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Discussion of 1.03 "The Witch" - Aired 3/17/1997 (WB-US)

Willow Rosenberg

I might be just like you!
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#1
Season 1, Episode 3 "“ Aired: 3/17/1997
The Witch
It's time for cheerleader tryouts, and Buffy can't resist! However, when the girls start getting knocked out of the competition by spontaneous combustion, sudden blindness, and other freak accidents, Buffy and the gang begin to suspect that someone may be behind these not so normal occurrences. Could someone be using dark magicks in order to make the squad?
SOURCE: TV.COM
 
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#2
(Re-watch)
In the introduction of the episode there is a discussion between Giles and Buffy about Buffy being a cheerleader. Giles is boring (as usual) but Buffy is supercute and funny. When they get to the tryouts Xander makes some boring comment about a girl being stretchy. A girl who is trying out, spontaneously combusts and Willow shouts: "That girl`s on fire". (It`s funny if you got that lesbian kind of humour :)) Buffy saves the girl on fire. The term slayerettes gets introduced by Xander and Willow. I think it`s funny when Joyce isn`t listening to what Buffy is saying and Buffy says: "Your platitudes are good for all occations". Willow, my favourite is supercute and funny like 1st season Willow always is. Cordy is being bitchy cool and funny as usual. It really really really bothers me that Willow`s in love with Xander. He`s an idiot. But it`s funny that Xander "disses" Willow by saying to her that she is like one of the guys, and then Buffy disses Xander by saying that he is just like one of the girls. (implicitly meaning that Buffy is straight and only like women as friends). Willow gets introduced to witchcraft. (And we are all laughing so hard when Xander has borrowed the witchbooks to look at semi-nude girls) Buffy is superfunny when she is super-charged by a spell :) In the end the mother turns out to be the evil one and she gets trapped in a statue. But Joss gets away with killing the mother because the scene after is portraying the "good" (not evil) mother; Buffy`s mother Joyce. I love Amy when she is back to her old self and says; I think I`m gonna get fat" and Buffy says: "I think that that`s the new spring-look." Beautiful! So as a conclusion, I really loved the episode minus Giles and Xander :)
 
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#3
Giles is a bit "stodgy" in the early episodes but I think it's good to establish his character and adds to the surprise later on when we find out his nickname is "Ripper" and he's nothing like we thought.

There are a couple of minor bits that annoy me about this episode though...
Firstly, it seems to only back up the idea that Witch-Craft= BAD.
True, it is our introduction to Witch-Craft in the Buffy-Verse but I think it should have gone farther in explaining the up's and downs of Witch-Craft used for evil purposes and good.

Secondly- There is a bit about a Witch keeping a "Grimoire" in which she writes down all her spells...which is a really old belief.
If this is the case in the Buffy-Verse, why do we never see a Grimoire started or owned by Willow? Or Tarra? Or Amy?
It seems to become a general "truism" later on that Witches can cast any spell they want or create any spell they want, whenever they want, without ever having to write it down as was established in this episode.
 
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#4
There are a couple of minor bits that annoy me about this episode though...
Firstly, it seems to only back up the idea that Witch-Craft= BAD.
True, it is our introduction to Witch-Craft in the Buffy-Verse but I think it should have gone farther in explaining the up's and downs of Witch-Craft used for evil purposes and good.
But Giles uses a spell to save Buffy and stop the evil witch, which (haha... witch which. I have my own fun.) is good. I don't think it was completely portraying witchcraft as bad.
 
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#5
This episode has been viewed as good and bad. For me, the first time I ever watched it I was over the moon. I think, despite how much I love the previous two episodes, it was the one that made me fall in love with the show. Buffy's 'drunken' state was hilarious and I was cracking up the whole time. I loved the introduction of Amy who is amazing for a minor recurring role and Giles was rather amusing in this one. I love how he tells off Catherine/Amy for her non-carey-ness. And his disgust at Buffy becoming a slave to the 'cult' fo cheerleading. Catherine the Great is very, very pretty. She has nice eyes, just a weird observation.
 

WWGD

Potential
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#6
The part about Buffy being "supercharged" (a.k.a. under the influence by something) was really funny to watch. This episode had one of the greatest twists in all the series'. And of course, the inroduction of witchcraft which would become a huge theme in the show later. Also it again shows Giles' care and protection of Buffy. You can see how angry he gets when someone threatens her health/life.
 
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#7
- Cordelia's "who does she think she is? A Lakers girl?" comment makes me smile because Charisma goes on to play an ex-Lakers girl in Veronica Mars.
- Why is Joyce unpacking deliveries in the kitchen? Surely she then has to re-pack and take them over to the gallery?
- I want a troll pencil like Buffy's.
- Giles is unconscious. This is the beginning of a number of unconscious episodes for him. One of these days he's going to wake up in a coma.
- "It was my first casting", Giles you liar you.
- I love Buffy's outfit in the final scene, she looks like she's channeling Stevie Nicks.
 

caritas08

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#9
To me the most interesting thing about rewatching it is it helps explain to me why Amy went evil. At the end of the episode we think that Amy is saved, moves in with her dad and comes out of the experience virtually unharmed. Her actions throughout the series, but especially Season 6 and after, prove that wasn't the case.
 
K
kittenpoker
good point!
Wesley Pryce
Wesley Pryce
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kittenpoker

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Sineya
#10
To me the most interesting thing about rewatching it is it helps explain to me why Amy went evil. At the end of the episode we think that Amy is saved, moves in with her dad and comes out of the experience virtually unharmed. Her actions throughout the series, but especially Season 6 and after, prove that wasn't the case.
thinking more about this...

and then, she just gets comfortable in her new life with her dad, she turns herself into a rat to avoid being burned at the stake (probably her dad included in the crowd who wanted her dead) and then, willow turns her back into a human 3 years later...and she sees how powerful willow is but it took her so long...3 years, all that time should could have been with her dad learning to enjoy being a kid again...gone

lots of resentment built up I'd assume.
 
Wesley Pryce
Wesley Pryce
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Hale Caesar

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#11
This was the first Buffyverse episode that made me think "wow". The twist completely surprised me, it was after this episode that I realized this show is something special
 

Bluebird

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Black Thorn
#12
The Witch is a classic Buffy ep, with Amy, witchcraft, Giles' protectiveness over Buffy, and Willow and Xander insisting they help out with the slaying. And it's one of the ones I vividly remember watching, because it has all these details that make the show. But for some reason, once you've seen it more than a few times, there's not much rewatch value in it. It's enjoyable, but nothing particularly special.
 
S
SpikeAllTheWay
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#13
I always watch this episode when I re-watch season 1. I don't think I have ever skipped over it.

When I first started watching Buffy, this is the episode that really got me into it. I wasn't really impressed with the first 2 eps.

I really love the cheesy 90's special effects in this one. Always a classic for me. :)
 
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Black Thorn
#14
I was bored with BtVS at first because I thought it was cheesy, but then this episode came around and I was totally into it.
 

Jules

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Black Thorn
#15
Rewatching this episode I noticed something; when Giles and Buffy go to Amy's house and they find out that Catherine has switched places with Amy, Amy (in Catherine's body) says that she woke up like that a few months ago. If that was the case then it should have meant that Catherine and not Amy took place in the try outs. Unless try outs take a few months?
 

SallyCinnamon

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#16
I loved this episode, looking back now I feel like it's one of the weaker ones, but at the time I adored it, I thought it was interesting and had you hooked, not once did I consider the possibility that Amy and her mother had switched bodies.

When you look at Amy in later seasons, it makes me feel a little sympathetic towards her, she was obviously exposed to magic in the wrong way, and it corrupted her.
 
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#17
This episode is so funny, Buffy acting like she is drunk is great and I liked her even more when I first saw this.

Throughout the episode I thought what the **** is wrong with Amy, trying so hard to be like her mother, I think when you do something like that you betray yourself which can't be good.

The twist with Amy being the mother was awesome, and If you didn't get it by now then you knew this show is special.

I love the ending with the statue it was so great, but what I love even more is the fact that Oz later in the show says something about the moving eyes of the statue, I was blown away.





 
PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
I love this ep. Love that last animation. :)
E
EvilWillow
Nice GIFS! :D

thetopher

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Sineya
#18
I like this episode a lot. It's one of my favourites of the First season.

The first conflicts between Buffy and Giles as Buffy has a desire to do something 'normal', a mystery that doesn't begin with a dead body, which will make a nice change of pace as the years go by. Plus the Scooby's actually investigating around the school, it all meshes so well. Plus, three episodes in and the characters are so well-established. its amazing. :)

Good Bits: Where to start. Giles' reaction to Buffy joining a 'cult'. All the Buffy/Joyce stuff is nice, showing both of them struggling with the mother/daughter relationship, mirroring what happened to Amy nicely. Xander giving Buffy the bracelet and then obsessing over it, and his hopeless attempts to ask her out, until it becomes clear he's in the friend zone.
Drunk Buffy is so cute. Plus the whole fighting a witch thing. The fate of Amy's Mom.

Not So Good Bits: The whole Cordelia going blind thing is a bit off, as are her reactions (she seems half-stoned, more than blind?). Plus, the delivery driver who almost runs her down doesn't slow at all. Psycho.

Overall, gets way better with repeat viewing, and shows that Buffy and the gang can face human monsters, not just vampires.
 
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#19
Rewatched this one tonight and would say its an episode of two halves.

Highlights:

The setup is very good, with another great Giles/Buffy scene in the libaray.

Xander being set up to failure with Buffy and Willow's reaction is also great fun.

The Cheerlander tryouts are very lively scenes, and add depth to the characters.

Buffy doing "Macho, Macho Man" has to be one of the comedy highlights of the whole seven season run:D

Giles hamming it up nicely when doing the spell to save Buffy, "RELEASE!!!"

And the ending is really different but in a good way.

Low points:

There are a few sloppy moments such the scene where they get a sample of Amy's hair in class.

Like someone has said the pay-off to Cordy's driving test scene is pretty weak and more comical than anything.

The main problem with this episode is that the supernautural elements don't work nearly as well as the comedy moments, or the set up to the story. After a while it just becomes a bit of an over blown farce.

A very watchable episode with, with some random moments of greatness which should stand the test of time. But the plot doesn't quite gel as well in the second half, and it feels a little too gimmicky, which of course is the draw back of the low budget at the time.

6/10
 
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Sineya
#20
If this is the case in the Buffy-Verse, why do we never see a Grimoire started or owned by Willow? Or Tarra? Or Amy?
I could be wrong, but I think Grimoire is just a fancy word for spell book. I don't think it actually has to be written by the witch. So when Giles referred to Catherine's grimoire, I assume he just meant the main spell book she uses. There were actually text books that we saw Willow and Tara had which were called grimoires. In Dead Things when Willow runs into Tara coming out of The Magic Box, Tara has a spell book that I'm almost certain Willow refers to as a grimoire.
 
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