Synopsis: The Mayor may dislike germs, but he sure likes his creepy-crawlies, and he will do anything to get them back from Buffy.
Review: Before reviewing an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I read several other reviews. I want to take head-on a consensus most of the other reviewers held. They claim Wesley was the only one being logical in this episode. It was the logical thing to sacrifice Willow in order to destroy the Box of Gavrok. Buffy, Giles, Xander, and Oz--especially Oz by destroying the anti-spider potion--were acting illogical. The characters in Buffy are not a group of poorly written Spocks--they are characters that we have come to love. If you were in Oz's position, what would you do? "Ah, just let her die." I don't think so. I know it is fun to shout at movies when you believe the character is doing the wrong thing. I do it too. But try putting yourself in the hot seat. Would you do it any differently?
This episode was a housecleaning episode. We have seen hints about the Mayor's ascension all season. Buffy needed an episode to bridge the gap between those hints and the next three episodes where the action really ramps up. The episode came off as sub-par compared to most of the episodes this season. It did remain entertaining and kept the overarching storyline rolling towards the Mayor's ascension.
Willow was allowed another opportunity to shine. Willow discovered who she was in Doppelgängland. She acts upon that discovery in this episode--twice. She is not timid. She does not back down when confronted by Faith. She is a hero as much as Buffy is. Secondly, she chooses to stay in Sunnydale and go to college with Buffy, so she can continue to be a hero.
It was not long ago that I remember making some of the same decisions that Buffy and gang are making in this episode. Deciding what college to go is one of the other elements that gives this series a feel of realism despite a host of vampires and other monsters. This episode was good but not great. It was sub-par compared to most episodes this season granting it just 4 out of 10.
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Reviewed by: Matthew Miller)