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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Shadow

Spike: "Face it, white bread, Buffy's got a type and you're not it. She likes us dangerous, rough, occasionally bumpy in the forehead region."

Medical tests... cat scans ... now that's horror. I don't want Buffy's mother to die, so I'm going to pass right over the depressing Joyce subplot (hey, I'm entitled, I lost my own mom last year) and focus on my favorite part of this episode: the developing love triangle of Buffy, Riley, and (gasp!) Spike.

Spike, being the perceptive supernatural creature that he is, went right for the jugular when he told Riley that Buffy likes her men dark and bumpy; after what happened last year with Angel, Riley has to believe it. Spike got him a second time, too, because how can Riley deal with the fact that Buffy told Spike about Joyce's illness and not him? And then Dawn came along with the crowning blow: "She doesn't get all worked up like that over you." Poor Riley!

So ... Riley goes off with Sandy and lets her bite him. !!! Why? Was he entertaining the thought of becoming a vamp himself in order to keep Buffy? Or did he just want to see what the attraction was? I think it was the latter... but I also think Riley is feeling self-destructive.

Moving on to the other major plot point... I like Glory. I like her impatience and her over-the-top amoral glee; in fact, I'm enjoying the whole Glory/Dawn/monks thing a lot more than last year's Initiative plot. Glory and her minion Dreg were a hoot ("I grovel like a bug, most tingly and wonderful Glorificus"). But the whole monster cobra thing was downright silly; in fact, I was giggling while Buffy and Giles in the red convertible were chasing it down the street. And let's not even discuss CGI Buffy fighting CGI Cobra in the park.

Bits and pieces:

— Isn't anyone going to class any more? They are still in college, right?

— I'm a Babylon 5 fan. Joyce's doctor was played by Lord Refa (William Forward).

— Were those Buffy's panties that Spike made off with?

— Being the Buffy geek that I am, I had to write down the Magic Box yellow pages ad: "Crystals! Potions! Death charms! Lollipops for the kids! Your one-stop spot to shop for all your occult needs! THE MAGIC BOX, 5124 Maple Court, Downtown Sunnydale, 805-555-5966."


Xander: "When a person makes a 'destroy all vampires' date, it's simple courtesy to wait for your co-destroyers. Am I right, Giles?"
Giles: "I'm almost certain you're not, but to be fair, I wasn't listening."

Xander: "Okay, we were supposed to hook up with Riley this morning to take on a nest o' vamps holed up in a tomb? So we get there, and guess what? Tell him, Will."
Willow: "Tomb go boom."
Xander: "Yep. Captain America blowed it up real good, all by his lone wolf lonesome."

Riley: "Were you ... were you just smelling her sweater?"
Spike: "No. Well, yeah, all right, I did. It's a predator thing, nothing wrong with it. Know your enemy's scent, whet the appetite for a hunt. Ah, that's the stuff! Slayer musk, it's bitter and aggravating!"

Anya: "Sobekites were reptile worshipers."
Xander: "Just once I would like to run into a cult of bunny worshipers."
Anya: "Great. Thank you very much for those nightmares."

Giles: "Aleister Crowley Sings? Um, sadly, no, I don't carry that, but I do have some very nice whale sounds."

Not a great episode, but not awful either. Two stakes out of four,

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


  1. Just a thought, Dawn mentioned Angel, so does Angel also know Dawn?

  2. Probably, unless there's a bubble around Sunnydale, crossing which restores original memories (which seems unlikely, given other reality spells shown); they probably made it so that Angel remembers her.

    And wouldn't she have been 12 (±1) during Angelus's rampage? Also, did Dawn find out about Buffy's Slayage when Joyce did, or did she know about vampires earlier and help keep Joyce off Buffy's case?

  3. A pretty decent episode. Most notable of course for Joyce's increasing illness (like you Billie, I'd prefer just not to talk about it) and Riley's alienation from Buffy.

    Buffy really is pushing him away, and I feel bad for him. Of course, Buffy is going through a very traumatic time period, so it's not like he can complain, but she is definitely not seeking his shoulder to lean on. The vampire biting Riley's neck was just weird. I'm definitely going with the self-destructive theory.

    Next up, Billie's favorite Buffy episode! (I'm just kidding. I already know how you really feel about it.)

  4. I'm with you entirely on this episode, Billie: some good parts, but the cobra and the cat scans are awful in very different ways.

  5. Yeah, I laughed at the cobra too. And not in the good comedy way. The combo of that ridiculousness with Buffy's very stressful home life just annoys.

    What does work for me is Riley's flake out in juxtaposition with the worry about Joyce. Life is, sadly, often like that - it just piles on. Spike is starting to look like way better boyfriend material in comparison.

  6. Not a great episode, but I do like the love triangle. I feel so badly for Riley. His heart just keeps getting broken, but he can't bring himself to leave.

    I don't think he wants to be a vampire; I think he's just in a lot of psychological pain and is looking for anything that will make him feel better.

  7. Yeah I think that feed-thing with Riley was more about flirting with death... or the equivalent of cutting yourself, which is clinically proven to make you feel better. I feel bad for him. That was just cold, Spike, I don't care if you're in love with his girlfriend. I thought killers didn't hurt feelings.
    I loved Glory appearing right as Giles mentioned her, with this ominous sound effect that was both funny and genuinely intimidating for a second. She's scary when she's not being overt, I can't believe I'm saying now that her buying something is the scariest she's been for me, despite having seen scenes of her kicking Buffy's butt.
    Everyone gangpiles on the giant cobra but I didn't really have a problem with it. And even a good moment of it almost being taken seriously when Buffy notices that it knows about Dawn now. It's fine, who cares, it got the job done, and it was nice to see something different from a humanoid demon.


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