Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | March 17, 2014

Podcast #147: Empty Places

Here’s the podcast for Season 7, Episode 19 – Empty Places

No one actually tries to kill her

No one actually tries to kill her

Download: Empty Places

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 24th March 2014 for episode eighteen of Season Seven: “Touched.” Faith takes charge and Spike returns to hear about the coup.

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

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  1. Re: The police fight at the Bronze. When Faith says (paraphrasing) ‘just blowing off steam’ to Buffy, I took it as Buffy automatically assumes Faith is beating up cops with the girls for fun/ stress relief.

    • Umm, so Buffy would say “Oh if you’re beating up the police for fun then that’s ok”?

      • No, I don’t think she would think that was OK. She was clearly angry. I thought she assumed the worst about the situation that she walked into (the fight, not the fun in the Bronze). That Faith calls beating up cops “blowing off steam”. She had a very distorted view of the situation and Faith never offered up the specifics. I always found that misunderstanding to be humorous.

      • PS – I Love the poll you guys are doing! Thanks!

  2. Nobody loves Faith? I don’t think the First has been paying attention…

    (SPOILERS for the finale and Angel… kinda)

  3. I am a man. I am straight. I have a girlfriend. I like Digimon and Power Rangers. I have never commented here about fashion and yet I am compelled to do so because you failed to point out the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. I mean, i don’t even notice fashion. On ANY show, unless it’s stupid or ugly or weird. But this was neither of those, it was just general kinds of bad.

    Buffy is wearing a thin, white sweater over a black camisole. Yeah, I looked it up. You think Anya’s speech wasn’t convincing? Try feeling Buffy’s pain as tears roll down her cheek and onto that wreck of an outfit.

  4. Touched
    Opening scene was good, the camera is shaking and jumping around which conveys the how everyone is reacting well. Buffy entering the guys house was kind of creepy. Her talking about it’s not his house or town, she was really talking about herself. I like the discussion in the basement. Finally someone puts Kennedy in her place. Faith standing up and being the leader. I’m not sure why soul Spike would hit Faith but I did like seeing her hit him back and her lines about him being whipped were funny. I always wondered why Giles would yell to stop. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if she killed him and I don’t think he’s concerned about her going evil. Maybe he is just tired of everyone fighting and more concerned about Caleb. I just thought it was odd.

    I liked Giles telling Faith she’s doing a good job, isn’t that what Faith always wanted anyways, reassurance and acceptance. Loved seeing the mayor back even if it’s the first. Buffy seems a little too happy about Spike hitting Faith. I know she doesn’t like Faith but does she really want her dead? Spike speech is beautiful and I love Buffy’s response about not wanting to be ‘the one’. Everyones getting laid! I like Anyas response its like a kid, if I can’t have it neither should they. But then shes does. Poor Faith, her first plan as a leader and it’s a trap. I feel bad for her, once again Buffy is right and it almost makes Faith look like a less capable slayer than Buffy when really shes a bad ass.

    One thing I wondered was why didn’t Giles just tell Buffy to wait until Spike gets back with more information before making a move. Had this happened then Spike would have confirmed Buffy and give everyone some reassurance in her.

    Empty Places
    Robin brings up a lot of good questions in his review. I also wondered why Buffy just assumes it’s Faiths fault for the potentials getting in a fight. Why does she care if they get in a fight anyways. It’s the apocalypse, why not drink, party and fight, they might not get another chance. It also gives them more practice for the upcoming battle. At this point I assume Spike can speak whatever language the script calls him to. If he can speak feearal to giles then he can speak latin.

  5. Does this make anyone else really happy?

  6. I liked this episode – even the scenes with the Potentials. It was a credible mess at the Summer’s house. It reminded me of some groups I have been involved with – ones that are too conscientious to have conventional power structures. The power cut gave more credence to the idea of Sunnydale becoming deserted too.

    The best scene of the episode, for me, is the one between Buffy and Spike. I feel that he is speaking for the audience in a way when he makes his appeal to her – one of the reasons I like the show is because I think that Buffy is one hell of a woman too. And it’s yet another interesting twist in their relationship – mortal enemies, turn violent sexual partners, turn cuddly supportive friends – and amazingly it’s all pretty much believable. Not suggesting that they are in any way a match for Riley and Forrest of course….

    Faith continues to be good to watch too. I quite admire her aggressive sexuality – she’s feeling a bit tense about the First, here’s a pretty guy in her bedroom – what can she do? And of course Robin, with his mum-slayer-complex, is delighted. Bound to be a messy fall-out.

    I have one little quibble, typically for Season 7, it’s about the First and it’s power. I like the plot to kidnap a bringer but I’m a bit confused. Was Kennedy putting on her whole act of saying it was a bad plan because they know the First can watch them in an omnipotent way? If that’s the case then how did they make the plan for Kennedy to put on an act as there is no where to hide from the FIrst. I just thought it could fall back on Willow doing her telepathic thing but I’m sure there must in the past have been some discussions that we assumed were secret from the First. Can’t decide if a completely omnipotent First would work…..

    One other thing I liked was how run down, and coldy Buffy sounds. I just assumed it was a lucky accident of Sarah Michelle Gellar being under the weather but she sounds fine when she’s playing the first.

  7. I know I already left a voicemail so this podcast already probably has too much of my feedback but I wanted to talk more about that Faith and the First especially since I didn’t focus much on it in the voicemail.

    Part of the reason why that scene is so good is it really plays on Faiths insecurities and we know that. It’s bizarre given the First omnipresent deadness that we havent seen it torture more people. I understand Amber Benson didn’t want to play an evil version of herself but is there really no dead character that couldn’t torture Willow about her fear of magic. (Warren he’s dead, he’s annoying, there you go!) They are essentially ignoring that Anya is a human being but wouldn’t it have been great to see Halfrek needling Anya about being human or even being useless. I know. Kristine Sutherland moved and they could have ran the risk of overusing Joyce but who wouldn’t want to see an evil or manipulative Joyce with Dawn or Buffy. Even Buffy the First most often wears Buffy’s skin and I think it would have been great to see Sarah Michelle Gellar play both versions with the First Buffy playing off Buffy’s insecurities about leading or even her inferiority complex about her superiority complex. As for Xander the obvious answer would be Jesse but I almost think it would be more effective if he wasn’t tortured by the First. Make him the “one who sees” and have Caleb gouge out his eye. I do think ultimately it would have been a mistake to kill him but a First Xander mocking them all would have been exactly the threat this season is missing.

  8. I really liked this episode, not much to complain about.

    Faith seems to have taken Buffy’s advice to heart and acts as the group’s leader. Seeing the mayor again was nice and once again the First shows he knows exactly what to say to manipulate people. Even though by now everyone should know that it would probably be best to do the exact opposite of what the First tells them to.

    I liked the scene in the kitchen when Willow is trying really hard to explain Buffy’s absence without making all of them look like “sad, sad ungrateful traitors” and Spike putting everyone in their place. I could have done without the Spike/Faith fight. It seemed unnecessary and mostly there to have a little bit of action between all the talking.

    I loved every scene between Spike and Buffy. His speech was perfect. It sums up Buffy and also shows how he has changed. It brings me back, 1. to earlier this season when Buffy tells Spike she believes in him which gave him the strength not to break under the First’s torture, and now he’s giving that back to her in a way. And 2. to season 5 when Spike first fell in love with Buffy, but it was a very selfish love and everything he did he did because he wanted her. Now it’s not about him anymore, but he’s the only one who still believes in her, not just because he loves her and even though he isn’t expecting anything from her. He seems to have given up on the idea that she could ever love him.

    Ok, one thing, not really negative but general the First doesn’t make sense issues: I assume Caleb was trying to dig out the Scythe so that Buffy could not get a hold of it. But had he not told her he had something of hers she never would have found it and so he led her straight to it which again, makes Caleb and the First seem extraordinarily stupid. Or is it more fun for them if Buffy has the one weapon in the world that seems to be able to help her defeat him?

    • I forgot one more thing I was wondering about: The mayor tells Faith that he is part of the First but he’s also really the mayor. Is this true and if yes, what are we supposed to take from that when it comes to FirstBuffy?

  9. Touched

    The Good:

    – It’s great that Kennedy is finally getting the attention she deserves. I love how Kennedy explained to Faith that Kennedy should get a vote AND explained to the other potentials that she should get an extra vote because she had been here longer. It’s about time the other losers heard how awesome Kennedy is!

    – I also really appreciated how when Willow confessed that she’s basically an unstable nuclear weapon, Kennedy assured Willow that nothing could possible happen and they should chance it. It’s about time someone pressured their partner to engage in unsafe sex that they were clearly uncomfortable about! Now that Spike has gone all wimpy and “understanding,” I’m sure glad we have Kennedy to pick up the slack and then some! Besides, who does Willow think she is – if anyone knows about the risks of magic, it’s Kennedy – she had her own wing of a house or something. And if Tara’s love wasn’t enough to prevent Willow from slipping into black magic, well, that just shows that Tara isn’t as cool as Kennedy!

    The Bad:

    – I wasn’t sure about Buffy finding that axe or heavy metal guitar or whatever it was. Didn’t the stone tablet clearly say that it was meant for Kennedy?

    – I’m a little disappointed they didn’t make Kennedy leader. Hopefully, Buffy and Faith will both be hospitalized by the opening sequence of the finale, and then Kennedy can lead the potentials to the final battle.

    • I’m almost disappointed this isn’t real. A real Kennedy fan must be as rare as unicorn or a black astronaut.

  10. Sorry, that last post was from Wish-verse Joseph, who comes from a bizarre dimension where everyone loves Kennedy, and all our furniture is made of shrimp.

    Touched: Overall, pretty good. The first 35 minutes felt a little bit like they were getting the pieces into place, but not offensively so, and the last 10 were really really good. I’d score it at a 58.

    The Good:

    – I thought Spike carried the pre-fight sequence. His personality has been all over the place this season, but I really liked the Spike of the last two weeks, and I’m an Angel fan, not Spike. I like how he’s not combining Spike’s dangerous and impulsive qualities with a mature, sensitive, vulnerable side that hints at what a grown up William might have been like, and I like that he’s still the person who can see Buffy for what she is. And the fight with Faith was pretty good.

    – Caleb and The First’s chemistry is really good, and I wonder if Nathan Fillion’s and SMG’s soap opera background is part of that. You have to get good practice emoting on camera when you’ve done it 5 days a week for years.

    – I really like the Mayor. It was a good way to see how the First could work, and I agree with William that it would have been great to see more of that.

    – The two attacks were great. Both fights were well done, and the intercutting was nice. It was great to see Buffy figuring out a logical way to deal with Caleb – she’s a lot faster, so as long as she doesn’t have anyone else there to protect, she can outmaneuver him.

    – Amanda’s parliamentary procedure suggestions cracked me up.

    – At first, I was going to list “how easily team Faith tricked the First and caught a bringer” in my bads, but finding out that it was a trap of the First’s flipped it to good. The show got me, even on rewatch.

    The Bad:

    – I am very worried about Vi’s hat. Did she lose it in the attack on the monastery? If so, no wonder they kicked out Buffy?

    – If the potentials don’t have ANY slayer power, then I don’t believe that several weeks of training make them so dominant over the bringers.

    – Kennedy. Is there such a thing as wealthy lesbian of color privilege? Because Kennedy is pretty much a rapey entitled d-bag, and just to add insult to injury, boring.

    The inbetween:

    – Giles slashing that bringer’s throat made me a little sad for a plotline that might have been. If the first two or three episodes after Giles came back basically showed us that things were so desperate that he was going full Ripper, that would have been an awesome plotline. It would have explained why the Scoobies thought he might be the First and how he could plan Spike’s death, and stressed how dangerous he thought the First was. But he alternated between sneaky and whiny, and now he’s slashing throats. It strikes me as a missed opportunity.

  11. Touched
    Many people have already commented on that beautiful speech Spike made to Buffy. It gets me every time. It really illustrates how he has changed and how getting his soul showed him how to love unconditionally. His words give her to strength to carry on and do what needs to be done. Amazing acting by both Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Marsters.

    On the matter of Spike I also loved the way he called out the Scoobies and defended Buffy’s honour by going all avenging vampire. I especially loved him telling Giles off cos it is so true.

    I was so happy to see the First appear in the incarnation of the Mayor. That scene was so excellent. He has to be one of my favourite villains’ from the series. The actors have a great chemistry. Unlike her and Wood. That was a little unconvincing to be honest. Although the sex scene was a little more credible than some of the others. At least they appeared to have taken off most of their clothes.

    I liked the way the scenes switched between Buffy running rings around Caleb
    and Faith’s plan going awry. That weapon looks pretty cool. The explosion was a pretty cruel cliffhanger. Faith led them right into a trap just like they wanted to avoid when they kicked Buffy out.

  12. Life has been nutty lately so I haven’t been keeping up with the podcast lately. Hopefully I can keep up for the last few episodes! (Veronica Mars kept me busy last week!)

    Quick note on Xander. While I believe it’s true that they wanted to kill off Xander and chose not to (since it was in the commentary and all), it seems so unlikely to me that it wasn’t planned out the whole time! What with the eye patch with his pirate costume, and the subtle references throughout the show about eyes. (Two examples: and in Fear Itself, Xander’s “friend” the dummy has its left eye hanging out of its socket). Could be a bunch of weird coincidences, but gosh it doesn’t seem like it. I will go on believing that it was all on purpose!

    I love love love every scene with Spike in this episode. Ok, maybe not the one with Andrew in the church. That one is a little boring. But at the Summers house, he goes around and tells it like it is, sparing no words. And then, when he finds Buffy he has this great mix of anger and frustration and also love and care. It is my favorite Spuffy moment in the entire series. I like the contrast of how they just cuddle while Faith/Robin, Willow/Kennedy and Anya/Xander are all getting it on. It shows how far they’ve come from the attempted rape and how they are rebuilding their relationship, but still Buffy doesn’t want to go there and it’s fine.

    Faith and Robin seemed to be too fast, but it is a little similar to how she got with Xander. That’s just Faith’s way with men, apparently.

    I didn’t understand why Giles slashed the throat of the Bringer. I’m sure they could have gotten more information out of him? The things he was saying didn’t seem like they should have riled him up so much. For saying that Buffy is rash, he seems to be going down the same road. Honestly, they (Faith and Giles) are all making the same types of decisions that Buffy made, so I don’t know why they gave her such a hard time. It makes the kicking her out seem really bizarre.

  13. FYI

    • Nice! Thanks for the heads up.

  14. The problem with this episode in my opinion is its a cliffhanger way to close to an inevitable final battle. The episode goes through so much so smoothly that it doesn’t even feel like a roughly 45 minute episode, it seems a lot shorter. it was hard to believe that it was over that quickly, though I know it was still the same length as any other episode. I like cliffhanger episodes and I think they work (obviously, look at Becoming), it is just that I am so into this episode that it takes everything I have to not just watch the last two episodes now! I couldn’t imagine how much I would have hated having to wait for the next episode had I been watching this in real time.

    Faith does great assuming her new role as leader. Giles was right. She is doing a great job. She did exactly what I hoped she would do. “I’m not Buffy…..but I ain’t exactly one of you either”. I love that message she puts out. She immediately realizes that she can’t be buddy, buddy with them anymore and while she shows that she is listening (“I hear you, but….”) she is also accepting that SHE needs to make the decisions now. I also liked Willow’s little annoyance when she says “We need to stop arguing on how to argue”. Thank you so much Faith for finally putting Kennedy in her place. Faith has a certain ability for telling people whatever is on her mind and Buffy is just too nice of a person to hurt feelings as it were. Did Kennedy really think that she was going to be the Slayer’s second automatically when Buffy was replaced with Faith?

    Spike basically says the same thing to the group that I was saying last week in the podcast. Buffy has proven time and time again that she earned the right to lead them and they just turned their backs on her. I love the “That’s ballsy, your her friends and you do this to her!”. When he does find her and he talks to her about what he sees in her, I just love it. On rewatch, I didn’t tear up as much, but when I first saw this scene, I was balling like a little baby. In the rewatch, I was still very moved by what he said, but the shock of it was gone, hence the no-crying.

    And see? I was RIGHT! Buffy was RIGHT! That is the coolest looking weapon I have ever seen and if I had $800 in my back pocket, it would be on my wall!

    I cannot wait till the next episode even though it makes me a little sad that the podcast will be ending soon 😦

    Also, on your comments from last week: I couldn’t stop laughing at what you said, Cordia. “No nice way to say this, but….You’re wrong”. Lol! Nice delivery! I still don’t agree with you (American writer, American town, American actors doing a show for an American teenage audience….Really don’t see British gestures being used that none of the “target audience” would get) but we can agree to disagree at this point 🙂

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