Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More Celebrity Deaths (May 23, 2007)

Just kidding, it's another Buffy Wednesday post.

The Captain and I had something of a disagreement about "Buffy" this week. I really want to watch as few episodes at a time as possible, and he feels quite the opposite. For me, watching only a single one last week was great, though I would prefer two. But when I arrived at tyranist's house, he had brought out his Holocaust calendar and had blacked out the square for last Wednesday, writing "Never Again" in block letters in the margins.

He wants to watch as many as we can, since it's fun right now, we're both really into the show, and since our time is limited (and he reminded me that we're not even halfway through the series). His attitude is logical and he may well be right, but I just wanted to stretch it out as loooooong as possible.

That's just something that I do. I'm sure I'll still be reading "Harry Potter and the Hiccoughing Pubic Lice" two weeks after I start it, because dammit, I'll only get one chance to read it for the first time.

So, we watched our normal two episodes of BTVS: "Lovers Walk" and "The Wish." And then tyranist convinced me to watch a third episode, "Amends." All three were good and I was satiated. But then tyranist insisted we watch a fourth, "Gingerbread." I refused and complained and pouted and tried to get him to listen to reason, but finally, the Captain decreed that either we'd watch it together or he'd just watch it by himself.

Perhaps he doesn't realise that I'm now going to be writing till the wee small hours of the morning, when the whole wide world is fast asleep. Damn you, tyranist. And damn you, Joss Whedon.

So, "Lovers Walk." A good title, and I can't figure out if there's a pun in there or not, but I'm okay with it either way. This episode gives us closure on pretty much every romantic relationship going, and hey, Spike's back too!

But Spike returns to Sunnydale a broken shell of a man. Seems that since last season, Drusilla dumped him down in Brazil (for a gooey demon, no less), and now he's a drunken sot, and a sad one too. Giles hightails it out of the episode (tyranist said, "Oh, Giles is off shooting a movie somewhere, so he couldn't make it" when Willow asked where he was), so he's gone for the moments when the gang would most need him.

Also, Buffy did well enough on her SATs to be able to go to any college she wants. Suddenly everyone's telling her she ought to take off and leave for greener pastures (except Angel, who still seems to harbour hopes that they'll live happily ever after). This may be the only show of the four we watched where Angel keeps his shirt on, but Buffy insists that the two of them are now just friends.*

Willow and Oz seem to be making some kind of romantic progress (he gets her a witch Pez dispenser, which shouldn't be as great as it is, but hey, it was pretty damn great), but she's still got that thing with Xander. I'm not really sure what that "thing" is, since it's clear it's not sex, but it seems to be more than just hitting each other with pillows and talking on the phone. Nevertheless, Willow thinks she should just cast the spell version of saltpeter on the two of them, so their attraction will go away once and for all.

Spike discovers Willow preparing her anti-love spell and kidnaps both her and Xander (who takes quite a knock to the head). Spike threatens Willow (rather villianously) into making a spell to make Drusilla love him again, but she requires more ingredients, and Spike leaves them locked in together.

Spike goes to Buffy's house and a grand humourous scene follows where Spike bemoans his broken heart to Joyce (over hot chocolate). When Angel shows up to rescue her, he can't enter the house because he hasn't been (re)invited. Spike enjoys this, and frankly, so do I. A moment later, Buffy arrives and she and Angel come close to staking Spike. He holds the location of their missing friends over them and convinces them to go off to get spell ingredients together.

Buffy and Angel make fun of Spike's pissing and moaning and he makes fun of the fact that they have loved each other (and sometimes hated each other) and are deluded enough to pretend they can be friends. And then, uh oh, a bunch of Spike's old vampire goons show up and want to kill him (I believe the mayor sent them). They fight, and Spike manipulates Buffy and Angel into fighting with him. Somewhere in the extended fray, Spike gets his mojo back and realises that moping isn't the way to get his lost love back . . . sadism, viciousness, and bloodletting is. He tells Buffy where her friends are and departs a new man.

Meanwhile, Oz and Cordelia figure out where Willow is because Oz can smell her (hey, it works for Wolverine, I can't complain if they use it here). Still imprisoned, Xander and Willow talk for a moment, then give in to the pressure of the situation plus their obvious desire for one another, and passionately make out . . . just as, you guessed it, Oz and Cordelia burst in to rescue them.

Predictable maybe, but what isn't predictable is that Cordelia storms off, falls through the floor, and is impaled on a pipe. We are then tricked into thinking Cordelia is dead, and when it's revealed that she isn't . . . well, for some reason tyranist and I laughed instead of becoming furious. Damn you again, Joss Whedon.

Oz won't talk to Willow, when Xander goes to the hospital to visit Cordelia, she tells Xander to leave her alone, and Buffy tells Angel she won't be seeing him anymore. Spike (and Harry Burns) was right, they can't be friends. Ain't love a very pregnant female dog?

Good episode, kids. But not quite as good as "The Wish," the show that follows.

This one was also written by Marti Noxon, and I guess, in a way, this was a Cordelia episode (we don't get many), though everyone gets a chance to shine for at least a moment or two. Cordelia gets out of the hospital and comes back to school and look, there's Cord's friend Harmony (Mercedes McNab), the bitch who only appears when we need someone so awful Cordelia looks like a saint by comparison. Apparently, it's all over the school that geeky Xander Harris dumped and humiliated Cordelia, and if there's anything Cord hates, it's not being able to do the dumping and humiliating herself.

When Buffy only makes the situation worse, Cordelia decides to blame her for all her troubles. We're introduced to a new girl, Anya, who is the only person Cordelia can confide in (the Captain was happy to see her, for some reason). She gives Cord a magical necklace, and when Cordelia wishes Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, Anya--now in demon form--declares the wish granted.

Perhaps the best act-out I've ever seen on television. And I've been watching TV since they called the Old Testament just "The Testament."

Well, suddenly Cordelia is in a Sunnydale significantly less colourful and less populated than it was before. The Master (the Big Baddie of season one) is still alive and is running the town, along with hordes of vampires. Chief among them are the dastardly duo of Xander and Willow, both vampiric and both really really dark characters. Especially Willow, who is all gothed and S&Med out and keeps Angel chained up as a sort of pet . . . if you're my cousin Jason and you torture your pets. Dude, I never would've believed Allyson Hannigan could've pulled it off, but she does. That is one damned talented red-head.

Unaware that there's a town curfew when the sun goes down, Cordelia runs into our lovely undead couple and asks them about Buffy. When Xandlow try to kill her, she is rescued by a team of vampire hunters, led by Giles (and Oz is among them).

Xandlow return to the Master and tell him what happened. He charges them with killing Cordelia, but is intrigued by the mention of Buffy.

Back at the library, Cordelia starts to explain to Giles what's happened, but she doesn't know what we know, and is confused. Before much more can be communicated, Xandlow arrive and, rather easily, kill Cordelia. Giles is helpless to watch. When he gets away, he calls Cleveland, where Buffy Summers is.

The Master, it turns out, has created a machine that sucks the blood out of humans factory-style, and is unveiling it that very night. Many of the townspeople have been herded into the factory, where they will be slaughtered like so much livestock. This is easily the darkest episode of the series so far. Is that why I liked it so much?**

Buffy does come to Sunnydale, but she is a harder, colder person than the one we knew, with an adorable scar across her lip. She rescues Giles and he tells her what he knows. She isn't too enthusiastic (we get the impression that Buffy would be a much less vibrant person without her friends and allies), but volunteers to kill the Master anyway.

She goes to the plant, frees Angel, and there is a massive battle. Oh, the humanity: Xander kills Angel, Buffy kills Xander in turn, Oz kills Willow . . . and the Master manages to kill Buffy. Evil, it appears, is most triumphant.

Giles, meanwhile, has pieced together Cordelia's story (including the necklace) and summons Anya, who is actually the demon Anyanka. He destroys the necklace/amulet, undoing the alternate universe. We are back where we started, with Cordelia making her wish. Anya, who has been transformed into a normal girl, is powerless, and no one knows that anything odd has occurred. Fade to black.

I hate saying it in every post, but this was the best show of the season. There was so much of interest going on, and moments both horrible and twistedly wonderful. They'll have to do a damn good job to top "The Wish" on my hit list. They are welcome to try, though, I don't mind.

And I think I'll end my post with that, good friends. I'll come back to the second half of our . . . sigh . . . quadruple feature very soon.

Rish Outfield

*Hey folks, angry bitter old lonely Rish here. Have you ever had a girl tell you she just wants to be friends? It really sucks. But have you ever found YOURSELF saying it? The world's a cruel and rotten place, and city life's a complete disgrace. It really gets me down.

**I'm reminded of one of my favourite episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Yesterday's Enterprise," where an event in the past changes things, making the present a darker, bleaker, dangerouser place. Actually, there were a couple of "Next Gens" like that, like "Tapestry" and the one where Worf is bouncing between parallel universes . . . maybe that's called "Parallels." Dang, I ought to make tyranist watch that show sometime. At this rate, it would have to be around 2011.

1 comment:

levice willson said...

Yeah it’s always sad when you come to know about your favorite celebrity deaths. You feel an empty space when you realize the fact that you won’t be able to see your favorite celebrity on screen now.