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BtVS Season 7 Rewatch

debbicles

Music is what makes life amazing
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Get It Done
(Or The One with Spike's Bone - TM TriBel)

I don't really have a lot to add to anyone else's reviews of this episode, and for anyone interested in themes I cannot recommend enough TriBel's earlier post on this thread about this epi.

I just have some random thoughts:

Sniff - poor little Chloe. When Amanda said she loved Winnie the Pooh, I actually had to wipe a tear. And then to see her being buried in an unmarked grave.
I love it that Xander pulls Willow to safety from the portal.
I love Willow in general here.
I love it that Dawn seems to be at last getting a clue about what is going on with Spike - she checks on him and before that she looks at Buffy when Buffy and Spike have that "we've forgotten there's anyone else in the room" exchange.
I guffawed at the weapons chest comment from Spike. Of course I would.
I understand Buffy's frustration with not just Spike's lack of zest over killing, and over everyone else. But she isn't the best motivational speaker and it was a risky tactic. Anyway, the group get things done and she comes back. And I suppose it's too much to expect that she was actually boasting about Spike to Wood when she told Wood about Spike and the soul quest. Spike wants it kept private and doesn't like Buffy talking about it to anyone.
More or less unique, he is still trying to work out what his soul means.
The fight Buffy has with the demon spawn is interspersed with Spike's fight with the demon, both of which I loved. He fights the demon to get his demon back, she fights against the demon to stay human. Both are unfettered. I'm sure someone who understands symbolism will tell me here what the chains mean.
Anyway, she invites Wood to bring his convenient bag of tricks. Hmm.
We meet the First Slayer and the First Watchers. And I have a flashback to Spike talking about the armies of Hell in FFL.


But I do have some Big Questions:

Since when was Andrew the brains of the operation?
How did Spike get his coat into the school?
How did Kennedy get to be put in charge?




Storyteller

Redemption comes in all shapes and sizes. By and large a clever episode about our capacity for delusion, and the power of narrative in our lives.
Lovely scenes with Xander and Anya. I felt sad that they really feel they are now properly over, on the anniversary of their not a wedding. Mention of chains, again!
Spike understands what Willow is trying to do.
Silly pastiche in the kitchen. I rolled my eyes while trying to listen to the commentary which actually contained truths.
Spike is still the great poseur. No change there, then!
He is also Buffy's shadow here. They enter the kitchen together, he stands behind her in a number of scenes and at the school she calls out for him to help her when she is attacked.
The only one immune from Andrew and his filming is Buffy. Good for her. Andrew eventually closes the Seal with his tears.
I don't like the vibe I'm getting from Wood. There is something furtive about him. He doesn't seem to have as much faith in Buffy as he might, given her credentials. Spike sets him straight.
 

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
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Black Thorn
And then to see her being buried in an unmarked grave.
That’s very true. I never thought of that.
She doesn’t get her family called. She doesn’t get a proper funeral. That’s terribly depressing.
 

debbicles

Music is what makes life amazing
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Same for Jonathan! And Annabelle.
It applies to all the dead potentials such as Eve, Annabelle etc. Who die before the Hellmouth collapses. Yes and poor old Jonathan too.

I keep hoping that Tara and Joyce’s graves are somewhere outside town, far far away.
 

debbicles

Music is what makes life amazing
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I have lot of catching up to do, so I'll just plunge right in and say that I actually love
LIes My Parents Told Me

Or what Spike and Robin did next.

The more I watch it, the more I appreciate its subtleties and layers of meaning. For an action- packed episode it's actually at heart a character and relationship study.
I don't think anyone comes out of this looking great, including my favourites, Spike and Buffy. But nobody comes out painted with a tar brush, either.
I also don't think it's an accident that in Get It Done the Shadow Men are summoned by a device that goes in circles and that they stand in a circle. These characters are players in a drama set in motion millennia ago.

Buffy and Angel used to do this kind of flashback story brilliantly. It's fabulous to see Punk Spike again, and his fight with Nikki is very balletic and graceful. I'm intrigued by Nikki and wish we could have seen more of her. Also, the return of Dru - yay!
First I'll get what I think of as the frilly bits out of the way:
Yay, reference to P!nk.
I love to see how Xander and Willow look after Dawn.
Anya is funny but irritating. More could have been made of her here. The Potentials are just irritating.
How nice to hear about Fred, and what a pity we don't get at least to hear that effeminate voice!
Hark, the lark. Sublimely awful.
The jokes about Spike being stupid are just...stupid. Give it up, already.
Buffy's tussle with Rich the fledgling.
The look of peace on DemonAnne's face as she is dusted, so classic Bram Stoker.

Giles

While Giles was away in S6, the gang learned to muddle along. They missed him but in the end they did what they had to do, come to terms with his absence.
When he returns in Two to Go, Willow scathingly refers to him as Daddy and mocks his authority. In Lessons and First Date, Giles tried to reclaim his position as mentor. But the way I see it, he is on borrowed time, particularly with Buffy.

He lives in the past, his attitudes are entrenched. He is descended from the Shadow Men, and he maintains their traditions. I don't blame him for any of that, but unfortunately I think his judgement regarding Spike is clouded and he should think carefully before accusing Buffy of this.
In the scene with the Prokaryote Stone, Giles is sinister, aloof and cold. He is the patriarch wielding the magic, the power. Although even he flinches when the Stone comes alive.
But he is open to being manoeuvred by Wood, whose motives he doesn't even question except in passing. He shows anger at Spike over the Stone apparently not working immediately.
In the graveyard he cites Angel's departure to Buffy, saying that Spike shows no self-awareness and accusing him of being a liability.
I think Angel left in good faith. Giles can see his Slayer/surrogate daughter getting involved with Spike, of all vampires and he thinks Oh God, not again.
But sadly I fear that his preconceptions about Spike - however well-founded in the past - and his willingness to listen to a complete stranger because of that stranger's credentials, pose just as much a threat as anything else. He hasn't seemed to realise that Spike has actively chosen to change, although to be fair nobody else seems to care too much either, but as a Watcher he could show more interest.
When he tells Buffy this is how wars are won, I want to shout at him, yes, this is how the enemy wins when you listen to its propaganda.
I listen carefully to his "the ends justify the means" conversation with Wood. Giles has never portrayed himself as a hero, but he is I think seriously blinkered. And I don't like him doing that diversionary ploy on Buffy, that brings back painful memories.

Wood

I don't blame him for his vendetta against Spike. I feel his anguish at seeing Spike wear his mother's coat. When he is in tears at the end, I actually feel a tug on my heartstrings. And I did so like his telling Buffy he was sorry about her Mum.
But he's an intelligent man, he knows he is being manipulated and it seems to me he doesn't stop to think if this is what the First wants. And how on earth did he know what the First said to Andrew?
Anyway, like Spike in his hunt for Nikki, Wood has invested a lot of time and effort in searching not just for his mother's murderer, but also Buffy. This is the ulterior motive behind his taking her out to dinner and his compliment in this episode. Which left me with an unsavoury vibe from those conversations. Wood is fixated on Slayers, just as Spike used to be. Later he will not reject Faith's advances. He wants his mother back and wants a substitute. He and Spike have a lot in common, it seems.
His trap for Spike is cold and meticulous. He could choose to,share what he knows about the trigger but he pursues his own agenda.
Wood doesn't genuinely distinguish between Spike as he was and Spike as he is now, I don't think. He goads him into game face as he claims to bring out the monster who killed his mother. He also overlooks the fact that Spike is actively trying to change. I also think he may have a subconscious need not to kill someone who looks human.
In Wood's shoes, I probably wouldn't change my views,either. But Wood is acting in bad faith and on incomplete data.

William

William dotes on his sick mother. She supports his bloody awful poetry and his dreams of love and happiness. Demon William wants to make his mother whole and well. He wants everything as it should be. But even as a demon he is disgusted and horrified by her words and behaviour. And I think it's really interesting that Anne looks to me how Joyce might have looked if she had aged in the show. (I know she is supposed to look like SMG). When she asks William to sit with her, I have a sudden flash forward to Buffy in Touched. Spike in the future will find someone who accepts his gift of unconditional love.

Spike
Spike's comments to Wood are indeed harsh and on the surface inconsistent with what he has said before about Slayers. It is of course easy to feel horrified and disgusted with his taking his coat back from Wood, since it is a trophy of a serial killer. But it is part of his persona. He can no more do without it now than his soul.
This episode for me marks the start of the integration of Spike/William/soul/demon.
In the end Spike is pragmatic. He spares Woods life, not only because he recognises that a vendetta is fruitless but also I hope and think out of respect for Nikki.
To coin one of Spike's favourite metaphors, Spike is bowing out of the dance. To use another metaphor from another of his favourite games, he is showing Wood a yellow card. Next time it will be a red card.
Spike could refuse to undergo the magic treatment. He could tell the gang to sod off but he submits because he wants to be detriggered. He is worried when he hurts Dawn. He would rather be staked than harm anyone now.
I don't think all his arguments about his mother necessarily bear closer scrutiny but he acted out of love towards her and has finally made his peace with those painful memories.

Buffy

I like her trust in Spike and actually on rewatching I think she is correct to do this. First time round I wondered what she was doing unchaining him, but the trigger is identified by then, so they are one step closer to eliminating the threat. In any case, she and Spike never seem to stray too far from eachother so she will watch out.

I don't believe for one moment she would actually sacrifice Dawn to save the world, but I think she could throw someone under the bus. When I saw her threat to Wood first time round, I didn't much care for it. Now I realise she can't afford infighting, they must present a united front to the First.
I loved her tender stroking of Dawns hair, and helping Wood to his feet.
When she closes the door on Giles, it is a painful moment.
But I don't understand how she doesn't realise it can only be Spike who killed Nikki. Who else is it going to be?

An episode about how we deal with the pain of loss and grief, about self image and deception.
 
SunnydaleGlitz
SunnydaleGlitz
Brilliant review! Agree on so many points. And yes this episode was sort of like a mini-movie character/relationship study, it definitely stood out.

Mylie

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Well... this didn't go exactly as I planned it.

This episode pisses me off and I completely hate it but I'm really surprised that this time I am not on Buffy's side at all. There's only one character in this episode that pisses me off more than Buffy and it is Anya. Her speech was completely out of line. Buffy has earned her powers and place as the slayer and she's definitely not luckier than they are.

That said, Buffy is horrible in this episode. First, "You sent the one person that's been watching my back". I can't believe she said that, especially after Xander just lost an eye because he was fighting for her cause, with no powers to protect him. That's hella ungrateful of her. And her friends have been watching her back for 7 years now, helping her at the detriment of the possible futures they could have had. Then the mutiny scene... look, I'm not here for Buffy's friends turning on her, but she hasn't been listening to any of them and that'd be okay if she was efficient and not costing people their lives. But she has shown she isn't a great leader this season. Is usual Buffy a great leader? Yes, 100% But General Buffy sucks and there's a point where enough is enough. I sound like a Buffy hater right now and I hate myself for it, but this is what s7 does to me.

It's still very hard watching Buffy leave the house, tears in her eyes. And Dawn being the person to ask her to leave is particularly painful. I guess I am sad for Buffy but I also feel like she brought it on herself and that pisses me off. I expect a lot more of her and maybe that isn't fair but I'm used to always agreeing with her and this I just can't. Rona saying "Ding Dong the witch is Dead"... Damn it, I liked her! I'm basically Dawn here... "Shut. Your. Mouth."

So I hate everything.

Oh, my favorite scene was definitely Willow/Xander at the hospital. It made me tear up.

My ranking :
Selfless
Same Time, Same Place
Dirty Girls
Lessons
Storyteller
Potential
Conversations With Dead People
Him
Never Leave Me
Showtime
Bring On the Night
Help
The Killer In Me
First Date
Sleeper
Lies My Parents Told Me
Get it Done
Empty Places
Beneath You
 
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Grace

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First, "You sent the one person that's been watching my back". I can't believe she said that, especially after Xander just lost an eye because he was fighting for her cause, with no powers to protect him.
Yes, that was so bad. I understand she's angry at Giles and pushed to her emotional limits, but it was really awful to say. Xander had defended her to the Potentials so convincingly. Plus, can't Spike make decisions for himself? He could have just told Giles where to shove it if he didn't think it was important to go.

Touched

Touched is almost as difficult as Empty Places for me. Most of the characters are still being weird or unlikable (Buffy kicking a dude out of his house; Faith and Wood having sex in Buffy's bed post-coup; Spike punching Faith to shut her up; Giles being encouraging of Faith after being such an ass to Buffy; Xander and Willow not expressing concern about Buffy after things calmed down, etc.) I also really dislike that the writers thought it was a good idea to joke about the AR. A man not taking "no" seriously when a woman says it is hi-larious!

I don't care at all about seeing the characters boinking (or pointedly not-boinking) when there's a huge rift to be addressed. (And the fact that everyone will just pretend like this huge rift never happened feels like cheating. But, hell, I'll be glad to forget about it too. Bring on the nostalgia and excitement!)

But it was cool to see The Mayor?

Sorry this is so lame. I should have just posted "blargh" again. I could go into intense detail about how Spike maybe serves as a metaphor for Buffy's singular slayerness in Season 7 (starting with their matching cheek wounds in Showtime and going through the finale). But I think it would just bore you, and I'm not sure it holds up anyway. ;)
 

Mrs Gordo

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Empty Places:

SMG Buffy looks thin, frail and sad from the very first shot in this episode. It's around this time that I try and think back to when the last time we saw Buffy really smile. The kind that reaches her eyes. Him maybe? First Date perhaps a bit when she was on her date with Wood. Anyway things are looking dire and Buffy's look and mannerism reflects that.

Why are people leaving from Sunnydale. Do the people from Sunnydale suddenly know about the supernatural after living in blissful ignorance of same for the entire time the hellmouth has been here? This is too convenient as a means of, I believe, justifying blowing up Sunnydale and just giving us the impression that the casualties of war were minimal at best. Although the Bronze is still bumpin'.

Why is Faith eating so much in this episode. I'm sure one of you all can tell me what this represents/symbolizes?

If I could quote, I'd quote @Mylie: "You sent the one person that's been watching my back" - not only does this line piss me off, can you please point me to the evidence that supports Buffy even believing this is true? Yes Giles betrayed her trust. But Willow, Xander, Anya, Faith - what exactly have they done to indicate they don't have her back? Or more specifically, what has Spike done to prove he DOES have her back? I don't doubt that he does, but how does he have her back anymore than - for example - Willow? Just an endless WTF here. It's not that this line is supposed to be accurate though, it's just supposed to be what Buffy perceives to be true. And I can't help but find that confusing. What has she seen that proves this point. All of this reminds me once again that s7 is very far removed from Buffy's POV. I am not longer watching the show from her perspective. Because if I was - I think I would at least be able to identify how that line could be a perceived truth. But no, the POV has shifted away from Buffy and is more third person/objective narrator?

Faith and these potentials can't even fight off 5 human cops. Tell me again how Buffy thinks they are going to take on an army of turkey khans? Nothing makes sense anymore.

(also small nitpicky thing Faith doesn't have an outstanding warrant, she is an escaped fugitive.)

Something that Faith said, I never noticed: "I read people too." Part of me thinks that this is true and part of me thinks this isn't. I feel like I need to reflect on this.

Things that kill me in this episode:
  • Buffy talking to Xander like she is the night shift nurse on her way home from her long shift.
  • Willow crying with Xander.
  • Buffy finally showing emotion and then Caleb shutting that sh*t down. Because a woman showing emotion is weakness. (Grr Argh)
  • Faith throwing the deaths in Buffy's face. Not cool Faith. I know she's being a bitca but that is never OK.
  • Buffy saying she is glad that Xander is back to hear her plan about how she is sending back to the place where he lost his eye. I'm not even saying Buffy's plan is crap, I'm just saying - why would Buffy want Xander to sit there and listen to this plan?
  • Before Buffy even gets kicked out, she already feels alienated and disconnected. The thing that hurts me is this is her own damn doing. Why is she shutting herself off from her friends?
  • Wood taking Faith's side like he knows who the hell she is.
  • ANYA.... her comments to Buffy. THIS IS THE WORST THING EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER. Goodbye forever Anya. I never want to see your face.
  • I give up I hate everything. There is a George Strait (country singer) song that's called "I hate everything." That's how I feel about ALL of it. Yes. Buffy too.
  • But like - make no mistake about it - Buffy does CLEARLY get kicked out of her house by Dawn. Dawn tells her she needs her to leave in plain motherlovin' English. Not cool. Why doesn't everyone else leave and go find another place to set up their headquarters?
  • Did I mention, I hate everything?
I want to just make a note: We are 3 episodes from the final season. We still haven't come across any information regarding amulets or scythes which will be the keys to winning this battle. No clues what so ever.

I probably could've gone with "blargh." I'm going to go back to a life in which I pretend that everyone in this episode was on some weird drug concoction that made everyone mean and wrong. How is that even possible? Actually, no I take it back. Spike is not wrong. The bloomin' onions onion blossoms really are great. So there you go, Spike is the only thing in this episode that I like. Holy crap I think hell just froze over.
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In terms of time for the group watch, we have some differing schedules and so I'm giving two options. For those interested in joining please respond to this thread and let me know which of the following times work best for you on March 18 and we will pick a time based on responses:

(1) 12 CST/1 EST/6 CST
(2) 5 CST/6 EST/11 CST
@EarthLogic I hadn't heard from you and I know that you had mentioned you might be interested in joining us. Are you OK with 5 CST/6EST/11CST start time?

Anyone else want to join us? Let me know your preferred start time. You don't have to have been part of the re-watch to join. *don't worry we don't bite* If you want to join let us know what time zone you prefer. We are leaning towards 5/6/11 at this time.
 
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Dora

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Love this post and no doubt I will not be popular again but this whole episode ( as S6 and a lot of S7 ) of Buffy being alienated from the scoobies is to promote Spike/Spuffy , The Scoobies chucking out Buffy from her house for Faith WTF ! , the whole thing is to get Buffy alone so Spike can ride in on his trusty steed and be a hero and give Buffy the almost same speech that Riley gave to her
I like when you said when was the last time we saw Buffy smile....we have not had a happy smiling Buffy for a long time ....S7 started OK I think up to Conversation with dead people....(.although there was weird things like why did not Buffy tell Dawn and Xander about meeting Spike) after that the season sort of fell apart , it all became about Spike ! unfortunately he had no real Story, no the whole thing Buffy has to be unhappy , alienated, depressed so she would turn to Spike
Poor Xander no one has had Buffy's back more than him he has no super powers but always stood by Buffy no matter his feelings on what she is doing, Giles and Willow also have been there for her from the start later Dawn and Anya , but all had too face Character assassination.... sacrificed to promote Spuffy........ BTVS was no longer about Buffy her mission and the core four and friends
The whole season had so many plot holes....why did the Bringers bother to capture Spike , what was its not time yet all about ,why did the ubervamp or Celeb not kill Buffy when she was unconscious, why did the ubervamps become easy to kill ! and so on
Whedon finally came back and did the last episode , tried to reunite the Scoobies to little to late, Chosen was rushed , to much to packed into the last episode...Buffy not checking upon her friends or injured Potentials.... Xander almost unconcerned about Anya and Buffy last word after seven years...... Spike...maybe Buffy should have stopped at the Gift
 

Mylie

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I know nobody is going to agree with this but I think this still needs to be said... Buffy is the one who made the ultimatum and said she couldn’t stay if Faith was the leader. Then Dawn said well then you have to leave. Dawn never would have kicked her out of her house if Buffy hadn’t made that ultimatum... It’s clealy not something she wanted to do but how do you respond to that kind of ultimatum while respecting the group’s decision?
 

EarthLogic

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Black Thorn
@EarthLogic I hadn't heard from you and I know that you had mentioned you might be interested in joining us. Are you OK with 5 CST/6EST/11CST start time?
Woops, forgot about replying to that! There might be a typo in the times you noted. Did you mean 11GMT? If so then yes I'm good to join in!

Ugh, I'm so far behind with reviews, but I promise I'll get them up soon. You guys might just have to prepare for some uber-long posts over the next couple of days ;)
 
Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
Yes 11 GMT! Sorry.

debbicles

Music is what makes life amazing
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N
Empty Places:.

I probably could've gone with "blargh." I'm going to go back to a life in which I pretend that everyone in this episode was on some weird drug concoction that made everyone mean and wrong. How is that even possible? Actually, no I take it back. Spike is not wrong. The bloomin' onions onion blossoms really are great. So there you go, Spike is the only thing in this episode that I like. Holy crap I think hell just froze over.
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Not quite breaking out the ice-pick just yet!!;)
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N
Empty Places:.

I probably could've gone with "blargh." I'm going to go back to a life in which I pretend that everyone in this episode was on some weird drug concoction that made everyone mean and wrong. How is that even possible? Actually, no I take it back. Spike is not wrong. The bloomin' onions onion blossoms really are great. So there you go, Spike is the only thing in this episode that I like. Holy crap I think hell just froze over.
[automerge]1521092152[/automerge]
Not quite breaking out the ice-pick just yet!!;)
 

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
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Black Thorn
I know nobody is going to agree with this but I think this still needs to be said... Buffy is the one who made the ultimatum and said she couldn’t stay if Faith was the leader. Then Dawn said well then you have to leave. Dawn never would have kicked her out of her house if Buffy hadn’t made that ultimatum... It’s clealy not something she wanted to do but how do you respond to that kind of ultimatum while respecting the group’s decision?
I see where you are coming from. And I agree that Buffy does create the situation by saying “I’m not going to stay here and watch her lead you” but ultimately if they don’t agree with Buffy, and this is her house, then shouldn’t they leave? Dawn says “this is my house too” and yeah she’s right but Buffy is also the parental figure. The one who got a job to maintain the household. So if Dawn doesn’t agree with Buffy, it should be Dawn that leaves.

I’m not entirely on anyone's side. They all suck in this episode. But if Dawn’s line was : “we are going to let Faith lead, you can fall in line with that or you can leave” then when Buffy walked away it would have been more her decision than a demand from a member of the house. As it stands, she was told to leave. Not for completely invalid reasons, but ultimately she is asked to leave her own home.
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I would be willing to join the group watch, if there are spaces left. I just figure there should be someone to shed a tiny tear when Spike burns to death.
 

Mylie

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As the whole thing is set up as a « mutiny » where Buffy is « The General » then that makes sense to me. When soldiers stop following the orders of their general and decide to change the person in position of power, they don’t leave the base. And as the summers house has been established as the base of operations than that means bye bye Buffy. I do feel bad for her and all but since she’s been playing The General and shutting out her friends to appear stronger in her role of power, than I think it’s only normal that the others react this way. Especially after her treating them like shit, being insensitive re the Xander thing etc.
 

Grace

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Black Thorn
I do feel bad for her and all but since she’s been playing The General and shutting out her friends to appear stronger in her role of power, than I think it’s only normal that the others react this way. Especially after her treating them like shit, being insensitive re the Xander thing etc.
I love Buffy, but I thought it was a bit rich in Empty Places that she expected everyone to be so sensitive about her feelings (Dawn, Kennedy, Faith), while she was continuing to be insensitive in general.
 

Mrs Gordo

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Yeah well what is evident to me this go round is - Buffy is creating this environment herself. She is cold and distant and she is alienating her friends so when they try to stand up to her it seems less of a stretch.

I think the thing that still makes all of this OOC for me is - if Buffy is being difficult or if she is leading down a questionable path, don’t you think the core Scoobies would have taken her aside and had a talk with her? Kinda like in WSWB and they thought she was being mean so they talked about it with Giles so they could help her. Or in Revelations when they found out she was lying about Angel and staged an intervention. They have always come to her and told them what their concerns are but to do it in front of a bunch of potentials who we don’t even know is strange.
 

Grace

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They have always come to her and told them what their concerns are but to do it in front of a bunch of potentials who we don’t even know is strange.
Then again, she blew off Xander and Willow's clear interest in spending time together, and she was on the outs with Giles, so I don't know they felt like they could or that she would have any interest in listening to them. And it doesn't seem like she would have, honestly.
 

Mrs Gordo

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Objectively the Buffy plan she proposes is a bad plan right? Does anyone think they should have gone back to the same place that resulted in casualties last time with virtually no new information?

So what I really wonder is - what would Spike have done if he was there? Would he have gone along with the plan knowing it wasn’t the best idea? Would he have asked her to listen to some alternative strategies?

He can’t be there for this because the scene doesn’t work if he is there and the Touched scene (both lecturing at the scoobies and giving Buffy a pep talk) wouldn’t be as effective. Part of me wonders if Spike would have come down as hard on the scoobies if he had been there for the big showdown.

Anyone have any thoughts on what Spike would have said or done if he was present during the Empty Places scene?
 
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