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Buffy Season 4: 20th Anniversary Rewatch Thread
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dcai0830
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Joined: 20 Sep 2017
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Initiative

Quote:
I've kind of avoided posting about this episode because I don't really enjoy it.


It's just kinda blah for me. But that's the whole initiative story line. I usually skip this episode. So I haven't seen this episode all that many times.

I like Maggie Walsh though. She's my kinda gal. And really why is Willow's break up any concern of hers? I can't imagine any of my professors carrying about any of my break ups and they were nice.

The whole Riley having a sudden realization that he has a thing for Buffy is dumb.

Graham is soooooooo good looking. Every time he and Riley are walking together I'm always like why didn't Buffy go for the hot one? lol Also he's nice.



And whooooo says courting Riley??? I want to sneak into his room and cut his stupid hair. I really don't hate him. I promise. He's fine. Fine.

Quote:
It kind of feels like she showed more interest in Scott Hope!

Yikes! Burn.

Quote:
I get a little shippy with them at the party. They seem to have better chemistry than Buffy and Riley do.


I could NOT agree more.

Awww Buffy running off to kill Spike... those were the days.

I think the thing I enjoy the most about this episode is Buffy and Riley trying to each get the other to leave in the park. Both of them having their own secret. It's cute. Except I had forgotten about this exchange:

Quote:
Riley : I'm taking you home. Come on.
He goes to grab her and lead her off.
Buffy : Oh, did you ever think maybe I'm gonna take you home, huh? What? You think that boys can take care of themselves and girls need help?
Riley : Yeah.
Buffy : That is so teutonic.


Dear Riley - you have so much to learn. But also I had to google teutonic and even after googling it I still don't know what it means. So I'm like 80% sure Buffy wouldn't have said that.

Ugh the Spike and Willow scene.

Quote:
The date-rape-turned-impotence "joke" really, really hasn't aged well.


Yeah. The first part of the scene is extremely disturbing. And then the fact that it's undercut with such a lighthearted scene and the mockery of the earlier scene. It's uncomfortable at best.

I've been wanting to write a fic where Spike gets his chip out and turns Willow.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dcai0830 wrote:
I want to sneak into his room and cut his stupid hair.


I have never related to anything more.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

4x09 Something Blue
Written by Tracey Forbes
Directed by Nick Marck
Original air date: November 30, 1999



1. Overall thoughts on this episode?
2. What do you think of Buffy's comments about love in the opening of the episode?
3. Do you think the Scoobies were too hard on Willow given her heartbreak over Oz?
4. Favorite lines/scenes?
5. Anything stand out on rewatch?
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something Blue

Overall thoughts on this episode? It's a fun one! But I will say it loses something once you've seen the rest of the show. An episode about the ridiculousness of Spuffy doesn't seem so ridiculous once they've gone there for real! Also, I think Pangs is funnier, even though its basic concept is more boring than Something Blue's. I think there was some missed potential with this one.

Spike is very funny, though. I think the Still Dead podcast hosts pointed out that Buffy seems older and more mature on Angel's show (from Angel's POV), and I definitely see it. She seems more like a teenager here.

What do you think of Buffy's comments about love in the opening of the episode?  And this is case in point of that! When Buffy talks about something being missing, I personally think it's a lack of major chemistry and/or actual romantic feelings! The reason Riley won't cause her heartbreak and misery (ha!) is because she doesn't feel that strongly about him. She didn't go through this type of waffling before hooking up with Parker because she was actually crazily attracted to him! (And since he was hiding that he was a "bad boy," I don't think that counts.)

What Buffy is basically saying here, to me, is: "Real love and passion have to go hand in hand with FEELINGS" -- both good and bad feelings, sure, but with Riley, it's just too...forced. She sees a nice, normal guy who likes her and she thinks she should go for it. (Now, I do think she *develops* feelings for Riley eventually, but that's a different story.)

Do you think the Scoobies were too hard on Willow given her heartbreak over Oz? They were definitely too hard on her over the beer! Willow seems intensely coherent for a person who is supposed to be drunk.

But after that, not really. I think they were a little harsh when she wasn't around, but she was lashing out and being unreasonable in her expectations of them, so...

Favorite lines/scenes? 

"I believe that's the dance of a brave little toaster."
"I will that this Q-tip gets unbendy?"
"Giles! I accidentally killed Spike. That's okay, right?"
"This is the crack team that foils my every plan? I am deeply shamed."
"How? What? How?" / "Three excellent questions."

Anything stand out on rewatch? I love Giles' momentary reaction to Buffy asking him to walk her down the aisle. So cute!

But it is somewhat hypocritical for Giles to do a spell on his own when he knows there's something wrong with his eyesight when he told Willow not to do them.

I do have a little bit of a grudge against this episode now because the Spuffies use the scene of Willow shoving a cookie into Spike's mouth as proof that he'll end up with "cookies" Buffy (whereas Angel is associated with cookie dough because of the IWRY ice cream). I'm irrationally annoyed by it, especially because they seem to be right comics-wise.

Not much to note from the script. Just this little bit about Amy:

Quote:
WILLOW
I could never do something like that.

BUFFY
So she did a good spell - but the plan kind of sucked. I mean, she's the one stuck eating pellets out of a plastic cup-
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I plan on trying to catch up this week, so here it goes...

Fear, Itself

1. Overall thoughts on this episode?

This is one of my favorite episodes of s4 and my ultimate favorite Halloween episode. The character work is perfect, the balance between drama, horror and comedy works so well. It has so many memorable moments.

2. What did you think about the Scoobies' fears? Did anyone's particularly stand out?

I think they all worked perfectly with the characters's personality and where they're at at this point in the series.

Buffy's fears will always be the most poignant to me. Fury managed to mix her abandonment issues, her feeling of isolation and her fear of being buried alive. I love it!

3. Thoughts on Joyce? Giles?


Joyce's line about her and Giles always being there for Buffy particularly stroke a chord with me. It made me sad for s5 and s6. Joyce looked particularly beautiful this episode and Giles had some great little moments.

4. Favorite lines/scenes?

The ending will always be one of my favorite comedic endings and the metaphor works really well here.

I also really enjoyed the scene at the beginning with Buffy, Willow, Xander and Oz hanging out. It felt very real. I especially love Buffy's bit about the life of a pumpkin.

5. Did anything stand out on rewatch?

Buffy getting through the little door was definitely a reference to Alice In Wonderland. I don't really know what to make of it but I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mylie wrote:
Buffy getting through the little door was definitely a reference to Alice In Wonderland. I don't really know what to make of it but I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence.


Ooh, nice catch!
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

4x10 Hush
Written & Directed by Joss Whedon
Original air date: December 14, 1999



1. Overall thoughts on this episode? Do you think it's the scariest?
2. Thoughts on Buffy and Riley's first kiss and the big revelations?
3. What about our introduction to Tara?
4. Favorite lines/scenes?
5. Anything stand out on rewatch?

This is the last episode of Buffy that aired in 1999. We've finished another calendar year! We're about to enter the 2000s. Beware of Y2K.

Also, a little bit of trivia I realized while watching this episode: Olivia only appears in episodes written by Joss himself.
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beer Bad

1. Overall thoughts on this episode? Do you think it deserves its reputation as one of the "worst"?

This episode is ridiculous but I really enjoy it nonetheless! I don't have an awful lot to say about it and can't really explain why I like it so much, other than drunk Buffy is cute and funny. Oh and it's definitely not the worst. At least it's fun and in character for everyone.

2. Thoughts on Xander and Willow in this episode?

They're such good friends to Buffy, each in their own way. Xander is such a good listener this season and also very supportive of Buffy. I love Willow standing up for Buffy. Rewatching this episode, I realized I am very over Willow/Oz and I felt uncomfortable during their scenes.

3. How do you feel about the Parker trilogy of episodes overall?

Look, I'm not a fan. I'm not a fan of the way the writers wrote it. Not a fan of them not allowing Buffy to have a positive experience. Not a fan of the actor (I honestly don't get what Buffy sees in him but whatever). I'm just glad it's over. I guess I am satisfied by Buffy hitting him with a stick (twice!) but that's pretty much it.

4. Favorite lines/scenes?

Xander: Giles, don't make Cave-Slayer unhappy.

5. Anything stand out on rewatch?


Not really. I guess I never realized before that Buffy knows a bit of french! Smile
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hush

Overall thoughts on this episode? Do you think it's the scariest?  Hush is just brilliant. Really, really brilliant. It reminds me of Lie to Me in the way that Joss worked in so many iterations of the theme: sometimes talking gets in the way of communication. Also, the dialogue we *do* get is so good.

I like the way the Scoobies' and the Initiative's conversations parallel each other. I like how we're seeing their similarities before we start to delve more into the huge differences between them. I love the way Giles and Olivia have the "that's enough small talk" exchange to underscore the problem that Riley and Buffy are having.

I love how the characters touch each other more when they can't talk -- especially Willow and Buffy holding hands as they walk through town. And the way Giles hugs Willow is so sweet.

I love Maggie's computer voice. It's so '90s!

I do not think this episode is the scariest. The Gentlemen are creepy but unseen danger is always worse for me, so Conversations with Dead People scares me more (especially because it's Dawn, who I love so much, especially in Season 7, who is in danger).

Thoughts on Buffy and Riley's first kiss and the big revelations?  Hmmm. I find it interesting that Buffy dreams she's essentially "putting on a show" for her class while kissing Riley.

But I was happy when they had their first real kiss. Joss can make me like Briley a little. Not sure anyone else can. Smile

I like the idea that both of them were resistant to the kissage because they were not being honest with each other. (In the script, Willow pointed out that Buffy wasn't bothered by not being honest with Parker, which is interesting because of course Parker was also concealing the truth about himself from Buffy...)

What about our introduction to Tara? I am so excited to rewatch the later seasons now that I love Tara. I didn't really care too much about her in my first watch until I got to Season 6. So it's going to be fun to watch all her scenes again.

The handclasp moment is really a knockout. So powerful. I just *believe* it, and I love that (even on my first watch, I loved that moment).

Tara's "No, you are" and Willow's smile made me tear up! Sooo good!

Favorite lines/scenes? 

Giles' lecture hall exposition scene is just the best thing ever.

Lines I love:
"Yes, that's exactly the most appalling thing you could have said."
"Oh yeah, and then we can all get on our broomsticks and ride around on our broomsticks!"
"I happen to be very biteable, pal. I'm moist and delicious." / "All right, yeah fine. You're a nummy treat."

Forrest's "Come on Come on" sign is a great touch.

Anything stand out on rewatch?  Those backless tops! So 1999. It's one thing on a tank top but for a sweater? Hopefully the coming apocalypse of Y2K takes care of that trend. Lol.

I love the way Olivia's expression shifts from a big smile during the romantic scene between Xander and Anya to a totally grossed-out face when Anya makes her rude gesture and they run off.

SCRIPTY BITS

Actually quite a bit to note this time!

Here's Maggie's full speech from the opening:

Quote:
MAGGIE
So this is what it is. Talking about communication, talking about language. Not the same thing. It's about the way a child can recognize and produce phonemes that don't occur in its native language. It's about inspiration, not the idea but the moment before the idea when it's total, when it blossoms in your mind and connects to everything, before the coherent thought that gives it shape, that locks it in and cuts it off from the universal. When you can articulate it, it becomes smaller. It's about thoughts and experiences that we don't have a word for. A demonstration. Buffy Summers.


A line of hers was cut from the dream:

Quote:
MAGGIE 
(to the class)
A kiss is just a kiss, I believe the line goes. The rest comes from you.


I'm so upset the Little Miss Muffet reference was cut! All prophetic dreams should have Dawn references! Wink

Quote:
BUFFY
Fortune favors the brave...

She stands as he looks about them. He turns to her -- and she puts her hand up. Did she hear something?

Very faintly, it can be made out: A little girl, humming tunelessly to herself.

BUFFY
Do you hear that?

She heads out of class, slowly. Riley watches her go, smiles as he whispers to himself.

RILEY
Along came a spider...


A line of Spike's was cut:

Quote:
GILES
Yes, that's exactly the most appalling thing you could have said.

SPIKE
Worse than the blood in the weetabix?


All of this is in the episode (except for "Talk to the Brit"), but thought I'd include it since they're talking over each other a bit (there's Joss and his theme again!) and it might be hard to catch it all:

Quote:
Defeated, Giles sinks back into his chair as everyone talks over each other.

XANDER
He's not roaming around. If he stays with me he gets tied up again.

ANYA
What about us? Our romantic evening?

SPIKE
I'm not having these two shag while I'm tied to a chair three feet away.

XANDER
That's not exactly one of my fantasies either.

ANYA
So you're blowing off our evening. Because you don't care about me.

XANDER
I don't want him to come over! Talk to the Brit.

SPIKE
He better have cable ‘cause I'm not missing Passions...


Our introduction to TARA!

Quote:
As the girls are talking, we focus on one girl in particular. TARA sits on the floor, making herself as small as possible. When she speaks, it is hesitantly, with a slight stutter. When she doesn't, she seems to watch Willow most of the time.


Some of this was trimmed:

Quote:
WILLOW
Well, there's the wacky notion of spells...

CHERYL
Well you missed last week, we did a healing chant for Chloe's ankle, she said the swelling went right down.

NICOLE
What is she doing on a mountain bike anyway?

CHERYL
She was trying to impress Justin.

WILLOW
I was actually talking more about real spells. You know: conjuring, transmutation...


This was trimmed too:

Quote:
BUFFY
I don't know -- I get nervous, and I start babbling, and he babbles -- it's a babble-fest. Plus every time we talk, I have to lie. They slayer thing comes up one way or another... it bothers me that I can't tell him the truth.

WILLOW
It didn't bother you with Parker.

BUFFY
I know. But with Riley...I wish I could just come clean.


Riley's speech here was replaced by Forrest's "Clark Kent" speech (and the stuff about Buffy being special):

Quote:
INT. THE INITIATIVE - NIGHT

FORREST
Well, you can't.

Forrest and Riley climb out of the master pit, sweaty from exercise. They are in the middle of the same conversation.

RILEY
I know I can't. But it bugs me this time.

RILEY
What can I say?
(to another guy)
-- I don't see that report on Thursday maneuvers by tomorrow you're gonna be on latrine duty and I'm talking about the sector C latrines where we keep the big ass demons and you know I mean that literally -- 
(to Forrest) 
I'm a romantic.


Gentleman description:

Quote:
And they all stream directly into the box. A hand closes the lid, and we tilt up to see one of the Gentlemen.

He's old, bone white, bald -- Nosferatu meets Hellraiser by way of the Joker. Actually, he looks kind of like Mr. Burns, except he can't stop his rictus-grin, and his teeth are gleaming metal. As he grins with satisfaction...


I love this direction re: Buffy and Willow walking through town:

Quote:
The girls walk hand in hand, needing the feel of each other's presence as they take in the following tableaux


This was cut:

Quote:
INT. BUFFY AND WILLOW'S DORM ROOM - NIGHT
Willow has her laptop on her bed, is researching, coming up zeros. A few open books are laid out on the bed as well.

Buffy enters, clearly beat. Willow looks up at her: anything?

By way of answer, Buffy just keeps moving to the bed and collapses face down onto it.

Willow sighs, goes back to her work -- producing a silent but formidable yawn.


This was cut from the Willow/Tara scene at the end (which I'm happy about because I think it made the scene more powerful):

Quote:
WILLOW
Well, I thought we made a pretty good team -- not getting killed at all....with some soda machine, boom! Pretty cool. Seems like you're kinda powerful.

TARA
I'd like to be. I feel like I'm stuck. Like I'm at the door and it won't open.

WILLOW
I know exactly what you mean.

The two share a sweet look -- the beginning of a real connection.
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wild At Heart

1. Overall thoughts on this episode?

I don't really like this one. I know it's a good episode but Willow/Oz makes me very uncomfortable and I just couldn't wait for Oz to leave (not that I dislike the character, I'm just over that pairing). I hate Veruca and I'm not a fan of the over the top acting that's going on between the actress and Seth Green. It's like they're trying to sell a sexy chemistry that just isn't there. And I can't take the costume/makeup seriously. I'm just not a fan of werewolves on BtVS I guess.

2. How do you feel about the way the episode handles Oz?

I hate it. I used to see it differently, but honestly he handled things very badly. And watching him lie to Willow and the way he acted around Veruca tainted the character for me.

3. Thoughts on Buffy / Giles / Spike / Xander / etc.?

If there's one thing I love about this episode is Buffy/Willow. It's lovely and the affection Buffy has for Willow is so obvious, I love it. I don't really have anything thoughts on Giles or Spike, they're just there. Xander is having a great season so far and I loved how mature and supportive he was in the conversation with Willow.

4. Favorite lines/scenes?

Buffy telling Willow "I love you"

5. Anything stand out on rewatch?

Maggie Walsh's reaction to the "wild dogs" in this episode is kind of bizarre, given what we learn about her later on.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

4x11 Doomed
Written by Marti Noxon & David Fury & Jane Espenson
Directed by James A. Contner
Original air date: January 18, 2000



1. Overall thoughts on this episode?
2. What do you think of the development of the Buffy/Riley relationship?
3. How did you feel about the subplots with Spike and with Willow?
4. Favorite lines/scenes?
5. Did anything stand out on rewatch?
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Initiative

1. Overall thoughts on this episode? How do you think it compares to other Episode 7s?

Not bad but definitely not a favorite of mine. I'm mostly bored and when I'm not it's because I'm kind of annoyed at the way it's written. The beginning definitely didn't help, it felt like I was watching the episode through the male gaze.

2. What did you think of the big reveals for Riley and Spike?

Honestly, this is new but I have problems with both reveals. The Riley one was cringey. That whole scene felt ridiculous to me. The scene where we discover Spike can't hurt Willow has very disturbing connotations and I can't enjoy it now.

3. How are you feeling about Buffy and Riley's relationship so far?

It's cute but I also don't really care about it much? So far it all comes from Riley and I prefer seeing things through Buffy's eyes. And I definitely don't enjoy Riley seeing her as in need of protection (this came up a couple of times in the episode and it annoyed me).

4. Favorite lines/scenes?

And remember, if you hurt her I will beat you to death with a shovel.

5. Anything stand out on rewatch?

I have a few this episode so...

Xander's bit about summoning a demon so they'd have something to fight made me think of him summoning Sweet in OMWF.

When Spike is in the initiative, we see the other vampire with the vamp face on. It's definitely deliberate that we never see him with his human face as opposed to Spike. I think they already want us to see Spike as a "person" because he's now a regular (he's in the credits!).

Buffy bringing Willow to a party to then abandon her all alone while she's having fun is kind of shitty? I'd be even more depressed if I were in Willow's situation.

Buffy saying the word "peculiar" feels weird to me. I think they went with it so as to parallel Riley at the beginning (or make things circular) but it doesn't sound like something she'd say.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mylie wrote:
The beginning definitely didn't help, it felt like I was watching the episode through the male gaze.


This reminded me of Doug Petrie's commentary for this episode:

Quote:
[An attractive female UCS student carries a tray of food across the cafeteria]

She actually worked in the 'Buffy' office and, I guess, they cast her because she has a really nice body. But she's gone, now, and she actually has a small part in 'Jerry Maguire'. If you watch 'Jerry Maguire', when Tom Cruise gets fired, she laughs. So everybody liked that girl.


I know, it's Hollywood, but...

The whole commentary is actually worth a read/listen, if for no other reason than to hear how much Doug Petrie loves Riley. It's kind of funny.

Mylie wrote:
When Spike is in the initiative, we see the other vampire with the vamp face on. It's definitely deliberate that we never see him with his human face as opposed to Spike. I think they already want us to see Spike as a "person" because he's now a regular (he's in the credits!).


This is a great point! That also reminded me of something in the Petrie commentary:

Quote:
Also we had a big argument - not really an argument, but a discussion - about how heroic Spike should be. And I was dead wrong, because I was saying Spike was going to escape from this later in the episode, and I thought, "Well, this is hard to do because it makes him seem heroic." And Jane Espenson at the time was saying "No, no, he should seem heroic!" and I was like, "No, Spike's the villain, he shouldn't seem heroic." And Joss Whedon came in and said "Newsflash: he's heroic in this scene. He's gigantically heroic. He's James Bond escaping from Blofeld."


Mylie wrote:
Buffy saying the word "peculiar" feels weird to me. I think they went with it so as to parallel Riley at the beginning (or make things circular) but it doesn't sound like something she'd say.


Totally agree.
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I tried quoting your post Grace, but it was a mess. So here :

The bit about Doug Petrie's comment on the girl with the nice body kind of confirms my feelings about the scene.

And I just read the quote about Spike being heroic in Mark Field's book (slowly catching up)! I'm not sure what they mean by "heroic". Is it because he was able to get away and the audience kind of rooted for him in that moment or is it something else? I don't know, I guess I put more into that word than that. It's not like he helped anyone in that moment. It was all about saving himself, he even "sacrificed" the other vamp so he could get away. So I'm not sure I understand what they mean.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And I just read the quote about Spike being heroic in Mark Field's book (slowly catching up)! I'm not sure what they mean by "heroic". Is it because he was able to get away and the audience kind of rooted for him in that moment or is it something else? I don't know, I guess I put more into that word than that. It's not like he helped anyone in that moment. It was all about saving himself, he even "sacrificed" the other vamp so he could get away. So I'm not sure I understand what they mean.


Yeah, I took it to mean "hero" from a writerly perspective. The person you want to succeed. I think MF argues that Spike's escape in The Initiative foreshadows the Scoobies' big battle/escape in Primeval.
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