Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S01E03 – Witch

In the third episode of the first season of Buffy, the group encounters their first non-vampire foe, and I encounter my first complete WHAT THE FUCK moment of the show. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

HELLO DEAR BUFFY FANDOM. DO. NOT. SPOIL. ME. Some of you missed this message AGAIN, so I will keep doing this: Is what you’re about to put in a comment in any way referencing any single thing I have not seen yet? Put it in or DO NOT POST IT. THANK YOU AND PLEASE CONSULT MY SPOILER POLICY FOR MORE CLARIFICATION AND EXAMPLES.

A bit of an update about server stuff: My very own server is almost here and after that, I can allocate resources as needed whenever there’s a spike in views and we won’t have the trouble we’ve had. I mean, there were a lot of people here for Doctor Who and Avatar: The Last Airbender, but this is some serious memory/bandwidth usage. Anyway, y’all overloaded my servers for 48 hours straight and I’m in the process of moving. There might be an hour or two later today where the site does not exist, but that’s necessary to move it all over. Thanks for reading, and I promise this will get better!


YES. YES. OH, YES YES YES YES YES. Is this real life? IS THIS WHAT I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR? Sorry, don’t care, I love a good, creepy plot twist, and this one is a DOOZY. It takes the character of Amy and gives the first half of her story this incredible new context, and Dana Reston, who wrote this, also manages to include some great subplots regarding femininity, familial expectation, and the dynamic between Buffy and her mother. I’d say that this is certainly the first truly awesome Buffy episode that I’ve gotten to experience. AND IT’S ONLY THE THIRD EPISODE. That’s so spectacular!

I think it’s hilarious that I wondered in my previous review if Buffy would attempt to integrate herself into Sunnydale High and LO AND BEHOLD, SHE IS TRYING OUT TO BE A CHEERLEADER. What I got wrong, though, was Buffy’s intention. I’d assumed she might try this in order to make herself appear normal as opposed to feeling normal. I misread this: Buffy isn’t trying to hide. She’s trying to be just like everyone else. I’ve spoken about it before, but I really feel icky when people try to criticize the concept of normality. Yes, it can be used in increasingly gross ways when privileged folk try to say that marginalized people aren’t normal. I don’t like that shit either. But as someone whose high school experience was bizarre and kind of painful, normalcy was something I desired more than anything. I wanted a boyfriend, I wanted a real date to prom, I wanted to have money to afford going out, and I wanted to have a family that loved and cared for me. To me, those things were normal.

Okay, I know I’m projecting like hell onto Buffy but YOU WILL ALLOW ME THIS SMALL MOMENT. I love that she wants to do cheerleading just because. She’s not super amazing at it, either, but it makes her happy and it makes her feel normal. I especially loved her small spat with Giles. In a way, I felt like there was an unspoken subtext that he was criticizing her choice because it was so girly, and that was unbecoming of a Slayer. Guess what? She doesn’t care, and she’s going to slaughter vampires and wear dresses as much as she wants to. And that’s kind of awesome to me?

The cold open feels very The X-Files to me, in that it takes a seemingly “normal” occurrence and renders it completely absurd. Yeah, I was genuinely shocked when Amber spontaneously combusted. What the fuck?

The impetus for the story here in “Witch” impressed me because it’s so dense. We deal with more of Cordelia’s nastiness towards other students, which causes me to hope even harder that she gets any sort of development beyond the school bully. THERE’S POTENTIAL THERE, OKAY? The cheerleading plot brings out Xander’s hormones in full force, so much so that he actively engages the idea that he should ask Buffy out. And I’m totally opposed to Xander/Buffy solely because I already associate him as a best friend and it seems weird. The conversations that Buffy and her mom have are just as interesting to me, too. It’s nice to see a mother on television who is trying to understand her daughter. Of course, for us, we have the luxury of omniscience. We know that Buffy’s behavior isn’t because she’s any sort of troubled teen or a poor student; she was unfortunately born as the Slayer. (I am sort of curious to see if the show will ever flashback to her first Watcher and her discovery of her destiny.) But Buffy’s mother’s story represents that divide that exists between parents and their children, of the mother who is clueless as to the motivation of their offspring. Even if this is a show about a girl who kills vampire, her story is very human in nature, and it’s a welcome addition.

But the primary mystery is the identity of the witch and the motivations for her appearing at the school. The group believes Amy might be causing it inadvertently because of the pressure her mother puts on her to succeed. I’ve got no shame admitting that one of my trope weaknesses is any story that deals with parents putting too much pressure on their children to succeed. WELCOME TO THE BULK OF MY LIFE. I grew up with a mother who literally would tell me that if I wasn’t valedictorian, I’d be an utter failure. The first time I brought a quiz home that didn’t earn an A, I got grounded for a week. Even after I ran away from home because of this (and many other things) when I was sixteen, I couldn’t escape the messages that had been drilled into my head. I was valedictorian of my high school, though it ended up being on my own terms instead of hers. Still, I’m sure some of you are familiar with this! It’s such an awful experience because school is stressful enough as it is. You don’t also need your parents insulting you and doubting your worth as a person in the process. That’s one of the things I like about “The Witch.” The characters openly accept that this is something that can cause a person to lash out and I love that. It’s true! I mean, yes, granted I did not set cheerleaders on fire. But Amy’s mother, who was a popular and talented cheerleader in her day, has made her daughter’s life miserable because of the unrealistic (and unfair) expectations she has for her.

It seemed obvious to me that Amy’s mother was behind this until the spell Giles has them do in the science class. First of all, WAY TO NOT BE TOTALLY OBVIOUS ABOUT GETTING AMY’S HAIR. Oh god, you really are going to have to get better at this. But then…she tests positive for casting a spell? And she seems genuinely surprised when a girl next to her suddenly doesn’t have a mouth? Confused, I was then totally flabbergasted when we meet Amy’s mother for the first time, and she’s not the strict, overbearing, and frightening person we’d been told to expect. In fact, the dynamic between the two suggested that Amy was the one who was a tyrant in that house. On top of that, she’s also definitely the witch. Oh god, she lied about her mother and now she has Buffy’s bracelet THIS IS A DISASTER.

I mean, it is, but oh my god. It’s the most beautiful disaster of all time. Turns out that when Buffy gets hit with a Bloodstone Vengeance Spell, she becomes incredibly fucking funny. Bless you, Sarah Michelle Gellar. This is also the first moment for me where I was completely impressed with the acting, and Gellar knocks it out of the park. The whole point was to be as weird as possible, and her knack for physical humor is what sells it to me. But credit must be given to Whedon and Dana Reston, who have done a fantastic job building the character of Buffy Summers in just around two hours, so much so that I know that she’s acting out-of-character for her normal self. That’s what works out so well.

But let’s just talk about the reveal that this whole episode hinges on. Honestly, even in hindsight, I don’t think there was a single clue here that could have led me to figure out that Amy was in her mother’s body. Oh my god HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT. Like….sweet summer christ, that is so ridiculously evil. It forced me to think about how creepy and unsettling Amy really was the whole time. THAT WAS HER MOM IN THE BEGINNING. THAT WAS HER MOM LOOKING AT HERSELF IN THE TROPHY CASE. oh god THAT WAS AMY’S MOM ASKING HER DAUGHTER IN HER BODY TO DO HER HOMEWORK. oh my god this is one of the creepiest things ever HOW DOES SOMEONE THINK OF THIS SHIT.

Honestly, this is just a strong episode from start to end, and I found myself gripped by trying to figure out how this would be resolved, especially with Buffy incapacitated. Truly, this was mostly Giles’s time to shine. Now I sort of want backstory on him. Where did he come from? Did he always know that he was a Watcher or was that bestowed on him as well? That’s for another day, I hope. For now, though, this was a really fun episode that was much creepier than I expected it to be. And though the effect is not very good, the mental image of Amy’s mother, forever trapped in that statue, is disturbing as hell.

Damn, that was good, though.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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386 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S01E03 – Witch

  1. Stephen_M says:

    Umm, you are aware that saying something like that on the interwebs is roughly equivalent to climbing up to the tallest building around you in the middle of a thunderstorm while wearing copper armour and shouting "All gods are bastards!" at the top of your lungs, right? It's just not going to end well… 😉

  2. rabbitape says:

    Ok, I think I have robots on the brain, because my first thought was, "Why is that machine eating a kitten?" and then "What does a machine eating a kitten have to do with 500 errors?"

  3. Meltha says:

    I mean, yes, granted I did not set cheerleaders on fire.

    And that's why we love you, Mark.

    And also, yes, this is a wonderful episode with a whole lot of feminist subtext. The first time you see what actually happened, you kind of have to rewatch it to realize that, wow, THAT's what happened. And while Joyce certainly is, as you point out, clueless, she's also a loving mom who really wants her daughter to be happy and safe. It's nice to see a mother figure who isn't a villain.

  4. ambyrglow says:

    Vg'f nyfb n avpr cerphefbe gb ure fnlvat fur jbhyqa'g jnag gb or fvkgrra ntnva

    Juvpu vf n avpr ovg bs sberfunqbjvat sbe shgher frnfbaf. Bu, Wblpr. Ab, lbh qba'g jnag gb or fvkgrra ntnva. Ernyyl, ernyyl abg.

  5. So you have either just watched American Psycho or read Robopocalypse.

    I have done the latter.

  6. Maya says:



  7. settlingforhistory says:

    V nyjnlf gubhtug bs Knaqre nf dhvgr n gentvp punenpgre.
    Abg orpnhfr ur vf gur bqq bar bhg nf gur bayl 'Zhttyr' ohg orpnhfr ur vf fb vafrpher. V thrff vg'f abg rnfl orrvat va n tebhc bs ernyyl (abg arprffnevyl fhcreangheny) fgebat jbzra.
    Yrnivat Naln ng gur nygne vf cebonoyl jung znxrf n ybg bs snaf ungr uvz, ohg V sryg onq sbe uvz, gbb. Ur vf nsenvq bs gheavat vagb uvf sngure, bs orrvat hfryrff.
    Jurer ur n (abg Ohssl eryngrq)pbzvp-punepgre ur jbhyq unir ghearq vagb n ivyyvna ng nebhaq frnfba sbhe, jvgu nyy gur vffhrf ur unf.

  8. Aria says:

    I always wonder what Alyson Hannigan's natural shade is . . . . she always seemed like a naural redhead to me, but then she pulled off dark brown really well on HIMYM . . . .

  9. eruonna says:

    > Fast thinking, Buffy! Nice to know that Stop-Drop-and-Roll is part of Slayer training.

    I really liked this bit because it shows how she can take charge in a crisis. You kind of get that in the previous episodes in how she responds to the vampires, but that could be because she's the Slayer(tm) and it's her Destiny. What she did here didn't require any special Slayer powers; anyone could have done it. But Buffy was the one to assess the situation, make a decision about what to do, and make it happen.

  10. Aria says:

    I love this show, but haven't watched it through since I introduced my sister to it two years ago. I tend to stick to my favourite few episodes now, which normally excludes most of Season One. Thanks for giving me a reason to re-watch and recall the goodness in these episodes!

  11. hassibah says:

    OH heh I didn't realize this was posted 2 days ago. The site being down 3/4 of the time is not really conducive to me reading comments.

  12. lyvanna says:

    I love Joyce showing Buffy the yearbook and talking about her days at school "it made me look a lot more popular than I actually was". I now imagine teenage-Joyce to be more of a Willow than a Buffy.

  13. tanbarkie says:

    Xander's not my favorite character on the show, but I can't get on board the hate train that this particular fanbase seems to have latched onto. Is he a sterling exemplar of the feminist male? No. But he's not supposed to be. Like most of Joss Whedon's characters, Xander's a complex person, and boiling him down to "Nice Guy Creeper" is, IMO, is short-sighted as dismissing Willow as "dull wallflower nerd" or Cordelia as "loudmouth popular jerk girl."

    Xander is undeniably immature, insensitive, hormonally-charged, passive aggressive, and doesn't really know the first thing about interacting with women. He's also well-meaning, intelligent, brave, and doesn't take himself too seriously. Personally, I think his flaws make him interesting, while his positive attributes make him someone possible to root for. More importantly, I think the flaws that people have already spilled quite a lot of Internet Ink attacking are providing the writers with a way to approach the issues associated with "Nice Guy Syndrome" in an interesting and nuanced way.

    But then, I've never really felt the need to judge the personal worth of fictional characters. I get annoyed when characters are wielded poorly by writers, but as long as the character remains intriguingly complicated while maintaining internal consistency (i.e. no Out of Character Revelations, s'il vous plait), I don't really care if he or she is someone I'd find skeevy or detestable in real life. If the writers do their job right, such a character will still be interesting.

  14. RoseFyre says:

    Yeah, well, she's from Southern California and she's a Valley Girl. I think the assumption is that she spends a lot of weekends tanning at the beach. 😛

  15. Smurphy says:

    Comments on your reviews first I think.

    I was afraid of the site having to go down for a couple hours. Hopefully this will happen tonight though when I'm at my sister's concert.

    Second. Glad you liked the show. Not one of the my faves… I think once you know what's going to happen in this one it's a little blase.

    Third I am so excited you are beginning to get these characters… Whedon's character build-up, as you also saw in Firefly, is just so phenomenally fantastic.

    Now onto my larger review…

    OK here it is… I LOVE GILES. That entire opening bit. He is just brilliant. "This is madness. What could you have been thinking? You are the Slayer. Lives depend upon you. I make allowances for your youth, but I expect a certain amount of responsibility, instead of which you enslave yourself to this-this… cult." Also… love that they call cheerleading a cult. Also… CONGRATULATIONS on getting a prediction right!!

    I thought they set things up too quickly in this episode. Can I enjoy Buffy being normal for just half a second. On the same scale I LOVE that this "Isn't a vampire problem."

    V sbetbg Jvyybj jnf n pbzchgre unpxre…

    I just recently watched this episode so nothing really surprised me and I found it a bit dull.

    I LOVE when Joyce talks about her parenting skills to herself.

    Xander's attempt to ask Buffy out… CLASSIC!

    The Cordelia car scene…. CLASSIC!

    I feel like someone should be making a list of all the 90isms in these episodes.

    BUFFY blatantly saying she's a vampire slayer in front of her mom. LOVE IT. The entire scene where Buffy is under whatever-you-would-call-it spell. Buffy's new friends (V JNAAN FNL FPBBOL TNAT FB ONQYL) dragging her out although she could have easily fought her way outta that one. Calling Xander one of the girls. This scene is probably the reason you should watch this episode.

    The cat. Seriously? Disapprove.

    Um… I have to mention how much I love Joyce again.

    I really am not a huge fan of this episode even on a first season level of rating.

    ALSO SUPER CREEPY ENDING… juvpu arire trgf zragvbarq rire ntnva???

    • Mez says:

      NYFB FHCRE PERRCL RAQVAT… juvpu arire trgf zragvbarq rire ntnva???

      Vg qbrf fyvtugyl – Bm abgvprf gur fgnghr’f rlrf zbivat qhevat Cunfrf.

  16. Karen says:

    Vg'f abg whfg gung ur yrsg Naln ng gur nygne. Vg'f uvf nggvghqr, uvf frafr bs ragvgyrzrag, uvf cbfrffvirarff bs Ohssl naq uvf trareny nffubyr-vfu-arff.

    Guvf vf n tbbq ragel nobhg jul Knaqre vf fb greevoyr: (spoilers for all 7 seasons, but it's a good read if you want to understand why I dislike Xander so much)

  17. Karen says:

    Vg'f abg whfg gung ur yrsg Naln ng gur nygne. Vg'f uvf nggvghqr, uvf frafr bs ragvgyrzrag, uvf cbfrffvirarff bs Ohssl naq uvf trareny nffubyr-vfu-arff.

    Guvf vf n tbbq ragel nobhg jul Knaqre vf fb greevoyr: (spoilers for all 7 seasons, but it's a good read if you want to understand why I dislike Xander so much)

  18. Karen says:

    Vg'f abg whfg gung ur yrsg Naln ng gur nygne. Vg'f uvf nggvghqr, uvf frafr bs ragvgyrzrag, uvf cbfrffvirarff bs Ohssl naq uvf trareny nffubyr-vfu-arff.

    Guvf vf n tbbq ragel nobhg jul Knaqre vf fb greevoyr: (spoilers for all 7 seasons, but it's a good read if you want to understand why I dislike Xander so much)

  19. Karen says:

    Vg'f abg whfg gung ur yrsg Naln ng gur nygne. Vg'f uvf nggvghqr, uvf frafr bs ragvgyrzrag, uvf cbfrffvirarff bs Ohssl naq uvf trareny nffubyr-vfu-arff.

    Guvf vf n tbbq ragel nobhg jul Knaqre vf fb greevoyr: (spoilers for all 7 seasons, but it's a good read if you want to understand why I dislike Xander so much)

  20. Mez says:

    Vs lbh ybbx ng nyy gur ERNYYL rneyl snaqbz fghss, rirelbar graqf gb gnyx nobhg Fynlrerggrf.

  21. RoseFyre says:


    Xander is not the best at dealing with women, no. But he's SIXTEEN years old. He has hormones. His hormones make him like pretty girls and want to have sex with them even if they're not actually interested in him. Is this supposed to be a surprise or something?

    So I agree that sometimes he seems a bit of a jerk with his manly man schtick, but he's hanging out with two girls, he's 16 years old, he feels like he has something to prove.

    Besides, Buffy's speech about him being one of the girls totally wins.

  22. Smurphy says:

    And then she just loved being a redhead?? haha. Love it.

  23. Smurphy says:

    Greatest EVER!

  24. echinodermata says:

    Abg ernyyl fher jung lbh zrna ol vg orvat n zbbg cbvag, ohg onfvpnyyl gurer ner nyernql crbcyr va gur cnfg guerr rc erivrjf pnyyvat bhg fbzr bs Knaqre'f orunivbe nf fxrril naq "Avpr Thl"-vfu, naq V'q tb gel gb svaq gubfr pbzzragf vs lbh'er phevbhf – gur hfre Xnera unf orra cbfgvat pbzzragf bhgyvavat vg nyy cerggl jryy, naq V jbhyq nterr jvgu jung fur fnlf va nqqvgvba gb gur fghss V qba'g yvxr gung ur qbrf va shgher rcf.

    Zl "ungr pyho" pbzzrag jnf zbfgyl gb fnl V fvqr jvgu crbcyr'f vagrecergngvba gung Knaqre unf orra npgvat fxrril (va whfg gurfr ortvaavat rcf, ohg pregnvayl jvgu zber gb pbzr).

  25. Mez says:

    NYFB FHCRE PERRCL RAQVAT… which never gets mentioned ever again???

    Vg qbrf fyvtugyl – Bm abgvprf gur fgnghr'f rlrf zbivat qhevat Cunfrf.

  26. echinodermata says:

    Hey welcome back!

  27. RoseFyre says:

    Fur'f abg va qravny ol gung cbvag – Onaq Pnaql vf Frnfba Guerr. V guvax fur qbrfa'g zragvba vg zhpu nsgrejneqf qhr gb gur rzoneenffzrag snpgbe zber guna nalguvat – vg'f tbg gb or cerggl rzoneenffvat gb ernyvmr lbh enaqbzyl unq frk jvgu lbhe qnhtugre'f Jngpure ba gur ubbq bs n cbyvpr pne.

  28. randomisjen says:

    Gurer ner ab IB'f cnfg frnfba 1 ba gur QIQ'f.Gurl fnl vg vf NFU. V qba'g jngpu ba Argsyvk, fb V qba'g xabj jub gur IB vf gurer.

  29. Stephen_M says:

    Thanks! though the truth is I've been checking in from time to time but… well, the problem is I don't have time to rewatch series along with y'all and while my memory is pretty good I don't trust myself to stay utterly spoiler-free without checking my facts on most series (Who is an exception 😉 ). Plus, while I understand the need for the ROT13 stuff it makes conversations almost impossible to follow and sorta takes away a large chunk of what I like about this place. Nice thing about Who is now we're all caught up and reviews happen in real time that problem doesn't really exist and it's one of the very few shows that broadcasts on the same date both sides of the Atlantic.

    Figure I'll try and do a proper post at the end of each series of Buffy (I can at least remember what happens in each year) and bimble along occasionally checking in and helping to reduce the server to gibbering in the corner. Though I'll be on-board for Lord of the Rings over at Reads, I already have bets on the level of gibber that'll be achieved during that one!

  30. echinodermata says:

    Your use of phrases like "hate train that this particular fanbase seems to have latched onto" and "I think the flaws that people have already spilled quite a lot of Internet Ink attacking" come off as pretty dismissive. I just want to point that out and to say that your comment sort of raised my hackles because it, unintentionally or not, gives the message of 'you're overreacting.' And the accusation of "overreacting" is a tired one that gets used to shut down feminist arguments all the time. So you responding to this particular conversation in the particular way you did – like I said, it raised my hackles. It's perfectly fine that you don't hate Xander, but I ask that you not take a condescending attitude towards people voicing concerns about a character acting and behaving in sexist ways.

  31. SelphieFairy says:


    This is what I get when I'm absent from my computer. I can't believe I missed the first 2 entries for Buffy! BUFFY! In other words, my favorite television show ever! I'm so excited! I knew that you would love Willow! :DD

    I won't spoil anything (of course), but I just want to say that Buffy is a LONG show. Lots of things happen but they happen VERY VERY slowly. So I hope that you will have the patience to wait and then be suprised for all of them. (:

  32. Smurphy says:

    Oh well in that case. I love Xander in these early episodes. I am anti-Xander hate club.

  33. Mez says:

    Gurer ner ab IB'f cnfg frnfba 1 ba gur QIQ'f.

    Juvpu QIQf ner lbh jngpuvat? Zvar unir ibvprbiref jryy vagb gur frpbaq frnfba.

  34. Smurphy says:

    Lbh erirefrq zl ebg13, ohg V qba'g guvax nalbar jvyy abgvpr naq nu… V jnfa'g fher.

  35. RoseFyre says:

    Vg qbrf trg zragvbarq ntnva. Bm cbvagf bhg gung gur fgnghr'f rlrf sbyybj lbh va Frnfba…2 be 3.

    Juvpu vf orggre guna gur raqvatf bs fbzr bgure Frnfba 1 rcvfbqrf gung ARIRE trg zragvbarq ntnva (Grnpure'f Crg naq Bhg bs Zvaq, Bhg bs Fvtug pbzr gb zvaq).

  36. RoseFyre says:

    So, we have established that Buffy's mom is awesome, correct?

    In the category of totally random, I actually got to meet her (well, the actress, whatever) once!

    …At my chiropractor's office, of all places.

    Whatever, it was awesome getting to shake her hand and say I was a huge Buffy fan and basically squee for hours afterwards.

    This is one of those great things about living in NYC – seeing famous people…though most of the time I admittedly don't care. But I did with Joyce and with one of the other Buffy actors whose name I will rot13 because he has not shown up yet (Wbanguna). I got to sit at the table next to him at a sushi place.

    …Me? Obsessive?

    …Just a little. 😀

  37. Rayne says:

    I think my head just exploded!

  38. aurelia says:

    It's so much fun to see the show through fresh eyes! I'm looking forward to your reactions to so many things.

  39. Smurphy says:

    V ernyyl erzrzore irel yvggyr bs gur svefg srj frnfbaf. V jnf bayl … 9 jura V fgnegrq jngpuvat vg. Jbj. JUL JNF ZL ZBGURE YRGGVAT ZR JNGPU GUVF ohg lrnu Gur bgure pbzzragre zragvbarq gung. Gunaxf.

    Note to self: at some point in time post that one bit not in rot13. I'll wait for a really bad episode…. Seriously though.

  40. randomisjen says:

    Zl Frnfba 1 Ertvba 1 QIQ'f ner bire gra lrnef byq, naq yvxryl gur ernfba sbe gur qvssrerapr.

  41. Smurphy says:

    Or I'll just tweet it… if you wanted to follow… lately its just been me in love with MarkDoesStuff.

  42. NB2000 says:


    Fbeel, V whfg unq gb.

  43. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    I genuinely wish this was the problem. I could CUDDLE the server errors away.

  44. hassibah says:

    Weirdly enough I was thinking Charisma looked vaguely latina but I had no idea she actually was. Gah it's really a shame it wasn't brought into the show then.

  45. RoseFyre says:

    And a beach umbrella!

  46. xpanasonicyouthx says:


  47. t09yavosaur says:

    This might be my first review with thoughts as I watched. Yay!:

    ~Things Mark asked for yesterday:
    Sport tryout – Check
    Non-vampire – Check

    ~"Walk softly" and carry a pointy stick

    ~Buffy was wearing snake skin and Cordelia had leopard spots.

    ~Hail King of Cretins!

    ~Tough mom, red herring? – After: Kind of?

    ~first Buffy's mom doesn't have time to care, then she has time to try to push her own interests?

    ~those contacts look painful

    ~Buffy needs to get drunk more, though not in life threatening ways.

    ~Buffy is dying, is there time for this exposition?

    ~This is why they don't have axes in schools

    Willow: *BASEBALL BAT*

    So far I like Buffy I do not love Buffy yet (Though I do love Drunk Buffy). Thinking about it, I don't think I even have the ability to "love" Buffy as of yet as I am a one show kind of girl (Except for that summer fling with Doctor Who) and I'm currently taken. I am friends with a lot of shows and I can say that Buffy and I could become good friends. But the obsession switch in my head isn't even tickled yet. I think I will have to wait until my current show (who is on his deathbed may he rest in peace) is over and, after the mourning period, maybe I will be open to new connections. Mind Buffy will also be competing with Once Upon A Time and Being Human US then so we will see.

    One strange thing: There are moments in these episodes that feel like they should be awkward. I feel like I should be mentally cringing, for example, when Giles is expositioning about spontaneous combustion, or with Buffy and her Slayerettes but the feeling wasn't there. Maybe it is just the deadpan way in which they were delivered but I do know that if this were a modern show I definitely would be wincing at this dialogue.

    • notemily says:

      ~first Buffy's mom doesn't have time to care, then she has time to try to push her own interests?

      I think that was more like, Joyce realized that Buffy was trying to reach out more to her, which explains her change of attitude in the next mother-daughter scene. Also, she wasn't busy trying to unpack fertility statues or whatever.

      Also was it just me or did Amy look pretty pleased with Xander hugging her?

      • t09yavosaur says:

        Until he said to chop off her head I think she did. And I know if I had been stuck in the house in my moms body for a few months a hug would be a nice first thing to feel when I got my own body back.

  48. robin says:

    Some good funny lines in this one. The writers clearly love writing Cordelia being outrageous. Xander makes me a bit uncomfortable in this episode, though. Too much "Nice Guy", if you know what I mean. The bracelet thing is so squicky.

    For the veterans… Tvyrf: "Vg jnf zl svefg pnfgvat. Ubcr V tbg vg evtug."
    Jung qb jr guvax — pbagvahvgl reebe? Be vf Tvyrf gelvat gb cynl vg bss gb pbire hc uvf Qnex Cnfg? V pna'g ragveryl qrpvqr urer. Gur guvat gung znxrf zr guvax znlor Tvyrf vf cynlvat vg bss vf gung ur qvq pbeerpgyl raq n pbzcyvpngrq fcryy qbar ba frireny crbcyr ol n pyrneyl irel cbjreshy jvgpu. Ohg vg'f nyfb irel cbffvoyr gung gur jevgref unqa'g qrivfrq Tvyrf' onpxfgbel lrg naq gura yngre sbetbg gurl'q qbar guvf. (Vg srryf jrveq gb zr gubhtu fvapr zntvp!qbvat!Tvyrf erirny vf rneyl F2 — abg gung sne va gur shgher, rfcrpvnyyl fvapr F1 vf n fubeg bar.)

    • notemily says:

      V guvax vg pna or ernq rvgure jnl, Jngfbavna be Qblyvfg vs lbh jvyy. V hfhnyyl cersre gb guvax va Jngfbavna grezf, fb V whfg guvax Tvyrf jnf cergraqvat urer.

  49. karadudz says:

    My favourite quote/dialogue from this episode was between Giles and Willow:

    GILES: Why should someone want to harm Cordelia?
    WILLOW: Maybe because they met her? … Did I say that?


  50. robin says:

    Lrnu, Knaqre vf fgvyy gur jbefg va Frnfba 2. Ur qbrfa'g trg orggre sbe zr hagvy Frnfba 3. Ohg gou vg'f ernyyl Frnfba 4 jurer V ortna gb gehyl ybir uvz nf n punenpgre.

    • settledforhistory says:

      Man, I'm glad there is somebody here who doesn't hate him.
      V nterr gung fbzr bs uvf qrpvfvbaf ner greevoyr naq ur qbrfa'g gerng uvf tveysevraqf nyy gung jryy ohg zbfg snaf urer frrz gb oynzr gung nyy ba uvz.
      V zrna, gur jubyr Pbeql svnfpb jnf qbbzrq sebz gur fgneg, gurl whfg qvqa'g svg naq Pbeql qvqa'g gerng uvz nal orggre. (Fur qhzcrq uvz ba Inyragvar'f Qnl!).
      V trg jul vg obguref snaf gung ur frrzrq fb cbfrffvir bs Ohssl, ohg jul pna'g ur whfg qvfyvxr Natry? Ur trgf nybat svar jvgu Evyrl fb vg'f abg ernyyl wrnybhfl, ur whfg ungrf inzcvrerf, ab rkprcgvbaf.

      • ambyrglow says:

        Ur pna qvfyvxr Natry. Uryy, V qvfyvxr Natry. Ohg gur yvr ur gryyf va F2 tbrf orlbaq "qvfyvxvat Natry" vagb "yrggvat uvf qvfyvxr sbe Natry yrnq uvz vagb qryvorengryl qbvat fbzrguvat gung ur unf gb xabj jvyy genhzngvmr Ohssl, jubz ur pynvzf ur pnerf sbe."

        V pbhyq qrny jvgu guvf n ybg orggre vs V gubhtug gur fubj haqrefgbbq whfg ubj njshy n guvat ur'q qbar . . . vs vg rire pnzr onpx gb ovgr uvz va gur nff, vs nalbar rire pnyyrq uvz ba vg, rire. Ohg vg arire pbzrf hc ntnva. Gur fubj tvirf uvz n serr cnff. Naq fb V whqtr uvz nyy gur uneqre sbe vg. Abg pbby, Knaqre, abg pbby.

  51. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    OH SNAP.

  52. misterbernie says:

    And his constant need to be seen as a Manly Man, of course. Buffy is stronger than you, get over it.

  53. Rayne says:

    Okay, I'm going to stand up and proudly declare my love for Season one. I LOVE SEASON ONE! I started watching from the premiere of the first episode and instantly knew it was something special. Finally, I had a strong, female, kick-ass lead character the I could love and admire! And this show changed my vocabulary so much! I doubt a day goes buy where I don't spout a Buffy-ism.

    It's kind of making me sad to read these comments and realize how many people don't like season one.

    • tanbarkie says:

      "Buffy-ism" is, like, a meta-Buffy-ism.

    • Kari18212 says:

      I like season one!!! 🙂 It's not my favorite, but only because I literally can't pick one it's basically a four (maybe five) way tie lol. Season one is worth it for kick ass girl as the lead and awesome Buffy-speak. I didn't watch it from the beginning, but I still loved it when I finally did see it.

      Expectation spoilers ahead… V guvax gur ceboyrz zbfg crbcyr unir vf gurl xabj abj ubj zhpu orggre vg trgf (rfcrpvnyyl gur npgvat yby). Ba vgf bja, guvf fubj vf cerggl njrfbzr sebz qnl 1. Vg'f whfg uneq gb guvax gung jura lbh unir Orpbzvat, Gur Obql, Gur Tvsg, rgp, rgp, gb pbzcner vg gb. Whfg zl bcvavba gubhtu!

      • misterbernie says:

        V pbzcyrgryl nterr jvgu lbh gurer; sbe zr vg'f abg gung V qba'g yvxr frnfbar bar, ohg vg whfg trgf fb zhpu zber njrfbzr yngre ba gung vg'f xvaqn qvssvphyg gb trg fhcrerkpvgrq sbe fBar.

    • notemily says:

      I really like season one. Frnfba gjb vf zl snibevgr bs nyy gvzr, ohg frnfba bar vf fb pnzcl naq fvyyl naq V pna'g uryc ohg ybir vg. Rfcrpvnyyl gur ynfg rcvfbqr juvpu erznvaf va zl gbc 5 Ohssl rcvfbqrf rire.

  54. robin says:

    What creeps me out isn't that he has hormones, pervs on girls, and is an awkward teenage boy. It's that he pervs on BUFFY who is supposed to be his friend. She believes his friendship to be authentic and not a holding period until he can "win her". It comes across to me like a betrayal of trust. Yes, I sympathize that it can be hard to like someone who doesn't like you (we've all been there) and to put yourself out there to be hurt by asking someone out. But I don't prioritize his concerns over Buffy's and her right not to have people get close to her with ulterior motives.

    Maybe I'm more sensitive about this because I'm a woman who's always had primarily male friends — this is like my nightmare. My friendships with men are real platonic friendships – no sexual tension, no flirting, no jealousy. But yes, this has happened to me twice (finding out that a guy I thought was a new friend was just trying to "warm me up" to date me). And I felt hurt and violated, not flattered.

    • robin says:

      ogj, sbe zr Jvyybj vf n qvssrerag fvghngvba orpnhfr fur unf orra uvf orfg sevraq fvapr puvyqubbq fb fur qrsvavgryl qvqa'g ragre gur sevraqfuvc jvgu hygrevbe zbgvirf. Naq fur gevrf uneq gb or n fhccbegvir, gehr sevraq naq abg yrg vg pbybe gurve eryngvbafuvc. Fbzrgvzrf ure orunivbe QBRF znxr zr hapbzsbegnoyr, ohg hfhnyyl abg.

    • tanbarkie says:

      I just think it's possible to find the personality type a character represents repulsive without actually find that particular character repulsive for representing that personality type, if that makes any sense.

      I mean, again – as a counterexample, Cordelia (as presented in the show so far) is pretty much the very definition of some of the stuck-up popular girls that made much of my junior high school career feel like hell. But I've never once held that against Cordelia the character. First, because she didn't personally do those mean things that upset me. Second, because she's fictitious. And third, because if there's one thing I've learned from Joss Whedon's other shows, it's that some of my favorite characters in the universe are those who force me to empathize with a personality type I despise in real life, and consider the perspective of such people.

  55. monkeybutter says:

    Me, too. Filling the void by watching this on repeat for the rest of the month.[youtube Gn5PCKBRXLg youtube]

  56. egao-gakari says:

    Whee! First kinda-good episode!

    When I first saw season 1 I think this was the episode that made me think, "Yeah, okay, I want to watch more of this." The first two episodes I had basically been killing time. "Witch" was the beginning of the long slow slide into obsession….

    You are so unprepared, Mark 🙂

  57. quenstalof says:

    Mortal Kombat!
    Uhm….sorry, that song they're cheering to always reminds me of the Mortal Kombat theme and cheerleading. (We did a cheer to it when I was a tiny sixth grade cheerleader, which would have been about the same year this aired I think)
    The Force-choke amused me.

    So far this was my favorite episode, but that may be in part because there were no vampires in it? Maybe? I liked Buffy wanting to do more "normal" teenager things and the plot twist surprised me so there's that too. Looking forward to tomorrow because I feel like the episodes are just going to keep getting better as the actors and the writers and everyone just gets into the swing of things.

  58. lula34 says:

    "Witch" contains the very first line of dialogue that I remember seeing quoted throughout the Buffyverse, so thankyouverymuch, Xander:
    "I laugh in the face of danger! Then I…hide until it goes away."


    • notemily says:

      Makes me think of this line from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

      [youtube 4AJS9-uJSjs youtube]

      • lula34 says:

        Ah, man. Am I gonna have to watch Avatar, too?

        • notemily says:

          You mean you haven't? 😀

          • lula34 says:

            Outside of South Park and Ren & Stimpy, I've not seen a cartoon since He-Man and She-Ra. (Conveniently dismissing all the offerings on Disney and Nickelodeon since I became a parent a decade ago, because…obviously.) What's the draw to Avatar? Legitimately asking. I'm an enormous Lostie, Whovian, Whedonite, Potterphile, Ringer, & Trekkie. How did I miss the Avatar ship? AM I INCOMPLETE?

            • bluemeanies says:

              Avatar is a beautifully drawn epic fantasy in a fully realized asian inspired world. Parts of it are just goofy, parts of it are really intense one shots with moral ambiguity and parts of it are really well serialized arcs. The scripts are well done while remaining age appropriate for elementary school kids (the original intended audience), the animation is just gorgeous from the characters to the settings to the action set pieces and the music is expertly done. Definitely reccomended. You can even watch along with completed mark watches reviews.

              As for how did you miss it- it aired on Nickelodeon who put minimal promotion into it can couldn't even be bothered to always air it at its regularly scheduled time (or even promised irregularly scheduled time). It was very easy to miss. Fortunately it was good enough that word leaked out of its box and I expect the follow up series (Legend of Korra) will be much harder to miss when it comes out next year (fall start right?)

            • notemily says:

              Avatar is WONDERFUL. And I say this as someone who doesn't watch cartoons besides the occasional Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli film. Like, the fact that most cartoons creep me the fuck out is well known among my friends. But Avatar is not only gorgeous, it's got everything a great story should have. Believable, relatable, flawed characters. Humor. Tragedy. Wonderful writing. While it's ostensibly a children's show, it's much the same way as the HP books are children's books. They can be understood and enjoyed by children, but they're such great stories that people of any age can enjoy them. And the Asian-inspired world it's set in is so well-done and avoids any sort of Orientalism or stereotypical portrayals of Asian cultures.

              And I second the recommendation to watch along with Mark's reviews!

  59. fantasylover120 says:

    Whedon plot twists. Got to love em.
    I personally love that Buffy wants to be a cheerleader. I sort of think it's Whedon's way of stomping on the dumb blond cheerleader stereotype that's all over horror.
    Now if you'll excuse me I need to go and get Macho Man out of my head.

  60. tanbarkie says:

    If I came off as dismissive, I apologize.

    But I have to say: I take some exception to the implication that my argument should itself be dismissed because you happen to interpret it as resembling the "overreacting" argument. I'm a pretty fucking ardent feminist myself, and don't appreciate you dismissing MY argument based on a misinterpretation of it.

    Again, to be clear: I'm not saying that Xander's sexist attitude or actions are morally acceptable. I'm saying that just because they're wrong, doesn't make him an inherently bad person that deserves "to have his mouth magically sealed shut," the way several posters above suggested. Nor does it make him an uninteresting character.

    • echinodermata says:

      I wasn't dismissing your argument; I was saying that I interpreted some parts of your comment as condescending towards those expressing their concern about perceived sexism. I'm not dismissing what you have to say about Xander but I am wary of what I saw as condescending remarks aimed at a feminist discussion that was taking place.

      I should perhaps try to clarify why I made my comment – to use an example, during ATLA there was a particular comment thread about how a male character gave his niece a doll as a present when clearly that girl was not one to appreciate dolls. It was a discussion about gender expectations and sexist assumptions and was largely feminist in nature. Some people didn't view that scene as one to be concerned about with that male character's behavior, and were dismissive and condescending and derailing in the conversation. It got pretty gross and at least one person got banned.

      Basically, I don't want to see another thread like that happen and as a mod I felt that pointing to what I found to be condescending remarks could help curb those sorts of comments being made – the purpose of my comment was to try to avoid a situation like the one that happened during ATLA from ensuing. It's one thing to say that Xander's an interesting character and here's why I don't hate him, but it's another to directly make remarks about the people who don't agree with you about how they're "spilling internet ink" "attacking" Xander's flaws and that they've "latched" onto a "hate train."

      Basically, I thought your comment included needlessly accusatory remarks towards other users when they weren't needed in your argument. And that's what I wanted to point out.

      • tanbarkie says:

        Look, I don't think it's cool to dismiss feminist discussions with that kind of traditionalist condescension either. But your insistence that what I said constitutes such condescension is starting to become, well, offensive to me, as a fellow feminist. I already apologized if the tone of my words came off as flippant or harsh.

        But I stand by my underlying point, which again was NOT about shouting down a "feminist discussion" for "overreacting," but about offering a counterpoint to a group of Mark Watches fans who, THREE EPISODES into the series, have already written numerous posts about how much they hate Xander and feel he should be punished. I'm not saying these posters shouldn't be allowed to say such things, or that they shouldn't have these opinions. Of course they are welcome to think and say whatever they want about Xander. But I happen to disagree quite strongly with that opinion, and I have the right to post my opinions on Xander as well, so long as I'm following the rules of the site.

        • echinodermata says:

          Yes you absolutely have the right to post your opinions on Xander as well. I don't think I've implied otherwise and we are certainly not in disagreement about that. So I stand with your underlying point too. I don't think you were shouting down a feminist discussion, and I accept your apology about the tone.

          The point of my comment was not to say 'you, tanbarkie, stop it' but rather to say as a general explanation to everyone that they are fully welcome to post why you may disagree with someone, but that glib remarks directed at the commenters you disagree with create a more unwelcoming environment, and I feel I have a responsibility to moderate that sort of thing from whichever side it comes from.

          What I'm trying to get across is that you agree with the fact that people "are welcome to think and say whatever they want about Xander." That's what I want to happen – that people feel welcome to sharing their opinions – and I'm saying that avoiding remarks about other commenters and rather focusing on the actual content of criticism/defense of a character will help foster a more welcoming environment.

  61. magpie says:

    My friend had been bugging me to watch Buffy over the years and through that time managed to get me to watch the first two episodes. A month and a half ago, she finally sat me down to watch this episode, which changed everything. When I got home after watching this, I sought out the Buffy episodes on Netflixed and marathoned up to season 4. Thanks to life getting in the way, I'm watching at a more reasonable pace, but this episode is definitely what made the difference for me in terms of realizing that this was going to be a show that I'd actually go out of my way to watch.

  62. tanbarkie says:

    We should form a Xander love club.

    Er, I mean, Xander FAN club. Obviously.

    *shifty eyes*

  63. tanbarkie says:

    Elizabeth Anne Allen is the name of my Songs From Wes Anderson Movies cover band.


  64. misterbernie says:

    …dammit, I want to write a comment that isn't all rot13'd but whenever I start writing something up, I start straying into spoilery territory

    I love that you loved this episode, though. When I rewatch the series these days, I usually skip a lot of the early stuff because I've seen those episodes about 10 times by now, but Witch is always a must on a retread. I haven't had the time to rewatch along with you so far, but I'm considering putting this one on before I head to bed…

    Okay, I know I’m projecting like hell onto Buffy but YOU WILL ALLOW ME THIS SMALL MOMENT.
    That's the whole point of the show, plus, we love it when you project 😀
    (I always projected onto Willow because SHY NERDS WITH NO FASHION SENSE UNITE, although I've always been shite with computers, but fuck it, I'm also Hermione and I'm bad at *logic* or *planning*)

  65. notemily says:

    Can I form a Xander Ambivalence Club? We can have meetings where we talk about how we like Xander sometimes and don't like Xander other times, it'll be great.

    • Smurphy says:

      Nterrq ohg ng guvf cbvag va gur frevrf…. I am sorry. I am totally in the Xander fan club. He's funny and provides ample dosages of comic relief…. even if its because he's weird and at times a bit creepy.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      I'll join the Ambivalence Club with you. Admittedly it's been a while since I've watched Buffy, but I recall whfg jbaqrevat jung gur cbvag bs uvf punenpgre jnf sbe zbfg rcvfbqrf, ng yrnfg hagvy gur jubyr Naln/Knaqre guvat.

    • @sab39 says:

      Count me in to the Xander Ambivalence Club too. Ng uvf orfg, ur'f NZNMVAT. Ng uvf jbefg, ur'f NJSHY. Juvpu znxrf uvz… uhzna, V thrff. Creuncf zl nzovinyrapr vf cnegyl orpnhfr gur fubj fbzrgvzrf yrgf uvz bss gur ubbx gbb rnfvyl ng gur ynggre gvzrf, be yrgf uvz qvfzvff vg jvgu n jvggl erznex naq rirelbar whfg npprcgf vg nf Knaqre orvat Knaqre.

      (that rot13 is possibly over cautious as it only talks in very vague generalities and refers to attributes that we've already seen examples of, but I'm erring on the safe side in case it counts as an expectation spoiler that the attributes in question may continue)

    • Dru says:

      I will join that club! Though in my case it's more like Xander Indifference (mostly), which is ironic considering it was a magazine interview with Nicholas Brendon that had my 13-year-old cute-boy bells ringing and got me to watch Buffy in the first place.

  66. raelee514 says:

    Been lurking forever. Since you read Harry Potter — and actually I have to go back in there and finish your reactions to that. It's a blast watching you watch things I know and love so much and seeing your reactions. Especially with BSG and Firefly!

    Buffy will be fun too. I do hope afterward you'll consider watching Angel in full, because it's great show on it's own.

    Just wanted to say Hi ::waves::

  67. notemily says:

    Unun, V fgnegrq gb ernq gung naq gura gurl fnvq Bm jnfa'g n punenpgre naq V jnf yvxr UBJ QNER LBH. Ohg V qba'g guvax V ernyyl arrq gb unir Knaqre-ungr rkcynvarq gb zr, orpnhfr V tbg vg whfg sebz gubfr cubgbf ng gur gbc bs gur ragel. Knaqre jul lbh tbggn fhpx.

    • Karen says:

      unun. Gur thl jub jebgr gung rffnl vf irel zhpu gur xvaq bs crefba jub yvxrf gb or noyr gb nanylmr punenpgref naq gurve wbhearlf naq nccerpvngr gurz ba n zrgn yriry naq Bm… jryy. Bm vf shaal. V crefbanyyl yvxr Bm n ybg. Ohg ur oneryl unf n punenpgre nep.

  68. notemily says:

    See, I need a full-featured browser when I'm Google Reading, so I can post things I like to tumblr and click on like fifty links at once and open a bunch of new tabs. A phone app isn't going to cut it, also, I'm on Android. Feedly is okay, but really I just want a simple list of stuff. Pretty would be nice too, though.

  69. notemily says:

    Fur'f abg nyjnlf cresrpg, ohg V guvax fur unf zbzragf bs cher oevyyvnapr. V qb guvax Ryvmn Qhfuxh qvq n orggre wbo va gung rcvfbqr, gubhtu.

  70. notemily says:

    You know how on TV Tropes they have Dumb Blonde, Brainy Brunette, and Fiery Redhead? I love how this show completely throws that out the window. It's more like Dumb (or at least shallow) Brunette, Brainy Redhead, and Fiery Blonde.

    • sporkaganza93 says:

      Yeah. I actually noticed that myself how it totally messes with the blonde-brunette-redhead thing.

      Man, red isn't Alyson Hannigan's natural color, though? Wow! It just seems to fit her so well.

  71. James says:

    Oh, I think he's a great character, don't get me wrong, there's just stuff that I find problematic. Vg'f zbfgyl va frnfba 1, naq 2 naq 3 gb n yrffre rkgrag. Bapr ur'f bhg bs uvtu fpubby, ur'f zhpu orggre. V guvax gung fhzzre njnl qvq uvz n ybg bs tbbq naq urycrq uvz zngher. Uvf ceboyrzf arire shyyl qvfnccrne, orpnhfr nf lbh fnl, ur'f n jryy-ebhaqrq, pbzcyrk punenpgre, ohg ol frnfba 7, V nqber uvz, ceboyrzf naq nyy.

    • tanbarkie says:

      Ernyyl? V guvax Knaqre vf ng uvf orfg va gur rneyl frnfbaf, naq vf ng uvf nofbyhgr ybjrfg va Frnfba 6 ("Uryy'f Oryyf," nalbar?). Ur'f arire gur xvaq bs crefba V jbhyq svaq greevoyl nqzvenoyr va erny yvsr, ohg ur'f shaavre naq trarenyyl zber yvxrnoyr va Frnfbaf 1-4, naq V svaq uvf artngvir nggevohgrf zber rkphfnoyr jura ur'f n areibhf, varkcrevraprq nqbyrfprag guna jura ur'f fhccbfrqyl n tebja-hc.

      • cait0716 says:

        V haqrefgnaq Knaqre'f zbgvingvba va Uryy'f Oryyf. Ur unq gur jbefg gvzvat rire naq nofbyhgryl fubhyq unir nqqerffrq fbzr bs uvf pbapreaf zhpu rneyvre. Ohg V qb guvax ur qvq gur evtug guvat va abg zneelvat Naln.

        • notemily says:

          V graq gb qvfnterr, orpnhfr V srry yvxr ur jnf whfg yvxr "V qba'g jnag gb raq hc yvxr zl sngure, gurersber zneevntr vf n onq vqrn," juvpu vf abg n terng ernfba gb abg trg zneevrq. OHG V unir bayl frra gur rcvfbqr bapr, fb zl bcvavba znl punatr ba erjngpu.

      • Gur Mrccb. Zl nofbyhgr snibevgr Knaqre vf Mrccb Knaqre naq vg'f bar bs zl gbc 5 OgIF rcvfbqrf bs nyy gvzr. Vg'f gur rcvfbqr jurer zl uhfonaq svanyyl fgbccrq pbzcynvavat nobhg univat gb jngpu Ohssl jvgu zr naq fgnegrq ybivat gur fubj, uvzfrys.

    • cait0716 says:

      Mostly spoilers for future Buffy eps, but a little discussion of Dollhouse, too:

      V yvxr guvf pbzzrag. Wbff vf ernyyl vagrerfgrq va erqrzcgvba nf n gurzr. Abj V xabj Ohssl vafvqr naq bhg, ohg V unira'g qbar n pbzcyrgr erjngpu fvapr V fgnegrq frrvat gur Knaqre vf n Avpr Thl qvfpbhefr cbc hc. Juvyr V pna pregnvayl frr guvf orunivbe va rneyl frnfbaf, V'z jbaqrevat vs Knaqre'f nep pna or ernq nf bar bs erqrzcgvba sbe fbzr bs uvf yrff guna fgryyne orunivbe va gur rneyvre frnfba. Rfcrpvnyyl va yvtug bs jung jr yrnea nobhg uvf sngure/ubzr yvsr naq ubj gung nssrpgrq uvf ivrjf bs jbzra. V zbfgyl ernyyl yvxr Knaqre nf n punenpgre naq unir pregnvayl unq sevraqf yvxr uvz. Gurer'f fbzr ceboyrzngvp guvatf va yngr rcvfbqrf (V'z guvaxvat bs uvf snagnfl va "Qvegl Tveyf"), ohg gurer'f n qvssrerapr orgjrra univat gung snagnfl naq yrggvat vg nssrpg uvf npgvbaf (nf ur qbrf jvgu uvf snagnfl bs Ohssl-nf-qnzfry va "Grnpure'f Crg". Nyy guvf gb fnl, guvf vf fbzrguvat V'yy or vagrerfgrq gb ybbx sbe ba guvf erjngpu. Nf na nfvqr, vg zvtug nyfb or vagrerfgvat gb ybbx ng Knaqre nf n cebgbglcr sbe Gbcure. Gurl unir n ybg va pbzzba, ohg V guvax Gbcure nofbyhgryl fnj gur reebe bs uvf jnlf naq rnearq uvf erqrzcgvba ol gur raq bs Qbyyubhfr.

      • notemily says:

        V ybir Gbcure fb zhpu.

        • Dru says:

          Me too :). I love him, and I love Ivpgbe-nf-Gbcure even more.

          *sigh* that one could be pure adorkable sometimes. (Oraargg! whom I mainly love because SUMMER GLAU + Gbcure cranks the adorability factor up to 1000, I almost forgot some of the more problematic stuff just for those bits)

  72. Pseudonymph says:

    V ernq gung rffnl njuvyr onpx naq vg ernyyl ghearq zl bcvavba bs Knaqre nebhaq. V qba'g 100% ungr uvz ohg V qrsvavgryl qba'g yvxr uvz. Ur unf zbzragf urer naq gurer va juvpu ur frrzf nyy evtug ohg, lrnu, fbzrgvzrf V whfg jnag gb chapu uvf fghcvq snpr.

    V'z pbashfrq ol n ybg bs gur pbzzragf, gubhtu, orpnhfr znal bs gurz ner fnlvat Jvyybj vf rdhnyyl qrfcvpnoyr. V ernyyl qba'g trg gung. Qb lbh xabj jul gurl ner fnlvat gung? V ernyvmr fur xvyyrq n thl ohg gur thl jnf n qvfthfgvat encvfg/zvfbtlavfg/zheqrere fb V thrff gung vfa'g rabhtu gb znxr zr qvfyvxr Jvyybj. Nz V bireybbxvat fbzr bgure ernfba crbcyr zvtug ungr ure?

    • Karen says:

      Jvyybj qbrf fbzr funql naq frysvfu fghss nebhaq frnfbaf 4-6 gung V nyjnlf sbetrg nobhg hagvy V'z erjngpuvat gur rcvfbqrf, fb V pna'g tvir fcrpvsvpf bss gur gbc bs zl urnq.

      • @liliaeth says:

        Npghnyyl, fur nyernql fgnegf qbvat funql naq frysvfu fghss va gur svefg guerr frnfbaf nf jryy. Ohg orpnhfr Jurqba ybirf ure punenpgre fb zhpu (juvpu vf cebonoyl jul fur orpbzrf fb naablvat gb zr) abar bs ure synjf ner rire cbvagrq bhg.

        Whfg gb tvir na rknzcyr, va f3, Ybire'f Jnyx, Knaqre whfg jnagf gb qrny jvgu gurve pehfu gur abezny jnl, gel naq trg bire vg.

        Jvyybj vafgrnq vafgnagyl tenof sbe zntvp, naq gevrf gb punatr Knaqre'f zvaq/rzbgvbany fgngr/… jvgubhg uvf crezvffvba, naq nsgre ur'f nyernql gbyq ure ab.

        Va snpg, ol f6, V naq znal bgure crbcyr V xabj, gubhtug ure nep jnf svanyyl tbvat gb qrny jvgu ure fybj qrfprag vagb ure arrq sbe cbjre, sbe pbageby. Naq gura vafgrnq bs qrnyvat jvgu vg, gurl jrag jvgu gur zntvp=nqqvpgvba nep gung onfvpnyyl ehvarq gur punenpgre nep gung unq ure tbvat qnexre naq qnexre bire gur cerivbhf svir lrnef. N gehr jnfgr.

        Jvyybj nyjnlf frrzf gb teno sbe gur rnfl fbyyhgvba, gur dhvpx svk. Naq vg qbrfa'g uryc va gung fur'f rapbhentrq va qbvat fb, abg whfg ol ure sevraqf, ohg ol gur eryvnoyr nqhyg (nxn Tvyrf) nf jryy.

        Uryy, n ybg bs Jvyybj'f ceboyrzf jvgu zntvp fgrz sebz gur snpg gung hagvy fur zrg Gnen, fur arire ernyyl unq n grnpure, gur yvggyr gung Wraal gnhtug ure jnf artyvtnoyr, naq nsgre Wraal qvrq, Tvyrf cerggl zhpu yrsg ure gb ure bja qrivprf jurer zntvp jnf pbaprearq.

        V'ir nyjnlf sryg gung guvf vf n pyrne synj va Tvyrf naq n uhtr zvfgnxr bs uvz; orpnhfr nf ybat nf ur nyybjrq Jvyybj naq Knaqre gb uryc Ohssl, ur unq n erfcbafvovyvgl,obgu gb gurz naq gb Ohssl, gb grnpu naq vafgehpg gurz va orpbzvat gur orfg gurl pna or. Rfcrpvnyyl va ertneqf gb Jvyybj, jub pbhyq unir naq qvq orpbzr n guerng gb Ohssl, fvzcyl orpnhfr ab bar, nfvqr bs Gnen, rire obgurerq gb grnpu ure gur rguvpf bs jvgpupensg.

        Gubhtu nqzvggrqyl, gur bar guvat gung znxrf vg uneq sbe zr gb rira pbafvqre yvxvat Jvyybj sebz gur fgneg vf gur phgrfvarff. V xabj vg'f fhccbfrq gb or nqbenoyr, naq jura fur jnf fvkgrra, vg jnf fbzrjung gbyyrenoyr. Ohg gur byqre fur tbg, gur zber naablvat vg orpnzr gb zr.

        V qba'g xabj, V'ir nyjnlf sryg gurer'f n qvssrerapr orgjrra phgr naq phgrfvr. Ohssl vf phgr, Jvyybj'f whfg phgrfvr naq vg'f naablvat rabhtu gung rirel gvzr fur bcraf ure zbhgu, vg'f yvxr anvyf bire punyxobneq…

    • arctic_hare says:

      Jryy, sbe bar guvat, Jvyybj vf n encvfg urefrys – fur zrffrf jvgu Gnen'f zrzbel fb gung fur sbetrgf nobhg svtugf gurl unq bire ure nohfr bs zntvp. Ng yrnfg bapr vg'f fubja gung gurl unir frk nsgre bar bs gurfr zvaqjvcrf, naq VVEP vg'f fubja bafperra gung Jvyybj unf N YBG bs gur fcrpvsvp vaterqvrag arrqrq, vzcylvat gung fur qbrf guvf ba n erthyne onfvf.

      • @liliaeth says:

        Rknpgyl, naq ng yrnfg jura Fcvxr gevrq gb encr Ohssl, gur zbzrag fur xvpxrq uvz bss naq ur ernyvmrq jung ur'q qbar, ur abg bayl fgbccrq, ohg ur jrag gb trg uvf fbhy onpx gb znxr fher ur'q arire uheg ure ntnva.

        Jvyybj ba gur bgure unaq, jura pbasebagrq ol Gnen, cergraqrq fur jnf tbvat gb gel naq fgnl njnl sebz zntvp, naq gura gur frpbaq Gnen unq ure onpx ghearq, fur tenoorq onpx gb gur fnzr qngr encr qeht/zntvp vaterqvragf naq gevrq gb qb vg ntnva. Naq guvf jnf nsgre Gnen unq rkcyvpvgyl gbyq ure gung fur sryg gung jung Jvyybj unq qbar gb ure jnf n ivbyngvba.

        Naq gura jbefg bs nyy, nsgre Gnen yrsg ure, fur fgvyy qvqa'g ernyvmr whfg jul Gnen yrsg ure, cebira va ure yvar bs "fur yrsg zr sbe ab tbbq ernfba"

        V'ir nyjnlf frra guvf nf n uhtr synj va gur frevrf, gung srznyr ba srznyr be srznyr ba znyr encrf jrer arire gehyl gnxra frevbhf.

        • Pseudonymph says:

          Frr, V nyjnlf sbetrg nobhg Jvyybj qbvat guvf fuvg naq gung znxrf zr srry vpxl. Qrsvavgryl tebff orunivbe. V guvax V'q unir na rnfvre gvzr erzrzorevat vg vs gur fubj unq znqr nal rssbeg gb pnyy vg bhg sbe jung vg jnf. Abg whfg encr, ohg whfg gur vqrn gung fur jbhyq ghea gb zvaq pbageby ntnvafg Gnen <v>rfcrpvnyyl</v> nsgre jung Gnen rkcrevraprq jvgu Tybel va frnfba 5. Fvzcyl erchyfvir orunivbe.

          V guvax gur ovt ceboyrz vf gung Jvyybj unf frireny vagreeryngrq punenpgre synjf naq znxrf n ybg bs onq qrpvfvbaf ohg gur aneengvir arire chavfurf ure sbe gur <v>evtug</v> barf. Gnen fvatf nobhg Jvyybj'f orgenlny va BZjS ohg gung'f nobhg vg. Nsgre gung, gur bayl pevgvpvfzf gung bpphe jvguva gur fubj ner gung Jvyybj eryvrf gbb zhpu ba zntvp naq gung fur pbzzvggrq zheqre (tenagrq, V qba'g xabj vs nal bs gur bgure punenpgref ner njner bs ubj fur gerngrq Gnen).

          Ure npgvbaf gbjneq Gnen jrer noubeerag naq lrg guvf orunivbe frrzf gb tb pbzcyrgryl harknzvarq (fvzvyne gb Knaqre'f gerngzrag bs jbzra). Lrg gur snpg gung fur zheqrerq fbzrbar (juvpu V guvax vf npghnyyl gur zbfg sbetvinoyr bs nyy ure onq pubvprf) vf gur npg fur trgf chavfurq sbe jvguva gur aneengvir.

          Znwbe snvyher ba gur cneg bs gur jevgref. V guvax vs nalguvat, gurl fubhyq unir tbar nyy gur jnl naq znqr ure na bhgevtug ivyynva. Gung jbhyq unir orra fbzr thgfl naq snfpvangvat fgbelgryyvat.

          Zrnajuvyr Knaqre arire trgf nal va-aneengvir chavfuzrag sbe nal bs uvf qhovbhf npgvbaf juvpu whfg znxrf zr guvax gur jevgref gehyl gubhtug bs uvz nf gur fjrrg, ybinoyr, "urneg" bs gur gevb.

  73. The Consultant says:

    Such a fun episode and probably the beginning of my adolescent obsession with witches… The twist was really well done and I love how creepy it makes re-watching it. You suddenly pay a lot more attention to Amy's dialogue.

    When I was re-watching it this time I also suddenly thought of 'Freaky Friday' (the Disney movie where the mother and daughter switch bodies). The whole suddenly a kid-is old or old-person-is-young genre is quite common, but it is always played for laughs and ultimate ~understanding~ this is the only time I can think of where it is actually really creepy. Just a random thought.

  74. Allan Cornett says:

    What really impressed me was the dynamic between Buffy and her mom….when Buffy asks her if she would like to be 16 again she replies no way….making her the complete opposite of Amy's mom.

  75. Scottish Eddie says:

    Ybir gur snpg gung Nzl nccrnef urer naq vf zber be yrff nebhaq gb gur ynfg frnfba. Fnzr tbrf sbe Wbanguna, V qba'g guvax nal bs uvf rcvfbqrf jbhyq or nf cbjreshy vs gur fubj unqa'g fubja uvz nebhaq gur fpubby fb zhpu.

    Nyfb ubj hacercnerq vf Znex sbe Tvyrf njrfbzr onpxfgbel!!

  76. sporkaganza93 says:

    V yvxrq Knaqre va Frnfba 2. V qvqa'g ernyyl frr Knaqre'f pbzzragf gbjneq Pbeqryvn nf "fyhg-funzvat", zber yvxr gur gjb whfg pbhyqa'g uryc ohg guebj oneof ng rnpu bgure. Vg jnf n fbeg bs frkhny grafvba guvat sbe zr.

    Naq gur "gerngvat Pbeqryvn yvxr fuvg" guvat vf gehr fbzrgvzrf, ohg ernyyl hasnve – vg'f abg yvxr Pbeqryvn arire gerngrq UVZ yvxr genfu. Va gur rneyl fgntrf bs gurz orvat gbtrgure, ur jnagrq gb fgneg gnxvat gur eryngvbafuvc zber frevbhfyl vafgrnq bs znxvat bhg va n oebbz pybfrg naq fur onfvpnyyl jrag "Lbh'er tebff, V ungr lbh, jul jbhyq V jnag gb rire or va n erny eryngvbafuvc jvgu lbh?" Naq gura yngre, ur jnagrq gurz gb or ubarfg nobhg gurve eryngvbafuvc gb bgure crbcyr naq fur onfvpnyyl jrag "Gurer'f ab jnl V'z rire yrggvat zl sevraqf xabj V'z unatvat nebhaq jvgu n ybfre yvxr lbh, sbetrg vg." Ohg gurfr ner cbegenlrq nf sbetvinoyr zvffgrcf, naq V srry yvxr Knaqre'f bppnfvbany obhgf bs qvfzvffvirarff be zrnaarff gbjneq Pbeqryvn ner bs gur fnzr fbeg.

    Fb lrnu, V fnj Knaqre naq Pbeqryvn'f eryngvbafuvc nf orvat ubfgvyr orpnhfr bs zhghny frkhny grafvba pbhcyrq jvgu gurz vagreanyyl fgrerbglcvat rnpu bgure ng svefg. Naq gura gurl jrer noyr gb tebj pybfre nf n pbhcyr jura gurl fgnegrq frrvat rnpu bgure zber nf gurl npghnyyl jrer naq gnxvat rnpu bgure frevbhfyl nf cnegaref. Gurer vf (nyzbfg) ab fva gung Knaqre pbzzvggrq va gung eryngvbafuvc gung Pbeqryvn qvqa'g nf jryy ng fbzr cbvag.

    Gur bayl guvatf gung cvffrq zr bss nobhg Knaqre va Frnfba 2 jrer uvf "ENETU NATRY VF ONQ V UNGR NATRY JR FUBHYQ XVYY UVZ" nggvghqr, whfg orpnhfr Ohssl unccrarq gb jnag gb or va n eryngvbafuvc jvgu Natry naq abg jvgu Knaqre. Gung jnf fbzr frevbhfyl crggl wrnybhfl. Naq nyfb uvf wrexnffarff jura ur qvq gur ybir fcryy va "Orjvgpurq, Obgurerq naq Orjvyqrerq" naq arire ernyyl tbg pbzrhccnapr sbe vg. Bgure guna gubfr guvatf, V sryg ur jnf npghnyyl cerggl yvxnoyr.

    Whoa, sorry, that kind of turned into an essay. My bad.

  77. Nick says:

    Bu, shpxvat uryy, ner jr tbvat gb or qevaxvat gur Knaqre ungrenqr sbe gur jubyr frira frnfbaf? Guhf sne gur pbzzragf frpgvbaf bs nyy guerr erivrjf unir unq wbyyl Knaqre ungrsrfgf. Funyy jr frr "Orfg Jnlf gb Xvyy Knaqre" pbzcrgvgvbaf jura ur yrnirf Naln ng gur nygne? Obbf naq uvffrf jura ur fnirf gur qnl ng gur raq bs frnfba fvk? Purrevat naq uheenuf jura ur ybfrf na rlr, creuncf? Orpnhfr gung'f tbvat gb trg ERNYYL gverfbzr ERNYYL snfg.

    • notemily says:

      You know what's going to get tiresome faster? This shit. Please see this comment and follow-ups.

    • Karen says:

      Ybbx, V'z abg ungvat ba Knaqre whfg sbe gur fnxr bs ungvat ba Knaqre. Ohg ur rkuvovgf n ybg bs ernyyl ceboyrzngvp orunivbe jvgu ertneqf gbg ur jnl ur gerng jbzra, naq V'z tbvat gb pnyy uvz bhg ba vg.

      • Nick says:

        Lbh'er nofbyhgryl evtug. Ab nethzrag gurer sebz zr. Jung V'z fnlvat vf gung QRFCVGR gung, gur punenpgre vf ernyyl ABG fb qribvq bs nal erqrrzvat dhnyvgvrf gung ur jneenagf pnyyf sbe uvz gb qvr va n sver.

  78. christytrekkie says:

    I am so glad you're watching BTVS. For me this is it's watching your favorite movie with someone who's never seen it and loving it all the more from their reactions to it. can't wait for more. 🙂

  79. Abygail says:

    Mark, I just want to thank you for letting us read Buffy as a new experience, thanks!

    I'm just wondering how you're gonna keep up with the 1 episode per day routine, I certainly know I could not do it! (I think I watched the whole series in 3 weeks this summer, and that was after my normal working hours :P)

  80. I have only read the 'DO NOT SPOIL' bit at the top of the review so far and I am just sooo disappointed in some of the BtVS fans out there! I hope Mark or any other new viewers haven't been spoiled too badly 🙁
    Why take away the magic, team?!

  81. @liliaeth says:

    I can see what you mean, but I don't know, I don't think people would react too happily, if I and other people I know started insulting Willow every single episode. And believe me, I've held in in regards to that, since I've noticed how many fans she seems to have already. Even if I find her character type rather insultingly childish

    Let's just say as a longterm Buffy fan, I've had years of experience in seeing how people turn on a character and start bashing everything that character does and looking at it in the most negative way possible. Not because of that's how the character gets shown in the series, but how people refuse to even consider giving the character the benefit of the doubt.

    • tanbarkie says:

      To be honest, gur Knaqre ungr urer srryf gb zr hafrggyvatyl fvzvyne gb gur Qnja ungr ("FUHG HC, QNJA"!) gung vasrpgf n fvtavsvpnag cebcbegvba bs gur Ohssl snaqbz.

    • echinodermata says:

      Okay, but my main point is that if you think and say that you find Willow's character type insultingly childish, other commenters shouldn't make dismissive comments towards you because they disagree. Xander's something of a special case because the criticisms of his character here about about sexism and therefore I'm more sensitive to comments I see as dismissive towards those criticisms, but all disagreements should be kept as civil as possible and not edge into hostile remarks aimed at each other. This hasn't happened here, and I want that to continue to remain so.

  82. tanbarkie says:

    "And his constant need to be seen as a Manly Man, of course. Buffy is stronger than you, get over it."

    Jvgu ertneqf gb guvf fcrpvsvp cbvag… vfa'g gur jubyr cbvag bs Knaqre'f punenpgre nep bire gur frevrf gb yrnea gung rknpg yrffba, naq gb vyyhfgengr sbe zber Arnaqregunyvp znyr ivrjref gung fgebat jbzra qba'g unir gb or guerngravat? Vfa'g vg zber vagrerfgvat sbe Knaqre gb fgneg bhg nf fbzrbar jub QBRFA'G haqrefgnaq gung cbvag, fb ur pna qrirybc naq tb guebhtu punatrf va uvf crefcrpgvir bire gvzr?

    Jr pna dhvooyr bire ubj JRYY gung cnegvphyne punenpgre nep vf rkrphgrq bire gur pbhefr bs gur frevrf (V crefbanyyl qba'g guvax vg jnf qbar irel jryy – nf V zragvbarq orybj, V svaq Knaqre zber ceboyrzngvp nf n punenpgre va yngre frnfbaf guna rneyvre barf). Ohg V guvax vg'f cynva gung, va gur ortvaavat bs gur fubj, Knaqre vf vagraqrq gb or n cerggl nirentr Nzrevpna grrantr obl, jvgu nyy gur synjf gung graqf gb ragnvy. Bar jvgu gur cbgragvny gb tebj bhg bs fnvq synjf, ohg abg bar gung fgnegrq bss jvgubhg gurz – naq ernyyl, jbhyq ur ernyyl or na vagrerfgvat punenpgre vs gung jrer gur pnfr?

  83. Eeeeeep, I think I might have accidentally 'expectation spoilered' you in my comment on E1. D: I'm so sorry!! I totally am familiar with the site, too, which makes that even worse. I shall try to police my comments better in the future.

    But in any case, wheeeeeee this episode!! Definitely one of the major WIN episodes early on, and one of the creepiest early on. I love the way, when you watch it a second time, Amy's interaction with the gang gets SO much creepier. And the fate of her mum… god, it's the stuff of nightmares!! (I really want to watch the show along with you, now, damnit. I'm having a hard time remembering what plot elements come in where. Now I just have to convince the boyfriend that we should re-watch, haha!)

    It's wonderful seeing your initial reactions to some characters, actually. Buffy has a truly spectacular number of characters that I find rather distasteful in the first season or two, and it was really cool and a bit funny seeing you react so strongly to some people. The character development on this show is definitely a HUGE reason that I love it, and the directions that the characters go never feels forced or out-of-their-nature to me at all. I adore the fact that you're clamouring for Cordelia and Giles backstory!

    It's interesting, because I believe you mentioned wanting to see if the show remembers that Buffy is only sixteen in Ep1's review? And I think that you can see from the conversation with her mum here that, yes, they do remember that. The relationship between Buffy and her mum is incredible to me, actually. It isn't perfect, not at all, and they obviously have hard times and miscommunications. But I think it's clear their conversation here that there's a lot of love there, for sure.

    So excited for you to watch more, Mark!! It's like seeing the series all over again for myself!

  84. notemily says:

    Deleted your double-post

  85. Brieana says:

    "run and jump
    shoot and score
    the other team is such a whore"
    I still remember that little gem.
    I liked how energetic Buffy was when she was cursed. There was a bit during the routine where they were supposed to wait for something, but Buffy just kept right on dancing.

  86. Dru says:

    Honestly, I think what tanbarkie was responding to was a perception of character bashing. Which is a pretty unfriendly thing in any fandom, really.

    I realise that there are concerns about Xander's behaviour (and for fuck's sake, I don't even like the guy much) but out-and-out declaring a character THE WORST straightaway does raise some people's hackles, and considering that this is by default something of a fandom hangout it's not surprising that someone reacted to what they perceive as an unfriendly fandom practice/something that makes this commentspace less-than-friendly, fwiw.

    Not that we're not allowed to have our opinions or that we need to write essay-length comments defending them, but it really doesn't take that much effort to clarify that something is an opinion, instead of making a blanket statement of fact. (and this applies to opinions re: ALL characters, irrespective of gender). It's as simple as using "IMO", just so maybe someone with a different opinion doesn't feel attacked or like they have to shout loudest to be heard (I think this will be more pertinent in shipwars, so forgive me if I got ahead of myself).

    • echinodermata says:

      I largely agree with you – I get that perceived character bashing is unfriendly, but it's a lot more difficult to try to moderate what is criticism and what is bashing, whereas snarky comments directed at other users are easier to interpret.

      I also agree that things like adding 'imo' help ease perceived bashing, but while I personally am already in the habit of couching my opinions as my opinions, I don't really think this is something I'm gonna ask people to do because damn that'd be repetitive and usually unnecessary. And mods do not edit comments to add words; we delete or change problematic language or spoilers or rot13 bits or maybe clean up html.

      Essentially, from a logistical standpoint, I as a moderator can't really do much to help make people write "nicer" criticisms of a character or expressions of their dislike – and really, I don't want to have to do that and I think so far, it really hasn't gotten to a place where I think I need to ask people to be nicer in how they direct their criticism of Xander.

      I don't think I've seen what I would call character bashing – people are entirely ready to say why they dislike Xander, for instance, and the reasons are pretty good ones, I think. No one's using slurs and *ist language to express their dislike. People are not going into 'you suck if you like him' territory. These last two things are what I watch out for, and the people saying they hate Xander aren't doing that. But I do acknowledge I really don't hold a lot of love for Xander so I am biased.

      I guess my main concern is always this: I'm a moderator and am trying to keep the comments as welcoming as possible while still letting people share what they want to say, especially when it comes to things like feminist interpretations of the show. Especially when those feminist interpretations may not be that popular.

      If anyone has workable suggestions for how I as a mod can maintain letting people call out Xander's behavior while still maintaining a friendly environment for as many people as possible, I am open to hearing those suggestions.

      • Dru says:

        I understand that the logistics of comment moderation here are different from what they are on regular, more tightly-policed forums, and by no means do I want anyone to have to censor their dislike of characters or be "nicer" about them or not make criticisms of their behaviour – I have some heaping spoonfuls of dislike for certain characters myself, and wouldn't want to be censored, so please don't get me wrong on this.

        Maybe it's hard to see how statements like "DISLIKING XANDER IS THE CORRECT OPINION." (quoted) might come off as hostile, because fandom etiquette is taking a backseat to other considerations here (i.e. Xander's behaviour considered from a feminist perspective, his nice-guy douchebaggery). But switch out that name for any other – say Cordelia, Willow, Buffy even – and that statement would still come off as less than friendly, and (likely unintentionally) an attack on people who do think that said character is not in fact the worst, or might even like him/her.

        Also, I accept that I might have been influenced by my time in other fandom hangouts, where such a statement would be interpreted as Not OK, and that comments in this space often take their cue from the tone that Mark himself uses in his reviews – that goes with the territory.
        But the fact remains, there is a difference between saying "I HATE [character]" (which is a-ok, that is understood to be personal) and saying or implying "you are WRONG if you like this character". And the same goes for character worship, too – there are characters who are both much-loved and highly reviled in this fandom, and both sides need to be heard without hostility.

        I don't know if this is any help to you, but here is a set of character bashing rules I used to follow when I was a mod on a Harry Potter forum:

        • echinodermata says:

          Mark's sites are the only place online where I've been a participant in general discussions. So I'm simply trying to use my common sense when judging stuff like this – I never thought to consider other sites would have official rules as to what constitutes character bashing or not.

          That being said, I looked at that link and I honestly don't agree with those examples. For example, Snape is my favorite character in HP and I personally can see myself saying "Snape is a vicious horrible man" – that's why a part of why I find his character compelling. To me that's not bashing since I love his character yet I would still agree with that statement. And since I think it's silly if I as a fan of Snape wouldn't be able to call my favorite character negative things, I honestly don't think I can endorse the bsahing policy you linked.

          So I guess I personally am taking a more liberal stance on accepting character criticism as OK, even if it comes across as bashing to others. I'm not speaking for Mark or other mods, though.

          I would like to add that Karen's "DISLIKING XANDER IS THE CORRECT OPINION" remark came off as tongue-in-cheek to me, just like I also said somewhere in the Teacher's Pet comments that "Not liking Martha Jones means I probably wouldn't like them as a person. trufax." It wasn't meant to be taken entirely seriously, even if there's some truth behind it.

          So essentially, I personally don't really favor making an official character bashing policy – I would be fine accepting comments on this site written like those examples on the policy you linked to because I honestly don't regard them as bashing. Like I said before, it's really when things move into criticizing other commenters and/or using problematic language to justify dislike of a character that I feel like I need to step in. And that's because rules 2 and 3 of the site cover name-calling other commenters and pejorative slurs, respectively.

          I hated reading people commenting that they hated Martha, but I didn't take it personally. I would rather live with seeing people write about why they hate a character I love than to have a new policy limiting how people criticize a character.

          But if you or anyone else thinks a particular comment is out of line, you are welcome to report it (all mods get emailed a report including the reason the comment was reported as well as the content of the comment under question). And if a mod agrees it's out of line, they'll step in.

          • Dru says:

            Oh, well. That's fair enough, since like I said, it really doesn't seem like character bashing is a consideration here, and it's up to y'all to decide what is.

            But if you don't want to censor the way someone expresses their opinion, that has to go both ways if someone is responding to an opinion that they disagree with – the mere fact of disagreement shouldn't be interpreted as an attack on the original commenter (like tanbarkie above. How do you know when something is "tongue-in-cheek" or when it is serious? You personally interpreted the tone of their remarks as an anti-feminist "you're overreacting", as part of your own reading of the comment – something that I didn't get).

            • echinodermata says:

              The best I can answer for why I think tanbarkie's comment didn't come off as tongue-in-cheek is that their comment was directed at posters in the thread they were replying to. My comment, as well as Karen's, are general statements not actually directed at the people in the thread who disagree with our opinion. Basically, if it feels like a comment is pointing a finger at specific users with their snark, then that's where I may need to intervene.

              And I agree that "the mere fact of disagreement shouldn't be interpreted as an attack on the original commenter" – I think my replies to tanbarkie were very clear that I agree with the fact that people are allowed to disagree with each other.

              I'm playing this all by ear, but I don't think I've been unreasonable in my judgements and would still stand by them. I hope to be as impartial and reasonable as possible in any future occasions concerning this matter, but for now, I think I've done okay.

      • Dru says:

        Also, just to clarify – my original objection isn't really about Xander himself, I have no particular love for him. It's more of a "this is the slippery slope we could be going down" particularly when we have our own admitted biases regarding certain characters.

        Feminist critique of the show gets a double thumbs-up from me and I do appreciate that commenters are specifying their reasons for disliking characters so far, but imo it doesn't have to preclude keeping things civil. The character bashing guidelines I linked to are for an HP board but they're general enough to apply to pretty much any fandom that involves characters with shades of grey. (if they can be adapted to fit the commenting culture here, that is)

  87. Mary Sue says:

    That is true. Even though it's actually my real, legal, handtogod my parents named me after my grandmothers Mary and Suzanne name, I am absolutely perfect and super smart and will save the day before the last commercial break.

    *Nods* To paraphrase something I said to Wil Wheaton once, "If you're a Mary Sue, I think you just have to own it."

    (I was in an autograph line, he was laughing about me being named Mary Sue, and once the words came out of my mouth I was totally embarrassed because, HELLO WHO WAS I GIVING ADVICE ON THIS TO?!? and I ran away.)

  88. Redrikki says:

    So, in case you are wondering, the show doesn't need to to flash backs of Buffy's past because there is a movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer which came before the show. In fact, the show is a spin off of the movie. You don't need to see it first since the show can largely stand alone and they changed some things between the show and the movie, but if you want backstory, you should check it out.

  89. @danmgl says:

    I love this episode, it is one of the best in season 1. Are you going to do all seven seasons? That'd be awesome.

  90. Hotaru_hime says:

    This is such a great episode! And now I'm dying for you to get to season 3.

  91. @shaeberry says:

    buffy's beginning…

    there's the movie. which was joss at the beginning of his hollywood career before he realized that the industry can and would screw him. the original script is great. matches up exactly with the information we see in the show. i can't even remember where i found it to read. somewhere in the depths of the internet.

    but the movie's… not that. it was produced by those two names that appear at the start of every buffy episode, fran rubel-kuzui and kaz kuzui. who are basically the scavengers of everything awful. they essentially enforced a bunch of script/character/plot changes for reasons of moneymaking and… just watch the movie at some point. it'll make sense. you're an intelligent dude.

    then they refused to drop their name from the show, even though they weren't involved in it at all. essentially they didn't want to give up their rights in case it made bank. and then it did. so they wouldn't leave. the cast/crew sort of secretly views them as all that is awful in hollywood. the new buffy movie that's coming out soon is being produced/directed by them, just like the old one. joss is uninvolved entirely, not by choice, and it stars exactly 0% of the show's cast, most of whom have been quoted saying they'll never see it and they wouldn't do it without joss. in short, i hate opportunists they are terrible people. stop ruining my fandom.

    but then there's "the origin", a graphic novel that's an adaptation to the original movie script. and countless other things. so if you ever feel dissatisfied with your knowledge of buffy's past, there are ways to look further into buffyverse. it's neverending.

    i hope none of this counted as spoilers. i sort of couldn't figure it out because it's about the people involved in the show rather than the show itself? i just thought you might find it interesting. i like learning about the industry response to buffy because it's a reminder of how unwilling people were to explore a female protagonist like this one at the time, and how effectively joss knows how to say, "screw you."

  92. Anisha says:

    Sometimes i wish that i could just forget everything, and watch this from the beginning, and even though i can't, reading your blog makes it somewhat possible, just to see it from a new perspective. Thank You, Mark 🙂

  93. flootzavut says:

    I actually (amazingly!) figured out that Amy was in fact her mom and vice versa, super unusual for me. This was one of my favourite episodes in the first series, though, even though I spotted the twist 😀

  94. sesinkhorn says:

    I love Giles dearly and forever <3 This episode was an early favorite of mine, as well.

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