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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Get it Done

[Updated May 3, 2013]

Buffy formally and dramatically took on the role of General in BotN, but she has always seen herself more as a protector than as a commander, even if she does assert authority in some cases (most recently Selfless). We saw her protector role in Showtime. Here in Get it Done, she’s much more playing the role of General; she’s having Kennedy train her “soldiers” in the back yard; she’s recruiting Wood; she’s demanding that Willow and Spike go back to being warriors.

Monday, January 28, 2013

First Date

[Updated May 3, 2013]

This being a Valentine’s Day episode (it aired on February 11), we can be sure that Buffy’s having a true First Date. What we can’t be quite so sure of is the identity of her date. It looks on the surface as if it’s Robin Wood, but I’d argue it was Spike. Since Xander is Buffy’s metaphorical heart, the fact that Xander is attracted to demons (Teacher’s Pet, Inca Mummy Girl, Anya, Something Blue, First Date) is letting us know by allegory that Buffy is attracted to Spike, not Wood. Similarly, Xander’s on-off behavior with Anya mirrors that of Buffy with Spike, particularly with Anya and Spike now comparable as “recovering” former demons.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Killer in Me

[Updated May 3, 2013]

The Killer In Me is, I think, a very good episode which could have been a great one and just misses. The basic concept is excellent and IMO Alyson Hannigan and Adam Busch both do great jobs. Part of my disappointment is that some of the Spike scenes are played almost as slapstick. Part of it is my annoyance at the lame joke about touching Giles, which bothered me a lot the first time around but which I ignore on re-watch. I, uh, won’t touch the Giles story and instead will focus on the important ones, Spike and Willow.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Potential

[Updated May 3, 2013]

Potential is a very important episode, though not really a favorite of mine. I suggested in my post on BotN that you should be asking yourself the question, what is a Potential, metaphorically? Andrew, of all people, tells us the answer here: “It's like—well, it's almost like this metaphor for womanhood, isn't it? The sort of flowering that happens when a girl realizes that she's part of a fertile heritage stretching back to Eve…”

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Showtime

[Updated May 3, 2013]

Showtime is episode 11. In seasons 3 and 5, episode 11 showed us the basic problem Buffy will face in the finale, but with a wrong or incomplete solution (seasons 2 and 6 did that in episode 14). That’s what Showtime does. I won’t give any details because of spoilers, but I can say that the wrong solution here is directly related to every single one of the themes we’ve seen in S7.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bring on the Night

[Updated May 3, 2013]

As should be obvious by now, the writers depended on the viewers having an obsessive memory for the details of previous episodes. By S7 there are numerous references to earlier seasons in each episode, and the whole plot line of S7 depends on everyone remembering the events of Amends. Bring on the Night contains a number of scenes which follow from Amends, and if you haven’t re-watched Amends in some time it’s probably helpful to do that now.
In Amends the First tried to get Angel kill himself (among other things). Here we see it work on both Willow and Spike, in addition to using the Ubervamp against Buffy. I’ll talk first about Willow and Spike, because what happens with them reminds us of what happened to Angel and thus what the First is. With that in mind, I’ll turn to the main plot of Buffy and the Potentials.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Never Leave Me

[Updated May 3, 2013]

Never Leave Me – the title quotes the words of Spike’s trigger song, “Early One Morning” – reveals the identity of the Big Bad while tying together more tightly the threads of the Spike and Andrew story lines with each other and with the seasonal arc.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sleeper

[Updated May 3, 2013]

Sleeper connects Spike’s “addiction recovery” story and the Big Bad (still unidentified). I now need to explain how Spike’s story since S4 intersects with the themes of S7.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Conversations With Dead People

[Updated May 3, 2013]

Conversations With Dead People, the second great episode of S7 – third if you include Beneath You – marks the true beginning (heh) of the season storyline, as Buffy tell us in the opening words: “Here we go.” The season’s Big Bad isn’t officially identified yet, though viewers with a good memory could be pretty sure by now. I’ll hold off until we get confirmation in Never Leave Me.