Buffy The Vampire Slayer, eps. 43-46 [TV reviews by the Drudgeon]

Buffy The Vampire SlayerThese four episodes are a really big mixed bag of good and bad.  But these are some of the best episodes that I’ve seen so far.  I just hope that they keep this up and if they do they I might actually understand way Buffy got so popular.

“The Wish”
Season 3 episode 9, originally broadcast December 8 1998
Written by Marti Noxon
Directed by David Greenwalt
My rating: ***

So Cordelia is pretty much complaining about how Buffy showing up in town has pretty much made her life miserable, and while complaining to her new friend Anya and after getting an amulet from her, she makes a “wish” that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale.  Suddenly Anya turns around now looking very demonic and she states, “Done”.  Suddenly there is a flash and the school is a lot quieter and there are a lot less people.  Cordelia goes to class and afterwards the teacher talks about the regular memorial that is taking place so there will be no school.  Cordelia talks about going to the Bronze to relax and after saying that she is looked at with disgust and asked if she is kidding.  It seems that since Buffy never came to Sunnydale and she never stopped the Master, he is now pretty much in control of the city.  Xander and Willow are now vampires, Angel is a prisoner of the Master and he is on and off tortured, and Giles heads a group called with White Hats along with Oz who fight the vampires.  Everything is different and Cordelia realizes that Buffy should be there.

This was a fun episode with a few surprises.  One of my favorite scenes in the episode is when hell breaks loose and everyone is fighting.  Now you might expect me to talk about how Oz kills Willow or when Buffy kills Xander, but it’s actually when Xander kills Angel.  As Angel is about to turn to dust he looks at Buffy and calls her name.  Buffy doesn’t even react and walks through his body as it turns to dust.  It’s just a really nicely done shot/scene.  The other surprise was that they killed Cordelia off so fast.  I was expecting this to be a lesson that she was supposed to learn and they just killed her off.  Which brings me to my only real complaint about the episode and that is the ending.  I was expecting it to come out of this alternate world and Cordelia to have learned her lesson, but she has no memory of it.  Doesn’t that kinda make the whole episode pretty pointless?  Yes we got to see how it would be without her, but shouldn’t it affect one of the characters?

“Amends”
Season 3 episode 10, originally broadcast December 15 1998
Written and directed by Joss Whedon
My rating: *

It’s Christmas in Sunnydale!!!!!!  The big problem is that Angel is having bad dreams about his past and it seems that Buffy is starting to get dragged into them.  At school we learn a bit about Xander and his home life, which seems to be filled with drunken fights and him usually sleeping outside.  Willow and Oz are giving their relationship another chance and Cordelia is back to being the bitch.  As the time moves along Angel is having more nightmares and they are starting to break into reality because he is starting to see some of his past victims especially Jenny Calendar, but no one else can see them.  Angel goes to Giles for help trying to figure out why he was brought back and what is going on with the dreams, but while there he sees Jenny again and runs off.  Everybody does some research and it turns out that something called the First is probably responsible for bringing Angel back and it seems to be what is torturing him.  Angel is now being tormented about making Buffy his next victim, but instead of indulging in that he decides to kill himself by waiting for the sun.

Normally I love Christmas episodes and it would normally get an automatic four stars but there were a lot of things that were annoying about this episode.  Then again there were some really good things.  Any episode that seems to focus on Angel or Buffy and their relationship just comes off as very poorly written.  It’s like they were trying to make it so romantic that they forgot how shitty the characters relationship actually is.  This is another one of those episodes where everyone just tends to forget about all the killing and horrible things that Angel has done and because Buffy says so, all is better.

“Gingerbread”
Season 3 episode 11, originally broadcast January 12 1999
Written by Jane Espenson (story/teleplay) & Thania St. John (story only)
Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.
My rating: ***

During one of Buffy’s normal patrols her mother shows up with some food.  A vampire shows up and after some fighting Buffy runs off after it.  Joyce walks to the playground and sees the bodies of two kids.  The police show up and it seems that they were killed in a ritualistic form.  This really affects Buffy’s mom and she starts getting people together for a candle vigil for the kids.  At the vigil Joyce starts talking about how the monsters and the slayers are doing so much damage to the town and it’s time that the parents take the town back, which shocks Willow, Buffy and Giles.  Joyce starts a group called Mothers Opposed To The Occult (MOO) and they have convinced the authorities that everything that is occult related should be confiscated and that includes all of Giles’ books which are needed to help figure out what is going on.  It turns out that a demon continually comes back and causes towns to turn to chaos.  It tricks and “haunts” the parents until they kill and then the demon disappears.

This was a fun episode that drags up one thing that parents fear most.  The loss of their child.  Buffy is saying how she will beat up or kill whoever did this even if they are just a normal human, but the parents are finally finished with everything and they want to take control.  Another thing that the episode is good at showing is how parents tend to both ignore their kids and do what they wish or that parents tend to go extremely overboard, especially when they are “protecting” their children.

“Helpless”
Season 3 episode 12, originally broadcast January 19 1999
Written by David Fury
Directed by James A. Contner
My rating: *

Buffy is excited because it is almost her eighteenth birthday and every year her father takes her to an ice skating show.  When she gets home it turns out that he is very busy with work so he can’t make it this time.  Later when Buffy is on patrol and in the middle of a fight, she suddenly loses her abilities and is almost killed.  She goes to Giles and explains what is going on and Giles, looking nervous, kinda tells her that it’s probably nothing.  We jump to a house where some people are placing bricks in doors.  There is a man that we find out later is named Quentin Travers and he has a vampire named Kralik in a box.  We learn that Buffy is going through a test that Slayers are to go through (without their knowledge) when they reach their eighteenth birthday.  They are stripped of their powers and then locked in a room with a powerful vampire.  Giles goes to see Quentin and see that Kralik has escaped and he rushes to help Buffy.  After rescuing her from Kralik he explains everything.  Buffy is hurt by this and asks for a ride from Cordelia to her house.  She gets there and there is a photo of Kralik and Buffy’s mom with a note on the back that says come.  Buffy heads to the place with no powers and a bag of weapons.

This is another fun episode that is overshadowed by Buffy and her consistent whining.  From the beginning Buffy has complained about how she just wants to be normal and not have to deal with the fighting of monsters.  A few episodes ago, both her mother and Giles are trying to push her to move on and live a normal life but Buffy says no.  This episode Buffy has no powers and she is actually normal, but even when she gets what she wants, it’s still not good enough.  She is probably the worst main character that I’ve ever seen.  Nothing is ever good enough for her.  Her life is always worse than everyone else even though we have learned in the last two episodes that Xander and Willow have really shitty (really really shitty in the case of Xander) home lives and let’s not forget how much Giles has gone through and lost.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer is available at Netflix.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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