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Positives and Negatives - S2

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  • Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
    Negative -- it's pretty hard to nitpick this episode. Gonna say the flaming vampire "message", it's just really not congruent with anything we had seen in Season 2 that Angelus had this kind of cult-like following among vampires. This would have been a reach even for the Master.
    You're right, Angel can't have that kind of following among vampires. But maybe Acathla does? We see that Acathla is supposed to be a sort of legendary historical figure for the demons, with an almost religious significance. The evil version of the Day of Judgment/Second Coming?
    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.


    • Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
      You're right, Angel can't have that kind of following among vampires. But maybe Acathla does? We see that Acathla is supposed to be a sort of legendary historical figure for the demons, with an almost religious significance. The evil version of the Day of Judgment/Second Coming?
      It's as good a no-prize as I'd have been able to come up with, at any rate.
      Banner by LRae12


      • Day 22 - Becoming pt2

        Positive - A lot! Let's see: Buffy finally telling her mom the truth, Joyce's reaction is perfect, Xander hugging Buffy so that a cop wouldn't see her, Willow's resolve face, Cordelia and Xander's hug, Willow saying Oz' name after Xander's admission of love, the Buffy/Spike team up, the Buffy/Angel fight, "Me", Xander's lie, the Xander/Giles scene that tells you exactly of what their relationship is like.

        Negative - There was no follow-up on the lie. Such a disappointment. I wish Buffy knew Xander lied to her in S3.
        Made by Trickyboxes
        Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag


        • Becoming Part 2

          Positive: Just one thing? Buffy. No weapons. No friends. No hope. And she pulled through. Buff's amazing in this episode.

          Negative: All things considered Joyce is kinda trash.


          • Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
            Day 22 - Becoming pt2
            Positive - A lot! Let's see: Buffy finally telling her mom the truth, Joyce's reaction is perfect.
            I couldn't agree more with this so realistically done!

            “Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home.”


            • I have a lot to catch up on, and I never did Becoming part II, so...

              Becoming, pt 2

              There are too many positives to mention - this is one of the greatest episodes of the show - so I'll try to limit myself to something that hasn't been mentioned by others. The "No weapons, no hope..." - "Me" scene has already been mentioned, as were the Buffy/Spike scenes and many other things. But I don't think anyone has mentioned how utterly heartbreaking the scene with Giles and Drusilla pretending to be Jenny is. I also love the fact that the show had Buffy be genuinely traumatized by all that had happened, be depressed and leave the town at the end of the season, rather than bounce back immediately, as the protagonist would have in so many other shows. (Of course this is the same show that will go on to have the heroic protagonist depressed throughout most of season 6 - the show's boldness was already obvious in season 2, both at the beginning of the season with When She Was Bad, and here.) The Sarah McLachlan song to the closing montage works really well. The foreshadowing I didn't even notice the first time - Whistler saying that Buffy is wrong and has one more thing to lose - and then we see that the last thing she has, "Me!" is what she has to hold on when she has to fight to save the world, but then she kind of loses herself at the end, after the cost of the fight has taken such an emotional toll on her.

              Negative: Even taking into account how inconsistent vampire mythology is (what with the smoking and all), Spike choking Drusilla into unconsciousness doesn't any make sense.
              Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 20-02-18, 06:11 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.


              • When She Was Bad

                Positive: Since it was picked as a negative a few times, I gleefully pick Willow/Xander as my *positive*. I love how it feels so real to life that these life-long friends are hanging but the oddest little thing like ice cream on a nose will trigger the romantic chemistry but only if it occurs naturally in that specific moment. Because, yes, so many comments or vibes can be Spanish Fly in only one particular instance but lose their power in another setting and time even between the same two people. And how awkward Willow is a step behind in the signalling. Yeah, she jokingly plays along by trying to stop Xander from licking the ice cream off her nose but that's because she didn't realize it was a prelude to romance until he started wiping the ice cream off. But then, the magic was over. Buffy was back in town. Xander was guarded. Willow couldn't replicate the moment again.

                I also love the friend-stuff. Xander betting that Giles would be a cliche and "consult his books" within 5 minutes of meeting up and Willow betting that Giles isn't so predictable- but then Giles being exactly that predicable. Willow's "Oh, Giles..." look when she hands Xander the money cracks me up.

                Negative: In the pattern of Buffy being a bitca, her TOTALLY RIGHTEOUS irritation at Angel popping into her bedroom, unannounced, uninvited, and in the middle of her sleeping feels out of place. I feel like the ep was implying that this was part and parcel of Buffy being a bitca. IMO, it wasn't. Buffy treated Angel completely fairly then.

                Some Assembly Required

                Positive: I agree with comments upthread that Giles is the MVP of this episode. To add something new, I like the scene of Buffy and Willow sitting down and eating the little powdered donuts while Giles and Xander do the manual labor of corpse digging. It cracks me up especially when lapshaded.

                Xander: Y'know, this might go a lot faster if you femmes actually picked up a shovel, too.
                Giles: Here, here.
                Buffy: Sorry, but I'm an old-fashioned gal. I was raised to believe that men dig up the corpses and the women have the babies.

                I also love Buffy shooting a look of concern when Willow asks with some nausea whether they're hoping to find a body body in the grave.

                Negative: I can't really tell whether Cordelia crying over Darryl in the library is supposed to a comedic "Cordelia is such a drama queen who has to make a bunch of dead girls about herself" or a dramatic "Cordelia is in pain over Darryl and the Scoobies are insensitive to her BIG TIME LEGITIMATE PAIN." I feel like the writing wanted it both ways and CC was wrongfully directed to play it both ways.

                School Hard

                Positive: See, I think this has a VERY strong first half. Some quality Scoobying but Spike is the real draw here."I don't like to brag...who am I kidding? I LOVE TO BRAG!" "If every vampire who said he was at the Crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock. I was actually at Woodstock. That was a weird gig. I fed off a flowerperson, and I spent the next six hours watchin' my hand move."

                Negative: Then, things get dull and even badly written at the end of the ep. There's a lot of running around in the school which gets tiresome. I don't care about Snyder and Joyce fighting. I agree with Andrew S that friggin' Joyce threatening Spike with the axe ensured that Spike was never scary again despite all of the promise for horror at the beginning of the ep. It's irritating that Willow and Cordelia were still locked in the closet- especially right after a scene where Joyce is praising Buffy for thinking of others in a crisis. I'm not slamming on Buffy here. I just think the logic that Buffy would go find her friends before leaving school grounds was sacrificed for a joke....and dumb running around time.

                Inca Mummy Girl

                Positive: As other said, the Complex Xander Harris makes the episode. He's rude and kind and self-centered and heroic and aggressive and gentle, making witty jokes and moronic jokes all the way. I also love the moment with Willow and cheese that a thing of evil mentioned.

                Negative: I agree that the actor who played the Bodyguard sucked.

                Reptile Boy

                Positive: I love this ep. It's great for everyone but Willow stands out. Xander and Buffy braiding Willow's hair and Willow telling off Giles and Angel were mentioned. But also, "Askew means cockeyed". Buffy thinks Xander will scold her for lying to Giles because Xander disapproved of this frat party all along but actually, Willow is the one boiling inside with righteous fury on Giles's behalf- "You lied to Giles!". But then Willow upholds the best friend code by covering for Buffy transparently whenever Giles wants to call her at home. In another switch, we always see Xander getting jealous when Buffy gets romantic with another guy. Here, we see Willow get jealous at Buffy hanging out with Cordelia for friendship reasons (with femme-slashy subtext!). "Did I sound a little jealous there, because I'm not really...CORDELIA?" Also, Willow bursting in on the melee and blessedly, reminding the Scooby-guys that they're here to rescue instead of whale on the frat guys. "Guys! Buffy! Snake! Basement! Now."

                Xander also provides hilarity and the definitive lens by which I see Angel:

                Xander: Angel, Angel, Angel. Does every conversation we have have to come around to that freak? (notices Angel) Hey, man, how you doin'?

                Negative: Everyone has already mentioned the only two things I don't like here- "When you kiss me, I want to die" and Machida.


                Positive: Cordelia is great in this episode. BtVS S2 Cordelia is the best Cordelia. There's a winner of a screen-test for her chemistry with Angel where they're not kyrumption-champions meeting but instead, snarking on how 16-year Devon doesn't have good leather seats in his car and *that* gets Angel to laugh for like THE FIRST TIME. I like that she's falling for Xander and she actually stays with Lady!Buffy to protect her but it's all played very subtly with lots of snark. Even though Cordelia upholds modern harsh gender roles, it's a nice note for her character that she hates it when Lady!Buffy takes it to extremes. Plus:

                Cordelia: Who died and made her the boss?
                GHOST!Willow walks through the wall, as dead ghosts can.

                Negative: I really love this episode. I agree with Sosa Losa upthread that Soldier!Xander was competent because Xander dressed as a soldier with the aspirations of being strong and competent while Lady!Buffy was incompetent because Buffy dressed as an eighteenth century lady with the aspirations of just being decorative and cherished Not because eighteenth century ladies were all simpering idiots. I also think Angel was being a deceptive, sexist as*hole to say that the ladies of his day were all simpering idiots- and he's directly proven to be a liar there by the later show when Darla was such a strong influence and leader. Willow also points out that a romanticized conception of the Cherished Lady Fair is bullshit when they don't have basic institutional rights.

                Buffy: Musta been wonderful. Put on some fantabulous gown and go to a ball like a princess, and have horses and servants, and yet more gowns.
                Willow: Yeah. Still, I think I prefer being able to vote....Or I will when I can.

                So, the sexism doesn't bother me if you take a bird's eye view of the Buffyverse. However within the episode, a good feminist message could have been made even clearer if Buffy actually didn't like hearing Angel reduce the pre-20th century ladies that she had been so jealous of to simpering morons. If she snarked back at Angel with some comment defending women before they got the right to vote and Angel got all embarrassed, that'd be a stronger finish than the kissy Bangel crap.

                Lie to Me

                Positive: People have already mentioned Angel coopting Xander and Willow as his side-kicks. Still, there's such a cool, unique energy there because Xander and Willow are so irreverent. For something new, I really like the Ford/Spike/Dru scene where Ford offers to trade Buffy in exchange for becoming a vampire. "I've known you for two minutes, and I can't stand you. I don't really feature you livin' forever. Can I eat him now, love?"

                Negative: I'll just copy from upthread- it's disappointing that we don't learn how Ford knew Buffy was the Slayer.

                The Dark Age

                Positive: There's an adorable character note where Buffy admires Willow's flair for detail as she plans her date with John Cusak in Italy down the ziti and the scooters. Then when Willow plays Giles because Giles is out of commission, Willow plays him down to the details- the tea, the deliberately OOC rant about how any FOOL can recognize Mark of Eyghon by its Etruscan iconology, the MY LIBRARY rant. But:

                Negative: I love the "Get the hell out of my library!" rant but I don't buy that Cordelia and certainly Xander have such a goofy little bicker-session when the situation was so dire.
                Last edited by Dipstick; 26-10-18, 12:14 AM.


                • What's My Line Part I

                  Positive: The Giles/Buffy stuff is the highlight here. They're in a very realistic but sweet place here. At this point, Giles has decided to deal with his loving feelings about Buffy but sacrificial raison d'etre by just rigorously refusing to consider the future and only intensely focusing on what they're doing in the present. He hates hearing Buffy joke about dying but he doesn't want to think about whether she's being prepared to become an adult. However, there's a quiet desperate need for Buffy to FORCE Giles to care about her future career and ponder her death any other conceivable future.

                  Giles is generally great in What's My Line. After The Dark Age, Giles starts to open up more and become less guarded. He honestly 'fesses up to how there was a Slayer Handbook but he didn't tell Buffy because of her special case. He says that Angel is "good now" while his tone betrays that he feels ridiculous saying such a thing- but Giles really does believe both that Angel is "good now" and that's it's a silly thing to say. The "frog fear" moment with Willow where Giles says that she went beyond the call of duty really stands out as moment where Giles is very nice to Willow. Yes, he snaps at Xander but he actually apologizes immediately after (I think that's a sole occurrence in Giles's habit of being a jerk to Xander). He's very frank to Buffy about the dangers posed by the Order of Taraka. This is absolutely a Giles who feels closer to the gang/Buffy after his dark past secrets came out and they accepted him anyway but a Giles who hasn't been scarred by Angel yet.

                  Negative: The Order of Taraka was over-hyped.

                  What's My Line Part II

                  Positive: I like that it's a mixed bag on whether Buffy or Kendra represents the lone John Wayne mentality. Kendra does go back and speak to her Watcher before doing anything. Meanwhile, Buffy gets such a long leash from Giles that Buffy really can just go off and handle a situation however she likes. However, ultimately, Buffy does have self-imposed limits on John-Wayning because Buffy built and has to maintain an entire team who wants to serve in her mission. And this is a team that Kendra went back to get and was required in order to win the fight at the end of the day. (Further lampshaded by how Willow and Giles tag-teamed on staking a vampire.)

                  Negative: I don't like the Angel/Spike/Drusilla torture scene. I know that this is the first scene with all three of them, but like Andrew, I developed fatigue with how all of their BtVS S2 scenes are Angel seducing and throwing his greater influence with Drusilla around, Drusilla eating it all up with a spoon that her men are fighting over her, and Spike getting jealous and hurt. DB still hadn't grown into his part and he failed at convincing me that he was in pain from torture.


                  Positive: Definitely John Ritter's performance. I also love SMG's performance when she's so thrilled that she gets to punch Ted because he hit her first. It can't be any other way but a lot of Buffy's pure gusto at beating the crap of Ted came *because* she sticks to the rule that she can't hit humans other than self-defense. There's a series-long theme (best shown in the early seasons) that Buffy finds it somewhat frustrating to sit on top of her superpowered hands while people behave in vile and miserable ways and she'll relish getting to dish some of her slayer-justice to people as well.

                  Negative: I'm not wild about the "fascist society" exchange between Willow and Cordelia. I don't believe that a 16/17 year old Cordelia who knows enough about politics to blame cheesy knock dresses on free trade agreements wouldn't know what's wrong with fascism. It's also not funny. I use that exchange to explain why Cordelia becomes so authoritarian and "There's no people like us" in her approach to heroism on AtS but I still feel like Cordelia would know what's wrong with societal/governmental fascism but is in denial in how super-heroes like Buffy or Angel can enact those principles just as much as governments. Much like how Willow clearly intellectually knows there shouldn't be special rules for superpowered beings but has trouble defining the line between abuse of power and super-beings performing their job to make the world a better place.

                  Although, I do think that Willow consistently bites her tongue when Cordelia is aggravating because Cordelia's technically on their team and they need all of the hands on deck to fight this war. IMO, Cordelia debating in favor of the virtues of *fascism* to Jewish!Willow is one of those times where Willow filed away that Cordelia is an a*shole which made Willow more liable to explode when she saw Xander making out with Cordelia.

                  Bad Eggs

                  Positive: The highlights have been stated before. Xander, Xander/Cordelia, and Possessed!Leader Willow. I'll say that if you take out the Normal Again retcon, Joyce is unfair and mean...but particularly reminiscent of how good parents can be unfair and mean. That tends to be true of Joyce a lot but it particularly resonated with me in this ep.

                  Negative: I agree with a thing of evil. This ep is kind of a mess. I love the cheesy early seasons MoTWs but this is too cheesy for my tastes. I also don't get how Cordelia was just as quickly possessed as Willow but displayed no symptoms of listlessness.


                  Positive: Magnificent ep. Oz's zen about vampires and the supernatural existing is a highlight for me. I love that Willow gradually falls in love with Oz. It would be too sugary sweet if BOTH Willow and Oz fell in love at first sight. Oz falls in love at first sight but Willow starts off liking Oz okay but you can see her gradually learn more about his quirks and genius and integrity and fall in love based on that. It also really fits with both Willow's lifetime baked-in fantasy of marrying Xander and then, later discovering that she's gay. Oz really didn't have an easy automatic space in Willow's heart; both Willow and Oz just decided to make that space. Buffy has to push Willow to approach Oz (after Oz already approached her twice and took a bullet for her) because IMO, Willow isn't really wired to go after really any love interests but especially guy love interests. But then, Willow genuinely lights up at how Oz asks her out with flirtation but not game-playing. By the party ends, Willow moons over Oz for the first time and it's pretty much because Oz is smart enough to recognize the supernatural on his own and centered enough to be cool about it. All deeply admirable traits.

                  Negative: I really don't like Xander's whole fantasy where Buffy has this horrible impoverished trashy life with Angel but then, Xander "rescues" Buffy from her misspent adulthood. I try not to put characters acting like jerks in Negative unless I think it's OOC or damages the story somehow. Unless we handwave that everyone makes jokes that come off badly, this feels OOC as an actual, deeply felt fantasy of Xander's. I completely bought that Xander would have a fantasy where he's a more successful hero than Buffy in Teacher's Pet- but not that Xander would fantasize about tearing Buffy down for years. I feel like this joke is supposed to be more meaningful and revealing about Xander's jealousies but I can only take it as a joke that bombed and doesn't reflect what Xander actually wants.


                  Positive: This is my favorite episode of the series, hell the whole Whedonverse. Because I sometimes pick other people's Negatives as my Positives, I'll pick Willow reaming Xander out for Cordelia. I think it's raw and painful but it's also some of the comic relief in this angsty episode. But also, I don't fault Willow even though I empathize with Xander that this was painful to hear. I just don't think it could have gone any other way. Willow accidentally stumbled upon them kissing. She tried to control herself by running away- the flight of "fight or flight". However, Xander knew that this was A.Big.Deal. that he was making out with their childhood bully and that he had this whole secret relationship from his best friend with whom he previously shared everything. He knew that he was constantly representing Cordelia as a bitch to Buffy/Willow even as he was making out with her.

                  So Xander ran after Willow because he wanted immediate confirmation that things were good between them. If it wasn't A.Big.Deal, Xander would have let her go. Once Xander caught up with Willow, she was forced to tell Xander her feelings or lie about them because he forced her into conversing with him. She couldn't "flight" so she had to "fight." Processing her feelings so they came out nicer later on wasn't an option. When she did process, she did come back with "gross emotional problems" but that line felt like a necessary little pique of bitterness so that Willow can stand by what she said but then, she gets to the heart of her speech which is moving on. Which is what Willow did- she moved on.

                  In short, it's ugly (but then, IMO not really as Buffyverse fights go) but it couldn't have gone any other way. Xander wasn't going to let Willow just run away without chasing after her because he cared too much about her feelings and opinion of him. However without the space to deal with her completely earned feelings of hurt, betrayal, and anger, Willow was caught between expelling them out or being a complete phoney with her best friend. Innocence is exquisitely constructed so that everything relates to the central Bangel drama. IMO, Xander/Willow getting into a huge unavoidable angry fight because of their close relationship with each other and their history with Cordelia is analogous to Buffy and Angel being unable to avoid Angel losing his soul because of their close relationship with each other and Angel's history with....gypsies. Choices were made but it all feels like being unable to get out of the way of a rapidly approaching train.

                  Negative: As my favorite ep, I don't have to pick a negative!


                  Positive: I really love this one. People have already mentioned Willow confronting Oz at his house and the "You're Speshul Boy" hilarity. It's so awesome though. "(gently and admiringly) You put the *tag* back in my shirt.... (but then angrily) but I guess NONE OF THAT MEANS ANYTHING..." I really enjoy how Willow is ruthlessly practical about saving herself and everyone else- clonking Wolf!Oz on the head with the garbage can, shooting Wolf!Oz.

                  It's very cute that this ep opens with Oz and Willow struggling to get through a basic greeting conversation. "I have my friend. I will go to her." "My time was also of the good." However after a little deathly terror, they're openly and relaxedly communicating about Oz eating Willow or Willow shooting Oz.

                  Oh, and I liked Willow being the one to kiss Oz and him happily accepting the kiss. It was necessary after Innocence to uphold the validity of Oz's speech. IMO, it's not that Oz is trying to police Willow's sexuality but rather, he wants his intimacy with her to be authentic and only for them as a couple instead of to make Xander jealous. It doesn't matter whether Willow or he initiated. When she goes back to kiss him and the camera is in profile of them sharing one kiss, it really is like "Freeze frame: Willow kissage."

                  Negative: I ship Willoz SO hard but "A werewolf in love" is a very cheesy ending line.

                  Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered

                  Positive: I really love Xander's speech in the Bronze about he and Cordelia seeing specialness in each other. The speech is scripted guarded enough that it feels realistic given Xandelia's combative, abrasive relationship, but with the locket and NB's hopeful performance it really feels like Xander is putting himself out on the skinniest, flimsiest limb with Cordelia to strive towards a true romantic, positive and affirming moment in their relationship.

                  Negative: A number of posters listed the ethics here. I think this episode is missing a post-spell Willow/Xander moment and to a lesser extent, a follow-up in what happened to Amy.
                  Last edited by Dipstick; 29-10-18, 11:25 PM.


                  • Passion

                    Positive: People have covered the horrible tragedy in this excellent episode, as well as how excellently Angelus is played in his monologues. So IMMA GO FOR THE WEIRD COMEDY. I really enjoy the scene where Angelus is playing a stalker, unstable, older boyfriend with Joyce. Every mother's nightmare. It's hilarious how Angelus "helps" Joyce with her dropped groceries and goes after the oranges rolling onto the driveway. But more, it really explains why Angelus doesn't kill Joyce and really officially ruin Buffy's life. Angelus wants Buffy to get into big trouble with her mother and stew in that emotional pain and humiliation for awhile.

                    My personal canon was always that Angelus went to Casa de Rosenberg hoping to kill Willow's parents. However, the Rosenbergs are usually out of town and they were this time. Angelus felt he hadda kill something so he killed the fish. It's a positive for me because I find it hilarious but yeah, it's as ridiculous to contemplate as a thing of evil describes.

                    Negative: I don't like to place characters acting in-character but badly as a Negative. Giles *is* repeatedly irresponsible as a Watcher. However, I think it's particularly bad for him to assign Willow/Buffy/Cordelia to perform the disinvite spell on their homes when none of them has ever done a spell before because he has to prepare for a Very Important Date with Jenny. I think this particular irresponsibility strikes me as out of character which is why I place it as a Negative. First, the consequences are too dire for a failed spell performed by beginner children. It's *too* obviously irresponsible for Giles when he just had to take a few hours to supervise. Second, S1-2 is when Giles was trying his best as a Watcher. The more irresponsible stuff comes later after Jenny's death and his firing and Buffy graduating high school.

                    Killed by Death

                    Positive: By contrast from Passion, this is an episode where Giles Messing Up As a Watcher really works for me. Also, I Only Have Eyes for You. ASH so superbly plays Giles in complete shell-shocked grief because his whole world and new expectations for his future crumbled. There's also a lot of guilt and split feelings because Giles sent Jenny away so that he could support Buffy. But then, Jenny died alone in the school. However, his job and destiny still necessitates that he drag himself out to investigate other tragedies alongside Buffy without any space to deal with his grief or even rest. So, of course his overwhelming feelings leach into his detective work. In Killed by Death, he assumes Buffy is making up a monster to deal with her grief and sense of powerlessness. Then in I Only Have Eyes For You, he assumes Jenny is the ghost. I's just so well-played and heart-breaking that Giles would constantly look for Jenny in the mysteries that come after his death.

                    Negative: Joyce is odd in this episode. As Stoney said, even without the Normal Again retcon, it's weird that she's so passive when Buffy is deliriously ranting. In addition, Kristine Sutherland's acting is weirdly...flirty? in her scene with Giles. I think it was just an unnecessary scene and it's just odd that Joyce would care so much that an unknown teacher-friend of her daughter's school librarian died. However, KS also brings like a weird inappropriate wannabe romantic intimacy to the scene.

                    I Only Have Eyes for You

                    Positive: The Willow/Giles stuff (both their relationship and their individual character work) is the huge highlight of the ep for me. a thing of evil covered a bunch of the Willow-stuff pretty well and I alluded the Giles-stuff in my Killed By Death review. There's a lot of pathos in Willow designing "a...specific plan with like, maps and stuff" and the personalized scapulas but then, it all goes pear-shaped and Giles has to save her life. The pathos keeps coming in how Willow convinces Giles that Jenny is the poltergeist because she could "never be this mean" and Giles sadly agrees and then, Willow is sorry for Giles that Jenny isn't the MOTW because that means that there's no communicating with Jenny at all.

                    Negative: I agree with past posters. The A-plot is way too sappy and melodramatic and the flashbacks don't play right.The snakes and bees fell very random. That said, it's cool seeing Angel taken over by another spirit because that'll happen to him a fair amount in his role as the Wee Little Puppet Man.

                    Go Fish

                    Positive: You know, I'm usually not a big fan of vague but corny endings but I like this one. The present fish-monsters were teenage boys who were abused and turned into fish without their consent or knowledge. It's not even clear that they're evilly demonic. Instead, it seems like they were turned into vicious animals akin to sharks. It seems right that they've migrated to the deep ocean away from people so that they can eat and maybe "see" other fish instead of Buffy slaying them.

                    For a palate-cleanser of the Angelus drama, the ep offers a very funny Angelus scene. This cracks me up:

                    Gage: What a psycho bitch, man.
                    Angelus comes out from behind a pile of crates.
                    Angelus: Gotta be talking about Buffy.

                    Negative: Glad that other posters also thought Cordelia's speech to Xander about dating him as a fish-monster was bizarre. I've only seen praise for it as character-development but it's all so silly and OOC to me.

                    Becoming Part I

                    Positive: To go with something unmentioned, Xander's production of Fishsticks Theater. It foreshadow how Buffy will defeat Angel with the pointy end of a sword through his middle. Angel doesn't call out "mother" pitifully at the end of Becoming Part II but he does call out "Buffy" pitifully. For more unmentioned Xander greatness, fighting vampires with a broken wrist as he gives Cordelia a chance to run away. BAMF.

                    Negative: Going for the cheap easy option- DB's Irish brogue.

                    Becoming Part II

                    Positive: To go with something unmentioned, I love the Snyder/Buffy scene. They both dropped the merest pretense of an educator/student dynamic. For the first time, Snyder spoke frankly that he's been gunning to expel Buffy since Day 1. Meanwhile Buffy is so at the end of her rope and it's so clear that the violent effects of her life have spilled out into her schooling, she doesn't bother to hide. She just takes the giant sword out, mildly enjoying Snyder's squirrely fear. I also really enjoyed the S2 teasers that Snyder is a stooge for the Mayor, even though S3 should have followed up on that better.

                    Negative: It's odd because DB and ASH's performances are great but Giles's physical torture should have been directed more brutally. It doesn't start to feel harrowing until Angelus exhausted the physical torture and moved onto Drusilla creating a hallucination of Jenny. Angelus says scary shit about chainsaws. Giles is all sweaty and miserable and a little bruised. However, there should be more blood and gore and actual torturing on screen to give the scenes more tragedy and gravitas.
                    Last edited by Dipstick; 31-10-18, 05:09 PM.


                    • No positives for Becoming Part 2? Also negatives for Becoming Part 1.
                      Made by Trickyboxes
                      Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag


                      • Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
                        No positives for Becoming Part 2? Also negatives for Becoming Part 1.
                        Thanks! I posted the wrong draft....


                        • I'm currently rewatching the show with my husband as a first timer, so I'm doing this while it's still relatively fresh:

                          When she was bad
                          Positive : This episode deals surprisingly well with Buffy's trauma for an early seasons episode and the dream sequence where Giles/Master strangles her is extremely well done.
                          Shallow positive: Buffy looks absolutely gorgeous in her white camisole + leather jacket combo with pinned up hair.

                          Negative: the pacing still has that S1 weirdness/ off feel that can take you out of the moment. Also Xander' lack of regard for Willow's feelings is a little off putting. I don't know if I'm supposed to think of him as ignorant or callous, but given that he already knows how she feels about him, I have to go with the latter.
                          What a challenge, honesty
                          What a struggle to learn to speak
                          Who would've thought that pretending was easier


                          • Some Assembly Required

                            Positive: Giles prepping himself to ask Jenny out. He is just such a cute poodle.

                            Negative: Yeah this is not a good episode. The plot feels like a S1 reject, which is not a compliment. Is the whole football metaphor supposed to be read as genuinely dramatic ? Because it really cracked me up.
                            Also on this rewatch I am surprised at how jealous Angel is when he and Buffy are not even dating, technically. I didn't remember this side of him, at least not so early in the series. Also, his saying that he's not threatened by Xander because "he's just a kid" ?? So is your girlfriend, dude ! I know self reflection might kind of be a problem for you, but still, get a clue !
                            What a challenge, honesty
                            What a struggle to learn to speak
                            Who would've thought that pretending was easier


                            • School Hard

                              Well I obviously like this episode quite a bit and then some, so I shall try and restrain myself

                              Positives: How Spike manages be so multifaced from the very beginning. Granted, I might be biased because I already know where the character is going, but JM's performance immediately gives him a lot of depth, and his chemistry with JL is just magical. Similarly, SMG's acting seems strangely very later season-esque whenever she acts against him, and again the chemistry is already there.
                              Overall, this episode is also a big bag of fun and funny.
                              Shallow Positive: Baby James (& Juliet)! I just find him particularly gorgeous in this episode.

                              Negative: obvious stunt double is obvious. Were they that short on the wig budget ?
                              What a challenge, honesty
                              What a struggle to learn to speak
                              Who would've thought that pretending was easier


                              • Inca Mummy Girl

                                Positive: the introduction of Oz and Inuit Willow
                                Shallow Positive: the actress playing the princess is incredibly beautiful

                                Negative: not a great episode anyway, but I'll go with the ham-fisted Ampata/Buffy parallels. It's good in theory (I like the notion of the sacrificial lamb rebelling against their fate etc..), but it's a) ham-fisted as I said and b) a little too late -- Prophecy Girl has come and gone.
                                What a challenge, honesty
                                What a struggle to learn to speak
                                Who would've thought that pretending was easier