14 June, 2011

The Great Buffy Rewatch: Something Blue

w Tracey Forbes
d Nick Marck

As mentioned, this ep caps the big Angel crossover, Buffy mentioning to Willow she only saw him in L.A. for five minutes – yep, sniffle for those of you who know.  As I say, I feel it could have been bigger than Pangs although I Will Remember You works so well that I write it off as “more of the change.”  Buffy has to move on, so that her relationship with Riley can evolve;  and fair enough.  But the biggest change I realized in watching these episodes again (primarily Pangs and Something Blue) is this:  this is where we begin to love Spike
            We’ve always loved to hate Spike, but these are the two eps in which Whedon & Co ingratiate him to The Scoobies and, more significantly, to us the audience.  Whedon himself says (I’m paraphrasing), “When we lost Cordelia to Angel, we needed someone to fill that saying-what-we’re-all-thinking hole, and Spike does that beautifully.”  So he was brought back.  Of course, to give him those Cordelia moments, and not have him back just to wage war on Buffy, he had to get into the group, hence the implant (introduced in Pangs), being held captive at Giles’, and his (still biting but) more comedic handling.
            Speaking of the comedy, Ms. Forbes handles it very well here;  in most people’s opinion, getting a tabula rasa after her Beer Bad

Giles is blind?

Xander goes to Giles, waves his hands wildly in front of Giles' face.
Stop whatever you're doing. You smell like fruit roll-ups.

This is the crack team that foils my every plan?

Spike's right. We have to get organized.

Why are you holding hands?

Xander turns, eyes them.
They have to hear it sooner or later...

Spike and I are getting married.

(to Giles)
How? What? How?

Three excellent questions.

Buffy and Spike kiss, big time.
(off this)
Can I be blind too?

            As I wrote in The Zeppo how much I love What Ifs, this too has that feel.  Some have said this ep feels like Season 1’s Nightmares, specifically in which (in that ep) Giles can no longer read, and everyone faces their own demons, but where I think Whedon & Co get away with it is in playing the comedy instead of rehashing a monster-of-the-week.[i]
And as I have the soft spot for Xander, I have to point out here that he’s the one to figure out what’s going on, underlining just how close he and Willow are.[ii]
All in all, I think these three eps playout quite nicely;  as I say, especially in repeated viewings when you’re not just coming off the whirlwind Buffy/Angel storyline and can watch Season 4 for its own merit.  I hope you’re enjoying it, and have enjoyed these three eps’ mostly comedic breather.  Because what comes next is -- wonderfully -- anything but.

[i]  (A similar argument can be made for Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight Vs Season 6’s Gone.)
[ii] Foreshadowing the Season 6 end.  Speaking of that, do take note of D’Hoffryn inviting Willow to join his merry men, foreshadowing just how powerful she is, and will become.

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