Something Blue
Written by: Tracey Forbes
Directed by: Nick Marck
Air Date: Nov. 30, 1999

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Now this is a funny episode that does its jokes as well as it does its pain. Willow, after having been left behind when Oz left a few episodes back can’t deal with the pain. She attempts to find comfort in her friends, but they are all experiencing growing up and responsibilities, themselves. She attempts to drink and dance her woes away, but then her friends actually intervene and convince her that getting drunk is not the answer. So what does Willow do when she has a problem of the heart that she can’t seem to fix? Oh, well, how about the same thing she’ll do for the rest of her life? That’d be spells.

Instead of helping Giles get information out of Spike regarding the Initiative, Willow attempts a spell that will make he spoken will become law. She wants to tell herself to get over Oz, to move on and let go, but it seemingly doesn’t work inward, and so she ends up thinking of it as a failure and continues to cry, whine, and bitch about her feelings to everyone. Only, instead of just coming off as annoying to those she loves, she accidentally commands them to suffer through various issues, namely blindness (Giles), being a demon magnet (Xander), and spending to much time with Spike leads to marrying him (Buffy). Its a massive cluster of troubling times for the cast, but one that leads to comedy and to laughs for us, the viewers.

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Like “Doppelgängland” before it, an episode where something goes bad for Willow yeilds comedic results. Here, its her pain of losing Oz for good that results in her torment and eventual spell-casting. First to fall victim is Giles who “can’t see” things —— so he stops being able to see. While his affliction is not necessarily the funniest in direct terms, indirectly interacting with the other characters leads to some moments of pure comedy, such as Xander wishing he was also blind so he didn’t have to see Spike and Buffy making out like teenagers. And while the moments where Willow informs Xander of every demon or nasty beast that has had the hots for him, his affliction isn’t really all that funny either.

No, obviously the funniest stuff comes out of Buffy being so damned excited about marrying Spike, and Spike playing along with it. The jokes about this situation come so fast and furious that sometimes you don’t even catch them all. The moment where Buffy pouts and Spike attempts to “get” her lip, for example, is the most notable thing that comes from that scene, but every line prior to it and every comment about it that comes after is equally funny. But, even with all of this stuff going on and all of it played for laughs, there are a few honest moments of truth that trickle out. Most important of all is the admission Buffy makes of Giles being her true father figure, now, and the way she asks him to give her away is heartfelt and true-to-character. Add to the fact that Giles is so damned touched by it all for a second that he forgets what he is being asked and you’ve got a funny but true moment of character development. This show does a very good job of issuing forth moments of real humanity for its characters through supernatural circumstances.

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But for all its hilarity, the core of this episode is Willow’s pain and suffering. So how well is it featured? Perfectly. She cries, she looks sad, and she attempts to deal with her loss in any fashion she can, even trying every possible option available to her. The way she gets mad at people for “not paying attention” to her is accurate and perfectly reflects someone in pain. “BtVS” is currently in its big “College Year” phase and the issue of a high school couple not making it in a college setting is something that they are going for, here… shockingly enough, without a supernatural element inherently tied to it (aside from Oz being a werewolf in love). Its another great “true-to-life” issue for the show to tackle, something it has gotten quite good at over the years.

But can I really talk about the two new major players of this series this season, Spike and Anya? These two inject the series with a great feeling of freshness that it was missing at the start of the season. Between Spike’s sarcasm (as well as his on-the-nose insight into everyone’s lives) and Anya’s to-the-point commentary and expert knowledge on all things related to the demon world, these characters offer some new info as well as some hilarious lines. But its the way the characters deal with them that really makes them shine. The interactions between Spike, Buffy, and Giles at the start of the episode, where Spike is chained up in the bathroom are so damned funny, its hard to believe I get an entire season of this stuff.

Episode Rating: 94

Additional Notes:
-D’Hoffryn!
-Willow will continue to use magic to get her way
-And it will continue to go bad for her
-Some foreshadowing about Willow’s upcoming lifestyle change with that banner. Riley is a lesbian… what a doof
-Buffy torturing Spike by showing her neck
-Getting to Spike+Buffy shippers this episode, huh?

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