Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 18

Where the Wild Things Are

6
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 25, 2000 on The WB
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Episode Fan Reviews (20)

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7.2
out of 10
Average
532 votes
  • Probably the worst?

    3.5
    I've read a lot of people hate "Beer Bad" (written by Tracey Forbes as well), but actually it's more interesting see Buffy and other students behaving as cavemen (and get even on that Parker douchebag) than see Riley and Buffy having sex, because is almost unwatchable. First of all, Riley is annoying to me. When he doesn't appear on the season, it was fine. The Willow-Tara relationship look bogged. And Xander is playing spin the bottle, when his very first concern should be Anya and their future . The really highlights on the episode are three people, Anya, Spike and Giles (though the 0.5. that i give is for the Xander's quote "Whoa! Hey! All systems go here. No function thing, okay? You want sex? Let's have sex. Right here, you and me, big, sweaty, sex", and the children seeing that!!!! LOL). The first two (Spike and Anya) are having a conversation, and somehow foreshadows how they are going to be more intimate on future episodes. The last one (Giles) is for his very talented cover "Behind Blue Eyes". Otherwise, this episode would receive a 1.0. Being a fan since Buffy started, this was like a slap on the face to all the devoted fans, "Where the wild things are" seems to me the worst episode from Buffy. As i said, Riley is annoying, then Buffy cannot think on another thing that couldn't be sex instead, then i cannot get the point of the episode. This woman saying that sex is evil. The house is haunted, but, the sex that Riley and Buffy are having is giving the house a force or what!! I don't get it, that the most thing that annoyed me! I can't get it. The pointless reasons about something just piss me off. That's probably the meaning that i hate a lot this episode.
  • Where the Wild Things Are

    3.0
    Wow this is a bad episode -- the worst since "I Robot, You Jane" (1x08)! I'm looking at my there's almost nothing there. This is going to be a very short review. The savior of this episode from getting no points at all is Spike, Anya, and Giles. Anya is having unfounded relationship issues with Xander, Spike is simply bored, and Giles turns out to have a singing hobby. The failure of this episode is, well, the fact that the entire plot involves Buffy and Riley having lots and lots of steamy sex. If you love seeing Buffy and Riley having nonstop sex then you may want to look away from this review!



    Early on there's a scene between Xander and Anya that is very entertaining. Anya thinks that because her and Xander didn't have sex the previous evening their relationship is ending. After Xander starts defending himself, Anya asks him if there's something wrong with his body. Then Xander, wanting to prove his functionality, says "You want sex? Let's have sex. Right here. Hot, sweaty, big It turns out that as he was saying this a bunch of customers were amusingly standing right outside his ice cream truck.



    The highlight of the episode is definitely the resulting interaction between Anya and Spike. These two definitely have a lot in common and enjoy sharing time together. They chat up how much they miss their carnage. Anya says, "Seen a thousand relationships. First there's the love, and sex, and then there's nothing left but the vengeance. That's how it When Xander sees Anya with Spike, he begins to get a bit worried. This is just an amusing little conflict between them that doesn't last through the episode.



    I need to point out how much I love how abused fraternity parties get in BtVS. Xander even points out, "A ghost? What's the deal? Is every frat on this campus haunted? And if so, why do people keep coming to these parties, cause it's not the My question is, why do the Scoobies keep going to these parties? They all look horrendously bored every time (as I would be) and nothing good ever comes from going. Anyway, the plot is just overall extremely boring. There's some repressed ghosts of some sorts being fueled by Buffy and Riley's sexual energy. But haven't Buffy and Riley had sex in Riley's room before, more than once in fact? Why are these ghosts manifesting now? Am I missing something? Even if the plot made sense it's still a terrible idea. And that's about it. Sorry this ends so abruptly, but I really don't have anything else to talk about. Terrible episode. :(
  • Wow this is a bad episode -- the worst since "I Robot, You Jane"!

    1.0
    I'm looking at my there's almost nothing there. This is going to be a very short review. The savior of this episode from getting no points at all is Spike, Anya, and Giles. Anya is having unfounded relationship issues with Xander, Spike is simply bored, and Giles turns out to have a singing hobby. The failure of this episode is, well, the fact that the entire plot involves Buffy and Riley having lots and lots of steamy sex. If you love seeing Buffy and Riley having nonstop sex then you may want to look away from this review!



    Early on there's a scene between Xander and Anya that is very entertaining. Anya thinks that because her and Xander didn't have sex the previous evening their relationship is ending. After Xander starts defending himself, Anya asks him if there's something wrong with his body. Then Xander, wanting to prove his functionality, says "You want sex? Let's have sex. Right here. Hot, sweaty, big It turns out that as he was saying this a bunch of customers were amusingly standing right outside his ice cream truck.



    The highlight of the episode is definitely the resulting interaction between Anya and Spike. These two definitely have a lot in common and enjoy sharing time together. They chat up how much they miss their carnage. Anya says, "Seen a thousand relationships. First there's the love, and sex, and then there's nothing left but the vengeance. That's how it When Xander sees Anya with Spike, he begins to get a bit worried. This is just an amusing little conflict between them that doesn't last through the episode.



    I need to point out how much I love how abused fraternity parties get in BtVS. Xander even points out, "A ghost? What's the deal? Is every frat on this campus haunted? And if so, why do people keep coming to these parties, cause it's not the My question is, why do the Scoobies keep going to these parties? They all look horrendously bored every time and nothing good ever comes from going. Anyway, the plot is just overall extremely boring. There's some repressed ghosts of some sorts being fueled by Buffy and Riley's sexual energy. But haven't Buffy and Riley had sex in Riley's room before, more than once in fact? Why are these ghosts manifesting now? Am I missing something? Even if the plot made sense it's still a terrible idea. And that's about it. Sorry this ends so abruptly, but I really don't have anything else to talk about. Terrible episode. :(
  • Buffy/Riley sexfest

    7.0
    The Good;

    Nice that with Buffy and Riley ahem, preoccupied the other Scoobs have a chance to shine for a change.



    The Bad;

    Vines look a little lame but apart from that all good.



    Best line;

    Giles "Do you really think they're keeping it up? Oh for a different phrasing"



    Women good/men bad;

    In this case a female villain, the religious zealot 'carer'



    Jeez!;

    The drowning scenes are horrible, a very primal human fear.



    Kinky dinky;

    Basically one big marathon sex session between Buffy and Riley (at least they use protection) plus the house sending sexual energy surging through it's inhabitants. Plus Anya and Xander in the ice-cream van. Anya comments that Xander and she both like his penis. Apparently there's only been 2 nights where Xander and Anya haven't had sex, to paraphrase Buffy 'Xander is quite the machine' Xander gets to kiss the lovely Julie. Xander refers to a big bursting poltergasm.



    Calling Captain Subtext;

    Anya, Tara and Willow seem remarkably keen on Giles playing his guitar (Willow always had a thing for guitarists) again suggesting bi-Willow and even bi-Tara. Her revelation about her crush must have had Gillow fans going into overtime. Tara has a moment of ***phobia due to the house's influence. Spike and Anya bond over their past evil. Spike seems to want to be heroic when Xander asks for volunteers to rescue Buffy? Willow seems scared of horses although she seems to have gotten over that by the end of season 5. Tara tells Willow she can come 'Riding with me sometime' Ohhhhh matron! Willow asks Buffy if she still loves her despite having spilt 'something purple' on her peasant blouse (the answer is yes). Spike says that love is a terrible thing just as he does in 'Lover's Walk'. 'Dingoes ate my baby' poster visible for the last time.



    Scoobies to the ER;

    Anya and Xander are pretty cut up by the end but their injuries seem to heal pretty fast, perhaps because they're mystical?



    Where's Dawn?

    Home with Joyce



    Apocalypses; 5,



    Wheldon Cliches (with kind permission from Boo)



    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1



    Scoobies knocked out:

    Buffy: 15

    Giles: 10

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 8

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 2

    Wes: 1



    Kills:

    Buffy: 1 demon for Buffy so 79 vamps, 27 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 5 vamps, 1 demon

    Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon

    Will: 4 vamps

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 5 vamps, 2 zombies, a demon, a demon

    Anya: a demon

    Riley; 1 vamp for Riley so 12 vamps + 6 demons



    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 2



    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 6

    Giles: 3

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 3



    Recurring characters killed: 7

    Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh



    Total number of scoobies: 6 actually going to reduce this as Spike not officially a Scooby by a long way

    Giles, Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Riley,



    Xander demon magnet: 5

    Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?)



    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4



    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

    Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 3; Angel, Parker, Riley

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Joyce: 1;Giles, possibly Ted

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 1;Oz



    Questions and observations;

    What the heck does Xander mean when he refers to people going 'all Felicity with their hair'? Anya's humanity is still a work in process despite her having a soul. Once more, Buffy goes christian bashing.

    Marks out of 10; 7/10 good ep without being brilliant

    _________________

  • Season 4, Episode 18.

    3.0
    Buffy and Riley's relationship reaches a new level, and they are constantly having sex. However, the constant "action" awakens a dark energy in the Lowell house, and it is up to the Scoobies to save the day without the help of Buffy and Riley.

    I didn't really like this episode. I like the episode title and I thought the plot concept was good but the way it played out was bad. But seeing Riley naked was great. :) It wasn't really such a great episode, but I liked seeing Kathryn Joosten. All the people seemed like they had Psychological Disorders. It was a very weird episode. Season 4 is going back to the crappy episodes, which isn't good, especially after a streak of good episodes.
  • I don't understand what's so bad about this episode; the plot works, the dialogue is great and it has some good acting.

    8.5
    Where The Wild Things Are is an episode that gets a lot of hate and criticism from most people and it is often regarded as one of the worst episodes of Buffy and I just don't understand why. Nauseating Buffy/Riley scenes aside, it's a great episode.

    I liked the story of Lowell House and the manifestations of the rage and oppression from the previous inhabitants. It was a bit weird and not really understandable but I liked it nonetheless. I like the sexual vibes going about and the creepy old lady was an interesting character. I was sort of hoping Giles would punch her seeing as she's so very, very evil but I'm glad something got said to her at least.

    The Anya/Spike scenes were brilliant. These two are so funny together and I'm sad they didn't much interaction as they play off each other really well. Emma Caulfield has really eased into the role of Anya and is giving brilliant delivery every episode. I also like the Xander/Anya scenes as I'm a big fan of them and they're so funny together.

    I like Willow and Tara getting closer also- they're like my joint favourite couple in the verse (a 4 way tie between them, Buffy/Spike, Angel/Cordelia and Angel/Darla) so any scene of them is gold in my book.

    Giles singing was unexpected and creepy. He has a nice voice (weird!) but I found it unsettling (I agree with Xander for once!). I don't know why but Giles is just constant and it's weird when he's not being the grown up. Tony Head should so have a music career though.

    The Buffy/Riley scenes were nauseating. Buffy may be very hot (or she is when she's not a stick anyway) but she has no chemistry with Riley. It's so forced and annoying and it's just like AAAH! stop.

    Where The Wild Things Are is a great episode that I seem to be alone in liking. I thought it was nice, filler fun and way better that Superbore- sorry I mena Superstar!
  • Where the Wild Things Are

    8.5
    Where the Wild Things Are was a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This episode was filled with passion and desire. The story was good, and it was interesting to see how it all originated. This episode was more or less a ghost themed episode, and there were some disturbing circumstances. The origins of the ghosts was a foster house run by a religious old woman with an iron fist of intolerance. It was also interesting to see another side of Giles, and the gang was just as surprised. Willow and Tara are growing closer together too which a fun thing to watch unfold.
  • What a piece of J-U-N-K!!! Buffy can offer more than this!!!

    0.1
    Where the Wild Things Are is the WORST thing that has ever happened in TV and the WORST episode in this whole galaxy. Even Charmed's Lucky Charmed and Smallville's Ageless had done MUCH better than this. This is the first time I rated an episode 0.1. Seriously. Oh, gosh. Where do I even start? This is a FILLER episode and I'm surprised it got more rating than Beer Bad. 20 minutes of this episode was spent in showing Riley and Buffy sex, UNNEEDED one and so grossful. There was no plot -- there was nothing in this episode. It's an empty shell!! What the hell is this episode trying to tell us? The actors were awful!!! I guess they were frowning when they read the script too. And David Solomon is the director? What the-- what is happening to the world, people? I just have to complain about all the sex................................. YUCK!!!! Riley and Buffy and love does not go in a word!!! They are not a suitable pair. They were a terrible pair. I was jumping out of my seat and clapping my hands when Riley finally left in season five's Into The Woods. I HATE this episode. Who else is with me? Let's all rate this piece-a junk called "episode" 0.1. Urgh!!! Why 6.9? Grrrrr!!! Shoot, I can't even tell you how mad I am now. I hoped I talked some sense into at least some of you.
  • You get fang, I'll get Horny

    7.0
    This is probably my least favorite episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It's hard to find enjoyment in 40 minutes of Buffy and Riley getting it on. Luckily, there are other redeeming aspects to the episode. I love haunted house type stuff, so I really enjoyed that aspect of it. It's probably why I also consider "Fear, Itself" to be a better episode than "Halloween".

    There were plenty of funny moments, like Xander and Anya in the Ice Cream truck, Anya and Spike in the alley, Xander and Anya at the party, and the Scoobs running into Giles playing "Behind Blue Eyes" at the coffee shop.

    I think it really speaks to the quality of the series when my least favorite episode manages to still be good enough to garner a 7.
  • In this episode of BTVS, Buffy and Riley frequently get it on causing the spirit of an old orphanage to make strange things happen. blah..blah..blah..

    8.0
    Obviously, the plot is a little lame. Buffy doesn't do much in this episode-except Riley and leaves the rest of the gang to figure things out. This episode annoyed me greatly, mostly because it was so hard to figure out the plot. I usually just watch this episode for laughs. As much as the plot disappoints we still get to see GILES SINGING and that is one of those series moments for me. After saying all that, I still wouldn't call it "one of the worst" episodes. I don't think it is really that bad. Its fun it watch and is just a little break from some of the more serious (and smarter) episodes from season four.
  • Where the Bizarrer Things Are

    4.9
    Where The Wild Things Are-Buffy and Riley's relationship has reached a new level, and they are spending all their time in bed. Their round-the-clock exploration of each other awakens dark energies in Lowell House, and it is up to the Scoobies to save the day.

    One of the most bizarre episodes of Buffy as well as the most tedious and gratious, "Where the Wild Things Are" starts off a bit intriguing but just more annoying to watch as you go along. Watching Buffy and Riley become sex addicts for whole hour is vomit-inducing, not to mention the shaky, nauseating cameras that focused on those scenes. The whole sexual induced poltergist in the Frathouse just didn't make sense, of course, the Hellmouth could have caused it, but it's never really explained. Some moments work like the red head cutting her hair, but the whole orgasm wall was just weird. There are some decent scares but they are so few and far in between.

    Xander and Anya, were literally the only saving grace in the episode. Having their first fight, it's funny watching them interact through the episode, epsecially at the party. It's also great how they managed to save the day in the end. Despite some nice lines from Xander like "one big poltergasm" and "people going all Felicity with their hair", "Where The Wild Things Are" suffers from an intriguing plot that poorly executed and comes out as a complete mess of an hour. By the way, Giles' mini-performance at the town cafe lounge and the gang finding him there with their shocked reactions was priceless.
  • ugh... i cant believe it! this got to be the worst episode of the whole buffy show.

    5.8
    if i havent hated riley before, i would have hate him in this episode. riley just made me hate him more than any character in this show. he is just so useless. buffy and riley just kept doing it, it was just annoying. they were just so dumb. not caring about their friends. the whole concept was just ridiculous. joss could have done so much better.

    the only part i like in this episode was where giles was singing and the gang was looking shocked. that was just priceless. it was so funny. also, spike was funny in this episode with anya. when he and anya went to the party and outside the house where he 'wanted' to help buffy and riley.
  • Oh my god, my eyes!!!!!

    4.9
    This episode was unoriginal and boring... nothing exciting happened in it.... i enjoyed Anya being more involved in the episode, and the episodes following, but i felt that Riley/Buffy sex scenes were old and boring and the writers simply ran out of idea's for their relationship. At this stage someone like Cordy needed to cross over to lighten up the atmosphere of the show as it was running dry and fading away....
    I was bored to tears in the the first 10 minutes and i simply could not continue watching....
    The writers ahve let me down... .... .... .... .... ...
    Season four let me down...
  • Riley and Buffy do it a lot

    6.3
    If you like lots of sex you'll love this episode of Buffy, because that's all there really was to the episode. Riley and Buffy were having sex in a crazy house that was haunted by ghosts.

    Okay the best part was Giles singing at the coffee shop. I loved the looks on Willow, Xander, and Tara's faces when they saw him singing and playing the guitar. I loved how Willow brought up having a crush on Giles before because that was cute.

    Buffy and Riley were having too much sex and it was just annoying and wrong. I mean you knew that they had sex but they had to remind you too much.

    Anya and Xander were amusing but annoying at the same time. I loved when Xander asked Anya if she wanted to have sex when they were in the ice cream truck and then all the little kids were looking at them. Anya was annoying when she kept whining to Xander about them not having sex I really wanted to smack her for that.

    Spike scaring Anya and trying to get her to give him her money was slightly amusing. I can't believe that Anya drug him to the party at Riley's house. Anya and Spike yelling at each other when they got there was funny too. I liked when they got there and Spike was pissing Xander off he started yelling about Hostile 17.

    The house was comical but lame. That old lady was insane I loved seeing Giles tell her off. It was great to see Tara Giles and Willow trying to use magic with the children's spirits. I loved Anya and Xander going into the house to get Buffy and Riley out. The first time when Xander got thrown out was too funny though.

    This was a funny episode but it was all stupid funny without any real good funny which made it a bad episode.
  • "Is every frat on this campus haunted? And if so, why do people keep coming to these parties? It’s not the snacks!" - Xander

    9.3
    Xander has a point, but then again, hasn’t every party that the gang ever attended gone terribly wrong? At least there’s an orgasm wall at this shindig. So, anyway, Buffy still has Faith hair and horrible trousers and, like her alter-ego, slaying still makes her hungry and horny, so she and Riley have to work off a little steam back at the frat-house. Obviously, people have been having sex in the house for 40-odd years (even tightass Forrest and dullsville Graham must have got some), but then again with the super-strength of Riley and Buffy, it makes sense that their super-sex would release the poltergeisty sexual energy. We all know about Buffy’s stamina after all. As Buffy and Riley are spending too much time in bed together (and the whole episode is a metaphor for when two lovers are so wrapped up in each other that they forget the outside world), Xander and Anya are (temporarily) falling apart. “We have nothing in common except we both like your penis!” states Anya. Her insecurity is caused by her observation of romance through the ages and she starts to believe that Xander is going off her because he, for once, preferred sleep to her body. Xander, in the meantime, has a fab new job as an ice-cream man, but even free lollies don’t make Anya want to accompany him to the party and she instead starts bonding with Spike over love, vengeance and lack of demonic power. Spike says: “It’s a terrible thing love is – burnt me”, just as Buffy and Riley are stoking the sexual repression fire which keeps them trapped in their love-making spiral, which sets aflame another frat boy and literally makes the earth move. At least they’re using condoms.

    Meanwhile back at the SEX party (the 6 p.m. BBC version of this ep was cut down to 15 mins), Xander is flirting with a new girl and it’s all fun and “sophisticated college” spin-the-bottle games until someone loses their hair. Because the sexy feelings, under the jurisdiction of Mrs Landingham Holt, lead to shame, enforced bath baptisms and punishment, there was no room for normal sexual development and so a bubble of pent-up sexual energy was just waiting to be released onto the hellmouth.
    The third couple are keeping themselves under control, although their innuendos are all over the place. “You should ride with me sometime,” says Tara to Willow, “I guarantee safety and fun”. Willow is interested, but suddenly Tara goes all abused-child on her, saying it’s “disgusting” and running away. The condemnation of Mrs Holt’s severe regime is also a criticism of the religious right and their attempts to cleanse adolescents of impure thoughts, homosexuality etc.
    When Tara snaps out of it, the gang have to go find Giles who is enjoying some “grown-up time” at the Espresso Pump, doing a Friends-style acoustic set. Unfortunately the SEXiness of the party has spilled over into the coffee shop and Tara, Willow and Anya get all googly-eyed over Giles and his geetar. “Now I remember why I used to have such a crush on him,” says Willow, explaining why she had a photo of the Watcher in her locker in S1. However, unlike in the early slashfic, Xander has no interest in Giles and asks the gals to stop “fueling the fire”. Yep watch out, else you’ll get burned!
    Whilst Giles, Willow and Tara do a spell, Xander and Anya have to return to the house of SEX. Spike (after being strapped to a chair yet again - the boy sure loves his bondage) and Anya are both unwilling to help, but she is prepared to fight to save Xander – she is becoming less demon and more human due to her love for him. Spike seriously wants his powers back, Anya only does when she is annoyed with her boyf. She and Xander hack through the Sleeping Beauty (another story all about purity and sexuality) style thorns and vines to wake Riley and Buffy from their SEX sleep. Now, let’s hope Buffy learns and doesn’t get overly attached to anyone else in the next 3 series!
  • Not that great...

    6.9
    Anya: (to Xander) I'm just trying to tell you that we have nothing in common besides both of us liking your penis, and now I don't even have that!

    The most sex-obsessed Buffy episode ever! However, despite the thin plot and pretty dull characters, Willow and Tara have a few nice character moments.
  • I feel a bit schizophrenic about this episode.

    6.5
    When Riley and Buffy's lovemaking gets a little...energetic...they awaken spirits of repressed children.

    Okay: the best way to handle this is by taking Buffy and Riley out of the episode, since that is basically what the plot does. Any scene with Riley and Buffy is strictly sex and its not artful in the way Angel/Buffy was. This was strictly cable-type sex on a network channel and eats up much too much time.

    However, the scenes with the spirits are mostly successful with a few being genuinely creepy. The girl who cuts off all of her hair is really good in her dramatic scene. It was also a good scene with the old house-mistress who starts out as a sweet-old lady during her interview and then turns into a repressive "your all sinners" nutbar.

    Mostly though, this episode is just an unnecessary time waster. At least Riley and Buffy use condoms!
  • 'So, with Buffy and Riley havin' you know, acts of nakedness around the clock, lately, maybe they set something free. Like a big, bursting poltergasm.'

    9.0
    ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ was a very neat episode with a very neat name, but it could have been even neater if they had used more ghost-ly stuff and less party-stuff.

    Buffy and Riley were very horny during the entire episode, I actually liked that they were for once the ones that had to be saved. I liked the sex scenes which really made the show grow up more and pass the shy-phase. I think their sex scenes were well used and not just an excuse to get people naked.

    The episode also dealt with Xander’s and Anya’s relationship about guess what? Sex. Anya thinks that he doesn’t find her attractive because he hasn’t had sex for two nights. Anya and him break up, sort of and have a fight up until the end when they make up for it when crazy Anya saves Xander out of the bathtub.

    The third relationship went about Willow and Tara and if you couldn’t feel the sexual tension between them, then you were blind or whatever. It was very obvious they felt for one another and the scene where they talked about horses made it more clear.

    There were so many good elements, Giles singing which was a blast and the way Willow looked at him. The way the poltergeist thing was used with repressed ghost-kids who ended up in the bathtub and looked pretty creepy, they were abused by an old lady who told them that sex was bad (so typical).

    But there were also downsides to it, I’ve really hated the excuses on how to give Spike screen time, his scenes and lines seem so very useless and annoying, even though I did like his scene with Anya at the bronze. The party was the big downside, it was to much focused on and it felt like the writers didn’t know another way how to fill the episode.

    All in all, it was a great episode and very underrated, not everything was entirely great but definitely far from bad, the mystery was well done and it had some sort of a creepy tone to it.
    A very nice episode that could have been a lot better.

  • Sure it's a filler episode, but it really got some good stuff in it.

    8.3
    I like this episode! At lot of you people out there are asking me now how can that be?
    I tell you: First of all this is the first episode since a long time where at least some of the characters go out in the world, face the bad things there instead of being involved in there circles. I just thought finally there’s something other than just their love live and some stupid daemons! Sure Buffy and Riley are still just involved with each other, but to all those who think that they just hate all the sex in TV and especially here in this episode I just want to show you one point: This is one of the few episodes who really shows us sex, in most other shows they always talk about it, but all are afraid to show something. I give Buffy much credit, to not just talk about it, they show it. Now you might think: That’s even worse! Then I say, think about the reality: People don’t talk about sex, there just having it! (by the way, one of the biggest problems in for relationships and all safer sex campaigns) It’s way more realistic, this way, than the other way around.
    And the funny scene at the end when Buffy says it was horrible and Riley says that too, I really had to laugh out loud.
    But in one point you really can’t give this episode much credit: The story isn’t that good and it’s more a filler episode, but not a bad one.
  • Overall, this episode tries to approach character development through a sexually-charged plot concept, but the limitations of a network series made it impossible to follow through.

    6.0
    This is one of those episodes that has the feel of fan fiction: lots of talk about sex and sex itself with some character development tossed in for good measure. And in some cases, that would actually be worth the time and effort. However, this is the fourth season, where the writing staff had been struggling with the season arc for quite a while. With only a handful of episodes left for the season, it’s hard not to wonder if the writers just wanted to pretend that the season arc didn’t exist.

    Two topics come along in the teaser, but only one of them is carried through the rest of the episode. First and foremost, Buffy and Riley have resolved the relatively minor Faith issue and resumed their physical relationship with gusto. Having spent a great deal of time finding each other before taking it to the next level, there’s little or no hesitation at this point. Buffy is clearly enjoying the prospect of a boyfriend without curses or other such issues, and Riley must be enjoying what all those little Slayer muscles can do.

    There’s also the growing awareness that vampires and demons are working together. As Giles notes, this is unusual. This touches on something that was highlighted in the “Angel” episode “Hero”: the more pure an Earth-bound demon is, the more they seem to feel disdain for vampires, who are the mutts of demonic society. For vampires and demons to come together is seen as a major threat. Is it a question of numbers? It’s hard to tell, but why this is a specifically challenging threat is never explained.

    Meanwhile, in counterpoint to the Buffy/Riley relationship (and even the Willow/Tara pairing), Xander and Anya are having relationship issues. Xander is still spinning the Wheel of Crappy Temporary Jobs, and has hit on “ice cream man”. Anya, however, is more intent on understanding why Xander might want a night off here and there. Leaving aside the question of what they do when Anya is dealing with her monthly biological ordeal, it’s clear that their relationship has avoided depth through a purely physical expression. That has it’s time and place, but sooner or later, the lack of any other connection becomes overwhelming.

    At the center of the episode is yet another repeat of a central “Buffy” theme: sex can have unanticipated consequences. The message is blurred by the fact that it’s the sum total of repressed sexual and violent emotions, caused by an ultra-religious suppression of those emotions, that leads to the trouble. So which is it? Is frisky young adult sexual activity normal, or is it more trouble than it’s worth? The writers can’t seem to make up their minds, can they?

    Whatever the case, in this particular matter, the issue is more focused: when sex becomes the sole focus of a relationship, it’s a bad sign. As interesting as this topic might be, there are limits to how deeply the topic can be explored. The first sex scene between Buffy and Riley goes about as far as it could have, given the demands of a series on a major network with lots of programming censors. As the episode marches on, this inability to fully explore the effect of the “spell” on Buffy and Riley takes something away from the episode.

    Similarly, as the effects begin to spill out into the rest of the party, there’s the running gag of the “instant orgasm” spot on the wall, as discovered by some of the partygoers. Like the scenes with Buffy and Riley, this is never taken quite as far at it could have been. The idea is that the unanswered sexual desires of the teenagers who used to live at the house, and the consequences thereof, are being unleashed on the partygoers. If those same desires drove Buffy and Riley to extremes, why not everyone else?

    The answer, of course, is that the effects had to be a bit more tame than they should be, thanks to the limitations of network television. A more “realistic” approach would have probably been closer to one of those ludicrous Cinemax “supernatural sex thrillers”. A lot of the consequences would have likely been the same, but there certainly would have been a lot more skin and darker elements of mind control. In terms of the fan fiction-esque quality of the episode, a fanfic writer would have certainly taken this into far more lurid and graphic territory.

    Meanwhile, the writers do score some points by inserting a number of great Spike/Anya scenes. Spike and Anya are both characters with demonic pasts who have been forced into a different kind of lifestyle, and so there’s plenty of fertile ground to explore. Hearing Anya and Spike think back on all those bygone, carefree days of slaughter is damned funny.

    With the central premise missing a lot of its bite, the episode rests on metaphor and character development. Anya does what many people do: she only realizes a lack of deeper intimacy when the physical relationship slows down. Her response, of course, is to accuse, to point at Xander and say that it’s his problem that the relationship is in doubt. In reality, of course, both are struggling to find something other than the physical that binds them together.

    Oddly, Xander shows a little more confidence than usual when dealing with Julie. Granted, she’s under a bit of unusual influence herself, driving her towards a heightened attraction, but Xander doesn’t embarrass himself nearly so much as he normally would. One could interpret that as being a by-product of his “success” with Anya, except that this confidence is fleeting at best. (Xander’s character arc is more like a tangle of string that ends where it begins.)

    While the poltergeist activity gets more and more extreme, the sexual component backpedals. By the middle of the episode, instead of intensifying, it actually becomes less suggestive. Sure, there’s some writhing, moaning, and all that, but the extent of the control over their desires is not fully communicated. The episode itself draws a parallel between the intensity of the sexual activity and the extent of the poltergeist activity, so as events escalate, Buffy and Riley should be driven to more and more extremes. (And since the sixth season went into some rather kinky directions, it would have been possible.)

    To make up for that, the writers try to develop a metaphor: just as Buffy and Riley have been withdrawing into their own world since their relationship started (though not as much as the metaphor requires), the effect of the “spell” isolates them more and more within their passion. This leaves the rest of the gang to save them. In a nice change of pace, Xander is the one leading the charge.

    This allows for some of the funnier moments of the episode: Spike convincing himself not to act, the gang’s reaction to Giles’ performance, Xander’s response to Mrs. Holt. And the fact that Xander and Anya end up trying to rescue Buffy and Riley perfectly sets the stage for them to figure out what they mean to one another.

    Oddly, a lot of the effects don’t seem to last very long. Xander keeps his facial wound, but Anya’s hand doesn’t seem to bother her much. More to the point, for two people who were screwing each other to death, Buffy and Riley seem no worse for the wear. If anything, they seem to look back on the marathon session fondly. (And who can really blame them, if the downside was no negligible?)

    Perhaps the most annoying aspect of this episode is that it doesn’t replace what should have been (an escalation of the arc) with an equally compelling or memorable concept. For this episode to leave the impact intended, it would have needed to go much darker and deeper into the effects of the house on those within. Instead, even the character arcs didn’t quite come together. For every attempt the writers make to drive home the point of the fourth season, that the group was falling apart, the theme would be undermined by the lack of evidence. After all, it’s hard to demonstrate that people are growing far apart when they’re always fighting together!
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