As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

Blogging Buffy: 2.06-2.08

Posted by Hedwig on May 29, 2008

2.06 Halloween

Those wacky vampires! That’s why I love ’em! They just keep you guessing! Xander

This episode is Joss Whedon at his expectation-subverting best. Some of the subversions are mostly funny: in the Buffyverse, as it turns out, Halloween is traditionally the night vampires stay in and do nothing. But the funniest thing is that in this world, confirming to gender roles is the subversion. All of a sudden, Buffy is a damsel in distress and Xander is the tough guy who has to defend here, and… it feels strange. Out of whack.

That’s why this episode had to be in the second season, after the show was established. After we’ve come to accept the show’s tenets, after we’ve accepted that in this show, girls can beat guys up. So that when it goes back to how things are in most movies and shows, it feels wrong.

2.07 Lie to Me

Yes, it’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everybody lives happily ever after. Giles

This episode is one of the first ones which tries to adress real emotions and…it doesn’t work. Not quite. It almost does, and it’s interesting to have a show that sort-of romanticizes vampires, and features one as a romantic interest, warn about idolizing “the Lonely Ones” too much. And the episode captures the obsession some teens have with “darkness” and “pain” (always within quotes) perfectly.

But there’s no emotional pay-off for the audience, because while Ford is introduced as an old friend of Buffy’s, we’ve only just met him, and he never becomes more than “oh hey, that guy from Roswell!”. He’s an ad-hoc character in a one-off, not someone we care about. Luckily, the show later on got a lot better about having morally ambiguous characters who inspire mixed feelings.

2.08 The Dark Age

Buffy: I’m not gonna lie to you. It was scary. I’m so used to you being a grownup, and then I find out that you’re a person.
Giles: Most grownups are.

Who’d have thunk it? Giles has a dark side. Eh… Sure. Well, he was a troubled teenager fascinated by the occult and with some bad friends, more precisely. And so, he didn’t just sit around and think about how math could be mathier… but he raised a big bad demon. Who takes over Jenny, with some very interesting results.

Coming up: Kendra, Career Week, and mommy’s new boyfriend.

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6 Responses to “Blogging Buffy: 2.06-2.08”

  1. Halloween is one of my favorite episodes. It was the start of the whole Oz/Willow subplot, no?

  2. Kaj said

    Yes, it was. Who is that girl?

  3. Oh man, I loved Oz and Willow. Xander and Anya were great and of course Buffy and Angel and Spike and Drusilla and…ah hell, all at the pairings on that show, but I think Oz and Willow were my favorite.

  4. TV Slut said

    I love the Halloween episode, too. Actually, pretty much all the episodes are my favorites (with the exception of a few).

    AND I loved the beginning of Oz and Willow… back when it was innocent and pure, and lacked all that “Veruca” drama… “dresses like Faith, has the voice of an albatross” CLASSIC!

  5. I was late to the Buffy bandwagon. I had a friend that begged me for ages to check it out and I was all “Dude, I saw that movie and it was stupid!” and then finally I started watching, I think around Season 4…the first season with Dawn whichever one that was…and I got caught up on all the seasons on VHS. As I’ve said before, 1 had brilliance, but it was spotty. 2 through 4 were the golden years for me. There were diminishing returns after that, but still many pleasures to be had.

  6. Elizabeth said

    Hope you’ll continue blogging BtVS. I recently re-viewed seasons 1-2 myself and had such a good time. On to season 3!

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