Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | May 27, 2013

Cordia’s Review: S6, E08 – Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa
Season 6, Episode 8
Original airing: 11/13/2001

My Rating: 67

The Good: I enjoyed the concept of this episode. It was entertaining to see everyone’s interactions from a fresh perspective. Overall, I thought the comedy worked well to explore a few of the relationships.

I liked that the characters retained sense memory. Buffy and Spike were drawn together still, as were Willow and Tara. I also liked that, when threatened, Buffy pulled out her Slayer skills. Her body remembers what to do even if she doesn’t.

The crux of this episode is Tara and Giles leaving. I still highly disagree with Giles’ decision to return to London. Even Buffy says that he is abandoning her. This is a sad example of real life impacting a show as Anthony Stewart Head was asking to return to London. Unfortunately, the show wasn’t able to really work that into the story very well.

I did like how the show handled Tara’s exit. Her confrontation with Willow at the beginning is a very strong moment for her. Tara exists mostly as an independent person when she is standing up to Willow, and this is no exception. Their conversation at Xander’s apartment is a very intense moment as she threatens to leave. It was saddening to see Willow completely disregard Tara’s concerns the next day.

It’s easy to sympathize with Tara at the end of the episode. Following through on her threat must have been very difficult, and it is made clear in the final montage that this decision is not only difficult for Tara and Willow, but also for Dawn. It’ll be interesting to see the fall out.

It’s also hard to not feel incredibly bad for Buffy. She’s just opening up to her friends about how completely lost she feels, even saying it feels like she is dying, when her emotions and memories are taken away from her. Their return at the end is so crushing she ends up back in Spike’s arms. The desperation of their kiss at the end is even more compelling than last week’s.

The Bad: I was very disappointed with the loan shark. He was such broad comedy and so easily defeated with the deaths of his minions. Luckily, he was easily ignored.

Favorite Moment: This story is really about the dissolution of Tara and Willow’s relationship. The scene in the sewer right after the spell is broken is the arc of this story as we see Tara’s realization that Willow has broken her promise. This is a truly heartbreaking moment.

The Bottom Line: This was a fun episode, but it really was for the fans. If you don’t know the characters well, the comedy of their unusual situations doesn’t really work. But the intense fall out of this episode concerning Willow and Tara was the real point anyway. And that paid off well.

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