Buffy the Vampire Slayer Review

Buffy the Vampire Slayer created by Joss Whedon


Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Anne Summers) Website: SMGfan.com | James Marsters (Spike aka William the Bloody) Website: James Marsters.com | Nicholas Brendon (Alexander 'Xander' LaVelle Harris) Website: Nick Brendon.com | Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg) Website: HDC - Alyson Hannigan Central | Emma Caulfield (Anya Emerson aka Anyanka) Website: Anya.Org.UK | Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers aka The Key) Website: Michelle-Trachtenberg.com | Amber Benson (Tara MacLay) Website: The Essence of Amber

6.19: Seeing Red

Written by Steven S DeKnight | Directed by Michael Gershman

Brief Summary: Spike crosses waaaaaay over the line with Buffy, the Geek Troika are finally up for a fight and the Big Bad is finally revealed.

So, not a lot happening in this episode then, eh! There were numerous shocking developments that happened and will definitely have fallout. Even though I knew some of the stuff would happen through spoiler sites, I was still hoping they were wrong or mislead.

The big one for me was the attempted rape of Buffy from Spike. It sounds ugly written down cold like that and it played even uglier. It sounds strange to say a character that has numerous deaths to his name and is essentially 'evil' was such a favourite character of mine, but this crossed the line. I just can't see how Spike can come back from this. And it seems such a waste. Over the past 3 seasons he has gradually come to some form of redemption, a 20th century equivalent of a soul in the form of a chip. At the start of this season he was incredibly likeable, a genuine good guy, but still a rogue at heart. But after the musical he changed. Once the sex with Buffy started and was turned into borderline S & M games, he seemed to be less appealing, more twisted than evil. Personally, I could have lived with Spike being spurned and deciding to go and get his chip removed. But because of his actions, he will always be tainted to me now. It just seems so nasty for next season. I mean, if he is the Big Bad will he try to simply kill Buffy or will he stalk her and try to rape her again? It's ugly, uncomfortable viewing, which is of course the point of the scene. But using Spike to make the point that rape is wrong? That was a mistake. I'm all for character development, but potential rapist isn't something I wanted to see. Every scene with Spike now will be tainted in my eyes. What about when he's looking after Dawn? Would he try something with her next Season? To me he's crossed the line and barring some sort of writing miracle he will never be the same in my eyes again.

The other major scene was of course the death of Tara. Well, she finally made it into the opening credits but really it was just to turn the knife of her dying. If she had been killed off in Season 4 or 5, maybe even the start of this one I wouldn't have been quite so bothered. Sure, it's always sad to see a regular leave, but she wasn't really in the core gang, hence the lack of opening credits. But after she split from Willow, she became incredibly three dimensional. A genuine character instead of Willows lesbian sidekick. She developed a wicked sense of humour and became something a mother figure to Buffy and Dawn. Great stuff. But it all seems rather for naught as she is dead. In a way, I see why the writers did this. Nothing else could cause Willow to go critical in this fashion and become super powered dark magic witch. But still, it seems a waste. But it makes great drama and I can appreciate that. So long Tara, you finally came good this season, but your story's over.

"Spare a Buck?"

Buffy v Warren was quite exciting, and it was good to see Jonathon finally come good and help Buffy, though why he did it secretly I don't know. He was going to jail regardless and Warren would have killed him off next once he had finished with Buffy. The Rocket pack was very cool indeed, but I'm glad that the Geek squad have finally been broken up. I still think they are a bit of a misfire as far as villains go and that the joke was spread to thin over a whole season. But they did make me laugh at times. And of course Warren ends the day by shooting Buffy and Tara. Will Buffy die? Not a chance obviously, since she's already met the reaper twice already. Is Warren in trouble once Will comes after him? You betcha.

Other moments of note:

  • There's been a lot of talk recently that Season 7 will be the last for Buffy. This makes sense as most series only last 7 seasons (see Star Trek's various incarnations). Plus I think as a vehicle, SMG thinks it has taken her as far as it's going to regarding her career. Which is fair enough. The really interesting talk is of there being the possibility of a Dawn spin off. I'm not sure quite how that would play out, but it could be good. And Angel will still be on I presume if they've got idea's for the future. I just hope Joss is more involved in Season 7 this time. Almost every show I've watched has a disappointing last Season, with wildly uneven episodes. Time will tell.

  • Wonder if Amy will show up?

  • Nice to see Anya still feeling sad over Xander and her fling with Spike. You'd think that she would want revenge on the geeks now though.

  • Where is Spike going to get his chip out? And will he be the big bad next season?

  • Just before Buffy was shot it was good to see Xander and her making up. Though it did remind me of season 4 a bit.

  • Dawn being so happy that her 'parents' (Willow & Tara - *sigh* sad to think we'll never hear that again) were back together. In fact, the whole day of love between the two girls was nice to see, though in retrospect it was all to make the death of Tara that much more brutal.

Well, the Season is ramping up for the big finish and I like the way the story is unfolding. But Spike trying to force himself on Buffy? No, I hate the scene and I'll probably have to blank it from my mind every time I see him now if I'm to like the character again. But the day belongs to Tara. Rather surprisingly for me, you will indeed be missed. - 4/5


XANDER: (re: beer) Think there's still a cold one in the fridge. Haven't gotten around to busting the major appliances yet.

BUFFY: Thanks. Still a little early for me.

XANDER: The tyranny of the clock must be overthrown.

SPIKE: It's... complicated, nibblet.

DAWN: Everybody keeps saying that.

SPIKE: Must be true then.

WILLOW: Hey. Clothes.

TARA: Don't get too used to them.

WILLOW: Yes, ma'am.

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    Copyright © 2001 - 2002 David McNulty