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Same Time, Same Place: But thankfully not the same time and place as last season




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Same Time, Same Place episode recap


Buffy is back! We're three episodes into the new season, and I don't want to claw my eyes out or dig out the seasons one and two DVDs and watch them on repeat, huddled in a corner, telling any who'll listen about the good 'ole days. That's progress! [Please do not be alarmed. We here at boils and blinding torment have no fear that ME will continue to give us much to watch. and mock. and laugh. at. -ST]

The Willow is on the smack, we must have a Very Special Intervention Episode storyline is gone like the fashion trend of wearing leg warmers over jeans. [Though, sadly, not like the “wearing a see-through dress over jeans” fashion trend. Bad Buffy, bad.] That trend is gone forever, right? It's not ever coming back? Marti went on maternity leave and the rest of ME hatched an evil plan to pretend that her lame-ass storylines never existed. I am more than happy to go along with evil plans any day, but I'm especially on board with this one! In it's place, we have Willow's original storyline back. The one that has been developed since season two. Willow likes the power that magic gives her. She always felt powerless growing up, and with magic, she can rid herself of that feeling. We also never again have to go through a scene where Willow can save them all from fiery painful deaths, if only she'll use just a little of the magic, but she can't, because she's on the wagon! And being dead is better than being addicted! [I, however, remain afraid that the crackwhore is not gone forever! She said herself, she’s not sure if she can kick it. Kick what, Willow? Smack? White China? And, um, other cool names for it which I cannot be bothered to remember at this point? Oh, majik. I realize ME was at a loss for a metaphorical struggle when Angel kicked off for LA, but it didn’t have to be addiction again, folks. It could’ve been something meaningful, like-oh never mind. They would’ve messed it up and turned it into a crackwhore anyway.]


And best of all (well, almost best; very best is that we've seen the Giles on a horse scene in all three episodes so far. Maybe they'll show it in the previouslies all season! In fact, let's take a look at a picture from that scene! [ST would just like to point out that that is SP’s high point. Mine was when Spike put his shirt back on. And wore it. Continuously. Throughout an entire episode.]) is that the witty dialogue is back! One of the great things about the show was that the characters could laugh through the pain. Even when they were sending boyfriends to hell. [Well, really, Buffy sort of sulked through that one. For 3 seasons. Now Xander? He was laughing.] Or facing brain-eating demons. Or scary, scary clowns. And dummies. Even the darkest episodes had moments of levity to keep the viewing audience from spending the night sobbing in a corner, wailing about the unfairness of it all. Well, OK, except maybe when Jenny died. And Oz left. And Giles left. And Tara died. And stuff. But mostly! Levity mixed in with the sadness! Most of season six, however, was darkness with a side of dark. This season, even though the episodes themselves have been fairly dark, we've still had those great moments. And it's about time, because as we've mentioned time and again on this site, we surely don't watch Buffy for the plots themselves. We watch for the interaction between the characters, and the well-crafted writing of the dialogue. And it looks like it's all back. Woo frickin' hoo. [Pace yourself, grasshopper. Maternity leave doesn’t last forever.]


I'm also glad that Buffy is finally letting Dawn do something for a change. The scoobies were the same age as Dawn when they got started with the whole fighting evil gig, and Xander and Willow had no superpowers then. And I am so happy that I don't have to hear Buffy say "you do research now?" and ask Dawn if she wants a pack of cigarretes anymore. Speaking of Dawn, I know a lot of people are fearful that we're getting Dawn the Vampire Slayer now that Buffy is teaching her how to fight. I think it's just the opposite (so far). I think they're showing that Dawn doesn't have any super abilities. She couldn't even swing that brick bag. And it's understandable that Buffy would realize that Dawn has to live in Sunnydale so she should at least learn some good techniques for the killing. [I’m all for Dawn doing the researching and being the Willow. She’s totally the Willow. She’s a computer geek on a Mac of DOOM, she sucks at fighting-and she better continue to suck at fighting. She kicks one more demon across an alley, and there’s going to be an angry letter fired off. Oh! Or maybe a petition started! Since I’m sure this has caused the collective staff to quake in their boots, I will say no more. Except this: don’t do it. Stop right now. I can see that scene you’re writing, and I’m telling you, you’re going to regret it. And if not you, I certainly will.]


But this site wouldn't be boils and blinding torment if we didn't mention a few painful moments amidst our praise.


No leisurely-jogging girl getting all stabbed to death by monks
I think it would have been really cool if they started each episode with this until they told us what the hell was going on. This week could have been scantily-clad girl in Buenos Aires, in the middle of a festival crowd, wearing big things on her head! Or water-skiiing girl in Florida, using her trick skiing techniques to try to get away from the not-quite-as-adept water-skiing monks! Their robes dragging in the water slow them down, but they eventually get with the stabbing! Wouldn't water-skiing monks be funny? But, no. We get nothing. And since Buffy was all "more will be killed" last episode, it's kind of annoying that we get no mention at all this week. I guess Buffy doesn't care so much about the stabbing monks when she can be entertained by posable Dawn.


Spike, no longer burning on the cross, back to wearing the gay blue shirt
Now possibly, the gay blue shirt is foreshadowing of his renewed relationship with Xander, but still. Last we saw of Spike, he was hanging on a cross, burning himself to a crisp. And he had tossed his "costume" aside. Buffy apparently got all spooked and ran out. So... what? He eventually said, "bugger this" and got himself off the cross? And then went hunting through the dark for the shirt? In the state he was in, one would assume he would just hang there til he could fit in an ashtray. But apparently, that whole big concerning scene where he was all distraught and burny was not meant to be so concerning after all. Since he seemed to bounce back OK on his own. [And his face did a remarkable healing job, too. Perhaps he’s borrowing Sydney’s make up from Alias?]


That Buffy doesn't lock the doors to her house
OK, so maybe vampires can't get in, but there are a lot more creatures lurking around Sunnydale than just vampires. Or maybe Willow just thought about unlocking the door and it unlocked, just like she just thought about dialing a phone number in England and then only had to press like two numbers. [Well, you know, everything is…what’s the word? Connected? So I’m betting Mother Earth just sort of stepped on in there and gave sad little Willow a nudge with the dialing. Mother earth’s got a lot of free time on her hands, apparently.]


The clothes
I know bad clothing is the trademark of this show. But dressing a high school girl in clothes that only a blind person who's 105 years old has got to stop. And a dress over jeans? Seriously? [And Anya, poor Anya! So, so very close to dressing normally. And then you threw a belt on her. And a horrible, granny pattern on her sweater. So, so close.] And gave her stilletos to wear while cleaning out the Magic Box. Bah.



The Buffy gives away her powers
I seriously hope that Slayers regenerate their powers. If not, Buffy’s going to feel plenty stupid when that apocalypse comes and Dawn can heft a sword better than she can.


Things that might have pained me, but didn't:


I've noticed that some people are annoyed that ME stole the monster straight from Lord of the Rings. I don't mind so much, because ME nearly always steals their monsters. It's sort of their thing. Last week, it was Tremors. We've had nods to Frankenstein. Creatures from the Black Lagoon. Night of the Living Dead. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Plus more! (That's shorthand for, I'm lazy so just imagine the rest.)


The whole invisible thing being a spell
See, I was all spoiled for this episode. I forgot that a lot of people would be watching, wondering what was up with the invisibleness. When I watch new episodes, it's just like watching Prophecy Girl or something. I know what's coming, but I still enjoy it. I didn't even think about whether Willow accidentally doing a spell was too easy of an answer, because I knew all along. I actually don't think it was too easy. It showed both that Willow was really scared to face her friends (as she should be) and that she still doesn't have the magic under control. Good plot points both! [I, on the other hand, have become accustomed to things being too easy as the way out, so no skin off my back there. Literally, even!]


How the scoobies accepted Willow back
They didn't complete trust her. That makes sense. However, they did forgive her. Which also makes sense, because Buffy recently tried to kill all of them, and they forgot all about that five minutes into the next episode. The only person who seems to not have completely forgiven her is Dawn. Which also makes sense. Because Willow really targeted her, for no good reason. And not only tried to kill her, but said some things that Dawn probably hasn't forgotten. At least the stuff that Willow said to Buffy was in relation to Buffy trying to stop her. Willow's comments to Dawn were in reaction to Dawn telling her that she was sad about Tara too.


[But, you know, still. Dawn should have been a little angrier. We should have seen a scene where Dawn gets all “Ball of green energy, eh? Make your own database, bitch.”


Yep. That would’ve been cool. Oh! Maybe I can hold out for next week!]




Did you like Same Time, Same Place? What moments gave you joy and what made you bitter? Tell us all about it in the discussion forums.