: Buffy The Vampire Slayer & Angel The Series News
Buffy and Angel Reviews
« A Much Crappier Musical | Main | Welcome To The Hellmouth »

'Twas The Fight Before Christmas

Buffy Episode 7.10 Bring On The Night
AirDate: 17th Dec 02

'Bring on the Night'. So it's Sting songs now, is it? Well, all's fair in love and war I suppose. Speaking of love, have you heard that Sting is Mr. Tantric Sex God and can get it on for upwards of ten hours solid? An interesting little tidbit that begs the question – does anyone actually WANT that? (If it's with Sting then yes please -Bec) I'm in agreement with Paul Tatara on this one (Keep your in-jokes to yourself. –Ed).

So while we could continue to discuss Sting's powers of sustained tumescence, I suspect that some of you want to hear what I thought of Buffy 7.10.

Are you sure? Better hit the back button if you loved this one, because I fear I have more darts than laurels.

Giles is back! Sort of. What are we supposed to take from all this no-touchy no-feely stuff? We haven't seen the end result of that Harbinger swinging his axe at Giles' head in London, so it's awfully conspicuous that we don't know how (or IF) he got out of that. At this point I see three likely scenarios:

  1. Giles is dead and what showed up with the three Slayers-in-training is a manifestation of the First.
  2. Giles is dead and he arrived in Sunnydale as Giles The Friendly Ghost.
  3. Giles is alive and well (but how?) and Joss, Marti and Doug are just messing with us by making it appear that he's incorporeal.

Here's where we get into the griping. All three of these possibilities STINK. For either of the first two, how did a totally intangible Rupert manage to gather the girls and get them all the way to Sunnydale without any of them noticing and freaking out? And for that matter, are we really supposed to believe that none of the Scoobs would notice either? This is Giles! Beloved friend, mentor, and the closest thing to a father figure that any of them have (don't write me to point out whose fathers are still alive – that's not my point). He just flew across the Atlantic to aid them in their struggle, and no one's even going to give him a hug? A handshake? A manly slap on the back from Big Poppa Harris? Ridiculous. I've mentioned this to people who've said, "I think we're maybe to assume that touching happened offscreen." Poppycock! Balderdash! The writers consciously had Giles refrain from physical contact with anything and anyone for a reason. But if he's really the First, shouldn't he have been a little less helpful and supportive? And if he's something else (like a ghost), why wouldn't he tell them? Oh yeah – because no one in this "family" tells each other anything. If it's the third option and he's alive and well, then M.E. are still in big trouble because it's preposterous to think that he'd go through a whole episode without touching anything just to confuse us.

While we're on the subject of things that didn't make any sense, what exactly did the First hope to achieve by holding Spike's head underwater? We all know perfectly well that vampires don't breathe, so what was with the frantic gasping and choking when they'd pull him back up? Angel just spent three months underwater, and he was nowhere near drowning. But he's a vamp that can father a child, hence not the best example of undead canon. Someone wrote me after my 'Him' review to bust me for not pointing out that we saw Spike's reflection in a store window as he & Xander ran up to RJ to steal his jacket. I replied that I considered it a funny mistake, and I'm sure we'll someday hear Joss chuckling about the gaffe in a DVD commentary, but it wasn't a conscious element of the story, so it didn't really bother me. But this is something that Marti & Doug thought about and wrote into their episode, and Joss read it over and approved it. As a result, I find the whole thing a bit harder to swallow.

Next on my (s)hit list is the ongoing whateverness of Principal Robin Wood. Enough is enough already! There's obviously something going on with him. He's either good or evil, but has the time not come for him to do something one way or the other? My hunch still remains that he's a good guy, and I like the theory people have put forth that he might be a Watchers Council plant. But if that's the case, and he's up to speed enough to go down and remove Jonathan's body from the mouth of the Hellmouth's mouth, why is he still playing goofy mind games with Buffy? If he knows she's the Slayer and he knows the evil that's afoot, why would he be making creepy comments about how coming face to face with darkness can change you, and then staring at her through her office window as she nurses her bruises? I suppose he could be evil. This would explain why he's still holding his cards so close to his chest and taunting her with riddles. But when he first showed up in 7.1 and knew too much about Buffy, lots of people were saying, "I bet he's evil." If they turn out to be correct on this, wouldn't it imply that his role in the season's arc has been a little too obvious and predictable? I'm not going to jump to any conclusions yet, as I'm sure Joss & Co still have some tricks up their sleeve. His comment to Buffy about how he likes mysteries where you don't find out what's going on until the very end has me a bit worried that we're going to have to wait all season to find out who and what he is. Note to Joss: Drag it out too long and we're coming after you.

While we're on the subject of who's naughty and who's nice, I haven't made my mind up yet about this apparition of Joyce. Her comments are fuzzy enough that I still think it could be the real mommy. She's showing legitimate concern for Buffy's aches and pains, and what have her main points been so far? That Buffy should get some rest (she hasn't hit the sheets in three days, so this is fair advice), and that she can't fight the First. Is that such an inappropriate thing to say? Maybe it's really Joyce, and knowing what she knows from being all angelic (and I love Joyce so much that if anyone's an angel now, it's her), she might just be the bearer of tragic news: This time it's the real apocalypse, and there's nothing her daughter can do to stop it. It's the same with Dawn's visit from Joyce. Saying that a time will come where the two daughters will be on opposite sides doesn't make her evil. Does it? And really, what's she going to say to Buffy to earn her trust? The First has already demonstrated that it knows everything about them, so reminiscing about Buffy's childhood illnesses probably won't cut it.

"Gather them…", Hobson urged Giles, and gather them he did. Instead of three wise men, this holiday tale had three wiseass teenage girls (four if you count Dawn, but she's OUR wiseass). Three of the last potential Slayers, with the others on the way. Since there are more, I'll hold off on bitching that with S.I.T's all over the world, the three we ended up with are white & English-speaking. We'll wait and see who gets off the plane next. For now, though, it's Kennedy, Molly, and Annabelle. Accepting Joss' fondness for naming his characters after things (Faith, Willow, Dawn, Book, River, Trick, Glory, Harmony, Sunday, Gunn, Fray, Angel, Spike, Sunday, etc), if any of these girls had a name like Desk or Perspiration, I'd think we had a new main character. As it is, they're probably all expendable.

But could Marti & Doug not have come up with a slightly more clever way to dispose of one of them? I get it – let's have the Turok-Han kill someone so we can up the emotional stakes and make it seem even scarier. I'm with you. But one minute Annabelle is telling Kennedy & Molly that they're safest in the house and that Buffy knows what she's doing, and the next she's tearing up the street in a panic. Headed… where? Oh, of course – to her simplistic and poorly thought-out demise. Chris said yesterday that she might have been spooked by her own visit by the First and we just didn't see it. That's possible, but it seems to me that we're doing our best to explain all the holes in this episode, and maybe we should just admit that it was flawed and inconsistent.

Before I get to what I liked about 'Bring on the Night', I just want to address this one last quibble. Why couldn't anyone in this episode speak clearly? I don't think it was my hearing, but it had the highest quotient yet of lines that I had to rewind to hear again because I couldn't make out what people were saying. I ended up deciphering most of it, but as of this writing I still have no idea what the First-as-Drusilla said to Spike about the Turok-Han early in the episode, but it sounded like, "He's been waiting for his mommy since before Bulworth." The Warren Beatty movie?!? That was almost five years ago, so he's been waiting for his mommy for a long time. No wonder he's so cranky.

Cranky & TOUGH!! Wow! Not since Glory has Buffy squared off against a foe that isn't just her equal (as Dark Willow almost was), but someone who can easily trounce her and have fun doing it. Is Olaf's hammer still handy? At least we know she's still got the rocket launcher, and it might be required as a stake through the heart did nothing, and it jumped up from that pile of steel pipes like a stripper from a cake. Buffy's two fights with the Turok-Han were exciting and well choreographed, and the whole sequence at the construction site had a very cinematic feel (I love the Terminator-esque "GUNG! GUNG! GUNG!" theme). I was hoping that it would turn out to be intellectually fierce as well, but you can't have everything. At least it seems to be afraid of daylight. Or, based on that P.O.V shot as it crawled out of the whole briefly, was it GILES that scared it off?

Also worth noting is the pronounced flirtage that Kennedy laid on Willow when they were discussing the sleeping arrangements. It would add an interesting element to the plot if these two got romantically involved, so hopefully that little aside wasn't all we're going to get (not to mention that it's cool when girls kiss). And that was some sly dialogue as Kennedy gave Willow the wink-wink and Dawn walked up to say, "Do you think she wants to eat?" Willow's wide-eyed doubletake was priceless. Well, Will? Do you?

Tom Lenk continues to kick my ass with his brilliant comedic work. He manages his dialogue with excellent subtlety and style, and his facial expressions are hysterical. There weren't many laughs in this episode, but most of the ones that surfaced revolved around him ("AND IT COST THEM THEIR LIVES!!", "Anya gets to hit him", "So how long have you followed Buffy?", etc). I really can't see that he has a future where he'll redeem himself and become a full-fledged member of the team, but for now I love that they've got such a hilarious character tied to a chair that they can slap or gag as the need arises.

The two moments that affected me the most in 7.10 were the same ones that Julie said made her gag. When Spike told the First (in Drusilla form, no less) that he was able to resist the torture because Buffy believed in him, it was pretty touching. A real tug at the old man's heart strings, and I know that the B/S shippers out there probably did backflips upon receiving such a juicy gift. And what matched it in the Emotionally Stirring department?

Buffy's speech at the end. Okay, I admit it was hokey, but has a hokey monologue never brought an audience to tears before? I also admit that it could be dismissed as meaningless, since they still have no idea where or how to fight the First. This apocalypse is as inevitable as it was before Buffy addressed the troops, and they don't even look like much of an army. But it's the pathetic futility of her anger that made it all the more touching. Despite the insurmountable odds they're facing, for the first time in the show's history, and against the Biggest Bad ever, they're not going to hide out and wait for the climax to crash down around them. The Scoobies are at war.

Any questions?

Take care, everybody, and enjoy whatever holiday you partake in.


PS – Note to the person whose email addy begins cjsdarock@: I answered, but it got returned as undeliverable. Sorry.

About Ron : Email Ron
Back to the main review page»
Privacy Policy | Copyright © 1999-2004 All rights reserved.
"Buffy The Vampire Slayer" TM and © (or copyright) Fox and its related entities. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, duplication or distribution of these materials in any form is expressly prohibited. This web site, its operators and any content on this site relating to "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" are not authorized by Fox.
Home | Reviews | Articles | Buffy Episode List | Angel Episode List | Trailers/Promos | Spoilers | Official Buffy Site | Videos, DVD's | Advertise on | Buffy Merchandise | Search | Join Slayage The Mailing List | Contact is free to use, but not free to run. All donations are appreciated.
Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!
Show your to or if you buy this stuff through the site it helps out with running costs:

anything from blackstar, including:
NEW DESIGNS! t-shirts, mugs, mousepads. Got a suggestion?
Syndicate articles (XML)
Syndicate reviews (XML)
anything from amazon, including:
NS, DS, KM, VL, CF, ES, SR, AF, SJ, CB, AA, JH, RG, LH, GF, DK, EC, LM, SH, CK, AE, EB, XW, DB, MC, MR in other languages
Italiano, Deutsch, Espanol, Francais, Português