Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | July 30, 2012

Cordia’s Review: S4, E18 – Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are
Season 4, Episode 18
Original airing: 4/25/2000

My Rating: 43

The Good: Most of this episode was pretty blah, but I did like that it gave the show the opportunity to actually use Xander again. He’s been on the back burner all season, doing nothing but working random jobs and sleeping with Anya. Here he got to be the hero and he didn’t do it because he could, he did it to save Buffy. I feel like that’s a character growth moment. The usual Xander would be strutting around with his chest puffed out.

I also enjoyed the dynamic between Anya and Spike. They were very fun comic relief as they bonded over their loss of scariness.

The Bad: Otherwise, this episode was not very good. The logic was faulty, the detective work was too fast, and the villain was a complete moron.

The main issue I had with this story was the logic. This happens occasionally on Buffy where I just can’t ignore the leap of logic required to believe the story. Here, the show is asking me to believe that apparently no other college teenagers have had sex in this house for years. And that, for whatever reason, the sex Riley and Buffy have been having up until now was just not good enough.

I was also annoyed by the fact that the energy was supposed to be a poltergeist (which Giles specifically says is not a ghost), and yet it appears as the ghostly image of several different children. I was also disturbed by the fact that most of the ghosts looked like children between the ages of 8 and 12. This seems just a bit weird to me if the house is supposed to be imbued with a crazy amount of sexual energy.

The poltergeist (if that’s what it really was) didn’t even make sense outside of its occasional appearance. Its different manifestations ranged from pleasurable to silly to damaging. And it was capable of bodily ejecting Xander from the house and then later, it couldn’t keep him from reaching the bedroom door and opening it. To me it seems the poltergeist lacked a goal. Without having an end point clearly defined, its actions were too random to be taken seriously.

This episode also suffered from a common conceit on Buffy – the perfectly placed article. All you need to do is go to a library, open a random book, and the exact thing you’re looking for will be on that page. This always annoys me.

Finally, I was rather disappointed with the characterization of the old woman. She went from kindly and sweet to deranged in about four seconds flat. And she did this in front of complete strangers when she’d been hiding the truth for years. She obviously knew what she did was wrong, or at least not socially acceptable, yet she blabs the whole thing to Giles at the drop of a hat.

Favorite Moment: There wasn’t a whole lot to like in this episode, but I did find Anya consistently amusing. I laughed out loud at the delivery of her line “Me, too! Woo hoo!” during her fight with Xander at the party.

The Bottom Line: This is not the worst episode ever, but it’s definitely not good. Some parts were entertaining, but mostly the logic was just broken. I always find that extremely annoying.


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