Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S04E18 – Where The Wild Things Are

In the eighteenth episode of the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I guess? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

Well, okay. Can people on Buffy PLEASE have sex and have it be normal? What is with the writers of this show constantly wanting to take sexual acts and make them be EXTREMELY FUCKED UP? I mean, Buffy and Riley just had to deal with the whole Faith-was-inside-Buffy’s-body thing ONLY AN EPISODE AGO. And now their sexual voracity is the catalyst for a vengeful poltergeist created by a sex-shaming Christian abuser? What is this episode trying to say about the world? Actually, I don’t even want to figure that out. I have a lot of questions:

  • How on earth did no one in the history of ever trigger the poltergeist group? Are you telling me that the same dorm that houses The Initiative and FRAT BOYS was never the source of intense sexual energy? I know I have very strange things I choose to disbelieve, given that I suspend that for magic boys on brooms or time traveling aliens, but this one detail totally throws me for a loop. But it just seems so sloppy!
  • Why are Anya and Xander even fighting again? Like, there did not seem to be a single hint that their relationship was heading this direction. On top of that, I felt like the episode dropped us mid-argument between these two, so I thought I missed something.
  • Why are there plants and vines? There’s no precedent for this at all. Perhaps one of the kids was a botanist or something?
  • Does Xander just never keep a job?
  • Why haven’t Spike and Anya hung out more? I won’t question it if it happens again.
  • Okay, wait, why does the wall give a person sexual pleasure? Like, why only that one spot? I don’t think I actually want to know the logistics of the Orgasm Giver Wallpaper, so perhaps it’s best if this remains a rhetorical question.
  • WHO PLAYS SPIN THE BOTTLE IN COLLEGE???? NO FOR REAL EVERYONE STOPPED THAT AT AGE 14 BECAUSE EVERYONE I KNEW JUST JUMPED STRAIGHT TO SEX. I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THAT PEOPLE IN THEIR EARLY 20S ACTUALLY PLAY SPIN THE BOTTLE.
  • What happened to Julie????
  • This isn’t a question, but I love that Spike still can’t find a justification for sticking around the Scoobies. Yet he does anyway.
  • Can the poltergeists not infiltrate the Initiative? Do they have some sort of ghost barrier?
  • WHY HASN’T GILES SANG BEFORE? OH MY GOD HIS VOICE IS SO DREAMY.
  • You know, there’s an element to Genevieve Holt that’s absurd, but some of the more radical Christian fundamentalists I’ve known are just as forthright as her, openly admitting terrible things but believing them to be moral choices. That was my mother for a while.
  • So the poltergeists are stopped merely by opening a door? What a terrible weakness. What kind of awful poltergeist relies solely on the power of a door?
  • So, Genevieve Holt answers to pretty much nothing, right? I mean, she gets away with it all.
  • What?

Okay, not my favorite episode. Anya and Spike are nice. Willow and Tara are clearly getting closer. And Giles sang and this is beautiful. Otherwise, I’d probably prefer not to watch this one again.

Mark Links Stuff

– My eBook adaptations of reviews I’ve posted are on sale at MarkDoesStuff.comHarry PotterTwilight, and Firefly books are priced from $2.99 to $3.99 a piece, and are available in ePub (iBook, iPod, iPad, Nook), Kindle, and PDF files.
– I now have a Lulu storefront, where you can purchase physical copies of all of my previously released books, including a full Mark Reads Twilight book that includes all four sets of Twilight reviews.
– I am going on tour in the following cities this month (click the name for the Facebook RSVP page): San FranciscoLos AngelesSan DiegoLas VegasPhoenixTucsonEl PasoAlbuquerqueDenverSalt Lake CityBoiseSpokanePortlandSeattleVancouver B.C. I still need venues/spaces in San Diego, Salt Lake City, Spokane, and Portland. Even if it’s your house, I don’t care. I’ll show up! Please let me know if you have any ideas. I can also be reached at markreadsandwatches [at] gmail [dot] com.
– I am presenting for three days at Ascendio 2012! Come hang out and have the best weekend ever in July!
– Mark Watches The Two Towers will happen most likely on Sunday at 1pm PDT, which is the same as this past weekend. Y’all better break the comment record again.
– I finish Mark Reads The Princess Bride on April 13th, and then Mark Reads Sandman begins on Monday, April 16th. I will split up reviews by issue, and I will be reading the extra books/volumes. IT SHALL BE GRAND.
– I’m on Twitter (@MarkDoesStuff) and I have a Facebook page y’all can Like and flail about on. Join me!
– This is my fifth consecutive year riding in the AIDS/LifeCycle! I’m aiming to raise $10,000 this year. For every $1,000 I raise, I will make a video live reading of a community-chosen fanfic. I am not bluffing. I will read as much of it as possible, and it will be beautiful. Help me out if you can!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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2 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S04E18 – Where The Wild Things Are

  1. Kevin says:

    I loved how the poltergeist story works as a metaphor for Forrest Gate’s repressed sexual longing for Riley Finn. It’s brilliant how the entire episode brings out Forrest’s inner conflict even though he is only in a handful of scenes.

    Actor Leonard Roberts does a superb job portraying the brash young man simmering with forbidden desires for his best friend and superior officer. To be sure, it does not hurt that Roberts is extremely attractive and well built.

    Forrest’s jealousy of Buffy taking his place at Riley’s side has never been more apparent. It must be frustrating because what can Buffy do for Riley that Forrest can’t?

    Forrest does whatever Ryan orders. That’s called chain of command. It bonds men together. Does the Slayer ever do what she’s told? Could Buffy ever say, “Yes, Sir!” and mean it the way Forrest does? I think not.

    Also, it must be maddening that the naïve farmboy doesn’t suspect a thing. Because Riley cannot even see or imagine Forrest as a sexual partner, it’s like Forrest is invisible. Outright rejection would be less painful than the humiliation of being constantly overlooked.

    Maybe if Riley had a clue he would not walk around the dorm shirtless all the time, flaunting his broad, smooth chest with those perky nipples that look like someone has been playing with them. Maybe Riley should stop working out with Forrest wearing nothing but skimpy shorts or sharing those long, hot, communal showers.

    Then, there’s the fact that everyone else but Riley is aware of Forrest’s feelings. Graham constantly intervenes when the two start bickering. Interestingly, the poltergeists possess Graham but not Forrest. Is that because Forrest is already driven by natural urges that fill him with shame?

    Although Forrest comes off as very masculine, aggressive, and libidinous, his very name suggests something else altogether. It sounds like a woman’s name, like Brooke Blossom, Willow, etc. Is this something Forrest struggles with? His last name, Gates, may also be significant. What is a gate but a doorway, an entrance, like the threshold Forrest must cross if he is to be true to himself?

    Forrest needs to come out as a gay man and move on. It’s sad, but Riley is obviously not the man for him. Graham could use some comforting. Has anyone considered his needs? Leading a double life as a student and soldier can be so stressful.

    In any case, I look forward to seeing what comes of this complex, intriguing character on his journey toward self discovery. Where the wild things are, indeed!

    Grr! Argh!!!

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