Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | November 26, 2012

Podcast #89: Into the Woods

Here’s the podcast for Season 5, Episode 10 – Into the Woods

Time to say goodbye

Time to say goodbye

Download: Into the Woods

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 3rd December 2012 for episode eleven of Season Five: “Triangle.” That’s the one where Anya and Willow argue over Xander and a Troll gets involved.

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

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    I only have a few nitpicks about this episode:

    1. The troll. Sure, he had some funny lines but I was not
    impressed with that storyline.

    2. Buffy was so out of character here. I know her crying
    fits were supposed to be played as comedy, I just found
    them to become increasingly annoying.

    3. Willow being somewhat out of character too.
    She acted a bit too stuck up.

    I did, however, like the whole Anya/Willow dynamic.
    They’ve been butting heads occasionally for over a
    year now, and even more so recently. Their issues
    get completely addressed here, and that’s all fine
    with me.

    They’re mutual frustration between each other finally
    pops and the real root of each others’ worries finally
    get exposed.

    Both of their concerns are very natural, given each
    others’ history, and I like that they are able to realize
    that Xander loves them both in equal but different ways
    and that neither of them wants anything but the best for

    This is probably one of the worst season 5 episodes,
    it did however have the usual sharp wit, humor based
    on the characters, and development of the characters
    in general.

  2. Into the Woods

    Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all! I am very much thankful for the Buffy Rewatch. Speaking of Turkey Day it’s the reason my review for Into the Woods is a week behind, but that gives me a chance to respond more to the podcast then the episode itself.

    I will say quickly I agree with most of the things stated on the show, however I put aside some of the time stuff (although now that it’s been pointed out, yes it bothers me too) but as fan of Xander (he’s my favorite character of the show) I do quite love some moments of this episode.
    To start with the Xander and Buffy argument, a couple of response to things said on the show.

    As for Xander saying that Riley is the guy for Buffy: I feel that Xander (and only Xander) would say that to her. He never liked or trusted Angel and most of the reason for that is that he’s a vampire always on the edge and able to kill any of them. So of course Xander would think that someone who is right for Buffy is a “Captain America” type figure who is there to protect Buffy. Riley is probably the most opposite character from Angel in the whole Buffyverse and in Xander’s point of view Angel is bad for Buffy. So if there is any one person who would think that Riley is right for her it would be Xander.

    Robin I never thought I would disagree with you so much. To me, the Buffy/Xander argument is one of the best scenes between the two and I think it’s been earned through the course of the season. Maybe it’s because one of the things that I’ve noticed though the course of this season is the transformation of Xander. We see in several of the episodes prior to this Xander is matureing. There are moments where he’s helping Anya to adapt (of course she’s his girlfriend so he “should” do this, but I don’t think old Xander would), He is a confidant to Riley and tires to help him through and finally leading to this speech with Xander and Buffy it all seems to becoming from the same place that he is becoming a more calm and mature person. I just think from watching this season his transformation from d-bag teenage boy to more mature young adult is not abrupt at all.

    I was glad you all liked the final scene with Xander and Anya (they are my fav Buffy couple) I was about to have a heart attack, this is easily my favorite moment in the episode and is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. I will personally hold this epsidoe very high but I do understand it’s flaws with, I just had to stand up for Xander and may start the Xander is good dude club.

    Let’s move on to Triangle

    Really enjoyed the scene with Buffy and Dawn talking about how Buffy is dealing with Riley. I will say that they do this Summers sister thing pretty well. They fight, they bond, they joke, they seem like real sisters. It has very much helped with the transition in added Dawn to the show.
    Spike practicing talking to Buffy, hilarious!

    Who is this Willow who is calling people uptight, “stealing” from the magic shop, and being pretty reckless with her magic? I like that Willow and Anya are finally dealing with their issues, but I really disliked where they took Willow’s character to do it. These two characters have natural conflict with each other, Willow is Xander’s best friend and former girlfriend and Anya is his current girlfriend. There is no need to change Willow to get these two arguing. At least this character inconsistency lasts for only one scene

    That being said I like the whole Anya/Willow story. They’ve been having small conflicts occasionally for the last couple of seasons, and more and more as time goes on, especially now that Anya is a major part of Xander’s life. Their issues get fully addressed here and that’s all good. Both characters concerns are very natural, given each other’s history and relationship to Xander. It’s great that they realize that Xander loves them both in equal but different ways and that they both care for him in different but equal ways. Really enjoy Willow and Anya the scene where are researching how to beat the troll a well written and really well acted scene. Though it was clumsy getting into the story I think what it does for our characters is pretty good.

    Troll is fun, Anya backstory is needed and I like the story that is told. The episode hits right notes in terms of comedy and moving the story forward, it’s nice to see different combinations then usual on the show Buffy/Tara, Spike/Xander, Anya/Willow are all nice ways to freshen up the show and see new sides of each of the characters. Favorite moment when Xander busts into the magic shop tires to stop the troll. Not an epic ground breaking episode but a fun one and an above average episode; quite an enjoyable hour of TV.

  3. I was rather hesitant to post this comment for fear of seeming insane, because most people seemed to find this to be their favorite moment of the episode, but I’ll just throw my opinion out there anyway.

    When I think of issues of dialogue in the entire series, Xander’s final moments in this episode as he talks to both Buffy and Anya are always the first to come to my mind. I don’t like what is written for Xander or the way Nicholas Brendon delivers these lines. This is not Xander talking. Although Riley did share his feelings about Buffy with Xander in “The Replacement”, I felt that Xander’s vouching for Riley so strongly was out of character, and that he would be more supportive of any decision she would independently make. He tells Buffy that Riley has always been straightforward with her, but this is coming on the heels of Riley essentially cheating on her.

    I think the part that most bothers me is the way he says to Anya “I’ve gotta say something, because I don’t think I’ve made it clear…” as he walks slowly and dramatically toward her. Something about it is so laughable to me. I feel there’s a line between Xander speaking as a serious adult in love, and Xander being possessed by an intense Humphrey Bogart commanding this supposedly romantic moment. I apologize for hating on everyone’s favorite moment, it’s just that after several rewatches it still doesn’t sit right with me.

  4. Well, goodbye Riley. I’ve held off commenting on Riley until now because I couldn’t really separate my knowledge of his overall storyline with his performances in the moment. But now, here goes:

    Season Four: I think Riley was mostly the victim of Season Four’s lack of a consistent story. You can squint and see the outlines of some kind of Giles-Buffy reflection in Professor Walsh and Riley, but it never came together. Part of the problem, imho, was the reveal. We got a few episodes of Professor Walsh as hard as nails psych professor, then a few as director of the Initiative, then a few as a zombie. Her character never came together, and without her, Riley was poorly served.

    It might have been better if they had played up the Special Forces angle. It’s hard to believe that this was filmed at a time when the US was not at war with anybody, but if they had given Riley some real battle experience (and maybe some human deaths on his conscience), it would have made him a more complex character.

    Season Five: I never thought Buffy loved Riley. I think he (and Dracula and Spike) were right that he wasn’t enough for her, and the chase at the end of Into the Woods is basically Buffy trying to deny what everyone has been telling her and capture a (quasi-)normal life. When the helicopter flies away, it’s not tragic because she loves Riley; it’s tragic because her destiny seems to be not to have a normal family, job, children, etc., but to live with the monsters until one finally gets her. The string of coincidences are a metaphor for her overall fate.

    Blucas’s acting: I think Mark Blucas is a perfectly good actor, as Season Five shows, but he didn’t bring the kind of something extra that it would have taken to save his character in Season Four. I think ASH and Seth Green are good examples – both of their characters started out as pretty thin sketches of a stuffy Brit and an alternative rocker guy, respectively, but they added enough charm to their performances that we liked watching them. (Especially Seth, who made a fan favorite character our of a few minutes per episode).

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