Saturday, 11 April 2015

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wrecked

"It was like a meat party in my mouth!"

This episode is quite a shock. It's not as though Willow's journey to rock bottom hasn't been gradual, but to see her reduced to such uncharacteristic junkie behaviour is a huge shock. I mean, this is Willow.

I still think the metaphor of magic for drugs is a little awkward, but it's very well executed (I love the trippy direction of the "hit", and the obvious metaphor of her giving her body for drugs is suitably creepy) and a fairly straightforward dramatisation of someone reaching rock bottom and coming to terms with her addiction. No more magic for Willow, then. Ever.

Buffy, meanwhile, is dealing with her own addiction to meaningless sex with Spike; he's "just convenient". She begins the episode waking up in a destroyed house and full of a self-disgust that will remain for as long as she continues to use him for sex. And, while Buffy is distracted, and putting her energies into hiding this from her friends, the Scooby gang are divided, dysfunctional and much less effective. They have never looked more vulnerable.

And then there's Tara, newly single Anderson stuttering again without the lift that being with Willow gives her, especially upon seeing Willow with Amy, for all she knows a potential new girlfriend. 

Willow finally hits rock bottom, complete with evil black eyeballs, putting Dawn in terrible danger and needing to be rescued by Buffy, who instantly knows what Willow has done. Buffy giving Willow the cold shoulder here, and Dawn then slapping her, is a powerful and devastating moment. And I should take this opportunity to praise the performance of Alyson Hannigan, the awesomeness of which I too often take for granted. She, far more so than Sarah Michelle Gellar, is the star of the show here and always.

At the end we see the real psychological cause of Willow's problems; she still sees herself as the nerd she was and desperately needs to be "Super Willow". Poor girl. She has no idea how awesome she is.

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