Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | December 30, 2013

Podcast #137: Never Leave Me

Here’s the podcast for Season 7, Episode 9 – Never Leave Me

Willow tells Andrew off

Willow tells Andrew off

Download: Never Leave Me

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 6th January 2014  for episode ten of Season Seven: “Bring on the Night.” There’ll be more news on the big Vampire, Giles and those girls who were being killed early in the season.

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

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  1. So ends the dreaded Watcher’s Council. No amount of shuffling around a boardroom on cell phones could save them from a random explosion or being interesting at all. I mean seriously, what was Joss thinking with these guys? The sheer idea of them is stupid enough and the only times they ever showed up on screen it just reminded us of how weird on confusing the concept was.

    An entire academy is training British people to hang out with the Slayer and teach her how to do her thing and such. Okay… Well that only works if it isn’t “the” Slayer. As in only one (or two) which means that only one person in their entire operation has any daily activities. What do Quinten Travers and the others do on the off days when there isn’t an apocalypse at hand?

    The way the council has been portrayed would work if there were dozens of slayers at any given time around the world, with each having their own watcher. OR, and this is a super fan suggestion, there should have only been one Watcher at any given time (Giles) and he should be training his replacement (perhaps giving Xander something to do) alongside the Slayer. Like the priests in The Fifth Element or something.

    It just never made sense that there was some British “council” pulling the strings throughout the whole series and only ever showing up to tell us what how weird they are.

    • This isn’t a satisfying answer to legitimate plot weirdness, but the Watcher’s Council is supposed to represent patriarchy and how it hurts women and men, and by extension, society. So, its utter uselessness and stupidity is completely on purpose, I would wager.

    • One thing worth mentioning is that I’m pretty sure the one potential slayer in this episode said that her watcher had been killed. So, potential slayers must also have watchers. Not just the slayer.

      But that’s the first we have ever heard that.

      The Watchers council was always a bit of a head scratcher, I agree.

  2. Because it was brought up on the last podcast here’s my problem with the Spike soul thing. It’s not that I feel he shouldn’t be given a clean slate in the world of the show. Now tat Spike has a soul I don’t hold him accountable for anything he did without. My problem is that I know have to think that way.

    There’s a difference between Angel getting his soul back and Spike. Angel was introduced to us as a vampire with a soul who acquired it because he was cursed by gypsies. So its perfectly fitting with the mythology of the soul that he could and was cursed back with his soul. I have yet to be convinced that some cave monster who can grant anything as long as you punch some stuff enough is not a completely ridiculous idea.

    The other problem I have is that, and this is solely my opinion, is that this not where Spike’s story was headed. Something has to happen after the attempted rape and I think it would be much more fitting for the story they told up to this point for Spike to go back to being “evil” (I mean the chip isn’t even working now). I have always felt that the show was saying that Spike can try to be good but his core evil nature will win out and we shouldn’t root for him. Now with the soul they are still holding to that soulless Spike couldn’t be good but we should have rooted for him because he couldn’t help it.

  3. Never Leave Me also had a reference to the poem Invictus, by William Ernest Henley. You can read it here, if you’re curious:

  4. I think the nicest thing I could say about “Bring On The Night” is that certainly moves fast. The problem is that it moves fast because it introduces a premise that could be an entire episode in every scene. We have the potentials, an explanation of the First (still heavily dependent on “Amends”), Robin Wood being ridiculous, Buffy suddenly being severely mentally drained, random Joyce encounters and Spike’s whole deal. Oh and potential with the even more horrible accent then her counterpart deciding with no build up deciding I’m out! BAM! Neck snap!

    None of these storylines are successful especially Robin Woods “I love the mystery” line. He could not be more obviously evil if 666 was burned onto his bald head. And the potentials fill me with dread especially how Dawn was handled last season. (Am I the only one who thinks the Scoobies adjust to this news remarkably calmly like they were excepting their house to be flooded with teenagers?)

    What I really want to focus on is Buffy here. Even in an episode that fails on mostly everything I can usually count on Buffy to hold my interest not the case here. The problems start with Buffy’s extreme tunnel vision in rescuing Spike. I’m not suggesting that they shouldn’t try to rescue Spike but Buffy literally thinks that he will be adequate protection against the coming horde. Also Buffys spiraling depression that she does rally from but why us Buffy acting like she has been fighting the First for an entire season rather then maybe two episodes depending on your perspective. In fact the First plans have been so vague and poorly planned I don’t get what everyone is so concerned about mildly inconvenience this thing and it doesn’t have a Plan B in place. Buffy doesn’t get trampled by the uber vamp in some cool fight scenes but not enough for her to be hallucinating her dead mother. That’s assuming they are hallucinations because while the First is explained somewhat we don’t know if it get to her in dreams.

    Lastly though why the strange tip toeing around even calling the First the First? They never actually commit to this being actually being the thing that created evil. To Buffys credit its never been religious in an effort to not alienate its audience and to create its own mythology. The First seems to be the Devil or at least a Buffy version, they don’t have to be specific about its origins (they aren’t specific about anything after all) but at least commit to it being the First Evil not the thing that claims to be the First Evil.

    • Biggest sin though: Andrew continues to draw breath and screentime.

  5. The entire mythology about the First is all kinds of weird and messed up. When I watched Amends for the second time, I was like “First!Jenny is touching Angel… ruffling his hair… that’s not right.” And I think First!Buffy holds Spike’s one point. Whatever. I guess the basic idea that the first can’t be corporeal enough to attack directly is intact. Also, I figured out very early on in season 7 that it was the First. I think the “from beneath you” parts tipped me off, but there were only weeks in between when I watched Amends and when I started season 7. So I’m sure people watching it in real time had no recollection.

    I kind of like how they incorporated Andrew back into the show. I find that he grows on me as a character. And the ending of Bring On The Night should be a Buffy First – first long-winded inspirational monologue/speech from Buffy. And yeah, the Robin Wood bits were just weird and awkward and I don’t like them.

    It’s funny that you should say that the Turok-Han looks like the Gentlemen, because they are played by the same actor (who also played Gnarl).

    This season in general to me feels like it was planned differently than all the other seasons of Buffy. I feel like there is a LOT of misdirection and it leaves the viewer feeling lost and frustrated rather than engaged. Kind of makes me think the story would have been better suited to a novel format than a TV show, and it may be why a lot of fans really dislike it. It’s not the usual way for TV to tell a story. Not to say that I don’t like this season, but it’s not the best either.

    • That can’t seriously be Buffy’s first speech like that?!

  6. I think it’s funny that they keep talking about The First like it’s the worst thing of all time ever. We have certainly NOT witnessed that.

    When I was watching this episode I was wondering “How omnipresent is this first evil?” It’s trying to use Spike for something but Buffy is convinced that the group needs Spike to fight against it. Wouldn’t The First know that Buffy thinks that? Wouldn’t it be better served killing Spike, since he’s maybe a risk if he ever escapes it’s grasp (why is he so damn important to everyone anyway)? Can’t it hear Buffy’s speech at the end of the episode urging the Scooby gang to attack it while it doesn’t suspect it? My initial impression was that The First is everywhere all at once… But maybe it’s only ever “present” in a room if it takes a form.

    I’m guessing we aren’t supposed to read anything from the dreams in this episode. Normally Buffy’s dreams are predictive and more like premonitions but these didn’t give us any new information. Unless they were predicting that buffy should rest.

    • Or a sign of her self-doubt over her capabilities to handle the evil and the responsibility over the potentials.

  7. Bring on the Night:

    The Episode: Although there is a bunch of stuff that bugs me, I think this episode is basically successful. I liked learning more about the First, and the Turok-Han seemed threatening enough. I actually jumped when it grabbed potential what’s her name.

    The First: For a while, I thought it would be cool if the reason that the First’s plans seem so goofy is specifically that it’s inhuman – for example, as an embodiment of evil, it can’t resist trying to corrupt or torture Spike even if there are simpler ways to achieve its larger goals. It would be very cool if the Scoobies ultimately had to figure out its eldritch motivation in order to beat it.

    Giles: It seems kind of obvious that Giles is not touching anyone, letting Buffy open and close doors, etc., especially after the writers dropped the hint by having Xander bring up M. Night Shamalayan. It doesn’t make sense – if Giles were really the First, why would he tell everyone that the First can’t touch things. It’s also just implausible that Buffy or Anya wouldn’t hug him. On the other hand, it would be REALLY cool if Giles revealed that he was dead at the end of next episode, then ASH played the big bad for the rest of the season.

    Mysteries: I liked mysterious Robin Wood. Yes, he’s twirling his mustache a bit, but it’s interesting. Also, did anyone think that he and Buffy were even more good looking than usual in the basement scene? I don’t know if it was the lighting, or their post physical labor makeup or what.

    I hope the Joyce appearances are leading up to something. Her advice is so nonsensical that it’s hard to believe it will pay off, but it would be sloppy TV not to explain why Joyce is appearing to the Summers girls.

    One more nice scene – the cut to Xander when Buffy says “The First almost made Angel kill himself” was very understated but great. It’s just a shot and a look, but it brings back Xander’s whole relationship with Angel.

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