Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | September 10, 2013

Cordia’s Review: S6, E19 – Seeing Red

Seeing Red
Season 6, Episode 19
Original airing: 5/7/2002

My Rating: 69

The Good: This is a difficult episode to watch and it’s hard to call it “Good”, but I will say lots of it was well created. The rape scene between Buffy and Spike was extremely difficult to watch and the ending scene hit on a number of levels.

Spike’s miniature arc in this episode was actually quite interesting to me. I liked how it actually began with a naïve Dawn coming to his crypt and asking how he could hurt Buffy. Dawn doesn’t see Spike as a villain. To her, he’s always been the distant, cool, older guy. There’s no reason to think she wouldn’t be happy about a relationship between him and Buffy when she obviously idolizes Spike.

Spike approaches Buffy in the bedroom with this mindset of Dawn’s – If you’re in love, just be together. It fuels his frustration at Buffy’s continued rebuffs and almost forces his actions outside of his ability to think about them. His face during the struggle is so focused and he looks confused and desperate. He’s convinced himself that if they sleep together again, things will go back to the way they were. It isn’t until Buffy kicks him off of her that he has any realization about what he was doing.

It’s this struggle and dichotomy in his character that makes him so fascinating, and leads to him leaving town. It’s important to remember he is evil in nature, but vampires still retain some human qualities. I think it’s quite possible that those qualities have been growing in strength as he’s been forced for a few years to curb his violent impulses.

The final scene was also very strongly created. Buffy and Xander’s reconciliation felt honest and true and was quickly broken by Warren’s appearance. His random firing resulted in two people being shot – Buffy and Tara. Obviously, Warren doesn’t know about Tara and probably wouldn’t care, but it’s very impactful to the viewing audience. Her recent reunion with Willow has been shattered and the loss of Tara seems to have driven Willow back to wild and unpredictable magic use. Personally, I can’t wait to see where this goes for the show.

The Bad: The Trio has been a disappointing evil entity for the entire season, but they really stepped it up here. Warren is the main focus, but I just can’t take him seriously. Everything out of his mouth is so painfully misogynistic it becomes a parody very quickly. The only time he feels like a real threat is when he fires the gun and a large part of that is how he then turns to run away. He’s an unknown entity with a powerful weapon and that makes him scary. Who he is as a character has no import.

And I think it’s important to note that this episode didn’t quite hold up overall. A large part of the success of this episode is based on the shock and surprise of the rape and Tara’s death. Without the surprise factor, I was more even keeled throughout the episode and unfortunately able to be more distracted by Warren.

Favorite Moment: The show has spent this entire season recreating Tara’s character in a very believable manner and now it pays off. Her death actually makes me sad where as I would have been rejoicing if it had been during season 5. Tara was truly my least favorite character.

But now it makes sense that Tara’s loss would push Willow back into magic. Tara leaving her was the first step for Willow’s questioning of her magic use. In many ways, Tara is the reason behind Willow’s entire “recovery” processes. Now, to loss Tara again is too much for Willow.

The Bottom Line: I still think this is a very good episode with some stunning moments. However, as a rewatch I felt the loss of surprise hurt the episode. I wasn’t as affected as I was the first time around.


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