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"Same Time, Same Place" and "Help"

Same Time, Same Place.

STSP is, as penny_lane_42 so succinctly told me, pretty lame.

I do love the double Spike scenes in the basement, because I am such a sucker for that kind of structural play, and clearly Jane Espenson is too - look at Superstar and Storyteller and Spy in the House of Love (Dollhouse).

Also, I really enjoyed all the scenes with Willow and Anya. I've complained before that there isn't enough same-sex friendship on this show, but episodes like this help make up that lack. Plus you've got the tentativeness and awkwardness and the fact they've never really been friends. Yay. And the Buffy&Willow scene is also an awwww scene (perhaps too much so...).

But generally? Pretty lame. Those scenes in the caves go on forever. Ugh. Willow coming back ought to have been huge and affecting, and they certainly tried, but it, um, didn't take. And the execution of the cool structural premise was not nearly as fabulous as it should have been.

Also: I think this may be the one ep in all of BtVS that just plain grosses me out.

Help

- I like Cassie, although I can't help but think she's pretty wise for her years.
- I kept remembering that Wood was getting on Buffy's case about going to Cassie's dad's house and accusing him of child abuse, which he actually didn't.
- I was ohsopleased to see Amanda. (Housemate instantly liked her, too. She doesn't know yet that we get more Amanda. Yay, Amanda!)

First big thought: Towards the end, Cassie tells Spike, "She'll tell you. Someday, she'll tell you." Question: did anyone else instantly assume Cassie meant that Buffy would someday tell Spike she loved him? Because the first time through, I took it to mean exactly that, and I waited the whole rest of the season to see it happen.

So, would Spike? Did he spend the whole season anticipating? If so, then his reply there at the end could easily have been worded in advance - sometime after she gave him the amulet, probably.

Second big thought: In Cassie, we have a control case for Dru. Her foresight and Dru's seem remarkably similar, with discrete images and bits of knowledge dropped in their heads without any context or explanation. The key differences are that Cassie is both sane and soulled.

What does that tell us about Dru? I'm not sure, other than that it gives us a much clearer picture of what she might have been like before Angelus.

Comments

( 58 comments — Leave a comment )
rahirah
Apr. 18th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
Well, at that point, Spuffy fans were divided into the Bitter and Cynical Camp, and the Joss Will Make It Better Camp. So yeah, some people did predict that Buffy would tell Spike she loved him. The rest of us snorted bitter and cynical snorts and pointed out that Cassandra was the prophetess who was cursed never to be believed.
snickfic
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:19 am (UTC)
Cassandra was the prophetess who was cursed never to be believed.

*facepalm*

Sometimes, I am just dense. Because that's blindingly obvious, now that you mention it. So of course, even if Spike knew what she meant, we can probably figure that he didn't believe her...

Sigh.
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ms_scarletibis
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
Ditto to the huge gross factor in STSP.

As for help, yes, that's what I thought Cassie meant. I think Spike was too bonkers to understand what the crap she was talking about.

Well no, I'll take that back. It depends upon if he was actually wondering that very thought around the time Cassie made the statement or not, but honestly, I can't see Spike actually wondering if Buffy would say and mean that, especially when he was crazy, living in the basement.

As for Cassie and Dru, hmm...Cassie foresaw her own death, but I don't think Dru did. If there is a connection between...huh.

It's doubtful it's a subtle throwback, but upon William's turning, Dru says, "I know what you want--something glowing, glistening...Effulgent," and right before Cassie's death, she says what she says to Spike. That's the only (and quite shaky) connection I can see, which is shaky at best.
ms_scarletibis
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:24 am (UTC)
That, and "She'll tell you," doesn't equate to "she'll mean it."
(no subject) - snickfic - Apr. 18th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snickfic - Apr. 18th, 2010 01:28 am (UTC) - Expand
deird1
Apr. 18th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
Question: did anyone else instantly assume Cassie meant that Buffy would someday tell Spike she loved him?

Yep. :D
snickfic
Apr. 18th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
Okay. So I'm not just weird. (Or at least, it has not just now been confirmed.)
(no subject) - deird1 - Apr. 18th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC) - Expand
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seapealsh
Apr. 18th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
I believed it, so when she said it in Chosen I wanted to kick Spike in the head for his response. I'll believe anything - very gullible.
snickfic
Apr. 18th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, that bit of Chosen is one of my many, many problems with this season. It's just such a frustrating closer to their relationship. (Although, given the fact that Whedon knew Spike would be moving to Angel, it does make sense to try and leave that hanging. Grr.)
penny_lane_42
Apr. 18th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
I got quoted! *fistpump*

And you and I like the exact same things about STSP! How shocking!

Also: I adore Jane Espenson.

I was okay with Cassie being wise for her years, because there's lots of stories throughout history of young people who know they will die young and who are very wise for their years. She fit into that profile for me, so it worked.

I most certainly immediately thought the "Tell you" bit was "I love you." But I'm now inn love with the fact that SHE IS CASSANDRA THE CURSED. I love that story.

But I'm one of the people who thinks Spike was so out of it at that moment that he had no clue what he was talking about. He was pretty busy throughout the rest of the season, too. So maybe he had a few quiet moments of wonder, "So does that mean...?" But I can't imagine him spending a whole lot of time brooding over it.

I love the connection about Cassie and Dru. A lot. And I think you're right.
snickfic
Apr. 18th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
Uh, I got no reply here except a lot of nodding.

*nod*

*nod*
eowyn_315
Apr. 18th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
Aww, I didn't think STSP was lame. Or, at least I'll say this - I'd rather rewatch that than "Go Fish" or "Bad Eggs" or WTWTA or any number of bad Buffy episodes. I will say that I like and dislike the exact same things you do, lol.

And yeah, this ep is pretty ick. I kind of can't watch Willow's skin getting peeled off. Xander getting his eye poked out is another one I can't watch, so... good job S7 on grossing me out more than any Buffy season ever?

Question: did anyone else instantly assume Cassie meant that Buffy would someday tell Spike she loved him?

I don't think I did. But to be fair, I don't recall thinking much about it at all. It's not like I spent the whole season puzzling over it or anything. But I'm pretty sure I needed fandom to point that one out to me. I like the Cassandra idea, though, so I'm gonna say Spike didn't believe her (if he even thought about it).
snickfic
Apr. 18th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
Oh, I'd watch "Go Fish" or "Bad Eggs" over this one, although partly because I just like S2, and this one has icky S7 vibes all over it. I feel as though it ought to be really excellent, because it's got actual plot and character development built into it from Willow's arc last season, plus it has the cool structural stuff. In practice, though, I am just underwhelmed. If I ever rewatch it for fun, it'll be for the Spike scenes in the basement and for the Anya&Willow interaction. (Also: I think it says a whole lot about the status of femslash vs. boyslash in fandom that there aren't Anya/Willow fics galore based on this episode. "It did get kind of sexy... do you want to do another spell?")

good job S7 on grossing me out more than any Buffy season ever?

Yeah. Me, too.
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slaymesoftly
Apr. 18th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
I doubt that Spike, still reeling from the soul and sure that he isn't worthy of Buffy, knew what she was talking about. We knew, but I think it was meant to be the kind of line that didn't make sense to him until it actually happened. That's my take on it.
snickfic
Apr. 18th, 2010 03:53 am (UTC)
That sounds very reasonable. I can see him possibly fixating on that one comment and turning it over and over, but it'd be just as easy for him to fixate on something else.
(no subject) - slaymesoftly - Apr. 18th, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
snickfic
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
Fic waiting to happen is what I was thinking, too. Only I apparently don't actually write Spuffy; I just talk about it occasionally. And I don't write S7. So clearly this a job for some third party... :)
cindergal
Apr. 18th, 2010 06:30 am (UTC)
Question: did anyone else instantly assume Cassie meant that Buffy would someday tell Spike she loved him? Because the first time through, I took it to mean exactly that, and I waited the whole rest of the season to see it happen.

Yes, as Barb mentioned, there were basically two camps of S/B fans at the time - the more cynical, and the more romantic. (I was a member of the latter) And in the end, we were both right. Buffy did>/i> tell Spike she loved him - but of course, he didn't believe her.

That Joss is such a Trickster. ;-)

And as for Spike, I think he knew exactly what Cassie meant, but I don't think he ever let himself believe her or even acknowledge that he knew what she was talking about - it would have hurt too much if she were wrong. So he was pretty much predisposed to say what he said to Buffy in the end.

snickfic
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
It's always interesting to hear from folks who watched as the show aired. I confess, I don't envy you the experience of watching S7 dragged out over months and months, but it's fun to hear about those first fannish impressions of things.
mabus101
Apr. 18th, 2010 06:30 am (UTC)
Second big thought: In Cassie, we have a control case for Dru. Her foresight and Dru's seem remarkably similar, with discrete images and bits of knowledge dropped in their heads without any context or explanation. The key differences are that Cassie is both sane and soulled.

Hmm...now this is an interesting thought. For some reason I'd never associated the two.

I also forgot all about her saying anything to Spike, so I have no opinion on whether that was what she meant or not.
snickfic
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
Hmm...now this is an interesting thought. For some reason I'd never associated the two.

It seemed really obvious to me this time around, but I'm not sure what to do with the thought now that I've had it. It's just that canon is so vague and inconsistent in what it says about Dru that it'd be lovely to use Cassie as a comparison somehow.
eilowyn
Apr. 18th, 2010 06:36 am (UTC)
True confessions? First time I marathoned S7 on DVD I skipped "Help" because I didn't realize it was an episode - I thought it was a "help with the DVD" button.

Isn't STSP where we get Giles on a horse? Doesn't that elevate the episode?
snickfic
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:33 pm (UTC)
Hee! Which is too bad, because it's actually a pretty decent episode, plus it introduces both Cassie (who shows up in Coversations with Dead People) and Amanda.

Actually, Giles-on-a-horse occurs in either "Lessons" or "Beneath You." It is a high point for Giles in S7, though. ;)
quinara
Apr. 18th, 2010 08:49 am (UTC)
Spike in the basement is the best bit of STSP. (And gave the wonderful call-and-response quote "Button, button, whose got the button? ... My money's on the witch," which comes in handy whenever a quote is required about buttons, and Willy Wonka used to have to suffice all on his own. Yes, OK, my brother, a few friends and I often communicate through quotes. It's a thing!) The rest of it is practically as dull as ditchwater (poseable Dawn??) and I don't buy Buffy and Willow meditating at the end, mostly because I'm petty.

Anyway, Cassie; IIRC there was an outpouring of fic where Buffy tells Spike she loves him after that (I think there was a challenge somewhere and everything), but I tended to believe it wouldn't be that simple. Not sure why, because I still thought she'd at least tell him something important and gooey, but 'I love you' felt too straightforward (heh, my Buffy rarely communicates through 'I love you'). I saw Cassie as responding to something Spike was thinking, psychic-style, and since his self-worth was about -500000 at that point I didn't think he'd care much about anything so extreme as love. I think/thought it was more along the lines of 'do I mean anything to her at all? If so, what?' - and when First Date rolled around, actually, I think Buffy's comments at the end fulfilled it.
snickelish
Apr. 18th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, OK, my brother, a few friends and I often communicate through quotes. It's a thing!

Hee! My family has a few ritual phrases and quotations, too, although we don't necessarily use them for direct communication. (Also, the housemate's husband and brother-in-law like to see how long they can carry on a conversation using only Princess Bride quotes, but that's a whole other thing.)

I don't buy Buffy and Willow meditating at the end, mostly because I'm petty.

Yeah... it's not subtle. This time I bought it, but possibly I was just feeling charitable.

I like the idea that Cassie was talking about something other than ILU, or that Spike took her to mean something different. It's more interesting and specific and less predictable. "I believe in you" also comes to mind as something pivotal that Buffy says to him, but it seems to me that that would be, if anything, even farther a stretch than "I love you": he's wanted her to love him for years, but I doubt it ever occurred to him that he wanted her to believe in him.

In short: I like your thoughts. :)
(no subject) - eowyn_315 - Apr. 18th, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 58 comments — Leave a comment )

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