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Halting Hex

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  1. S7.E15: Get It Done

    Oh, hell, you don't need to wait an entire season for this show to do a 180° on magic. Sometimes they do it in consecutive episodes! Episode 7.05: Willow blows the Grimslaw demon out of the frat house with pure, black-eyed, point-and-blink Jean Grey/Sabrina power. Prue Halliwell couldn't have gotten her TK on any better. Episode 7.06: Willow needs crystals and an incantation to invoke Hecate and change R.J. into a girl. When Xander interrupts, she has to go back to the start, and R.J. gets to continue being a man, with man parts. (The locator spell used later in the episode also requires paraphernalia and conjuring.) And we thought Spike's chip or Xander's military knowledge would bend with the plot requirements wind? When it comes to writer fiat, they've got nothing on good old American magic, baby!
  2. S02.E14: Innocence

    I don't think that "give me time" is meant to be triumphant; it's Buffy showing determination in the face of the weakness she'd just admitted by implication. (When she couldn't dispute Angel's assertion that she couldn't kill him.) She's saving some face (and letting us have the joy of seeing Angel's ouch-face) but the episode never tries to present this as some great triumph. Remember the very next scene shows Buffy tearing up in the Citroen, telling Giles "you must be so disappointed in me". She knows she's failed. She knows there will be consequences. Which just makes the failure sting even harder. Buffy's not meant to be perfect. This is A Show About Growing Up, after.all. She's still got some growing to do.
  3. S02.E14: Innocence

    (Ooooh, I'd forgotten that I'd written but failed to post what follows about a month back. It's arguably slightly OT and somewhat silly, but I'll give a more-serious answer to the above post later. ) So last week [Ed: meaning, November] I'm watching The Family, the 2013 comedy with Robert DeNiro as a mobster who had to relocate to a small town in Normandy, France for witness protection, with Tommy Lee Jones as the FBI monitor, and there's a scene where DeNiro's wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) is telling their teen daughter (Dianna Agron) to make sure she has protection if she's going to be hanging out with the local boys, since she lost her virginity to DeNiro when he "jumped on [her]" in church, of all places. And Agron scoffs at this, saying she can handle herself (we've already had a scene where she beats the absolute shit out of a French kid who tried to get handsy with her, although she might not always have that tennis racquet available) and when she loses her virginity, it will be at a time and place of her choosing, and with her "soulmate". Which seems well and good, but before long she's falling for a cute student teacher, and seducing him in a deserted classroom before he goes to Paris to take his final accreditation exams. And before we know it, she's calling "Henri" in Paris to find out how his exams went. And, shockingly, while he passed, he won't be coming back to Nowhere, Normandie, but he thinks they had a wonderful "experience". And of course Agron's face falls and I'm like "well, this feels very familiar" and I decide to take advantage of the DVR and switch over right then to this episode. And it's as beautiful as ever, from "was I…not good?" to "It's what? Bells ringing, fireworks, a dulcet choir of pretty little birdies?" to Angel's "Thoughtful" Finger. So now I know that this episode isn't just memorable…it's trope-defining. Well done, Joss. And then I get back to the movie, and while Agron isn't going to Paris to kick Henri in the nuts, she does take a moment from planning to throw herself off of the parapet of the local church to look down and see the mafia hit squad converging on the house where DeNiro is and rushes down to save her dad, as Pfeiffer and her brother (John D'Leo) likewise do. Of course DeNiro mostly saves himself (it's his movie, after all), but the "family" theme works (and BtVS was best when it had the Scoobs working together in this manner, IMO), and a rocket launcher factors into the big fight, so that's a homage of a different sort.
  4. S02.E05: Reptile Boy

    Well, if there were any remains from last year's "pledge class", it should be reasonably easy to pin it on the Zeta Kappas, since it's their house. The part about the giant snake is almost irrelevant; they knew they were putting the girls in danger, and they did it anyhow. (Plus the whole kidnapping issue, of course.) I'd assume the reason for the judicial process moving so quickly would be that Unknown Frat Boy #6 (or whoever) sang like a canary to get a reduced sentence, and the DA was able to use his testimony to get the others to plead out as well. But as the episode was rewritten on the fly (remember, Machida is supposed to get away and eat Tom as he leaves [check the script or the commentary], but as they didn't have enough time at the rented location to shoot that, they had to cobble together an ending), I don't really worry about it too much. But JMO.
  5. S01.E06: The Pack

    True, but that was just "ordinary mortal danger". Certainly not fun, but not as personal as losing one best friend, nearly killing the other, and having your sexual identity intruded upon. But JMO.
  6. S01.E07: Angel

    Arguably not, since she's not in the main cast and Jesse beat her to that "honor" in the premiere. I grant you that Jesse only lasted two episodes and this is Joyce's fourth, but IMO she's hardly established on a significantly higher order so far. Indeed, while I started watching farther into the series and thus knew that Joyce isn't vamped and/or killed here, one of the video-reactors I'm watching was in fact rather worried for her fate. I mean, they had just seen Principal Flutie turned into Hyena Chow (in his fourth episode), who's to say that Joyce wasn't about to suffer the same gruesome end that other friendly recurring characters such as Jesse, Dr. Gregory (mantis prey in his second episode) and Flutie already had? I grant you, there's been no mention of Buffy's dad thus far (for all we know, Joyce merely had some in vitro work done back in 1981), but if he exists, I suppose he could have been introduced after Joyce had been killed off. But I can understand why the series was unwilling to go there…it's one thing for Xander to lose Jesse, but this might have been a bite too far.
  7. S01.E06: The Pack

    So I'm following a couple of new video-reactors, and one of them points out what a shit year Xander is having, so far. I mean, it's easy to miss, since he's serving as comic relief/frustrated suitor and it is Buffy's show, after all (check out the title), but in the span of just six episodes, Xander has… …had his best bud get turned into a vampire and been essentially responsible for killing him… …nearly lost his virginity to a giant fucking preying mantis, who had already drugged him and kidnapped him and who would have eaten his head straight off… …and been possessed by a slavering animal, nearly killed and ate his other best friend, and now has to live with those memories, including the part where he tried to rape Buffy, too. Not to mention the knowledge that if he hadn't been off "courting" Buffy just then, he would have been taking part in the all-you-can-eat buffet going on in the principal's office As I wrote, rough year.
  8. S05.E15: I Was Made To Love You

    Not to mention Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world. Check out the financial pages some time, Will. Anya would approve. (Which is arguably a reason to pass on the whole idea, but even so.)
  9. S01.E04: Teacher's Pet

    If Cordelia's doctor ships her "medically-prescribed lunch" daily, then why does CC need to remind the kitchen staff about that? Does she think they weren't there yesterday? Does she give this same speech every day? No wonder
  10. Spike and Dru (combined) were the Head Vampire in Charge for 10 episodes of S2; Angel only was King of the Mountain for the final 9. Obviously Angel was better (since the gruesome twosome yielded the floor to him with little resistance), but Spike/Dru did have their turn at bat.
  11. S7.E18: Dirty Girls

    He's definitely aware of it, although the method of his knowledge is unknown: I'd assume the First tipped him off. It still seems awfully complicated to arrange for Shannon to be running from the Bringers, on foot, just far enough ahead of Willow and Faith that Caleb has time to slip between Shannon and W/F to "rescue" her, but it was definitely a plan, however contrived it might seem. Which I suppose invalidates the critiques leveled at Buffy's battle plan at the Vineyard; if the First is capable of being so all-seeing, then it doesn't make much sense for Buffy to try anything more subtle than "we charge in, much in the style of John Wayne". As poorly as that turned out for Molly, Dianne, and Xander, of course.
  12. S02.E22: Becoming, Part 2

    Well, seeing that Willow is trying the spell again (which was the settled Scooby policy, after all), it makes sense that she should want to keep Buffy in the loop. "Buffy needs to know what's going on" is a reasonable position, IMO. But that doesn't mean Xander was wrong to bite his lip; not only is there the "do we really need to distract Buffy?" issue going on, but Xander's seen Willow's condition. It's reasonable he'd have doubts that she was even able to make the attempt. I don't blame Xander for choosing to filter the information any more than I blame Willow for wanting to provide it. Meanwhile, back in another corner of the plot: The most recent time I saw this, it struck me (pardon the pun) that Spike probably doesn't really need to provide the clarifying quote. I mean, it's not as if Joyce hits lots of people with axes, after all. But, to be fair, Spike doesn't know this. Indeed, if you look at School Hard, it's quite possible that Spike thinks that Joyce is an active Scooby member. ("A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure.") Which means that Spike's "what, your mum doesn't know?" in this episode is about more than just general surprise that Buffy's keeping a secret; he's processing information that contradicts his preconceptions of the Buffy/Joyce relationship. This is probably why he doesn't object to Buffy's suggestion they go to her house; as far as he knows, that's as much Scooby Central as the Library is. Intriguing.
  13. S01.E01: Welcome to the Hellmouth

    So, I've seen selections from this one a couple more times (YT is throwing a lot of fresh "reaction" vids at me) and one thing I noticed is that when Buffy "attacks [Cordelia] with a stick" and then CC says she has to call "everyone I have ever met" and pulls out her cell phone, not only is it not a smartphone (obviously), it's not even a flip-phone; it's the old cordless handset type and Cordelia is actually having to telescope out the antenna, so that she can get a signal. Damn, it really is 1997 back then, isn't it?
  14. Buffy Calendar

    Wow, I had no idea Angelo had passed so young. Not even 33. Sigh. Checking out his IMDb, I see that he was in The Rookie (2002), the Disney biopic of Jim Morris, who was out of baseball before being talked into giving it one last try and ended up making it to the big leagues at the age of 35 or so. (Dennis Quaid played Jim.) In the same supporting cast was Chad Lindberg (Dave, I Robot You Jane), so they had a little "Team BtVS" reunion on the set, I guess. Sad to realize that Angelo's story ended at an age before Jim Morris's even truly began. Bye, Chris. (Maybe the EMTs should have tried jumper cables? I mean, just in case…)
  15. S03.E17: Enemies

    To be fair, the vampires don't seem to prowl residential neighborhoods that often, since there's no guarantee prey will be available as it is near the Bronze, and there's that pesky "invitation" issue. The Three chase Buffy back to 1630 Revello in Angel, and "Fork Guy" was using Weatherly Park as a hunting ground in Teacher's Pet, but that still seems rather different from the evil undead being all "let's check the Harris place, maybe the kid's camped out in back tonight", IMO.