1) I have to be honest, this was probably the most difficult recap I’ve written so far (other than The Body, which I skipped altogether and asked for submissions instead.) OMWF was the episode I was most looking forward to rewatching. It’s my favorite BTVS episode. It’s my favorite episode of anything/everything ever, period. I’ve watched it probably more than 50 times (I watched it three times just as part of this rewatch, just so you know.) And as much as I love this episode, I was really clueless about how to write a review about it. Like, what can be said about one of the most talked and written about episodes in the history of television? What can I say about it? How can I honor my love for it and what it means to me in my review? Do I write my recap in a different format? What am I bringing to the table? The truth is, I didn’t have the answers to any of these questions so that’s why I’ve been kind of quiet on Tumblr lately. I just couldn’t get around to writing this recap. At the same time, I wanted to move forward and I wanted to rewatch this episode again and gif the hell out of it. So I said fuck it. Let’s just write a regular recap and be done with it. Anywho, I tried to break down the episode by scenes/songs but you’ll also find fun quotes and the usual stupid things I do with screenshots and whatnot.
So on with it!
TL;DR: I love this episode a whole lot and I didn’t know how to write a recap about it.
2) Opening Credits
When watching TV, there are certain clues that let the viewers know they’re about to watch something different, if not special or momentous. The first of these clues is very straightforward: if a TV episode starts with a “previously on” clip, you know something’s about to go down. If the storyteller is purposefully reminding you of events that have transpired in the show, there must be and there usually is a good reason for it. It typically means that said past events will bear a certain relevance to the episode’s plot. It may also serve to remind you exactly why everything is going to shit at present? Either way, as a TV viewer, whenever I start watching an episode that begins with a “previously-on”, it kind of makes me go “Oh oh, something’s up.” A second clue is the lack of a teaser (i.e. that short clip before the opening credits that literally teases what’s to come and makes the viewers want to continue watching the episode) because that breaks the standard structure of a TV episode and it kind of raises a red flag: if the writer didn’t want to tease anything about what I’m about to watch, then it must be huge. There’s also a third clue: the opening credits may be somewhat altered, which has written “special episode” all over it. And if that weren’t enough, the episode may get a special title card just to finally hammer the point home that this is not your typical episode. These techniques serve to raise the viewers’ expectations. OMWF implements all of these, and it succeeds not only in raising the viewers’ expectations but also in exceeding them. Suffice to say, when I first watched this episode I was pretty much freaking out by this point (even though I watched the show as it originally aired, or rather a few months after it originally aired because that was when it aired in my country, I didn’t consume any media about Buffy other than what I watched on my TV, so I wasn’t privy to the fact I was about to watch a musical episode.) But I hadn’t lost it yet, that was just a couple of minutes away…