Buffy the Vampire Slayer
As You Were

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Sep: B- | Grade It Now!
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That old spud of mine

Willow. Kitchen. Sulk. Suck. Sigh. "Sigh" is just my shorthand for the complete disgust I have for the whole addiction plot. I can't even complain anymore. I just sigh. Sam clomps into the kitchen and makes a belabored attempt at "stage business" by affectedly pushing a bit of her bangs behind her ear. She apologizes for bringing up a sensitive subject and then…and then…and then she tells Willow a little story about two -- not ONE, but TWO -- shamans the Special Forces had working for them who used dark magic and became addicted. Addicted, JUST LIKE WILLOW! So, see, audience, you mock the magic addiction because you've never heard of it once in the six years the show's been on, but it EXISTS. It really, really does. Because Sam says so. And Sam is a mighty goddess, swept down from the sky, perfect in every regard. Then it gets worse. Sam continues her little exercise in plot justification by telling Willow that the magic-addicted shamans "are gone." Totally gone. Like that episode we just had, called "Gone." And she's never ever met anyone as special and wonderful and great as the great and wonderful and special Willow, who is the only person in the whole wide world who had the power to quit magic before it ate them alive. Writers trotting in tertiary characters to praise and illustrate the worth of lead characters really chaps my hide. Writers trotting in tertiary characters to praise and illustrate the worth of lead characters, while also using said tertiary characters to shore up spurious and poorly developed plot lines, makes me furious. Sam leaves the room, and Willow looks all glowy. Sigh.

Buffy and Sam patrol a cemetery. They walk very…very…very…slowly. I suspect that the actress playing Sam wasn't capable of walking quickly and speaking at the same time. Anyway, Sam's all hero-worshippy of Buffy, both because she's the legendary Slayer and because she's Riley's former love. Buffy seems a little interested to hear that Riley talked about her to Sam, and then we're subjected to Origins Of The Kute Kommando Kouple. Sam was a Peace Corps volunteer whose co-workers were all killed by demons. Somehow that led to her joining the Special Forces, and then to her meeting Riley. After she and Riley had been friends for awhile, he started talking to her about Buffy. Buffy sort of asks if Riley thinks Buffy let him go, and then says she wishes things had been different for them. She's a little nervous about how that sounded to Sam, but Sam assures her that there's no bad guys in the situation. Oh Sam, with your noble and gentle brow, dispensing wisdom. After Sam says, "It took him a year to get over you," Buffy replies that she's glad (he's over her), but actually looks pretty bummed. Unknowingly, Sam doesn't make things any better by chirpily asking if Buffy has a new beau. Buffy stutters about not wanting to "jump into anything" and finishes, "I don't wanna be defined by who I'm with." "Better no guy than the wrong guy," agrees Sam, but before she's even done talking, Buffy says they should split up. She tells Sam she has an informant she wants to see, but she needs to go alone. Sam's happy to run off to see Riley and clomps away, saying, "Don't worry about Ri and me. We're good." "I noticed," mopes Buffy. Oh, boo hoo.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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