Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Normal Again

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Strega: C+ | 2 USERS: A-
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Return to Sunnydale

Commercials. Johanna calls and says that, for once, she's glad Oz isn't around, because he'd probably be upset to discover that he's a figment of Buffy's imagination, a la "Earshot." I point out that he also wouldn't be very helpful in this situation, because if Buffy told him that everything in Sunnydale was the invention of a hallucinating nutcase, he'd probably say that explained a lot. And then he'd ask, "Since when do you have a sister?"

Buffy Summers! I always knew someday she'd turn up on my TV. I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable. The doctor says it won't be easy: "You have to start ridding your mind of those things that support your hallucinations." I can't help but think it would be easier for Buffy to let go of her dream world if she had a little more reassurance about the outside world. If I spent six years in a blank, white room, I'd start coming up with things to entertain myself, too. Take her outside, show her that she isn't in Sunnydale. I'm not a doctor, but I play one in this recap. The doctor goes on, "I'm talking about those things you want there, what keeps you going back." "My friends," Buffy mutters. The doctor nods sagely and says, "Last summer when you had a momentary awakening, it was them that pulled you back in." Joyce says that Buffy's imaginary friends are keeping her from getting healthy. She's wearing a different sweater now. I don't know why I'm still keeping track of this, but now that I've started, I can't stop. The doctor adds, "You have to do whatever it takes to convince yourself of that, Buffy."

Willow bumps into Buffy in a doorway and says, "I was just comin' to check on you." She asks if the antidote worked, and Buffy hedges that she's "dazed, but better." Willow expositions that the demon is still in the basement in case the antidote fails and they "need more parts." Ew. Willow offers to make Buffy something to eat, and they wander off.

Some time later, Xander knocks on the front door and immediately enters. He calls out for the others, but no one answers. He finally finds Buffy in the kitchen, and asks if she took the antidote. Buffy stiffly says that she's better. He asks if she's ready to "finish off that demon" and get it out of her basement. She doesn't answer, so Xander blathers about how he's not in the mood to see Brad, saying, "Talk about losing touch! Hate to say it, but I almost feel sorry for the guy -- I mean, the things that poor guy was saying!" He goes on like that until Buffy bonks him on the head with a frying pan. The Xander-POV shot was funny, with the frying pan coming at the camera. Hee. I think it's nice that Xander's amazingly thick skull is part of continuity, because he doesn't seem at all injured by that blow to his head. In fact, he tussles with Buffy for a few seconds, until then she punches him on the back, which knocks him unconscious. I don't know why, either. I did like Xander's chit-chat, though, because I thought he was desperately trying to give Buffy an opening to say, "Of course I'm not sleeping with Brad! That's ridiculous! Silly ol' Brad!" So he's not completely ignoring Brad's comments, which means this isn't nearly as bad as his terminal stupidity in "Gone."

Buffy drags Xander down the stairs into the basement. I think Buffy would be scarier here if she was acting more like her normal self, with quips and jolliness. But that's me. Xander is thrown onto the floor, and he revives just enough to look up and see Willow. She's also on the floor, with her arms tied and duct-tape across her mouth. Buffy looks down at her friends, no doubt thinking, "Well begun is half done." The demon snarls at her from its chains.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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