Phases (Rob Des Hotel & Dean Batali)
This episode opens with Oz looking at the cheerleader trophy and he comments on how its eyes seem to follow you - this what one of the (many) reasons I love BtVS - its continuity which generally is quite subtle. Willow is wearing one of a series of silly backpacks
which is so not in character - her backpack would be very organised with compartments for everything (like say, different coloured pens) and I can't see her emptying her bag every night just to put in all in a new one the next day. She is, of course, wearing a hat. (These reviews are so not deep.)
Cordelia and Xander's conversations are always amusing with the actors' great line readings.
The self defence class is a hoot - Oz tucks in Willow's tag and Xander gets very jealous, Larry was bitten by a "huge dog" while Oz was bitten by his little cousin ("My cousin Jordy just got his grownup teeth in? Does not like to be tickled"), Willow tries to get Buffy to restrain herself ("Don't forget, you're supposed to be a meek little girlie-girl like the rest of us") but how can she resist flattening big bully Larry.
Larry Bagby III is fantastic as Larry. He got the obnoxious over-compensating bully nailed, becomes really sweet
when he thinks Xander has him rumbled and realises he doesn't need to hide his true nature. The scene when Xander confronts Larry is hilarious as Xander slowly gets a clue about what he has said about himself.
Giles is comical as he suggests asking the car occupants in Lovers Lane if they had seen anything, Buffy does a great look and verbal put-down.
The conversation between Willow and Cordelia in the Bronze is another example of what I like about BtVS - two mismatched people having an intimate conversation e.g. Anya and Spike in Where the Wild Things Are, Tara and Buffy in Dead Things, there must be others but these are my faves.
I love the way the door is closed shut behind Buffy as she enters the Bronze - little things like that are yet more reasons I love this show - have I ever mentioned that I love this show before?
I also love Oz's "Huh?"
when he wakes up and his low key reaction to Aunt Maureen's news about young Jordy. I feel much love for this episode.
Here's the no love: the hunter is a cliche and a dull one at that. No fun at all from him. The wolf costume is plain naff.
The scene in the funeral parlour with Theresa coming to as a vampire is great. Buffy is hit for six with the remark that "Angel sends his love", Xander stakes Theresa, they hug, Buffy is grateful for the comfort (Angel is not just evil but mean with it) but Xander still wants more (despite Cordelia being so much hotter than Buffy) and it's moving.
Willow's two confrontations with Oz are as awesome as you would expect and may I say that Willow is lucky that it's only three days out of a month she's grumpy but if they are lucky they might synchronise.
"I know, I know, it's me. I'm, I'm goin' through some...changes." "Well, welcome to the world! Things happen. Don't you think I'm going through a lot?" " Not like me."
"I spoke to Giles. He said I'll be okay. I just have to lock myself up around the full moon. Only he used more words than that. And a globe."
"You mean, you'd still..." "Well, I like you. You're nice and you're funny. And you don't smoke. Yeah, okay, werewolf, but that's not all the time. I mean, three days out of the month I'm not much fun to be around either." "You are quite the human." "So, I'd still if you'd still." "I'd still. I'd very still." "Okay. No biting, though."
The best of the rest:
"How far have you gotten?" - cut - "Nowhere. I mean, he said he was gonna wait until I was ready, but I'm ready. Honest. I'm good to go here." "Well, I think it's nice that he's not just being an animal." "It is nice. He's great. We have a lot of fun. But I want smoochies!" "Have you dropped any hints?" "I've dropped anvils." "Ah, he'll come around. What guy could resist your wily Willow charms?" "At last count, all of them. Maybe more."Well, none of them know a thing. They all get an 'F' in Willow." "But I want Oz to get an 'A', and, oh, one of those gold stars." - what fantastic dialogue, saying so much directly and indirectly and with a touch of foreshadowing.
"What relationship? I mean, what life could they possibly have together? We're talking obedience school, paper training, Oz is always in back burying their things, and that kind of breed can turn on its owner."
Phases (Rob Des Hotel & Dean Batali)