beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah
I just think you're in some pain here. Which I do kind of enjoy 'cause I'm evil now.
season seven > conversations with dead people
First, this episode kicked ass. Seriously. Kicked. Ass. Second, however, where the fuck was Xander? Maybe he would have liked to have a conversation with a dead person too! Like, maybe with Jesse!
Jesse: Dude, you killed me! That's messed up.
Xander: I didn't mean to! Plus, as much as I wanted to believe that some part of you was left in there, you were dead. It was all vampire demon in your body. Giles explained to me how it's all black and white.
Jesse: Huh. I bet this whole shades of gray thing going on now really harshes your mellow then, huh, if you've been telling yourself all this time that's it's all cut and dried and so it's OK that you killed me. Drove that stake right through my heart. That kinda stung a little. Plus, it hurt my feelings.
Xander: I had to kill you. It is black and white. Everyone else is all wishy washy! "Angel has a soul. I can sleep with him with no consequences." "Spike has a chip. He'd never hurt me." Wrong and wrong. Just proves I'm right. Plus, if things are gray-shaded, then maybe I didn't have to kill you after all, and do you really think I want to have that on my conscience? I have enough on my mind, what with sending Anya back into vengeance and all. Plus, that nagging feeling that my inability to return Willow's love turned her away from men forever and ultimately kept her from taking Oz back. Which means I'm responsible for one more mopey werewolf in the world. That's a lot of pressure.
Jesse: Sheesh. You sure do have a only-a-lone-carpenter-can-save-the-world syndrome, don't you? Get over yourself already.
Xander: Hey! I did save the world! Lots of times! Oh, oh! You've been dead, so you haven't heard yet. Let me tell you my yellow crayon story...
Or, OK, if ME felt they didn't have time for Xander's conversation, they could have interrupted a bit of Dawn's time of making marshmallows go poof and dancing the salsa for some explanation of why Xander wasn't around:
Xander: Hey Dawn. I know how Buffy and Willow leave you alone all the time, so I just thought I'd stop by to see if you needed anything. Back to the cuter-me crush? Not planning to throw yourself under any speeding trains or anything?
Dawn: No, I'm good. Unless you want to play the vampire in my I'm-the-cool-slayer-who-has-sex-that's-rough-and-kills-people game.
Dawn: Well, that should be ... different.
But since we didn't see him at all, I'm betting on a third possibly.
He was out saving the world. Again. But we didn't see it because it would be inconsistent for him to actually get recognition for it.
But onward to the parts of the episode we did see.
Spike's at the bronze, drinking whiskey, being mopey. Probably because he had these high hopes about rooming with Xander. How they could lay around and watch movies. Xander could eat popcorn while Spike had a little wheatabix in his blood. Maybe Spike could give Xander highlights, since he seems to be very experienced with bleaching hair. They could talk about how girls suck, and who needs 'em. Which would naturally lead to...
But no, Xander's out doing who knows what and Spike's alone.
Willow is in the completely empty UC Sunnydale library. Now, I realize I went to college a really long time ago, but if I recall correctly, our library was never empty no matter what time of day or night it was. In fact, people always were hogging the good comfy chairs even if it was 2 in the morning. Those rat bastards. Here I was, just trying to get some studying done, and I generally had to just sit on the floor between the stacks. Willow has the whole place to herself and it's making her sleepy. Must be because there are no annoying people sitting at the next table over having a big party with lots of irritating, not-conducive-to-studying noise. Damn them!
Dawn comes home to an empty house, as always, to a note from Buffy with money for food -- not pizza. So, if she can't order pizza, she's supposed to what, walk to a store somewhere and lug back ingredients for a home-cooked meal? We've seen her meals: Are peanut butter and banana quesadillas really all that much better than pizza?
Buffy's walking through a graveyard. Looking for a stray vampire to slay.
Just like the good 'ole days before she starting looking for vampires
for... other purposes. Finally she finds one in the form of a hand shooting
out the ground. You know, she should be more careful before assuming vampire.
Could just be someone being resurrected. Her hand looked pretty similar
to that coming out the grave last year. How funny would that had been
if someone had been wandering around, looking for vampires, and staked
her just as she popped out of the ground? ? [pretty
damn funny. with the added benefit of saving us from season six! oh, what
By the way, we here at boils and binding torment quite liked the song that plays over the teaser, and when we learned that Joss cowrote it, only one question came to mind: "Where the hell did that Firefly theme song come from then? And that hideous song in Selfless? Do you have to write a certain number of horribly crappy songs in order to balance out the good ones? Is this some freakish deal with the devil?" OK, possibly that's more than one question.
Anyway, credits -- that remind us about how Xander is a regular character
on this show, although you wouldn't know it from this episode . [Hey,
let's not forget that Anya's a regular, and she wasn't in it either. Though
Although Dawn is probably home by herself every night, ever since they did away with that Dawn-is-as-old-as-we-were-when-we-first-started-staking-vamps-yet-she-should-be-baby-sat-and-watched-at-all-times thing, and yet to see her here, you'd think this was the very first time she'd been alone ever. Possibly we are to assume that:
a) They haven't actually done away with that yet, and Xander was supposed to watch her but is inexplicably missing, hence his absence in this episode and we're supposed to be all "oh no! Where's Xander!?" or
b) They only just now have done away with that, and this is Dawn's first time alone in the house in her entire life. or
c) They thought it would be funny. And since they got such a great
reaction from Dawn's underage ass-shaking last episode, let's just bring
that on back! woop woop!
She dances around to salsa music. She explodes marshmallows in the microwave.
She opens Buffy's hope chest and plays dress up with her things. Of course,
in this case, the hope chest is filled with axes and crossbows and Dawn
dresses up like the slayer. For everyone who is worried that Dawn fighting
and Buffy teaching her is laying the groundwork for Dawn to be the next
slayer, I would just like to point out that Dawn is the most inept person
ever at fighting and weapons. If anything, ME is laying the groundwork
to why Dawn could never be the next slayer. She'd be dead in the
first episode. [Also, if my sister had a bunch of trampy
clothes and a chest full of weapons, I'd be into that thing every night,
terrorizing the neighborhood cats. It's a younger sister thing. Not a
stupid plot device, gonna be a dumbass Slayer thing.]
Then we're back to Willow in that big 'ole empty UC Sunnydale library. Dead, poetry-writing Cassie stops by to check things out. Willow gets all freaked out that this dead person she only knew through her Web page is hanging out chatting with her. Cassie thinks maybe it's weird that Willow never met her in person and only knew her through the Internet. Oh, not that weird Cassie. Willow's thinking it's more the dead thing that's bothering her. But Cassie came to communicate for Tara, because of some lame-ass excuse about Willow not being able to see Tara because of the flaying and all. Willow starts talking to Cassie as though she is Tara and I was so ready to turn the channel if they started getting all Ghost and making pottery together and making out.
By the way, Cassie's purple hair pieces seem really, um, bright, but I don't know if it's because we haven't seen her in such harsh light before or if the hair dresser just got different magic markers this time around.
Then Dawn, probably exhausted from slaying the walls, watches a movie with Kit. Although Kit is on the other end of the phone line. I would mock this, only I've done it myself many many times. I am glad to hear anti-Willow didn't end up in the scary dark place with Mr. Gordo. One minute, Dawn and Kit were best friends, next thing you know, you never see or hear from her again. I was about ready to start a banner campaign.
Dawn keeps hearing a really big fucking noise, although she ignores it for a while. Could be the wind. Could be flesh-eating zombies from space. Either way. However, she gets wigged when she realizes she and Kit aren't watching the same movie, since Kit's has Tom Hanks in it, and Dawn's was made before he was born. Having seen the entire episode, I still don't know what was so scary about the movie being different. Of course, it gets a bit scarier when Dawn can't turn the movie off, even after unplugging the TV. Something wanted her to see that movie. No idea why. Dawn takes an axe to it, somehow avoids getting electrocuted and we've never know the message of the movie. It's a tragedy really.
Back in slayerland, Buffy is having a little trouble with this brand-new, just out of the ground vampire. Looks like she might become dinner and then he recognizes her from school. However, as she's always been a little self-absorbed, she doesn't quite recognize him.
Dawn has such a good time axing the TV, that she decides to go after the rest of the appliances in the house. Granted, they are operating on their own, but was it really necessary to hack away at the entire house? In any case, before she has a chance to murder the portable stereo, she hears Joyce's voice through it. Huh. I bet Dawn feels bad now that she killed all those other things. Who knows what her mom was trying to tell her through the microwave.
Back in the graveyard of memories, Holden and Buffy are talking about old times. He tells her that Scott Hope told everyone that she was gay, but really he was the gay one! Because being gay is funny! While Buffy and Holden are chatting it up, Dawn is all alone in the possessed house trying to call Buffy, who conveniently has lost her phone amongst the fighting and psychoanalyzing. Hey, it happens.
While Dawn is yelling at her mom through the radio, Joyce's dead body appears on the couch, just as it was when she died. [But if you're a goob like me, and were focusing on Dawn being a spazz, you didn't notice this until SP called you a doof and pointed it out.] But when Dawn turns around, nothing is there. The house decides to rearrange itself and turns everything upside down. And writes things in blood on the walls. And shakes around. And then puts everything back how it was. Quite an indecisive house. Dawn decides to talk to the scary thumpy thing, because she thinks it might be her mom since scary things that haunt you could never imitate your dead mother's voice. She then decides possibly her scary dead mom is a trick horse and tells her "one for yes, two for no". In a lively game of 20 questions, she determines that her mom is there, but not alone, and not doing oh so well. I could have told her the last part from all the blood.
Jonathan and Andrew are being all Mission Impossible (with the descending from the ceiling on ropes, not with masks that make them look like other people) and break into the school. Jonathan thinks maybe they can stop this big bad and then Buffy will be his friend and he can hang out with the scooby gang at Buffy's house. I hope you get to Jonathan! They split up, and Warren shows up to quote bad movie lines with Andrew. Hey wait. Warren's dead! And hey. So's Cassie and Joyce! Is this just coincidence that they've all shown up on the same night?!
Holden and Buffy are still talking. Buffy is blabbing about herself,
in that self-absorbed way she has, and Holden, psych student and vampire
extraordinaire is planning his next attack. Meanwhile, Spike is still
hanging out at the bronze, since although Sunnydale has 12 cemeteries,
it has only one bar, and a blonde chippie asks if the seat next to him
is taken. Possibly, she's a big 'ole slut. [In a tremendously
ugly coat. Is the costume designer spending too much money on layering
Buffy? Does she not have enough to clothe the red shirts properly? Should
we organize a fund raising campaign? I mean, it's bad enough they're only
there to die. But to have to die in that? It's inhuman.]
Holden realizes they're going to have to fight to the death, and that should have been foreshadowing enough for ST right there, but no, she had nope til the end. Sucker. [Excuse me, I prefer the term "Pollyanna"] Anyway, he gets all giddy at the thought of them being nemeses, but Buffy is all bummed because she's going to kill him, when he's so nice and all. Except when he's trying to suck all her blood out of her body. But even then, he's still sorta cute.
Dawn is still stuck in the haunted house from hell, and won't leave because she wants to talk to her (only in her fake memories) mom. Who's rotting corpse is now on the couch, pinned down by some scary demon.
Andrew and Jonathan are looking for some seal. They find the spot and start digging.
Buffy is still blabbing. Now she's telling the evil vampire who's been
trying to kill her and has been getting all excited about the prospect
of being diabolical about her relationship with Spike. Could that girl
possibly make it any more about her? [And I'm
not sure if the director asked SMG to really play it detached and disinterested,
or if SMG is genuinely disinterested at this point in the blather they're
making her spout. But if I had to do these scenes with Holden all geeker-joyed
out about being newly evil, I'd be a bit more lively.]
Spike actually looks attractive and cute walking down the street with
the girl who picked him up. He's even smiling. Something must be wrong.
[He ducks his head and I swear to god giggles. He giggles.
My fear of the Willow/Cassie pottery scene is swayed when Cassie tells
Willow that Tara has seen Willow's path. [But man,
I would've paid good money to see that.] And Willow is going to
kill everyone. Willow's already been down the kill everyone road. It was
cool and all, but we're ready for something else to kill everyone. [and,
Jonathan is remembering everyone from high school (maybe he remembers Holden!) and he misses them. He wants to hang out, see how they're doing. Oh Jonathan, too bad Andrew is going to stab you right in the stomach and kill you because he's listening to his dead crush. You just never see something like that coming.
casts a spell to get rid of the demon that's keeping her mom from talking
to her. After much slashing and wind and blown out windows and yelling,
it finally works. Joyce appears like an angel (or possibly like Cordelia),
all glowy and floaty, and tells Dawn that Buffy won't be there for her.
So sad. Of course, knowing as we do that these conversations with dead
people were actually not with who they appeared to be, there's been some
speculation that maybe Joyce was actually there, trying to keep
the big bad from appearing to Dawn as Joyce. So, Dawn may have
actually cast out her own mother. That would suck, wouldn't it?
[No, that would be cool. So I'm sure that wasn't what happened.
Because it would be cool and diabolical. No, this was probably Joyce,
because you're not supposed to think it is Joyce, and Dawn's not going
to tell anyone what she said, of course, because then it'll make good
"drama."--You all know about sarcastic quote marks, right? We
don't have to explain those to you? Good.]
Cassie tells Willow that the only way to keep from killing everyone is
to stop doing magic. A loud thump is heard as throughout the country,
thousands of shoes, lamps, cats, are thrown at TVs. And heard across the
land, through the wind, is just one phrase, "Marti is back from maternity
leave already??" Better yet, Cassie thinks Willow should just kill
herself. That way she won't kill anyone else and she can spend
eternity with her dead girlfriend. Willow starts to suspect something
is up. [I really wish Amber Benson had come back for
this role. Not that I minded Cassie, though I think it's strange they
used her out of all the dead people in Sunnydale. And I stand by my opinion
that it would've rocked to have Warren doing the talking. The tension,
the guilt, it could have been fantastic. But it would have been best to
have Amber back. If evil's going to fuck with you, it's going to do it
right. It's not going to send someone you've never met, but whose poetry
you mocked. Not unless it's a really lame evil.]
As we see Spike lean in for a goodnight blood sucking of slut girl, Holden
tells Buffy that Spike sired him. She gets so mad at Spike that she, stakes
Holden, the guy who's been listening to her whine all night. Of course.
[I'm still really, really bitter
about this. I just wanted you to know that. bitter.]
Willow figures out that Cassie-with-news-from-Tara is actually the "it" that's beneath them. And she's done with the mortal coil and the whole good and evil balance thing. So there.
Dawn is left alone in the rubble. At least she doesn't have to explain that crossbow in the wall now. But I sure hope Buffy doesn't have to go back to work at the double meat to pay to repair everything.
Tell us what you think in the discussion forums.