Buffy: Where the Wild Things Are

Spike: "You know, you take the killing for granted. And then it's gone, and you're like, I wish I'd appreciated it more. Stopped and smelled the corpses, you know?"

They already did the haunted frat house episode last Halloween. And much, much better.

I thought some of this episode was pretty funny, but much of it went right past funny and into tasteless. I mean, it wasn't that long ago that all three of our teenage leads were virgins, and all three got seriously hurt with their first amours. And now? Arguing about erectile dysfunction in an ice cream truck in front of a bunch of kids? All those leering dirty jokes about Buffy and Riley? Is this Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Dallas: The Teen Years?

Maybe I'm overboarding a little on the sex thing because the plot didn't all that much for me, either. I did like Buffy's double entendres and the "big bursting poltergasm" comment, and the show gets points for showing a drawer-full of condoms, but that was about it. My two favorite scenes were: (1) Spike and Anya hanging out together reminiscing about their demon glory days, and (2) Giles in the Espresso Pump. Neither of which had anything to do with the plot. No, wait -- the vampires and demons getting together thing was part of the plot, and Spike and Anya fit the bill there. It reminded me of that line in Ghostbusters about cats and dogs living together.

I've always wondered why Xander allowed himself to get involved with a former vengeance demon. Isn't he just asking for trouble?

Bits and pieces:

-- More Spike! I want more Spike!

-- Did you notice that the ice cream truck music was in a minor key?

-- Willow used to have a crush on Giles? Did I miss that? What good taste she has.

Quotes:

Giles: "There's always been great discord between them. And yet you say that the vampire went to the demon's aid. The two of them were working as a team?"
Buffy: "Everything except giving each other little pats on the behind."

Buffy: "Who better to bring together a bunch of demon types than someone who's made out of a bunch of demon types?"
Tara: "So he's, um, bridging the gap between the races."
Willow: "Like Martin Luther King."

Xander: "Um, just, you know, impressing you with my knowledge of local history. Or my knowledge of reading."
Julie: "You didn't even have to sound anything out."
Xander: "You should see me add short columns of small numbers."
Julie: "You're funny."
Xander: "Thanks. I mean, funny 'how amusing', or funny 'back away and avoid eye contact'?"
Julie: "Kinda both."

Xander: "Anya, this is crazy. We had a little fight. It just means that we have to work our way through some stuff. It doesn't mean that we rebound with the evil undead."

Xander: "Anya, look around! There's ghosts and shaking, and people are going all Felicity with their hair... We're fresh out of superpeople, and somebody's gotta go back in there. Now who's with me?"
Spike: "I am. I know I'm not the first choice for heroics, and Buffy's tried to kill me more than once. And, I don't fancy a single one of you at all. But... actually, all that sounds pretty convincing. (Walks away.) I wonder if Asia House is open."

Xander: "So with Buffy and Riley having, you know, acts of nakedness around the clock lately, maybe they set something free. Like a big bursting poltergasm."

Buffy: "If Riley and I hadn't gotten so wrapped up in each other, none of this would've happened."
Anya: "True. Feel shame."
Xander: "My girlfriend. Mistress of the learning plateau."

One out of four stakes. And it would have been zero without Spike, Anya and Giles,

Billie

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Willow DID keep a picture of her and Giles in her locker, didn't she?

Gus Brunetti said...

Julie's bit affected me. That was such beautiful, beautiful, perfect hair!

Mark Greig said...

Agree with you completely, Billie. Spike, Anya and Giles becoming a god of acoustic rock are the only good things about this episode. Everything else is just awful.

Miguel said...

Oh lord, the episode where Buffy and Riley spent the entire hour writhing around in the sheets. Maybe this episode was constructed to give SMG a break from her heavy workload. It couldn't have taken more than half a day for her to film the majority of her scenes for this episode.

The two scenes you mentioned Billie were by far the best parts of the episode. Anya and Spike make for such an unlikely com3edic duo, but their scene together at the Bronze was a hoot.

At least season four is almost coming to an end. Next time I do a rewatch I think I'm just going to watch the best episodes of season 4. The lack of a compelling arc is really making me just want to jump ahead to season 5.

Billie Doux said...

BUFFY RE-WATCH comments begin here! Remember, no spoilers for future episodes. Want to talk spoilers and foreshadowing? Season four spoilers are posted here.

This one hasn't improved with age, big time. At least it's probably a good one to discuss during the big holiday week, when we all have other stuff to do.

ChrisB said...

I completely agree with your take on this episode. The sex jokes crossed the line into tasteless. My guess is that the writers were trying to show us that the Scooby gang is growing up, and they should do so, but it could have been done in a better fashion.

What I do like about this episode is that we begin to see Spike integrating into the group and Tara is obviously becoming part of it as well. Anya is now so much a part of it that she and Xander get to save the day. All three are good additions to the main cast, each bringing a different dynamic to the group.

And, I just love Giles singing in the coffee house. The shot of the four kids just staring at him always makes me smile.

drnanamom said...

Your review is spot on Billie but, like you and Chris I did love the Giles, the folk singer bit. I also liked that Anya was kind of the hero. That plant went right through her hand and she just kept on going. Nobody was going to mess with her boyfriend. Every show is allowed some duds and I guess this is one of them.

Annie said...

I can only agree with your review Billie, this really is a stinker, makes me cringe from start to finish, although as has been said numerous times above, Giles, Spike and Anya bring some much needed entertainment to the the chore that is watching this episode.

Jane said...

I agree with you all. Since I'm a Buffy newbie I'm not skipping any episodes. But I have a mental list going of my favorites and one of episodes that I never need to see or think about again. This one is definitely on the latter list. I'm hoping for a better finish to this season for the last few episodes.

Lamounier said...

This is a bad episode, but I don’t really hate it and I find a lot of it to be quite entertaining. Ok, maybe not a lot of it, but there are a few good to great scenes among the embarrassing material.

Anya is awesome here. While she is on the verge of becoming too aggressive on her blunt honesty, there’s something endearing on Emma Caulfield’s delivery that just makes me love her. I always laugh at her “I’m having fun already, woo-hoo”. She’s yet another unique and strong female character on a show that is always offering great female characters.

The sexual content of the episode explores some interesting themes, but the approach is way off. The idea that teenagers had their sexuality so repressed and spirits were created out of that frustrated energy is a good one, but that those spirits were awakened by Buffy and Riley having too much sex? So lame. There are interesting touches to the story, such as possessed Tara screaming to Willow “that’s disgusting” regarding their homosexual coupling, but we also have to go through Buffy and Riley exchanging seductive looks and the orgasm wall. The orgasm wall is by far and away the worst idea ever presented on BtVS. Seriously, what were the writers thinking?

In the end, “Where the Wild Things Are?” is a mix of bad ideas and potentially good ideas turned bad, but there is enough good character material to keep the episode from being a disaster. David Solomon does a great job directing the episode too, which is another plus. And there’s the gang’s reaction to Giles singing, Spike realizing he could care less and Willow’s “or, you know, get over it” to the spirits. Ok, I might like this episode more than I like to admit. Still, not one I can offer much in the way of defense.