Let’s get this out of the way: I think “Hush” is overrated, a little gimmicky, and certainly not worthy of being the only Buffy episode to be nominated for a writing Emmy. It’s good and all, but that’s just crazy.
Two things it does have going for it, other than the gimmick: a super creepy villain, and an equally creepy accompanying nursery rhyme. We see both in the prophetic dream sequence that opens the episode, where Professor Walsh is talking about communication, and then forces Buffy and Riley to make out in front of the whole class. (It’s all about how Buffy and Riley are talking too much, so they haven’t kissed each other yet? Or that they can’t make out because they haven’t told each other their secrets yet? Whatever, they’re so boring.) Then Buffy hears a classic little horror girl singing the nursery rhyme: “Can’t even shout / can’t even cry / the Gentlemen are coming by.” Yikes!
It’s Halloween in Sunnydale, which means it’s time for Giles to insist that nothing ever happens on Halloween, only for something to happen on Halloween. In this case, Buffy and friends attend a haunted house at a frat (always a terrible idea) which, thanks to some ill-placed decorative occult symbols, becomes an actual haunted house. It’s pretty similar to season two’s “Halloween,” where everyone transforms into their costumes–in a great way. Continue reading →
Buffy’s off to college–and she has a roommate, Kathy, from whom she has to keep her secret identity secret, which as we all know she’s GREAT at. She’s extremely nervous, in contrast to Willow who’s excited for every class and every protest. And things don’t go super great for her: she gets yelled at by a professor for whispering in class, she can’t get into the one class she kind of wants, and the first cute guy she meets can’t remember her name because he’s more interested in talking shop with Willow about Psych 105, while the second cute guy gets turned into a vampire by a ring of goth stoner vamps that like to eat college freshmen and then just pack up their rooms and take their stuff and leave a good-bye note so that no one realizes they died. (I guess the parents never bother calling the school to find out what happened when their kids don’t come home for Thanksgiving. Just roll with it.)
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So, Graduation Day is finally (almost) here. As far as we know, Buffy and Angel are still broken up, but… come on. It’s a tossup. Everyone’s nostalgic, including a blonde popular girl who was always mean to Willow, and Percy, Willow’s dumb, muscular tutee, who thanks her for not beating him up again like that time she was Evil Vamp Willow. Except for Xander, who’s convinced he’s going to die, because as we know, Graduation Day is also Ascension Day. The Mayor is going to be the graduation speaker, on the very day his plan is to turn into a demon and “snack on populace.” Not a good sign for the seniors.
We’re getting closer to finding out what the Mayor’s endgame is. It involves a package shipped to him from Central America, which he informs us of while creepily feeding Faith homemade cookies. He also gives Faith a shiny new knife to play with. She promptly uses it to kill the courier who’s delivering the Mayor’s package.
All the other kids have the future on the brain, since graduation is fast approaching: Willow got into Oxford, Xander is planning a big Kerouac-style backpacking trip (insert massive eyroll here), and Buffy got into Northwestern but can’t go because Faith is no longer a very good backup Slayer. Oh, and Cordelia appears to spend the episode shopping for fancy prom dresses–but we find out at the end that she’s actually working at the fancy prom dress shop, throwing her college plans into question even though she got into good schools. Meanwhile, Buffy and Angel have gotten back together, and are patrolling for vampires every night together. But Buffy’s also a little worried about their future together if every date night is gonna just take place in the cemetery.
A Willow-centric episode! Sort of like Willow’s The Zeppo, but far more interesting. Willow is starting to get a complex about being the “good girl” all the time. Snyder basically forces her to tutor a dumb jock, who expects her to just do his homework for him. Giles asks her to drop everything to do research at the drop of a hat, and Buffy hits a nerve by calling her “Old Reliable.” Plus, her fashion choices have become 1000% more questionable since the previous episode, just in case you forgot she was nerdy:
So, this Willow and Xander thing continues to be disturbing and gross. The two of them have remained with their significant others but continue to be weird and panicky around each other because they still want to jump each other’s bones, and I hate it.