So yeah, season 7 wasn't as great as the previous 6 seasons, but it was still brilliant in its own way. It has been stated before that Joss looks over every script for each episode to approve of it and perhaps make some additional changes of his own. When I first watched this episode, I was so angry. I was in tears. It felt like I was punched in the gut for no words could describe the disbelief I felt at the Scoobies behaviour towards Buffy. Sure they've had interventions and disagreements before (see season 3, when they "attack" Buffy once they find out she's been keeping Angel being alive as a secret) but never have they full out turned against her like that. It just did not fit. I watched it and thought to myself "who the hell are these people?!?!?! Joss Whedon, what the frack is going on?" But now, (after 6 years lol) I have come to the conclusion that Joss did it on purpose. He wanted this effect to happen to us. He wanted us to feel exactly how Buffy felt. The entire episode builds up from the aftermath of the last episode, which started out with everyone on Buffy's side, trusting her, following her only to have it end badly. REALLY badly. Having Xander, the heart of the group, lose an eye was like a slap in the face for everyone. And in "Empty Places" you can see Buffy shutting down. You can tell how awful she feels about Xander and doubting her ability to lead these people, to then realizing that she was right all along about Caleb and the cellar, only to THEN have the closest people to her turn their backs on her. And having Dawn (that biotch) kicking her out of her own house (again, i really hate Dawn at this moment).
In this episode, we are Buffy. We hurt, and we're so tired that we give up at the end.
Joss makes us realize that sometimes, during dark times, the people you care about just might not be there for you. That things can indeed, get worse.
Of course, they also had to end the episode with Buffy so despondent because then in the next episode Spike can swoop in and be the big hero, thus again further developing the "new" relationship between Buffy and Spike.
Well done. I hated this episode with every fibre of my being, while realizing just how good it was in it's intent to make me feel this way. (Does that even make any sense?)
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