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29 April 2003 @ 09:29 pm
Empty Places  

Well, I liked it pretty much. Not in the same way I liked "I Only Have Eyes for You" (2-19), but far better than "Seeing Red" (6-19). I liked it in the way of liking most flawed S7 Buffy eps: I kinda have to watch it with one eye shut, while ignoring everything to the left. (Ouch.)

Incomprehensible teaser: why are people leaving the Hellmouth in droves of backed-up traffic? I am baffled. No set up for that. Gratuitous Clem. Goodbye to Clem. And then, suddenly...the credits.

Oz-like tone of voice: Huh.

Random observations, mostly in order.

Interpol. Heh. But Giles--pause for the hotness of Giles--letting Willow mess with people's minds? Okaaaaay. Moving on now.

Painful Buffy withdrawal from Xander. Xander greatness, but with bad hair. Willow: we're back to Classic Willow, who can make me cry on a dime. Big sniffles for the friendshipping of Willow and Xander, the hospital-roominess of them.

Buffy and Dawn, major tension. Hard to watch. Fascinating things going on in that dining room scene, with Dawn trying to get through to Buffy, who really needs to drag herself out of her navel, and Faith cutting her slack instead of pushing at her, which really is tough nails on Dawn, who deserves better, etc. I liked that a lot.

Caleb: damn cute, but another talking villain. On the other hand, I don't think he wants Buffy dead at all. This seems to be clarifying. What's she going to be, a breeder queen for demons? Creepy.

Faith's low-slung pants distract me.

And what, is Eliza Dushku smoking three packs a day and downing whiskey shots between takes? What the fuck is up with her voice? I don't remember her being quite that constantly hoarse a few years back. Also distracting.

Unsure about the Hot Pocket humor.

I could barely look at Spike/JM in the living room scene. I'm very upset by this. At times now he's starting to remind me of--whiting because you may find this painful to read, so you should think about skipping it: the Fonz. It's so bad and wrong. (As is Rubywisp's mocking icon in the comments below, so beware. Hmmph.) He needs different clothes and JM needs to stop aging: freeze him! This is part of why I would actually be fine if he didn't show up on Angel next year, much as I love him as a character, and would love to see him there for that reason. In theory.

Ah, fuck. I'm all messed up about this. I can't help it. I was traumatized by the gradual aging of Kirk and Spock via their respective actors, and it's just...trust me, people, these things never end well.

Moving on. The Bronze. Makes total sense that they'd finally all get to hang there. Mostly it just seemed to be filled with the girls, and that one bemusing band. Well, a handful of guys, most of whom were dancing with Faith. That felt a bit forced. Replay of the past.

And in fact, many of the old-seasonal references braided into this ep felt a bit forced--instead of beacons of continuity, we had glaring klieg lights. The onion. It bothered me, okay? In part because: wow, hello, blue screen of death. Again I cannot watch.

I am confused by the Bad Cops. Who were they and why were they out to kill Faith? And Buffy didn't really question Faith's statement about letting off steam, considering she'd just laid out a bunch of apparent law officers. Granted, she was pissed at Faith, and yet--let's totally ignore the bodies, huh?

And again, the convenience of slayer strength. It waxes, it wanes. You can take out four vamps one night, but four humans the next--you'll be on the ground if you don't watch it, see, sister?

Spike reads Greek. Very cool. I notice they lingered on that shot before cutting, though, to wedge the anvil in more firmly.

Xander's homecoming. Discomforting. And later when he finally chimes in against Buffy I could feel myself hunching up for some line about his eye, which was in fact delivered. Good line, but still.

I was going along pretty well with the big scene, Buffy against the world, replaying themes from "Once More With Feeling" and "Dead Man's Party." People's responses made emotional sense even if the showdown itself was--as someone pointed out in a review--contrived. But then when Dawn kicked Buffy out, I was like, excuse me? Uhhh, well, okaaaaay then. I guess we are in Bizarro world. We took that left somewhere and now we're somewhere else. Very else.

I am trying to figure out where the hell we're going next, given where things stand with three eps left. Am a bit unnerved.

Next week's promo promises some shippy insanity.

Huh. As I read back over my review, I'm suddenly wondering where my liking is. Heh.

Edited to add: Oh, and the scene at the beginning with poor, nervous Anya reading from prepared cards and Andrew writing inappropriate comments on the big board? Cracked my shit up. God, I felt so sorry for them, and for all those girls--especially the ones sitting on the cot. Snerk.

rubywisprubywisp on April 29th, 2003 10:18 pm (UTC)
::reads whited-out text::

I blame you. Utterly.

Anna S.eliade on April 29th, 2003 10:20 pm (UTC)
You mock my trauma! ...and of course it will do little good now for people to ignore the whited text, as The Pain Has Been Made Visible.
rubywisp: spikemafia by jainie grubywisp on April 29th, 2003 10:22 pm (UTC)
It was... therapy! Yeah, that's it. Therapy. You created such a wound in my soul that I had to work it out creatively to rid myself of the gruesome image I'll never be able to escape, no matter how hard I try...

::breaks down sobbing::
rubywisp: xanlinrubywisp on April 29th, 2003 10:29 pm (UTC)
::sets down the caffeine and sugar and backs away slowly::

Erm, yeah. Little hyper tonight. Sorry.

::smooches you::
Anna S.eliade on April 29th, 2003 10:33 pm (UTC)
No worries. {g}
rubywisp: ficrubywisp on April 29th, 2003 10:36 pm (UTC)
I'm very bizarre tonight, sorry. I can take the icon down if you really don't want it there. 'Course, I guess you could too, heh.

Is it just my imagination, or was Willow's hand all twitchy in the hospital and was Xander's "Don't" warning her off from maybe wanting to put his eye back?
Juliajuliaabra on April 29th, 2003 11:31 pm (UTC)
I don't know whether to laugh or weep. Oh my god. I'm going to have nightmares I can tell.
daddy's not done talking: coolros_fod on April 30th, 2003 08:49 am (UTC)
::giggles in fits::

May I steal this for my own use? Mockage. There must now be mockage.
rubywisp: spikemafia by jainie grubywisp on April 30th, 2003 01:50 pm (UTC)
Steal away! :)
flaming june: FlamingSpike_flaming_june_ on April 29th, 2003 10:39 pm (UTC)
Your white-fonted text has given me fits. Paroxysms of fits. Don't know whether to laugh or cry. Eeeeek! Bad wrong, indeed.

::runs away, shreiking::
Tuesday Has No Phones: angelbotthebratqueen on April 30th, 2003 05:37 am (UTC)
why are people leaving the Hellmouth in droves of backed-up traffic?

Us spoiler whores were told that they were heading to Los Angeles (a subtle shout-out to them having fallen under the spell of Jasmine). Apparently this didn't make it to the air, though, so I'm wondering if it was a line that was cut for time.
my2cents4sure on April 30th, 2003 07:18 am (UTC)
1. I've decided that the cops, there to apprehend an escaped felon (Faith), had been told to bring her back dead rather than alive. Maybe it had to do with a personal vendetta at the correctional facility?

2. Someone on the Angel boards mentioned some time back that ED said she was really trying to stop smoking. Hope it works, because if she's this hoarse now, what'll she sound like in 10 years?

3. This year's sucky lighting isn't helping JM either. Sure, he's getting older, but they could minimize some of that with better lighting. Also, I think part of the reason he's less appealing (less Big Bad and more like what you mentioned in spoiler font) is because of the stupid dialogue/stage direction he's being given. Do any of the writers even remember that underneath that soul, Spike's still a vampire? He's not a human being, for crying out loud! But that's how they seem to be writing him. And an emasculated human being, at that. Then again, seems to me this season's writers have pretty much sucked the real personalities out of all the key characters, not just Spike. But that's just my opinion.

4. Buffy's having to leave her own house? A slayer being kicked out of the place where she most ought to be, even if only confined to her room or otherwise shunned? Yeah, right. Smells like a set-up to me. Like the writers need Buffy to be staying elsewhere, and this was the best Drew Z. could come up with. I could be wrong, but if I am, then Buffy's being kicked out just seems absurd.
in search of a clever byline: chosen210zlaine on April 30th, 2003 09:49 am (UTC)
Now see, I was all slashy with the excuse for the raspy Faith voice...

She brings a cold, Buffy now has a cold, Faith still has a cold...

You know that if there was an apartment garage, Spike'd be there instead of the basement.
Anna S.eliade on April 30th, 2003 10:30 am (UTC)
You know that if there was an apartment garage, Spike'd be there instead of the basement.

Oh, you *bitch*! How could you add fuel to the sick fire in my head? Gyahhh.
in search of a clever byline: wicked10zlaine on April 30th, 2003 11:50 am (UTC)

He's in the apartment giving Xander a rim job.
porcelain_catporcelain_cat on April 30th, 2003 08:48 pm (UTC)
I read the white font, and want to write a long paragraph on why I disagree...but I can't. *Sigh*