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  • Rewatch revival!

    Let's face it, season 6 of the rewatch has been just a little bit on and off to say the least. I am hoping though that we'll give it a kick start again now and not only finish up the season but head on to S7 with a new determination to keep the flow and pace going!

    I've been in touch with Aurora who has agreed to a final posting weekend of 17 August for the Seeing Red review and we've discussed the need to move on now, to keep to this as a firm date. So I have sent messages to Willow From Buffy too to try to confirm that the date for Villains is now set to 31st August. The last time we discussed the Villains review they did say it was ready and waiting so, although I haven't heard back yet, I'm hopeful that this date won't prove problematic. I have also touched base with King regarding Two To Go. So we're looking to move through these last episodes of S6 and on through S7 now without any further delays.

    To help get back a focus on season 6 and the sequence of events through it, I'm suggesting that the time leading up to the completion of Seeing Red (8th-16th) is used to recap the season prior to it through a flash mini rewatch over the next eight days. I'll post the links for the reviews of the prior episodes here from tomorrow, two per day, and anyone should feel welcome to make comments on the reviews/episodes leading up to Seeing Red as we go back over S6 so far. Of course you don't need to rewatch the eps or reread the reviews if you don't wish to. You can of course, or you can just make ad hoc observations on each or odd episodes as you like. It is really just an opportunity to bring some light back to the rewatch and get us back on track to complete the season. As we hit Seeing Red and the completion of the review, comments etc will then return back to being on the main rewatch thread.

    I really hope that others will take this chance to revisit S6 and get ready for the final eps of the season.

  • #2
    I would certainly like to join this discussion, sounds fun. Kinda wish it was when you guys started the rewatch
    My underachieving self has yet to earn banner privileges.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Josh View Post
      I would certainly like to join this discussion, sounds fun. Kinda wish it was when you guys started the rewatch
      The rewatch has been going on for years (I just looked and S1 was March 2014!!). It's just S6 has been plagued with delays from real life interruptions. It'll be nice to run over the season again and get back into it and I hope that you drop in thoughts along the way and continue to join in going into S7 too.

      The main rewatch threads all link to each other at the bottom of the first post and there's also links to all the reviews of that season under a spoiler on that initial post too. Please do feel free to look at any prior to S6 as well but don't forget to breeze over the first eighteen episodes of S6 too.

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      • #4
        my dear Stoney

        i also promise to finally post my response
        to your brilliant response to my
        review of Normal Again next week—

        it is almost done...

        just this damn conference deadline...

        it is long and detailed—

        so hoping that that, too, will help
        people reconnect...

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        • #5
          First up is Bargaining pts 1 & 2. I'm hoping to be able to pop these on in the background later today.

          For reference if anyone wants to drop back into the reviews, here are the links...

          6.01 Bargaining (Part 1) (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
          6.02 Bargaining (Part 2)
          Last edited by Stoney; 08-08-19, 05:19 AM.

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          • #6
            Could I make the possibly blasphemous suggestion that, in the future, people might consider toning down their ambitions for their episode reviews by even just a little bit? At the risk of bruising some folks' egos, I honestly think that the drive to make some reviews so complex, so deep, and so desperate to show off how thoroughly one has thought about forty-two minutes of a TV show down to the sub-atomic level, that the entire rewatch became off-putting to some of us, damaged this rewatch.

            I'm not asking for 500-words-or-less blurbs, nor for an end to multi-part reviews. But could we at least ask that reviews not take 100,000 words before even starting to talk about the episode that they're allegedly about, to say nothing of not being so danged complicated that real-life events in the reviewers' lives interrupt the reviews (and grind the rewatch to a halt) for months and months, if not a full year?

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            • #7
              We've always held that people can produce whatever review they like, any style/length etc, and although you aren't the only one to raise concern over the larger reviews I've heard positive responses to the more epic ones and the depth they offer over the years too. Of course you can dip into as much or as little of a review as you like. But saying that I do think that we have learned from this season and Sosa's suggestion that people endeavour to prepare their reviews for posting on the weekends they are due is a good one that we should endeavour to stick to.

              --

              Bargaining 1 & 2

              I've been rewatching the show with a relative who has never seen it before and we have actually reached S6 too. We just watched OaFA this week and we've been watching AtS alongside too. We always used to watch BtVS first but I noticed when we reached S6 that AtS aired first and so we have watched in the order as they aired. This meant that we had watched both Heartthrob and That Vision Thing before Bargaining pts 1 & 2 and the links between them work really well. We see the different responses to heartache and lost love and the emphasis on choices is heavy in them all. I found PuckRobin's exploration of the stages of grief a real highlight of his review and the focus we get on the time without Buffy and the way the roles have shifted in these episodes (especially pt1 obviously) is really interesting. I can certainly see the point that people make that they could have made more of the time before Buffy is resurrected and explored the group's dynamics since her death more, but I think we get a good glimpse and enough to build from going on in the season.

              Aspects of who people are, what is innate and natural to them also features and this helps to emphasise the sense of emotional disconnection that Buffy feels too. And the question of the experiences that people go through and the impact it has is here from the start of the season and as we know is so key to all that follows. The context of how all these people came to be where they are now and what they went through on the way informs everything. As King emphasised the responses are a focus in both the group regarding the spell and Buffy's appearance and Buffy herself as she goes through the horror and victory of emerging from her grave and feeling thrown into a living hell.

              Such kudos to SMG when she plays the bot.
              Last edited by Stoney; 08-08-19, 10:45 PM.

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              • #8
                I really think it's better to write your review in advance and just wait for your turn. When posting day comes, you just post. That way we stay on schedule.
                Made by Trickyboxes
                Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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                • #9
                  Day 2 of the S6 whizz through and it's After Life and Flooded today.


                  For reference if anyone wants to drop back into the reviews, here are the links...

                  6.03 After Life
                  6.04 Flooded

                  - - - Updated - - -

                  Some off the top of my head blatherings on the two eps. Please feel free to offer your own.

                  (SpuffyGlitz if you're reading this thread I do tend to talk about AtS through the rewatch for the thematic links but will try to remember to always reference the episode title or lead a remark with a reference such as 'in AtS' or 'for the fang gang' that will flag to you that you might want to skip the following remark. )

                  The season's focus on consequences is really pushed in After Life and the hitchhiker that is gaining physical presence as Buffy is feeling so distanced from everything around her. That initial walk through Revello with Dawn is so well done to show how deeply affected she has been and the results of the trauma she's experienced. The effect on her sense of presence, on the connections around her, and her engagement in her life are such major factors in what Buffy is trying to deal with on her return. How life continued without her/because of the loss of her, the changes that have happened, feeds into that sense of disconnection. And there is no escaping that they have all changed whilst they have been apart and working out how to be together again isn't going to be easy. In That Old Gang of Mine we see this reflected too, how experiences inform who we are alongside how people can change, how we respond to the choices of others and the consequences of those choices. If it had truly been a relief for Buffy to have escaped where she had been things wouldn't have been as difficult but it still would never have been what it was again, because life and death has happened in between.

                  I actually quite like the metaphor in Flooded of the pressure building up under the surface as the pipes are creaking and straining before bursting. It just appeals to me. As Dipstick raised, the issue of Buffy's finances are certainly a contentious one but her finances and depression just aren't issues that are easily solved. Especially the combination of the two. A degree of avoidance is understandable when there are practical pressures to deal with on top of underlying issues that in themselves are truths that are hard to face or even truly acknowledge or understand yet. The desire to find comfort in roles of the past is realistic. I suppose this works for the way Buffy flees to go to see Angel.

                  It is a fascinating missed moment that I'd have loved to see as the only detail we get of the meeting as 'intense' says so little. The inability to articulate all that is felt and happening under the surface I can see playing out then too and rather like the meeting with Giles where there is a degree of emotional connection on the surface, what is being avoided and hidden creates a barrier that due to circumstances has a natural intensity to it too. And that reservation and holding back is a fundamental block in moving forwards. As Dipstick fairly raised when talking of Willow's response to Buffy's behaviour staring at the water, the group still believe Buffy has been rescued from hell. They will be drawing understanding of her from that belief and this context to their responses that they don't realise is incorrect is important. It's there in addition to the natural difficulty to just knowing when your presence is comforting and support reassuring and when it is pressuring and suffocating. As Buffy stays withdrawn and closed and communication is limited they are operating with incomplete information. The fang gang contrasts to the scoobies a lot in the first half of S6-S3 with the emphasis there being on the group functioning together effectively and in Carpe Noctem how they help return Angel to his body sits against Buffy's continuing distance from those around her and the disconnection she feels within from herself and who she is now that will continue for a long time yet.
                  Last edited by Stoney; 09-08-19, 11:08 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Stoney, looking back and re-reading the first four reviews of Season Six, it feels like there’s as much drama going on in the Scooby gang as Buffy returning from the dead and maybe that’s why some people were a little put off by Season Six because the point of view changes from Buffy’s inability to deal with coming back to the weird secretive relationships between Giles and his former “students.”

                    I mean we’re not just reacting to buffy’s return but also Xander and Anya and his fears about marriage and Willow and Tara arguing over magic. Spike and Dawn are still grieving and also failing to really fit into the group which is even made worse by being kept in the dark about Buffy’s resurrection and the absence of Giles.

                    I feel like Season Six is more like the modern television shows of today because all these complex story lines are happening and it’s hard to keep track of them all unless you’re binging the entire season at one time. Watching it incrementally must have been a different experience than how many of us watch it today and it must have been more frustrating then. Maybe that’s why Season Six has a bad rap.

                    Flooded introduces even more characters who appear at first glance to be empty villains. Schoolboys playing at being villains which parallels the Scoobys trying to grow up and retain their heroic stature. But it’s easier to dust vampires than to commit to a long term relationship or trust oneself. I think the point is it’s much scarier.

                    By the time we get to Flooded, choices that the characters have made seem to catch up with them and the line between heroes and villains becomes even more blurred. I like American Aurora’s mention of a path to redemption for Xander and the others that starts with Seeing Red. With Spike, the journey is literal, of course. But all the early signs of that are laid out in the first four episodes like the start of a symphony or the song ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’

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                    • #11
                      There is definitely a lot of hidden issues and insecurities plaguing the group in addition to the troubles Buffy's resurrection brings for sure. I think S6 is certainly an emotionally wrought season because these directions were taken with everyone, but they all feed from aspects of their characters/pasts that are well established which is why I really appreciate it. As you say it is complex with so much under the surface driving what the characters do and how they respond and how they all layer each other too. There's definitely a direction down and then the start of coming back up for them all across the season.

                      I think I once read that Joss had said that the show was never meant to be binge viewed. I think the slow drip of viewing these increasingly difficult or developing problems does serve to emphasise the sense of being really dragged down and trapped sometimes. How hard it can be simply trying to find a path and deal with our problems. I know my relative has been surprised at how bleak it has continued to be and how much more is layered in each time but is finding it really compelling and a fascinating exploration of people going through personal struggles. I think it makes it feel more real and not something easily shaken off and is part of why it works so well.

                      Hopefully I will get a chance to post later about the two eps for today...

                      6.05 Life Serial (start of general episode discussion, no full review submitted)
                      6.06 All The Way

                      - - - Updated - - -

                      The repetition of time that falls through the season and plays into the importance of the past as well as the weight of the present, is heavily featured in Life Serial of course. The pressures of facing responsibilities and the desire to escape them are very much on a continuation from Flooded and through the ep it's clear Buffy feels lost and out of sync. I quite like the episode, but I do find it hard to imagine the scoobies all being so easy to dismiss the opportunity to help Buffy meet her financial obligations as she's adjusting. Fredless gives both a good mirror between Fred and Buffy and also contrast. They have both been drawn from somewhere and are traumatised from their experiences and are questioning their paths. The contrast comes with Fred's sense at the end of having found where she fits.

                      I think that Life Serial is an enjoyable episode but the pressure of the finances is lifted by Giles' cheque perhaps a bit too long before it is faced fully again. I can see why they needed to both cover it early and also didn't want it to dominate the season any more than it does though, so spreading it with the temporary relief of the cheque does give that.

                      Although All the Way is one of the weakest episodes of the season I actually do like seeing a continuation given to Dawn's issues of her importance, her relevancy and how disregarded she feels on Buffy's return. With the significance of her to Buffy at the season's end, I think giving her sense of disquiet in how things are now Buffy is back for an episode was a good thing to do. It was also interesting to me (it's not how Guy who reviewed the episode felt) to see Dawn relating to her peers a little when she feels so pushed aside by others close to her and her attempt to twist herself to fit. Getting into situations she should know better than participating in is such an interesting reflection of how Buffy ends up finding destructive coping mechanisms too. Dawn is often used in the season to illustrate the consequences of the choices the others are making and is caught in the fallout of their actions, here we see some more insight into the how she is unsettled by change and how feeling adrift and uncertain where things are going negatively affects her. This disregard to the impact everything could be having on her works well with a theme of hidden or dismissed threats. Not just for Justin, the old man and the trio in BtVS but over in AtS the fear of what lies underneath is raised in Billy too.
                      Last edited by Stoney; 10-08-19, 04:10 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I've been catching up with the first few reviews and discussions around them (roughly almost caught up to the sixth —All the Way— now) and the discussions have been fascinating and stimulating to read Particularly relating to Buffy's resurrection but many other themes. The reviews are fantastically insightful and the discussions around them have generated a lot of thought... I'm going to hold onto those thoughts till we get to the "Grave" review and/or discussion, in the meantime, it's great to be able to do this in order!
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                        • #13
                          I'd love to hear any of your thoughts on the eps SpuffyGlitz. Please don't feel you have to keep them for the season end. Once we get to up to SR on here we'll return to the main thread too and head through the last four eps there.

                          At the moment there isn't anyone down to review Grave but we will have a general discussion at the very least (I'm still hoping someone will offer to review it. ). This is just a chance to recap the season and raise anything that occurs here and now. I hadn't, as far as I remember, previously considered Dawn's destructive behaviour and choices here specifically against Buffy's as the same coping mechanism. It feels like every time I read other people's thoughts or reconsider episodes I gain something or adjust my pov.

                          - - - Updated - - -

                          So day 4 of the quick S6 rewatch recap. Below are the links to the reviews of the next two eps. Again I'll try to get back to comment on the eps later, even if I'm doing so on my own again. I hope at the least this thread is flag waving the imminent return to the rewatch and our completion of the sixth season.

                          If you have signed up for reviewing a S7 episode it would be appreciated if you could confirm whether you are still able to participate (here). I am intending to draw up the schedule for when reviews are due in S7 as the SR review completes. Hopefully we won't have any/many gaps to fill of people who are no longer available to join us for S7.

                          Plus, if anyone wants to take the review of Grave, that'd also be appreciated.


                          Here are today's eps...

                          6.07 Once More With Feeling (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7a, 7b, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
                          6.08 Tabula Rasa (parts 1, 2, 3)

                          - - - Updated - - -

                          My random thoughts on today's eps...

                          OMWF was always a favourite episode for me but I gained such a deeper appreciation for it from Aurora's review through understanding what using the narrative tools specific to a musical episode gave. The disconnection from reality that Buffy has been feeling is just so perfect to begin the episode and lead into the I Want song and her feeling of life as a performance, the sense of expectation and the roles she is playing. The revelation of truths and the ability to use the premise of the randomly triggered musical numbers to present so much within one episode is simply excellent. I love how the complexity of what people are feeling is explored, like the push and pull between Buffy and Spike. And as the group struggles to find their footing in the new dynamics that have occurred through the experiences they've gone through, the passage of time and the consequences (with more to be revealed), the focus on roles and performance is perfect. For one of my personal leanings when viewing, the visual communication in the episodes is also on overdrive, it's such a visually rich episode. The combination with the revelations of the lyrics makes it so full of meaning it is an episode I could watch over and over and still feel like I'm getting more from doing so. In Offspring so much of the above is at play too; consequences, roles, expectations, what is hidden and also a feeling of being trapped. After Billy and As You Were looked at fears of what is within we now have some truths revealed, but how able everyone is to process what they have heard is a different matter.

                          With the weight of what Tara learned in OMWF and that sense of losing memory being a loss of self, a loss of knowledge of who you are, coupled with roles and the experiences people are coming from, Tabula Rasa follows really well. The exploration of nature vs nurture that Clavus gave was really interesting for considering how memories and experiences influence and shape us, such a pertinent part of the season. TR is an episode that I really enjoy and find humorous enough, but also feel is limited in how much it can be seen to show the characters as truly having blank slates.

                          It is definitely interesting and revealing in some ways, but without understanding the boundaries of how the expanded spell affected them, what it targeted and took away, the characters I don't feel can be considered to have been stripped of the influence of their pasts fully. How the spell affected Spike's connection to his inner demon if his siring counted as an act done against him for example, could explain some of his behaviour. And clearly some residual memories remain that influence them as his suggestion he's a noble vampire with a soul if he's good is clearly not coming from nowhere. The context the group find themselves in of course will also influence their analysis of who they are and this adds into those shadows of knowledge and senses of self that have remained as well. But around all this uncertainty of exactly what was lost, it does still serve to illustrate how past experiences affect perspectives, whilst also looking at roles again, perceptions of self and that of others and how people relate. And of course there is the abuse of power. As I've said in recent threads, this for me is key to Willow's story through the season. It ties back so well through the series to lead into her path in S6 and is something that features as a fundamental part of her use of magic and what drives her choices.

                          - - - Updated - - -

                          It's Day 5 of the run through of S6, and the eps are...

                          6.09 Smashed
                          6.10 Wrecked

                          Hopefully I'll find time to post later. I'd love to hear any thoughts from anyone else. It doesn't have to relate to the reviews at all, just about this stage in the season and any ad hoc episode thoughts would be welcome.
                          Last edited by Stoney; 11-08-19, 02:58 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Ad-hoc houghts on Smashed and Wrecked:

                            I'll admit I haven't reached this stage yet specifically, the rewatches are so rich I'm still formulating my thoughts on Bargaining 1 and 2 lol! (Mostly because it's an important aspect of why I love this season sooo much , so I probably will still post on that even though we've moved on from those first two eps now if that's fine.)

                            Musings on the titles themselves:
                            Thinking about Smashed & Wrecked (and I know Gone comes next-- I haven't come to the reviews yet because I'm terrible at speed reading) makes me consider how much the titles are framed in relation to the impact on the body and the senses (Smashed, Wrecked, Seeing Red, the synaesthetic shock value of Flooded & Hell's Bells), of chaos (Wrecked, Entropy) the preoccupation with repetition (Life Serial, Once More, With Feeling, Normal Again)...with attempts at new beginnings and returns to prior states (Tabula Rasa, As You Were), and the preoccupation with life and death itself and the issue of existence (After Life, Gone, Dead Things, Grave.) There's a lot to unpack about it obviously but I'm just looking at the titles themselves.

                            I also find the season's foregrounding of moral rhetoric really interesting: Spike telling Buffy she's come back "wrong" in Smashed is particularly striking. He's amoral at this point in so far as he's a soulless vampire -- so "wrongness" in this sense would not matter to him and his form of unconditional love militates against it, aside from the fact that Buffy didn't come back "wrong" just changed. But more importantly, what does it even mean to be "wrong"? I feel like we're placed in a season that actively questions preconceived notions of normativity and engages with ideas of deviance and what even counts as deviance. This also relates back to Faith's parody of Buffy back in Who Are You when she mimics Buffy in pointed satire: "Because it's wrong!".

                            Vantage points:
                            I think the spatial metaphor in the way Buffy is pictured at the start of the season (and the way the Scoobies are framed) is not necessarily specific to S6 -- I think it's less a critique of the Scoobies as much as it is a way to show Buffy's new vantage point of the world:



                            Because we witnessed this use of spatial metaphor back at the start of S3 when Buffy returned from LA and encountered the Scoobies in Dead Man's Party - they're all pictured beneath her and the vantage point once again functions like a visual statement upon her return, signalling their dependence on her:



                            Cursory houghts on Amy:
                            Amy is an interesting figure because, unlike Tara, Amy's associations with magic have largely been negative. It's quite likely that Amy's addictions to magic had their catalyst in her unhealthy relationship with her emotionally abusive mother. Catherine Madison (who ultimately ended up trapped in a cheerleading trophy) was a witch who practised magic in secret, whose husband left her for another woman, and who obsessively controlled Amy to a claustrophobic degree, including what she ate and what her priorities ought to be. Amy, who's been a childhood friend of Willow's, and who inherited her mother's magical powers, had a strong impetus for addiction. When her mother would go on "broth" diet fads in the past, as a child Amy would stay over at Willow's where they would "stuff themselves with brownies." For Amy, the pattern of turning initially to food for comfort could easily have been signs of a developing susceptibility to addiction. Unlike Willow, Amy was not naturally talented at witchcraft, she often bungled spells but at the same time, showed no qualms in using magic to help herself. In Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered, when she attempted to do the love spell on Cordy, it was after Xander first sighted her freely and unscrupulously using magic to avoid doing homework. I wouldn't consider it unlikely that she'd discovered Rack during these years. Prior to S6, Amy continued to explore dark magic and it was during the witch hunt in S3's Gingerbread that she turned herself into a rat. I understand why the addiction storyline could bother some viewers— for me personally, I think it would have been far more difficult to comprehend Willow's downward spiral—to understand and empathise with the depths of her fall—were it not for that metaphor. To show Willow become so invested in something — without a clear parallel to some addictive force — would make her too inexplicably opaque in her motivations to be redeemed. The addiction metaphor is universally recognisable —everybody knows it is something that is genuinely difficult to overcome. So the triumph in recovery—in overcoming that draw—is made all the more powerful but I like the fact that it's emphasised as a parallel and not an absolutely literal equivalence ("that's not what it looks like! it's magic weed." Gone.) One would know the path to recovery is a difficult one—particularly in a season delving into the ethics of power - and that there are all kinds of addictions that can go from being healthy to unhealthy.

                            Sorry for the cursory outpourings of thoughts! I haven't really been able to focus on these episodes as yet so this is random musing, not thought out (even though these are some of my favourite episodes) because I'm still pouring over Bargaining
                            Last edited by SpuffyGlitz; 12-08-19, 06:48 PM.
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                            • #15
                              Of course you can post on Bargaining whenever you like SpuffyGlitz. This thread was really just an opportunity to brush over the season up to Seeing Red before it completes. The pace is rapid just to gain a reminder of what came before rather than realistically giving time for indepth discussion of all the eps (there should normally be a two week break between each individual review within the main rewatch). Some of the reviews are far briefer than others but reading and absorbing them all two a day just wouldn't be feasible. I linked them more to flick into if people wished. But if you want to pour over Bargaining specifically, that's great and any thoughts and observations will be interesting to read when you get time to post them.

                              In the meantime, thank you for throwing some ad hoc season thoughts in here. I love the observation you made about the mix of titles. I think it was Tiny Tabby or Aurora who commented on the group of episodes that together nod to the drug/high metaphor in Smashed, Wrecked and Gone, but I hadn't ever registered the repeating ties that you noted. I especially love the mention of repetition itself in some as it works so well with that idea of being trapped that Buffy feels for so long (and yet has that temporary early sense of freedom from in Gone which works in contrast).

                              The spatial work in the season is a great point to raise too and we have this in evidence again in Smashed when Buffy and Spike fall down to the basement together at the end. As has happened before, and will again in the season, they finish with Buffy still above him, even if she has dropped down with him for a time.

                              Great thoughts on Amy too! I agree that the little that we see of her and her background influences isn't incompatible with feeling that she could have stepped into abusing magic before she was ratted. I've always found Willow's addiction to magic intrinsically linked to the use of power and the expectations on her/that she feels are on her. I think it works and the mix of metaphors used with magic doesn't bother me personally.

                              There's no need at all to apologise for random thoughts, it is all interesting parts of the whole.

                              Some general thoughts on Smashed and Wrecked to follow soon.

                              - - - Updated - - -

                              Smashed sees barriers break and tumble as the group continues to remain unstable in the fall out of all that has happened. Power is abused and there's a complete loss of restraint and control. Not just in Spike's ability to act outside of the chip with Buffy but in the choices people make for escaping pressures, fears and consequences. How people define themselves against others and the sense of personal identity drives actions taken. There's an interesting continuation of the notion of nature and nurture, choices and the capacity for choice here with the sense of freedom the main characters are feeling and seen in the actions of the Trio too. In the sister episode Lullaby these elements around choice and capacity is seen with Darla, affected by Connor's soul. A key aspect often part of the choices people make comes with how they define themselves against others and this touches again to the history between characters along with a focus in both shows on the relevance of time, how the past and knowledge informs the present.

                              The exploration of those destroyed barriers and the seductive lure of power, freedom and release that gives escapism as a coping mechanism continues in Wrecked. The pressures of expectations are layered in to self perception, self destruction, social expectations and responsibilities. As SpuffyGlitz raised above, as with Smashed, the ongoing exploration of these includes this sense of what is wrong and normativity. With Amy, Rack and Warren leeching off others we see the representation of the importance of food and sustenance. Often used in the series for contrast and against the experiences that make us and notions of healthiness and caring. And caring for Dawn is a key tool used to illustrate carelessness, consequences and the weight of responsibility. As Buffy continues to hold close her secret of what is happening for her, Willow's issues are more exposed. AtS's Dad also leans heavily on the notion of expectations and responsibility and also the benefit to letting others in to support you.

                              - - - Updated - - -

                              The new links for today...

                              6.11 Gone (parts 1, 2)
                              6.12 Doublemeat Palace

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                              Gone is such a good follow up on to the escapism of Smashed and Wrecked for a depiction of the absence and lack of connection to life Buffy is feeling. It works so well alongside where Willow is and her facing temptation but resisting whilst Buffy finds a sense of freedom and distance from her responsibilities that has her acting out even further. The lack of a sense of consequence when you can't even be seen really affects her. The scene with Spike and him calling her on her willingness to be there when she isn't there is great. The temptation to indulge in what she wants and act cruelly towards others sees Buffy fall in a different way to the end of Smashed. Tiny Tabby's suggestion the absence of Giles and Tara as figures that provide a Jiminy Cricket conscience playing into the selfish choices that we've seen in these times of temptation fits so well to the freedom from responsibility both Willow and now Buffy are seen indulging in. Her additional thoughts about the freedom of invisibility and the temptation to do evil that you can truly get away with is a really interesting consideration not only against Willow's resistance compared to Buffy's bad behaviour here, but also when thinking of the choices and behaviour of The Trio too. As Tiny Tabby described there's a dual desire to get away from something as well as to get away with something. So many great points raised about the narrative use of invisibility and psychological meanings.

                              Roles and social expectations are certainty focussed on again and we have the contrast between Willow who has come forward and is getting support, is openly attempting to fix her problem, against Buffy's continued secrecy about her own addictive coping mechanism. The contrast of packing away any little reminder of magic for Willow against her own retrieval of Spike's lighter is clear at the start, and this is something which doesn't alter through the episode despite Buffy feeling like she has moved forward in wanting to live by the end. In AtS's Birthday Cordelia faces the choice of escaping her current life and experiences to walk a different path but takes her life back when she sees the consequences and repercussions. For both Buffy and Cordelia there is a positive outcome in choosing for themselves something that someone else had chosen for them originally I think. Buffy now truly wants to have the life which the group reinstated for her, chooses to not let it go, and Cordelia opts to have the visions that Doyle passed on to her. The ownership of those choices always seems a really psychologically positive amendment to me.

                              Doublemeat Palace then looks at the grind of life (pitiful pun intended, sorry). After escaping responsibility it feels right that the focus then goes to the complete opposite and facing it. So managing finances and responsibility is front and centre again. The absence of Giles is once more underlined as Buffy is taking on the adult role in becoming a wage earner, his one off cheque from Life Serial wasn't going to support her forever either, and she looks to become the provider for herself and Dawn. The sense of being trapped with time and energy being drained away in trying to meet obligations like this runs through Buffy's time at work. The same theme of financial responsibility runs through the bluntly titled Provider in AtS and the misuse of power in both. The choice to take advantage of your position is something that both Angel and Buffy face. And as secrets continue to be held the general theme of appearances being deceptive is a neat tie in the ep. Not one of my favourites but the wider discussion on this episode certainly helped me to find better appreciation for it.
                              Last edited by Stoney; 12-08-19, 09:40 PM.

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