re: What’s My Line? – Part 2

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.

Kendra really does look like a fish here, which is sad. Also Buffy wears this outfit almost the entire episode BUT STILL LOOKS BEAUTIFUL.

Kendra really does look like a fish here, which is sad. Also Buffy wears this outfit almost the entire episode BUT STILL LOOKS BEAUTIFUL.

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

It is not impossible to speculate that Bianca Lawson herself might be an immortal being.

It is not impossible to speculate that Bianca Lawson herself might be an immortal being.

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.

Giles is deeply concerned and serious about this.

Giles is deeply concerned and serious about this.

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…

This picture does not do justice to how TERRIBLE this CGI was.

This picture does not do justice to how TERRIBLE this CGI was.

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

Look at the bugs. Almost nowhere but her cardigan.

Look at the bugs. Almost nowhere but her cardigan.

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

Giles is just so oblivious.

Giles is just so oblivious.

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

But Dru is so pretty being crazy. She has such a unique look.

But Dru is so pretty being crazy. She has such a unique look.

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.”
“Yeah, sometimes.”
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.

I am probably the only person to ever smile so much about getting shot.

I am probably the only person to ever smile so much about getting shot.

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.

Mostly I just love everyone's expressions here but I think that Kendra's inability to even look a male her age in the eye also does not scream "things are fine."

Mostly I just love everyone’s expressions here but I think that Kendra’s inability to even look a male her age in the eye also does not scream “things are fine.”

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

I like Willow's fight face.

I like Willow’s fight face.

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…

Hey you two. This is super touching. Maybe it could wait until the building wasn't burning down around you.

Hey you two. This is super touching. Maybe it could wait until the building wasn’t burning down around you.

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

I know Joelle used this already but focus on the necklace.

I know Joelle used this already but focus on the necklace.

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

They both look not great here but 1) check out the shirt and 2) check out Buffy's pants.

They both look not great here but 1) check out the shirt and 2) check out Buffy’s pants.

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.

Over the shoulder in one frame...

Over the shoulder in one frame…

Behind her back in the next.

Behind her back in the next.

Next I get to do Ted AND I AM SO EXCITED.

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Halloween

First, I want to apologize for this post being late. It’s just like me to promise to keep a schedule and then immediately break it. In my defense, last week I got a new puppy and a head cold–the combination of which, apparently, renders me useless.

Anyways: yay! This episode is so good. SO GOOD. Not only is it entertaining as hell, but it’s so classically early-Buffy. The theme of “Halloween” is insecurity (Buffy’s, Xander’s, Willow’s) and this episode plays with those insecurities in hilarious ways.

The episode opens with Spike recording Buffy fighting a vampire, which always seems off to me. Would Spike really do this? Later on, we totally know Spike to be a spontaneous, impulsive type, so this is…weird to me. I guess maybe it was more so he could remain unknown to the Slayer for now. Whatevs.

The next scene is in The Bronze, where Cordelia is flirting with Angel and we actually see Angel smile for a change. I

Weird screen capture, but I promise that's a smile forming.

Weird screen capture, but I promise that’s a smile forming.

am totally not a Cangel shipper, but they’re cute here. Until Buffy comes in, sees and starts to leave, and Angel scampers to her. Buffy is a bit messy from the aforementioned vamp-fighting, and Cordelia embarrasses her, and Buffy is sad. Basically, the gist of this scene is that Buffy is feeling insecure about her desirability. This is tied in with her general discontent with being the Slayer, of course. As she tells Angel, “But who am I kidding? Dates are things normal girls have.” She goes on to say that normal girls think about nail polish and facials while she thinks about ambush tactics and beheading. I think she’s forgetting here that Angel is a 200-year-old vampire with a soul, fighting against evil – so, very much interested in ambush tactics and beheading and less interested in nail polish. Again, though, this is about Buffy’s insecurity, which has little to do with what Angel’s actually looking for in a girlfriend.

Next, at school, Snyder forces Buffy and the gang to volunteer to go Trick or Treating with kids. Oh, Snyder. I love that he also makes costumes mandatory. He really just wants to have fun with his constant bullying of high-schoolers. We also find out that nothing supernatural or sinister happens on Halloween, a fact I’ve always loved (even if it doesn’t always turn out to be true.)

Xander’s insecurity is shown next, when Larry (yay Larry! hi I missed you) asks him if Buffy is single and/or interested in him. Larry calls Buffy “fast” which upsets Xander. He tries to do “something damn manly” by making the argument

This sums up Xander's feelings.

This sums up Xander’s feelings.

physical. Larry easily takes control of the situation and is about to punch him when Buffy intervenes. Xander’s pride is wounded. He’s not romantically involved with the girl he likes, he’s not physically fit enough to win a fight, and on top of that, he can’t even get that weird pride thing some guys get from being beaten up AND he was rescued by a girl. Yeah, Xander’s “less than a man” complex is still in full swing here. And he’s a jerk about it.

We immediately switch gears into Buffy’s insecurity as she tells Willow all about her failed date with Angel. Willow assures her that Cordelia isn’t Angel’s type, but Buffy is unconvinced, so Willow suggests (somewhat accidentally) that they check out the Watcher’s diaries for details about Angel’s past. The way they distract Giles to sneak into the library is charming and wonderful.

Charming and wonderful, I say!

Charming and wonderful, I say!

Buffy and Willow find a drawing of…a lady that knew Angel? I always found it weird how vague this was. No name, just a date and a drawing – is that all there is about her? Why? Who bothered to write that down? Also, is this supposed to be Drusilla? Maybe Darla? So many questions. Regardless, this makes Buffy feel even more insecure, and Willow’s hasty comments about the woman’s “weird tiny waist” don’t comfort her. Instead, she fantasizes about what it would be like to be a noblewoman. I’m with Willow on this one: being able to vote is better than getting all dolled up for the delight of men. However, this is still about Buffy’s own insecurities, with herself as a girl and herself as the Slayer. She is equating having the luxury to focus on girly things with the luxury to be “normal,” i.e. not a Slayer.

This bathroom has the best lighting ever.

This bathroom has the best lighting ever.

Also in this scene, Buffy and Willow tell Cordelia that Angel is a vampire. She doesn’t believe them, but she looks really pretty.

Then they are in a costume shop. Willow wants to go as a ghost (a costume that will completely cover/disguise her) but Buffy encourages her to branch out and be “sexy and wild.” Maybe somewhat predictably, all three Scoobies pick costumes that speak to their insecurities: Willow as the ghost, Xander as an army man, and Buffy as a princessy noblewoman.

Meanwhile, Drusilla has a vision about Halloween making Buffy weak so Spike decides to cause mayhem. Ethan Rayne then does his mojo in the costume shop. Etc, etc.

Willow is....this.

Willow is….this.

On Halloween, Buffy’s all dolled up in her princess costume, excited to show Angel later that day. She managed to convince Willow to dress as…um…well, in an outfit that may have been sexy in 1998. By the time Xander arrives, though, she’s in her ghost costume, too insecure to be all midriff-y and alluring or whatever.

So then we have some Trick or Treating fun. Ethan finishes his spell and then shit goes down. Little kids turn into demons, Willow collapses and steps out of her body, Xander becomes capable and strong in the face of chaos and Buffy becomes utterly useless. I have to say, this episode was the first and only time I found Xander Harris attractive.

I don’t have much in the way of analysis about the actual switched-ness of this episode. It’s entertaining to see the characters we know so well acting completely out-of-character. Also, Willow walking through things and startling Giles is always fun. It’s interesting to me that Willow’s the only one who retains her memories. I guess “ghost costume” means she’s still Willow, but as a ghost. It doesn’t really make sense why Xander isn’t still Xander, but a Marine (or whatever). Still, I suppose the episode needed one of the Scoobies to be “themselves” and figure it out. Plus, then we get lines like: “She’s not Buffy.” “Who’s Buffy?” “Oh, this is fun.” Also, it makes sense with regard to the resolution, which I’ll get to in a minute.

halloween 6

She falls down a lot.

Although adding comedic value, Buffy’s mannerisms and speech have always kind of grated on me in this episode. I don’t know if it’s due to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s acting, or the writing (that’s not how an 18th-century woman would necessarily speak, for one thing; for another, her lines are so straightforward [“I’m not meant to understand things!”] that it’s annoying), but yeah. Irritating. Anyway. There’s a lot of hijinks in the meantime, which I thoroughly enjoy watching, but to keep this review less than a novel’s length, I’m going to go ahead and skip ahead.

Giles and Willow figure out that Ethan’s costume shop must be responsible for the mayhem, and Giles goes to confront Ethan. This is the first inkling we get that Giles is kind of a total badass, which I love. So the spell is reversed in the nick of time, and Buffy isn’t eaten by Spike and instead pulls off her wig and kicks his ass. Yay!

To sum up the resolution to the Scoobies’ insecurities:

Xander: It’s interesting to note that he’s very self-confident as Army Xander, such that when Princess Buffy accuses him of being feeble for taking orders from Willow, he doesn’t care. Regular Xander definitely would have been annoyed by the suggestion that a woman has more power than him (as he was in the beginning of the episode) but Army Xander is like meh, whatever, I’ve got some barricading to do. Basically, what makes Army Xander more manly than Regular Xander is the security he has in his masculinity. I don’t know for sure if this confidence rubs off on Xander (either right away or later on) but it’s interesting anyway.

Regular clothes again. Btw: I have no idea why all these screenshots are so DARK. In the episode, she's not nearly as ominous standing there.

Regular clothes again. Btw: I have no idea why all these screenshots are so DARK. In the episode, she’s not nearly as ominous standing there.

Buffy: At the very end of the episode, she’s told by Angel that he never liked noblewomen anyway and finds her much more interesting. Which I guess she needed to hear. Anyway, her abilities as a Slayer saved the day yet again, so that probably helped her confidence some. Besides which, as an 18th-century girl, she was terrified by vampy Angel, so a relationship with him in that state literally wasn’t possible. He likes Slayer Buffy, and that seems to appease her (for now).

Willow: As I mentioned, there’s another reason Willow had to retain her memories as a ghost. By doing so, she gets over her insecurity of being visible/sexy/noticed. Once Giles breaks Ethan’s spell and she’s back in her ghost costume, she makes the choice to take it off, throw it away, and walk home in her sexy outfit. Yay, Willow! Also, we get another cute Oz “who IS that girl?” moment. Can they just be dating already?

Oh, and lest I forget, the episode ends on this glorious shot of Giles after reading an ominous message written by Ethan. Bless this episode.

halloween 7

Inca Mummy Girl

This is a silly episode.  And pretty racist? But mostly silly.

Buffy, I cannot handle this outfit. Stop it.

It opens with Buffy’s class going to a museum for a whole cultural shebang and talking about the foreign exchange students that will be staying with various students. Well, it opens with that, and Xander’s insanely inappropriate jealousy that a boy will, like, be near Buffy in any capacity. I’m so over you, Xander. Knock it off already and grow and change all that, please. You’re being gross.

I do enjoy how creepy the mummy looks, and find myself wishing (yet again) I had a room full of Buffy props in my house, to the delight and thrill of my guests, I’m sure. I also enjoy how creepy it is that the mummy sucks the life out of…that one kid’s name. (Who, by the way, broke that ancient seal SO UNNECESSARILY. The mummy’s hands clearly are limp and not holding on tightly at all, and the seal is free for a couple seconds before he smashes it all over the place. I can only assume he wanted to be life-sucked by an ancient princess.) (Who doesn’t) (am I right.)

creeeepy

The use of humor in this episode is actually really well done, for as campy and ridiculous as the plot is on paper. Buffy pummeling Giles during training because it’s her duty but also because he doesn’t want her to go to the school dance; related: Buffy’s scone comment; the group sarcastically predicting that Rodney (ah! There’s his name) awoke the mummy and got attacked by it, and the way their faces fall when they realize that’s a very likely scenario in Sunnydale; it’s all in the beginning and it’s all funny and good.

But Xander also hurts Willow’s feelings right away by saying he never thinks about her lips (although that’s going to get better in just a min) and EFF YOU, XANDER. WILLOW IS PERFECT. DON’T HURT HER. SHE HAS LOVELY LIPS.

Ok but for real, Twinkies are gross

So, in the world of the actual plot, Xander asks Ampata to the dance. They’re actually kind of cute together? I mean, as cute as an asshole and a murderous mummy can be.

Buffy’s dance plans are canceled due to mummy that’s on the loose, and oh, can we talk about this dance, please? It’s not “cultural appreciation” to dress up as caricatures of members of that culture. The fact that nobody is like “Hey, this is strange and not okay” is also…bad. I can only assume that the whole thing was constructed in order for us to see Willow in an Eskimo costume. Willow + furry hood = the cutest. (No but seriously NOT OKAY, GUYS. NOT OKAY.)

I will accept this as an apology.

I want to say that despite this episode’s obvious flaws when it comes to race/culture, I really appreciate how they portray Ampata. She’s not demonized. She acts as a foil to Buffy, and she’s a complex, imperfect character who we can relate to, and who Buffy can relate to. In a lot of ways, Buffy is offered as a sacrifice (by the Watchers’ Council) and in turn, has to sacrifice being a normal person to fulfill her duties. We can easily sympathize with Ampata, even if she’s doing bad things.

I love Oz’s “who is that girl?” moment because, well, everything Oz does is lovely and good, and also, because he’s not checking out any of the half-naked ladies in the place; he’s checking out the one who’s bundled up and clearly, well, somewhat individual. He’s a good guy, that Oz.

awww

AND OMG IS THIS THE FIRST TIME WE MEET JONATHAN TOO??

Xander telling Ampata he loves her after 24 hours is gross. For their credit, though, at least she attempts not to life-suck him for about six and a half minutes before surrendering to the urge. But then she dries out and Buffy pulls her and her arms come off and…ew.

There’s not much more to say about this episode. I’m so very glad Oz is in the picture, I want Giles to awkwardly introduce himself to people by saying “Hello, can you translate this?” and stop it, stop it, Xander!

Re: Some Assembly Required

Well, I’m sure that B won’t be the only one to blame for the slowness of this blog from here on out. Work, school, and sociability is pretty much ruining any serious free time I used to have. So. Yeah. This blog is a work in progress but one that I really really like and don’t plan on giving up on. 🙂

I don’t have the strong dislike for this episode that B seems to have, but then, I haven’t ever watched it critically either. So we’ll see!

Really quickly, OMG YO-YOS ARE SO 90s. And Buffy has a trig class? And I am impressed with both of these things.

I would agree with B that the theme of this episode seems to be “love makes you do the wacky,” and since she did an excellent job of summarizing, I’ll focus this post on the wacky kinds of love that appear here.

Buffy/Angel

I know this was always Joss’s intention for BtVS, but I really love that Angel doesn’t swoop in and save Buffy during fights. In fact, in the beginning of this episode, he tries to swoop in and promptly gets knocked down with a shovel, giving Buffy room to jump in and actually do the killing. I think, as Buffy fans, we might take moments like this for granted–but honestly, how often does this happen in TV shows or movies? Just casual, “no thanks, guy, I got this” girly-type awesomeness? Without the addition of spandex, cleavage, or lesbian make-out scenes, I mean.

I do agree that Angel is annoying in this episode…though I don’t think it’s totally his fault. Buffy did dance with Xander solely to make him jealous, after all, and some of the things Angel is peeved about (her grinding on Xander to bother him, her constantly bringing up his vampirism in fights) is valid. The difference is that Buffy is sixteen years old…a mature sixteen years old, sure, but still very much a teenager. Angel is 241. So yeah, the immaturity/jealousy/whatever is a bit more jarring on him. This is actually an issue I have with the writers quite often. I don’t think Buffy and Angel’s relationship is immature on its own…it is of high school, but it’s never seemed like a typical high school relationship to me (which I’ll get more into at the end of this season). I think the writers do some sloppy things to remind us that Buffy’s young and this is her first serious relationship, though. And I think for the most part, it’s heavy-handed and out-of-character for both of them, and doesn’t do their relationship justice.

Also, Angel has been out of the dating game for awhile. He’s actually been out of the socializing-with-human-beings game for awhile so it makes sense that he’s sort of…stunted, emotionally, and therefore sort of on the same maturity level as Buffy? It’s possible he’s never grown very much–emotionally/romantically–from the eighteen-year-old he was when he was vamp’d, because he’s never really had the opportunity (with a soul) to do so. This is just a theory, of course. Mostly I think it’s probably just sloppy writing.

IT IS SO WEIRD THAT ANGEL FOLLOWS CORDELIA and says he’s looking for Buffy and it’s something I never really noticed before? Like, Cordy is very obviously not Buffy, ever, but she’s extra not-Buffy in this scene. Angel does say “I wasn’t sure it was you at first”–so it’s possible he realized it was Cordelia pretty quickly, but followed her to ask her if she knew where Buffy was? It’s also pretty weird that Cordy calls out, “Xander Harris, if this is some kind of joke–!” Like, I know Xander sucks right now, but how often does he actually stalk Cordelia in dark parking lots? Weird, weird, weird, all of it.

I really love the little moment they share at the end of the episode,

d’aww

actually. Angel fesses up to his jealousy and the ridiculousness of it, and I’m not really bothered by his “He gets to see you in the sunlight” comment. Because seeing Buffy in the sunlight means more than, you know, creeping on her. He’s upset because he can’t truly be a part of her life–her normal, human life and, well. That’s reasonable to be upset about. And then Buffy offers to walk him home and he takes her hand and awww. They’re cute.

Giles/Jenny

Oh, Giles, you are so awkward.

Giles is the cutest thing that’s ever lived. Watching him practice flirting with a chair, and then awkwardly flirting with Jenny, and then going on a date awkwardly, and oh my heart it’s too much. I’ve always loved the Giles/Jenny pairing. They compliment each other so well, I think, with Giles’ social anxiety, stuttering, rigid ways, and total geekiness, and with how cool and collected and outgoing Jenny is…it just works really, really well. I love that Jenny takes him to a football game, of all things. And I love that Giles goes because he’s super into her. It’s all just so sweet and perfect, okay.

I love HOW MANY SNACKS they have and how Giles is carrying them all.

Willow/Xander

This is a ship I will hate and fight until the end of time, especially when it’s actually more relevant and soul-destroying in S3, but dudes. There is such a poignancy to Xander’s mini-monologue here:

People don’t fall in love with what’s right in front of them. People want the dream, what they can’t have. The more unattainable, the more attractive.

my heart my heart

It’s especially awesome and sad because he’s clearly talking about his crush on Buffy, but Willow is right next to him and looking at him and oh, it breaks my heart. She’s attributing those words to him, and Buffy understands it from both points of view, and ugh. DEEP.

Chris/Daryl

It’s not just romantic love that makes people do the wacky in this episode. Chris’s actions, to reanimate his dead brother, to try to connect with his mother, and to be totally creepy in order to build  a girlfriend for his brother, are all done out of love. This storyline always makes me really sad, especially seeing his mom smoking in an armchair, watching videos of Daryl playing football and ignoring Chris (which I get the feeling happened when Daryl was still alive, too). Just sad, man.

Eric: Scream all you want, we’re in an abandoned warehouse. Cordy: AHHHHHHHHH! Eric: Okay, that’s enough.

It’s important to remember that there are definitely downright BAD things going on here, no matter why they’re going on, and there’s no justification for chopping up dead people in order to reanimate the parts or, you know, cutting the heads off of living people. Also, Eric’s motivations are not done out of love, and are totally gross.

At the end of the day, it’s made very clear that what Chris and Eric are doing is wrong, wrong, wrong. And that’s important to drive home. Just because something is done out of love (in Chris’s case) doesn’t mean it should be done. There are definite, important limits here.

I don’t really want to discuss zombie love, because I’m not sure zombie-Daryl is capable of it, or if it was just a matter of sex, or what. But during this viewing, I thought of something I hadn’t thought of before: has Chris or Eric tried to get Daryl a regular girlfriend? Because when Cordy is promising to be with Daryl so that they won’t kill her, he says, “When you’re finished, you won’t go out. You won’t run away. But we can hide together.” It makes me think that they may have kidnapped a living girl to be with Daryl and she ended up escaping and UGH, so SO creepy.

Favorite quotes:

*Giles practicing asking Jenny out on a chair*
Buffy: Boy, I guess we never realized how much you liked that chair.

Xander: You know, this might go a lot faster if you femmes actually picked up a shovel, too.
Giles: Hear, hear.
Buffy: Sorry, but I’m an old-fashioned gal. I was raised to believe that men dig up the corpses and the women have the babies.

Angel: What I saw didn’t add up to three whole girls. I think they kept some parts.
Buffy: Could this get yuckier?
Willow: They probably kept the other parts to eat!
Buffy: Question answered.

In conclusion, Giles is perfect.

Some Assembly Required

For the record, how long it often takes between blog entries is entirely on me. I don’t have extremely awesome excuses. I’m busy, it’s been a rough couple of months, blah, blah, who cares. The point is that it is all my fault. 😛 I would say that it won’t happen again but that’s bullshit and I won’t say that. What I will say is that I will keep plugging away at this blog, even if it’s slow, because I do really like it. I keep looking and seeing people still check this thing and then I feel both terrible and good at the same time because people want to read it and I’m not keeping up but at the same time, people are interested and that’s awesome. Anyway. It took a 5 day vacation, but I’ve finished this entry at last. Here’s hoping the next one comes a BIT sooner. 😛

I have never much liked this episode. Something about the whole Frankenstein angle just really bores me and the extreme high school jealousy nonsense between Buffy and Angel makes me very much want to break my television. That said, I had a little more fun watching it for this project than I’ve typically had watching it just cause. So yay, I guess?

We open in the graveyard as Buffy waits for a vampire to rise. Now there are times later where they will actually go straight into funeral homes and such. Which actually makes a lot more sense. I mean, if you think about it, if a vampire is rising the night after they die or even a night or two later, surely there can’t be that many of them clawing their way out of the ground? Hasty burials were a big deal and not unimportant in olden times but this is the present century and in the present, death has a little bit of time. I would say maybe the don’t rise until they’re buried but then we know that’s not true either, as we’ve already seen at least one rise in a funeral home. I’m left to conclude that somehow it must differ from vampire to vampire but if that’s the case, how does she know he’s going to rise tonight? I mean, if you take vampirism as some kind of poison (which, okay is from Twilight but it’s in other vampire stories too) then maybe it takes longer to work on some people than on others but in that case, you would think you would always have a window of a few nights when vampires could potentially be rising. Unless it’s part of her Slayer powers to know. I don’t think it is; I just think this is something that they never actually explain. Actually I never really thought about it till writing this right now.

I’m not jealous. What? No. Just grumpy and 12 years old.

Angels skulks out to whine for a while. Look, I know that so many people are really big fans of Angel but surely everyone has to admit this is just awful, right? I mean, for heaven’s sake. Man up. Either admit you were jealous of the 16 year old boy that the 16 year old love of your eternal life was dancing sexy with (so many things wrong…) or don’t come out there to begin with but don’t come out to act all aloof and stupid. Whatever. They have a really dumb fight and he tries to sweep out dramatically. She cunningly stops that from happening by falling into the giant open grave. I do wonder how exactly she had been sitting in the graveyard for who knows how long and hadn’t noticed the open grave. I also wonder why Angel, who was just giving us the tips and tricks of climbing out of a grave, thought that this gaping hole looked like another vampire might have come out of it. I mean…. it’s a big hole. It’s not like caved in on itself. It was clearly dug up. I guess jealous Angel is dumber than normal Angel. So. Bodies being dug up.

This definitely looks like a grave someone clawed their way out of, right?

DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNN.

Poor Giles. Practice at home.

This episode is full of men acting like fools. I guess that’s the common thread or something. Love makes you do the wacky? However in some cases, like in Angel’s, it’s excruciating to watch. In other cases, like in Giles, it’s so adorable that I just want to hug him forever. Come on, Giles. Not in the library. Don’t practicein the library. I mean, we know no one else ever goes in there but you know who does? The only people who will make fun of you for this forever and ever. Come on, hun. You were Ripper not so long ago. You are super hot. You can do this. I want to pep talk him. I think I would do a much better job than Buffy and Xander. They talk about graverobbing for a while and how awful that is. Although honestly, on the scale of Sunnydale crimes, it seems like that one would be way down the list. I mean, for now. Once they figure out the devious plot, I imagine it would shoot up there. Also, I feel like the tiny bits of information they give about zombies in this episode imply that they have a different understanding of zombies in the Buffyverse than I have always had? But I care so little about zombies that I just can’t be bothered to dissect that. 😛

I just like seeing Willow talking to other people sometimes. She looks so cute.

Next homeschooler question: Is there a mandatory science fair? Or participation in a science fair that is mandatory? I don’t really understand the whole science fair thing anyway. It’s one of those concepts that I don’t think I actually believe exists outside of teen melodrama. I never had a friend tell me about participating in or going to a science fair. I simply don’t remember ever coming in contact with it IRL. TELL ME, PEOPLE. Creeper runs around taking pictures, which do not come back with the faces they were making when the flashes went off, incidentally. Away they rush towards the “bat signal.” I know they think they’re being covert here and it’s adorable and all but what do other people think that the bat signal means? I mean, I feel like by the end of high school we’ve more or less confirmed that yeah, the high schoolers aren’t that dumb and they’ve had some ideas on what was happening this whole time. Do they just let them pretend to be sneaky? Cause that would be funny.

Giles “deals with Cordelia’s pain” which should be mentioned because it’s just so awesome. Then later, in the graveyard, Willow tries to explain what happened to Darren. “He was a running…. he was a person who runs.” It’s really impressive when there’s anyone who actually knows less about football than me. One of the things I love about the graveside discussion is when Willow matter-of-factly addresses the sexy dance. We’re not going to pretend that didn’t happen or didn’t hurt or wasn’t crappy. We’re not going to have something we can’t talk about or dance around (no pun intended). We’ll acknowledge it and acknowledge it sucked and poke fun at you for it. That’s cool. That’s a pretty good friend. Also, other bodies are missing.

“Look, I love you. But yes. That was pretty shitty. No more of that, k?”

Meanwhile, Cordy comes out from her cheerleader practice, berating her team for not being quite cheery enough. They walk way out into the very, very deserted, very, very darkened parking lot (really Sunnydale? not even STREETLIGHTS are really in the budget here?) and soon she is alone attempting to get into her car. Personally, I feel like after what I’ve seen, if I was her, I’d be parking basically like… next to the front door if I was going to be there after dark. Like literally. Who cares if I get a ticket? I’ll be alive and stuff. But no. Someone is coming. Someone is stalking her through the darkened parking lot. Frantically she tries to get into her car, instead wildly throwing her keys underneath it. Okay, seriously now. This is a thing that happens in movies and shows not super infrequently. I have dropped my keys many times. I am clumsy and it happens, especially if I’m in a hurry to get into my car or house. But keys don’t roll well. They’re not roll-y by nature. I am trying to imagine the truly phenomenal feat it must have been for those keys to have rolled so far under the car that she actually couldn’t reach them. I mean, even if you’re on an incline (which she wasn’t) that doesn’t seem that likely. She runs as fast as she can, diving into the nearest trash can. But, surprise! It’s just Angel. Wearing really weirdly light colors (for him).

I have dropped the keys SO FAR UNDER MY CAR. HELP!!!! Seriously. I just can’t believe this has ever happened to anyone.

He claims to have thought she was Buffy, which is really weird on many levels. It’s weird because Cordelia is taller, and has much darker hair than Buffy. It’s weird because even if Buffy wasn’t digging up bodies in a cemetery, why would she be at the school? It’s weird because, if he thought it was Buffy, why didn’t he call her name? It’s weird because Cordelia was very clearly wearing a cheerleader uniform, which Buffy would clearly not be wearing. It’s weird because Angel has predatory senses, which include a keen sense of smell, so we know she wouldn’t have smelled like Buffy. It’s weird because Buffy doesn’t have a car, so why would she have been walking to one? In short, I am forced to live in my own world where Angel was just stalking Cordelia for reasons of his own. If someone has another explanation, please let me know.

Here’s Cordy. Looking absolutely nothing like Buffy in any capacity.

As Angel helps her out of the dumpster, which would smell like way more than your typical dumpster, given the fact that it is full of rotting flesh, Cordelia gets to pull up an arm and give one of her excellent screams. She really is great at that. Then presumably she sat in the parking lot, while Angel dumpster dived to find all the parts and lay them out. Still keeping his weirdly light clothes spotless. Oh, to be a vampire. So many superpowers.

And where do you think YOU have been all this time, young lady?

Cordelia finds new clothes and she waits while Angel stands there, trying his best “And where do YOU think you’ve been, young lady?” when Buffy walks in the door. Shut up, Angel. You’re not her father. Yeah, she probably shouldn’t have lied to you but it is also a very good argument that she does not have to tell you her every move and just shut up because I want to hit your stupid face all through this episode. During this discussion, they eventually decide that it must be students killing girls because they’re throwing away the body parts near the school. It seems odd to me that they would choose the school dumpsters still. I mean, aren’t there other dumpsters? Why would you throw away body parts right next to a school? Why did students from different schools get buried in Sunnydale anyway? Off they go to search the lockers of the students smart enough to dissect bodies. In a scene that has the worst quality possible. I don’t know if something happened to the print or what but I have shot better footage in the dark on my handheld camera.

Worst quality ever. What happened to this footage?

Now we are let in on the deep, dark plan of our boys here. Apparently they’ve been sucked into the plot of Bride of Frankenstein, with only a few less homosexual subtexts and they’re going to make a bride for Chris’s not as dead as everyone thinks he is brother, Daryl. This is one of those plans I would really like to hear the conversation leading up to it. I mean, how did they get to this point anyway? How was this plan formed? It seems like it was not part of the original bringing his brother back to life plan but more of a “I’m so sorry I brought you back to life but here, I’ll compensate you by making sure you have someone to have sex with” thing. I’m just saying it would have been a peculiar conversation to hear. The important things we’re supposed to gain from this conversation obviously is that Daryl has a soul but is morally torn because of how much he loves his brother and Eric has no soul and no moral reservations whatsoever. Presumably he doesn’t think he’s going to get to have sex with this girl but I theorize he imagines if this works, maybe he’ll get to have a crack at the next one.

I will take a moment here to note that in this next scene in particular but in the beginning of this whole season in general, I am a big fan of Buffy’s make up and look. I think they go out of their way to make her look really soft and pretty and I just like how she looks in these scenes. Oh, SMG. I heart you. Or at least you as Buffy. My feelings on SMG herself are a different story that don’t necessarily belong in this entry. And I’m moving on now.

Despite Buffy’s well intentioned but not super helpful attempts to help Giles ask Miss Calender out, it is the glorious Jenny herself who beats him to the punch. “What? You have something to ask me? Well, I’d love to talk. Yes, you go ahead and pick me up and we’ll have dinner and it’ll be awesome and sure, let’s go ahead and do that.” Bless you, Jenny. You’re not just going to hang out and wait for poor Giles to steel himself. He would eventually but it would probably be painful to watch and she’s not a sadist. She knows what she wants, after all.

How can anyone not love Giles?

Also, is Sunnydale any good at football? I feel like it’s never mentioned in any other episode. Obviously Daryl seems to have been a really good football player but there’s never much indication that Sunnydale has any special skills besides attracting demons. Still, the stands are as packed as any Dyllon Panthers game and that just seems so unlikely if they’re not really good? I do not know. I don’t care about football, high school or otherwise so I’m not one to judge. It just seems odd to me.

This strip of metal is clearly helping…. keep absolutely nothing in place.

Was Daryl this much of a dick before he died, I wonder? Treating his brother like dirt? I mean, there are clues he might have been, I guess. He says something to Cordy about how he didn’t treat her very well before and he would now and such. I’m just wondering if it was being dead that made him super insane and thereby super rapey or if he just always was. Eric loves to facilitate rape though, so off they go to make dreams come true. Also, every time I watch this episode, I look at Daryl, trying to figure out how exactly he had to “sew” Daryl together to make him look that way. It’s not making a whole lot of logical sense but I like his random and seemingly useless strip of metal on his arm.

Buffy comes in and tries to bond with Chris, still not understanding what’s really going on. She tells him she has lost someone close to her too. My immediate question was who has Buffy lost that she’s close to? But actually just as I’m typing this right this moment, I remembered her cousin who will come up in later episodes, so I guess that’s a thing. Also, I don’t remember if she lost people in the movie, because I don’t remember the movie super well but maybe she did. I would also like to note that “industrial strength therapy” is one of my most frequently used Buffy phrases.

I would like to take yet another brief sidenote and ask how exactly Chris managed to bring his brother back? Look, here’s the thing. According to the incredibly brief description we have of his death, he was rock climbing and fell or whatever. I guess they don’t seem to need to get him immediately to bring him back to life but they do need him before the formaldehyde thing happens so how did he get the body prior to the funeral? Also was Chris already working on this? Like was he already hanging out in his basement, pondering how to create life, reading Frankenstein over and over again? Or did he manage to put this together incredibly quickly after his brother died? How did Eric get involved in this bizarre little plot anyway? It’s not like he seems like an incredibly amazing lab assistant. I WANT DETAILS.

Moving on and back to Giles date with Jenny. Jenny who is being ridiculous and claiming that football is the national pastime (it’s baseball, sweetie) but oh well. The date is interrupted by Xander and Willow who are… just being mean? I mean, come on. They are not this dense. Seriously. We know they are not this dense. Just leave them alone and let them have their date, guys! 😦

JUST LEAVE THEM ALONE! Look at poor Jenny’s face. 😦

Oh well, no date is to be had and they must rush off to save Cordelia from an admittedly pretty gruesome fate. Certainly I would never have wanted anything to happen to her but I have always wondered a bit what would have happened. How would the body have worked? It’s all Cordy’s brain, obviously so I assume she only would have remembered being Cordy but would she have like muscle memory from the other girls? I don’t know, I wonder things. The convenient fire is started and enraged and saddened Daryl, unable to live without the idea of getting laid again, mounts his sewn together corpse to die in the flames. Ew.

There’s some talk about how screwed up Daryl was and how “love makes you do the wacky.” What absolutely no one discusses is the fact that Chris FIGURED OUT HOW TO CREATE LIFE. Big picture here, guys. Big picture. I guess maybe it wouldn’t work off the Hellmouth anyway but really? No one is even going to look into it? Also we’ll never hear from Chris again. Hopefully he went off to get some industrial strength therapy.

Angel at lasts admits to his jealousy. Congratulations, Angel. You stupid, annoying child. “He gets to see you in the sunlight.” Oh, you’ve gotten to see her in the sunlight too, Angel. Just in way more creepy and stalker-like kinds of ways. What you mean is “He gets to see you in the sunlight not through a pair of binoculars or a spray painted window.” But whatever. Not the time, I guess.

Buffy will walk Angel home at the end of the night, which is a tiny little touch that I do really love. ❤

The Puppet Show

Not going to lie, there are totally parts of this episode that give me “the wiggins” as Buffy says. I am totally not cool with dummies. They are creepy and, while I think it’s fascinating that humans are  capable of things like throwing their voices or speaking with their mouths closed, that does not make it any less creepy. So I sympathize entirely with Buffy and when Willow says nonsense like that she thinks dummies are cute, I assume she must be lying.

Sing your little heart out, hun

We open on Cordelia. Oh Cordelia. Singing with every fiber of her being. Although it’s possible that singing should be in quotation marks. The sound she’s making could not exactly be considered musical but kudos to her for giving it her all. The kids come in to mock Giles, which I love. It’s a sweet dynamic, very parent/child, which is of course so important throughout the show.

Enter Principal Snyder. This guy is fantastic. He’s just so delightfully evil. He takes such obvious pleasure in being evil that he’s tortuously awesome to watch. There is an excellent moment where Buffy yet again ALMOST MENTIONS HOW SHE’S KILLING DEMONS. I really feel like she should be better at covering this stuff by now.

That's the kind of woolly headed, liberal thinking that leads to being eaten!

Query from the homeschool girl: Can  you be forced to be in the school talent show?

When we move into the locker room where the dancer is obviously about to be killed, I find myself wondering several things. First and foremost, why doesn’t anyone ever turn on a light in the locker rooms at Sunnydale? Is there a power shortage in this town? Second off, since we know who the killer actually is, the filming angle really doesn’t make any sense. If it was a puppet coming to kill her, it would make sense that he was that low to the ground and jerky. But since it’s not, the conclusion I’m forced to come to is that he’s wriggling along on his stomach for no apparent reason. And that’s weird. Also, he left behind a giant butcher’s knife, just cause. Do demons not have fingerprints? Oh, you know who has fingerprints? Students at the school. LIKE THE ONE WHO IS ACTUALLY A DEMON. Oh well. I guess it’s probably safe to assume that the cops in Sunnydale aren’t the brightest crayons in the box.

He's hunched over just to throw the camera off the track.

The body is found and, for no good reason I can think of, Giles is behind the police tape. I like picturing the auditions for the screamer who finds the body. I bet it’s hard to scream like that, especially the multiple times she probably had to. I do think it’s a bit odd that they just assume if a knife was used, then it couldn’t have been something supernatural. I mean, I get that most demons have claws and teeth and whatever but I feel like even in the few episodes we’ve had so far, we’ve probably learned enough to indicate that there’s no inherent reason that a demon couldn’t use a knife if it felt like it. I have this problem all through the episode, really. Why do they have so much trouble believing that a dummy could be possessed or alive in some way? Is that really so much further out there than basically anything else they’ve run into so far? Also, let’s stop for a brief moment to take note of Giles line, “A demon is a creature of evil, pure and very simple.” NO, Giles. We are going to be arguing about this for a while, obviously but it’s very clear that THAT IS TOTALLY UNTRUE.

Buffy's dress is silly (and shorter than her coat) but let's really examine Willow's pants here.

So, off they all go to interview all the students from the talent show. Does no one find this odd? I mean, I’ll let it slide that everyone is more or less totally unphased by the fact that this girl just died brutally in the locker room. To some extent, I get that that’s part of the joke of Sunnydale. All these people are constantly dying and people are pretty untouched in general. Part of the denial or whatever. So let’s ignore that part and focus on what I assume would be weird – random students and a teacher going around conducting essentially police interviews about the recent murder of a student. But since no one seems to notice it’s odd, whatever. Also, is there really a dancer/band rivalry? Is that a thing?

CREEPY DUMMY! NOT OKAY!

When Joyce comes into Buffy’s room that night and asks if she’s okay, I find this odd. I mean, okay, again not everyone in Sunnydale seems to get all upset about the murders and things but a student was found horribly murdered in the locker room. Wouldn’t Joyce know this? Wouldn’t everyone know this? Wouldn’t that be a fairly reasonable explanation as to what might be bothering her? I mean, honestly, it’s not rocket science. Whatever. I do really like the touch of Buffy having her mom check the bed for her after she wakes up. It’s sweet to see these touches of her as really being still a kid. I think they definitely disappear as the show goes on but I’ll cling to her moments while they’re there. 😛

Why does the school need an iron light fixture heavy enough to pin a superhero to the ground?

For some reason that really makes no sense to me, everyone doubts Buffy’s sanity about the thing with Sid. I will admit that she doesn’t seem that certain herself so maybe that contributes but honestly, the possibility of a living dummy doesn’t seem at all far fetched in this universe and if the Slayer says she saw it, I’d say you should listen to her and not assume she’s “some crazy person.” (Would they allow Morgan to just hang out with his puppet in class? I would have been distracted as hell.) Whatever, puppet is stolen so Buffy can talk to Morgan alone, we find out that it’s probably looking for a human heart and human brain (for what, I wonder? Does it eat them or…?), Sid is a demon hunter or maybe he’s a demon or no, he’s probably a demon hunter. Morgan is killed. Buffy finds his body and just leaves it hanging out in what I’m pretty sure was just the show’s costume room for the next poor screamer to find. Then we find out that Morgan had brain cancer. Another question from the homeschooler. Wouldn’t his teachers know? I mean, he has all these sick days and even if he didn’t, surely this would be… known? I don’t know.

The look on her face is how I feel about her hair. Does she have like hackles?

I love that as they’re researching, Willow is sent to the “toys and magic” section of the library. I would love to see a listing of the books available in this library.

I would also like to observe that the plan of this demon, the major thing he was counting on, was cutting through this rope with the dullest hatchet ever on stage, when anyone could walk in, approximately 3 minutes before curtain time. As far as plans go, this is definitely one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Sid dies, sad, sad, let’s move onto the next episode now, k? 😛

I love this scene but how did they get everything cleaned up in time for the other acts?

Re: I, Robot… You, Jane

Just like B, I love this episode so much. I think there’s definitely a point while watching this episode for the first or second time where you have to just….submit to it. Let it inside you, let it fill you up with its almost-arduous ridiculousness and love it. Love it hard. I think this point probably came for me during the first scene in the library, which I’ll get to in a second.

Demon soul looks like…exploding glowworms?

Okay, so there’s a plot point I missed before reading B’s review, and that’s Giles saying Moloch’s SOUL was taken and put into this book. That makes everything confusing and wrong. For one thing, Moloch’s physical body clearly explodes into little strings of light as he gets put into the book. For another thing, what? Just what. It goes back to my post about Angel’s soul and how utterly complex and confusing souls in this ‘verse are and I haven’t had enough coffee today to get into more BtVS theology discussions so WHATEVER YOU SAY, DADDY GILES. Whatever you say.

His expression says it all, really.

The first scene in the library is eternally wonderful, partly because technology is so terrifying(!!!!!!!!), but mostly because of Fritz. Oh, Fritz.

THE PRINTED PAGE IS OBSOLETE. INFORMATION ISN’T BOUND-UP ANYMORE. IT’S AN ENTITY. THE ONLY REALITY IS VIRTUAL. IF YOU’RE NOT JACKED IN, YOU’RE NOT ALIVE.

That quote had to be in all-caps and bolded because, good lord, Fritz, take some benadryl or something and relax.

I also am a big Jenny/Giles fan. I like how much she teases him, given how straight-laced he can be. I love her easygoing flirting compared with his awkward stuttering. There is only good here. Well, until….you know. Let’s just try to enjoy their adorable courtship, okay.

I like to imagine Moloch typing, “Where am I?” and Willow being all, “HI, YOU’RE IN MY COMPUTER, WHAT’S UP, BE MY BOYFRIEND?” So let’s just say that’s how it happened, okay, B?

B didn’t mention Buffy’s silly, short, velvet dress, so I will.

I love swoony Willow, even if it’s technically caused by an Internet Demon, because she’s adorable and it’s lovely to see her interested in someone other than Xander. Now, I’m not saying I would prefer Willow to get beheaded by a curly-horned demon than be in love with Xander, but…………Anyway, I distinctly remember the Horrors of Meeting People on the Internet being pretty prominent when I was a kid/teenager. In fact, I don’t think my parents even know to this day that the internet is where I met the guy I’ve lived with for the past four years. So Buffy’s immediate concern about this fact isn’t that unrealistic to me. Especially since I don’t think her petty concerns (what he looks like, if he has a hairy back [lol]) is really about his looks. Rather, she’s probably concerned that he’s a serial rapist but some small children are watching BtVS and they don’t want to say that.

She also didn’t point out Buffy’s sparkly swimsuit-like top.

In regards to how petty Moloch is being, I love it. I love that he’s messing up peoples’ reports and shit. I want to say he’s doing small things right now because he hasn’t really figured out how to expand and do bigger things yet…but that doesn’t make sense, because clearly he had to Google (or its equivalent..) Nazi Germany, what penicillin does, etc. So, like, he must be as free to cause chaos and destruction as Giles fears, and just….doesn’t? He’s silly. (Remember, just submit to it.)

I wanna point out something that B doesn’t mention. My general, automatic dislike of Xander is probably apparent by now, but WHAT RIGHT DOES HE HAVE TO BE JEALOUS OF WILLOW’S INTERNET DEMON. I mean, how much of what he does here is out of genuine concern for Willow, and how much is out of petty jealousy because Willow isn’t following him around panting anymore? He is fervently not interested in Willow “that way” but I think what Buffy suggests, that he’s upset that he’s not “Belle of the Ball” anymore, has some truth to it. Ugh. Okay, I know he’s a high school boy. But I hate high school boys. There’s a reason I didn’t start dating until college.

FRITZ I LOVE YOU AND YOUR BUTTERKNIFE SELF-INJURY PLEASE NEVER CHANGE.

I love the depiction of an internet chat, by the way. The robotic voice, Willow speaking aloud, the text, Willow turning off the monitor, everything. Love love love.

So I’m going to hypothesize here for a minute and say that Moloch’s whole master plan is to get a body and start breaking necks again. He seems to really enjoy breaking necks. He came from 1410; I don’t think he has the capability to think about or plan domination on a huge scale (though, again, he knows how to Google. And later in the episode Giles is watching the news and the FBI’s serial killer profiles have been deleted and stuff. Soo…). His whole shtick here seems to be to recruit people into making a body for him, stop people that may prevent him from getting a body, so that he can break necks again. You can practically feel his orgasm when he breaks Fritz’s neck. D’aww. Don’t you kinda feel bad for him? He just wants love and…murder. He’s a simple lad, really. And none of it really makes any sense because towards the end of the episode, Moloch seems totally into the whole being-in-the-internet thing. JUST SUBMIT.

Awwwwwww.

On a sentimental note, I totally learned how to type using a computer like the one in the library. Like, when Buffy goes to delete Moloch’s file, I just felt happy. It looks so familiar! I typed up my very first stories on a sucker like that, which I’m pretty sure my grandparents still own. Oh, how I love the 90s. I also love how Buffy’s only suggestion about how to get Moloch out of “the net” is for Giles to ask for Jenny’s help. When Giles points out, you know, that might not be possible because why would she believe that internet demons exist, Buffy’s all, “FIGURE IT OUT.” Umm. Why would you leave this project in the hands of the least-technology savy person you know? Whatever, it forces him to seek Jenny’s help anyway and then we find out she’s a technopagan, which happens to be my favorite term ever.

I think my absolute favorite line of this episode comes from Buffy after she flying-jump-kicks Moloch. “Ow. The guy’s made of metal.” WAIT, HOLD ON JUST A SECOND HERE! THIS GUY:

IS MADE OF METAL???? There’s a reason this show isn’t called Buffy the Amazing Information Discoverer.

Electricity effects on this show remain my favorite thing.

I actually really love how Giles describes books at the end. It’s sweet and beautiful and nerdy and I do agree with a lot of his points. I’ve actually heard this exact speech brought up in defense of ‘real’ books during books vs. ebooks debates…and while I prefer a lot of things about real books, there’s something to be said for the convenience, accessibility, and cost of ebooks. I don’t view digital books as a threat to literacy. If literacy was ever threatened, it was when the radio and television were invented. I’m happy to see books keeping up with the times, as it were, and if it gets more people reading more books (which it certainly has for me personally) then that’s a good thing.

Ask me about the complexities of my vagina.

AND OH MY GOD, I NEVER BEFORE NOTICED THE “That’s not where I dangle it” LINE BEFORE. What in the ever-loving hell is she implying?!? MS. CALENDAR HAS A CORKSCREW-DANGLER FOR A VAGINA.

One last comment. When Buffy says, “Let’s face it. None of us are ever gonna have a happy, normal relationship,” and the Scoobies laugh nervously and fall silent, I want to sob forever because I know it’s true. 😦