Buffy 7×13: The Killer in Me

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Drew Z. Greenberg | Director: David Solomon | Aired: 02/04/2003]

There’s no polite way to put this: “The Killer in Me” doesn’t get much right and is easily the worst episode since “Where the Wild Things Are” [4×18]. The good news is that I think this is going to be the low point of the season. As for this episode, though, oh where do I begin? There’s tone problems, pacing problems, and plotting problems all over the place. I think there’s something worth exploring somewhere inside here, but that vision is far too muddy to make any sense of it. I take it you probably want some more specifics though, right? Well, okay, but just this time…

Before I dig into my many problems with this episode, let me just say that the moment when Willow and Kennedy kiss only to have Warren say “well, that was nice,” is so insane that I can’t help but laugh. Poor, poor Kennedy did not deserve that! Also, a lot of the early scenes with Willow as Warren are tapped quite nicely for their inherent comical possibilities, with a particularly inspired moment involving Andrew — always extremely fond of Warren — grabbing Willow as Warren on the “boobs.” This moment is extremely funny because of how much it plays with everyone. Think about this for a moment: we have Andrew, a sexually confused, likely gay, guy grabbing the boobs of Willow, a lesbian, who has the visage of Warren, the guy Andrew was kind of into. Ahhh!! 🙂

So Spike’s chip is malfunctioning, huh? I suppose this could help explain some of the inconsistencies with it not firing off lately. My problem with this is simply that it wasn’t made clear in previous episodes. This major of a change in Spike really should have been plotted much better than it has. I also find it to be a little bit of a stretch that Spike is just now having extreme pain in his head — this feels a little abrupt for me. In general, I love the idea of Spike needing to get his chip removed, and Buffy being the one to make that choice, but the implementation here is sadly lacking in both reason and emotional pull.

As for Willow and Kennedy, I can appreciate that the writers are at least making an effort to address Willow’s past and hesitations about starting a new relationship. But, I have to say, it makes me feel a bit awkward seeing Willow being able to so quickly jump into another relationship, not just because of the circumstances of Tara’s death, but also because Kennedy is simply so not Willow’s type. I, in no way, can see the two of them really sticking it out long term. Tara was an excellent fit for Willow — they complemented each other extremely well. I don’t feel that with Kennedy. The big scene at the end of the episode tries hard to get us to see Willow’s pain in letting go of Tara, all in an effort to convince us she’s now free to start something new with Kennedy. The problem is that I can’t help but feel this whole resolution is far too pat and manufactured. So, while I appreciate the effort, it still ultimately falls flat for me. I don’t feel this episode at all earns what it set out to do.

Unfortunately, the problems with this episode run even deeper than I’ve already mentioned. The attempt to distinctly separate the humor from the drama did not work. Buffy, as a show, works best when it’s able to blend its humor with its drama. This is something “Killer in Me” fails at, badly. We have a funny scene one moment, and then uninteresting drama the next. The episode is so split between its plot threads that it doesn’t amount to anything engaging. Buffy and Spike going back down into the Initiative, and having people still be there is also pretty darn ridiculous.

On the Willow thread, we see Alyson Hannigan and Adam Busch as Willow, but it switches between the two actors so frequently that what’s left is just a bunch of uninteresting mush. It’s like they didn’t trust Adam to pull off a good Willow for a very long period of time. Then there’s the completely unnecessary shoe-horning of Amy into the story. Why is Amy the one doing this to Willow? Why now? Why is this the last time we see Amy? Why didn’t the writers make much better use of Amy after mid-S6? Why am I so bored by all this? Then there’s the abrupt “resolution” to the worry that Giles is the First. When we find out that he’s not, it only makes us feel cheated and mislead rather than relieved. Why’d they even go there if all they had planned is a cheap gag?

Altogether, this is honestly a complete mess of an episode. It started out alright, with some decent intentions and a bit of humor, but it quickly devolved into nonsense. Sadly, this episode really doesn’t even feel like a Buffy episode. If there’s one moment where I agree with all the complaints leveled at S7, it’s with this episode. While I’ll give it due props for at least trying to do something, it ultimately doesn’t succeed at very much of it.

 


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ Buffy teasing Willow about bringing tea to Kennedy.
+ A mention of Willow’s parents — it’s been a while.
+ Spike having brain pain in the background of the scene where Buffy is on the phone with the Initiative.
+ Everyone having fun poking at Willow as Warren while Spike’s brain is exploding in the background.

– The Amy “oops” moment. How is Amy knowing Kennedy is a Potential at all implicating her in doing something to Willow? Just plain sloppy writing.
– The pointless demon down in the Initiative.
– I highly doubt a recent murder suspect would be allowed to just pick up another gun at the same store he bought one at before. The Sunnydale police must still be completely incompetent I guess.


[Score]

50/100

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74 thoughts on “Buffy 7×13: The Killer in Me”

  1. [Note: Tara posted this comment on April 24, 2009.]

    I hated hated hated the ‘Giles as the First’ tease, because the writers basically wrote themselves into a corner, managing to irritate the fans with an odd out-of-character pseudo Giles for no apparent reason. I wish they’d either had the balls to go through with the idea, or not bothered to raise it at all, so at least we could have had the proper, bookish, fatherly and endearingly awkward Giles we know and love. Either way it would have been better. because, let’s face it, this plot thread sucked.

    If Giles had been the First (although a bit of a stretch – are we seriously supposed to believe the Anya of the last few Seasons hadn’t hugged him at least once since his return???) it would have been a serious punch in the gut to the Potentials who had placed their lives in his hands, but also shaken the Scoobies to the core and made the First actually a threat again. Ever since Conversations With Dead People, I haven’t been scared for this lot. But imagine if it had gone undiscovered until ‘Lies my Parents Told Me’ where we have the First in the guise of Giles subtly throughout the Season undermining Buffy’s leadership and further alienating her from her friends and troops.

    It would have been horrible (but perversely fascinating – much in the vein of Angelus) to see an evil Giles, but at least it would have justified the weirdness of Season 7 Giles. It was as though the writers forgot how to write his character, and they basically wasted a bunch of episodes with a ridiculous, unconvincing tease.

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  2. [Note: Darth Bunny posted this comment on April 24, 2009.]

    Hmm, while some things I agree with, Amy, Giles as the First, the military complex underground that was supposed to be filled with concert, I actually enjoyed the storyline with Willow/Warren. Maybe it’s because I don’t mind the Kennedy/Willow relationship as much as the others.

    True, it’s not long term, but rebound can certainly be helpful. While Kennedy might not be Willow’s perfect match, she did fulfill a role later on down the line. Each of Willow’s relationships so far has served to, or tried to, help her as a person. Oz gave her a self-confidence boost, Tara was the speed bump to her magic addiction, and Kennedy, if we look at ‘Get it done’, helps her reestablish her faith in herself.

    Also, I thought that ‘date’ between the two at the bronze was well-done, even if it was a minor scene. It also made a very interesting point about homosexuality: People often realize they are gay not after they fall in love with people of the same gender, but a single individual who just happens to be of the same gender. Not sure if I made that clear. Granted, I still believe in a fluid sexuality for Willow, but this piece of information doesn’t clash with Willow’s character.

    As for the whole Amy/Giles thing, I think the episode and the plot of the season would have been better served if Amy was working for the First. With a witch on the First’s side, we could have introduced Caleb in this episode by having Amy cast a spell on Caleb to make him look like Giles while the First tortures the real Giles to gain the location of the scythe. The whole Willow/Warren thing could have been a diversion for the real plan: to purge the potentials.

    The more I write about it, the more I wish they had thought of it. Caleb as Giles would have allowed them to keep the red herring, actually given this episode a purpose, and allowed the writers to bring the focus back on the main characters, all while setting up for the grand finale. So yeah, too many dangling plot lines here to fix. I still, however, think a slightly higher grade would have been fine.

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  3. [Note: Leelu posted this comment on April 24, 2009.]

    Just a note: gender is the role one plays, while sex is their physical setup. 8P

    I agree with you about Willow and Kennedy being not a great match, as well as the whole relationship feeling rushed. There really wasn’t any time passed since Tara’s death. Certainly not the amount of time you’d think Willow would need, seeing as she was so upset she almost destroyed the world. 8S

    I don’t wholly agree with your assessment of this episode, though. Yes, it certainly has its many faults, but I actually find it to be kind of interesting. I would have at least given it a solid D, rather than a D-. haha Besides, it awesome compared to “Where the Wild Things Are”. ugh 8S

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  4. [Note: HarFang posted this comment on April 24, 2009.]

    Beg to differ: I enjoyed Where the Wild Things Are a LOT compared with that one! It felt so wrong.
    So THANK YOU Mike for being totally fair and objective in that review! As you say, its core ideas were not that bad, it’s just that most of them were handled with all the finesse of a bulldozer.
    – Willow’s newfound passion for a very obnoxious stranger: even Buffy’s disastrous Parker episode had received more build-up than that! Willow may be on the rebound, but it seems totally unlike her: the last time she was heart-broken, she still took months to form a new bond with Tara. And Tara really was worth it.
    – As for Giles, what a letdown. The previous episodes created a really intriguing setup, and then –nothing. That also really undermines his character, and I much prefer the alternative scenarios that have been suggested here! I would feel much better if I knew that the guy who set Spike up and tried to manipulate Buffy in Lies… really was the villain in disguise. (Except that the Hero-turned-bad plotline had already been used twice, with Angel and Willow, so it would probably have felt a bit rehashed in season 7.) Anyway, I love Giles and I can’t help but feel hurt that he finished the last season on such an unheroic note.

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  5. [Note: Leelu posted this comment on April 24, 2009.]

    I love Giles. He’s my favorite character. But honestly, I don’t think they COULD have done much with him (as himself) this season. He was getting old, worn down, physically and mentally–he was way past his prime. After seven years of all this crap all the time, it’s no wonder he’s finally at a loss of ideas, etc.

    Now, this being said, that doesn’t mean the writers couldn’t have handled the whole Giles situation better. He was kind of manhandled a bit this season. 8S As much as it pains me to say, I would have been okay if they HAD killed him, if it were well written and all that.

    It actually has kind of always bothered me that the core four never REALLY have anything happen to them. Emotionally, sure. Eventually, there’s some minor physical loss. Sure Buffy died twice, but she bounced back from both. But you never REALLY fear for them, because it’s been pretty well established from the past 6 years of show that nothing final will happen to them. 8S

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  6. [Note: Rick posted this comment on April 24, 2009.]

    This episode had me crying out in my sleep for “I Robot, You Jane.” Just kidding….

    I WAS ACTUALLY CRYING OUT FOR “GLITTER!”

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  7. [Note: Darth Bunny posted this comment on April 24, 2009.]

    “I love Giles. He’s my favorite character. But honestly, I don’t think they COULD have done much with him (as himself) this season. He was getting old, worn down, physically and mentally–he was way past his prime. After seven years of all this crap all the time, it’s no wonder he’s finally at a loss of ideas, etc.”

    I don’t think the problem could be explained by his age. If that was ever a problem, it was in season 4 with his mid-age crisis. Furthermore, Giles just took a break from the action in season 6, with the exception of Willow. The problem, as Lies My Parents Told Me, tries to assert, is that Giles is still stuck in the council’s old ways, despite the fact the latter is now gone.

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  8. [Note: Adam posted this comment on April 24, 2009.]

    I hate this episode along with at least 10 other episodes of season 7. Such wasted potential (no pun intended).

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  9. [Note: Tommy posted this comment on April 25, 2009.]

    If they didn’t have the speculation that Giles may be The First, then wouldn’t you have been left wandering ‘Why did they show him nearly get his head hacked off by a Bringer’? It does sort of explain. Although, same with Eve, why HAS nobody hugged him or seen him hold/lift anything?

    I myself didn’t enjoy the whole idea of Willow turning into Warren. It was quite stupid, i thought. But I LOVED Willow and Kennedy’s relationship!

    And Spike’s chip malfunctioning…well. They could have picked a worse malfunction…

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  10. [Note: Tara and Willow posted this comment on April 25, 2009.]

    I completely agree! The Killer in Me is the worst episode since S4 and it was such a waste of time. This might be the worst episode of the whole series. And great review Mike!

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  11. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on April 25, 2009.]

    Can I just say that I´m afraid of all of you right now? Because I really enjoyed this episode. Sure it has problems: I really dislike what they do with Giles, it seems forced but the part where all Scoobies hug him is fun as is the little talk with Buffy about meeting rasta mama slayer, that always crack me up! I don´t like the use of the Initiative, they said to burn and cover it with salt at the end of S4. But I do like their interaction with each other. The Willow/Warren/Kennedy was really well-done for me, including their little date. And I like Kennedy, it just seems right. Of course they´re not gonna last but Kennedy is giving her some confidence, something she lacks in S7 due to her magic issues. And AH and AB did a great job and for me, it worked out great and the last scene is heartbreaking and totally earned. It doesn´t mean that she is over Tara, it just means that she is able to move on and until now, she felt she couldn´t move on, she felt she was disrespecting Tara.
    So, mike, I agree with your review but you could have give it a higher score.

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  12. [Note: Till posted this comment on April 25, 2009.]

    The misuse of Amy is my biggest problem with this episode, though that’s probably exacerbated by the horrendous retcon done in the comics (so Willow never killed Warren and Amy is a big bad).

    I liked early pre-rat Amy. I liked S6 irresponsible addict Amy. But here we see her taking petty revenge on Willow for some half-assed, barely plausible reason. It doesn’t work.

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  13. [Note: JVamp posted this comment on April 25, 2009.]

    The amy stuff is a bit silly. I would have preferred it if it was Willow doing it to herself as a way to subconciously atone for Warren’s murder. Still, I don’t think it was at all terrible. Below average but mostly watchable.

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  14. [Note: benboy606 posted this comment on April 25, 2009.]

    Ah, I (almost) completely agree LOL! I hate this episode, but “Where The Wild Things Are” is at least entertaining. The Giles stuff, Anya/Xander interactions, Spike was still funny, an interesting plot with the ghosts. But “The Killer In Me” has almost no redeeming qualities, IMO. This is an F, without a doubt, for me. I get bored, and then when I try to pay attention, I get annoyed with what is actually happening in this episode. I can’t stand this one.

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  15. [Note: Guido posted this comment on April 25, 2009.]

    This episode felt like a scrap heap for loose ends and plot bits. It’s as if the writer rushed through a checklist of things that needed to be tidied up:

    -Let’s get that chip out of Spike’s head: check.
    -What about a last shout-out to the Riley and the Initiative: check.
    -Okay, enough teasing about whether Giles is the First: check.
    -I suppose slayers need to do the rasta mama thing: check.
    -We need to get Willow off Tara and on to Kennedy: check.
    -Dang, almost forgot about Amy. Hmm: check.

    Every Buffy episode is entertaining–this one is no exception–but if I had to pick a winner for the highest number of sloppy contrivances, it would go The Killer in Me. It’s a sad and mostly unnecessary reminder that the Series was soon coming to an end. I would have gladly given up closure on Amy, and any further mention of the Initiative, in favor of a more carefully constructed story.

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  16. [Note: Sam posted this comment on April 26, 2009.]

    Mike, I agree with your review–this episode had way too much going on as an attempt to clear multiple things at once to concentrate on other issues later. I’ve come around about Kennedy as Willow’s g/f, but that’s about it.

    However, I also want to say that the picture you chose to link to this review on your front page is priceless–it really does look like Buffy is getting ripped a new one! No doubt that was your intention. I just wanted to say that it made me LOL. 🙂

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  17. [Note: Julie posted this comment on April 26, 2009.]

    The “Is Giles the first?” tease played for a horribly unfunny, un-Giles-like joke, is, for me, the low point of the entire series! It makes me so angry!

    I like that Willow turned into Warren. I think it was a great choice to illustrate the interesting and disturbing parallels between the two characters, and this is why it was necessary to show both Alyson and Adam playing the Willow-as-Warren role. The impact would be lost if we only saw “Warren” doing those things.

    I also have to admit it was cathartic for me to see Willow cry and express her fears of moving on and letting go of her memory of Tara, but I wish she hadn’t become involved with Kennedy so fast. I also wish Buffy, Xander, and/or Dawn had been part of it.

    I agree this episode has some serious problems but I’d rate it a bit higher.

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  18. [Note: Tom posted this comment on April 26, 2009.]

    I agree with Darth Bunny above about the Willow/Kennedy relationship – it may not have long-term relationshp written on it, but it’s definitely something that works to help Willow’s confidence in herself – Kennedy has seen her and decided that she is still someone worth entering a relationship. That there is something about her that could be considered attractive is something that Willow is rather reluctant to believe at all.

    It’s definitely not something that could last forever, but for Willow at this point in time, it’s something that she needs.

    The bit with Amy, though, I really think is a disappointing final note for her character. I can understand the idea behind what she’s saying, but it’s got no development and no follow up because we’re busy with stuff with the First. I’ve said it before, sometimes it seems like there was so much packed into Season Seven that there was material for a full additional season to get all of this dealt with.

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  19. [Note: Christian posted this comment on April 28, 2009.]

    Great review. This episode lacked a lot, but personally, I still find many episodes in S6 to be worse. As with some of you, my biggest problem was with Amy… when I first saw this episode I thought the first killed Amy and that it was actually him in Amy’s form present. Then Amy’s unconvincing speech about hating Willow for always being forgiven even though she made huge mistakes… how does she know that and why would she care? Did she ever even want to be part of the Scoobies so her jealousy could be reasonable? I don’t think so… maybe she’s just crazy… but it still didn’t work for me.

    I did like the last scene with Willow crying her heart out, but then again Ally’s performances always get to me. I also think I would have liked the Kennedy character if only it were played by a better actress… I know she’s supposed to be sassy… but she’s just annoying.

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  20. [Note: Emily posted this comment on June 22, 2009.]

    I’m gonna go with buffyholic here and say that I really liked this episode- character development (at least for Willow), good pacing, and humor. I didn’t feel that the humor and drama were at odds at all. I loved the Willow/Warren story, and I agree with Julie that the impact would’ve been lost if we’d seen only Warren as Willow. I loved how they went from one to the other so seamlessly.

    The only thing I disliked was that it was Amy who was doing this to Willow, for no good reason. To bring her down a notch? That’s one of the dumbest things the writers thought of for this show. I would’ve preferred if Amy’s overall arc had ended in S6, and it was Willow who was doing this to herself, like someone here mentioned. Of course, the “Willow-is-doing-a-spell-and-not-realizing-it” plot is used enough by now, but it would’ve been better than this.

    I liked the whole Giles-as-the-First- ducking the arrows of fire and spears being thrown at me!! So there’s no points off for me there. I never had a problem with it, and always thought it was kinda funny.

    “Buffy and Spike going back down into the Initiative, and having people still be there is also pretty darn ridiculous.”

    Mike, I never really thought they were all still there, working as the Initiative. It was made pretty clear by the end of S4 that the Initiative was done and over with. I always thought that they had come *for* Buffy, because Riley told them to. Never had a problem with that either.

    78

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  21. [Note: Selene posted this comment on June 29, 2009.]

    I’m not overly fond of this episode, mostly because it felt like it was trying to force us to accept Willow and Kennedy as a couple. It was like the writers didn’t want to let come to accept them (or not accept them, as the case may be) at our own pace; we had to do it NOW, and that was all there was to it. Now Willow’s emotional breakdown at the end was heartbreaking and Aly’s performance was brilliant (as always) but unfortunately it was marred by the switches to Warren and the presence of Kennedy, who I must admit I never cared for. She was too insensitive (calling that one Potential a maggot and reveling in it) and too much a power junkie in her own right (wanting to know the extent of Willow’s powers; repeatedly telling Buffy that Willow is more powerful than she is; and her obvious joy and delight in having authority over the other Potentials) Not the person I could ever see Willow hooking up with in any lifetime or dimension.

    And the whole ‘Is Giles the First?’ was rather silly, but it did lead to one of the best lines out of the whole series: “Wait, let me understand. You thought I was evil because I took a group of young girls on a camping trip and didn’t touch them??”

    All in all, this episode was definitely a disappointment.

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  22. [Note: gsilver posted this comment on August 5, 2009.]

    As for ‘Guiles as the first’ stuff, from the viewers point of view, there’s no way he even could be. Anya clearly touches Guiles arm at the end of the hell dimension scene in 7×11, and he was supposedly ‘killed’ before leaving Europe.

    Just another example of bad writing.

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  23. [Note: Victoria posted this comment on September 29, 2009.]

    I didn’t have too much of an issue with the Giles/First plug… I think it was just supposed to be a semi-humorous resolution to the awesome cliff-ending we got with Giles almost getting his head sliced and diced by a Bringer. This season needs some classic Scooby humor and the moment in the next ep when Giles confirms that he is, indeed, human is funny.

    My BIGGEST issue with this EP is the Kennedy/Willow thing. I really feel like that WHOLE contrived relationship is just an excuse for them to bring out the Darkness/Warren in Willow… I feel like that could have been done without the use of Kennedy at all, and instead perhaps The First could have used Warren as a way to drive Willow crazy with guilt (which would be an excellent follow-up to CWDP where it desperately tried to get Willow to cease magic, or at least kill herself).

    I have no problems with Willow confronting her inner darkness, dealing with all of her new magic, dealing with the way people look at her and treat her after seeing her flay a human being alive, and mourning/dealing with having to get over Tara. I mean, that last part is pretty much THE MOST AWFUL aspect of losing someone you love with your whole heart… you eventually have to actively decide to let go of what was, what might have been, and what will never be, and take small steps forward. 😦 it’s so hard… Using Kennedy as a blanket to cover the Tara-issues was wrong and sloppy and lazy of the writers. I understand that a lot was going on in the season with Buffy and Spike, the Potentials, Principal Wood, and that makes it difficult to focus on EVERY single person’s emotional journey… but really? Just sub this episode out with WILLOW’S BIG DAMN EMOTIONAL JOURNEY!

    My overall thoughts: I’m sorry but… if you almost DESTROY THE FREAKING WORLD for someone you love, you damn well better take more than a few months to get over them. (-_-);

    Tara was a beloved character who meant the world not only to Willow but to all of her fans, and the rest of the Scoobies. It was understandable (not only to the viewers, but to Xander, Anya and even Dawn) that Willow’s rage at Warren wasn’t entirely unjustified, and that her overwhelming grief and disbelief was enough to single-handedly bring down everything around their ears. But if you are going to go that route, do NOT allow that character to suddenly date the first person that shows interest. It was totally fine that Kennedy showed interest. I just wanted Willow to put her foot down about it, maybe scare Kennedy off with her dark side, or actually mention that the Scoobies have horrible luck with love and that chances are Kennedy would end up dead, a demon or in a demon dimension for eternity (I still hope that happens in comic-land).

    Hell, I’d have even settled for a corny, awkward speech about how Willow just isn’t ready, and may never be ready to love again. I mean Buffy took off after she killed Angel in S2, she came back and tried to face everyone after her horrible year, Angel came back and they kind of resumed awkward hot/cold relations. Eventually, they just had to realize and agree that it would never work and Angel got his awesome spin-off. Buffy took more than an entire season to finally come to the conclusion that she and Angel would never be a real thing. She tried to move on at the beginning of S4 with Parker, but that went horribly awry, and she found a companion in Riley, but she botched that up too.

    It was a slap in the face to all the fans of Willow/Tara that Willow just took up with Kennedy barely a few months after Tara died. Not only does this relationship feel totally unrealistic and forced, it also thrusts Kennedy into a sudden position of “importance” that makes her think that she has an opinion, and worse, has a right to voice it (omg, I wanted to beat the crap out of her at the end of Empty Places -_-). Kennedy is wayyyy too pushy with Willow. I understand that they want Willow to feel secure using her magic again, but Kennedy forcing her to do so with speeches about how she’s “a big bad wicca, the biggest baddest wicca that was” isn’t the way they should. Maybe I just prefer Tara’s whole “strong like an Amazon” silent cheering method… or maybe, you know, it made sense coming from Tara who was also a witch and understood the power, where it came from, and what it meant to harness and use it. I appreciate what they tried to do with Kennedy, and how they tried to make her Willow’s new support beam… but I think Willow needed to learn to be Strong Like An Amazon all on her own (and maybe with the support of Buffy and Xander… oh, that could have been a GREAT WAY to mend things between the three not-so-best friends). It’s like Kennedy was the writer’s excuse to not flesh-out Willow’s healing process. Instead of moving on, learning to be magically responsible, showing her friends that she’s not a crazed killer, or proving to herself that she can be in control of things, she gets to have Kennedy push her in one direction or speak for her or whatever. ANNOYING!

    Yeah… A D- is a little generous. They really dropped the ball on this ep.

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  24. [Note: KatieJ posted this comment on October 1, 2009.]

    What? What? Now I feel rather silly, having missed all the major arc errors in this episode that I adore. I completely got sucked into the Giles mislead, and Willow’s “I let her go” comment….ach! I’m starting to tear up thinking of it. Alyson’s acting really pulled this all together to create a rhythm not unlike “Earshot” where a magical force made for funny dialog that quickly descended into horror. Except that in this episode Willow’s horror was even more profound and heartrending.

    And no matter how silly the idea to make Giles evil…it was all worth, “So you think I’m evil if I bring a group a girls out into the desert and DON’T touch them?”

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  25. [Note: Nix posted this comment on October 14, 2009.]

    Victoria: seconded, only more so. Willow didn’t just lose someone she loved. She had someone she loved *shot dead in front of her for no reason and with no warning*.

    I don’t see how it could have been worse for her, really. (I suppose it was worse for Tara, but at least for her it was quick.)

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  26. [Note: Lucy posted this comment on October 29, 2009.]

    I totally agree with Mike. This episode is awful, especially this:

    Willow:”What are you doing?”

    Kennedy: “Bringing you back to life”

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Cheesiness in its most concentrated form! Cheesiness that makes no sense! Badly acted cheesiness! Cringe!

    But I do love the rest of season 7, though.

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  27. [Note: Cirrus posted this comment on November 17, 2009.]

    This is very, very strange. I normally agree and find complete agreement with all of your reviews (except Checkpoint, which I really liked), but… I have to say, this was one of the only S7 episodes I really enjoyed. I’ve only watched up until this point so far, just reading your reviews as I watch the episode, by the way. For me this is by far the second best episode so far, after Sleeper.

    I don’t think Willow/Kennedy is terrible. But then again, I never liked Willow/Tara that much, especially at the beginning. In fact, I’d say their relationship seemed even more shoehorned into the show, and the whole ‘getting over Tara’ thing? I always thought getting over Oz didn’t take long — and bear in mind that Willow’s had a lot of time in England, thinking and training. I was a bit off about Willow/Kennedy until this episode, because it made it obvious she wasn’t over Tara yet, in a satisfactory manner.

    I also really liked the chip thing for Spike, I don’t think it was random — nor do I think the Initiation thing was strange, like somebody mentioned, it seems like their people sort of just turned up when Riley told them about Buffy and Spike making their way there.

    As for the inconsistencies, I didn’t think there was a great number more than in other episodes. This episode had life, had good ideas, something that I think the episodes before it completely lacked.

    I’ve always been told that S7 is terrible (worse than S6, which I didn’t think was actually terrible, it was amazing at what it did, just not on the level of say, S5) but if this is regarded as the worst episode of the entire season, then I’m really hopeful for the rest of it! 😀

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  28. [Note: Chris posted this comment on December 8, 2009.]

    Just rewatched. Not as bad as I remembered but still one of the less good episodes.

    This time round I quite liked the willow story it was a good way to have her re-examine what she did. However I am a massive willow-tara fan and wish that she had held off on her relationship with kennedy for a bit.

    The chip story was good in principle and a nice shout out to riley with ass-face etc. However the amount of people sent to them and going to the inititiative to find them did seem sloppy. I liked the giles mislead but can see why people wouldn’t.

    I’d say C rather than D, however it is my least favourite episode in 7.

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  29. [Note: Nathan.Taurus posted this comment on January 4, 2010.]

    Wow! Harsh. It’s funny because I didn’t mind this episode and I quite liked ‘Where the Wild Things Are’.

    I would rate it around 72 or so.

    You had the ‘Ghostbusters’ reference which is true: That phrase will never be useful again. Willow holding the gun gangsta style (yes, it’s hip to spell incorrectly).

    And…..ah….Riley calling Spike “Ass face”.

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  30. [Note: AmAck posted this comment on February 26, 2010.]

    Sorry…way late to the game on this one. But I’ve enjoyed reading the reviews as I’ve watched the seasons. I just had to comment on the “Willow’s moving on too fast” thing. I think Buffy’s decision to kill Angel at the end of season two must have been just as (if not more) traumatic than Willow’s witness of Tara’s murder. And Buffy was ready to start a relationship with Scott Hope about 3 episodes into the next season. Even though it was clear that relationship wasn’t going to last more than a few weeks, it still counts for something. I liked Kennedy as a potential slayer, and even though Willow/Kennedy is my least favorite Whedonverse relationship, I think it was a valid attempt.

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  31. [Note: G1000 posted this comment on June 2, 2010.]

    How does this get a lower grade than “Doublemeat Palace”. Apart from the whole Giles thing (which was idiotic), the other two plots worked rather well.

    And most people who say Willow’s moving too fast are apparently forgetting something: a lot more time has passed than you think.

    The time-frame is a bit unclear, but after the events of “Grave” it’s clear that Willow spent at least a few months in England. During that time, she learned about her magic. However, I’m sure that a lot of that time was spent grieving for Tara. So it’s been a lot longer than most people realize. Eventually she has to move on, and I think this episode did a great job of dealing with that.

    Also, the demon fight in the caves was pretty cool.

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  32. [Note: G1000 posted this comment on June 2, 2010.]

    Truthfully, I doubt she’ll ever really be “over” Tara, though. How could she? But she can still meet someone new without feeling like she’s disrespecting Tara. I just don’t see how this gets a lower grade than some truly terrible episodes (“The Pack”, “Out of Mind, Out of Sight”, “Nightmares”, etc…).

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  33. [Note: yippers6 posted this comment on July 12, 2010.]

    Buffy: Remember when things used to be nice and boring

    Willow: No

    That’s the best comment in the series. From the start nothing was ever nice and boring

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  34. [Note: Jimmy B posted this comment on August 3, 2010.]

    My first comment on your excellent review site, and it has to be on this one.

    Wow – that was a uniquely painful episode. So ambitious, and yet so artless. It was like watching X3 directed by Brett Ratner – the fanboy is all excited about Dark Phoenix and Angel, while the rest of the brain is screaming about how badly it was all being done. Same thing here – interesting ideas, but just poorly executed.

    And somehow, watching it felt like it took like 3 hours. Just DRAGGED out.

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  35. [Note: Patrick posted this comment on August 4, 2010.]

    I actually like Kennedy/Willow. I like how comfortable Kennedy is in her own skin and with her pursuit of Willow, and the relationship doesn’t feel rushed to me. Willow spent some months in England where she got counseling, more or less, and that certainly helped her deal with her grief as well. There is no right or wrong time for people after the death of a partner; some get over it quickly, others grieve years. I can believe that Willow, due to her new philosophy of “everything’s connected”, had a much more natural outlook on death and could deal with her loss. I also like Kennedy though I wish her ideas about power and hierarchy had been challenged a little more over the course of the season; she strikes me as a perfect dictator in the making *g*

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  36. [Note: Jason posted this comment on September 16, 2010.]

    Wow– what a strange experience that was. I just watched this episode, knowing this site had given it a D, you know, the kind of rating reserved for dreck like Some Assembly Required. 10 minutes into it I’m thinking “not so bad yet…”; 30 minutes into it I’m tensed, waiting for the other shoe to drop…

    …and it never did, because this episode wound up working for me. Completely. The scenes in the ruined Initiative were creepy; the resolution of Giles’s status was an immense relief; and above all, Willow-as-Warren was sometimes amusing, sometimes horrifying, and ultimately a creative and emotionally true way of exploring Willows feelings of grief and guilt. Just beautiful, really.

    I know what you mean, in general, by pacing and tone problems in some Buffy episodes. There have been episodes which I thought were terrible, not for an easily identifiable reason (like plot or character), but just because the timing and the tone just felt… off. (Examples for me of this: Gingerbread, Living Conditions.) So I’m sympathetic to the nature of your critique of this episode. Fortunately for me, the tone and everything else just worked really well here.

    Sometimes you have to give up the hope (illusion?) of making objective critical arguments and just say… to each his own!

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  37. [Note: yippers6 posted this comment on January 2, 2011.]

    awesome episode but one complaint when buffy calls for riley she turns toward the end of the phone call and spike was holding his head and she just turns around like nothing happened. And the same thing when willow came down she said “looks like you’ve got your hands full already” and everyone turns and sees spike on the floorand they just turn back around

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  38. [Note: KatieJ posted this comment on January 7, 2011.]

    Ok, I have to hop in here again. I reread the review, and still am puzzled about why this episode is so very poor. Amy, I agree, was not necessary. I think this inclusion (Amy and Adam Busch chatting), like the Spike/Faith conversation later in the season, was a test drive for spin-off, Angel or maybe Season 8 ideas.

    I loved Willow and Tara too, and yes, I think it was clunky to throw in a new character love interest in the last season. It isn’t….epic enough. Having an episode devoted to Willow’s guilt was very necessary, and the crux of the magical idea did successfully blend humor and drama. The part that really hit me in that wordless way was Adam Busch as Willow crying “I’m sorry.” It somehow made me feel like Warren somehow got a chance be sorry, to be redeemed.

    I don’t know about objectivity….this episode seems to be like cilantro or anise. You either love it or hate it.

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  39. [Note: John posted this comment on January 10, 2011.]

    I really despise this episode, mostly because of Kennedy. While it was certainly good for the writers to have Willow attempt to come to peace with Tara’s death and move on, as you said Mike, Kennedy just makes no sense. Both of the people Willow had long-term committed relationships with were much like her; they were reserved and thoughtful. Kennedy is outgoing and very aggressive, and that’s just not how Willow has ever been.

    Both of her past relationships were built up over a fairly long period of time where the characters grew closer and closer; Kennedy just felt super forced and seemed like simply a device for the writers to use to prove “hey look, she’s over Tara”. I’d much rather have seen Willow just come to peace with Tara’s death on her own rather than being thrown into a VERY out-of-character relationship to suit the writers’ purposes. S7 is still a good season, but I feel like it contains more than its fair share of just horrifically out-of-character moments, which is rather distressing after 6 years of good continuity and development.

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  40. [Note: CoyoteBuffyFan posted this comment on January 17, 2011.]

    Zerrible episode. Why in the heck would Willow go to the college Wicca group (who did zero witchcraft when last she saw them) for help? Why wouldn’t she call up the coven? Normally I can overlook things but this was just absurd.

    The one thing that I did like is that the episode was somewhat reminiscent of earlier Buffy episodes in that normal teen angst (in this case young adult angst) manifests itself through monsters or magic. Willow feels guilt for moving on from Tara, an emotion that many of us can probably relate to in some way (moving on after a loved one dies) but, of course, in Buffy world this guilt becomes a physical manifestation in some way. I love that about this show.

    That said, the way that it was set up (punishment from Amy) and the resolution (a fairy tale kiss from Kennedy – barf) sucked.

    The other thing I liked about the episode was the cliff hanger at the end — will she or won’t she decide to have Spike’s chip removed. Now that he has a soul, it seems to make sense to remove it, but as we know from Angel, there are ways to lose your soul again. It’s an interesting decision. Of course, we all know what Buffy ultimately decides but I like the way they left it in this episode.

    So a small couple of bright spots in an overall abysmal episode. D grade seems about right.

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  41. [Note: Rahel posted this comment on February 5, 2011.]

    Wow, what a terrible episode. I don’t think I’ve seen anything this bad since season 1, actually. OK, the first 5 or 10 minutes had some good moments, but the rest… Ugh. Watching Adam Busch as willow just made me cringe, and not for the right reasons. After watching SMG and Eliza Dushku switching roles, after watching dollhouse, it’s really clear that Busch is just not up to the task. He doesn’t stand like Willow, doesn’t move like her, nothing. I’m guessing that’s why they kept switching, since he just couldn’t make us believe that he actually was Willow, but it ended up just underlining his less-than-stellar performance.

    As for the initiative, I also understood that they cam because of the call, but it still makes no sense – why come with so many men? and why, oh why, come to the old initiative? If they’re looking for Buffy, doesn’t it make more sense to, I don’t know, knock on her door?!

    And Willow and Kennedy just have zero chemistry. I think I maybe could have seen them together for a short fling, maybe a couple of episodes, but really anything longer than that makes no sense. It’s as though the writers decided they wanted Willow’s new gf to be different than Tara, then made a list of her characteristics and made sure Kennedy was the exact opposite of Tara in every respect. Yuck.

    Whew, getting that off my chest felt good! But really, I think next time I’ll just skip this episode. It’s just not worth it.

    Like

  42. [Note: keekey posted this comment on November 27, 2011.]

    Okay, just watched this episode for the first time and must confess that I enjoyed it way more than I know I should have. My low expectations probably helped. Also, my Kennedy hate is waning–she’s no Tara (or Oz) but she doesn’t annoy me like she did in prior eps. And I laughed at the group tackle of Giles. Primarily I enjoyed the subplot with Spike’s chip because I was a huge X-files fan and seeing Spike and Buffy go all Mulder and Scully with their flashlight exploration of the Initiative’s abandoned complex made me happy (as did Buffy’s comment to Spike about the “government conspiracy” once the Initiative guys showed up). Also, the first scene between B & S where Spike seems like he’s about to say something tender but gets interrupted by an exploding headache reminded me of all the potentially tender Mulder/Scully moments that got interrupted by genetically mutated bees and other calamities. At this point in the season, Buffy and Spike’s relationship is getting a very Mulder & Scully-esque vibe that I like, with a partnership based on challenging each other while also having great faith and trust in each other. So, yeah, objectively I can see that this was a pretty disjointed and mediocre episode (and, ugh, *gag* on Kennedy’s “bringing you back to life” line) but I did enjoy watching it nevertheless.

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  43. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on December 23, 2011.]

    -I don’t like how Kennedy talks to Willow like they have been together for years. How many times have they watched ‘Moulin Rouge’ together that she would know she “always” stops it at chapter 32. They are forcing us to care for this relationship even though it is only really beginning here. The other relationships progress in a natural way.

    -How did they find Giles? They know the location not the exact spot.

    -Amy using the Knox line, “Oops.” This episode may have lost some points from what I gave it before.

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  44. [Note: Alanthir posted this comment on December 30, 2011.]

    One good point to this episodes, but maybe it´s one of the very few things that´s getting better by german synchro:

    Giles making one of his most hillarious commentary ever in the whole series.

    When Xander and the rest touch him at the campfire he just ask them:

    “Whait, you think I´m evil because I´m going camping with the girls and NOT touching them?”

    I really lied down on floor laughing by the expression it got!

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  45. [Note: RaeScott posted this comment on February 26, 2012.]

    I never liked Kennedy but I particularly hated her in this episode. I didn’t like that she called magic “fairytale crap”. I thought it was weird that Willow did not get angry at that or at least felt hurt. After all, magic is a huge part of who she is and something that she and Tara had in common, in S4 and S5 it even was often used as a metaphor for their love, their connection. To me, Kennedy calling it “crap” is an insult and I found it very inappropriate.

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  46. [Note: Xavier posted this comment on May 11, 2012.]

    Sooo the episode wasn’t that bad! But, it would have been wickedly awesome, and sad, if Giles had actually been the First. That would have been a major turning point for the season, making the gang realize that the First is actually a MAJOR threat. And I didn’t mind the relationship between Willow and Kennedy, but it was kinda disrespectful towards Tara. I especially liked Willow recreating Warren’s killing scene, but the part after that, Kennedy kissing Willow, really was cheezy.

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  47. [Note: Ryan ONeil posted this comment on May 20, 2012.]

    Especially since: wasn’t Giles the one who told everyone that the First was “in remission?” So wouldn’t the First lying to them about that have induced a mass “oh crap?”

    Also, yes, it would’ve made more sense if Willow had accidentally turned herself into Warren the way she accidentally turned herself invisible (and might have accidentally summoned the Gnarl), which would’ve actually made the “fairy-tale kiss” at the end make sense because Willow did it to herself, so she undid it herself.

    Also Also, yes, I hated how little Willow responded to Kennedy calling the magic “crap.”

    I keep telling myself that Willow isn’t looking for a relationship as deep as with Oz or Tara (for fear of getting herself/others hurt again?) (and, as a bisexual, I insist that Willow simply didn’t know she was gay when she had crushes on Oz, Giles and Xander, and/or that she can aesthetically appreciate looking at someone without wanting to do anything about it, as I have met and dated guys like the that but backwards), and that Kennedy is just, as Buffy first described Spike, “convenient.”

    (ie, when Kennedy asked when Willow first started wanting sex with women, and Willow corrected her “a woman,” that always reminds me of Buffy retorting to Spike; “A vampire got me hot”)

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  48. [Note: Chriss posted this comment on August 3, 2012.]

    Interesting review.

    I, like a lot of people, do not really enjoy Kennedy with Willow.

    I know some people say opposites attract but… Their relationship makes me cringe sometimes. This could also be because I freakin love Tara.

    On a random side note, I was kinda sad they didn’t really show the gang’s feelings/thoughts about Tara’s death. It’s obvious they were sad in season 6 but it’s as if she never existed in season 7. I was especially surprised they never really touched on Dawn’s reaction to Tara being gone. I mean Willow and Tara were practically surrogate mothers for Dawn when Buffy died.

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  49. [Note: Domitan posted this comment on September 2, 2012.]

    Kennedy = Scrappy Doo with XX chromosomesThis episode had some interesting premises, but fell flat in how it executed them. Could have been so much more. Such a pity. At least the season gets better from here.

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  50. [Note: Shask. posted this comment on October 15, 2012.]

    I don’t know…I think it was rushed to let Willow move on from something as powerful as her relationship with Tara was, but if done further down the road, that last scene with Kennedy and the whole concept of feeling guilty for “letting go” could have worked really good. It sucks that they got Amy envolved and it happened so soon among so many stupid stuff pulling once’s attention away from the main idea, but…I like that last scene.

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  51. [Note: Alice posted this comment on October 23, 2012.]

    Add me into the I-hate-Kennedy club too! The Kennedy/Willow pairing just never clicked for me and it really showed with this episode.As others have said, there was no build up, no chemistry and Kennedy is definitely not Willow’s type. Kennedy is like an uncharismatic and unlikeable Cordelia or Anya, two people Willow find disagreeable.Also, Kennedy constantly says she cares for Willow throughout this episode, but I don’t feel it. It seems like more of a physical attraction, or like she just wants Willow to be another “notch on the belt”.Even in the comics, I still don’t feel the relationship and yes, Kennedy is still annoying in the comics.

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  52. [Note: Jimmykins posted this comment on January 12, 2013.]

    I think its interesting how people decide whether or not they like a character. Kennedy is the ultimate litmus test. For men, liking Kennedy seems to have less to do with the quality of the actress’ acting, her compatibility with willow or the depth of the character and entirely to do with whether or not they would fuck the actress and how much they hated or liked Tara. With women, generally the other factors come into play, especially chemistry, of which there is none whatsoever. Kennedy is pushy, bossy, one dimensional, incompatible with Willow, leaps to grand assumptions about others and the actress who portrays her is not very talented. Also, how old is she supposed to be anyways? She has drinks with Willow at the Bronze, yet the potentials are frequently referred to as fifteen year old girls. You can’t have it both ways. Kennedy is a walking MacGuffin who only exists to push Willow into a relationship she doesn’t want and she isn’t even a well thought out plot device. Blechs all around. This is the worst Buffy episode, bar none.

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  53. [Note: Ryan ONeil posted this comment on January 12, 2013.]

    As a guy, I take offense to your analysis of our analysis of Kennedy. I mean, sure, I would, but that doesn’t mean I respect her as a person that Willow deserves to be with, and a lot of the other guys I know also recognize that she isn’t a very good person.If it helps, I try to tell myself that Willow is in a similar place with Kennedy after Tara to where Buffy was with Riley after Angel: she lost the love of her life, tries to keep living past that, and tells herself that she is looking for romance again but is actually just looking for somebody “convinient,” the difference being that Kennedy deserved to be treated as just convinient, but Riley didn’t. Which raises some interesting points about Buffy’s (lack of) human awareness: After being “burned” by Angel as Xander put it, Buffy first looked into Parker, whom she initially thought was amazing but was only good for one thing. Then Buffy found Riley, who was the kind of guy who could be a romantic success (if his alpha-male insecurities about powerful women were pointed out to him effectively, he struck me as the kind of guy who would try to make himself better), except she only treats him as the re-bound guy for not willing to risk the pain of Angel and Parker again.Buffy’s (without realizing it) only looking to Riley for what she would’ve gotten from Parker, when with Parker she was looking for what she would’ve gotten from Riley. Now Willow’s also with somebody whose only worth a Parker, not a Riley.Which further raises the possibility that, since Willow’s at the point where Buffy was with Riley (unknowingly looking for a Parker) and currently has a Parker, by the time she finds a Riley she’ll be at the place Buffy was with Parker (looking for a Riley).

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  54. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 26, 2013.]

    I believe that most of the viewers hate Kennedy because she doesn’t fit the pattern of Buffy’s characters: she’s not a misfit. She’s a spoiled rich girl who lived a comfortable life, she’s very self-confident and she knows who she is. A character like Vi would have been a more appropriate (for the fans) lover for Willow.

    Also, we viewers, unlike Kennedy, have witnessed the scoobies’ lives and their struggles. It’s obvious she’s excited by this new world because she doesn’t understand it, so I don’t take her speeches to Willow as disrespectful, just misguided. Also, even if she’s not the most likable character, she’s not a bad person! She may be harsh, short-sighted and shallow, but she’s not a psychopath or a murderer! She doesn’t seek Willow’s attention to take advantage of her, she really cares for Willow. However, I too didn’t enjoy the couple, but because there was no chemistry at all and most of all, it was contrived.

    Anyway, MikeJer gave us an excellent review for an episode with good material but a mediocre realisation.

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  55. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on March 26, 2013.]

    But Cordelia is exactly like that. Twice as much like that! And so was Buffy herself pre-series, though we only see one or two glimpses of that.

    Perhaps the issue is that Willow was the character who had the most problems with Cordelia and always resented girls like that for picking on her, and therefore it feels “off” that she would date a girl with a similar entitled attitude.

    Or perhaps the issue is that Cordelia was generally punished by the narrative for her shallow egocentrism and had already learned and grown a lot by the time she started dating Xander, while Kennedy seems to get away with her “I deserve this just because” attitude.

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  56. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 26, 2013.]

    You’re right about Cordelia, although she wasn’t part of the group at first and she was the character we liked to hate. But she evolved and at the time she was included into the group, more accurately when she became Xander’s girlfriend, she became a misfit herself, rejected by her previous popular group.

    Now, like you said, the problem is that Kennedy hasn’t earned her place in the group and her attitude problems aren’t addressed at all (and aren’t played for fun like Cordelia’s). I wouldn’t have had a problem with her being the obvious rebound girlfriend: if it had been shown that Willow chose willingly the one person with whom she wasn’t compatible, it could have worked.

    What I wanted to point out is the fact that I don’t understand some viewers comparing her to Parker (whose intentions were bad) or say that she’s a bad person. She’s very flawed, but not evil. And I have a tendency to defend the characters that are hated, because usually, they don’t deserve that much hate (except maybe Andrew :p). Also, I don’t like true hate (as opposed to “like to hate”), so I overreact.

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  57. [Note: Niko posted this comment on April 24, 2013.]

    I’m usually the one who is extra hard on episodes, but I think 50 is a bit low for this one. A great episode this is not, but I’d argue its better than the “Willow is a magic junkie” two-three episodes in S6. This might be because I actually think Kennedy is perfect for Willow. Oz and Tara were both subdued and passive, and just like real life, no one dates the same type forever. As we evolve in our lives, so do the people we connect with.
    And the Assface line? I had to pause the DVD and laugh for about 10 seconds.
    Plus Willow, as always, sells the pain and anguish of feeling as if she’s betraying Tara’s memory by kissing another woman.
    Again, not a classic episode, not even top 50. But solid humor, character development and emotional resonance should garner at least a 70, IMHO.

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  58. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on August 11, 2013.]

    – There is no way no one had hugged Giles. Anya hugged him when he returned in ‘Villains’ with the bad excuse that she was now blonde so she definately would have hugged him as would have Buffy.
    – That store guy is the worst gun seller ever. “You look homicidal, here, have a gun.”
    – Still love the “ass-face” line.
    – Dawn touching Willow as Warren until he/she gets angry.

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  59. [Note: Lindsay posted this comment on September 11, 2013.]

    This definitely was not one of the better episodes in the series, but I wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The whole Willow/Kennedy thing wasn’t as disrespectful to Willow’s relationship with Tara as a lot of people think it is. A lot of people felt similarly about Buffy’s fling with Parker, but it’s not about forgetting the past relationships. It’s about looking forward and seeing the future beyond said relationships.
    Clearly, Kennedy is not the next big love in Willow’s life. Kennedy is the rebound, the catalyst that allows Willow to finally move on. It reminds me a little of when Riley came back in S6, which was the point when Buffy finally realized that she needed to move on from her misery.
    Personally, I loved the Giles-tease. It was an unlikely scenario that he would be the First anyway, so I didn’t mind this light-hearted moment so much. Overall, I did enjoy the episode even if it wasn’t the greatest. To each their own.

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  60. [Note: Harriet posted this comment on November 3, 2013.]

    Willow letting go of Tara needed to be addressed and was what interested me most but it was done SO horribly. I mean she’s screaming over ‘killing’ Tara and then Kennedy kisses her again and she manages to let go? If anything in that context she should feel more guilty about it. And if Amy wants to punish Willow so bad then why would she cast a spell that is resolved once Willow forgives herself? Also the spell is based around the victim’s subconscious picking a punishment which in this case worked amazingly well but Amy had no idea Willow would feel guilty about letting Tara go and it’s too long after her going evil to necessarily depend on her guilt over turning evil (although surely that’s a guilt that is constant so why that didn’t activate the spell I don’t know..) so what was she hoping for? For all she knew the next time Willow would feel guilty could be over breaking a vase resulting in far more minor consequences. As for the initiative, I presumed the people came in after Riley contacted them, not that they were permanently there. But if that was the case there wouldn’t need so many to remove/repair Spike’s chip so it still makes no sense. I do love that the ‘flower shop’ really was a government cover though.

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  61. [Note: T.G. posted this comment on January 25, 2014.]

    Why didn’t this episode get an F? just curious

    The reason Why I hate this episode, is because It takes three Ideas that could have worked, And then wasted ALL of them 😦 Id give the episode an F. But that’s just me I guess.

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  62. [Note: Seele posted this comment on January 25, 2014.]

    1) The fact that Willow was still guilty at all about Warren was more long-term plotting than most TV shows got in 2003 (or today, for that matter, but shows like Buffy have made the episodic procedurals less of an industry standard), so the episode could’ve been even worse.

    2) Even after Willow a) “let Tara go” and b) found out that she hadn’t cursed herself*, her fear of using magic didn’t instantly go away, so it still could’ve been even worse.

    * Yes, I think that it would’ve been better if Willow had accidentally cursed herself instead of it being all Amy, but oh well.

    3) 50/100 is an F where I’m from, so I don’t have a problem 😉

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  63. [Note: T.G. posted this comment on January 25, 2014.]

    Your right. It could have been ALOT worse, like “where the wild things are” (seriously bad episode) but it still pretty much fails at almost everything it tries to do. I’m not saying he overatted it or anything, he didn’t. But I was all curious and stuff… I let that get the best of me sometimes 🙂

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  64. [Note: Willow Tree posted this comment on March 26, 2014.]

    I completely agree with Victoria on almost everything that she mentions above. This was not only a slap in the face to all ‘Tillow’ fans but even to Tara’s character in general, I’m sorry but I always felt like they handled the after math of her death pretty horribly (except for Willow and wanting to destroy the world to avenge her death and stuff, which was cool imo) but Buffy and Xander’s reactions were just sad. They were like, “Oh? She’s dead! That sucks. Hey, don’t destroy the world!” I mean, after everything Tara was closest to Buffy after Willow, and Buffy had seemed to really find a friend in Tara, considering she was the first to know about her relationship with Spike and everything, you’d think Buffy would be more shaken by it. Maybe they did have their time to grieve in between episodes that we didn’t get to see, I just feel like Tara was one of the most loved characters and she should’ve gotten… more sorrow? I don’t know exactly how to explain this, but I hope you get what I mean.

    And seriously, you almost destroy the world for someone and then REBOUND! Yay! Firstly, how many episodes have we known Kennedy for? Barely any. I’ll tell you how out of character this was for Willow. Firstly, when Willow and Oz broke up, she took months to get over it, and then finally found that love again with Tara, which took a long time but was worth it at the end, after all the sadness and pent up anger we see Willow expressing once Tara’s dead, we see she’s already on the rebound…Which, okay, I can still accept, but Kennedy’s character’s dry and not well-built like Oz and Tara were, also, as someone else mentioned above, maybe we would’ve liked Kennedy more if the actress who played her could pull off the whole ‘sass’ vibe that her character is trying and failing to give off, ALSO, isn’t Kennedy much younger than Willow? It just doesn’t seem right that she makes a speech or two about love and whispers and whatever crap she said and now Willow’s attracted to her. They could’ve handled this so much better, maybe Kennedy showed interest but Willow put her foot down, or they had a brief moment (a kiss, or two) and then Willow realizes that she can’t do this, or maybe she does like Kennedy back (even though I don’t see why) and she just can’t be with her rightnow because it’s too soon, any of these above situations would’ve made more sense than this.

    Also, for god’s sake, where does the Initiative pop up from? First that horrible monster popping up out of nowhere and attacking Buffy and Spike (what was the point of that, again?) and then the Initiative are just there? How did they get in? Isn’t the Initiative supposed to be gone for good? And even if Riley had asked them to go help Buffy, why would a team of so many men arrive for one vampire ? It doesn’t make much sense to me, that’s all. And GOD yes, there were so many better ways they could’ve taken the Amy story, I’m really dissapointed at how rushed the mid-season 7 seems, the writers could’ve easily fixed this, maybe they could’ve made the episodes slightly longer (Most S7 episodes DO seem shorter) and less rushed, I mean, after 7 years of greatness you’d think they’d wrap it all up better. Still, I can’t complain too much, because I absolutely positively love this show, despite all it’s flaws. My suggestions are just that maybe this epicness could’ve been even more epic if they’d been a little more careful with their writing and plots and loose ends in Season 7.

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  65. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on March 4, 2015.]

    Amy’s a character they really just didn’t know what to do with. I’m not the biggest fan of her being evil but that could have worked. The problem is that after Wrecked they had no idea what to do. They probably should have included her in the Season 6 ending either fighting Willow, teaming up with her or getting killed by her for more power. It would have at least wrapped up the character’s story in some capacity. I know there’s the comics but it ain’t the same.

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  66. [Note: Random posted this comment on March 26, 2015.]

    The episode had potential. Real potential. The basic premise — Willow’s guilt over Tara finally catching up to her after being sidelined for so long by her guilt over being a vicious killer who tried to destroy the world — was an important and necessary issue for the show to deal with. And even the ideas and plot twists were were given weren’t innately bad. It just all felt horribly disjointed and rushed, especially the kiss at the end somehow bringing her back. Really? They wanted to allude to the classic fairy tale motif but didn’t want to do all the heavy lifting of making the metaphor make sense? It seemed like a fairly crucial bit of evidence that Joss was off larking around with his other shows…I can’t imagine Joss letting sloppy metaphors slip by if he was micro-managing the way he used to. All in all, the ideas were intriguing but the execution was little better than some fatuous soap opera level of writing. It was a disappointment because we know BtVS can do much, much better.

    The Is Giles the First? plotline seemed certainly seemed forced. It could have worked with better plotting and an eye toward reasonable clues (also by being dealt with within an episode of his return, not four or five episodes later). Even so, his sarcastic bit about being evil because he took young girls on a camping trip and didn’t touch them was a perfect Giles line, so as pay-offs go, that might not have redeemed the entire plotline, but it came close.

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  67. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on December 11, 2015.]

    You know when I first heard the title of this episode on my run-through the series I had assumed that this story would have involved Willow, Spike and Andrew’s past issues with murder and maybe have some clever parallels and stuff. Unfortunately what we got instead wasn’t nearly as effective.

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  68. [Note: zareth posted this comment on January 5, 2017.]

    “I’m sorry but I always felt like they handled the after math of her death pretty horribly (except for Willow and wanting to destroy the world to avenge her death and stuff, which was cool imo) but Buffy and Xander’s reactions were just sad. They were like, “Oh? She’s dead! That sucks. Hey, don’t destroy the world!” I mean, after everything Tara was closest to Buffy after Willow, and Buffy had seemed to really find a friend in Tara, considering she was the first to know about her relationship with Spike and everything, you’d think Buffy would be more shaken by it. Maybe they did have their time to grieve in between episodes that we didn’t get to see, I just feel like Tara was one of the most loved characters and she should’ve gotten… more sorrow? I don’t know exactly how to explain this, but I hope you get what I mean.”

    I feel this also happens in Chosen, the reaction to Anya´s death, Spike´s death, potential´s death it´s like let´s just end with a happy smile, i´m pretty sure they felt pain by their deaths and i would have like to see it on the show, the same way tears for Tara´s death on S6 (Buffy, Xander) it would have been nice

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  69. [Note: Krssven posted this comment on March 15, 2017.]

    The Willow/Kennedy relationship would’ve perhaps been more ambiguous had Kennedy not been a breathtakingly irritating character. She and most of the Potentials are woefully miscast, cannot act and cannot hold an accent to save their lives, which is weird considering Buffy was usually very well cast in regards to supporting characters.

    Sadly Kennedy was never going to be accepted by the fans generally. There would always be the haters that preferred Willow and Tara (they were a pretty perfect screen couple), but not many people at the time were impressed with such a pushy, mouthy, opinionated character. The way she moves in on a clearly emotionally scarred Willow is almost predatory – the writers really dropped the ball here. The character isn’t all bad – I like that she stays positive while the other Potentials whine and complain – but she was never, ever going to have the chance to be a liked Buffy character the way she was written.

    In the Season Eight comics, it’s actually Willow who eventually ends up ditching Kennedy. It’s a strange situation as in a conversation with Buffy, we see how much it has destroyed her that Willow did it, but she does move on. I think overall it was important that their relationship was addressed in the continuation, as the character was so hated on the show and the comics gave her a more rounded character.

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