Friday, March 8, 2013

20 Days of Buffy and Feminism Day 20

Day 21: Best Willow-Centric Episode

...yikes, this is a tough one.   There are a lot of good Willow-centric episodes (Tabula Rasa, I would argue, is a Willow episode) and a lot of terrible ones (I, Robot, You Jane anyone?).  But I went with the first one that came to mind because, well, I freaking love this episode.

Something Blue
Honorable mentions go to "Villains" (yeah, as boring as Warren is and as much as Willow is the bad guy it's pretty satisfying seeing him flayed)

"Something Blue" comes midway through Season 4 after Willow is dealing with Oz leaving (a true tragedy).  So, to cope, she tries drinking and after she is basically told by her friends that OMG she is going to DIE if she has a beer she resorts to magic.  So she casts a spell that will cause everything she says to come true.  Unintentional hijinks ensue!
Also Spike is chained to a bathtub watching Passions. 

First of all, I want to point out this line from the beginning of the episode which goes a long way to proving the point I was making in my Spike post yesterday:

But then I can't help thinking, isn't
that where the fire comes from?
Can a nice safe relationship be that
intense? It's nuts, but part of me
believes that real love and passion
have to go hand in hand with
lots of pain and fighting-
Now A VAMP leaps out in front of them. With barely time to GROWL, Buffy STAKES him, POOF. They continue on, unphased, same tone of voice...
BUFFY (cont'd)
I wonder where I get that from?
She sees love as violence, too!  And this is a full season before "Fools For Love"!  But I'm getting off track now.
Willow makes several things happen entirely inadvertently in this episode that are hilarious.  But most importantly she magically makes Buffy and Spike fall in love and get engaged in the span of a second.  this is the first look we get at a Spike/Buffy relationship, and guess what?  Even when it's cheesy and magically created it doesn't work.  That's all I'm saying.  
Okay, I really need to get off of that.  Willow.  Willow.
So this is one of the first episode where we see Willow's magic gets out of control.  Again, this won't become truly important for a long ways down the road but it's nice to see that development.  We also get to see the spark she has for vengeance, which will also be very important much later.
This is the first time we get to see Willow truly heartbroken, too.  Sure, she pined over Xander but they eventually resolved that whole issue with the least illicit affair ever in history.  Here she entirely devastated by Oz's departure and we see her turn to magic to deal with her problems.  This will pretty much be her M.O. for the rest of the show, if not her life.
Some people have told me this is not a Willow-centric episode.  And to that I say this: does she cause everything that happens plot-wise?  Then it's centered around her.  And her emotional struggle to get over Oz and to make her friends pay attention to her--Buffy and Xander are ASSHOLES, by the way, after all of the whinging and moaning she had to hear from you two about your failed relationships you need to STFU and give girlfriend some support.  
Plus there are just so many great comedy moments in this episode.  Unfortunately this also marks the real beginning of the Riley/Buffy relationship.  Also, a question about continuity here:  Buffy runs into Riley when she's under the spell and tells him she's engaged to a guy named Spike.  doesn't he eventually become suspicious after he meets Spike and realizes "hey, that's the guy she said she was engaged to that one time!"?  Or does that happen and I just forgot about it?
Okay, I'm going to get the second one done for today now.  

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