Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | October 28, 2013

Podcast #129: Lessons

Here’s the podcast for Season 7, Episode 1 – Lessons

Spike looking a complete mess

Spike looking a complete mess

Download: Lessons

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 4th November 2013  for episode two of Season Seven: “Beneath You.”

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  1. It is my memory (plus i looked this up) that Xander killed and ate the pig in The Pack, but was absent for the eating for Principle Flutie. The ramifications at the end are more “gross I ate a pig” as opposed to “aw, man, I am a murder, how do I deal with this.”

  2. When Dawn is my favorite part of an episode I knew it wasn’t going to be a good one. I did not enjoy Spike’s convenient crazies last episode but because it was centered around Buffy, the show had built up a certain amount of logic so it worked. All that being said I hated pretty much everything that happened in this episode concerning Spike. The crazy dialogue was bad last episode but this was scene chewing knock-off Shakespeare from the exposition warehouse. While intially it might have seemed like Spike was the mysterious shapeshifter from last episode or as his opening scene suggested perhaps under the control of said shapeshifter, I think it’s pretty clear by episode’s end that opening scene was all misdirection. This was Spike the whole all the time and that’s ridiculous. The guy who was about to go all ratatouille with a real rat, did not have the presence of mind to conjure up this plan. Also shouldn’t have talking about his attempted rape of Buffy multiple times flipped the guilt switch to crazy far more than accidentally stabbing a guy in the shoulder.

    Speaking of said guy, I thought Nancy was kind of endearing, she was cute and had nice chemistry with Xander. However she’s fine with her dog being eaten, the fact that demons/monsters are real, one said demon/monster is real and is her ex-boyfriend who is now trying to eat her. However what Nancy can’t stand is relationship drama! Considering how fast Nancy runs out of the Bronze when the four Scoobies start talking about their sordid love lives I’m guessing she has never turned on a TV during the early afternoon hours. The scariest thing to Nancy is daytime soaps.

    P.S. I’m with Anya watching the little yorkie get eaten besides the deaths of major characters (Buffy,Tara, Joyce, etc.) that was probably the saddest Buffy death to date.

  3. As far as the first episode of season 7 “Lessons” I thought it was a pretty good episode there was some stuff that I liked and didn’t like. I loved how they brought back the high school and how Buffy is so suspicious of it. I liked the Giles and Willow stuff they finally address that the magic is apart of her and she needs to learn to control it. I was surprised to see Spike and it made sense that he would be out of sorts having his soul back, but what is he doing in the basement of the high school? How long has he been there and has the construction crew not seen him? I suppose it is the First that draws him towards the Hell mouth but I just thought it was a convenient way from Buffy to see him. I like how they react to seeing each other again and she just leaves him there and when Dawn asks her how she knows what’s going on she doesn’t tell her that it was spike. That was all good stuff. The bad, well, I didn’t like the zombie poltergeist people. It makes sense that the First would use the talisman to bring them back to start killing people on the Hell mouth but for some reason I just was not into it for some reason. Did they die zombie like or what was that about? Also we don’t know anything about the character and we never see how Buffy doesn’t save them, so I just don’t care that they are dead. Also why is Xander like the project leader, because he’s only been in construction for like 2-2 1/2 years and that position requires either years and years of experience or a college degree. I forgive it because it’s nice to see Xander in a grown up role. I like the introduction to Principal Wood. I like how Cordia says he’s gorgeous, and I’ve seen other people comment on that as well. I must say that I did not find him attractive at first, but he is growing on me, and is a good looking man. I am curious to see what his fascination with Buffy is. Quick note here but it’s about time they got cell phones and we finally see how useful it really is. I like how Dawn calls it a weapon. The best part for me was the last scene with spike and the First talking to him in the form of the previous Big Bads. I was surprised, shocked and intrigued to see where it goes from here. I liked how the forms went from Warren, the last Big Bad to the Master, the first Big Bad of the show. You guys mentioned that they left out some Big Bads, but I think that it was fine. Warren was supposed to be the big Bad not Dark Willow even though that’s what it became. Drusilla is there to represent the Big Bad of season 2 and I can see that because she is really the one that plays Spike and Angelus. Also they probably couldn’t get David Boreanaz to do it. The other thing I thought about that is interesting is that Angel and Willow are not dead and are no longer evil so they are not really seen as a Big Bad anymore, whereas the others, except Dru, are dead, but Drusilla is still an evil vampire. Overall I really liked this episode and it’s nice to have the school back.

    • I just remembered something that I don’t think has been mentioned on the podcast but concerning Angelus not appearing in the shapeshifting when he is the Big Bad of that season. I do think Dru works better to taunt Spike but I think I recall after Buffy switched networks, it became almost impossible to get David Borenaz on the show because while spin-offs Buffy and Angel were on competing networks now. It is the reason that we never seen the reunion between Angel and Buffy after her resurrection. While it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Angel it is kind of interesting to note considering he does make a semi-frequent appearances on Buffy before season six.

      • I’m not sure Angel as not Angelus would be much of a taunt. What’s regular Angel going to do? Brood at him? Bringing Angelus in would be hard to explain as a plot device. Dru works well, I think.

  4. Re: Beneath You. I can understand why some people might not be keen but I have to come out as a bit of a fan of the last scene. Yeah, it’s scenary chewing excess but it’s about such bloated and massive subject that I think it’s a good way to go. I was reminded of the episode in Season 5 when Dawn finds out she’s the key and I felt that she didn’t particularly demonstrate in her acting that she had just found out she was actually a mystical ball of energy but then it’s such an abstract difficult thing to imagine. Likewise the idea of living without a soul for over hundred years and then suddenly getting it back isn’t something anyone on earth could relate to. But I think maybe….it could look a bit like this….

    The episode does also contain the scene that I think I might hate more than any other is the series though. When they all meet Anya in the Bronze and go through the we’ve-all-slept-with-each-other routine. I thought it was dreadful and it made me feel that the programme had just turned into a dreadful sitcom.

    Also the worm looked like they had just spliced in part of the Dune movie.

    Re: Lessons, do you think Buffy calling out “Resentful Dead People” was a reference to The Grateful Dead?

  5. Beneath you. The title immediately makes me think of Cecily and Buffy’s insults to Spike. And the episode really is about Spike. I don’t think ‘crazy acting’ on TV is ever very realistic, and crazy Spike is no exception. But I actually do find his attempt to act normal believable. I loved the moment when Anya sees his soul and his normal facade cracks. But most of all I love Dawn’s cold threat to kill Spike in his sleep. The ending scene could have been better. A little too melodramatic. I would have loved Buffy to yell “people with souls still rape people, what were you thinking?”

  6. Found this site that might help Cordia with references. Lots of behind the scenes tidbits too. Here’s the link for Beneath You:

  7. Some comments on Willow

    1. Here’s the mythology I think the show has developed about magic. Witches and warlocks call on outside powers, and the more powerful you are, the more power you can draw. Some of those powers affect the way you think. For example, at the end of Season 6, Willow called on powers that would help her get vengeance on Warren, then got more evil and mean as she drew on the powers that the dark books connect to, then Rack’s power, then less bad when Giles fed her a less dark power source.

    I guess this ties into the drug metaphor – there are lots of different drugs with different effects. It even explains how magic could both be a metaphor for Willow and Tara’s relationship and for Willow’s breakdown, if she was just calling on different powers with different effects. And it’s interesting to think that people like Ethan Rayne or Amy’s mother may have been affected by years of using the particular powers that they call on.

    But if that’s what the writers were thinking of all season, it would have been much better to have Tara spell it out at some point, so the viewers would have known what was going on. Maybe we’ll get some clarity in Season 7 on what rules apply to Willow.

    2. On the subject of possession, my biggest gripe is that most of the time we’ve seen characters with their minds altered – Jackal-Xander, Wishverse Xander and Willow, Baith and Fuffy, Angelus – we’ve learned something about the original character by watching what they do if you add animal instinct or take away their conscience or whatever.

    The problem with Dark Willow is that since the show never really spelled out what was happening to her mind, I didn’t think I learned anything about regular Willow. She was just sort of mean and high and unpredictable. I would have liked it much better if they had signalled something like “Now Willow is channelling dark spirits, so this is Willow if her dark side is turned up to 10” or something. I think also it might have helped Allison Hannigan’s portrayal if they had told HER more explicitly what she was going for.

  8. I have a correction for way back in Faith, Hope, and Trick. You said Mr. Trick was the first African-American character on the show, but Kendra was the first! (I’m catching up on old podcasts as hubby and I watch through the show.) She’s a bit lighter-skinned but African-American according to her bio.

  9. This is a Spike episode, and that’s always a good thing in my book.

    The final scene of this episode may just be my favorite in the entire series. It hit all the right notes for me, and was incredibly well-acted by both Gellar and Marsters. I liked the use of language, I liked the callback to Angel, I liked seeing Buffy get ready to kill Spike if she had to, and I liked seeing the moment when she realized what was really going on.

    Here are a few more things I find interesting about it:
    • In a way, Buffy and Spike have traded roles. She used to confess things to him, and now she’s hearing his confession. She looks pretty horrified by what she’s heard.
    • It’s pretty clear there was no way soulless Spike could have understood that having a soul might introduce problems he hadn’t foreseen. He saw it as the answer to his problem (not being good enough for Buffy), and didn’t need to know anything else to take action.
    • Spike refers to his blue shirt as a costume, and says that he couldn’t hide. He’s been hiding behind all of the personas he’s used in this episode, right up until his breakdown.

    Buffy first:
    • Buffy believes Spike when he tells her he’s changed.

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