harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

WATCHERS review: "Chapel of Love"


Chapel of Love

Season 2, Episode 17

Story by CN Winters and Susan Carr
Written by CN Winters (with additional writing by Chris Cook)
Produced and Directed by CN Winters
Edited by DragonWriter17
Sound by CSR
Art Direction by CN Winters
Artist – CN Winters (with additional art by Chris Cook and David Zahir)

With Felicia Day as Vi, Norika Fujiwara as Mia, Lindsay Felton as Skye, Laura Prepon as Lori, Brad Dourif as Brell,
Thora Birch as Tracey

Guest starring Jordon Baker, Sam Waterston, Brian Cox, Catherine O'Hara, Pierce Brosnan, Bonnie Hunt, Sharon Gless and Rowan Atkinson.

Scene 01: We open on a domestic scene with Rowena and Willow. Wills shares an embarrassing story involving Tara, before thinking better of bringing her up to Ro. Rowena tells her that it's okay to talk about all of her memories, including those involving someone she obviously loved very much.

It becomes Ro's turn to share and she relates her first foray into the theater, where she ended up in her underwear and knocked unconscious. They end up canoodling and such on the sofa.

Scene 02: At the same time, but in a different place, The Flayer of the Presidium is in battle. He commands his troops to defeat another Hell-dimension in The Presidium's constant, relentless drive to expand their empire.

At first it appears the invaded will be able to hold them off indefinitely, but The Assassin has placed spies among the army of this dimension before this attack. They now reveal themselves, killing the mages responsible for the building and maintaining of the magic shield guarding their fortress.

The Presidium's troops, now free to surge forward, tear their opposition apart.

Commentary: I love this grand battle scenes. They're always so well written. The Flayer is an excellent side-character, so I'm always happy to see him. And, this scene of course is adding to the level of threat that the WATCHERS still aren't completely aware of coming for them and all of Earth.

Scene 03: Back at Presidium Citadel HQ, The Lover approaches the most powerful of the Presidium. The Unmaker is informed that their final push toward conquering Earth once and for all has begun... presumably by either moving closer to Earth's dimension through the conquering of the Hell-dimension we saw, or because that dimension possessed something that the Presidium needed, perhaps to counteract Willow?

Scene 04: The following morning, Becca and Giles are in the mall to order paraphrenalia for their upcoming nuptuals. Giles is momentarily distracted by reports of a mild midwestern earthquake. While this could just be mother nature (it's true that we do have a fault in the midwest U.S. and I actually felt a minor quake when I was in Southern Illinois), Giles wonders if it might not be something more. He pushes this aside so he and Becca can get back to preparing for their day.

Commentary: I'll try to ignore Giles' comments about Andrew. There is nothing wrong with Andrew's level of manliness. His habit of taking his geekitude to irritating places, okay, but he doesn't need to butch up any.

Scene 05: Later that morning, the Council is meeting about the earthquake the night before to see if there is anything that may need further investigation. Giles broaches the subject of his not always being there to lead the Council and proposes a more official structure, with department heads having a 'majority rule' vote on matters that come before the Council.

It is actually relatively similar to how things are currently decided, but more official.

Commentary: And, it addresses one of the things that bothered me in previous episodes, especially in the first season. There were times when it seemed that everyone was in Council meetings with equal voice from Giles to Xander to Vi... it was sometimes difficult to understand who was in charge and when. This was especially true when someone who should have had a say in some important matter wasn't there, or when those who weren't actually part of the executive branch of the New Council were seemingly given equal weight in matters, like Xander or Vi. It wasn't that everyone shouldn't be heard, but it made it difficult sometimes to understand who was the decision makers and under which circumstances. I like this development, because it preserves the loose Watcher/Slayer/Coven divisions, while also making them more equal in all important decisions. Further it more clearly delineates the differences between Giles' position as it relates to Rowena and Robin's participation in these meetings. I also like the decision to institute a more structured program for bringing Slayers with magical powers like Kennedy into a Coven-training program of some sort. I understand the reasoning behind the Old Council's decision to keep Slayers from wielding magic (what with their control issues - I don't agree with them, but I do understand why they had such policies), but I'm glad to see that the New Council will not be so restrictive in how far any Slayer can expand her knowledge and abilities.

Scene 06: As the meeting breaks up, Giles finds Kennedy waiting in the hallway to talk to him. She's there to discuss her trip to Romania and what had happened with Kaidan and seek his advice on what to tell Mia about it.

She tells him she can't talk to Faith right now, because she's still angry at her.

Scene 07: In the computer room, Rowena finds Willow looking tense and distracted. As they talk, Willow is worried about Giles' talk of 'not being there and being prepared' and worries that he's much sicker than he is letting on and is trying to hide it from them. Ro councils that if Giles were truly very ill, he would definitely tell her about it.

She's just starting to make Willow feel better when Mrs. Allister surprises them in the midst of a kiss, her deep disapproval showing through. Rowena awkwardly greets her mother.

Commentary: This is my other pet peeve. In S1 it was mostly the loose hierarchy that made it confusing over who made the decisions at the Council. In S2, it's the amount of times that people from outside the Council are able to wander around the building. The receptionist never seems to stop anyone in the lobby, or at least there is never any advanced announcement that there is a visitor. The Watchers Council security kind of sucks... and this really reflects badly on Robin Wood in a way, and also on the organization as a whole. Is it that difficult to install an intercom system?

They return to the lobby, where Ro's dad is waiting with the bags. Willow greets him nervously, but he's as open and friendly with her as he was when Willow visited their home.

Scene 08: Moments later, Willow is walking with Xander and discussing the situation with Ro's parents. He offers to switch with Ro, if she'd like a new set. Everyone has been invited to Rupert and Becca's wedding, and Xander's parents surprised him by accepting. Now, he's dreading their arrival.

Willow asks after his inviting Alex Neel as his guest, but he's nervous about doing so. He tells Willow he isn't sure that something is building between him and Alex and inviting her to a wedding might send the wrong signal if it turns out he isn't that strongly invested.

She offers that maybe it isn't meant to be, if he isn't feeling confident about it. He tells her that he felt the same hesitation with Cordy and Anya, too. She reminds him that they didn't turn out well.

He reminds her that the only reason he and Anya didn't work out was his own cold feet. As far as he's concerned, not walking down that aisle was the biggest mistake of his life.

Commentary: I wish we'd get a bit more Xander/Willow 'old friends' scenes and less Willow/Rowena domestic scenes, to tell the truth. But, I'm kind of on the fence about this one. I don't like Willow's casual tone about Xan and Anya not working out, after his deep spiral her death caused him that we saw in Season 1. On the other hand, old friends can often say things that would strike someone outside of the relationship as callous or even cruel, but it isn't taken that way by those inside the relationship, because they both know each other so well and where they're coming from. I could see Willow making an offhand comment like this and Xander's shrugging it off the way he does here, but the tone also comes off as incredibly insensitive.

Scene 09: In the kitchen, Giles' and Becca's wedding is on the mind of Andrew and his assistant, Tracey. He's going to provide the cake design and videographer services as a wedding gift. He asks Tracey about her plans to bring someone, and mention is made of her jerk boyfriend, Steve, but she assures him that Steve is of the past.

She tries to hint that Andrew should ask her as his guest, but he thinks she's talking about Jeff. In his mid-stream of babble, she finally takes charge, leans forward to kiss him briefly on the mouth, and asks him to be her guest. He mumbles a lot. She takes it as an acceptance.

Scene 10: We next join Dawn and Skye being giggly together. Jeff walks in and is barely able to contain his eye-roll. Poor Jeff has been interested in Dawn since her first visit last year. There were definitely sparks between them, but when Dawn visited again and decided to stay at WATCHERS HQ, he found out she had a girlfriend. Things have been tense between Jeff and Skye since.

It finally comes to a small head here, with Skye finally telling Jeff that she isn't blind to his interest in Dawn after Buffy's sister leaves the room. She tells him that she'd never say anything in front of other people and embarass him, but warns him him that any attempts to undermine her relationship with Dawn will go very badly for him, before leaving him standing alone.

Scene 11: While Skye is confronting Jeff, Rowena is checking in on her dad. They bond, while her mother is out at the mall. Ro's dad admits that he forced her mother to come here. They arrived a week early in order for her to see Willow and Rowena together and hopefully to help her make the adjustment.

Wonderfully, he admits that he'd like Ro to have a potential husband instead and to give them lots of grandkids, but he also knows that is his dream. He tells Rowena the important thing is to value those who love you and the rest is just small details.

Now, the trick is to get Rowena's mother to realize that, too.

Scene 12: That night, Lori, who is the eldest Slayer at the Council is given a surprise birthday cake from Andrew and her fellow Slayers sing happy birthday to her. She's turned 30 - though officially, not until 11:53pm. Faith jokes that she's not getting out of patrol though.

A bit later and Lori, Faith and a few Slayers are out on patrol. They bust up a gang of five vampires, rescuing a woman from becoming a meal... but things go wrong for Lori.

As she's fighting her vampire opponent, she clobbers him in the face and he barely reacts, while she winces in pain. The vampire knocks her to the ground and when she tries a sweeping kick, he easily avoids her attempt to knock him from his feet. Thankfully for Lori, Faith is there to keep her from being bitten again (S1, E17 - Scarecrow introduced Lori to both Slayerhood and being bitten by a vampire).

When Faith asks her what happened, Lori reports that she thinks she has lost her powers!

Scene 13: It is days later and Faith is short tempered with Ro and Willow over their not being able to explain Lori's sudden power lapse. The theory, untested due to practical realities, is that 30 is the magic number where a Slayer will no longer be 'the Chosen One'. Since Lori is the only known Slayer to reach this age, it cannot be confirmed as yet, however.

Giles, on his way to the airport, stops off to speak to Faith about her worry. She's feeling vulnerable because all she knows how to do is be a Slayer. If she loses her powers, where will she belong?

Rupert assures her that even if she lost her powers tomorrow, it wouldn't change that she is in charge of the Slayer Division and that she'll always belong in the Council.

Scene 14: At the airport, we're not with Rupert, but with Becca and Xander. They're there to pick up Becca's sisters, Hannah and Roxanne. Roxanne takes an immediate flirty interest in Xander, much to his and Becca's embarrassment.

Scene 15: Meanwhile, Rupert is the International Terminal of the same Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. He's there to greet his brother, Reginald and his children. With the trio is Rupert's prickly mother, Agnes.

Scene 16: Cut to the Council, where Giles' family is introduced to Willow, Ro and Faith. As they're making introductions, The Montague sisters arrive, as well.

As the Giles' and the Montague's retire to the dining room, Xander is left in the empty lobby staring at all of the bags. He complains to noone that there are a building full of super-strength girls and he's left to play the bellhop.

His schlupping baggage is interrupted however by the crashing open of the front door. Alas for Xander it isn't an attack however, but the arrival of his parents. He quickly ushers them to a room before their loud bickering can cause unwanted attention from the rest of the inhabitants.

Commentary: Interestingly, we learn a few things here. At some point, the Harrises became aware of their son's role in the monster fighting. Becca has not shared any of the things she's learned with her sisters. Giles' mother is still alive, and is rather rudely blunt. Giles' brother mentions that he is happily married to Roxanne, but his wife did not accompany him and the children to Cleveland.

Scene 17: Later that afternoon, Becca shows off her bookstore to her sisters. They're both... uh, unimpressed with Rupert and Becca's long term viability.

Becca quickly grows exasperated with them and has to bite her tongue to keep from angrily yelling at them in the middle of her bookshop.

Scene 18: That evening, when Becca returns to Rupert, she tells him that her sisters drive her crazy. She asks him if he's very sure he wants to marry her. He confirms, but when he returns the question, she seems to hesitate.

She tells him she's sure she wants to marry him, but worries now - because her sister couldn't stop herself from reminding her of her failed, abusive, previous husband - that making it all legal will somehow ruin it. He assures her that the best revenge she can get on her sisters for getting on her nerves is to live a happy, married life with him. They snuggle.

Scene 19: The next morning Ro meets her father and mother having breakfast. She tries to engage in some small talk, but her mother retorts that she's finished with breakfast and abruptly leaves. Rowena's dad suggests following her, but Ro doesn't know what to say.

"Anything at this point would be good," he responds.

Scene 20: Rowena, taking her father's advice, follows her mother upstairs and confronts her in her apartment. Mrs. Allister isn't ready to move an inch in getting to know Willow or trying to understand her daughter. Rowena also won't give in an inch that this is about her mother's choice and if she can't make the effort, then Ro decides she isn't going to force the issue.

Commentary: It's hard to like Mrs. Allister, but I like the choice to have someone close to Rowena that cannot or will not accept her relationships. I think it adds a lot more flavor to the Allister clan. I also like that even Rowena blurting out that she'd been shot earlier in the year in no way thaws the ice between them. Of course, I could just have sympathy for Betty because of the way her family was entirely unprepared before she brought Willow to her parents' house.

Scene 21: Ro, having left things with her mother where they lie, goes downstairs into the lobby. There she sees Willow with her parents, they having just arrived.

"Round two," she mutters.

Commentary: I love that. I don't know why, but it made me grin. Ira Rosenberg and Betty Allister need to have a scotch and commiserate about their kids.

Rowena greets Ira and Shelia. Willow's mother is friendly and open, while Ira is a bit of a prick. The exact opposite of Ro's parents. He makes a snide comment about their last conversation, which Willow interrupts with the offer of breakfast to put off another argument about the direction her life has taken.

Scene 22: In the kitchen, the Allisters (Betty has returned from upstairs, though she seems ready to skip out again just as quickly) meet the Rosenbergs. Xander is also there and had been causing Jacob a load of mirth with some tale of demon slaying.

Around the dining table, Ira and Shelia are finding a common bond over both of their unhappiness over the Rowena/Willow pairing. Betty quickly turns on Shelia when she starts to quote Kinsey's studies, informing her rather stridently that she did not raise her daughter to be any part lesbian.

This sets Shelia off, as she takes the comment as an attack on Willow for 'corrupting' Rowena. Betty basically tells her that is exactly what she thinks happened.

Xander cuts in and pleads with Ira and Shelia to visit the buffet table. Betty storms off back to her room, again.

Commentary: I like the way this scene was written, as it captures the personalities of the parents as we've seen in previous episodes of WATCHERS perfectly. During the whole thing though, I was thinking I wish Shelia had acted just a bit OOC and smacked Betty a good one... that would have been satisfying. I felt a bit sorry for Jacob here, too, as he is trying so hard to encourage his wife to lighten up and she just will not do it.

Scene 23: In the computer room, Giles is nervously checking with Dawn about a flight that is supposed to be coming in from Denver. We find out that it is Buffy coming in for Giles' wedding... of course!

Unfortunately, Denver is snowed in pretty good making a Buffy cameo an unsure thing.

Scene 24: Later in the day, the Slayers are erecting a gazebo that Xander built. He takes the opportunity to ask Vi to the ceremony, but when she asks him about Alex, he blunders. Instead of telling her that he didn't want to ask her, he just reports that she's probably too busy at this late date.

Now Vi has shown signs that she is interested in Xander, so with it now sounding like she's the last minute backup-plan, she's insulted and tells him that she already has a date.

As Xan watches her walk away, he leans on his gazebo, which isn't hammered to anything, and the whole thing crashes over and breaks apart.

Commentary: Hmmm... symbolism of Xander crashing here with Vi? Or a portent of things to come for Becca/Rupert?! NO!

Scene 25: Vi storms directly to the coven room, where Jeff and Andrew are working over something (after 'Checkmate', I'm convinced this is never a good thing). She asks Jeff if he has a date and when the answer is 'no', she tells him that she's it.

Commentary: Is it customary for everyone to wait this long to find a date for a wedding? It is necessary for everyone to have a date at someone else's wedding? I find this weird.

Scene 26: Over in the Slayer gym, Faith gets the chance to meet Nikki Wood's Watcher and Robin's father-figure.

Scene 27: In Giles' apartment, Becca's sisters are unimpressed with the color of the bridesmaids' dresses. Becca has a blow-up at her sisters for doing nothing but put her choices down since they arrived. She tells them that everytime the three of them are in the same room, they gang up on her.

They put it down to hormones and jitters. Becca tells them it's them, but they don't listen.

After Becca storms out in exasperation, the two of them make a bet on whether she'll back out of the ceremony.

Commentary: Becca said it, these two have been bitchy since they showed up. I'm as tired of them as Becca is.

Scene 28: Later that evening, Giles is looking out on the ruined gazebo from his office. Reginald is there and expresses his pride in his younger brother for carrying the Watchers birthright. He gives him a word of advice about his and Becca's future, basically telling him that in the end, it's the two of them against the world. As long as he remembers that and let's her inside his life, they can overcome anything, including his 'job'.

We also find out that Claire Giles is home with the flu, so that explains why we don't see her here.

Scene 29: The following day finds Giles in a mood. He's worried about Buffy not making it to the wedding, but she is on the way. Her flight has taken off from Denver finally. He tells Dawn to go and wait for her, but she's busy helping Xander with repairing the flower arrangement on the repaired gazebo. He next suggests Skye, but Dawn tells him that she's helping her.

Giles snaps to send somebody, exasperated, as we all are at one time or another with Dawn.

His next bellow is directed at Willow, who happens to be behind him. He checks with her to make sure Buffy's dress is ready, that they have the rings there and that the bride is still in residence. Willow tries to put his mind at ease by teasing that Becca tried to run away, but she and Ro tied her up to her coffee table overnight, but it falls flat as Giles' mind is racing with all of the last minute details.

Which is where Brell and Reteesk come in looking for Willow. Since Becca's sisters have no idea about the supernatural or the real purpose behind the 'school', Will quickly ushers them away before Giles can have a fit.

Commentary: I really like the writing here in giving us a sense of Giles' panic that everything be perfect, which of course it won't be. But, I also really like Willow basically telling him to butt out of the Brell/Reteesk matter, quoting his own words back to him about the Council not being one person.

Scene 30: Outside, Dawn and Xander are working on the flower project. A short distance away, Jeff and Vi are laughing as they fold out the chairs. Xander complains to Dawn that he knew Vi was waiting for him to ask her to the wedding and this whole Jeff thing is a ruse to make him jealous.

Dawnie (sometimes I love her) points out he had his shot and maybe missed it. She tells him he really needs to pee or get off the pot.

Scene 31: Meanwhile, Vi is fully aware of Xander watching her and conspires with Jeff to drive him crazy in retaliation since she believes she was Xan's second choice for the invite with him, following Alex supposedly being too busy.

Commentary: I also love the writing on these two scene together. Obviously Vi and Xan are being set up to be a couple, which let's be honest, kind of puts a bullseye on Vi's forehead. But, I think they could be cute together once we get over this kind of annoying/kind of funny hurdle. I actually like Jeff in this scene, too. In general I'm cool toward his character, but the writers keep giving him moments when he's actually endearing... usually with Andrew, but I'd like to see more interaction with he and Vi, too.

Scene 32: Brell and Reteesk's visit is to ask for the Council's help in getting Brell out of the city. He was recently attacked by that gangster scoundrel, Jimmy Volano, as an example to the other demons not to cooperate with the Council. He has a great enmity toward the Council for mundane reasons that we need not get into.

But, Brell's request takes a surprise turn... he doesn't just want help to leave the city - he wants help making it to Vor, the home dimension of The Presidium!

Commentary: Wow. I wasn't expecting that. I'm going to guess he wants to act as a spy inside for the Council....

Scene 33: Hmmm... now Reteesk is also offering to go to the Vor dimensional. They both offer that they're of limited use to the Council because they're not free to wander the city with Volano having a target on them. They want to find the resistence in hiding in the Vor dimension in order to secure allies for the Council. Everyone is well aware that a final confrontation between the Slayers, Watchers, and Coven and the Presidium's armies is inevitable.

Reteesk and Brell lay out a convincing argument about why they should be the one to broach an agreement between the demons who fear and hate the Presidium for their conquering ways and the human world that these same demons would ordinarily wish to prey on themselves.

There are some counterarguments, but they mostly concern the risk to Brell and Reteesk. These concerns are brushed aside by the two demons in question, as they feel that the benefits of allies is worth the risk that they'll fail.

The subject is put to a vote then and there with Willow voting 'no' because of the extreme risk involved. Faith vote 'aye' for the Slayers. When it comes to Rowena's vote for the Watchers, she sides with the Slayer vote. This pisses off Willow, but since the coven doesn't have a veto on this issue, the plan is approved - if they can find a way to open a portal to Vor, and hopefully not come to the Presidium's notice when they do so....

Commentary: Both Brell and Reteesk are well-established secondary characters, so losing them in the war would be sad, but I really like this development. It allows the demon community to stand up, with help, against The Presidium instead of the Council having to shoulder the entire burden on their own. I do fear for Reteesk, though. I like Brell, but Reteesk has always been a bit more interesting to me, if only because he's so non-human-looking, but also because of his refined, cultured personality that seems so at odds with his demonic nature -- or what we understand the demonic nature to be.

As to the Willow/Rowena spat... I'd like to say that I'm on Willow's side, but I can't. In fact, truth to tell, by the time that WATCHERS finished, I liked Ro more than Willow. We'll talk about this a lot more, because Willow can frankly be a jerk. Like here, where she wants Ro to put personal feelings over doing her job and making decisions based on what is best for the Watcher contingent. In fact, I'll find myself getting angry at Willow a lot in coming episodes for this very thing.... (oh, minor future spoiler?).

Of course, I wonder what Giles is going to say about not even being consulted, despite his "no one man can run the Council" speeches.

Scene 34: While Willow is thrown into a fit over Ro's "disloyalty" if you want to call it that, and I wouldn't, in the kitchen Andrew is facing a disaster with the caterer who has the wedding for the wrong day, despite his confirming twice earlier in the week. He is on the verge of panic, when Tracey takes the lead and offers that they'll just have to put all of those Slayers to work going out and grabbing take out orders to fix things, in case Andrew's threatening of the caterers doesn't make them appear.

Unfortunately, this is Andrew, so things don't work out cleanly from there. Two of the younger Slayers come into the kitchen tossing a football. The wedding cake is on a worktable, ready to go... farcical mishaps occur....

Now, not only does Andrew and Tracey have to deal with a lack of catering on Giles' wedding day, but they also have a destroyed wedding cake! And, they have to keep Giles out of the kitchen so he doesn't get wind of this latest wedding mishap until they can figure out a workaround for a wedding cake at the last second.

Scene 35: In the lobby, Robin is having his own mini-disaster as the plan to keep Reteesk and Brell out of sight of the Montague sisters doesn't work (That's why there are back doors, idiot - oh, did I say that out loud?), but he is cool under the gun and quickly comes up with a cover story to explain their appearances.

As he's quickly ushering Blue-Man Group Brell and Sci-Fi Convention Costume Wearer Reteesk out of the lobby, Buffy comes bursting in and past him, moving at a double time sprint for the upstairs to greet the gang. He quickly latches onto Roxanne's "track star" explanation for her blurry speed as she races past....

Scene 36: Buffy's first stop is Willow's room, where she's just in time - literally - to get into her bridesmaid's gown. She asks after Ro, but Willow doesn't want to talk about her at the moment....

Commentary: Oh, grow up, Willow! I hope Buffy tells this to her if they get a scene where Willow complains about Ro's vote.

Scene 37: Meanwhile, Becca wanders into the kitchen at the wrong time, and sees the shambles that is her cake. Andrew and Tracey are working feverishly to correct the issue and performing a little 'cake surgery'. Becca isn't amused and she's less so when she finds out the caterer isn't going to be showing up. Andrew tells her about the Slayer army out getting food though, so that should be fixed before the end of the ceremony as well.

She just shakes her head....

And is still doing so, when she looks into the open door of Willow's (Uh, while she and Buffy are changing?!) and feels a moment of relief that at least something is going right, when she sees that Buffy has arrived.

Of course, because the day started out jinxed, there is another complication. With less than an hour to go, no one but Willow seems dressed and now Buffy's dress isn't zipping up....

In addition, Willow has to tell Becca that she doesn't know where Ro is currently because of their little tiff that they had earlier (Well, Willow had the tiff all on her own).

Becca tells them about the disaster happening in the kitchen, about her sisters doing nothing but criticizing her and proclaims the wedding cancelled! Willow's not about to let that happen though, and tells her everything will be fixed before the ceremony begins.

She and Buffy rush out to find her something to wear... and to make sure Robin and Faith are getting ready... and to find Ro and get her into her dress, too....

Scene 38: Forty five minutes to ceremony and Giles still isn't dressed. He rushes into his apartment to find Xander ready in his best man capacity to figuratively kick him into gear and get him into his tux.

Scene 39: Over in Willow's apartment, Rowena comes in to find Becca collapses on the sofa. She complains to Ro that nothing is going right. Rowena smiled comfortingly and tells her she needs to get dressed post haste... she leads Becca to get ready.

Scene 40: Outside in the garden, Kennedy and Mia are seated behind the Giles'. She hears the nephews talking about Rupert's last real girlfriend, and they know way too many details about how Jenny's death went down.

Kennedy hears them speaking of her never-known mother and asks after their mention of vampire involvement. They tell her about Angel's role in Jenny's death.

Kenn immediately excuses herself and marches in a rage back toward the Council building...!

Commentary: Oh, f*! I knew it... I KNEW this was going to come up at the worst time and bite Willow and Giles in the ass for hiding that part of the story when they told Kennedy about who her birth mother was! I don't know how the WATCHERS staff decided to bring it out in the open here, and I'm a little unconvinced that Rupert would share every intimate detail - even with his family - but Wow. What a development this was! Kudos! Of course, now we have to face the consequences....

Scene 41: Kennedy barges into Willow's apartment where Becca and Rowena are standing in their respective gowns. Kenn immediately berates Ro as she looks on confused. As she blurts out the story about "a vampire killed your mother, Buffy killed him" and how much of a half-truth that was, both Willow and Buffy had arrived in the background.

Kennedy turns on Willow, before storming out....

Commentary: Wow. Just... wow....  And, I'm glad that she didn't turn on Buffy here, because this scene is very right with Kenn's focus being on Rowena and Willow for hiding the full truth from her. I do expect her to confront Buffy about letting Angel live sometime later, still, but this wasn't the moment. And, it must have been tempting to have her unload on Buffy at the same time here, but this was definitely the way to go with it. Again, Kudos.

Scene 42: As Kennedy is storming her way down the hallway from Willow's, Giles and Xan leave his apartment. He greets the outraged Slayer, but she tells him not to talk to her and keeps going.

Willow breaks the news to Giles about his family blowing Angel being responsible for Jenny's death....

He returns to his apartment to take a moment....

Scene 43: Out in the garden, the guests have taken their seat, but there is still no bride nor groom present. Alas, Shelia and Betty are sitting with only one seat seperating them. With Ira in the middle, they continue their argument over whether Willow is responsible for turning Rowena gay. It looks like it may come to blows....

Commentary: Am I bad person for immediately giggling and grinning when I thought Shelia was about to start a cat fight? I'm bad, aren't I?

Scene 44: Commentary: YES!! HAH-HAH-HAh-HAh-Hah-Hah-hah-hah-hah!

Willow is looking out the window as Rowena comes up behind her. Willow apologizes for acting childishly about the vote earlier. The sappy moment between them is interrupted though as Willow exclaims and runs from the room.

When Ro looks, she sees Betty trying to pick up a folding chair and Ira trying to hold Shelia back. She exclaims, too and also runs from the room. She lies to Becca that she just forgot something and will be right back....

But Becca has never been dim since her introduction. She goes to the window to take a look for herself. Bad move for her. She sees Ira now flattened on the ground and Betty and Shelia are in a physical fight nearby. Most of the guests are standing around shocked looking, but she sees Tony Harris cheering on Shelia to kick Betty's ass....

Commentary: God, but that is perfect to throw Tony Harris in there as the "egg 'em on" sort... perfect.

Becca takes in this scene. Giles comes in behind her and sees her reacting to the chaos. He looks out and sees Tony Harris and Xander's mother Jessica arguing now, while Rowena and Willow are working to break up everyone's fights.

Becca apologizes to Giles for coming up with the idea of this big wedding, but he tells her that everything would have been perfect if it wasn't for the fact that their friends and family were insane. He asks her if she's still ready to be with him.

She, thankfully, agrees she is. He tells her to come with him....

Scene 45: With a temporary calm out in the gardens, Xander has returned to find Giles gone and his tux hung on the door. He panics thinking that Giles is following his mistake of walking out on the wedding, and runs to Willow.

But she reports that Becca's dress is on her sofa, laid out.

Buffy finds a note from them waiting for the gang... it appears they've eloped!

Scene 46: Commentary: OMG. I hate this! I love this! It's tacky... it's perfect... it's so out of character for Giles... it's so in character for Becca... it's so in character for Giles to ignore the out of character-ness for Becca...! Ack! I grin, I laugh, I want to hug 'em both.

So, Giles and Becca end up on the Vegas strip, where they get married by a hipster-Elvis impersonator... in an empty chapel!

Commentary: And, that photo! Oh, gods... I can't stop grinning. I love you guys (the creative staff)!

Scene 47: But, we can't stay in Vegas... we still have some serious business going on in Cleveland, after all.

In an alley in Cleveland, Dawn is the coven members, Buffy, Faith, Brell and Reteesk.

Willow and the coven are able to summon a portal, with Dawn's unique nature acting as a beacon for the other side to lock onto.

Brell and Reteesk make their way to Vor....

The Good: The pacing on this one was really good, but especially in the last act where it was a dervish of activity.

The dialog for our characters was excellent, especially with the guest cast. It was also awesome that they included Buffy in an extended cameo (I was wondering if they'd mention her, but keep her off in Denver).

The wedding! It went off, Giles is married! And Becca is great. And, it was hilarious.

Which brings us to the tone - despite Kenn's upset and Will/Ro tiff and the disaster of the wedding, this episode was definitely comedic in the best sense.

I like the development of making Brell and Reteesk more involved in the Presidium arc and sending them directly into harm's way was both surprising and a welcomed development, although I do fear we might lose Reteesk as a character.

That last wedding scene from the chaos in the gardens through the chapel wedding in Vegas was absolutely perfect.

The Bad: Nothing that I'd consider putting here.

Other Thoughts: I will say that the pacing in scenes 2 and 3 as we're waiting for the wedding day were a bit slow. There was enough there with the tension between Shelia and Betty to keep interest, but the amount of times Betty gets up to leave the room was wearing thin. I also was annoyed with the writing for Willow turning pissy and giving Ro the silent treatment over the vote, but I'm also glad that they have Willow admit she was in the wrong. The turn with Kennedy is a great development to pick up on, and I'm really pleased that they introduced it, had it add to Becca's feeling of gloom on her day, but didn't dwell on  it, as it is too big of an issue for her and deserves more than a paragraph of dialog to deal with. I'll also have to point out that the picture of Ro and Becca standing together in their dresses probably should have been done differently or not included. But the wedding photo with Elvis was awesome.

The Score: I started out with liking the episode, but not being wild about it. But by the end, the whole thing had become so raucous and hilarious that I find it went out on a high note. I really liked the development with Brell and Reteesk as well, so I think the last act really helped the episode as a whole by ending so strongly.

I'm giving this a 4.0 out of 5... nicely done!


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