Before the episode
After the episode
The opening reminded me of “In the Dark” so much i half-expected them to have Spike pop out. The girl reminded me of the girl in the credits (from the series opener, no?). (Is she still in the credits actually? I didn’t notice.)
"Goodbye doing good in the dark, hello doing--?--in the light." says minim_calibre.
Okay, that was some really misleading cutting with the school and the gymnasium type area, and do their elevators really open on both sides?
“Yeah. What’s that mean again?”
“That people will believe anything.”
Knoxie? *snorts* Why does everyone want to get with Fred? Oh yeah, because she’s the only female character on the show. No, Fred, you don’t actually have sexual tension with Wes in that scene even though they’re trying to make it like you do. Hmm, i think they’re trying to make us think Knox is actually hardcore evil, but i don’t know how they could write around the Lorne thing.
I’m going to digress for a moment and say that i actually really like the character of Fred and that her twig-like appearance has never really bothered me. I think she had more chemistry with Wes than with Gunn, but i was never into the whole Wes/Gunn thing so i don’t have the bitterness some of my friends have. (I’m trying to remember now when i started slashing everyone.)
Hello scantily-clad Dixie Chicks on Fred’s wall. They look like something out of Charmed or The Craft.
Whoa creepy skulking Wes.
Oh i’d forgotten about that vague spoiler that Gunn becomes super-lawyer until his “tailor” card and then forgot again until he actually showed up in the courtroom. Interesting given his previous role of “I just hit things.”
The tension between diplomacy vs. force could be an interesting one. (Somebody stop me from making parallels to Iraq, mostly because i’m so weary of the Iraq issue. With the whole war motif on Buffy last year it was difficult to not speculate about Joss’s views on the situation, especially since he’s always using monsters as metaphors for real life.)
"Gunn took a shortcut, took a big bite of the magical fruit and suddenly gained knowledge of the law." says scrollgirl. She has lots more really interesting stuff to say about religious parallels (continuing in the comments). The ME writers are generally brilliant, but sometimes i think the viewers [a select group thereof, obviously] surpass them. See also this.
offbalance writes: "I think that (pay attention, hermionesviolin) the exploration of this new lawyerness will be an amazing exploration of color and 'passing' in society, and how 'street Gunn' vs. 'lawyer Gunn' differ."
(She also mentions Angel-as-Batman. That makes a lot of sense and isn’t something i had ever thought about really explicitly before. I would like to point out that Goofy!Angel holds no appeal for me. His choosing the yellow car made me sad. I like him when he’s broody and when he’s showing his age and when he’s evil, but not when he’s goofy. It being the series opener it seems appropriate to get where i stand on all the characters out front.)
"Do you always open both doors when you go into a room?"
jacklemmon has a theory:
Okay. I've had a theory. That usually if you're black and have no hair in the jossverse, you live (e.g. Principal Wood) and if you have hair, you die (e.g. Mr. Trick, Jasmine, Kendra, Gunn's sister Alana, dudes on his crew, etc.) Or your life just sucks and you're no longer on the show, but more often, you die. Gunn hasn't had any hair, and therefore I wasn't worried.
He now has hair. I feel this can only end badly.
"If you would like to sacrifice a loved one or a pet, press the pound key"
Harmony is fun. I was feeling very WTF about her return, but she’s gonna be fun. And they mentioned Cordelia, which is good. They’re not trying to force Harmony into Cordy’s role, but i realized that i’m not actually going to miss Cordy i don’t think. (trjinix has permission to thwack me once with a rolled up newspaper.) Regardless, i don’t have the bitterness over her departure that some people do. People complained about her “phoning in” her performance last season, and now i’m hearing that she really did want off the show. I would really love to know what the real deal is about her feelings about her character and about staying on the show and how far in advance the writers had planned what looked like a total ret-con.
The “Blondie Bear!” at the end of the episode was totally in character for Harmony, but if they try to put the two of them together romantically i will scream. I do not, however, have bitterness surrounding Spike’s return. It was one of the things i was suspicious of because it was done, as TBQ put it, "for a meta reason, ie they wanted higher ratings (as opposed to a more organic reason such as the storyline demanding Spike show up." But, not only do i think he’s hot (which i’ve never thought of DB) but i have always loved his character. I thought giving him a soul was a bad idea, but it was done well considering, and Buffy-whipped Spike never bothered me like it bothered so many other people.
I love how they’re so playing up the gay. “I have no problem spanking men.” And usually i think i’m the most dirty-minded person around, but Meredith had to point out the double meaning of Fries’ insistent “Get me off.”
Meredith pointed out that Wes and Spike have never met. TBQ writes: "Wes canonically knows Angelus's history by heart. I'm assuming that's how he recognized Spike."
Eve is trying to be Lilah (What happened to her anyway? Was she only brought back to help woo them? Can we have a mention of her? Can we have a cameo appearance, or two or three -- dozen) and it’s not really working. "How do you know I'm either of those things?" gives me hope for her, though.
Okay, reading TBQ’s post reminds me that while my anti-spoiler self doesn’t wanna know casting info in advance, my obsessed meta-self does want to know off-camera issues once the episodes air. She has a lengthy discussion of Eve’s character, the acting, the clothing, and the Stephanie Romanov issues.
"There's one thing stronger than conviction. ... Mercy."
"What about mercy?"
"You just saw the last of it."
deadsoul820 points out the parallel to Buffy-Ghandi in "Anne."
Buffy: Hey, Ken, wanna see my impression of Ghandi?
(She wields back the club and brings it down hard onto his head, crushing his skull. Lily comes up behind her and looks at him squeamishly.)
Buffy: Well, you know, if he was really pissed off.
Meredith pointed out that it the package was like a mystical “Return to Sender,” so i promptly got Billie Myers stuck in my head. [Also, W&H L.A. is located on Spring Street?]
I wrote a letter, to the future; it came back to me, “Return to Sender.”
Meredith and i were feeling blasé, but we’re psyched now. We totally broke our no-commentary-during-the-show rule. The past few seasons i’ve begun the seasons of both shows skeptical but have been sucked into enthusiasm after the first episode, and this was no exception.
[There were some weird commercials during that show. The one that truly disturbed me was the Kid Picks CD. It opened with an 8 year-old girl dancing to “Jenny from the Block.” That is just so wrong. And one of the songs on that is “Big Yellow Taxi.” But that’s Joni Mitchell!]