Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 5.9 Listening to Fear

Hello, my lovely readers;

Before I delve into the Buffyverse, I just wanted to mention that both last week and this one, I was interviewed on the Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour, talking about my life, writing, and of course, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Check it out! http://www.martinlastrapesshow.com/episodes/2015/6/28/episode-78-liz-hersey 

The Dish: Buffy must fight a killer snot monster from outer space.

As the date of Joyce's surgery approaches, the Summers matriarch gets hospital cabin fever, despite being doted on by her two daughters, and Tiny Jewish Santa.

An unfortunate side effect of Joyce's tumor is that it makes her say bizarre, disturbing things. Buffy ushers Dawn away, only to have a mental patient call her a 'thing that doesn't belong'. The mental patient is none other than the security guard who Glory brain-fingered. Apparently she's been doing this all over town, hence the full mental ward at the hospital.

In other news, Sadsack Riley is bummed that his girlfriend is too busy caring for her cancer-riddled mother to pay attention to him. So he does what any neglected boyfriend would do and lets some naked vamp chick feed off him.

During a night of stargazing, Willow and Tara spot a meteor heading for HERE! The gang investigates and they find a dead mental patient, its mouth full of stinky goop. While Riley calls in Graham and the army, the gang hits the books. Turns out our alien friend is a Queller demon, called forth to kill off the 'mad men' by making them choke on its stinky goop. The gang thinks Glory is the prime suspect, but really the culprit is the good Doctor Ben.

The Summers girls take Joyce home for a rest, and the matriarch's bizarre behaviour continues, this time with a mean streak. She calls Buffy 'disgustingly fat', and tells Dawn that she 'doesn't belong', just like the mental patient did at the hospital.

Riley and the army go to the hospital, to find the mental ward completely decimated by the Queller. Their trackers cut out at the parking lot. It's after someone. Someone like...Joyce.

The Queller attacks Joyce and jizzes in spits on her face. Buffy goes after it, and with the help of Spike -- who happens to be on another stalking Buffy mission -- stabs it with a kitchen knife. Riley and crew show up, just missing all the fun. Buffy runs upstairs to check on Joyce, completely ignoring her boyfriend.

Just before Joyce's surgery, she asks Buffy about Dawn. In her impaired mental state, Joyce realized that Dawn didn't belong to her, but is still precious to the world. Buffy confirms this, and Joyce makes the Slayer promise to keep Dawn safe. Buffy agrees and mother and daughter hug.

As Joyce gets wheeled into surgery, the Scooby Gang looks on, Buffy and Dawn hugging. Hey, where's Riley? Oh, he's right there. Oopsy!

Liz's BITES:
* Well, this episode's a dark one, isn't it? I always love it when a spell/curse/demon makes a Scooby or loved one act out, but in this case, the culprit is Joyce's brain tumor. Every time she said something off, it was like a punch in the gut. For Joyce, I felt awful that an otherwise healthy woman was being ripped out of of her mental state, and for the Summers sisters, as they had to be subject to it, but pretend everything was fine.

* Okay, what the Hellmouth is going on? For, what is it, three weeks now, I feel sympathy for Dawn. What is a 14-year-old's biggest fear? That they don't belong. I don't care if the people saying it are mental patients or rocket scientists, it's gotta be rough to hear. But nothing, NOTHING, is as horrible as that sentiment being echoed by your own mother. Even I wanted to give the Dawnster a hug after that one.

* So let's talk about this extraterrestrial snot monster. More like jizz monster. Seriously, who else thought that goo looked like joy juice? I have mixed feelings about the Queller Demon, the one and only creature of the show to come from outer space. I'm really glad they didn't go all 'X-Files' on us, but I also question why the Queller couldn't just be like all the other demons, and originate from the bowels of hell. My only rationale is that it justified Riley calling in the army. Then there's the creep factor. Up close, the Queller is majorly eerie. Add that to its motive of attacking the mentally handicapped, and you've got some decent bone-chillitude. But then when it moves, I can't help but laugh -- and how the hell does NOBODY at the hospital notice it scuttling along the ceiling? The Queller's waddle plus the aforementioned death jizz makes it kind of unintentionally hilarious.

* So Doctor Ben is a little bit Doctor Dirty, as he's mysteriously connected to Glory. I'm thrilled. Up until now, I thought Ben was just another Captain Cardboard -- er, sorry, Doctor Cardboard -- but now that I know there's some darkness there, I've bought my ticket to the Ben train.

* It was a quieter moment, but I loved Willow and Tara's stargazing cuddle time. Those two are so the perfect couple. As epic as this season has been, it's very Buffy and Dawn-centric, and I'm starting to miss my Scooby Gang.

* Though I will always give the show props for its sublty. Buffy and Riley's relationship is obvy on the rocks, and if you recall it was Xander who Riley confessed to about Buffy's lack of love for him. In the past few eps, who's the one noticing Riley's erratic behaviour? Xander. On a side note, I love that the skinny on the Queller was found in a book entitled 'Meteors and You'.

* Garsh, Buffy really does carry the weight of the world on her petite shoulders, doesn't she? Every time she cries, it just gets me.

* Though she should be crying tears of joy...for winning this week's Fashion Slayer award. Buffy looked just peachy in her country gal shirt.

That's all for me this week, my lovely readers. What did you think of the episode? Coming around to the Dawnster? What do you think of the Queller -- terrifying or hilarious? Ready to go stargazing with Willow and Tara and see the Giant Pineapple? Post a comment and let me know. Check in every Tuesday for my latest Buffy blog.

Dish later;

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 5.8 Shadow

The Dish: Buffy can't get enough giant snake.

It's official. Joyce's 'headache nothings' are the opposite of nothing. As in she has a brain tumor. Buffy is destroyed, but holds it together. When Riley tries to comfort her, she sluffs him off and puts him on Dawn patrol.

While Sad-Sack Riley is dealing with an absent girlfriend, Glory is dealing with an absent key. She casts a transmorgification spell on a cobra -- who else missed the Sunnydale Zoo?! -- and it turns into a bigass cobra. It's mission: find The Key!

Bigass Cobra does its job. It ploughs right into the Magic Box, scaring the shit out of Dawn. As soon as he spots her, he turns tail and runs back to his hell-goddess mistress. Realizing that Bigass Cobra knows the truth, Buffy goes after it. She tackles it just as he's on Glory's doorstep and beats him to a bloody pulp.

Buffy gets Dawn to the hospital so little sis can hear the news. Again, Riley tries to comfort Buffy but the Slayer has to stay strong for his family. Sorry, Captain Cardboard.

Liz's BITES:
* Well, shit just got real. My heart is broken for Joyce -- and the Summers girls -- but I love this storyline. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's not since Billy Ford that we've dealt with a real-world fatal illness. And that is what makes this show so awesome. We have a freaking hell-goddess big bad, but she isn't nearly as terrifying as something so everyday as cancer.

* So let me get this straight. We head into total uncharted waters, giving a major character a potentially terminal illness. And in that SAME episode, our featured creature is... a giant snake. REALLY? You don't think two -- the frat snake and the Mayor snake -- is enough? Did they spend so much time with the Joyce stuff, it was the eleventh hour when they realized they had to shoehorn a monster in? Who green-lit this? These snakes ALWAYS look cheesy as shit. At this point, we're well into the 2000s and the show's CGI is way better. Compare a dusted vamp now to Season One. Why, Buffy gods? WHYYYYYY?

* Luckily the snake was just a demon-puppet-bitch of Glory's. I'm really digging the parallels between her and Buffy. The whole concept of the show is a fresh take on the hot blonde girl screaming in the horror movie. Glory is like that for the villain world. She's just a petite, albeit bitchy, little blonde girl. Who would expect anything from her? She even snowed Giles. Giles!

* I know I'm SUPPOSED to wanna smack Riley for cheating -- is letting a vampire feed on you considered cheating? -- on Buffy. But I love this. When Riley is JUST Buffy's boyfriend, he is Captain Cardboard, Mr. Melba Toast, any hysterical name that means BORING. But when he's hurting...holy hot mess! Now if he could just find himself a vamp dominatrix...

* They really went in for a penny in for a pound with this whole Spike's Buffy obsession thing. Smelling her sweaters? Seriously? And of course there's the stealing of the panties. Sexy little creep. But if there's one thing Spike does best, it's hit the nail on the head with the relationship problems of the Scooby Gang, and he's right about Buffy and Riley. The room in her life for him is rapidly shrinking.

* That's been a big theme this season. No matter how much Scooby and boyfriend support Buffy gets, in the end, she's always alone. The most gut-wrenching scene of the episode was Buffy telling Riley she won't let herself cry because 'they need me'. Being the Slayer has made Buffy a leader in life as well, and that's just the cross she has to bear. At least she had a giant snake to wail on. Judging by the way she 'lived large', she hated it more than I did!

* Check out Giles the Next Generation -- Tara and Anya. They were both integral in Glory research. Tara for figuring out that the hell-goddess predates the written word, and Anya for knowing what Glory wanted the supplies for. And I love how the two are polar opposites -- Tara still refers to the sexy Watcher as 'Mr. Giles', whereas Anya has no problem yelling at him, 'are you stupid or something?'  God, I would love to see her at a Watchers' Council meeting.

* As stupid or something as Giles may be, I am totes into his suave new shopkeeper suits. Ripper wins this week's Fashion Slayer award.

That's all for me this week, my lovely readers. What did you think of the episode? Wanna give Joyce a big hug? Ready to start a petition banning giant snakes from the Buffyverse? Who wants to take a bite outta Riley? Post a comment and let me know. Check in every Tuesday for my latest Buffy blog.

Dish later;

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 5.7 Fool for Love

The Dish: Spike wants to get beneath Buffy.

After Buffy is almost bested by a run-of-the-mill vampire, she wants answers on how other Slayers have bitten the dust. The Watchers' Diaries turn up bupkis, so Buffy goes to the one 'living' creature who killed two Slayers: Spike.

For a fee, Spike starts his tale by ignoring Buffy's question and inexplicably telling her what he was like before he was a vampire -- a poet so bad he was dubbed 'William the Bloody', for his bloody awful poetry, and the constant butt-of-the-joke at London society parties. One party in particular goes quite poorly when Cecily, the object of William's affections, declares William 'beneath her'. He goes running off crying into the night, only to land in the arms of Drusilla, who makes him a vampire.

Spike is born. He's the fourth prong in the vamp gang that also comprises Dru, Angel and Darla. Together they wreak havoc around the world, with Spike's Slayer obsession rapidly growing. It's a glorious day for Spike when, during China's Boxer Rebellion, he kills his first Slayer.

New York, 1977. Spike, now with his bleach-blond hair and punk rocker style, kills his second Slayer. This one, like Buffy, had passion in her gut as she fought. But in the end, Spike claims he won because she wanted to lose. Every Slayer has a death wish.

Spike calls Buffy out that she has one too. That all they've ever been doing is dancing, until eventually Buffy throws in the towel, gives Spike 'one good day', and commits suicide by fang. That's when, naturally, Spike moves in for a kiss. Buffy is repulsed and echoes Cecily's words, 'you're beneath me'.

Buffy goes home to be delivered a crippling blow -- Joyce's headaches may not be nothing. Momma Summers needs to have a CAT-scan. Buffy holds it together before slipping outside and bursting into tears. Spike shows up ready to kill Buffy, shot-gun in hand. But when he sees the object of his desires so vulnerable, he puts the gun down and comforts her. Doesn't even try for a chips-are-down roll in the hay. What a gent.

Liz's BITES:
* This ep was a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, Spike is one of my favourite characters and getting to see his origin story was hella fascinating. On the other hand, I didn't like all that I saw. I didn't care for seeing Spike as William the Bloody, a snivelling little rich kid who didn't land that drip, Cecily. There's one point in the episode where present-day Spike coos 'What can I tell you, baby? I've always been bad.' and everyone (who's in their right mind) creams their pants. But William the Bloody proves that wasn't the case! And while I'm at it, what's with telling Buffy his life story when she clearly didn't ask to go that far back? Even though Spike is conscious of her feelings for Buffy, -- nice kiss rejection, BTW -- is he not still trying to act like they're enemies? And my stomach was positively churning when Spike CRIED after Buffy threw the money at him and took off. What can I tell you, baby? I need Spike to be bad. Again. Rant over.

* Ranting aside, the episode really picked up when Spike actually answered Buffy's FREAKING QUESTION. I never realized how much sexual tension Spike has with his Slayer-prey. The first one, Spike says, was all business. Kind of like a lover who you just don't have that *Faith-grunt* UHHH with. The second...PHEW...you need a cold shower just watching those two. I used to think Drusilla was crazy -- okay, I always did -- for dumping Spike, but loony-girl's got a point. Who wants a man who's dripping with desire for another woman? Even one he wants to kill?

* This was also a fascinating episode for Buffy's character. I never thought about a Slayer having a death wish, but it makes total sense. If you knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that something irreversibly bad was going to happen to you, would you not just want to get it over with? This whole notion nestles in with the message from the First Slayer that death is Buffy's gift, and also Dracula's claim that Buffy has a darkness she's denying about herself. Did you get a load of Buffy's reaction to Spike calling it out? Blondie bear struck a major nerve.

* Speaking of major nerves, when Buffy mentions to Giles about a Watcher's reaction to the death of a Slayer...talk about gut-wrenching. It's clear Giles has always feared Buffy's death more than anything, and even mentioning it tears him apart.

* Readers take note: this is the first time I have ever felt ANY positivity towards Dawn. For once we see Dawn not being a selfish brat, when she covered for Buffy to Joyce. I actually felt empathy for the kid -- 'I'm not a kid!' -- when she just wanted approval from big sister. There may be hope for her yet.

* Though, I'm afraid, no hope of winning this week's Fashion Slayer award. That honour goes to Nikki the Vampire Slayer for her definition-of-badass leather coat that goes on to be Spike's signature. Oh Spike, I could dance all night with that one too.

That's all for me this week, my lovely readers. What did you think of the episode? Was Spike a bit too William the Bloody Bore? Ding, Marry, Kill -- Chinese Slayer, Nikki, Buffy? Is the Dawnster actually growing on you? Post a comment and let me know. Check in every Tuesday for my latest Buffy blog.

Dish later;

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 5.6 Family

The Dish: Tara's family cockblocks her birthday spankings.

It's been a tough year for the Buffster. She's moving back home, thanks to Momma health concerns...and Dawn. Blech. But our Slayer's got good reason to be concerned. Just as a new Jigsaw-looking demon in town is about to pounce on the harried Doctor Ben -- people have been going insane left and right all over Sunnydale, and he's had to treat them all -- Glory kidnaps the demon and orders it to gather its crew to kill the Slayer.

If birthday shopping woes doesn't kill Buffy first, that is. The gang is stressed because Tara's birthday is fast approaching and they have no clue what to get her. She hasn't really been part of the Scoobies all that long. Tara herself feels isolated from the group, but that's the least of her problems. Her dad's in town and in tow he has Cousin Beth -- Amy Adams! -- and Brother Donny -- that paraplegic guy from 'Friday Night Lights'! -- and they want Tara to come back home.

The reason being that all the Maclay ladies have demon in them, which comes out on their 20th birthday. Tara desperately wants to stay in Sunnydale, but fears what the Scoobies will think if they learn the truth. So, the witchy-witch casts a spell to prevent the gang from seeing her inner demon.

Unfortunately, Tara doesn't realize how powerful she is. The spell prevents the Scoobies from seeing ANY demons. Epicly bad timing! Glory's new minions descend upon the Magic Box, and the gang finds themselves fighting foes they cannot see. Tara realizes her mistake and breaks the spell. Buffy kills the demons, and Tara's family bursts in, ready to drag her out by her ear. They really don't know who they're messing with. The Maclays are informed that if they want Tara, they have to get through the entire gang. Except Spike. He doesn't really care what happens.

With the bad guys defeated, or going back home to Buttfuck Nowhere, the gang properly celebrates Tara's birthday. She gets a crystal ball from Giles, a broomstick from Dawn, and a whole lot of love from Willow. As the two soulmates dance, they literally float. *Sigh, tear* But seriously, where are those birthday spankings?

Liz's BITES:
* God, I love this season. One of the best stand up and cheer moments of the series has to be when the Scooby Gang sticks up for Tara to her shitty family. NOT just because it means Tara is officially part of the gang, -- where's her theme song credit, Joss? -- not just because I love underdog winning moments, but because it shows the gang working together as a unit in their NEW HOME! The Magic Box is the perfect headquarters. Just like the library, there's the odd douchey intruder -- cough, Donny -- but I feel like I have my show back, after the gang was wrenched apart in Season 4. Good show, Scoobs!

* An intact Scooby Gang is only half the puzzle to a perfect season The other half is a bitchin' villain. Oh Glory, I worship at thy feet. Like The Mayor, Glory has the ability to be hilarious and terrifying at the same time. We don't know exactly what she wants, other than to kill the Slayer. Reminds me of somebody that I used to know...

* Spike. Okay, I get the whole wanting to bone Buffy thing. Who doesn't? But does he have to turn into a MARSHMALLOW? He almost reminds me of... *shudder*

* RILEY! Oh welcome back, you manly masochist. I never thought Captain Cardboard would be the type to drown his sorrows. To quote my favourite hell goddess, 'how unbelievably common'. Kind of interesting how Riley picks a VAMPIRE bar -- where the hell was Willy? Was it to try and remain a connection to the underworld Buffy inhabits and Riley no longer does? Also, does the vamp chick Sandy look familiar? That's the same Sandy who Vampire Willow took a liking -- and a licking! -- to back in Season 3.

* I guess I should get to the birthday girl herself, Tara. The whole episode I just wanted to hug her. Still, like the Scooby Gang, we really didn't know much about this Willow-loving Wiccan. Now that we do, I agree with the redhead, Tara is AMAZING for having turned out the way she did. She is much more careful with her magic than Willow, so you know when Tara pulls out the dark stuff, it's for a damn good reason. If the Maclays are like THAT in public, I shudder to think how they behave behind closed doors.

* Which make me so drawn to Cousin Beth. The whole clan mistreats Tara, but Beth really seems to HATE her. I think it's because Beth has submitted to her station as woman=slave, whereas shy, sweet Tara has the strength to say 'no' to the family. Who, by the by, are idiots. To prevent Tara from entering a world of magic, they let her go to college in freaking SUNNYDALE? Derp, derp.

* It's time for this week's Fashion Slayer award, and I am under the spell of two very foxy witches. Tara AND Willow win for their hypnotizing flowery numbers they wear to Tara's birthday party.

That's all for me this week, my lovely readers. What did you think of the episode? Thrilled to see Tara at the centre of things? Think Spike and Riley should start a marshmallow club? Can somebody tell me what the hell happened to Willy? Post a comment and let me know. Check in every Tuesday for my latest Buffy blog.

Dish later;