Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Same Time, Same Place   Rewatch 
March 23, 2016 8:59 PM - Season 7, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Willow gets back into town, but she can't find her friends and they can't see her. When a flayed body turns up, Buffy suspects the missing witch is off the wagon.
posted by yellowbinder (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is a simple, decent episode. A basic central premise which flows from how the characters feel, plus a super creepy gollum alike. I think this is the last time the series will indulge in pure horror (apart from the ghost in Conversations with Dead People), and Gnarl is definitely scary.

I like how everyone reacts to Willow coming back. Anya is deeply annoyed, although also amusingly intrigued by the prospect of sexy magic, Buffy and Dawn are uncomfortable with who Willow will be, Xander just wants to get back to the way things are. I also really enjoy Dawn's deductive skills, and the hilarious posing of her. Dawn is just lots of fun in these earlier episodes.

One thing that does bug me a bit is that when they find a flayed person, they think Willow might have done it. Um, she didn't turn into a flaying demon, she turned into an angry witch! Honestly, you flay one person....

I also really like that in this and the following episodes everyone is allowed to have conversations with each other. They interact as friends! Yay!

-"It's smellementary."
-"I got so much strength I'm giving it away."
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:03 AM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Gnarl (not the Gnarl, just Gnarl) is one of the scariest demons they ever did. The clicking, the taunting, the paralysis, keeping you awake and alive for hours while he strips your skin and laps up the blood. I was worried he would feel too cheesy this watch and nope, still terrifying.

Some fun tricks with time here, showing the same scene twice as Buffy and Willow both are present but can't see each other. Even though I think few viewers have had to reintegrate with their friends a few months after a murderous rampage, it does ring emotionally true as well. I love Willow recuperating in Buffy's old room at the end, and Buffy lending her strength. As Cannon Fodder points out, it's really sweet to see them interacting as friends. Please delay the arrival of those dozens of teenager girls, because I dig early Season 7 so much.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:00 AM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

This one felt like a high school episode (and I do not mean that in a pejorative way) in having someone's emotions play out in a supernatural way. Nthing the enjoyment of seeing the Scoobies interact as friends. I also liked Anya and Willow's interactions, as each of them find some empathy for the other, and it makes me sad that their interactions mostly end after Selfless. Willow-and-Anya are more interesting than 90% of Willow's arc post-Selfless, and 100% of Anya's arc post-Selfless.

The double scene with Spike was clever--he's already been established that he's a bit crazy, so having him interact strangely with Willow the first time we see the scene doesn't ring any alarm bells.

Doing magic subconsciously raises all kinds of questions--what other events might Willow have subconsciously influenced with magic?

Minor annoyance: The coven. I mean, the witches were so frightened when Willow skipped a lesson in Lessons that they sent Giles-on-a-Horse to check on her. Now she apparently goes AWOL, and no one cares enough to do a locator spell and call the Scoobies to tell them that Willow's in Sunnydale (or if Willow's magic is interfering? Willow and Anya are the only ones who remember that locator spells exist and work sometimes?
posted by creepygirl at 12:13 PM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

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