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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Family

Giles: "You're in a magic shop and you can't think what Tara would like. You're both profoundly stupid."

I have to give Joss Whedon credit for surprising me. I was all ready for Tara to (1) be a demon, and (2) break Willow's heart – and I was wrong both times, and happy that I was wrong. The last thing I want is for Willow and Tara to break up, especially now that they're living together and have adopted a cat, like any other good lesbian couple.

Have y'all noticed that when members of the gang talk about Willow/Tara and their Wiccan involvement, there is also obvious double entendre-ing going on about their romantic relationship as well? In this episode, I think it happened three times which is even more than usual, with the most obvious example being cousin Beth berating Tara about her "lifestyle."

Tara's family are the kind that are best kept several thousand miles away. It was clear that they wanted her back for selfish reasons and certainly not for Tara's own good. That last scene, with all of the gang standing up for Tara and taking her into their hearts, was endearingly corny and wonderful and made me say "Awwww!" out loud. I especially enjoyed Anya asking Tara's family for clarification about demons.

James Marsters still manages to steal just about every scene he is in. It was a hoot to see Spike fantasizing about fighting Buffy while he was actually on top of Harmony, and even better having him secretly rushing to Buffy's rescue. I love this plot point, love it, love it, love it. It was even endearing when he punched out Tara in order to end the debate.

Riley noticed that Buffy wasn't confiding in him, and he continues to be bummed. He did get a good line in Willy's bar, though: "Oh, Sandy, Sandy, it's no good. My heart belongs to another. Besides, I don't go out with vampires. They're never interested in my intellect."

Even more bits and pieces than usual:

— Wasn't Sandy in "Doppelgangland"? [Yes, she was.]

— I'm glad Buffy is taking Giles into her confidence again. He really needs to know what's going on or he's useless to her.

— Were they having a Scooby meeting in the earshot of customers? Wouldn't this be a bad thing?

— Xander looked more manly and less geeky in this episode. This is a good thing.

— Xander and Riley wrestling.

— Is that intern going to be a continuing character?

— Tara's hair is definitely darker.

— Dawn's hair looked messier and a lot more normal in this episode, and I rather liked the way she raced around the Bronze as kids do, and the way she stood up for Tara.

— And still speaking of hair, Spike's stunt double's hair made him look like he was obviously not Spike.

— Speaking of stunt doubles, does Sarah have a new one? It used to be easier to tell Sarah from her double, but it's not that easy any more. This is another good thing.

— I have to nitpick about something. All of the characters, except Dawn, were drinking alcohol at the Bronze. Are they all twenty-one now? Didn't they just graduate from high school less than two years ago? I don't remember them all having stamps on their hands before, either. I know, bitch bitch bitch, but BtVS doesn't usually make continuity mistakes like this.


Buffy: "And besides, Melinda's a bad influence. I don't like you hanging out with someone that ... short."
Dawn: "I am so glad you're moving back into the house. This is the source of my gladness."
Buffy: "She makes me crazy."
Riley: "That's kind of the word I was searching for."
Buffy: "What? She shouldn't be going over there."
Riley: "Yeah, a lot of young people nowadays are experimenting with shortness. Gotta nip that in the bud."

Three out of four stakes for a really good episode, and I am extremely jazzed about seeing my four favorite vamps doing a flashback crossover next week,

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


  1. I don't care if one of them is played by Amy Adams, Tara's family all need to die slow and painful deaths. Emphasis on the painful.

  2. That ending scene with the gang standing up for Tara in the Magic Shop gets me every time. I had an awful stutter growing up and was full of insecurities and very shy, so I think I can relate to Tara in a lot of ways and feel very protective of her.

    I love how forgiving the scooby gang can be when one of the group makes a mistake. This episode was big on the cheese, but it worked for me and even made me shed a tear.

  3. Willow and Tara's hug at the end is so beautiful, and could only have been better if they'd actually been allowed to kiss, like couples do. But still. Lovely.

  4. This is such a wonderful episode. Well, the end: I still think it's really tense to see Tara trying to hide who she (thinks she) is from her family and friends. But the ending makes it all worth it.

    Wasn't Sandy in "Doppelgangland"? [Yes, she was.]

    Wow. Awesome catch.

  5. I always get teary when the Scoobies stand up for Tara. Suck it, blonde Amy Adams!

  6. This is a wonderful episode, especially the end. Willow and Tara floating above the dance floor is just perfect.

    I've always loved the idea of the families we create versus the family into which we are born. The former can be much more powerful.

  7. This episode is so sweet, Tara is just such a likeable character its hard to imagine how she has such a hideous family. I guess she must have got it all from her Mum.

    I can feel some more Spike praise coming on though, I just love it when he punches Tara.

    I have to say though, the floating on the dancefloor at the end is just a little bit to sweet for me.

  8. I understand what you are saying about how sweet the ending was @Annie but at the time it was a particularly powerful statement. It is cool that we can now see it as kind of mushy and corny. Spike is just so much fun and so well played by James Marsters. I also thought the bit with Tara's brother walking in and slagging magic before they knew he was his brother was excellent. Just the way the characters all reacted to his obvious prejudice was lovely. It is so much fun to revisit this show and see how forward thinking it was.

  9. I liked Tara's smile when Buffy said that the "blood kin" would have to go through her as soon as she hears that Tara doesn't want to go with them. First time that it ever really occurred to her that she had become a part of the group in her own right - not just Willow's "plus one".

    Also, Tara thinking that all of the Scoobies would shun her if they found out that she was part demon tells me that Willow must have been skimping on the stories about some of their personal history. ;-)

  10. Holy fight scene fantasy, Batman! That scorching dance between Buffy and Spike that took place all in Spike’s mind was incredible. Totally eclipsed a really good episode. Um, what was it about again?


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