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

nightshade

Headless chicken
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Black Thorn
It's interesting that Buffy never actually met Amy til near the end of the episode, and only saw Amy in her own body after it all happened.

It seemed a old fashioned kinda way into magic, dark room, cauldron and black cat, none of which we see again when magic is used later.

Cordelia seemed to be going blind quite slowly over the day instead of being made blind straight away.
 

Riderofapocalypse

Potential
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May 20, 2015
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Ontario, Canada
I re-watched this episode last month and I did like this episode, however I have 2 gripes:
1) Cordy is blind and drives a car during her Driver's Ed course. Now I don't know about driver Ed cars in the past and in the U.S. but shouldn't there be correctional brakes and accelerator pedals on the passenger's side so the instructor can correct Cordy if need be? But that's just a minor thing, what really irritated me was the fact that for some reason Cordy slammed the car into reverse and screeched the car to a halt. We see that she is going blind, but for some reason she decides to (and the instructor lets her) then put the car into drive and basically play crazy taxi. That is until she manages to drive through a chain linked fence and plants....and then parallel park better than I can on my best day without pulling an 'Ace Ventura' and sticking her head out the window "Like a glove-eh".
I am well aware that this show focuses on other things, but I can and will never look past this. "That's some sh** I don't like, bang bang"

2) Amy's mom, Katherine, is absolutely WAY to powerful in my opinion. I mean this lady is like a witchy Darth Vader. She has force push, pull, choke...and can apparently banish you to another dimension (inside a trophy as we see). The Master has nothing on this woman.

My gripes probably won't me any popularity contests, but its my opinion so na na naa na. :p

Cheers.

P.S. Can someone explain to me what the hell the broom that Buffy kicked was holding up? The surface that repelled Katharine's banishing spell attack back at her? It looked like a mirror that was hanging from the ceiling? Am I right on that?
 

Jules

Bite Me
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I love watching the different types of mother/daughter relationships. Firstly you've got Amy and Katherine who aren't close at all and certainly have a mentally abusive relationship.

Then you've got Joyce and Buffy. At the start of the episode Joyce is trying to get Buffy to be like her, but Buffy is confident and independent enough to say she doesn't want to be like her. Then at the end of the episode you have that touching scene between the two were Joyce says she would never want to go back to being a teenager. It's heart warming.
 

Priceless

Scooby
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I've always liked this episode but haven't seen it in ages and I'd forgotten how great Cordy is. She is such a mean girl, the way she threatens Amy, you get the feeling she really could stab her. I much prefer Cordy on early BtVS than Angel
 

sk

The Overlooked One
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Sineya
Having just watch this episode I only want to say that the opening is the greatest ever.
Love the ranting Giles and then the cut to Buffy in her cheerleading uniform. :)

/SK
 

MarcoD

Townie
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P.S. Can someone explain to me what the hell the broom that Buffy kicked was holding up? The surface that repelled Katharine's banishing spell attack back at her? It looked like a mirror that was hanging from the ceiling? Am I right on that?
We had that in school as well. It is a mirror to help you look at the experiments going on in chemistry lessons without having to stand close to the teacher´s table (and risk getting your eyebrows bruned off)
 

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
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Messages
1,745
Sineya
Good episode.

The whole "Amy's mom stole Amy's body and hurt people with it" storyline was pretty interesting.

I also liked how Cordy called her Driver's Ed teacher Mr. Pole.

Overall, this episode is better than I remember it being a few years back :)
 

Fuffy Baith

2017 (and 2016) Cutest BB member
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I recently watched this with my niece, and it was worse than I thought. It's not a bad episode but I had a lot of problems with it. It's early season 1 so the show was still trying to find its tone, but this tone feels more like Carrie than Buffy and there were some odd shots. I like all the scooby moments though, but the actual plot I found odd.
 

Mr Trick

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I recently watched this with my niece, and it was worse than I thought. It's not a bad episode but I had a lot of problems with it. It's early season 1 so the show was still trying to find its tone, but this tone feels more like Carrie than Buffy and there were some odd shots. I like all the scooby moments though, but the actual plot I found odd.
Think this is just about right. And the Carrie reference might be the smartest thing you've ever said:p
 
Fuffy Baith
Fuffy Baith
Well I am pretty smart. Lol.

thrasherpix

Scooby
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Btw, while not about Buffy, I thought I'd mention a book called Jinx High by Mercedes Lackey that used this plot (with a lot more, I'll just throw in the mother has been doing it for generations, which first started as a magical accident, but found it only worked with a daughter born of her own womb)...and, coincidence or not, even starts off with a throwaway character named Buffy. While I think the 3rd book in a series, it stands just fine all by itself (IIRC, it was the first book I read in that series which inspired me to read the rest). Having a Wiccan witch face off against a witch that used demons and from a black magic tradition using the Christian mythos (and both approaching "Dark Willow" levels of magic/sorcery, though both were different from that) was also interesting to me.

It was first published back in 1991, and it's conceivable that it inspired Joss. In any case, I read it a few years before I started watching Buffy, and the episode Witch made me think of that novel all over again. After seeing that ep I recommended it to another Buffy fan and he later thanked me for pointing the novel out to him because he loved it, so I'm sharing that here as well.
 

Carrie Hopewell

Little girl lost in the woods
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Sineya
I really liked this episode. I found it funny and clever.

Things I enjoyed:
- The first scene when Giles is babbling to Buffy about her sacred duty and we cut to Buffy who's wearing her cheerleader's outfit. Great intro!
- All scenes at the gym are fun - the music is catchy, the dance routines are cool and there is some great dialogue.
- Really loved the actress who physically played Amy's mother, she played both Amy and the mother beautifully.
- Joyce really is an oblivious parent: she doesn't know what her daughter's trying out for, doesn't realize how easily Buffy opened the box she was struggling with, doesn't notice that Buffy is trying to connect with her. Also, we have that dumb "I don't understand 16 year olds" speech. Great parenting form Joyce!
- The magic part of the episode was cool.

I don't think the episode has low points and I don't have much to say about it. It was pretty solid, one of the best season 1 episodes.
 
The Bronze
The Bronze
Joyce just gets more annoying with every viewing

Foxy

I am cookie dough!
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Sineya
I used to dislike this episode for being very cliche and boring, but now during this rewatch I actually think it shows what is to come for the remainder of the show.

The entire episode is incredibly obvious, but I think this is the first time they really play with the themes of parental pressures and social expectations. This episode was lovely.

It was so upbeat yet highschool horror themed. One of the best episodes of the season!
 

Jam

Pepper spray is just so passé
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This episode is a lot of fun! Until you think about how dark it is... Still a good episode, though. I like it as an introduction to the Monster of the Week; episode 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and there aren't any vampires – not The Master nor Angel. Which isn't a bad thing at all as it shows the series is more than just a vampire show. On that note, it's interesting how Buffy and Giles have very little experience with supernatural beings outside of vampires. That's living on the hellmouth, though!

The beginning scene with Giles and Buffy is great. It's charming but also starts to build on the dynamic between the two characters. I could see a scene such as this play out late in the show, which to me indicates that Joss knew from the start exactly what he wanted the tone of the show to be.

Charisma plays Cordelia in such an over-the-top and unaware way that I can't help but laugh at just about everything she says and does. "That girl's on fire!" / "Enough with the hyperbole."

These traits aren't restricted to season one, but in this season Buffy's kindness and sympathy toward others is very noticeable. I don't know how you could have anything but love for her in this season!

"First vampires, now witches. No wonder you can still afford a house in Sunnydale." Well, that answers that question.

In the cheerleading scene after the spell has been cast on Buffy, I notice everyone is wearing the same white shoes except for Buffy, who's wearing black shoes. I'm trying to figure out if there's something to that, but I can't think of anything...

The actress playing Amy's mother is quite good. The occasional slip-ups she does – speaking as Amy instead of her mother – before Buffy figures out she's Amy are so subtle that they're easy to miss if you're watching the episode for the first time.

Giles using his jacket to elevate Buffy's head is a sweet little moment. There were quite a few nice little moments between those two, actually!

All in all, a very enjoyable episode! And definitely underrated if you ask me.

Tagline for Witch: "Grow up!"
 
Carrie Hopewell
Carrie Hopewell
You go girl! Keep up with the reviews :)
P
Priceless
One of my favourites from season 1 and very under-rated

GoSpuffy

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My rewatch continues and I find myself enjoying S1 more than I expected too. I'm so used to disliking Amy for S6 it is surprising that I quite liked her here. Giles gets hit in the head, has anyone ever counted how many times that actually happens? Maybe I should keep track lol. Later in the series I don't like Xander's fixation on Buffy but it doesn't bother me here. Seems more innocent than later on.
 

PaulParmar1

Spuffy Forever
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Sineya
When I watched this episode I remember the days I used to love Amy. I don't understand why the writers didn't give her a bigger role until S6 & completely changed her :(
I miss this Amy
 

Mr Trick

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The cheap looking effects are probably the main weak spot in this episode. But have to say certainly by S1 standards its pretty strong. Lots of good jokes and smart lines. Amy makes a good debut. Like how it transitions from Buffy's old life to her maturing as the Slayer. I always find it watchable despite its faults.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I think a website episode guide recommended thinking of this episode's magic as being completely alien to Season 2 magic. The Witch is a fairy tale witch, just like how the "Satanists" are really diabolists. If you need a bridge, this is Sunnydale. The veil wears thin, and any malefactrix can find herself with power very quickly.
 
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