Tabula Rasa (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) - Wikipedia
"Crush" is the fourteenth episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, back into Spike's life, causing Spike to re-examine his relationships with the . and ended abruptly when Angel lost his soul and was sent into Acathla's hell. Story Arcs; Gimmicky Episodes; Buffy and Spike; Willow; Conclusions and . A big part of the sixth season focused on the relationship between Buffy and Spike. mean that all the information that had been in those books is now lost forever . the relationship between spike and buffy in this episode is almost as romantic as me and my husband before we got together. and I have been married to my.
Tabula Rasa Okay, I now officially hate Willow. She made the promise to Tara and then immediately blew it off. If there had been even a single moment of hesitation as she mentally debated whether or not she should have done this and then rationalized it as serving a greater good, there might still have been some hope for her. Her use of magic to change clothes beforehand showed an even greater contempt for Tara than the "Tabula Rasa" spell did because there was no way to rationalize that.
It demonstrated that she never had any intention of keeping her promise, and the outcome of this episode didn't even serve her as a wake up call. From this moment onward, I have absolutely no sympathy for anything that happens to her.
All that aside, this is the right way to do a gimmicky episode. A magic spell that robbed the characters of their memories would have given the producers a legitimate excuse for having them behave out of character, just as the love spell had in Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, but instead, the story derived much of its humor by having the them behave largely in character: Buffy and Dawn argued like sisters; Giles and Spike spoke to each other the way they would have spoken to each other if their mutual dislike didn't prevent them from speaking at all; and Spike was able to interact with Buffy without their history getting in the way, showing that he was capable of being one of the good guys.
It was also cool how his "vampire with a soul" realization actually foreshadowed the season-ending cliffhanger. And was that the same suit we saw him wearing back when he was human? I loved the visual pun with the loanshark; it took me a few moments to figure why they gave the demon a shark head.
Is there any significance in Buffy choosing the name Joan? Since Buffy martyred herself and sang about "walk[ing] through the fire", I'm tempted to think of Joan of Arc. Suddenly, her cameo last season makes more sense. I had always wondered how they had managed to convince the actress to make a meaningless three second appearance, especially when those three seconds contained no lines and no clothing.
Have you ever noticed that the news media in Sunnydale is able to get stories on the air pretty fast - in fact, before they've actually finished happening?
Buffy seriously messed with Spike's head, hurling verbal abuse and getting violent with him before it was really called for, but, now that I think about it, Buffy seriously messes up every guy she gets involved with. Angel turned evil, ending up in a hell dimension, and Riley developed serious issues that went away as soon as he got away from her. Even Owen, whom she dated just once in Never Kill a boy on the First Date immediately started to develop an addiction to danger.
It makes you kind of think that Parker might have done the right thing after all. This episode also introduced the "Buffy came back wrong" idea maybe because Willow had been unable to complete the resurrection spell or was doing it wrong in the first place as a possible explanation for her inexplicable behavior. Is she part demon? Is she not really Buffy, but an imposter? This might be good then again, it might not.
Finally, this episode threw away all credibility when it showed the Trio keeping the Boba Fett figure on a display stand instead of in the original package - unopened, of course. Do the producers think that we're complete idiots who would believe that? I don't think so There was one little thing.
When Buffy first reached her hand down, out of the bottom of the frame, I said, "Did she just do what I think she did? The sex was always in the context of a loving relationship or else had bad consequences sometimes bothand the violence always served the story. This season, UPN airs Buffy without a disclaimer, seems to have much looser "standards and practices", and the producers seem eager to push the limits.
All across America, there were probably parents walking into the room and saying, "What are you watching? Change the channel now!
Now a lot the kids will have to sneak over to their friends' houses to watch it or pass around videotapes. Just recently, some ultra-right-wing, fascist, family-values group issued a report declaring Buffy the worst show on television, and I absolutely hate being forced into the position of having to concede those nutcases any points whatsoever.
Wrecked This one provoked a powerful response. On a technical level, it was the best written and executed episode since Bargainingwith a very exciting climax. On a conceptual level, however, in terms of what it meant for Willow's character development, it was the biggest disappointment of the entire series. After almost two years of making us worry about Willow, this one episode completely redefined and resolved her situation. The drug addiction metaphor was a good one, but Willow was clearly addicted to the power and seductive ease of using magic.
We had never seen her using magic to get "stoned" or gotten any indication that this was her primary motivation for using it. But the really big shock came at the end of the episode when Willow broke down into tears as she told Buffy how hard she'd been trying to quit and was unable to.
After nearly half a season of her total, arrogant denial of having any problem whatsoever - including her casually blowing off of her promise to Tara in Tabula Rasa - had caused us to develop a real hate-on for our once-beloved Willow, we're supposed to believe that she'd been trying to fight the addiction all along? Wait a minute - don't panic yet - there might still be a reasonable explanation. Maybe Willow was lying. Maybe she knew that Buffy was angry enough to inflict some serious damage, so she pretended to be a helpless addict to make Buffy feel sorry for her instead.
This could be good: It's either this, or the producers are complete idiots. Unfortunately, we'll have to sit through five weeks of reruns before we learn which. Gone Uh oh, it looks like they're complete idiots. We're supposed to accept that Willow was telling the truth after all and is now officially "on the wagon".
That they show her feeling the temptation to use magic would have been good except that the rest of the season would reveal that they won't be following through on the addiction metaphor anymore. Instead, they'll wait for the extreme events of Seeing Red to get her using magic again. Thus beginnith the "Wimpy Willow" portion of the season. As for the main story, in which Buffy became invisible, they once again went for the sit-com obvious laughs rather than thinking about what they were really doing to the characters.
We got to see Buffy harass innocent people, steal a car, nibble Spike's ear in front of Xander, and gaslight a social worker who had some legitimate concerns about Buffy's fitness to look after Dawn. It's a shame that they can't give Tara custody. I bet that she was the one giving Dawn the real maternal attention during Buffy's death. As an aside, how come whenever people turn invisible they always start talking out loud to themselves so that anyone could easily tell where they are and what they're doing?
Kinda defeats the point of invisibility. And, okay, the new hair is cute. Doublemeat Palace And the season hits its nadir. As Buffy was being shown around her new workplace, the other employees seemed to have been lobotomized. When Manny was so insistent that she eat the burger, I thought that there must be something in the food that turned the workers into zombie slaves who would work long hours for low wages. When Buffy found the finger, she and we decided that the Doublemeat Palace must have been pulling a "Sweeney Todd" to provide themselves with an endless supply of free meat.
Then we got the surprise twist that the old lady was the killer. During Buffy's first season, the series built part of its reputation on misdirecting the audience just like this. From the opening scene with Darla to episodes like The Witch and The Puppet Show and even somewhat in this season's All the Waywe were absolutely certain that we had figured out what was going on and then got hit with a surprise twist that was way cooler.
More importantly, once we knew what was really going on in those early episodes, we could rewatch them and see all the clues falling into place.
Here, we were left with a lot of questions. If the workers weren't lobotomized zombie slaves, why were they so lethargic, nonverbal, and lacking in higher brain functions? In all the fast food places I've been to, the employees were working hard and fast to the point of being frazzled, and the counter people were successfully faking that cheerful politeness. If the service was horribly slow, it was because the owner was too cheap to hire enough people to handle the crowds there's a Pizza Hut near me that I avoid for this reason and feel so sorry for the way the workers are forced to run around when I do go there.
And what about Manny's reaction to the finger? There are two ways that an innocent person would react: Only someone who knew all about the sinister conspiracy and had encountered body parts before would react that calmly.
The clues do not fit the resolution. Earlier in the episode, Manny's orientation, his "You don't need to go in there" comments, and humorlessness had a sense of reality to them, although some managers do try to project more energy in an effort to motivate the employees. Everywhere else, there was less realism. I've already discussed the employees' behavior. Normally, the patties would be prepared in a central plant and delivered ready to cook.
The dirty little secret that Buffy ultimately did discover - that the burgers weren't real meat - didn't quite ring true either. The "Burger Wars" are extremely competitive, and you can be certain that McDonalds and Burger King have chemically analyzed every one of each other's products.
Doublemeat's secret wouldn't stay secret very long. Buffy's comment that she selected this job in order to avoid a "lengthy interview process" is a bit puzzling. What kind of job that Buffy would be qualified for would require a lengthy interview process? Also, the minimum wage salary she'll be making won't be anywhere near enough to support the house expenses discussed above. But Buffy's financial future is not as bleak as Dawn thinks. The new manager at the end had been with the company for only five years, and she might have been promoted even earlier than that.
The high employee turnover in a place like that can work in favor of someone who chooses to stay for the long haul - assuming that the Doublemeat Corporation has a promote-from-within policy.
There's a considerable cultural prejudice in this country that only jobs requiring a college education are worthy of respect and capable of earning a living wage. The portrayal of life at the Doublemeat Palace as well as Buffy's whole financial situation kind of makes me wonder if anyone on the production team has ever had a "real" job or if they all went straight from college into showbiz with its oodles of money.
The good news is that there's no place left for the season to go but up. Dead Things The most solid episode in a long time - or at least what seems like a long time when you're waiting through reruns for the new episode.
The season's working better in the summer without the long breaks between them. If UPN weren't rerunning them in random order, it might work better still.
It represents a point of no return for the Trio. As soon as we saw Katrina in the maid outfit, my first thought was, "Uh I was disappointed by Jonathan. I had always liked him, and, throughout the season, I was hoping that he'd come to his senses before it was too late. Even after Katrina was dead, there was still time for him to do the right thing, but, in going along with Warren to frame Buffy, he became as guilty as the others. As for the scene where Buffy was pounding on Spike, it wasn't until the second time I saw it that I realized what was really going on: Buffy wasn't angry at Spike; she was angry at herself.
All of those horrible accusations she was hurling at him were really what she believed about herself since being resurrected: There is nothing good or clean in you! You are dead inside! You can't feel anything real! On the one hand, it forced Buffy to take responsibility for her own actions and feelings rather than letting her take the easy way out by blaming them on demonic influences. On the other hand, I felt cheated about not getting to watch the "Buffy is now part demon" storyline play itself out after such a long build up.
But, back to the first hand, Buffy's "Please don't forgive me" breakdown was absolutely heartwrenching. She has a lot of self hatred that she has to deal with. Entering geek mode for a moment: Humans would emit little or none of it, while demons and vampires would emit a great deal.
In order to bring Buffy back to life, Willow's spell exposed her to a tremendous amount of it - like a huge dose of radiation that lingered in her body. Spike's chip detected it and misinterpreted Buffy as nonhuman. In this scenario, Spike should also be able to attack Willow and other powerful witches since they would also possess unnatural amounts supernatural energy. Back in the fourth season, Willow and Tara were just dabbling with magic and would thus still be below the chip's detection threshold.
Older and Far Away Another good episode. Apparently Buffy has never read any fantasy novels or she would have known better than to take possession of a stranger's sword - sort of like Dawn's not knowing any better than to make a wish in front of a stranger although Buffy and Anya were able to put two and two together a little too fast on that point.
The twist ending with Halfrek's failed attempt at a dramatic exit was a wonderful misfire in the tradition of the Fear Demon in the fourth season's Fear, Itself. The gang finally discovered that Dawn had been stealing. Coincidentally, I just read an article about Winona Ryder. In it, a kleptomania and shoplifting expert says that "shoplifting is a classic way to nonviolently show anger when something's unfair, something's been taken away from them.
People who feel anxiety calm themselves by shoplifting. They learn over time that pocketing something creates an adrenaline rush that counteracts the anxiety. However, I think the producers got lucky with this one because I suspect that they hadn't researched any of this. If they had, these issues would have been better defined throughout the season rather than requiring that we accidentally stumble across an unrelated magazine article to make sense of a character's bizarre behavior.
They were probably treating the stealing as typical teenaged "acting out". Tara was more assertive in this episode than we've ever seen her - even being sarcastic to Spike - and she stood up for Willow the same way Willow stood up for her in Family, but I agree more with Anya's take on the situation there's a first!
While it was nice to see some continuity with the addiction metaphor, they're being a bit too literal with the comparison; nothing good can ever come from drug use, but much good can come from wisely used magic - sort of like illegal drugs versus prescription drugs. Willow should have been willing to risk herself to help the others even if we later found out that it wouldn't have worked anyway. I have only one real criticism of the episode: In the first season, Buffy celebrated the nerdy outcasts over the cool people.
In the current season, between Sophie and the Trio, the series has been going out of its way to ridicule them, and Willow and Xander have been spending a lot of time calling the kettle black. As You Were I liked this episode, but, for some reason, I can't think of much to say about it.
I'd been secretly rooting for Buffy and Riley to eventually end up back together, but he seemed so happy without her. After all, she and a little nudging from Spike had been the source of all the weird behavior he had sunk into, and his ability to find happiness without her drove home the reality of how low her own life had sunk.
I'm soooooo disappointed in Spike. Should I be mad at him or myself or the producers? It was a meaningful moment when Buffy called Spike "William" during her breakup speech - the first sign of respect that she had shown him all season - and then, when she stepped out of the shadow into the light, it recalled the scene in After Life when Spike was trapped at the edge of the shadow, unable to leave it.
I loved Willow's "What a bitch" comment at the end. The episode also suggested another possible career option for Buffy. Once Dawn goes away to college, Buffy could join one of those military squads. I assume there are others besides the one that Riley is in.
Hell's Bells I'm glad that the wedding didn't go through. What Anya and Xander had was never a real relationship. It started out as a joke: Anya had just become a human teenager, needed a date for the prom, and asked Xander because he was the only boy she knew. Then she gave him unlimited access to uninhibited sex because she didn't know that she wasn't supposed to. We can't blame Xander for going along with it, but, somewhere along the line, everyone had forgotten that there was no basis for a relationship there, such as compatibility, common interests, or even mutual respect - just desperation and sex.
Halfrek made a lot of good points in Doublemeat Palace when she acted like Anya's therapist, neither judging nor offering advice, as she got Anya to explore how she really felt about all the red flags that she hadn't been noticing, but Anya ultimately chose to remain in denial. As for Xander, he spent the entire season being really uncertain about the whole marriage thing. My grandmother used to say that if you have to think about it, you don't really want it, and Xander had been spending way too much time thinking about it.
Deciding not to go through with it was the right thing, but waiting until the actual wedding day to come to that decision made Xander a total scumbag.
Of course, there was also an element of karma in Anya's being hurt that badly. She had spent over a thousand years inflicting harm on others who may or may not have actually deserved it during her career as a vengeance demon think of all the Sunnydalers she nearly killed in The Wish and never showed any remorse or made any efforts at atonement. That her misery here was engineered by one of her former victims was the first time she actually had to face some consequences for her actions although I wish he hadn't used the "Xander from the future" method; I was hoping that the series would do an "evil Willow from the future" story instead that could warn Willow about the path she was taking.
The episode does raise a couple of questions that I've been wondering about for a while now. How openly do demons move in human society? How many people know about them, and what does the public think about them? Events this season on Buffy and Angel tend to imply that the two societies are starting to become integrated and that demons can't automatically be assumed to be evil.
There are even enough people involved in magic for Spellcasters Anonymous groups to be formed. It would be tempting to assume that this situation is unique to Sunnydale, but Angel takes place in Los Angeles, Xander's relatives are from out of town, and there have been suggestions about stuff like this going on all over the world.
I was just wondering. Anyway, my only criticism of this episode is that it gives us yet another agonizing cliffhanger that forces us to worry about whether or not Anya will become a demon again.
Normal Again No word about Anya, but a great episode with a great performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar in a season full of great performances by her. It's shame that the Emmys have a policy against giving major awards to genre productions. Spike figured out the real reason for Buffy's behavior all season, and his threat to "out" her to her friends actually would have been in her best interest for exactly the reasons he gave, although he could have picked a better time to make the threat.
He even realized that there would be an element of self sacrifice in it on his part if he told them because it might result in his losing her for good. He proved that he understood her better than anyone else has this season or was even trying to do and was willing to put her well being ahead of his own happiness.
I still have hope for him which will be horribly dashed in two episodes. The hero-king, Tarn, goes to fight it, and the monster reveals that he is actually a member of the "Reality Police" who has been sent to rescue him from this delusion he has created so that he can go back to a normal life.
As the fantasy world around him starts to reshape itself back into the real world, Tarn musters his strength and slays the police officer, whose body turns back into a monster, and the fantasy kingdom is restored.
When she was explaining the contents of Buffy's delusions to her parents, she could have included a line about Buffy having cast her as a mad scientist who was trying to destroy her and we could have seen a sign showing that the mental institution's name was Sunnydale.
Then again, this might have weakened the stark reality of the Hospital scenes. It was a bit weird when the doctor commented that Buffy's current adversaries in her Slayer reality were pretty pathetic, almost as if he were voicing the same criticisms that the fans have been about this season.
Suddenly, I had this horrible flashback to that Hercules episode, late in the series, where the writers were having a story conference and admitted that every episode they had done that season had completely sucked see the Xena rant above. Fortunately, Buffy hadn't managed to sink anywhere near that low this year, but the comparison still gave me the shudders. Tara saved the day; it's a good thing that she doesn't believe in knocking but why is Latin always the language of magic?
What was so special about the Romans that makes any words translated into their language have special power? Dawn once again went all "me me me" when she should have been more worried about Buffy.
Willow once again put her addiction recovery ahead of her friends' safety. Xander once again was way too antagonistic toward Spike - after having the nerve to show his face in the first place. And there still seems to be hope that Jonathan might eventually do the right thing. Buffy's revelation that she had been institutionalized seems to be more retcon than continuity: Joyce didn't mention it when she finally found out about Buffy's activities, and Buffy didn't seem all that freaked out when we saw the flashback to her first vampire fight.
The Brazil-like ending that showed Buffy back in the hospital after the episode had reached its happy ending was a bit disturbing it also had an element of the St. Elsewhere finale in it. But, in Buffy, we all know that the Slayer reality is really the real reality. It is the real reality, isn't it?
Entropy A good episode, but it felt more like a chapter in the arc rather than something that can stand on its own. Anya has chosen to be a vengeance demon again, Willow and Tara got back together, Buffy has been outed so has Andrewthe Trio is up to something, and syrups do indeed have kinds but I like pancakes with just butter. The "Anya tries to extract a wish" montage was a lot of fun. By the end of the episode she was starting to become a much more three dimensional character than we had ever seen her as before.
Buffy and Xander the dumpers had absolutely no right to be angry at Spike and Anya the dumpees for moving on rather than staying miserable and alone for the rest of their lives, especially after Xander increased his scumbagitude by refusing the chance Anya gave him to undump her.
Of course, if Spike or Anya still want Buffy or Xander to take them back, the latter are welcome to bring up the fact that these two hadn't waited very long to find someone else after being dumped. I'm coming up with a theory regarding Xander's seemingly uncharacteristic hostility. When Angel showed up in the first season, Xander disliked him, not so much because he was a vampire, but because Xander perceived him as a rival for Buffy's potential affections.
In the fifth season, Xander was flattered by the crush Dawn had on him, but then Spike showed up, and Dawn shifted her attention to the vampire. He later found out that Spike was pursuing Buffy too. Here, Xander saw Spike successfully "getting" Anya, whom his deluded mind still considered to be his, and learned that Spike's pursuit of Buffy had been successful as well.
Xander has vampire issues that go way beyond the "bloodsucking killer" thing. Seeing Red A shocking, disturbing, cruel, sadistic episode, and I mean that in a good as well as bad way. When Warren shot Buffy, apparently killing her, my first thought was, "But Why didn't I think of that? I also thought that it would have been more appropriate for Andrew's insult to compare Jonathan to Barclay rather than Troi, but that's a nitpick.
As for Tara's death, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I'm upset that the only character I was still able to like was killed off what with Giles being gone, Willow being evil, Buffy being a psycho, Spike being a rapist, Dawn being obnoxious, Xander being a scumbag, and Anya being, well, Anya ; on the other, I think we had all figured out a long time ago that Tara's days were numbered when Amber Benson's name continued to be listed as a guest star even after she became a regular character.
My speculation last season was that Willow's abuse of magic would result in Tara's death and Willow's realization that she had a problem it was interesting that this scenario did get used but with Dawn instead. The morning bedroom talk between Willow and Tara echoed Romeo and Juliet's morning talk the last time they were ever together alive Act III, scene vperhaps to foreshadow the impending tragedy.
Also my patented "right-wing political subtext detector" sounded an alarm when Tara was killed immediately after spending the night with Willow, as if she were being punished for engaging in a "deviant sexual act". But maybe I'm just being paranoid about that. Anyway, I think the thing we were most disturbed by was the rape scene. However, after watching the reruns, I'm a little less disturbed. While I hope that all of us believe that "no means no", it seems that every earlier sexual encounter between Spike and Buffy began with Buffy saying no, fighting him off, and then abruptly changing her mind and becoming the aggressor.
She was clearly - intentionally or not - training him to follow a "no means yes" message. However, the real guilty parties here are the producers.
Just to manipulate the dramatic effect, they "let" Spike rough Buffy up for an agonizingly long period of time before she finally "remembered" that she had super strength and could throw him across the room.
They did establish that she was injured earlier, but we've seen her injured much worse and still manage to fight off monsters perhaps if they had portrayed a more serious injury. Their other manipulation was in their inconsistent portrayal of Spike. Last season, when he first fell in love with Buffy who had shown nothing but hatred for him, my first reaction was to think that it was rather unbelievable until I thought about his romantic past discussed above. Eventually, I accepted it out of sheer "willing suspension of disbelief" and started to sympathize with his plight of unrequited love.
Then, when he kidnapped Buffy and threatened to kill her if she didn't return his love, I was upset, but the fault was mine for allowing him to fool me into thinking that a vampire could be anything other than an evil bastard. This was a skilled manipulation on the producers' part, but, almost immediately, they went back to portraying him sympathetically again, even having Buffy forgive him and, ultimately, go to bed with him.
Then they hit us with the demon eggs and the rape scene. Well, maybe the egg thing. They cannot portray a character as switching back and forth between being a nice guy and an evil bastard depending on the needs of a particular episode unless they also portray him as either having dissociative identity disorder i. Drusilla is the psychopath or more likely a disorganized schizophrenic in modern clinical terms, although vampire personalities might qualify for a whole new category of diagnoses.
Spike is certainly amoral, but he clearly understands the concepts of right and wrong and that one's actions can have consequences. After all, he was the only character to recognize how wrong Willow's actions were at the beginning of the season which actually made him the primary voice of reason. This and his ability to empathize with others under the right circumstances and engage in acts of self-sacrifice for them prevent us from even being able to classify him under antisocial personality disorder.
James Marsters did play the scene with a frighteningly insane look on his face that would have been perfect if only we had seen him in that kind of mental state in an earlier episode.
So the attempted rape of Buffy felt inappropriate to us, not merely because we disapprove of rape, but also because it was not consistent with the character as they have portrayed him. The producers might try to argue with me by stating that Spike is their character and that they know him better than I do, but there are rules of character exposition that operate independently of both their intentions and my opinions. On the positive side however, it looks like Willow has finally returned to the playing field.
And so's the full greatness that we've come to expect from Buffy. Finally, after a nine episode absence, the "Evil Willow" storyline has been reopened.
We had more than two years of buildup before Wrecked abruptly shut the whole thing down "It is a foolish thing to make a long prologue, and to be short in the story itself. I would have preferred to see her corruption be more evolutionary: Having an instant transformation to murderous psychopath triggered by a traumatic event was a bit too easy, not to mention a replay of what happened in Tough Love when Glory hurt Tara.
Also, at first I was a little confused about the geography of the events. Why didn't Xander see Willow and Tara when he went inside to call for help? It took a while for me to realize that the women were upstairs, out of view of course this also calls into question the angle of Warren's bullet being able to hit Tara, but, upon watching the rerun, I saw Warren's last shot being fired upward. The director could have made the locations a little clearer here and at the end of the previous episode.
Osiris refused to resurrect Tara by drawing a distinction between the way she died and the way Buffy died, saying that Buffy died of magical causes. I thought that Buffy died from jumping off a tall tower and hitting the ground. Incidentally, I'm still not entirely clear why that worked. We were told that, once Dawn started bleeding, the portals wouldn't close until the blood stopped.
I understood that Dawn and Buffy shared the same blood, but, even with Buffy dead, Dawn's blood was still flowing. When we saw the words flow out of the books and into Willow, was she absorbing the knowledge of how to do all the spells contained in them, or was she actually drawing magical energy directly from them as if she were charging up her batteries?
Also, does this mean that all the information that had been in those books is now lost forever? I've always been a little bothered that the nature of magic has been very vaguely defined throughout this series. Sure, magic like that doesn't really exist in our universe, but they could have taken the time to establish a mechanics for how it works in the Buffyverse anyway.
A lot of the Buffy cosmology seems to have a "making it up as we go along" sensibility to it. The Sunnydale news media continued to impress me with how fast they can get a story on the air. The more I see of Clem, the more I like him.
Now that we know what's going to happen to Spike in the season cliffhanger, it's clear here that he should have been paying closer attention to the exact phrasing of everything he and that demon were saying.
Xander showed the same nastiness to Anya, once he found out that she was a demon again, that he also showed Spike and Angel. He seems to be the least interested in shades of gray of all the characters. She was enjoying that way too much. Two to Go As I said earlier, the more I like an episode, the harder it is to think of things to write about it.
I guess it's just more fun to rip it to shreds than it is to praise. Cool double meaning in the title: Jonathan finally did the right thing at the end. I was proud of him, and Buffy should have been sensible enough to accept his earlier offer to help. Probably the most significant moment in the episode - in terms of a turning point for Willow - was when Willow threatened Dawn. Up until that point, one could argue that she was motivated by anger and vengeance.
Warren got what he deserved; Jonathan and Andrew kind of deserved it too; Rack was one of the Dark Things that haunted the Buffyverse. But in threatening a little girl, and in such a cruel manner, Willow was no longer seeking revenge.
She was no longer even thinking of Tara. She was destroying for its own sake, enjoying the fear and harm that she was causing. I think the producers discarded him a little too quickly.
He was a colorful character, abruptly introduced for plot purposes in Wreckedand then killed off here in his second appearance without being developed beyond "creepy guy". There was still story potential in him I'd like to see Doc again, for the same reason. Back at the end of Hell's BellsI was worried that Anya would become a demon again, but these last few episodes have shown that she was a better person as a demon than she ever was as a human being.
She was no longer as self-absorbed and didn't run away when danger was coming like she did in the third season's Graduation.
It seems that what I didn't want to happen turned out to be the better thing. Of course, if I were completely cynical, I might suggest that the reason that she didn't run away this time was because she was no longer as vulnerable to harm as she was as a human. I can't express how delighted I was that Giles showed up! In fact, throughout the episode I kept thinking that they really needed to call him for help. Somehow I had managed to avoid any spoilers about it, so I was completely surprised.
I'm also so glad that, during the episode's first run, I didn't have to wait a whole week for the followup episode. During the summer reruns, I noticed that Grave was less effective with a week-long cool down period after this great buildup. Grave Much as I loved this episode, now that I've gotten a some emotional distance, there are a couple of things that I would have liked them to have handled better.
Willow's transition from wanting to kill the Trio to wanting to destroy the entire world because of all the misery in it happened pretty fast. And shouldn't an Evil Willow want everyone in the world to be suffering?
Her actions could almost be interpreted as misguided compassion - completely out of character with everything she had done up to that point. I would have liked to have seen a couple more episodes of Evil Willow so that this transition could have evolved more naturally. There were certainly several episodes this season that I'd have been willing to sacrifice to make room.
Or they could have spent some time in the post- Wrecked episodes showing Willow sinking into a depression as she fought her addiction and gradually developing a cynical "life stinks" attitude that would motivate her to "end the world's pain" once she had acquired the power to do so. It actually would have made more sense if Buffy were the one who decided to destroy the world.
Also, the Temple of Proserpexa was pulled out of nowhere literally at the last minute. Perhaps we could have seen Willow find it earlier in the season and be intrigued by the power it represented. Finally and as suggested by my anti-arc rant abovethese three concluding episodes - while still good - were not quite as spectacularly mind blowing during the reruns as they were during the first viewing. A lot of their appeal was based on surprises and the fact the we had no idea what was going to happen from moment to moment and could therefore be kept in suspense.
The circle is now complete. When last we met, I was but the learner. Now I am the master.
Robert's Reviews : Buffy the Vampire Slayer : Season 6
Jonathan fumbled his shot at redemption on the one yard line; oh well. But Xander earned a lot of points for the way he managed to talk Willow down. Maybe he isn't a total scumbag after all. And what a cliffhanger! This was the first time a Buffy season finale has left us hanging like that.
Even though Buffy died at the end of the fifth season, I think that we all assumed that they would bring her back and were just curious as to how they'd do it.
One of the many things I had always liked about Buffy is that they always gave the season a big finish, unlike most other shows, particularly the new Star Treks, that choose to emotionally blackmail us with a cliffhanger to "force" us to watch the next season's premier, as if we wouldn't have anyway, yet the premier episodes were never as good as the buildup after a summer of stress and speculation.
Conclusions and Speculations So what should we make of the sixth season? After a rough patch in the middle, it paid off spectacularly by the end. But was the rough patch just a bump in the road or the beginning of a downward trend? To quote a song in the musical episode: I stated earlier that there were two ways that the "Evil Willow" arc could end: They didn't go with either of these.
Buffy didn't kill Willow, but Willow didn't stop until she was already far beyond any reasonable point of no return and hasn't seemed to have learned anything from the experience. It's almost as if Willow's situation has been reset to the way things were at the end of Wreckedbut we cannot just excuse her behavior by saying that she was mad with grief and rage. Particularly on the second viewing, it was very clear that Willow was behaving in an extraordinarily calm and methodical manner, even taking the time to save Buffy before she went hunting for Warren because that was the more immediate problem.
You really shouldn't skip this episode if you're watching the season. Buffy has been kicked out of her home and has taken refuge in an abandoned house. Well, NOW it's abandoned. She forces the owner out, telling him he has to leave Sunnydale. Spike and Andrew are at the church researching Caleb. Back at the Summers' house, Faith is trying to lead the Potentials, but things are dissolving in to chaos as everyone tries to assert their opinions.
They finally decide to kidnap at Bringer and torture him for information. Unfortunately, Bringers don't have any tongues, so the Scoobies work on a spell to communicate with their new hostage. Before they get too far, though, Spike and Andrew come home.
Nobody can meet Spike's eyes as he demands to know where Buffy is. Willow finally steps up and carefully explains that they took a vote and Buffy is now "taking a little break. He begins shouting at the Scoobies, reminding them that Buffy died for them and that turning on her now is ridiculously disloyal.
Faith quickly tries to stop Spike's rant.
She wants him to just accept things and follow her leadership. Faith and Spike battle their way in to dining room, at which point Spike tosses her into a wall and stalks out to find Buffy. After questioning the Bringer with their spell, the Scoobies decide to attack some armory that Caleb has. Faith is still uncertain of her leadership skills and she's doubly shaken when the First pays her a visit looking like the Mayor.
Wood's comes to talk to Faith and the two of them end up sleeping together. Anya and Xander also have sex, as do Willow and Kennedy. Spike finally tracks down Buffy at the abandoned house. Buffy is feeling utterly defeated. Spike promises that they will get her "head Slayer" job back and tells her that he thinks that Caleb is hiding a weapon at the vineyard. Buffy is too depressed to care. Spike gives her a very moving speech, about how he loves and believes in her and that she has to keep fighting.
As Spike turns to leave she asks him to stay and just hold her. Spike and Buffy lay side-by-side on the bed, just staring at each other. The next morning, Buffy heads off to confront Caleb. Faith and the Potentials head for the armory. Buffy evades Caleb's attacks and finds a magical ax thing embedded in a hunk of stone. Faith accidentally leads the Potentials into a trap.