Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | November 3, 2013

Podcast #130: Beneath You

Here’s the podcast for Season 7, Episode 2 – Beneath You

Spike hugs the cross

Spike hugs the cross

Download: Beneath You

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 11th November 2013  for episode two of Season Seven: “Same Time, Same Place.”

Comment on this post to get your views on the podcast.

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  1. For some reason, this episode grosses me out more than any other one. The scene where Gnarl was eating Willow’s skin I couldn’t watch, and even the sound effects were making me gag. So it was effective. I thought the episode did a good job of showing things from both points of view, and I also liked the Spike scene in the basement where you think he’s just being crazy but he’s really talking to both parties.

    One bit that confused me was the scene with Anya and Willow when Willow says what she’s afraid of, basically tapping into a power source that makes life meaningless, and Anya is like yes, that’s how I feel! …But, that’s not how Anya feels. In fact, if she felt that way it might solve her problem of not enjoying her gig as a vengeance demon. The problem is that it is upsetting to her now in a way that it wasn’t before, as she says earlier in the episode. I appreciate that they want to draw a parallel between Anya and Willow, but if there is one, that ain’t it.

    Back to Lessons, I didn’t get the part where Spike starts to unbutton his pants talking about servicing the girl. That seemed random and unnecessary. Anyone have thoughts on why on earth that was included?

  2. I thought that part in Lessons was weird too. But it makes sense that part of Spike’s problem was being treated like a body without a soul (which of course he was). It’s a little heart breaking. Season 5 shows Buffy “treating Spike like a man” as he poignantly states at the staircase, but in season 6, Buffy treats him like anything but, literally calling him a thing. Maybe Spike wanted a soul so he could be more than just a body to her and not only for the reason that he says (which is more or less that he didn’t want to be a rapist). So anyway that “am I just flesh for your enjoyment?” part might be there to show how damaging Buffy’s treatment of him was.

    • That makes sense.

  3. Okay, so, something that’s annoying me is Anya’s all like ‘It’s all your fault Xander that I became human and had feelings’ etc. but what she never mentions is that it’s actually Giles’ fault. In The Wish Giles is the one to break Anya’s amulet- or does she not remember? In which case, what does she think happened to it?

    • Although Giles is directly responsible, it’s Xander who persuaded her to stay human. She was still trying to become a demon again during S3. But once she began falling for him she began to invest in being human again.

    • She didn’t know why her wish powers weren’t working at the end of The Wish, so she probably doesn’t know about what Giles did.

  4. Hi Cordia & Robin,

    I’ve been listening to the Buffy Rewatch for about 6 months now, and really enjoy it, but tonight is the first time I’ve felt compelled to write to you. You both referred to Spike’s rape of Buffy a total of four times, but Spike did NOT rape Buffy. Please, please, don’t lump my favourite character with a crime he did not commit (personally, I would say that it was not even an attempted rape, but that’s an argument for another time). Aside from this, I give your podcast five stars for depth and enjoyability, and I appreciate the effort you both put into it.

    Cheerio from London Quark (a 40 y.o. tragic who defends the honour of fictional characters online at 5:30 a.m. when she should be sleeping or working on university assignments)

  5. This has nothing to do with the episode but I found an interview with SMG on the internet, she’s also talking about Buffy. You can find it here:

  6. Gnarl seemed oddly familiar the me, he’s played by the same actor as one of the Gentlemen from “Hush”, so maybe it was just his lovely smile I recognized.

    I really like that there are consequences to what Willow did last season and that they are willing to take her back, but that everybody is still wary of what she might or could do. Although Buffy’s conclusion and absolute conviction that it must have been Willow who skinned the boy seemed a little too fast to me; DarkWillow still had a reason to kill Warren and go after Jonathan and Andrew, she didn’t go around killing random people.

    Something I noticed in the opening scene of last episode: The lyrics to the song that’s playing when the girl in Frankfurt is being chased are “Von der Tiefe es verschlingt” in german, which, literally translated, means “From the depth it devours”, so quite a fitting song coice there.

  7. I tried leaving a voicemail but it got too rambly so here’s my hopefully abbreviated thoughts:

    I remeber this episode being the one that sent season seven into the proverbial hellmouth of suck that I remember the season being so I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. It did feel like a classic Buffy ensemble monster-of-the-week episode. There was some weird shaky logic here (the spell never quite made sense, Buffy does jump a little too fast to flayed man it must be Willow, etc.) but I thought the emotional behind it were really strong. I really like seeing a Willow on screen I recognize because I don’t know who Alyson Hannigan was playing in season six but it wasn’t Willow Rosenberg. I haven’t felt connected to a Willow story in forever so it was nice to be effected by her crying on the cave floor after being reunited with Xander and Buffy. Even more it was nice to Willow and Buffy be best friends again in the final scene.

    I also really liked Anya in this episode while Spike was making me laugh for totally unintentional reasons I thought Anya was really funny in this episode. The stagnation of her character has never really bothered me but I thought this episode did a good job of balancing the outer apathy of Anya with her inner self who really does care despite herself.

    I really want to have hope for the rest of season seven because I am enjoying it as a whole A LOT more than I remembered but there is always this nagging problem of Spike. It’s hard for me to imagine how to make Spike’s story better with his soul back (besides writing out him ever actually getting his soul back) but I’m just so tired of seeing Crazy!Spike. Also did Buffy tell anyone he has his soul back? Xander clearly knows that Buffy and Spike talked in the church because he doesn’t question her about it and it’s not like Xander to stay OUT of Buffy’s business but they don’t talk about the soul at all. I can’t understand a reason why Buffy wouldn’t tell everyone that Spike has a soul and if she is keeping that information secret I think that reflects badly on her. Also why doesn’t Anya let it slip to Willow that Spike has a soul it would be a very Anya thing to do unless they are keeping it a secret which worries me.

  8. Same time, same place is the creepiest episode since Hush. Narl makes me cringe. I liked this return if Willow. There was suspicion and doubt, but it ws resolved beautifully with Buffy offering her strength to willow at the end. One thing I noticed this time around was during Spike’s crazy ramblings, he says “you’re glowing, what’s a word means glowing? it has to rhyme.” that word, of course is “effulgent.”

  9. Liked Same Time, Same Place…..good monster of the week, pleasantly ugly and gross, and it also helped explore Willow’s character – well at least continue with how she is feeling post-season 6. It was also a way of having an appropriately dramatic and emotional reunion of Buffy, Xander and Willow. Her just turning up at the airport would have been a bit flat.

    The idea that Willow’s subconscious created the spell to separate herself and her friends was just about believable. I think I quite enjoyed how confused I was the first time I watched it but of course on rewatch it’s a bit more obvious.

    The repeated scene with Spike is clever and well-devised although I admit that I am now noticing how his particular mental illness does tend to be very good at facilitating the plot line.

    My favourite line is when Anya replies to Willow’s request for help with “Is it difficult or time-consuming?” – I might start using that myself…..

  10. To comment on the last podcast, Cordia is pretty close, I just turned 26 and I was 14 in the the 8th grade in 2000-2001. I should clarify that I wasn’t watching Buffy live. There was a channel that was playing seasons 1-4 in order, catching up to season 5 that had just aired. I saw one or two episodes of season 2 but I really got into it in when I saw the episode Faith, Hope, Trick. I immediately got hooked and Faith is my favorite character in the Buffyverse, sorry Cordia. I watched a few episodes of season 5 and 6 live when it aired, I was more into watching Angel at the time. But I did watch the last episodes and season finale live and I’ll get into my reaction when that comes.

    As for Same Time, Same Place, I really enjoyed this episode a lot. To me it felt like the old Buffy with the monster of the week plot. I really liked Willow in this episode. She feels more like the old Willow, vulnerable and self-conscious as opposed to her over confidence last season. I loved the scene in the basement with Spike. At first we are led to believe that hes just talking to the first and being crazy again but then its revealed that hes really talking to Buffy and Xander. I love when he says, “Everyone is talking to me, but no one is talking to each other. Who’s not here? My money’s on, the witch.” And you see Buffy’s face very shocked. The Gnarl demon was very creepy and looked like a wicked goblin. It was really gross and disgusting when he was cutting and eating Willow’s skin. At least he has the courtesy to numb his victims first, what a considerate demon. 🙂 Overall I’d say its a good episode and season seven is off to a good start. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  11. I really liked this episode. At this point, it feels like the writers have decided that the Season Six experiment was a failure, and are moving back to Season 1-3 Buffy. I liked seeing the Scoobies solve a monster of the week mystery.

    – Dawn is really working now that she’s more of a Scooby and playing some comic relief. I liked “She didn’t finish BEING NOT EVIL?” quite a bit, and the paralysis comedy was hokey but funny.

    – It’s also nicely in character that she’s the one who’s scared of Willow. Willow was a power junkie, and although Dawn doesn’t talk about it much, Dawn is a power SOURCE. The monks saved her so that her power could be used someday, and that has to make Dawn nervous. In some ways, Willow is more of a threat to consume Dawn than the vampires.

    – The Gnarl was nicely scary and felt like he came from some fairy tale. Also the combination of Willow’s spell and the Gnarl’s pleasure in preying on people who were alone was a nice metaphor for Willow’s isolation, which was another return to what the show has done well.

    – The graffiti was a nice design touch. Seeing that the kid had been tagging the work site tied the two scenes together and set up the reveal. I do wonder why anyone is ever out after dark in Sunnydale, though. Has this kid gotten lucky for the last several years, or is he new in town?

  12. I read that Joss purposely wanted to make season 7 like the earlier seasons. He wanted to focus on what had made Buffy such a great show, hints the new school and the monster of the week like episodes. So far it does feel like the old Buffy that we know and love. We will see if it lasts though.

  13. Hi, Robin and Cordia! I am the person who sent in the questions about Rack for a recent podcast. Quick correction–my name is Joanne, not Joyce. (I submitted my name as my Twitter handle, @JoannePistonFan). Found time to rewatch Beneath You, and years later, I am still impressed with James Marsters’ performance in masking Spike’s madness, coming unraveled, and finally, revealing to Buffy that he has a soul. I was intrigued by the new dynamic between Spike and Buffy, and looked forward to seeing how Spike’s revelation plays out in the next episodes. I really love this podcast, and will try to organize my time better so that I can comment on future season 7 episodes. 🙂

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