Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Conversations With Dead People

Buffy: "Yeah. What I really need is emotional therapy from the evil dead."

Sometimes this show just shocks the socks off of me. This was one of those times.

I'm going to refer to the thing, the "from beneath you it devours," as the First Evil, because I still think that's what it might be. I'm also still wondering if it's the same evil that's about to come forth on Angel, because there's a certain devilish resemblance.

Were all of the dead people either manifestations the First Evil, or controlled by the First Evil? Cassie was, of course. I actually got chills down my spine when I realized that Cassie was trying to manipulate Willow into committing suicide. Warren was certainly the First Evil, as well. (And Jonathan's dead! Oh, no! Poor Jonathan was only there because the poor boy wanted to be a Scooby! I don't want Jonathan to be dead!)

I'm fairly certain that vampire Holden, who was just delightful, was also controlled by the First Evil, because he actually said so early on ("Feels great. Strong. Like I'm connected to a powerful, all-consuming evil that's going to suck the world into a fiery oblivion.") I really enjoyed Buffy unloading her superiority/inferiority complex and Spike issues on Holden. So Buffy feels alone and unworthy of love, and at the same time she considers herself above other people? Her affair with Spike was a way of punishing herself, huh? Yeah, I'm going to punish myself by having an affair with a gorgeous, helpless vampire who adores me, and then I'm going to dump him as painfully as possible. That works. Pardon my sarcasm.

The big question for me was, was Joyce also a manifestation of the First Evil, or did her spirit defeat the First Evil so that she could warn Dawn? ("When it's bad, Buffy won't choose you. She'll be against you.") The other manifestations certainly didn't involve all of that banging and thumping and destruction and blood on the walls and scary bodies appearing, did it? I think maybe Joyce really was Joyce. Maybe Dawn is going to be a victim of the First Evil. One can only hope.

Having Willow and Spike the two main targets of the First Evil makes sense, because the two of them are Buffy's strongest allies. It didn't get Willow this time. But it looks like it got Spike. Was Holden really sired by Spike? And did Spike really kill that young woman he picked up in the bar? How is that possible? If the First Evil is able to control the undead in the same way that it controls the manifestations of dead people, then that might explain what is happening to Spike — because there has to be an explanation. I refuse to believe that Spike went through all of this pain and anguish to acquire a soul, only to become chipless, soulless, and a murderer again.

Bits and pieces:

-- We were given a time and date at the beginning of the episode because it supposedly occurred in real time.

-- Xander and Anya weren't in this episode at all. And Spike had no lines.

-- Was the Cassie thing originally supposed to be Tara? If so, that would have been heartwrenching. I like to think that Tara didn't manifest because she wouldn't allow herself to be used by evil, like Joyce. And maybe it wouldn't have worked as well if it had been Tara. Either that, or they couldn't get Amber Benson (which we heard about awhile back).

-- Loved Andrew's translation of the Spanish "from beneath you it devours," i.e., "it eats you starting from your bottom." I also loved Andrew and Warren doing the quotes from Star Wars.

-- Dawn was destroying the house even before the manifestations. How is Buffy going to pay to replace the TV, the windows, the microwave, and the furniture?

-- Loved the thing about Scott Hope coming out.

-- Was it me, or were the mausoleums and tombstones in the cemetery scenes weirder than usual?

Quotes:

Andrew: "You're just scared."
Jonathan: "Of course I'm scared. Last time we were here, 33.3 bar percent of us were flayed alive."

Jonathan: "Wish I'd have stayed in Mexico."
Andrew: "Ah, I didn't like it there. Everyone spoke Mexicalan."
Jonathan: "You could've learned it. You learned the entire Klingon dictionary in two and a half weeks."
Andrew: "That had much clearer transitive and intransitive rules, okay? Besides, I can't keep having those nightmares."
Jonathan: "Me neither. Desde abajo te debora."
Andrew: "It eats you starting with your bottom."

Holden: "I just think you're in some pain here, which I do kind of enjoy 'cause I'm evil now, but you should just ease up on yourself. It's not exactly like you have the patent on bad relationships."
Buffy: "Wouldn't it be cool if I did?"

Holden: "Just answer me this. Whose fault was your parents divorce?"
Buffy: "Okay, you know, this is beyond evil. This is insane troll logic."

Buffy: "If you knew what I've done, what I've let myself become. My best friends don't even... you'd laugh, you heard some of the things I've done to them."
Holden: "Buffy, I'm here to kill you, not to judge you."

Andrew: "Everything's shifting around. I feel like we're in Hellraiser. I hate Pinhead."

Holden: "Oh, my God!"
Buffy: "Oh, your God what?"
Holden: "Oh, well, you know, not my God, because I defy him and all of his works, but... does He exist? Is there word on that, by the way?"
Buffy: "Nothing solid."

Once again, we got too much Dawn and not enough Spike, but it was still an excellent, creepy episode that made me even more excited about what's to come. Four out of four stakes,

Billie
---
Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.

4 comments:

Tommi said...

Woah - heavy episode! I had the feeling that this was full of hidden messages although none of them made sense to me. I do not get this "first evil" thing.
I found it very scary in the house with Dawn. I liked Buffys conversation with the vampire - It was very funny! But I cant believe Spike! I really hope that he is not actually killing these people. I dont know how he cant be because we saw him do it but then this is BTVS and things are never as they seem!
And also at Jonathon dying - NOOOOO! I have really come to love Jonathon and especially in todays episode when he talked about being in Buffys gang. I wanted to give him a cuddle! How could they kill him?!!! But yet again maybe he will live - it can happen on this programme!

Anonymous said...

Amber Beson said that she didnt want to come back incase some fans were upset seeing her again

sunbunny said...

I want to randomly complain about God maybe not existing in Buffyverse. It bugs me, not because I'm at all religious, but because if God doesn't exist, why do crosses and holy water work on vamps? Huh? Huh!?

magritte said...

A theory: I guess i'll see how wrong am in the next few episodes. We know that that which devours can take the forms of other people. Maybe it isn't actually Spike who sired the new vampire and is seen biting that woman. Last we saw (in battle with the teenage cult members), the chip was still causing him pain when attacking a human. It could be that this year's Big Bad is trying to cut out all of Buffy's allies: get Willow to commit suicide, get her to think she has to kill Spike. The intense pressure on Anya to take bigger, more destructive vengeances might have been part of the plan, too. But Anya's still been partially nullified by being human again. Even Jonathan was a potential ally, though I'm sure sacrificing him had more immediate concerns. The only one of Buffy's key support group who wasn't attacked is Xander. Maybe that which devours doesn't see him as a threat (which could be a mistake).

Not sure what to think about Joyce. Dawn has never been much of a factor in Buffy's favor, more of a vulnerability/ Maybe it really was Joyce trying to warn her of something and that which devours was trying to stop the warning from being delivered. But "Buffy won't choose you" strikes me as odd. She literally chose risking the end of the world to save Dawn last season. The only thing I can imagine Buffy choosing over Dawn would be Angel.