In the ninth episode of the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow’s grief over losing Oz manifests in a sloppy spell that sends the Scoobies into chaos. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.
I LOVE ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING THAT EPISODE CHOOSES TO BE. THIS EPISODE HAD A SASSY GAY FRIEND, AND THIS EPISODE TOOK THEIR ADVICE, AND THIS IS THE RESULT OF IT. THIS IS AN EPISODE THAT TAKES THE IDEA OF HAVING YOUR HEARTBROKEN, AND IT MAKES IT INCREDIBLY FUNNY IN A WAY THAT DOESN’T DILUTE WHAT HAPPENS EARLIER, AND I DON’T THINK I HAVE SQUIRMED OR LAUGHED THIS MUCH AT AN EPISODE OF THIS SHOW EVER. THIS IS “BAND CANDY” TIMES A MILLION. WAIT. MAYBE ONLY HALF A MILLION SINCE THERE WAS NO JOYCE. I MISS JOYCE, BY THE WAY. WHERE IS SHE? ALSO, WHERE THE HELL DID WESLEY GO? HE JUST DISAPPEARED, DIDN’T HE? I KIND OF MISS HIM, TOO. MAYBE WELSEY AND JOYCE ARE OFF HAVING BABIES SOMEWHERE. I DON’T KNOW, IT’S JUST A THEORY.
Oh god, Willow, I have had my heart crushed twice and every feeling you are having in “Something Blue” has been felt by yours truly, and now I am overflowing and cascading with feels, and I found a shirt from my last boyfriend six months ago in the bottom of my closet and then you looked in on Oz’s old room and then we were one and the same and I refuse to be judged for projecting my big ol’ gay life all over you Willow. I don’t even care that you’re straight, you are my big ol’ gay best friend and this is all I want from you and I would buy you the best tub of ice cream so we could sit and talk about how we don’t give a shit about sugar content and how all boys are silly and then we would sob each other to sleep, and this is clearly the greatest sentence I have ever composed in the history of Mark Watches, and if you disagree with this, then you are oppressing the wonderful and beautiful friendship that I have with Willow, and you don’t want to be a goddamn bigot, do you? No? You better not.
Spike is chained in Giles’s bathtub. If at least forty-five slashfics were not spawned from this moment, then the Buffy fandom has utterly wasted their lives. He’s being fed blood in a yellow mug praising librarians. This fic is writing itself. Get on it.
Oh god, I have made so many poor decisions while heartbroken. The first time I got dumped by a boyfriend, I thought it would be awesome to make a playlist of depressing songs (including “Mess” by Ben Folds Five, “…but home is nowhere” by AFI, and “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails) and ride the Red Line in Los Angeles from start to finish over and over. This is, categorically, one of the worst decisions a human being can possibly make, and I not only committed to it by spending TWO GODDAMN HOURS assembling a playlist on my iPod, but I even used nothing but loose change to pay for my Day Pass, and even then, every time I got to Union Station, I had to get off the train before boarding it again five minutes later. THERE WERE MULTIPLE POINTS AT WHICH I COULD HAVE NOT MADE THIS EPIC, TERRIBLE DECISION, AND I STILL PRESSED ON. For real, I gained absolutely nothing from this experience aside from learning never to do this ever again. So perhaps that counts? Oh my god, if “Someone Like You” had been around in 2005, I literally would have just listened to it 48 million times and died from dehydration due to constant crying. Could you even imagine?
So Willow, I get you. I get you so hard. You did what you thought was right to make the pain go away. It takes so long to disappear, and you couldn’t bear it any longer. I get that. I support that idea. Only in theory, though, because in execution, YOU MAY HAVE RUINED ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. FIRST YOU MAKE GILES BLIND. YOU MAKE HIM BLIND. THIS WOULD BE AWFUL IN AND OF ITSELF, BUT THAT JUST MEANS HE HAS TO HEAR BUFFY AND SPIKE. WE WILL GET TO THAT IN A SECOND. FIRST, THOUGH, AMY!!!!! OH MY GOD, THAT MUST HAVE BEEN THE SHORTEST CAMEO IN TELEVISION HISTORY. I ACTUALLY COMPLETELY FORGOT THAT WILLOW STILL HAD AMY AROUND IN RAT FORM. ALSO, WOW, HER HAIR LOOKED FABULOUS.
OKAY, IT’S TIME, EVERYONE:
BUFFY AND SPIKE. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. I CAN’T. I CAN’T UNSEE THIS. THERE IS NOTHING CUTE OR ROMANTIC ABOUT THIS AND IT’S LIKE WESLEY AND CORDELIA KISSING, ONLY PERHAPS ABOUT A THOUSAND TIMES FUNNIER. YES, I LAUGHED. A LOT. AND I GRIMACED. OH, HOW I GRIMACED AND WINCED AND COVERED MY MOUTH TO STOP ALL THE BIZARRE SOUNDS FROM COMING OUT OF IT.
AND THEN THE WRITERS JUST HAD TO HAVE BUFFY RUN INTO RILEY. NO, SEE, THIS EPISODE WAS JUST A NICE ROMP IN THE PARK WITH PUPPIES AND BUTTERFLIES AND SPIKE AND BUFFY MAKING OUT AND MAKING PLANS FOR MARRIAGE. WHY MUST YOU BRING THE REAL WORLD INTO IT? OH GOD, I JUST GOT RE-USED TO RILEY/BUFFY AS A THING, AND THEN YOU GIVE ME BUFFY/SPIKE (ew) AND NOW RILEY IS CONFUSED AND I AM CONFUSED AND HOW THE HELL IS BUFFY GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS PICKLE.
THIS SHOW IS LIKE A FEMINIST DUKES OF HAZARD OR SOMETHING. TAKE THAT IDEA AND RUN WITH IT, MY FRIENDS.
WHAT THE FUCK YOU MADE XANDER A LITERAL DEMON MAGNET, WILLOW. AND AT THE WORST TIME! BECAUSE SERIOUSLY, I AM WAY INTO ANYA AND XANDER AS A COUPLE RIGHT NOW. I INITIALLY DIDN’T NECESSARILY BUY IT, BUT THE MORE THEY HANG OUT, THE MORE IT’S KIND OF OBVIOUS THEY ARE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER. THEY’RE BOTH IMPULSIVE, HIGHLY SEXUAL, SOCIALLY AWKWARD, AND DESIRE A WHOLE LOT OF PHYSICAL AFFECTION. LOOK, I HAVE FEELS ABOUT XANDER. THIS IS WHAT “SOMETHING BLUE” HAS DONE TO ME, Y’ALL. SO MANY FEELS. AND NOW SEXY TIME IS BEING INTERRUPTED BY AN ENDLESS WAVE OF DEMONS. COULD YOU IMAGINE WORKING MAKE UP ON THIS SHOW AND BEING TOLD THAT THE DEMON YOU DESIGNED WILL BE ONSCREEN FOR EXACTLY FIFTEEN SECONDS? THANK YOU FOR YOUR LIFETIME OF WORK AND DEDICATION. YOU DON’T EVEN GET FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME.
I thought it was a bit weird that Willow-centric episode didn’t even have her on the screen for nearly a third of the story, but then I realized what a disaster that might have created. At the very least, the writers were aware that everything Willow wanted would literally come true, so it’s a possible explanation for why we don’t see Willow for a while after she makes Xander a demon magnet. Think about how much other shit she might have done! I was actually surprised that she didn’t wish Oz back in some form, but in hindsight, I think the story is better without his presence. Truthfully, Oz is gone, and he’s not coming back. If he ever does come back, I don’t think it will be until far into the future. This story wouldn’t really have worked as well if Willow ultimately got her way. It’s more about the effects her grief have on herself, her magic, and the friends around her.
AND OH MY GOD IT’S D’HOFFRYN AND WHY DID HE TAKE WILLOW. WHERE THE FUCK ARE THEY. OH MY GOD HE WANTS TO MAKE WILLOW A VENGEANCE DEMON????? WHAT THE FUCK OH MY GOD SHE WILL BECOME THE NEW ANYA. EVERYTHING HURTS AT ONCE. I NEVER EXPECTED THIS. But you know what the best part of it is? When Willow adamantly refused to become a vengeance demon and I thought D’Hoffryn was going to get SUPER MAD AT HER, but instead, he just shrugs it off and gives her a talisman. Like, “Cool, I’m cool with that! Here, give me a ring sometime.” FORESHADOWING. I’M CALLING IT. THIS IS GOING TO BE USED AGAIN THIS SEASON. oh god but why.
I like that Willow is graceful and eager to please her friends after they get their asses handed to them by a group of demons. And are made blind. And are made to plan a wedding. I have to say it again, though: having Anya and Spike in the Scoobies is one of the most refreshing character developments this show has ever had, and I don’t think I’ve ever been quite this excited about the group dynamic. It’s especially fun because Anya and Spike are so different from one another. Well, it’s also kind of awesome to me that after all the shitty stuff Spike has done, he has to hang out while tied up in Giles’s apartment, being fed cookies and acting as the group punching bag. YOU KIND OF DESERVE IT, DUDE. Oh god, can he just stick around forever? I would not feel bad about this at all.
I also enjoy that this episode ends on Buffy and Riley. I really do like Riley, and despite that he’s in the Initiative, he’s remarkably normal for Buffy. That doesn’t mean that he or Buffy are normal people; on the contrary, they’re far from it. It’s just fascinating to me to see this two court each other because the writers never ignore how awkward it is to date someone. Well, not that I have any experience dating as a vampire slayer, of course, but the two of them rarely know the right thing to say, and they’re constantly stumbling over their words. Yet Riley clearly likes Buffy a great deal, and when he reached over to caress her face, I did this:
AND THEN IT DIDN’T FUCKING HAPPEN. GODDAMN IT, SHOW. JUST GIVE ME THIS RIGHT NOW, OKAY? FUCK.
Mark Links Stuff
– Check out my eBook store. Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Mark Watches Firefly are both on sale now.
– I now have a Lulu storefront where all my previously released eBooks are now available as printed books, including a complete edition of Mark Reads Twilight.
– I am going on tour in April/May to promote Mark Does Stuff in the western half of North America. Please RSVP for any dates and help find a venue!
– I am on Twitter: @MarkDoesStuff
– I have a Facebook page for Mark Does Stuff that I’m updating regularly. Feel free to like it and spread it to your friends!
– I start Mark Reads The Princess Bride on Monday, March 26th over on Mark Reads.
– Starting April 1st, we will have official liveblogs every week for season 2 of Game of Thrones on Sunday nights. There will not be any proper reviews for these episodes unless I can find free time in between writing reviews and writing books.
– Starting April 14th, we will have official liveblogs every week for season 1 of The Legend of Korra. There will not be any proper reviews for these episodes unless I can find free time in between writing reviews and writing books.