“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.


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.

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.


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.


Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Rewatch: Week 4 Part 3

“The Prom,” “Graduation Part 1,” and “Graduation Part 2” are my three favorite episodes of Buffy. I mentioned that Season 3 has always been my favorite, for a lot of reasons, but it’s mostly because of these three episodes, and to be honest, I was glad I watched them so soon after seeing Perks of Being A Wallflower.

Because these episodes, although in a far less realistic fashion, are about those same moments described in Perks. Buffy wants to save the prom for a lot of reasons, to fight evil, because that’s her duty, but also because she wants her friends to have one night of teenage normalcy. She wants it for herself as well, but that gets thrown out the window when Angel breaks up with her that same week.

She saves the prom and then, as The Mayor, who is the embodiment of one of my favorite pieces of wisdom from the great Stephen Sondheim, “Nice is different than good,” prepares for his ascension to full demon form, she organizes her classmates in to an army to fight him.

Of course, these episodes plant seeds that are going to grow for years. The resentment between Buffy and Faith comes to a head in an epic fight, which puts Faith in a coma. Cordelia, Angel and Wesley say their goodbyes. (This made me tingly, at the thought that Angel Investigations was so close at hand…I might have to start watching Angel now too. So, I’ll be watching Buffy, Smallville, and Angel. I may overload on angst.) Harmony gets bit, Anya and Xander begin flirting, (or Anya’s version of flirting), Oz and Willow sleep together, Buffy quits the council and Faith makes the first reference to Dawn and Buffy’s death, “Little Miss Muffett counting down from 730.”

These things make up the majority of the next four seasons of Buffy and so much of Angel. I love that. This is when the show gets epic, it’s the turning point.

Matters of Protocol: The Watcher’s Council and Benevolent Patriarchy

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Rewatch Week 4 Part 2

Buffy has really bad birthdays. This is something that we learn in seasons 2 and 3.  And as heartbreaking as “Surprise” and “Innocence” are, but “Helpless” the account of Buffy’s eighteenth birthday is positively terrifying.

“Helpless” deals with an ancient ritual used to test the slayer. Her watcher injects her with a serum that removes her strength and then she is made to fight a starved vampire using only her wits. She also isn’t supposed to know that this is going on.

The Watcher’s Council is alluded to previous to “Helpless,” but we don’t see them until now. If we’re looking at Buffy as a feminist narrative, then The Council is it’s representation of the Patriarchy. And since the main goal of feminism is to dismantle the Patriarchy, obviously, The Council has to go down. They do eventually, but not before wreaking all kinds of well intentioned havoc.

Yes, that’s right, well intentioned, because The Council doesn’t take part in out right oppressive behavior, they’re a benevolent patriarchy, which can be altogether more dangerous. The Council, after all, created the Slayer, she is empowered, she is strong. However, they also seek to control her. Yes, of course the Slayer is allowed  to be empowered and strong, but only when she plays by their rules.

Giles becomes disillusioned with The Council because of his personal attachment to Buffy, but even that is a symptom of benevolent patriarchy. He wants to protect his “little girl,” not because he believes that the Council’s way of doing things is unjust, but because he fears for Buffy personally. Another example of this in pop culture is on Mad Men, in the relationship between Don Draper and Peggy Olsen. Don believes that Peggy deserves consideration as an equal, but not women in general.

When Wesley replaces Giles as Buffy and Faith’s watcher, he tries to maintain the sense of order of The Council, only to be bested and made a fool of. Wesley is one of my favorite characters in The Buffyverse. Wesley never quite gets it right, but he keeps trying and I find this admirable. He is the brick to get pulled out as Buffy dismantles The Council’s world, and he bounces back from it. He returns on Angel free of The Council’s control, but still conditioned by his life with them. I’m going to stick with the Mad Men comparison. If Giles is Don, then, Wesley is Ken Cosgrove. This guys gets it, he understands that the way things are isn’t right, but he’s not exactly sure what to do about it.

Benevolent Patriarchy scares me more the violence against women. It scares me because I worry about being trapped by it. I’m afraid that I’ll fall in love with a man who is kind and good to me, and to the women in his life,  but resents or ignores the plight of other women. I’m afraid that because of the work I want to do, in the industry I want to do it in (fashion retail), and because I grew up with a strong feminist mother, I’ll be blind to the fact that my opportunities are not the same as mine.

In the end, because Buffy is a feminist narrative, and Buffy is a feminist hero, she triumphs over the patriarchy, she removes the restrictions on Slayerhood (there can only be one), and saves the world on her own terms. But it doesn’t make the attitude of “Helpless” any less disturbing or terrifying for me.

Careful Spike, your vulnerable is showing

Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Rewatch: Week 4 Part 1

I’ve been lax in the Buffy rewatching this past week. It comes largely from the fact that the new TV season got underway, and The Avengers came out on DVD and I went to go see Coheed this weekend.

But before going to sleep last night, I got back on track (in a way). Season 3 has always been my favorite, for so many reasons. But last night I watched “Lover’s Walk,” which although it breaks up Willow and Oz (temporarily) and Xander and Cordelia (permanently) I still love.

Love, love, love!

The reason why I love this episode is because it brings Spike back. I mean, of course I love Spike. (This whole experiment started because of how much I love Spike.) But “Lover’s Walk” is an exceptional piece of the Spike story. It’s the first time we really see inside of his mind, see how he ticks.

He returns to Sunnydale determined to get Dru back, when she leaves him for a chaos demon. He lectures Buffy and Angel on their new “just friends” arrangement, telling them (correctly) that it’s doomed to failure. They can’t help loving one another. And Spike is just Spike, he’s blunt and terribly correct.  He talks about love being “blood pumping through you,” and then when he makes his big reveal, saying in the end that he needs to “make Dru love [him] by being the man [he] was.” He’s going to “find her, tie her up and torture her until she likes [him] again.” This is good, telling Spike stuff. This is who he is. He’s all passion and fire.

Spike is identified as possibly unique and certainly rare among vampires, being that he truly loves. Deep inside of him, the capability was never lost. (Later on, in Angel there are other vamps who possibly maintain this, but at this early stage in the Buffy-verse there is only Spike.) This serves him both well and ill in the future, when he falls hard for Buffy, and earns back his soul to be worthy of her. He also winds up tortured and a hollow shell of a man for it, but that’s his curse. Angel’s is his conscience, Spike’s is his passion.

Also, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Sex Pistol’s version of “My Way” (my favorite Sinatra tune) and Spike driving out of Sunnydale blasting it is a great way to end this episode.

Coming up on Buffy, “The Wish” which means we meet Anya, “Gingerbread,” which means Amy gets turned in to a rat.

Coming up on other Fangirl things, The Mark of Athena (Percy Jackson, because I love him!), Talking about how I don’t trust Prince Charming, (Once Upon a Time season premier, and left over unresolved Sondheim feelings) and trying to talk about The Avengers in a way that isn’t completely dirty.

Stick around it’s going to be great! (Did you guys know that when I write here, in my head I’m hosting SNL? Now you do.)