Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | November 24, 2011

Podcast #46: Helpless

Hi everyone,

I’m sorry about the server problems this week. They seem to have been resolved with no damage so hopefully this will just feel like we skipped a week. Now we will give you just over a week to get your feedback in for the next podcast.

Thanks for sticking with us,

Robin

Here’s the podcast for Season 3, Episode 12 – Helpless

Buffy watching Giles get fired

Buffy watching Giles get fired

Download: Helpless

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 5th December 2011 for episode thirteen of Season Three: “The Zeppo.” That’s the one where Xander tries to show that he is cool and relevant and ends up raising the dead.

Comment on this post to get your views on the podcast.

You can get your voice on the podcast by leaving a message on our voicemail 206-338-7832 (It’s a US number, so add 001 if you are elsewhere).

You could even email an audio clip to thetvcritic@gmail.com

Or you can tweet us by following the links to our twitter on the right of the page.

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Responses

  1. Cordia I’m glad we finally agree on an episode again, let’s not “bicker” again it was hurting my soul haha.

    When I first saw “The Zeppo” I hated it. I’m fairly certain I watched this episode during a marathon session of watching season 3 so I was rather annoyed with Xander, I wasn’t quite sure why, I was just really annoyed by Xander and anytime he was on screen I just felt an emotional detachment because I just didn’t want to spend time with Xander because I didn’t care about him. So given the fact that “The Zeppo” almost completely revolves around Xander I pretty much couldn’t help but hate it at the time. Now watching it with a bit of reflection and (as anyone who has read my review knows) a better understanding of my Xander hate, I actually really enjoyed. That’s not to say that it doesn’t logical flaws and I find the dead gang themselves to rather silly (in a bad way) which both take me out of the episode and Cordelia is really nothing more than a plot device but it is one of the show’s better “comedy” episodes.

    The Good Stuff: While Xander has some of his greatest lines in this episode something I’ll get to later. The funniest parts of this episode for me are in the B storyline of the latest “worst apocalypse yet”. If you accept this as the Buffy writers parodying themselves (as I do) then this stuff is just hilarious. I do like the dramatic episodes with comedy splashed in more but it’s hard for me not to laugh and thoroughly enjoy these snippets. It’s no secret that I am a fan of Buffy/Angel but the scene with the two of that Xander interrupts is so over the top and soapy that it’s so funny to me. I’m pretty sure that many people at the time thought that all the scenes between Buffy and Angel were this melodramatic so I admire the fact that the writers took that and embraced it. In fact I enjoy all these B storyline because it’s the writers taking their most dramatic material and poking fun at it, but it doesn’t make me aware that I’m watching a TV show, it feels natural because this episode is focusing on Xander.
    The whole battle with the Hellmouth monster juxtaposed with Xander’s frantic search for the bomb is also really entertaining. When Buffy gets thrown out and rushes back in screaming at Faith to go for the heart I actually cracked up laughing out loud. The episode does take a shift in tone at the end when the Scoobies sans Xander, Faith and Angel are discussing the previous night’s events, but it is kind of interesting when Willow says no one else will know how close they came to it all ending. The implication here is that the Scoobies won’t know about Xander’s adventures but it I think it also applies to Sunnydale at large the Scoobies fight and save the world and the majority of humanity never even realizes it.

    Moving onto Xander, I’m not a fan of the plot itself, it’s rather asinine but Xander does have some great lines. I am vaguely aware with Superman but the Jimmy Olsen jokes were delivered with such gusto that it still made me laugh. And while Jack is rather unfulfilling bad guy and not in any way threatening Xander’s jokes about Kathy the knife are equally funny if not more so, some may argue that it’s hard to believe that Xander would be so witty with a knife against his throat, but as some one who tends to crack jokes when I’m uncomfortable this was completely believable. Speaking of similarities between Xander and myself in this episode while I’m not a fan of Xander’s and Faith’s sexcapades my favorite line of the episode is Xander talking about nakedness and relaxation being antithetical, me too, buddy, me too.

    The Bad Stuff: Unless you are killed by a vampire if you killed in the Buffyverse you should stay dead. In fact in any work of fiction dead should mean dead. Recent episodes you guys have taken about where you draw the line on a supernatural show and this is the line for me. So this is my main problem with the dead gang, I don’t like resurrection stories especially when they are treated as lightly as they are in “The Zeppo”. Say a few words, sprinkle some blood, marinate for eight months should not be the instant recipe for a zombie. Even if I was okay with the zombie gang, their motives are never explained and they were so annoying especially the beer wanting letterman jacket (I don’t think his name was given and even if it was I hated him so much that I’d ignore it anyway). Also the car broad (also not even going to bother to learn her name) she doesn’t scream when the body comes out of the dirt yet she runs in terror when they hug. “Reanimated corpses are fine but I draw the line at displays of affection”.

    The Xander and Faith sex bothered me more on my first and previous viewing and while I still have issues with it doesn’t bother me as much. It is rather random, it’s not completely out of the blue since we know that Faith is like this after violent encounters and given what overall we know about Faith but I don’t buy the fact that she’d choose Xander. (Sidenote: Am I only one who assumed that Xander and Cordelia were having sex when they were together?)
    The biggest issue is the fact that everyone choose to sit Xander out because they are afraid he’ll hurt himself, at this point in the series that doesn’t make sense. Xander has been involved in many end of the world situations and he has only ever injured himself last year when he broke his arm so it’s very hard to believe that they don’t want him around this time. It would make more sense if Xander was somehow a liability or if he messed up the fight earlier in the episode but there is really no reason given for Xander’s exclusion other than his perceived weakness by the group and Xander’s always been this way so it seems silly that the Scoobies would suddenly start caring.

    Again Cordelia barely plays a role in this episode and is only there to make Xander feel useless. She wasn’t really used effectively last week in Helpless either so it worries me. The writers seem to be struggle to find a way to incorporate Cordelia in the stories week to week because she can’t be their in the same fashion as before, my hope is they find a way to incorporate Cordelia better rather than just let her sit on sidelines, be bitchy in a scene, go away, come in crack some jokes, go away again. Either fully include her or get rid of her completely, it’s a disservice to the character to have her in this ancillary position.
    Best Moment: However not being said Cordelia is apart of my favorite moment of the episode and like last week it’s a quick one. When Cordelia walks up to Xander at the end of the episode and starts to taunt him again, we’d except Xander to get all defensive yet he doesn’t he just walks away. To me this says that we know have a new highly evolved mature Xander Harris and maybe I won’t have to write another Xander Douche-Watch section for awhile.

    (Didn’t know really where to include this in this comment but I think Nicholas Brendon is a great actor and listening to him in interviews this is just his personality but am I wrong for thinking that when he gets really quippy he seems to be doing an impression of Matthew Perry as Chandler from Friends)

  2. And honestly now that I seriously consider it I do have a great idea for Xander is a Douche T-shirts

  3. I really dislike The Zeppo. So, let’s skip it? ;o)
    Well, I like the idea of the plot, but I don’t like how they handled it. However there’s a scene I like: at the end of the episode when Cordelia again makes a snappy comment but Xander ignores her. That’s all, can’t wait for the next episode 🙂

  4. OK. Robin and especially Cordia, can you stand just one more comment about Amends? It’s something that I don’t think has been addressed. There is a huge similarity here to an event that transpires in my all time favorite movie – Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. An usual occurrence happens, I won’t spoil it in case you have not seen the movie, and we see how each of the characters are affected by viewing this- just like the bizarre snowstorm. Joss has said many times that he loves Paul Thomas Anderson’s work and has been influenced by him. (I will discuss more in the future!) So it’s not just Buffy and Angel, but every main character is a witness to this “miracle” and we as viewers are left to wonder how this event affects them. It’s not just about Angel not burning up! And obviously, I highly recommend Magnolia and all of PTA’s other movies.

    Still really enjoying the podcast!
    Shelley


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