beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah
season three > The Wish
Madder than a redheaded stepchild that she got cheated on by a nerd with a nerd, Cordy “accidentally” summons Anyanka, patron saint of scorned and really, really pissed off chicks. (For those of you who came in after Season Three, you may recognize this character as the maybe not-so-beloved Anya. Not that you’ll think she’s the same person, since she and her back-story are pretty much completely, though not totally, different. But it is, at least, the same actress. And name. And therefore the same character. Not to be confused by the Harmony’s henchman vamp Tom Lenk played in Season Five. Same actor + different name = totally different character, not just different character with the same name that equals the same character--It’s a math thing.) Anyanka, cleverly posing as a normal pretentious high schooler addicted to W, which must take magic because she was unable to behave like an actual human as an actual human, tricks the wounded and bitter Cordy into wishing Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale. Sure, she was aiming more towards giving Xander a tail or a third nipple, but really, how exciting could that possibly have been? I really can’t see everyone dusting each other over Xander’s third nipple, so quite frankly I’m rather delighted things turned out the way they did.
Wrongly thinking that Anya was just a scary, veiny good fairy, Cordy skips popularly through her new world, without that horrible stigmatizing stigma of having dated a nerd holding her down. The high wears off right around sundown when she realizes that Buffy may be a bitch, but that maybe things were better when she was around, ie Cordy had a car, dances were nighttime dances and not formal brunches, the Bronze was cool and not an opium den of death and mayhem and people dressed better. The fact that Buffy Summers had a positive effect on the fashion of Sunnydale is proof positive that Cordy has landed in bizarroland—possibly moreso than Willow and Xander being vampires in touch with their kinky sides.
So Cordy, pissed that fashion sucks and Xander and Willow are STILL together, even though they’re dead and evil, runs to tell Giles about things. Actually, she more gets chased by the kinky Xander and smashed to the pavement and then rescued by Giles and his merry band of White Hats. Tonight the White Hats include possibly-still-gay Larry, the-still-laconic Oz and red-shirt Nancy. It’s a shame they go through all that trouble, considering they get her killed later in a kinky ménage a trois when the Master sends Willow and Xander back out after her and Giles stupidly gets himself locked in a cage. But that’s later, so let’s go ahead and give them points for trying! Woo! Go team!
Before the tragic ménage of troises, Cordy babbles to Giles about how she knew he was or is or she’s not really clear, but at some point he was a Watcher and he was supposed to be Buffy’s Watcher, so why the hell is he in Sunnydale and he really, really needs to get Buffy to Sunnydale so people can dress better. Giles is perplexed, yet his curiosity is piqued. Sadly, this would be where he gets himself locked in the cage and watches the aforementioned troising. But then he gets out and sees her necklace, a necklace Anya gave her because in this Buffyverse the wishees wear her necklace, and, given that Giles is Giles, thinks it looks familiar and finds it in a book. Larry sums it up for those of us not paying attention with a succinct “so the world sucks because a dumb ditz made a wish?” Yep, pretty much.
Larry and Oz, sans red-shirt!Nancy because she already fulfilled her red-shirt duties, leave to get captured and Giles goes to do more research at home, but not before contacting Buffy’s new Watcher and arguing with him over whether or not Sunnydale’s on a Hellmouth and whether or not the Dale needs her more than, say, evil Cleveland.
On his way home he stops to save some people being herded into a van like cattle, gets knocked about because some things never change, and is saved by a very bitter Buffy. (How do we know she’s bitter? Come on, the girl is sensibly dressed. She’s wearing lace up work boots, cargo pants and a tank top. Her hair is braided down her back. This is one bitter Slayer. Note: Bitter, not depressed. Were she depressed, she would be wearing doc martins and overalls. Therefore she is bitter, yet resigned to her fate, rather than bitter and whiny about her fate. An important distinction.) And this bitter Buffy is really fast. I’m no geography wiz, but considering she just made it from Ohio to California in less than five minutes, I can’t help but wonder why it takes her the better part of a half hour to run across Sunnydale at times. It bothers me, you know?
He takes Bitter!Buffy home and tries to get her all psyched up to figure out what’s going on. B!Buffy, clearly demarcated from whiny!Buffy by the scar on her lip, is unimpressed with the idea of a scary, veiny good fairy and even less impressed with Giles’ lack of battle plan. She offers to stake Anya and, when denied this pleasure, decides to go after the Master. The Master from Season One, did I forget to clarify that? See, he somehow managed to rise without Buffy, even though prophecies are tricky things and Buffy was the one that set him free, and he currently rules the school. He also pretty much rules Sunnydale, as he seems to have either killed or turned half of Sunnydale, and left the rest of the populace to roam around, sort of like free range chickens, until he could open his plant.
Why no one in Sunnydale stayed inside after dark and refused to invite in pale strangers I don’t dare hypothesize about. Why the scourge hasn’t left Sunnydale and attempted to take over the world, I have no clue. Why breaking Anya’s necklace seems to only alter Cordy’s wish, isn’t something I care to think about. How anyone can think of caring about such trivialities when Angel gets staked is beyond me. These things are like imaginary numbers in math. It’s best just to pretend they don’t exist and leave ‘em alone.
While Giles stays home to play with magic because he won’t give up his Anyanka fixation, Buffy goes to the Bronze to kill the master, only she doesn’t find the master because they’ve all gone to the factory, a truly asinine concept I shall get into shortly, but does find Angel in a cage. Angel’s all crispy and burned. Willow tends to get bored during the day and turns him into her own little twisted toy of pyro-fun. She also calls him puppy and likes to make him bark. And Xander? He doesn’t like to make puppy bark so much, or so he says, but he does like to watch. It’s like the Cleavers, if they were blood-sucking fiends and Ward believed in capital punishment instead of grounding and Beaver had tried to save the humans of Sunnydale instead of getting trapped in a big cup of soup.
Anyway, they all went out to play and left the Beav in his cell to think about what he’d done. Buffy finds him and after she’s convinced he’s not trying to get into her pants, even though he’s dead and probably evil, she lets him lead her to the factory. The factory, for those of you not in the know, is the Master’s baby. It’s a factory. A factory where they go through the bother of rounding up humans, placing them in a cage and then dragging them out one by one to stun them, place them on a conveyer belt and then stick a whole bunch of tubes in them to drain their blood. Which then pours out into a nice fancy chalice. It’s completely bonkers, yet the Master thinks it throws them into a new golden age of sophistication, so whatever. I live in a country that bothered to rename French Fries “freedom fries”, so who am I to judge?
Buffy gives Angel a stake and requests that he please not fall on it, then takes aim at the Master with her crossbow. She misses of course, but causes all hell to break loose in the process, so woo! And then everyone gets killed or is killed by their true love—Angel gets staked by Xander, Xander gets staked by Buffy, Willow is impaled by Oz, and Oz, thank goodness, is impaled by no one. Buffy then has her neck snapped by the Master, as the Wishverse fades away into the Buffyverse, Giles having successfully called forth Anya and smashed her necklace, trusting that the Buffyverse would be better than the one he currently lived in. All in glorious slo-motion. I shiver just thinking about it. To quote that strumpet Dru: Do I’ a gin! Do I’ a gin!
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