Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Buffy Season 2, Episode 16

Why is it, in a good deal of the witch episodes, that if someone wants to get witchy they go to the chem lab and have a mad scientist setup? I mean, I can see it, its not as if it doesn't make sense for practicality purposes...I could also see how some traditions would utilize chemistry in their magick work. However no one but NO ONE would be able to pull off that setup without getting caught by someone that isn't supposed to be there. Like oh, say, I teacher??? There aren't that many abandoned classrooms in a highschool. Just saying.

Our episode starts up with Hollywood Witch (Amy) doing a bit of glamour/mind control. I'm not sure exactly which it is--the teacher acts as if she is actually taking a paper from Amy, but she never looks at it. It could be either, but with how long hollywood witch maintains direct eye contact it indicates more mind control.

Xander notices and demands that she perform a love spell for him. Now, thank you, we get the warning against love spells. Unfortunately its simply because 'intent has to be pure with love spells', which I totally agree with, but NO word on how you shouldn't specify a person in the spell. Thus, this spell definitely falls under the manipulation bad karma category.

What amuses me to no end is that apparently you should only do a love spell if its to make someone love you for an eternity (according to Hollywood witch). Um, no? Love spells should only function to introduce the two of you and generate initial interest? Past that its in your court.

Now, here's how the ritual goes down: Amy needs a personal item of Cordelia's, and Xander goes to demand the necklace he gave her just last night. I want to point out that even if she's been wearing it constantly since he gave it to her, it isn't really that inundated with her energy yet and thus would be difficult to use as a representative of her. Not that that's really recognized at all.

Color used is red--good. Xander sits inside a symbol for woman. Good. I don't get why he's barechested and has three red lines painted on his chest, but whatever. He holds a lit candle.

Hollywood witch has the necklace and dumps it into her bubbling brew in a beaker over a bunsen burner as she incants "Diana... goddess of love and the hunt... I pray to thee. Let my cries bind the heart of Xander's beloved. May she neither rest nor sleep until she submits to his will only. Diana, bring about this love and bless it." (Can we say 'karma's a bitch?') Along with a bunch of shiny lights her eyes turn black and she orders Xander to blow the candle out. Not snuff it? Really? And why does he have to blow out the white candle in the first place? (White is all-purpose, I get it.)

Now really, why are we invoking Diana here? The one myth I know of where she hooked some people up was when a prince wanted to win the princess's hand by beating her in a footrace. Diana gave him three golden apples which he threw in the chick's path that she had to stop and pick up, so he won. Then when they forgot to thank Diana she turned them into lions. But still, only instance of helping with love, and that's because she raised the princess. Amy, you would have done much better to invoke Venus (going with the Roman names). Just saying.

This episode does illustrate beautifully the effect of love spells when done incorrectly. By incorrectly I mean horribly wrong. Xander wants to make Cordelia crazy about him. This is his need. If its been said once its been said a thousand times: making someone love you is manipulation to the Nth degree! It is bad! Bad, bad, BAD!!

Now what happens is every woman in the town BUT Cordelia is mad in lust with him, and its hilariously baaaaad. Yeah, karma's a bitch. Serves him right. At one point Amy actually turns Buffy into a rat. Yes, that's right, a rat. This is why Amy is Hollywood witch. She calls upon Hekate to do it (let the unclean thing before you crawl--eww, Hekate is obviously just a dark goddess in this show).

The counterspell is just as interesting, and seems to be standard counterspell for the rest of the series: whatever goddess you invoked, in this case Diana, is called to depart. Oddly there's an awful lot of Hekate. I mean, its not terribly odd what with Hekate being goddess of magick, but the show definitely uses her more as goddess of darkness. Also a very easy assumption to make, but at this point I'm giving the show props for using gods at all, albeit incorrectly.

Comments? Input? Criticism? Lemme have it!

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha, I enjoyed your take on this. It's been a while since Ive seen Buffy, but I enjoyed the witchy stuff


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