The Worst Episode of Buffy: tVS (Not What You'd Expect)

I warn you, this topic is VERY close to my heart, so I will get emotional at times, possibly saying various people in the production of the episode should be killed, but nevertheless, my points are valid.

It is commonly accepted that the worst episode of Buffy; the Vampire Slayer are written by Tracey Forbes ("Beer Bad", "Something Blue" and "Where the Wild Things Are"), but in truth, those are still watchable. The worst episode, however, is written by Jane Espenson, a seasoned Buffy/Angel writer and one of their best. What should spring to mind as the worst Espenson penned episode would be "Doublemeat Palace", and as truly awful as that was, he still isn't as bad as the episode in question. No, this episode manages to be insulting, poorly written, and possibly the most insensitive thing ever broadcast on television.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3; Episode 18:

"Earshot"


For the first 25 minutes or so, "Earshot" is a fantastic episode. It's funny, it has great character exposition, a really adorable Buffy/Angel moment, and some superb Cordelia lines. So what makes it so abhorrent?

BTVS does teen-suicide, and it's all the teen's fault. Also, there's jokes about it.

In Earshot we are properly introduced to Jonathan, eventual one third of the poorly titled Trio. Now in this episode, Buffy accidentally overhears (through her telepathic powers) that someone in the school is intending to bring a gun and make people remember them or something equally clichéd. Now, after a series of filler (but still humourous) interviews, Buffy eventually finds the culprit, Jonathan, on the school's clocktower.

"Clocktower, like Walt Whitman. Haha, I made that reference, I'm clever" - Jane Espenson during writing.

So Buffy finds the rifle-wielding Jonathan and attempts to calm him down by talking about how hard her life is. Beautiful, super powered Buffy with great friends, the most awesome boyfriend imaginable, and, oh yeah, SUPER POWERS! Next, Buffy talks about how hard it is for everyone in that school, despite 90% of Buffy episodes being about the various students clearly exhibiting sociopathic behaviour. Now if you intend to argue that Buffy's life is terrible because she's the Slayer, you're wrong. The hardest thing in life is to find purpose for one's self. Buffy has never had to worry about that. She was given purpose (an awesome purpose, that truly mattered), simply because she was born with two X chromosomes and won the super power lottery. As for someone like Jonathan, who has no friends, family or purpose, existence was perpetual agony. Existentialism aside, the audience is forced to endure this after-school special which can only be described as as an intellectual massacre.

Speaking as someone who has tried to kill themselves, at school, having someone who has NEVER acknowledged you talk down to you about how difficult their awesome life is, and how much it must suck to be the people with friends, I was hoping Jonathan would shoot Buffy in the face. He didn't of course, because this episode was written with a crayon.

After Buffy makes another comment about how badass she is, Jonathan gives up the gun, and then Buffy makes a crack about him wanting to shoot everyone. Yup, now's a really great time to make jokes, Espenson, you ignorant twit. Then Jonathan says how he'd never hurt anyone and actually just wanted to kill himself. Aww, he's not a bad guy. He's a good guy, who the school system has once again destroyed because it's the worst thing in the Universe.


Then he's suspended. WHAT?

Let me get this straight, Jonathan wants to kill himself because school sucks. He decides not to, because...well, we don't really know why. I guess hearing an attractive person speak condescendingly at you is reason to live. Anyways, all is well at Sunnydale High.

So in the end, this doesn't help people with depression or suicidal thoughts, it essentially urinates in their face and says "I don't want to die, so I'm better than you".


To everyone involved in the production of this episode; I give you the single-fingered salute.
45 Comments
45 Comments
Edited by Picard
@FadeToBlackBolt:
 Now if you intend to argue that Buffy's life is terrible because she's the Slayer, you're wrong. The hardest thing in life is to find purpose for one's self. Buffy has never had to worry about that. She was given purpose (an awesome purpose, that truly mattered), simply because she was born with two X chromosomes and won the super power lottery. As for someone like Jonathan, who has no friends, family or purpose, existence was perpetual agony. Existentialism aside, the audience is forced to endure this after-school special which can only be described as as an intellectual massacre.

Wow, this review is just... wrong ! Before I even start, I must make one thing perfectly clear: I was like Jonathan in my High School years. Other character than come to mind is Reginald Barclay form "Star Trek: TNG" - shy, introvertic who prefer to live in his own imagination than live in real word. And you know, what bother me back then? It was no lack of purpose, o, no Sir! I can pretty much make my own purpose or have pointless life, this not bother me even today. What was bothering me back then was that people was pretty much an assholes. As a geek/nerd I was not very popular and my only friend back then wasn't  popular either - he was overweight I was a geek, not very popular crowd, as you probably suspect. My life sucked beck then, because people were mean to me. But whats more important , after I finished the school I meet some of these so called assholes. What surprised me was that some of those people are quite nice, some of them are OK and even friendly. So, what make them behave the way they did back in the days? Most of them wasn't mean spirited, but they have their own problems back then - school, group pressure, parents and and so on... My point is: everybody have some issues, and making a quick judgment and hate people you don't really know, or even worse try to kill yourself over some petty problems... never a good idea. And thats what this episode was about, thats why it is about telepathy - about searching for understanding, about  that other peoples have problems too, it's about understanding some else's perspective.  Jonathan wasn't the only poor soul in Sunnydale high. Looking beyond your own pain, sometimes really help.
And now, to Buffy Summers part of the review. I already know that you hate her - for no good reason I may add - so I don't gonna waste much time here. You don't understand her. If you where trapped in your life,  you would understand whats her deal is. Thing you talking about: point of life, is highly overrated. You know what's more important? Free will, ability to make you own choices, ability to choose  who you want to be. Buffy don't have this luxury - someone decided for her, someone decided that she gonna be The Slayer. But being The Slayer isn't cool. Like Buffy said once: "It's like winning the lottery... only, it sucks." ;) Being The Slayer mean short and brutal life, full of violence and difficult decisions, sometimes it means carrying the weight of the word on the shoulders, sometimes it means self sacrifice for good of many. Sometimes it means struggling for you own humanity, when you feel that violent life and demon part of yourself is changing you.  I don't envy her, at all, in fact I rather feel sorry for her. Yes she have super powers, but can she fly or teleport, is she immortal or does she have green ring, who can make her wishes come true?No, she is only a little stronger that humans etc... and she knows kung-fu. Yes, now I see  how beneficial this is for her, especially that thanks to this powers she will never have a normal life, and she will probably die young. Yes, I see how cool it is to be the Slayer. Yes, she have friends, and thats why she keeps fighting - for people like her Scoobies and others - they are her anchor to reallity, her reason for life. So, lady keep you powers, kung-fu fightind and friends, I prefer to have normal life and ability to choose my own fate. 
Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@Picard: Ugh, I don't hate Buffy. I hate what the writers did to Buffy post-Season 3. Particularly in Season 7. And I have legitimate reasons. Don't question them.

I could go on and on about how you don't have a unique thought in your head, but I can't be bothered. It's no surprise that you like this episode. I'll leave it at that.
Posted by Picard
@FadeToBlackBolt:
Wow, you  try to insult me or you just try to be funny? Either way don't star a discussion when you are not ready to take a little critique and you don't want to discuss
Posted by Hawkeye446

@Picard: FTBB never mentioned he disliked Buffy. It was quite clear that he was simply angry at the writers.


@FadeToBlackBolt

Well.. I enjoyed that post! I havn't seen much of the show, what I have seen of it I have enjoyed. Really the only episodes I remember is one with some sort of Mummy-Succubus, and another where this cult is sacrificing girls to a monster in this hole under a masion. Anyway, great blog, witty, entertaining and interesting..

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@Hawkeye446: Thanks :)  And you're exactly right, I don't not like Buffy, I hate that episode, and the writers for how insensitively they handled the subject matter. Thanks again =]

It's a great show, (though the final episode sucks, unfortunately). Well worth your time though. But never become blinded to its faults. It is a great show, but that doesn't stop it from having a lot of problems (as everything does).
Posted by Hawkeye446
@FadeToBlackBolt
No problem. Eventually I hope I can get around to watching it.. Is angel better? I have seen a little more or that, but really I rely on channel 10: late night viewing for my Buff/Angel fix.
Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@Hawkeye446: That's when I first started watching them too haha. The first episode of Buffy that I watched was I Robot, You Jane (not one of the series best efforts).

I much prefer Angel, I actually made a blog about why I consider it to be the best (non-anime) show ever made. It's Buffy, but grown up a lot more, and everything isn't so cut and dry. They don't always save the world, and everything is much more grey.
Posted by Baddamdog

Whaaaaat!? Earshot is widely considered as one of the best episodes out of the entire show! If I had to pick, it be like The Pack

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@Baddamdog: I HATE the Pack so damn much. Easily my pick for second worst episode, then Doublemeat Palace, Beer Bad and Where the Wild Things Are.

But the Pack is just inoffensive crap, it doesn't try to shove a 12 year old's understanding of a incredibly complex situation down your throat in an after-school special like Earshot does.
Posted by Kenjav
@FadeToBlackBolt
Well, I have to say, really liked this episode. And the message is quite alright: hey man, guess what, everyone feels like that.
It offers no solution, right, but why should she? She is just as confused as he is, but chooses to do the best she can; much better than punishing others just because you can't handle your life, no?

You say that  "The hardest thing in life is to find purpose for one's self". But that is just an opinion. I would say, finding purpose is important, and yes, requires effort, but I wouldn't call it 'hard', as in that it implies suffering (just another opinion). On the other hand, Buffy has extraordinary abilities, yes, but they were not of her choosing. Most of the times they are a burden: it puts her friends and family at risk, she gains nothing form them (money, status, etc.) It is a duty, more than a prize. Plus, let's note that her love life is really messed up throughout the series; again, thanks to her status as The Slayer. 

Buffy has it tough, too. If you feel that she talks down this guy, maybe that's because she is not Superman or Captain America; she can't speak with great wisdom and eloquence, that's not her character: she is just a kid. Just like the guy with the gun in front of her.
Posted by Hawkeye446

@FadeToBlackBolt
Yeah I know, I had a habit of being bored at that time, and what do you know Buffy/Angel. I agree Angel, was/is much more appropriate to the theme. Rather than having this schoolgirl, it had a vampire (when they were cool) and showed him dealing with the demons of his past. I LOVE the flashbacks when they show him from the 1800's etc. Wonderful.

 

Why do these episodes have names like "Doublemeat Palace?"

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@Kenjav said:
@FadeToBlackBolt
Well, I have to say, really liked this episode. And the message is quite alright: hey man, guess what, everyone feels like that. It offers no solution, right, but why should she? She is just as confused as he is, but chooses to do the best she can; much better than punishing others just because you can't handle your life, no?You say that  "The hardest thing in life is to find purpose for one's self". But that is just an opinion. I would say, finding purpose is important, and yes, requires effort, but I wouldn't call it 'hard', as in that it implies suffering (just another opinion). On the other hand, Buffy has extraordinary abilities, yes, but they were not of her choosing. Most of the times they are a burden: it puts her friends and family at risk, she gains nothing form them (money, status, etc.) It is a duty, more than a prize. Plus, let's note that her love life is really messed up throughout the series; again, thanks to her status as The Slayer.  Buffy has it tough, too. If you feel that she talks down this guy, maybe that's because she is not Superman or Captain America; she can't speak with great wisdom and eloquence, that's not her character: she is just a kid. Just like the guy with the gun in front of her.
VERY well said. The bold in particular is a very nice way of looking at it, and I never thought about it like that. Thank you for that, you were respectful, you illustrated your point very well, and I'm glad you took the time to read my post, even if you didn't agree.

The thing is, you're totally right about Buffy just being a kid, and had that been all it was, I probably wouldn't have had a problem with it. As I said earlier, I adore 90% of this episode. But it was not handled well. You've just gone from a kid having a suicidal breakdown, to a joke about the cafeteria worker. Now funny as that was, it wasn't the time to do it.
You could argue that it's Black Comedy, and again, that's fine, but then you don't have a message hard-handedly delivered 2 minutes earlier. They wanted their cake and to eat it too, they tried to do a PSA, but wound up mocking the people who suffer like that.

I watched this episode again recently with a friend of mine, and I just became extremely angry, and it was a result of that penultimate scene. So yes, it probably is just my opinion, and I may be the only one out there with that opinion, but I truly believe this is the worst episode, because it views an irrational and insane (but justified) act from a rational perspective; which you can't do. It demeans the point Jonathan was trying to make.

@Hawkeye446 said:

@FadeToBlackBolt
Yeah I know, I had a habit of being bored at that time, and what do you know Buffy/Angel. I agree Angel, was/is much more appropriate to the theme. Rather than having this schoolgirl, it had a vampire (when they were cool) and showed him dealing with the demons of his past. I LOVE the flashbacks when they show him from the 1800's etc. Wonderful.

 

Why do these episodes have names like "Doublemeat Palace?"


The flashbacks were awesome, I love when Angelus reappears in the 4th season too. An immortal Hannibal Lecter; awesome.

They have names like that because the world is a terrible place lol.

Doublemeat Palace was the name of a restaurant that Buffy worked at; the whole thing was a satire of the fast-food industry; but it didn't work, and was ultimately excrutiating to watch. 
Posted by Hawkeye446
@FadeToBlackBolt said:
They have names like that because the world is a terrible place lol. Doublemeat Palace was the name of a restaurant that Buffy worked at; the whole thing was a satire of the fast-food industry; but it didn't work, and was ultimately excrutiating to watch. 

Ahah, of course its a restaurant.
Posted by Kairan1979

The worst episode in Season 7 is Empty Places. Everybody jumping on "let's get rid of Buffy" bandwagon in the middle of Apocalypse, her own sister kicking her out of the house - and everything miraculously forgotten in later episodes. If I was Buffy, I'll leave Sunnydale as soon as The First is stopped and never speak to Scooby Gang again.

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@Kairan1979 said:
The worst episode in Season 7 is Empty Places. Everybody jumping on "let's get rid of Buffy" bandwagon in the middle of Apocalypse, her own sister kicking her out of the house - and everything miraculously forgotten in later episodes. If I was Buffy, I'll leave Sunnydale as soon as The First is stopped and never speak to Scooby Gang again.
In fairness to them, she did get most of them almost killed (and some of them actually killed) because of poor planning and hubris on her part. Whilst I think kicking her out of the house was overly extreme, being ticked off at her and asking her to relinquish leadership was not.
Posted by Kairan1979
@FadeToBlackBolt:
1. You can't have plans for everything. And you can't win every battle.
2. How about the fact that the threat of the The First was Scoobies' fault (because they resurrected Buffy)?
3. They didn't like the idea of going back to vineyard, but Buffy trusted her instincts and was right - The weapon against First was there.
4. Giving leadership to Faith was terrible decision. She isn't half as experienced as Buffy in dealing with the end of the world. And, let's face it - they didn't make this decision because Faith was better. Let's not even mention the decision of taking the Potentials to Bronze, but the attack on First's armory was a disaster - the new leader led them right into trap (while the Golden Slayer defeated Kaleb and retrieved the Scythe).
Edited by FadeToBlackBolt
@Kairan1979 said:

@FadeToBlackBolt: 1. You can't have plans for everything. And you can't win every battle. 2. How about the fact that the threat of the The First was Scoobies' fault (because they resurrected Buffy)?3. They didn't like the idea of going back to vineyard, but Buffy trusted her instincts and was right - The weapon against First was there.4. Giving leadership to Faith was terrible decision. She isn't half as experienced as Buffy in dealing with the end of the world. And, let's face it - they didn't make this decision because Faith was better. Let's not even mention the decision of taking the Potentials to Bronze, but the attack on First's armory was a disaster - the new leader led them right into trap (while the Golden Slayer defeated Kaleb and retrieved the Scythe).

  1. Buffy's plan consisted of "let's go smash stuff, I have superpowers, so I'll be fine, everyone follow me". Not to bag Buffy, but her plan lacked any forethought. Her friends trusted her to not walk them into certain death, and she failed. She underestimated the threat, or overestimated herself, depending on your view, and her friends suffered.
  2. Yes, that was stupid, even if it was PIS (the writers wanted Buffy to come back).
  3. The weapon against the First was there, as was an invincible (until Whedon realised he wrote himself into a corner) villain.
  4. Yes, it was a terrible idea. They should have rang up someone from Angel Investigations to organise them, since no one in their group (aside from Giles) was capable of leading. 
  5. Buffy beat Caleb because of PIS and Angel's help. Caleb took a massive power decrease (as every villain did in Chosen) because the writers failed to realise they'd overpowered their villains. A single Turok-Han was a threat to Buffy, but Viola was able to drop one with no effort in the finale. Not to mention the entire scenario could have been avoided had Buffy worked with Riley and just had him get the military to nuke Sunnydale. Then there wouldn't be 200 untrained random superpowered teenagers running around. But again, foresight; not Season 7's strong point.
Posted by .Mistress Redhead.

oops wrong account

@FadeToBlackBolt: Did you know that that episode was due to air the week after the Columbine murders? or somewhere really close to it, they actually pulled it from airing til a later date, or so I have heard.

Got no argument against what you have said, but I disagree with you wholeheartedly, I believe the episode was a fairly fantastical way to look at the tragedy of depression, I also think that later in the series when we see what a good guy Johnathon is but how he is easily lead, it makes better sense.

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@.Mistress Redhead.: That was trippy, I thought you just said the same thing as someone else at the same time O_o

That's interesting (re: Columbine), and my thoughts on that issue are so far left of the norm that I wont bother getting into it, but I do understand what you're saying. The episode was looking at the issue through a "fantasy-coloured" lens, and maybe it's because I believe the issue is so serious (and close to home), that I hate that it was diluted for public viewing.

That's what I often forget though, I look at it through my warped eyes, rather than the public's hopefully-more-optimistic-less-jaded eyes.
Posted by .Mistress Redhead.

@FadeToBlackBolt:

lol rpg account, but figured I would let you know it was me rather than some random XD

I agree with you that we need more shows that deal with the reality of depression, self harm, violent tendencies etc, but Buffy is not the forum. The fact they even TOUCHED on it was a huge thing TBH, even later in the series when they dealt with a major death of a loved one, it was kind of covered over with a fantasy induced "Witch hunt.." the show kind of skips around the outside, allowing us a glimpse into reality but then protecting us from dealing with it too strongly. Considering when that episode was out, it was actually a pretty big deal that the issue was even touched on, remember that was the time of just coming out of a generation of 90210 fed crap tv.

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@.Mistress Redhead.: That's true. Still, I think that if you're going to do an issue like that, don't do it half-***ed and insert humour for humours sake. When Angel ripped off the Holocaust (Season 1 Episode 9: Hero), the whole issue was handled with far more respect; granted it was simplified, but the episode was still without humour.
Posted by .Mistress Redhead.

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@.Mistress Redhead.: That's true. Still, I think that if you're going to do an issue like that, don't do it half-***ed and insert humour for humours sake. When Angel ripped off the Holocaust (Season 1 Episode 9: Hero), the whole issue was handled with far more respect; granted it was simplified, but the episode was still without humour.

By the time Angel came about I think the Buff crew had a better idea of how to handle that stuff

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@.Mistress Redhead.: It was only a season later though. I appreciate what you're saying, but the difference in time wasn't that large.
Posted by .Mistress Redhead.

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@.Mistress Redhead.: It was only a season later though. I appreciate what you're saying, but the difference in time wasn't that large.

That's a good point, maybe they figured it was easier to deal with? idk, its hard with the Whedon shows

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@.Mistress Redhead. said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@.Mistress Redhead.: It was only a season later though. I appreciate what you're saying, but the difference in time wasn't that large.

That's a good point, maybe they figured it was easier to deal with? idk, its hard with the Whedon shows

True, and different writers accounts for a lot.
Posted by .Mistress Redhead.

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@.Mistress Redhead. said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@.Mistress Redhead.: It was only a season later though. I appreciate what you're saying, but the difference in time wasn't that large.

That's a good point, maybe they figured it was easier to deal with? idk, its hard with the Whedon shows

True, and different writers accounts for a lot.

Very true, Firefly dealt with a lot of things I did not think they would and they never mushed over it

I'm making up words XD

Posted by joshmightbe
@FadeToBlackBolt: You can't tell someone not to question a critique thats the whole point of it
Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@joshmightbe: Who'd I say not to question a critique? If you mean Picard; the guy doesn't have an original idea in his head. If I wanted to read his answers, I'd just look up the standard politically correct response for it.
Posted by joshmightbe
@FadeToBlackBolt: when you said you had legitimate reasons not to like the later season so don't question them, its on the first page of this thread. When you get down to it you're stating an opinion not a fact and when you write down opinions in the form of a critique you're inviting others to question it 
Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@joshmightbe: Oh, I get you. Nah, that went back to another thread. By having a different view of the circumstances (aka one that involves thought) "I had no good reason". So yeh, I was annoyed.
Posted by Kenjav
@FadeToBlackBolt
 Thx  =) 

Well, it IS a very complex issue. And it would be unfair to ask a pop culture product for the answers; but as long as it don't shies away from the reality of our times, and makes us question and think about it in a non-preachy way, it is not something to throw away.
Edited by Picard
@Hawkeye446:
  "never mentioned he disliked Buffy. It was quite clear that he was simply angry at the writers"

Well, he did:
http://www.comicvine.com/buffy/29-20096/hatelove-buffy-summers/92-31049/#9

@Kairan1979


 "The worst episode in Season 7 is Empty Places. Everybody jumping on "let's get rid of Buffy" bandwagon in the middle of Apocalypse, her own sister kicking her out of the house - and everything miraculously forgotten in later episodes. If I was Buffy, I'll leave Sunnydale as soon as The First is stopped and never speak to Scooby Gang again."

Agree. This one of the resons why I don't like Dawn Summers - after what her sister did for her... ungrateful little brat :(

@FadeToBlackBolt


 "In fairness to them, she did get most of them almost killed (and some of them actually killed) because of poor planning and hubris on her part. Whilst I think kicking her out of the house was overly extreme, being ticked off at her and asking her to relinquish leadership was not"

Well, Buffy had some leadership experience, Faith had none. Often times, these people won because of Buffy plans and sacrifices she made, and now, because she screw up this one time, they want to replace her with murderer? Wow, good decision guys! Because, Faith was so much better leader...

 "Buffy's plan consisted of "let's go smash stuff, I have superpowers, so I'll be fine, everyone follow me". Not to bag Buffy, but her plan lacked any forethought. Her friends trusted her to not walk them into certain death, and she failed. She underestimated the threat, or overestimated herself, depending on your view, and her friends suffered. "

Her only mistake was, lack of proper intelligence. But even this... What she can do about it? She should go alone,  approach Caleb and say: "Sir, can you punch me in the face, as hard as you can, so I will know if you possess any supernatural powers?" ;)

" The weapon against the First was there, as was an invincible (until Whedon realised he wrote himself into a corner) villain"
 
This shouldn't bother you if you accept using of essence of a Slayer in season 4 finale, and Troll Hammer in season 5 finale. 

 Buffy beat Caleb because of PIS and Angel's help. Caleb took a massive power decrease (as every villain did in Chosen) because the writers failed to realise they'd overpowered their villains. A single Turok-Han was a threat to Buffy, but Viola was able to drop one with no effort in the finale. Not to mention the entire scenario could have been avoided had Buffy worked with Riley and just had him get the military to nuke Sunnydale

Slayer army vs. Turok-Han army=PIS. But Buffy vs. Caleb... why this is PIS? Clearly Scythe could hurt  Caleb, so why this is a PIS? Also Angel punched Caleb once, this wasn't much help. Riley... when him and Buffy last spoke? She could leave him a message - like she did when Spike's chip was malfunctioning - but even then... Single Slayer took dawn whole Initiative team in just 30 seconds... I don't know if they would be much help? Also, I have this question about Angel season 5 finale: why Angel don'tcall Slayer's army for help?
 
Posted by Hawkeye446
@Picard: He said "She's awesome in 1-3, good in 4-5 and an abomination in 8." This implies that her character changed over the seasons, and whose fault is that?? The Writers.
Posted by Picard
@Hawkeye446:
Well, he/she also wrot this:
 1. Misandrist
2. Superior b#%@h
3. Self-pitying
 1. Without her we wouldn't have the series, which means we wouldn't have all the good characters (Xander, Willow, Anya, Tara, CORDELIA, ANGEL, FRED, WESLEY) 
2. She makes boring characters likeable by contrast
3. I'm a Sarah Michelle Gellar fan.

So, I think he really dislike her , no matter what season we talking about. And I don't think that character development  is a bad thing. Also he/she compare BTVS Earshot to ATVS Heroes, claiming that this second episode is far better because it approche problem in more serious way. Fine, but comparing episode about youth depression too episode about racism is well...bad comparison. Two entire different problems, problems of differentt magnitude, bad, bad comparison.
Posted by Hawkeye446
@Picard: Why are you telling me. I read that post, but it is undeniable. "She's awesome in 1-3, good in 4-5 and an abomination in 8." That clearly says what need to be said. Considering that he said that the most RECENT seasons are bad, you would think that those comments would apply to the most recent Series'. It wasn't specified which season we are talking about. Do you understand? The Writers made her into those things... Everything that you have said hasn't actually denied my point, making yours moot.
Posted by Picard

just watched, Earshot. Still  think that this is a good episode, still don't see how anyone can hate it? Good stand alone episode, episode about empathy, about understanding other people and about dissonance between our own thoughts and deeds, about hiding your true self from the world, and consequences of that. And for once Buffy proven that she can solve problems without using violence. :) Funny and smart episode.

Posted by DeanwinchesterLUVSpowergirl

Season 4 episode Superstar and Season 5 episode Listening to Fear
Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@DeanwinchesterLUVSpowergirl: Nice, those were not good episodes. 
 
"Superstar" set Jonathan as being arguably the strongest reality warper in the Buffyverse. Yet later he was pretty much entirely useless. 
 
I love Season 5, and I've only watched Listening to Fear once, that should tell a story :)
Posted by DeanwinchesterLUVSpowergirl
@FadeToBlackBolt
 
Season 5 is awesome except for that episode I always skip it because it's just not that good.  
 
Another bad episode is Go Fish from season 2.
Posted by Picard
@DeanwinchesterLUVSpowergirl said:
@FadeToBlackBolt:  Season 5 is awesome except for that episode I always skip it because it's just not that good.   Another bad episode is Go Fish from season 2.
This one with supposed creature from out of space? Yes, I get your point, I'm only happy that this wasn't actual alien. Other than that, it was OK, episode - I don't love it, I don't hate it either. "Go Fish"? O, yes, it was terrible. Also "Beer bad" -  real idiocy
Posted by Chaos Burn

I think we can all agree "Beer Bad" was awful, as for "Earshot" I thought it was okay - a bit feeble at the suicide attitude true though. 
Also, Buffy's life was hard - she risked her (and her friends) lives everyday and was pretty much the only person who was doing the job (the Initiative weren't really slayers, rather more capture and experiment)

Posted by GREGalicious

I wouldve said the WORST episode is Season 6's DOUBLE MEAT PALACE or Season 4's BEER BAD.

Posted by mistrx75

Beer Bad was a pretty low episode.  Though I was never a great fan of John Ritter as an evil robot.  Or the one with the girls being fed to the giant snake.  Or the swim team being turned into fish men...

Posted by extrememage

But what she told Johnathon was true. In high school very few people share how difficult their live really is (think about it did you know what was going behind every closed door of people in your class and did they know about everything going on in your life?) and they are too busy dealing with their own issues to care about other people they don't really talk to. I think we have to face that everyone can be selfish no matter how nice they are. And Buffy's life is difficult, she was denied a normal life, had to keep secrets from her family, it affected her grades and her life and the lives of those she cared about was constantly in danger. The only issue I had with the episode was "Why did he need such a big rifle if he was going to only shoot himself?"

Posted by lykopis

Figures something like this would be the last blog I have yet to read of yours.

Again, like Angel, I never really watched Buffy. I saw some episodes but unfortunately (or fortunately) not this one. I don't want to come off sounding like I know the right answer, nor do I want it to seem like I am attempting to invalidate some opinions that the subject of suicide being broached is a good thing, no matter if its a quick fix/one little convo way. Actually, based on my experiences and what I have been taught -- it actually isn't a good idea.

These are my reasons why:

Having someone tell you everyone has it rough -- even if it's because the person who is suicidal mention's loneliness or no on one understanding them -- it might come off patronizing and also, they can become resentful because once again, how they feel is pushed aside and other's problems and feelings are pushed ahead. It doesn't matter if that isn't the intent, it's how the suicidal person perceives it. For someone to reach a point where they have a gun in their hands and have the intent to kill others along with themselves -- pointing out others have problems too isn't the best approach.

Again, I didn't see the show in question, but based on what the OP contains and the comments following, having this same character claim at the end that he wasn't going to kill anyone other than himself anyway gives off the idea that he isn't such a bad guy. Are suicidal people bad guys? No --- but suicidal people who are willing to kill others with them are -- and its terrible because had these "bad" guys gotten help -- real help -- they wouldn't be in that position.

So -- if anyone you come across is suicidal -- as on, in the moment, I am going to jump off this building type scenario, focus only on them -- get to hear about them, talk about their family, mention names, and use their name, over and over and over. In a group setting where suicidal people are talking, by all means, mention most people have horrible things they have to deal with etc -- that's comforting and also provides hope things can get better. Just not in the moment.

They could have presented this is a much better way --- take away the whole school aspect of it and had Buffy run across someone intending to commit suicide far away from people. That's more real. That's more hard-hitting and something people touched by deep depression can identify with.

My tiddly-winks on the subject.