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season seven  >  showtime



Why is it showtime, you ask? At this point in the season, why the hell not? Seriously. It’s not like they’re advancing the plot in a timely manner or anything, and I’m actually beginning to hope that the way to defeat the big bad is to all just give each other big hugs and play happy music.


If Fury can reference Thunderdome, for fuck’s sake, I can build a fantastic finish on Ghostbusters 2. Besides, try and tell me the whole “First really stupid Evil” doesn’t resemble the evil goo more than a little. You can’t, can you? That’s what I thought. Now all we need is Buffy or Xander to cuddle up next to a Tupperware container full of its essence, and we’re good to go.


But hey, shall we recap? Yes, let’s!


We open at the prestigious Sunnydale bus stop. Another SIT must. Control. Twitching. clambers off a bus. She is, of course, greeted by men in robes with their eyes sewn shut. Does no one else see these people? Are they invisible? Does Sunnydale just not care? Keep pondering that question, folks, because it’s going to come up again when the dumbasses without eyes are circling the Summers’ house. (only it’ll be slightly more bitter. And possibly caustic.) Buffy arrives, saves her, blah blah blah, I thought I’d be safe here, blah blah bliddety blah. Dude, where’s my scone?


Through mercifully short exposition we find that a coven in England is searching for the SITs via wicked powerful Seers and is sending them on to the Hellmouth. Alone and without their Watchers, apparently. Because that’s safe. This newest addition, Rona, never knew what she was until she was contacted. By a coven of witches. In England.

And how, exactly, did that phone call go?


Rona: Hello?
Coven chick: Hey, my name’s Gaia or something earthy like that, and I’m in a coven in England that’s sensed you’re in great danger.
Rona: Excuse me?
CC: No, really. So, if you wouldn’t mind just sort of nipping yourself on over to Sunnydale…
Rona: Listen, lady, if you’re looking for crack, I ain’t got none-
CC: There’s these crazy dudes in robes, and they’re killing all the potentials-
Rona: Potential whats?
CC: Slayers.
Rona: What’s a slayer.
CC: Oh, you know, someone who fights vampires and darkness and doom. Hangs out in cemeteries quite a lot, actually. You’ve heard of her, right? So, anyway, you might be one—well not now, but later, after the current one dies…though, come to think of it there are two, and we’re really not sure how that’s going to work now but, anyway, these guys without eyes, well they have eyes but they’re sort of sewn shut and don’t ask me who does the sewing because I don’t really know but they are sadistic bastards so maybe they do it to themselves?--are coming to kill you, so if you’d just get yourself over to greyhound and head on over to--


And, honestly, did she make the CC talk to her mother? And did her mother deem it best, if she was in great danger and all, to send her by a Greyhound-wannabe alone? Did her mother hate her? Or did she run away, realizing her mother would think she was crazy and maybe lock her up in an insane asylum until she stopped babbling about Chosen Ones and Covens and vampires? Cuz I hear that happens.


These annoying questions aside we return with Buff and the new chick to the thrashed house of Summers. The SITs, and aren’t we glad to see that there are more of them, are up listening to the atrocious accent, aka Molly, tell them about Annabelle. A blond girl with an annoying southern accent [well, really it's an annoying sometimes southern except when she forgets accent -SP] whose name is Eve but really she’s evil because Eve is dead so we’ll call her not!Eve, starts to whine about how they’re all going to die. That’s right, infiltrate and destroy morale from within! While you’re at it, you wanna slam Molly’s fashion sense for me? And maybe think of something mean to say about Chloe? Ahahahaha. Good times.


I suppose I should mention that I don’t truly hate the SITs. Not yet. I’m sure that fairly soon I’ll have had enough of them, but right now what really bothers me is this whole sloppy mythos and the utter inherent stupidity of having tons of potentials without a real reason for them being potentials. [because they were identified, obviously. like Buffy was, at an early age. oh. wait...] Though, from the looks of it, being tiny, pretty, and incapable of getting a zit seems to be a prereq. Let it never be said that TPTB don’t enjoy themselves a little eye candy. Or actually, on a more disturbing level, let it never be said that TPTB don’t enjoy dooming a pretty little lady to a life of death and apocali and dying before she reaches her mid-20s. Sick bastards.


Xander, trying to sleep on the couch, tells the SiTs to shut up. Aw, Xander. Know what? He needs a friend. He does. A normal, Bud Light drinking, football watching, non-super power or breast having friend. That’s the one thing they almost did right with Riley. They almost made him and Xander friends. Almost. But even Xander could never truly be friends with someone who said things like “courted” and “I have feelings for Buffy” and who found earthquakes tremendously exciting. So I suppose I should give ME credit for giving him some taste. [Spike is almost his friend! I mean, I know he hates Spike because Xander is a black and white kind of guy, and Spike is a little too demon-filled for his taste, plus Spike tried to rape his best friend and slept with his ex-fiance, but they hang out sometimes. Remember how they had that whole plan for getting the magic jacket? And how they quickly averted their eyes from each other when asked if any in the group hadn't slept together? Almost friends.]


Alas, sleep is not to be for Xander. Perhaps he should have tried sleeping upstairs with Willow and Kennedy. Except they’re not sleeping and more sort of flirting, if you call Willow cuddled up terrified on the floor in a sleeping bag while Kennedy refuses to let her sleep by talking up a storm by describing her summer house in the Hamptons and other stuff flirting. And I think the producers on this show do. So I’ve been doing it wrong. Which, in retrospect, explains a few things.


Buffy comes in with Rona and, well, gosh. I can’t really recall what happens next. So it’s time to shift into vague recapping mode! I love vague recapping mode!


Not!Eve continues her non-virtuous ways of trying to beat the spark out of the SITs as they “train” in the basement. And I very loosely use the word “train”. The SITs, amazingly enough, truly suck at training. I can see why they think it’s safe to send these fireballs alone to Sunnydale. They can definitely take care of themselves, you know? Except even Dawn can fight better than them. The Scoobs should’ve at least sent Dawn down to the basement to straighten them out. She can do that cool rolling thing, and shoot holes in the wall with a crossbow and it would’ve given her something to do besides whine and crimp her hair. But, no. Instead they train themselves. Molly can barely flip a stake, the one that might be Chloe has a horrible right hook (and yet it outshines SMG’s this past 2 seasons by a mile) and the rest sort of sit there and babble. But we along with the stupid Evil learn a bit more about them. For instance, Kennedy’s bitter because she might be too old to carry the world on her shoulders. Maybe!Chloe’s only ever seen a vampire in a fuzzy picture. Rona had no idea what a Slayer was until all of this started happening. And the one whose name I do not know, but upon reflection might also be Chloe, hopes she’s too young to be called. I can see how not!Eve could consider all of this to be valuable. It’s compelling stuff. And I find it comforting that no one on the show knows how this works either. In that annoying-comforting sort of way. Though you’d think they’d explain to the potentials that there are now 2 slayers and one of them sort of went evil, if for nothing more than as a cautionary fable on falling in love with your powers, rather than leaving it out there as a vague rumor. But, of course, we know the WC was bitter about all things Buffy and probably more than a bit embarrassed about all things Faith, so I’m sure they only divulged information on them when required and spent lots of time praying, or, uh, were praying, seeing as they’re all dead, for the end of the two rogue Slayers’ reigns. It’s no fun being a WC if you don’t have a Slayer to boss around. What’s the point?


I'm bored. Episode one bored.


While the little SITs sit alone in the basement getting themselves into a kerfluffle, Dawn is upstairs threatening to kill Andrew (who has been untied under his own cognizance with the threat of cutting off his legs keeping him in line, much like those invisible fences for dogs. They can’t see it, but they know it’s there. A truly twisted invention. Not that it’s not fun to fuck with your pet in truly evil and horrific fashions, but still. Twisted.) and in a moment that I’ve noticed some people are calling foreshadowing but I just don’t know if I have the faith to put into that anymore, tells him she has no intention of finding out what it’s like to kill your best friend. Now, supposing this was premonitory who, in theory, would be Dawn’s best friend? Buffy? Xander? Kit? Carlos? Mr. Gordo? Anyway, I’m assuming it’s not foreshadowing. Feel free to argue with me though! Even though, you know, you’re wrong.


You're rejecting my offer of sexual bribery? What am I, a leper in this town?! I can't even give it away!


Buffy and Xander, by the way, are not training the SiTs because Willow got a call from the Coven that another Slayer made it to the Dale but is holed up at Faith’s old flea motel. This, of course, would be Eve, and we all know that she’s dead. Because I told you so awhile ago.


During all of this, Anya and Giles, tired of scouring the normal demon world for information, go extort an ex-fling of Anya’s (who would only have sex with her now if she was a leper) into opening the portal to Beljoxi’s Eye. Beljoxi lives in a portal or something and Anya really, really didn’t want to go there. Why is never really explained. It seemed a little windy and dark, but overall I think they’ve been worse places. Maybe Beljoxi turned her down in years past? It would be pretty crushing, to be denied by a blob of eyeballs chained in a cage. I can see why she’d be hesitant to return to that. Anyway, we learn that there is no way to stop that which I refuse to name, and that it’s attacking now because of a weakness in the Slayer line caused by the Slayer. They spend what appears to be an inordinate amount of time in this portal, considering the length of the conversation, and thus miss the action this episode. Which isn’ t necessarily a bad thing. [I think it's because ME needs to fulfill their contract with the Phallic Demon Warehouse and so the big snake suit with many eyes needed additional screen time.] [Gee, they must’ve been really naughty, cuz they only got the head this time. A head. With many, many eyes. The warehouse is scraping the bottom of their barrel, folks.] [no, no! It also had that phallic-like tail thing. Or maybe it was more sperm-like.]


But for a moment, let’s discuss this Slayer weakness thing. A lot of people are assuming it’s because of Buffy being resurrected by magic. And hey, that could be. We did get a lot of “magic’s dangerous” and “there’re always consequences”s last season, it’s possible it’s coming back to haunt us now. But it could also be Buffy’s death in the first season (though this is doubtful as Marti, the showrunner, doesn’t even know this has occurred.) or the enjoining spell that we were promised consequences for in the 4th season. Also, technically, Faith’s the Slayer, Buffy’s just an odd slayer-shaped, super strong appendage to the Slayer line. Is the stupid plot contrivance I will not justify with a name attacking now because Faith’s in jail? Or, maybe even more to the point, because she let her power consume her and turned just the teeniest bit evil, what with going around and murdering college professors and whatnot? Maybe the shapeshifter of nonthreateningness fed off that evil? Or got a wee bit excited by it? Or couldn’t it be something as simple as the fact that Faith’s in jail, and therefore trapped and potentially a hell of a lot easier to kill? I realize she’s been in jail for awhile now, and people are wondering why it took so long to attack and why it chooses now, but Buffy’s also been back awhile and besides, I’m sure this all powerful, really old evil’s got a lot going on, ya know? I’m sure it doesn’t have time to be checking on everything the Slayers do. Besides, if it’s so eternal, what are a few years to it? They’re minutes. Seconds. A couple of heavy sighs. A blip on the radar. Right? Right. So I hold no grudge over this timing issue. Just over the actual thing the issue deals with. Because it’s stupid. And I hate it.


Right. Sorry.



Buffy and Xander get home, go to the basement and order not!Eve out of the house. After a lot of bad guy blathering that would have even put the bad guys on the ‘60s Batman show to shame, she pops out after promising to send her minion that night. The SiTs, unhappy about this development, shift into whiney mode. If Buff couldn’t even tell that she was evil when she’d been there for days, how could she protect them? And I think right about now she should have given them the verbal smackdown. (Also, poking everyone to ensure their corporealness would not have been a superfluous move on her part.) Not!Eve was closer to the SITs than Buffy, right? In this grand Potential-filled slumber party from hell, are you trying to tell me that no one, not once, asked not!Eve to braid their hair? And that she had to come up with a shoddy excuse as to why she could not? Girls live for that shit. It’s their thing. It’s like apes grooming each other, without the nit picking and eating.


The whining continues upstairs. Buffy morosely looks at Willow, they walk past Xander to the kitchen and, after yelling WHAT, he follows. Now, what really is happening here is Buffy-initiated telepathy telling them they need a plan, but what I’m pretending happened there is that Buffy looked at Willow, Willow, having been Buffy’s “best” friend for so long understood what Buffy was trying to say with her eyes, and as they walked into the next room Xander, having been their best friend for so long, understood the looks the other two were giving each other and the slight twitch they sent his way as they walked past, followed them into the kitchen for their pow wow.


You, however, are free to pretend it happened however you’d like.


Basically Buffy feels the SiTs should see her kill the really bad vampire dude by herself in a secure area. Xander knows the place. The heavens rejoice. We, or you, the casual viewer, do not know this yet as for some reason they try to fill time by bringing in the misdirection fairy. We just see them being all silent. It’s fascinating. Out loud they tell the SiTs that Willow is going to put up a barrier. Bringers surround the house, and I’m assuming the neighbors have all moved away long ago because not a one of them raises a peep or calls 911, and the big vampire dude lets himself in via the front door. Willow puts up a shield, he’s too strong, dooby dooby doo, and they all go running out the back door. They kill a few Bringers, Buffy doesn’t even help Xander off the ground, which I found spectacularly rude even if she did just save his life, tells the SiTs they’re splitting up and she’ll get the vamp to follow her, and we’re off and running! Literally. Why have they not invested in a mini-van? All the bad guys they’ve had to chase down, all of the apocali they’ve stopped, and yet they still run everywhere. It flummoxes me, folks. It just does. [Also their lack of handy flamethrowers. Invest in a few guys. Really.] [Right! And bring back the rocket launcher! We know she’s still got it! Let’s think here, people. She’s a slayer, she can run with a rocket launcher.]


Buffy gets in a few licks, runs the other way and realizes Vampie’s not following. Which she knew was going to happen, but acts surprised here. Because apparently the misdirection fairy has an airtight contract and has to be employed every episode, no matter how uselessly. So, like, pretend you don’t realize this is stupid. Pretend, like, oh, oh no, where’s he gone? Also, ignore that it’s, like, a totally stupid use of the fairy. Could we not maybe use our time more valuably? Learn a thing or two? Invest in some quality Scooby bonding time? Hell, even smacking up Andrew would make more sense than this. [Because who exactly was she fooling by acting surprised when exactly no one was around? Other than, presumably, us viewers?]


Anyway, Buffy looks disturbed. And Vampie’s actually at the construction site of the new town city library, where the SiTs and the rest of the Scoobs are and where Buffy not so secretly wanted him to be. But it’s all dramatic, with Buffy turning on the showlights and flipping down to the site and giving a dramatic speech and welcoming Vampie to the Thunderdome. Because he, being a Neanderthal vampire, would get that pop culture reference. Or even understand the English coming out of her mouth. The rest crawl up into the wings and Xander and Willow tell all the little SiTs to hang tight and watch Buffy get her ass kicked. The popular theory being that she took no weapons and went it alone so the SiTs could see that she was a weapon in her own right. She could do it. All they have to do is believe in her and shout “I believe in Slayers” and clap three times.


It’s a darn shame she had to go to these extremes to get the SITs to trust in her, one would think that a 7 year history of successfully stopping apocali and big bads would be enough. Not to mention coming back from the dead twice. But alas, Buffy has no street cred, so she earns it with her own rumble in the jungle. A rumble in the jungle that includes her getting her ass kicked a lot, her stunt person’s control top pantyhose showing (has Hollywood not invented low-rider hose for the stunt people? Considering where most actresses and wardrobe people seem to think the waistline is at these days, the crotch, you’d think that’d be a top priority. Because any fight scene where the pads are falling out of their ass is a bad fight. Just something to keep in mind, yo.), Buffy grabbing a weapon that Kennedy dropped seemingly negating the theory that Buffy went in there weaponless to prove that even when the chips are down you can kick ass without a weapon, Buffy punching the Vamp and waiting, the Vamp punching Buffy and waiting, and her eventual sticking of Vampie in the eye with a crossbow bolt and ripping off his head with wire. This, by the way, was a very long, very drawn out fight. Oddly paced, oddly not compelling. Almost as not compelling as Buffy’s inspirational speeches. Almost.


We close this scene on an inspirational speech on how they’re going to kick ass and it’s going to be hard but hey. That’s life. They walk out of the pit with not!Eve watching them. I’d really like to know what inspires the evil plot device to use which guise when. Or maybe it’s just what actors available that day? Thankfully, she keeps her little “southern” mouth shut.


Then we close the episode with Buffy just waltzing on into the cave that Spike’s being held in and walking out with him. How did she know where he was? Who told her? Is this the Xmas tree lot cave? Why would she assume he was there? When did this stop making sense?


Oh, never mind.


Notice how I skipped any scenes between Spike and the Evil One? Yeah, that’s because I hate them. Not 8th and 9th seasons of the XF hate, but pretty damn close. [I notice also how you skip the sad, sad expression on Buffy's face when she sees Spike in such pain, so I'm handily including a screencap so we can all enjoy that look again. And again. So sweet, isn't it?]





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