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21 May 2006 @ 08:18 pm
2.2: Some Assembly Required  
Cordelia: Darn, I have cheerleader practice tonight. Boy, I wish I knew we were gonna be digging up dead people sooner. I would've canceled.

Prompts and questions are there to spark discussion. If they're useful or interesting to you, go ahead and respond to any aspect of them. But please feel free to bring up anything else that interests you, as long as it somehow relates to the episode under discussion.


2.2 Some Assembly Required
Writer: Ty King
Director: Bruce Seth Green
U.S. Airdate: September 22, 1997


1. Cordelia as Victim
Cordelia: It was horrible. Angel saved me from an arm. God, there were so many parts, they were everywhere. Why are these terrible things always happening to me?
Xander: (*coughs*) Karma!

Why are terrible things always happening to Cordelia? What's Cordelia's role within the Scooby group as she begins to become more of a member? How does that work out in terms of characterization? Narrative structure?


2. New and Interesting
Giles: Grave robbing? That's new. Interesting.
Buffy: I *know* you meant to say gross and disturbing.
Giles: Yes, yes, yes of course. Uh, terrible thing. Must, must put a stop to it. Damn it.

How well does the introduction of horror plots work in the series? Do we wait for favorite themes to be introduced -- finally, witches, or yay, zombies! Or does it seem arbitrary, having to come up with a horror angle to satisfy that part of the show? How well do the one-shot episodes (random problem or horror plot in place for a single episode) fit into the narrative arc in s1 and s2?


3. Love and Death
Xander: (as he sees Giles approaching) And speaking of love...
Willow: We were talking about the re-animation of dead tissue.
Xander: Do I deconstruct your segues?

How well do genre plot and romantic plot fit together in the show? Is the joining particularly successful or unsuccessful in this episode? Is the overall goal to marry the two together, or is it just to create parallel storylines that don't intrude on one another too much? How much do the scary moments need to feed into lessons or illuminations about the characters' lives?


4. Technical Side of the Supernatural
Buffy: Okay, Giles, just remember, 'I feel a thing, you feel a thing...' But personalize it.
Giles: Personalize it?
Buffy: She's a technopagan, right? Ask her to bless your laptop.

This season sees more of a development for the Jenny Calendar character. In what ways does she fill a needed function within the group of the Scoobies? How well does her expertise as a techno-pagan play out? What other plot lines does Jenny influence besides Giles's? Does the show take some good opportunities with the advent of technology combined with the interest in supernatural?


Other Potential Topics: Translating Frankenstein into a high-school context; Willow's disappearing "competition" in the form of smart kids who get involved with the bad side of the Hellmouth; how well extras or one-shot characters are integrated into the series as a whole at this point; hints of the Xander/Cordelia storyline
 
 
 
zandra_x on May 22nd, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
After the angsty, dark last episode, this one is a throwback to the monster-of-the-week.

I have to confess that Angel/Cordelia is an OTP for me. In Buffy she makes him smile and manipulates him into doing things; in Angel she kicks his butt when he acts too much the moody recluse. And his mission gives her a purpose in life. For me, they’re pretty much a grown-up love story.

I think Cordy starts hanging around with Scoobies because they’re interesting. We learn later when she does so well in her SATs that she is smart but has put a lot of energy into hiding the fact, to fit in with her crowd. But the bunch in the library are much more entertaining than Harmony and her ilk; I think Cordy sees she doesn’t have to dumb things down for them. Although, Xander is clueless at the end, mostly, I think, because he’s never thought of Cordelia “that” way.

I don’t think it pays to attend too much to the plot of this one. If Chris really brought his brother back from the dead, he presumably kept the knowledge of how to do it and could reproduce the results. As Willow points out, that’s sure to win the Science Fair first place. You’d think, in fact, that sort of thing, bringing the dead back, would have some repercussions on an international scale, but everybody seems to forget about it at story’s end. And it’s possible Chris went on to work for Dow Chemical in gene splicing or maybe Wolfram & Hart.

Jennie Calendar’s great participation is a great move. I wonder if TPTB thought that Giles’ needed a grown-up friend so that he wouldn’t look like a creepy older guy who hangs around teenagers (like he kinda looked like in season 4). Anyway, the relationship between the two teachers gives another layer to the stories and has a big payoff later on.

(So there are some of my rambling thoughts and I’m getting excited because Spike and Angelus are coming!!!)
your royal pie-ness: giles/jenny iconentrenous88 on May 23rd, 2006 07:00 pm (UTC)
Chris working for W&H -- that's a fabulous story idea.

I'm with you on the participation of Jenny Calendar in the gang -- it mitigates Giles's presence in the group, gives him a chance to seem awkward and more human, and of course expands the potential for seeing choices and decisions at different stages of life, and not only from the one consistently included parental figure, Joyce.