After some earlier misdirection that suggested the Willow addiction storyline had been played out and would not be the big shocker of the season, here it comes after all. Pity Tara had to bite the bullet to push Willow to far, but the results are impressive.
Sadly, our raven-haired princess of darkness doesn't have much of an adversary this week. Wouldn't Warren have been smarter to jump on the first plane to Rio out of Sunnydale's swanky international airport, rather than take all day to make it half way through the woods? He should probably get a refund on those rather rubbish magic weapons Rack sold him too.
Still, there's an energy and excitement in these recent episodes which was sorely lacking up until Seeing Red. It's probably no coincidince that Joss Whedon had just completed work on the Firefly pilot shortly before the last few Season Six episodes went into production. It really feels as though the master is back in the driving seat once more.
The stunning conclusion to last weeks episode has finally sent season six hurtling towards the finale we have all been waiting for. The various plot strands of the last year have all been leading to this moment - Willow, a little upset, with black hair. Thank God we're here at last - but why did it have to take so long?
Again the banality of Warren's evil is brought home. His actions do not result in death and destruction on a huge scale, but in ambulances and bodies. It's the kind of everyday tragedy we seldom see in Sunnydale.
Its also nice to see Warren finally understand what we have known from the start, he (and his 'Trio') are a bit crap. (Mind you, he does seem to launch a Quidditch ball at Willow at one point).
Hannigan does a tremendous job of demonstrating Willow’s descent from grieving lover to revenging angel as the magic takes hold. It was also nice that time was found in the script to explain how magic works in the Buffyverse (and that it all seemed to make some kind of sense).
There is a lot riding on the finale to this year. If it all falls flat, then the time consuming build-up will seem rather redundant - but a fitting climax will make it all have seemed worthwhile.