Buffy The Vampire Slayer faces crazed unnatural fear in Sunnydale in a tale called Gingerbread. All a part of my SPOILER filled My Year of Buffy!
What Buffy Did!
Buffy is on patrol when Joyce shows up, wanting to job shadow her daughter. Buffy gets the Vampire while Joyce discovers two dead young children. Buffy asks Giles for help finding the killers, since the death affects everyone in town, especially Joyce. The Scoobies and Amy the witch are having a strained lunch when Buffy shows up, then Joyce, who goes on about the murders and announces a vigil at City Hall. At the vigil Willow’s mother shows up and calls Buffy Bunny. Mayor Wilkins gives a speech, followed by Joyce, who tells the crowd they must route out the evil around them, witches and demons and Slayers. Willow, Amy, and Michael perform a spell with the same symbol found on the kids. At school a bully picks on Michael because he dresses weird and might be a witch. Buffy sees the symbol on Willow’s notebook, and is told it is for a protection spell for Buffy’s birthday. The lockers are searched by the police, looking for occult material, with Willow and Amy taken to Snyder’s office. Giles occult books are seized as well. Buffy finds out from Snyder that the civic group behind this witch hunt is called MOO, Mothers Opposed to the Occult, and is led by Joyce. Willow tries to talk to her mother, who psycho-analyzes everything she says. Willow reveals she is a witch and that she is dating Oz, a musician. Her mother continues being detached until finally grounding Willow. Buffy argues with Joyce, who is in full organizational mode with MOO and tells Buffy how useless Slaying is in stopping evil. After Buffy storms out, Joyce sees the ghosts of the kids, urging her on. Buffy and Angel talk, and Buffy suddenly realizes no parents have come forward. The Scoobies investigate, with Willow’s internet help, and learn the kids have no names and seem to die every fifty years, dating back to 1649. Back in Germany, a Hans and Greta Strauss died and inspired Hansel and Gretel. They also whip towns into murderous frenzies. Amy is taken by an angry mob to City Hall, as is Willow by her mother. When Buffy confronts Joyce, she and Giles are knocked out. Amy, Willow and Buffy wake up tied to stakes and about to be burned alive by the townfolks. Xander and Oz head to City Hall to save them and eventually end up in the air ducts. Amy escapes by turning into a mouse. Cordelia wakes up Giles and the two head to City Hall and prep a spell. Giles and Cordelia show up in time to change the demon to its real form. Buffy manages to accidentally kill the demon and Xander and Oz plummet out of the air ducts. After, none of the parents recall what they did, while Buffy and Willow try a spell to restore Amy.
Buffy alone at night in the woods is not scary, kinda normal. Then Joyce shows up to share the experience. Joyce is stupid and useless and states the obvious really well. And she finds some kids bodies, marked up. Cops show up and it all feels so evil and ugly. Is Joyce finally realizing what Buffy does? Xander and Oz say hi and it feels so awkward. Buffy’s birthday is a coming! Amy the witch! The mention of Willow’s mother and how non involved she is with Willow is new and a plot point. Joyce is so helpful… not. And her refusal to work with Giles should be an obvious warning sign to Buffy. Willow’s mother! Did she just call Buffy Bunny? Father out of town. Joyce and Giles equals awkward. Okay, I now hate Willow’s mother more than Joyce. This Mayor is slick and full of crap. Is Joyce finally breaking the code of silence? But she is blaming Buffy and Willow, etc? For a second I thought she was gonna out Buffy. Bullies taking advantage of the situation to be bullies. And Buffy shows up. What a bunch of wussies. Looks like everyone is blaming the unknown, the other, for the horror. Cordelia is in full season one bitch mode. And knowingly spreading false info is just nasty. Buffy sees the symbol on Willow’s notebook. Cops search the lockers. Welcome to the paranoid police state. Amy is taken away! Michael might be next. Willow was using symbol with other witches to do protection spell for Buffy’s birthday? That’s so Willow. Is this like that Paradise Lost documentary? The library is being ransacked by cops taking all occult books! I hope Giles decks Snyder. Always wondered what would happen if someone found out what he had stored at school. Mothers Opposed to the Occult. Probably the scariest Buffy villain ever. Could Willow’s mother be any more over intellectual and aggravating. Willow can do a lot of magic that we have never seen her do. That look on Willow’s mother face when Wilow said she was dating a musician – disgust. Joyce is completely nuts here with the posters and the banning and saying Buffy is not making a difference. You know, revealing evil ghost kids are behind this took me completely by surprise. Joyce and MOO are so believable and human as villains, if no ghost kids showed up it would seem normal. Angel! Buffy and Angel are so good with the heart to hearts. Giles on a computer is priceless. I don’t think we have seen this since season one. Buffy clues in, who were these kids? Willow and Oz on early internet is so cute. The kids die every 50 years and whip towns onto panics. Willow’s mother has to die now, because she is just too stupid. Hansel and Gretel. Michael shows up beaten by his father! Willow is being taken by her mom! Frenzied paranoia! Holy crap, did not see Joyce with the chloroform! And Giles taken away! Time for a lynching of Amy, Willow and Buffy. Giles is saved by… Cordelia? Really? Amy calls forth her magic… and escapes as a mouse. Only Cordelia and Giles would mix a potion for a spell while driving. Buffy can’t break those ropes? Of course Giles can pick a lock. Hose those asses down Cordelia! A rather convenient neck impalement by Buffy. Xander and Oz are the best rescuers ever. Love how Sunnydale parents are so selective with what they remember. Willow seems remarkably calm about her mother going back to being uninvolved. Kinda happy really. And Amy is still a mouse!
Joyce proves yet again how useless she is, especially when trying to help Buffy, with “Buffy, he’s over here!” Buffy asks Giles an honest question about the killings with, “Someone with a soul did this?” And when Willow’s mother notices her daughters shorter hair, Willow replies with, “Just a sudden whim I had, in August.” Joyce rallies Sunnydale with an honest assessment of what is going on with, “Silence is this towns disease.” Buffy finally gives some crap to Xander over his affair with Willow, but in a very very mild toothless way with, “You are guilty. You got illicit smoochies, you gotta pay the price.” Xander feels the wrath of Oz and tells Buffy about it with, “He speaks volumes with his eyes.” Snyder is being Snyder when he taunts Giles now with “I love the smell of desperate librarian in the morning.” And Snyder loves telling Buffy the following, “That would be the founder. I believe you call her mom.” Willow’s mother is so clueless when she says, “You will not speak to Bunny Summers again.” Cordelia is helpful, in a backhanded way, when waking Giles, “Took you long enough to wake up. My hand hurts.” And Cordelia gives Giles some advice, somewhat, “I swear, one of these times, you are going to wake up in a coma.” And Xander and Oz tell Buffy and Willow what they are doing, after falling through the roof, “We’re here to save you.”
This one really leaps into the fray of blaming the other and leading people into frenzied mobs. Kind of reminded me of The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street by Rod Sterling. I do wonder if this is also the shows response to critics who wanted to ban it? One nitpick is that the Scoobies feel so insular so often. Like where is Faith? And why haven’t the witches helped out before with the weekly calamities?
…is currently reading Fables v. 19 Snow White by Bill Willingham and Cinderella Fables are Forever by Chris Roberson.