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Positives and Negatives - S2

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  • Positives and Negatives - S2

    So just like the S1 thread, this is just for a bit of light fun.

    Taking one episode a day, choose one thing about the episode that you think is positive and one thing that is negative. They don't have to be big things about the story, plots, characters (although they can be), more superficial observations are also very welcome and may bring up some variety.

    Feel free to comment/discuss any thoughts posted too (and also to join in ad hoc or play catch up too if you miss a day or so and want to).

    Day 1 - When She Was Bad
    Day 2 - Some Assembly Required
    Day 3 - School Hard
    Day 4 - Inca Mummy Girl
    Day 5 - Reptile Boy
    Day 6 - Halloween
    Day 7 - Lie to Me
    Day 8 - The Dark Age
    Day 9 - What's My Line (pt 1)
    Day 10 - Shat's My Line (pt 2)
    Day 11 - Ted
    Day 12 - Bad Eggs
    Day 13 - Surprise
    Day 14 - Innocence
    Day 15 - Phases
    Day 16 - Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
    Day 17 - Passion
    Day 18 - Killed By Death
    Day 19 - I Only Have Eyes For You
    Day 20 - Go Fish
    Day 21 - Becoming (pt 1)
    Day 22 - Becoming (pt 2)

  • #2
    When She Was Bad

    Positives: Buffy and Xander's sexy dance!!!! Buffy managed to hit three birds with one dance. I love bitca Buffy, I wish we got to see more of her. Talking about that dance though... I love Xander's blue shirt, I love that he wears it in three episodes: WSWB, Dark Age and BB&B. It's more realistic when characters repeat their clothes. Back to the dance: Man, how hot that was! Both Buffy and Xander looked incredibly hot. Also: "Did I ever thank you for saving my life?" "No." "Don't you wish I would." It always slays me! Poor Xander. It's also proof that Xander ain't Nice Guy tm - don't those guys do good deeds for rewards? Xander never asks Buffy for rewards for saving her life. He does it because he genuinely loves her.

    More shallow thoughts: Buffy's hair is gorgeous. Willow's nose is yummy. Xander's everything is perfect! S2 wins the award for most attractive period for the characters, including Cordelia and Oz.

    "If they hurt Willow, I'll kill you." My favorite line in the episode. It's filled with frustration and anger. Also shows that Willow will always be #1 in Xander's heart.

    Buffy's dream about Giles killing her and Xander and Willow not reacting. So creepy and layered. And of course, Cordelia calling Buffy out on her baditude (Brooklyn Nine-Nine reference).

    One more thing: An insightful Xander moment:

    Willow: It's over.

    Xander: No, it's not.

    Then Buffy breaks The Master's skeleton.

    I just love, love, love High School Xander!

    Then the sweet Buffy, Xander and Willow scene in the end when all's forgiven. Aw.

    Negatives: Xander was a complete jerk to poor Willow. I agree with Andrew S about him being very complex because I got the vibe that he is attracted to Willow - the almost kiss - but he kinda hesitated before the vampire interrupted them. He probably wants Willow but is too scared to screw it up and lose her. Then when Buffy shows up, the luscious ice cream on Willow's nose stopped doing it for Xander, then Willow gets kidnapped and now Xander wants to kill Buffy if Willow got hurt because Buffy wouldn't listen. Make up your mind, Xander! Buffy or Willow? It'll get even more complicated when Cordelia enters the picture. "Oh, no, my life's not too complicated."
    Made by Trickyboxes
    Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

    Comment


    • #3
      When She Was Bad

      Positive: Mean Buffy is incredibly entertaining, some of the savagest lines in the entire series!

      Negative: Angel sneaking into Buffy's bedroom. It's creepy, it's weird, it's not normal.

      Comment


      • #4
        S2 - Day 1 - When She Was Bad

        Positive - So much is expressed in Buffy struggling to deal with the daily pressure and expectations on her in how she acts out. The maximum impact/hurt she goes for is harsh and I love Cordelia of all people for calling her out on it. The show gains so much from being able to show Buffy like this, to see her reacting to the reality of her duty and how damn vicious and tough on her it is. There's just so much to see between so many characters through all of it and then in how Xander and Willow show her at the end that they can move on.

        Got to say how much I adore the exchange between Giles/Snyder... Snyder: There're some things I can just smell. It's like a sixth sense. Giles: No, actually that would be one of the five.

        Negative - I struggle to find one in this ep to be honest. I'm not keen on the Xander/Willow storyline to be honest so I feel the near kiss is a bit randomly brought into their dynamic (although I can reason it out as a reaction to growing up and things changing etc).

        Comment


        • #5
          Day 1- WSWB

          Positives: Buffy grows up so much. She has to learn to cope with a traumatizing event, and, despite going through a rough patch, ends up coming through. Smashing the Master's bones is both symbolically and literally defeating her demons.

          Negatives: 2 Xander scenes. First he leads Willow on, which is him letting his hormones get the best of him, because I think it was clear he only thought of her as a friend at this point. Second, the dance with Buffy makes me both uncomfortable and jealous.
          Hello cutie

          Comment


          • #6
            Day 1 - When She Was Bad


            Positive: I like seeing Joyce and Hank together, being caring parents, who can talk to each other like reasonable people about their only child. It was nice to see, even though they are both really worried about her.

            Negative: This is my least favourite opening ep, so I can think of a lot of negatives, but I shall just go for the ice cream on Willow's nose. This girl has fancied Xander all her life (or so it seems) and he's just about to lick ice-cream off her face, and she stops him! I've never understood why she did that.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Priceless View Post
              Day 1 - When She Was Bad


              Positive: I like seeing Joyce and Hank together, being caring parents, who can talk to each other like reasonable people about their only child. It was nice to see, even though they are both really worried about her.
              I wish they kept this version of Hank. The writing of Hank became so ridiculous in the later seasons, especially from Joyce's death and on. It never rang true to me, especially after watching S1 and S2.
              Made by Trickyboxes
              Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
                I wish they kept this version of Hank. The writing of Hank became so ridiculous in the later seasons, especially from Joyce's death and on. It never rang true to me, especially after watching S1 and S2.
                I have mixed feelings about Hank. I would have liked it if he played a bigger role in Buffy's life (and especially Dawns) and I enjoy this one scene we get of him and Joyce. But I also think it rings true that when parents divorce and the kids stay with their mother, the father slowly leaks out of their lives. It doesn't happen instantly, but distance and time play a part. It takes a real effort on everyone's part for the relationship to continue and be as loving. So in that sense I think it was a truthful portrayal of a missing father, but Hank was never a monster, and that part of it is a little unbelievable.

                - - - Updated - - -

                Day 2 - Some Assembly Required

                Positives: Giles has so many good moments; practising asking Jenny our, getting excited at the prospect of grave robbing, dissing American football . . . He is the MVP of this ep, but special mention goes to Cordy who has some great lines about her emotional pain.

                Negative: Bookending the episode with Buffy/Angel scenes, showcasing Angel's jealousy of Xander, just seemed out of place and had little to do with the actual episode

                Comment


                • #9
                  Day 2 - Some Assembly Required

                  Positive - This isn't an episode I love, but as often happens for me I've enjoyed it more since we discussed it on the rewatch. I think it was Dipstick who pointed out the links this episode has to Prophecy Girl and WSWB in relation to the trauma of death/resurrection and I really like viewing this episode with those links and that exploration in mind. The experiences that we have can fundamentally change you and it isn't always all good. So the visual symbolism then of 'marred' faces, being pieced together again, all of that just really adds something for me when viewing this episode.

                  Negative - I find the change in tone in Bangel at the start of S2 a little jarring. As I remember it, there's a jump here I have to put down to nearly losing Buffy so recently for why they have stopped trying to avoid it and are straight into elements of an angsty relationship and the start of the more melodramatic instant love vibe that doesn't do anything for me personally. But that drama and heightened emotions are very true of teenage love/romance and I do enjoy S2 Bangel overall, it's just an adjustment at the start of the season. I just wish Buffy felt a bit more embarrassed about her behaviour in WSWB and having deliberately hurt three people she cares about with the dance, rather than try to get Angel to confirm for her that it worked in making him jealous.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Priceless View Post
                    So in that sense I think it was a truthful portrayal of a missing father, but Hank was never a monster, and that part of it is a little unbelievable.
                    I wouldn't mind if it was him missing Buffy's birthday or failing to show up for her graduation, but it would have been far more realistic if he was there in Joyce's funeral. It would also have made an interesting twist if he tried to move Buffy and Dawn to Spain with him. I can see why the writers wanted to make things easier for them by making Hank a monster, though.
                    Made by Trickyboxes
                    Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Day 1 - When She Was Bad

                      Positives: So many things! It's a really good episode. But most of all, it's the fact that the show deals with Buffy's PTSD, rather than ignoring the consequences of what happened in the season 1 finale (unlike what they did with Jesse's death and other traumatic moments for various characters in season 1) and shows that traumatized people can act unpleasant and ugly, rather than just look appealingly sad. Buffy's dream - so creepy, layered, revealing. Buffy saying that she was the closest person to the Master because "we killed each other - it promotes togetherness" - very revealing about her series-long issues and fears about being cut off from the 'normal' people, even her friends, and closer and more similar to the monsters she's fighting. The fact that this episode is full of foreshadowing not just for later events in season 2 (including the callback to this episode in Becoming part 1), but also to Faith, Wishverse Buffy, Buffy's depression at the end of season 2 and in Anne, and Buffy's depression in season 6.

                      I also love the fact that Buffy - even though she's being the bitca Buffy - calls out Angel on his stalking.

                      Also the Giles/Snyder/Jenny scene is hilarious.

                      Negatives: It's hard to come up with something. I've never been keen on Willow/Xander getting romantic, so that part is not exactly my favorite (throughout season 1 and early season 2, I was wishing they'd just ditch the whole Willow/Xander/Buffy unrequited love triangle and that they would all be just friends).

                      Day 2 - Some Assembly Required

                      Positive: The opposite with this one - I don't have many positives, it's my least favorite episode of season 2. I think the only things I really like about it is all the cute Giles/Jenny stuff, and some lines like "Love makes you do the wacky" (Willow, referring to what Chris was doing for his brother) - which feels pretty foreshadowy for many things, especially considering the fact that Willow will also resurrect Buffy, like Chris did his brother!

                      Negatives: The entire plot is just ridiculous and cheesy in the worst season 1 way, and doesn't even make much sense. It's like something the villains could have only come up if they had watched The Bride of Frankenstein one too many times, but always stopped before seeing that it doesn't work out in that movie, either.

                      I think the thing that bugs me the most about it is that we see a successful resurrection of a human by scientific means. I know worldbuilding is not one of the strengths of Buffyverse, but that really contradicts the entire lore in a way I can't ignore. Yes, Daryl is messed up psychologically, but that can be attributed to his trauma and loneliness, and it's never made clear if he "came back wrong". One may say that he may have been soulless, as he was so ruthless and ready to commit murder to get what he wants, but they don't clarify it.
                      Yet this is never brought up again, and later we are made to think that resurrection can only happen through magical means, and that even if it does, in most cases it is likely to produce a monster (the reason why Dawn was not supposed to bring back Joyce, and Willow was told by Osiris that she can't resurrect Tara), unless the death was mystical in nature, as Buffy's was (and that resurrection was a very big deal, and something the Scoobies weren't even sure would work).

                      Generally, it is weird that Chris is such a scientific genius, but his rather unbelievable talents and successes are never mentioned.

                      We also never learn what happened to him and Eric, whether they were punished in any way for serious crimes, including attempted murder.
                      It's also yet another episode where main characters should have a lot of trauma (Cordelia in this case), which is never addressed and they're instantly OK.

                      There are also a couple of minor things that just bug me - Daryl's actor looks like he's about 35, and Eric throwing a knife at Buffy is a prime example of a stupid fight move you see on TV and in movies, but isn't presented as such - we're supposed to think it only didn't work because Buffy is a Slayer and caught the knife. When, in fact, any self-defense instructor will tell you that, if you have a knife, you need it to keep it in your hand if you want it to be a useful weapon, and, unless you're an expert knife thrower (which I'm pretty sure Eric was not), if you throw it at someone, there's a 99% probability you'll miss and just manage to lose your weapon.
                      Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 22-01-18, 10:53 PM.
                      You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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                      • #12
                        Some Assembly Required

                        Positive: Buffy. Cemetery. Mini. Heels. Hairdo. Look, I'm not that big on Buffy obsession, I mean, relatively to some but damn, she looks so hot in that scene, absolutely stunning!

                        Negative: So Eric tries to kidnap Cordy, Buffy kicks him in the face and then just...lets him run away? Lame and ridiculous.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
                          I wouldn't mind if it was him missing Buffy's birthday or failing to show up for her graduation, but it would have been far more realistic if he was there in Joyce's funeral. It would also have made an interesting twist if he tried to move Buffy and Dawn to Spain with him. I can see why the writers wanted to make things easier for them by making Hank a monster, though.
                          I also think that Joyce had to die to allow Buffy to grow up and show her as a 'mother' looking after Dawn. That wouldn't have worked if they'd had a father on the scene.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I also think that Joyce had to die to allow Buffy to grow up and show her as a 'mother' looking after Dawn. That wouldn't have worked if they'd had a father on the scene.
                            I never liked the idea of Buffy being Dawn's mother. I don't think it allows her to grow up, I think it just turns her into a 35 year old single mom with a dead end job and that's a pile of dishonest BS. Because Buffy's 20. And Dawn's not her child, Dawn's not anybody's child by the way. I'm OK with Buffy taking care of her sister as a sister but Buffy trying to be (and spectacularly failing at it) Dawn's mom is just, I don't know, it's weird.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by a thing of evil View Post
                              I never liked the idea of Buffy being Dawn's mother. I don't think it allows her to grow up, I think it just turns her into a 35 year old single mom with a dead end job and that's a pile of dishonest BS. Because Buffy's 20. And Dawn's not her child, Dawn's not anybody's child by the way. I'm OK with Buffy taking care of her sister as a sister but Buffy trying to be (and spectacularly failing at it) Dawn's mom is just, I don't know, it's weird. I feel like it's more about Buffy's martyrdom obsession than it is about what is actually good for Dawn, as in, getting her as far away from Sunnydale as possible.
                              I think it works within the structure and themes of the season. The monks made Dawn from Buffy, so she is Buffy's 'child' in that sense, and having Joyce die leaves Buffy with all the responsibility for Dawn. I think one of the themes of the season is 'family' and how women sacrifice themselves for their families, especially their children. Personally I love S5, but am not fond of the ending. I'm much more in favour of my heroes staying alive.

                              - - - Updated - - -

                              Day 3 - School Hard

                              Positives: Pretty much everything works in this episode, but my two favourite scenes are Spike's entrance, which must be one of the best character introductions in any show ever, and when Buffy and Spike face each other in the school, Buffy asks if they really need weapons, and Spike says they make him feel all manly, while running his hand down his body. That scene encapsulates S2 Spike for me and I just love it.

                              Negatives: This is so difficult as this is a great episode, but if I had to pick something that was just below brilliant, I guess it would be Dru. She's just too crazy for me, and a little bit goes a long way, even though she and Spike work beautifully together.

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