Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | November 12, 2012

Cordia’s Review: S5, E08 – Shadow

Season 5, Episode 8
Original airing: 11/21/2000

My Rating: 48

The Good: There were parts of this episode I really enjoyed, but overall, I thought it was really lacking an emotional punch. The main issue is that this is a Rewatch, and knowing the ending to Joyce’s story really effects how I view it at this point.

What I did like about this episode was Riley’s storyline. I think the show is doing a much better job with him this season and this episode really puts it over the top. He’s getting more and more desperate to prove himself a necessary part of Buffy’s life. And as she needs him less, he’s methods get more dangerous. I really appreciated that the show brought up his Captain America routine from the last episode. It was a nice moment for Xander, too, to point out Riley’s reckless behavior. I also thought the scene with Sandy the Vampire was very good (See Favorite Moment).

The Bad: The main problem for me with this episode was how much of it focused on a storyline I have little interest in. Because I know where the Joyce illness is going, I’ve become very detached from it emotionally. That makes this episode really not work for me with the soap opera feeling of Buffy’s reactions.

But the real downer of this episode is definitely the terrible snake demon. It looked bad as CGI and it looked worse as a practical dummy. When the two were used in the same scene, it was exceptionally distracting. Plus, as the show mentions itself, the snake demon has been played out on Buffy thanks to the Mayor’s Ascension.

Then we have the logic issues. Why in the world would Glory just tell the snake to find the Key and then report to her? Why would she not have the snake bring her the Key, if it could? This is a seriously silly thing for her to do when she’s so desperate.

The Unknown: Glory mentions to Dreg that time is running out for her to find the Key. I’m interested to know what her deadline is all about.

What is up with Ben? Why does he keep showing up and hitting on Buffy when she’s all vulnerable? It’s getting very annoying.

Favorite Moment: As I mentioned in The Good, the scene with Sandy was just great. The lack of dialogue really drew me into the moment of Riley allowing a vampire to bite him in a rather sexual manner. And the staking was a complete surprise and very well done.

The Bottom Line: Unfortunately, the Rewatch and the terrible snake effects really brought the Joyce storyline down for me. But the Riley stuff was very good, helping to even out the episode.


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