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18 June 2014
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Reviews

Rob

A big hurrah for Beljoxa's Eye - an endearing piece of tat that looks unnervingly as though it was created in a Blue Peter 'Design a Monster' competition. Top marks for the designers' eye-boggling attempts at weirdness, even if you can see the edges of the set representing its dark dimension if you look closely enough.

Special mention must also go to Andrew's bladder for its sterling work over the last few episodes. The poor little scamp has been tied to the same chair for three days now, and as well as smelling a little ripe, there's no sign that he's been to the loo.

After watching the episode a couple of times, I'm slowly warming to the Willow/Kennedy relationship. It's taken a while for me to see beyond my instinctive pro-Tara stance, but they are making a pretty good stab at saving the awkward mess that Willow's character arc has become. Iyari Limon is rather cute too, despite sounding like a bizarre exotic fruit drink.

Mark

Phrases like "Welcome to the Hellmouth", Buffy's greeting to another potential, Rona, feel a bit out of place here. It invokes Buffy's breezy origins, but those aren't very apparent elsewhere in an efficient but rather unsubtle episode. The ongoing story is still involving, but a non-speaking foe like the Turok-Han punches below its weight, since there's no character behind the snarl.

Beljoxa's Eye, the oracle visited by Giles and Anya, consists of nothing but eyes. I can't work out whether this was deliberately the season's ropiest creation, or something that just didn't turn out well.

Some of the 'Slayers-in-training' are coming into focus rather better - Kennedy especially, whose flirting rather unnerves Willow. That house in Revello Avenue is starting to get crowded, with half-a-dozen new girls - except that one, Eve, is merely the fiendish First in another dead disguise. Hence Buffy opting to stage a morale-boosting rematch with the Turok-Han.

It's all a bit soulless, but just redeemed by Buffy's rescue of Spike at the end.

Ann

Ah, Andrew. Wonderful, silly, fluffy little Andrew, with his ultra-obscure nerd culture references and his squashed hamster haircut. I love him to bits and want one to put in my pocket. But for every good, there's a bad, and the balance here is Molly and her bizarre accent. ("Split up? Is that woiyse?")

This is boom and bust Buffy - lurching between top hole and bottom note. We have Anya discovering that her demon sexual allure has gone - "What am I, a leper?", "Come back when you are a leper!") balanced by the shoddy and unconvincing Eye of Beljoxa. There's the swish and gripping telepathy scene - ruined by another "uplifting" Buffy speech.

Finally, Buffy's climactic Turok-Han ass kicking. Great! Pity the Turok-Han itself is a mediocre monster mash-up of generic horror film fiends. This season's picking up steam, but it's not quite there yet.

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