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Halting Hex

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  1. S03.E13: The Zeppo

    No, the miscommunication was epic on both sides. Willow shouldn't be attempting to draw boundaries she wasn't emotionally ready to commit to, and Xander shouldn't be upset with them when he's leaving "sixty, seventy" messages on Cordelia's answering machine. And the whole mess could have been avoided if Xander had told Willow how he felt at sometime when she wasn't in a coma, or if Oz didn't walk into her hospital room at Just The Wrong Moment. Very annoying. And maybe Oz shouldn't have been so quick to take Willow back, given all the history he can see between her and Xander. But it's hard to resist Barry White and Sprite-on-ice, it's true… Er, topic? It's a little hard to believe that O'Toole is hanging out at the school when he's dead, honestly. As one commenter I remember reading wrote, "I used to do a bunk when I had a cold, after all."
  2. S02.E17: Passion

    I think Jenny started in the daylight and didn't realize that it was getting dark. A terminal case of tunnel vision, as she was staring at her computer, unfortunately. I take it you've never read Jenny/Wesley fanfic? More seriously, I think having two adults in the group doesn't have to prove redundant. As long as the writing is good, Jenny can be used effectively, IMO.
  3. S04.E14: Goodbye Iowa

    The idea of Spike's cousin drives me nuts. Is this an actual cousin of his who got vamped, or a metaphorical cousin from the Order of Aurelius? I get that they want Buffy to be wearing the kerchief so Riley can be holding on to it at the end but damn, does she look silly in that thing. George Hertzberg does a fine job with some of Adam's so-bad-it's-good dialogue ("I am a kinematically-redundant biomechanical demonoid" "Nice to meet you, I'm Jessica" [/not the actual line in reply]), but the problem here is they've swapped a symbolic and thematic antagonist (the entire US government, and the basic concepts of technology versus the supernatural) for Just Another Big Scary Guy, and Buffy knows how to fight those. I mean, we see her using Xander's military knowledge in this very episode; just swing by the army base and pick up the LAWS rocket again and boom! Bye, Adam. And while Marc Blucas gets deserved props for his acting and his stunt work (he appears to do the fall when Adam smacks him himself [I assume that's a wire job]), Riley loses brain points for stepping into Polgara-skewer range when he's aiming his pistol. Er, "ranged weapon", Spud? Look it up. The less said about Spike, the better. James's having to take off to film The House on Haunted Hill results in the awkward blocking of the first scene (no Spike in any shots of the other Scoobs, no Scoobs in any shots of Spike) and then his being sent off into that idiotic "demons don't hurt demons, so lay off or we're gonna kill you" plot at Willy's. Jesus, just give James the check and save him for when you can actually use him. We can skip Spike for one week, I swear. Mediocre at best, right down to the piss-poor rendering of Giles's Eyghon tattoo. Even "Can I have sex with Riley, too?" can't save this one. And yes, Anya's "Wagnerian snoring" should totally have been the result Buffy and Willow's ministrations. May have been, actually; just because Rupert knows a thing or five about m/m/m/m/m/f orgies (damn, poor Dierdre must have gotten so worn out) doesn't make him an expert on f/f/f, I suppose. ;)
  4. S03.E15: Consequences

    Well, it's not as if Willow has to be completely rational about this. I mean, by the time she finds out about these events, Xander has just spent several days lying to her ("My eye totally isn't twitching when you say Faith's name!") It's not surprising that she's feeling a little bereft. And then Xander almost brags about the encounter, how his "connection" can help them get through to Faith. (If by "get through", you mean get choked and nearly murdered, um, sure, Xan.) I don't blame her for feeling empty, for having years' worth of hopes and dreams come crashing down on her. How often had she imagined her and Xander's wedding, and their wedding night? A quick roll in the hay at the local hot-sheet motel with a disreputable girl whom they barely know is not how she imagined Xander's first time, I wouldn't think. (Not to mention the part where she'd just said "I love you" and he's letting Faith "steer him around the curves" before she even gets back to the Library. Or the part where Oz turned her down in Amends because it wasn't The Right Time.) Is she being snobbish and proprietary and a bit irrational? Yes, yes, and yes. But I can see where she's coming from. Better than Buffy "We have to save Faith" Summers can, apparently.
  5. All Episodes Talk: Season 1

    On the S1 topic, I was reading the old archives of the XMission mailing list (gotta love contemporary reactions) and they were trying to ascertain whether the kids were all the same age based on the classes they were taking. Obviously, they're all taking Psychology in Nightmares, but there's enough overlap elsewhere to confirm that they're all sophomores, even though that isn't made explicit until later seasons. • Cordelia and Buffy take European History (Welcome to the Hellmouth) and American History (The Puppet Show, Nightmares) together. These are not the same class; the Euro History teacher is played by Natalie Strauss, while Mrs. Jackson in The Puppet Show is played by Lenora May. (A male teacher is seen in Nightmares, but he could just be proctoring the test that Buffy is unprepared for.) And we do know that Buffy is taking both classes, as seen by Joyce's lack of surprise when Darla specifies which class she's tutoring Buffy for in Angel. • Buffy, Willow and Xander take Biology together (Witch, Teacher's Pet, Prophecy Girl). They also have P.E. together (The Pack). We get further confirmation that Buffy and Willow take P.E. together in I Robot, You Jane, but we only see them in the girls' locker room, so it's understandable that Xander is absent then. • Willow, Xander and Cordelia all take Mrs. Miller's class in Out of Mind, Out of Sight. It's not specified if this is a Shakespeare class, or just a general Literature section (the protagonist of the work they're discussing in the flashback with Marcie is unnamed), nor is it stated whether the Marcie scenes are one of the four classes W/X had with her "last year" or if that's fall semester from this year. (I would think that Marcie's going invisible has to be a relatively recent development, else why would she wait until now to start attacking Cordy & friends? We do know that she was visible before Mitch went out for spring baseball, though.) • Willow and Cordelia and Harmony are in the same computer lab in The Harvest, but only Willow is seen in Jenny's class in I Robot, You Jane. Are there multiple sections sharing lab time together? I suppose that's possible. • Are Willow and Xander taking Chemistry together? In The Harvest, in the "Rain of Toads" scene, Willow says we should get to class, and later in the tunnels with Buffy, Xander says he's skipping Chem, but when we next see Willow, she's in the computer lab. Did enough time pass that we're onto Willow's next class? Or did she have Comp Lab, while Xander had Chem? And why is Xander taking both Chemistry and Biology in the same year, anyway? • What's up with Xander and math? Willow is tutoring him in Geometry in The Pack, but she suggested he get a Trigonometry book in Welcome to the Hellmouth. Gee, no wonder he has a problem with the math (what part? the math) if he doesn't even know what course he's taking. Is Willow tutoring him because they're taking math together, or is she just in it for the shiny nickels? I kind of think that his saying "the math" indicates that this is something they're both studying, but then how do we account for the Geometry studies five episodes later? Arrgh. My brain hurts.
  6. I think Haleigh trusts Faysal in ways she can't trust Brett, so even though she really isn't that into him and thinks it's a bad idea, she's taking some easy comfort with him, even though she later regrets it in the DR. May prove even more interesting/awkward now that they are, essentially, alone in the game. (Scottie has mostly aligned with their side, but they don't really trust him, either.) If Fessy wins HoH, it could be a very weird week in the suite.
  7. I realize that this is only metaphorical. And yet, I still take a certain pleasure at the thought of Tyler choking on Armchair's ladystache.
  8. So, "notes on a scorecard" again tonight: Reasons to root for them to evict Kaycee: she's the stronger competitor, it makes sense for those not in L4 to chop those numbers, she's turning out to be a real See You Next Thursday, and I'm still not over her delight in fucking over Rachel. Reasons to root for them to evict Rockstar: haaaaaaaaaaaave you met Rockstar? I'd love to lose the "gypsy hair', the Blaccent, the stupid self-given nickname, and the unearned sense of safety. And would be so sweet to get the useless player out of the house before she coasts to F4; I won't have been this pleased since Grandma Meg took her early exit in S17. Actually, it would make pretty good sense for Brett to flip on the vote. He could eliminate one of Tyler's props and frame another (JC) for it, making himself higher up the totem pole while simultaneously pushing the "free agent" narrative to get in good with the other side. I don't know if he can see that move, though. And it might be a little early, to be honest. Perhaps better at F8 than F10. But worth a thought. It will really come down to JC, I'm thinking. This is actually the first L6 v. non-L6 vote of the summer. Is he actually independent, or is he Tyler's dog, like Sam was until lately? Time to find out. "Another week, another hack. Another potential stab in the back." Julie, do not try to rhyme. Or I will root for Les to do hard time. "After weeks of blindsides, will half the house be shocked again?" So…you're saying it's an easy unanimous vote against Rock, huh? Sounds boring. "Plus, which houseguest will the Hacker prevent from voting?" Well, ti sounds as though it doesn't matter, so… And it's the teacups HoH, but we won't see the end, of course. Meh. Er, how would Kaycee staying constitute a "blindside", exactly? FFS. And her "acting skills"? Oh, please. "And JC, he always goes with the majority vote". Girl, half the votes have been by one vote. JC isn't with the majority, he makes the majority. Rockhead. Armchair and Couch not doing themselves any favors in this chat. Sammy the Slave still willing to sniff Tyler's butthole, it seems. And Dum-Bass Fessy is a Lar-Dass too, it seems. JFC, Haleigh, I know you're desperate but really. Do you need a lecture from Aunt Sam on chastity? Yeah, I didn't think Brett would have the flexibiity to think about working both sides. He's too linear for that. A chance to shoot off his mouth and embarrass her is more important than opening new options. Boo, hiss. Now it would be fun the other way around, if JC really did vote to keep Rock and Brett tried to steal the credit for it. But that little Yatus is going to let me down, no doubt. "You're unevictable!" Well, good of them to spotlight why it's a good idea to kick her out, I'll agree. But why can't we lose both of them? No, Julie, teacups is not "an epic battle of endurance". It's usually over in less than an hour. Shut up. Words cannot describe how offensive God Friended Me is. Saudis firebomb busloads of Yemeni kids? No problem. Some atheist refuses to bow the knee? God is ON IT. STFU, God. Gee, if we get a bowling HoH, we'll know that Grodner has no shame. I guess they left "This is for my daddy right here" in last episode because they knew they had the extended family piece tonight. I wonder if the DR told him to say it? Gee, Angela shouldn't be so smug about 3/4 of her alliance getting called out. It's nice they're not sure about Brett, but you put all that effort into concealing Tyler and that's over now. These Hacker cancellations would have more drama if the whole house didn't know who the Hacker was. JC lets us down, of course. As does Sam. Morons. Interesting that L4 was too scared to throw a hinky vote. Hey, at least Angie getting evicted in a dignified outfit. Then again, she probably actually likes it. This interview should be hella boring. Can't we get a sniper in the audience pump some bullets into these assholes when they preen in front of the open door? I'd pay good money to see JC's chest go splat. Oh, okay, it could just be concussion pellets, I guess…grumble. Oh, Rockpile. You are the very opposite of "fierce". Angela, still working those jury votes, I see. Ditto Bratt. Fucking morons. They're recruits, right? Good, we'e spared from any ads showing us how staggeringly unfunny Happy Together is. CBS really is nothing but shit aside from the reality shows and Salvation, isn't it? Faysal HoH, obviously. Only Tyler can match him for leg-length and Fessy's killing him on leg-strength. I do like JC having the sense to not even try. But it would be unfair if we don't get to see Regina Bore-ge get wiped out a time or six. And still no double eviction. Granted, I'm the rare duck who hates them, but still it's a surprise. Angie should have left JC her purple wig. Better that than the shaved head he's "rocking". Oh, well.
  9. S20. E22: Power of Veto #7

    No, I was looking for this on my final rewatch, but while Rounds 1, 4 and 5 had the answers on purple "bottles", in Round 2 it was pink and Round 3 was blue. So you couldn't color-cold, er, -code your way to victory, after all. Actually, Rock should have called out to Haleigh that she was looking for a purple bottle. She'd already shown Tyler the correct answer, but Haymaker still was checking out the pinks and blues as well. Boo on Rockhead.
  10. S04.E12: A New Man

    Unfortunately, Robin isn't anything these days, having passed on in 2013, just four days short of his 62nd birthday. Far too soon. But yes, he did briefly (1979-1981) marry the former Mrs. O'Toole, Sian Phillips. That's "Evil Bitch Monster of Death" to you, pal. And to be fair, Walsh didn't choose that, that's "the name my TAs call me and think I don't know about". Apparently, Riley is real good at coming up with the nasty names behind people's backs, both with Walsh and They grow them sneaky in Iowa, it seems. Or perhaps that's part of the commando training?
  11. S04.E09: Something Blue

    "Gee, wouldn't that be funny if a spell made Buffy and Spike act like they were 'in love'? Because obviously that could never happen. It's like Band Candy and what we did to the Giles/Joyce 'shippers: give the Spuffy nuts what they want, in the worst possible way, and then they'll go away! I'm such a genius!!" Inferior to Tracy Forbes's similarly-structured Beer Bad (something renders Buffy nutty and the group has to deal without her contributing, again; this one is lacking the feminist smackdown on Spike that the other laid on Parker) and it's wayyyyyy too slow to get started, but it does have a few minor pleasures, such as Marc Blucas doing such a great job of earnest befuddlement outside the bridal shop. And, of course, Willow in the red pajamas, lighting the candles. The record-holder for pause-button workouts, series-wide. :D But overall, weak. 4/10
  12. S4.E10: Hush

    Not quite. I continue to argue that Reptile Boy is a better episode, because it's better-integrated and develops the characters, where this is largely just a stunt. But a well-crafted stunt, I grant you. Bonus points for going off the board for the unconventional choice! I love the capper here, with Walsh pointing at the "in case of emergency, take stairs" sign with that "I can't believe these idiots" look on her face. Heh. Willow's dramatic miming of the headphones is hilarious. I also adore Buffy and Willow's look of disdain at the guy selling the message boards, only for them to turn up with the boards in the next scene. (Reconsidered, did we, girls?) And of course "Hi, Giles!" and the subsequent hug remain perfection. Well, for starters, I could do without Buffy's assuming that this is all Willow's fault. ("Did you do a spell?" she asks in their first mute moments.) Some "best friend" you are, Slayer. To say nothing of Spike walking around, free as a bird. Why, exactly? And I can't say I love our first glimpse of Tara. That ridiculous zig-zag part in her hair, and AB's trying to hunch down inside her own body (as if she was Summer Glau or one of the waif types Joss is so fixated on) puts me in mind of Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club, of whom I was also not a fan. Blech. But mostly it's just the disjointed storytelling. After the scene with the overhead projector, Buffy doesn't see Willow or Xander or Giles until the Gentlemen are disposed of, nor does Willow see the guys. Foreshadowing of As I say, I prefer the days when the Scoobs Scoobied together. Plus a few minor nitpicks: why does Giles commandeer the lecture hall for his presentation? HOW does he manage to do that, given the voiceless circumstances? Why is everyone so damn quiet, when it would seem far more logical to play music and fill the void? (Because music rights cost $$$, that's why. But I shouldn't have to be thinking about that…) But still, it's a nice treatment on themes of communication, how B/R and Xanya actually communicate better when they can't speak (although that could be an argument against those couples, of course) and how W/T make a visceral connection that gets them past any initial awkwardness. And points on a meta level for Joss being willing to discard his usual crutch of wordplay and jokiness for at least half of the episode. I really wish Joss hadn't cut the meat of that scene, where the girls are discussing magic, with Tara complaining about how it feels like she's "standing at the door, trying to get through". I understand that Joss was scared that the homophobes would use that scene to attack the 'ship ("Tara's just USING her! Can't you see that??"), but IMO he should have had the courage to put depth into the relationship. Of course, I'm not running the show, but even so. Of course, some of that could be my prejudices, I'll admit. Not a patch on Buffy and Willow holding hands as they walk down the street, IMO. The B/W handholding here is scripted (much of the earlier physical interaction was just Sarah and Aly, by contrast), so it's almost as if And so it goes.
  13. S4.E13: The I in Team

    Aka, "The One Where Buffy and Willow Break Up". Sigh. Aagh, NOOOO!! Bad Xander, Bad! Check out Willow blowing off Tara to hang out with Buffy, and insisting that she and Xander stay when Xander thinks Buffy isn't going to show. Check out her joy when Buffy comes in, only to have her face fall when she's followed by Riley "and a bunch of other guys". And check out Buffy's surprise when Willow has legitimate questions about the Initiative's goals (are they really going to make the demons be bag boys at Wal-Mart? Does Sunnydale have a Wal-Mart? It must be on the Hellmouth, then.)…was the Slayer hoping that Willow was just jealous of Riley, after all? Yay? That's like being told we're out of steak but there's leftover tofu available. Although poor Tara, being so blatantly the second-choice girl here. Well, that's what you get for trying to give romantic gifts (yeah, sure, that doll's-eye crystal was just about magic, nothing else! Surrrrrrre) to girls you barely know, I guess. "Irony's kind of ironic that way", and all that. By the way, Anya is totally cheating at the poker. It's really easy to get "three K cards" if you don't throw away your discards before you get the new draws, ffs! "We played poker with Anya. It was fun, except for the poker part and the Anya part." Meow! The slo-mo fighting/sex montage is kinda meh, but I do love Buffy turning to the "empty" bed the next day…and finding Riley right there. Aww, you big spud, you. :)
  14. S04.E11: Doomed

    Thrown together by three writers over a weekend because Hush had them so far behind over the production schedule, I like this one way more than it arguably merits (WTF is wrong with Giles's voice in the B/G scene? ASH sounds very badly looped) and it's one that I often turn to as comfort food. In tribute, here's a little something to appreciate from all of those involved: Aww. Although I agree with Joe, Percy was just tapdancing because Laurie was (accurately) suspicious. It's just that Willow's overly sensitive right now. And, to be fair to Laurie, Willow really should have been more clear that there was nothing going on between her and Percy last year. Will seemed just a shade territorial, IMO. Still any scene that's all about Buffy comforting Willow is pretty much catnip to me, I'll admit. And Buffy's final, delayed, "Does Percy even go here?" is such a great capper. Well done, Dave, well done. I can see the 6 (Riley being all "date me now!" still bugs, plus the "physics"), but I can't go there, quite. 7/10, at least.