Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 7, Episode 18: Dirty Girls
Written by Drew Goddard; Directed by Michael Gershman
Last week, Giles tried to have Spike killed. This week, they’re sharing a house and, barring one brief mention of it, seem to have forgotten about it all. Oh well.
Anyway, in this episode, we learn that Buffy makes crappy choices as a leader. Which is all well and good, but for the fact that, for the last seven years, she’s actually been a pretty good leader. Her having to be a tactician and take other people’s lives into her hands is nothing new, but the writers, for some reason, now decide to make out that it is. This week, she leads the whole gang into what is obviously a trap and ends up getting some Potentials killed and Xander’s eye ripped out. Once again, Buffy suddenly becomes a useless general because the plot requires the rest of the gang to decide she isn’t up to the task and kick her out. Although quite why the writers felt the need to do this is anyone’s guess, because a couple of episodes later she’s back in the fold and none of the arguments are ever addressed.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. With five episodes to go, the writers suddenly decide to introduce a new villain, a mad southern priest called Caleb. I’m guessing they suddenly realised that a main villain who couldn’t actually touch anything wasn’t all that great, so they bring in yet another bad buy with superhuman strength who can toss Buffy around like a ragdoll. Great, except pretty much every supervillain ever introduced has been able to do this, so it’s sort of old hat. Caleb also exists to give another of Joss Whedon’s Firefly actors, Nathan Fillion, a job. In interviews and commentaries, Whedon goes on and on about what an amazing actor he is, but I’m not seeing it. Sure, he’s competent, but he’s nothing special.
Overall rating: 4/10.
Next time: Empty Places.