Horror and “scary” are not the same thing. Yes, a lot of horror is scary, but it doesn’t have to be. I don’t deal well with scary, but I love horror. I think there’s a lot to be said about the storytelling power that it has. It speaks to us at our most basic. This episode, more than any others up to this point, is horror at its core. And it proves that horror doesn’t have to be scary or campy to be worth seeing.
This episode is all about atmosphere. Angel’s narration over it gives us a really great base to build off of on that front. From there we move into what is overall a beautifully directed episode. I call your attention to the scene with Willow’s dead fish, how we view that moment through the fish tank. Then there’s the end of the chase scene, pictured above. It’s disturbing and tense, but also very aesthetically pleasing. It’s one of those things you don’t want to watch, but can’t look away.
There’s also Giles’s discovery of Jenny. I really love the way that the music builds along with the sense of dramatic irony up to that one singular moment in time. That scene is followed by an equally fantastic scene where we view Buffy and Willow’s grief through the window, removed entirely from it. This episode is proof that horror can be beautiful.
- I’m pretty sure I own the same red plaid shirt that Xander wears near the beginning of this episode. I’m also pretty sure that I should not own the same shirt as a male television character from the late 90s.
- Okay, so Angel is evil and soulless, and I get that. But he’s also just kind of a dick.
- And there goes that Chekhov’s Gun of a floppy disk. Ha. Floppy disk.