Buffy is dead, and in her place, the Scoobies are attempting to slay vampires as a gang, including Spike, the newly restored Tara, and even BuffyBot. (Janes explained this to me: apparently no new Slayer was called during this death because each Slayer only spawns (so to speak) one new Slayer, and Buffy’s first death already led to Faith being called, so this slightly more real death doesn’t cause any new Slayers. I feel like this is not made clear enough in canon.)
“The Body” feels less like an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more like a short film about grief. There are no gods in this one, no big battles, no Slayer quips, and aside from a quick, perfunctory vampire at the end, almost no supernatural elements at all. There’s just a body.
So, this is the end of season 2. I know that a lot of people have felt that this season was a letdown after last season, which was a sort of perfectly formed pearl of excellent TV that came at the exact right moment to be maximally appreciated by everyone. As countless people have written, last year our lives were taken over by tragedy and darkness, and we had suffered through years of TV producers apparently believing that tragedy and darkness and antiheroes were the only signifiers of auteur TV. Ted Lasso provided an unexpected and badly-needed antidote: a high-quality TV show that was actually sweet and uplifting.
This was a fantastic episode! Such a contrast to last week’s episode, where nothing really happened, and we were deprived of the sweetness of Sam, the fierceness of Rebecca, the awesomeness of Keeley, and the puppyishness of Danny Rojas. All of which come in to play in this episode.
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.
Well. This episode was a doozy! The title, “Man City,” could refer to the team that Richmond plays in the semifinal–but also could refer to the many troubled iterations of manhood and fatherhood that we see in this episode.