Written by Marti Noxon
Directed by David Solomon
We open on Saturday morning cartoons at the Summers’ house, where Tara and Dawn fell asleep on the couch because neither Willow nor Buffy ever came home. Cut to the destroyed building where Buffy wakes up next to Spike. She’s a bit confused about the fact that they’re in a destroyed building. Also, she’s extremely revolted by the reality of what she spend the night doing. She gets dressed, not wanting to talk to or look at Spike. She also feels bad about leaving Dawn all night. She’s determined not to have anything else to do with Spike, so he grabs her and pulls her down on his lap. She protests angrily (and violently), but he feels her up and they end up kissing. He’s pretty smug because this was even more fun than killing a Slayer. Buffy’s indignant. She tells Spike the only reason she was with him is that he’s convenient. Now he’s indignant. She furiously tells him that she’ll kill him if he tells anyone what happened.
Tara is making pancakes and Dawn wonders if they should call Xander and Anya and go look for Buffy and Willow yet. Tara doesn’t think that will be necessary, and she’s right, because in walk Willow and Amy. Willow introduces Amy, and Tara is happy Amy isn’t a rat anymore but very much not happy to hear about all the magical fun times Willow and Amy had at the Bronze. Tara leaves, and Buffy arrives. Dawn is worried about her. She uses slaying as her excuse. Dawn is remarkably nice about everything, but definitely a little sad. Buffy and Willow head to bed and Amy finally goes home to see her dad. Willow tries to close the drapes with magic and can’t even make them budge. Her mana meter is completely empty.
Xander and Anya still haven’t found anything about what might steal a diamond and freeze people, partly because the culprit isn’t actually a demon but also because Anya is reading bridal magazines instead of actually researching. Anya is considering incorporating demonic tradition into the wedding. Xander thinks it’s time to hit the streets and look for leads. Xander isn’t happy to hear what Willow’s been up to, and Buffy gets rather defensive.
That evening, Willow and Amy are walking down Main Street. Willow doesn’t think they should party it up again considering how drained she was all day. Amy thinks they should go to a magical drug dealer.
Amy and a somewhat nervous Willow go to a creepy alley, where Rack’s magic drug den is cloaked. A bunch of very unhealthy looking magic junkies are arguing over who gets to go next. Rack picks Amy and Willow to go next. This guy’s hands crackle with magic energy. He’s particularly interested in Willow, because of how powerful she is. What Amy neglected to mention when she told her about this place was that Willow was going to have to give Rack something before he would give her something. He puts his hand on her chest and a red light shines off it. They both look like they’re quite enjoying it. Ew. Then he whispers in her ear that she tastes like strawberries. Next, Amy and Willow have their magic trip, which involves lots of spinning and reversed gravity. And creepy forest monsters and zooming around. Willow wakes up back in her room. Then she has a shower and cries.
When she gets out of the shower, she sees the box of Tara’s stuff. She lays some of her clothes on the bed and does a spell to make them take Tara’s shape. Then she leans on them and they give her the saddest hug ever.
Dawn is trying to make peanut butter and banana quesadillas without using a spatula. This particular food experiment is a success! Also, Buffy has been calling to check in constantly all day. Willow doesn’t feel great, but she’d be happy to spend time with Dawn. And apparently Dawn was lying about the quesadillas being good. Huh, so I guess people used to find out what movies were playing at the theater by checking the paper? Weird.
By the time Buffy comes home, Willow and Dawn are gone, but someone’s rustling around and breaking stuff. That would be Amy, who was looking for sage and various other magic paraphernalia. She does not seem okay. She’s pretty sure Willow went back to Rack’s. Which moves around, so Amy doesn’t know exactly where it is tonight.
Dawn had a burger, and now she and Willow are on the way to the movie. Willow asks about Tara. Dawn’s pretty sure Tara’s very sad. Also, Willow is not okay, and they are not going straight to the movie. Willow brings Dawn to Rack’s and has her chill in the waiting room. Dawn does not like this. She doesn’t want to miss the trailers before the movie.
Cut to later. An hour after the movie was supposed to start. Some weirdo sits down by Dawn and she goes across the room. In the other room, Rack is still messing with Willow, who is floating and suuuuper high. Now she’s in space, and there’s music like from “Restless.” Then a demon attacks. Bad trip.
Unfortunately, Buffy needs Spike’s help to find Rack’s place. She has to throw multiple candles at him to wake him up, which would be funny if he didn’t immediately start with the innuendos upon waking. As soon as Buffy mentions Rack, Spike gets slightly more serious.
It’s now almost eleven. Dawn is super sick of waiting. She’s about to march in and grab Willow when Willow comes out, acting super stoned. Also her eyes are black. Dawn starts yelling at her but then gets creeped out and goes quiet. She wants to go home. Willow won’t let her be a buzzkill. She’s a very irritating stoner. And now a demon is following them.
Buffy and Spike are looking for Rack’s. Buffy is getting impatient. Buffy tells him how sickened she is with herself after sleeping with him, but he’s not convinced she won’t be coming back for more. He’s convinced that she’ll love him sooner or later. Buffy’s situation would be much easier if she didn’t currently need Spike’s help to find Dawn.
Dawn still wants to go home, and Willow is still being horrible. She offers to teleport Dawn home. Then the demon jumps out at them. Willow thinks he’s a hallucination. He claims she summoned him, and he slashes Dawn’s cheek with his claw. Dawn kicks him and they sprint away. Willow hotwires a car with magic and they get away. However, she stops paying attention once they’ve put a bit of distance between them and the demon, and they end up crashing into a wall. Dawn wakes up first, bleeding from the head. She gets out and walks around to Willow’s side, but the demon is back. She crawls under the car to get away.
Buffy and Spike hear Dawn screaming. Dawn throws a handful of dirt into the demon’s eyes, but that only distracts it for a few seconds. It throws her across the tunnel thing they’re in. Buffy finally arrives and attacks the demon. Spike helps Dawn. Buffy’s fight is not a fun one, but then the demon starts shaking and burns to ash. Willow’s doing. Buffy runs to Dawn. Willow tries to check on Dawn, but Buffy won’t let her get close. She tries to apologize. Dawn slaps her. Spike helps Dawn out of the tunnel and Willow collapses, sobbing. Buffy stays behind to deal with her. Willow doesn’t think she can stop going down the path she’s on. She needs help. Buffy is still angry at her, but she hugs her.
Later, Willow is sitting on her bed, wrapped in a blanket. Buffy comes in. Dawn’s asleep now, having taken prescribed pain medications. She broke her arm in that car crash. Willow feels so very crappy. Buffy doesn’t understand why Willow would go to someone like Rack and why she would bring Dawn along. Willow admits that she was already spiraling out of control before Tara left. Willow still has trouble with the idea that she can be special without magic. She thinks she’s nobody if she doesn’t have magic. She can’t believe she let things get so bad, that she came so close to getting Dawn killed. She’s decided she’s done with magic for good. Buffy thinks that’s a good idea.
Willow might be done with magic, but it’s not going to be easy. She’s having withdrawals and can’t sleep. Buffy is sitting in her room, holding a cross and surrounded by strings of garlic.
With “Wrecked,” the arc where everything is depressing but still decently written continues! Yaaaaaay. *cries in a corner* I know a lot of people aren’t fans of the whole magic=drugs thing in S6, and admittedly it isn’t the most comfortable or subtle of metaphors, but at the very least, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, continuity-wise. We’ve seen evidence of different types of magic already. When Giles was in his Ripper phase, there was just as clear of a drug metaphor as in Willow’s current arc. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that there would be types of magic that literally do function as drugs. And if one was to get addicted to that kind of magic, the types of magic that would have been safe before might then become dangerous. Maybe it would’ve been a stronger story if they’d just focused on Willow’s lust for power and not even gotten into the drug metaphor. Oh well.
In addition to the paper-thin drug metaphor, Willow’s behavior also continues to parallel Buffy’s. Unlike Willow, Buffy has been aware of the wrongness of what she was doing the whole time. For Willow, it took almost getting Dawn killed to finally come to her senses. Willow might actually be in the better situation. Buffy was fully aware all along that she was doing something wrong, but does awareness matter as much as the strength to stop? Buffy’s self-control is hanging by a thread, and she has no support system to help her stay away from Spike because none of her friends even have an inkling of anything going on.
Xander continues to be the main voice of reason (well, aside from Tara), but the person who needs that voice the most right now—Willow—isn’t within earshot. And Buffy isn’t opening up about her problems, so she can’t benefit from it either.
So it looks like the arc I was hoping Anya would have, where she stops looking back on her demon days with fond wistfulness and finally understand the horrors she’s inflicted—yeah, that’s not happening yet. She wants to invite demons to the wedding and follow some of the demonic traditions. That didn’t go well for Harry and Richard in “The Bachelor Party,” and Harry was an ethnodemonologist. Xander is much less open-minded than she was. This can’t lead to good things.
Dawn is kind of adorable. She wants to be treated like an adult, but she also doesn’t want to be left home by herself. (But yeah, adults responsible for her definitely should have the decency to check in when they’re not going to make it home, especially these particular adults, who get in life-threatening situations on a regular basis.) I also love how she regularly does weird food experiments. That’s a fun character trait I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere else.
Now that Buffy has been snogging him and sleeping with him, Spike doesn’t seem to feel like he has to do anything to prove himself worthy of her affections. That’s what he did a lot in S5. He tried to make himself more appealing to her (at least outwardly). In S6, he’s doing the opposite—trying to convince Buffy that she’s tainted and dirty enough to be with him. What’s really ominous is that he already isn’t thinking twice before using physical force as foreplay.
Willow clearly wasn’t comfortable with Amy’s suggestion to go see Rack. She could’ve put a stop to it right then, but her frustration with her magical burnout bothered her more than the extreme shadiness of the situation. It’s also almost like the part of her that always wants authority figures to like her was at odds with her better judgment. She didn’t want to offend Amy or Rack by turning down the opportunity, so she ended up going along with it until she was too far in. By the end of the episode, though, she’s been made painfully aware of her own weaknesses. Her ego is shattered, so it won’t get in the way of her making real progress anymore. I’m hopeful that she’ll start becoming the Willow I liked in the early seasons again.
“Don’t be ridiculous. Martha Stewart isn’t a demon, she’s a witch.”
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.