Does anyone else remember when Buffy was a show about monsters and mythology…. The only reason I ask of course is because here we get yet another episode more focused on the problematic relationships of Buffy and the Scoobies in particular Xander and Anya with the fallout from him leaving her at the alter still fresh in her mind. Not the best thing of course when she has returned to her Vengeance demon duties something she is now wanting to use on him.
Opening to the Trio chasing down a pair of vampires on quad bikes its actually an exciting opening which made me wonder if we’d stumbled in that alternative reality were Johnathan was the centre of it. Still the bumbling villains quickly make off with a dropped disc the purpose of which is left ultimately unclear by the end of the episode while Buffy deals with these vamps who are also the only monsters you can expect to see this episode.
So now the writers have clearly decided that they’d rather be writing a teen drama than an action packed horror show we find the group still dealing with the fact that Buffy went crazy last week and tried to kill them all which honestly they seem to be taking surprisingly well. Still things are never normal for long in Sunnydale as I’m sure we all know by now and alas we get to deal with more of Spike pining for Buffy whose clearly keen to move on from that whole situation. At the same time she is also dealing with the fact that Dawn now wants to start patrolling with her sister, despite the fact that she’s still making up from her own shoplifting phase, a cry for help which is now essentially played for laughs.
Anya meanwhile is less than thrilled that Xander wants to get back with her but not get married, as he believes they rushed into things. It’s almost overwhelmingly sad to know what lies ahead for this relationship as it was one of the few worth caring about on the show, so to see them still unable to work things out and give us some sense of normality is still years later a frustrating issue. That being said to see Anya trying to unleash her vengeance demon powers on Xander only to find he metaphorically feels the pain was amusing to see much like anytime we get to see her dealing with human behaviour. Of course just incase you were still holding out hope for this pair, the writers decide to stab and break it off by having her drunkenly hook up with Spike which of course Xander and the others get to see when Willow manages to hack the camera’s which “The Trio” have setup around Sunnydale including in the Magic Box were Spike and Anya are drunkenly hooking up.
The one redeeming aspect we get in terms of the Scoobie relationships is with Willow and Tara who finally get back together at the end of the episode which I guess we all knew would happen eventually. Now perhaps I’m being too dismissive of these episodes so preoccupied with the relationships of these characters, more so when this isn’t my first go on the merry-go-round but on rewatch such focus on relationships and overwhelming lack of threat only serves to highlight how close to running on empty the show feels at this point.
Next Episode: Seeing Red