Drinks Taken: 21
Vamps Dusted: 0
Follow the whole rewatch here!
Look, things are bleak and scary. So I’m just going to quote the Slayer, because she’s wise and strong, and she makes me feel better when I’m afraid.
What can’t we face if we’re together? What’s in this place that we can’t weather? Apocalypse – we’ve all been there. The same old trips – why should we care?
I don’t pretend that this isn’t an enormous deal for all of us, but stuff like inspiring pop culture and online communities are exactly what many of us need right now. It’s the safest way we can stay connected and sane. And there’s no community I’d rather weather this pandemic with than FYA’s.
So let’s drink to facing it together, friends.
The Buffy Season Four Drinking Game Rules
Drink once every time:
A vamp is dusted
A scene takes place in a cemetery
You see the “University of California Sunnydale” sign
You actually see a class in session
Oz is ridiculously low-key cool
Spike has mad swagger
Willow and/or Tara get witchy with it
The Initiative makes you go, “Bored now”
Riley’s a drag
Things get funcomfortable between Anya and Xander
Drink twice every time:
Giles drinks tea
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
There’s a callback to previous season shenanigans
Harmony says something dumb
Someone uses a payphone
Now let’s enjoy some escapism, shall we?
4.9 “Something Blue”
Willow’s feeling Oz’s absence big time, and she’s especially devastated when she hears from his bandmate that he sent for his stuff, so he won’t be coming back any time soon. Willow decides to deal with that in the time-honored way of all recently dumped college students: by getting drunk and dancing it out at The Bronze. Buffy and Xander kinda scold her for this honestly reasonable choice, so I a little bit blame them for what’s about to happen. If only they had let Willow wallow with beer!
When Buffy tells Willow she has to live with the pain, for however long it takes to heal, Willow replies, “Can’t I just make it go poof?” She decides to do a spell that makes her wishes reality, so she can get over Oz faster. This is the first real sign of Willow’s over-reliance on witchery to solve complicated matters of the heart, which becomes a HUGE thread later. You’d think this first instance would have warned her off of it, because shit goes badly very quickly! She makes a lil snafu with the spell and now every single thing she says, even aphorisms and metaphors, literally come true. And since Willow’s in a VERY crummy and fairly rude mood, all of her aphorisms and metaphors are mean-spirited.
She tells Giles he can’t see what she’s going through, and he becomes literally blind. She mocks Xander’s taste in women and calls him a demon magnet (ouch), so then he’s just constantly chased by demons. When Buffy leaves Willow to take care of a Spike problem, Willow snarks, “Why doesn’t she just MARRY him” and sure enough, Spike proposes and Buffy joyfully accepts. It’s so funny – everyone else is completely grossed out, and they still sort of hate each other but are also really schmoopy and can’t stop making out. (That will get less cute later, but for now, it’s a good time.) And poor Riley – the rare time I’ll say that – has been making cute progress with Buffy but looks completely baffled when he runs into her shopping for wedding dresses, and she tells him she’s engaged. (Later she tells him it was all a big joke, and somehow she convinces him of that quite handily.)
So while the Scoobs minus Willow are battling the dozens of demons that keep following them, D’Hoffryn, Anya’s old demon boss, zaps Willow to his dimension to try and sell her on becoming a vengeance demon because her powers of revenge are quite impressive. WILLOW. THAT’S NOT GREAT. Willow politely declines, is zapped back, reverses the spell, and then bakes guilt-cookies for everyone and will presumably deal with her feelings in a more adult way for a little while. Like getting drunk and dancing it out!
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Giles Is All Of Us Right Now
Giles: “It’s all right. I… I have more scotch.”
The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week
Buffy’s trying to work through her bad boy phase with Nice Guy Riley Finn.
Buffy: “I just feel like something’s missing.”
Willow: “He’s not making you miserable?”
This banner being hung in the episode where Willow finds closure on her breakup with Oz? Not a coincidence.
Is Amy Still A Rat?
She is, but for the briefest of seconds, she wasn’t! Poor thing.
Willow: “First she’s a perfectly normal girl. And then poof, she’s a rat.”
Bloody Good Snark
When Xander finds out Giles is blind, and then sees Buffy and Spike making out, he asks, “Can I be blind, too?”
In turn, when Spike sees Xander waving his hands in front of Giles’ eyes, and Giles seethes that his hands smell like Fruit Roll-ups, Spike sighs, “This is the crack team that foils my every plan? I am deeply shamed.”
Spike’s Taste in TV
As he’s chained in the bathtub, complaining that Giles hasn’t turned on the TV for him, he whines, “Passions is on! Timmy’s down a bloody well.” I LOVE this.
“Hush” is an all-timer episode with some of the greatest villains in Buffy history! It’s also a leeeeetle bit triggery with all of the quarantine stuff, so I’m gonna go through it faster than I normally would!
The episode opens with one of Buffy’s prophesy dreams: she and Riley kiss (which is not yet happening IRL, because they both talk too much. That’s about to get fixed!) and the sun sets on Sunnydale, and then she hears a girl sing-songing this lil chant:
Can’t even shout, can’t even cry
The Gentlemen are coming by
Looking in windows, knocking on doors
They need to take seven and they might take yours
Can’t call to Mom, can’t say a word
You’re gonna die screaming but you won’t be heard.
Upon waking, Buffy goes to Giles with this dream, and he starts researching – alongside hooking up SHIRTLESS with his hot girlfriend Olivia, who’s back in town. It’s great. Meanwhile, in other before-everything-goes-silent news, Willow’s joined a new Wicca group, which is just a bunch of new-age ladies who like to bake – and then also this one beautiful young woman named Tara, who perks up when Willow mentions doing actual magic (no one else in the group is a fan of that suggestion). And Anya and Xander are fighting because Xander won’t communicate his feelings to Anya.
Okay, at night, a bunch of creepy, bald weirdos float through town into a clock tower like so much Dark City, which came out the year before this episode so it’s definitely intentional, and they steal all of Sunnydale’s voices. Turns out, this is so that when The Gentlemen steal seven hearts (for uncertain reasons?), no one can scream. Everyone wakes up and realizes they can’t speak, and most of the episode plays out without any dialogue, with our pals hearing on the news that it’s only happening to their town, so Sunnydale is under **q-word** from the rest of the world.
It’s clever and creepy, and it’s fun seeing our Scoobs & significant others communicate without words. Especially when it leads to this INCREDIBLE presentation by Giles, and all of the terrific reactions therein:
Tara starts looking for a spell to recover her town’s voices (that’s our girl!), and then she finds herself menaced by The Gentlemen. She runs into Willow, who helps her, and they flee The Gentlemen into a corner, and then hold hands and use combined magic to move a vending machine in front of the door so they can barricade themselves inside. It’s hot! Later, when folks can speak, Tara tells Willow that her mom was a powerful witch, and that she can tell Willow’s powerful, too. It’s also hot!
Also hot(ish? Funcomfortable?) – after a near-death situation, Anya and Xander make out hard-core and have definitely resolved their communication issues with Anya’s superb non-verbal prowess.
Less hot: Buffy and Riley kiss, too, so whatever, and then also they’re patrolling at the same time when they discover each other both having sorta superpowered heroism stuff going on. Buffy’s being choked by a Gentlemen when she sign-languages to Riley to break the box the Gentlemen have been using to carry the town’s voices, and after he does, she screams like the princess in Giles’ presentation, ‘sploding the Gentlemen and returning everything back to normal. The episode ends – after Willow and Tara’s nice moment, and Giles’ less nice moment where Olivia tells him, understandably, that she’s not sure she can handle his scary life – with Riley stopping by Buffy’s room and saying, “Hi. We need to talk.” Buffy replies, “I guess we do,” and they stare silently at each other until credits.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Jeez, You’re A Little On The Nose This Week, Aren’t You, Buffy?
I love Oz, but I’m also Team This:
The head Gentleman is played by one of the best creature actors of all time, Doug Jones! (Hocus Pocus, Star Trek: Discovery, pretty much every Guillermo del Toro movie)
Giles For Life
I already shared this pic during the first Halloween ep, but please never forget my friend Mandy in her AMAZING Gentlemen costume. (I’m Dark Willow, also sadly relevant this week):
That’s it for this week! QUESTIONS – how are you guys holding up? Any book, movie, music, TV show recommendations? Vent, suggest, commiserate away in the comments. We love you, pals, and we’re right here with you.
Meet Stephanie here next Wednesday morning as she covers “Doomed” and “A New Man”!