"Fear is for the weak! That's my motto. Either that or live in the now. I haven't decided yet."
The DVD* was due back at the library today, so I watched five episodes in two days. I took notes as I was running through, so I'll be recounting my thoughts and speculations in the order they occurred, more or less.
For this one, the hospital episode, I initially went, "Oh no, they're back to monster of the week. Probably just killing time until they can resolve the Angel business in the final couple of episodes" - which may be true, but this story had me from the first second. Not that it was a clutch-your-throat thriller. More a hazy "What's going on here?" mystery, though they quite wisely kept many scenes in the sharp skeptical daylight. Sort of a division of labor, where in the day you apply thought at a distance, which prepares you for the night where you need to combine this with the insight of delirium.
The pattern of a Buffy episode will often be: a number of things are going on, high-school life and demon life, always with something unexplained, and then there will be a turning-point scene that may or may not be plot-related but in which the episode locks into what it's emotionally about, at least for me. (There may also be more such scenes later in the episode, or at the end, to give you different angles.) These scenes will usually be conversations among two or more of the young friends, though occasionally they'll be between Buffy and her mom or Buffy and Giles. In the Kendra episode, the crucial scene - the one I remember as crucial, anyway - occurs when Kendra disparages feelings and Buffy therefore deliberately gets Kendra mad at her, comes on smug, telling Kendra why despite Kendra's superior technique she would have whipped her in a fight. She gets Kendra mad and tells Kendra that that's a feeling
, that's anger, that a slayer needs anger to push her through to victory. And Kendra gets it, that Buffy is helping her, and she feels grateful, and this is conveyed in a couple of seconds, in looks, and the two girls bond.( Turning point )
A couple of random notes:
(1) Buffy never bruises. This is one of those credibility problems that the show deals with by making a point of it; one of its consequences is that it makes the police skeptical of her, whenever she tries to explain that she was attacked, and was defending herself.
(2) I wish someone, like katstevens
or anyone who remembers, would comment on the clothing, since that's what I tend to be conscious of least, and what I'm least knowledgeable of. I'm good at plot shapes and intentions and themes. And what I see before my eyes makes me feel
, but I'm not good at noticing
. I do remember in the final scene of Episode 16, the scene where Cordelia stands against her gang; she's wearing a bright girly sunny summer preppy thing, primary colors, it jumping to the eye as especially pretty in a thoroughly mainstream way (my mind said "The Gap," but that's probably a decade or so out of date), this linking her especially to her crew, and differentiating her especially from Xander, which makes her beautiful distress when they run into Xander feel especially intense.( DSL whine )