Buffy The Vampire Slayer S:04 Ep:18

Episode Title: Where The Wild Things Are

Original Air Date: April 25, 2000

“Okay, you get Fangs, I’ll get Horny. I mean…” – Buffy

It’s a sense of Deja Vu which this episode comes with as strange things are happening at Riley’s frat house / Initiative hide out while Buffy and Riley suddenly find themselves unable to keep their hands off each other. Needless to say its hardly the best time for the house to host a party either which only serves to make matters worse when all kinds of ghostly chaos is suddenly unleashed on the guests.

It’s a real meh feeling that comes with this episode as Buffy and Riley spend most of it having sex, which I’m sure back when the episode was first aired back in 2000 was much more of a big deal for us seeing how they where much more innocent times and gratuitous sex scenes where far from the norm and pornography was something you stumbled across in the woods rather than the ease of access to endless stream of smut the internet now provides. Still the cast are unquestionably sexed up this week as Anya questions the direction her relationship with Xander is heading. Willow meanwhile continues to grow closer to Tara only to find their blossoming relationship hampered by the spirits in the house.

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Frustratingly this episode opens with a strong premise as Buffy and Riley encounter a vampire and demon working together, which as Giles confirms is something unheard of due to the accident rivalries between the two species. A rivalry it seems they are happy to put aside we are informed thanks to Adam uniting the monster races together though for what purpose its still unknown. Right there we have a number of exciting possibilities for where the story could go, but alas we don’t get to see any of them as instead we just get the horny teens in a haunted house plot line instead.

The haunted house element of the episode is actually pretty unremarkable outside of a couple of fun scares, but largely it seems to revolve around girls throwing themselves into pits of shame for feeling any kind of unpure thoughts and some minor set pieces including a bunch of students getting off on a wall which gives them a sexual buzz. Any tension here though is kind of eliminated when we the truth behind the house is revealled when the Scoobies visit the old woman who used the frat house previously as a home for disturbed adolescents using questionable practices. Its also at this point I couldn’t help but feel that we’d just been sold a rehash of “The Haunting”.

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Throughout the episode there is an overwhelming feeling that no one seemed to know what to actually do with this episode instead throwing various ideas together to see what stuck, which might go some way to explaining the need for Giles to be discovered by the Scoobies performing his cover of The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” at the Coffee pump. This of course wouldn’t be the last Giles musical moment in the series and while Anthony Stewart Head has a background in musical theatre I never really rated his musical abilities so this scene will either be a treat or another misfire depending on where you stand on that issue.

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Still the episode isn’t a complete write off as we get the scenes of Anya and Spike bonding over the loss of their demon powers which provides a few laughs but this is a minor positive in an overly bland episode despite its largely steamy undertones.

Next Episode: New Moon Rising

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