Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | February 17, 2014

Podcast #144: Storyteller

Here’s the podcast for Season 7, Episode 16 – Storyteller

It's Story Time

It’s Story Time

Download: Storyteller

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 24th February 2014 for episode seventeen of Season Seven: “Lies My Parents Told Me.” It’s time to deal with Spike’s trigger.

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

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  1. I can’t have any other comment but spoilers for pretty much every major Whedon movie/ TV show but definitely worth a watch.

  2. (This is victor, of the digimon rewatch. i’m rebranding my online persona and things are complicated. but it’s me)

    This is the last of the big concept or “gimmick” episodes, which originally were the only episodes I was watching alongside the podcast until Tara died. Interestingly, it’s also one of a few episodes I skipped on my initial watch, so this isn’t a rewatch perspective, it’s my fresh opinions. This totally makes a lot of the xander/anya story make more sense because I never saw them finally saying goodbye. But who cares about that, anya should’ve moved to LA to work with Angel like 20 episodes ago.

    I loved it, and I knew Robin would hate it. It was random and got a lot of different gimmicks out in one go. I’d be down for a documentary episode or a version of the Zeppo from an even “funnier” comedic relief guy like Andrew.

    I really dug the rashomon ending. We often see one scene from multiple people’s point of views, but I’ve never seen it where one character has multiple interpretations of the same scene. Andrew has forgotten his own past because he began to believe his own fantasies.

    We’re almost at the end.

  3. Lies My Parents Told Me
    Overall I thought this was an interesting episode. I really like the flashbacks of Spike. It’s nice to see him as William the bloody again and see his life before and right after he became a vampire. Spike was a mama’s boy, kind of sweet but also kind of creepy. I’m not sure how I feel about Giles and Robin Wood planning together to kill Spike. I do like how Spike overcomes the trigger song the first had on him. I’m surprised p. wood actually thought he could take Spike. If his slayer mother couldn’t kill him then why would he be able to. Buffy telling Wood she will let Spike kill him is kind of dark, but she is right in a way. There is no time to take vengeance. He must not be listening to her serious speeches. I did think that it was kind of funny that even crazy Drusila thought Spikes plans for his mom to join them was creepy, you can see it in her face. Spikes whole resolution about his mom really loving him and that he kill the monster not her, was weird. Didn’t he kill her to turn her into a monster? He’s just now getting over this? I guess it must be the soul thing. Well I can’t wait for the next episode. only 5 more to go.

  4. Long time listener and lurker. I always seem to be running a couple of episodes behind, however. Anyway, Storyteller is kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. I just listened to the podcast and I have to admit you guys had some very valid points. It is all over the place, but I enjoyed the jokes and Andrew’s acceptance of his culpability in Jonathan’s death.

    I seem to be in the minority of enjoying characters most people find irritating – Andrew, Anya, Dawn and Tara to name a few. Kennedy and Riley are the only characters I truly dislike.

    Keep up the good work! Thank you for providing an entertaining insight to a wonderful show and an excuse to rewatch it of course.

  5. Re: Lies my Parents Told Me. I really enjoyed this more than on first watch when I just thought it was a less-good Fool for Love. I think there’s more to it now.

    I really liked Robin and Giles’ relationship. It makes sense they would bond as they are both the grown-up characters and Robin was even brought up in the Watcher culture that Giles’ inhabits. And I bought Giles’ willingness to be part of a plot to kill Spike – he was happy to dispatch Ben.

    The core of the episode is Spike / William’s relationship with his mother. I am wondering if it especially appeals to me as a parent. I don’t want to turn this into a post on mumsnet but I feel that Spike’s mother demonstrates the dual emotions of loving your child more than anything on earth but also occasionally feeling negative about how they have changed your life. I think that the demon took all the little ugly thoughts that occasionally flit into a mother’s mind and ramped them up to ten. I’m afraid my brain won’t even let me think too much about the incest aspect but I think that was a brave addition and made Spike’s disgust and horror so much greater.

    There were a couple of things I found properly funny as well in this episode. Buffy saying she’s in the fight of her life and the poor vampire being so pleased. Also Drusilla’s reaction when William / Spike says he’s going to bring his mum along. Both those points felt like proper Buffy humour.

    My only negatives were Spike saying he was going to kill Robin just before a commercial break which felt like pointless misdirection and the Apple product placement.

  6. I would first like to address the question you guys asked about my comments on Storyteller. You asked what it was that made me really hate that episode the first time and what about it changed my mind on rewatch. Well, I can explain it best by starting with I am a scientist. I like things to be exactly the way they should be and though “I struggle for shades of gray, I live in black and white”. Let me explain.
    When I watch a tv show or a movie, I go in with it certain perspective/expectation in mind. For shows like Modern Family, the Middle, Family Guy, etc… I am expecting weird and quirky and I am expecting that roll your eyes kind of humor. In shows like the Blacklist and Dollhouse, and movies like Star Trek, Avengers, and Serenity I go in with the thought that I am going to be on the edge of my seat, heart beating out of my chest entertainment with some side jokes mixed in to lighten the mood here and there. That’s what I expect with Buffy episodes, but Storyteller did not deliver on that expectation. On first watch, I sat there wondering what the heck was going on and why everything was so wicked “oh my God, this is stupid-humor crap”. The fantasy world that Andrew lived in distracted me greatly from the story that was happening in the background and forbid me from being able to see the secondary story (or was it the primary….ugh, see what I mean?!). When I watched it on rewatch, however, I knew that those stupid scenes were coming (“we are Gods, we are Gods” in toga dress?? Sorry, sidetrack) so I was able to basically ignore those parts and actually focus on the story at hand. As I said last week, I think after ignoring the annoying parts, there was a pretty interesting story underneath and I was actually pretty entertained.

    Now, on to the beginning of my favorite parts of Season 7, the episode that starts the uphill for me! Lies My Parents Told Me. I have been patiently nail-biting waiting for this episode. It is actually one of my top 10’s of the Buffyverse. I love how we get this whole extra back story of Spike without changing any of the back story that was presented before. I am a sucker for flashback episodes (Becoming, Fool for Love – love em!) and seeing the fact that Spike really did care for his mother even after losing to a demon, it just rips me up. I have an extremely close relationship with my mother and if she ever said those things to me that his mother said to him, I would probably stake myself! I loved that Spike carried the guilt of siring and killing his mother for his entire life as it shows just how much he really does love her.

    It was interesting to me that they chose to have him still be in the “memory world” when he apologizes, making P. Wood think he was apologizing to him, although he set that straight pretty quickly. I also liked that although Giles and P. Wood couldn’t see that there is no time for personal vendettas, Spike could, hence him letting Wood live. And, in my opinion, proving beyond a doubt that he really is on the side of good. Giles and P. Wood need to stop worrying about what Spike will do and worry about what the First is gonna do.

    I didn’t like that fact that Giles kept trying to tell Buffy “You need to…(enter content here)”. Clearly, she has grown beyond needing him to tell her what she needs to do as she seems to be the level head in this episode reminding Giles that Spike is the strongest warrior they have right now. Something about this season is making me like Giles less and less and I don’t like it. He needs to redeem himself, quick!

    My favorite scene; or the funniest scene in my opinion; when Spike is chained asking to be freed and Buffy says “why don’t you calm down” and he replies tensely and matter of factly “I am calm”, I love that! It is so how I would respond to someone telling me to calm down when I don’t want to!

    Thank you for your insights on my question last week about Season 5. I have not had a chance to have my Dad listen to it yet, but when I do, I will let you know his thoughts 🙂

    • Thanks so much for answering the Storyteller question

  7. Storyteller

    About the “it always has to be blood” discussion: Personally, I liked the idea that it was tears, not blood, that could close the seal. Andrew helped open it with an evil act, and was able close it through a show of remorse. I liked the symmetry.

    And it makes sense thematically to bring up the role of remorse, since Willow, Spike and Anya have each had stories and arcs dealing with how they might make up for their own evil acts.

  8. I liked this episode much better on first watch, this time it left me kind of cold and I’m having a difficult time trying to figure out why exactly.

    I really liked the flashback scenes, especially Spike’s were …… a little disturbing, and I liked that the conflict between Spike and Principal Wood came to a head and they finally dealt with Spike’s trigger.
    My favorite scene was the one in the principal’s office, mostly because of Wood’s confusion, and Giles’s outrage over a library without books which was also a nice callback to his discussion with Jenny in season 1.

    I also liked the concept of Giles trying to teach Buffy to stop playing general and start being one, as he puts it, but felt like their arguments slightly missed the point when it comes to Spike. Early in the episode Giles is still upset about Buffy’s decision to get Spike’s chip removed but the chip wasn’t working anyway when he was killing people under the First’s influence. And when Spike is totally willing to kill Wood if he touches him again, Buffy’s argument that Spike won’t kill anyone because of his soul isn’t really working anymore. Now she would even sacrifice Dawn to safe the world, but she keeps Spike around despite the threat he poses.
    So their focus should be on the trigger, and I’m glad they explained Giles’s absence in the last two episodes. He made the effort to try to deactivate the trigger, but then immediatly jumps to, no this isn’t working, we should kill him. And why does Wood believe that he could kill Spike, especially after he triggers him. Does his garage always look like that or did he spent his afternoon building crosses?

    I read somewhere that the original script had more dialgue in the graveyard scene where Giles admits that he killed Ben, that was cut for time. I wish they had left that in there because it would have been a good reminder of what Giles is willing to do for the greater good and it would also have underscored his point that even innocent people who are not at fault themselves (like Spike with the trigger) have to die.

    Oh, and Cordia’s “It’s only 13 episodes!” totally confinced me to start watching Firefly. I wanted to watch it for a while now but was hesitant to add a new show to the ones I’m already watching, but well, 13 episodes – I do have time for that right now. So thanks for that

    • I love your whole comment, Mareike! And I apologize for continually butchering your name. But you should know, your last paragraph made my day. 🙂 ENJOY!

      Try to watch it on Netflix as they have the proper episode order. They were aired in a very confusing manner and some places still show them in that order.

    • Hey Mareike – I agree with everything except Giles’ library rant. I thought the first line was funny, but his bit about true learning comes from books and his offer to ship over a “back up library” both seemed overdone.

  9. Lies My Parents Told Me:

    – On rewatch, this episode tells a pretty good story . . . about Robin Wood. Robin’s rationalization of his desire for revenge, his plan, and his utter defeat at the end all make for a pretty good story that doesn’t exactly fit in to BTVS.

    – I don’t know what to make of Spike or Giles, though. Spike spent the season going through a hugely accellerated version of Giles’ last two hundred years, all to end up here? Does he really not care about all the people he killed, or is he just covering up? And how did Giles think THIS was the best plan available to him. Surely, the best case scenario would be for Buffy to end up betrayed and unwilling to accept his advice right when she is about to need it the most.

    – Well, maybe Giles was hoping that Spike would kill Robin, which woulc cause Buffy to kill Spike, but that’s pretty cold even for Giles, and still a big gamble.

    – The funniest line was from Giles, talking about Spike’s trigger. “Somehow, I doubt the First hs just forgotten such a powerful weapon.” Really, Giles? Because it seems to have forgotten that it can stop Willow from using magic, or that demons will do what it asks them, or that the Bringers can blow up buildings. . .

    – Still, I liked the flashbacks, especially Dru and Spike in the house, and Vamp-mom’s rant. 52.

  10. Hi Robin and Cordia,
    I got way behind and am catching up…I can’t seem to get the Storyteller podcast to download. Could you check on whether everything is working on your end? I’ll keep investigating if it’s my computer being funky or something.

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