Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Older and Far Away   Rewatch 
February 10, 2016 8:52 PM - Season 6, Episode 14 - Subscribe

Feeling abandoned by Buffy and the others, Dawn makes a wish to a vengeance demon posing as a guidance counsellor. The wish comes true at Buffy's birthday party, where all the guests find themselves unable to leave the house.
posted by yellowbinder (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
This episode pretty much epitomizes what I find so unsatisfactory about Willow/Tara interactions after the memory spell.

Tara is awesome and confident and wise and witty and saintly, and Willow's only role is to just absorb it. Willow has ONE JOB, managing her "magic sobriety", and she can't do it without Saint Tara swooping in to defend Willow from pressure, and instruct her on how she needs to handle magic sobriety going forward.

The desperation for approval on Willow's part, and the Tara-knows-best treatment by the writers, makes these feel more like parent-child interactions than ones between equals. Nothing about this screams "These two should be together" to me. I like Tara's character growth (it's nice to have one character who isn't the worst version of themselves this season), but she's ascended so high it's hard to see what she'd see in a lowly mortal like Willow anymore.

I'm also not thrilled with the writers having someone get stabbed, and then just ignoring the fact that he's lying upstairs without professional medical treatment, and instead focusing on Anya's claustrophobia vs. Willow's magic sobriety vs. Dawn's abandonment issues. If you want a stabbing in this episode, make the stabbing really weigh heavily on the characters and really test Willow's resolve to refrain from magic. If you want the focus on the Scoobies, leave the stabbing out. They're all perfectly capable of getting tense and argumentative when locked up together without random stabbings added to the mix.
posted by creepygirl at 9:31 PM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


The desperation for approval on Willow's part, and the Tara-knows-best treatment by the writers, makes these feel more like parent-child interactions than ones between equals. Nothing about this screams "These two should be together" to me. I like Tara's character growth (it's nice to have one character who isn't the worst version of themselves this season), but she's ascended so high it's hard to see what she'd see in a lowly mortal like Willow anymore.

I love Tara in this episode. Again, I don't think it matters super much that Willow and Tara aren't that right for each other anymore. Of course Willow is going to be in a subservient position given the situation, and, as I say, had Tara lived maybe they'd have to explore this new relationship. But she didn't, so they didn't.

I'm also not thrilled with the writers having someone get stabbed, and then just ignoring the fact that he's lying upstairs without professional medical treatment, and instead focusing on Anya's claustrophobia vs. Willow's magic sobriety vs. Dawn's abandonment issues. If you want a stabbing in this episode, make the stabbing really weigh heavily on the characters and really test Willow's resolve to refrain from magic. If you want the focus on the Scoobies, leave the stabbing out. They're all perfectly capable of getting tense and argumentative when locked up together without random stabbings added to the mix.

Yep. Adding the demon in the mix was sort of necessary to make Anya's paranoia go throught the roof, but stabbing captain random added nothing, and despite needing a doctor now, he was apparently fine to just limp out of the house at the end.

I think this episode is a failure, and it's a failure because Dawn's pains just, honestly, aren't as important as the others. One of the things that made Buffy season 1-3 work was the whole idea that teenagers think their problems are so important the world is going to end, but of course in the show, they literally were! This enables us to get involved with our character's teenage worries. But Dawn doesn't have that, she's just a teenager with a sister/mother figure who's disconnected from her. This episode argues that her pain is real, and it's right, but it's just really hard to care about.

That said, the ending to the episode, with Buffy closing the door, was just lovely, and the Spike Tara interactions are really quite funny. Also the final resolution (Halle trapping herself) is just great.

-Halfrek recognises Spike, a call back to her previous appearance.
-"You ever think about not celebrating your birthday?" To be fair, maybe Buffy has but at least half of her birthday celebrations have been surprises.
-"and I have to tell you, I don't think that is a skin condition."
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:30 AM on February 11, 2016


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