|Written by:||Drew Z. Greenberg|
|Directed by:||Michael Gershman|
|Starring:||Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers|
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
|Guest Starring:||Thad Luckinbill as RJ Brooks|
Brandon Keener as Lance Brooks
DB Woodside as Principal Wood
|Co-Starring:||Yan England as O'Donnell|
Angela Sarafyan as Lori
David Ghilardi as Teacher
Riki Lindhome as Cheryl
A magic jacket has the same effect as Amy's spell in "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered."
The episode opened with Xander very much objecting to the idea of having Spike as a roommate. Buffy, however, wanted him out of the Sunnydale High basement. The next day, Dawn and Buffy discussed Spike while watching (American) football practice. Buffy sort of admitted having complicated feelings for Spike, but she did not want to discuss it much further. Wise beyond her years, Dawn ranted about the amount of energy people waste pursuing romance when she got distracted by the quarterback (RJ) putting on his letterman jacket to the tune of "Theme from A Summer Place." She promptly fell off the bleachers.
In Anya's apartment, Buffy was fighting a demon while Anya protested that she might not be the Anyanka that the demon was sent to kill. Afterward, Buffy suggested that Anya move in with her. Anya did not want to admit to needing help but consented when she reformulated the request as Buffy needing her help.
In school, a very nervous Dawn looked for RJ. She eventually found him and a teammate (O'Donnell) talking with two cheerleaders (Lori and Cheryl). Dawn awkwardly tried to insert herself into the conversation, but she did not seem particularly welcome. In the process, she did find out that, due to a freak vending machine accident involving Cheryl, there was an opening on the cheerleading squad.
Apparently, the monks who made Dawn did not implant her with memories of "Witch," because she actually thought that it would be a good idea to pull out Buffy's old cheerleading outfit and try out. Her routine was a very enthusiastic and clumsy homage to RJ.
Unfortunately, the judges noticed the clumsy aspect of the routine. As a result, she shut herself in a room shredding Buffy's old uniform. Eventually she fled to her own room. She resisted saying her catchphrase ("Get out, get out, get out, get out!") as Buffy patronizingly told her that her feelings for RJ were meaningless.
In school, Dawn overheard O'Donnell tell RJ that O'Donnell would start the next game in place of RJ. RJ was not happy. However, RJ had an ally that he did not realize he had. In fact, soon afterward, O'Donnell had a mysterious tumble down the stairs while talking with Dawn.
Dawn met with her sister and Principal Wood. Apparently, O'Donnell has lied before, so Wood was inclined to believe Dawn when she said that he simply fell and blamed Dawn to cover for his clumsiness. However, Buffy got suspicious when Dawn expressed gratitude that RJ could start the game.
RJ was quite sympathetic toward Dawn and might even have been a bit grateful. He even suggested meeting up with Dawn at the Bronze. Buffy, Xander, and Willow checked him out there. Xander, and later Willow, felt a bit of attraction for the young woman in tight clothes who was dancing with him, until they saw that it was Dawn. Buffy was not happy and started to chew Dawn out. Dawn was not in a mood to take this from her. She stormed out and ran into Lori, who was very jealous. They exchanged words and soon had a cat fight until Buffy interrupted.
The next day, RJ met with Principal Wood concerning RJ's propensity for getting young women to do his homework for him. After RJ came out, Buffy decided to have a word with him about his propensity with young women. She started strong but weakened when he put on his jacket. Once again, "Theme from A Summer Place" played.
Dawn returned home to find Buffy waiting for her. Buffy said that she talked with RJ and that he seemed OK. After much prodding from Dawn, Buffy claimed that RJ thought that she was pushing too hard and that he wanted to be the pursuer.
The next day, Buffy interrupted RJ's algebra class to summon him to the guidance office. This was true only if the guidance office were an empty classroom. Unfortunately, Dawn had a free period and decided to get a quick glance of RJ. She did not see him in his algebra class, so she looked in the other classrooms, including one in which her sister and RJ were in a compromising position.
Dawn burst outside nearly in tears. Fortunately, Xander was there to talk with her. He got the idea that Dawn was upset about something to do with her sister and "that guy in the jacket." He decided to try to look for Buffy and found her in what was probably the same compromising position.
Buffy, Willow, Anya, and Xander tried to comfort Dawn, with very little success. Xander suggested that a love spell was involved. Neither Buffy nor Dawn were inclined to admit to being under a love spell, although Buffy was open to the idea that Dawn was under one.
Willow, Xander, and Anya retired to do research. Willow discovered that RJ had a brother, Lance. In fact, this brother used to pick on Xander, so Xander decided that it would be a good idea to visit Lance. Apparently, Lance let himself go since high school. He said that RJ was a geek until Lance gave him the letterman jacket that Lance received from their father. Xander realized what was going on and decided to leave.
Willow and Anya were having little luck finding a counter to the love spell when the doorbell rang. It happened to be a certain jacket-wearing student looking for Buffy. Both Willow and Anya looked longingly as he walked away to "Theme from A Summer Place."
Finally, the episode started to be good. Willow and Anya bickered over their love of RJ. Buffy and Dawn came down and were upset to have two more competitors. Buffy and Anya thought that Willow should drop out considering that RJ does not have her preferred equipment. Anya said that she would kill for RJ, which gave Buffy the idea to kill Principal Wood. Willow wanted to use magic to impress him. Anya responded by sarcastically suggesting that Willow turn RJ into a girl. Anya soon regretting giving Willow that idea. However, Anya did think of something that RJ would like.
With 1970s funk music playing, we saw Willow starting a spell, Buffy pulling into the school with the rocket launcher from "Innocence," Anya—dressed in all black—lurking around a bank, and Dawn lying down on railroad tracks.
With CGI crystals floating around her, Willow almost completed her spell when Xander stopped her. She was upset that the other three might be able to prove their love before she did. Xander decided that it was best to learn how they planned to do so.
Willow mentioned that Buffy was going to kill Principal Wood, so that was the first mission. Buffy was aiming the rocket launcher at an oblivious principal when Spike intervened and managed to take it from her. Next, Willow did a locator spell and found that Dawn was at a rail yard. They rushed to the scene even though Willow and Buffy were worried that Anya was busy seducing RJ. Xander noticed Dawn lying in front of an oncoming train, so Buffy sprinted to the rescue. Buffy and Dawn looked at the illogic of the situation and recognized that they were probably under a spell.
Finally, Xander and Spike found RJ walking with Cheryl. They ambushed RJ and swiped his jacket, which soon found itself in a fireplace. Buffy and Willow really regretted what they almost did, but Anya was quick to deny any moral or legal responsibility for what she did, which may or may not have involved an epic poem comparing RJ to a daisy, a tower, and a lake; or a string of robberies.
The teaser was quite good.
Michelle Trachtenberg shows a talent for physical comedy.
The episode started to get very funny as soon as Anya and Willow saw RJ with the jacket.
This is a rough remake of the much better "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered."
The first act was very cringe-worthy and as bad as the show has ever been so far. Most of the second act and the first half of the third act were not much better.
Buffy axed a demon in Anya's apartment.
Spike stopped Buffy from killing Principal Wood.
Buffy rescued Dawn from being trisected.
Dawn fell off the bleachers mid-rant.
It was amusing to see Xander realize who his "Daddy like" comment was addressed to. Buffy also got in a couple of good lines afterward.
The episode got much funnier when Willow and Anya saw RJ and started bickering.
Much of the first act centered on unrequited love, and the second and third acts focused on a love triangle.
The plot centered on a magic jacket that caused women—including Dawn, Buffy, Anya, and Willow—to fall in love/become obsessed with the wearer.
Anya is still on bad terms with D'Hoffryn, who wants her dead.
Buffy is not sure of her feelings toward Spike.
Dawn at least used to understand that far too much energy is wasted on pursuing romance. She feels inadequate when compared to Buffy.
Spike is now living with Xander.
Spike is now living with Xander and Anya is living with Buffy, Dawn, and Willow.
Anya might now have a fair amount of money.
There are two candidates for the MVP as Spike and Xander both managed to snag the jacket. Xander stopped Willow's spell, and Spike saved Principal Wood from Buffy. Xander gets the Sherlock Holmes so Spike wins the MVP. Buffy gets credit for saving Dawn.
Xander gets this award for being the first to realize that RJ's jacket caused Dawn to become obsessed with him. Later, he figured out that a love spell was involved.
RJ gets the Goat for abusing the power of the jacket, thus bringing it to the attention of those who would destroy it. Furthermore, as Xander learned in "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" (and apparently forgot sometime later), it is not necessarily a good thing to have many women obsessing over you at the same time.
This is the hardest episode to give an overall ranking to. If the entire episode were like the first act, it would probably be ranked at #143 or #144. If the entire episode were like the last act and a half, it would be in the top-20. The parts that I disliked most were the most Dawn-heavy, but this should not be interpreted as dislike for the character. In fact, I like Dawn-heavy episodes like "Real Me," "Blood Ties," and "All the Way" more than most Buffy fans do. In part, I dislike those sections of this episode for what they make Dawn do. Her character deserves better.
There is a very good reason why "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" is mentioned so often in this review and will continue to be mentioned. "Him" is not a particularly original episode, although it gets some credit for focusing on the obsessed women rather than on the object of their affection. Still, I would prefer originality.
In hindsight this episode could have been fixed with a bit of finesse. First, "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" worked in part because of how far it was willing to go. It was one thing to have Xander's classmates and Jenny Calendar obsessed in him. However, the episode went further to have Joyce become obsessed and then had Drusilla affected. "Him" went moderately far by having Dawn, Buffy, Willow, and Anya obsessed with RJ. Some have raised the question of what would have happened if Xander arrived at the Summers house after Willow cast the spell. Would this affect Spike and Xander? How would RJ react? This would be difficult to pull off, but having Joyce and Drusilla obsessed with Xander was also difficult to pull off successfully. This would have made it possible to cut out some of the cringe-worthy material.
There still would be some bad material left. When Joyce died, the show largely stopped the season arc for two episodes in order to explore how her death affected the other characters. Tara may not be as central to the character's lives as Joyce was, but, except for Buffy and Dawn, Tara was not much less important to the characters and deserved at least an act devoted to how her death affected the other characters.
In "Help," Tara's gravestone had a birth date suggesting that Willow visited on what would have been Tara's 22nd birthday. However, Tara's birthday episode, "Family," was the sixth episode of the fifth season and aired (in the United States) during the first week of November. "Him" is the sixth episode of the seventh season and aired during the first week of November. One full act of garbage could have been dropped in favor of one act in which the characters mourned Tara.
The first two episodes of the seventh season strongly suggested that Willow had little or no contact with any of the characters before Giles took her to England. This means that she would have been absent from any funeral that Tara had. I would start the act with the characters having an informal funeral for Tara in Buffy's living room to include Willow. Being informal, the conversation will wander to the fact that none of them really had an idea of what kind of funeral Tara would have wanted or what she would have wanted done with her body. After all, this is not a common topic of conversation when the person in question is still alive and in good health.
In "The Body," Joyce's death forced the characters to recognize that people close to them can die. Until Tara's death, most of the permanent deaths on the show were of people significantly older than the main characters (such as Joyce and Jenny, ignoring the fact that Robia LaMorte is only a few months older than Nicholas Brendon) or were not close to most of the main characters (such as Kendra, Larry, and Forrest). Therefore, this episode could show that Tara's death forced the characters to recognize that they themselves could die. They would start to think about what they would have wanted. Spike would observe that he would literally be dust in the wind, so it would not matter. Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Dawn would probably not even want to think about what they would want. Anya, who was immortal until the end of the previous episode, would have very definite ideas of what she wanted. She would want to be a pretty corpse, lie in an fancy coffin, have an extravagant funeral, and be buried under a large marker in a specific cemetery in Sunnydale.
"I invite you in, nimrod." Xander
"Xander had a soul when he stood Anya up at the altar." Dawn
"I just don't see why people bother. I mean, you put all this energy into chasing and having and brooding, and I just don't understand these relationships where you all do insane things." Dawn
"Bye, rant girl." Buffy
"Well, you could, like, paint a beautiful mural on every ugly wall in the world, and then you could paint a beautiful mural on every ugly mural in the world..." Dawn
"Remember when she used to have a crush on me? I miss the much cuter me crush." Xander
"I don't want a new cheerleading outfit." Buffy
"Now, now, let's not be hasty." Xander
"I'm just saying, once you get back the soul, doesn't that mean you start picking up your own wet towels off the floor?" Xander
"No, but maybe you start to feel really bad about leaving them there." Willow
"Daddy like." Xander
"What's that shirt made of, paint?" Buffy
"Glad Dawnie isn't here to see her precious boyfriend getting all thrusty with some slutbag hussy... [Sees that the "hussy" is Dawn] Oh..." Buffy
"Oh, no, daddy no, I wasn't... When I was looking, I wasn't... Oh, God" Xander
"Right there with ya." Willow
"Where do I start with the bad? First, you told me you were going to the library. Second, you do not go out on a date without informing me first. Third, Anna Nicole Smith thinks you look tacky." Buffy
"OK, first with the lap dance, now with the catfight. Hey, wanna get drunk and barf next?" Buffy
"Dawn, what's wrong? Is this... Did that guy in the jacket..." Xander
"I don't even want to hear his name anymore." Dawn
"I just called him 'that guy in the jacket.'" Xander
"Guy, it's called knocking." RJ
"I'm sorry. It's just checkout time was an hour ago. We were hoping to make up the bed, and, also, it's a classroom, you chowderhead!" Xander
"Stop, you're not supposed to do this!" Dawn
"Why? Because he's younger than me? You know, I'm extremely youthful and peppy." Buffy
"No, 'cause you were the one I trusted." Dawn
"There was a time I was worried about RJ. Used to be all into comic books, Model UN, geek stuff. No offense, Harris. One time, I found all this poetry under his bed. Turns out, he wrote it." Lance
"I have tried every anti-love-spell spell I can find." Willow
"Even if you found the right one, guy would probably just do an anti-anti-love-spell spell." Anya
"I looked into him, and I saw his soul." Anya
"He was walking away, so, unless his soul is in his ass..." Willow
"Willow, you are a gay woman, and he isn't." Buffy
"This isn't about his physical presence. It's about his heart." Willow
"His physical presence has a penis!" Anya
"There's a simple answer to this. Just think about who loves him the most. Clearly I do, since I'm willing to look past the whole orientation thing." Willow
"You're gonna have to do better than that. I'd kill for him." Anya
"You'd kill for a chocolate bar." Willow
"I have skills. I can prove my love with magic." Willow
"Yeah, right, what are you gonna do? Use magic to make him into a girl? [Willow beams] Oh, damn!" Anya
"You realize Anya is probably seducing RJ even as we speak." Buffy
"My God, you thing so?" Willow
"Well, I wouldn't put it past her. She's recently evil, you know." Buffy
"Well, so am I. Why should I miss out?" Willow
"You're gonna steal RJ by being trisected?" Buffy
"What, am I gonna compete with you? You're older and hotter and have sex that's rough and kill people." Dawn
"Xander, be honest. You didn't, you know, think about slipping that jacket on just a little bit." Buffy
"I refuse to answer that on the grounds that it didn't fit." Xander
"I can't believe I almost..." Willow
"I can't believe I almost..." Buffy
"It was a spell. We were helpless. We're not responsible for anything we did, morally, or, you know, legally." Anya
"I feel so stupid all over a spell." Dawn
"Get ready to feel even stupider when it's not." Buffy
Highlight the space after each question to find the answer. It is strongly recommended that you do not do so if you have not seen episodes through the episode indicated.