Monday, 15 December 2014

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spiral

"Running away? Finally, a sensible plan..."

Ahem. Yes, I know. Blog-wise, this is the longest season of Buffy ever. It will get quicker, honest! Anyway, things are getting pretty bleak here.

Buffy's at the end of her tether. This season has been a constant stream of pressure put upon her young shoulders, both as a slayer and as a young woman. As she confides to Dawn, "It just keeps coming. Glory, Riley, Tara, Mom...". This season Whedon has decided to just throw hardship and responsibility at his eponymous protagonist and see how she responds. By simply shutting down, according to the end of the episode. Things are far beyond serious.

This is the episode where the Scoobies run away; there is no hope against Glory. And yet this is also the episode where, in the midst of a load of exposition about Glory from the captured general of those bizarre mediaeval clerics, still using swords, bows and chainmail in 2001, we learn that she has an Achilles heel; kill Ben, and Glory dies. That's a bit of a hint as to how the season ends.

This exposition also explains what the Key is- a device to mingle all the dimensions, freeing Glory and unleashing Hellish chaos- and Dawn hears it all. An adolescent girl, already with self-esteem issues, hearing that she's something unspeakably awful. Oh, and at one stage it almost feels as if Giles is going to die. And, at the end, Ben turns into Glory, and takes Dawn away. She's won. It's over. And through it all Tara is still heartbreakingly hobbled on the brain. How very bleak.

There's other stuff too, of course; Ben talks to the camper demon ever, and realises that his only hope is to kill Dawn- so what's that he injects her with at the generals insistence? The general, and the clerics, also want to kill this innocent teenage girl, in the name of God, for the greater good. Like Buffy, we're appalled. It's fitting that they dress and act like crusaders, standing for the very worst side of Christianity. 

Willow again goes all proto- Dark Willow (and is made to look very dark) in constructing an invisible force field. But that's next season. This season looks daunting enough. Just two episodes to go in what's shaping up to be the best season since the third...

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