1. CULTURE

Something Blue (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Something Blue (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Something Blue (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

"Something Blue" is the 9th episode of season 4 of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Written by Tracey Forbes and directed by Nick Marck, it originally aired on November 30, 1999 on the WB network. In "Something Blue", a spell by Willow goes awry, blinding Giles, making Xander a literal demon magnet, and causing Buffy and Spike to fall in love and get engaged.

Plot

Riley invites Buffy out on a picnic. Willow and Buffy discuss the consequences of a possible relationship with Riley, who seems "safe" and unlikely to hurt her. Buffy wonders if true passion requires pain and fighting. Later, Buffy interrogates Spike, who is chained up in Giles' bathtub, but he doesn't give up much. Willow suggests a truth spell to make Spike talk.

Going to Oz's place, Willow finds it emptied and realises he has had his possessions forwarded to him without getting in touch with her, crushing her last hopes of his return. That night at The Bronze, she opts to drown her sorrows in alcohol. Later, in the dorm bathroom, Willow performs a spell to let her will be granted in order to make her pain go away. However, her commands don't seem to work.

Giles drops by to find out why she didn't show to help him perform the truth spell as scheduled. She feels like there's too much pressure on her that she can't live up to. Angry, she says that he can't see anything, and then Giles leaves. Giles tries to perform the spell on Spike alone, but has difficulty reading. After Giles accidentally drops the key to the chains keeping Spike captive, Spike is able to escape.

While Willow and Buffy talk, one of Willow's casual comments causes Amy to become human for a brief second, before another turns her back into a rat. After Giles calls, Buffy goes to find Spike and once he's caught (by another sarcastic comment from Willow), she brings him back to Giles's apartment. While talking to Xander, Willow flippantly suggests that Buffy and Spike get married if Spike's so important. Meanwhile at Giles' place, Spike proposes to Buffy and she accepts.

Xander continues to try to console Willow; in misdirected rage and grief, she calls him "a demon magnet." While Buffy and Spike cuddle and kiss and make plans for the wedding, Giles calls Willow for help, confessing he is totally blind. He states that he is blind without his glasses, but doesn't seem to have them on. Buffy runs into Riley outside of a Bridal shop and happily tells him about the wedding, which confuses and upsets him.

Xander and Anya's romantic time is interrupted by various demons that attack them. They rush to Giles' place where Xander is the one who realizes that the cause is Willow and everything she wills is coming true. D'Hoffryn, the demon responsible for making Anya a vengeance demon, comes forth and takes Willow through a portal to his demon world to make the same offer. When the gang goes to look for her, Anya recognizes the remains of a portal left by D'Hoffryn.

Buffy and the rest of the group go to a crypt where they hope to stop D'Hoffryn from turning Willow into a demon. En route to the crypt, several demons attack, still drawn to Xander because of Willow's spell. In the meantime, Willow politely turns down D'Hoffryn's offer and he sends her back. Willow breaks the spell and Buffy and Spike find themselves in the middle of a kiss, much to their mutual disgust. Willow apologises and tries to make up for her messed up spell with cookies. Buffy claims she is over the whole "bad boy" thing. The next day, Buffy finds Riley and manages to convince him she was only joking about getting married; making fun of the 'the panic in his eyes' at finding her gazing into a wedding dress store.

Critical response

Justine Larbalestier has suggested the episode pokes fun at fans "shipping" Buffy and Spike, that is inventing scenarios and writing fan fiction to allow the two characters, normally foes, to become romantically involved.

The A.V. Club called it "a well-balanced episode", mixing comedy with more serious reflection on the theme of how there's no easy solution to Willow's problems. Nikki Stafford found it funny, particularly Spike's actions, though she found Buffy's reactions less than believable.

Cultural references

  • The title comes from a wedding tradition that began in Victorian England. The full poem reads, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe." Each item is supposed to bring good luck to the bride. It's also a reference to Willow, who is upset, or "blue", because of Oz while also referring to D'Hoffryn who himself is blue.[citation needed]
  • While Giles is on the phone, Spike complains that he's missing Passions, a supernatural soap opera that aired from 1999 to 2008.

Continuity

Arc significance

  • Crossover: Buffy briefly mentions her visit to Los Angeles ("I Will Remember You"), which took place after the previous episode. Buffy remembers that her visit with Angel lasted only minutes.
  • This episode foreshadows three plotlines of season six: Willow's abuse of magic for her own ends, Willow's inner capacity for vengeance, and Buffy and Spike's relationship.
  • This episode marks the first time Willow does a large, complex spell that goes awry.
  • D'Hoffryn gives Willow a talisman so that she can summon him if she changes her mind about becoming a vengeance demon. Willow will use the talisman in "Selfless" to talk to D'Hoffryn about Anya.
  • The "UC Sunnydale Lesbian Alliance" banner foreshadows Willow's relationship with Tara.
  • Willow unknowingly turns Amy back into a human, then back into a rat. Amy will not become human again until "Smashed".
  • Buffy admits to Willow that she feels "real love and passion have to go hand in hand with pain and fighting", and questions if a normal relationship can have the same sort of intensity. This foreshadows her violent relationship with Spike in season six, as well as the reason her relationship with Riley ultimately fails.
  • Buffy's request to Giles to give her away at her wedding emphasizes their surrogate father/daughter relationship.

References to other episodes

  • One of the spellbooks Spike picks up bears the symbol used in the episode "Gingerbread" on the cover.
  • After the spell has been broken, Buffy says to Willow, "We may be in to a forgetting spell later." In the episode "Tabula Rasa," Willow casts a spell that unintentionally causes the gang to forget who they are.

Trivia

In 2007, Alyson Hannigan would star in an episode of How I Met Your Mother entitled "Something Blue."

In the scene where Willow confesses to Giles that she tried to perform a spell to have her will done a poster with the title "Murphy's Law" is visible over her shoulder (may only be visible on widescreen versions).

Despite the fact that it has been shown that vampires have no reflection, Spike can be seen many times in a mirror to the left of the door, visible just past Giles' shoulder and in the glass front of the bookshelf next to his chair.

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