This episode gets its own post. It's the episode that put me off revisiting my favourite series of all time. For ten years. And then it became - maybe I should rewatch and see if I react differently to it. So I've been working my way through both Buffy and Angel until I got to today. The day. The rewatch The Body day. I took some time, built up the courage, hung out with maelkann for a bit and then went in and rewatched it whilst he was still around in the house.
And ... I sobbed through the whole thing. Sobbed, and whined and wailed and cried and hurt. It was every bit as harrowing as I originally experienced. It's an utterly beautiful episode - the jarring light, the offbalance camera work, the disorientation, the pounding silence. The disconnection and surreality. The horribleness as Buffy tries to cope her way through what is happening.
And the fleeting moments of relief which actually compound the hurt. Anya is just ... she gets me in the end the most "she'll never have fruit punch again. Never yawn or brush her hair ... and I don't know WHY!" Utterly broke me at that point.
On Twitter angriest asked me about the vampire at the end. It was a very distinct discord and I didn't remember it from the last time I watched it. And Buffy has such a hard time defeating it. But to me it was very powerful - that at Buffy's actual weakest moment, she is still forced to fight evil. And must defeat it. Even if she doesn't want to or feel like it. And that no matter how hard you try, reality will seep its way in and destroy the surreal. And in some ways, in moments of shock loss, you don't want reality back because you have to accept what's happened, that what you have lost is never coming back and then move on and live the rest of your life without them. In some ways it hurts less to stay in the immediate hurt. You want to hold onto it because letting go, hurting less, means moving on. And away.
I'm left pondering the whole brain tumour thing - was it that Dawn's presence distorted reality or the energy balance and an effect of that was the brain tumour. Was it that Buffy could either have a sister or a mother but not both? Or was it that ... things do just happen. They just do. Horrible, unfair things. And part of life is dealing and learning to cope. And ... it just is.
Dawn's presence in the show did a very important thing, I think. She changed Buffy and her mother's relationship. She made them a family, which I don't think they were before then. She gave a centre of focus for Buffy and her mother to pull together on. And we saw a relationship between Buffy and Joyce that was not really there before. In a way, I think the key was also a key to Buffy finding a mother. A real mother who truly understood her. At least that's how Season 5 feels.
Now the aftermath. Which I shall endure after the Swancon meeting today.