Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Halloween

Halloween, the one day every year when vampires and demons kick back in their La-Z-Boys and catch up on the movies in their Netflix queue.

Buffy gets roped into taking some little kids trick-or-treating on Halloween.  If Snyder thinks that Buffy is a juvenile delinquent, why would he risk the potential lawsuit in allowing her to care for small children?

This would all be a fairly uneventful Halloween, except that troublemaker extraordinaire Ethan Rayne is in town, and he cast a spell that would make people turn into their costumes.  Bummer.  Oh wait, no.  That's awesome.

Things I Like:

OK.  First of all, I love how Buffy sticking up for Xander plays into his issues with masculinity.  But I can't help but be distracted by the fact that the soda machine only charges $0.60.  Wut? #focusesonstupidthings

One of the most blatant Buffy goofs of all time.  Buffy looks at a picture of the girl from Angel's time, Willows asks what her name was, Buffy tells her that it doesn't say.

No offense Buffster but I'm pretty sure it does.

Yay Ethan Rayne!  I know he's just this annoying weaselly guy, but I love how he shows up in Sunnydale and shakes it up like it's his own little demented snowglobe.  And I love that he doesn't really worship the forces of evil, per say, he just likes to screw with everyone.  At the very least, you have to appreciate Ethan for bringing out the badass in Giles.  Ripper, indeed.

I know that this isn't super subtle or anything, but I do appreciate how being turned into their costumes helps Buffy, Willow, and Xander address some of their issues.

OK, I'm not one of those girls who goes wild for a man in uniform, but...soldier!Xander is hot.  The moment when Xander takes off his military jacket and drapes it over Cordelia's shoulders?  I think I've pinpointed the exact second when Cordelia starts to be attracted to Xander.

I love that Spike has formed a gang of pint-sized demons that are actually 8-year-olds.  I just find that incredibly amusing.

It's sooo perfect that Xander gets to take his dignity back by beating the crap out of Larry the Pirate.  "It's strange, but beating up that pirate gave me a weird sense of closure."

I honestly can't express how cool Giles' backstory is.  I mean, yeah he raised demons and stuff like that, but I also picture him getting into brawls at football matches and watching video nasties.

Things I Don't Like:

No offense, but both Buffy and Angel suck at accents.  I don't know what Sarah Michelle Gellar's going for here, but it sounds like a high school production of Gone With the Wind.

"I was brought up a proper lady.  I wasn't meant to understand things.  I'm just meant to look pretty and then someone nice will marry me."  Sorry, guys, but this is really bad writing.  I highly doubt women back in the day were that self-aware.  Also, high born women were the only ones who did get an education.

Buffy has dumb teenage girl logic.  Why would she think Angel would be more attracted to her if she was frail and useless?  That's stupid.


If Xander remembers military training, does that mean Larry knows how to sail the high seas and Buffy might finally have a grasp on some of American history?


This is one of my personal favorites going way back.  Maybe it's not the absolute best episode of Buffy, but it's a hell of a lot of fun, and it's something a little bit different.  We get some tantalizing tidbits about Giles' past, and it reminds us how little we really know about our favorite tweed-wearing librarian at this point.  I would say that there's an exciting new recurring villain, but I honestly don't know if Ethan counts as a villain.  He's really more of a "bloody thorn in my bloody side" type character.

All of our regulars are well-used in this episode, they each have their own specific, worthwhile role to play.  That should be a given, but when you're looking at an ensemble cast like Buffy, it really is an accomplishment.  I mean, how many episodes have we seen where Willow, Xander, and Giles are just in research mode?  That's not to put down other episodes, because there's nothing wrong with them doing research, but it is cool to see every character written in a way that is worthy of their awesomeness.

Objectively I think this one deserves an 8 out of 10, but sentimentality wins, so...
9 Stakes Out of 10

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