“Angel” 4×12 – Calvary

My jaw literally dropped at that mind-blowing ending. What in the world just happened?

Angelus is truly the best thing to happen to this show and I’m glad to report that his presence is still very much terrifying in Calvary. I love how freakin’ smart he is, playing the gang every now and then, and also making them think Angel’s soul has returned (although I’m curious how he was able to fake that to Lorne while singing).

And then that ending. Lilah and Angel have an intense, pulse-pounding chase sequence around the hotel (when did I suddenly start loving Lilah?!) and then Cordelia stabs her! Is Lilah really dead? Is something controlling Cordelia? Did she really let Angelus out of his cage on purpose?

My goodness, this has to be one of the most serialized shows I’ve ever seen.


Quotes

Lilah: So, what now? Ouija board?

Angel: Have you all lost your mind? You’re going to use black magic to restore my soul? People, this never goes well. Am I the only one paying attention?
Lilah: Ten-to-one, the entire hotel gets sucked into a hell dimension.

Lilah: Wesley, would you please warn this walking infection that I haven’t forgotten how she poked my head open like a Capri-Sun. And while my love for humanity allows me to tolerate her presence, if need be I will smack her down! Be a doll. Thanks.

Lilah: This is just like being at work, except suits by Liberace.

Lilah: I can’t believe we didn’t slaughter you people years ago.

Rating
A-

“Angel” 4×11 – Soulless

Well, that was intense!

I’ve realized it’s a lot harder to binge Angel because it’s tonally different from its parent show with its dark storytelling and gritty subplots. However, episodes like Soulless remind me why I absolutely still love the Buffyverse.

First, credit where credit is due: David Boreanaz delivers a truly Emmy-worthy performance as Angelus while confined to a cage. He is charismatic, relentless and absolutely frightening as he rips the team apart one by one. His interactions with Wesley, Connor and Cordelia were particular highlights. And the best part was that epic cliffhanger: Angel’s soul is gone! Can we please have Angelus for at least a few more episodes?


Bits

– This show needs an intervention in regards to the Gunn/Fred subplot. I don’t remember the last time I hated a couple this much.

– Also, it happened a few episodes back, but Connor and Cordelia sleeping together? So icky!

– The fakeout from the last episode with Angel hallucinating a “perfect world” was also very well done and completely caught me off guard.

– Still love Wesley, possibly even as much as I love Cordelia. Remember when these two briefly dated on Buffy?

– Connor telling Angelus that he’s his real father (not Angel) is a fascinating characterization. I might be warming up to this kid.

– The flashbacks to Angelus and the Beast’s fight was a bit anticlimactic. Would’ve loved to see more of that.

– Apparently, Charisma Carpenter was pregnant while filming the first half of this season. Which definitely explains why she’s gotten limited amount of screen time lately.

– Why do I feel like Connor stole Angel’s soul?

Quotes

Wesley: You’re comfortable?
Angelus: Nice acoustics. Wouldn’t hate a chair.
Wesley: You’ll have to forgive the accommodations. The last time you were free, you terrorized Sunnydale.
Angelus: That slayer, she’s a pistol.

Wesley: I’ve imagined this moment many times. Years of study, research… I’ve read everything ever written about you…
Angelus: Stop, I’m blushing.

Wesley: If you knew the Beast, why wouldn’t Angel remember?
Angelus: I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t remember the good times. Maybe he won’t let himself. (rolls his eyes) So like him.

Angelus: Which do you think is worse, Wes? Stealing my kid like you did, or banging him like Cordelia?

Angelus: Hey, who’s a guy gotta kill to get a drink around here?

Connor: Angel told me how you’d try to hurt me, how you aren’t my real dad, just some animal in a cage. Angel’s my dad.
Angelus (flutters his eyelashes): I’m gonna cry.
Connor: That’s what he told me. And he thought I believed him. (turns away) The truth is, Angel’s just something that you’re forced to wear. (looks at Angelus) You’re my real father.

Cordelia: We found a little boy, his sister, mom, dad, grandma…all dead.
Angelus (sighs): Oh, God. I’m always missing the fun stuff.

Rating
A

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” 7×22 – Chosen

It’s been hours since I finished watching Chosen, and I’m still in awe and utterly heartbroken that this epic journey has come to an end.

The good news is that it’s one hell of a satisfying ending. Buffy The Vampire Slayer truly came full circle in its final hour, brilliantly putting an end to all evil in Sunnydale while giving our protagonist an uplifting and incredible conclusion. I can’t stress this enough, but the smile on Buffy’s face is the perfect shot to end this show on.

Chosen is much smarter than I thought it was going to be. There’s a renowned focus on the original gang again with those long shots and camera movements floating around Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles every now and then. There’s a bone-chilling score that goes perfectly with Buffy’s uplifting final fight, one in which I seriously defy anyone not to cheer after she eloquently tells The First (who is in Buffy form) “I want you…to get out of my face!”. There’s a devastating death (RIP, Anya, but I will avenge your death), jaw-dropping reveals and a satisfying climax with every potential Slayer in the world gaining power and joining forces to become a group of Slayers. Chosen literally has everything a perfect series finale should have, and it’s without a doubt one of the finest hours of television I have ever seen.

My only complaints would be that it felt a bit rushed near the end. Instead of a necklace (or whatever that thing was) that erases all the Ubervamps, instead of having Spike sacrifice himself (although not really) and instead of cramming so much plot into 40 minutes, we should have been treated to a two-hour epic finale. I’m not bitter about these minor details and it certainly isn’t a slap on the face (unlike a literal slap on another brilliant yet more recent finale) because I can still say that Buffy went out with a bang despite these complaints.

I hope I can one day find a show that’s just half as brilliant, witty, nuanced and complex as Buffy. It completely subverted my expectations from the very beginning, might have had a few mishaps around halfway through its run, but always, always knew how to entertain. I’m speechless.


Bits

– Buffy hitting Caleb in the balls was awesome and oh-so-badass! Her puns afterwards were hilarious.

– I’m not okay with the fact that we will never have a Buffy/Angel scene again. Yes, I know, we can’t have happily ever afters, but I can’t let this go.

– So many incredible callbacks to the very first season, but my favorite? Buffy reciting that infamous “in every generation…” speech that Giles used to narrate via voice-over. I couldn’t smile smiling.

– I love how the camera pulled back to reveal that Giles, Willow, Andrew and Anya (kind of) were playing Dungeons and Dragons (I think?).

– Hilarious moment with Andrew having prepared a speech to give before he dies.

– The original gang discussing what they’re going to do the next day is just beautiful and heartwarming.

– Oh good lord, does anyone in the special effects department have a job in 2016? Because yeah, their work here was possibly their worst yet. The vamps in the Hellmouth? The buildings collapsing? The huge hole? My God, my eyes actually hurt.

– Chilling montage as we see every potential Slayer across the globe becoming more powerful thanks to Willow’s spell and the red axe.

– Anya FINALLY changed her mind on bunnies! She called them “floppy” and “hoppy”. My poor, poor Anya.

– Jaw-dropping moment #1: Buffy getting stabbed in the gut. A part of me said “aha she will die like I predicted!”.

– Jaw-dropping moment #2: Anya getting sliced to death! Ouch, this one hurt.

– Amanda also died, in case anyone was wondering. But hey, at least Kennedy made it!

– Loved how Willow turned into White Willow this time, instead of the usual Evil/Black Willow. Wonderful little juxtaposition here.

– Still love Faith, but I don’t see the point in pairing her with Principal Wood. Kinda wished he’d died.

– I love how the finale went back exactly to where the show started: Sunnydale High.

– Andrew’s shocking realization the he, of all people, survived was shockingly emotional.

– Final Fight by Robert Duncan is already on one of my playlists now. What a score.

– Goosebumps-worthy moment with Buffy telling Spike she loves him, but what I loved even more is Spike telling her that he knows she doesn’t yet is thankful for her saying it.

– Joss Whedon had to have that Welcome to Sunnydale! sign fall off into the hole, and I’m very thankful for that epic moment. I needed a good laugh.

– Most of all, I’ll miss the way the characters spoke on this show. Truly unique and fascinating.

– Even though this might be adding too much unnecessary pressure on a show, but I truly believe a series finale is only as good as its very final shot, so I’m grateful that Buffy ends with Sarah Michelle Gellar staring into space with a smile on her face. Wouldn’t have wanted this show to end any other way.

– Thanks for reading! I’ll be finishing Angel‘s last two seasons soon (and starting Dollhouse, most likely because I need to believe Faith still exists).

Quotes

Buffy: Angel, what are you doing–don’t even. I just want to bask. (Pause) Okay, I’m basked. What are you doing here?
Angel: Not saving the damsel in distress, that’s for sure.
Buffy: Oh, you know me. Not much with the damsel-ing.
Angel: Got your share of distress, though.

Angel: That’s great, everyone’s got a soul now.
Buffy: He’ll make a difference.
Angel: You know, I started it. The whole having a soul. Before it was all the cool new thing.
Buffy: Oh, my god. Are you 12?

Buffy: OK, I’m cookie dough. I’m not done baking. I’m not finished becoming whoever the hell it is I’m gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and maybe one day I turn around and realize I’m ready. I’m cookies. And then, you know, if I want someone to eat— (eyes go wide as she catches herself) or enjoy warm, delicious cookie me, then…that’s fine. That’ll be then. When I’m done.
Angel: Any thoughts on who might enjoy— (sighs, irritated) Do I have to go with the cookie analogy?
Buffy: I’m not really thinking that far ahead. That’s kind of the point.

Buffy: Angel. (he turns around) I do…sometimes think that far ahead.
Angel: Sometimes is something.
Buffy: Be a long time coming. Years, if ever.
Angel: I ain’t getting any older.

Buffy (about Angel and Spike): You know, one of these days I’m just gonna put you two in a room and let you wrestle it out.
Spike: No problem at this end.
Buffy (her eyes widen with excitement): There could be oil of some kind involved.

Buffy: In every generation, one slayer is born… because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman (points to Willow) is more powerful than all of them combined. (Willow whimpers) So I say we change the rule. I say my power…should be our power.

Faith: Look, I’m sorry if it seemed like I was blowing you off the other day. I was just trying to, you know, blow you off.
Principal Wood: Yeah, you know what, I figured that one out all by myself.

Xander: If you have to go to the bathroom, it’s to your left. If you don’t have to go to the bathroom, picture what you’re about to face. Better to go now.

Andrew: We will defend it with our very lives.
Anya: Yes, we will defend it with his very life.
Xander: And don’t be afraid to use him as a human shield.

Buffy: So, what do you guys wanna do tomorrow?
Willow: Nothing strenuous.
Xander: Well, mini-golf is always the first thing that comes to mind.
Giles: I think we can do better than that.
Buffy: I was thinking about shopping. As per usual.
Willow: Oh! There’s an Arden B. in the new mall!
Xander: I could use a few items.
Giles: Well, now aren’t we gonna discuss this? Save the world to go to the mall?
Buffy: I’m having a wicked shoe craving.
Xander: Aren’t you on the patch?
Willow: Those never work.
Giles: Here I am, invisible to the eye…

Buffy: I love you.
Spike: No, you don’t. But thanks for saying it. Now go! I wanna see how it ends.

Xander: Did you see what happened? I mean, was she…
Andrew: She was incredible. She died saving my life.
Xander: That’s my girl. Always doing the stupid thing.

Faith: Looks like the Hellmouth is officially closed for business.
Giles: There is another one in Cleveland. Not to spoil the moment.

Giles: The mall was actually in Sunnydale, so there’s no hope of going there tomorrow.
Dawn: We destroyed the mall? I fought on the wrong side.

Giles: We have a lot of work ahead of us.
Faith: Can I push him in? (points to the hole)
Willow: You’ve got my vote.
Faith: I just want to sleep, yo, for like a week!
Dawn: I guess we all could, if we wanted to.
Willow: Yeah. (smiles) The First is scrunched, so… what do you think we should do, Buffy?
Faith: Yeah, you’re not the one and only chosen anymore. Just gotta live like a person. How’s that feel?
Dawn: Yeah, Buffy. What are we gonna do now?
(As the others chatter around her, Buffy just stares straight ahead at the hole formerly known as Sunnydale. As she contemplates what’s next, she smiles.)

Rating
A+

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” 7×21 – End of Days

Yes, I cheered like a little girl during this episode’s final moments. Even though I’d noticed David Boreanaz’s name in the credits at the beginning, I was still jumping in joy when he showed up during Buffy and Caleb’s epic fight sequence. Best. Ending. Ever.

In fact, End of Days is almost too perfect. Penultimate episodes are always a bit heavy-handed as they mostly serve as a setup, so it was mighty refreshing to see Caleb go down by hour’s end. Although The First is still the ultimate Big Bad this season, I still genuinely thought Caleb would stick around to the very end. So long, preacher!

Other than that incredible final scene, End of Days truly shocked me with its Xander/Dawn subplot. The little fakeout with him knocking her unconscious and driving away with her was a brilliant twist (I immediately thought of Imposter Xander), and Dawn tasering him after finding out this was all Buffy’s idea to send them away was just as amazing.

Seriously, I don’t know how I’m going to feel after finishing this show as I’ve become awfully too attached to these characters and this wonderful universe. At least we still have Angel.


Bits

– Buffy’s speech to Xander about how he’s her real strength got me teary-eyed, but did her extremely similar speech to Spike later ruin that moment for anyone else? Ugh.

– Xander and Dawn’s scene outside the car literally had my jaw drop.

– Did Caleb become a god? Will he return in the series finale? Am I asking the important questions here?

– Buffy and Faith connecting over what it’s like being Slayers but also hot chicks with superpowers: priceless! Also very meta, no?

– Loved Anya’s speech about human nature. So well-written.

– Anya and Andrew’s wheelchair fight was HYSTERICAL, if a bit brief.

– Angel’s entrance really reminded me of Giles’ epic entrance last year, which also happened in the closing moments of the penultimate episode. Amazing.

– Was the last time Buffy and Angel shared the screen together way back during Joyce’s funeral? Because man, I’ve missed their chemistry.

– Angel’s reactions while watching Buffy fight Caleb were hilarious.

– Spike watching Buffy and Angel kiss (which, by the way, YESSS!) and The First showing up in Buffy form saying “that bitch” is a terrific way to bookend this near-perfect hour. I got chills.

– My predictions for the series finale: the world doesn’t end but we’ll have multiple casualties. Dare I say even Buffy might die? Because since there’s still another season of Angel in this universe, I feel that there would be plenty to explore post-Buffy’s death.

Quotes

Kennedy: So we got a plan now or anything?
Buffy: Yeah, there’s a plan: get ready, time’s up.

Buffy: I think it’s maybe some kind of scythe. The only thing I know for sure is it made Caleb back off in a hurry.
Willow: So it’s true. Scythe matters.
Giles: Ignoring that.

Giles: In addition to being ancient, it’s clearly mystical.
Buffy: Yeah, I figured that one out when I King Arthur’d it out of the stone.

Anya: Many of these girls will die. Slaughterhouse is what it is.
Wounded Potential (alarmed): What?
Anya: Oh, trying to talk will just kill you sooner.

Anya: I’ll get Kennedy to watch the girls. Imminent death won’t bother her.
Wounded Potential (sits up): What?!

Xander: I feel like you’re putting me out to pasture.
Buffy: Of course I’m not putting you out to pasture. What does that even mean?

Faith: Somebody has to lead. Let’s vote for Chao-Ahn. It’s harder to lead people into a deathtrap if you don’t speak English.

Buffy: I love my friends. I’m very grateful for them. But that’s the price. Being a slayer.
Faith: There’s only supposed to be one. Maybe that’s why you and I can never get along. We’re not supposed to exist together.
Buffy: Also, you went evil and were killing people.
Faith: Good point. Also a factor.

Faith: Thank God we’re hot chicks with superpowers.
Buffy: Takes the edge off.
Faith: Comforting.

Anya: I guess I was kinda new to bein’ around humans before. But now I’ve… seen a lot more, gotten to know people… seen what they’re capable of, and… (shrugs) I guess I just realized…how amazingly screwed up they all are. I mean really, really screwed-up in a monumental fashion.
Andrew: Oh.
Anya: And they have no purpose that unites them, so they just drift around, blundering through life until they die…which they…they know is coming, yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They’re incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane. And yet, here’s the thing. When it’s something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they’re lame morons for fighting, but they do. They never… never quit. So I guess I will keep fighting, too.

Rating
A

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” 7×20 – Touched

What an ending!

If anything, Touched feels like a great setup to the final two episodes of Buffy. It lacks a whole lot of momentum (or plot, for that matter), but it makes up for it with a killer cliffhanger. After Faith and her new team of recruits succeed in taking down a whole bunch of Bringers (in a weird and dimly-lit fight sequence), Faith opens a box only to find a bomb with a timer on it. And there’s only 5 seconds left. Not the most creative endings but Faith’s screams “everyone get down!” along with the sound of the timer ticking as the credits start rolling definitely had me on the edge of my seat.

The rest of the episode gives the characters an opportunity to rekindle an old romance or spark a new one. I was taken back by Faith and Principal Wood’s sex scene because it felt so random, but Willow and Kennedy’s was just as shocking because of how graphic and raw it was. I’m definitely rooting for these two – and Anya and Xander! Buffy and Spike, on the other hand, I still feel very indifferent about.

Finally, Touched made a few odd directional choices. The shaky cam throughout the entire hour was very distracting (it’s also the reason I never watched Friday Night Lights) and the sex montage did seem like something How To Get Away With Murder would do – not in a good way, of course.

Let’s see what the final two episodes have to offer.


Bits

– Loved the fakeout with Kennedy being alone in that dark alley only to have the rest of the team in hiding.

– I was cheering during Spike and Faith’s brief fight scene. We need more of this!

– Seriously wondering why Faith didn’t get her own damn spinoff. Such a missed opportunity.

– Chilling moment as Faith seeing The First in the form of Principal Snyder. I miss that evil old man.

– Snyder spelling out ‘hell’ as H-E-double-hockey-sticks was kind of funny.

– Was Buffy referencing the rape scene when she tells Spike “you really have problems with ‘no’, don’t you?”.

– Never thought how “casualties” is, well, a casual word. So eye-opening.

– The simultaneous Buffy/Caleb and Slayers/Bringers fight sequence was intense, no?

– What…was that thing Buffy found in the vineyard basement? And does it have anything to do with Faith finding a bomb?

Quotes

Buffy: Is this going to do anything? Or is all of this just to make the Bringers sweat? Do the Bringers sweat?
Caleb: Actually, I think they pant.

Dawn: I’ve been reading this old Turkish spell book. There’s an old conjuration that the ancient Turks used to communicate with the dying.
Willow: Oh, yeah. I think I’ve read a translation of it.
Dawn: There’s a translation of it?!

Spike (to Buffy): I’ve been alive a bit longer than you. And dead a lot longer than that.

Spike: When I say, “I love you,” it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. (a tear rolls down Buffy’s cheek) I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a woman. You’re the one, Buffy.
Buffy: I don’t wanna be the one.
Spike: I don’t wanna be this good-looking and athletic. We all have crosses to bear.

Rating
A-

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” 7×19 – Empty Places

I was really loving this episode…up until that sloppy ending.

There’s no way I can believe that Dawn would kick Buffy out of her own house and the latter would just accept that and simply walk out! It’s completey out of character and truly a disastrous ending to an otherwise solid hour. Let’s hope the next one immediately course-corrects this awful writing decision.

The rest of Empty Places was quite powerful in its own way. It’s interesting how Buffy doesn’t physically fight any villain or demon all throughout this hour, but the fight that occurs verbally at home more than makes up for it. Anya’s speech about how Buffy is more powerful than everyone but not because she deserves it is thought-provoking and brilliant, and the fact that everyone else wanted Faith to lead them instead of reckless Buffy made for a pretty dramatic climax.

It also certainly helps that Caleb is strong and relentless. I never really liked Nathan Fillion, but I’ll have to admit he’s doing tremendous work as the evil preacher, and I look forward to seeing why he really wants Buffy to suffer.


Bits

– How hilarious is Clem? I’m really going to miss this ugly-looking creature.

– There’s really a sense of urgency this week with the whole town freaking out, but what the hell happened to the cops?

– On that note, if people were really freaking out about the upcoming apocalypse, why were there so many people dancing and getting drunk at The Bronze?

– Tear-jerking moment as Willow breaks down crying by Xander’s bedside. I love these two.

– Andrew writing “breakup sex” on the board as Anya was speaking: priceless.

– Spike and Andrew discussing fast food on a motorcycle felt a bit manipulative. The writers just wanted an excuse for a funny scene in an otherwise depressing hour.

– Love how Dawn ran up to Xander and gave him a hug at his awful Welcome Home party.

– Rona, I usually love ya but that comment you made after Buffy left: UNACCEPTABLE. Now you must pay.

– Buffy telling Faith at the end to “lead” the girls: barf. Seriously hated how Dawn kicked her sister out in the most unrealistic sequence known to television.

– Just THREE EPISODES left, people! I don’t think I’m mentally prepared.

Quotes

Clem: It’s getting bad here, really bad. Hellmouth acting up again, people feeling it, getting crazier. You can’t swing a cat without hitting some kind of demonic activity. Not that I swing cats. Or eat–nope. Cutting way back. Cholesterol–morals! I mean morals.

Anya: I know you’re all upset… and I, myself, would much rather be sitting at the bedside of my one-eyed ex-fiance than killing time here with you people in this over-crowded and might I add increasingly ripe-smelling basement. And I would be, too, if not for a certain awkward discussion he and I recently had right over there on that cot immediately following some exciting and unexpected breakup sex.

Andrew: I bet even covert operatives eat curly fries. They’re really good.
Spike: Not as good as those onion blossom things.
Andrew: Ooh, I love those.
Spike: Yeah, me too.
Andrew: It’s an onion, it’s a flower. I don’t understand how such a thing is possible.
Spike: See, the genius of it is you soak it in ice water for an hour so it holds its shape. Then you deep-fry it root-side up for about 5 minutes.
Andrew: Masterful.
Spike: Yeah. (pause) Tell anyone we had this conversation, I’ll bite you.

Kennedy: We didn’t have time to do more. You have to pretend there’s a big party here.
Xander: That’s fine. Parties in this house, I usually end up having to rebuild something.

Anya: You really do think you’re better than we are.
Buffy: No, I–
Anya: But we don’t know. We don’t know if you’re actually better. I mean, you came into the world with certain advantages, sure. I mean, that’s the legacy.
Buffy: I–
Anya: But you didn’t earn it. You didn’t work for it. You’ve never had anybody come up to you and say you deserve these things more than anyone else. They were just handed to you. So that doesn’t make you better than us. It makes you luckier than us.

Rating
B-

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” 7×18 – Dirty Girls

FAITH IS BACK, PEOPLE!!!

I don’t remember the last time I was this excited about a storyline, but bringing back Faith to this already-impressive final season is a genius move. Eliza Dushku is much more relaxed in her role here, making me both sad and angry that she and Buffy never got more screen time together over the course of this season. Every single one of their scenes in Dirty Girls is perfectly written and beautifully performed, and it certainly helps that both Eliza and SMG have grown so much since the last time they shared a scene together. I’m praying Faith sticks around until the very end of the series because, to me, she is just as integral as Xander or Willow.

Another shocking and impressive move is casting Nathan Fillion in the role of Caleb, an evil superpowered preacher who seems to be working with The First and might have something that belongs to Buffy. Fillion, who later becomes the star of Joss Whedon’s Firefly, balances humor and darkness in a near-perfect performance. And the best thing about this villain is that he actually causes trouble, potentially killing two of Buffy’s girls and injuring a whole bunch of others in his first appearance. Wow.

Finally, how incredible was that final scene? Buffy walking past all the potential Slayers that are injured (and Xander, who might have lost an eye) is a devastating sequence, especially because she spent the entire hour trying to convince everyone that she knows what she’s doing. This is going to be brutal for her to admit that she was wrong and that these girls were highly unprepared.


Bits

– I’m genuinely torn between wanting to power through the final stretch of episodes or wanting to savor them. I just can’t believe I’m at the end already.

– What a creepy teaser with Caleb killing a potential Slayer after seemingly trying to help her escape the Bringers. The added twist at the end that he actually has superpowers completely caught me off guard.

– Xander dreaming of the girls pillow-fighting and hitting on him was hilariously absurd.

– Seriously, how incredible are SMG and Eliza Dushku in every scene together? I want more of them please! And why on earth isn’t Eliza a bigger star in 2016 is absolutely ridiculous.

– It’s fascinating to watch Dawn’s dynamic with Faith, especially because we’ve never really seen them interact before (fake memories, hello?). Two seasons later and I still think Dawn’s arc is one of my favorite storylines I’ve seen on television.

– If this is the last we’ve seen of Principal Wood, I truly appreciate the scene where he fires her because she’s got better and more important work to do (i.e. saving the world). A lesser show would have glossed over this part (Buffy having a job) or may have just mentioned it in a throwaway line or something.

– Andrew’s made-up story about Faith was a fun trip down memory lane. So many cool flashbacks and fake-flashbacks.

– It’s amazing how attached I’ve become to Kennedy and Rona. They were both badasses this week.

– Jaw-dropping moment with Caleb squishing his fingers into Xander’s eye. There’s no way any of the original Scooby gang dies before the finale, right? RIGHT?!

– Caleb’s final voiceover while Buffy checks up on all the injuries was chilling.

Quotes

Willow: This girl’s bleeding badly. We have to get her to the hospital!
Faith: Yep. Guess I’m back in Sunnydale.

(after Buffy punches Faith in the face)
Buffy: Sorry, Faith. I didn’t realize that was you.
Faith: It’s all right, B. Luckily, you still punch like you used to.

Faith: Are you protecting vampires? Are you the bad slayer now? (pauses) Am I the good slayer now?

Buffy: He’s with me. He has a soul.
Faith: Oh, he’s like Angel?
Spike: No!
Buffy: Sort of.
Spike: I am nothing like Angel. Angel’s dull as a table lamp. And we have very different coloring.

Buffy: That’s one of the bad guys.
Faith: You should make ’em wear a sign.

Buffy (to Principal Wood): You’re firing me? I just refrained from kicking your ass!

Spike: Not all that tension was about you. Giles was a part of a plan to kill me. For Buffy’s own good.
Faith: Well, that makes me feel better about me, worse about Giles…kinda shaky about you.

Buffy (about Faith and Spike): It’s nice to see you two getting along so well.
Faith: Yeah, you just know all the cool vampires.

Caleb (v.o.): Now, it’s a simple story. Stop me if you’ve heard it. I have found and truly believe that there is nothing so bad it cannot be made better with a story. And this one’s got a happy ending. There once was a woman, and she was foul, like all women, for Adam’s rib was dirty–just like Adam himself–for what was he, but human. But this woman, she was filled with darkness, despair, and why? Because she did not know. She could not see. She didn’t know the good news, the glory that was coming. That’d be you. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. You show up, they’ll get in line. ‘Cause they followed her. And all they have to do is take one more step, and I’ll kill them all. See? I told you it had a happy ending.

Rating
A

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” 7×17 – Lies My Parents Told Me

What a thought-provoking hour.

I still love Buffy’s new leadership role this season and it shows more so than ever in Lies My Parents Told Me, especially as she echoes what Principal Wood’s mother told her son in the first flashback: the mission is what matters. As much as I wouldn’t mind seeing Spike go away, it still somehow makes a lot of sense to keep him on the team. He is, after all, the second strongest member of the group right now, and with the apocalypse coming, you sure as hell need all the muscle you can get.

I didn’t expect William/Spike’s flashbacks to be as heavy-handed as they were, especially after he turned his own mother into a vampire (no thanks to Drusilla), but sadly they were a hit-and-miss for me. I don’t seem to care about Spike nearly as much as the show wants me to, which robs the final moment (Spike staking his mom) of any emotional impact it should have had. Nevertheless, James Marsters turned in another powerful performance – and for a second there, I actually did think he’d killed Wood.


Bits

– Hilarious bit: Giles complaining about the new Sunnydale High library being filled with computers. Boy, do I miss the old days!

– Fred calls Willow halfway through this hour, which prompts Willow to take off (presumably to L.A.?). Does this mean maybe I should start watching the Buffyverse in order now? I’m still not quite caught up on Angel.

– Wood’s sanctuary is very creepy, am I right?

– If this is the end for Wood’s storyline, I have to say it feels a bit undercooked. Maybe he should’ve died?

– Nostalgic moment between Giles and Buffy as they go patrolling during the night.

– Watching this deep, thematic episode made me think how much I’m going to get depressed once the show is over. Will I ever come across another show that’s half as deep and thought-provoking?

Quotes

Buffy: Hey, any apocalypse I avert without dying? Yeah, those are the easy ones.

Spike: With all the rubbish people keep sticking in my head, it’s a wonder there’s room for my brain.
Giles: I don’t think it takes up that much space, do you?

Buffy: Spike is here because I want him here. We need him. I’m in the fight of my life!
Vampire: Really?
Buffy: Not you, Richard.

Rating
A-

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” 7×16 – Storyteller

There’s an admirable elegance to the way this show tests its supporting characters and turns even the least likable, one-dimensional ones into fully realized individuals. Storyteller is a unique episode that miraculously makes Andrew a little more bearable.

Of course, part of this episode’s success is its signature gimmick with Andrew’s video-camera taping everything and everyone around. There’s a comic relief behind all the meta moments, and it’s truly remarkable how this show can produce such an amusing, funny hour despite the overarching apocalyptic theme looming over this season.

Another thing I’ve loved about this season is its relentless serialized pacing. I keep waiting for a weak, standalone-ish villain to pop up, and I keep getting surprised by the writers’ willingness to turn The First into a Big Bad that’s actually terrifying and mysterious. Kudos.


Bits

– Seriously loved every time Andrew spoke to the “viewers”. It even made sense from a writing standpoint for him to start filming everything because the world should know who were the ones saving it.

– The hilarious dream-esque scene introducing Buffy, Spike, Anya and Kennedy (I think?) was just PERFECT. The bright colors, the wind blowing the girls’ hair and Anya with those grapes gave me huge Desperate Housewives vibes.

– Loved seeing Andrew’s delusional perspective of how certain things played out (like Willow attacking him and Jonathan last season, which involved a bit of editing on the show’s part, or how he stabbed his friend earlier this year). I love it when this show gets creative like that.

– The quick cut to Andrew’s big board during Buffy and Principal Wood’s conversation was priceless. What a hilarious episode, honestly.

– How funny was the title of the video Buffy: A Slayer of the Vampires?

– Also funny: Andrew doesn’t notice Willow and Kennedy making out on the couch because he’s too busy admiring Xander’s work on the windows.

– I miss Buffy having visions! Man, I really want to rewatch seasons 2 and 3 now.

– Andrew mouthing Anya’s words during her speech to Xander was very creepy. Someone has an unhealthy obsession with Xander.

– Speaking of which, I was surprised to see Anya and Xander end up in bed together. Was it really the last time for these two, though? I shockingly miss them as a couple now.

– The pig is still alive! Hooray!

– The students attacking the gang at the school was such a cool fight sequence.

– The We Are as Gods song was a bit too much. Don’t cross the line, show.

– The final Buffy/Andrew was really emotional, but also kind of convoluted? I’m sick of this Seal thing being very inconsistent.

Quotes

Anya: For God’s sakes, Andrew. You’ve been in here for 30 minutes. What are you doing?
Andrew: Entertaining and educating.
Anya: Why can’t you just masturbate like the rest of us?

Rona: I don’t know. If we save the world, it will be kind of nice to have a record of it.
Amanda: If we don’t save the world, then nothing matters.
Kennedy: That’s catchy, Amanda. Let’s make that our slogan.

Principal Wood: How do you know that they’re not just dreams?
Buffy: You’re running to catch the bus naked? That’s a dream. Army of vicious vampire creatures? That’s a vision. Also, I was awake.
Principal Wood: A bus to where? I mean, an army of how many?

Buffy: You stabbed Jonathan to death! What were you trying to do, scratch his back from the front?

Rating
A-

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” 7×15 – Get It Done

Get It Done is a tightly plotted hour that takes something truly disturbing (Chloe hanging herself) and turns it into a powerful moment (becoming stronger as a team).

It’s so fascinating to watch our heroine take on a leadership role after seven years of being a slayer, and her dictatorship is quite impactful here. Seeing The First Slayer again was also a great touch, even if the Shadow Men were a bit lame in execution. There’s a great sense of urgency this season, and I can’t wait to see how it all goes down.

We’re getting close to the end!


Bits

– I didn’t even realize that Principal Wood’s mother was the slayer Spike fought at that New York bus. Awesome continuity.

– Chilling teaser with Buffy seeing The First Slayer in her dream.

– I like Kennedy and Willow together, and it was necessary for her character to show Kennedy truly freaking out over Willow’s powers.

– Willow mentioning that Principal Wood is “so much cooler than Snyder” is definitely spot-on.

– Intense scene between Wood and Spike. I hope this doesn’t get dragged out too long, though.

– Very odd moment with Spike lighting a cigarette on the demon’s horn.

Quotes

Anya: You know, the only thing worse than being a human is being trapped inside a house full of humans.

Buffy: Why are you here? Aside from getting rescued, what is it that you do?
Anya: I provide much-needed sarcasm.
Xander: Um, that would kinda be my job actually.

Willow: No, I don’t think we should wait right now. Opening a portal this size could take days.
Kennedy: Better get started.
Willow: I think I might pee my pants.
Kennedy: You can do it. The magics, not the pants thing.

Rating
B