Buffy: The Vampire Slayer seasons 3 and 4

It turns out that there are a lot of shows I’ve wanted to watch for a while but never got around to. I’ve been catching up, though! I recently finished my first-ever watch-through of Babylon 5 (check out my posts on the series) and I’m 4 seasons (well, at the beginning of season 5) in Buffy. This show is… phenomenal. My discussion of the seasons 3 and 4 follows, and will have SPOILERS for those seasons. Please do not spoil later seasons for me!

Season 3

“Anne” was a good episode to set up the rest of the season–seeing Buffy so distraught while watching her group of friends attempt to make up for her not being around was a solid thread. Having Angel return is a huge lead on the whole time, and I kinda wish I didn’t know a separate show for Angel exists. That made me fairly confident going in that he was going to leave. And of course he does pull what I call the “Spiderman.” The Spiderman is when someone decides they can’t be with the person they love for some allegedly honorable or noble reason but it’s really just annoying because their decision doesn’t resolve the alleged problem to begin with. Anyway, Angel gives Buffy the Spiderman, and a bit of it goes in the other direction. I am sure there’s all kinds of fan fic dedicated to having them end up together forever (and I guess it is theoretically possible they get back together in-universe at some later point–there’s a lot of the show to go).

There are other threads, of course. Willow’s own burgeoning power(s) is a fun one. Faith is an exciting character, and I didn’t really expect them to take her in the direction they did. It’s pretty awesome to see more of the Council and the interactions they have with Buffy.

At this point I’m totally into the show. I love its lore, I love the characters, and I think it has built an exceptional amount of story to build upon. I’m glad to see there are comics and novels that explore more of the series. If you have any (spoiler-free!) recommendations, please let me know!

Season 4

Season 4 started off a bit rough, in my opinion. The new setting, a group of new characters, and having a bunch of other characters get introduced and then killed off right away made it start feeling a bit like a monster-of-the-week scenario. But then the storylines that continued to draw threads through the season really got their feet under them and the season just became a series of high point after high point. Honestly, it’s my favorite season so far.

One obvious high point is the episode “Hush.” I don’t like horror movies. I just don’t like thinking about all the grossness that goes into the awful ways people devise to kill people in horror movies. Here, the established characters and extremely creepy makeup and music combined with eerie silence of everyone involved make it a haunting and amazing experience. It’s honestly one of the best episodes I’ve seen of anything.

Oz? Oz came back as a one-off!? What the heck? I honestly didn’t expect them to bring him back and then tie him off as a character all at once. It makes me wonder if something was happening behind the scenes because he was such a fun character, and I loved having werewolves around. I guess it did get tedious having to have episodes where he was stuck in werewolf prison off and on, but I also thought they could have taken him as leader of a werewolf pack around town and run with it. I wonder if we’ll see more of him someday.

Faith’s resolution (for now? who knows) is another great twist. She was a good villain, and the hints at the end of this season about the “darkness” inside Slayers is interesting.

“Superstar” was one of the most fun episodes of television… ever. It was surreal in a way that was never horrifying or frightening (looking at you, “Hush”), but delivered the goods on plot, fun, and character development. I hope Jonathan shows up again. Adam and all the secret agents I haven’t really discussed at all to this point, but I thought they did a fabulous job. Like I said–the threads that started early in this season truly give great payoffs later. It’s a delight all the way through. I can’t wait to watch more.

Links

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SDG.

2 thoughts on “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer seasons 3 and 4

  1. Michael says:

    Season three is interesting to watch unfold because the original big bad was supposed to be Mr. Trick. However, the audience response to the character wasn’t what Whedon had hoped and so the season had to adjust on the fly — which is why Trick is killed off about mid-way through and the threat becomes the Mayor and Faith. I watched these seasons as they aired and I enjoyed them both. I know some fans says season three is the best one….and maybe from a consistency standpoint, it is. But I still love season two.

  2. socrates17 says:

    I loved season 4 up until Adam, who seemed more cliche than earlier in the season. The reveal about the initiative and the scene where Willow kvetches because Spike can’t bite her crackle with wit. It all went south with Adam, so the first half is my favorite half season.

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