Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | May 7, 2013

Cordia’s Review: S6, E06 – All the Way

All the Way
Season 6, Episode 6
Original airing: 10/30/2001

My Rating: 54

The Good: Generally, I think this episode failed. The Xander/Anya and Dawn storylines were severely lacking in emotion, depth, and rational. And Buffy barely even had a story in this episode. Luckily, Willow and Tara were there.

Tara has always shined when she’s at odds with Willow. When she stops being completely submissive and stands up for herself I can see the opinionated person underneath the person used to being shut down by her family and friends. At this point in the show, Willow isn’t treating her too differently than her family did in Season 5 (S5E6). But that doesn’t stop her for speaking up when she feels Willow is breaching her ethical boundaries as a witch.

But the real highlight is on Willow and how she handles opposition from her loved ones. In Flooded (S6E4), we saw her shut down and threaten Giles when he expressed disappointment and concern about her use of magic. I could forgive that as shock on her part from Giles not being impressed as she expected him to be about the resurrection spell. But now that Tara is voicing her concern, Willow is starting to operate on denial. Instead of dealing with the situation or taking a real look at her use of magic, she casts a spell on Tara to make her forget the whole thing.

The Bad: Unfortunately, the rest of the show was sub-par. While I have nothing against the moment of Xander’s choosing to announce the engagement, the group’s response was confused. I couldn’t tell if they were concerned, shocked, happy, or just lost. The worst offender was Buffy who turns to Giles and says “We have to do something about this.” Later in the episode, she’s talking Xander down from an emotional cliff and convincing him everything’s going to be ok! I couldn’t tell what anyone’s feelings on the engagement actually were and there was a lack of emotion because of that.

The worst part of the episode was the focus. Dawn’s rebellious Halloween night on the town just feels stale. And her interactions with Justin lack definition. First of all, it’s hard to imagine why she likes him, except that he’s cute. The behaviors they exhibit during the night are not all that exciting or worthy. And his friend, Zack, is a major jerk.

The kissing scene actually wasn’t too bad. Dawn’s reaction to her first kiss was fun and entertaining, but it got really bad from there. It makes absolutely no sense why she would stop running away from the car and allow Justin to go in for the bite. It seems like she would have let him turn her into a vampire if Giles had not conveniently arrived.

The next part of the scene was some of the worst timing contrivances I think the show has ever done. Giles arrives, suddenly he’s surrounded by a bunch of cars full of vampires, and then Buffy and Spike arrive. Ummm… what? How? Who put out the bulletin about the big fight going down at 7:34 in the middle of the woods? It was too silly.

The only part of Dawn’s story that held interest was seeing her stab Justin with tears in her eyes. Despite it all, she’s a fifteen year old girl with raging hormones and he WAS cute.

Favorite Moment: The spell Willow casts on Tara is the first truly deceptive, sinister thing I can remember Willow doing on the show. It feels like a distinctive mark in the development of her character and I loved how it was played rather casually at the end of the episode.

The Bottom Line: The majority of this episode suffered from a lack of direction. Luckily, it was saved by Willow and Tara’s story.

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