Sunday, April 28, 2013

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chosen.

episode 144.
airdate: 20 May 2003.

Caleb isn't actually dead, turns out. Knocks Angel out. They fight. B slices Caleb in half. Angel has an amulet for someone ensouled, stronger than human, a champion. Angel thinks it should be him. B tells him he can't help because she can't risk him. She tells him to be the second front if Sunnydale "goes". Angel asks her about Spike, if he's her bf, etc. Buffy tells him Spike is in her heart. They have a little conversation about B's lovelife. B says with regard to relationships maybe it doesn't matter if she can't make it work because she's not done becoming who she's going to be. She's living in the moment. Angel wants to know when she DOES think that far ahead, who she might consider...Angel surrenders the amulet and starts to leave to work on the "second front". She gives him a little nugget of hope for their future and Angel says, "I'm not getting any older..."

When B gets back home Dawn kicks her in the shin and calls her a "dumbass". B tells the good news about killing Caleb. B goes down to the basement to talk to Spike and he confronts her about the kiss. Spike holds out his hand to take the amulet. She tells him "it's meant for a champion", then she gives it to him. Buffy stays with Spike in the basement. They cuddle again, night #2.

The First as Caleb taunts B in the middle of the night, then turns into her talking about the legacy of the Chosen One, alone. It gives her an epiphany. "We're gonna win."

We see she's shared her plan with the core group (Faith, Willow, Xander, Giles, Dawn, and Anya), but we don't know it. Willow is worried about losing control...big magic. B does a speech to everyone. Says it's about choices. B's planning to lead them into the Hellmouth the next morning.

Giles, Andrew, Xander, and Amanda are playing Dungeons & Dragons. Hot. Night # 3 and Buffy and Spike probably do it. They're at the school. Everyone goes to their jobs and it's just the core four: Buffy, Xander, Giles, and Willow joking about what they're going to do in the morning. Great moment.  Giles even says, "The Earth is definitely doomed."

The Potentials, Slayers and Spike open the seal and go in. Spike is wearing the amulet. They're looking at all the Ubervamps. Willow is using the scythe to do a spell. "I say we change the rule. I say my power will become OUR power." Essentially every Potential becomes a Slayer with Willow's spell. Willow's hair is white during the spell. Kennedy takes the scythe to Buffy. Epic battle-time.

Buffy gets stabbed, goes down, gives the scythe to Faith. Anya dies. Wood is hurt. Amanda dies. The First taunts Buffy as her.  She stands back up and Faith throws the scythe back to her. She's got seniority, so she gets to keep the weapon. Spike's amulet is tingling. It's so great watching all these girls kick ass. Spike becomes a beacon of sunlight killing all the Ubervamps. It's his soul. Everyone is running away now. We realize Spike is a sacrifice. She tells him she loves him. "No you don't, but thanks for sayin' it." She goes. The school is blowing up. Everyone is on a school bus getting away and B is the last one out. She still has the scythe. Buffy is running after them and ends up on the roof of the bus as Sunnydale falls into the Hellmouth. They stop to get out and survey the damage. Sunnydale is gone.

"What are we gonna do now, Buffy?" She's not the one and only Chosen anymore. What a super cool feminist statement. The show started with B being the Chosen ONE. She had to bear the burden of Slayerdom by herself until Kendra, then Faith. Now every Potential is a Slayer and that is soooo cool. Slayers everywhere.

*I am now officially done with my project, but I'd like to watch the commentary now, but because it's fun. My plan of attack (next project, which is really just a continuation of THIS project) is to go back and watch all the commentaries and add notes while I watch the commentaries. After this month of writing about Buffy I've written over 50,000 words and I feel like it's been a good writing camp. I feel like I'm progressing in my craft. A lot of people don't understand what I'm doing when I say I'm writing about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but to be fair, a lot of people don't understand what I'm doing EVER anyway. I think I'll go backwards with the commentaries. There are 36 of them, I think. I'll go back to the corresponding blog on the episode and add commentary comments at the end in a different color or something. Then I'm reading the comics up to date. Then maybe I'll write a book about Buffy, though I don't know what my thesis is yet...maybe I'll know when I get there. Whatever. All I know is that I'm doing two things I love simultaneously: writing and watching the best show ever made, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

**My commentary on the commentary by Joss Whedon:
Making Nathan Fillion evil must have been really hard, but they did it. Joss is talking about how the graveyard is the "perfect iconic place for Buffy". I never thought about it like that, but I think that's one of the reasons I love Buffy so very very much. Because I love graveyards. A LOT. Graveyards are a wonderful setting. This show is so literally dark and I think that's brave and interesting. A metaphorically dark show that's also literally dark. It also makes everyone look hot. Pretty much everyone on this show constantly looks hot and interesting. Angel's exit from this episode was meant to mirror his exit from the first episode he was in. Cool. I forgot he backed away like that. Cool. I'm SUCH a fangirl. To be officially done with a project I've been doing for YEARS and want to just jump back in to do some more is a really awesome feeling. I feel so engaged and happy. Yeay.

Ok, just to hearken back to a theme within my own life (I think I'll allow myself to get a bit more autobiographical during my commentary-commentaries. Is it the commentary within the commentary within the commentary? yikes.), and that theme is isolation. Both Faith and Buffy were shown as being very isolated, and duh, 'cause they're the only two Slayers in the whole world. But don't we all have this thing? The thing about us that makes us feel unlike anyone else in the whole world? Maybe not usually superpower-strength, but maybe a thing that no one else gets about us. The thing we carry like a burden, even when it isn't. The thing that makes some of us famous, some of us geniuses, etc. A feeling of other. The thing most of us don't realize is what they said in the Matrix: belief is not a prerequisite of that right? We, none of us, really speak the same language, but we try to communicate in whatever ways we personally know how. That's art, that's poetry, that's self-expression. We are constantly attempting to interpret our brains to other human beings for that one moment of recognition in the eyes of a like-minded being. That ONE tiny minute of understanding and validation. We seek it with fervor. And it's worth all the pain and suffering we endure to get there. These tiny handful of moments in our lives. It's totally worth it. We're never as isolated as we feel, and yet we are always alone. Life's great oxymoron.

The shot wherein Buffy and Spike are standing apart looking at one another before they spend their third night together, Joss explained that he wanted the viewers to fill in the blanks about what they wanted to have happened during this night. I'll tell you what I want. I want them to have had extremely intense "making luuuuuuuv"-type sex, then fallen into an extremely deep sleep wherein B actually gets 8 whole goddamn hours of restful sleep before an Apocalypse.

The moment when all the girls have to bleed onto the seal to open it was meant as an earthly menstrual cycle thing. Cool. Didn't recognize that either. Also, the thought of even though you've worshipped this character of Buffy the last seven years, find it in yourself now that she's gone from TV. Joss addresses the fact that the Ubervamps were too easy to kill in this episode. He just says, "Yeah, they were." I mean, even Anya is killing them when B couldn't do it mid-season. Whatevs.

I didn't realize that when Andrew tells Xander Anya "died saving my life" he was making it up. He was saying what Xander needed to hear, when really he didn't see what happened.

We're seeing a life that's just beginning, like B's smile at the end of the series. Joss, you devil. I love you. I know you said you'd never make TV again after Dollhouse but you didn't mean it, right? Come back!