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Thread: Positives and Negatives - S7

  1. #61
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    Sleeper

    Positive: The scene where Buffy confronts Spike about the killings is genuinely excellent. There's chemistry, there's tension, Buffy's totally jealous - it's all quality, I even felt sorry for Spike when Buffy hit him with that Right. The chip. line. Come on, Buffy. Shout-out to Willow's anime-ass hairdo, best girl, best hair and all that.

    Negative: Sleeper is an apt title, watching the episode turns me into one. The narration is completely glacial, there's enough story for maybe a third of an episode. Seriously, if this was season 3 this plot would've been dealt with in 20 minutes, tops, like in Amends, and Scoobies would've had their own subplots. Here, they are reduced to background, basically, big theme in this season. And you know what else pisses me off? Dawn went through some crazy shit the previous night and it's like Buffy doesn't even care, the only thing that's on her mind is Spike. Did she even talk with Dawn about what happened? In season 8, Dawn tells Buffy that Willow's like a mom to her and, unsurprisingly, Buffy is butthurt. Season 7 is why Dawn feels like this.
    Last edited by a thing of evil; Yesterday at 10:33 PM.

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    Sleeper

    Positive - Spike often gets criticised for not showing enough remorse for his past but this episode again challenges him directly about it and his current feelings/attitude towards the lives of other people. His coping mechanism clearly has him containing a lot of his emotional responses to becoming souled. But his adamant assertion to Buffy about his feelings about his past, his determination to find out what is happening, calling Buffy and his distress/confusion at realising he'd unknowingly been killing again makes his remorse and the change in him really stark here.

    Negative - Their wish to want to play Spike seemingly responding to seeing Buffy (really The First) before biting the girl seems to create some inconsistency to his awareness when triggered (the tune humming having happened earlier as Spike travelled through the crowd). They obviously want us to believe briefly that it's the real Buffy and Spike is in control of himself, but it's confusing with the later reveals that the trigger gives The First control and Spike's not able to even remember most of what happens when he goes out beyond going and chatting with people, not before he starts to get some flashbacks anyway. I assume his awareness is supposed to be patchy when triggered and totally absent when The First presses its control. This could be my poor recall having not seen it recently rather than the inconsistency it feels to be from my memory. Perhaps someone who has rewatched it more recently will have a clearer recall.

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  5. #63
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    Sleeper

    Positive: I love Xander's question "Is he in trouble?" and how significantly different it is from "Did he cause trouble?" Spike's stay at Xander's is changing Xander's view of him, sadly we were not allowed to see it, but it did inspire a lot of Spander and Xander/Spike friendship fanfics set between Him and Sleeper.

    Negative: I didn't like Anya coming on Spike as a cover. The Anya/Spike sex in Entropy was solace and built on respect for one another, but in S7 it got cheapened IMO. First when Spike and Anya mocked the whole thing in Beneath You and later with Anya trying to get Spike to sleep with her.


    Quote Originally Posted by a thing of evil View Post
    Dawn went through some crazy shit the previous night and it's like Buffy doesn't even care, the only thing that's on her mind is Spike. Did she even talk with Dawn about what happened? In season 8, Dawn tells Buffy that Willow's like a mom to her and, unsurprisingly, Buffy is butthurt. Season 7 is why Dawn feels like this.
    I remember when fans criticized Dawn's line about Willow being like a mother to her when the issue first came out back in 2007, and this S7 scene came to my mind. We will see Willow taking care of Dawn again in Lies My Parents Told Me. What's apparent to Dawn is Willow being there for her in S7, and probably also post-S7 before Dawn heads to college and Willow disappears.
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    I think as Season 7 progresses Buffy becomes that cliched General, with friends and family becoming secondary to the mission. All the potentials become her family and she becomes the matriarch. Dawn got more mothering, it seems, than Buffy, Willow or Xander did when they were 16/17

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  9. #65
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    I think that Buffy abandons Dawn in season 7 because she has a new baby, one with bleach blonde hair. Spike in season 7 plays the same role Dawn did in season 5. He's the character Buffy wants to save, take care of, protect. It's weird, not only because of who Spike is, but because it seems completely deliberate and intentional what with all the parallels between Spike and Dawn (Lies My Parents Told Me, Chosen) and the way Spike's mother is depicted. Suddenly the sexlessness makes much more sense.

  10. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing of evil View Post
    I think that Buffy abandons Dawn in season 7 because she has a new baby, one with bleach blonde hair. Spike in season 7 plays the same role Dawn did in season 5. He's the character Buffy wants to save, take care of, protect. It's weird, not only because of who Spike is, but because it seems completely deliberate and intentional what with all the parallels between Spike and Dawn (Lies My Parents Told Me, Chosen) and the way Spike's mother is depicted. Suddenly the sexlessness makes much more sense.
    You forgot to mention that she's in love with him.

    Buffy does not abandon Dawn; she teaches Dawn how to fight, works with her to help Cassie and find Willow when she returns from England, sits with her at school lunch times, watching the boys practice football, talks to her like a mother, sister and friend. Then the Big Bad happens, and all the potentials in the world are threatened with death . . . personally I think that takes precedence over one sister, two friends, one watcher and one vampire that you're in love with. Buffy puts the mission in front of everyone and everything, as she should.

  11. #67
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    Conversations With Dead People

    Positives: The moment at the end of the episode where all the seperate storylines converge is pretty brilliantly done. I always get shiver watching "Cassie" slip up, Andrew knifing Jonathan, and Holden revealing that Spike sired him just as Spike buries his fangs into his victim's neck. The creepy Joyce scenes are also very well done (the moment Joyce's corpse briefly appears on the couch behind Dawn is the scariest thing in Buffy) and I love the shot of Buffy lying down on the tombstone as if she were in Holden's therapy room.

    I'd also like to point out that there's a real BAMFness to Willow in this episode when she confronts Cassie/The First. Throughout much of Season 7 Willow seems like a shell of her former self after what happened at the end of Season 6, but here she's very commanding, brave and even a little threatening. I like that. Whilst it certainly wasn't a good thing that she ended up killing people and attacking her friends, it makes sense that it would have changed her on some level. Willow knows what she's capable of now.

    Negatives: This episode is just so disappointing in hindsight. The Spike storyline is a complete fizzer, Joyce's foreboding message to Dawn is a total dead-end, and the Andrew/"Warren" scenes are genuinely scary and sinister here but are turned into a complete joke the very next episode. This episode shows the potential Season 7 could have had but it's always a painful reminder of what we got instead. A lot of the fun has been sucked out of rewatching it as a consequence of this.

    Sleeper:

    Positives: The Spike/Anya scene always makes me laugh a lot. The fight between Buffy and Spike's victims is also really well done. The final cliffhanger with Giles and The Bringer also had me on the edge of my seat the first time I watched it.

    Negatives: Most people say Bring on the Night is the definitive turning point where Season 7 goes downhill and for the most part I agree. However, on my latest rewatch I found that this episode is where things begin to shift for the worst. There's something fairly dull about a lot of this episode which doesn't bode well for the season considering that it's when the main plot starts to shift into gear. And a thing of evil raises a very valid point that this episode represents a major problem with the writing this season when it comes to how it utilises all the characters. The writers simply no longer have the attention span, the energy, or the incentive to focus on all the characters within a single episode. As soon as the attention shifts to Spike, Xander, Willow, Dawn and Anya fall in to the background to occasionally offer some exposition and that's it. In previous seasons they'd have their own seperate storylines/scenes going on. a thing of evil is right to compare it to Amends when we still had the Willow/Oz and Buffy/Faith subplots. This will happen a lot throughout Season 7 where the writers are incapable of focusing on multiple things at the same time. The plot takes precedent, whoever the plot is about takes precedent, and characters only appear to service that plot. Character-building takes a backseat.

    I also dislike the cameo by Aimee Mann. It feels so contrived.
    "You've got ... a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself."

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