Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Villains

Episode Report Card
Ace: C- | 7 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
Willow needs to spank her inner moppet

Buffy and Xander walk through the still open (and still giving me the willies) door of the Summers house and immediately start calling out for Willow and Dawn. Didn't anyone leave a freakin' message for Dawn? I'll say it again; this gang really needs to get with the cell phones. Maybe Sunnydale is in some weird no-coverage zone. They split up and continue to search for Dawn. Buffy gingerly enters the room where Tara's body lies. The bed blocks the view, so it is revealed verrrry slowly. Need to squeeze as much angst out of Tara's corpse as possible, I guess. Buffy stares down at Tara in sadness. Dawn, hunched in a little ball against the wall, chokes out, "I didn't want to leave her alone." Aw -- I got a sniffle out of that. Then the shard of ice refroze in my cold, cold heart and I starting wondering why the hell Dawn didn't call 9-1-1. Maybe they haven't been running enough of those PSAs in the middle of Saturday morning cartoons over the last eighteen months. Buffy tries to get Dawn to go downstairs, but Dawn's too busy with the crying and the moaning and the wah, wah, wah. Cram it, Shiny McWhiny. Huh. Why am I feeling so damn stiff? And why is it so hard to type? Oh. Right. I've obviously turned to stone.

Cut to the coroners trucking Tara's body down the stairs while Xander takes care of the particulars. The coroner mumbles some platitude of commiseration at him. Y'know, coroners sure have a tough job. Can you imagine how difficult it must be to deal with grief-stricken friends and family day in and day out? We should all remember to tip the coroners! Buffy and Dawn sit in the living room. Buffy has not only changed shirts, which is understandable, but also washed, highlighted, and styled her hair into a mass of soft, fluffy curls. God. Do you think she stood with one foot planted on either side of Tara's slowly rotting corpse to get a better look in the mirror when she was putting in those hot rollers?

Xander comes in to the living room, and then it's time for a touching vignette entitled "Why Vigilante Justice Is Wrong." If by "touching," we mean "laboriously paced and unconvincingly acted." They talk about how they need to locate Willow. Xander mentions how deader than dead Warren will be if Willow gets to him first. Dawn is all, "Good." Buffy admonishes Dawn, who retorts that Buffy should "feel that way" too. Xander has to hop on the revenge-murder express even though he should know much, much better. Buffy, looking very much like Joyce from a certain camera angle, explains that "being a Slayer doesn't give [her] a license to kill." Blah blah blah. This scene is going on FOREVER. I'm tuning out the dialogue and instead noticing that a small picture of Joyce is prominently displayed in the background of this scene. Buffy promises justice for all, but vows, "I will NOT let Willow destroy herself." Minutes of pointless exposition about where they should go first to try to find Willow. Couldn't they discuss all this while actually looking for Willow? The Magic Box? Solid plan. But who will stay with Dawn? Dawn wants to go with them. Buffy won't let her go. Too dangerous. I would like to remind the writers that including this same scene every. Single. Week. Does not count as continuity. Buffy, just start taking Dawn on patrol with you already. You simply cannot shield her from all that goes on in your life. Buffy wants Dawn to be somewhere where she feels safe (like by the Slayer's side, perhaps?), so Dawn says she wants to stay with Spike. Xander reacts visibly to this because of the very recent attempt by Spike to rape Buffy. Buffy sighs and acquiesces to Dawn's wishes. Xander jumps up and drags Buffy into the foyer to protest since, y'know, Spike tried to rape Buffy no more than twenty-four hours ago. I read somewhere that this scene is supposed to be about Buffy putting aside her personal feelings to do what's best for Dawn. I'd just like to say that if that's the case, you might want to have the heroine look like she's even slightly put off by the idea. Just a suggestion. Buffy says she doesn't have a choice, but obviously she does. Like bringing Dawn with her, or leaving her at Janice's.

Pan up on Stevenson Hall. Willow is in Tara's room, fondling the shirt she was wearing when Tara was shot. She arranges it on the floor and starts casting a spell to guide her to Warren. The bloodstains begin to form a map of the area, which is a kinda neat effect until a cheap, glowing dot of CGI pinpoints Warren's location. Then it's just as lame as everything else in this episode.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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