Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | June 12, 2012

Podcast #70: Goodbye Iowa

Here’s the podcast for Season 4, Episode 14 – Goodbye Iowa



Download: Goodbye Iowa

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 18th June 2012 for episode fifteen of Season Four: “This Years Girl (1).” That’s the one where Faith wakes up.

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    She’s baaaaaaack!

    While season 4 has been a very lackluster season,
    there are a very few episodes which make it somewhat

    This is one of those episodes. Faith is back! And I
    couldn’t be happier. Hell hath no fury like a slayer
    scorned, and boy oh boy, is she pissed off!

    First, let me start off to say that I loved Faith’s dream
    sequences. It was interesting to see how she,
    subconciously, viewed Buffy. Faith is portraying Buffy
    as the murderer who ruined her home and happiness.
    According to Faith, Buffy is the villain and not her.
    It shows how damaged she is. Only when she fights
    Buffy, and wins, is when she finally wakes up from her

    We all knew Faith would return at some point.
    She’s simply too amazing a character to not be brought back.
    Her return is everthing you could want; shocking, brutal and
    brilliant. Eliza Dushku is looking hotter than ever and
    completely steals the show all the way throughout.
    She brought an energy and spark to Season Three, not to
    mention a sexiness. This energy has been missing so far
    during Season Four so it’s great to have her back!.

    When Faith does wake up, it’s nothing short of spectacular.
    Learning everything that has happened while she’s been in
    a coma was shocking for her. It was kind of sad watching
    Faith wander around town seeing a Sunnydale that was
    not supposed to be, at least in her mind. She realized that
    she lost her father figure in the Mayor. He was the one person
    who she felt cared for her without any expectations of who he
    thought she should be. He accepted Faith for who she was.
    Nothing more, nothing less.

    I felt really bad for Faith, as she watched the videotape of the
    Mayor’s “message from beyond the grave.” It was quite touching
    as you can see how much they truly cared for each other.

    When Buffy and Faith have their long awaited confrontation,
    it’s very satisfactory. We get a taste of it at the college and it’s
    definitely brilliant; tense is the word. I always laugh where
    Willow hits Faith with her backpack. Willow is a powerful
    witch and all she can do is hit her with her backpack?
    I guess she did it more as a distraction, but it always
    gets a chuckle out of me.

    The scenes with Joyce in Buffy’s house are excellent as well;
    the first time Faith really opens up and ironically it’s just as she’s
    about to kill someone. Her rant about Buffy moving on and
    forgetting the people that matter is quite shocking and
    revealing; what Faith has always wanted is Buffy’s acceptance
    and since she feels she can’t have it, she decided she’ll take
    her life. Literally.

    The fight scene at the house was crazy brutal. Every blow felt
    important. The stunt work was brilliant and that was some
    serious property damage.

    The twist at the end was truly shocking; magnificently played by
    Sarah who captured Faith’s psychotic streak with ease with the
    chilling line “Five by five”.

    It was a classic Buffy moment.

  2. This comment may be a little confusing..I commute to work and on the train I have a lot of time to think about certain Buffy episodes and every time a thought comes to my mind I write it down and at the end of the week I try to put it in chronological order 😉

    This is the first episode in which we see a dream sequence from Faith’s perspective. This episode explores Buffy and Faith’s relationship from Faith’s perspective, as well as Faith’s perspective of her relationship with the Mayor. Faith’s dream sequences depict her vision of the way her life was, in which she is a normal girl who is loved by a father (the Mayor), and her belief that Buffy is the monster who ruined it all. In Faith’s third and final dream sequence, Faith finally defeats Buffy and wakes from her coma. I like this scene when Faith falls into the grave and looks up to Buffy. It’s kind of poetic with the sad music. I think this is also my favourite moment.

    I really felt sorry for Faith when she woke up in the hospital and talked with the girl and all her dreams destroyed. For her it must feel like she woke up in hell. Her inner life is getting really interesting now.

    I like the dialogue between Tara and Willow about Faith (W: “She’s like this cleavagey slutbomb walking around going ‘Ooh. Check me out, I’m wicked cool. I’m five by five.'” T: “Five by five? Five what by five what?” W: “See, that’s the thing. No one knows.”)

    Love the ending…it was such a shocking moment, when Buffy/Faith says “Five by five” and SMG played it really well. A good episode and I enjoyed watching it.

    What does Prof. Walsh want? Build a super-soldier or an army of super-soldiers? But when she learns that one already exists, the Slayer, she still sticks to her project 314 instead of trying to ally with her. She refuses to cooperate with her because Buffy doesn’t follow orders. Walsh’s faith that she alone knows what’s in the best interest of the greater good places everyone in danger. Or she’s just crazy 😉

    I don’t think Adam is a Big Bad. Because all the other big bads where intentionally evil on a physical and emotional way. But Adam is just an artificial “thing” that was created with flaws. He is the creation of a governmental organization that has only three purposes when it comes to demons: exploration, domestication, use for military purposes. The Initiative represents the terror and charm of a gigantic scientific state apparat which is not established for the common good.

    Fashion: Willow’s hat is awful (but it matches with Xander’s strange sweater vest)!

    Right before Buffy finds the demon hanging from the trees, you can see someone in the bushes to her right. It appears to be a boom microphone operator.

    A New Man (according to a question in your podcast):
    I did a little research and found a forum where someone posted how many vampires/demons Buffy killed since season 1 to the beginning of season 7:
    Vamps 117
    demons 60
    others 14

  3. This Year’s Girl:

    Boring Riley continues to be boring, even though his dilemma about whether he should continue to be a part of the initiative and work inside the miliatary organisation could have been really interesting, if, for instance, either the actor or the writers had put some passion into it. My (limited) understanding of Special Ops training is that it is a very elite group of soldiers who could not possibly get through the harsh training without having complete commitment, focus and drive, whereas Riley displays all the angst of someone who is thinking of quitting his minimum wage summer job. I would continue to rant but, yawn, I’m too bored.

    Note that I’m only being so harsh because of the high standard ‘Buffy’ normally sets.

    I thought telling part of the episode from Faith’s point of view worked really well. Even though she was an amoral, murderous freak, I felt sad for her, and felt the loss of her relationship with her amoral, murderous mentor. I appreciated the mayor as a villian and enjoyed seeing him again. Still, as soon as Faith goes after Joyce, my sympathy evaporated.

    There were funny bits, Xander getting zapped by the blaster, and the scene with Giles, Xander, and Spike in the alley.

    Overall a well paced episode with a great twist ending.

  4. The Buffy Rewatch

    “This Year’s Girl”


    First things first I don’t think enough can be said about Eliza Dushku’s acting in this episode. I know Cordie has always had a thing against her, but I feel this episode does such a good job fleshing out an already interesting character. (And Dollhouse is good, albeit not great, I don’t care what anybody says.)

    The Good

    The opening to this episode is fantastic. The idea that while Faith is in a coma she keeps having slayer dreams where Buffy is stalking and killing her gives us more understanding to her motivation. Also seeing Richard Wilkens back was nice. Great acting and he is just so darn loving with his evil craziness.

    Sarah Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku always have great chemistry on screen. Plus I always felt they had the best fight scenes in the series. Maybe the fact that they’re equal matches w/ different fighting styles always kept me engaged. Plus I don’t know what it was about this episode but I guess the more clothing and quick cuts kept me from trying to spot the body doubles as much.

    The Bad

    I really have only a couple of complaints about this episode. When Sarah Michelle Gellar says “five by five” she has this wide eyed crazy look that always looked cheesy and over the top to me.

    Also we saw the return of Willow’s bad hats

    I got tired of the shots of Faith moving her eyes while dreaming. Left me going “I get it all ready.”

    All the Riley stuff is okay, but I just can’t ever get into this character. He’s just so boring!

    Favorite Moment

    My favorite scene is Faith watching the Mayor’s tape. I believe every emotion conveyed on Eliza’s face. It’s disturbing and heartbreaking all at the same time.

    Favorite line: Buffy: “These are innocent people!” Faith: “no such animal”

    Bottom Line

    “This Year’s Girl” is a really good retrospective look at how much has changed in just the last 15 episodes.This is also the moment that I felt like things turned around on an otherwise mediocre season. We finally have set up the big bad and now interesting things are actually happening.

    Overall I think this episode does a fantastic job setting up the next episode. Can’t wait to hear yall’s thoughts.

  5. Hey there! I just started listening to your podcast a few weeks ago and I have already just about caught up! I listen to them while at work, so I get in like 5 a day so it makes catching up speedy! I really like hearing everyone’s different opinions on the show, it’s so interesting!

    One thing I thought I would share, even though it makes me look a tad stupid, is that I would keep hearing Robin say it’s a pattern. Well with his accent, at first I thought he was saying it’s like a Patton, and I kept thinking of that General guy! Then I thought, he was saying patent, like Buffy had a patent on something… Neither made sense, and I figured it out now, so yay!

    It looks like you guys are about to review This Years Girl next, and I really do like this episode! I like that during season 4 they kept putting in little tid bits about Faith to remind us that she was still around. For instance, Willow mentioned Verucca dressed like Faith. And at one point, Buffy mentioned her as well. One thing about this show is that they always seemed to plan ahead, and I really love that aspect! I have to say my favorite parts in this episode is when Willow is describing Faith to Tara, and when Xander describes Faith to Spike. Both are hilarious! I enjoy that they show Faith still wanting revenge after she wakes up. Buffy has basically moved on from her Faith Hate because its been sometime since she landed Faith in a coma, but for Faith it must feel like it was yesterday. Plus, Slayer fight scenes are always a plus!

  6. Hello! I tried to send you a voice clip but I had a bit of a problem with my phone, so I hope it sent ok. I had to do it in two parts. In regards to the short story comp I am I have been told that some of the instruction I gave out were a bit confusing so I have a “For dummies” instruction that I created.
    1.Go to the app store and search for Ether
    2. Download the app
    3. Once it has downloaded open the app and skip the section about entering your email.
    4. Search for Karla or The Box
    5. Click on the Story
    6. Click FREE and then DOWNLOAD
    7. Enjoy the story!

    Thanks Again for letting me post it on here. As always looking forward to the podcast, have loved the Faith episodes!


  7. Oh! Yesterday I posted a comment and forgot to add… Since I just listened to all the podcasts, even the very first ones are still fresh in my head. And one thing that always got me is Robin’s love for Luke… and the Judge sorta…. It cracks me up because the guy who plays Luke is “Buffalo Bob” in Joe Dirt! “It puts the lotion on!”

  8. This Year’s Girl

    Love this ep! First, it is a nice break from Adam and the Initiative, but more importantly we get Faith back!

    The dream sequences Faith has do a good job of setting up how Faith views Buffy, how she sees herself and exactly what Faith’s vendetta is. I like the sequence where Faith and the Mayor are having a picnic. When the mayor picks up the snake and says “I don’t know where you belong, but it’s not here with us” it’s like Faith’s subconscious is acknowledging that the mayor and his plan were evil and if he hadn’t wanted to turn into a giant snake and destroy Sunnydale she could have had the kind of life and father figure she always wanted. It makes her feeling of loss all the more intense when she wakes up and discovers he is dead and no one seems to care that she is in the dark basement of some hospital where no one seems to work (and how lost WAS that girl to wind up there asking Faith for directions?).

    The voice-over of Buffy saying “You know I never stopped thinking about you” is interesting because we see Faith walking out of the hospital, but she’s talking to Riley. Much has been said about the subtext of that scene, but I think it just highlights how Buffy and Faith are entwined in ways that can never be undone. Buffy will always feel responsible for Faith and Faith will always be seeking Buffy’s approval or the kind of acceptance and approval Buffy gets from Giles and the Scoobies. Like it or not, each will always have to deal with the other as long as they both live.

    The scene where Buffy and Willow come up on Faith at the community board on campus is one of my favorite scenes. The feeling of tension is palpable and you just know they are going to fight. I love the stillness of Buffy and how Faith can’t stand still for a second. Both the writing and the acting in that scene were spot-on and conveyed the current state of their relationship perfectly.

    My least favorite part of the episode is the scene where Buffy tries to talk to Riley about Faith. The goofy grin on his face makes me crazy. He doesn’t get that even though Slayers are girls they can be really, really dangerous. Buffy doesn’t help much by obviously withholding information from him. “Oh, yeah, I did try to kill her so my vampire boyfriend could feed on her after she shot him with a poison arrow.” Again, why are they together?

    The final moment of the episode when Joyce asks Buffy if she’s ok and we see Buffy looking at Faith and she says “Five by five” it sends chills. Even if you already knew what had happened when they clasped hands, the way Sarah Michelle Gellar delivers that line is positively creepy and leaves you on pins and needles until the next episode.

    All in all I really enjoyed this episode and especially the performances from Sarah Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku. Even when they are not saying any lines, they do a great job of conveying exactly what they are thinking and feeling.

  9. The Good
    I love that Giles is folding Xander’s clothes while they are working on the blaster. It just seems like a very Giles thing to do.

    The dream sequences have a lot to examine, and the symbolism in them hit the spo. Having the Mayor hold the snake portrayed his easygoing personality, told new audience members that he was “evil”, and also reminded us that he turned into a giant snake demon. I also like that Faith’s dreams showed us her perspective of last year’s events. The Mayor was someone who wanted to be with Faith as much as she wanted to be with him, but Buffy took that away from her. Faith doesn’t see herself as “evil” opposing Buffy’s “good”, she just sees Buffy as her enemy because the Scoobies worked to oppose the Mayor’s goals. Faith’s Shawshank Redemption moment in the rain after defeating Buffy in the grave was very empowering, and I rooted for Faith to take control of herself again.

    Speaking of movies, Adam’s demon vivisection was straight out Silence of the Lambs. It was incredibly creepy and gross, especially since it happened so recently that the corpse was still steaming. I’m surprised that got by the TV censors.

    Revealing the nurse as an informant reminded me of the overarching Buffy theme of female empowerment. At first we think that she’s just an older nurse that is very proud of the job she does, upset that her patient is missing, and defensive because she didn’t want to be blamed. Instead, we find out that she is working undercover to do what she thinks is right, just like Buffy.

    A previous rant, revisited: OMG, they FINALLY showed Sunnydale High destroyed! What did I say during that Season III Season Finale comments? “The shot of the ruined school: Or the lack thereof. The Scoobies are staring right past the camera at it, but we never see the burned-out husk of the school. Giles waxes poetic about it and Oz asks everyone (viewers included) “take a moment.” Just show it to me!” And they finally did…15 episodes later.

    I enjoyed Willow’s handbag attack while Buffy and Faith are fighting. It reminded me that Willow confronted Faith repeatedly when she was kidnapped at the end of Season III.

    Giles and Xander’s patrol scene started off as bad as Willow and Tara’s, but it got better the longer it went on. I love Giles’ shoulder shrug as he’s cautiously walking down the alley. It was very subtle sign of how tense he was. And, of course, Spike stole the scene once again. “Try to remember that I hate you all.” I also like low-angle rack-zoom when he walked out of the alley.

    Finally, the video from the Mayor was great. It reinforced the father-daughter relationship seen in Faith’s dream sequences, but it also demonstrated how much of a tactician he was. The Mayor put a contingency plan in place in case Buffy beat him, but he also muses about the video being shown at a museum if he succeeded in ascending and taking over Sunnydale. This type of consistency in character, despite not being on-screen for half a season, is one of the reasons why BTVS is such a good TV show.

    Xander’s frustration and self-electrocuting with the blaster just didn’t play. A) I saw it coming and B) I think I could make that prop in my garage. If it had a million wires sticking out of it and looked cool, maybe I’d feel differently.

    The scene where Willow and Tara looked for Faith felt like filler. It didn’t advance the plot, and it just showed that Willow is afraid of Faith. Unfortunately, that undermines Willow’s bravery when she attacked Faith with her handbag earlier. Willow standing up to Faith last season was a big moment for her character, so this felt like character regression, especially when compared to the Mayor’s video.
    Sunnydale must have the least observant police ever. How did they miss Faith’s feet climbing a ladder in their spotlight? Oh, and let’s not forget the body lying on the ground 10 feet away!

    The Weird
    Who is the “Little Sister” that Buffy and Faith are making the bed for in the dream sequence? I don’t want to throw it away as random dream dialogue because everything else in the dreams made sense.

    Favorite Moment
    The Buffy/Faith fight at the end was brutal and physical. They burst through windows, fell down stairs, broke through glass doors, and did a lot of damage to themselves and the house. This scene felt like a scene from a Jason Bourne movie. I could have done without the “whooshing” sound when Faith threw the vase and *Obligatory Comment About Buffy’s Stunt Double*, but I loved this action sequence. The twist ending with Faith and Buffy switching bodies put a great cap on the scene and the episode.

  10. So as I was listening to the podcast I was interested in the episode. I didn’t remember it at all so I decided to watch it and now I’m going to go through it as I watch it and it might end up being kinda long so bare with me.

    Let’s start at the beginning: Love the first dream sequence it started out as kinda nice then took a turn when Buffy was stabbing Faith. Then in Xander’s basement I totally agree with Cordia, Willow and Xander’s shirts were horrid and I could barely look at Willow’s hat without grimacing.

    The Riley scene was boring so I kinda checked out. I did like when Buffy and Riley were reunited, it was cute for about 5 seconds then I could care less about it.

    The other dreams that Faith has were good, I liked the Mayor it was good to see an entertaining villian again. I like how Buffy came across as evil to Faith, I like that they showed her point of view and its one that the audience doesn’t see, after all Buffy is the hero and Faith is the evil one right? I like when Faith wakes up and pulls the IV out and says “Ouch.” I chuckled, it was as cute as I could see Faith ever being.

    It’s good that they are brainstorming what to do with Faith but I thought it was annoying that Riley was at the Scoobies meeting. It’s just Riley is so, blah, and I know everyone has been saying that but sometimes he’s fine and sometimes he’s annoying.

    I love Willow’s black shirt when they run into Faith but her yellow skirt is awful! I love how Faith turns around and I don’t know how they didn’t know it was her from the back. I noticed her right away but she did turn around quickly so maybe they didn’t have a chance to really look. The scene where Faith is confronting Buffy is great, I think they played off of each other well. I love that Willow tried to hit Faith with her backpack and Faith warned her about losing an arm. Then when Willow does hit her with her backpack was great and so cute.

    Willow and Tara’s scene is great, Willow is very cute as usual and even Tara is cute, she needs to work on her punching but that’s okay she’s probably a really good swimmer. Willow definately knows how Faith is, her impression was amazing especially the way she changed her voice so it sounded mocking. I love how they talk about 5 by 5 and that nobody knows what it means that’s always bugged me. I want to know what it means!

    Xander is annoying.

    ohmygosh! Three men in black with suitcases who came off a helicopter! So scary! Slightly cheesy but that’s not a big deal. Why don’t the police just give up? They are so useless, it’s just irritating.

    The Mayor’s video is great, it does make sense that he was so confident that he wouldn’t have a back up plan but I think he did it because he was threatened by Buffy after all she did put Faith in a coma. Maybe not but that’s how I saw it.

    Aww poor Joyce! I like her scene with Faith, it was really good. Love how Joyce said she looked psychotic. Joyce wasn’t in season 4 hardly at all because Kristine Sutherland had moved to Italy and Joss made it so that she wouldn’t be in very many episodes and it fit as well since Buffy was in college. The Buffy/Faith fight was great and intense, there was a lot of oohs and ahhs and ouchs. I don’t like how she came through the window either, that was stupid but I like how Buffy comes in and is like, “Hi mom.” and Joyce is like, “Hi Buffy.” It was a cute moment.

    I like how, at least I, didn’t notice that they had actually switched bodies until she says “5 by 5.” I don’t know if that was the point, maybe it was. All in all, I really enjoyed it, I think Faith coming back was great in this season and even though my attention was distracted in the next episode I do think that the actresses pulled off the body switch well and it was nice to see that.

    So that’s what I thought, it was one of the better episodes of the season, mostly because the Initiative was on the backburner, whoo! Plus, it’s always good to see Faith.

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