Thursday, 23 August 2012
BUFFY 5.14: THE CRUSH
WRITER: David Fury
DIRECTOR: Daniel Attias
WHAT’S THE SITCH?
A train pulls in to Sunnydale station. All its passengers are dead, drained of blood. Buffy investigates, knowing that a vampire was to blame. Meanwhile Dawn hangs out with Spike who she thinks is cool and who she has a bit of a crush on. But she soon works out that he is in love with her sister. She tells Buffy this, much to the Slayer’s horror. And so Buff goes and confronts Spike who finally admits it to her. Buff, appalled, tells him to stay away from her. Soon, though, the new vamp in town makes herself known: Drusilla. She’s back and looking to put the old family back together with newly vamped Darla back in LA and Angel primed to turn evil again. Despite his chip it seems that Spike is tempted but he bluffs both Dru and Buff and knocks them both out and chains them both up in his crypt where he intends to prove his love to Buffy by staking Dru for her. But Buff is less than impressed….and then Harmony, Spike’s current girlfriend turns up, looking for payback. Ouch!
WHAT’S THE SITCH BENEATH THE SITCH?
Love makes you do the Whacky as Buff herself once said. And it certainly does here to poor old Spike. Caught in a love and loyalty trap between his old paramour and sire, the mad as a box of frogs Drusilla, and the girl he’s fallen head over heels for, his one time sworn enemy, the Buffster. Add in the poor used and abused Harmony and Spike has got himself in a pretty pickle here. His solution is…uh…interesting and makes sense in his brain: finally dispose of his past to prove what his future can be with the one he truly loves. Only it doesn’t quite work out that way for poor William, the sensitive, permanently love struck poet.
WHO’S GIVING US THE WIGGINS THIS WEEK?
WHY IT ROCKS
James Marsters. This is a Spike episode. It’s all about him, who he is, what he is feeling, what he is prepared to do about it. And James is as great as ever. Whether he’s telling scary stories by candlelight to Dawn, drinking bourbon and singing along to The Ramones, declaring his love to Buff, or having a full-on rant at the two most important women in his life (who he’s just chained up in his crypt) for making his life so sodding miserable, he’s a powerhouse.
Spike and Harmony’s sexcapades. Love how Spike gets Harm to dress up like Buffy and role play being her, hunting him, trying to stake him, before he goes and grabs her for some, ahem, action.
Juliette Landau. I know she gets a hard time from a lot of fans. And, yes, the accent still sucks, and the craziness can be kinda grating, but Juliette always manages to make Dru truly creepy and disconcerting. I like her. I’m a Dru fan. And seeing the old double act back together (if only briefly) is pretty cool.
WHY IT SUCKS
The story is fine and all but there are better Spike (and Dru) episodes out there. Good but not that memorable.
Why the heck does Buff let Dru just walk out of Spike’s crypt? Why didn’t she call Spike’s bluff when she was chained up and get him to stake Dru once and for all? I’m glad Dru is still around but it doesn’t make a whole heap of sense. Dru is a true monster. But Buff just lets her go. And come to think of it, if she hates Spike as much as she says she does, why doesn’t she just stake him too and be done? We can only assume that somewhere deep down she does have some feelings for him. Either that or she is just using him because she knows he is strong and good in a fight. Maybe a bit of both.
The happy, fluffy ending Spike gives to the scary story he’s telling Dawn when Buffy suddenly turns up. Most amusing.
DIALOGUE TO DIE FOR
Xander: Hey, evil dead, you're in my seat.
(Spike mutters and leaves)
Anya: Xander, I think you may have hurt his feelings.
Xander: (dismissive) You should never hurt the feelings of a brutal killer. (Reconsiders) You know, that's actually some pretty good advice.
Xander: The point is, I work hard for that money.
Spike: And you're saying I didn't?
Xander: You stole it!
Spike: And you're making it into very hard work!
Dawn: I feel safe with you.
Spike (chokes on his beer): Take that back!
Buffy: These vamps have been here for a while. They've nested.
Spike: So, you're saying they're a couple of poofters?
Harmony: What the heck is this? Who is— Oh wait, I get it. Our little sex game was just the beginning. Now you've gone and picked up some cheap queen of the damned to dress up like your precious Droodzilla. Well, you'd better not be thinking what I think you're thinking, because my answer is the same as always — no threesomes unless it's boy-boy-girl. Or Charlize Theron.
Spike (shouting): Aaaarrrggghh! Gaaagggghhhhhh! What the bleeding hell is wrong with you bloody women? What the hell does it take? Why do you bitches torture me?
Buffy: (dryly) Which question do you want me to answer first?
AND ANOTHER THING
The Crush takes place after the Angel episode Redefinition in which Angel, having gone bad but not soulless, traps Darla and Dru and sets them on fire. Hence the scars on Dru in this ep.
HOW MANY STAKES?
Hardly crushing. 2.5 (out of 5)