'The Wish' (Season 3, Episode 9)
What would happen if Buffy Summers never came to Sunnydale? Cordelia got to see how that wish played out, and like most happenings in town, it wasn’t a pretty sight. It sure was entertaining though, watching all hell(mouth) break loose. “Bizarro Land” not only gave us our first glimpse of a vamped and villainous Willow (more on her later), but also introduced us to Emma Caulfield’s future fan favorite Anya, a vengeance demon who also went by the name Anyanka. And if all of that wasn’t enough for this darker, scarier Sunnydale to make the cut, the freakin’ Master himself was still alive and ready to battle Buffy in yet another fight to the death, only this time, Buffy wouldn’t win. Luckily, Wishverse Giles was able to save the day and restore the Scoobies’ regular timeline, but the many “what ifs” presented here stayed with us long after Anyanka lost her powers.
I admire that there are some deep cuts here that were rarely highlighted during the initial run, like “Checkpoint” and “Restless.” Love this show.
I agree with all just add Faiths first episode, the pilot and the series finale
I’d have put Who Are You? much higher, and included Bad Girls which was the sowed the seeds of Faith’s later arc.
I’d have binned Once More With Feeling, I know most people love it but personally I find musical episodes tedious and trite.
“Once More, With Feeling” just came in at #1 in the Radio Times’s 20th anniversary poll. So yeah, you’re a minority.
Total minority. I have the soundtrack, songbook, and the entire episode memorized. If not for Hush and The Body, it would be number 1. Easily the best musical episode of any show that ever tried.
I’m with you. I never liked Once More With Feeling. In my opinion it’s one of the worst episodes.
I agree with you I can’t stand singing episodes especially when the force those that can’t sing normally to sing.
Some interesting choices were listed in this selection, but I’m not doing to diss any episode of Buffy. First of all, kudos and thank you for celebrating my favorite show of all time. Second – no mention of Pangs?
I’m going to ruminate on this while I work and then come back to this list.
I only have eyes for you should have been higher for my top 2
I only have eyes for you and hush
Pangs and Beer Bad are two of my favorite episodes – letting SMG be outright funny is wonderful. I end up quoting lines from these two episodes all the time (likely because one is about food!) and whenever I hear “beer” I think “Foamy!” :)
I knew what the top 3 would be before I even got there. 😄
I pretty much agree… before I started reading, i probably would have put “Hush” at #1, but as I read your comments about “The Body”, my eyes started welling up all over again at the memory. So yeah, I agree with the top 3.
I still think “The Body” is the best episode of television ever made.
I can’t disagree with that. It really was an awesome episode!
It really is the best episode of television period. I remember watching it the first time and just falling apart. I was Buffy. I was younger but I found my mother, dead, outside my bedroom door. Her alarm was going off. I woke up and tripped over her body. I was 15. She committed suicide. I tried like Buffy, CPR, etc. I didn’t have siblings but I had to tell people that loved her, she was gone. It fell on me. To this day, I have yet to cry about her. I’ll cry at shows but not about her. It’ll be 30 years this year too.
I’m really sorry this happened to you.
C’mon, where is “Band Candy”? #KissRocks
I love Band Candy as well. It still cracks me up watching Giles and Joyce act like teenagers. Then the principle trying to act cool is so hilarious.
“Kiss rocks? Why would anyone want to kiss rocks? …oh.” Willow frequently had some great lines.
There are so many great lines in Buffy, particularly in the slapstick episodes, like Band Candy. I especially love when Buffy says she has the SATs the next day and Joyce casually replies, “blow them off. I’ll write you note.”
My understanding regarding the cheese guy in the dream in “Restless” is that he’s just supposed to be one of those weird things that sometimes show up in dreams.
Buffy is really hard for me to watch now. At the time, I thought it was a girl power show. Now it seems really sexist. Even then, I knew the sex-bot episode was cringey, but now, in retrospect, there are so many problems. So I’d rather not revisit it, thanks.
You’re choosing to look at it through a sexist eye.
Those “sexist” moments exist and the woman handle those on the show that engaged. All the power of the show ran through women. You’re picking and choosing moments of the show and Joss Whedon’s history. Don’t watch, but it’s not a bad show nor is it sexist. Every show has misogynistic moments. Even The L Word. It’s called life. Sexism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, bigotry exist, if a show didn’t have those things mentioned it really would be a a fairy tale.
You forgot a couple. Joyce – powerful woman (knowing when to ignore Snyder (a man) & listen to Buffy (who as Snyder put it- “What does she know? She’s only a student.”) for starters in School Hard) and also Jenny – powerful woman.
Absolutely! How could I forget them. Duh!! I loved Joyce and Jenny. I do wish Jenny could’ve stayed a little longer.
Omg and Faith. Lord…LOL. Who is more powerful than Faith. Glory too even though she was a bad girl. Drusilla. Too many and that’s a great thing!
Buffy was never about girl power, and Joss never cared about being a feminist. However, the show still has great characters and plots. Just don’t go in looking for politics or activism. Joss is horrible, but a lot of talented people put years into that show.
I guess you won’t be able to watch any shows created before 2020 then, because being nit picky that shows from decades ago don’t live up to your overly sensitive modern sensibilities is only going to be a frustrating experience for you…btw the whole point of the Buffybot was sexism and how the characters dealt with it
You have Buffy confused with Charmed. Buffy never sexualized the actresses like Brad Kern did on Charmed. Buffy is an amazing show that had strong, intelligent women.
Did you forget about, “no weapons, no friends, no hope… take that all way and what’s left?”
My top 5 would be:
1. The Body
4. The Gift
5. Prophecy Girl
I have Prophecy Girl @ 5 because w/o that episode, I truly believe no others would’ve existed. That episode was enough for the network to give BTVS another go. If not for the 4 powerhouse episodes I ranked above it, it could easily be number 1. I know for a fact that episode is the episode that made ppl fanatics abt BTVS. I already watched BTVS and my gf (now wife) at the time laughed. I told her, just watch. You’ll get it. She watched reluctantly and then season one built up to Prophecy Girl. She was on the edge of her seat. She became a diehard fan. We’ve watched BTVS all the way through once a year since it ended. Still holds up today.
The Body was one of the best episodes on tv that I’ve ever seen. So poignant, heartbreaking and well acted.
I appreciate the deep cuts as well. Although, I always consider “The Freshman as one of my top 5 episodes. It was a great transition from high school to college, and had some fantastic one liners! “Let me answer that question with a headbutt!”
Nice Ken. Sunday was like a sorority girl vamp, powerful in her small circle, but not ready for an outside opponent.
My fav season opener was Anne. Season 2 broke Buffy’s spirit, and she needed to reconnect with her power…plus seeing a hell dimension gave us perspectives that we needed to understand Angel’s tortured return. It was perfect…Who are you? Nobody…. Until, I’m Buffy!
If I remember right. Wasn’t the twist in ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’ that the female took over Angel and the male took over Buffy. Which added even more depth to the performances.
‘Hush’ will always be my #1.
‘Becoming P2’ #2
‘Enemies’ #4 Sike!!
‘A New Man; #5
Tabula Rasa has always been my favorite. It’s equally hilarious and heartbreaking. I love Michelle Branch’s stripped down version of “Goodbye to You.” Can’t argue with the top 3 though.
You lost me at Storyteller. Even for the horrible 7th season, that was a bottom of the barrel episode. Andrew never should have existed on this show. For season 7, I’d stick to the first half for sure. Conversations with Dead People, or Help maybe. Not much good that year. Family was also one of the lesser season 5 episodes (my favorite season of the show). I get why it was chosen here, but they wasted so much time building up a story that went nowhere. Tara didn’t need forced sympathy from the audience, and it was a disservice to the character.
I’ll never forget Giles killing Ben. That was intense!
I don’t feel # 11 ‘Tabula Rasa’ is a top 20 ep. I think ‘The Zeppo’ should have made the list. Great Zander ep with the hilarity of the others fighting the Hellmouth monster in the background. Others worth mentioning are: The first Halloween ep and Band Candy
The Zeppo made my list. I loved that episode.
I’d swap out Restless for Something Blue – Buffy and Spike wedding planning was hilarious
100% agree! Something Blue definitely belongs on this list over several of these
#9 Wasn’t Buffy trying to make Tara forget about their fight with that spell? I don‘t remember it being for Buffy‘s sake.
It was for both. She wanted Buffy to forget she was pulled out of heaven.
With all the remakes, reboots, and revivals this is one show I would 100% be OK with coming back in any form. But preferably a revival. God would I kill to see that.
A beautiful list and I am happy that many of my favorites made the list. The Body deserves the top spot. Everything about it touches my heart. Hush, The Prom, I Only Have Eyes For You are also my top favorites. Thank you for honoring this much deserved show that was overlooked by the backward Emmy Academy time after time.
Agree with a lot of this list – no doubt on the number 1 although the ep is such a gut punch I find it hard to rewatch.
Hush is simply sublime, and every Faith episode is a cracker.
Wish “The Trio” could be erased from history though, they were an absolute disaster and Warren killing Tara was the last straw (at least he got flayed!)
Also Buffy vs Dracula!!! The Dark Master….
Do Top 20 Angel next!!
(Is that even possible given the back half of S3/all of S4?) “he’s a wee puppet!”
There’s so many aspects and parts of each episode I love which is why Buddy remains my favorite show of all time. While I can get into the love sorry of Buffy and Angel and the emotional connection with Buffy and Spike, there’s just something about a well written episode or a really funny one which is why an episode like The Pack ranks higher for me than a hard to watch episode like the Body. I did settle on a Top 10 for me as honest as I could.
10 The Wish
6 Beer Bad
5 Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
4 Band Candy
2 Once More, with Feeling
1 Living Conditions
I like this list. Damn the feelings.
The Body was brilliant in so many ways. For a show like Buddy with so many deaths and such high stakes having Joyce die by natural causes was such a powerful choice.