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Monday, October 29, 2012

Wrecked

[Updated May 2, 2013]

Wrecked added a lot of fuel to the fires of controversy over S6. The string of episodes from Wrecked through Seeing Red is surely the most controversial stretch in the show’s history. I think it’s fair to say that the majority of fans of the show didn’t like the magic/drugs metaphor, meaning that Willow’s story line now joined Buffy’s in the internet screaming matches debates. Two members of my family stopped watching the show after this episode.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Smashed

[Updated May 2, 2013]

Smashed was very controversial when it aired, mostly because of the fact that Buffy and Spike went All The Way, and judging from recent internet debates about the episode it remains that way today. Given that, I might as well say up front that I think Smashed is brilliant – as in top 15 brilliant – and mostly because of the whole 4th act, including the ending. Regardless of what I think of Buffy’s choice to have sex with Spike, I think the portrayal is incredibly good. The house falling down is, of course, a metaphor (Joss added it) which should give some hint about the meaning of it all.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tabula Rasa

[Updated May 2, 2013]

Because it comes right after the astonishing OMWF, and because the proverbial shit is about to hit the proverbial fan in the following two episodes, it’s easy to overlook just how good Tabula Rasa is. I’d say it’s Rebecca Rand Kirshner’s best work, and it’s the last episode of S6 before the controversy begins.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Once More With Feeling

[Updated May 2, 2013]

I’ve watched Once More With Feeling more than any other episode (Becoming and Chosen are close), and I think I like it better every time. There are so many clever, subtle points that I can’t possibly mention them all, so I’m just going to hit the main issues.

Monday, October 15, 2012

All The Way

[Updated May 2, 2013]

All the Way is a very light episode, though with some disturbing incidents along the way leading up to an ending that should be very disturbing indeed. Still, the main plot seems like fluff, but I don’t think it is. IMO, this episode serves a structural purpose similar to that in Bad Eggs. As I pointed out then, Bad Eggs had a strong sexual theme because Buffy was about to have sex with Angel in the very next episode (Surprise). The events of All the Way are setting up some events which will take place in the next three episodes. Of course those future events are All About Buffy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Life Serial

[Updated May 2, 2013]

Without straying into spoilers, I can say that I think Life Serial foreshadows some very important themes for S6, including what some of the characters will do later on. Note particularly in each of the first 3 vignettes what the nerd is trying to accomplish with Buffy and how he goes about it. As we get to later episodes I’ll come back to this; for now, avoiding spoilers limits what I can say about the episode. As this promise of future relevance suggests, Life Serial is an important episode. The additional fact that I think it’s hilarious makes it one of the highlights of the season for me.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Flooded

[Updated May 2, 2013]

I didn’t like Flooded when it first aired, nor for a long time after. I’ve changed my mind, and now I think it’s pretty good. Why?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

After Life

[Updated May 2, 2013]

I want to begin this post with a brief digression into the Hero’s Journey. While Buffy’s been on a “hero’s journey” since S1, I decided that any mention of that before After Life would spoil new viewers about Buffy’s death and resurrection. I think the steps on the Journey from here on out are sufficiently vague that I can talk about them without spoiling anyone.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bargaining 1 & 2

[Updated May 2, 2013]

I need to begin S6 with some comments about how I see the season in the overall context of the series. I saw S1-5 as tracking Buffy’s progress to becoming an adult. As I read The Gift, she dived off the tower into adulthood. The natural consequence of that reading is that S6-7 should be understood as dealing with the first stages of Buffy’s journey as an adult.