Saturday, February 2, 2013

"Intervention" (Buffy 5.18): Stuff Gets Weird

I have to say, though I never think of season 5 as being amongst my favorites, this rewatch reminds me of how skillfully the writers helming the follow-up episodes to "The Body" sensitively handle the psychological fall-out from Joyce's death. As seems completely normal, Buffy expresses some real reservations and concerns about what being the Slayer is doing to her emotionally. And she's not the only one who's having some interpersonal issues.

Not by a long shot.

So let's peruse the Buffy Guide to Self-Exploration.

DO it. Self-explore, that is. Giles, awesome as usual, takes Buffy's concerns seriously,

Seriously enough to do the hokey-pokey with a magic gourd. (The same magic gourd from "Primeval"?)

and thereby initiates a Slayer-quest that involves felines,

If it's anything like my cat, he's leading her straight to the food dish.

washed-out landscapes,

Did David O. Russell direct this?

and a cameo appearance from the first Slayer.

We all, again, try to ignore the racist depiction.

Slayer I tells Buffy that she doesn't have to worry about an inability to love, because she is love, and in fact "Love is her gift." That will be important later.

DON'T blame your self for your break-up with Captain Cardboard! Please! Stop it! Jenn takes down this persistent meme in Buffy's psychology so expertly, I'm handing this point off to her:

"There are two very good reasons as to why she could be available to Angel in a that she couldn't be for Riley. One: she had been hurt and hurt bad. Consequently, it is very natural for her to not be willing to risk such pain again. It's called emotional self-preservation. And more importantly, she wasn't there for Riley because he wasn't there for her. His inability to accept and truly respect her powers was a much more significant roadblock to their relationship. Deep down she must have sensed that she could never really trust him. I mean, how can you trust someone who doesn't have your back because he's too damn intimidated? It takes a strong man to be able to love a strong woman, and Riley wasn't ever strong in the ways that mattered. For Angel, on the other hand, it was never an issue. Not because he is a vampire and thus has his own strength, but because it wasn't ever a power play between them." Well said, my friend.

This stupid Riley picture is all me, though.

DON'T bury your pain in, well, a robot. Spike, showing his patented refusal to accept suffering, decides that if Buffy won't have him, he'll have a Buffy Bot.

The BB's "sexy" dialogue, as Jenn notes, is hilarious.

As are the different character infoscreens.
What is not as hilarious and a little strange? The rather graphic sex between Spike and the skin-job, including a visual joke that implies a blow job, gave me the wiggins, as the Buffy Bot has probably been programmed to say.

Unconventional sex will rear its, ahem, head in season 6, so again, this will be important later.

DO know where your loyalties lie. Spike, despite his robotophilia, also is the hero rather than the goat in this episode. After being kidnapped by Glory, he refuses to give up Dawn as the Key, despite a rather brutal beating

And an internal exam the likes of which no one deserves.

 But it earns him a kiss from a Real Live Girl!

This will be important, well, you get the picture.

DO know your role. This is mainly just an excuse to point out that Xander fighting the Minions is laughably pathetic. It's the lame battling the incompetent.

Reminiscent of his immortal slap-fight with Harmony.

The foreshadowing is flying thick and fast as we approach the conclusion of season 5!

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