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Buffy Season 4: 20th Anniversary Rewatch Thread
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dcai0830
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superstar

I have always thought this episode was fun. Just because the absurdity of it all is funny. But the 'dig deeper' stuff is kind of upsetting to me.

Quote:
I wasn't really a fan of the shirtless scene - it was just kinda awkward


Agreed. (Me shouting: put a shirt on...)

Jonathan talks about how Buffy and Riley have this amazing connection and how he thinks she is upset that he didn't realize it wasn't her, in her body. And then they talk about how its absurd that she should expect Riley to know that it wasn't her in the body. But is it really? Am I being to harsh on Riley on Buffy's behalf?

Didn't we just see Buffy recognize Giles from his eyes a few episodes? Didn't Buffy recognize Angel when he regained his soul by looking into his eyes? I just feel like how strong of a connection could they have had if he didn't realize something was off. But maybe I'm expecting too much.

I really hate seeing Buffy so stripped of her confidence for two episodes in a row (and next episode she'll be sidelined to sex). But at least here we see that her slayer-ness (and her buffy-ness) is to strong to be kept tied down by this spell and she slowly begins to gain her confidence despite the spell!

I like the Briley dance on its own. But it's hard to tell if Buffy is telling the truth or if she simply doesn't want to have the conversation about Faith. Buffy is big with the avoidy thing. Sometimes she wants to bury her problems instead of dealing with them.

The first of many times Tara will be played the victim. :/

I love the Anya/Buffy scene lololol

Quote:
I think he still has the image of Buffy (Faith) flirting with him last episode. He was trying something and it didn't work. I'm going to have to look closely at the interactions moving forward because right now, I'm starting to think the events of Who Are You had a bigger impact than I ever realized.


Yup! I really do think people underestimate how Faith coming on to Spike kinda woke something up in him. I guess you could argue Something Blue but honestly, Spike looked super weirded out in Something Blue. He was obviously into it in Who Are You. Or turned on at least.
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Primeval

1. Overall thoughts on this episode?

I actually enjoy this episode. It's definitely flawed as an ending to a season arc, but I think it does the best it can. I'm not a fan of the fact that the cold open is about Riley/Adam and the very last scene is The Initiative. It shows how little this story is about Buffy and the scoobies and while I do love season 4, this represents the general problem I have with that season as a whole.

2. What did you think of the Scooby reunion and the enjoining spell?

It's still one of my favorite episode for the scoobies. While I think there's still some stuff that should have been discussed, I think it does a good job of handling whatever drove them apart this season. The scene in the "elevator" is lovely and almost made me tear up. And seeing all of them be so down at the beginning showed how much they value their friendship. Even Giles was torn up.

The enjoining spell is such a powerful moment but I do wish we could have seen how all of their strengths were used when they fought Adam. I personally don't feel like we did.

3. Thoughts on Riley?
I thought he was fine in this episode. I appreciated him handling demon Forrest while Buffy was taking care of Adam. It felt like he respected her strength and they were a team.

I do wonder why Adam waited so long to activate the chip. And I think maybe Riley was able to take it out because seeing Buffy fight made him stronger.

4. Favorite lines/scenes?

"I'm the Slayer. You're playing on my turf."

5. Anything stand out on rewatch?

Willow kept working on the discs after the fight. It kind of reaffirms that she's fighting because she wants to and she thinks it's what she has to do, not just because she wants to help Buffy. I'm really glad they did this.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mylie wrote:
The enjoining spell is such a powerful moment but I do wish we could have seen how all of their strengths were used when they fought Adam. I personally don't feel like we did.


Yeah, I agree. I mean, I got the "Giles speaks Sumerian" and "Willow casts spells" parts. Buffy obviously does the fighting, so we can infer that one. What does Xander do? He inspired the idea, so he definitely contributed but I would have liked a better sense of his strength. It would have been cool if there was a line about how he anchored them or kept them grounded or something.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

4x22 Restless
Written and directed by Joss Whedon
Original air date: May 23, 2000



1. Overall thoughts on this episode?
2. Whose dream is your favorite and why?
3. Is there a particular visual that stands out for you?
4. Favorite lines/scenes?
5. Anything stand out on rewatch?
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Restless

Overall thoughts on this episode? It's great, and I enjoy watching it. But it's really hard to discuss because there's just SO MUCH to discuss that it's overwhelming.

But Joss' commentary is transcribed here and Mark Field's essay is here, and they are both good reads.

Whose dream is your favorite and why? Xander's. Surprisingly. I just like how all roads lead to the basement, and that we get a glimpse of his dad. I also really love Snyder's Apocalypse Now homage. I think I felt like Xander's dream was the most revealing, and I got the impression that Joss put the most oomph into it.

Buffy's dream is probably my least favorite, which is slightly disappointing since she's my favorite character. But it feels somewhat afterthought-y to me, and of course it deals the most with the "plot." The thing that stands out most to me about it -- that Buffy isn't sure about Riley's breakup with the Initiative and still represents him as the "sexist doof" in league with Adam -- is about Riley, of course. How long do I have to wait until they break up? LOL.

I bet I would have liked it a lot more if the rumors are true and Joss could have gotten Angel to play Buffy's dream guide, though. Razz

Is there a particular visual that stands out for you? Hahaha, this watch it was Xander putting the video tape into the VCR before the dreams even started because it was so nostalgic. But I think the sandbox/playground scene has really interesting visuals.

Favorite lines/scenes?
"Come on, put your back into it! A watcher scoffs at gravity!"
"You know, I never got the chance to tell you how glad I was you were eaten by a snake."
"I still think Buffy should have killed you." LOL.
"You think you know... what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun."

Anything stand out on rewatch? Some thinky things I thought:
-Given the way Dru was sometimes used to represent Buffy's id (and desire for Angel), I wondered if Harmony trying to bite Giles was a reference to Willow's old crush on him (and her feeling like he would have found her crush annoying if he knew about it)?

-The way Buffy is the one to expose Willow's nerdy self is interesting. Willow loves Buffy but she feels vulnerable that Buffy knows who she "really" is? I wonder if part of the reason they originally were going to be in separate dorm rooms was because of Willow wanting to create some distance from her old self, and that's harder to do with Buffy around (even though Buffy was also a big factor in how much Willow has changed).

-The shot of the Initiative men checking out Xander's manhood is key to how I see Xander's relationship with Riley in Season 5. Xander measures himself against the Initiative guys, and I think he sees Riley as the kind of guy who can meet the ideal standards of masculinity, as he understands them. Riley is the type of guy Xander thinks Buffy should be with.

-I actually like Giles singing in this episode! Yay! I really wish Jenny had shown up in his dream. Not necessarily in Olivia's role, because I think this is about his concerns for the future and a family with Jenny is out of the question, but I just think she would be in his thoughts. I always interpreted part of Giles' rudderlessness in Season 4 as related to his grieving for Jenny. All the what-ifs catching up to him once he no longer had his normal routine to fall back on.

-I wonder why Buffy dreams of Anya in Willow's bed?

SCRIPT BITES

Riley's line was cut:
Quote:
BUFFY
You're sure you'll be all right.

RILEY
Sure as I am of anything. Which is less and less, these days.

BUFFY
Cause I could be there in the morning --


Introduction to the First Slayer (and interesting note about To Shanshu):
Quote:
Moving silently and quickly beyond the edge of the crowd. We see it only in glimpses, but slightly better than we did before. We won't catch all of this now, but: It's a woman. She appears to be in soiled rags, not unlike a mummy's. Black hair in coarse dreds -- through neglect, not fashion. Face painted in colored clay. Long, almost clawlike nails.

We'll call her THE PRIMITIVE.

She carries a long, jagged blade. (incredibly different from the blade carried by the villain in episode 22 of ANGEL, really I can't stress this enough.)


Introduction to the Cheese Man:
Quote:
ANGLE: THE CHEESE MAN

A skittish, balding, bespectacled little fellow in an old woolen suit. A voice not unlike Peter Lorre's.


Description of "nerdy" Willow:
Quote:
REVERSE ON: WILLOW

As we saw her once, a long time ago. Long, slightly duller red hair. Plain grey frock that embodies the softer side of you know what. (Uh, Sears, just in case you don't.) A hapless, almost sick expression of embarrassment. She stands by the teacher's desk, looking at herself.


This was trimmed:
Quote:
ANYA
Do you know where you're going?

XANDER
North. To the mountains. The highest peak, the one they call "100 percent scary plummeting death." The test of a man.

ANYA
Do you know where you're going?

XANDER
No.


This was cut down/modified:
Quote:
ANYA
Well, you know I miss it, I'm so at loose ends since I quit and I think this is gonna be a very big year for vengeance.

XANDER
I don't know…

ANYA
I've been keeping close tabs on cultural trends -- a lot of Men being unfaithful -- very exciting things happening in the scorned women market. I don't wanna be left out.

XANDER
Yeah, but, isn't vengeance kind of… depressing?


If you don't speak French...
Quote:
And at this moment, as Giles continues to speak, he is suddenly DUBBED INTO FRENCH. We can see him talking, but we can't understand a word any more than Xander can, unless we speak French, in which case la di da aren't we intellectual, I'm not Joe DICTIONARY, all RIGHT?

GILES
(french dubbing over:)
-- the house where we're all sleeping. All your friends are there having a wonderful time and getting on with their lives. The creature can't hurt you there.

XANDER
What? Go where? I don't understand.

GILES
(still dubbed)
Oh for God's sake, this is no time for your idiotic games!

Anya rushes to them, worried. And dubbed.

ANYA
(with the dubbing)
Xander! You have to come with us now! Everybody's waiting for you!

GILES
(dubly)
That's what I've been trying to tell him.

XANDER
Honey, I don't -- I can't hear you…

Anya grabs his arm, start dragging him.

ANYA
(dubbage)
It's not important. I'll take you there.

XANDER
Well, wait. Where are we going?


Xander's line was changed:
Quote:
SNYDER
Your time is running out.

XANDER
No, I'm in my prime. This is primetime.


I'm guessing this didn't end up looking good..
Quote:
He moves down through the crypt, not sure where he's heading. Passes the Cheese Man, who has slices of cheese on his head, including two with holes ripped out over his eyes.

CHEESE MAN
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.


This line got better:
Quote:
TARA
You think you know. What's to come, what you are... You really have no idea.
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're in sync Grace! I spent the afternoon watching Restless and I just finished reading Mark Field's essay on it! I'll start writing my own thoughts but I can't wait to read yours!

Restless

1. Overall thoughts on this episode?

It's never been a favorite of mine, but I appreciate it a bit more everytime I rewatch it. It's an amazing character study of the core 4.

I've often been of the opinion that Restless should have been the first episode of season 5 instead of the ending to season 4 but I've changed my mind. This episode works really well with the themes of season 4. It's all about identity, what makes those characters tick and perception.

I think Amber Benson is amazing in this but I do sometimes wonder what it would have been like had DB been the dream guide instead.

2. Whose dream is your favorite and why?

My favorite dream is Willow's, probably because it's the one I feel I "get" the most? I think it does such a nice job showing the character's progression but also who she is deep down. Willow's grown so much over the last 4 seasons (season 4 especially I've always felt is her season) but she's still very insecure underneath it all. She suffers from the "impostor syndrome" which I really relate to.

I also think it tells us a great deal about Willow's relationship with Tara and how despite not knowing her that well she represents a safe place for her.


3. Is there a particular visual that stands out for you?

My favorite is Miss Kitty Fantastico playing with the ball of wool. It's so adorable and I love that its meant to parallel Dawn.

I also find Joyce being stuck in the wall a very interesting visual/metaphor.

4. Favorite lines/scenes?

"You think you know ... what's to come ... what you are. You haven't even begun." and "Be back before Dawn." are iconic and always give me chills.

I also really love the scene with all the characters getting ready for the play. It's such a funny and bizarre scene, but everyone is 100% into it, even Marc Blucas.

5. Anything stand out on rewatch?

Buffy's dream is also interesting. I never realized before how much it paints the problems within her relationship with Riley. She fears they're still from different worlds.

Xander's dream is actually scary? I never realized how much his relationship with his father scarred him.

EDIT : I just forgot to say... I am SO excited to rewatch season 5. I've been wanting to do a rewatch of it for at least a year now but there was always another rewatch going on. I'm glad it's finally happening!


Last edited by Mylie on Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grace Newman wrote:


Buffy's dream is probably my least favorite, which is slightly disappointing since she's my favorite character. But it feels somewhat afterthought-y to me, and of course it deals the most with the "plot." The thing that stands out most to me about it -- that Buffy isn't sure about Riley's breakup with the Initiative and still represents him as the "sexist doof" in league with Adam -- is about Riley, of course. How long do I have to wait until they break up? LOL.


I was also disappointed by Buffy's dream but I still prefer it to Giles's. But I get what you mean about it feeling like an afterthought. I feel like we didn't get a lot out of it but I know it's not completely true... There's : her sense of isolation, her relationship with Riley, her relationship with her mother and how she views what a slayer is.

Quote:

-The way Buffy is the one to expose Willow's nerdy self is interesting. Willow loves Buffy but she feels vulnerable that Buffy knows who she "really" is? I wonder if part of the reason they originally were going to be in separate dorm rooms was because of Willow wanting to create some distance from her old self, and that's harder to do with Buffy around (even though Buffy was also a big factor in how much Willow has changed).


I also noticed that but I didn't go as far as to try to explain it. I LOVE the way you made sense of it.

Quote:

This line got better:
TARA
You think you know. What's to come, what you are... You really have no idea.


I agree. I much prefer what we got in the episode.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mylie wrote:
My favorite is Miss Kitty Fantastico playing with the ball of wool. It's so adorable and I love that its meant to parallel Dawn.


Can you expand on the Dawn parallel? I don't think I caught that.

Mylie wrote:
I also find Joyce being stuck in the wall a very interesting visual/metaphor.


Yes, me too! I think it works so well with Joyce as we've seen her this season (not often). Joyce was clearly a little bothered by the fact that she hadn't met Riley yet, but Buffy kind of breezed it off, and in the dream, when Joyce points out that Buffy could probably get her out of the wall, Buffy's already moving on. I love how realistic it feels in terms of a parent/child relationship. Like, the love is totally there, and Buffy wants a good relationship with her mom, but right now Joyce is just not Buffy's priority, which is very natural. When Joyce becomes her priority again in Season 5 (through no fault of her own) it disrupts Buffy's forward trajectory.

I wonder if there's any merit in thinking about the Joyce-in-the-walls metaphor in connection with the house-destroying sex in Season 6. Once Joyce dies, does the foundational structure of Buffy's life, the love and support she's needed and relied on, just rot away, until the whole thing comes crashing down when she takes the self-destructive step of sleeping with Spike?

Mylie wrote:
I feel like we didn't get a lot out of it but I know it's not completely true... There's : her sense of isolation, her relationship with Riley, her relationship with her mother and how she views what a slayer is.


Yeah, you're right. There's still a lot packed in. I think the handling of Buffy's section is why I like Fear, Itself, better, though. In some ways it's the easier-to-digest version of Restless (though with Oz instead of Giles).

Mylie wrote:
EDIT : I just forgot to say... I am SO excited to rewatch season 5. I've been wanting to do a rewatch of it for at least a year now but there was always another rewatch going on. I'm glad it's finally happening!


Me too! I'm really looking forward to it!
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remembered there were a couple of technical things from Joss' commentary that I wanted to mention because they were so interesting.

One was something he learned from this episode:

Quote:
You notice that the 'Previously...' there went straight into the credits, which usually we have a teaser, and in this particular case the teaser comes after the credits, and then we go to commercial. Simply because of contractually, we had to have the other credits - not the main title credits but the other credits - come after the main title. But I didn't want to put them over the dreams because that would take away from the importance of them - so we just did a little crazy restructure here. All those legal things. Since then I've learned my lesson, and I always have a scene which will fit the credits nicely over it in Act One. In 'The Body' I added a flashback of the mother for that reason; and in the musical we had the opportunity for an overture for that very reason.


I always thought the flashback in The Body was such an interesting writing choice and this is totally not why I thought he did it! Smile

Also, the way the sets were arranged on the sound stage played a role in how Joss structured the dreams.

In Xander's dream, he says:
Quote:
Now we get into the place where practicality and dreams come together. Because knowing I had all these different sets stacked up against one another, so crowded, because we shoot on this little warehouse that you'd basically walk from one and you'd be in another. And that is such a dream experience, that I said "Let's use it to our advantage." And I went onto Stage Three, where this is, figured out which things lead to where, and gave us the sequence where Xander goes through all these different sets. And ends up right back in the bedroom.


And in Giles' dream:
Quote:
Now here's another example of sets that just happened to be together. Spike's crypt was next to the Bronze, so let's go there.
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grace Newman wrote:
Mylie wrote:
My favorite is Miss Kitty Fantastico playing with the ball of wool. It's so adorable and I love that its meant to parallel Dawn.


Can you expand on the Dawn parallel? I don't think I caught that.



Oh then I'm probably projecting if you haven't seen it that way. I think there's so much emphasis on Willow and Tara not knowing the cat's name yet and we hear Dawn's name for the first time later on in the episode.

There's also this bit "She will, she's not all grown yet" that makes me think of Dawn coming soon. Maybe I attribute all of this to Dawn's creation because I can't really make sense of that scene and the importance of a name if it's not about Dawn. And there's a sort of intensity during that scene that makes it impossible for me not to see it as something mystical.

And I also really love the image of the cat representing Dawn, it's a little ball of energy!


Quote:


Yeah, you're right. There's still a lot packed in. I think the handling of Buffy's section is why I like Fear, Itself, better, though. In some ways it's the easier-to-digest version of Restless (though with Oz instead of Giles).



I also prefer Fear, Itself for that but also as a whole. It's probably my favorite episode of season 4. Well, not probably since it came number 1 in my ranking of season 4. I think the only new element brought in Buffy's dream is the First Slayer which is an important element of season 5.

Grace, those comments from Joss about how production influenced the writing are very interesting!
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mylie wrote:
Oh then I'm probably projecting if you haven't seen it that way. I think there's so much emphasis on Willow and Tara not knowing the cat's name yet and we hear Dawn's name for the first time later on in the episode.

There's also this bit "She will, she's not all grown yet" that makes me think of Dawn coming soon. Maybe I attribute all of this to Dawn's creation because I can't really make sense of that scene and the importance of a name if it's not about Dawn. And there's a sort of intensity during that scene that makes it impossible for me not to see it as something mystical.

And I also really love the image of the cat representing Dawn, it's a little ball of energy!


Oh, that makes sense to me! It's a fun reading of that scene.

(Ever since I read Mark Field's essay pointing out that Joss used Willow playing with Tara's...um, kitty...as a visual metaphor to get around the network censorship of a lesbian relationship, I haven't been able to look at Miss Kitty the same way.)

Speaking of Dawn, there was some fun trivia about her in Joss' commentary, too:

Quote:
Now this scene has a nice little piece of trivia around it. Buffy's dream has a lot of references to Dawn and what's going to happen next year. Not something I usually do, but we had made reference to her in the dream Buffy had at the end of episode... the end of Season 3, rather. So we made a lot of references to Dawn in this scene. The idea that Tara would be her spirit guide made sense because she didn't have that particular relationship with Tara, and Tara has a kind of good Wiccan mystical energy.

What's interesting trivia-wise about this scene is it is the first time mention was made of Dawn. It's also the time Michelle Trachtenberg actually came to visit the set. She had worked with Sarah before, and she was a big 'Buffy' fan, and so she came to visit the set, and I met her that day. Sarah introduced us, and I spent some time talking to her, and afterwards Sarah said to me "You should get Michelle to read for the part of Dawn. She's just great." And so I think there's some fate going on there. The fact that she showed up the first time the character was ever mentioned, and then went on to play her.
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Mylie
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grace Newman wrote:


(Ever since I read Mark Field's essay pointing out that Joss used Willow playing with Tara's...um, kitty...as a visual metaphor to get around the network censorship of a lesbian relationship, I haven't been able to look at Miss Kitty the same way.)

Speaking of Dawn, there was some fun trivia about her in Joss' commentary, too:

Quote:
Now this scene has a nice little piece of trivia around it. Buffy's dream has a lot of references to Dawn and what's going to happen next year. Not something I usually do, but we had made reference to her in the dream Buffy had at the end of episode... the end of Season 3, rather. So we made a lot of references to Dawn in this scene. The idea that Tara would be her spirit guide made sense because she didn't have that particular relationship with Tara, and Tara has a kind of good Wiccan mystical energy.

What's interesting trivia-wise about this scene is it is the first time mention was made of Dawn. It's also the time Michelle Trachtenberg actually came to visit the set. She had worked with Sarah before, and she was a big 'Buffy' fan, and so she came to visit the set, and I met her that day. Sarah introduced us, and I spent some time talking to her, and afterwards Sarah said to me "You should get Michelle to read for the part of Dawn. She's just great." And so I think there's some fate going on there. The fact that she showed up the first time the character was ever mentioned, and then went on to play her.


Yes, I laughed so much when I read that bit from Field. Such good insight. I can't believe I had never thought of it before reading it. lol

This little bit of trivia makes me smile. It somehow makes the meta about Dawn even more significant to me haha. Thanks for sharing!
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