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Episode Poll: 5.09 Listening to Fear

We're in the thick of Joyce's illness now! Let's do Listening to Fear!

Okay, so not a hugely exciting episode. I'm afraid the poll is on the short side this week, but let's squeeze it for what it has...

1. The "monster from outer space" didn't work for some people. How about you?

I thought it was great.
It was good. I have no problem with it.
It bothered me a bit, but not too much
Stupidest monster EVER
I have another answer.
Not sure.

2. In this episode, it's revealed that Ben summoned the Queller demon to "clean up Glory's mess". This involves killing a number of innocent people (most of them victims of Glory). Is this in character with what we see of Ben later?

I have another answer.
Not sure.

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

***** (Five stars)
**** (Four stars)
*** (Three stars)
** (Two stars)
* (One star)


( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 28th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
1. It's a KILLER SNOT MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE! There is nothing about that that's not awesome.

2. Perfectly in character. Ben likes to think of himself as a good guy, but he likes to think of himself as a good guy. Somehow, it's always about him and how hard his life is because of Glory. I may be in the minority here, but I could never see him as the completely innocent bystander others apparently do.

3. It's a pretty solid 3 for the most part, but the dishwashing scene pushes it up to a 4 for me. That's one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the whole series IMO. Also, frisky spacelamb! <3 Anya.

Also: Yay for The Knife!

Edited at 2012-02-28 03:32 pm (UTC)
Feb. 28th, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
2. I agree on that -- though I still have a lot of sympathy for him. He's in a difficult situation, but he can make choices. He is partly a contrast to Buffy, who is handed similarly constraining, impossible situations but chooses differently.
(no subject) - beer_good_foamy - Feb. 28th, 2012 03:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rahirah - Feb. 29th, 2012 03:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - local_max - Feb. 29th, 2012 11:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - doublemeat - Feb. 29th, 2012 10:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alexeia_drae - Feb. 28th, 2012 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mikeda - Feb. 29th, 2012 12:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alexeia_drae - Feb. 29th, 2012 12:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frelling_tralk - Feb. 28th, 2012 04:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Feb. 28th, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eowyn_315 - Feb. 29th, 2012 03:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 28th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
I don't care what anyone else thinks, that snot monster is CREEPY. When it's hanging over Joyce's bed? Aarrgggghhh. I voted for "I thought it was great", but I don't actually think it is "great", I think it is gross and scary and therefore effective.

This is one of those episodes that makes me so sad for Buffy. She's trying so hard to be strong for her mother and Dawn, and to take care of everybody, and when she breaks down over the dishes it's just heartbreaking.

This episode also has a great Spike/Buffy teamwork scene, which is always delightful. And for X-Files fans there's an appearance by serial-killing death fetishist Donnie Pfaster as the Initiative commander, proving once and for all that the Initiative is most definitely evil.;) I only gave it three stars because the pieces don't come together quite enough for me to give it four, but it's a solidly entertaining episode in my opinion.
Feb. 28th, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah I like this episode. I think it's a pretty typical of season 5 in not being a particularly outstanding episode in itself, but being good at moving the arc along, as well as some nice family moments with Buffy/Dawn/Joyce

I found that monster terrifying with all of the teeth in close-up, and when the camera suddenly cuts to it when Joyce is talking :shudders:
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Feb. 28th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 28th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
The monster is justified if only because it makes Giles talk about the killer snot monster from outer space. There is nothing bad in that line!

Ben is ruthlessly self-centred at core, and it's Glory's impact on himself he fears, not what she will do to the world - it fits absolutely with what we see of him towards the end. He's nice to the others only up to the point where he sees his own interests are threatened. Dawn is right about him.

A solid 3*** episode for me - it progresses the story and has a few awesome lines, but it's not the best of the season by some way.
Feb. 28th, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
The monster is justified if only because it makes Giles talk about the killer snot monster from outer space. There is nothing bad in that line!

Haha! True, indeed.
Feb. 28th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
Another solid 2 ep. And the monster, oh dear. I think it's ridiculous, and I start laughing when I see it. Not an appropriate reaction. And the sadness of the episode combined with this Stephen King version of a Teletubbie just... it gets weird.
Feb. 28th, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
Stephen King version of a Teletubbie


Well, thanks, now I can't unsee it!
Feb. 28th, 2012 06:09 pm (UTC)
The monster was the grossest thing ever. Eeeew, disguisting and scary! I voted the second option, it was good and I accepted it, but I believe that a monster from outer dimension would be more Buffyverse.
SMG has shiny shiny hair! So beautiful!
Feb. 28th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
I am always so enamored of SMG's hair.

...except during some parts of S2 and S3. She had some bad hair then.

But S4 on? It's so purty.
(no subject) - kikimay - Feb. 28th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 28th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
1. Monster from outer space -- conceptually, I'm fine with it, as Buffy takes place in a distinctly Lovecraftian universe, which supports the idea of monsters from space. Except, there's something about this one that doesn't sit quite right, and I've never been able to put my finger on what it is. It's gross and scary, but it just doesn't feel like a proper Buffy monster.

2. Actually... no. It's not in character for how Ben's character develops. I think in the rest of the season we see him as a well-meaning, but weak and fairly selfish guy, and his ultimate act of anti-heroism seems born out of fear more than anything else. There's something cold-blooded about the queller summoning that doesn't fit either his good side or his bad side.

Also, plot logic problem -- I never understood how it was more convenient to have a bunch of mysteriously dead bodies than to have a bunch of brain-sucked insane people. The audience sees that they pose a danger to our heroes, because of their key-spotting abilities, but Ben doesn't seem to know that. Why does he even want to "clean up Glory's mess"?

3. This is a 2.5-star monster-of-the-week episode combined with a 4-star family drama episode. The dishes scene kills me every time.
Feb. 28th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
2. I can see that argument. We do see him do a number of decent things (helping Giles in Spiral, trying to keep Dawn's identity away from Glory, etc).

Also, plot logic problem -- I never understood how it was more convenient to have a bunch of mysteriously dead bodies than to have a bunch of brain-sucked insane people.

Huh. I thought it was more "cleaning up" as in a literal clean up. The hospitals were overflowing with the insane people, so the queller emptied them out.

3. *nods*
(no subject) - mcjulie - Feb. 28th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 28th, 2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
I think if SMG hadn't decided season 7 was her last and an eighth season was guaranteed, I always thought the big bad of that added season (we'll call it theoretical season 7) would be aliens. This is probably because my first fannish experience was with The X-Files, a show that loudly proclaims that when in doubt, add aliens. We could have seen the return of an Initiative secret government agency, a spook for Buffy's theoretical love interest who is really just there to make sure the Spuffies don't get too smug (a la Principal Wood), and lots of classic sci-fi alien tropes turned on their heads. Theoretical season 7 would lead into either Theoretical season 8, with season 9 being what real season 7 was, or theoretical season 8 would basically close the series with the whole Potential plot of real season 7. Did you follow that? So, the snot monster from outer space wasn't too big of a jump for me to consider.

(and I remember reading a Buffy/Torchwood crossover where Captain Jack and Giles kept on arguing about whether the monsters were demons or aliens, because they're essentially the same thing, just with different names. That has nothing to do with the episode, does it?)

And the scene by the sink is one of my favorite Buffy crying moments. Am I a terrible person to have favorite moments when Buffy's crying? I'm sounding too much like Joss now.

Edited at 2012-02-28 07:07 pm (UTC)
Feb. 28th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)

So...there's fanfic of this, right?
(no subject) - rebcake - Mar. 1st, 2012 07:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 28th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
Wow, I haven't seen that episode in quite awhile, so though I remember it in general, I somewhat guessed at my answers..guess I shouldn't have tainted the voting pool.

So how often do you post another episode voting post? It's a cool idea...makes me want to start watching all the eps again, but I'd maybe want to go in order from the beginning.
Feb. 28th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
The voting pool is always tainted. No worries. :)

The polls are done on a weekly basis. Every Tuesday! :)
Feb. 29th, 2012 02:45 am (UTC)
1. The fact that it got Giles' to say KILLER SNOT MONSTER FROM SPACE makes it okay with me. Not great, but good. :)

2. I think it does make sense. He's a healer. Glory's victims, as far as Ben knows, will never recover from her attack. It's possible he thinks he's being merciful by having them killed (it's painless, right?) rather than live out their lives babbling and drooling. Really, it's self-serving as hell, but he's no doubt telling himself he's helping them and that makes it okay.

3. Two stars. The only part of this episode I truly enjoy is Buffy's breaking down while she does the dishes because she can hear her mom, and Spike and Buffy working together AND their clasped hands as he helps her up. And for once, he's not being obnoxious to Riley about Buffy. Everything else was meh.
Feb. 29th, 2012 11:44 am (UTC)
Oh, I wrote my comment before I saw this. Yeah, what you said on 2.
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Feb. 29th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 29th, 2012 08:59 am (UTC)
1. I love the snot monster, idec.
2. This seemed off to me. I think I agree with the poster who said that Ben is ultimately weak-willed and self-interested, not ~ruthless.
Feb. 29th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
2. I think there are some interesting takes on what he did in the various comments. I'm pretty much agreeing with anybody who comments. *waffler*
Feb. 29th, 2012 11:42 am (UTC)
2. I think it's especially in character if you assume that Ben genuinely thinks that the people whom Glory has mindsucked are in perpetual agony for the rest of their lives, and he is being merciful. I think he's not even entirely wrong about that -- I mean, eternal suffering from being brain sucked sounds pretty unpleasant. But he is really also projecting his own feelings of helplessness about his own 'insanity' problem (the Glory side of him who can't be kept under with the right combination of drugs).

The ruthlessness/self-involvedness is in a) not really knowing that that's what they want, and obviously b) not bothering to check whether the Queller will kill people who are insane for medical, not-Glory-related reasons.
Feb. 29th, 2012 06:18 pm (UTC)
2. *nods*

He probably sees it as euthanasia of some sort.
(no subject) - ever_neutral - Feb. 29th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 29th, 2012 12:40 pm (UTC)
1. I don't think the Lovecraft thing really works. Buffy monsters always have an element of camp, and Lovecraft is the ultimate anti-camp. Wisecracking heroes + Lovecraft is just weird.

2. What local_max and samsom said.

3. Three stars. A highly forgettable episode.
Feb. 29th, 2012 06:18 pm (UTC)
1. Yeah. And there's not much wisecracking in this episode. :/

3. Indeed. I wanna skip on to Into the Woods!
Feb. 29th, 2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
Hi, I'm new here! Well, I say new, admittedly I've lurked for a while...

1. I don't have any problems with the outer space stuff. And it's a pretty creepy looking demon, I mean, the teeth alone...

2. I remember I was genuinely shocked when it turned out to be Ben. But I think it's a neat early indication that he isn't as nice as he likes to think he is.

3. 3 stars. Buffy crying at the sink is really moving, the MOtW is icky (in a good way) and the scooby stuff is fun.
Feb. 29th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
Hi! *waves*

1. The teeth freak me out to no end.

2. Good point. Especially as he's gonna be macking on Buffy soon. It amps up the suspense since we know she's literally flirting with DANGER.
( 42 comments — Leave a comment )


The One Who Isn't Chosen

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