Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Episode Report Card
Sep: D+ | 5 USERS: A
The Unbearable Lightness of Buffy

Night. Street. Willow checks an address and then glances over to see a black van halfway covered by a tarp in a driveway. She strolls over to check it out and then enters the basement through some storm doors. Gosh, she's brave. I don't think I'd just break and enter like that. But then, I'd never wear that hideous coat, either. She cautiously peers around and pays close attention to large, conveniently placed schematic for the invisiray. She gets a little thrilled smile on her face, remembering how cool science can be. As she spots the ray itself on a workbench, she leans in to take a closer look, but is attacked by an anthropomorphic roll of duct tape. Or maybe the Legion of Dim have made themselves invisible. "Congratulations," says the duct tape, "you're our first hostage."

Casa Summers. OVOB yells out to Dawn that she's off to look for Xander, but is interrupted by the phone. The camera pulls back to show the phone being picked up, and a voice says, "Don't talk. Just listen, Slayer." The Jonathan voice tells Buffy that Willow is being held hostage, and "if you don't want anything bad to happen to her you better meet us. Alooone." But where?

The arcade, of course. Because what better place for a hostage exchange than a crowded public place. OVOB goes through the turnstile. The teenager guarding the gate notices that it seems to be moving on its own, but realizes that for minimum wage it's not worth getting off of his ass. In a corner of the arcade, Willow stands with her arms uncomfortably apart. Suddenly, someone presses play on the tape recorder containing OVOB. Buffy asks Willow where the "bad guys" are, after ascertaining that she's okay. Warren interjects, "All around you, Slayer, so don't try anything." Willow says that she's pretty sure there's only three of them. And here's my problem with this whole "Willow shouldn't use magic" plot. A year ago, Willow was kicking a little hell-god ass. With a flick of her pinky finger, she should be able to hand these three fun-sized villain wanna-bes their asses on a plate. But because the storyline being foisted on us is "Magic is like a drug and drugs are bad, mmmmkay?" she can't even defend herself against these crap-gnats. I think that, with the way that magic has been portrayed in the Buffyverse to date, it's incredibly short-sighted to expect us to believe that it's the magic that's the problem, rather than Willow's irresponsible use of it.

Anyway. InvisiWarren states that there are "more than enough to cause some serious carnage. Right, guys?" The guys don't answer, and the camera pans over to a video game whose sticks are flying. This is so incredibly stupid. The only actual actor in this scene is Willow, who is standing holding her arms awkwardly away from her sides as four other invisible actors chatter around her. What the hell is this, Radio Free Buffy? I don't pay forty bucks a month for cable so I can listen to what used to be my favorite television show. Willow tells Buffy that these are the morons from her mystery van. The Warren voice claims that he wants to fix Buffy, and tells her to pick up the air hockey paddle so that he has something to aim at. You'd think that Buffy would be a little suspicious of the person who claims to want to make her visible again, but takes her best friend as a hostage. I guess Buffy's brain is the first part of her that's turning to mush. Fortunately, Willow notices that the setting is at "Kill! Crush! Destroy!" rather than "rescue," and warns OVOB. Warren knocks Willow down with the gun, and OVOB throws the air hockey paddle at Warren. The gun skitters under the pinball machine, and what follows has to be the stupidest moment of this series EVER. We have a fight scene in which all the participants are invisible. That's right. We have a fight scene in which we can't actually see any of the fighting. But at least the new stunt coordinator has managed to find an appropriate milieu for his skills. Because the Legion of Dim can't keep their big traps shut, Buffy quickly kicks the crap out of them. Willow comes to and grabs the invisible ray. A few quick zaps, and everyone is visible again. One by one, the Legion of Dim is revealed. Of course, if you've ever read a comic book, seen a movie based on a comic book, or watched a Saturday morning cartoon, you know that now it's time for the "I'll get you next time!" and dramatic, smoke-filled exit. However, their escape is thwarted by a locked door. Fortunately for the Legion of Dim, a security guard distracts the Scoobies while the stupor-villains run away. I'm kinda disappointed with the way the Legion of Dim was revealed to Buffy. I was really hoping that Xander would have a super-geek saving-the-day moment in which he recognizes the LoD's next nefarious plan as being lifted straight out of one of the comic books that he collects. Too bad. So sad.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer




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