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LadyGhosts of TV Past

Ladyghosts of TV Past: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Becoming” Open Thread

Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are. You’ll see what I mean.

There are swords!

Welcome to the “Becoming” open thread! I’m really excited to watch these two episodes of Buffy with everyone. If you’re new to the series, you’re in for a treat. And if you’re already a Buffy fan, you know there are two hours of great television ahead of us.

 

I’m going to watch the Netflix instant stream, in case anyone is curious about timing the episodes. Both parts of “Becoming” are 44 minutes long, so we’ll start part 1 at 8, take a couple of minutes to regroup, and then startpart 2 at 8:50.

 

 

9:36 — So that’s the end of the episodes. Buffy saves the world and runs away to LA because she can’t handle the sacrifice she had to make. She’s never quite the same after this — she’s always a little sadder, a little harder.  I’ll have a brief wrap up post in my usual time slot on Friday.  Thanks for joining us! See you then!

9:31 — She kisses him, she tells him she loves him. And then she stabs him and sends him to hell. This was so unexpected and so shocking when the show originally aired that it hard to contextualize now, because this show had a very profound impact on network storytelling. On what audiences would accept. Hell, it’s still shocking now.

9:28 — “Angelus – “No weapons … no friends … no hope. Take all that away and what’s left?” Buffy – “Me.”

I get chills when she says that. “Me.”

 

9:24 — There is zero reason that choking Dru should make her pass out since vampires don’t breathe.

9:22 — “Kick his ass”. You, Xander, are a cruel jackass.  You never pay for this but everyone else on the show pays for their lies and mistakes over and over again.  I know, it’s been over a decade, but there is nothing on the show that pisses me off like this scene.

9:18 — The use of Jenny Calender in this scene is one of the cruelest things I’ve ever seen on network tv.

9:16 — Is the good news that Buffy was expelled or that she’s going to go keep the demon from swallowing the world? Because having the world swallowed would really screw up the Mayor’s plans.

9:11 — Poor Joyce. Poor Buffy. The fight they have in the kitchen is just heartbreaking, because I think Buffy spends a lot of time trying to avoid the truth of what she is. And then she has to vomit it out to her mother who can’t possibly understand, who doesn’t know what happened with Angel, who doesn’t get what Buffy is shouldering.

9:09 — “Have you tried not being the Slayer?”

9:07 — The shot of Joyce and Spike sitting awkwardly in the living room is priceless. Mastercard priceless.

9:06 — I had completely forgotten about the vampire attack on Joyce. I was seriously trying to recall how they prove to Joyce that Buffy is who she says she is and this is it.

9:03 — “I love you” is how Xander saves Willow at the end of Season 6 as well.

9:00 — Interesting that Spike still calls Angelus ‘Angel’. Everyone else differentiates between the two (well, except Xander, but you can’t trust his opinion on the matter).

8:58 — I don’t think I ever really paid attention to what Whistler said before — Angel was supposed to be here to defeat the demon, not to bring it forth. Buffy screwed up his destiny. I never cared for his show, so does anyone know if that’s addressed again?

8:56 — “The last time I tortured somebody, they didn’t even have chainsaws.”

8:51 — We’re back with Becoming part 2. Snyder appears on screen and is instantly a horrible little troll. And I love him so much. “Suspect is very dangerous”.

8:45 — Ok, five minute break!

8:43 —  So. Much. Happens in the last 4 minutes of the show. Poor Kendra, caught by Dru’s snake charmer act, Giles getting kidnapped, the fight between Buffy and Angelus — and that long run down the hallway, when we know what she’s going to find at the end of it. I don’t think it’s lost any bit of it’s impact.

8:42 — Even my 14 year old recognizes that Angelus is way more interesting than Angel.

8:39 — SMG is just so good in this episode. The look on her face when Angelus taunts her about getting back together? I buy her as a broken hearted teenaged girl.  We’re gonna see another fantastic bit of acting in a couple of minutes.

8:37 — Immologram. I assume Snyder claims it was gang members on PCP.

8:31 — So… Buffy’s old school is totes the set from Back to the Future, right? That’s the clock, isn’t it? I’m gonna look this up.

8:29 — I think Whistler is the first demon we meet who isn’t ‘evil’, right? I think this is when the show starts to broaden it’s mythology and casts things in shades of grey. Not all demons are bad, not all vampires are soulless, we can all love, not wisely or well.

8:25 — Tomb of Alfalfa. I snickered more than I should have.

8:22 — “You kiss your mother with that mouth?”

8:19 — You can write an entire essay call ‘Why Xander is an Asshole’ based on the crap he says in this episode alone. She’s not going to date you, get over it!

8:16 –One of the things the show never satisfyingly addresses is Buffy’s 6th sense. Her dreams, the ‘deja vu’  she just mentioned — its never really answered if this is a Slayer gift or something that makes Buffy special.  Also, glad to see they remembered Angelus destroyed Jenny’s computer in ‘Passions’ and took it off the set.

8:011 — Have I mentioned in any of my recaps that Dru is Martin Landau’s daughter? No? Well she is.

8:07 — Oh, Giles. You’re so right. This is going to be a terrible surprise.

8:04 — I may be in the minority here, but I’ve never really cared for Darla. There’s something about her that never clicked for me.  But I love the origin story framing of these episodes and I’ll tolerate her for that.

By [E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of powderroom.jezebel.com. You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at slay@persephonemagazine.com.

She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

23 replies on “Ladyghosts of TV Past: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Becoming” Open Thread”

Like you I’ve watched these eps so many times and yet they always leave me wanting more.

This – “Angelus – “No weapons … no friends … no hope. Take all that away and what’s left?” Buffy – “Me.”  I’ve considered having tattooed on me somewhere in some form that is cool.  At the end of the day, it does always come down to you and what sort of strength you have.

Re: Angel and his destiny.  Yup this is pretty much the journey that Angel goes on in his five seasons.  There’s also some prophecies in there too which muddle things up a bit.  Be prepared though, if you don’t like Darla she has a pretty big role in it as well as the introduction of the most annoying character in the Buffyverse, Connor (yes, even more annoying than Xander).  They’re definitely worth taking a look at again.  Maybe you could do some recaps on those eps as well when you get up to season 4?  (I mean you have nothing else you need to be doing with your life do you??)

I watched bits and pieces of Angel. It seemed like something that should have been right up my alley — I liked Angel, I love noir, and it just… never clicked for me. I tuned in when they brought Spike over for season 5 (?) and actually really enjoyed it, but never enough to really go back and watch the rest of the series.

I’ll think about doing Angel recaps, but, man, we’re not going to get to season 4 Buffy for a while!

Does the Angel show specifically address what Whistler said? That he was supposed to be the hero of the Acafla Apocalypse, not the villain?

It doesn’t mention Acathla specifically, but this idea becomes a sort of running theme throughout Angel and into the comics. Basically, there’s a prophecy that Angel will play a key role in the apocalypse (the actual apocalypse, not the things that happen three times a year). But despite everyone assuming that Angel will stop it, the prophecy never actually specifies which side Angel will be on. So the bad guys invest most of their energies bringing Angel over to their side in order to ensure that the world actually ends

So the Apocalypse isn’t the one that takes place at the end of the Angel series, nor the one Buffy averts in Sunnydale, but it still isn’t the Twilight issue in the comics? It is really embarrassing to have this huge gap in my Buffyverse knowledge. I’m aware at what happens with Wolfram and Hart in the show and I read the After the Fall series, but maybe I’ll need to slink off and watch the show on Netflix.

So good. I couldn’t join in on the live blog, what with time difference and being in school. Honestly, I think this show was one of the big reasons I am so in love with story telling. This is perfect storytelling. It’s stunning, even now and I think because of the heart in it, because of it’s guts, it will stand the test of time.

I didn’t even think of the time difference until after I set up the thread. I’ve been feeling a bit guilty about it.

It really is just a perfect piece of storytelling. It amazes me how many times I’ve seen the episodes and not only do I notice new things, but I don’t get bored of it either. Great television.

Oh, what you don’t know is that in Season 3, they didn’t even show the season finale! They put it off for months due to a real life controversy that Fox thought was too close to the events of the show. They showed the first part of the finale (it was a two-parter) and then nothing! Try dealing with that!

Right!  This episode will be the first big Spike/Buffy collaboration.  It’ll be interesting to see how this relates to later seasons, ‘specially since Spike has no moral inclination for this, just a selfish one.  And yet their conversations still seem to follow the same track.  Lots of punching all around.

I do see!  I mean, Angel has an interesting back story but character development-wise, acting-wise, emotion-wise, being interesting-wise….he just falls kinda flat.  With Angelus I think we get a look at insanity.

And, on the what-is-actually-playing point, Buffy just called Snyder a troll! I grin probably more than I should have….and “Cell Block Tango” just popped into my head…”He had it coming!”

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