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18 June 2014
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Episode Guide
I Only Have Eyes for You

Review

Until the third and final act, I Only Have Eyes For You follows a familiar formula. There are plenty of distractions from the core story: the snakes and the bees are cheap scares; the whirlpool that threatens to swallow Willow, and Cordelia's infection. They pollute what might otherwise have been a classic story.

Despite that, once all the pieces fall into place, it's impossible not to be charmed by the whole picture. The ending, where Buffy and Angel re-enact James and Grace's final moments, is such a compelling twist that it suddenly seems that the rest of the episode was written to explain the finale, rather than the other way around.

It's an exhilarating and thrilling ending that conjures a wonderful sense of destiny at work: how else could the spell have been broken? A great deal of the credit must go James Whitmore for his masterly direction, but it's also the result of a sparky script by Marti Noxon. She turns a straightforward ghost story into a morality tale, and one with fascinating parallels to the current state of Buffy and Angel's relationship.

The episode's last scene, Spike's return to health, is possibly an ill-judged addition. Although a very welcome development, it drags the episode back to normality, breaking Noxon's carefully woven spell. It sets the scene for the season finale, Becoming, but might have been used more effectively as the pre-credits teaser for a subsequent episode.


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