Perri's Review

Perri's Review

A majorly wigworthy ep, sure to give us all the creeps for a long time to come. We'll never watch 'Three's Company' the same again.

Tina is apparently not covering it -- as soon as I finish the fourteen other things I have to do, I'll do it.

Well, they mentioned the Order of Tarak and that the contract has been cancelled, which still doesn't mesh with what Giles said about them originally, but what they hey, at least they remembered. And Angel is taking quite a long time to heal.....

Poor Giles. Dancing around Jenny, desperately worried, only to be slapped down and told not to hover, damn it! Which is her right, but still harsh. Glad to see they're back on track -- very 'Due South' of them to make up after she hurts him in return for what he unintentionally did to her.

Xander and Cordelia, hormones on parade. Very scary. But cute and entertaining as all hell. Can't wait for them to get caught.

Angel and Buffy... *happy sigh*. Do I really need to say anything?

I'm forgiving Joyce a lot because she was being drugged -- which explains why she was so willing to believe everything Ted told her instead of her daughter. And, once she was out from the drugs a day alter, she instantly started thinking about Buffy again, defending her and wanting to tell her Ted was alive to make her feel better; she also twigged that Ted was a Bad Person pretty quickly (once she was done with the 'Ohmigod, you're alive!' part). And she won major points by trying to cover for Buffy with the cops, even when she was deep in shock. She'll bounce back, but she's not going to be dating for a looong time.

Ted was scarier when he was human -- an Jekyll&Hyde control freak with abusive tendencies. Every time he overstepped his bounds as the boyfriend (not the stepfather), I cringed and icked. This guy is a single-parent kid's worst nightmare -- someone who really can ruin your life. If he'd been real and Joyce had married him..... I'd have moved in with Angel, and I mean that without any gutter-type connotations. Anywhere would be better. John Ritter was outstanding -- utterly chilling, and really good physical bits of business when he got 'broken'. And I strongly hope to never see him again on 'Buffy'. *shudder*

It's not like Buffy doesn't have enough issues with her mom dating, without him being the StepFather From Hell. Add that major trauma to the even more major trauma of killing a human instead of a monster/vampire. I think she'll keep an even more strict rein on her temper from now on -- it's one of those 'with power comes responsibility'. Not that she wasn't completely justified hitting Ted back when he hit her -- anyone who tried to knock down a sixteen-year-old girl half his size deserves whatever he gets. But Buffy will never be able to totally convince herself of that, even knowing he was a robot.

Giles really tries to give Jenny space, but the same things that make him a good Watcher -- protectiveness and a deep sense of responsibility -- make him a real pain in the butt when he's feeling guilty and concerned. He backs off, but it hurts him. But not so much that he lets it distract him from taking care of Buffy -- covering for her in the Slaying (bet he understands more about why Buffy was whaling on that vamp), trying to help her with the police. And he doesn't get mad when Jenny shoots him, and does kill the vampire. *sigh* Another happy ending, or what passes for it in Sunnydale.

It's got to making someone as strong as Jenny crazy that she's not getting better faster, and that Giles is trying to take care of her when she's always felt she could take care of herself. Falling in love takes enough control away from her, without the influence of the Hellmouth. But she's still in there swinging -- although her aim needs serious work. And she's going to have to resist the temptation to make wise-ass speeches before doing damage.

Angel deals rather well with Buffy doing the teen angst thing. Listens without (too much) complaint, takes her seriously (but doesn't let her take herself too seriously), and points out a few pertinant facts without beating them into the ground. Then he distracts her (which effectively distracts the rest of us too. *g* Rest of us thank you!).

Not a big Willow episode -- she's very supportive of Buffy when she's not geeking out over free upgrades *g*, but doesn't hesitate to tell Buffy when she thinks she's over-reacting. And she certainly gets to be Watcher Jr. again.

Xander and Cordelia get a pretty good episode -- they get to deal with the conflicts of being hot for each other without liking each other, which is entertaining. Xander also gets away with a lot from being drugged (and the way he eats, he was getting a much bigger dose than the others), and also recovered. He went all cute and overprotective after Buffy 'killed' Ted, and in Ted's apartment. Wonderful reaction reflexes -- find the bodies, don't throw up, shut the door, get the girls the hell out without letting them see. Very chivalrous, very sweet. I wonder if Cordelia realizes how much time she's spending with Buffy and Company? Aside from the reflexive yelling at Xander when he complimented her in front of Buffy and Willow, she hasn't been worrying about her image. She's in the library with them, she offers to help Giles with the slaying, she does research alone when Willow's being Chemi-Girl, she goes to the apartment with no fuss, like it's expected, she's walking down the halls with them in the tag (in public! In broad daylight!) and she gigles right along with Xander at Giles kissing Jenny. I get the feeling she'll have her nose rubbed in it soon -- she'll have to choose between continuing to be alone in a crowd, but part of the crowd, or being a Slayerette with losers who could be actual friends. Hard call... But we absolutely must teach the girl tact.

Best Moments:
Willow dolphining over the free upgrade. I have made that exact same sound myself, several times regarding computer equipment (the rest generally involve David B, Nick, or Stan Kirsch).

Buffy sublimating all over the vampire in the park. Giles is so cute, just watching helplessly as she gets medieval all over the guy's butt.

Buffy nursing Angel. *sigh* He's so patient and cute. And it is very cute handing her the pieces of tape as she works -- how many times have we done this, guys? Do I even have to mention the kiss and the lap?

The golf course scene. Utterly wiggy to watch, but an outstanding performance by John Ritter. Really spooky Jekyll&Hyde routine.

"Want to go to the utility closet and make out?" ROTFL! Ah, young lust.... messy, but romantic. Kinda.

The fight with Ted. He was too deeply scary, and Buffy wigged. Very intense, very scary. Won't watch often, for the same reason I don't watch several scenes in 'Nightmares', but really well done.

Buffy reacting to 'killing' Ted. She's in shock, and guilting over not 'using her powers for good'. Really good performance from Sarah.

"I sometimes like things that are not good for me," with the pointed look at Cordy. *g* Not totally oblivious, not our Xander.

Joyce packing up the kitchen, and Buffy's attempts to talk to her. Another scene that's almost too painful to watch. Kristien isn't getting much screen time this season, but gotta love what she is getting.

Xander finding the bodies. He gets very intense and gets the girls out with no fuss, just purpose. Really nice.

Buffy and her mom on the porch. Really sweet scene.

But not as sweet as the Slayerettes giggling away after seeing Giles and Jenny. *sigh* That kiss alone was worth everything the rest of the ep (and 'The Dark age') put us through.

Willow's face as Buffy gives her the 'use your powers for good' thing. Defensive and pouting....

Questions and Comments:
Watching this on the phone with three other people, all older than me and quite a bit older than the kids, and The Captain and Tennille had to be explained to two of them. Willow and Xander are so not going to care. Sonny and Cher, perhaps.

AGGGHHHHHH! Willow's wearing that damn blue hat again! My screams of agony weren't loud enough during Inca Mummy girl? AGGGHHH!!!!!!

There is no miniature golf course in Sunnydale -- Willow said so at the end of 'When She Was Bad'.

And the cops were questioning Buffy with neither her mother nor a lawyer present? If she broke down and confessed, it would be inadmissable without one, the other or (preferably) both present. Questioning a minor alone is a BIG, MAJOR no-no!

Buffy points to the wrong cheek when the cop asks where Ted hit her. I know, I'm nitpicking.*g* No, actually, nitpicking is pointing out that Willow asked Xander for a pen for the sole purpose of getting him into his backpack to find the cookies.

Willow does a total drug analysis in a high school lab with a microscope and a few chemicals, to the point that she can find and recognize one prescription and one street drug. No. Don't think so. Necessary to the plot, but wrong to the point of messing with suspension of disbelief.

Good girl, Aly! Remember to pick up those papers before all of you leave the lab and you have to do another take! *g*

Anyone in the fifties made a robot that sophisticated and lifelike? Yeah. Right.

Love how all of the exposition got shoehorned in in the tag. :P

Rating: 4 stars out of five. Wigged me utterly, and John Ritter was a really effective (and icky; did I mention icky?) bad guy, and there was some good child abuse subtext. But major plot holes and CPDs, and weird pacing. And the robot thing was a little silly; detracts from the wig effect at the very end.

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