Rewatching Buffy – Episode 116

buffy-titleWelcome to Rewatching Buffy, the part of the blog where I rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Each Tuesday evening, you’re invited to join me as I attempt to rediscover what made me love this show 22 years ago.

Hell’s Bells

  • Buffy and Willow are trying on their bridesmaids’ dresses.
  • They’re kinda hideous.
  • Conversation leads to the awkwardness that was last night’s rehearsal dinner and the wackiness that ensued between Xander’s family and Anya’s demon friends, who we’re all passing off as “circus folk.”
  • That awkwardness continues at Xander’s apartment, where Xander is desperately trying to keep the peace while he gets ready for the wedding.
  • Elsewhere, an old man appears from out of thin air, and he’s prepared for the rain, opening an umbrella as he walks through town.
  • It’s as if he knew he would be apparating in the rain.
  • Buffy helps Xander finish getting ready at the scene of the ceremony.
  • Willow and Tara help Anya get ready while she practices her vows.
  • Dawn is out greeting guests… and it’s kind of awkward all around.
  • Anya’s old boss from her demon days, D’Hoffryn, drops in and says, “May the love we celebrate today avoid an almost inevitable decline.”
  • That’s a fitting greeting for nearly every wedding, right?
  • Halfrek arrives soon after and probes Dawn for another potential wish.
  • Spike shows up with a date… seems like a real class dame.
  • Once Xander is ready, he makes the mistake of walking out to greet some folks.
  • People are crowding him with issues, but he’s pulled away by the old man who appeared as if from nowhere.
  • The old man claims to be Xander from the future.
  • I don’t see the resemblance.
  • He’s warning Xander not to get married.
  • Meanwhile, Xander’s dad is super drunk and insulting all of the “circus folk.”
  • Buffy breaks up a near fight.
  • Old Xander pulls Present Xander aside and shows him glimpses of the years to come.
  • With two kids and a bad back, Xander’s on his way to being a drunk who’s out of work and, apparently, Buffy died at some point.
  • The daughter is clearly half-demon, meaning that Anya clearly had an affair with someone not human.
  • It all gets worse as the years go on, culminating in old Xander losing his temper and allegedly killing her with an iron skillet.
  • So Old Xander warns Present Xander that sometimes two people can only bring each other pain.
  • Buffy and Spike have kind of a nice moment.
  • Almost shows that there’s more to their relationship than either of them really let on.
  • Willow finds Xander freaking out in the kitchen.
  • He tries to hide it… but after they talk, Xander kinda takes off.
  • Buffy makes up some story about the minister having to perform an emergency C-section.
  • Dawn lets it slip that Xander’s missing and Anya overhears it.
  • Of course Dawn spilled the beans.
  • Ugh… SHUT UP, DAWN!
  • Everything deteriorates into an all out brawl between the two sides of the family.
  • Anya spots “Old Xander” who is looking on the chaos smiling.
  • Then the old man reveals himself to Anya.
  • He’s someone that Anya cursed back in 1914 seeking his own vengeance.
  • He reveals that he showed Xander some fake visions of his worst nightmare version of their future together.
  • The demon is about to kill Anya, but Buffy is able to take him down when Xander storms back in.
  • Anya breaks up the fight, demanding everyone sit down because the wedding will go on!
  • She explains to Xander that it was all fake…
  • But he’s still not sure… the damage has been done.
  • Xander breaks things off, breaking Anya’s heart.
  • Later, Anya is alone in the dark… but she’s approached by D’Hoffryn.
  • “It’s time you got back to what you do best, don’t you think?”
  • Someone’s gonna be a vengeance demon again…
  • Anyone else need a hug?
  • And people wonder why I don’t believe in love.
  • Body count: Cursed Demons – 1

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