And as I was explaining how it didn't matter, and neither did the idiocy of the unrenewed driver's license, or the fact that they supposedly filled up the Initiative with cement at the end of S4, it hit me. And the babble began.
It's not about whether Giles was the boogey man or not. It's about the touching -- the power in touch. There was a message in there, and it had nothing to do with possible beheadings (or very little, anyway). It's about needing each other, about reality. It's about how fragile the bonds between us are, and how much physical presence really means in life, how powerful it is. And about how our connections to each other need physical presence to be real.
Think about it... how many complaints have you read today over the fact that Buffy didn't touch Spike? How many people's perfect shippy moment involves her holding his head, giving comfort physically, or perhaps holding hands, or laying her head on his shoulder. For me, it's that sublime moment that you could feel *almost* happen in Intervention, the moment when she might have reached out her hand and touched his face. There is *power* in touch. And I think there's an anvil here. It's going to play in the final resolution somehow, this notion of physical reality and how it ties in to the power. There's a really good essay out there somewhere on the use of "real" and "reality" in Buffy. This episode belongs in it...(and if anyone out there knows what I'm talking about, post a link! I can't find it.)
The power of touch was highlighted by the marked absence of Buffy touching Spike. And that non-rabid fans would notice it and complain about it is especially noticeable because Buffy is NOT a casual or affectionate toucher and never ever has been. Greenberg played the audience like a Stradivarius with this bit. The need in me for her to reach out a hand, make him real, was palpable. And they underscored the lack of her touch with the remarkable, simple acceptance each had of the other in his/her life. She's so comfortable with him now, he's so much a *real* part of her life, it's bound to scare her shitless when she realizes. She's going to realize that she left Willow/Warren to their own devices (!) to help him instead, and then kablooey: We're going to get one more brief trip down DeNial with Mme Slayer (snorts: Bood. LOL!!!!!) before she acknowledges her feelings for him. And I'll know she's done it when she touches him. (or else the touch is what'll send her over to check out the Bood action).
And just obtw, that promo? Snort! Haven't seen an ep look so schmaltzy in a promo since Beneath You. **Chris initiates the happy dance of multiple good eps in a row**
I didn't intend this to be all about S/B, but I've got a much fuller argument thought out for them -- whodathunkit? Running out of steam here, and it was 3am, so I've lost a lot of the important bits of this argument...
The Giles thing -- god, did you see his face, when he realized how much they cared? And their faces, when they knew he was okay? Jeez, I can't believe I'm going to say this, but it's probably why they decided that the godawful cheezy kiss at the end was needed. The power was in Kennedy's touch. Just recognizing herself wasn't enough -- Willow needed to be grounded in *this* world. Feeling is not enough. Knowing, even, is not enough. We have to reach out and actively engage with the world around us to have an effect on it.
Maybe it's a wank, maybe not. If I could just find the thread that connects this touching message to the title of the ep, I'd be totally convinced this was on purpose...