I’d like to test that theory.

Two to Go (Douglas Petrie)/Grave (David Fury)


I’m about to commit heresy. Alyson Hannigan isn’t very good as Dark Willow. The terrible dialogue that she was saddled with didn’t help her. “Get off, superbitch” (a throwback to “This Year’s Girl”) and “Cause I’ve turned pro” are just two of the clunkers littering the script.

Two to Go - Willow tries to look scary

I have no idea whether it was AH’s choice or the directors’ or the showrunners’ to have her so one-note as if she is controlling a great rage but unfortunately she appears as if she is suppressing nothing. It’s as if there is zilch going on under the surface: it’s all shallow water (a puddle even) and highly disappointing. We get a glimpse of the Hannigan magic, and what she can do, when she collapses into tears and into Xander’s arms.

Grave - willow in xander's arms

“Villains” now seems a fantastic episode compared with these two. The opportunity for an exploration of Willow’s character was generally passed up for laughable sequences such as Willow tearing down the police station (and screaming) and riding on top of the cab of a truck. The scene between Buffy and Willow at Rack’s is the notable exception except that Willow is more perceptive about Buffy than she is about herself.

Two To Go - Dawn shuffles into shot with Willow and Buffy

Willow murders Rack (though interestingly what she does to him which kills him doesn’t kill Giles when she does it to him) and nobody cares. Unless I missed the note informing us that Rack isn’t human, she kills a man and nobody cares.

Two to Go - Willow murders Rack

Talking of not caring, I really really don’t care about Spike and his challenges to get – – – a soul – – – and not what Buffy has coming to her. A gigantic yawn of a mislead which kept getting in the way of the main story.

[Discussion question: did Spike ruin Buffy?]

Grave - tacky spire (er temple)

The special effects in Buffy are generally cheesy but that’s no problem for someone raised on Blake’s 7. However, the spire (aka temple) at the random bluff we have never heard of before was tacky and off-putting. Well, not completely off-putting so that the scene between Willow and Xander isn’t beautiful and moving.

It was good of Willow to take time off from ending the misery of all of us to give Buffy something to do in the finale.

One of my other disappointments with Buffy is the complete failure to do something interesting with Dawn. No wonder folk don’t like her when she is written so implausibly and immaturely. The promise we see as she fights the demons alongside Buffy was sadly not capitalised on.


I liked Anya and Xander’s conversation:

I care if you live or die, Xander. I’m just not sure which one I want.

Again with the comfort. Look, we both know things might get ugly at, uh, Wiccapalooza. And if it gets really bad…

Let me guess. You’ll propose?

The fight between Willow and Buffy was no Faith/Buffy face-off, which was unsatisfactory.

Two to Go - Giles - I'd like to test that theory

Giles’ appearance at the end of “Two to Go” was the bestest thing eva. However, as Andy put it, the laughter from Giles when he hears the summation of S6 from Buffy is a bit rich because we had to sit through it and it wasn’t actually funny.

Andy reckons S6 isn’t so bad and thinks my sad fannishness (not that he called it that) is the reason why I don’t like it. I’m not so sure that he is right because there is so much fabulous Tara stuff in S6 and I still don’t like it as a whole. I have no desire to watch episodes like “Smashed”, “Wrecked”, “Gone”, “Doublemeat Palace” and “As You Were” ever again and I think that is the worst thing I can say about Buffy.

I’m going to try very hard while watching S7 (alongside Angel S4) to be positive. I will be banning the words “I don’t care” because ultimately this a TV show created by Joss Whedon and, honestly, despite what I also say about Dollhouse, I do care.

Bored now

Villains (Marti Noxon)

The ending of this is vile. Truly Willow is Dark. Cold blooded murder. Nasty.

Coolest scene: Willow absorbing the dark magic and going dark. A chilling and memorable moment.


Poor Dawn. The only emotional part of this episode is her sitting in the dark, shocked “I didn’t want to leave her alone.”


I’ll also put Xander and Buffy’s muted reaction to the news of Tara’s death down to shock. At least Buffy looks concerned and I’m sure there is plenty of time to pay proper tribute to her. OK, I’ll stop snarking and think positively.

The conversation between Buffy, Xander and Dawn is heavy handed but otherwise this episode is good. Willow’s reaction is in character. Vampire Willow was a sadistic, cruel piece of work.

Why can’t Dawn go with Buffy? It is so bloody boring that she has got to kept safe all the bleeding time. And her sister’s the Slayer: teach her self defence, Buffy. And, this really bugs me. I know that Buffy is depressed and that’s one of the reasons she works in a burger bar but why couldn’t she have become a fitness instructor or someone who works in a gym?

Spike in “Africa” was tedious and I hate being mislead by his use of “bitch”. It’s okay for Warren to use it because I think he might be a misogynist. Not sure though, it’s kinda subtle.

My word, Adam Busch is a hairy chap. I hope Amber got paid the full amount for this episode even though she did spend a lot of time lying on the floor.

I’m glad he’s dead and only two to go except they renege on that promise.


I can only imagine how frustrating it must have been to watch S6 in real time and for it to wind up over three episodes and three weeks. It’s too long.

Buffy’s hair was very nice.


Your shirt

Seeing Red (Steven S. DeKnight)

seeing-red-amber benson in the credits

The teaser finishes and straight away I’m calling the makers of Buffy bastards as Amber Benson appears in the credits.

Andy and I had a very long discussion about this episode after we watched it.

[Followed by a discussion about the implications of  “Normal Again” and sexual violence on TV and particularly in Mad Men.]


We discussed the ambiguity of Spike’s attempted rape of Buffy. If Spike was human and if Buffy was an ordinary woman and if they hadn’t been involved in a violent abusive relationship then there would be no ambiguity. It seems an appropriately sad and tacky culmination to the Buffy and Spike relationship. The fade to black for an advert break was pretty outrageous though. I hadn’t actually given the incident any thought at any time because I was distracted by the other important event so it made a change to consider it.

I asked Andy for his reaction to Tara’s death (I hesitate to call it murder when manslaughter seems more appropriate) bearing in mind that Andy isn’t an obsessive Tara fan and doesn’t read much about the show. He felt her death was undramatic and that the sex and the kissing and the intimacy were in poor taste considering what unfolds.


I can only agree.

I find it really hard to separate my thoughts about Tara’s death based on season 6 alone and those based on subsequent events (or non-events) because they are all tangled up together.

The way season 6 was designed means that Tara’s death is necessary for Willow to go dark. Buffy or Xander wouldn’t have done. It had to be a lover. It could have been Oz. They could have cheated and had Willow think Tara was dead when she wasn’t but that wouldn’t be dramatically satisfactory. If Tara has to die why is it so undramatic?

They have just back to together, they are a hot sexy couple (who knew?), they appear to be happy and in one measly episode it’s over. Tara was interesting. She had a relationship with Buffy, She even had friends (do any of the other Scoobies have friends? Real friends? Janice. Gotcha.) If Tara had been offed in season 5 who exactly would have cared? I may have just understood why Tara is interesting in season 6 – so we can miss her.

And all the winds go sighing, for sweet things dying.

And all the winds go sighing, for sweet things dying.

I do know one concrete reason why I dislike her death so much and that is because it is so unbelievable. The scriptwriters (or just Steven S. DeKnight) know they have to kill her but they don’t take any care to make it plausible. She hugs Willow and impossibly sees Xander arrive in the garden. Warren’s final shot must have taken the amazing ricochets to enter her body the way it does (it looks as if it’s horizontal and as if it was directly fired at her) to kill her instantly and to splatter her blood over her lover.

I have read that the ricochets aren’t actually impossible but to a layperson who knows nothing about guns it seems impossible. If they had been in the kitchen then I would be placated but then if they had been in the kitchen then the whole sex and then death thing wouldn’t be there to rankle.

Putting Amber Benson in the credits suggests a lack of respect to the character (and to the actor…). I often wonder about that. I think it speaks volumes of an unknown nature that AB didn’t come back for ‘Conversations With Dead People”. I don’t suppose we shall ever know the complete story but Amber if you are reading this…!

It is so lame in many respects. Warren was a genius because he was the first person to realise the most likely way to kill a Slayer is to shoot her.

The lovey-doveyness in the episode doesn’t assuage my discomfit at Tara returning to her violator. Willow may be off the drugs but she hasn’t muttered a word of apology for what she did. It may have happened off screen but I guess it wasn’t deemed important enough to show us.

I have never seen a single minute of any of the rest of season 6 and all of season 7 since my initial dazed and rushed viewing. It will be interesting to see if I can watch the rest without seething over my other problems with Tara’s death.

Also: poor Jonathan. He was betrayed by Warren and what’s his name who is such a weasel. In spite of myself I do laugh at the antics of the Trio. The jetpacks were stupidly OTT but it was funny to see Andrew hit the roof.

I’m disappointed that I haven’t written a more profound entry on this episode but that’s the way it goes I suppose. Thanks Amber, thanks Tara and thanks to Joss, Marti and co for creating her.

Can you just be kissing me now?*

Entropy (Drew Z. Greenberg)

entropy - can you just be kissing me now - tara and willow

It was quite weird watching the whole of this episode rather than the excerpts I usually watch. That said, I think it was good. It’s not the sort that you would ever put in your top twenty (well, I wouldn’t) because it is too tied up in the overall storyline as everything intersects so it doesn’t really stand alone. I think that I’m right in thinking that from now all of season 6 is one long narrative sequence similar to a British series.

The acting from all the cast is exceptional. I sometimes didn’t feel quite enough chemistry between Amber Benson and Alyson Hannigan (although I blame a lot of that on the restrictions placed on the depiction of a same sex couple – no touching! no kissing!) but they had oodles of it in their first and last scenes. I adore that first scene. Amber is just lovely. You get the idea with that.

Entropy - Amber Benson as Tara

As much as I love the final scene, it doesn’t seem appropriate or plausible. A part of me is saddened that Tara took Willow back (albeit with caveats) because Willow abused her. It seems wrong. Willow did a terrible thing. She does change but I feel uncomfortable about Tara’s return. I do realise that Tara’s return is entirely for expediency’s sake but that doesn’t help at all. It just reminds me of how expedient Tara was as a character full stop.

Tara’s speech appears to sum up the episode but since she hasn’t actually witnessed the most dramatic events, you have to ask, was she just round for a bit of comfort? Did Anya in the café depress her? Was Willow just too adorable to resist? Or did she want to show off her cool boots?

Willow is a dedicated student. Her two best friends have witnessed something rather traumatic, one has just run off with an axe with the other in hot pursuit, and Willow settles down with her books… She could have at least talked to Dawn.

Emma Caulfield really showcased her talent in this from her hilarious attempts to get the women to curse Xander (“I never use that word anymore.” “Coagulate?” “Squish, squish, squish.”) to her drunken vulnerability and her resignation at the end.


The scene when Xander confronts Anya and Spike and Buffy’s secret is revealed (“It’s good enough for Buffy.”) is a breathtaking one. It’s all out at last, there is sadness, relief, disgust and anger and it is so well acted.


Poor Xander. I really dislike the poor chap. He tells Anya off for hurting him in revenge even though he was never supposed to know and I’m glad she got to tell him that he dumped her and thus had no right to lecture her. And earlier on he really should have been listening to Patsy Cline.

We also discover that Sunnydale has a major shopping street quite unlike anything else we have ever seen but we are reassured with the sight of the Magic Box street which is quite devoid of other people. Dawn is quite lovable and she seems to have grown noticeably taller.

I love these lines: “Did Willow put that there when I was dead? Cause if I had known, I would have crawled out of the grave sooner to…” and “Whoa. Guys? There have only been four…three! Three! Three guys. That’s barely plural.”

Not so sure about this line: “You know I’m only doing this cause I’m…I’m lonely and drunk and you…smell really good.” Obviously vengeance demons have a poor sense of smell.

*Charles for the win. Stephanie also got it but she called me sappy! Lizzie was very close.

You now have to guess the next episode title.

Eximete! Vis zenobia! Solvere!

Normal Again (Diego Gutierrez)


Quote of the season: “You’re addicted to the misery.”

I looked back at a review from season 5 and, while the episode wasn’t very good (it was “Spiral”), I wrote about it with affection. I don’t feel affectionate towards the mid to latter half of season 6, a fact which I am inclined to blame on my wavering attachment to Joss Whedon.

Whedon seems to bring out the critic in a lot of us. I think the weight of his self-proclaimed feminism and his desire to explore contentious issues is becoming too much for his work to bear. After all, I can happily watch series like Bionic Woman and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and not really care how contrived or inconsistent or stupid they are as long as they reasonably entertain me but I can’t do that with Whedon’s work because there is supposed to be more to it than mere entertainment.

For me, the problem with season 6 has been its sexual content and unpleasant plotting revolving around Warren. Sexual exploitation and manipulation is part of human life but I don’t want to watch it on TV. Which leads me to Dollhouse – I know the task that Whedon has set himself to do but do I want to watch how he is going about it?

I was initially reluctant to watch Mad Men because I thought that I didn’t want to watch a show about misogyny and racism but the show is of such high quality that although it portrays these things it does so in an interesting, mostly subtle and definitely thought provoking way. It’s not entirely light-handed but it is not ever a gratuitous show. I think my point is that Mad Men is well made but Dollhouse isn’t – yet.

Season 6 isn’t very good overall.

I have now tipped into that camp. Except for “Once More, With Feeling” and “Tabula Rasa”, the episodes have been a mixed bag that were too often unbearable particularly anything involving Spuffy and the Willow’s a junkie storyline and not just because they are difficult topics but also because the writing and the plotting were weak. It has been a struggle to get through this boxed set, and the competition for my time, namely Mad Men and Battlestar Galactica (and that has its weaknesses and inconsistencies but is often exciting and moving), has highlighted the weaknesses of latter day Buffy.

I also blame Anthony Head. Giles’ absence has been keenly felt and not just for the Scooby gang. His mature, adult presence stuck the show together (and ensured less screen time for other characters).

On to a few points about the episode itself:

I think it was brave to suggest that Buffy may still be in a mental institution with the final scene in the hospital. It can and is argued that this doesn’t necessarily mean she has always been there but it is borderline UNambiguous.

A line like “Eventually my parents just forgot” is really not enough to erase Joyce’s reaction to Buffy’s coming out all the way back in season 2. However, if it’s all in her head then anything can happen on 7 seasons of Buffy.

Anyway, I don’t really care one way or the other but I hadn’t realised until I read Sam’s comments on Mikejer’s site that there were people who hated season 6 for a third reason. Obviously, I know there are the kittens but there are also the folks who cannot bear the attempted rape in “Seeing Red” and the souled Spike storyline and now I know there are those to hate that Buffy may no longer be a superhero but a young woman making up fantasies in her head – they feel that Whedon let them down.


Tara has a bit of a cheek marching into the Summers’ home but she saves the day: a fact that I love a great deal. She earlier wears a spectacularly horrible top but that isn’t the last bad top she’ll wear.

There is some tremendous acting from Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kristine Sutherland in the scene where the latter tells Buffy that she will always be there for her. It brought tears to my eyes.

I know you’re afraid. I know the world feels like a hard place sometimes, but you’ve got people who love you. Your dad and I, we have all the faith in the world in you. We’ll always be with you.

I almost felt sorry for Xander as he explains how pathetic he is (“But then I left and ever since I’ve had this painful hole inside. And I’m the idiot that dug it out.”) – Nicholas Brendon is great here. I also like the scene when Spike tells Xander all about his relationship with Buffy and in typical Scooby fashion Xander doesn’t pay close enough attention.


Only two epsiodes to go.

Um, I’m not sure you should say “sex poodle” in your vows.

Hell’s Bells (Rebecca Rand Kirshner)


Another divisive episode, which seems par for the course in season six. I like a great deal of it. I’m not keen on the notion of the demons at the wedding and how they could possibly pass for any kind of human. And what kind of explanation could there be for the slaying of a demon in full view of all the guests? I think Willow’s rescue of Tara is handled in a ham-fisted way because Tara (in her green dress) looked formidable rather than in need of help.

The green dresses are hideous and they are the clearest indication that the costumer (Cynthia Bergstrom) was having a laugh. No way would Anya want to ruin her wedding by having to look at those.


Sarah Michelle Gellar seemed very relaxed in this angst-free episode (for her anyway) and this shows in her performance. I delighted in Buffy’s inability to think on her feet (“You know, he’s half-minister, half-doctor, he’s a-a mini-tor. Not, of course, to be confused with a Minotaur! Because he’s all, you know, man, this doctor minister man, no, no bull parts whatsoever.”), her playing charades (with horns) and juggling! Buffy juggling, it doesn’t get any better really. Buffy and Spike speaking civilly to each other is such a treat too.


Oh Xander, what have you done? He is scared he will turn into his father and I appreciate that it was himself that he hated in the visions and not Anya who was portrayed as unfaithful. However, the worst thing to come out of this episode is the Xander who turns up in “Entropy” who thankfully we haven’t seen since season five. He is my least favourite Scooby.


OK, enough of the main plot onto the best scene which is another to add to my all time favourites from BtVS . They don’t all involve Tara and Willow because this one involves Anya as well. So there. Anya is rehearsing her ridiculous sounding vows and as Willow helps Tara button up Anya’s wedding dress, they smile and laugh at Anya until they realise that she is genuine and they start to look thoughtful instead. The actresses play the scene so sweetly that it just warms my cockles. They then realise how lovely she looks, despite the mask, and she flaps her hands because she is so thrilled to be marrying the love of her long life: she is cute, funny and heartbreaking.

“Okay. Blah, blah, blah, misogynistic. Blah, blah, ‘I do however entrust you…, um, with my heart. Take care of my heart, won’t you please? Take care of it because, it’s all that I have. And, if you let me, I’ll take care of your heart too.”

“Okay. It’s just I’m so excited and I want to share it all with my best friend. I get to be with my best friend forever! Yay!”

My hat has a cow

As You Were (Douglas Petrie)


A wise person (somewhere on the Internet) said that there are many ways to watch an episode of BtVS because each person has their own biases towards story elements and characters and different levels of tolerance towards plot deficiencies and contrivances.

Sometimes I care a lot about deficiencies and contrivances and sometimes I don’t care at all. I don’t mind at all that Spike is the Doctor (although making him sound less like Doc might have been a good idea) because after all he is “Deadly. Amoral. Opportunistic.”

And it is cheesy but no more so than a popular (not round this way) episode like “The Zeppo” (ha, my review of that totally demonstrates my lack of tolerance). I like Xander and Willow’s over the top admiration for Nick and Nora Fury – it reminded me of “Ted”.

Whenever I said the name of this episode I would shudder and mutter “Riley and his wife, yuck” which is no surprise since the time I saw Riley my blood was boiling with Marti Noxon induced indignation.

My hat has a cow

My hat has a cow

I am happy to announce that upon watching this for only the second time I have to admit to appreciating it a lot more and actually finding it incredibly sad. Riley and Sam separately and together make Buffy hyper aware of how sucky her life is. She makes the welcome and healthy decision to end her relationship with Spike and the rest of her season is set up. In addition, any episode that makes Willow a little more lovable than she has been recently can’t be so bad. Her “chipper” moment in the Bronze with Dawn is sweet.

Nice bathroom. Like the glass.

Nice bathroom. Like the glass.

Anya and Xander stuck in the traffic listening to hell radio and stuck in their nice bathroom were funny and sad scenes particularly in light of what is to come.

And if you try, you’re gonna have to go through me first. Understood?

Older and Far Away (Drew Z. Greenberg)

OAFA is way down on most people’s lists of favourite Buffy episodes and is often very high on people’s worst ever episode lists. However, I have recently realised that if you like Tara and Dawn then it’s not so bad.

They didn’t think further than the end of season five for what to do with the character of little sister, Dawn. Their first mistake was to make her behave younger than her screen age and Michelle Trachtenberg’s rapid maturing didn’t help matters. She is just a human now but that still doesn’t take away her mystical beginnings and they really should have developed that. Otherwise she’s a teenager and sometimes that’s not a lot of fun for the audience except when they get to say “shut up, Dawn”. With “get out, get out, get out”, legions of haters were born and this episode lost some potential friends.

Dawn's <i>Exorcist</i> moment

Dawn's Exorcist moment

Why else might this episode be bad? There is the introduction of a random new friend (never seen before and never seen again); a genuine red shirt in Richard (some people complain about the cheesiness of that which seems weird to me in such a pop culture rich series); Spike and his friend Clem turn up uninvited; and Buffy guesses about the wish extraordinarily quickly. None of those things bother me in the way that inconsistent characterization, poor taste jokes and a bare-chested Spike do.


Anya is mighty fine because she is absolutely right to criticise Willow while Tara is right to intervene. I remember being rather thrilled when I first saw this scene. Two essentially underused characters are now in the process of getting more interesting screen time.

"Back off"

"Back off"

Kali Rocha is a hoot as the vengeance demon Halfrek: “Most of us try to be a little more well-rounded. And actually, we prefer “justice demon”. Okay? FYI.” I think it’s odd that the vengeance served up included Dawn who after all was the wronged party. On the hand, she did get exactly what she wished for.

Kali Rocha as Halfrek

Kali Rocha as Halfrek

All in all, I do like this episode except for Tara joking about Spike’s pants. The jokes just fall flat for me and I am disturbed by the fact that pants aren’t trousers but are underpants.

Andy ruined my viewing of one of my favourite scenes in BtVS because he was complaining about Willow’s top which was perfectly fine while he should have concentrating on Buffy’s off the shoulder top.




Tara and Willow’s awkwardness is so adorable and Tara swigging down Buffy’s drink is perfectly timed. And Richard is cute – cuter than Spike.

I won’t tell anyone. I wouldn’t do that.

Dead Things (Steven S. DeKnight)

Wow. They should have dumped all the episodes since “Tabula Rasa” and just gone with this one. The difference in quality is vast. Sometimes all US TV series ought to be just 13 episodes long.


Amelinda Smith, who played Katrina was great – it’s weird to look at IMDb to see how little she has worked. It was fab the way she chewed out the trio after she came to. It is also pleasing to see that at least one of the trio isn’t a complete heel.

Jonathan gets a clue.

Adam Busch is exceptionally creepy and it is his destiny to be forever associated with the role. He turned up on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as a future collaborator with the robots and was immediately identified as Warren from Buffy.

The sex is over – thank goodness. I sound like a colossal prude but there was far too much of it and it was just inappropriate. And to be extra honest, I resent how explicit it was when two women were barely allowed to touch each other the season previously (different network, blah, blah, I know, but still the double standards are outrageous). The worse scene was in the alley in “Doublemeat Palace” because that was just sleazy. The balcony scene in the Bronze at least served a purpose and Buffy really does need help to escape from Spike – the boyfriend who does the classic bad boy/girlfriend thing and tries to separate them from their friends.

Help does come in the shape of Tara and I adore all of Amber Benson’s three appearances. You got yourself a drink when she sat with her feet up at the Doublemeat Palace. She was cute outside the Magic Box talking to Willow (despite the outfit). And she was an awesome friend for Buffy at the end (a scene which is brilliantly written).


I didn’t come back wrong?
No, you’re the same Buffy. (lightly) With a deep tropical cellular tan.
You must have missed something. Will you check again?
Buffy, I-I promise, there’s nothing wrong with you.
There has to be! This just can’t be me, it isn’t me. Why do I feel like this? Why do I let Spike do those things to me?
You mean hit you…Oh…Oh…


Do you love him? I-It’s okay if you do. He’s done a lot of good, and, and he does love you. A-and Buffy, it’s okay if you don’t. You’re going through a really hard time, and you’re…
What? Using him? What’s okay about that?
It’s not that simple.
It is! It’s wrong. I’m wrong. Tell me that I’m wrong, please…Please don’t forgive me, please…Please don’t…


OK, I’m done. My favourite episode that no one else really likes is up next.

Hey, respect the narrative flow much?

Doublemeat Palace (Jane Espenson)

“The workers are the tools that shape America.” “Good to know…I was kinda feeling like a tool. And now I know why.”

This is not a great episode and it’s no “Beer Bad” (take that sentence any way you like). It is written by Jane Espenson so it does have some very funny lines. However, and actually, after perusing the transcript available online (and those transcripts are extremely valuable – thanks Joan) I realise it’s not that funny but SMG does her bit to make it all seem better.

Xander’s line “I think you’re seeing demons where there’s just life.” sums up season six in that a lot of the season is concerned with Buffy’s struggles with ordinary life.

Sex in an alleyway outside a burger bar – can Spuffy sex get any more sordid? What? It can?

Amy’s behaviour is reprehensible but, on the other hand, the actual de-ratting did seem awfully easy in the end. Amy has missed three years of her life – the final year of high school and two college years – I’d be peed off too. “Oh, yeah. Sharp argument you got there. Were you on the debate team? I forget. I forgot a lot while you were failing to make me be not a rat.”

I have nothing else to say except that Xander looked good in this episode particularly when embarrassed.