Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Flooded   Rewatch 
January 6, 2016 8:24 PM - Season 6, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Buffy is overwhelmed by the bills and needed repairs that piled up while she was dead. While she applies for a bank loan, a demon robs the place under the control of Jonathan, Warren and Andrew. The Trio has evil, nerdy plans for Sunnydale, starting with Buffy. Giles returns and clashes with Willow over her dangerous resurrection spell.
posted by yellowbinder (3 comments total)
Aand the trio. I do think the trio make perfect villains for this show, especially in the up coming Life Serial. In a season where the enemy is life itself, what better than to have a bunch of kids who've never grown up. That said, it's still a little off putting that these incredibly smart people are apparently unable to think of a way to make money than by hanging out in Sunnydale getting demons to rob banks. Warren can make robots for crying out loud! I think it's interesting that from the off Warren is in much deeper in than the other two, he immediately sicks the demon at Buffy after all.

Of course Buffy's main enemy in this episode is the flood. It's not entirely clear in this episode, but presumably Buffy outright owns her house? When she's trying to get a loan, she's attempting to remortgage, right? Which is hard because property prices in Sunnydale are declining? Maybe I shouldn't think about it too hard.

It is absolutely frustrating that Willow and Tara stand there and tell Buffy that she needs to pay for the house. I do think this is bad writing, because you can get us to ignore where characters get money from, or you can get us to care about it, but you really can't do both! Still, as the show is just not going to address it we'll have to move on and just sort of ignore this irritating plot hole. At least Giles gives a cheque (and as others have mentioned, maaaybe independently wealthy owner of a successful business Giles could contribute some of his Watcher salary which he doesn't really deserve any more to Buffy? ).

It's also worthy of note that this episode marks one in a long series of not really having monsters of the week anymore. Sure there is a demon in this episode, but he's not really considered a threat, and no-one does any serious research on him.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:04 AM on January 7, 2016

Just gonna link to my two-years-ago post on the Blue about the writing of the Trio and how it was supposed to be "Things are dark right now, we want something more comedic."
posted by Etrigan at 6:29 AM on January 7, 2016

It is absolutely frustrating that Willow and Tara stand there and tell Buffy that she needs to pay for the house. I do think this is bad writing, because you can get us to ignore where characters get money from, or you can get us to care about it, but you really can't do both!

I agree completely. Also from a characterization POV, while you could rationalize Willow's behavior as just part of The Season Where Willow is Horrible to Everyone on Her Way to Supervillainy, I don't think you can square Tara's behavior here with the Saint Tara treatment we get throughout this season. (I'd have been thrilled if they'd explored this as Tara having weird blind spots or flaws, but they don't.) It's one of my peeves about this season, that a lot of shortcuts in logic, world-building, continuity, and characterization get taken in order to make Buffy as miserable as possible. A lot of people empathize with Buffy's misery, so I can't say it was the wrong decision, but it annoys me.

Also, I know that the show wants my takeaway from the Giles/Willow argument to be "foreshadowing for Willow's future" villainy, and yes, threats are terrible and inexcusable. But I think Giles is pretty awful in this argument.

1. The insults and name-calling. He is perfectly capable of expressing justifiable anger in a civil manner (see his response to Buffy hiding Angel's return from him). That he chooses not to here seems really self-indulgent, accomplishing nothing but making him (and maybe the audience) feel better. Starting off a discussion with "You're a very stupid girl" is pretty much a guarantee that no productive conversation would result.

2. Speaking of insults, "arrogant rank amateur" reflects far more poorly on Giles than I think he realizes. He's the trained professional, and yet he couldn't get his job done without the frequent assistance of a self-taught teenager. He also knows from painful personal experience how dangerous magic could be, and yet he does very little in the way of guidance except vague ineffectual "magic is dangerous, be careful" statements. He could have mentored her himself, or found a mentor for her through his connections with the Council (from Checkpoint, we know that there are levels witches can attain, which Willow and Tara had no idea about) or from his life experience (like the sorceror who pretended to take Angel's soul away in Enemies). And yet he didn't. I am not a fan of the magic = crack storyline (I pretty much pretend it doesn't exist), but if you DO subscribe to the magic = crack theory, it makes Giles' inaction when a sixteen-year-old starts to teach herself magic even more inexcusable.

3. As much as he (and fans who think he's the bestest ever) would like to distance himself from Willow's problematic magic usage, the fact remains that he encouraged magic as a solution to various problems, over, and over and over again. When Willow starts making scapulas in I Only Have Eyes for You, he tells her that her use of sulphur is "clever." To give a perfect example of the mixed messages Giles was sending: he actually offers some useful advice about magic in Something Blue (that it's a bad idea to do powerful magic when your emotions are out of control), but the only reason he came to see Willow in the first place was that he was upset that she hadn't shown up to do the spell he wanted her to do. And it gets to the point where he's asking her to do a spell in Primeval that he admits is "extraordinarily dangerous." He repeatedly used her as a hammer, and then yelled at her when everything started to look like a nail to her.

4. He casts around the word "responsible" after abandoning his own responsibilities to the other Scoobies (and will do it again soon, refusing to accept his own responsibilities until after Tara has died). And I've said this before, but if Willow had been a meek little thing, had been "responsible" as Giles supposedly thought he was, and respected the laws of nature, the lines she should not cross, blah, blah blah, she and everyone else in Sunnydale would have been dead at the end of Bargaining. But hey, then Buffy might have company in heaven and Giles could continue his rip-roaring social life in England uninterrupted, so I guess from the weird Season-Six-It's-All-About-Me-Giles perspective, that might be a win-win situation.
posted by creepygirl at 7:35 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Afte...   |  Book: Three Moments of an Expl... Newer »

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