Buffy 03/25/03 - Lies my parents told me (spoilers)

Fans of James Marsters, rejoice. Let the lark hark the ode of festive times - it’s a Spike-centered episode.

I was kinda excited about a new episode. It’s been a month, since the last one, and even though Ats is having a very good run, my heart is with the original show.
Only, while watching, I found out, it isn’t. Maybe, It’s because I really don’t care to much about the character Buffy, anymore. They even try to give her a self ironic line about her inspirational speaches, but it just fell flat.
There are also so many characters now, they can’t get them to interact. Xander gets a line, Andrew another Awful!Kennedy a third, but it seems all these actors are milling about and then the directer just throws away the odd line, to whoever semmes to be standing closest to where they are shooting.

The main story about Spike works quite well, it’s just that whenever the epsidode moves the focus to any other character, it falls apart.

On to the plot - Giles is back (yay!) and a bit wary about Spike. So he’s got a gizmo that crawls into Spike’s brain to check out if that trigger thing is still active, and if TFE can get him going.
After this, there are some choices to be made and even though this is in the horrid black spoiler box, I won’t give away the major plot points / misdirections here.

Quite a few flashbacks, of Spike’s life and more depth to his character, which is nice. Drusilla is back, briefly, and she’s always fun to see, though not very twisted.

Anya has one, stupid line and I can’t see why they even bother trying to keep her in the Scobby gang. It’s not as if the writers use her.

And BIG BIG problem with continuity this episode. I normally don’t care to much, but when it’s a tie in, with Ats, when they finally have the rule about crossovers lifted, they let it slip away.

spoilers for the last three episodes of Ats You’ve been warned.

The episodes with Faith, in Ats, all took place during a single day/night. Faith broke out of jail during day. She and Wes went to L.A., where it was dark, with the sun blotted out. Faith fights the Beast, and Angel. The Beast dies, sun comes back, Faith takes a shower at Wes’ place, goes out to track down Angel, finds the junkie and fights, still the same evening. They are both knocked out and the rest of the mini arc is played out during a few hours. I was a bit bothered about Willow showing up, so fast, but I guess driving could take a couple of hours.
But why does she receive a phonecall (a week later) in Sunnydale during daylight? Her comments to Buffy indicates to us, the viewers, that she knows she’ll meet Faith. Sloppy, sloppy, IMO.

Also - where are the damned cell phones. It’s 2003, the apocalypse is coming. Everyone should have a cell phone.

Buffy-Score 4/10
Spike-Score 7/10

It’s still among the best on TV, so I enjoy it. But this week felt like a filler. And it’s three weeks till next episode, so I guess it was just that.

It’s not filler. Unfortunately becaues of its placement it feels like “filler”, which is fear I’ve had since we got the shooting script and found out the air date.Having read the scripts for the next 4 episodes, well…I don’t think it’s filler at all.

I also thought it was an absolutely brilliant episode—unfortunately some of the brilliance got cut, especially in the Giles and Buffy conversation.

I thought it touched on issues of what a Slayer is and where her responsiblities lie. Was Spike right? Did Nikki really not love Robin? Is the Slayer destined to be alone?
It also beautifully explores Spike/William, and his internal conflicts for the past 120 years—namely the possible guilt of turning his mother and the lasting effects that had on him. He’s love’s bitch–is it because he felt that nobody ever loved him?
It also touched on redemption. Would Spike be redeemed if he let Wood kill him in vengeance? Was Wood right to seek revenge on the “monster” who killed his mother? Is that monster even alive anymore?
It reaffirmed the importance of the soul to Buffy. It also brought up the startling revelation that she would, in fact, kill Dawn if she had to. What changed? Why would she be willing to do it now but not then? Who else would she be willing to sacrfice for the mission? Did htat statement confirm Spike’s declaration that the Slayer is always alone…that she doesn’t love her family? Is Nikki/Wood analogous to Buffy/Dawn?
What’s going on with Giles? Why would he try to kill Spike now. Though he’s never been fond of Spike, he’s never actively tried ot have him killed, not even after THe Yoko Factor. Why now? Is the soul meaningless to Giles after the whole Ange/Angelus fiasco? Or does he see his slayer falin gin love with another vampire and wants, as he says “something better” for her? Is the quest to give Buffy the elusive “normal” life that is fleeting for a Slayer worth killing her best warrior and someone vital to the mission? Was it worth having Buffy “shut the door” on him?
And what does that mean? Did Buffy just shut Giles out of her whole life or just her private life? He’s still there in the final episodes, but it’s apparent that there is extreme tension.
So in Lies, who was right? Spike? Buffy? Giles? Wood? What are the implications for their decisions? What are the lies that Giles told? What are the lies that Nikki told? How will this affect THe Mission and the loyalty and solidarity of the vital Watcher/Slayer dynamic?
How will it affect the relationship between Spike and Buffy? How will breaking the trigger and “finallY” figuring it out affect Spike? Will he no longer be Love’s Bitch–or is that possibly his best quality? And why would they bring this up now…?

I tihnk to pass this episode off as filler would be short-sighted indeed.

I loved this episode. It had some of the peppy wit that has been missing for so very, very long on the show (I laughed long and hard out loud at one point). Giles and Buffy’s exchanges were lovely to watch - there is definitely a father/daughter dynamic there (which is kinda funny, because the BtVS re-run that was on earlier tonight was the one where Buffy finds out that Giles and her mother had sex - twice).

Spike and Buffy were also a joy to watch - that is one fascinating dynamic they have there. And there was also one of those rare glimpses when you get to see why all the characters on the show think Buffy is such hot stuff (she usually seems like the least interesting character on the show to me - spout clichés much?)

Continuity, schmontinuity. I think next week will catch Willow and Faith up with the Buffyverse timeline and all will be fine again. Speaking of Faith, she is about the only character more boring than Buffy. Being a tough chick doesn’t have to mean that you can only talk in clichés, does it?

Pepperlandgirl.
I agree with everything you wrote in the box. It’s just that I don’t really care about the charactar Buffy. The way she’s acted during most of this season, and part of season 6 - her wants and needs are not interesting anymore. I care about Willow, Xander, Spike, Anya, Giles. Hell, I even care some for the fate of Dawn. But not Buffy.

featherlou:
Have you seen Faith on Angel, this time around?

Gaspode - yup. Still boring, still cliché spouting.

Just so y’all know, despite the naysayers, I appreciate you using the spoiler boxes until the episode airs for us normal folk. I like to read your non-spoiler comments before the show so I build up my anticipation.

Thanks

God Featherlou, I couldn’t agree more. Faith served a purpose on S3—albeit, an annoying one…but now? Booooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnngggggggg!
Gaspode, I understand why you don’t care much for Buffy anymore. I tend to think of her as Scarlett O’Hara—I don’t like her as a person, but I can respect her.

Well I’ve never been very fond of Buffy to begin with. She’s annoying, self-centered, not too bright and often just bitchy.

I do very much agree with Gaspode on there being too many characters. And a lot of them lack the “Scooby Feel”. Oz and Cordy actually felt part of the team even though they were kinda “second tier” members. I can’t say that about anyone else nowadays.

Anya is useless and annoying. She must go. Actually, she never should have showed up to begin with. Dawn must shut up. And go away.

My favorite character on the show has always been Willow, because she has developed so radically over the course of the show. Xander and Giles are next, with pouty Buff coming in last.

Of course, this is still on Buffy scale, which means I have to rate even the stuff I don’t like higher than stuff I do like on other shows.

Eh. We shall see. 8.5 hours to go …

I guess it’s just that she’s been down that road soooo many times before, and I think the stories of the other scoobies are moore worthy to explore, at this point. Anya and Xander are just floating around, we got to see the morally ambigous(sp?) Giles this week, and I like that, but I want to see more of Giles. Spike finally got an episode, which was long overdue. This should have been among the firts five of the season, when he came back. Willow is sorta floating around too, but a lot of last season was about her, so I guess that’s ok.

However, Buffy’s mission and the way she acts is starting to grate. Get chosen already and get your reward.

Also, the library and The Magic Box where good for the talk-talk scenes, but the Summer’s house is not.

Is Giles going back to being librarian?

Oh, and it was sweet to see Spike finally kicking the damned Wood’s ass (apt name - very wooden. Could give acting tips to B).

Faith is not boring. She is more of a slayer and she can really throw those punches. I’m happy she’s arriving.

I’m not. She’s just one more character sucking up screen time from the group of characters who should be getting their stories wrapped up. We only have five episodes left and instead of focusing on the Core Scoobs, Anya and Spike, we get Faith—a recurring character from 4 years ago that not many people even like that much anymore.
Yippy! Now we don’t have to worry about Willow coming to terms with her magic, Xander coming to terms with being ordinary, Dawn’s keyness, Anya growing into someone who isn’t a bitter, whiny bitch, or Buffy learning how to balance slaying and living, or Spike’s redemption. Instead we get Faith and Wood (who isn’t going anywhere) sucking all the time up along with Kennedy and the rest of the potentials.

I found this at The Bronze Beta, a quote by David Fury, re this week’s Buffy, and continuity/crossovers.

[spoiler]Fury says:
(Mon Mar 24 19:56:00 2003)

Hello, PB people…

Just a quick explanation about tomorrow night’s ep. and a certain phone call Willow gets to come to LA.

UPN changed the airing schedule during shooting, unfortunately, screwing up our timeline. (The trouble with crossovers between rival networks. Neither cares what the other’s doing.)

In any event, I would suggest you view the installment as a “prequel” to last Wednesday’s ANGEL. Okay?

Thanks. That is all.[/spoiler]

I found this at The Bronze Beta, a quote by David Fury, re this week’s Buffy, and continuity/crossovers.

[spoiler]Fury says:
(Mon Mar 24 19:56:00 2003)

Hello, PB people…

Just a quick explanation about tomorrow night’s ep. and a certain phone call Willow gets to come to LA.

UPN changed the airing schedule during shooting, unfortunately, screwing up our timeline. (The trouble with crossovers between rival networks. Neither cares what the other’s doing.)

In any event, I would suggest you view the installment as a “prequel” to last Wednesday’s ANGEL. Okay?

Thanks. That is all.[/spoiler]

Nicely put. I click on the thread at 2-3 times before the episode starts, I love getting all the excitement without the spoilers.

I spoiled myself for Buffy and Angel last year, and I’ll never do it again (not that I can :(.) It really hampened my enjoyment of the season. Do those of you who get spoiled regret it afterwards?

Today is also the Feast of the Annunciation, which means I’ll be in church when LMPTM airs here in Vegas, so I’m having my mother tape it for me.

I’m with pepper and Gaspode. Most of the episodes this season have felt like filler to me. Everybody has a story, none of the stories are being told. Instead we get the SIT’s taking up valuable screen time and this week’s round of Kick the Spike. I’m glad to see that Spike has been getting his rocks back the past few episodes, but really. Leaving him stuck in the basement for the first six episodes, then having him chained in another basement of sorts being tortured for two episodes, then TKIM…

I thought Spike’s redemption was going to be a major theme this season. And after Willow flayed a guy alive and tried to destroy the world, I thought there were going to be some major issues for her as well. The only character whose story has been halfway told is Anya, and that was way back in “Selfless”. Haven’t done much with her since, except for having her and Xander shag in Spike’s bed in “Storyteller”, then we didn’t even get to see Spike’s reaction to smelling Xanya funk on his sheets. And Dawn’s Keyness has been all but forgotten about, and I really hoped that would resurface this season.

You’d think if ME knew this was more than likely going to be the last season for BtVS, they would want to make damn good and sure it was a great season, what with exploring Spike’s redemption, Willow’s redemption and coming to terms with her magicks, Dawn’s Keyness, Xander being the guy who goes for donuts and puts the house back together, Anya’s redemption, Andrew’s redemption (I’m actually enjoying having him around for comic relief), and Buffy’s probably not having the shelf-life of a Cheeto.

Instead, we get chains, basements, football jackets, boring SiT’s, uninspiring speeches, Faith, Angel…

And how come balsamic vinegar comes in such damn tiny bottles?

Wow. Gaspode really had me casting a weary eye towards this episode, but boy, oh boy, I really liked it.

Very good.

I thought it was a great episode. I thought I knew Spike, but boy howdy, there’s even MORE to that guy than I thought there was…

Think about the guilt he’s carrying over killing his mother not once, but twice! It is now more obvious to me than ever that Spike’s essential nature was not evil, even post-embrace. His first thought upon becoming a demon was to save his mother’s life, for god’s sake. When she proved more the demon than he ever was, he had to dust her off and spent a century or so trying to live down all the things she said to him about being soft, weak, and pathetic. It all makes sense now.

Then we have Robin and his mommy angst pathos: did Nikki love him? Yes. But she did not put him first, as one would expect a mother would. I think Spike correctly pointed out that Wood had no right to be angry at him, per se. If he didn’t get Nikki, someone else would have, unless she quit the life. It was Nikki he should be angry at, not Spike. A tough lesson to learn, and interestingly enough, it was the reverse of the lesson Spike learned, which is that his mother did love him and that he should NOT be angry at her.

As for why Buffy would now kill Dawn if necessary… well, she now knows for a fact that there is a heaven, or some approximation thereof. Maybe that would enable her to sacrifice Dawn for the world. Just speculating.

Who was right at the end of Lies? I think Spike was close to right. Too harsh for my taste, as I think Nikki loved Robin as much as she could, but not enough to walk away from the mission. Buffy was right too: the mission comes first, and Spike helps the mission… but did you catch that look on her face upon finding Spike OK, as he was walking away? The woman was saturated with relief. She loves him. That’s what Giles was afraid of, but he stepped over the line this time…

OK, episode over, spoiler boxes off!

I’m always up for more Spike backstory, although I must admit my first thought upon the start of the NYC flashback was “dammit, retcon!” Proved wrong, thankfully, but I found the “nice coat” line poor. Yeah, we got it, the coat. I did like that the coat went back and forth between Wood and Spike.

I was deeply disturbed by Giles’ betrayal of Buffy. This was painful to watch. Far from being a rehash of the “sacrifice Dawn or not” conversation, this was as much a test as what the Council put her through back in S3 (the only other time Giles betrayed her) and this time she failed. She isn’t ready to sacrifice Spike yet and may never be (which is why, were the show going another season, I’d want to see Spike dusted). My local station stepped Giles’ first couple of lines in the segment where Buffy realized she was stalling him; anyone care to spoil them for me?

Oh, and by the way, how exactly did William and Dru get into the house? William shouldn’t have been able to enter and even if he had he shouldn’t have been able to invite Dru in. Mom didn’t invite them; she was surprised to find them there. Why is there always some sloppy bit of business like this in every freakin’ episode?

I bet there was a maid or some other domestic who bit the dust letting them into the house, Otto.

I liked that this episode gave us a little humor peppered in with the intensity and action of acts three and four–Buffy’s lines with the vamp while Giles was trying to stall her were nicely written in a S3-4 kind of way.

I was so angry at Giles tonight. Because he hasn’t been a regular for the last two seasons, we haven’t really seen how events have affected him. And I can see the rationale that led to setting Spike up, but he was so callous I started to hate him.

You guys are making me sad in this thread, as it hadn’t occured to me that there was so little time left before the finale. I, too, had been hoping for more redemption this season for Anya, Andrew, Willow and Spike alike. But now I’m realizing that we’re going to barrel through these last few episodes. In all likelyhood, the Plot Machinery will creak along and then it’s going to end and, barring a big surprise, fanfic will be the vehicle for any satisfying character resolutions. Damn you all!

Question: Was Cecily’s last name ever mentioned in Fool for Love? I was convinced that the one we got tonight was a continuity error, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that the name I have in my head (Adams) might be some fic writer’s invention.

I was under the impression it had to be a permanent resident who allowed a vampire in.