Efter att ha sett The Body, Buffys kanske allra bästa avsnitt någonsin (på min topplista ligger det tvåa efter Becoming, Part Two, men det skiftar från dag till dag), för andra gången skrev jag följande recension i ett amerikanskt forum. Tänkte att ni kanske vill ta del av den.
Också (som om ni inte anade det), är detta ett av de få avsnitt som förtjänar en klockren 10 i betyg (om jag inte, i sann Nigel Tufnel-stil, borde säga något om att "these go to eleven" och bryta betygsskalan för just detta mästerverk).
"You know I can't take you" (The Body, second time around)
The above quote is from one of the absolutely finest moments I've ever seen. And the weird thing is, I had completely forgotten about it from the first time I watched this masterpiece. It's the perfect example of how, in a show filled with supernatural and unbelivable things, Joss Whedon has created a number of living, three-dimensional, wonderfully human characters. Xander/Willow is, bar none, my favorite fictional friendship. There is such love and such chemistry between the actors, who simply become the characters. You can see their love for each other in everything they do, nowhere more so than here.
The episode deals with the death of Joyce Summers, beloved mother of Buffy. I have never seen the direct impact of death upon you depicted so well in fiction. The shock, the immediate reactions. Joss has written a fantastic script, and the actors do their very best to bring it to life. And the pain which it brings is almost unbearable.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, this young and enormously talented actress, should have received whatever awards available for her work in the first act of this episode. The immediate grief, the disbelieving shock. Those lines which are in no way classics on the page, but which become horribly unforgettable when uttered by Gellar... her confused "Good luck..." to the paramedics as they go about their business, having left her mother's dead body laying on the floor (this is the one part of the episode where I somehow doubt the reality of the situation: would paramedics leave the dead mother's body alone with her daughter until the coroner picks it up?). Her saying "She's cold" with the voice of a very young girl to the 911 operator. And, most horrifically memorable of all, her screaming "We're not supposed to move the body!", which is the point when she realises that she has stopped seeing that object on the floor as her mother. The shock of that fact hits her like a freight train, and she falls into the arms of her REAL father, Giles (Anthony Stewart Head can be considered the only actor who is not given enough time to be exceptional in this episode (except for James Marsters who does not appear at all), but he does the most of what little time he is given).
Which brings me back to the marvelous Xander/Willow scene. Xander is outraged over Joyce's death, and needs someone to blame. The doctors, the monsters, the wall, ANYONE! And then Willow, with the sort of absolute sweetness that can only belong to Alyson Hannigan, steps up to him, and clenches her tiny fists boxer-style. "Come on, let's go. You and me. Right now." Xander looks at her, lets go of his anger, and gives her a warm and loving embrace. Then he places a loving and tender kiss on her forehead and says the line in my review headline.
Right after this Emma Caulfield has her finest acting moment ever. As ex-demon Anya she does not understand the procedure and meaning of human death. She can simply not wrap her head around it, and in an explosion of emotion and sadness she utters the following monologue with an extraordinary power reminding me of Julianne Moore:
"But I don't understand! I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she's... there's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore. It's stupid. It's mortal and stupid. And, and Xander's crying and not talking, and, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why!"
It's the kind of scene which makes me hope Caulfield will find better roles post-Buffy than Darkness Falls (this also goes for just about every Buffy-regular, their collective non-Buffy track record ain't too impressive and they all deserve better).
I'm running out of praise and I'm beginning to repeat myself, but I have to say some words of love for Michelle Trachtenberg, sometimes annoying as Dawn but absolutely perfect in The Body. The scene in the school hall where she finds out about Joyce's death is heartbreaking beyond words.
Also, the vampire scene at the end. Some people don't like it, don't think it fits in. These people are morons and are missing the point completely (the point being that, even in her darkest moments, Buffy has a purpose in life which can never, ever be left behind. Even right beside the body of her dead mother).
That's it for now. The Body is a masterpiece for the ages, Buffy-fan or not, people should be able to recognize this as a work of art, a meditation on the nature of death to be savored and one to bring tears to the eyes of the most hardened viewers.