Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S07E12 – Potential

In the twelfth episode of the seventh season of Buffy, Dawn learns her true destiny. Sort of? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

YES. YES. YES!!! Oh sweet glorious Buffy, this is just so goddamn good.

  1. THAT’S MILLIE KENTNER FROM FREAKS AND GEEKS. I JUST REALIZED THAT. OH MY GOD, IT TOTALLY IS.
  2. I DON’T EVEN CARE THAT THIS LIST HAS NO THEME. THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT NEED TO BE SAID, MOSTLY Millie Kentner was on Buffy and I didn’t notice it.
  3. Now I am imagining what would happen if these two shows crossed over. No, I take that back, the sheer power of awkward would overwhelm us all into another dimension.
  4. I take that back. I would watch that show in a heartbeat.
  5. Mostly, I’d watch anything with Martin Starr in it, so there.
  6. OKAY, I’M ALREADY OFF TOPIC.
  7. Buffy is a really fantastic teacher, and this makes me smile.
  8. I’M PRETTY SURE ALL THE POTENTIALS NOT ONLY SHIP SPUFFY, BUT WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING, THEY BAND TOGETHER AND WRITE TAG-TEAM SPUFFY FIC. this is my headcanon don’t you dare take this away from me.
  9. I just need to point out that in the Mark Watches video for this episode, when Dawn made a comment in the basement while she sat on the stairs, I said, “Well, there’s her ONE LINE for the episode.” Because, you know, she’s kind of been ignored by the writers again? AND THEN BAM! THIS IS A DAWN-CENTRIC EPISODE.
  10. God, I just… I can’t quite pin down what it is I love about Amanda so much, but her characterization this season is INCREDIBLE. I mean, this is not an issue of her just being shoved into the role of a Potential. Her appearance earlier in season seven when she spoke to Buffy so perfectly fits in with where she ends up in “Potential” that I can’t believe I didn’t figure this out earlier. She initially was bullied, learned to fight back, silently won the respect of Buffy, and then, through Dawn, became confident enough that she could be forceful and beat down her opponents. THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL. I LOVE WHEN SECONDARY CHARACTERS GET FULL STORIES.
  11. You know, I was, at first, very shocked that Dawn was the Potential in Sunnydale. Then I thought, “You know, this seems kind of obvious.” And I do get now that this was the point. I liked the exploration of Dawn as a character, especially when she could approach the events going on around her with a more defined purpose. It also made sense that she take this newfound meaning to her life and do something REALLY FOOLISH WITH IT. Dawn’s got a lot of growing up to do still. But I wondered if this was just a way to get Dawn in the group of Potentials so that she wouldn’t always be separate from them. I wouldn’t venture to say it’s lazy writing, because god, I reserve that for far more obvious things. I was just worried that we were seeing a fairly similar story for Dawn or that we were missing out on some other possible character turn.
  12. Okay, I am starting to like Andrew a little bit more. He entertains me! I can’t help it!
  13. Clem, I missed you, terribly so!
  14. Bless the Potentials for constantly cracking jokes on Buffy. BLESS THEM.
  15. Okay, seriously, let’s just have a chat about the juxtaposition/intercutting of Buffy’s lesson to the Potentials and Amanda/Dawn’s battle with the rogue vampire. Obviously, it’s very clever, but in hindsight, it just goes to show you how much Buffy has influenced Dawn. When I was watching it for the first time, I thought the scene was about the instinct Buffy spoke of that all Slayers have. Dawn was acting on that, I believed. However, it instead speaks volumes about how talented and resourceful Dawn is all on her own. So while my heart BROKE INTO A BILLION PIECES when Dawn realized that Amanda was the real Potential, this story has a very heartwarming silver lining: you don’t need super powers to be extraordinary.
  16. And before I get to that monologue and tear up again, can I just state that… um… in “Helpless,” didn’t Buffy hate that very same test the Watcher’s Council inflicted on her? Yes? WHY DID SHE DO THE SAME THING TO THE FOUR POTENTIAL SLAYERS? Did she change her mind out of necessity? I wish that was acknowledged somehow.
  17. Wait, where did Chloe go?
  18. Wait, where did Giles go???
  19. okay.
  20. OKAY.
  21. So.
  22. SO.
  23. That last monologue.
  24. THAT’S THREE EPISODES IN A ROW WITH ABSOLUTELY STUNNING AND DEEPLY EMOTIONAL ENDINGS.
  25. I don’t care if the rest of season seven repeats this until the end. I REALLY DON’T.
  26. Xander, you just earned every ounce of respect and love that I have in me today. Which, okay, my boyfriend made this really cute face today, so that stole most of it? Oh, and I saw a half French bulldog/half pitbull PUPPY on the street today, and I literally just laid down on the sidewalk and let it climb all over me because I collapsed from cute. SO. GIVEN ALL OF THIS. It really is true that of all the Scoobies, Xander tends to be the most perceptive of the bunch. Here, he not only recognizes why Dawn is disappointment, he then empathizes with her, and tells her she is extraordinary as she is. No, you can’t do this to all of my feelings. Actually, yes, please keep doing this.
  27. F R I E N D S H I P

I love this season so much. SO MUCH, EVERYONE.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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2 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S07E12 – Potential

  1. Hi Mark! I’m learning so much about new word usages through your blog! Back when I was working at a human services agency that had a trans program, we used LGBTQQ (and I think they added the I shortly after I left) but when I saw QUILTBAG I looked it up because I didn’t know what you meant. I really like the acronym. Also just looked up “ship” on the urban dictionary, cool, got it. And… wasn’t sure about headcanon but now I know. Wicked cool. Also am LOVING reading how it is for someone who is new to the ‘verse. I’ve been watching the episodes over and over for so long now that I’ve forgotten what it was like to watch them the first time. Over the years I think I’ve concluded that season 7 is one of my faves, after 2 then 3. It’s pretty fricken awesome when a show hits its stride (again) in a later season. Another reason why BUFFY ROCKS. And Spuffy fic? No one has written it yet????

    Yes, yes, Y-E-S the end of this episode gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME. I LOVE XANDER. He is flawed, which we all are, but gosh he is a marvel. Hearkens back to the episode where no one knew (and ever found out) that he SAVED THE WORLD (the one with the bully and the bomb in the basement, I’m not good with the episode names I’m ashamed to admit). Anyhoo, keep on watchin. I can’t wait to read your reaction to the finale!

  2. Maryd says:

    Well, hello everyone! I’ve been lurking this site and Mark reads since… Well since MR:GoF, but I think this is the first time i feel like I have something important to say: the little monologue at the begining? When Buffy tells them they have a reason to be there? I have a transcription of it (along with a Hellboy drawing) in front of my bed. Why, you ask? Because sometimes that little monologue is the only thing that makes me keep going. I’m in med-school and I had a hard time getting in, an awful first year, and some really bad teachers, the kind that don’t let it pass a day without telling you that you should drop out, that you’re nothing and that you’ll never achieve anything.
    This monologue reminds me of the professor who helped me and my friends get in. He always told us, in other words, what Buffy is saying here to the Potentials. That we’re here for a reason, and if we got in it wasn’t by chance.
    So hearing Buffy, my Long-time hero, saying that, just means the World to me.

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