Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S06E21 – Two to Go

In the twenty-first episode of the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Scoobies struggle to stop Dark Willow. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

my god MY GOD WHAT IS THIS SHOW DOING TO ME??? WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU, BUFFY, TO DESERVE SUCH TREATMENT? Okay things were a little rough when I started. You were new! I had no idea who you truly were! But I came to love you, so much so that I have sobbed over you, laughed over you, sang joyous and depressing songs for you, and shipped characters super hard AND I NEVER SHIP ANYTHING. So why the pain? Why the torment? Why the lack of joy? WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO ME?

  • I didn’t want to see an episode where Buffy feels morally obligated to defend the surviving members of the Trio. It’s surprising, yes, and bless Buffy for sticking to her beautiful morals, but I want to be cheering on Willow, but I can’t. Well, if I wanted to be awful, I could, but yeah.
  • I didn’t want Anya to be hurt.
  • I didn’t want to see Willow and Buffy battle because HOW IS THAT A FAIR THING FOR ME. If I hope Buffy wins, that means Willow might be destroyed.
  • I didn’t want to spend an entire episode worrying about the fact that Willow might have to be killed in order to be stopped.
  • I didn’t want to see Willow threaten Dawn the way she did here. NO, STOP IT, THAT’S UNFAIR. STOP IT, IT HURTS TO WATCH. 🙁 How could you say those things to Dawn? Yeah, if there is any single moment where I’m just done with Willow, it’s that one. Nope, don’t you DARE insult my Dawn, DON’T DO IT.
  • I didn’t want to see a car chase where Willow uses magic to control an 18-wheeler. Look, it’s about 1% exciting. It just looks silly! Willow looks like she’s the singer of a black metal band half the time. It’s really distracting.
  • I kind of don’t care about Spike’s story. It’s not the content of it. Well, I do feel weird that this is even happening, only because I dread what he’s going to do to Buffy, but it’s more an issue of timing. I’m willing to explore Spike’s moral situation, but after “Seeing Red” and while all this chaos is happening in Sunnydale, his story just seems slightly out of place. I definitely want to see more of his character at some point, but I don’t get why this is important for us to see now. I assumed after the last episode that we wouldn’t see Spike until the season finale or until season seven.
  • I didn’t want to see Jonathan discussing his shock at Willow’s state. Okay, if you viewed her a certain way, perhaps you shouldn’t have targeted her or her best friends for the last year. There’s an idea!
  • Please don’t hurt Anya, PLEASE.

So I spent a good part of this episode thinking DO NOT WANT. I don’t mean that this is bad writing; it’s just that this season continues to get more and more frustrating. It’s so hard to watch this! Seriously, I thought that Battlestar Galactica took the cake when it came to televised misery. But this entire season of this show is almost always humorless, intense, emotionally devastating, and frustrating. I think the worst part of this is that I can’t foresee a positive end to this. How do you stop Willow without irreparably harming her? How the hell can she ever come back from this? Like, let’s say they do stop her. How does she live with what she’s done? This is the first time one of the main characters has been the villain for such a significant length of time. There have been one-off episodes, sure, but hasn’t Willow gone far beyond the point of no return???

Despite how frustrated I am, I’m still engaged, and I’m thankful for that. I’m not at all disinterested in this story. That’s partially because I care about these characters a great deal. I’ve got over a hundred episodes worth of time spent with them, and I really want to see how this turns out. But what’s the price that Willow will have to pay? What about the rest of the Scoobies? Have they lost their friend forever? I can’t ignore the permanence of Willow’s actions. What are all these people going to do? Rack’s dead, Warren’s dead, Willow threatened to turn Dawn back into a ball of energy, she egregiously hurt Anya and Buffy, and the Magic Box is in shambles, too. Where do they go from here?

I don’t know, obviously, and “Two to Go” is largely a set up for the season finale. I feel like most of my thoughts about this episode are ultimately dependent on what happens next. I know that I often make extremely unfortunate and hilarious ironic predictions, mostly without even knowing that I’m doing so, but I feel no need to do that right now. This is a precarious and fragile situation. Dawn, Xander, Andrew, and Jonathan are separated from the group, and Buffy is definitely not strong enough to defeat Willow by physical means alone. So how is this going to go down? To the writers’ credit, I don’t actually know. I have no clue at all. You know, this is kind of similar to Glory from the last season. I came to the finale believing that Glory’s defeat would be impossible. It’s ironic, then, that Willow has ascended to a similar position of power. She’s nearly invincible herself, and no one knows how to defeat her without killing her. Also, I’m uncomfortable. I feel like that’s a common theme for this show, so at least that hasn’t changed.

Okay, so, I’m going to save a lot more thoughts I’m having until I’ve seen the next episode, so it’s now time for what y’all have been waiting for anyway:


Today’s Mark Watches video was purchased by the lovely Amir, and also contains me devolving into a bout of giggles at the appearance of Giles because it was like 11:00pm on a Friday and I’d just gotten done with my first day at LeakyCon and I was trying to finish season six in one night so that I could speak on my Buffy vs. Harry Potter panel the next morning, so I just went wrong? That’s the only explanation I have for that reaction. It was late, I was tired, and I was overflowing with feelings. Enjoy!

The video commission for this episode is now archived on for $0.99!

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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