Crumbs: Reviews » Dramas » Buffy the Vampire Slayer » Season 7 » Him
Critical reviews of U.S. TV shows
and analysis of what makes them
good, bad, irritating and enlightening.
61
/100
Viewer
70
/100

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a drama about a young girl who inherits the powers to fight the demons that threaten the Earth. She lives in Sunnydale, California which happens to be the Hellmouth and must learn to master her powers while also trying to have some semblance of a normal life. The WB 1997 - 2001. UPN 2002-03.

43
/100
Viewer
55
/100

Episode 6 - Him

9 December 2013

Synopsis: Spike moves in with Xander again. Dawn falls in love with the Highschool quarterback. Buffy becomes concerned with the intensity of her feelings but then falls for RJ herself. Xander, Willow and Anya scramble to find out what love spell is causing this.

The Good: I'm glad Buffy told everyone about Spike getting his soul back and it's nice of Xander to take him in. I think they should be even more curious about his transformation than they are but I guess that will come later on.

Some of the comedy worked out ok. Your mileage will vary. Personally I liked Xander and Willow freaking out about finding Dawn attractive. Xander's recollection of the events of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" (216) was probably the highlight of the episode. Those events were pretty terrifying but thanks to the passage of time all he recalls is every woman wanting him and concludes simply "Good times."

The Bad: Unfortunately that wasn't the only callback to the events of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered." The story was essentially the same but instead of the focus being on the boy, we watched Dawn, Buffy and then Anya and Willow get swallowed up by their undying love for RJ. Numerous problems followed.

The first half hour of the episode was basically just a straight teen drama with a sci-fi twist. Even though it was fairly clear that Dawn was somehow supernaturally influenced the writers played it seriously. So her emotional desperation for RJ was oddly sincere. It led me to believe that the purpose of the episode was to show Dawn experiencing love for the first time. I became convinced that in the end she would still be sad while the others brushed it off but that didn't seem to happen.

Once Buffy fell for RJ too the episode went for broad comedy like a heat seeking missile. Although Dawn was still heartbroken Buffy began hamming up her lust for RJ. Once Anya and Willow got involved it was pure slapstick including gender switching, bank robberies and bazookas. It was an abrupt tonal shift and as is often the case by chasing the laughs things became less funny.

Logic went out of the window too. For the jacket to have attracted women over the decades but caused no "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" style fallout implies that its power was less intense and would only suck women in who spent time with RJ. Dawn's love for him had a real air of plausibility too given her age and social situation. But once Buffy fell for him it was simply "B, B and B" time with the jacket rendering any woman into a deranged obsession. Then once he briefly had a word with Anya and Willow the plot lost all cohesion. Suddenly they were willing to cause harm to others to be with him even without knowing him. If the jacket were that powerful why hadn't this happened before?

We then got an entirely unnecessary train stunt as Buffy saves Dawn from killing herself, again at tonal odds with the broad comedy. And suddenly Buffy can snap slightly out of the spell and perceive her love for RJ as irrational in the face of losing her sister. She shouldn't be capable of that kind of reason if the spell is strong enough to deceive Willow in ten seconds. We end the episode in silliness with no wrap up about how this incident affected Dawn.

Through all this the writers dragged Anya back to being, well Anya. It was nice of Buffy to try and extend an olive branch but Anya's new quest for identity was tossed out instantly in favour of jokes implying she had no moral compass. She offered to kill for RJ with no remorse and then robbed banks for him and grinningly covered it up. Is this the same woman who just offered her own life and soul to D'Hoffryn to take back killing some people? What were the writers thinking?

The Unknown: I wasn't a big fan of the scene with RJ's brother Lance either. I didn't feel like they cast him as enough of a loser. And then they had a picture of him on the mantelpiece in exactly the same pose as RJ. Maybe that was a gag but it felt a little like the prop department thought viewers weren't smart enough to make the jacket realisation without a mirror image.

Best Moment: Xander's flashback.

The Bottom Line: Interestingly the first attempt at this plot also suffered from tonal issues. But the serious moments were nailed with precision. This was a mess which got worse as it went on and did a disservice to Dawn and Anya.

 

Cordia's Second Look
Him
Season 7, Episode 6

Original airing: 11/5/2002

My Rating: 46

The Good: This episode felt like déjà vu. I can’t remember another time when the show has made such a retread of an old episode. To make matters worse, this version was much less entertaining.

Obviously, there are a lot of similarities between Him and Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered from season two. The show attempted to tell the story from the other side this time with most of the perspective coming from the affected ladies. And some of it did work.

Dawn’s behavior felt quite appropriate for a girl with her first serious crush. She falls hard and fast and it was portrayed with a true sense of realism. And I even liked the way Buffy’s lust caused her to throw caution to the wind and attempt to ravish RJ in an empty classroom. It was a stupid move, but fit with how lust can mess up a person’s ability to make rational decisions. I even thought the jump to Dawn committing suicide and Buffy committing murder was well handled in a comic turn. I liked how they wrapped up Buffy’s idiocy, but Dawn’s was pretty lame (see The Bad).

I also liked the use of Spike in this episode. He’s out of the basement and the comments about his sanity coming back really do point to a bit problem in the Sunnydale High basement. He and Xander were also used to good effect as the problem solvers while the women were incapacitated. The site of Spike running from Buffy while hugging the rocket launcher was nonsensical, but quite funny.

Willow had some good humor moments as well with her attempt to summon Hecate and her calm annoyance when Xander interrupted. I also liked both of them at the Bronze unknowingly checking out Dawn together. Who’d have thought back in season one that Xander and Willow would ever be sitting around pointing out hot chicks to each other?

The Bad: Unfortunately, the plot was a sieve of logic problems. The spell makes no sense and seems to attack each person differently, at different times, and sometimes not at all. It’s also amazing that it hasn’t caused people to wreak havoc like this already if it can turn our ladies to murder within a day. The lack of structure to its effects seems even more pronounced when we know the jacket has been out and about doing its thing two times before. This concept just isn’t well thought out or structured. I also find it annoying that we don’t know if RJ or his brother are aware of the jacket’s properties or just willing to treat people poorly. RJ doesn’t seem too concerned with Xander and Spike steal it.

Anya’s re-inclusion with the gang feels way too soon and any awkwardness that should exist is completely ignored. She and Xander can work together with absolutely no problems and nobody is concerned by her announcement that she’ll kill for RJ when she just killed about a dozen people last week. It feels like someone either wrote this episode without knowing what had just happened, or it was perhaps used out of order.

Finally, Buffy saving Dawn from the train tracks went weirdly “action movie”. On top of that, it was very poorly filmed and scripted. I couldn’t tell how many trains there were or where they were coming from or when Dawn was going to be hit. And Buffy picking Dawn up and pulling her out of the way felt very slow and was poorly green-screened. The whole sequence was awkward and really ruined the concept of the conversation afterwards which nicely conveyed that Buffy’s love for her sister is still paramount to everything else.

Favorite Moment: Xander’s plan to run up and pull the jacket off of RJ in the middle of the street was well set up and quite funny. It led to a bit of an off-beat and unusual ending that I actually enjoyed.

The Bottom Line: This felt like someone’s attempt to write a season one style episode with a silly story and no real effect on the world. But it was so incredibly inconsistent, and so similar to Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, it fell completely flat. A few smiles pop up on my face now and then, but it just doesn’t have the right spark the last few episodes have been displaying.

('DiggThis)

Feedback

Add your comments on this episode below. They may be included in the weekly podcasts.

Post your comment

Comments

  • In my mind Anya, Buffy, and Willow made this a good episode due to their comedy. Dawn just gets embarrassed a lot. It’s hard at least for me to watch someone get embarrassed even to the point where I have to fast forward or walk away, and I do that at least three times when I watch this episode. However, I now think Dawn has to go through so much embarrassment. It would have been too hard for me to believe she would lie on the train tracks unless I had seen everything she went through.
    1. Dawn is under a love trance thing.
    2. Not only is she obsessed with “him,” every other girl who has seen “him” fall for “him” including Anya, Buffy, and Willow (who are more interesting than Dawn anyway.)
    3. Every time Dawn tries to woo “him”, she fail spectacularly.
    Because the audience sees Dawn go through all of this I think it makes Dawn’s bad decision at the end almost believable.

    To end on an upbeat note my favorite part is Xander and Willow realizing that Dawn is the sexy trampy girl dancing with “him.” Xander’s disgust is great and Willow made me laugh out loud and loudly when she said, “Right there with ya.”

    Viewer score: 50 / 100

    Posted by Jarrid, 30/11/2013 4:06am (4 years ago)

  • I have a weird love/hate relationship with this episode.
    On one hand I find this episode to be as ridiculous as the Cave Buffy/Alien Spider Demon/Sex Ghosts episodes but on the other hand I like this episode because it's really funny so I decided to rate this higher than a 50
    The women of this episode were hilarious with the exception being Dawn who really wasn't.
    Also bonus points for having one of my future wives, Riki Lindhome of Hall and Oates, make an appearance in this episode as cheerleader Cheryl.

    Stuff I liked:
    1. Finding out that RJ's older brother who used to be a star athlete in high school is now a pizza man brings a smile to my bullied heart.
    2. The slow motion shot and music that played anytime the women saw RJ.
    3. Willow trying to turn RJ into a woman.
    4. Anya going to rob the bank and finding out at the end she succeeded. That was great.
    5. Buffy in the background shot trying to kill Principal Wood with a bazooka only to be stopped by Spike was great. Her chasing him and Wood just missing the action was my favorite part of the episode.

    Stuff I didn't like.
    1. Everything Dawn. She was just to dramatic to like in this episode and her trying to commit suicide for him just ruined it for me.
    2. Buffy actually kept her cheerleading outfit from season 1? I don't remember her actually becoming a cheerleader.
    3. Buffy making the sexy-time with RJ in a classroom with an unlocked door and open window. I don't know the etiquette for teachers doing the dirty with students but I'm pretty sure you're supposed to lock the door and cover the windows so people don't discover your dirty shenanigans.

    All that being said a dumb episode with some good humor.


    A question about 2 different episodes.
    1. Graduation Day Part 2 was on TV the other day and I noticed something for the first time that I never noticed before. During the battle when Angel joins the fight he fights the other vampires and just knocks them out. Why doesn't he kill any of them? It seems weird.

    2. I recently listened to the Superstar episode and have a Danny Strong question that has little to do with the episode. Last year when Danny Strong won his Emmy for the movie he had written did anybody get any flashbacks to the Superstar episode? In Superstar we see a picture of Jonathan accepting an Oscar and I'm pretty sure he's wearing the exact same suit while accepting his Emmy. Just a random thought that went through my brain.

    Viewer score: 60 / 100

    Posted by Andrew the Geek, 27/11/2013 5:52am (4 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments