Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | January 19, 2014

Podcast #140: Potential

Here’s the podcast for Season 7, Episode 12 – Potential

Those Summers women love the inspiring speeches

Those Summers women love the inspiring speeches

Download: Potential

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 27th January 2014  for episode thirteen of Season Seven: “The Killer in Me.” We deal with Spike’s chip and Willow trying to get over Tara.

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  1. I’m kind of meh on The Killer in Me.
    I’m glad the show dealt more with Tara’s death and Willow’s grief, even for just a bit, because they never really did that until now. So while I liked the WarrenWillow thing in general, I think it would have been more interesting if it was actually Willow’s subconscious that turned her into Warren. Adding Amy and her jealousy issues seemed to come out of nowhere and felt unnecessary to me. Another problem for me here is Kennedy. I just don’t get why Willow would be into her other than the fact that she’s pretty and lesbian. And if I don’t believe in their relationship (at least not at this point) then I also can’t quite believe that a talk and a kiss from Kennedy is all it takes to break the hex in the end and everything will be fine.

    Well, the show succeeded in having Giles not touch anything onscreen, but as with a lot this season, like the First’s “plans”, if you think about it for two seconds it seems completely implausible that nobody saw him touch or eat anything offscreen in the time he’s been there or that he didn’t bump into someone in this house full of people, and what I just really don’t believe is that nobody hugged him. We saw the potentials marching right through the Buffy/Giles reunion, but certainly Anya would have jumped at him with her special Giles-hug. As interesting as the “mystery” about Giles was on first watch, forgoing these moments between the Scoobies for the misdirection doesn’t feel worth it. At least it led to the line “You think I’m evil if I bring a group of girls on a camping trip and don’t touch them?” which might have been the only time I laughed out loud during this episode.

  2. I liked this episode until Amy got off scot-free and Kennedy turned out to be Prince Charming. What? Also, the cliffhanger about Spike’s chip – exactly what we need, more guessing games. It seems to me they ran out of time to tell the story they wanted to tell, and were like, okay, guys, lets wrap it up in 5 minutes or less!

    Giles subplot could be interesting, and on first watch I was like, oh, hrmm, maybe he hasn’t touched anything! Very interesting! But on rewatch, Giles seems all awkward, standing around hugging himself. (Did anyone else notice that?) Apparently, Anthony Stewart Head usually chooses to interact with objects as part of his “actor-ing”, to make him seem more like a real character and less than just a dude reciting lines. It must be pretty effective, because he did NOT seem like Giles in the episodes preceding this. Here’s a quote from him:

    “The rules were slightly vague about what you could and couldn’t do. I was constantly asking, ‘Can I do this or not?’ What was patently clear was that I couldn’t touch any props, to everyone’s great joy, because I have a tendency to use props a lot. Part of the way I work is to try to bring some of the outside world in to the scene, rather than just play the scene off the page. You have a life and the scene happens to be part of that, and so, quite often, I’d involve something, so everyone thought it was very funny that I was stuck not being able to use props. It proved a challenge because I had to make sense of it – why would Giles come in and not touch anybody, not hug anybody, not involve himself like the usual thing? I was basically playing stuff had become so important and so serious and so fast with the First, and I was suddenly saddled with the responsibility of bringing all these girls in and finding them all over the world without the Watcher’s Council. I internalized it all and was in my own little world of seriousness, trying to deal with everything, and had shut down and wasn’t allowing myself to be friendly.”

    Now for a tangent on the Angel show. I thought it was funny a few podcasts back that Robin mentioned Angel, because around this episode or the next, he actually makes a call to Dawn that is not shown on Buffy. Correction: ANGELUS makes a call. Yep, big bad is back. Can you imagine how much of a breakdown Buffy would have had knowing that the First was back and so was Angelus? It’s unfortunate the two networks were squabbling so much because they could have had a very interesting plot with Angelus and the First teaming up to get to Buffy, since the reason the First tortured Angel in Amends was to get him to lose his soul and kill Buffy. And maybe the Angel show would have had a less weird season long arc.

  3. First post on this podcast (would have liked to of posted before, but…..see final paragraph):

    The first time I saw this episode, I was basically screaming at my screen that it wasn’t possible, there was NO WAY that Dawn could be a potential slayer. For one, she wasn’t even real until 2 years ago! It just wasn’t possible for her to be a potential because potentials are born into it. I was actually very happy that the writers decided to not go with that possibility.

    On an “extra features” portion of the DVDs, ASH actually states that he wanted to be the First. I thought that was interesting. He had gone to Joss and practically begged him to give the chance for him to be a “big bad”. Joss didn’t like the idea stating that Giles was way to important for him to die (as he would have to in order to become the First), so they made him appear as he was. He was very happy he was able to play around with the idea that he could be evil but as stated in the previous comment by “meags”, it was slightly awkward.

    I have to agree and disagree with your guys’ favorite moment. I agree that the best part of this episode was the speech that Xander gives to Dawn. It was incredibly moving and I still to this day cry every time I hear it (along with watching quite a few other episodes from previous seasons!) I think Xander’s feeling behind the speech is so extreme that it warrants tears every time. If I remember correctly (b/c I can’t see your post right now, Robin) you said that his speech, while good, wasn’t especially emotional. (If I am wrong, I apologize as I read it a couple of days ago!) I am able to connect to the speech on a personal level which has been the effect of Buffy for me since the first time I started watching. By this time in my life I was in the military as a Navy Corpsman and I was just coming into my own, as Dawn was. It was nice to hear Xander’s speech and (as I had basically grown up with these characters) I felt on some level that he was talking to me.

    On a slight tangent, I wanted to say that I found your guys’ podcast only a couple of months ago. I have been trying like crazy to get caught up to where you are now and keeping in order with the podcasts, but I wanted to be there when you get to the finale, so I have skipped ahead. I am going to continue to listen to the old podcasts as well as I think you often make really good points that I never thought of before. On that note, Cordia, I most recently listened to The Wish from Season 3, and I saw it too (Faith being eaten at the door of the Bronze)! I was pretty psyched to see that someone else saw it too. And no, I didn’t see it because I don’t like Faith, I actually really love her character….and Dollhouse! 🙂

    So irritating that I didn’t find you guys until really late into the podcast, but I have been enjoying it, keep up the great work!

  4. Sorry guys, my prev comment was obviously all over the place and more about about Potential, not the Killer in Me.

    I wasn’t particularly into the Killer in Me. I thought the concept of Willow becoming Warren was so wrong on so many levels, but the idea of her wrecked with guilt about letting Tara go made sense. As I said in my previous comment, I feel a side by side connection to Buffy and I felt one here too, feeling that I could never let my patient’s in Iraq go because I would lose a piece of myself in the process. When I got home from Iraq, I was distant, wouldn’t smile, and I would not talk to anyone. When my Mother and I finally got alone long enough to actually talk, I didn’t for the first 15 minutes, I just cried saying I couldn’t let them go because their lives would be in vain if I did. I finally let everything out and let my Mom know what I was feeling and how it was affecting my every day life. (On a more personal note, I have since been in therapy for it and I am slowly getting better)

    Already commented on Giles’ story, so to comment on Buffy and Spike. I am glad that they finally addressed the story of Spike’s chip. I know when I first watched this, it was an issue that I had that Spike was able to kill with the chip still in and the idea that the First’s manipulation of Spike made the chip misfire makes sense to me. I even think that the manipulation may have made it degrade faster than it would have on its own. I can’t agree with the cliffhanger being a bad thing as I feel it added something to it. I was rooting for the “Spuffy” story so the cliffhanger actually made it that much more interesting to me.

    Sorry again about the previous comment being about two episodes and completely willy-nilly in its order. Looking forward to Monday’s podcast!

  5. Okay, it was around this episode on my initial watch that I started to wonder just what Anya was doing this season. It seemed as though after Selfless she had a pretty good send off and that could’ve been the end of her character. But I guess they liked Emma Caulfield or they already signed her to a full season or whatever. Other than her one stint with Giles she has just been sitting around the Summers house “being” and not doing anything. She spouts out a few Anya style jokes here and there and that’s about it. She was never really much of a classic Scoobie, mainly because the research and mystery based monster of the week episodes ended around the time she joined the cast, but what is seriously the point of her anymore? I have no memory of anything she does in the coming episodes which means it wasn’t significant enough to stick with me after these couple years, although I could be wrong.

    And congrats to The Babylon 5 Rewatch! It’s good to know that I wasn’t the only one mad enough to steal this concept and enter the world of internet radio. Although I will admit that some podcasts where half of the hosts are out of the loop (such as game of thrones podcasts) tend to be on the down side. The people who are new to the material have all of these ideas and theories and the people who know where it’s going basically dance around the spoilery material.

  6. Right – this week I want to focus on the positive so I don’t feel like such a moaner.

    I did prefer this episode to last weeks. It helps me a lot that the potentials, barring kennedy, are not actually in this episode.

    I like most of the overall concept. The idea of Willow being full of guilt for both the murder of Warren and then for taking an interest in someone else rather than Tara is interesting. I also like her punishing herself by turning herself into Warren. I didn’t quite accept Amy’s involvement. I like her character but her motivations weren’t completely believable.

    Didn’t have any strong feelings either way about the Giles subplot. Obviously the idea that Giles might be the first has little impact on second viewing but not sure it was that effective first time round. I hadn’t really thought it likely that Giles was dead. I found it interesting reading the comment from Meags above, but I just hadn’t noticed the change in his behaviour until rewatching and then looking for it.

    I have to have a short moan about Kennedy. She just feels unlikeable. I can’t imagine what Willow would see in her. Although she is at least there and very very keen.

  7. 1) Can any lesbians comment on the Kennedy Willow relationship, because I think it’s icky, but maybe I just don’t get it.

    First, if Kennedy were a teenage guy coming on that strong, with “hey, let’s sleep in your bed” or “I have a top secret mission – let’s go out for drinks,” it would be, as the kids say to day, kind of creeper-ish.

    Also, have they at least thrown us a bone and told us Kennedy is 18? Because if she’s 15, then ick.

    Third, I totally don’t buy Willow’s innocent routine. She’s several years older than Kennedy and she’s been in two serious relationships. She doesn’t need to stammer when Kennedy comes on to her. If she’s freaked out by what happened with Tara, just say that. If she doesn’t want to make out with Kennedy because K is a high school girl under her care, say that.

    On a minor positive note, I thought the kiss to lift the spell was sweet. It probably would be my favorite scene

    2) Giles – never has the show put so much effort into a misdirect for so little return. It’s been rediculous to watch ASH dancing around so that someone else could open and close every door, and when you watch for it, it would just highlight how absurd it would be that someone could avoid touching every person, every door, etc., in a small house for several days.

    That said, how cool would it have been to have Giles be dead, and to let ASH play the First for the rest of the season?

    • People most of the time get confused by this, but if you read the script for “Bring On The Night,” it says that Kennedy is 19 years old. But it still doesn’t make a difference for me on how awkward her interactions with Willow are.

  8. I’m going to echo other people’s comments no matter what I say so I’ll just focus on Giles because that’s the most frustrating part of this episode to me. I cannot believe the writers decided to make Giles all cold and awkward just so we could have a scene where he gets tackled by the Scoobies and cracks a molestation joke. This is Giles, the character who is always touching things and eating food. There is no way no one has seen him touch anything, and there is no way he never hugged Buffy! Plus, how are they not constantly poking at each other and testing each other to make sure no one is the First at this point? Like Joseph said, having him be the First would be just as nonsensical but still way more impactful. It would up the stakes in an emotional way, and it would explain why Giles was not comforting or helpful at all when he first arrived with all the Potentials. To get back to the Cruciamentum argument in the last podcast, I didn’t have strong feelings one way or another about it when I watched the episode but it would be thematically interesting if by pressuring Buffy the First!Giles actually pushed Buffy into making bad Watchers’-Council-like leadership decisions. So then the whole point of locking them in the crypt would be to show that she’s going too far. Then again, that would be some really convoluted planning on the First’s part. Then again again, all the First’s planning is convoluted…

    More scenes like that cute one between Buffy and Willow in the kitchen please!

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