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LadyGhosts of TV Past

Ladyghosts of TV Past: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Two Wrap-Up

“The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s going to keep digging, he’s going to keep trying to do right and make up for what’s gone before, just because that’s who he is.” ““ Joss Whedon

I hosted a liveblog to watch the finale two episodes of Season 2 here, so this won’t be my standard recap full of snark and”¦ er, more snark. But before I let Season 2 go, I thought I’d take a moment to share some final observations on the story arc and “Becoming,” Parts 1 and 2.

You can find all my second season thought cubes at the following links:

 

When She Was Bad Some Assembly Required School Hard
Inca Mummy Girl Reptile Boy Halloween
Lie to Me The Dark Age What’s My Line, Part 1
What’s My Line, Part 2 Ted Bad Eggs
Surprise Innocence Phases
Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered Passion Killed By Death
I Only Have Eyes For You Go Fish Becoming Parts 1 and 2 (liveblog)

Buffy and Angel:

When the show first aired, I was as wrapped up as anyone in the love story of Angel and Buffy. The drama and the tragedy appealed to me. The decision Buffy makes at the end of “Becoming” is devastating. I was totally Team Angel.

Yet, so many years on, it really bothers the hell out of me. I mean, I still appreciate what it was. I think the combo punch of “Surprise”/”Innocence” and “Becoming” 1/2 is absolutely some of the finest television to ever be broadcast. But I, frankly, have something of a problem with a 200-year-old man being the fated love-of-your-life for a 17-year-old girl. I mean, really? Being the Slayer heaps grave and world-changing responsibilities on Buffy’s shoulders, but it doesn’t make her any older. It doesn’t actually make her more worldly.

They walk back the whole “only love of her life” thing in later seasons, though it hangs heavily over the Riley Finn romance, before finally putting it to bed at the end of Season 7 (the cookie dough speech). However, just judging on these two seasons that have aired, man, the writers piled it on thick.

I admit that I may be biased in retrospect because I believe, ultimately, that Spike is the one for Buffy, because he changes for her and doesn’t idolize the idea of her.  Neither am I advocating that the show would have been better without the Angel arc ““ I can’t even imagine what Buffy would have been without it ““ I’m just saying that a dozen years on, post-Twilight world, the concept of the romance gave me more pause than I expected  it to.

 The Buffyverse:

I’ve always given credit to how well thought out the show was but I started noticing exactly how well thought out it was in this rewatch. There are plans laid down in the second season that come up again years later ““ look at “Ted” and its advanced robotics, which is important in seasons 5 and 6.  Anne, who is introduced as a side character in “Lie to Me” and shows up again repeatedly (and importantly) throughout the Buffyverse.  Jonathan shows up repeatedly. We see Willow getting involved with magic ““ with two scenes specifically that get revisited in the last two years of the show.  All the groundwork is being laid down for what’s to come in a thoughtful, considerate way that respects the characters, the world they live in, and the audience.  These are traits that too many shows are missing.

As an editorial note, the Season 3 recaps won’t start until December. In between now and then, you can find me recapping The Walking Dead and banging my head against the NaNoWriMo Wall of Frustration and Impossible Deadlines.

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.

6 replies on “Ladyghosts of TV Past: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Two Wrap-Up”

I was about to cry when I read the “not until December” thing, then got to the “Walking Dead” part and realized we will not have to be parted at all! I cannot freaking WAIT for Walking Dead to start, and am delighted you will be recapping.

And yes, Spike was the one for Buffy. You are 100% correct. Nobody can tell me different. Plus, their boning can bring houses down… beat that, Angel, with your stupid curse.

You’re such a doll.

I was telling Selena the other day that I’m constantly surprised at how much time recapping really takes. There maybe other people who have streamlined the process, but I just spend so much time on them, getting my thought cubes in order and watching the show multiple times just to make sure I don’t miss anything. I recapped two shows last year while attempting NaNoWriMo and it was just a nightmare of a time suck. So I just had to put it off Buffy until November was over.

But I could not pass up recapping The Walking Dead. I’m so excited I emit high pitched squeals whenever the previews come on tv.

Walking Dead live thread? Yes, no, maybe so?

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