AOQ Review 1-12: "Prophecy Girl"

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jan 23, 2006, 9:57:57 PM1/23/06
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A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
threads.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season One, Episode 12: "Prophecy Girl"
(or "So let it be written, so let it be undone")
Writer: Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon

Joss takes the camera himself for the final show of the first season.
I'm not clear on exactly how certain or uncertain the future of
_Buffy_ was for the creators at this point, but "Prophecy Girl"
seems like an ending. The major plots of Season One come to a
conclusion, and the character dynamics reach a point where our heroes
can walk off into the sunset (i.e. nightclub). And lots of stuff gets
blowed up real good too. If everything finished here, "Prphecy
Girl" would put the appropriate cap on Buffy: The Miniseries.

It doesn't start that way. In fact, things open pretty generically;
Xander likes Buffy, the Master likes talking, Buffy tolerates killing
vampires, and Giles has an affinity for ominous prophecies. But it
becomes clear early on that it's time to actually move ahead with
things; I think the moment that really happens is when Xander seemingly
overcomes the script's attempts to drag the scene out and finally
makes his move on Buffy. From there I like how they quickly brush past
the standard TV attempts to be noncommittal about it ("look, either
you feel something or you don't") while finding time to slip in a
joke or two ("... or if she does, she's playing it really close to
the vest"). The aftermath is well played; Xander knows he
shouldn't lash out at Buffy, but it's impossible not to feel at
least a little angry. She doesn't blame him for that, they
understand each other, but there's just nothing either of them can
say to make the situation any less unpleasant. The followup scene
between Xander and Willow is also pretty good for some of the same
reasons.

Buffy's day doesn't get any better. Not only has Angel been
avoiding her, but there's the whole impending death thing. Her
reaction is to say "fuck it, I don't care about the world."
Childish in the greater scheme of things, but a reasonable reaction
from a sixteen-year-old who hasn't quite accepted that life isn't
fair. This is one of those scenes that I imagine would be difficult
from an actor's perspective. It calls for the ability to give an
emotionally-charged monologue that consists mostly of yelling without
sounding too histrionic or melodramatic, and it moves from sarcasm to
frustration to violent anger and ends with a mix of guilt and fear
("I'm sixteen. I don't want to die."). In any case, Gellar
absolutely nails the whole thing. A good one for the actor portfolio.

Obviously, this thread echoes "Welcome To the Hellmouth." Back
then it seemed like a token reluctant-hero routine that served mainly
to let the show announce to the audience that it was all hip and
self-aware and stuff. Twelve episodes later, we have a much better
sense of where Buffy's coming from. The symmetry continues in that
Willow is the one who ultimately draws Buffy back into Slayership. In
the end, she's a hero who'll do what has to be done.

Speaking of heroics, let's not forget how awesome it is seeing Xander
come through in the clutch, realizing that Angel is the key to helping
Buffy and coming in prepared to deal with him. Xander's actions take
courage and all that, but also require him to have a good sense of what
he can and can't personally handle. I do wonder how he got ahold of
our friendly vampire, though: if Angel was ever given a permanent
address at which he could be reliably found, I missed it. The sequence
makes one wonder what it says about Angel, that he was willing to sit
around until someone came along to coax him into helping. Now that our
writing staff seems to have finally really figured out who Xander is, I
may have to start pulling for a B/X relationship, although I'm open
to alternatives. (I also refuse to use the term "shipper" or
combine characters' names; you gotta have some standards.)

The other development worth mentioning in the early parts of the
episode is that the show seems to be ready to shake up the core
four-heroes dynamic by letting Calendar and Cordelia hang out with the
clique. The former is still entertaining enough, although I can't
say I really care about her all that much either way; if the writers
decide that Giles should have someone his own age to banter with, who
am I to argue? As for the latter character, well, I guess she's
mysteriously recovered from Sunnydale Forgetty-itis now that it's in
the script. The exchanges between her and Willow have a good rhythm to
them, enough so that I wonder why the two of them haven't been given
more scenes together ("I like your dress." "No you don't."
"Yeah, I really don't, but I do need your help.") A policy of
mutual tolerance makes sense from both sides; Cordelia gets someone to
do her nerdy work and indirect access Buffy when needed, and Willow
gets to pretend to have more than two friends. (Cordelia still sucks,
though. I'm not backing down on that one so easily.)

Eventually the die is cast and Buffy goes to meet her fate. [BTW, Mrs.
Quality didn't think it seemed quite in-character for her to just
punch out Giles that way. I disagree.] There're two outstanding
scenes during this sequence, both of which involve the theme of
skipping the standard drawn-out stuff and getting on with things. The
first is Buffy's laconic meeting with Colin. I didn't really
expect that the prophecy's "lead her into Hell" would turn out to
be so literal. And then the initial confrontation with the Master is
handled perfectly. Buffy, terrified but not showing it at all. The
Master sees right through it, starts to suggest that they skip the
"feeble banter stage," and she shoots him mid-sentence. So very
BTVS.

For the record, CPR doesn't tend to work very well unless you open an
airway (by tilting the patient's head) first. Also, unless you have
one of those electric shocky things (and sometimes even then), CPR
doesn't too often revive people so much as just keep them alive until
real help arrives. Just saying. Also, I'm afraid I don't really
buy "clinically dead" as an acceptable prophecy loophole.

The ending sequences almost have to be something of a letdown given the
gooey goodness that have lead up to them. They're still quite fun,
if a little silly for their own good. The car ride through the school
and the various monsters in the library make me imagine the crew saying
"we've got some leftover budget, and dammit, we're gonna use
it." It's like a music video. As I was watching the final
confrontation, I wondered whether it would seem dumb to a new viewer
who'd just flipped over to the show We care, though, because
through twelve episodes of varying quality, the series has succeeded in
making us interested in what happens to these people. (Some shows
benefit from being viewed as a complete work, yes?) In the end, the
world is saved, and I hope the Master stays dead. He's served his
purpose; it's time to make a fresh start.

Any idea what happened to Colin?

I haven't mentioned the scene with Joyce Summers yet, since it ties
into the closing thoughts. But I think it's probably my favorite of
the mother-daughter scenes so far. They can't talk about everything,
but they do manage real affection from time to time. I assumed that
Buffy's penchant for stylized one-liners was just the difference
between Teen Hero and Outside World, but this episode suggests from
whom she really got her sense of humor ("I'm sure you're just
feeling full from that food you almost touched.") The dress is too
nice a gesture to ruin by mentioning that it's less appropriate in
the face of impending death. And of course it leads to the show's
big running joke (well, two, if you count the unspoken one that the
dress somehow stays spotless), which is quite fun. The final iteration
of the gag which closes the episode gives us one last smile, and going
out with a wry joke seems like an appropriate note on which to conclude
Buffy: The Miniseries.

Well. I think I'll give myself a little summer hiatus, and you can
speculate over whether my reviews will be renewed for another season
(hint: yes). Meet me back here in a week or so for Season Two.


So....

One-sentence summary: A near-perfect way to end Season One.

AOQ rating: Excellent

[Season One ratings:
1) "Welcome To The Hellmouth" - Good
2) "The Harvest" - Decent
3) "Witch" - Excellent
4) "Teacher's Pet" - Decent
5) "Never Kill A Boy On The First Date" - Decent
6) "The Pack" - Excellent
7) "Angel" - Good
8) "I Robot... You Jane" - Weak
9) "The Puppet Show" - Decent
10) "Nightmares" - Good
11) "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight" - Decent
12) "Prophecy Girl" - Excellent]


BY THE NUMBERS

_Buffy The Vampire Slayer_ Season One

ABOMINATION - 0
Bad - 0
Weak - 1
Decent - 5
Good - 3
Excellent - 3
SUPERLATIVE - 0

Average rating: 3.67 ["Good minus"] (Decent=3)


_Buffy The Vampire Slayer_ so far

See "Season One"


Average ratings by season:
S1 - 3.67
Series so far - See S1

Eric Hunter

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Jan 23, 2006, 10:37:36 PM1/23/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season One, Episode 12: "Prophecy Girl"
> (or "So let it be written, so let it be undone")
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>
> Joss takes the camera himself for the final show of the first season.
> I'm not clear on exactly how certain or uncertain the future of
> _Buffy_ was for the creators at this point, but "Prophecy Girl"
> seems like an ending.

If memory serves, Joss knew that they had been renewed
by the time PG was filmed, but not at the time it was
plotted to conclude the season.

> The exchanges between her [Cordelia] and Willow have a

> good rhythm to them, enough so that I wonder why the two
> of them haven't been given more scenes together ("I like
> your dress." "No you don't." "Yeah, I really don't, but I do
> need your help.") A policy of mutual tolerance makes
> sense from both sides; Cordelia gets someone to do
> her nerdy work and indirect access Buffy when needed,
> and Willow gets to pretend to have more than two friends.
> (Cordelia still sucks, though. I'm not backing down on that
> one so easily.)

But she is becoming more three-dimensional, isn't she?

> I'm afraid I don't really buy "clinically dead" as an
> acceptable prophecy loophole.

Well, ... she was dead, and would have remained dead
if not for the CPR The prophecy didn't say she'd STAY
dead, after all. ;-)

> Any idea what happened to Colin?

Yes, but we can't tell you. There has been a pattern
established in BtVS already that events in one episode
affect characters in future episodes, i.e. Cordy
remembers that Buffy helped her in OSOM, and so
is more inclined to treat her with some respect in PG.
That pattern also applies to seasons. What happened
in S1 will be remembered in S2-S7, and those
experiences will affect the characters.

Eric.
--

MBangel10 (Melissa)

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Jan 23, 2006, 10:54:36 PM1/23/06
to

Stay tuned....


>
> I haven't mentioned the scene with Joyce Summers yet, since it ties
> into the closing thoughts. But I think it's probably my favorite of
> the mother-daughter scenes so far. They can't talk about everything,
> but they do manage real affection from time to time. I assumed that
> Buffy's penchant for stylized one-liners was just the difference
> between Teen Hero and Outside World, but this episode suggests from
> whom she really got her sense of humor ("I'm sure you're just
> feeling full from that food you almost touched.") The dress is too
> nice a gesture to ruin by mentioning that it's less appropriate in
> the face of impending death. And of course it leads to the show's
> big running joke (well, two, if you count the unspoken one that the
> dress somehow stays spotless), which is quite fun. The final iteration
> of the gag which closes the episode gives us one last smile, and going
> out with a wry joke seems like an appropriate note on which to conclude
> Buffy: The Miniseries.
>
> Well. I think I'll give myself a little summer hiatus, and you can
> speculate over whether my reviews will be renewed for another season
> (hint: yes). Meet me back here in a week or so for Season Two.

Woohoo! If you liked Season 1, I think it's safe to say you'll love
Season 2. It's the season that reeled me in and made Buffy a must see
Tuesday night event. :)

Don Sample

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Jan 23, 2006, 10:54:46 PM1/23/06
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In article <1138071477.7...@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,

"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

> Joss takes the camera himself for the final show of the first season.
> I'm not clear on exactly how certain or uncertain the future of
> _Buffy_ was for the creators at this point, but "Prophecy Girl"
> seems like an ending.

They had no idea if they'd get a second season. The first episode still
hadn't aired when they wrapped the finale.


> Buffy's day doesn't get any better. Not only has Angel been
> avoiding her, but there's the whole impending death thing. Her
> reaction is to say "fuck it, I don't care about the world."
> Childish in the greater scheme of things, but a reasonable reaction
> from a sixteen-year-old who hasn't quite accepted that life isn't
> fair. This is one of those scenes that I imagine would be difficult
> from an actor's perspective. It calls for the ability to give an
> emotionally-charged monologue that consists mostly of yelling without
> sounding too histrionic or melodramatic, and it moves from sarcasm to
> frustration to violent anger and ends with a mix of guilt and fear
> ("I'm sixteen. I don't want to die."). In any case, Gellar
> absolutely nails the whole thing. A good one for the actor portfolio.
>
> Obviously, this thread echoes "Welcome To the Hellmouth." Back
> then it seemed like a token reluctant-hero routine that served mainly
> to let the show announce to the audience that it was all hip and
> self-aware and stuff. Twelve episodes later, we have a much better
> sense of where Buffy's coming from. The symmetry continues in that
> Willow is the one who ultimately draws Buffy back into Slayership. In
> the end, she's a hero who'll do what has to be done.

Part of the synchronicity is from them going back and refilming the
confrontation between Buffy and Giles in WTTH after they finished
'Prophecy Girl.'

They did that scene three times, once for the presentation, once when
they filmed WTTH, and again after they were done with 'Prophecy Girl.'
Joss joked that he wanted to do a "Back to the Future" type episode, so
he could make SMG do that scene *again*.

> Any idea what happened to Colin?

Yes, and I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

--
Quando omni flunkus moritati
Visit the Buffy Body Count at <http://homepage.mac.com/dsample/>

Mike Zeares

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Jan 23, 2006, 11:53:59 PM1/23/06
to
It is typical of me that I have very little to say in response to
things I agree with. So I have practically nothing to say about your
review. Except, perhaps, for the traditional "I agree with this post."
A few random comments...

"Prophecy Girl" was my "Best Episode Ever" for a long, long time, and
it's still way up there.

One scene you didn't mention was when Cordy and Willow found the guys
in the A/V room. It was a moment of true horror on a series that
usually undercuts the horror with humor. There was nothing funny
there. I remember being really freaked out by that bloody handprint on
the t.v.

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> The aftermath is well played; Xander knows he
> shouldn't lash out at Buffy, but it's impossible not to feel at
> least a little angry.

It's hard for me to listen to the dialogue in that scene. On a good
day I can take it. But it often hits too close to home.

> ("I'm sixteen. I don't want to die."). In any case, Gellar
> absolutely nails the whole thing. A good one for the actor portfolio.

The phrase "hit it out of the park" would be an understatment. I am
spellbound by that scene every single time I watch it. The part that
just kills me is her quiet "do you think it'll hurt?"

> Eventually the die is cast and Buffy goes to meet her fate. [BTW, Mrs.
> Quality didn't think it seemed quite in-character for her to just
> punch out Giles that way. I disagree.]

I agree with you. [grin] William George Ferguson used to have a .sig
that went something like, "From day one, Buffy only resorts to thought
after she has established that violence won't work."

> For the record, CPR doesn't tend to work very well unless you open an
> airway (by tilting the patient's head) first. Also, unless you have
> one of those electric shocky things (and sometimes even then), CPR
> doesn't too often revive people so much as just keep them alive until
> real help arrives. Just saying.

My crap-garbage theory has always been that Xander didn't save her.
She was dead, and Something Else sent her back. This is based mostly
on the slight focus shift that occurs just as Buffy opens her eyes.
But that's just my opinion.

> Well. I think I'll give myself a little summer hiatus, and you can
> speculate over whether my reviews will be renewed for another season
> (hint: yes). Meet me back here in a week or so for Season Two.

Ok. Good, that'll give me time to complete my BSG marathon that I just
started.

> AOQ rating: Excellent

Mine too.

-- Mike Zeares

Carlos Moreno

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Jan 24, 2006, 12:35:09 AM1/24/06
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Quoting Don Sample from Google Groups:

>> Any idea what happened to Colin?
>

> Yes, and I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

No, *we*'d have to kill *you* ... for spoiling the poor guy even
though he asked not to!! ;-)

Carlos
--

Daniel Damouth

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Jan 24, 2006, 2:27:47 AM1/24/06
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"Mike Zeares" <mze...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:1138078439.1...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com:

>> For the record, CPR doesn't tend to work very well unless you
>> open an airway (by tilting the patient's head) first. Also,
>> unless you have one of those electric shocky things (and
>> sometimes even then), CPR doesn't too often revive people so much
>> as just keep them alive until real help arrives. Just saying.
>
> My crap-garbage theory has always been that Xander didn't save
> her. She was dead, and Something Else sent her back. This is
> based mostly on the slight focus shift that occurs just as Buffy
> opens her eyes.

I always notice the little magical sound effect. And then she
miraculously feels stronger, and can resist the Master's hypno. I
think the "miracle" interpretation is supportable.

-Dan Damouth

William George Ferguson

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Jan 24, 2006, 3:02:27 AM1/24/06
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On 23 Jan 2006 18:57:57 -0800, "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>
wrote:

>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
>threads.

I hope you appreciate the heroic effort everyone has made, not to say,
'Wait until you see Prophecy Girl'.

>BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>Season One, Episode 12: "Prophecy Girl"
>(or "So let it be written, so let it be undone")
>Writer: Joss Whedon
>Director: Joss Whedon
>
>Joss takes the camera himself for the final show of the first season.
>I'm not clear on exactly how certain or uncertain the future of
>_Buffy_ was for the creators at this point, but "Prophecy Girl"
>seems like an ending. The major plots of Season One come to a
>conclusion, and the character dynamics reach a point where our heroes
>can walk off into the sunset (i.e. nightclub). And lots of stuff gets
>blowed up real good too. If everything finished here, "Prphecy
>Girl" would put the appropriate cap on Buffy: The Miniseries.

They had no guarantee when they shot Prophecy Girl that there would even
be a first season aired. The 12 episodes were shot in the fall of 1996,
and were all finished long before Welcome to the Hellmouth aired in March
of 1997. In fact, as Don Sample mentions, parts of WttH was re-shot to
fit better with PG. Also, you may have noticed that scenes from Prophecy
Girl were in Buffy's Slayerdream(tm) at the start of WttH. Prophecy Girl
was very definitely deliberately shot so that it could serve as a series
finale if necessary.

>It doesn't start that way. In fact, things open pretty generically;
>Xander likes Buffy, the Master likes talking, Buffy tolerates killing
>vampires, and Giles has an affinity for ominous prophecies. But it
>becomes clear early on that it's time to actually move ahead with
>things; I think the moment that really happens is when Xander seemingly
>overcomes the script's attempts to drag the scene out and finally
>makes his move on Buffy. From there I like how they quickly brush past
>the standard TV attempts to be noncommittal about it ("look, either
>you feel something or you don't") while finding time to slip in a
>joke or two ("... or if she does, she's playing it really close to
>the vest").

"On a scale of one to ten, it sucked."

>The aftermath is well played; Xander knows he
>shouldn't lash out at Buffy, but it's impossible not to feel at
>least a little angry. She doesn't blame him for that, they
>understand each other, but there's just nothing either of them can
>say to make the situation any less unpleasant. The followup scene
>between Xander and Willow is also pretty good for some of the same
>reasons.

The most important thing about the scene is, Willow grows a backbone. At
the start she's willing to play the Buffy part, just so she can have
Xander vicariously pitching woo at her. When he off-handedly asks her to
the dance after being (politely) shot down by Buffy, she shoots him down
not nearly so politely.

>Buffy's day doesn't get any better. Not only has Angel been
>avoiding her, but there's the whole impending death thing. Her
>reaction is to say "fuck it, I don't care about the world."
>Childish in the greater scheme of things, but a reasonable reaction
>from a sixteen-year-old who hasn't quite accepted that life isn't
>fair. This is one of those scenes that I imagine would be difficult
>from an actor's perspective. It calls for the ability to give an
>emotionally-charged monologue that consists mostly of yelling without
>sounding too histrionic or melodramatic, and it moves from sarcasm to
>frustration to violent anger and ends with a mix of guilt and fear
>("I'm sixteen. I don't want to die."). In any case, Gellar
>absolutely nails the whole thing. A good one for the actor portfolio.

>Obviously, this thread echoes "Welcome To the Hellmouth." Back
>then it seemed like a token reluctant-hero routine that served mainly
>to let the show announce to the audience that it was all hip and
>self-aware and stuff. Twelve episodes later, we have a much better
>sense of where Buffy's coming from. The symmetry continues in that
>Willow is the one who ultimately draws Buffy back into Slayership. In
>the end, she's a hero who'll do what has to be done.

And, after a season with cheesy robots, horny dummies, silly insect women,
and so on, you have a simple scene absolutely pure horror, the A/V room
scene.

>Speaking of heroics, let's not forget how awesome it is seeing Xander
>come through in the clutch, realizing that Angel is the key to helping
>Buffy and coming in prepared to deal with him. Xander's actions take
>courage and all that, but also require him to have a good sense of what
>he can and can't personally handle. I do wonder how he got ahold of
>our friendly vampire, though: if Angel was ever given a permanent
>address at which he could be reliably found, I missed it. The sequence
>makes one wonder what it says about Angel, that he was willing to sit
>around until someone came along to coax him into helping. Now that our
>writing staff seems to have finally really figured out who Xander is, I
>may have to start pulling for a B/X relationship, although I'm open
>to alternatives. (I also refuse to use the term "shipper" or
>combine characters' names; you gotta have some standards.)

The cute name combos got used for some other couplings later on, but this
particular triangle pretty much stayed B/A and B/X all the way through in
the discussions.

>The other development worth mentioning in the early parts of the
>episode is that the show seems to be ready to shake up the core
>four-heroes dynamic by letting Calendar and Cordelia hang out with the
>clique. The former is still entertaining enough, although I can't
>say I really care about her all that much either way; if the writers
>decide that Giles should have someone his own age to banter with, who
>am I to argue? As for the latter character, well, I guess she's
>mysteriously recovered from Sunnydale Forgetty-itis now that it's in
>the script.

Her being forced to go to Buffy for help in OOMOOS pretty much broke
through the forgetty effect. Plus, a whole parking lot full of vamps will
get your attention. (and note, Cordy bites a vamp, maybe the first time
I've ever seen that particular reversal happen with vampires)

>The exchanges between her and Willow have a good rhythm to
>them, enough so that I wonder why the two of them haven't been given
>more scenes together ("I like your dress." "No you don't."
>"Yeah, I really don't, but I do need your help.") A policy of
>mutual tolerance makes sense from both sides; Cordelia gets someone to
>do her nerdy work and indirect access Buffy when needed, and Willow
>gets to pretend to have more than two friends. (Cordelia still sucks,
>though. I'm not backing down on that one so easily.)

What this episode did better than previous episodes is show, rather than
just tell us, that these kids have known each other their entire lives.
Willow isn't Marcie, some faceless kid in the background that Cordelia
didn't notice (heck, Xander and Williow didn't even notice her), this is a
girl that can tell stories about her from the 2nd and 3rd grade.

>Eventually the die is cast and Buffy goes to meet her fate. [BTW, Mrs.
>Quality didn't think it seemed quite in-character for her to just
>punch out Giles that way. I disagree.]

Plus it set up the wonderful exchange between Buffy and Jenny
"When he comes to, tell him... I don't know, make up something cool and
tell him I said it."

>There're two outstanding
>scenes during this sequence, both of which involve the theme of
>skipping the standard drawn-out stuff and getting on with things. The
>first is Buffy's laconic meeting with Colin. I didn't really
>expect that the prophecy's "lead her into Hell" would turn out to
>be so literal. And then the initial confrontation with the Master is
>handled perfectly. Buffy, terrified but not showing it at all. The
>Master sees right through it, starts to suggest that they skip the
>"feeble banter stage," and she shoots him mid-sentence. So very
>BTVS.
>
>For the record, CPR doesn't tend to work very well unless you open an
>airway (by tilting the patient's head) first. Also, unless you have
>one of those electric shocky things (and sometimes even then), CPR
>doesn't too often revive people so much as just keep them alive until
>real help arrives. Just saying. Also, I'm afraid I don't really
>buy "clinically dead" as an acceptable prophecy loophole.

What can I say, Buffy flunked the written.

And as Zeares says, there's a lot of us that speculated that Xander didn't
revive her unaided. In that scene, Xander has actually stopped doing the
the CPR and is staring at Angel over her body when her eyes flip open and
she coughs up some water.

This was very heavily debated, well, for a long time, much longer than
jsut the summer of 97. The phrase we tended to use for the unknown
'something' that we thought intervened was 'Mystical Force For Good', or
MFFG for short.

[skip discussion of the dress "Yeah, yeah, big hit with everyone."]

And leaving with the final word on the Master
"Loser."

"Buffy Summers never resorts to thought until she establishes that
violence won't work"
-me

See you in a week or so, for another 'written and directed by...'

--
HERBERT
1996 - 1997
Beloved Mascot
Delightful Meal
He fed the Pack
A little

Daniel Damouth

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Jan 24, 2006, 3:39:20 AM1/24/06
to
My days of posting organized comments about the show are gone (but
archived).

Do other people laugh in the middle of the somber montage of pain, at
the point when Xander is actually listening to country music (Patsy
Cline)?

I've long thought that that was a perfect superposition of sadness and
humor. One of Joss's hallmarks, for me, has been combining sadness and
humor at the same time.

-Dan Damouth

Mike Zeares

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Jan 24, 2006, 5:17:25 AM1/24/06
to

Daniel Damouth wrote:

> My days of posting organized comments about the show are gone (but
> archived).
>
> Do other people laugh in the middle of the somber montage of pain, at
> the point when Xander is actually listening to country music (Patsy
> Cline)?

I laughed out loud the first time. It's always gotten a smile from me
since then.

-- Mike Zeares, whose archived comments are mostly of the disorganized
variety.

Mike Zeares

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Jan 24, 2006, 5:38:42 AM1/24/06
to

William George Ferguson wrote:
> On 23 Jan 2006 18:57:57 -0800, "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> >threads.
>
> I hope you appreciate the heroic effort everyone has made, not to say,
> 'Wait until you see Prophecy Girl'.

I nearly had to knock myself unconscious.

> Prophecy Girl
> was very definitely deliberately shot so that it could serve as a series
> finale if necessary.

There's an alternate universe where BtVS aired on FOX and was cancelled
after S1. The last episode aired was the two-hour pilot "Welcome to
the Hellmouth."

> And, after a season with cheesy robots, horny dummies, silly insect women,
> and so on, you have a simple scene absolutely pure horror, the A/V room
> scene.

Vampires never seemed scarier on the show. And there weren't even any
in the scene.

This just occurred to me, almost 9 years later. We saw Willow's
reaction to that scene. But we didn't see Cordelia dealing with it.
We saw the result -- her arrival in the nick (sp?)of time. She
obviously went through a similar epiphany as Willow. It was personal
now. The process started in OOM.... But holding her dead boyfriend
made it impossible for her to ignore the obvious any more. She was In
The Know, about the vampires, and about Buffy. It's impressive to me
how quickly she got to the same mental space as the Slayerettes. Well,
Cordy never was a "oh, this can't be happening!" kind of girl.

-- Mike Zeares (ouch, that was a lot of thoughts)

John Briggs

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Jan 24, 2006, 6:19:09 AM1/24/06
to
Eric Hunter wrote:
> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
>> threads.
>>
>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>> Season One, Episode 12: "Prophecy Girl"
>> (or "So let it be written, so let it be undone")
>> Writer: Joss Whedon
>> Director: Joss Whedon
>>
>> Joss takes the camera himself for the final show of the first season.
>> I'm not clear on exactly how certain or uncertain the future of
>> _Buffy_ was for the creators at this point, but "Prophecy Girl"
>> seems like an ending.
>
> If memory serves, Joss knew that they had been renewed
> by the time PG was filmed, but not at the time it was
> plotted to conclude the season.

Memory doesn't serve. The whole first season was completed before the
premiere aired. The decision to renew must have been taken shortly
afterwards, but on the basis of the suits' reaction to the whole season
rather than the public's.
--
John Briggs


John Briggs

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Jan 24, 2006, 6:27:35 AM1/24/06
to
Don Sample wrote:
> In article <1138071477.7...@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Joss takes the camera himself for the final show of the first season.
>> I'm not clear on exactly how certain or uncertain the future of
>> _Buffy_ was for the creators at this point, but "Prophecy Girl"
>> seems like an ending.
>
> They had no idea if they'd get a second season. The first episode
> still hadn't aired when they wrapped the finale.

They clearly intended a second season - there's a glaring great plothole
sitting in the middle of the frame :-)
--
John Briggs


John Briggs

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Jan 24, 2006, 6:39:56 AM1/24/06
to
William George Ferguson wrote:
> On 23 Jan 2006 18:57:57 -0800, "Arbitrar Of Quality"
> <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>
>> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
>> threads.
>
> I hope you appreciate the heroic effort everyone has made, not to say,
> 'Wait until you see Prophecy Girl'.
>
>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>> Season One, Episode 12: "Prophecy Girl"
>> (or "So let it be written, so let it be undone")
>> Writer: Joss Whedon
>> Director: Joss Whedon
>>
>> Joss takes the camera himself for the final show of the first season.
>> I'm not clear on exactly how certain or uncertain the future of
>> _Buffy_ was for the creators at this point, but "Prophecy Girl"
>> seems like an ending. The major plots of Season One come to a
>> conclusion, and the character dynamics reach a point where our heroes
>> can walk off into the sunset (i.e. nightclub). And lots of stuff
>> gets blowed up real good too. If everything finished here, "Prphecy
>> Girl" would put the appropriate cap on Buffy: The Miniseries.
>
> They had no guarantee when they shot Prophecy Girl that there would
> even be a first season aired. The 12 episodes were shot in the fall
> of 1996, and were all finished long before Welcome to the Hellmouth
> aired in March of 1997.

It was a bit tighter than that - "Prophecy Girl", the re-shoots and
additional scenes for WttH and "The Harvest" were shot at the very end of
January.

> In fact, as Don Sample mentions, parts of WttH was re-shot to fit better
> with PG.

That was NOT the reason for the re-shoots!

> Also, you may have noticed
> that scenes from Prophecy Girl were in Buffy's Slayerdream(tm) at the
> start of WttH. Prophecy Girl was very definitely deliberately shot
> so that it could serve as a series finale if necessary.

That was the case with each season finale.
--
John Briggs


Espen Schjønberg

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Jan 24, 2006, 6:39:46 AM1/24/06
to
On 24.01.2006 08:27, Daniel Damouth wrote:
> "Mike Zeares" <mze...@yahoo.com> wrote in
>>
>>My crap-garbage theory has always been that Xander didn't save
>>her. She was dead, and Something Else sent her back. >
>
> I always notice the little magical sound effect.

I vote no to this. It is just the filmmakers being a bit weak on how to
jump-start a human.

> And then she
> miraculously feels stronger, and can resist the Master's hypno.

Thats because she now meets him for the second time. She's got some
Borg-qualities.

--
Espen

John Briggs

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Jan 24, 2006, 7:44:00 AM1/24/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season One, Episode 12: "Prophecy Girl"
> (or "So let it be written, so let it be undone")
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>
>
> I haven't mentioned the scene with Joyce Summers yet, since it ties
> into the closing thoughts. But I think it's probably my favorite of
> the mother-daughter scenes so far. They can't talk about everything,
> but they do manage real affection from time to time. I assumed that
> Buffy's penchant for stylized one-liners was just the difference
> between Teen Hero and Outside World, but this episode suggests from
> whom she really got her sense of humor ("I'm sure you're just
> feeling full from that food you almost touched.")

She gets it from the writer (see above).
--
John Briggs


John Briggs

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 7:47:33 AM1/24/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
> The final iteration of the gag which closes the episode gives us one last
> smile, and going out with a wry joke seems like an appropriate note on
> which to conclude Buffy: The Miniseries.

It was an afterthought - it wasn't in the original script.
--
John Briggs


shuggie

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Jan 24, 2006, 8:03:09 AM1/24/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season One, Episode 12: "Prophecy Girl"
> (or "So let it be written, so let it be undone")
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>

Aha - the good stuff...

> Joss takes the camera himself for the final show of the first season.
> I'm not clear on exactly how certain or uncertain the future of
> _Buffy_ was for the creators at this point, but "Prophecy Girl"
> seems like an ending.

Even where they did know they were coming back the season finales
usually worked as an ending.

>The major plots of Season One come to a
> conclusion, and the character dynamics reach a point where our heroes
> can walk off into the sunset (i.e. nightclub). And lots of stuff gets
> blowed up real good too. If everything finished here, "Prphecy
> Girl" would put the appropriate cap on Buffy: The Miniseries.
>
> It doesn't start that way. In fact, things open pretty generically;
> Xander likes Buffy, the Master likes talking, Buffy tolerates killing
> vampires,

'tolerates' is an odd word. In the opening teaser she's clearly
enjoying it, despite complaining to Giles that it's getting tougher.

> and Giles has an affinity for ominous prophecies. But it
> becomes clear early on that it's time to actually move ahead with
> things; I think the moment that really happens is when Xander seemingly
> overcomes the script's attempts to drag the scene out and finally
> makes his move on Buffy.

Anyone who's ever been in Xander's position, a probably doomed attempt
to get the girl of your dreams, knows that that's how it feels -
there's always a part of you that wants to drag it out, both for fear
of actually doing it and for fear of hearing the inevitable 'no', and
then when you finally do summon up the courage you grab the moment with
both hands and go for it quickly so's you won't have time to back out.

I think Joss captured it precisely.

> From there I like how they quickly brush past
> the standard TV attempts to be noncommittal about it ("look, either
> you feel something or you don't") while finding time to slip in a
> joke or two ("... or if she does, she's playing it really close to
> the vest"). The aftermath is well played; Xander knows he
> shouldn't lash out at Buffy, but it's impossible not to feel at
> least a little angry. She doesn't blame him for that, they
> understand each other, but there's just nothing either of them can
> say to make the situation any less unpleasant. The followup scene
> between Xander and Willow is also pretty good for some of the same
> reasons.

Yep. This is what Joss does. Pain, rejection and angst. This is where
he lives.

>
> Buffy's day doesn't get any better. Not only has Angel been
> avoiding her, but there's the whole impending death thing. Her
> reaction is to say "fuck it, I don't care about the world."
> Childish in the greater scheme of things, but a reasonable reaction
> from a sixteen-year-old who hasn't quite accepted that life isn't
> fair. This is one of those scenes that I imagine would be difficult
> from an actor's perspective. It calls for the ability to give an
> emotionally-charged monologue that consists mostly of yelling without
> sounding too histrionic or melodramatic, and it moves from sarcasm to
> frustration to violent anger and ends with a mix of guilt and fear
> ("I'm sixteen. I don't want to die."). In any case, Gellar
> absolutely nails the whole thing. A good one for the actor portfolio.
>

Yep. Gellar's a superb actor in my view and this is a scene that
showcases why. However as is often the case, she's also doing a lot of
good work that you don't necessarily notice because it's not as
'flashy'. Also I think she didn't always get credit for performance
when people were less sympathetic to the character.

> Obviously, this thread echoes "Welcome To the Hellmouth." Back
> then it seemed like a token reluctant-hero routine that served mainly
> to let the show announce to the audience that it was all hip and
> self-aware and stuff. Twelve episodes later, we have a much better
> sense of where Buffy's coming from. The symmetry continues in that
> Willow is the one who ultimately draws Buffy back into Slayership. In
> the end, she's a hero who'll do what has to be done.
>
> Speaking of heroics, let's not forget how awesome it is seeing Xander
> come through in the clutch, realizing that Angel is the key to helping
> Buffy and coming in prepared to deal with him. Xander's actions take
> courage and all that, but also require him to have a good sense of what
> he can and can't personally handle. I do wonder how he got ahold of
> our friendly vampire, though: if Angel was ever given a permanent
> address at which he could be reliably found, I missed it.

Well Giles has his phone number.

>The sequence
> makes one wonder what it says about Angel, that he was willing to sit
> around until someone came along to coax him into helping. Now that our
> writing staff seems to have finally really figured out who Xander is, I
> may have to start pulling for a B/X relationship, although I'm open
> to alternatives. (I also refuse to use the term "shipper" or
> combine characters' names; you gotta have some standards.)
>

That's a relief but let me encourage you not to 'pull for' any
particular relationship too much. A lot of people other the years have
ended up not enjoying stuff because they were too busy pulling for X
and weren't able to enjoy Y when it happened instead. That certainly
happened to me early on, but I flatter myself I learnt from it.

> The other development worth mentioning in the early parts of the
> episode is that the show seems to be ready to shake up the core
> four-heroes dynamic by letting Calendar and Cordelia hang out with the
> clique. The former is still entertaining enough, although I can't
> say I really care about her all that much either way; if the writers
> decide that Giles should have someone his own age to banter with, who
> am I to argue? As for the latter character, well, I guess she's
> mysteriously recovered from Sunnydale Forgetty-itis now that it's in
> the script. The exchanges between her and Willow have a good rhythm to
> them, enough so that I wonder why the two of them haven't been given
> more scenes together ("I like your dress." "No you don't."
> "Yeah, I really don't, but I do need your help.") A policy of
> mutual tolerance makes sense from both sides; Cordelia gets someone to
> do her nerdy work and indirect access Buffy when needed, and Willow
> gets to pretend to have more than two friends. (Cordelia still sucks,
> though. I'm not backing down on that one so easily.)

Fair enough. At least one of my favourite characters in the show was
someone I wasn't keen on to begin with.

>
> Eventually the die is cast and Buffy goes to meet her fate. [BTW, Mrs.
> Quality didn't think it seemed quite in-character for her to just
> punch out Giles that way. I disagree.] There're two outstanding
> scenes during this sequence, both of which involve the theme of
> skipping the standard drawn-out stuff and getting on with things. The
> first is Buffy's laconic meeting with Colin. I didn't really
> expect that the prophecy's "lead her into Hell" would turn out to
> be so literal.

No. Did you feel it was a cop-out? I think I sort of did the first time
I saw it. But it moves the story forward to where it needs to go - the
Buffy/Master confrontation - so I don't really care.

> And then the initial confrontation with the Master is
> handled perfectly. Buffy, terrified but not showing it at all. The
> Master sees right through it, starts to suggest that they skip the
> "feeble banter stage," and she shoots him mid-sentence. So very
> BTVS.

Indeed :)

>
> For the record, CPR doesn't tend to work very well unless you open an
> airway (by tilting the patient's head) first. Also, unless you have
> one of those electric shocky things (and sometimes even then), CPR
> doesn't too often revive people so much as just keep them alive until
> real help arrives. Just saying.

I don't know if I go in for the mystical theories that others have but
I do know Buffy's stronger than a normal human, so her body doesn't
necessarily work exactly the same. Again though, it's a story thing.

> Also, I'm afraid I don't really
> buy "clinically dead" as an acceptable prophecy loophole.
>

Well those that write the prophecies get to decide that.

> The ending sequences almost have to be something of a letdown given the
> gooey goodness that have lead up to them. They're still quite fun,
> if a little silly for their own good. The car ride through the school
> and the various monsters in the library make me imagine the crew saying
> "we've got some leftover budget, and dammit, we're gonna use
> it." It's like a music video. As I was watching the final
> confrontation, I wondered whether it would seem dumb to a new viewer
> who'd just flipped over to the show

Probably, but I don't think I'd ever use that as a criteria for judging
any show. If a show has to make sense at any point without the forgoing
part of the episode, never mind stuff from previous episodes, then I
can't see how you could make anything but the most bland, predictable,
formulaic... Ohhhh.

> We care, though, because
> through twelve episodes of varying quality, the series has succeeded in
> making us interested in what happens to these people. (Some shows
> benefit from being viewed as a complete work, yes?)

Or if not as a complete work then they at least allow for continuity. I
think looking back at 1997, the 90s in general, it was around that time
that TV shows started to have ongoing stories and developing characters
rather than the big reset button at the end of the episode. Actually I
suspect we'd had that here in the UK a little longer because your
scheduling system favours shows that can be (re-)watched easily.

>In the end, the
> world is saved, and I hope the Master stays dead. He's served his
> purpose; it's time to make a fresh start.
>

I kind of liked him when he was being funny. The speech at the
beginning where he does the typical overblown villain speech during the
earthquake and then turns to Colin and says 'What do you reckon 4.5?'
was priceless. But I think you're right.

It'll be interesting to see what you make of the next crop of baddies.

> Any idea what happened to Colin?

Of course. Look, I'll make a deal with you: I'll continue the Herculean
effort of biting my tongue every time I see something that begs for a
reference to an upcoming episode and in return how about you not ask
direct questions the answers to which can only be spoilers. Deal?

>
> I haven't mentioned the scene with Joyce Summers yet, since it ties
> into the closing thoughts. But I think it's probably my favorite of
> the mother-daughter scenes so far. They can't talk about everything,
> but they do manage real affection from time to time. I assumed that
> Buffy's penchant for stylized one-liners was just the difference
> between Teen Hero and Outside World, but this episode suggests from
> whom she really got her sense of humor ("I'm sure you're just
> feeling full from that food you almost touched.")

If you think that's good, wait til you see... (remembers deal)

>The dress is too
> nice a gesture to ruin by mentioning that it's less appropriate in
> the face of impending death.

>From a dramatic stylistic metaphor-y point of view that's kind of the
point. From a story point of view - of course it's inappropriate but
Buffy's mom doesn't know what's going to happen so it'd be suspicious
for Buffy to leave the house not wearing it. I also get the feeling
Buffy's decided that she may be about to die but she's darn well going
to wear her dress

> And of course it leads to the show's
> big running joke (well, two, if you count the unspoken one that the
> dress somehow stays spotless), which is quite fun. The final iteration
> of the gag which closes the episode gives us one last smile, and going
> out with a wry joke seems like an appropriate note on which to conclude
> Buffy: The Miniseries.
>
> Well. I think I'll give myself a little summer hiatus, and you can
> speculate over whether my reviews will be renewed for another season
> (hint: yes). Meet me back here in a week or so for Season Two.
>

Cool.

Mike Zeares

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 8:13:10 AM1/24/06
to

John Briggs wrote:

> She gets it from the writer (see above).

That's a rather Mugglish way of looking at a fictional work. I'm just
sayin'.

-- Mike Zeares

shuggie

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Jan 24, 2006, 8:14:51 AM1/24/06
to

John Briggs wrote:

I'd say that's a radical definition of 'afterthought' given that script
revision is a standard process.

Mike Zeares

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 8:22:58 AM1/24/06
to

shuggie wrote:

> Yep. This is what Joss does. Pain, rejection and angst. This is where
> he lives.

I think it was David Greenwalt who said, "If Joss had had one good day
in high school, none of us would be here."

>
> Of course. Look, I'll make a deal with you: I'll continue the Herculean
> effort of biting my tongue every time I see something that begs for a
> reference to an upcoming episode and in return how about you not ask
> direct questions the answers to which can only be spoilers. Deal?

Yeah, no kidding. Questions like that make me suspect he's actually
fully familiar with the series and is just playing as if he's watching
it for the first time. Of course, I also suspect my neighbors are
attacking me with microwaves and that the Russians created Hurricane
Katrina (that's what I get for listening to late-night talk radio).

-- Mike Zeares, adjusting tinfoil

Mike Zeares

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 8:29:26 AM1/24/06
to

I can't remember if that last "I like your dress" bit was something
that David and Sarah came up with, or if it was something that Joss
added. I seem to recall reading something about it somewhere, but
finding the reference would be hopeless now.

-- Mike Zeares

kenm47

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Jan 24, 2006, 8:40:12 AM1/24/06
to
What to add?

"the appropriate cap on Buffy: The Miniseries"

This is what I was suggesting earlier about trying to view the episode
as if you did not know the show would continue to a second season.
That was me then. I think not knowing added a lot to the experience at
the time at least for this lifetime TV addict.

According to Joss, all 12 episodes of Season 1, a mid-season
replacement, were in the can before WttH aired. He also wanted an
"end" in case there was no renewal. I gave him major points for
that. So, when Buffy was "killed" I accepted that maybe she was,
that her tale was told. When she came back "strong," and then
killed the big bad, I once again figured it was over. I mean where do
you go from there with the Big Bad disposed of. Needless to say, that
there was a Season 2 was good news to me.

BTW, another footnote for a pop culture reference dated in 1997 and
which I believe most missed and which I've never seen
"officially" acknowledged. "You have fruit punch mouth" and
then Buffy punches him - refers to a then dated advertising campaign
for Hawaiian Punch fruit drink where one cartoon character asked the
other "How about a Hawaiian Punch?," second character says
"Sure," and first character then punches second.

As to Xander/Buffy, the best thing about all of that (aside form
Country music being the music of pain) is that second choice Willow has
the ability to say "No." Xander still comes off as a foolishly
lusting teenager, and jealous. Yes, he's very important in this
episode in getting Angel to help him, but in one way or another every
one of the team is important for the final victory, including Cordy
rescuing Willow and Jenny.

The big denouement scene as you point out is just amazing. Up until now
Buffy seems to never really think about the danger she is in, the
possibility that she'll die. The prophecy makes that all too real.
"Do you think it'll hurt?" is as great a line in that scene as
"Giles, I'm sixteen years old. I don't wanna die." I mean after
"wow!" what is there to say?

Then we get the AV room tableau. The bloody palm print on the TV screen
showing the 3 Little Pigs. Just brilliant, as is Willow's speech to
Buffy when Buffy accepts her roll.

Buffy punching out Giles is right in character IMO (and a nice follow
up to Jenny's amazement that Buffy is The Slayer yet "so little."
A very important scene as Giles realizes the Anointed One may be a
child. But the prophecy is: "The Slayer will not know him, and he
will lead her into Hell." And what does overhearing Buffy say?
"So, I'm looking for a kid, huh? And he'll lead me to the Master?"
And what does she say to the Anointed One? "It's okay. I know who you
are." What to make of this? It wasn't sloppy writing. It was
letting the audience know these prophecy things are tricky business.

Bits of business I did not care for all that much: the power march to
the too loud theme, the vamp they run into but knock down instead of
dust, and "Loser" which to me then seemed an unnecessary line.

At the time I did not care that Angel had no breath for Buffy, but had
breath to speak, and just as he gets to Buffy and pulls her from the
water he's panting. Now it's slightly irritating.

BTW, I think we all liked her dress.

I'm glad you liked it, AOQ. I do think it's at worst an Excellent+
grade. Extra credit was deserved if only for Joss being willing to give
the fans closure of a sort if there was never to be an episode 13.

Thanks again for a reason to rewatch Season 1.

Ken (Brooklyn)

John Briggs

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 8:42:18 AM1/24/06
to

It's in "The Watcher's Guide" episode guide - reprinted in the S1 set
booklet.
--
John Briggs


shuggie

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Jan 24, 2006, 8:48:41 AM1/24/06
to

William George Ferguson wrote:

> The most important thing about the scene is, Willow grows a backbone. At
> the start she's willing to play the Buffy part, just so she can have
> Xander vicariously pitching woo at her. When he off-handedly asks her to
> the dance after being (politely) shot down by Buffy, she shoots him down
> not nearly so politely.

I'm not so sure about this. I think in the first scene it's something
Willow is consciously doing. As far as Xander's concerned he's
practicing and Willow's well aware that he's not asking her, so he's
not 'using' her at all. If anything it's Willow that's using the
experience to fantasize and get a little vicarious thrill.

When Xander asks her to the dance right after Buffy turned him down
then he *is* using Willow. He's treating her as a consolation prize, a
substitute and that's not fair. Also he goes out of his way to make
sure she knows it's not a proper date (even though we know he secretly
knows that's what she wants).

I think refusing to help Xander practice would be much more a statement
whereas refusing to be his also-ran was perfectly reasonable.

John Briggs

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 8:48:55 AM1/24/06
to

It is. The line is not in the early script version that I have. I haven't
got the published script book, so can't tell if it made it to the final
shooting script. I think you should check that before criticising what I
wrote. 'The Watcher's Guide' says "added during production", whatever
*that* means - I think they mean 'during post-production'. Would that
qualify as 'afterthought'?
--
John Briggs


kenm47

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 8:52:43 AM1/24/06
to
"I don't know if I go in for the mystical theories that others have but

I do know Buffy's stronger than a normal human, so her body doesn't
necessarily work exactly the same. Again though, it's a story thing. "

I just figured there was something in The Master's saliva that when
mixed with Slayer blood gave Buffy an extra special strength boost,
sort of the mirror of The Master getting extra strength from drinking
Buffy's blood.

I wasn't reading posts back then, so this is the first I think I've
heard of the MFFG theory for Buffy's resurrection. I do think something
more than Xander's CPR was involved, but I'll stick with it being
Xander that actually prined the pump.

Ken (Brooklyn)

shuggie

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 8:53:23 AM1/24/06
to

shuggie wrote:
> >
> > Buffy's day doesn't get any better. Not only has Angel been
> > avoiding her, but there's the whole impending death thing. Her
> > reaction is to say "fuck it, I don't care about the world."
> > Childish in the greater scheme of things, but a reasonable reaction
> > from a sixteen-year-old who hasn't quite accepted that life isn't
> > fair. This is one of those scenes that I imagine would be difficult
> > from an actor's perspective. It calls for the ability to give an
> > emotionally-charged monologue that consists mostly of yelling without
> > sounding too histrionic or melodramatic, and it moves from sarcasm to
> > frustration to violent anger and ends with a mix of guilt and fear
> > ("I'm sixteen. I don't want to die."). In any case, Gellar
> > absolutely nails the whole thing. A good one for the actor portfolio.
> >
>
> Yep. Gellar's a superb actor in my view and this is a scene that
> showcases why. However as is often the case, she's also doing a lot of
> good work that you don't necessarily notice because it's not as
> 'flashy'. Also I think she didn't always get credit for performance
> when people were less sympathetic to the character.
>

I forgot to mention that Ash deserves credit here too. The fact that
he's largely reacting shouldn't detract from the fact that's he's
contributing hugely to the scene.

kenm47

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Jan 24, 2006, 8:56:16 AM1/24/06
to
"I forgot to mention that Ash deserves credit here too. The fact that
he's largely reacting shouldn't detract from the fact that's he's
contributing hugely to the scene."

Ditto

Ken (Brooklyn)

shuggie

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Jan 24, 2006, 9:01:58 AM1/24/06
to

Mike Zeares wrote:

> It is typical of me that I have very little to say in response to
> things I agree with. So I have practically nothing to say about your
> review. Except, perhaps, for the traditional "I agree with this post."
> A few random comments...
>
> "Prophecy Girl" was my "Best Episode Ever" for a long, long time, and
> it's still way up there.
>
> One scene you didn't mention was when Cordy and Willow found the guys
> in the A/V room. It was a moment of true horror on a series that
> usually undercuts the horror with humor. There was nothing funny
> there. I remember being really freaked out by that bloody handprint on
> the t.v.
>

Yeah. Joss recently said that they 'forgot to make [BtVS] scary' - this
is one ep where they didn't.

shuggie

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Jan 24, 2006, 9:02:28 AM1/24/06
to

John Briggs wrote:

> shuggie wrote:
> > John Briggs wrote:
> >
> >> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> >>>
> >>> The final iteration of the gag which closes the episode gives us
> >>> one last smile, and going out with a wry joke seems like an
> >>> appropriate note on which to conclude Buffy: The Miniseries.
> >>
> >> It was an afterthought - it wasn't in the original script.
> >
> > I'd say that's a radical definition of 'afterthought' given that
> > script revision is a standard process.
>
> It is. The line is not in the early script version that I have. I haven't
> got the published script book, so can't tell if it made it to the final
> shooting script. I think you should check that before criticising what I
> wrote.

I have my own criteria for criticising you, thanks. I'm criticising you
because you're being overly pedantic and using that pedantry to attack
something I admire. I can't remember the last time you posted something
positive, or even positively negative (as in "I hate this
character/plotline") rather than all this quibbling about dates of
scripts, definitions of 'pilot' and so on. You are tripping over the
roots of the trees, never looking up to see the beautiful wood you're
in.

>'The Watcher's Guide' says "added during production", whatever
> *that* means - I think they mean 'during post-production'. Would that
> qualify as 'afterthought'?

I just dislike the word 'afterthought' as it carries implications that
this was kind of careless, happy accident whereas in fact what you
have, on most TV shows not just BtVS, is a constant series of
adjustments, of creative decisions. I dislike that you effectively
dismiss a good one because it happened late in the process.

John Briggs

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Jan 24, 2006, 9:34:49 AM1/24/06
to
shuggie wrote:
> John Briggs wrote:
>> shuggie wrote:
>>> John Briggs wrote:
>>>> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> The final iteration of the gag which closes the episode gives us
>>>>> one last smile, and going out with a wry joke seems like an
>>>>> appropriate note on which to conclude Buffy: The Miniseries.
>>>>
>>>> It was an afterthought - it wasn't in the original script.
>>>
>>> I'd say that's a radical definition of 'afterthought' given that
>>> script revision is a standard process.
>>
>> It is. The line is not in the early script version that I have. I
>> haven't got the published script book, so can't tell if it made it
>> to the final shooting script. I think you should check that before
>> criticising what I wrote.
>
> I have my own criteria for criticising you, thanks. I'm criticising
> you because you're being overly pedantic and using that pedantry to
> attack something I admire.

I'm not attacking anything. I made a factual observation. If there was a
point to it, it was to issue a caution against believing that everything was
pre-planned. In this case, it would appear that the final effect was
created during editing. Don't you find that interesting?

> I can't remember the last time you posted
> something positive, or even positively negative (as in "I hate this
> character/plotline") rather than all this quibbling about dates of
> scripts, definitions of 'pilot' and so on. You are tripping over the
> roots of the trees, never looking up to see the beautiful wood you're
> in.

Perhaps I should mention that I don't think much of your criteria?

>> 'The Watcher's Guide' says "added during production", whatever
>> *that* means - I think they mean 'during post-production'. Would
>> that qualify as 'afterthought'?
>
> I just dislike the word 'afterthought' as it carries implications that
> this was kind of careless, happy accident whereas in fact what you
> have, on most TV shows not just BtVS, is a constant series of
> adjustments, of creative decisions. I dislike that you effectively
> dismiss a good one because it happened late in the process.

Who's giving radical interpretations of the word 'afterthought' now? The
word carries no such implications. "Careless", no - "happy", yes. That's
exactly what it was. Had it occurred to Joss earlier he would have scripted
it. And had someone else been directing, it probably wouldn't have
happened. Why did you imagine that by studying the development of the
scripts, and the relationship between the scripts and the finished
programmes, I might have somehow missed the "constant series of
adjustments"? BTW, most TV shows are not like BtVS. "Creative decisions"
is much too polite for them :-)

I would suggest that sticking to factual details avoids the dangers of
over-emotional interpretation :-)

(I know someone who dislikes the word 'squirrel', and someone else who
objects to the word 'gift'. They are both mocked for their foibles.)
--
John Briggs


Espen Schjønberg

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Jan 24, 2006, 9:38:01 AM1/24/06