All the Way

Written by Steven S. DeKnight
Directed by David Solomon

Perri's Review | Tina's Review | SunSpeak

Perri's Review

Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Anya was upset about the lack of engagement announceage, Dawn pouted about being old enough to do research, Buffy told Dawn they'd take her away if Dawn doesn't behave, Willow worried about being too quiet, and Spike's in love with Buffy.

It's a busy day at the Magic Box -- Halloween brings them out of the woodwork, it seems, and Anya has pressed every Scooby into helping. She skates though the store (literally), as Xander tries to impress a young boy with his pirate costume and voice (yum!) until Giles calls him over to help at the counter. Dawn arrives and, after quizzing Anya about her costume and declaring that "Halloween is so lame," get sent by Tara over to help in magical texts to get her away from a conversation about costumes that's veering towards the inappropriate. In magical texts, Willow is nose to nose with a storybook evil witch, telling her to rethink enforcing stereotypes. Even for new Assertive!Willow, it's a bit too much hostility to be aiming at a customer. As the customer stalks away, Willow vents to Dawn, "If I see one more idiot who thinks witches are all hairy moles and rotten teeth..." It's a good rant, pretty much destroyed by an intensely cute four-year-old witch who reduces both girls to helpless putty. Dawn takes advantage of Willow's distraction to slip some kind of medallion/talisman from the shelf into her pocket.

Buffy, reluctantly pressed into service, heads down to the store room to stock up on mandrake root, running into Spike almost as soon as she leaves the stairs. She jumps. "Bell. Neck. Look into it." Spike smirks: "Comes with a nice leather collar, does it?" She demands to know what he's doing downstairs; he's there to stock up on burba weed (he mixes it with the blood, which was far more detail than anyone wanted). He starts to claim he was going to pay, then amends: "Well, no, I was going to nick it, because that's what I do." He retaliates by demanding what Buffy's doing there; "One-time deal to help out. And I mean straight time -- no loop-the-loop, mummy-hand, repeat-o-vision." Spike directs her to the mandrake root, then asks, "Feel like a bit of the rough and tumble?" She blinks at her first interpretation and he clarifies, "Me, you... Patrolling? Hello!" She awkwardly tells him she needs to stay, he shrugs off the rejection and heads off to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Buffy leaves as well, shaking her head. "So much easier to talk to when he wanted to kill me."

Anya meets Buffy the second she hits the floor, and sends her over to help Giles, checking out and bagging at the counter in his wizard robes. Buffy asks, "What happened to Xander?" Giles: "He kept poking me with his hook. I sent him over to charmed objects. With any luck, he'll poke the wrong one and end up in an alternative dimension inhabited by a 50-foot Giles that squishes annoying, teeny pirates." Giles is a bit harried, in case you couldn't tell, so it's probably not the best time for Buffy to suggest she should go out and patrol. They rehash the old "Nothing ever happens on Halloween" argument, although Giles seems more interested in keeping another set of hands around than actually convinced of this theory. Buffy points out: "What about costumes that take over you personality? Or wee, little Irish fear-demony thingies?" Giles: returns, not inaccurately, "Yes, well, if anything calamitous should happen, history suggests it will happen to one of us." Buffy gives in and bags; outside, in the setting sunlight, an old man in brown suit and hat wanders down the street, humming 'Pop Goes the Weasel" in a sinister sort of way. (Albeit, it's mostly sinister because this is Buffy and we expect it to be, but still...) He goes into an old house and sets down his bag, then looks out the window as some kids on the street, amending his humming into singing, "Happy Halloween. I've got something special this year." He takes out a huge knife and runs it along one finger as he continues to hum.

Nightfall, and everyone is collapsing as the last of the customers are ushered out -- except, of course, Anya, who is busy exulting about how sweet everyone was to help her (us, she amends, at Giles's pointed throat clearing) make piles of money. "I hope we make as much tomorrow... Post-holiday clearance. The cornerstone of retail" Everyone is thrilled. "Brooms all round then," Giles sighs. Willow offers, "Or I could whip up a jaunty self-cleaning incantation. It'll be like "Fantasia"." Giles hands her a broom and dustpan with a pointed, "And we all know how splendidly that turned out for Mickey." Willow attempts to defend her skills as Buffy comments on Xander's costume; he's completely involved in watching Anya teach her "Dance of Capitalist Superiority" to Dawn at the full cash register. "I'm gonna marry that girl," he says aloud and Buffy blinks, then realizes he means Anya. Xander hauls himself to his feet and asks for everyone's attention, before announcing he and Anya are engaged. The reactions are mixed: Dawn bounces in glee and Tara is happy; Giles, Buffy and Willow are fighting through shock. "I thought you were waiting for the right moment," Anya asks quietly. "I did," Xander smiles, then kisses her. Anya sighs blissfully, tosses the money she was holding at Dawn ("Here, have some money.) and returns the kiss with interest. "Did you know about this?" Buffy demands of Giles. "No. Unless I blocked it from my memory, much as I will Xander's vigorous use of his tongue." He takes off his glasses to clean them, and a long-overdue lightbulb goes off over Buffy's head. "Is that why you're always cleaning your glasses? So you don't have to see what we're doing?" (Score one for that observant Slayer-sense; the rest of us figured that out almost five years ago. < rolling eyes >) "Tell no one," Giles warns. Buffy watches Xander and Anya seriously. "We have to do something."

Cut to Anya showing off her ring at an impromptu engagement party at the Summers house. Buffy apologizes that it's not a big thing, but Anya's got no problems. "This is just the first premarital celebration. There'll be lots more. With gifts." Tara comments that they'll have time to decorate for the next one; Willow shrugs and does a quick incantation. Lights and sparklies run along the walls and it's suddenly party central. Anya hugs her happily, but Tara and Giles exchange disturbed looks. In the kitchen, later, Tara points out that they could have just bought decorations, that sometimes it's better to do things naturally, but Willow misses the point. She just sees the magic as a way to make people happy, but Tara is really bothered by Willow's casual use of magic. Dawn walks in just as the argument is about to get serious and Tara leaves. In the living room, Buffy hugs Xander in congratulations. "how many other things have changed since I was away?" she asks; Dawn cracks a joke about a tattoo and loses the argument, then hugs Anya before starting for the door; seems she has a sleepover date with her friend Janice. Buffy is reluctant and asks Giles for his opinion; when he tells her "It's really not up to me," she finally lets Dawn go.

Cut to Dawn making her way through a dark alley; when she hears a noise, she grabs herself a nice chunk of woods and advances cautiously. She rounds the corner and sees a man leaning suspiciously close to a women... The couple breaks apart and looks at Dawn with annoyance. She apologize and back away, only to be scared again by the arrival of her friend. Janice is a tall redhead with an attitude that grates immediately on adult nerves; turns out she and Dawn have pulled the old "staying over at my house" routine to ditch the parentals for the night. They've got a double date, and head for the playground to meet them. Janice's boyfriend Zack is there, along with Dawn's blind date, Justin (fairly cute, wearing a Sunnydale High letter jacket). They exchange the usual awkward "seen you around" routine, but Justin seems sincerely impressed by Dawn. Unfortunately, being teenagers, their idea of Halloween fun involves egging houses and deflating tires. Despite this, Dawn thinks Justin is way cute, and Justin returns the sentiment. "What about... you know. Going all the way?" Zack asks. Justin smiles, but the girls are getting bored. "Just one more," Zack promises, as they approach the Scary Old Guy's House.

Back at Chez Summers, Giles sits down on the steps next to Xander and proceeds to first congratulate him on his engagement, then scare the living daylights out of him with talk of houses and weddings and "the rest of your lives". Dawn and Janice are pretty scared themselves at the prospect of messing up the Scary Old Guy's House; seems he's got a rep for being really nuts. But Dawn takes the dare to go smash the jack-o'-lantern on the porch; Justin tells her she doesn't have to, but she makes her way carefully up the walk. She lifts it over her had to throw it -- then screams and drops it as a hand grabs her from behind. The Scary Old Guy is standing over her: "Shouldn't' ought to mess with those," he warns. "Sometimes, they bite." The boys race up to the porch to defend Dawn and the Scary Old Man starts laughing, then invites them inside. "Cool," Zack smiles.

In the living room, Zack plays with a toy robot as the Scary Old Guy wanders around telling about his past. Turns out he used to make toys for a living, and misses the kids (he lost his career for "one little mistake". He wanders back out of his daze, and gets maniacally cheerful. "Who wants to help Daddy in the kitchen? How about you, Sally?" he asks Dawn. Justin intercedes and offers his help, following the Scary Old Guy (who is rather more senile than scary, but still deeply creepy) into the kitchen as the other three debate leaving (the girls are in favor, Zack is against. Then the jack-in-the-box he's playing with pops out -- with it's head missing. In the kitchen, Scary Old Guy puts down his drink and reaches for a big old knife. He starts to turn, and Justin grabs him from behind. "Boo," the game-faced vampire says.

Justin grabs the Scary Old Guy and drains him, knocking a pan to the floor as he drops. Everyone in the living room jumps, and Dawn races over to check on Justin. He comes out of the kitchen grinning just before Dawn can go in, announcing "I swiped his wallet," and everyone runs. The girls race ahead, while Justin bitches about how bad the old man tasted. Zack's attention is on the girls: "So what do you think -- lunchables? Or should we go all the way and turn them?"

Back at the party, Buffy and Giles' eyes are starting to glaze over at Anya's wedding babble. Xander's are glazing to, but it's a panic thing as the subject of children comes up. Buffy and Xander escape outside, and Buffy tries to reassure him: "This is love. This is life and celebration and moving forward." He sucks it up and heads back inside after a moment of bonding, while Buffy heads out to meet Spike for patrol. Justin and Dawn are doing some bonding, too; Dawn confesses she's only a freshman, and Justin hands over some of the money from the old guy's wallet. "So begins your life of crime." Dawn: "You're a little late. I steal all the time.... Totally. I haven't paid for lipstick since... forever." Then he gives her his jacket and wins her heart forever. The moment is interrupted by Janice wanting to know where Zack is; Justin tells her he went for the car. Which he did, after disposing of the body of the previous owner.

Buffy wanders down the sidewalk through the throng of families, feeling ever more alone. Then she hears the sirens, which she can handle -- it's Zack's car victim being wheeled away. Giles answers the phone back home, and discovers Dawn's parental shell game when it's Janice's parents; he freaks and sends the Slayerettes out hunting. Giles himself heads for Spike's to try to find Buffy. Dawn and company are at the equivalent of Lover's Lane; Zack is playing games with Janice that she doesn't know he's playing (Hide & Seek takes on a whole new dimension) as Jeremy and Dawn sit uncomfortably in the car. Dawn offers Jeremy his jacket back, but he tells her cold doesn't bother him. He leans in for a kiss, but Dawn nervously reaches for the radio, turning it on to something slow. Dawn is actively teenage-freaking now at the proximity of cute boy, and asks what he expects. "I just want to taste you," he says, and kisses her.

Seems to be a pretty good kiss; it's a good long time before it breaks up. "Shiver me timbers," Dawn breathes. Justin realizes, "Oh my god. That was your first." Dawn denies it vehemently, then gives in and admits it. "I know, I know, I suck. My lips are dry and my tongue's all horrible and sticky and I'm pretty sure I drooled on you." Justin doesn't seem to mind; he leans in for another. (Note: Too bad this guy's a vampire; otherwise, he's damn near perfect. Life sucks.) Outside the car, the search continues -- Tara and Willow brave the crowd at the Bronze to hunt for Dawn there. When it's too hard to locate her in the sea of bodies, they go up to the balcony to look (indulging in the flirting and kissing thing on the way). When it's still too hard, Willow starts to clear the crowd: "I'll just shift everyone who isn't a 15-year-old girl into an alternate dimension." It seems logical to her, but Tara freaks. "It's wrong. What would Giles say?" Willow deadens the sound in the room with a single word, then accuses Tara of taking Giles' side against her. "Willow, you are using too much magic," Tara keeps the argument on track. "What do you want me to do, just sit back and keep my mouth shut?" Willow almost snarls in return: "It'd be a good start." Tara looks at her in shock, then snaps back, "If I didn't love you so damn much, I would!" before she stalks away. Willow calls after her but she doesn't stop.

The making out in the car is getting pretty hot and heavy, until Dawn flinches -- from a bite. Justin apologizes, and Dawn tells him, "It's okay. As long as it's not bleeding." They move back in, and Dawn's hand trails up Justin's shoulder... to his vamped-out fave. His eyes glow yellow as Buffy crashes into Spike's crypt. She's in the middle of ordering him to get moving when she realizes he's not there. Then she turns back around and he is. "You know, in civilized cultures, that's called trespassing." Buffy: "Good thing you're not civilized. We've got trouble." Which he already knows, since Giles found him, but Buffy had the other kind of trouble in mind. Spike fills her in on Dawn's escapade and Buffy loads them both up on weapons before heading out on the hunt.

Giles is sweeping the cemetery and appreciating the dumbness of this: "Mist. Cemetery. Halloween. Should end well." Especially when he trips and falls. But as he gets back up, he hears someone screaming and heads off to the rescue. He finds a vampire bracing a girl up against a tree and throws him off, but it's Janice, not Dawn. "He bit me," she says weakly. Zack tells her, "Like you weren't asking for it." Giles defends her and Zack tries to take "Grandpa" on; the pair wind up rolling down the hill on top of each other, and Giles takes a beating before rallying, and punching Zack back against a tree. And the branch sticking out of it. "This sucks," he groans, before he dusts. Panting, Giles asks Janice where Dawn is. In fact, Dawn is freaking and running from the car, having figured out what her new boyfriend is. Justin chases after her. "I thought we could hang out or something. You're not like other girls; you're different. There's something special about you; I knew it the first time I saw you. I just want to be close to you" He seems pretty sincere, for a vampire, and Dawn stares at him, her eyes wide. "It'll only hurt for a second," he breathes, heading for her neck. "I bet you say that to all the girls," Giles says from behind him. Dawn spins and Justin gets her by the throat as Giles advances on them. "Now, you have a choice, son. We can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard--" The speech is cut off as vampires start appearing from cars all over the clearing; the three are quickly surrounded. Justin smirks. "What were my choices again?"

The vampires begin to close in on Giles, and it's not looking good for our favorite Watcher. A hand suddenly closes on his shoulder -- and Spike stands companionably next to him. "So, this a private game? Or can anyone join in?" Buffy races in from the other side; her concern for her sister is cut off by realization: "Were you parking? With a vamp?" Dawn: "I didn't know he was dead!" Buffy: "Oh, so you went parking in the woods with a boy you just met." Dawn: "Oh, like you've never fallen for a vampire?" Buffy: "That was different." Realizing the sisterly squabble could go on all night, one vampire asks, "Can we fight now?" Buffy asks the group at large, "Hey, didn't anyone come here to just make out?" One couple raises their hands and Buffy smiles. "Aw, that's sweet. You run. You scream," she tells the vamps, and the fight begins. The good guys break up quickly and take on their own crowd, as Justin tells Dawn: "your sister's the Slayer? I totally get it. I knew there was something different about you." Dawn punches him in the stomach and runs. Giles stakes his group with an assist from Buffy, and Spike takes on a wanna be of his own, who is pissed that Spike's fighting him. " It's Halloween, you nit," Spike educates the kid. "We take the night off. Those are the rules." Vamp: "Me and mine don't follow no stinkin' rules. We're rebels." Spike is deeply unimpressed; he throws the kid against a tree, informing him, "No, I'm a rebel. You're an idiot." before whipping out a crossbow and shooting him. "Give the lot of us a bad name."

Buffy gets slammed into the hood of a car a few times, but recovers, beheading the vamp with a car door (grisly, but effective). Then she has to chase down Dawn, who has wisely left the scene of the fight, but not wisely let Justin follow. He throws her down on the ground and kneels over her. "I thought you really liked me," Dawn stammers. "I do. And you like me, too." Dawn's face is very resigned. "I do." As he leans in close to bite her, he suddenly explodes into dust, leaving Dawn holding a pencil against her chest. She sobs a few times, then goes still.

Back home, Buffy apologizes for the party getting broken up, but Xander assures her it's no big as he leaves; Anya tells her, "It gave me more time to plan the bridal shower. Where do we order obscenely muscular male strippers?" Xander objects and Anya tells him she's kidding, mouthing, 'We'll talk' as Buffy as she leaves. Spike takes his leave as well; "Good fight," Buffy tells him. The witches head upstairs, Willow still trying to get Tara to talk to her, as Giles comes in holding an ice bag to his face. Through the doorway, they can just see Dawn sitting quietly in the dining room. "She's taking it pretty hard," Buffy says. Giles: "Something needs to be done before it spins out of control." Buffy smiles and pats him on the arm. "You're right. I'm glad you're here to take care of it. Don't be too hard on her, okay?" She disappears up the stairs before Giles can object; he stares after her before sucking it up and walking in to Dawn, who does indeed looks like she's taking it hard. "We need to have a conversation." Dawn doesn't look at him. "This the part where you tell me you're not angry, just disappointed?" Giles: "Pretty much. Except for the bit about not being angry."

Upstairs, Willow tells Tara again that she's sorry. "It's not that easy," Tara says, as she gets the bed ready. "What do you want me to do?" Willow demands. "Reverse time and take it back? 'Cause I could probably--" She cuts the thought off at a glare from Tara, who asks tersely, "Can we just not do this now? I'm tired." Willow agrees as Tara gets into bed and Willow walks over to the dresser. "Okay. Lets just forget it ever happened." She picks a small dried flower up from the dresser and holds it, repeating, "Forget." Light runs over the flower, and she turns off the lamp. Tara snuggles up to her as she gets into bed. "This is how every day should always end. And start." Willow asks hesitantly, "So you're not mad?" Tara murmurs sleepily, "About what?" Willow smiles happily.

Review coming soon

Tina's Review

Okay, I didn't particularly like "All The Way" for the plot stuff, but I thought there was some very excellent character development in it. In fact, the main plot *was* the character development--and there was a *lot* of set up for future episodes.

Dawn did typical teenager stuff, not caring about the danger. On the other hand, she's used to the so-called rule that nothing happens on Halloween. I wanna know why we have that rule. I also want to know why everyone seems to constantly break that rule. I suppose it's tradition--too many humans out and about, and if something happens, there might actually be the stereotypical angry mob after you. Ask Spike. He knows about angry mobs (remember Prague?). So Dawn wanders out, using Buffy's oft-used tactics for the all-night research parties in the library. Then she gets in trouble (she should remember that it's an even-numbered season, and those are always the years that there's trouble on Halloween) and has to stake the cute guy that was her first kiss. I'm really wishing that we could do crossovers from Angel, because I get the sudden feeling that Gunn wouldn't put up with her teenage mischief and would still be able to bond with her. Gunn's really a giant teddy bear who can use an axe.

Question: Do none of the Scooby Gang yet realize that maybe they should be driving Dawn to her friend's house--the one she wants to go to at night in *Sunnydale*, favored vacation spot of demonic forces everywhere? And do none of them think that maybe Dawn would pull the same tricks they used not so long ago? Hopefully this will mean that they will start keeping a closer eye on Dawn. Buffy's still trauma girl from the ripped-from-Heaven experience; she's in total denial mode about a lot of things. I don't think she's really capable of dealing with badness, not of the more mundane variety. Xander and Anya were distracted, which is understandable. Tara was also distracted because she was worried about Willow and mad at her at the same time. I think Willow was being more than a little self-centered.

Next topic: Willow. Um, hello? Has anyone noticed that the newer, assertive Willow is turning into a downright bitch? She was yelling at *customers* in Anya and Giles' store while trying to sell things, which is totally not kosher. I know Willow's never really held a job down, but she's aware of things like basic politeness--and how not to drive away the customers. It seems like she's attending college on Ira and Sheila's money, and living rent-free at the Summers' house (and I refuse to believe she's paying rent 'til I see evidence of it on the show), and she doesn't lack for money to buy whatever she wants. She's gone from shy to spoiled in the course of about three seasons, and it bothers me a lot. She's *long* past due for a whack upside the head from karma, and I want to see it happen soon.

Xander and Anya: Aw. They're cute. Xander's doing the total guy-panic thing, which is understandable. He has Buffy to hold him steady and remind him that he gets to do normal things like this because he's normal guy. I get the feeling that with Giles being gone so much, Xander's going to be the steadying influence here. He and Anya are the only two that are really normal at the moment (as normal as any of them are going to get), and Buffy is going to need as much of that as she can. It's a function that Joyce used to serve, and now that she's gone, Buffy needs some real life stuff she can cling to. There was much cuteness, and not much more, but that's okay. With the way these two have been fighting, that was all we needed.

Tara: Yikes. Snarky Tara! Tara sticking up for her beliefs! Memory-wiped snugglebunny Tara. Okay, I'm scared now. Tara's the good witch, she doesn't overuse her power, and she tries to maintain a full awareness of the balance of the universe--and she knows that things can go wrong with magic. She sticks up for her beliefs to Willow, and I was so proud of her for doing that. Then Willow went and ruined it all by making her forget what had happened. Telepathy Willow was scary enough, but mind-altering Willow is just freaky. She started out with the magic thing to make Jenny proud, but if Jenny could see what she was going now, she'd be horrified. It wouldn't stop Willow any more, though. Willow's hit critical mass, and something is going to have to give soon. On the other hand, will anyone but Tara and Giles see it? Speaking of, I loved the little glance Giles and Tara gave each other when they saw Willow do the decoration spell. If anyone knows the consequences of magic gone wrong, it's definitely those two.

Giles: Buffy so needs to stop dumping on him. He was support guy in this episode for a lot of it, but he got some *damn* good fight scenes going on too. Give him a weapon and your average vamp, and he's impressive. The kicking the vampire into the tree totally rocked. I've got to go back and rewatch that scene; I want to see if it was Tony, or if it was his stunt double. I've heard speculation that he may leave so that he doesn't turn into Dawn's father. That would be a more than acceptable reason for it to happen, and while I'd miss Giles again, I think it would be okay. On the other hand, I want him around to back Tara up on the Willow-magic front. On the third hand (I've got one around here somewhere...), if she's not afraid to alter Tara's memory, what would she to do Giles if he got her mad?

Spike: Hi, I'm bad. No, really, I'm stealing blood spices. No, seriously, I'm bad, but I play by the rules of Halloween. Yeah, suuuuure, you do, Spike. Remember second season, when you had your legions of kiddie-demons trailing along after you? I mean, hey, carpe noctem and all that, sure, but then you lie about it to the idiot vamps? Oh, wait, no, that's Spike for you.

Not much else. Plot? Pffft. We don't need plot, we got setup and character development. That's pretty good, even if it wasn't quite a plot.


":::YAAAAWWWWWN::: Wow. That was exceedingly dull.The only interesting things were Giles and Tara/Willow, and they were so obviously just setting up things to come. Why couldn't they have done an episode that centered around *those* characters and had these developments occur out of something a bit. . . I don't know. . . . interesting? Instead we just put Dawn through a repeat of Reptile Boy that had basically no suspense whatsoever. *sigh*"
"Ditto. Sure, I got to scoff at the stupidity of Buffy dumping her job onto Giles once again (Gee, I wonder if Giles will feel compelled to leave in order to force her grown up?) but the entire episode seemed to be exposition for the final bit with Willow removing what little spine Tara had developed as a halloween treat so where's the fun? To quote Willow when Willow was fun (and from an alternate dimension): Bored now." -- Mary Beth and Deb

"I think I was identifying with Dawn wanting to have a romance (after just watching Anya's and Xander's engagement party). Kind of a little bit like identifying with Willow back in high school being in love with Xander. So, no boredom for me. " -- Lizbet

"Dawn with the shoplifting. Shouldn't surprise me, but it did. And she seemed very willing to up the ante on that -- our little Dawnie is definitely casting about for something to rebel with. Luckily, it's *not* letting the cute vamp bite her (at least not the second time he tried). Good to know for sure that she's smarter than that. And ow...two firsts in one night. ~meep~"
""Yup. Although I wouldn't have thought she would've been dumb enough to even *think* about it--- but then, she has been hanging out with Spike for too long. Her perceptions are a tad warped by him. And who wants to bet that he gave her a riot-act reading that was the equal of Giles's for sheer outrage and 'what were you thinking?' I can't imagine that he was any too thrilled, either. " -- Valerie and Chris

"the episode would have been more fun if there had been a director's cut of the extended Giles yelling scene at the end. Keep picturing Giles lecturing Dawn and ending with: "There's a time and place for everything and it's called college"." -- Maddog

"...I thought at first that Willow had finally crossed the line, but I think she really did end up crossing the line way back with "Something Blue" and her "my will be done" spell. It's just that with last night's episode, the fact that she's crossed the line has finally gotten noticeable. Hopefully Tara will get her memory of Halloween back. I don't know any more-- Willow doesn't seem to want a real girlfriend, just a living spellbook/teddy bear to cuddle up with. I *loved* the significant glance between Giles and Tara when Willow cast the instant decorations spell. < sigh > " -- Tina

"Willow! NO MANIPULATIVE MAGIC! Yes, it's fairly obvious that Willow is/has been heading down a long, slippery slope, but there's a certain horror in watching a train wreck happen slowly. I agree with Tina that Something Blue is where she crossed the line, but she crossed back. Messing with her lover's mind to erase and argument is not only wrong, it's... mind-rape. < shudder >"
"Something Blue was a hint. As was the near-Veruca spell. But I think the Glory attack is where it REALLY all went to hell. She let that Dark Side in then. And itıs eating away at her more and more each time she touches that power. Iım scared. And fascinated. By what sheıs doing." -- Lizbet and Mary Beth

", that slippery slope has a new coat of grease and a much steeper grade all of a sudden, huh? *brrrrrrr* And as Jack pointed out, did she just happen to have the physical components for a forget spell on her dresser, or has she been doing this for a while?"
"Ooh, damn. We wouldn't be able to tell, would we? And of course, the next time Tara gets mad at her (and she will, because Willow is not only not-learning, she's getting worse, and Tara's character and reactions won't change either), she'll do it again... and again... until... what? Tara realizes it, and leaves? Something damages her? *sigh* Badness, Willow Rosenburg! Badness!" -- Valerie and Chris

"Well, I *did* like the ep. It was hardly spectacular, but it wasn't, oh, Bad Eggs, Killed by Death, etc.I'm generally bored for the first few eps of the season on Buffy anyway. It always seems like there is a long set-up to get into the meat of the season. The arc-y episodes don't seem to occur until whatever double-parter defines February sweeps, and the rest just feels like that bit from Disney's Hercules... we're waiting, we're waiting..."
"I agree, however, they usually do a much better job of providing entertaining stuff during the set-up. They seem so focused on achieving an end result with each ep, that they kind of rush the how they get to that result. But as I said, Iım one who usually finds things to appreciate in even the mundanest of eps." -- Lizbet and Mary Beth

"Actually, Xander's quiet, awe-struck, "I'm going to marry that girl," was a gorgeous, perfect moment, when it seemed like he understood everything. And no, I don't think he's going to back out of the wedding, I just think that he started freaking about realities." -- Lizbet

"At one point Buffy said that she was gone "only 3 months", but in the previous episode, Spike was pretty damn precise about how long Buffy was gone: exactly 147 days, which is more like 5 months. *Somebody* wasn't paying attention to previous canon!" -- Maureen

"And horrible thought: If/when Willow actually crosses the line into darkness, wouldn't Spike be a good ally? Particularly if she could remove/deactivate his chip, either magically or medically? (Dianne's addition to that: What if she could turn it on and off at will?)"
"I had the same thought last night, too!! Ru-roh!! But Dianneıs addition? Okay, that scares me to DEATH." -- Lizbet and Mary Beth

"I desperately cannot wait for the musical next week, and I think that's blunting my appreciation of this ep. It's like yeah, yeah, teenage girl kissing a vamp, yeah, yeah, but when are they going to start *SINGING*?!?!?!?""
"Hee!! Me, too! I will fully admit that I just want them to bring on the musical already. So that probably affected me. Canıt. Wait. Want. Now." -- Lizbet and Mary Beth

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