In the sixth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I am lost forever. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.
No, for real, I don’t think I’ve ever been so confused by an episode of this show, and I’ve seen “Restless.” I have no idea if I liked this episode. I have no idea if I hate it. I have no idea about ideas. Wait, am I now in love with R.J., too? Is this even possible? I don’t know! I know nothing about my own life anymore. My whole identity has been erased and I am just a shell of bewilderment.
Can I just ask a bunch of questions? Most of these are rhetorical because my brain hurts.
- What is life?
- Why didn’t Spike talk for like, 99% of this episode?
- How come that weird jacket affected a lesbian but not straight men? Would it have affected gay men? Actually, wait, I’m sure that can be answered by assuming that whoever created the spell originally specified it would only affect women.
- Is there a lot of Xander/Spike crackfic or slash online? Like, for real, this is suddenly a ship I want to explore because the sheer possibility for humor is so incredible that I can barely stand the thought. I mean, I know that they lived together in season four, but this episode was about all I could handle. CAN I WAVE THE XANDER/SPIKE BANNER HIGH? Are they called Xike or Spander? Okay, why did I even type that out? Clearly, they’re not Xike. I am pronouncing that as “Zike” right now, and I change my mind. That sounds like a rad ship name.
- I am totally faking a question here so I can talk about this, but can we discuss the fact that I am really liking that Buffy is trying to help Spike in some capacity and that Spike recognizes that this whole situation is really awkward? I wonder if getting out of the basement will help Spike get better, but I just wanted to say that I respect that Buffy knows her feelings towards Spike are complex, but she errs on the side of helping him anyway. That doesn’t necessarily mean that she forgives him, but it’s a step in that direction. Oh shit, you know what I just thought of? What if Cassie’s prediction in “Help” was a reference to Buffy telling Spike that she forgives him? That would be a HUGE emotional moment for his character, wouldn’t it? I know that’s probably the main reason he’s tearing himself up. He is having such a hard time coping with the guilt.
- So what is the implication of having a soul? Sometimes, I do wish this was spelled out for me more. I imagine that once I get the chance to watch this show a second time, this might be more clear to me, but the characters do get a chance to discuss what this means. Unfortunately, it’s just as morally grey as I thought it was. Now that Spike doesn’t have to pretend he doesn’t have a soul, does that mean he’ll start to act differently around the Scoobies?
- Can I hug Buffy for inviting Anya back to the Scoobies? Why can’t I hug fictional characters? So many of them needed a hug. 🙁
- Could I possibly hurt more for Dawn than during her first conversation with R.J. or during her cheerleading tryout? I don’t think I can. I know it’s ridiculous, but high school awkwardness seriously is so painful. I KNOW. I LIVED THIS LIFE WITH GUSTO.
- Can I also state that no one relates to awkward, unrequited-love-having Dawn more than I? I would like to introduce you to my entire public school career. What you see here is that, only add in the fact that I was gay, and I would try to impress guys who all ended up being straight. SO MUCH PAIN IN SUCH A SMALL SPAN OF TIME. Whatever, they don’t know what they missed. :: bats eyelashes ::
- Did you also know that when Dawn pushed O’Donnell down the stairs, I thought this episode wasn’t going to have a single supernatural element to it at all? Granted, I did wonder how Dawn’s character had gotten to this point, but I thought it would address obsessive behavior. Well… okay, it did. But now I have another question.
- What happened to O’Donnell? I mean, Buffy tells Dawn at the end of “Him” that she’s not responsible for her actions because she was under a spell, but that poor dude got shoved down the stairs and we’ll probably never see him again.
- WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME THE BREEDERS WERE ON BUFFY? I WOULD HAVE WATCHED THIS SHOW YEARS AGO IF I HAD KNOWN THAT.
- So how was I supposed to cope with Buffy hitting on R.J.? This episode totally fed on my unpreparedness, and I feel exploited. I WAS NOT EXPECTING ANY OF THIS.
- Did you forget that Dawn once had a crush on Xander? Because I totally did.
- Why is Principal Wood so attractive?
- WHY IS BUFFY HAVING SEX WITH A STUDENT IN A CLASSROOM?
- Okay, the moral implications of this entire episode are 100% unaddressed aside from the final moments, but what the fuck is happening? Oh god, you know, it was probably intentional that no one aside from the Scoobies ever found out what was going on. How could you ever explain all of this to an outsider? You couldn’t. Buffy would have been fired in a heartbeat.
- Is Xander aware of his bizarre ability to correctly predict things?
- Am I Xander???
- What is happening to me?
- IS THAT THE SAME BAZOOKA BUFFY USED AGAINST THE JUDGE? PLEASE LET IT BE THE SAME BAZOOKA. THAT WOULD BE AMAZING.
- Is Buffy driving in this episode? Did I see that right? I can’t even remember the last time she drove.
- Can we just proclaim the scene where Spike tackles Buffy in the background to be the funniest thing in Buffy ever?
- Did you feel as many feelings as I did when it was made clear that the one thing that snapped Buffy out of the spell (briefly) was the thought of losing her sister? This is a great part of this episode.
- WHAT EXACTLY DID ANYA DO TO SHOW HER LOVE FOR R.J.????? oh god WHAT.
I think that tonally, this episode is all over the place. I think it was pretty funny! Not all the time, mind you. And it was so stressful trying to figure this all out that it almost wasn’t a break from the emotional turmoil of this show. But I honestly believe this is an episode I’ll appreciate much more on a second visit, especially once I’ve seen the entire show.
That being said, one of you BETTER have GIF’d Spike tackling Buffy. THAT GIF BETTER EXIST ALREADY.
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