Point for discussion: is it great?
Opinion: darn tooting
Ha ha ha. George sent me a text late last night proffering the above comment (apologies for any slight adjustment, am working on memory!)
But it set me thinking. Amends is one of those Buffy episodes that distinctly divides opinions. Following Whedon's proclaimed aetheism, the Christian symbolism of forgiveness sat uneasily with many despite Whedon's later explanations. Additionally, many already felt that the return of Angel itself (after Buffy had had to send him to Hell at the end of Season 2) was itself a "jumping the shark" moment and that the First Evil tormenting him was, well, just lame. [point of order - how come young Buffy can get rid of the First Evil here with a mere dig at "yes, I get it, you're evil" whereas later Buffy gets all wimped out? Oh lord, that takes us into a whole "is Season 7 any good?" debate - I really didn't want to get into that here as I have a lot more sympathy with Season 7 than many viewers did].
Anyway, back to Amends. One of the key reasons why I love it is less for the Buffy/Angel plot than for the Oz/Willow plot. Especially the Barry White scene:
OZ: Willow? I got videos. (Willows' got Barry White playing, dim lights, the works)Awh, come on... what's not to love about that?! And if you want more, check out this.
WILLOW: Hi. Why don't you come s-sit down?
OZ: You ever have that dream where you're in a play, and it's the middle of the play and you really don't know your lines, and you kinda don't know the plot?
WILLOW: Well, we're alone, and we're together. I-I just wanted it to be special.
OZ: How special are we talking?
WILLOW: Well, you know, we're alone, and we're both mature younger people, and, and so... w-we could... I-I'm ready to... w- with you. (whispers) We could do that thing. (Oz stands) Where are you going?
OZ: No, I'm not going. Just a dramatic gesture. That's, that's pretty special.
WILLOW: (stands also) Oz, I-I wanna be with you. First.
OZ: I think we should sit down again.
WILLOW: I-I'm ready.
OZ: Okay. Well, don't take this the wrong way... but I'm not.
WILLOW: (confused) Are you scared? 'Cause I thought you had...
OZ: (shyly) No, I have, but this is different. I mean, you look great. You know, and, and you got the Barry working for you, and, and it's all... good. But when it happens... I want it to be because we both need it to for the same reason. You don't have to prove anything to me.
WILLOW: I just wanted you to know.
OZ: I know. (smiles) I get the message.