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Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 2, Episode 16
2x16 Bewitched Bothered Bewildered 2
Air date February 10, 1998
Written by Marti Noxon
Directed by James A. Contner
Episode Guide
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
David Boreanaz Angel
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Guest Starring
Seth Green Oz
Kristine Sutherland Joyce
Robia LaMorte Jenny
Elizabeth Anne Allen Amy
Mercedes McNab Harmony
Lorna Scott Miss Beakman
James Marsters Spike
Juliet Landau Drusilla
Co Starring
Jason Hall Devon
Jennie Chester Kate
Kristen Winnicki Cordette
Tamara Braun Frenzied Girl
Scott Hamm Jock

"Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" is the sixteenth episode of Buffy's second season, and is the twenty-eighth episode altogether. It was directed by James A. Contner and written by Marti Noxon. It originally broadcasted on February 10th, 1998.

After being dumped by Cordelia Chase on Valentine's Day, Xander Harris turns to witchcraft to exact his own form of vengeance.



Buffy and Xander patrol

It is the night before Valentine's Day, and Buffy and Xander are patrolling in a cemetary. Xander shows Buffy the heart-shaped locket that he has bought for Cordelia as a Valentine's gift. He wishes that dating was like slaying - "direct, to the heart, no muss, no fuss". Just then, a vampire rises from the ground, which Buffy disposes of quickly, before telling him that slaying is a little bit more dangerous than dating, which prompts Xander to remind her that she is not dating Cordelia.

On Valentine's Day, Cordelia finds herself ignored and rejected from her posse, mostly because she is dating Xander. Meanwhile, in American Literature Class, Xander witnesses Amy Madison (who appeared prominently in season one's "The Witch" as the daughter of a psychopathic witch) bewitching Ms. Beakman into thinking she has handed in her classwork. After the class ends, Xander tells Willow and Buffy what he saw, to which they grow concerned, seeing how Amy's mother turned out. Xander deduces that he should talk to Amy and advise her about abusing witchcraft. Giles soon arrives to talk to Buffy, but the conversation turns awkward when Jenny runs into them after finishing a class. Jenny tells Giles that she needs to speak to him personally, but Giles uncertainly brushes her off, and brings Buffy to the library. He warns Buffy that Angel has a long past of committing hideous and bloody acts during Valentine's Day. Although he refuses to go into the details, he advises her not to continue patrolling until after things cool down.


Drusilla likes a heart

In the factory hide-out, Spike presents Drusilla with a pretty necklace for Valentine's. She seems half-heartedly pleased, that is, until, Angel gives her his gift: a warm, freshly torn-out heart, which he found "in a quaint little shop-girl". Spike angrily tells Angel to focus more on the Slayer, to which Drusilla tells him not to worry. "Angel always knows what speaks to a girl's heart."

That night, while Buffy and Joyce watch television, there is a knock on the Summers' door. Buffy goes to answer, but finds no one there. Instead, Joyce finds a long black box for Buffy. She opens it curiously, only to find the contents of the box is a dozen of red roses with the word "Soon" written menacingly on a piece of card. At the Bronze, Oz and his band, "Dingoes Ate My Baby", are playing the song "Pain". Cordelia arrives, but her "friends" again rebuff her. Xander approaches a sad Cordelia, presenting her with her Valentine's gift and telling her that it may be just teenage hormones that's driving their relationship, or it may be more than that. Cordelia is at first impressed and joyful with the gift, but quickly tells Xander that she wants to break up, because "we don't fit". Xander, agitated, walks off, leaving Cordelia looking sorry and unhappy.


Cordelia, before dumping Xander

The next day, Xander finds himself reaching a new level of low as far as high school hierarchy goes. He quickly confronts Amy about his knowledge of her magic and then proceeds to blackmail her into casting a love spell for him. Amy reminds him that love spells has to be pure, but Xander simply tells her that the love spell is only for vengeance, but pure hateful vengeance. To complete the love spell though, Xander needs something that belongs to Cordelia, so he quickly asks her for the necklace back. Cordelia returns the gift reluctantly, but angrily. That night, Xander and Amy perform the spell.

Xander then approaches Cordelia the next day, confident that the spell took effect. But Cordelia remained the same -- harsh and bitter. Meanwhile, Giles and Buffy are researching more on Angelus' Valentine traits, per her request, when Xander enters. Giles goes off to get more books, leaving them together. Surprisingly, Buffy starts to flirt with a thoroughly confused, but at the same time, eager, Xander. Amy arrives thereafter, and asks to talk to Xander privately. She tells Xander that the spell didn't work, but soon starts to seduce Xander too, much in the same manner as Buffy did. Xander then realizes that the spell has gone awry -- especially when one of the Cordettes appear to be hitting on him.


Buffy seduces Xander

Startled, Xander returns home, only to find a half-dressed Willow under his sheets. He stutters a mild warning not to do this, but Willow simply licks his ear in response. Having had enough, Xander quickly scampers off back to school, where he finds himself the new James Bond of Sunnydale High. Apparently, the spell has worked on all the women in Sunnydale except for Cordelia! Xander goes to the library and recounts everything to Giles, asking for help. Giles seems disbelieving at first, until Jenny arrives to talk to him - but starts to fondle Xander's muscles. A frustrated Giles leaves the library with an unwilling Jenny to look for answers, asking Xander to barricade himself.

The plan doesn't work - Buffy soon arrives in a leather trench coat, continuing to seduce Xander. Even so, he decides not to take advantage of the situation, and politely asks Buffy to back off. Amy then turns up and she and Buffy get into a fight over Xander, who watches helplessly. But Amy then performs a spell and turns Buffy into a rat. Giles and Jenny return- - and while Jenny and Amy glare at each other, the two men try to capture the Buffy-rat. The situation deteriorates when Oz shows up and punches Xander in the face. The distraction leads Buffy-rat to escape into the basement. Oz tells Xander that Willow had been completely saddened when Xander rejected her earlier that day. Giles angrily tells Xander to go home before he does any more damage, and asks Oz to help him look for Buffy-rat.


Willow brandishing an axe

Xander regretfully leaves, only to find Cordelia beaten up by Harmony and a bunch of girls in the corridor, who believes that she has done a grave mistake by letting Xander go. Xander rescues her and they leave the school together. Just as they think they're safe, they are confronted by an army of Sunnydale ladies, led by an axe-wielding, grief-stricken Willow, with the "if I can't have you, nobody can" reason in mind. But the Harmony gang soon catches up with them, and Xander and Cordelia manage to escape during all the mayhem. Back in the library, Giles enlists Amy and Jenny's help to reverse the spell, but neither of them want to do anything other than chase after Xander. Jenny manages to flee for Xander, but Amy begins to see reason, and aids Giles in the rescue. Meanwhile, Oz looks for Buffy-rat in the basement, as she (or rather, it) approaches a mousetrap.

Xander and Cordelia are running in the streets, and take refuge in the Summers' home. A bewildered Joyce tells Cordelia to get some Band-Aids to tend to their wounds, but as soon as she is gone, starts to flirt with Xander too. Cordelia then returns and locks Joyce out of her own house. They then run up to Buffy's room and barricade themselves inside. But soon Angelus comes and pulls Xander out through the open window. An unsuspecting savior comes to his rescue - Drusilla. Apparently, she is under the love spell too. She offers him immortality, which he hastily rejects, but the mob soon catches up, giving him chance to escape from Drusilla. He runs back to the house, and as the women chase after, locks himself and Cordelia in the basement, where Xander inadvertently reveals that the spell was for Cordelia, which seemingly thaws her icy heart. Just then, the women punch a hole through the basement door, and they are trapped in the very place which began their relationship (see "What's My Line, Part Two").


Xander and Cordelia as a couple

Just as the dangerous mob advances towards them, Giles and Amy manage to reverse her spells, and everybody was soon cured from the thrall. The girls look around, startled and confused. Cordelia quickly explains that they had all took part in an overzealous scavenger hunt. Meanwhile, down in the boiler room, Oz finds a very much human Buffy very much naked. He awkwardly asks her to stay while he gets some clothes.

The next day, everything returns to normal. Buffy thanks Xander for not taking advantage of her while she was under the thrall, and tells him that he needs to apologize to Willow. Cordelia is back with her snobby posse, but this time, after they humiliate Xander again, she dumps them, and proceed to walk arm-in-arm with Xander, rekindling their relationship.


  • Oz's band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, performs on-stage for the first time since "Inca Mummy Girl".
  • The song which Dingoes Ate My Baby played, "Pain", can also be heard performed in Buffy's house in "Dead Man's Party".
  • Xander demonstrates very mild carpentry skills for the first time, when he boards up the door of Buffy's basement to keep the rabid girls away.
  • This episode marks the first use of the term "Big Bad" in the quote "the big bad thing in the dark". However, the term would later be shortened to "Big Bad" in the Season 3 episode "Gingerbread". This phrase will be used repeatedly throughout the series to describe the major villains, especially those involved in a season's main conflict.
  • Amy asks Buffy, "Bad breakup?", to which Buffy replies, "Believe me when I say uh-huh". Buffy is of course referring to Angel losing his soul in "Surprise".
  • Jenny makes two attempts to apologize and make up with Giles after the events in "Innocence".
  • Amy will call on Hecate again in "Gingerbread" to turn herself into a rat.
  • The scene in which Xander and Cordelia are lying on the floor, attacked by the crazy mob, is part of a flashback seen in "Him". Xander refers to the events as "good times", even though he clearly expresses it now as a nightmare. Obviously, Xander has grown and come to realize that not everybody gets to be chased around frantically by a wild bunch of love-crazed women. Furthermore, Willow will call on Hecate to turn R.J. Brooks into a female.
  • After Xander sees the spell had no affect on Cordelia and enters the library to find Buffy flirting with him for the first time, he seems quite content to forget about Cordy and pursue Buffy, showing that she is his first choice and foreshadoing his break-up with Cordelia in Season Three.

Body Count

  • One vampire, dusted by Buffy
  • A little shopgirl, heart removed by Angelus

Behind the Scenes


A "SHEEP" sticker under the "Etnies" sticker in Xander's room


  • Passion was originally in this episode's place, but the Buffy creators had to concoct something in a hurry to accommodate Sarah Michelle Gellar's absence for filming "Saturday Night Live". Joss Whedon claims, "We wrote it in a matter of days. We were like, 'We have to think of something that will turn Sarah into a rat for four days'". Sarah shot all of her scenes first, before heading off to New York.


  • The episode is received quite well with audiences and critics alike. The episode boasts a 9.2 rating in with 540 votes, and proudly stands as the 26th best episode ever.
  • After this episode aired in Britain, SkyTV dropped the show from its Saturday 8 P.M. slot and replaced it with 3rd Rock from the Sun. The series wasn't shown for another year, and only started to be broadcast again after a lot of complaints from bitter fans.

Pop Culture References

  • Bewitched Bothered & Bewildered. The title of the episode comes from the Frank Sinatra song "Bewitched", written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. The second to last verse seems particularly appropriate to the Xander/Cordelia relationship seen in the episode: "I lost my heart, but what of it; He is cold I agree; She might laugh, but I love it; Although the laugh's on me". The chorus of the song is as follows: "I'm wild again, beguiled again; A whimpering, simpering child again; Bewitched, bothered and bewildered, am I".

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • When Xander and Cordelia flee Sunnydale High, it is a bright afternoon (or possibly even morning). But by the time they reach Buffy's house, it is night.
  • In the scene where Amy bewitches her teacher, the name of author "Samuel Clemens" on the blackboard is misspelled as "Samuel Clemmens".
  • Although the library doors could be barricaded in earlier (and later?) episodes Xander fails to isolate himself in this way; the doors suddenly swing both ways.



  • Buffy receives a long box full of roses with a card that says "soon". In the movie I Know What You Did Last Summer, Sarah's character awakens to find the same message written on her mirror in lipstick.
  • Below the Etnies sticker in Xander's room, a sticker reading "SHEEP" is shown. This is possibly tied to the women who follow Xander like sheep, and Cordelia's line to Harmony at the end of the episode, but it is more than likely just another band sticker. It is also shown in "Becoming Part II" on a locker behind Buffy and again during the season 4 finale "Restless" in Xander's dream inside the ice cream van and on a locker.
  • An X-Men 2099 poster is seen on the wall next to Xander's bed above his nightstand. Joss Whedon is an avowed X-Men fan, citing Kitty Pryde as inspiration for the Buffy character, as well as writing a 24-issue run for Astonishing X-Men in 2008.
  • Tamara Braun, who plays one of the frenzied girls in this episode appeared as the vampire Tara in an earlier season two episode, When She Was Bad.
  • In the October 1, 1999 issue of Entertainment Weekly, producer Gareth Davies states this as his favorite episode.
  • Furthermore, Nicholas Brendon also claims this as one of his favorite episodes, and found it hard not to laugh while filming the seduction scenes.
  • The episode receives an A- at and cited as "damn fine comedy". The user community, on the same hand, commends it as A+.
  • Billie Doux, renowned Buffy reviewer, grants this episode four out of four, a perfect score.
  • Brian of rates it 9 out of 10, citing it as a "filthy, frothy Valentine from Buffy to its viewers". The other reviewer, Will, awards it a perfect score, 10 out of 10.
  • In, the episode stands on a final score of 8.0, based on 6 critical reviews, with the consensus being "If you love comedy, or the Cordelia/Xander relationship, then this is the episode for you. This is a light hearted episode that allows you to forget about the evil Angelus and the depressed state that is Buffy for at least one show."
  • Charisma Carpenter's performance was received thoroughly as impressive. A fan claims that her stellar performance "made [me] believe that Cordy is almost a human being".
  • The unofficial Buffy guidebook, Dusted, claims that "Buffy crushes the competition by doing fantasy standards better than anything else on Earth." The background score was also praised in the short review.
  • This episode is Xander-centric.


Cordelia - "You know what you are, Harmony? You're a sheep."
Harmony - "I'm not a sheep."
Cordelia - "You're a sheep. Sweaters are made from your woolly coat. All you ever do is what everyone else does, so you can say you did it first. And here I am scrambling for your attention when I'm way cooler than you are and I'm not a sheep. I do what I wanna do, wear what I wanna wear, and I'll date whoever the hell I wanna date! No matter how lame he is."
Buffy - "Slaying is a tad more perilous than dating."
Xander - "Obviously, you're not dating Cordelia."
Angelus - "Dear Buffy. Hm. I'm still trying to decide the best way to send my regards."
Spike - "Why don't you rip her lungs out? That might make an impression."
Angelus - "Lacks...poetry."
Spike - "Doesn't have to. What rhymes with lungs?"
Giles - "I cannot believe that you are fool enough to do something like this."
Xander - "Oh, no, I'm twice the fool it takes to do somethin' like this."
Buffy - "Hi, Oz!"
Oz - "Hi."
Buffy - "I seem to be having a slight case of nudity here."
Oz - "But you're not a rat. So call it an upside."
Giles - "Might I have a word?"
Buffy - "Have a sentence, even."

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