Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Once More, With Feeling

Episode Report Card
Sep: A | 22 USERS: A+
Once More, With Feeling

Backroom. Giles booms, "I wish I could lay your arms down and let you rest at last / Wish I could slay your demons / But now that time has passed." As he sings, he walks behind Buffy, who has gone on to do some bag work. The bag is barely moving, her posture is terrible, and her arms look like wet noodles. To top it off, the expression on her face is that of a monkey trying to calculate all 51.5 billion digits of pi. It doesn't look good at full speed, and when you slow it down to one quarter impulse, it just makes it that much more obvious that SMG's punches couldn't drop a woozy kitten, much less demon hordes from hell. It really pulls me out of the moment in an otherwise outstanding episode. Giles finishes up his little song while Buffy faces him and shakes her hair out. She asks if he said something, because Buffy was stuck in some Molasses Swamp off the space-time continuum that made her unable to hear Giles's song.

In the loft, Tara leafs through a book and quickly finds the flower that she's holding. The refrain from her earlier song, "Under Your Spell," starts up as we see that the flower called "Lethe's bramble" is commonly used in memory and mind control spells. "I'm under your spell / God how can this be?" Tara sits on the top rung of the ladder and watches Willow and Buffy talk near the door. "Willow, don't you see? / There'll be nothing left of me / You made me belieeeeve" On this last note, Giles comes into frame, and their songs overlap. They both sing about how they don't want to leave but they have to -- Giles because he has misguided notions about how to help Buffy, Tara because Willow has turned into an abusive freak that thinks nothing of mentally violating her beloved. Their songs intertwine with each other, yet neither of them seems to be aware of the other person's presence. None of that really matters to me, because I get all shivery listening to them.

Amazingly, the second that the last note has faded away, Spike enters with a Super Minionette under guard. Tara wonders if he is the cause of the spell. Willow notices Tara for the first time and smiles, and it's a good thing that Willow is wearing one of her fluffy-collared pimp coats, because the temperature drops about fifty degrees when Tara completely ignores her. Spike replies that the minion has a nice little song to sing for them. He shoves the Supier Minionette forward, the music swells, and the camera action seems to suggest that he's taking a breath, aaaaand he says in a very normal voice that TCHD has Dawn at the Bronze until midnight, when he will return with her to the underworld unless Buffy comes to him. HA! Buffy muses dryly, "Dawn's in trouble. Must be Tuesday." Snerk. Buffy turns to the gang and asks what the plan is. Xander suggests that they move on out, but is stopped by Giles's dissent. The gang is shocked. "These underworld child-bride deals…never end well," protests Anya, then amends, "Maybe once." Heh. Giles decrees that Buffy is going to face Sweet all by her lonesome. Everyone raises a protest but Giles says, "I'm old and British and not Slayer-whipped and therefore you must listen to me." Or something like that. I understand what Giles is trying to do, but I think he's going about it the wrong way. Spike turns to Buffy and tells her that he's "got [her] back." Buffy very calmly says, "I thought you wanted me to stay away from you. Isn't that what you sang?" Spike gets all inappropriately angry that Buffy might take him at his word and grits, "Fine. I hope you dance until you burn. You and the Little Bit," before storming out. If you look very closely, you can actually see his nose start to sprout a wee potato.

Streets of Sunnydale. People spinning and dancing among trash-can fires. I must say, I really don't get the preponderance of open flame in barrels right downtown. I've lived in more than one small town and while we might, say, barbecue an entire pig in a barrel, we generally don't use them in lieu of street lights. But really, the fire is there so Buffy can hold up her hand to the flame and sing, "I touch the fire and it freezes me." See, she's feeling all out of sorts and disconnected with the world, and she lost her Bic lighter so she wants "the fire back."

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer




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