Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | October 9, 2011

Robin’s Review: S3, E6 – Band Candy

Synopsis: Mr Trick hires Ethan Rayne to produce candy for Sunnydale High’s band fundraiser. The candy makes the adult population of the town revert to their teenage selves. Buffy is disturbed by all the reckless behaviour and particularly by Giles and Joyce making out. Meanwhile Angel continues to recover and Xander and Willow find moments to secretly touch.

The Good: This was less crowded than the last few episodes have been. The band candy storyline was able to come to the fore and serve an important purpose.

That purpose was to give us a better understanding of the Mayor and the analogy behind him. The Mayor opens his drinks cabinet to reveal a large collection of occult items. It would seem that in order to gain and keep power he has done many deals with the demons who occupy the hellmouth. It makes sense in the Buffyverse that a human might do this in order to navigate the dangerous vampire-infested waters of Sunnydale. But the analogy is clear too. We know that politicians have to make important compromises in order to both be elected and to govern. They have to raise money, make deals, manipulate their image and cooperate with those they may not like. Some politicians might even ‘make a deal with the devil’ to get power and that seems like Mayor Wilkins. Here we see him literally sacrificing the children in order to stay in power. It’s a clever analogy and makes the Mayor a lot more intriguing than the average demon.

The band candy story was simple and fun. I liked the way the clues appeared about the candy, particularly the way the adults began to speak differently before it was apparent what was really going on. The adults all acting out and imitating teenagers was then easy comedy. I particularly liked the shot of a mail man opening letters and reading them. Giles clearly enjoyed playing a young thug and he made the most of his role. He and Joyce’s relationship was well written and suitably disturbing to Buffy. Mr Trick continues to be a fun foil for her and I like that he remains all talk and runs as soon as he can.

Angel continues to heal slowly and we got a nice scene where he and Buffy uneasily begin to think about what will happen once he doesn’t need her any more. We got two nice moments where Xander and Willow’s newfound affection expressed itself including a great comedy pull apart in class when Cordelia looked round at them. It was nice to remind us of normal school life with the SATs looming in the background of the story.

The episode ends on a very nice note as it would seem Giles and Joyce may have done more than kiss during their time under the influence of candy.

The Bad: The story never became more than it was. It never became exciting, interesting or dramatic. It was always a comedy plot and the introduction of babies (as the tribute) only confirmed this. There was no way the show was going to deal with a tragedy like that. I didn’t feel the comedy was particularly well executed. Snyder and Joyce played their roles broadly and a lot of the antics going on strayed into “drunk acting” territory.

The Unknown: Where was Faith during all this? Ethan Rayne made a somewhat pointless return here as Mr Trick’s contact. I guess it suits his background to be around providing mischief but we don’t learn what happens to him. Do we assume he just ran away again? I sort of liked the idea that Giles and Joyce are scheduling Buffy’s time carefully to try and monitor her. That makes sense after she ran away. However it has been several episodes since anything like that was mentioned so it felt slightly out of sequence.

Best Moment: I really liked the scene where Willow and Xander play footsy in class. Neither of them seem to want to lose their current partner and so this was one of those ‘we’re not doing anything too bad’ moments. I thought that suited them perfectly and the way their limbs became more entangled was actually very well acted. Cordelia, sitting on the desk in front of them, suddenly wheels around and says “I can’t believe this!” The two of them hastily pull apart knocking the whole desk in an unnecessary guilty motion. It was a wonderfully constructed moment.

The Bottom Line: This was better than the last couple of episodes. It felt focussed and was entertaining.

65/100

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Responses

  1. I liked “Revelations” very much. (I’m not certain where to post my opinions about upcoming episodes, so please redirect me if I am mistaken.)
    I had been expecting an episode like this ever since Angel reappeared. I think that the tense confrontation at the library was very well done. Xander once again used Jenny as a martyr, which visibly upset most of the group. I felt bad that that’s what Jenny had become to several of the Scoobies; a symbol of Angelus’ wrongdoings. Even the title sequence uses the brief flash of her death scene only to remind viewers that no character is safe; that others could be next.
    Great job on the review this week, guys!


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