And here I thought “Pangs” was a return to comedic form. “Something Blue” puts its predecessor to shame in the humour department and is certainly the funniest episode of season four thus far. Using a story this hilarious to explore the fallout from Oz’s departure is a surprising choice but, ultimately, it’s the right one. Yes, losing your first boyfriend must deliver its share of pain, but our melodrama quotient has already been met by Buffy and Angel, and the fresh take is very much appreciated. About the only criticism I have of this episode is that it took too long to arrive; Oz left a whole three episodes ago, making this feel more like a revisit than a continuation. Still, that’s a small quibble about an otherwise exceptional piece of television.
The biggest gag here is, of course, Buffy and Spike’s engagement, a turn that’s utterly ridiculous to begin with and is brought to even greater heights as everyone plays it to the hilt; the happy couple’s excessive PDAs, Buffy playing with the miniature bride and groom, Spike trying to ingratiate himself to the Scoobies, and Giles having to (blindly) endure all of the above. The gag even gets some added mileage as an ironic prequel to their relationship. Beyond that, the episodes peppered with countless other jokes, both big and small; Xander doing his usual “on the run” routine when he’s made a demon magnet, Amy de-ratting and re-ratting in the space of a couple lines, D’Hoffryn extending a job offer to Willow, the list goes on.
The lesson in all of this is that, no matter what pain you might be in, don’t take it out on the people trying to help you. D’Hoffryn’s not entirely wrong in assuming that Willow’s deliberately wreaking vengeance on her friends. Obviously, she doesn’t intend to cause this kind of harm, but the comments that cause the inadvertent spell casting are all invariably bitchy. Not super-bitchy, this is still Willow we’re talking about, but whenever her friends offer anything but an indulgence of what she’s going through, she has a cutting and/or sarcastic response. While certainly normal, the attitude isn’t healthy and things aren’t set right until Willow recognizes the impact her behaviour is having on her friends.
I haven’t got a lot more to say about “Something Blue.” It’s a consistently great episode and, coming after the nearly as good “Pangs” and the utterly brilliant “Hush” it’s almost enough to make me think this season is finally on track. Of course, I know better.
We don’t get much of The Initiative this episode. Not that I miss it, but the season arc is in desperate need of focus and asides like this, no matter how entertaining, don’t help that.
“Stop that, I can hear the smacking.”