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Positives and Negatives - S5

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  • #61
    Blood Ties

    Positive: Dawn is amazing in this episode, brave, funny, smart etc I even enjoy that get out! scene. So angry, yet somehow so adorable!

    Negative: Anya's awkwardness/general Anya-ness at Buffy's party is just too much.
    Last edited by a thing of evil; 10-04-18, 09:58 AM.

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    • #62
      Day 14 - Crush

      Positive - I love this episode. So many positives, we really get a deeper sense of how Spike is/isn't changing in how he responds to and then rejects Dru. But after getting to mention that (), I'm going to choose JM's delivery of Spike's response when Buffy asks him if it's a date, it's just so damn perfect and then his expression/the bite to his lip before following her. The scene as a whole they just completely nailed it. But that really stands out to me, even though it is one of many, many great moments in the ep.

      Negative - Obviously I could go into the negatives of Spike's actions here, but his lack of moral boundaries and misjudgment here is a major part of the character's path and such a large part of the episode I can't 'dislike' it. So I'm going with something small/random. Whilst I think it's visually great for the balance of the people within the scene and the tone they are looking for, Spike sitting up on the surface in the kitchen seems odd.
      Last edited by Stoney; 10-04-18, 12:44 PM.

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      • #63
        Day 14 - Crush

        Positive: Great episode. Love how we open on everyone dancing except Buffy, who is sat alone until Spike appears. Makes me think that a year later she'll go climbing up to that balcony looking for him. Special mention for Spike in that blue shirt; just lickable.

        Negative: Joyce's 'did you lead him on?' line, not very supportive there Joyce.

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        • #64
          Crush

          Positive: I love the opening, I always enjoy those Bronze dance scenes where everybody's beautiful and radiant. And Anya's just incredible, OK? Her dance moves emanate her personality, it's 100% of pure Anya. Willow and Tara are pretty sweet as well, surprisingly fabulous!

          Negative: Why does Spike survive this episode? I mean, he teams up with Drusilla. They kill innocent people. Knock Buffy out. Shackle her. Spike then launches into a nonsensical, narcissistic, misogynistic rant and I didn't even mention his pathetic, creepy, stalker-y, masturbatory shrine. Spike, no. I mean, what does Spike have to do to get dusted? His plot armor is officially ridiculous, it wrecks the believability or verisimilitude or whatever you want to call it. And to add an insult to injury, Drusilla just walks away because apparently Buffy can't be bothered to slay the massacre-loving soulless vampire that killed her friend. Crush, more like trash.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by a thing of evil View Post
            Crush

            Positive: I love the opening, I always enjoy those Bronze dance scenes where everybody's beautiful and radiant. And Anya's just incredible, OK? Her dance moves emanate her personality, it's 100% of pure Anya. Willow and Tara are pretty sweet as well, surprisingly fabulous!

            Negative: Why does Spike survive this episode? I mean, he teams up with Drusilla. They kill innocent people. Knock Buffy out. Shackle her. Spike then launches into a nonsensical, narcissistic, misogynistic rant and I didn't even mention his pathetic, creepy, stalker-y, masturbatory shrine. Spike, no. I mean, what does Spike have to do to get dusted? His plot armor is officially ridiculous, it wrecks the believability or verisimilitude or whatever you want to call it. And to add an insult to injury, Drusilla just walks away because apparently Buffy can't be bothered to slay the massacre-loving soulless vampire that killed her friend. Crush, more like trash.
            It's the whole gang in S5. There is no believable reason Giles or any of them would have allowed him to live after he found out about Dawn.

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            • #66
              Crush

              Positive I that this episode, which was reluctantly written by David Fury at the time for Spuffy progression (though we know he was anti-Spike/Spuffy at this point... and let it show with Tara's Quasimodo speech!), still couldn't dampen the delightful Spuffiness of it. JM makes the entire exchange come alive. I love Spike's door-opening give-away, and his bashful delivery of "Do you want it to be?" followed by the entire hilarious exchange that follows.

              Negative Joyce asking "did you inadvertently lead him on in any way?". Not cool.
              .

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              • #67
                Triangle:

                Positives: Willow's imitation of Anya is probably one of my favourite moments in the entire show - "I like money better than people! People can so rarely be exchanged for goods and or services!" It's the "and or" that cracks me up every single time

                I also love that this episode addresses some pretty legitimate issues that Willow and Anya actually have with each other. Willow's fear that Anya will hurt Xander is a totally rationale and understandable given her history and somewhat proven by the fact that in Entropy she tries to do exactly that. Willow is also correct to point out that Anya can't play the "But I was a demon" card when, even as a demon vengeance demons don't seem inherently evil the way vampires are, and Anya cursed Olaf when she was a human and as a human sided with a bunch of murderous vampires and tried to have Willow killed in Dopplegangland. Likewise, Anya's comments about Willow being a danger to Xander may sound farfetched now but in S6 she will try to "use him as a hood ornament" and will attack him on Kingman's Bluff so they're rather fortuitous. Ultimately both girls will have the opportunity to hurt Xander and not take it (Anya stops Spike from wishing in Entropy and Willow can't kill Xander in Grave) but the fact of the matter is it's pure luck, and not through their love for him, that they don't kill him earlier than that. Xander could have died when Willow attacked the police car with the truck and had Anya been able to grant her own wishes, Xander would "never have been born."

                I also just find their general complaints towards each other pretty valid and understandable. Willow is right that Anya can't keep using the excuse that she was a demon to justify her general rudeness. As demons, Halfrek, Anya and D'Hoffryn seem perfectly capable of being pleasant and cordial to one another and others when they want to be. And as we'll come to learn in Selfless, Anya was "strangely literal" and "off-putting" to others even when she was a human and had trouble making friends. Anya is rude because Anya, the person, is rude. Likewise, whilst it may sound funny to suggest that Willow would ever be interested in Xander again because she's "gay now" I don't actually blame Anya for being uncomfortable as she knows about the affair in S3. Anya spent a lot of time with Cordelia right after the breakup so she would have heard all about it first hand from one of the people hurt the most by Willow and I can understand why that would play on her thoughts given that Xander and Willow continue to be close and Xander is quite protective of her.

                Negatives: I'm not a fan of how they deal with Buffy's sadness in this episode. Taking the comedic route was different and I appreciate that but I found a lot of her reactions to be far too cartoonish and OOC. It also saddens me that this is the last episode with the old Bronze before they revamp it. The new design doesn't ever feel the same or as familiar and cozy as the original.

                Checkpoint:

                Positives: Buffy's entire speech at the end is just awesome. And the Scoobies erupting into applause may be cheesy but I love it because it's adorable. I also love the scenes of the Watcher's interrogating the Scoobies and Spike and when Glory comes to Buffy's home. Glory isn't my favourite Big Bad but I do think she's probably the only Big Bad that manages to create such a tense atmosphere every time she shows up because you just know that Buffy can't take her.

                Negatives: The Knights of Byzantium. Their addition in this season is utterly pointless and I find them to be such a hokey and poor fit with the series. This is pretty much the last time they impact the plot at all until they show up in Spiral.


                Blood Ties:

                Positives: This is a great episode but I think my weirdly favourite thing about it, and with S5 in general, is how much Buffy seems to have taken over the role of being her families protector and almost authority figure, even. Like, Joyce is still obviously the mum and plays that part well, but there's definitely a shift in power here with even Joyce kind of deferring to Buffy's judgement and leadership which is in part because the Key is a Slayer business and Joyce feels out of her depth, but also due to Joyce's sickness and Buffy having to step up to the plate and Joyce acknowledging that she's "so grown up." Joyce will still challenge Buffy and tell her off like a mother but there's definitely been a shift in their dynamic.

                Negatives: The stunts have definitely taken a lamer turn. They're not terrible or anything but, man, what I'd have given to see some Buffy VS Glory fights with the old stunt team *sigh* This is also a minor quibble but I think Spike is being blatantly dishonest when he tries to frame accompanying Dawn to The Magic Box as watching out for her ("I thought she'd be safer with Big Bad looking over her shoulder") when in reality he was just bored and mildly entertained by the idea of stealing things. He's very good at guilting Buffy and also making himself look more nobler at the same time.


                Crush:

                Positives: I have a love hate relationship with this episode as I'll explain in the negatives. However, there's a lot to love about this episode. Buffy's "ew" at mistaking Spike's bourbon for blood and then her even bigger and more pointed "Ewwwwww" at his correction that it's bourbon never fails to crack me up. God, I love bitchy Buffy! Every scene with Dru is fantastic and I especially love her mad laugh after Spike declares his love for Buffy. I also feel that the retcon that Spike was always infatuated with Buffy and that Dru knew this actually works really well. It adds a lot of very believable layers to some of their S2 scenes. And I always get a kick out of Buffy lulling Spike into thinking she was about to reciprocate his feelings only to put the boot in ("Spike.... the only chance you had with me was when I was unconscious").

                I also love that despite Joyce always being friendly with Spike she states here that she finds him "pretty twisted" and is deeply concerned about his infatuation for Buffy. It adds a more complex layer to their dynamic than the pretty standard and two-dimensional relationship fandom often tries to paint them as being. I also think it's brilliant that a lot of this episode harkens back to the Angelus story in S2 and I think it's obvious that Angelus is exactly who Joyce is thinking about when she found out about this.

                Negatives: Ok, firstly, we finally get a fight between Buffy and Dru and it's beyond lame. The Spike VS Harmony fight is also pitiful as well. Do better, stunt team. Secondly, I'll echo what everybody else has already said by pointing out how blatantly misogynistic and victim-blamey Joyce's attitude here is towards Buffy. Seriously Joyce, a soulless vampire who even you call "pretty twisted" is obsessed with your daughter and you decide to ask her if she's led him on in anyway? Great parenting and a great message to impart to your daughter

                And thirdly, I've said this in the S5 Rewatch Thread, but it will always make me uncomfortable that the writers chose to end this episode on Spike's wounded puppy dog expression. His behaviour has been really disturbing up until this point and he just chained Buffy up and threatened to kill her if she didn't admit feelings for him. He followed her home despite her wanting him to leave her alone and then he actually tries to rush into her home after she tells him to go away. This is all seriously messed up and the fact they end it on his wounded expression, as if we're meant to feel sorry for him, and not his victim, is highly irresponsible IMO. The one issue I do have unique to Buffy/Spike that I don't have with Buffy's other relationships, is that I do occasionally get the sense that the storyline is more about him than it is about her. There's times throughout the next 3 seasons where I think the narrative slips away a little bit from Buffy and becomes more about Spike and I'm never comfortable with that. We'll see it with the AR where the story barley addresses how it has impacted Buffy at all and instead she's simply used as a prop to further Spike's development. And this is another episode where the narrative shifts from Buffy to Spike, despite the fact she is the protagonist and that as a feminist show this is a storyline where it was really important that it be from Buffy's POV for a myriad of different reasons.
                "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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                • #68
                  here's times throughout the next 3 seasons where I think the narrative slips away a little bit from Buffy and becomes more about Spike and I'm never comfortable with that.
                  When It came o the light hearted stuff (yes there was some imo) I was comfortable with that, but then weirdly enough I often find myself in many shows being more invested in the side characters then the leads. Buffy was no exception.

                  We'll see it with the AR where the story barley addresses how it has impacted Buffy at all and instead she's simply used as a prop to further Spike's development.
                  Yeah, I agree they could have fashioned that differently, but it was written over 20 years ago and standards have changed. You wouldn't get away with doing that now.

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                  • #69
                    I agree, but it did that frequently. They sideline Buffy's narrative for Giles in S3, Faith in S4. You don't see so many complaints about that. There are more than a few storylines that are played as Buffy's feelings on the matter being irrelevant.

                    My feelings about Crush and subsequent storylines are that if you're feeling bad for Spike after the events of those stories, whose fault is that?

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                    • #70
                      Day 15 - I Was Made To Love You

                      Positive: The April/Buffy scene on the swings is just beautifully written by Jane Espensen. Plus this . . . *sigh



                      Negative: Joyce getting excited about her date with Bryan really upsets me, because we know it's her last date, and she'll never be held or loved again. It just feels so cruel when you know what follows

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                      • #71
                        I Was Made To Love You

                        Positive: Xander is amazing in this episode! Puffy Xander, dancing with Buffy Xander, window-fixing pep talk giving Xander - this is Xander at his best! He's a great friend with a great, big heart! Xander, yes!

                        Negative: Buffy, you're not a robot...except for that sometimes you are a robot but this isn't one of those times, just trust me on this, OK? Buffy over-identifying with a April is, like, obviously crazy, but more importantly, it is profoundly sad. Poor Buffy thinks that she's like a robot because...because she doesn't want to be alone. I kinda want to give Buffy a hug right now.

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                        • #72
                          Buffy VS Dracula

                          Positives: Spike's line about Dracula owing him money was the basis for IDW's five issue "Spike vs Dracula" mini-series which is one of my favorite Buffyverse comic series.

                          Negatives: Dracula feels less like a deadly evil vampire, and more like a parody. Plus compared to the Master, Angelus, and Spike, Dracula feels kind of wimpy.
                          My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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                          • #73
                            I Was Made to Love You

                            Positives: Xander is fantastic in this episode. He's just downright loveable in every scene he is in. I also how fiercely protective Giles is of Buffy towards Spike. And I think it was a great choice to have Joyce's death scene take place at what is a pretty mundane and unspectacular episode overall. Oh, and Kristine Sutherland looks downright hot in her date outfit.

                            Negatives: I'm not a huge fan of this episode. The inclusion of robots in the Buffyverse has never made a whole lot of sense and I find the actresses acting, as well as the lines, pretty embarrassing to be honest. I'd say it's one of the weakest episodes this season for sure.
                            "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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                            • #74
                              I Was Made to Love You

                              Positive - This episode gives some really interesting focus on how people react to each other and events. Within this, I love the final scene and it feels right that Buffy feels seriously affected by April. Even though she is programmed and not a sentient being, she was built to be a perfect girlfriend and she's still getting rejected. The sense of solidarity just works for me, for just feeling down/drained by a relationship lost which didn't work despite everything poured into it, and I think Buffy sitting with her is really emotive.

                              Negative - From the character point of view I get that Spike's is trying to undo the damage to try to bluster past the total error in judgment he made last episode, it isn't surprising as a response, but the attempt to lie and retell what happened to those closest to Buffy was never going to work, it's ridiculous to have even tried that tactic.


                              The Body

                              Positive - The absolute emotional gut punch of that first scene when Buffy finds Joyce is incredible. Tara later saying that it is always sudden I think is such a perfect line which really captures how well the writing shows painful understanding of loss.

                              Negative - I'm always on my own with this, but when SMG does her wide eyed welling up looks it always takes me out of the moment briefly as it looks like she's desperately trying to get her eyes to water like she can't act crying.

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                              • #75
                                Day 16 - The Body

                                Positive: I've never seen death dealt with in this way before or since on any tv show, it's so clever.
                                I could pick out so many things, but the stand out moments for me are Anya's 'I don't understand' speech and Tara's 'it's always different'. Both bits of dialogue make me cry, they perfectly encapsulate the feelings you have when someone you love dies.

                                Negative: Dawn's friend writing 'he wants you' on her drawing paper. If a friend did that to me I'd never talk to them again.

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