Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | April 15, 2013

Podcast #107: Flooded

Here’s the podcast for Season 6, Episode 4 – Flooded

The new villains in town

The new villains in town

Download: Flooded

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 29th April 2013 for episode five of Season Six: “Life Serial.” That’s the one where the trio throw obstacles in the path of a job seeking Buffy.

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  1. Hey guys its Whedon month…I forgot how I got invited to this. BUT ANYWAYS I know its already half way through Apirl, but this Facebook group is pretty enjoyable with people having different polls a day. And posting about the WHOLE Whedonverse. Check it.

  2. Also I bought a book a while back that has a lot of interesting essays and interviews about things in the Whedonverse. For those looking for Paper topics or just want some different outlooks on things in the Whedonverse, go check it out. Also I’m a huge nerd.

    This episode is pretty forgettable, I have to say. I watched it on Tuesday, then last night when I was thinking about writing my comments, I almost had to rewatch it to remember. The first half is a little boring and drawn-out. It’s like they had to show all the “talents” of the Trio to establish that they are some kind of threat, although it falls somewhat flat. When Warren says that they stood up to the slayer and survived, I was thinking, no you didn’t, you ran away!

    I liked the scenes with Spike and Buffy (of course!), and especially how she lets her guard down and shows him her vulnerable side. She’s understandably depressed about her current life situation.

    I also liked the ending scene with Giles. Their relationship is warm and nurturing, although Giles’ expression at the end implies that something else is going on. He seems unhappy with the idea that Buffy thinks he’ll always be there for her.

  4. I agree with you two when it comes to the Trio. In theory I think they’re great. The writers wanted to do something different – last season was a (supposedly) super powerful hellgod, rather than top that why not have the Big Bad be a group of bored little boys? Bringing back two characters we already know – Warren and Jonathan – is also a good way of having it be more personal for Buffy and more meaningful for the audience. Their ‘grand plan’ to take over Sunnydale could be a fun contrast to the apocalyptic threats that have become not-so-threatening over the years. Plus, as you said, they’re a way for the writers to inject humor when the only laughs we seem to be getting from the Scoobies is ‘post-post-mortem comedy.’ So it all makes sense, yet I never liked the Trio. They always come off as too silly, pathetic, and annoying rather than funny, though there are very funny bits in this episode. Overall it usually feels like they were more fun for the writers to write than for the viewers to watch, though I’m sure lots of people did like them. Maybe I’d like them if I got more of the references. I’m a big nerd but I don’t know much about Star Trek and Star Wars and all that, so most of the references are lost on me.

    This week on “Buffy finds comfort in Spike and a darker side in herself,” Buffy gets adorably drunk! The kittens thing is too silly for my taste, but I’m impressed that the show is basically reiterating the same storyline every week between Spike and Buffy yet it’s always believable, compelling, and progressing. They’re an entertaining pair and you want them to keep interacting but clearly he’s not a good influence on her, trying to get into bar fights and allowing her to even consider letting him “fix” her life for her. Now THAT’S very un-Buffy (not that she hasn’t asked him for help before, but that was her actively looking for solutions, not giving up). I am glad Giles helps out financially, though given his facial expression at the end the writers clearly don’t want her to have any stable support system this season. If only we could bring back S2 Willow to yell at everyone to quit with the pressure like in Reptile Boy. 😀

  5. Life Serial – what I take away from this episode is mostly just feeling really sorry for Buffy. She’s trying hard, and everything keeps falling apart. She has some help, but in the end feels alone with noone to turn to but Spike, until the very end.

    The Trio I find amusing when they’re being nerdy, but I’m not really interested in them being villains. I love a good Star Wars reference, but they’re just annoying when trying to scheme. Yet they’re just effective enough to mess things up for Buffy’s personal life.

    I was pretty annoyed with Xander for his reaction to Buffy having to fight the demons at the workplace. To bring her to the point where she has to say, “I can’t help where the forces of darkness attack me” is pretty harsh for a girl who was (so far as he knows) just recently in hell. He seems to calm down and speak more kindly to her at the end of the scene, but still.

    I can’t say much better of Giles, surprisingly, in the Magic Box scenes. Now, I can explain this away by saying “oh, he’s just the absent-minded professor/librarian type,” but Buffy doesn’t even get a “you’ll be fine/you’ll do great” on her first day? And what was with the loop spell – was Giles somehow enchanted to be seeing what Buffy first did, or to not really understand what she was saying? When Buffy starts acting strangely after several loops, I don’t understand how he doesn’t react. I also wasn’t really pleased with how they had her cry at one point. It was clearly played for laughs, so far as I could tell, but in the many of the scenes Buffy seemed legitimately upset, so I don’t understand why we were meant to laugh at her frustration. I mean, it’s not like she was in danger, but still. And then, to top it off, they dock her pay for making a mistake. What kind of on-the-job training is it where her first sale wasn’t supervised or checked in some way? They just seemed to be setting her up to fail.

    I liked her scenes with Spike. The refrain of her retreating to hang out with him when all else fails is sad, but seems reasonable. It’s perhaps good she has him there, otherwise if this were real life she might turn to things more dangerous, I should think. In this case we get one of my most favorite things ever from the Buffyverse. Of which there are a great deal, but even so. Kitten poker!!! Somehow I just find it the funniest thing ever. Big bad demons playing poker for kittens. It’s kept light enough that I don’t get wrapped up in the eating kittens end of it (which typically even the implication would upset me). And Buffy’s instructions as she frees the kittens is great. “Scamper, be free!”

    The last scene, with Buffy and Giles, has some really sweet moments. Giles as the “rakish uncle” is definitely an “aww” moment. And his recognition that she’s pushing herself too hard is nice. Of course if she had a little more help or guidance maybe she wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed (ahem, Giles…step up!). And he does step up, in offering her the money. I kind of hate him for an instant when he jokes about taking the check back; it’s like he’s trying to rub her neediness in her face; I don’t know why he said that. And then Buffy’s face is so sweet and trusting when she says she feels safe knowing that he’ll always be there. She’s not being flippant about it the way she was when she ran out the door to see Angel. That time Giles looked a little displeased, and it seemed somewhat reasonable. She just ran out and dumped everything on him. But here, she’s clearly hurting and just being appreciative and loving, and he gets this concerned/disapproving look on his face. Do we have Giles not wanting to get roped into helping too much with Buffy’s life? I don’t understand his reasoning. I could see him wanting her to be independent, but that’s not going to just happen overnight; she needs help to get there. Buffy can’t become financially sound by sheer force of will, even if that’s the way she usually defeats the challenges set to her.

    One last thing. Cordia, if I recall correctly I think in the last episode you said that a lightyear is a unit of time, and possibly the same about parsec. The scientist in me wants to clarify that these are units of distance, despite having “year” and “sec” in them. A lightyear is the distance traveled in one year by something moving at the speed of light. A parsec is 3.26 lightyears, defined in relation to parallax, which is an astronomy method of measuring distance. Probably TMI but any really serious nerds may be interested. 🙂

  6. This was just plain bad. It is not just that the gags themselves were unoriginal. You can have an unoriginal gag like time repeating over and over again and it can still be interesting. One of my favorite episodes of the show Supernatural is when one of the main character keeps repeating the same Tuesday over and over again. All the excepted gags of them getting tired of the same actions are there but it ends on a very poignant and unpredictable. Life Serial does not. It is completely predictable.

    I did not remember this episode so I can’t say this rewatchitis but we know when the demons attack Buffy at the construction site, no one is going to believe her. We know when Buffy gets stuck in the time loop she is going to get out of it. We know when time speeds up and she’ll figure it out.

    Furthermore there is really no logic to any of the gags. Are we meant to assume that Buffy just stood in the same area for hours and Tara just wandered off when time stands speeding up. Is Giles really not hearing her? Anya clearly hears her and changes her response each time. (By the way Giles and Anya’s lines in this scene are so manufactured to be “funny” with each repetition that they completely fail. Giles is disinterested, won’t it be funny when we make Buffy say wacky things and he has no response.) The only one that maybe has a bit of logic to it is the construction site. It is completely manipulated the way Buffy knocks out the foreman but it makes sense that no one else owns up to seeing the demons.

    Andrew, Johnathan and Warren really are in three way race to which character makes me wish I could reach through and choke them. Constant pop culture references are not funny they are a comedic crutch (I know I use them). The comedy in all their scenes is just so ridiculous that it just painful to watch. There really is nothing bad with blowing your humor out and making characters into cartoons if that is your game plan from the start. If Buffy was a show where everyone was just outrageous personality Warren, Johnathan and Andrew would fit in just fine. I mean of course they’d still be awful characters probably but now they are awful character who are completely out of place. Also for personal totally unfair reasons each actor bothers me. These three are my new Riley by the way. That’s not fair actually I liked Riley more than any of these three.

    This wasn’t offensively bad like “Beer Bad” or “Superstar” but it was close, uncomfortably close.

  7. What I found most disappointing in this episode was the scene in the bar with Buffy and Spike. From Spike’s perspective this should have been a huge event. After about a year of his obsession he has finally got the object of his affection to go on what could be seen as a date. It’s built up with discussion about “seeing the dark side” or something and then…just a really lame scene about kitten poker. Which was too silly for me. And it throws up lots of logical problems like where have all these demons come from? and why are they considered safe enough for Buffy to ignore while some demons she hunts down and kills, and doesn’t anyone notice the weird clientele of Wily’s bar? And kittens as a currency……

    On the other hand, I don’t think I find the trio quite as annoying as some. Partly because, to my shame, they have conversations that seem all too familiar to me, like the one comparing the relative merits of past James Bonds for example. But, like other posters, I find them very cartoonish. I didn’t find their 3 tests of Buffy completely unenjoyable – especially the mummy hand one. It’s hard to see where this could all be going though when they could all so easily be dispatched by Buffy.

    The only reference I can remember, apart from the James Bond one is to Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch by Warren I think.

  8. Hi Robin and Cordia!

    I found your podcast about a month ago, and I love it! I had just finished watching for the first time after my roommate convinced me to watch the show, and I fell in love with it. Upon finishing I was craving a way to continue the show via discussion, which is how I stumbled across your podcast. I’m currently caught up through the middle of season 5. Season 3 of Buffy is my favorite due to episodes like my all time favorite Doppelgangland. One of my favorite lines of that episode is Willow’s “You want us to breed?” In response to Snyder saying she and Percy are a perfect match. Of all the conclusions she could draw, I just have to laugh every time I hear it. Another great moment is Buffy’s “Xander, I beg you not to help me” line and Willow being annoyed when Xander incorrectly references Old Yeller. I was also happy to hear that Cordia is a fellow Gilmore Girls fan. Love that show, and was thrilled to find out how many cast and crew connections there are between that show and Buffy. Apparently Amy Sherman Palladino, the creator, is a Buffy fan.

    Something I wanted to note in regards to Buffy firsts, which I’m not sure if this has been mentioned, is Restless marks the first time a character uses gestures to drive a car. Sorta spoiler but not really, this will happen again in season 6.

    On Life Serial:
    Overall, it’s not really that great of an episode. It does have some humorous lines, especially from Anya when she’s training Buffy and encouraging her to sell things. Buffy’s face when Willow gives the complex drawn out answer in class is priceless as well. In terms of the main plot, I just did not enjoy it. The Trio is simply annoying, and are more of a nuisance than a threat. Also, for three guys who have all this free time to sit around plotting against the slayer, where on earth did they get the money for all the fancy computer equipment Warren hooks up in the van? And I definitely rolled my eyes at the giant red self destruct button. Can you say cheesy? The end of this episode held its only redeeming scenes. Buffy and Spike in the bar was great. I agree with Buffy that kittens are dumb currency, but I find the fact that these supposedly dangerous and potentially scary demons play poker for cute cuddly kittens highly amusing. We also get our first sighting of Clem at the poker table. Speaking of Buffy and the bar, I;m pretty sure this is the first time she’s been drunk since Beer Bad. I was glad to see she did not turn into Cave Slayer this time around. Once was more than enough. It’s interesting that this is the 5th episode of season 6 and Beer Bad was the 5th episode of season 4. Weird coincidence. Lastly, the Buffy and Giles scene just reflects once again how much of a father figure he is to her. Really sweet to watch.

    Anyway, I’m glad to have found the podcast and I look forward to commenting on future episodes, as season 6 and 7 have some of my favorite moments

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