Episode 83: Where the Wild Things Are

Summary

Thanks for joining us today as we discuss an episode we hate, but as always enjoy talking it over with each other! We talk Xander and Anya’s lack of peripheral vision, Giles’ singing, and a sudden appearance of vines.

Thanks for listening to our discussion of Season 4, Episode 18: Where the Wild Things Are.

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Music

Music for this episode is “Digging a Grave,” by Shadows from the Underground, and is used under license from Audiosocket.

One thought on “Episode 83: Where the Wild Things Are

  1. Re: the peripheral vision issue, this reminded me of what is in my mind the most ridiculous exaggeration of this issue in the show as a whole, in the season 5 episode Listening to Fear (the one with the space demon). From what I remember (and to be fair I could be wrong) that space demon is *crawling on the ceiling* unnoticed at least a couple of times and it takes me right out of the episode. I will notice a spider crawling on my ceiling, and this thing was at least 2 feet long.

    Anyway, welcome to my least favorite episode of the first 6 seasons (I don’t know how it compares to some of my least favorite season 7 episodes, as I consider season 7 to be of lower quality overall, with some exceptions). In all my rewatches of Buffy, I think I’ve only rewatched this episode once, mostly to confirm that it was in fact as bad as I remembered. Though as you pointed out, Cory, it comes on the heels of several great episodes, so maybe it looks even worse because of where it’s placed.

    I’m ace, and though I recognize that asexuality represents a range of different experiences, preferences, etc., for me personally, this entire episode made me deeply uncomfortable. The orgasm wall, Xander and Anya’s argument that was never dealt with, the spin the bottle game, the horse conversation and the entire Goldilocks-type of message (I think that’s a perfect way to put that, Cory) – everything felt like a particularly juvenile and off-base but also didactic approach to the topic of sex. According to this show, lots of sex is bad (though even the show seems unconvinced of its own messaging here) and no sex is bad (repression!) when in reality both lots and sex and no sex at all aren’t inherently good or bad, but neutral and context-dependent. While I could see Beer Bad as a kind of meta commentary on after school specials in the way that the episode magnifies that kind of overly simplified messaging and just makes it silly, this episode just reads like it has no idea what it’s doing, and all the weird metaphors and hints seem like confused attempts at titillation and moralization, trying to make the episode feel interesting or like it’s saying something that means anything. It makes me feel like I’m being talked at by someone who has no idea what they’re talking about.

    And I completely agree with you both on the lack of resolution or depth to Anya and Xander’s relationship. I spent so much of my original watch of this show thinking “you know you could just… not date each other, right?” when it came to Anya and Xander. Especially since in this episode Xander jumps right into that spin the bottle game after their argument. I could see how the two of them being attracted to each other and sharing experiences re: fighting evil and dealing with the supernatural generally could bond them, and coupled with Anya’s lack of ties or direction beyond Xander and Xander’s intermittent lack of confidence in himself, I could see how they end up together for as long as they do. But I never bought that they really loved each other, because most of the time they didn’t even seem to like each other.

    The Spike and Anya scene is cute, and that alone might tempt me to put on the episode and fast forward through everything but their interactions. But overall, yeah, I despise this episode.

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