Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Empty Places   Rewatch 
May 19, 2016 7:31 AM - Season 7, Episode 19 - Subscribe

The residents of Sunnydale have had enough and evacuate en masse. Faith takes the Potentials partying with bad results. When Buffy chastises her and makes plans for another assault on Caleb, the entire cast (minus Spike off on a mission with Andrew) reject her leadership.
posted by yellowbinder (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I didn't love this on a first watch through, but on rewatch it feels even more sloppy. At the start of this episode, we see that everyone is leaving the city, including demons such as Clem, with a sweet exchange between the two of them. But... why is everyone leaving. We're told that apparently things are really bad, and that the hellmouth is active. But I thought they sealed it again? Did Caleb open it? Apparently not, as it needs opening again in Chosen, although the appearance of more uber vamps in a couple of episodes time implies that maybe he had?

Still, this grand exodus feels completely unjustified. I can imagine an alternate version of this show where the city is shown to be falling apart, the government of the city collapsing. But this really isn't it.

Then there's the scene in the school. Ignoring the problem that Caleb can track down Buffy (I guess the First probably knows where everyone is at all times?), he then beats her up and drops hints about the base. He even has an evil conversation (one of many, slightly tedious ones, they have) with the First implying that they'd intended to lure Buffy to the vinyard. But why?

1)They want to kill everyone again. Why not just do that the first time everyone came in? Or for that matter, walk up the house and do it.
2)They want Buffy to be kicked out. But they seem to want Buffy alive for some reason, so this doesn't make sense!

And of course, why are they digging out the damn weapon anyway? If they hadn't uncovered it, Buffy would never have found it. I guess the implication is that they maybe wanted it for themselves? But why? What does it serve them? I keep complaining about the plotting of this show, but it's honestly never been this bad.

And for all that Andrew and Spike's road trip is great fun, the actual prophecy they uncover is vague and essentially useless, making the entire detour a bit of a waste of time, and a bit of a transparent way to get Spike out of way for the final scene.

And, of course, there's the final scene. Honestly, the idea of it isn't terrible, and I like how reluctant Faith is to take up the mantle, but the behaviour of everyone is odd. Giles in particular, comes across as absurd, having spend multiple episodes hectoring Buffy for not taking absolute command, then complaining when she does. What the hell Giles? And honestly, while it's sort of a natural conflict, the stakes are supposedly world endingly high, so maybe kicking out 1 of the 2 people who are capable of killing the uber vamps who keep showing up isn't the best idea?

The worst thing this scene does is deeply damage relationships which are never really repaired. There just isn't time left to deal with the ramifications of this event, so it ends up causing an episode of time wasting. Because, again, the big bad in this season isn't really doing anything, it makes it really hard to conjour up drama, so we end up with scenes like this one.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:41 AM on May 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

I can't rewatch this ep again. I've done it three times, and that's enough. This ep always always annoys me, mainly for the reasons that Cannon Fodder points out.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:27 AM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

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