Episode Title: Crush
Original Air Date: February 13th 2001
“I gave you the best … bunch of months of my life!” – Harmony
Love is in the air in Sunnydale be it old, current are unrequited the three meet in a head on collision this week for Spike as Buffy finds out about the crush he has on her. At the same time Harmony and Drusilla have returned each with plans to reclaim their man.
Spike’s crush on Buffy has been kind of a random B-plot thread to this season, largely proving a weekly annoyance to see Spike suddenly and with zero reason suddenly become smitten with Buffy and finally after being way too drawn out things come to a head this week as Buffy finally finds out the truth. Ironically for one of the worst elements of this season somehow its turned into one of the best in this episode.
Opening with a super creepy opening of a train pulling into Sunnydale only for none of the passengers to get off. The porter upon entering the train discovering that all the passengers are dead only to suddenly be pulled into the carriage by an unseen force. Its the perfect setup for the episode as Buffy is immediately on the case, while this reintroduces Drusilla with a real reminder of just how dangerous she is, despite the fact that she’s spends most of her time off in some state of insanity. It is however questionable how she managed to kill a whole carriage of passengers seemingly with none of them fighting back, but I’m willing to cover look such minor things to have one of the A-list villains return.
Since disappearing at the end of Season 2 bar a flashback to the final moments of her relationship with Spike when she left him for a chaos demon. Since then she has been sadly absent from the series though she would put in an appearance in the second season of “Angel” the effects of which can still be seen in the burn scars her character now has. At the same time little else has changed as she is still as crazy as before with her abstract ramblings though if anyone could turn Spike back onto the path of evil it would be her.
This episode could be seen to be setting the reunion of Spike and Drusilla as a major plot thread of the season as the two go on the hunt again as well as the fact that she appears to have given him a way to bypass the effects of his behaviour chip as seen with the pair feeding on a couple at the Bronze with Spike suffering no effect from his chip. It’s unclear if the fact that Drusilla breaks the girls neck before Spike feeds on her is a way to get around the effects of the chip seeing how it only stops him hurting humans though the rules on if they are dead seemingly is alittle more fuzzy. Sadly this isn’t the expected reunion that we hope it would be as Spike soon has both Drusilla and Buffy tied up with plans to stake Drusilla which he hopes will emulate Angel staking Darla and in his mind somehow prove his love for her.
The rouge element at play here is Harmony who while she might not be bringing anything new to the table is still a lot of fun, especially when she turns up to shoot Spike with a crossbow at the finale, which for a moment looks like she might kill him off, which would be kind of ironic to have one of the most dangerous vampires killed off by one of the most useless.
This episode really could have taken the show in an interesting direction for Spike’s character only for the writers to continue to drive the Buffy / Spike relationship into the ground foreshadowing their general attitude to plotlines in the final two seasons. Its frustrating to see such potential being scrapped to have Buffy involved with another vampire even if its unrequited at this point its one of the romances that never worked and its painful to know that we still have another two seasons of it to go. Atleast Ben provides some kind of romantic distraction for Buffy but ohh wait he’s really Glory….damn it!
Next Episode: I Was Made To Love You