Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | October 1, 2013

Get your comments in now!

Continuing the tradition of Cordia and I having trouble matching our schedules we will be recording the podcast for “Grave” this Saturday 5th October. That’s actually less than a week since the podcast for “Two to Go” was released. Sorry to rush you but I am away next week and then Cordia is slammed with work for the rest of the month so this is your last chance for a few weeks to talk about the finale and Season 6 in general. Thanks as ever,
Robin

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Responses

  1. Is this a Buffy (Rewatch) first!?

  2. Hey All it’s been while since I’ve commented but have been listening weekly and loved the discussion on season 6. Wanted to try to fill in with a few thoughts on season 6.

    The Episodes of Smashed, Wrecked, and Gone were titled so because they are all synonyms for being drunk, which was supposed to also mirror the issues that Willow was dealing with. I know this entire season it’s been referenced as Willow magic is a metaphor for drug addiction but I had always thought it was a metaphor for alcoholism. I know it’s not a huge difference but I think it is a critical one to the writers of the show in terms of how everyone is dealing with Willow and her magic. With Drugs everyone knows that’s bad and illegal and that an addiction is treated quickly with far more severity. Whereas with alcohol the issues start subtly and are only noticeable at first to those who are close to the person AND paying attention. The addiction can seem quick at first but upon looking back it’s clear that it was there all along, which I think is true with Willow. One of the early indicators to her problem is that she is always defensive when ever anyone (Giles, Oz, Tara) questions her use of magic. (Side note– the above experience with alcoholism is just my personal family dealing with the situation and that’s how I came to my conclusions that it’s alcoholism and not drug addiction). I also think that me looking at Willows magic issues as alcoholism allows me to relate more to the character when she transforms in”Evil” Willow. The magic in Willow’s system works as alcohol works in a human system. It think term “Under the influence” is a great way to encapsulate the way that alcohol can take away your inhibitions and make you act more your desires more then suppress them.

    With that being my defense for why I think SOME, not all, but some of the Willow magic addiction issues work. I DO have a major issue with the Magic as Addiction metaphor. My issue is this, in season 4 and 5 magic was used a metaphor for Willow’s relationship with Tara and then somewhere along the line magic turned into a metaphor for addiction. I have an issue with magic represent both a lesbian relationships and addiction, with very little time or any other sort of separation between the two metaphors. The writers and the show are (I hope) inadvertently connecting the two and possibly raising the question does one lead to the other? I don’t think the show meant ask the question but inherently it does by drawing the two metaphors with the same element of the show. And is the main reason why I, personally, dislike the Season 6 Willow story line.

    Fun viewing story, When I was watching Buffy the first time through I was watching with a friend, who has seen the show before, and we watched the last three episodes of season 6 back to back, between Villains and Two to Go I turned to my friend was like, “man if only Giles was still around, he’d put Willow in her place” oh how little I knew.

    Most of my other thoughts have been covered on the podcast but I didn’t want to touch on Entropy, I know it’s a flawed episode but I love and it’s one my favorite of the series. The scenes with Spike and Anya prior to “the incident” and the four way argument between Buffy, Spike, Anya and Xander is one of my absolute favorite scenes of the entire series. SO heartbreaking, so real. I know I’ve been one of the lone Xander support voices but I can’t help but feel for him in this episode, in this moment, in this season. He never meant to hurt Anya by leaving her and I think somewhere inside him he did it because he was trying to make things better for her in the long run. It’s clear he still loves her and what she does with Spike (the creature Xander can’t stand most in the world, currently) crushes him even more. Xander makes mistakes, he’s flawed, but I think that’s why I can forgive, relate and connect with the character because he is human and not just a one note tv character (of which there are plenty on TV then and now, but that many in the Whedon-verse)

    It is because of Entropy, because of Hell’s Bells and because of this season that Xander enters “Grave” at his lowest point, feeling useless to the group. Knowing that all he has left is his friends and his support group. That’s the reason the yellow crayon speech works, because he can show her that even thought faults, flaws and all the pain of the world there is still love and that love allows her to grieve.

    Grave has it’s low points and logic inconsistencies which holds it back from being anything better then an okay episode with really great moments, as discussed in previous episodes Willows powers are conveniently strong when needed and her logic jump as to why she wants to destroy the world is weak at best.I will say first time through I thought Giles was actually going die (with him not being a regular on the show anymore) and the second half of the episode (after they fall into the hole to the end) really work for me so overall, it’s an above average episode for me.

    “You Cut your hair” is such a nice moment and encapsulates the Buffy and Giles relationship perfectly. Then the following scene with Buffy and Giles is great and a wonderful moment of levity for Buffy, It’s GREAT to have Giles back on the show, it’s better with Giles.

    Quick Podcast note, I just have to say I LOVED the episode of the Podcast for Villains. FANTSICT episode, really loved the discussion, review, and just everything about that episode. So far my personal favorite episode of The Buffy Rewatch.

  3. It’s interesting that it’s the only finale not written by Joss. I think it may have suffered a little because of it.

    I don’t think it’s dreadful but perhaps a little poorly constructed. Willow going from angry revenge-seeker to full-scale apocalyptical world-ender was a bit sudden to say the least. Also I wasn’t completely convinced that falling down a hole would be such a big setback to Buffy and leave her out of the final battle.

    It is rather lovely that Xander steps up to save the day. His relationship with Willow is a core part of the show that I don’t think we’ve seen enough of in the last season.

    The scene with Buffy and Giles was nice. I like the idea that Giles would find the revelation that Buffy had been sleeping with Spike just stupid and funny. Some of the laughing did seem a bit forced maybe?

    When I first watched this episode I was so thrown by the misdirection over Spike that I just thought he had gone to try to get his chip removed but was misunderstood, maybe intentionally, by the demon and got his soul by accident. I still think the misdirection is a bit confusing if we are to believe that he has gone through everything to be a better man for Buffy.

  4. I personally did not like the idea of Giles laughing at all that had happened with the Scoobies, you know if I had heard that my friend just died and that my daughter-figure was sleeping with her enemy I think I’d take it a little more seriously than that.

  5. Thoughts on Season 6

    Season 6 is my favorite season. I started watching Buffy in syndication about 3 or 4 years ago, because my husband would turn it on when he got home from work. For the first four seasons, I didn’t really think very much of it. It was, for me, just a cute show about a high-school girl with superpowers. Somewhere in the middle of season 5, I noticed that it was the show I was enjoying the most. But in season 6, we stopped watching the version in syndication, and watched the entire season in the course of one long weekend, because I couldn’t wait to see what they were going to do next.

    There’s a lot about it I love, but these are my favorite parts:

    • Buffy’s depression arc, her resulting moral crisis, and the way it takes nearly the whole season to resolve. I think it’s an incredibly well-drawn and compelling depiction of depression. Placed, as it is, in the middle of a fantasy show, it kind of blows my mind that I’ve never seen it done better.
    • The relationship between Buffy and Spike. It’s interesting, complicated, believable, and hot.
    • The parallels among Buffy, Willow, Warren, and Spike. What makes any of these characters choose to be good over choosing to be evil? For Spike, we were given an easy answer. It’s the chip, and arguably his feelings for Buffy. For Willow, it looks like Tara may have been standing between her and evil. For Warren, all he needs is the opportunity. After the idea occurs to him, he never looks back. For Buffy, this season, when she chooses to be good, it looks like it’s largely out of habit.
    • The show is brave enough to show all of the characters failing one another and themselves. They’re all making bad choices, and wrapped up in their own issues, and it feels organic to me.

    The things that don’t work for me? The nerds. That is all.

  6. Thoughts on Grave:

    • This episode marks a Buffy first for me: I really like Xander at the end of this episode for his bravery and his kindness.
    • I love the scene where Anya points out that she’s dyed her hair again in the hopes that she can get Giles to her hug, too. It’s a sweet moment with an odd undercurrent, given that Giles doesn’t know she’s a vengeance demon again.
    • I never believed Spike was trying to get his chip out. It already didn’t work on Buffy, so if he wanted to fight her, removing the chip wouldn’t help. We’ve seen William in flashbacks– what will Spike be like with William’s soul?

    Thoughts on Willow and Buffy:
    • I always got the impression that Buffy never quite forgave Willow for dragging her out of heaven this season. That’s why it never fazed me much that Buffy doesn’t look especially pained to be fighting Willow in Two to Go, and why it made sense to me that the writers would set Willow up as the big bad this season. I think it’s interesting that Buffy is not the one who saves the world this season, nor is she the one to say “I love you” to Willow.
    • I think Willow under the influence of dark magic is a direct comparison to vampirism, and I think that’s why the writers called back to Vampire Willow with the “bored now” line. Willow is both herself and not herself, which is pretty much how the series has described vampirism before.

  7. A few things of note, and some thoughts on, Giles, “Grave”, and Season 6.

    I remembered a web comic that I read when it was out a few years ago (Or — yipes — 2006!) that I’ve wanted to share, but didn’t want to do so before season six, because a lot of the details mentioned are about season six. This was before I read Buffy, but these two strips stuck in my mind even without that experience:
    1: On Buffy’s awesome door opening at the end of “Once More with Feeling” http://www.homeonthestrange.com/view.php?ID=22
    2: On the villain’s of various seasons (no spoilers for season seven, though!) http://www.homeonthestrange.com/view.php?ID=23

    The Giles/Buffy moment in the training room in the back of the Magic Box is one of my favorite things about this episode. Giles has been gone for so long, and Buffy has been so lost, so having him there to be there for her and listen to her is a blessing. He was finally able to give Buffy what she’s been needing for so long — a good laugh. I know some people have thought his reaction was weirdly insensitive, but I feel like it’s an honest, genuine reaction. Hell, if I were in his position, I would probably burst out laughing too.

    At first, it sort of looks like Buffy wants him to be the parental figure and pass judgement. However, as in “Innocence” when Giles didn’t judge her for sleeping with Angel, he doesn’t scold her for acting irresponsibly, he reacts to let her know that she’s making it though, and he will care for her, no matter what she does.

    I also love the callback to the fight between Willow and Giles, when he calls her out for doing such dangerous magic to bring Buffy back from the dead.

    And, even though it feels kind of corny, I love that Xander has a chance to shine, and is the one to save the world. Even though he’s kind of a douche at times, he does have a valid reason to be part of the gang. Sometimes, you don’t need magic, or super strength, or special knowledge, you just have to be passionate about something. It’s a great moment for Xander’s character, and reminds me of how good of friends they were.

    As for a note on season six — I’m so mixed on my feelings. On one hand, this season has some of my favorite episodes, and some really strong episodes for the show. On the other hand…Doublemeat Palace…return of Captain Cardboard…sigh. I feel like, if the writers had structured things differently, given more buildup to Dark Willow instead of having the weird drug addition metaphor, this season would be overall much better, and the last few episodes wouldn’t feel so separate from the rest of the season.

    Finally, Tara. The Tara that died in “Seeing Red” is the Tara I love, and the Tara I defended the first time I commented. She is truly a good person, and came into her own. This is the Tara I think of, not the wishy-washy fawning over Willow awkward girl she was before. She is the woman that comforts Buffy when she is afraid she came back “wrong,” the one who lays down the law when she learns that Willow kept magic supplies yet was still proud she didn’t use magic.


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