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07 October 2016 @ 12:52 pm
Hush (so no talking, you at the back)  
I've been counting the days to when I get to use this icon. Isn't it great?

What else is great is this episode, which encapsulates in the space of forty minutes or so why BtVS has withstood the test of time, and why many people think Joss Whedon is a genius.

It has everything.

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Scary monsters (and in this case they really are genuinely scary, from their creepy politeness to each other,

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to their floating along not touching the ground,

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to their hardcore minions with the straitjackets, to their horrific brutality.

And that's just one of the ingredients that's mixed up here to make Hush one of the show's best ever episodes.

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There's Buffy's creepy Slayer dream, for a start, which is beautifully shot, and features a kiss that I personally find way sexier than anything in the last episode I reviewed, IWRY.

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It possibly has something to do with Slayer!Dream!Riley's comment about how when he kisses Buffy the sun will go down, which always gives me the shivers, especially when the sun does actually go down. Also because this scene is the first example in the episode of its stellar use of music to complement the mostly silent action. So well done.

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Then again, I find this non-dream Buffy/Riley kiss later in the episode very sexy too, so maybe it's just me? ;)

Anyway, yes, so there's romance, and not just for Buffy and Riley,

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but also for Giles and Olivia (well, maybe the end of romance more like, poor old Giles!),

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for Anya and Xander,

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and for Willow, from a new, and unexpected, direction.

Seriously, the introduction of Tara in this episode is just brilliant, as is the whole chase/bar the door by magic sequence with Tara, Willow and the Gentlemen.

Also brilliant is the moment when Buffy and Riley are confronted by their own (understandable) lack of honesty with each other,

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which even when everyone has got their voices back...

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...renders them still speechless.

So, that's horror, romance, drama and great music. What have I left out?

Oh yes, the fact that Hush, a masterpiece in so many ways, is also a comedy masterpiece,

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from the Weetabix conversation between Spike and Giles,

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to Anya's excruciatingly inappropriate honesty,

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both vocal and silent,

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to the Wicca group that isn't interested in magic,

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to Spike's reaction to Xander's silent accusations,

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to the one and only time that Forrest is funny (seriously, it cracks me up every time that he's writing Riley notes telling him to hurry up when they're both in danger of dying a particularly stupid death, also that he has really nice, neat writing),

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to the utterly wonderful in every way lecture theatre scene, where Giles presents his Gentlemen slide show.

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Anya with her popcorn,

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Giles's rather graphic transparencies, and the fact that he's prepared one for every conceivable question, not to mention chosen the perfect soundtrack to accompany them,

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everyone's misunderstanding of this gesture,

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Honestly, some people's minds are permanently in the gutter.

And last but not least,

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Buffy's indignation that Giles has drawn her hips too big.

Comedy gold, and all without a single word being spoken.

And if all the above weren't reason enough to love this episode, there's the fact that the monsters are defeated by a little blonde girl screaming.

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How great is that?

Okay, I've run out of superlatives now. Really can't fault this episode in any way.

Best lines:

There are some, even though most of the episode is silent.

SPIKE
We're out of Weetabix.

GILES
We're out of Weetabix
because you ate it all. Again.
SPIKE
Get some more.
GILES
I thought vampires were supposed to eat blood.

SPIKE
Yeah, well sometimes I like to crumble up the Weetabix in the blood. Gives it a little texture.
GILES
Well, since the picture you've just painted means I will never touch food of any kind again, I'm afraid you'll have to pick it up yourself.
SPIKE
Sissy.

BUFFY (re the Wicca group)
So not stellar, huh?
WILLOW
Talk all talk. Blah blah Gaia. Blah blah moon, menstrual lifeforce power thingy. You know after a couple of sessions I was hoping we would get into something real but...
BUFFY
No actual witches in your witch group?
WILLOW
No, bunch of wanna blessed bees. You know, nowadays every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a sister to the dark ones."

BUFFY (at the Gentlemen)
Aaaargh!

Thoughts, anyone? Are are you too struck dumb with admiration to comment?
 
 
 
Kiki Maykikimay on October 7th, 2016 12:09 pm (UTC)
FREAKING AWESOME EPISODE! (And freaking awesome tiny icon, congrats!)

I really want to ask about Buffy's dream at the beginning. Apart from "maybe Buffy likes public sex" XD what do you think about it? It's just a random dream sequence to introduce the more important one (The little girl with the box) or it has a deeper meaning?

In the dream, Riley says ""If I kiss you it'll make the sun go down", what does it mean in your opinion?
Shapinglight: Buffy/The Screamshapinglight on October 7th, 2016 12:39 pm (UTC)
Hmm.

I think Riley's line about the sun is definitely something to do with the spell, which doesn't take hold until after the sun goes down.

The kissing in weird circumstances part, I'm not so sure of. I think Buffy likes Riley a lot. Maybe she subconsciously likes the idea of kissing him in public, or maybe her subconscious is telling her stuff about the Riley/Maggie Walsh relationship that she's noticed but isn't consciously aware of yet?

I don't know. I just know that despite the fact it's all very weird a bit..off, I still find it very sexy.
(no subject) - kikimay on October 7th, 2016 12:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shapinglight on October 7th, 2016 01:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - chasingdemons on October 7th, 2016 01:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shapinglight on October 7th, 2016 02:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - trepkos on October 7th, 2016 09:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shapinglight on October 8th, 2016 12:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - infinitewhale on October 8th, 2016 06:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shapinglight on October 11th, 2016 10:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - infinitewhale on October 12th, 2016 10:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shapinglight on October 13th, 2016 04:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Karenkazzy_cee on October 7th, 2016 12:12 pm (UTC)
encapsulates in the space of forty minutes or so why BtVS has withstood the test of time

I totally agree. This episode is just so clever and I love the humour throughout, but at the same time it's really chilling in places.
Shapinglight: Hush Gilesshapinglight on October 7th, 2016 12:41 pm (UTC)
It is. And it slips so easily from one mood to the other that you can only marvel at the brilliance of it. ;)
Dannachasingdemons on October 7th, 2016 01:36 pm (UTC)
N
I have to say I put this episode and OMWF at the very top of the list. It is brilliant in every way and Joss will always have hero status for these episodes no matter what else he has done or not done.

I was glad you mentioned the music because I notice the music very much in all episodes, and it is spectacular in season four and five.

Joss writes the best dream sequences and this is no exception. I found it highly erotic, but more than that, it added a mysticism to Buffy and Riley's relationship that I wish had played out in future episodes. It didn't, really, but their kiss on the street was very moving, especially in contrast to the dream. What did the dream mean? What was Joss's reason for writing it that way? Must look for some commentary.

I loved how self-assured Giles was with Olivia in comparison to him with Jenny. Indicates that Giles and Olivia have a history. Wish we could have seen more of that side of Giles for his sake as well as ours.

There are just too many brilliant scenes in this episode to list, but some of my favorites are:

1. The entire interaction between Xander and Spike when they wake up in the morning. Especially Spike's expression when Xander tries to use the phone to call Buffy.
2. The scene with Forrest and Riley in the elevator. Forrest's scribbled note "come on, come on!"
3. The scene of the chaos on the streets of Sunnydale.
4. When Willow and Buffy arrive at Giles's apartment and Willow writes on her board "Hi Giles".
5. Of course, the entire scene with Giles's slideshow .
6. The Gentlemen and their minions. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
7. Yes! The interaction between Willow and Tara. Is something suggested here? We're not sure. We are probably being silly for thinking it.
8. The last scene of Buffy and Riley sitting on the bed unable to find words.

The only negative thing I can say about this episode: I've been wondering if my views on specific characters might change a little with this rewatch. I have to say I still find Anya's shtick quite tiresome.

It's an absolute crime that this episode did not win an Emmy. Thanks for the great review and the opportunity to look at this episode again.


Edited at 2016-10-07 01:40 pm (UTC)
Shapinglight: Giles and Oliviashapinglight on October 7th, 2016 02:53 pm (UTC)
Re: N
I have to say I put this episode and OMWF at the very top of the list. It is brilliant in every way and Joss will always have hero status for these episodes no matter what else he has done or not done.

I agree with this. The Body is great work and all, but it's so a-typical of the show that I just can't put it in the same category.

I was glad you mentioned the music because I notice the music very much in all episodes, and it is spectacular in season four and five.

The music is always pretty wonderful in BtVS. Here, I think it excels itself.

I found it highly erotic

I'm so glad I'm not the only one. Most people seem to dislike Buffy/Riley too much ever to feel that.

I have listened to the commentary for Hush but I don't remember what Joss says about the dream scene. It is so beautifully done, though - like the Buffy's tirer le couverture quest sequence in No Place Like Home in season 5. That is also a stunning piece of work.

I agree about Giles and Olivia. I always thought he must have known her for quite some time - certainly from before he came to Sunnydale - and that his awkwardness with Jenny was down to the fact that his feelings for her were so great. Plus, they rather started off on the wrong foot. With Olivia, he always seems relaxed and at ease. And so does she. She's happy with their close but casual relationship, and for the most part, so is he (though I think by the end of this episode, he's realised that maybe he wanted more but he's now not going to get it).

It's an absolute crime that this episode did not win an Emmy

Yep. I agree.
Re: N - shapinglight on October 7th, 2016 03:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Dannachasingdemons on October 7th, 2016 01:50 pm (UTC)
Ps - love the icon!!
Shapinglight: Buffy/The Screamshapinglight on October 7th, 2016 02:46 pm (UTC)
It's great, isn't it? :))
teragrammteragramm on October 7th, 2016 02:55 pm (UTC)
I am usually not a huge fan of episodes that get all the hype and love BUT I love, love this episode. There is not a single miss step every moment is wonderful and it's done with very little words.

Then again, I find this non-dream Buffy/Riley kiss later in the episode very sexy too, so maybe it's just me?I too found this kiss very sexy. I think it was the spontaneity of the kiss and the fact that many things are said with one simple kiss. The kiss portraits fear, worry and feelings not yet spoken, which is all very sexy! I found the dream kiss a little uncomfortable because of the public setting and I was embarrassed for Buffy.

the utterly wonderful in every way lecture theatre scene, where Giles presents his Gentlemen slide show. In a show that is wonderful from start to finish, this scene is extraordinarily wonderful! We all love the miss understanding of Buffy's staking gesture but I always get a huge kick out of Buffy being insulted that Giles drew her hips too big. It's such a girl thing to do!

GILES
Well, since the picture you've just painted means I will never touch food of any kind again, I'm afraid you'll have to pick it up yourself.
SPIKE
Sissy.

Hee!!!!
Shapinglight: Hush Gilesshapinglight on October 7th, 2016 03:05 pm (UTC)
I think it was the spontaneity of the kiss and the fact that many things are said with one simple kiss.

Yes, I think you've hit the nail on the head here. A big part of the reason why that kiss is so charged is because it has to speak for everything they're feeling, because they can't actually talk. Plus, both SMG and MB act like they're really into it, which they also do in the weird kiss scene, which may be one of the reasons why it works for me, despite the awkwardness and embarrassment.

In a show that is wonderful from start to finish, this scene is extraordinarily wonderful!

Yes, I could watch that one on repeat. :)
readerjane on October 7th, 2016 04:30 pm (UTC)
Struck dumb with admiration aptly describes me.

That icon is marvelous.

Favorite scene: the slide show, with Night on Bald Mountain, and Giles managing to still deliver the exposition while mute.
Shapinglight: Hush Gilesshapinglight on October 7th, 2016 05:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, I could watch that scene over and over. It's just so great that Giles bothered to look out the perfect soundtrack. :)
Trepkostrepkos on October 7th, 2016 09:52 pm (UTC)
One bit not yet mentioned - I like the way they roll their eyes at the guy selling message boards, then buy one!

One thing I'm not wholly convinced by is Buffy's scream. I wish there was a place I could go and try out my scream without alarming anyone.

Another worrying sign for Willow - it seems like she thinks being "a sister to the dark ones" is a good thing.
Shapinglight: Buffy/The Screamshapinglight on October 8th, 2016 12:44 pm (UTC)
I like the way they roll their eyes at the guy selling message boards, then buy one!

Yes, it's very funny. In fact, there are so many great visual gags. The guy with the briefcase sitting on the ground crying for instance. Door to door salesman who can no longer sell anything?

And the fact the liquor store is open when all the others are shut, and the people standing reading the Bible together in silence. It's all so well thought out.

I know what you mean about Buffy's scream. I put its slight lack of conviction down to the fact that screaming out loud is a bit embarrassing.
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on October 8th, 2016 12:14 am (UTC)
A wonderful summation of the that episode! Almost as much fun as the episode itself. :)
Shapinglight: Buffy/The Screamshapinglight on October 8th, 2016 12:44 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! Thank you. :)
cornerofmadnesscornerofmadness on October 8th, 2016 03:49 am (UTC)
Love your icon

This was such an amazing episode
Shapinglight: Buffy/The Screamshapinglight on October 8th, 2016 12:45 pm (UTC)
It is. I'd honestly forgotten just how good it is.
(no subject) - cornerofmadness on October 8th, 2016 04:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Butterflysnogged on October 8th, 2016 01:20 pm (UTC)
OMG! Hush is the best for all these reasons and more.

I agree that Buffy/Riley had great kissing chemistry in this one.
Shapinglight: Buffy/The Screamshapinglight on October 11th, 2016 10:50 pm (UTC)
I agree that Buffy/Riley had great kissing chemistry in this one.

Yes, the not talking thing really works for them. ;)
Infinitewhaleinfinitewhale on October 8th, 2016 07:03 pm (UTC)

Buffy/Riley works for me in this ep. I actually didn't mind Riley until Doomed.

No complaints about this ep! I love it still.

Well, one complaint, but it's not the ep, per se, more in set design. Why does Buffy have the huge cherub thing above her headboard? That thing is a cracked-skull waiting to happen! It looks like it must weigh 5 pounds. It's earthquake country, no place to be hanging baby-shaped sledgehammers over your head.
Shapinglight: Hush Gilesshapinglight on October 11th, 2016 10:53 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid I'm not that observant when it comes to visual details and I didn't even notice that. ;)

I don't mind Riley for most of season 4. It's in season 5 that I take against him, for obvious reasons, I guess. But I do prefer him early on when he's just the sweet TA. Him being part of this covert military thing makes me like him less. Not for the military aspect, but the covert part of it.

Edited at 2016-10-11 10:54 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - infinitewhale on October 12th, 2016 10:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shapinglight on October 13th, 2016 04:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
gillo: mayhemgillo on October 8th, 2016 07:40 pm (UTC)
Definitely one of my top five episodes - so much excellence in the detail - Anya bringing popcorn for the Giles exposition, Maggie pointing to the "use stairs" notice (and the total failure of the Initiative to deal with the problem), Spike and the Weetabix - though that would surely just create a blood porridge? I suspect Joss was thinking of Shredded Wheat all along.

So many takes on the nature of real communication, too, from the unspoken bond between Willow and Tara to the inability of Buffy and Riley to talk even when they can talk again.
Shapinglight: Buffy/The Screamshapinglight on October 11th, 2016 10:56 pm (UTC)
It's one of my favourites too.

I really can't fault it. If I was asked to pick an episode of the show to show to someone who had never seen it, I would probably pick this one.