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Positives and Negatives - S5

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  • #91
    Intervention

    Positive - The seasonal themes of truth/lies what is real and what is fake are great in this ep. I think the buffybot was very revealing for a lot of what Spike thought/felt about Buffy, what he really wished for. But it is his actions outside of this that give Buffy an insight into him and what is real. The use of the bot is just neat on many levels. And I can't help but give a nod to the hokey-pokey scene which is a verse favourite for me.

    Negative - Well we suspend our disbelief of course, but the idea Warren could create such a perfect replica of Buffy is ridiculous.

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    • #92
      Intervention:

      Positives: I loved how we get to learn Spike's idea and thoughts on each Scooby through the information he gave Warren. Spike believes that Willow is Buffy's best friend and Xander is listed as just "friend". He even knows when Willow began to identify as gay (he was there, and it was a major plot point in The Yoko Factor so yes, he knows when.) I'm sad we didn't get to see the info on Dawn and Tara.

      Negatives: I don't know why, but I don't buy that Buffy would kiss Spike that soon. Or even kiss him at all. It felt a bit fanficcy to me. She'd appreciate what he did and thank him, sure, but kiss him?
      Made by Trickyboxes
      Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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      • #93
        Tough Love

        Positive: A turbo-witch is born! Flying, knife hurling, lightning shooting, black eyed badass! Oh shit, I love that scene so much! And even the tight, witch-y red dress is back! You know, like in Choices. So awesome!

        Negative: I feel like Buffy fails as a friend in this episode. Spike says it better than I could - So you're saying that a powerful and mightily pissed off witch was planning on going and spilling herself a few pints of God blood until you what? Explained? Buffy has known Willow for five years and, it's, like, she still doesn't get her. It's so disappointing.

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        • #94
          Tough Love

          Positive - Tara's never been a favourite character of mine but I'm coming to appreciate her more. This episode sees her do something that is just out and out heroically brave as she sits there and decides to stay silent under Glory's torture and doesn't betray Dawn. It is so heartbreaking when she does give her away after facing down Glory's threat like this, but it doesn't undermine the sheer guts that she consciously makes the choice here to sacrifice herself.

          Negative - I don't think Giles is wrong that Buffy needs to somewhat accept the change and take charge with Dawn, carve their new dynamic. But with how he readily leaves her at an awful time in S6 it leaves me feeling this is more about him not wanting to take on a changing dynamic and responsibility himself. I don't think it is awful or irresponsible of Buffy to look for some parental-esque support now with all she's facing and he's capping what he is offering pretty quickly for me.

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          • #95
            Tough Love

            Positive - Anya: You know who's not American? French people. Willow: You don't say. (Alyson's delivery was topnotch! She made me laugh. The whole scene was funny.)

            Some little moments I enjoyed like Xander being Buffy's bra, Spike tentatively reaching out a hand to pat Dawn's head and then instantly withdrawing it, Anya suggesting she'd sleep with Willow.

            Also, Willow and Tara's first fight is really interesting.

            Negative - I understand where Giles was coming from about Buffy being Dawn's family and her being firm with her, but that doesn't mean Buffy should do it alone. Willow was more than willing to help Dawn with her homework, but because it appeared fun, Buffy felt she needed to be against it. It wouldn't kill Giles to help a bit.
            Made by Trickyboxes
            Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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            • #96
              Day 19 - Tough Love

              Positive: It's a choice between the amazing conversations between four women. Both felt so real in a way that BtVS doesn't usually go for. Talk of 'lesbian cred' and 'foster care'. Both conversations are so well written, and are about two women afraid of losing the person they love most. It's really moving stuff.

              Negative: It's still Claire Kramer's performance. I just don't find it very believable.

              - - - Updated - - -

              Day 20 - Spiral

              Positive: Love Dawn's 'thank you . . . for pretty much everything'. She is so proud of her sister going up against Glory, and I love her bragging about it. The Buffy/Dawn relationship is probably the most completely loving and positive relationship in the whole verse and I love it. It's always been beyond me how anyone can dislike Dawn, she's great.

              Negative: Buffy carrying Dawn just looked silly and awkward.

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              • #97
                Spiral

                Positive


                The small moments: Anya's "drop a piano" then her heroics with the frying pan; Spike's compassion for Tara/Xander lighting his cigarette. Is there an ironic overlap with S7? The General's determination to kill Dawn/Giles telling Buffy to be a General - "It's time to stop playing the role of general, and start being one...This is the way wars are won" and attempting to kill Spike? Here - GILES: "Don't...What you did ... w-was necessary ... what I've always admired...Being able to place ... your heart ... above all else". In S7, he complains her feelings for Spike (who's in her heart) are jeopardizing the mission. Then there's Willow's "Buffy, you have to get up! We need you!" in Touched it's Spike's "They need you".

                Negatives

                Buffy carrying dummy Dawn. Spike should, by rights, have looked like a griddled steak (no pun intended).
                sigpic

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                • #98
                  Tough Love:

                  Positives: The moment the earth begins to shake, Glory's apartment goes dark and then the door burst open to reveal Willow is just pure awesomeness. I also love the shot of Willow floating above the ground with her toes just hovering above the floor. It's very The Craft and it's all very well done.

                  Negatives: The Willow/Tara fight has always felt totally contrived to me. It's clearly just done to make what happens to Tara seem more tragic and it feels like it comes out of nowhere. If they'd left it at the girls butting heads over what happened earlier at the Magic Box with Buffy I would have felt like it was more organic. But then we jump to Tara being "scared" of Willow's power and then Tara being scared of Willow abandoning her once she moves back to Boys Town and it's all so fast, so inexplicably random, and so completely out of left field.

                  I also agree that Giles is being too firm with Buffy/Dawn but it foreshadows his stance in S6. What actually has always bothered me about that scene is Buffy's line "You're way more of a grown up than me!" which is just too juvenile of a thing for any 20 year old to say. It always makes me cringe. In fact, I kind of have this adverse reaction to whenever the gang refer to "grown ups" throughout the show (like when Buffy tells Giles in Halloween that she hates "contemplating you grown ups having smoochies" or Giles says in Where the Wild Things Are that his gig at the Espresso Pump is a "meeting of grown ups. It couldn't possibly interest you lot"). I have wondered if this is a just a cultural thing but in Australia, it would be pretty unlikely you would hear high school students or especially college-aged kids referring to adults as "grown ups." It's something you'd expect little kids to refer to adults as being or for parents to refer to adults as when speaking to little kids. It sounds way too juvenile for the Scoobies to be using that term.

                  Spiral:

                  Positives: I'm always a sucker for scenes where the heroes are trapped all together (perhaps in a moving vehicle or in a house somewhere) and are having to fend off an enemy so I enjoy this episode for that reason. The Buffy/Giles scene is also very sweet and touching as is the Buffy/Dawn scene after Dawn learns that she is the Key. I will always admire Buffy's fierce loyalty and protection of Dawn. The moment Glory shows up is also legitimately scary. I agree with Priceless that Clare Kramer's acting can be pretty damn bad sometimes but I find the character overall to be very threatening.

                  Negatives: The Knights of Byzantium are... pointless. Is this the whole reason they were included in the season? To show up now and all be slaughtered and killed off by the end of the episode? Why even include them at all? Their presence certainly doesn't justify their lame ass clothes or those lame ass priests. Where exactly has this gigantic army of medieval knights been hiding in the 21st century?
                  "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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                  • #99
                    Day 20 - Spiral

                    Positive: I can write pages about the Xander/Spike scene, but I'll just settle with three points:

                    1) Xander notices Spike struggling to light his cigarette and lights it for him.
                    2) Xander puts Spike's lighter in his pocket!!! (So many Spander fics began with Xander returning the lighter after Buffy's death )
                    3) Xander asks about Spike's wounds.
                    4) Xander warns Spike about the dangers of smoking.

                    Xander cares, damn it!!

                    Negative: The Knights of Byzantium were the worst addition. Wish they were some gang or anyone who's current.

                    Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                    Negatives: The Willow/Tara fight has always felt totally contrived to me. It's clearly just done to make what happens to Tara seem more tragic and it feels like it comes out of nowhere. If they'd left it at the girls butting heads over what happened earlier at the Magic Box with Buffy I would have felt like it was more organic. But then we jump to Tara being "scared" of Willow's power and then Tara being scared of Willow abandoning her once she moves back to Boys Town and it's all so fast, so inexplicably random, and so completely out of left field.
                    I agree the part about "boy territory" was very weird, but I did like the beginning of the fight when it was about Willow not getting it because her mother is still alive, also Tara's insecurity about hurting Willow's feelings.
                    Made by Trickyboxes
                    Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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                    • Spiral

                      Positive: This is a very entertaining episode and I like that everybody gets to have at least one awesome and/or cool moment! Buffy fights the knights on the roof of the RV. Willow's big with the witch-fu. Xander lights Spike's cigarette. Giles has that beautiful moment with Buffy. Spike catches the sword. Dawn says thank you. Anya frying pans the knight. It's all pretty epic!

                      Negative: Nothing makes sense in this episode. Obviously, everybody can't fit in the Xander-mobile. So why not fit them into Xander-mobile and Giles' little two-door tramp seen in Real Me? Or any other car? Why the RV? You're running away, why not use something speedy? How about a plane? There's an airport in Sunnydale. And horsies! Why? How? And how did the knights even manage to locate the fleeing RV? Why does Buffy call Ben? I mean, if you're bringing normal people into this why not just call an ambulance? Why does Ben come to Buffy? He knows that Buffy's the slayer and understands the situation with Glory, right? I can go on like this. I'm OK with sacrificing sense for the sake of entertainment value but to a point. Spiral straight up tramples over that point.
                      Last edited by a thing of evil; 17-04-18, 04:25 PM.

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                      • Day 21 - The Weight of the World

                        Positive: This is not one of my favourite episodes, but I love the 'Ben is Glory' running joke, it works really well and is never not funny . . . 'Is everyone here very stoned?'

                        Negative: Far too much Glory. She gets some great lines, but CK can't really deliver. I'm also not a big fan of dissociate-disorder-Buffy. But I guess it gives all the other players a chance to get in place for the final.

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                        • Spiral

                          Positive - It's one of the many times that Spike's hands are given focus as a signifier, both in his overall path through when/why they feature and similarly in his interactions with Buffy for where their relationship is. Here not only does he take on the injury when Tara opens the blind, emphasising his nature against the humans he travels with, but he then is able due to that same nature to be able to catch the sword and protect Buffy. Her casual check on his injury later contrasts to his care for her injuries in After Life too.

                          Negative - The knights being able to track Buffy and the gang seems ridiculous.


                          The Weight of the World

                          Positive - I love the mindwalk, what we see of Buffy's struggle and processing of the situation and how Willow handles interacting with her. Dipstick pointed out in the review how great it is that Willow is totally unfazed by finding Buffy as a child, she just understands and it's shown in her confident 'hello Buffy' on seeing her.

                          (I love the Ben is Glory running joke too Pricey and adored the nod Gage gave to this back in S9 when Dawn was fading and Angel and Faith couldn't remember who Dawn was and Spike just walked off. )

                          Negative - Although I can made sense of it because of the urgency of the situation, I find the jump from the excellent breakdown on waking that Buffy has then too great a swing to her 'all-business' entrance into the magic box.

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                          • Day 21 - The Weight of the World

                            Positive: The Buffy/Willow scenes just show what a great friend Willow is and the strong bond between her and Buffy. It saddens me that it's gonna be lost in the next seasons, though I hope I'll change my mind once I do the positives for them.

                            Xander and Spike teaming up to stop Doc, and Xander stabbing the wanker to his non-death. I just love Xander and Spike working together, we need more of that you damn show!

                            Negative: Giles being a bit snippy with Xander about Xander's "pointless questions".
                            Made by Trickyboxes
                            Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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                            • Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
                              Day 20 - Spiral

                              Positive: I can write pages about the Xander/Spike scene, but I'll just settle with three points:

                              1) Xander notices Spike struggling to light his cigarette and lights it for him.
                              2) Xander puts Spike's lighter in his pocket!!! (So many Spander fics began with Xander returning the lighter after Buffy's death )
                              3) Xander asks about Spike's wounds.
                              4) Xander warns Spike about the dangers of smoking.

                              Xander cares, damn it!!

                              Negative: The Knights of Byzantium were the worst addition. Wish they were some gang or anyone who's current.



                              I agree the part about "boy territory" was very weird, but I did like the beginning of the fight when it was about Willow not getting it because her mother is still alive, also Tara's insecurity about hurting Willow's feelings.
                              I agree. I loved the start of the camaraderie between Xander and Spike. Also, it was never really explained why there was a schism between two overtly religious orders - the Monks and the Knights - over how to treat the Key. If the Key was so destructive why did the Monks want to save it? Just saying.
                              You know what I am. You've always known. You come to me all the same.

                              "There's a lot of comedy to be gotten from the world's doom spiral right now." Tracey Ullman, June 2018

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                              • I think Gregor said that the monks wanted to harness the key's power for good but the knights thought it was too dangerous to risk, or some such.

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