Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | November 19, 2012

Cordia’s Review: S5, E09 – Listening to Fear

Listening to Fear
Season 5, Episode 9
Original airing: 11/28/2000

My Rating: 57

The Good: The thing I’m still enjoying the most right now is Riley’s descent into darkness. I find his story so interesting right now with his vampire bite habit. It’s fascinating that he calls Graham instead of Buffy after finding the meteor. His desire to be the hero of the day has grown to the point where he’s now the one pushing Buffy away. He’s so focused on saving the day he’ll do anything, even lie to the Scoobies.

I also really liked Dawn in this episode. Jumping in to help her mom against the demon was a fabulous step up for the annoying young girl. She’s finally starting to be written more like a teenager and I find her less annoying because of it. All of her actions and reactions to Joyce’s symptoms are rather heartbreaking. She’s old enough to hear the medical reasoning, but young enough to not really be able to process it completely. Her attempts to deal are heartbreaking.

Buffy breaks my heart as well. She finally cries about the whole situation. I appreciate that her moment came in the dark when she was alone. It feels like a very Buffy thing to do and points to the end of the last episode when she refused to break down in Riley’s arms.

Finally, I appreciated that the demon in this episode had a real purpose. At first, I was annoyed by its attraction to “crazy” people, which basically translated to people who say weird stuff. I thought it seemed like a very harsh and silly portrayal of people with mental disabilities. But when I thought about it, I liked that it went after the particular kind of insanity which Glory seems to cause. I thought it fit rather well with the symptoms Joyce would experience from pressure on her brain.

The Bad: I hate to say it, but Spike was totally unnecessary in this episode. I was actually annoyed by his appearance from the basement. It was too weird and then not handled.

As has become habit in the last season or so, the Scoobies are getting wayyyyy too good at figuring stuff out about demons instantly. The jump in logic they make from finding an empty meteor to a killer space demon before they find the first body is just silly. Why in the world would they assume the meteor had something evil in it? If I found a hollow meteor, I’d probably just assume it was always hollow. Thinking there’s a demon running around AFTER finding the dead body, would have been just fine. But to think that beforehand smacks of lazy writing. And, to compound this silliness, they decide not to call Buffy. Anya even points out how different this situation is because, you know, it’s a murderous demon from space. And yet… no one calls Buffy.

Unknown: I was really interested in the scene between Ben and Dreg. Dreg questions Ben, but also treats him with deference and respect. And Ben obviously knows about Glory. So what’s up with that?

Favorite Moment: I thought the scene with Joyce screaming at her ceiling while the girls try to ignore her was very well done. With someone who’s incoherent like that, you can’t talk sense into them. Ignoring her was all they could do. The twist that the demon is above her was very well filmed.

The Bottom Line: There was lots I liked about this episode, but also lots I didn’t like. The main problem over all was a lack of cohesiveness. The episode felt scattered and separated, which definitely weakened it as a whole.

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