Buffy 02/18/03 - Get it done (spoilers)

I might change my mind about this episode. Right now I’m a bit confused. Part of it was magnificent. Part was… Dreck.

Pros:
Spike’s smoking again. And he’s put on his leather coat. And Buffy fessed up - she likes him bad to the bone.
Funniest line - “It’s my bone, so drop it.”
Andrew - one small scene, but he steals it yet again.
The whole otherwordly experience.
Bad ass wicca Willow.

Cons:
I used to like Kennedy, but she’s just too much in this episode. Why did they give her the role of drill sergeant? Why is she so whiney around Will?
Buffy yet again trying to give an inspirational speach.
Anya. Sorry - but her act was not good this time around.
Is that what’s on the other side of the Hellmouth (refering to final shot)?

So Buffy gets a bag full o’ goodies from Principal Wood. It used to belong to his mother and was supposed to be passed down to the next slayer, and eventually to Buffy, but he kept it, as a memorabilia (at age four? And the watcher who brought him up didn’t pass it along? And the watcher’s council didn’t know about it? Or if they did, they didn’t track it down? Yeah, whatever.) It contains a thingie to send a person (presumably slayer) back to the creators of the first slayer.

And what’s that about the last guard of the Hellmouth? Was there one before? :confused:

Maybe in the fullness of time - all these things will make sense. Right now they don’t. If I leave logic out of it, it was enjoyable. If logic enters the equation… Maybe the fullness of time will ensue next week.

Buffyscore 5/10
the bad parts really pulled the score down for what could have been a very good episode.

I thought Buffy’s speech was extremely harsh and out of line. The way she talked about Chloe was simply awful. Great message you’re sending there, Doug, everybody who comits suicide is weak, stupid, and selfish. :rolleyes:
While i love the Duster, I couldn’t help but think of Beneath You. “It didn’t work…the costume, it didn’t work.” He’s just donning new costume—a sexy new costume, but a costume nonetheless. And he’s doing it for Buffy’s sake…couldn’t he do anything for his sake? Jesus Christ.
Re: Wood, I trust him about as far as Andrew can throw him.
And don’t expect anything to be clarified next week…

[spoiler] The Slayer is the Guardian of the Hellmouth.

I suspect strongly that Buffy being the last guardian means that she will be able to seal the Hellmouth; she certainly isn’t the last Slayer, after all.[/spoiler]

bump

Hey, I’m just glad to see Spike back in the duster!

I am deeply disappointed at the Slayer origin story. I guess it may be my own fault that I assumed that “The Chosen One” was chosen by The Powers That Be rather than by three prehistoric guys. It now seems to me like the Chosen Ones are chosen at random rather than as part of some nobler purpose or grand design. We did hear from a couple of different sources that The Slayer’s powers are “grounded in darkness” or words to that effect so i guess it makes sense that the source of the Slayer’s power is a demon of some sort. really bothered by the victimization aspect woven into the First Slayer’s story. I’m really hoping that at some point we see that she chose to be chosen rather than having been taken by these men against her will. Oh goody, millenia of heroics rooted in magical rape, just the way heroes should be created. That line about “she talks more than the first Slayer did” really frosted me.

Poor Andrew. He really is trying to be a good guy but he just doesn’t have any idea how to go about it. “Where do we put our receipts?” Heh.

I find it hard to believe that the Watchers Council would allow something that’s supposed to be passed from one Slayer to the next to go missing for 20+ years. I also wonder why Buffy was the first Slayer ever to open the box with the Shadow Muppets in it.

Since when did Willow have trouble with Latin? And hey, thanks ME, for muddying the waters yet again on the whole “magic” vs “power” addiction thing. Are we to consider that Willow’s leaching power off Kennedy (and was it Dawn as well? I couldn’t quite tell) that Willow fell off the wagon?

I took the “last guardian of the Hellmouth” comment as indicating that the season (and series?) will end with Buffy’s sealing the Hellmouth and perhaps in the process losing/passing on her Slayerhood to another (or merging it back into Faith’s line, if the Dushku rumors are true?). I thought it was established, though, waaay back in S1 that the Hellmouth wasn’t “the” Hellmouth but “a” Hellmouth. I know alt-Giles referred to it as “a” Hellmouth but of course anything from alt-Buffyverse is suspect.

Has it been established whether the Neanderthal vampires are demon-human hybrids? One wonders, if they are hybrids, could they be ensouled with the same gypsy curse used on Angelus? It sure would be easy to start picking them off if instead of fighting they were rolling around in neanderthal re-ensouled angst. Maybe Willow will finally get around to perfecting that “ball of sunshine” spell she and tara were working on a couple seasons ago.

Gee, I didn’t think it was all that bad.

[spoiler] I took the episode as Buffy, Spike, and Willow (the 3 toughest members of the group) getting mentally ready for the big fight and deciding to trust themselves to be who they are.

Sure, Spike’s duster is just a costume. But I saw him donning it again as his way of symbolizing that he’s not holding back anymore and is going to allow the badass fighter to come out. Sort of his way of signifying to himself “enough with this wimpiness, I’m going to be myself now–a souled vampire who can kick serious ass!” It was Spike accepting that there’s a dark side of him (represented by the duster and the cigarette), but it’s a part of him he can channel and use.

I too think Buffy’s speech was out of line. But I don’t think it was meant to be a good thing for her to say. Rather, I think it was her reaching the breaking point and expressing her frustration and insecurity. She feels like the upcoming fight is depending solely on her, and she doesn’t believe that she can handle it.

Then, in the scene with the creators of the first slayer she made the decision that she was going to, like Spike, be herself in the upcoming fight. She decided to stick with her humanity and not accept the outside help of some demon gas thing (or whatever that was) to make her something different.

The speech was Buffy being insecure with who she is and her abilities as one, human (albeit extremely powerful) person. But, ultimately, she decided to accept herself as she is.

Likewise, in Willow’s final scene with Kennedy, she expressed that the wild wiccan side is a part of her: like Buffy’s humanity is a part of her, and Spike’s badass side is a part of him.

So I guess I saw this episode as three of the main characters coming to terms with who they are with weaknesses and all–and accepting that as part of them before they go off to fight the big fight.

I think the scene at the end was supposed to be what the creators of the first slayers showed Buffy, and it’s a scene of the forces of the first massing on the other side of the hell mouth ready to invade.

[/spoiler]

Other thoughts:

I agree Kennedy was annoying this episode (her character doesn’t seem to be very consistent) and Anya was also a bit grating. Dawn was actually useful though, and that was a nice change.

I liked Andrew’s Dr. Strangelove reference. And darn it, every spell does seem to end up with Xander getting hurt!

I don’t think the origin of the Slayer is such a bad revelation. We know that the Slayer choices can be poor: witness Faith’s defection to the Mayor. Even if the first Slayer was coerced into the role, it is not in substance different from the imposition of the obligation imposed on each subsequent girl. Fifteen-year-old Buffy Summers did not want the role, and several times over the years has chafed under the weight of the obligation. In what way, morally, is this - which we’ve all known about since the beginning - different from three tribesman picking a girl from the tribe and jamming her up with demon-based powers in order to save the world from demonic attack?

  • Rick

pepperlandgirl- I totally agree with you on your point about Buffy’s little speech. It went a little too far.

Is it me, or does anyone else like the tension between Spike and Wood?
Also, one other thing: This is the first episode where I had heard Wood’s first name, Robin. I instantly thought “Robin Hood”.

As far as this goes, I think it was an example of the army the First has put together to take on Buffy. I’m not sure if this was what you were saying or if you were saying that should Buffy and Co. fail, this army would be released on the general population.

Rick, I guess it hearkens back to the idea that maybe some higher power should be responsible for choosing Slayers. Not some random tribesmen or whatever. Like there is a Grand Design in the choices. Maybe there’s more to the story than what we’ve seen but I really feel like a prop has been kicked out from under the Slayer mythos by bringing the level of origin down to human instead of TPTB. Perhaps as I think about it more I’ll feel differently but for now I’m bugged.

I think that Buffy’s interpretation of the situation is quite off. This whole episode was filled with her and the other main characters being fairly dumb about things. She didn’t accept the power because she didn’t want to be polluted, which of course doesn’t matter because the Slayer is already carrying around demonic energy. I think that the First Slayer was willing to accept the burden and that Buffy was imposing her own view, which involves a lot of rejection of the Slayer’s darkness, on the situation.

Also the interactions between Principle Wood and Spike are quite entertaining. Both actors play it quite well and when it burts (and by god it better) it is going to be cool. On preview I notice someone else really likes it.

Over all the episode was a good idea with nice scenes but definitely could have been better written. I’d say about 6 or 7 out of 10.

When I saw that last scene, all I could think was, “Holy shit! That seal really IS a Tura Kan (sp?) vending machine!”.

You’re right, Rick.

I’m bothered by two things about it. First off, Buffy’s accusation of violation (because you’re weak!). Then she kicks their asses with the birthright they created. Sure.

Hell, if it’d produce a line of super-powered individuals with the purpose and drive to save the world again and again, especially in such a time as those three must have come from, I’d committ actual rape. I wouldn’t like it, but averting armageddon is averting armageddon.

Secondly, I’m bugged that the slayer was created, rather than simply being a fact of the universe (like gravity, or the first evil). Makes her much less impressive. Also screws with the dynamics with TFE, as now she can’t be its mirror image.

But damn, I love bad-ass Spike. Always have. 'bout time he came back.

Buffy has flaws. Some, we’ve seen her overcome over the seven years we’ve known her; others she still struggles with.

In the latter category is the “It’s All About Me” complex. It’s understandable – in large measure, things ARE all about her. But not everything. Still, she tends to impose that view on everything she encounters. It’s possible the first Slayer was a willing participant and Buffy can’t see it – and it’s equally plausible that the first Slayer was drafted.

Nor do we know what factors go into selecting a Slayer. It’s hard to imagine two more different people that Buffy and Kendra - what common element made them both called? The first Slayer may well have been picked by tribesman - we have no idea what system they set up to continue the line. We don’t know how it works, or how well it works.

One thing is clear: no matter what the criteria, one thing that doesn’t happen is a choice by the selectee. Whether the first Slayer was a volunteer or a draftee, Slayers of the modern era are most definitely drafted. Maybe some primal force of good is involved in the selection, or maybe it’s cosmic dice rolling. But we sure as hell know the selectee doesn’t get a vote.

  • Rick

Meatros–I meant the former (what you thought).

I guess I’m living in MaddyStrut’s happy la-la land of Nyquil (thought I’d better get that disclosure out of the way), but I thought the three ancient guys always knew that Buffy could break the chains and kick thier buts–but it was important for Buffy to realize that and make that choice (which was to accept her weaknesses and stay human).

Somehow, I think Buffy’s humanity–with all the weanesses and mortality of it–is going to come to play in whatever solution they find. Somehow, I just don’t think however powerful she can become it would be enough to defeat the forces shown in that final scene.

I don’t think it’s going too far out on a limb ot say that Buffy was right to reject the demon mist. ME has a bizarre idea of what feminism means, and that usually translates to “anti-men.” I think the line “You’re just men” were suppoesd to be a pretty big anvil that they have no power over her.

My first impression of the final scene was that it was the victorious demon army having already broken through and kicked humanity’s ass. But maybe they were just massing for the attack.

Was anyone else disappointed at the ending scene’s really bad CG? I mean, it seemed like cut-rate versions of the orcs from LOTR were about to invade Sunnydale.

The black smoke-thingy was nice, though.

I think Buffy is an awful leader. Terrible; has been throughout the show. No strategy, no basic tactics, no imagination in deploying her resources, no planning, and no leadership skills. As amply demonstrated by the speech she gave to demotivate her already distraught troops. That speech would have been enough to send me packing, headed to Australia to enjoy Armageddon on a beach. She hasn’t been giving orders, and now she’s pissed that they’re not out following orders? Yeah. Right. Have fun storming the castle.

Other than that, it was an average episode. I’m really glad it’s all coming to an end; I’m hoping the coming conclusion motivates the series to reach one final peak, an undead swan song of sorts. Because I’m really ceasing to care very much about the show.

Damn, I loved this episode. I’m still pumped from seeing it, maybe I’ll start seeing more flaws later, but this was easily a 9/10, maybe a 10/10.

We don’t know where Wood’s mom got it. I doubt it was Slayer inheritance, because the Watchers would have tracked it down. It might have been a family heirloom. There’s some evidence that Slayerness runs in some families, maybe Wood’s mom was a direct descendent of the First Slayer. More likely, it was something she came across in her work as a Slayer, but was killed before she could find out what it was, or before she could tell her Watcher about it.

I really liked the origin story. The rape idea seems appropriatly mythic to me. Weren’t half the heroes in Greek myth products of Zeus jumping some shepherd maid in a pasture somewhere? And she does talk more than the First Slayer. The First Slayer mostly hisses and glares. And I thought the three old guys were cool. Just because they’re human doesn’t mean they’re not agents of some higher power.

I thought it was a smart move by Buffy. She can’t let them wallow in grief and despair. Her speech got 'em pissed off. If they’re angry, they’re motivated. I think drawing larger implications from that about “everybody who commits suicide” is reading to much into it.

If the First Slayer was a volunteer, why’d they need to chain her to a rock?

Best Line of the Episode:
“Usually peaks around May.”