Tough Love

Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner
Directed by David Grossman

Perri's Review | Name's Review | SunSpeak

Perri's Review

Another episode driving us relentlessly towards the finale, but with some lovely moments along the way, and the first Willow-centric plot we've seen a in a long time.

Weeks after her mother's death, Buffy's life is still adjusting to the new demands on it -- including painfully telling a sympathetic Poetry professor that she's dropping out of college for the semester. Ben's boss isn't even slightly sympathetic, when he shows up for work for the first time in two weeks, and finds out he's been fired. Ben tries to defend himself, but there's really nothing he can say. "Can I just tell you its not my fault?" he tries. "Sure," his boss answers. "You can also tell me that the dog ate your homework. Or maybe eating Twinkies made you do it. Or maybe, yeah, that there's really a wicked demonic creature living inside you that takes control of your body and forces you to do its bidding." A bitter Ben leaves, yelling at Glory as he cleans out his locker -- but even anger isn't enough to keep Glory away. Even as he chants, "I'm Ben!" over and over, he transforms. Glory smiles. "I'm hungry."

Three minions later find themselves blindfolded and kneeling, waiting on Glory as she enjoys one of the few pleasures of this dimension -- a bubble bath. The usual rounds of toadying (the minions) and bitching (Glory) ensue; she still wants the Key. The Key is currently in the principal's, being forced to explain to her sister why she's been cutting school. The principal is sympathetic to the girls and the aftermath of Joyce's death, but she's also genuinely concerned for Dawn. She sends the younger girl out of the office, so she can have what is evidently a very serious conversion with the elder.

At the Magic Box, the usual gang (Willow, Xander and Tara) is researching, while Giles works and Anya waits impatiently for a set of browsing customers to buy something. Anything. Xander finally pulls her away and they are treated to a session of Anya-logic regarding patriotism, capitalism and buying, "Look at them. Perusing the shelves, undressing the merchandise with their eyeballs! All ogle, no cash. It's not just annoying, it's Un-American," she proclaims. "Appalling. Almost as if they no longer believe money can buy happiness," Giles observes dryly. They're saved from the conversation by the arrival of the Summers sisters, and neither of them are happy. Whatever the counselor had to say, it's wigged Buffy seriously. She leaves Dawn hunched over homework and drags Giles back into the practice room. He listens sympathetically, and tells Buffy what she already knows: "You're just going to have to put your foot down." Buffy's response is predictable: "I want you to do it. You can be the foot-putting-down-er!" He's the grown-up she desperately wants to be running her life right now, but Giles, not without regret, is having none of it. "you're her only real family now. She needs you to do this." Buffy reluctantly accepts the truth of this, and braces herself to be an authority figure.

Unfortunately, when she emerges it's to find Dawn giggling, standing in the middle of a triangle of Slayerettes. "I thought I told you to do your homework!" Dawn objects, "I was," and Buffy says, very calmly, "Please don't lie to me." Dawn bristles, Willow defends the theory of physical mathematic tutoring, and Buffy isn't buying it. "I think maybe Dawn should do her homework at home." Willow continues to try to defend Dawn, but all Buffy can do is continue emphasizing how important Dawn's schoolwork is right now. "You don't understand, and there's no way that you could." Even when Willow tries to convince her to bring Dawn to the World Culture Fair with her and Tara, for some good educational fun, Buffy refuses. "It's not like I don't have a life. I do. I have Dawn's life." She drags her reluctant younger sister home.

Meanwhile, Glory has Reached A Conclusion. She's figured out who the Key is, and has nothing but respect for the monks who built her life and personality. "Pretty convincing, really. But not convincing enough." Gleefully, she leads her minions out to collect the Key.

A tired and hurt Willow tells Tara all about the semi-fight with Buffy, as they get dressed to go out. Tara is sympathetic, but tries to make Willow see things from Buffy's point of view, crabby and all, relating it to her own experiences after her mother's death. "You can't really know what it's like--" Willow interrupts, like she's heard this before. "Yeah, I know that." Tara immediately tries to apologize, and Willow tries to blow it off, but Tara wants to know what she did wrong. "No, please! I mean, tell me if I said something wrong. Otherwise I know I'll say it again -- probably often and in public." Willow tries to explain how left out she feels, and how helpless. "It's like my opinion isn't worth anything, because I haven't been through... I didn't lose my mom, so I don't know." Tara is appalled to think that she's been acting like any kind of "big knowledge woman", and Willow's attempt to reassure her devolves into a comparison of their relationship, both as witches and as lovers, Willow often feeling like the junior partner. "You've been doing longer than me. You've been out longer, you've been practicing witchcraft way longer."

In her haste to reassure Willow of her worth, Tara tells her, "It frightens me how powerful you're getting." Which Willow, of course, takes precisely the wrong way. Or maybe the right way. "It frightens you? I frighten you?" Tara backpedals, but the conversation has nowhere to go but down. "I worry sometimes. You're hanging so much, so fast. I don't know where you're heading.... I trust you. I just don't know where I'm going to fit in, in your life when you..." Willow is standing now, her voice getting angrier. "When I change back. Yeah, this is a college thing, a little experimentation before I get over the thrill and head back to Boys Town. You think that?" Tara swallows, but faces her. "Should I?" Willow responds, "I'm really sorry I didn't establish my lesbo street cred before I got into this relationship, but you're the only woman I've ever fallen in love with." With that, she walks out, leaving Tara in tears.

Buffy is taking the organized approach to running Dawn's life -- lists of Things to Be Done to be checked off, or marked with little gold stars. Predictably enough, Dawn is less than enthused with this plan. "This is for real, Dawn," Buffy tries to stress. "No, it's not," Dawn shoots back. "I'm not real, so why would my exciting graph of chores be real? Who cares if The Key gets an education anyway?" Obviously, Buffy does. And so do the authorities, like the principal, who will take Dawn away from Buffy if things don't change. Yes, the words "foster care" were mentioned in that private chat. The seriousness of the situation sinks in slowly. "You could have told me that," Dawn says. "I just did," Buffy returns quietly, concentrating intently on folding a stack of towels.

In the aftermath of their fight, Tara wanders the World Culture Fair alone, while Willow curls up in a corner of the Magic Box. Tara is sitting on a bench, being deeply depressed, when she feels a hand slip into hers. She looks up with a relieved smile -- and stares Glory in the face. "Is this seat taken?"

Giles, not being dumb, notices fairly quickly that something is wrong with Willow. She confesses to him about the fight -- their first fight -- and Giles reassures her that everything will be better once they've made their apologies. He wanders over towards the back door. "As they say, this, too--" He opens the door just enough to let a crouching minion fall halfway in, then snaps it back, hard. The minion drops. "--shall pass." Giles drags the minion inside as Willow and Anya watch wide-eyed, and takes the opportunity to get a little interrogation done. The minion reels off the usual 'I will never talk, no matter what torture'. But while the girls are sent in search of twine to tie up the minion, there's a sudden crunch and a gasp -- and suddenly, the minion is quite chatty. "He changed his mind," Giles explains, dead-pan. The minion confesses that he was sent to watch the Slayer's people, while Glory went to retrieve the Key. "Glory will find the witch, and there's nothing you can do to stop her." Willow races out the door without a thought.

But what Giles knows about torture, Glory could have taught him; without losing her smile, she begins slowly crushing Tara's hand, warning her not to cry out, or she'll kill the people around them. Tara bites back the pain and the terror, even when blood begins to flow from her crushed hand. Then Glory tastes the blood -- and realizes Tara is only human, not the Key. She has a little 'you lied' wig-out, but makes the best of the situation, trying to torture the information out of Tara. "Think about it. You think your hand hurts? Imagine what you'd feel with my fingers wiggling in your brain. It doesn't kill you. What it does is make you feel like you're in a noisy, little dark room, naked and ashamed. And there are things in the dark that need to hurt you, because you're bad. Little pinching things that go in your ears, and crawl on the inside of your skull. And you know that if the noise of the crawling would stop, that you could remember how to get out... but you never, ever will." As she finishes her intensely creepy monologue, Tara weeps quietly, but holds on defiantly. "Fine," Glory smiles, stroking the side of her face. "Let's get crazy."

Willow races through the fair, chanting a spell under her breath. She finally locates Tara -- just in time to see the flash of light as Glory's hands sink into Tara's head. She screams and races forward, but can't get past the crowds. When she finally reaches Tara, it's all over. "It's all dirty," Tara mumbles, "and all over me." Willow cradles her newly-insane girlfriend against her, crying.

The Scooby Gang gathers at the hospital again, as Tara's hand is put into a cast to heal. But they can't do anything for her mind, as she rambles incoherently from topic to topic. Although Willow wants to take her home, Tara has to stay for a few nights. Buffy arrives last and hugs Willow, then, carefully, hugs Tara, who doesn't recognize any of them. "I'm sorry it took so long," Buffy apologizes, "but Dawn's safe with Spike, so I can stay as long as you need." Safe with Spike indeed; Dawn trails after the still greatly-bruised one as he leads the way through an underground tunnel, reassuring her that she's safe with every step. Dawn's not buying it; she's too scared of what Glory might be planning, for her and the others. Spike's awkward attempt to touch her hair is broken off abruptly when she turns to look at him. "You want to know what I'm scared of, Spike? Me. Right now, Glory thinks Tara's the Key. But I'm the Key, Spike. I am. And anything that happens to Tara is because of me. Your bruises, your limp -- that's all me, too. I'm like a lightning rod for pain and hurt and everyone around me suffers and dies. I must be something so horrible... to cause so much pain and evil."

Spike listens calmly to the flood of guilt, then answers simply, "Rot. I'm a vampire; I know something about evil. You're not evil." Dawn wants to believe him, but can't. "Maybe I'm not evil. But I don't think I can be good." Spike thinks about that one. "Well... I'm not good. And I'm okay."

Back at the hospital, Willow watches helplessly as Tara is taken away to the mental ward. The Scooby Gang tries to make her settle down and rest, but she has other idea. "No way!" Buffy tells her. "You cannot even think about going after Glory." Willow is determined, and pissed, but Buffy manages to convince her to wait for her revenge until they have a chance to win. Willow finally gives in, reluctantly, and Buffy heads off to retrieve her sister. As Willow heads directly for the Magic Box. Almost running up the ladder to the loft, she tears books out until she finds the one she wants, the one Giles keeps hidden -- "Darkest Magick". She breaks the lock and the pages fly open under a wind of their own making....

Glory is buzzed from eating Tara's mind, and in no mood to hear anything except that she's winning. "Buffy's only got so many friends. All I have to do is rip through them one by one, until I find the one--" Her gloating is cut off as the room begins shaking, and the lights dim. The front door of the condo flies open -- and Willow flies in. About a foot above the floor. Floating. Her eyes are solid black, her fists are clenched, and the power flowing around and through her is almost visible. She chants as she floats towards her target, but Glory is unimpressed. Until Willow throws up a forcefield around her. "I. Owe. You. Pain," she says, and Glory screams under an onslaught of lightning from Willow's hands.

Underground, Spike hovers in a corner, listening as Buffy repeats the reassurances he'd been offering the guilt-stricken Dawn. Dawn asks after Willow, and Buffy tells her about the 'brief' drive for revenge, and how she 'talked her out of it'. Spike snorts with laughter. "So you're saying that a powerful and mightily pissed-off witch was planning on going and spilling herself a few pints of god-blood until you, what... explained?" His point dawns on Buffy. "What, you think she... no. I told Willow it would be, like, suicide." Spike shrugs, not quite able to look Buffy in the eye. "I'd do it. Right person. Person I loved. I'd do it." Buffy takes off.

"Shatter!" Willow commands, and the windows explode, sending shards of glass flying at Glory. With depressingly little effect. "Is that the best you can do?!" Glory taunts, then takes Willow down with a backhand. Willow makes it back to her feet, and a black bag slides across the room to stop next to her, and pop open. Glory sneers. "What's this? Bag of tricks?" Willow's eyes narrow. "Bag of knives." And they all come flying out, right at Glory. She bats them away, and swings a chair into Willow's face as the young witch continues to cast spell after spell. But Glory brushes them off as Willow's power finally fades. She drags Willow to the wall, and slams her against it with a hand at her throat. "You know what they used to do to witches, lover? They used to crucify them." But before she can attack for real, Buffy's hand catches her arm from behind. "hey used to bow down to gods." As Willow slumps to the floor, Glory and Buffy square off. Again. "things change." Buffy comes out on the losing end, but manages to hold Glory off long enough to get Willow back to her feet. Willow has enough juice left for one more spell -- "Thicken!" -- and Glory stares impotently through a wall of air as Slayer and witch escape. "This isn't over!" she screams after them.

But it seems to be, for a little while at least. Tara, Willow, Dawn and Buffy huddle in Willow and Tara's room, handing out sandwiches. Willow has to feed Tara, who is still not living in our reality. Willow soothes her when she gets upset, telling Buffy that she understands a little better, now, what responsibility for Dawn has done to Buffy's life, since she's determined now to take care of Tara. for however long it takes. They smile in sad sisterhood. "You hear that, baby?" Willow tells Tara tenderly. "You're my always." She kisses Tara's forehead and Tara smiles happily -- and the wall is suddenly torn away, to reveal a very powerful and hugely pissed-off god. The four girls stare in terrified shock at Glory. "I told you this wasn't over," she announces. Tara begins to freak and Dawn hurries to soothe her, and Tara calms as she looks at her. "Look at that. Look at that! Oh, the light! So pure. Such pure green energy! It's so beautiful...." Glory smiles in triumph, as the other three stare in horror at what Tara has just revealed.... Continuity:
Glory knows Dawn is the Key, and along the way to finding that out she sucked out Tara's mind.

Buffy has dropped out of college, although she intends to go back. And the authorities are making noises about whether she'll be give guardianship of Dawn, since Dawn has been cutting classes. Relationships:
Tara and Willow and their first fight. < wince > There's no real chance they'll ever be able to resolve this particular fight, but Willow's commitment to take care of Tara certainly shows that it didn't do permanent damage to them.

Spike is getting more and more open about his feelings for Buffy and she's accepting them, if not easily, then with a certain amount of resigned grace.

Note for future reference: Never, ever get Willow really mad at you. Her 'bag of tricks' might not have worked too well against Glory, but anyone else would have been toast. Mangled, brutalized toast. But, at the same time, that is exactly what Tara was talking about, when she said she was frightened of how quickly Willow's powers have grown. Willow has always had a tendency to use magic more than a bit casually -- I've been complaining forever about it. And now, when she gets driven to violence, she heads straight for the black magic. Admittedly, she needed all the ammunition she could get to take on a god, but she wasn't thinking that clearly -- she just wanted to do damage. I have sympathy... but she's walking too close to going Dark Sider for my taste. thanks.

But she loves Tara, and no one's going to argue that point. That argument was just exquisitely painful, not surprising considering it was being carried on by two of the most sensitive people I've ever seen. One of those terrible, awful fights where no one knows how it got started, no one can pinpoint exactly where it got out of control, no one is to blame for what the other one heard, but everyone is devastated by the time it's over. Most of my sympathy was for Tara, I admit -- she was doing her damnedest to help in a situation she understood, and Willow wound up taking her hurt feelings out on the wrong target. Still, both of them paid a price for that little spat that was a lot higher than either of them deserved -- Glory's little monologue before she went for Tara's mind wigged the hell out of me. Oh, and anyone who wants to complain about Amber Benson's acting abilities? Go away. Tara's insanity was beautifully, and occasionally chillingly, acted. Great performance from both Amber and Allison throughout.

Buffy goes Control Freak -- now there's a shocker. < rolling eyes > I was highly entertained by her attempt to make Giles be the heavy, but someone really needs to smack the girl around when she gets on these control trips. It hasn't been that long since she was fourteen, and the best way to keep her from doing something was to tell her she had to. She finally told Dawn the truth about the jeopardy of her guardianship, and Dawn responded by a lot better to the truth than to hyper-regimentation. Let's hope Buffy learns for that.

And poor Dawn -- no matter how many times Spike and Buffy tell her it's not her fault, she's not going to believe them. There's no reason she should. She doesn't have to do anything for her friends to be hurt; her existence seems to be doing it. For someone who's still not sure if she's inherently evil or not, Tara's torture, coming on top of Spike's, is too much for a kid to deal with, even one without the particular suckiness of the rest of Dawn's life. She's holding up, and she's still talking -- she's tough. But she needs some answers, and it doesn't look like anyone's going to have time for them any time soon...

Everyone having Domestic Issues this week was helped by a great support staff. Giles handled Willow's confiding in him perfectly -- acknowledging the seriousness of the quarrel, but also reassuring Willow that it's not the end of the world, which was what she needed to hear. And only Giles can move from dispensing fatherly advice to knocking out, then torturing a minion without so much as skipping a beat. Well, no, maybe Spike could do it, too -- he certainly seems to be picking up the knack of dealing with a 14-year-old better than Buffy has managed yet. It helps that he has a rather unique perspective on the whole good/evil thing, but he's also honest as hell about everything. And how adorable was that aborted attempt to stroke Dawn's hair? Spike just rocks and rocks...

And can I just say that I feel for Ben. Bad enough Glory takes over his body, but while she's doing it, she's trashing his life. Sucks to be him, big time.

Best Moments:
Buffy trying to talk Giles into being her Enforcer. That scene is just a wonderful one for looking at their relationship -- the father figure forcing his 'daughter' to take responsibility, even when she wants him to do it for her. Which isn't to say that he didn't look really relieved that the Right Thing To Do was also the thing that meant he didn't have to discipline a 14-year-old. < g >

The entire Willow/Tara fight. Not in a "looking forward to watching this again" way, but in a brilliant, painful, awful way.

Anya offering to let Willow sleep with her. The comedy of it was worth a laugh, yes, but it was also one of the first times we've seen Anya try to actually offer emotional support of any kind to someone besides Xander. Very cool.

Spike and Dawn in the tunnels. Can I repeat too often how cute Spike is? But, as I said before, he's also handling Dawn perfectly, more by accident than anything else. He just calls it like he sees it, and it's what she responds to best. But he also genuinely cares about her, outside of just being an extension of Buffy -- that reach out to touch her was just beautiful.

Willow versus Glory. Not the pointiest fight scene of all time, but visually stunning, with incredible directing and FX, and a great performance from Allison.

Glory's final attack. We don't need no stinking subtlety! < snicker > Seriously, it was more than past time for Glory to go for the all-out assault, and Tara's accidental revelation was just brutal. Very cool.

Questions and Comments:
I think that's the first sympathetic teacher we've seen in years that didn't wind up dead. I was kind of surprised.

Why is Spike still so messed up? Not that he's not all cute and vulnerable when he's black and blue, but it's got to have been days, at least, since Intervention. Aren't vampires supposed to heal one hell of a lot faster than that?

So, Willow calls on all possible power to take on a god, and wastes some of it floating around? Seems a little pointless, although it looked excellent!

And it took Glory something like 8 months to come up with the idea of brain-sucking her way through Buffy's friends until she found the Key? I guess they really don't make gods like they used to. :P

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5. One of those "move the plot along" episodes, with a few really stand-out performances.


"Count me on the complete opposite spectrum from just about everyone here it seems regarding this episode. Granted, I was spoiled on it -- my own damn fault for unthinkingly reading the TV Guide for next week while I waited for the new ep to come on. But I believe that it should be as much *how* something happens as *what* happens that gets to you. And I found how everything happened extremely underwhelming. I thought the Willow and Tara fight was exceedingly underdirected and underplayed. . . . it came out of nowhere. . . . and I don't mean in that "sometimes fights just hit when you least expect" way. I mean in that . . . "wha? huh? where did this come from? and that was a fight? okay. . . ." kind of way. It made little sense and it was, imho, entirely too tame. Yes, I think that people are excruciatingly sweet and nice people have a hard time with fighting, so that it was awkward and hesitant was somewhat realistic . . . . but I know whereof I speak when I say that the nice ones can blow up pretty hard when it comes down to it. For me, the lameness of the fight ruined the effect of what happened later. Bigger fight = more pain later and I would think they'd go for that. As it was, their reactions to the fight as something devestating just boggled. OKay, their first fight, which is hard, . . . . but still. I just didn't buy into it." -- Mary Beth

"After being tortured by Glory (and that was just his turn: Wes and Giles went through it last year and three years ago --- it's the end of the season, and Joss has to deal with his boarding school issues again) and not giving up Dawn, Buffy had to admit that he does, in fact, care about her. It doesn't make him any less evil or psycho, but he's not as delusional as she was thinking, and I think she's finally grasped that it doesn't mean *she's* evil or really psychotic-attractive (although... never real. Now that she's admitted that, they kinda have closure, and mind), which was half the problem for her. He did a good thing for all the wrong reasons, out of love for her. That makes it Spike can get over it and she can stop wanting to kill him for it. She can just want to kill him for the usual reasons, like, he's evil. :> All of this carried over nicely into this week's ep, when Spike, as usual, understood Willow (or, well, anyone in a psycho-moment)better than Buffy did, referred glancingly to his feelings for her, and no one had to be smacked. Plus, I was wincing for him sooo much, because Glory hurt him so bad. Poor bruised baby. (Then I had to smack myself for sounding like the Buffybot.)" -- Kiki

"I think Willow went a bit off the deep end both when she found Tara at the fair and her vengance on Glory. Buffy should've known better, but I think she's still overwhelmed with suddenly having to be a mom to Dawn, who's rebelling against everything."
"I agree (not about Willow off the deep end, I haven't heard anyone dispute that! ;-) -- Buffy was preoccupied. She was also thinking that being Stern No-Fun Mom-Caracature was the best way to handle Dawn, so her "Getting People To Do What You Think Is Best For Them When They Don't Want To" skills were a bit lost at the moment already." -- Judy and Dianne

"As it was, I was unmoved, pretty much, by the aftermath of Glory's brain suck. I mean, I was cringing for Tara when Glory was torturing her. And I was freaked by Willow tapping such awesome power (and could we *please* have some consequences for this now? Please?). And Tara broke my heart with her bibbling (I can't tell yet if she's just confused and lost, or really in there and frustrated) . . . but I felt something very lacking in everyone's reaction to Tara's condition. I can't explain it much more than that. It just felt off. As did Buffy dismissing Willow's grief and assuming her friend -- the same one who was ready to do serious damage to Veruca and Oz over jealousy -- would just give up and go home after her lover was essentially destroyed. WUWT?! As did the awkward parallel's they seemed to be trying to draw between Buffy/Dawn and Willow/Tara at the end. I'm sorry . . . . two very different kinds of love and sacrifice there. It was just weird." -- Mary Beth

"I suspect Tara saw some reaction between Glory's presence and the Key. It certainly seemed as if Dawn didn't start glowing in Tara's eyes until she was confronted with Glory." -- Dianne

"The conversation with Dawn was great; there's no one else in her position of weirdly-unresolved power-and-good-and-evil, so I'm glad Spike was able to be both truthful and comforting. I feel for her, she's got to be wondering if killing her isn't a good idea on some level.... What I want is for those stupid Knights of Byzantium to have a conference and just tell the Slayer what they know, so we can all solve this and send Glory home already. Jeez. Plus, Spike calling Dawn "platelet" (my teeny drop of blood that I'm quite fond of?) was just priceless." -- Kiki

"I thought the first half dragged. BUT I did love the Dawn/Spike scenes -- my heart breaks for Dawn more each week -- and the small sort of acknowledgement that Buffy gave Spike when he talked about what he'd do if the right person was hurt -- someone he loved. I liked that she seems to have understood that however warped it is, he does care and that mocking it isn't going to help. And I wigged over whatever it is Giles did. And I love that Xander *finally* got a haircut. . . ." -- Mary Beth

"I would like to see consquences for Willow. At least a lecture from Buffy along the "I know you were upset, but, what the HELL were you thinking!"
"Oh, I don't think Buffy has the high moral ground to lecture Willow on that. Besides, I think Buffy realized it wouldn't do any good. Willow was having an emotional response with very little input from rationality." -- Judy and Dianne

"It's clear that the out-of-body one has no clue what's going on while they're displaced-- not only did Ben figure out the key thing a while ago, but he had no idea how long Glory had managed to keep him in limbo until someone told him. I also get the feeling there's some element of Jeckyll & Hyde (or is it The Incredible Hulk? ;-) going on there-- when Ben got surprised with Dawn-as-key and got very agitated about it, Glory was able to zoom back in and take over. And yet she didn't have a clue what he had discovered 30 seconds before. When Glory's on a rampage she may be able to hang on to the body better, when she's calmer maybe Ben can snatch it back easier (and vice versa)?" -- Dianne

"I think the Willow-Tara fight was good; it didn't feel like either of them was being terminally stupid or co-dependent to me, and the issues they each had were legitimate ones. I loved how Giles just shrugged about it, intimating that, duh, it happens. It does make me wonder how often (or not at all?) Willow and Oz had arguments. Of course, Oz was both very secure and too laidback to get worked up very often--- the one time that's coming to mind was the Willow-Xander thing, which is in a totally different category of hurt. But it does make me think that they intend for the Willow-Tara relationship to keep going and not dissolve for just any reason, which makes me happy. They've invested enough time and emotion into these two that having Willow "grow out of it" or just revert to liking guys when the next cute one comes along would be a total ripoff. Not that Joss would do that, but it's good that they actually *said* something along those lines, finally." -- Kiki

"The Giles Ripper moment with the Hobbit thing was wonderful too. Hehehehe. Although, I do wonder _exactly_ what he did to that guy that made him talk so fast. But I know that look: that was the just-cracked-Ethan's-jaw-and-kicked-him-in-the-groin-and-am-quite-pleased-with-the-results look. Must've been *nasty*." -- Kiki

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