Friday, June 19, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 5 episodes 16 and 17

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 5...breaking the normal here by watching two Buffy episodes back to back, but they just had to go together. I'll do two Angels after this.

*** SPOILERS ***

B5-16 The Body (written by Joss Whedon, airdate 2/27/01)

Wow! This one picks right up after last one's cliffhanger - with Buffy finding her mother dead in the living room. Joss does an incredible job with this one - first by removing all musical cues, etc. - so we just have real life, real sounds for a very real episode. Death happens to everyone, unexpected sometimes and hard to deal with always. We see that in Buffy's confusion, Xander's anger, Willow's uncertainty, and Anya's questioning. All very real aspects, all there through the cast. We see how a child (Dawn) has to face it and how Buffy has to try to be the responsible one. We see a bond form between Buffy and Tara that had not been there - Tara having lost her mother at age 17. I don't know if it really needed the vampire coming back in the morgue and attacking Dawn - it just pushed the fantasy realm into this so real episode. But, then again, it probably was there to put a thought in Dawn's head for...

B5-17: Forever (written by Marti Noxon, airdate 4/17/01)

First, so glad I didn't have to wait six weeks to see this. I would have gone bonkers. This episode deals with the events right after Joyce's death and her funeral. Spike coming to pay his respects rang so true for the character - she was the only one who never judged him. It was sincere, but Xander couldn't see it. Angel returns after sundown to be there for Buffy, and that makes sense. She needed his strength to get her through. Meanwhile Dawn does what any child would do - want to get her mother back, even if it means dabbling in the dark arts. Willow means well to help by pointing her to a book after she and Tara stand firm not to mess with the spells. Dawn shows her resourcefulness on getting more on a resurrection spell and the ingredients, and her courage to get the eggs from the Gorrah demon (with Spike's help). Her magic succeeds to bring back Joyce - though how so we're not sure. Buffy finds out what she's done, the girls argue and then bond over tears. Dawn realizes finally that Buffy will be there for her and cancels the spell before they find out if Joyce came back okay or not. Nice touch there. Very "monkey's paw" like ending.

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