Rewatching Buffy – Episode 123

buffy-titleWelcome to Rewatching Buffy, the part of the blog where I rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Each Tuesday evening, you’re invited to join me as I attempt to rediscover what made me love this show so many years ago.

A bit of a disclaimer before we get started with this seventh and final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s been fairly easy to keep Buffy and Angel running concurrently for past seasons. They aired back to back on The WB for two years, then there were no crossovers once Buffy moved to UPN. However, that’s a little different for Season 7 here and Season 4 there. These series did not air on the same night and they both began and ended in different weeks. Since it’s crucial that the endings line up the way they need to, I’ll be playing around with how I schedule these posts until we reach the Buffy series finale. Most weeks will still have two posts, one for each series. However, there are a few weeks here and there that will only feature one episode, like this week. There will be no Angel post following this Buffy post. Gotta wait until next week for that one. Okay… that took too long to explain.

Lessons

  • We open Season 7 in Istanbul (not Constantinople).
  • A girl is running through some surprisingly empty streets considering this is a city of 20 million.
  • She’s being chased by some sketchy characters in hooded robes.
  • I’m thinking Jedi.
  • She climbs a house, thinking she’s gotten away, but she’s thrown off by a hooded figure waiting for her.
  • Three of them pin her down while one pulls out a curved knife and stabs her.
  • Judging by the knife, I’m not thinking Jedi anymore.
  • I know who they are, having seen the entire series a million times, but the first time, I remember thinking they sure reminded me of the Harbingers from the Season 3 episode, Amends.
  • Buffy and Dawn are in a cemetery waiting for a vampire to rise.
  • Buffy is teaching Dawn to slay vampires.
  • Dawn stakes the vampire, but misses the heart, which doesn’t bode well for the fight.
  • Buffy winds up beheading the vampire to save Dawn, but she’s showing improvement.
  • And then Buffy warns her that things used to be predictable, but now they have no idea what’s to come.
  • Which leads us to the ribbon cutting ceremony at the brand-new, state-of-the-art Sunnydale High School.
  • Giles is riding a horse in the English countryside.
  • He finds Willow using magic to grow a flower native to Paraguay.
  • Willow has spent time learning about the use of magic and how everything is connected.
  • Willow is still scared of her own power and she knows the coven that’s sheltering her is scared of her, too.
  • She tells Giles she was expecting to be brought to England to be locked away or have the power taken from her.
  • She just wants to be Willow again.
  • Fun fact: these scenes in England were filmed at Anthony Stewart Head’s (Giles) home.
  • On the first day of school, Xander shows up at the house with the blueprints for the school.
  • Doesn’t look like there’s anything horribly evil lurking… yet.
  • But he does point out that the principal’s office sits atop the same spot where the library once sat… the Hellmouth.
  • “So, the principal’s evil?”
  • Not necessarily, but Xander does point out that the last two principals were eaten, so who would want that job?
  • At the school, Principal Robin Wood introduces himself to Buffy and Dawn.
  • This principal clearly knows more about Buffy than he’s letting on.
  • Once classes begin, Buffy decides to give herself a tour of the new school.
  • She follows a suspicious student who seems suspicious.
  • In a bathroom, she finds some kind of strange object and encounters two ghostly apparitions…
  • One is a dead girl who warns her, “You can’t protect her! You couldn’t protect me!”
  • Then, what looks like a dead janitor comes at her, screaming to get out.
  • Dawn is introducing herself to the class and telling about herself in very much a way that is clearly scripted because no high school sophomore is going to stand up and say the things she’s saying.
  • Buffy barges in and warns that it’s not safe… but she just looks crazy and leaves again.
  • At a coffee shop, Anya and Hafrek are discussing the vengeance game.
  • Hallie warns Anya that she’s gone soft.
  • Apparently Anya isn’t killing or eviscerating or goading women into being creative with their wishes.
  • Halfrek warns her that something is stirring and this is not the time to be one of the good guys.
  • The kid sitting next to Dawn asks to borrow a pencil.
  • He turns out to be a dead guy who takes the pencil and stabs Dawn in the face with it.
  • Except he doesn’t… I guess it’s a hallucination.
  • Dawn asks to go to the restroom, where she hears someone crying, but she doesn’t see anyone.
  • She checks the stalls and finds a girl who is terrified, saying someone’s in there with them.
  • Dawn and this new girl, Kit, bond over their shared scary experiences.
  • Then they see the three ghosts that we’ve already seen in the mirror, the lights go crazy, and the floor opens up beneath them.
  • Meanwhile, Buffy runs into the principal again, who reveals that he actually does know more than he was letting on.
  • Back in England, Willow is having some kind of episode and Giles is trying to calm her.
  • Willow had a vision of the Hellmouth opening… “It’s gonna swallow us all.”
  • In the school basement, Dawn and Kit recover from their fall and look for a staircase.
  • Principal Wood reveals that the school board suggested he read Buffy Summers’ file.
  • Dawn and Kit run into the suspicious kid Buffy was following earlier.
  • He came down to smoke, but got lost.
  • Then they’re all confronted by the dead trio.
  • Dawn calls Buffy on her brand new cell phone and gets her to find her way to the basement.
  • Buffy has no luck finding the kids, but finds the dead janitor.
  • And the other two.
  • They try to make her feel guilty about letting them die, but it really doesn’t work.
  • Buffy’s aware that she can’t save everyone.
  • Then she realizes they’re between her and a door, so she fights with them and gets through, thinking Dawn is on the other side.
  • Instead, she finds Spike.
  • He’s not looking great and he’s clearly not all there at the moment.
  • We know it’s because he’s got his soul back and it’s driving him mad.
  • Buffy has no clue what’s wrong with him.
  • She sees scratches on his chest and he says, “I tried to cut it out.”
  • Dawn calls Buffy again and she reluctantly leaves Spike to stew in his crazy.
  • While Buffy’s looking for the kids again, Dawn tries to fight off the undead guys.
  • Buffy arrives in time to take down the undead while Xander finds the talisman that Buffy found in the bathroom earlier.
  • He manages to break the thing, causing the undead to disappear.
  • Question is, who put the talisman there to recall these dead people?
  • Buffy gives the kids the “you’ll be okay” speech and tells them to stick together.
  • Kinda gives the episode a “series reboot” vibe.
  • If only this wasn’t the beginning of the final season.
  • Principal Wood offers Buffy a job as sort of a counselor.
  • Which is suspicious all on its own… because who hires someone without so much as a bachelor’s degree to work as a counselor?
  • Back in the basement, Spike is talking to someone.
  • Turns out it’s Warren.
  • Or is it Glory?
  • Or is it Adam?
  • Mayor Wilkins?
  • Drusilla?
  • The Master?
  • Buffy?
  • Confused yet?
  • Stay tuned, kids.
  • Body count: No one died… except for those already dead. They don’t count.
  • Edit… I completely forgot about the girl at the beginning of the episode… 1 human.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s