Saturday, June 20, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 5 episodes 20, 21 and 22

Completing my viewing and reviewing of Buffy season 5 (it made sense to view these all in a full block):

*** SPOILERS ***

B5-20 Spiral (written by Steven S. DeKnight, airdate 5/8/01)
B5-21 The Weight of the World (written by Douglas Petrie, airdate 5/15/01)
B5-22 The Gift (written by Joss Whedon, airdate 5/22/01)

Episode 20 was a bit out there, for me. Okay, first we get that looney tunes moment (thanks for pointing it out, Anya) when Glory asks "Any last words?" and Buffy says "Truck". That was cute. Anya then suggests running and Buffy agrees. So, it's the roadtrip from hell in the worst camper ever. I love when Xander drops the comic references for us geeks (with Sgt. Rock, twice) and the fact that he gets car sick on roadtrips. Then, it gets surreal with the Knights on horseback chasing down the camper. Saving grace: "Aim for the horsies". Giles gets impaled (shades of Walsh!), causing the wreck. Then they have to hold up in an old gas station with only Willow's ever growing magic to keep the army out. It all just felt so odd to me. And, of course, we have to get Ben there so he can become Glory and take Dawn. Not a good one for me at all.

Episode 21 was a bit weird too with the whole catatonic Buffy and Willow going into her head. Sure, we get to find out why she hasn't been up to par, how all this has been weighing down on her, and a reminder that "death is Buffy's gift". The back and forth of Glory and Ben fighting with herself/himself was really out there too. At least this one had more focus than the previous one did, for me. In the end, Giles points out that the only way to stop Glory is to kill Dawn - the very last thing that Buffy does not want to do.

Episode 22, of course, is written by Joss as most season enders are (and it was the 100th episode to boot). He gets to pull it all together. This one, I understand, was first considered a series finale so why not go out with something big. Of course, we all know it wasn't - but it had pieces of that there. We get elements from earlier in the season brought back in (the Dagon Sphere, Olaf's Hammer, "Summers blood") as well as resolutions needed: Willow using her powerful magic to not only slow Glory down but to restore Tara, Spike being allowed back in Buffy's home - a sign of how far their relationship has come, Xander and Willow having one final romp before the end of the world (just in case) and then his proposing to her, and one more appearance by Doc (Joel Grey). The fight was good, as was Giles doing the one thing heroes don't do: taking care of Glory while in Ben form. The sacrifice Buffy makes and her speech was very moving (okay, I teared up a bit - I am such a sap) but it seems like there will be a lot of mess to clean up afterwards - some nasties did bleed out when the portal between realms was open.

All in all, mostly a good season with a few clunkers in there along the way. Naturally, things are going to be a bit different when season 6 starts. But that's what gives the show new blood.

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