Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 3 Episode 9

The Wish

10
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Dec 08, 1998 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (40)

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9.4
out of 10
Average
731 votes
  • Hole in the story?

    9.5
    First of all, I'd just like to say that I do love this episode. But after for about the third time, it got me thinking.. how did The Master rise in this alternate reality? In the last episode of the first season it shows how intent Buffy is on not going to fight The Master (because the prophecy said she would die). When she did go down to fight him he informed her that he would not have risen, if she had stayed away. Which then begs the question if the slayer had not been there on that night, what was it that allowed The Master to rise?
  • The Wish

    10
    When deciding what score to give an episode I factor in a lot of different things. An episode gets a perfect score because there are no critical flaws in it and it's just so good that I don't need to justify why it's perfect, it simply is. This episode is the exception to what I just said. Because the dreaded "reset button" is used I considered giving this a lower score. After all, none of the characters remember anything that happened afterwards thereby making that entire portion of the episode essentially irrelevant. At least that's what happens most of the time when the "reset button" is used. It happened more times than I can count (or that I'd like to admit I sat through) on Star Trek: Voyager.



    There are several things that make this episode different though. The first is that under three quarters of the episode takes place in the alternate reality; the first quarter is important and is remembered by all the characters. The second is that although none of the characters remember anything from the experience, the viewers do, and this is important because we learn vital tidbits about the main characters in the process. The third is that the series doesn't ever do this again. And finally, the fourth, is that this world, where Buffy never came to Sunnydale, is extremely interesting, entertaining, dark, and well done.



    This episode has two distinct 'sections' which are connected through Cordelia. Both of these 'sections' are, well, perfect. In the beginning we get some ultra light fun where Buffy slays a corny demon and the group continues their picnic like nothing happened; business as usual. It's here when Xander asks Buffy how she deals with the pain of lost love (and I think he also means life in general). She responds, "I have you guys." The slow dissolution of the Scoobies in the following seasons is why everything will eventually break apart. They don't feel like they "have each other" anymore which is why they keep secrets and grow increasingly separated. This happens to a lot of people when they go to college and out into the work world.



    I liked seeing Oz's rejection of Willow's plea for talk. Oz knows that Willow wants to talk with him about what she did so she can feel better about herself. He suitably replies to this by saying "that's not my problem." The scene at the Bronze picks up on all these points while Buffy, Willow, and Xander are moping around and chatting with each other. Xander's trying to move on as soon as possible, Willow feels horrible and wants to make it right with Oz, and Buffy is just kind of confused about everything.



    Cordelia attempts to slide back into her old persona again with ease. Happily, and a testament to her character's growth, this doesn't succeed. When unhappy and covered in trash Cordelia comes to the realization that all of her problems stem from Buffy. Anyanka is attempting to get Cordelia to wish something bad upon Xander, but instead ends up granting a different kind of wish. Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale in the first place in the hopes that she'd never get tangled up in the supernatural and end up getting together with Xander. She's obviously angry at both Willow and Xander, but by her reaction at the news that they're both dead we can see that she didn't really hate them. It becomes increasingly obvious to her that Buffy is not the cause of her pain.



    It's interesting that in the Buffy-less Sunnydale Willow and Xander are vampires. One might argue that Willow got bit during the events of "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (1x01), but remember that it was Buffy who told her to "seize the day" which was the reason she went out into the crowd in the first place. Nevertheless, it still makes sense that eventually one of these two would have been bit and then would have immediately went to change the other. Willow as a vampire is actually pretty terrifying. At first she comes off as a joke but we see her true colors when torturing Angel. Xander rubs off as very much like his human personality. He follows others' leads and works as an underling. Willow takes change and is a powerful minion under the Master. This fits with what we know of Willow's continually growing self confidence.



    What's truly the most shocking, though, is how different Buffy is. She is very battle worn, tired, humorless, and has that "death wish" that Spike says all slayers have in "Fool for Love" (5x07). She partially lets the Master snap her neck because she's so tired of fighting. The look on her face leading up to her death says everything. It shows that she is already dead on the inside. Buffy is not a 'special' Slayer in this reality. She fights alone and dies just like all the girls before her. The only thing that makes her unique is that she has to live in a world where the hellmouth is open. When I first saw this episode I found myself wanting to see more of this Buffy's life and how she got to the point she was at. There's a reason why we're seeing Buffy's story in the real world though: she's a unique Slayer there and that is part of what makes her so interesting. What we need to see in an episode like this is a glimpse at how all the main characters would have turned out had Buffy not arrived, and the episode does just that. We never knew pre-Sunnydale Buffy in the first place, so seeing more of her story in this alternate reality wouldn't be terribly interesting.



    The episode wraps up with a very chilling battle where Xander kills Angel (how ironic is that), Buffy kills Xander, Oz kills Willow, and the Master kills Buffy, all with beautifully haunting music running over top. Giles destroys Anyanka's power center in the middle of all this and reality is restored back to normal where we see Buffy, Willow, and Xander together and, more or less, happy. To sum this up, I got everything I needed to get from an episode like this. There was time spent dealing with the aftermath of the previous episode, a dark look into an alternate reality Sunnydale, lots of subtle character foreshadowing, and a beautifully chilling ending. Perfect, but I think you already knew that.
  • What could have been?

    10
    The Good;

    All of it! Just wonderful! Great reveal of Anya the demon and the action sequences especially



    The Bad;

    Surely in vampdominated Sunnydale people would prefer to let their kids drive home from SDH?



    Best line;

    Buffy; Your logic is not like our earth logic



    Character death;

    Everyone except Giles, Larry, Harmony and Oz. But then thankfully they're all alive again. Cordy's death is particularly disturbing. Of course the obvious question is what about all the people who died in the proper Buffyverse? It would have been a nice touch if Jenny, Jessie and Principle Flutie were still alive at SDH, if Nancy was actually Theresa from Phases. And of course if Buffy never died in the Master's pool then Kendra is still alive too



    Shot;

    VampXander is hit by Buffy's crossbow



    Tied up;

    Angel in chains



    Knocked out;

    Giles and Oz



    Women good/men bad;

    If anything with Vampwillow we see femalekind at it's worse. The way Harmony and co treat Cordy is horrible, you really feel for her but I guess it's revenge for her 'Sheep' speech.



    Kinky dinky;

    Where do you begin? PVC-clad VampWillow plays no-safety-word S&M sex games with 'Puppy' whilst leatherclad vampXander watches. Buffy thinks the hero worship that everyone shows her in Sunnydale is a 'get in my pants thing'.



    Calling Captain Subtext;

    vampWillow has obvious lesbian overtones (her killing of both Cordy and the Master's victim is almost akin to snuff). However she still digs Xander and Angel so it's still more than likely she's bi rather than gay.



    Guantanamo Bay;

    Plenty of torture but only by the bad guys



    Questions and observations

    Staggeringly brilliant in every way and anyone who doesn't think so should be locked up as a danger to themselves and others. Great ending too, cool, touching and funny, wonderful music. Plus Jonathon AND Larry, great.

    What is the Mayor doing in Master dominated Sunnydale? And the Initiative? Where are Darla and Luke, killed by the White Hat's? Where are Hank and Joyce? Who is the Watcher Giles talks to on the telephone? Wesley? Sam Zebuto (Kendra's Watcher)? Gwendoline Post? Giles refers to demonic activity in Cleveland which will be referenced in Chosen as Giles says there's a 2nd Hellmouth there (presumably inactive?) We always knew Buffy was an exceptional Slayer and that the Watcher's found her late but here we see that without Giles and the Scoobies' help she ends up battlehardened, emotionally cut off and with the Slayer deathwish, just like all the others. Interesting to compare 'The Wish' Buffy with Faith (and what's happening to her in the Wishverse?)

    And here's Anya, no sign as yet that she'll become a major character and appear in the opening credits.

    Now, where does the Wishverse lie in the continuity of things? I figure it's a dead end, a right angle to the real timestream that stops dead at the moment Giles smashes the pendant. Of course what happens if the Wishverse had continued? Well with all respect to Kendra I don't see her lasting that long leaving it to Faith to defeat The Master. So that would mean that Dawn is Faith's sister, Giles her Watcher, a grieving Joyce and Hank surrogate parents to both LeHane girls and Larry, Oz, Harmony and Amy as the Scoobygang? Would that make Spike the PTB's souled-vamp champion, just try picturing him and Doyle as a team. Interesting to wonder, huh?

    Once read a great fanfic where all the Scoobys are vamps but this meant that the valiant Darla was the Slayer and The Mayor, Adam, a human Spike and Dru, Glory and the Nerds were all good guys and made up her alternate Scooby Gang. It says a lot for the depth of character Joss gives his villains that the concept actually worked really well, that they all could have been heroes if things had taken a different path.

    Actually Cordy has dated Jonathon before or at least let him buy her a muffin at the Bronze in Inca Mummy Girl. We hear the gang go on about how Faith has become more and more distant since the events of Revalations, Buffy has sympathy for her and we later see she wouldn't have been too different to her under other circumstances. You have to agree with Oz turning Will down, he's right as to her motivations. You note that although things are bad in SD the Harvest wasn't the end of the world it was advertised to be, the rest of the world goes on pretty much unaffected. How do they dispose of all the demon bodies they leave lying around?

    Legend has it there's a girl looking just like Faith amongst the prisoners at the Factory. Eliza Dushku however has stated at a convention that this definitely isn't her, she wasn't even on set that day. Popular explanation is that this is her stand in/stunt double earning some spare cash as an extra.

    10/10 and a whole lot more.

  • Great episode of Buffy. Its fun and interesting, but also dark.

    9.5

    The wish is a very well written episode and its a dark look into what could have been without Buffy.


    Cordelia comes back to school after her injury and finds that things are very different for her. She no longer is miss popular and her old friends laugh and make fun of her. Feeling down she realizes that all her problems started because of Buffy and sheinadvertently makes a wish to the new girl Anya, who just happens to be a vengeance demon.


    Cordelia wishes Buffy never came to Sunnydale and soon finds herself in an alternate reality where vampires reign supreme, the master is still alive, and where Xander and Willow are super scary vamps.


    Now at this point they could have made this episode a typical alternate reality episode where the person throughout the episode learns just how bizarre their alternate reality is and then tries to change it. And in the beginning Cordelia does just that. But things take a turn for the worse when Xander and Willow kill her.


    I think that that was an interesting twist to a story idea that has been rehashed many times. The whole episode is well done. Xander and Willow are terrifying as vampires and its a good setup for Dopplegangland where vampire Willow makes a return.


    The alternate Buffy is also very interesting. She almost reminds me of Faith and I wonder if that's what the writers were going for. She's tough, scarred, and dark with none of the fun loving Buffy we all well...love.


    The end scene in the warehouse is well done. We watch as all of our favorite characters die. The part where Angel gets shot and says, "Buffy." as he turns into dust is sad, but also made even sadder because Buffy doesn't even care. She walks right through him as though he didn't matter.


    Well written episode, great to watch, and its interesting to see how much Buffy has done for Sunnydale.

  • The Wish

    10
    The Wish was a true Buffy the Vampire Slayer treat.! This episode was exciting because wa saw the return of Cordelia, introduced to a new cool girl who is not who she appears to be or should I say what. The story for this episode is Brilliant and ties in other story lines really well and I have a feeling it will play a part in the future as well. This episode saw the return of The Master, and in Cordelia's new world Willow and Zander are quite different but still hot for each other. This was good episode to show range of different versions of the various characters.
  • definitaly not one of my favorite episodes, but they used it well in futre episdoes. I think that this episode is necissary, but not what I like about the show.

    4.7
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my favorite shows. I like the first three or four seasons the best, after that they lose thier wit and comedy. There's a nice mix of action, romance, comedy and sci-fi. This episode was one of my least favorite. I don't like the fact that Cordillia is still part of the "Scooby Gang" although she isn't Xander's girlfriend anymore. Then she gets removed at the end of the season. This episode is vital for the rest of the season to make sense though. I like the fact that all of the episodes deal with new topics, but all of the episodes are linked and are related to each other. This is a classic show but they changed it too much after season four. I'll keep watching, but that's only because this show has something that no other show has. I don't know what it is but I like it!
  • The Master is back but not really. Actually, nothing in this episode really happens. Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, and a demon named Anyanka actually grants her wish, but it is all reset by the end of the episode.

    2.0
    The Wish is yet another episode penned by Marti Noxon. Noxon joined the Buffy staff with season two as story editor. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was her first job in Hollywood, and she wrote six episodes her first season working. Only Joss Whedon can claim the same: he wrote six episodes of Roseanne the first season he was hired, and Roseanne was his first Hollywood job. Noxon received multiple promotions every season. She was promoted to Executive Producer and took over Whedon’s role as show runner during the last season of Buffy, because Whedon was busy developing Firefly at this time. I have no doubt that Noxon is a very talented writer; I simply have not liked most of the episodes she has written so far.

    It seems like most series finally get around to an alternate reality episode--especially sci-fi series. Sometimes they are good. Most of the time, they are bad. The Wish was bad. In fact, as a Buffy fan, it was painful to watch. In alternate reality episodes that are good, the writer has fun with the characters and setting. Nothing about The Wish was fun. It was dark and creepy. Xander and Willow came off as lame Spike and Drusilla wannabes. Buffy came off as bored with her lame alternate persona.

    This episode was also riddled with plot holes. They made such a huge deal about prophecy and destiny in the first season with the Master. All the prophecies about the Master intricately involved Buffy as slayer. In season one we were told that he could not even escape without the help of Buffy. All this is ignored in this episode, and the Master escapes without the help of Buffy. Since all of Sunnydale is aware of the vampire threat, why is everyone not toting crosses and holy water? Why is Giles the only one smart enough to pack a crucifix?

    There was actually no character development in this episode, because none of the events really happened, and we knew from the very beginning that none of the events were going to have any consequences. There was no truth for the characters to learn in this episode either, because nobody remembered a thing. Most reviews of this episode compared it to It's a Wonderful Life. This is an unfair comparison. It's a Wonderful Life had a definite message that this episode did not even come close to. The dues ex amulet was the final blow that crushed any hopes of this episode being taken seriously and receiving better than a 2 out of 10.

    -Matthew Miller
    Find this review and more at tv.swingthesickle.com
  • Season 3, Episode 9.

    9.0
    Cordelia wants to get rid of Xander for good. So, she confides her problem in her new friend, Anya. When she wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, Anya turns into a demon and grants her wish.

    I always liked this episode. The concept is awesome. Buffy looked awesome when she was being strangled by the demon in the beginning of the episode. Plus, Cordelia looked really good in this episode. I liked seeing Xander and Willow as vampires, but I don't like the different Buffy. At least the whole problem was solved. Not a bad episode at all. Unique, definitely.
  • What a fun episode!

    9.7
    This episode's alternate universe showed us just how much Buffy has accomplished in her time at Sunnydale. It was fun to see how Willow and Xander would be as vampires and fun to see them actually end up together for a change. The only negative about this episode is that nobody got to see what it was like without Buffy. Only we know what happened in the episode with the exception of Anya and she never tells, even Cordi who is aware of the changes forgets the alternate universe once the spell is broken. It would have been fun to see the others react to what "could have been". Still one of the most fun episodes!!
  • An alternate world.

    10
    This is such an amazing episode of the series and it introduces us to evil Willow, whose "Bored now..." line just never gets old. And this episode introduces Anya who lives on to be such a great character. For my Willow and Oz note, I love the scene where he tells her that her wanting to talk is selfish because he needs space, it is so heartbreaking. But the scene with Harmony insulting Cordelia at the beginning is so sad and it makes you feel so bad for her. Then her wish turns the whole world upside down. And Evil Xander, who we only really get to see in this episode, he is quite hot as evil and the way he plays it is so sexy. I love when Willow is torturing Angel and he says that he just wants to watch. I also like how he refers to Cordy as an old crush which shows that he was always at least a little interested in him. The alternative world is such a great vision of world without Buffy and Giles speech at the end about how the other world has to be better is really great. A fantastic episode.
  • Extremely well done...

    9.2
    When Cordelia realises all of her problems revolve around Buffy, she makes a life-altering wish to unknown demon "Anyanka" Who grants Cordelias wish that Buffy had never came to Sunnydale.

    Once the wish is granted, Cordelia and the rest of Sunnydale get sucked into this parallel universe which gives us a glimpse of what life would have been like for the sunnydale civillians, without Buffy.

    With only Cordelia and Anyankas recollection of Buffy's existence, Cordy soon realises she needs Buffy's help to save Sunnydale from the dark age they have encountered, where nothing is the same. Willow and Xander are lusting vampires and Giles' fiend-hunting team "White Hats" are out to kill them, and the old flame "The Master" alongside his minions.

    The battle seems impossible and it looks obvious lives will be lost unless Anyankas wishing amulet is destroyed! If not, Sunnydale will never be the same and will be trapped inside the frightening false reality of the dark world.
  • philosophy

    9.0
    It was a good episode but I now also have the quote about Oz and Willow playing "Mistress of Pain"( Doppelgangland)stuck in my head because of the puppy thing. I am very Disturbed. Ok, over that now. The symbolism of this episode was amazing! Oz killed Willow, Buffy killed Xander, The master killed Buffy. Thats the interesting thing about alternate realities. They can kill people without acually killing them. Simple symbolism. I find it rather depressing that Oz didn't even KNOW Willow in this reallity, which also goes with Buffy and Xander. They all killed their best friends. Without Buffy, Sunnydale fell to the ground. It was truely astounding to see how important one person is to an entire city. One single person decides your fate.
  • As The World Turns...Without Buffy

    10
    The Wish-Wanting to be rid of Xander for good, Cordelia comes to the conclusion that Buffy is the cause of all her problems and makes a wish that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. A demon grants the wish and Cordelia's world suddenly changes.

    One of the darkest and most creative episodes of the series, "The Wish" takes the alternate reality cliche of a storyline and makes it into one hell of an hour of Buffy. Charisma Carpentar gives a great performance as she must deal with the scrutiny of Sunnydale High after her abrupt break-up with Xander. You never feel more sorry for Cordelia here (well maybe until "Angel"). The plot gets very interesting with the introduction of Anya. Emma Caufield while a great actress and her character of Anya becoming one of the most memorable characters of the series, is reduced to monster of the week for her first appearence with minor scenes. But the concpet of the vengenace demon was always awesome and the make-up is pretty terrifying.

    What seperates "The Wish" from most, if not all, alternate reality episode it's the most unpredictable and shocking. I mean after being stuck in the reality she created for only a few hours, Cordelia is immediately killed off, leaving the audience to wondering "how the hell are they gonna get out of this one!?" Also, it's an amazing character study as the majority of the cast get to act out in some intriguing new roles. Both Willow and Xander are now vampires sporting some tight leather. Although, Alyson gives a much more convincing performance as bloodsucker than Nicholas. Giles is more or less the same with Oz, Larry and other as his small group of vampire hunters. Angel is...well..Angel with a few more permanent cuts and bruises. But the most impressive change, I think, is Buffy! Showing how much her friends and Watcher were essential to the character, Buffy is careless, headstrong girl who has no stabilty in her life. She's actually a mix of Kendra and Faith's negative slayer traits. Buffy has Kendra's lifeless dedication to being a slayer and Faith's thoughtless personality that could get her killed! One of the great developments of the show was that Buffy becomes one of the best slayers in history because of her ties to world like her mom, friends and Giles. Without them, she is just like any other slayer, just waiting for her time to die!

    I also loved how The Master is brought back as the main villain of the episode. Underused because of the short run of episodes in the first season, it's nice to see the vampire king be fleshed out a little bit. One of the most powerful scenes of the series is in this episode as we see all the characters kill each other or get killed. I mean from Xander killing Angel to Buffy killing Xander to Oz killing Willow to finally Buffy getting her neck snapped by the Master, it's a truly horrifying sight as we see these usual close characters having no emotion or awareness of what they've just done. Of course, by episode end Anya loses her power thanks to alternate Giles and everything is back the way it's supposed to be. All and All, a truly classic episode that takes a cliche storyine and makes it into a tremendous hour of television.
  • well-written.

    10
    another one of my favorite episodes. the idea of alternate reality always piques my interest. everything's different. willow and xander were vampires in this world made responsible by cordelia's wish she made unintentionally to anya, who's a vengeance demon. cordelia thought her life would be different if only she didn't meet buffy and she got what she wished for alright! seeing different sides of will and xander, their evil counterparts is so much fun. they rule. they're bad! the fight in the end in slow motion is great with angel, xander, will and buffy killing each other and just in time for giles to revert the spell and everything comes back to the way it used to be.
  • A wish causes a past villain to haunt the Scoobies.

    9.6
    So, Cordelia is grieving due to breaking up with Xander. Her former friends(before she became good and not as stuck-up) no longer like her. She realizes that it wouldn't be like that if Buffy didn't come to Sunnydale. A demon named Anyanka comes and grants her wish. Twisting everything. Since Buffy never came, the Master was able to rule Sunnydale. Xander and Willow are now vampires. Giles has to build a rebel base in order to defend the humans from the Order of Aurelius. With Cordelia's words, Giles goes to find Anyanka. Buffy unexpectedly appears and she decides to help fight the Master. Unfortunately, the vampires have taken many prisoners. The Master has a new "machine". So, Buffy has to free a tortured Angel and they free the prisoners and fight the vampires all at once. While they're doing that, Giles fights Anyanka in order to restore the original world. Overall, it's an interesting episode. We get to see completely warped versions of our favorite characters. I still like Cordelia on Angel than on Buffy.
  • It's a different world...

    9.7
    This is one of my favorite episodes. What if Buffy had never come to Sunnydale? This is what Cordelia wanted and her wish was granted by Anya (the first time she appears in the series). We see an alternate reality with a vampire Willow (wearing a leather corset) and Xander, Angel is turned into Willow's torture toy, and a much darker version of Buffy eventually showing up to try to save the day. But it is Giles that saves the day in this one by confronting Anya. If you really liked this version of Willow, don't worry because she returns later in another episode.
  • Tsk, Tsk, Cordelia. Thank Heaven for Buffy.

    10
    Well, the "I wish..." saying fits right up there with "It could be worse", in the "Sayings You Should Never Say on the Hellmouth" handbook. This episode is so cool because it gives us a glimpse of what life in Sunnydale could have been like if Buffy never showed up. Lol, Vamp!Willow is so cool with her childlike attitude. Vamp!Xander, wow, what a hottie. I'd give him my neck in a flash.

    Wow, Buffy is kind of scary looking in this reality. Definitely wouldn't want to be on her bad side. I think what's really cool about this episode is that the writers didn't keep Cordelia around. In fact, they pretty much killed all the characters off except for Oz and Giles.
  • It's Bizarro Buffy!

    9.6
    Like Band Candy, this episode takes a standard sci-fi premise ("the alternate dimension") and has a lot of fun with it, creating memorable doppelgangers of our favorite characters, and managing to, for the most part, pull it off without embarrassment.

    One of the reasons I particularly love this episode is how the character at the center of it continually changes throughout the hour. Like Janet Leigh in Psycho, Cordelia (who is set up as the lead in the story) ends up dead thirty minutes in, leaving the audience stuck in this "new reality" with a bunch of strangers, instead of any of the characters we know and love already. Thankfully, Giles is on hand to save the day, acting pretty similar to how he is already, but with a little less slayer and a little more of a bad mood.

    The new world is amazing to see, and Willow is undoubtedly the star of the show. Alyson Hannigan is perfect as the seductive, creepy, torture-obsessed vamp alter-ego of her normal self, and it's no surprise they decided to bring her back later on this season. Sarah Michelle Gellar was also great as alter-Buffy, clearly having fun with playing a disturbed, loner version of the slayer. Only Nicholas Brendon didn't exactly convince in the alternate dimension, with Vamp Xander being a little lame, despite being written as a huge force to be reckoned with.

    The closing moments of the episode were like something from an epic movie, with almost all the cast killed in a huge massacre of dust and violence. I thought it was pretty ironic that Vamp Willow got dusted by Oz, especially since (in different circumstances), they would make the perfect couple. I also loved The Master's appearance in the story, since he's an awesomely classy big bad, and a character they didn't get to use well enough in the short first season.

    Another impressive season three episode, which takes a genre cliché and adds all the usual Buffy greatness to it, producing an instant classic. Plus, Anya! And she's always great to have around...

    Director: David Greenwalt
    Writer: Marti Noxon
    Rating: A+
  • Anyanka tricks Cordelia into making a wish with grim consequences.

    9.6
    Cordelia, having broken up with Xander, wishes that Buffy never came to Sunnydale, and her new demon friend Anya makes it come true. In an alternate reality the town of Sunnydale is controlled by vampires, all of them led by the Master from season one. Cordelia, of course, is only worrying about herself, and eventually it gets her killed by Xander and Willow, two vampire lovers. The return to the master after Cordelia speaks of the slayer, Buffy, who is still in her hometown. But there is hope, Giles and Oz are a leading a group of renegades against the Master and his vampires. Giles calls Buffy's watcher for help. The Master rewards Xander and Willow for killing Cordelia by letting them torture their prisoner Angel, who is still in season one mode. Giles, Giles, and a few others try to rescue a few kidnapped civilians when they are rescued by the one and only Buffy. Only she's a little different. Giles tells her that the Master is in the Bronze, a local club. When she gets there the place seems deserted. She finds Angel, she says that he was supposed to find her in Sunnydale, but she never came. He says that all the vampires are at a factory nearby. The Master and his vampires have caged up several humans. The Master demonstrates new technology that changes vampire's feeding habits. Angel and Buffy get there on time to stop anything from happening. Buffy ends up killing evil Willow and evil Xander. One of the vampires kills Angel, but Buffy is more concerned about the Master. Meanwhile Giles summons Anya to change time. As Giles destroys the amulet the Master kills Buffy. Time course corrects itself and we got back to Cordelia wishing Buffy never came to Sunnydale. The episode was really cool. It showed just how much the people of Sunnydale depend on Buffy the Vampire the Vampire Slayer. Classic episode.
  • Only one way to describe this episode and that is terrifying

    9.6
    This was one of the scariest episodes of Buffy.

    I enjoyed the Cordelia plot to this it was all about Cordy and it made for a rather interesting episode. I hated how much of a b**** Cordy was though when Xander was trying so hard to make things better with them, it was obvious that he'd never intended to hurt her.

    Anya was very scary because one minute she was a high school student and the next she was a wish granting demon.

    The storyline with Willow and Oz was pretty good. I liked that Willow was trying to make things better but Oz understood that she was just trying to make herself feel better and refused to talk to her.

    The world after Cordelia's wish was just OMG it was freaking scary. Willow and Xander were terrifying as vampires I liked how Willow as a vamp was completely different then the Willow that we all love. The master was scarier here than he was in season 1 too because he wasn't stuck in the church anymore. It was scary to watch Buffy die again too. I loved Giles and how after Cordy had talked to him he believed so strongly that there was another world and it had to be better than the one they had.

    This was a really great episode but I am so glad that the world got changed back to the right way in the end, because it was a scary world.
  • Out of all the Buffy Episoide i have seen, this has got to be my fav!(Spoilers)

    10
    Okay, now I'm a new fan of the show, but when I got to the end of this episode, I cried. Now we know the story; that a Scorned Cordelia(with the help of a new demon) makes a wish that makes it so Buffy never came to sunydale, and The master rose from the hellmouth. In this reality Vampires rule the night and the Bronze. Plus Xander and Willow both have become vampires. Now was made this episode pop out to me was that the characters are still who we think they are, but there not. So in the end when we see them all die pretty much I cried so hard. Especially when Angel gets killed and Buffy doesnt care, and then she kills Xander without any emotion. But the part that got me was the music and the slow motion of Willow dieing. It just hit me and man did i cry. I really like how they didnt have her in her vampire face, because that would have taken the emotion out of it. So by far this is my favorite episoide. All be it i am only have way through the 3rd season. But this will always be an all time fav.
  • Now THIS is Bizarro World

    9.3
    Favorite Quote: Vampire Xander: "Buffy? The Slayer?"
    Cordelia: "No, Buffy the dog-faced-girl! Duh! Who do you think I'm talking about?" Cordelia is still furious at Xander, but she aims it at Buffy. She makes the mistake of making a wish to the new girl, Anya, that she wished Buffy never came to Sunnydale. Well...she got her wish. She walks into the school and it is eerily quiet and almost deserted. There is trash and grafiti everywhere. The Cordettes quickly surround her and gush about her clothes, but wonder why she would wear something so bold. Cordy is confused by this, but shrugs it off. She even lets it slide that her friends look at her like she is crazy when she mentions the Bronze. Im not going into the rest of the ep, because if you havent seen it, you need to! Vamp Willow and Buffy/Slayer in this reality are reasons enough!
  • Sunnydale without Buffy

    9.2
    AS Cordelia wished that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale I thought that there would be some changes, but not as many that actually happened. It was very odd to see a vampire version of Willow and Xander, especially as they acted a lot like Spike and Dru.

    Buffy was fighting evil in Cleveland and never met Angel who was waiting for hern resulting in him being Willow's toy.

    Giles, Oz and a few others are being Whitehat's, a wierd concept but it works.

    Anyanka is left stranded in Sunnydale as Anya without any powers, the former demon has a great charcter and I hope that we see more of her.
  • There ain't no fun without the Buffster!

    10
    This episode centers on what Sunnydale would be like if Buffy had never come there. Also, it shows how Buffy would have developped if it hadn't been for her friends in Sunnydale. Without her and without Giles as a father figure, she would have become kinda like Kendra - and at this point the show once again connects its storylines perfectly!

    We see how basically ever evil thing would still be there. And Xander and Willow as lovers and vampires?? That was just great!

    Cordelia's wish had an enormous effect as we saw, I just wish someone would have remembered!
    Plus: Anyanka goes, Anya stays. She's the funniest ever!
  • WOW!

    10
    season 3 is a little boring for me but then it has en episode like this. wow! cordelia makes a wish that buffy had never come to sunnydale and then she is killed by two vampires who are xander and willow. then hell breaks loose when buffy comes to sunnydale to stop them. angel dies xander dies willow dies and even buffy until giles finds out how to reserve the spell and anya becomes human again. awesome!
  • Thank goodness For Buffy!!

    9.9
    In this episode we get to learn h;ow the world would be without Buffy. Ouuwwwch! There seems to be an alture ego of everyone like Buffy, then attitude problem Buffy, Willow, then evil vampire Willow. some of the scene make you giggle, but for the most part, you just are glad that this wish will hopefully be undone! Cordela also learns a lesson, wishing bad, getting over things, good! Very Good. A bit of character growth goes a kinda longish way. For the others, you get to see them with their strenghs' and weaknesses. buffy needs her friends and Sunnydale is where she is suppose to be and everyone else needs Buffy, or they're all dead and the world is Hell! "The Wish" is a really amazing episode to see how the characters need each other and that willow is a sexy vampire! It's an amazing episode in my book!!
  • meet Anya...

    10
    So Cordy is very upset over Xander, so upset that the powers that be find her. The powers this time happen to be a vengeance demon who goes to women who have been hurt by men and grants them a wish to make them feel better (there is the moral here of fearful what you wish for…it just might come true.) Cordy wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, done. It is a few minutes later that Cordy realizes how bad Sunnydale is without a slayer. Over half of the school is dead or a vampire. There is a curfew, the students only wear dark colors as to not attract attention. The Bronze is closed. Basically it sucks. There is a small groups of white hats doing the job of the slayer (this includes Giles, Oz and Larry). Cordy, still confused goes wandering at night and runs into Xander and Willow she is upset that even in this reality they are together, then she realizes that they are vampires. The white hats save her but not for long, they tell the master that she was talking about a slayer so he sends them to kill her. Giles sees her necklace on her dead body and knows what has happened. Then Buffy shows up (but not the Buffy we know). She finds out about the Bronze and goes to kill the master. Just as she breaks his neck Giles breaks the necklace bringing us back to reality and leaving Anya powerless in the future.
  • What a change!

    10
    By a simple lack of the Buffster Sunnydale was plunged into sever darkness and severe lack of Scoobies. Cordy, Willow, OZ, Xander, and many other secondary sunnydale characters bite the dust (some literally, too). This episode really made us appreciate the scoobies and Buffy for all their charm and skills. And made us realize that as bad as Sunnydale could get with The Slayer there it could be far worse without her...I mean the clothes alone!
  • depressing

    10
    this episode was so sad it's unbelievable. it really really made me sad because it was buffy without buffy :(. i hated it when she came back to fight the master and angel got killed right in front of her but she didn't care less because she wasn't with him and he was just another vampire to her whom she hadn't really even met. also when oz kills vampire willow without a second thought, that was awful. even though the whole thing was cordelias fault it was kinda sad when she got killed too :( but the worst bit for me was when the master broke buffys neck :( that was just a hit in the face basically. i also thought it was really really said when anyanka says to giles "how do you know the other world is any better than this one?" and he replies with "because it has to be" i thought that was so sad :(xx
  • Buffy turns the "alternate reality" sci-fi plot into an art form. Amazing!

    10
    The Wish is an amazing achievement in the Buffyverse, probably one of Marti Nixon's (the writer) greatest too.

    Cordelia makes a wish, "I wish that Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale", Sunnydale being as it is, her wish comes true.

    This is probably one of the best alternate reality episodes across the sci/fi board.

    The Wish is a dark, thrilling and beautiful hour of Buffy-television. The change in worlds is instantly realised when we arrive in the Buffy-free Sunnydale. The lighting sets the mood perfectly. The school has now become a tumble-weed blowing in the wind environment, in terms of how it makes everything now desserted, lonely and frightening.

    The greatest part of "alternate worlds" is seeing well-established characters act completely differently. Buffy, having not found the security of her friends, Willow and Xander and the influences of Giles' training and affection, has now become cynical, and a bit, well, mean. She has become a lot like Faith, which makes sense, even down to some of her dialogue, "Is this a get in my pants thing? You guys in Sunnydale talk like I'm the second coming" Granted Faith probably *would* think that she is the second coming, but the "get in my pants" line is a great touch.

    Willow and Xander obviously go through the most dramatic change: they are now vampires! Willow makes the most impact because she is this shows goody-two-shoes, sweet natured character. This is evident due to the fact that Vamp Willow makes a welcomed return(Dopplelandgang). The scene when they kill Cordy, whilst Giles can only look-on, having been trapped in the cage is terrifying, inhumane and somewhat sexual in it's style. Also Giles makes the murder even more horrific with his brilliant reaction. (Note, in Dopplelandgang we now see a reverse where Vamp Willow is the one in the cage, and Cordy is the one outside giving her a piece of her mind. Excellent subtle way of Cordy getting her "bizarro-world" revenge).

    Giles hasn't changed much, and thank god the writer realised that this would be the case. He is a lot older and would also be exposed to much the same scenerios as he would have even if Buffy was there. The only thing that would have altered is that Giles would have seen a lot more of the super-natural action, thus making him slightly tougher and stronger. Again, this is also expertly realised as Giles is eventually the hero and saviour of this story.

    The death of Cordy also shows just how BtVS takes a common sci-fi plot and puts it's own unique slant on it. I have heard comments by fans (I don't want to give the false impression that I thought of this myself) that killing Cordy was very special because: In sci-fi alternate worlds there is usually one character that experiences it with knowlegde of the "real" world, taking the audience on *their* journey, seeing *their* perspective. Not in Buffyverse. Cordy kicks the bucket unexpectedly early, leaving the audience "alone" in the wrong-reality. Brilliant.

    The Wish also builds up audience sympathy for Cordy nicely, showing her in pain. I think another reviewer has covered this so I wont go into detail, but this was also a great story-telling device.


    This episode also introduces one of the shows best characters, Anya (or Anyanka). She is great in this episode but at present she is just "this weeks baddie" although it is nice, in retrospect, to see her being scary and evil before she becomes a Scoobie.


    The Master has risen and he wants to turn the art of hunting humans into a commercial "practical" venture. Although I LOVED seeing the Master again, the idea of him wanting a modern slant on killing people is probably the only low-point of this episode. Apart from his "what do you think, 5.1?" comment on the earth-quake in Prophecy Girl, I always thought he was quite a tradionally evil character. But enough about the flaws...

    Seeing Buffy for the first time in "Bizarro world" is a great thrill for fans. We knew it was coming, but now it has arrived and we greatly look forward to see how she will react with Giles. We get to see her meet everyone again for the first time!!!!! Yay!!! This is followed by a great scene with Giles and Buffy in his apartment. It's interesting how the dynamics are still very similar (Buffy rebelling against Giles advice and comments) but this gives it realism and we still get a very different Buffy to what we are used to. She is more of a killer than a compassionate fighter. "World is what it is. We fight. We die. Wishing doesn't change that". Giles also shows a very humane side, "I have to believe in a better world". This also shows us how he will not except this reality.

    It's great to see Angel in what is a very believable situation. When he and Buffy meet it is played in quite the same way as Wellcome to the Hellmouth. But of course, the audience, now having witnessed their great forbidden love, can't be blamed for finding this scene heart-breaking...you almost want to shout at the screen, "But you LOVE him!"

    Now to the best scene. the one that makes this episode a 10/10 as opposed to a 9/10.

    The "death scene" is simply awesome! Breath-taking. Marvellous. It is expertly shot and scripted, and the synchronised fancy work is so damn good. Giles and Anya's showdown of words interplaying with Buffy killing Xander! Xander killing Angel, Oz killing Willow! All of this being shot in slo-mo whilst we cut to the well-scripted conversation between Giles and Anya, with great lines like, "Brave new world, I hope she likes it".

    The most haunting, disturbing and dare I say, excellent part of the battle is the Master breaking Buffy's neck, Sarah doing a great job with this. It's almost uncomfortable to watch, in fact, it is! Wicked!

    The Wish is so so so so good and an episode that I can watch over and over and over, in fact, there's just not enough over to describe how much i could watch this. And still be....Entertained. Amazed. Powerfully engrossed. And even more of a Buffy fan!

    Fan-staking-tastic.
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