Stephen: "You are the weakest demon. Goodbye."
The Initiative plot arrives at last. We finally discover what lies behind the doors at room 314, and its not pretty.
The jealousy of both Buffy and Riley’s friends is a well observed study of relationships at the ‘doing everything together’ phase. The awkwardness between Buffy and Willow seems particularly bittersweet.
The death of Professor Walsh is a huge loss. I was hoping for a season finale in which the self-styled "Evil Bitch Monster of Death" goes Kung-Fu on the equally fearsome Anne Robinson for the title of TV’s Most Menacing Female. Just remember that Anne isn’t acting...
Kim: "Just wiggle, really"
The stand-out moment in this episode for me is a bit random - that Squid-faced demon getting electrocuted. Not that it was anything special plot-wise, but it made me think the following - how excellent must it be to act electrocution?
I’d love to see the director briefing the actor: ‘OK, you’re a mean demon, out for blood and Buffy’s just dropped a 20,000 volt tazer into that pool of water you’re standing in. Could you throw your arms in the air like you just don’t care, and... well, just wiggle, really...’
If I were behind the camera, I’d make them go for at least twenty takes. It’s second only to those, "Everyone lean and shake as the Enterprise’s bridge takes a hit" moments. Quality TV fun.
James: "Hurrah for the early evening edit"
Thud. After last week's playful episode we get a big, lumbering attempt to kickstart this season's big villain. There's lots of stilted explanatory dialogue and a big nothing of a plot (Riley and Buffy hunt demons a bit. Then Buffy hunts demons on her own. Whoops, Professor Walsh is evil).
Fortunately, there are also some really nice character scenes involving the rest of the regulars - as Tara and Willow, Anya and Xander prove to be much more interesting couples that Riley and Buffy.
Hurrah for the early evening edit - it may make less sense, but it features loads less flesh pressing.