Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Episode Report Card
Ace: D+ | 6 USERS: D+
Feed your head

Willow is in the shower. She holds her head under the water and begins to sob. I'm not touched in the least. Cut to Willow, clad in a bathrobe, coming back into her bedroom; she spots a cardboard box in the corner, labeled "TARA" in large Sharpie letters. What, she has a bunch of boxes of other ex-girlfriends' clothes lying around and she was afraid she's get confused? Thank you, Mutant Enemy, for not thinking we'd be smart enough to remember the box Willow mentioned earlier. Willow pulls some clothes out of the box and lays them out on the bed. Which reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry tries the dirty talk ("The panties that your mother laid out for you?") and also this children's book I used to have called Cat in the Mirror. I loved it because it had three of my favorite things: cats, magic, and Egyptians. It also had this sequence that's stuck with me for years. The heroine is an unpopular girl (probably another reason I liked it) and she's trying to fit in with some classmates, and she mentions how in Europe they lay out your nightgown in the hotel and pinch the waist. It's just the right sort of awful awkward thing to say that will make your peers hate you, and the merciless teasing that she receives always struck a chord with me. Anyway, Willow sits next to the blouse and skirt on the bed and then waves her hand over them. They begin to puff up and wiggle, and I'm totally, totally worried that she's making some sort of zombie Tara. Instead, the clothes sit up, with no one at all inside, and Willow lays her head in the laundry's lap. Bizarre. Is that like a witchy blow-up doll?

That night, Willow enters the kitchen, where Dawn is cooking "peanut butter and banana" quesadillas. Is it really a quesadilla if there's no cheese? I think not. It's more of a platano-cacahuete-dilla. Or, in English, "tortilla with inappropriate goo." Willow chooses not to partake because her stomach's upset. She looks pretty peaked overall. Dawn mentions that Buffy has called her a bunch of times today about her plans, and Willow apologizes for not being home the night Tara had to stay with Dawn. Eventually, Willow offers to take Dawn to dinner and a movie. Dawn is pathetically grateful (as neglected puppies are when they finally get to go for a walk) and off they go, leaving a note for Buffy on the fridge.

You know what this episode needs? More fighting. Because fighting makes for quick and easy recapping.

Buffy comes home from patrolling and hears a thump upstairs. When she goes to investigate, she finds Willow's room ransacked and then catches Amy trying to sneak out the door. Buffy grabs her and demands an explanation. Stuttering from Amy. Buffy pulls a bundle out of Amy's hands and sniffs it. "It's not what you think it is! It's sage," yelps Amy. "That is what I think it is," replies Buffy, tossing the savory herb aside. Buffy wants to know where Dawn is, but gets no answer from the addled Amy. Amy does admit that she broke into the house, however. Buffy pulls a few more packets out of Amy's pockets, over Amy's protests that she "needs" the things she's taken. What? What the hell is going on here? Could this plot line get any more muddled? We've moved from the addiction metaphor with Willow's power abuse right to an out-and-out addiction story, which of course necessitates a "junkie friend breaks into your house" scene despite how little sense it makes. We saw that Rack doesn't require payment, so it's not like he sent Amy out for some really sweet marjoram. She obviously can't sniff a little fenugreek and achieve the same effect as seeing Rack so, really, what the hell is she doing stealing spices from Willow? Plus, her dad doesn't cook? She can't stop by the freaking store? Seems easier than breaking and entering. I'm so disgusted by this scene that I brace myself for more shit or anvils, but instead I'm shocked to find Marti Noxon sitting next to me on the couch. I'm about to say hi when she whips out a baseball bat labeled "DRUG ADDICTION METAPHOR" and begins to beat me about the head with it. Ouch! Marti! Cut it out! I eventually distract her by throwing issues of the Buffy magazine featuring Marc Blucas at her. As Marti checks out Marc and giggles, I glance back at the TV in time to see Amy finally admit that Willow is at Rack's place. She asks Buffy not to slam her around anymore, as she's about to "boot." That's a new phrase for me, and the only redeeming feature of this scene. ["We used to say 'I'm gonna boot' (and its lesser-used variant, 'boot and rally') in college all the time. I haven't heard it in years, though, and hearing it here made the episode seem, if possible, even more out of step." -- Sars] Amy tells Buffy she has to sense out Rack's place, and then goes to empty her boot. At least we were spared a scene of Amy shakily pointing a gun at Buffy and screaming, "Where's the coriander, bitch?"

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer




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