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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Lie to Me

Ford: "A couple of days, and we'll get to do the two things every American teen should have the chance to do: die young, and stay pretty."

Ford, Buffy's "giant fifth grade crush," arrives in town from L.A. and begins hanging out with Buffy... unfortunately, with some dire ulterior motives. Jason Behr, who played Ford, did a terrific job. I despised him and felt sorry for him all at the same time. It's also easy to feel sorry for, and empathize with, the Goth kids who think that becoming undead is going to solve all their problems.

Lying is a major theme here (hence, the episode title). It isn't just Ford lying to Buffy; Angel also lies to Buffy about Drusilla, and he talks Willow into lying to Buffy about researching Ford. Angel's truth is worse than lies; he is a much more romantic character when the gory details are only left to the imagination. What Angel's previous self did to Drusilla is so diabolical that it took my breath away.

Spike and Drusilla just fascinate me. Spike's passion for her, her fragility -- they're such three-dimensional villains. Spike touches Drusilla in an interesting and unusual way; he puts his palm flat on her chest or on her stomach, as if he were checking her breathing or the state of her pregnancy. This is especially interesting because she doesn't breathe and isn't pregnant.

The final scene with Giles and Buffy in the graveyard talking about truth and lies as she is waiting to stake Ford is just exceptional. It always gets to me.

Bits and pieces:

-- It is established that vampires are not warm, like humans. Ford says that Angel's hand is cold.

-- Angel and Spike (and a vampire wannabe in the Goth club) are dressed identically in red and black in this episode, while Buffy and Drusilla both wear white. David Boreanaz' Angel looks more vampiric than usual here; in Willow's room, he is noticeably very pale, with red lips and black hair.

-- Drusilla was reportedly killed by a mob in Prague; the "idiot mob" in Prague was mentioned in "School Hard."

-- Spike keeps his word to Ford.

-- The actor in the movie at the Sunset Club is Jack Palance.

-- We hear the voice of Willow's mother off camera, but we don't see her.

-- Xander calls Angel "Dead boy," and "Bossy the cow."

-- Monster truck rally. Jenny, what were you thinking? Jenny is clearly in the driver's seat in the Giles/Jenny relationship, although perhaps she shouldn't be.

-- Drusilla says to the little boy: "What will your mummy sing when they find your body?" Ooooooooh.

Quotes:

Cordelia: "I just don't see why everyone's always picking on Marie Antoinette. I can so relate to her. She worked really hard to look that good, and people just don't appreciate that kind of effort. And I know the peasants were all depressed..."
Xander: "I think you mean oppressed."
Cordelia: "Whatever. They were cranky. So they're, like, let's lose some heads. That's fair. And, and Marie Antoinette cared about them. She was gonna let them have cake."

Angel: "Things used to be pretty simple. A hundred years, just hanging out, feeling guilty, I really honed my brooding skills. Then she comes along."

Xander: "Angel was in your bedroom?"
Willow: "Ours is a forbidden love."

Ford: "Wow. Cold hands."
Xander: "You're not wrong."

Ford: "Would I be imposing?"
Xander: "Only in the literal sense."

Spike: "Oh, I'm sorry, baby. I'm a bad, rude man."

Chanterelle: "This is a beautiful day. Can't you see that?"
Buffy: "What I see is that, right after the sun goes down, Spike and all of his friends are going to be pigging out at the all-you-can-eat moron bar."

Excellent. Four out of four stakes,

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

22 comments:

  1. It's a neat coincidence that there was an incredibly similar storyline in the comic book series Preacher. A group called Les Enfants du Sang dressed as Anne Rice-like vampires, worshipped the ideal, and longed to be turned as well. They were just as ridiculous as the ones depicted here. The fantastic part: they were introduced in the comics in August 1997; this episode aired in November 1997. When the comic came out, the episode was most probably being filmed, or at least written. Either Whedon was really quick in getting the idea (nothing wrong about that) or we have a case of "great minds think alike". Cool.

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  2. I didn't know that, Gus. Thanks for posting. Lie to Me is such an excellent episode. I saw it again recently and it still gets to me.

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  3. I highly recommend Preacher. It's funny, deep, beautiful, fearless, innovative, and a little too violent. Definitely one of the best comic series I've read.

    I'd recommend almost any Vertigo Comisc title, by thw way.

    I'm rewarching Buffy, so expect mre comments in upcoming episodes too :)

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  4. Looking forward to your comments, Gus. Go for it. The Buffy reviews need more comments!

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  5. “Yes. It's terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies and... everybody lives happily ever after.”

    Liar.

    Love this episode.

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  6. One of the great ones. And as both Billie and Mark point out, the final scene between Giles and Buffy is exceptional. It always makes me tear up.

    Spike's obsession with Buffy interests me. Yes, she's the Slayer, but it seems so much more than that. While I truly believe that he loves Dru very, very much, there is some sort of obsession (already) that fascinates me to watch.

    Have I mentioned how much I love Spike? :-)

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  7. BUFFY RE-WATCH comments begin here! Remember, no spoilers for future episodes. Want to talk spoilers and foreshadowing? Post them here. Let's get others to join us! I'd love it if you'd click the Twitter/Facebook buttons at the bottom of the review.

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  8. Un huh. Written and directed by the Jay Man himself. Boy, this one had such a darker tone; but the delicious wit is still present.

    Still enjoying the Scoobies : Willow and Xander's reactions after meeting Billy are priceless. Also, there were plenty of good Willow moments (isn't she adorable or what ?). "I have to go...now."

    Miss Calendar has some interesting, and different date ideas.

    "Hmmm, where's the door knob ?"

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  9. Yeah! Two great episodes in a row...more, please?!

    This one was really enjoyable. I love Willow so much and she was great here. I love how she's so innocent and brilliant at the same time. "Oh, that's what that song is about?" and " I'm not supposed to have boys in my room..."

    I found it interesting that Buffy chose not to stake Drusilla at the end. She would have killed a great character off and would have obviously angered Spike in a new way that would have meant serious trouble, but I also think it was more to that. I'm curious about Drusilla but now I feel sorry for her after hearing Angel's story and I wondered if Buffy was having similar emotions.

    I also liked that Spike kept his word to Ford, but wondered if he did it because he knew Buffy would probably kill him anyway...

    Great episode! I can't wait for the next one.

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. Sorry about deletion, sentences were mixed up somehow, hopefully fixed now.

    Another fabulous episode!

    I love the interaction with Spike and Dru where he asks her about meeting Angel, Spike seems jealous, concerned, and exasperated by her insane ramblings to her dead bird but when his bluntness upsets her he is very quick to comfort and apologise.

    Dru is at times menacing, seething, vulnerable, lost and bonkers – love her.

    When Ford and Spike first meet I can't help but admire Fords gall in approaching him like that. Him making Spike speak the 30 second ultimatum that he'd imagined is just crazy. When Spike makes it clear that Ford would not be someone he'd want to turn and we're left wondering if Spike will keep his word or not. Ford doesn't seem to have any doubts, and specifically sought Spike out... Maybe he knew more about Spike than the viewer?, Spike honours their arrangement, even though the outcome was not the one he'd wanted.


    Giles' ott lie at the end is wonderful.

    Favourite line- Spike: 'uhhh...where's the door knob' always makes me chuckle.

    Learning Dru's story from Angel is very interesting, what Angel did was horrific and hearing him tell it brings it home...Why does Angel encourage Buffy to tell him she loves him before telling that story? Not a cool thing to do.

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  12. Annie - Don't worry about it; happens to the best of us. :)

    This is one of my favorite episodes (#14!). The show is really beginning to work. The comedy is more comedic, the drama more dramatic, and the mix of the two is finally gelling. Plus, the scene between Giles and Buffy at the end is one of my favorite Buffy/Giles moments. It's just a beautiful moment I think most people can relate to. Why can't things be simple? Why can't choices be obvious?

    Billie, this time you made me laugh out loud! "This is especially interesting because she doesn't breathe and isn't pregnant." I don't know why but the wording of that is just hilarious.

    I never really paid attention to Spike turning Ford even though he didn't have to before this rewatch. What an interesting character beat. I don't think many other vampires would have done that.

    I'd love to see some sort of final count on the number of vampires Buffy stakes in that alley outside the Bronze. You think vampires would learn to avoid it.

    I like how Buffy can half fly when the script requires it. The rules of physics are nothing to Joss Whedon.

    I wonder if they switched hair/makeup people for this episode. Little things seem different. In addition to Angel's ruby red lips (which I hate), Willow's lipstick is crazy dark for large portions of this ep., even when she's in her bedroom, about to go to bed. Buffy's hair looks fried and in the first scene, holy bralessness Batman! Also, someone might want to break it to Ford that vampires rarely wear orange sweater vests. Or bright green sweaters. Okay. Fashion Police off duty now.

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  13. Wonderful episode! Joss tends to get very deep and dark.
    Isn't Drusilla creepy? That scene with her and that child in the beginning was really scary. And Angel has a connection with her! Interesting.
    The scene with Angel/Willow was just the cutest thing. And that final scene with Buffy/Giles was sooo touching.
    Great to see Jason Behr! What ever happened to him? I don't think I have seen him in anything since Roswell.

    Fantastic episode.

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  14. "Lie to Me" is one of those Buffy episodes that when it ends you just keep watching the credits roll, thinking about what you just watched. It's bound to happen a lot more times.

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  15. I love this episode as much as everyone else. Ford was a great character and the actor played him well. He and Buffy seemed very natural together at the beginning of the episode making me so glad she had an old friend around the first time I saw it before the reveal. Then I felt so bad for her after the reveal. The ending touch about him having cancer was good, too. I was so glad that Buffy went against TV norms, though, and still called him out on his behavior even after hearing the sob story.

    Here are some of my favorite parts of the episode:

    - The creepy opening with Dru
    - Spike's response to Ford about turning him when he said something like "i don't like you and I don't feature having you live forever."
    - Willow's hesitance about having a boy in her room (why does she have patio doors in her bedroom?)
    - Buffy's reaction to the "morons" who want to become vamps.
    - the ending with Giles' "lie."

    What an awesome show this is. I can't believe how much I am still enjoying it the third time around.

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  16. Suzanne, I totally thought the same thing about Willow's room. What parent would put a teen in a room with patio doors? Didn't they ever see those John Hughes movies in the 80s where teens rebel and jump out of their windows or sneak boys in? :-p I guess Willow is pretty trustworthy, though. I mean excluding that deep red lipstick and her Halloween costume she's maintained her naive nerd persona so far...

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  17. Newbie report:

    Yay, vampires!

    The show is always a lot better when there are actual vampires in it.

    I liked the Scoobies doing research, and Angel was a Scooby, too. I liked learning about Drusilla. I liked the slaying. I usually don't like the fighting much - it doesn't seem to make much sense. Neither the vamps nor Buffy can hurt each other, so the fighting is sort of silly. It's all about manuevering for a good stake angle. Tonight's episode had most of the fighting out of view, and we got to see the poofing without all the lead-in and in my opinion, that was a great improvement.

    I got a kick out of seeing SMG's stunt double as the white-haired vampire. I'm so used to seeing her as Buffy, when she first appeared on-screen, I thought Buffy had gotten a costume somehow.

    I liked Ford's reason for wanting to become a vampire, and based on what he had planned, I think he would have made a great vampire. And I think even if he had known that he would get poofed within seconds of waking up, he still would have gone through with it. At least he didn't die bald and smelling bad. Although, I do think his Master Plan was a lot more complex than necessary. It would have been simpler to just find a vampire and threaten them with a staking unless they change him.

    All in all, a decent episode of Buffy, The Girl Who Occasionally Slays Vampires

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  18. I kept looking at James, the little boy at the beginning, thinking there was something about him that was so familiar. Thank you, IMDb. He is now all grown up and just finished playing a recurring role on The Last Resort. He has, in fact, guest starred on just about every show out there.

    Anyway, nothing really to add to what I posted before and what you all have said. Brilliant episode, the final moments of which are some of the best ever in an episode of Buffy. "Liar" gets me every time.

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  19. Random question: where the heck is Sunnydale? Ford (or maybe Buffy) refers to "coming down from LA" in this episode, but in a later Angel episode, a character refers to it as "a few hours up the coast."

    I know this is a stupid question, but it has always bothered me.

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  20. I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, it's thought to be where Santa Barbara is in reality. It all sort of works. The zoo, the UC, two hours outside of LA. Of course, all of that applies to San Diego, too. But the weather seems more Santa Barbara-y to me. :)

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  21. Wasn't there some sort of map on TV in "Hush" that showed where Sunnydale was?

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  22. No way! I hope I get my new TV before we get that far in the rewatch. (Otherwise, this "map" will just be the "blurry thing in the background.")

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