The Buffyverse favourite moments meme

Wasn’t going to do this, especially as I did a similar thing recently when Kassto (lj not working properly) asked me questions about my Buffyverse love (when it started, favourite episodes, favourite seasons), but hey any excuse to revisit the Buffyverse and I’m there. A lot of ‘big’ scenes have already been memed all over the place, so I’m going to look for lesser, but just as important moments to me. Here I go:

1. The Puppet Show - this episode seems to have so many elements of what made me first love “Buffy”, the talent show, Cordy singing (and of course when Lorne tries to read her in AtS S4:4 Slouching Towards Bethlehem - it’s the same song she sings The Greatest Love of All, so love those little shout outs!), introduction of Snyder, the ‘shadow’ play, the epilogue, and of course in Joss’ inevitable style, the seemingly bad puppet who turns out to be the hero. My favourite moment (sorry to repeat from my earlier post, but it cracks me up every time):

Buffy: The school talent show. How ever did you finagle such a primo assignment?
Giles: Our new Führer, Mr. Snyder.
Willow: I think they call 'em 'principals' now.
Giles: Mm. He thought it would behoove me to have more contact with the students. I did try to explain that my vocational choice of librarian was a deliberate attempt to minimize said contact, but, uh, he would have none of it.
Buffy: Giles, unto every generation is born one who must run the annual talentless show. You cannot escape your destiny.
Giles: If you had any shred of decency, you would have participated, or at least, um, helped.
Buffy: Nah! I think I'll take on your traditional role... and watch!
Xander: And mock!
Willow: And laugh!
Buffy: O-kay. I think maybe we better leave our Mr. Giles to this business he calls a show.

2. Doppelgangland - Willow/VampWillow, this moment:

Willow: It's a little binding. I guess vampires really don't have to breathe. (notices her cleavage) Gosh, look at those.

Season 3 really was one of the best Buffy seasons, even without the presence of a certain vampire.

3. Lover’s Walk. Spike and Joyce. The kitchen.

Spike: So I'm strolling through the park, looking for a meal, and I happen to walk by, and she's making out with the chaos demon! And so I said, 'You know, I don't have to put up with this.' And she said, 'Fine!' So I said, 'Fine, do whatever you like!' I mean, I thought we were going to make up, you know.
Joyce: Well, she sounds very unreasonable.
Spike: She is. She's out of her mind. (sniffs) That's what I miss most about her. (smiles)
Joyce: Well, Spike, sometimes even when two people seem right for each other, their lives just take different paths. When Buffy's father and I...
Spike: No, this is different. Our love was eternal. Literally. You got any of those little marshmallows?
Joyce: Well, lemme look.

Wonderful, gentle moment, Joyce is so accepting of Spike.

4. Earshot - existentialism in the Buffyverse

XANDER She can read our minds? Our every impulse and fantasy.
BUFFY Every one.
XANDER (V.O.) Oh god.
CORDELIA (V.O.) I don't see what this has to do with me.
CORDELIA I don't see what this has to do with me.
WILLOW Well, I think it's great. Right? I mean, you enjoy your other slayer powers.
BUFFY Yeah, and it'll be fun. Did you see Nancy Doyle's face in English Class today?
WILLOW Yeah, she's supercompetitive, and you really showed her.
WILLOW (V.O.) She's hardly even human anymore. How can I be her friend now? She doesn't need me.
BUFFY No! I do need you.
CORDY Ok, what are you talking about? Because you are soooo creepy right now.
GILES Um...I think there must be some precedence for occurrences such as this. Uh, I'll research it. Wesley, can you give me a hand?
WESLEY Of course. Where do you think we should start?
OZ (V.O.) I am my thoughts. If they exist in her, Buffy contains everything that is me and she becomes me. I cease to exist.
OZ Hmm...
XANDER (V.O.) What am I gonna do? I think about sex all the time! Sex! Help! 4 times 5 is thirty. 5 times 6 is 32. Naked girls. Naked Women! Naked Buffy! Oh stop me!
BUFFY God Xander! Is that all you think about?
XANDER Actually... bye. Xander runs from the library.
WESLEY Xander has just illustrated something. Chances are, you're all going to be thinking whatever you least want Buffy to hear. It's a question, of course, of mental discipline.
GILES He's right. There are...
WESLEY (V.O.) Look at Cordelia. No! Don't look at Cordelia! She's a student! Oh I am a bad man. I'm a bad, bad man! Buffy gazes intently at him.
WESLEY Excuse me. Wesley exits into Giles' office.
WILLOW What's it like Buffy?
BUFFY I don't know. It's a little weird. But... Look, please, don't for a second think that I don't need you, because I do. I want to share this with you. It's like all these doors are opening to all these little worlds, and I can just walk right inside.
OZ (V.O.) No one else exists either. Buffy is all of us. We think. Therefore, she is.
WILLOW (V.O.) She knows so much. She knows what Oz is thinking. I never know that. Before long, she'll know him better than I do.
BUFFY No, don't think that.
WILLOW I can't help it Buffy. I'm sorry, I just can't. Willow gets up and runs from the library.
OZ If you don't need me, I'm gonna follow the red-head. Oz leaves also.
BUFFY (to Giles and Cordelia) Guess I won't be writing that book, 'Gaining Friends through Telepathy.'
CORDELIA (V.O.) Whatever. I wonder when I can go.
CORDELIA Whatever. Can I go?

Everyone summed up in their thoughts - Willow’s insecurities, Xander’s Buffy obsession, Cordy’s shallowness, Giles’ coolness, Wesley’s dorkiness and Oz’s super Zen-like mojo.

5. Spike getting out of the wheelchair at the end of I Only Have Eyes For You.

Drusilla: Want to come, pet?
Angelus: No can do, Dru. I'm sure he'd be hell on wheels, but we don't have much time. Gotta travel light. (puts his hands on Spike's shoulders) Sorry. Try to have fun without me.
Spike: Oh, I will.
Spike: Sooner than you think.

Oh shit, the look on his face - gives me tingles every time.

This was way harder than I thought it would be.

1. The awkward shoulder pat at the end of Fool For Love. That’s our boy - tying them up, torturing then till they love him again, not a problem, a comforting gesture, and we’re back to awkward shy Victorian William.

Spike: What's wrong?
Buffy: I don't want to talk about it.
Spike: Is there something I can do?

2. The fight scene in School Hard. The beginning of their dance.

Spike: Fe, fi, fo fum. I smell the blood of a nice ripe girl.
Buffy: Do we really need weapons for this?
Spike: I just like them. They make me feel all manly.
Spike: The last Slayer I killed... she begged for her life.
Spike: You don't strike me as the begging kind.
Buffy: You shouldn'ta come here.
Spike: No. I've messed up your doilies and stuff. But I just got so bored. I'll tell you what. As a personal favor from me to you I'll make it quick. It won't hurt a bit.
Buffy: No, Spike. It's gonna hurt a lot.

3. Buffy unlocking Spike in Lies My Parents Told Me, she believes in him

4. Potential - not the best episode but I like the Spuffy moments.

BUFFY: Are you okay?
SPIKE: Fine. A couple of ribs ain’t quite set right since… I’m fine.
BUFFY: Let me see.
BUFFY: Spike…

They’re back to touching, without the flinching. It’s all about the hands.

5. Church scene Beneath You, for so many reasons, but mostly Buffy realising exactly what Spike has done for her. Thank you Joss for re-writing this scene, the original scene was an absolute disaster.

BUFFY: Why? Why would you do that?
SPIKE: Buffy, shame on you. Why does a man do what he mustn’t? For her. To be hers. To be the kind of man who would nev—
To be a kind of man.
SPIKE: And she shall look on him with forgiveness and everybody will forgive and love… and he will be loved. So everything’s okay, right?
SPIKE: Can we rest now? Buffy, can we rest?
  • Current Mood: grateful grateful
Oh god, I'd forgotten that scene in Earshot . Entertainment Weekly has a feature this week on must-have tv-show dvds. 'Sex and the City is number one, the idiots, but 'Buffy' is number two. And they like s3 the best too. :gloats:

What was the original scene in Beneath You?
Oh Jen, I meant to reply to your meme this morning, but obviously didn't. You got me thinking about the 'little scenes', and that lead to me succumbing to the meme.

Re continuity - that scene got me too, the cyclical nature - the beginning and the end. This was also part of the reason why I mentioned Cordy singing, I remember watching the "Angel" episode, then getting out my Buffy DVD to check "The Puppet Show", and going "Yes!!! This is why I love these shows!!!"

Your non-verbal moments - yes, they really are some of the most telling moments in the relationship. Once again, I can remember saying (internally) to Riley after the knife throwing, hand holding in "Listening to Fear" nyah, nyah, nyah, you're so gone boy - but I may have been slightly biased, even way back then.

This was so hard, so many moments to choose from, but it's been fun, and a great way to relive the joy that the show brought to us, and remember the continuing pleasure it still brings.
Just read through your meme here, and I'm glad you recounted those hunks of script because it just shows how damned witty a lot of it was.

I find it painful to think about Listening to Fear and then all the way through to Potentials with the little Spuffy moments -- because -- to me --those little moments are far outweighed by the cruelty and denial, even right up to the end. Makes me very sad about that relationship. Damn near killed me, in fact.

I guess it comes back to how forgiving of Buffy you are -- I know you are a lot more forgiving than I am. What catches me out, though, is that I can't give up on Buffy because if you give up on her, then you give up on the show. So there's no way I can go the route that some fans do, and go and pair poor Spike up with someone who is ``nicer'' to him (drives me batty). So I'm stuck with Spuffy -- I believe they're essential to each other in a karmic way, and for each other's emotional evolution.
I know you are a lot more forgiving than I am. What catches me out, though, is that I can't give up on Buffy because if you give up on her, then you give up on the show.

I think I am more forgiving than a lot of people - I certainly don't feel the visceral hate for the character that some do, but as you say so correctly, if you give up on Buffy, than you give up on the show, and I am no way near that, if ever. In a tiny corner of my brain Buffy and Spike are together, and happy (mostly), and yes damnit, I know they are fictional characters, but .....
In a tiny corner of my brain Buffy and Spike are together, and happy (mostly), and yes damnit, I know they are fictional characters, but ....

Buffy and Spike ARE together, and mostly happy. I don't care if they're fictional. And they're together in the large living area of my brain, in fact in all of my brain. So don't worry, I'm right with you there.

But to me, Buffy is such a fucked up unit in the last two seasons that she seems completely incapable of giving love, and for the Spuffy thing to be credible to me, either canon has to go AU or Buffy needs to go through some serious shit to straighten herself out. So the writers who put her through that are fine by me. In fact they are the ones who, to me, are making the Spuffy story make sense.

I'd love to discuss this at length and in person with you because I wonder if we are really all that far apart. I don't have trouble with people writing fic that's hard on Buffy. People need to be hard on her because she did behave appalling to Spike in seasons six and seven and she is very emotionally fucked up, in my view. So she has quite a bit of psychological work and atoning to do. And not just her -- the other Scoobs, all of whom get a pretty cruisy ride from ME, need to be given a kick up the bum too.

You see, my observation tells me that the people who really loathe Buffy don't write her at all -- they've either moved on to other fandoms (eg Drinkthepoisonx who ran/runs or they slash Spike with Xander or Angel or put him with Tara or such like. I think people who bother to write Spuffy are interested in them being together and in redeeming them both in some way or other. Personally what I find the most irritating is Spuffy writers who are too soft on both of them.

I'm interested to know how you interpret Buffy's behaviour in seasons 6 and 7. Do you think it was bad but forgiveable? Bad but understandable? Or not that bad? Or do you think it was unforgiveable but you blame the writers, not her? I know I watched season 7 in a state of desperation, looking desperately for some sign that Buffy had emotionally matured and finding practically nothing to hang on to. I know some people see a lot of subtle romance there, and there was a tiny bit, but if I were Spike and I were given that tiny bit of using/teasing, it would practically drive me insane. I just think it was an awful mess. I think Buffy, the character, was badly written and badly acted through much of the season. So I hate her for much of her behaviour, feel sorry for her fucked up emotional state, and pity for her predicament, and intense annoyance at the mishandling of her character and the story. However the plot mess that was season 7 wouldn't have bothered me half so much if there had been some emotional coherence. If we were supposed to see Buffy as a girl damaged by her terrible job to the point that she couldn't love, I would have been OK with that. But although that's the kind of person she was definitely coming across as, there was no sense to me that the writers were trying to tell that story. In fact they seemed mostly oblivious to that except for a moment or two in CwDP. There's no way I can give up on Spuffy or Buffy but that doesn't mean I don't despise a lot of things about her in the last two seasons. To me, the ``problem of Buffy'' is the big problem of the show.
Ok, let me ponder this for a while (and make some notes - I'm old fashioned, I still like to write down my thoughts on paper), and I'll get back to you, but just a quick observation re the acting by SMG - do you think once she had decided to leave, that she also gave up on the character then, or did it happen sometime before?
You see, that's a very good question. It's one of a range of meta things you have to ask yourself when you're judging season 7. Did they mean SMG to act like that or was SMG just elsewhere, as some people say, ``phoning the performance in''?

Certainly, to me anyway, her performance was deeply unconvincing. Surely both she and Joss and the episode directors must all play a part in this. It's possible to play a deeply emotionally repressed person in a really convincing way -- look at Colin Firth playing Darcy, who's a very repressed character. But SMG is just blank to me through much of the season. Take for example an extremely emotionally pivotal scene, such as Buffy telling Spike she believes in him. The emotional lead-up to it on her part -- nil. The emotional content when she delivers the lines -- nil. Spike's reaction is deeply emotional but because he's playing off blankness, I don't buy any of it. It should be very important to me, but it's done so badly -- I remember nearly weeping with frustration when I saw it. I knew the season was screwed for me when they couldn't even get that right. And the fact that Joss had to bully SMG and JM into believing there was love there in CHosen -- to me that speaks volumes for the failure of the season. The actors weren't convinced and neither was I. Not that I don't believe that Spuffy isn't the be-all and end-all -- you know I do. But if I was depending on season 7 to prove it to me, it was a dismal failure.

The reason we are all floundering around for meta reasons for this and that in season 7 is because the season itself fails to convince us. You don't see anyone scratching for SMG's state of mind or what the writers/Joss or anyone else were thinking in, say, season 5, because it's bloody clear what's going on and everything about it -- writing, acting, direction -- speaks with one voice and we see it and believe it.
Brief thoughts yet again - and probably going over already ploughed ground - (may have to watch some S7 to ponder deeper thoughts) - I hate S6 with a passion, and I think that the actors did too, and possibly some of the writers/directors - brave bullshit, Joss being too busy elsewhere, Noxon getting her grubby hands on it and wrecking Buffy (the show and the character) in so many ways that it was barely salvageable, not to mention the objectification of JM - hate it with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Two seasons too many, should have ended with "The Gift", BUT S6/S7 could have been great if ... ... to misquote - to sleep perchance to dream, ah there's the rub, for in that sleep of Joss what dreams may come. Thank God for fanfic. Back to deep ponderings.
Two quick comments:

I am going to have to rewatch season 7 to re-evaluate. Maybe I will see different things this time -- who knows.

Secondly, I admire you for getting angry about the objectification of JM in season 6. So many fans think that ogling Spike is just straight pleasure. Feminists don't seem to see the irony. And it's particularly loathsome to parade his naked sexiness all the time while at THE SAME TIME having the heroine calling him a worthless thing, and the writers of the show implicitly backing that view up.

It's EXACTLY what used to happen to women.
This is what keeps this show alive for us - the passion that we share for the characters and the stories, hate 'em or love 'em, we always want to discuss it.

It's EXACTLY what used to happen to women.

In reflection, I think it is more the objectification of JM than any other single thing about S6 that I loathe so much. I actually can't watch the scenes not for the ugliness of the storyline, but because I just can't stand seeing him on the screen that way, not too mention how incredibly scrawny he became in S6 - he truly is the reverse of the usual objectification of women, and I can't abide feminists who argue that if it was good enough for the gander, it is now good enough for the goose. It's NEVER good, is horrible useage of someone for their body, and it actually sickens me sometimes to see it. S6 ended for me at the close of "Tabula Rasa".