All of it, pretty damn wonderful. I especially like ASH's impersonation of a panicking theatre director, based on personal experience?
Cheeseman; "I wear the cheese, it does not wear me"
Women good/men bad;
Dark haired Buffy's rant against Cowboy guy Riley
The First Slayer scalping Giles
Willow and Tara hooker up! How gorgeous is Joyce in her nightie? What a MILF! I never appreciated it until just this moment. About the weirdest fanfic I ever read concerned Willow having S&M sex with the cheese guy, him melting cheese over her nude body. Joss says that when Buffy rubs the mud over her face the idea was that she was being overwhelmed by her primal Slayer instincts but actually looks like she was having a facial. I'd say it looks more like she's a stripper/porn star (which she plays in Southland Tales) doing her 'tigress in heat' leer? Harmony in her milkmaid outfit is also very cute. The sign at the funfair vamp actually says 'I crack for a buck' but that's not what I thought it said first time I saw it.
Calling Captain Subtext;
ALL OF IT! Especially Willow and Tara in the sexiest scene you never saw but fervently imagined. What's the poem in Greek letters Willow is writing on Tara's back? By Sappho perhaps? (very Xena). And how lovely is Amber, such an unothordox beauty. Xander refers to Willow and Tara 'doing spells'. Hmmmm? Tara also tells Willow she doesn't know everything about her, her supposed demon side.
Check out dark-haired Buffy berating gun toting Riley over the death of Xander and the evil of men. Substitute Warren for Riley, DarkWillow for Buffy and Tara for Xander and you have the end of season 6. Riley has often been compared to Gary Cooper and here he's a cowboy. Of course the irony is that Gary Cooper despite his wholesome image was a notorious womaniser and Riley will go to his vampwhores in season 5. The scene with Adam and Riley and the gun between them also refers to Warren and Tara. Adam challenges Buffy that she has demon essence in her which we'll find in out in 'Get it done'. Riley leaves, Joss already thinking about him going.
Spike's sideshow freak appearance is indicative of his role in later seasons, vampire in love with the Slayer and then vamp with soul, sacrificial lamb in the end. The scenes with Spike and Giles on the swings seem to suggest that Spike will fufill the role of Giles to Buffy once Giles leaves again for the UK, her 'daddy' figure. You wonder what might have happened if Giles had hung around in season 6? Guffy? Their conversation also portends to the Loan Shark from Tabula Rusa (and Angel Season 6) The clock reads 730 which is the same as in Graduation Day pt2, counting down to Dawn and Dawn is the kitten (as she was the cat in Faith and Buffy's dream in GDpt2).
Buffy refers to Xander as big brother, wonderful and loving but not sexual. In fact Buffy is the one girl Xander never thinks about sexually in his dream. He says 'it get's better' and indeed it does for him, he's not left behind by his friends as he fears. Although Xuffers still hold out for something to happen in season 8 (and given Buffy's fantasy in issue 2 maybe they still have a point?). Anya talks about getting back into vengence which she will in seasons 6/7. Xander's dad is not the same actor we meet in season 6, he rather reminds me of an angry version of Willy the snitch.
Buffy refers to being a fireman which portends to 'Once more with feeling'. We see Willow having a fit on a sofa and Buffy saying 'I can fight this thing' portending to Joyce dying on the couch and Buffy's inability to fight a disease despite all her Slayer powers. We later see Joyce entombed in the wall with Buffy leaving her behind to go on with her friends. And her little sis.
Giles tells Buffy 'it's been like this between men and women since the beginning' but she rejects that, she won't play the Shadowmen's/Councils game as we see from her rejection of the First Slayer's values, that the First Slayer is not 'the source of me'. Note the vamp at the funfair is 'Drac'. In Spike's tomb Buffy is gone with Olivia weeping over an empty pram, portending Giles' leaving a Buffy who no longer needs his guidance.
Riley and Adam plotting world domination because "We're the goverment baby, it's what we do".
Scoobies in bondage: Xander tied in his confrontation with Snyder (amazingly unless someone can correct me his first time?).
Scoobies knocked out:
Buffy: 79 vamps, 28 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot
Giles: 5 vamps, 1 demon
Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon
Will: 4 vamps
Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human
Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie
Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans
Xander: 5 vamps, 2 zombies, a demon, a demon
Anya: a demon
Riley; 12 vamps + 7 demons
Scoobies go evil:
Recurring characters killed: 10, no but wonderful to see Snyder back again, Armin Shimmerman giving a terrific performance as a much thinner Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now
Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara
Total number of scoobies: 7
Giles, Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Tara, Riley
Xander demon magnet: 5
Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?)
Notches on Scooby bedpost:
Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny
Buffy: 3; Angel, Parker, Riley
Joyce: 1;Giles, possibly Ted
Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca
Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley
Xander: 2; Faith, Anya
Willow: 2;Oz and Tara
Questions and observations;
How lovely to see season 1 Willow again, she's just so cute. In case you didn't know the Bay of Pigs was the ill-fated CIA backed invasion of Castro's Cuba by anti-communist exiles. Will also refers to her experience of stagefright in 'Nightmares'. Once again great to see Oz back, the last appearance of him in the show and for Olivia too. Once again Buffy triumphs because she is the unconventional Slayer, she's more than just the Slayer, she lives in the world too. No matter how many times I watch this I can never tell, is it Tara or Anya in bed telling Buffy she has to wake up?
Asian Joe sitting behind Oz in class, great to see him again. The clip they watch of Apocalypse Now isn't much like the film, sounds more like Hamburger Hill. After hearing Joss commentary I duly looked up Twin Peaks on IMDB and Wiki and it was a supernatural detective show Kyle Machaclan made before Desperate Housewives but I'm still none the wiser as to what the significance of the red curtains is?
Marks out of 10; 10/10, no trouble.
Rumours about season 5;
I heard a load of rumours about plotlines in season 5, more than any other year of the show. In no particular order;
1) Xander would turn out to be Glory or one of the other Hellgods from her dimension, Willow would turn evil and be the one to bleed Dawn
2) Dawn would touch Joyce's corpse at the end of The Body and bring her back to life with her Key powers
3) Faith would be released from jail and end up sacrificing herself to save Buffy in the final battle with Glory
4) Drusilla/Dracula would seduce Buffy who'd then allow herself to be sired. VampBuffy would then be the big bad for the season with Faith leading the Scoobies against her and her undead anti-Scoobies. In the season finale VampBuffy would taste Dawn's blood and be restored to normal by The Key's power.
5) Spike falling in love with Buffy and then siring her because he thinks that's the only way to make her love him. In the end he realises he doesn't love unsouled Buffy so uses magic to turn her back to normal.
6) Buffy and Xander get zapped by some demon and he gets her powers. She has to adapt to being ordinary whilst he revels in being a superhero but starts to lose control which is why the Slayer is always a girl.
7) Xander and Buffy would end up in Caritas singing karoke to get some guidance ('Wind beneath my wings'?)
Angel Investigations would show up for the final battle with Glory in Sunnydale along with Riley and Oz.
Now you can see how some of these ideas worked out. Ben rather than Xander is Glory whilst Willow will go evil and threaten Dawn in season 6. Rather than bring Joyce back to life Dawn gives Buffy the will to live in season 6. Faith will be released from jail to hunt Angelus on Angel season 4, Buffy will be the one who sacrifices herself. The Dru-sires-Buffy scenario sounds like a dark- slasher's fantasy but has elements of Buffy-vs-Dracula and Riley and his vampwhores. Dru actually sires Darla instead, Dawn's blood will play a major role in the season 5 finale and Buffy will turn temporarily against her friends in Normal Again. Faith will defeat Angelus by getting him to taste her blood in season 4 of Angel. Spike will fall in love with Buffy but get's his own soul back rather than take her's away. The Xander gets Buffy's powers idea becomes The Replacement, we find out in season 7 why the Slayer is female whilst Riley will return in season 6.