Monday, December 12, 2011

"Something Blue" (Buffy 4.9): You are cordially invited to the wedding of Buffy and Spike

Oh "Something Blue," how I love you. Hilarious, insightful, and crucial to the series as a whole? It's an early Christmas gift. Buffy and Spike have been sparking at each other since they admitted they'd rather fight each other in "What's My Line: Part 2." And this episode is, spoiler alert, the most satisfying and issue-free consummation of their flirtation the series will offer. Also, as my intrepid co-watcher Jenn points out, in light of season 6, "Willow's refusal to deal with her emotions [is] VERY troubling (i.e., wanting to make her pain go "poof")." Not to mention the foreshadowing of Riley's support for UC Sunnydale's lesbian alliance. Lots of important stuff and lots of fun! So we're going to overlook Buffy's crimped hair and enjoy the Slayer's guide to attracting your opposite, which also has the added distinction of Riley actually being funny.
Writers of slash fan fic everywhere rejoice.

DO pay attention to your BFF's warning signs.
As Spike notes, Willow is hanging on by a thread. She still can't process Oz's abandonment, and is acting out all over the place. She even drinks beer, and we all know how disastrous that is in the show's eyes.
Pictured: The poncho of emotional paralysis and despair.

Willow is so wigged that she even catches the attention of D'Hoffryn, my favorite hipster vengeance demon. The red flag? She casts a spell that makes her will be done--but she doesn't know that her every idle comment will become reality. Let the good times roll.

DO realize that your friends might need some time to get used to your unexpected engagement.
Willow's petulant complaint that if Buffy wants to track down an escaped Spike so badly, she should "just marry him" instantly transforms into comedy gold. Buffy goes from threatening Spike to accepting his proposal of marriage, and . . .  I think I should just let the characters respond to the news in their own awesome way:
"I have more scotch."
"It's late and I'm very tired, now, so I'm going to go very far away."
"How? What? How?"

DON'T ruin Buffy's happy day.
Giles and Xander have Willow-generated problems of their own--blindness and demon magnetism, respectively. It really gets in the way of the happy couple selecting an outdoor location . . .
 "One idle breeze and you're registering as Mr. and Mrs. Big Pile of Dust."

picking out cake toppers . . .
"We could smear a little red paint on his mouth . . . blood of the innocent."

and dealing with past relationships.
"Well, where would Angel like to register? And can we have the photographer Angel would've wanted? And flowers Angel would have liked?"

There's a reason I've included so many quotes from the episode itself--it's so sharp and funny. Writer Tracey Forbes more than redeems herself for "Beer Bad" (which I've already weighed in on and the upcoming travesty "Where the Wild Things Are." But the ep is more than just fluff. Jenn notes how Buffy's attraction to the bad boys is representative of the way we're all masochists in relationships. If it doesn't hurt, you must be doing something wrong. And I've got to say, the Riley relationship sort of plays that out. This one is a real pleasure and a worthy lead-in to a series highpoint: "Hush." See you next week, Whedonites!

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