Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 7.4 Help

The Dish: Willow 'Googles' an underage girl.

HOT! Scooby Doo, where were you? 

The gang is back together and I am loving it. With all the drama-rama going on last season, we haven't seen them really work together since... oh god, 'Doublemeat Palace'. 'Help' really feels like a throwback to old school 'Buffy', where the gang has a good, old-fashioned mystery on their hands. And while this show may be well out of the 90s, I'm always tickled pink when it dates itself, like when Xander didn't know what 'Google' was, and thought it was a sex thing. On that note, Giles and Spike, you can 'Google' me any day.

NOT! 'Reptile Boy' redundancy

Two ingredients to a good mystery are solid red herrings and an unexpected culprit. 'Help' had both of these, so no complaints here. And I loved the douche-tastic way that dickwad blond guy distracted Dawn -- her poor little face when she realized he wasn't asking her to the dance! But I gotta say, the ball was officially dropped on the big reveal. A group of asshole dudes ready and willing to sacrifice a young woman for heaps of riches? I've heard that song before. Seriously, what is with the 'Buffy' writers going back time and time again to the 'Reptile Boy' well? It's famous for being one of the more universally panned episodes of the entire series. How many times have we seen a giant snake as the featured creature? And I swear they just kept the 'Reptile' robes and reused them for this episode.

Furthermore, while I am completely sold on the plausibility that a fraternity is capable of committing horrible acts of violence against women for personal gain, I have a little more trouble believing that six dudes all from the same high school can do it as well. Also is it just me, or do these guys look like they're well into their 30s? I know it's a classic teen show trope that 'high school' students look way older than they're supposed to be, but c'mon. This is 'Sunnydale High: The Next Generation' we're talking about here.

HOT! Willow says 'goodbye' to Tara

I'm so happy for this scene. I said multiple times at the end of last season, Willow needs to mourn her dearly departed lover, and not just for her own sake. There is real evil a-brewing in Sunnydale, and Willow knows she will be called upon to fight. Tara's death was the reason Willow went all Wiccapalooza before, and she can't afford to do it again. Willow's goodbye was all kinds of loving and sweet, and a real reminder as to why we loved this couple. RIP Tara Maclay.

NOT! Saying goodbye to Cassie the Prophecy Girl

I adored Cassie. What a character -- complicated and dark, yet filled with a kind, giving soul. Like probably most of you, I was so having flashbacks to 'Prophecy Girl'. Think about it. Back in Season 1, Buffy, a teenage girl with her whole life ahead of her, was told, in no uncertain terms, she will die. Her reaction was one of the most heartbreaking things television has ever seen, where she angrily laughed at Giles and Angel. Cassie's could not be more polar opposite, so calm and ethereal. So accepting. In some ways, Cassie herself is a red herring to this mystery. With her dark poetry and her matter-of-fact attitude, there's an insidious suspicion that Cassie really might take her own life.

That's why it's so bloody heartbreaking when she tells Buffy and Xander she wants to live. And I've gotta give the show props for that twist about her heart condition. Straight up, the last season of this show we love so much has already offered up a plethora of new characters, and SPOILER ALERT! they ain't done by a long-shot, folks. Cassie was one of my faves, and she will be missed.

HOT! A way less annoying Scrappy Doo, aka Dawn

It's fun to see Buffy accepting Dawn as part of the Scoobies, and the little bit is more than pulling her weight. None of the others would have been able to get as close to Cassie as the Dawnster. In fact, I actually felt bad for her when the gang immediately rejected her Mike suspicion. And I'm sorry, but if you didn't feel for Dawn when she mourned Cassie at the end, that's just cold-blooded, yo.

FASHION SLAYER! Buffy the Guidance Counselor

While Buffy may have no idea how to do her job, she looks fabulous doing it -- or not doing it. With the exception of that white blouse with the flowers that looks like it was designed by a first grader, Buffy's outfits keep getting better and better. Buffy wins this week's Fashion Slayer award for her workplace ensembles, particularly this flirty floral number.

That's all for me this week, my lovely readers. What did you think of the episode? Sad to see Cassie go? Happy to see the gang back together again...plus Dawn? Wish Buffy was your guidance counselor back in high school? Post a comment and let me know. Check in every Tuesday for my latest Buffy blog.

Dish later;

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 7.3 Same Time Same Place

The Dish: Willow is so cute, Gnarl could just eat her up.

 HOT! Willow’s return to Sunnydale

 As much as I loved Willow at magic rehab in England, it really was time for her to come back into the fold. And I thought the ‘you can’t see me’ accidental psych-out spell was brilliant. How many of us have been so scared of a potential outcome that we end up willing it to happen because we doubt our abilities in ourselves to prevent it? Now take that scenario and imagine you’re a powerful witch who is only just learning to control her powers all over again? But our Willow is one wicked-strong magic momma and while I just wanted to give her all the hugs and bake her all the cookies, I was totes cheering in her corner as she went about trying to solve this mystery. NOT! The show’s most disgusting demon: Gnarl

We’ve seen some ‘gross’ things on the show. Skin falling off bodies to give way to their inner fish monster, people mauled by werewolves, Warren flayed. All images I have been able to take in without feeling too queasy. But Gnarl got to me. To this day, I cannot eat whilst watching this ep. First of all, I have a thing about gross, long fingernails. I avoid Guinness World Record books so I never have to look at that man with those mile-long, yellowy claws. And the fact that Gnarl uses those barf-inducers to pick skin off his vics and eat it? Ick.

While I did think Gnarl’s taunting nursery rhymes went on a little too long – Writing Staff: ‘Hey this episode is still too short, should we just get Gnarl to sing some more random crap?’ – he only got a NOT! rating out of me for his gross-out factor, because he made for a fabulous featured creature. HOT! Anya’s new home: the gray area

Horrendous brunette dye job aside, I am digging Anya this season. Such layers. She went from being a heartbroken, dumped, helpless woman to her old self, an all-powerful vengeance demon. But her time as a human has drastically changed her, and now eviscerating and castrating the male race doesn’t quite give Anya her jollies anymore. In this episode, she was used to perfection. It’s funny that back when Anya first arrived on the scene, she and Willow were enemies of sorts. But since Willow went dark, Anya is now able to identify with her more, and helps do the demon locater spell with barely a begrudging mood. Though she’s no longer a Scooby, Anya is ready and willing to lend a helping hand, be it on Dawn patrol or a rescue mission. But she’s still a demon. And she’s still got a job. One she better start performing better, and that spells conflict for the gang. HOT! Using Spike’s stupid insanity for a solid plot twist

It’s no secret that I am sick and tired of Spike’s conveniently weaving in and out of sanity. When he babbles on and on, it’s annoying; when he has a moment of clarity, it’s frustrating in its nonsensicalness. But I must say it was used to perfection when he was simultaneously approached by Willow, and Buffy and Xander. Everything Spike says to these two parties actually makes sense, even if spoken through a cray-cray filter, but because Spike is so wackadoodle, the Scoobies aren’t able to connect the dots and realize what’s happening. But as cool as this scene was, I’d like to see Spike back on the cover of Sanity Fair. HOT! Buffy the bestie

 There are times when our Slayer can really be a terrible friend. She drops her friends like lit matches any time someone shiny and new and fuckable comes into her life – and vagina – and she has been known to occasionally behave in a self-righteous, holier than thou way. But despite all that, Buffy is a really good friend. At the end of the ep, Willow said it best, that sometimes Buffy has to put her calling first. Buffy has to explore all possibilities of a Hellmouthy situation, even if it means suspecting her friend of being Willow the People Flayer. This whole invisibility twist was a result of Willow’s biggest fear, that the gang, particularly Buffy, wouldn’t accept her. But Buffy does her one better, in that tear-jerking final scene where Buffy ‘gives’ Willow some of her strength. My pink is tickled pink to see these two besties back together again FASHION SLAYER! Buffy and Willow in their one-of-million leather jackets

May I address the fashionable elephant in the room? I realize that Buffy has moved up in the world, career-wise, but how in the bloody hell is she able to afford all of this outerwear? Every episode she wears one, sometimes two, fancy coats or leather jackets. Are we really supposed to believe these are all from that massive shopping trip that Hank Summers sponsored between Season 1 and 2? And what about Willow? Does she just magic herself a new leather jacket? Hey, she did it when she went dark, why not for everyday life? It’s a good thing these girls are able to call upon the forces of darkness and/or deadbeat dads to keep them well-supplied in jackets because with a demon like Gnarl, they get destroyed right quick. Either way, both ladies look slamming. Congrats, reunited BFFs, on winning this week’s Fashion Slayer award. That’s all for me this week, my lovely readers. What did you think of the episode? Happy to see Willow back? How gross is Gnarl? Ready to smack Spike upside the head with a little bit of sense? Post a comment and let me know. Check in every Tuesday for my latest Buffy blog. Dish later;Liz

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 7.2 Beneath You

The Dish: Anya goes both ways.

HOT! Buffy finds out Spike got his soul back.

Let's not bury the lead. While I'm still not a fan of Spike's convenient weaving in and out of sanity, I was absolutely chilled to the bone by his mausoleum scene with Buffy, where she discovers the truth. Here's why it breaks my heart: I'm trying to repress the whole going to Africa thing, but when Spike got his soul back, I thought it was because he couldn't live with himself after Rape-gate, and wanted to get his soul to ensure he would never do something like that again. But really he got it back to have a real shot at being with Buffy. As much as I hate lovesick puppy Spike, I've got to give the man credit for his persistence.

As for Buffy, none of this is her fault. She went from calling him an 'evil, soulless thing' to being mature and crystal-clear that she doesn't want to be with him because, simply, she doesn't love him. It really isn't even about not loving the vampire, it's about not loving the man. When Buffy was with Angel, she didn't love him because he had a soul; she loved him because he was Angel. Even when he turned into Angelus, a part of Buffy still loved him. That horrified look on her face when she realized what Spike put himself through, and the semi-cray cray mess he is now, was because of her. You know shit is complicated when it's easier to fight side by side with somebody you're afraid will try to rape you again. It's like a bedroom farce without the comedy.

NOT! Xander making time with Nancy.

Okay Nancy, you're a hottie, I'll give you that. But seriously, you've got no personality. I had to Google her name because I already forgot it. Now let's get to Xander. I admit, his flirtation skills were definitely on the smooth side. But if you recall my last blog, you'll remember me theory that when Xander is a boyfriend/fiance, he's a Grade A asshole. So to summarize, I'm very happy that Nancy seems to be going the way of the Scrappy Gang from last episode, and never, ever returning.

NOT! ANOTHER snake-worm-demon?

Really, the well on these guys has run dry. Frat parties, keynote graduation speakers, blah blah blah. The Ronnie demon really didn't play a huge part, but could they not have picked another animal?

HOT! Double-agent Anya

This is a super-fascinating dynamic with Anya being a vengeance demon again. It's one thing when she's cursing men by making them French, it's another when she turns them into demons that hurt people and kill dogs -- seriously, it was such a hilarious girl cliche that Anya the vengeance demon cried out 'aww puppy' when she found out the dog kicked it. When Anya hurts people it puts Buffy in a hella awkward position as the Slayer. And speaking of bedroom farce comedies, that confrontation scene in the Bronze was so amusing. Honestly, who wasn't turned on by that ex-lovers' quarrel between Anya and Spike? I was optimistically hoping that when Spike clocked her in the face, it would lead to one of those violent making out deals. Ah well, a blogger can dream.

HOT! Badass Dawnster

I am all kinds of loving Season 7 Dawn. Her little stare-down with Spike was all kinds of hot. And brave. Seriously, I'm almost 30 and I wouldn't be able to threaten a homicidal, Slayer-killing vampire -- especially one I wouldn't mind shagging. But that whole 'you'll wake up on fire' threat made me so proud, both as a sister myself and as a Dawn apologist.

FASHION SLAYER! Giles in his contempo-Brit leather coat

As much as I yearn for Willow to be back in Sunnydale with her rightful Scoobies, I am really going to miss her receiving motivational speeches from Giles in the English countryside. This particular one really took the cake. Giles has a way of being a perfectly honest, non-bullshitter but being totally comforting and fatherly. That line 'you may not be wanted, but you will be needed'...sigh. For once Giles made my eyes wet instead of my lady bits. But then I remembered him in that classy-ass leather number and my lady bits followed suit. Congrats Giles, on being this week's Fashion Slayer.

That's all for me this week, my lovely readers. What did you think of the episode? Are you, like me, enjoying Season 7 more than you remembered? Ready for Spike to officially choose between Team Sanity and Team Cray-Cray? Anya -- better as a human or vengeance demon? Post a comment and let me know. Check in every Tuesday for my latest Buffy blog.

Dish later;

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 7.1 Lessons

Bloody hell, my lovely readers. It is hard to believe that we have been through six whole seasons of the phenomenal show that is ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ together. Now here we are, at the seventh and final season.

I must say, I do not have fond memories of Season 7. Podcaster extraordinaire Martin Lastrapes (martinlastrapesshow.com) has on more than one occasion referred to me as the Buffy Encyclopedia, and if I do say so myself, it’s an apt nickname. But when it comes to Season 7, even my knowledge is average at best, because upon past rewatches, I would tend to drop out when I got to this season.

So I wasn’t super-excited to start it back up again, but I have to say….I absolutely freaking loved ‘Lessons’. I can confidently say that it rivals, if not ties, Season 1 for best season premiere ever. And I cannot wait to unpack why I think so.

Since this is a new season, I’ve decided to institute a new format for the blog: Hot or Not. It’ll be my same hilarious, off-color opinions about characters and plotlines, but it’ll have a new look. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments. So here, we go, it’s time to see who’s hot or not in ‘Lessons’:

HOT! Buffy’s new look

Straight up, I was not a fan of Buffy’s Season 6 bob. It looked super-cute on her, I’ll give you that, but it just wasn’t Buffy. But now after the summer, she’s grown her hair out and eschewed the strawberry blonde for a lighter color, and she just looks more like the Buffy I know and love. In fact, her first scene with Dawn in the graveyard felt like a return to the heart of the show. Last season ended on a hella depressing note, so it’s refreshing to see some Scoobies back in the cemetery, staking vamps, and swapping witty banter.

NOT! Buffy’s ‘mom’ look

Oh, Buffy. Mom hair is the least of your worries. I never understood the expression ‘don’t wear white after Labor Day’…until I saw this monstrosity. The pants, if paired with a different colored shirt, are fine, but that blouse…I think Buffy is late for her shift at the emergency room. Yikes. But who am I to judge? Buffy’s matron look from hell probably helped her land that guidance counselor job. I mean what other 21-year-old is really qualified to counsel anyone about anything other than how to have a bitchin’ keg party?

HOT! Willow and Giles in the English countryside

First off, how much of a smokeshow is Giles? Riding in on horseback, with that British gentry coat and that salt-and-pepper hair…I’d let him put cream on my scone, if ya know what I mean. (Sex). Gotta put this on the record, for the first few moments of their scene, I totally pretend that Giles and Willow are actually on a secret romantic getaway… especially the part when Giles asks Willow if she wants to be punished. And then I pause the show and then, ahem, exercise.

But when I actually take it seriously, I love this plot. Normally I hate it when a major character is away from the rest of the group. It just throws off the dynamic. But I was so entranced by this beautiful landscape, and the whole idea of Willow in ‘magic rehab’, with Giles as her Dumbledore. I so wish they did a mini-series about Willow’s stay there. Seriously, it makes me want to learn Wicca, become a powerful witch, get addicted to magic, flay a douchebag, and get sent there just so I can hang out. And yes, Giles, I do want to be punished.

HOT! (for now) Xander moving up in the world

Breaking news! I have figured out the enigma that is Xander Harris. Is he an asshole, or a great guy? Here’s the answer: when Xander is in a relationship, he is the worst. Think of how things ended with both Cordelia and Anya. Bloodiness and heartbreak, all because Xander is a terrible partner. But when Xander is single, he’s actually a great guy. He’s a wonderful friend to Buffy, a solid big brother figure to Dawn, and his compassion for Willow literally saved the world. Also, now that he’s not getting laid round the clock, the man has had time to really focus on his career, and voila! he’s a full-blown, driving a nice car and wearing a suit to work-y contractor. Now let’s see how long that lasts before I wanna punch him in the face again.

NOT! Anya the brunette school marm

Anya has never been a fashion plate, but I’ll take her standard clashing clowny prints any day over that blouse. It looks like a reject from ‘The Little House on the Prairie’ wardrobe department. Also, I’m a proud brunette, but Anya is not one for our tribe. She looks way too harsh. I’m guessing that her hair at the end of Season 6 was too similar to Buffy’s hair now, so it was a production call. I pray that’s the reason. And you know things are dire when your only friend is the cloying Halfrek. But she really has a point. Anya needs to pick a side between bad and good.

NOT! Spike the masochistic boy band member

So getting a soul didn’t take, it seems. Yes, it looks like Spike is a Drusilla-grade coo-coo bird. Sometimes. When he’s not muttering about nothing, he speaks to Buffy quite clearly, telling her a four-year-old could figure out how to deal with those not-ghosts/not-zombie creatures. Honestly, I could barely pay attention to his scenes, because I’m filled with questions. How the hell did he get back from Africa in his condition? When did he get back? How was he able to take refuge in the basement of a brand new building?

Also, I hate the new look. His hair takes me back to Justin Timberlake’s NSYNC days, and while I usually dig Spike when he’s covered in sexy wounds, these self-inflicted bad boys remind me of that monk in ‘The Da Vinci Code’. Curled up in the fetal position, lonely, and cutting yourself in a basement isn’t sexy. It’s a suburban teenage girl cliché.

HOT! The new, mysterious Big Bad

The main reason I love this episode, especially more than the other season premieres, is that we’re immediately teased with the Big Bad for the season, first with that European girl running from those evil monk-dudes, then both Halfrek and Willow able to ‘feel’ that something dark is coming. ‘It’s a bad time to be a good guy’.

It was brilliant how the episode’s featured creature was vanquished, but its presence is because of this bigger, unknown evil force. And that scene at the end of the episode tickles me pink, because we get to see all the old Big Bads again. Hell, I was even happy to see The Master. Instead of dreading this season, like I was before, I’m now cray-cray excited to watch it.

HOT! (for now) The brand-spanking new Sunnydale High

Any time a story takes place in a high school, I’m in, so I’m delighted to see that Sunnydale High has risen from the ashes. Seriously, what was the budget for this thing? It looks like a swanky-ass college facility. Did anyone notice they have a science building? A building just for the science? I swear, my high school had one lab, that was it. Of course, everything isn’t hunky-dory because I have the usual questions any seasoned Buffy fan has. Why did it take them three years to build the new school? A high school is hardly ‘Pillars of the Earth’, am I right? Where did the students go in the interim? I want answers, dammit.

HOT! The new Principal Robin Wood

Robin Wood? Try Throbbin’ Wood. I mean damn. And that’s a two syllable damn. As in ‘day-um’. Smoking hotness aside, I’m very intrigued by this character. Buffy seems to trust him, even though he knows everything about her. He all but said he knows she’s the Slayer. So is he really creepy…or just really good at using Google? I was always a good kid in school, but if he was my principal, I would be in his office every day. God, can you imagine Wood as principal while Giles was librarian? I’m honestly about to pass out, y’all.

NOT! Scoobies the Next Generation

I totally forgot about Dawn’s new posse, Kit and Carlos, aka Goth Girl by Walmart and West Side Story. These kids have the dynamism of house plants. Are the three of them supposed to be the new Scooby Gang? ‘Cuz they’re more like the Scrappy Gang. Scrappy as in Doo. But please don’t. Oh, West Side Story? While you were busy ‘running like a girl’, Dawn, an actual girl, fought monsters with a weapon she forged on the spot. Misogyny ain’t a great look, just ask Warren.

FASHION SLAYER! Dawn the badass

While I can’t stand her new crew, I am all about the Dawnster this episode. She’s learning how to fight vampires, she’s saving fellow students, she really is a bitty Buffy – even though she’s taller. I was head-over-heels in love with her first day of school outfit. That gorgeous argyle sweater, combined with that absolutely perfect makeup… never mind Buffy the guidance counselor, I want this high-powered lady teaching me the ways of the world. She hardly looks like a freshman, rather she looks like one of those ‘cool’ teachers. Love it, love it, love it.

That’s all for me this week, my lovely readers? What did you think of the episode? Is it as great as I’m giving it credit for? Do you think Anya the blonde would have more fun? Ding, Marry, Kill – Principal Flutey, Snyder, Wood. What do you think of my new format? Post a comment and let me know. Check in every Tuesday for my latest Buffy blog.

Dish later;


Monday, 4 April 2016

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Best and Worst of Season 6

Dear lovely readers;

It's no secret that Season 6 is one of the most polarizing seasons of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. Personally, I loved it. I mean, come on, a covered-in-sexy-wounds, naked Spike touting a pair of handcuffs, what's not to love? But I think even the hatey-ist of Season 6 haters can agree there are a few gems. And even if you can't, fear not, for I too will get my hate on. I present to you:

The Best and Worst of Season 6

For all noobs, how these Best and Worst Of blogs go down is that I dub each major character with a best moment of the season, proclaim the Best and Worst episodes, and officially award a Fashion Slayer for the season. Put that in your marzipan pie plate, bingo!

Best Character Moments:

Buffy: The most complex character of the show, is our protagonist. Declaring but one solitary moment would not do our Slayer justice. Therefore, as always, I will award a best moment for Buffy the Woman, and for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Buffy the Woman: Ending her sexual relationship with Spike in 'As You Were'.

I know, I know. I have dubbed Buffy a certified looney tune for doing this, as many of you are probably doing for me for awarding this Buffy's best moment. But psychologically, this relationship was very damaging for Buffy. Not that it was wrong, but Buffy felt guilty about using Spike and his love for her just so she could feel something. When Buffy broke her decision to Spike, she wasn't all high-horsey about it. She didn't call him an 'evil, soulless thing'. On the contrary, she recognized that she was breaking his heart, and talked to him as an equal. As a man. This was a major step in Buffy reconnecting to the world.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Telling Warren to 'say good night, bitch' in 'Seeing Red'.

Okay, Buffy has had a really shitty day. Spike tried to rape her. Warren and the Super Geeks now have some gizmo rendering their leader invincible. But the hell if Buffy ain't gonna stop Warren's misogynistic ass. Just when it looks like the creepo is about to get the upper hand, Buffy utters that perfect line, and destroys Warren's power by literally smashing his magic balls. Gotta love that feminist imagery.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (runner-up): Making Amy 'have to boot' in 'Wrecked'.

I just had to put this one in here. Amy is the worst. She gets the already addicted-to-magic Willow involved with skeezy-ass Rack and his dark powers, and then when 'Strawberry' becomes Rack's new favorite, Amy resorts to sneaking into the Summers house to steal magic ingredients? Buffy catches her and she ain't having none of it. She slams Amy into a wall super hard and tells her not to come back. 'Cuz that's just what BFFs do.

Xander: Being there for Buffy, post Rape-Gate in 'Seeing Red'.

Don't even start with that yellow crayon business. Xander spent most of Season 6 behaving like a certified douchebag, and it was his actions here that made me almost forgive him for leaving Anya at the altar. When he arrived on the scene to find Buffy curled up on the floor, bruised and abused, Xander does not go all alpha male and go out looking to stomp some Spike ass into the ground. Instead he stays with Buffy, listens to her, and respectfully comforts her. The next day he follows it up by going to the house to apologize for a prior fight. It's this moment that makes me think there is still hope for the Xan-man.

Willow: Flaying Warren alive in 'Villains'.

I still maintain that Warren is the Big Bad of Season 6, at least in the traditional sense. If you're Team Buffy on this one, you think Warren shouldn't be killed 'because it's wrong'. Well, how will a traditional prison institution deal with an evil genius with ties to dark magic and a crazy ability to build robots? There is absolutely nothing good about Warren. He's a villain who needs to die, and Dark Willow was the only one willing to shut this asshole up once and for all. Mic dropped.

Anya: Getting it on with Spike in 'Entropy'.

This is the biggest no brainer of all. After getting her heart brutally ripped out by Xander, Anya needed a palate-cleanser, and what better one than the sexy beast that is Spike? I still maintain that they should be together, as they are both passionate, loving creatures of darkness. Booze or no booze, this made sense from jump.

Dawn: Everything she did in 'Grave'.

She's come a long way from her 'get out, get out, GET OUT' banshee days. This little bit was all kinds of badass in an otherwise lackluster season finale. From calling Xander out on his cowardice to fighting alongside her Slayer sister against an army of demon-Groots, Dawn was on like Donkey Kong. Her actions earned her heaps of respect with Buffy when told Dawn, 'I don't want to protect you from the world, I want to show it to you'.

Spike: Anytime he was naked and covered in sexy wounds, but particularly when he had sex with invisible Buffy in 'Gone'.

Despite how emotionally damaging it was for Buffy, her sexytimes with Spike were all kinds of hot, whether they beat the crap out of each other, took down an entire building, or both. Really, the man's body should be the eighth wonder of the world. But of all the delicious encounters, my favorite had to be when Buffy was invisible, as it prompted the oldest excuse in the book for doing anything remotely sexual. 'I was exercising'. Classic.

Giles: Leaving Sunnydale to let Buffy deal with her own goddamn problems in 'Tabula Rasa'.

Giles has been a solid father figure to Buffy since the beginning, but sometimes the parent needs to know when to let the kid go. Buffy really went through the ringer, being ripped out of heaven and returning to the world, broke and having to raise her younger sister, but when Giles offered a helping hand -- and open wallet -- Buffy really took advantage of the situation, and let Giles handle all her problems. As much as it broke my heart -- and everyone else's with a soul -- Giles leaving was what Buffy needed. Also, who else wishes they could have seen what Giles was up to in England? I bet he shagged a certain hottie named Olivia...

Tara: Taking Willow back in 'Entropy.

Really, Tara is as close as it gets to a perfect person. Really, I can't think of one thing she's done that has pissed me off. Season 6 is a cornucopia of good, wise and kind decisions on her part. Leaving Willow when she got addicted to magic, discreetly helping Buffy out with her 'why can Spike hurt me' conundrum, and of course having Willow's back when the others pressured her to do magic in a crisis. But the bestest one of all was to take Willow back, on the spot. 'Can you just be kissing me now?' Perfection.

Jonathan: Pulling his sword on Andrew in 'Grave'.

No, this is not a homoerotic double entendre -- sorry, Andrew. As long as we have known Jonathan, his voracious need to be accepted has led to some pretty shitty decisions. Trying to kill himself, casting a 'Jonathan's a superstar' spell, and joining the Trio just to name a few. But when Jonathan broke rank and pulled his sword on Andrew, who had his pulled on Xander, that's when Jonathan became a man. Doing the right thing was worth more to him than fitting in. Oh, Jonathan!

The Best and Worst Episodes of Season 6

Best Episode: Once More with Feeling

How could it be anything but? 'The musical episode' is a stroke of sheer genius. And other than it having a banging soundtrack, and fabulous performances from the cast, it's a bloody good story. There's character development galore. Anya and Xander express trepidation about marriage. Dawn is tired of feeling neglected. Giles can't get through to Buffy that she has to be in charge of her own life. Also, a shit-ton of stuff happens. Tara discovers that Willow cast a forgetting spell on her and wants to break up. Buffy drops the biggest truth bomb of all, that her friends ripped her out of heaven. And oh yeah, Buffy and Spike kiss fo' real for the first time. A television masterpiece.

Worst Episode: Doublemeat Palace

Is this really a shock? The episode is called 'Doublemeat Palace'. Even if it were the porno it sounds like, it would still be pretty shitty. Buffy fights a giant old lady/demon worm creature who preys on fast food employees. And even that would fly for me, y'know in a fish demony episode sort of way, if the literal entire first half of the episode wasn't basically a big training session for how to work at the Doublemeat Palace. The best part of the episode was when Manny the Manager bit the bullet -- er, I guess the bullet bit him in this case -- because that dude was hella creepy. And not in a good way.

(For the record, that is creepy in a good way):

Season 6 Fashion Slayer

'Is this hell?' Buffy asks Dawn after she is ripped out of heaven and has to claw her way out of her own grave. Well, Buff, that's a good question. I can see how you would ask it, as you friends decided to bury you in a pilgrim's dress.

Buffy had a really hard time adjusting to life in the real world again. But our heroine will be damned if she doesn't look good in it. And Buffy, you're not in the 90s anymore. Most of the outfits Buffy wore I would totally wear today. Welcome back, Buffy, and enjoy your reign as the Season 6 Fashion Slayer.

And that, my lovely readers, is my official wrap-up of Season 6. It's hard to believe we only have one season of this wonderful show left together, isn't it? Before we pick up next week with the seventh and final season, please comment on this blog. How was my assessment of Season 6? Did I miss any key character moments? Am I not giving 'Doublemeat Palace' its due? Did I go too Dark Liz? Post a comment and let me know. Check in every Tuesday for my latest Buffy blog.

But before you go, check me out on The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour, talking best 'Buffy' episodes with my dear friend, the aforementioned Martin Lastrapes: http://www.martinlastrapesshow.com/episodes/2016/1/10/episode-115-liz-hersey

Dish later;