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S01.E03: Witch

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From Wikipedia:

Buffy tries out for Sunnydale High's cheer leading squad. The Scoobies at first suspect that Amy is causing all the havoc but discover that her mother, also a practicing witch, has swapped bodies with her.

 

This is another episode where in my memory it was further in the run. I never realize it's the third (second) episode. I don't have a ton to say about this one. I think it's a pretty fun episode. Buffy singing Macho Man always makes me giggle. 

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I do love how in an episode the next season Oz is staring at the statue and says something to the effect of "doesn't it look like the eyes are following you?"  Sometimes it's the little things that get to me.

 

Until I started rewatching the first season, I had forgotten how bitchy Cordelia was!

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Going through Buffy for the first time, so bear with me.

I didn't see the body switch coming. Before the scene with "Amy" bossing her "mom" around, I kept thinking, "It's not Amy, it's the mom." Though technically I was right, it turned out to be "Amy" all along. I thought it was a little weird that Amy was able to move back in with her dad who left her. But, I guess that was the only way to tie up her living situation.

Xander is obnoxious. Willow is k, though.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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On ‎23‎/‎05‎/‎2014 at 2:11 AM, Wilowy said:

They eyes in the trophy! Very horror movie-esque. And our introduction to Amy! 

Yes I was always surprised they don't do a further gag on that in Doomed

 

On ‎12‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 7:11 PM, KingOfHearts said:

Going through Buffy for the first time, so bear with me.

I didn't see the body switch coming. Before the scene with "Amy" bossing her "mom" around, I kept thinking, "It's not Amy, it's the mom." Though technically I was right, it turned out to be "Amy" all along. I thought it was a little weird that Amy was able to move back in with her dad who left her. But, I guess that was the only way to tie up her living situation.

Xander is obnoxious. Willow is k, though.

How is he obnoxious exactly?

The Witch

The good; Amy for the first time, yay! And even now she's still appearing in season 8. I always thought if Will died she'd have been a good replacement. Buffy looks sensational in her cheerleading gear, a shame we'll never see her in it again (and we won't see the costume again until Dawn digs it out in season 7). Willow gets more hands on with the axe and we have our first case of Wicca although it's a very dark variety. The African fertility statue gag is the first sign of the saucy humour Buffy and Angel will become famous for. Lovely scenes between Buffy and Joyce both at breakfast and in closing. I gotta say, I didn't see the twist at all.

The bad; What happens to the poor girl whose mouth sealed up? Presumably all the aspects of Amy's mum's magic stop once she is defeated.

Best lines; Willow; "That girl's on fire!" Cordy; "Enough with the hyperbole"

Giles; "Why would anyone want to hurt Cordelia?" Willow; "Maybe they met her?"

My favourite though; Xander; "I laugh in the face of danger. Then I hide until it goes away"

What the fanficcers thought; Often in fanfic if Willow dies Amy takes over and becomes the Scooby's resident witch, sometimes romancing Tara. See 'To Those Who Wait' and 'Deadscoobies'.

Observations and questions; Presumably Amy mom dies properly when the school blows up and passes to the afterlife. Willow is already beginning to dress less nerdy. We see Giles' car for the first time, the Citreon whilst a design classic seems a weird choice for him, a vintage Jag maybe more his style. Xander's Buffy obsession continues to grow. No Angel, you sometimes forget he's not in all the eps of season 1. At exactly what point do Amy and her mum swap bodies? Cordy hasn't passed her driving test yet but that changes by the end of the season 6/10

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10 hours ago, nosleepforme said:

This was the first episode I watched, back in 1998, I think. 

 

I loved Amy, but her development throughout the run of the shower is disappointing.

 

And yet he still is the cast member with the most Buffyverse appearances.

Like Jonathon I think she was better as an occasional treat than a regular as Harmony maybe proved in Angel. I liked her development as she was truly ambiguous, you never knew what to make of her even in her final appearance.

 Yep, Angel/Angelus the most prolific character in the Buffyverse, pipping even Willow by a good dozen eps.  

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On 30.05.2018 at 3:42 PM, nosleepforme said:

I loved Amy, but her development throughout the run of the shower is disappointing.

Same with me. By the end of the ep Amy semeed to be getting along quite well with Buffy and the others. Why not develop that storyline? Since Amy knew 'bout the supernatural - witchcraft to be precise - the Scoobies (and the writers for that matter) could, you know, consider her joining the gang. Or she could at least be shown spending more time with the Scoobs. Anyway Elizabeth Anne Allen is cute and there should have been more of her character throughout the show.

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13 minutes ago, lembergwatcher said:

Anyway Elizabeth Anne Allen is cute and there should have been more of her character throughout the show.

Allegedly Joss wanted to make her a regular, but the network didn't think she could act.

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On ‎22‎/‎08‎/‎2018 at 12:23 AM, Halting Hex said:

Allegedly Joss wanted to make her a regular, but the network didn't think she could act.

She seems to have given up acting so maybe he was right? 

On ‎22‎/‎08‎/‎2018 at 12:08 AM, lembergwatcher said:

Same with me. By the end of the ep Amy semeed to be getting along quite well with Buffy and the others. Why not develop that storyline? Since Amy knew 'bout the supernatural - witchcraft to be precise - the Scoobies (and the writers for that matter) could, you know, consider her joining the gang. Or she could at least be shown spending more time with the Scoobs. Anyway Elizabeth Anne Allen is cute and there should have been more of her character throughout the show.

If you ever read fanfic if anything happens to Willow she invariably becomes the Scoobs new resident witch. 

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On 5/29/2018 at 4:29 AM, Joe Hellandback said:

I was always surprised they don't do a further gag on [Catherine in the trophy] in

Spoiler

Doomed

 

It's in the script; it just didn't make air.

On 5/29/2018 at 4:29 AM, Joe Hellandback said:

What happens to the poor girl whose mouth sealed up? Presumably all the aspects of Amy's mum's magic stop once she is defeated.

I thought it was even more temporary than that.  Or do we think that Cordelia remained blind for most of the episode?

Quote

BUFFY: I've been slaying vampires for more than a year now, and I have seen some pretty cringeworthy things, but... nobody's hands ever got toasted before.

So…is this literally Buffy's first non-vampiric foe?  No

Spoiler

demons, robots, or evil humans

, or anything?  Or was she just defaulting to her usual status in the quote?  I'm unsure, myself.

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5 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

It's in the script; it just didn't make air.

I thought it was even more temporary than that.  Or do we think that Cordelia remained blind for most of the episode?

So…is this literally Buffy's first non-vampiric foe?  No

  Hide contents

demons, robots, or evil humans

, or anything?  Or was she just defaulting to her usual status in the quote?  I'm unsure, myself.

You're right, it's mystical like Xander's

Spoiler

syphilis in Pangs.  

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My newest reactor (Amber of Introvert Reacts) has kept the string intact: EVERY reaction I've ever seen to this episode includes the reactor wondering why the UPS driver just doesn't stop the truck.  I mean, he sees Cordelia in plenty of time, we hear when he honks the horn, after all.

Perhaps, to paraphrase Willow, he's already "met" Cordelia and so the Killer Truck is more of an "at last, I will have my revenge!" type of deal?  Except that I don't know why he would be honking then.  And I didn't notice him speeding up…

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Well, thankfully, the streak remains intact!  My newest reactor, Liam Catterson (a friend of Liam Duke, apparently there's some sort of Grand Alliance of Liams that I'm unaware of

Spoiler

…don't tell Angel

) had me worried for a moment, as he was mostly just reacting to Cordelia walking around in a daze, but he did squeeze out a "well, she could have stopped the—" as the UPS driver bears down on Cordy, just before Buffy leaps to the rescue.  So it's still every reactor who wonders why the truck doesn't stop.  Yay?

Liam C. reacted to Amber's hands being literally on fire by saying "maybe she's just that good".  He was joking, but honestly, with a Hellmouth in play, that explanation wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility, I wouldn't think.  (Might make a dull episode, with no specific antagonist, but still.)

And, for the first time, I noticed that after "Amy" and Buffy admire Catherine's pictures in the trophy case, and "Amy" starts to sulk away, the approaching Willow goes "Oh, hey, Amy" and Cather!Amy just blows her off.  Which makes sense, because Willow is friends with the real Amy, and might see through Catherine's impersonation in ways that Buffy, a stranger, wouldn't.  

(Also, given Catherine's contempt for her daughter, she probably doesn't have much affection for Amy's friends, either.  Especially Willow, who helped Amy "sneak" brownies behind Catherine's back, and turned Amy into the fat pig Catherine resents for wasting the gift of youth.)  Neat little nuance, that.

Liam C. also points out that Giles should have seen that Catherine would be able to attack after the spell was reversed and he should have restrained her body.  (Which Amerine would have consented to.)  I guess that it's possible they didn't want to spend the time hunting up rope or shackles since Buffy was dying, but still. It does seem a sensible precaution.

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The streak is hanging by a thread!    Shelley Davis, who's re-watching along with her newbie friend, Anne (Shelley's not quite as non-spoilery as I would like but it's still an okay presentation), let the truck go by without so much as a comment, but then did venture an "of course, they could have just stopped the truck" after the danger was passed.  So, sort of an asterisk there, especially as Shelly's the spoiled half of the team.

Still, Anne did accidentally nail the title pun before the episode even screened.  When Shelley said "Witch", Anne joked "which witch?" even without knowing the body-switch plot.  So, heh.

Meanwhile, I started wondering if CatherAmy really worked out "3 hours in the morning, 3 hours after school" on her cheer routine, or if that was as much bs as the "I train with my mom" line and "Catherine the Great" was just counting on remembered glory to see her through, with magic in her back pocket, if needed.  I also wondered if, were Charisma Carpenter not part of the regular cast, viewers might have thought Cordelia was the villain and Amy the innocent, based on their locker room confrontation, until Cordy gets enspelled and it's clear she's the victim?  We'll never know, I guess.

And speaking of stopping vehicles, shouldn't Blurry-Vision!Cordy really just step on her own brakes before she sends the instructional car careening out of control?  I mean, obviously it would hurt her marks, but she nearly ended up with marks the way she handled it.  Doesn't seem the way to Mr. Pole (the instructor)'s heart, IMO.

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3 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

Meanwhile, I started wondering if CatherAmy really worked out "3 hours in the morning, 3 hours after school" on her cheer routine, or if that was as much bs as the "I train with my mom" line

I guess she worked on her witchcraft routine, not cheerleading (as we clearly see at the end of Act II).

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I think she tried to work out, and it was the "I just can't get my body to move like hers!" thing "Amy" was complaining about. She did, her daughter body just wasn't naturally co ordinated. Which you would have thought would give Catherine a bit more sympathy for her daughter, that she wasn't just being fat and lazy. But psychopath I guess. 

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On ‎3‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 4:48 AM, Halting Hex said:

My newest reactor (Amber of Introvert Reacts) has kept the string intact: EVERY reaction I've ever seen to this episode includes the reactor wondering why the UPS driver just doesn't stop the truck.  I mean, he sees Cordelia in plenty of time, we hear when he honks the horn, after all.

Perhaps, to paraphrase Willow, he's already "met" Cordelia and so the Killer Truck is more of an "at last, I will have my revenge!" type of deal?  Except that I don't know why he would be honking then.  And I didn't notice him speeding up…

I love Amber, she may get more hits now Torchwood Boy has taken a sabbatical. Shelly Davis is also interesting. 

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I just started watching this series, and this was the episode that convinced me to finish out the first season. I love how they set up the mother-daughter dynamic and then delivered on the twists... I didn't see the last one coming and I thought the overall script was very tight. You can tell Joss grew up devouring horror movies and supernatural stuff. It's like every episode of the first season he was taking the opportunity to do a mini horror movie.

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On 11/13/2019 at 2:39 AM, DisneyBoy said:

I just started watching this series, and this was the episode that convinced me to finish out the first season. I love how they set up the mother-daughter dynamic and then delivered on the twists... I didn't see the last one coming and I thought the overall script was very tight. You can tell Joss grew up devouring horror movies and supernatural stuff. It's like every episode of the first season he was taking the opportunity to do a mini horror movie.

A newbie" Yay! Tell us what you think of each ep as you go!

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Hi! I'm binging my way through pretty quickly so I don't think I'm going to take the time to stop and comment on each episode. Are there season-long talkback threads?

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