Friday, 16 November 2012
BUFFY 5.18 'INTERVENTION'
Tribute to the Buffybot
WRITER: Jane Espenson
DIRECTOR: Michael Gershman
WHAT’S THE SITCH?
Giles takes Buffy out to the desert for a spiritual retreat to find focus and answers about the true nature of being the Slayer. Back in Sunnydale, the robot Buffy that Spike ordered from nasty Warren back in ‘I was made to love you’ has been completed with a very happy Spike using his new Buffybot for lots of role-play sexcapades. Unfortunately Buffy’s friends spot Spike and the Buffybot cavorting in the cemetery and, thinking that it is the real Buffy, they become worried and decide on an intervention to help her. Meanwhile, Glory discovers that the Key is human and dispatches her minions to find the person most important to Buffy and then bring them to her, believing that person will almost certainly be the Key. Charged with their new mission, Glory’s minions soon spot the Buffybot with Spike, the bot being extra protective of Spike in the midst of an unexpected vampire scrap. Thinking it is the real Buffy and convinced that Spike must be the Key, the minions kidnap him and take him to Glory, who pretty quickly discovers that Spike is not in fact the Key but decides to torture him until he tells her who is. Soon after, Buffy returns home from her spiritual retreat, smack bang in to her friend’s mistaken intervention. Bewildered, poor Buff thinks her friends have lost it when they accuse her of sleeping with Spike. And that’s when the Buffybot turns up and informs the shocked group that Spike has been kidnapped by Glory and must be rescued pronto. Disgusted by the bot and afraid that Spike will tell Glory about Dawn, Buffy heads out to find the platinum vamp and to put him down once and for all, hopefully before he can spill the beans to Glory about her little sis being the Key.
WHAT’S THE SITCH BENEATH THE SITCH?
It’s the continuing misadventures of Spike and his creepy and unrequited love for the Buffster. There are other themes at play here too, deeper and more serious ones about questioning what it means to be human (or a Slayer) and what effect does being outwardly hard and doing a hard and often deeply unpleasant job have on someone? These are the questions Buffy is asking herself and is worried she is losing her humanity. Maybe these are questions people in the real world ask themselves, for example people in the military who have to do awful things in order to do their duty and the toll it then takes on their soul.
WHO’S GIVING US THE WIGGINS THIS WEEK?
WHY IT ROCKS
Funny Buffy: Despite the Buffy soul searching and the torture of Spike (and Spike’s creepy sex doll sexcapades) Intervention is a highly fun episode. For starters it is a Jane Espenson script. And nobody brings the Buffy funny quite like Jane. The intervention itself is hilarious, especially with Xander trying to be understanding of Buffy’s supposed attraction to Spike and only making it sound as if he secretly fancies the platinum vamp himself. After the dark and emotionally intense last few episodes (especially The Body) it comes as something of a cleansing breath of air, allowing us to smile and laugh again. And a big part of that is down to…
The Buffybot: A crazily inspired creation of Joss, Jane and co, the Buffybot allows SMG to attack her role from an entirely new angle, allowing for pure and innocent comedy gold. You can tell Sarah is having way too much fun as the perpetually chirpy, childlike, Spike obsessed robobabe. She gets to blurt out truthful lines ala Anya but always with a bright and pretty smile and with a charming innocence and an eagerness to please. Thankfully Buffybot will stick around in to next season. And when she finally goes to the great robo scrap heap in the sky it says a lot that it gives the audience a genuine emotional punch, seeing as how we’ve all come to love her so much.
Spike the hero: Our favourite bad boy vamp gets put through the wringer here, beaten and tortured by Glory while trying to get out of him the truth about the Key. But Spike, a soulless monster, won’t give in. He would never betray Dawn. And at the end of the episode, in a nice bit of subterfuge, he gets a sweet and unexpected reward for his loyalty.
Giles doing the Hokey Pokey (or Okey Cokey to us Britishers)
WHY IT SUCKS
I’m with Buffy here. She is shocked and kinda appalled that her friends didn’t spot pretty quick that something was up with ‘her’. They spotted back in ‘I was made to love you’ that April was a robot pretty sharpish but couldn’t make the connection when their best friend started acting just like April? Great!
Every scene with the Buffybot
DIALOGUE TO DIE FOR
Buffybot: (to Willow and co. referring to sex with Spike): "It wasn't one time. It was lots of times, and lots of different ways. I can make sketches!"
Buffybot: "Angel's lame. His hair goes straight up, and he's bloody stupid!"
Buffybot (in the midst of conversation with Willow ): "You're recently gay!"
Glory (about Spike): "What the hell is that, and why is its hair that colour?"
Buffybot (seeing Buffy): "Say! look at you! You look just like me! We're very pretty."
Buffy: “I mean I can beat up the demons until the cows come home. And then, I can beat up the cows. But I'm not sure I like what it's doing to me.”
Buffybot (going out to patrol): “Time to slay. Vampires of the world beware!”
Tara (about Buffy): “You aren't really gonna slap her, are you?”
Xander: “No, but if I have to see her straddle Spike again I will definitely knock myself unconscious.”
Spirit Guide (to Buffy): “Death is your gift.”
Xander: “No one is judging you. It's understandable. Spike is strong and mysterious and sort of compact, but well muscled.”
Buffy: “I am not having sex with Spike! But I'm starting to think that you might be!”
Spike (to Glory): “Mark my words, the Slayer is going to kick your skanky, lopsided ass — (Concerned, Glory looks at her ass.) — back to whatever place would take a cheap, whorish, fashion-victim ex-God like you.”
AND ANOTHER THING
Nicholas Brendon was ill during the making of this episode so his twin brother Kelly stands in for him in several scenes.
Buffy’s trip to the desert might seem rather confusing and left field but the lessons she learns are key to this season and to what happens in the finale.
HOW MANY STAKES?
Buffybot alone guarantees it… 4 (out of 5)