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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Hush

Riley: "I guess we have to talk."
Buffy: "I guess we do."
[silence]

Ladies and gentlemen, our theme tonight is communication.

This was a gimmick show, but it wasn't just a gimmick; it was wonderfully creative as well. Buffy and Riley were lying to each other. Not being able to speak enabled them to communicate (and smooch) for the first time. Xander and Anya's communication problems were played more for laughs, but they were mentioned; and certainly, exposure to what really happens in Sunnydale changed Giles' relationship with Olivia. It even brought Willow another friend and compatriot; Tara, a shy witch who isn't just a "wanna-blessed-be." (Loved that.)

The Willow and Tara scene in the laundry room was very powerful. These two people who had never even spoken clasped hands and instantly communicated, connected, and created power. There was almost a click between them, as if something had fallen into place. As Buffy and Riley fought the Gentlemen, they also tried to communicate, but didn't do as well. Buffy had to mime her heart out, so to speak, to get Riley to understand about the box.

The fairy tale theme was done much better here than in "Gingerbread"; the Gentlemen actually gave me the shudders. But my favorite scene, no contest, was Giles' lecture with the transparencies. It's one of my favorite scenes in the entire series.

Bits and pieces:

-- This episode highlighted the talents of the principal actors. They're all so good, even without words.

-- Wheat-a-bix in blood? Is that what Spike said? Ick. Spike rooming with Giles is a hoot. What are they going to do with Spike?

-- Anya is outspoken even without a voice, isn't she?

-- Even though the height difference made them look like they were in different time zones, Buffy and Riley finally kissed in this episode.

-- In the victim's room and in the laundry room at the end, there was a poster for "red meat" on the wall.

-- Chris Beck's musical score was especially excellent.

-- Xander beat up Spike, when Spike couldn't hit back. Not that nice of him.

-- Buffy really screamed. Buffy doesn't scream often.

-- Just in case you're curious, I looked up Revelations 15:1. It says, "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God." Nice touch.

Quotes:

Riley: "So what have you got going on for tonight?"
Buffy: "Oh, patrolling."
Riley: "Patrolling?"
Buffy: "Ah, petroleum."
Riley: "Petroleum?"
Buffy: "Uh huh."
Riley: "Tonight, you have crude oil?"

Giles: "I have a friend who's coming to town, and I'd like us to be alone."
Anya: "Oh, do you mean an orgasm friend?"
Giles: "Yes, that's exactly the most appalling thing you could have said."

Wicca woman: "We come together, daughters of Gaia, sisters to the moon. We walk with the darkness, the wolf at our side, through the waterfall of power, to the blackest heart of eternity. I think we should have a bake sale."

Willow: "Talk, all talk. Blah blah Gaia, blah blah moon, menstrual lifeforce power thingy. You know, after a couple of sessions, I was hoping we would get into something real, but..."
Buffy: "No actual witches in your witch group?"
Willow: "No, just a bunch of wanna blessed-bes."

Olivia: "Sorry I'm so late. The flight was a horror."
Giles: "Oh, no. Bad weather?"
Olivia: "Baseball movie."

Olivia: "So everything you told me was true."
Giles: "Well, no, I wasn't actually one of the original members of Pink Floyd. But the monster stuff, yes."

Four out of four stakes, for clever writing and the shudder factor,

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

20 comments:

  1. I rewatched this episode recently and have come to two conclusions: One, it's waaaaay scarier than I remember. The floating! The smiles! Yikes. Two, those stupid straitjacket minions running around like idiots almost completely ruin the fright factor. An aMAZing villain/episode could have been that much more amazing if they were cut. I guess they're just there so Riley and Buffy have someone to fight, but they look so... dumb. Other than that, this is one of my absolute favorite episodes ever.

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  2. 'Hush' is my second favourite episode of Buffy after 'Once More, With Feeling'. Even now the Gentlemen still give me the creeps. And I love the use of 'Danse Macabre' during Giles lecture. Great music in a great scene.

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  3. So well done. Almost an entire episode without dialogue and it was still riveting - and this for a show with such witty dialogue. They managed to make the non-dialogue witty! Giles lecture was the best - laugh out loud funny. And the Gentlemen - super creepy.

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  4. This episode got a lot of attention, and it deserved it. Extremely well-done. Definitely the creepiest episode of Buffy.

    I've probably seen this one the most out of all the Buffy episodes and I enjoy it every time. The first time I saw it I knew almost nothing about Buffy and saw it completely out of context and was still able to enjoy it immensely.

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  5. BUFFY RE-WATCH comments begin here! Remember, no spoilers for future episodes. Want to talk spoilers and foreshadowing? Season four spoilers are posted here.

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  6. It seems appropriate that we are watching this the day after Halloween as it is the scariest episode in the Buffy canon, at least for me. The Gentlemen completely freak me out with the floating and the smiles and the weird clapping. Add in the fantastically creepy music and this episode becomes terrifying.

    But, then we get the scene with Giles and the overheads that is one of my favorites ever, laugh out loud funny. Anya with the popcorn is hilarious, bested only by Buffy and the mime staking. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Spike tied to that chair taunting Xander and Riley being so proud about axing the wrong thing.

    As you say, the episode is about communication and how we just might be better at it when we don’t speak. Xander proves that he cares about Anya; Willow and Tara make a formidable team. Only poor Giles is worse off at the end than he was at the beginning.

    Buffy and Riley are my favorite examples of how talking doesn’t always work. At the beginning, neither of them can tell the other what is happening and they are both lying to each other. The scene where they point weapons at each other and realize what is happening is simply stunning. I remember the first time I saw this episode just cheering at that reveal. Brilliantly done.

    But, how do you end an episode in which so much happens when we are silent. Have these two people, who have discovered each other’s secret and who have finally kissed simply sit and stare at each other, unable to communicate. It doesn’t get much better than this.

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  7. Giles and the overheads was a bit spoiled because I first saw it on BBC2 and they cut the funniest joke, so by the time I finally saw it, it had lost some of its impact. But still, a fantastic episode, one of the all-time best!

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  8. One of my top five of the series. Simply brilliant. Thank you Mister Whedon.

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  9. Brilliant, not only scary but funny too as ChrisB said.

    Giles' lecture is the high point but I also love the silent exchanges between Xander and Spike, a perfectly executed V sign, and the look Spike gives Xander when he answers the phone says it all...

    There's nothing I don't like about this episode for me, its Buffy perfection.

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  10. Annie -- the V sign always makes me laugh out loud, only because somebody at Standards and Practices simply didn't know what it meant. I can't imagine Joss & Co. getting away with the American version of that sign!

    :-)

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  11. I don't rewatch this one a lot; it's not the kind of episode you can watch while doing something else. Definitely one of (if not *the*) best of the series run; definitely the scariest Buffy episode. It's pretty darn perfect; there's a reason it's on everyone's top 10 episodes of Buffy list somewhere.

    Oh and the music is indeed amazing here; both Christophe Beck's score and the use of Danse Macabre. I love the way the volume on the sound effects was ramped up. It makes everything seem more quiet, somehow.

    Plus, TARA!

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    Replies
    1. It's the worst episode of the series I can't believe everyone thinks it was good🤣🤣🤣

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  12. ChrisB-- Quite! I always snigger when insults I would not expect to hear/see on a UK equivalent pop up in US shows. The sentiment and force of the V was definitely missed by someone here, and I'm glad of it. Apparently it was censored by BBC2 for early evening showings.
    :D

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  13. I don't have much to add to what everyone has already said, except that the music to "Hush" (rather like the score to Dr. Horrible) always makes me want to listen to it again. And again.

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  14. This is the episode that started it all for me! I had seen episodes of Buffy before, but I was never hooked, somehow. One day, I was working on a sewing project and had turned on the TV for background noise. It occurred to me that it was very quiet, all of a sudden. I looked up from my project and was completely sucked in...to the episode and to Buffy in general!

    "Hush" is one of my absolute favorite episodes of my favorite show. The gentlemen are the scariest villains of the whole series (in my opinion) and Giles' overhead projector presentation scene is possibly the funniest.

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  15. I don't have much to add, only that it's defenitely on my top 10 as well. This is an episode that I usually choose to introduce people to the series, too, because it stands alone pretty great and it has the perfect balance of creepy, funny and smart.

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  16. I agree, Bea. This is a great introductory episode. It worked for me!

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  17. Like everyone here, this is one of my favourite buffy episodes and I have watched it numerous times. Last summers my cousins wanted me to tell them a horror story (all school kids!) and I narrated this episode minus the jokes. Safe to say none of them could sleep at night!

    Buffy at its best :)

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  18. I was never really scared by this episode since whenever I watch it I’m always occupied being awed by it. It’s a fascinating piece of TV, gorgeously shot. And Christophe Beck’s score is out of this world. Also, Tara! :)

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  19. According to Imdb, Angel's Andy Hallett was in 'Hush'. He is (un-)credited as one of the students.

    But I can't see him anywhere. Anyone who can spot him??

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