Monday, March 30, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 2, episodes 9 and 10

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

*** SPOILERS ***

Episodes 9 and 10: What's My Line parts 1 and 2

Synopsis: As career week at school has Buffy wondering what her future may have been like, Spike hires three professional bounty hunters to ensure she has no future at all. Then, Buffy joins forces with a mysterious Slayer named Kendra in hopes of saving Angle from Spike and Drusilla and the deadly ritual they have planned. (written by: Howard Gordon and Marti Nixon, airdates 11/17/97 and 11/24/97)

I'm reviewing the two parter together to make it a bit easier for me. This is the first one of these since season 1, and the story certainly warrants it. First, Buffy had a Dorothy Hamill obcession - nice. This is how you bring out rich backstory details of a character, in a logical and unobtrussive way. If that was SMG doing the actual skating (it certainly appeared like it in many of the scenes) then she is pretty good. We get to have some Willow and Oz time together - and even I caught the change in his hair color between episodes. Mistake? I think not! I am sure this is a clue to something I'll learn more about in a future episode. The debut of Kendra was surprising but logical (Buffy was dead after all last season). It played as a nice contrast between the two - especially since one goes by the handbook (to the letter) and the other didn't even know one existed. Also, I love how Kendra is continually surprised by how many folks know Buffy is the slayer; her American counterpart has no sense of secret identity at all. Nice to see the strain between Giles and Ms. Calendar - that makes sense given all she went through in the previous episodes. The bug guy was downright creepy - and Xander and Cordelia made an awesome team (and an awesome couple who eventually cannot deny their attraction, even though it is so "Pretty In Pink" in reverse - which would really make it "Some Kind of Wonderful", wouldn't it?). The scenes with Dru "playing" with Angel was downright sadistic. Then again, he did drive her crazy centuries back, so it is a little payback coming around. The whole Spike-Dru-Angel triangle makes for great tension. And, speaking of great, that final church battle that brought down the house - perfect. The end was even better, with the now healed Dru rising up and vowing to nurse her Spike back to health. She is one scary lady! All in all, a solid, well-round storyline.


Michael O'Connell said...

Oz! Oz! Oz!

Yeah, and other stuff happened, too.

Seth Green finally started getting eased into rotation with this two-parter, which is all goodness. His omnipresent sense of deadpan is always welcome. And he even takes a bullet for Willow! Now there's a pretty good start to a possible romance, huh? He mocks you with his monkey pants!

Love a good two-part event. This one was keen, with a lot going on. A lot more Spike and Dru, and we find out why they're really in Sunnydale...and why that book got swiped a couple episodes ago. We had to fit in some furthering of the Angel/Buffy relationship, and the beginning (?) of a Xander/Cordy one. Oh, and there's another slayer, too (!). Okay, while I really dig the idea of the second slayer and why she got "activated", and loved how she made a nice juxtaposition to Buffy, showing just how different Buffy is from the normal slayer tradition? The accent must be killed!!! The poor girl was not rocking it with that accent. It was at times quite painful. But she did a good job otherwise. Made for some awesome combat, having her around - I loved that "switch" moment in the church where she rolls over Buffy's back and they trade opponents. Very cool.

Very cool plot filled with mysteries and treasures to be found, awesome heroes-in-peril moments (Angel locked in with the sun on its way, Xander and Cordy vs. bugs (ewww!)), lots of suspense, creepy semi-sexual torture, and a big fire at the end - the best way to end a "movie". I did find occasional "huh?" moments in some character decisions, though. Like, it didn't seem like THAT big of a fire, the way they filmed it. So wouldn't you think someone would have checked to see if Spike and Dru were alive or not? And if not, you know...STAKE them? Seems they just all ran out of there pretty quick. But I chalk that up to limited budget on the fire. I suspect the writer intended it to be a real inferno. But moments like that were forgivable. Overall, great event two-parter! Oh, what WILL that wacky Dru and Spike have in store for our Scooby gang next?

Martin Maenza said...

You are an big Oz fan, aren't you? ;) I did like the "he mocks you with his monkey pants" bit. Very cute with him and Willow.

I agree - the fire was a bit tame, but they then had to crash that whole organ and they spent a bit on the bug-guy effects. So maybe they went over their budget just a tad.

Didn't like Kendra's accent? Then you'll definitely not like the 2nd and 3rd Pirates of the Carribean films. There is a character in them "dat talks de same way".