Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | March 13, 2011

Cordia’s Review: S2, E04 – Inca Mummy Girl

Inca Mummy Girl
Season 2, Episode 4
Original airing: 10/6/1997

My Rating: 43

The Good: I feel this episode has a lot of bad, from acting to storyline to poor characterization, but one good thing I can say is that it gives us an introduction to Oz. Since half of his lines are “Who is that girl?”, referring to Willow, it’s pretty obvious that he’s being introduced to finally solve the Willow/Xander dilemma. And it’s about time. Unfortunately, nothing much actually happens in this episode except for Oz being able to appreciate Willow’s authentic Eskimo costume when every other girl at the dance is dressed to show skin. But it’s a start.

The Bad: This episode suffers from so much. Firstly, it’s right after School Hard (203), which was truly fantastic. And now we not only have no Spike or Drusilla, but it’s another Monster of the Week who is defeated at the end with the only loss of life being random people we don’t care about. Though it does beg the question of what the museum curators thought when they saw the braces on their new mummy, Rodney. But overall, the main plot of the episode lacked punch. We’ve seen this before in Teacher’s Pet (104)! Xander even references it when he asks Ampata if she’s a giant praying mantis. The main difference here is that Ampata actually seems to genuinely like Xander back, which is particularly difficult on Willow.

Poor Willow is treated terribly in this episode, both by Xander and the writers. She gets very little screen time to go through her emotions while she makes a huge decision to stop pining for Xander. And Xander is rather callous with her. He’s either completely dense and doesn’t realize how she feels, or he’s purposefully trying to hurt her. Either way, it’s not pretty to watch.

All the characters feel like they really have nothing to do in this episode. Cordelia complains a bit, Buffy kicks stuff, Giles researches, but there’s no real heart to it. Even the worst episodes in the past have managed to insert some character development. Everyone really feels like their phoning it in here and Angel wasn’t even deemed worthy of inclusion. The story is all about Ampata and the cameras are constantly on her, leaving very little time for the people we actually care about.

Favorite Moment: I struggled to even find a favorite moment in this episode. Finally, I settled on the adorableness of when Giles says hello to Ampata and then instantly asks her to translate the seal. As Buffy points out, the humor is in the awkwardness.

The Bottom Line: Terrible. This episode had a clichéd plot with no character development. The one interesting factor, Oz and Willow, was barely even touched on. Can I have more Spike now, please?

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