Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | October 30, 2012

Podcast #84: Family

Here’s the podcast for Season 5, Episode 6 – Family

The Scooby Family accept Tara

The Scooby Family accept Tara

Download: Family

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 5th November 2012 for episode six of Season Five: “Fool for Love.” That’s the one where Buffy asks Spike to tell him how he killed two slayers.

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

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  1. Responding to your question as to “why is Maggie Walsh my least favorite character?” Well, I’m not sure if I have a great answer, I think the actress is terrible (in fact most of the casting in season 4 is pretty bad), her story feels ends very abruptly (almost as if it was meant to be longer but some real world issue affected the show) and I think I just take all of my hatred for the Initiative out on her; since she is the leader up until the point she “sadly” (there should be a font for sarcasm) dies. FrankenWalsh makes my skin crawl each time I have to see her.

    Down to the business at hand, Fool For Love. This is one of my top 10 favorite episodes of the entire series. I am a huge Spike fan, but I wasn’t until I watched this episode for the first time. I always liked James Marsters, he’s fantastic in the role. But after Fool For Love we really understand who Spike is. This episode is everything that Family, The Replacemnt, and Real Me tried to be. Each of those episodes explored a different character in the series (Tara, Xander and Anya, Dawn) and all had their flaws. Fool For Love is an episode that I can gush about for a long time, I’ll try to not.

    Before we jump into the stuff that I think is good, let’s touch on the not so good. Riley, oh Captain Cardboard (love this term! Thanks Derek!) The Riley character feels out of place in this episode because of his lack of depth. This episode shows the difference between Spike and Riley as characters on the show. Spike is a character that is deep enough, well-formed and we care about him enough to have an entire episode dedicated to his backstory (something that only our main 4 scoobies and Angel have had to this point) whereas, Riley can’t even hold his own for a 4 scene “B” story. My Riley apologizing is becoming far less on this rewatch.

    What I love about this episode is the way that we see Spike get put together like a puzzle. Each scene we see a new piece slowly taking him away from William the Bloody and toward the Spike we know and love…? It’s hard to say that we love Spike because he truly is evil and in the scene where he kills his first slayer he truly looks monstrous. When we first see William he truly wants to be a good man and we watch as he becomes more and more the demon we know. Adding slowly his accent, his scar, his attitude and finally his jacket we see Spike become Spike. Also Juliet Landau as Drusilla is amazing; it’s so wonderful to see the arch of her relationship with Spike; although I will say that I could do without Rudolph the Slimy Reindeer in the last flashback such a great scene ruined by this cheap joke. This brings me to my favorite moment in the episode; Spike breaks down in tears after Buffy has told him that he is beneath her; In this moment Spike is still just William the Bloody no matter what façade he has put up and in the final scene of the episode we can really see that he, very deep down inside, is trying to be a good man.

    What pushes the episode over the top for me is the cinematography and the visual story told in the episode. This is possibly the best shot episode of the series. From simple shots such as the scoobies in the graveyard, to the camera floating around Spike and Buffy in the Bronze mirroring their interactions with each other and finally the intercutting between the present day Buffy and Spike and 1977 Spike and The other Slayer it all adds up to a visually stunning piece of television (especially when considering it was made back in 2000).

    A little tip, after watching Buffy on Netflix the first time I have since purchased the series on DVD. Don’t listen to any of the commentaries on the episodes if you have not watched the ENTIRE series. They are very spoilery to not just the current season but future episodes.

  2. “Fool for Love” is one of my absolute favorite Buffy episodes (ninth in my top 13 if you want me to be specific,, spoilers at that link) and nothing not even the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy is going to stop me from commenting on this episode. So here I am in the computer lab of my college that still has power.

    First though I got a follow-up comment on Family. I was definitely far more favorable on the episode than you guys but it’s not that I don’t agree with your critiques. It was a logically sound or amazingly well written episode but Tara became one of my favorite characters in later seasons of the show. So now retroactively I feel sympathy for her that she probably doesn’t deserve from her depiction so far. I felt the same way as Cordia feels about Tara for the longest time but in switched for me in an episode in the somewhat distant future…. (that was ominous sounding)

    But now back to “Fool for Love”, Spike is one of my favorite Buffy characters when he is written correctly. James Marsters is never a problem its just a problem with what they make him do on the show. This is Spike’s best written episode in my opinion since he appeared in season 2. Spike is scary again. I’m with Josh the scene on the train legitimately gives me chills. Spike does get a lot of airtime but it’s amazing how much of his character we get in this single episode. Spike’s characterization has never been lacking but it is amazing how much we learn about him in this episode considering his regular appearance since season 2.

    I know there are viewers who think that Spike being in love with Buffy is sympathetic and “adorbs”. “Oh look the psychopathic mass murder has feelings!” However I don’t believe that this the case or is supposed to be what we are meant to take away from this episode. Spike’s obsession with Buffy is creepy, people can coo over James Marster’s cheekbones all they want but this guy is insane and evil. It really boils down the exchange Buffy and Spike have towards the end.

    Buffy: You think we’re dancing?
    Spike: That’s all we’ve ever done.

    Buffy trying to kill Spike for years, granted she has stopped now because James Marsters’ contract demands it, but she has always hated him. In Spike’s head these repeated murder attempts are akin to flirting. Spike’s obsession with Buffy is interesting and makes for great TV but it isn’t a good love story and it’s not meant to be either.

    Speaking of lackluster love stories, how you doin’ Riley Finn? Actually I can’t even call Riley and Buffy’s story a love story. How about a story about a guy who is madly in love with a girl and girl who mostly appreciates said boy when he is not being a wet blanket, that sounds better. Captain Cardboard isn’t bad in this episode but he’s not particularly interesting either. The best part of this story is watching Willow, Xander and Anya eat chips watching Riley being soldier boy. I know logically this doesn’t make sense that Xander, Willow and Anya would be so disinterested in hunting a vampire and not treat it like a danger. However I find the scene amusing and I think there is intent in the disinterest. It’s not that they aren’t taking the vampires seriously it is that they don’t take Riley seriously. Riley doesn’t belong in this show and the characters are being notice it.

    I feel like Riley originally was suppose to be just a nice guy, a kind of rehab boyfriend for her after Angel. It’s a fine blueprint for a character but Riley never grew out of that blueprint. He didn’t have any direction in season 4. I kind of wish they had rebooted the character in season 5 and given me something to root for instead of just making his story in season 5 be that he doesn’t belong. At least he has a story this season which makes him tolerable.

    P.S. If we are talking about our least favorite Buffy characters, Riley isn’t even close to my bottom. I actually dislike Jonathan more than I dislike Riley. Of the characters we have met Forrest is certainly the worst for me so far. I miss ragging on him every week.

  3. Happy Halloween to all! I just finished re-rewatching the Season 2 episode Halloween. And to join in with Derek and compare season 2 to season 5 Spike I found something interesting. In Fool For Love Spike tells Buffy “It’s not about the moves, Love” and he later in the episode goes on to say its cause they have a death wish that’s why each slayer lost. But in Season 2 during the episode Halloween Spike has another Vampire film a battle with Buffy then watches the tape to study her moves

  4. Just a little more for next times “Fool for Love”

    This was a bit of weird timing (10/31/12), but Angel still runs on syndication on TNT REALLY EARLY in the morning (4am). Anyways I work nights and the episode that accompanies “Fool For Love” “Darla” came on.

    It was really fun seeing more of the flash back sequence, but from Angel’s prospective. I know we rarely discuss the other show, but in any case here’s just a thought. Episodes that can show rather than tell someone’s past are SO effective in fleshing out their character. The younger Scoobies obviously don’t have the same scope of back story than our older characters do. Still it is always nice to get hints of what came before. The History in the Buffy ‘Verse that Joss has created is so rich. Just another reason why this episode and this series (and Angel as well) is fantastic.

    *Something interesting to learn from the Angel side. This shouldn’t be spoiler based off what we’ve learned in Buffy. During the Boxer Rebellion flashback, Angel has actually been ReEnsouled by the gypsy curse for some time when we seem him in the power slow-mo shot.*

  5. Crap more comments! I swear I’m not doing this on purpose…

    @whedonesque ‘s Gold Box Deal of the Day – Big discounts on Joss Whedon classics. is having some AMAZING sales on all things Joss Whedon. If you arent more aware of some of his other shows. Or you are a fan, but just havent gotten around to owning it. This is a good time to pick up some great shows.

    I know you guys hate Dollhouse and I recognize that its Joss’ weakest work (minus Alien Resurrection). But thats the only show I dont own yet and its cheap enough to get now.

  6. It’s a ONE DAY SALE 11/01/12

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