Thursday, June 25, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 6 episodes 1 and 2

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

B6-1: Bargaining, part 1 (written by Marti Noxon, airdate 10/2/01)
B6-2: Bargaining, part 2 (written by David Fury, airdate 10/2/01)

When the show moved over to UPN in season 6, they opened it up with a two-part, back-to-back showing of two new episodes. On the DVD set, it is presented as one whole story. Thus, the joint review here on my part.

First up, no Giles in the credits - a big change. In the episode, it is explained why in that Giles is going back to England since he feels his work is done (and feels he has failed in his Watcher duties because his Slayer died in action - the worst thing ever). He doesn't leave though until he has one last vamp hunt with the whole gang, where Willow shows she has taken command due to her magical skills and determination to continue Buffy's good work (a way to deal with the grief). He also turns the Magic Box over to Anya, to run the business in his absence (to which she is delighted to do). The farewell scene at the airport is moving in that the "father" has to bid his kids goodbye. Loved Tara's gift - "grrr, argh...".

Of course, the big focus is Willow's determination to bring Buffy back from beyond. Though they buried Buffy's body, Willow feels her soul - her essence - is still out there. And even though she and Tara have taken to raising Dawn and she has become primary repairer of the Buffy-bot, Willow is still feeling survivor's guilt over Buffy's death. She descends to the dark arts and to killing an innocent fawn all in prepartion to save her lost friend. There is no doubt that Willow's heart is in the right place. And she even knew the spell would test her - with physical manifestations. She knew and she told Tara, knowing Tara would keep Xander and Anya focused so the spell could work. But, that darn Buffy-bot and its homing circuit - it leads the biker-demons back to the graveyard to disrupt the spell.

I get Buffy's shock and fear when waking up inside her coffin. I've had dreams similar to that - a lot when I was younger. That helps add to her disorientation when she finally claws her way to the surface. I like how the camera showed us "her vision" wasn't clear when we saw things through her eyes. Of course, it is Xander who quickly realizes they screw up - that they didn't unearth Buffy's coffin first. They were to blame for part of the trauma she was feeling. It takes Dawn to help Buffy's head clear, when they talk on the tower. Only when Dawn is in true danger does Buffy fully snap out of it - to save the person she sacrificed her life for at the end of season 5. So, she's back but it clearly isn't a happy thing for Buffy. I can't imagine someone would be completely recovered in an instant from all that - it'll take time. That sets up the season nicely.

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