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Episode Poll: 4.16 Who Are You?

Hey, guys! We're gonna do that episode poll thing! For Who Are You? this time around!

Still no picture. My comp's all fixed, but I haven't gotten Photoshop set up yet. Alas.




1. Should Riley have clued in to the fact that Buffy wasn't Buffy?

Yes. He should know her well enough to realize she wasn't herself.
22(20.4%)
No. He's still new to the magic stuff. He didn't have any way of knowing that body-swapping was possible.
76(70.4%)
No. Faith was putting on a good act as Buffy. There's no way he could have noticed the difference.
3(2.8%)
I have another answer.
3(2.8%)
Not sure.
4(3.7%)

2. So, Willow and Tara do a spell to figure out what's up with Buffy while Riley has sex with Faith (in Buffy's body). At this point, Riley tells (who he thinks is) Buffy that he loves her, and Faith freaks out. Was she freaking out as a result of Riley's declaration (loving sex being a foreign thing to Faith) or because she felt the effects of Willow and Tara's spell?

Riley's declaration
92(84.4%)
The spell
1(0.9%)
Bit of both
14(12.8%)
I have another explanation
1(0.9%)
Not sure
1(0.9%)

3. Some people think Faith's turnaround was too quick in this episode. What say you?

Yeah. It took her little time to go from unrepentant murderer to canceling her trip out of country and saving a church full of people.
15(13.8%)
No. Being in Buffy's life had a profound impact on her.
68(62.4%)
I have another answer.
13(11.9%)
Not sure.
13(11.9%)

4. A question I saw posed on one site: If Buffy's identity had been transferred into someone who isn't a Slayer, would her powers have been transferred as well?

Yes. Her powers are connected to her spirit.
14(12.8%)
No. Her powers are bound to her body.
59(54.1%)
Not sure.
36(33.0%)

5. Pretend you're a movie reviewer and give this episode a star rating:

***** (Five stars)
47(45.2%)
**** (Four stars)
41(39.4%)
*** (Three stars)
14(13.5%)
** (Two stars)
2(1.9%)
* (One star)
0(0.0%)



Comments

( 90 comments — Leave a comment )
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angearia
Oct. 18th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)
I think it's hard to judge Riley for not noticing something mystical was up, but I do think it was weird how he didn't notice how Buffy was acting so unlike herself. Which drives home to me how he really doesn't know her that well. Considering how strange she was acting, it seemed like a weird time to profess love for her when she was being unBuffylike.

I think it was the declaration that weirded Faith out. That's why she's all "what do you want from her?" I don't really remember the cues for the spell.

As for Buffy's transferring of powers, I hadn't thought about it before! Sure, there's plenty of bodyswap fic where someone gets into a Slayer's body and gets all those powers. But actually I think the power is bound to her spirit and manifests in her body. And if her spirit were transferred to another body, that her previous body wouldn't have Slayer powers (no animating Slayer spirit, just like an animating vampire spirit), but that in her new body she might not be able to tap into her Slayer powers because of this disconnection of spirit and body. Just like how Tara can ~tell it's not Buffy but actually was Faith, I think that displacement of energy would maybe put a kink in the works. And Slayer power would only come from spirit and body becoming one.

FIVE STARS YO.
gabrielleabelle
Oct. 18th, 2011 06:44 am (UTC)
Yeah, it is odd that Riley doesn't even seem to register that Buffy's acting strangely. On the other hand, he's seen Buffy act off-the-wall nutso before (Something Blue). Has he been let in on the fact that that was a spell?

And then Superstar hammers home how Riley doesn't know much about magic.

But actually I think the power is bound to her spirit and manifests in her body. And if her spirit were transferred to another body, that her previous body wouldn't have Slayer powers (no animating Slayer spirit, just like an animating vampire spirit), but that in her new body she might not be able to tap into her Slayer powers because of this disconnection of spirit and body.

Makes sense. I put that it's connected to the body on instinct. I have no real good explanation for my answer. It just makes sense to me. :)
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lycoris
Oct. 18th, 2011 06:44 am (UTC)
I don't think it's really fair to think Riley should have realised Buffy wasn't Buffy, although I do rather think that he ought to have talked to her a little more - she was behaving very oddly, noticably so and I think he ought to have checked that out more.

I've always felt that Faith's turnaround worked. She always rather wanted to be Buffy and she got very involved in the role. And even her Faith side would probably have enjoyed taking on the church of vampires - it's the kind of wild odds that she'd always liked.

Despite voting "not sure", the more I think about it, the more I think Buffy's powers are body based rather than spirit.

Love this episode. Love it very, very much. :)
gabrielleabelle
Oct. 18th, 2011 06:50 am (UTC)
You know, on thinking about it more, I'm still okay with Riley not recognizing people's odd behavior. Buffy and Riley haven't been having sex long, and sometimes people's partners surprise them in the bedroom. For all Riley knew, Buffy had a bit of a kinky side that hadn't shown before. He expressed that he wasn't comfortable with it and went from there.

Riley's fault-free. Bad Faith!

I've always felt that Faith's turnaround worked.

Heh. I seem to be the odd duck out on that question. :)

It's a YMMV thing, I guess. Somehow, whenever watching the episode, I get a bit thrown by Faith ditching her flight to go save a church full of people.
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beer_good_foamy
Oct. 18th, 2011 07:36 am (UTC)
1. I can't really blame Riley. They've been dating for, what, a month? He has no clue about what's going on ("Who's Faith?"), he's already seen Buffy act by-his-standards weird more than once (here's a question - did Buffy ever tell him that her engagement to Spike in "Something Blue" was a spell?)... As reasonable conclusions go, at this point, "Woah! Kinky Buffy" is really a lot closer than "Woah! Magical mystery bodyswap!" Whether he should have asked her if she's on something is another matter, but...

4. Good question. I'm going to point to "Carpe Noctem" and say that the magical powers of both Slayers and vampires live in their body, not in their mind/soul/etc.

3. I buy it. Faith's turnaround doesn't exactly come out of the blue; even when she's at her most "evil" in s3, it always seems like she's hesitant to close the door completely - killing the spider behind Wesley, flinching at the idea of killing Willow, being genuinely hurt when Willow tells her it's too late to seek redemption, tipping Buffy off (albeit in a dream) on how to kill the Mayor, etc. From Faith's POV, she decides to be bad not because she doesn't want to be good, but because the good guys won't have her (but they'll have Buffy, so if she can be her...) In Buffyverse terms, Faith definitely has a soul; she just works very hard at keeping it bound and gagged.
mikeda
Oct. 18th, 2011 07:52 am (UTC)
can't really blame Riley

Especially since Willow, Xander, Giles, and Joyce also didn't notice that anything was wrong.
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teragramm
Oct. 18th, 2011 08:25 am (UTC)
1. Should Riley have clued in to the fact that Buffy wasn't Buffy? It always amazes me that people excuse Riley and say he really had no way of knowing....... excuse me,,,, he had sex with Faith. I'm pretty sure Buffy and Faith are nothing alike in bed and besides sex, what about kissing? I really don't think they kiss alike. He absolutely should have known something was up.
gabrielleabelle
Oct. 18th, 2011 10:57 am (UTC)
But Faith was in Buffy's body. He presumably didn't know about magic. How could Riley have made the leap from "girlfriend acting weird" to "must be another girl in there"? I think that's expecting a bit much from him. Nobody else clued in, either, except Tara. Spike, Giles, Willow, Joyce.
frelling_tralk
Oct. 18th, 2011 09:00 am (UTC)
I think that Riley should have picked up on something. Superstar had Buffy making the point to Jonathon that it's not as though Riley could have known it was someone else in her body, but eh I think her behaviour was sigificantly altered enough that Riley should have sat down and talked to her/asked what's up, not just happily jumped into bed with her

If I tuned in to just that one scene without the knowledge of the bodyswitch, I would still think that there was some kind of spell going on, or that Buffy was on drugs or something. No they didn't know each other all *that* well at that point, but I'd have thought that Riley should have at least known enough about Buffy's hidden kinky side to know that she would never in her right mind have suggested having sex with the door open so that the iniative boys/frat boys might learn something from them
gabrielleabelle
Oct. 18th, 2011 11:00 am (UTC)
But Riley did ask what was up.

Riley: What are we playing at here? [She takes her arms off.]
Buffy: I'm Buffy.
Riley: Ok. then I'll be Riley.
Buffy: Well, if you don't wanna play--
[She starts to leave and Riley holds her.]
Riley: Right. I don't wanna play.
[Riley kisses her very gently and she responds.]

The first time they had sex was in The I in Team. Since then, they'd been separated seeing as Riley was in the hospital. So this might well be their second time (or would have been). I don't think you can reasonably expect a person to know all of their partner's sexual proclivities by the second bed-romp.
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kerkevik
Oct. 18th, 2011 10:19 am (UTC)
Hi,

I don't see how anyone in Riley's position could possibly have been anymore than confused over Buffy's behaviour. Nobody could have known, unless they had some supernatural abilities; I still liked Riley as a character at this point, though; a lot more than Angel anyway, but he was just an ordinary human being.

For #2 it has to be a bit of both, because it seems likely to my eyes that for a very brief moment, Faith & Buffy's spirits were free of their bodies; then, to have Riley saying that to her ~ but not to her ~ especially given the history of abuse & lack of trust in the world must've been one hell of a mind****. She showed a lot of character by even appearing to be thinking of Buffy in the way she reacted.

Her turnaround started from the moment the girl in the alley behind the Bronze thanked her; that had a much bigger effect on her than anything else, because it opened a crack in the defensive armour she'd built around herself. That sort of crack can smash the dam in seconds, or years. Speaking personally here, as it works in reverse as well.

It's Buffy's spirit that carries the Slayer line as afar as I'm concerned, or Slayers would have to be created everytime one died.

Definitely a Five, wishing it could be a six.

Still under Willow & Tara's spell,
Ray.
gabrielleabelle
Oct. 18th, 2011 11:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm pretty sympathetic to Riley here. Faith raped him.

It's Buffy's spirit that carries the Slayer line as afar as I'm concerned, or Slayers would have to be created everytime one died.

Doesn't it anyway? When one girl dies, the next Slayer is called. Or am I misreading?
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blackfrancine
Oct. 18th, 2011 10:21 am (UTC)
My feeling is that the turnaround works. I sort of take the position that Faith doesn't really want to destroy Buffy as much as she thinks that she does. She wakes up from the coma, and she's mad as hell--but moreover, she's hurt. Hurt that Buffy stabbed her. Because if the weird communal Slayer dream from S3 was real(ish), then Faith gave Buffy the information to defeat the mayor. So, she was ultimately on Buffy's side--she just wanted to hurt her like Faith had been hurt.

Being in Buffy's body and being confronted with intimacy and love were enough to rattle her to that core--the core that never wanted to be bad in the first place.

Also, I don't think Faith was ever an unrepentant murderer. She just pretended to be unrepentant. It was all an act, though. Clearly, she felt horrible about what she'd become.
gabrielleabelle
Oct. 18th, 2011 11:02 am (UTC)
I can see that.
pocochina
Oct. 18th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC)
1. I've never blamed Riley for this. I mean, I suppose you could stretch enough to say that they aren't as close as they should be and so he didn't realize how serious things had to be for her to be acting oddly, but I don't think Faith was doing that bad a job. idk, I think I'd have more issues with him if he panicked to the point of YOU MUST NOT BE YOURSELF, YOUNG LADY when she asked if he wanted to try something new.

2. I always thought it was Riley. It'd be neat if the spell worked by way of getting him to say something that would mess with her, though.

3. No, I don't think it was too short, especially since it was a moment of Slayer protective impulses winning out in the middle of her freak-out (same as in S3), and not the start of a perfect linear upward climb. She gets to LA and regresses almost completely; I'm not sure I'd call this a turnaround.
frelling_tralk
Oct. 18th, 2011 12:07 pm (UTC)
I think I'd have more issues with him if he panicked to the point of YOU MUST NOT BE YOURSELF, YOUNG LADY when she asked if he wanted to try something new.

I think that's almost what he did do though? He asked what Buffy is playing at here when she was asking what nasty desire has he been wanting to try out. He is clearly weirded-out by that and doesn't follow up on "Buffy's" cues that she wants to try something a little edgier, instead he adjusts her kinky imaginings into implied missionary sex

If he believed that it really was Buffy wanting to try something new (being unfamiliar with what she might enjoy sexually), and he was shown as being all for that and totally fooled, that would have made more sense to me. Instead he seemed to pick up on something being off with his girlfriend, yet his only response was to coax her into something a little gentler sex-wise? It did its part plot-wise in giving Faith her first tender experience of love-making and shaking her up, but Riley's reactions just don't make sense to me if he gets that Buffy isn't behaving like itself, yet doesn't really properly try and talk to her about it at all before being intimate with her
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brutti_ma_buoni
Oct. 18th, 2011 11:44 am (UTC)
1. I'm clearly inconsistent here. I haven't ever blamed Riley, though it's far from the most sensitive thing anyone's ever done. OTOH, I really enjoyed writing an AU where Spike does recognise there's someone else in there because he does know Buffy well enough (and has sex with Faith anyway, but that's another story).

3. I think Beer Good has eloquently made the points I'd have made here - Faith's not just a bad person, she's a tremendously fucked up person. Random acts of good are not unlikely,especially given her Slayer past, though whether she'd have followed through long term is much more questionable.

4. Such a good question, and I wish I knew. I'm tempted to say spirit, given that the body doesn't physically change (that we can see) when someone's called, but I have no evidence whatsoever.
gabrielleabelle
Oct. 18th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
1. rofl! I like those fics, too. No worries. :)
rebcake
Oct. 18th, 2011 12:30 pm (UTC)
Although I have a soft spot for "Riley should have known something was off" fic, I don't really think he's at all to blame for this.

In fact, I think he was actively doing all he could to calm and comfort her, recognizing that something was off. There's no way he could know quite how deep the off-ness went, however, or how the comfort of physical and emotional intimacy would have the opposite of the desired effect.

I think Faith's freak-out hurt him to his core, and even after it was all explained, we don't see him repeat his declaration to Buffy, ever. (He does have the whole "I even love the bad ice skating movie obsession part of you" speech in The Replacement, but it's not the same.) He was shot down, and he doesn't ever regain faith (you should excuse the expression) in the power of love, at least with Buffy. Some people give Buffy a hard time for not telling Riley she loves him (she tells Angel), but Riley also doesn't directly tell her (he tells Faith). These guys never catch a break.
ceciliaj
Oct. 18th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
He was shot down, and he doesn't ever regain faith (you should excuse the expression) in the power of love, at least with Buffy. Some people give Buffy a hard time for not telling Riley she loves him (she tells Angel), but Riley also doesn't directly tell her (he tells Faith). These guys never catch a break.

Wow, I never really thought about this. Poor everyone :(.
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stormwreath
Oct. 18th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC)
#1
Honestly, even for people who do know about magic I don't think, "She's acting odd. Must be a bodyswap spell" would ever be their initial reaction. As for Riley, remember he's said before that he finds Buffy perplexing and confusing; she always does the unexpected. It's part of why he's attacted to her.

"Well, you're tricky! (...) I never know how you're going to react to something. That's why I like you so much. You're a mystery. Probably every beautiful girl in the world has some jerk telling her she's a mystery, but.. I swear. You really are. There's a lot about you that needs puzzling out."

So no, I don't blame him at all.

#2
I've never even considered the idea that it's Willow and Tara's magic affecting her. Aren't they off in the nether realm looking for where Buffy's spirit has gone to?

#3
It was maybe a bit fast for the sake of drama, but it worked for me. And anyway, Faith's always been the impulsive type. To me, her whole "going evil" phase was a way of lashing out at Buffy and the others - but mostly at Buffy - for (in her eyes) rejecting her. And yes, she discovered that she enjoyed the feeling of power she got from killing people and breaking the rules, after a lifetime of being powerless; but she wasn't unrepentant. The Mayor had to play her very carefully to slide past her moral qualms and suck her step by step deeper into his web.

#4
I don't think so. Drugging Buffy's body in 'Helpless' took away her powers, unless you want to argue that it was a mystical drug that affected her spirit, not her body?
flagless_piracy
Oct. 18th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
#4
I don't think so. Drugging Buffy's body in 'Helpless' took away her powers, unless you want to argue that it was a mystical drug that affected her spirit, not her body?


Heh. Our thought-processes are freakishly similar and time-coordinated. :)
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flagless_piracy
Oct. 18th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
Missed the last poll, but am back for this one. So:

1) How on Earth could he have known? I mean, his (pretty new) girlfriend is acting a bit weird, so he's immediately to think that there's someone else in her body? Why would anyone in their right mind come to that conclusion, especially someone who doesn't know anything about magic? Buffy's own mother didn't get that her daughter was not there. Besides, Riley and Buffy are still getting to know each other, they probably haven't even slept together that many times, and, at least in my experience, a few times with someone does not an expert on his sexual preferences make. If anything, the first few times are a bit awkward, and it's only later that people get to truly relax. Maybe Riley thought that Buffy'd just got comfortable enough with him to show him some of her kinks. Which obviously didn't work for him, so he told her; she obviously agreed to get round to it the way he wanted to instead of with an audience and that's that. I'm not the least bit surprised that Riley couldn't tell it's not Buffy in there from her sexual behaviour that early into their relationship; I'm actually more surprised that he got the 'I love you' out so early on. Hm.

2) Huh? Are there any examples in the show where characters actually feel when spells are used on them? I can't think of any (though I might've just forgotten). They didn't know what was going on in Something Blue , or in Tabula Rasa , or in Him . I'd say, Faith is freaking out because of Riley and the idea that love and sex aren't always separate for other people as they probably are for her. She's in a completely unknown emotional situation, that's pretty freakout-worthy.

3) Not sure. I haven't watched Angel , ever, so I don't know what's the what with Faith there, which might be the reason why I'm not sure. Anyway, she doesn't seem unrepentant to me, it's just an emotional shield. At the same time, being in Buffy's skin for a day or two is an awfully short time for Faith to start acting so differently, so... I simply don't know. It's like I want to buy the explanation of what truly being Buffy can trigger in Faith, but I can't because I feel it was rushed and not really delved into. Hm again.

4) Body. Otherwise, Giles could've just hypnotised Buffy or something in Helpless , he wouldn't have used whatever it was he used to bodily incapacitate her. Also, wouldn't she have been at least a little bit different as a person if her spirit was messed with, as opposed to just weaker (and nonsensically ignorant of fighting techniques, but whatevs)?

5) Three stars. A solid episode, but I'm not a huge fan of Faith. I just don't know what to do with her. From the narrative angle, she's there to provide a mirror for Buffy, to help us understand Buffy's character better, but she's not that well-defined a character in her own right (e.g. independent of her relationship with Buffy and her comparison with Buffy) for me to truly care about her. I read her more like a function that like a person. Maybe she gets more developed on Angel , but, as I said, haven't watched it, don't intend to, so...

gabrielleabelle
Oct. 18th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
1. Yeah. My thoughts, as well.

2. Well, there was the potential-finding spell in Potential that physically knocked Amanda (and Dawn) over. Hell, the Slayer-up in Chosen apparently had some noticeable magic-y effect on the girls (besides just gaining Slayer powers). It probably depends on the spell.

5. For what it's worth, I like Faith a lot better - and appreciated her more as a character - on AtS.
zanthinegirl
Oct. 18th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
1) I don't totally judge poor Riley for not expecting that his girlfriend's body wasn't inhabited by her, but by her psychotic, boyfriend stealing rival. On the other hand Faith-in-Buffy was definitely not acting like herself. I think Riley probably should at least have know something was wrong, and I can't really blame Buffy for being upset that he didn't see that something was up.

2) I don't think it was the spell. I think it was genuine feeling, and it freaked her the heck out.

3) I don't think that Faith's saving of the church people was due to her being in Buffy's body so much as her not being quite as far traveled on the Bad Girl road as she likes to think. Fundamentally she hasn't reached her point of no return. Which is really why I think the relationship between Angel and Faith is one of the more compelling ones in the whole buffy-verse. Especially in season 4 of AtS, but also in season 1.

4) depends on what works best for the story. Buffy without her powers makes an interesting story, so probably that.

Edited at 2011-10-18 08:06 pm (UTC)
gabrielleabelle
Oct. 18th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC)
1. Yeah, I don't blame Buffy for being upset. I don't blame Riley, either, though. Sex was still a new thing for them. For all Riley knew, Buffy could have had a kinky side.

4. lol! Somehow, that answer amuses me. :)
samsom
Oct. 18th, 2011 07:06 pm (UTC)
1. Second answer's got it. Like with Angel losing his soul and Buffy's guilt over it, no one (especially someone new to magic) would have foreseen that wasn't Buffy in Buffy's body. It's not anyone's first, second, or even tenth thought. Besides, saying that Riley should've known that wasn't Buffy is like saying Buffy's not sexual and sexy and an initiator. Girl can and does get kinky on occasion.

2. Riley's declaration. I never thought otherwise. Faith was totally blown away by the intimacy she experienced, not to mention being respected and loved. *thinks* Aww, poor Faith. *sniffs*

3. I don't think this was her turnaround episode. She goes from this to pummeling people in a dance club on AtS before she tortured Wesley. She's spiraling here, decompensating like whoa, which was long in coming and totally sparked into a raging fire by being Buffy for a day...ish. Being Buffy meant being surrounded by a nurturing mother, good friends, a loving boyfriend...and feeling what it felt to save lives rather than taking them. To feel all that and then switching back to being a murderer (Faith's POV on herself), no wonder she exploded with all that self-hate.

4. I had to think about this for a second but I concluded that Buffy's Slayerness is connected to her body - she's Manus, after all. Her spirit is different, although it's her spirit that makes her THE Slayer rather than a slayer.

5. Three stars. It's a great episode and it's full of character chewyness. But it doesn't take my breath away. :)
gabrielleabelle
Oct. 18th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
1. *nods*

3. It may not have been her turnaround episode, but she did have a turnaround by the end of the episode. I mean, she does go from an mockingly ironic "Because it's wrong!" to a completely sincere "Because it's wrong!" That's a 180.

5. Not enough naked!Spike. You're right. *nods* :)
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gillo
Oct. 18th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
1. Riley might not have understood about magic, but he should have noticed the dramatic change in Buffy and been less eager to take advantage of her. It's a major stage in their relationship, and demanded more thought than he gave it.

2. Faith is terrified of commitment, which is what the word "love" means to her. She has the policy of one screw then move on - as late as S7 she says pretty much that to Robin.

3. I think the entire experience of being Buffy, surrounded by caring, giving people, has an impact on her. It makes her jealous, but she also actually grasps the implications of responsibility - it's the start of her redemption arc.

4. I tend to feel the powers are both spirit and body, so she'd have kept some of the skills she learnt through training, but the speed of response, strength and speed are all linked to the slayer-body.

5. I gave it 4 stars. Superb performances by SMG and ED and some very good work by the ensemble too. Really good character development too. Not quite in my very top bracket, but not far off.
gabrielleabelle
Oct. 18th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
4. That's typically my thought, as well.

5. You know, I go back and forth about ED's performance. I think that little pinky thing she does with Giles always throws me off. What was that? Buffy doesn't do that!
(no subject) - angearia - Oct. 18th, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
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