Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 7, Episode 2: Beneath You
Written by Douglas Petrie; Directed by Nick Marck (England sequence written and directed by Joss Whedon)
More monster of the week whimsies, but clearly a bit of an afterthought. I mean, a penis monster (well, that’s what it looks like at any rate) who comes out of the ground and chases a helpless lady is hardly original. The main focus, it would seem, is on Spike and his newly acquired soul, as well as his newly acquired state of insanity. Initially, I assumed that the two were connected, but, of course, later on it turns out that the insanity is just the First messing with him.
What really bugs me is the fact that the gang pretty much just accept Spike back. Okay, so Xander can at least remember that he tried to rape Buffy last time he was in town, and Dawn warns him that if he lays a finger on her sister, he’ll “wake up on fire” (gotta love the new got-together Dawn), but everyone seems fairly blasé about it. Oh, and if everyone knows that Anya, now a practicing Vengeance Demon again, is killing people as a career, why in the hell aren’t they doing anything about it? Still, Spike’s blue shirt is by far the most offensive part of the episode. I’m not exactly a fashion-conscious sort of fellow, but yeesh!
As with last week’s episode, the scene between Willow and Giles in England is its best moment. I find it interesting that this damaged, vulnerable Willow, having realised just how out of control she was, has reverted back to her Season 1-3 speech patterns. It’s moments like these that make me realise what an immensely talented actor Alyson Hannigan is, and, not for the first time, I find myself shaking my head when I think that she’s stuck appearing in crap like Date Movie. Someone give the girl a decent dramatic role, for god’s sake!
Savour these moments, by the way, because, barring the Buffy scenes in Conversations with Dead People, they’re the only Joss Whedon material we’ll get until the finale. And, as a point of useless trivia, they were actually shot in Anthony Head’s own house and garden.
Overall rating: 7/10.
Next time: Same Time, Same Place.