Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | October 24, 2011

Cordia’s Review: S3, E8 – Lover’s Walk

Lover’s Walk
Season 3, Episode 8
Original airing: 11/24/1998

My Rating: 87

The Good: Spike is back and in top form. He’s such a well-defined and versatile character. The show uses him here to finally deal with all the relationship crap going on amongst the Scoobies. He manages to yell at Buffy and Angel while simultaneously ruining Willow and Xander’s lives. It was a blast seeing him back for this episode. He could easily come off as a very cartoonish character, but James Marsters really injects feeling into his performance. It’s completely believable that Spike is legitimately mourning the loss of his relationship with Drusilla. Yes, he says some silly things, but it’s all in character. It’s wonderful how the show is able to create a character which is literally a blood-sucking demon and make him so likable. Even when he’s threatening Willow and holding her and Xander hostage, I was kind of rooting for him.

The fallout of Spike’s appearance is wonderful. Things are finally dealt with amongst Willow, Xander, Cordelia, and Oz. This cheating love square has been driving me crazy on a personal level. I’ve never thought this behavior from Willow and Xander is cute, even though I can understand it. It’s just such a lack of morals, in my opinion, that it really hurts my opinion of the characters to see them cheating on Cordelia and Oz. I appreciate that the show is finally doing something with that story line instead of dragging it out further.

There is also forward momentum on the Buffy/Angel relationship. Giles brings it up rather uncomfortably before he goes camping. Buffy assures him it’s just friendship. It was nice to have that notion shattered in this episode. As Spike says, Buffy and Angel will never and can never be friends. Obviously, this isn’t over between them, but it’s nice to see them taking responsibility for their actions.

Finally, I’m happy to see the show starting to really question Buffy’s future. Where will she go after high school? Assuming, of course, she graduates. It’s a question with real merit now that a competent second Slayer is around. Buffy could, in essence, retire from Slaying. But would she be able to ethically? It’s an important question for the show because if Buffy were to stop Slaying, it would basically mean the end of the show as we know it.

The Bad: My only real complaint in this episode is how setup Cordelia and Oz were. In the same camera shot, they are shown being sweet to Xander and Willow, respectively. This felt a bit manipulative for the audience as we obviously know about Xander and Willow cheating. It’s also done to make Cordelia and Oz as sympathetic as possibly when they catch Xander and Willow kissing. Personally, I guess I just didn’t feel this was necessary because I already was mad at Xander and Willow as a viewer.

Favorite Moment: When I first saw this episode, I thought Cordelia had died. I commend the show for pulling off that trick with the funeral, then instantly admitting it wasn’t real. I’d have been angry if her “death” was a cliff hanger. But I enjoyed the joke with it this way. That being said, this episode was amazing and had several moments which could have easily been my favorite. But I remember being the most surprised by this one.

The Bottom Line: This was an excellent episode. It was a blast having Spike back and the ripples he caused in Sunnydale will definitely have lasting consequences.

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