Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

BtVS rewatch: SEASON 7

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • BtVS rewatch: SEASON 7

    Here's the thread prepared in advance for the S7 rewatch. Yep, we're heading into the final season soon!

    As usual, the list of the eps and who is signed up for each review is detailed below. Alongside them is the Friday of the weekend the reviews are due (fortnightly, except with a larger gap allowed across Christmas). Please do plan to have your review completed and ready to post for the weekend it is due, which then leaves two weeks to read and discuss it before the next review.

    I'll put in the links to each review under the spoiler below as we go through the season to help jump around/navigate the thread. If you notice any errors please do feel free to shout out and I'll amend. Also, please speak up if you foresee any problems/clashes with when your review falls due against other commitments.


    In the meantime, do consider coming and joining us in the discussions of the final episodes of S6. The last parts of the Seeing Red review are still due, but Villains is up now and discussion has started on the episode/review for that. Again the links to the reviews are under the spoiler in the first post of the S6 thread (the link to S6's rewatch thread can be found below).

    I look forward to discussing the show with you all.

    ____

    *fortnightly weekend reviews* Fri date given of the weekend the review is due.

    7.01 Lessons - TriBel (11 Oct)
    7.02 Beneath You - SpuffyGlitz (25 Oct)
    7.03 Same Time, Same Place - Cheese Slices (17 Apr)
    7.04 Help - flow (15 May)
    7.05 Selfless - Willow from Buffy (29 May)
    7.06 Him - Andrew S. (12 Jun)
    7.07 Conversations with Dead People - DanSlayer (26 Jun)
    7.08 Sleeper - Tiny Tabby (24 Jul)
    7.09 Never Leave Me - PuckRobin (18 Sep)
    7.10 Bring on the Night - ghoststar (16 Oct)
    7.11 Showtime - Clavus (30 Oct)
    7.12 Potential - KofC (13 Nov)
    7.13 The Killer in Me - Stoney (27 Nov)
    7.14 First Date - debbicles (11 Dec)
    7.15 Get it Done - BtVS fan (08 Jan)
    7.16 Storyteller - PuckRobin (22 Jan)
    7.17 Lies My Parents Told Me - MikeB (05 Feb)
    7.18 Dirty Girls - Rihannon (19 Feb)
    7.19 Empty Places - bespangled (05 Mar)
    7.20 Touched - StateOfSiege (19 Mar)
    7.21 End of Days - DeepBlueJoy (02 Apr)
    7.22 Chosen - American Aurora (16 Apr)


    SEASON 1 thread
    SEASON 2 thread
    SEASON 3 thread
    SEASON 4 thread
    SEASON 5 thread
    SEASON 6 thread


    SEASON 7 episode links
    Spoiler:

    7.01 - Lessons - general discussion held, no formal review
    7.02 - Beneath You (pt1, pt2, pt3, pt4, pt5, pt6, pt7, pt8, pt9, pt10, pt11, pt12, more to follow)
    7.03 - Same Time, Same Place (pt1, more to follow)
    7.04 - Help
    7.05 - Selfless
    7.06 - Him
    7.07 - Conversations with Dead People
    7.08 - Sleeper (pt1, pt2, pt3, pt4)
    7.09 - Never Leave Me (pt1, pt2, pt3, more to follow)
    Last edited by Stoney; 25-11-19, 05:56 AM.

  • #2
    Wait - just how did I get roped into a S7 rewatch?



    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by HowiMetdaSlayer View Post
      Wait - just how did I get roped into a S7 rewatch?



      In all the excitement of getting a banner, you forgot yourself? It's easily done...
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by HowiMetdaSlayer View Post
        Wait - just how did I get roped into a S7 rewatch?

        We exchanged PMs and you said you were happy to give it a go if it was a regular text review. It would be great if you can but if you don't still feel able to then please do say and we'll open it up again.

        Comment


        • #5
          As we're due to start S7 I thought I'd bump the thread. Looking forward to discussing the season.

          Comment


          • #6
            Unfortunately TriBel is no longer able to provide a review for Lessons. I hope that she will be able to join us at a future point during the season.

            I think that we should hold fast to the timeframe we have set out and just have an open discussion of the first episode of S7 before resuming with our usual structure for Beneath You onwards. As there is just over a week left allocated to Lessons it would be great if people shared their thoughts on the opener. Please post/chat freely about Lessons overall or about any theme, character moment or scene from the episode in particular that you would like to. Any thoughts on your favourite parts or where it frustrates you. Is there anything that particularly strikes you each time you watch it, or something that did on this specific rewatch that hasn't before? Let's open the floor to everyone to share their thoughts and discuss the ep. I look forward to reading everyone's ideas and thoughts and hope to be able to put up some of my own next week.
            Last edited by Stoney; 17-10-19, 10:20 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Alright, I've got this.

              LESSONS

              The opening scene is terrible. Some potential slayer is running through what is supposed to be Istanbul, with, correct me if I'm wrong, some generic, vaguely middle-eastern/Arabic track playing in the background. Why? It's Turkey, just use Turkish music for goodness' sake, Turks are not Arabs. Also, do the producers really believe that this is how the biggest city in Europe looks like? Istanbul is not some tiny, dimly-lit old town. It's an enormous, crowded, bright, mega-city! This show isn't even that old, it was 2003, how did this sort of blatant orientalist crap make it onto the screen? It's mind-boggling.

              Anyway, let's get to the episode proper, Willow's segment first 'cause Buffy might be the coolest mom ever but Will's the best girl™! Willow and Giles talk about Willow learning magic with the coven and shit - excuse me, why can't we actually see Willow learning magic with the coven and shit? I mean, it's not like there's not enough time in this slow-ass, poorly-paced episode to explore it. Instead we get to see Willow and, like, English grass. Wow, I have never seen grass this English, fascinating. I really don't understand why Willow has to spend three episodes separated from the gang when the writers are not doing anything remotely interesting with her. She could've been back in Sunnydale in this very episode, dropped right into the middle of the basement chaos with the guilt-tripping spirits - what, it fits thematically! You know what, if this was season two that is exactly what would've happened. More importantly, since season six was basically a trash fire with garbage ratings the writers, instead of owning their edgy try-hard post 9/11 soap opera like people with actual artistic integrity, decide to completely ignore and/or hand-wave all of it instead. Starting with Willow's magic addiction storyline. Like, look at this shit - This isn't a hobby or an addiction. It's inside you now, this magic. Shut up Giles and...and what does that even mean?! What inside her?

              Let's talk about the Summers sisters. Watching the cemetery scene gets kinda painful when you compare Buffy's and Dawn's relationship in the beginning and in the end of the season. Buffy goes from being inclusive towards Dawn to asking Xander to kidnap her, from stake is not a weapon to chasing after an axe-thing that looks like something a teenage boy would find cool. Every tourist-polluted place has this one tiny store with Swiss army knives, colorful daggers, katanas made in China - you know what I mean? That's where the scythe belongs. I digress. The breakfast/driving to school segment with Xander is weird. There's this tendency in the series where, in lack of any other options, Xander becomes this quasi leading man, ersatz love interest. He's in love with Anya and Buffy would never blow him anyway (I know, season eight, bear with me) and yet what we get here is full-on subtext! Buffy, Xander and Dawn are portrayed like a little, happy suburban family. It's bizarre. It would make sense if the writers were actually going somewhere with it, planning to hook Buffy and Xander up somewhere down the line but it obviously never happens. So what's the point of all of this? Similarly, the episode spends a lot of time introducing Kit and Carlos and their relationship with Dawn, it's like a Scooby gang 2.0 origin story except it never goes anywhere as well! Speaking of new characters, Robin is a bright spot, he simply oozes charisma and coolness, kinda steals the show, really.

              The entire showdown with the spirits is just boring, even though they look really cool, and then Spike shows up. Why does Spike look like an N-Sync member circa 2002? Isn't he supposed to be insane, like, where did he even get all that hair gel from? Anyway, Spike's situation should've been addressed and/or resolved in this episode. Buffy learns that a crazy, soulless vampire is squatting in the basement of a school full of kids, Dawn included and she's, like, what, whatever, I'm gonna deal with you in some other episode?! No. Just no. The closing scene is pretty neat - why are people still arguing about who the big bad in particular season is? Like, you have an entire gallery here, Jesus. Oh and one more thing - you can clearly see Sarah's tattoo in this episode. This is not something that should happen, like, is there anybody in the costume department left that still gives a shit?

              All in all, this is a pretty mediocre episode, there are some funny lines (so you're the new principal. I expected you to be more aged./Huh. You seem a bit young to have such a grown-up daughter - officer, I'd like to report a murder) and nice scenes here and there but from the perspective of the entire season Lessons is kind of a mess.
              Last edited by a thing of evil; 18-10-19, 04:13 PM.

              Comment


              • ghoststar
                ghoststar commented
                Editing a comment
                NOTE: My ability to log in comes and goes right now, presumably because Admin is still working out the glitches in the site's reboot. (Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that the site's continuing at all-- I have one myself and there is *always* something to work on.) So, my participation in this thread may be correspondingly glitchy.

                My take on most of this episode was almost the opposite of OP's, with one major exception that I'll get to later. In particular, I consider that the zombie fight scene an improvement over the action sequences in previous episodes. C. 2000 wasn't exactly the high-water mark of realism in TV dramas, but, by 2003, you were starting to see the shift toward it. Turning the purse into a flail to deal with a circle of opponents seems to me like a step up from having the bad guys approach one at a time.

                I did not at all like the final scene, because, if it's going to take place from Spike's POV, then it should show villains with meaning for him. Why would the First show him the Master or the Mayor or Warren? He didn't come to Sunnydale at all until the Master was dead, he showed up for just a couple of days during the Mayor's final year, and he wasn't in town when Warren shot Buffy. (I'm not even sure if he knows, at this point, that Buffy got shot.)

                At no point do I see Xander trying to get Buffy to blow him. I'm not saying he'd say no if it was offered, but... he never asks? All I see is that he's accepted that being in the friendzone is better than being a jerk. For once, Buffy gets the no-sexual-strings-attached support she needs from one of the men in her life. It's kind of nice... until you remember the rest of the season and you wince for how much she'll lose.

                Istanbul was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world at the time. It had both upscale high-rises and areas where urban planning couldn't quite stay ahead of development. In that context, I'm not sure its portrayal is any more stereotyped than the *B*-verse's noir-friendly L.A., or its pastures-and-brickwork England. Caricatures are built into the 'Verse, same as expensive jeans and Whedonesque speech patterns; you have to either like them or ignore them if you want to enjoy the show.

                I do agree on one point: The messages from Buffy to Dawn. I love how "Lessons" gives us Buffy following up on her "Grave" realization: "I don't want to protect you from the world. I want to show it to you." That she winds up having Dawn chloroformed, kidnapped, and dragged out of town to "protect" her feels like a betrayal of our belief in Buffy's growth, and of our investment in their relationship.

              • Stoney
                Stoney commented
                Editing a comment
                Really great to get some more participation, I hope you do find time to pop in now and then.

                I appreciate that with the discussion having moved past this episode using the comment feature allowed for injection into an earlier part of the thread. But please generally only use the comments for quick, light comments and put more complete ones in a main post.

                I'll drop you a PM to help about logging in as I think we've ironed out those issues.

            • #8
              Wow, that's probably the angriest review I've read since I made the mistake of looking for fan reviews of The Last Jedi.

              I love the little family of Buffy, Xander and Dawn in this episode. I wouldn't for a second think Xander was angling for a blowjob any more than Willow would have been for the lesbian equivalent last season. I think the it is really sweet. My favourite episode is "Bargaining" and my favourite scene there is when all the Scoobies are in the kitchen, showing how they have banded around Dawn, becoming this close knit family.

              I like Willow's fall in S6, but I don't like seeing her this fallen, if that makes any kind of sense. Particularly, I would have prefer to see her submit to the judgment of a kindly coven of witches instead of Giles. If I am grateful to the comics for anything, it is for making Willow cool again in S9. I am so glad Willow at least gets to have Kennedy this season.

              Halfrek is great. And I find Anya's buttoned up look really appropriate.

              The stuff at the school is really great. Robin is cool. I love the weirdness of Buffy being back at a new Sunnydale high. Dawn sometimes feels like she belong to a different show, especially when she interacts with non-Scooby characters that are less camp that ordinary Whedonverse characters.

              I've named this season the hangover season. It has this sorta sombre, heavy feeling that often feels kinda good, and it spends a lot of time with the fallout of S6. I think people underestimate how much more colourful, camp and energetic S6 is. S6 is just as funny as any other BtVS season. S7 is a little different. For the time being, it is different in a way I quite like.

              It is so nice to see Drusilla and the other villains, even if they are talking absolute nonsense. This season won't take us back to anything.

              The episode is passable. I like it much less than most season starters, except maybe "Buffy v Drac." There's no real hook here, I feel, and it is all a little disjointed. There are some nice scenes, though, so it is not an unenjoyable watch.
              Last edited by Willow from Buffy; 18-10-19, 02:31 PM.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by a thing of evil View Post
                The breakfast/driving to school segment with Xander is weird. There's this tendency in the series where, in lack of any other options, Xander becomes this quasi leading man, ersatz love interest. He's in love with Anya and Buffy would never blow him anyway (I know, season eight, bear with me) and yet what we get here is full-on subtext! Buffy, Xander and Dawn are portrayed like a little, happy suburban family. It's bizarre. I'd would make sense if the writers were actually going somewhere with it, planning to hook Buffy and Xander up somewhere down the line but it obviously never happens. So what's the point of all of this?
                The platonic familial vibe between Buffy, Xander and Dawn stays throughout the season actually.






                gifs made by marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer

                I agree with you that it should have been more emphasized or at least given like a conflict. Maybe have Spike being jealous of Buffy and Xander's closeness, even though it's just platonic for both of them. Or have Xander's feelings for Buffy come back. Or have Dawn rooting for Buffy and Xander, and maybe using that fact to rub it in Spike's face out of anger over the AR - the Spike/Dawn relationship needed to be addressed. At least do something with this.
                Made by Trickyboxes
                Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by a thing of evil View Post
                  Alright, I've got this.

                  LESSONS

                  The opening scene is terrible. Some potential slayer is running through what is supposed to be Istanbul, with, correct me if I'm wrong, some generic, vaguely middle-eastern/Arabic track playing in the background. Why? It's Turkey, just use Turkish music for goodness' sake, Turks are not Arabs. Also, do the producers really believe that this is how the biggest city in Europe looks like? Istanbul it's not some tiny, dimly-lit old town. It's an enormous, crowded, bright, mega-city! This show isn't even that old, it was 2003, how did this sort of blatant orientalist crap make it onto the screen? It's mind-boggling.

                  Anyway, let's get to the episode proper, Willow's segment first 'cause Buffy might be the coolest mom ever but Will's the best girl™! Willow and Giles talk about Willow learning magic with the coven and shit - excuse me, why can't we actually see Willow learning magic with the coven and shit? I mean, it's not like there's not enough time in this slow-ass, poorly-paced episode to explore it. Instead we get to see Willow and, like, English grass. Wow, I have never seen grass this English, fascinating. I really don't understand why Willow has to spend three episodes separated from the gang when the writers are not doing anything remotely interesting with her. She could've been back in Sunnydale in this very episode, dropped right into the middle of the basement chaos with the guilt-tripping spirits - what, it fits thematically! You know what, if this was season two that is exactly what would've happened. More importantly, since season six was basically a trash fire with garbage ratings the writers, instead of owning their edgy try-hard post 9/11 soap opera like people with actual artistic integrity, decide to completely ignore and/or hand-wave all of it instead. Starting with Willow's magic addiction storyline. Like, look at this shit - This isn't a hobby or an addiction. It's inside you now, this magic. Shut up Giles and...and what does that even mean?! What inside her?

                  Let's talk about the Summers sisters. Watching the cemetery scene gets kinda painful when you compare Buffy's and Dawn's relationship in the beginning and in the end of the season. Buffy goes from being inclusive towards Dawn to asking Xander to kidnap her, from stake is not a weapon to chasing after an axe-thing that looks like something a teenage boy would find cool. Every tourist-polluted place has this one tiny store with Swiss army knives, colorful daggers, katanas made in China - you know what I mean? That's where the scythe belongs. I digress. The breakfast/driving to school segment with Xander is weird. There's this tendency in the series where, in lack of any other options, Xander becomes this quasi leading man, ersatz love interest. He's in love with Anya and Buffy would never blow him anyway (I know, season eight, bear with me) and yet what we get here is full-on subtext! Buffy, Xander and Dawn are portrayed like a little, happy suburban family. It's bizarre. I'd would make sense if the writers were actually going somewhere with it, planning to hook Buffy and Xander up somewhere down the line but it obviously never happens. So what's the point of all of this? Similarly, the episode spends a lot of time introducing Kit and Carlos and their relationship with Dawn, it's like a Scooby gang 2.0 origin story except it never goes anywhere as well! Speaking of new characters, Robin is a bright spot, he simply oozes charisma and coolness, kinda steals the show, really.

                  The entire showdown with the spirits is just boring, even though they look really cool, and then Spike shows up. Why does Spike look like an N-Sync member circa 2002? Isn't he supposed to be insane, like, where did he even get all that hair gel from? Anyway, Spike's situation should've been addressed and/or resolved in this episode. Buffy learns that a crazy, soulless vampire is squatting in the basement of a school full of kids, Dawn included and she's, like, what, whatever, I'm gonna deal with you in some other episode?! No. Just no. The closing scene is pretty neat - why are people still arguing about who the big bad in particular season is? Like, you have an entire gallery here, Jesus. Oh and one more thing - you can clearly see Sarah's tattoo in this episode. This is not something that should happen, like, is there anybody in the costume department left that still gives a shit?

                  All in all, this is a pretty mediocre episode, there are some funny lines (so you're the new principal. I expected you to be more aged./Huh. You seem a bit young to have such a grown-up daughter - officer, I'd like to report a murder) and nice scenes here and there but from the perspective of the entire season Lessons is kind of a mess.
                  Great review
                  Going back to School just felt like the show had run out of ideas but it was the last season anyway so back to the High school is hell metaphor

                  From what I understand Nick Brendon said that he and Sarah pitched about getting Xander and Buffy together for S7 but Joss said no.

                  I remember watching it and being on Buffy message boards it the time and Kit and Carlos didn't have a great reaction back then either. Joss on the commentary (sounding slightly defensive imo) says he only got them for that episode but I suspect that if they had been better recieved then they would've been brought back at a later date.

                  Buffy forgetting about Spike is weird. I know BY tries to answer it "why didn't you tell your friends about me" "kind of hoping you were a mirage I guess" That doesn't really work for me but each to his own I guess.

                  The end scene at the time generated much excitement but by the end it felt like a promise with a big let down
                  I say this is as somone whose not a fan of S7 1or 2 great episodes like Selfless aside. So be warned I will be negative on this season

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    While overall I consider season 7 the weakest season since season 4, i actually mostly enjoyed Lessons. It wasn't fabulous, but compared to the penis head demon episode, it is quite stellar - so faint praise yes, but not terrible. Terrible arrives with Giles and the valley of wanna be slayer dollz!

                    I actually enjoy "adult edition Xander". He has earned the right to competence and decent clothing and respect. It is unfortunate that the scoobies 2.0 didn't gel, but it was not Dawn's show. They served their purpose. Pretty much not a fan of post murder whiny Willow, but she is well done. Any addict will tell you that no matter how long sober, their addiction remains. We are always addicts though we do recover.
                    (Planning on 30 years sober in Jan 2020)
                    Last edited by DeepBlueJoy; 26-10-19, 01:24 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I'm writing while watching the episode, so my thoughts might be a bit jumbled . . .

                      I love Season 7 and I really like Lessons, it's one of my favourite season openers. It's a taster of where the season is going with young girls being hunted down by eyeless men, it's exciting and surprising and leaves us with questions. I think we see the first potential in Turkey, a country that straddles Asia and Europe, because the show wants us to know that this isn't simply about Buffy, or American women or women in the west, but about women everywhere.

                      Just as the Turkish potential gets stabbed, we cut to Buffy saying 'It's about power', the theme of the season. And who doesn't like seeing Buffy teach Dawn how to slay? It's so cute, and Dawn is great. on. Her introduction in class and her love of early Britney is charming, and I bet everyone jumped when she was stabbed in the eye. That was a great jump scare. I like the set up of the 3 friends, with Dawn, Kit and Carlos, making us thing they'll be the new scoobies, but we've moved far beyond high school scoobies, and I am glad we're not completely reliving Season 1.

                      The brand new state of the art Sunnydale High is a great setting for the final season and a cool call back to earlier seasons, and we're clued in that the issue this season is going to involve the good old Hellmouth of yesteryear. Seeing Dawn being dropped at school is so reminiscent of Joyce dropping Buffy on her first day, but here Buffy comes in too, following her instincts that something is wrong here. Remember she told Dawn to trust her instincts, another strand that plays into the theme of power and empowerment.

                      Willow is in England and I really like seeing her and Giles together, and seeing ASH on a horse Here is Willow who has power but is too afraid to use it, feeding into the theme of female empowerment. It could be argued that Giles is helping her control her power, or trying to restrain it.

                      'Wow, check out Double O Xander,' as Dawn says. He's so grown up, in a business suit, driving a nice car. We can see that he's matured a lot from last season. He's the one with the plans, which show that the Principal may be evil. Xander is also the one who break the talisman and saves the day, while also cheered by the hole in the floor meaning more work for his crew.

                      I am not a fan of Robin. He obviously knows who Buffy is, he's done his research, yet he still finds time to undermine her because of the way she looks. (He does the same to Faith when bringing her sexual prowess into question in a later episode) Later in the episode he talks over her, cuts her off and doesn't listen to her. He talks about her chequered past, apparently judging her and finding her lacking. At one point he says 'curiouser and curiouser', so is he meant to be an innocent Alice in a Hellmouthy Wonderland?

                      We see Anya isn't feeling the vengeance vibe and is struggling to find her place in the world. Halfrek gives her some hard truths, and it's sad to see. It's also Halfrek who first mentions that something big is brewing and that it's 'a bad time to be a good guy', and for Anya it certainly will be.

                      I love how Buffy deals with the 'ghosts'. They are another thing that wants to undermine her and make her feel guilty for not being good enough or strong enough. But instead of guilt she accepts that she did the best she could but couldn't save everyone. We also see in the fight that she doesn't attack, but rather avoids, to get to the door they are seemingly protecting. This is the same evasion she will use later in the season to outwit Caleb.

                      As a Spuffy fan, I adore their first meeting since the AR and re-souling. We see Spike is suffering, but Buffy isn't particularly interested in him, saving Dawn comes first, which is as it should be. The ending, with Spike in the basement, visited by The First in the costume of every previous big bad, is absolutely wonderful and totally unexpected and really makes you look forward to seeing the rest of the season.

                      Really enjoyable episode.

                      - - - Updated - - -

                      I know this has been posted before, but I thought it had a lot of interesting things to say about the season as a whole

                      https://the-artifice.com/buffy-the-v...-season-seven/

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.




                        Lessons (B 7.01):



                        * I assume the Graveyard Scene was Buffy’s having Dawn do some ‘real-world’ training. We see in “Potential” (B 7.12) that Dawn has some formal training.

                        With her needing to deal with the Spike situation and then train the Potentials Slayer, Buffy simply felt she didn’t ‘have time’ to continue training Dawn.


                        * A notable part of the Graveyard Scene is the vampire doesn’t seem to get more powerful after drinking Dawn’s blood. Dawn’s Keyness doesn’t make her blood powerful.


                        * I’m not sure why the Buffy/Xander stuff is there outside of it showing Buffy prefers Spike over Xander and Principal Robin Wood.


                        * The “Spuffy” is surprising and shocking. Buffy in “Lessons” (B 7.01) and “Beneath You” (B 7.02) considers her relationships with Angel and Spike equal and comparable.

                        I assume Buffy’s staying away from Spike for most of those “3 weeks” is largely because she considers he might be connected to the Big Evil and the rest is because she doesn’t know how to deal with his being ensouled and his being crazy.

                        But Buffy in “Lessons” immediately tries to get Spike back in ‘the family’ by trying to have him help her look for Dawn.



                        Other notes


                        * I don’t like that Sarah Michelle Gellar’s tattoos are visible.


                        * It seems odd that Dawn was somehow friendless in “Lessons” (B 7.01).


                        * BtVS S7 greatly implies that Xander somehow got the contract to build the Sunnydale High School and the Sunnydale Library. He was running a crew in “Older and Faraway” (B 6.14).

                        I just thought this up: perhaps some magic was done to get Xander status enough that he’d get those contracts? And perhaps the Watchers Council is responsible for getting Robin Wood the job as Principal?

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          And perhaps the Watchers Council is responsible for getting Robin Wood the job as Principal?
                          We know Robin was raised by his mother's watcher, so I think the WC helping him out is very possible.

                          * I don’t like that Sarah Michelle Gellar’s tattoos are visible.
                          Me neither. Are they her actual tattos? I really don't think Buffy would get a tattoo, it doesn't fit with her character, it's much more a Faith thing to do. I cannot imagine for one second that Joyce would condone it.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Lessons: back to the beginning, and about power. Also, pathetic schmucks.

                            I don’t froth at the mouth about Lessons, but I’ve never really rated it very highly, either. Like every Buffy season opener – apart from Bargaining, which I found really dramatic and enjoyable – I feel it falls a bit flat.

                            Yes, it does set its stall out: the gang is fractured, with Buffy, Dawn and Xander in a rather sweet quasi family unit and everyone else on the outs. Thank you, sosa, for those gifs. They really make the point.

                            I’ll get Willow out of the way first. The recovering addict metaphor still, sadly, seems to be in play. Even if Giles does tell her the power she drew on is now part of her. She’s scared of that power, doesn’t – crucially – feel that it reflects who she is at her core. This will indeed be her recurring theme, she distrusts herself and her control. She is in denial about her power. She tries to see it as a separate entity from her.

                            Also, she desperately wants to be loved and forgiven by her friends.

                            Giles asks her if she wants to be punished. It’s not clear from her reply whether or not she does - “I just want to be me,” she (dare I say it) whines back at him - even if she does fleetingly refer to her blood spree.

                            However, Willow does feel the stirrings of something evil. Something connected and integral to the earth. How she learns to trust her instincts is her journey this season.

                            And I have to say I really felt Giles was quite sinister in his conversation with Willow. He patrols his estate on horseback, every inch the Lord of the Manor, seigneurial and imposing. At a greater height than anyone else, he maintains his control of his errant charge Willow. He later tries to set the boundaries of Buffy and Spike’s relationship: he tells Willow the flower she’s drawn up from Paraguay doesn’t belong here. Everything has its place and there is a hierarchy.

                            When Giles says nobody ever changes who they are and we segue immediately to Xander, are we supposed to take his word as unquestioned truth? I mean, it’s a great soundbite but if he really believes it, then what possibilities of hope for progress and redemption are there for any of his ‘children’. We shall see later on in the season if he sincerely subscribes to this inflexible world view. But we’ve already had hints of it in Restless and Cruciamentum.

                            Xander has, refreshingly, grown up. It’s good to see it. He’s fulfilling a managerial role, ironic given his lack of academic ability that he’s apparently the only one of the gang achieving material success.

                            Back to school they go, where we find the new Principal is young, charming, smartly dressed and good looking. In short, too good to be true. He immediately causes suspicion by singling our hero out. Little does she or any of us know…

                            He also has his office where the gang’s old hideaway the library used to be. Mind you, doesn’t Xander mess up when he giddily reports there are no evil symbols anywhere? And he’s definitely getting into the spirit of his new role with his “contract-y goodness” line. If that’s growing up…

                            Anya and Halfrek are great. That’s a great catch about Anya’s blouse. Her outfits seem unnecessarily demure, even dowdy.

                            I’ll gloss over the daft scene in the classroom, except to say that I feel sorry for teachers on Hellmouth High.

                            Buffy has indeed given Dawn something useful, the gift of communication. When Dawn lands in trouble with her new pals Kit and Carlos – never fleshed out and never seen again - she sends up a distress flare.

                            Buffy is confronted in the basement by angry resentful spirits who reproach her for not saving them. However, she’s not going to waste her time debating the point. She’s focussed on helping Dawn and won’t be sidetracked. Also, she’s pragmatic – she can’t save everyone. This also will be a theme.

                            Her chance meeting with Spike seems to me on another level from the rest of the episode. It’s surprisingly tender and caring. She’s never shown any signs of concern about his wellbeing before, and when she asks him why he’s cut himself, it’s a lovely if fleeting moment. But when he’s clearly too distraught to be lucid, she keeps her distance. She’s reverted to a previous stage in their relationship, where she demands and expects his aid. She has to find Dawn and that’s, quite correctly, her priority. But even in his messy state Spike helps out. Buffy cuts her losses, however, when Spike stays incoherent.

                            The final scene is in my opinion quite intriguing, and each apparition appears to reinforce Spike’s fears and insecurities. Leading one to wonder if he’s really seeing them or if he’s imagining them. They also crucially confirm that Spike really did intend to win back his soul. So I think that already gives the lie to Giles’ “nobody changes”.

                            The Master proclaims that it’s going to be a bumpy ride back to the beginning, before the Bang, before the Word.

                            The last image is Buffy, in black, declaring it’s about the power.

                            Sadly for me the initial intrigue of the closing scene was never capitalised on. I share the widely-held view that too many characters were introduced that we never had the chance to learn to care about.

                            So it’s ok, but not a sizzler. And I’m saying this as someone who actually enjoyed S6 and S7.
                            Last edited by debbicles; 18-10-19, 08:31 PM.
                            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

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X