May 20, 2023

Buffy 5.14, Crush: Workplace Romance

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:16 pm by Jenn

Drusilla’s back and she’s going to make it everyone’s problem

Summary: The Bronze is holding a grand reopening after undergoing troll-related renovations. The Scoobies are there, and they’re all dancing and enjoying themselves except for Buffy, who’s just sitting by herself. Spike joins her and complains about the changes the Bronze has made. They took his favorite deep-fried onion off the menu! Buffy asks why he’s acting like they’re friends. He says he thought she needed some company. She makes it clear that company from him isn’t welcome.

Spike starts to leave, then comes back to argue that he deserves some friendliness after “fighting the fight” together against Glory. Buffy corrects that he was “sleeping the sleep of the knocked unconscious.” Still, he thinks he’s earned some respect. Xander and Anya approach just then, and Xander tells Spike, “Hey, evil dead, you’re in my seat.” Spike grumps off and Anya says that she thinks Xander hurt his feelings. “And you should never hurt the feelings of a brutal killer,” Xander replies. “You know, that’s actually some pretty good advice.”

Willow and Tara join the others as Xander offers to buy everyone drinks – he’s Payday Man. Then he realizes that Spike stole some of his money. Willow’s not feeling great; she’s been having headaches ever since she and Tara did the spell to teleport Glory away. Buffy would like one night without hearing Glory’s name. Tara suggests that they come up with another name to call her. Buffy blurts out, “Ben,” having just spotted him across the room. She goes to thank him for looking out for Dawn at the hospital.

Xander blasts Spike for stealing the money he worked so hard for. Spike’s like, “Stealing it was also hard work; I guess we’re even.” Xander tells him that since he doesn’t have a chip in his head, he could do a lot more damage to Spike than Spike can do to him right now. Spike sees Buffy talking to Ben and murmurs that Xander can’t hurt him. Meanwhile, a train arrives in Sunnydale full of dead passengers. The station master who went on board to check things out runs screaming from whoever killed them, then gets yanked back on board to be killed himself.

Buffy goes home after the night out that she tells Joyce, Dawn, and Giles she really needed. Joyce is happy to have her there, since she was nervous not having protection at home. Not that Giles wasn’t protective! Joyce was definitely grateful for his presence! Giles assures Buffy that Dawn is doing well considering what she recently learned about her existence. Buffy says that they’ve been going easy on her and letting some things slide. Giles thinks they should treat her normally. Buffy immediately yells at her sister for borrowing her clothes without asking.

The article of clothing she has in mind is a cashmere sweater that Spike stole. He hides it when Harmony tries to seduce him. She complains that he never wants to be intimate anymore. She suggests that they play a game, so he has her role-play as Buffy. Since she’s Harmony, she doesn’t catch on to the real reason he wants to pretend she’s the Slayer.

On campus the next day, Buffy, Willow, and Tara discuss The Hunchback of Notre Dame and how Quasimodo didn’t deserve a happy ending because he was selfish. Buffy didn’t read it, but she did rent the movie. (The Disney version, of course.) She sees a news article about the bodies on the train, and though Tara worries that Glory was responsible, Buffy figures that trauma to the victims’ throats points to a vampire.

Dawn goes to Spike’s crypt after school, wanting to rebel and hang out with a bad guy. He tries to shoo her away, saying he has evil things to do and a child shouldn’t be present for them. Dawn reminds him that she’s not really a child. She likes that he talks to her directly and doesn’t try to keep things from her like the Scoobies do. She feels safe with Spike. He chokes on cigarette smoke and yells, “Take that back!” Dawn continues that Spike is just as tough as Buffy. Buffy must agree, since she worries about what he’ll do when he gets the chip removed. Spike asks what else she says about him.

Joyce is worried because Dawn didn’t come home after school. Buffy assures her that the train murders have nothing to do with Glory. She goes out looking for Dawn, who’s been with Spike for hours, listening to stories about his past evil deeds. He tells her about the time he murdered a whole family, then went looking for a little girl who hid from him.

Buffy interrupts when she bursts in to ask Spike to help her look for Dawn. She’s not happy that the two of them have been hanging out. Dawn asks to hear the end of the story, so Buffy pointedly gives Spike permission to continue filling her head with tales of horror. Spike lies that he rescued the little girl and made sure she was taken in by a good family.

On their way home, Buffy chastises Dawn for wanting to spend time with Spike. She realizes that Dawn has a crush on him. Dawn says she just thinks he’s cool and likes how he treats her. Buffy tells her that she can’t have a crush on a vampire. Dawn’s like, “You spent three years crushing on one.” Buffy says that Angel’s different because he has a soul. Dawn figures that Spike’s chip is pretty much the same thing. Buffy tells her that Spike is a monster. Also, Dawn’s only 14. Dawn says that if she did have a crush on him, he’d never notice – he’s into Buffy. Apparently Buffy had no idea.

The next day, she and Xander check out the train, hoping to confirm that a vampire killed the passengers and maybe determine how many they’re dealing with. Buffy keeps trying to bring up what Dawn told her about Spike, then changing her mind. Finally she blurts out that Dawn said that Spike is in love with Buffy. Xander cracks up.

Buffy finds the situation creepy, but Xander assures her that there’s no way it’s real. He asks how Dawn came up with this theory. Buffy says that she hung out with Spike and might have a crush on him. Xander doesn’t like the sound of that, not because it’s Spike but because it means Xander is no longer the object of Dawn’s affections. They leave the train, not noticing a doll in an overhead compartment.

When Buffy gets home, Spike is hanging out with Dawn and Joyce, talking like they’re all buddies. He pulls Buffy aside to tell her that he has information for her. She replies that she’s out of money and he should hit on – er, hit up Giles. Spike says that he has a lead on the train killer. He wants to take Buffy somewhere, which makes her uneasy.

They stake out (poor choice of words?) a warehouse, sitting awkwardly in his car. He offers her a drink from his flask, and she says “ew” to the thought of both blood and bourbon. He sings a little of “I Wanna Be Sedated” to himself and asks if Buffy likes the Ramones. Just as she’s wondering why he’s doing this when she told him he won’t get paid, he notices a couple of vampires entering the warehouse.

Buffy and Spike follow them in, and though the vampires look like they’ll put up a fight, they just run off. Spike’s “embarrassed for our kind.” Buffy sees that the vamps have a nest there, so they probably weren’t connected to the train murderers – that killer most likely just arrived in town. This was all a waste of time. As they’re leaving, Spike opens the door for Buffy like he’s suddenly a gentleman. Buffy demands to know what all of this is about. Does he consider this a date? Spike laughs that off, then asks if she wants it to be a date.

Buffy finally realizes that he really, truly is in love with her. Spike doesn’t think it’s that unbelievable that they would develop a workplace romance. He says she can’t deny that there are feelings between them. “Loathing. Disgust,” Buffy spits out. “Heat. Desire,” he replies. She argues that he’s a vampire. Spike, of course, brings up Angel, but Buffy says he was good. Spike says he can be, too. He’s changed.

Buffy protests that the chip doesn’t count as “change.” It’s just holding Spike back, like a prison holds back a serial killer. Spike exclaims that women marry serial killers all the time. Okay, we’re going down the wrong path here. He admits that he can’t stop thinking about Buffy. He’s willing to turn his back on evil if it means being with her. Buffy says that he doesn’t know what feelings are. Spike tells her that he lies awake thinking about her all night. “You sleep during the day!” she reminds him.

Spike insists that his feelings are real. He starts to say that he loves Buffy, but she stops him. He really wants to talk, but she firmly says that there’s no “we.” She storms off, and he waits a little while before leaving. He senses someone nearby and asks who’s there. “A happy memory,” Drusilla says, emerging from the shadows. “Look who’s come to make everything right again.”

They go to his crypt and give us a brief recap of what’s been going on over on Angel – Darla was resurrected as a human, Drusilla turned her again, and now they’re trying to get Angel to revert to Angelus. (No luck so far – Angel even set them on fire.) Spike thinks that all that has made Drusilla nostalgic. She says she wants the four of them to be a family again.

Spike isn’t interested in going to L.A., especially when he’s made a good life for himself in Sunnydale. Drusilla is fully aware of the real reason he wants to stay, and she knows about the chip in his head. She doesn’t think it can really stop him if he doesn’t want it to. The pain is just a lie: “It tells you you’re not a bad dog, but you are.”

Harmony comes in just then, upset to see her boyfriend with another woman. She thinks he’s recruited someone to cosplay as Drusilla so they can have a threesome. “My answer is the same as always,” she says. “No threesomes unless it’s boy, boy, girl. Or Charlize Theron.” Spike tells her this is the real Drusilla.

Harmony chastises her for breaking Spike’s heart, which made him put up walls that Harmony has struggled to get through. Drusilla shouldn’t bother trying to get Spike back; he’s done with her. Spike grabs Harmony by the throat and says that it’s been fun while it lasted, but she needs to go. He throws her into a wall. Harmony thinks they’re done because Drusilla’s back. “No – because I am,” Spike replies. He and Drusilla make out.

Buffy tells Willow and Joyce that Spike basically declared his love for her. Joyce asks if she might have unintentionally led him on. “I do beat him up a lot. For Spike, that’s, like, third base,” Buffy says. Joyce worries that Spike could become dangerous, but Buffy reminds her about the chip. She thinks he’ll get over this and fall for a demon soon enough. Willow isn’t so confident. Obsessions can get twisted. She hopes that Buffy made it clear that they’ll never get together. Buffy isn’t sure; she was pretty thrown. Willow encourages her to talk to Spike. If he thinks there’s a chance for them, he could do something crazy.

Spike and Drusilla go to the Bronze and dance while looking for someone to snack on. Buffy’s ready to go find Spike, hopeful that everything has already blown over and he’s gone back to wanting to kill her. Fingers crossed! Buffy turns down Willow’s offer to tag along and back her up by scowling, but she does have something in mind that Willow can do.

Spike and Drusilla approach a couple making out on a catwalk and she breaks their necks. She drinks from the guy while Spike psychs himself up to drink from the woman. When he does, he gets really into it. Buffy goes to his crypt, heading underground when she doesn’t find him there. She discovers a kind of shrine he’s made for her with the mannequin and a bunch of photos and sketches of her.

He catches her there, and Drusilla zaps her with a taser before Buffy even sees her. Spike says that Drusilla came back to him because she can’t live without him. Drusilla zaps Buffy again, saying that she knows what Spike really wants to eat. She hopes to tie Buffy up and play with her before they feed on her. Spike says he’s done playing. Drusilla hands him the taser, which he uses on her. He repeats that he’s done playing.

When Buffy regains consciousness, she finds that Spike has chained both her and Drusilla up. He explains that he wants to prove something. He tells Buffy that he loves her. She’s all he thinks and dreams about. “I’m drowning in you, Summers, I’m drowning in you,” he says. Drusilla laughs, having known this for a while. Spike is sure that Buffy can feel something between them. She replies that it’s revulsion. He can’t love her if he doesn’t have a soul. Drusilla assures her that soulless creatures can still love, even if they don’t do it wisely.

Spike declares that he’s going to prove his love to Buffy by staking Drusilla. Buffy says that that will only prove that he’s a miserable vampire, which she already knows. He thinks this is a big show of love – Drusilla saved him and delivered him from “mediocrity.” For 100 years, she surprised him and took him to new depths. He’s lucky to have known her. But he’ll kill her to show how serious he is about Buffy.

Buffy’s completely unimpressed and doesn’t care if he kills Drusilla. Spike tells her that if she doesn’t admit that she feels something for him, he’ll release Drusilla and let her kill Buffy instead. He wants anything he can get from Buffy, no matter how small. He just wants to know that there’s a chance they can be together some day. Buffy looks like she’s going to relent, but then she tells him that the only chance he had with her was when she was unconscious.

Spike yells in frustration, asking what’s wrong with Buffy and Drusilla. Why do they torture him so much? He blames Drusilla for all of this – if she hadn’t left him for a chaos demon, he wouldn’t have come back to Sunnydale, gotten the chip implanted, and started to believe that he stood a chance with Buffy. She’s destroyed everything that made him who he was. He should kill them both.

Just then, an arrow flies into him. Harmony’s back, and she wants revenge for their breakup. Drusilla eggs her on as she says that she thought that she could change him. She kept coming back because she thought eventually he would be nicer and stop treating her like a dog. Now she knows that he’s a dog and needs to be put down.

They fight as Buffy and Drusilla try to free themselves. Drusilla does it first, and she goes after Buffy, who just kicks her since her arms are restrained. Harmony grab the arrow out of Spike’s back and tries to stake him with it, but he fights her off. With Harmony and Drusilla both temporarily subdued, Spike frees Buffy. Drusilla comments that he’s too lost for her to help him. She walks away sadly. Harmony announces that Spike won’t be seeing her (or her butt) again, then leaves as well. Buffy punches Spike before she heads out.

He follows her home, trying to convince her that one fight doesn’t have to mean anything. She tells him that she wants him out of her town and off the planet. He’s not allowed near her, her family, or her friends. Spike keeps insisting that it’s not that easy and she can’t shut him out. He tries to follow her inside the house, but he can’t get in. It looks like while Buffy was out, Willow did the spell that revokes a vampire’s invitation. Spike is no longer welcome in the Summerses’ house.

Thoughts: This is the last time we see both Drusilla and Harmony (though we see Drusilla later in another form). Farewell, you entertaining nutbars.

Why are the Summerses and the Scoobies letting Dawn go around town alone when they’re worried about Glory? Go pick her up from school, Joyce!

Harmony calls Drusilla “Morticia,” which I hope is a nod to Mercedes McNab (Harmony) being in the ’90s Addams Family movies.

April 1, 2023

Buffy 5.7, Fool for Love: “What Can I Tell You, Baby? I’ve Always Been Bad”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:16 pm by Jenn

I could watch these scenes all day

Summary: Buffy’s fighting a punk-ish vampire in a cemetery, and everything’s going like it should until he somehow gets the better of her and stabs her in the stomach with her own stake. She tries to run away but he catches up to her and prepares to stab her again. At the last moment, Riley tackles him and tries to taze him, but the vampire runs off.

Buffy passes out, and Riley takes her home and patches her up. He thinks she should see a doctor, but she doesn’t want Joyce to find out that she got hurt. Plus, there’s no point when she has her Slayer super-healing (and a boyfriend with combat medical training). Riley asks how many vampires attacked her. Buffy’s embarrassed to admit that it was just one. She’s in the best physical shape of her life, so she doesn’t know how he got the better of her.

Dawn runs into Buffy’s bedroom to let her know that Joyce is on her way in. Riley hides anything that might make her suspicious. Dawn even pretends that the rubbing alcohol he was using is hers, from a nail polish experiment. As a reward, Buffy tells her she got hurt. Mostly that’s because she needs Dawn to help out more around the house while Buffy’s healing. Riley offers to patrol that night, and Buffy asks him to take the Scoobies with him. Sorry, Dawn, you’re not invited.

Riley puts on some of his old camo for the patrol, while Willow, Xander, and Anya don’t bother. They try to interpret his hand signals, and when they can’t, Xander yells to him to ask what they mean. Riley tells them to go check out the Bronze instead of continuing to be unstealthy in the cemetery. They promise to be quieter, which means getting rid of the chips they’re snacking on.

At the Magic Box, Buffy and Giles read up on past Slayers. Buffy wants to know about their last battles and why they lost. She doesn’t get why, after training harder than ever, she almost got killed. If she can understand what went wrong, maybe she can keep it from happening again. Giles notes that after a Slayer dies, it’s pretty hard to find out why. Buffy asks about Watchers’ journals, but Giles thinks that after losing a Slayer, the Watchers can’t bring themselves to write about them.

Buffy realizes that there’s someone she can ask in person about Slayers’ final battles. Spike killed two Slayers, and she tells him that he’s going to show her how. They go to the Bronze so Spike can have a beer while he tells his story. He doesn’t think there’s much to tell, though – he fought the Slayers and they died. The end. Spike realizes that Buffy’s hurt and taunts her about it. She asks if he was born this annoying. “What can I tell you, baby?” he replies. “I’ve always been bad.”

London, 1880: Spike, then known as William, is writing a poem but can’t find a good word that rhymes with “gleaming.” As a human, his speech and clothing aren’t too different from Giles’. He sees a woman he’s interested in, Cecily, and gets some inspiration. They’re at a party where some people are discussing recent disappearances in town. When someone asks his opinion, William says he would rather think about things of beauty than dark stuff like death. The police can deal with that.

Someone swipes his poem and reads it out loud:

“My heart expands
‘Tis grown a bulge in’t
Inspired by
Your beauty effulgent.”

Everyone laughs except Cecily. A woman jokes that he’s called William the Bloody “because of his bloody awful poetry.” The man who read the poem says he’d rather have a railroad spike driven through his head than listen to any more. William leaves the room and finds Cecily, who asks if his poems are about her. He admits that they are and professes his love. She isn’t interested. He tells her that he may be a bad poet, but he’s a good man. Cecily tells him that he’s nothing to her: “You’re beneath me.”

William tears up his poem as he leaves the party. He ends up in a barn, which is where he meets his future girlfriend for the first time. Drusilla says that he’s surrounded by fools who “can’t see his strength, his vision, his glory.” Also, he has burning baby fish swimming around his head. William thinks that Drusilla is a pickpocket, but she says his real wealth is in his heart and mind, his spirit and imagination. He walks in worlds that other people can’t grasp.

William tries to leave, saying his mother is expecting him. Drusilla can see that he wants “something glowing and glistening. Something effulgent.” She asks if he wants it and he says yes. She vamps out and bites him. He yells in pain, then finds the experience pleasurable.

Present: The Scoobies spot the vampire who injured Buffy and track him to a crypt, where he’s telling some buddies about stabbing the Slayer. Riley decides there are too many of them, so they’ll come back in the morning to take them out.

Spike and Buffy play pool as he tells her about becoming a vampire. He says that dying made him feel alive for the first time. He was done with following the rules and decided to make his own. But first he had to get a gang.

Yorkshire, 1880: Drusilla has introduced William – now Spike – to Angelus and Darla, but Angelus isn’t interested in bringing him into their little group. Spike has gone from the quiet guy in the corner of the party to an attention-seeking trouble-maker. They had to flee London, and now they’re hiding in a mine shaft. Angelus complains that every time Spike makes a scene, they become targets.

Darla hopes the guys fight. Spike thinks Angelus should, since he needs to unleash and get out some aggression. Angelus would rather stay civilized, the only thing that makes them different from animals. Spike eggs him on until Angelus attacks, which is just what Spike wanted. Angelus warns that Spike can’t act like this forever. Maybe one day, an angry mob will teach Spike a lesson. Or maybe the Slayer will. This is the first time Spike has heard of one of those.

Present: Spike tells Buffy that he became obsessed with the Slayer. Unlike other vampires, he wasn’t afraid of her. He went looking for her. Buffy asks how he killed the first one. Spike grabs her from behind and tells her that a Slayer should always reach for her weapon. He shows his vamp face and says he already has his. When you become a vampire, there’s nothing to be afraid of except the Slayer..

China, 1900: Spike faces off with the Slayer, who’s Chinese, in a temple as a village burns during the Boxer Rebellion. Spike’s having a great time. The Slayer does some swordplay, slicing Spike’s brow and giving him his iconic scar. He breaks the weapon and she has to switch to hand-to-hand combat. She’s about to stake him when a fire flares nearby and she gets distracted. Eventually Spike is able to grab her from behind and sink his teeth into her neck. As she dies, she asks him to tell her mother that she’s sorry. “Sorry, love, I don’t speak Chinese,” he replies. He’s exhilarated by the kill and says he could get used to this.

Drusilla finds him a little while later, happy about his accomplishment. Spike is turned on, and he has Drusilla lick some of the Slayer’s blood from his finger. They start making out, ignoring the fire around them. Later, they meet up with Darla and Angelus, who was actually Angel again by then, having gotten his soul back two years earlier, and who says that killing the Slayer makes Spike one of them. Spike notes that when the next Slayer is called, Angel can have the first shot at killing her.

Present: Spike says that was the best night of his life. Buffy’s disgusted that he was so turned on by what he did. He thinks she must feel the same about killing vampires. She can stake all the vampires in the world, but they just need one good day to take out the Slayer. She’s so good at what she does that she thinks she’s immortal now. Buffy tells him she just knows how to handle herself. Spike punches her wound, which causes them both pain. She asks if this is the end of the lesson. He says they’re not even close. They’re just changing locations.

Instead of waiting for the morning, Riley goes back to the crypt by himself. He does a pretty cool move where he gets the vampire who stabbed Buffy to drop her stake right into his hand. After he’s staked that guy, Riley leaves the others with a parting gift in the form of a grenade.

In the alley behind the Bronze, Spike continues his story. The second lesson is that Buffy’s asking the wrong question. It’s not about how Spike won the battles with the Slayers; it’s about why the Slayers lost. Buffy doesn’t see a difference. He says it’s a big one. He starts sparring with her, which doesn’t hurt him because he knows he can’t touch her. If he doesn’t intend to hurt someone, he doesn’t feel any pain. Buffy punches him a couple of times and asks again how he killed the Slayers. Spike says she’s not ready to know.

New York City, 1977: Spike, who now has his signature bleached hair and is dressed like a Billy Idol groupie, fights the Slayer (who we’ll later learn is named Nikki) on a moving subway. He tells Buffy in the present that she and Nikki had similar styles. “I could have danced all night with that one,” he says as he and Buffy spar, recreating his fight with Nikki. “You think we’re dancing?” Buffy asks. “That’s all we’ve ever done,” he replies. The dance never stops.

Spike says that every day, you wake up wondering if it’s the day you’ll die. “Death is on your heels, baby, and sooner or later, it’s gonna catch you,” he tells Buffy. In 1977, he’s dislodged a subway pole, which he uses to try to hit Nikki. He thinks that part of Buffy wants to die, not just because it’ll end her uncertainty and fear but because she’s a little in love with it.

Nikki gets Spike on the ground and punches him a few times. The train goes through a tunnel, making everything dark, and when it’s light again, Spike is on top of Nikki. He looks up and says what he’s telling Buffy in the present: “Death is your art. You make it with your hands day after day. That final gasp, that look of peace. Part of you is desperate to know, what’s it like? Where does it lead you?”

That’s the real secret. It’s not about the moves Buffy screwed up during a fight. Nikki wanted death. Every Slayer has a death wish. Spike snaps Nikki’s neck in 1977, telling Buffy in the present that that includes her. He pulls the cord to stop the subway, then goes back to take Nikki’s jacket, the leather one he now wears all the time.

He tells Buffy that she’s only survived as long as she has because she has ties to the world, like her family and friends. But they just make Buffy put off the inevitable: “Sooner or later, you’re gonna want it. And the second – the second that happens, you know I’ll be there. I’ll slip in, have myself a real good day.” Buffy looks a tiny bit shaken. “Here endeth the lesson,” Spike says. He wonders if Buffy will enjoy death as much as Nikki did.

Buffy orders Spike to leave, and he taunts that he got to her. He eggs her on to fight him. When she won’t, he leans in like he’s going to kiss her. She’s disgusted, but he says he knows she wants to “dance.” Buffy shoves him to the ground and tells him that even if she wanted to, she wouldn’t do it with him. She tosses the money she offered him for his help all around him and tells him, “You’re beneath me.”

Spike cries a little as he picks up the money. Then he gets mad. He goes home to grab a gun, telling Harmony that if Buffy thinks he’s beneath her, he’ll put her beneath him – specifically, six feet beneath him. She doesn’t need a death wish. Harmony tries to talk Spike out of going after someone who will beat the crap out of him and then stake him. He thinks he can kill Buffy before she can hurt him. As he storms out, Harmony calls after him that he couldn’t kill Buffy before the chip, and he had plenty of chances.

South America, 1998: “Why can’t you kill her?” Drusilla asks Spike. They’ve fled Sunnydale, and Drusilla knows that Spike is still obsessed with Buffy. He says he tried to push her away for Drusilla, but Drusilla keeps cheating on him. In fact, the chaos demon he caught her making out with is standing right there. Drusilla says that Spike tastes like ashes. The chaos demon decides he shouldn’t be a part of this and leaves. Wait, shouldn’t he enjoy chaos? Drusilla says that Spike is “covered with her.” When she looks at him, all she sees is Buffy.

Present: Buffy goes home and finds Joyce packing a suitcase. Her recent health issues have led to the need for a CAT scan, which requires an overnight stay at the hospital. The doctors are optimistic, thinking that if there’s anything wrong, they caught it early. Joyce assures Buffy that she’ll be fine.

Buffy goes out to the backyard to be alone. Spike finds her there, crying. It would be the perfect moment to kill her – she’s vulnerable and unarmed, and she doesn’t even notice him for a few moments. But when he sees how upset she is, he just asks what’s wrong. Buffy says she doesn’t want to talk about it. Spike gently asks if there’s anything he can do. She doesn’t respond, so he sits down next to her and pats her back a little. She still doesn’t say anything, but she doesn’t send him away, either, so they sit there in silence.

Thoughts: I’d forgotten that this was a companion episode to the Angel episode “Darla.” (Spoiler alert: Darla was resurrected.) In that, we learn that the disappearances people were discussing at the party in London were the work of Angelus, Darla, and Drusilla. Also, Darla tried to help Angel get his groove back in China by urging him to eat a baby.

If I were a Scooby and I found out about Spike’s poem, I would work the word “effulgent” into every conversation I had with him.

How many Slayers have been American? Buffy, Nikki, and Faith all were, and they were all called within a 20-year time frame. There are almost 200 countries in the world and three Slayers in 20 years came from just one of them?

The scene where Spike tells Buffy about killing Nikki is really well done with the way it goes back and forth between eras, as if it’s all happening at once. It starts to feel like a dance.

March 25, 2023

Buffy 5.6, Family: A Place in the World

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:15 pm by Jenn


Summary: While Miss Kitty Fantastico plays with yarn, Willow asks Tara to tell her a story. Tara makes one up about a kitty who was all alone and was taken to the pound, which was full of different animals, including dolphins and half of a camel. Then the kitty was chosen by nice people and taken home and got a happy ending.

Willow’s ready for bed but Tara wants to read up on some spells. She’s been working hard on magic recently so she can feel more useful to the Scoobies. Willow promises her that she’s essential to the group. They wonder if Buffy found out anything during her return trip to the factory. Willow guesses that if she did, she would have called.

Buffy only called Giles, who has no idea how to respond to the news that Dawn is a key. Buffy doesn’t want to tell her, since she would freak out. They need to keep Dawn safe. Giles suggests sending her away, since Glory must know that Buffy knows what’s going on. They could send Dawn to Hank. Apparently Hank ran off to Spain with his secretary, and he didn’t even get in touch after Buffy let him know that Joyce was sick. JERK.

Buffy says that Dawn cried for a week when their father left. Now she knows that wasn’t real, but she still feels it. The monks sent Dawn to Buffy, and she feels responsible for her not-really sister. She wants to take care of Dawn. Buffy doesn’t think they should let the other Scoobies in on the secret, since they would act weird around Dawn. It’s safer if they don’t know. Giles says they need to find out more about Glory, in case she comes after Buffy. Buffy’s sure she will. Back at the factory, Glory emerges from the rubble of the collapse she caused and says, “Okay. Now I’m upset.”

The next day, the Scoobies help Buffy move out of her gigantic single dorm room. She notices that Giles isn’t exactly contributing. He says he saw himself in more of a “patriarchal role,” pointing and scowling. He demonstrates by snapping at Xander and Riley to stop wrestling with each other. Xander says that Riley called him a bad name, or possibly just something in Latin.

Buffy’s moving back to the Summerses’ house since she’s always there anyway. She notices that Dawn hs disappeared, but it’s just because she’s been removing things from the room like she was supposed to. Buffy’s sore from her fight with Glory, and the Scoobies promise that they’ll provide backup the next time she comes around. Tara says that if Buffy learns Glory’s source, they can introduce her to her insect reflection. Apparently that’s a good joke “if you studied Taglarin mythic rites and are a complete dork.” “Then how come Xander didn’t laugh?” Riley quips. Heh.

When Tara leaves the room, Willow reminds everyone else to be at the Bronze by 8:00 the next night. They completely forgot about Tara’s surprise birthday party. Buffy’s looking forward to a break from the current craziness. Speaking of crazy, Ben notices the admittance of another patient with the symptoms the security guard from the factory had. It seems to be a spreading epidemic. As Ben is changing in the hospital locker room after a shift, a gross-looking demon with a snake-like tongue creeps toward him. Glory holds it back and tells it she needs a favor.

Anya’s already improved her customer-relations skills, thanking a Magic Box customer for shopping there and saying they value her patronage: “Please come again for more purchases!” Giles thinks she’s a little too enthusiastic, but how can she not be? The customers give them money in exchange for items, Giles gives Anya money for working for him, and Anya feels like she has a place in the world. She’s part of the system, a working gal. But she only wants to be part of the system when it involves interesting tasks.

Buffy and Xander come in talking about Tara’s party, which neither of them is really that thrilled to attend. Giles has been looking into Glory, but Buffy didn’t give him much to go on. He asks for more info on what she’s like. “She was kind of like Cordelia, actually,” Buffy tells him. “I’m pretty sure she dyes her hair.” Giles sarcastically replies that that should help him narrow it down.

Xander joins Buffy to do research, and also to talk about presents for Tara. They don’t know her well enough to know what to get her. She’s nice and all, but they don’t really click with her. They anticipate a lot of Wiccans at the party and worry that they won’t fit in. Xander notes that Willow has something new in her life, but she’s still the old Willow, so they get her. All they know about Tara is that she likes Willow, and, as Xander notes, “she already has one of those.” Buffy complains that Tara’s birthday is one too many things for her to worry about. Xander suggests that she train or do something to work off the tension.

Buffy takes his advice that night when she fights Spike in his crypt. He tells her that if she wants him, she can come and get him. She replies that she’s coming right now. Cut to Spike having sex with Harmony while daydreaming about Buffy. Harmony is, as usual, completely clueless.

Giles checks in with Buffy and Xander, asking if they’ve made any progress. They think he’s talking about brainstorming presents for Tara rather than figuring out what Glory is. He reminds them that they’re in a magic shop, so if they can’t figure out what to get a witch while sitting in a room full of things witches like, they’re both idiots. Xander asks what they’re supposed to get Tara, a crystal ball? Giles says no, since he’s already wrapped one.

A customer notices the pile of books Buffy and Xander are looking through, and Giles tells him they’re part of a private collection. The guy asks if the books are full of spells that do things like turn people into frogs. Xander quips that, yes, they’re “building a race of frog people.” The guy asks if everyone there is a witch and jokes that they shouldn’t do a spell on him. Tara and Willow arrive just then (Willow didn’t hear the “insect reflection” joke earlier, and she’s laughing at it now) and Tara is surprised to see the customer. He’s her older brother, Donny.

Tara’s stutter, which had mostly disappeared, returns when she talks to her brother. He tells her they came down to surprise her and have been looking for her all over campus. “They” refers to their father and cousin Beth, who come in next. Willow looks a little disappointed when Tara introduces the Scoobies as her friends but doesn’t single her out as someone more significant. Tara’s relationship with her family isn’t warm at all, but she agrees to have dinner with them.

After the research session, Buffy goes home, where Riley’s been unpacking her stuff for her. Dawn’s about to head out to have dinner at a friend’s house, but Buffy won’t let her go. She says it’s not safe, which makes no sense to Dawn, since the friend lives just across the street. Buffy declares this family night. Plus, she doesn’t think Melinda’s a good influence: “I don’t like you hanging out with someone that…short.” Dawn’s not looking forward to having her controlling big sister living in the house again.

Riley agrees with Dawn that Buffy is being too strict. He senses that something’s going on, but Buffy won’t tell him anything. He offers to contact Graham about helping them figure out what Glory is, but Buffy firmly says no. She thinks it’ll be safer for them the fewer people they get involved. Riley’s annoyed that she seems to be pushing him away. She promises that she wants him to help, but she’s not exactly showing him that.

Tara’s father is waiting for her when she gets home (she and Willoa aren’t in an apartment as I first thought; they have a dorm room in the same dorm Buffy and Willow lived in last season). He thinks she left out all her witchy stuff so he would see it. He snipes that she doesn’t even try to hide it anymore. He’d hoped she’d gotten past “the whole witchcraft thing.”

Tara says that she didn’t know her family was coming. Mr. Maclay thinks she should have. They haven’t heard from her in months, and her birthday is almost here. She knows what that means. Tara starts to say that she doesn’t think it will mean anything. Mr. Maclay reminds her that she’s turning 20, the same age her mother was when she…something. He asks if Tara’s friends know. She says yes, but he can tell she’s lying.

He announces that she’s coming home with her family. “You can’t control what’s going to happen,” he tells her. “You have evil inside of you, and it will come out. And letting yourself work all this magic is only going to make it worse. Where do you think that power comes from?” Tara timidly says that it doesn’t feel evil. “Evil never does,” he replies. He gives her the night to say goodbye; they’re leaving in the morning. He says her family loves her no matter what. Her friends might not feel the same when they see her “true face.”

Glory has chained up the demon in her huge closet full of nice clothes. She’s very unhappy about Buffy’s interference with her plans. The demon IDs Buffy as a Slayer, which makes Glory feel worse. She can’t believe she was bested by someone that common. She tells the demon to gather its friends and kill Buffy.

Willow comes home and tells Tara that Giles has called a Scooby meeting about Glory. Willow wants to try the demon-locating spell they didn’t have luck with last time (because Tara purposely botched it). Tara says her family’s there, so she can’t drop everything to go be a Scooby. Not everything is about them. She backs off and says she’s just tired and has a lot going on. She’ll see Willow in the morning. After Willow leaves, Tara looks up a spell. She sneaks into the Magic Box and performs it without the Scoobies noticing.

Willy’s bar is still in business, though Willy himself isn’t working tonight. Apparently Riley has been coming in a lot. Sandy, who is somehow not dead, joins him at the bar and flirts with him. She invites him to go somewhere private with him, but he says he’s seeing someone. Also, he doesn’t date vampires.

Spike is admiring the head of his Buffy-substitute mannequin when Harmony comes home after a shopping spree. Well, I don’t know if it qualifies as a shopping spree when she stole everything. She ran into another vampire who told her that a demon is recruiting people to help kill Buffy. Spike says he’s happy to hear it. Harmony suggests getting the killers a gift basket if they pull it off. Ha! Spike heads out, saying he wants a front-row seat if they’re successful.

Tara runs into Beth back on campus and tells her she’s not going home with their family. Beth, who’s been very pleasant this whole time, calls her a selfish b^%#$ who doesn’t care about how worried her father has been since she left. Donny and Mr. Maclay have had to take care of themselves (the horror!) while Tara has been in Sunnydale, “living God knows what kind of lifestyle.” Beth is looking forward to the Scoobies finding out the truth about Tara. No matter how innocent she acts, they’ll see the real her. That is, unless Tara did a spell on them. Beth realizes she did and threatens to tell Mr. Maclay.

Tara says she only did a spell so the Scoobies wouldn’t see the demon part of her. She bets Beth not to tell her father. It was a harmless spell. Maybe it was in terms of Tara’s true nature, but it’s blinded the Scoobies to all demons. That means that when a couple of them show up at the Magic Box to kill Buffy, Willow doesn’t see them.

Beth tells Tara that she’s out of control – she’s been lying to her friends for a year, and now she’s done a spell on them. “Is that right? Is that a human thing to do?” she asks. She’s going to tell Mr. Maclay, and she expects that if he doesn’t force Tara to come home with them, he’ll spill everything to the Scoobies. Tara should tell them first, then say goodbye.

Three demons enter the Magic Box and walk around completely unnoticed. Buffy seems to sense them, but she doesn’t get confirmation that they’re there until one growls a little. She starts fighting them and yells for Giles. One of the demons stops Xander from running in to help her, which just confuses Willow, who sees him fighting nothing. They quickly realize they’re dealing with invisible enemies and do the best they can.

Spike arrives, eager to watch Buffy get killed, but it doesn’t take long for him to decide to lend the Scoobies a hand instead. Buffy’s able to get out of the training room and join her friends in the main shop. She tells them to be quiet so she can hear where the demons are. Tara arrives just then and warns her that one is behind her. She realizes that her spell has put the Scoobies in danger, so she quickly ends it.

Tara’s family shows up as Buffy is finishing off the last demon. Spike, who killed one in the training room, comes in and IDs them. Tara apologetically says that she was trying to hide so Willow wouldn’t see what she is. Mr. Maclay announces that the women in the family “have demon in them.” Tara’s mother did. It was the source of her magic. They came to get Tara before this sort of thing started happening.

Giles realizes that Tara did a spell to keep them from seeing demons. The Scoobies aren’t happy about that, but Willow doesn’t want them to write Tara off for doing a spell that went wrong. Mr. Maclay says that Tara isn’t Willow’s concern. She belongs with her family, since they know how to “control her problem.” Willow says that she trusted Tara more than anyone in her life. Was it all a lie? Tara promises it wasn’t.

Willow asks if Tara wants to leave. Mr. Maclay says it’s not her decision. Willow snaps that she knows, then asks Tara again. Tara doesn’t want to go, but Mr. Maclay says it’s what’s right. It should be clear that Tara belongs with her family. Buffy says it is, and if Mr. Maclay wants Tara, he can take her. Tara’s sad to hear that until Buffy adds, “You just gotta go through me.”

Dawn joins her and Mr. Maclay scoffs at the idea of “two little girls” standing in his way. Dawn tells him he doesn’t want to mess with them. Buffy confirms that Dawn fights dirty: “She’s a hair-puller.” Giles stands behind the sisters, saying they’re not the only people the Maclays will have to go through. Xander agrees – the Maclays are dealing with all of them. “‘Cept me,” Spike speaks up. “‘Cept Spike,” Xander confirms. “I don’t care what happens,” Spike says. Mr. Maclay tells the Scoobies that they have no right to get involved here. The Maclays are Tara’s blood kin. Who are the Scoobies? “We’re family,” Buffy says.

Donny threatens to beat his sister if she doesn’t get in the car. Xander threatens him right back. Beth says she hopes the Scoobies will be happy hanging out with a “disgusting demon.” Anya raises her hand to ask what kind of demon Tara is. After all, not all demons are evil; some are “useful members of society.” The Maclays don’t think it matters, since evil is evil. Anya asks them to narrow it down.

Spike decides to lend a hand to answer the question. Literally, he lends a hand by punching Tara in the nose. Willow’s upset on her behalf until she realizes that the action hurt Spike’s head. That means Tara’s human. Spike guesses that the family tells their women that they have demons in them in order to keep them under the men’s control. He’s kind of impressed. Tara’s relieved to realize that she’s not a demon.

Mr. Maclay reminds Tara that her family has cared for her and supported her for her entire life. She just tells him to leave. Beth is angry at her for disturbing the family dynamic, but Tara’s thrilled to be able to live her life the way she wants. It’s the perfect time for a celebration, which the Scoobies have at the Bronze in honor of Tara’s birthday. Even the ones who weren’t excited for the party a couple days ago have a good time.

As Buffy and Riley make up, Tara tries to explain the “insect reflection” joke to Anya. She still doesn’t think it’s funny. Willow comes to get Tara so they can slow dance together. She’s a little bummed that Tara didn’t tell her about her family, but Tara says she was afraid that Willow wouldn’t want to be with her. Instead, Willow’s proud to see how well Tara has come out of what she grew up with. It makes her love Tara more. Tara says that even when she’s at her worst, Willow makes her feel special. How does she do that? Willow smiles and says it’s magic. They embrace as they dance, eventually levitating off the floor.

Thoughts: Beth is played by Amy Adams.

I like the little throwaway moment where Buffy and Xander worry about not fitting in with Tara’s friends, having no idea that she has the same concerns about their group. Everyone feels awkward sometimes! We’re all dorks! Isn’t it great?

In another instance of what I think qualifies as irony, Glory calls Buffy short not long after Buffy says the same thing to Dawn about her friend.

So now we have an answer for why Tara blew the spell in “Goodbye, Iowa” – she thought it would identify her as a demon.

Beth’s criticism of Tara’s use of magic is even more significant if you’ve seen season 6. Tara gets concerned that Willow’s using it too much, and may be thinking of what Beth says here about it not being “a human thing to do.”

March 11, 2023

Buffy 5.4, Out of My Mind: Power Surge

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:03 pm by Jenn

Spike’s insurance provider is I Punch You in the Face and You Do What I Tell You

Summary: Buffy’s in a cemetery, watching for vampires from the top of a mausoleum. She takes off running, stops, then bends down to stake a vampire just as he’s coming out of his grave. Another vampire rises and she fights with him until Riley runs in and takes him down. He thought she was in another section of the cemetery and just wanted to help.

Another vampire emerges from a grave, and this time Spike jumps into the action. Buffy wonders why she even patrols anymore. She shoves Spike out of the way just as a fourth vampire starts to attack him. She tells him to stop getting in her way, and Riley backs her up. Spike notices that Buffy doesn’t seem excited to have Riley there, either.

Buffy and Riley leave together, and she tries to get through to him that she doesn’t like it when he patrols alone. He just doesn’t appreciate being left out. He wants to do more slaying, but it doesn’t look like there’s anything left to slay (other than Spike). As they head out, Spike vows to kill Buffy. Then he falls into an open grave. Womp womp.

The next day, I guess, Buffy and Willow have a debate about the French revolution. Willow’s thrilled that they’re having a school-related conversation, something she’s wanted with her best friend forever. Buffy’s trying harder in school, but she’s also doing more training and studying with Giles. She expected a movie-like montage, but instead she’s just working a lot and getting headaches.

Giles is also working hard, trying to spiff up the Magic Box with help from Xander, Anya, and Tara. Willow’s excited to get her witch supplies there. Tara thinks they should have a psychic read fortunes in the shop. Willow suggests that Tara do it, though Tara doesn’t think she’s good enough. Willow offers up her hand for some palm-reading, and the two of them flirt a little. Buffy, Giles, and Xander head into the new training area, where Riley tackles Buffy. She loves the room, which includes a punching bag, a pommel horse, and a dummy/scarecrow.

That night, Spike is watching Dawson’s Creek in his crypt when Harmony shows up. She thinks Buffy’s looking for her on patrol. Harmony had to go on the lam, since she’s Buffy’s new arch-nemesis. She begs to hide out with Spike, who’s clearly willing to take her in if it means their clothes will come off. She has no problem with that.

She steals one of his cigarettes, having taken up smoking since that’s what villains do and she sees herself as a villain now. Spike tells her that Buffy will hunt her down until she’s dead. Harmony should kill her first. “I tried! It was all hard and stuff!” Harmony whines. She thinks Spike should do it instead. He’d love to, but he can’t while he has the chip in his head. Harmony gives in and says she’ll do it, as long as Spike helps “with the thinking.” Elsewhere, Buffy has followed patrolling with sex, and Riley’s eager for another round.

Dawn nabs the prize from a cereal box the next morning, then requests eggs for breakfast. As Joyce is serving them, she suddenly stops in her tracks and asks, “Who are you?” before collapsing. Dawn quickly calls 911, and Buffy and Riley meet her at the hospital. Joyce’s doctor, Ben, tells them that Joyce is doing better, but they’re not sure why she collapsed. Dawn plays with his stethoscope, which lets her hear that Buffy and Ben’s heart rates are normal, but Riley’s is super-fast.

Riley gets examined but doesn’t listen to his doctor’s recommendation that he stay for observation. Buffy remains quiet, knowing she won’t be able to talk him out of leaving against medical advice. He thinks his heart just works differently now, after all the stuff the Initiative did to him. Joyce is also leaving, after undergoing a bunch of tests.

Buffy, Dawn, and Willow tend to her when she gets home, then discuss Riley’s situation. Buffy wants to do something, but she’s not sure what. Dawn just offers up facts about the CIA and Fidel Castro. Shh, Dawn. Willow suggests that Buffy call the Initiative – if they know what’s wrong with Riley, they’ll have to help.

Buffy notes that all traces of the group have been erased, so she doesn’t know how to reach them. She’s annoyed that, like Big Brother, the government can spy on you all the time, then ignore you when you actually have something to say. “Sounds more like big sister,” Dawn grumbles. She thinks that if the government really is spying on Buffy, all she has to do is say something they can hear. Riley isn’t at his place (wherever that is now) when Buffy goes looking for him there, so she picks up the phone and says, “Riley’s in trouble. He needs help.”

He doesn’t need help on the basketball court, though, as he’s single-handedly beating everyone he’s playing in a pickup game. Graham shows up with a couple of agents and tells him he needs medical treatment immediately. Riley has no interest in going anywhere the government can take advantage of him again.

Graham, who’s still working for them, promises that he wouldn’t let anything happen to his friend, but Riley can’t trust the orders Graham is following. Graham acknowledges that Walsh messed with them, Riley the worst. He needs to get fixed up ASAP, and Graham won’t give him a choice. Riley seems like he’s going to give in, but instead, he punches Graham out. He fights off the other agents and takes off.

Buffy’s understandably upset when she meets up with Graham to discuss Riley. He tells her that Riley has “hyper-adrenal overload,” which makes him stronger than he should be. His heart won’t be able to take it much longer. There’s a specialist waiting at the hospital. Buffy promises to get Riley there, threatening to beat Graham up if he tells her to hurry.

The Scoobies gather at the Magic Box to discuss how Riley’s gone AWOL. Xander thinks he just needs time alone. He had a friend once who liked a girl and was worried that she didn’t like him back, so it made him act like a jerk. Confused, Willow asks what he’s talking about. Xander replies that maybe Riley just wants attention. Anya assures him that she cares about him, and he shouldn’t be insecure. She has a friend who likes his friend, and…okay, that’s not important right now.

Buffy sends the Scoobies off to search places where Riley might be hanging out. Willow suggests the school ruins, since he stayed there for a while and might find them “homey.” That makes Buffy think that he went back to the Initiative’s caves. She just doesn’t know them well enough to search them. “We do have an associate who knows those caves like the back of his melanin-deprived hand,” Giles notes. Buffy doesn’t want to deal with Spike right now; he’s been making her want to kill him even more than usual. She’s sure he’s up to something nasty, hanging out in his crypt all day.

Not right now, he’s not – he and Harmony are playing 20 Questions. The thing she’s thinking of isn’t bigger or smaller than a breadbox; it’s an actual breadbox. She hides when they hear banging on the door just before Buffy bursts in. She offers him money to find Riley and take him to the hospital. “Oh, dear, is the enormous hall monitor sick?” Spike snarks. Buffy slaps him and tells him Riley isn’t the only person who can die. Spike asks for half his money up front, so Buffy rips the bills in half and throws them at him. After she leaves, Harmony emerges from her hiding place and asks what Buffy said about her.

Graham checks in with the doctor, Overheiser, who warns that it might already be too late for Riley. Spike and Harmony come in, knock out Graham, and tell Overheiser that he has a new patient. They take him to an operating room at UC Sunnydale’s med school and order him to remove the chip from Spike’s head. Overheiser says he can’t. It’s deeply embedded and removing it could cause permanent damage. Spike thinks that the crossbow Harmony is pointing at Overheiser is enough motivation for him to operate successfully.

Willow and Tara check out the school ruins, which are dark. Willow does a lighting spell she tweaked to be brighter. Buffy’s in the caves, where she finds Riley punching a wall. His hand is bleeding but he doesn’t feel any pain. She insists on taking him to Overheiser, but Riley doesn’t want treatment from a government doctor when the government made him the way he is. Buffy says that Overheiser is the only one who understands what’s wrong with him. Riley, however, doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with him. He’s more powerful than most people could even dream of being.

Buffy tells him that his body isn’t equipped to handle the stress this new power is putting on it. He thinks he can handle it, and he tells her to back off. She doesn’t understand why he’s acting the way he is. Riley admits that he’s afraid of going back to being normal. He doesn’t think he’d be enough for her. After all, her last boyfriend wasn’t a “civilian.”

Buffy is frustrated that Riley’s willing to endanger his life because he’s feeling competitive about Angel. Riley says it’s about them – Buffy’s getting stronger and more powerful every day, which puts her further and further from his reach. She tells him she’s not the one running away. She can’t believe that he thinks she’ll dump him because he’s “not in the super-club.” He says it’s human nature.

She tells him that no one has ever known her the way he does. He must not think much of her if he believes she’s only with him because he’s strong. If Buffy wanted someone with super-powers, she’d date Spike. She needs Riley, and that means he needs to be healthy. If he wants to throw it all away because he doesn’t trust her, fine, but she’ll still make him go to see Overheiser. Riley gives in, then tells her that loving her is the scariest thing he’s ever done. She replies that she doesn’t know why.

Overheiser digs around in Spike’s brain while Harmony observes. She’s intrigued by the fact that he’s still awake, since he was only given local anesthesia. She claims that since the chip keeps him from hurting living things, he can’t even pick flowers. Overheiser begs her to shut up. Buffy and Riley find Graham, who tells them that Spike and a blonde knocked him out. Buffy guesses the blonde is Harmony, and that they took Overheiser to make him remove Spike’s chip. Riley’s starting to power down, so they need to find Overheiser quickly.

Graham heads off to send people to check local clinics and animal hospitals. Riley wants to make up with him, but Graham says that can wait until later, assuming Riley survives all this. Buffy insists that he will. She starts brainstorming how she’ll kill Spike when this is over. Coincidentally, he’s brainstorming what he’ll do to her. Harmony, who’s smoking again, excitedly spots the chip in his brain. Overheiser declares the operation over, and Spike eagerly anticipates being stitched up so he can go kill Buffy.

Once Overheiser is done, Spike declares his intent to make him an appetizer. Buffy and Riley arrive just then and face off with the vampires. Spike announces that his “bug-zapper” is gone, which Buffy thinks makes him fair game for slaying now. Harmony accidentally shoots Riley with the crossbow, and he fights her while Buffy and Spike fight each other. Spike gets Buffy on the ground and moves to bite her, but pain in his head keeps him from doing it. Riley is similarly incapacitated and goes down.

As Buffy checks on him, Spike looks in the dish where Overheiser supposedly put the chip after he removed it. It contains a penny. Harmony’s back was turned when he pulled out the “chip,” so she and Spike only heard something hit the bottom of the dish and assumed it was the chip. Overheiser reminds Spike that he said he couldn’t remove it. Spike and Harmony flee as Overheiser goes over to help Riley. Spike complains that Buffy is everywhere he turns. She’s made it her personal project to torture him. He can’t get rid of her; she’s haunting him. He declares that it has to end.

Riley’s surgery was much more successful, and he tells Buffy he’s back to normal, whatever that is now. She makes it clear that she’s not going anywhere. Well, not long-term. Right now, she wants to go check on Joyce. Graham tells Riley that it’s a good thing Buffy found him when she did. She’s always impressed him. But he doesn’t think Riley belongs in Sunnydale: “You’re nothing here.” He used to have a mission, but now he’s just the Slayer’s boyfriend. He belongs in the military.

Buffy bursts into Spike’s crypt and complains about the mess he made. She’s done with him, and she should have killed him years ago. He tells her to do it already – it’ll end his torment. He’s sick of seeing her everywhere he goes. “Take me out of a world that has you in it,” he says. Buffy moves to stake him, but she stops. He grabs her and kisses her. She jumps back after a moment, then approaches him and kisses him some more. She whispers that she wants him, and he replies that he loves her.

Spike wakes from this dream with a gasp. Harmony’s the only blonde in his crypt. “Please, no,” he says.

Thoughts: This episode really overestimates how much the viewers care about Riley.

Giles suggesting that Buffy team up with Spike feels out of character.

There’s a funny moment when Overheiser tells Harmony to put out her cigarette, since smoking isn’t allowed. She resists until he points out a no-smoking sign. Then she gets really apologetic. And that’s why Harmony isn’t the new Big Bad.

February 25, 2023

Buffy 5.2, Real Me: The Dawn of Dawn

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:15 pm by Jenn

Hmm, I wonder why Buffy didn’t take this threat seriously

Summary: “There is nothing but you,” Giles tells Buffy as he guides her through a meditation exercise in a gym. I guess he’s helping her get in touch with her inner Slayer or something. Whatever this exercise is meant to do, it leads to Buffy doing a one-handed handstand. It’s impressive, but I don’t think vampires will be intimidated by it. There’s a trio of crystals nearby, and someone puts a fourth one on top of them. This causes Buffy to fall. “Can we go now?” asks Dawn.

Giles drives her and Buffy home in his very-out-of-character red convertible. Dawn, stuck in the backseat, reaches up between him and Buffy to change the radio station. At home, she writes in her diary, voicing over that she doesn’t think Giles likes her. It might be because he’s old. How old? Old enough to use the word “newfangled.”

Giles has given Buffy a reading list, and she’s not looking forward to all the studying involved in whatever they’re doing. He complains about his car, since he’s used to a manual transmission and the convertible is automatic. He says the car seduced him. He was feeling lost, so he got something to make him feel more… “Shallow?” Buffy supplies. Giles would appreciate if she showed her Watcher more respect. “Do I have to?” she asks. He tells her she can’t be “flighty” and “privileged.” Dawn spots Willow and Tara, and Giles notes that they haven’t seen his new car yet.

They pull up at the Espresso Pump, where Willow and Tara are getting coffee before going to the magic shop. Dawn has a more sisterly relationship with Willow than she does with Buffy, partly because they both like school so much. Dawn also likes Tara and how she and Willow are witches. Dawn once told Joyce that she wanted the witches to teach her stuff, but Joyce didn’t respond positively.

Buffy has worked out a schedule with Giles to focus on her new training. Willow praises her for finally developing a work ethic. She loves that Buffy is motivated to learn. The problem is that Buffy had to drop the drama class she and Willow were going to take together. Willow thinks she should bend her work ethic two afternoons a week to stay in it.

The group arrives at the magic shop (uncreatively called the Magic Box) and find it dark. They go in to check things out and find signs of a robbery. They also find the owner’s body. Buffy drags Dawn outside before she can see it. Dawn is able to peek through the blinds, but she can’t see anything disturbing. Unfortunately, there’s something equally disturbing outside – a man approaches her and babbles about loitering and being a cat. He says something hurts and begs for it to stop. “I know you,” he tells Dawn. “Curds and whey. I know what you are. You don’t belong here.”

Tara goes outside to get Dawn, who’s a little shaken by the encounter and what she’s already guessed is a death in the shop. Tara thinks the two of them “non-Scoobies” should let Buffy, Willow, and Giles deal with things. She suggests that they thumb-wrestle. Inside, Buffy and Giles determine that the owner was killed by three or four vampires, which means there’s a new fang gang in town. Willow checks the inventory and sees that a book about Slayers was stolen. Giles gets distracted by the ledger, surprised because the shop does such good business.

Buffy says she’ll grab Riley and they’ll patrol together, but Willow reminds her that she has to take Dawn home first. She’s not looking forward to Joyce’s reaction to Dawn going to a crime scene. Giles sees that something’s missing from a display case and worries that it’s a powerful object. Nope, according to the inventory, it’s a $12.95 ceramic unicorn. “What kind of an unholy creature fancies cheap, tasteless statuary?” Giles wonders.

Oh, Giles, you already know the answer to that: Harmony! She has minions now, and she’s proud of their raid on the magic shop. She especially appreciates the unicorn that a guy named Brad stole for her. He’s an old classmate, and she thinks he feels guilty for standing her up for a date in high school. The other minions are annoyed, but Brad says he had to get something for his sire. One of the minions says he’s “sire-whipped.” The books the minions stole will be useful for whatever plan Harmony is cooking up. A minion named Cyrus asks when they’ll be executing that plan. Harmony says it’ll be that night – tonight, they’ll kill Buffy.

Joyce is, as Buffy expected, upset that Dawn was at the scene of a murder. She’s also not happy that Buffy wants to ditch her sister-watching duties to go out with Riley. Buffy argues that they’ll be patrolling, which is work, not pleasure. Dawn doesn’t think she needs watching (to be fair, she’s 14), but Joyce and Buffy disagree. Buffy clarifies that if she can get someone to watch Dawn, she can go patrolling. Joyce asks who she’ll get on short notice. Dawn continues objecting to needing a sitter, but when Buffy suggests Xander, she gives in.

Dawn gets dressed up so she’ll look nice for her cute, smart crush. She’s proud of him for skipping college to get a job in construction. He’s also brave, having just recently gone “undercover” to stop Dracula. Dawn likes how he treats everyone as an equal and doesn’t look down on people, “even when he should.” Anya has tagged along, and Dawn isn’t a fan.

Tara’s worried about Dawn after the events of the day, and she tells Willow it must be tough for her not to be able to help the Scoobies. Willow and Tara are moving in together and are unpacking in what’s either an apartment or the world’s nicest dorm room with a private bathroom. Willow senses that Tara feels like an outsider and assures her that she isn’t. Okay, then why doesn’t she get her name in the opening credits until season 6?

Willow thinks someone’s making Tara feel uncomfortable. First she suspects Xander, whom Tara has no problem with, then Giles, who’s “British and doesn’t understand about stuff.” Tara promises that no one’s making her feel like an outsider. It’s just that the Scoobies have a tight bond that’s hard to break into. Tara isn’t even sure she wants to break into it.

Willow hugs her and says she considers Tara one of the gang. Everyone accepts her, since she’s “one of the good guys.” Tara looks uncomfortable at that. Willow suggests doing some kind of initiation for Tara or getting everyone matching rings. Tara doesn’t need that, but she thinks Dawn might like it. Willow isn’t worried about Dawn, since she has her older sister looking after her.

On patrol, Buffy complains to Riley about how overprotective Joyce is of Dawn. It’s not like Joyce shields Buffy from the bad stuff she sees all the time. Riley summarizes that Buffy wants Joyce to both give her space to be the Slayer and shield her from what it entails. “Thank you, logic boy. Did I mention this is a rant?” Buffy says. “Sense really has no place in it.”

Riley thinks Buffy’s tense tonight. She mentions the new vampire gang in town, but he says it’s more about Dawn. Buffy’s been on her case a lot. Buffy acknowledges that it’s always been this way, since Dawn is the baby. For some reason, it’s been getting to Buffy more. She feels like Dawn is always around. Riley tells her that she’s Dawn’s idol. To Dawn, Buffy’s life is glamorous. She doesn’t know the sacrifices Buffy has to make as a Slayer. Dawn is just a kid. That, to Buffy, is the big problem – Dawn doesn’t get how good she has it as a kid. Buffy would like to be able to be one and not have to worry about saving the world. She’d like to be protected.

Dawn is making a similar complaint to Xander, feeling like Buffy’s the favorite child. Xander promises that Joyce love both of her daughters equally. Though, if he’s wrong, Dawn should slip Joyce some money every once in a while and see what happens. Dawn voices over that Xander says he’s like a kid sister, but sometimes she feels like he sees her as a woman. Yeah, a woman with chocolate ice cream all over her face.

The two of them and Anya are playing Life, and she’s upset that she’s losing. She’s been saddled with a husband, a bunch of kids, and a ton of money. Xander tells her that that means she’s winning. “Can I trade in the children for more cash?” Anya asks. Just then, something flies through one of the living-room windows. It’s a rock with a note wrapped around it: “Slayer! Come out and die.” The dot over the I is a smiley face.

Harmony calls Buffy outside to face her and her minions. Xander goes to the door to tell her that Buffy’s not home. Harmony and her friends will have to come back and be killed by the Slayer later. Xander laughs at the idea of her having minions, then laughs harder when she tries but fails to get into the house, since she hasn’t been invited. He recognizes Brad and taunts him for being “Harmony’s lap dog.”

Harmony notes that Xander has experience with that, since he was Dracula’s lap dog: “I hear that mind-control thing he does works really well on weak, ‘fraidy-cat losers.” Dawn yells at her to shut up. Xander tells her he’s handling this, then repeats that Harmony should shut up. She challenges him to make her, but he says he doesn’t feel like having another hair-pulling fight with her. She calls him a girl, and Dawn calls out to her to come inside and say that again.

Now invited in, Harmony tackles Xander and lands in the house. Dawn runs upstairs as the minions try to enter the house but can’t. Harmony smacks Xander a few times while Anya looks for a weapon, annoyed that there aren’t any lying in the Slayer’s house. She grabs a lamp, but Harmony has been bettering herself as a vampire, which includes honing her instincts. She senses Anya coming and knocks the lamp away. Xander and Anya are able to push Harmony out of the house, but she threatens to come back later.

When Buffy learns about the raid on the house, all she can do is laugh at the thought of Harmony having minions. Xander thinks she should take this more seriously, since Harmony came there to kill her. Riley points out that the gang has already killed someone, so they might be a threat (though he’s also tickled by all this). Anya mentions that Harmony can also get into the house, thanks to Dawn’s invitation. Xander tries to tell Buffy that it was an accident and Dawn feels bad about it.

Harmony’s disappointed that her big plan failed. She didn’t even get to kill Xander! She’s embarrassed. They can’t even go back later; Buffy will be expecting them. Spike comes across the gang, not realizing that Harmony is with them. The exes haven’t seen each other in a while, and they do that “how are you? You look well” thing that barely civil exes do when they run into each other.

Spike doesn’t think much of Harmony’s gang, and he’s not impressed when Harmony says she’s going to kill Buffy. She’s changed her persona and become more of a threat, but she’s not exactly intimidating. Harmony thinks that Spike doesn’t like that she’s her own person now. She’s taken the next step and found the real her. Spike’s like, “That’s great; you still shouldn’t go after Buffy.” Harmony vows to kill Buffy by sunrise.

Spike guesses that she plans to kidnap a Scooby to use as bait to lure Buffy into a trap. Harmony claims she has a much better plan than that, but she won’t share it with him. He leaves, telling her to let him know how “this arch-villain thing” works out. Harmony says that once she’s taken care of Buffy, she’ll kill everyone in Sunnydale who’s ever been mean to her. Then she returns to her gang, excited to have a new plan, courtesy of Spike.

Buffy gathers a bunch of weapons to take on Harmony, though Xander doesn’t think they’re necessary – Willow did the invitation-revoking spell to keep Dracula out, and she can do it again for Harmony. Buffy complains that Dawn knows all the rules, having grown up in the house. Xander reminds Buffy that people slip, like Joyce did with Dracula. Buffy thinks that was different, since Joyce was lonely and didn’t know that Dracula was a vampire. Dawn’s mistake was bigger.

Riley argues that Dawn is just a kid. Buffy’s tired of hearing that – she was just a kid, too, when she encountered her first vampire. Riley notes that that was part of her job. Buffy complains that Dawn is protected and coddled so much that no one expects her to even use common sense. They’re turning her into “a little idiot who is going to get us all killed.” Dawn has been listening to the conversation, and she leaves when she hears that. Buffy calms a little and says that Dawn needs to be more careful because Buffy can’t always be there to protect her.

Downstairs, Anya sees Dawn running out of the house and calls after her not to leave. Dawn stops in the yard and Anya drags her back to the house. As they’re going in, one of Harmony’s minions knocks Anya out, and the others run off with Dawn. By the time Buffy, Riley, and Xander get downstairs, the minions are long gone. Anya manages to say that vampires took Dawn.

In Harmony’s lair, the minions are eager to eat their hostage. Harmony tells them that’s not the plan. I don’t think they understand the concept of bait. One minion, Mort, notes that it doesn’t matter if Dawn is alive, as long as Buffy thinks she is. Harmony continues refusing to let the minions eat Dawn; it’s not the plan. I think she’s about to have a coup on her hands.

Buffy doesn’t know where Harmony’s lair is, so she goes to Spike for information. He doesn’t know, either, but he points her toward a cave they used to stay in. Harmony complains to Dawn that her minions don’t respect her. She put the group together but they treat her like she doesn’t matter. Dawn can relate a little. Harmony says she’s under a lot of pressure because she has to make all the hard decisions.

The minions approach and Mort tells her that they don’t like her plan. They’re going to feed on Dawn and kill Harmony. Harmony orders the minions to kill Mort, but no one moves. In that case, they all go on Harmony’s list. Mort closes in on her and she tries to convince him that she’s still growing into her leadership role. Cyrus approaches Dawn, who warns that Buffy will kill him if he hurts her. He’s not worried. That makes it even more satisfying when Buffy arrives and kills him. She tells Dawn to close her eyes.

“So Slayer, at last we meet,” Harmony greets Buffy. Buffy reminds the “half-wit” that they’ve met before. Harmony thinks Buffy’s the dumb one for walking into her trap. A couple of minions rush Buffy, who easily kills them. She tells Harmony that she was bad when she tried to be head cheerleader and chair the homecoming committee, but when she actually tries to be bad, she sucks.

Mort goes after Buffy, and Harmony cheers him on, then remembers that he wants to kill her, too. Dawn opens her eyes as Buffy fights Mort, who gives her a run for her money. Buffy eventually stakes him with the horn of a big unicorn statue. She frees Dawn from her chains and the sisters threaten to tattle to Joyce for various reasons. They get home just as Joyce is arriving but keep their mouths shut about the night’s activities. Dawn thinks Buffy would have gotten in more trouble than her anyway, but it was cool of her not to tell Joyce anything.

She’s writing in her diary at the Magic Box, which Giles is taking over. Buffy isn’t sure it’s a good idea, since magic-shop owners in Sunnydale don’t have long life expectancies. Giles thinks it’ll be the same as being a librarian, except with money. Plus, he won’t have the Scoobies at his apartment at all hours of the day and night. Buffy guesses that he was really bored during his year of unemployment. “I watched Passions with Spike,” he admits. “Let us never speak of it.”

As Buffy and Giles head to the back to check out space they could use for training, Buffy ducks back into the shop to tell Dawn not to break anything. Or touch anything. Sitting still is a great idea. Dawn voices over that Buffy hasn’t actually changed and never will. She still thinks Dawn is “Little Miss Nobody, just her dumb little sister. Boy, is she in for a surprise.”

Thoughts: Cyrus is played by Tom Lenk, who later plays Andrew.

Aw, I’m proud of Willow for taking drama after her nightmare about it.

Tara is so sweet with Dawn. Thumb-wrestling! Yes!

How is Harmony not the head of a multilevel marketing scheme? She talks like she is.

February 11, 2023

Buffy 4.22, Restless: Dream a Little Dream of Me

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:19 pm by Jenn

I love Buffy’s dress. I have much less positive feelings about the Primitive’s clothes

Summary: Buffy is seeing Riley off to a military debriefing so the Initiative can wrap up its business (beyond what the government has already wrapped up). He thinks that with the testimonies of Graham and some other commandos, he’ll be cleared as a traitor and will get an honorable discharge in exchange for his silence. “Having the inside scoop on the administration’s own Bay of Mutated Pigs is definitely an advantage,” he says. “It’s like you’re blackmailing the government,” Willow replies brightly. “…In a patriotic way.”

They’re at the Summers’ house, where Riley has finally met Joyce. She’s not pleased that it took so long for Buffy to bring over her boyfriend, but Buffy’s going to ignore that. She and the Scoobies are going to have a movie night. Joyce can’t believe that they’re not exhausted after their big showdown with Adam. They say they’re still wired to sleep.

Xander wants to start with Apocalypse Now, though Willow would prefer something “less Heart of Darkness-y.” Buffy also vetoes it, but Xander has brought over a ton of movies that will appeal to the women and to Giles. They have enough for an all-night marathon. But before the FBI warning (kids, ask your parents) has even finished displaying, Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Giles are all asleep. What follows are four very bizarre dreams.

Willow’s dream: She’s in Tara’s dorm, discussing Miss Kitty Fantastico’s name. Tara thinks it’s weird that she hasn’t let them know her real name. Willow says she’s not grown yet and they shouldn’t worry. In fact, she never worries when she’s with Tara. Tara warns that Willow doesn’t know everything about her, but since Willow knows her real name, she’s not concerned.

“They will find out, you know,” Tara says. “About you.” Willow doesn’t have time to think about that. She’s busy with homework, by which she means whatever she’s writing on Tara’s back in another language. Tara doesn’t want her to be late to class, since she’s taking drama for the first time. Willow doesn’t want to leave, though. She opens a curtain and says it’s bright outside, and something’s out there. There’s a desert outside the window, and something’s moving around in it. Inside, Miss Kitty Fantastico is walking in slow motion.

On her way to class, which is at Sunnydale High instead of UC Sunnydale, Willow passes Xander and Oz. (Hi, Oz!) He warns that drama is a tough course. Willow asks if he took it. “Oh, I’ve been here forever,” he says. Xander asks if she and Tara were doing spells together. The bell rings and Willow heads off to class. Xander makes an obligatory “by spells I meant sex” joke.

Willow winds up backstage in a theater, where everyone’s in wildly different costumes for the first performance of their first big production. Harmony is there, dressed like a milkmaid, and is excited to get to act with Willow (as long as Willow doesn’t step on her cues). Buffy, who looks like she’s going to be playing Roxie or Velma in Chicago, tells Willow that the theater is packed. Her family is in the front row and they look angry. Willow’s confused about them performing, since this is supposed to be the first class.

Riley comes over, dressed as a cowboy, and he tells Willow she should have shown up earlier to get a better role. He’s Cowboy Guy. Buffy tells Willow that her costume (which is just her regular clothes) is perfect and no one will know the truth about her. Willow notes that they haven’t rehearsed. Harmony says the rest of them have. “I showed up on time, so I get to be Cowboy Guy,” Riley brags. Willow says it’s too early to put on a play. She really hopes it’s not Madame Butterfly, since she has “a whole problem with opera.”

Giles, who’s the director, gathers everyone before the curtain goes up. Everyone Willow’s ever met is in the audience, including the cast, so they need to be perfect. Willow sees someone crawling around on the floor and asks if anyone saw them. No one responds. As Harmony vamps out and sneaks up behind Giles to bite him, he tells everyone that the audience wants to find them, strip them naked, and eat them, so they need to hide. “Stop that,” he tells Harmony.

Giles rallies everyone to have their costumes and sets ready, as well as…uh…the things you touch and hold. “Props?” Harmony offers. “No,” Giles says. “Props?” Riley repeats. “Yes,” Giles replies. Good job, Cowboy Guy! Giles tells the cast that “it’s all about subterfuge.” He admonishes Harmony for being annoying. Then he sends the cast out to lie and have a great time. If they can stay focused and Willow can stop stepping on people’s cues, this will be the best performance of Death of a Salesman ever!

Everything starts chatting with each other, but their voices suddenly drop out. Willow turns and sees a man in the shadows. “I’ve made a little space for the cheese slices,” he tells her, showing off a row of them. Hmm, okay. She wanders around until she comes across Tara. Willow complains that people aren’t doing things the right way, and her family is there, and also, why is there a cowboy in Death of a Salesman? Tara realizes that she doesn’t understand yet.

Willow asks if something is following her. Tara says yes. Willow’s worried because the play’s about to start and she doesn’t know her lines. Tara tells her that the play has already started, but that’s not important. On stage, Cowboy Guy greets the milkmaid as Velma/Roxie lounges nearby. The milkmaid asks why Cowboy Guy has come to their small town with no post office and few exports. He’s there looking for a man – a salesman.

“Everyone’s starting to wonder about you – the real you,” Tara tells Willow. “If they find out, they’ll punish you. I can’t help you with that.” Willow asks what’s after her – something she’s supposed to do? Tara hushes her, and Willow hears a buzzing sound. On stage, someone (the salesman, I assume) is dead, and the milkmaid is crying over him. Velma/Roxie rants at Cowboy Guy that all men are hoodlums: “Men…with your sales.”

Tara has disappeared backstage. A blade suddenly slices through the curtain Willow is standing next to. She runs but gets stopped by an arm reaching out for her. The blade slices through curtains on both sides, striking Willow’s hand. Buffy finds her and takes her into an empty classroom as they look for whoever’s after Willow. Buffy says that Willow must have done something. Willow denies that, since she always behaves. She just went to class and found the play starting.

Buffy tells her that the play has been over for a long time – why is she still in character? Everyone already knows, so she can take off her costume. Willow says she needs it. Annoyed, Buffy rips off her clothes, then sits at a desk in what’s now a classroom full of students, including Xander, Anya, and Harmony. Harmony asks if everyone’s clear on things now.

Willow’s dressed the way she used to dress at the beginning of the series, and her hair is long like it was then. Anya laughs that it’s like a tragedy. Oz and Tara are there, and he tells her he tried to warn her. “It’s exactly like a Greek tragedy,” Anya says. “There should only be Greeks.” Willow’s supposed to present a book report on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Xander exclaims that no one cares. Oz and Tara are giggling and flirting.

As Willow tries to start her presentation, someone tackles her, growling. Bored, Buffy just puts her head on her desk. Everyone in the classroom stays at their desks, ignoring the girl getting attacked right in front of them. The attacker is a woman with long, dark hair, who’s commonly referred to as the Primitive. She growls in Willow’s ear, and Willow looks like she’s having the life sucked out of her. In the Summers’ living room, the real Willow writhes in her sleep.

Xander’s dream: Xander has just woken up after dozing off. Buffy and Giles are also awake, watching Apocalypse Now (but not the real version; it’s just a guy walking around in the jungle, wondering where his men are). Giles thinks it’s overrated, but Xander promises that it gets better. Willow’s gasping for breath in her sleep, and Buffy accuses her of faking. Giles says he’s starting to understand the movie – it’s about the journey.

Xander leaves to use the bathroom, running into Joyce upstairs. She tells him everyone else left, and he says he should go catch up. He’s pretty fast. Men are always after – “conquest?” Joyce supplies. Xander calls himself a conquistador. She asks if he doesn’t really want comfort. “I’m a comfortador also,” he replies. She says she knows the difference; she’s learned about boys. She’s wearing a nightgown and definitely flirting even before she invites him to rest in her bed. “Yeah, I’d like you,” he Freudian-slips, adding that he’s going to use the bathroom first. She tells him not to get lost.

He heads into the bathroom, where he realizes that a bunch of Initiative commandos and scientists are observing him as if he’s one of their hostiles. He leaves to find another bathroom but instead ends up in his basement room. Upstairs, someone is trying to open his locked door. He thinks it’s a vampire. “That’s not the way out,” he says as he looks at the door.

He goes to a playground, where Giles and Spike are swinging while Buffy plays in the sandbox. Spike is dressed exactly like Giles. Xander’s happy to see the three of them (well, probably not Spike), but Buffy asks if they’re really the people he was looking for. Spike says that Giles is going to teach him to be a Watcher. Giles adds that Spike is like a son to him. Xander says that he was into that for a while, but now he has other things going on. His ice cream truck is parked nearby, and another Xander is inside, serving customers.

The Xander at the playground says that you have to have something so you’re always moving forward. “Like a shark,” Buffy says. Xander agrees, though he’s a shark with feet and no fins. “And on land,” Spike adds. Giles is proud of him for that. Xander asks if Buffy is sure she wants to play in the sandbox, since it’s pretty big. It’s turned into the desert. She says she’s fine – it’s not coming for her yet. Xander warns that there are some things she can’t protect herself from. “I’m way ahead of you, big brother,” she replies.

Spike and Giles swing higher (“a Watcher scoffs at gravity”) as Buffy and Xander stare at each other. The Xander in the truck watches them all, then goes up to the front to drive, even though the truck is already moving. Anya’s there, and she asks if he knows where he’s going. She’s thinking about going back to her old vengeful ways: “I think this is going to be a very big year for vengeance.” Xander doesn’t like that idea, since they live in a society with “rules and borders and an end zone.”

He gets distracted by some laughter in the back of the truck. Willow and Tara are there, looking glam. “Do you mind? I’m talking to my demon,” Xander says. Tara tells him that they find him really interesting. He replies that he’s going places. Willow says she’s way ahead of him. She tells him to watch as she and Tara embrace and kiss. We only see Xander’s reaction, which is to stare. Tara invites him to join them, and Anya gives him permission. She’ll take over driving: “I think I’ve figured out how to steer by gesturing emphatically.”

Xander goes to the back of the truck, crawling through a storage area…and into his basement room. Willow and Tara are gone, and the doorknob is still rattling. The rattler starts pounding on the door. Xander calls out that he knows what’s up there, then heads away from the door. “These will not protect you,” the cheese man from Willow’s dream says, holding up a plate of his carefully arranged slices. The pounding on the door gets louder and Xander starts running as something enters the basement, growling.

He ends up in a hallway at Sunnydale High, where he asks Giles what’s after him. “It’s because of what we did, I know that,” Giles replies. The others have already gone ahead. Xander needs to listen very carefully because his life depends on what Giles is about to tell him. Too bad it’s in French, and Xander barely understands it. Anya joins them, also speaking French, and she, Giles, and some other people take Xander down a hallway. They pick him up and turn him upside-down.

Now Xander’s in his own version of Apocalypse Now, where he’s Willard and he’s just found Kurtz, AKA Snyder. Snyder asks where he’s from (“the basement, mostly”) and whether he was born there. He walked by Xander’s guidance counselor’s office once and saw the students there as sheep. “The hope of our nation’s future is a bunch of mulch,” he says. “You know, I never got the chance to tell you how glad I was you were eaten by a snake,” Xander replies.

Snyder asks where he’s heading. Xander says he’s supposed to meet Tara and Willow (and possibly Joyce). Snyder tells him that his time is running out. Xander says he’s just trying to get away. There’s something he can’t fight. Snyder asks if he’s a soldier. “I’m a comfortador,” Xander replies. Snyder tells him he’s neither: “You’re a whipping boy raised by mongrels and set on a sacrificial stone.” All Xander can think about his leg cramping.

When he gets up, he’s outside Giles’ apartment, and the Primitive is lurking around. He goes inside and finds Buffy, Giles, and Anya trying to figure out how to help Willow, who’s still writhing and gasping in her sleep. Xander goes back outside but ends up in a hallway in Buffy and Willow’s dorm. He wanders around until he eventually returns to his basement room. Someone is still pounding on the door. “That’s not the way out,” he repeats.

The door flies open and Xander immediately cowers. His father berates him for not coming upstairs. Is he ashamed of his family? His mother’s crying. Xander says his father doesn’t understand. Mr. Harris tells him the line ends here, and Xander can’t change that – he doesn’t have the heart. He reaches into Xander’s chest, turning into the Primitive as he pulls out that heart.

Giles’ dream: He’s using a pocket watch to try to train Buffy for something. She thinks it’s old-fashioned, but he tells her this is how people have behaved “since the beginning, before time.” She just laughs. Later, he and Olivia take Buffy to a cemetery, where she’s eager to train. She’s dressed and acting like a kid. Olivia is pregnant and rolling around an empty stroller.

A sort of carnival has been set up in the cemetery, and instead of slaying vampires, Buffy throws a ball at one. She misses it completely. “Buffy, you have a sacred birthright to protect mankind,” Giles admonishes her. “Don’t stick out your elbow.” Her next throw “stakes” the vampire, and she turns to Giles, grinning. He tells her he doesn’t have any treats for her. Olivia chastises him for being too harsh. He says this is his business.

Buffy gets a stick of cotton candy, and Giles complains that she’ll get it all over her face. Instead, her face is covered in mud. “I know you,” Giles says. Spike calls to him from a crypt across the cemetery, telling him to come in before he misses everything. Inside, Olivia is crying next to the overturned stroller. Things go black and white as Spike says that he’s become an attraction. He lets people take pictures of him in his crypt.

“What am I supposed to do with all of this?” Giles wonders, taking in the photographers and Olivia and the empty stroller. Spike tells him he needs to make up his mind. He’s wasting time. Hasn’t he figured it all out yet? “I still think Buffy should have killed you,” Giles says. The cheese man approaches with slices on his head and stuck to his suit. “I wear the cheese – it does not wear me,” he tells Giles.

Giles leaves, winding up at the Bronze. Xander and Willow are doing research, and they tell Giles they’re dying. Xander even has a bloody wound from his heart extraction. But he’s not going to let that keep him from being there for Anya’s big night – she’s doing stand-up comedy. She’s not very good at it. “Do you know this is your fault?” Willow asks Giles. He says they have to think about the facts. He’s busy; he has his own gig.

Willow tells him that something’s after them. It’s like a primal animal force. “That used to be us,” Giles replies. Anya finally gets through her first joke, and the audience laughs and applauds. Willow tells Giles to focus. He must have an explanation for what’s happening. They need to know what they’re fighting or they won’t stand a chance.

Giles suddenly starts singing his thought process. The band onstage accompanies him and he goes up to sing into the microphone. The audience is very excited to hear him. Giles realizes that the spell they did in “Primeval” released some kind of “primal evil.” He tells Willow to look for a reference to a warrior beast. He needs to warn Buffy, since she’s probably next. The audience holds up lighters, including Willow and Xander, who are looking at their books instead of Giles. P.S. Giles would like Xander to try not to bleed on the couch, since he just had it cleaned.

The song ends suddenly when Giles thinks of something else. He follows the microphone cord backstage but loses it in a pile of other cords. He finds his pocket watch there and thinks the discovery is obvious. The Primitive is suddenly above him. Giles says he knows who she is, and he can defeat her with his mind. She grabs his hair and begins to slice into his skull with a big knife as he says, “Of course, you underestimate me. You couldn’t know – you never had a Watcher.”

Buffy’s dream: Buffy’s in her bed in her and Willow’s dorm room, only Anya, not Willow, is in the other bed. She begs Buffy to wake up, but Buffy wants to go back to sleep. As she turns over, she looks up to see the Primitive above her. Next Buffy wakes up in her bed at home. Another Buffy is across the room, and she says that she and Faith just made the bed. Tara is also there, and she asks who they made the bed for. Buffy figured Tara would tell her.

She asks if the other Scoobies are there. Tara tells her she lost them. Buffy thinks they need her to find them. She sees on her clock that it’s 7:30 and comments that it’s late. Tara tells her the clock is wrong. She hands Buffy one of the tarot cards from the Scoobies’ spell, the hands card that represented Buffy. Buffy says she’ll never use them. “You think you know…what’s to come…what you are. You haven’t even begun,” Tara tells her. The Buffy in the bed is gone, and the one with Tara says she’s going to find the others. “Be back before dawn,” Tara replies.

Buffy heads to Sunnydale High and asks around about her friends. She finds Joyce, who’s trapped behind a wall but insists she’s fine. Buffy doesn’t need to worry about her – she should go find her friends. Buffy says Joyce shouldn’t live in the walls. As Joyce is replying that Buffy could probably break through and get her out, Buffy spots Xander and follows him.

She comes across Riley and another man at a desk in what looks like a room in the Initiative. Riley, who’s wearing a suit, calls her “killer” and says the debriefing went great – he’s Surgeon General now. Now the government is working on a plan for world domination. (“The key element? Coffeemakers that think.”) Buffy asks if world domination is a good move. Riley replies that they’re the government, and it’s what they do.

The other man notes that Buffy is uncomfortable with some ideas. Aggression is normal for humans, though he and Buffy “come by it another way.” The Primitive is behind her now, but Buffy doesn’t notice her. She insists that they’re not demons. “Is that a fact?” the man asks. Riley tells his girlfriend that they have a lot of important work to do, like filing and naming things. “What was yours?” Buffy asks the other man. “Before Adam?” he says. “Not a man among us can remember.”

An announcement comes over the PA system telling everyone to run for their lives because the demons have escaped. Riley suggests that he and Adam make a fort. Buffy sees a bag of weapons on the ground, but when she tries to call out to the guys that she can help, she can only whisper. She opens the bag and finds mud inside. She smears it on her face and stares at her muddy hands.

Riley returns, now in his regular clothes, and says he thought Buffy was looking for her friends. If that’s the way “killer” wants it, she’s on her own. She heads off in the opposite direction, eventually coming to a desert. Her face is clean again. The desert is so vast that she doubts she’ll find the Scoobies. “Of course not. That’s the reason you came,” Tara says as she approaches.

Buffy says that Tara isn’t in her dream. “I was borrowed,” Tara explains. “Someone has to speak for her.” Buffy wants “her” – the Primitive – to speak for herself, since that’s what polite people do. The Primitive circles her, and Buffy asks why she’s following her. The Primitive, speaking through Tara, says she’s not. Buffy asks about the Scoobies, and the Primitive says she’s asking the wrong questions.

Buffy insists that Tara make the Primitive speak. The Primitive can’t, as she doesn’t have speech or a name. “I live in the action of death,” Tara says for her. “The blood cry, the penetrating wound. I am destruction – absolute, alone.” Buffy realizes that the Primitive is a Slayer. Tara clarifies that she was the first.

Buffy looks down at a stack of cards in her hands, the first of which shows her that the Scoobies are in her living room. “I am not alone,” she announces. The Primitive says that the Slayer doesn’t walk in the regular world. “I walk,” Buffy replies. “I talk. I shop I sneeze. I’m gonna be a fireman when the floods roll back. There’s trees in the desert since you moved out, and I don’t sleep on a bed of bones. Now give me back my friends.”

The Primitive is finally able to speak, rasping out, “No friends! Just the kill. We are alone.” The cheese man pops up and wiggles some cheese at Buffy. She decides she’s done with this and that she’s going to wake up. The Primitive tackles her and they start fighting. But Buffy declares the battle over and says, “We don’t do this anymore.” The Primitive grabs her again and they both roll down a dune. “Enough!” Buffy exclaims.

She wakes up on the floor in her living room, her friends still asleep around her. The Primitive jumps on her, stabbing at her with her blade but missing and only hitting the floor. “Are you quite finished?” Buffy asks. She’s done with the fight and is going to ignore the Primitive until she goes away. The Primitive needs to get over “the whole primal power thing” because she’s not the source of Buffy. Buffy gets on the couch to go back to sleep. She adds that the Primitive should consider doing something different with her hair, because in the workplace –

Buffy and the Scoobies all wake up for real at the same time. They discuss their shared dream visitor, which Giles thinks was the result of invoking the first Slayer in their spell. Apparently she didn’t appreciate that. Buffy wishes that Giles had mentioned before the spell that that could happen. “I did – I said there could be dire circumstances,” he says. “Yes, but you say that about chewing too fast,” Buffy notes.

Joyce comes in and asks what fun she missed. Willow replies that the spirit of the first Slayer tried to kill them in their dreams. Joyce is like, “That’s a bummer. Who wants hot chocolate?” She asks Xander to help her, which makes him uncomfortable. Buffy says she’s never thought about the first Slayer before. The Scoobies would prefer to never dream about her again. “Well, at least you all didn’t dream about that guy with the cheese,” Buffy says as she heads upstairs to take a shower. “I don’t know where the hell that came from.” The other three look at each other.

Upstairs, Buffy pauses outside her bedroom and remembers what Tara said: “You think you know…what’s to come…what you are. You haven’t even begun.”

Thoughts: I love this episode but it was, fittingly, a nightmare to recap. So much bizarre dialogue and little details I didn’t want to miss.

This is, unfortunately, the last time we see Oz. It’s okay to cry.

Xander never talks about his father, but judging by Xander’s demeanor and body language in his dream, Mr. Harris is abusive. The second he appears, Xander ducks his head and tries to avoid eye contact. It’s a great detail from Nicholas Brendon.

Here’s the “Exposition Song,” one of the most memorable moments in an episode full of them.

Season 4 is no more. Up next: Dawn, Glory, and a lot of tears.


November 5, 2022

Buffy 4.8, Pangs: Just Like Old Times

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:03 pm by Jenn

I love that there’s an arrow in the stuffed pilgrim

Summary: A guy in a very ’90s fleece vest is walking through the park at night when he hears noises behind him. He spins around and comes face to face with Buffy. Though he looks like a normal college student, he’s a vampire, and he’s very unhappy to see the Slayer. He tells her to go back where she came from, since things were great before she came. “And they say one person can’t make a difference,” she says as she stakes him. She seems to feel someone else’s presence, so she looks around a little, but she doesn’t see anyone. That’s because the person watching her is a master at lurking – it’s Angel.

UC Sunnydale is breaking ground on a new cultural center, and the dean, Guerrero, introduces an anthropology professor so she can give a speech before the construction begins. Buffy, Willow, and Anya are in the audience, and Xander is on the construction crew. Anya gushes over his masculinity (I will say that he has impressive biceps) and how much better this job is than his last one. Willow misses the free hot dogs on sticks, though. Anya says she’s imagining having sex with Xander right now. Considering those biceps, she’s probably not the only one.

The professor likes that they’re breaking ground on the cultural center right before Thanksgiving because living in a melting pot is about contributions from other cultures making ours stronger. Willow objects – Thanksgiving is about one culture killing another; we just don’t talk about it. Buffy thinks part of her anger comes from the way her mother raised her. Sheila doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Columbus Day, and Willow thinks her viewpoint is right.

Buffy decides she’s better off not celebrating Thanksgiving this year, since her mom is going out of town. Anya disagrees, since she enjoys ritual sacrifices. Buffy says that’s not what Thanksgiving is, but Anya points out that it involves killing and eating an animal to commemorate something that happened in the past: “It’s a ritual sacrifice with pie.”

The professor ends her speech and makes the ceremonial first dig. Anya’s unhappy, since she wanted to watch Xander dig. He gets his chance next, so Anya’s day is made. She imagines having sex with him again. “Imaginary Xander is quite the machine,” Buffy comments. Suddenly he falls through the ground into some ruins.

That night, Angel lurks around Buffy and Willow’s dorm, where they’re talking about the accidental discovery of an old mission everyone thought was lost. Well, Willow’s talking about it; Buffy’s at the window, still feeling like she’s being watched. She wonders how an entire mission could be lost. Willow explains that there was a huge earthquake in 1812 and everyone thought it was leveled. They built over it like they did with the church the Master was in. It makes Willow wonder what else is underground. In Buffy’s experience, it’s mostly sewers full of demons.

Midterms are over and everyone in the dorm is excited to go home for Thanksgiving. Not Buffy, though, since she doesn’t get to have a family holiday. She decides to host her own Thanksgiving for the Scoobies. Willow’s disappointed that she changed her mind about the holiday being a sham. Buffy says it is, but it’s “a sham with yams. It’s a yam sham.” She wants to recreate the memories she has of childhood Thanksgivings, since everything’s different now. “Well, I supposed there could be slight yams,” Willow allows. She suggests not inviting Anya, but Buffy wants to capture the spirit of everyone having a place to go.

Spike has been out in the cold (well, as cold as it gets in L.A.) since escaping the Initiative, and he’s still trying to stay a step ahead of them. Riley, Forrest, and Graham search for him while discussing their Thanksgiving plans. Riley only gets a short break since Spike is still at large. Forrest doesn’t see him as much of a threat, since he has that implant that keeps him from hurting people. He taunts Riley for being a Mama’s boy, since he obeys Walsh’s orders so closely.

Anya goes to Xander’s the next morning, wanting to accompany him to the worksite so she can watch him dig some more. But he’s sick, and she thinks it’s bad enough for him to stay home. She knows about illnesses since she gave a lot of them to horrible men when she was a vengeance demon. She decides to stay with him even if she might get sick, too, since it would be romantic for them to die together. Xander says she’s a strange girlfriend. She appreciates being given that label. (Maybe not the strange part, though.)

In the mission, green smoke drifts out of the hole Xander made when he fell. The anthropology professor is eager to take a look around down there, though she’s disappointed that the cultural center will have to be built somewhere else. The green smoke enters a display case in her office and surrounds a knife. It takes human form, and the human uses the knife to slit the professor’s throat.

Buffy and Willow search the office that night after hearing about the murder. Willow found out that the professor had an ear cut off, so they could be dealing with a witch, since there are some great spells that are improved with ears. Or maybe it’s an ear-harvesting demon that’s building another demon out of ears. Or maybe the professor cut off her own ear, like Van Gogh. Actually, Willow can’t make that theory work. Buffy realizes that something’s missing and IDs it as a Chumash knife from the early 1800s.

She goes to Giles’ place to both update him on the murder investigation and start cooking for Thanksgiving. He’s familiar with the Chumash, who were indigenous to the area. He thinks the knife was a convenient weapon for the killer, but Buffy says there was also a big pair of scissors nearby, so the killer purposely chose the knife. She’s annoyed that Giles doesn’t own a turkey pan. He asks why they’re not doing this at Buffy’s house. She says he’s the patriarch, and in American tradition, the patriarch hosts. Otherwise, it’s meaningless. He guesses she just wants him to have to clean everything up.

Buffy heads out to get more supplies, and as soon as she leaves, Angel emerges from another room in the apartment. He’s there because his buddy Doyle (from the spin-off) had a vision about Buffy, and Angel thinks she’s in danger. He wants to do more than just keep an eye on her. Giles reminds him that he doesn’t have to protect Buffy; she’s not his responsibility anymore. Angel points out that she’s not Giles’, either, but he’s obviously not going to ditch her to look after herself.

Giles wants to tell her that Angel’s around, but Angel doesn’t want to get in her way. Giles thinks there’s a connection between the vision and the mission. Obviously something in the ruins was disturbed and is angry. Angel says it could have been trapped but was released when Xander fell through. He suggests that Giles talk to a priest named Gabriel who has a long history with the town.

Angel wants to go follow Buffy again, and Giles says that she would object – it’s not fair that Angel gets to see Buffy but she doesn’t get to see him. Angel tells him that he’s not exactly enjoying this. He doesn’t like being on the outside looking in on his ex. He’d forgotten how bad it feels. Spike can relate, since he’s unable to join some other vampires as they feed on a human. Poor Little Match Girl Spike!

Buffy and Willow meet up downtown, discussing the importance of homemade whipped cream. Buffy promises this is the last thing she’ll be so old-fashioned about. Not that she has time for anything else, since she has to take a break from cooking to meet with Father Gabriel. Riley joins the two of them, having spotted them a few blocks away and run to catch up with them. Willow ducks out to give them some privacy.

She heads into a coffee shop, where Angel grabs her, putting a hand over her mouth so she can’t scream. She thinks he’s evil again, but he tells her he’s there to help Buffy. Willow urges him to tell her, but Angel thinks that would make it worse. She rants that leaving for someone’s own good is bull; you can’t just run away because there are problems. She apologizes, explaining that she’s dealing with personal stuff.

She gets that Angel wants to keep his distance. He laments that everything’s different now. Willow asks if it’s true that he’s working with Cordelia. (It is.) She’d love to talk more about that but Angel is focused on helping Buffy and doesn’t have time for the personal stuff. Well, maybe he has time for one question: Who’s the guy Buffy’s talking to?

Buffy’s telling Riley about the Thanksgiving she has planned for the Scoobies. She invites him to come if he doesn’t have plans, promising that she’s a great cook “in theory.” Riley says he’s leaving tonight; he got a last-minute flight home to Iowa. “That’s one of the ones in the middle, right?” Buffy asks. Heh. Like her, he has happy memories of childhood Thanksgivings. He always has fun back home. They paraphrase the Robert Frost quote, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”

…Unless you’re Spike, in which case, no, Harmony doesn’t have to take you in. She’s been doing some self-help reading and has taken control of her own power. She refuses to take him back. He tries to seduce her, but she remembers her reading at the last minute and won’t give in. She even has a stake ready for him. Spike doesn’t think she’d actually kill him, but she definitely looks angry enough. He asks for someone to eat before he goes, but she chases him off.

Buffy goes to meet Father Gabriel at his church but she’s moments too late – the man who killed the professor is there, and he’s strung up the priest to kill him as well. Buffy fights the man, who tells her, “I am vengeance. I am my people’s cry. They call for Hus, for the avenging spirit to carve out justice.” Buffy asks if they told him to start an ear collection. They fight some more, and just as it looks like Buffy’s going to be able to finish him off, something makes her stop. Hus says she slaughtered his people and is now killing their spirit. Then he turns into a bunch of birds that all fly away.

Buffy takes all this back to Giles, wondering why she didn’t take Hus out. “I like my evil like I like my men: evil,” she says. She thinks guilt stopped her. Giles reminds her that Hus killed innocent people. She pauses the conversation to give him instructions for cooking the potatoes. He doesn’t have a ricer! How could Giles not have a ricer? Also, what’s a ricer? He dryly says they’ll mash them with forks, which the Pilgrims must have done. Back to Hus: Buffy wants to stop him, but she’d prefer to do it without killing him.

Willow arrives with books and peas. Buffy objects to the peas being frozen. Willow didn’t have time to buy and shell fresh ones, since she was reading about the Chumash’s battles. Giles says they were peaceful, but Willow’s research says that changed after the white settlers came along. Buffy worries that the peas will be mushy. Giles announces that he likes mushy peas. “You’re the reason we had to have Pilgrims in the first place,” Buffy shoots back.

Willow continues that the white settlers enslaved and imprisoned the Chumash, hanging the ones who tried to rebel. They were sent to a mission, where they got sick. Another group was accused of stealing cattle, and after they were killed, the killers cut off their ears to bring back as proof. In other words, Hus’ desire for vengeance is pretty justified, and he’s carrying it out by doing all the things that were done to his people.

A wolf watches from outside as the three discuss when and how to handle the situation. Giles wants to stop Hus, Buffy wants to wait until after dinner, and Willow thinks they should actually be helping Hus in some way. They can at least bring the tragedies that happened to the Chumash to light. Maybe they can even give them back their land. Buffy tries to keep the peace, eventually heading back to the kitchen to tend to the turkey.

Giles quietly tells Willow that he thinks Buffy’s in danger. Willow tells him she saw Angel (he may have lost his edge when it comes to being stealthy). As they’re about to start bickering again, Xander and Anya arrive. Giles and Willow are concerned since Xander looks so sick, but Buffy just notices that he doesn’t have the rolls he was supposed to bring.

Hus gathers some more weapons from the anthropology department as Xander tells the Scoobies that the doctor he saw couldn’t figure out what’s wrong with him. Buffy thinks his illness is related to Hus – the Chumash in the mission got sick, so maybe Xander has what they had. And what did they have? Malaria, smallpox, and syphilis. Xander has all three? The Chumash are so generous! Willow assures Xander that since the illnesses are mystical, they should go away once this is all over.

The question now is how to make this all be over. Giles snarks that they should give Hus some land. “Sarcasm accomplishes nothing, Giles,” Buffy admonishes. “It’s sort of an end in itself,” he mutters. Xander wants to go back to the part where he has syphilis. Anya assures him that, while it’ll make him blind and insane, it won’t kill him. (The smallpox will, though.) Willow thinks she might be able to find a spell that can cure him. Anya unhelpfully offers Xander some pictures of what will happen to him.

Willow says that Hus is just doing what was done to him. Xander notes that he didn’t give anyone syphilis. Giles says that when Xander freed Hus’ spirit, he saw Xander as one of his oppressors and punished him accordingly. Giles wonders why he targeted the professor and Father Gabriel. Xander doesn’t care – Buffy just needs to slay Hus. She says there’s some debate about that. Willow adds that there are two sides to the situation. “Well, the representative from syphilis votes yea,” Xander says.

Willow argues that it’s not that simple. Xander doesn’t agree – Hus is a vengeance demon, so he needs to be killed. Anya’s taken aback by her boyfriend’s attitude toward something she used to be. Willow and Giles note that Hus is a spirit, not a demon, and they don’t know what will kill it. As the group starts to argue about the complexities of the situation, Buffy blurts out that the pie she’s been making needs more condensed milk. She’s going to focus on dinner right now so they can have a perfect Thanksgiving. Giles tells her that Hus won’t stop. His vengeance won’t be satisfied. “Hatred is a cycle,” and he’ll just keep killing.

There’s a knock at the door, and when Buffy opens it, she’s confused because no one’s there. Spike pops up and asks for help. He’s covered in a blanket to keep him safe from the sun, but when she shoves him back, he gets a little burned. He begs to be invited in, but Buffy and Giles both refuse. Spike tells them he can’t bite anyone, asking Willow to back him up. She reminds him that he vowed to kill her and Buffy, so she’s not really motivated to help him out here, but she confirms that he “had trouble performing.”

He says he’s been neutralized for good: “Spike had a little trip to the vet and now he doesn’t chase the other puppies anymore.” He can’t bite or hit anyone. Buffy doesn’t consider that enough of a reason to help him. He offers up information on the commandos. What does Buffy have to be afraid of? Well, Hus, who’s summoning more spirits to help him in his quest for vengeance.

Giles has invited Spike in but the Scoobies are taking all precautions by tying him to a chair. He complains that Buffy’s tying the ropes too tightly and cutting off his circulation. She reminds him that he doesn’t have any circulation. He says he came to her in friendship (“well, all right, seething hatred”) and she shouldn’t mistreat the person who’s offered her information. However, he won’t give up that information until he’s gotten something to eat.

While Anya takes over cooking and Spike asks for brandy, Giles realizes that other than Xander, Hus has gone after authority figures. Buffy thinks Dean Guerrero could be next. Willow hasn’t found a “nice, non-judgmental way” to kill Hus, and she says they’re not in a western. They’re dealing with one oppressed warrior. Buffy really feels bad about this (not bad enough not to keep giving Anya cooking instructions in the middle of the conversation) but they have to stop Hus. Apologizing won’t cut it.

“Oh, someone put a stake in me,” Spike says, annoyed. “You got a lot of volunteers in here,” Xander replies. Spike tells the Scoobies that the settlers won. They came in, killed the Chumash, and took their land. That’s what conquering nations do. Caesar did it, and his famous quote isn’t, “I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it.” History is about defeating your opponents. They can’t fight Hus if they’re feeling apologetic.

Buffy and Willow say they don’t want to fight anyone. Willow would like to sit down and talk to Hus, but Spike doesn’t think he’d feel better after chatting with someone he sees as responsible for genocide. It’s kill or be killed here. “Maybe it’s the syphilis talking here but some of that made sense,” Xander says. Giles grumbles that he said a lot of that stuff earlier but no one listened to him.

Buffy decides that warning the dean should be the priority right now. Willow and Anya volunteer, and Xander apparently feels well enough to tag along. Spike would prefer if he stayed, since he thinks he can bite someone if they’re dead, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be long before Xander is. Buffy tells the Scoobies to hurry, not because they need to save the dean but because dinner is being served in an hour.

Spike requests food again, asking if Buffy and Giles knows what happens to vampires who don’t feed. Apparently they turn into living skeletons. Buffy offers him gravy, since that has blood in it. “Do you know what else has blood in it? Blood,” he replies. She considers gagging him so the Scoobies can have a peaceful dinner. She’s determined to make sure it’s quiet and civilized.

An arrow flies into the apartment and lodges into a wall. Hus has arrived. Buffy tells him that they really do feel terrible about what happened to the Chumash, and they’re trying to help. “You can have casinos now!” she exclaims. The other spirits join Hus and fire more arrows into the apartment. Still tied up, Spike can’t do anything to defend himself, and he almost takes an arrow to the heart.

Willow, Xander, and Anya leave the dean’s house, having confirmed that he’s safe. Willow thinks he got a crazy vibe from them. Xander says it’s probably because Anya started things off with, “Everybody got both ears?” On the plus side, the dean’s wife gave them a pie. They run into Angel, whom Anya, meeting him for the first time, describes as “large and glowery.” Xander suspects that he’s evil again, making Angel wonder why everyone thinks that. Willow says he’s there to protect Buffy. “I haven’t been evil for a long time,” Angel protests. Willow adds that Buffy doesn’t know he’s there.

He reports that all the weapons were taken and asks why the Scoobies went to see Dean Guerrero. Willow explains that they think Hus is going after leaders. Angel says that since Hus is a warrior, a leader to him is the strongest fighter. That means the Slayer. Angel says he’ll call her and warn her while the others head back to Giles’. He breaks the locks on some nearby bikes so they don’t have to walk.

Giles takes Angel’s call in the middle of the war zone, casually saying they’re fully aware of the situation and currently under siege. Since he’s British, he says thank you. Buffy asks who called and Giles just says, “Someone.” Spike, who’s full of arrows, would like to know what the plan is. Buffy goes for Giles’ weapons chest and takes an arrow in the arm. Spike announces that apologizing wouldn’t be such a bad strategy after all. He calls out to Hus that they’re sorry. Yeah, Hus doesn’t care.

As the other Scoobies bike across campus, Buffy and Giles start fighting back against the spirits. Xander arrives just as one is about to fire another arrow, and he hits the spirit over the head with a flowerpot. Anya and Willow team up, using gardening tools as weapons. The spirits start entering the apartment, which they soon discover was a mistake, since Buffy’s really good at hand-to-hand combat. Spike just stays put and keeps getting shot with arrows.

Buffy stabs a spirit but her knife doesn’t have any effect on him. Willow and Anya’s tools aren’t doing much, either. Angel arrives, takes in the scene, and jumps in to snap the neck of the spirit Willow and Anya are fighting. “What’s he like when he is evil?” Anya asks. Inside, Buffy fights a spirit while another sneaks up on her. Angel throws something into his chest from the courtyard without Buffy even noticing.

After some more fighting, Buffy discovers that Hus’ knife can hurt the spirits. But before she can start killing, Hus suddenly turns into a bear. “You made a bear!” Spike says in horror. “I didn’t mean to,” Buffy replies meekly. “Undo it! Undo it!” he yells. He tries to get away, scooting his chair around, but he tips over and ends up on his back.

Xander manages to save the day by distracting the Hus-bear. He calls him Gentle Ben and throws rolls at him for giving Xander syphilis. Buffy’s able to run up behind Hus and stab him with his knife. He turns back into his human form, then goes up in green smoke. The other spirits do the same, and the fight is over. Angel stays outside, never seen by Buffy. “What happened? Did we win?” Spike asks from the floor.

He’s allowed to sit at the table with the Scoobies while they eat dinner together. Despite all the complications, apparently the food turned out well. Willow feels bad for fighting the spirits, and Giles tells her that instincts take over when violence is involved. “Yeah, that’s the fun,” Spike says. He’s annoyed that after all the fighting, none of the Scoobies bled.

Giles compliments Buffy for her successes both with the meal and the battle. She’s disappointed that Thanksgiving wasn’t as perfect as she’d hoped. Xander thinks it was pretty traditional – there was a lot of anticipation, then a big fight, and now they’re all tired. Giles notes that everyone survived. Buffy cheers up, agreeing that her first Thanksgiving in charge was successful after all, since they all got through it.

Xander suggestively tells Anya that his syphilis seems to be clearing up. “And they say romance is dead,” Buffy comments. “Or maybe they just wish it.” Willow thinks they might have started a new tradition. Okay, maybe not, but with everyone working together, it was like old times. “Yeah, especially with Angel being here and everything,” Xander replies casually. Buffy looks up in surprise and everyone waits to see how she’ll react. Spike smirks at the blindsiding. “Oops,” Xander says.

Thoughts: This is the first Thanksgiving episode of a TV show I remember discussing the unsavory history of the holiday. And yet it still manages to give us scenes of togetherness and friendship without being sappy.

I was going to write something about Buffy, Willow, and Anya’s outfits at the groundbreaking ceremony, but nothing I could say would capture their essence. As they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words, so here’s the picture.

Anya is blunt and self-centered and doesn’t get a lot of social cues, but if you watch her during the Scoobies’ scenes, she takes really good care of Xander. She definitely cares about him beyond just having sex with him.

October 29, 2022

Buffy 4.7, The Initiative: Peculiar

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:07 pm by Jenn

I would go insane in a space like this within two hours

Summary: Riley is in the cafeteria with his friend Forrest, who’s talking about how great it is to be surrounded by so many pretty women. He hopes a lot of them show up to the party they’re throwing. Riley’s not listening, since he’s trying to grade papers. “How you gonna learn anything if you keep doing schoolwork?” Forrest asks.

Someone new catches his attention and he tells Riley to check her out. It’s Buffy, and Forrest is impressed that Riley already knows her. Riley says he hasn’t thought much about her. There’s something about her that seems peculiar. As the guys talk about her, she first has trouble filling a soda cup without spilling, then getting some ice cream without the cup overflowing (maybe her Slayer strength broke the machine?).

The guys’ friend Graham joins them and Forrest asks for his opinion on Buffy. (He asks if she’s “mattressable.” Shut up, Forrest.) Riley says it feels like she’s never completely present when he talks to her. He prefers women he can “get a grip on.” There’s something off about Buffy. “Maybe she’s Canadian,” Graham offers up.

Forrest knows that Buffy was involved with Parker for a little while, which just makes Riley think she has bad taste. He can’t deny that she’s pretty, but he doesn’t see himself dating her. And that’s even before she trips and drops her soda and ice cream (the machine is still malfunctioning in the background). Forrest would clearly nail anything that moves, so he’s not turned off. He thinks a lot of guys would like to get their hands on Buffy.

That includes Spike, who’s talking in his sleep about how he wants to kill the Slayer. He’s not in any shape to do anything to her, though, as he’s locked up in a cell, having been captured by commandos. The cell’s glass door is electrified, so he can’t even touch it. He’s just one of at least a dozen prisoners in a hallway full of identical bare cells.

Giles is working on finding out more about the commandos, but all he has to go on is Buffy’s description of their uniforms, which Xander calls “the latest in fall fascism.” Giles thinks they’re human, so there’s no point in researching. Xander’s pleased by that. He’s less pleased that Giles doesn’t think they’re needed for this particular mystery at all. He suggests using a Ouija board to summon some evil and fight it themselves. It might be unethical but at least they’ll have fun!

Buffy comes by Giles’ place and tells him she’s taking the night off from patrolling so she can go to a party with her dormmates. She’s trying to cheer up Willow, who’s been struggling since Oz left. Giles and Xander will need to fill in for her on patrol. Hopefully Xander leaves the Ouija board at home.

Spike paces in his cell, frustrated that he can’t find a way out. A bag of blood drops from a little opening in the ceiling, but when Spike starts to open it, the prisoner in the next cell warns him that it’s drugged. The prisoner, Tom, was Sunday’s minion and he tells Spike they’re all lab rats. They’re going to be starved, drugged, and experimented on. He doesn’t know how he got there; the last thing he was doing was running from Buffy. Spike thinks she’s responsible for their imprisonment. “I always worried what would happen when that b%$@# got some funding,” he grumbles. He plans to kill her no matter how smart she is.

Exactly how smart is Buffy? Not smart enough not to get ink all over her class notes. I think Spike might still stand a chance against her. At the end of a psych class, Willow approaches Riley and notes that he left Oz’s name off of role call. For the very first time, we learn that Oz’s real name is Daniel Osborne. Riley says he heard that Oz dropped out. Willow says he only left temporarily.

Walsh butts in and says he won’t be allowed back into her class. She lectures Willow about exceptions and feeling like her “exception is exceptional.” Walsh isn’t a freshman or a narcissist, so she has to think about the whole class. If Oz can’t respect her schedule, he shouldn’t come back. Willow walks away sadly, and Buffy confronts Walsh for not having any sympathy. After she leaves as well, Walsh tells Riley that she likes Buffy. “You don’t think she’s a little peculiar?” he asks.

Xander has a bunch of military gear left over from his brief time as a soldier, so he and Giles have a lot of options for equipment in case they come up against the commandos. Not that Xander necessarily knows how to use it. Giles thinks he’ll be ready if there’s a face-off. Xander promises that he’s great at hand-to-hand combat. Just then, his mother calls down to his basement room to offer him and Giles some fruit punch. Xander’s not thrilled by the interruption, which doesn’t make him look very tough, but Giles wouldn’t say no if the punch is raspberry-flavored.

Riley tells Forrest and Graham about Walsh and Buffy’s exchange, which just makes Buffy more appealing to Forrest. Riley thinks she’s nuts for talking to Walsh the way she did. Parker passes by and Forrest asks for info on Buffy. Parker says she’s whiny and clingy. They had sex once and then she was all over him like they were engaged. Parker raves about her skills in bed, then compares her to a toilet seat. Riley punches him.

Forrest worries that Parker will report Riley and get him in trouble, but Graham thinks he’s too embarrassed to say anything. Riley’s shocked that he reacted the way he did. Forrest notes that Riley has heard him say a lot grosser things than what Parker said. “And most of those are about your own mother,” Riley replies. He just didn’t like hearing Parker say those things about Buffy. Maybe he kind of likes her. “You’re kind of like a moron,” Forrest tells him. Graham adds that everyone has already figured it out. “I guess I’m gonna go see a girl,” Riley says, heading off alone.

Two men in lab coats go to Spike’s cell, where he’s unconscious on the floor. They pull him out and strap him to a gurney. That’s when Spike reveals that he’s not really unconscious. “Sorry, can’t stay,” he announces, grabbing one of the men by the throat. “Got to go see a girl.”

He tries to fight his way out as an alarm blares. Tom asks Spike to free him, saying he knows how to get out. Spike gets one of the men to accidentally sedate the other, then knocks out the second. He frees Tom from his cell and the two of them run for the exit, sliding under a door just as it’s closing. Some men in gas masks find them and Spike shoves Tom at them so he can escape.

Willow’s moping in her room when Riley shows up looking for Buffy. He wants to ask Buffy out but doesn’t know a lot about her. Willow notices that a bag of weapons is poking out from under Buffy’s bed, and she slowly goes over to nudge it back under without Riley seeing. He’s such a gentleman that he leans over and helps her move it without noticing what’s in it.

He asks for advice on what to talk about with Buffy. Willow isn’t sure why he would bother, since any relationship they have will eventually end horribly when one of them leaves and the other is reduced to “a broken, hollow mockery of the human condition.” “Yep, that’s the plan!” Riley replies. He gets that Willow isn’t in the mood to discuss this sort of thing, but he doesn’t know how to approach someone like Buffy.

Willow asks why she should trust him as someone who would be good for Buffy. Riley says he hoped she’d think he has an honest face. “I’ve seen honest faces before. They usually come attached to liars,” she replies. He decides to give up on this angle, though he admires how protective Willow is. He thinks Buffy brings that out in people.

As he’s leaving, Willow offers up a few conversation topics: cheese, Mr. Gordo, and the Ice Capades. Also, they’re going to a party that night. It happens to be the one Riley and his friends are throwing. Willow warns him not to get “fresh” with Buffy. He asks if she ever talks about him. Nope, sorry. But he thinks that Willow’s been helpful. She just wants it clear that she’s not his accomplice.

Spike makes his way to his old lair, where Harmony is still living. She’s not happy to see him, which is reasonable, since he dumped her, staked her, and abandoned her. He says he also missed her, and she immediately takes him back. He’s just there for weapons so he can take on Buffy. Harmony seduces him to distract him from returning to his Slayer obsession. Giles and Xander are on patrol, though they’re just observing right now. Xander tries to make it more dramatic by saying how they’re waiting for an enemy without a face and any thought they have could be their last. Giles tells him to shut up.

Buffy and Willow arrive at the party, and though Willow isn’t really up for it, she gives Riley some guidance so Buffy might have a good time. She tells him to have a light conversation with her, then warns that if he hurts Buffy, Willow will kill him with a shovel. “A vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend,” she says. “Have fun!” Riley approaches Buffy awkwardly, and everything Willow said flies out of his head. He asks her a school-related question, then offers him some cheese.

Giles and Xander split up and Xander comes across the first interesting thing he’s seen all night: Harmony is about to burn a bunch of Spike’s stuff. Each thinks the other can win in a fight, which Harmony starts with a slap. Xander kicks her, and then it’s on. And by “it,” I mean a slow-motion slap fight that ends in a draw. They agree to go their separate ways, but when she mentions that Spike’s back, Xander realizes there’s a problem.

Having struck out with Buffy, Riley goes to mope with Willow. He’s shaken because he’s usually good at everything. “Well, you failed extremely well,” she says encouragingly. He needs to relax. His goal right now is to get a reaction – any reaction. A Dingoes Ate My Baby song suddenly comes on and Willow’s mood drops. Without even knowing why, beyond Willow having a bad association with the song, Riley tells a friend to skip it. That definitely wins him some points with her, and she tells him to go give chatting with Buffy another try. Willow’s going to head home.

Riley approaches Buffy again, but before he can try to make less awkward conversation than before, Xander runs in. He tells Buffy they have “unfinished business” to deal with. She leaves with him, and Forrest and Graham pop up, both to tease Riley for getting rejected in favor of Xander and to take him downstairs for something. Forrest says it might be better this way, since now Riley won’t spend the next few months pining for a freshman.

The guys stand in front of a mirror, where green beams suddenly appear and a computerized voice accepts their retinal scan. Graham says he likes Buffy as the mirror slides aside, revealing an elevator. As it takes the guys underground, Forrest says he’s better at dating than Riley is because he knows girls. Riley replies that he’s just talking about one girl here. He repeats, “One girl,” into a panel, and a computerized voice says his vocal match is complete. He’s been confirmed to be Special Agent Riley Rinn.

The guys emerge in a basement facility as Riley wonders what kind of woman would want to date a guy who acts normal by day but is secretly a demon hunter at night. “Maybe a peculiar one,” Graham says. The facility is the one where Spike and Tom were prisoners, and Tom was right about the captives there undergoing experiments. The guys are there to respond to a code-red situation. “Hostile 17 has escaped,” according to their boss, Professor Walsh.

As the guys put on their commando uniforms, Walsh tells them that Hostile 17 escaped that afternoon, which means “it” has a big head start. It was captured locally, so they can assume that it knows the area, which gives it a big advantage. If they can’t recapture it, everything they’ve worked for – “the Initiative itself” – will be at risk. Riley promises that no one will fail on his watch. The guys grab weapons and meet up with some other commandos. Walsh announces that Finn is in charge. He gives orders and everyone heads above-ground to catch the escapee.

At Giles’, Buffy complains that not only is Spike back but he’s interrupting her night off. Xander snarks that he probably would have waited if he’d known that Buffy was “busy with Teutonic boy-toy.” She says Riley’s a doof, not Teutonic. She plans to kill Spike, and she’s going after him alone. Xander offers her a flare gun so she can signal for help if she needs it.

Spike breaks into an admin office and uses a computer to find Buffy’s dorm room. Riley, Graham, and Forrest search campus for him, coming across Buffy, who’s sitting out in the open, waiting for Spike to find her. Forrest notes that at least she’s not having sex with Xander. He contemplates using her as bait for Spike, but Riley shuts him down, pulling rank.

He decides to take off his commando uniform and find a way to talk Buffy into leaving. She wants the same from him, and neither will budge. Riley is in protective mode again, and when Buffy gets him to admit that he thinks guys need to take care of women, she calls him Teutonic. He tells her that as long as she’s out there, he’s staying. She says the same about him. But when they hear a scream, they head off in different directions.

Riley, Graham, and Forrest use a tracker implanted in Spike to find out that he’s at Buffy and Willow’s dorm. When he knocks on their door, Willow invites him in without realizing who she’s talking to. She thinks he’s there to make her do a spell, so she agrees to help, then tries to make a run for it. He stops her and tells her she has a choice: Die for good or die temporarily and come back as a vampire. She threatens to scream, which doesn’t deter him. He just turns up her music and wrestles her onto her bed.

Willow survives the encounter, thanks to some problem on Spike’s end. It’s something that’s never happened to him before. She suggests that he was nervous. He tries to bite her again but a sudden pain in his head makes him back off. She thinks this is something that happens to every vampire. Nope, not Spike. Willow worries that she’s the problem – Spike settled for her since Buffy wasn’t there. He didn’t really want to bite Willow.

Spike scoffs at that, but Willow knows she’s not the person vampires usually go for. They see her more as a friend or sister. He assures her that he’d bite her in a second if he could. He thought about it the last time they saw each other. Willow’s surprised, since he didn’t show any signs of having bloodlust for her. “I hate being obvious. All fangy and ‘rrrr.’ Takes the mystery out,” Spike replies. Willow promises that his failure here doesn’t make him any less scary. “Don’t patronize me!” he says.

The commandos lock in on Spike’s location, using a thermal scanner to pinpoint where he is, since he’s the only being in the building who’s at room temperature. Riley calls in a lockdown. Back in the room, Spike beats himself up for his failure to perform at such a young age (he’s only 126). Willow says he’s being too hard on himself. They can wait a while and try again. Then she realizes what she’s saying and smashes a lamp over his head.

She runs for the door but it’s locked and she can’t get it open before the lights in the dorm go out. The commandos storm the building wearing night-vision goggles. They break down Buffy and Willow’s door, finally letting Willow escape. One of the commandos mistakes her for their target, but Riley recognizes her and yells for him not to shoot her. Spike tries to attack a commando, but the pain returns and he gets recaptured.

Forrest doesn’t want to leave without Willow – she needs to be quarantined in case Spike turned her. Riley tells him to ignore that protocol. Spike is able to break free and grab a fire extinguisher, which he uses to hit a commando in the face. The spray clouds the hallway, making it even harder to see. As Forrest grabs Willow before she can crawl away, Buffy arrives and starts fighting the guys. They don’t recognize her because of the darkness and spray. They also don’t see Spike escaping until he’s already on his way into the woods. Buffy fights Riley, neither of them recognizing each other. He calls for a retreat and the commandos all leave.

Walsh isn’t happy with the way things turned out. The commandos think that Buffy helped Spike escape, and that she’ll be hard to capture or take down. On the plus side, the implant they put in Spike works – there’s something in his head that keeps him from hurting anyone without intense pain. Riley promises that they’ll recapture him.

The next day, Riley runs into Buffy and they make up, both playing innocent about why they insisted on being alone on campus. The official story about the commandos’ raid is that it was a frat prank. Riley mentions that he asked Willow to help him with a “project.” He’s not sure yet how it worked out. Buffy asks what he wanted to tell her at the party. Riley’s still awkward, so all he comes up with to say is, “Did Willow tell you I like cheese?” “You’re a little peculiar,” Buffy replies. He decides he can live with that.

Thoughts: The good news: This is the only episode where Forrest is this obnoxious. The bad news: After this, he’s just annoying in a regular way.

Apparently “maybe she’s Canadian” was an inside joke about someone who worked on the show. Shouldn’t inside jokes be funny?

I love, love, love Buffy standing up for Willow with Walsh. We all need a friend like that.

Riley uses the word “courted” when talking about trying to date Buffy. You know, like any normal 1990s college student.

Spike’s off-the-cuff pet names for Harmony: “my little foam latte,” “mon petite crème brûlée” (which she thinks is Italian), “my little mentholated pack of smokes.”

“Riley’s a doof” is 100 percent correct. Thank you for the perfect description, Buffy.

October 1, 2022

Buffy 4.3, The Harsh Light of Day: Meet Sunnydale’s New Super-Couple!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:08 pm by Jenn

Does this count as getting take-out?

Summary: Dingoes Ate My Baby are performing at the Bronze, and Buffy and Willow are in the audience. Willow notices that Parker’s also there, and she’s surprised that Buffy’s being nonchalant about it. It’s just because she’s watching his reflection in a nearby mirror. Willow notes that since they spent all week together, Buffy doesn’t have to be so casual. Buffy says she doesn’t want to crowd him.

When the band’s done, Oz is ready to leave, but Willow wants to let Buffy take her time watching Parker. She notes that, unlike Buffy’s last love interest, this one has a reflection. Willow teases Buffy for having “lusty, wrong feelings,” then realizes there’s nothing wrong with her liking Parker. Parker approaches and offers to walk Buffy home. You know, because it’s not safe for her to go alone. Oh, Parker, if only you knew.

Willow helps Oz and Devon pack up their stuff as they look forward to an upcoming gig in L.A. Harmony approaches Willow and the two of them note that they haven’t seen each other since graduation (Harmony: “Big snake, huh?”). Harmony’s pretty much the same, except for one big difference: She’s a vampire now. She bites Willow but Oz is able to jump in with a microphone stand and a cross. Harmony taunts Willow for hiding behind her boyfriend, then says she has a boyfriend, too, and he’s going to be mad that Willow was mean to her.

On their walk back to campus, Buffy tries to have a normal chat with Parker that doesn’t include anything about vampires or slaying. He notices the scar on her neck from when Angel fed on her. She says it’s from an “angry puppy.” Parker claims all his scars are psychological; for example, his father died last year. He’s not trying to get sympathy, though. He figures Buffy hates guys who brood. “I don’t think I’ve ever met that type,” she lies.

Parker says the saddest part of his father’s death was knowing all the stuff he didn’t get to do. Now Parker thinks about living in the now. Buffy can relate, since she technically died. He thinks most people who talk about living in the moment just want an excuse to goof off. He appreciates finding someone who understands him. Buffy asks what he’ll regret not doing today when he goes to bed tonight. Parker says he’ll regret not asking her to a frat party. So he asks her and she accepts.

While his friends had a fun night out, Xander somehow got stuck shelving books with Giles. Sad. Anya lets herself into Giles’ place and asks to talk to Xander. Giles doesn’t budge, even when Anya tells him straight out to go away, so she pulls Xander outside. She asks where their relationship is going. “Our what? Our who?” he replies. They went on one date, and Anya used to be a demon, so he didn’t exactly expect anything long-term. But Anya can’t stop thinking about him, and she’s even had naked dreams about him. She’s looking for weekly dates. Xander says a relationship has to develop on its own.

Parker delivers Buffy to her room, and as they’re awkwardly about to kiss good night, Willow and Oz run up. They try to relay to Buffy that Harmony’s a vampire now without saying it straight out. Buffy’s like, “Oh, the angry puppy is on the loose again. You’d better go home and lock all your doors and not invite any puppies in, Parker.”

Once he’s gone and Oz is tending to Willow’s neck wound, Buffy notes that Harmony must be freaking out about not having a reflection anymore. Willow’s annoyed that she brought up a boyfriend. She thinks Harmony lied, since she’s always been one of those “you wouldn’t know him; he goes to another school” people. Oz says she dated Devon once but she was too flaky for him, “which, stop and marvel and the concept.” Buffy comments that whoever’s dating a dead Harmony must be incredibly tolerant. He’s also someone she knows: It’s Spike.

He’s up to something underground, having assembled a crew to tunnel into a crypt. Harmony calls him her “little blondie bear” and asks him to kill Willow for messing with her. Spike doesn’t want anyone to know he’s in Sunnydale, and killing the Slayer’s best friend would probably set off some alarms. Plus, he’s close to his goal and doesn’t want anything to interfere.

Harmony whines, but Spike snaps at her to go eat something. She demands to be taken out to eat since the guy they have chained up for on-demand feedings isn’t satisfying her. She wants to go to a party. Spike grabs her, growling, and she tries to seduce him, even though there are people around. He gives in and tells her he’ll take her somewhere nice that night.

They wind up at the frat party Parker invited Buffy to. The two pairs run into each other as Spike and Harmony are dragging out a guy they fed on. Spike calls it a double date. He and Buffy banter until Spike decides to just make a run for it. Buffy loses track of him outside and he’s able to ambush her.

She taunts that Drusilla must have dumped him again. He claims he dumped her, but Harmony pops up and says Drusilla left him for a fungus demon. Spike announces that they’re leaving, since “it isn’t time yet.” Harmony warns that when they have the Gem of Amara, Buffy will be sorry. Spike’s furious that she told the Slayer what they’re after.

Xander’s now living in his parents’ basement, and Anya shows up while he’s hanging up a disco ball. She wants to continue their conversation. Nope, strike that – she wants to take off all her clothes and just have sex. Buffy calls Giles to tell him about her run-in with Spike and Harmony, and their search for the Gem of Amara. He says it’s not real. In the tenth century, a bunch of vampires looked for it, thinking it held some kind of power. No one ever found it, so people concluded that it didn’t exist.

Wherever Spike and Harmony are crashing, she definitely decorated it, unless Spike secretly has a love of pink headboards. She asks if Antonio Banderas is a vampire. When Spike says no, she asks if she can turn him. He says no again, then changes his mind, telling her to take her time and turn Melanie Griffith and their kids, too. Harmony realizes she doesn’t have a pulse, which she thinks is cool. She asks if they can eat a doctor so she can get a stethoscope and hear her heart not beating.

Spike yells at her to shut up, but his anger is a turn-on for her. She draws his attention to all the veins on her chest. He joins her on the bed, then suggests that they do something with chains. Harmony isn’t interested, and she thinks that’s the sort of thing he did with Drusilla, whom she calls Dorkus. Again, his anger makes her happy. This is the most dysfunctional couple to appear on the show since…well, since Spike and Drusilla.

As they move toward nudity, Anya remains unclothed in Xander’s room. She’s detailed everything she wants to do with him, and I don’t think he’s moved a centimeter since she started talking. She thinks having sex will help her put him out of her mind. Xander’s hesitant, since they barely know each other, and he doesn’t want to have meaningless sex. Anya manages to talk him into it by saying nice things and simply telling him to take off his clothes. “And the amazing thing? Still more romantic than Faith,” he comments.

Buffy returns to the party and finds Parker. She tells him Spike is an old friend who’s not supposed to drink; she just wanted to help him. Parker asks if they used to date. Buffy laughs really hard at that and promises they didn’t. They dance to a slow song, then talk a little more. He likes history because it’s all about regular people making choices. Everyone always has a choice in every situation. He kisses her, then gives her the choice of stopping. She doesn’t want to. Giles finds something about the Gem of Amara in a book and leaves Buffy a message to call him ASAP. She misses the call because she’s having sex with Parker.

In the morning, Buffy wakes up alone in Parker’s bed. He returns with coffee and the news that his mother’s coming to visit, which Buffy takes as her cue to leave. They agree to catch up later. Xander and Anya also spent the night together, and she unconvincingly says that she’s over him now that she’s slept with him. She’s upset when he accepts that without any conversation.

Spike wakes up to Harmony writing on his back with lipstick. He tells her he has to get back to work. “You love that tunnel more than me,” she whines. “I love syphilis more than you,” he mutters. Giles is in Buffy and Willow’s room when Buffy gets home. She lies that she was studying in the library all (Saturday) night. Giles doesn’t really care where she was, since she’s an adult, and because he probably doesn’t want to think about it. He’s there because the Gem of Amara might be in Sunnydale after all, sealed in an underground crypt.

As soon as Giles leaves, Willow excitedly asks Buffy about her night. Buffy says it was really nice and she can’t wait for Parker to call. Willow’s happy that she’s in the really fun part of a new relationship, where “everything’s a discovery.” Speaking of discoveries, Spike’s crew has reached the crypt and is closing in on the Gem of Amara. He tells everyone they have to stay inside from now on so Buffy doesn’t track anyone to their lair. That means Harmony is “an indoor kitty now.”

Harmony complains because Spike told her he would take her places, like France. He sharply tells her that the gem is the reason he came back to Sunnydale, a place he never wanted to return to, what with all the beatings he’s taken there. When he has the gem, he’s going to kill everyone they both want dead. Until then, Harmony needs to stay inside and shut up about France. For once, Harmony isn’t turned on by Spike’s anger, and she wonders why she lets him treat her the way he does. “Love hurts, baby,” he replies.

Buffy asks around town to find out if anyone’s seen Harmony. Whenever she has a chance, she checks her messages, hoping for one from Parker. He hasn’t left any. Spike, on the other hand, has achieved his goal and has made it into the crypt. Right away he finds a big green gem on a chain. Harmony follows him in and asks if she can take some of the other treasures there.

He puts the gem around his neck and tests its power by reaching for a cross. It burns him, indicating that the gem hasn’t done what it’s supposed to. Harmony babbles about France as she puts on jewelry and accessories she’s found. Spike gets fed up and stakes her…but the wound immediately closes. He realizes one of the rings she put on is the Gem of Amara, and it’s made her invulnerable. He grabs it from her and says he’s going outside.

The Scoobies continue helping Giles organize his place. While Oz admires his record collection, Xander’s shocked to see that Giles has a TV. “He’s shallow, like us!” he exclaims. It even works. And it’s helpful – it lets them see a news report about tunneling near UC Sunnydale’s campus, which gives them a clue about where Spike’s been hanging out and what he’s been up to.

On campus, Buffy comes across Parker, who’s chatting with a classmate, giving her the same monologue he gave Buffy about living in the moment. He seems confused about why he would have called Buffy within a couple days of sleeping with her. She suggests that they do something that night, but he has plans. In general, he’s very casual about things and doesn’t seem interested in spending more time with Buffy.

He tells her their night together was fun and indicates that he doesn’t want anything beyond it. He asks if she really wants a commitment right now. He thought he was pretty clear that their hookup wasn’t going to lead to anything else. Buffy’s hurt but thinks she made some mistake that drove him away. As Parker heads off, Spike arrives and mocks Buffy for being pathetic. Then he punches her. It’s the middle of the day, so it’s understandable that Buffy’s off her game – she didn’t expect any vampires to ambush her. They fight and she’s able to stake him, but the gem keeps him from dying.

Giles, Oz, and Willow head into the tunnel and find Harmony, who’s moping about how her life has turned out. Xander goes to Buffy’s room, brushing Anya off when she shows up to try to talk to him again. Harmony tells the others that Spike has the gem. She would have given it to him if he’d asked instead of just taking it. He’s her “platinum baby.” Giles asks where he went.

Buffy and Spike continue fighting, and though he’s not affected by sunlight or stakes anymore, he’s still at the mercy of her Slayer strength. Xander finds them and tries to help out, but Spike knocks him out within seconds. He mocks Buffy about her disappointing sexual experience with Parker, wondering if she was too strong for a human. He brings up Angel, which just refuels Buffy’s desire to kill him. She grabs his hand and starts to pull off the gem. He tells her if she does, they’ll both burn. She’s willing to take the chance, so she yanks it off. Nothing happens to her, but he has to run for the shadows before he burns in the sunlight.

The Scoobies regroup at Giles’, where Giles says they need to destroy the ring before another vampire snags it and becomes invulnerable. Buffy and Oz wordlessly agree about what they should do with it. Since Oz is going to L.A. for a gig, he’ll take it to Angel. (Willow has to spell it out for Xander.)

That night, Buffy worries that she’s doomed to always have guys turn evil after she sleeps with them. Willow tries to cheer her up, telling her that Parker manipulated her and there’s nothing wrong with her. Buffy still has some hope that she and Parker could work things out. I think Willow will remind her every time she needs it that she should stay far away from him. Buffy, Anya, and Harmony all end the night moping alone about their guy troubles.

Thoughts: I’m not sure Willow’s oversized wool coat with applique flowers is really necessary in Southern California.

I absolutely, 100% do not ever want to know what a fungus demon is.

Spike’s level of willpower is impressive – I’m surprised he held out so long before trying to kill Harmony.

I wish these three deleted moments had made it into the episode:

Willow: “You know what else I love about college? How when the professor comes in, the class gets all quiet.”
Buffy: “Oh, I hate that. I’m always like, what? Did something scary come in? Do I have to kill it?”

Devon: “Man, that looked like Harmony. Weird. I saw her get bit at graduation. I didn’t tell you?”

Buffy: “I mean, I thought Spike and Dru were a forever kind of deal, didn’t you? Where’s the commitment?”
Giles: “I’m disillusioned. I shall never love again.”

September 10, 2022

Buffy 3.22, Graduation Day, Part 2: “Nothing Will Ever Be the Same”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:15 pm by Jenn

I would have paid more attention at my graduations if this had been the speaker

Summary: Buffy has just watched Faith fall off her balcony, taking away Buffy’s only cure for Angel. She leave the dagger on the ledge and climbs down the fire escape just before the mayor arrives and sees the destruction the Slayers left behind. He guesses that Faith took their fight outside, since she doesn’t like to be cooped up. He orders a minion to find the Slayers. This is even more important than the ascension. He tries to convince himself that Faith can handle whatever happened and will be okay.

In the library, Xander brings Giles coffee while they wait for news from Buffy. Xander notes that Giles is more of a tea drinker, but Giles wants coffee instead of something soothing. “Okay, but you’re destroying a perfectly good cultural stereotype here,” Xander says. They go back to their books to find anything that will help them once the mayor turns into a demon.

Cordelia arrives, demanding to know why Wesley is suddenly unemployed. Giles tells her that Buffy quit the Watchers’ Council, so she doesn’t need a Watcher anymore. Cordelia doesn’t think that means Wesley should have to leave the country – after all, Giles got fired and he still hangs around “like a big loser.” Xander distracts her by asking her to help them stop a massacre. Cordelia agrees but complains that Buffy only thinks about herself.

Willow’s on Angel-care duty, but he’s so out of it that he thinks she’s Buffy. He tells her he was wrong to break up with her; he can’t leave her. After a moment, he realizes who he’s talking to. Willow tells Oz that she feels guilty because everything’s falling apart, but it’s still the best night of her life (Oz must be really good in bed). Buffy arrives and asks them to give her some privacy with Angel. Willow promises to try to find another way to cure him.

Buffy sits with Angel, who’s glad to see her since he doesn’t think he has much longer, and he didn’t want to die without seeing her again. She tells him she can cure him, but he’s ready to go. She won’t accept that, so she presents him with his only other option: Drink her blood. Angel refuses, knowing that he’d have to drink enough to kill her. She thinks he can take enough to cure himself without going that far.

He doesn’t want to even consider doing this, but Buffy won’t let him die. A Slayer’s blood is his only hope. She tells him she killed Faith, so there’s only one Slayer left. Angel continues refusing, even leaving the room to try to get away from her. Buffy won’t take no for an answer, so she punches him until he vamps out. She bares her neck and forces him to drink from her. They fall over as he does, and it becomes almost an intimate moment, like this is the closest they can come to having sex now. Eventually he stops himself, cured, and realizes too late that he’s bled her unconscious.

He rushes her to the hospital, telling a doctor that something bit her and demanding help. Angel can barely contain his desperation, which he takes out on a door handle, ripping it right off. The doctor asks if they’ve been using drugs. (Guess he’s heard about all those gangs on PCP who supposedly terrorize the town.) While Buffy’s tended to, Angel goes to a pay phone. In a room right next to him, a doctor is telling the mayor that Faith has lost a lot of blood and has severe head trauma. It’s a miracle that she’s still alive. There’s very little chance that she’ll ever wake up. The mayor is sad that she’ll have to miss the ascension.

A nurse who was working on Buffy comes to ask Faith’s doctor for assistance. The mayor figures out who her patient is and goes to her room. He tries to smother her with his bare hand, but the nurse catches him. Angel runs in and throws him off, but the mayor knows he’ll have a bigger, better chance to take them both out later. “Misery loves company” and he’s looking forward to sharing it with both of them. Angel throws him into a wall, and the mayor just brushes it off and tells the staff that everything’s okay. “The show’s not over, but there will be a short intermission,” he says. “Don’t want to miss the second act – all kinds of excitement.”

The Scoobies arrive later and Angel tells them that Buffy’s okay. Oz seems to be the only one to notice that Angel’s also okay. Angel tells them that Faith’s “out of the picture,” and that Buffy cured him. Giles guesses that Angel fed on her. Angel assures the Scoobies that he didn’t drink enough of her blood to cause permanent damage, and she won’t become a vampire. Xander snarks that it’s nice to know that when Angel’s backed into a corner, he’ll feed off someone who loves him to save himself. The sun will be rising soon, so Giles sends Angel away. “Gosh, I’m really gonna miss him when he leaves town,” Xander says.

Buffy dreams of going back to Faith’s apartment, where Faith is in the process of packing up to move out. Buffy spots a cat and asks who will look after him. Faith corrects that the cat is a girl and says cats can mostly take care of themselves. Buffy asks if she’s talking about a higher power. No, no really. Buffy can’t quite remember what she’s supposed to be doing. “Miles to go,” Faith replies. “Little Miss Muffet counting down from 730.”

As the cat turns into Faith in a hospital bed, then back again, Faith looks out the broken window leading to the balcony and wonders if it’s ever going to be fixed. Buffy asks about whether Faith will be fixed. “Scar tissue,” Faith says dismissively. “It fades, it all fades.” Her dagger appears in Buffy’s hand, then disappears. Faith tells her that human weakness never goes away, “even his.” Buffy wonders which of their minds this dream is taking place in. Faith isn’t sure. She says it’s almost time, and Buffy asks how she’s going to pack all of her stuff. Faith tells her it’s hers now. She can just take what she needs. “You ready?” Faith asks, reaching out to Buffy.

Buffy wakes up in the hospital, a little weak but mostly okay. She goes to Faith’s room and kisses her on the forehead. Then she gets dressed and joins the Scoobies so they can get to work. She tells them to get Angel and “everyone.” She’s ready for war.

While Snyder awaits the start of the graduation ceremony, Buffy presents her plan to the Scoobies in the library. She knows it sounds crazy, but Cordelia points out that it’s their only idea. And since Buffy’s the Slayer (“Little Miss Likes to Fight”), she should get to call the shots. Buffy needs everyone on board, especially Xander, who’s key to the plan. They’ll be relying on his military knowledge from that brief time he was a soldier. Sorry, no rocket launcher this time.

Giles notes that this is all dependent on their ability to control the mayor. Buffy says that Faith told her to play on his human weakness. Willow asks if that was before or after Buffy put Faith in a coma. “After,” Buffy replies. “Oh,” is all Willow says. The problem is that they don’t know the mayor’s weakness. Oz notes that Angel spent the most time with him. Angel says the mayor hates germs, so Cordelia suggests (totally serious) that they attack him with those. Buffy asks if she’s going to sneeze on him. Cordelia was thinking more along the lines of getting their hands on Ebola, or just pretending they have it.

Angel realizes that Faith is the mayor’s weakness. He’s grieving for her so much that it’s making him crazy. Buffy says she can work with that. Wesley arrives and says they don’t have much time. Buffy tells him that the Council isn’t welcome there, but Wesley wants to help on his own. Cordelia finds that very classy. Buffy accepts his offer, then starts to lay out her plan.

At City Hall, the mayor is doing the same with his minions. His demon transformation will start just as he’s finishing his commencement speech. He’s sad that the minions will have to miss it, since it speaks to everyone and he’s been working on it for 100 years. The minions point out that they won’t be able to do much, since it’ll be the middle of the afternoon and the sun will be out. Mayor Wilkins says that won’t be a problem.

Wesley has discovered the same thing – there will be an eclipse during the ascension. That means Angel can take part. Buffy tells him to work with Xander, who only agrees because he’s still “key guy.” The mayor tasks his minions with surrounding the graduation attendees and keeping them in one spot so he can feed on them. He’d better not see any blood on their lips; this isn’t their snack time.

Since the Scoobies don’t have a volcano to kill the mayor like the one that killed the demon Professor Worth found, they’ll have to make their own. Willow and Oz will set up what they need, and Xander will provide the last ingredient to make it go boom. Buffy asks Giles to be the one to set it off. He thinks it’s fitting, somehow. She tells him to gather weapons while she goes to get something. Mayor Wilkins sends the minions off to prepare, telling them to “watch the swearing.” The Scoobies start gathering their own version of minions, including Harmony and Percy.

Cordelia and Wesley pack up books in the library, still unsure how to talk to each other. He brings up the fact that he’ll be going back to England soon, since he doesn’t have a reason to stay in the States. They move closer to each other and eventually kiss. It’s…bad. The worst possible kiss two people could have. They try again, but it doesn’t get any better. And just like that, they’re no longer interested in each other.

Willow and Oz have bought up a bunch of fertilizer, which Jonathan and Larry help them deliver to the school. After that, they’re free to relax and enjoy themselves. You know, until the giant demon attack. Willow’s scared, but Oz thinks if he sounds confident that they’ll survive, they will. They have some time to kill before the ceremony, and they’re all alone in Oz’s van, so I think we all know what they’re going to do for a while.

Buffy checks in with Angel, who’s gathering stakes. She assures him that she’s pretty much recovered from his feeding. He tells her he’s not going to say goodbye. If they get through the ascension, he’s just going to leave. She’s hurt, but she understands that he doesn’t want to have to face her again before he walks out of her life. After he leaves, she unwraps the thing she went to get: Faith’s dagger.

The ceremony begins and the graduates file in. Snyder greets them with, “Congratulations to the class of 1999. You all proved more or less adequate. This is a time of celebration, so sit still and be quiet.” He also tells someone to spit out their gum. He introduces Mayor Wilkins, then calls someone out for making a rude gesture and tells them to see him after graduation. (Whoever that was, don’t worry about it.)

Willow and Oz arrive a little late, having lost track of time in the van. The mayor notes that today is the 100th anniversary of the town’s founding. He knows the graduates are only focused on what today means for them, not the 100 years of history that came before. Buffy and Willow realize that he’s going to give his whole speech. “Man, just ascend already,” Willow says. “Evil,” Buffy replies.

The mayor says that the graduates have had a long road up to this point. They’ve been through both good times and horrible ones. They’ve grieved and lost. “Some people who should be here today aren’t,” he says. He seems to be speaking directly to Buffy. The Mayor continues that this is their “journey’s end,” then starts waxing poetic about journeys. At the end of one, you’re different – it’s shaped you. “Today is about change,” he tells the crowd. “Graduation doesn’t just mean your circumstances change – it means you do. You ascend to a higher level. Nothing will ever be the same. Nothing.”

The eclipse begins, turning the courtyard dark. The mayor starts feeling the effects of his ascension, but he tries to continue his speech anyway. “Come on,” Buffy whispers, ready to fight. Mayor Wilkins announces that his destiny is getting underway, and though he would have liked to finish his speech, he’ll skip to the end. He then turns into a big snake-like thing, not unlike an evil Loch Ness Monster.

The graduates’ loved ones flee (way to leave your kids to fend for themselves, everyone) as the minions descend on the ceremony. The graduates themselves all stay put, and when Buffy gives them the signal, they take off their robes and grab the weapons under them. One group is equipped with flamethrowers, and they all fire at the mayor together. Xander alerts the next group, who have crossbows and other pointy things. Nothing affects the mayor very much, though.

Snyder is displeased with all of this and berates the crowd for their actions. Some graduates rush the vampire minions, and Oz tells Xander to signal his group, who are equipped with bows and arrows. They light their arrows on fire and shoot them at the minions. As the remaining minions try to run away, they’re met by Angel, Wesley, and some others, who engage in hand-to-hand combat.

Larry gets clipped by the mayor’s tail and is killed. Aww, Larry. Snyder’s still complaining about the students’ actions, and he’s not happy about the mayor’s, either. The mayor shuts him up by eating him. Snyder does NOT get an “aww” from me. Buffy continues calling out orders, and Xander and his group start fighting minions (though Angel’s doing pretty well on his own).

Willow joins a big wave of students who rush the vampires. Harmony gets bitten, but Jonathan gets in a good attack. Xander has to remind a couple of guys that they’re the right flank. (To be fair, they only put this plan together in a few hours.) Cordelia stakes a vampire as students and minions fight all around her. Wesley, who was knocked down about two seconds after he arrived, asks someone to help him up.

Buffy gets the mayor’s attention, showing him Faith’s dagger. She boasts that she stabbed Faith with it: “Just slid in her like she was butter. You wanna get it back from me, Dick?” She runs, knowing he’ll chase her. She leads him into the school, where he destroys everything in his path. She makes it to the library, which is full of the bags of fertilizer Willow and Oz delivered, and goes out the back. The mayor realizes that he’s been led into a trap. “Well, gosh,” he says. Outside, Giles detonates the “volcano,” blowing up both the mayor and the school.

Once the fire has been put out and everything has calmed down, Wesley gets loaded into an ambulance. Xander thinks things turned out pretty well, considering what they were all facing. Buffy’s looking around them, and he guesses she’s looking for Angel. He assures her that he survived. He must have already left.

Giles checks on Buffy, who’s so overwhelmed from the events of the past couple days that all her brain is capable of grasping is “fire bad, tree pretty.” He praises her for her successes, then gives her something he managed to pull out of the debris: her diploma. He thinks she earned it. He launches into a speech about the dramatic irony of the situation, and how it almost seems like they were destined to blow up the school. “Fire bad, tree pretty,” Buffy says.

She looks around again, this time spotting Angel watching her from a distance. They just exchange meaningful looks before he turns and walks away, keeping his word not to say goodbye. She meets up with the Scoobies, who are ready to go home. Buffy wants to sleep until it’s time for college. Oz tells them to take a moment to realize that they survived – “not the battle, high school.” Buffy and Willow finish that moment first, and the friends all go off together. They leave behind a scorched yearbook declaring, “The future is ours!”

Thoughts: When Willow tells Oz that Angel thought she was Buffy, Oz says, “You, too, huh?” That means we missed the chance to not only see Angel acting affectionate toward Oz but Oz trying to figure out how to respond.

I love this exchange:

Cordelia: “I personally don’t think it’s possible to come up with a crazier plan.”
Oz: “We attack the mayor with hummus.”
Cordelia: “I stand corrected.”
Oz: “Just keeping thing in perspective.”
Cordelia: “Thank you.”

And after Cordelia presents her plan to chase the mayor with a box labeled “Ebola”:

Xander: “I’m starting to lean towards the hummus offensive.”
Oz: “He’ll never see it coming.”

Though Buffy was right to send Joyce away, it would have been fun to see her taking part in the big battle.

That’s it for season 3! Next: Riley, Tara, and a whole lot more Spike.

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