Buffy 6×04: Flooded

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Douglas Petrie and Jane Espenson | Director: Douglas Petrie | Aired: 10/16/2001]

In short, “Flooded” is unexpectedly decent. Upon initial viewing I didn’t particularly care for this episode, but this time around I noticed a lot more going on. There’s still a handful of things that really bug me, but those aside it’s actually quite good. Buffy’s emotional detachment is still here in full force, although bits and pieces of her personality are finally returning and being mixed into her dark state in the form of excellently written morbid humor. There’s also a scene between Willow and Giles that is one of the most frightening displays of Willow’s chilling development in the entire series. The Trio is introduced here to excellent comic effect as well.

I’m going to jump into this by beginning with the things I really didn’t care for. Early in the episode Buffy’s plumbing problem causes the subject of money to become a big deal. This is something the entire season tackles: mundane, adult issues like nagging finances, bills, jobs, chores that you don’t have parents to do for you, etc. I honestly love this concept, but unfortunately the execution of the details leaves much to be desired. An example of this is how much of a hypocrite Willow and Tara are in this early scene, having the audacity to tell Buffy’s she’s nearly broke but don’t even offer to get jobs themselves to help her out. They’re living in her home for God’s sake! At least Xander often helps rebuild broken stuff in Buffy’s house for free. I fully understand why Buffy would never ask them, but it’s a problem with the writers that they dropped the ball with Willow and Tara. If attention is going to be brought to these issues, then everyone must be looked at, not just Buffy.

This is one of the problems of S6 as a whole, although it’s made the most evident in episodes that choose to focus on the domestic issues like this one. I do like the result of Buffy having to be forced to deal with everything on her own, but the writers really should have found a way to make it more plausible. Another thing that bugs me in this episode, and is brought up again in a couple places, is Buffy’s whole sloppy “guns, never useful” message. What about the incredibly useful tranquilizer gun Buffy herself used in the early seasons? What about the Initiative’s taser guns? What about Wesley in Angel? This all adds up to a sloppy political statement which simply doesn’t make any logical sense within the confines of the series, regardless of your personal thoughts on guns. I expect a lot more than this from Joss Whedon.

The main plot involves a hokey demon hired by the Trio to get a bunch of cash from a bank, and then said demon’s random wish to tear apart Buffy. This demon is annoying in more ways than I can count including his unbelievably unbarable roar, awful dialogue, and random intentions. Fortunately he takes up a very small portion of the episode. The rest of the content is thankfully much, much better than the problems I’ve already brought up. So, onto the good stuff!

Buffy gets more excellent continued development from the aftermath of “After Life” [6×03] here. It begins with the pipe explosion in the teaser which causes her to just stand there in defeat. I really enjoyed a lot of the small touches that continue to mark how altered Buffy is. When she’s staring blankly at a running faucet we, and the rest of the Scoobies, can see she’s still not all there. At least some of Buffy’s personality is re-emerging here, mainly her sense of humor, although it’s being mixed with her darkened state thereby producing very, very morbid jokes. These jokes end up scaring the Scoobies rather than amusing them, and rightfully so. An example of one of these concerning jokes is when Willow says, “Um… Buffy, I-I know you’re still getting back on your feet after…” and Buffy responds, “Lying flat on my back?” Most of these ‘jokes’ seem to directly involve her being a corpse, or dead, or in a coffin. When really thinking about this, it’s really quite disturbing, sad, and it actually kind of frightens me to hear Buffy saying these things.

In discussion about how to pay all of Buffy’s upcoming expenses Anya, a character very similar to Cordelia, actually comes up with amusingly the same idea Cordelia did involving forming Angel Investigations. Should Buffy charge the people she saves? It’s certainly an interesting question, but ultimately completely against what Buffy’s about. There’s also some issues surrounding the fact that Sunnydale is massively smaller than Los Angeles. I’m sure Buffy would get a few customers, but overall she’d still have to do her nightly patrols — “the daily grind” — without getting paid or more innocent people would die. As unfortunate as it is, this really isn’t a realistic solution in Buffy’s case as it is for Angel.

A little later in the episode we see Buffy talking to a loan officer about getting a loan to help her with all the expenses. This scene is not only amusing, but also important in relaying the message that just because you’re in need of help, people don’t just suddenly become nice and help you. I also appreciated how the loan guy didn’t even help her after she saved his life. Her fight with the demon is another fun display of how Buffy can still be incredibly feminine while also being a warrior. The result of this loan rejection is a scene in the training room between Buffy and Willow. While whacking a punching bag we can see Buffy visibly angry about not getting help with her finances, and Willow wisely picks up on this. This is the first extended sign of a normal emotion from her since she was resurrected and it makes Willow happy as she starts to try go get her angry again. What Willow’s attempting to do here is commendable (and funny) until she decides to back off when she gets concerned that Buffy might actually tell her something she doesn’t want to hear.

Eventually Giles returns while the gang is gathered at the Magic Box. This reunion between Buffy and Giles is a quiet and powerful moment. Right after showing a brief moment of happiness (which Spike is able to get out of her later on), Buffy says two particularly noteworthy things: “I take getting used to” and, more importantly, “I’m still getting used to me.” Both true statements, as she’s a different person than she was. A small thing to note here is Willow’s proud grin in the background. She’s got this “hey Giles! Look at me! Look at what I did!” look on her face. This will come into play soon. Right now, in the training room, Buffy says some more interesting things that really quickly clue Giles to some problems. The first is when she asks him “I can start. How was England? How was… life?” As becomes more and more evident soon, Buffy’s lost her ‘fire’ and spark of life, and is searching endlessly to find it again.

Giles warmly asks Buffy, “how are you doing, really?” Buffy again tries to hide her true feelings with humor, but the darkness and sadness inside her uncontrollably seep into her humor: “Me? Nah. Fine. I mean, yeah, you know, sleeping’s hard, but… just because of the whole waking up in a box thing. So maybe waking up’s the problem.” Waking up from heaven would, indeed, be problematic for any individual. Wisely, Giles notices that Buffy looks “tired” and that she’s not at all alright. Even though this is true, Giles is also correct when he points out that Buffy is holding up well for someone in her situation (and even more than he thinks), but she’s on very, very loose foundation that will soon crumble beneath her.

This leads to another conversation between the two of them that fully confirms to Giles that Buffy’s having serious issues and is very damaged, although he’s still not sure why. What really tips him off is Buffy’s heavy, depressive breathing — as if she’s struggling to live each moment of her existence, which is what she told Spike in “After Life” [6×03] . Then Giles offers Buffy a hand of friendship and comfort and she simply gets up and leaves. Later on, Spike finds Buffy alone and is even able to make her chuckle with some of his own dark humor: “You want me to take them out? Give me a hell of a headache, but I could probably thin the herd a little… Knew I could get a grin.” Buffy goes on to say that trying to hide her depression is exhausting and then asks Spike why he’s always around when she’s in pain. Appropiately, he responds “‘Cause that’s when you’re alone.” This whole scene is a bit of a throwback to the final scene in “Fool for Love” [5×07] where they also shared a tender moment, only this time Buffy breaks the silence by asking Spike what he knows about finances!

At the end of the episode, with a mess in the house resulting from the demon attack, Giles points out that Joyce got through all this day-to-day stuff without any superpowers, and so can Buffy. Unfortunately, Buffy isn’t in a receptive state right now. So, when Angel calls her she uses this opportunity to immediately ditch all the responsibilities she doesn’t want to have to deal with and go see him. What’s left in the wake of her quick departure is a messy situation, in more than one way. The continuance of Buffy’s depression, the addition of her dark humor, and her overall desire to not think about life issues is all great, new, and fascinating development for Buffy. “Flooded” really succeeds in accomplishing these things.

In addition to Buffy, there’s some mighty interesting things rumbling with Xander and Willow. Anya is still complaining that Xander won’t announce their wedding yet. Xander points out that, “the way I understand this marriage thing, it’s kind of a forever deal.” In the era of the easy divorce, I have to say I respect Xander for taking this responsibility seriously — a lot more seriously than most people do. The reason Xander is stalling the marriage is because of all his insecurities: his parents, how he relatively recently moved out, getting used to having a steady paycheck, etc. I have to say I feel for Xander this season. He’s clearly not ready for marriage yet, and it’s just sad it takes him right up until the wedding day to act on this reality.

Moving onto Willow, there’s a scene where her and Giles have an argument in Buffy’s kitchen about her dangerous use of magic. At first, Giles just tells her she got lucky. Willow scarily responds, “I wasn’t lucky. I was amazing.” After years of simply showing concern for Willow’s magic use, Giles is justifiably furious here at what she did (especially after seeing how damaged Buffy is) and calls her a “rank, arrogant, amatuer.” Willow then responds with an icy-cold detachment that directly foreshadows her behavior in “Villains” [6×20] and is actually downright scary: “You’re right. The magics I used are very powerful. I’m very powerful. And maybe it’s not such a good idea for you to piss me off.” Wow. As I was talking about in “Bargaining Pt. 1” [6×01] : follow through! This scene would not have worked in almost any other series yet, because of the expertly crafted backstory, it soars here.

The one other important thing that happened in this episode is the introduction of the Trio: Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew. These guys are hilarious here having the Nintendo 64 classic Goldeneye running in the background of their opening scene. The Trio’s basic desire, as established here, is simply to get whatever they want without ever having to work for it. This villainry isn’t something physically tough that Buffy can’t fight, but at this point represents ideological villainry to Buffy’s desire to sacrifice herself so that others can survive. This difference is summed up at the end of the episode when Buffy says, in regard to the big mess around her, “This is going to take forever, isn’t it?” Anya replies with the entire point: “Not forever. Just a very long time.” The Trio, on the other hand, wants everything right now, and they certainly don’t want to sacrifice of themselves to get any of it.

As I’ve hopefully brought to light, “Flooded” has moments of sheer genius while also unfortunately sharing some moments of pure pain. The demon, some theme logic issues, and Buffy’s silly gun comment all drag this otherwise wonderful episode down to solid B-level work. All that aside, there’s a lot of excellent material in here that I think often gets overlooked by the episode’s more unsavory parts. In the end, there’s a little bit of dire bad but a lot of really really good, but there’s certainly no denying its importance.


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ Hilarious opening scene involving “Mr. Drippy” and Dawn screaming away while getting sprayed by broken sewer pipes.
+ The Trio voting by raising their hands with the Vulcan salute from Star Trek.
+ Buffy trying to kill the demon while keeping the furniture in one piece, which she never had to think about when her mom was around.


Foreshadowing

* The Trio’s “To Do” list contains things very similar to what they end up actually doing. The Shrink Ray turns into an Invisibility Ray in “Gone” [6×11] so they can look at naked girls, Warren ‘hypnotizes’ Katrina in “Dead Things” [6×13], and Warren and Andrew end up using Workable Prototype Jetpacks in “Seeing Red” [6×19].
* Warren gives the demon Buffy’s address without telling Jonathan and Andrew. This hints that Warren’s morals are much murkier than the other two and that he could care less whether or not Buffy lives.
* The striking Willow/Giles scene in the kitchen is the first giant clue that Willow’s going to go full-on dark soon and, more importantly, directly foreshadows the magical confrontation these two have in “Grave” [6×22].


[Score]

82/100

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90 thoughts on “Buffy 6×04: Flooded”

  1. [Note: Tranquillity posted this comment on March 4, 2007.]

    i’ve always wondered why the watchers council didn’t pay buffy a salary. i mean really, she’s slave labour! she might be the chosen one but shes still got bills! the watchers council seems to be really well off too! hope buffy pays her slayers in season 8….

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  2. [Note: Mez posted this comment on March 5, 2007.]

    I always thought that Willow WAS contributing to the household finances, given that they’d somehow managed to keep eating while Buffy was dead. But she probably wouldn’t make enough money to keep the whole house going.

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  3. [Note: MrB posted this comment on March 5, 2007.]

    Forgetting AtS for the moment, maybe the statement about guns should have been “Bullets, never useful.”

    That leaves us tasers, tranqs, rocket launchers, etc.

    To some degree Mike, your complaint about guns is a bit nit-picky. If one, very related, word fixes it, it still holds up pretty well.

    MrB

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  4. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on March 5, 2007.]

    Mez, in this episode it’s stated that Willow and Tara have been living off the life insurance Joyce had, but now that money is running out. No evidence at all is given that Willow and Tara are chipping in financially in any way.

    MrB: even if my comment was a bit nit-picky, this message is taken even further in “As You Were” when Buffy can’t even shoot a gun anymore, when she did just fine before!

    Also, there’s really no conveniently forgetting ATS. It’s part of the same universe and is valid game. You’re not gettin’ out of that one, hehe. :p

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  5. [Note: MrB posted this comment on March 5, 2007.]

    BTW, your review is well timed. As I write this, I have two ServiceMaster monster dehumidifiers and 4 monster air-mover fans running for 72 to 96 hours because of my upstairs’ neighbors up-close and personal meeting with Mr Drippy!

    I’ll need at least one new bathroom, possibly two plus carpeting. I, too, will be visiting the nice load officer for home repair – renovation money. May do kitchen at the same time.

    So, “Flooded” and your review of it will always have a place in my house and heart.

    P.S. AtS is not same universe if you didn’t watch it at teh same time and BtVS. Kind of a Shrodingers’ paradox there. http://www.phobe.com/s_cat/s_cat.html

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  6. [Note: Ryan-R.B. posted this comment on March 5, 2007.]

    Nice to see you liked this episode, Mike. The demon was, of course, lame, but there’s just so much memorable comedy in here. It’s a very solid piece of work, with all the funnies blended well with Buffy’s morbid adjustment problems and the scarier couple of moments.

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  7. [Note: Kyarorin posted this comment on March 16, 2007.]

    The gun thing is understandable on Joss Whedon’s part, because his point was for them to completely belittle guns up until the end of Seeing Red, for the effect. I don’t remember where he said this, either the commentaries or the Season 6 overview thing. They could’ve done it better, but yeah.

    “Yes! Truly, Lord Jonathon is the wisest of us all!” Hehe. I love this episode. Great review.

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  8. [Note: bookworm posted this comment on March 17, 2007.]

    okay, the gun issue yet again: as I see it, the gun issue is only an issue in the usa, cause only there it’s an issue in real life as well.

    in austria, where I live, there is no gun-issue, because there are practically no guns. People with guns at home are socially outcast weirdos, as let’s say comic-book-collectos or nashville-country-fans. I know one guy, who has a gun at home (except a few hunters), and everybody in the neighbourhood hates him, cause he’s a rightwinged, agressive asshole…

    and as I see it, guns (even taser- or tranqu-guns) weren’t only portrayed as useful things in the show, when Oz-wolf went loose, or when the commandoes knocked out Spike, but as dangerous or useless too, there just was no comment on it:

    beauty and beasts (3004) comes to mind, when all hell broke loose, when trying to shoot Oz (as in Phases) or Forrest and Buffy having no chance against Adam in “the yoko factor”.

    there are three episodes I can make out, where guns are portrayed as outright dangerous, long before the “never useful”-quip by Buffy : “What’s my line”, “I only have eyes for you” and “Earshot”

    which is, by the way just the quip by one character, having her own voice, which means, there could be another character trying to make use of this particular weapon in this specific show, a BtVS-Wesley of sort, because there can be stated different things by different people, which just adds layers, as let’s say, the discussion in I only have eyes for you, when nobody of the guys states that James should be sent to death and then a few seasons later when Dawn and Xander want Willow to kill Warren; or the sex issue, when Buffy (and Dawn) experience all horrible stuff because of their first sex, but it’s quite a safe thing with Willow, or Xander (except the little strangle-incident…) different “messages” by the same show, giving a different scope on the same “issue”…

    and “as you were” was kindy poor in various aspects, not only the “gun”-thing, although I don’t hate it as much as I did before…

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  9. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on March 17, 2007.]

    See, I might have been able to buy the gun comment if the officer with the gun had actually shot the demon and it didn’t do anything. But as it stands he conveniently never got the chance yet Buffy still makes the completely out-of-the-blue comment. And “never” useful? That’s just plain false. They’re not always useful, but at times guns could kill certain demons and would simply be another useful tool in her fight. There’s really no reason not to use them except Whedon’s trying to make a political statement and, for me, it just isn’t reasonably characterized.

    Showing is always better than saying. Show us why guns are never useful, then I might buy it. People vilify guns like they’re some evil thing with minds of their own. If you really think about it, they’re really nothing more than suped-up crossbows that shoot out pieces of metal instead of wood. Whether guns or crossbows or spears, they’re all ‘weapons’ and if one is to condemn one, they should condemn them all. :/

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  10. [Note: bookworm posted this comment on March 17, 2007.]

    I don’t want a weapon-discussion, or maybe I do, but I’m not sure of it, but some comments, yet again, mikejer.

    Buffy is a supernatural inclined subject with innate abilities to handle weapons, as stakes or crossbows (how she works with guns is handled a little murky). In the early seasons, with the training sessions you get a hint of how much more capable she is of handling weapon, than Giles, who had a life-long training.

    When the other Scoobies get stakey, it’s mostly blind luck (Xander in The Harvest comes to mind).

    That means, weapons in the hands of a born warrior are suitable, but any kind of weapon in the hand of a not-so-fight-trained person is dangerous. When I use a knife in combat it’s more likely I’ll hurt myself than anyone else, and guns are more dangerous than any other weapon, they’re faster, they’re deadlier, whicht means the damage is done more easily and to a greater extent.

    I haven’t watched the fight right now, but as I remembered it, the shooting prevented Buffy from going after the demon, because she had to run for cover, which is bad…

    and it’s still a quip, which they put in just like that as “I had other plans too”.

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  11. [Note: Latoya posted this comment on May 23, 2007.]

    If Buffy had lived at the end of The Gift, how long do you think the insurance money would have lasted? I have a feeling that Willow, Tara, and Dawn spent more in those five months–it was 5 mths even though in ATW Buffy says 3 mths, but then she rarely knew what day it was–than Buffy would have. What do you think they did with the money they saved from not living in a dorm? Did they let Dawn go shopping crazy? I saw her in a very short skirt in Bargaining #1. Buffy would never let her wear that.

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  12. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on December 30, 2007.]

    I agree with the demon, it´s lame. But I find this to be a solid episode with a lot of importance. What really gets me is Buffy looking at the running faucet in the beginning.

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  13. [Note: wilpy1 posted this comment on March 2, 2008.]

    This is a semi-decent episode if you look at it in an objective way, as if it were TV literature. But as entertainment, it’s not so good. This was one of season 6’s problems. It’s a great season for from an artistic perspective, but it’s just not very fun to watch! (Unless you get a happy from that kind of thing.) As a result, I tend not to watch the season outside of a marathon.

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  14. [Note: jun posted this comment on March 15, 2008.]

    What hospital bills?

    I was wondering this too, but am rewatching it and Tara says: “[Joyce] planned really well. She had insurance… /life/ insurance…” Which might imply that she didn’t have health insurance, and thus would be liable for all the expenses from her illness.

    Also, Willow and Tara have been cooking, cleaning, caring for Dawn, and are still doing a measure of that while Buffy’s back. Possibly more than she is, still. It’s not like they’re complete freeloaders.

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  15. [Note: Ryan Ayers posted this comment on April 8, 2008.]

    I liked the quote “M’Fashnik, like Mmm-cookies”
    and
    “That’s a weird place for a horn…that’s not a horn…”

    I think I know Ryan-R.B.

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  16. [Note: Jaden posted this comment on June 5, 2008.]

    i’m really glad that you brought up the issue of willow and tara not providing for themselves. in a season where characters are being asked to grow up, willow and tara dont quite fit the bill. joss spends time showing us why the characters need independence but havent willow and tara been living off their parents money for the last two years? i would have LOVED if joss had somehow given them some kind of job (willow could have found work in computers or even in magic). this shows that the decision to turn the group into adults before the “four standard college years” were up had some problems which made the characters less credible.

    also whats with the nerd stereotype? im surprised mike that you, someone working with video games, wouldnt take some offense at the portrayal of the trio. i was actually a little offended at how the trios hobbies were continually mocked as i am quite a fan of video games and such. also mocking the fact that warren lives in his basement seems contradictory seeing that xander was exactly a season ago. i mean stereotypes are enjoyable but i thought that joss was above them. are willow and tara feminist tanks who work out every day? is spike an english vampire who enjoys tea and scones? its almost as if joss is telling the world that the trio DESERVED to be mocked and bullied purely for having different hobbies than us.

    sorry i got into a rant.

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  17. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on June 5, 2008.]

    I really didn’t ever get the feeling the Trio was being mocked because they had geeky interests. After all, Willow was geeky in the early seasons and wasn’t mocked at all. I think that fact is really conincidental and the writers just happened to have some fun with it. I’m definately a geek and gamer, but I really don’t take any offence at the portrayal of the Trio. I feel that sometimes people take offense to things a bit too easily. Sure, if it goes overboard, then you stand up and make a stand, but I feel the Trio’s geekiness was all in good fun until “Dead Things,” when that geekiness was turned on its head to make for some creepy and unique villains.

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  18. [Note: Jaden posted this comment on June 19, 2008.]

    yeh mike you are right on that. i actually dont have a real problem with the geek portrayal. in fact i think the real thing i wanted to do was to show the people upset about petty issues like the lesbian death/evil cliche just how whiny their complaining is in comparison with other bad portrayals. willow and tara were given a GREAT relationship and a realistic one at that. so they didnt get as many intimate scene as other characters did, did that make their relationship any less beleivable? NO. people say that tara shouldn’t have been a tool purely to service the plot but she certainly shouldn’t be a tool to service some political statement. as joss says it would be even worse that he COULDNT kill her becuase she was gay. she was just a gay character who happened to die in a cliche way. the main point was that it emotionally effected the audience and any show that can do that deserves an applause, not an angry outcry from the gay community!

    sorry i tend to ramble. i didn’t even know i had such an opinion until i started typing.

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  19. [Note: Steph posted this comment on July 1, 2008.]

    “Also, Willow and Tara have been cooking, cleaning, caring for Dawn, and are still doing a measure of that while Buffy’s back. Possibly more than she is, still. It’s not like they’re complete freeloaders.”

    I agree with Jun. I was a little taken aback by Willow and Tara insinuating that Buffy should get a job while there was no mention that they had gotten jobs themselves, as well. However, I always felt it was implied that Tara had some sort of side-income-job money coming in that was never addressed in the storyline. After “Family”, Tara got cut-off (most likely financially) from her father, but still continued to go to college. I felt that it was justified that Tara probably earned scholarships so she could continue her education, but that still didn’t give her extra money for food or clothing.

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  20. [Note: Steph posted this comment on July 1, 2008.]

    Plus that is a lot of responsibility being put onto two 20ish-year-olds who are going to college, fighting evil with a Buffybot (which is a lot harder than having the actual Buffy there), AND suddenly becoming surrogant parents to Dawn, who probably would have stayed in their care until she was 18. I know a lot of people were upset with Willow and Tara in this episode concerning the money situation, but I also felt like that was a lot of stuff for them to deal with, as well.

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  21. [Note: Darth Bunny posted this comment on April 6, 2009.]

    When Giles was talking about Willow never wanting to meet people who could do what she did (bringing dead people back), did anybody else think of Darla and Wolfram and Hart from Angel?

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  22. [Note: Stilicho posted this comment on May 21, 2009.]

    As I didn’t quite understand the way Giles was leaving (not so much the “why” but that he left without any proper arrangements for the Hellmouth-Watch; I have commented on this on “The Bargaining” Part 1) I am very happy about his return. I cheerish his caracter the most after Buffy, and their reunion scene is really touching… Buffy’s look up to his face the moment before they embrace each other is beyond words (I could really not describe it), as is Giles gently caressing her cheek. “It’s, uh… you’re…” “A miracle.” “Yes. But then I always thought so.” Great stuff, and very fine acting.

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  23. [Note: Leelu posted this comment on May 21, 2009.]

    @Stilicho:

    Though I am not a Buffy/Giles shipper, I have always regarded his love for her as more than fatherly. Though perhaps not romantic, either. But I definitely think it’s powerful and unique. She is the most important person in his world, and NOT just because she is the/a Slayer. And I think that his strong, indefinable love for her is what makes that scene so touching. 8)

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  24. [Note: Stilicho posted this comment on May 21, 2009.]

    Agreed. I like Giles a lot because I found that the acting of Anthony Steward Head is awesome. Generally the acting (of all actors) is more than remarkable during all seasons, but I am particulary fond of Head’s subtle ways of expressing the feelings and emotions of his rather thoughtful and deliberate caracter.

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  25. [Note: Emily posted this comment on June 9, 2009.]

    “I know one guy, who has a gun at home (except a few hunters), and everybody in the neighbourhood hates him, cause he’s a rightwinged, agressive asshole…”

    bookworm, I find this statement to be prejudiced and narrow-minded. Not everyone who owns a gun is right-wing. Not everyone who’s right-wing owns a gun. Not everyone who’s right-wing is an “aggressive asshole.” And blind hatred of right-wingers and people who own guns is just as bad as being a racist. I don’t appreciate you implying that right-wingers are aggressive assholes, especially considering the fact that I’M A RIGHT WINGER AND I HAPPEN TO NOT BE AN AGGRESSIVE ASSHOLE!!

    If I misunderstood what you said, I apologize, but you should learn how to voice your thoughts in a way that sounds less prejudiced. And if I didn’t misunderstand, open up your eyes and get over your close-mindedness!!

    Sorry to make this an argument on your site, Mike. I just really dislike blind hatred of anything- whether it’s right-wingers or left-wingers, blacks or whites, feminists, Jews, Native-Americans, Asians, Arabs, or anything and anyone else out there that have been the subject of blind, all-encompassing hatred!

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  26. [Note: Sunburn posted this comment on November 13, 2009.]

    I don’t get Emily’s comment. Bookworm called the dude a ‘right-wing, aggressive asshole’, not ‘a guy who is right-wing and therefore, like all right-wingers, an aggressive asshole.’ By your logic, if she’d simply called him an aggressive asshole, she would be implying that assholes are innately aggressive. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  27. [Note: Alan posted this comment on March 13, 2010.]

    Money: why the hell doesn’t the Watcher’s Council pay Buffy a stipend? They seem to have an unlimited budget. And what about Buffy’s dad? He has to support Dawn at least. Giles has the money to fly back and forth to the UK, to keep a flat in Bath, Why doesn’t he chip in?

    And Spike and Willow could steal or just conjure up any amount of gold or whatever in an evening.

    “Guns, never useful”: but the rocket propelled grenade Buffy used to blow up the Judge in “Innocence” seemed quite useful.

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  28. [Note: David@Prague posted this comment on April 22, 2010.]

    Council really should pay reasonable wage to Slayer. Their powerfull organization is all about the Slayer and they would not risk losing Slayer by letting her starve to death or become homeless.

    Also they could establish some more control over Slayer’s action by paying her bills.

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  29. [Note: Sven posted this comment on May 25, 2010.]

    One thing that confuses me is how everyone outside of the main group accepts that Buffy’s alive. How can she apply for a loan? Wasn’t she legally dead for 5 months? How did her social security number get reinstated? The loan officer talks as if the house is in her name, but wouldn’t it have been transferred to Willow and Tara after she died?

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  30. [Note: Aisha posted this comment on May 26, 2010.]

    I found this line funny in context albeit disgusting –

    M’Fashnik: I will suck your bones dry and use them to beat your subjects.

    Other points: Something has always really, really bothered me about Warren, Jonathan and Andrew in Season 6. I have always felt that they should not have been able to cause the pain and destruction that they did. Mainly Warren. I find their roles in the main plot arc to be wholly undesirable.

    Willow is such a great character and it makes me sad to see her losing her grip, however, it is cool to see her development and attempt at redemption in Season 7 after her dive off the deep end.

    Xander is really frustrating during this episode. I do not doubt that he loves Anya, but his proposal in “The Gift” does seem like it was a response to fear of imminent death. His refusal to tell the others of their engagement is extremely telling. Anya recognizes this, but Xander is able convince her time and time again that he is willing to commit to marriage. I understand Xander’s hesitation, but I wish he had not allowed it persist until the actual day of the wedding.

    While I understand Buffy’s despondence throughout this season, I don’t really like how it is so pervasive.

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  31. [Note: fray-adjacent posted this comment on June 11, 2010.]

    Sven: I always wondered this too, but I just made the connection — Buffy was buried in the woods. The Scoobies never reported her death. They used the Buffy bot when needed (e.g., parent-teacher day) so that Dawn could stay in the house, etc.

    I agree Willow and Tara should’ve gotten jobs, and their role in the financial stuff should be discussed more explicitly, but I don’t think there’s anything that states that they [i]didn’t[/i] contribute financially. This is what I always assumed: they were paying for room and board in the dorms for the previous two years, so they should be able to contribute that much money to the household. But that won’t be enough to cover a spacious three bedroom craftsman with a wrap-around porch and big yard, so they relied on what was left of Joyce’s life insurance, most of which covered the hospital bills (which would’ve been huge even with health insurance).

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  32. [Note: Amanda posted this comment on June 11, 2010.]

    @David@Prague and Alan – Per why the watcher’s council doesn’t provide for Buffy – she officially quit the council in season 3 and she’s not technically the “slayer” anymore. I think that’s reason enough for them not to fund her (if they even do those thing). And Giles does give Buffy some money, which she immediately misinterprets as him stepping back into the gang’s parent role.

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  33. [Note: Rachel posted this comment on September 10, 2010.]

    Mike, I love you site! I like that you pointed out that Tara and Willow should be helping Buffy with her financial situation. It also makes me wonder why the Watcher’s Council pays Giles for his responsibilities, but not Buffy. It makes sense, given that they are a very patriarchal organization and they lack respect for the slayer; viewing her merely as a tool they can wield. But, at the very least you’d think they would provide her with housing and other basic needs. Faith also struggled financially, and the slayers’ last concerns should be figuring out how to survive financially. I also feel that this is a lost opportunity on the writer’s part to highlight the issue that men are still receive higher salaries than women for the same work.

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  34. [Note: John posted this comment on January 8, 2011.]

    That’s actually a really good point about not paying the Slayer; I imagine that it might be due to the long-standing inherent misogynistic tendencies that the Council adn the slayer tradition as a whole seems to harbor. It’s her duty and destiny to fight, so why should they give her special consideration for it?

    The confrontation between Giles and Willow was also utterly chilling and magnificently acted on both parts.

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  35. [Note: Niko posted this comment on February 2, 2011.]

    Actually Mike, in “That Old Gang Of Mine”, when Gunn’s old crew start shooting up Caritas, I believe there’s a big point made about how specifically guns are wrong even when fighting evil, and in a larger sense that it isn’t their way. So it is actually in continuity at least somewhat, especially since these episodes aired relatively close to each other. Plus, after “Earshot” which was around when the Columbine tragedy happened, I don’t remember there being any other further tranquilizer or other guns used in the Whedonverse in a positive, I.E. non-evil way.

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  36. [Note: Dave posted this comment on August 18, 2011.]

    Tara and Willow disgusted me in this episode. I feel like Anya should’ve been the one to tell them to get jobs, considering her perchant for speaking the absolute truth, no matter how inappropriate.

    I find myself half enjoying these first episodes, and half despising Willow for her absolute bitchery.

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  37. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on November 30, 2011.]

    Dave: In Willows defence she has been getting more arrogant since season 4. Not really a defence but she has been coming to this point for a fair while.

    This is one of my favourite episodes of season 6. I love the way Buffy jokes about her death. Plus, fire = pretty. Dawn getting water smashed in her face was hilarious and the introduction of the Trio.

    Sarah also looked good in this episode before mid-season when she gets scarily skinny.

    “Full copper repipe! No! More! Full copper repipe!”

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  38. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on December 14, 2011.]

    What Flooded does so well is to convey Buffy’s turbulent transition from heaven into adult hood and parental responsibility. Responsibility has always been a prominent feature in Buffy’s life only this time it is a responsibility that she is not use to; financial responsibility. This message is a cohesive aspect of the entire season; Buffy has bills, needs to get a job and she has to handle all of this on her own. This is encroaches on a number of episodes but acts more as a subplot rather than to subvert the monster of the week Buffy Blue print.

    This episode sets up the introduction to the Trio; its a little early to judge them right now even though i am looking at this episode retrospectively. Their intro is done well, like nerdy super villains ๐Ÿ™‚ they allowed for comedy relief. The fact that this season uses three isolated high school students who we haven’t seen for a while or in the case of Andrew never at all. The episode spends time defining their villainy escalating that it is as simple as three unpopular guys merely decided to take over Sunnydale!

    What makes Flooded for me are the scenes that seem natural, Giles returning and the moment he has with Buffy is extremely touching. The conversation he has with WIllow serves as some real foreshadowing for later on in the season but it feels so uncontrived. The emotions that are palpable in these scenes escalate the situations the characters are in.

    Buffy confesses to Spike that she is exhausted. The quips she makes are quintessential of the old Buffy and the gang could take these as hope for Buffy returning to her old self but what she says to Spike allows us to see that it is more a defence mechanism. To help her. Its something only Spike understands. This is when the show begins to appear different. It is unprecedented for Buffy to express the struggles and torment she is feeling to Spike. Its nice to see her confide in someone who she doesn’t have any commitments to or feels she has to protect. This new Buffy is almost Robo Buffy, the way she stared at the water earlier on is a fine example. I think this is a great Buffy. She is dealing it will just take time. It confounds me when people stress how much they don’t like this Buffy that she isn’t the real Buffy but thats the point. Buffy has been trough some incomprehensible things in her life she isn’t just going to wiggle her nose and be all better! She is adjusting to her being back, to her new role as provider and its hard for her, made worse by the fact that not all of her friends can see what she is going through.

    The bottom line; Flooded makes Buffy’s problems real as apposed to mythical. Joss i think manages to convey Buffy’s problems without the use of metaphors. Through conversations between the gang rather than a demon dollar sign. The episode allows for some great character momentum and conversations. It is an episode that should be rated on its own merit.

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  39. [Note: JustJenna posted this comment on April 8, 2012.]

    There is no argument or excuse for Tara and Willow’s absolute selfishness in this episode. They brought Buffy back, and then they thrust these problems upon her. It’s completely disgusting. Should Buffy get a job? SHE HAS ONE! If they want to live there, then they need to get jobs and help out, too! They share the master bedroom for God’s sake! For free! If I were Buffy I’d have to wonder if they didn’t bring me back just so I could start paying their damn bills!

    My God, this episode pissed me off to no end. It was completely out of character for Tara, of all people, to be so selfish and self involved.

    I also agree that the if the council pays the Watchers (which is also a calling) so too should the Slayer be paid. And the argument that Buffy isn’t THE Slayer anymore, who is the other one? Faith? Hello, a rogue slayer does not get a paycheck. Buffy does the work, she earns the pay – stipend, whatever.

    /rant

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  40. [Note: fray-adjacent posted this comment on April 11, 2012.]

    JustJenna, nowhere in the series do they say that Willow and Tara don’t pay. Furthermore, we know that before they moved into the Summers home, they paid for their expenses through money from parents, scholarships, grants, loans etc. They had to. There is no reason to believe they aren’t still contributing at least that much to maintaining the Summers household now. The fact that their student budgets don’t cover the mortgage on a two-story, three-bedroom craftsman with gorgeous hardwood floors, a finished basement, and a yard, all within audible distance of the Pacific Ocean and a short drive from LA, is not terribly surprising. Yes, they should have gotten jobs, but there’s no reason to interpret their statement as meaning that they weren’t contributing.

    I do strongly agree that the Watchers’ Council should pay Slayers, but obviously they don’t. However, given that Buffy (in “Checkpoint”) helped Giles get his Watcher position back with more than a year of back pay (and it must have been a good salary for him to live unemployed for a year and still have enough to buy the Magic Box), and given that his employer depends entirely on the Slayer to even justify its existence, I’d say HE owed her financially far more than Willow or Tara did. That’s why it was absolutely right for him to give her a big ole whopping check at the end of this episode.

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  41. [Note: Lovinthebuff posted this comment on June 7, 2012.]

    Hi Mikejer, Ive only recently discovered your site and I just wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying reading it. Its fun discovering other people picked up on things I did but my friends didn’t, and discovering things I never noticed first time round. Kudos on a brilliant site and great reviews.

    I’d like to offer my opinion on your comment about Buffy’s ‘gun’ line. Where you bring up past occurrences, the tranquiliser was meant to do just that, tranquilise (usually Oz) rather than kill, same too with the tasers, which did really belong to the initiative, and she only used as a request by prof Walsh.

    You didnt mention this in the review and admittedly I havn’t read further on yet, but thought I would point out anyway just in case lol.

    The line, ‘these things, never useful’, which is echoed again later in the season, I think in ‘As You Were’, is one of the post potent and heartbreaking pieces of foreshadowing this season, if not the series, holds. Buffy says guns are never useful, and its Warren with a gun, and a stray bullet that took away our beloved Tara. The words Buffy says are darkly prophetic as to the tragedy that the scoobies will endure, and ultimately nearly destroy the world.

    Anyway thats my opinion, kudos again on a bloody fantastic site ๐Ÿ™‚

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  42. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on June 8, 2012.]

    Thanks for the comment, Lovinthebuff!

    I’ll just say that I was well aware of the intention behind the line. My problem with it is how heavy-handed it is brought up in the two episodes. Buffy, the character, not liking guns is perfectly fine. She could say, “I don’t use guns.” But to force the character to say a line — “never useful” — that feels awkward and writerly, is the specific thing I have a problem with. Not only is it inaccurate, but it’s also a bit of sloppy writing (imho).

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the site. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  43. [Note: wytchcroft posted this comment on June 8, 2012.]

    But ‘political?’ – i dunno… does that mean Mal in Firefly who admires handguns (“fine piece”) is a ‘political’ avatar for Joss?

    Awkward, sure, maybe a little – but i think that’s the downside of watching on dvd; some nudges from the writers seem heavy handed compared to watching in real time where weeks or even months may have gone past between references.

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  44. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on June 12, 2012.]

    wytchcroft, I actually have a bigger problem with “As You Were” in this regard than in “Flooded,” because in the former Buffy is made out to be so appalled with ‘guns’ that she apparently forgot how to aim a weapon. That is the very definition of a writer forcing a character to not be themselves based purely on a message, rather than something that naturally stems from the characters’ established abilities and beliefs.

    We know Buffy can aim a weapon well. I have no issue that Buffy doesn’t like or want to use guns in her fight against the forces of evil, but to have her say they are “never useful” (when any sane person in the Buffyverse could see they could be in some situations) and then have her fire one wildly out of aim like a joke, it rubs off as lazy writing to me. Buffy may not like using a gun, but put in the situation where she’s using one, her aim will be impeccable, just like it was with the tranquilizer gun in S3 and the stun guns in S4.

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  45. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on June 12, 2012.]

    I have a little take on this gun helpful or never useful argument. Season six seems to have a subtle message its sending out about guns. Started in Flooded, then risen again in As You Were whereby Buffy at both times comes down hard on guns, as mentioned, Never Useful. Finally in Seeing Red, Warren uses a gun. The message in this episode is clearly one that highlights, guns never useful and when used result in being the cause of killing good people. Buffy would have died if not for Willow and sadly Tara did.

    MikeJer, i hear what you’re saying and agree with your problems with As you Were. Buffy in season 2 used a rocket launcher to kill the judge with no problem taking aim, not to mention the points you mention regarding season 3 and 4.

    I guess you could argue that Buffy may simply be anti-gun and therefore untrusting especially as she sees them more a human against human weapon as opposed to her slaying which she seems and i agree doesn’t make her a killer, it maybe Joss’s way of symbolising this?

    I, myself am anti-gun but this isn’t the point nor is it my main issue with the As you Were episode, its the same as yours Mike, that Buffy forgets how to point, aim and use a weapon.

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  46. [Note: wytchcroft posted this comment on June 12, 2012.]

    Mike; i agree that Buffy’s position sounds forced, but i don’t think that is for ‘political’ reasons so much as for dramatic effect come Seeing Red (as Gemma points out). And sure, Buffy with a gun would be like River with a gun in Firefly; scary and wicked accurate.

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  47. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on June 12, 2012.]

    The ‘hints’ aren’t exactly subtle — both “Flooded” and “As You Were” stop everything to point a giant finger at the gun. But regardless of the purpose behind the lines — and I’m not entirely convinced it isn’t at least partially politically motivated — it’s the sacrifice of characterization that actually bothers me, not the motivation behind it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  48. [Note: Candice posted this comment on June 23, 2012.]

    I just want to back up all the comments made about the Watcher’s Council and how they should be paying the Slayer. In fact while I was watching this episode, every time they brought up financial issues I practically yelled at the TV, “The Watcher’s Council should be paying her!” The fact that Giles gets paid and Buffy fought for him to be not only reinstated but also paid retroactively makes it a great injustice that Buffy herself doesn’t get paid, when hello, she’s the one doing all the work. Buffy shouldn’t be expected to get another job, in fact if this was real life having another job would seriously jeopardize her performance and ability at being the Slayer. She wouldn’t be available at the spur of the moment to fight, and if she did have a job it wouldn’t last very long because if she had to keep running out on a sudden slaying emergency, she’d be fired almost immediately. Slaying is her job-she even says this herself at the bank when the demons come busting through right after the loan officer tells her she doesn’t have a job: “No job? I wish that were true.” How does the Watcher’s Council expect Buffy to live? I believe there’s a great potential social commentary here on gender and class issues, management/owners vs. their workers and male vs. female pay.

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  49. [Note: Emma posted this comment on November 15, 2012.]

    I really like the gun comment, and the whole gun message, but the fact that it wasn’t dealt with properly in season 4 makes every call back to it seem preachy.The difference is the power that comes from within and the power that comes from external forces, its like Spike said in Fool For Love (paraphrased): “don’t reach for your weapon, I already have mine”. There is a video in internetland (Extra Credits: The Myth of the Gun) that kinda deals with two opposing ideologies of gun usage in games, but it works if you apply it to Buffy’s stance on guns. Unfortunately, as I said it was never really explored in season four, exactly why Buffy works best without guns, and not just because gun fights are very boring to watch in comparison to hand to hand combat. Which was one of the many missed oppertunities of S4 story arch. Also having read some of the other comments here, I also get that gun vs. magic wasn’t really the issue, more how clunky Buffy deals with guns when aiming a damn cross bow would be much harder. Yes I just watched this episode last night and thought, “hang on, Willow, what are you doing to help out buffy, who you just brought back from the dead?” As for the Watchers Councle, I guess they don’t pay her because they see her as a tool rather than a person, even after Checkpoint. Anyway there would be very little story if they just swooped in and helped her out with her money problems.

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  50. [Note: Ryan ONeil posted this comment on November 15, 2012.]

    Plus, Buffy wouldn’t risk giving the Council anything resembling a position of dominance that they could exploit later, eve if they did “offer”

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  51. [Note: Great Whazoo posted this comment on November 21, 2012.]

    I find Buffy’s character very consistent with her belief’s on guns. Your examples mentioned the rocket launcher, which in one episode she was under the love thrall of the letterman jacket and in the other, she was using it to take out a demon in a crowded shopping mall. She used the locator in Cordelia’s and her corsage to have the assassins shoot each other through the wall. She only used the Initiative’s Taser rifle on demons, too. I found it a brilliant comic move when after she removes the gun from the security guard, says the line, she then tosses it and it fires on it’s own! These goofy moments and quips make for great attention reviewing.

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  52. [Note: Gamer posted this comment on February 12, 2013.]

    I just watched this episode. I do not see them playing Goldeneye 007 anywhere in the episode. In the part where the demon confronts them demanding they give him the slayer’s head it is the video game No One Lives Forever that is playing in the background. It is the level called Safecracker Scene 4.

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  53. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on February 12, 2013.]

    You’re right. That’s a mistake. I probably only noticed the part inside with the lockers and for whatever reason it looked like the bathroom in the Facility level. I’ll correct this when I update the review. Nice little catch.

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  54. [Note: Gamer posted this comment on February 13, 2013.]

    Thanks! Yeah at first I thought it was the Facility level in Goldeneye as well, but then I recognized that the HUD was different. Then I remembered that it was actually No One Lives Forever, which is one of my favourite video games of all time, so I double checked which level it was on youtube to verify.

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  55. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 7, 2013.]

    Since the beginning of Xander relation with Anya, there have been hints that Xander is very much in love but he’s in conflict with his feelings. He’s often shown to be ashamed of his girlfriend’s behaviour, which is not a good sign for a long term relation. When he proposed, he was sincere but didn’t really think about what it meant, about the future and the consequences.

    The conversation between Buffy and Willow is very enlightening: High-school Willow, even college Willow would have insisted and expressed her worries about Buffy’s well being. She was the more selfless and the more empathic of the group and now has begun her journey to the opposite: she’s afraid to know the truth, she needs Buffy to be well for her own sake, not Buffy’s.

    I loved the little details of geekiness in the trio, like the incomprehensive technobabble, the vulcan salute, the Jedi reference, the stupid board of lame things to do and the figurines. But most of all the prominent difference between Warren and the other two: he’s a coward, which is not inherently bad, but he’s willing to kill or point his finger on anyone else to not be bothered himself. Oh and yes, it’s made to look like a fond comedy, not a mockery.

    I also agree the writers didn’t things right about the money problem. Many things should have been adressed, like how Willow and Tara contributed, like how the Council should have been called for help, like the money the father should send for Dawn or like the possibility to sell the house and rent a small apartment, which seemed the logical solution. I didn’t mind the focus on Buffy in season 5, but in season 6, the writers put aside logic just to put Buffy in a more dire situation and make her the only one to struggle with growing up and take charge: that’s the big flaw of the season, some of her problems are manufactured and don’t feel real. My suspension of disbelief is huge, but have limits. Like her first class as an auditor in next episode: obviously all the students have studied and the teacher is asking questions about homework or previous classes, Buffy and Willow know she can’t possibly understand: it’s not about being rusty. Or when she fights demons and the witnesses just blame her and she’s fired. Those scenes are unreal but the writers want us to feel how much Buffy doesn’t fit: I like my BtVS more subtle than that.

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  56. [Note: Gon posted this comment on March 14, 2013.]

    This episode has the qualities and the defaults of S6, in my opinion. Qualities: good interaction and conflict, great analysis of characters, daring questioning of the line between good and evil, occasional self-deprecating humor. Defaults: undeveloped plot, forced events, unsubtle conclusions , excessive continuity (you canโ€™t see it out of the context and you need a huge โ€œpreviouslyโ€ at the beginning).

    I also feel this episode clearly shows a difference between the first seasons and the last seasons of BtVS. In most of the first seasons episodes (including S4), particular situations make characters change and grow. Here, as in many episodes of the seasons 5,6&7, characters have to face situations conceived to resonate what theyโ€™re already going through. At least, it feels that way to me.

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  57. [Note: Henrik posted this comment on June 25, 2013.]

    in this episode it’s stated that Willow and Tara have been living off the life insurance Joyce had, but now that money is running out. No evidence at all is given that Willow and Tara are chipping in financially in any way.

    I’m responding to seven year old comments here, but I’m pretty sure from just watching the episode that it’s NOT stated that THEY have been living off Joyce’s life insurance.

    They explain that a lot of it went to medical bills and the rest of it has been used to support the house (and presumably, Dawn). Anya explains quite clearly that houses costs even when just sitting around. As a house owner myself I know exactly of what she speaks…

    They are probably paying for their own food and clothes just like they did when living on campus and I assume they pay the same rent as they did there. It would be logical, and even though that is not stated there’s no evidence on the contrary either. It’s simply not addressed (at least not yet). Even if you think that of Willow, would Tara live off money that Joyce left for her children? The reason they live there is to look after Dawn now that she’s totally orphaned, not to be squatting!

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  58. [Note: SImon posted this comment on August 14, 2013.]

    The start of Season 6 has echoes of Dead Mans Party for me. That her “friends” despite talking about how Buffy should grow up, or talk more, or do this, or do that, are woefully inadequate themselves and raging hypocrites.

    They bring Buffy back from the dead in Season 6 and stand around gawping at her expecting to act normal. At least Dawn gets it and tells them to back off.

    Now in this episode, although I understand that Willow and Tara have been helping with Dawn and helping with slaying etc, I still don’t think it right at all that they rack up all these bills and then say “there, your responsibility” effectively.

    It isn’t so much the fact that they have no money, or are uni students, but the sheer arrogance of them to expect Buffy to pay THEIR expenses! No offer of help, no explanation.

    Like Dead Mans Party, Buffys friends act like real jerks, but they all think they’re fine, and Buffy is the one with the problem. They’re all standing around waiting for to mess up so that they can rub her nose in it.

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  59. [Note: Sam L posted this comment on August 14, 2013.]

    Mike states early in his review — and I agree with him about this — that Willow & Tara dumping all their bills in Buffy’s lap is hypocritical, but also an extremely OOC moment. The writers definitely screwed that one up — neither one of them, especially Tara, would be so selfish about this issue.

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  60. [Note: Diana D posted this comment on April 23, 2014.]

    I really enjoyed this episode as we get to see the symblolism of water. At the beginning of the episode, Buffy is trying to repare the small leak of water from the pipe but her actions actually worsen the situation, as it results in an explosion of water.
    I feel like it is a strong symbol of what Buffy is trying to do. She needs/tries to ”repair” herself but the impact of her experience is so overwhelming: it ”explodes” inside of her and she has little control over it.
    Also, when Dawn offers her ”help”, she rejectes it and consequently ”Dawn”.Later, Spike sees the flood of water and asks Buffy in a comical way if she was aware of it. In a way, this illustrates that Buffy lets Spike ”see” the chaotic side of her.

    We can see how Buffy is not the same person she was before. Even though she tries to act ”normal”, she ends up overcompensation by doing morbid jokes and at some moments, Buffy is completely detached from everything around her.

    When Buffy and Giles reunite, their bond and love is really felt strongly. However, even though Giles deeply cares about Buffy, he is not fooled by her ”act” and sees things deeper. Giles is the first to question the consequences of the revivement of Buffy (how damaged she is). Buffy is not able to connect to him as before and she ”seeks” the company of Spike, who manages to make her smile.

    The Williw-Gile’s dynamic is interesting and a foreshadowing. Willow is looking for Giles’s recognition and approval of her action to bring Buffy back and when he shows actual worry and concern, she becomes defensive because she ”knowns” (internally) that she has crossed a line. Also, Willow does not want to admit that Buffy is damaged and the consequences it may have on Buffy (indicated when she quickly changes conversation when she and Buffy discuss feelings) and that Buffy is unhappy.Willow is not ready to admit the truth and consequences of her action.
    The confrontation between Willow and Giles is central, as it shows how much Willow is gradually losing control and becoming more and more ”addicted” to magic. The fact that she kept the sacrifice of a deer a secret and didn’t reveal to anyone the extend of darkness of the spell is indicative of that. Especially when she threatens Giles: ”The magics I used are very powerful. I’m very powerful. And maybe it’s not such a good idea for you to piss me off.” It is interesting to see how powerful and overconfident she feels with her gain of power/magic. She is not the same Willow as in S1-3.

    Honestly, I think that it is interesting in this season to see Buffy struggling with everyday-adult concerns, such as paying the bills. It gets us to relate to her in some way, as TV shows tend to not portray this aspect. We can also see the way she needs to mature and take care of herself and Dawn, as Joyce is not there anymore. She can’t be a kid anymore and rely on anyone, Buffy needs to be the one to take care of everyday concerns. Life is not easy and even though she saved the men’s life at the bank, Buffy does not get a loan. She is not rewarded for her good actions. It is also interesting to see how much Tara and Willow have become a part of Dawn’s life and take care of her. They continue doing so, as Buffy is still struggling to reajust in her life.

    The villains are very entertaining and also serve to emphasize how they and Buffy are different: Buffy has the ability to get what she wants by trespassing law, but she chooses not to and actually ends up ”working hard” to obtain what she need ; whereas, the villains just want everything right the instant without working for it. She chooses ”goodness” and they choose to be ”bad”. Also, Warren action of giving the demon Buffy’s adress shows how much he does not really care about the damage he could make to others. He is somewhat a shade darker than his 2 companions as he is not afraid of crossing lines and its consequences on other human life.

    About the gun, I think what is meant is that it can be dangerous in the wrong’s person hands. I don’t think Buffy uses it as an everyday weapon because she would rely too much on her weapon, which makes her vulnerable in fights because she would be dependent on it. Buffy comes from a long-line of slayers that originally needed to master their ”natural” force power. (I don’t know if it makes really sense?). As Spike said, one of the slayer’s vulnerabilities is that she needs to reach her weapon, whereas he already has one in reach. Also, how would she really distinguish the vampires from the humans without risking to harm innocent persons (such one of the previous moments where Buffy attacks a person wearing a costume/ when Faith ”attacked” by accident a human). Moreover, guns are noisy and easily attract attention when they are used, so it would’nt help Buffy when she’s slaying ”undercoverr” (and would reveal her position to any other present demons). Buffy moves around so much during fights sequences, it would be hard for her to find the ”right spot” as one moment she has the upperhand, the other she’s not.

    Xander hesition to announce the engagement is also indicative that he has some past issues to resolve so that they do not take over him. I agree with the fact that he usually ”flees” from his issues, instead of working on them (actually acknowledging their presence, what they connect to and communicates his fears to someone). I think it is an good portroyal of how sometimes, some issues keep following us even if we’re not completely aware of them and how they can grow and ruin some aspect of our lives. It is also a good indicative of how the balance in a relationship occurs when one is ready to advance and commit to another level, whereas the other is not yet fully ready to ”commit”.

    I love to write and have expanded quite a lot (sorryz).
    Thank you for MikeJer for your review, it is very well written and for giving an amazing place of discussion where one can share their thoughts!

    Like

  61. [Note: Jahn posted this comment on July 20, 2014.]

    I think the Initiative soldiers who were clearly shown gunning down demons in the underground HQ breakout would argue the “guns are never useful” point.

    The only reason guns aren’t used in this show is because of the “staking” vampires need (though crossbows sure count as projectile weapons) and because fights would be over too quickly. For instance, if the big bad demon in this episode broke into Buffy’s house and came face to face with Giles holding a shotgun, it would have been a very short fight.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the gun statement did have a political bent, though if so, it was a rather weak and illogical one. Shouldn’t be surprising. Tinseltown types with their armed bodyguards, gated communities, and signature detachment from reality have never been in touch with truth.

    Is kinda funny how axes, swords, bows, and all manner of melee weapons are glorified, even going so far as to have a legion of high schoolers fight with them against the Mayor’s hordes. Ya know, given that before the advent of guns, more people were murdered with those implements of destruction than guns will ever claim.

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  62. [Note: Kyle posted this comment on July 20, 2014.]

    I would argue with you, but my argument would definitely verge on being political and basically off topic for the discussion of this episode. However, I would suggest avoiding politically inclined comments especially on an issue as controversial as guns. Anyway, I donโ€™t mean to sound confrontational, but this comment made me a little uncomfortable. If Iโ€™m misinterpreting your comment though, please let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  63. [Note: Boscalyn posted this comment on July 21, 2014.]

    Throughout the show’s run, only two episodes of Buffy were delayed. The first was “Earshot,” because it was about a school shooting and was set to air about a week after Columbine. And the second was the aforementioned “Graduation Day Pt 2,” precisely because of that scene with the gang of students bringing weapons to their graduation. (The whole “blowing up your school with fertilizer” thing didn’t help either.)

    Swords, axes, crossbows, et cetera aren’t held up to such intense scrutiny. You know why? Because the people at the networks aren’t worried that someone’s going to pick up a wooden stake and go on a killing spree. They’re a lot more worried about students trying to blow up their high schools.

    (PS: Off-topic, but I see a lot of people make that argument re: melee weapons. You know why people used those weapons before the advent of guns? Because there were no guns.)

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  64. [Note: Chelice posted this comment on August 7, 2014.]

    I think if we are meant to be thinking that willow and Tara are not paying any rent then they are wrong. They would have been paying for college dorms ? So they had to have been getting money. However using Joyce’s life insurance to pay for the mortgage, and dawn. That was the right thing to do. That’s what Joyce left it for, but yeah it was also kind of unrealistic if how supportive they are as a friend group to just go ” oh by the way I know you just crawled out of a grave but you might want to get a job and we aren’t going to help with any if the finances. Even though we live here now” it just isn’t plausible to me.

    Also didn’t anyone else find Xander’s coffee table ” that’s it …It’s been four hours….I’m calling it….it’s gone!” Joke (( as if it were a patient and were calling time if death.) a little on the morbid side, I mean that was in the same place Buffy watched the paramedics declare Joyce dead. The writing there felt a little in bad taste, unless they overlooked the placement if the coffee table. I just thought it was a bit weird.

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  65. [Note: TheTad92 posted this comment on August 10, 2014.]

    Notice Buffy staring at the water coming from the tap in the kitchen. She seems totally entranced by it, like she’s no longer in the room. She is only snapped out of this when someone grabs her arm. Oh, and who does this – Willow ofcourse! Very interesting symbolism regarding the reality of Willow’s spell.

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  66. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on December 21, 2015.]

    I’m not sure if this is a flaw or not but I’m not certain the show is ever really sure that resurrecting Buffy was a good thing to do in universe. Giles talks about how it was stupid and there were some last minute consequences in Season 7 but then they seem to insist that Buffy should stay alive and help the world out which apparently worked out for the best. But then again if she was happier dead and she decided to go back would that be a bad thing if she would go to a good place. Would it be better not to do that just in case the “heaven” was a false memory to punish her for being resurrected (you got to wonder if people are made to forget what they may have seen in the afterlife if they had a near death experience).

    Supernatural kind of had this problem a bit at one point or another too where apparently it’s cool if some die since they get a nice afterlife (in most cases) but the Winchesters keep insisting that staying on Earth and resurrecting themselves is a good philosophy (most of the time).

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  67. [Note: Samm posted this comment on December 21, 2015.]

    I think it is beneficial in the long term, but short term it wouldn’t be at all, because of the consequences which followed in the final 2 seasons. Who knows, maybe Buffy doesn’t go to heaven next time she dies, but i think after her first few months she definitely wants to live in Earth rather than wherever she was.

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  68. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on January 30, 2016.]

    So if Buffy is broke this season how is Spike getting the cash for the things he needs like in Seasons 4-5? I think this connects to the BigTimeJames debate for the Season 6 review since adding reality into Buffy makes you question these things.

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  69. [Note: Samm posted this comment on January 30, 2016.]

    Getting it illegally, like scaring people into giving him money which was stated. And Buffy rarely gave him cash, it was mainly Giles. And that was more in good will rather than he desperately needed money.

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  70. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on January 30, 2016.]

    Louis, Buffy was giving him something else that made him much more cooperative than usual in season 6. He got the money from stealing as Samm said. It’s not really a hole in logic here. It’s not difficult to explain how Buffy got information and how Spike has an income.

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  71. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on January 30, 2016.]

    I admit to forgetting about the scaring money thing, though you’d think if he was doing that enough times he could have maybe loaned Buffy some cash.

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  72. [Note: Sirena posted this comment on June 30, 2016.]

    I’m going to jump into this by beginning with the things I really didn’t care for….An example of this is how much of a hypocrite Willow and Tara are in this early scene, having the audacity to tell Buffy’s she’s nearly broke but don’t even offer to get jobs themselves to help her out. They’re living in her home for God’s sake!I fully understand why Buffy would never ask them, but it’s a problem with the writers that they dropped the ball with Willow and Tara. If attention is going to be brought to these issues, then everyone must be looked at, not just Buffy.

    I agree completely with this point. It always bothered me that Tara and Willow were living in Buffy’s home and never contributed financially. My sister and I would always as ourselves, “Why aren’t Willow and Tara helping?”

    Another question, how have Willow and Tara paid for even basic necessities without jobs? Are we supposed to assume that they’re receiving help from their families?

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  73. [Note: Sirena posted this comment on July 1, 2016.]

    Hi benny,

    “Normal Again” is one of my favorite episodes of the sixth season. Unfortunately, we the viewers learn that Buffy hasn’t been institutionalized and Sunnydale is all too real. I understand that BTVS is a work of fiction, but the characters inhabit a world where having an income is a necessity, and Willow and Tara do not have jobs.

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  74. [Note: Boscalyn posted this comment on July 26, 2016.]

    Holy crap, I cannot stop laughing at this. Okay, so it’s not like *groundbreaking* to say that the Trio are a precursor to male geek entitlement and Gamergate and yawn whatever. But what is hilarious is that Warren decides to deal with Buffy by just giving a demon her personal information and address and telling it to attack.

    Warren doxxes Buffy!!

    Like

  75. [Note: Revenge Demon posted this comment on August 30, 2016.]

    willow and Tara were taking care of dawn while buffy was dead and they would continue to do it even if she wasnt resurrected! they obviously helped a big time!!!! I am not even fan of these 2 characters but even i wouldnt say something like this… As for helping who says they didnt? I doubt they were spending Joyce money for themselves… and the house is buffy’s of course she has to deal with the money issue… yeah they could offer but at the end of the day they are both unemployed young girls still in university its not like they could offer much and i am pretty sure they help with the food and stuff… sometimes i really dont get btvs fans… they hate and like the most weird things…

    The gun comment was stupid yeah but its not like i am going to bother much by it.. lots of times buffy’s and others one lines during fights are lame and cheesy in an American action movie kind of way…

    what bothers me here is Giles’s “u are a stupid girl” to willow tbh it seems really sudden and harsh tbh… i would never expect giles to talk to willow like that and it was kinda uncalled for so early… yeah willow did a strong black magic thing but lets be honest here… her line of thinking that buffy would have ended in a hell dimension was very logical… and if that was actually teh case anyone would have praised her… its our advantage as the viewers to know that she shouldnt considering the circumstances but the otehr characters dont! yet they act like they know…. and before buffy is acting weird… hello! angel season 3!! i dont like dark willow too (duh!) but giles shouldnt act so mad about it… he has done way worse and some of them to Buffy…

    Like

  76. [Note: Sirena posted this comment on August 30, 2016.]

    Hi Revenge Demon,

    I’m not arguing that Willow and Tara did not help with taking care of dawn or that they did not help with the day to day tasks of living in a home with a dependent teenager. However, the fact remains that they are still living in Buffy’s home when she is resurrected. If you are going to live in a person’s home, friend or no friend, then you should help contribute financially. The fact that they are in college does not mean that they cannot find jobs. I know plenty of college students who attended full-time and worked.

    Lastly, you said, “I’m not a fan of these 2 characters but i wouldn’t say something like this…” So, in other words, I can’t state my opinion on this issue? The whole point of this forum is to discuss the episodes and contribute our thoughts.

    Like

  77. [Note: Sirena posted this comment on August 30, 2016.]

    Hi Revenge Demon,

    I realize that you may not be referring to my comment specifically, but I am unable to edit the comment once it has been posted.

    Like

  78. [Note: Revenge demon posted this comment on August 30, 2016.]

    Hey!

    No i wasnt referring to u particularly…

    I said i am not fan of them in order to show that i am unbiased in this one… Of course u can express your opinnion ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  79. [Note: NightLady posted this comment on August 31, 2016.]

    On the topic of Willow and Tara living at Buffy’s house: why does everyone assume that they weren’t contributing? Sure they didn’t have the resources to cover all the expenses that had accumulated since Joyce’s disease – medical expenses , taxes on the house and so on (and on the other hand, why would they have to?) but it’ quite obvious to me that they did contribute financially. How else would they all, Dawn included, have bought food when Buffy was dead? And how could Buffy provide for them all with the ludicrous pay she had to get from the Doublemeat Palace?

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  80. [Note: TheDoThatGirl posted this comment on February 11, 2017.]

    Okay, I’ve read through everything and I know some of these points have been made by others, but I’ll add my own two-cents here. To say that Willow and Tara did not contribute financially to the house, yet ask Buffy to get a job is a bit unrealistic. Tara, for one, would not be that selfish and I’ve always felt that she had a job, or work-study during seasons 4 and 5 that would have been used to support herself. Either that or the refund amount from grants, scholarships and loans as I doubted that her father gave her money- Probably enough to keep her tethered with the sense of owing him so she would come back to the family to go along with that ‘You’re a demon’ BS he fed to her. But, back to my original point- The money from Joyce’ life insurance was used for the home (which sat there doing nothing as Anya stated- taxes, mortgage and all that other stuff that makes me wish I was a kid again hopping from couch to couch pretending the floor is lava) the money from the insurance was used for those things, as well as Dawn’s clothes and school supplies and possibly doctor visits as back-to-school physicals and immunizations are often a thing kids have to do. Factor all of that in with mortgages and taxes and bills, and Joyce’s hospital bills and funeral costs, then yes, I see the insurance money going completely downhill. And Tara more than likely used her student aid refunds to help out with food and bills, and/or more than likely got a job once Daddy Dearest cut her off.

    Now, Willow… I’m certain she was given a full ride to school, given her brains and test scores. Plus, as it is stated later in the comics (which are canon) that she believes she and Tara could’ve raised Dawn on their own- implying she was receiving money from somewhere. But, the money that both of them received was in no way enough to cover a huge house in a California suburb near the Pacific Ocean and L.A. (Honestly, you’d think with all the death that the property value would be a little lower…)

    And on another note- and this is the part where I wait for the rabid fans to stone me- yes, it was harsh to demand that Buffy get a job so soon after being brought back from the dead when she never asked them too, but it was expected- I just expected it from Anya honestly, though considering Anya doesn’t live there, and more than likely just helped out with Dawn (as she stated in Older and Far Away). Buffy’s back in the world- whether she likes it or not, and now has to be IN the world because the world doesn’t care. Here’s a comparison- no one asks to be born, but then they are and the world expects you to learn to walk, talk, eat solids and poop by yourself… Buffy has to do the same, whether she wants to or not. It’s harsh, but it is what it is. So, yes, to keep up the home they wanted to live it, Buffy would have had to get a job as Dawn was only fifteen and not able to work yet. And even so, do we really think that they would let Dawn get an afterschool job on the Hellmouth with how overprotective and sheltering they were of her?

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  81. [Note: Sirena posted this comment on February 11, 2017.]

    Hi TheDoThatGirl,

    You’ve brought up some interesting points. I’ve never read the comics so I only have the show on which to base my opinions.

    “And on another note- and this is the part where I wait for the rabid fans to stone me- yes, it was harsh to demand that Buffy get a job so soon after being brought back from the dead when she never asked them too, but it was expected…”

    I agree with you that Buffy is ultimately the person who is responsible for supporting herself and Dawn. Perhaps, it is a failure on the part of the writers who could’ve addressed this issue but didn’t (at least in the show).

    Like

  82. [Note: Sirena posted this comment on February 11, 2017.]

    I just came across this blog called Robert’s Reviews: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Six. He addresses the issue of finances in his review of the episode “Flooded.” Here a quote from his posting:

    “This episode introduced a running issue of the season: Buffy’s financial problems. I couldn’t help but wonder if Willow and Tara were contributing anything to the upkeep of Buffy’s house or whether they were using Joyce’s life insurance money to support themselves as well as Dawn (maybe that was part of why it ran out so fast). Willow might have arranged something with her parents so that the money they would have paid for her campus housing and meal plan would go to her room and board at Buffy’s house instead. Tara had been abandoned by her family and doesn’t seem to have any source of income, but she strikes me as much too responsible and compassionate to freeload on an orphan. In contrast, it was likely that Buffy had not been responsible enough to get her own life insurance policy when she became Dawn’s guardian. Why didn’t Joyce’s medical insurance pay the medical expenses instead of forcing them to dip into the life insurance? The truly catastrophic medical costs usually accrue when a person is hospitalized for many months; Joyce seemed to be out of the hospital pretty quickly. However, since Joyce was self-employed (I got the impression that she owned the gallery), she might not have been able to afford extensive medical coverage for herself and her daughters so chose to have them fully covered instead of herself. Did anyone consider a malpractice lawsuit? Anya was right about how much owning a house costs. In addition to mortgage payments, there are also taxes, electricity, water, heating, insurance, garbage collection, telephone, cable porn, and more. This is why most twenty-year-olds, like Buffy, are unable to own or even rent a house. Buffy’s attempt to get a loan from a bank, was a common misconception about the way banks really function. Bankruptcy or welfare would have been the most appropriate courses of action for someone in Buffy’s circumstances, but these would also trigger a red flag at Child Protective Services and get Buffy’s dad involved. The Scoobies’ efforts to subvert the system in order to keep custody of Dawn, prevented Buffy from being able to make use of the social programs that were created to help people in her circumstances. When Buffy was talking to Giles about her financial situation, it would have been fun if she had asked him how the other slayers had been able to manage. Giles could have paused for a moment and then admit that all the other slayers had been killed before they had grown old enough to develop financial problems. Anya’s idea to charge for slaying has a variation that might work. Perhaps the Watcher’s Council would provide her with a salary on the condition that she play by their rules. This could set up some interesting conflicts between her and them as they “blackmail” her into behaving herself.”

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  83. [Note: Poltargyst posted this comment on March 14, 2017.]

    I liked the earlier seasons of Buffy. I have little interest in watching Buffy have to deal with the mundane issues of life that I have to deal with. I watch because I want to see Buffy kick vampire butt. I get no pleasure watching Buffy wonder how to pay the bills. I’ve been there enough myself.

    But since they went there, I don’t think Buffy would want to be paid by the Watcher’s Council. Working for them means going back under their thumb, and Buffy went through a lot to be independent. Plus after telling them to get stuffed, I don’t know that the Council would be willing to pay her or have her back.

    There’s nothing wrong with Anya’s suggestion. It’s no different than what Angel is doing. Start a supernatural aid and rescue operation for pay. I get Mike’s suggestions that Sunnydale might be too small a town to make a go of it, so okay, but if Buffy happens to stumble upon a wealthy person needing demon relief, I hope she charges.

    I’m going to trust that Willow and Tara have been contributing student loan money to the cause but it hasn’t been enough, and the money is running out. And really, Buffy shouldn’t have to work. She has saved all of their lives many times over. All the Scoobies know it, and they know that her job is to keep saving their lives over and over and that it is a full time job. They should each be contributing financially so that Buffy doesn’t have to work. If they can’t colletively pull together enough money to support the house, then they need to sell it, and Buffy and Dawn can live in an apartment together.

    I haven’t watched Buffy since it originally aired, but I know there’s an episode coming up where she’ll have to work in a fast food place. I’m not real happy about the thought of that.

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