Post by ag25 on Oct 11, 2019 21:01:37 GMT
So, I'm back. Hopefully this and Angel season 1 will go better than Buffy season 3. It's weird because Buffy season is my favorite and I fell behind. Time just got away from me but I will definitely try harder to keep up this time. Also, I will finish/post the rest of the Buffy season 3 episodes. I did watch them and make notes, so be on the look out for that too....assuming anyone is still interested in these, lol. So, without further ado...
The Freshman - 10-5-1999/2019
This episode was great. I believe that this season 4 premiere episode might just be my favorite Buffy premiere episode of the whole series. Now, I do have to see the others again, but as of now I am still more drawn to this one. Not that the others were bad, they are great, but for me I think this one is my favorite.
I love how we see Buffy feeling so out of place, as does the audience, because high school is over and she nor us knew what is coming next. We are able to relate to Buffy's feelings of intimidation and being misplaced in the new unfamiliar world of college for several reasons. I think most of us feel that way when we start college or really any new job or place we are unfamiliar with, so it's nice to take that ride with her. Also, the shows structure of the last 3 seasons has gone and we have to be introduced to a new one, so the audience can relate to Buffy's feelings on another level. I think this is a brilliant thing for Joss to do; it is a fresh start that is different at first but then ends up being very similar/familiar to what we are used to. Which is of course exactly Buffy's journey in this episode. We are with Buffy on this journey of feeling misplaced and isolated in this new "world" and unsure of what will happen and how all of this (Buffy's life/Slaying/the Show itself) will work both narratively and structurally after season 3. And in the end we, like Buffy, find out that "college is a lot like high school."
Season 4 is very much a transition season but still keeps the things we love about the show at it's core. This may read like I am exaggerating, and maybe I am a little bit, but I am impressed and love how this episode is executed from the writing to the acting, filming, etc. It is not one of the bigger, more well known episodes of the series but it is good to know that the smaller, more stand alone episodes can hold up to the bigger ones. At least this one is for me.
Willow is so cute and it is sweet to see her in her academic element. Oz as well.
Ok everyone, if you have read my previous posts on seasons 1-3 you are not going to believe I am going to say this, but I LOVED Xander in this episode! His role was perfect. Giving Buffy the inspiration and support (and familiarity) she needed was great and he had some really wonderful things to say. I liked the comedy we got from him too; not too much, just enough to be funny and not overshadow his advice and support of Buffy. Would have loved to see a clip or small flashback to his exotic dancing, lol! I actually found myself wishing Xander would have appeared sooner in the episode, but I get that he does have good timing in terms of plot.
I am not sure how I feel about Giles in this episode. I love him of course and am happy that Olivia came to visit him (glad to see him moving on in some manner after having to go through Jenny's death). I like her and wish she had appeared more in the show. Giles acted so blasé, not only about Olivia being there when Buffy dropped by (of course it would be awkward, her father figure has a girl over, lol) but also at Buffy's Slayer/supernatural instincts. He brushed them off as if he didn't really care and it wasn't his problem (yes, he is technically not a Watcher anymore and Buffy quit the Council, but come on, it's Giles...) and told her to take care of it. Yes, it is fitting in with the theme of not in high school anymore and college is for adults, etc. and I get it was to further isolate Buffy and she is old enough to take charge and make decisions and investigate herself, but this to me seemed more like season 6 Giles (or a prelude to him). At the very least he could have given Buffy and her instincts some positive reinforcement. Maybe acknowledge her instincts and encourage her to investigate further and then come back to him when she knows more, then they will decide what to do together. Give her a little more encouragement and support. But Giles did make up for it at the end, so I can't be too mad at him.
I loved Sunday as a villain and would have liked to have seen more of her. It would have been interesting to see her and Spike interact.
Loved Joyce's little cameo. I always like when she mentions the gallery/her job because I like to see her as more than Buffy's mom. Joyce is a character in her own right and does have a life outside of Buffy and the plot (meaning she is not just there for plot purposes), and it's nice to see that every once and a while.
I liked that Riley, Prof. Walsh, and The Initiative were all introduced in the premiere and set up for the season. I had forgotten that the vampire that The Initiative captured at the end that was a part of Sunday's gang, was also the vampire that later on tells Spike about the Initiative and the experiments, etc.
I liked the little crossover (the first one!) with Buffy and Angel and the phone. A nice small nod to both of them and their feelings of loneliness, but also shows that they (and the shows) are still connected.
Overall a great start to the season. It did a good job at reestablishing everything we know in a new and different way.