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Positives and Negatives - S2

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  • #91
    Day 16 - Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

    Positive: So much to love about this episode. Xander wearing his blue shirt again. It looks good on him. The breakup scene was so well done, and the aftermath with everybody laughing at Xander - broke my heart. I loved that Xander was getting punished throughout the episode. His intent was to humiliate Cordelia, but instead he got humiliated when the spell didn't work and Cordelia still "hated" him. When he thought Buffy was beginning to like him that way, and later discovered it was the spell's doing... really heartbreaking! Poor Xander.

    Xander's scene with Willow in his super messy bedroom. LOL. Xander being objectified, felt up by older women (Jenny and Joyce) and almost murdered by both Angelus and Drusilla. The boy was being punished throughout the episode, I don't get when people say he didn't suffer any consequences. The whole episode is filled with karma. Especially when Giles kicked him out of the library and Oz punched him.

    Negative Buffy telling Xander "You came through" and "There might be some hope for you"... both lines are so insulting to Xander. Did she really believe that Xander would rape her? If so, why are you friends with him??
    Made by Trickyboxes
    Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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    • #92
      Passion

      Positive: I love the opening sequence, not the Angelus' monologue, but the way it's shot, the way it portrays Scoobies. They're just so radiant and lively and beautiful and full of color and sort of larger than life, you know I mean? Buffy dances with Xander, incredible chemistry by the way, then they walk out, two couples, arm in arm, Willow gobbling a lollipop, Buffy smiling, all young and gorgeous and happy. That scene is magical.

      Negative: Angelus killing Willow's fish. It's over the top and ridiculous. Angelus sneaks into Willow's room, takes every fish out of the aquarium. With his hands. He has to take off his jacket, roll up his sleeves and just grab them, one by one. Can you imagine that and not laugh? Then he dries the fish, threads them on a thread and puts them into an envelope. So ridiculous and juvenile. How old is that guy, anyway?

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      • #93
        Day 17 - Passion

        Positives: I want to steal what a thing of evil said; the opening sequence is beautifully atmospheric and the scoobies are radiant while being unknowingly stalked by evil. The music is brilliant throughout and just adds to the atmosphere.

        Negatives: Hate that Giles tells Buffy not to tell her mum what's going on, it's selfish and stupid.

        - - - Updated - - -

        Day 18 - Killed By Death

        Positives: Angel is my favourite thing in this episode, he's so weird and creepy.

        Negatives: The placing and the story reduce the tension that was beautifully heightened in the previous episode, so it just feels like unimportant filler.

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        • #94
          Day 18 - Killed By Death

          Positive - I think Buffy willingly choosing to 'hurt' herself to be able to see/fight Der Kinderstod because of her sense of duty and her wish to save others is good foreshadowing for her ability to skewer Angel into Acathla in a few eps time despite her feelings for him.

          Negative - I actually have quite a few dislikes in this ep but I'm picking the scene where Buffy is delirious in the hospital talking to Giles et al because it is terrible in several ways. The whole general rambling/attempts to get up etc. just feel awkward. Also, Joyce is just too passive in a way that's hard to believe. Again Buffy is talking about vampires in front of her with it having no impact. Even if we discount the retcon issue that Normal Again brings into the mix, Buffy has said this enough times now that Joyce would likely be noticing the repetition and starting to feel concerned about her daughter's delusions. Also, although I appreciate Joyce is isolated and lonely, her acceptance of and comfort with the school librarian's interest in her daughter is hard to accept.

          --

          I actually watched this this morning, so my S2 rewatch (two eps a week), is about to fall behind where we are in these threads. This is only really a passable episode for me to be honest but I actually think that it works well after Passion as the characters almost take a pause in reaction to what happened to Jenny. I think there are just too many episodes remaining for them to try and keep that high tension for so long.
          Last edited by Stoney; 07-02-18, 02:57 PM.

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          • #95
            I actually watched this this morning, so my S2 rewatch (two eps a week), is about to fall behind where we are in these threads. This is only really a passable episode for me to be honest but I actually think that it works well after Passion as the characters almost take a pause in reaction to what happened to Jenny. I think there are just too many episodes remaining for them to try and keep that high tension for so long.
            And we still have Go Fish to go (I'm programmed now to point out these filler episodes) I've heard people say that S6 and 7 are less cohesive and they site the earlier seasons as being the most cohesive, so I feel the need to point out that S2 is one of the least cohesive because of episodes like Killed By Death, which takes the audience away from the main theme, something that doesn't happen in S6 or S7

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            • #96
              Killed by Death

              Positive: I praised Der Kindestod recently so not to repeat myself, Xander stopping Angelus in the hospital is some A grade, certified, undisputed, how-does-he-even-walk-with-balls-this-huge badassery.

              Negative: Giles doubting Buffy. He does this many times and is always wrong. Buffy is the slayer, a supernatural being, top of the food chain predator of the occult world, if she says that some monster-y badness is involved then it is, period, get on with your research, Giles. Why is that so hard to understand?
              Last edited by a thing of evil; 07-02-18, 10:39 PM.

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              • #97
                Day 19 - I Only Have Eyes For You

                Positives: Giles' grief over Jenny is so well drawn

                Negatives: Am not a fan of this story. Dislike that the student/teacher relationship is meant to be seen as romantic and hate that Buffy is made to feel any sort of guilt over Angel

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                • #98
                  Day 19 - I Only Have Eyes For You

                  Positive - I like how the title ties with Buffy's assertion all she sees in her future is Angel and Willow saying that all Angel thinks of unsouled is still Buffy. The intensity is still there between them even though they are torn apart and Angel's rejection of wanting to feel those emotions (reiterated in his response at the end) doesn't change the fact that he is still drawn to Buffy and it's his response to this which alters unsouled. 'Passion' as he said a few episodes ago, is still ruling him, it's still what is giving him direction/purpose.

                  Negative - The intense romance melodrama isn't something that I'm a fan of at the best of times. Sure it fits to the teen romance vibe, but the repeated reenactments/flashback just means the episode is saturated in it and they feel pretty hammy and overacted to me.

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                  • #99
                    I Only Have Eyes For You

                    Positive: Willow is amazing in this episode. I love how she takes the initiative, comes up with a sound plan and I love how she tries to comfort her friends. Buffy, in the opening sequence, and Giles. Giving Rupert the quartz stone is incredibly thoughtful and empathetic, especially for a person who's only 16 years old.

                    Negative: Cordy's on point - overidentify much? Buffy, you're not a high-school teacher from the 50s. Also, you're not a ghost. No, seriously.

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                    • "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered"

                      Positive: This episode encapsulates everything I love and hate (but mostly, LOVE!) about the Xander/Cordelia romance. So many great moments for their characters in this one, I don't even know which one to pick, hmm... Cordy opening her locker and revealing that she was wearing Xander's necklace the entire time is incredibly understated and probably the moment that hits me in the feels the most.

                      Negative: Xander's decision to cast the love spell may be the foulest thing he ever does in the entire series. One could also say his summoning Sweet in OMWF (I'm actually one of the people who fanwank that Dawn did it, but nevertheless...) is awful as well, but it's much worse here. In OMWF, Xander didn't actually intend to hurt anybody. He just "thought there'd be dances and songs" and just wanted to work out his own issues. In this episode however, his wanting Cordelia to fall desperately in love with him just so that he can reject and humiliate her in front of everybody is extremely cruel. I usually feel bad for Xander when Giles acts angry/annoyed with him, but here he honestly deserved it.

                      "Passion"

                      Positive: The acting. So many great performances in this episode: Tony Head, David Boreanaz, Kristine Sutherland... but I'm going to single out Alyson Hannigan, because while everyone else's performances are mostly dramatic, hers has quite a bit of range. She's hilarious when portraying Willow's nervousness-then-giddy-excitement at the thought of substitute teaching for Jenny. She's adorable but in a really tragic way when reacting to the murder of her goldfish. And she breaks my heart when portraying Willow's over-the-phone reaction to Jenny's death and her barely-keeping-it-together sadness in front of the computer class the next day.

                      And okay, Joyce is pretty great in this episode as well. I think Joyce was poorly-written for most of S1-S2, but this was around the time she started to come into her own as a character for me. The scene with her and Angel on the front lawn and the scene with her and Buffy having The Talk were really well-done.

                      Negative: After weeks of Angel(us) roaming around, the Scoobies are only JUST NOW trying to figure out how to keep him out of their houses?? They should have been worried about that, like, as soon as they got done defeating the Judge. I know that would've been the first thing on my mind as soon as Angel turned if I were them.

                      Originally posted by Priceless View Post
                      And we still have Go Fish to go (I'm programmed now to point out these filler episodes) I've heard people say that S6 and 7 are less cohesive and they site the earlier seasons as being the most cohesive, so I feel the need to point out that S2 is one of the least cohesive because of episodes like Killed By Death, which takes the audience away from the main theme, something that doesn't happen in S6 or S7
                      Actually, I can defend "Killed by Death" and its place in the season. It definitely has its flaws, but I still think it's pretty cohesive to the S2 storyline and character arcs. Buffy's trauma over her cousin Celia's death and determination to kill the Der Kindestod is a parallel to her guilt over Jenny's death in "Passion" and determination to kill Angel. At the beginning of the episode, Buffy is trying her hardest to find and kill Angel even though she's extremely sick. And throughout this episode, an extremely sick Buffy resolves to kill the Der Kindestod. There are also some great character moments.

                      Both Xander and Cordelia have some of their best moments in the entire season during this episode. Xander is a total badass in the scene with Angel and Cordelia gets some great material as well. She's extremely productive by distracting the security guard and researching with Giles, yielding correct results, and she has some awesome and insightful lines ("So this isn't about you being afraid of hospitals because your friend died and you wanna conjure up a monster that you can fight so you can save everybody and not feel so helpless?", "Well, I was using the phrase 'watch her back' as a euphemism for looking at her butt. You know, sort of a pun") And the Xander/Buffy/Angel(us) and Buffy/Xander/Cordy love triangle material (two separate scenes in which a villainous Angel and a jealous Cordelia taunt Xander about still being in love with Buffy) fits in with the heavy romantic themes of S2.

                      IMO, "Killed by Death" is just as relevant to the themes and character development of S2 as "I Only Have Eyes for You" is. It's just more subtle and IOHEFY is just a better episode. Yeah, S2 has some crap Monster of the Weeks, but even they resonate thematically with the rest of the season (okay, "Go Fish" excepted) so it's still a pretty cohesive season to me. S7 was way less cohesive due to the constant plots/character arcs that never went anywhere or were completely forgotten (Dawn's subplot with The First, for instance).

                      Negative for "Killed by Death": It's kind of slow-paced, I guess.

                      "I Only Have Eyes for You"

                      Positive: David Boreanaz's performance. I've given him a lot of crap for his performance in the early episodes, but this episode showed just how much he improved as an actor over the course of S2.

                      Negative: I know a lot of people love the interactions between Angelus, Spike and Dru, but I honestly don't. The three of them were great together in "Innocence", but after that it starts to get old. It feels like the same thing in every scene between them: Angel taunts Spike by flirting with Dru, Dru fawns over him, Spike fumes in his wheelchair. Their scenes together are some of my least favorite parts of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", "Passion" and "I Only Have Eyes for You". They are great again in the "Becoming" eps though, so maybe Whedon is the only one capable of writing interesting scenes between them. But I was so happy at the end of this episode when Spike stood up from his wheelchair because it meant that something was finally going to happen between them!
                      Last edited by Andrew S.; 08-02-18, 09:48 PM.

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                      • I'm gonna come back with a list later, but I just have to say for now - no, Buffy is not a high-school teacher from the 1950s, but that's completely beside the point, since it has nothing to do with Buffy over-identifying much, or why Cordelia called her on over-identifying much in that scene. Buffy, however, very much is a teenager in love with a much older person - madly in love, as teenagers in love for the first time can be - broken-hearted over the end of that relationship, and full of pain, guilt and confusion over it all.
                        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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                        • Day 17 - Passion

                          Positives: As people said, the first scene! Also, the Willow and Buffy sleepover, the acting when Buffy and Willow were informed that Jenny was killed, I cried so hard during that scene. The whole scene where Giles see the rose petals and believes it's Jenny doing it and following them to his bedroom only to see her dead body - awesomely cruel! Also, I wanna give credit to Xander who never badmouthed Angel from Innocence until Jenny's death so not to hurt Buffy's feelings, but now enough was enough! One of them was killed! It's time to seriously deal with Angelus.

                          Negatives: Angelus could have been as creative in his traumatizing of the Scoobies. His Jenny kill and how he'd presented it to Giles was the only evil cruel thing he'd done. We should have seen more of that in other episodes about other Scoobies, especially Xander and Willow - Buffy's best friends. Killing Willow's fish was nowhere near what the show built him up to be. I would have liked it more if he'd killed Willow's father - it's not like we ever see him on the show anyway, and it would have been extra traumatic for Willow. Though I get the fish scene was played for laughs, Angelus needed to be more scary and cruel.

                          Day 18 - Killed By Death

                          Positives: The Xander/Angelus scene! There was so much badass-ness and slashy goodness packed in those few minutes. (Though I do wish, after being stopped by a 17 year old kid, that Angelus would have done something so cruel to break and humiliate Xander in the next episode.) The Xander/Cordelia scenes was amazing. The whole scene with the gang visiting Buffy in the hospital and their presents. Buffy being a brunette in the flashbacks. The continuity of Willow hating frogs. The last scene with the Scoobies ordering Joyce around.

                          Negatives: I can't think of anything I disliked to be honest.

                          Day 19 - I Only Have Eyes For You

                          Positive - Loved the last scene with Spike being able to stand up.

                          Negative I'm honestly not a fan of this episode. Too melodramatic for my taste, also I feel this episode should have followed Passion right away due to the Giles subplot. Also, why did it take Spike months to heal? He's a vampire. He heals fast. I get that he's probably been able to walk weeks ago, but was hiding it from Angelus and Dru, but Angelus and Dru should have suspected earlier that something was off about Spike still needing a wheelchair.
                          Made by Trickyboxes
                          Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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                          • I really do think that some extreme injuries to the back could be seen to take a while for even a vampire to heal from if it would have permanently crippled a human. I can go with it because of that. Plus, he clearly isn't getting well looked after which could also have affected his healing. If you compare him bringing Sheila to Dru the dog is just an insult and I think is there to show he is an after thought to her. He's very obviously getting frustrated by it all. Some of that is going to just be Dru being in her own world most of the time, but I don't think Angel/Dru are really interested enough in what is going on with Spike to care how quickly he is healing, they know he will eventually, and they are distracted with each other plenty. It all just adds up to give weight to Spike's resentment to me and why he has gone from being amused/happy on Angel's return to planning to go behind Dru's back to back up Buffy and look to take her away from being around her daddy again.

                            --


                            Day 20 - Go Fish

                            Positive - The social pressures and the different examples of stereotyping in this episode are interesting. I don't think they are explored as well as they should be within the episode, but it does raise some points for consideration around stereotyping and the weight of expectations that I think relate well to the hierarchies and social strain people deal with. The swim team literally soaking in the drugs works well as symbolism around this of how environments affect us.

                            (I wonder if I can put money on Sosa's positive section involving the word speedos! )

                            Negative - I can't not criticise the dismissal of Buffy being assaulted by the group but I also want to raise Willow being given a temporary teaching role over her peers as just totally inappropriate. I don't know if it is a cultural thing so would be interested if others view it differently, but I just don't think that would happen here. Not that it isn't interesting for her as a character point, it's the realism of it that bugs me.
                            Last edited by Stoney; 09-02-18, 12:19 PM.

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                            • Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                              (I wonder if I can put money on Sosa's positive section involving the word speedos! )


                              Day 20 - Go Fish

                              Positive - Xander in speedos! Duh! I actually enjoy this episode a lot for the many fun Scooby interactions. I like how early on, Xander was never really afraid of jocks and would tell them off all the time (it changes by mid-S3 sadly).

                              Negative - Willow working as a substitute teacher. It's just so unbelievable. Unpopular opinion, but I didn't like Cordelia's speech to "fish" Xander. It didn't sound true to Cordelia's character, especially since she spent most of the episode belittling and insulting Xander.

                              Stoney, in regards to Buffy's sexual assault being dismissed by the Scoobies, I guess it's because: 1) investigating a new murder and new danger will always be the Scoobies most important priority. 2) Buffy is strong enough to danger from humans - as shown in the episode - she could save herself and the Scoobies know that. If it had been Willow, it might have been a different story.
                              Made by Trickyboxes
                              Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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                              • Day 20 - Go Fish

                                Positives:Cordy, Xander and Willow all have some great scenes, and Xander in those speedos

                                Negatives: The swim team were not chosen for their ability to act. There are some lovely individual scenes, and it's a mostly enjoyable episode, but the overall effect is 'meh'

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