Sunday, 7 July 2013


Anya doing the dance of capitalist superiority

WRITER: Steven S. DeKnight

DIRECTOR: David Solomon


It's Halloween in Sunnydale, the one night of the year when most vamps and demons take the night off. Pulling a fast one on their parents/guardian Dawn and her friend Janice secretly hook up with a couple of older boys at the park who turn out to not be what they seem. Meanwhile Xander and Anya announce their engagement and Buffy takes off with Spike to go on patrol (despite no big nasties coming out to play on Halloween). With Buff not around it falls to Giles and the rest of the Scoobies to go and look for Dawn when it becomes clear the teen has lied to them all and is probably off somewhere in town getting in to all kinds of trouble.


Flirting with danger, with irresponsibility, and being seduced in to doing things you know deep down are not a good idea. Darkness and temptation are so alluring, be it hooking up with exciting strangers, or being tempted to use great power without due concern for others welfare of feelings.


Justin and Zack. Plus, at first, the old man. And then there's Willow...


Teen rebellion: Okay, its not much of a rebellion by Dawn, just the usual kind of thing we all did as kids e.g. being places we weren't supposed to be after telling a few lies to our parents etc. No? Really? (looks guilty) Um, just me then.

Cautionary tale: This is in part one of those cautionary tales for young girls. You know, beware boys cuz they are only after one thing... And no, not your blood (I hope), the OTHER thing. It should also be noted that it isn't just Dawn being tempted towards a very not right kinda hook up. We can tell that Buffy is edging ever closer to Spike in that way. And while I love Spike as a character, he doesn't provide for the healthiest of relationships. Just wait until 6.19 Seeing Red if you don't believe me.

Multiple levels: Not just a cautionary tale for teens, this works as one for adults too, regarding the use and abuse of power. How it begins. How it can start to seduce you. Yes, Willow, I'm looking at you.

Anya the Angel: Adorable doesn't cover it seeing Anya in 70's roller disco mode with her Farrah hair, zipping around the Magic Box, loving every minute of it. And wait 'til you see her do her dance of capitalist superiority. Sigh. Such a lovely ex-vengeance demon.

Pirate Xander: Very funny with his “GARRR – ing”

Shiver me timbers: Um, apparently some kind of 'game' that Anya and Xander will play later while staying in costume. The mind boggles.

Cute little witch: I'm with Willow. Just how darn cute is that little girl dressed as a witch. Awww...

Giles in the spooky cemetery: Heh. Giles acknowledging to himself that wandering alone on Halloween through a misty cemetery is SO not gonna end well.

Giles kicking vampire ass: Go G-Man! He gets some serious slaying action going.

Willow and Tara: Willow's treatment of Tara in this episode is really not nice. How she speaks to her when Tara voices concerns is actually quite shocking and mirrors her threat to Giles in Flooded. Things are slowly turning bad for the couple. And while that is good for story and drama its bad for two characters we love so much. Hence this will appear in the Why it Sucks bit as well.


Willow and Tara: See above.

Dawn centric: Okay, I'm not a Dawn hater like so many Buffy fans seem to be. Yes, she can be annoying, but then she is still a kid, although as apparent in this season growing up fast. But do I really care about her fooling around with boys and getting her first kiss? No, not really. The A story here is, simply, not very interesting, spending too much time with bland supporting characters like Zack and Justin. Snore. The interesting stuff is Willow and Tara and Spike and Buffy. Sorry Dawnie.

Door slam death: Buffy kills a vamp by presumably slamming its head in a car door but in the long shot you can clearly see its the vamps waist in the door.

Stunt doubles: In the big fight scene at the end you can clearly see the face of SMG's stunt double in several shots.


Anya on wheels. Beyond adorable.


Xander (lying exhausted on the floor): Store go boom. Garrr.

Dawn: You do this every night?
Anya: Every time I close out the cash register. The dance of capitalist superiority.

Buffy: Did you know about this?
Giles: No. Unless I blocked it from my memory, much as I will Xander's vigorous use of his tongue.
(Giles takes off his glasses and starts cleaning them)
Buffy (shocked): Is that why you're always cleaning your glasses? So you don't have to see what we're doing?
Giles: Tell no one.

Buffy: Over my dead body. The kind that doesn't come back.

Giles: Anya's a wonderful former vengeance demon. I'm sure you'll spend many years of non-hell dimensional bliss.

Dawn (after her first kiss): Shiver me timbers!

Giles: Mist. Cemetery. Halloween. Should end well.

Buffy: How's your face?
Giles: Oh, still ruggedly handsome. Grandpa, indeed. (puts ice pack on swelling) Ow.


Amber Tamblyn who plays Janice is the daughter of actor Russ Tamblyn. Amber would go on to be the lead in The Grudge 2 playing Aubrey, the younger sister of the main character Karen in The Grudge, played by... Sarah Michelle Gellar. Amber has also been the star of the TV show Joan of Arcadia and starred in other movies such as 127 Hours and Django Unchained.

Xander is handing out 'Firefly' sweets to customers at the Magic Box. A subtle plug for Joss Whedon's then upcoming space western of the same name?


Not quite all the way. 2.5 (out of 5)

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