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Buffy Season 1: 20th Anniversary Rewatch Thread
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Grace Newman
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Joined: 18 Jan 2017
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Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Overall impression of this episode? Did anything stand out on rewatch? Oddly, this is probably my least favorite episode of Season 1. I don't think it's bad, and the concept is a good one, but I just don't love it.

bonnaleah wrote:
Marcie's flashback scenes are pretty heartbreaking and I think ask the viewer to empathize with what Marcie is experiencing. The flashback in the bathroom was very poignant and powerful and the actress playing Marcie was nothing short of spectacular in selling the scene.


I agree with this. In the flashback scenes, I like Marcie and sympathize with her, but I have a lot of trouble with the "thundering looney" invisible Marcie. The baseball bat scene in the teaser is really disturbing to me, and even on rewatch I expected to find out that Mitch did something truly horrible to Marcie, but then we find out it's just because he's Cordelia's boyfriend.

I think the reason I don't really connect to this episode is because I don't feel sympathy for Cordelia and the sympathy I have for Marcie is undercut by her madness.

2. How did you react to learning more about Cordelia? I have to agree with bonnaleah on this one. Cordy is just not sympathetic yet, at least to me.

I thought Marcie was on the money when she said: "Yeah, I'll *bet* you know how I feel. I'm sure you can just be with all your friends and feel so alone 'cause they don't really know you. You're just a typical, self-involved, spoiled little brat, and you think you can charm your way out of this, don't you?!"

I did like that Cordelia finally said thank you to Buffy, though. This has to be at least the third time Buffy has directly saved her.

3. Angel's back! What did you make of his conversation with Giles, including the famous line, "A vampire in love with a slayer. ... It's rather poetic, in a maudlin sort of way." Of course, I thought it was great. This is a silly question. Smile

I did like noticing how nervous Giles was during their conversation, though.

(Also, it made me think of Buffy's line in IWRY, when she's talking about Angel coming back to Sunnydale and not letting her see him. "What is this? Some new torment you cooked up just for me?" Clearly, there's nothing new about it! Though obviously, he doesn't mean to torment her.)

6. Favorite lines/scenes? Yes, I laughed at Xander's "Maybe it's a vampire bat." And I liked, "Can you say 'gulp'?"

I also liked Giles' line: "Once again I teeter at the precipice of the generation gap."

Also, a little bit of trivia: I remembered Gail Berman (who had the idea to make BtVS a TV series) mentioned this episode in the 20th anniversary interview she did with The Hollywood Reporter.

Quote:
When I heard the story of the "invisible girl" [from season one's 11th episode "Out of Mind, Out of Sight,"] that's something I could understand, very well. It was my favorite early story because I totally understood that a girl who felt invisible and no one paid attention to would ultimately become, invisible. There was just so much pain and anger in that story. It was so impactful to me. And the invisible girl was named after my assistant Marcy Ross, who is now the president of [production company] Skydance Television (Netflix's Grace and Frankie). Marcy and I are probably the only ones who would say that's our favorite episode, but there's a real reason for it.
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bonnaleah
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Joined: 28 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prophecy Girl
Written and directed by Joss Whedon
original airdate June 7 1997

Episode Summary From: Buffy.com


At the Bronze, Xander rehearses asking Buffy out to the prom by trying his speech out on lovesick Willow. Meanwhile, Buffy is having a closer call than usual with her vampire attackers. Giles reads a frightening prophecy about the Master and the Slayer, and an earthquake hits Sunnydale.

Buffy tells Giles about her attack, and lets him know that she's starting to get scared. When Xander finally gets the nerve to ask her out, she turns him down, saying she doesn't think of him "that way" and doesn't want to spoil their friendship. In the library, Giles and Ms. Calendar discuss the prophecy: the earthquake, along with several strange occurrences in Sunnydale, seem to confirm that the apocalypse is near. Buffy overhears Giles telling Angel, "Tomorrow she'll face the Master and she will die." Buffy freaks out and tells Giles she wants to quit. More signs of the end appear: a roomful of students, including Cordelia's new beau, are found dead at school, totally unnerving Willow, who discovers their bodies. Buffy decides that even though she's afraid, only she can try to save the world by facing the Master. She goes out with a crossbow, and the Anointed One leads her to the Master. Meanwhile, Xander enlists Angel's help in trying to protect Buffy.

The Master bites Buffy, and she drops into a puddle. This allows him to break through to the "other side." Xander and Angel find Buffy, and Xander is able to revive her using CPR. Meanwhile, Cordelia, Willow and Ms. Calendar find themselves driving through a sea of vampires in the streets. They try to escape to the library, but the undead follow them. As they try to fight them off, a huge, horrific monster comes up through the floor and attacks them. Buffy makes it back to the school and fights the Master on the roof. She throws him through the roof window and he falls through, getting impaled on the way down. He disintegrates, and the monster and the vampires disappear with him.

"We saved the world. I say we party," exclaims Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


In the opening scene while Xander is practicing asking Buffy to to the dance, he says "there's never been anyone else for me but you"....while Willow seems to be dreamily pretending his words are directed at her. I know Xander is just a teenage boy and that teenagers want what they want when they want it, but I still think Xander should have been considerate of Willow's feelings. It isn't as if he isn't aware of Willow's feelings for him. "The Pack" showed us that he's well aware of Willow's crush on him. So I think Xander was pretty insensitive in this scene. And he's on a roll since he doesn't take Buffy's rejection well...

Xander: Nah. Forget it. (gets up) I'm not him. I mean, I guess a guy's gotta be undead to make time with you.

I don't blame Xander for trying to hook up with Buffy but I do have problems with his mean spirited reply. Again it's not as if he doesn't know that Buffy has a thing for Angel...He's the one who a few episodes back, asked Buffy in disbelief, "You're in love with a vampire"?

And then Xander thinks he will fall back on his old faithful and take Willow to the dance. I liked that Willow turned him down. Xander didn't begin this episode on a good note but I wonder if he was written this way to show a strong contrast between a normal teenager, and how they react when things don't go their way, and Buffy, who doesn't have the luxury of reacting like a normal teenager. Xander says some harsh words to Buffy and pouts to country music because he is turned down by Buffy vs Buffy says a few harsh words to Giles and Angel and tries to quit because she finds out she is going to die. Buffy carries the weight of the world on her back while other teenagers worry about a date for the school dance. I don't think that makes Xander and the other teenagers bad...it just makes Buffy extraordinary.


Is it forshadowing that Giles tells Jenny he doesn't know if he can trust her in light of her upcoming betrayal of Buffy?

Poor Giles has read the prophecy in the codex and has spent all night researching...he's so upset that he has called Angel. Angel thinks there has to be a way around the prophecy...that they just need to find it... but Giles is very convincing....

Giles: Listen. Some prophecies are, are a bit dodgy. They're, they're mutable. Buffy herself has, has thwarted them time and time again, but this is the Codex. There is nothing in it that does not come to pass.

Angel: Then you're reading it wrong.

Giles: I wish to God I were! But it's very plain! Tomorrow night Buffy will face the Master, and she will die.



I always figured Angel had accepted Giles's certainty about the prophecy as truth and truly believed he couldn't do anything to stop it.


When Buffy entered the library and saw Angel she had that look of happy surprise on her face that she always has at just the mention of Angel. It was heartbreaking to see that look turn to horror as she heard what he and Giles were saying.

When I first watched I was so hoping Joyce would agree to leave town for the weekend, and I couldn't blame Buffy for wanting to run away. I love that Joyce had splurged on Buffy's dress and had surprised her with it. And I love the encouraging talk she had with Buffy. If Buffy were a normal teenager, with a normal life, it would have been perfect parental advice. I think Joyce was a good mother considering that she didn't know Buffy was the slayer. And then this...

Joyce: Says who? Is it written somewhere? You should do what you want.

The way Buffy looked up at Joyce when she asked if it were written somewhere...my heart just broke for her.

So Cordelia? I believe she really had fallen for Kevin. She believed he had totally flaked on her...on her of all people....and she didn't even care...in fact she thought it was cute. That's brand new territory for Cordy. The scene where she and Willow find Kevin and the other boys dead was really creepy...especially the bloodstained tv screen over the cartoon pigs dancing.

Buffy had apparently decided to go to the dance. She had the new dress on and her hair was done. She looked very beautiful. But then she found out what happened at the school and her love for Willow changed everything. When Buffy told Willow to take care, she thought she would never see Willow again.

I love that Giles was going to try and stop the Master and I love that Buffy stopped him. It says so much about Buffy's heart, her maturity, and her selfless nature that at 16 years old, she willingly set out to stop the Master, all the while believing she would die before the night was over. When she saw the anointed one and took his hand she said to him that it was alright...she knew who he was....and that should have been a clue that prophecies aren't always 100% correct...the prophecy had said about the anointed one that the slayer wouldn't know him and that he would lead her into hell. Buffy knew who he was and she went willingly.

I thought it was funny how Willow and Xander were all pissy about Jenny being part of the group now. And Xander. for all his not so sterling qualities, has an equal amount of pretty heroic qualities. This guy is just recklessly brave. He despises Angel but he goes to him for help anyway, and challenges Angel to be the guy Buffy thinks he is. That makes Angel pretty brave also since he knows the strength of the Master, truly believes there is no way to save Buffy and probably thinks they will both end up dead. I like the acknowledgement that both of them are in love with Buffy and I liked seeing them work together as a team.

I've always loved the creepy look and feel of the Masters lair and I thought it was all pretty suspenseful. My heart sank when the Master said this...

Master: You tried. It was noble of you. You heard the prophecy that I was about to break free and you came to stop me. But prophecies are tricky creatures. They don't tell you everything. (whispers) You're the one that sets me free! (gloats) If you hadn't come, I couldn't go. (whispers) Think about that!

So I guess Buffy could have just went to the dance, or went away for the weekend and the Master would have remained trapped.

At first watch I didn't think anything about the Masters hypnotic abilities....but now it's something I ponder. The only other vampires to show this ability have been Drusilla and maybe Dracula. And Dracula I don't really even consider since he already had his own mytho's before entering the verse. Drusilla is a descendant of the Master and is part of the order of Aurelius...so that could explain her hypnotic power I guess. But what then of Darla, Angel, and Spike? They are also from the order of Aurelius and none of them have ever shown this power. I can't imagine they wouldn't have used it if they had it, so I'm curious as to why the only vampires who seem to have this ability are the Master and Drusilla. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

I love the shared smile between Angel and Xander after Buffy is revived. They hate each others guts but they have worked together, and won, and so they took an unguarded moment of shared happiness with each other.

It used to puzzle me why Buffy felt so good after being revived. But it finally dawned on me that it was because she had faced her fear of the Master, and just like the Master had told her in 'Nightmares", when you face your fear it no longer has any power over you. I think the episode would have been better served if it had done away with playing the theme song during the power walk back to the library. Otherwise it was a perfect episode, and my favorite from S1.

Another anomaly is why did the Masters bones remain after he was killed instead of going poof like all the others?


Gotta love the way Cordy drives right into the school. The library scene was way cool although the library itself is pretty much toast, what with the earthquake and the demons rising in it. I absolutely loved Cordy biting the vampires hand and saying, "see how you like it' That is just so Cordelia.
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Grace Newman
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Joined: 18 Jan 2017
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Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for getting us started, bonnaleah!

I adore the opening scenes of this episode. The contrast between Willow and Xander's "normal" teenage night at the Bronze with Buffy's slaying, Joss' amazing direction of the fight scene, the Master's classic villain routine punctuated by an earthquake joke -- it all works so well. I was thinking a lot about "The Gift" while watching this episode, and I think it's a great touch that we see Buffy take out a single vampire in both teasers. (I couldn't help but remember "You're just a girl." / "That's what I keep saying.")


bonnaleah wrote:
Xander didn't begin this episode on a good note but I wonder if he was written this way to show a strong contrast between a normal teenager, and how they react when things don't go their way, and Buffy, who doesn't have the luxury of reacting like a normal teenager. Xander says some harsh words to Buffy and pouts to country music because he is turned down by Buffy vs Buffy says a few harsh words to Giles and Angel and tries to quit because she finds out she is going to die. Buffy carries the weight of the world on her back while other teenagers worry about a date for the school dance. I don't think that makes Xander and the other teenagers bad...it just makes Buffy extraordinary.


This is a really good point. It's interesting that Xander recovered from his bad reaction and went on to bring Buffy back to life, despite her rejection, just like Buffy recovered from her initial reaction and went on to defeat the Master.

bonnaleah wrote:
When Buffy entered the library and saw Angel she had that look of happy surprise on her face that she always has at just the mention of Angel. It was heartbreaking to see that look turn to horror as she heard what he and Giles were saying.


Yes, so much this. To go from that little bit of excitement to "Giles, I'm 16 years old. I don't want to die" in such a short time frame! My heart can't take it.

bonnaleah wrote:
So Cordelia? I believe she really had fallen for Kevin. She believed he had totally flaked on her...on her of all people....and she didn't even care...in fact she thought it was cute. That's brand new territory for Cordy.

bonnaleah wrote:
I absolutely loved Cordy biting the vampires hand and saying, "see how you like it' That is just so Cordelia.


This is definitely the first episode I like Cordelia in. She really comes through. But she doesn't have any better luck with romantic relationships than any other main characters on this show, sadly. (Also, do you think she dumped Mitch because of his face getting messed up before the dance? She was worried about the pictures! She moved on to Kevin pretty fast. But it did seem that Cordelia had changed post-Marcie (and through her feelings for Kevin), given that she was grieving and not complaining about how the May Queen was missing her own dance.)

bonnaleah wrote:
When she saw the anointed one and took his hand she said to him that it was alright...she knew who he was....and that should have been a clue that prophecies aren't always 100% correct...the prophecy had said about the anointed one that the slayer wouldn't know him and that he would lead her into hell. Buffy knew who he was and she went willingly.


I've been thinking about this, and I see two possible explanations. One is that Giles said, "Aurelius wrote of the Anointed One, 'The Slayer will not know him...'" I don't think Aurelius' writings are the same as the prophesies in the Codex, because Giles mentions reading Aurelius' writings in "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date," and he didn't have the Codex then. And he says in this episode that prophecies from other sources aren't as reliable as the Codex.

In addition, you COULD view the first part of the prophecy as already having come true in "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date." Buffy mistook the identity of the Anointed One then and missed the chance to take him out. And then later, he led her into the Hellmouth, fulfilling the rest of the prophecy.

bonnaleah wrote:
I've always loved the creepy look and feel of the Masters lair and I thought it was all pretty suspenseful. My heart sank when the Master said this...

Master: You tried. It was noble of you. You heard the prophecy that I was about to break free and you came to stop me. But prophecies are tricky creatures. They don't tell you everything. (whispers) You're the one that sets me free! (gloats) If you hadn't come, I couldn't go. (whispers) Think about that!

So I guess Buffy could have just went to the dance, or went away for the weekend and the Master would have remained trapped.


My heart sank, too, but I've come around to thinking that, if Buffy had gone away or ignored the Master, her eventual fate would have been worse. Yes, she was the one to set him free, but that was ultimately so she could kill him. She had to truly leave her old life behind by dying and being reborn to have the strength to take him out. So the Master was actually the one who was misled by prophecy. Loser. Smile

bonnaleah wrote:
At first watch I didn't think anything about the Masters hypnotic abilities....but now it's something I ponder. The only other vampires to show this ability have been Drusilla and maybe Dracula. And Dracula I don't really even consider since he already had his own mytho's before entering the verse. Drusilla is a descendant of the Master and is part of the order of Aurelius...so that could explain her hypnotic power I guess. But what then of Darla, Angel, and Spike? They are also from the order of Aurelius and none of them have ever shown this power. I can't imagine they wouldn't have used it if they had it, so I'm curious as to why the only vampires who seem to have this ability are the Master and Drusilla. Anyone have any thoughts on that?


I always thought Dru's hypnotic abilities were tied to the psychic powers that she was born with. For the Master, I chalked it up to him being a "vampire king" as Giles called him. I think he and Dracula are the most powerful and oldest vampires we encounter, right?

In the context of the episode, though, I think it's probably supposed to be symbolic of the power that Buffy's own fear has over her. I do think it's a little weird that his power comes out of nowhere.

bonnaleah wrote:
Another anomaly is why did the Masters bones remain after he was killed instead of going poof like all the others?


Just like you can't kill Dracula by staking him, the very old and powerful Master leaves his bones behind so the Order of Aurelius can continue to bring him back, maybe? Some sort of bone enchantment? Smile

On a symbolic level, I think it's meant to show that while Buffy has faced her fears and truly accepted her calling, she isn't in the clear yet.

And speaking of fears, I thought it was interesting that all of the characters had to face fears in this episode, just like in "Nightmares." Xander goes first, like he did when he punched the clown, by asking Buffy out and facing rejection. Buffy, of course, has to face her fear of dying at the Master's hands. Giles faces his fear of Buffy dying by deciding to take her place, and Willow goes back to the high school after seeing the brutal murders and telling Buffy the vampires had made it "their" world. (And she does so right after essentially promising Buffy that she would stay home!)

I mentioned earlier that I was thinking a lot about "The Gift" on rewatch. When Buffy knocks Giles out before going off to face her death the first time, she says to Jenny: "When he wakes up, tell him... I don't know. Think of something cool; tell him I said it." When she faces her death a second time, she says to Dawn, "Tell Giles I figured it out." I think that's a huge statement about how far Buffy journeys over four years. In S1, she knows her duty as the slayer. I think in S5, she's figured out her purpose as a human.

I also love the parallel with Giles trying to take Buffy's place here, to sacrifice himself on her behalf. Buffy learns from him, as she does the same for Dawn. (I think Dawn is too much of a child to be able to make the choice to stop Buffy the way that Buffy stops Giles. She faces some hard knocks in S5, but because Buffy is there to protect her, she isn't forced to grow up to the same degree that Buffy was.)

"Prophecy Girl" also contains my favorite song from S1 -- Jonatha Brooke's "Inconsolable" plays during the scene in Buffy's bedroom with Joyce. The lyrics: "I never knew what enough was / Until I had more than my share / Then I let the darkness in" (I suspect Joss specifically chose it, because he had Jonatha Brooke work on the theme song for "Dollhouse.")

Also, this is kind of random, but I came across a gifset maker on Tumblr who did an AU series imagining what some moments from the early seasons would look like after the monks tinkered with everyone's memories to insert Dawn. (The idea of the monks messing with my favorite moments of the show makes me itch, but I thought it was an interesting project! And I actually like Dawn.) There's one that relates to Prophecy Girl: http://onegirlinalltheworld.tumblr.com/post/48886384533/dawn-au-i-dont-know-what-i-would-have-even
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bonnaleah
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah it was cheryl's episode to open but she is still swamped with real life so I told her not to worry about it that I could do it.

Quote:
Also, do you think she dumped Mitch because of his face getting messed up before the dance? She was worried about the pictures! She moved on to Kevin pretty fast. But it did seem that Cordelia had changed post-Marcie (and through her feelings for Kevin), given that she was grieving and not complaining about how the May Queen was missing her own dance.


Ha! Probably so.

Quote:
I've been thinking about this, and I see two possible explanations. One is that Giles said, "Aurelius wrote of the Anointed One, 'The Slayer will not know him...'" I don't think Aurelius' writings are the same as the prophesies in the Codex, because Giles mentions reading Aurelius' writings in "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date," and he didn't have the Codex then. And he says in this episode that prophecies from other sources aren't as reliable as the Codex.


Ah, good catch. I hadn't even noticed the different sources. And I guess Giles was right about the accuracy of the Codex since Buffy did indeed die when she faced the Master.

Quote:
I always thought Dru's hypnotic abilities were tied to the psychic powers that she was born with. For the Master, I chalked it up to him being a "vampire king" as Giles called him. I think he and Dracula are the most powerful and oldest vampires we encounter, right?


Well except for Kakistos, who was so old that his hands and feet were cloven. According to Giles's reference books, "Kakistos" is greek and means worst of the worst. No idea how old he was but his skin was so tough that it took a larger piece of wood to stake him. He went poof though, unlike the Master. I think in one of the ATS episodes we learn from Darla that the Master is about 600 years old.


Quote:
I mentioned earlier that I was thinking a lot about "The Gift" on rewatch. When Buffy knocks Giles out before going off to face her death the first time, she says to Jenny: "When he wakes up, tell him... I don't know. Think of something cool; tell him I said it." When she faces her death a second time, she says to Dawn, "Tell Giles I figured it out." I think that's a huge statement about how far Buffy journeys over four years. In S1, she knows her duty as the slayer. I think in S5, she's figured out her purpose as a human.


That is just so cool!


Quote:
Also, this is kind of random, but I came across a gifset maker on Tumblr who did an AU series imagining what some moments from the early seasons would look like after the monks tinkered with everyone's memories to insert Dawn. (The idea of the monks messing with my favorite moments of the show makes me itch, but I thought it was an interesting project! And I actually like Dawn.) There's one that relates to Prophecy Girl: http://onegirlinalltheworld.tumblr.com/post/48886384533/dawn-au-i-dont-know-what-i-would-have-even


Thanks for this. I'm not on Tumblr so I probably miss a lot of interesting things. Fans of this verse are so clever and entertaining. I don't dislike Dawn but I don't really love her either and I guess I'm happy that she wasn't around from the beginning.
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