In the twelfth episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.
SWEET SUMMER CHILD, THIS IS EVERYTHING I WANT FROM AN EPISODE OF THIS SHOW AND FROM TELEVISION IN GENERAL OH MY FUCKING GOD.
- Oh, jesus shit christ, the Council is on their way to Sunnydale, shit will get real even if nothing is happening oh my god what a set up
- Fuck me with a band-aid, I cannot get over Glory being the most fabulous villain this side of Lara Pulver’s version of Irene Adler. Yes, I want more explicitly feminine villains who don’t give a fuck about anyone and who just want to go shopping after sucking the sanity out of mailmen. Yes, please.
- Every thirty seconds or so during the entire scene where Quentin “I Hate Your Face and Everything It Stands For” Travers and his minions fuck up The Magic Box, I just shouted, “Ah, fuck you!” at the screen, and I feel like this is a perfectly justified reaction. Because fuck them, y’all.
- Anya’s entire attempt to be as human and as American as possible is so beautiful that it should be framed in a museum and studied for centuries.
- Giles. GILES. I love you. I love you so much for how you treat Buffy in this episode, and I love you for defending her and for standing up for her and for generally being a better human than any of the Council members.
- Look, I’m pretty sure the entire scene in Buffy’s history class is meant as this intentional hint that a lot of this episode is going to be about the clash between lived experience and the academic world. For real, so much of “Checkpoint” is about how intellectual detachment can cause real harm, especially when those who wield institutional power refuse to believe anyone else can be right. My god, I LOVE THIS EPISODE SO MUCH.
- I am also pretty damn sure that when all of human history is over, you can still pinpoint Spike, a fictional character, as the worst person to ever try to get someone to like them. Watching him fail spectacularly is turning into a hobby of mine. His combination of ridiculous sexism and baiting tactics is NEVER GOING TO WIN BUFFY OVER IN A MILLION YEARS, and the best part is that he is still completely oblivious to this fact. Just… Spike, for real, it’s never going to work. Ever.
- BEN WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU.
- I don’t know that I’ve ever shouted FUCK YOU louder than when Quentin threatened Giles with deportation. Yeah, you are awful, awful people, and you should feel bad about your entire existence.
- Bless you, Giles, for pointing out the horrific extremes which the Council goes to in order to communicate Buffy’s worthlessness. When Quentin called her the Council’s “instrument,” I wanted to strangle him through my computer. SHE. IS. A. HUMAN. BEING. The fact that all of them (save for perhaps Lydia, who I want to start a fanclub for) were so willing to view her as a thing for them to use is disgusting, and I was so happy to see someone call them out for it.
- THE INTERVIEWS. OH MY GOD. I love the Scoobies because they clearly love Buffy so much. I can’t decide if Willow’s gay lesbian love declaration or Spike hitting on Lydia was my favorite moment, so I’ll just take both of them?
- I would personally consider Buffy’s performance during her fighting test to be a success. Just saying.
- I am honestly going to list the scene where Glory surprises Buffy in her living room as one of the most suspenseful scenes in the history of all fiction. It is executed absolutely perfectly, especially since Glory is so calm and playful the entire time. It was bad enough that she was essentially teasing Buffy the whole time, but the second Dawn showed up, I nearly choked. It’s unbearable to watch. Can Glory recognize the Key on sight? Or will Dawn just appear to be a normal human? And then Dawn nearly spoils everything, and I can’t even begin to describe how much I was shaking and shrieking at my computer. I am so glad my roommate was work while I watched this because I made a goddamn fool of myself. I regret nothing.
- “I love what you’ve, um, neglected to do with the place.”
- Spike and Joyce both love Passions. I can’t deal with this show being so incredible all at once.
- WHO THE FUCK ARE THE KNIGHTS OF BYZANTIUM AND WHY THE HELL DO THEY WANT THE KEY???
- I think Sarah Michelle Gellar’s best monologue is at the end of this episode, and it’s such a glorious statement of agency and personal self-worth. She holds all of the power, and it’s damn time these fools recognized that.
- “I’m fairly certain I said no interruptions.” LET ME LOVE YOU FOREVER, BUFFY SUMMERS.
- RETROACTIVE SALARY. Bless you, Giles. BLESS YOU.
- Okay, so here goes:
WHAT THE HOLY LIVING FUCK GLORY IS A GOD.
I’m done. This show has ended me. What a goddamn perfect episode.
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