Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Life Serial   Rewatch 
January 13, 2016 10:06 PM - Season 6, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Buffy attempts to figure out what to do with her newly restored life, but is tormented by the Trio's efforts to test her limits. After several trying experiences, she resorts to drinking with Spike.
posted by yellowbinder (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm trying to determine how I feel about this episode. It's often funny, and speaks to the themes of this series. I love the idea of the Trio attacking Buffy in their childish way and causing adult problems for her. But the problem is that real life is meant to be the villain, but what stops her getting the job is actually external interference. I suppose the answer is that Buffy attracts this kind of trouble, so while the demons at the construction site were a bit of a freak, this sort of thing does tend to happen to her. The thing is, this episode answers why she gets a job at the Double Meat Palace, but was it any different to working at the magic shop?

What I'm getting at is that sometimes the misery in this series feels contrived. Buffy was expelled from Heaven, this is reason enough for her state of misery, so every time the writers craft an artificial reason for Buffy to be more depressed, it can feel a bit frustrating.

Also, the time skip sequence makes no sense at all. Apparently Buffy is incredibly slowed down with respect to the outside world (top tip trio, you could have used this again later and easily killed her!) but no-one seems to notice. Tara apparently saw that Buffy was standing there staring into space for hours, and decided to just wander off? She shows remarkably little concern. And the sequence where everyone bumps into Buffy doesn't make sense, because they can still perceive her, right? Unless she's gone invisible?
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:47 AM on January 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah this is definitely a fun episode, even if the Trio are already coming off more creepy than funny. And it's not just the time games at school, the mummy hand loop also makes no sense. These are some serious forces these guys can bend! They mention that for Giles the loop was only a few minutes, but they were able to observe it as Buffy did. Hazzawhazzawhat? Would they have been trapped if Buffy never figured a way out, or did they have an escape plan like the self destructing time chip? How did they fit explosives in that tiny thing anyway. Questions upon questions.

Drunk Buffy is pretty fun here. The sound of disgust she makes when taking a swig is repetitive but always gets me. And kitten poker! And Clem! I always remember the trials about this episode, but the long section afterwards with Spike is just as good if not better.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:27 AM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Kitten poker always makes me laugh and yes that gagging noise she makes whenever she drinks. Whenever I take a shot of Jamesons I think of that noise.
posted by miss-lapin at 2:25 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to think, is this the first time drinking isn't really tut-tutted at on the show? Or is the mere fact that she's drinking with Spike in the first place clear evidence that things are very rough?
posted by yellowbinder at 7:33 PM on January 14, 2016


Oh yeah the drinking sequence and kitten poker is really funny. I think this episode really marks the beginning of the idea that there are just tonnes of relatively harmless demons hanging round sunnydale, gambling with the lives of kittens, drinking in bars.

I'm trying to think, is this the first time drinking isn't really tut-tutted at on the show? Or is the mere fact that she's drinking with Spike in the first place clear evidence that things are very rough?

Pretty much. Even when Giles drank, it was usually a bad sign. But yeah, I'm not convinced Buffy's behaviour in the bar scene is meant to be a good sign...
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:56 PM on January 14, 2016


Bleughhuehhhhh
posted by yellowbinder at 10:30 AM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


From the related link,
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:16 AM on January 15, 2016


What I'm getting at is that sometimes the misery in this series feels contrived.

On another rewatch of this episode: Hoo boy, does the part in the Magic Box feel contrived. Giles and Anya are talking about docking Buffy's pay for failing to charge a customer a delivery fee? Seriously? Anya is a bit money-obsessed, but Giles is allegedly deeply concerned about Buffy's welfare this season.

Not to mention that when Giles screwed up a transaction at the Magic Box last season, the world nearly ended, and he suffered no consequences whatsoever. I'm finding it hard to understand why he would take such a lax attitude towards "nearly helped Glory find the Key, was saved from his incompetence only by Buffy's heroics" but would even consider being a hardass about "failed to charge a delivery fee."

It feels like characters' actions in Season 6 are being dictated by the "Buffy must suffer" dynamic, and not by anything remotely close to consistent characterization.
posted by creepygirl at 10:49 PM on November 16, 2018


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