Wednesday, April 15, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 3, episode 7 and 8

Continuing my review of season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

*** SPOILERS ***

Episode 7: Revelations

Synopsis: With help from Faith's new Watcher, Buffy tries to destroy the legendary Glove of Myhnegon before it falls into the hands of the demon Lagos. (written by Douglas Petrie, airdate 11/17/98)

Any episode that starts with uncomfortable coupling and syncronized slaying is going to be a lot of fun. Add that to Faith's new Watcher, Gwendolyn Post, showing up before we even get to the credits and you know this one is going to do a lot. Interesting that Angel knows about Lagos and how to find the missing Glove. He really wants to help Buffy to further return into her life. Willow and Xander continue to wrestle with the attraction between them - luckily Giles is always with his nose stuck in a book to catch them. Faith goes it alone and gets her butt handed to her by Lagos. Xander goes it alone and discovers the secret that Buffy has been keeping. The gang intervention showed a lot of everyone's personalities - Oz staying laid back, Cordelia showing self-concern, Xander showing jealousy, Willow showing her good-natured helping and Giles showing his complete disappointment in Buffy's judgement. Xander realizes how to manipulate Faith to do the dirty work - to kill Angel, but everyone is caught off-guard by the other betrayal. Mrs. Post was definitely one of those untrustworthy souls. In the end, Buffy and Faith appear to have some trust issues of their own - which can't be good.

Episode 8: Lovers Walk

Synopsis: Spike returns to Sunnydale and kidnaps Willow so she can create a magic spell that will make Drusilla love him once more. (written by Dan Vebber, airdate 11/24/98)

I loved everyone's reactions to the SATs. Spike returns to Sunnydale exactly in the same manner as his debut in season 2 - running through the town sign with his car. But this time he is drunk, depressed and thus dangerous. Nice touch with Oz and the PEZ dispenser gift - perfect. Even cuter was Willow wanting to find a little Werewolf one so the Witch and he can date. No surprise: the Mayor knows Spike is back in town and wants something done about it. The line that he'd sell his soul if he hadn't already speaks volumes. This is a fun character this season. Back to Spike and his plan: kidnap Willow and make her create a spell to get Dru's love back. Not even heroic Xander can stand against this vampire scorned. Great scene with Spike and Joyce - funny he'd go talk to her of all people, but I guess he sees her motherly ways and needs that. Loved how Angel was stopped short at the door - that is until Buffy invites him back in, thus reversing the "keep out" spell from season 2. I loved that Oz could smell where Willow was - now that is love! The teaming of Spike, Buffy and Angel was an interesting one - as the trio kick vampire butt and Spike schools them about the ways of love. He knows he is "love's bitch" and that Buffy and Angel can never be "just friends" at this point. In the end, the fight makes Spike realize what he's been doing wrong - he doesn't need a spell. He just needs to man-up and force Dru to see why she should love him. Ah, vampire love. Willow and Xander are found out, with Oz getting hurt emotionally and Cordelia getting hurt both physically and emotionally. Damn - I almost fell for the classic "funeral fake-out" - for a couple seconds. In the end, all of the lovers walk as the three couples all fall apart and everyone is left alone. Sad indeed.


Michael O'Connell said...

REVELATIONS: Ooh, heavy emotion AND action episode. Nice! Loved to hate Ms. Post right from the get-go! Condescending wench! Dissing on Giles...AND the library! Lots of great tension...and mostly when Xander finds out the big secret. REALLY tense intervention. Wow. Great chance to get a lot of conflict between these characters. And great manly Xander stuff...particularly in the meet-up with Faith, and the choice to take out Angel. Man, Giles gets knocked out a LOT, doesn't he? I like how they showed how serious a head-wound can be, and didn't play it just as your usual easy TV/movie knockout. Oh, that Post is GOOD...fools EVERYbody. And stages a nice BUFFY FAITH THROWDOWN! Price of admission...right there! Great fight! Great finale to an awesome ep. Loved it.

LOVERS WALK: As I told you, I came into the show in season 3. So this was my very first exposure to Spike. SOLD from the get-go. Having watched the first two seasons, finally, the ep means so much more (as does his entrance, driving through the sign again). LOVED how well he played the jilted, broken guy, torn apart by a breakup. Most of us have felt that pathetic after being jilted at least once.

I thought the SAT stuff was great, too (another high school staple brought into the show). Not quite sure I'm buying not-great-grades Buffy doing so well, but hey...make for a nice story complication. As in, waving a future in front of her that she may not be able to have.

Spike and Joyce - once again, they make for a great scene together ("Do you have any of those little mashmallows?"). Love how Angel showed up and, for all Joyce knew from previous history, Spike was the ally and Angel the bad guy. All the stuff with Spike taunting Angel behind Joyce's back was comedy gold. And the team-up! Spike, Angel and Buffy, fighting (reluctantly) on the same side...and Spike being there to shine a depressing light on the future (or lack thereof) of their relationship.

And the Xander/Willow thing, with Oz and Cordy showing up. Yes, that was a BRILLIANTLY played fake death scene, funeral tease and all. I, too, the first time I saw it, fell for it since it was pulled off so well. Way to make us actually care about Cordy. Oh, the Whedon angst! Both happy couples shattered! Ouch! Paradise lost. No one happy by the end...except the rejuvenated Spike. PERFECT character exit, the driving away! Yeah, I became a mega Spike fan right here.

Martin Maenza said...

Buffy must be like Cordelia - they both do well on standarized tests. Either that or Buffy did a good guessing job with the patterns on the answers. ;)

Michael O'Connell said...

Maybe one of her prophecy dreams gave her all the answers...