Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | November 12, 2012

Podcast #87: Shadow

Here’s the podcast for Season 5, Episode 8 – Shadow

Joyce's brave face

Joyce’s brave face

Download: Shadow

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 19th November 2012 for episode nine of Season Five: “Listening to Fear.” That’s the one where a creature begins attacking Sunnydale’s mental patients.

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    While I always thought this is just a ‘meh’
    episode as a whole, there are some moments
    that i remember really enjoying.

    For the past few episodes, Buffy has been trying
    to hold it together. She’s been trying to stay strong
    for her family, but finally cracks. The sound of a
    crazy happy radio song combined with the mundane
    task of washing dishes that undoubtedly her mom
    would usually take care of, are the things that finally
    work to make her break down all the way.

    SMG is heart-breaking in this scene. She flawlessly
    conveys looking so genuinely scared and sad;
    reminding me once again why she is one of my
    favorite actresses.

    I also enjoy the scene where Dawn sees the demon on
    Joyce. Instead of just standing there and screaming, she
    gets in on the action, to speak, and thinks fast to use a
    coatrack to bash the demon off Joyce. The two second
    chase she gets is exciting, and the scream she lets out
    to get Buffy’s attention is impressive.

    The demon itself is creepy as shit. Much better than the
    snake demon in ‘SHADOW’. Although it’s a bit silly that
    no one would see the thing crawling on the ceilings, the
    sequence at Buffy’s house is pretty effective in its
    creepiness being in the midst of the sadness that is
    looming over the home. Even Spike is terrified when
    the thing attacks him. I always cringe when the demon
    falls on Buffy, trying to get at her face as she stabs it to
    death while pinned underneath it.
    The noises that thing makes…eeeek!

    Finally, I’m glad Joyce is finally in the loop about
    Dawn. Even though she realizes she is not her
    actual daughter, she urges Buffy to care for Dawn
    as she cares for Buffy.

    Joyce Summers, probably one of the best tv-show
    moms out there. =)

  2. So, the name of this episode is “Listen to Fear” I guess it’s appropriate since every character listening to fear and NOT DOING ANYTHING! I would fire that nurse, on the spot (enjoy your cookie while you can!). In spite of that, I’ve decided to rename this episode; it shall now be called “Looking for Logic in All the Wrong Places”

    The logic hole that I find the hardest to swallow is that Joyce would be let to leave the hospital. She is clearly getting worse and more unstable as the episode goes on. I mean, come on! She has a brain tumor and it’s affecting her worse than ever before; clearly reason enough to send her home. Also (and I have no personal experience to back this up) but I have a hard time believing that they would wait 2 plus days before taking out the tumor, once it’s diagnosed wouldn’t you want to get it out as fast as possible? Last Joyce logic loop hole, how is her mental state so bad when the demon is attacking and yet she’s miraculously all fixed after the demon is defeated? She’s coherent enough the next day to understand that Dawn is not her kid but that they need to protect her? That’s a hard pill to swallow after her mental state the night before and that nothing has changed about her (clearly stated) non-demon related illness.

    On to the Queller Demon: how fast can this thing move undetected? In one scene it’s sliming a victim in the psych ward and then it’s on the other side of the hospital spying on the Summers family and hitching a ride home. Really? And why can no one see it? You are telling me that no one in entire hospital never simply looked up? Also why would it leave the psych ward? Did it already slime everyone in it? Why focus on one victim instead of several?

    There is something odd about the show dealing with aliens; yes, it is just a demon from a meteor and not a true alien, but it just doesn’t seem to fit the Buffy-verse. Even Anya points it out “Yes cause it seems that we’re always dealing with creatures of outer space, except that we don’t ever do that.” Even Giles refuses to believe that it’s from outer space, so why should we. Eventually they tell us how the demon fits into the Buffy-verse but spending most the episode guessing about its origin is not fun.

    Yes, there are some major things that go happen in this episode. Buffy finally breaks down about the Joyce situation, Joyce finally finds out about Dawn, We find out that Ben knows Glory and it cleaning up her “mess” but there is so much bad and inconsistent storytelling that it’s hard for me to care. “Listening to Fear” is one of the worst Buffy episodes for me I would put it down with “Beer Bad” and “Inca Mummy Girl” maybe even below because at least I can laugh at those two episodes “Listening to Fear” is one of the few episodes of Buffy that lacks a sense of humor.

  3. Listening to fear:
    The Scoobies fighting vamps. Riley getting sucked off by a trashy vamp girl. What a great way to open an episode! The stand out performance of this episode was Kristine Sutherland. She made me feel sad and she creeped me out.
    As usual, I adore Willow. She’s just so cute (vampire dusting scene). Spike/Buffy interaction can almost always be counted on for great entertainment, even when brief. All of the Summers family stuff — Joyce’s progressing illness, Buffy’s reaction to it, Dawn’s emotional confusion and turmoil, and Joyce figuring out that Dawn is something supernatural — is great. The last scene between Joyce and Buffy had me in tears.
    However, why aliens? The entire X-Files-alien-demon plotline was bizarre and off-putting, and lessened the effect of the good stuff.
    I hope that the return of the Initiative guys means that Riley will be leaving soon. And isn’t he being a secretive one with the Scoobies? They accept him into the group and consider him a friend, and he leaves them hanging on patrol and doesn’t mention he’s brought in Special Ops people to hunt the Queller.

    Favourite scene: First I went for Buffy crying in the kitchen but then I decided fort he last scene between Joyce and Buffy in the hospital.

    Despite the reptile demon it could have been a good episode but it feels like there’s missing something. Although this episode has good moments (the Joyce stroyline, the gang in the magic shop, Tara being useful…), it’s slow and a bit boring. Riley wants to be the center of Buffy’s universe. So selfish! Buffy and Dawn need support, not someone who is needy and going to distract them from their task: Get Joyce Well. Dealing with your own mortality is one thing, but dealing with the mortality of your parents? It’s sad, but it’s almost like the other side of the coin for Joyce and Buffy. Joyce has had to deal with Buffy’s mortality for a long time, now Buffy has to deal with her mom being at risk. Joyce couldn’t protect Buffy from being a Slayer any more than Buffy can protect Joyce from a tumor.

    Fool for love:
    Cecily: You wondered why she was so mean to Spike/William. She had a reason, which will be shown much later. But I can’t remember right now if it’s revealed in the Buffy or Angel series or even in the comics.
    I didn’t catch Spikes change in dialect. I guess it’S because English is not my mother language. I will have to go back and check this out. It’s always nice to learn something new 🙂 even after watching the series several times.

    In another podcast they said, Joss Whedon planned Faith to be in Buffy’s dream and say “Be back before dawn” which would make sense because she said these cryptic things about Dawn in her own coma dreams. And Angel should be the voice of the First Slayer. But the actors weren’t able to come. So Tara as the spirit guide is more or less a coincidence or they came up with this idea instead.
    You wondered why Anya lies in Willow’s bed when Buffy wakes up in her dream. I may have a theory about it but ***SPOILER ALERT. This and the fact that Anya, in Willows dream in the classroom, is making fun of her, could be a hint for a later difficult relationship between these two characters in season 5 or 6 where they fight a lot. And there is a certain rivalry between them because of Xander. Anya lying in Willows bed could show that Willow isn’t the closest person for Xander anymore and there may be the fear behind it that Willow’s place (in Xanders heart) could be replaced by Anya.***


  4. I am watching Buffy for the first time and am enjoying reading along here spoiler-free. I have no background in the Buffyverse and was literally surprised at the “Angel is a vampire” reveal in season 1. It’s interesting to read you re-watch because I am seeing everything new without knowing where it is going. I am commenting now because this just happens to be the episode I am on. I did actually feel emotionally attached to the Joyce story here. Her being really sick or even dying would be just crushing to Buffy and I don’t see how she could handle it.

    Finally what I am super curious about is how the Riley story will wrap up. It’s clearly doomed. He’s doing stupid things and I was truly worried in this episode that he was going to become a vampire on purpose. That would just be unbearable for Buffy to lose him that way in the same episode she finds out her mom has cancer. So I’m glad he staked sandy. But it seems like it’s only a matter of time before he does something desperately idiotic and gets himself killed. (I really can’t see the Riley story ending with a simple breakup.)

    So thanks for writing this spoiler-free. I’ll pipe up now and then to give my newb thoughts. ^_^

    Also I am not listening to the podcasts or reading the comments btw. I really don’t want surprises spoiled as I watch it.

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