Buffy Fashion Roulette: “Flooded”
Oh, joy! It’s another draw from season 6! More of the characters you love so dearly wallowing in depression and self-destructive behavior! More “the bad guys are our inner demons” metaphors! Whee!
I’ll be the first to admit that season 6 has its moments. “Flooded”, in my opinion, is a brighter one. The script is punchy, and we get a bit of overall plot development. Nonetheless, I have my issues with the episode. But first! Your feelings about “Wrecked” were made abundantly clear in your votes. For the first time in Buffy Fashion Roulette history, I completely disagree with your choice for best dressed. Anya and Buffy made decent showings with 16% and 20% of the vote, respectively. The overwhelming winner, however, was Spike, who drew a relatively surprising 43% of the vote. I mean, I do understand what you guys are trying to communicate to me here. Really, I do. I understand. I empathize.
But might I remind you what we learned from Exhibits A, B and C?
Yeesh. With all that jewelry, one can only hope that Spike is left-handed. (I say that on Buffy’s behalf, of course.)
Worst dressed was a pretty damning display. Tara topped from the bottom once again with 38.5% of the vote, way ahead-behind her closest worst dressed competitors: Amy and her cutout sleeves with 27% of the vote, and Willow at 17%. Tara seems to have lost solely for wearing the same horrible bathrobe sweater that she lost for in “Tabula Rasa”. Funny how these things turn out.
(Gahhh, this picture just KILLS ME! Amber Benson is gorgeous even when she wakes up from passing out on the couch! So why do they have to make her wear a glittery, ill-fitting bathrobe sweater around everywhere?)
Alright folks, onto “Flooded.” Previously on Buffy The Vampire Slayer– or, as I like to acronymize it, POBTVS- a bunch of stuff happened over a couple of seasons. But mostly, people left, died, un-died, or were traumatized by their un-dying. Well then, I suppose the mood is set. Buffy’s in the basement fixing a leaky pipe. She fails. Oh, how she fails….
….leaving the Dawn-haters laughing their asses off. I’m not really a Dawn hater though, so mostly I sit through this scene and wonder if the pipes would really burst like that. I’m not buying it. Even with Buffy’s super strength, all she could do would be to block the pipe. Would this really happen? I mean, come on. During the original airing I sat there yelling at the TV, “Run to your shutoff valve. RUN TO YOUR SHUTOFF VALVE.”
By the time the opening credits are over, Dawn has changed her clothing. Miraculously, her hair looks impeccable. Once again: I’m not buying it.
Buffy is rendered zombie-fied by watching the water go down the drain, which means that they haven’t shut off the water and it’s still flowing into their basement. Whaaa? I’m not buying it!! I’m also not buying the fact that Buffy didn’t get one drop of water on her clothes or in her hair. Nope. Not buying it. She looks nice, though. I like her necklace. And hey, Willow doesn’t look half bad, either.
Check Tara out! She looks downright lovely! It’s a miracle!
Xander is here with the plumber, which makes the fact that they haven’t shut off the water even more preposterous. Wouldn’t the plumber suggest that they stop the incessant flow of water into their basement? Wouldn’t Xander wonder why they hadn’t done that already?
As far as Xander’s outfit goes, there’s not a lot to say about a brown t-shirt. Know what I’m sayin’? It is what it is.
Later Anya brings her fiscal prudence to the table and tries to help them out of their tricky situation. Unfortunately she doesn’t give them many valid options (like seeing if their homeowner’s insurance will cover the repipe; adding the cost of the flood cleanup to the bill; delicately insinuating that Tara and Willow should pay some damn rent around here), suggesting instead that Buffy charge for saving people’s lives, and using “Spider-Man does it” as an explanation. A big argument ensues, and Dawn’s right! Spider-Man, in fact, does NOT charge crime victims for saving their lives. However, Spider-Man does have a job. Superman has a job, too. Batman doesn’t really have much of a job, other than heading up his corporation. But he’s independently wealthy, so he doesn’t have to have one. Don’t worry, all ye Buffyverse faithful! Buffy has a solution. “Easy. we burn the house to the ground and collect the insurance.”
Based on her faraway location in this Disbelieving Group Shot, Anya’s outfit doesn’t look half bad at all. She appears to be riding the delicate line between stylish and business-savvy almost perfectly. But alas! As is so often the case, we soon get a closer look. And unfortunately, Anya is dressed like the entryway to a Renaissance Faire.
Who wears odd triangular flags on their shirts? Who substitutes them for sleeves? Has anyone ever done this? Once again Anya comes within a stone’s throw of looking amazing, but messes it all up with one bizarre aspect of her ensemble.
The Spider-Man Economic Debate gets really heated, culminating with Anya rushing out the door in a tizzy (and giving us one of my favorite “I try to use this in everyday conversation” Buffy lines, ‘Why don’t you ask your good friend Spider-Man?!’). You know, I can’t blame Anya for being upset. She’s trying to find solutions while everyone else is just standing around expecting Buffy to fix it for them. They could sell the house and move into a three-bedroom apartment. Tara and Willow could get jobs. The Scoobies could start selling off their designer wardrobes and start wearing things more than one time ever. They could stop buying more and more new ugly clothes. Technically, Willow could just make money magically appear out of nowhere. But no. Rather than instituting some practical lifestyle changes in their household, Buffy heads on down to the bank to apply for a loan. American readers, take note: this mentality is part of the reason our economy is dangling by a thread right now.
Buffy dresses conservatively for her bank interview. Now, I could sit here and pick this outfit apart for you. I could complain that she’s not wearing pearls, or point out the general shabbiness of her top. I could stick a poll in here asking if you think she has on a suit jacket or a weird blouse. I could make a joke about her shoulder pads. Today though, I’m not going to do any of that. What happens later in the scene is one of those moments that defines what I do here at Buffy Fashion Roulette. It reminds me why I started this wacky game.
Before the loan officer arrives, Buffy practices her lines. She breaks a bit at the end though, muttering, “Stupid skirt.” Either Buffy has dressed to reflect the insecurity she feels, or the clothing has chipped away at her confidence. (Methinks it’s a little of both.) This is not the typical “Buffy in the graveyard confidently sassing vampires while rocking a leather jacket” scenario. Indeed, this is the loan officer’s territory. He’s quick to point out the obvious to Buffy. “You have no income, no job.” And y’know, he’s right. Spiderman may not charge to save people, but he has a job. Superman has a job. Batman has a job (as well as some class privilege, but still! a job). However, that said, she’s certainly no slacker.
The opportunity to prove herself lands on the table in front of Buffy. Literally.
Suddenly their worlds have flipped. The loan officer’s safe space has been upended, but Buffy’s right back where she belongs.
Hey, check this guy out! The short-sleeved leather jacket is sort of weird, and everything is a bit ill-fitting, but all in all he doesn’t look half bad.
He should break into Shaquille O’Neal’s house and steal all of his clothes. That way, they would fit a little better.
Anyways, Buffy’s all like, fight fight fight! So she goes up to the demon and tries to kick him in the head. But alas! Her skirt is too tight. ‘Stupid skirt.’
The demon tosses her across the loan officer’s desk. Then: a pivotal moment of fashion truth!
Buffy borrows the loan officer’s letter opener, cuts a waist-high slit up the side of her skirt and kicks the demon’s ass.
She’s foiled by a foreshadow-y gun toting security officer though, and the demon slips away. Nevertheless, Buffy returns to the loan officer’s desk to demand her loan.
Buffy heads to the Magic Box to work out in a sensible a-shirt and yoga pants combo. Willow tries to solve Buffy’s problems by riling her up. Ah, these kids. Always focusing on everyone else’s problems first.
The gang convenes around the lit-from-within Magic Box table (seriously, that table is so weird; who wants to read at a lit-up table?), and learns that the demon they’re fighting is called an M’Fashnik. They also learn why he’s wearing clothes: to hide his enormous penis. Well, then. Much more pivotal in this scene: the return of Rupert Giles, in his trusty suede heavy jacket.
Meanwhile, M’Fashnik is incredibly angry at the Trio for summoning him. They are dressed like, well, nerds. They are literally surrounded with piles of pilfered money, but haven’t made the decision to upgrade their wardrobes yet.
It is interesting to me that Jonathan steps up to confront the M’Fashnik first. This would have never happened later in the season.
The Scoobies are turning in for the night. Buffy is making a bed on the couch for Giles. He gets to sleep on girly butterfly sheets. Fun. She has changed into a slightly-odd-by-today’s-standards outfit. The colors don’t quite match, and that seriously draped neckline looks almost comical in 2010. (True story: I had a couple of those shirts. Ouch.)
Later, Willow’s in the kitchen eating cookies and Giles is getting some water. Willow is totally giddy about having brought Buffy back from the dead. She’s so clueless! Seeing her threaten Giles is still a little bit scary. She and Warren are a lot alike in some ways. It makes sense that they both went off the rails at the same time. Anyways, here’s a rare shot of Giles in a t-shirt.
Buffy heads outside to get some air, or maybe because she psychically feels Spike’s presence nearby. Since Spike’s a classy guy and all, he tosses a lit cigarette butt onto her wooden porch. Buffy’s square-toe camel boots are antiquated-looking. They are almost the exact same color as her pants. It’s a strange look. The strangeness is compounded by the fact that she changed into this after exercising until late in the night. Why would someone wear this to put sheets on the couch? Why didn’t she just change into a t-shirt and jeans? (Does Buffy even own any t-shirts?)
Spike is wearing, as commenter Tat accurately describes it, “wardrobe (a)” (guess what wardrobe (b) is).
Dawn can’t sleep. Her pajamas are pretty adorable. There’s nothing like a pair of pajama pants with random shit printed on it to really punch up a scene.
M’Fashnik shows up and as a result, there’s the requisite Buffy fight scene. For once, Buffy is super cautious about not breaking everything in the house. (She fails, but she’s cautious.) M’Fashnik breaks a lamp, which sends Buffy into an apoplectic fit. ‘That’s a designer lamp, ya mook!’ You know, when I’m so broke that I can’t pay my bills and am about to rack up many thousands of dollars of debt for a critical home repair on top of it all, one of my first orders of business tends to be to sell my designer friggin’ lamps. But, y’know. No judgment.
Buffy drags him into the basement, where the flooding is now knee-deep. No one has taken the not-yet-ruined cardboard boxes upstairs in an attempt to salvage their contents. No one has tossed a Shop Vac downstairs to suck up the water.
For that matter, no one has even turned off the water.
In contrast, the geeks are rolling in dough. by the next morning they’ve purchased all sorts of pointless fancy equipment and electronics. If this scene exists to prove a point about the severity of economic disparity, the writers have clearly succeeded. As far as costuming goes, that department has also succeeded, and wildly. The nerds look like nerds. Although you can’t see it so well in this picture, Andrew is still wearing the same t-shirt he was wearing the day before.
Jonathan is wearing the cutest widdle shiwt I ever did see. It’s so cute that the koala bear on it is smiling. Awwww.
Back at Camp Summers, we are expected to sympathize with the Scoobies’ plight. In some regards I do feel bad for these kids. But then I see Dawn and Willow pointlessly trying to glue their stupid designer lamp back together instead of tossing a Shop Vac into the basement and heading down there with a mop and I think, what the hell?
Clothing-wise, Dawn’s a mess. What’s up with that incredibly pointy collar? Willow, on the contrary, is looking downright snazzy. Really, it’s been a banner episode for everyone’s favorite Wiccan lesbian couple. I am shocked. A solitary tear is forming in my eye and is about to trickle down my cheek. As soon as it falls I’ll wipe it away before anyone sees. These two witches, man. They can really pull it together when it all comes down to it, and I-
Pink camouflage. Fuck it. Never mind.
Hey, but Giles! He looks just fine. We can also find solace in the fact that Xander has taken on a marginally more useful task than the one that Willow and Dawn have. He’s trying to repair the coffee table. He’s using an actual tool. To top it all off, he doesn’t look half bad doing it.
Anya and Buffy are crunching some numbers, and Buffy’s chair is literally held together with duct tape. Really, Buffy? You can’t throw the damn thing out with the shattered designer lamp and hit up Thrift Town for some replacements? Buffy’s top is kinda cute. I had one of those, too. Man, I was a regular Buffy copycat. As far as Buffy’s hair goes, I like that she has stuck a pen in her hair to show that she’s really working on her budget.
Anya’s outfit is a bit confusing. As you can see from the photo two up, she’s got on some interesting slingbacks. I like ’em, anyway. She’s also wearing an enormous belt and rust-colored capri pants or a skirt; I can’t tell which. Now that I think about it, there sure are a lot of orange and rust-colored ensemble pieces on this show (why?). I do like Anya’s shirt, but with reservations. At first glance I thought the picture was of some sweet metal princess riding a pegasus. Upon further inspection I learn that it’s one of those pin-up girl reproductions that were so popular at the beginning of the 2000’s. That’s a little less awesome.
Her hair is messy, but she gets a pass here. As far as I’m concerned, they should all be wearing Hazmat suits and face masks.