Monday, June 4, 2012

Buffy: Get It Done (7.15)

One of the developing themes this season involves the role of a leader, and how much of your conscience you need to sacrifice in order to fulfill that role. We've seen Buffy play the protective mother figure, as well as the shrill military sergeant. Here, she begins to employ some of her more polarizing characteristics as she yells at her friends and prepares for a war. It immediately creates a sense of conflict within the group, tying in her own necessary arrogance explored back in Conversations with Dead People, and only seems to further a sense of resentment fostering inside the Summers home. It's not the most inspired idea (yelling at people until they do what you want never works out), but you can understand why Buffy would pursue that, especially in a time of desperation. She's trying to figure out how she'll fight this fight, and sometimes that comes at the expense of emotional ties to others. It's not exactly entertaining for the viewer, but it's an important story to tell.

Another successful element of Get It Done involves the slayer mythology, and the revelations about the birth of the first slayer and the darkness that was placed within an ordinary girl at one point in history. The idea of these men abducting a woman and turning her into a warrior for their own benefit is a remarkably effective one, a wonderful final season conclusion to the question of what the slayer is, and the source of their origins. If anything, it's a powerful feminist statement that something created at the hands of ignorant, weak men eventually became something strong and heroic, with a mind of its own.

Get It Done works because the good stuff here far outweighs the bad, the Buffy characterization in particular being really intriguing. Like always, there are also strong individual character moments, especially when Spike embraces his badass-ness once again and shares that awesomely brief exchange with Wood about his coat. Similarly, Andrew has one cute scene with his big board of Sunnydale (I love the little castle on it).

Where the episode falls down is, naturally, whenever Kennedy is given anything to do. She's bugged ever since her initial arrival, but this is where she crosses into that area that is completely despicable. For some unexplainable reason, Kennedy is being portrayed as far better than every other potential, so much that she's hanging out with the Scoobies during group discussions and rituals, as well as being the person training the other potentials. Excuse me? Because she's screwing one of the regular cast she automatically gets special treatment? The girl is horrible, and yet the writers are positioning her in a state far above her station. I haven't even started with her embarrassing tendency to undermine the characters we know and love. This dumbass even has the arrogance to dismiss Spike's usefulness! Seriously?

She isn't even called on her shit when her arrogant behavior drives another potential to suicide, in what is one of the more effective potential-related subplots this season. You can't just blame Iyari Limon either, since the character itself is written absolutely terribly. She's just the worst.

Away from that suck, Get It Done explores some interesting areas. It's not the most arresting episode and ranks up there among season seven's more forgettable hours, but the slayer insight is quietly intriguing. B-

Credits
Guest stars Tom Lenk (Andrew Wells); Iyari Limon (Kennedy); Clara Bryant (Molly); Sarah Hagan (Amanda); Indigo (Rona); Kristy Wu (Chao-Ahn); Lalaine (Chloe); DB Woodside (Principal Robin Wood)
Writer Douglas Petrie Director Douglas Petrie

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