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  1. I resent the writers infringing on the unity of this show's superb first season by doing this rewrite of the story of Randall's birth mom. Yes they sort of let William off the hook with the line about him telling Randall what he "believed" to be true but it still doesn't hold together well. And I think it will get worse as they delve further into Laurel's story.
  2. The action in this season finale seems rather tame compared to what will come in later seasons but this episode has some of the best character dialogue and acting in the whole series. The scene where Xander asks Buffy to go to the dance with him and she turns him down - it feels so believable. It is painful to watch and makes me squirm every time. As Buffy says to him - he's her close friend and she doesn't want to do anything to damage their relationship but romance - no. Typically his ask being declined would introduce an uncomfortableness in their relationship going forward but heck, he brings her back from death. I guess that means they can go back to the way they were and Buffy, now knowing of Xander's romantic interest, can simply put it aside. Yes, I like the scene between Buffy and her mom, Buffy just wanting to be her mom's daughter and not able to explain to her the burden that she is carrying. Charisma Carpenter is great. Funny line: the vampire is trying to break in and she bites his arm: "See how YOU like it!" Several scenes stand out - of course the library scene with Buffy, Giles, and Angel - "I'm only sixteen - I don't want to die" but I also find the shot of Buffy walking hand in hand with the Anointed One as he leads her to the Master to be oddly moving. I wish there had been more scenes in the show of SMG with small children. And for fans of the Harry Potter series:
  3. That scene between Buffy and Dawn at the end is brilliant. And from a human standpoint quite believable. Buffy HAS been occupied taking care of arrangements for their mother and everything else that happens when a parent dies unexpectedly. And it IS all her responsibility (do we ever get detail on why her dad is absent?) But being busy and rushing around taking care of things is also an emotional defense mechanism against having to deal full on and right away with a devastating personal loss. But it is completely natural for Dawn to see her sister do this and to resent her for not caring about losing their mom. Great acting by both Sarah Michelle Gellar and Michelle Trachtenberg.
  4. But anyway, wherever Angel may have been in his plan at the point Xander intercepts Buffy seems immaterial to me. They couldn't know in any case and Angel HAD to be stopped. The last thing anyone rational would have wanted is for Buffy to have held back her full effort fighting Angel hoping that Willow's spell would work in time.
  5. "Xander sends Angel to hell?" I've said it before but I'll just repeat myself. I think Xander had the most sensible, clear-minded approach to the whole Angel problem, whether or not it was colored by his own jealousy towards Angel and Buffy. And I've always thought that Giles should have backed him up.
  6. Seems to me that hearing B-I-T-C-H as "bitca" isn't all that improbable in an environment with plentiful background noise. Seeing how the letter "H" can be phoneticized as "aitch" all it takes is for someone to miss hearing the final consonant. Speaking as one who generally doesn't talk loudly enough and who often gets asked to repeat myself.
  7. I probably said it before but I think that the flawed way they brought in a younger sister for Buffy made it impossible to feel a deep bond between them, which is what you had to feel to make the main story of Season 5 work. At least that's how it was for me. I think the author makes some good points in the Romarin Demetri link but as for the reason Dawn was brought in to the series I think it was mostly the same reason many long running shows bring in new characters - to open up new avenues for storylines. In this case I thought it was done clumsily. It was not as bad as uprooting the established world of the entire series before the introduction by some massive rewriting but it had much of the same feel.
  8. I've been away for a few months. Anyway, going back to this thread, I agree that the story of attraction between Willow and Xander should have been brought to a proper resolution, rather than being summarily dismissed after this episode. After all, Willow pined for her childhood friend to look at her romantically through Season 1 and much of Season 2, the romance wasn't just a quirk of a few episodes.
  9. Over on the thread for S3 "Dead Man's Party" I discussed the mechanism by which problems in relationships are brushed aside by supernatural violence. I'm not entirely happy about how it was used there but in this episode, when Spike is set right emotionally by the big fight and walks off jauntily after telling Buffy where her friends are, I think that is 100% believable. And the catharsis/change in perspective didn't even have to come from a supernatural altercation.
  10. Indeed, I didn't mean to say that Willow and Xander resolved their problems by talking. I brought up the Season 2 episode to bring up the contrast with "Dead Man's Party" in that the supernatural fight of the moment wasn't used to summarily sweep the problems in the characters' relationships away. Although I will say that the scene of playful name-calling at the end between Buffy and Willow at the Espresso Pump(?) was amusing enough.
  11. I can buy that but still, I think it was an easy way out. One of the things that distinguished this show was how it could have a supernatural/fantasy premise while it keenly explored human personalities and their relationships at the same time. It's part of what raised this show beyond its genre. I think of the Season 2 episode "Innocence" where Willow sees Xander with Cordelia in the shelves and then after her burst of anger they talk it out. Willow tells Xander that things aren't okay between them but yes, they have to fight the Judge.
  12. This episode seems to me like the show's take on the cult horror flick "Night of the Living Dead" (the original, 1968 version.) This episode has always seemed to me to be a prime example of the mystical, supernatural side of the show getting in the way of the real human story going on, namely Buffy's return to Sunnydale. When the raucous party in Buffy's house and all the false gaiety comes to an abrupt end I really was caught up in the tense discussion Buffy has with Xander, and wanted to hear them have it out . Then the zombies or whatever they were crashed in and that was that. And really, was the battle with the zombies supposed to be the thing that smoothed over all the tenseness and bitterness between the characters up to that point?
  13. I don't think the showrunners of the two shows cared all that much about their plotlines sync'ing with each other. On Angel:
  14. I don't worry too much about stuff like this. In a Buffy-less Sunnydale there would presumably been plenty of easy pickin's among clueless high school students. I do wonder a bit about the boy - Colin (?) - and what part he played in the Wish-verse. This is one of my favorite episodes of the series. I remember reading on the old tv.com site that it was Charisma Carpenter's favorite episode of BtVS. In addition to the breakup aftermath of Cordelia and Xander, they also had the great scene between Oz and Willow, where Willow camps out by Oz's locker and when they finally come face to face. Oz delivers his totally believable speech to Willow along the lines of: "You can leave me alone. I need to sort things out. The only reason for us to talk is to make you feel better. That's not my problem" (I don't have the exact lines but this is close.) I feel that the Master, having risen successfully, is also more menacing here than in the whole arc of Season 1. Finally, I remember being totally unsettled by the battle scene where the core characters kill each other, capped off by the Master breaking Buffy's neck. It shows the degree to which Buffy depends on her team of supporting players in the "normal" reality.
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