Join us as we welcome Season 2! Cory and Laine talk about unintentional Aliens quotes, full copper repipes, and uncovering Master bones of exasperation.
Thanks for joining us for Season 2, Episode 1- When She Was Bad.
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Music for this episode is “Digging a Grave,” by Shadows from the Underground, and is used under license from Magnatune.
2 thoughts on “Episode 15: When She Was Bad”
I took the time to watch this episode twice; once before listening to the podcast, and once after. Lane had said that she had trouble connecting with Buffy this episode. As someone who has been raped, sexually molested, and abused, I can understand what is going on with her. Mind you, it doesn’t excuse her behavior, but Buffy was essentially raped. The Master, when he killed her, took her power from her, making her defenseless, vulnerable, and victimizing her when she has always been in control and so strong. Being brought back by Xander was also something she had no real power over, though she didn’t want to die. While she is grateful for being alive, I can tell that she resents it because now she has this major trauma she has to deal with and the aftermath of The Master’s death. There are so many ways people going through trauma deal with their pain. Pushing people away is safer for her because who will get hurt if she has no one really on her side? If she pushes people away, then she won’t have to watch them die as well, or worry that they’re next if she fails. Now, the term “bitch” is one that I honestly did use in referring to her behavior as being bitchy. I personally don’t have an issue with that word, but that’s just me. But the whole deal with her dancing like she was with Xander, trying to create a rift between herself, Willow and Angel with that scene in The Bronx, that was a bitch move. She was out to hurt people to make them leave her alone. All Summer she was away with her dad and didn’t have to be around them. While being stuck in her head the whole time, she never really dealt with what happened to her, and that it happened *to* her not she *chose* this to happen. The whole slayer gig takes away her choice on certain aspects as we see with her test later on when Giles is hypnotizing her and drugging her. Were she in a position to chose, it would have played out differently. But in the last episode of season one, she felt compelled to fulfill what had been written. In the scene where Buffy is pounding The Master into “talcum powder”, it is her finally getting to have some peace in regards to the one who took her power from her, and her life. And yes Cory, the last finger on the hand is the middle finger which I find hilarious. One thing that really bugged me was that as soon as Buffy was back in town, Willow went back to being “second choice” for Xander. What’s wrong with Willow? She cute! Honestly it bugs me that he had a whole Summer of being around Willow and they pretty much kissed, until the space invader, sorry vampire, decides he wants to try kissing, I mean killing. one of them, and then Buffy shows up from nowhere and saves them. He immediately brushes off Willow because Buffy is back. Poor Willow deserves better. Where is Oz? *pouty face* Never mind his nephew bites him and he becomes a werewolf. He was so sweet. But I was glad to see that everyone in The Scooby Gang understood why she was so cruel and distant. I’m glad she got her closure, because a lot of rape victims don’t get that.
I’m catching up now (in the middle of going from one job to the next & moving, so I’ve had a weird schedule the past couple of weeks), and I wanted to note a couple of things:
I really appreciate your discussion of Buffy’s behavior in this episode. I’ve always personally had some trouble connecting the way she was acting with her character or with a sense of realism. I get the idea of pushing people away, but the WAY she does that in this episode just rings false to me. But that is likely me projecting on how my own behavior would be – she was flat out nasty in some scenes, in a way where it didn’t seem to me like she was trying to push people away; it just seemed like she was trying to hurt them. That said, I do know people irl who do that- who use that as a tactic to push people away rather than just telling them to back off or withdrawing. I agree with Laine that the behavior Hank describes seems more relatable to me personally, but I definitely take Cory’s point that Buffy might feel ambushed, coming back to Sunnydale and HAVING to deal with this again, immediately. Being thrown right back into things, because even though what happened to her was traumatic, this is still her responsibility and there’s no one (that we know of yet…) who can just take over for her. The way she went about it still seems more cruel than just pushing people away, but people react to things differently.
Re: Spike & Cordelia – I too think there’s a resemblance between Spike and Cordelia in their overall perceptiveness and lack of tact (tact is just not saying true stuff, after all). But I’m personally wary of assigning either of them any kind of omniscience (not that either of you were doing this; I’ve just seen it happen a lot in fandom), and I think the writers had a tendency to do that. They are both perceptive characters but they are in no way always right, and I think the writers sometimes forget that. Every character on the show has biases and blind spots. Spike and Cordelia’s views of or takes on Buffy might be more perceptive in certain ways, in that they can perceive different sides of Buffy that others don’t necessarily notice, but they are no more objective than anyone else’s.
I love the discussion of the awkward transition after the end of season one with the Anointed One. I do think they didn’t really know what to do with him after the end of season one (and I wonder how much of this has to do with the fact that for most seasons, by the time they filmed a season finale, they weren’t necessarily sure they’d be picked up for another season). I too love how the ‘Annoying One’ is eventually dispatched, though, and wouldn’t give that up either.
I didn’t mind Absalom, because I didn’t really think he would ever be a more present character. For when season 7 eventually comes up, I’ll be interested to see what you both think about Caleb. I agree that Nathan Fillon is a charismatic actor (I remember loving him on Two Guys & A Girl :)) but I was never a fan of Caleb b/c the religious misogyny just seemed to be so poorly/broadly written.
And thank you both for discussing some of the problematic aspects of how female sexuality is portrayed in this show. I think for the time this aired there were many, many progressive aspects of this show, but the tropes it relied on to move the story forward were often… not. Good slayer/bad slayer sometimes (w/r/t wardrobe, behavior with men, etc.) does feel a little too close to the virgin/whore archetype.
Once again, thanks for letting me ramble on, and for your great points and discussions on the podcast. 🙂