Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Buffy: Part Two

Did y'all hear Buffy The Vampire Slayer turned 18 years old last week?

After the emotional roller-coaster of the Season Two finale (so many feels) you'd think I'd take a break from Buffy until my emotions returned to a neutral state!
Not so. I haven't seen much of Season Three before so I couldn't wait to dive in.

'But Zoe, you're a massive Buffy fan, how come you haven't watched Season Three?'

Well, my friend, I was only 7 years old when Season Three first graced the television. Crazy, right? Also, Spike doesn't exactly feature in Season Three, apart from his amazing cameo episode. So watching a Spike-less series wasn't high on my priorities in the past.

I was aware however that 'Anne' was the first episode of Three. And I remember hating that episode. So I wanted to jump straight into this Season just to get that awful Buffy-as-a-waitress episode over with.

So this is my 'I don't know what happens this season' Season Three episode-by-episode review:

Episode One, Anne:

  • First thought, 'Hello sexy short-haired Willow'.
  • Second thought, 'How selfish of Buffy to leave her non-slayer friends to fight the demons on the Hellmouth while she lives it up waiting tables.' I get that she's grieving and all, but fate-and-destiny anyone?
  • Third thought, 'Is Buffy still wanted for murder?'
  • Fourth thought, 'Does Buffy still wear her cladagh ring?'
  • Fifth thought, 'Way to spoil that Angel is still alive by featuring David Boreanaz in the opening sequence...'
  • Sixth thought, 'How does Buffy not know what a tea cosy is? Poor girl is missing out on important life experiences.'

  • Final thought, 'Anne isn't that bad. Past Zoe was a poor judge.'
  • Highlight: "You got guts. I think I'd like to slice you open and play with them."

Episode Two, Dead Man's Party:

  • Buffy is not wanted for murder. Charges have been dropped.
  • Nothing else of significance happens.
Episode Three, Faith, Hope and Trick:

Buffy and Scott <3
  • The cladagh ring returns. Gosh Josh, you really do have an answer to all of my earlier questions.
  • Is Schnieder and the mysterious Mayor the 'Big Bad' of this season?
  • I don't like Faith. But Scott is seriously cute.
  • And then there's this big twist-y ending. Dammit, I did not want to see a naked Angel.

Episode Four, Beauty and the Beasts:
  • Season Three werewolf Oz looks way different to Season Two werewolf Oz. What's that about? Did Seth Green lose his wolf suit?

  • 'Check out Scottie liking the manic depressive chick' - worst line of the show so far.
  • And Angel is back. Did he need to come back? His loss was having a huge impact on Buffy; it was gloriously significant - her lost first love. If there is a backtracking of character growth I will be severely pissed.

Episode Five, Homecoming:

  • There's a lot going on in this episode. Amid all the chaos of elections, dresses, and new characters (nice to meet you Mr Mayor), my most pressing question is ''Hey Scott, why you suddenly being a douche?"
  • SlayerFest '98 should have been the highlight of the episode. I mean, who wouldn't want to take part in something so amazingly titled? But what could have been an epic battle becomes easily forgettable, and instead we're left with a mess. 
  • And I'm not down with cheating, even if it is Xander and Willow.
  • I'm being too harsh. The episode has some laugh-out-loud moments. But overall, very confusing.

Episode Six, Band Candy:

  • I'm still angry at the Scott issue. It feels like I was dumped right out of the blue, and now I'm mad.
  • This episode is only watchable thanks to Anthony Stewert Head's performance as a 16 year old Giles. I really don't like it. I mean, Schneider is kind of adorable. But the Willow and Xander sexual tension is so, so bad. Make it stop. 
THIS moment though... 

Episode Seven, Revelations:
  • Promising title, but the episode sadly doesn't live up to it.
  • Faith is becoming more likeable, until she loses it again by the end of the episode.
  • Angel tortured Giles. Never forget.

Episode Eight, Lovers Walk:
  • I've been waiting for this episode. It's Spike's long awaited (for me anyway) return. And it's epic.
  • He makes the same entrance as he did in Season Two - crashing into the Sunnydale sign.
"He was up to all sorts of shenanigans last year. We had a world of fun trying to guess what he'd do next." - Mayor
  • Oz is really short. Not sure why I just noticed this, but yikes.
  • Willow trying to perform spells on people without their permission is super dodge. This is just the start of her problems with magic use... 
"Do you really have to resort to the black arts to keep our hormones in check?" 
Apparently, yes. 
  • This Spike is only a shadow of former Spike. Turns out, Dru left him. Totes emosh. And while drunk Spike is kind of fun, he is mainly depressing. 
"She didn't even care enough to cut off my head or set me on fire."
The most interesting bit is when he says he 'wasn't demon enough for her'. I totally called it. 
  • More Spike and Joyce time is amazing. Seriously, I would watch a sitcom of just those two. 
  • We learn the Mayor doesn't have a soul.
  • Spike dishes out love and relationship advice to Buffy and Angel:
"You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love til it kills you both."

Even Buffy has to admit it in the end:
"We're not friends. We never were. And I can fool Giles, and I can fool my friends, but I can't fool myself. Or Spike, for some reason. What I want from you I can never have." 
  • Basically by the end of this episode everyone is  heartbroken. Except Spike. Who realises his love is for violence.
Episode Nine, The Wish:
  • Anya is here and ready to impart vengeance on broken-hearted Cordelia's part. 
  • This is probably the best episode of the Season so far. In an alternate universe where Buffy never came to Sunnydale, people have learned not to leave their homes after sunset. It's a lesson that really should be carried back to reality to prevent all these teenage deaths. But anyway....
  • Vampire Willow is exquisite.
  • But overall the episode is heartbreakingly unsettling and the last minute resolution cannot come soon enough.
I hate watching my friends die...

Episode Ten, Amends:
  • Angel has a bad case of facial hair in the 1800s. Finally some clarity as to whether Vampires grow facial hair - the answer is yes! 
  • I was too busy eating my burger to pay full attention to anything that happened in the first 10 minutes... But it was a good burger.
  • Whedon finally gets around to explaining what makes Angelus so evil. He takes pleasure in every death and it's a trait from his human life. It's the man that falls short, not the demon.
  • The First is here! He's the Season Seven 'Big Bad'. 
  • This episode is rather emotional. I got a little choked. We're really on a roll of good episodes this series...
Episode Eleven, Gingerbread:
  • Two dead children? This show just got serious.
  • I've never seen Willow's mum before. That's how serious the issue of dead children is.
  • More awkward Giles/Joyce scenes for much needed humour in a heavy episode.
  • Joyce's anti-witches, demons and slayers speech raised some good points.
  • What's not to love in this episode? A perfect Whedon commentary on current (well, current in the 90s) issues like goth culture and satanic practices. In Buffy this manifests as the persecution of witches. Perfectly mixed with the Hansel and Gretel fairytale. Plus Cordelia plays the hero. I love Cordey. 
And this quote: 'Mom, I'm not an age group. I'm me, Willow.'

Episode Twelve, Helpless:
  • This episode focuses on a cruel coming of age slayer ritual as Buffy turns 18.
  • I cannot bear to see Giles and Buffy fight. Damn the elusive Council stirring shit.
Episode Thirteen, The Zeppo:
  • If Buffy episodes were titled like Friends episodes this one would be called - 'The One Where Xander is Having a Very Strange Night'.
  • Willow brought marshmallows to roast over the burning corpses of demons. I cannot process that.
  • The Cordelia/Xander break-up has been rough on me... It still hurts.
  • It may be the end of the world again, but Giles is mostly upset that the girls ate all his jellies. This was his reaction face:
Giles is so disappointed

Episode Fourteen, Bad Girls:
  • Wesley is here! And he's Buffy's new Watcher. I know Wesley from my brief time watching Angel.  
  • Faith is totally empowering Buffy. But I feel like this may not be a good thing...
  • I cant take Balthazar seriously as the episode's Bad when he just looks obese.
  • What is the Mayor made of? He's so... invincible..
  • I hate Faith. 
Episode 15, Consequences:

  • Angel Investigations is in town. 
  • Faith is total evil and teams up with the Mayor.
  • This episode is basically a premise for the Season Finale. Bored.

Episode 16, Doppelgangland:
  • Yay, Vampire Willow is back!
  • Oh, and Anya! 
  • Basically, Willow is having an identity crisis. So Whedon thought 'Hey, wouldn't it be cool if there were TWO Willows'. And it works.
  • "Bored now" is the best catchphrase. I'm saying it all the time now.

Episode 17, Enemies:
  • Buffy and Angel are on a cinema date. It's really weird. Especially because I think they watched a porno.
  • Uhoh. Angel lost his soul again. He really needs to be put down if this is going to keep happening.
  • Buffy's comebacks to bitchy Faith are the best.
  • Aaah Angel didn't turn evil. It was all a ploy to foil evil Faith. Favourite twist ever. Did not see this coming.
Episode 18, Earshot:
  • This episode has pep rallies, mind reading, and JOYCE HAD SEX WITH GILES???
  • Eww gross. But kind of sweet.
  • Willow's interrogation of Jonathan has echos of Season 4 where Jonathan tricks people into thinking he's powerful and respected. I like this foreshadowing.
  • Again with the twists I did not see coming! Whedon, you are a genius! Jonathan is not the school shooter, but he was about to kill himself. A Sci-Fi show addressing suicide - Buffy is absolutely the best. This show verges between funny and serious, real teen issues with such ease. It's magnificent to watch. 
Episode 19, Choices:

  • Oz is great. Have I mentioned that yet?
  • Buffy is being very spy-esque in this episode. All wires and bank heist like. 
  • Again we have the bad guy telling us Buffy and Angel will never work together. It's been a while. We needed a reminder of that.
Episode 20, Prom:

  • Joyce is a homewrecker. But also, the sheer awkwardness when she sees handcuffs in Angel's house.
  • WTF a wedding scene? Really? Hearts breaking, all except mine. But what a horribly oversized jacket Angel is wearing.
  • The break-up scene had no emotional affect on me compared to Buffy and Willow's post-break-up conversation. Now that was truly heart-tugging.
  • And Buffy does get her perfect High School moment. Not when Angel shows up to prom, but when she wins Class Protector. #ThemFeels 

Episode 21 & 22, Graduating:

  • The big finale is here, and Mr. Mayor is going to ascend. Still no idea what that whole ascension thing actually means.
  • Angel fails to be stealthy. Such a loser.
  • But he is also poisoned (seriously, loser). And must drink a Slayer's blood to be cured. This mean's Buffy is on the search for Faith.
  • I didn't believe Faith was dead for a second.
  • Oh hey, didn't the drinking of blood/loss of control between lovers thing also happen in the first Twilight book? Wonder where they got that idea?
  • Mayor just called Buffy a whore. 'Oh no you didn't!'
  • Yay for Cordelia's Ebola reference. 
  • I got goosebumps watching the whole school fight together against the Mayor. What a perfect ending.

Important Life Lessons learned in Season Three:
  • African Art is dangerous as it may be cursed and bring dead cats back to life.
  • All long stories are apparently not that long.
  • Mass production is a demonic invention.
  • A romance between a never-ageing demon and a normal, human person will never work. Teen dramas can stop with these storylines already.
  • You are appreciated. No matter how much you think people didn't notice you.
And Joss Whedon is a genius. 

The End.

1 comment:

  1. I love Angel and Faith! That's where you and I disagree. I love both of these characters but I also love the rest of them too. They each bring something out of Buffy and add something unique in her life. Season three had it's ups and down. My least favorite episode was helpless as I, too, hated seeing Giles and Buffy at such odds. I don't think I would have been able to trust him after that. My favorite episode is Evil Willow. I love evil Willow!