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BTVS Episode Poll: 6.16 Hells Bells

NoShoes
Not to be confused with Hells Belles, the all-female AC/DC cover band.


"Oh my God, Buffy, look at its arms!"


Poll #1962607 BTVS Episode Poll: 6.16 Hells Bells

1. The bridesmaid dresses! How hideous are they, on a scale of "not really that bad" to "oh my god these totally reset the bar on hideous bridesmaid dresses! Well done costume department!"

Mean: 7.05 Median: 7 Std. Dev 2.19
0
0(0.0%)
1
0(0.0%)
2
0(0.0%)
3
2(10.5%)
4
0(0.0%)
5
4(21.1%)
6
1(5.3%)
7
3(15.8%)
8
3(15.8%)
9
3(15.8%)
10
3(15.8%)

2. Anya's outfit. How pretty is it, on a scale of "no better than the bridesmaid dresses, really" to "omg she's so beautiful!!!"

Mean: 6.53 Median: 6 Std. Dev 1.87
0
0(0.0%)
1
0(0.0%)
2
0(0.0%)
3
1(5.3%)
4
0(0.0%)
5
7(36.8%)
6
2(10.5%)
7
3(15.8%)
8
3(15.8%)
9
1(5.3%)
10
2(10.5%)

3. The characters get a number of really warm, cute moments together in this episode. Your favorite?

Buffy and Willow! Best friends bonding over hideous outfits -- I love it.
1(5.3%)
Buffy and Spike! What a sweet, MATURE post-relationship conversation they have here.
10(52.6%)
Willow and Tara! It has to be Willow and Tara. Come on you guys, get to the makeup sex already.
3(15.8%)
Anya and Tara! Anya is so happy! Tara is so delightful! Sex poodle!
5(26.3%)
Other
0(0.0%)

4. In other episodes, we see that most demons have the ability to appear human if they want. Why don't they here?

So the writers can work in the racism metaphors.
2(10.5%)
Racism metaphors, but they're a bit clunky.
0(0.0%)
Totally hackneyed racism metaphors that don't work at all.
1(5.3%)
Well, there has to be something driving the external conflict or we'd all be as bored as Cousin Carol.
5(26.3%)
Anya kinda screwed up and forgot to put "human-face formal" on the invitations that went out to the demon realm.
0(0.0%)
It's Xander. He could have requested human face, but instead he got all passive-aggressive against both sides of his prospective family and wanted to torture them with each other.
1(5.3%)
I don't know! I never worried about it before! Curse you, BTVS quiz!
5(26.3%)
Other
5(26.3%)

5. One thing this episode has going for it is a huge cast -- we get to meet a lot of characters for the first time, as well as getting cameos from previous bit players. Favorite (or most interesting) new character/cameo?

Xander's parents
2(10.5%)
Uncle Rory
1(5.3%)
Cousin Carol and Krelvin
3(15.8%)
The squid guy
0(0.0%)
Clem
2(10.5%)
D'Hoffryn
4(21.1%)
Halfrek
0(0.0%)
That demon guy Dawn talks to
3(15.8%)
Spike's date
2(10.5%)
Anya's hypothetical illegitimate demon child who looks an awful lot like Clem, doesn't she?
1(5.3%)
Other
1(5.3%)

6. Xander's nightmare vision of the next 30 years with Anya. What do you think?

Plausibly horrifying.
2(10.5%)
Kinda stereotyped and unconvincing. They're basically a demonic version of The Lockhorns.
3(15.8%)
They need to be a LOT worse to set up what follows.
2(10.5%)
They show Xander turning into his father. That's all they need to do.
11(57.9%)
Ugh, I hate them. HATE THEM.
1(5.3%)
Other
0(0.0%)

7. Psychoanalyze Xander for me. Why DOES he call off the wedding?

He's suddenly terrified -- with some cause -- of turning into his father.
5(26.3%)
He's just seen himself not only learn to hate Anya, but turn physically abusive toward her. He's scared of himself. He's trying to protect her.
3(15.8%)
He's just been reminded of Anya's dark side -- a thousand years as a vengeance demon, torturing men, and really, never showing any particular remorse over it. Suddenly he can't deal. He's scared of her.
0(0.0%)
He's self-destructive.
1(5.3%)
He's an emotional coward.
5(26.3%)
He's immature.
1(5.3%)
He's a big jerk.
0(0.0%)
No, it's not him. The writers arbitrarily have him act like a big jerk and I DON'T BUY IT.
2(10.5%)
Other
2(10.5%)

8. Everyone hates this story turn, pretty much. What kind of hate do you have for it?

It breaks my heart, but in a believable real-world kind of way -- I hate it the way I would hate a friend of mine making the same choice.
5(26.3%)
I don't believe it as character behavior. They were simply too happy JUST LAST WEEK.
1(5.3%)
I hate it as a story decision. It would have been more interesting to let Xander and Anya get married and find new conflict in that direction.
7(36.8%)
I hate it today, but it paves the way for Selfless in Season 7, so I retroactively forgive it.
1(5.3%)
Actually, I don't hate it.
4(21.1%)
Other
1(5.3%)

9. Given his doubts, and given that it's far too late to have called off the wedding months ago, what SHOULD Xander have done here?

Postponed the wedding for a few hours so he could have a long talk with Anya, during which they came to a mutual agreement about how they should proceed.
6(31.6%)
Postponed the wedding indefinitely without canceling it.
0(0.0%)
Stood up in front of everyone and formally called off the wedding instead of running away like a little baby.
5(26.3%)
Gone through the ceremony to make Anya happy now, and tried to work through his issues, knowing that marriage doesn't actually have to be forever.
1(5.3%)
Gone through with the wedding as originally planned, of course, knowing that having seen his nightmare version of their years together, he will have the strength to avoid it.
4(21.1%)
You know? Given the choices available, he actually does the best thing possible.
3(15.8%)
Other
0(0.0%)

10. The final scene, between Anya and D'Hoffryn. How did you react the first time you saw it?

I'm in suspense! I don't know what she's going to choose!
0(0.0%)
Ho hum. Totally saw it coming.
3(15.8%)
Oh, so that's where they're going with that.
5(26.3%)
NO! NO! ANYA! DON'T DO IT!
7(36.8%)
Cool. Now we're gonna get to see Vengeance Anya.
3(15.8%)
Other
1(5.3%)

11. Quotes

WILLOW: I'm supposed to be the best man. Shouldn't I be all Marlene Dietrichy in a dashing tuxedo number?
2(10.5%)
WILLOW: Maybe if I ask Anya I can still go with the traditional blood larva and burlap.
0(0.0%)
XANDER: What if I can't wear my cummerbund and the whole world sees the place where my pants meet my shirt?
1(5.3%)
ANYA: I, Anya, promise to love you, to cherish you, and to honor you, but not to obey you, of course, because that's anachronistic and misogynistic and who do you think you are, like, a sea captain or something?
4(21.1%)
D'HOFFRYN: May the love we celebrate today avoid an almost inevitable decline.
1(5.3%)
SPIKE: You meet my friend? BUFFY: Haven't met. She seems like a very nice attempt at making me jealous.
1(5.3%)
SPIKE: It's nice, watching you be happy. You glow. BUFFY: That's because the dress is radioactive.
5(26.3%)
TARA: Uh, I'm not sure you should say 'sex poodle' in your vows.
2(10.5%)
BUFFY: Oh yes, he's a doctor as well as a minister. He's like, half-minister, half-doctor. A mini-tor. Not, of course, to be confused with a minotaur! Because he's all man, this minister-doctor man -- no bull parts, whatsoever.
1(5.3%)
KAREN: I'm bored. COUSIN CAROL: It's a wedding, honey. We're all bored.
2(10.5%)
Other
0(0.0%)

12. Rate this episode

Mean: 5.37 Median: 5 Std. Dev 1.75
0
0(0.0%)
1
0(0.0%)
2
1(5.3%)
3
2(10.5%)
4
4(21.1%)
5
3(15.8%)
6
2(10.5%)
7
5(26.3%)
8
2(10.5%)
9
0(0.0%)
10
0(0.0%)


Bonus question! Have you ever been forced to wear a truly hideous version of a bridesmaid dress or similar formal attire?

Bonus question! Did you know SMG could juggle?

Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
mcjulie
Mar. 29th, 2014 06:39 pm (UTC)

1 5 I think they're about averagely hideous for bridesmaid dresses.

2 5 I'm pretty meh about Anya's outfit, actually. She's beautiful, of course, but I'm not sure I like how her hair has been rendered the same cream color as the dress -- and I'm not nuts about sleeveless dresses, or really super tight formal dresses, or "mermaid" skirts.

3 Willow and Tara. They are so sweet, adorable, charming, IN LOVE here.

4 Well, there has to be something driving the external conflict. Because there's not much happening, otherwise, especially in the last half when Xander is engaging in his freakout.

5 Cousin Carol and Krelvin -- It would have made me SOOOOO happy if we'd seen these two in a later episode, obviously dating (Note: earlier versions of the script actually have a scene where these two emerge from a closet looking all hot & bothered.)

6 Kinda stereotyped and unconvincing. They're basically a demonic version of The Lockhorns. That was my joke at the time, and I'm sticking with it.
mcjulie
Mar. 29th, 2014 06:42 pm (UTC)
7 & 8: Other
Usually I don't pick "other." I write the polls, so there's always at least one answer that reflects my own opinion. But in this case, I can't pick one. My opinion on both has changed over time and I'm still not sure where I end up.

When I saw this episode new, in real time, I leaned toward the first pick on both issues. Xander has just been viscerally reminded of how awful his father is, and has seen a mystically-enhanced vision of himself turning into his father. Now he doesn't trust himself not to. He can't go through with the marriage because in his vision, marriage is what does it, what *causes* him to become his father. And, to be fair to Xander, there's nothing in the visions that seems meant to suggest that it's marriage to Anya specifically that causes him to go down that road -- maybe the whole "demonic Lockhorns" thing is intentional, to emphasize that it's his flaw he fears, and not hers. He could be contemplating marriage to ANYONE and it would play out more or less like that. It broke my heart in a real-world way, like when friends of mine have had similar couple meltdowns.

On repeated watchings, though, a couple of things have jumped out at me. I'll be honest: I don't spend a lot of my Buffy-watching time identifying with Xander. So, thinking seriously about the horror of Xander's experience wasn't the first thing that occurred to me. But once it did, I realized that XANDER HAS JUST LIVED 30 SUBJECTIVE YEARS IN HELL WITH ANYA. Sure, from the audience perspective we get a few selected scenes. But there's no reason to think that he didn't feel himself as if he fully lived every miserable moment.

And his demeanor afterward is very similar to people who have just returned from time in hell dimensions (or even heavenly dimensions): he's dazed and disconnected and not very communicative. He's having trouble figuring out what's real and where he belongs in his life. I know the demon guy is dismissive of the power of the visions, suggesting to Anya that it "didn't take much" to scare Xander off. But remember, he wants to break them up. You can't really trust his evaluation. I think Xander's experience was a big deal.

The other thing that I didn't think about until I'd seen the episode more than once, was the fact that the show has never previously grappled with this aspect of Anya's demonic history: her moral culpability for torturing and killing not only the men who "deserved" vengeance, but sometimes the wronged women who summoned her. Remember The Wish, when we meet Anya for the first time? Cordelia goes from the real world, where she was emotionally hurt by Xander, to the world of the wish, where VAMPIRE XANDER LITERALLY KILLS HER. Cordelia does not come out the victor in that. And Anya didn't actually care, remember?

I think, from the audience perspective, that we're inclined to forgive both Anya and Spike for their past crimes. The characters are funny and charming and charismatic and sympathetic and the actors who play them are terrific. They entertain us, so we don't want to feel bad about the wrong they've done.

So, maybe, Anya takes more of the blame for what happens than it seems at first. Maybe part of the problem is that she doesn't fully respect the reality of Xander's experience -- note that her instinct is simply to try to rush Xander into going through with the wedding exactly as planned, after reassuring him that the visions weren't "real." And of course they weren't real in the sense of being precognitive. But they were emotionally and subjectively real -- just as Xander says, they weren't, in fact real, but they could be. That's a lot for him to process.

And maybe it's significant that she doesn't give much thought to his experience. She's not in the habit of thinking about men being tortured from their own perspective, after all. Her circumstances have changed -- she's lost her powers and gotten sucked into fighting on the side of the heroes -- but she's never actually said, "what I used to do was wrong."

So I ache for her suffering here. But I have also been reminded of the way she has caused so much suffering herself, without displaying that same kind of empathy toward her victims.
mcjulie
Mar. 29th, 2014 06:43 pm (UTC)
9. What should he have done? He should have stood up in front of everyone and formally called off the wedding instead of running away like a little baby.
I still blame Xander for the whole "leaving at the altar" thing. That's a jerk move any way you slice it. Yes, it's a jerkiness born of fear and shame, but that doesn't make it NOT a jerk move. He can't really avoid hurting her at this point, but he can still avoid humiliating her. Okay? NEVER EVER EVER just leave your intended at the altar. Ever. Don't.

10. Oh, so that's where they're going with that.

11. WILLOW: I'm supposed to be the best man. Shouldn't I be all Marlene Dietrichy in a dashing tuxedo number?
Yes, Willow, you should indeed.

12. I give it an eight.
Interestingly, my husband thinks this is the worst BTVS episode ever -- and not because he was deeply invested int he Xander/Anya relationship and had all the weepy sorrow feelings that make a lot of serious fans hate it. He went through the whole series in order a couple of years ago when he first moved to Seattle and hadn't found a job yet, and this episode stood out to him as not delivering on any of the reasons he enjoys the show.

But I think he has a prejudice against the normalization of demons in later BTVS and in Angel the Series, so there you go.
trepkos
Mar. 29th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
I like seeing all the demons being demony. Demonic - in a totally not demonic way until the end. And I pretty much love all the character cameos. I have NEVER been asked to be a bridesmaid - I'm just not the maid-y type.
mcjulie
Mar. 30th, 2014 12:32 am (UTC)
I've never been a bridesmaid either. The closest I've come was being one of the witnesses at a very small ceremony, and being part of the giant wedding party which includes pretty much the entire immediate family and many friends for my brother's traditional Indonesian wedding -- where the outfits we wore were AWESOME, pretty much.
baudown
Mar. 29th, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC)
With respect to number 7, I agree with a lot of what you (*points up at mcjulie*) said. I think there are a host of factors leading up to this really unfortunate turn of events. In addition to his fear of turning into his father, and his having supernaturally seen/experienced decades of hell with Anya, and the realities of her having been a vengeance demon for thousands of years, I think that Xander does have self-destructive tendencies, particularly when it comes to sabotaging relationships or choosing the wrongest partner possible. I also think that he wasn't emotionally mature enough to marry; and neither was Anya; and because of that, they never communicated properly in order to address the problems in their relationship. While I think they absolutely loved each other, they were also co-dependent in an unhealthy way, and each harbored many fears about their future together. Their relationship troubles were portrayed very specifically throughout the series, notably in "I'll Never Tell," as well as many other incidents along the way. I know some people felt the break-up was OCC and came out of nowhere, but I don't feel that way at all.

I do think this was the show's first real attempt to address Anya's history of mayhem and murder in a serious fashion, although I think the show gives her a much bigger break than it does Spike. The other characters mostly give her a pass until she takes up vengeance again; Spike isn't ever truly forgiven or accepted, except perhaps by Buffy, and then only after he gets a soul. This has always bothered me quite a bit -- I mean, pre-soul Spike gets a bad rap for only doing good to please Buffy (which I don't really believe is true), but we have no reason to believe Anya is doing good for any reason other than to appease Xander. Even though she and Spike both die for the right reason -- for the sake of humanity -- Spike's ride to that ending is a whole lot rougher.

Ooh, sorry for digressing.

As to number 9, I think Xander had no other choice. He did the right thing, but the timing was terrible. To me, his decision to walk away from the marriage was a brave one (I know several people who went through with marriages although they knew they should not, simply because they were afraid to back out); but the manner in which he did it -- leaving Anya there alone to tell the guests -- was pretty cowardly.

And as to number 8, I don't hate this episode. I think it's painfully believable. I think it had to happen.

mcjulie
Mar. 30th, 2014 12:37 am (UTC)
Anya does get kind of a pass for her past, doesn't she? Maybe it's because none of the regular characters remember being her victim -- or because they never really trust the chip -- or, because most of the skepticism regarding the trustworthiness of chipped Spike or ensouled Angel/Spike actually comes SPECIFICALLY from Xander and Giles, who might have more psycho-sexual reasons for it.
frelling_tralk
Mar. 30th, 2014 03:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah I think the difference was that Spike (and Angelus during season 2) had hurt the main characters directly, so they were left with that wariness afterwards, even while originally knowing Angel as a good guy. Whereas Anya being a vengeance demon was always more of an abstract concept to them, except maybe in The Wish where she does manipulate Willow. But then Willow is noticeably colder to her than the others, questions what Xander sees in her, and never fully embraces her as being part of the gang
mcjulie
Mar. 30th, 2014 03:49 pm (UTC)
It's true. Willow tolerates Anya for Xander's sake, but never really warms up to her. During season 4 she's often openly hostile. And during Season 7 she and Buffy both make an offhand joke about feeding Anya to Spike.
beer_good_foamy
Mar. 29th, 2014 09:41 pm (UTC)
4. I don't know about "most" demons. Vampires and vengeance demons, sure, because part of their purpose is to blend in with humans. But I can't imagine, say, Balthazar, a Fyarl, or those freaky-looking things with the long heads from "The Gift" suddenly turning into a regular guy in a 3-piece. They pretty much look like what they look like. ETA: Of course, where Anya got all of those demon friends who were never mentioned before is another question...

SMG juggling is one of the best moments of the episode. Which isn't saying all that much; for an episode with this much intended emotional manipulation, it always bothered me how flat and listless it seems. As if the writers had known for so long that they had to do this, that by the time they got to it they were already bored with it and just decided to get it over with.

(I do wonder if anyone's written Dawn/Demon Teen, though.)

Edited at 2014-03-29 10:02 pm (UTC)
kikimay
Mar. 29th, 2014 10:39 pm (UTC)
(I do wonder if anyone's written Dawn/Demon Teen, though.)

I wonder that too.

The green dresses were awful, but mostly their shape. The color doesn't bother me as much as it. I also don't like the shape of Anya's dress even if it's much more beautiful.

It breaks my heart (to see Anya heartbroken mostly, especially after her beautiful vows) but I can relate with Xander (Wow!). The only thing he needed to do was to tell Anya, but how can you explain to the BRIDE that her wedding is off? I kinda get the escape. I don't know if someone can be that brave.

I love everything about Spike and Buffy in this episode: their little moment and Buffy with the whole mini-tor explanation, playing charades and the jiggling (I didn't know that Sarah was good at it!)
beer_good_foamy
Mar. 29th, 2014 11:09 pm (UTC)
I wonder that too.

I'm kind of tempted, tbh. Dawn has a very weird life, and it's not like there's an abundance of non-Scooby people for her to discuss it with. They should at least go on a date, methinks.
mcjulie
Mar. 30th, 2014 12:45 am (UTC)
I think the unflattering not-really-tailored look of the bridesmaid dresses are a huge part of why they don't look that great.
mcjulie
Mar. 30th, 2014 12:42 am (UTC)
Well... I say "most" because of the vampires, the vengeance demons, the human glamor that fake Xander wears, the demon that looked like two dead children in Gingerbread, that cat demon thing who tries to bleed Xander in Season 7 -- I guess my intuited canon was that they could do it if they felt like it, but don't bother most of the time.



pickamix
Mar. 29th, 2014 10:31 pm (UTC)
I'm only going to qualify my other vote.

Actually most demons in the Buffyverse canNOT look human, so it never bothered me. The every demon can look human thing is a recent turn of events and one that I find annoying and lazy.

*hugs and love*
beer_good_foamy
Mar. 29th, 2014 10:57 pm (UTC)
The every demon can look human thing is a recent turn of events

Oh, is that a comic thing? I was wondering where that came from, because I can't recall it ever being mentioned in canon...
pickamix
Mar. 29th, 2014 11:08 pm (UTC)
I stopped reading the comics ages ago because they pretty much sucked worse than fanfiction that is riddled with cliches and grammar errors.

I was talking about the trend in TV in general. Take any mystical creature in Supernatural ... they all look human ... ALL of them. I've noticed it in a few other shows as well. I hate this trend. I find it boring.

Leviathans should NOT look human. The Leviathan is a single giant sea monster!!!!!!! WTH SPN?

I'll stop now before I go on to bitch about everything I despise about SPN.

But as far as the Buffyverse was concerned ... most demons looked like old time horror movie monsters and the only way they could look human was if they got put into a dead human body by a necromancer. (Angel Season 5 explains that, right?) Or if they were a vampire. The only exceptions I was aware of were Doc, and Glory (and I'm not sure Glory should count since she wasn't a demon but a god).

*hugs and love*
beer_good_foamy
Mar. 29th, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
Ah, OK. I haven't read the comics in a long while myself, but every now and then someone mentions something about Buffy being a robot or Giles being a little kid, and this seemed fairly tame in comparison. ;)

most demons looked like old time horror movie monsters and the only way they could look human was if they got put into a dead human body by a necromancer. (Angel Season 5 explains that, right?)

Along with the demon in the office party episode who dressed up as a human. His costume was less than completely convincing. There were a couple of other demons who could disguise themselves as human - Buffy's roommate in college, for instance - but yeah, for the most part, they looked like demons.
itsnotmymind
Mar. 29th, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
1. Buffy just looks so happy in that dress that she makes it beautiful.

7. This should allow for multiple answers. I feel like a lot of these answers are true.
mcjulie
Mar. 30th, 2014 12:47 am (UTC)
You know, I didn't even think of doing this one as a check all that apply. Well, my oversights are what the "other" choice is for!

Edited at 2014-03-30 12:49 am (UTC)
molly_may
Mar. 29th, 2014 11:40 pm (UTC)
The characters get a number of really warm, cute moments together in this episode. Your favorite?

I (unsurprisingly) love Spike and Buffy's conversation, but I actually voted for Tara and Anya. I always enjoyed the little scenes the two of them occasionally got together.

Psychoanalyze Xander for me. Why DOES he call off the wedding?

I honestly think it's a combination of all of the first three choices.

The final scene, between Anya and D'Hoffryn. How did you react the first time you saw it?

I think it's hearbreaking - but I also think it's awesome. I just love the way it's shot, and Emma Caulfield is perfect.

I gave it a 5. I definitely like it more than many people do, and I think the performances throughout are very good, but the script never quite rises to the level of the acting and the pacing seems off. Honestly though, it should get an extra point or two for Buffy's juggling and charades!
mcjulie
Mar. 30th, 2014 12:48 am (UTC)
I love your icon!

Yeah, I think this episode is such an important story turn, it feels like it really should have been given the written-n-directed by Joss special treatment.
pocochina
Mar. 30th, 2014 12:29 am (UTC)
(4) I liked this, actually, it was that fun BtVS metaphoric exaggeration of wedding awkwardness. On an in-universe level, I kind of like the idea that being as extravagantly demony as possible is how demons do formal and respectful.

(7/8) I like this twist in the story, as sad as I was watching it. Because Anya was....closer to being right at the end of S5 than Xander was, I think? I get the idea the proposal was Xander's way of trying to help steel them both to make it through the night if at all possible - not actually the worst idea in the world, just something he should have been honest with himself about a lot sooner. Xander was way too young and Anya way too inexperienced and uncertain in her humanity (so, young in a different way) for an actual marriage to be a good idea, for reasons that the independently traumatic curse drove home in a big way.

(9) I think immediate retreat was the least bad option. It's wrong to take vows with doubts this serious, and I think Xander (probably correctly) knew that if he gave the smallest opening, even just by showing up, he would've gone against his judgment and gone through with it. And as a practical matter, getting up in front of a room full of demons and going off-script is a very bad idea from a safety perspective.

Edited at 2014-03-30 12:31 am (UTC)
mcjulie
Mar. 30th, 2014 12:56 am (UTC)
getting up in front of a room full of demons and going off-script is a very bad idea from a safety perspective.

Hmm, good point!
kate_schaefer
Mar. 30th, 2014 02:02 am (UTC)
Buffy gets to wear a bridesmaid dress with sleeves that are considerably less ugly than everyone else's. Why is that? Is it in SMG's contract that she can never be forced to wear completely ugly clothes? Is she supposed to be the maid of honor, when Anya doesn't really even like her? And why is Halfrek sitting with D'Hoffryn rather than hanging out with the other bridesmaids and Anya the way she ought to be? We know she's a bridesmaid because she's wearing the dress, yet she never acts like a bridesmaid. Halfrek really should be the maid of honor, since she's the only person or demon in the whole series who is Anya's friend (well, except for Andrew, maybe).
mcjulie
Mar. 30th, 2014 03:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, there are definitely some confusing logistics in this episode. They've alluded quite a bit to planning for "tables" which implies a reception with food, yet there's no suggestion of that here. There's not even a cake.

Buffy and Dawn both have the same slightly less ugly sleeves, as well as the same (rather pretty) dangly green earrings. I could not figure out the wedding party logic of that.

It would have made for a pretty good character conflict if Halfrek had shown up and acted like the Maid of Honor, while the others are still mad at her for the curse a couple of episodes ago. So I have no idea why they didn't do that.
livejournal
Apr. 3rd, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
Tuesday, April 1 - Wednesday, April 2
User oni_9 referenced to your post from Tuesday, April 1 - Wednesday, April 2 saying: [...] BTVS Episode Poll: 6.16 Hells Bells [...]
rebcake
Apr. 9th, 2014 07:23 pm (UTC)
I was late to my own wedding, so why not this poll?

4 is the question that interests me most. With BGF, it never seemed to me that most demons could appear human. Some demons, sure. (Vamps, Vengeance, and roommate Kathy, for instance.) However, as the show went on, "demon" really did become a metaphor for "other", which is generally a stand-in for "other race". I personally love that aspect of the later seasons, and only wish it had been more explicit.

This is why the over-zealous Xander defenders* come across as creepy: they are saying that "normal" white (men) really are just better than other people. I'm not talking about his behavior here, which is egregious for self-hatred reasons, not other-hatred reasons, in my opinion. I think there were a lot of better ways for him to deal with this, but I don't think it's the worst thing he ever did. The stupidest, maybe, but not the most hateful.

*There are only a few of these that I've run across. The standard Xander-defenders is a rational creature with empathy, who recognizes that Xander is a complicated character. The over-zealous ones will argue that he NEVER DID ANYTHING WRONG. Because the people he wronged weren't people, or something. Yeeesh.
mcjulie
Apr. 10th, 2014 04:52 am (UTC)
However, as the show went on, "demon" really did become a metaphor for "other", which is generally a stand-in for "other race". I personally love that aspect of the later seasons, and only wish it had been more explicit.


Since Buffy is a story of growing up, I see the gradually increasing normalization of demons as representing the more mature, shades-of-gray view that Buffy comes to have. She goes from thinking of demons as having an innate essentialized evil, to seeing that if you judge by behavior, demons aren't always evil and humans aren't always good.

over-zealous Xander defenders

Wow -- it always seems to me that I run into more over-zealous Xander attackers, compared to the other way around. But fandom experiences can be kinda random that way. Anyway, I agree with you -- Xander is a complicated character, deeply flawed in many ways (which don't bother me when the show dynamic seems to recognize those flaws) but ultimately sympathetic. I think he's usually trying to do the right thing. He just, you know, fails a lot. And his decision here is a perfect example -- I think he is genuinely trying to do the right thing, but he's doing it so clumsily that it falls to the ground and shatters into a million pieces.
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