Saturday, October 8, 2011

Classics: BtVS 6:4 - Flooded

Overall Rating: 7.0

The extra point is for the freakin' SCARY confrontation between Giles and Willow.  Otherwise, this is a forgettable episode, though it does bring us an amusing introduction to "The Trio."

Plot Synopsis:

Wikipedia has a solid summary of the episode here.

The Skinny:

When she went into the ground at the end of fifth season, Buffy was still not a fully finished person - her purpose seemed fulfilled and she was rewarded for her efforts with the splendor of heaven, but as a person, she certainly wasn't "all grown up."  And now, still in that state of feeling trapped between her long gone childhood and her full womanhood, Buffy is ripped back to reality with a flood of near-biblical proportions - literally and figuratively.  She breaks her plumbing and the price to fix it will drain her every remaining financial resource.  She feels unable to handle the financial strain of running a family on top of her slaying duties and the oppressive burden of "being OK" for her friends when every day feels like hell.  And the fun doesn't stop there...she's got a pack of uber-nerds to deal rejects banded together to be a minor, but omnipresent annoyance.

Now truly begins the season where life is the super-bad (as Joss himself once said).

  1. Xander is finding it harder to hander to deal with Anya as his rising dread at the prospect of committing himself to marriage.  He still doesn't believe that he is worthy of her - he fears that she won't be happy with his low career ambition (he's actually happy where he is!) or his connection to Buffy's dark world, but he doesn't know how to tell Anya all of this.
  2. Willow is beginning to lose herself in the black arts.  Even when she was resurrecting Buffy (and committing unspeakable evil to do it), you still felt like she was trying to do the right thing (and failing due to her own feelings in inadequacy).  Now, she's threatening Giles with bodily harm when he doesn't like her methods?  And frankly, the whole episode, she seems to have lost her gentle nature to a hardened and emotionally closed false confidence.
  3. Buffy is already beginning to realize that she is drawn to Spike (in a way that sickens her) because he is the one she can tell her troubles to without feeling responsible (if she told Angel or Giles or Willow of Xander, she would have to work to make them believe she was alright, since she's got a bit of a martyr complex and believes that only she can lead her gang to happiness).
  4. And Giles...has NO idea what to do with the new, lost, Buffy.  And that's a first for him.
This episode lays some groundwork for the future, but the plot is pretty mundane and the dialogue, apart from Willow's frightening exchange with Giles and a few comedy relief moments between the members of the Trio, is uninspired.  The show also fails to stand on its' own because it was a part of a Buffy/Angel crossover pairing to draw ratings for the Joss block and if you never watched Angel, that's a rather annoying plot hole that they never really fill.

Writing: 6.5

Half-point bonus for the strong scene involving Willow and Giles...beyond that, this episode is merrily average.

Acting: 8.0

Again, a lot of the credit here is going to Alyson Hannigan, who is doing a masterful job portraying her descent into magic addiction and evil both subtly in the bulk of scenes, and boldly when called for.  Tony Head is fabulous as well.  The rest of the cast is merely average, though I did enjoy Emma Caulfield's "Hey! You tricked me!" moment...she has such stage presence! :)

Message: 6.5

Life is it after you've died is harder still...Willow will learn some very important lessons about meddling with the natural order of things before the end.

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