Friday, May 6, 2011

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Becoming, parts 1 & 2.


Episodes 33 and 34.
airdates: 12 and 19 May 1998.

Ok, so there's this ancient artifact dug up and Giles is super-interested...guess who else is super-interested? Angelus. Ooooh! It's Acathla, this big evil Apocalypse-bringer . Buffy has to stop Angel/Acathla and Willow's trying to restore Angel's soul. Long story short: Acathla is awakened and the only thing that can stop the Apocalypse is the death of Angel...he gets his soul back JUST as Acathla wakes up, so Buffy has to kill him when he's all confused about what's goin' on...it's super-sad and there's Sarah McLachlan playing as Buffy wanders away into the distance at the end of the second episode, obviously leaving town.

Becoming, Part 1:

"There's moments in life that make you"...

So this moment that Buffy had to kill Angel really fucks her up. She's dark forever after this moment. Angel's "moment" is when he meets his Mother to Darkness, aka Darla. What was my "becoming" moment? I'll have to think on that...

I like the Buffy vampires' teeth. They're very feline. All six of the front ones are pointy in places.

You know how you can tell when Angel's evil? When he has white makeup on his lips and a little red under his eyes. His lips are all pink when he's nice. There's a lot of Angel backstory from the 1700's in this ep...when he was changed, when he tormented/sired Drusilla, his later path to redemption and interminable stalking of Buffy. With Drusilla's second sight, I wonder if she was a Potential Slayer before she became a vampire. Perhaps the writers never explicitly thought of that, but it would make sense.

Another of Angel's defining moments was when he got his soul back, of course. Restoring Angel's soul is one of Willow's defining moments. Xander's being black and white "Angel-needs-to-die" boy in this episode.

Kendra's back! because a "very dark power is about to rise in Sunnydale". Spike is still keeping his secret of being able to walk from Angel and Dru; not sure why...

So, apparently, Angel was wandering around being pathetic like Louis from the Vampire Chronicles for a freaking century, when he met Buffy...another "becoming" moment for him. Wow, I'm like totally getting the deepness of this episode! So, Angel was stalking Buffy for more than a year before they met. Oh, and when Angel first sees Buffy, it is the moment she finds out she's the Slayer...another "becoming" moment. This whole episode is full of them. Joss knows how to stick to a theme, man!

Why do vampires and demons always want to end the world? Wouldn't it be more fun to terrorize the innocents on Earth without the destruction of mankind in one fail swoop? It would take all the fun out of being evil, wouldn't it?

Buffy's wearin' her brown pants...that means she's serious, bitch! While Willow is doing the spell for Angel, the first time, Xander is conspicuously there but not helping in any way. Oh, man, Drusilla has killed Kendra already, and they've kidnapped Giles. And Drusilla didn't even drink Kendra's blood when she killed her?!?! WTF? She's got Slayer-blood!

Becoming, Part 2:

The cops catch Buffy with Kendra's body and attempt to arrest her, but she evades them. So, on top of Kendra's death, Giles' kidnapping, Willow trapped under a bookshelf and Xander unconscious, Buffy's wanted. And to mark her fugitive-ness, she's wearing that black beanie that makes her look like a gangster. Willow's in a coma from head trauma. As if there's not enough shit going on, Angel is about to torture Giles. I hate this!

Spike's first alliance with good! He wants Buffy's help because he doesn't want an Apocalypse, he just wants to get Drusilla and leave town. Spike's black-painted nails are all artfully chipped. Hot.

Xander tells Willow he loves her and she awakens from the coma, just like when he tells her he loves her at the end of season 6 and keeps her from destroying the world! OMG, I never realized the parallel here! Amazing! I love this show!

Angel just cleaned Giles' glasses for him, though he hasn't done it yet himself on the show. I keep watching for it.

Joyce is about to find out about Buffy being the Slayer! A defining moment for her as a mother, I'm sure. Spike and Joyce have an awkward little moment in their living room. OMG, and a defining moment for Spike is him coming to Buffy for help; aligning himself with good, foreshadowing his inevitable sway towards good. Joyce is freaking out. She tells Buffy if she leaves the house, "don't even think about coming back!"

After her coma, Willow decides to retry the spell. She sends Xander to tell Buffy that she's trying it again, but he gives her the message as, "Kick his ass" instead, possibly ruining the whole thing. If Buffy had known, she could have stalled longer and possibly prevented the whole mess. Xander's jealousy and inclination towards moral absolutism possibly caused this very horribly painful moment in Buffy's life, turning her forever into darkness. She is never the same after this moment.

And Snyder has just expelled her! Wow. What more could happen in these episodes? Everything is so dramatic! She's kicked out of the house, the cops are after her, and she's expelled and she's going to have to kill her first love in a minute because one of her best friends has betrayed her by not telling her what her other BFF is up to...sheesh!

OMG, another parallel! Angel's blood is the key to awakening Acathla and starting/stopping the Apocalypse. Later, Dawn's blood is the key to starting/stopping the Apocalypse. Buffy was willing to kill Angel, but the pain she felt after doing so was so overwhelming that she vows to kill anyone who gets in her way if the ritual involving Dawn's blood starts. Buffy later (in season 5) is willing to let the world end instead of losing her sister. Here, she is not.

I can tell you, this is a moment of becoming for me in my Buffy writings, because I was about to give up on the summarizing/shownote-taking, but if I hadn't been doing this, I wouldn't have made all these realizations...I'm getting better and have renewed energy for the task! Wa-hoo!

Even though I never liked Angel and Buffy together, it still tears me up to watch her face when she both realizes Angel's soul has returned and when she realizes she has to kill him. Sarah McLachlan, bring the house down! Sarah plays at the end of season 6 too...end of season parallels everywhere! I will never be able to hear McLachlan's "Full of Grace" without thinking of the terrible heartbreak at the end of this season and Buffy walking down the street in her frayed baggy jeans leaving Sunnydale. She can't go home, she can't go to school...

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