“I’m Marrying A Gay Guy Too”: Felicity: Season 1: Episodes 15 & 16

OK everyone, I’m done hesitating about this show, I’m completely in love with it. It’s so perfect in every possible way.

felicity-season-1

Season 1: Episode 15: “Love And Marriage”

So, Javier is getting deported, and he asks Felicity to marry him for his green card. She agrees because she’s a people pleaser. Noel isn’t thrilled but is sort of dealing with his own crisis, in that his older brother Brian has come to town and come out of the closet.

So Noel’s freaking out about that, and his girlfriend marrying his older gay man. These two stories don’t really dovetail at all, but it’s sort of a weird queer themed episode. Anyway, as Felicity learns that a green card marriage is way more complicated than she thought (no duh).

Meanwhile, Ben has been swimming and wants to try out for swim team and also he’s being kind of a jerk to Julie, but he does tell her that he misses being part of a team, so she encourages him to try out. He makes it! He also makes friends with a couple of people from the team, which becomes more important next episode.

Anyway, Javier’s boyfriend basically calls off the marriage, which is a huge relief to Felicity, and Noel comes around, kind of on his brother’s gayness and even meets his boyfriend, which is nice.

Season 1: Episode 16: “The Fugue”

Hannah’s back! (Jennifer Garner, SO CUTE) And Noel is confused, so is Felicity. She’s even more confused as she starts to talk to Eli, a cute painter boy who she’d met previously when checking out the art studio. Even Elena thinks he’s cute and that is high praise.

Meanwhile, Julie is getting ready for an open mic night and also she’s kind of over Ben’s swimming friends, who apparently are kind of the worst. Ben is less than sympathetic. But Sean’s really nice about the whole thing. Seriously they’re cute. Then it turns out that Ben’s annoying swimming friend is actually really cool and helps Julie tune her guitar and is actually quite nice. Ben, however, still the worst.

Noel breaks up with Felicity because he’s confused about his feelings, and starts to get back together with Hannah but decides he’s too confused for that.

I am rapidly becoming annoyed with Noel. Meanwhile, Felicity hangs out and then makes out with Eli. GO GET YOURS FELICITY!

Other Things

  • Why I Hate Ben: I cannot possibly hate how dismissive he is of Julie and Sean now that he’s on the swim team more. DUDE, these people like you and are there for you.
  • Team Noel: This ship is sinking fast. Though adorable, his “I can’t choose between Felicity and Hannah” thing better not go on long because I have NO interest in seeing beautiful wonderful ladies like Jennifer Garner and Keri Russell fight over that dummy. I still like him more than Ben Though.
  • Crystan Says: “There’s a couple that you’ll never see coming that you’ll absolutely love.” CRYSTAN IS IT JULIE AND SEAN????? Because I love them.
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The Power and Glory

Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Rewatch: Week 7 Part 3

I told you I had a lot to say about Season 5.

Look at the perky bad guy!

Glory is possibly my favorite “big bad.” I like her because she’s so indifferent to Buffy. Buffy is an annoyance, the way an average vamp is to The Slayer. Unlike The Master and The Mayor, for whom the Slayer is a large obstacle, or Angelus for whom The Slayer is everything, and for Adam to whom the Slayer is a curiosity to Glory, The Slayer is nothing, something to be swept off to the side on her quest to go home.

That’s the other thing that I find interesting about Glory. She has a simple child’s desire, she doesn’t want to destroy this world. She doesn’t care if it does get destroyed, mind you, but she just wants to go home to her world. She’s crazy, but she’s not malevolent.

Also, just as a note, she’s the first and only female big bad. The first evil takes female form in season 7, but isn’t female per say. I guess Glory isn’t either, but she’s certainly far more gendered than The First.

Not a huge insight, but something worth looking at.

Shenanigans

Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Rewatch: Week 7 Part 2

A few months ago, as I moved through the most recent season of Doctor Who, you know, when we discovered that River Song is actually Rory and Amy’s daughter, I was really irrationally angry about it. I felt the twisty-ness of this was unnecessary and undignified in a way that didn’t match The Doctor.

My exact words were, “These kinds of Dawn Summers-esque shenanigans are beneath Doctor Who.”

Dawn is a tricky character in the Buffy-verse. She’s widely despised, due to her whining, her uselessness and the shenanigans that brought her about.

She’s annoying, but there are worse things.

See, Dawn isn’t actually a person at all. She’s “The Key,” a mystical energy source meant to unlock the doors between dimensions. The Key was guarded by a sect of monks from Hell god Glory, but as Glory got stronger, they decided to send The Key to the slayer to protect. They create Dawn and manipulate something to make everyone believe that Buffy has always had a sister. This way, Buffy would do anything to protect her.

And Buffy does, even dying for her “sister” in the end. But what’s difficult, is that even after all of the twisty turny key things are done, Dawn sticks around and no one talks about her odd existence ever again.

Like, ever again. It’s weird and a little disconcerting. Chrissy often cites her biggest Dawn issue is that she isn’t human, she doesn’t have a soul. Of course, Chrissy is coming at it from out Catholic philosophical metaphysical world view. Joss Whedon, however, subscribes to an atheist humanist metaphysical world view, which means that by virtue of Dawn’s biology and actions she is human.

Maybe that’s reading too much in to this. Once, when talking about Gilmore Girls, my friend Jenna and I were discussing April, the daughter Luke never knew he had, and Jenna said, “I really liked April the character, but I really hated April the plot device you know?” For me it’s similar with Dawn, I love Dawn the plot device. The Key storyline is brilliant, and even later on, giving Buffy a sister to take care of is great, but Dawn the character is never properly handled.

Buffy Vs. Dracula

Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Rewatch: Week 7 Part 1

I love this episode so much. I forgot how much. It’s such a giddy piece of camp fun, and a neat bit of character building at that.

“Buffy Vs. Dracula,” the Season 5 premier feeds on the legend of Vlad The Impaler, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the numerous film versions of the big bad. He brings Buffy and Xander under his thrall, Anya remember’s a school girl type crush she had on him back in her demon days, and Spike remembers that he owes him 11 quid. That this is Spike’s main motivation for hating Dracula is one of the most telling things about his state at this point in the series. He’s completely mercenary and pathetic at this point in time.

It also speaks to the strength of Buffy and Riley’s relationship here that upon finding out she let Dracula bite her, Riley gets a little freaked out, but mostly just teases her about it. Thank God that doesn’t last, because a happy Buffy is a boring Buffy.

But one of the main reasons I love this episode so much is because of Nicholas Brendan’s comic turn. As comic relief Xander is always a joy, but here, when he becomes a bug eating toady for Dracula (His Master, The Dark Prince, and all manner of other flattering nick names he sputters out.) But the real turn comes at the very end, when the spell is broken and he gives the best speech in the entire history of the show, where Xander and all the characters give amazing speeches:

I’m sick of this crap! I’m sick of being the guy who eats insects and gets the funny syphilis. As of this moment, it’s over. I’m finished being everyone’s butt monkey!

And here’s the thing, after this Xander does man up, a whole lot. His butt monkey days are over. (Until that whole manipulating him to not marry Anya thing happens.)

Way to go Xander.

Woo hoo!

Anyway, are we ready for season 5, and Dawn and all kinds of weirdness? (You should get ready. I have a lot to say about this season.)

Who Are You?

Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Rewatch: Week 6 Part 2

So remember back in the early days when I talked about how hard the middle of most of the seasons of Buffy are? For Season 4, it’s the beginning that’s hard. I buzzed straight through the middle Thursday and Friday, and should finish up and move on to 5 today.

Willow is wearing leather pants here, but she’s not evil yet.

One of the things that I’m trying to focus on with this rewatch is finding the theme of each season. And by theme I mean what you ask high school kids to write essays about. The theme of season 1, was “introductions,” the theme of season 2, “love,” the theme of season 3, “commencement,” and for season 4, I’ve settled on “identity.”

Season 4 is all about discovering that all important “who am I?” question that leads us down the path to fulfillment. This is an important theme of most of Buffy, but particularly in season 4.

Buffy spends the first few episodes trying to fit in to college. Then she tries to fit in to The Initiative. She doesn’t particularly succeed at either of these. Buffy’s identity search gets pushed a little bit more in to season 5, but she does understand that she is The Slayer and that is important, and there’s nothing she can do about it. In fact she yells at Riley about this fairly often.

And speaking of Mr. Iowa, let’s talk about his identity for a second, shall we? I don’t hate Riley, I also don’t like him much. He’s kind of beige, and this is where my feelings lie. Anyway, Riley gets a whole episode dedicated to his identity crisis (“Goodbye, Iowa”). Upon learning that The Initiative has been pumping him full of steroids, that magic is real and that The Initiative tried to kill Buffy, he loses it. He kind of gets it together, because Riley understands that he is a soldier. This is who he is.

You know who totally loses it in Season 4? Poor Oz. Seriously, he just cannot get it together. He loses control of his wolf self and cheats on Willow with Veruca, then kills Veruca. He leaves, thinks he gets control, finds out about Willow and Tara and then loses it again and almost kills Tara. This is impossibly hard. He then goes out to find himself. (And Seth Green goes to make Austin Powers movies, guest star on Entourage, and do that whole Robot Chicken thing.)

And the drunk and stoned college students doth rejoice!

And speaking of Willow, she puts a big old punch in the identity card! She comes in to a good deal of her Wicca powers, loses her first love, comes to terms with her sexuality, falls in love again and generally finds her confidence. She feels the full extent of her powers in “Something Blue,” where her spell doesn’t work how she thought it would, but still effects her friends deeply. These are hints towards Willow’s control issues with magic that are going to go mega nuts.

Spike also has an identity shift when the initiative places his behavior modification chip in his brain. He can no longer bite and kill humans. He can however attack other demons, and since he’s still evil (technically) he craves violence so he starts to fight with the Scoobies, he doesn’t fully join the gang, until after Buffy’s death, but from here on in he’s on the fringes.

Anya and Xander are trying to find their way, Anya as a new human, Xander as an adult (while his friends are students), and together as a couple. This is hilarious. Although the fact that it takes the two of them to fill the Cordelia sized comic relief hole is proof of how great she is.

Giles’s season 4 journey is my favorite. (I’m really appreciating Giles this time around.) “A New Man,” is one of those brilliant character building episodes that makes Buffy very, very special. First of all, it features Ethan Rayne who is one of my favorite recurring minor villains. Ethan is an annoyance to The Scoobies, he lives to create chaos, and does about once a season. In 4, he turns Giles in to a demon, presumably to bug the hell out of him, and because they were drunk. Giles had spent the first half of this episode thinking about how he’d wasted away a good chunk of time. He’s no longer technically Buffy’s watcher and he doesn’t have a job. Then Maggie Walsh bitches him out, and he almost completely loses himself as demon, nearly killing Ethan. His search continues, but at least in 5 he gets to buy the Magic Box and becomes a Watcher again, officially.

Then there’s the big one, Faith. Faith wakes up from her coma in “This Year’s Girl,” she’s confused, angry, and feeling guilty, basically she’s Faith. But of course, Faith doesn’t know who she is. She lost her identity as A Slayer when she became a killer. Buffy, for all of her not knowing exactly what it means, at least has that. She also has a loving boyfriend in Riley, supportive friends and of course, Joyce. Faith wants all of this, so she uses a spell and device left to her by the Mayor to switch their bodies. Now she will get Buffy’s good life, and Buffy will get her punishment. (Also, while in Buffy’s body, she wears leather pants. Just saying, the pattern continues.)

Of course, Faith isn’t Buffy and this just serves to confuse her more. I know the details wind up getting sorted out over on Angel, but I haven’t had the time to watch those episodes yet and don’t exactly remember I how. But either way, discovering identity is the big overarching thing in Buffy season 4.

Put The Blame Where It Belongs

Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Rewatch: Week 6: Part 1

I’ve been putting off watching this week because of how badly I didn’t want to watch “Wild At Heart.” This episode gives me a stomachache in a big bad way.

So sad.

I hate and love this episode. I hate it because I love Willow and Oz and it’s so heartbreaking, and I love it because I love Allison Hannigan and Seth Green and they’re both so amazing in it.

I was jolted back in to it on Tuesday, when I watched Can’t Hardly Wait in the morning Mary and I watched Goldmember in the afternoon and I was reminded of how seriously great Seth Green is. Yes, I know I’ve already sang his praises, but it’s kind of too hard not to, especially watching everyone else be fairly lackluster in Season 4.

But instead, I’ll shift my praise over to Hannigan. She really is so remarkably great, in such an understated way. The other day I was watching the season 1 episode of How I Met Your Mother where Lily and Marshal break up, which is a clear example of why HIMYM really should have been a completely different show about this young committed couple and how they deal with their group of entirely single friends, and their one friend who wears lots of suits.

Basically Ted should be out of the equation.

But it was also a reminder of how good Hannigan is at crying, which is not easy, crying is one of those acting things that people are either good at, or they’re Natalie Portman. (Shut up, I know she’s an Oscar winner and amazing and everything, but she is terrible at crying.) Then when I finally watched “Wild At Heart” and am now watching “The Initiative,” I was reminded again.

Also, I may have cried a little. Because I hate that Willow and Oz are over. Even if that means that Tara and Willow is coming, it still makes me sad.

Whine, Buffy, Whine

Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Rewatch: Week 5 Part 1

Wow, I mean really, wow. Watching Buffy season 4, while watching Angel season 1 is really, really hard. Do you want to know why?

Because Angel season 1 is awesome, and Buffy season 4, kind of sucks. Also, I’ve always considered myself a Buffy/Angel shipper. Always, forever. But then I watched “I will Remember You” again, after having watched some of season 4, and realized how much better they are apart.

When Buffy is by herself, sure, she’s still angst ridden and kind of whiny, but she’s much funnier about it. And when Angel is by himself, sure, he’s still dark and broody, but he’s much more focused and better at interpersonal relations.

Then there’s “I will Remember You” where Buffy comes to LA and literally the entire episode is the two of them whining at each other.

Cordelia points out their pattern to Doyle and even gets in Buffy’s face about it, because she’s the best.

The shows should be called “Cordelia Makes Fun of The Vampire Slayer” and “Cordelia”

But really, it’s hard to watch. And hard to care about Buffy when she’s being such a whiny, terrible person. And really hard to care about Angel when he’s so single focused and depressed.

Basically, yes, Joss Whedon, I support your decision to split them up. Something I never thought I would say.