Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Anne   Rewatch 
May 13, 2015 11:08 PM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Hoping to escape her life, Buffy waitresses in Los Angeles as "Anne." When a customer recognizes her and asks for help, she uncovers a demon praying on troubled youth.
posted by yellowbinder (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Come and get it big boy?"

Another downer season opener. It's effective though, I dare anyone to not have a surge of awesome when Buffy looks up and proudly states her name and duty and starts kicking ass. It also gives us a new opening credits power shot of Buffy (the last one that's actually Buffy I believe, it always bugged me that they changed it to the Buffybot in S6 and the First in S7).

There's a few missteps (the swell of music when Xander and Cordy make out, the montage of sad dirty street kids) but the episode generally works. The bad guy is totally creepy and it's nice to continue Chanterelle/Lily/Anne's arc. She's a lost soul and I love that we can see this totally minor character find her way. Although Buffy will never know it, she really saved this girl and empowered her to save others.

I always love the Scoobies working to slay without Buffy, there's fun bits in both these episodes with their attempted verbal sparring and code names and giant crosses.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:36 PM on May 13, 2015




I do like this one. I really appreciate that for all that the Buffyverse glosses over a lot of types of trauma, depression and hopelessness are not elided. More of those later, of course. But I totally relate to Buffy's resignation, Lily's helplessness. And I love watching both of them grow out of it. It gives me a bit of hope.

Oh, and the sniffles I don't get when Buffy's leaving I apparently do get when she comes home. That look of uncertainty and longing, and Joyce just enfolding her. Sorry, got something stuck in my eye...
posted by Athanassiel at 5:46 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another minor thing I wanted to mention here - nice that the show sets up time moving differently in different dimensions here so it will have a bit more weight when Angel's all tormented by hundreds of years in a hell dimension. Of course the trauma of that wears off after a few episodes, but still nice set up.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:20 AM on May 14, 2015


Although the image of a demon praying on youth is an interesting one, the word is preying.
posted by phearlez at 10:00 AM on May 14, 2015


That's what writing these at 2 am gets me. I rather like the image myself though!
posted by yellowbinder at 1:45 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Like others in this thread, I love that Chanterelle/Lily/Anne went on to be an awesome person, and loved the "I'm Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And you are?" moment. (And it just occurred to me that in later seasons Willow and Anya have their own, more subdued name/identity reclaimage moments).

Ken scares me more than most of the Sunnydale baddies because he's smart. He picks vulnerable, isolated victims in one of the biggest cities in the world, which greatly reduces the probability that anyone will seriously investigate their disappearances and discover him. He might have kept this thing going indefinitely if Buffy hadn't run away to LA.
posted by creepygirl at 5:32 PM on May 14, 2015


Yeah, how many Kens are there in the world, when Buffy is usually unable to see them?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:43 PM on May 14, 2015


There's a few missteps (the swell of music when Xander and Cordy make out, the montage of sad dirty street kids) but the episode generally works.

Yeah the whole Xander/Cordelia thing feels like a subplot with nowhere to go, and it all comes to nothing anyway. I do like this episode on reflection. I like the time it takes to show how much hurt Buffy is feeling from her actions, and not only that, but that others feel that hurt too. Maybe that's what snaps her out of it, because Buffy can't ever let herself be a Lily, someone who lets herself become led by someone else. She's a leader, a doer, and in a crisis she always displays this. As much as she resents her life as a slayer, she is committed to it on a fundamental level that means that while she could just shut the door on Lily, she lets her in, leading to her uncovering the demons.

I like a lot of character beats in this. I think Giles is great and I think Joyce is somewhat justified in her attack on Giles. I do think she got short shrift in Season 2, and I think this Season will go someway to remedy it; she can now appear in more stories now she's no longer a part of the masquerade, and the idea of secret keeping will become less important to the show for a while now. And yeah, that last moment is really just good.

-The homeless montage is on the nose, but one almost gets the feeling that Whedon or another writer got upset about how many homeless people they walked past on the way to work and wanted to do something, even if it was in Buffy.
-The demons had apparently hundreds of years of labour going for them, but didn't seem to have much to show for it. I guess they were selling weapons or something?
-I guess Larry is repeating the year, as he was a senior as well
-People in the library!
-Xander using Cordelia as bait. You know, I do my best to like Xander, but he really does his best to act like a jerk in almost every single episode
-"A vampire couldn't accelerate the ageing process". I'm not convinced this a line that should come out of Buffy Summers mouth
-The fight on the furnace is fun
-All the rent has been paid up for the next three weeks. I guess Buffy was a really good waitress?
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:20 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


She can carry lots and lots of very heavy trays.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:21 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The demons had apparently hundreds of years of labour going for them, but didn't seem to have much to show for it. I guess they were selling weapons or something?

It was one of those factories from an '80s music video that just manufactures sparks and steam.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:27 AM on May 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is also the first episode to get rid of the semi-generic "crayola" Buffy logo from the main titles in favor of the stylized drips-and-stakes brush design used on everything later.

This was the first regular episode I tuned in for back in the day (after only having seen "Surprise"/"Innocence" at a friend's viewing party earlier that year), and I remember being a bit confused by the downbeat tone and the way the main cast was separated for most of the episode. But the idea that the main character of a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer would voluntarily spend most of the episode as a depressed diner waitress before rediscovering her true ass-kicking nature appealed to me, and I stuck with it and this season was the one that turned me into a fan.

An extra shout-out to Carlos Jacott, who played Ken the demon in this episode and went on to play more baddies-of-the-week for Whedon on both Angel and Firefly. I'm sure he's a really nice guy, but he definitely has a talent for playing oily, duplicitous creeps.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:42 AM on May 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


An extra shout-out to Carlos Jacott, who played Ken the demon in this episode and went on to play more baddies-of-the-week for Whedon on both Angel and Firefly. I'm sure he's a really nice guy, but he definitely has a talent for playing oily, duplicitous creeps.

It's his niceness that makes him so awesome. He's basically a younger version of Mayor Wilkins.
posted by Etrigan at 11:53 AM on May 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


This has always been a sentimental favorite of mine. Just the title evokes a lot of feels for me. I think I related to Buffy a lot more strongly in this episode than I did in most of the others. It's the combination of how she externalized the isolation that I think she'd been long feeling (and would continue to feel, pretty much forever) by just walking out on her own and living on her own terms, and in how she helped Lily -- not the obvious way, but in the way represented by Lily asking if she could take the name "Anne".

It's a bit of a metacommentary, too, I think. Unwitting, especially in the episode's own original context. But Buffy, the character, played that role for a lot of the audience, even for the general culture -- she was a symbol and an exemplar of being personally empowered in an unambiguous and unapologetic way in a cultural context that continually works to whittle and bargain that away. I've written this before, but I think it's important that in many ways Buffy was often not very likeable. In my view, her full characterization was always necessarily limited by all the in- and out-universe metaphorical weight she was carrying. And so she functioned more as a pivot, or a fulcrum, about which the show and the other characters moved. But that's the strength of the character and the show -- she moved characters, she forced change and growth, she inspired and empowered Lily and the audience. Even when Buffy was at her most unlikeable, I always loved her for this, for all her Lilys.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:55 AM on May 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


This one is so good (treacly montage aside) and one of the hardest ones for me to watch (along with Doublemeat Palace simply because of how real-world-depressing those two are. (For comparison, I can rewatch The Body without problem, likely because I've never dealt with a death quite that close to me, but I've stared down the hopelessness and personal degradation those two episodes display in spades.)

This one also gives, for me, the series' most convincing depiction of capital-H Hell. It reminds me very heavily of the Pleasure Island sequence from Pinocchio, but instead of ribald good times Ken is offering the wayward youths hope. Add to that fact that there are absolutely Kens in the real world (Metafilter, and in particular Internet Fraud Detective Squad Station #9 saved a couple of young women from some of them five years ago, for instance) and this one becomes simply harrowing to me.

Season 3 is in some ways the lightest, most fun, most triumphant season of Buffy. I know all the seasons start on a downbeat, but this one is surprisingly rough.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:07 PM on October 7, 2015


« Older Grace and Frankie: The Dinner...   |  Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Dead... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments