In this episode, Laine and Cory discuss how sweet Anya is, the fashion of the late 90s, Angel’s lurking, and of course Buffy and Spike.
On a more serious note, while we discuss a fictionalized version of the Chumash, I think it’s important to remember that the Chumash people are a real tribe that you can learn more about here.
Thanks for listening to our discussion of Season 4, Episode 8: Pangs.
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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 71: Pangs”
This episode is really a difficult one, as you both said, because on the one hand it’s hilarious, and has so many quotable moments, and on the other hand it’s kind of infuriating. And I think what you brought up from the Métis in Space podcast episode (will have to give that a listen) really gets at why the infuriating part IS infuriating. Because the premise is so flawed that the arguments presented in the episode, from Willow’s guilt and lecturing about language to Spike’s (and Giles’) much more seemingly matter-of-fact takes, are actually ridiculous. Because no tribe is trying to enact vengeance like the spirit in this episode, and it makes it look like the only choices for non-indigenous people are either performing white guilt or just not giving a f*ck. And in the episode, not giving a f*ck actually seems to win out as the more sane reaction. Which is kind of terrible, because it makes it seem like there aren’t indigenous people who are very much living now and who deserve to be heard. I like that you compared it to the trolley problem because it’s much more of a thought experiment than a feasible situation, but the fact that they used real groups of people, where real actions CAN be taken, to do that makes the whole thing kind of meaningless. It also bugs me that instead of leaving it as this kind of difficult, unsolvable question, the show actually DOES seem the be saying that basically Spike is the closest to “right,” when his response is basically saying “well, bad things happen, genocides, whatever, I don’t care” (which is in-character for Spike at this point, but is also very blatantly disregarding human life). He’s right to call out Willow’s hand-wringing but again BOTH arguments are bad because the premise is bad. But it still feels like the show is trying to say something that they want the audience to listen to and that makes it worse, for me. It feels kind of smug, and didactic, like it’s taking a swing at PC culture but only offering an alternative of just not caring.
I say all that and I still think this episode is hilarious! All the lines you quoted are laugh-out-loud lines for me. The last shot, where everyone stares at Buffy (I didn’t even realize it was a reverse Norman Rockwell shot, that’s awesome) and Spike gets this smirk on his face? That’s such a great shot! So I’ll end up rewatching it and switch between angrily muttering to myself and cracking up.