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Sarah's Sober Second Thought Series: Think Different

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"Have a fuckin' seat, Bowlingshirts McGlasshouse." YES.

I'm glad someone else isn't crazy about Band Candy. It's OK, but I really only like seeing a different side of Giles, and Buffy's irritation at having to be the adult, and her growing desperation to get them all back to normal. Otherwise, I find it kinda cheesy.

I still think S3 is the best season, but it gets better as it goes. All the seasons have rough spots (for some, the spot is more like the Exxon Valdez spill), but I think S3 represents the highest overall quality and the lowest percentage of stuff that's unwatchable.

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"Have a fuckin' seat, Bowlingshirts McGlasshouse." YES.

GOD, yes! Sadly, that feeling will only intensify with the horror that is the group whinge of the final season.

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"Have a fuckin' seat, Bowlingshirts McGlasshouse." YES.

 

 

Seconded this YES.  You cannot justify Xander's actions in that episode.  There was no pure motives or greater good: he went to kill Angel with Faith out of pure spite.  I cheered when Faith later threw his ass into the wall when he got in the middle of her fight with Buffy.  Bitch had it coming.

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Despite having some of my favorite episodes (the wish, dopplegangland, the zeppo) and characters (early Anya, The mayor) S3 is one of my least favorites. IMO Angel was returned too soon, recovered too fast and then the rest of the season had he and Buffy do a tedious drawn out goodbye as we knew he'd be getting a spin off.

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This rewatch has made me come to terms with the fact that although season 3 has the best villain (the Mayor, hands down, takes the cake, and then makes sure you drink your milk to wash it down for healthy teeth and bones!) the plotting of the season, is, well...piss poor. It is full of bad highlights (Buffy's hair, that is - it's like she fell asleep on the beach with a bottle of Sun-In dumped directly on her forehead - and don't make me relive those bangs from Amends - little known fact, the title was going to be The First Evil Christmas, but then Joss saw SMG's hair and told her "You will need to make amends for this random mid season haircu- Ooh! New title!"*) and characters act like their worse versions of themselves, only to be outdone in the later seasons. (Except for Giles. He's immune to this.) At least from Bad Girls/Consequences on the show took off and the final arc soared. It just took a lot of crap to get there.

*This post was written under the influence of NyQuil.

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Season 3 is a weird beast. I think it suffered from "Status Quao majorly changed in finale, but now we have to get it back ASAP or we might lose viewers" disease. IMO it picks up around "Lovers Walk" and then gets really good. But the early part of the season, aside from a couple highlights, is as bad or worse as the latter seasons. Which is why Season 2 will always be my favorite, and even Season 5 might beat out 3 for me.

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Maybe I do remember it a bit through rose colored glasses, but S3 is my favorite season, hands down.  Especially knowing now how the Scoobs will meander forward from S4 to the tragic end, it's refreshing to see them in their glory days (no pun intended).  I think the one, two, (three!) punch of The Prom followed by Graduation Days 1 & 2 is the show and the characters at their finest and as I want to remember them the most.  Arc and story telling-wise, this end to S3 rivals Becoming 1 & 2 for the best the show could be, and for me juuuuuust edges it out because it's triumphant without the bitter sadness that ended S2.

Edited by Earl Is Dead
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Maybe I do remember it a bit through rose colored glasses, but S3 is my favorite season, hands down.  Especially knowing now how the Scoobs will meander forward from S4 to the tragic end, it's refreshing to see them in their glory days (no pun intended).  I think the one, two, (three!) punch of The Prom followed by Graduation Days 1 & 2 is the show and the characters at their finest and as I want to remember them the most.  Arc and story telling-wise, this end to S3 rivals Becoming 1 & 2 for the best the show could be, and for me juuuuuust edges it out because it's triumphant without the bitter sadness that ended S2.

I agree 100% that Season 3 at its best is amazing TV and in the top tier of what Buffy ever did. The rough bits are rough but most of that is confined to the early part of the season, and I could definitely see why the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Like I said, once you hit "Lovers Walk", that's when everything starts to gel for me as a viewer.

Edited by SilverShadow
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I really enjoy Revelations and Homecoming, and I still find Band Candy funny. Homecoming had some great Buffy - Cordy bonding, Faith's hysterical interruption of Scott Hope's dance (and what kind of bastard breaks up with his girlfriend right before the dance, then attend with another date?). Faith was right - sleazeball. Cordy staring down Lyle Gorch, and the concept of Slayerfest. Like the Mayor, I thought that was a brilliant idea by Mr. Trick.

 

Revelations brings a lot of things to a head, and, while I didn't like the way Xander confronted Buffy at the intervention, what he said was correct. I loved Gwendolyn Post, Mrs. and the Glove of Myneghon is by far my favorite weapon / magical device in the entire series. Ever since I saw the episode when it first aired, I have wished for a Glove of my very own on my birthday and / or Hanunkkah. The idea of being able to get rid of all the people who annoy or piss me off with a simple "Taa-Freem!!!" really appeals to me. Alas, nobody has yet granted my wish. Speaking of, where is Anya when you really need her? As for Xander's behavior after he and Faith discover Giles, I can only think that the scene was written by two different people. The first one said that Xander tries to slow Faith down by saying he doesn't know if Angel did this because there were no bite marks. Meanwhile, the second writer decided Xander was a jealous asshole who tells Buffy five minutes after his discussion with Faith that maybe Angel isn't reformed and he caused Giles' injuries. I choose to accept the former as the real Xander and ignore the latter since it really had no impact on the episode at all. 

 

Band Candy remains fun, and, any episode with Ethan Rayne is okey-dokey in my book. The geezers singing "Louie, Louie" used to make me laugh until I realized that I am now their age. Sigh.  

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Faith is like 'Fried Green Tomatoes' - I remember her being way more awesome than she actually is on screen, leading to constant viewing disappointment.

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"You're so cool. You're like Burt Reynolds!"

 

Snyder trying to put the moves on Joyce and her not having it still makes me laugh.

 

I really liked how ASH and the other adults did a great job acting like teenagers.

 

I remember "Revelations" distinctly because I had just seen a sneak showing of the first trailer for Star Wars Episode One earlier that day in the theater. I paid just to see that and then had to sit through The Siege after. thought Gwendolyn Post was hot and I agree the glove looked really cool. 

 

 

Faith is like 'Fried Green Tomatoes' - I remember her being way more awesome than she actually is on screen, leading to constant viewing disappointment.

I really liked Faith when she went bad later that season and afterwards was seeking redemption on Angel.

Edited by VCRTracking

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Band Candy is one of my favorite episodes. "Summers, you drive like a spazz!" Joyce and the handcuffs (like mother like daughter). It's just fun.

The Mayor has always been my favorite villain, and (of course) I love Lovers Walk.

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I enjoyed "Band Candy" and still do.  I don't expect anything much from it besides some jokes and sight gags, so that may be why.  

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Is anyone else here watching this for the 1st time? As a first time viewer, I a) love the show, b) love S3 and the Mayor (and Cordelia for good measure), and c) hate Angel.

I just finished S6 -- oh boy, I can't wait for Sarah's rewatch of that mess! -- and have to say S5 is my favorite so far, it really should've ended the show. But maybe S3 is a favorite because of nostalgia? Which is fine of course, but between the Willow/Xander romance, Angel doing/saying anything, and inconsistencies in the plotting, this season just doesn't feel like the "best" (to me).

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On ‎31‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 4:18 PM, Carrie Ann said:

"Have a fuckin' seat, Bowlingshirts McGlasshouse." YES.

I'm glad someone else isn't crazy about Band Candy. It's OK, but I really only like seeing a different side of Giles, and Buffy's irritation at having to be the adult, and her growing desperation to get them all back to normal. Otherwise, I find it kinda cheesy.

I still think S3 is the best season, but it gets better as it goes. All the seasons have rough spots (for some, the spot is more like the Exxon Valdez spill), but I think S3 represents the highest overall quality and the lowest percentage of stuff that's unwatchable.

Could not disagree more, Joyce and Ripper on the town would make a great series in itself!

On ‎31‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 5:32 PM, Sandman said:

GOD, yes! Sadly, that feeling will only intensify with the horror that is the group whinge of the final season.

And I loved 7 too but it's not a patch on 3 really. 

On ‎31‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 5:39 PM, Spartan Girl said:

 

Seconded this YES.  You cannot justify Xander's actions in that episode.  There was no pure motives or greater good: he went to kill Angel with Faith out of pure spite.  I cheered when Faith later threw his ass into the wall when he got in the middle of her fight with Buffy.  Bitch had it coming.

Which ep was that? But you're wrong, he doesn't, when he sees Giles on the floor he calls Faith off. 

On ‎31‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 7:34 PM, MrWhyt said:

Despite having some of my favorite episodes (the wish, dopplegangland, the zeppo) and characters (early Anya, The mayor) S3 is one of my least favorites. IMO Angel was returned too soon, recovered too fast and then the rest of the season had he and Buffy do a tedious drawn out goodbye as we knew he'd be getting a spin off.

I partly agree with that BUT you also had the Buffy/Faith storyline which would be epic all by itself. And Buffy/Angel's goodbye is not half as painful as Buffy/Riley. 

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2 minutes ago, Joe Hellandback said:

Which ep was that? But you're wrong, he doesn't, when he sees Giles on the floor he calls Faith off.

The one where everyone finds out Angel is alive.  And even though he "called Faith off" and knew that Angelus wasn't responsible, he still felt entitled to wrongfully bash Buffy about it and make it sound like Angel was guilty.  Out of spite.

So yeah, I cheered when he got thrown into the wall by Faith when he tried to stop her and Buffy's fight.

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On ‎31‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 11:11 PM, Kristen said:

Kudos on "Bowlingshirts McGlasshouse", Sarah.

Yeah, have to use that sometime (darn I wish this site had emoticons!). 

On ‎01‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 2:54 AM, Mya Stone said:

This rewatch has made me come to terms with the fact that although season 3 has the best villain (the Mayor, hands down, takes the cake, and then makes sure you drink your milk to wash it down for healthy teeth and bones!) the plotting of the season, is, well...piss poor. It is full of bad highlights (Buffy's hair, that is - it's like she fell asleep on the beach with a bottle of Sun-In dumped directly on her forehead - and don't make me relive those bangs from Amends - little known fact, the title was going to be The First Evil Christmas, but then Joss saw SMG's hair and told her "You will need to make amends for this random mid season haircu- Ooh! New title!"*) and characters act like their worse versions of themselves, only to be outdone in the later seasons. (Except for Giles. He's immune to this.) At least from Bad Girls/Consequences on the show took off and the final arc soared. It just took a lot of crap to get there.

*This post was written under the influence of NyQuil.

There was always great stuff in season 3, even the weakest eps have something to recommend them, less filler than any other season. As for SMG's hair I always thought it looked weird in The Zeppo, like it had been through a chip crinkler.  

On ‎01‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 3:43 AM, Chaos Theory said:

I loved Band Candy

Seconded!

Edited by Joe Hellandback

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On ‎01‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 1:34 PM, SilverShadow said:

Season 3 is a weird beast. I think it suffered from "Status Quao majorly changed in finale, but now we have to get it back ASAP or we might lose viewers" disease. IMO it picks up around "Lovers Walk" and then gets really good. But the early part of the season, aside from a couple highlights, is as bad or worse as the latter seasons. Which is why Season 2 will always be my favorite, and even Season 5 might beat out 3 for me.

Spike fan, huh? Frankly the status quo didn't change as much as some of the later seasons?

On ‎01‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 1:37 PM, Earl Is Dead said:

Maybe I do remember it a bit through rose colored glasses, but S3 is my favorite season, hands down.  Especially knowing now how the Scoobs will meander forward from S4 to the tragic end, it's refreshing to see them in their glory days (no pun intended).  I think the one, two, (three!) punch of The Prom followed by Graduation Days 1 & 2 is the show and the characters at their finest and as I want to remember them the most.  Arc and story telling-wise, this end to S3 rivals Becoming 1 & 2 for the best the show could be, and for me juuuuuust edges it out because it's triumphant without the bitter sadness that ended S2.

Couldn't have put it better myself, it's a run of quality episodes that the series never surpassed, even in the latter half of 2. 

On ‎01‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 8:39 PM, Loandbehold said:

I really enjoy Revelations and Homecoming, and I still find Band Candy funny. Homecoming had some great Buffy - Cordy bonding, Faith's hysterical interruption of Scott Hope's dance (and what kind of bastard breaks up with his girlfriend right before the dance, then attend with another date?). Faith was right - sleazeball.  

Actually from what we later learn in CWDP I suspect he just dumped Buffy as they were getting to the physical stage of their relationship. 

On ‎02‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 6:19 AM, Erratic said:

Faith is like 'Fried Green Tomatoes' - I remember her being way more awesome than she actually is on screen, leading to constant viewing disappointment.

The movie or the dish?

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On ‎02‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 4:46 PM, VCRTracking said:

"You're so cool. You're like Burt Reynolds!"

 

Snyder trying to put the moves on Joyce and her not having it still makes me laugh.

 

I really liked how ASH and the other adults did a great job acting like teenagers.

 

I remember "Revelations" distinctly because I had just seen a sneak showing of the first trailer for Star Wars Episode One earlier that day in the theater. I paid just to see that and then had to sit through The Siege after. thought Gwendolyn Post was hot and I agree the glove looked really cool. 

 

I really liked Faith when she went bad later that season and afterwards was seeking redemption on Angel.

I liked The Siege, it was certainly prescient. Yes, Gwendolyn is the only Buffy alumni to become a Bond girl and Faith is one of the highlights of the entire series. 

On ‎02‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 6:57 PM, Dianthus said:

Band Candy is one of my favorite episodes. "Summers, you drive like a spazz!" Joyce and the handcuffs (like mother like daughter). It's just fun.

The Mayor has always been my favorite villain, and (of course) I love Lovers Walk.

I wonder what this means for Dawn? Yeah, partly it was the villains being real people which made Buffy great and The Mayor/Faith dynamic is so precious. 

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6 minutes ago, Joe Hellandback said:

I liked The Siege, it was certainly prescient. Y

It did have an image I have never forgotten, after a bomb goes off in a theater, in the aftermath a beautiful young woman in a fancy gown walking in shock, her lower arm missing.

*ETA looking her up on IMDB. Diana Naftal. She really doesn't have a left arm in real life.

Edited by VCRTracking

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On ‎04‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 12:34 AM, harrie said:

I enjoyed "Band Candy" and still do.  I don't expect anything much from it besides some jokes and sight gags, so that may be why.  

Yeah, it's quite slight, no real plot or character development except that Buffy comes to realise she doesn't want her parents to act younger. But for Ethan being back alone I love it. 

On ‎04‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 10:05 AM, CletusMusashi said:

But.. why would anyone want to kiss rocks?

Because God gave rock and roll to you......

On ‎04‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 7:59 PM, marsman said:

Is anyone else here watching this for the 1st time? As a first time viewer, I a) love the show, b) love S3 and the Mayor (and Cordelia for good measure), and c) hate Angel.

I just finished S6 -- oh boy, I can't wait for Sarah's rewatch of that mess! -- and have to say S5 is my favorite so far, it really should've ended the show. But maybe S3 is a favorite because of nostalgia? Which is fine of course, but between the Willow/Xander romance, Angel doing/saying anything, and inconsistencies in the plotting, this season just doesn't feel like the "best" (to me).

Did you ever finish? What did you think of 7? Did you ever watch Angel? (probably not given your viewpoint)

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On 7/31/2018 at 12:31 PM, Joe Hellandback said:

Spike fan, huh? Frankly the status quo didn't change as much as some of the later seasons?

Ehh...not really. I probably like James Marsters more than the character. I like Spike fine in his role of "newer sexier kind of villain" in Season 2 with Dru and Angelus, think he's okay in 4 and 5 and in the last season of Angel, and I loathe Season 6 with the fire of a thousand suns. Frankly I think Spike is one of those characters that became the victim of his own popularity. I like seasons 2 and 5 for pretty much entirely non-Spike related reasons that I won't get into here since it's off-topic.  

In terms of the status quo, what I meant was when the credits roll in Season 2 Buffy has been expelled, kicked out of her Mom's house, accused of murder and on the run from the cops, damned Angel to hell, and run from Sunnydale and her destiny. But by the end of episode 1 of Season 3 the charges have been dropped and she's back in Sunnydale and her Mom's house and presumably will take up her destiny again. By the end of episode 3 she's re-enrolled in school and Angel's back, though no one knows it.  It feels like the writers forcing puzzle pieces to fit to rush through the fallout of the previous season. I think if they had used another episode or two to flesh it out it would have been more organic. 

The only episode of the first seven I like much is Band Candy. Whereas from there you get: Lover's Walk, The Wish, Amends (which I know people are mixed on but I like it), minor downgrade with Gingerbread, and then finally Helpless through Graduation Day, which IMO is a run of solid to all-time great episodes. Hence my commenting Lover's Walk is where I think Season 3 really picks up. 

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18 hours ago, SilverShadow said:

Ehh...not really. I probably like James Marsters more than the character. I like Spike fine in his role of "newer sexier kind of villain" in Season 2 with Dru and Angelus, think he's okay in 4 and 5 and in the last season of Angel, and I loathe Season 6 with the fire of a thousand suns. Frankly I think Spike is one of those characters that became the victim of his own popularity. I like seasons 2 and 5 for pretty much entirely non-Spike related reasons that I won't get into here since it's off-topic.  

In terms of the status quo, what I meant was when the credits roll in Season 2 Buffy has been expelled, kicked out of her Mom's house, accused of murder and on the run from the cops, damned Angel to hell, and run from Sunnydale and her destiny. But by the end of episode 1 of Season 3 the charges have been dropped and she's back in Sunnydale and her Mom's house and presumably will take up her destiny again. By the end of episode 3 she's re-enrolled in school and Angel's back, though no one knows it.  It feels like the writers forcing puzzle pieces to fit to rush through the fallout of the previous season. I think if they had used another episode or two to flesh it out it would have been more organic. 

The only episode of the first seven I like much is Band Candy. Whereas from there you get: Lover's Walk, The Wish, Amends (which I know people are mixed on but I like it), minor downgrade with Gingerbread, and then finally Helpless through Graduation Day, which IMO is a run of solid to all-time great episodes. Hence my commenting Lover's Walk is where I think Season 3 really picks up. 

Well, we'll talk about season 6 when we get there in the episode reviews. I do think you're right in that Spuffy was a case of giving the fans what they wanted rather than what the narrative needed. I actually liked Buffy's return to the status quo in s3 but it wasn't that seamless, we didn't just have her turn up and everything to be the same again, hence Dead Man's Party. Frankly I can't think of a single dud ep in s3 whereas 2 whilst terrific had stuff like Bad Eggs. 

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I still think it was just too fast to "get back to normal" and that the plot and characterizations are pushed in ways that are inorganic to rush to that point. And while I agree that Season 2 might have more uneven episodes, overall it was a week or maybe two of weaker episodes and then back to A game, where for me it takes until episode 8 for Season 3 to find its groove.  Also I would rather watch Bad Eggs 10 times in a row rather than watch Dead Man's Party or Revelations once. Bad Eggs is very very silly but the characters are likable and working together (when not under alien mind control) and we get some cute stuff with Buffy and Angel. I find the other two episodes actively unpleasant. It all comes down to personal preference of course and there's no objective right or wrong answer. But it's really great to hear from other POVs. 

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19 hours ago, SilverShadow said:

I still think it was just too fast to "get back to normal" and that the plot and characterizations are pushed in ways that are inorganic to rush to that point. And while I agree that Season 2 might have more uneven episodes, overall it was a week or maybe two of weaker episodes and then back to A game, where for me it takes until episode 8 for Season 3 to find its groove.  Also I would rather watch Bad Eggs 10 times in a row rather than watch Dead Man's Party or Revelations once. Bad Eggs is very very silly but the characters are likable and working together (when not under alien mind control) and we get some cute stuff with Buffy and Angel. I find the other two episodes actively unpleasant. It all comes down to personal preference of course and there's no objective right or wrong answer. But it's really great to hear from other POVs. 

I think people dislike Dead Man's Party because they don't like to see the Scoobs at one another's throats, I think they dislike Revelations for much the same reason, we like to see the gang happy together as I think Jane Espenson comments in one ep. But they're still far better than Bad Eggs which is so weak, stupids villains and lousy effects. 

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I don't necessarily mind "the Scoobs at one another's throats" but something in the writing of those episodes puts me off and it feels both really nasty and that the nastiness hasn't been earned by the interactions of the characters before and after. Like I have 0 problem with The Yoko Factor on that front because the conflicts come from issues that have been building all season and are deliberately being stoked by Spike and Adam. And again that was supposed to be The Fight to End all Fights but somehow it's not as vitriolic or just mean as early Season 3 can be. And the next episode had everyone honestly confronting what happened and repairing the Scoobies relationships. 

I came to Buffy in early season 4 so I saw all the earlier seasons via the DVD sets so "lousy effects" and a "weak villain" for the MOTW weren't really something I cared about. I was also very very spoiled by the time I actually saw the episodes. I don't tend to rewatch Bad Eggs a lot unless I'm doing a complete Season 2 rewatch but I find it relatively inoffensive filler with some cute scenes. Dead Man's Party and Revelations in contract make me actively angry with the writers and characters not because they're not playing nicely together in the sandbox but because it feels so out of step and issues are brought up without being setup and then put away without actually being addressed and then don't really come up again. 

Lover's Walk is not an episode where everyone is playing nice. Willow and Xander are cheating on their partners and Willow wants to use black magic to stop her hormones. The follow-up after the fact is kind of annoying, where them being found-out ends their relationship basically as quickly as the black magic would have, but the episode itself feels logically and emotionally consistent with the episodes that preceded it and what the characters had been saying and doing. Dead Man's Party and Revelations, to me, don't. 

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