Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Bargaining, Part 1

"Did your life pass before your eyes? Cup of tea, cup of tea, almost got shagged, cup of tea?"

Any day now my wife is going into labour and I'm going to become a dad. The blog, inevitably, will become much more of a part-time thing. So let's start a new season of Buffy, shall we? After all, it's not as though Season Five took aaaaages, is it?

Buffy's back, even though Buffy's dead (right?), although there's been a change of network ("channel" to us Limeys) to the WB, sort of the Channel 4 to Fox's ITV. So there are massive changes to the paratext. Still, this is the same old Buffy, and the traditional cracker of an opening episode.

Time has passed. The gang have learned to deal with vampires through use of the Buffybot, with occasional hilarity ensuing, but Willow has a mysterious and secretive plan. It's also clear that, while still being Willow, she is more assertive, adventurous with her magic, and definitely the boss. But when we learn she plans to resurrect Buffy it doesn't feel good. Giles is being kept in the dark, for one thing. And that necromantic spell she casts looks nasty. And she KILLS BAMBI, dammit. "Dark Willow" feels very close.

Oh, and Giles is suddenly off to Blighty, although he doesn't get the quiet send-off he wants, and rightly so. Still, he'lol be back.

The rest of the gang are the same characters we know and love but sub-plots are a-boiling already; Anya is now in charge of the Magic Box, and enjoying the power. Dawn and Spike still have this fantastic and touching uncle-niece relationship. Still, other vampires are starting to notice that Spike is starting to act a bit too much like a goodie for a soulless vampire.

I love the vampire bar; naturally, they're all rockers. Of course, as dramatic convention dictates, said vamps attack during the ceremony, interrupting the resurrection spell for which Willow has suffered so much, and indulged in no little darkness. Except... the last shot happens, and Buffy finds that things have gone a bit Edgar Allan Poe.

Brilliant. A fine start. Let's hope the high quality continues.

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