harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,
harsens_rob
harsens_rob

Here's that WATCHERS review....







Watchers: The Virtual Series

S2, E16


"Unfinished Business"


Story by Kye
Written by Kye (additional writing by Chris Cook, Zahir al-Daoud and CN Winters)
Directed by Kye and CN Winters
Produced by CN Winters
Edited by Angie Wilson
Sound by CSR
Art Direction by Chris Cook
Artists - Chris Cook, Zahir al-Daoud, Rob, Sarah, Humaira, CN Winters


Guest starring Michelle Rodriguez, Norika Fujiwara, Felicia Day, Antonio Banderas, Chazz Palminteri, Stephanie March, Brad Dourif, Jennifer Fisher, Avril Lavigne, Richard Burgi and Carlos Bernard


Not at all spoiler-free.


Scene 01: We begin the episode in Romania, where we are re-introduced to the hunter with a legacy, Kadin Van Helsing giving us a dramatic pose....




Scene 02: We then jump to our series' central location, Cleveland, Ohio.

In a dark alley, Reteesk - a demon we very briefly met before, and who is a relatively decent person - is making his way. He rounds a corner and is taken by surprise, but by who, or what, we don't yet learn.


Scene 03: Back in Romania, Kadin is stalking while a mysterious man (the marvelous looking Antonio Banderas) perching on a cottage roof keeps tabs on her. Kadin is attacked by a vampire-lackey, possibly of said mysterious man, but it isn't specified at this time. There is a short battle in which Kadin comes out the victor, but she's left with a ragged wound in her side from her impalement on a branch.



As she falls back to Bucharest to recover, her thoughts are on Kennedy.


Scene 04: Back in Cleveland, the morning finds Kennedy with a romantic breakfast/gift for Mia. They exchange talk of love and lust over Valentine's. All is right with the world....


Commentary: Which leads me to rather nastily insert, "Stupid Kadin". Not to be a future-spoiler-er, but spoils: Kadin causes romantic problems for my Mia/Kenn ship.


Scene 05: While Kennedy and Mia are having their wonderfully sappy, but sweet romance (Stupid Kadin), Giles and Becca are having an ultrasound of their baby. All seems to be going quite well with Becca's pregnancy. The technician asks about knowing the sex of the baby, but Becca states a big no. Rupert offers that he's curious, but Becca is firm:


"Nuh ah," Becca said waving her finger. "You tell Willow, Willow tells Ro, Ro tells Andrew and he slips up and asks me if we're going to name the baby Rupert Jr. No way."


Commentary: I love Becca and the staff have always done such a great job of creating this character for Rupert. It's also nice to see him getting everything that he was always denied on BTVS... including into S8 (ACK! Poor Giles!). But giving Giles a fiance wouldn't have worked without the careful writing that is done for her, so good show, everyone.


Scene 06: Later, we check in on Kadin to find that although she looks like Hell, she's up and around. And, she's not in Romania, anymore. Instead, she happens to be at an airport... Cleveland International Airport, in fact. She exposits that she hopes she's right about something or other or she just got a severe ass-kicking for nothing....


Scene 07: At the Council, Giles is beside himself with happiness over the coming baby. He runs around holding a copy of the sonogram for everyone to check out. In the meantime, Willow and Faith play mediator to Andrew and Jeff's argument over who gets to pick a DVD for movie night.

Faith chases off Andy. Willow proceeds upstairs to see Ro. Faith is headed toward the gym for a workout, when the front doorbell chimes. When she answers, she's a bit nonplussed to see beat-to-hell Kadin on the stoop and asking to see Kennedy.


Commentary: There's a few minor things I want to throw in here - one, I like the dialog throughout this short scene, but Andrew as insufferable geek is overdone in this series, because his moments when he can do more are so few and far between. Last episode, he wasn't even present despite being a coven member in which the coven was prominently used. I like Faith's blank reaction to Kadin here, and I really want to give a bonus point for having Willow use the term "pretty nifty".


Scene 08: In Kennedy's apartment, Mia is doing up some dishes. Kenn is on her way out to meet up with Faith for some sparring in the gym, and they share more romantic banter. Mia stares at the ring Kennedy gave her and smiles....


Scene 09: Down in the lobby, Kennedy's banter with Faith quickly dries up when Faith points out their visitor....


Scene 10: Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Andrew has whipped up a 'bratwurst brownie', which see my complaint above about Andrew. He and Tracey are interrupted by the arrival of Council friend and supporter, Brell and the earlier seen Reteesk. They've come seeking face time with Willow.


Scene 11: Brell and Reteesk have come to report that demon businesses are being targeted for a 'protection' racket. Reteesk reports that the local demonically-owned video store was vandalized the night before.


Commentary: There is a little thing here in Willow's dialog that I'd like to address. Willow states here that the vandalism/protection racket sounds like it might be a police matter. Now, we've seen that the Cleveland PD has basically been ordered to cooperate with the Council and that they are at least a little bit aware of the problems that Cleveland has with 'weird activity'. We've seen examples, including in Avatar, of the Council flashing badges and having the police respect their purview over unusual matters. But, Willow's dialog here pointing out that a demonically run shop being vandalized may be a police matter subtly points to the police's understanding of the demonic presence (including the friendlier population of demons) to be public. I always wondered how the demons could have a video shop without there being a public freak out, but it appears, at least around the Cleveland area that the demons aren't so secreted away from society in general. I do wish that this point had been made more clear simply because in future, the public exposure of the Council and demons will be treated as a world-changing revelation (Shomer & Megiddo - next season's finale).


Scene 12: Willow leads the demons to Bonnie's suite, where she is the usual ray of sunshine (actually I always like Bonnie's appearances, specifically because she's such a bitca toward her 'rescuers'). Willow asks about the situation and Bonnie reports that humans who know of the inoffensive demon community often prey on them, since they can't simply go to the authorities....


Commentary: Which brings me back to the issue with Willow's statement above about this being largely a police matter. There is contradictory information being presented about how much the police (and the public - again, the demon video store isn't secreted away in an abandoned building or anything) know about the not-humans in their midst.

If demons can't go to the authorities, then Willow shouldn't have suggested that demonically owned businesses being vandalized or extorted was a police matter. If, however, going to the police was an expected action for Brell and Reteesk, then Bonnie would certainly be aware of that and shouldn't have made the comment about how demons couldn't just go to the authorities.




Anyway, Bonnie is reluctantly recruited to help them track down which organization may be responsible for the demon-business shakedowns.


Scene 13: Back in the lobby, Kennedy has gotten Kadin a glass of water and is intently staring at her injuries. Faith remains cool toward the huntress. When Willow and Ro, on their way out see her, Ro is immediately concerned with her injuries. Willow is shocked to see her in their lobby.


Commentary: And I say, "Oh, Kadin. How nice to see you again... so soon...," rather unconvincingly.


Kadin explains that she's run into a bit of a problem, as evidenced by the bruising on her face. She's come to ask for help, but not the Council's, just Kennedy's. Faith shares a bit of pointed banter with her, but before things can escalate to hostility, Willow intervenes with resolve-face.


Scene 14: In Bonnie's suite, Brell is watching over her to ensure she doesn't use her internet access for any funny business. Bonnie can feel his hostility, which traces back to The Presidium, and his people's enslavement. He tries to guilt her a bit for working for evil, but Bonnie points out that it was 'serve or die'. She chose to save her own skin, a reaction she doesn't think is unusual. Brell tends to have more faith in humanity that that. Bonnie tells him very few people don't have a price tag.


Commentary: This scene is nicely written and I like the interaction between Brell, who fled The Presidium and claims to be willing to choose death over servitude, and Bonnie who served The Presidium in their plans to conquer Earth in S1. I'd love to see a scene where Brell and Jeff both confront Bonnie at some point together, but I don't remember that, off hand, happening. I also like the bit of shading that Bonnie gets here, in suggesting that she wasn't entirely being greedy when working for the demons - self-preservation is a powerful motivator. I think Brell is still in the right here to be angry at her though. She could have gone to the Council, before she was targeted by the demon refugee community for some payback against The Presidium's agents, and didn't. Also, I'm not sure if it was deliberate (but I'd love to know) or just serendipity, but Bonnie vs. Brell's view of humanity is actually addressed during Meggido in Acts 3 & 4 when..., but no, I shall not spoil it here - let's just say that Act III is heart-rending, and Act IV is triumphant.


Scene 15: In the Council lobby, neither Willow nor Faith are exactly welcoming of the idea of Kadin and Kennedy discussing things alone. Faith is a bit more aggressive about it, which causes Kadin to confront her about her barely hidden hostility. Her attempt fails miserably when she suddenly grabs her wounded side and collapses. Kennedy yells for Doctor Miller when she barely finds a pulse.


Scene 16: A while later in the infirmary, Miller cannot explain the hunter's sudden collapse. As he probes, he finds evidence of the injury in her side, but for reasons that seem at this point to be macho-posturing, she refuses treatment or for him to inform the others. He warns that her injury is severe if it caused her to pass out, but she insists she's fine. He gives up arguing, but issues her pain pills.


Scene 17: Neither Kenn nor Faith, who were waiting for word on her condition, is happy with Miller's releasing Kadin without explanation of what happened to her. But, Kenn finally leads the hunter away to confer with her on what she wants, leaving Faith even more unhappy and distrustful of their visitor.


Scene 18: Back in Bucharest, a minion reports to the mysterious man from the teaser about Kadin's escape to the U.S. We find out here that the mysterious man is a very powerful vampire lord over the region (actually not true, and corrected below). What's more, he is also very aware that Kadin has gone to Cleveland specifically to recruit Kennedy as the Kresnik (episode Avatar).

The minion suggests they relocate, but the Master Vampire looks forward to discovering what a Slayer's blood tastes like....


Scene 19: Back in Cleveland, Kadin and Kennedy walk the city streets, talking. Kadin is uncharacteristically nervous. In fact, she admits to Kennedy that she's actually scared. She reports that she needs the Kresnik's help taking on the 400-year old vampire waiting for her. She also gives him a name - Drachen. And, she reports that this particular vampire has made it his immortal life's work to eradicate her bloodline completely.

Before Kennedy can find out any more history, however, she has to absorb the fact that Kadin even knows about her being the Kresnik.


Commentary: This is also another really nice scene. One, because it makes up for Kadin's unnecessarily 'tough grrrrrl' act back in the clinic. Two, because Kadin has been shown to be so well versed in fighting, that it adds a sense of dread to the upcoming fight with Drachen when she admits to being afraid. And three, because her and Kennedy have some really good chemistry here, with Kenn (who has spent a lot of time in Angst-ville) getting to be the one to try to lighten the mood for a change (but I have to repeat my 'Stupid Kadin' mantra for reasons that will become clear).


Scene 20: As Kadin is filling in Kennedy on why she's come to Cleveland again, Willow is visiting Faith to see if she wants to talk about what her issues are with the hunter. Faith's issue is that Kadin seemed too bad-ass in their last confrontation to strike her as the type to be pulling the whole 'injured and alone' act. She suggests that there are bad vibes around the hunter and she fears that this is some sort of trap.



Even if Kadin is on the up and up, if something is strong enough to have beaten the tar out of a Van Helsing, it strikes her as more than a little ridiculous for her to show up and only want one Slayer's, even one as good as Kennedy, help. She also doesn't like Kadin not telling them what she's so afraid of.


Scene 21: At the same time, Rowena has dropped in on Giles to ask for his opinion. They've retired to the library, where Ro believes she knows what is happening.

Kennedy interrupts, wishing to speak to Giles about what she should do. She opens up to him about Kadin's being there to recruit her to fight Drachen and why her specifically.

She is hoping Giles can tell her what to do, but he refuses, simply telling her she has to decide whether to travel to Bucharest or not. We also learn from Kennedy that Drachen wasn't Bucharest's Lord, the way I had thought, but that he'd been tracking Kadin down throughout Europe. He managed to catch up to her in Romania.


Scene 22: In Kennedy's apartment, Willow (reluctantly) and Faith have come to tell Mia about Kadin's arrival and the fact that she wants Kennedy's help. Mia is disturbed by this news and races off to put her foot down with Kennedy about the possibility of going off on some solo adventure with the hunter. Willow, belatedly, decides that ratting out Kenn was a bad idea, when Faith mentions that Mia looks like somebody who might beat Kadin out of town. She seems a bit too happy at the thought of this.


Scene 23: While Mia is on her way to confront Kennedy about this Kadin business, she's on the phone with the huntress.

As Kennedy is confirming to Kadin that she'll travel with her to confront this vampire, Mia arrives. They have an argument, wherein Kennedy is quick to accuse Mia of not trusting her, while Mia first wonders why she'd be traveling around the world for a woman she barely knows and then in a heated moment admits she doesn't entirely trust Kenn.


Commentary: Ow. Ow, ow, ow. And they really seemed to have mended from the early tension in their romance, too... stupid Kadin. The only part I didn't like about this confrontation is actually the exact thing I didn't like about the Willow/Tara conflict in 'Tough Love': how quick one argument turns into another, and how quickly the one who should be explaining themselves (Kennedy here, Willow there) can turn it around on their partner and get away with it (Mia here, Tara there). I'll admit that Mia jumped in with both feet a bit fast, but it doesn't change the fact that Kenn has agreed to go on a trip with Kadin, alone, with no thought as to even discussing the situation with Mia. As far as I'm concerned it is Kenn who's the problem here (leaving aside Kadin showing up), but Mia isn't doing herself any favors by being so distrustful and quick to say so. I could also do without the cliche (and I'll be quick to point out that I've fallen victim to it too in my own stories) of the single-tear-of-heartbreak.


Scene 24: But Kennedy's fiery temper isn't just for Mia... oh no... when she sees Faith in the hallway, it is on. Kenn lifts Faith (caught off guard) up a wall by her neck and shouts at her for butting in. She next turns on Willow when she intercedes between the two Slayers (and throws out a dig at Rowena, who doesn't have anything to do with anything).

She storms out.


Scene 25: Kennedy meets Kadin at the airport with her bag, determined to see this through, despite the confrontation with Mia. Worse, it is quickly made obvious that Kenn feels very attracted to Kadin and vice-versa (stupid Kadin). Neither realize that they're being watched as they head toward the airline gate.


Scene 26: Later, in the coven room, Jeff has his fortune read by a practicing Skye using Tarot cards under the watchful eyes of Dawn and Andrew....


Commentary: While I like the bonding of this group of friends, and while I like Dawn immensely in Watchers and like when she's shown doing Coven-y stuff... this scene feels to me like it's coming at a weird point. Because it leads directly into The Presidium scene of The Lover watching this, I'm assuming it will be relevent to their storyline, but this is an odd place to insert this plot. We're well into Act Three now, so the plots for this episode should already be established. They have been A- Kadin/Kenn and B- The demon store owners/Bonnie. This sudden insertion into the narrative of a C-plot, even one involving the season arc, felt really sudden and 'crammed in' here. I would have rather this had been saved, but it may not have felt so strange, if we'd had an earlier short scene of The Lover following Kadin's visit, or even better, spying on Bonnie's activities prior to shifting her focus onto Jeff, again (The Lover is aware of Jeff because of The Engineer's making use of him in S1 to power his dimensional portal machine in a test run).

In fact, a lot of The Presidium would have worked better in episodes in which they weren't the focus by them showing more concern over Bonnie's involvement with Willow through the Council since The Lover is primarily fascinated with Will. Jeff seemed to have been a temporary tool and there has been no indication that The Lover gave him a thought, so her suddenly becoming interested in him again here - in a story that isn't about The Presidium - is an odd turn of events with odd timing.



Scene 27: In the airplane to Romania, Kennedy is awed by Kadin's advanced vocabulary skills while doing a crossword puzzle.


Scene 28: Back in the coven room, Jeff's fortune is indicating his inner turmoil over Dawn and her relationship with Skye instead of himself. The Lover and The Dreamer discuss him, commenting on the danger of passions and instincts.



Jeff is left alone (I don't know why everyone left - it feels like there is a short scene missing of Jeff asking to be alone, or something) with his reading spread out, except for the last card which would indicate what is before him. Jeff starts breathing heavily, and having left fingernail marks in the palms of his hands over the embarrassing and frustrating direction his reading took (I guess). Unnoticed, his eyes very briefly flash with dark power before returning to normal. Taking some breaths, he turns up the last card and sees 'The Devil'.


Commentary: Okay, I'll look this one up, since it seems to be of great import to Jeff: Bondage to some inner impulse - an embodiment of our addictions - the chains which we freely wear, perhaps because we believe we cannot simply remove them ourselves. Like all Tarot cards, the cards surrounding it are extremely important to fully understanding the divination/advice/fortune it is trying to reveal. In Jeff's case, it seems to be a warning that he is chaining himself with his jealousy and lust for Dawn which can lead to his taking risky actions, or using trickery or some other underhanded means (his magic would be a good bet) to get what he wants. He is in danger of his romantic interest in Dawn enslaving him or causing him to lose control of himself and to pursue self-destructive means to get her.


Scene 29: Aboard the flight to Romania, Kennedy and Kadin engage in some discussion about death and how the two of them deal with facing it. It leads to Kennedy joking with Kadin about being jealous of her being both a Slayer and the Kresnik good naturedly. And this leads to some less-than-good-natured, and extremely heavy-handed flirting by Kadin at her. Before Kenn has to deal with this attraction between them, the stewardess announces their arrival....


Commentary: I'm sure I don't have to tell you what I think of that. However, I'll give points to the writers for it being well written and making Kadin likeable enough.


Scene 30: Back in America, Mia has been up all night waiting for Kennedy to change her mind about running off on Kadin's errand (my brain here got stuck on the word, 'error'....), when Rowena finds her in the darkened library. She holds Mi while she cries on her shoulder over the fact that Kenn obviously didn't change her mind.


Scene 31: In Bucharest, Kadin and Kennedy exchange smiles as they go to get themselves settled and review the information about their foe (which you'd think they'd have done on the long flight over).




Scene 32: Back at the Council, Ro interrupts Willow's class in a pique of anger over Mia's heartache, but Willow - after dismissing the Watchers in Training - warn her against getting into the middle of it.


Commentary: This little scene has both good and bad to it. On the plus side, I like seeing Willow training the Watchers-in-Training, that we so rarely actually see. I love the mention of the accumulated database of the last eight years, encompassing the DB that Willow started back in BTVS. I also like the Willow/Rowena interaction here.

What I don't like though, is Ro's anger ... it plays wrong here. One) She barely knows Mia, so while I believe she'd be miffed about Kennedy's hurting her, I don't see her interrupting Willow's class in order to slam doors over it. This would be something she'd discuss later that night over dinner, not something she'd make a special trip to Willow's classroom over. Two) If she did have a head of steam though, then I would see her venting about Kenn's running off period -- not about Mia, specifically, but the fact that Kenn has gone off on a mission with somebody the Council doesn't have any indepth knowledge of, or any reason to trust implicitly. Mia's breakdown would have acted as a catalyst to discuss Kenn's abrupt decision regarding Kadin. And, this would allow Rowena to bring up that Kennedy has a habit of making unwise, emotional choices without thinking through the consequences (like getting involved with the vampire, Valerie, after Willow broke up with her). But, again, I don't see Rowena interrupting Willow's class by glaring from the hallway to have this discussion. Three) I would see Rowena marching down here however, if that was the way they wanted the scene to go, in these circumstances if she were railing at Willow over her and Faith's telling Mia about Kennedy's plans and thereby stirring up trouble, rather than giving Kenn the chance to sit down and discuss it with Mia on her own..., in fact, I thought that was why Ro had stormed to her classroom. That would have made sense to me. The way this scene plays out just doesn't feel like something that Rowena Allister, as we've gotten to know her, would do on behalf of someone else's love life.

So, while I don't dislike the scene or these two characters' interactions, I think it needed to be re-worked to be both more relevant and more in character to the Ro that I've come to know.


Scene 33: In Romania, Kennedy and Kadin get their rooms. The desk clerk flirts with Kadin, but in the elevator she reports to Kennedy that she's not really into one night stands.


Scene 34: Back at the Council, Bonnie meets with Brell and Robin. She reports on the pattern to the shops that had been hit by the protection racket and gives him a list of likely targets for that night. Robin calls up Giles to put together some Slayer teams for observation and to be visible if it looks like a shop is going to be damaged, or shop owners attacked.


Scene 35: Back with Kadin and Kennedy, Kadin goes in for a kiss, but Kennedy stops her. She tells her that she has a girlfriend back in Cleveland, which Kadin hadn't realized (it would have been funny if she immediately started making half-hearted, insincere comments about how great a girl she seemed, mistakenly believing it was Faith - but no, they don't go there). However, when Kadin starts talking about how difficult it is for her to have a relationship (duh - you're traveling non-stop around the world), Kennedy opens up about her own troubles.

This leads to Kennedy forgetting about her troubled relationship back home and leaning in to make out with Kadin (and I'm sure you need no commentary to know what I think about that).




Scene 36: At that very moment, across the Atlantic (and then across some land), Mia is in the rec room feeling the lonely blues. Faith inadvertently puts her foot in her mouth by making some comments that could be misconstrued as a double entendre about Kennedy's love of sex, and being alone in a hotel room with Kadin. She blurts out an apology, but Mia only sighs and tells her that she just isn't sure that Kennedy isn't 'following her heart' right then, even as Faith insists that Kennedy would never cheat on her.


Scene 37: A lot Faith knows, huh?

Kennedy and Kadin's hot kissing continues (stupid Kadin, stupid Kennedy). It is interrupted only because Kennedy grabs Kadin's, until now hidden, wound in her side. Kadin tries to deny that anything is wrong, but she's so, so unconvincing. Kenn tells her to show her side, or Kenn is gonna have to make her show it.

Kadin does so, but doesn't want to talk about it, being embarrassed and angry at herself for being so injured in the first place. She gets off the bed, only to have her heavy boot make a smashing glass sound. When she looks down, she's accidentally stepped on the photo of Kenn and Mia that Kennedy packed in her bag, but had fallen out onto the floor.

The sight of Mia's smiling face staring at them causes Kadin to decide she should leave Kenn's room. Kennedy feels guilt and agrees it would be best.


Scene 38: Back at the Council, Mia has decided to head to Bucharest to "help Kennedy", though Faith points out the BS of that excuse. She convinces her not to do that, as it would only convince Kenn that she doesn't trust her. As we know, though, Mia already gave Kennedy that impression earlier when she said so.



Faith assures her that Kennedy loves her, but Mia points out that she still went off to another country with a woman who obviously has the hots for her. She basically repeats Faith's own suspicions back to her, though in relation to wanting to win Kennedy, instead of Faith's worry that it was a deadly trap being set for Kenn.


Scene 39: In Bucharest, Drachen is threatening and eats a woman.


Scene 40: Back at the hotel, Kennedy and Kadin discuss that night's operation against Drachen. Well, eventually. First, they have a discussion about The Kiss and how it can never, ever happen again because of Mia. Then they discuss Kadin's history, how she got so hurt, Drachen's power and Kadin's father. Finally, she decides to use herself as bait in order to draw out the big bad so Kennedy can do her thing.


Commentary: I gave you the quickie rundown on this scene, but it's a very well written one. Kadin really makes you feel for her here and Kennedy and her are good together, despite my own dislike of Mia's being betrayed. I also like Kadin's reference to wanting vengeance earlier in the year in Blue Moon and Bad Blood.


Scene 41: Kadin meets Kennedy in the lobby, where the Slayer has gone for tight leather on the theory that nothing is harder to grab. Kadin wonders how she'll be able to fight in it, but Kenn tells her that Faith taught her that. As they leave, laughing, the desk clerk who found Kadin so attractive, picks up a phone and calls someone to inform on her.


Scene 42: The plan was to keep Kadin tucked into a nearby cave once Drachen showed up, so that the Kresnik could take care of things. Obviously, Drachen isn't stupid... though I'm wondering if the Slayer and Hunter are.

He naturally shows up with a dozen minions, short circuiting Kadin's master plan (*rolls eyes*). As Kennedy starts her confrontation with Drachen, Kadin is left to keep the minions off of her back, even though she's still quite injured. It doesn't look good for either of them.



Commentary: Again, though, despite my snark, it is a well written scene with some nice dark humor between Kennedy and Kadin. Although, I do question some of Kadin's moves, when she's dealing with such a serious injury in her side (For instance, "Kadin flew into the line of vampires, knocking three from their feet. She quickly rolled and leaped back to her feet.")

So, not only can she 'fly into', which makes me think body-slam, but she can also go into a role with a huge hole in her side? I doubt it.


Kennedy holds her own against Drachen, but when he is also immune to stakes, she groans - as she just went through this with the Kudlak in Avatar. Kadin is less fortunate, as she finds herself repeatedly picked up and slammed into trees. The fights are brutal, and brutally descriptive, but Kennedy is able to get her hands on one of Kadin's silver-embedded stakes, and this proves to be Drachen's weakness.

In the meantime, Kadin is barely able to stay conscious while Kennedy finishes off the minions.


Commentary: Again, I'm not giving the blow by blow, but this fight sequence is well written and descriptive.


Scene 43: The following morning, Kennedy leaves Bucharest alone. Her flight is watched by a sad and still lonely Kadin.


Scene 44: When Kennedy returns home, she finds a grateful and relieved Mia in her arms. She nearly tells Mia about her indiscretion, but instead just stumbles through telling her that she missed her.


Commentary: Somehow, I don't think this dog will be left to lie. Oh, and 'stupid Kadin, stupid Kennedy'.



The Good: Becca remains a darling, especially in her interactions with Giles.

Bonnie remains wonderfully acerbic and is easy to like to hate, if that makes sense (If you both loved & hated Lilah Morgan on Angel, you'll know what I mean).

Kadin is really well handled here in her fear, loneliness and toughness. Her dialog is really good for the most part and her interactions with the Council - especially facing off with Faith and admitting to Kennedy how scared she is makes me want to like her - despite her interfering with my Kenn/Mia shipping (stupid Kadin). In fact, I'm going to put the entirety of the dialog between Kennedy and Kadin into the good.

The fighting between Kadin and the minions and between Kennedy and Drachen are well written and descriptive, though I think I prefer the action of Kadin's fight instead.


The Bad: There is a muddled opinion from the writers about whether the authorities are aware of the demonic presence. Bonnie and Willow state contradictory information about whether the demons could go to the police with complaints about being extorted or vandalized, but both should have the same information about whether this was a possibility or not. There's also a problem with the amount of time that Brell, Reteesk and the video store owner are spending in full public view without being discovered and spread all over the news. It's... problematic storywise.

I have enough of a problem with Rowena's motivations and actions in scene 32 to place it in the bad... it just feels out of character for her to interrupt a class, so that she can complain about Kennedy making Mia cry over their relationship.

I also think that I have to put Kadin and Kennedy's not anticipating the master vampire bringing minions with him as a bad choice, story-wise. It's too obvious for them to be taken by surprise or to stand in an open field where they could be overwhelmed. The vampire isn't a newbie... he's 400-years old, a fact that Kadin knows and shared. Both a Van Helsing and a Slayer should have planned on heavy resistance, or the vampire wouldn't have survived so long. Their plan to 'draw Drachen out' without anticipating his minions just doesn't make character-sense.


Other Thoughts: I don't have anything against Jeff's "is his jealousy over Dawn going to drive him to the darkside" character arc, but Act 3 feels like a weird place to suddenly shove it. As well, The Lover's renewed interest in Jeff seems haphazard considering she's ignored him all season. A better choice would have been Bonnie as the one she spied on, or there needed to be a set-up scene explaining why The Lover would suddenly want to watch Jeff at this point.

Andrew is also being poorly used, either ignored completely or as odious comic relief. This needs to change.

The demonic shop owner's trouble isn't resolved here, and frankly, it isn't that interesting to drive an arc. Instead of The Lover, it seems like this little plot should have been wrapped up here. Jeff's story/The Lover's renewed interest could have been introduced in the next story and allowed to breathe a bit - it seems like it could sustain more than one episode. That, or Jeff's story could have taken up the space spent on the demonic shop owners in order to give it enough room to explain to us why The Lover would suddenly care about Jeff's issues.


The Score: I like this story and the re-introduction of Kadin as a more vulnerable, and human person. The dialog is excellent throughout whenever we cut to Kenn/Kadin. I also love Becca's lines and her interaction with Giles. There are a few story problems, mentioned, but overall I really found myself enjoying this one. And, I really liked the battle scene narrations.


3.75 out of 5



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