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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
February 10, 1998
5V16

 
Credits

Writer:
Marti Noxon


Director:
James A. Contner


Regulars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
David Boreanaz as Angel
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Seth Green as Oz
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Robia LaMorte as Ms. Calendar
James Marsters as Spike
Juliet Landau as Drusilla
Cast:
Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy
Mercedes McNab as Harmony
Lorna Scott as Miss Beakman
Jason Hall as Devon
Jennie Chester as Kate
Kristen Winnicki as Cordette
Tamara Braun as Frenzied girl
Scott Hamm as Jock

 
Synopsis

It's Valentine's Day, but Cordelia and Xander's romance has hit a bad patch, since Cordelia is losing status as Head Bitchqueen of Sunnydale High. Desperate to remain popular, she dumps Xander, even though she still loves him. Xander spies Amy Madison use magic to avoid doing homework, so he blackmails her into casting a love spell on Cordelia, so he can dump her to make her feel as bad as he does. However, the spell backfires, and every woman in Sunnydale except Cordelia falls madly in love with Xander — and we do mean madly. Buffy, Joyce, Willow, Jenny, Drusilla and every other woman, including Amy herself, fight amongst themselves for Xander's attention, with Amy turning Buffy into a rat to eliminate some of the competition. Xander runs away to Buffy's house, and is seconds away from being killed by the love-crazed horde, when Giles finally manages to break the spell. Cordelia decides Xander is worth putting up with the catcalls from the rest of the school, and they get back together. — Short synopsis by Bruce.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

Love magic gone wrong and backfiring is one of the most classic and oft-used premises in all of literature. From the plays of ancient Greece through Shakespeare and nineteenth-century opera right up until today (who can forget that dumb but likable 1992 Tate Donovan - Sandra Bullock chestnut Love Potion #9?), it's turned up time and time again. Also in this episode we have a questionable reference to the Roman moon-goddess Diana (see Goofs & Gaffes) and a more legitimate reference to the Greek goddess Hecate, who is perceived by many as the patron goddess of witchcraft.

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Dialogue to Die For

Angel: "Dear Buffy. I'm still trying to decide the best way to send my regards."
Spike: "Why don't you rip her lungs out? Might make an impression."
Angel: "Lacks... poetry."
Spike: "It doesn't have to. What rhymes with lungs?"

Xander: "Do you know what's a good day to break up with somebody? Any day besides Valentine's Day! I mean, what, were you running low on dramatic irony?"

Cordelia: "And keep your mom-aged mitts off my boyfriend. Former!"

Buffy: "I seem to be having a slight case of nudity here."
Oz: "But you're not a rat. So call it an upside."

More quotes from this episode...

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References

  • "Who died and made you Elvis?"  Elvis Presley (1935-1977), known as the King of Rock n' Roll, was an insanely popular singer beginning in the late 1950s.

  • "She loved you before you invoked the great Roofie spirit."  Roofie is a common slang term for Rohypnol (a brand name for the drug flunitrazepam), the so-called "date rape drug," which is all too frequently put to bad use by guys who slip it to their unknowing dates, then take advantage of the girl's subsequent tranquilized daze.
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Goofs and Gaffes

  • Amy calls upon the goddess Diana as "goddess of love and the hunt," but in fact Diana was the Roman goddess of nature, fertility and childbirth. She is closely associated with the Greek goddess Artemis, who was goddess of the hunt, since both were goddesses of the moon as well. However, neither was the goddess of love (that was Aphrodite in the Greek pantheon, and Venus in the Roman). [The new site owners have come to realize that witches and Wiccans do not seem to consider their goddesses to be the same as the Roman or Greek goddesses. Their descriptions are quite variable.]
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Notes

  • Oz's band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, perform on stage for the first time since their first appearance in "Inca Mummy Girl." (See Music)

  • Kristen Winnicki, who is credited as "Cordette" in this episode, appeared in "Inca Mummy Girl" as a girl named Gwen. They may be the same character, and she is called "Cordette" here because she hangs out with Cordelia, but this is not certain.
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Music

  • Four Star Mary - "Pain" (From the BtVS Soundtrack, TVT Records, 1999; Four Star Mary EP, Four Star Mary Music, 1997; and Thrown to the Wolves, MSG Records, 1999)
      The music of Oz's band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, is provided by the band Four Star Mary. Dingoes/FSM play this song on stage at the Bronze at the Valentine's Day dance.

  • Naked - "Drift Away" (From Naked, Red Ant Records, 1997)
      This song plays in the background at the Valentine's Day dance as Cordelia dumps Xander.

  • Average White Band - "Got the Love" (From AWB, Atlantic Records, 1974)
      This is the song playing on the soundtrack as Xander walks through the school hallway in slow motion, with girls staring and guys glaring.
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Comments

Brian:
A flirty, frothy Valentine from Buffy to its viewers. This is, of course, what the show does best — tell stories about the pain of adolescence and the high school experience using supernatural metaphors. The various female cast members coming onto Xander hot and heavy ranged from fall-down funny to slightly embarrassing, and that's as it should be because it drove home the unpleasantness of what Xander was going through. Also, in retrospect, the amazing depth of Xander's butt-headedness in the first half of this episode was also appropriate, making his subsequent torment well-deserved as well as fun to watch. It was good to see Amy again, and I wouldn't mind seeing future returns of the amateur witch. Oz was also wonderful, especially in the scenes where he punched Xander (woo-hoo!) and towards the end in the basement with a very nude Buffy (woo-hoo again!). Ultimately, the cast pulled off a delicate triumph here — the focus on sex and scanty clothing in this decidedly hormonal episode could have made it cringeworthy in the extreme, but all involved (especially Alyson and SMG) turned it into a classy yet screamingly funny affair. Now, the question is: would I have been as strong in Xander's place? Hmmm... (9/10)
Will:
In the immortal words of Spike, "That was... neat." That really did sum up my opinion of this week's offering. It was just a big old barrel of fun. Some moments that were truly priceless to me include Oz punching out Xander, Buffy trying to seduce Xander, and Willow sucking on Xander's ear. More importantly, Cordy actually seems to be recognizing her feelings towards Xander, even if he is "lame," as she put it. I thought that Cordy actually showed some depth when she claimed that the necklace was in her locker, when it was actually around her neck. Charisma Carpenter gave a stellar performance in my opinion. She actually made me believe that Cordy is almost a human being. I also enjoyed seeing Giles still mad at Ms. Calendar. In my humble opinion he deserves better. On the Oz front, he just keeps getting better and better. He has become a necessary part of this show, if you ask me. As an interesting side note, I think that it's safe to say that Spike doesn't really like Angel... well, maybe hate or despise would be a better word to use. Gee, what better to give a girl for Valentine's Day than your heart... or someone else's for that matter. I must say that Joss and company gave us a flawless little tidbit to celebrate Valentine's Day. (10/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
February 10, 1998 4.5 68 of 93
June 16, 1998 2.4 97 of 114 (tie)

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