“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:
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.
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.