?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
10 February 2017 @ 05:52 pm
A New Man (Or Should That Be Demon?)  
Hello again. I was meant to make a post about A New Man months ago, but first I had problems with my wireless router, then, to be frank, Christmas was coming up, then New Year, and I just forgot. I even forgot that I had all the screencaps already downloaded. Plus, I forgot what happened in the episode. But I've re-watched it now, so here's my review, and if there's no one out there still watching this community...well, I guess it's my fault. Very sorry.

Anyway, this episode always used to be one of my favourites. In fact, in most ways, it still is.

This scene, for instance....

A_New_Man2742



....will never not be funny.

Also, it's impossible not to enjoy any appearance (and this is sadly, his last),

A_New_Man1227

of this old reprobate - Ethan Rayne. Hoorah!

I also love this scene:

A_New_Man1517

Ethan and Giles getting drunk together.

And this one:

A_New_Man1780

Willow and Tara doing magic together.

Every scene with Spike in it is hilarious too.

A_New_Man0472

especially the ones he shares with Demon!Giles.

A_New_Man2337

They make a great team, IMO.

A_New_Man2432

Evidence.

A_New_Man2601

More evidence.

A_New_Man2883

Yet more evidence.

What a shame they have so few scenes together after this.

There're also some important plotty things in this episode.

A_New_Man1649

Such as Ethan warning Giles about the Initiative stirring demony things up that were better left unstirred, and the mysterious 314 all the demons are scared of,

A_New_Man3694

and the revelation at the end of the episode of Maggie Walsh's connection to it.

There's also a fair bit of important character development stuff, such as the aforementioned Willow and Tara scene,

A_New_Man1490

and the Buffy/Riley sparring session, which ends with Buffy cutting loose (at Riley's instigation) and showing him just how much stronger than him she is, with the whole question of whether he can deal with having a super-strong girlfriend who won't take orders from anyone rather left hanging at the end.

A_New_Man3428

Riley insists that he can, but do we believe him?

A_New_Man3621

Especially when Professor Walsh appears to find Buffy's actions questionable.

But of course, the episode is really about Giles and how out of the loop he is, which is emphasised first at Buffy's surprise birthday party...

A_New_Man0134

...the only one ever that doesn't end in misery or bloodshed (or both), when Giles discovers Buffy has a new boyfriend,

A_New_Man0307

who, being a nice, polite young man, treats him like a revered community elder.

A_New_Man0376

Not to mention, he later finds out that Buffy forgot to tell him Riley is a commando, or that there was this thing called the Initiative, which is led by Professor Walsh, and which, if Giles had known about earlier, might have saved him some embarrassment in this scene.

A_New_Man0878

By the end of the episode, Buffy has realised just how important Giles is to her, which really struck home for her when she thought he'd been killed by a demon,

A_New_Man2574

and Giles has more than forgiven her for her...I dunno, is 'carelessness' the right word?

Especially since he got to see Ethan Rayne be carted off into protective custody in Nowheresville, Nevada,

A_New_Man3373,

never to be seen again. Booh!

On the other hand, all these years later, I do at certain points in the episode find it quite hard to sympathise with Giles, especially in his first meeting with Maggie Walsh.

I mean, look at it from her perspective.

A_New_Man0819

There she is, getting on with her work, when in barges this weird English bloke,

A_New_Man0899

who starts lecturing her about how to treat young people, and Buffy in particular, saying he's a 'friend' of Buffy's.

A_New_Man0930

What's more he sits on Maggie's furniture, as if it belongs to him.

I don't know about you, but if I were Maggie, I might well have called campus security to have him evicted,

A_New_Man0913

rather than make passive aggressive comments about bad male role models.

I might even have called the police to report a case of suspected grooming.

A_New_Man0979

So really Giles got off lightly. YMMV, of course, but I didn't like Giles in this scene. I thought he came across as quite arrogant.

A_New_Man2738

This scene will never not be funny, though. In fact, every scene with Demon!Giles is wonderful.

Best lines:

SPIKE: What, you just come over all demony this morning?
GILES: Matter of fact, I did. Thanks to Ethan Rayne. You've got to help me find him. He has to undo this. Then he needs a good being-killed.
SPIKE: And I'm supposed to help you out of the evilness of my heart?


RILEY: The demon attacked Professor Walsh. It got out of a small gray car. A Citroen.
WILLOW: It stole Giles' car!
XANDER: Why would a demon steal a car?
ANYA: Why would a demon steal that car?


BUFFY: Giles! Giles! I'm sorry! Don't die!
GILES: Actually I feel quite well. Except for the rage.

Hmm, there are quite big chunks of dialogue in the shooting script of this episode left out in the broadcast episode. What a pity - especially as it's nearly all Giles/Spike stuff. The final moments of the Spike car crash scene was also omitted, which is annoying. As it stands, you're left wondering why the Initiative didn't catch him.

Finally, if you're wondering what happened next to Ethan Rayne, you could do worse - an awful lot worse - than go and read Ethan Rayne Versus America by indri, one of the best fic writers the Buffyverse fandom has ever had.

Thoughts, anyone?
 
 
 
manoahmanoah on February 10th, 2017 06:20 pm (UTC)
I love that you continue to do these. It brings back such fond memories. I do have all the dvd's, I should just do a re-watch myself!

This episode spawned so many awesome Giles and Spike friendship fics. That's the best part about this episode for me!
Shapinglight: A New Manshapinglight on February 11th, 2017 08:40 pm (UTC)
I love that you continue to do these. It brings back such fond memories.

Well, when you say 'continue', it's been an awful long time. I'm afraid I just let it slip away from me. ;)

But yes, a re-watch is definitely worth doing. I think that in most respects, the show has withstood the test of time.

That's the best part about this episode for me!

Me too. I think they're great together.
brunettepetbrunettepet on February 10th, 2017 07:09 pm (UTC)
This episode always makes me laugh and I adore the Spike Demon!Giles interaction and all the friendship fic it spawned.
Shapinglight: Spike & Gilesshapinglight on February 11th, 2017 08:42 pm (UTC)
Me too. It's a terrific episode, though after looking at the shooting script I think we were short-changed when it came to the Spike/Giles interaction.
freecat15: Well donefreecat15 on February 10th, 2017 07:23 pm (UTC)
Great recap!
I actually never thought about seeing the Giles/Walsh scene from her eyes, but you're right, it looks totally different then. Still, I will never not feel for Giles here - I guess I just don't *want* to see it from her eyes :)

I agree about Giles/Spike, and that it's a shame they didn't make more out of it. I realy have to check out the shooting script, which I obviously haven't done until now, because I still wonder why the Initiative didn't catch Spike.

One other scene I adore is the crypt scene when it's revealed to Giles that Riley is in the Initiative, that one always cracks me up.

It's definitely one of my favorite episodes, too!

*off to read the shooting script*
Shapinglight: Buffyshapinglight on February 11th, 2017 08:49 pm (UTC)
I actually never thought about seeing the Giles/Walsh scene from her eyes, but you're right, it looks totally different then. Still, I will never not feel for Giles here - I guess I just don't *want* to see it from her eyes :)

It is difficult, especially when you know that Maggie is going to try and have Buffy killed in the very next episode. I'm sure I didn't think about it all all the first time I watched it. In fact, I only did when I rewatched it last year, but then it struck me very forcibly.

I guess thinking has moved on in certain areas since the show was aired, and that's one of them.

because I still wonder why the Initiative didn't catch Spike.

Yes, in the shooting script, after crashing Giles's car, Spike makes a comment about how he can fight demons and crash cars. Things are looking up, and he runs away.

slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on February 10th, 2017 11:51 pm (UTC)
It's also one of my favorite episodes. Love some Ethan Rayne chaos, demon Giles, and Spike and (demon)Giles together.
Shapinglight: Giles and Ethanshapinglight on February 11th, 2017 08:50 pm (UTC)
Love some Ethan Rayne chaos

Yes, it's such a shame this is the last time we see him.
Trepkostrepkos on February 11th, 2017 12:20 am (UTC)
Why is Spike measuring the outside of his tomb? I really want to know - is he thinking of papering it?
And how DID he get away from the Initiative? Where can I find the shooting script?


Edited at 2017-02-11 06:53 pm (UTC)
Shapinglight: A New Manshapinglight on February 11th, 2017 08:57 pm (UTC)
And how DID he get away from the Initiative? Where can I find the shooting script?


The shooting script can be found on Buffyworld. I think Spike manages to get the Initiative vehicles all turned around and, in the shooting script, while they are, he crashes Giles's car, makes a quip about how he can fight demons and crash cars, things are looking up, then runs away. The episode just shows him crash and that's it. :(
Infinitewhaleinfinitewhale on February 11th, 2017 03:23 am (UTC)

One of my favorites of S4. I think the only issue I take with it is like a lot of S4 eps it makes the characters slightly OOC. Not so much you'd say WTF, but enough to make the story go and jokes work. I just find it hard to believe none of the Scoobs told Giles about Riley, especially when apparently Buffy is spending so much time with him. They hand wave away that Buffy forgot she didn't, but Willow and Xander? Seems a stretch. I can only fanwank it that ANM takes place just a day or two after Doomed.
Shapinglight: Spike & Gilesshapinglight on February 11th, 2017 09:00 pm (UTC)
I just find it hard to believe none of the Scoobs told Giles about Riley, especially when apparently Buffy is spending so much time with him. They hand wave away that Buffy forgot she didn't, but Willow and Xander? Seems a stretch.

It works okay for me without being OOC where Buffy and Willow are concerned. They're on the campus and Giles is in the town. They're not seeing much of each other (hence Giles feeling all left out) and both are pretty wrapped up in their new relationships.

I do think it's unlikely that Xander wouldn't have mentioned it to Giles, though. I suppose even he isn't spending as much time with Giles because of Anya.
readerjane on February 11th, 2017 04:11 am (UTC)
I love anything that cracks Giles' reserve - getting demonized, band candy, threatening Snyder.
Shapinglight: Giles and Ethanshapinglight on February 11th, 2017 09:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, Giles is such fun when he's being more Ripper-like.
Naomi: Giles hat By sininfernofrelling_tralk on February 11th, 2017 12:54 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this one too. Great comedy, and it was a real shame that they never used the Ethan actor again for whatever reason, it was always interesting to get that glimpse of Giles's past. And hmm I never thought about watching that scene from Maggie's perspective, I'll keep an eye out for that next time
Shapinglight: A New Manshapinglight on February 11th, 2017 09:09 pm (UTC)
And hmm I never thought about watching that scene from Maggie's perspective, I'll keep an eye out for that next time

It struck me very forcibly when I rewatched it for the first time in ages. Probably, it's because thinking on such matters has changed since the show aired. Now, it came across to me as a woman being bullied in her office - not because Giles was rude or anything, but because he just waltzes in and acts like the room is his.
Butterflysnogged on February 11th, 2017 01:32 pm (UTC)
I love Ethan Rayne!

I'm glad you are going to continue to do these (or at least, I hope you will.)
Shapinglight: Spike & Gilesshapinglight on February 11th, 2017 09:10 pm (UTC)
We'll try. At least, I hope it won't be quite such a long gap before the next episode review turns up.
Trepkostrepkos on February 11th, 2017 06:51 pm (UTC)
I just feel sorry for Giles through the whole episode, and it would be completely impossible to see anything from Maggie's point of view! She is drugging her soldiers and watching them in bed, so she has no claim on the moral high ground when it comes to the relationship between Giles and Buffy. If she were just a normal teacher, maybe, but we already know she isn't. Giles and Spike are MEANT to be a team - it's a crying shame that never happened.
"What, you just come over all demony this morning?" I wish I had the opportunity to use that line myself.
Shapinglight: Buffyshapinglight on February 11th, 2017 09:13 pm (UTC)
I just feel sorry for Giles through the whole episode, and it would be completely impossible to see anything from Maggie's point of view!

For the most part, I agree where Maggie's concerned, just not here. And I don't actually feel sorry for Giles at all in the episode, which is not to say that I don't sympathise at all with his position. Subtle difference. ;)

"What, you just come over all demony this morning?" I wish I had the opportunity to use that line myself.

Well, if the SO ever wakes up in a bad mood, you could. :)
Rebcake: btvs_spi_tearebcake on February 13th, 2017 08:31 am (UTC)
This is the sort of episode that makes S4 one of my favorite seasons. SO MANY THINGS that will never not be funny. Spike with a measuring tape, for one. The waitress rolling her eyes at Ethan trying to impersonate Roger Moore is two.

I have used this episode to beguile men of a certain age — who are sure that something called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" will never speak to them. Ha! I say. Ha! Ha! Then they are hooked, and I have prevailed again.

I must read the shooting script, if there is more Spike & Giles in it. Because those two are just comedy gold.

Very interesting point about the Giles & Maggie scene. Because it is so easy to hate Maggie and we all lurve Giles to pieces, it never occurred to me to look at things from her perspective. But of course you are right.

Excellent suggestion about indri's story. NanDibble's story with a very dangerous Ethan who is mad with grief at the way Giles left him to rot with the Initiative is another good one: Blood Rites. The whole series is now up at AO3: The Blood Series.
Shapinglight: A New Manshapinglight on February 14th, 2017 06:09 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I must catch up with the Nan Dibble story. I thought I had read all her stories but I don't recognise that one.

I'm glad you see my point about the Maggie scene. Generally, she's a very hateable character, but this scene struck me very forcibly as one that could be seen from a different perspective when I watched again last year after the first time in ages. I love Giles, but I do think he behaves with this old-fashioned male arrogance in this scene.

Actually, he seems to have problems with women who are his intellectual equals in general, if his behaviour here and with Gwedolyn Post are anything to go by. Mind you, both them are evil, so maybe it's more Joss's problem than Giles's.