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
Brief Summary: Willow goes meltdown and a nerd dies. Painfully.
I've got a lot of stuff to do tonight so this will be shorter than usual (hurrah! cries the one person reading this) Well the big bad is finally revealed and it is indeed Willow. Just as I cheerfully did not predict at the start of the Season. To be fair though, she's only now turned evil with 2 episodes to go, so it's a tad different from your usual Angelus/Faith/Adam scenario. But yeah, I didn't think she'd go bad. Is it a good move? You could argue and say that it's similar to Angel going evil and Buffy having to stop him. But the comparisons only really exist with a loved one turning bad. The execution and reasoning were very different.
Did Warren deserve to die? Yeah, I tend to think he did, though it kind of depends on where you fall on the whole death penalty issue. My view (and it is only my view, I'm not forcing it on anyone) is that if you murder someone and you're 100% guilty then you forfeit your right to life. You have to be 100% certain, not 95% or even 99%, but 100% sure that he or she did willingly kill a person. Because if you're wrong and the person's innocent it won't matter because they will be 100% dead. And you could say that Warren did indeed accidentally kill Tara. He didn't have any beef with her though in time I'm sure he would have found something. So maybe he wouldn't have got the DP depending on how the Court viewed it.
Did Warren deserve to die like that? No. This was torture, done for revenge and for the pleasure of seeing him suffer. And boy did he suffer. But not as much as Willow will when she finally comes back from the dark side. This isn't a spoiler or any knowledge of future events. But Willow will comeback and hopefully be redeemed for next Season. But what will she get up to before she does? That's the interesting part.
Spike is in Africa (though how the Hell did he get there so fast? I'm viewing this as more of a story set slightly in the future to explain it away. And isn't Africa a tad sunny for Vamps?) to presumably get his chip out. But maybe that's too obvious. Maybe there's something else he wants. A Soul? Maybe. Turned human? Possibly. Time will tell. One thing I'm reconsidering about is my comments on the last episode. I said that Spike would possibly prey on Dawn in a sexual sense given the chance and that was wrong. An over reaction on my part. I still think the attempted rape was ugly and unnecessary but as Buffy said, he has always cared for Dawn in a parental role and would indeed protect her with his life. So I apologise to any Spike fans that took my comments badly. But I'm still not happy with last week's incident.
The rest of the crew was really just reacting to events, but it's good that Xander knows that Anya is a demon again. The whole Buffy at deaths door thing left me cold though. Who the hell really thought she would die?
A shocking ending tends to make this episode seem really great but not a lot happens beyond a chase. But good stuff none the less. - 3/5
RACK: I can't guarantee anything. Not this time. The girl is running on fury. Never felt anything like it.
WARREN (terrified): Thanks for the tip. Nostradamus. Just load me up, okay?
Brief Summary: Dark Willow hunts down Jonathon & Andrew while Buffy fights her off.
So, we're nearly at the end of the Season and only now is it really kicking into gear. There's been a lot of mixed feelings about S6 on the newsgroups, mainly negative. I'll be doing a wrap up for the whole series later in Summer but I just want to write down now my feelings on the show with one episode to go. I can see what the writers were trying to do this year. Since the end of Season 5 had the Scoobies fighting a God it's hard to top that. So they went in the exact opposite direction and focused more on the mundane and boring facts of living. But they seem to have caved in at the last second and given us the standard 'Big Bad' special effects extravaganza. This seems to me that the whole season has been a bit of a waste of time then. Why not simply be consistent and just have a quiet dramatic finale in tone with the rest of the season? Now, I happen to like the big James Cameron endings, but it does make me wonder why we had to wade through 20 episodes of dark and relentlessly depressing real life issues if we were going to have the big fireworks ending. Why break the tone of the past 5 seasons if in the end we're back to 'end of the world' finales. I'll write more later but this Season has not been a favourite of mine. A few stand out episodes but the themes and general story arcs have left me cold and disappointed.
Anyway, on to the episode and it's pretty lightweight, if undeniably exciting fare. Willow chases after Jonathon & Andrew (hereafter referred to as J & A) while Buffy fights her. The chase sequences are well done. Willow taking the police station wall apart brick by brick, standing on top of the 18 wheeler chasing the police car and firing spell after spell at J & A were exciting stuff. There's also a novelty value of seeing Willow & Buffy fighting. Childish I know, but it's always the basic questions that every one wants to see answered: who would win in a fight between Dark Willow and Buffy the Slayer. Pretty cool.
Dawn had quite a large segment in this episode, but I've gone right off Clem. I like his character, but the make up is too much for me. I hope if he's gonna be a regular then they tone it down slightly. But Dawns search for Rack and her scenes with Willow were good fun. Willow hit the nail on the head with Dawns whining and teenage tantrums, so hopefully we can see a TV version of a teenager (noble, caring and generous) instead of a real life version (selfish, whining and confused) (no offence to any teenagers reading this - trust me, I know what it's like, but give it a few years and you too will look with horror at the next generation of teenagers)
Spike wasn't really in this episode much but it seems he's going to have to wade through a gauntlet of fighters and tests. Pretty cool trick with the flaming fists but did he have to be stripped down to his waist? It's like I've said, I'm all for equality, but it's noticeable that Spikes half naked and Buffys wrapped up in a coat and bunnet. Some balance please ;-p We'll need to wait and see what he desires but I'm still thinking a Soul and no chip (maybe).
Xander seems to be sinking into a spiral of depression, blaming himself for everything from Tara's death to the start of WW2. It's getting a tad grinding. Remember when this guy used to laugh? Good to see Jonathon coming good and helping Xander when Andrew turned. Maybe a bit of a turnaround though in the space of 2 episodes.
And that ending. Truly, it felt like the Season was finally coming good when Giles stands in the doorway, looking like a white Shaft. Yes he has indeed been missed and it will be curious to see what happens between him and Willow. I've got a sinking feeling he's going to get a couple of shots in before being overpowered but we'll see. Giles really is a crucial part of the Scoobies and his leaving left a vacuum that is still to be filled. Unfortunate, but that's life I guess if you don't want the show to end after 5 years (and sometimes I think they should have called it quits after season 3, but I know that could never have happened. Still, the high school setting did seem to contribute more.)
Other moments of note:
So, a good 1st parter but hopefully we'll see some more meat in the 2nd part. And Giles is back. Woo hoo indeed. - 4/5