Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | February 18, 2013

Cordia’s Review: S5, E20 – Spiral

Season 5, Episode 20
Original airing: 5/8/2001

My Rating: 38

The Good: I appreciated that we learned more about the Key in this episode. The idea that Dawn could be used to literally destroy the universe is quite intense. I wish it had been presented differently (see The Bad), but the concept is solid as a way to up the ante here at the end of the season.

The Bad: Unfortunately, the rest of the episode left me cold. I dislike the sudden decision to run away. It felt very strange when they group hasn’t been working towards any strategy for dealing with Glory anyway. We haven’t seen any studying or planning. Suddenly, they don’t have any time left and the decision is to pile into an incredibly old and obvious camper and just drive. There should have been a plan in place for when Glory eventually figured out who was the Key.

Also on the note of running away, I think the decision to keep the group all together was pretty stupid too. Spike’s comment of a car for him, Dawn, and Buffy made much more sense to me.

Once they holed up in the gas station, I thought the decision making became stronger. Without wheels, Buffy is determined to keep everyone together and safe. There isn’t much more to do than to sit tight. Even the idea to call Ben was fine for me. However, his decision to come was pretty stupid.

This would have all been stronger for me if it had seemed like Ben was seriously considering killing Dawn. But even his little trick moment with the syringe didn’t feel too strong. All in all, his choice to stay in the gas station when he knows he could turn into Glory at any moment is nothing but pure folly and stupidity.

A big problem for this episode was that I felt like nothing happened until the last few moments. The running and hiding was active, but the important things that happened were all talking. It wasn’t very impactful.

Favorite Moment: There wasn’t a single moment in this episode that stood out to me as exemplary.

The Bottom Line: I was really disappointed in this episode. Many of the decisions made by the characters felt just plain stupid and that’s frustrating when I know the characters are smart. I can only hope the end of the season will go up from here with Glory finally getting her hands on Dawn.


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