Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | September 30, 2013

Cordia’s Review: S6, E21 – Two to Go

Two To Go
Season 6, Episode 21
Original airing: 5/21/2002

My Rating: 45

This episode fell mostly flat to me due to the overbearing nature of the Dark Willow story and presentation. The only really good moments were quite small or just left me wondering.

The Good: The only thing I really liked in this episode was the moments of strength given to Anya. She’s straight forward as always, but it’s easy to see she’s helping despite being forced to spend time with Xander. This is difficult for her, but she knows it’s important. I think it’s an important moment for her character when she chooses to stay behind and keep chanting. I don’t know if she makes this choice to help Buffy, stop Willow, or just because it’s the right thing to do, but either way, she does it. I was particularly moved when Willow spots her and Anya just stares her down while continuing to chant. There is actually a feeling of real threat in that moment as I wondered if Willow might kill Anya.

The Bad: Mostly, I felt let down by this episode. Nothing was particularly terrible, but nothing sucked me in the way a story about Willow going evil should.

One big problem is a lack of threat. I’m honestly not worried about Willow managing to kill Jonathon and Andrew. They are essentially non-characters at this point and it wouldn’t have much impact either way. I see them as window dressing and I have no emotional connection to this supposed threat. Instead, I see Willow prancing around and spouting stupid catch phrases. I’m strongly reminded of Warren’s characterization. Everything either of them said was intended to come across as supremely evil, mean, and sarcastic. But instead it just seems silly.

I’m also pretty convinced at this point that Willow is more possessed by dark energy than she is making these choices independently. This leaves me to feel that this isn’t Willow at all. Or, it’s more as if Willow had been turned into a vampire and a demon was using her body and memories. Because of this, I feel disconnected to the threat source. I don’t know the energy’s motivations or end goal. I don’t even know if it exists. Everything is so nebulous I’m again left just watching Willow act stupidly in dark hair and eyes.

Finally, I was kind of annoyed with Dawn again. I understand her desire to be involved and perhaps her belief that she can talk to Willow, but she of all people should know how unlikely this is to work. She’s been to Rack’s. She’s experienced Willow under the influence and wasn’t able to talk to her then (S6E10). Why would she expect this time to be any different? And to make it all just a step beyond annoying, she’s dragging along Clem who comes across to me as just incredibly inept and uncomfortable. He just doesn’t work for me as comic relief, so I find him grating.

The Unknown: I’m still into the Spike storyline. Whatever he’s doing, it’s painful! Can’t wait to see where this goes.

The true surprise of the episode though is definitely the arrival of Giles. It’s nice to see him again as I really feel he’s been a missing element from the show. This probably isn’t important, but I’m curious if he knocked Willow back with an item or all by himself. We don’t know what he’s been up to the last several months and it’d be interesting to see if his own magic dabblings have led to similar effects as Willow’s.

Mostly, I’m curious as to why he’s there. Seems unlikely that he heard about Tara dying and hoped a plane to arrive just in time. Possibly in TV land, I suppose, but mighty convenient. I’m kind of hoping he has an alternative agenda which could add some dimension to this currently unexciting season finale.

Favorite Moment: I really liked how Anya stood up to Willow in the Magic Box. I felt like it was an incredibly strong moment for her character.

The Bottom Line: This just isn’t hitting home for me. There are too many questions. And the presentation is way too brash and loud in style to have an emotional impact. I don’t know if this will be capable of turning around in the last episode, but we’ll see.


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