Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Once More, With Feeling

Episode Report Card
Sep: A | 21 USERS: A+
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Once More, With Feeling

As Giles scampers for more books, we finally hear from Buffy. She stands apart from the others with her arms crossed and begins, "It doesn't matter / What can't we face if we're together?" I know SMG was very nervous about this project, but I think she does really well here and throughout the entire episode. I mean, I can tell she doesn't have a professional quality voice, but her delivery is very moving; I really believed Buffy's need to believe the unifying words she sings here. "What's in this place that we can't weather?" Giles turns to look at her, and Willow smiles gently. All together, they sing the refrain, "What can't we do if we get in it? / We'll work it through within a minute." Buffy cracks a little joke about having died twice, and when Giles grins, my heart melts. Then it melts some more as he sings strong counterpoint to the rest of the group. Um-hmmm. That man's voice should be in the Louvre. "What can't we face?" finishes the group, but Anya has a little addendum of her own: "Except for bunnies." Xander again found the big number "disturbing," but Willow enjoyed it (probably because she only had one line). Buffy wants to know the cause of the sudden shift into a musical reality and, curious, Giles calls her on what she just sang: "I thought it didn't matter." In this scene, these people talked about what was causing the singing, sang about what was causing the singing, and then talked about it again! And yet it didn't bother me until about the fourth time I watched this scene. Anya asks if they're the only people suffering from the involuntary warbling, and Buffy throws open the front door of the shop. Outside in the street, a bearded man heads a group of Sunnydale citizens, all holding shirts in dry-cleaning bags. They're obviously finishing up a very big number, and the bearded guy (Buffy supervising producer David Fury) exultantly holds up his dry cleaning and sings, "They got the mustaaaaard ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut!" The camera pulls back high, the big drums throb, and cartwheeling dancers flip happily through the frame. Oh God. Oh God, I loved that moment. Absolute perfection. And beautiful in its brevity. You just know that if this was one of those classic Broadway productions, we would have been subjected to the whole damn essentially inconsequential number. But here? Joss made the point with charm to spare and moved on. Buffy closes and door and tells the gang, "It's not just us."

The screen wipes, and the doorbell rings as Dawn rushes into the store. "You'll never believe what happened at school today!" The entire gang is moping around the table and Buffy, without even looking up, asks, "Everybody started singing and dancing?" Dawn's face falls and she counters, "I gave birth to a pterodactyl." Anya is the only one buying: "Oh my God. Did it sing?" Around the table, Tara and Willow are holding hands and giggling into each other's ears. They realize they haven't been paying attention and clumsily try to cover by blathering on about some texts dealing with "mystical chants, bacchanals" that they have at the house. They offer to go check them, and Giles agrees, as he's a "hair's breadth from investigating bunnies." Feeling she's unnoticed, Dawn pockets a necklace lying on the counter near the register. The witches giggle their way out of the store.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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