Drinks Taken: 18
Vamps Dusted: 6
Follow the whole rewatch here!
Welcome back after a brief Christmas-related intermission! And Happy New Year’s! I can’t think of a better way than to kick off 2020 than with the Buffster. As a reminder, we last left off with Spike returning to town, which shook things up between our couples as Oz and Cordelia found out about Willow and Xander’s cheating, and Buffy was outed for keeping a returned-from-hell Angel a secret. This week, it’s all about owning up to your sins…
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There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference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
Let’s say hello to our newest future Scooby Gang member, Anya!
3.9 “The Wish”
Willow and Xander are wallowing without their hunnies (AS THEY SHOULD) as they go monster-slaying with Buffy, who advises them to lean on their friends for moral support, like she still does. Cordelia spent her evening cutting up pictures of Xander and then burning them, but she shows up to school looking hot and “scary” in a leather outfit (I say have 2 drinks, even though it’s not leather pants, because the look is boss). She strolls up to Harmony and her cronies and is introduced to a new member of the squad, Anya. “You have to meet Anya,” Harmony says. “She just moved here and her dad just bought…what was it? Oh! A utility…or something.”
Anya impresses Cordelia by correctly identifying her Prada bag: “Good call! Most people around here can’t tell Prada from Payless.” Unfortunately for Cordy, Harmony has zero sympathy for her break-up and mocks her mercilessly for dating a dweeb. Cordelia can’t even get any love from the hot male population either, as one athlete she tries to chat up says his cred would drop if he hung around with “Xander Harris’s cast-off”. Brutal, but…it’s no more than Cordelia herself would’ve done once, so while I do feel bad for her…I also kind of don’t.
Willow ambushes Oz at his locker and tries begging for forgiveness, even after he tells her he doesn’t want her around. She persists, asking what she can do, and Oz has the most perfect response: “Look, I’m sorry this is hard for you. But I told you what I need. So I can’t help feeling like the reason you want to talk is so you can feel better about yourself. That’s not my problem.” (Drink!) Oz is so mature, y’all.
Anya finds Cordy sadly wandering the halls and befriends her: ”Every since we met this morning I was like, thank God there’s one other person in this town who actually reads W.” She starts harping on men and how lousy guys like Xander are, and tries to get Cordelia to make a wish:
Anya doesn’t yet know the powerhouse that is Cordelia.
Cordy’s plan begins at The Bronze, where she laughs and enjoys herself as Xander looks on jealously. But he also tries to touch Willow’s knee—which she shuts down because Oz’s speech finally got to her—and gets annoyed at Willow’s brush-off, which makes it very clear he has NO remorse or idea about how bad he hurt Cordelia. He’s such a freaking jerk.
As a neutral party, Buffy reaches out to Cordelia as a friend, but her speech is interrupted by a vamp, and the subsequent fight knocks Cordelia into a pile of trash right in front of Harmony’s crew. Cordelia tells Buffy that all of this (Xander, her impaling, the bugs, etc.) is Buffy’s fault. The next day at school, Cordelia finally makes her wish, even though it’s not exactly the one Anya would have wanted:
The implications of these alternate dimension wish-worlds is not discussed enough, IMO.
Suddenly Cordelia is standing in desolate looking courtyard. She quickly realizes her wish came true and is THRILLED. She finds Harmony, who is suddenly full of praise for Cordelia again, and all feels right in Cordelia-land. But she finally starts cluing in that things are a little hinky when a nervous teacher tells everyone to get home before the sun sets, and Harmony is shocked and appalled when Cordy suggests going to The Bronze.
Cordelia’s convertible is missing, so she’s forced to walk home as the sun sets. Suddenly she’s confronted by a very confident, leather-wearing Xander. Willow strolls up, leans all over Xander, and pouts that talking is boring. Cordelia is pissed: “No. No way! I wish us into bizzaro land and you guys are still together?! I cannot win!” Xander vamps out and replies, “Probably not. But I’ll give you a head start.” Cordelia runs but quickly knocks herself out, but luckily she’s saved by Giles, Oz, and a couple of random students in Oz’s van.
In this reality, The Bronze is the new lair of The Master, and Xander/Willow are his right-hand toadies. The Master tells them to kill Cordelia before she can tell her Slayer friend to stop by. Cordelia wakes up in the library and frantically tells Giles they have to fix her wish, because this reality suuuuucks. This version of Giles was never Buffy’s Watcher, and he’s confused that Cordelia seems to know him, but he’s still all gung-ho to help because he’s Giles. Unfortunately, Willow and Xander show up first and kill Cordy.
What an uncomfortable bite-y threesome.
The death of Cordelia pleased The Master, who grants Willow permission to “play with the puppy”. The “puppy” is Angel, locked in a cage, and sadistic vampire Willow enjoys burning and stabbing him with scissors as Xander looks on with relish. Ick.
Meanwhile, Giles finds the necklace on dead Cordelia’s neck and successfully attributes it to Anyanka, a vengeance demon for scorned women. He got word to the Slayer’s watcher that he needed to speak to her, so Buffy shows up, looking very unlike the Buffy we know. She’s wearing baggy clothes, for goodness’ sake, and has a very bleak outlook on life. Giles tells her they need to destroy Anya’s power center and that will fix the world, but they don’t realize it’s the necklace he took off Cordelia’s body. Buffy insists they just kill “the bad fairy,” because wishing for the world to be better is fruitless. When she learns The Master has made his home in Sunnydale, she decides the trip won’t be a loss if she at least gets to kill him, so off to The Bronze she goes.
The Master is unveiling what seems like a very overly produced all-you-can-drink human straw contraption to a group of vamps when Buffy and Angel (who Buffy found and freed from his cage on the way since he gave her information) show up and start a slow-mo massacre. Oz kills vampire Willow, Angel gets dusted in front of a stone-faced Buffy, and Buffy slams a stake through Xander’s heart. (That last one is infinitely more satisfying to witness than the show probably meant it to be.)
While all this is happening, Giles confronts Anyanka, figures out the necklace is the power center, and breaks it just as The Master breaks Buffy’s neck (ouch). The alternate Sunnydale is gone, thank GOD, and we go back to the point when Cordelia made her wish, which Anya can no longer grant because her necklace is gone. Cordelia walks off and leaves Anya to her new existential crisis, wishing outloud for many things, like for Willow to wake up with monkey hair and for Xander to never know the touch of a woman.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
At least 6, but there’s probably more I missed
You may remember her as a cheerleader from the classic, Bring It On. In this episode, she plays one of Harmony’s minions who becomes one of those pour-your-own-wine machines, but, like, for blood.
Stylish Yet Affordable Boots
Cordelia looking hot in leather:
Truest Stupidest Thing Anybody Said This Week
Buffy: “No luck reaching Cordelia?”
Xander: “I’ve left a few messages…sixty, seventy. But you know what really bugs me? Okay, we kissed. It was a mistake. We know that was positively the LAST time we were EVER gonna kiss.”
Willow: “Darn tootin’.”
Xander: “And they burst in, rescuing us, without even knocking? I mean, this is really all their fault.”
Buffy: “Your logic does NOT resemble our Earth logic.”
Crazy Vamp Willow Is Crazy
Willow: “That’s right, puppy. Willow’s gonna make you bark.”
Scooby Gang Feels
At least they have each other…
Xander: “Starting this minute, I’m gonna grab a hold of that crazy little thing called life and let it do its magical heal-y thing. Let’s be in the moment. Behold the beauty that is now. Who’s with me?”
Buffy: “He’s actually make sense. We’re young and free in America. How dare we be spun by love or the lack of same?”
Willow: “Absolutely. It’s self-indulgent. I’m in. I’m on the joy train.”
Buffy: “That didn’t work. Who wants chocolate?”
They all raise their hands.
Buckle up, folks, because the opening shot is Dublin circa 1838, so you know what that means: bad Irish accents. Angel wakes up from his dream-that’s-a-memory of him killing a man before his wedding day. He heads out to clear his head, but he’s still seeing the man he murdered as if he’s a ghost following him. He bumps into Buffy, who is Christmas shopping, and we’re treated to what I will propose is literally her worst haircut of the entire series. Exhibit A:
The tiny bang is the worst bang. Who did this to you, Buffy??
At school, Buffy tells Willow and Xander about the weird vibe Angel was giving out the night before, but they agree they shouldn’t bug Giles with an Angel issue on the count of Ms. Calendar. The topic moves to Christmas plans as Willow snappishly reminds everyone she’s JEWISH, thankyouverymuch. There’s still cheating fallout as Cordelia spills a secret about Xander’s crappy family in front of everyone and flaunts her ski trip to Aspen before taking her leave.
Oz walks up next and asks Willow to speak privately. He explains he understands she and Xander have a history, and he’d never felt as angry in his human form as he had when he saw them together. Willow is quaking in her boots, because it doesn’t seem like this conversation is going well, but, as always, Oz is a mensch: “This is what I do know: I miss you. Like every second. It’s like I lost an arm, or worse—a torso. So, I think I’d be willing to give it a shot.” And just like that, they’re back together.
You are too precious for this world, Oz!
Joyce tells Buffy to invite Faith to Christmas Eve dinner at their house since she’s all alone. Buffy is a bit reluctant and counters with a suggestion to invite Giles as well. Joyce quickly shuts that down. ”He doesn’t want to spend Christmas with a bunch of girls,” she says, which is a weird argument to use, but WE all know she’s flustered because they totally boned. So Buffy stops by Faith’s motel, but Faith is still a bit prickly about their fight about her faux-Watcher, so she says thanks but no thanks—she’s got a raging party to attend that night.
Meanwhile, Angel is still having creepy nightmares. He goes to Giles’ apartment and begs for help in figuring out why Angel was freed from Hell. Perhaps if he knew, he’d gain some peace. Giles, obvs, is reluctant to help for many reasons, but before he can make a decision, Angel bolts. Why? Because he saw the ghost of Jenny Calendar hovering around Giles, who definitely did not see her. Jenny becomes Angel’s constant companion. She says she’s not there to make him feel bad, but to show him who he really is: a monster and a murderer. Cruelty is the only thing he’s ever had a true talent for. Angel says that was the demon in him, but he’s reminded that even when he WAS a man, he was a drunken layabout who disappointed his parents. Ouch (but…true).
Buffy approaches Giles the next day and tells him she’s been in Angel’s dreams, and she’s worried something’s wrong. Giles clues her in about Angel’s plea for help. At some point over a long day and night of research, Buffy falls asleep again, and she and Angel share quite the vivid sex dream. But when a creeper with his eyes sewn shut shows up in the bedroom, Angel bites Buffy in flagrante. Angel jerks awake, appalled at his dream self, and obviously-not-Jenny coos that this is what she brought him back for: to end his pain by killing the Slayer.
Joyce and Buffy are spending Christmas Eve decorating the tree and trying not to sweat by the “lovely” but unnecessary fire when, awww, look, Faith shows up!
One of those brief moments in time when I liked Faith.
Her party was going to be lame (uh huh). She even brings presents for Buffy’s mom! It would’ve been a sweet little evening, if only a sweaty and beleaguered Angel hadn’t shown up in Buffy’s room, freaking out and warning her to stay away from him (uh…) before jumping out the window. Buffy leaves Faith to watch over Joyce and goes to Giles to do more research. They determine the thing messing with Angel’s head is the First Evil—who we won’t see again for a few more seasons—and that it has a penchant for taking the form of dead people you once knew.
Buffy has a brief run-in with the First Evil, who talks a big game but doesn’t actually end up doing much. Honestly, its motives are a bit murky to me. It wants the Slayer dead but wants Angel to be the one to do it for some reason, and when he refuses, saying he’ll kill himself before hurting her, the First pivots and is suddenly all, okay, sure, go for it. But then who will kill the Slayer, First Evil? Obviously Buffy, despite how much she’s said she’s over Angel, is horrified that he plans on “meeting the sun,” and she races over to his home to stop him.
I think this scene between the two of them is the most emotion we’ve ever seen from Angel. He’s haunted and disgusted with himself, wallowing in his failures. Buffy tries pleading, then tough love, and finally opens up to him about how broken she’s felt since she had to kill him. She knows all the bad things he’s done because he’s done them TO her, but she still loves him anyway. And if she can still be strong enough to get through each day, then he should take the harder path and stay alive to make amends and become a person worthy of love.
Angel never really makes the choice himself; they get distracted as it begins to snow, which is unheard of in Sunnydale. But it seems that the universe has made the decision for him, and, crisis averted, the two walk hand-in-hand down a snowy street as the rest of the Scooby gang take in the snowy goodness.
It’s a bit of a cheesy ending, but, hey—it’s Christmas.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Not A Dream You Share With The School Librarian
Truest Most Dramatic Thing Anybody Said This Week
Angel: “Am I a thing worth saving, huh? Am I a righteous man? The world wants me gone.”
Buffy: “What about me? I love you so much. And I tried to make you go away. I killed you and it didn’t help. And I hate it. I hate that it’s so hard. And that you can hurt me so much. I know everything that you did because you did it to ME. God, I wished that I wished you dead. I don’t. I can’t.”
Angel: “Buffy, please, just this once, let me be strong.”
Buffy: “Strong is FIGHTING. It’s hard, and it’s painful, and it’s every day. It’s what we have to do, and we can do it together. But if you’re too much of a coward for that, then burn.”
Bloody Good Snark
After a particularly long speech about how eeeeeeevil it is, Buffy cuts off the First and says what we’re all thinking:
Buffy: “Alright, I get it. You’re evil. Do we have to chat about it all day?”
Willow Seducing Oz
Willow wants to show Oz that he’ll come first for her from now on, so when her parents are out of town, she takes the opportunity to invite him over to her love den. Oz is confounded:
*Barry White is playing*
Oz: “You ever have that dream, where you’re in a play, and it’s the middle of the play and you really don’t know your lines? And you kind of don’t know the plot?”
Willow: “Well, we’re alone and together. I just wanted it to be special.”
Oz: “How special are we talkin’?”
Willow: “Well, you know…we’re alone and we’re both mature younger people. And, and so…we could—I’m ready to…with you. *whispers* We could do that thing.”
Willow, bubelah, if you can’t SAY the word “sex” then you are not ready to HAVE all the sex.
And Oz Being Amazing
We should all hope for first boyfriends like Oz. I MEAN:
Willow: “I’m ready.”
Oz: “Okay. Well. Don’t take this the wrong way…but, I’m not.”
Willow: “Are you scared? Because, I thought you had—”
Oz: “No, I have. But this is different. I mean, you look great. And you’ve got the Barry working for you, and it’s all…good. But, when it happens, I want it to be because we both need it to for the same reason. You don’t have to prove anything to me.”
I am a puddle on the floor.
If you were Oz, would you have forgiven Willow? Did you feel for Angel at the end of “Amends” or are you still over him? I’ll admit I don’t hate Angel as much as I think many of you do, so I did feel a bit bad for him. It made me think of his spin-off show that started soon after this season, and how he really did begin to live his life in earnest seeking out redemption and atonement. I enjoyed Angel when it aired, but I haven’t gone back to it since.
Join Sarah here next week as we go on a witch hunt during “Gingerbread” and Buffy turns eighteen in “Helpless”!