Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | January 15, 2012

Podcast #51: Enemies

Here’s the podcast for Season 3, Episode 17 – Enemies

Ninja Demon

Ninja Demon

Download: Enemies

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 23rd January 2011 for episode eighteen of Season Three: “Earshot.” That’s the one where Buffy begins to hear people’s thoughts.

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  1. Maybe I didn’t like Buffy/Angel scene last episode because I was remembering this episode where Buffy doesn’t seem to bothered by the fact that it “Angelus” was around but that she was jealous of Faith which is just dumb, thankfully that got dispelled early in the episode and wasn’t really revisited.

    The Good:

    Overall this was incredibly solid episode, especially the last scene between Jonathan and Buffy in the clock tower. I’m forgoing a best moment section of this review because so much of what I love about this episode is this scene. I think it’s incredibly clever that they use Jonathan to be the character that is going to kill himself, because he has been the random person who has been a number of scenes and they cut to him to have some kind of comical reaction. What I love is that they don’t leave him at that and give him a psychology and the fact that he has been just this background character show and in the life of the show has had a negative impact on him. I also think she is one of Buffy’s best speeches (god knows that they are a lot of them) and it succinctly wraps up how emotional high school can be just not for the “losers” but the “pretty” people.

    There was a lot humor in this episode with having Buffy read people’s thoughts. Listening to Oz’s thoughts, the fact that Cordelia says exactly what she is thinking, Buffy listening to the thoughts of the boys of Sunnydale High and Buffy finding about Joyce and Giles having sex are all some comic highlights. I like that the episode does take a turn from the comedy and deals with the actual awfulness of being privy to everyone’s thoughts.

    The Bad aka Xander is a Douche and Why is Cordelia still on the show?:

    That being said there are moments in this episode that really loses me and keeps it from being excellent and they arrive in both Cordelia and Xander.

    I’m willing to forgive Xander’s jealously over Cordelia and Wesley, even though it is a bit sudden because it is understandable but what I can’t excuse is his sudden abandonment of finding the killer over Jell-o. Maybe it’s because I have an irrational hatred of Jell-O, that’s just me though I prefer my food to be stationary and to not feel like it’s fighting me while I try to ingest it, seriously Jell-O is god awful, but really any food is an awful reason to abandon to a search for a killer.

    And then there’s Cordelia who doesn’t really clash with the episode, she doesn’t feel shoehorned into the episode (compared to other episodes) and I enjoyed her at moments, but then a lot of other times she is season 1 awful. Now Cordelia of season 3 doesn’t really have a filter but she has grown a lot since season 1 and seems to get some gratification from helping people. In this episode though she seems really disinterested and very concerned with herself especially once she reads Jonathan’s note, not only is a horrible thing to say but it isn’t funny. She is being completely wasted.


    I love how this episode mixes the supernatural with
    a truthful emotion of hurt. Everybody hurts, feels pain
    but not in the same way as each other.

    Of course, with this being Buffy The Vampire Slayer,
    it has it’s own Sunnydale-twist to it. Through Buffy we
    hear the inner most thoughts of teenagers which exist
    within us all.

    This episode deals with an issue that has been a serious
    situation in US, school terror and mass murder. Portrayed
    excellently in a clock tower scene between Buffy and Jonathan.
    Buffy’s truthful proclamation that she doesn’t think much
    about him at all, nobody does. They are all too busy with
    their own pain and worries to look too closely at anyone
    else. No matter who you are or where you come from pain
    is a quintessential trait that is within all of us.

    The mixture of the supernatural allowed Buffy to be empathetic
    for a few hours, to understand the pain in one person is so quiet
    it goes by without notice to another.

    I like the analogy that a person’s mind is so loud and busy that
    an overload would be hard to cope with. The writing in this episode
    is amazing. The comedy within the script makes a great episode
    that doesn’t overshadow the profound topic it addresses nor does
    it take itself too seriously in the supernatural side.

    P.S – The only problem I had with this episode was the fact that
    Jonathan was going to use a sniper rifle to kill himself. Talk about
    going out with a BIG bang. Can you even shoot yourself with a
    gun that big? It seemed a little too unrealistic.

    • Mike hit on something that I completely forgot to mention the sniper rifle. There is no way in hell that Johnathan could manage to shoot himself with that gun, that fact is really just misdirection for the audience.

  3. In the commentary on this episode they said Earshot was delayed because the Clumbine High School incidents happened a week before this episode was originally scheduled to air.

    I didn’t remember that I actually really liked this episode. There were a lot of fun lines. I get a little bored by the Angel/Buffy stuff but to be fair I’m not a big of them anyway.

    I laughed when the guy in the school thinks that one day his pants are going to fall off. The scene in the library when BUffy tells that she can read minds is so funny, it’s very telling of all the characters. I think Fred and JOnathan are a good mislead. I also like t hat the writers took Jonathan and not some random student.

    My favourite scene is when Buffy discovers that her mother slept with Giles in BAnd Candy. When watching this episode first I was really surprised because in Band Candy I thought they were just kissing 😉

    Giles walking into a tree after Buffy told him that she knew that he slept with her mother was Anthony Stewart HEad’s idea. But he never thought Whedon would let him do that.

    When Buffy does the flip to get on top of the building near Jonathan, her shirt (with polo neck) is not the same one that she is wearing before and after (crew neck) she does the flip.

    Buffy’s trousers at the beginning: ugh! ;(

  4. The Good:
    Overall, I enjoyed “Earshot” upon my re-watch. I forgot exactly how much the Scooby Gang and the students at the school were featured, and it was a pleasant surprise to see all of these minor characters get more screen time. Not every character’s joke worked for me (I’m talking to you, Smart Girl In Class), but the episode reminded the viewers that Sunnydale High’s students are real people who are in real danger come graduation day.

    It was nice to see so many internal references. Percy’s tutoring, Willow’s Buffy/Angel advice, and the Joyce and Giles’ tryst kept me entertained and immersed in the Buffy-verse.

    I liked the twist between the two ‘Clue’ reveals, though maybe it was because I clearly remembered the “Jonathan, in the bell tower, with the rifle” ending, but I forgot about the “lunch lady in the kitchen with the rat poison” ending.

    The episode coda with Giles walking into the tree was great.

    The Bad:
    The “Scabby Demon” costumes were sub-par. The costume design was sound and the concept drawing from the research book looked creepy, but the actual costumes looked like a stuntman wearing bodysuits and a latex masks.

    I still don’t feel any spark between Buffy and Angel. Maybe this is intentional to show the relationship can’t progress, but I’m starting to think it is a problem with the writing, directing, acting, and/or editing. I think Angel’s Scabby Demon hunt and sunlight delivery do more to show his feelings for Buffy than when the two look longingly into each other’s eyes.

    I didn’t feel the tension in Buffy’s rush to get to the bell tower. The way it was edited seemed like it was showing off the stuntman’s upper body strength instead of building tension. Ditto with the “busting through the bell tower window” entrance. Buffy’s speech with the episode’s Everyone Has Problems moral felt a little heavy-handed, though I did like how she let Jonathan give her the gun instead of just yanking it away.

    I didn’t buy that Xander loved Jell-o so much that he stopped his frantic search for a killer for a quick snack. Plus, he could spot the Jell-o from across the cafeteria, but he had to go into the kitchen in order to actually get a bowl?

    The Odd:
    Jonathan is short. The rifle is long. It is possible for him to kill himself with it, but the logistics don’t make this very easy.

    Favorite Moment:
    I almost chose the interrogation montage, but I had to pick the scene where Buffy read the minds of the Scooby Gang as my favorite moment. The writers created internal dialogues that were unique to each character and funny at the same time. Oz’s philosophical musings and Cordelia’s thought-to-mouth pipeline were my favorites because they worked separately and acted as counter-points to each other. I only wish that we “heard” more of what Giles was thinking, though he may have been using the mind-clearing techniques that Wesley suggested.

  5. I’m a few years late but catching up fast.

    My main problem with Enemies was always the demon ninja, who just seemed to come out of nowhere. If Giles has demon ninja sorceress who owe him favors, why did we never see it before or a

    • … since? And if the demon ninja is meeting with the Mayor, why doesn’t the ninja just figure out what the Mayor is up to.

      This ep would have been more effective, but much darker, if Angel had actually slept with Faith to set up the ruse. It would certainly set up a better foundation for the drama at the end. I wonder if the original script was pitched that way but rejected as soon too much damage to the Buffy/Angel relationship.

      • It’s a little cliche, but you can see a fake out story that doesn’t require the demon ninja – Faith tries to seduce Angel, he turns her away, then he and Buffy have a blow out breakup, he gets drunk, sleeps with Faith, and from there, things play out as necessary. It would depend on convincing the audience that Angel would actually do that, but would eliminate the extraneous six or seven plot holes that the demon ninja introduces.

  6. I’ve been going through and listening to old episodes of the rewatch because I get bored driving around for work. Clearly I enjoy the podcast because I listen to them more than once :). I just had to comment because in this episode Cordia says something about seeing familiar faces in this ep and that it would be nice to see Amy back along with the other usual suspects. Just wanted to remind you that Amy was already a rat by this point!

  7. I’ve been going back to older podcasts I skipped before when I was trying to catch up and just listened to this one.
    It’s obvious that Angel is not really evil in this episode because he’s not wearing the nude lipstick he seems to put on throughout the end of season 2 (and I finally figured out why I always thought that Angelus’s face looked weirdly different than Angel’s).

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