Cultural Catchup Project: “Forever” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

“Forever”

September 3rd, 2010

You can follow along with the Cultural Catchup Project by following me on Twitter (@Memles), by subscribing to the category’s feed, or by bookmarking the Cultural Catchup Project page where I’ll be posting a link to each installment.

When I reviewed “Into the Woods” earlier this summer, I was admittedly somewhat hard on Marti Noxon, which was probably a bit of bandwagon hopping: I’m aware, perhaps too aware, of the criticisms which face Noxon in regards to the later seasons of the series, and I think that I held her accountable for my issue with the way that episode was structured and executed in a way which was probably unfair. Now, mind you, this isn’t to say that I don’t still have issues with the episodes, nor is it to say that I still don’t find some of Noxon’s writing to be a bit (and often a lot) romantically heavy-handed. Rather, Noxon was but one part of a larger team, and holding her personally accountable is reductive to the collective effort involved.

I raise this point because while watching “Forever,” I realized why Noxon’s somewhat divisive qualities actually work to help this post-tragedy episode feel just the right level of uncomfortable. I have some issues with the way the episode unfolds, and the lack of subtlety across the board is still somewhat unsettling, but the conflict between an emotional explosion waiting to happen and the attempts to carry on with one’s life feels natural. In other words, while I felt as if Noxon was attempting to rewrite Riley and Buffy’s relationship to create a heartwrenching moment, here she is drawing from a situation so filled with heartbreak that her poetry feels purposeful, desired.

My biggest issue with “Forever” is that it forces us to accept that Dawn was left this unsupervised for this long. I buy the argument that everyone else is so worried about setting their own affairs in order after Joyce’s death that they fail to see what Dawn is going through; in fact, the episode’s best scenes are probably those which simply capture how the various characters have reframed their existences in the wake of Joyce’s passing. You have Anya realizing that sex is about more than smushing two bodies together, you have Giles sitting listening to the record he and Joyce listened to in “Band Candy” (full disclosure: I have no idea if I would have picked up on that if it hadn’t been mentioned in comments for “The Body”), and you have Willow writing a journal so as to ensure there is some sort of record of the life she would leave behind.* These scenes tell us why everyone is willing to allow Dawn to sneak around in the shadows, stealing numerous items from the magic shop and eventually teaming with Spike to perform a resurrection spell on her mother.

* Just as a note: I’ll probably write about “Epiphany” at some point in the future, but I can’t help but draw a connection between Angel’s realization regarding “meaning” and the kind of self-reflection we see in “Forever.”

I like that Willow is complicit in the situation (I presume we’ll get a bit of fallout from that), but I felt as if the hands-on approach to Dawn violated the season’s logic regarding the importance of protecting her. The scenes with Ben and Glory were entirely unnecessary to this episode’s story, and all they did was remind us why it’s a terrible idea for Buffy and Co. to be ignoring Dawn in this sort of capacity. Without those scenes, I think I would have been able to remain inside of this situation and avoid the apparent contradiction. No, not every episode could be like “The Body” when the seasonal arc is in place, but when those scenes never added up to anything it does make for a curious inclusion. It is possible, I suppose, that Ben’s use of “innocent” is then deconstructed by the remainder of the episode as Dawn takes matters into her own hands, which is technically true: this was a strong episode for Michelle Trachtenberg, and for her character. I guess I just think it would have been even stronger had it been able to make that argument without my constant concern over why they weren’t being more careful with Dawn.

It helps, though, that Dawn’s night on the town is given a strong foundation in Spike’s desire to remember Joyce and help Dawn grieve which really does have nothing to do with Buffy – “Crush” and “I Was Made To Love You” weren’t particularly flattering portraits of Spike, and it’s important that we see how this tragedy also forces him to reflect on what Joyce’s death means. Some of it is informed by his love for Buffy, but there’s enough evidence in the series for us to see the truth in Spike’s humble gift of stolen flowers, and while it’s unfortunate that his way of helping involves a risky resurrection spell you can’t doubt his determination when taking on the three-headed lizard. Throw in Joel Grey, who I always enjoy, as Doc the tailed resurrection expert, and you have a series of events which was made me a tiny bit skeptical but were solid enough to get us to the conclusion.

And what makes “Forever” work is that the poetry feels meaningful: sure, it’s manipulative for no one to discover Dawn until the moment she finishes her spell, but that Buffy and Dawn finally get to have that conversation about how one should respond in such a crisis while we wait for Zombie Joyce to return to her children is just a really nice piece of writing. Sure, the setup on the picture makes its conclusion pretty darn clear, but Sarah Michelle Gellar and Trachtenberg really knocked the emotions of the scene out of the park, and the conclusion really is a piece of poetry. The notion that their mother could have returned as if she were normal, but that Dawn (and not Buffy) made the decision to turn her away, is the moment where things sort of started to connect for me. It’s the moment where Dawn, in the wake of her mother’s death, takes ownership over her own security: it was a risk to resurrect her mother, but in some ways it’s even riskier to keep living without her, and so that decision holds a great deal of weight for her character. And, because so much of that weight is emotional, Noxon’s particular brand of writing feels like an ideal fit: the emotion of tragedy doesn’t end with a funeral, but rather gains new context, and so Noxon was the right writer for Stage Two of the grieving process.

Cultural Observations

  • As for the Angel cameo, I thought it was well done – it wasn’t treated as something overly dramatic or emotional, but rather a source of comfort for Buffy in the idea that someone is there for her, and that she is not alone. I do think that their kiss and the sort of restatement of their current situation as two people still in love but unable to be together was a little bit over the top, drawing attention away from the subtlety of how the scene played out, but I don’t blame Noxon for being unable to resist the romance (which she used throughout the episode to counterbalance the tragedy).
  • It’s not shocking that Buffy’s father doesn’t enter the picture: with Giles as the requisite father figure, and with Angel as the heroic figure, his arrival would have been a further distraction.
  • I talked a little about this on Formspring, but the theme song really doesn’t fit these sorts of dramatic cold opens: cutting from the shot of Dawn staring at the casket, after a nice subtle scene about the notion of “what Mom would have wanted,” right to the credits was very jarring, even with the spooky opening notes.
  • It’s probably fitting that I took a good three weeks to watch this after seeing “The Body,” since viewers had to wait almost seven weeks to watch it when it originally aired – feel free to share your thoughts on what it was like to wait that long and return to this sort of catharsis.
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32 Comments

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32 responses to “Cultural Catchup Project: “Forever” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

  1. Chrystal

    About everyone not keeping a close eye on Dawn, I didn’t see that as being inconsistent with the story at all.

    With everyone being so caught up in themselves and their grieving, it’s easy for some things to be missed. And as for her being the Key, well.. I don’t think that really enters into it. As far as their memories are concerned, she’s still just Dawn- the little sister who’s always been there trying to tag along, etc etc, but she pretty much hangs out at home with mom- and I’m sure they’re all quite used to “forgetting” about her at this point. So yeah, they really should be looking out more for her now, but it’s still only *very* recently that they found out they need to protect her in this way, and they just had their worlds completely shocked by this sudden death. Stuff like that can often make more recent events a bit fuzzy. So it actually seemed pretty normal to me that there would be some things missed, as they (albeit briefly) went back into themselves for a bit and weren’t paying as much attention to everything else going on around them.

    • I eventually got to that point, don’t get me wrong, but I think the choice to include Glory’s search for the key (which was only two scenes, but enough to REMIND me of Dawn’s importance) seemed strange considering that it made me question their motives more than seems productive.

    • Susan

      I agree. Because Dawn’s “keyness” is really secondary to her little-sister-ness, it jells with the narrative that, in this moment when everyone is reeling, the danger she’s in would get less notice. And, anyway, on more than one occasion this season Dawn falls through the cracks of everyone’s attention because everyone thinks someone else is paying attention to her. It’s kind of a thing.

      I think it was Noxon’s intention to remind us viewers that Dawn is in real danger specifically because her family and friends seem to have forgotten.

  2. Eldritch

    I was almost shocked at Willow’s nudging the history of witchcraft book out for Dawn to find. It seemed so obviously irresponsible and out of character for her. I’m not sure it was the first behavior that seemed to take her in a wrong direction, but it’s the first I recall. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it at the time.

    And of course, she was unrepentant as she concealed what she’d done when Tara noticed the book was missing.

    • diane

      Willow nudging the book out for Dawn was as much about Willow as it was to help Dawn. Remember this when we get to mid-season-six. (That was very hard to write without spoilage!) Ditto for the Willow/Tara interaction. Willow depends on magic to fix things (the de-lusting spell attempt on Xander in “Lovers Walk”; all of “Something Blue”).

      Another perspective on this episode is that it is a calm before the storm; everything from here on builds to an incredible climax in the season finale.

    • TimoH

      It wasn’t out of character, Willow doesn’t believe in forbidden knowledge. In Season 3 “Enemies” Willow mentions some books that Giles tries to keep hidden, because he believes she’s not ready for the magical secrets in them. Willow of course found them anyway.

      There are earlier instances. In “Dead Man’s Party” Willow says this: “I tried to communicate with the spirit world, and I
      *so* wasn’t ready for that. It’s like being pulled apart inside. Plus I
      blew the power for our whole block. Big scare.” In “Faith, Hope and Trick” she mentions doing small stuff “floating feather, fire out of ice, which next time I won’t do on
      the bedspread.”

      • Eldritch

        The earlier acts seemed reasonable to me. Wanting to learn about something is very different from abusing that thing. If I may stretch for an analogy, Dumbledore knew about horcruxes, but he didn’t create any for himself.

        Attempting to delust Xander may have been a mistake, but it was well intended. However, offering the book to Dawn was clearly irresponsible. Willow had had some magical experience at that point in high school and the delusting spell wasn’t inherently dangerous. Neither of those things can be said for raising Joyce from the dead.

        I don’t want to get spoilery, but while those earlier acts led up to Willow’s offering Dawn the book, I don’t believe they caused her to. Other responsible witches with the same history wouldn’t have.

      • diane

        The earliest instance that I remember of Willow seeking out “bad” knowledge of any type was “Ted”, when she kept parts of Ted to learn from.

        But there’s a line between seeking knowledge, even forbidden knowledge, and using that knowledge (or magic) to manipulate people. It’s a line Willow crosses frequently, because she really doesn’t seem to acknowledge that it’s there.

        • Tom

          This aspect of Willow’s personality flows very naturally and logically from her beginnings. She’s introduced to us as extremely smart and a yearning-for-something-else geek. For the first season or two, absolutely every resource she can access to help the gang is welcomed. For her personality type, as set up from the beginning, this makes perfect sense: if it’s useful, it should be used, and it is used.

          This is something that one of the less socially awkward characters who knew how to parcel out their power — Cordelia, for instance — could have told her wasn’t always going to end well, and certainly Buffy (coming from a different perspective) could have told her wasn’t always going to end well (see, for example, “Ted”). But aside from evil virtual demon robot boyfriend Malcom, there were almost never serious consequences to her mindset. Usually, anything she could do — legal or not, ethical or not, wise or not — was helpful and led to a good outcome. This reinforced what was already a problematic personality trait.

          (The Malcom relationship was actually the first real indication of something else that has now become a significant aspect of Willow’s character. When something is hers, she treats it as a possession [ref., for example, her hallway conversation with Xander in “Innocence” about Cordelia], and part of that is the belief that no one else can understand her relationship to that possession the way she does [again, ref. Malcom, but also what she’s rather explicitly stated about her relationship with Tara…even to Tara].)

          But that all changed once Willow started to acquire power. I don’t just mean magic, though that’s clearly her “power,” I mean the ability to actually effect real change, which is something she’s never felt she had (here, ref. “Restless”). The unquestioned utility of one’s tools is less clear when they’re powerful tools, as Buffy could have told her — but didn’t — at any point. There have been more than a few bad choices along the way, and “Wild at Heart” represents a real nadir for her in terms of not understanding the difference between use and abuse, but there has been the suggestion — somewhat subtle, admittedly — that her relationship with Tara is mitigating these urges of hers by connecting her to something both greater and more grounded.

          But the surreptitious book reveal…yeah, that’s “Wild at Heart” and “Something Blue” and “Doppelgangland” all re-manifested. Clearly, she hasn’t learned something important. Clearly, she hasn’t grasped the consequences of power. To her, it’s still: I can, thus I should.

          The interesting thing here is the parallel between what she does and the general state of Dawn’s existence: acting out in a responsibility-free teenage way, doing something and dealing with the cleanup later, a lack of regard for others. All understandable from Dawn. A little surprising to see that it continues from Willow.

          But here’s the game the series has played with her and with us: she always came off, early on, as the mature one in the group. Because she was smart, unlike Xander. Because she was genuine, unlike Cordelia. Because she was accepting of her lot, unlike Buffy. But it’s easy to be mature when there are no consequences to failing to be mature. As Buffy is rather forcefully being taught this season, it’s different when it’s not just the job that you can’t face, but life that you can’t — but must — face. Willow has had a few bad moments, but she hasn’t had to deal with real consequences.

          I bet that can’t last.

    • Aeryl

      ***REALLY REALLY BIG HUGE SPOILER***

      Really, you have a hard time believing Willow would condone something as irresponsible as resurrecting the dead? Have we watched the same show? ;D

      The development to this point has been subtle, but its has been there. It’s well established by this point in Season 5 that Willow is totally willing to use magic to fix things about her life that she doesn’t like. It totally jibes that she would think that attempting magic would make Dawn feel better. And Willow wouldn’t have considered the possible consequences, since she knew it would be practically impossible for Dawn to achieve that spell, as she couldn’t have foreseen Spike’s involvement.

      • Eldritch

        You raise a good point about Spike. However, without the book, Dawn would never have known where to look for the correct spells. Willow should have known that was possible, especially for a girl as desperate as Dawn. I still see that as crossing a line. As experienced with witchcraft as she was at that point, she surely knew the difficulty and dangers of the resurrection spell. Yet she was cavalier in leading a wholly inexperienced person to it.

        Moreover, she dissembled with Tara. She hid the fact that she’d pulled the book out for Dawn to find. Willow knew no one else would side with her in this reckless action. She knew it was wrong (which I suppose is another step down the path).

        In retrospect, sure, Willow’s history leads her to this point. Yet I still feel her previous actions came from a responsible, if mistaken and immature, place. This time was different. She knew what she was doing was evil.

        • Tausif Khan

          Dawn has presented signs that she is precocious enough to find out dark information like that herself. The writers wanted to continue the arc of Willow’s inability to deal with supernatural power (which is interesting to consider given the show’s feminist narrative). They visually gave a little nod to the continuing arc by showing that Willow is willing to instruct Dawn in how to bring back Joyce. This also shows how Willow sweet innocent character is also unable to deal with Joyce’s death. Furthermore it represents how much she sees herself like a and older sister to Dawn. All of this is conveyed with a little flick of the wrist to slightly bring forth a book from its place on a shelf. I appreciate the scene mainly for its complexity.

  3. imdoinggreat

    I never liked the “go get the eggs from the three-headed lizard part.” That sort of silly monster-fight just feels out of place in an episode that’s otherwise focused on depressingly realistic funeral arrangements.

    But it’s all redeemed when Dawn tears the picture right at the last moment. Buffy is finally letting herself be emotionally vulnerable in front of Dawn, so Dawn (I think) makes that choice to protect Buffy. It’s the first moment I actually had any respect for Dawn as a person. (I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s hard to have genuine respect for any fifteen-year-old.)

    • greg

      I just find the whole thing disturbing. If a demon tried to raise of of its own dead by sacrificing a human young’un, we’d all be cheering Buffy on in killing them, yet Dawn basically does the exact same thing here. I’m never really sure just how much Marti wants us to accept what Dawn does, and why she brought in the demon-as-reptile conceit to do it.

      Also, I really with they hadn’t shown that split-second of Joyce’s zombie slouching toward the door – it just make the whole thing too real and makes me wonder at the practicality of it all (is Joyce’s body no longer in the grave? or if she’d stayed would they have to keep the picture from fading or getting damaged in any way to keep her going?, for instance) when I really should be focusing on the emotional aspect.

      And Willow was totally ion character with her actions. That conversation between her and Tara and how bringing Joyce back is difficult to do/just plain wrong is definition writ large. Remember how she didn’t even know when it was a full moon back when Oz returned? She defines herself as Wiccan, when she really just comes at everything as an extention of science. She agreed with Tara, but really didn’t understand her point. To her, abusing magick makes as much sense as abusing calculus. She sees the supernatural as a tool.

      • Tausif Khan

        The literal depiction of Dawn trying to bring her mother back from the grave is a metaphor for how people feel when they lose a loved one. The feeling of grief is too horrifying for Dawn and so she wants the comfort that her mother can bring. This is a natural impulse.

        Noxon does a good job of continuing Whedon’s theme that once a person dies a real natural death they are gone and any iteration of them that could possible return of them will not be the same and could be terrible. Therefore the Buffy writers wanted to show the horror of what could be to help the audience and the characters come to term with a natural fact of life by exploring the natural impulse.

        I was meant to be horrifying but not in the usually distance metaphor demon/monster way but close visceral personal this is something I have felt way.

  4. Tom

    It’s the moment where Dawn, in the wake of her mother’s death, takes ownership over her own security

    Oh, if only.

    It’s most certainly an opportunity to do so. But…well, I guess we’ll see what happens.

    Just above this post, there’s this:

    I never liked the “go get the eggs from the three-headed lizard part.” That sort of silly monster-fight just feels out of place

    What this might (we hope) be for Dawn — like “Blood Ties” — is an additional realization that she’s living in a real world. The monster egg snatch is silly and cartoony, yes, but it is part and parcel of the way she views Buffy’s calling: a sort of inconvenient, comic book life of absurdity that’s far less important than the things that are important to Dawn. Isn’t this what Buffy does: find the answer in the book, find the monster, fight the monster, save the day? And aren’t the monsters, as in the final scene of “The Body,” just a distraction from what’s more important? For the second time, she’s being faced with the harsh reality that no, actually, they’re all the same thing. That’s the fundamental Buffy trope — the monster is life wrought metaphorical — now being re-examined through the lens of season 5’s greater maturity, in which one comes to realize that if life has monsters in it, that’s because that’s the way life is, not because they’re a mythological distraction from the mundane and the everyday. Dawn hasn’t, until the last few episodes, ever had to face up to that. But in the post-Joyce era, she’s going to have to.

    I don’t think she’s there yet, though.

  5. tjbw

    Myles wrote:

    “My biggest issue with “Forever” is that it forces us to accept that Dawn was left this unsupervised for this long.”

    To me, Giles, just Giles, avoids Dawn on purpose because like Spike he knows that magic always has consequences.

    Always.

    I think that he holds a suspicion that the by product of the magic that was used to create Dawn was Joyce’s tumor. And I know that her tumor is natural, but what is a tumor but cells gone hay wire? I believe that he dwells on the possibility that all of those fabricated memories caused her brain cells to go hay wire = tumor. As such, he avoids her so as not to say something unforgivable to a child.

    And then later on…well, that’s an opinion for another day.

  6. Tausif Khan

    I still don’t like how Angel on Buffy is Buffy’s Angel. While the show is called Buffy the Vampire Slayer I feel there hasn’t been an argument made yet that this show is supposed to be seen from Buffy’s perspective but is an ensemble drama (this latter case gets made better in the seasons to come). Therefore I feel it would be appropriate and better television if Angel were to share what is going on in LA with Buffy and her friends. Both heroes are questioning the matters of the universe and fighting against the mechanics of the universe it is only natural that they share perspectives on their respective fights.

    I don’t like how Angel becomes Buffy’s Angel every time he comes back to Buffy and loses all of the character development we see on Angel.

    • Eldritch

      I think the two shows do a pretty good job of keeping their common mythology consistent. But they’re very different shows, and are aimed at different audiences.

      Buffy’s telling the story of how high school and starting college is hell. Angel is more aimed at the 20-somethings entering the adult world. Different themes; different characters. The shows have to be different. Though I can understand your discomfort. On Angel, he’s an avenger seeking redemption, but then on Buffy, he reverts to being just her boyfriend. But that has to be because of the objectives of each show.

      • Anne

        And how often do people revert to being who they were when they go “home” again? How often do people revert, in at least some aspect, to the dynamic they had growing up when they return home to visit their parents/siblings? I think this happens even after years away. While the parallel is not perfect, Buffy is the most emotional attachment Angel has had. It makes sense to me that when he returns to Sunnydale, some of those same dynamics are in play.

      • Tausif Khan

        I completely agree I just don’t like it given that they share the same universe. They both fight demons which could destroy the dimension in which their earth exists so I think there should be a little bit bleed through given that they have crossover episodes.

    • skittledog

      I can pretty much handwave it here since they’ve still had a lot of contact over the last year and a half, Angel knew and cared about Joyce probably as much as Spike did, and Angel himself has just found a measure of comfort and understanding of the world, so would be content to just be there for Buffy (indeed, probably welcomes someone needing him at this point).

      *SEMI-SPOILER*

      I have considerably more of a problem with the one after Home where his whole mood and attitude is just so off for anyone who’s been watching both shows.

      • Anna

        You know, your handwave explanation of Angel’s behavior doesn’t work for me. The Buffy-Angel interaction hasn’t been that extensive (3/4 times, none particularly positive), at that point they haven’t talked in almost a year, and I don’t think Buffy is Angel’s most emotional attachment at this point, his friends are. I think by this point Angel has made peace with the relationship and not pining for her anymore.

        Part of my problem with the scene is that I don’t buy that the relationship was so deep that Angel would come to Joyce’s funeral to just be there for Buffy because I think he has grown past that. By that I mean that he was mostly just ‘there for Buffy’ during his time on BtVS but I think he deserves more than that. And I don’t buy that he would’ve come for Joyce’s funeral for Joyce, because they relationship was not like that. It was nowhere near the relationship Spike had with Joyce. They met 5 or 6 times, the last one being her pretty much telling him to dump Buffy.

        While I can kinda buy that he would like to comfort Buffy because of his recent epiphany, it just strikes me as annoying that after spending months on a self-destruct streak, finally coming out of it and trying to get his friends back and kinda managing to do that to then basically go “I’m so glad you’re back with me. Now excuse me, I have to go comfort my ex that I haven’t seen in almost a year.” I mean, I get it, her mother died and Buffy certainly could use the comfort, but they’re not friends, and they never will be, so it just doesn’t sit right with me.

  7. Tausif Khan

    Two of the important points to remember about Whedon is that he has two goals 1) to entertain 2) to change the landscape of television from the perspective of gender.

    Therefore we must not get caught up in analyzing too much of what works and doesn’t work and make sure that we account for the fact that he wants to make the experience enjoyable for all people especially women.

    The idea of academic disciplines, formal logic as the focus of philosophy in academics, ideology and objective analysis in general were foundational in academic institutions created by men. There is a school of feminist thought that wants to subvert formal academic institutional writing because it is inaccessible to the general public (which mainly included women as men dominated the academy). This specialized knowledge created by men so that men could rule the world (according to this line of thought) creates an informational advantage for men over women. This informational advantaged made easy the refusal to accept women into academic fields. Moreover it displayed a blatant rejection of different modes of thinking from people with different perspectives on life.

    Whedon has many intellectual things he wants to say with Buffy/Angel but specifically with Buffy he wants to make sure that Buffy has “A” female voice (not representative of all females) but some one who knows what it is like to be a female, give voice to Buffy’s concerns as a female. Something that male writers like Joss would not understand. This allows Buffy the character and her concerns to be real to the people he wants to create entertaining television for women (who don’t have female heroes on television) and enlightened men who are not threatened by strong women.

    So the two focal points of entertainment (fan service for romance) and a female voice for Buffy to lend authenticity and accessibility to female viewers who previously did not have heroes on television, specifically for them, must also be taken into account when analyzing Buffy not just whether something works or not.

  8. lyvvie

    While ‘The Body’ is an all too realistic depiction of death, I feel like ‘Forever’ is the TV equivilant, the kind of episode that television would usually have instead of ‘The Body’. That isn’t to say that it’s a bad episode or that it’s not moving but it’s more comfortable and recognisable, it’s back in a language of TV that we can more traditionally understand.

    I’m not a big fan of Marti Noxon’s Buffy episodes, but there are two that I love and this is one of them (the other is I Only Have Eyes For You in S2). The small touches are what makes it, looking at coffins, Giles listening to music, Spike bringing flowers, Anya and Xander in bed and Angel and Buffy meeting. The final scene with Buffy and Dawn is just beautiful, what do they do now their mother is gone? They’ve, especially Buffy, suddenly become adults in a way that they never expected, their support system being stripped way. I love Buffy, for all her talk of this being a bad idea, being the one to run to the door, desperate to see her mother again.

    When I first watched this episode the Buffy/Angel parts caused me to roll my eyes, it seemed like bad taste to suddenly throw in a shippery moment. I see that moment so differently now that I’m older and have unfortunately lost people that I love. Now to me that scene is wonderfully sweet and probably the only time that I truly ‘get’ the Buffy/Angel relationship. Being there for Buffy and offering her comfort and just someone for her to be with is increadibly important. And I think it also fits in wonderfully with the storylines on Angel and with what Angel is going though.

  9. Aaah! I go away for the weekend and there are THREE Buffy reviews up!
    I just wanted to say that the last scene in Forever *got* to me more than any scene in The Body did.

  10. Bob Kat

    I think re Angel we have to rememeber he was there with ehr for several hours, basically all night, so they probably discussed other topics off-camera.

    Having the “Soemthing” raised form Joyce’s grave and come by the house was an homage to “The Moneky’s Paw” and a necessary s et-up for Buffy’s sudden change of heart, and Dawn’s.
    The demon always seemed like an unint ellgient type so it’s hunting, not murder :-)n he says.
    I think there had to be more to the spell that the 1-didn’t have time to go into 2-didn’t thinkt hur because it’s aplot device.. PResumably the picutre would have to be detsroyed before certain things happened to set the results permanently. It’s like in “The Wish” where they said destroying the power cneter would reverse “all” the wishes instead of only those which weren’t complete.

    PS I dislike the term Zombie Joyce; SPike specifically said that it was “zombie terriotry” if the caster took more than dirt from the grave.

  11. Becker

    This was the episode that really showed me how they had negatively rewritten one of my favorite characters, Willow. I have no problem with the relationship with Tara and still feel that that is the best developed relationship on the show. I state all that as I too often get accused of being unaccepting of her sexuality and character growth. My problem instead is that they have taken this ultra-smart girl and had her moronically put Dawn on the path of resurrecting Joyce. It just feels like something the old Willow would never have done.

    I initially loved Marti as a writer, but she ends up losing subtlety, eventually writing with anvils.

    If noone had mentioned it in its proper thread (I’m limited with time and relegated to using my cell for the internet) there were two big issues with the ep Family. 1) Noone knew whether Tara was evil or not until they got the scene from Joss & (more importantly) 2) They were scheduled to start filming the ep on a Friday, but it got pushed to Monday as there was no script. Each day, between shots, Joss wrote the next day’s scenes, so to say it was rushed is a massive understatement. I did not like the episode, but, all things considered, it could have been much worse.

  12. hannah P

    I thought this was a fantatsic episode it dealt with the aftermath of Joyce’s death realy well/ I really enjoyed the Bufy/Angel scene as it showed the comfort needed fot Buffy at this time that could not be provided elsewhere – though I’m stil not sure how this fitted in with the Angel story line.,

    One of my favourite episodes/

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