Spaced: Battles   Rewatch 
February 22, 2015 3:55 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Daisy's boyfriend breaks up with her after she takes some ill advice from Tim, who goes on a cathartic, if challenging, paint-ball expedition with Mike. Peter Serafinowicz appears as Tim's arch-nemesis, 'Duane Benzie'. Also: Colin.

Todd VanDerWerff​ at The A.V. Clubwrites very well indeed on the significance of ​​Spaced​​​, and specifically two episodes from Season 1, "Art" (previously on FanFare) and "Battles", which is why I quote at length:
"One of my concerns about ​​Spaced​​ in these early episodes has been that the show might think that simply referencing pop culture is good enough, that it doesn’t have to build a joke around pop culture but can, rather, just say, ​'​Hey, isn​'​t this like (insert name of movie)?​'​ followed by a cut-away gag and call it a day. And, to be fair, there’s been a little of that in all of these episodes. The zombie sequence, for instance, is pretty much just Wright and Pegg recreating Resident Evil for shits and giggles, and while they try to pay it off at the art show at the end, the callback doesn’t work nearly as well as it might. There are a lot of good jokes in ​'​Art​,'​ but the show is still clearly finding its way and figuring out what its characters can do and what kinds of jokes it can tell with them. ​'​Art​'​ is probably a step up over last week’s two episodes, but there’s still an over​-​reliance on shtick-y humor and making references to other stuff to make references to it.

"​'​Battles​,'​ on the other hand, is pretty damn close to great. The structure of the episode is incredibly smart. It builds from a series of minor incidents to stories that illuminate certain things about both Tim and Daisy, and when it turns a paintball battle into an action-movie analogue, it does so with wit and panache. Even better, there are actual stakes involved for one of the central twosome, stakes that make it easier to get invested in who wins the paintball match. Tim, see, has been thinking about how he lost his girl to the irritatingly yuppie-like Duane, a guy who’s always got his cell phone ringing and always has the perfect answer for everything. And wouldn’t you know it, Duane’s also in the paintball match? If ever Tim was going to get even the slightest bit of revenge, it’s right now."​

Read the whole review, written in 2011, over at The A.V. Club.
James Lance reappears, briefly, in this episode, playing Daisy's ex-boyfriend, 'Richard'. He's been in a ton of stuff but you might recognize him from "I'm Alan Partridge" (as 'Ben') ​and "​​Katy Brand's Big Ass Show​", to name two.​

Originally aired October 15, 1999.

"You know what they say about love and war?" / "Yeah, one involves a lot of physical and psychological pain and the other one's war."

Episode ends with an extended tracking shot through the flat (it's not a bedsit) to end on the sinister Schnauzer, Colin, ​​with the dreaded bamboo on Tim's bed.​ Lightning flashes. "To be continued..."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (8 comments total)
I do like the flashbacks that go nowhere. I think only Tim's do that right, right?
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 5:31 PM on February 22, 2015

Two TV references in this with theme songs that are instant nostalgia for 70s British kids: Roobarb and Animal Magic. (Can't find a clip of the actual show for that, but the Wikipedia article gives a good feel for it.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:14 PM on February 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

"You've got some paint on you" feels like it got recycled into the Shaun of the Dead "you've got red on you" joke.

Also, they really liked that canophobia joke.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:17 PM on February 22, 2015

I really loved this episode:

- Brian's line about "such vibrant colors!" -- I have found myself chuckling about it even years after watching the series.
- The gag with Tim being chased by the dogs that are being chased by Daisy! In the commentary, Simon Pegg remarks how much he likes that Tim and Daisy had been near each other before.
- Daisy being completely delightful, esp. when she comes in the door with her paws up. Everyone seems like they're settling in to the characters & making them seem a bit more natural.
- Colin!
- Marsha's blink-and-you'll-miss-it line about having needs
- The crooked foam in Duane's goggles during the standoff
- How much the standoff here resembles the standoff in SotD
- How much Mike's sideways leap resembles all the sideways leaps from Hot Fuzz; how much Tim's double guns resemble the double guns from Hot Fuzz

I have seen this episode maybe 6-7 times before and it took until tonight (and the commentary) to get the joke about not eating the paintballs. I'd just assumed that the yellow paint was this hilariously surreal moment, but no: Mike had been eating paintballs.
posted by mochapickle at 7:57 PM on February 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I found Marsha's line and Brian's uncomfortable look and move off the couch extremely funny.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:11 PM on February 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I love the scene where Brian sits on Colin. It's such wonderfully absurd behaviour from both of them, but it works brilliantly in the moment.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:51 PM on February 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Wow. We could use filthy light thief's incredible movie reference comments - I'll just add one: I believe they were parodying Apocalypse Now at several points in the paintball sequence - especially since Vietnam was specifically mentioned.

The stand-off with the paintball guns scene is referring to... what? It's been used in so many films it's kind of a trope isn't it? Still I wonder if there's something specific they had in mind.

Finally - the part where Brian talks about dressing his dog up as an Elizabethan-era merchant has me in stitches, every time.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:12 PM on February 23, 2015

The stand-off with the paintball guns scene is referring to... what?

IMDB's Connections page for the episode claims Hard Boiled and/or The Killer, although I don't know how definitive it's list is. (I would think also the stand-off in Reservoir Dogs is iconic at about the right time to influence Wright.) But yes, trope.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:49 PM on February 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

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