I really enjoyed this episode! My favourite character, Spike, really got to play centre screen, and this is in my mind the funniest Buffy episode to date (My previous favourite single episode was Lover's Walk. What can I say? I like funny.
And now, the dreaded Synopsis:
The episode opens with Willow checking out Oz's room. It's still got all it's stuff, including a framed picture of Oz and Willow. She really is not over Oz yet, in a big way.
Next scene has Buffy wandering through the university, and seeing Riley helping hang a banner -- (It's a banner for the Lesbian Alliance!) Under questioning, Riley admits to being a lesbian. :-)
Then goes on invite Buffy on a picnic. They seem to be quite comfortable with each other ... well, perhaps comfortable is not the word, but they seem to be communicating and by and large are speaking the same language. Or at least have a similar sense of humour. (Scary, I know!)
Then Buffy and Willow are walking home (through the graveyard ... why
not?) and they are comparing lost loves, and the pain thereof. Buffy makes
a reference about "seeing Angel ... even just for five minutes ... and
it all comes back.) (*sniff* *sob* from A1.8)
Buffy: "Is it love always going to be about fighting and struggle?" (more or less)
A vampire jumps out at her ... and she stakes him without breaking stride! Or even pausing the conversation.
Spike still seems to be tied up. He is living in Giles' bath,
watching Giles' TV, and generally being unhelpful. There are some
lovely lines when Buffy is taunting Spike with her 'lovely exposed neck...'
Spike: Giles! Make her stop!
They are still trying to find out what Spike knows about the Military
Guys, and Spike is being cagey ... on the fairly good grounds that he expects
to be killed after he tells everything he knows. Willow suggests
using a truth spell, and after Giles enthusiastically agrees, she goes
off to get the ingredients. Giles makes some comment that she seems to
be coping better with Oz's departure.
Spike: Are you people blind? Just look at her. She's hanging on by a thread.
One of the things I like about the characterization of Spike is his occasional flashes of devastating insight. Fair enough, I suppose ... he's been around long enough to know a fair bit about human behaviour. Especially viewed from the POV of a hunter...
On her way home, she stops by Oz's room again ... only to find that it has been stripped. Oz has sent for his stuff.
The next we see of her is her dancing frenetically in the Bronze. It turns out she's a bit drunk ... (although Willow being Willow, she's got there on light beer!) Xander, Anya and Buffy are there, and both Xander and Buffy seem quite down on the concept of her drowning her sorrows. (I thought this was a little "holier than thou" of them, actually, but, what the hey...) Buffy takes her home, and Willow basically dissolves into a deep depression. She just wants the pain to stop! During the night she gets the idea that perhaps she can cast a spell, and just tell herself to not be sad. She casts the spell ... something about "her will being done" (In the dorms shared bathroom. I wonder what people would have thought if anyone had wandered in?)
The next day, the spell seems to have fizzled. Nothing seems to be happening. Giles drops by to ask her about the state of the truth spell. (Among other things, he would really like to take a shower sometime soon. Preferably alone!) She has actually done some work on it, and has gathered all the ingredients ... but then forgot to follow through and tell Giles. As she says, she's going through a lot of pain just now. She mentions her failed spell, and Giles suggests that perhaps she shouldn't try any spells for a while... not while she's in this emotional state.
This is not what Willow wants to hear. She makes a comment about "You don't see at all!" ... and her eyes glow ... and Giles suddenly sounds distracted and starts rubbing his eyes. Guess the spell might not have been a complete fizzle after all...
Giles takes the spell ingredients, and tries to work the spell himself, but seems to be having trouble reading the words. He fumbles a hankie out to wipe his glasses with... and in the process drops the key to Spike's manacles. Spike uses his distraction to make a break for it.
Back at the dorm, Willow is still moping, and just generally having
a whinge to Buffy. Lovely scene:
Willow: "... Amy was a real witch. She had access to powers I can't even dream of! One minute she's a human ..." Suddenly Amy rat (unseen by either Buffy or Willow) turns human again! She has just time for a delighted grin, when Willow goes on to say "And then she's a rat!" And Amy turns back...
Nice to see Amy human again. Even if only for a few moments! It does answer one question. I have speculated for some time that the reason that Willow could never turn Amy back was that they had grabbed the wrong rat! Apparently, that is not the case.
Buffy gets a call from Giles, saying Spike has escaped. She heads off to go find him again, in spite of Willow's pleas to stay.
Willow: "I don't know why you are getting so excited. You'll probably find him in about 2 seconds..."
Moments later, Buffy comes across a stunned looking Spike, standing in the University grounds ... that little park area. Would that be the quad? Apart from being a bit surprised to find himself here, Spike is convinced that this is where he escaped from the lab... but he can't find the entrance any more! Did the Initiative have it filled in after his escape? We shall see (with any luck...) Buffy drags Spike off.
Buffy arrives at Giles' place, to find Giles putting eye drops in. His eyesight seems to be getting worse. Buffy and Spike are at each other's throats (not quite literally)
Willow: Whoops! Giles, I accidentally killed Spike. You don't mind, do you?
In the meantime, Willow is pouring out her troubles to Xander.
He's sympathetic, but not quite a sympathetic as Willow would like.
Willow: So Spike's more important that me! If that's the case, why don't they just get married?
Giles walks back into the living room, asking them Buffy and Spike to try being just a little bit civil to each other...
Only to find Buffy delightedly accepting Spikes marriage proposal! I have to say, I cacked myself. It was *sooo* funny.
Willow also runs through Xander's love life to date : Bugs, Inca mummies, Anya ... let's face it, he's a demon magnet....
A little later, Xander and Anya are just settling down to a little nookie when demons start coming through the walls....
I loved Giles' reactions as Buffy and Spike plan their wedding ...
Spike: We're not having a daylight ceremony.
Buffy: Why not?
Spike: Because you'll be marrying a big pile of dust.
Buffy: Stay under the trees ... indirect sunlight?
Spike: A warm spring breeze ... the leaves shift ... and we'll be going on our honeymoon as Mr and Mrs Big Pile of Dust.
Around about this time Giles loses his sight altogether. He's
pretty convinced it's a spell ... after all, there's plenty of evidence
that something weird is going on. Spike starts making plans to produce
a counter spell.
Giles: You're going to help me?
Spike: Why not? After all, you're the closest thing I'm going to have to a father-in-law.
Giles: ... it's ok. I know where some more scotch is ... (goes groping after it)
While Buffy is fetching ingredients from the magic shop, she sees a wedding dress in a window, and is captivated by it. Riley is walking past, and is blithely informed that she is getting married ... he staggers off stunned into the night...
Anya and Xander have managed to break free of the demons, and make it
to Giles'. After barring the door, they see Spike is free... and
then they are informed that Giles is suffering under a spell and can't
see, and, oh yes, Spike and Buffy are getting married. Then they
start to kiss again...
Xander: ... can I be blind too?
Xander remembers his conversation with Willow, and puts two and two
together. They work out that pretty much whatever Willow says comes
Buffy: Wow! That could be serious. It's a good thing I'm immune, isn't it, honey?
Spike: Yeah. Must be your slayer powers...
They try to get hold of Willow, but she has just been kidnapped by a demon!
When they make it to the dorm, Anya recognizes the signs of "D'Hofren" the power who turned her into a vengeance demon 1100 years ago. (Some interesting back story on Anya ... she started out as a witch, doing a few small curses here and there, and D'Hofren recruited her.) Apparently he is out to recruit Willow!
Again, there is a lovely scene where the gang is heading away from the
dorm... only to for Buffy to be distracted by finding the perfect spot
for wedding photos! They are then attacked by a demon...
Buffy: (to Demon) Let's get this straight. We do this without wrecking the foliage, OK?
But more Demons arrive, and they run for it, making it to the cover of a handy mausoleum. While Anya attempts to summon D'Hofren, the others work to hold off the Demons. Spike is concerned, because if he can't fight, he won't be able to protect Buffy.
In the meantime, Willow is being told that she is in the perfect frame
of mind to become a vengeance demon! This comes as a bit of a shock
to her, and she politely declines.
D'Hofren: (ominously) I'm sorry you said that. (short pause) Oh, well. Here's my charm. If you change your mind, give me a chant.
Willow then is returned to earth, and cancels her spell, and all the effects. The demons vanish ... and Spike and Buffy come to themselves to find that they have been in a passionate embrace. The mutual reaction is well worth seeing!
The next scene has everyone back at Giles' place. Giles can now see, and Willow is baking cookies. (It helps her feel less guilty. Plus she has agreed to detail Giles' car.) Buffy abruptly realises that she has told Riley that she was going to get married...
Final scene has her telling Riley that she was just winding him up ... she'd seen the fear in his eyes when he saw her looking at the wedding dress. And Riley buys it...
End of Synopsis.
Thoroughly enjoyed this. So many funny lines. A few general thoughts:
I felt that the "gang" was less sympathetic towards Willow than they might have been. On the other hand, I got the impression that Willow had been moping about Oz for some time, and it was starting to wear a bit thin. Been there, done that ... you want to be helpful, but there is only so much sympathy you can exude before you start to lose patience.
I also liked the way that Buffy came up with a completely believable cover story with Riley. It totally rang true, unlike some of the other explanations she has come up with over the years.
Hopefully this will have snapped Willow out of her "sorry for herself" phase, and she will start to return to the Willow we know and love.
Will Oz return? I hope so, but it could go either way.
I hope Xander and Anya stay together. Anya is such an interesting character, too. Interesting that my two favourite characters at the moment both started out as baddies...
Also good to see that Giles and Xander are getting more screen time. They've been relegated somewhat to the background for a while now.
The last three episodes have been pretty good ... it feels like Season 4 is finally hitting its' stride. Mind you, that is quite typical for Buffy ... it seems that it takes a few episodes before you start seeing the really good stories at the beginning of each season.
Anyway, I give this a Robbie Rating of a solid 9.8.
Stephanie Rating: Fine for kids (This is also one of Stephanie's favourite episodes!)
Back to Reviews Page