Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | December 23, 2012

Podcast #93: Crush

Here’s the podcast for Season 5, Episode 14 – Crush

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 7th January 2012 for episode fourteen of Season Five: “I Was Made to Love You.” Buffy comes across a robot girlfriend whose creator has discarded her.

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  1. Hey Guys!
    The scene when Buffy is washing her face is before she’s battling Faith and there’s that (for want of a better word) montage of her and Faith, who’s beating up a punching bag.
    Also, what do you think about Willow hiding Tara from her friends in the first few episode’s she’s in (You may have already discussed this in podcasts that I have yet to listen to) I found it kind of strange at first when Willow was saying ‘Oh, I was in the chem lab, by myself’ in ‘A New Man’ and then in ‘The I in Team’ she says, after Buffy asks ‘Who did you want to invite?’ she answers, ‘No, not– No one. I mean, I meant a hypothetical someone. Which is to say no one.’ I just kind of found it strange how Willow’s hiding this new friend from her old friends.

  2. CRUSH:

    I think this episode was necessary. Buffy finally founds out
    that Spike is in love with her. Everyone’s reactions were
    pretty on point. From Xander finding it funny, to Willow
    being worried, to Buffy’s reaction of being absolutely
    disgusted about it.

    The only nitpick I have about everyone finding out that
    Spike is in love with Buffy, was Joyce’s reaction. Her first
    reaction is to ask Buffy if she had lead Spike on in some
    way. Nice mothering, Joyce.

    This episode really deepens the complexities of Spike.
    It’s easy to feel sorry for him when Xander tells him to
    go away. When Buffy looks like she’s going to be sick
    when he tells her that he loves her. And when he
    discovers that he is no longer welcome in the Summers’

    But yet you can also see how this episode really brings
    out the dark side of Spike. He chains Buffy up and threatens
    to kill her if she doesn’t tell him that she’s in love with him.
    He uses Harmony for sex, gets her to dress up like Buffy
    and then tries to kill her anyway.

    Is he kind, or is he a killer?

    His inner struggle is what Buffy fails to see, she can only
    see the demon within him. And until he learns how to keep
    that demon in check, can Spike really be good??


    Eh. This episode. At times, April was fun.

    The files that Warren had installed for her were hilarious.
    And Buffy’s reaction when April growls..

    But the most interesting, and devastating part of this episode
    was the ending with Buffy coming home and finding Joyce..

    Can’t wait for the podcast of the following episode!

    P.S. Side note, did you know Britney Spears was supposed
    to play April? Scheduling conflicts kept her from appearing.

  3. A filler episode, played pretty much only for laughs (until the end). Most truly great episodes of Buffy balance all the elements of the show — comedy, drama, horror — and generally speaking when an episode focuses on only one of those things it tends to suffer – as is the case here. I liked this episode at first, but it got boring upon repeated viewing. Whether or not an episode can hold up to lots of watching says a lot about it. Despite those multiple viewings, I feel like I have nothing to say about it, good or bad. Katrina got on my nerves. Good scene between Giles and Spike in the Magic Box. I love Tara complaining that on the internet everyone’s spelling is so bad 😉 It’s something I could rant about, too 🙂 I don’t think April was quite the awesome girl Xander and Willow seemed to think she was.

    I can’t say much about the ending without spoiling the next episode so I will comment on that next time.

    Some trivia I found on the internet, it has nothing to do with this episode but I think it’s funny:
    Buffy occasionally made favorable references to Xena: Warrior Princess. The writers of Xena returned the favor by mentioning a play called “Buffus the Bacchae Slayer” in their episode “The Play’s the Thing.”

  4. I Was Made to Love You:

    This episode is actually pretty good and would be on my list of repeated-viewing “funny” episodes (along with “Pangs,” “Something Blue,” “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” “Doppelgangland,” “Tabula Rasa,” etc.) if it weren’t for the final scene. Knowing it’s coming, I should probably stop the episode before it reaches that moment, but completion is pretty important to me.

    Anyway, I like the beginning of the episode when the scoobies are discussing April and immediately know she’s a robot. This shows how much they’ve grown in their understanding of technology since “Ted” and “I Robot, You Jane.”

    April was funny for the most part, but I was surprised to feel Buffy’s emotion at seeing her batteries die. Aside from Giles and Spike’s watcher conversation in “Restless,” this scene was the show’s best use of swings thus far. MUCH better than the recent flashback of Dawn and Buffy playing on the swings as children.

    This episode is widely discussed by academic types as a re-telling of the “Pygmalion” myth, in which Pygmalion falls in love with a statue he carved. The statue was then brought to life. “Pygmalion Meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer” by The Open University is a nice podcast on iTunes that takes the analysis deeper for those interested.

    If Britney Spears had played April, how do you think the character would have differed? Would Spears as April have more-convincingly performed autotuned pop music than Spears herself? “I’m a Slave 4 U” does seem awfully representative of April’s relationship with Warren…

    For the record, I actually have quite a few Britney Spears songs on my workout playlist and thought she was a fun addition to the USA X Factor judges this year.

    Just for fun, this is what Britney looked like in 2001 (when “I Was Made to Love You” aired):

  5. So looking at these comments I guess I’m in the minority here but I absolutely hated this episode the first time around. I’m pretty sure the source of hate was Warren and the fact that it was about a robot. I hate when Buffy plays with sci-fi (I Robot, You Jane, Ted) because it just so unbelievable. April is completely implausible but at least acts like a robot. On reflection Warren is not nearly as bad an actor as I remember (in this episode) but on rewatch he is a perfect slimeball. He makes my skin crawl and that’s really good because that is exactly what he is supposed to do.

    Other bits:

    I vividly remember the couple times Britney Spears appeared on How I Met Your Mother and it was horrendous but I really think she would have worked as a robot. Britney Spears acts pretty much as if she is a robot so it would have worked well.

    Does Ben really not have a separate phone line for his dates that the crazy hell-god who he shares a body with can’t overhear?

  6. So…I may have spent the better part of the month of December listening to every podcast in order. Therefore, I have a jumble of thoughts that I haven’t bothered to post yet, because most of them would be “Giles + chainsaw = win” or “I would totally wear sushi pajamas!” At this point, I think/hope I have come up with enough thought soup to make some sort of point. Also, you’re on a break, so what better time to bring up old episodes?

    Anyroad, moving on.

    1. In Defense of Tara:
    I admit, I’ve only watched Buffy though once, so I only have first impressions to go on…and the massive amount of information I’ve read online, but we’ll just let that one go. I’m realizing and beginning to accept that Tara isn’t the best-developed or -written character in Buffy-dom, but she is probably the best character. Let me explain: she is sure in her convictions, she does everything she can to help, and she is always willing to listen, talk, and comfort. No matter the problem, she won’t judge, and she will always, ALWAYS try to see the other side of the problem. Even though it’s not as interesting as, say, Buffy’s terrible luck with guys or Zander’s inability to get involved with non-human women, it’s a nice counterpoint to have something normal and good to refer to in the midst of the insanity that occurs in Sunnydale. It shouldn’t be too spoilery to mention that this continues and is exemplified in later episodes.

    Also, she gave Willow the opportunity to be the cool one in the relationship. Oz was totally the cool one because — hello! — band! In Tara’s first episode, she allowed Willow who was, generally speaking, the shy awkward one, to be the one that was cool, and powerful, and the best at something. I remember feeling it was a great scene for Willow that illustrated her growth as a character.

    2. Rejoicing of the Disappearance of Riley:
    Though I had read smatterings of Buffy before starting to watch the show, and heard bits and pieces from friends, I did not know that Riley was a character. I knew there were heated debates about Angel vs. Spike, but that’s all that I knew about Buffy’s romantic entanglements. It’s a good thing, or else I may have skipped most of season 4. After the Initiative was introduced, and Riley became more than just that awkward guy around campus that made Buffy all awkward, I realized I didn’t care about him. It got to the point where my husband and I would turn to each other as soon as the character came on screen and say “I suddenly lost interest in this episode, how about you?” We literally counted down episodes until his last one. That was a wonderful moment. I’m pretty sure the fail that was Captain Cardboard has been discussed to death already, I just wanted to add my two cents.

    3. Obligatory “Giles is Awesome” Section
    I admit, Giles is at least partially the reason I started watching this show. This has been brought up multiple times in the past, but Giles has always been portrayed so well. He’s ever-resourceful (see above: Giles + chainsaw = win) and will do whatever is necessary to help his Slayer. Plus, he loves books, and that’s an instant win in my world. 🙂 Oh, yeah, and he sings. Can he be any better? (Also, I may be a Giles fangirl.)

    4. Buffy Comes Out
    I’m almost certain this hasn’t been mentioned in the podcast yet, and I’m surprised. The scene where Buffy reveals to her mother that she’s the Slayer is very reminiscent of a “coming out” conversation a child would have with his or her parents, right down to the “have you ever tried NOT being a Slayer” line. Unlike the Spike/Willow almost rape/impotency conversation, I feel like this is played much better.

    5. “On My Own” Episodes
    I have a weakness for characters having their own episode, because I love seeing how people operate out of their comfort zone. Since the show had been going on for long enough, you know how the beats of the show hit, and how the story is told. Even though everything focused on Xander, you still knew enough about how the show operates to know what was happening with everyone else. When he’s given the time, Xander can really shine. I also count Halloween in this, since Willow has to take charge and save the day. Nothing else here, just pride for our red-headed problem solver.

    That’s enough on the past for now. I admit, I don’t remember much of this episode, but I was excited for it to come because after it come some of the season 5 episodes I remember most of all. This marks the first time a “technology” plot has worked at least somewhat well on the show, and sets up SO MUCH for the future, especially the special robot Spike commissions.

    One last thought: mothers, please don’t tease your daughter about where you may or may not have left your bra after a date. Speaking from experience, it’s weird enough that your mother will talk to you about her relationship troubles, you don’t need to add to that.

  7. Hope you guys had a wonderful holiday!! I ended up with strep throat (bummer, right?) and so with plenty of time on my hands, I burned through almost all of Buffy. I’ve only got about 5 episodes to go before I finish the series, which unfortunately colors my thoughts on these season 5 episodes. Oh well.

    I really enjoyed this episode, mostly because I enjoy watching the trainwreck that is Spike’s feelings for Buffy. I really hesitate to call it love even though he continually throws that word out there. It seems more like infatuation. I have to say that both Cordia and Robin made some excellent points, and I sort of agree with both of you. It makes good TV, but if one of my friends told me that someone interested in her had chained her and threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend, I would not just stand by idly. Obviously, she is the slayer and can handle vampires, but just laughing about it doesn’t seem appropriate when you step back and really think about it. (Also, Xander really doesn’t like Buffy dating vampires. He really disliked Angel, too.) Yes, disinviting him is good, but yeesh. Telling Buffy just to make sure she isn’t “leading him on” is pretty horrible advice. Anyone else, I’d be like, get a restraining order! But Spike has been an asset to the Scoobies, and maybe that changes her perception of him?

    i knew that the events at the end of this episode were coming, but I was still shocked because I didn’t know they would be coming so soon. Buffy’s “Mommy?” is so heartbreaking.
    As for Warren and his robot girlfriend, it’s pretty icky. I appreciated that Katrina’s reaction was all “you are disgusting” and refusing to have anything to do with him. Perhaps that is the reaction Buffy should have had for Spike in the previous episode? Warren is a total slime, but also a coward. He refuses to break up with his own robot? He just leaves her to run out of battery? And then Spike with his Buffybot order.
    I did like the reaction from Glory when she learned that Buffy had turned “them” down, it was a light moment before the sadness.

  8. Robin is correct about the morality in this episode.

    Spike is probably my favourite character in the show but his continued presence does present a very difficult ethical situation that is glossed over with the comedy and light touch of the show generally. To an extent that’s fair; the show has always reserved the right to not take itself seriously 100% of the time, it’s clearly pitched as an entertaining, humourous show, but Spike’s perpetual presence strains this conceit a little, in my opinion. Spike has no soul, he is a vampire, pure and simple. It’s true that he is written to be more sympathetic than the average feral vampire, but I just don’t know how justified that is within the mythos of the show, Without something more fundamental than a pain-inducing chip, I don’t think they’ve earned the right to rehabilitate the character as much as they seem to be doing. The fact that the character and more importantly the actor’s performance are so likeable means that most viewers seem content to overlook this. I can overlook it to the extent of still enjoying the show for the most part, but it does trouble me.

    I guess the comments here are supposed to be spoiler free, so I won’t go on, but I don’t think it’s spoilery to say that this is not the last time I’ll have this problem with the show.

    • Phil pretty much nailed exactly what I was trying to say in my rambling email a couple weeks ago so if you didn’t get it this is what I meant. Thank you, Phil!

      Also I listened to the Wild at Heart commentary and I want to share something just because I can’t resist ripping on Riley when given the chance and I figure you guys will enjoy it. The commentary was with Joss Whedon, Seth Green and Marti Noxon and pretty much every time Sarah or Alyson were on screen they were talking about how wonderful they are as actresses. Then Marc Blucas showed up and Seth Green and Joss talked about how tall he was and that he owned a van…

      Just sayin’

  9. Happy New Year
    Re: Crush
    I felt compelled to respond to Robin’s review, in particular his anger at Buffy failing to kill Spike at the end despite his scary, life threatening behaviour. Actually now I’ve just written that sentence my defence feels a bit shakier but I’ll give it a go……
    I felt quite strongly that Buffy had been put into a corner and for the first time it seemed convincing that she couldn’t kill him. His love for her may be sick, disturbing, and somewhat twisted in nature but it is obviously honest. After he reveals that to her it seemed impossible for her to actually kill him – restraining orders and a lot of distance make sense – but killing would seem….a bit off. In an analogy to the real world his behaviour is more insane than criminal.

  10. I Was Made to Love You:

    I always forget about this episode. I remember the very last scene, of course, but I always forget which episode comes before that scene. It wasn’t bad, exactly; I think it just gets lost in a season with some great episodes (like the next one)


    I found it interesting that so many people seemed to comment about how they couldn’t feel for Spike because he’s a killer. Some of the most interesting and well-written characters in all of fiction are people who, in real life, would need imprisoned or killed. Scarlett O’Hara is a manipulative bully whose selfishness leads to a death. The Phantom in Phantom of the Opera stalks the leading lady, pretends to be her dead father, and kills at least 2 men. But the talent of writing makes us feel for these characters. That’s not to say we want Christine from “Phantom” to live in the sewers with the Phantom for the rest of her life, or that we want Scarlett to run away with Ashley. I think Whedon and Marsters have done as good a job portraying Spike that we root for him to change. So when he does things like drinking blood or stalking Buffy, we feel bad for him because he doesn’t know how to be a good man. How can he, when he has no soul?

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