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Actual poll behind the cut


Poll #1863129 BTVS Episode Poll: 5.21 The Weight of the World

1. Buffy shutting down into temporary catatonia -- how does that work for you?

It’s fine. It makes sense for her character at that point.
8(44.4%)
Hate it. Wrong for Buffy. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
1(5.6%)
I have mixed feelings. It’s an interesting choice, and it does emphasize the seriousness of everything that’s going on, but -- catatonia? Really? On her own show?
8(44.4%)
Yet another episode where nothing really happens! Argh!
1(5.6%)
Other
0(0.0%)

2. Spike tries to snap her out of it with a good slap, saying, “I bet she likes it rough.” Projection, or foreshadowing?

Projection
3(16.7%)
Foreshadowing
1(5.6%)
Little of both
12(66.7%)
Maybe you're overthinking this
2(11.1%)
Other
0(0.0%)

3. With Buffy out of commission, Willow steps in as group leader. Why Willow and not Giles?

Giles is still recovering from being skewered
8(44.4%)
It’s a setup for the leadership dynamic that will play out over the next season
3(16.7%)
It’s an important sign of Willow’s growing power
6(33.3%)
Interesting. I never noticed that before. I’ll have to think about it.
0(0.0%)
Other
1(5.6%)

4. Buffy’s inner life/dreamscape/psychodrama/whatever you want to call it. What do you think?

Interesting and emotionally powerful enough to make me forgive the show for putting Buffy in a catatonic state for an entire episode
5(27.8%)
OMG! Toddler Buffy! Young Joyce! BTVS, I totally forgive you for putting Buffy in a catatonic state for an entire episode.
2(11.1%)
Nothing will ever make me forgive the show for putting Buffy in a catatonic state for an entire episode
1(5.6%)
What’s your problem? Putting Buffy in a catatonic state for an entire episode is exactly the kind of bold dramatic choice that makes this show great.
6(33.3%)
Other
4(22.2%)

5. The Dawn scenes, where the barrier between Glory and Ben starts to break down -- Glory experiences guilt, angsts about humanity, and tries to get all chummy with Dawn. “Being human? It's like a costume for girls like you and me. Being something else, that's what we are." Thematically interesting, or trying too hard?

Thematically interesting
7(38.9%)
Trying too hard
2(11.1%)
Little of both
6(33.3%)
Yet another late-Season-5 thing that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere
3(16.7%)
Other
0(0.0%)

6. Rate this episode

Mean: 6.72 Median: 7 Std. Dev 1.48
1
0(0.0%)
2
0(0.0%)
3
0(0.0%)
4
2(11.1%)
5
1(5.6%)
6
5(27.8%)
7
4(22.2%)
8
5(27.8%)
9
0(0.0%)
10
1(5.6%)

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
mcjulie
Aug. 29th, 2012 02:36 pm (UTC)
When I’m just idly thinking about BTVS (as one does) I don’t recall this episode fondly. I think of it as an episode where nothing happens -- because, duh, Buffy spends the entire episode in a catatonic state. Yet, when I re-watched it, I found it entertaining enough -- even if the plot does spin its wheels a bit -- and surprisingly emotionally effective.

It all comes down to Buffy’s dreamscape. I love the interaction between young Buffy and Willow -- there’s a real best-friend tenderness there, especially the moment they first meet. The moment where Joyce puts baby Dawn in Buffy’s arms just broke my heart in all kinds of ways. And I kinda loved the “giving-up moment,” the way it called back to Fool for Love, and the way it happened while she was doing something so inconsequential. That felt exactly right. And I like the misdirection: we are effectively being set up for Buffy to be put in a position where the only way to save the world is to kill Dawn.

Even though I am still wary of the *idea* of an episode where the protagonist is in a catatonic state the entire time, I think The Weight of the World is building important psychological groundwork for The Gift and also for Season 6. Rewatching it increased my estimation of it -- at least temporarily. A few months from now, I’ll probably just think of it as “that boring episode where Buffy spends the entire episode in a catatonic state.”
rebcake
Aug. 30th, 2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
I think Willow taking over is all of the first three things you mention. However, Giles' gut wound is of a really debilitating nature, and what's most weird to me is that he is up, around, and fighting a hellgod a couple of days later. It's one of those things that you don't really notice the first (few) times through, but gets ridiculous on further examination. Couldn't they have come up with something more in line with a quick full recovery?
mcjulie
Aug. 30th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
Giles' gut wound is of a really debilitating nature, and what's most weird to me is that he is up, around, and fighting a hellgod a couple of days later.

You are so right! That really jumped out at me when I was watching these episodes for the polls. During the big showdown he seems to have no post-skewering issues at all.
red_satin_doll
Sep. 11th, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
1) Definitively mixed feelings about that choice, although the season has been building up to it = and in a sense it's been building up to it since S4 with the emphasis on psychology (S4 is where the shift begins, although it's still subtext until S5, from "What am I?" to "Who am I?" for Buffy of course but for all the Scoobies, Giles, and Spike.)

3) I wanted to say "All of the first three choices". I voted the second choice just by default - and it's interesting to notice that they have the same number of votes. That one was really too tough to call.

4) I put "other" - on one level I was bored by the dream, the repetition, and wanted to say "Snap out of it already!" I loved it when Willow got testy with her there. And I LOVED seeing Joyce again - ANY excuse to see Joyce again makes me happy (except CWDP). But beyond that, dreamBuffy seemed as catatonic as "real"Buffy, and I would have expected that at least in her dreamworld she'd be free to experience more emotion.
mcjulie
Sep. 11th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
1 -- Interesting -- I hadn't looked at it quite that way before, with Season 4 as a transition to the more introspective later seasons.

3 -- Yeah, I found it a tough call as well. Honestly this was my first watch of this episode where that aspect jumped out at me.

4 -- I saw an interesting contrast between little Buffy and adult Buffy.
red_satin_doll
Sep. 12th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
3 -- Yeah, I found it a tough call as well. Honestly this was my first watch of this episode where that aspect jumped out at me.

Which one did you pick?

I think I'm just about convinced I need to do some S4 meta's about that very thing (the transitional nature of it.) I'm writing them in my head - getting it down on the computer is always another thing.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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