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Hey! I'm new. I just rewatched this episode for the who-knows-how-many-times time, and it makes me angry every time!
I feel like it's really unrealistic for Buffy to be behaving brattily and demandingly about where she would be schooled if not Sunnydale, for one thing.
The worst thing is how Xander and Willow treat her. C'mon! They know her so well, they know how tough she is, how much she can handle, and yet they extend no understanding her way. Except for Willow and Buffy talking in her room right before she's about to split the second time, both Willow and Xander really make me mad. I felt Buffy deserved far more understanding. Also, I'm not on board with the Willow and Buffy banter at the end, it feels like they're just passively aggressively, undercover of playfulness, getting out their negative emotions at each other. My preference would be to see everyone talk/yell it out, and then see Xander apologise at the very least.
Also, what the hell Oz? You were invited for dinner! You don't get to takeover with a party!
Joyce so rarely gets parenting right in any meaningful way, she frustrates me.
Best part of the episode? When Pat dies. Twice. God that's a good feeling.
Also, I love Giles always and forever - his private moment of joy while he's in the kitchen making tea is gorgeous. What a man!
So much wrong with the confrontation at the party. It isn't really the fact that Buffy was right (she kinda wasn't), it's just that her friends were so completely wrong. Xander, especially. When I say that Xander's lie at the end of Becoming really caused a rift between Buffy and her friends from that point on, I mean it, and it shows here. Buffy couldn't trust her friends enough to tell them what really happened at the mansion because she thought they were all rooting her on to kill Angel. I'll admit, the gang probably felt a bit hurt after she left. They were acting out of fear of rejection, Willow even more so, so when she saw Buffy packing, she freaked, and her real feelings finally spilled out. So this whole scene was sort of an exercise of what happens when you fail to communicate with the people you love. If Xander hadn't made up that lie, everything from that point would've been resolved a bit easier, and maybe Buffy would've opened up sooner about what really happened in the mansion. Another thing, why would Joyce pick the middle of a party to air her grievances to Buffy, in front of all her peers? Schnapps my ass. Everyone was acting out of pure emotion, which could be understandable, had they had bothered to figure out if Buffy was truly okay. She's the one in true pain here, guys. Can we get back to that for a second?
I actually really like this episode. 10/10. I feel sorry for everyone. Xander is not at his best, but I think he is genuinely hurting.
It is one of the few example of Willow standing up for herself and telling Buffy that she matters too. I see absolutely no viciousness in her words, just hurt feelings. She hardly sounds angry at all and she is very quick to forgive. Willow hates confrontation, so she acts cold at first, but I don't think she is trying to be mean.
One thing that bothers me, though. Shouldn't Buffy have figured out that the messages Xander relayed did not come from Willow once Angel got his soul back? Willow risked her life to get that soul back in. She was in a coma.
I’ve only seen this episode twice, which makes it the Buffy episode I’ve seen the least among all the 144 episode and I don’t regret not watching ever again one bit.
I do see the point of those who say this episode serves to represent the cruelty of our selfish acts, the consequences of them and how it affects negatively everyone around us, but it’s hard to watch it, especially for someone as mushy as moi. And for someone who always tries to be righteous-ish and doesn’t like injustice of any kind, I feel really bad for Buffy, especially after seing all the she went through . She did make a mistake, but no one had the right to treat her like that just because they felt abandoned by her, especially Xander, who decided that everything bad in his life was because of Buffy’s exit that summer. Joyce blaming Giles out of nowhere really bothers me too. Where did that come from? Willow could’ve been more straightforward, but at least she acted willow-ish, Oz was perfect, as always and Giles was the only reasonable one. So, yeah, this episode is messy, weird, cringy, hard to watch to and I don’t like it at all, but all of that only happens because the episode leads me to feel this way about it. So that’s why Dead Man’s Party is my least favorite buffyverse episode.
Everyone was acting out of pure emotion, which could be understandable, had they had bothered to figure out if Buffy was truly okay. She's the one in true pain here, guys. Can we get back to that for a second?
Totally! If your friend is MIA for ages, isn't there a major instinct for concern about what may have happened to them while away? Sure, she's the slayer, but there are things that can hurt her too!
Another Xander aspect of this episode that really gets me riled up is him complaining that Buffy has 'ruined' their lives, because she's gone and now they have to fight vampires. Errr... vampires aren't in Sunnydale because of Buffy, they were there already, and Xander and everyone would probably be dead already due to vampires if Buffy hadn't moved to Sunnydale!
It is a prophetic episode where Buffy tells Xander;
Didn't anyone tell you about playing
with pointy sticks? It's all fun and
games until someone loses an eye.
After that, she finds out from Pat that Joyce has been telling her about her "situation". Then Joyce decides to hold a party where the guest list grows out of control. Joyce invites Pat, Willow invites Oz and by extension, the band. There are some other people who show up with no apparent connection to Buffy:
(to the other stoner dude)
This party? I heard it's for some
chick who just got out of rehab.
It is obvious that Joyce has been feeding Pat with her side of the information and Pat is there for one purpose: to make it impossible for Buffy to say anything in her own defence. Having an outsider there guarantees that there could be no mention of her being the Slayer and Buffy would have to suffer through all the opinions of someone who had been deliberately misinformed that Buffy had just taken off for no reason rather than being told to not come back. We get his exchange from Joyce trying to make herself look blameless:
Now - how are you holding up, Joyce?
I don't know. While Buffy was gone -
all I could think about was getting her
home. I just knew if I could put my
arms around her and tell her how much
I loved her - then everything would
But things are never that simple, are
they? I mean, she's here. She's right in
front of me... So now I can see how
unhappy she is. And I still don't know
what to say - what to do - to make
Doesn't know what to say or do? How about shutting up and listening for once? Buffy goes upstairs to start packing and gets confronted by Willow who had wanted her to be there for advice but then Joyce comes up and we get this:
Do you have any idea what it's been like?
You can't imagine. Months of not
knowing. Not knowing if you were
lying dead in a ditch somewhere or -
I don't know - living it up-
***That's it - Buffy really loses it.***
But you told me! You're the one who
said I should go. You said - "if you
leave this house, don't come back."
You found out who I really am and you
couldn't deal - remember?
Buffy! You didn't give me any time.
You just dumped this... this thing on
me and expected me to get it. Well -
guess what? Mom's not perfect. I
handled it badly. But that doesn't
give you the right to punish me by
Punish you? I didn't do this to
Well you did. You should have seen
what it did to her.
Great. Would anybody else care to
weigh in? What about you? By the dip.
Of course Joyce was aghast. Buffy had just revealed that she had been thrown out of the house, something she had probably never told Pat. Xander is at his absolute worst in this episode. Unloading on Buffy in the presence of all the guests with a completely bogus complaint about her going away meant that Xander just expected her to be there as if she was a public utility - you put a plug in a wall socket to get electricity, you turn on a tap to get water and you set Buffy loose on monsters them.
Maybe you don't want to hear it, Buffy. taking off like that was selfish and stupid.
***Buffy's breaking down. It's all too much.***
Okay - I screwed up! I know it - alright!?
But you have no idea. You have no idea
what happened to me or what I was feeling-
Did you even try talking to anybody?
What's the point? There was nothing
anyone could do. I just had to deal
on my own.
And you see how well that went. You
can't just bury stuff, Buffy! It'll
come right back up to get you...
As if I could have gone to you, Xander.
You made your feelings about me and
Angel pretty clear-
Look - I'm sorry your honey was a
demon, but most girls don't hop a
Greyhound over boy trouble!
Yes, that's Xander complaining about having no understanding about what Buffy is going through then refusing to listen to anything Buffy has to say while demanding Buffy confide in him.
Then we get the Ovu Mobani apocalypse and Buffy gets to not just kill Pat but to vaporize her! Giles give an impression of being a badass by slamming Snyder up against the wall and trumping Snyder's threat with is own about going to the State Supreme Court.
Willow finally talks to Buffy about her beginnings in magic (also prophetic) and it ends happily.
Joyce has firmly cemented her place in the story as one of the worst mothers imaginable, involving Pat in her self-justification at the expense of her daughter. There is one ironclad rule about dealing with a situation with a family member and that is: FIRST GET RID OF ALL THE PEOPLE. Joyce's ultimatum had shown that she did not want any kind of relationship with her daughter whose position as a Slayer had made her "damaged goods" as far as being a family member was concerned and she held a party and invited a crowd of her own sympathizers so no private conversation would be possible. After all, the first rule of bad parenting is to make sure no honest communication can occur without a penalty.
Xander didn't say Buffy ruined their lives, but for the past 3 months. He, like the others, were worried sick, and didn't like it when Buffy comes back and doesn't even ask about how things went with them (at least according to what Willow says Buffy didn't). To Buffy, it was all about herself, just as all the other characters (save Giles, and strangely Cordelia) were focused on themselves. They did ask about her but Buffy wouldn't say much. Furthermore, Xander offered to keep patrolling with his team until Buffy could get settled in, though that dialog (with all of them, not just Xander) made me wonder if they weren't really wanting to mix with her yet (that is, "We'll keep it up while we all process this, just don't talk to us until we're over it, not unless you want to actually talk to us and/or ask us how we've been doing").
'Course Xander was out of line at the party, as so many were. He was angry, as so many were. The whole thing was a disaster and I think engineered by Pat for malicious purposes disguised as sweetness, and that party thing was dumb (why would Joyce allow all those people in to drink, play loud music, and break stuff as they were doing?).
There is so much to criticize Xander on, I don't see the need to exaggerate his flaws and mistakes while ignoring his good (like how even as he was getting downright menacing to Buffy, that is if she wasn't the Slayer, instantly having her back when the zombies attack) to make him the most hated...especially not when it's done by people who portray Xander as an obsessed, jealous creep while pretending Spike (who was so much worse in this way) is romantic (sorry to bring Spike into it, but this is just weird, and it seems to happen a lot). It reaches a point of surreality after awhile. This is yet another BB thread that made me wonder if I was remembering the episode wrong, and glad that when I reviewed it I found it was not me remembering it wrong.
I don't think Pat engineered the party for malicious purposes. I think Joyce had fed Pat her side of the story then invited her in order to shut Buffy down and let Buffy know in no uncertain terms that Joyce had her people on her side and Buffy was only going to return on Joyce's terms.
I hate this episode for various reasons. But they should have just given it a different title like 'Is everyone very stoned today?'.
Buffy has all my sympathy, by default really. Because the other people, save for Cordelia, Oz and Giles were just insufferable. Giles was the only one in this episode who I would gave an A to in terms of behavior. And Oz loses all his points for turning a quiet dinner into a party without Joyce's knowledge which was just so freaking OOC. Cordelia didn't care, largely because she wasn't there that summer either and because Cordy is the only one of the Scoobies who doesn't base her existence on what place she has in Buffy's life. And in the final confrontation she is the only one who says 'put yourself in Buffy's shoes'. When freaking Cordelia is the one who has to say that, you know someone completely lost the plot.
Joyce, Xander and Willow were the worst. Joyce pretended everything was normal but was totally skittish about letting her daughter go anywhere alone. Xander and Willow pretended everything was normal to avoid any direct conversation with Buffy. Save for Giles everyone avoided Buffy to the point where she felt unwelcome, her mother says it was easier when Buffy was gone...and then they are surprised that the newly returned runaway is about to leave again? Absolutely baffling. And then topping it off by ganging up on Buffy as if it's all her fault? Unbelievable.
Buffy tried the whole episode to reach out to people, especially Xander and Willow. She didn't force a conversation because as the one who ran away, she didn't feel as if it was her place to force anything. Xander and Willow brushed her off or avoided her, Willow standing Buffy up couldn't have made it any clearer that things were not right. Their astounding lack of understanding the bigger picture, as if Buffy just ran away on a whim, is also truly baffling. I expect that from Xander who basically discarded what Buffy did as nothing but boy troubles. But Willow? Have these two forgotten what actually happened? At the end of S2 Buffy was wanted for murder, had been kicked out of school and her home and went off to have a death match. They even run through all the possible scenarios, including that she might have had to kill Angel and not Angelus. And she left Joyce a note saying she was alive. All these things were known to them by the time we get to S3 (provided Joyce was honest about kicking Buffy out). That's a lot of sh*t that happened to Buffy...have these two completely forgotten all that? And then they don't even give her the time of day so she might be able to explain her side. What the hell???
When Willow comes up to Buffy's bedroom, she clearly feels sorry about brushing her off earlier. Then there is the shock of seeing Buffy packing her bag. This time the conversation is reversed. Willow asks Buffy to open up, but Buffy refuses, claiming Willow would not understand.
Willow almost died in s2 and she came very close to saving Angel's life. She deserved to know that Buffy was all right.
I do feel awful sorry for Buffy. However, I feel for Xander and Will, too. Xander is angry and hurt. Willow is mostly just hurt. Things were always going to work out. They just needed time.
Buffy has some loyal friends. They go through a lot for her and never bail on her.
You can actually see some party guests leaving when the scoobies start ganging up on Buffy, at least some people have a sense of decorum.
Joyce's reaction is understandable to an extent but it does feel as though Pat set Joyce up so that Buffy would hear her saying those things.
The Scoobies annoyed me when they decided to throw the party without either Joyce or Buffy's permission. Buffy was laying the table which means she was just expecting a quiet sit down meal. When Willow stood up Buffy, it was heart breaking to see the look on Buffy's face.
Xander was just out of order. Joyce and Buffy were arguing, and he just had to kick Buffy whilst she was down. The only people who come out of that scene well are the party guests who decided to leave to give Buffy some privacy.
Oh my word, you must be Buffy!
Look at you - aren't you a picture?
(shaking Buffy's hand enthusiastically)
I'm Pat - from your mother's book
club? I'm sure she mentioned me.
I sort of took it upon myself to look
after her while you were, you know,
off and away or what have you.
Between your "situation" and reading
"Deep End of the Ocean" she was just
a wreck. You can imagine.
It appears Pat has never met Buffy, so all of her information must have come from Joyce. I don't think Pat has set Joyce up, I think it is the other way around. The slayer gig has already been explained to Joyce. The need for minimizing the number of people who know her status is obvious. Therefore, Pat was invited so that no discussion of slayers could occur. Joyce could simply dump blame on Buffy and Buffy could not respond at all.