Written by Tracey Forbes
Directed by Nick Marck
Willow is being Sad Willow in Oz’s room, where there are pictures of them together and one of his shirts sitting there for her to smell. Elsewhere, Buffy walks past Riley, who is helping a lesbian student organization set up their banners. He tells her about plans for a picnic, but he forgot to actually ask her to a picnic. She’s intrigued that he practices having conversations with him. He admits that he likes her, and she’s very flattered when he lets slip that she’s beautiful.
That night, Buffy is telling Willow about Riley and the picnic date plan, but she sounds a little like she’s trying to convince herself she’s happy about this. Willow thinks she’s being a little silly, but she’s too bummed still to really offer enthusiasm or advice. Buffy seems doubtful that she’ll be able to have the same intensity with Riley that she did with Angel, and if that’s true, she’s not sure she should even try.
Buffy is trying to get information out of Spike about the soldier guys. He’s not being very helpful, although it seems like that may not be for deliberate lack of trying. He just doesn’t really have an eye for detail when he’s frantically trying to flee for his life, so he doesn’t remember much. Giles brings Buffy a mug of blood to feed Spike through a straw. He gets snarky, and she takes the blood away. He also doesn’t want to tell what he knows because then they might kill him. (As they should.) Buffy taunts Spike some more, which is hilarious. Giles finds it annoying.
Willow is out in the living room, looking up truth spells to try on Spike. She volunteers to go get the stuff for it. In the bathroom (where Spike is chained up), Spike is drinking blood through the straw again. He scoffs at their optimistic assessment of Willow’s emotional state.
Willow goes back to Oz’s room, and all his stuff is gone! Then she goes to the dorm and tells Buffy about it, crying. As long as his stuff was still there, she could tell herself he might come back any day. But now it looks like that won’t happen.
The next morning, Spike is furious because he’s missing Passions, and Giles is trying to ignore him while he attempts to get Willow on the phone.
Buffy and Riley are having their picnic. He likes taking scenic drives. She doesn’t get that. He waxes somewhat poetic about it, and then he starts staring into her eyes. She’s okay for going on a drive with him. Sad Willow shows up and is awkward until Riley invites her to join them, and then her awkwardness spreads to Riley and Buffy.
Buffy, Anya (who has short, brownish-reddish hair now), and Xander are at the Bronze, where…Blink 182 is playing? What the crap? And Willow is doing the jump up and down dance. Because she’s drunk. They discover this not because her voice is slurring but because she knocks her beer bottle over into view. Buffy tries to take Willow home. Willow doesn’t want to have to go through the pain. She wants to just make the pain disappear.
And so, that night, after Buffy is asleep, Willow sneaks some of her witchcraft stuff into the dorm bathroom. She casts a spell to make her will be done, and it looks like it works. Or, at least, it does something.
The next morning, she tries to use the spell to get rid of her pain. And to make a book read itself to her. And to unbend a q-tip. Then Giles shows up, worried because she never showed up with truth spell stuff like she said she would. She shows him the stuff she did do for the spell. She tells him about the willpower spell, and he’s shocked that she would try something like that when she’s so emotionally unfocused. She’s very resentful of his concern, interpreting it as punishment for being in pain. Which is not what it is. She feels like nobody wants to put up with her misery anymore, (which isn’t fair since she’s the one who doesn’t want to put up with her misery anymore; they just don’t like seeing her do dangerous stuff to try to sidestep it). She tells him that he doesn’t see anything, and then lightning flashes in her eyes, which is a super cool effect.
He blinks and takes off his glasses, then leaves, bonking into people in the hall.
Spike is still chained up, but now he’s on Giles’s living room floor. Giles is trying to do the truth spell, but he can’t seem to read the text. Spike takes advantage of his sight problems to unlock himself from the manacles. Then he shoves Giles aside and flees.
Willow’s still moping about her spell not working. And her general failure as a witch. She can’t turn Amy human, she couldn’t make Oz stay with her with magic. *record scratch* Wait, what?! She would’ve used a spell on Oz to force him to stay? That’s super horrifying. (And basically what she does to Tara in S6.) Buffy tries to point out the problems with that line of thinking, but Willow isn’t listening. She’s still talking about Amy, who is a way better witch than her. Behind them on the bed, Amy turns human. Then Willow keeps talking, about how Amy is now a rat. And she turns back into a rat before she can say anything.
The phone rings. It’s Giles, telling her about Spike escaping. Willow feels like Buffy can blow that off for a while and do the emotional support thing for a while, but Buffy is prioritizing her duties this week, so she goes out to find Spike. Willow is annoyed. She doesn’t think it’ll even take very long to find him. Lightning eyes!
Buffy takes two steps out of the dorm building and finds Spike standing there on the lawn, looking confused. Then Spike realizes that he’s near the spot where he came out of the Initiative. The door he escaped through is gone, though. He has a bit of a tantrum, and then Buffy grabs him to take him back to Giles’s place. He punches her and gets zapped with brain pain, and then she punches him back. Bahaha.
She brings Spike back to Giles’s place. They’re still arguing. She’d love to have a green light to just kill him already, but he’s confident that she wouldn’t do it. Giles is more concerned with his eyesight problems.
At Xander’s place, Willow is complaining about how Buffy just ditched her to go find Spike. Xander finds her complaints just as illogical as Buffy did. Willow feels like if Spike is such a big priority for Buffy, she should just marry him. Lightning eyes!
At Giles’s flat, Spike is suddenly proposing to Buffy, and she’s accepting. Giles comes out of the bathroom in time to witness it, and he’s even more horrified and confused than he already was about his eyes.
Xander tries to give Willow some encouragement, but she rounds on him, talking about his track record with dating. He’s a demon magnet. Lightning eyes! Oh dear.
Giles is on the phone with…Xander, maybe? Buffy and Spike are cuddled up doing wedding plans. Giles is revolted. Buffy asks Giles to be the one who gives her away at the wedding. Giles is touched until he remembers that this is all insane. Spike is touchy about Buffy mentioning Angel’s name. She retorts about Drusilla. Then they make out some more. Ew.
Giles finally realizes that he’s actually blind. Spike starts helping them figure out how to reverse whatever spell caused it. Buffy assures her that Spike will look after him while she goes to get spell supplies, and Giles decides he needs more scotch.
Buffy is distracted by the bridal shop on her way to the magic shop, and Riley finds her there. She tells him about her new engagement, and he’s horrified and confused. She talks about how wonderful Spike is even though neither she nor anyone else really likes him at all. Riley leaves, in shock.
Xander and Anya are hanging out in his basement, and it’s time for some making out, but then a demon bursts in! They kill that one, but then another one shows up.
Buffy is playing with a cake-topper, and she’s not very concerned that she won’t be able to get the ingredients for the spell to fix Giles’s blindness until the next day. Giles can hear when she and Spike kiss, and he very much wants them to stop. Even though Buffy and Spike are magically engaged, they still fight a lot. Anya and Xander come rushing in, running away from the demons. They find out about Giles’s blindness and Buffy and Spike’s engagement. Xander is close to barfing, but then he remembers that Willow said that thing about Buffy and Spike getting married. They finally figure out that Willow’s spell is the cause of all of this.
Sad Willow goes back to the dorm and is promptly jumped by a demon. A demon the astute viewer may remember from “Doppelgängland.” Anya’s vengeance demon boss. The Scoobies plus Spike go to the dorm, where they find evidence of D’Hoffryn’s presence. D’Hoffryn wants to recruit Willow as a new vengeance demon.
Buffy, Spike, Xander, and Anya hurry to find Willow, and they get attacked by another demon. Buffy slays it. Then more show up. They barricade themselves inside of a crypt, where Anya will do the spell to summon D’Hoffryn. She can’t quite remember it, though. The demons break through, and Buffy is having a hard time handling all of them herself, since Spike thinks he can’t do anything. Xander and Anya try to fight too, but they’ll be overwhelmed soon.
D’Hoffryn shows Willow what’s happening to her friends, and she’s horrified. She turns down D’Hoffryn’s offer. Surprisingly (and hilariously), he just sighs, gives her his business talisman, and sends her to the crypt to help the others. Buffy and Spike start making out on the floor of the crypt while Xander and Anya struggle to fight off some demons. Then Willow arrives in a flash of lightning. She undoes her willpower spell, and all the effects go away. Buffy and Spike realize in horror that they’ve just been snogging their mortal enemies.
Later, Willow is working on making many, many cookies as an apology for the chaos she caused. And she’s wearing a “Speak No Evil” shirt. Hahaha. Willow shoves a cookie in Spike’s mouth so he can’t keep saying embarrassing things about Buffy. And Buffy feels like she’s learned that the “bad boy” thing is totally not worth it. Then she remembers what she told Riley, so she finds him and pretends she was messing with him. And she is definitely single, so they can date. He seems like he’s about to kiss her, but then he doesn’t. He just says something gentlemanly and walks off.
“Something Blue” is fun in the same way “Band Candy” is fun. All of the characters get swept up in a tide of insanity, and hilarity ensues. Buffy is starting to consider Riley as date-worthy, Willow has a fresh source of anguish about Oz, Spike is proving to not be a very helpful informant, Xander and Anya seem surprisingly functional, and we get a visit from D’Hoffryn! I love D’Hoffryn. He looks cool, I love how he acts like a run-of-the-mill office boss, and that trick he does with making a live image appear between his hands? Very slick. It’s a bit concerning, though, that a spell like the one Willow did would exist. If someone who isn’t all-powerful can do a spell like that, doesn’t it effectively make them all-powerful? Would there be a way for a villain to cast that spell and use it to take over the world, or is it only capable of causing wacky hijinks?
Buffy actually manages to have a character arc despite spending most of the episode emotionally hijacked into being all twitterpated over Spike. She’s not sure she can have a relationship with someone like Riley, who is normal and safe, but then she’s forced into a relationship with someone who couldn’t be less normal and safe, and it allows her to see Riley’s merits a little better. Also, the horror with which she reacts to Spike after the spell breaks is wonderful to see, here in the innocent days of S4.
I used to be annoyed at Xander for being so dismissive of Willow and her misery over Oz leaving, but this time around, I was on his side. Willow is so consumed by her feelings that she’s lost all sense of reason, so it’s understandable for Xander to be irritated by that. And he’s the one who figures out what’s wrong! That’s only happened a couple of times. This may be his most shining episode in a while. In a relationship, solving problems, more logical than Willow. Yeah, he’s on a roll.
Finally we get some consequences for Willow’s tendency to try taking shortcuts out of her problems. Sadly, the lesson she learns here is not one that will stick permanently, but it at least lasts a little while. I find it fascinating that her solution is first alcohol and then magic. A lot of people feel that the magic/drugs thing in S6 is ridiculous or poorly done or something, but I think the foundation has been laid quite effectively, first with the strong link between dark magic and drugs in Giles’s flashbacks, and now again with Willow. But holy crap, her attitude in this episode is insane. Angry at Giles for urging caution in magic use because he cares about her? Angry at Buffy for prioritizing Spike’s recapture over eating ice cream with her and offering a shoulder to cry on? I’d be fine with it if she was just quietly sulky but aware that she’s being irrational, but she takes it to an extreme level. It took getting her friends nearly killed before she realized she was the one in the wrong, and that’s not the last time that will happen. I think Willow might’ve been a better person when Oz was still around. He was the only one who could remind her to pace herself and be careful without her getting too offended.
I find it kind of shocking that Spike failed to discover the loophole to his brain chip in this episode. He had plenty of demons there to fight and a fiancée to protect, so why didn’t he risk the pain at least once? He risked it to punch Buffy earlier, but not to protect her when he’s magically in love with her and concerned for her safety? Whatever. His and Buffy’s endless antagonism (even when they’re fake engaged) and Giles’s annoyance with all of it is almost hilarious enough to make me overlook how absurd it is that they haven’t staked him yet. Or that he hasn’t come up with any ideas for getting rid of and/or deactivating his brain chip. You’d think someone as reckless as Spike would try frying the chip by grabbing onto a pair of high-voltage wires or something. An immortal demon should be able to survive electric shock longer than a fragile piece of hardware.
Giles is pretty much just in this episode to be exasperated by everything in a very British way, and I love that. And Giles being blind (and Buffy being distracted by the spell’s effects on her) provides the rare opening for Xander to save the day. Also, I just realized that Giles hasn’t worn tweed suits since S3, and I miss them. He looks very dapper in tweed suits, but rather less so in baggy sweaters. BRING BACK THE TWEED SUITS.
“Giles! I accidentally killed Spike! That’s okay, right?”
“Stop…whatever you’re doing. You smell like fruit roll-ups.”
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.