Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | May 21, 2012

Cordia’s Review: S4, E11 – Doomed

Season 4, Episode 11
Original airing: 1/18/2000

My Rating: 46

The Not Good: Mostly this episode was pretty meh to me. I really hated the ending (see The Bad), but otherwise, I was just mildly annoyed. The Buffy and Riley dynamic is still lacking and the conclusion doesn’t make any sense. And Spike’s conversion feels very lazy upon Rewatch when viewed with a critical eye.

Buffy and Riley’s progression from “I don’t know you” to “I can’t date you” to “kiss me” is boring. Basically it boils down to Buffy yelling at Riley. And then, she’s kissing him. Presumably, she now thinks a relationship will work because he hauled her and a demon up a tiny cable with his bare hands (see The Bad). There was a massive turnaround at the end of the episode from Buffy’s rather reasonable arguments against a relationship. And it didn’t make much sense to me.

On first watch, I loved Spike’s conversion to good because I love Spike and think he’s very amusing. I still like that he’s in the show more, because I still find him to be a very enjoyable character. But the show has done a reasonably poor job with his conversion. I think the chip in his brain to keep him from harming humans is fine. What I don’t like is everyone’s determination not to kill him because…. Well… I’m not sure why. It isn’t discussed on air and so his hanging around just seems silly. In this episode, he actually tries to stake himself. Xander offers to help, but Willow (the person Spike has personally threatened twice now) says no. Why? Because they kind of know him now. Even though he’s still an evil vampire, which Spike himself points out. The show just didn’t give a convincing reason for Spike’s continued existence.

The Really Bad: The Really Bad here is definitely the ending. I don’t know what Physics class the writer took in high school, but he/she obviously needs a refresher course. The ending of this episode is just terrible. Buffy jumps into a hole, catches up to a falling demon, grabs him, arrests both of their falls on a thin cable attached to her belt, and then holds on to him while regular old human strength Riley pulls them both up barehanded. Umm…. No. There are so many things wrong with this ending it completely prevents me from suspending my disbelief and enjoying it. It’s just absurd. And then Riley makes it worse by his half-arsed attempts to lie to Willow and Xander.

Favorite Moment: I really like the moment when Spike lays into Willow and Xander about being useless to Buffy and then turns away with a very pleased smirk on his face. It’s Spike being Spike, which we haven’t gotten to see for several episodes.

The Bottom Line: This is an important episode, but not a good one. While it gives us the newly converted “Good Guy” Spike and solidifies the Buffy and Riley relationship, it does so very crudely and unenjoyably.


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