Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spiral   Rewatch 
December 16, 2015 9:37 PM - Season 5, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Glory knows who the key is, and Buffy takes Dawn, the Scoobies, and on the run. When the knights show up and injure Giles, she calls on Ben and things get worse.
posted by yellowbinder (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I like a lot of things about this episode. I think the Winnebago fight is really well staged. It's tense, fast, and exciting. There are a lot of moving parts and it's a level of stunt work the show hasn't done before. I love the stand off in the gas station (or wherever they are. Some abandoned building), Willow's spell providing temporary safety and the team bickering as they decide what to do, only to have their decision taken away from them. Glory grabbing the girl and butchering all the knights in minutes, and that final moment of Buffy collapsed, everything having got to her. That's all, really, really good.

But... seriously. This show has never been one for plot logic, but this episode really takes the biscuit. Buffy decides to make a run for it to hide from Glory, which is actually a perfectly sensible plan, despite her friend's grumblings, although her decision to have Spike drive is... questionable (I mean, bring him along, but maybe have someone who can bear sunlight take the wheel?). The problem is, it's such a good plan, it shouldn't have gone wrong! The knights determine that Dawn is the key, and then decide to pursue her... how? How did that entire army find her, and when they did find her, how did they catch up? They don't all have mounts after all! This is really annoying, because a line of dialogue about the clerics using magic to track Buffy or having planted something would have been fine, but they just turn up, making Buffy's plan look awful even though it was actually pretty sensible.

And how did the knights get to sunnydale? There's a full force of them, where did they get the horses from? How has no-one noticed them up until now? And WHY ARE THEY WEARING MEDIEVAL GET UP IN THE FIRST PLACE???? Why don't they drive cars? Up until 20 years ago their main enemies were a group of monks, I'm not sure attacking said monks with millitary hardware that was outdated 400 years ago is the best of plans. Where do they live? How did they get here? How do they recruit people to their order? Who provides their funding? Also, their clerics cast magic. I think there's a bit of an issue if a group of antagonists in your show have been directly ripped off from Dungeons and Dragons?

Amusingly a review I read mistakenly thought they came from Glory's dimension, which would actually make more sense! Urgh.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:18 AM on December 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Knights make absolutely no sense. But the fight on the Winnebago is a pretty great action sequence.
posted by wabbittwax at 7:36 AM on December 17, 2015

I half-remembered that the Knights came from Glory's dimension, too, but saw no evidence for that in my rewatch. I like to imagine that they all have relatively normal daily lives and usually just get together on weekends to don their medieval gear.

It's been brought up before, but what makes them especially weird to me is how little reflection (if any) is made about Buffy killing humans here, or even that the Scoobies were in danger of death by human action rather than by demon.

The part in the gas station reminded me of Serenity.
posted by esker at 7:50 AM on December 18, 2015

I watched this about a week ago, so may have just forgotten already, but did Buffy actually kill any of the renfest guys?
posted by skewed at 5:27 PM on December 18, 2015

I watched this about a week ago, so may have just forgotten already, but did Buffy actually kill any of the renfest guys?

I seem to recall her hurling an axe at one of them or something, but I might be misremembering. She certainly knocks several off a moving vehicle. I think it's really clear that the writers didn't think carefully through the idea of having human antagonists, especially antagonists whose goal is essentially pretty noble. It would have been great if we'd had a monk explain at some point how the key could be used for good, because their decision to create a new human was basically the most evil thing anyone could have done in the logic of the show. After all, if they'd just destroyed it none of this would have happened, and pre Dawn it's not like there was a person they were extinguishing.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:28 AM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it's obvious that when you're sword-fighting on top of moving bus, that everyone not left standing at the end of the fight should be dead, but I've always assumed in Buffy that humans aren't dead unless they get some sort of official death reveal.
posted by skewed at 8:47 AM on December 20, 2015

She definitely axes one in the chest, and then later when she's parleying so that Giles can get cared for, the leader says that ten of the knights were killed.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:34 AM on September 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

The part in the gas station reminded me of Serenity.

The part where a spear comes through the windshield right at GIles' chest and then they crash the Winnebago reminded me of Serenity for some reason.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:08 PM on September 29, 2021

This ep had two of my favorite Buffy dialogs:

"We don't have any weapons!"
"Hello! You're driving one!"

"Aim for the horsies."
posted by Mogur at 2:32 AM on September 30, 2021

A production-standpoint thing I hadn't noticed until this walkthrough, but this time when they got into the Winnebago and Giles asked why Spike was there, my first thought was "so that they have an excuse to black-out the interior of the vehicle." Seriously, I wonder how much money they saved via that choice alone.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:19 PM on September 28, 2022

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