Moms. They always expect things from us, don’t they? Even scary moms expect things.
The Witch is a tale of two moms. And Buffy’s never-ending quest for normalcy, but that’s actually the less interesting part of the story, to be perfectly honest. Although Joyce only appears a couple of times in the episode, she’s as much a part of its narrative as Catherine Madison, the psycho-loon seen here:
In case it was a little too hard to grasp, the contrast between Joyce and Catherine is that while Joyce expects things from Buffy (namely, the not being a juvenile delinquent thing) and wishes she were more of a model student, Catherine just bypasses the whole normal “expectation” job requirement and just… takes over.
Where Buffy and Joyce have this kind of bullfighter/bull relationship, Catherine and Amy have more of a virus/host relationship. Which is a pretty accurate way of depicting those moms who try to recapture their youth through their daughters. That is a level of scary that I would really rather not contemplate.
Buffy and Joyce don’t exactly have the healthiest of parent/child relationships (for one, Joyce is disturbingly clueless and often vacillates between “distant” and “smothering”), but when compared to Miss I Will Own Your Soul up there, hell… it’s hard not to breathe a huge sigh of relief when Joyce would rather be confused about the parenting gig than relive her glorious Yearbook Committee days through Buffy.
Sure, there are elements of correcting mistakes through your kids in every parent/child relationship, but with Buffy and Joyce, it stays at a satisfyingly non-creepy level.
Whew, Buff. Dodged that bullet.
- Sunnydale, where even cheerleading is an extreme sport—also, walking and breathing.
- Ah, unrequited crushes. Willow’s like one of the guys, while Xander’s totally and completely one of the girls.
- “Oh, this just in: I’m not you!” Whereas Amy’s mom is Amy.
- Okay, am I only the one that giggled when Xander told Willow not to drive Buffy’s obliviousness to his crush through his head like a railroad spike?
- I love all things Cordy this episode. Even her shiny, oh, so 90’s green shirt.
- Chemistry and Biology are in the same class?
- Catherine totally Force chokes Xander.
- And in this episode, ladies and gentlemen, Giles begins his “being knocked out” tradition!
- You know, it’s funny that Joyce wouldn’t want to be 16 again, ‘cause…