Overall Rating: 7.3
The subtitle for this episode should be..."something high on methamphetamine, crack, heroin and LSD simultaneously". Or just..."something that proves you shuold never write fanfiction into actual television."
Willow, still depressed over losing Oz, tries a Wicken spell to have her will be done (in order to mend her broken heart)...naturally, the spell succeeds in doing everything BUT mending her broken heart. He inadvertently makes Giles blind in a fit of frustration, makes demons lust after Xander, and Buffy and Spike fall in love and get engaged. Yep...really. Upon seeing the horrors she's managed to unleash, D'Hoffryn (a chief vengeance demon) arrives to offer Willow the chance to become what Anya once was. Willow, realizing how low she has sunk, undoes her spell and sets everything right - thus beginning her healing process (admit you have a problem, seek to remedy said problem) and leaving Buffy and Spike in a wedding day kiss as they awake from the spell. Naturally, she punches him. :)
Look, I'm not going to lie...I do find this episode hilarious in places. It's a fun story and not entirely nonsensical...and it does succeed in helping to move Willow past her "blue" phase. I think, however, that the laughs aren't quite worth the high marks this episode gets from the fans. It's fun, but in a completely frivolous and cornball way that I don't think would qualify as among this show's best. I also don't think it's a good idea to encourage the fans into thinking their fanficky insanity is actually literature/art on the same plane as what gets put on the big screen. Some of it might be, but, like most things in this world, 95% of it is crap, and what makes it to TV has been screened to reduce that crap ratio to something more manageable...like 50%. :)
What I find particularly disconcerting in the fan reaction is that they love this episode more than they seem to love other frivolously fun episodes like "The Zeppo." Why? Because it appeals to fanfic writers and readers all over the web. The web crowd loves crack...I even sometimes enjoy crack. But it should serve a purpose, and this really doesn't. And the worst thing...most of the positive reaction comes from the part of the plot that is the least entertaining (Buffy and Spike gettin' it oooooown!! yeah!!)...I would like to have seen this episode steer clear of that, because there were a lot of fans desperately hoping those two would get together, to which I say...UGH.
I love how Giles was written...his reaction to Buffy and Spike in love was deadly to those with weak lungs! I also enjoyed the little side plot involving Anya and Xander getting interrupted by demons wanting a piece of that hot body (LOL)...and the story did cruise along nicely. I just thikn you can't get too excited over what is intentionally "bad" storyboarding. They pitched this as a shout-out to the fans and a light comedy...and both things happened...but to what end? It's good...but I don't think it's THAT good.
I heart Tony Head. Seriously. :) The rest of the cast was solid - especially Nicholas Brendan and the lovable Emma Caulfield. I guess you could say SMG and Marsters were DIRECTED to be over the top...but...it didn't really work for me, so I can't go too high with the acting score here either.
+1 for helping to bring Willow out of her funk in a way that made at least some sense (keep going down this road, Willow, and you end up doing more harm than good...see: Anya!)...otherwise, this one is fluff, plain and simple.