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Season 2, Episode 11: Ted

In this episode!

  • Content warning: domestic violence.
  • Mark provides the style report:
    • Buffy had thin eyebrows, which changed her look completely
    • Cordelia’s new look was “very pulled together”
    • Katherine is curious–does anyone else notice these things?
  • We would love to have an expert on fashion come and do a special episode of The Cleveland Hellmouth. Anyone out there want to join us?
  • Mark asks, “Does anybody get any action that they don’t deeply regret?” Katherine says tentatively, yes?
  • Mark is most upset that Buffy spoke to the cop without getting a lawyer first.
  • Katherine points out that this business of Buffy killing Ted is a big deal and will be important later. Unlike Buffy, though, we think killing Ted was a great idea.
  • Why the controversy over this episode? Katherine explains that many fans were upset that there was no paranormal activity. It is the sole episode of Buffy without paranormal activity in the A story. Many fans complained it was straight up Science Fiction. Katherine says she doesn’t care. What do you think?
  • Mark says, this episode is especially creepy in light of Anthony Sowell and Arial Castro cases. The Hellmouth being located in Cleveland makes more and more sense.
  • We noticed that it is interesting that there is minimal religion in Buffy, yet in this episode, Ted prays. Mark calls his praying, “attack prayers” and suggests that Jesus wouldn’t like it.
  • We love Jenny and Giles. We think they are acting like adults and actually have a pretty healthy relationship. We really like that.
  • Mark noticed that in the scene where Xander is leaning against the vending machine that all the items in one row are upside down. Did anyone else notice this?
  • Cordelia points out that since Buffy is a superhero, doesn’t she have more rights than ordinary people? (Remind Buffy fans of anything?) Willow says that is the view of the fascist state. Cordelia asks why we can’t have that, and I would suggest, here we are now!
  • Mark makes an interesting comparison between Buffy and Mohammad Ali.
  • Katherine asks, “Why is Ted a great cook?”
  • Mark is ultimately unhappy by this episode because he feels that unlike every other episode of Buffy that we’ve seen, this one could be lifted out to stand on its own. It isn’t (beyond the Giles and Jenny part) part of the larger narrative arc. For that reason, it is disappointing. Katherine, natch, disagrees.
  • We are considering having a rate the episode so that listeners to this podcast and decide which is the best and worst of Buffy.

Shout outs: To the podcast Writing Excuses which has nothing whatsoever to do with Buffy, but it just a wonderful podcast on writing.

Must read or watch: The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin

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Season 2, Episode 8: The Dark Age

In this episode!

  • Mark’s favorite part of this episode is the relationship between Jenny and Giles. Mark wonders what she sees in him (oh, Mark) but he figures it out. Mark doesn’t like how the relationship ends up though
  • Katherine and Mark argue about Buffy’s treatment of Giles. Katherine says, Buffy forgives and understands; Mark thinks Buffy is schooling him. What do you think?
  • Mark no longer likes Ethan Raine. Says he’s a jerkface. What do you think?
  • We loved the horror transformation of Jenny.
  • We continue to disagree. Katherine loved Willow in the library; Mark thought Willow was stilted.
  • We love Cordelia and how she is evolving. Mark thought it was a little strange that Xander and Cordy were cuddling. (Katherine smirks.)
  • Katherine is really really bugged about the whole blood bank thing. Is she being overly concerned?
  • We love Giles talking about his use and abuse of magic in college as an addiction, a drug. Katherine says we need to remember this comparison.
  • Katherine finds interesting that Giles looked for the worst group that would have him when he was in his Ripper phase. Mark asks a great question: what type of group would be so bad they wouldn’t want Giles?
  • Possessed Jenny says, “Nothing is safe in this world.” Is this true, listeners? Katherine thinks that is the scariest moment in the scene. With the election of Trump, Katherine thinks possessed Jenny might be right.
  • We think Giles should have told Buffy the truth about Igon.
  • Mark has a hard time remembering happiness. Katherine reminds him about his red bike and his little dog, and Mark realizes that there can be happiness in the world and he wants it for Jenny and Giles, but he’d prefer that the tension get built up a bit more first.

We are proud to say that there is not one spoiler in this episode of our podcast. đŸ˜‰

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Season 2, Episode 7: Lie to Me

In this episode!

  • Mark was stunned by the cold open, and it brought back bad memories of his being a middle child. We wonder, do we agree with the Mind Robbers podcast that this kid has a bad mother?
  • Katherine makes a connection between Dracula by Bram Stoker and Buffy. Is Drusilla the Bloofer Lady? Should we have a special segment on Dracula? Hmmm, maybe around season 5? đŸ˜‰Â  Also, Mark hates Drusilla and did a terrible imitation of her. Katherine thinks she is great.
  • Mark makes an astonishing claim that Jenny Calendar is Giles’ manic pixie dream girl. This is patently absurd. Where do our listeners stand on this?
  • Mark didn’t like Nathan Ford immediately and Katherine doesn’t remember how she felt the first time. We both agree that he is evil though.
  • Mark suggests that the vampire groupies were ridiculous. He can’t imagine why anyone would want to be a vampire. Katherine agrees with that part, but Mark continues the argument by saying that vampires aren’t happy, or rarely so., and being a vampire must be incredibly boring. What’s the draw?
  • Katherine was able to reveal something to Mark–that Ford does get turned into a vampire, and Buffy kills him. Mark said the roses that Buffy had were symbolic of a mob hit. Hmm, seems unlikely to Katherine. What do you think?
  • While one of our holy texts says that this is an episode about obsession, we disagree and think it is really more about secrets and well, lies. The only person in the end who did not lie to Buffy was Giles, until she asked him to do so.
  • On a final note, Katherine needs to remind everyone that once again, Xander was right. He usually is.
  • On a final final note, the episode was initially broadcast in the US on Nov. 3, 1997.

Shout outs

Marcia Camino who says that we are the silliest of silly butts. Sure! đŸ˜‰

Mind Robbers vs. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Podcast. Fun podcast, but beware because they love to spoil anything that Joss Whedon has written. Also, sadly, they ended the podcast before the last few seasons of Buffy. I’ve tweeted with both of them, and they don’t plan on finishing. ;-(  Still, fun podcast to listen to.

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I Robot, You Jane

In this episode!

Housekeeping

  • We’re concerned—did Katherine use the word “actually” enough times?
  • Is Bella our biggest fan?

The show itself!

  • Mark reminisces about old computers and computer programs.
  • Listeners—where is Sunnydale in Jenny’s internet circle? Is it in the middle or on the circumference? This could change everything!
  • Katherine and Mark debate Buffy’s comment about her hair. Mark thinks it’s either a joke or superficial. Katherine says there is nothing superficial about a teenage girl’s concern about her hair. We need our two listeners  to decide if Buffy is joking or not.
  • Mark likes Jenny Calendar in that she overturns the clichĂ© of the anti-spirituality computer programmer.
  • Katherine is excited by the idea in Buffy that there have always been good people who fought and now fight against evil; it isn’t just our valiant cohort.
  • Mark asks: Why Buffy? Why is it important from the pop culture standpoint? Why is it important from a literary standpoint?
  • Katherine responds with: she loves the feminism and the female protagonists, but her favorite thing is the friendships. We’d love to know why you love Buffy.

Resources

Katherine commented about a terrific essay she read. She read it in the book Seven Seasons of Buffy:Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Discuss Their Favorite Television Show, edited by Glenn Yeffeth, which has been referenced on this show before; however, the essay is available on line. It is called “A Buffy Confession” by Justine Larbalestier.

In this essay, Larbalestier creates what she calls “Buffy Mini-Festivals” for those times you want to watch Buffy but don’t feel like binging the whole show. Her suggestions for episodes to pull together is inspired. Perhaps it is needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), this is for those of you who have watched Buffy already.

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