BSV Forum - General - Episode Discussions

Family

Sep 28 2008 07:01 pm   #1Spikez_tart
Here's an episode that pretty much leaves me cold, but here's some things I noticed.

Where does a HellGod get duct tape?  No minions around.
Dawn slams her door and the whole wall moves.
Tara nearly gets everyone killed and no one cares or even criticizes her.
No one thanks Spike for hitting Tara and proving she wasn't a demon, let alone saving Buffy.
Sandy - she was killed by BadWillow in Doppelganger - so who turned her?  Does that make Willow her sire?
Riley - the bartender remarks that he comes in night after night.  When did that start?
Cup of tea - this is usually a sign of love or friendship in the Bverse - Cordelia offers a cup of capuccino to Angel in Halloween - Joyce gives Spike a cup of hot chocolate (and apparently tea from time to time) Buffy's cup gets broken in Innocence and her dream - here Dawn makes a cup of tea for Joyce.
I really really hate Beth - I think she may be a demon.

Okay - I wrote down a note that says Tea - "Hand of Glory" - now I can't remember what I meant.  I think there's a box of tea that says Hand of Glory on it.  One of you sharpies will have to save the old lady.

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Sep 28 2008 07:28 pm   #2Scarlet Ibis
No one thanks Spike for hitting Tara and proving she wasn't a demon, let alone saving Buffy.
I think it's possible that at some point, Willow thanked him.  Maybe she baked him  cookies or bought him some hot wings.  It's a Willow thing to do--to be nice and thankful when someone does you a favor.  And yeah I know, I'm probably fanwanking that, but it isn't so far fetched, considering she was the nicest one to Spike (next to Joyce).

Sandy--my guess is Vamp!Willow turned her.  I think she liked Sandy, and wanted a new pet.  Her Xander didn't exist there, after all.

Riley - the bartender remarks that he comes in night after night. When did that start?
I mentioned in the other post that Riley already seemed stand offish.  How many days passed in "No Place Like Home?"  My guess is it started then.  In fact, as soon as he left Buffy to her spooky sand, my guess is that he went straight to that bar.

I think it's funny that in the Magic Box scene when Buffy says "We're family," that the people in the shot are the ones who see the end of season five and make it to season six.  Joyce and Riley aren't there.


"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 28 2008 10:19 pm   #3sosa lola

- I've always thought that Willow is the queen of adorable ships, her scene with Tara screams fluff. Tara's insecurities here remind me of Riley's. She wants to be useful, which is why she's working hard on it.

- Buffy telling Giles about Dawn felt to me more like a Slayer/Watcher deal. It wasn't about not trusting her mom or her friends or Riley, it was that the fewer in the know the better. Giles is the watcher and he's the only one qualified to know. Now if we're talking romantic relationships, that's Willow's territory because she's Buffy's best friend.

- I love how Xander and Riley are acting like guys, like brothers. Xander really needs a guy friend. But it seems all of them leave, just like Buffy's boyfriends. Jesse is gone, Oz is gone and Riley is gonna leave soon. Guess Xander is as doomed as Buffy when it comes to guy friends.

- Giles is taking Xander's role as Anya's educator on human behavior. Must be spending time with her at the Magic Box.

ANYA: But we just helped her move the stuff in a few days ago... (turns and sees Buffy) ...and it was fun!
GILES: (reading a book) People help each other out, Anya. It's one of our strange customs.

- BUFFY: Just figured I'd ... save a little cash for this semester, that's all.

You mean your mom's cash

- Poor, poor Tara!!! That must have been embarrassing! *covers face in shame*

- Buffy and Xander discussing Tara's birthday, Buffy is not in the mood to worry about something other than Dawn not being real, Joyce's illness and Glory. And Xander loves Willow so much so he lied about finding a present because he doesn't really know what Tara likes. Tara is a witch and you're in a magic shop, you're both idiots, you tell 'em, Giles!

- Then comes the most adorable Xander/Anya Sugar scene. *Points at her icon*

- Poor Harmony. Spike thinking about Buffy while he's having sex with Harmony, his crush is too pronounced.

- Tara's brother is the opposite of funny. Isn't it weird that most characters don't have siblings? Especially in high school years, Buffy used to be a single child, so's Xander, Willow, Cordelia, Oz, Harmony, Amy… all of them. It would've been more realistic if at least a few of them had siblings or just one. And the writers don't have to show them, just mention them.

- Look how Tara started to stutter the minute she saw her brother. I bet he's the one who physically abuses her while her father took care of her mental abuse.

- Tara probably didn't have much friends in high school, according to her brother. Nice info for fanfic writers.

- Tara is older than Buffy, and probably Xander. I don't think there's much between Xander's birthday and Buffy's, one or two months, maybe, judging from what we got in S2.

- I believe the Scoobies noticed the tension between Tara and her family. Willow probably didn't or she was being nice to Tara. Buffy, Xander and Giles had caught the non-warm vibe going around the family reunion.

- Oops, Buffy and Riley, things are heating up. Okay, so Riley senses that Buffy is hiding something from him. He was quite sensitive to her extreme reaction when he mentioned the government. Perhaps he thought that she didn't trust who he was, who he still really is? I don't really fault Buffy for her actions in this scene. She didn't want the government involved because they'd be also a danger to Dawn, since Dawn isn't really human… by some sort of standards that is. Riley, though, doesn't know that, so I understand his reaction. Maybe Buffy should have told him about Dawn?

- I supposed as a child, Tara was forbade from having magical items, so she used to hide them from her father. She was looked down upon for having magic inside of her, just like her mother. Her father is scared of the strength inside the women in his family, he's probably the stereotype man who believes that men are the family leaders and women should submit.

- Willow insists that Tara joins the Scooby research, I think that Tara's outsider feelings were just her insecurities about the "evil" inside of her. She doesn't wanna get too close to the Scoobies in fear they'd discover who she really is, that's why she distant herself from them.

- Why isn't Riley invited to research? Buffy should have invited him, especially knowing how he feels about her hiding stuff from him. Maybe she couldn't find him?

- Poor Tara is just too insecure. Sweetie, the Scoobies accepted Anya after her demony past, accepted Riley after his Initiative past, accepted Oz while he's a werewolf, they keep Spike wandering about knowing who he is, and Willow loves you so much, please give them a chance instead of putting some spell on them. That'll only make them distrust you.

- How many bars does Sunnydale have? Riley goes to Willy's night after night, I assume since Out of My Mind, just for the atmosphere. I'm wondering what the real reason is though. Was Riley drowning in self-loathing? He hates the guy he become, a guy with no purpose. He wants to have an identity of his own, and now he's just Buffy's boyfriend. It makes understand why Spike stayed in LA in S5, he wants to make something of himself and not just be Buffy's follower.

- Aw, Spike cares! I think he's at a stage of trying to convince himself that he has no feelings for Buffy, but he just can't. He wants to get front seats to watch the slayer die, yeah right.

- Tara's family lifestyle is the traditional "male works outside, female takes care of the house." That's what I got from Cousin Beth's reasons of why Tara is selfish, leaving a house that needs taking care of and leaving all the house work on her dad and brother. (A sign that Tara's mom is dead.)

- I guess the situation with Tara's family isn't as black and white as we'd like to think. Maybe her father really doesn't want other people to get hurt by Tara using magic irresponsibly like she just did now. It's an old fashioned type of thinking that magic equals immoral and evil. Her family is old fashioned, which doesn't necessarily mean evil.

- Aw, Willow really wants Tara involved, she thought she came after all.

- Spike can't watch Buffy get hurt. I love how he struggles with how he feels and how he should feel. She's the slayer. He's supposed to despise her and wish her death, not fall in love with her. Did Buffy notice Spike being around? Probably not, I think she's more concerned with the safety of Dawn and her friends' at the moment. As well as answers to what the hell is going on.

- I love that Willow will accept Tara, still defends her, even if she was a demon. Why not? She used to date a werewolf and Buffy used to date a vampire, as long as they're good demons, there's no problem. I also love that Willow's friends, except Spike , accepted Tara before they knew she was human. Shows that the Scoobies aren't as black and white as we used to think.

- Did you notice Spike being included in the shot when Buffy said, "We're family."?

- DONNY: Daaad. You -- you gonna let 'em just... (stomps forward) Tara, if you don't get in that car, I swear by god I will beat you down.
XANDER: And I swear by your full and manly beard, you're gonna break something trying. (Donny looks cowed)

I love how Xander is protective of his friends. He'd be a better brother to Tara than Donny ever was.

- Xander and Anya are just CUTE!!! Did you notice how he smiled at her when she finished her speech about being an important member of society? And how she returned his smile? C.U.T.E.

- Oh, yeah, Spike, you don't care what happens. That's why you went and solved the mystery, enduring the pain of being zapped by your chip. "Yeah, you're welcome." Aww, Thank you, Spike!! He said it twice this episode, to Buffy and Tara, and none of them said thank you.

- Riley came to Tara's birthday with a gift. Did he let Sandy bite him at this point? They didn't show us that.

- Technically, Buffy and Xander are nineteen years old. How come they're allowed to drink alcohol? Especially when Giles said that Buffy was underage in Beer Bad and she was eighteen. Just like Willow saying that Xander was underage, can't work as a bartender because he was eighteen.

- Okay, Willow and Tara flying while dancing is cheesy. But I love their conversation, Tara wouldn't have come this far if it wasn't for Willow, who made her feel loved, special and important.

Sep 28 2008 10:47 pm   #4Coquine
The whole episode was metaphor for homosexuality and having to deal with family and friends when coming out of the closet.  Just substitue "gay" for "witch" or "demon" and there you have it.  Kind of heavy-handed, but very well done.  And it also got to issues about the roles of women.

I love Buffy's line about the sweater she saw at a store, "But I think I want me to have it."  Classic Buffy.  And Tara's expression when she opens Giles' crystal ball gift is adorable.

I always point to Spike and Harmony's sex scene as canon proof that vampires sweat.  They're both all flushed and dewey.

On the same note, I really wish that fantasy fight scene between Spike and Buffy was real...it was haaawwwt.
Sep 28 2008 10:57 pm   #5nmcil
This visual hints style, IMVHO, is used not only in Buffy but Angel as well - in OMWF, the song montage with Giles, Tara and Spike had the character that would change in the series, Giles leaving, Tara killed, and Spike's fundamental transformation and eventually getting his "spark"   I always pay especially attention to the Joss Whedon episodes - and "Family" with the theme of becoming part of the core group and everyone taking responsibility for one another plays out for the rest of the season -

Especially interesting is Spike's  "not caring" - which leads into the next scene and how he does become part of the group that helps Tara stay within the family. 

XANDER: You're dealing with all of us.

SPIKE: 'Cept me.

XANDER: 'Cept Spike.

SPIKE: I don't care what happens.

The "thank you" theme also helps to set the group dynamics and the Spike-Buffy relationship. - With The Scoobies Spike continues to basically be seen as "outsider."  With Buffy and Spike, the next four episodes bring out various ways that either vital information is exchanged, FFL or ways that Spike helps Buffy fight and then the fiasco help of ItW and the "back to reality" of how much Spike is capable of "caring" in Intervention. 

The whole Riley - Buffy melt down and to see how painful their relationship becomes is very sad.  In my opinion, it is a very wonderful and sad,  rite of passage for both of them.  Buffy has been trying to play the mother and protector with him, and like over protective mothers, they have to learn how to let go of their children and objects of their love.  Same for Riley, he had to make his learn how to make the choice of living for himself.

Took some needed Off-Time from my hours of political news and watched "Family" through "Listening To Fear" - was great to watch them all at once
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 28 2008 11:23 pm   #6nmcil

- Buffy telling Giles about Dawn felt to me more like a Slayer/Watcher deal. It wasn't about not trusting her mom or her friends or Riley, it was that the fewer in the know the better. Giles is the watcher and he's the only one qualified to know. Now if we're talking romantic relationships, that's Willow's territory because she's Buffy's best friend.

Good Point - definitely something that should be known only between The Slayer and The Watcher

I think that showing Xander and Riley being much closer and friendly in this episode also helps to establish his important role in his speech to Buffy from "Into The Woods" - helps give him more credibility as a person who can see Riley and Buffy both. 

I love Tara and Willow in this episode - especially when we know "what's to come."  and how eventually Willow will betray her -

Riley in this episode is shown to finally be making his way back to The Military and his former life - think that is one of the reasons that he is given the line of trying to bring in The Initiative - by "The Shadow" Riley makes a complete break from Scoobies and brings in his military connections and he wants to call himself Agent Finn, but has to use his civilian name.

BTW - nice post

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 29 2008 01:07 am   #7Spikez_tart
the Magic Box scene  picture - notice how Buffy stands out from the crowd - she's wearing all black.  Spike is too, of course, but his clothes are grayed out as we stands in the background.  It's sort of a graduation picture of "here are the new Scoobies."
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Sep 29 2008 02:27 am   #8Scarlet Ibis
notice how Buffy stands out from the crowd - she's wearing all black.
That is interesting Spikez_tart--I totally didn't notice that.  How often does Buffy wear all black?  I don't think she has....how often has she wore black jeans?  Besides OMWF, I'm drawing a huge blank.  Spike's clearly on the outskirts in the frame, but still apart of the group.  The fact that Buffy is wearing just as much black as he is ties him in better.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 29 2008 02:49 am   #9sosa lola

The whole episode was metaphor for homosexuality and having to deal with family and friends when coming out of the closet.

That's interesting. I think it can be taken into both concepts. Lesbianism and magic are both looked down upon and people used to be killed because they're gays or witches. There's also the stereotypical look at men and women by Tara's family. I think they're mostly old-fashioned.   

Sep 29 2008 03:02 am   #10Coquine
I think they're mostly old-fashioned.

Oh, definitely, but it really stands out to me when Tara's father visits her at her dorm (btw, Sunnydale U has the biggest dorm rooms I've ever seen, ha), and he says something about "the way you live your life" and "you don't even bother hiding it now," sounding all disgusted.  The fact that she is actually a lesbian never comes up, instead it's all about the witchcraft, but the reactions can be seen as exactly the same.
Sep 29 2008 04:43 am   #11Spikez_tart
I don't think she has....how often has she wore black jeans? - you see her wearing black jeans in Primeval when she goes to fight Adam.  She's also wearing a sort of transparent white shirt over a black top. 
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Sep 29 2008 10:17 am   #12Guest
Black comes into her wardrobe more and more from season 5 on. Part of looking older, part of blending in with the night, part reflecting her worsening moods.....

Always bugged me that they fuzzed all around the "no drinking under 21" law. Hell, in most places in CA, you can't buy alcohol if you *look* under 30 - they card you. Buffy doesn't turn 21 until 2002.

I remember watching this on first airing and thinking no way is Tara a demon, once they revealed that was her fear. Especially with being an AtS watcher at the same time, there was just no basis for the demon part to show on her birthday, LOL. Spike really cracks me up in this ep.

CM
Sep 29 2008 12:28 pm   #13sosa lola
Oh, definitely, but it really stands out to me when Tara's father visits her at her dorm (btw, Sunnydale U has the biggest dorm rooms I've ever seen, ha), and he says something about "the way you live your life" and "you don't even bother hiding it now," sounding all disgusted. The fact that she is actually a lesbian never comes up, instead it's all about the witchcraft, but the reactions can be seen as exactly the same.

I agree. It can go both ways witchcraft has always been about sex in S4

Always bugged me that they fuzzed all around the "no drinking under 21" law.

I was amazed that they made a big deal out of beer in Beer Bad. Giles was upset that Buffy was drinking under the legal age and Willow had told Xander that he was underage to work there. Both were 18. Now that they're 19, it was okay? Legal age is either 18 or 21... in BtVS, I guess it's 19.
Sep 29 2008 10:33 pm   #14nmcil
Here is one episode that both wear very almost the same clothing - one of the most important episodes that features these two and a, IMO, continuation of the "spike cares" from "Family" -


” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 29 2008 11:20 pm   #15Spikez_tart
Buffy changes clothes so hers look like his.  Earlier in FFL, while they're playing pool, she's wearing a cream color blouse.  When they go into the alley to "fight" she's wearing a tan coat. 





If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Oct 01 2008 06:09 pm   #16nmcil
Buffy, as far as I can make out, always wears variations of Brown and Black when she is in serious struggle/destroyer mode, in real or as metaphor,  with male leads.  The exception that comes to mind is in her final break-up scene after she destroys Spike's home - she wears lavender which has a connection to more mature woman instead of the young girl or childhood of pink.

I love this image - they are both shown as equals - two people/warriors that have  troubled lives.   They could have come to understand each other, found peace and equal partners but lost their chance.  That is the saddest part of their story - this lost opportunity to redefine themselves and create a relationship of equals.

Buffy and Spike were each other "ogre mother-ogre father" mythic symbol - IMVHO, Spike passed his ultimate test in the alley, Buffy passes her test in "Sleeper"
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.