“Is anyone else waiting for it to go poof? Maybe we can cover it with flowers.” – Willow
So we’ve finally arrived at the wedding of Xander and Anya which it seems to have been the only real plotline this season for the pair. However things don’t look like they will go to plan for the pair when Xander receives a visit from a mysterious old man claiming to be Xander’s future self warning him not to get married.
Unquestionably one of the big moments of the series, the wedding of Xander and Anya really was set to provide the beacon of hope for the group that there could be some good befall them, especially with the various problematic relationships and personal issues that they are all working though. At the same time this is Sunnydale and of course nothing can go according to plan.
For a wedding episode this one is surprisingly dark, despite numerous attempts being made to lighten the mood we go get the various oddball relatives from Xanders side causing havoc at the wedding while his father is an angry drunk who spends most of the episode looking for someone to blame or curse out. The real surprise is that Anya’s demon guests, who are explained away as being “Circus Folk” are all just happy to be attending, subtly expanding the notion that not all demons in the Buffy verse are evil.
Of course the real dark moments come from the future visions that Xander gets from this mysterious stranger whose claiming to be him. Here we get to see Xander and Anya at various stages of their married life complete with demon kids which I wasn’t sure how that exactly worked seeing how Anya was made mortal when she lost her powers. Still its kind of jarring to see this couple reduced to a bickering and sniping at each other while Xander finds comfort from his numerous issues at the bottom of a bottle.
For the rest of the group the only real issues they have this week are largely based around stopping the two families erupting into an all out brawl which of course is exactly what happens by the climax, giving us also perhaps the most laughable rescue ever as we are supposed to believe that Tara is rescued from the chaos by Willow for no other reason than the writers needed a way to bring them back together. It’s of course worth noting that despite Willow and Tara being more than capable of using magic to break up this chaos neither of them do. Ok I know Willow is supposed to be off magic but surely Tara could have mustered something.
Spike now no longer seeing Buffy in secret of course turns up with a vampire date who I guess was the showrunners attempt to show his character in a more Sid Vicious light and hence giving him his own Nancy, not that she will be here next week so take from that what you want. Still we get the inevitable meeting between himself and Buffy which really plays out as to be expected and I was kind of grateful that they kept the focus on Xander and Anya than letting them overpower the episode.
The most surprising absence here though is Giles who we can assume is still back in England, but for someone who was such a major character in the Scoobies lives for various reasons its strange for him not to even get a passing mention as to why he doesn’t attend.
A pretty significant episode especially in the character arcs for Xander and Anya who I still maintain should never have been broken up. Yes the family drama does get alittle tiresome in places but the future visions along with the episode ending with Anya being a chance to regain her vengeance demon powers really adds a lot to their characters stories and finally gives us a plotline worth following for the season which its really been lacking at this point.
Next Episode: Normal Again