Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Graduation Day, Part One" (Buffy 3.21): Stuff gets real

A two-part season finale penned and directed by Joss the Great? Yes, please. Graduation is approaching and  faculty and students alike are phoning it in:
Best lesson plan EVER.

Also, the Mayor is eating spiders, and Angel is putting the hot in running hot and cold. I think we need a Buffy guide to surviving senioritis and vanquishing your enemies up in here!

DO trust your instincts.
Though it's tempting to surrender to the nostalgia machine that is high school graduation, don't let it overwhelm you.
Trust us Wills, there's a good reason you weren't friends with Harmony.

DON'T be overconfident.
He's not even a demon yet, and the Mayor is walking around the Sunnydale High library like he owns the place. Sure, being invincible does help when threatening to eat Buffy in Giles's territory, but his swagger might be making him a bit neglectful of other, non-physical threats.
You won't be so demon-may-care when Faith is in a coma.

Sure, he's got Faith tying up loose ends (i.e., killing people), but mortally wounding Angel is not the same as taking Buffy out of the equation. She leaves her sweaty, shirtless, semi-ex (a superhuman feat in and of itself) to acquire the antidote to the poison arrow that's killing him . . . even though that antidote happens to be the Slayer blood that is currently coursing through Faith's veins.
I forgive you for the sewer break-up. Almost.

DO put away childish things.
Though Buff is meh on graduation itself, she achieves a different sort of developmental milestone when she QUITS THE WATCHERS COUNCIL. She'll put up with sadistic rituals and Wesley, but don't stonewall her when she's trying to save the love of her life. You won't save Angel, Quentin Travers? She'll do it her own damn self, even if she's got to shiv Faith to make it happen.
Pictured: Buffy's big-girl pants.

DO panic.
And by "panic," I mean have sex with Oz. In the midst of all this high angst and drama, Willow loses her V-chip to our favorite lycanthrope.  No better way to prepare for the coming apocalypse, I say.
A post-coital hair stroke for which I would gladly suffer an Ascension or two.

This episode leaves us with Faith gutted but breathing, Angel feverish and dying, and Oz as hot as ever. Join us on Monday for the Slayer-draining, big-snake-fighting, high-school-destroying finale of season 3!

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