Monday, April 8, 2013
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Body.
airdate: 27 Feb 2001.
Shit. Ok. I have to do this. Every time I watch this episode two things happen: one, I cry the entire 42 minutes and two, I promise myself I won't ever make myself watch it again. This time I might mean it...at least for a decade or so. It's so painful. Before I press play, I'm just going to write the majority of what I think about this episode intellectually before I become a blubbering mass of emotion. The rest of this blog once I start the episode might just be gibberish. Anyway, Joss did an incredible job on this episode. There is no score. It's all raw emotion dealing with real live super-fucking heart-wrenching death. The death of a parent. It's horrifying and raw and painful and the lack of music makes it hit home. And the way each of the different characters deals with the death in their own ways. Oh, man. Ok, I can't even talk about it intellectually now. I'll just have to stomp through the thing. *another deep breath*
We have to watch the last scene from the last ep again, damnit. She discovers her mom on the couch and says her name over and over. "Mom. Mom. Mom....Mommy?" Oh, god.
After credits, a scene of Thanksgiving or Xmas dinner at the Summers' house. Everything is all jovial and it cuts off abruptly, back to Buffy. Shaking her mom now, yelling at her. Not believing what's happening. Calls 911. They talk her through CPR. She does it. You hear her rib crack...the woman on the phone tells her she might have cracked a rib. "She's cold." She puts the phone down and stares out the window. She hangs up and there's a closeup of the numbers as she tries to remember how to call...Giles. She simply says, "You have to come. She's at the house." Then she goes to the door to wait for paramedics. You see Joyce wake up after the paramedics revive her and a few cuts to her mother at the hospital telling her "Thank God you found me in time." etc. but it abruptly stops and you're back in the real world where Buffy's mom is not waking up.
The paramedics have to tell Buffy her mom is dead. "She died a good while before you found her. There's nothing you could have done. She probably felt very little pain." The paramedics get called away. She's alone with her mom and Dawn is at school.
I paused for a sec. Had to hug my husband and get some wine so I can drink my feelings away. We're only 10 minutes in. Shit. She's just staring at her mother and then goes into the kitchen. You hear wind chimes out an open window. Buffy throws up in the hall. It's a beautiful sunny day. She opens the back door and hears someone practicing a tuba and kids playing nearby. Goes to get a paper towel to clean up her vomit. Everything feels so real. She even just stares at her vomit soaking into the towel. Giles comes in asking her if its "Glory". All ready for action. Buffy just stares at him, says the coroner is coming and she has to tell Dawn. Giles is standing int he doorway, is confused, looks over and sees Joyce. He goes to her and calls "Joyce Joyce!" Buffy is trying to tell him he can't, it's too late, and then she yells "We're not supposed to move the body!" and then she puts her hand over her mouth because she called her mom "the body". Giles realizes what's happened and goes to her. I'm jealous I never had a Giles.
Second act shows Joyce being zipped in a body bag, then cut to Dawn crying. Turns out she's crying at school in the bathroom over a boy issue. She goes to art class and is standing next to the boy she likes. Kind of flirts a bit with him. You can see Buffy through the window. She comes into the classroom, then gets Dawn out of class. Then you see Buffy telling her from the boy's perspective. From inside the classroom. You see Dawn react in the hallway from the windows of the classroom. Everyone from class watching, walking slowly to the window.
After every commercial break (and I actually have commercials interrupting this, because I'm watching it on Hulu on my iPad) they show Joyce again. Dead. Now we see Xander and Anya going to pick up Willow and Tara. Willow is staring at all these clothes trying to get dressed. Willow is obsessing over what to wear, what her clothes say about how she feels about the situation. Tara is trying to comfort her. Willow crying. No one can handle Willow crying. Their first onscreen kiss. Anya is asking Xander what is expected of them. Xander hugs Willow. All four of them stand there awkwardly. Anya is asking inappropriate questions. Willow decides she has to change again. Xander wants to know if Glory did this to Joyce, but Tara says Giles told her he's pretty sure it was natural. Xander is getting amped up, wanting something to fight. Willow puts her dukes up and Xander kisses her on the forehead. Anya is asking all these questions: "are we going to see the body?" Then Anya cries because she doesn't understand. She brings it home and there's more crying. Xander punches the wall and his hand is stuck in the wall. Anya and Willow pull him out. They all stare at his bloody hand.
They finally go. They've pulled themselves together a bit. They're all at the morgue. The doctor that did Joyce's operation did the autopsy. Anya hugs Giles. The doctor comes out and says she had an aneurism near the site of the tumor. That it was very sudden, she may have felt some nausea, then probably passed out as it happened. Dawn wants to see her mom. She says she has to pee but she goes to see her mom instead. Willow, Xander, and Anya go to find food and drinks for Buffy and Dawn, so Buffy is alone with Tara. Awkward. Tara reveals her mom died too. Her mom died when she was 17. Buffy says she's sorry. Tara tells her she had thoughts and reactions she couldn't understand or explain to anyone else, that sometimes she felt like she was going crazy or a horrible person. Tells her if she ever needs to talk...
Dawn enters the morgue. Bodies on trays. She somehow walks right to her mom. In the background you see another body waking up, a vampire. Dawn turns around. Everyone gets back from getting armloads full of snacks. Buffy goes to find Dawn. She hears Dawn scream and has to slay. As she's fighting the vampire, the sheet gets pulled off of Joyce. Buffy decapitates the vampire after a slow start, just as Dawn is standing up to look at their mother. Dawn asks if she's cold and Buffy says "It's not her. It's not her. She's gone." Dawn asks, "Where'd she go?" and reaches out to touch her and then....credits.