Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Buffy: 2.7 ‘Lie to Me'

Buffy and Dru Pictures, Images and Photos

Writer: Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon

What's the sitch?

Ford, an old friend of Buffy’s from her school in LA turns up at Sunnydale High to finish up his senior year. Buffy is elated to see her old friend who was also a crush of hers when she was younger. Much to Angel and Xander’s displeasure, Buffy and Ford seem to pick u where they left off. But Ford is keeping a dark secret from Buffy. He’s secretly hanging out with a cult who worship vampires and want to become the undead. Ford has his own tragic reasons for this and is willing to do anything to achieve his goal…even if it means handing over his old friend Buffy to the baddest vampire in town: Spike.

What's the sitch beneath the sitch?

As you can probably tell by the episodes title, this one is all about lies and secrets and trust…or lack their of. The lies and deceptions have been piling up throughout this season so far and then come on big time here. Almost everyone is lying to Buffy. Angel lies to her about seeing Drusilla (which Buffy saw him do), Angel, Willow and Xander snoop in to Ford’s past without telling her, and of course Ford himself is lying to her about what he’s really doing in Sunnydale and what his intentions are. He also lies to the other vampire wannabes telling them they will be changed when in fact they are just the buffet and he is the only one due to become undead. I guess it’s kind of a cautionary tale from Joss about how lies beget lies and lead to nothing good. Although, at the end, after Buffy is forced to slay a risen Ford, she asks Giles if life will always be this hard and confusing once she’s grown up. Giles asks her if she wants the truth. And Buffy says: “Lie to me.” So Giles tells her that everything becomes much easier and clearer and no one ever dies and everyone rides off in to the sunset and lives happily ever after. Buffy just replies sadly, “Liar.”

Who's giving us the wiggins this week?

Ford and Spike

Why it rocks

It’s a Joss written/directed episode. What more do you need?

Okay, you need more? The underground vampire club and its geeky denizens are most amusing – especially Diego and his silly cape.

Joss’s script is smart, witty and multi-layered. On the surface it’s a story about someone willing to do anything to avoid their own death including murder and betrayal. Beneath that it is all about relationships, trust and honesty.

The showdown at the end in the locked in vampire club is nicely tense and you feel Buffy’s desperation in trying to convince these misguided kids that they are about to die horribly.

As always Sarah turns in a wonderful performance as Buffy. The immaturity and vulnerability of the character is on display early on with her suspicion and petty jealousy and her willingness to play silly games with Angel to try and make him jealous. But her grit and determination to save the kids shines through by episodes end as well as her unswerving knowledge of what’s right including finally having to slay Ford despite her feelings for him. This is something that will come in to play again big time before this season is done.

Spike and Dru are back at the forefront again. And Spike is wonderfully witty and cutting. He pretty much steals the show.

Julia Lee who plays vampire wannabe Chantarelle is lovely.

Why it sucks

Jason Behr who plays Ford is an actor I’ve never liked. To me he has always been totally wooden and one note. As a result he makes no impact here whatsoever.

It's Buftastic

Angel at the underground vampire club bemoaning the vamp wannabes and how they look and dress…only to find himself standing right next to a guy who’s dressed exactly the same as him. A brief but wonderful comic beat.

Dialogue to die for

Xander: "'This is Ford, my bestest friend of all my friends!' Jeez, doesn't she know any fat guys?"

Xander: "Angel was in your bedroom?
Willow: "Ours is a forbidden love."

Buffy: "What I see is that, right after the sun goes down, Spike and all of his friends are going to be pigging out at the all-you-can-eat moron bar."

And another thing

Jason Behr went on to star in the Buffy-like sci fi show Roswell. In 2004 he reunited with Sarah Michelle Gellar, playing her boyfriend in The Grudge

The lovely Julia Lee who plays Chantarelle reprises the role in season 3 opener ‘Anne’. She then comes back for several episodes of Angel.

How many stakes?

I won’t lie. It’s great. 4 (out of 5)

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