Okay, I did it again! I’m sorry. I didn’t reply to any of the comments because of time. And the spare time that I can muster up is taken up by marathoning Breaking Bad. (And can I just say, I love that show, I think. It was on the list of shows I should watch this summer, but Buffy won out.) But I read all of them (as always). Even the one from someone who has been lurking but has never commented. Please comment again, person! I love you!

So here’s the good news: I sort of…like season 3. Is it okay to say that this early? Cool. There hasn’t been an episode that I’ve dreaded or even didn’t care about, really. In other words, there have been no “Go Fish”s (or “Some Assembly Required”s or…well, you get the point). Perhaps “Beauty and the Beasts?” Once again, I don’t really understand the season-long villain’s…uh…anything, really. I think I may have to rewatch the episode in which we were introduced to the mayor, but that said, I very much enjoy The Mayor and Mr. Trick’s scenes (over The Master’s or Spike and Dru’s).

I’m going to try to do this recap a bit differently and just talk about the major points. Perhaps doing that in the future will also help me write these quicker. This week, it’s a lot easier because everything was sort of separated by couples. I hate that that’s really what I’m going to talk about this week, but here is every shipping dynamic possible:

Xander and Willow

So something that sort of happened in these past six episodes is Willow and Xander getting all…ahem…tongue tied. Of course, this has been brewing for a little while (like, say, the beginning of the series), but I was mostly just shocked by it. I mean, sure there were plenty of feels, but I was also like “WHAT?”

First off, what kind of teases are these, BTVS!? I don’t appreciate it at all. Everyone knows that when a girl ties a guy’s tie in a show, it’s TOTAL endgame. Which we know won’t happen here for…reasons.

Ugh. I kind of hate-love this storyline because I’ve been secretly rooting for these two since the ice cream scene. And I hate it because sometimes I just want characters to have platonic relationships. And then I hate it some more because it also destroys Xander and Cordelia. (Willow and Oz was also collateral damage, but I’m not that invested in that relationship, honestly.)

AND NOW I’M STUCK IN A FRIENDS DILEMMA. Are we team Xander here? Should he be redeemed!?!! (These are actual questions you should feel free to answer if you’d like.) I mean, on the one hand Cordelia should not forgive this because it’s gross. But on the other hand, I think she should because of THE FELLS GUYS. ALL OF THE FEELS.

And second, I did sort of feel like this came out of left field.

Okay? Don’t lie to me, that’s how the scene played off to you too.

But on the other hand, we do know that Willow has been in love with Xander for a very, very long time. Being with Oz doesn’t just automatically make all of that go away. And knowing what we know about Xander — how much he craves the attention from all of the women in his life — well, it’s easy to see how this would happen. Of course, it’s been some time since Xander has slipped like this. Back in “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” the relationship with Cordelia was somewhat new, but we still saw how easily Xander would have given up on it if Buffy came beckoning for him. Here, however, time has taken its toll. And while whether or not Willow and Xander didn’t want to tell the truth because it was a tricky situation (given the dynamic of the group) or because they valued the other relationships more is quite murky, I will say that it at least speaks a bit more to the Xander/Cordelia relationship.

Xander and Cordelia

Speaking of which, is sort of on the rocks. We ended on “The Wish,” so I don’t know how much more development this gets, but I was both pleased and turned off by how Xander’s cheating was treated. Cordelia’s initial reaction (and then so on in “The Wish”) were particularly amazing. We’ve all witnessed just how much Cordelia actually values her relationship with Xander, so I’m extremely happy with how it was dealt on her end. And of course, somehow it related back to her obsession with keeping up with Buffy (which was sort of on display in “Homecoming,” as well) that then made her wish herself into a world where Buffy never came to Sunnydale.

More so, it made her question why she’s always the damsel in distress. I won’t get into it, because obviously Cordelia goes on to Angel and becomes the female lead there, but in some ways I think “The Wish” dealt a lot with the reasoning behind why Cordelia can’t be the star of the proverbial show in her world. Without Buffy, she just dies in the middle of her own storyline (literally, yes, but also metaphorically). She’s sort of just not even a factor. As I said, we know she goes on to bigger things, but the only way I see that working out is if this breakup truly fuels her character to change and better herself. I’m probably reading too much into it so I’ll stop there.

But I will say that I wasn’t exactly keen on the idea of using the perhaps-ending of Xander and Cordelia’s relationship to fuel the alternate universe of “The Wish” for it to then become an afterthought joke right before the credits. I’m crazy this way.

Joyce and Giles

Okay, okay, okay, okay… so I didn’t want to say anything then, in fear that everyone would sort of just think I’m gross, but I kind of felt something between these two in “Killed By Death.” And so when I saw them hanging out in “Band Candy,” I was so hoping they’d make out on top of a car or something…and lo and behold!

The only bad thing about these two is their shipper name is THE SAME NAME. Jiles is Giles and Goyce is Joyce! And, sure, we could use Rupert, but who EVEN calls Giles by Rupert? And using Summers would make it sound like Buffy and just ewwwww.

Ha! Okay, so, I would be completely fine if this never developed beyond this but it was fun for the episode…especially seeing Buffy squirm. In fact, I would want it to happen again just to see her squirm some more.

Buffy and Angel

So somewhere in these six episodes, everyone sort of found out that Buffy was stashing Angel in some mansion somewhere. And they were sort of pissed because “ugh he killed Jenny and is the worst remember?” even though apparently spending several hundred years in hell isn’t good enough punishment. These people hold on to a grude, gawsh.

Anyway, Buffy decides that they can’t see each other because they still have feelings for one another (I’m waiting for the episode where we see that Angel had a relationship with some hot demon girl in hell for several hundreds of years). And then she walks out. Seeing as this is somewhat the beginning of the season, it’s hard to think that they won’t relapse on their relationship here — in both aspects, platonic and romantic. But it’s also very difficult to see how the rest of the group will ever forgive him. I mean, we know a part of the group has to (given the spinoff show). And we know that technically Angel wasn’t himself. But at this point, it appears that the rest of the group truly sees him as just another vampire, which is understandable. (I still have issues with the show always picking and choosing which moments it actually wants to be dramatic, sometimes.)

They should seriously just do a mass soul restoration “curse” on every vampire so that they can just relax for a day or two.

The Grim Future

Tell me The Master ISN’T making a rap pose there.

Anyway, in “The Wish,” we find out that Buffy will always have died going against The Master. However, in this version there are no puddles around so that she may drown in, so The Master just breaks her neck. Makes sense.

Having watched Dollhouse and Dr. Horrible thus far, I know that Joss Whedon doesn’t always strive for happy endings (especially the former). I bet if it were completely in his hands, he would have killed Iron Man. Somehow I was thinking that BTVS would be different given the show’s sense of overcoming. But now I fear that the series ends in Buffy’s death, in which she will no longer be the slayer and yet another one will come along.

I know that the alternate universe is worse because Buffy didn’t go the the Hellmouth, and now there are technically two slayers, but I don’t suppose the life expectancy of a slayer is long (especially given the fact that there seems to be an endless supply of girls Buffy’s age lined up ready to be the next slayer).

The Stupid Little Things I Notice

Faith’s new watcher was so painfully bad from the beginning, right? As soon as she showed up on screen, I just knew.

Ugh, I was kind of hoping that Faith would just be that happy go lucky character on the show who goes around wrestling alligators while naked but now she has feelings too?

This one comes thanks to stefanhero on Tumblr, although I should have seen it. Under Buffy’s list of weaknesses for Cordelia she puts Xander! OH MY GOODNESS THE FEELS.

I haven’t said this yet but my absolute favorite thing about season 3 is when the camera cuts to Jonathan and he’s just eating different foods. Supposedly we get much more of Jonathan, but I just want him to be eating different stuff for the rest of the series. Why can’t I just have that?

I want everyone to know that: YES, I did notice another red-on-black PSA poster. This time it was for suicide. I’m glad no one was creeping up behind someone else in this one.


The Grade(s)

Beauty and the Beasts: Eh. I love, in particular, that Scott is like “I knew them my whole life” after his friends died and Buffy’s all “I’m sorry for your loss” and then he responds “LOLWUT I don curr.” WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THAT?

Homecoming: Hilarious! I like this episode a lot for the Buffy/Cordelia dynamic…and it was quite funny, to boot!

Band Candy: Again, another fun episode. It sort of reminded me of “Halloween” in that people were roaming the streets not being themselves, but seeing the adults stretch their acting muscle was particularly entertaining.

Revelations: It was okay. Once again, I didn’t feel like the twist was a big deal, but I guess the more important aspect here is how everyone dealt with Angel having returned. In that regard, it was good.

Lovers Walk: Fantastic. Great episode! And definitely an episode where I actually liked Spike again, who’s much better without Dru. More so, as I mentioned, I really loved the drama between Xander and Cordelia.

The Wish: Again, fantastic! It was great to see the alternate world in which Xander and Willow were being all awesome. Great job! I know a lot of people aren’t particularly fans of “what if” episodes…some feel it’s just a copout to be silly or see something irrelevant, but I usually tend to like them a lot. I’m that guy who liked Shrek 4, y’know? Anyway, the point being that it was quite entertaining.

And that’s another week! Sorry I didn’t do it more traditionally, but then I would have never finished! Under 2,000 words! YUS!

We watch another six on Monday and Tuesday over at #BuffyRewatch!

Thanks to BuffyWorld for supplying most of the images and thanks to Kassie for suggesting them.

Michael loves TV. You can find him at home, where he spends all of his time watching TV with his best friends couch and cable access.