Season 2, Episode 15: Phases

In this episode! (Note: there is much discussion of Catholic philosophy at the end of this. Quite interesting, says Agnostic Katherine)

  • We begin this episode as we do most with an argument. Mark asserts that Xander is homophobic, and Katherine says he isn’t
  • Katherine shows Mark that there are several callbacks in this episode. Note that Xander speaks about being part of the hyena pack, and the great scene with Oz and Willow at the trophy case (shout out to Nina)  and the connection to episode 3 “The Witch” is clear.
  • Mark points out the bands are back, and Katherine said she loved 5 of the songs.
  • Katherine is curious about Mark’s reception to Oz learning he is a werewolf. Katherine can’t find a podcast that likes this. We love it and think it is exactly the way Oz would handle any crisis.
  • Katherine also loves the Larry misdirect, that he could possibly be the one who killed Theresa.
  • So, gang, it comes to this—who is right?
  • Katherine and Mark throw down over Larry. Mark thinks Xander is being homophobic; Katherine says maybe a teeny tiny bit, but overall, it is awkwardness and the fact that Larry has been a bully to Xander his entire life. Katherine argues that Xander is noble in not sharing Larry’s coming out to him.
  • Mark is glad we finally know Xander’s phone number.
  • Mark points out the diffference between vampires and werewolves; werewolves have a soul. Katherine reminds Mark that Giles also said that werewolves don’t have a conscience.
  • We are split on Giles. Katherine thinks he was delighted by most things in this episode, even Xander’s dumb jokes. Mark agrees that Giles is in good spirits, but that he was mocking Xander. What do you think?
  • We are intrigued that Xander still can’t get his romantic act together. He is jealous of Oz and Willow, and still has feelings for Buffy. Xander, Xander, Xander.
  • Mark was initially confused about embalming vampires, but ultimately resolved this problem.
  • We agree that Theresa’s death is tragic and Katherine raises the issue of whose responsibility it is (duh, besides Angelus.) Is it at all Buffy’s fault since Buffy could have killed Angelus in the last episode but didn’t?
  • Mark thinks a key theme of the episode is that Buffy is grappling with the fact that she is a killer. In response to Katherine, Mark engages in a really interesting lecture on “proximate cause.” He argues because of this liability law, Buffy is ultimately not responsible for Theresa’s death
  • Mark next discusses the responsibility vs. Grace (jump to 37:10 into the podcast) which is fascinating to Katherine because Katherine is obsessed with issues of responsibility. One suggestion that Mark makes is that it may not be possible to keep one’s hands clean. One has to make moral decisions in the world and sometimes these decisions result in people getting hurt. This can’t be avoided, and choosing not to make a decision can actually result in greater harm. Katherine, while relistening to this podcast is stunned by this discussion. She thinks of these issues often.
  • Mark suggests that while we need to give Buffy slack, at the same time, her hope that Angelus will return and become Angel again is a dangerous belief that could lead to further problems. (Wink wink audience.)
  • Katherine and Mark end by talking about how we oppose killing werewolves because we are vegetarians, but have not problem with the killing of vampires.