beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah
dear. it's a body. i've never seen a body before.
help, i say, help!
SWUDAM seeks similar minded SWUDAF for fun, games and mass slaughters. Possible LTR. Must be medication friendly. Mother issues a plus.
On the surface of this very special, very disturbing episode of Buffy, everybody appears to have turned into colossal assholes. Buffy’s Dad? Cancels their very special, very lame “traditional” trip to the ice capades for Buffy’s birthday. [Buffy's nightmare came true after all! -SP] Giles, rather than filling in for Buffy’s slacker dad, hypnotizes Buffy and drugs her to sap her of her strength before sending her out on patrol. The Watchers Council sets Buffy up for a Cruciamentum or Crucimatum or—something really bad (to be fair, they were probably colossal assholes before.). Angel continues to be moody and un”satisfied”.
So in retrospect, perhaps it’s just all of the men that turned into colossal assholes. There’s a message here somewhere about men holding a good woman down, I just know it. Except Xander. And Oz. But they weren’t really on-screen long enough to become assholes. Maybe they were off together. Torturing puppies instead of women, or something.
As you probably haven’t guessed from the above, but probably already knew because you’ve seen it before, some lucky girl’s turning 18 this episode! Who could it be? Any guesses? That’s right, it’s the Buffster herself! Any idea how she’ll possibly top last year’s fun-filled fiesta of death, misery and pain? Me either!
Kicking it into high right from the start, Buffy whiles away her young life by partaking in indoor moodily lit picnics and sparring with the King of Mope, more commonly known by people who actually like his character as Angel. She wins, he’s not exactly “satisfied”, if you know what I mean *wink*wink*nudge*nudge* and Buffy agrees that she too is not satisfied and never can be “satisfied” again, at least not with him, and is this really the way anyone should kick off their 18th birthday?
we’re on things one should not do to kick off ones birthday
include getting drugged by one's Watcher in one's high school library
playing with phallic symbols, fighting vampires while weak, almost
staked with one's own pointy stick, and going square dancing. Out of
“don’ts”, Buffy goes for 3 out of 4. A portent of doom, if
So why is Giles drugging Buffy? Besides him being evil and a traitor? Well, he doesn’t really want to, and he’s all conflicted and torn up on the inside, oh inside he’s crying, but he’s going along with the Watchers Council. Why? Because he’s a Watcher, man. He’s a prim and proper tweed-clad Watcher of a Slayer, and don’t you forget it. He’s caving to peer pressure and trying to prove that he’s still British and that he’s good enough to go kayaking with the most ruthless of them. Also, he’s trying to pretend that he’s a professional and that he hasn’t gotten too attached to Buffy. In a FATHERLY way. That’s right. I know where you were headed there, and don’t. Not that it would be less socially acceptable to date someone who’s only 20 or so years your senior, versus 220 and legally dead, but still. Leave it for fan fic.
So Buffy’s being unwittingly drugged by her father-figure. Her actual father has dissed her for greener pastures—I mean because he has a lot of work to do (if we are to believe later seasons, I believe this translates as his secretary and the country of Spain). The drugging somehow suppresses her adrenals or has adrenal suppressors in it or—you know, it doesn’t really matter. Because Buffy’s powers are supernatural and not supernatural as in growing humongoid muscles overnight because she’s not any buffer now than when she was a vapid teenage shoplifter, but supernatural as in not really muscles causing the strength but more an undefined source of possibly demonic-in-nature power. So how adrenals are being suppressed or doing the suppressing doesn’t really matter, because it’s just something they made up. Much like they made up the Slayer and the idea that the audience found Spike without a shirt compelling. So her powers? Gone. And so long as we don’t think of the “how”, it’s all good. Because guess what? Buffy without powers can only mean one thing! Angst! And not the will-they-or-won’t-they-or-will-they-when-you-know-they-won’t-but-will-they angst of B/A, but bonafide, honest to Pete, I-lost-my-truck-my-woman-and-my-dog angst!
It’s time for the mid-life crisis portion of our intrepid heroine’s madcap life! And for slayers, 18 is probably as good a time as any, because chances are they’re not making it until 40 and that oh-so-fun impulse truck buying, earring having, ponytail sporting phase.
Oh, sorry, that was my dad. Buffy’s is much less fun. She wonders what she’ll be when she grows up if she can’t run around killing things all the time. What will she have to offer? Who will love her? Will Angel still like her without super powers? If she loses her powers, is she nothing more than Spordelia? Will she revert to her old self? Can she be normal? Does she want to be? She knows too much, seen too much, given too many demons her full name, address and the key to her front door—how will she be able to live knowing what goes bump in the night?
The same way Willow, Giles and Xander do, dumbass.
Angel assures her he’ll still dig her, because he’s a stand up guy like that, and gives her a birthday gift that pretty much screams “I know nothing about you. I haven’t bothered. Don’t want to. Don’t care to.” Even I know better than to buy Buffy a Sartre or something like it book full of pretty words like thou and wilt. Get her some chocolates! Some of those kooky things for her hair that she loves so much! Shoes! Clothes! A severed arm in a box! The still beating heart of a virgin! What, are all the good stores closed by the time he can go out? Has the dumbass never heard of the internet?
We all know Buffy is never cracking that book, right? Never. Not even when she’s in the old slayer’s home, boring the other residents with tales of her past glories while waiting for Willow and Xander to totter out for their afternoon constitutional, but Xander and Willow aren’t coming because damned if they can stand to hear Buffy talk about having to kill Angel one more freaking time. Not even then will that book see the light of day.
While Buffy asks the tough questions of herself and provides no answers, Giles pretends to research the problem. He’s lying, of course, because he already knows what’s the what. Really, he’s holed up at some creepy inn the WC seems to have purchased specifically to torture Buffy with. Happy Birthday! It’s not every girl that gets a death trap when she turns 18. Not only that, but inside there’s a special treat! That’s right, today we meet bachelor #4. Kralick is an insane vampire on medication that likes to do horrible things to women and has mother issues up the ying yang. He’s aware of this. And he’s searching for a special young lady who enjoys the finer things in life—like prozac. Unfortunately, his search for love has gotten unavoidably detained as the WC seems to have rounded him up and strapped him into a box. And every once in awhile they open the door and feed him some pills on a long spoon to make the voices go away. But he’s okay with that, because Buffy is the prize in his cracker jacks. See, she’s supposed to defeat him without her magic powers on her 18th birthday. It’s some “rite of passage” the WC puts every lucky gal through who makes it to the big 1-8. Because it’s not reward enough that they get to spend their lives hunting and killing and fighting and getting kicked out of school—oh no, something’s missing from their lives. And the C-thingy is it.
In the midst of all this chaos and lack of powers, Buffy leaves her super power endowed boytoy and walks home alone. This, of course, does not end well. Kralik and his new lackey (a former WC momma’s boy who found enlightenment in Kralik’s bite, who then found happiness in sucking his former friend and fellow WC momma’s boy dry) find her, taunt her and steal her coat. Giles finds her just in time and confesses his wrongdoings and says he’s really, really sorry and promises to do anything to earn back her trust but Buffy has none of it and throws something at him and then really insults him by asking Cordelia for a ride home. Poor, poor, evil Giles. He tells her everything, thereby nulling and voiding the test and thereby laying the groundwork to getting his ass fired, all for naught. She doesn’t know him. She’s not sure she wants to. Maybe she should give him that Sartre book, just for good measure.
Kralik finds Buffy’s house, probably by stopping any random demon on the street and asking where the Slayer lives, and uses the coat he stole from Buffy to lure Joyce to gramma’s house. He then makes her pose for lots and lots of pictures while telling her lovely bedtime stories about his mother and her naughty habits involving her child and scissors and about how he killed her and about how he’s going to make Buffy like him and make her his bride and have her eat her mother. The brothers Grimm would be so proud. Add some hearth ashes and a pumpkin and you’ve got a fairy tale worthy of their illustrious tomes.
Kralik thoughtfully left Buffy a picture of her mom inviting Buffy on over to the inn for tea and biscuits, so Buffy changes her clothes into the overalls of determindness, tosses her hair back into a fetching little ‘do, packs a bag that she then hoists as if it actually has things in it and is very, very heavy [because, see, she has no strength! so even the bag itself when empty is too heavy for fragile little her! -SP], then walks on over to the inn. The rest is all very moodily lit and very tense and involves Buffy trying to fight like a girl. She dodges, she leaps, she squeals, she pushes a bookcase over, she kicks, she slaps with limp wrists. I fail to see hair pulling and bitchslapping, but she’s new to this fighting like a real girl thing, so we’ll cut her some slack.
Giles, meanwhile, has been busy busying himself trying to get a hold of Quentin to cancel the show. Quentin is all “too late, dude” and Giles gives him a rousing speech about him being a cold motherfucker and then defies tradition and common sense by going after his Slayer.
Buffy, having temporarily dispatched of the lackey possibly named Hobbes [the stuffed tiger???], plays cat and mouse with Kralik, loses her weapons to the sadistic mofo and runs upstairs to find a room wallpapered in polaroids of her gagged mother looking less than thrilled. She is a bit creeped out by this. Understandably. Without her super strength and cunning she is soon cornered in the hall. Luckily for her, Kralik has an attack of the crazies right at the crucial moment and temporarily stops hitting on her to scramble for his pills. Buffy has a moment of clarity, grabs the pills and dives down the convenient laundry chute. As luck would have it, she lands in the exact room her mother is being held prisoner. Unable to break her mother free, and don’t think it didn’t take a lot of restraint on Joyce’s part not to taunt her newly weak daughter, Buffy cleverly fills the water glass with holy water and then watches as poor Kralik, who only wanted someone to love him, sucks it down and combusts. She attempts to bust her mom out and almost gets killed by Hobbes, but luckily Giles shows up and stakes him. Because he likes Buffy. He really, really likes her. Like a dad.
Giles gets fired for having a paternal love for his charge, Buffy decides to forgive him because Quentin fired him for loving her and to be a stone cold bitch, even if he did try to kill her, after hearing that would be wrong, and Willow has a really, really hard time dealing with Giles being between jobs while wearing a really ugly hat.
And Xander fails to open a jar of peanut butter.
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