Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Him   Rewatch 
March 30, 2016 7:50 PM - Season 7, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Dawn falls for a hot dude, one with an enchanted letterman jacket that makes him irresistible to all women. As Dawn, Buffy, Anya and Willow plot to win him, Spike and Xander work to break the spell.
posted by yellowbinder (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The final episode before the season plot actually hits. And isn't it odd that the last series season plot doesn't actually kick into gear until the seventh episode? I don't think this happens outside season 1!

As Dawn centric episodes go, this is a decent one, and it's really, really funny in places, particularly Buffy and the rocket launcher. I like that seeing Dawn try to take her life snaps Buffy out of the spell, and it gives them a nice moment, which is good, as they won't have anything like that for the remaining epsidoes. Again, it's super frustrating that the show is putting all this groundwork in to make Dawn and Buffy's relationship richer, only to just ignore it.

There are always deeply disturbing implications to love spells. The show mostly avoids them by having RJ not be aware of the powers of the jacket, although the level of obsession created by it seems to conflict with the idea that his brother wore that jacket all through high school. How did no-one notice the horde of women going crazy? It's also kind of quite unfortunate that Buffy, who after all was sexually assaulted last season, sleeps with RJ here, as she is acting under magical compulsion. But this is a very light episode, and it really can't stand up to this kind of examination.

-"I'm not coddling. Now go to your closet."
-Dawn's cheering is great.
-The Breeders are playing the bronze! They get some good guests this season!
-Xander and Willow lust after Dawn. I could live without that.
-"Oh my god I'm the pushy queen of slut town"
-"I don't even want to hear his name anymore!" "...I called him guy in the jacket" "That's what I called him before I knew his name!"
-"His physical presence has a penis."
"I'd kill for him." "You'd kill for a chocolate bar."
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:05 AM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

Absolute soufflé of an episode (which, as Cannon Fodder notes, falls flat if you think about it too hard, so don't do that!) but I think it really only works because RJ's just some doofus and not being malicious (aside from hooking up with Buffy the day after macking on Dawn at the Bronze - not cool, extremely plausible teenage male!) That it remains a goofy romp of Dawn, Buffy, Willow and Anya all acting irrationally love-struck, with no actual villains in play, is perfect.

And what works even better than that is the decision to make all of their choices seem reasonable to the other women under the spell. The split screen with the rocket launcher and Hecate circle and skimask is hilarious on its own, but my favorite bit has to be the dialog of:

WILLOW: "Well, Buffy's gonna kill Principal Wood, and-"
XANDER: "Ok, let's start there!"

Also, Buffy's comically casual cruelty towards Dawn when they're both love-struck, while trying to be helpful in getting Dawn to let go of her crush, is a tightrope that, for me, the episode pulls off. If I recall correctly, this is the last actual "funny" episode, so I'm glad it's actually a successful one.

Oh! And a pre-fame Riki Lindhome cameo!
posted by Navelgazer at 11:44 AM on November 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

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