I got so much strength, I’m giving it away

Same Time, Same Place (Jane Espenson)

Buffy - Same Time Same Place - airport clock

This is more like the Buffy I love. It felt like an old fashioned earlier episode in which valuable lessons are learned and wrapped up in an interesting MOTW with the bonus of Gnarl being really nasty looking and really nasty behaving. Moreover, it is no coincidence that it was a Willow-centric episode in which Alyson Hannigan gets to play sweet, lost, perturbed, vulnerable, confused and adorable, and that is what she does brilliantly.

buffy - same time same place - willow at the window

The funniest part of this was Dawn falling off the sofa with a squeal. Poseable Dawn was a treat even if people should have cared a tiny bit more.

same time same place - posable dawn-anya-buffy

Buffy’s total lack of concern over Dawn’s paralysis make me think of the lack of concern over Xander’s syphilis in “Pangs”. Both episodes were written by Jane Espenson…

There was evidence of the episode being cut (or a lack of concern about continuity) when Buffy and co appeared in the cave just like that despite the fact they had previously blocked it up.

buffy same time same place - anya-and-willow

I liked Anya interactions with Willow. I liked her telling Willow she was the one responsible for the mayhem.

I love Jane’s dialogue here:

Oh, at the new high school, probably. Everyone’s all about the high school. Buffy’s got some kind of job there helping junior deviants, Spike’s insane in the basement, Xander’s there doing construction on the new gym—

Wait, Spike’s what in the whatment?

Insane. Base. Xander does construction. He likes to start early, so he’s probably there by now.

And here:

This isn’t going to get all sexy, is it?

I’d be shocked. OK, do you have your powder?

Oh, I ate that. I have it.

And here:

I don’t know. Sounds pretty thin to me.

Well, that’s why you teleport over there real quick like a bunn—real quick and, uh, see if I’m right.

No. Sorry. You damaged my carpet.

Anya, you’re a vengeance demon. Just teleport!

…because that bunny reference is just for the fanatics.

Unfortunately, Anya doing spells with Willow highlighted the loss of Tara. The Scoobies conversation at the airport would have been a good moment to mention Tara. So far we have had no dialogue that mentions her by name and no other character (apart from Willow) has alluded to her at all. Not that I am obsessed in noticing this or anything.

same time same place -buffy-and-willow

Nobody should be at be worried that Willow made her friends go away by  “just by thinking it”, should they?

10 thoughts on “I got so much strength, I’m giving it away

  1. “Not that I am obsessed in noticing this or anything.”

    I had the same obsession when I first watched it. “When the hell is somebody going to ask Willow how she’s doing? Is Willow even going to mention her name? Why isn’t there a single picture of Tara anywhere in the house?”

    And I really wanted a scene with Willow asking Buffy what it was like on the other side. (Normally, you’d expect people to ask that anyway, but under the circumstances, it seems like something Willow would REALLY want to know.)

  2. There are so many flaws with S7, which I think most Buffy folks can agree with, even those that like that season. The utter lack of talking about Tara made me a little sick. Even if it wasn’t the case, the situation was treated almost as if none of them cared. I was most surprised by Dawn, who had loved Tara most second to Willow, stayed with her body for hours, and yet mentioned nothing. Not one word.

  3. I really enjoyed this episode and, so far am still waiting for S7’s fall from grace. I love pathetic-Willow best of all and it was beautifully acted – I wanted to scream “they do care!” becuase I did.

    Of course failing to acknowledge Tara is ridiculous and does harm in that it doesn’t nod towards realism when it should – to acknowledge how dangerous Willow can be and yet forget so completely what drove her to that, is careless.

    But, I can understand it – I can convince myself that if Joss had decided to have the darkness of Tara’s death hanging over S7 then we wouldn’t have had an episode this enjoyable this early in the series. Laughing at poseable Dawn or “Insane. Base.” wouldn’t have seemed right.

    Maybe for the sake of the bigger picture, and realism, and closure it should have been mentioned and as such it harmed that big picture. But for someone as shallow as me who likes the lighter side of Buffy (and mourned the lack of humour in Dollhouse) then I have to say I can live with that.

    < ... sitting back and waiting to be slapped down... again!..>

  4. I’m also a bigger fan of the lighter, funnier Buffy. I enjoy the characters so much more with a bit of levity, and poseable Dawn was indeed hilarious. As well as the enjoyment Anya got out of posing her! I love Anya. And Buffy is one of those shows where humor and seriousness are mixed so perfectly even within a single episode.

    And while I disagree with the way a lot of the stuff on the show was handled, I can respect the show for giving us what it did. That’s canon and it’s our job to try and understand it as is.

    But, Andy, you’re right. For the sake of the bigger picture, realism, and closure, she should have been mentioned or at the very least talked about. The Scoobies aren’t so big at sharing their feelings, and we’ve seen when they do keep things in for long periods of time, it usually reaps negative consequences – like how Spike was able to easily pull his Yoko Crap on them back in S4. In some cases it works to not label events directly, we’ve seen it addressed in other ways or by alluding to other things and metaphors (to continue on the W/T theme, there was ‘Family’ where magic = lesbianism and “New Moon Rising” where unconventional relationships were Oz and Angel, but also newly included Tara.) But any Scooby discussion of Tara in S7 doesn’t happen for a good long time and even then it’s about a separate event. Don’t wanna spoil things, so I’ll do good and shut up now. :P

    • I find it hard not to leap ahead but I can remember almost literally exhaling my tension when that certain episode turns up. I felt rather flat afterwards.

      Andy, you just don’t understand. Not even italics can stress how I say that out loud.

  5. Re: That Certain Episode

    I felt like it opened up a huge can of worms that was never again addressed. Ever. Period. Justice was not served a huge helping at the dinner table that time. Dunno, there was lots of emotion given the heavy nature of the episode, but it just didn’t… go anywhere. It was just dropped.

  6. #1 I thought S7 was great and had a little of everything

    #2 This is one of my favorite episodes, love flesh-eating Gnarl. Adore all the character interactions. Especially those of Willow and Spike, Buffy and Anya.

    #3 My theory is that they didn’t want to weigh every episode down with the angst of Tara’s loss. There is the up-coming episode where emotions run high. And then there is the ‘rebound’ relationship, which may not have been as believablr if Willow spent the entire season being morose and inconsolable.

    #4 Get to watching, I’m dieing to read more!

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