Friday, April 20, 2012

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Some Assembly Required

Buffy finds evidence of the fairly icksome crime of grave robbing in Sunnydale.  That's right: someone's been stealing bits and bobs from dead teenage girls, and there's no possible explanation for this that isn't creepy and horrifying.

Here's the crux of the problem: Chris, a heretofore unseen classmate of Buffy's, is still grieving from his older brother's untimely death.  Unfortunately, his idea of grieving is a fairly unconventional one: he pulls a Frankenstein and brings his brother back to life, albeit hideously disfigured and a pariah.  Determined to help his brother, he resolves to make a bride for his monster.  That's where the bits and bobs from several teenage girls come in.

Assisted by his creepy little friend Igor Eric, they settle on Cordelia when the well of recently deceased teenagers runs dry.

I know, Cordy.  It's unfair.  Everyone always seems to want to perform experimental medical procedures on you, don't they?

Which brings me to a point I don't think I can hold in any longer.  Does Sunnydale High offer a medical degree?  Because it seems like a lot of its students are pretty well-versed in surgery.  And have no problem getting access to medical supplies.  In this episode, Chris and Eric think nothing of reassembling the complex muscular and vascular systems of the human body (not to mention bringing someone back to life).  In "Out of Mind, Out of Sight", Marcy was about to attempt some plastic surgery on Cordelia.  Granted, she was probably just going to cut her face up a lot, but she still had a pretty well-equipped surgical space, and seemed like she knew a lot about the local anesthetics she was using.  So what gives?  Are Sunnydale kids all like Doogie Howser or something?

Things I Like:

I was super amused by Angel being all jealous of Buffy and Xander's sexy dance from the previous episode.  Dude, you're a few hundred years old, don't you grow out of that petty crap at some point?  Not that I want it to stop, mind.  Angel is usually so mature and detached, it's funny to see him all bent out of shape about something like that.  Giles is so adorable while he's trying to figure out how to ask Jenny out.  And love Buffy giving him dating advice.  Gotta say, Tony Head has really been bringing his A game so far this season.  And I like that they're beginning to relate to each other more.  And I love his analysis of football as being rugby with forty pounds of protective equipment because it's pretty much true.

I like how Cordelia is slowly but surely becoming more integrated into the group...even if it is just because people are trying to kill her every other week.  Sometimes Cordelia can be a giant bitch, but a lot of times she's just painfully honest and 100% without tact, which I find incredibly amusing.  Don't we all wish we could be the person who calls it like it is and doesn't worry about hurting people's feelings?

Things I Don't Like:

Why do killers on TV always keep a copy of newspaper articles written about their crimes?  Does that make it kind of obvious?  And why do you need to read that anyway?  You were there.  I understand how serial killers will sometimes keep that kind of stuff as trophies, but if you're just a normal everyday killer, you would think your primary objective is to not get caught.

I guess I just don't understand how Chris possibly expected this all to play out.  Even if he was able to build a fully functioning girl counterpart for his brother, she would still be capable of independent thought.  I feel like 99.7% of girls, upon learning that someone made them into this scary, mismatched undead thing, would probably throw themselves in front of a car or something.  I don't think they could ever realistically expect to make a girl who would be OK with spending their lives with Daryl.  He's not exactly the nicest guy ever, even if he wasn't horribly deformed.

Aw, the kid who played Chris died like 5 years ago. : (  I definitely don't like that.


I'm not a huge fan of this one.  To me it just feels like an unimaginative paint-by-numbers retelling of the Frankenstein story we've all heard a billion times before, and it doesn't bring anything interesting or creative to the table.  I feel bad for Chris, especially since his mother has so clearly checked out, but it seems like such an extreme jump from bringing his brother back (OK, I mean you can't blame a guy for trying) to stealing dead girls' bodies (it's creepy, but the definition of a victimless crime) to killing fellow students to steal their heads (excuse me, what??).  It just doesn't ring true.  My suspension of disbelief works for vampires and demons and girls somehow managing to fight in miniskirts, but not for character motivation.

4 Stakes Out of 10

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