Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | October 5, 2013

Podcast #127: Grave

Here’s the podcast for Season 6, Episode 22 – Grave

Xander breaks Willow

Xander breaks Willow

Download: Grave

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 28th October 2013  for episode one of Season Seven: “Lessons.”

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  1. Movie trailer for Season 6

    • whoops that was the playlist…

      • Brilliant!

      • Mwahahaha! Great ending. 🙂 I’m shocked Once More With Feeling got so little play time.

      • That was so good!

  2. About the ending, you seem to look at is as “Spike wanted to get his soul back, but we were lead to believe he was after the chip.” but I’ve always taken it as he wanted the chip out, but he kept saying “make me the man i was before” and the evil demon thing tricked him by saying “you didn’t specify which man”

    In other words, I see it as Spike not knowing what he was getting into. He beleived the demon would take out the chip and instead got his soul forced on him.

    • Basically the supernatural world is punishing William the same way they did Angelus.

      • We got what you meant. It did come across that way in the final moment. But we know that that’s not what Spike wanted. As multiple people said in feedback, he didn’t need the chip out to hurt Buffy, he could already hit her. If it was so he could harm humans again then it seems odd he would go to a demon and not a brain surgeon. It was poor misdirection to make us not think about the possibility of him seeking his soul.

  3. I agree that Dark Willow is something “more than Willow” here, BUT to me the following indicates that Willow herself is responsible for what she does and that it’s a choice. From “Two To Go”:

    Buffy Summers: You have to listen to me. The forces inside you are incredibly powerful. They’re strong, but you’re stronger. You have to remember you’re still Willow.
    Willow Rosenberg: Let me tell you something about Willow. She’s a loser, and she always has been. People picked on Willow in junior high school, high school, up until college with her stupid mousy ways. And now… Willow’s a junkie.
    Buffy Summers: I can help.
    Willow Rosenberg: The only thing Willow was ever good for… the only thing I had going for me… were the moments, just moments, when Tara would look at me and I was wonderful. And that will never happen again!

    Notice the last few things Willow said there. How she brings it back to the first person. IMO that’s Willow taking ownership for what she’s doing. But it’s also her laying out why she’s doing it.

    The reason she refers to herself in the third person and periodically says things like “don’t call me that” is because Tara was such a strong part of her identity. It’s like with Tara gone, Willow believes her own identity is lost. It hasn’t really been explored in a satisfying way, but I do think that’s what this is and I also think Smashed/Wrecked is consistent with that. We see Willow spiral hard over there, and then it happens again here albeit in a different way. Both times, the reason is because she lost Tara.

    Anyway, it seems like its all pretty open to interpretation and you two have already spent a lot of time talking about it so feel free to ignore that part of this comment if you wish 🙂

    I do want to play the contrarian with the Spike soul stuff, though. I hated it the first time I saw it, and I hate it again this time. In my opinion, Spike crossed a line when he tried to rape Buffy. The suggestion of him trying to get his soul back so he can give her what she deserves really bothers me. Regardless of what comes next, do I really want to see Spike try to get cozy with Buffy again? No. I really don’t. Enough of the Buffy/Spike storyline. The attempted rape should be the end of it.

    • Unsurprisingly I agree exactly with Romit when it comes to the Spike stuff. I thought some of the Spike/Buffy was interesting to me in season six but I would have been much happier if their story (and the series to be perfectly honest) ended at season five with “I know I’m a monster but you treat me like a man.”

      Furthermore the rape scene whether you sympathized with Spike at all or not (I didn’t but I could see how), they can’t address it in any meaningful way now. Buffy is not going to hold Spike responsible for anything he did when he didn’t have a soul and because I don’t hold Angel responsible for Angelus’ actions I have to begrudgingly agree.

    • If Spike’s attempted rape is irredeemable, then when Willow cast the forgetting spell on Tara and then had sex with her (possibly that evening off camera, but definitely in OMWF), that should also be irredeemable. It’s the equivalent of giving Tara a roofie. More so, because Willow had intent to take away Tara’s consent.

  4. It’s not that I don’t think Spike could come back from that act but because he has a soul you can’t hold him responsible for it. If Spike without a soul felt remorse there is no way a Spike with a soul is going to be not fully disgusted with that. Tara held Willow responsible for taking away her memory, I don’t see Buffy (or the show) holding Spike responsible for it.

    • The Scoobies still threw some stuff in Angel’s face after he got his soul back. So you’d assume Spike will face similar treatment.

      No one has mentioned his behaviour as “The Doctor.” No one seemed annoyed that he harboured demons which could destroy the world.

      • It be incredibly surprising if Xander doesn’t bring up Spike’s evil actions everytime they have a scene together in season seven but the show’s morality has always been in line with Buffy. I never felt in season three that we were supposed to be fully on the Scoobies side when it came to Angel. Giles is perfectly justified in not liking Angel after, he sorta violently murdered his girlfriend, but I think we were meant to be more sympathetic to Buffy who kept saying that wasn’t Angel. I would argue that Buffy is probably the most offended party by Spike (Xander hates vampires on principle, Giles wasn’t even around and laughs at the scoobies problems when he does show up, Anya is almost always empathetic unless it’s about sex, Willow was high most of the season and no one cares about Dawn’s opinions) and Buffy’s morality is not going to hold a new ensouled Spike responsible for Spike’s evil actions of the past.

      • Anya’s apathetic sorry, not empathetic, a typo that is the exact opposite of what I meant :).

    • Aside from ending the show after season 5 I’m entirely on your side. Better follow throughs are
      A) Spike leaving the show for good (big emotional exit type of thing); or
      B) Spike not getting his soul back and sticking around.

      Giving him his soul back makes him “a good guy” and the impetus for him becoming good is an attempted rape. Isn’t there something just supremely annoying about that? I know, Cordia, that you think it doesn’t necessarily mean he is good now… but his intent is clearly to become good for Buffy.

      I suppose it makes Spike’s emotional story more interesting but it cheapens the attempted rape IMO

  5. Re: Dark Willow
    I came across a (non-canon) comic where Giles was going to mentor Willow and her increasing skill in witchcraft. This makes a lot of sense to me, and I wonder why the show itself never addressed it. Tara had a reverence for the power of magic, and it makes me think that she may have had a more formal training (perhaps from her mother), whereas Willow was allowed to run wild. Even a mention of this gross lapse in judgment (where was your coven, then, Giles?) would have helped the Dark Willow storyline. She was never taught to use magic in a way that respected the natural world (much like Jonathan, they could have totally been BFFs).

    I think the biggest reason that the writers chose to distance the audience from Willow’s actions during the three part finale is that they didn’t want to make the Willow character completely irredeemable. They wanted to bring her back and have her be a sympathetic character in the final season. If they had gone the logical route the story was going, I don’t think they were prepared to deal with the amount of creativity it would require to get her back into the audience’s good graces. Perhaps with Joss off working on both Angel and Firefly, the remaining writers weren’t up to the challenge.

    re: demon morality debate
    So, I can’t say “how could you forget this important scene relating to this topic!?” when I totally did. I’m rewatching the show with my husband, and we just got to the finale of season 2. In the first part, Whistler (the demon that got Angel out of his rat-eating days), says the following:

    Whistler: A demon… technically. I mean, I’m not a bad guy. Not all
    demons are dedicated to the destruction of all life.

    And then in part two:

    Whistler: Maybe I should ask, what are you prepared to give up?
    Buffy: (exhales) You don’t have anything useful to tell me, do you?
    What are you, just some immortal demon sent down to even the score
    between good and evil?
    Whistler: (impressed) Wow. Good guess. (grins)

    Those exchanges lead me to think that Whistler is on the good side AND a demon, and the show is explicitly saying that some demons are good and some are bad. I suppose it’s open to debate, and I don’t doubt that Robin will find some problem with it. 🙂

  6. I really don’t want to make this post “The Why Derek Doesn’t Like The Spike Soul Twist” but here’s hopefully the final thing I’m going to say. Here’s a panel interview with James Marsters, it’s horrible lit and not great sound but he shares my exact feelings on the whole Buffy Spike arc.

  7. Hey guys, I’m trying to wrap up some of these discussions here rather than on the podcast because I think at some point we end up just restating our cases.

    re: Spike – let’s see how he is presented in Season 7 and you can make your arguments based on how you feel about the character then. Right now we’re all discussing things because we know what comes next (essentially).

    re: Dark Willow – Romit makes a fine case for why it’s meant to be Willow. Various suggestions have been made about at which point she does have control and doesn’t etc.

    My case as always is “how did I feel when watching it.” I didn’t feel it was Willow and the majority of commenters didn’t either. So the show failed to generate the emotions it was aiming for.

    Part of that is the sense of consequence. And as Meags points out (and we already know) Willow is coming back in Season 7 and will be redeemable. I think that handicapped my belief that Dark Willow really was Willow making threats and attempts at murder.

    re: Demons in Buffy. Very very good catch with Whistler. Clearly good demons have been around within the show longer than I gave them credit for in my initial objections.

    But it still changes little for me. Morality is one of the key features of a television character. To have a bond with a character you need to know where their moral compass is. Only then will you feel bonded to them and their decisions or indeed shocked by them if they diverge from it.

    Since the gang let Spike lived we have run into instance after instance that has created confused or contradictory moral situations. Sometimes that is the purpose of the story. But in many cases it isn’t. The wedding was the worst example of it but it’s been an issue within the structure of plots on more than one occasion. Anya remains a problem for me. Again the emotion is key. What am I meant to feel about someone who makes vengeance their living? It’s not clear to me and so I feel frustration, which I don’t want.

    That is my argument about demon morality. Whistler’s role was clearly defined. The muddy waters of the last three seasons has led to less good television. If you disagree with me on that then let’s talk about the quality of the TV and not the lore of demons.

    • 🙂

    • Just now seeing this. I do agree that there is ambiguity with some of the characters morality, I just wanted to point out that “good demons” wasn’t just an Angel construct. I did parallel watch them, but I was pretty certain that it had been on Buffy also.

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