Friday, March 16, 2012

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Graduation Day, Parts 1 & 2.

It's time to settle in for a two-parter...take a deep breath, get out the shot glasses for the Angel shirtless drinking game, and let's settle in for approximately an hour and a half of cheesy Buffy goodness!

Episodes 55 & 56 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
airdate: 18 May 1999 (part 1) & 13 July 1999 (part 2).

Everyone's picking up their caps and gowns. They are maroon (yech) like we had at Joplin High. Willow is all sentimental and nostalgic, JUST like I was at the end of senior year. Xander says he won't make it out alive, which is the whole Joss metaphor, of course. High school = hell/demon playground. I'm feeling nostalgic, too. I like the familiarity of the school backdrop. The soda machine that looks like it's from the '50s, etc.

Faith kills a professor brutally. She stabs him in the stomach! That's a little much, don't ya think? More Mayor/Faith bond reassurances. Since when does Willow ride a bike to school?

Anya tries to ask Xander out and he reveals that he may not make it to next weekend 'cause of the Ascension and all and she freaks...she's seen Ascensions before, so that adds to the cryptic. She has information and tells everyone. This is the first revelation of the Buffy mythology that the demons that walk the earth aren't PURE demons, only part and that an Ascension is when a human becomes a PURE demon. She decides to leave town. Buffy makes her mom leave town as well. Willow is trying to find a spell to stop the Ascension and getting nowhere. This is the time for her and Oz to do it, apparently. Impending doom and all that. Rowr! It's so sweet to see two normal people on this show do it. They're consensual, similar ages, no weird desperation or malice. Just sweetness. If only all of our first times were this nice.

Buffy and Angel are fighting and Faith shoots him with a huge arrow. Angel has LIFTED his shirt for Buffy to bandage him...take a half shot. Angel has clearly been poisoned.

Ooh, Oz topless! Bonus shot! Anya tries to convince Xander to run away with her. She likes him! "When I think that something could happen to you I feel bad I might vomit!" This is THE moment where Anya's super bluntness really presents itself. Yay for Anya regularity! Angel topless and squalling with fever. Take a shot!

Buffy quits the Council when they won't help cure Angel. Giles immediately, and stoic-wordlessly, backs her up. Xander looks yummy in a minty sweater.

The only way to cure the poison is to drain the blood of a Slayer. It takes Buffy a minute, but she decides to kill Faith. Xander tries to talk sense into her. Buffy gets Faith's knife and goes to Faith's new apartment. Faith looks like any teenage girl laying in her bed listening to girl rock, reading a magazine, and eating Twizzlers. It's almost sweet, for a minute. Buffy's wearing her red vinyl pants. I used to have pants just like that in high school. They're probably in a landfill now, as I left them in my wind-desiccated house. When Faith sees her knife during their fight, she says, "That's mine." Buffy replies, "Well, you're about to get it back." but she doesn't say it like a badass. She says it with a catch in her throat, obviously tormented by what she has to do.
She stabs her in the gut and Faith jumps into a passing truck to keep from helping Angel, though she seems resigned to die.

Begin part 2...

The Mayor discovers Faith's empty apartment and is very upset. He genuinely does care about her. Angel mistakes Willow for Buffy and makes a whole speech about how he was wrong and he can't leaver her, etc. Angel is STILL topless, but I don't recommend taking shots for every scene he's topless, 'cause you'd be pretty sloshed.

Buffy offers herself to him, of course...the fact that her friends don't suspect she'll do something so stupid is a little lame. This is her atonement for killing him last season. Of course when he drinks from her she has to trick him into doing it and it's all erotic and shit. He stops himself, but she's unconscious so he takes her to the hospital. Note: he puts on a shirt to go to the hospital. This is what classy men do. they put on shirts to go out in PUBLIC. Just sayin'.

Faith is also in the hospital. She's in a coma. The Mayor overhears a nurse talking to a doctor about "another young girl with severe blood loss" and he goes and starts to suffocate Buffy. Angel stops him. Everyone's mad at Angel, of course. Further reinforcement that he should get out of town. I totally see the logic in that now.

Ooh, it's the first Buffy/Faith dream. Faith has all her stuff in boxes at her apartment and Buffy asks her how she's going to fit all this stuff and she says "Not gonna. It's yours...just take what you need. You ready?" Then she touches her and Buffy wakes up. I would argue this is the very beginning of Faith's redemption. Buffy showed vulnerability by trying to kill Faith and Faith understands her a little more now. So she chooses to give herself to save Buffy, in that dream-like metaphor way. This is also a turning point for Buffy, because I'm pretty sure she never forgives herself for putting Faith in a coma and is harder and more like Faith forever a survival tactic. She HAS to become harder to save the world all the time. To live her life as a Slayer. She is graduating, man! That's deep. OMG they're in the same hospital room! Buffy kisses Faith on the forehead like she's thanking her. Another of her resurrections. She has a lot of those. Anyway, she has a plan when she wakes up, of course. She tells Xander he's the key to this whole thing. Is this another Apocalypse we can say Xander has thwarted? I'm going to count it.

Wesley decides to help.

The Mayor is all excited about his speech. Cordelia is so skinny...glad she bulks up when she's on Angel. Her and Wesley share an awkward kiss and they sort of mutually hate it and thus the sexual tension is resolved.

And the Mayor turns into a giant snake and the entire senior class takes off their robes to reveal weapons. They are an army that Xander organized. Snyder gets eaten. That's for all the teenagers that hated their principals. Cordelia stakes a vamp. Harmony gets bit. Buffy distracts the Mayor with Faith's knife and they blow him up along with the school. I wonder if the high school graduates that survived the tornado feel like this...their school got destroyed on the DAY they graduated. Spooky.

Angel has told Buffy he's not going to say goodbye, but she looks for him afterwards...

Giles saved Buffy's diploma from the wreckage. "You've earned it." Sweet Giles, how I love thee.

Angel and Buffy make eye contact right before he walks away. Sad moment.

Everyone meets at the end to have a reflection moment. I love those. Jokes and stuff.

Oz: Guys, take a moment to deal with this. We survived.
Buffy: It was a HELL of a battle.
Oz: Not the battle...high school.