As you would imagine with a title like Dead Things, this week's Buffy is a rather grim and heavy affair with the underlining theme of the banality of evil.
The trio of nerds are up to no good again, but their less than earth-shattering plan of putting girls under hypnotic control leads to tragedy when Warren accidentally breaks the neck of his ex-girlfriend Katrina.
The script and direction of the episode really make the trio seem an unpleasant group of small-minded little men and adds much to the lack of an overall season villain. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem fun anymore. Adam Busch brings a real desperation to his performance which makes his subsequent actions all the easier to understand.
Dead Things sees Buffy at its most adult, but while some may applaud it for being gritty and tackling meatier plot threads, the actual execution could leave you feeling a bit uneasy.
Apart from the Spike/Buffy shenanigans, it's the actions of the Troika that are the most difficult to stomach. The transition from being figures of fun to big bads seems a tad unrealistic. While the whole 'making a woman obey their every whim' plot is similar to the device used in such films as Weird Science, here the comedy is virtually erased by a darker significance to their actions. If Dead Things was a movie it would be a restricted 15.
This week's episode is about love... no maybe it's about not love.. maybe its about false love... maybe its about rejection... Oh, I'm not sure. After the last few weeks of obvious signposts, this week's episode doesn't seem to have decided where it stands.
It's not that I only like the show's humour. I do actually think some of Buffy's best moments have lacked humour, but what's happened this season? In the past the Buffy's writers have always managed to inject a wry smile into the proceedings. Dead Things, despite the presence of the SuperNerds, was largely laugh free.
I know this was intentional but there was only one funny moment in the whole episode (Spike, "They'll never find her." Policeman off camera, "Where did they find her...") and quite frankly I miss the funny.