Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | August 22, 2013

Podcast #121: Normal Again

Here’s the podcast for Season 6, Episode 17 – Normal Again

Buffy in the asylum

Buffy in the asylum

Download: Normal Again

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear in the next day or two with your feedback for “Normal Again” and more on “Hells Bells.” Save your comments for “Entropy” until that post is up.



  1. Classic Spike move to be nonchalantly dangling the vampire from the cemetery gate. Had to chuckle.

    Anya is back, both in Sunnydale and as her former demon self. Anya going around trying to get people to wish a curse on Xander was kind of amusing, mostly in terms of the reactions of the others. However, It is understandable that Anya’s in a great deal of pain, and just doesn’t know any other way to cope than to use vengeance.

    Willow and Tara have pretty much reversed roles. They have come full circle. Their relationship used to be based on Willow’s plans, and Willow’s terms. Now, Willow is the one who is slightly shy and uncertain around Tara, and it is on Tara’s terms that they get back together. I really love her speech at the end. There is the recognition that there are still some issues they need to work out, but the moment is just so sweet. Let’s face it. I’ve been waiting for this moment since they broke up.

    Buffy and Dawn can’t go shopping because Dawn has been kicked out of al the stores. Oh Dawn… At least she is showing some semblance of growing up by being willing to pay for her mistakes. Speaking of Dawn, I’ve always been a little annoyed that Dawn always gets told she is too young to fight, considering the fact that she is the same age Buffy and the scoobies were when they started fighting demons. I understand Buffy being concerned for Dawn’s safety, but it’s another example, it feels like, of Dawn being written like a little kid.

    I’ve never been completely sure how to feel about Anya and Spike’s drunken one night stand. I mean, they obviously connected over their respective heart aches, but I still don’t know that I believe that those two characters would be together. In some ways it really seems like a bit of a story contrivance, particularly the way he just happens to stumble into the magic box when Anya is looking for someone to wish ill on Xander without care.

    Spike and Buffy are finally outed. As much as Buffy thought her friends would totally forgive her relationship with him, Xander is not so quick to do so. Anya aside, Xander has loved Buffy since episode 1. In a way it makes me think of the Xander, Willow, Cordelia triangle from season 2. Xander is now in Willow’s shoes, and to paraphrase Willow, Buffy would rather be with someone she hates, than to be with Xander. This news, in combination with Spike and Anya, is more than he can take in one blow. This is one of the first times that Buffy has truly been knocked off of the pedestal that Xander has had her on since high school.

    As for the Trio, I just don’t like them period. They’re my least favorite of all the Buffy villains, and I really just find them annoying.

  2. Normal Again

    I love this episode although I can’t really explain why because there’s no special part I could pick. I watched the show live but unfortunately I missed some episodes before this one so I was totally confused about what was right and what was wrong especially with the ending, the last shot of Buffy in the ward, leaving us wondering whether the entire series might just be our window on Buffy’s imaginary cosmos. I can’t decide which reality is real, but maybe it doesn’t matter. Both are real for Buffy when she’s in them, but the fact that she chooses her life in Sunnydale makes me think that she is eventually choosing her Slayer lifestyle, despite its many downsides.
    The only thing I didn’t like so much was Dawn whining…again..! I’m totally fine with Buffy being in an institution before without ever mentioning it before. Why should she? It’s not something you tell when you meet someone and if you don’t have to I wouldn’t bring up such an uncomfortable topic myself. My favorite moment is Joyce encouraging Buffy (second would be Buffy putting tape over Dawn’s mouth).
    I caught another reference: When Andrew plays the didgeridoo you can see an issue of National Geographic lying on the floor.
    I watched the episode and the commentary, so I want to share some things with you: This episode was written by a Diego Gutierrez and directed Rick Rosenthal. For both it was their first Episode of Buffy. They even talked about that they probably should have made this episode the last of season 6.
    They also said, they didn’t have to tell Sarah Michelle Gellar what to do in certain scenes but she just interpreted it right as they had imagined. The writers wanted to show how broken down the relationships between the characters are so when the element of the asylum takes over it has much more dramatic strength. Obviously it was Joss Whedon who wanted both realties to seem as real as possible without shifting the audience in to one or another reality.

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