Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Buffy 2x16 - "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered"

"Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" is an episode composed mostly of frivolous fun and a horribly cumbersone title. However, as is common on Buffy, the fun leads to some interesting character moments, as we get some nice developments in Xander's relationship with Cordelia. More after the jump!

"Oh, no, I'm twice the fool it takes to do something like this."

- Xander

While Xander's bone-headedness severs mostly to provide us with laughs, it also ends up proveing to Cordelia that their relationship has legs, and by the end of the episode they really are a couple (as opposed to simply makeout partners). The episode also addresses the social implications of their relationship for Cordelia, which it has mostly dodged thus far. It's an important moment for Cordelia as a character at the end of the episode when she chooses to remain with Xander. It's interesting how this is presented: her choice to remain with Xander doesn't exactly mark a renunciation of her "cool" social status. Instead, it's that status which empowers her to make the decision to do what she wants.

Other than this, the episode is driven mostly by situational humor as various female cast members flirt with Xander. While these, too, contain some character moments, Xander's conflicted feelings toward Buffy and Willow mostly retread familiar territory. More amusing are the scenes involving Drusilla, Jenny Calendar, and Joyce. None of these characters serve much purpose in the story other than to have their moment with Xander and remind us of their continued existence. Likewise Angel and Spike appear but do very little. Much like "Halloween," it's an episode which gets by mostly on the fun of its premise and not on any real drama. And like that episode, it succeeds in that respect pretty much completely. How could the misadventures of Xander be anything but fun?

The episode also features a welcome reappearance by Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy. Whereas she played the role of the victim of her mother's magic in "Witch," we see now that Amy has developed into a somewhat unethical magic user herself. This turn is kind of interesting, or rather it would be if we were given an opportunity to go deeper into her character, but as it stands we don't really know much about her story. Regardless, it's nice to see Amy again, as Allen brings a fun performance. I wonder why she hasn't worked much since Buffy.

Overall there's not much to say about the episode, which is not to say I didn't enjoy it. Because I did. But it begins to strain our credulity in terms of people's ignorance of the supernatural goings-on in Sunnydale (especially Joyce).


  1. This is one of my faves! It's such a fun one, and a nice bit of comic relief to lighten the somber mood! Also, (and I'll discuss this more when you get to season 7) I feel like many episodes of the first half of season 7 are re-vamps (no pun intended) of episodes from the first 3 seasons, because Buffy's back at Sunnydale High, dealing with high school problems again. This is one of the episodes that gets rehashed, in the episode "Him," with the guy with the magic jacket. That rehashing was a pet peeve of mine, because anyone who's been watching from the beginning (all of us) are like, we've seen this before!

  2. This is such a fun episode, but you're right--there's no there there, as it were. Pure forth--but jolly fun.