PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Works in Theory

Episode 2.16: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. Original Airdate 2.10.98

"As Valentine's Day approaches, Xander tries to improve his love life through witchcraft and finds himself with too much of a good thing."

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • See, I like Xander better at the beginning of the episode. He got Cordy a nice necklace, and asked Buffy to stop mocking his relationship.
  • "I'm glad that you guys are getting along. Almost really." I want to start using that qualifier.
  • Xander's fall backward after being surprised by the vamp was quite cute.
  • Hello Alpert Mausoleum! We are old friends. 
  • Amy mind-controls her teacher. Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy.
  • Awwww Giles and Jenny are all sad and awkward. Lovely Giles, sticking by Buffy, even as he clearly misses and loves Jenny. IT'S SO SAD YOU GUYS.
  • WHY IS THIS EPISODE SO SAD. Oh right Marti Noxon wrote it.
  • Hi Spike and Dru! Hi Angelus, hijacking Dru from Spike!
  • "I found it in a quaint little shopgirl." Why is DB so much better at playing a douchebag. Oh. Never mind.
  • Wait, I'm bonding with Cordelia! I remember when all my friends randomly decided they hated me, and ignored me and walked away. :(
  • Shenanigans! "Somebody left these for you." Buffy's name is not "Soon," Joyce.
That says "Buffy"
  • Poor Xander. He's trying to be all declarative, and Cordy even likes the necklace, but she knows before he starts that she wants to break up. Sadface.
  • "Do you know what's a good day to break up with somebody? Any day besides Valentines Day!" Good perf by NB in this scene.
  • "Amy! Good to see you. You're a wwwitch."
  • I don't like this plan, Xander. I don't. He wants Cordy to want him again, just so he can break up with her, and be the pain inflictor rather than receiver. I don't like this at all. [Does his dickishness surprise you? -D]
  • We weren't allowed to decorate the outside of our lockers at our school. We also weren't allowed to decorate with stickers at all. I guess my town wasn't basically Sunnydale after all. :(
  • So question. Does the love spell backfire because the intent wasn't pure, as Amy warned, or does she just fuck it up?
  • So as of first thing in the morning, the spell hasn't taken effect yet, but once he gets the library, the mojo starts to work on Buffster. And as we see with Amy, it seems to be taking effect even before Xander interacts with the ladies - they find him. By day two it seems to be the whole town. 
  • Oh god it's so mortifying. Willow in Xander's bed. No NO NO.
  • I like the decor in Xander's room.
  • I'm glad Xander comes clean to Giles ... relatively quickly. He recongizes this is bad and isn't just luxuriating in it. Moral Compass for the win?
  • Jenny lusting after Xander MIGHT be the most hilarious. She just keeps touching herself. GIles: "Don't leave the library." Jenny: Slowly shaking her head.
  • Also I respect Xander for not taking advantage of willing naked Buffy. "This isn't real to you."
  • And then Buffy goes psycho on him, and for the rest of the episode all the women are terrifying.
  • So is Goddess Hecate the patron goddess of ... rats?
Hecate does not approve.
  • And now people besides Buffy are violent. Boy, that escalated quickly.
  • "We have to catch the Buffy rat." - words Giles never thought he'd say.
  • Oz punched Xander. Hee.
  • Giles's loathing for Xander: "Just go. Get out of my sight." So cutting.
  • Jesus. Poor Cordy. This is worse than Beatles mania.
  • Lunch Lady!
  • It's interesting that it's not just they're all obsessed with Xander; they're all convinced he loves them back.
  • Willow with axe. Ack. Ack. And she's crying! AH is good at being scary.
  • It's rather telling that Buffy the rat is a brown rat. Dye job!
  • Shenanigans! Why is it dark out? He JUST left the high school followed by the mob.
  • Also why go to Buffy's house rather than his own? (maybe he didn't want to risk his mom hitting on him?)
  • Again with the small-time terrorizing, Angelus. Though, going after a friend of Buffy's is more in his psychological torture line. Okay, I'll stop criticizing.
  • It's kind of sweet Cordy and Xander get back together in the same basement where they initially hooked up. Kind of. Almost really.
  • So when the spell breaks, most of the girls say "what's going on? Where am I?" So at this point anyway, no one remembers what happened, with that patented Sunnydale selective amnesia. But Willow and Buffy and ... I guess anyone who's already in on the magicness, remember it.
  • Harmony's self esteem is awful. No wonder she dates Spike.
  • Harmony's a sheep!
  • Awww Cordy and Xander, together again.
  • So that's two feel-good episode endings in a row. WE ALL KNOW THIS WON'T LAST. :( :( :( (Next week: Passion)

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • I love Buffy reassuring Xander of his thing for Cordelia even if she clearly doesn’t approve.
  • Interesting Cordettes, this episode:
I swear it's Kirsten Dunst!
And what's with this one's hair?
  • I love that they brought back Amy and the witchcraft continuity.
  • Aww, Jenny.  I kinda forgot about her…  Err…Again, I think they’re being way too hard on her but they need someone to blame and she’s an easy target.
  • Eww, Angel gave Dru a real heart.
  • Oh God, Devon’s very shiny shirt.
  • Do people in HS really laugh at you because you got dumped?  Are kids really that cruel?  I guess so, damn.  Also, what’s with the track suit, Xander?  Yes.  This is one train of thought.
  • Aww, Cordy is wearing Xander’s locket.
  • Ya know, with Larry coming out last episode, they really missed an opportunity here. [Oh. My. God. YES. - Z]
  • SMG looks incredible in this episode:
Also? Auditioning for Cabaret
  • UGH, Willow in Xander’s bed is so awkward
  • Ok, I know the guys are supposed to be mad but some of them look like they’re checking him out too.   Again, a missed Larry opportunity.
  • Jenny is fantastic lusting over Xander
  • Wow, Amy is pretty powerful
  • The cattiness is amazing
  • Ok, what is it now, you don’t like my locker combination?
  • Lotsa hitting in this episode.  Also, go Oz!
  • Seriously, Giles being disappointed with you is like your dad being disappointed with you
  • Yes, GH fans – that frenzied extra is Tamara Braun, Carly #2
  • Willow with an axe!
  • I love the “this is a kooky episode” music
  • Eww, Joyce hitting on Xander is even worse than Willow
  • …and then there’s Dru.
  • It’s never actually stated, but I think the spell never worked on Cordelia because she actually does love him.  That's the theory I'm going with, anyway.
  • Except…I guess that doesn’t make sense since Willow does still sorta love Xander.
  • “Harmony, you’re a sheep!”
  • Cordy is pretty awesome in this episode – great with the comedic timing

Favorite Lines:

Zelda: Spike: Why don't you rip her lungs out? That might make an impression.
Angel: Lacks poetry.
Spike: Doesn't have to. What rhymes with lungs?
Daniel: Buffy: I seem to have a slight case of nudity here.
Oz: But you're not a rat. So call it an upside.

90s Factoid:

Cordy's knotted button down shirt:

Like the Carrie Bradshaw of the 90s

Arc Stuff:
  • Harmony's back!
  • So is Amy! And she's been partaking of the witchcraft.
  • So is Devon!
  • Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Amy all have ... some class together where they write papers.
  • Angelus goes extra-psycho on Valentines Day. Delightful. Psychoness included nailing a puppy to - skip it.
  • The Dingoes play Pain, the one song they play.
  • Do we think Buffy's ratness was the beginning of her love of cheese?


Voiceover - none
Oz's Hair - honey blonde (his cool hair)
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 1
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 2
Apocalypse Called - 0


  1. The Cordette with the bangs looks like a Stepford wife.

    I actually understood Xander's actions in this episode. He was hurt and mad and teenagery which leads you to do stupid, stupid things. It's not like he went through the whole episode going, "yes, my plan is awesome. You guys just screwed it up, I'll definitely try this again!" He acted out of anger and hurt and then came to the realization that he acted like a complete dickwad and didn't take advantage of anyone.

    I like this episode as confirming Xander and Cordelia's relationship but I can't help but feel it would have been a really great way to end their relationship in Season 3 instead of the awful Willow/Xander thing. The end result would be that he accepts her needing to move on and they both understand that they care for each other but are still young and not ready or mature enough for a serious relationship instead of them realizing their feelings for each other. I don't know, I think it could have worked. I still like the episode as is though.

  2. Daniel - it's explained in the episode that Amy's spell didn't NOT work, it just worked completely opposite of what it was supposed to. So instead of focusing all the love on Cordelia, it focused the love on all the other women, effectively leaving Cordelia immune. I agree with your points, though - and Oz's reaction to un!rattified Buffy is one of the best ones in this episode - simply because there isn't one. OH, OZ. SO HARD TO FAZE.

    1. I...don't think it was ever explained...Do you have proof in the transcript?

  3. I always get excited when you do these, love them. Do you guys know that Emma Caulfield vlogs on tuesdays and thursdays on YouTube? Search "essenemma" she's hilarious.

    1. Yes, Emma, we know. Your fans still love you.


  4. The spell didn't work because of a combination of Xander's doucheness and Amy being a crap witch. All I ask is for witches to choose the right gods to address for spells. Hell, Willow was right on point with Osiris in S6, so it's not all that difficult.

    That said, I like this episode, even if I was wary of every single woman in Sunnydale for a bit after.

    Oops, stray thought: was there an age limit for the spell?! Oh, god, were there fathers everywhere trying to restrain their 5 year olds from chasing Xander?!