Stephen: "First love"
Ah, first love. Tales such as The Terminator and Titanic demonstrate perfectly that the first rule of first love is that it cannot survive. Indeed, the only good ex-lover is a dead one.
It did wonders for Sarah Connor, who goes on to raise humanity’s saviour without the hindrance of a fella in Terminator. Kate Winslet moves swiftly on to fly bi-planes, bamboozle aquanauts with senile stories, and gleefully throw priceless jewellery into the Atlantic.
So why doesn’t this episode hit similar dramatic heights? Surely Oz’s death at the hands of the Initiative would have provided a new lease of life for Willow. She could have been the Wiccan Bill Gates by now if he’d just made that small sacrifice.
One of the most excruciating episodes of Buffy ever, as Alyson Hannigan, Queen of Pain gets to go through it all over again. The whole premise couldn't be more emotionally sharp, as poor Willow has to work out what who she wants, and how Buffy will deal with it.
It's all done so maturely, proving again that this isn't just a show for the kids. The issue of a same sex relationship is dealt with in a way that's both sensual and sensitive - there's no gratuitous snogging or bad hair cuts (compare this with last week's Riley/Buffy bonkfest). A really nice, tight episode (though with more tears that laughs).
Great episode. Poor, poor Willow. Poor, poor Oz. Sob.
When the Buffy team decide that they're going to tackle a psychodrama, they don't pull punches. Not only is this an episode about missing that one chance at redemption, its about the inevitability of change. Ok, so Oz went away to improve himself, and worked really hard to be right for Willow, but he can't expect her to stay the same whilst he's away.
One line says it all: Willow (To Oz): I wrote you so many letters, but I didn't have any place to send them, you know? I couldn't live like that.
It's Casablanca. It's Melodrama. It's heartbreaking.