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Joe Hellandback

S07.E03: Same Time, Same Place

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The Good; Some lovely emotional stuff between Willow and her friends, some funny stuff with Anya and Willow but best of all paralysed Dawn is hysterical, especially love the remote control gag.

The Bad; Not much

Best line; Dawn (unable to move her lips) "Stop talking about vomit!"

Jeez!; Skinned vandals and eyeless Gnarl. Gnarl cutting Willow and eating her flesh in front of her is awful.

Captain Subtext; Dawn wonders when anyone in the Scoobs are ever going to ask for help when they need it, still some emotional baggage from Normal Again. Anya observes that the spell she and Willow do is a 'little sexy'. Willow seems to agree then catches herself on. Note Anya wants to do more spells afterwards but Willow refuses.Why not Winya? They could both share Xander between them and he'd sure be happy. Remember Anya eschewed the company of men for a thousand years, maybe she and Halfrek were more than just friends?

Scoobies to the ER; Nope, Willow heals herself

Apocalypses; 7,

Scoobies in bondage: Buffy: 8 Giles: 4 Cordy: 5 Will: 4 Jenny: 1 Angel: 4 Oz: 1 Faith: 3 Joyce: 1 Wes: 1 Xander; 2 Dawn; 4

Scoobies knocked out: Buffy: 19 Giles: 12 Cordy: 6 Xander: 14 Will: 8 Jenny: 2 Angel: 6 Oz: 3 Faith: 1 Joyce: 3 Wes: 1 Anya;5 Dawn; 4 Tara; 1

Kills: 1 demon for Buffy Buffy: 108 vamps, 59 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot Giles: 8 vamps, 2 demon, 1 human, 1 god. Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon Will: 6 vamps + 3 demons +1 fawn+1 human. Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans Xander: 6 vamps, 2 zombies, 1 a demon, Anya: 1 vamp and 1 a demon Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons Spike; 8 vamps and 6 demons Buffybot; 2 vamps Tara; 1 demon Dawn; 1 vamp + 1 demon

Scoobies go evil: Giles: 1 Cordy: 1 Will: 3 Jenny: 1 Angel: 1 Oz: 1 Joyce: 1 Xander: 4 Anya; 1 Dawn; 1 Buffy; 1

Alternate scoobies: Buffy: 8 Giles: 4 Cordy: 1 Will: 5 Jenny: 2 Angel: 3 Oz: 2 Joyce: 2 Xander: 4 Tara; 1 Dawn;1 Spike; 1 Anya; 2

Recurring characters killed: 12 Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara, Joyce, Katrina, Tara

Sunnydale deaths; the vandal 98

Total number of scoobies: the Dawnster is finally part of the Scoobies, about time too Xander, Buffy, Dawn

Xander demon magnet: 5(6?) Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?), Dracula?

Scoobies shot: Giles: 2 Angel: 3 Oz: 4 Riley; 1 Buffy; 1 Tara; 1

Notches on Scooby bedpost: Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny and 3xDraccy babes? Cordy: 1? Buffy: 4 confirmed; Angel, Parker, Riley, Spike. 1 possible, Dracula(?) Angel: 1;Buffy Joyce: 1;Giles, 2 possible, Ted and Dracula(?) Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley Xander: 2; Faith, Anya Willow: 2;Oz and Tara Riley; 3; Buffy, Sandy and unnamed vampwhore Spike; 2 Buffy and Anya Anya; 2 Spike and Xander

Dawn in peril; 12

Dawn the bashful virgin; 9

What the fanficcers thought; Anya places Dawn in a Girl Scout pose, read more than a few dodgy adult fanfics over the years that place her in THAT uniform! 'Love, Trust and Monsters'+'Thanks for taking care of my body, Faith'

Questions and observations; Nice that we still have Joyce's picture scattered around the house but who are the couple in the pic by the phone? Aunt Arlene? Grandma and grandpa Summers? Note the scorched mummy hand in the box Anya brings from the Magic Box. Dawn seems to be a CSI fan. Surely she hardly needs high heels she already towers over all the other girls.

Marks out of 10; 7/10

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Exactly how stupid are Buffy and Xander in this episode? They decide that Willow must be killing and skinning people because she once skinned Warren, conveniently forgetting that she had an actual reason to get pissed at Warren as opposed to some random guy. Oh and that they live on the Hellmouth and skinning people isn't exactly out of the realm of possibility for a demon. And of course, this happens right when Willow is supposed to arrive and the demon dumped the body at Xander's workplace for no apparent reason because there are approximately one million contrivances in this rather silly episode. The Gnarl just happens to be immune to magic because why not?

Anya is hilariously indignant about Willow ruining her livelihood - as if she needs money now and as if she hadn't ruined not just livelihoods but the very lives of thousands of people.

You know, I almost never watch S6-7 episodes but now I watched bits and pieces and my goodness, SMG's nasal voice is so annoying and she looks just bored as me of these episodes. EC is overacting the hell out of Anyanka 2.0. AH looks amazing, too bad the writers lost the plot with Willow a few seasons ago.

It's not a spectacularly terrible episode as most of season 7 because there is mercifully little of Spike but the plotting is so amateurish that it makes me wonder if anyone was trying at that point.

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3 hours ago, Jack Shaftoe said:

there are approximately one million contrivances in this rather silly episode

Don't be silly.  I tried counting them, and I don't think there are more than 20-25:

"Willow calls from the airport, but doesn't leave a message because then the plot wouldn't work."

"Willow leaves her bags on the back porch because otherwise Buffy and Dawn would see them, and then the plot wouldn't work."

"Giles is in a meeting when Willow calls, because otherwise he'd call Buffy and Dawn, and the plot wouldn't work."

"Gnarl is immune to magic because…he just is, okay?"

"Willow doesn't bother to think of useful spells that wouldn't involve using magic directly on Gnarl, like teleporting herself out of the cave or tk-ing the rocks away, because otherwise the plot wouldn't work."

"Spike leads the Scoobs to Gnarl's cave so that Buffy can accidentally seal Willow inside at exactly the wrong moment, but he doesn't actually go with Buffy to the cave (seemingly the only time in the entire Dawnverse his stalker ass leaves Buffy's side voluntarily), because then he'd go 'oh, look, there's Willow' and the plot wouldn't work."

And so on.  And of course the basic premise of the story—a skin-eating demon comes to town on the one day when the Scoobs can't find Willow—is the biggest contrivance of them all.  Said demon dropping the corpse at one place where the Scoobs would be the first to find it (Xander's construction site) merely being the cherry on the sundae of stupidity and contrivance.

I swear, this episode makes No Place Like Home look like a case of logical and organic plotting by comparison.

I do "love" how Buffy nearly gets Willow killed because she "thought" Willow flew 6000 miles and slipped off the plane invisibly just so that she could skin random taggers in the one town where she'd be a suspect, and yet somehow it's Willow who has to apologize to Buffy at the end.  And how you can virtually see the shutters slam closed in Buffy's eyes the moment Willow admits she might have something to do with the spell, even subconsciously, and you can tell that Buffy will never love or trust her again, never see her as anything other than a "gun", and their friendship is, for all intents and purposes, over.

Worst possible "Willow returns" episode ever, where Willow doesn't even interact with Buffy and Xander until Anya runs out of the cave to "get help" (what help? from where?) just so we can have a brief, unearned "Scooby moment" in this shit episode.  No surprise, given that it was written by that hack, Jane Espenson, whom I'm pretty sure hates Willow and wanted to focus the episode more on Anya and "I'm so great we don't even need Willow!" Dawn.  Mind you, I'm glad that once Shiny McWhiny started bragging like that, she gets paralyzed, and some of the Poseable!Dawn stuff was at least theoretically funny, but when Willow is trapped and paralyzed and in mortal danger, the last thing I want to see right then is the Scoobies strolling home to take high tea and have a fucking comedy scene!

But wait, you say, Willow isn't actually in any danger!  Gnarl eats his victims reeeeeeallly slowly!  Why?  Because otherwise…say it with me!…the plot wouldn't work!  Sigh.

(Isn't Willow in danger of, you know, bleeding to death?  Whether Gnarl is actually eating her flesh or not?  Just wondering.  Well, maybe his aura helps her blood coagulate or something.  Because…otherwise…the…plot…wouldn't…work…siiiiigh…)

Marks?  Well, No Place Like Home got a 2/10 from me, and this is clearly worse.  As it's even more contrived, and lacks the beauty of Giles in the wizard costume (including Willow's disappointment over its absence and Riley's "the hype was out of control" capper) and the effective atmospherics of that one.  So I guess 1/10, because since the whole premise is that Willow made herself to those she cared about, the fact that she interact with Anya means that she doesn't really give a shit about Anya.  Now there's a sentiment I can get behind!

And yes, it's nice to finally see the Thespia spell in action, 55 episodes (geez, almost the entire length of the high school era!) after Tara sabotaged it.  But still, 1/10.

(Hey, didn't we end last episode by having to sit through a loooooong bit of scenery-chewing by Spike, where he managed to impart a lot of important information to Buffy, despite his mental health issues?  You'd think at some point, he'd be able to say something like "Hey, Buffy, Willow's in the basement, too…you just can't see her," wouldn't you?

But of course…then the plot wouldn't work.  I honestly can't believe that Jane got paid for this shit.  Blech.)

Spoiler

Also not fun is Buffy gauging out Gnarl's eye, to foreshadow Xander's fate.  (This is not the only foreshadowing we'll get along these lines.)  Certainly doesn't make this episode more enjoyable, knowing what Caleb will be doing, down the line.

Edited by Halting Hex

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16 hours ago, Jack Shaftoe said:

Exactly how stupid are Buffy and Xander in this episode? They decide that Willow must be killing and skinning people because she once skinned Warren, conveniently forgetting that she had an actual reason to get pissed at Warren as opposed to some random guy. Oh and that they live on the Hellmouth and skinning people isn't exactly out of the realm of possibility for a demon. And of course, this happens right when Willow is supposed to arrive and the demon dumped the body at Xander's workplace for no apparent reason because there are approximately one million contrivances in this rather silly episode. The Gnarl just happens to be immune to magic because why not?

Anya is hilariously indignant about Willow ruining her livelihood - as if she needs money now and as if she hadn't ruined not just livelihoods but the very lives of thousands of people.

You know, I almost never watch S6-7 episodes but now I watched bits and pieces and my goodness, SMG's nasal voice is so annoying and she looks just bored as me of these episodes. EC is overacting the hell out of Anyanka 2.0. AH looks amazing, too bad the writers lost the plot with Willow a few seasons ago.

It's not a spectacularly terrible episode as most of season 7 because there is mercifully little of Spike but the plotting is so amateurish that it makes me wonder if anyone was trying at that point.

It wasn't a bad conclusion based on the evidence, Willow's back in town and suddenly people are missing their skin again? Plus Xander's site is on the Hellmouth? Again Anyanka, not Anya. I think SMG's voice sounds fine although she gets very hoarse later in the season. 

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6 hours ago, Joe Hellandback said:

It wasn't a bad conclusion based on the evidence, Willow's back in town and suddenly people are missing their skin again?

Again, it makes no sense from Willow's p.o.v.  If she wants to skin people, she has an entire planet where she could do it and nobody would ever suspect her.  The idea that the skinned corpse just happens to turn up on the one day where they can't find Willow should make Buffy suspect that somebody's trying to frame Willow…

Hey, don't the Scoobs know an easily-angered vengeance demon who's carrying around a boatload of grudges against Willow, from keeping her from regaining her amulet years ago, to mind-controlling her and destroying her business a few months back? Someone who's never liked Willow and sees her as a threat to her happiness and even her relationship, despite Will's "gay now!" protests?  Nah, let's not even consider other suspects, it must be Willow! FFS…

Spoiler

We'll learn ten episodes from now that this could actually have been an early manifestation of Amy's "choose-your-own-curse" "penance malediction", so the idea that this was entirely Willow at work isn't even supported in the canon, but no, the Scoobies suspect her, and only her, at warp speed.

(Xander, to his credit, does take it back right after the commercial break, but that scene was cut.  Although Buffy and Willow both allude to it in passing in the final scene.)

Edited by Halting Hex

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If Willow had lost the plot again and wanted to taunt Xander and Buffy with dead bodies, she wouldn't have disappeared, she would have stayed next to the body and laughed like a maniac because it's not like those two can do shit against her magic. Or you know, left a note saying "I did it, suckers!". Something. Anything. What use is mere suspicion?

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On ‎08‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 10:37 PM, Halting Hex said:

Again, it makes no sense from Willow's p.o.v.  If she wants to skin people, she has an entire planet where she could do it and nobody would ever suspect her.  The idea that the skinned corpse just happens to turn up on the one day where they can't find Willow should make Buffy suspect that somebody's trying to frame Willow…

Hey, don't the Scoobs know an easily-angered vengeance demon who's carrying around a boatload of grudges against Willow, from keeping her from regaining her amulet years ago, to mind-controlling her and destroying her business a few months back? Someone who's never liked Willow and sees her as a threat to her happiness and even her relationship, despite Will's "gay now!" protests?  Nah, let's not even consider other suspects, it must be Willow! FFS…

  Hide contents

We'll learn ten episodes from now that this could actually have been an early manifestation of Amy's "choose-your-own-curse" "penance malediction", so the idea that this was entirely Willow at work isn't even supported in the canon, but no, the Scoobies suspect her, and only her, at warp speed.

(Xander, to his credit, does take it back right after the commercial break, but that scene was cut.  Although Buffy and Willow both allude to it in passing in the final scene.)

Again, given the facts it's a reasonable assumption, or at least a theory they had to check out. Interesting theory on Anya although I don't see it, Anya is the one to help Willow ironically because she DOESN'T care what Willow thinks (or maybe because she's a demon and the rules are different?)

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On 11/7/2018 at 9:54 PM, Halting Hex said:

So I guess 1/10, because since the whole premise is that Willow made herself to those she cared about, the fact that she interact with Anya means that she doesn't really give a shit about Anya.  Now there's a sentiment I can get behind!

I normally let it slide if I go back to reread a post after my edit button has vanished and I find that I accidentally omitted a word because my brain ran ahead of my typing fingers, but this time I see I've omitted two words, so I guess I'll re-publish this as originally intended.  Sorry for the gibberish it became.

Quote

So I guess 1/10, because since the whole premise is that Willow made herself INVISIBLE to those she cared about, the fact that she CAN interact with Anya means that she doesn't really give a shit about Anya.  Now there's a sentiment I can get behind!

As SNL's Frankenstein (Phil Hartman) might have said, "Words GOOOOD!" (And of course, "Fire BAAAD", but that's OT now.)  Again, sorry about my previous omissions.

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Obviously one of the worst Buffy episodes ever. I remember feeling offended after watching it back in the day. Jane Espenson should have been fired after freaking Superstar.

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I don't know if Will's a joke, per se…but I've always gotten the feeling Jane doesn't like Willow very much.  Probably just a side effect of her being handed the "Willow and Xander are Dirty Rotten Cheaters" assignment that was Band Candy for her initial outing, I don't know.

Of course, it's okay for Xander to have roving eyes, because hey, he's a guy.  (And besides, Cordelia's a bitch, right?)  But how dare Willow cheat on Perfect Oz!  (The mere fact that he tried to eat her two episodes back aside, apparently!)  Doesn't she know a good thing when she sees one?  How can Jane respect a dum-dum such as that, I ask you?

(There's not enough "sigh" in the world…)

Edited by Halting Hex

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22 minutes ago, Halting Hex said:

but I've always gotten the feeling Jane doesn't like Willow very much.

You are not alone here. I think she didn't like both Buffy's original Slayerettes.

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Perhaps initially.  But I felt that The Replacement was an acknowledgement that the writing staff had been mistreating Xander and a challenge to them to raise their game.  I think Jane meets that challenge in I Was Made to Love You, and even with the Obligatory Gay Xander Joke (arguably the best of the series, for what it's worth), in Intervention as well.  And he gets to be ridiculously brave in Triangle, whereas the treatment of Willow in that episode…well, I'm upset and I can't think of a mean word right now, but that's what Jane is!  And I'm going to the factory!

(Which, given that it's 

a. fictional

b. a burnt-out husk

c. demonstrably unsafe, as Cordelia's perforated abdomen evinces

is probably not my wisest decision.  But I never claimed to be Willow-smart, after all.)

So I don't think Jane is uniformly horrible to both Willow and Xander…only Willow is "lucky" enough to "remain constant in [Jane's] [lack of] affection" year after year, IMO.  Xander may have his flaws, but at least he's not a stinking woman, after all.  

(Seriously, your "Willow returns" episode gives her multiple scenes with Anya?  Who's so moved by the "kind of sexy" connection she and Willow make that she doesn't go with her to the cave?  Oh, joy.  Grrrr…)

Edited by Halting Hex

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8 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

But I felt that The Replacement was an acknowledgement that the writing staff had been mistreating Xander and a challenge to them to raise their game.  I think Jane meets that challenge in I Was Made to Love You, and even with the Obligatory Gay Xander Joke (arguably the best of the series, for what it's worth), in Intervention as well.  And he gets to be ridiculously brave in Triangle, whereas the treatment of Willow in that episode

They probably decided they cannot mistreat Xander alone forever (for even Bangel fans and other Xander-bashers would eventually get bored) and thought: "Hey, why don't we, uh, start abusing that Wicca too? Just to make 'em buy Buffy spreading her legs for Captain Peroxide. What else can our heroine do if both her supposed best friends suck so much, after all?". As for Triangle, I can't say I'm totally unhappy about Willow's portrayal in that ep: I actually like the way she's picking on Anya. Although nothing compares to the good old punch in the face (Doppelgangland).

8 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

So I don't think Jane is uniformly horrible to both Willow and Xander…

Maybe she isn't uniformly horrible to Xillow but none of them seem to be among Jane's favorite characters in the show. She just doesn't care about things like consistent characterization when it comes to Willow and Xander. Watching The Harvest back in the day I couldn't imagine Cordy and Angel becoming friggin' champions in the fight against evil and I sure as hell couldn't imagine Xander and Willow turning into Slayer's shadows who are either generally irrelevant or do nothing but cause trouble for St. Buffy in the span of six years...  

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5 hours ago, lembergwatcher said:

Although nothing compares to the good old punch in the face (Doppelgangland).

Quote

WILLOW:  Ow, ow, ow!  Happy, but ow!

Gotta love Will being honest enough to work that "happy" in there. 🙂

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Why would Xander boast about saving Willow/the world, seeing as he adopted a strict policy of keeping such things secret throughout the series? I mean, AFAIK, there's no evidence events like chasing off Angel (Killed by Death), bringing back Coma!Willow (Becoming, Part 2) or preventing the O'Toole's bomb from exploding (The Zeppo), i.e. all those moments the other Scoobies weren't present at, were ever revealed. Besides, the whole "yellow crayon" thing is personal, as corny as it may sound (I bet Buffy didn't recount every detail of her conversation with Angel on the Bluff from Amends even to closest friends like Willow). It should've stayed between just Xander and Willow, there was no need to share something like that with Buffy and Dawn. JMO though.  

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Well, Willow might have spilled the beans.  Buffy and Dawn presumably met up with Xillow pretty quickly after the "tampon moment", and Will was feeling pretty vulnerable, obviously.  She might have shared some details, pre-"Well, it's off to England so Giles can kill me" and all.

That said, Xander's running the story into the ground and visibly boring the Summers Sisters is a bit surprising, I'll allow.

(I wonder if Anya knows?)

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On 6/6/2020 at 9:10 PM, Halting Hex said:

(I wonder if Anya knows?)

I hope not. She's too busy with the whole vengeance thing.

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