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“The Nerds – How Are Them?”

Buffy Episode 6.19 Seeing Red
Air Date: 07May02

'Seeing Red' is another episode title with various meanings. There's the anger connotation - Spike gets angry at Buffy, Xander gets angry at Spike and Warren, Warren's angry at the world, Buffy's angry at Spike and the Nerds, Anya's still angry at Xander, and so on and so on. There's the red seen flowing from Xander's nose and the two gunshot wounds, and if we take into account the manner in which women with Willow's hair colour are often hailed by bartenders and whistling construction workers, this episode opens with Tara once again, happily, seeing Red.

And weren't they cute? Seems like a pretty good way to spend your last day together . Another fitting farewell was Amber Benson's first and last inclusion in the opening credits. Since I don't get home from the gym until 9, I have to tape Buffy and watch it after Angel (in Canada we get both on Tuesday). Thanks to this inconvenience, I got to rewind a couple of times to get a good look at Tara's little montage. She looked great, and I'm sure you'll agree that with everything she's been through since coming on the scene, this tribute was long overdue.

Are all of you aware that there's a whole segment of the Buffy fan base that pays strict attention to all the shirts with numbers worn on the show? I'm no numerologist, but after the hot night Willow had, it was funny that she got up and donned a shirt with 78 on it. I guess since it's a primetime show they couldn't go with their first choice, but I appreciate the subtlety of this slight adjustment (a cheap joke, and worse if no one gets it. - Ed).

I've seen a lot of action movies in my time, and it's not very often I pay too much attention to the acrobatics of SMG's stunt double. But that flip over the whirling saw blades in the Nerds' basement looked particularly badass. It was the second point in the episode where I had to rewind and get another look. Heee-YA!

"This is your captain speaking. All unusually curly hair has once again returned to it's formerly straight condition. You may unfasten your seat belts and move freely about the cabin."

I really liked the girlie ballad on the soundtrack as Big Poppa Harris walked over to the Magic Box to watch Anya through the blinds. This makes two episodes in a row where I've been charmed by a song but I may never learn the name of it or the artist responsible. It's possible that they're identified in the credits, but the station that airs Buffy & Angel here is guilty of 3 crimes:

  1. Making us wait one day longer than U.S. audiences for each new Angel.
  2. Omitting the preview for next week.
  3. Shrinking and muting the end credits so they can run a teaser for another series at the same time.

Speaking of music, please forgive this rant on the subject of nightclubs in Sunnydale. In this episode, we see Big Poppa drowning his sorrows and scaring off a lovely and flirtatious woman with his brokenhearted ravings (about fish?!?). I liked the symmetry between this scene and Anya's barstool conversation earlier that day, but I was initially wondering what kind of bar he'd found his way to. Powder blue and peach décor, frosted lamps, women in backless dresses nursing cosmopolitans, and nary a teenager in sight. This was your basic Miami Vice-era happy hour pick-up bar.

"Okay", I thought to myself, "Fair enough. The Scoobs are in their 20s, and it stands to reason that they've moved on to a more grown up establishment. You can't expect them to still frequent the same bar they thought was cool when they were 16."
But sometime after Warren got to live out his revenge fantasy, there was an exterior shot of this flamingo lounge. There, in garish pink letters on a big round fiberglass sign, glared the ugly truth that left me pounding my fists on the floor.

This was the Bronze.


When did this happen? It was only about five episodes ago that Spike and Buffy were copulating covertly on the catwalk as faceless-band-of-the-week entertained the rest of the Scoobs. Where is that Bronze? Where's the black paint and scrap metal? Where is 'Kill a Cockroach and Get a Free Drink' Night? Where is the stage that played host to Cibo Matto and Dingoes Ate My Baby? Where are the teenagers hanging out now? Are they all with Dawn over at Michelle's house every goddamned weekend? Is there really only one nightspot in the whole town, and will it forever change it's décor and clientele to match the age of the Scoobies? Are we to assume that when they're in their 70s, the Bronze will be the home of tea and BINGO?!?

Okay, calming down now. Just in time to address the rape scene, and I'm sure you'll all agree there was nothing funny there. Yikes. It was nasty and it made me uncomfortable, and it supports the idea that this season's worst demons are the ugly byproducts of human nature. It also seems to be the event that's finally going to push Spike out of the "waffle" house once and for all, sending him roaring back into the darkness where he belongs.

But not before a visit from my favourite floppy-eared demon: Clem! Spike was in such turmoil back at the crypt that I expected him to either ignore or attack his visitor. But Clem's warmth, loyalty, and insight into matters of the heart (not to mention a big honkin' bucket of hot wings) once again won Spike's confidence. I swear Clem deserves his own radio call-in show for the hellspawned and lovelorn. "Go ahead, Sunnydale. I'm listening." Good old Clem. Clem, Clem, Clem, Clem-Clem-Clem.

And as our William tore out of town on his motorcycle, I ask you: Whose jacket was he wearing? Cause he clearly left his old favourite (taken off that Slayer he dusted in NYC back in the '70s) on Buffy's banister. Was this new one a going away present from the ever-thoughtful Clem? Maybe Buffy will start wearing the discarded one to replace the one Angel gave her, continuing her tradition of "Been there, done that, got the jacket." You can take the girl out of high school, but...

And then it was a showdown straight out of a Superman movie. The brawl to settle it all. The hero vs the newly-empowered criminal mastermind, complete with a lot of tough talk and a false ending. This fight was a long time in coming, and it was fun to watch Buffy finally get her hands on Warren. He would have bested her too, if it wasn't for some timely interference by Jonathon. Right on, Jon - We always knew you'd come around. See, Jonathon's no stranger to getting roughed up by bullies, and he imparted unto Buffy the universal wisdom for dealing with them: Crush his balls.

This brings us to the 3rd big rewind moment. Hold on, let me get the remote.

"G'night bitch!"

"G'night bitch!"

"G'night bitch!" Heh heh heh. What would a good action classic be without a comeback line like that? That's a line fit for Sly or Ahnold, and when I saw it coming I half-expected them to skip the easy opportunity. But when SMG took a beat and laid it on us, I imagined a theatre full of amped-up knuckleheads cheering and high-fiving each other. Beauty! Speaking of Superman movies, it was a moment on par with the end of Superman II, where Supes robbed the 3 villains of their powers and Margot Kidder finally got to deck Sara Douglas. That's what I'm talkin' about!

But like any good super-villain, Warren escaped to fight another day. It's a shame that Jonathon's change of heart isn't going to save him from his new career as the most popular marital aid in Cellblock A, and Andrew - What can I say? His rocket ride to dreamland was the best laugh of the night, and it's nice to see he's finally made the jump from the "y'think he's gay?" member of the Troika to Warren's jilted ex. Poor kid.

Even though I can't stay away from spoilers, sometimes I really regret it. When I saw that there were only 5 minutes left in the episode, I couldn't help but wait for the inevitable with wringing hands. Xander & Buffy's making up scene was sweet, but Tara - maybe you shouldn't stand so close to that window, honey. Enter a frantic, gun-toting Warren, and the party's over. I knew Tara was going to get accidentally shot dead, and I knew Buffy was going to take a bullet too. But I didn't expect Buffy to get tagged as severely as she did. The Slayer looked as dead as Tara, but for some fluttering of the eyelashes. She was bleeding pretty badly and it'll be interesting to see if her wound heals as fast as Xander's face (sorry, Mutant Enemy, but if someone gets punched hard enough to send them flying across the room, there oughta be a bruise the next day). As much as I make fun of Tara / Amber, I really enjoyed her presence on the show and I'm going
to miss her.

But obviously no one's going to miss her as much as Willow. I also knew her eyes would darken at the end of this one, and I'm envious of Chris who prefers to stay spoiler free and didn't expect it. As he said, when it happened he yelled, "It's fucking ON!" From here on in it should be non-stop fireworks as young Ms. Rosenberg shows Warren that the second murder he's committed means he's got a lot more to worry about than prison.

"The Nerds - How are them?"

Screwed, I'd say. And in a big, raging, fiery, painful, forced-to-eat-your-own-organs kind of way.

Is it Tuesday yet? Is it Tuesday yet? How about now?

Take care, everybody, and Happy Mother's Day.


About Ron : Email Ron
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