Saturday, 27 April 2013

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Blood Ties

“I wasn’t lurkin’, I was standing about… Whole different vibe!”

It’s Buffy’s twentieth birthday, and we all know nothing bad ever happens on Buffy’s birthday! Also, Dawn is wearing a t-shirt with “little miss drama” on it, which in no way implies any major explosions! Oh, and the Scoobies are currently digesting the news that Glory is a god. All is clearly going to be sweetness and light.

The core of the episode consists of Dawn, a hormone-ridden fourteen year old girl, having a major teenage existential crisis, involving the destruction of her entire bedroom, tears, tantrums and all that. While there’s a certain amount of metaphor here, most teenage girls do not suddenly realise that they are a kind of mystical key which has only been in existence for six months and around which reality has shifted to give her a real existence and history. That’s a lot to deal with at fourteen.

This is a very arcy episode indeed, culminating in a very brave Dawn having a long and dangerous conversation with Glory. Oh Yeah…… BEN IS GLORY!!!!! WTF?!?!?!??!!?

Spike is continuing with his habit of standing outside of Buffy’s house smoking and stalking. The dynamic between him and Dawn is fascinating: he’s the only one who doesn’t speak to her as an authority figure, and Buffy doesn’t like this at all. Interestingly, Spike is the only person whose attitude to Dawn does not change. Typically of this show, it is only extreme peril that reconciles Dawn with Buffy and everybody.

Aside from the obvious revelations, we learn some more things in this episode. Glory has limited powers while in human form, and only retains what sanity she has by taking it from others, as we have constantly seen throughout the season. She’s only defeated by being teleported (another example of Willow becoming worryingly dependent on magic), and it’s hard to see how the Scoobies can possibly win at this point.

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