Sunday, 15 July 2012


Episode promo

WRITER: Rebecca Rand Kirshner

DIRECTOR: David Solomon


Good news! Joyce’s brain tumour is operable but the problems it is causing her are getting worse – mood swings, uncontrolled verbal outbursts etc. Unwilling to stay in the hospital for the two days until her op, Joyce and Buffy convince the doctor to let her return home to wait until its time for the surgery. Reluctantly the doc agrees. And so Buff takes her mom home. Unfortunately a Queller Demon summoned from space by intern Ben (who is somehow connected to Glory) in order to suck dry the minds of the insane peeps Glory is leaving in her wake, hitches a ride with the Summers girls, looking to target poor Joyce as its next meal. Elsewhere, seems Riley is hanging out in filthy dives with trashy vampire girls and paying them to suck on his…blood.


Our changing roles in life and having to adopt new roles we never expected to adopt. From this episode on Buffy basically takes on the mother and primary carer role for Dawn, and also, for a while at least, for her mom too. Having missed out on a proper adolescence Buff is now, at such a young age (only 19 still as of this ep), having to become the adult of the house, the primary carer for her family. Being the hero she is, she of course steps up to the task, but the private little breakdown we witness as she does the washing up in the dark is very telling. She may have averted apocalypses and saved the world, but this is possibly the scariest and most traumatic challenge she’s yet had to face.


The Queller Demon – a kind of giant cockroach with a human face that vomits disgusting goo over its victims. Gross!


The main theme of the episode. As explained above, this works well in talking about what so many people in real life have to deal with, often at such young ages – forced through circumstance to become carers for close family members.

The Queller Demon. It sure is a gross little bug thing that slimes and crawls around walls and ceilings, vomiting its ghastly goo on people. It’s actually one of the most effective (in being gross) demons the show ever did and seems more like something from the X-Files rather than the Buffyverse.

Willow aka Tiny Jewish Santa. Early on in the ep Willow visits Joyce and Buffy and Dawn at the hospital and brings gifts for them all - a ‘Tiny Jewish Santa’ as Buffy observes. Gotta love the Willster

Kristine Sutherland. Again, the lady knocks it out of the park, portraying Joyce’s fear and frustration and also her deteriorating mental state. Watching poor Joyce as she acts irrationally and babbles inanely (including insulting her daughter) is very sad, especially for those of us who have known (and do know) people in similar conditions. Excellent work.

SMG. And Sarah knocks it out of the park too. Once again poor Buff is put through the emotional wringer. She is trying desperately to be strong for Dawn and for her mom, but it is all getting to be too much. Her private breakdown in the darkened kitchen is very affecting as is her scene at the end when she is forced to reveal the truth about Dawn to her mom and also promise her that she’ll look after her lil sis if anything happens to Joyce.

Riley and the vamp hoes. Okay, so Riley is seeking his thrills in filthy, seedy ‘crack dens’ paying vamp girls to suck on his blood for thrills. Complicated guy.


The Queller Demon story is ok but as an ‘A’ story it is fairly ho hum. Luckily everything else around it i.e. Joyce’s illness and Buffy’s emotional struggle is great.


Giles: Because it's a killer snot monster from outer space. (pause) I did not say that.


Willow: Oh, I feel just like Santa Claus... except thinner, and younger, and... female. And, well... Jewish.

Buffy: Homework? Unh. I don't believe in tiny Jewish Santa anymore.

Willow: You know what's weird?
Tara: Japanese commercials are weird.

Riley (about the stinky alien goo): That might be toxic, don't touch it.
Xander: Oh yeah, touching it was my first impulse. Luckily I've moved on to my second, which involves dry-heaving, and running like hell.

Xander: I still don't get why we had to come here to get info about a killer snot monster.
Giles: Because it's a killer snot monster from outer space. (pause) I did not say that.

Joyce: …Dawn... she's not mine, is she?
Buffy (after long pause): No.
Joyce (after another pause): She's... she does belong to us though?
Buffy: Yes she does.
Joyce: And she's important. To the world. Precious? As precious as you are to me?
(Buffy nods.)
Joyce: Then we have to take care of her. Buffy, promise me. If anything happens, if I don't get through this—
Buffy: Mom…
Joyce: No, listen to me. No matter what she is, she still feels like my daughter. I have to know that you'll take care of her. That you'll keep her safe. That you'll love her like I love you.
Buffy (crying): I promise.


Nick Chinlund, who plays Major Ellis, is a TV and movie genre favourite having played the nasty death fetishist Donnie Pfaster in two memorable episodes of The X-Files, Billy Bedlam is Con Air, and the gruff merc Toombs in The Chronicles of Riddick amongst many others.


Snot that great. 2.5 (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment