Buffy Newbie – Journal 4
December 19, 2012
Warning, contains spoilers
*sob* Angel… how could you do that to me… erm, I mean… Buffy.
I totally wasn’t expecting that. Shit just got real.
He turns bad! I mean really bad.
For those of you who weren’t following…. Angel is the vampire who was cursed with a soul,, leaving him tortured and moody. Apparently if he experiences ‘true happiness’ his curse will be lifted. And all it took was him and Buffy have sex for the first time. (I just wish kinda that it hadn’t happened that way. It’s too much like punishing Buffy for having sex and that’s such an old and over-worn narrative.)
I did get really sucked into how their relationship developed and was pretty devastated for Buffy when he turned bad. I did however enjoy the scene where she almost kills him, but can’t quite bring herself to. When he taunts her after she hesitates, she walks away and says ‘give me time’.
But seriously, this is a great series. Xander and Cordelia hook up and thank goodness for that because Xander’s unrequited love for Buffy shtick was getting a bit possessive and annoying. We get to meet Willow’s boyfriend, Oz (Seth Green). They introduce him slowly, just a couple of minutes here and there. But his character develops nicely, he seems like a great guy, except for that whole turning into a werewolf thing. He even turns down having a revenge-at-Xander make-out session with Willow. This series is so refreshingly mature for the teen-genre.
But it also pretty dark at time. They kill off two pretty major characters. One was the ‘other’ Slayer. (Long story) and the other was Jenny Calendar (love interest for Giles). Turns out Jenny has been lying to them and was sent there to ensure Angel doesn’t achieve happiness. But Angel brutally kills her and dramatically and coldly lays her out on Giles’ bed to torment him. It was disturbing. Upsetting even. Awesome stuff.
Whedon sure doesn’t shy away from the tricky social commentary. There was an interesting episode where there is intimate partner violence, a guy kills his girlfriend and everyone except Buffy is pretty forgiving towards the guy. Buffy is unequivocally unforgiving, insisting that the guy is an a-hole and doesn’t deserve forgiveness, even when her friends do want to forgive him. Although there is a bit of parallel process as she clearly blames herself for causing Angel’s conversion. But it was pretty refreshing to see the ‘hero’ who is often the social conscience of a show, be very clear that this guy did not deserve her forgiveness.
Strangely soon after that there was an episode where Buffy is blamed for being assaulted by a guy and told to ‘dress more appropriately’. But I have to assume that because it was laid on so thickly that it was clearly commentary on the ridiculousness of blaming the victim.
There was a sinister part where the coach throws Buffy in to a sewer with a bunch of sea monsters who had ‘needs’. I felt pretty sick at that part and even when the coach was thrown in and essentially raped to death. Buffy said ‘Those boys sure loved their coach’ I felt squicky.
The last two episodes were brilliant. Buffy has to fight evil Angel who has just released a demon who will swallow the world by creating a vortex. Just before she kills him, Angel’s soul is restored by Willow. Buffy is faced with the terrible reality that they only way to destroy the demon is to kill Angel.
I watched with growing horror mixed with fascination when I realised she was kissing him goodbye. She ran him through with a sword and pushes him into the vortex.
This part is worthy of repeating.
The lead female character…..
…… ran her love interest through….. (As in she impaled him)
……. and pushed him in to a vortex.
I can think of very very few examples* when the lead female was a) the last person standing and b) had to kill of the lead guy. Typically the hero (usually male) is ‘rewarded’ with a woman, like a trophy. (Just think of just about all the classic James Bond films you’ve seen)
The last scene is Buffy getting on a bus and leaving town and that what’s I love about this series. No easy endings. He doesn’t bail her out. She kills Angel. And I mean really kills him.
She is faced with tough choices and has to make them and live with the consequences.
BRING ON SEASON THREE!!
*except now I did damn it. The remake of The Thing features a female lead who is the last woman standing at the end after slaying the last remaining man. Although, technically, he wasn’t a man anymore if you catch my drift.