Band Candy

Perri's Review | SunSpeak

Perri's Review

The scariest alliance yet in Buffy history -- and the scariest results, I *must* say! Also the most disgusting and the most wigsome. But also one of the hands-down funniest!

As usual, we open in the cemetary, where Giles and Buffy are utilizing stakeout time wisely by studying for the SATs. But the real action is across town, where the mayor has called Trick into his office for a meeting. Trick says he can do what the mayor wants -- he has just the subcontractor in mind to help the mayor pay tribute to his demon. The next day, Buffy is still wigging over the SATs; Willow offers to help her study, but Buffy tells Willow she's staying with her mom -- both Joyce and Giles are working overtime keeping an eye on Buffy.

Snyder brings yet another light of joy -- he volunteers the Slayerettes to sell cases of candy for the band, regardless of the fact that they aren't in the band. Joyce refuses to let Buffy drive -- citing Buffy's disasterous test scores and her track record of running away -- but does cave and buy half the candy bars from her daughter. Buffy retreats, telling her mother she's off to study and Slay with Giles. Slaying practice ends quickly, with Buffy beating Giles' test after getting him to buy the rest of her candy. But Buffy doesn't stay -- claiming she's going home to her mother, who is out of control.

Instead, having won herself some free time, she heads for the mansion and Angel. She finds him doing Tai Chi exercises in the garden; after the sea of raging hormones on and off screen has ebbed, she helps him, still weak and with his sense of humor on vacation, but tracking, inside. Another awkward talk ensues, with Angel telling her he worries about her. Buffy assuring him he'll be fine soon, fine enough that he won't need her anymore. "That would be better," he agrees, to Buffy's outward agreement and inward hurt.

Arriving home, Buffy finds an unhappy Joyce waiting for her; Buffy tries to blame Giles -- only to have him appear from the dining room. They confront her on her lies, and playing them against each other, all the while munching the chocolate bars; Buffy defends herself, telling them that they have been trying to take over their life with their overprotectiveness. Giles calms down mother and daughter, telling them not to "freak out" and sends Buffy to bed. She goes, and Joyce and Giles collapse, still absently (and compulsively) munching the chocolate -- as workers across town pack and load more boxes.

The next afternoon, the Slayerettes languish in study hall, waiting for Giles, assigned to supervise them, fails to appear. Xander munches chocolate as he talks to Willow -- while their legs entwine underneath the table. Snyder and another teacher walk down the hall outside -- Snyder whining that he doesn't want to do study hall. Ms. Barton goes into class and tells them to behave until Snyder is out of earshot, then they can all escape. The class is delighted -- and Buffy is worried.

She heads for Giles' apartment right after school, and finds her mother there as well. Joyce and Giles tell her they have gotten together to try to schedule Buffy's life more evenly, although no less thoroughly. Any of Buffy's suspicions are allayed -- or at least overrruled -- when her mother hands her the keys to the car and tells her to take it home. She grabs the keys and runs -- and Giles and Joyce pull out wine and cigarettes, assuring each other that Buffy didn't supect anything. Buffy scares the hell out of Willow with her driving skills (and lack thereof) as they head for the Bronze as Joyce "Age of Aquarius" and Giles "Call Me Ripper" lounge around the floor of his apartment listening to old music. Giles strips down to his tshirt and jeans and they head out to look for trouble.

Buffy has already found trouble, in the form of the midlife-crisised adults who have taken over the Bronze. The final wig occurs when Principal Snyder bounces up, greets them as buds, and tells them to call him"just Snyder", before going off to chase chicks. Across town, Trick supervises the loading of chocolate boxes with the help of a very familiar face -- Giles' old enemy from his school days, magical scourge of Halloween, all-around pain in the neck (tattoo, remember < g >) and child of Chaos, Ethan Rayne.

Oz's band leaves the stage and it's taken over by grownups lacking clothing, sense and anything resembling rhythm. The three escape to the car to look for Giles, with Snyder tagging along. Buffy and Willow realize they've got another problem, having a good idea what Giles was like at 16 (Rebel without a Cause, but with Lots of Attitude and Magic), but they're distracted by the two drag racing minivans that intersect on the car. Giles and Joyce, meanwhile, are having way too much fun looting, stealing, assaulting police officers and making out.

At the scene of the accident, Buffy realizes that the city is currently full of helpless Happy Meals on Legs, but there are no vampires capitalizing on it. As a stranger steals Snyder's candy bar, Buffy realizes that the candy is cursed. She pins Snyder to a car and gets the location of the warehouse, after sending Oz and Willow off to round upteh other two and start research.

There's a riot outside the warehouse, but more important to Buffy is the sight of Giles and Joyce snogging in the middle of the street. Bubble-Brain Joyce is a rebellious teenager, fully capable of ignoring the damage to her car, which is harder for Buffy to deal with than Attitude-Problem Ripper. Snapping orders right and left, Buffy leads her new Slayerettes into the warehouse and finds Ethan on the phone, telling the rest of the bad guys to go into action. Taking in the sight of a pissed-off Slayer and Ripper, Ethan wisely runs for it.

He doesn't manage to escape, to no one's surprise; Buffy, with the enthusiastic ("You're my Slayer, knock his teeth down his throat!") support of Ripper, interrogates him and finds out about the tribute to the demon, Lurconis (while Snyder puts the moves on a disgusted Joyce outside, bringing another chorus of "Ewwww!"s from the audience). Ethan doesn't know what the tribute is, so Buffy calls on her research team of Sleyerettes, who track it down while Buffy keeps Ripper from killing Ethan. Willow gets the details and Joyce produces handcuffs for Ethan. "Never tell me," Buffy says very seriously.

Buffy's not in time, though; a team of vampires has already invaded Sunnydale General Hospital -- and stolen the babies from the nursery. Ripper's initial suggestions are less than helpful, but the first signs of Giles start poking out -- he remembers that Lurconis will be found in the sewers. A formerly-enthusiastic Snyder chickens out and Buffy shames him and Giles into acting like adults. And then has to break up another makeout session.

in the sewers, the tribute ritual is in progress, hooded participants and all. The mayor looks on while leaving a voice mail for his secretary about speaking to the Sewer Commissions. Buffy and Giles make a rude entrance an the fighting begins. Joyce gets the babies out of the line of fire, Buffy dusts vampires, and Lurconis gets tired of waiting for the check and sticks his reptilian head out. Trick decides to go after Buffy pesonally, but has to take on Giles instead.While they do the male bonding thing (okay, while Giles gets thrown into a wall and Trick escapes), Buffy turns a gas pipe into a blow torch and disposes of Lurconis.

Trick tells the mayor he paid Ethan, since Ethan kept his part of the deal, but Trick himself is deeply in the doghouse with a massively displeased major. At school the next day, Snyder retaliates against the Slayerette's teasing by volunteering them to erase graffitti left as a result of the previous night's activities. Giles commiserates with Buffy over the SATs, then has to face Joyce, who is making Buffy pay for the repairs to the car. They stutter and stammer, then hastily escape.

Not much. Angel is slowly improving -- he's coherent and physically stronger.

Ethan is still around, and fairly well-known in a certain community, apparently.

Trick and the mayor continue to work together. The major apparently makes a habit of paying tribute to several demons, possibly how he keeps getting reelected.

Willow and Xander continue to flirt with disaster, between playing footsie, brushes of hands and meaningful glances. So far, their respective boyfriend/girlfriend haven't noticed. How long do we think that's gonna last?

Buffy and Angel have not yet rediscovered the art of conversation.

Joyce and Giles were snogging all over the place, but that was because they were under the influence. Right? Before that, they were also talking about Buffy and going parental in unison, which interaction worries me lots more than the tonsil hockey.

As usual, Buffy is having a rough couple of days. The normal teenage problems like SATs and forced participation in school activities, on top of the stress of dealing with teh stressed-out Joyce and Giles, on top of hiding Angel and therefore leaving herself as the only person who can help him -- and then Ethan has to show up in town. Getting caught in the lies is not going to help her stock with Joyce and Giles, but I gotta go with her choice on this one, especially considering the next episode's preview. And she gets the unique experience of getting to deal with her mother and her Watcher as teenagers. She aquits herself pretty well as the sole adult in the party, keeping everyone on track, not strangling Snyder (who deserved it even more desperately than usual), keeping Ripper under control through sheer force of will, and keeping her mother in line without once resorting to "Because I said so!". Impressive. We've gotta talk about the driving, though....

Her interactions with Angel continue to be a study in pain, as he recovers his sense of himself, and both of them start becoming aware of how much they've lost. I remain unsurprised that Angel knows tai chi -- I've been saying for years he studied martial arts at some point. Angel's apparent acceptance of Scott is.. either a good sign or a bad one, I haven't decided. His desire to be able to take care of himself is definitely a good sign, although I know Buffy doesn't see it that way. Still, he only gets the two scenes -- but all hell breaks loose next week, so what the hell.... Oh, and Angelus apparently took back custody rights to the sense of humor.

Giles was not an impressive teenager. Oh, sexy as all hell, the kind of guy your mom warned you to stay away from despite the fact that you ignored her (if you were lucky). But Buffy described him pretty well -- he was an accident waiting to happen. Tony Head did superb job -- juvenile delinquent and seriously scary about it (love the mutating accent!), but he jumps up and down at Ethan getting hit, snogs relentlessly with Joyce (with not a little actual feeling at times), and handles a gun far too well for my comfort. The glimpse we got of The Ripper in The Dark Age was scarier than this, yes, because it was an adult, in control and still dangerous as hell Giles, with a menace that the teenaged Giles couldn't quite match (another kudo to ASH there). But if I met the teenaged Ripper in a dark alley, I'd head in the other direction. Unless he was wearing those jeans and that T-shirt. Jeez louise! Hormonal much?!?

The adult Giles, what we saw of him, is moving more and more towards being Buffy's father than merely her Watcher. Instead of focusing on slaying to the exclusion of everything else, as he was initially wont to do, he's making her study for her SATs in the middle of a stakeout, telling her to think about her future, buying her chocolate, and teaming up with her mom to take care of her (i.e., run her life). Hell, he sent her to bed! It's going to be interesting to see where they go with this.

Joyce is taking caring protectiveness a little too far. Yes, I understand she's trying to exert what control she can in a situation that's way out of her control, but constantly throwing Buffy's running away in her face, essentially telling her that she can never again be trusted, is perhaps not the best way to go about repairing their relationship. She's right about the driving, though (< snerk >).

16-year-old Joyce, on the other hand, was interesting. Fairly innocent for the age, easily fascinated by danger, easily broken up by the plight of the babies and willing to help Buffy save them. In short, I imagine she was very much what Buffy -- without the Slaying and SoCal influence -- would have been at the same age. And the experience, depending on how much of it Joyce remembers, should give both her and Buffy an new, interesting perspective.

Not nearly enough Ethan, is all I have to say. He's his usual self-preservationally charming and deranged self -- next to the mayor and Trick, the man almost looks harmless. I love him as a subcontractor, and I'm very grateful for Trick's casual reference to using him again, but I wanted more!

Trick continues to impress me for his sheer common sense. Where The Master was making it on ego and Spike was getting by on attitude and a certain amount of tactical smarts, Trick is judging everyone around him and acting accordingly. He doesn't go after Ethan when the plan falls apart, which either Spike or The Master would have done in a heartbeat, and he's smart enough (after a quick, mercifully short attack of machismo (vampismo?)) to get the hell out of Dodge after the Slayer shows up. On the other hand, he is letting a mere human boss him around.

But even then, that's pretty sensible, given that the mayor is a pretty damn scary human. This is the first chance I've really had to comment on the mayor and I gotta say, he wigs me. A incredibly ordinary guy who terrifies every one around him for no easily apparent reason (aside from the closet of occult paraphanalia and the routine demon sacrifices, of course). How would you ike to run opposite this guy in an election? Kinda gives kissing babies a whole new definition.... He also continues to give Oz a run for his money in the 'Unflappable' category, which is fine with me -- I don't want to see him blow!

Snyder was not a surprise as a teenager. Desperate to fit in to the point that he shoved himself into everyone else's business, making himself obnoxious and thereby more of an outcast. So he grew up and got power over the teenagers and is revelling in it. < g > He was a pretty entertaining teenager, though.

The four Slayerettes are themselves for the most part -- Cordelia and Oz continue to be clueless about Xander and Willow's growing involvement. Willow is overcompensating massively by bragging on Oz and generally trying to be the world's most perfect girlfriend -- when she's not playing footsie with Xander. This is going to be so very beyond ugly....

Best Moments:
Giles and Buffy studying together, right up to where Giles calmly hands her the new pencil. Such cute interaction, that would have been utterly unbelieveable two seasons ago.

The mayor and Trick in his office. "Campaign promises" indeed. < shudder >

Oz's "She's always cute." Not as cute as you, dear.

Giles and Buffy at practice. Not only is Giles caving and buying the chocolate adorable (such the daddy), but the expression on his face when she beans him with the ball is priceless!

Willow and Xander in Study Hall -- painful watching them slip further into a mess, hilarious watching them almost get caught.

Buffy and Angel. Pain, pain, pain, but well-written and performed pain!

Any scene with teenage Snyder. Someone let Armin Shimerman loose, and he delivered massively! Utterly hilarious, and exactly like what teenaged Snyder must have been. way too much fun!

Joyce and Giles listening to the tunes, and later on the street. Kristine does the teenage-routine perfectly, and Tony Head is beyond adorable -- and sexy -- throughout. Lovely performances from all of the reverted adults.

Buffy trying to reason with the reverted adults. She gets more and more frustrated (and starts sounding more and more like her mother), but it's complicated with the wigging and the urgency of the situation. And Ripper is so not helpful!

Ethan confronted with Buffy and Ripper. I love the man -- finishes business, then runs like hell.

Buffy interrogating Giles. Not for Sarah or Robin, although both were lovely, but for Ripper in the background, exulting, urging on and generally being an obnoxious 16-year-old. Far too funny!

Snyder putting the moves on Joyce. The look on her face spoke a thousand put-downs.

Joyce pulling out the handcuffs.

The mayor in the sewers. In the middle of an evil ritual, he makes notes for civic improvment. At least he's focused....

Giles and Joyce scurrying away from each other at the end. Wonderful scene; I will admit that these two work very well together on screen. But that's all I'm admitting.

Questions and Comments:
The big one, of course, being 'Did they or didn't they?' I'm remaining firmly in the 'They didn't' school of denial personally, regardless of all evidence to the contrary (including the writer); not enough clothing disarranged, not enough time, out of character for 16-year-old Joyce, and it's just far too gross of a thought to pursue any futher (geez, I'm starting to think like a sixteen-year-old again). I'm reasonably sure I'm going to be proven wrong, but allow me my delusions.

Remember way back in The Witch, when Joyce was asked if she'd ever like to be sixteen again, and her response was "Oh, what a frightful notion!" Joyce, on the Hellmouth, be careful what you don't wish for.

The fantastic Robin Sachs was horrendously underutilized through the entire episode -- he got a total of three scenes, as near as I can tell, but still delivered the goods with his usual impressively smarmy and highly entertaining (in a "smash his face in" kinda way) manner. But his involvement was more or less cancelled out by Demon Snake and the mayor -- while I love the concept of him subcontracting, this was such a waste of an awesome actor. On the other hand, we got him in two back-to-back episodes of 'Babylon 5' a few weeks ago, so I'll shut up. Eventually.

Where was Faith during all of this?

And once against amused by the sheer amount of British profanity slipping past the censors. Nothing too horrible, but I have to wonder if they had any clue what most of those words actually mean.

And, speaking as a former seller of candy bars for the Spring Trip (hi, Mr. Storey! Hi Ms. Walker!), let me just say that I always knew there was something evil about those ^&*%$ things!

Willow, get with it. I do not count as an adult, and I love Billy Joel (November 22, Rosemont Horizon Auditorium! Can we say, "counting the days"?). So there!

Rating: 3.75 stars out of five. Not long on plot and a little villain heavy (and Ethan-light!!!). but a nice hour of loony fun. The extra .25 points is for Giles in jeans and t-shirt; it goes away if we get proof Joyce actually slept with him. Or didn't sleep. Or whatever. < shudder >


"Fabulous writing by Jane Espenson. She can stay!!" -- Mary Beth

"Buffy/Angel: Owie... but.... less. Angel and Tai Chi (or whatever that was supposed to be, 'cuz it didn't look quite Tai Chi either, at least not the TC I'm learning.) *thud* What I noticed in this scene: The music. The music for B/A in B&tB was very sad, very tentative. The music here started of melancholy, sad, but the second Buffy came in, this cool piano music started up that reminded me of a flower opening or of "rebirth".... it was *really* cool... go back... listen. It's interesting! And I damn well hope Chris Beck shows up so I can ask him about it. They were more comfortable with each other (if still denying there's anything there. I mean, he's not wrong when he says "it would be better" but.....). I liked the scene much more than the one in Homecoming. But that's just me. Next week... aiyee!!!!" -- Mary Beth

"Snyder: He's such a little geeker, rat-boy... and he's so going to die.... I think he's more of a pawn now... not so evil as he wants people to think he is. I'll bet the first time we see him with the Mayor, he's kow-towing within 10 seconds. Thank Joss Joyce rejected him so out of hand." -- Mary Beth

"I was going "Euuuuuwwwwww!" louder than anyone on the Horsechick phone call, but I have to admit... < shudder, steel myself > Young-Joyce and Young-Giles *were* cute together. And I never, ever ever ever ever ever wanna see that again. Capisce?" -- Chris

"Snyder was hysterical, *such* a dork" -- Chris

"It was lovely to see Chaos's Bad Boy back again. Also lovely to see him getting punched in the nose (I was giggling and whooping with Giles when Buffy finally hit him). Such style. Such a sense of self-preservation. Such a very *bad* boy. Ethan's going to pay, someday, somehow---- and I *really* wanna see it." -- Chris

"Giant snake alert!
They had funds for CGI.
But why'd they bother?" -- Elaine

"Joyce... now, this was interesting. She was totally irresponsible as a teenager, it seems. It also appears that she was one of those girls who agrees with everything the guy says. And now, she's an independent businesswoman. This is a good thing. IOW, people can change as they get older. Thank god. She needs to revamp her parenting approach, though-- the accident wasn't Buffy's fault!" -- Elaine

"I wonder if it's in someone's contract that Buffy gets to hit him once in every show. " -- Elaine on Ethan

Giles. Yow. Loved the closer-to-real-life accent, although in spots, I was wondering where his vowels went [Subtitles, anyone?]-- can't wait to see Maureen's quote list *this* week. We got both a GBS *and*-- uh-- never mind. But you know what I mean. I still don't like the G/J thing-- not because it ews me, but because, in this universe, Jennie's dead. I find it hard to believe he'd be over her that fast. He may have a Ripper side, but this *is* Rupert Giles." -- Elaine

"Comment Number Four: Ave Joss. The Bastard. After listening to us whine for two years about the possibility of getting Joyce and Giles together, THIS happens!!!! The boy has been planning it. I swear. He set us ALL up to watch this happen. He is a sick, sick, sick demented boy and should be spanked and sent to bed without any muffins. SHEESH!" -- Lizbet

"Cordy being cute (and obsessive-dependant: BX and AX? How about Rx, Cordster, my insulin's going through the roof)" -- Lizbet

"I don't think I realized just how completely Snyder was a flunkie before. He is nowhere *near* the upper eschelon of power. Somehow I imagined that he knows what's going on, he's connected, he's in charge... he's helpless, clueless, and likely to be pissed as hell when he finds out just how much he's been used. I don't see Snyder taking being treated like dirt lightly. He's terrified of the Mayor (pause to freak again over the fact that the Mayor is Happy Singing Husband from Cupid), but if he gets mad enough, *AND* if he has sufficent backup..." -- Lizbet

"And is anyone else amused at the fact that even as a bad-boy teen, he knows that Buffy can kick his ass and so he backs down from her anger?" "Yes, but he does so with *such* the display of "I just don't _feel_ like fighting you" bad-ass-covering machismo that I was rolling...." -- Maureen and Dianne on Giles

Plot? There was a plot?? Sorry, I was too busy watching for Giles and Ethan to pay attention to mundane considerations like plots." "Plot may have been weak but the characterizations and un-characterizations were so dead on that I was in heaven. I'll take great character stuff with a bit of story any day over plotplotplot filled with people I don't recognize. But I'm weird that way." -- Maureen and Mary Beth

"And yes, in response to someone's (Lizbet?) question, that is Tai Chi he's doing, but his form could use a bit of work."
"Yup, he's just remembered how form complete sentences again, and he's doing (half-nude) Tai Chi. (Can anyone say "gratuitious Angel drooler scene"? :) Apparently he went Zen in Hell...."
"Ah. That must be how he got out. Because the two concepts are sort of incompatible. His boundless original mind cut through duality and illusion, and he became a Real Boy < thud >."
""gratuitous Angel drool...." HEY!!! I .... um.... liked that scene.... But you'll notice I also commented a lot on the *music* and the *words* and *actions* that took place in the scene.... aren't you proud of me? and besides... there was a purpose... it shows that he's using various methods to keep his demons under control. that's important! it is!! And he looks damn good while doing it. :P" -- Maureen, Dianne, Jean and Mary Beth

"And I just have to there something in David's contract this year that says he has to be shirtless in every episode? I don't mind, of course, but it's becoming a motif." -- Leslie

""Boot to the Head" What? You weren't thinking it when you saw Angel doing Tae Kwan Leap? I know you were. It seems as if Joss is going through Dr. Demento's greatest hits one episode at a time. (Last week's episode paying homage to Julie Brown's "Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun".) What song is next? Fish Heads or Star Trekkin'?" -- Abby

"The monster of the week reminded me of some of the creatures Herculese kills on his show. I kept expecting him to run to the aid of the babies."
"I think it was called "Reptile Boy" over again, the way Joss would have done it if he'd had the $ last time." -- Abby and Dianne

"Loved Joyce's reaction to the babies though, the pure-teen, over-emotional distress on their behalf that nearly had her in tears."
"Yup. Was incredibly impressed that Kristine could make her voice do that...there were several lines that I would have *sworn* were Buffy and not Joyce if I'd heard them in isolation." -- Valerie

Translation: "Band Candy" wasn't that great, but I don't mind, because Giles was in a wet t-shirt and Ethan has a mouth that makes me remember I was raised Catholic." -- Elaine

"No! They're just little squeaky things! You put those *back*!!!!" -- Kiki, making shrill, outraged butterfly noises in Dianne's ear on the phone at the vamps

"More Angel next week.
More angst, and lots more trauma.
No show is perfect." -- Elaine

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