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Discussion of 5.09 "Listening To Fear" - Aired 11/28/00 (WB-US)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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A Queller demon lands in Sunnydale in a fiery meteorite and begins killing all the mentally ill people it can find. Meanwhile, Joyce has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and while she waits to undergo her operation the tumor is making her act increasingly unusual. Buffy must find and defeat the demon before it senses her mother's madness and makes her its next victim.

Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 

Username

Scooby
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No comments on this episode, huh.. well I like this episode a lot, many great scenes and that cockroach looking queller demon is creepy as hell.
I know it's so wrong but I find Joyce totally amusing here when she's ranting, hahahaha...

There's a cute scene with Willow/Tara, "Japanese commercials are weird" :D

What is that awful music that's on the radio when Buffy's doing the dishes and starts to cry?? Why couldn't they have normal music instead of that..

Best line:

Riley: "That might be toxic. Don't touch it."
Xander: "Oh, yeah, touching it was my first impulse. Luckily, I've moved on to my second, which involves dry-heaving and running like hell."
 
W
WWGD
I thought the music emphasized her depression. She put on the radio to have some kind of music on, but her mind was on different things. She was so depressed that it was just on and she wasn't paying any attention to it.

zobothehobo

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I really enjoy this episode. I know a lot of people hate it, but I find the crazy ranting very amusing and creepy. I also LOVE the queller demon. It's so creepy but really awesome. Also, Buffy's crying scene... God it gets me in my heart.
 

PassionBecoming

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I enjoy this episode. A couple of random thoughts:

1. Kristine Sutherland's acting was amazing! She totally played into the nutty character; love the scene when she is "conversing" with the Queller. I also felt how hard it must be for your mother to be saying those nasty things to you, even though it isn't really "her" saying them.
2. How did the writers come up with the crazy-talk? Many boxes of wine? :)
3. The Queller made me gag. Seriously. Gross.
4. Buffy's crying scene reminds me of me - can never let anything go until you're at your breaking point and it comes out anyway. Great acting, and I love the music in the background. Haha.
5. Riley's vamp scene made me feel all dirty and want to punch him.
6. I would like to have a talk with the wardrobe department on this show. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, KEEP THINGS CONSISTENT!! Buffy in a tank top, with Riley in a turtleneck sweater?? I keep noticing these types of things in episodes and it's driving me NUTS!
 
R
Ripper666
nr2 is so funny!
W
WWGD
I agree with you a lot on Kristine's acting and Riley's vamp scene making me very angry at him.
I
itssmiletime
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Taake

I do doodle. You too. You do doodle, too.
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I enjoy this episode. A couple of random thoughts:

1. Kristine Sutherland's acting was amazing! She totally played into the nutty character; love the scene when she is "conversing" with the Queller. I also felt how hard it must be for your mother to be saying those nasty things to you, even though it isn't really "her" saying them.
2. How did the writers come up with the crazy-talk? Many boxes of wine? :)
3. The Queller made me gag. Seriously. Gross.

Totally agreed.

6. I would like to have a talk with the wardrobe department on this show. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, KEEP THINGS CONSISTENT!! Buffy in a tank top, with Riley in a turtleneck sweater?? I keep noticing these types of things in episodes and it's driving me NUTS!

Lol, totally hadn't noticed that! Now it'll probably bug me to ;)

Oh and Spike stealing photo's of the Buffster... not cool. His appearance, 'just being in the house' is comical though (when I don't think about it too much cause then it gets creepy...)
 

PassionBecoming

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Oh and Spike stealing photo's of the Buffster... not cool. His appearance, 'just being in the house' is comical though (when I don't think about it too much cause then it gets creepy...)



I was just coming back to comment on this. I know Buffy is dealing with her mom-stuff, but seriously. She isn't noticing all these weird things Spike is doing and putting two and two together? Pretty sure no matter what turmoil or demon happened upon my way, I would remember if I caught a vampire coming out of my basement with pictures of me. CREEPER!
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
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HisMrs

Scooby
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I was just coming back to comment on this. I know Buffy is dealing with her mom-stuff, but seriously. She isn't noticing all these weird things Spike is doing and putting two and two together? Pretty sure no matter what turmoil or demon happened upon my way, I would remember if I caught a vampire coming out of my basement with pictures of me. CREEPER!

YES, this... Seriously. Didn't she find it weird that he kept lurking by her house all the time, and taking things from her house?!
 

evilonion

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6. I would like to have a talk with the wardrobe department on this show. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, KEEP THINGS CONSISTENT!! Buffy in a tank top, with Riley in a turtleneck sweater?? I keep noticing these types of things in episodes and it's driving me NUTS!


But Riley is specifically wearing the turtleneck to cover up the marks where the vampire girl bit him, right? Although, I suppose they could have had Buffy wearing something slightly warmer so it wouldn't seem like Riley is probably roasting to death in that sweater, lol. Then again, maybe it is hot and he is roasting in the sweater...okay, done rambling now.
 

TheAnnointedOne

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The best scene here is Buffy's breakdown as she washes the dishes listening to the radio. The acting by SMG is absolutely tremendous, you feel every inch of Buffy's pain, suffering and hopelessness. I really do tear up everytime I see this scene. What makes it so powerful is the contrast between the utter despair felt in her breakdown and the "happy" music on the radio. In fact that song is so disturbingly upbeat it just makes the atmosphere so tense and heartbreaking.
 

PassionBecoming

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But Riley is specifically wearing the turtleneck to cover up the marks where the vampire girl bit him, right? Although, I suppose they could have had Buffy wearing something slightly warmer so it wouldn't seem like Riley is probably roasting to death in that sweater, lol. Then again, maybe it is hot and he is roasting in the sweater...okay, done rambling now.

I know he wanted to cover them up, but like you said, wouldn't he be roasting?? If it was warm enough for me to be sleeveless and someone showed up in a sweater, I would question that!!
 

evilonion

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I know he wanted to cover them up, but like you said, wouldn't he be roasting?? If it was warm enough for me to be sleeveless and someone showed up in a sweater, I would question that!!

That's very true. Maybe that was the only turtleneck Riley owned and he was just praying nobody would bother to ask him why he was wearing such a warm and suspiciously neck-covering sweater?
 

Amethyst

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I'd just like to say that the Queller Demon is just so damn creepy! :S and that gooey stuff it spits out is just super gross!! :eek: Found it kinda funny though, Giles calling it a 'Killer snot monster from out of space" LOL :D
I felt sorry for Joyce, Buffy and Dawn, Joyce was so out of it, a pretty scary and real situation for a family. I liked seeing Buffy being more of an adult though, doing the house hold chores, taking care of the shopping etc I mean she's nearly 20 and although she's the slayer and has those responsiblities, she just always seemed to slay then party or hang out with her friends, I think she should be doing more household stuff too at her age! :) I was glad Joyce found out about Dawn :)
 

Ripper666

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Well I found it quite interesting... sometimes the monster was scary...and sometimes ridiculous....
Anyway I loved the episode, the story was so good. The writters did a good job there!
There was one scene where I winced up. And (if I remeber me right) in this episode there was this epic cry scene from Buffy while she washes the dirty dish. I think there you really saw how scared Buffy is and how many problems she had at this time. I really enjoyed watching the ep.
 

Jules

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I felt very sorry for Buffy in this episode, having to take care of a sick parent is unbelieveably hard and you can see Buffy is desperately trying to take care of everything. I also could understand why Riley was doing what he was, but I was still very disappointed in him. It was very much like he was cheating on Buffy, and I didnt want him to appear as one of those guys. He's also distancing himself from the Scoobies, which is is sad.
 

WWGD

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Wow, I'm surprised this episode hasn't gotten more attention. It was an AMAZING episode in my opinion. So powerful. I loved the theme of crazyness that was especially strong here. And through all of Joyce's crazyness, she still came to the realization of a truth... that Dawn is not her real daughter. Strong emotional dialogue at the end. And of course the continuation of Riley's departure from Buffy as well as Spike's gradual entrance into her personal life.

The monster was the weakest part of this episode for me, but it kinda was the backstory because of course in every episode there has to be the main troublemaker in demon (or in this case, alien) form. They really portrayed strongly Buffy's grief and depression in a realistic and relatable way.
 

kittenpoker

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Lots of great thoughts! I love this episode too - but I hate the queller demon! He's probably the creepiest demon in the whole show... I get mad at Ben for summoning him. What's the point? It's not like the crazy people were hurting anyone. Why kill them? And so viciously! Also the remark he made to one of glory's minions (can't remember who) about cleaning up glory's mess AGAIN implies this is not the first time he summoned him -or perhaps he was refering to having to clean up her messes in other ways.

I agree that joyce's talking the queller while he was on the ceiling "stop staring at me! you're not supposed to be here. Didn't they tell you that at the gate...." was brilliant.
 
I
itssmiletime
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AnthonyCordova

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I'd just like to reiterate what others have said about Buffy not noticing Spike's growing affection. I keep wondering when she'll finally put it all together and notice.

I liked this episode a lot. And I like Season 5 in general so far. But I'm wondering if we're spending too much time in this season on Joyce's health. It's the dominant theme so far.
 

Wild At Heart

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I just watched this episode now & besides being all sad & crying because of Joyce (especially at the end when she is being wheeled away), I laughed out loud during this scene because of what Anya says...

Riley: It's sort of...
Giles: Hollow.
Riley: Yeah.
Anya: So, uh, we're all thinking the same thing, right?
Xander: Festive pinata? Delicious candy?
Willow: Something evil crashed to earth in this and then broke out and... slithered away to do badness.
Giles: In all fairness, we don't really know about the slithered part.
Anya: Oh, no. I'm sure it frisked about like a fluffy lamb.

Which leads to them finding the dead body of one of the crazy men Glory has drained & then Anya says "Yep. The space lamb got him." So hilarious!!!
 

Vigeous

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This episode is tough to watch. Seeing Joyce in her condition; her acting and the writing etc makes you feel a piece of what Buffy and Dawn must be feeling.
I never really paid any mind to the conversation Buffy and Joyce have at the end about Dawn. This was the first time it occurred to me that Joyce realized who Dawn in is.

I can't stand the queller demon. It makes me uncomfortable watching it; especially when Buffy is fighting it and the camera keeps cutting to close ups of its face. The worst.

As others have pointed out already there are some good laughs in this episode too, and thankfully so with everything else happening.
This is more about where the season is at right now but here goes. I'm normally not a Riley fan. Not one bit. However, this time around I actually feel really bad for the guy. I know how he's feeling about Buffy being distant and it's actually painful to watch at times. He clearly cares about her; yeah she has LOTS of stuff going on in her life but that's where your significant other swoops in. Not the way she has Riley running errands and then brushing him off, though. Buffy doesn't confide in him - pretty much at all - and it's quite sad. And it's not like he's being clingy or being unreasonable about anything. He just wants some sign of affection, some sign that Buffy needs/wants him and he just keeps getting put aside. He doesn't even feel valued as or by the Scoobies at this point. This is all the last thing I'm sure he'd want after losing his powers and probably feeling super vulnerable.
That's the end of my thoughts on Riley so far into this season. I used to not like him but now I feel bad for the guy.
 

Charmander

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I felt bad when you saw the guy who Glory made crazy going home with his wife and daughters and ultimately getting killed. Poor guy.
I find it weird that they'd want Joyce out of hospital, Buffy can tell that she's clearly not well and she'd have to mother Joyce and Dawn as well as patrolling at night. (And presumably, college work?)
The "You're disgustingly fat" comment makes me think that Joyce was told that as a child.
 
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