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Joe Hellandback

S07.E09: Never Leave Me

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The Good; Nice humour from Dawn and Andrew, a good fight and our first hints that Principal Wood is more than he seems

The Bad; When Spike attacks Buffy we see a glimpse of his arm reflected in the mirror as she blocks his blow

Best line; Dawn (on Buffy's illness keeping her off work) "Her exact words were 'I've got stuff coming out of both ends"

Jeez!; Spike feeding from the blood filled bag is horrible as is his little girl story. The Turok-Han is one genuinely scary beastie!

Kinky dinky; Spike (of falling in love with Buffy) "I've had to redefine the words pain and suffering since I feel in love with you". Maybe he could just hire some dominatrix or something? Or maybe Buffy played that role for him? Spike elaborates on his little girl in the coal cellar story implying that she was Dawn's age and that he did more than just kill her and her family, keeping her alive so she cried when he...because it would be no fun if she didn't cry (anyone else glad he didn't finish that story?) Spike implies that Buffy likes men who hurt her, he may be right given her track record. He also postulates that she needs that pain to do her job which is also what the First Slayer stated in Intervention and we will find out more about the Slayer's darkside in

Spoiler

'Get it done'. (Hell hath no fury...?)
 

Captain Subtext; Warren asks Andrew to feel him. Andrew like's Patrick Swayze in Ghost (Vincent Schiavelli is on Ghost and Buffy so in 1). Willow declares "Tool talk not my thing". Xander declares that he'll be 'pumping' Andrew in no time.

Guantanamo Bay; Xander and Anya torture Andrew without remorse.

Scoobies in bondage: Andrew is but he isn't a Scooby. Spike is.

Scoobies knocked out: Spike by Buffy, Willow and Anya by The Bringers

Kills: presuming that the Bringers are humans score 2 for Buffy. Presumably Xander killed the Bringer attacking Dawn? Buffy: 117 vamps, 60 demons, 6 monsters, 5 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot Giles: 8 vamps, 2 demon, 1 human/1 god. Will: 6 vamps + 3 demons +1 fawn+1 human. Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans Xander: 6 vamps, 2 zombies, 1 a demon, 1 human Anya: 1 vamp and 1 a demon Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons Spike; 9 vamps and 6 demons Buffybot; 2 vamps Tara; 1 demon Dawn; 1 vamp + 1 demon

Recurring characters killed: 13 goodbye Quentin Travers, well intentioned but out of touch (which could well be the Watcher motto?) Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara, Joyce, Katrina, Tara, Quentin Travers.

Dawn in peril; 14 yes although she's pretty capable of taking care of herself nowadays

Dawn the bashful virgin; 9

Buffy and Dawn more than sisters; Note when Buffy and Dawn are fighting the Bringers they use EXACTLY the same fighting move at the same time, again more than sisters?

Questions and observations; Anya still pretty bitter at having been stabbed by Buffy in Selfless. When Buffy says that Spike needs blood Willow suggests killing Anya. I guess Triangle didn't resolve everything. Xander comes through as knowledge guy. The Spike/Buffy scene is pivotal, she keeps him around not just because they've fought side by side and she needs him to do her job but because she's seen what he's been through in order to redeem himself. He never hated himself before he had a soul because he didn't understand the value of self-worth. Many think that the central figure of the Buffyverse is Dawn, that at heart it's all about protecting her as the innocent. But in some ways Spike also has that claim, he lost his innocence and now strives to reclaim it which is perhaps the harder path? The Watcher's Council talk of losing their files, taken by Giles or

Spoiler

Rutherford Sirk who later turns up working for Wolfram and Hart on Angel?

Note even the First Evil can't be bothered to recall Andrew's name!


We have here the end of the Watcher's Council in it's familiar form although individual Watchers such as Giles, Robson, Wes' dad etc survive

Spoiler

to help Buffy and co in season 8.

Note it's the London headquarters that are destroyed, according to Wes in Spin the Bottle the training school is in Hampshire so we should have a new generation ready to take to the field?


Marks out of 10; 8/10, season 7 kicks into high gear

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FIVE fucking Spuffy scenes, culminating in the laughable-beyond-laughable "I saw your penis, you can be a good man" line.  (No, I refuse to believe Buffy said "penance" there.  Even she's not that dumb.  She just dug the cock, that's all.)  Interrupted only by idiocy such Xander and Anya "interrogating" Andrew, complete with the requisite "Xander says something gay, haha" homophobic "joke".  How GLAAD ever held their noses and gave awards to this shit, I'll never understand.

Buffy "ties" Spike to a wooden chair.  Yeah, that'll hold him…

Willow suggests they kill Anya to get blood for Spike.  Because after Season Sux, Willow joking about her murders was apparently just what the fucking asshole who wrote this shit (Goddard) thought we needed.

The morphing villain (probably the First Evil, those priests look a bit like Bringers) sacrifices over a dozen of its henchmen to create a diversion so it can kidnap Spike and use him as a sacrifice.  Because it's not as if in this very episode we've seen that Spike is under the villain's mind-control, and they could simply have made him stroll over there, without anything resembling all this fuss.

Principal Wood finds and buries Jonathan's corpse.  I'm sure this will lead to many important plot developments later on.

Spoiler

Or it will never be mentioned again and have no value whatsoever in the storyline. One or the other.

Marks: 0/10, and well-deserved.  Yes, Willow intimidating Andrew was worth a smile, but on the other hand it means that Andrew is in the episode, so fuck that.

And while I'm glad that we get confirmation that Spike was, besides everything else, a serial rapist, it's not as if Buffy gives a shit (she wouldn't give a shit if Spike raped Dawn in the middle of the living room, let's be honest, now), so I'm not going to ditch the 0 just for that.

A turd among turds.  Bottom 10 for the whole series.  Waste of an hour I'll never get back.

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8 hours ago, Joe Hellandback said:

Guantanamo Bay; Xander and Anya torture Andrew without remorse.

Actually, it's the writers doing that to the audience by bringing this useless and unfunny character back to the show. No information he provides in this episode

Spoiler

or any future episode

couldn't have been discovered through other means. You know writers, research. Look it up.

 

7 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

Principal Wood finds and buries Jonathan's corpse.

Yeah, thanks Mr. Principal. Wonderful example you're giving the students of the school. Hide evidence of a murder. And, it turns out, the person who killed Jonathan is the same person who committed felony murder without any remorse (he was part of kidnapping Katrina and she died during the course of the kidnapping) and was also arrested for robbing the amusement park, again doing so without any remorse. These are human crimes. They can be handled by local law enforcement. If Wood was concerned about someone finding the body on school grounds on a mythical symbol, he could have moved the body off campus. The Sunnydale police are known to be deeply stupid. It likely wouldn't have occurred to them that the body was moved. Buffy and Willow and Xander should have just handed his sorry ass to them.

Edited by Loandbehold
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2 minutes ago, Loandbehold said:

Buffy and Willow and Xander should have just handed his sorry ass to them.

Do B/W/X ever learn that Robin buried the body?  Is an explanation ever given as to why he buried the body?  I confess I've forgotten the details on this. Answers under the spoiler cut, if need be, please.

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12 minutes ago, Halting Hex said:

Do B/W/X ever learn that Robin buried the body?  Is an explanation ever given as to why he buried the body?  I confess I've forgotten the details on this. Answers under the spoiler cut, if need be, please.

Spoiler

I don't recall whether they ever learned Wood buried Jonathan's body. I assume he buried it b/c he found it on the evil symbol. Even if they didn't know Wood buried the body,

they knew of Andrew's crimes.

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8 minutes ago, Loandbehold said:

Yeah, thanks Mr. Principal. Wonderful example you're giving the students of the school.

Ooh, I knew there was another reason I hated this episode…it asks us to root for school "management", taking the side of Snyder's successor against some nameless "punks".  The show used to be about understanding the journey to adulthood, sympathetic characters growing through life experience…now we are supposed to admire the "cool" authority figure, whom I was calling "Principal Plastic" (because he'd shown no depth so far) as he dealt with Those Pesky Kids.

Ugh.  Screw that.  It's really amazing how much I've forgotten of these episodes; I once got plaudits on TWoP for being able to recall the broader strokes of the plot mechanics and thus tell Sleeper from this one, for example…but there's always little details that fall out if you don't rewatch.  I'd forgotten "do you want me to kill Anya?" until someone on TWoP reminded me, and I'd forgotten the "punks" scene here, until you just triggered my memory of it.

Yay? [/Xander in The Prom]

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19 minutes ago, Loandbehold said:

they knew of Andrew's crimes.

Yes, they did. Unfortunately Andrew knew few things too (i.e. some of Willow's questionable actions at the end of the previous season). In dealing with Andrew the Scoobs had three options: 1) Tolerate him in close proximity, constantly fightin' the urge to kill him with their bare hands. 2) Actually kill him and bury the body somewhere in the Casa Summers' backyard. 3) Buy him a one-way ticket and ask to get the hell out of town. Handing Andrew over to the police wasn't a good idea since his testimony could have led to investigating Willow. And that was surely the last things the Scoobs needed at the time.

 

43 minutes ago, Halting Hex said:

it asks us to root for school "management", taking the side of Snyder's successor against some nameless "punks".  The show used to be about understanding the journey to adulthood, sympathetic characters growing through life experience…now we are supposed to admire the "cool" authority figure

  True. But does every Principal have to look (or to be portrayed) as Snyder? Principal Flutie wasn't that bad, after all. I don't think we were supposed to root for anti-establishment young hyena-possessed cannibals from The Pack rather than not so mindless, hungry and bloodthirsty authority figure.

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Obviously we weren't rooting for Flutie to be killed, but he was presented as an obstacle to Buffy, just the same.  He re-tapes her file, and threatens to (possibly) have her expelled (Welcome to the Hellmouth), he orders her to remain on school grounds and tattles on her to Joyce, resulting in her getting grounded at home, too (The Harvest), he shows Dr. Gregory her Permanent Record (referred to by Buffy in a cut line) and forces Buffy to see a grief counselor (Teacher's Pet), and even in the episode where he's all avuncular and gets munched on halfway through, he sticks Buffy on Herbert duty and bores her with stories of "how good things were when [the old guys] were my age" (The Pack).

In contrast, here Buffy's Robin's right-hand flunky, and we get scenes which are designed to do nothing but build sympathy for Robin, where he smart-asses the "punks" (who don't even get names!) and our perspective is supposed to be only with him.  There's just such a smugness to the scene that there hadn't been in principal/student interactions before. JMO.

Edited by Halting Hex

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1 hour ago, Halting Hex said:

he sticks Buffy on Herbert duty and bores her with stories of "how good things were when [the old guys] were my age" (The Pack).

"What kind of a monster is he?" :)

 

1 hour ago, Halting Hex said:

In contrast, here Buffy's Robin's right-hand flunky, and we get scenes which are designed to do nothing but build sympathy for Robin

There's a difference between Buffy the rebellious high school student and Buffy the high school employee, hence "right-hand flunky". And what if Team Joss desperately needed overtly positive black character in the show, but didn't know how to properly introduce him (thus making Robin an "authority figure")?

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On ‎13‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 9:54 AM, Halting Hex said:

FIVE fucking Spuffy scenes, culminating in the laughable-beyond-laughable "I saw your penis, you can be a good man" line.  (No, I refuse to believe Buffy said "penance" there.  Even she's not that dumb.  She just dug the cock, that's all.)  Interrupted only by idiocy such Xander and Anya "interrogating" Andrew, complete with the requisite "Xander says something gay, haha" homophobic "joke".  How GLAAD ever held their noses and gave awards to this shit, I'll never understand.

Buffy "ties" Spike to a wooden chair.  Yeah, that'll hold him…

Willow suggests they kill Anya to get blood for Spike.  Because after Season Sux, Willow joking about her murders was apparently just what the fucking asshole who wrote this shit (Goddard) thought we needed.

The morphing villain (probably the First Evil, those priests look a bit like Bringers) sacrifices over a dozen of its henchmen to create a diversion so it can kidnap Spike and use him as a sacrifice.  Because it's not as if in this very episode we've seen that Spike is under the villain's mind-control, and they could simply have made him stroll over there, without anything resembling all this fuss.

Principal Wood finds and buries Jonathan's corpse.  I'm sure this will lead to many important plot developments later on.

  Reveal hidden contents

Or it will never be mentioned again and have no value whatsoever in the storyline. One or the other.

Marks: 0/10, and well-deserved.  Yes, Willow intimidating Andrew was worth a smile, but on the other hand it means that Andrew is in the episode, so fuck that.

And while I'm glad that we get confirmation that Spike was, besides everything else, a serial rapist, it's not as if Buffy gives a shit (she wouldn't give a shit if Spike raped Dawn in the middle of the living room, let's be honest, now), so I'm not going to ditch the 0 just for that.

A turd among turds.  Bottom 10 for the whole series.  Waste of an hour I'll never get back.

That is a horrible image (made the mistake of watching a YouTube review of Black Christmas and I'm still haunted by it) and yes she would.

22 hours ago, lembergwatcher said:

and killed Willow, Xander and Giles as well... Sad but true.

Nonsense.

16 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

Do B/W/X ever learn that Robin buried the body?  Is an explanation ever given as to why he buried the body?  I confess I've forgotten the details on this. Answers under the spoiler cut, if need be, please.

In terms of the show it was 'to suggest something secret about Woods', within the narrative I would venture that he didn't want the SDPD poking around the seal?

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12 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

Obviously we weren't rooting for Flutie to be killed, but he was presented as an obstacle to Buffy, just the same.  He re-tapes her file, and threatens to (possibly) have her expelled (Welcome to the Hellmouth), he orders her to remain on school grounds and tattles on her to Joyce, resulting in her getting grounded at home, too (The Harvest), he shows Dr. Gregory her Permanent Record (referred to by Buffy in a cut line) and forces Buffy to see a grief counselor (Teacher's Pet), and even in the episode where he's all avuncular and gets munched on halfway through, he sticks Buffy on Herbert duty and bores her with stories of "how good things were when [the old guys] were my age" (The Pack).

In contrast, here Buffy's Robin's right-hand flunky, and we get scenes which are designed to do nothing but build sympathy for Robin, where he smart-asses the "punks" (who don't even get names!) and our perspective is supposed to be only with him.  There's just such a smugness to the scene that there hadn't been in principal/student interactions before. JMO.

Actually I really liked Fluties last scene with Buffy, it's their first genuinely warm moment (check out Buffy's smile) and in true Buffy style he gets killed just as he comes around to her side. 

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My pet peeve about this episode is the line where Buffy says "You don't know me. You don't even know you" to Spike, and SMG totally botches the delivery. Instead of saying "you don't even know you" she says (for some unknowable reason) "you don't even know you" and it's like nails on a chalkboard. I get that it's petty, but how could so many people not get the intent of the line?

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Nah, that sort of thing is always annoying.  I didn't notice it here (because I don't watch this one), but I've already kvetched about "What do you want, hush money?" in Phases and then there's Buffy's nightmare in Faith, Hope, and Trick, where Dream!Angel says (as he's putrefying), "Go to Hell! I did" and I'm like, FFS, David, that's supposed to be "I did", drawing the contrast between Angel (in Hell) and Buffy (who sent him there), and thus playing on her guilt.

Distracting, every time.

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On 11/13/2018 at 4:54 AM, Halting Hex said:

Willow suggests they kill Anya to get blood for Spike.  Because after Season Sux, Willow joking about her murders was apparently just what the fucking asshole who wrote this shit (Goddard) thought we needed.

And, let's not forget, Buffy seems to consider this for a moment!

Quote

BUFFY:  [Spike]'s been feasting on humans for weeks. He's having some pretty bad withdrawals. I think we need to get him some blood.

WILLOW (excited): Do you want me to kill Anya?

BUFFY (matter-of-factly) No, we should probably try to wean him off humans. He'll have to make do with animal blood. 

Now, let's forget the part where Buffy is the Champion of Humanity and Defender of Innocents and all that.  Let's ignore the part where, four episodes past, she couldn't bring herself to kill Anya (even though Anya had butchered an entire frat house) because Anya was her friend and "Lady Hacks-Away" wasn't willing to take that final step.  Let's skip the part where three episodes ago, Buffy saved Anya from D'Hoffryn's assassins and moved her into her very own house because "I don't want to lose a friend".  Let's look past how, just last episode, Buffy was focused on giving Spike every possible chance.

No, let's just realize that a multiple-murderer is excited at possibly committing another murder, and she lives in the same house as your (allegedly) ultra-precious innocent baby sister!  Oh, and the suggested target is that "strangely literal" Anya that Buffy has just gone to all that trouble to protect, twice, within the past month.  And Buffy barely blinks an eye at the Psychotic Witch's murderous suggestions.  

"(matter-of-factly)", FFS.

I mean, what's next?

Quote

(BUFFY and SPIKE are snuggling in her bed, post-sex, trying to get some sleep.

A NOISE is heard, softly through the walls)

SPIKE:  What's that?  Can't a fellow have some bloody peace around here?

DAWN (for it is her) (softly, through the wall):  Yes…yes…OH, YES!

BUFFY (yawning):  Ugh, Dawn must have "borrowed" Willow's toys again.

SPIKE:  Bloody hell.

DAWN (louder):  Oh, god, YES!  HARDER!!

BUFFY (drowsy):  So annoying.

SPIKE (annoyed):  Sod this! (gets up)

DAWN (still louder):  GIVE IT TO ME!

BUFFY (calling, weakly):  Spike?  Where are you going? 

SPIKE:  I'm going to kill the Nibblet so we can finally have some quiet.  You can bury her in the morning, I'll give the ceremony a miss, okay?

BUFFY (very sleepy):  Okay…

DAWN (really too loud):  DO ME!! DO ME RIGHT NOW!!!

BUFFY (realizing):  No, wait, don't do that.

SPIKE (disappointed):  You sure?

BUFFY: Yes, come back here.  More snuggles, please.

(Spike reluctantly gets back in bed.  Buffy presses against him)

BUFFY:  That's better.  She'll be done soon, don't worry.

DAWN (loudest yet):  YESSSSS!! YESS, BOTTY, YESS!!!  YOU'RE THE BEST SISTER EVERRR!!  AHHHHHHH!!!

(and then, immediately, complete silence)

SPIKE:  Every bleeding night.  I don't see how you stand it, Pet.

BUFFY:  She's just trying to annoy me.  G'night…

(And she's out.  Spike rolls his eyes, amazed.)
SPIKE:  Women!

(He angrily shifts against the pillows, trying to force himself asleep.  Nothing yet.  He grunts in frustration as we FADE OUT.)

It would fit right in, wouldn't it?  Murderers muttering about murder and Buffy can barely raise her voice to object.  

Is this our "new normal", now?  Bloody hell, indeed.

Edited by Halting Hex
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15 hours ago, lembergwatcher said:

To be honest I wouldn't mind sacrificing Anya. Together with Spike.

Well, I'm hardly a fan, of course.  But she is a human being (again, some more) and Buffy did seem to make affirmative choices to protect her in both 7.05 and 7.06, so "matter-of-factly" grates a bit, IMO.

Indeed, I grant you that I saw this episode once, seventeen-and-a-half years ago, but IIRC, "matter-of-factly" might be a little kind to the Buffster, here.  I thought Sarah played it as if Buffy was disappointed that she couldn't agree with Willow's murderous suggestion.

Perhaps Anya wasn't excited enough to play defense attorney last episode?  Or do we think that Spike snitched about her "seduction" attempts at Xander's and Buffy's in "Girl, you are NOT hitting on my vampire!" mode?

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12 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

Or do we think that Spike snitched about her "seduction" attempts at Xander's and Buffy's in "Girl, you are NOT hitting on my vampire!" mode?

I'm afraid Buffy would've killed Anya with her bare hands if that was the case... 

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