Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | May 6, 2012

Cordia’s Review: S4, E09 – Something Blue

Something Blue
Season 4, Episode 9
Original airing: 11/30/1999

My Rating: 72

The Good: As always, the humor is heads above the rest of the episode. This time though, I didn’t mind it. This episode was obviously geared towards humor and solidly built, so I was able to focus on laughing instead of nit-picking.

Buffy and Spike, of course, stole the show as a couple in love when they can’t even stand each other. I really appreciated that they kept fighting the whole time, then couldn’t resist the hormones pulling them together.

Giles was excellent as well with how he dealt with his emerging blindness and the insanity surrounding him. He was cutting and panicked, but in a very British-Giles way.

But what I really appreciated, was how the show held together its characters, dialogue, and consistency. I’ve been frustrated by the past several episodes because characters keep making decisions which don’t make sense for them personally or even for a rational human in general. Here, the show has introduced a REASON for those weird decisions. If you’re going to have your characters acting differently, you need an overwhelming outside force to make them do so. But what really shines, is how even against the power of Willow’s spell, everyone was still themselves. Giles was witty, Xander was confused, Buffy and Spike were fighting. The world was as it should be.

And in the midst of it all, the show still moved forward with its story. Buffy and Riley went on a first date. Spike was focused on escaping, finding the Initiative, and getting fixed. Willow was attempting to deal with her Oz-pain via alcohol and magic. Giles was just dealing with the madness around him, not the least of which was Spike chained up in his bathtub. This kind of thing is what takes this episode from pointless filler to excellent story. I don’t mind an explosion of silly when it’s still going somewhere.

The Unfortunate: It’s too bad that this potentially powerful episode about Willow got side-lined by the truly enjoyable Buffy/Spike storyline. Willow casts an incredibly powerful spell here due to her “big-time legitimate pain”, and yet no one really addresses that at the end of the episode.

The Bad: I was not pleased with D’Hoffryn and the disappearing demons in this episode. D’Hoffryn as an idea, I’m all for. His attempt to bring Willow into the demon fold made perfect sense and also gives us a bit more of Anya’s back story. What was disappointing was when he was entirely reasonable and calm about Willow turning him down. Perhaps he can’t make her a demon without her permission or there’s some other rule we don’tknow, but in the context of this episode, it just looked silly. I’m also not sure why he was benevolent enough to return Willow to where her friends were fighting and not her dorm room where he took her from.

Related to this was the disappearing demons after Willow reversed her spell (which incidentally she had memorized and didn’t require any setup like her first one). Apparently, Willow is strong enough to conjure demons from nothing to chase Xander. It was one of those too tidy endings.

Finally, the conversations between Willow and Giles and Willow and Xander were just too awkward. They felt very out of place and manufactured to lead up to Willow cursing each of them. Especially the one with Giles was bad because he didn’t say or do anything to trigger Willow’s rage. She just randomly gets angry at him and complains he can’t see anything. This argument really made no sense when they were talking about how Willow is feeling unsupported in her emotional pain.

Favorite Moment: I’ve not been a fan of Riley so far on the show. He’s been just too awkward for me, both in his dialogue and his mannerisms. So it was fun to watch him squirm in the scene with Buffy on the street. Buffy’s announcement that she’s marrying a guy named Spike, even though she doesn’t really like him, are wonderfully echoed on Riley’s face. A very fun scene.

The Bottom Line: I really enjoyed this episode because it moved things along while being incredibly fun to watch. I also appreciated that the characters stayed true to who they are, which has not been the case recently.

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