“I can’t wait to get my hands on his orbs.” – Andrew
So here we are almost at the end of the season six and finally we get something resembling a real threat as the Trio steal the “Orbs of Nezzla’Khan” which grant the powers of strength and invulnerability to their owner.
For the most of this season The trio have either been the comedic element or just MIA and its safe to say that with the absence of a decent big evil the season really has suffered, more so when we have been forced to endure the numerous ups and downs of the relationships of the Scoobies which might have been intresting the first time round, certainly looses something on the rewatch unless your the sort of fan who really invests in these relationships. Still what this episode is no doubt best known for is just how much of a destructive end it brings them to.
Before we get onto that though we are best looking at the Trio who this week come the closest they have been to being a real threat especially Warren whose been slowly consumed by his dark side to the point were he is blatantly using Jonathan and Andrew to further his own causes. This really comes to the front once he gains control of the orbs and for all intensive purposes becomes all powerful, while his escape by jetpack certainly further highlights how little he cares for anyone bar himself especially Jonathan who he doesn’t even bother to fill in on the escape plan. By the end of the episode though we can see just how desperate he has become when he just shows up at Buffy’s home with a gun which does make you wonder why no one else has attempted this before now.
However when we think of this episode it is sadly for one of the more shocking elements of the show and possibly one of the few moments were perhaps they went to far as we are subjected to a prolonged attempted rape sequence between Buffy and Spike when he refuses to accept the end of their relationship a scene which James Masters has stated was one of the hardest things he has had to do and while writer Jane Espenson has defended the scene as being needed to provide Spike’s motivation to gain a soul though for myself and I think quite a few other fans it really just left us wanting him gone.
The other noteworthy aspect of the episode is the death of Tara whose relationship with Willow had been one of the focus point of the season, with the pair only getting back together finally in the previous episode it seemed like we would be seeing more of her and perhaps in a more prominent role especially with her addition to the opening credits which of course was just a tease from Wheldon as the episode ends with her being hit with a stray shot from Warren. The shot of her blood spraying Willow in turn setting up a reoccurring theme in the Wheldon-verse of characters blood spraying their significant other.
The death of Tara of course is needed to trigger Willow to become Dark Willow but rewatching it now I couldn’t help but wonder if it would have been more effective to have Tara go dark? Be it from the death of Willow or some other event the idea of an evil Tara is just so tantalising especially when she has constantly been the embodiment of good since her introduction on the show and to have her turn or stumble into darker magic would really have been an interesting path for the show to take which sadly is not what we get here with the fans sadly having to bid farewell instead to one of their favourites.
Perhaps it could be argued that Tara’s death was the required trigger that Willow needed to revert back to magic again, especially as she’s only recently recovered from her addiction to magic which was rammed down the fans throats during the early stages of this hodgepodge season. Whatever the reason we end on Willow turning into Dark Willow and stepping up as the season big evil for better or worse this is what we got.
Next Episode: Villians