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BtVS rewatch : SEASON 1

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  • #16
    Angel's behavior is contradictory but I think that reflects the conflict inside of him. He's flirtatious but he's standoffish, he wants to help but he chooses to remain in the shadows etc.

    The cryptic guy act is a pretty deliberate move to keep Buffy at a distance. He's obviously attracted to her (or 'in love' if you buy into his speech in "Helpless") but, as he will say in "Angel", he's older than Buffy and, um, a vampire, so it can't ever work. And he'll actually make a real effort to stay away from Buffy after that episode until the apocalypse in PG. So Angel keeps Buffy at a distance by being mysterious and only engaging in shop talk and Buffy actually does find this off-putting ("Angel. Now there's a guy you can see being in a relationship with! "Hey honey, you're in grave danger I'll see you next week!" Whenever he's around all he wants to do is talk vampires") so it's sorta working. But Angel wants more. And he flirts in spite of himself.

    Of course he also wants to keep Buffy at a distance because he's trying to hide his true nature. And in "The Harvest" that means pretending that he's scared of The Master because of course he can't go up against The Master/Darla and not have his identity revealed for all to hear. We know Angel isn't really scared of The Master because a) he's blatantly disrespectful and disobedient in "Darla" and b) in the Wishverse he tries to prevent the Master from rising when Buffy doesn't show up.

    And I think Angel is also fearful of rejection so it's easier to be the snarky bad boy than have Buffy get to know him. Even in this episode it's mere minutes of talking to Buffy before she inadvertently exposed some holes in his Angel's cool persona -- "Do you know what it's like to have friends? (pause) That wasn't meant to be a stumper" It's easier to act like a suave guy then expose the guilt-ridden, friendless loner within. He's afraid to even let on that he cares about Buffy's well-being in a substantial way, declining to "wish her luck" to her face then whispering it under his breath once she's gone.

    I do like the Buffy/Angel scene. DB's acting isn't great at this point in the series but he and SMG definitely have chemistry and it makes sense that Buffy connects with Angel over having no friends. Buffy's on the cusp of making some great friends but I think she really relates and sympathizes with Angel here given how she recently lost all hers.

    Xander's decision to follow Buffy into the sewer is certainly noble but also fairly complex. I'm not sure I'd frame it quite as Dipstick does -- "Xander is actually the dashing, brave one that fights side by side with Buffy" -- as whilst that's very true in a literal sense, I feel his primary motivation is rescuing Jesse rather than wanting to help Buffy and have her back, if that makes sense. Obviously the two go hand in hand but it's just that if we're comparing/contrasting what Xander/Angel do for Buffy I just don't feel particularly moved by Xander's actions here (unlike in PG when he goes down into the sewers specifically for Buffy and because he loves Buffy). I certainly think it's brave and heroic for Xander to go into vamp-infested sewers to try and save Jesse, though. A great friend.

    I do think it's mildly ~problematic that Xander felt Buffy's slayer-hood threatened his masculinity;

    BUFFY
    I'm the Slayer and you're not
    XANDER
    I knew you'd throw that in my face
    BUFFY
    Xander this is deeply dangerous
    XANDER
    I'm inadequate. That's fine. I'm less than a man


    and that he was unable to follow her lead and basically followed her down there anyway. I do think Xander had already assumed what his role would be, as a man, and couldn't deal with Buffy usurping that. However, this is tempered a lot by the fact that Xander's was so persistent because he wanted to rescue his bud which is something I can't fault him for whatsoever. And whilst Willow almost instantly found her niche in the group as 'research girl' who could help by surfing the net and hacking into helpful websites, Xander was already feeling useless. So it's really not a huge issue for me at all. I think it just plays a small part.

    Fandom talks a lot about how this episode really is the catalyst for Xander's hatred of vampires due to Jesse's death, and I certainly think that's true. However, I also think it amplifies his feelings of inadequacy which will plague the character for the remainder of the series. The Scooby Gang has barley formed and straight away Xander felt like he was just "standing around" and being unhelpful. And whilst he was standing around Jesse was killed and turned into a monster. I have to think that his 'zeppo' issues and guilt over Jesse's death are interwoven in Xander's subconscious.

    I don't have any huge moral issues in regards to Willow getting revenge on Cordelia. Obviously I feel revenge is wrong and Willow could have taken the highroad and just walked away but I really can't blame her for getting Cordy back after what Cordy said to her in public (and about her new friend). What I actually find really interesting about that scene is that in the DVD commentary Joss admits that Cordy's line "Do I hone in on your private conversations? No. You know why? Because you're boring" was something he actually said in high school to someone. His point basically was, everybody wants to believe they were innocent in high school but we all had a bit of Cordelia in us, even the "nerds". And that's something Joss wanted to incorporate into the show instead of having everyone just be two-dimensional caricatures.

    I loved the Buffy/Joyce scene. It's hardly subtle but I love this moment -- "If you don't go out it'll be the end of the world. Everything is life or death when you're a sixteen year old girl!", as it encapsulates this series so, so well.

    I love the Power Shot of Buffy as the vampires flee The Bronze. In the DVD commentary Whedon says that he asked the director/cinematographer to give him a 'Spielberg' moment with the blue lightning. It's shots like that which would help cement Buffy as a pop culture icon. That's what Joss always intended for her to be and it shows. It feels like very few shows strive for this anymore but I guess they only come along every once in a while.

    The Master/Darla scene feels OOC to me. Don't get me wrong, I don't think The Master was a harmless bunny to any of his minions but he shows such little regard for Darla when he threatens her that it feels inconsistent with the rest of their relationship.

    I found it far funnier when I was younger than I do now but I still get a kick out of Buffy tricking Luke -- "Sunrise! (stabs him in the back) It's in about six hours, moron" A lot of people who don't watch the show assume that Buffy is meant to be some vacuous dumb blonde but she was never portrayed this way. Right from the beginning she had her wits about her in battle.

    This episode does have a couple of truly cringe worthy moments. Both The Master's "Give me moooorrreee!" and "Nooooo!!!" are just, embarrassing, frankly. As is Buffy decapitating the vampire with a cymbal and Darla running away screaming after Willow pours the holy water on her
    Last edited by vampmogs; 13-03-14, 11:20 AM.

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    • #17
      Local_Max, great post. I agree with pretty much everything.

      Originally posted by Local Maximum View Post
      This is related to what Dipstick says about the desire to help out. Willow really wants to help, and do something good, and I think a lot of it is about trying to deal with the oppression that's being done on her. It is also, I think, partly a way to justify her existence -- if she's helping others, then she has earned her right to continue being. I think she does want to help, too, and wants to do good, and Dipstick is right that she is very much motivated to protect Xander and that there is some real emotion in her fear that Xander will get hurt. But I think part of it is an abstract desire to do enough good, to win enough points on some arbitrary scale, that she justifies her existence.
      Yup. Willow was working on her first Scooby research assignment in the lab when she heard Cordelia's poison about Buffy and Willow decided to stand up in the first time in forever. There is some element that Willow knows that she's doing important stuff and that should empower her to confront Cordelia.

      er. But anyway, while I agree with Dipstick that some hard knocks might help Cordelia to clean up her act, as Dipstick somewhat alludes to this particular one seems maybe to be designed to leave Cordelia uncertain what happened (as we see afterward) -- I don't think Cordelia exactly knows that Willow tricked her, that del meant delete, and so I don't think she associates her verbal bullying with the payback in a way that might make her likely to recognize what happened. That Willow sneakily gets back at Cordelia sort of undermines a potential long-term gain. And so I think it's basically revenge.
      We don't know that Cordelia didn't figure out what happened. I think it's a definite possibility that Cordelia asked a teacher or student and learned that Del meant Delete and then realized that Willow set her up. Cordelia tried asking the Scoobies and then Willow for help nicely with some sucking-up in OOM, OOS and Prophecy Girl. Cordelia needed to be confronted with First Hard Knock in the form of Marcie trying to carve up her face to start truly reforming on the inside. However, Cordelia goes about getting help in OOM, OOS with calculated honey- even if Cordelia clearly wasn't practiced at asking for help from lower social strata students with any grace or niceness. Although, Willow didn't intend her trick to really be a lesson- I agree that Willow intended revenge and taking consolation in striking back. However, I do see a way that Cordy could have actually learned from the trick- to at least, not bite the hand that feeds you even if the hand is attached to a poorly dressed nerd.

      Originally posted by Stoney View Post
      Dipstick, your comments on Giles' determinations of when to pull back, when to assert his authority and how he keeps lines of expertise are really interesting. I can't help but keep drawing comparisons to Wes and thinking how he will be treated on introduction against how Buffy/Giles et al are rubbing along here as they figure out their dynamics. It feels that although Giles pre Helpless is playing more closely to a Council approach that reflects more of where Wes is coming from than Giles will be when Wes actually does arrive, he is also using his experience and self confidence to determine when those lines can be blurred in a beneficial way and times when it is in his best interests in managing and working with Buffy to let more harmless rule breaking simply pass. This is where Wes lacks maturity in his dealing with the slayers and his inability to manage them is in part down to his rigid procedural approach to try and gain authority, as well as being hampered of course by the established relationships and the resentment/resistance to his presence regardless.

      But Giles pre Helpless, particularly in S1, is still more Wes-like and does hold 'the slayer slays' as his perspective on Buffy's duty and this shows clearly throughout this season. Although we do learn of Giles' more colourful past (is The Dark Age the first time??), I never felt that S1 really fitted that character expansion very well. Giles' stuffy overplayed 'Britishness' and his more rigid Council views of duty/authority are somewhat incongruous with that additional layering in his history I feel. His character always felt the most lacking in cohesion from his first appearances for me. I think Rihannon is right that they do pull a lot of consistencies well going forward but Giles has a bit of a jarring jump imo from where we are here.
      I really love Giles’s S1-2 story. I view it as one of the best continuous character arcs that the show ever did. Giles’s character became more flat, superficial, and inconsistent in S3-7, especially S6-7. In particular, Giles really bypasses some of the most interesting questions of the day in S3 (Faith, Willow’s magic, dealing with the Council, how to accept Bangel/Angel after everything Angel put Giles through in S2) and, IMO, Giles never recovers from being way more superficial in S3 than his S1-2 story indicated.

      IMO, Giles sowed his wild oats in his teens and twenties. However once he decided to go back to being a Watcher, he really did make a resolution to focus on that and be more responsible. Lots of people have crazy teens and twenty something years- but they are very staid and even stuffy in their 40s. A lot of Giles’s stuffiness is authentic. When we see him alone, he enjoys cross-referencing and watching Wheel of Fortune and gets put out that a weaker contestant won the dinette set. Some of it is self-enforced and put-on- he made a choice of shame of his misspent youth to not date so he was stuck awkwardly practicing on a chair to ask out Jenny.

      However, through his youth and even though his more responsible adult years dealing with the Council or being curator at the British Museum, Giles learned how to read and deal with people and he did develop some confidence in his abilities to decide which rules to follow and which rules to break. And as a Watcher dedicated to saving the innocent, of course, Giles will use his resources for the fight.

      I’m already looking forward to the Wesley episodes- which is really a testament to the character because I’ve written loads about him in the last year and I’m nowhere near tired of him. Stoney, I agree with your description of Giles’s advantages compared to Wesley- experience, creating a group vs. breaking into an entrenched one. Also, all four of the core Scoobies really bond in S1 because there were no big controversies this year. The biggest one was the B/W/X triangle- but Giles wasn’t even a part of that. Wes was at a disadvantage by coming into controversy-ridden S3.

      Also, Giles operates mostly autonomously from the Council in S1-2. There are indications in S3 that Wesley had to phone in to report progress, turn in results of Buffy’s and Faith’s physical fitness tests, etc.-stuff that Giles never seemed to do in S1-2. IMO, Giles’s/Buffy’s/Faith’s reported insubordination made the Council of Watchers try to draw everyone in with a much shorter leash in S3. Through unfair scape-goating and his own subservience to the Council/early pomposity with everyone else, Wesley became a representative of that shorter leash.

      [B]
      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
      I do think it's mildly ~problematic that Xander felt Buffy's slayer-hood threatened his masculinity;

      BUFFY
      I'm the Slayer and you're not
      XANDER
      I knew you'd throw that in my face
      BUFFY
      Xander this is deeply dangerous
      XANDER
      I'm inadequate. That's fine. I'm less than a man


      and that he was unable to follow her lead and basically followed her down there anyway. I do think Xander had already assumed what his role would be, as a man, and couldn't deal with Buffy usurping that. However, this is tempered a lot by the fact that Xander's was so persistent because he wanted to rescue his bud which is something I can't fault him for whatsoever.
      I don’t have a problem with Xander’s masculinity comment. Before that exchange that you quoted, Buffy banned Xander from coming along the rescue mission.

      Xander: So, what's the plan? We saddle up, right?

      Buffy: There's no 'we', okay? I'm the Slayer, and you're not.


      It’s not that Xander has a problem with Buffy being the slayer. As he says later to Jesse during the rescue- “It’s cool. Buffy is a super-hero”. Xander has a problem with Buffy ordering him to not go along to rescue his friend. Ultimately, Buffy was in the wrong. She does herself and the people she tries to save a disservice by going it alone. It’s understandable since Buffy was trying to protect Xander and she’s been instructed to fight alone. However, it’s not the smart way to go and Buffy learns some of that in this ep (although it's a series-long lesson with varying degrees of learning success). Bottom line: Xander accepted Buffy as super-hero who could play an integral role leading the rescue of his friend. Buffy didn't think Xander was up to par to rescue his own friend because he's not a slayer, until Xander proved himself in the sewers.

      It would have been better if Xander phrased it like “less than a person”- since I don’t think that working to save lives should be a particular checkmark of masculinity. It’s a part of *personhood*. However, I still feel like it’s pretty innocuous since Xander is putting the burden on himself for not being strong and ultimately, good enough. He’s not knocking Buffy’s ability to save lives. He wants to join her in the life save-age. Plus, this has been some percolating social issue theory in my brain- but I think there's a good way of saying that a good trait is masculine or feminine as long as one acknowledges that it exists just as much in the other gender or in in between genders.

      The Master/Darla scene feels OOC to me. Don't get me wrong, I don't think The Master was a harmless bunny to any of his minions but he shows such little regard for Darla when he threatens her that it feels inconsistent with the rest of their relationship.
      In my personal canon, The Master was much harsher and meaner to Darla when she evidently had to come crawling back to him after Angel left her and Dru and Spike went to do their own thing. Darla really disrespected The Master by running off with Angelus after Angelus publicly rebelled against The Master. The Master still has his brand of affection for Darla because he still sees the same promise in her as a human- but when she puts a toe out of line, The Master threatens her.

      Also, Vamp Willow and Vamp Xander were definite favorites of the Master. They hadn’t lived as long by his side. However, the Master was still taken with them as court favorites and he mimed fatherly affection to Vamp Willow, in particular. And The Master still threatened them with “kissing daylight” if they didn’t prevent the slayer from coming to town.
      Last edited by Dipstick; 13-03-14, 06:09 PM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
        Xander's decision to follow Buffy into the sewer is certainly noble but also fairly complex. I'm not sure I'd frame it quite as Dipstick does -- "Xander is actually the dashing, brave one that fights side by side with Buffy" -- as whilst that's very true in a literal sense, I feel his primary motivation is rescuing Jesse rather than wanting to help Buffy and have her back, if that makes sense. Obviously the two go hand in hand but it's just that if we're comparing/contrasting what Xander/Angel do for Buffy I just don't feel particularly moved by Xander's actions here (unlike in PG when he goes down into the sewers specifically for Buffy and because he loves Buffy). I certainly think it's brave and heroic for Xander to go into vamp-infested sewers to try and save Jesse, though. A great friend.
        Xander's courage shows whenever one of his friends is in danger. It's probably why he fainted in Tabula Rasa - he didn't know those people and had no emotional investment in them. I honestly think Xander's sole reason to go down the sewers was to save Jesse. Nothing to do with Buffy.

        I do think it's mildly ~problematic that Xander felt Buffy's slayer-hood threatened his masculinity;

        BUFFY
        I'm the Slayer and you're not
        XANDER
        I knew you'd throw that in my face
        BUFFY
        Xander this is deeply dangerous
        XANDER
        I'm inadequate. That's fine. I'm less than a man
        I don't see anything in that quote about Buffy's slayerhood threatening Xander's masculinity. I think Xander's masculinity is threatened because he's considered useless. He's not allowed to risk his life to save his friend and that's what bothers him, because he was raised to believe that a real man must "physically" fight for those he loves. Xander is Buffy's mirror by showing the boys side of trying to break from the gender norms. Society pressures Xander to be macho, an athlete, have sex at an early age, all things that are not Xander. Just like Buffy, Xander is drawn to the gender norms and doesn't want to be laughed at or belittled because he doesn't meet the high expectations demanded from guys.
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        • #19
          As a heads up, I am at work a lot right now, so I will watch 1.03 again tonight and have review up tonight/tomorrow morning (ET).

          It is pretty well founded and understandable psychologically that an adolescent male, particular not only in front of but *by* the object of his sexual attraction, to bristle at the notion of "inadequacy" in any context because if the (primal, irrational) inference it allows. But, hey, that bristling is very much evidence of his masculinity -- I am very fond of a theory that describes manliness as wrapped up in thumos.

          He does effectively become the "first Scooby" by my estimation in that he is the first to follow Buffy into a dangerous situation -- once as someone unaware, disbelieving, but to help Willow, but next with eyes open. These two episodes, and my episode (to bury the lede a little) are very much about the immersion of a couple normal folk into Buffy's world, that a TV format needed that beyond just a Slayer. Greenwalt worked on this season, and later goes on to make "Grimm" which is even *more* about that, and basically Xander and Willow become the template for kehrseite-schlich-kennen, regular people "in the know" (or "know the trick", is more literal? If so, I like it better. Magic is all balderdash and chicanery ).
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          • #20
            Xander is also living in an abusive environment where there is every chance that he is belittled and often feels that he should be able to make a difference, should be able to act in ways that would affect the scenario he sees every day and despises that he can't. It may be that he can see that he can't change his parent's lives for them but he could in part feel that it is his inability to do so, the continued situation a sign of his ineptitude. A question against masculinity would be very stereotypical in this case too and could explain him applying that internal criticism more widely and almost as a non sequitur to other scenarios sometimes. He has only just met Buffy and wants to impress her but I agree that it is his desire to help Jesse that has him head down to the sewers and, as vamps says, the sense of feeling useless gets wound up into how he feels about what happened to Jesse. Heck whilst Xander has the guilt/maelstrom of emotion that Jesse dusted by his hand, the choice wasn't his at the moment it happened even.

            Dipstick, I see what you are saying about people potentially not reflecting how they were during a period of time from their youth but I think they take it far, far too far with Giles. In Halloween they very much play 'Ripper' as a part of Giles, a previously unseen but very real aspect of his personality that he chooses to let out to play. For me, if that were the case and the difference that extreme, then these first episodes are showing someone who is pretending to be something they aren't. It isn't that he should still be behaving 'Ripper-esque', just that the extremely heavily troweled on stuffy Britishness is way overblown if really he has his Ripper side present and correct underneath and it becomes questionable, for me, as to how genuine he can be taken in these early pre-Ripper episodes.


            EDIT: King no rush with posting for Witch. The majority voted for two eps a week so the weekend would be more evenly spaced, up to you.
            Last edited by Stoney; 13-03-14, 09:05 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Stoney View Post
              Dipstick, I see what you are saying about people potentially not reflecting how they were during a period of time from their youth but I think they take it far, far too far with Giles. In Halloween they very much play 'Ripper' as a part of Giles, a previously unseen but very real aspect of his personality that he chooses to let out to play. For me, if that were the case and the difference that extreme, then these first episodes are showing someone who is pretending to be something they aren't. It isn't that he should still be behaving 'Ripper-esque', just that the extremely heavily troweled on stuffy Britishness is way overblown if really he has his Ripper side present and correct underneath and it becomes questionable, for me, as to how genuine he can be taken in these early pre-Ripper episodes.
              I do think that Giles somewhat ups the stuffiness on (consciously or unconsciously) on purpose in the first few eps. He's not used to dealing with children- and he finds himself in a situation where he really needs to control three of them as a matter of life or death. (Note, how he totally invaded Willow's personal space when persuading her to research and made Will very uncomfortable.) I'll note in the future how Jenny Calender is better at dealing with kids. In particular, he needs to be close enough with Buffy that she confides in him, but he also needs to come across enough as her boss that she submits to his training regimen, his battle plans, and always takes his diagnosis of the evil as the word of G-d. Giles is projecting authority as best as he can. The Watcher's Council does appear to have a corporate culture where the upper echelons hew to British cliches to project seriousness and loyalty to their very old, rather nationalistic cause.

              I also felt that S1-2 hammered home that Giles's tougher, more violent, hard core--his Ripper side if you must call it that- comes out when Giles is furious and he feels like people are invading and destroying his own personal life. Halloween and The Dark Age with Ethan, Passion with Angel. The later seasons drove down the standard for Giles's Ripper side coming out.
              Last edited by Dipstick; 14-03-14, 02:47 AM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
                I don't see anything in that quote about Buffy's slayerhood threatening Xander's masculinity. I think Xander's masculinity is threatened because he's considered useless. He's not allowed to risk his life to save his friend and that's what bothers him, because he was raised to believe that a real man must "physically" fight for those he loves.
                That's actually what I meant. I don't think Xander sees Buffy's slayer-hood as threatening because he doesn't believe a woman should have that power etc. I think his masculinity is threatened because, as you say, he's conditioned to believe it's a man's role to go into battle and save the day but having Buffy there nullified that. If he isn't meant to be a manly hero then what else can he do? That's what I was trying to get at about how Buffy's slayer-hood threatened Xander's sense of masculinity because how useful Xander felt he could be was tied into the traditional gender roles, but they pretty much get thrown out of the window when Buffy's around.

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                • #23
                  I barely remembered this episode, and watching it now under a new light was very interesting.

                  First, I think that in order to be fair with the episode, it's necessary to be indulgent towards everything that has to be watched within the context of the year of filming and availability of resources at the time. The acting, writing and editing were also improved greatly in later seasons, but even considering the limitations, this episode shows a few indications of what would be achieved in the future.

                  For example, the entrance of Luke and the vamp gang to the bronze, sound-off and rock music in the background. This resource was used again in the series and always had an amazing effect.

                  Also, there was the thing of compensating the lack of visual effects with smart editing and directing, like when Buffy staked vamps that were out of the screen.

                  Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                  I loved the Buffy/Joyce scene. It's hardly subtle but I love this moment -- "If you don't go out it'll be the end of the world. Everything is life or death when you're a sixteen year old girl!", as it encapsulates this series so, so well.
                  I know, brilliant.

                  Originally posted by Dipstick View Post
                  Also, Giles operates mostly autonomously from the Council in S1-2. There are indications in S3 that Wesley had to phone in to report progress, turn in results of Buffy’s and Faith’s physical fitness tests, etc.-stuff that Giles never seemed to do in S1-2. IMO, Giles’s/Buffy’s/Faith’s reported insubordination made the Council of Watchers try to draw everyone in with a much shorter leash in S3. Through unfair scape-goating and his own subservience to the Council/early pomposity with everyone else, Wesley became a representative of that shorter leash.
                  Yeah... I have forgotten how this Giles was so on top of the situation. In this episode, Buffy and Giles fit with each other as if they had been 'Slayer and Watcher' for a long time, even when Buffy was reluctant to tackle her slaying responsibilities. She falls into the pace naturally and without hesitation, and Giles makes it work (and even makes the other kids fit) with awesome effectiveness.

                  And they 'save the world' for the first time in the second episode! But not for long, as Giles opportunely points out...


                  Some quotable quotes:

                  Willow: Oh, I-I need to sit down.

                  Buffy: You are sitting down.

                  Willow: Oh. Good for me.




                  Buffy: I looked around, but soon as they got clear of the graveyard, they could have just, voom!

                  Xander: They can fly?

                  Buffy: They can drive.

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                  • #24
                    Xander/Willow/Jesse: I think from these two episodes you can tell that Xander and Willow are childhood friends who met Jesse in high school or shortly before. Obviously Jesse is closer to Xander – they were hanging together before they went to Buffy and Willow later in Ep 1, and the fact that Xander took Jesse's death harder than Willow.

                    I do think that the show seems to support same-sex friendships, perhaps because they're not layered with crushes and sexual tension. Buffy and Willow have quickly became each other's confidants, telling each other about everything – excluding Xander from those private talks. While they love him and he is their best friend, he will remain their third wheel until S6 when all three are estranged from each other.

                    I do think that Willow was Xander and Jesse's third wheel – there's that quote about Willow not being close to Xander in The Pack.
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                    • #25
                      Are you still good for posting on Witch King?

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                      • #26
                        Yep, take my prior post and pretend I made it today
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                        • #27
                          Sorry, I'm probably being docile, have you already posted and I missed it?


                          EDIT: Ah, brain just engaged... your statement "As a heads up... I will watch 1.03 again tonight and have review up tonight/tomorrow morning (ET)." applies again.
                          Last edited by Stoney; 16-03-14, 08:53 PM. Reason: The stupid veil lifted!!

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                          • #28
                            So excited to get back into posting by reexamining Buffy from start to finish. I rewatched the entire show last summer and now wished I had made notes!

                            Some really great thoughts here. In hindsight I love how from the very beginning a link was established between Buffy and Darla which would be further explored time and again.
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                            • #29
                              Season (One) of The Witch -- the Most Important Buffy Episode Ever, and Here's Why

                              It's said -- be more than just me I'm pretty sure, but even if, I'm right -- that an episode's second episode is really it's real series premiere. Probably doubly so for a genre show, and trebly so for a genre show adapted from a different medium. "The Witch" represents the first stand-alone episode of the series after the 2-part series premiere. As such, it had a lot of important tasks to accomplish for the series to set it up going forward. It arguably had more to accomplish in just an hour than the 2-parter did in both.

                              First up, this episode lampshades the obvious question of danger involved with helping Buffy -- to raise it and dismiss it, and after the "Slayerettes" line, that is mostly it for the series.

                              Second up, there ain't no vampire. They even go out of their way to mention there's no vampire. This could have been problematic in an episode about a Slayer of Vampires. This episode had the burden of establishing that there are and will be other supernatural issues that Buffy would be dealing with.

                              Third up, the whole metaphorical premise of the show truly begins in this episode. It's one thing for Joyce to say it all feels like the end of the world -- it's another to be the episode that manifests then and there that there are real life horrors (parents that want to live their children's lives for them*) and we're going to make them literal monsters; a parent that actually tries to live her child's life for her.

                              In these things, the episode succeeds admirably, and that's why it's probably the most important episode of the series in terms of getting it off the ground. It's got some flashes of brilliance, too, like the ever-so-Jossian twist of humor of Xander telling Willow she's a guy and Buffy telling Xander he's a girl. I also hadn't noticed that the dude literally was in mid-sentence of asking Buffy out when his cheerleader-jargon fail was pointed out to him.

                              My biggest complaint about the episode in rewatching it? How facile and biased a lot of the representation of school life was. Are the writers wearing high school pathos on their sleeves with the depiction of cheerleaders in general? The silly throwback uniforms that no actual high school (certainly not of a fairly affluent area) would have worn in 1997, etc. The try-out scenes felt like lazy world building, like it was happening at random. The shooting of the cheerleader-on-fire effect was cheesy and telegraphed. Definitely has some flaws.

                              A couple continuity notes that make the episode stick out, and one to just ring false. Giles is a LYING LIAR WHO LIES and claims that he cast his first spell** in that episode, and not with a hint of deception, but that could just be read as him being a practiced liar on the subject. More tellingly and glaringly false is when Drunk!Buffy talks about slaying vampires and Joyce does not lose her shit completely and immediately in panic. Because in hindsight -- and not just all the way out to "Normal Again", but much earlier -- we know that her original calling and the events around it accelerate her parents break up and land her in a mental hospital. There is no way that Joyce (especially as tightly wound as she is in this episode) would have just ignored that with befuddlement.

                              *Talk about first world problems, though, right?

                              **This episode does show the first obvious cracks into the world-building effort. I watched the ep again like three times; his spell seems like meaningless bibble that's disconnected from even the basic outline of the plot purpose for it. But at least they did have to actually find and say spells and do rituals back then.

                              Nice "I have no mouth" type horror moment at the end of the episode. 2.5 out of 5 stars, but with 4 out of 5 stars for Mission Accomplished.
                              Last edited by KingofCretins; 18-03-14, 05:17 AM.
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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                                Update -- got pretty caught up in some other stuff last night so wasn't able to finish. Will be up within 12 hours, promise
                                Hey King. Not to be a nag but, well, yep, I'm being a nag.

                                We need to try and keep some momentum going as we are now heading towards when the next episode should be going up. I did suggest originally that if we go over by a couple of days then someone else should just put some thoughts up to keep us moving forward so if you aren't still going to be able to post imminently this time I could do that???


                                EDIT: I see now you have put it into the post above.
                                Last edited by Stoney; 18-03-14, 02:03 PM.

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