Wednesday, 26 December 2012
BUFFY 5.21: THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD
A short daily from this ep featuring SMG and Alyson Hannigan
WRITER: Doug Petrie
DIRECTOR: David Solomon
WHAT’S THE SITCH?
With Buffy catatonic Willow steps up and takes charge ordering the gang back to Sunnydale while she tries a spell to help Buffy. Spike says he knows a guy who may be able to help them defeat Glory and get Dawn back. Meanwhile Glory has Dawn back at her HQ where her minions have now almost finished building an enormous tower upon the top of which Dawn is to be used to open the portal which will allow Glory to return home. As Glory and her minions prepare Dawn for the coming ritual Glory is getting a taste of Ben’s humanity as the magic keeping them apart starts to fade. She begins to feel twinges of guilt…and hates it, making her even angrier towards poor Dawnie, and when Ben returns for brief periods he in turn begins to remember all of the terrible things Glory has done. Across town, Spike and Xander go to visit Doc, the demon who helped Dawn with the spell to raise her mom from the dead. It turns out Doc is actually a worshipper of Glory and tries to kill Spike but ends up getting stabbed himself as Spike makes off with a box Doc tried to destroy. But Doc isn't dead and opens his eyes just as Spike and Xander leave. Back to Buffy, and Willow has managed to get inside her friend’s head, following the Slayer around in her own mind as she is locked in a cycle of guilt. The cycle begins with a memory of Buffy as a little girl, witnessing baby Dawn being brought home for the first time. It then moves on to The Magic Box where adult Buffy, putting away a book, has a brief moment of wishing it would all be over. Finally, the cycle ends with Buffy smothering a grown up Dawn with a pillow, telling a horrified Willow that this is who she is, that she killed her sister and that death is her gift. The cycle then starts all over again, repeating over and over, much to Willow’s confusion. Eventually Willow figures out what is going on and manages to get through to Buffy, convincing her that Dawn is still alive and needs her help. Buffy snaps out of her catatonic state and, crying, hugs Willow. As they return to the magic shop, Xander tells Buffy that Ben and Glory are one in the same. Giles then reveals that a bloodletting ceremony will occur to open the portal and that said portal opening will bring down the barriers between all dimensions creating utter carnage and torment for humanity. And there is only one way to stop it once started. Dawn must die.
WHAT’S THE SITCH BENEATH THE SITCH?
It’s all about the destructive power of guilt – especially misplaced guilt.
WHO’S GIVING US THE WIGGINS THIS WEEK?
Glory, Doc, Buffy…kinda.
WHY IT ROCKS
A nice idea. Finally, the horrendous life Buffy is forced to lead catches up with her poor damaged psyche. I mean, how many traumas can one person take? Losing Dawn to Glory after she promised never to let any harm come to her was the final straw for our poor Slayer’s mind. Time for it to take a break then. And having Willow go in to Buffy’s mind and discover the root of her problem and then address it head on is also great. Her final solution may be a bit pat and wouldn’t make her popular with practitioners of mental health care (“Snap out of it!”), but for Buff it works. Thankfully.
Great to see Kristine Sutherland back as Joyce in a memory of Buffy’s.
Great to see Joel Grey back as Doc. He does creepy/slimy really well.
The actress playing little Buffy (aged 5 or 6 maybe?) is adorable and very good, though she doesn’t look much like SMG.
WHY IT SUCKS
Apart from the trip around the inside of Buffy’s noggin nothing much happens. Dawn gets to be ranted at by Glory some and the gang finds out about the bloodletting ritual, but that’s about it.
Frustrated Spike slapping the back of Xander’s head when Xander still can’t remember the truth about Ben and Glory, followed by their mutual yelp of pain – Xander’s due to the slap and Spike’s due to his chip firing.
DIALOGUE TO DIE FOR
Spike: "Better part of a century spent in delinquency just paid off. Hot-wired Ben's auto. Who's for getting the hell out of here?"
Spike: "Is everyone here very stoned?"
Glory: "Funny, 'cause I look around at this world you're so eager to be a part of, and all I see's six billion lunatics looking for the fastest ride out. Who's not crazy? Look around... everyone's drinkin', smokin', shootin' up, shootin' each other or just plain screwing their brains out because they don't want 'em anymore. I'm crazy? Honey, I am the original one-eyed chicklet in the kingdom of the blind 'cause at least I admit the world makes me nuts. Name one person who can take it here. That's all I'm asking. Name one."
Young Buffy: "You talk funny."
Willow: "Yes, as you'll tell me again when we're older, and in chem class."
AND ANOTHER THING
In season 2's 'Killed By Death' the young Buffy had dark hair as did the Buffy in Dawn's memory in 'Blood Ties', but here the little girl playing Buffy has blonde hair.
The actress playing little Buffy is called Alexandra Lee and a year after being young Buffy she had the honour of being Katie, Dr Mark Greene’s last ever patient on E.R.
HOW MANY STAKES?
A reasonably weighty 3 (out of 5)