Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | June 25, 2012

Podcast #72: Who Are You (2)

Here’s the podcast for Season 4, Episode 16 – Who Are You (2)



Download: Who Are You (2)

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 2nd July 2012 for episode seventeen of Season Four: “Superstar.” That’s the one where Jonathan returns.

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  1. The Buffy Rewatch

    “This Year’s Girl”

    The whole body swap is a “cliché” in television, but it fits so well in a show like Buffy.

    Great acting by both Sarah and Eliza. Both really get into each other’s nuances. What could have come across as a mere impression sells really well and is completely believable and really sucks you in. Although I think Sarah pulls it off a great deal better. I think in part because she gets so much more screen time.

    The writers are really handling the intro of Tara much better than Riley. She’s been introduced gradually. First just interacting with Willow and she’s been around for a while and she’s only now meeting “Buffy”. I think this gradual progression is why even though a character that isn’t exactly personable (she’s quirky, quiet, shy) still fits well. Meanwhile Riley was just kind of thrown into the gang.

    I love that “Fuffy” is smart about trying to get out of dodge and I do love that they explain that she can’t leave till the morning to explain why she’s still hanging around.

    The dream-esque scene where “Fuffy” murders Willow is shocking and grabs you. Really shows how unstable Faith is becoming.
    The “Fuffy” and Spike interaction in the bronze is equally as amazing. The chemistry between these two really shines through. Plus pretty blush worthy dialogue. “Because it’s wrong”
    Side note – I love that Spike is drinking Bass, an English pale ale, at the bronze (personally my favorite beer).

    I also find it pretty interesting that Faith picks up on Willow’s & Tara’s relationship right away. And that Tara picks up that there’s something up with Buffy.

    It says a lot about Willow and Tara’s relationship that Willow is instantly accepting of what Tara’s saying. We don’t have a single bit of dialogue of Willow doubting that Buffy isn’t Buffy. Also how sexy was that “magic” spell? Just another example of the magic being the metaphor for sex in their relationship. (Gotta love the fade to white.)

    This episode has one of the only times I actually like or believe Riley’s character. All of the interaction between Him and “Fuffy” in his bedroom finally had me on board with his character. He’s personable and genuine. R: “What are we playing at here?” F: “I’m Buffy” R: “Ok then I’ll be Riley”

    I enjoy getting more insight into Faith’s psychology. She’s never experienced really intimacy and it scares her. And maybe she does start to get a sense that what she is doing is wrong when Riley says “I love you.”

    I do wish we would have gotten to see more from Eliza being “Baith.” For purposes for the plot she’s mostly just locked up for most of the episode. I do think Eliza gets to shine with her interaction with Giles. “You were inching!” and “What’s a stevedore?” were some of my favorite lines in the episode.

    I love that the fight chorography is flipped and we actually do see the swap in fight styles as well. That much attention to detail is one of the best parts about watching the show.

    And by far my favorite scene in the episode was “Fuffy” beating the crap out of herself. Sarah does such a great job here. Such real and raw emotion portrayed here. I felt genuinely moved.

    There are so many great pieces to this episode. Some stellar writing and FANTASTIC acting. I do feel kind of weird that this is the episode that we’re suppose to see some real humanity from Faith but we have to do so through “Fuffy.” At first I felt like it was a real slap to the face of Eliza, but really it is a bit smart writing. We’ve been more or less hating this girl for a season and to make her be in our heroine’s body. Even on a subconscious level it makes us feel more sympathetic to Faith’s character. It’s just another example where Joss takes something that could feel boring or done to death with a body swap episode and puts some real interest and emotion behind it.

    What a great episode and I’d argue one of my favorite so far from this season if not THE favorite.

    • I miss titled this. Its for “Who are you?” (2)

  2. The Good
    The pre-credits ending had the desired effect of making the audience question what they believe. This tactic is pretty commonplace with BTVS, but the reveal of Jonathan was done well, and it set the tone for the rest of a great episode. Even the Bond-esque musical cue gives us an immediate feel for who Jonathan is supposed to be. Of course, the icing on the cake was adding Jonathan into the opening credits. Joss really likes to play with title sequences, doesn’t he?

    The art director for this must have had fun. The pictures of Jonathan spread throughout the episode were great!

    I enjoyed the hints seeded throughout the episode that Buffy thinks something is wrong. Is this some sort of magical resistance that comes with being the Slayer? Buffy doesn’t think she did her best during the nest raid and she wasn’t able to shoot a squishy basketball into a tiny plastic hoop. Okay, the sentiment on that last one was right, but come on! An over-the-door basketball hoops is lame for anyone to have over the age of 13, let alone a college student. Plus, Buffy is 3 feet away from the hoop!

    I also appreciate that BTVS doesn’t waste their the entire 1-shot episode like this one. There is always something in these episodes that advanced the main or side story arc. In this episode, it is when Buffy and Riley deal with the relationship problems caused by Faith/Buffy’s body swap.

    SMG’s acting was great. This is the second episode in a row where she has to play a different character than she’s used to, and she does it well. At first she has none of her self-confidence. However, she finds builds up that confidence as the episode goes on.

    If I had to guess, I think that Jonathan’s spell pulled a bit of energy from everyone. This would explain why everyone gives him the cold shoulder after the spell is broken (despite everyone forgetting what happened) and it explains why Buffy get stronger and Jonathan gets weaker as Buffy beats on the…thing in the final fight.

    The Bad
    Why was Riley topless in his room? Was this a not-so-subtle way of getting more beefcake into the episode?

    So Xander can perform magic by saying “Latin in front of the books”? Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the joke, but I don’t think this jives with the rest of the BTVS’s spells work. Why did there have to be this long, drawn-out spell/sexual innuendo with Tara and Willow last episode if they could have just spoken some Latin and be done with it?

    Favorite Moment
    There were a lot of moments that could have been my Favorite Moment, but if I have to pick one it would be Anya’s shrimp scene. Anya’s lines were fine, but I love Buffy’s reaction. She delivers her “Stop with the shrimp. I’m trying to do something!” lines more petulantly than she normally would, which is another sign that the Buffy we’re seeing doesn’t have the confidence of her normal role as the Slayer. It was also a funny moment, which is pretty much a prerequisite for my Favorite Moments.

  3. ~Sigh~. I didn’t care for this episode the first time I watched Buffy and I still don’t like it. It’s like the writers were worn out from two awesome Faith-centric episodes and they still hadn’t figured out what to do with Riley, Adam and the Initiative so they turned this over to the interns and took a vacation.

    There is so much they could have done with the aftermath of the body switch and Faith’s return that it was completely deflating that they came back with this. I was not a fan of how they handled Riley sleeping with Faith in the context of this episode. Shouldn’t it have been Willow or Xander who helped Buffy work through her feelings of betrayal? Instead she talks about it with Jonathan and even though he gives her good advice (of course, because he’s perfect) it had a jokey feel to it. And what about everything else she might have been feeling regarding the switch. How did she feel having to live as Faith for a time and experiencing how the world perceived her? No additional insight for her into the inner workings of Faith? I’m not saying they had to belabor the points, but you would think there would be some lasting effects on Buffy beyond just Faith sleeping with Riley.

    I hated how Jonathan got the schematics on Adam and figured out how to kill him. Lazy, lazy writing. And not even funny. It’s almost like they had all of these questions out there they didn’t know how to answer so they constructed this alternate universe where Jonathan was perfect at everything just so they could have the characters get the info.

    I’m not sure what the point was of Adam professing that he knew everything about Jonathan was a lie other than to state the obvious.

    I’m all for Buffy having a mostly comedic episode that doesn’t have a lot to do with the main arc if it’s well done, but this one was jarring because of what came before it and annoying because of the contrived way information was obtained about Adam.

    And why did they feel it necessary to have Tara be chased by yet another demon? At least we got to see her use some of her power.

    I would rather watch “Beer Bad” and “Inca Mummy Girl” on continuous loop for 24 hours than watch this episode again. The most disappointing thing is that it was written by Jane Espenson, who I love. Maybe I am just missing something (which is entirely possible), but of all seven seasons of Buffy, this has always been my least favorite episode.

    Least favorite moment – The first 40 minutes.
    Favorite moment– the end credits.

  4. Who are you:

    *For Spike’s sentence : “But until then, I’m just as helpless as a kitten up a tree.” I found this possible reference: the jazzsong “Misty” performed by Ella Fitzgerald featured the line “I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree.”

    *Fuffy states that Faith’s arrest was “poetic justice”. This references Faith and Buffy’s earlier confrontation in Graduation Day in which Buffy states that sacrificing Faith’s blood as a cure for Angel would be “poetic justice”, as Faith was the one who poisoned him.

    *When Baith talks with Giles she makes an akward movement with her hand running through her hair. I guess this should look like a typical Buffy gesture but I can’t remember her ever doing this and it looks strange.

    *I think, Fuffy scene with Riley is striking: Fuffy has to realize, after demonstrations of the love and adoration Buffy inspires in her family and friends and in those she protects, that Buffy has a better and happier life. This forces Fuffy to acknowledge that her decision to turn evil was wrong. That it isn’t true that evil life is more pleasant than the good life. Her self-justification, that good people are all pleasure-hating hypocrits while she is simply an honest pleasure-seeker, falls apart and she begins to see herself for what she really is: in the fight with Baith she punches her own face shouting “You’re nothing! …” she discovers that the life she has chosen is empty.

    *It’s sad that Faith’s story continues in the Angel series. I think she makes an interesting development.

    *Favourite scence: Fuffy’s mirror scene 🙂
    bad: Adam … he is so annoying!

    This episode is better and more fun to watch than I remembered. I often skip this episode when watching season 4, because it feels so out of line and doesn’t contribute much to the ongoing story. But still, it isn’t one of my favourite. Actually Jonathan can look cute 🙂 I like that they make fun of the Angel serious by Jonathan wearing an Angel-like outfit.

  5. Catching up to Who Are You:

    After listenening to the podcast, I now think Faith’s behavior up to now has been completely plausible, although I agree that the fact that it has taken me ten years to see it means that it certainly wasn’t highlighted in show. Here goes:

    I think Faith’s problem isn’t that she doesn’t feel enough guilt, it’s that she feels more than we ever see, not only for failing to save her watcher, but more importantly for killing vampires and demons themselves.

    Logically, I would expect a slayer to develop some pretty serious PTSD and moral confusion as they slay dozens or hundreds of vamps and demons, most of them face to face and many of them in cold blood. They are told that vamps and demons are irretrievably bad, but they have recognizably human hopes and dreams. Even if they all deserve to die, it must take a phenomenal emotional roll to be the executioner, especially as a teenager.

    Faith’s behavior makes sense if you assume that she always thought she was trapped by destiny to be a murderer. She tried acting out, then joined Team Evil to see if it would bring her peace, and what really breaks her is the idea that it was possible for her to have been good.

    It’s actually surprising that Buffy doesn’t show more strain from all the face to face killing she has carried out, although it does go

    • … partway to explaining why they let Spike live. They can kill unknown vampires in cold blood, but now that they know Spike as a person, even as an evil one, they can’t kill him while he seems to be helpless. Probably that’s one reason why the Slayer Manual discourages getting to know vampires.

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