The way I review theses episodes are as if I am sitting right next to you, watching the episode. Basically commentary. Essentially an overview rather than a review. I’m not going to give a synopsis because to me, Buffy episodes can’t really be summed up in a paragraph. There is just so much stuff there that you really should just watch the episode. My posts are more “gloss over plot” and more “focus in on certain moments”. Purely for fun, hope you enjoy! (P.S. Words in bold white are actual screencaps, I occasionally add to them.)
A little fun fact about “Witch” and I. About two years ago, I got Netflix and discovered Firefly. It was my first Netflix binge watch ever; needless to say, I absolutely loved it. So after awhile, I figured, hey, this Joss Whedon guy is pretty awesome. I wonder if any of his other stuff is good. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was recommended for me, so I watched it, and did not like the first episode. I couldn’t even get through it! So I stopped it and didn’t watch it again, until a couple months later. My brother had suggested that we give it another try, so we watched Welcome to the Hellmouth again. This time around, I really liked it. I don’t know what was wrong with me the first time. So we began to have Buffy nights, only watching the episodes at night with a bowl of popcorn to heighten the scary factor. I wasn’t truly hooked though, until we got to Episode 3, “Witch.” I thought it was funny, original, well-acted and even a bit scary/crazy at the end! From then on I became completely obsessed. So I’d like to thank “Witch” for being awesome.
ON TO THE REVIEW.
Buffy and Giles have a fun exchange over cheerleading.
Next we cut to a scene of someone brewing a potion. OH SNAP.
Then the REAL FUN BEGINS. While at the Sunnydale cheerleading try-outs, we learn that Amber Benson is trying out for the cheerleading team. This episode marks the beginning of the Willow/Tara relationship. (If you are willing to read very, very leniently between the lines.) **AMBER BENSON IS NOT ACTUALLY IN THIS EPISODE I’M JUST JOKING**
Amber is super amazing, as usual, and newcomer Amy remarks that she’s been trained by Coach Benson. WAIT. So Amber is a cheerleader AND her own coach?! Talk about self sufficient! Damn.
Eliza Dushku and Clare Kramer stop by to weed out the competition. They are not impressed with Amber.
As Amber dances she begins to light on fire. This is because she does not yet know her potential as a powerful witch. Joss is brilliant, already planting the seeds for Amber’s return in Season 4. Simultaneously, Alicia Keys becomes inspired to write a Top 10 hit.
Afterwards, in the library the newly branded (well, Willow branded) Slayerettes talk about the fire incident. Buffy asks the gang if this girl could have been Katniss Everdeen, the original Girl on Fire, but they quickly decide it couldn’t have been, reasoning that Katniss does not have time for cheerleading try outs.
At the Summers house, Joyce is attempting to open a box with a crowbar, and in the process, comes off as a really bad and flippant parent. Joyce, what were you doing all day while Buffy was at school? I really hope it wasn’t attempting to open that box. And I’m sure you could put the crow bar down for a second and listen to your daughter. WHAT KIND OF PARENTING BOOKS ARE YOU READING?
After Joyce being generally annoying about her busy gallery life, we go back to school where, during cheerleading try-outs Round 2, Amy trips over Cordelia. Amy is then seen staring into a glass display case, looking at her mom. Not actually her mom, but a picture – her mom was on the cheerleading team. Buffy joins her, and when Amy tells Buffy that her mom is the cheerleader in the picture, Buffy says:
Amy leaves after getting uncomfortable about sucking at cheerleading, and Willow comes in. I actually love her jacket for some reason.
Buffy and Willow talk about Amy’s crazy mom:
Willow: “Her mom’s kinda…”
(Fun fact: This line was edited in Germany to equal roughly the following in English:
Willow: “Her mom is a real…”
Willow: “Something like that.”) Source
Buffy then confronts Willow about Amber, asking if she’s learned anything new about her. Well, she definitely has:
…but she quickly comes up with some lies about Amber and is able to hide her hidden romance from Buffy for another 3 seasons. Tillow will not return until Season 4.
In a creepy disgusting locker room, Cordelia is a bitch to Amy about the incident during try-outs and then slams a locker door on the way out, thinking she is cool. Also, WHY IS IT SO DARK IN THIS LOCKER ROOM.
Meanwhile, Willow goes to a bad place:
The Cheerleading list is up, Buffy and Amy are alternates. Amy gets angry and ignores Buffy’s invitation of brownies after school. Amy must be insane.
We see a cauldron of bubbling green, and a witch grabbing a Cordelia Barbie Doll and wrapping a mini Barbie scarf (it’s actually Cordelia’s scrunchie, but I like to think it’s a mini Barbie scarf) around it’s face. And I don’t think it’s for accessorizing. Voodoo time!
Xander rambles to Willow about how he wants to ask Buffy out. Willow adorably chews on her pen the whole time:
Buffy joins them and notices that Cordelia is acting weird. HM I WONDER WHY.
Cordelia is taking her driving test while possessed.
Buffy saves her from getting hit by a truck and her eyes are all white. We know why: WITCH CRAFT.
After some research the Scoobies come up with a potion to test if Amy is a witch. In science class, Buffy is tasked with getting a hair from Amy. So she drops her pen, and literally RUMMAGES AROUND in Amy’s purse to find a hair. Amy clearly knows what she did.
Can I also just say: HOW DID BUFFY FIND THIS PERFECTLY HAIRY HAIR BALL?!!
Amy goes home and is a huge asshole to her mom. Learn some respect Amy. Ew. She also reveals that she has Buffy’s bracelet and she gon do some shit wit dat.
Buffy wakes up super hyper. Super hyper, in this case, is synonymous with super amazing and funny. She sings macho man. She enthusiastically drinks juice. SOMEONE’S TOTALLY MESSING WITH HER!
At cheerleading practice, Buffy overdoes all the moves, It’s incredible. She freaks out when Xander and Willow come in.
After Buffy launches some girl in her excitement, she is kicked out and Amy is in. Damn. Willow and Xander cart Buffy away. Buffy puts Xander in Friendzone land, just like Xander did to Willow.
Buffy begins to not feel so well. Giles deduces that it is because a spell was put on her. She is slowly dying, and the Scoobies need a cure ASAP. They need to get their hands on Amy’s spell book to reverse the spells.
Giles and Buffy go to Amy’s house.The mom is acting all weird. Buffy notices that there is a plate of brownies on the floor. Hey, remember how Willow said she used to eat brownies with Amy?! THUS, THE MOM IS ACTUALLY AMY! Holy smokes.
As they realizes this, Giles goes upstairs to get Amy’s spell book. He finds it, and they head off to the school to do a potion/spell that will reverse all of Amy’s mom’s magic.
Meanwhile, Amy is cheerleading during a basketball game. Eliza & crew from Bring It On spot Amy. Amy gets scared after Eliza flips her off, and falls off the top of the pyramid. Eliza and Clare Kramer take advantage of this and create an even better pyramid with Kirsten Dunst at the top.
Amy runs out into the hallway, where Willow tries to distract her from going any further. (Giles is performing the reversal spell down the hallway.) Amy turns around, and does a Force-Choke on Xander, making Darth Vader proud.
She then punches Willow square in the face, and continues on. She busts the glass on a fire ax to get into the room holding Giles, Buffy, and mom – looking Amy. Just as she goes all Jack Torrance on Buffy,
the spell activates, causing Amy and her mom to switch into their respective bodies. Buffy is all better, and kicks Amy’s mom’s ass with a mirror, deflecting her spell. You may recognize this scene from the opening credits.
After all is said and done, Giles states the obvious with an amazing face:
Can I get a close-up on that?
Xander busts in, grabbing Amy. Buffy tells him she’s not evil, only to have Willow rush in looking absolutley crazed with a baseball bat. It’s nothing short of flawless.
Buffy is unimpressed, however.
At the end, Amy is all better because her dad is going to make brownies with her. Because hey, brownies make the world go round.
They walk past Amy’s mom’s trophy/cult shrine thing in the display case, and it is revealed that her mom is forever trapped inside the gold trophy. PRETTY CREEPY AND AWESOME!
All in all this episode gets a 7.5/10 from me. It’s super funny (my favorite parts being hyper Buffy and Willow at the end with the baseball bat), has an intriguing story, and introduces Amy to us, who we all know is going to become RATically different. The plot moved quick and the fun never stopped rolling. Plus I love witches. And brownies.
Some of my favorite quotes:
Giles: “Why should someone want to harm Cordelia?”
Willow: “Maybe because they met her? Did I say that?”
Amy: “I’ll miss the intellectual thrill of spelling out words with my arms.”
Cordelia: “Ooo, these grapes are sour.”