than Spike does. And s4 cements it by having Adam parallel Buffy. He was a combination of human & demon & technology created by a patriarchal organization (US government/military). Slayers are a combination of human & demon & magic created by a patriarchal organization (Shadow Men/Watcher's Council). In Restless Adam compared them.
Adam is only like the Frankenstein monster in the sense that he is an artificial construct composed of reanimated flesh. Spike's similarity to Frankenstein is more in his personality, his desires and the way that he sees himself in the world.

And Frankenstein's monster is made of all human parts.

The deal the monster makes with Victor is similar to the one Spike makes with Buffy in "Becoming."
 
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Grace
Grace
LOL!
Mrs Gordo
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Poor little Spikey-boo...

Mrs Gordo

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Black Thorn
Buffy didn't read the book The Hunchback of Notre Dame. That's pretty clear from the 'kinda not' the 'I'm kidding' refers to her quip about the actor being one of the singing gargoyles. And honestly why read when you can watch the movie? :) Buffy is a busy Slayer with limited time. She has a God to deal with.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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Buffy didn't read the book The Hunchback of Notre Dame. That's pretty clear from the 'kinda not' the 'I'm kidding' refers to her quip about the actor being one of the singing gargoyles. And honestly why read when you can watch the movie? :) Buffy is a busy Slayer with limited time. She has a God to deal with.
On behalf of myself and teachers everywhere, I am shocked and appalled.

Edit: God! I saw it immediately, but I could not change it in time. I am the world's worst spell checker. But you don't read books to learn how to spell. Rather, knowing how to read and write is the key that opens the gate to the magic world of books. And if I sound like a hippie, I don't even care :p
 
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Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
Are you also... Appalled? :D Somehow I managed in life. Buffy will too.
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