beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah





season seven  >  dirty girls


This week on Buffy we’re introduced to a new character. Yes, that’s right, a NEW character who appears to be rather integral to the whole plot, unlike our beloved characters of old, is being added with four episodes left to go. Why? Well, we here at b&bt are fairly certain that the newly introduced character of Caleb was pulled out of someone’s ass approximately 2-2 ½ weeks ago when it became pretty damn clear that this whole First thing? Not really that intriguing. Or compelling. Or interesting. We are also pretty sure this is the case for the existence of Jasmine over on Angel. Two storylines, two poorly paced seasons and two actors that Joss loved so much that he went on to message boards and posted how much he loved the actors on his other show bestest--a coincidence that he finds places for them on his two other shows as soon as Firefly ropes its last steer?


We think not.


Therefore we salute your asspull, ME, and raise the roof to you. It’s not just anyone who can admit secretly to themselves that their shows are going nowhere and come up with something overnight to fix it while pretending it was planned all along [Actually, I don't know if they so much realized the shows were going nowhere as much as Joss was just all sad he couldn't work with Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres anymore and so he wrote them into the scripts so they could still hang out. What, did he think they wouldn't hang out with them unless he was paying them? -SP]. We’re not really sure Caleb is the route we would have taken, and we think it can be safely assumed that Joss and Co. have as many issues with organized religion and ministers as they do with fathers, but hey. He’s got a cool southern drawl and sassy, sassy hair, so there we go. All better.


Anyway, we meet Lt. Asspull, heretofore referred to by his more common moniker of Captain Tightpants Caleb, when he picks up yet another potential running from Bringers on some dark, windy country road. This one's name is Shannon--she’s 16ish, likes long runs through the woods at night while being chased by psychopaths, sloppy kisses in the rain and thinks that NSYNC is way cooler than the BSB. After much babbling and crazy talk from Caleb, he calls Shannon dirty, stabs her needlessly in the gut—and let me just say, that I’m going to assume this entire season has been a big, huge, tongue-in-cheek parody and/or serious social commentary on how society in general treats strong women, because if not everyone at ME is just a little more messed up than we thought—asks her to please tell Buffy that he has something of hers and tosses her out of his moving car so Willow and Faith can pick her up five seconds later on their way home from LA. That there’s some good timing. The First is nothing if not time savvy.



We leave the fun world of twisted preachermen, their dirty, dirty whores and their Bringers who don’t hold truck with Satan because Satan’s a little man, and enter the twisted mind of a young adult who hasn’t gotten any in awhile. Yes, that’s right, we join Xander mid skeezy fantasy! Xander dreams that two of the potentials want to get it on with him and each other in front of him. Let’s just take a moment to ignore the fact that two virgins wouldn’t be a whole hell of a lot of fun to sleep with, no matter how hot they were [and also, aren't they like 16?], and focus on the fact that sometime between this episode and the last, about 20 potentials moved into Xander’s apartment [I thought he was sleeping in one of Buffy's bedrooms. I figured he had moved out of his apartment and into her house because, hey, the more the merrier!]. The hell? Did they do a protection spell or something? Did they figure that the Bringers, who tracked down potentials all over the world, wouldn’t find them at Xander’s? Are there really so many more potentials around that they can’t all fit into Buffy’s house? And who even knew Xander still had an apartment? He hasn’t been there in 10 episodes. Since he still has his apartment, does this mean that he still has a job? And while we’re pondering such matters, does Willow still go to school? Does Dawn? Does anyone know what the hell is going on with any of the characters besides Buffy and Spike? Well, now we know what’s going on with Xander, thanks to this in-depth view into his psyche. Though, if given a choice between being involved in a scene where jacking off to a fantasy of underage girls pillowfighting in their skivvies counts as the “character development” for you that season or nothing, I think I might consider the “nothing” angle. But whatever.


I’m not feeling very linear, so apologies in advance. Scene by scene or even description bordering on chronological is just not happening. So let’s just ditch this charade of me being a neat, orderly person, mmkay? Basically what happens is that Faith comes back, there’s some tenseness between Buffy and Faith because Buffy carries a grudge and while I thought it was a really nice touch that they showed Buffy trying to bury her hate for the mission even if it was fairly unsuccessful, she should really just give it up already. It’s not like she’s not hugging Willow and lending her power after Willow tried to kill her, Dawn and Giles. Plus, Faith feels really bad. You can tell. There’s pain behind those quips.


Let’s see…what else happened? Faith and Spike bonded over cigarettes and Faith’s cleavage in the basement while discussing bullwhips and schoolgirl outfits. Andrew gave some potentials a history lesson on Faith that involved her trying to kill Spock. Vi was the missing potential this week, taking over the dearly departed Chloe’s coveted role. Buffy and Giles continue to be bitter at each other over the whole Spike thing—at least we think they are. We kind of have to just sort of assume so, they only had about five seconds on screen together and most of that was Giles calling her crazy for wanting to go after Caleb without proper research and Buffy being bitchy and telling him to help the girls who still needed a teacher. Xander gave a rousing “go Buffy, we love Buffy” speech to some bitter potentials who think Buffy’s crazy and trying to kill them and while I’m not really sure what he meant by not literally seeing Buffy’s heart this time, it was really moving and shit. And Caleb talked to the First. A lot. He’s a talker.


We learned lots of vague things about this preacher man, because he talked a lot. Caleb blew up the Watcher’s council and has stuck a lot of splits. Caleb considers the Bringers to be his boys, and likes to lovingly refer to them as the “Ray Charles Brigade”. Caleb wears the uniform of a preacher even if he’s not on that side anymore because you can’t forget where you came from. Caleb likes to have the First wear the guises of girls that he’s killed so he can pretend to kill them again. It makes him all nostalgic for the good ole days. Caleb figures that he never spent too much time in one parish because he asked the tough questions in his search for the truth, ie what would have happened at the last supper if you wanted chardonnay and not red wine? One would think it would have had more to do with him offing his dirty whore parishioners, but I haven’t been to church in many, many years so I’m not really sure that’s a punishable crime anymore.


Lots of other stuff happened, and it’s not like I hated this episode until it got to the last 15 minutes, but once I sit back and try to write about it, lots of little things annoy me. For instance, while trying to find Caleb’s hiding spot Buffy and Faith openly follow a Bringer who is actually ambling. He’s loping along as if he’s on a Sunday stroll. The damn thing’s practically whistling a jaunty tune. Not very skulky or evil of him. And, also, not very skulky of the fucking Slayers. See, I have a problem with this, and this is also why the final fight cheesed me off. One would think, after 7 years or so of fighting evil and staying alive, for the most part, that one would be better at recon. One might try to, oh, I dunno—find an entrance that is not the front door [And then stomp down the stairs really loudly in spikey boots]? I mean, come on, Buffy didn’t even just jump into a den of vamps in The Freshman—her skinny little ass crawled onto the roof with the Xandman and she assessed the situation through the skylight. Sure, she fell through it, but that’s not my fucking point. My point is, they’re getting lazy and it bothers me.


The entire fight scene in the winery fell flat and was extremely pointless from my point of view. Fine, we watch Buffy get crushed when she realizes that Caleb really didn’t have anything of hers and then we get to see her swatted across the room by the super strong preacher man. But a Slayer who doesn’t even carry a weapon into battle totally deserves to be swatted across the freaking room. Seriously. No weapon. She knows nothing about this Caleb dude, but she goes in weaponless.


I could go on forever about this horrible scene, but I can’t completely blame ME. In the script the fight actually comes off well. If you have time go to and read the scenes. Compare how it is on the page to how it was translated on to the screen. I know you can’t always follow the script perfectly, but I think in this case they really should have tried. It was supposed to be big and chaotic, but instead came off as stilted and as if everyone was in their own little secluded battle arena.


Xander and the back up were supposed to come in swinging—Xander didn’t just shoot a crossbow at Caleb’s wrist and then stand there. He was also supposed to fight off Bringers and protect Buffy until she regained consciousness. Faith was supposed to carry out a retreating potential. It was all just…better. But eh, I’m bitter. And did I mention that Xander lost an eye? Gouged out by Caleb with a mocking “so you’re the guy who sees things”? Which didn’t really bother me—hell, after 7 years of fighting demons as a mere mortal he’s lucky that’s all he’s lost. But there are only four episodes left, and it still feels like we’re treading water. And now, instead of spending time with Willow, Xander, Giles, Anya or hell, even Dawn, we’re going to have to spend precious time on some new misogynistic preacher as he works out his whore issues. Yay. If I missed anything in all this bitterness, I’m sure SP can fill you in.

Actually, I think you pretty much covered it. There was the time I was annoyed when Shannon was recounting her story of meeting Caleb to Buffy and Willow at the hospital and she said that bringers were chasing her. Since when are the potentials hip on the lingo of the First-of-whom-nothing-is-written before they even meet up with Buffy and gang? And speaking of Shannon, we should probably mention that Buffy went blazing after Caleb because he told Shannon to give Buffy a message that he had something of hers. And so Buffy said, hey, let's bring all the girls who the First is after right to his partner! Even though Giles so wisely pointed out that possibly all Caleb had was her stapler. And turns out he had nothing until she brought those potentials right to him.


Apparently, Buffy just doesn't ever learn. Didn't Angel trick her like this in Becoming, when he lured her away so he could kidnap Giles? (Yet aanother time she didn't listen to him and got people around her hurt and killed). Oh, and that time she went after the Master by herself, and it turns out that by coming to get him, she actually freed him instead? That was a bitch. So, Buffy is always all cocky, putting people in danger, and this is what happens. Someone gets an eye poked out.


What else happened? Oh right, we have no idea what happened with Anya because she wasn't even in the episode. Not like usual, when she's just not in the episode in any meaningful way, but actually, literally, not at all. Not even a mention of hey, wonder where Anya went? She said she was running to the store for cigarettes three days ago. Or, I wonder if one of D'Hoffryn's minions finally took that strangely literal girl out. Not a mention. Although maybe she's thankful. We've been whining that Xander's been missing all season, so they finally give him a scene and poke his eye out. You know, that's not exactly what we were looking for, thanks.


Oh, and Buffy got fired. You'd think it would be because Buffy basically told Wood she'd let her recently and possibly still evil vampire boyfriend kill him if he wanted to, but no, apparently it's because it's the mission that's important. And while Buffy is all bitter at Giles for the Spike thing, she tells Wood that everything is good between them. Well, except the firing thing. Which makes sense, since she and Wood have such a long history between them, and Wood has sacrificed so much for her, while Giles she only just met and... Oh wait.


Another thing worth mentioning is that the First seems to have no power except talking people to death, and while Buffy seems to take that pretty lightly, the First actually does a pretty good job of it. The First is even manipulating her fairly well. The whole role-playing thing with Caleb seemed rather well, stupid, but I think it was actually an attempt to show us how the First was able to manipulate Caleb into doing its bidding. Well, that and he doesn't seem too fond of young girls anyway, so it probably wasn't all that hard to convince him to set his sights on slayers.


Four episodes left. And we're exploring the psyche of a character we have never seen before and leaving characters from the actual credits out of the episode entirely. Sigh.




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