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BtVS S4 Highlights

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  • BtVS S4 Highlights

    I'm really looking forward to hearing about people's highlights for S4. It often doesn't end up as a favourite season but there are a lot of great moments and episodes in this one. So let's see what comes out in the wash.

    **Try to stick to the challenge of choosing just one answer for each.** As before, you aren't committing to your 'ultimate favourite eva ', just whatever occurs to you first (or even just to differ from others' answers).


    Choose a favourite scene/moment through the season for
    - Buffy:
    - Buffy & Riley:
    - The Scoobies:

    And a favourite scene/moment for up to three other characters of your choice:
    - Other character 1:
    - Other character 2:
    - Other character 3:


    - Choose your favourite villain:
    - Do you have a favourite comedy moment:
    - What episode do you think is most underrated:
    - Best fight scene of the season:


    - Can you get full marks in this quick quiz - https://whatculture.com/tv/buffy-the...ember-season-4 ?

    - And let's end again with your 'top three' episode choices:

  • #2
    Aw, poor S4 is not getting any ready love. I'll dish it some out.

    Choose a favourite scene/moment through the season for

    - Buffy:
    I really like Buffy's compassion when she first hears that Faith has come out of her coma. She's not dismissing Faith completely because of their past and even questions how she's feeling, if she might be scared. With all the ups and downs they had across S3 it is a really good indicator that Buffy genuinely cared about Faith and probably still does within the mix of everything. Also, I do wish that we'd had some self reflection from Buffy for trying to kill Faith, and this also comes close to that. Her wondering if Faith remembers everything and is sorry I can see as having some slight projection of a general regret for how things turned out in it.

    - Buffy & Riley: I really like the start of Buffy and Riley. There's something sweet about it when they are both trying to present themselves without giving away their secrets. I love the scene when Riley goes over to Buffy sat on the bench in The Initiative and both of them are trying to get the other to leave as they're both trying to find Spike but are trying to appear normal and not give themselves away. It is a great comedy scene but it does also flag some of the problems that they will come to have when together, so I love the layering in it.

    - The Scoobies: I'm going to pick a moment from the start of the season when the gang all come together at the end of The Freshman. Their situations have changed and they are going to have to learn to adapt and work out how and what new challenges they'll be facing. But ultimately they all will come together and still want to support each other. In that way it reflects well the end of the season. I do think Giles running up at the end feels a bit awkward, but I give them some leniency for wanting to have a big jump from focussing on his sense of change and distance to a lighthearted inclusion in the regrouping.

    And a favourite scene/moment for up to three other characters of your choice:

    - Spike:
    Doomed is such a great episode for Spike. I could pick a mass of moments in this episode that informs his overall arc. Plenty are delightfully humorous (like the ending which I love), but I'm going to pick the scene with him goading Xander and Willow. The part of him that is struggling so much with feeling weak and 'William' is lashing out at them because he likes to observe and pick on other's weaknesses and he really understands the fear that, "you're just the same tenth grade losers you've always been." Even if he doesn't realise he's also projecting.

    - Adam: I like Adam as a big bad. The 'scientific' detachment mixed with curiosity is really threatening and just works for me. It is most perfectly displayed in the scene with the boy in the woods, which is chilling As soon as he's asking the questions he does the fate of that child is only going one way if noone else comes.

    - Xander/Giles: Okay, I'm cheating by pairing Xander and Giles, but I don't care! I love the scene between them at Giles' apartment in Harsh Light of Day. They are the two who are most at sea at the start of S4 so it really works to put them in a scene with just the two of them outside of the new campus setting. It's adorable to see Xander trying to help Giles out and the banter between them is great.

    - Choose your favourite villain: I think there are a few standout villains in this season. Maggie Walsh obviously is a main villain of the season and is a fascinating character. Sunday is great and so is Ethan (my appreciation of him is definitely improving). And if I'm considering the MotW, then there is The Gentlemen too, who I love. But I have to give it to Adam because I don't think most people would pick him and I really do like the character and enjoy how he works with the science/magic elements of the season. And the timbre of the actor's voice I find just captivates me in all the scenes he's in. I wish everyone could love Adam as I do.

    - Do you have a favourite comedy moment: Loads of course, but let's go with the scene in the auditorium in Hush.

    - What episode do you think is most underrated: Doomed. As I said above, it is a marker point in Spike's arc. But it also goes over how other characters view elements from their pasts and how their experiences impact how they react to current events. How doomed they feel they are. And with a little trip into the past as they revisit Sunnydale High too.

    - Best fight scene of the season: I've got to go with the fight between Buffy and Faith at the end of Who Are You. It's just so well acted to incorporate the switch back after Faith has been clearly lashing out at herself. I love that it is so much more than just a straight fight scene.

    - Can you get full marks in this quick quiz - https://whatculture.com/tv/buffy-the...ember-season-4 ? Arrrgh, no! 87%! The coma and the instrument thwarted me.

    - And let's end again with your 'top three' episode choices:
    Choosing only three episodes is always really tough. There are so many excellent ones. This time I'm going to pick:
    - Restless - because it is such a fascinating episode with piles of information about each character and tantalising nudges towards future events.
    - Hush - as it is such a clever episode, has great humour and one of the verses scariest monsters.
    - Fear Itself - for the glimpses into their individual fears, its humour and a fabulously unexpected conclusion. (The third place on a different day may have gone to Who Are You, Superstar or Harsh Light of Day).

    Comment


    • vampmogs
      vampmogs commented
      Editing a comment
      The coma question is easy. Always just remember Faith's line from This Years Girl - "I've been sitting still for 8 months, B. How hard you look?"

    • Stoney
      Stoney commented
      Editing a comment
      I knew it was stated but just couldn't remember the line. I chose 9 which was daft really as it wasn't likely to be that. I won't forget it now.

  • #3
    Choose a favourite scene/moment through the season for:
    - Buffy:
    I can't choose just one! It's a toss up for me between Buffy's defiant "fireman" speech in Restless and her kicking Sunday's ass and twirling the stake in The Freshman.

    - Buffy & Riley: Riley's belief in Buffy despite Jonathon's spell in Superstar is a really underrated moment ("I'm starting to know this girl pretty well and I think she sees things that the rest of us don't. I think, for once, we should follow her lead") that he doesn't get enough fandom cred for. I also love their morning fight in New Moon Rising with Buffy wearing Riley's shirt as a nightgown, Riley's "morning" as he rubs her stomach and Buffy making snide remarks about his balanced breakfast and mother. It's so mundane and couple-y which shouldn't be remarkable but for Buffy it really is.

    - The Scoobies: I would say fighting together in Pangs. I love episodes that feature the ensemble heavily and having episodes take place with pretty much all the characters in the same place together is my jam. They play off each other so well and they fight like any true family does during the holidays

    And a favourite scene/moment for up to three other characters of your choice:

    - Willow: It's probably more of a Willow/Oz scene really but I particularly like Alyson Hannigan's performance during her final scene with Oz in New Moon Rising. Her Istanbul/blue hair speech and her delivery of "you're with me, you know?" is so damn perfect. It's one of the most underrated scenes in the entire series so understated and beautifully written and acted.
    - Xander: "Look, when it's dark and I'm scared and I'm all alone I always think 'What Would Buffy Do?' You're my hero" - The Freshman. 'Nuff said

    - Faith: There's so many moments from This Years Girl and Who Are You that I could choose from but for me it would probably be the moment she saves the girl at The Bronze and then is rattled by her sincere gratitude afterwards. The first real dent in her armour.

    - Choose your favourite villain: Faith is probably my favourite villain throughout her two-parter but since I have already picked her I will probably go with Sunday. Considering she only appeared in one episode she made quite the impact and the hatred and rivalry between her and Buffy felt on par with the Buffy/Glory relationship which, again, considering it was only one episode, is really impressive.

    - Do you have a favourite comedy moment: Definitely "Xander you look like death" "Are you ok?" "... you didn't bring rolls?" in Pangs. I could honestly list so many moments from that episode but besides it I would also go with Angel's smirk at Riley and the Scooby fight in The Yoko Factor, Buffy taunting Spike with her neck in Something Blue and the projector scene in Hush.

    - What episode do you think is most underrated: Umm I would probably say Pangs as it's frequently ignored for other comedy episodes when, IMO, it's easily the second best comedic episode of the series (eclipsed only by Dopplegangland). I would also say that Fear Itself is not appreciated to the extent it should be and I think Where the Wild Things Are is nowhere near as bad as so many people say it is.

    - Best fight scene of the season: This is tough. I think it's a dead draw between Sunday kicking Buffy's ass the first time they meet in The Freshman and the Buffy VS Faith fight in Who Are You. The latter is incredibly emotional and the music and choreography is incredible but it's over so quickly. Whereas, Sunday kicking Buffy's ass is shocking and probably does boast some of the most brutal and quick fast-paced fight choreography in the entire series. It's crazy good. S4 has the best fights in the series hands down.

    - Can you get full marks in this quick quiz - https://whatculture.com/tv/buffy-the...ember-season-4 ? - Yep 100%. I did have to think about the instrument though as instruments really aren't my thing and I wasn't quite sure between a trumpet or saxophone.

    - And let's end again with your 'top three' episode choices:

    1) Who Are You
    2) Restless
    3) Pangs


    Runners up...

    4) Fear Itself
    5) The Freshman.


    ~ Banner by Nina ~

    Comment


    • #4

      Choose a favourite scene/moment through the season for
      - Buffy:



      So many choices here, of course, but I think Buffy being well... Buffy despite Jonathan's somewhat sexist rewriting of reality of Superstar. Despite apparently needing help to fight more than two vampires and Jonathan seeming to grab most of the respect she once had, she still persists. You could say that The Freshman was Buffy being a fish out of water, but here all her past had changed ... and not just in a season 5 "insert kid sister here" way.


      - Buffy & Riley:


      I could say their non-talk in the last scene of Hush and the opening scenes of Doomed, but honestly I kind of prefer Buffy just being done with both Riley and Angel's macho man, jealous jerk crap in The Yoko Factor.


      - The Scoobies:


      The team reforming in Primeval.


      And a favourite scene/moment for up to three other characters of your choice:
      - Other character 1:



      Willow coming out to Buffy in New Moon Rising. Buffy's uncomfortability in constantly saying "Will" and then coming to acceptance.


      - Other character 2:


      Willow / Tara in Who are You?

      When Willow opens up about her selfish but understandable desire not to share the Slayer stuff, because she wants something special to her.

      Tara : I am, you know.

      Willow : What?

      Tara : Yours.

      Other character 3:

      Giles. Any time there's a guitar in his hands.

      - Choose your favourite villain:

      Jonathan. There's actually something more insidious about what he did in Superstar than the stuff that Maggie and the Initiative and Adam were up to.

      Oddly, I didn't even think of Faith for this. Thank Angel for his redemptive work on the character later in the year.

      - Do you have a favourite comedy moment:

      Tempted by Giles's reaction in The Yoko Factor or Spike getting zapped in Wild at Heart, but I think the best comedy moment is between Spike, Giles and Xander in This Year's Girl.

      Spike: Tell you what I'll do, then. I'll head out, find this girl, tell her exactly where all of you are, and then watch as she kills you. [sees the surprised looks on Giles and Xanders faces and sighs] Can any one of your damn little Scooby club at least try to remember that I HATE you all? Just because I can't do the damage myself doesn't stop me from aiming a loose cannon your way. And here I thought the evening would be dull.

      Xander: Go ahead! You wouldn't even recognize her!

      Spike: Dark hair, this tall, name of Faith. Criminally insane. I like this girl already.

      Xander: [to Giles] We're dumb.

      I feel like they hadn't fully integrated Spike as they would in season 5, but this is the funniest moment where Spike is still trying to be an evil Loki like figure, and I like Xander and Giles's being idiots together.

      - What episode do you think is most underrated:

      I think a lot of the great episodes of this season get fulsome praise, and the poor ones like Beer Bad are rated correctly. There are some decent moments in Where the Wild Things Are, but a lot of wretched moments too.

      But maybe I'm responding to the homophobia from certain fans in 2000, and from some who are opposed to Tara even now for other reasons, but I think I'll go with New Moon Rising.

      While the Willow/Tara romance may not have been completely groundbreaking, it was still relatively early. It took Star Trek another 17 years to feature a same-sex relationship that didn't involve symbotic body-swapping life forms.

      And the scenes with Oz, the Initiative, etc were also quite good.

      - Best fight scene of the season:

      It has to be the Buffy / Faith fight. "I'm bad! I'm evil!" Less about the staging and more about the characters and acting.

      - Can you get full marks in this quick quiz - https://whatculture.com/tv/buffy-the...ember-season-4 ?

      No, 87%. I guess I had a Will Riker moment in thinking that Jonathan played the sax. And I couldn't remember which variation of mother that Adam first said.

      - And let's end again with your 'top three' episode choices:

      Geez,

      Hush, Restless and the Faith two-parter, but then I feel that's so boring an answer. I feel like this is often seen as Buffy's most awkward season after the first, but I can think of a bunch of episodes that are top three worthy.

      Comment


      • Stoney
        Stoney commented
        Editing a comment
        This is what I love about BtVS, even the weaker seasons have a heck of a lot of incredible parts. I wish I'd added more questions to this to tease out more choices, it felt like I got to praise so little out of all the fabulousness that there is.
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