"Lover's Walk" [3x08]
Review by Mikelangelo "MikeJer" Marinaro
Posted by MikeJer on November 24, 2005Writer: Dan Vebber
Director: David Semel
This is a retrospective review and may contain spoilers from anywhere in the series. Read at your own peril.
If I have one complaint about S3, it's the lack of Spike. So when you mix S3's awesome consistency and great character development with Spike, you've got one hell of an episode. There is just so much fun to be had here that if there wasn't so much attention paid to the horrible Willow and Xander 'thing,' it would have gotten a perfect score. Thank the powers that this episode marks the end of that nonsense. Nonetheless, unlike some people I know, I don't let something minor ruin my appreciation for the rest of the episode.
The episode begins with the group getting their SAT scores back. Buffy gets a high score which shocks her into actually consider that she may have a life outside of slaying still, and the "college talk" begins. I like Joyce's discussion about it with Buffy at the house and how Buffy shoots down her mention of wanting keg parties and frat boys. Go Buffy! I think it's great that Giles actually encourages her to go to college and uses Faith as a possible way out. Angel even tells her, as a 'friend,' that she should leave Sunnydale and go to a good college. All of this just goes to show how much the people around Buffy genuinely care about her well-being and future.
For the rest of the episode, though, Spike steals the show. He rides into town again in the exact same way as in "School Hard" (2x03). He drives over the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign again and will be the cause of it falling over one more time in the series finale, "Chosen" (7x22). He then visits Joyce just to chat with her about his breakup with Drusilla. His comment, "you got any of those little marshmallows?" gets me laughing every time.
All the great moments (many of which are captured in the quote section below) are attributed to Spike and his realizations. He admits he's "love's bitch" and explains to Buffy and Angel that they'll never be 'friends.' He says, "You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other till it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends." Spike is incredibly unhappy coming into this episode. He drinks a ton, which is always a sign of that (we saw him drinking a bunch while stuck in his wheelchair in "Surprise" [2x13]). All this sorrow stems from his love breaking up with him. Love is everything to Spike. Right now it's more a perverted love, but over the final three seasons of this series he begins to slowly change that perversion to purity and even ends up sacrificing his life ("Chosen" [7x22]) for love and redemption.
What's the one thing that brings Spike out of his sorrow? Violence. The moment he gets in a good brawl he feels himself again and leaves town in an attempt to get Dru back. Spike's powerful words obviously didn't go unnoticed to Buffy because she, soon afterwards, breaks it off with Angel realizing that they are not indeed 'friends' and that Angel can't give her the relationship she wants. If the Buffy and Angel relationship wasn't meant to end in "Faith, Hope, and Trick" (3x03) like I wanted, then this is the perfect cut-off point which is why I can't understand why they get all snuggly again later in the season, but that's another story.
The end of the episode shows everyone alone and unhappy, except for Spike who is back in form and singing while on the highway down south. This is a BtVS classic: it's got loads of humor, drama, messages, and action all in one tightly wrapped package. It's just a shame that I have to wait until S4 to get more Spike!
Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)
QuotesOZ:(to Willow) Well, I can see why you'd be upset. That was my sarcastic voice.
XANDER:You know, it sounds a lot like your regular voice.
OZ:I've been told that.
BUFFY:I don't know. I guess... my future. I never really thought about it. I wasn't even sure I was going to have one.
CORDELIA:Well, I think this is great! Now you can leave, and never come back!
OZ:It's a gift.
WILLOW:What's the occasion?
OZ:Pretty much you are.
WILLOW:(excited) It's a little, uh, PEZ witch!
OZ:It's kind of a theme present. Do you like it?
WILLOW:I like... I-I more than like. Oz, this is probably the sweetest... We have to find a little PEZ werewolf, so little PEZ witch can have a boyfriend.
OZ:I don't think they make a werewolf PEZ. You might have to settle for a wacky cartoon dog.
JOYCE:That's not it. It's just you belong at a, a good old-fashioned college with, with keg parties and boys, not here with Hellmouths and vampires.
BUFFY:Not really seeing the distinction.
MAYOR:Loose cannon. Rock the boat. Is that a mixed metaphor?
MAYOR:Boats did have cannons. And a loose one would cause it to rock. Oh, honestly. I don't know where my mind goes these days.
SPIKE:She wouldn't even kill me. She just left. She didn't even care enough to cut off my head or set me on fire. I mean, is that too much to ask? You know? Some little sign that she cared?
OZ:It's Willow. She's nearby.
CORDELIA:What? You can smell her? She doesn't even wear perfume. Oh, my God. Is this some sort of residual werewolf thing? This is very disturbing.
OZ:I really agree.
ANGEL:Buffy, we still need him to find the others.
BUFFY:Need him? He's probably just got them locked up in the factory.
SPIKE:Well, hey, how thick do you think I am?
XANDER:Where are we?
WILLOW:The factory. We're locked in the basement.
SPIKE:We killed a homeless man on this bench. Me and Dru. Those were good times. (chuckles) You know, he begged for mercy, and you know, that only made her bite harder.
BUFFY:I guess you had to be there.
SPIKE:I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it.
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