Tuesday, 10 December 2013
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER 6.11 GONE
SMG on Craig Ferguson (cuz she is cute and funny)
WRITER: David Fury
DIRECTOR: David Fury
WHAT’S THE SITCH?
To help Willow in her recovery Buffy and Dawn clear the house of any and all magic items and supplies. But while they are doing so, Buffy receives an unwelcome visit from Spike, followed by an even more unwelcome visit from a social worker who has come to check up on Dawn's home life. Unfortunately the meeting with the social worker doesn't go well. That, alone with Spike's insistent lustful presence drives the now furious-with-herself Slayer to run upstairs and hack off her long blond hair. Meanwhile, across town, the Geek Trio have built themselves an invisibility ray and while out testing it accidentally go and hit Buffy with the ray as she is leaving the hairdressers, turning her invisible. Slayer related hijinks ensue.
WHAT’S THE SITCH BENEATH THE SITCH?
The freedom of being invisible, of being freed to do what you want and behave how you want without anybody knowing. Also, as far as Buff is concerned, she is free from the judging eyes of her friends and from Spike's lustful eyes and Dawn's angry eyes. But most importantly she is free from having to look in to her own eyes, free from seeing herself and who she thinks she has become.
WHO’S GIVING US THE WIGGINS THIS WEEK?
The Geek Trio I guess, though mostly Warren who it is becoming clear is the one who truly has no problem hurting others, especially women.
WHY IT ROCKS
A nice idea. Becoming invisible is a standard for almost every scifi/horror/fantasy series. But as always with Buffy it is used primarily as a means to explore character. In this case it is about how Buffy sees herself and how she thinks others see her...or don't see her. The show already did one episode concerning invisibility, season one's Out of Sight, Out of Mind, in which teenage Marcie became invisible for real after being ignored and sidelined by her peers for so long. That story was about alienation and teen rage. This one is about adult life pressures and guilt.
Funny. Okay, forget the metaphor and larger season arc, Gone is simply a very funny episode with more than one laugh out loud moment. Writer/director David Fury is not afraid to go very silly (and pretty raunchy) to make us smile. And it works.
Buffy larks around. Many good ones from Buff as she enjoys her new found invisible freedom. Love the 'eye' balls at the Magic Box, stealing the meter man's car (“So long coppa!”) and The Shining inspired repetitive typing at the social worker's office designed to freak the poor woman out (All work and no play makes Doris a dull girl.) Heh.
Spike doing his 'push ups'. Oh Xander, surely you can't be that dense? Walking in on Spike in bed humping away on an invisible Buffy and falling for Spike's 'I'm exercising' line. Plus you can clearly see Spike's ear moving as it is being nibbled on while he talks to Xander. Mind you, if I was Xan I wouldn't think Buff would be doing that kind of thing with Spike either. But whatever the case, the scene is very, very funny. And love how it ends with invisible Buff winning over a petulant Spike by giving him a special happy as, taken by surprise, he looks down at his (out of shot) groin and states, 'Hey, that's cheating.' Tsk tsk. Naughty Buff.
Direction. David Fury does a great job directing his script. His direction is wonderfully inventive, especially how he treats invisible Buffy and the invisible Trio as if you could still see them, following them 'in shot', zooming in for reaction shots we can't see, and shooting an invisible fight scene as if it were all entirely visible. Great stuff and most amusing.
WHY IT SUCKS
Very silly. Okay, maybe it does get a bit too silly for its own good. And the Trio, while fun, are still just three clever twits messing about and doing nothing very compelling.
Buffy's hair. Blimey! Never before (or since) has so much attention been paid to Buffy's hair as in this episode. Everyone and their sister comments and has an opinion on it. At least Xander has the good sense to be exasperated by this, just like the audience. It is obvious that in the first act SMG is wearing a pretty heinous wig which she then hacks away at before heading to the hairdressers for her new short do. I'm guessing SMG got her hair cut meaning they had to shoe horn this in for continuity sake.
Spike's exercise routine
DIALOGUE TO DIE FOR
Buffy: So you three have, what... banded together to be pains in my ass?
Warren Meers: We're your "arch-nemesises-ses".
Buffy (to social worker): You know, I know what that looks like, but I-I swear it's not what it looks like. It's magic weed. It's not mine.
Jonathan Levinson: [Warren almost hits Jonathon with an invisibility ray] You penis!
Andrew Wells (about the invisible ray gun): I pictured something cooler. More ILM, less Ed Wood.
Xander: [as Xander walks in on Spike on top of invisible Buffy] Spike? What are you doing?
Spike: What am I-... What does it look like I'm doing, you nit? I'm exercising, aren't I?
[starts doing "push-ups"]
Xander: Exercising? Naked? In bed?
Spike: A man shouldn't use immortality as an excuse to let himself go. You gotta keep fit for killing.
AND ANOTHER THING
Doris the social worker is played by Susan Ruttan who you may remember played Arnie Becker's secretary Roxanne in LA Law
Doris's co-worker in the Social Services Office is played by writer/director David Fury's wife Elin Hampton. Together the couple co-wrote Season 2's "Go Fish".
Gone is the first episode without Amber Benson (Tara) since season five's 'Into The Woods' and marks only the sixth episode without her since she was introduced in season four's 'Hush'.
Buffy cheerily whistles a bit of Going Through the Motions from Once More, With Feeling after making social worker Doris Kroger look crazy.
HOW MANY STAKES?
Gone but not forgotten. 3.5 (out of 5)