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Positives And Negatives Season 3

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  • #61
    “Lullaby”

    Positive: The climax of the episode -- Lorne hearing Holtz’s humming; the bar being destroyed again; Fred staying behind; Darla staking herself; Holtz lowering his crossbow -- was phenomenal.

    Negative: I don’t care about Holtz. I did on my first-watch because I was so intrigued by the mystery of everything, but on rewatch, this storyline leaves me cold. I think it’s because Holtz himself is extremely dry and lacks any charm or charisma, which is what makes a good Buffyverse villain to me. It’s a shame too because I remember watching BTS footage of the episode once and the actor who plays Holtz - Keith Szarabajka - actually seemed like a very lively, playful kind of guy out-of-character. So I’m sure he could have added some likeability to the role if the writers had let him.

    “Dad”

    Positive: Someone get Lilah a pillow. I’m sure her back must hurt because she’s been carrying the whole damn Wolfram & Hart storyline this season. W&H are no longer the mysterious, competent villains that they were in S1-S2 and a large part of that is due to the lack of interesting players on the team now. I hate Linwood and find him a poor replacement for Holland Manners, whom I adored. And while I despised Lindsey, the writers did a good job tying him into the storylines and giving him interesting dynamics with Angel and Darla. But now, Lilah is the only W&H lawyer that is interesting and compelling to watch.

    Negative: Angel, your team has been (and is still) risking their lives trying to protect your baby and you won’t even let one of them hold him?? It’s the “I’ll kill anyone who comes near Dawn!” thing all over again.

    “Birthday”

    Positive: The Cordy! opening credits were cute. That’s it.

    Negative: It’s ironic that Cordy used to talk so much shit about Buffy because now she’s acting just like her. Just like Buffy is keeping secrets from her friends to her own detriment throughout S6, Cordy is now keeping secrets from her friends to her own detriment (the CAT scans). Just like Buffy’s love for Angel once drove her to risk her life by letting Angel drain her blood in “Graduation Day”, Cordy’s love for Angel drives her to risk her humanity and become part-demon without even knowing what that fully entails.

    As annoying as Cordy’s characterization is (her lack of regard for her own life; letting Angel and the visions define her self-worth) in these episodes, it somewhat makes sense. Just like Buffy’s martyr complex made sense as a natural result of her being forced to die to save the world (twice!), Cordy’s martyr complex makes sense as a natural result of her having the visions and being forced to vividly feel the pain of other people on a daily basis. The problem with this, though, is the way that the writers portray it.

    Buffy’s martyr complex and her blinding love of Angel were presented as obstacles for her to overcome in order to grow as a character. Meanwhile, Cordy’s martyr complex and her blinding love of Angel are presented as *good things* that are supposed to show how much she’s grown as a character. This is problematic for multiple reasons. Not only is it sexist and not only does it make Cordy boring and uninteresting, but it goes against everything that made her such a strong character in the first place. She has lost all of her personality and is now just Angel’s personal cheerleader. Whereas she was originally supposed to be his link to humanity, she has now been zapped of her own humanity. In a perfect world, Cordy’s S3 arc would have ended with her giving up the visions and her powers, realizing that her strength as a hero comes from her general Cordelia-ness rather than deus-ex-machina, PTB powers. But unfortunately, they take it in a different direction...

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