Sunday, 16 November 2014
BUFFY: 6.19 ‘SEEING RED’
James Marsters on THAT scene
WRITER: Steven S. DeKnight
DIRECTOR: Michael Gershman
WHAT’S THE SITCH?
The Trio steal a pair of magic orbs which will grant their wearer super strength and invulnerability. Warren takes them for a spin in a bar macking on ladies and beating up guys...only to run in to Xander. Xan makes it out in one piece...just...and goes to tell Buffy only to find our girl, suffering from a slaying related injury, lying on the bathroom floor after having had a shocking and deeply disturbing encounter with Spike. Nevertheless Buffy sets out to confront Warren and co. and stops them from robbing an armoured truck. A fight ensues and Buffy manages to win after destroying Warren's magic orbs. But he gets away leaving Andrew and Jonathan behind. The next morning a blissfully happy Willow and Tara watch from their bedroom window as Xander appears in the back yard and reconciles with Buffy. But tragedy soon strikes when a crazed Warren suddenly appears brandishing a gun. Shots are fired, some going wild but with two of the bullets finding there targets: one in the back yard and the other in the bedroom above. And as a result things will never be the same again.
WHAT’S THE SITCH BENEATH THE SITCH?
Male ego and misogyny – power, control, domination with rampant testosterone running wild. But also genuine love and friendship with good people who love and care for each other sticking together no matter what.
WHO’S GIVING US THE WIGGINS THIS WEEK?
Warren & Spike
WHY IT ROCKS
Script: Simply Steve DeKnight wrote a great script. It treads a fine line, a balancing act between daft and goofy and dark and disturbing. But it does so brilliantly. The character work has depth and pushes our heroes to even greater places of darkness and turmoil than before while also managing to bring them back together, to reignite the spark of genuine love and friendship between them. Well, all except for one.
Performances: across the board they are great. But special mention goes to SMG and James Marsters who have to play what is the darkest and most ghastly scene this series ever did. And they are both fabulous. Oh and Alyson Hannigan and Amber Benson are beyond cute together...right up until the end when they will break your heart.
Jet packs: Heh. The sequence where Andrew tries to escape using his hidden jet pack...only to hit the roof and collapse to the ground is hilarious. A terrific sight gag.
Saws: when Buffy searches the Trio's abandoned lair she is attacked by multiple huge circular saws requiring her to engage in some Spider-Man-like acrobatics to avoid being sliced and diced. Its a great sequence and looks very cool.
Clem: Yay! Spike's nice guy demon pal Clem shows up to be a sounding board for a confused and distraught Spike. Gotta love Clem.
Two moments: “Ask me again why I could never love you!” and “Your shirt...” If you aren't hurting inside then your heart is cold.
Warren: Oh he makes such a wonderfully evil villain. So easy to hate. And what he does in this ep arguably makes him the worst and most hated villain in all Buffydom. Kudos to Adam Busch who does a terrific job in the role.
Balls: The blatant testosterone metaphor of Warren and his pair of super powered orbs...and Buffy smashing them to defeat him. YES!!
WHY IT SUCKS
It doesn't suck. At all. But it is one heck of a cruel episode both for the characters and for the audience. Three awful things happen in the space of forty two minutes. It is almost too much to take. Almost.
Buffy's victory over Warren, throwing his misogynistic insult right back at him before kicking his ass to the kerb. “Good night, bitch.” Yeah!!
DIALOGUE TO DIE FOR
Andrew: “I don't trust that leprechaun.”
Buffy: “Ask me again why I could never love you!”
Willow: “We were able to decipher pretty much everything except these.”
Tara: “It isn't written in any ancient language we could identify.”
Xander: “It's Klingon. They're love poems. Which has nothing to do with the insidious scheme you're about to describe.”
Spike: You know, everything always used to be so clear. Slayer, vampire. Vampire kills Slayer, sucks her dry, picks his teeth with her bones. It's always been that way. I've tasted the life of two Slayers. But with Buffy... It isn't supposed to be this way! It's the chip! Steel and wires and silicon. It won't let me be a monster... and I can't be a man. I'm nothing.”
Warren: “I was wondering when Super Bitch would show up.”
Buffy: “You've really got a problem with strong women, don't you?”
Andrew: “I really want to get my hands on his orbs.”
Warren: “Say good night, bitch.”
Buffy (crushes his magic orbs and knocks him down): “Good night, bitch.”
Tara: “Your shirt...”
AND ANOTHER THING
The scenes at the amusement park were specially filmed at Six Flags Magic Mountain, 35 miles north of Los Angeles.
The following tracks were featured in Seeing Red: The Leaves by Daryll-Ann, Stranded by Alien Ant Farm and Displaced by Azure Ray.
James Marsters says to this day that the Spike assault/attempted rape of Buffy scene is the worst thing he has ever had to do in his career. He found it deeply traumatising and it left him an emotional wreck.
For the one and only time since she joined the show Amber Benson gets her name in the opening credits sequence. Kind of a sick joke considering her fate.
When Buffy explores The Trio's lair, she discovers several action figures – grimacing in particular at the one of Vampirella, a comic book superhero from the planet Drakulonn who devoted her life to destroying all vampires - and wearing very skimpy red outfits.
HOW MANY STAKES?
A painful 4.5 (out of 5)