Tuesday, 21 June 2011
BUFFY: 3.19 'CHOICES'
Short promo for the episode
WRITER: David Fury
DIRECTOR: James A. Contner
WHAT'S THE SITCH?
Buffy gets good news about her choice of potential colleges. She has been accepted to several including some really good ones and desperately wants to leave town if /when she graduates. Unfortunately new Watcher Wesley is having none of this and tells Buffy she must stay and guard the Hellmouth. If she can stop the coming ascension Buffy believes that she can still go away to school and leave Giles and co to keep the common or garden vamps at bay until she comes back in her college breaks. So with this in mind Buffy becomes proactive and takes the fight to the Mayor. She, Angel and Willow steal from the Mayor the mystical Box of Gavrok, which forms an integral part of his ascension. Problem is Willow goes and gets captured by Faith before she can escape. And so Buffy proposes a swap – the box of Gavrok for Willow. The Mayor accepts. And so the scene is set for a night time covert exchange – a witch for a box. But as the two parties gather at Sunnydale High the box accidentally lets loose a whole bunch of creepy nasties on the gathered foes.
WHAT'S THE SITCH BENEATH THE SITCH?
As with a lot of Buffy episodes the theme is right there in the title. In this episode Buffy and the gang are making decisions about their futures, about where life will take them when school finishes…providing they survive graduation of course. It’s about growing up and moving on. For Buffy and Willow this is all about where to go to college, about them breaking free of their old life. Meanwhile Xander is also limited by not being the academic type. He seems destined for the open road, for the University of Life. And at the same time Angel is starting to wrestle with the huge choice he is soon going to make; a choice brilliantly vocalised by the Mayor when he spells out to both vampire and slayer the hard truth about their relationship.
WHO'S GIVING US THE WIGGINS THIS WEEK?
The Mayor, Faith, and billions of horrid spider things contained in the Box of Gavrok.
WHY IT ROCKS
The theme of choices. It’s an important one especially in this stage of a young person’s life. What they now do when school days are over; where they go; what they try to become; what path to choose in life. For Buffy that path seems set in stone, and though she tries valiantly to take another, she remains firmly on the path marked Sunnydale slayer.
The Mayor. Once again Harry Groener shows us why he is the best Buffy big bad ever. The guy isn’t just plain evil. He has depth and is a complex guy who just can’t help offering fatherly advice and guidance to young people…even ones he intends to kill horribly. And his advice is sound.
Stealing the Box of Gavrok. Buffy goes all Mission: Impossible by being lowered in a harness to snatch the box without setting off alarms. But being Buffy it all goes wrong and some witty fisticuffs soon become needed.
Willow. Willow is great in this episode. She stands up to Faith beautifully, telling her some hard home truths. Also gotta love her using her floaty pencil trick to dust a vamp. Heh.
Faith and her new knife.
Snyder. Armin Shimerman is fab as Principle Snyder. He’s on a drug busting crusade, convinced all his students are using or selling drugs but only finding innocent packed lunches much to his annoyance. Then when he finds Buffy and the gang late at night in the school he thinks he’s hit pay dirt. Unfortunately evil spiders escaping a magical box quickly prove him wrong.
Oz’s reaction to the debate about whether or not to bargain for Willow’s release.
WHY IT SUCKS
Thematically it works fine but the overall story concerning the Box of Gavrok is nothing too special.
Willow standing up to Faith.
DIALOGUE TO DIE FOR
Willow: “Hey, I eat danger for breakfast.”
Xander: “But, oddly enough, she panics in the face of breakfast foods.”
Buffy: “Faith's turn to the dark side of the Force pretty much put the proverbial kibosh on any away plans for me.”
Buffy (about Oxford): "That's where they make Gileses."
Buffy: “Unfortunately that's all I could get out of my informant before his aggressive tendencies forced me to introduce him to Mr. Pointy.”
Willow (to Faith): "I know you had a tough life. I know that some people think you had a lot of bad breaks. Well, boo hoo! Poor you."
Principal Snyder (to Buffy and the gang): "You! All of you. Why couldn't you be dealing drugs like normal people?"
AND ANOTHER THING
The City Hall rooftop is the same set used for the library rooftop in season 1 finale ‘Prophecy Girl’.
HOW MANY STAKES?
I choose 3 (out of 5)