Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | November 22, 2010

Cordia’s Review: S1, E03 – The Witch

Season 1, Episode 3
Original airing: 3/17/97

My Rating: 64

The Good: This episode really showcased Giles and Buffy’s growing relationship as Watcher and Slayer, but also as surrogate father and daughter. Giles has the opportunity to step up and literally save Buffy’s life, something he does with great success. His care and dedication to protecting Buffy when she can’t take care of herself is important to building the sense of a real structure around Buffy’s life. She can’t talk to her mother, so it’s good she has a parental figure to go to who can really understand the dangers she faces.

Xander’s crush on Buffy is growing in a realistic fashion. He gives her a present and tries to blow it off as no big deal, while secretly hoping she’ll see through his façade and fall into his arms. Very high school, very realistic, very human. We are also clearly given the parallel between Xander’s desire for Buffy and Willow’s crush on Xander. Willow’s in the same situation of being an “ignored chewed-up pen,” and she’s handling it just as badly as Xander.

The Bad: The same issue arises in this episode as in the previous one. Horrible things are happening and no one is commenting on them. Most of the happenings in this episode (spontaneous combustion, temporary blindness, etc.) can be explained away as rare medical occurrences, but how did people rationalize a girl who had skin grow over her mouth within seconds? There’s some very obviously supernatural things going on and the school as a whole is stubbornly blind. It’s a conceit of the show which is necessary to keep people from fleeing Sunnydale in droves, but it seems rather unrealistic and forced sometimes.

Favorite Moment: I love when Xander rushes in at the end of the battle and grabs the real Amy, crying out “Buffy, cut off her head!” But the real kicker is when little, delicate Willow comes barreling in a few seconds later with a baseball bat and a desire to bludgeon. Classic.

The Bottom Line: This is a pretty basic monster-of-the-week episode. But it was a nice chance to see some character development for Buffy and the important people in her life.


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