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Thread: Positives and Negatives - S5

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    Day 21 - The Weight of the World

    Positive: This is not one of my favourite episodes, but I love the 'Ben is Glory' running joke, it works really well and is never not funny . . . 'Is everyone here very stoned?'

    Negative: Far too much Glory. She gets some great lines, but CK can't really deliver. I'm also not a big fan of dissociate-disorder-Buffy. But I guess it gives all the other players a chance to get in place for the final.

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    Spiral

    Positive - It's one of the many times that Spike's hands are given focus as a signifier, both in his overall path through when/why they feature and similarly in his interactions with Buffy for where their relationship is. Here not only does he take on the injury when Tara opens the blind, emphasising his nature against the humans he travels with, but he then is able due to that same nature to be able to catch the sword and protect Buffy. Her casual check on his injury later contrasts to his care for her injuries in After Life too.

    Negative - The knights being able to track Buffy and the gang seems ridiculous.


    The Weight of the World

    Positive - I love the mindwalk, what we see of Buffy's struggle and processing of the situation and how Willow handles interacting with her. Dipstick pointed out in the review how great it is that Willow is totally unfazed by finding Buffy as a child, she just understands and it's shown in her confident 'hello Buffy' on seeing her.

    (I love the Ben is Glory running joke too Pricey and adored the nod Gage gave to this back in S9 when Dawn was fading and Angel and Faith couldn't remember who Dawn was and Spike just walked off. )

    Negative - Although I can made sense of it because of the urgency of the situation, I find the jump from the excellent breakdown on waking that Buffy has then too great a swing to her 'all-business' entrance into the magic box.

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    Day 21 - The Weight of the World

    Positive: The Buffy/Willow scenes just show what a great friend Willow is and the strong bond between her and Buffy. It saddens me that it's gonna be lost in the next seasons, though I hope I'll change my mind once I do the positives for them.

    Xander and Spike teaming up to stop Doc, and Xander stabbing the wanker to his non-death. I just love Xander and Spike working together, we need more of that you damn show!

    Negative: Giles being a bit snippy with Xander about Xander's "pointless questions".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sosa lola View Post
    Day 20 - Spiral

    Positive: I can write pages about the Xander/Spike scene, but I'll just settle with three points:

    1) Xander notices Spike struggling to light his cigarette and lights it for him.
    2) Xander puts Spike's lighter in his pocket!!! (So many Spander fics began with Xander returning the lighter after Buffy's death )
    3) Xander asks about Spike's wounds.
    4) Xander warns Spike about the dangers of smoking.

    Xander cares, damn it!!

    Negative: The Knights of Byzantium were the worst addition. Wish they were some gang or anyone who's current.



    I agree the part about "boy territory" was very weird, but I did like the beginning of the fight when it was about Willow not getting it because her mother is still alive, also Tara's insecurity about hurting Willow's feelings.
    I agree. I loved the start of the camaraderie between Xander and Spike. Also, it was never really explained why there was a schism between two overtly religious orders - the Monks and the Knights - over how to treat the Key. If the Key was so destructive why did the Monks want to save it? Just saying.
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    I think Gregor said that the monks wanted to harness the key's power for good but the knights thought it was too dangerous to risk, or some such.

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    Weight of the World:

    Positives: I appreciate the scenes of Buffy/Willow in Buffy's mind and I really like the moment Buffy wanted it over with whilst doing something as mundane as putting a book away for Giles. It's very realistic and I appreciate that insight into her character. As mentioned by others, the Xander/Spike scenes are great too.

    Negatives: I'm really not a fan of this episode at all. It completely breaks the momentum that was building in Spiral and I find it such an odd addition to the season, at least at this stage in the season. The Glory/Ben scenes are really tedious and neither actor are strong enough to make me interested in scenes devoted to just them playing off each other.
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    Day 22 - The Gift

    Positive: Sorry but can't limit myself to just one thing That opening, with a shot from every episode, and the 'you're just a girl' line - brilliant. Love Anya being so positive and enthusiastic. Spike's 'I know you'll never love me. I know I'm a monster, but you treat me like a man,'


    Negative: I hate Buffy killing herself. On one level it works of course, but I'd rather she remembered the first rule of slaying; 'Don't Die'. If the show had ended with Buffy's death I would have been so disappointed because it would feel like a backwards step, so meaningless for the verse. For me it's one of the reasons Chosen is so much better -you can win and live and change the world!

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    The Weight of the World

    Positive: I love the hug! Willow doesn't say anything, she just kneels in front of Buffy and hugs her. It's a beautiful moment, melts my heart every time.

    Negative: Visually and creatively, the mind walk is underwhelming compared to Restless and even Nightmares. It's also overdrawn. There's just not enough content there for what is basically a third of the episode. And despite what Anya says (she mentions that the spell could be dangerous to Buffy and Willow) there's no danger whatsoever. I mean, OK, I can't imagine Buffy, even subconscious Buffy trying to harm Willow, but still, I think the sequence needed some more urgency or tension.

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    The Gift:

    Positives: This is my second favourite episode of the show. It's absolutely brilliant and I adore pretty much everything about it I could list numerous things that I love but to try and be imaginative, I will say that the conversation between Buffy/Giles is one of my favourite SMG moments in the series. Her delivery of "I just wish - I just wish my mom was here" absolutely destroys me every time. The way her voice begins to choke up when she says that is just so heartbreaking and so beautifully performed.

    Negatives: I mean, if I had to say anything, I will say that Joss clearly retconned Olaf's hammer by suddenly declaring that Olaf was a "Troll God." And it makes no sense that Olaf could hit Xander on the head with that hammer and Xander would survive but it's powerful enough to defeat Glory. It's also a retcon that Dawn was "made out of Buffy" as this is never established at any point throughout the season. The monks never state this to Buffy so where she gets this from is anybody's guess and if you think about it too hard it also really doesn't make sense that Buffy's blood would close the portal even though Dawn's blood opened it. But then, it never made sense that the Monks would turn The Key into something that could bleed (and not something like, say, a grain of sand) knowing that Glory's ritual required blood. S5's fantastic but it's main plot kind of falls apart under much scrutiny.
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    The Gift

    Positive - This is a fantastic season finale, possibly my favourite. I have to give kudos to Dawn for preparing to jump. She has shown such determination and bravery at many points but this is just genuinely heroic. The fact that not one of them ever even considered that she would do this when they discussed having to kill her if the portal was opened just makes her ability to step forward so much more damn impressive. I've got to also acknowledge how JM just breaks my heart when Spike sees Buffy's body, he crumples and it adds to the solemnity of everyone looking on her. Such an emotion laden finale, but I'm so grateful it wasn't the end.

    Negative - I suppose I think that the group should have had a real conversation about killing Ben as a solution when he was inextricably tied to Glory and would always remain a world ending risk. I appreciate they decide they can't bank on him even reappearing but it should have been more on the table I think.

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    Day 22 - The Gift

    Positive: I love that every one of the main characters has a role to play in the episode: Buffy sacrifices herself for Dawn, Xander smacks Glory with a wrecking ball and comes up (with Anya) with idea to use the Buffybot in the battle, Anya figures out that Buffy could fight Glory with the hammer, Willow gives Tara her brain back, Tara leads them to Glory's place, Giles kills Ben, Dawn about to jump and save the world, and Spike runs up to save Dawn with Willow's help.

    Bonus: Xander admiring Anya: "Smart chicks are so hot!" And Willow being bitter that he didn't realize that in tenth grade.


    Negative: Shooting script:

    ANYA
    Okay, but I'm still not hearing enough ideas,
    she's a god, let's think outside the box!

    SPIKE
    Why don't you go think outside the
    bleedin' box?

    GILES
    Yes, Anya, apart from your incredibly
    uninfectious enthusiasm, have you
    anything to contribute? Any ideas on
    how to fight a god? Love to hear 'em.

    XANDER
    How about we don't pick on my gi--


    ANYA
    The Dagon's Sphere!

    Why the hell did they cut the part with Xander defending Anya????
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    The Gift

    Positive: This is the perfect finale! It's powerful, it's entertaining, it's poignant, plotlines and character arcs are resolved, and, from the sunset in Prophecy Girl to the sunrise in The Gift, Buffy's story is elegantly concluded.

    Negative: Why is this episode a series finale if it's not the last episode? Because, no, this is a series finale, it's written like one, OK? And it hurts the show because every story is as good as the ending and as an ending, The Gift cannot be topped. Not by the time travel nonsense we're about to get in season twelve and certainly not by the flaming dumpster fire that is Chosen.
    Last edited by a thing of evil; 18-04-18 at 09:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sosa lola View Post
    Why the hell did they cut the part with Xander defending Anya????
    I'd guess because she deals with it herself by cutting Giles' sarcasm off with a really helpful suggestion. I'm not down on Xander defending Anya I hasten to say, but her wiping the sniping at her off the map herself is a really great moment.

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    Can't watch both episodes so will go off and watch Buffy & Drac - it's been a long time since I watched - I think it was a very good season opener and I agree that Xander/NB did a wonderful performance as did all the cast. One thing that was a BIG NEG that I still can't believe was allowed to pass was the horrible make up job for Dracula - some scenes show his face make that just stops little past his face and his neck is totally regular human.
    Last edited by cil_domney; 23-04-18 at 07:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    I think Gregor said that the monks wanted to harness the key's power for good but the knights thought it was too dangerous to risk, or some such.
    Thank you, I'd forgotten he said that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    I'd guess because she deals with it herself by cutting Giles' sarcasm off with a really helpful suggestion. I'm not down on Xander defending Anya I hasten to say, but her wiping the sniping at her off the map herself is a really great moment.
    She does prove she's capable of thinking outside the box. Screw Giles and Spike, Anya is useful!
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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing of evil View Post
    The Gift

    Positive: This is the perfect finale! It's powerful, it's entertaining, it's poignant, plotlines and character arcs are resolved, and, from the sunset in Prophecy Girl to the sunrise in The Gift, Buffy's story is elegantly concluded.

    Negative: Why is this episode a series finale if it's not the last episode? Because, no, this is a series finale, it's written like one, OK? And it hurts the show because every story is as good as the ending and as an ending, The Gift cannot be topped. Not by the time travel nonsense we're about to get in season twelve and certainly not by the flaming dumpster fire that is Chosen.
    Agree - it would make a great series ending and I think that one of the big problems, totally personal opinion, is what Joss Whedon chose as the foundation for how Buffy's resurrection was going to be dealt with. Every individual viewer then and current fan will have their response and opinion to the "Buffy's Uber Depression" as the functioning plot/story for season six but I totally disliked the idea that Buffy's depression would serve as an excuse and justification for the actions and behavior of Buffy.

    For such an extreme change in the series primary heroine and character and with how the viewers would have to react to, either against or with great sympathy, using so provocative subject as depression for the foundation was not a good choice. The Buffyverse being a reflection of the real world and with, I would guess applied to most if not all the viewers, we all know and have experience with loved ones and people who suffer from great depression and going out and beating on people is not how it works nor would we think it excusable behavior for the levels of violence used by Buffy in season six.

    Buffy's resurrection could have been handled in countless other ways - but I think we all can agree with the idea that Joss Whedon has always been interested in the creation of individual realities - how our minds work in the formation of our lives so we get this Buffy who is often very cruel or does acts against innocent people i.e., Doris the social worker, without regard for how she is effecting other people.

    Yes, the Big Bad for season six is LIFE but doing the "I understand Buffy and she is all uber depresso girl" can of hard to accept - at least it was for me.

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    @cil_domney
    Personally, I think that Buffy's depression arc is done rather poorly but, I mean, almost everything post season 5 is done rather poorly so whatever. In general, I think that there aren't many shows/movies that portray depression very well. The only portrayal of depression that I, based on my personal experiences, find realistic and true to life is Dreamfall and that's a video game. Anyway, I don't think that the portrayal of Buffy's depression (or her characterization) is the biggest problem.

    My issue with Buffy after "The Gift" is that it's not even her story anymore. Buffy's story ended in season 5. The show continues and she's still there but it's not really about her anymore. She becomes a supporting character to Spike (in season 6 and 7) and Willow (s6 only). Their shit is more intense, more important and more interesting than Buffy's. What's crazy is that William and Willow basically get to play the part that used to be Buffy's. The stories are almost the same, except those two are in the place Buffy used to be. Buffy had the big, near-finale vengeance arc with Faith in season 3. Now Willow has the big, near-finale vengeance arc, just more badass/crazy. Buffy sacrificed herself to save the world in the finale of season 5. Now Spike sacrifices himself to save the world, also blows up the entire town. And that's not OK. Buffy's shit should be the most intense. Buffy's pain should be the most severe. Buffy's actions should be the most heroic and/or crucial. Buffy's drama should be the most...well, dramatic, I guess. And that's just not the case after "The Gift".

    They could've done the best depression arc in the history and those seasons still would've sucked because, next to Spike and next to Willow, the main character is just boring.

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    I can see your point ATOE that Willow and Spike take prominent positions in S6, and S7 for Spike too, but I'm totally happy with it. I just enjoy their arcs too much to dislike that the writers did this. Personally I think that they work alongside Buffy's journey at those points and there's plenty of development and reflection between them and her that works really well. But I do think there is a distinct shift in tone to the show because of it and whilst I like it in terms of how it suits the stories and general sense of them growing up for me, it does emphasise the line created at The Gift.
    Last edited by Stoney; 24-04-18 at 06:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    I can see your point ATOE that Willow and Spike take prominent positions in S6, and S7 for Spike too, but I'm totally happy with it. I just enjoy their arcs too much to dislike that the writers did this. Personally I think that they work alongside Buffy's journey at those points and there's plenty of development and reflection between them and her that works really well. But I do think there is a distinct shift in tone to the show because of it and whilst I like it in terms of how it suits the stories and general sense of them growing up for me, it does emphasise the line created at The Gift.
    @ATOE - you have a good point about the intensity of Buffy - but I think that the exploration should have been focused on the consequences between Buffy and the four who made the choice to resurrect her. Instead of having the friends who brought her back having severe negative consequences placed on them we have Spike as the whipping post/HUGE Bad Relationship. I don't mean that I did not like the great dramatic story that was created between Buffy & Spike post The Gift but perhaps having a bit less emphasis on Spike being given the majority of negative effects character having W,X,T &A getting more of the bad consequences would have added more to the season.

    @Stoney - excellent point on the "shift in tone..."

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