For a very long time I used to say this was my least favourite episode of the whole series. Hated it even. But having just rewatched it twice in recent weeks (let's not talk about bad notetaking), I think in truth, it's quite a fun little episode. We have Xander subverting the gender stereotype and being the lovelorn teenager who convinces Amy to cast a love spell to get Cordelia to love him (and take back the breakup which she so heartlessly delivers on Valentines Day). Course, as is a must in Jossverse, the spell goes horribly wrong and every girl but Cordelia, including Buffy, Willow, Drusilla, Joyce, Miss Calendar and even Amy, comes after Xander with lovelust. I love the moment that Cordelia finds out he cast the spell for her -
"Would've worked fine, except your hide's so thick, not even magic can penetrate it!"
It's funny because it's true - you can always rely on Cordelia to avoid the glamour and see the world as it is and not for how others want her to. So often the spells miss her - like the one on the previous Halloween with Ethan's spell on the costumes for example. And she proves her true colours at the end of the episode when she tells Harmony where to stick it and stalks off after Xander. Yay!
I think my favourite bit (apart from Buffy's, "I seem to have a slight case of nudity here") is where Oz comes up to hit Xander because Oz had listened to Willow cry for an hour on the phone the night before ... over Xander. But that's just cause I have the Oz Love.
So why did I hate this episode for so long? I think it's because Buffy is hardly in it. She was guesting on Saturday Night Live the week they taped it and so they did all her bits on the Monday and she took off. In retrospect, she actually appears for a good half of the episode, and these days I am less Buffy obsessed so it didn't bother me as much. Though I will say that it's a very distinct break in the Angel-goes-psycho plot-line and for me I think I always felt jarred by the standalone nature of this episode after so much season arc.
Just plain fun. They went all out with this, ramping up the absurd to hilarious levels. It's never scary - even with all the chasing and the axes and the kitchen knives - because it is just so crazy. Although it's painful watching Buffy debase herself in such a way, mega points to Xander for coming through.
I love that Angel gets chased away from Xander by Drusilla and it's good to see Amy again- she's starting to turn bad!! A real cheer-er upper which is refreshing after all the arc-heavy angst of recent episodes. We even discover that Oz's band's name is Dingoes Ate My Baby - suitably wrong but a little thrill for us Australian fans.
"And you know what? I'll date whoever the hell I wanna date. No matter how lame he is."