Sunday, 17 February 2013

Buffy: Out of My Mind

"Isn't this better than using a flashlight like a doofus."

Yes, the Buffy reviews are back. From now on it's a cycle of Buffy / Angel / Grimm / Dollhouse (starting soon!), interspersed with a movie whenever I feel like it, plus new episodes of Doctor Who once they start on 30th March. I'm going to be very busy.

This episode surprised me a little; I assumed Riley was about to be dumped, but instead things just continue to fester between him and Buffy. However much she may be in denial and try to convince herself that she loves him, Buffy sees him as in the way: even Spike notices and, as we know, Spike is a perceptive judge of character. The whole a-plot about Riley's dangerously fast heartbeat is so tragic; he's risking his life to be more than normal, so that Buffy will love him. But she never has. Buffy reveals an awful lot more than she intends when she insists that sex with him is "relaxing". Graham is right in what he says at the end: Riley doesn't belong in a passive role as "the mission's boyfriend".

It's interesting to see Giles set up, after a year and a bit of unemployment, as proprietor of Sunnydale's magic shop, with lots of help from his friend. Anya's capitalist side, subtly hinted at until now, comes to the fore as Giles offers her a job. But the stand-out character of the episode, for me, is Harmony. She's taken up smoking because, like, that's what baddies do, but is horrified to learn that she's smoking in a "no smoking" area. She's as endearingly thick as ever, and her rapport with Spike is sheer perfection. Spike, meanwhile, is getting a lot of development vat this point: he's obsessed with Buffy, and only at the end of the episode do we realise how far his obsession has gone. This is very, very, interesting.

It's also becoming noticeable that Willow's use of magic is becoming excessive; this is something to watch. And Buffy's mother, once again, is not well. Is this supernatural, or something else...?

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