Nov 11 2013 3:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Best Principal Ever or Evil Fiend? How do you tell?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lessons, Dawn

“Lessons,” by Joss Whedon

Istanbul! Eastern music, an exotic courtyard of... death! But whose death? A young girl, nobody we recognize, is fleeing from entities in dark robes, and nobody seems keen to help her. Though she fights hard for her life, she’s outnumbered, and soon enough she’s so very fatally stabbed.

Before we can ponder that further, we move on to Sunnydale, where Buffy is looking at a newly risen vampire, still slick from the tomb, and delivering a new riff on her awesome I do so have power! monologue (To the Watchers. From “Checkpoint.”) The text is for Dawn’s benefit—the kid is out on Slay training. And the moral is It’s about power, and monsters can haz it. Teenaged former dimensional gates turned shoplifters? Not so much. Dawn may have a stake, but he’s the super-muscled blood-sucking fiend.

Sadly, this particular demon is also stuck in the grave he’s trying to escape.

Buffy lifts him out, very helpfully, and tosses him at Dawn, who fights well until she misses his heart with her stake. It’s a light battle, with some good laughs, and this guy’s no more a keeper than the girl who just keeled in Istanbul. Buffy beheads him with a sword, then confides that she missed the heart too, the first time.

What this scene makes me realize is, first, that we’re going to get at least a little of the uplift promised at the end of “Grave.” Buffy’s in a much better space, and even the graveyard seems cheerier. What it makes me realize, second, is that since nobody seems inclined to just give Buffy money to save the world, her faux day job should be the thing she’s about to add to her volunteer roster: teaching women to fight.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lessons, Robin

With the vamp duly dusted, the sisters move on to worrying about an ominous unnamed something, which turns out to be the official reopening of the Sunnydale High School. Robin Wood is cutting the ribbon. Hi, Robin! Let’s all enjoy the new credit sequence together!

Next we go to Westbury, England, where I’m torn between joy at seeing Giles and awe (or, perhaps, Awwww!) because he’s riding a super-gorgeous horse. There’s no especial reason for him to be on horseback except that it’s such a dreamy shot, so after we’re well and truly reminded that Anthony Head is quite the looker too, he dismounts and heads off to find Willow. She’s been coaxing Paraguayan flowers from the English soil, demonstrating that everything on Earth is connected. They looked like passiflora to me, but Giles calls them Kua Alaya.

Botanical observations aside, I can’t help thinking it’s nice that we didn’t have to wonder for long about what happened to Willow.

What has happened? Well, she’s been taking peace, love and magical harmony lessons from Giles’s coven friends, learning the sacred arts of the Kumbaya. But she’s skipping class today because she’s tired of scaring her teachers by simply existing and having the power to unleash an Apocalypse. In a moment of “Argh, FML!” she says her power should be taken from her.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lessons, Giles, Willow

Giles reminds her they can’t, asserting that magic is not a hobby or an addiction, just a thing that’s inside her. (The “not an addiction” line comes off a bit clumsy, but it had to be said, didn’t it?) Willow’s power is big dangerous thing that she essentially has to caretake, now, until she dies. She expresses remorse over Warren’s murder and gratitude that Giles went all mentory on her rather than consigning her to death or a mystic jail. He is wise, kind, and fatherly in his response and doesn’t even point out that as long as he’s taking care of her, here, he gets to ride the coven horsies.

Also, probably, nobody’s knocked him unconscious since spring. It’s a cushy gig, as long as she continues to refrain from killing them all.

Having caught up with the two of them, we head back to Sunnydale, just in time for Dawn’s first day of high school. Xander has come bearing presents: the plans of the rebuilt campus. He has been stealthily checking the building for pentagrams and other evil booby-traps, which is so smart! He has also figured out that the Hellmouth is now under the principal’s office.

Buffy and Xander speculate about who would want a position whose two prior occupants were eaten. And Dawn gets a gift, which she fervently hopes is a weapon.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lessons, Xander

We don’t find out what this gift is right away, though we can reasonably assume it’s not Buffy’s other gift, “Death!” That said, Buffy is extremely nervous about leaving Dawn to the tender mercies of SHS. She is expounding about the place being evil to the last brick when Robin Wood shows up and is extravagantly handsome and charming. There’s an “am I old?” mix-up about whether Buffy is Dawn’s mom. (Because, you know, if she’s a mom she can’t possibly be cool.)

Robin has heard of her, which is unsettling. But is he evil?

As soon as she’s alone, Buffy takes a poke around the building and is briefly alarmed by the sound of a basketball. She follows the basketball player for awhile, then hits the loo and has an encounter with creepy bathroom monsters.

Dawn, meanwhile, is having a perfectly normal first day, and is even making her classmates laugh when Buffy bursts in. She’s freaking out about the bathroom monsters, as you do, and is there just long enough to mortally embarrass her sister. Way to go, Buffy!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lessons, Anya

Next we head across town, to a cafe where earnest singers of folk are attempting to entertain Halfrek and Anya. The performers’ obvious couple-y happiness leads our vengeance demons into a conversation whereby Hallie tells Anya she’s lost her edge. Her lack of vengeful spirit is potentially unpleasing to the lower beings, which is ill-timed because and bad things are coming. She probably doesn’t mean a wage freeze and a round of layoffs.

Anya demands to know why, if this is an intervention, her other demon friends aren’t around. Halfrek says she’s it. So what happened between Anya and all those demons who came to her wedding? We’ll never know.

At the high school, Buffy checks in with Xander and he asks a few delicate questions about the monsters. He’s suavely not quite asking if she saw the things specifically because she was at school. After all, they could have just sought her out because she’s the Slayer.

But it’s not that simple: as they’re checking in with each other, Dawn’s getting an imaginary pencil in the eye from a zombie. It’s a good scare, for her and us, but no harm is done, unless you count further damage to her social status. She heads off to the bathroom to recover, and finds a scared girl who also saw a dead guy.

Okeydoke then! So it’s not just Buffy they’re after, and it’s not Buffy and Dawn either. Broader threat to the student body, check!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lessons, Robin

Robin Wood, meanwhile, finds Buffy exploring the school and hints that she ought to push off. Is he evil? Next he tells her he knows more about her than he let on initially. Wicked or no, what a tease this guy is!

Dawn and her new bathroom friend, Kit, have barely gotten acquainted when zombies pull them down through the floor. This should take us to the basement, but first we flash over to England, where Willow is on the ground and Giles is helping her through some kind of attack. Willow says she saw the teeth of the Hellmouth. It’s opening. What a shocker.

Now we’re in the basement. Dawn and Kit find the basketball player, who came downstairs for a smoke and couldn’t get out. Monsters attack them all. But Dawn has her “weapon,” which is a Batsignal disguised as a cell phone.

She calls, obliging Buffy to rush off just as Robin is warming up to a real interrogation about her colorful history as a student. She leaps through the hole in the bathroom floor, and finds a trio of dead people who claim she failed to save them. They’re blocking a door.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lessons, Spike

Behind the door, to everyone’s surprise, is Spike. With yet another round of startling hair!

“Are you real?” she asks, which sets off a serious attack of the William giggles.

Spike is a mess. “It’s just the three of us down here,” he says, amid other babbling and word salad, but Buffy is too distracted by impending Dawn Doom to count heads. She finds cuts on his chest and asks what they are: he tells her he tried to cut “it” out. Does she know he means his soul? No.

It’s interesting that he went looking for his soul about where Riley’s chip was implanted, don’t you think?

Dawn phones again: “You bought me this thing so you could save me in a timely fashion, right?”

(Okay, she didn’t say that.)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lessons, Dawn

Buffy expresses confusion about what they’re fighting, because ghosts can’t touch you and zombies can’t disappear. Spike, in a moment of helpfulness and clarity, says they’re spirits raised by a talisman. He then refuses to go with her or provide any more help. But it’s enough. Buffy remembers seeing a talisman in the bathroom.

Dawn takes charge of the other kids, building weapons and planning to fend off the baddies. Buffy calls Xander and sends him after the talisman, then rushes back to help. Fighting ensues.

And it’s Xander for the win! One of the ghost-things jumps him, but he snaps the talisman anyway.

With that, Buffy herds the kids upstairs, where the boy calls her the coolest mom ever and she worries again about whether she has mom hair.  She tells them, in the nicest possible way, to stick together if they want to survive.

Robin Wood pops up then, like a Cheshire Cat. He has used his enormous deductive skills to figure out she’s gonna be hanging around anyway, and so he offers her a low-paying counselling gig. He doesn’t make air quotes when he says “counsellor,” which is very suave of him.

Downstairs, Spike is lamenting the fact that he had a speech prepared for Buffy’s appearance, and failed to deliver it. And there really was a third not-person in the basement. It’s Warren! Well, not really. Now he’s Glory. Next he’s Adam, and the Mayor, and Dru—she tells Spikey he’ll always be in the dark with her. His next companion is emphatically not Angel, although he’d be the logical next Big Bad in the sequence. Instead we see the Master.

It’s fun to see all of Buffy’s defeated enemies. This whole episode is quite fun—it moves quickly and while it’s no “The Zeppo,” it doesn’t gouge big bleeding chunks out of anyone’s fannish heart.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lessons, the Master, Spike

“We’re going back to the beginning,” the Mastery Mark Metcalf exults. “The next few months will be quite the ride, and we’re all going to learn something about ourselves in the process.” This is all still by way of taunting Spike, and he wraps up by telling him it’s not about right or wrong before he finally morphs into Buffy.

Who says, as she did at the beginning of the episode: “It’s about power.”

Next: Xander gets his date on!

A.M. Dellamonica has a book’s worth of fiction up here on! Her ‘baby werewolf has two mommies,’ story, “The Cage,” made the Locus Recommended Reading List for 2010. There’s also “Among the Silvering Herd,” the first of a series of stories called The Gales. (Watch for the second of The Gales, “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti”!)

Or if you like, check out her sexy novelette, “Wild Things,” that ties into the world of her award winning novel Indigo Springs and its sequel, Blue Magic.

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Constance Sublette
1. Zorra
It begins with Sunnydale being sunny! O my!

Everybody was happy except Willow, who is being the Old School Anxious Willow, ensouled Spike, who is lost and in pain and confused Anya. And, of course, the killed girl, she wasn't sunny either.

But Xander was in a terrific mood!

It was a good start.

BTW, Michelle Trachtenberg is playing Marina Oswald in Killing Kennedy.

Love, C.
2. Dianthus
And so begins "crazy in the basement" time, wherein Spike is helping Buffy even tho' he can't help himself. We'll see this again at the beginning of AtS s5, when Spike is (not really) a "ghost." He's helping others even as he's unable to do for himself.
This is also the one ep in the entire 7 seasons of the show (IIRC) that gives us a Latino character with lines and a name. Speaking as a Californian, and a Progressive, there is no excuse for this. We've had, what, 6 African-American characters (3 males/3 females) and 1 Asian character with lines and a name over the course of the show. Pathetic. No, they weren't obliged by any rules or quotas, but there's just no reason for it. AtS did a little better, but not by much.
3. Alex C.
An excellent overview of the episode - thanks Alyx!

"Lessons" is probably my second-favourite season opener of the series, after S.2's "When She Was Bad". It manages to strike a nice balance between introducing the important themes for this season, tying up some loose ends from last season, and giving the audience a dose of good, light-hearted fun (of the sort that some were desperately missing by the end of S.6).

The 7th season of Buffy comes in for a lot of criticism from the show's fans, that in my opinion is more than a little unfair in the extremes that some people go to in relentlessly hating on it. I bite my thumb at all such people.

There are plenty of reasons why the show's last season is flawed, certainly, in ways that are no doubt going to be touched on in all the re-watches to come. The plotting and internal logic are even more inconsistent in this season than they were in previous ones, and there's a bunch of mediocre episodes that really trip up the momentum at times, to pick out the two most obvious niggles. But this season still has so much going for it that I've never, whether on my first viewing or subsequent re-watches, had any problems thinking about it as an eminently respectable addition to the series. It doesn't have the same overall quality as the best seasons of the show, but in my view it's not one of the weakest ones either - and for reasons that go well beyond the presence of some amazing episodes.

In a show that's always been primarily concerned with the development of the characters, the last season offers up some of the best character work in the entire run of the series. Buffy and Spike are the principal beneficiaries of this, but the season also does a nifty job of getting Willow's arc back on track after the derailment of S.6, and contains some great material for a bunch of the show's minor characters as well.
4. Sophist
This is also the one ep in the entire 7 seasons of the show (IIRC) that gives us a Latino character with lines and a name.

Actually, there have been other Latino characters with lines and names. The most obvious was Ampata, but also in S7 there will be Caridad and Chloe and Tomas (Help). There are a couple of others scattered through the seasons, though not nearly as many as one would expect.

OTOH, it probably does reflect the CA experience -- and certainly the Santa Barbara experience -- that Buffy's social circle wouldn't have been all that diverse. Sad, but true.
5. Alex C.
@2. The thing is though, that Spike clearly is capable of helping himself at this time, even if he has not yet been able to work himself up for it. That's really the entire point of his character journey up to this moment, as I see it.

Going all the way back to the earlier seasons of the show, when Spike was first introduced and developed as a character, we've seen that one of his central flaws has always been his willingness to surrender control of himself to his base impulses and feelings - the "animal" or "monster" in him that is referenced repeatedly through his big character moments from season to season. He got his soul back at the end of the 6th season because he realised that he could never have any sort of meaningful redemption without it, but now that he has it he finds that it's not enough - he's just added crippling guilt for all his past misdeeds to the numerous other impulses that drive him.

His self-actualization can only happen in earnest once he finally begins to try and master control of the "monster within" instead of the other way round. He needs Buffy's help and encouragement along the way to do so, but he gets there in "Lies My Parents Told Me" (my pick for the best episode of the season), and along the way the establish a genuinely positive, mutually-supporting relationship for the first time in their fraught five-year acquaintence with each other.

Whatever the other flaws of the 7th season, the writers absolutely nailed the Buffy/Spike aspects of it by creating an almost symbiotic relationship between them that still allowed both characters to seperately confront and overcome their own obstacles, and grow as a result, even as they support each other during the times when they falter. The payoff is that they finally come to understand each other, in a way that they never did before - something that gets beautifully realized in "Touched" and "Chosen".
6. Gardner Dozois
I think it's probably time for me to drop out of these rewatches. I disliked the whole last season, and although I dutifully watched it, sighing and shaking my head, until the end of the show, I was even less impressed with it than I had been with Season Six, which at least had a few good episodes. However, I know that many of you did like it, some even consider it to have been the show's best season, and I don't see any point to my popping up and raining on your parade every week by pointing out all the problems I had with every episode. You're not going to convince me, I'm not going to convince you, so it's pointless. Those of you who liked Season Seven should be left to enjoy recapping the episodes in peace.
7. Alex C.
@6. Honestly, that's a perfect example of the sort of over-the-top criticism that I referred to in the comment above.

I don't mind reading criticism of the season - as said before, S.7 is flawed in a lot of ways, and I can understand the reasons why a lot of fans disliked it, even if I disagree with them.

But to write off the entire last season as being entirely devoid of value seems to me an instance of being hopelessly excessive in critiquing a season that, even if you take a net-negative view of it, still has a lot of wonderful stuff to offer. Even the most bitter and critical reviews that I've seen usually acknowledge that there are some great episodes ("Selfless", "Conversations With Dead People", etc) present, at the very least.
Jason Parker
8. tarbis
On the good side this was a decent season opener. Unlike Three and Six it actually bothered to explain the premise of the show to new viewers. The episode even went to the trouble of setting up a new mystery and a status quo, so good job there.

There wasn’t a chance in hell that UPN would let the title character of a WB show appear in the final speech. Instead we got Drusilla and the scene was probably better for it. Angelus was too narrowly focused on Buffy to fit with the rest of the bads in the sequence.

Season seven in general though was not a strong season. Weak seasons can have good episodes, see season four, but the season had a lot of story and structural problems. One of the structural problems it shared with Angel that year in that shows where you could miss an episode or two and still be in the loop turned into super tight continuity shows where you had to see every single episode to know what was going on. Both shows tried to make this shift a third of the way into the season and neither did it very well. I will give the seasons credit for serving as excellent bookends for each other.

On a side note this might be the first time that I noticed re-demoned Anya's clothes. She really swung over to the world of dressing conservatively. Not the best look on the actress.
Sydo Zandstra
9. Fiddler
Unlike most fans, I actually liked season 7.

It was clearly a wrapping up (for TV) from the start, which is why we get these little remarks/connections to episodes from the last 6 seasons.

After that episode where the First tried to make Angel to commit suicide I had wondered for seasons if we would see it back, and season 7 delivered that.

My favourite episode in this season would be 'Showtime'.

Most annoying factor in this season would be Kennedy...

Oh, and Alyx, this was your best recap of an episode ever, in my book :)
10. Dianthus
@4. Ok, so that's two Latin characters (both one-offs) in six yrs, and then a smattering of others in s7. I forgot Kendra too, so that actually makes 4 African-American female characters, plus a few one-offs in s7. It still smacks of Tokenism. I'm hardly the first to make this criticism.

@5. Spike cannot help himself in these first eps, and it's not guilt. James thought thought so too, but when he asked, Joss told him no. Spike is under the influence of The First, and it's playing him like a cheap fiddle. We've already seen him exercise self-restraint, most notably at the end of s2.

@6. It's your choice, of course, but I'll be sorry to see you go. You shouldn't feel have to feel guilty over something like this.

@7. Honestly! The man has a right to his opinion. Plus, he's an editor, as well as a fan, so he has some experience in these matters.
As I've said before, I liked most of "Beneath You" and bits of other eps. Otherwise, I also found s7 deeply disappointing.
You like it. Great. Bully for you.

Weirdly, they made James touch up his hair so often he had blisters (so he's said), b/c vampires don't get "roots." Then they told him not to get his hair cut so it would be grown out for this ep. Sheesh.
11. Gardner Dozois
It's not a matter of guilt, it's a matter of not seeing any point in playing spoilsport for those who enjoyed the season. If other people enjoyed it, good for them. They ought to be able to discuss it excitedly without me sourly harshing their buzz every week. I didn't enjoy it myself, and as they're not going to change my mind and I'm not going to change theirs, this would seem like the appropriate time to let the train go on without me.
12. Alex C.
Spike cannot help himself in these first eps, and it's not guilt. James thought thought so too, but when he asked, Joss told him no. Spike is under the influence of The First, and it's playing him like a cheap fiddle. We've already seen him exercise self-restraint, most notably at the end of s2.
Disagree on both counts.

Regardless of what might be said in the interviews (remember, Death of the Author, and all that), it couldn't be more obvious from what we see in Spike's big character moments of this season that getting his soul back has resulted in some major issues of guilt/sorrow for his past misdeeds that he has to work through as the crux of his seasonal character dilemma. One could make this case just working from the dialogue at the end of "Beneath You":

"... and now everyone's in here, talking, everything I did, everyone I... and him ... and it ... they all just tell me to go... go, to hell."

The simple fact that he's talking so much about forgiveness in this moment (and others) says it all:

"Buffy, shame on you. What must a man do what he mustn't for her, to be hers. To be the kind of man, who would never... to be a kind of man. And she shall look at him with forgiveness, and everyone will forgive, and love. And he will be loved. So, everything's okay, right? Can we rest now? Buffy, can we rest?"

One does not obbsess over forgiveness if one does not feel on a deep level that there are a lot of big things to forgive.

Obviously the fact that his mind is being influenced by the FE plays a significant role in this, but what we see again and again from the FE whenever it appears is that it can't get at people without having something genuine from them to work with - it can't stir up trouble with people whose troubles aren't stir-upable.

Even disregarding what we see in the earlier episodes, this all gets cinched when we come to "Lies My Parents Told Me", the heart of Spike's arc in this season. The entire reason that the FE is able to play Spike in the way that it does comes from the shame and self-loathing that eats at Spike because of his "original sin" as a vampire - the turning of his own mother. It's Spike's ability to come to terms with that event, and by extension with everything evil that he did in the time when he didn't have his soul, that allows him to truly break the hold of the FE over him and move on as his own man, having finally mastered control of the impulses of which he was once a perpetual "bitch" (remember "Lover's Walk"?)

As for the question of Spike's actions in "Becoming", calling that "self restraint" is a very questionable interpretation of what we see in those episodes. It's obvious that the primary motivation behind his actions at the time is to get revenge on Angelus and take Drusilla back for himself - if he'd actually cared about saving the world at the time, then he wouldn't have walked out on the fight at a point when it seemed as though Buffy was going to lose.
You like it. Great. Bully for you.
I do indeed like it, and when poking around various corners of the Buffy fandom, I've become tired of reading endless litanies of hate and criticism for the last season that seem to bear almost no relation to an actual consideration of its merits, as well as flaws. I don't mind negative critiques in general, but ones that amount to little more than complaining that the show had "come back wrong" in comparison to the earlier seasons seem to me to be missing the point.
13. Sophist
"It still smacks of Tokenism. I'm hardly the first to make this criticism."

It does, you aren't, and I wasn't disputing that aspect of it. I was just making a factual correction.

Hollywood sucks at reflecting the US population, and it's all the worse that LA is a VERY diverse place, so the opportunity exists to do much better. Joss can't escape this criticism, though he may even have done better than average during that time frame (I can hardly do a statistical comparison).
Andrew Love
14. AndyLove
Actually, there have been other Latino characters with lines and names. The most obvious was Ampata,
Ampata was the Latino boy who was killed in the first few moments of the episodes, before any of the main cast even met him; his killer, who took his name and identity for the remainder of the episode was not Latino - she was an "Inca Mummy Girl."
15. Sophist
Touche. However, if a Peruvian woman with no Spanish ancestry came to the US today, I suspect she would be put into the category "Latina".
16. Sophist
Plus, of course, while "Ampata" was actually the Inca Princess, she played the role of a Latina exchange student.
17. Dianthus
@11. As I said, it's your choice. Even so, I'll be sorry to lose another dissenting voice. Some folks have made it pretty clear they just don't wanna hear it. Somehow, I feel compelled all the same.

@12. Yes, I've watched the show, thanks. We see it differently, and I'm going to continue presenting an alternative POV. Whether you agree or not really isn't the hot issue.
The FE is playing him, but he's still helping Buffy and the others, before they come to his aid and get him out of the HS basement.
It made a difference. That's when he started remembering what he'd done under the FE's influence. That's when he was ready to submit himself to Buffy's judgement. It's more than just guilt. Distancing himself from the things he did pre-soul is his coping mechanism.
If you haven't seen AtS s5, you're missing some pieces of the puzzle.
There a few decent, middle-of-the-road eps in s7, but nothing like Hush or OMWF. IMO, CWDP is cheesy and self-indulgent. I've already mentioned one complaint I have against Chosen. You got what you wanted out of it. No one likes a sore winner. You seem awfully quick to dismiss Gardner's criticisms when you don't even know what they are.
Andrew Love
18. AndyLove
Touche. However, if a Peruvian woman with no Spanish ancestry came to the US today, I suspect she would be put into the category "Latina".

Plus, of course, while "Ampata" was actually the Inca Princess, she played the role of a Latina exchange student.
Sophist: Good points.
19. Alex C.
You seem awfully quick to dismiss Gardner's criticisms when you don't even know what they are.
If Gardner wants to make some criticisms, then he is entirely welcome to do so, and I would be happy to read them (although it would seem from his comments above that he does not want to do so). That doesn't mean I won't disagree with him, or write at length about why I think so.
There a few decent, middle-of-the-road eps in s7, but nothing like Hush or OMWF. IMO, CWDP is cheesy and self-indulgent. I've already mentioned one complaint I have against Chosen.
I disagree strongly, and look forward to telling you why when we get to those episodes. :)

By my reckoning there are at least five episodes from this season that are 'great', by comparison to the standards of the rest of the show, and many more that are at least 'good'. It's a solid tally for an overall solid season.
If you haven't seen AtS s5, you're missing some pieces of the puzzle.
I have seen it, thank you. I didn't think that any of the seasons of Angel were anything to write home about - TBH, none of Whedon's subsequent works have ever managed to hook my interest in the way that this show did, for various reasons - but I watched them all the same.
You got what you wanted out of it. No one likes a sore winner.
At the risk of repeating something that I've said before - calm down. This is a debate of opinion about a tv show. There is no need to get testy about it.
Constance Sublette
20. Zorra
This is an opening espisode that actually suffers for re-watchers. It's so good -- it has you just dying for the next one and the next one and the next one. So many questions, particularly about Principal Wood. We want to know all about him and we want to know now. But we don't know for quite a while, and when we finally are given the answers -- Holy Cow! I was really on tenterhooks about this arc during my first watching.

Knowing the answers does ratchett down considerably that kind of watch intensity. OTOH, it allows the watcher to take more notice of other things that need appreciation too.

I loved that character of Principal Wood getting included in this season -- he was a great character all on his own, and he also underlines another theme, which I won't mention in this post because perhaps someone here is reading and is only watching the season for the first time, and it would be a pity to spoil it for that person right at this moment. If there is a person reading here who is only watching season 7 now, one presumes, with dvds or netflix, etc., s/he'll be caught up within another day or two! :)

Repeating myself -- I did so appreciate how this opened in the sunshine with such a sense of normality -- granted Sunnydale normality, but even so. It was this sense of relaxation, that Buffy wasn't divided against herself any longer, and that the whole gang would be together again. And -- WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?

Love, C.
Alyx Dellamonica
21. AMDellamonica
Gardner--I'll miss your comments, positive and negative. I just watched "Selfless" and was surprised at how much I like it.

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