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BTVS Episode Poll: 6.02 Bargaining Part 2

NoShoes
Buffy poll time again! Actual poll behind the cut.


Poll #1868049 BTVS Episode Poll: 6.02 Bargaining Part 2
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 13

1. Buffyvision -- that hazy, unfocused POV that she has throughout this episode?

View Answers
It's her physical senses (eyes, ears) trying to adjust to the world again
6 (46.2%)
It's her brain trying to adjust to the world again
4 (30.8%)
It's her soul/self trying to adjust to the world again
1 (7.7%)
It's oxygen deprivation
0 (0.0%)
Whatever it is, it kinda bugs me
1 (7.7%)
Other
1 (7.7%)

2. The Hellions as episode monsters?

View Answers
Demon biker gang? Kinda underwhelming as a threat
1 (7.7%)
They're okay.
1 (7.7%)
They get the job done (making Sunnydale seem hellish), and that's all they have to do
9 (69.2%)
Where are the Sunnydale police, anyway? These demons seem relatively easy to kill and there aren't that many of them
1 (7.7%)
Other
1 (7.7%)

3. Spike's role as Dawn's babysitter -- and his being an accepted part of the team -- is sometimes cited as evidence of his character suffering from "badass decay." What say you?

View Answers
Sheesh. It's called character development!
6 (46.2%)
Maybe it is, but I don't care
0 (0.0%)
He's still a badass -- he's just morphing from a badass villain into a badass antihero
3 (23.1%)
Shush. I'm basking in the Spikeness. What were you saying?
4 (30.8%)
Other
0 (0.0%)

4. Buffy watching the Buffybot get ripped apart by the demon biker gang ...

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Almost as horrifying as having to claw your way out of your own grave
0 (0.0%)
Horrifying, but nowhere near as horrifying as clawing your way out of your own grave
3 (23.1%)
Too dreamlike to be horrifying
1 (7.7%)
The only thing that could possibly be more horrifying than having to claw your way out of your own grave would be clawing your way out of your own grave and THEN seeing yourself ripped apart by a demon biker gang
9 (69.2%)
Other
0 (0.0%)

5. Even though she acts to protect Willow/Xander/Anya/Tara from the Hellions, Buffy seems extremely wary of her friends, backing away, not speaking, cowering, and eventually fleeing. Why?

View Answers
It's just trauma
6 (46.2%)
She knows, somehow, that they were the ones responsible for bringing her back
0 (0.0%)
They're really NOT handling this well, crowding and overwhelming her
5 (38.5%)
Other
2 (15.4%)

6. Willow's magic doesn't actually seem very useful against the Hellions

View Answers
She's still worn out from raising the dead
9 (69.2%)
Buffyworld magic doesn't tend to be all that useful in combat situations
2 (15.4%)
It's strategic. She could whoop their asses with magic if she knew how to use it.
0 (0.0%)
It's thematic, emphasizing how lost they all are without Buffy
2 (15.4%)
Other
0 (0.0%)

7. Tara's first axing! What do you think?

View Answers
Important character development
0 (0.0%)
Important, somewhat overdue character development
2 (15.4%)
More assertive Season 6 Tara! Yes!
9 (69.2%)
Are you sure Tara never killed anything before?
2 (15.4%)
Other
0 (0.0%)

8. Best thematic line?

View Answers
Buffybot: Where did I go?
5 (38.5%)
Tara: Maybe we really were in over our heads. Invoking forces that we have no right to... Maybe the fates sent all this destruction down on us to stop us.
1 (7.7%)
Buffy: Is this hell?
6 (46.2%)
Buffy: It was so clear... on this spot.
0 (0.0%)
Dawn: You're really here. You're alive. And you're home.
0 (0.0%)
Other
1 (7.7%)

9. Rate this episode

View Answers
Mean: 8.00 Median: 8 Std. Dev 1.36
1
0 (0.0%)
2
0 (0.0%)
3
0 (0.0%)
4
0 (0.0%)
5
1 (7.7%)
6
0 (0.0%)
7
4 (30.8%)
8
3 (23.1%)
9
3 (23.1%)
10
2 (15.4%)


Oh, and, for anybody who in the Seattle or Vancouver BC area, be sure to check out V-Con and maybe come join us for the annual Whedonfest on Sunday at 1 pm.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
mcjulie
Sep. 28th, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
In part 1, the problem is a Buffy-shaped hole in the world, solved at the end by Buffy’s return.

In part 2, the problem seems like it has to be the demon motorcycle gang -- as in, getting rid of it -- but the real purpose of this part of the story is to bring Buffy to the place where she asks, “is this hell?” So, the demon gang creates hell on earth by smashing stuff, lighting it on fire, forcing Buffy to fight, and subjecting her to the unique existential trauma of watching yourself be torn to pieces by motorcycles. But after that the action becomes repetitive -- the gang fights demons, then they fight them again, they catch a glimpse of real Buffy and she leaves, then they see her again and she leaves again.

I still enjoy part 2 -- but it lacks narrative focus compared to part 1. Upon reflection, I think that's because there’s always a cost to the episodes without Buffy as an active force (see, The Weight of the World). Part 1 got around this with an extremely clever use of the Buffybot. Part 2 could have used a pinch-hitter protagonist -- Willow or Dawn come to mind -- but without that, it leaves Buffy as the protagonist, and she’s really not at her protagonisty best.
mcjulie
Sep. 28th, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, and one more thing -- for the first time, I noticed that Buffy finally gets her fight on re: demon motorcycle gang when the demons threaten rape. I couldn't think of how to turn that into a poll question, but I thought it was a potentially significant character note.
red_satin_doll
Oct. 4th, 2012 01:03 am (UTC)
Buffy finally gets her fight on re: demon motorcycle gang when the demons threaten rape

I don't think it's important in a "foreshadowing" sense; when you count the number of times that the rape/violation trope is used by Whedon/M.E, it just seems par for the course. (Although it's a damnably disturbing line of dialogue and I could certainly be wrong about my assumptions: Spike's line to Buffy "Do you know what I've done to girls Dawns age?" is less graphic and different in intent, but I'm reminded of it all the same.)
red_satin_doll
Oct. 4th, 2012 01:17 am (UTC)
I probably love this episode more than you do? I am never not affected by Buffy wandering around in a haze, completely traumatized. (God am I really such a sadist?) And the death of the Buffybot gets me in a way that the destruction of a robot shouldn't, but it actually made me cry the first time around. (Ok, I'm being less than eloquent here, sorry.) There is so much going on thematically here that the meh-ness of the bikers really doesn't bother me all that much; and this to me is very different than TWOTW, where Buffy is catatonic. Watching Buffy stare at the wall is not interesting, but watching Buffy try to make sense of the world and body she's been forced back into is endlessly fascinating to me. And SMG plays it so beautifully.

1)I chose Other because I really wanted to say "A combination of the first three choices". I think all of those come to play, and foreshadow, I think, Buffy's mental/psychological fractures in S6.

2) "Get the job done" - they're kind of scary with the rape threats but kind of lousy too, if that makes sense? There really isn't anything they do that a human biker gang, hellbent on destruction, couldn't have - and btw, shame on me and the show for the stereotyping of bikers.

OT a moment - the image of Buffy in the alley, hair hanging over her face as she trembles (god she makes me want to cry there), calls back the image of CaveBuffy in Beer Bad to me; looking at screencaps of Beer Bad, I was astonished by how much the scene in the bar while it's burning resembles the scenes of Buffy wandering the streets of a Sunnydale that has gone to hell.

3) Totally character development. Their friendship was one of the most interesting things about S5; and his desire to do "what Buffy would have wanted" during that summer is very poignant. the_royal_anna goes into brilliant detail about that, and I can't better what she writes.

4) #4 - watching buffy have to claw her way out of her own grave and then watch her watch herself be torn apart? That's horrifying and brilliantly-played. And again, much thematic resonance here; Buffy will spend the entire season trying to put herself back together again, so to speak.

(I have to run so I'll add pt 2 later.)
mcjulie
Oct. 4th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
And the death of the Buffybot gets me in a way that the destruction of a robot shouldn't,

Right there with ya!

calls back the image of CaveBuffy

Interesting!


red_satin_doll
Oct. 4th, 2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
Ok, pt 2- quickly I hope:

5) I picked "trauma" of course, but #3 - the friends crowding her, is actually a part of the trauma, or makes it worse. She's a frightened animal in that alley.

6) #1 - we've seen how Willow gets tired out quickly from magic in S5 (if my memory serves - Tough Love?) but it's funny the way she confronts that demon, "You don't want this and neither do we" Or it would have been funny with the old Willow in S2 or 3? I guess this is to show her growing confidence/arrogance, but her actions here seem a bit strange if she's not prepared to back them up. Not OOC, but just oddly written, perhaps.

7) #3 I'd read that Tara was a beloved character, and I loved the pairing and the way it was handled, but I didn't understand the love until S6 so - yay assertive Tara! (I like to think that if she'd been allowed to live, she would have been the one person standing up for Buffy in Empty Places - but this time, there's a crowd of people instead of just Anya as in OAFA, so she would have been shouted down. Big rift between her and Willow, lotsa angst....has anybody written that fic?)

8) #2 Of Buffybot...(moment of silence) Buffy's lines in this poll aren't actually all that great - I don't know if it's writing or delivery (Buffy's traumatized so of course they're delivered in a flat tone (I think SMG has trouble with her delivery of those lines, of how to be "flat/monotone" although the rest of her performance is aces), but they don't tell us anything we haven't already figured out about her mindset just from watching her. This is one episode where less (dialogue) is more.)

But the Buffybot - she's connected back to Adam - another machine/creation (Frankenstein's monster) asking the question "Who am I?" That's important, because it becomes the big question for Buffy starting at S5 (rather than "What am I?" and a very long way from "I'm Buffy, the vampire slayer. And you are?")
So Buffybot is linked to Adam and to Buffy - she's Buffy's stand in not just in Sunnydale that summer, but in that moment of death, voicing what Buffy is unable to at that point. And there's a moment when the 'bot, like Adam, almost reaches a point of existential understanding, or seems to be groping for it - for knowlege, as did Eve and Adam, and all of us. Her death there signals (to me) that this search will be frustrated for Buffy throughout the season.

And on another level - that girl, the sunny, happy Buffy from the early seasons, the one who has been fading away since S5, is very much "dead inside". (I could go on but I'll stop now.)

9) I think I gave it a 10? I really do love that ep that I can overlook the faults.


mcjulie
Oct. 4th, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC)
I'd read that Tara was a beloved character, and I loved the pairing and the way it was handled, but I didn't understand the love until S6

One of my biggest disappointments with Season 5 is that Tara finally gets her big episode, Family... and it's not actually very good, especially not for a Joss episode, and it doesn't really seem to change anything about her character dynamic.
red_satin_doll
Oct. 6th, 2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
One of my biggest disappointments with Season 5 is that Tara finally gets her big episode, Family... and it's not actually very good, especially not for a Joss episode, and it doesn't really seem to change anything about her character dynamic.

Your thoughts = my heart.

I remember seeing Joss' name as writer on that ep as the opening credits were unfolding and thinking, YES! A Tara-centric ep from Joss...and visions of his other masterfully-written eps came to mind (Hush for instance, which introduced Tara brilliantly.) And then - it turned out to be one of the most mediocre eps IMO. It was a huge disappointment - and the stereotypes of southerners was utterly staggering to me. (I'm from Michigan but was living in North Carolina when the show was airing, although I didn't see it then. I know I had stereotypical visions of what being in the south would be like - and my mom did as well - that, if not unfounded entirely, were no where near the whole truth. And that, to me is just lazy writing - why bother if you're not even going to try? (And there is not a hint of a southern accent in Tara's voice, so they didn't even seem like her family to begin with just on that aspect.)

My own partner is from South Carolina and has a gentle accent but it's there, and in New England she gets defensive when it's remarked upon; and for years she claimed to be from North Carolina rather than South Carolina (she has her own internalized anger and even shame regarding where she's from, although that seems to be disappearing). So I get that, and it could have worked in this episode but just - didn't. (Amber Benson's performance is not the greatest either; she doesn't become really awesome until S6, but I'm not sure if it's her, the direction, or a bit of both.)
mcjulie
Oct. 6th, 2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure Joss knows any hicks, rednecks, or genuinely ignorant/stupid people. Certainly, he doesn't have a feel for how to write them. Usually, he knows better than to try to depict them.
red_satin_doll
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
I noticed that in S7 the only Potential to be taken over by the First (aside from Chloe, but that's in one brief scene), was "Eve", who also had a very pronounced (and to my ears, grating) generic "southern" accent. (As if there were such a thing as a single 'southern' accent.) So that was very noticeable to me that in seven years the only characters from the American South (-east or -west) were either evil or ignorant, conservative, manipulative, etc.

When I went away to college in North Carolina (Greensboro - which is not the "deep South" by any means), my mom asked "Aren't they prejudiced down there?" She didn't need to say the word "racially" because I knew what she meant. And I said "No more than they are up North". Which may not have been accurate, but have you ever been to Detroit? A bombed out shell, from my memories growing up in the '70's - '90's, the downtown mostly left as it was after the race riots of '68, rotting and abandoned by anyone, white or black - but mostly white - who could afford to live in the suburbs ("white flight"). I grew up in a state that was extremely racially segregated; I actually saw more interaction and intermarriage between blacks and whites when I went to NC.

What I'm trying to say is that in the North, I grew up with a lot of prejudices about "the South" and Southerners that were perhaps partly based on reality or history, but also on myth and projection, and not entirely accurate. And I see those same prejudices in "Family" and in the character of The First as Eve; or maybe Whedon is as aware as I am that these are stereotypes, but is simply using them as a sort of shorthand. Which, again - lazy writing.
mcjulie
Oct. 7th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
I have never been to Detroit, but the first time I went to New Orleans my mother asked me something very similar -- you know, American South, it's so racially prejudiced. Except New Orleans is probably the most racially mixed place I've ever been. Yes, they were a Confederate state, but they don't have that "still seething about the War of Northern Aggression" vibe that I got from Alabama.

People getting all judgmental about "rednecks" for their presumed racism -- I don't care how many times I point out to my parents that they're kinda doing the same thing that they get after the in-laws for, I don't think it will ever really sink in.

I think Joss is a second or third generation Southern California native, like me. (Although I live in Seattle now) SoCal has a lot of stratification in neighborhoods and culture. You just don't tend to meet people outside of your own group there. I'm sure that's why race/class/culture is the biggest pervasive weakness in BTVS, and it stands out mostly because the show could be so progressive in other ways.

eveolina
Oct. 6th, 2012 07:40 am (UTC)
1. I never really thought about this, but I like the effect.
2. The Hellions are ridiculous, but they do get the job done.
3. I hate that "badass decay" thing so much. Character development is a good thing.
5. It's mostly trauma. I'm not sure she really recognizes her friends or where she is until the end of the episode, when Dawn is in danger. Though the crowding thing is also a problem.
8. All these lines are so sad.
9. It's not as good as part 1, but still very good. It does a good job of setting up the bleakness of the season. I really love the Buffy/Dawn scene at the end, even though I know a lot of people don't. Dawn is just happy to have her sister back, but Buffy is so lost - its so sad.
red_satin_doll
Oct. 6th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
I hate that "badass decay" thing so much. Character development is a good thing.

Say it loud, say it proud.

I really love the Buffy/Dawn scene at the end, even though I know a lot of people don't.

Really? I didn't realize that. I don't think the dialogue is the greatest, but I don't hate it. (Again, SMG has to give a very flat, monotone line delivery, and that's hard to make interesting.)
mcjulie
Oct. 6th, 2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
Character development is a good thing.

Soooooo much!

I also like the Buffy/Dawn scene at the end, but the one I really love is at the beginning of the next episode, where Dawn is cleaning her up and taking on kind of a mom role.
red_satin_doll
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:20 pm (UTC)
but the one I really love is at the beginning of the next episode, where Dawn is cleaning her up and taking on kind of a mom role.

YESYESYES

UNfortunately Dawn abandons that for most of the season, which is sometimes meant for comic effect (everything's getting dumped on Buffy) except in Normal Again. One thing about Dawn - she'll come through in a crisis.

I've got some screencaps of the scene of Dawn and Buffy on the stairs with Spike, and Buffy looks so ashamed it breaks my heart.
eveolina
Oct. 7th, 2012 06:42 am (UTC)
I also like the Buffy/Dawn scene at the end, but the one I really love is at the beginning of the next episode, where Dawn is cleaning her up and taking on kind of a mom role.
I love that one, too. I just love Dawn in general.
fray_adjacent12
Oct. 30th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
Hi there! Just discovered this by way of [community profile] su_herald. Love when I find people who, like me, are still discussing Buffy!

Question 5 was interesting, in that I've never fully understood why Buffy cowered and ran from her friends. She was traumatized, and they were acting a bit overbearing, but what's more, it wasn't even totally clear that she knew who they were. I think it's because she still wasn't sure if she was in Hell, and therefore thought they might have been a trick.

Nice poll!
mcjulie
Nov. 3rd, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks for contributing!

I, too, am pleased that there are still Buffy fanatics out there who want to talk about it.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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