Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | December 2, 2012

Cordia’s Review: S5, E11 – Triangle

Season 5, Episode 11
Original airing: 1/9/2001

My Rating: 43

The Good: I really liked Dawn and Buffy’s conversation about Riley. It felt very appropriate for Dawn to be bringing up these issues in a relatively direct manner. She’s just old enough to have a grasp on how this relationship is affecting Buffy, but not experienced enough to really approach it with any tact. I felt like Buffy really opened up to her as she would a sister.

I also like the idea of going to the Watcher’s Council for help and Buffy’s related concerns about their involvement. They certainly aren’t her favorite people and she knows they wouldn’t see Dawn as a human being if they knew what she was in reality. But, as Giles said, they’ve exhausted other resources and this is an avenue of potential information they just can’t ignore.

Willow and Anya’s relationship was settled pretty well. I think having two girls fight to be number one in the life of a boy they both have a strong relationship with was pretty realistic. And they both have real concerns for how their relationships are at risk. Willow knows Anya could severely hurt Xander – physically and emotionally. And Anya knows Willow has already ended one relationship of Xander’s and has a lot of sway over his opinions due to their long friendship.

The Bad: However, every bit of this episode felt disconnected and the humor didn’t always fit the scene. The worst culprit of this was Buffy’s contrived emotional outbursts about Riley. We had a really excellent moment with Dawn where Buffy talked about how the end of the relationship hurt, but she was dealing. Next thing we know, Buffy is literally bursting into tears all over the place at the drop of a hat. She even uses this emotion as the impetus to bring down Olaf the Troll.  It just doesn’t fit with her characterization and feels very hollow after the last few episodes where she’s had such a hard time expressing her emotions.

Speaking of Olaf, he’s not the worst. But he’s not very good either. He has no reaction to where he is and behaves in a completely outrageous manner. He’s played for nothing but jokes the entire time, right up until he beats the snot out of Xander and casually breaks his wrist. Umm… where did that come from? I was also annoyed again by the lack of reaction to a completely alien being in the Bronze. The show is getting more and more blatant about this with the expectation that the audience is so used to this type of occurrence they just won’t care anymore.

And then the wrap up is to send him to a troll dimension. But maybe he won’t get there. But that’s ok. No big deal. This felt so flippant and silly. If anything, I figured they’d reseal him in the gem. The idea that Willow can willy nilly send people between dimensions seems way too powerful.

Favorite Moment: Spike’s pretend apology to Buffy was creepy, awesome, and felt completely perfect. I can easily imagine what Buffy’s saying back to him and why he flips out.

The Bottom Line: It’s been several episodes in a row now where the ideas and concepts behind the episode have been solid, yet the episode has been a mess of disconnected scenes. I can’t keep ignoring the issues season five is having with making me feel connected to the episode as a whole. I feel like the show is attempting to handle season five character development in content in a season one format.


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