I'm of two distinctly opposite minds on this episode. It's odd. Sometimes this kind of reaction means it was a good ep, sometimes it means I'm a good fanwanker. This time, it's probably neither, honestly.
Initial thought: As a standalone episode, well told story. I enjoyed it as long as I didn't think about it for very long. There's a place in the world for eps like this. Much improved over the wrestler ep. Much.
Second thought: Cute! Loved Boy Anvil! Had to go look him up on imdb so I'd quit trying to think why he looked so darned familiar. Then I found it -- /secret shame: he was on Undressed, that oddly addictive trainwreck of a late night show from a couple years back. I'd wrap him up and take him home as a present, sure.
Third thought: I hope the Buffy boys had fun being clever. Cool production, smooth filming, excellent lighting, better makeup than in a long while, and successful at the 'war movie' feel. But -- deep it weren't. Or maybe it's just me.
Fourth thought: My god, could it have been any more obvious? Sigh. More anvils. What is *with* these folks. I guess I'm just a Buffy girl at heart, but I am tired of the seasonal anvil. Past tired. Duh. Evil is still evil, even when done for "the greater good." Angel did some bad things. Spike did some bad things. And those bad things will come back to haunt them, too. It's as if the writers got in a room and said, okay, we want to do a cool war movie kind of thing. And hey, Nazis are a great moral metaphor, too. Now how will we shoehorn the same old same old into it? Sigh. PLEASE tell me something new, Mr. ME. SDK did not wow me this go round, and maybe I'm spoiled rotten, but I honestly want and expect better from AtS. You just can't tell me they're still trying to keep it simple to bring in new viewers...
See what I mean by the schizophrenia? Yes, I see the arc. God, how could I not?When did Marti start doing metaphor for AtS, anyway? And who told ME that it was a good idea to do standalones during sweeps? I want that person tarred and feathered, thankyewverymuch. No demon eggs tonight, though. That's a Good Thing (tm).
One thing that struck me a little bit in this ep, that has been present pretty much all season, but has been handled with a bit more subtlety than the primary moral arc is the mirror effect. Others have said it much better than I. I can't remember who, but somebody did a really cool essay on alignments and AtS -- there's a whole post in what I think about that. ME has played with notions of what's good and what's evil throughout the whole show, but this year feels very retready so far. Many eps to go, I guess.
Spike? You wanted Spike commentary too? What's to say? The boys let me down. I thought JM looked horrid in the black, turned in a lukewarm performance, and (dare I say it?) as far as the snarky Angel/Spike vibe? Bored now. I guess DB and JM are, too.
Enjoyed DB's performance tonight as much as any of them. And maybe I lied before (oops, more schizophrenia). The notion that a bit of soul is given away when a vamp sires another vamp? *that* is new and very cool. But I'd swear it's a ripoff from some other vamp mythos I can't put my finger on. Regardless, there's lots of fodder there. So it wasn't entirely a lost cause.
Things I'm waiting for, in my unspoiled, slighty rose tinged corner of the world:
The rest of the story with Lindsy.
The senior partners to have to save the world this season.
Wesley and Fred resolution (poor, poor wesley -- that just cannot end well. God, Bad Things will happen.
Eve to turn out to have been the little girl, in the same way Gunn turns out to be the cat -- literal or figurative remains to be seen.
Angel to betray the gang in the name of the greater good, only to be saved from himself at the last second by Wesley or Spike (odds on Wesley)
Finish up the damned Buffy thing and let it go, okay? I don't like the fence straddling.
There. Happy now, Kimi dearest? I know, there's more. But that's enough. I'm going to make another go at sleep.