Speech! There's fighting talk chez Summers, as Buffy rallies the troops against the dark forces of evil. A metaphor for the current world political climate? Apparently not, according to Joss Whedon, but the result is certainly no more fun than listening to George W. Bush at his dullest.
It's an interesting swansong for Marti Noxon, who was destined to write one more episode but got caught up in preparation work for her new series Still Life. Marti's Buffy episodes have been unrelentingly grim and painful of late, but Bring on the Night finds time to showcase some of the witty banter we used to love her for in the early days.
Never mind, those who enjoy pain can still howl in agony at the decidedly dodgy British accents offered by the new potential Slayers. Although posh totty Annabelle ultimately bites the dust, it's Mockney Molly who is much more deserving of a mercy killing.
Kennedy seems nice, but like Cassie a few weeks back, she's merely filling an awkward hole left by the absent Amber Benson.
After the long build-up, Buffy and the gang start facing off with the First's envoys. Even at this stage, it feels like we're being prepared for Buffy: Final Conflict. Hence the problem with some mid-season episodes: they progress things, but it can be a rather grim, sluggish process. Buffy getting all motivational with her raw recruits also means the fizz factor is weak.
But yay! - Drusilla's back. Juliet Landau plays her as kookily as ever, but the First's hands-off rule (its dead disguises can't play any contact sport) cramps her style. The downbeat Giles who arrives with some so-called English slayers - we reserve judgement there - doesn't help. Could Mutant Enemy find no more plausible Brits?
The prehistoric Turok-Han is there to do the dirty work: it can survive staking, but couldn't stand any hour of daylight. Buffy's fray with it is well-staged, played out like a confrontation with the Terminator. Yet apart from the mirages of Joyce (and was she the First or not?), this one is bordering on the predictable.
Bring on the Night is a mixed bag of an episode with some exciting moments unfortunately swamped by deathly-dull, if necessary, exposition.
The one with the words this time around is Giles, with Anthony Stewart Head forced into doing his Doctor Who audition piece as various characters ask 'What’s happening?' If only he’d just say, 'I’ll explain later', but no...
It’s a shame because there’s lots of good (or possibly, bad?) things going on – Willow’s truly shocking use of magic, the First’s little helper refusing to die, the Principal acting all strange, Dawn enjoying keeping Andrew captured a bit too much and Xander pointing out just how often the Buffy household has been attacked. All great stuff, but spoilt by the exposition.
Ooh, and one other annoying thing – Molly – just where did she learn to speak with such an awful British accent? Mrs Miggins' Pie Shop?