Episode Reviews (32)
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If I have one complaint about S3, it's the lack of Spike. So when you mix S3's awesome consistency and great character development with Spike, you've got one hell of an episode. There is just so much fun to be had here that if there wasn't so much attention paid to the horrible Willow and Xander 'thing,' it would have gotten a perfect score. Thank the powers that this episode marks the end of that nonsense. Nonetheless, unlike some people I know, I don't let something minor ruin my appreciation for the rest of the episode.
The episode begins with the group getting their SAT scores back. Buffy gets a high score which shocks her into actually consider that she may have a life outside of slaying still, and the "college talk" begins. I like Joyce's discussion about it with Buffy at the house and how Buffy shoots down her mention of wanting keg parties and frat boys. Go Buffy! I think it's great that Giles actually encourages her to go to college and uses Faith as a possible way out. Angel even tells her, as a 'friend,' that she should leave Sunnydale and go to a good college. All of this just goes to show how much the people around Buffy genuinely care about her well-being and future.
For the rest of the episode, though, Spike steals the show. He rides into town again in the exact same way as in "School Hard" (2x03). He drives over the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign again and will be the cause of it falling over one more time in the series finale, "Chosen" (7x22). He then visits Joyce just to chat with her about his breakup with Drusilla. His comment, "you got any of those little marshmallows?" gets me laughing every time.
All the great moments (many of which are captured in the quote section below) are attributed to Spike and his realizations. He admits he's "love's bitch" and explains to Buffy and Angel that they'll never be 'friends.' He says, "You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other till it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends." Spike is incredibly unhappy coming into this episode. He drinks a ton, which is always a sign of that (we saw him drinking a bunch while stuck in his wheelchair in "Surprise" [2x13]). All this sorrow stems from his love breaking up with him. Love is everything to Spike. Right now it's more a perverted love, but over the final three seasons of this series he begins to slowly change that perversion to purity and even ends up sacrificing his life ("Chosen" [7x22]) for love and redemption.
What's the one thing that brings Spike out of his sorrow? Violence. The moment he gets in a good brawl he feels himself again and leaves town in an attempt to get Dru back. Spike's powerful words obviously didn't go unnoticed to Buffy because she, soon afterwards, breaks it off with Angel realizing that they are not indeed 'friends' and that Angel can't give her the relationship she wants. If the Buffy and Angel relationship wasn't meant to end in "Faith, Hope, and Trick" (3x03) like I wanted, then this is the perfect cut-off point which is why I can't understand why they get all snuggly again later in the season, but that's another story.
The end of the episode shows everyone alone and unhappy, except for Spike who is back in form and singing while on the highway down south. This is a BtVS classic: it's got loads of humor, drama, messages, and action all in one tightly wrapped package. It's just a shame that I have to wait until S4 to get more Spike!moreless
Horror and heartache
Spike is back in town and emotional hell follows with him for the rest of the cast! I think it's at this point that Buffy really stops being about the demon of the week and starts being about the relationships.
Are you kidding?
Spike; I may be love's *** but at least I'm man enough to admit it
Bye bye to another magic shop owner. Spike's killing her is horrible in the extreme, the sheer brutality of it. The scene where Spike threatens to push a broken bottle in Willow's face is also horrible (pay attention Spike fans!). I remember watching this ep for the first time and thinking "NO! They can't kill Cordy!" but eventually they do. Presumably the funeral we see is of the Magic Shop owner?
Knocked out; Cordy and Xander
Women good/men bad; Joyce wants Buffy to go to parties with kegs and boys, as it happens neither will work out well for her.
Kinky dinky; Willow thinks bowling and rented shoes are sexy which is a whole level of kink beyond my ken, my barbie and all my action figures. Spike also seems to be quite enamoured of Willow (Spillow?) which will be referred to again in season 4. He also talks of 'having a woman' which implies that a vamp feeding is akin to a sexual act. Spike says he's going to torture Dru until she loves him again.?
Calling Captain Subtext; How much do we adore the scene between Spike and Joyce? Of course when we see Spike's relationship with his own mum, we understand why. Spike also refers to Angel as 'peaches' and a 'great poof' which must have had Spangel fans working overtime. Buffy comments that for some reason she can't fool Spike hinting at their relationship to come and possibly Spikes hidden sensitivity (realising in season 4 that Willow is falling apart, empathising with Dawn in season 5). Plus Dru senses that Spike is infatuated with the Slayer.
Buffy and Angel beat up and threaten to kill Spike for info
Questions and observations;
Willow refers to Cletus the slack jawed yokel from the Simpsons. Weirdly Buffy has never even been referenced on that show as far as I know? Xander refers to Buffy and him working at the drive-in, both will but not at the same time. Surely the Mayor wouldn't have let Spike and co run rampant last year and destroyed the world? Xander recognises the ingredients for a love spell from his experience in BBB. Note Xander refers to wanting to be a fireman which will also feature in The Replacement (he later plays one in a very bad Syfy movie Fire Serpent) . Weirdly Buffy says that Spike's not known for keeping his word but to judge by 'Lie to Me' and 'Becoming' he actually does? Or does she mean that he'd promised that he'd never return to Sunnydale? Note that even Angel with a soul still knows how to push Spike's buttons? Cordy's expression upon seeing Xander and Willow together is just heartrending.
Buffy scores remarkably well on the SATs once again showing us there's brains behind that blonde hair. Love Cordy's bizarre leap of logic that Xander has been kidnapped by Columbian drug barons?
Really you get the idea that they're toying with the idea of Spike as a regular character and this was a test for it. Of course he fit the bill and the rest is history
10/10 no question
Lover's Walk was a key episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Third Season. In this episode Willow and Zander's recent actions finally catch up with them, having dire consequances for Cordelia while leaving Oz feeling betrayed. Spike also returned to Sunnydale and wants willow to do a love spell for him. I think that this episode was exciting to watch, especially the action scenes, and the suspense of the characters actions. The stories blended together in a superb flow. This show is so complex yet simple at the same time. This makes it very relatable to most viewers, and this episode definitely is worth watching.moreless
A strange episode in the mix of Season 3, but an official comeback for James Marsters, who swore in the Season 2 finale not to return to Sunnidale \"I bloody well hope\". Well, that didn\'t really last.
Not my favorite episode - because Spike\'s lines are very out of character (crying most of the time, not coherently) and one big disappointment - The loss of Drusilla, just by the time I got used to her. It\'s also unrealistic - the chance that the two lovers will part over something like that after 100 years seems odd. Only after Season 4 (Spoiler alert) when Spike returns and gets an official star status, I understood why. (End Spoiler) It\'s quite badly written too, I\'m afraid - The dialogs are not as good as the rest, and the fight scene in the Magic shop is even lame. You can skip it and move right on, the only important thing plotwise in this episode is that Cordelia and Oz find Willow and Xander kissing. Cordelia leaves the Scooby-gang after this, and Oz sticks around until mid-Season 4.moreless
How Spike got his grove back (and how everyone else lost theirs).
Most of the loose ends from last season have been tied up in the first third of this one with one big exception. Spike snuck out of Buffy and Angel's fateful duel, speeding off with his unconscious beau Drusilla. Obviously he survived for a reason. Spike has a devoted following, so much so that his image is on one of the DVDs for this season despite being in only one episode (and said DVD doesn't contain it). However, there had to be more to his return than satisfying the fans. So leave it to Spike to breeze into town, make a huge emotional mess, and leave with his old attitude back, while leaving the door open for another comeback later.
It's apparent in Spike's return, echoing his arrival in "School Hard", that he is a different vampire. Smashing through the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign now doesn't mean that he's a bad boy, but that he was too drunk to drive. Fans may have had cause for concern, as they wouldn't want to see Spike moping the entire episode. However, they mine great comedy out of this, like him sobbing over a park bench where they killed a homeless man. It also serves as a contrast to Angel and Buffy's relationship: they want him to get over his heartbreak, but they're oblivious to their own problems with love. All three have a big moment of realization during this: Spike realizing he's "gone soft" and needs to be tough to get Drusilla back and Angel and Buffy realize they're fooling themselves.
Of course his initial target is Angel. Through the second part of last season Angelus continually teased the physically impotent Spike while charming Drusilla. It ultimately created the chain of events that caused him to side with Buffy which destroyed his relationship with Drusilla. Until he gets to the magic shop, he seems more like the guy who gets wasted, talks big about revenge and ultimately does nothing. However, it's Spike's desire to curse Angel with leprosy that leads him on a collision course with Willow, where he becomes the catalyst for the breakdowns of three major relationships.
Meanwhile, Xander and Willow's stolen moments have become increasingly obvious. It couldn't keep it going much longer without everyone else coming off as superbly ignorant. Willow tries to fight those hormones by attempting a "de-lusting" spell. While Xander's tried it before (nice callback), this episode is the first time Willow's used magic to simplify her life, a theme that will be explored heavily in future seasons. However, the spells in this episode are merely a device to get Spike involved in the main story and place Xander and Willow in a high peril situation where they express themselves and are discovered in the worst manner possible.
This happens as Cordelia and Oz's gestures show commitment to their relationships. Cordelia has to deal with the pressures of high school politics, where she's gotten plenty of flack from her friends for dating a "loser" like Xander. Displaying photos of them in her locker shows that her feelings for Xander have overcome peer pressure. Oz on the other hand, is known for being so relaxed and nonchalant that putting his feelings out there is noteworthy. Because he's so protective of his emotions, Oz is likely the more hurt of the two.
However, the key development is Buffy and Angel realizing that they don't have a future together. It starts with Buffy's SATs. Despite being expelled, suspended and reprimanded for violent behavior, Buffy's high score offers enormous promise of life outside Sunnydale. For the first time Buffy has the opportunity to live a normal life of "keg parties and boys", what she's always wanted. Faith, albeit a ticking time bomb, can substitute for Buffy at the Hellmouth while she studies. Buffy simply isn't used to thinking about having a future; she slays and that calling carries a short life expectancy. It's like the cliché of the small town person who thinks they'll never leave it, but is given a huge opportunity. Blowing it off is fitting for her character, as if she's expecting the rug to be pulled out, and considering there are a little more than 100 episodes left in the series, it's warranted.
Although she has every reason to go, she's still divided with Angel. It's very much allegorical for teens' indecisiveness over their post-high school plans because of a boyfriend or girlfriend and how siding with the boyfriend or girlfriend is usually regrettable. Angel wisely advises her not to decide because of him. Obviously the set up for Angel's departure into his series starts on this arc on the doomed relationship.
Before they realize their relationship has no future, they spend most of the episode continuing to believe they can be friends after all. With the exception of the intervention, Buffy's friends are content to have her believe it as well, but Spike sees otherwise. He's right to recall the last time he saw them, as it seems they forgot that they were fighting to the death with the world as the prize. After all that has happened, how can they go back to being friends? Simple answer is that they can't, and Spike is the only one who can tell them that.
In the heat of all that happened in "Becoming", it'd be easy to forget that Buffy willingly invited Spike into her home and so far this season, failed to rescind that or reinvite Angel after his soul was restored. The way they dealt with that conundrum is the funniest moment of the episode, where Spike taunts the "bad man" Angel while mockingly posing as if to bite her outside her eyesight. Despite this, they never do get around to rescinding that invite.
The Spike and Joyce friendship really could've been forced and absurd, but it somehow works: the suburban single mom and the European mass murderer commiserating over hot chocolate with marshmallows. Joyce has to be the mother to the heartsick Spike, and he, despite his nature to kill humans, is happy to have to someone to talk to.
Spike's return gets on the Mayor's radar and what he's planning is too important for Spike to mess up, despite him enjoying (and the deputy dreading) Spike's exploits last season. This short scene, in addition to adding the conflict where Spike, Angel and Buffy fight Spike's former flunkies (now the Mayor's), offers some insight into how the Mayor perceives outside demons and vampires. So, if he was aware of Spike, what else did he know and did he attempt to intervene off camera?
The only part of this episode that doesn't work is Cordelia's impalement. When it first aired, it might've provided a brief shock when they cut to the funeral, then Willow & Buffy, who just happen to be walking past it, explaining that Cordelia's OK. Now, it comes off as a cheap way to get a rise out of the audience. Everything up to it does help make the situation where Xander and Willow are exposed more uncomfortable.
This episode is the best so far this season. It's essentially the second part of the end of the introductory phase and it ends messily. Faith became jaded by the group and Angel's return raised tensions last episode, and now all the romantic relationships are in ruins. Spike's return could've been just a bone thrown to the fans, but it provides valuable character development on top of being really entertaining.moreless
this episode reavelled a lot of the characters.
spike came back to town and kinapped willow and xander as he wanted drusilla to come back to him. thus, kinapped them to ask willow to do a sell fr him. this episode show that spike has a soft side and is actually vunerable. he needed comfort from someone, and he would even go to someone he dont like(example: willow and joyce). also willow and xander's cheating behind cordelia and oz was revealed. spike also revealed that angel and buffy still love each other even tho they try not to. spike left town in the end to find drusilla. willow, xander, oz and cordelia felt depressed because of their relationship. buffy told angel that she would not be coming back to see him as he is well enough now.moreless
It's all about the character dynamics, stupid
Wow this was one of the best Buffy episodes I've seen so far (I'm a new fan so I'm trying to watch everything in order). Shows like these demonstrate that a strong show focuses as much on characters (if not more) as it does on the story. Basic story: Spike is back in town and wants to get Drusilla back so he kidnaps Willow (along with Xander) to perform a love spell for him. Meanwhile, Buffy and Angel are dealing with the definition of their relationship and Giles is away at a retreat.
Plot points/scenes that "made" this episode for me:
Spike: Spike carried a lot of the better character interactions here. My favorite scene is when he goes into the kitchen to talk to Joyce about his love problems. It was hilarious and just great in general. For a broken-hearted drunkard, he later on serves as the voice of reason between Buffy/Angel's "just friends" relationship and makes a great exit with the eventual realization that he doesn't need the spell and then nonchalantly telling Buffy where he left her friends.
Willow/Xander love conflict: I always wanted to see Willow and Xander together, and thought the developing attraction between them was one of the best parts of the season so far. The end concludes with character growth for everyone involved. I think Cordelia and Willow experience the most growth here. Willow, almost always a "righteous" girl up to this point, comes to terms with guilt from cheating on Oz while Cordelia has to deal with true heartbreak that goes beyond all of the other guys she has dated. Very moving and surprising set of scenes.
And because no good drama takes itself too seriously, we have a happy, love-struck Spike racing on the highway to fade us to the credits.
An A+ episode!moreless
Spike: Love isn't brains, children, it's blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's **** but at least I'm man enough to admit it.
Spike returns to Sunnydale in hopes of winning back the love of Dru with a little hope from Willow. Let me start on Willow and Oz in this episode. There must be something wrong with Willow to be cheating on Oz with Xander, I get that she has had a crush on him her entire life and now that he finally gives her attention she can't resist, but she should, they are such an awful couple, I cannot stand them together. And Oz is so sweet with the witch Pez and he always has accepted Willow for the girl that she is and has loved her for being her. Then when Willow says that it is a thoughtful gift and Oz is just like 'well i think about you' how could anyone in their right mind hurt Oz? And I feel bad for Cordelia as well because if Xander and Willow knew they were going to continue with each other they should have broken up with their respective partners. But they probably knew it was wrong as well. At the end when they see the two of them kissing it is heartbreaking.
Now about Spike, I love Spike in this episode. He is really funny when he is at the house with Joyce showing his civilized side and then Angel shows up and then he just mocks him which is cut short by Buffy. His crying to Willow is also really hilarious and his pathetic love for Dru is so like him. His speech to Buffy and Angel about them never being friends is also really good because it shows his perception, because he understands the situation so well. It reminds me so much of the speech he gives in the fifth season when he gives another speech about the importance of love. Then at the end when he just admits that he left Willow in the factory (as Buffy guessed) and he goes off to win back Dru, by being the man he knows he can be.moreless
Season 3, Episode 8.
Spike returns to Sunnydale after Drusilla leaves him. In an effort to get her back, he kidnaps Willow and Xander so he can make Willow perform a love spell. Buffy scores a 1430 on her SATs, and she must decide whether she will go away for college next year or stay in Sunnydale to fight evil.
It was an OK episode. It wasn't that bad, but Spike's return was pretty cool. I'm still not crazy about the sudden romance between Xander and Willow a few episodes ago and that it's still going on. Now Willow needs a spell to stop it. Come on. I liked the Buffy plot though. Plus, I liked when Spike came to visit Joyce. Haha. Buffy invited Angel back in. :) Cool episode.moreless
The Heartbreakers Club
Lover's Walk-Spike returns to Sunnydale a broken vampire. Drusilla has left him, and he will do anything to win her back, including kidnapping Willow and Xander to force Willow to prepare him a love spell. Will Willow do the spell, or can the Scoobies prepare for tragedy?
A dark comedic episode that features the return of the blonde badass himself, Spike. James Masters is hilarious throughout as Spike is a drunken, lonely slob of a vampire whose heartbroken over Drusilla breaking up with him. What makes the episode so incredibily entertaining is how bad you feel for Spike. I mean his a murderous monster without a soul yet your rioting for him to find love again. His dialogue is also great like when he talks about Drusilla not even taking the time to "set me on fire, just to show she cared." Also, the scene between Joyce and Spike is real standout. There like the most opposite of people yet watching Spike finding comfort from Buffy's mom as she gives him some advice is an ingenius scene.
Also, the sub-plots are enjoyable as Buffy's SATs brings up some questions and possiblities for the slayer. Can Buffy continue her slayering or should she quit for her a better education that she deserves. Then there's Willow and Xander's kissage relationship finally being found out by Cordelia and Oz. I'm just glad that after this the storyline was dropped as it was getting awfully tedious and boring. But the fake-out with Cordelia was actually shocking in first viewing yet almost could have lead to fans bashing the show if Cordelia ever died like that and so soon.
It's also a funny yet insightful development as Spike of all people tells Buffy and Angel that they are still in madly in love with each other and are stupid for trying to hide they're true feelings. The closing scene as Buffy tells Angel that she can't see him anymore because it hurts to be around him is a beautiful scene yet your hoping they'll be together in the end. All and All, a great mix of dark comedy and insightful scenes about love, "Lover's Walk" is a keeper!moreless