Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Meanwhile, back in Sunnydale . . .

As Buffy knows better than anyone, sometimes stuff happens and you find yourself so busy slaying vampires that you don't have time to do fun stuff like hanging out at the Bronze. Which is exactly why I haven't been posting on my and my intrepid co-watcher Jenn's weekly Whedonalia watching. Except it was more "grading papers" then "slaying vampires," but whatever. Semantics. The important thing is, grades are posted, work email is being dodged, and I'm back on the Buffyverse blogging train. Since I (obviously) don't care enough about my job to actually stop *watching* the show, there have been several uncommented-upon episodes since you heard from us last. Before the return of the Do's and Don't's, a brief "what you missed the last few weeks on Buffy," thanks in very large part to Jenn's emailed notes.

"No Place Like Home" (Buffy 5.5): Exposition-a-palooza. We finally get the full 411 on Dawn's key-ness. Apparently she's a ball of mystical energy (much like the aliens in The Darkest Hour, except, well, mystical and not quite as ridiculous) that has been shaped into an annoying teenager and ret-conned into the Summers house and home.

The only thing they don't explain is why the monks took the time to give her such awesome hair.

 This is to keep her/it safe from Glory, who debuts as our season 5 Big Bad.

Recognize her from Bring It On? Damn right you do.

Also, this happens:

Welcome to the Magic Box!

"Family" (Buffy 5.6): Enjoy the Whedon penned and directed episodes while you can, folks. They are few and far between as we progress through Buffy. But this one is definitely a season highlight. It encapsulates a major tenet of Joss's philosophy. (Philjossophy? Sorry. Already in the G&Ts). That is, the families we create for ourselves are much more important (and oftentimes much more authentic and supportive) than the ones we are born into. Through tracing Tara's backstory (family of fundamentalist hillbillies that think mysterious lady parts naturally translate into a propensity for demonry) and her desperate attempts to hide what she believes to be an ugly truth about herself, the episode's key moments, as noted by Jenn, are Buffy claiming both Dawn and Tara as "family." Both are, shall we say, unconventional sisters, but their love is all the stronger for it. Thanks for showing up for this one, Joss.

A family photo.

And for having Spike say he doesn't care what happens.

Also, this happens:

We are well on the road to suck whoredom. Freaking Riley.

"Fool for Love" (Buffy 5.7): One of Jenn's favorites, and definitely a highlight for me as well. Ever wonder how Spike bagged two Slayers? Wonder no longer. After a close call with a time-warped vamp straight out of episode 1.1, Buffy wonders why Slayers buy it. Spike, after a few drinks and a few bucks, is happy to explain (also because he loves her, still in the goofy sweet way and not yet in the creepy toxic way). If you are like me and never miss an opportunity to refer to Freud, you might say that Slayers are a little more prone to Thanatos than most. They have a wicked strong death drive that can unconsciously subvert their desire to live (and keep slaying), so they in some ways surrender themselves to the fang more than the vamp getting the better of them (which is kind of uncharacteristically humble of Spike to admit).

Pictured: The embodiment of modesty.

We also learn that Buffy's love for and connection to her friends and family (her drive towards Eros) is what has kept her safe so far. Cf: "Family." And thank you for joining me on this special trip through my dissertation.

Also, this happens:

William the Bloody! I would write fanfic about you!

Tomorrow, I'll let you know what Angel's been up to the past few weeks.

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