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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Real Me


Harmony: "I've been doing my homework. Reading books and stuff."
Spike: "What? Evil for Dummies?"

So who — or what — is Dawn? We really got knocked over the head with her during this episode, and I thought it was done rather well, especially if the purpose was to give us more questions than answers. Everyone is acting as if Dawn has been around forever (Riley referring to Buffy as the "firstborn," Buffy saying "It's not like Dawn hasn't grown up in this house knowing all the rules") and there is a lot of serious Mom-always-liked-you-best resentment of Dawn on Buffy's part which is somewhat jarring. Understandable, since Buffy hasn't had fourteen years to get used to being a big sister, even though she may think she has.

I caught that reference to something Faith said in "Graduation Day, Part 2" ("Little Miss Muffet counting down from seven three oh") when the crazed guy in the street says to Dawn, "I know you. Curds and whey. I know what you are. You don't belong here." Duh, I think we know now that she doesn't belong. I'm not certain how I feel about Dawn being a new focus of this series, but that may not be what Joss Whedon intends to do. Maybe I should just sit back and trust him.

Loved the "new" Harmony, her minions, and her hotter clothes and more adult look. She's now much more the sort of vamp that would attract Spike (although she's still an idiot and no Drusilla, of course).

I also enjoyed what they're doing with Giles — the new focus on Buffy's training, his being seduced by a red convertible, and his interest in taking on the magic shop. I was trying to add up how many owners of the magic shop have there been, and how many sets they've put it on. Doesn't it seem bigger? Weren't there steps going down into it before? Did we ever know the name of the place? Anyway, it seems appropriate. After all, the gang does a lot of shopping there, and now they may be able to cut operating costs by buying wholesale.

Bits and pieces:

-- Whatever or whoever Dawn is, it looks like she'll be around for awhile since Michelle Trachtenberg is now in the cast.

-- Are Tara and Willow now living together? It sure looked like they were unpacking together. It was also interesting that Tara identifies with Dawn. Maybe they're the same type of creature.

-- Fourteen is indeed a bit old for a sitter, but maybe not in Sunnydale. Thirty-four probably isn't too old for a sitter in Sunnydale.

-- Dawn gets to be in the infamous shackles already, and it's just her second episode.

Quotes:

Buffy: "Suck up."
Riley: "What? It's a nice outfit. Besides, 'I'm here to violate your firstborn' never goes over with parents."

Buffy: "Giles, are you breaking up with your car?"
Giles: "Well, it did seduce me, all red and sporty."
Buffy: "Little two-door tramp."

Willow: "That's a work ethic! Buffy, you're developing a work ethic."
Buffy: "Oh, no. Do they make an ointment for that?"

Vamp 1: "I had to get her something. She sired me."
Vamp 2: "Sire-whipped."

Riley: "So you want your mother to give you space to be a slayer, and shield you from it at the same time."
Buffy: "Thank you, logic boy. Did I mention this is a rant? Sense really has no place in it."

Buffy: "Boy, you've really thought this through. How bored were you last year?"
Giles: "I watched Passions with Spike. Let us never speak of it."

Two out of four stakes, with great curiosity (and possible reservations) on where this plot line is going,

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

14 comments:

Miguel said...

Harmony episodes always manage to crack me up. She really is so much more amusing as a failed vampire then as a self-absorbed human isn't she!?

John said...

Re-watch Buffy and Faith dream sequence in This Year's Girl #1. They speak of "getting ready for little sis."
Interesting.
Roidy

Billie Doux said...

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

sunbunny said...

My favorite part of the episode is Harmony's threatening note to Buffy. (http://annamiltyn.tumblr.com/post/68484771029).

Also Harmony attempting to use all the cliches, even though they don't apply. "Slayer. At last we meet."

Josie Kafka said...

I'm trying to think of another Buffy season that has a funny episode as the second episode. It's an interesting choice.

Josie Kafka said...

I should be more clear: they're all funny. But I think any Harmony episode is funny turned up to 11.

TJ said...

@John and Billie

Yes, those dream sequences with Faith in 'This year's girl' and 'Graduation day' turns out to be super-important. "Little sis coming" was something I didn't reflect on at all the first time around. That's why re-watching Buffy is so much fun...there's tons of foreshadowing to appreciate.

Lamounier said...

Hum, this episode didn’t do much for me on this rewatch. Maybe it’s better when you don’t know who or what Dawn is yet and you’re kind of blown away by how everyone treats her as if she’s been there all the time.

The writers do nail the character, thought, and how she interacts with the cast. Except for that embarrassing ice cream scene, there’s a lot of smart writing going on. Major props to the writers for delivering such a tricky and well done twist on the entire show.

As far as Harmony goes, she’s funny as always, but the whole “Harmony is a very incompetent villain” joke loses the punch as the episode goes on and I’m left expecting a competent villain to take the reins. Unfortunately, none of her minions are up to the task and all we have is an uninteresting fight scene to wrap things up. The Buffy/Dawn interaction remains golden, though.

Also, thumb wrestling! How cute are Dawn and Tara together? Aw!

ChrisB said...

For the second episode of the season, after the oddness of the first, this one is well done. As you point out, we are not given any answers, but we do know that Dawn has been foreshadowed and that she will be very important. Too bad she's such a pill. I spend way too much time just wanting to give her a swift kick.

"Passions with Spike" always makes me laugh out loud. What a great image.

Jane said...

I agree with you Chris, Dawn is a pill. I really like that the Scoobies are maturing and Dawn and her interactions with Buffy especially really bring me back to the annoying high school vibe.

On the plus side, Harmony is fun. The smiley face threatening note is perfect and her leadership style is lifted straight out of the movie villain handbook.

Anya playing Life and wanting to trade in her children for more cash cracks me up.

AndyDecker said...

Great episode. Harmony is priceless, but Giles discovering the wonders of retail - never mind that the owners are dropping like flies - is also a lot of fun.

And of course the introduction of Dawn is very well done.

Mallena said...

Was not a fan of Dawn at first, but she grew on me and she comes with a killer story arc. It was a little weird that she acts like a little girl but has a body that is pretty mature. She does bring a lot of great plot points to the Buffyverse, so kudos.

Onigirli said...

I liked this better than you guys. It's better than the premiere, and I loved Buffy's laughs in this episode (actually joined in with hers at Giles's "I watched Passions with Spike.." it was such an infectious sound)
And it was just comforting seeing the new shop locale being set up. I think I'll like it better than Giles's place since I dearly missed that tiny library (and I was getting tired of the reminders that Giles had nothing going on, along with Xander). Sure it wasn't heavy on plot, but I don't really care about that kind of (necessary, to be sure) seasonal momentum.
Also how could you not quote Dawn's one hilarious line there! where she says "I told mom one time I wish they'd [Willow & Tara] teach me the stuff they do together.. a-and then she got really quiet and made me go upstairs. huh"

Billie Doux said...

Onigirli, I believe it's physically impossible to collect *every* great Buffy quote in an episode without transcribing the entire episode. That's what comments are for. :)