Sunday, August 29, 2010

Re-Run Celebrity Spotting and Victim-Blaming on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Today, while watching an old episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Logo - the "Go Fish" episode in which the swim team gets attacked by a sea monster - I spotted not one but two familiar faces! Think of this as a "Where Were They Then?" 1998 edition.

Two members of the swim team included Wentworth Miller (Michael Scofield on Prison Break) and Shane West (Dr. Ray Barnett on ER, although I will always know him as the dude who dated Mandy Moore in A Walk to Remember, don't judge me). Miller gets to act out an "awesome" transformation scene reminiscent of something from Alien or Species. Clearly he's improved his acting skills since the '90s.







(There was also a quick cameo by Conchata Ferrell as the school nurse.)

Interestingly enough, this episode had a really disturbing moment... Buffy is in the car with another douchey member of the swim team, Cameron (Jeremy Garrett), who is boring her with swimming stories and then suddenly he asks her if she's wearing a bra. Then he locks the car door and I assume intends to rape or assault her (he said something like "oh you like it rough?") Of course, she's not just a teenage girl, she's the slayer. So she defends herself, in the process spraining his wrist and giving him a bloody nose.

Then the principal catches them and is mad at her for injuring a member of the swim team before the very important state championships. (He earlier "suggested" that Willow change the grade of another swim team member so he would still qualify for the team.)

BUFFY: I was not the attacker Principal Snyder, I was the attacked.

PRINCIPAL SNYDER: That's not how it looked from where I'm standing.

CAMERON: I don't know what happened. First she leads me on and then she goes 'schizo' on me.

BUFFY: Lead you on? When did I lead you on?

CAMERON: Come on. ...I mean, look at the way she dresses.
Then later the swim coach also implies that she brought this on herself by saying "Try to dress more appropriately from now on. This isn't a danceclub." 

Joss Whedon's shows are always typically more feminist than other average shows created by men, so there are often a lot of moments in  BTVS in which Buffy gets treated shitty because she's female and then turns the tables on the guy doing it. It's just interesting though because I specifically remember almost everything about this episode (including what/who the sea monsters really are) except for that scene. 

Of course, Whedon makes sure to remind viewers that Buffy can take on any monster (or douchebag). Buffy tries to warn Miller's character Gage that he might be in danger of getting killed by a sea monster but he's annoyed by her "shadowing" him... until he gets attacked by evil-again-for-now Angel. Buffy saves him and then the big tough star athlete asks her to walk him home to protect him. Yep. That's right.

I won't spoil the ending for those of you who haven't seen it, but want to... but basically Buffy saves the day. As usual.

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