Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | September 10, 2013

Podcast #124: Seeing Red

Here’s the podcast for Season 6, Episode 19 – Seeing Red

Willow snaps

Willow snaps

Download: Seeing Red

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The next podcast will appear on Tuesday 17th September 2013 for episode twenty of Season Six: “Villains” which picks up where this left off.

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  1. I excused Warren’s over top villainy, because he’s a dork. This is his power fantasy where basically gets to be the villains he’s read in comics or seen in movies. Buzz saws = James Bond villain.

    • I’m sure that is exactly what Warren think he is doing but the problem with that is there is not the slightest bit of irony in all of it. It’s almost the reverse Riley effect where his negative qualities are taken to such an extreme that he is a caricature not a character and no one notices. Surprisingly Warren bothers me far more than Riley ever did and that is not just because Riley’s secret gay love interest is so much more compelling. RILEY AND FORREST FOREVAH!

      • where’s my riley and forrest shirt?!

      • There’s is an eternal love that now mere fabric not even 100% cotton could do justice.

      • No*

  2. Entropy

    1) The Dramatic Role of the Nerds

    To the extent the nerds are a big bad, I think they act as a dramatic foil or dark mirror for the Scooby trio. Without Giles, the Scoobies are forced to grow up, and Xander, WIllow, and Buffy all begin to confront the harsh reality of adult life, including adult obligations and taking responsibility for the consequences of theirs actions.

    Warren, Andrew, and Jonathan are the anti-Scoobies, and they don’t so much represent adult responsibility and consequences as they demonstrate the opposite choice in the face of those factors. Freed from parental control, the nerds are still essentially adolescents. They play with toys and have no real appreciation that their choices affect others, or even themselves.

    I’m with William on Warren. I wouldn’t have wanted to see him chew the scenery for the whose season, but it was completely in character for him to manipulate the other two nerds to gain ultimate power, and to go on a rampage once he had it. Yes, he wasn’t charismatic like Spike or Angelus, or funny like the Mayor or Glory, but I was getting tired of quirky villains with ironic dialogue anyway.

    I know I’m in the minority, but IMHO, Warren works because he’s just an unsubtle power-mad dork. He symbolizes where power without restraint can go, and I don’t need him to amuse me as long as he’s interesting.

    2) The Set-up for Tara’s Death

    IMHO, the better precedent for this is Jenny Calendar, not Buffy and Angel. With Jenny, the show did almost the same thing – a last minute reunion of Jenny and Giles to amp up the tragedy. It still works, but it’s a little more obvious the second time around.

    • I totally agree with you about the Jenny Calender and Tara comparison. They’re both narrative deaths. They may be a tad manipulative, but it’s because of their death that we get the compelling finale.

  3. Buffy Last, this is the last time that the credits change!

  4. In an episode where you have Buffy feeling sorry her rapist left town, Dark Willow is still the most confusing thing about this episode. In the beginning of the season I found Willow’s power grab and fascination with magic very interesting and they completely ruined it by introducing this uninspired drug metaphor. I don’t understand where Willow’s limits are, I don’t understand why that drug metaphor was even necessary to tell this story and I don’t understand why Anya the demon with powers who knew that Willow was coming does not have the world ending books in some place Willow can not find them or get to them. Or you know at least in a place where a toddler who has mastered the stairs can’t get to them.

    I think I’m in the miniority in that I really enjoyed Glory but she was a god and her invincibility made sense. Now Willow’s sucked in some books and she is unable to be damaged by axes and poke balls that contain freezing gels. Willow comes off as geniuely threatening but her powers are so much it’s kind of unbelievable. It’s too much too soon.

    But more than that we have several character reacting to situations in ways that they shouldn’t. I never thought I’d appreciate judgmental Xander more but him being upset that Anya has gone demon is about the only character moment I believe in the episode.

    Spike raping Buffy kind of proves what I believe the story has been all along that you can tame a monster but it won’t last and he will always lash out. None of the Scoobies and especially Buffy should trust or have anything to do with Spike. She certainly shouldn’t be all melachonly that Spike left without sayi goodbye. Chivalry is truly dead. We can’t even except our soulless vampire to bid us a fond adieu a mere 24 hours after they tried to raped us.

    Also lets just leave my sister with the seemingly harmless demon who can’t protect her at all and who I don’t really know anything about despite his desire to eat kittens.

    It’s even harder to stomach the Spike scenes when he’s off in nondescript foreign land calling Buffy “The Bitch”.

    Which is nothing more than Warren letting his misogynist flag run wild. There is no hint of the scared disturbed little boy who shot that gun in the last episode. (Excluding the Rak scene and I prefer to pretend Rak doesn’t exist). For the most part Warren continues to get all his dialogue of the offensive sexist handbook. There is a real interesting character in having the main bad guy be a sexist misogynist asshole in a season where all of the women on the show were in dysfunctional maybe even abusive relationships but they didn’t explore any of it.

    • It would be funny if Clem were downright evil, and his goofy exterior was just a cover.

      I still think Clem wouldn’t hurt Dawn because he wouldn’t enjoy Buffy killing him, but it’s also hard to imagine Clem doing much to protect Dawn if Warren suddenly showed up at the crypt.

  5. I’m all caught up now, so here are some random comments..
    – First of all, this season is kinda depressing, isn’t it. But I love the Buffy story they’re telling and the Buffy/Spike relationship, their dynamic is just so interesting – and of course naked Spike didn’t hurt either.

    – Once more with feeling: I’m still in awe.

    – I think you missed a reference in As you were, when Buffy comes to the crypt to sleep with Spike, he says “If I knew you were coming, I’d’ve baked a cake”, which is the title of a song I know from Sesame Street. Wikipedia tells me it’s been sung by other people, but I prefer the thought that Spike is secretly a big fan of Ernie and the Cookie Monster

    – Hell’s Bells: Was Giles not invited to the wedding, could he not pay for the plane ticket, or did he just noch care? I know it was because of the actor, but I think they don’t even mention him?

    – Something I just realized is that yes, I was shocked when Tara got shot, but I wasn’t sad, and I feel that I could be sad, because they made me really like her and I’m usually sad when a character dies anyway, but here I’m not; and I think that’s in large part because they move so fast from Tara dying to DarkWillow and on from there. And that in turn does make it feel like they killed Tara just to get this Willow story going again.

    P.s. I kinda liked your pronunciation of my name but it wasn’t quite right. I’ll try to explain, I’m really bad at this, so I might make this worse but whatever 😉 It’s “Mar” and then the “ei” sounds like an I and you do pronounce the “ke” at the end, as in KEntucky

    I thought the reaction from the demons in the bar when Warren was bragging about killing the slayer was interesting, because they imply that the slayer is going to kill him. They know he’s a human, but I guess they don’t see her as anything but a killing machine. Of course, the episode makes it clear that Buffy still doesn’t believe in killing Warren, even though he clearly needs to be stopped. When Buffy, Xander, and Dawn are talking in the living room after the coroner takes away Tara’s body, I couldn’t help but wonder about having a vengeance demon that specializes in murdered loved ones coming around. Then Anya later says that she would be drawn to Willow except that Willow wants to carry out her own vengeance, so that’s another little tidbit on the mythos of vengeance demons. Kind of convenient that Willow’s desire for vengeance is felt, but Dawn and Xander’s is ignored.

    The scene where Warren is flayed alive continues to haunt me. However, I do think he must have borrowed Spike’s magic pants, because those managed to stay on while his shirt went bye-bye. Willow makes a way better big bad than the Trio ever did.

    Funny thing – there’s a DVD featurette on the last disc of season 6 that is called “Life as the Big Bad”. So maybe that’s where I’d heard it before!

    I can’t take credit for this catch (read it on a Buffy fansite) but when Warren goes to see Rack, he says “Oh you’re right, let’s talk about my skin troubles!” Irony.

  7. Villains
    And here we finally meet Dark Willow…..the culmination of all of Willow’s magic issues.

    Just a thought, it seems weird that Willow would just leave Tara’s body lying in the room the way she did. I mean, I get that she wants to go after Warren, but seriously. That just seemed weird.

    When Oz hurt her, she instantly jumped to magic as a quick fix. The first time Tara was hurt by Glory, jump to dark magic and bags of knives. There is a recurring pattern that traumatic events that affect Willow on some personal level will inevitably lead to extreme magic use. For this reason, I can understand from a story perspective why Tara was killed despite the fact that I loved her character, and her and Willow’s relationship. I personally like the Dark Willow story line. It’s a really different look into Willow’s character than anything we’ve ever seen before, even Vampire Willow. Dark Willow is quite possibly my favorite “Big Bad.”

    Dark Willow says “Bored now” which also happens to be a Vampire Willow catchphrase.

    Even the demons think Warren is an idiot. When evil demons and things think he’s a terrible “big bad”, then I think it’s safe to say he’s actually a terrible “big bad.” How did Warren build a robot of himself so fast? Does he just have one lying around? If so, that just makes him an even bigger weirdo than I thought.

    How does Anya know exactly what happened? Or is she just assuming something bad happened based on Willow’s grand entrance? Can she sense it the way she can sense Willow to track her later? That part was a little bit unclear. Speaking of Anya, the reveal that she is now a vengeance demon was very understated. This leads me to believe that the scoobies won’t be addressing this issue in the very near future. There are much bigger issues at stake at the moment anyway, but yeah.

    I agree with Xander that it seems completely ridiculous that Buffy would allow Dawn to stay with Spike after what happened. Obviously that didn’t end up happening because he left, which meant we got stuck with a random Clem moment that did not fit. Oh well, Dawn had a place to stay I guess.

    Dawn finding Tara was soo sad. The two of them had such a sweet relationship. The fact that she sat in there for several hours because she didn’t want Tara to be alone was just heartbreaking. I don’t care how annoying/immature/unrelatable/etc Dawn’s character can be at times. In that moment, I felt for her.

    Jonathan thinking he was locked up with hard criminals and then finding out the guy was just in for a parking ticket was kind of amusing.

    Buffy dies….again….albiet temporarily. That’s gotta be a record.

    Interesting comment courtesy of the Buffy Wiki – “Tara is unique amongst the Scooby Gang in that during her time on the show she was never tied up and was never possessed or went evil.”

  8. Villains:

    – Ok, I defended Warren last time, but this time, his “I’m a misogynist” sign is too blatant even for me. I still kind of like him as a villain – he’s not a monster with a master plan; he’s just a weak person with delusions of grandeur who has gotten in over his head.

    – Maybe we can answer this better after next episode, but if Willow is the big bad, what does she signify? I have a theory for how the trio fits into the Season metaphorically, but it’s harder saying something about Season Six using Willow. Maybe we’re not doing metaphor anymore, and it’s enough that the Dark Willow scenes are dramatic.

    – I thought the Dark Willow plot was effective, but the most dramatic moment for me wasn’t Willow confronting Warren, but Buffy learning of Tara’s death and trying to talk Willow down. I’m not sure if that’s because the show has followed Buffy so closely this season, or just because SMG is such a good actress.

    – For an evil genius, running through the woods on foot was a pretty bad part of Warren’s plan. It probably wouldn’t have helped, but it would have made more sense to jump on a plane or try to lure Willow into some kind of anti-magic trap.

    – It seems like magic *should* have been able to save Tara at the beginning of the episode. She wasn’t brain dead yet, she just didn’t have a working heart. If Willow could have kept her circulatory system working, I assume she might have survived long enough to get to medical care. My personal theory is that Willow just didn’t know how to do it without Osiris’s help, which helps explain why she sucked the books and why she was able to heal Buffy from a similar injury later on. If so, then she may blame herself almost as much as Warren, for listening to everyone else and not learning the magic that could have saved Tara.

    – I like what the show has been doing with Xander since the wedding. Last episode, he was telling non-stop jokes, and now he’s deflated and quiet, both of which are totally in character under the circumstances.

  9. Is the Vines “spell” in the forest that Willow uses on Warren a reference to Evil Dead? Just wondering if someone could clarify.

    • I’d like to know as well. I don’t think it is, but that thought crossed my mind too.

  10. Saw this deal and thought I’d share

    09/17/2013 @whedonesque: Buffy & Angel Complete Series Box Sets are's Gold Box Deal of the Day.

  11. I just wanted to thank you guys for providing an intelligent and entertaining podcast for this Buffy fan. I only got into the show after it aired a few years ago so I missed all the fun of deconstructing and analysing at the time.

    Just some thoughts on the previous shows you’ve covered.

    The Body is still one of the most haunting pieces of television. I love the way the music is omitted and the acting was exceptional here.

    Seeing Red is one of the most uncomfortable pieces of television I’ve ever seen. Of course the attempted rape itself is horrifying (how great was Sarah Michelle Gellar) but also due to James Marsters’ amazing acting you could get into the perpetrators head. And that’s scary. You can see the moment that he realises what he has done and is disgusted by this.

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