Episode 60 – Buffy

With the exception of Firelfy / Serenity, the Season 4-6 arc of Buffy The Vampire Slayer has to be Joss Whedon’s greatest achievement. Perhaps the greatest achievement of television. Ever.

Which is why people have been asking us to an episode of Buffy pretty much since we started the podcast. Clearly they wanted to hear our considered opinions, our thoughts, and our musings on Yvette’s Bridal and Dinosaur Porn. Because that’s what they’re getting. Both are more frightening than almost anything on Buffy. Except this guy.

Terrible web design, cockroach bodied demons and weird asian porn fetishes are scary enough, but to witness true horror you’re going to need to watch some Today’s Special:

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38 Responses to Episode 60 – Buffy

  1. kumarhk says:

    Whedon. Not Wheadon.

    Just sayin’.

    Now I will listen to the episode.

  2. kumarhk says:

    4 minutes in.

    Tara is not the most boring one. That’s Riley. Tara’s awesome. Maybe that’s just because I find her incredibly relatable.

  3. kumarhk says:

    6 minutes in.

    I remember all their names. Even Riley. And Andrew. And Jonathan.

    Plus, it’s pronounced Track-ten-burg.

    Yeah, I know how sad this is.

  4. kumarhk says:

    9 minutes in.

    As good as The Body is, I think The Gift is just incredible; it’s the best episode of television I have ever seen. I also think Fool For Love is in the running for Best Season 5 episode.

    But you’re 100% right when you say that none of the episodes work without the greater context of the season. Good observation. *headpat*

  5. kumarhk says:

    17 minutes in.

    What is this CSI you speak of? Is it true that people other than Joss Whedon are allowed to make television shows?! Barbaric, I tell you, barbaric!

  6. kumarhk says:

    19 minutes in.

    The relationship between Tara and Willow rang truest to me of all the relationships in the Whedonverse. The song “Under Your Spell” from Once More With Feeling embodies the reason for that pretty well.

  7. kumarhk says:

    26 minutes in.

    But Wesley is Dawn!

  8. kumarhk says:

    27 minutes in.

    I’m going to have to stick up for Dawn here. I really really love Dawn. She’s such a well-written character, and she’s not that annoying all the time. She’s really no more annoying than Season 1 Buffy was. Especially in Seasons 6 and 7, I think she evolves into a powerful character; her scenes in Grave and Potential are particularly standout.

  9. kumarhk says:

    28 minutes in.

    Angel might be boring in Buffy, but he really comes into his own in Angel the Series. Season 2 of that show is a veritable Whedon masterpiece, and they really get into the depths of his character in Season 3 what with Darla and all. That show is worth watching just for Wesley Wyndham-Price’s incredible character development though. Best arc in Whedon shows ever; only Topher from Dollhouse comes close.

    • nerdhurdles says:

      I don’t know. I have a massive Angel hurdle. He gives me a bad feeling when I look at him. You’ve said these things before. I didn’t believe you then either.

      • kumarhk says:

        The best of Angel is on par with the best of Buffy. Trust me on this one. It’s like Buffy – get through Season 1, and you’re in for some awesomeness. It’s very Tim Minear-heavy as well, which is always good. Angel Season 2 is about as dark as the Whedonverse goes; with the possible exception of Dollhouse Season 2.

  10. kumarhk says:

    I love the Trio as villains. Warren is nerd-evil embodied, Jonathan is sort of like me (sans the suicidalness and the shooting stuff and the whole Superstar thing), and Andrew is the weenie-wannabe-nerd. Andrew’s arc in Season 7 is also really really good, especially with a whole Jane Espenson episode given to him.

  11. kumarhk says:

    38 minutes in.

    You did NOT just diss The Gift. The Gift is a near-perfect episode of television. What with Intervention and all, I think they set up the finale of that episode really well. Buffy’s sacrifice felt meaningful to me (and there’s an added bit of mystery if you’ve seen Angel Season 1 that seems to be resolved here but isn’t really until the series finale); and when they brought her back, they succeeded at not making it cheap by making the consequences last till the very end.

    The Gift got me tearier than The Body. Just sayin’.

    • nerdhurdles says:

      The Gift made almost no emotional impact on me at all. Especially in relation to The Body, it seemed like a pale comparrison. Perhaps it was because I knew what was coming having seen it before. I seem to remember being non-plussed the first time around as well.

      I agree about how they bring her back though. They at least do it right. Though resurrection storylines are always cheap.

      • kumarhk says:

        I think the key there was Dawn (ha. ha. ha. See what I did there?). Dawn, who for the purposes of Season 5 was merely an extension of Buffy, was a way for Buffy to understand herself as a Slayer. And that came to a brilliant conclusion that singled out why Buffy is different from all other Slayers and champions (Angel-viewing required to understand the importance of this word). This is also why Fool For Love is such an incredibly important episode. Buffy is different because she accepts her gift; her gift which is death. This is also why she gets to come back, linking to her whole supernatural death deal. It’s all really wonderfully intricate and beautifully written, to a level at which I can’t do justice in a comment box at 12:38am. Plus, a great deal of it is interlinked with Restless (S4E22).

      • nerdhurdles says:

        While I agree with you, I simply feel the epsiode didn’t pull all that off. It was there, for sure. But ultimately I felt like I was filling in all of that for Joss instead of him actually delivering it.

        I’m not saying I want to be spoonfed my mythology, but I felt like The Gift was somewhat told in point-form and relied on a derivative, archetypal story to do the work of the storyteller. If that makes sense.

      • kumarhk says:

        I see how you would think that, but I think when looking at the episode as the final piece of a storyline, it takes together all the elements that have been building up and just draws them together. Much like Chosen, the plot just sort of comes together and isn’t really all that important.

      • kumarhk says:

        Well-written thoughts on The Gift to substitute my inability to articulate my thoughts eloquently at this late hour: http://criticallytouched.com/buffy/5x22_the_gift.php

      • nerdhurdles says:

        I don’t have a problem with the plot itself so much as the pacing of the episode. I didn’t feel I was on a desperate ride towards an inexorable and tragic outcome for the hero. Which is what I think Whedon was going for.

        I just felt kind of ignored. Nothing seems to be leading towards the final outcome, they’re just kind of sitting around. But it wasn’t the same kind of study in the banality of extreme circumstances which The Body did so well either.

        To me The Gift feels either too formulaic or, and I think this is it, not quite formulaic enough. Joss Whedon needed to hit a few more of those James Cameron buttons on this one.

      • kumarhk says:

        To me it felt like a headrush into an end with lots of stumbles to go around first, which I feel is the most realistic way to do it.

      • nerdhurdles says:

        I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree there. To me, it was a casual mosey followed by a trip into a hole.

  12. Ultact says:

    I quite enjoy Angel but I have been pissed that Buffy has been off the air for nearly 7 years (here at least)now but Angel is on twice a day, every day since 2004 (or earlier). It’s a good show, and I enjoy Andy Hallet and Alexis Dennisof but the injustice of constant Angel without Buffy is galling. Favorite episodes include the predictable: Hush (much earlier I know)and Once More with Feeling and my personal favorite I Was Made to Love You. Anthony Stewart Head FTW.

  13. I am now in the process of fully watching all of the seasons of BUFFY and ANGEL. Currently up to B5 and A2 at the moment. Don’t “slay” me for this, but those creepy guys in “Hush” felt like DOCTOR WHO villains…from a “good” DW episode! Yeah, just a feeling of quality tv making, guess they’d translate to any show with a supernatural bent.

  14. Oh yeah, just watched the episode where Riley finally f@#$s off to Central America. Thank goodness, I hated that guy.

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