30 Days of Thanks 2020: ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’
BTVS, season 4, episode 8: “Pangs” has to be one of the most memorable moments to commemorate the holiday of feasting, peace, and, of course, ritual sacrifice. Is there any worse, yet better, way to spend your Thanksgiving than with the Scooby Gang fending off the sudden emergence of the Native American spirits of the Chumash in Sunnydale after their burial site is disturbed? You know what? Let us just take you on a scroll of the episode’s best moments and then you tell us. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget the mushy peas, funny syphilis, or the bear.
First, we have to be thankful for Anya’s quick lesson in ritual sacrifice and that Thanksgiving really does come down to just that. The sacrifice of an animal, a turkey, in this case, to celebrate a day of giving. But, there’s pie. Can’t forget the pie.
Yet Willow totally wasn’t feeling it if we recall…it’s a total yam sham. Plus, Buffy’s cooking always was kind of shaky.
Still, we couldn’t say no. Not to Buffy.
Not even Giles could.
But, as long as he got his mushy peas, that didn’t matter.
Yet, the Thanksgiving feast going up in mushy peas disaster with a side of Spike snark was only the beginning because in came Xander with the funny syphilis and not the rolls.
Even in the spirit of the sham with yams, we welcome in the most bedraggled, even if that’s Spike tied to a bloody chair. At this time, he was at his lowest with an anti- vamp chip in his head and nowhere to go.
But of course, why wouldn’t something supernatural happen to try and ruin Buffy’s yam-sham of a holiday. This one, however, does make her question her job as a Slayer and as a person. Does one slay the spirit of the Chumash, the spirit of Native American’s seeking justice for being slain?
Spike’s input on the subject? On point, and perfectly placed for this time of year.
However, we can’t help but point out Spike’s being right, much like Anya, when it comes to Thanksgiving when Buffy was wishing to find a non-slaying way to handle the spirit of the Chumash. Sure, he was blunt with an eye roll per typical dramatic Spike, but still. The pilgrims came in, they conquered albeit a bit violently, and then they celebrated with a sacrifice of turkey. Do we still feel guilty about that even as we still celebrate the conquer and continue to “sacrifice” a turkey in its honor every year?
Leave it to BTVS to stick a moral thought-provoking moment within a classic, punny, and slayer-iffic episode by reminding us of the brutal parts that happened in part of creating Thanksgiving.
Alas, Buffy and the gang take on the spirits of the Chumash. It doesn’t leave them feeling triumphant but they did get a taste of history, flying arrows, and a bear.
Oh, and let’s not forget how awkward it gets when the ex shows up. But he’s not evil this time!
So, just remember kids, you may be struggling to deal with your judgmental family and once-a-year relatives that have to comment on all of the little things that make you feel insecure and hate everything, but at least you don’t have a sexually transmitted disease, are fighting angry spirits that can turn into deadly animals, or eating mushy peas. Okay, we can’t guarantee that last part. In fact, it’s possible you’d rather fight a bear. If anything, be positive that you have it pretty easy.
Don’t forget to check out some of our other posts on shows like This is Us and Bob’s Burgers for a more heartwarming and less bleak and deadly article for 30 Days of Thanks. And don’t forget to follow us @capeandcastle on Twitter to keep up with other shows you love!