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Discussion of 5.19 "Tough Love" - Aired 5/01/01 (WB-US)

PassionBecoming

Minuscule Redheaded One
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Sineya
#2
This episode is so sad and meaningful. And frustrating at times!

The love between Willow and Tara is so strong, and this episode shows it perfectly. Willow is willing to take care of Tara no matter what, and that is so beautiful. I was so depress when Tara got mind-sucked! Here is also the beginning of Willow getting angry and heading for magic right away. I understand her anger and need to get even, but that was pretty much a good way to get herself and/or her friends killed. Had she not done that, Buffy wouldn't have had to go after her, Glory wouldn't have come after them and found out who the key was. Ai ai ai.

I feel bad for Buffy for having to take on yet another role: mom to Dawn. However, she has a pretty bad attitude about it. "I have a life. Dawn's." Well, it doesn't have to be like that. Yes, Glory is after the key, Buffy has her regular slaying duties, plus now a household to take care of. But life shouldn't stop. It's not ideal, but it's how it is. Gotta make some lemonade, girl!

The scene with Buffy and Dawn at their house made me want to slap Dawn yet again. What a freaking attitude. Again, she has gone through a lot, but so has Buffy (and every one else in the world.) Get over it and quite being such a snob. Then when Buffy tells her SS could take her away, all of a sudden it's important to go to school, etc. Not to make things easier for Buffy, but not to inconvenience herself. Ergh.

I did, however, love the scene with Dawn and Spike. Gotta love those touching Spike moments! "I'm evil, and I'm not that bad."
 
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Sineya
#3
Dawn still annoys me in this episode! :mad: She just seems so selfish all the time! :( Buffy is trying to help and Dawn just has hissy fits :rolleyes: I thought it was a bit childish of Buffy to ask Giles to discipline Dawn, I know she went through a lot but she can't just expect other people to take responsibility for her problems :rolleyes:
I hate Willow and Tara fighting! They are so perfect for each other! :(
What Glory does to Tara is just awful!! :(:( and when Willow gets to her it's just heart breaking!! :(
Loved seeing Willow kick Glory's ass!! :D
 

Ripper666

Home sweet virtual home!
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#4
I think a lot of people were scared about Tara about this time..(I wasn't becasue I knew that she would get fit later..). So the voltage was gone for me there a little bit. But I enjoyed how bravely Tara was... I miss her..
 
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Black Thorn
#5
I like how this episode focus' on Willow and Tara. Seeing them argue and Tara voicing her concerns around Willow's magic, then Glory draining Tara's sanity and Willow showing her dark powers. I love how we get a glimpse of Ripper when he's questioning Glory's minions. I'm also glad that Buffy told Dawn that if she didnt behave what might happen. It was such an emotional episode.
 
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#6
Oh my gosh, poor Tara! It's so sad seeing Willow have to deal with this and take care of Tara. And it seems so crazy to me that the government would take Dawn away from Buffy! Where the heck is her dad, still in Spain somewhere? The one episode where we meet Mr. Summers, he doesn't seem like as much of a jerk as he does now.

Also, UH OH! Glory knows about Dawn!
 
R
Robb Stark
Yeah, that was always kind of weird. Mr. Summers just becomes a total deabeat dad out of nowhere
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#7
The argument with Willow and Tara; boy, that escalated quickly.

It almost seemed to come out of nowhere, did the writer just put it in so that the last conversation they had before Tara went crazy was an arguement? It seemed a little bit pointless.

Still, I love Willow and Tara, and I think Amber Benson is amazing in this episode.

Ok, I can only sympathise with Dawn so much. When she freaks out right after she finds out she's the key I can understand. How would you react if you found out your whole existence had been a lie? But after that, I just wanna punch her every time she whines about something.
 
PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
Much goodness in this post. Especially the last portion. :)

Blaze

Let it Burn
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Black Thorn
#8
I love this episode, first off because it's very Willow and Tara central, and second because the storyline is really good. First time we get an insight into dark Willow, first time problems are brought up regarding Willow's magick, first time Tara and Willow fight, Glory finding out Dawn is the key, Willow taking care of Tara, this episode is just such a pillar for future episodes.

I don't know how anyone could hate Dawn for her "hissy" fits in this episode. How many people do you think would act maturely if they learnt their whole world was a lie at the age of 15. 15 is young, god knows I threw a few hissy fits of my own at that age.

Overall, this is one of my favorites of s5.
 

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
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Sineya
#9
Yeah, I don't really have a problem with Dawn this Season, mainly because her bratty-ness is understandable.- Most 14 yr old girls don't handle life-changing problems very well.

Plus her talk with Spike in the caves is actually quite touching, it's just a shame their relationship didn't really go anywhere in Season 6.:(

Poor Buffy is in 'no-nonsense' mode, although given that social services were going to take Dawn away, again its understandable.

To me the Willow/Tara arguement rang a little false, I get the first hints of 'too much magic' stuff, but the whole 'gay cred' was the real reason for the falling out and that did come out of nowhere.

First glimpse of Dark Willow.:eek: And Glory gets some long deserved pain (I'm sorry, hearing her call out in agony for the first time feels good, go ahead and call me a sadist).

Poor nutty Tara, even though she's like this for only a few episodes, I still find it upsetting every single time.:(
 

Blaze

Let it Burn
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Black Thorn
#10
To me the Willow/Tara arguement rang a little false, I get the first hints of 'too much magic' stuff, but the whole 'gay cred' was the real reason for the falling out and that did come out of nowhere.
It's a little out of nowhere, but not that much out of nowhere to me. We already know that Tara has poor self esteem and in New Moon Rising she was actually expecting Willow to go back to Oz. So it might have been something on her mind all along, but the placement of the argument was very left field. It did really give the impression that it was only put there to have a reason to separate the two long enough for Glory to get to Tara and therefore move the plot.
 
SRMarx
SRMarx
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#11
I don't think that Tara/Willow argument came out of nowhere, I mean it was so clear (at least to me) Tara was already worried where Willow is heading with the magics, and possibly a little jealous, since Tara's life was kinda centered around magic and Willow was becoming better at it then her... And THAT'S what bothered her, not Willow's "lesbo cred". that's actually what bothered Willow and when she said that, Tara was probably like "Well, now that you mentioned it... Wait, why did you mention that? Does that Mean I should be worried?" I found a really good psychological analysis of this argument, but it won't let me post it :( anyway, just type in "Willow Tara fight analysis" in Google and click on the first link... The link url starts with something like "phi-phenomenon" or whatever :)
 
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#12
Dawn really irritates me in this episode. Up until now even when there have been times I've been frustrated with how she reacts or blames people or says hurtful things, I've been able to always remind myself that this is just a teenage girl who's lost her mum and finds out her life has been non existent. I can understand why she's got angry and lashed out. But here she's just being plain selfish and annoying and I couldn't find that many excuses for it. We know it's been tough for her...but Joyce did have TWO daughters and Buffy's not just got school to think about, she has to protect Dawn, keep a roof over their heads, slay and train and she gives up HER education to sort Dawn's out...and what does Dawn do? Whine and bitch at every opportunity she gets when Buffy is trying to give her routine. All Dawn has to do is give things a go and do some bloody homework, it's not asking THAT much. Just to give Buffy one less thing to worry about on the mountain of worries she already has. She's 14 not 4.

It's sad how Tara and Willow argue in this episode. I think Tara always feels on the outside and maybe she's always been afraid of losing Willow. In the Scooby set up Tara has so much more to lose but she never clings or suffocates Willow and she harbours the least amount of judgement and scepticism towards Buffy than any of the Scoobies. I hate how Glory hurt her, the one good thing is that the Scoobies and Willow realise how essential she is and how integral she is to the group. It was interesting that even this early on Tara was concerned about Willow and her power. I think when they argued about Willow's 'change', I think Tara saw something change in Willow that the others, and even us the audience, can't see. It's a very subtle change. I think Tara noticed Willow's development in personality and in turn her development with magic and it frightened her as she said. I'm not sure if there was jealousy as others have said, I think even if Tara had felt it she was wise enough to realise that that kind of power isn't necessarily enviable. She was much more in tune with magic than Willow despite Willow being naturally more gifted, and I believe she was always more aware of the risks and respected it more. I don't think she envies Willow's power, I think she just loves her and doesn't want the magic to destroy what they have.


I hate seeing Tara sitting by herself at the fair waiting for Willow. I just feel so sorry for her, she's such a lovely sweet person :(

I also find it kind of funny when Buffy and Dawn are arguing at the table about Dawn doing her homework and Dawn says 'I'm not real so why should my exciting graph of chores be real?' and Buffy says 'It's a chart...not a graph' - typical sisterly sarcasm :D
 
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#13
Willow: "Hear that baby? You're my always". - Take that Kennedy!

I love how Tara seemed to be the only one affected by Glory who thought that the energy was beautiful.
 
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Sineya
#14
Seeing Tara after Glory attacks her is so heartbreaking. I think those scenes will be very poignant especially for people who've had to take care of a loved one with health problems.

I know it may a bit irrational, but I always get annoyed when the doctor asks "Is she your sister?", possibly because as a counsellor they drill into us that you should never make assumptions like that.

Seeing Willow go dark for the first time was pretty cool. Even if her lightning bolt was the only thing that actually seemed to hurt Glory, it was nice to see Willow get a bit of payback.
 

Yumisushipjs

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#15
I can see why Tara has to be attacked for the story arch but I hate that a character who has already been through so much (abuse by her family, death of her mother) has to be lost for the rest of the season. It makes you forget what an awesome person Tara is as she is reduced to someone who has to be cared for.
 
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#16
Tara's bravery deserves more mentions in my opinion. Spike gets so much praise for not telling Glory about Dawn - leading Buffy to finally start respecting him - but Tara does the same thing in this episode and pays a much higher price for her loyalty.

What's sad is that the Scoobies never find out about Tara's bravery. They are told by Glory's minions that Glory thinks Tara is the Key, and for all the Scoobies know, she simply brain-sucked Tara upon finding out she wasn't - they don't know that Glory tried to get info out of Tara in return for keeping her sanity and that Tara selflessly declined.

In other news.... they kill mice.
 

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
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Sineya
#17
Looks like Buffy hasn't dropped out of college yet...

Buffy :eek:

Ben was fired :eek:

Ben is upset over everything :(

Glory likes her bubble baths, but why does she usually bathe with her eyes closed ??? o_O

Dawn, why did you skip classes ??? :(

Xander has a point, a watched customer never buys.

Nice to see Anya develop her own political opinions.

Xander, you and Anya have been having too much sex lately...

Buffy, Giles can't parent Dawn instead of you, you have to do it yourself...

At least they were helping Dawn with her homework :)

Buffy just became a buzzkill mom...

Tara :eek:

Tara, you don't, you act like the reserved woman and don't act like a know it all :)

Willow, your witchcraft worries me too...

Dawn is angry, that look could kill...

Buffy, that's some serious stuff :(

Tara, I don't think that going by yourself was a good idea...

Glory :eek:

Giles opens the door, Glory's minion gets in...

Tara is clearly freaked out, I feel so bad for her :(

Glory hates blood that isn't the key's.

Glory, stop that please :mad:

Willow, too late :(

Tara seems like a mix of insanity and Tara right now...

Anya, how is hospital=Comunism ???o_O

Spike, still injured :(

Dawn :(

Now Tara's completely insane :(

Anya, thanks for the offer ;)

Willow, witchcraft will just make it worse...

What's going on... o_O

Willow took on Glory :(

Buffy, don't doubt Willow's abilities, ever...

What's Glory's weak spot though ??? o_O

Dawn, I'm not a fan of eggplant either.

Applesauce ??? I think that insane Tara is capable of eating a sandwich...

Glory :eek:

Next time: Buffy and Co. leave town in Spike's RV.
 
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#18
Willow: "But it's a whole night... I don't think I can sleep without her."
Anya: "If you want you can sleep with me :)"

Lol I love Anya there.

This is a great episode, puts the urgency back on the Glory plotline for the upcoming final episodes.

I kinda agree that the argument between Tara and Willow could have been done a lot better. Willow kinda? replies curtly to Tara, and immediately Tara starts grilling her with questions "I made you mad. Tell me what I did." And it jumps from the initial issue (Willow feeling patronized because she doesn't have a dead parent) to another (Tara being frightened by Willow's magicks) to ANOTHER (Willow only being a recently discovered lesbian) and it all seems like it's coming out of left field. Some minor hints towards these growing anxieties in Tillow in prior episodes would have helped make this feel like a more natural blow-up.

Absolutely love the final scene of Willow, Tara, Dawn and Buffy passing sandwiches around. Willow telling Tara she's her always and that she'll always take care of her. Buffy telling Willow she understands while she strokes Dawn's hair. Dawn helping to feed Tara. Just such a beautiful scene of love between all of them. :(

I love how Tara seemed to be the only one affected by Glory who thought that the energy was beautiful.
I never realized that. Wow :( Tara is such a positive and amazing person it's not surprising she'd see the good in what Dawn is.