Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Him

Xander: "Welcome to the Hellmouth, where even outerwear isn't safe."

Very funny, frothy, and well written. I laughed out loud a lot. In fact, I think the scene with Buffy, Spike, Principal Wood, and the bazooka was priceless; one of the funniest scenes they've ever done. But the episode as a whole was a bit too fluffy and silly for me. Part of me believes that my Buffy episodes must come with pain and suffering, because isn't that where the fire comes from?

The fact that it was the letter jacket, and not R.J. himself, was a great red herring. We did get clues, though. Xander even said outright early in the episode that it was the jacket that got the girls.

Michelle Trachtenberg showed some serious range; she was nerdy, clumsy, tragic, sexy to the point of slutty (wasn't it funny, Xander and Willow both finding Dawn sexy before they knew who she was?), and even suicidal. Those early scenes with the kids in the hallway and the cheerleader tryouts — it's hard to be that bad and make it convincing, but I think she pulled it off. But the sad truth is, I still don't care much for Dawn as a character. Is it too little too late? Or is it just that I'm too invested in the other characters?

What I was really longing to see, and they didn't show me, was what went on in Xander's apartment, renovated closet, wet towels, and all. At least we had Buffy and Dawn seriously discussing the whole soul issue, and what it means that Spike now has one.

And Buffy is finally showing compassion for Spike, and interest in what is happening to him; it's about time. "I feel for him." "Feel what, exactly?" Yeah, what, Buffy? Inquiring minds want to know. Dawn said it very well: "I'm just trying to understand. I mean, none of it makes sense. First you say Spike disgusts you, but secretly you two are doing it like bunnies; and then Spike says he'd die for you, but he tries to rape you?"

Buffy looked very young and gorgeous here; big difference from when she was trying to kill Anya in the last episode. But it still gave me the willies that she was going after that football player. Please tell me she didn't actually have sex with that boy! She did say at the end, "I can't believe I almost..." so maybe she didn't manage it before Xander caught them, in spite of the straddling.

Bits and pieces:

-- Buffy must have kept the bazooka from season two. Come to think of it, she'd have to, wouldn't she? You can't exactly toss a bazooka into the trash, and if you're the Slayer, you don't know when you might just need one, right?

-- Continuity has been great so far this season. This time, we got a little flashback of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," and Buffy's cheerleader outfit was from "The Witch."

-- The music we kept hearing when the women were falling for R.J. was the theme from the movie, "A Summer Place." Oz mentioned that his fantasies involve a feather boa and the theme from "A Summer Place" in the season two episode, "Inca Mummy Girl."

-- It was also cute that Buffy was certain that everyone else was under a spell, but that she herself wasn't, just like in "Something Blue." Some kind of natural immunity, huh?

-- Anya is a Scooby again, like she never left. The fact that D'Hoffryn is now gunning for her was shoved in there almost as an afterthought ("Good thing I stopped by and heard screaming").

-- There were references to Spike's madness, but we didn't see any of it. We did get some Spike and Xander bonding, though, with the house visit and their jacket-stealing raid, and that was fun.

Quotes (and there were a lot of them):

Spike: "Bollocks to the whole thing. I don't need your mollycoddling."
Buffy: "It's not coddling. Now go to your closet."

Anya: "Well, I guess you guys could use my help. Willow's not very good with the practical strategizing, except when she's evil. And Dawn, she's not really good for anything."

Buffy: "You shredded my outfit."
Dawn: "I'll buy you a new one."
Buffy: "That's not the point. I don't want a new cheerleading outfit."
Xander: "Now, now, let's not be hasty."

Buffy: "So, do you have plans later, or are you just gonna go down to the docks and wait for the fleet to come in?"

Buffy: "First, you told me you were going to the library. Second, you do not go out on a date without informing me first. Third, Anna Nicole Smith thinks you look tacky."

Buffy: "Okay, first with the lap dance, now with the cat fight. Hey, you wanna get drunk and barf next?"

R.J.: "Like it's not bad enough I got that guy riding my back all the time. Now I gotta deal with you, too?"
Buffy: "Actually, I'm a bit more formidable than Mr. Wood. You might come to look fondly on his back-riding."

Dawn: "Oh, my God! I'm the pushy queen of slut town."

Lance: "So, what's up with R.J.? How's he doing at the old alpha mater?"

Willow: "But you don't even know him."
Anya: "Yes, I do. I looked into him and I saw his soul."
Willow: "He was walking away. So unless his soul is in his ass..."

Willow: "This isn't about his physical presence. It's about his heart."
Anya: "His physical presence has a penis!"
Willow: "I can work around it!"

Buffy: "You realize that Anya's probably seducing R.J. even as we speak."
Willow: "My God. You think so?"
Buffy: "Well, I wouldn't put it past her. She's recently evil, you know."
Willow: "Well, so am I. Why should I miss out?"

Dawn: "What am I, going to compete with you? You're older and hotter and have sex that's rough and kill people. I don't have any of that stuff."

Xander: "You fell for a mystical ancient curse. Who hasn't made that mistake seven, eight times?"

In sum, lots of fun but too much Dawn and not enough Spike. Three out of four stakes,

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

1 comment:

Hugo Ahlenius said...

I really disliked this episode, the worst in a long stretch. It took long for the mystery/tension to build, the women were just repeating things over and over and I found Dawn's suicide attempt tasteless and not fitting with the comedic tone. And then we got some clip-show taste as well...