BuffyWatch: Season 5, Episodes 10-12

Season 5, Episode 10 “Into the Woods”

For once, a little good news. After anxiously waiting for Buffy’s mom to get out of surgery, the doctor-with-no-bedside manner tells them that the procedure was a “complete success.” They’ve removed the tumor, and Joyce should make a full recovery. Yay! 

But of course, this is a Joss Whedon show, so good news must be counterbalanced with bad news. Now that the crisis is over, Buffy and Riley get time and energy to focus on their relationship, and it’s in trouble–in Riley’s mind, at least. They have a well-deserved romantic night together, complete with slow-dancing and sex–and for the record, Buffy seems super into it! She matches him gaze for gaze and tells him everything is “perfect.” But then he expresses admiration that she “never even cried” during the whole ordeal with her mother, and she admits that she “cried so hard she thought she’d never be able to stop.” So she’s opening up about her feelings, but he’s all upset because… she didn’t cry right in front of him, I guess? Those are super specific parameters for what it means to be emotionally available in a relationship!

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Ted Lasso: 2×9 “Beard After Hours”

You guys, I’m not even going to pretend I’m putting a lot of effort into this recap. It’s a Beard-centric filler episode, which should strike boredom into the hearts of even more pro-Beard viewers than I. But as for me, I have already established that I am incapable of finding Beard compelling as a character, and this episode, in which Beard wanders around for a night getting into trouble, did nothing to change it. It just made me mad that I had waited all week for a continuation of plotlines I’d grown truly invested in–Jamie’s quest to become a worthwhile human being, Rebecca’s bizarre thing with Sam, Ted’s therapy with Dr. Sharon–but instead I had to spend forty-five minutes watching something completely unrelated. Gah.

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Ted Lasso: 2×6 “The Signal”

When the episode starts, Ted is being ridiculously friendly, throwing jokes to everyone. I was thinking to myself, “OK, we get it! He loves to crack jokes! He’s nice! He’s just what we need during the pandemic, BLAH BLAH BLAH!” Luckily I read a review of an earlier episode on NPR that points out that Ted’s friendliness feels off, that it’s become too much, and that’s what I’m reacting to. It’s a very good point and I wish I had thought of it myself! In the midst of all this joke-cracking, there’s a seemingly throwaway moment where Ted gets a call from his son’s school that Henry forgot his lunch, but of course he can’t do anything about it. It’s easy to forget about it because Ted so quickly snaps back into his usual rhythm. Until, that is, it all breaks down later in the episode.

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