Thursday, April 2, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 2, episode 16

Continuing with my viewing and reviewing of season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer...


Episode 16: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

Synopsis: When Cordelia breaks up with him on Valentine's Day, Xander has a witch put a love spell on Cordelia so he can in turn break up with her. (written by Marti Noxon, airdate 2/10/98)

Love is a difficult thing, especially when you're a teenager. All Xander is trying to do is show his affection, only to discover there is a higher power - peer pressure. Cordelia gives in to what others think when the other popular girls shun her, and that drives Xander to do the unthinkable - get Amy (daughter of the witch from season 1's "Witch") to cast a love spell. Naturally, Xander's unluck holds out and it gets botched - with disasterous results. Sure, every 17 year old boy wants to have every girl after him, but when it actually happens it is not all one thinks it to be. Of course, the guys aren't too thrilled with him now either - including Giles and Oz.

Of course, we do get a bit of the vampire triangle of Angel-Dru-Spike - you can just see that the tension is building each episode, and it will explode. I like how even Dru isn't immune to the love spell - luckily she's never been welcomed to Buffy's house so she can't pursue her "love Xander" when he and Cordelia take to the basement.

Two best parts: first, that Cordelia pretends the necklace is in her locker when she really still is wearing it and, second, when Cordelia tells Harmony that she is not a sheep like the rest of the girls and that she (Cordelia) can date whoever she wants, no matter how lame he is. Ouch. It speaks volumes about the character, adding further depth and dimension to Cordelia Chase. In the end, Xander gets back his girl.


Michael O'Connell said...

Brilliant! A near-perfect idea for a Xander episode. And a great ep to showcase the horror that is Valentine's Day - and the arbitrary cruelty of high school dumpage! Xander gets da boot! And gets a baaaad idea to deal with it. Isn't that perfect high school thinking, though?--wanting to make her love him just so he can dump her so she'll see what it feels like? Fantastic use of the whole female cast of the show, who all must have had a blast making this. "Have you been working out?"--Jenny Calendar. And some serious emotion from Willow! Nice work on projecting some realistic emotional pain there, Aly! And I don't just mean the ax. I love how, in the middle of all the wacky, it got seriously scary - something about the attack on Cordy in the hall, the whole mob mentality, was scarier to me than axes and vampires. Speaking of vamps - NICE touch adding Dru! Loved the Buffy Mouse thing. Not a danger we expect to find her in--can Oz find our heroine before she gets the cheese?! Yes, I agree with you that the thing with Cordy wearing the necklace, and hiding that fact, was really well done, showing some rare vulnerability. Liked it, liked her final solution with the girls. And her response to it - "Oh my God, what did I do?" Very cool. In some ways, this is a very non-Joss episode. It actually ended WELL for Xander. Nice touch. Oh, and really dug the Oz punch. The whole, I don't want to punch you but I feel I have to and I feel bad about it thing. Perfect for him.

Martin Maenza said...

This was definitely one of my favorite episodes that was not part of the overall season 2 epic. It was a nice breather, a lot of fun, and really touched on something every high school person who has been dumped had wished they could do - put a spell on the person they loved to get love in return (albeit not to dump them - that's where Xander's mojo messed up the spell, IMHO).