14 June, 2011

The Great Buffy Rewatch: Something Blue

Let's get right into it.

w Tracey Forbes
d Nick Marck

               As mentioned in the Pangs Write-Up, this ep caps the big Angel crossover, Buffy mentioning to Willow she only saw him in L.A. for five minutes (yep, sniffle for those of you who know).  And as mentioned (while I Will Remember You is great) I feel, overall, The Crossover could have been bigger (at least Angel's impact in Sunnydale).  Though I also have to imagine Whedon & Co were trying to give the fans a little Crossover Love while --  in this first "separate season" --  indeed keeping the shows their own.  So perhaps we just write it off as “more of The Change.”  Buffy has to move on, so that her relationship with Riley can evolve, and fair enough.  
                The biggest change I realized in watching these episodes again (primarily Pangs and Something Blue) is this is where we begin to love Spike
               We’ve always loved to hate Spike, but these are the two eps in which Whedon & Co ingratiate him to The Scoobies and, more significantly, to us The Audience.  Whedon himself says (I’m paraphrasing), “When we lost Cordelia to Angel, we needed someone to fill that saying-what-we’re-all-thinking hole, and Spike does that beautifully.”  So he was brought back.  Of course, to give him those Cordelia moments, and not have him back just to wage war on Buffy, he had to get into the group, hence the implant (introduced in Pangs), being held captive at Giles’, and his (still biting but) more comedic handling.
               Speaking of The Comedy, Ms. Forbes handles it very well here;  in most people’s opinion getting a tabula rasa after her Beer Bad (which, if for nothing else, I personally love just for the moment where Buffy bonks the guy on the head at the end).  Anyway, take a look at this Forbes Wit --  

Giles is blind?

Xander goes to Giles, waves his hands wildly in front of Giles' face.
Stop whatever you're doing. You smell like fruit roll-ups.

This is the crack team that foils my every plan?

Spike's right. We have to get organized.

Why are you holding hands?

Xander turns, eyes them.
They have to hear it sooner or later...

Spike and I are getting married.

(to Giles)
How? What? How?

Three excellent questions.

Buffy and Spike kiss, big time.
(off this)
Can I be blind too?

                As I wrote in The Zeppo how much I love What Ifs, this too has that feel.  Some have said this Ep feels like Season 1’s Nightmares, specifically in which (in that) Giles can no longer read, and everyone faces their own demons, but where I think Whedon & Co get away with it is in playing the comedy instead of rehashing a monster-of-the-week.[i]
Aaaaand as I have the soft spot for Xander, I have to point out here that he’s the one to figure out what’s going on, underlining just how close he and Willow are.[ii]
All in all, I think these three Eps playout quite nicely;  especially in repeated viewings when --  this goes for Season 4 as a whole --  you’re not just coming off the Three Seasons of whirlwind Buffy/Angel Storyline and can watch them for their own merit.  I hope you’re enjoying Season 4 and have enjoyed these three Eps’ mostly comedic breather.  
Because what comes next is -- wonderfully -- anything but.

                                                                                 # # #

[i]  Whereas, for my money, it isn't put to as good a use when comparing Season 1's Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight Vs Season 6’s Gone.
[ii] Foreshadowing the Season 6 end.  Speaking of, do take note of D’Hoffryn inviting Willow to join his Merry Men, foreshadowing just how powerful she is, and will become.

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