I would like to note that this episode opens with Giles saying “Last week on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” I assume this is because it is a two part episode, so he’s specifically referring to events that just happened and not to things that have happened at some point previously but it stood out to me because I didn’t remember him saying that before. This has no relevance to anything. I just will observe WHATEVER I FEEL LIKE OBSERVING!
Okay, I’m good.
I agree that Bianca Lawson looks great in her strange pink pants. I also think Buffy looks weirdly beautiful in the opening scene, all rumpled and shit. I am basically just in love with Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy forever, which is sad because it is impossible to be in love with her as basically anything else but I was SO CONNECTED to her in this role.
Anyway. I am glad Joelle pointed out that the terrible accent is not Bianca Lawson’s fault. It was definitely a terrible mistake. I would like to point out another thing about Bianca Lawson, because I love her. This thing is that Bianca Lawson is the world’s oldest teenager. No, really. She has been playing a
teenager for much longer than any human has been a teenager. Based on her imdb you can see that her first real role was in Saved By the Bell: The New Class in 1993, where it is more than safe to say she was playing a teenager (and in fact she would have only been 14 at that point). Her ongoing credits include things like Dawson’s Creek, Sister, Sister and The Secret Life of an American Teenager. As recently as 2012 she was playing a high school girl’s same age girlfriend in Pretty Little Liars and her most recent credits are in Teen Wolf up to this year, where I cannot with certainty say she is playing a teenager but… you know. I hope so. Even if she is not, that is twenty years of playing teenage roles, and for like 3/4 of those she was… not a teenager. I just wanted to point this out. Because it amuses me every time I see her. That said, she is fucking awesome and I love her to pieces and I am always happy to see her.
I would like to note that I love the Pink Ranger insult. I did not watch Power Rangers because I was not allowed to but it SEEMS apt.
Now the whole thing about the watchers possibly expunging records of previous Slayers who had died is interesting. I had never ever thought that. I guess that’s possible, but I had always assumed that what made Buffy special was that she had someone around to save her, whereas other Slayers work in basically complete isolation. More on that later. Also, it couldn’t be precedented, could it? Because when Kendra dies, then Faith is called up. So if it had happened before then we would have already had more than one Slayer out there. Are we to assume that possibly there are multiple Slayers running around due to something that could have happened a hundred years ago? Like you can’t shut the magic off, can you? Or am I missing something?
It’s interesting that Willy brings Angel to Spike but this may to some extent be a downside of how Buffy doesn’t kill anyone? I mean, that’s probably known. Like she’s not going to kill Willy, no matter what he does to her. He may be slime but he’s human slime. Spike, on the other hand…
Seriously, why does no one worry about Xander and Cordelia? Like I know there’s a lot going on but you sent them to a death house, Giles. Good lord. Whatever. They argue, they kiss. It’s silly. I mean, I do actually like Xander/Cordelia (I’m inexplicably opposed to joined names) but I mostly like them once they’re actually a couple. I do enjoy the crazy music in the background when they kiss. That’s fun.
I totally agree with Joelle. Bug guy is the least creepy villain ever. I could definitely kill him. Also, when he falls down all over
Cordelia, why doesn’t she take off her cardigan? Like the vast majority of those on are her cardigan (and still are when they run off, incidentally) and it seems like the obvious first thing to do. How do the worms kill people? Do they have teeth? Do they come down your throat? I am super unclear. No way I can imagine seems plausible.
Buffy’s immediate hostility to Kendra is interesting. I mean, I feel like it comes in waves a
little and they just don’t handle it very well. On the one hand, Kendra did attack her out of nowhere and, let’s be fair, is not super nice to Buffy either. Also as much as Buffy wants out of her life, she does have that very ambiguous relationship with it where she is protective of it as well and is really very insecure (I feel like we see that played out much better when Faith comes along). Also, I really do think it sort-of taps her daddy issues when Kendra and Giles start bonding about stuff. Buffy’s daddy issues are rarely touched on directly in the show but they are TREMENDOUS obviously and she definitely has a hard time realizing she is smart and capable, even if not in all the traditional ways. And I think particularly at this point, it’s clear that Daddy Giles is not at all attuned to her feelings and he does not reassure her at all.
This is something I’ve really picked up on a lot more in the rewatch is just how distant Buffy and Giles were initially? Like that is a relationship that really did develop over a lot of time and I appreciate that. Just a sidenote.
Dru torturing Angel is a thing that puzzles me. Like my initial reaction is that she
must be torturing him with all the details of her dead family because she knows how upset Angel will be about what Angelus did. But she seems genuinely distraught about it. While I suppose this could be put off on her being insane, the truth is that it is one of the many cracks in the Buffy vampire lore. I mean, Dru is a demon. She’s not the woman she was. If he had vamped her before murdering all of her family, she almost certainly would have murdered them herself. So mourning their deaths is unreasonable. I like her monologue because I like all of Dru’s monologues but it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Does the Slayer handbook every come up again? I feel like when the Watchers came back and got all unhappy with Giles for his training methods, it would have made a lot of sense to be like “and also you totally ignored THIS ENTIRE HANDBOOK YOU HAD” but I don’t think they did.
Pause for a Willow/Oz conversation.
“Your hair… is brown.”
I know that the cookie conversation is everyone’s favorite and I love that one a lot too but I feel like that interchange is overlooked because it is just an adorable line.
So Buffy shows up to the seminar and the police woman there immediately begins shooting up the school, takes poor Jonathan hostage (hey Jonathan! It’s so good to see you!) and like… yeah. I love that Sunnydale is to the point where a policewoman can shoot up a school and school doesn’t even close down. Or really anything. That is how disengaged this town is. I mean, my initial thought was that probably she was not a real policewoman but how would she have been able to teach the seminar unless she had done at least SOME time on a real force? It’s crazy. This town is just literally crazy. I love it. Also Oz takes what looks like an extremely direct hit in the shoulder but apparently he was only grazed somehow.
I did not notice until Joelle pointed it out that Spike says this is the full moon and the Scoobies say this is the new moon. Come ON, folks. You could have like… checked basic writing.
My explanation for the ritual not killing him growing up was that probably no one had ever bothered trying to stop it before it killed them. Like vampires being evil and all if anyone ever used it, they probably just went all the way. But since they do actually seem to care about each other, I’m not sure that really holds up.
I do not agree with Joelle on the whole difference in their upbringings. I feel like the show overall clearly posits the idea that it’s Buffy’s support, her family and friends that give her strength, that make her a DIFFERENT type of Slayer than the others have been able to do. Everything we know about the creation of the entire Slayer line is about subjugation and women being cut off from community and from others to fill a calling created by and overseen by men. The show ends by cutting that out and by empowering those women (theoretically) to have a community of friends and others like them — to have connection to what they’re fighting for. Kendra says not to feel sorry for her and I agree pity is a useless emotion but I don’t think it follows that we’re supposed to be okay with how she’s been raised or what has been done to her. And I think it’s arguable that there’s even more of an othering there because she’s black, and more specifically because she’s the only PoC we’ve seen. Granted, this is in context of the whole show more than what we’ve seen so far but I still think it’s relevant. It’s true that Buffy is more impulsive than Kendra (particularly when it comes to her friends) and that is the downside of her ties to the world but overall, it’s pretty exclusively spelled out in the show that intimately knowing the world she’s fighting for is what allows her to have a longer life than most.
Let’s see, big final battle. Lots of kicking and stuff. They clearly have a bigger
budget for this these days. I agree that Patrice does in fact seem human, which I had never thought about before. But she doesn’t fight with anything supernatural at all so… that is a little troubling. Also, Cordelia and Xander kill the bug man with a gallon jug of liquid adhesive. What would you need a gallon of liquid adhesive for? Like, other than this, obviously.
Buffy knocks Spike unconscious and then just…
leave him and Dru there? I know that they should have both caught fire and died. Like that would make sense. But also they are big and evil and maybe while they are unconscious and easy targets, you should just finish the job. Obviously I’m glad you didn’t but it’s not great strategy. Whatever. Buffy is busy having a super poorly timed staring into Angel’s eyes moment while the building burns down around them.
Oz says adorable things to Willow and I mostly focus on how I used to have one of those EXACT NECKLACES and so did absolutely everyone I
knew in the 90’s. I haven’t seen one in forever. I think the takeaway from the conversation is that all monkeys are french. I like Willow fine but do not think she has the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen. I am not enamored with Alyson Hannigan, although obviously I think she does well in the role.
Buffy tells Kendra that her shirt totally looked better on Buffy, which is nonsense, because Kendra has amazing boobs and Buffy (who is
absolutely stunning) has… basically no boobs, and that shirt looks much better with a figure. Then they have a touching goodbye scene, during which I am always distracted by the TERRIBLE EDITING. In almost all scenes where we are looking at Buffy and seeing Kendra’s back, her braid is over her shoulder, but then when we switch positions it is behind her back. I know it’s a stupid thing but it’s also so glaringly obvious and it has driven me nuts for years. Also Buffy’s pants are a disturbing shade of green again. Joelle basically said all the important and emotional things about this part so I’m sticking with editing and pants.
Next I get to do Ted AND I AM SO EXCITED.