Editor’s note: Hypable reader thegoodshipdestiel continues her three-part series in which she shares her favorite episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Read Part 1 here.
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Yeah, well, I told you this list was going to have a Spike heavy slant. So how could I not include his only episode of season 3 in which he serves up one of the best doses of Spike wisdom in the show’s history? A drunk and inconsolable Spike drives through the Sunnydale sign and back into our hearts to drop some truth bombs. Some may see this as a depressing episode, but I always enjoyed seeing Xander and Willow get caught out. Firstly because I have never and will never like Xander, but secondly because how dare Willow cheat on Oz, who is the best. But mostly I love seeing the first signs that Spike is eventually going to become one of the good guys. He and Joyce talking about his Dru troubles will always be one of my favorite scenes EVER, as will Spike’s “Love’s bitch” speech.
Is there anything quite as glorious as Vampire Willow? I say there is not. It is hardly surprising that Joss cooked up a genius way to get trampy, corseted alternate universe Willow back for another episode. Lunchtime be damned as the Scoobies deal with finding out Willow is dead, Willow is an undead fiend, oh wait Willow is totally fine. Fuzzy Willow then tries to fake at being dominatrix Willow in order to save the day. Hijinks ensue, but no one can quite bring themselves to do away with evil Willow when it’s all over. So they send her and her equal opportunity groping back to her own dimension. Oops.
The secrets that are revealed when Buffy becomes temporarily telepathic give some pretty interesting insight into the minds of Sunnydale High. Oz is having a Decartesian crisis, Cordelia is Cordelia, Angel is a funny guy, and Giles sexes like a sailor. Obviously the school shooting subject matter in this episode is pretty serious (the original broadcast was actually delayed due to the shooting at Columbine), but as a whole I find this episode surprisingly funny and it is a favorite of mine to revisit.
The writers really gave fans what they had been gagging for in this episode, as a spell gone wrong has Buffy and Spike swooning all over each other in magic-induced attraction. Giles is (blind) drunk, Riley is confused, and poor Amy just wants to be a real girl. Seeing Buffy and Spike both act completely out of character is thoroughly hysterical and watching the rest of the characters react to it is almost as good. Fortunately, it won’t be the last time that a spell has multiple characters going completely bonkers.
I know, I know. Ethan again. But you can’t deny that he makes the funny stuff happen! Turning Giles into a demon is no exception. It’s a good old-fashioned case of mistaken identity aided by none other than our always reluctant anti-hero, Spike. He drives, he translates, he makes pit stops so you can scare the hell out of bitches who deserve it. All in all, the buddy cop vibe of this episode is a fun departure from the norm.
A lot of people apparently don’t like Jonathan. I don’t know what is wrong with those people and I am certainly not one of them. “Superstar” definitely ranks as one of the top five weirdest episodes of this show – right up there with “Restless” (the whole thing is a dream) and “Normal Again” (the whole thing is a hallucination… maybe?). There is not a single fact about Jonathan in this universe that I do not laugh at. And it wasn’t totally filler, okay? Jonathan tells them how to kill Adam in this episode. So there. I also feel like it is really progressive that everyone, regardless of gender, is obsessed with him.
You may be wondering what I love more than Spike. Why, Spike flashbacks, of course. This episode includes some truly astounding reveals. Spike likes buffalo wings. Spike used to write poetry. Spike was actually turned by Drusilla (there goes all your Spangel fantasies). Spike can really rock some eyeliner. Watching Buffy throw down the same lines that Cecily does earlier in the episode about Spike being beneath her is ROUGH. But it doesn’t stop him from halting his plans to murder Buffy to offer her some backyard comfort instead. Get it?? The whole episode was to make you realize that deep down he’s been the same sensitive softie his whole life, Vampire or not.
Oh, Spike, Spike, Spike. My poor oblivious blondie bear. A recently jilted Spike is feeling ripe for the taking when Drusilla the burn victim shows back up feeling nostalgic for the good old days (when Angel tortured her in nicer ways). What else is there to do but chain up his old girlfriend, his current girlfriend, and his future girlfriend for some bondage fun? This may not be as out and out funny as most of the other episodes on this list, but I love seeing Drusilla come back even if it’s only for a hot minute. Not to mention Spike trying to woo Buffy in the saddest excuse for a stakeout I’ve ever seen. But I do have to mention that Spike getting the door slammed in his face at the end is seriously the most pathetic ever on this show.
Check in next week for the final installment, part 3!
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