In this episode, Cory and Laine discuss all the buildup Graduation Day, Part 1 brings! The Mayor threatening to eat people, the nuances of calling someone a brat, and of course the return of the Big Ole Honkin’ Knife.
Thanks for listening to our discussion of Season 3, Episode 21- Graduation Day, Part 1.
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Music for this episode is “Digging a Grave,” by Shadows from the Underground, and is used under license from Audiosocket.
One thought on “Episode 61: Graduation Day, Part 1”
I’m in the middle of listening to the episode, and wanted to comment on the great discussion you had on the Buffy-Giles and Faith-Mayor dynamics. I agree that the Mayor is absolutely more controlling of Faith, and I can also see how that might appeal to Faith. I obviously don’t think she’d want a parental figure who wanted to fully dominate her – she would never stand for that. But someone who would take it upon themselves to guide her and really claim to know her? That I could see, especially if she lacked any kind of structure or discipline otherwise. I mean, she was easily drawn in by Gwendolyn Post, who definitely had high expectations, very much in contrast to how Giles operates (also Giles’ focus was never really on Faith; not that it necessarily should have been). I think maybe Faith wanted someone to care enough about her or to see enough in her to have clear expectations of her, and to trust that she could meet them. The Mayor is so confident in how he interacts with her, that even though a dress might not feel like her, it shows in a way that he has plans and expectations for her that she is already more than living up to. I agree that it’s not very healthy, certainly, but I can see why that would appeal to Faith more than feeling more like an add-on member of the Scooby gang with no one ever focusing on her particularly.
Also completely agree about Faith being particularly menacing in this episode.
I also had a couple of notes about The Prom & Choices:
The Prom – I am someone who has some issues with Anya’s character and how she becomes a little more… weirdly innocent and naive over time. Her utter devotion to Xander is something I never fully bought, and I never particularly liked their relationship. But the biggest issue I think I have is with the narrative (that was somewhat present in Angel and even Whedon’s Age of Ultron movie) of the supernatural being as baffled/intrigued by humanity. Anya is the most long-running and in-depth example of that kind of arc, where she’s turned in to a human and has to deal with that. And it mostly bugs me because it leads to some huge generalizations about humanity. And those generalizations tend to focus on romantic/sexual love, along with things like grief and compassion and bravery. And really, all of this kind of bugs me, because I think any generalizations about ‘what makes us human’ are almost always trite and false – people grieve in innumerable different ways, people experience romantic/sexual love in completely different ways (or not at all), etc. Anya is technically now a human woman (girl?) in high school, so now she of course must have someone (Xander) take her to the prom, as all human girls want. That’s what makes them human, and not demons, right? It just grates on me, personally. I like how, in season 6/7, this is kind of walked back and examined because it’s made clear that Anya has largely come to define herself by being Xander’s love interest- that’s how she defines her own humanity, and then by the end of the series she has kind of started to define it in a different way, and I think that’s an interesting track to take.
Choices – I was never a fan of Willow’s speech to Faith in the Mayor’s office; I mean, yes, she held her own, and it’s not like Faith was in the right here – she’s on the side of bad, after all. But like, we see how Willow reacts when some really difficult stuff happens to her in season 6. I know it hasn’t happened at this point, but the confidence that Willow is aiming at Faith here just feels kind of naive to me. Willow’s life hasn’t been totally easy, and I can see how she wouldn’t be empathetic to Faith, especially after her defection, but she’s also coming from a relatively privileged pov and acting like Faith is just weak and awful, when really we see over the next few seasons that Willow’s own issues and insecurities just haven’t had a chance to crop up and do much damage yet. It’s not that I dislike the fight they have, or think it’s out of character for Willow. I think it’s a well written scene. I think I just don’t get a ‘nice takedown!’ kind of reaction to it, if that makes sense. But obviously I find Faith to be a super interesting character so I might be kind of biased there. 😉
Once again thank you for letting me ramble. I feel like these comments make it sound like I didn’t like these episodes, but I swear I do – this is just the stuff that stuck out to me to comment on.