Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | June 10, 2013

Podcast #114: Wrecked

Here’s the podcast for Season 6, Episode 10 – Wrecked

Magic Tara Hugs

Magic Tara Hugs

Download: Wrecked

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 10th June 2013 for episode eleven of Season Six: “Gone.” That’s the one where someone turns invisible.

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  1. I actually started watching Wrecked last week, and then after the Spike Buffy intro I decided to skip ahead and watch Gone instead. So I guess that’s how I feel about Wrecked. 🙂 While I mostly agreed with your assessment, particularly about the hit-over-the-head-ness of the drug use metaphor, I came to a different conclusion about the type of magic that Rack was transferring to Willow and Amy. I took it as a different type of magic that would give them a reaction like being high, and it was that brand of spell that was causing the withdrawal symptoms, not just magic in itself. Also, Buffy the show is no stranger to the “drugs are bad” not so subtle subtext. In Nightmares, that girl goes down to the basement for a smoke and gets beaten by that Ugly Man, and there’s a sign on the wall that says “Smoking Kills”. In Inca Mummy Girl, there’s a poster about drunk driving behind Xander and the mummy during a conversation. In Reptile Boy, Buffy takes ONE drink (Just one!!) and ends up roofied and about to be sacrificed to a snake man. Plus, Beer Bad. It’s rather hilarious when you add them all together. (And these are just the examples off the top of my head!)

    As for Gone, I personally love this episode because it brings a nice perspective to the “invisible man/woman” story. Yeah, Buffy thinks it’s pretty cool, especially since it gives her a freedom that she doesn’t usually allow herself. But the reactions of everyone around her are interesting, including how freaked out Dawn gets. It also marks a development in her depression as she realizes that she does value her life and wants to survive. That’s a switch from her song near the end of Once More With Feeling. And plus, lots of Sexy Spike in this episode!

    Minor correction: in the podcast for Smashed, Cordia said that the scene where Tara and Dawn are checking Willow and Buffy’s rooms was in that episode, but I watched it both on Netflix and on DVD and that scene wasn’t in either. It was at the beginning of Wrecked.

    I listened to the commentary for Smashed, and it was apparently that writer’s first Buffy episode, ever. So that may account for the writing appearing lazy.

    I’ll miss you guys next week but look forward to you guys ripping apart Gone, since I’ve declared that I love it, there must be something wrong with it! 😀

  2. I rather liked Gone, lots of nice undressed Spike possibly influencing me too…

    I thought Willow’s recovery seemed to be at a more credible stage than the ridiculousness of Wrecked. All the little points when she wanted to take short cuts through magic seemed believable hurdles for her to get over. And Xander’s assumption that she had caused the invisibility through a spell gone wrong was very natural. I liked the detective work done to find the trio (although a bit unsure about how you can track someone with just a tyre track and paint bits, I can just about believe it feasible).

    Spike and Buffy’s relationship continues to be fascinating. Her struggles against it seem much more understandable to me on rewatch. I really liked her getting her hair cut as well – it was a very normal, human thing to do in an attempt to make a change and destroy one thing he said he liked about her. Spike’s character and what he wants from Buffy are intriguing. Loved the look he gave Xander when he interupted them in the kitchen.

    I know having an invisible character isn’t original but I still quite enjoy them exploring the possibilities and I was pleased the problem with the social worker was resolved fairly easily (allbeit cruelly – not sure she really deserved to think she was having schizophrenic delusions). I just don’t think I could bear a major plot line based on that – possibly because it would involve much more Dawn. The view of social services was much closer to TV norms than reality but I can accept that.

    Things I didn’t like so much:

    – The trio’s best use of a massive diamond is to watch women getting a tan? They continue to be too silly and in no way capable of threat. The only interesting thing about them is the question of how the writers can develop them as a credible enemy to Buffy.

    – I understand what they were trying to do with Buffy turning invisible and then feeling free of her responsibilities but I don’t think it worked. Her mood was a bit too breezy and some of her actions seemed uncharacteristically mean – like scaring the woman in the park and bumping into people in the road.

    Really tried to concentrate on references (although would have missed anything said while Spike was wondering around shirtless)

    Candles are like bongs – Buffy –

    One of trio talking about invisibility gun wanting it to be more ILM (?) and less Ed Wood. Think ILM is refering to George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic while Ed Wood was a dodgy film maker of the 50s with cheap effects.

    Warren says “Cheer up Frodo” to Jonathan

    Did Willow say something about Wrath of Khan refering to Dawn – wasn’t quite sure

    Buffy prints out “All work and no play makes Doris a dull girl” is a reference to the Shining where a character called Jack types out the same phrase over and over.

    Andrew talks about Lex Luther and Superman

    Buffy says Xander is Muldering out what happened – as in Scully and Mulder

  3. For episode references, try the continuity section at buffypedia. Here’s the one for the next episode “gone”

  4. Robin, you seem to be thinking that the show attempted to deal with Willow’s addiction to magic at the expense of dealing with her need to control things. Do you think it’s fair to say that the show might not be done telling this story and that the events in Wrecked don’t necessarily mean they won’t return to that issue?

    The Willow arc so far does make logical sense. She uses magic because she’s interested in it and to help out -> she starts using it to control things -> she loses control over the magic, it starts to control her -> she nearly gets Dawn killed, admits she has a problem with magic and decides to give it up.

    No they haven’t addressed her need for control, but I don’t see why that would mean that the show isn’t planning on doing that later on. If the show doesn’t ever return to it I can see it being a big problem but I don’t think we should write Willow’s character arc off just yet.

    I also tend to think that the quickness of the events in the last episode are a positive as opposed to a negative. I certainly wouldn’t want 4 episodes of druggy Willow. Had they gone for a different angle with better plot devices (or more thickly veiled ones) I would agree that the arc would work better spread out over a few episodes. As it is, the brevity in the storytelling was greatly appreciated. The show tends to mix quick and slow moving plots all the time (season long arcs, monster of the week episodes) so when the story rushes through something I think “well, this isn’t the story they want to tell. This is just a part of it” and I’m able to move on without much trouble. Perhaps this just says something about the kind of viewer I am.

  5. It’s rare that I dislike the way an episode characterizes Buffy, but I really don’t like the way they write her here. I get the journey from A to B – Buffy turns invisible, embraces and is liberated by the escape, and then realizes that she doesn’t actually want to die. It’s an important progression I suppose but they make her so unlikeable throughout. Taking the chance to solve her problem with social services, fine. But I don’t like watching people get humiliated and I think Buffy’s way too mean. And then she leaves Xander, Anya, and Willow to fix her problem while she goes off to sleep with Spike? I just don’t buy that. Yeah, they’ve always been the Scooby research team, but she’s generally off doing something helpful and proactive, too. Even in this state I don’t see Buffy blowing everyone off like that.

    I also don’t get why the writers are making Dawn so petulant. Of course she’d be mad at Buffy and Willow, freaked by Buffy’s invisibleness, and irked by her sister’s flippant behavior, but that scene in the kitchen escalates so weirdly. I guess I just don’t get why she feels like she can’t talk to Buffy and then storms off. If she were really that concerned about Buffy’s behavior wouldn’t she want to have a real talk with her about it? I guess some teens supposedly storm off when they get upset, but the frequency of it feels like an unrealistic TV convention, one they use all the time with Dawn.

    Not a fan of the invisible fight scene at the end. I keep using the word silly when it comes to the Trio but it’s constantly how I feel about them. I’m guessing SMG had something else going on while they were filming this episode, but I wish they had chosen a different storyline. Despite all the complaining, this episode wasn’t as unwatchable as I remembered it, and I do again like that last conversation between Buffy and Willow.

    • I remember reading somewhere that in SMG’s contract she had a couple of episodes per season where she wasn’t really needed, for a built-in break. Like that one last season where she was in that catatonic state. Or Bewitched, etc in season 3 where she was a rat for most of the episode.

  6. I found it interesting just how free Buffy felt when she became invisible. It was almost as if by becoming invisible she no longer had to hide behind her usual wall of protection and was now free to do whatever she wanted, all her fears of Spike and family and Willow’s magic troubles just vanished, and she let her emotions take a turn driving. She expressed her most basic desires to do what she wanted to do simply because she could get away with it, she wants to continue sleeping with Spike, she wanted nothing more than to humiliate the child care worker who got a wrong impression of her. I found it rather interesting.

  7. hi, ive been listening for a while but ive never commented before. i would love to email you a voicemail because i have ALOT of opinions on season 6. unfortunately i have a really bad stutter and that coupled with my thick irish accent would probably be too difficult to understand 😉

    ok so on the episode wrecked i agree with you that they are hitting us over the head with the drugs metaphor. i dont know if you are aware of this but…. rack calls willow a strawberry. and later says she tastes like strawberries. this is a term that is used in drug culture. a strawberry is a woman who is given drugs for free by a dealer in return for basically being his sex slave. the dealer usually holds out on the drugs to make the strawberry do what he wants. letting her come down and go into withdrawal to keep her subservient. i dont think its a coincidence that rack called willlow this.

    love the podcast. keep up the good work 🙂

  8. Hi Robin and Cordia,
    So I’ve been listening to your podcast for several months now, and have been meaning to comment on several of the recent episodes. I am short on time at the moment so instead of going back to the specific season 6 episodes my comments are most relevant to, I’m just going to drop them all here, so my apologies if they are kind of random.
    One thing I thought of with regard to Anthony Stewart Head wanting time off and the Giles leaving situation. I really hate how Giles comes off in leaving Buffy this way. They did a halfway decent job and it’s not as though Giles leaving is unmotivated, but I like Giles and Buffy’s relationship quite a lot and can’t reconcile this choice with Giles’ previous behavior. Plus it makes me like him less. It is certainly tricky to come up with some other way to get him off the show, but I really feel like something better could happen. Such as, what if Giles discovered that his mother (who we don’t ever hear anything at all about, do we? Unless I’m forgetting it…) is really sick in England and needs him, or there’s a dire evil somewhere that they need his research skills for. So then he would have to leave the show for a while, and also Buffy, but he could say, hey, I realize this is rough, but please hang in there till I get back and do your best and I’ll come help you when I’m able. And then they could have a situation where they don’t want to bother him cause his mom’s sick or he’s out of communication somewhere remote, so that Buffy and the Scoobies couldn’t go calling him every time something confusing comes up. I just feel like that would accomplish the goal of giving Anthony time off without sacrificing so much of my faith in Giles’ character.

    A thought on Willow’s season 6 magic difficulties arc. You guys mentioned back in Lover’s Walk, with the de-lusting spell. If I recall correctly (I’ve been rewatching season 3 with my roommate who hasn’t seen Buffy), Willow just called Xander into the chem lab and was like, here, let’s do a chemistry experiment. Then Xander goes, hey, is this a spell? She says no for a bit longer, then confesses it’s a delusting spell, and says she figured it would be easier if he didn’t know. He then more or less agrees, I think, but she pretty much was going to mess with his head and not even tell him – just like with Tara, unless I misinterpreted something. So that I found really interesting.

    As for Dawn…I am generally not a fan, although she has her moments. I didn’t terribly mind her scene with Tara and the shake, but I do agree with the criticisms of it. It was mentioned that some of the lines might have worked better if Dawn were younger. Wasn’t Dawn originally meant to be cast younger, I think? I wonder if that could be related somehow, although thinking that conversation existed for that long seems possibly unrealistic. Just a thought.

    Thanks so much for doing the podcast, I really enjoy hearing your guys’ perspectives!

  9. 1. Robin said pish-tosh (I imagine) to my suggestion that Buffy could have invited Jonathan to be an auxiliary Scooby instead of just lecturing him in Earshot and Superstar. I wonder if he feels sorry now that he knows the dark consequences of magic misuse. This episode doesn’t say it outright, but the implication is clear. Without moral guidance, Jonathan has been selling his strawberries to Rack!

    2. Actually, it would have been kind of funny if Jonathan and that goth kid from Halloween had been in the waiting room at the magic crack house.

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