Saturday, April 20, 2013

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Hell's Bells.

episode 116.
airdate: 5 Mar 2002.

I get that this is the "everyone is imploding" season, but Xander REALLLLY doesn't have to. I hate this episode. Let's get it over with. I can even see this episode occurring, up until the part where Xander leaves Anya. That part is sooo lame, Xander.

Buffy and Willow hate their bridesmaids dresses. Anya thinks they look beautiful. Xander's family is obnoxious, bigoty, and mean. An old guy materializes just as Xander says "Now nothing on Earth can stop this wedding now." I wonder if the marriage would have happened if Anya hadn't insisted on all the crazy planning. Buffy helps Xander get dressed and she's "happy tear-y". Tara and Willow are helping Anya get dressed and they're all flirty and cute. Anya is practicing her vows and they're all sweet and cute. "I get to be with my best friend forever!" Spike arrives at the wedding with a date. The mysterious old guy shows up at the wedding and pulls Xander aside, tells him he's him from the future. Makes him look at a crystal ball to show him his future. Xander's dad mades crude remarks to B. After Xander looks at the crystal he's transported to a drunken future with two kids. His back's "shot" because of some fight for Buffy. He's transported to an even further future where they fight in public with their older kids. Then even further with more fighting and Xander coming at Anya with a frying pan. The future-Xander tells him he can't marry Anya.

Buffy and Spike talk. She admits she's jealous of his date, but it doesn't change anything. Spike decides he'll go. He tells her it's nice to watch her being happy, for Xander and Anya. Xander is pacing in the kitchen. Willow comes in. They hug. He says he needs a second to work on his vows and steps out. Buffy has to stall as Willow goes to look for him. Anya is still practicing her vows and she says them one last time and they're very genuine and sweet. Xander is walking in the rain through town as the voiceover of Anya's vows continue.

Everyone is getting anxious waiting. Anya overhears Dawn telling someone Xander's missing. Then there's pandemonium, lots of fighting and destruction. Anya confronts the old man, after finding out he was the last to talk to him. He turns into a demon. It wasn't Xander from the future, but someone she wreaked vengeance upon. He's there to ruin her life like she ruined his. Buffy fights the demon and Xander shows up. Anya tells him what the demon showed him was lies. Xander finishes the demon off. Everyone applauds and sits back down, then Xander's dad starts the fighting all over. Anya makes them all sit. Her and Xander go talk. Xander is still very upset.

He tells her he's not ready to get married. He's scared of becoming his dad. He thinks they went too fast. Anya has to go and tell everyone there won't be a wedding, but you don't even see her say it, just walking down the aisle slowly with tears. She's bewildered. Dawn, Willow, and Buffy are wondering where Xander is later and talking about the whole thing. The episode ends with Xander checking into a gross motel room and Anya being comforted by D'Hoffryn, her old vengeance demon boss.

Maybe this really was meant to happen. Anya was defined by Xander from the moment she was no longer defined by being a demon. After all the mayhem she caused as a demon, this is her karma. Xander is such a good man. He's literally leaving her because he's afraid staying with her will cause her more pain than leaving her now.

Commentary (by David Solomon and Rebecca Rand Kirshner) notes added 5.4.13:

Mirrors and rain are themes in this episode. The mirror of family and the rain is the sadness Xander feels as he uses his family as a mirror to himself? I'm making that up. I wonder if the reason I'm not dealing well with these commentaries is that it's very overstimulating. I'm supposed to do four of these today and I'm on episode three and I'm just exhausted and I've only written like 7 paragraphs. I'm spending all my brainpower trying to find something to write about. Their conversations, understandably, are not planned out, not linear. They're as hard to understand as real life conversations. The fantasy of Buffy and the Joss-talk of the characters makes more sense to me than two people that MADE the art sitting in a room and talking about it. Hmm. I keep waiting to find my niche within these commentaries and I really want to quit, but I need to do this. I need to gather all the information/research on my favorite show ever so that I can eventually write a book about it. Or, failing that, perhaps I'll learn something along the way, writing-wise. I NEED to learn something, writing-wise, because I looked up some graduate degrees online the other day and I would have to go back and take a bunch of English classes to even qualify for a graduate program in writing. I can't afford that AND it sounds exhausting.

Perhaps I'll have an epiphany after watching 33 commentaries in the month of May whilst not really writing ANYTHING about the show while I'm supposed to be watching. Blurgh. Anyway, perhaps my epiphany will be that I cannot, however much I may want to, create my own writing school. There are some free writing courses online that might be total shizz, but I'll try those too. I'll try everything before resorting to more school debt, though I'd really love to be in school again. I love the atmosphere of school. I need to find discipline within myself. Focus beyond the cobwebs in my brain. I have a lot of ideas, but these commentaries are really making me feel like I'm wasting time. This particular one is a lot of bad jokes like the two of these people have never been in a room together. Just, why? Why do a commentary if it's useless? Which is how I tend to feel about a lot of conversations people have in life. There are actually many times (perhaps it's the Aspergers) wherein I feel I could be doing something so much better. I guess a lot of my life is just that. I could be spending my time better. I suppose we're all just chasing the best use of our time in life. As long as we are actively chasing it, we're doing the best we can, right? Right?

And every day is a struggle. I'm learning this. Even if I was David Solomon, writing for Buffy the Vampire Slayer for seven years, I'd still have to find something else after seven extremely fulfilling years working for the best year ever. Even if you win Rupaul's Drag Race in 2012 and you make the best of it by working your ass off all year (Sharon Needles, obviously), you still have to relinquish your crown in 2013. And reconcile the downtimes after the extremely UPtimes. Sort of how I feel now. I had an incredible month of April watching and writing about Buffy and now it's May and I'm attempting to carry on my discipline and keep writing and it's hard and it's not the same and I need to figure out how to do this again. I've been writing about me while Xander and Anya's relationship is ending. Bla bla bla. It is hard though, because all the while I'm writing this, I don't know if anyone reads it. But this is what people do. They do what they're passionate about, without recognition or validation, and they keep doing it until they reach those rare epiphany moments, right? Right?