Drinks Taken: 26
Vamps Dusted: 9
Follow the whole rewatch here!
Welcome back! Last week, Kandis took us through two extremely fun episodes, “Homecoming” and “Band Candy,” the latter of which, I must say, is an ALL-TIMER. (Ripper, call me!) But I gotta break it to you, Spike aside, this week is not nearly so fun and shenanigansy.
Let’s drink to, uhm, the Willow and Xander thing finally being over?
The Buffy Season Three Drinking Game Rules
Drink once every time:
A vamp is dusted
A scene takes place in a cemetery
Cordelia says something cutting but true
Principal Snyder hates on students
Oz is ridiculously low-key cool
Spike has mad swagger
Willow gets witchy
You roll your eyes at Faith
The Mayor is a germaphobe
Drink twice every time:
We see the entrance to Sunnydale High
Giles drinks tea
Jonathan appears in a scene
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
Someone wears leather pants
Onto the eps!
In addition to being the OG Scoobs, Willow, Xander and Buffy have something in common this week: they’re all hiding gross romances. Buffy’s sneaking off to do tai chi with Angel, which eventually turns into a makeout session because sure, why not. And Willow and Xander are being SO AWKWARD AND ODD that I can’t believe no one’s noticing, including Giles who almost trips over them making out in the library. This episode should be called “Diet” because I don’t ever want to eat again.
Meanwhile, Faith has a new watcher in town: the extremely tightly wound Gwendolyn Post. She’s so British that she calls Giles American, which is really pretty rude, in my opinion. Giles’ Britishness is the best thing about him! No one likes her, but she starts to sort of win over Faith, mostly by false-casually mentioning that “Buffy and all her friends” were having a meeting, making Faith believe that she must not be one of Buffy’s friends.
But the meeting is actually more like an intervention, after Xander catches Buffy kissing Angel and everyone freaks out. Xander is, as is his tradition, a total jerk about it, but everyone else is responding pretty fairly to the fact that Buff’s Miss Calendar-killing, Watcher-torturing, stalker vampire ex is alive and Buffy’s been hiding that fact from everyone who needs to know it. It’s not at all like the dumb miscommunication stuff in “Dead Man’s Party” – everyone (except Xander) is communicating honestly and listening to Buffy’s not-great excuses with an open mind. Giles, in particular, serves it to her COLD but fairly, and Buffy knows she’s earned that one. Willow, because she’s not an enormous hypocrite like Xander, is pretty understanding of Buffy’s need to keep a dirty romantic secret, and she even almost tells Buffy about Xander before they get interrupted by a demon.
Oh right, this show has demons! Gwendolyn Post (ahem, supposedly) came to town to warn Buffy and Faith about a guy named Lagos, who’s on the hunt for a glove – actually, you know what, I’ll let Buffy take it from here:
He’s looking for a small powerful thing-a-ma-bob, and I gotta stop him before he unleashes unholy havoc, and it’s another Tuesday night in Sunnydale.
You get it. Buffy finds and kills Lagos quite easily, tbh, but that turns out to not be the end of this small powerful thing-a-ma-bob’s story. Angel finds the glove and promises to destroy it for Buffy, but the rest of the Scoobs are nervous about that plan for understandable reasons, and then Xander siccs Faith on Angel because he sucks. While Faith heads out to kill Angel, Gwendolyn Post knocks Giles unconscious because TWIST! She also sucks. Well, I guess we knew she sucked from the beginning, but turns out she sucks in an EVIL way. She tries to get the glove from Angel, then Faith walks in as Angel’s fighting her, and after seeing her first Watcher killed, she reacts pretty poorly to Buffy’s recently evil ex smacking her new Watcher around. Buffy shows up and tries to stop Faith from killing Angel, and the two Slayers embark on a pretty legendary fight as the rest of the OG Scoobs arrive. But then Gwen gets the glove and gets all power-hungry and murdery, and Angel saves Willow from certain death, so everyone finally figures out the score: that Buffy was right, Angel isn’t evil anymore, and Gwen sucks extra-hard.
The ep ends rather nicely, actually – the Scoobs all make up and concede that Angel isn’t so bad. Even Xander! Buffy goes to see Faith and that unfortunately doesn’t go as smoothly – Faith seems uninterested in reconciling, except for a moment when she aaaalmost makes up with Buffy and then changes her mind again. C’est la vie!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
What Passes For Foreplay With The Kids These Days
No thank you?
I Hate Xander, Part 473:
Xander says some truly terrible things during Buffy’s Angel intervention – stuff like telling Buffy that everyone will be in danger “the next time you give Angel a happy,” and when Buffy says she’d stop Angel if he changed again, he challenges her with, “Like you did last time, with Miss Calendar?” I wish Angel had snapped YOUR neck, Xander.
I Actually Sorta Like Xander, Part 2 or Maybe 3, Tops
All of that said, he is shockingly reasonable at the end of the episode, after Angel is proven to be Not Evil Once Again. Buffy asks him if they’re cool, and he replies, “Yeah! Just seeing the two of you kissing after everything that happened, I leaned toward the postal. But I trust you.” Whoa, Xander! Sorry I said that thing about Angel snapping your neck.
The Ickiest Thing Anybody Said This Week
I usually love it when Willow and Buffy partake in boy talk, but Willow gave me the MASSIVE wiggins with this line: “When you were with Angel, and nobody knew about it, did that make things feel, you know… sexier, somehow?” NOTHING ABOUT YOU AND XANDER IS SEXY, WILL.
Stylish Yet Affordable Boots
Love this (admittedly out-of-focus) Buffy ensemb!
Willow for President
After Buffy and Willow discover that Xander sent Faith to kill Angel, Willow is awesomely FURIOUS at her gross secret romantic partner but also not above asking for help in researching glove destruction.
Xander’s Best Joke
As Xander and Willow are telling Cordy and Oz about how things went down with Gwendolyn and the glove, Oz muses, “Sounds like we missed a lot of fun,” and Xander snaps back in the funniest way, “Then we’re TELLING IT WRONG.” (See how nice I can be to you when you’re reasonable, Xander?)
3.8 “Lovers Walk”
Welcome back, Spike! Our favorite platinum-haired bad guy has arrived back in Sunnydale, but he’s missing all that mad swagger of the drinking game rule. Turns out Dru never forgave him for striking a truce with Buffy, and she left him after he caught her making out with a Chaos Demon. He’s REALLY upset, you guys, all sobby and sniffly and woefully singing Sinatra’s “My Way” into a bottle of whiskey. It’s cute. He blames Angel for turning Dru away from him, and heads to the magic shop to find a spell to give Angel leprosy or something. But instead he finds Willow, who’s there buying the ingredients for a “de-lusting spell.” YUCK.
Because, yeah, Willow and Xander are still up to their gross antics, and it’s getting worse because Oz suggests a double date to celebrate everyone’s SAT scores. (Everyone except Xander’s, that is. Buffy got a 1430! This gives her college options she hadn’t yet considered, which makes her understandably overwhelmed. Willow’s furious she didn’t get a perfect score but we assume it was damn near. Cordy’s score is kept vague but it’s high enough that she’s hiding it from everyone to maintain her reputation as a hot dummy. Xander remains, as always, the Zeppo.) Oz is being extra cute and giving Willow a witch Pez (he kills me when she asks, “What’s the occasion?” and he says, “Pretty much you are.” HEART EYES), and Cordy’s being extra cute by posting pictures of Xander in her locker. Still, these INGRATES are all hot for each other in a very disrespectful way to their current partners, and Willow at least has the good sense to feel awful about it, so she plans to get witchy (drink!) and magically kill their illicit crush.
Xander reminds her that these kinds of spells don’t go great for him, but it’s all moot – Spike has arrived to kidnap them both, so Willow can make him a love spell to win Drusilla back. He alternates between menacing and pathetic in these scenes, but the menacing stuff is quite scary, and Alyson Hannigan always sells fear so well, so we really fret for Willow here. Spike leaves for a while, and Willow and Xander get back to doing what they do best worst: making moon-eyes at each other. But this time, it’s because of the “impending death situation,” so they decide it’s okay. NOPE.
Spike heads to Buffy’s house and ends up having a lovely conversation with Joyce, as is their wont (WHERE’S MY SPINOFF), when Buffy and Angel show up to protect Joyce from the nice man who’s currently sobbing over a cup of cocoa in her kitchen. Poor Joyce is confused – Angel’s alive? He’s good again? Spike is bad? I thought we liked Spike? – then the two vampires and a slayer head out to resolve this Willow/Xander thing. Spike’s going to take Buffy and Angel to his hostages when they all run into a huge committee of vampires sent by The Mayor to stop Spike, and it makes for a really cool, very long, sort of plot-irrelevant fight scene. Amid all the punching, Spike points out that Buffy and Angel are kidding themselves pretending to be friends, and then says THIS, which is so true and great:
After all the fighting, the old Spike is back! He realizes he doesn’t need a love spell; he just needs to be the man he once was for Dru to love him again, and he drives back out of town all jolly and riled up, wailing along to a punk cover of “My Way.” See you next time, Spike!
God, I wish that were the end, but we have some excruciating other real estate to cover here. Oz and Cordy are out looking for Willow and Xander, because they’re good partners who care, and they find them thanks to Oz’s werewolf sniffer. They walk in right as Willow and Xander are MAJORLY making out in a horizontal way, and Cordy says, “Oh god” in this small voice that breaks my heart, as does Oz’s face (seen above in the header image). Cordy runs off and falls through a hole in the floor onto a rusty bit of rebar that impales her, and it seems like she might die. It’s HORRIBLE. Xander and Willow feel so terrible, Oz runs off to get help and Cordelia passes out. GAH.
Later, we see Cordy in the hospital and she’s recovering okay physically, but her heart is well and truly smushed. Xander comes by with flowers and she tells him to get away from her, and yep, that sounds about right. Willow tells Buffy that Oz won’t speak to her, and yep, that sounds about right, too. Ugh ugh ugh.
The episode ends with a sad face montage, after Buffy tells Angel that Spike’s right, they’re not friends and shouldn’t pretend to be, and all of the four people involved in today’s tawdry scandal look heartbroken or horribly ashamed or both. Oof.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Have You Ever Seen A Chaos Demon?
This, according to Spike: “They’re all slime and antlers. They’re disgusting.”
A World Of No
Joyce + Spike 4Ever
The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week
Spike, to Buffy and Angel: “The last time I looked in on you two, you were fighting to the death. Now you’re back making googly eyes at each other like nothing happened. Makes me want to heave.”
That’s it for this week! QUESTION: how hard did you guys cringe at every single Willow and Xander scene? Can you sort of understand Willow, who’s being lusted after by her crush after years of unrequited love, basking in the attention and mistaking it for real feelings, even when she has the FAR SUPERIOR Oz by her side? (I don’t have the answer to that question, btw – like, I WANT to understand, but HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO OZ???) Xander, obviously, has no excuse whatsoever outside of “the girl who used to worship me now has a boyfriend, ergo I must force her to worship me again.”
NEXT WEEK is Christmas, so we’ll be taking a Buffy breather! But Stephanie returns on the first day of the new year with the maaaajorly epic ep “The Wish” and the sort of inconveniently timed Christmas episode “Amends.”