Re: When She Was Bad

Dude, WHY DO PEOPLE INSIST ON WALKING OUTSIDE AFTER DARK IN SUNNYDALE. You can barely convince me to wander around after dark in a place where I’m fairly certain vampires do not exist. Just because….it’s dark, and it involves walking. But guess what, Willow and Xander? VAMPIRES EXIST AND, LIKE, WILL KILL YOU AND STUFF.

And also, ew, I am not a fan of Xillow.

This sums up their relationship perfectly.

I do, however, love Giles/Snyder interactions.

Snyder: I mean, it’s incredible. One day the campus is completely bare, empty. The next, there are children everywhere. Like locusts, crawling around, mindlessly bent on feeding and mating. Destroying everything in sight in their relentless, pointless desire to exist.

Giles: I do enjoy these pep-talks.

It always cracks me up when Buffy and her super-large stunt double train together.

Look, it’s Buffy training! Sort of.

I suppose I should take this moment to say that this episode….irks me. I started re-watching Buffy years after I’d originally seen it, out-of-order. So while re-watching this episode, I didn’t really *get* Buffy’s actions here. I knew she’d died, but it just wasn’t…as present in my mind as it might be for a viewer watching the show in chronological order. And while I certainly understand Buffy’s PTSD-ish responses here, I still can’t ever really get over that irksome feeling.

Buffy’s dream CREEPS ME OUT. Like, when things seem normal and then all of a sudden it’s creepy and dream-like…that’s how dreams

Tweed Master is my favorite Master.

work in real life! Or, at least, that’s how mine often work. Things will seem okay and then there comes a point where something weird/frightening happens and I realize it’s a dream and it’s a creepy feeling. Anyway.

I will say, at least Angel wasn’t like, in Buffy’s room without her knowing. Watching her sleep or whatever. I suppose he might have been watching her in order to see that she’d woken up. But whatever. He’s still creepy.

Buffy seems to be acting especially bitchy to those who she feels should have…done something to prevent her trauma. She’s fairly passive towards Willow and Xander, but cold and sometimes downright mean to Angel and Giles. Interestingly, she’s super-distant from her parents, which makes me wonder if subconsciously she wishes they could have done something to protect her, too.

Okay, I know I said she’s being “passive” towards Willow and Xander, and then she grinds all up on Xander at the Bronze. Yes, this was still more of an attack on Angel, but poor Willow! And Xander. Mostly Willow.

The Anointed One is so boring I don’t even want to talk about him. But yeah, dude, bring enough shovels next time. That’s just poor planning. Also, what the hell is the point of consecrating the ground if it doesn’t even slow down vamps who are digging WITH THEIR HANDS? Nice try, Giles, I guess? Was that even the point? Or was it to keep the Master’s bones from like….doing something nuts? Vampire-bone-burying rituals should be explained better.

No jokes: I will give $50 to someone who makes a GIF of that blonde guy dancing behind Buffy/Xander. Also if you’re able, GO WATCH HIM NOW, HE’S EXCELLENT AND I LOVE HIM.

Buffy: Xander…did I ever thank you for saving my life?
Xander: No.
Buffy: Don’t you wish I would?

Aside from being ~*~super sexy~*~ WHAT? She never thanked him? Not even a “hey, thanks dude” on the way to the dance or something? That’s a little rude.

I adore how Cordy, like, yells at Buffy for being too bitchy and tells her to get over it. It’s ironic, coming from her, but it also shows that even Cordy recognizes when someone is going too far or doing things for the wrong reasons or hurting people that care about them. Cordy can be awful, but I never get the feeling that she’s trying to cause people deep emotional pain. She just is the way she is. I heart Cordelia forever.

Unrelated..I think Charisma Carpenter has a cold in this episode.

Giles finally brings up the fact that hey, Buffy got all killed and stuff and that’s probably why she’s acting this way. He also mentions that she is acting invulnerable for the very reason that she was made to be so vulnerable, which again, could explain her harsher reactions to Angel and Giles. Angel is a love interest, who makes her vulnerable by default, and Giles is her surrogate father, who could abandon her in the ways her actual father has. These two characters make her feel especially vulnerable, more so than the others, and so it makes sense she is shutting down most of all from them.

One day she and Angel will talk fondly of the time she shoved his first gift to her into the mouth of their enemy. Awww.

Buffy irrationally runs off to play right into the vampires’ trap and oh, the number of times that this will happen. Even just in this season. LOL at “why’re you ridin me?”

When Xander yells at Buffy for leaving them and essentially allowing Willow and Giles to be kidnapped, I actually totally agree with him. He has every right to be furious about her refusal to deal with her issues. I think Buffy needs a lot of support and understanding here but one can only take so much crap from someone who’s struggling and refusing help. This is realistic, this is good. Also, THEY TOOK WILLOW XANDER SHOULD HAVE SLAPPED BUFFY FOR THAT.

What I just noticed about this ploy by the Anointed One is that he was expecting Buffy to run off to the Bronze, alone. He expected her to behave as a regular Slayer would, and although she might not have, normally, she does and that’s what messes everything up. Had she acted like Normal Buffy and accepted the help of her friends, this probably wouldn’t have happened. They would have come with her, Angel would have met them there, they’d be in a position to protect the others, if they didn’t figure it out before then. Time and time again, Buffy benefits because she doesn’t behave like the Slayers before her. She has help from regular people, and it makes all the difference most of the time.

As Buffy kicks some ass, it’s obvious that for Slayers, working out issues is sometimes a very literal process. She is literally fighting her demons and getting rid of (killing) a huge source of her problems. She even smashes up her issue with a sledgehammer. This is part of the reason why Buffy is such a great show for people who are going through something. It’s empowering, yo.


The sledgehammer scene is endlessly beautiful and cathartic and SMG acts the hell out of it. Love.  I disagree with B; I think this is a perfect moment for Buffy to turn to Angel and to cry into his shirt. As I said above, Angel makes her vulnerable, and arguably he makes her more vulnerable than anyone else. Significant others tend to do that. So it makes perfect sense for her to allow him to comfort her in this moment.

She doesn’t miss out on some Buffy/Giles reconciliation, though. He is nice and supportive and convinces her to give her friends a chance to forgive her. And they do. And it’s endlessly beautiful as well. Like, make me watch this episode at the right time of the month, given the right amount of  chocolate, and this scene will make me cry. I love the Scoobies so much.

This is the face of a girl who has some pretty excellent friends.

And, just for y’all’s amusement, Xander is actually on fire in this episode, so here.

Willow: What would somebody want with Master bones?
Xander: A trophy? A horrible conversation piece?

Buffy: ‘Come to the Bronze before it opens, or we make her a meal.’
Xander: They’re gonna cook her dinner?! Oh, pretend I didn’t say that.

Xander: Well, we could grind our enemies into talcum powder with a sledgehammer, but gosh, we did that last night.



About Joelle

My name is Joelle. I'm a freelance writer/editor based out of Nashville, TN. I enjoy coffee, getting lost in books, old lady names, and dogs. All the dogs.

3 thoughts on “Re: When She Was Bad

  1. Oh, I’m so happy to see you say nice Xander things. I totally agree, I think this is such a great episode for him.

    And whatever. I guess I’m just way more susceptible to daddy issues than to SO issues is really the bottom line. 😛

    • joellejots says:

      Don’t worry, any affection I have for Xander will be squandered with his “Kick his ass” comment. 😛

      To be fair, I DO LIKE XANDER LATER OKAY. And like, he’s so central to the unit of the Scoobies that I don’t HATE him. He’s just…a little intolerable most of the time always right now.

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