Drinks Taken: 16
Vamps Dusted: 1
Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week, Kandis walked us through “Listening to Fear” and “Into the Woods,” and while several notable things happened, I think we both know that all any of us cares about is that RILEY’S GONE, BABY! HE’S GONE FOR GOOD! Peace out, beige-boy, we’ll see you again never. (Or, ok, once more next season, but we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.)
Let’s drink to BYE RILEY, and also to one of my absolute favorite Buffy moments of the entire damn show.
The Buffy Season Five Drinking Game Rules
Drink once every time:
A vamp is dusted
A scene takes place in a cemetery
Willow and/or Tara get witchy with it
Riley’s a drag
Things get uncomfortable between Anya and Xander
Dawn is annoying
Anya loves money
Spike has zero chill around Buffy
The Magic Box has customers
Drink twice every time:
Giles drinks tea
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
There’s a callback to previous season shenanigans
Someone uses a payphone
Glory sucks someone’s brain
Let’s give the Council what for, shall we?
Giles is headed to jolly olde England for a few days to do some Glory research, and he’s reluctantly leaving the Magic Box in the money-hungry (drink!) hands of Anya. Willow kind of does her bossy Willow thing and offers some suggestions that Anya didn’t ask for, and soon the ladies are sniping at each other non-stop with poor Xander in the middle. Xander’s a grown-up through most of this, refusing to allow himself to be dragged into their silliness, and Tara takes a stab at telling them to figure it out. The two more reasonable significant others depart (c’mon Willow, when XANDER looks more reasonable than you, you really need to pull it together), leaving Anya and Willow alone in the Magic Box together. I’m sure it’ll be fine! (It’s not fine.)
Willow’s working on a new spell in the store (creating a ball of sunshine so Buffy can dust a bunch of vamps at once in the middle of the night), and through Anya’s constant needling during the complicated magicks, somehow a giant troll is conjured. The girls go after him as he stomps and pillages his way through Sunnydale, finding him at The Bronze, where Xander also is, and where it comes out that the troll is actually… Anya’s ex-boyfriend. (He wasn’t a troll when they dated! She MADE him a troll after he cheated. That’s, uhm, better, right?)
As Anya and Willow are grappling with the troll conundrum, they accidentally resolve their own issues, discovering that a) Willow has a problem with Anya because she thinks Anya will hurt Xander the way she’s hurt thousands of other men over the centuries, and b) Anya has a problem with Willow because she’s afraid Willow will come in between Anya and Xander the way she did Cordelia and Xander. And you know, both of these points are fair? But Willow reminds Anya that she’s “gay now,” and Anya both urgently protests in a way that melts my heart “I would NEVER hurt Xander!” and then proves it later, when the troll tries to make Xander choose which woman will die (Xander, to his credit, is very “nah” about that), and Anya tries to sacrifice herself instead. Buffy shows up to distract the troll long enough for Willow to magick him back into another dimension, and some emotional stuff is resolved between the ladies. Everybody but the troll wins! (This is a fun episode.)
A couple of other things that happened: Buffy is grieving Riley at a totally moderate level – considering joining a convent (who among us hasn’t?), one sobbing session to Tara – but in general, I think it’s pretty clear here that, well, Riley was right. She never loved him. I feel very fine and a-okay about that. Joyce is up and about again, so that’s great! Spike and Xander have a weird friendly moment, chatting and playing pool at The Bronze, though of course Spike’s just trying to grill Xander about Buffy. (He’s also giving love-speeches to his Buffy mannequin and then beating the shit out of her and calling her a bitch when she rejects him in his imagination so WOW, Spike, that is deeply fucked up and not cool). Oh and finally, the episode ends with Dawn overhearing something or other about her being the key when Giles, Joyce and Buffy are dishing in the Summers’ kitchen.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
When Anya and Xander are discussing Buffy and Riley’s breakup (Xander is WAY too sad about it), Anya tells him, “If you ever decide to go, I want a warning. You know, big flashing red lights, and, and… and one of those clocks that counts down like a bomb in a movie?”
Stylish Yet Affordable Boots
One of us must say it: Willow is looking SMOKIN’ lately.
Bloody Good Snark
As Buffy describes in gruesome detail her slayage from the night before, Xander, eager to change the subject from Willow and Anya’s “pick me, pick me” bickering, says, “In any other room, a frightening declaration. Here, a welcome distraction. Tell us all about the killing, Buff.” (A note: I just straight-up like Xander these days. It’s nice! I love it when he calls her “Buff”!)
The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week
Anya, to Willow when she’s defending her magical vengeance demon past: “I don’t do magic now. You’re the one with that kind of power. In fact, D’Hoffryn offered you my old job. You’re closer to being a vengeance demon than I am. Maybe Xander should be afraid of you!” You know, Will, she’s not wrong.
Giles’ trip to England came with an unwanted consequence: the Watchers Council has decided to show up and give all the info they have about Glory and how Buffy can fight her – IF Buffy agrees to a rigorous Slayer test (there’s a written exam and a physical. GOD these guys are stuffy). Buffy’s like “no thanks” but then they decide that they’ll shut down the Magic Box somehow if she doesn’t agree, and also deport Giles. Buffy starts to feel a little insecure at all of these dudes (and two ladies) judging her slaying knowledge and prowess, and her insecurity isn’t helped by a few testing snafus, a very snarky professor calling her out in the middle of class (why do they always do that to Buffy? Sunnydale U sucks), and a very threatening visit from Glory, who tells her that if Buffy doesn’t turn over the key, the next time she sees her, “Something you love will die bloody.”
While I hate the Watchers Council aaaalmost as much as Giles (just kidding, no one hates them as much as Giles), I love that their investigating of the Scoobs results in some A+ hilarity. Anya urgently gives her fake human history with an insane amount of detail, and Willow and Tara share one of my favorite of their scenes together:
Finally, after a few days of pushing and prodding from all quarters (including the Knights of Byzantium, an ancient order in the thousands sworn to destroy the key), Buffy has had ENOUGH. She shows up for the final part of her Watchers test and just fucking crushes it. I cried. I needed this scene this week.
YUSS! They meekly agree to her terms (YAY, Giles is reinstated!), and give her the biggest talking point from their Glory research: she’s not a demon. She’s a god. Buffy gulps, and we go into credits.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Cynthia LaMontagne plays Lydia from the Council (who wrote her thesis on Spike and has quite a cruuuuuuush). She’s also the Russian lady in the “Ruskie Business” episode of Veronica Mars and Rhonda from That ’70s Show.
Giles For Life
Giles screaming at the Watchers Council in Buffy’s defense has me, uhm, fluttery.
Best Grrrl Power Moment
That’s it for this week! Question: how are you guys feeling about Season 5, now that Riley’s hit the road? I know Glory isn’t everyone’s favorite, but I dig her, and I’m finding this season very fun on rewatch!
Meet Stephanie here next Wednesday morning as she covers “Blood Ties” and “Crush.”