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18 June 2014
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Episode Guide


There have been admirably few Buffy… episodes where one of the gang is held to ransom by the bad guys; a dramatic device that’s served countless movies and TV episodes faithfully since images were first recorded on film. It’s a tired idea, inevitably leading to foiled escape attempts and the heroes arriving in the nick of time to rescue their comrade. Sadly David Fury’s script adds little to the formula, merely the unbelievable notion that Willow would hang around in the Mayor’s office reading the Books of Ascension rather than flee.

There is some nice character interaction in this episode that makes up for the dire plotting: Willow standing up to Faith; Faith’s unsettling relationship with the Mayor; the gang teaming up against Wesley; and more signs that the romance between Buffy and Angel is flagging. It’s tempting to echo Wes’s observation that by the end of the episode, 'we’ re right back where we started', but it’s not true. This episode is the first to really make full use of the Mayor, and finally brings the season’s chief villain face to face with the Slayer, (after a series of frustrating near-misses).

Choices is a good episode for Willow, giving Alyson Hannigan a few choice scenes that she illuminates beautifully. There’s also plenty of time allocated to laying the groundwork for the next season, which will see a couple of characters departing, and a whole new setting for those that remain…

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