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All Shows > Buffy the Vampire Slayer > Season 3

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - 3x09 - The Wish

Synopsis: The Master is back but not really. Actually, nothing in this episode really happens. Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, and a demon named Anyanka actually grants her wish, but it is all reset by the end of the episode.

Review: The Wish is yet another episode penned by Marti Noxon. Noxon joined the Buffy staff with season two as story editor. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was her first job in Hollywood, and she wrote six episodes her first season working. Only Joss Whedon can claim the same: he wrote six episodes of Roseanne the first season he was hired, and Roseanne was his first Hollywood job. Noxon received multiple promotions every season. She was promoted to Executive Producer and took over Whedon’s role as show runner during the last season of Buffy, because Whedon was busy developing Firefly at this time. I have no doubt that Noxon is a very talented writer; I simply have not liked most of the episodes she has written so far.

It seems like most series finally get around to an alternate reality episode--especially sci-fi series. Sometimes they are good. Most of the time, they are bad. The Wish was bad. In fact, as a Buffy fan, it was painful to watch. In alternate reality episodes that are good, the writer has fun with the characters and setting. Nothing about The Wish was fun. It was dark and creepy. Xander and Willow came off as lame Spike and Drusilla wannabes. Buffy came off as bored with her lame alternate persona.

This episode was also riddled with plot holes. They made such a huge deal about prophecy and destiny in the first season with the Master. All the prophecies about the Master intricately involved Buffy as slayer. In season one we were told that he could not even escape without the help of Buffy. All this is ignored in this episode, and the Master escapes without the help of Buffy. Since all of Sunnydale is aware of the vampire threat, why is everyone not toting crosses and holy water? Why is Giles the only one smart enough to pack a crucifix?

There was actually no character development in this episode, because none of the events really happened, and we knew from the very beginning that none of the events were going to have any consequences. There was no truth for the characters to learn in this episode either, because nobody remembered a thing. Most reviews of this episode compared it to It's a Wonderful Life. This is an unfair comparison. It's a Wonderful Life had a definite message that this episode did not even come close to. The dues ex amulet was the final blow that crushed any hopes of this episode being taken seriously and receiving better than a 2 out of 10.

Rating: 2 out of 10 (Reviewed by: Matthew Miller)

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This is actually one of my favorite episodes, although I do see your point about the plot holes and most of the character development being pointless. However, I watched this episode for the first time after I had already seen the later seasons, in which Anya becomes a regular character. This made the villian of the week for this episode a whole lot more interesting. Also, you have to give them props for the artistic climax scene. Or I have to anyway.
--Matt Pickle (Agrees: no)

I'll concede the artistic climax scene was fun to watch, but I couldn't overcome this feeling that I was being cheated because none of it was really happening.
--Matthew Miller (Agrees: yes)

I really enjoyed this episode. I started out the series by watching the later seasons in which Anya is a main character, and it was fun seeing her for the first time.

I also really enjoyed the alternate reality. It is always fun to see where a character could have gone had the writers made different choices, and see the diverse abilities of the actors to portray those differences in the same character.

I do think it would have given the episode more depth if at least one character, besides Anya, would have remembered the alternate world (i.e. Cordelia).

All in all, I thought this episode gave a great change in pace to the season. I would have given this episode a 7 out of 10.
--Dempsey Kraft (Agrees: no)

I believe The Master escaped through the events of the Harvest and therefore did not need Buffy. Also since everyone knew of the vampire threat they did take some precautions although some didn't work. They were out of the streets by night fall and wore lighter colored clothing so they wouldn't attract attention.
--Tamia (Agrees: no)

The Master didn't need Buffy to be freed since in the alternate reality,Buffy had never stopped the Harvest. In any case he fulfilled the prophecy when he killed Buffy.

One thing I was curious about was the fate of other characters like Jenny,Darla,and Spike.
--Jeffrey (Agrees: no)