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Buffy Fashion Roulette: “Wrecked”

October 6, 2010

Oh, joy. Today’s Buffy Fashion Roulette episode is a fashion recap of one of the most After School Special-y episodes of all, “Wrecked”. It’s so cautionary of a tale that you might even call it a “very special episode”, minus the neatly wrapped ending that the most very special of television episodes usually receive. I won’t lie, kids. “Wrecked” is one of my least favorite Buffy episodes of all time. It’s heavy-handed. The magic-as-addiction metaphor is ridiculous, bordering on corny. The “drug” montages are laughable at best. And Rack, the magic pusher who gets Willow hooked on the dark stuff? He’s a dead ringer for Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

Our results from “Faith, Hope & Trick” are officially set in stone. Cordelia and Willow both had good showings, garnering 23% and 18% of the votes, respectively. But it was runway-ready Mr. Trick who stole the show with a very solid 32.5% of the vote, showing that the BFR faithful have a great respect for impeccable tailoring and designer menswear.

On the losing end, Xander (with his nasty mudflap girl shirt) and Oz (with his Phish concert-anti chic) tied for third with 8% of votes each, which isn’t so damning for either of them. Scott Hope? More like Scott Nope, with 16.5% of “no” votes. But it was Faith who truly disgusted you the most, garnering a staggering 54% of all votes cast.

Now, onto “Wrecked”. Previously on Buffy, ALL KINDS OF HORRIBLE SHIT HAPPENED. Willow did mean magic on people with Amy after Tara left her, Giles peaced out of Sunnydale, and Buffy had self-hating sex with Spike until the abandoned house they were doing it in crashed all around them.

As we open the episode, Tara and Dawn are waking up on the couch. It’s morning, which to them means that nobody came home last night. Uh, Tara? Willow’s on the rebound. She could’ve just been sneaking a hottie upstairs. Don’t flatter yourself so much. But in fact when Tara and Dawn check Buffy’s and Willow’s bedrooms to investigate the situation, it’s true: they’re both still out in the big, bad world somewhere.

Dawn’s outfit is relatively cute: a glittery butterfly shirt, nice jeans and a sweater over it all. You know, we’re pretty harsh on Dawn and all, but she dresses a lot better than any of the Class Of 99’ers did in their day. Tara is wearing that ugly sweater bathrobe that I freaking despise, along with a slightly mismatched brown sweater and brown pair of pants beneath it. Is this what the Buffy wardrobe department thinks that lesbians wear when processing their way a breakup? Yuck.

At the abandoned building, Buffy wakes up and is like, Oh Shit, What Did I Do. There’s really no excuse for her behavior. She wasn’t even drunk. She doesn’t fare well in her attempt to run off all indignantly, either. She goes right back for some smoochies.

I like this outfit, when she’s wearing it and all. I’m surprised that she took such care not to rip holes in it or to pop any of her buttons, seeing as how the house was a rockin’ so hard.

Spike, meanwhile, is naked and gloating. Srsly, there’s nothing more humiliating then when someone is naked and gloating. It’s pretty demoralizing. He looks like a cat who caught a salamander and is holding it in his teeth while it’s squirming around and begging for mercy.

We do get one quick glance at his Hurt Face, when Buffy throws some shade his way.

But then he goes right back to gloating. I can’t really fault him for that.

Buffy made a pretty great Accidental Sex Underwear Decision (ooh, but maybe it wasn’t accidental!). No granny panties or period stains for this slayer! When looking at Naked Spike here, I am thinking, what is up with all of this cheesy pawn shop jewelry? We can only see a small fraction of his body, but we can identify three pieces of jewelry. Whaaa? Since when did Spike dress like an extra on The Sopranos? All of his jewelry is silver or platinum (or God, maybe even white gold), and just from this angle we can see he’s wearing three pieces: a necklace (or, as the kids are calling it, “a chain”), a tacky bracelet, and a thumb ring. Maybe Spike has a burgeoning rap career on the side? Either way, after rewatching this scene I am seriously disturbed by how many squealing Buffy/Spike relationship fans were squealing about how cute this scene was. There’s nothing sadder when people mistake moments of succumbing to self-hatred for true love.

Back at the Summers abode, Tara is totally jealous of Willow coming home at the crack of dawn with another lady, even if said lady was a rat less than 24 hours ago.

Although the style is truly dated, Willow’s hair color is AMAZING. I love, envy and cherish it. The coat? Not so much. What’s up with all the suede points? It looks like something that a jester would wear. YUCK.  Amy is even worse off. Baby poo-colored pants (maybe she stole them from Tara when her back was turned?), a braided leather belt with a giant buckle, weird criss-crossed cutout sleeves… what is going on here? I guess I can’t knock her too hard, though: she did spend three years stuck in a rat cage, primarily observing the fashion of one Willow Rosenberg.

Tara gets mad about Willow’s burgeoning magic addiction (or gal pal, can’t tell which) and stomps away, almost knocking Buffy over in the process. It’s hard to make a stomp-off look dignified when you’re wearing a knitted bathrobe, though.

Here’s a much more hilarious look at Amy’s cutout sleeves.

Later at the Magic Box, Anya and Xander are investigating the whole diamond freeze-ray thing that Warren, Jonathan and Andrew pulled off in the previous episode. They aren’t having much luck, as there is no magical precedent for this. (Who woulda thunk it?!) They’re also having a hard time with the research because Anya stuck a bridal magazine in her research book and is reading that instead.

Xander is, y’know, typical, dependably boring-looking Xander. I can deal with that any day. Anya’s ensemble presents a much more challenging assessment. Here is a closer look, complete with lovely Emma Caufield doe eyes.

Her hair color does not sit well with me. I feel that it is a a few shades too blonde, and washes her out a bit. Her makeup looks perfectly alright, but does not compensate for the washed-outness that her hair has wreaked on her face. As far as her outfit goes, I cannot pick a team. Yes, the shirt is very “Anya”. But is a tight boatneck top covered in varying sizes of polka dots a good look on anyone? The lone aspect of her ensemble that I can fully get behind is her jewelry. Her matching brooch and earrings are to diiiiie foooor.

Buffy is suffering from a lack of sleep, but she still looks alright. She balks at Anya’s “traditional burlap with blood larvae” bridesmaid dress dilemma, which is a shame. That would have made for some Buffy Fashion Roulette magic.

Buffy looks like a modern-day Daisy Buchanan here, sleep deprivation and everything. I’m fully behind it.

Later that night Amy and Willow go on a hunt for Rack’s place. At first glance their outfits don’t look hideously awful, just average awful. This is probably because they are wearing a jacket and a coat, respectively.

They find Rack’s creepy magical meth lab, where he will take them to The Other Side. They’ll be Livin’ On The Edge. They’ll go Crazy. (Heh heh. Heh heh heh.)

I can’t decide if ol’ Rack/Steve gets the BFR exemption. He lives in a magical meth lab and all; it’s probably not terribly easy to shop for clothes when you’re constantly on the run from The Law. He kind of dresses like a medieval serf, which is weird. Nevertheless, you’d think he could take a magical bath or something.

The horror of both Amy’s and Willow’s outfits is revealed once they take their coats off. I mean, yeah, their magical drug dependence is revealed as well. Both their clothes and their witchy acid trips are pretty hilarious, which I can get behind.

Amy trips balls in a denim dress that appears to have been created from a repurposed pair of jeans. I can tell this because there’s a weird zigzag at the waist. As far as the fit goes, it doesn’t look terrible on her. But come on, dude. It’s a denim minidress with a fabric triangle at the bottom.


Does Rack say that Willow tastes like strawberries because she’s a redhead? If so, I call Ginger Discrimination, from one ginger to another (ed. note: betcha didn’t know I’m a ginge). Anyways, she’s hanging out on the ceiling with, as is per the usual in season six, something that laces up the front. Gross. Also gross is the fact that it’s not just her body that’s defying gravity- her hair and clothing are sticking to the ceiling as well. I call bullshit (or maybe I call budgetary discretion?).

I hate that whole scene where she sees something trippy and crashes to the floor. I mean, how literal do these drugs/magic analogies have to be?

The next morning Willow cries in the shower and tries to sleep it off. I would feel really sad about watching this scene if it wasn’t so corny, and if she wasn’t trying to sleep off a ham-fistedly executed magical pseudo-drug trip. Anyways, Willow comes across a box of clothes marked “TARA”, makes them magically levitate out of the box and onto the bed, inflates them and cuddles in their lap.

I prefer to think that Tara left these clothes behind on purpose, because they are uuuugly.

Later that night Willow heads downstairs, where Dawn is making peanut butter-and-banana quesadillas. (This actually sounds kind of delicious to me.) You may look at this photo and think, “Dawn has weird sleeves.”

Then Willow goes to open the fridge, and you immediately forget about Dawn’s weird sleeves because you notice that Willow has freaking rayon cobwebs hanging from her wrists.

Willow offers to take Dawn out for burgers and a movie. Buffy comes home, hears some funny noises and feels like something is amiss. She’s right. Amy has broken into the house, and she’s upstairs stealing!…. sage. She’s stealing sage. Apparently she’s really hungover, because she almost hurls when Buffy throws her up against the wall and starts freaking out, yelling, “breaking into someone’s house for kitchen spices? No, i don’t think so!” Yeah, I don’t think so either. Why wouldn’t Amy just head on down to the Piggly Wiggly and buy some sage in the baking aisle? For that matter, why wouldn’t she just shoplift from the Magic Box? Lord knows nobody who hangs out there pays any attention to what’s going on in the shop. Anya’s reading bridal magazines, Willow’s sniffing fat lines of majick, Xander’s panicking about getting married… for that matter, why the hell didn’t Amy just ask Dawn to steal some sage for her? Dawn’s good at stealing. A regular Oliver Twist, that one.

Amy looks like hell, of course. It’s Bad Hangover Day; we’re lucky Crocs weren’t around when this episode was filmed. Buffy looks kind of weird. What’s up with the braided pigtails and the black turtleneck? Is she attempting to make up for her sexual indiscretions by appearing extra priggish today?

Willow is wearing the weird jester jacket again, and Dawn has changed into a warmer sweater for their big night on the town. Poor Dawn. She finally thinks she’s getting some attention, and all Willow can think about is getting high (on magic, of course).

Hence, Dawn is promptly deposited in Rack’s waiting room so Willow can get hi-i-iiiigh. Note the “no smoking” sign on the wall, as well as the giant ashtray full of cigarette butts on the coffee table. (Do drug dens generally have waiting rooms?)

I do find it quite charming that Rack leaves copies of National Geographic lying around for his clients to read. That’s very thoughtful of him.

Just in case the hilariousness of Willow’s webbed sleeve escaped you in the fridge picture, here’s a scene from one of Willow’s magic hallucinations. As you can plainly see here, she is reaching for the stars. Incidentally, the fates (?) are oohing a creepy song in the background. This only makes me laugh harder.

But then she hallucinates this, which is really weird and would perhaps be better suited as a Dio album cover.

(Seriously, why would any magical high be worth this?)

Buffy is worried about Dawn, who is missing. She recruits Spike, who is lying in bed naked and feels certain that she has come for the nookie. It occurs to me that most of Spike’s clothing up for critique is, well, nudity. Nudity and silver chains.

Buffy is wearing a leather jacket and that silver Y necklace that she becomes so fond of in season 6. Is it supposed to be some sort of S&M metaphor? Like a leash or something?

Stoner Willow is my favorite Alternate Willow that I’ve encountered thus far in my Buffy Fashion Roulette adventure. Vamp Willow and Evil Willow cannot hold a candle to Stoner Willow once she’s spent a few hours floating around on the ceiling of Rack’s magical crack den. She starts out by pushing Dawn’s buttons and pretty much calling her a loser. Fun!

Spike has put on his non-naked uniform and has joined Buffy in searching the streets for Dawn (and Willow). ‘Cept they aren’t so much searching as they are processing about their feelings. Barf.

Willow and Dawn encounter the scary Dio Demon that Willow magically conjured, and Willow mouths off to it. Hilarious!

Willow starts ‘drunk driving’ and she yells out, “take that, scuzz!” Only a stoner would say something that weird. Amazingly, she isn’t even steering with her hands. Dawn is terrified and screaming.

Then, as drunk drivers (even drivers who are drunk on magic) are prone to doing, Willow crashes the car. Dawn’s arm is broken and she’s almost devoured by the Dio Demon. Buffy saves the day, of course, and she and Spike look on with no reaction as Dawn uses her good arm to smack the ever lovin’ crap out of Willow.

As you can see from this photo, Willow loves to shower after her magical LSD adventures. She and Buffy have a heart to heart. Willow reveals her dependency on magic, and explains her insecurities. Magic makes her feel special. “Who was I? Just some girl.” Indeed, Willow. You were a girl in a crazy birthday cake shirt. A girl in a school uniform-style jumper that reveals ‘the softer side of Sears.’ A girl with the best sneaker collection this side of the hellmouth. And we loved you for it. Magical rehab, Willow. Hurry, before you end up like Lord Voldemort.

Later, Willow experiences serious withdrawals after two days of Rack Magic. Dang. Them’s some downright powerful magicks!

Aaaand Buffy strings up garlic all over her room in an attempt to keep Spike from coming in. He never drops by, which is beside the point; as soon as he knocked on her window she’d just yell at him, then throw all the garlic in the closet and invite him in.

Thus ends the after school special. Vote below!

And if you don’t mind, I have an additional poll. It’d be helpful if you could answer that one as well.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2010 1:41 PM

    In defense of Tara’s bathrobe sweater, she actually got my vote for the boxed-up dress that Willow cuddles with. Otherwise, Willow’s sleeves would have definitely out worst-dressed her.

  2. October 6, 2010 2:31 PM

    A.) When I watched this episode on Netflix it was on widescreen, and you could totally see Spike’s Flesh Colored Panties of Modesty in that first naked scene. Zomg my eyes.

    A.1) I hate when he wears super tight scoop neck shirts. I’m embarrassed for him. It’s worse than the giant button-downs.

    B.) I kind of hate this episode too, for all the reasons you listed. I know most everything on the show is a big fat metaphor, but I totally got them without having them shoved in my face, k? And the inflatable Tara scene is far too cheesy to be sad, which is kind of sad, because I love Willow and Tara together, and I love season 6 Tara, because she grows a spine.

    • October 6, 2010 6:59 PM

      Season 6 Tara is the best. She’s so smart, strong and funny, all while still being very much Tara. It makes me okay with Willow flaying Warren at the end. Is that wrong?

    • msjacks permalink*
      October 10, 2010 2:57 PM

      I also love season 6 Tara. It’s total BS that she gets killed once she finally starts to stick up for herself.

  3. October 6, 2010 6:54 PM

    I’m so excited! I’ve been waiting for a review of Spike’s (b) costume! Although I forgot about the tacky jewelry. Did the wardrobe dept. feel bad that they didn’t have anything to put in James Marsters dressing room that week so they just decided to leave him a pile of tacky jewelry? I mean honestly, it’s not like Spike’s weekly (a) wardrobe takes any more effort and imagination to put together than his (b) wardrobe.

    Also, wonderful description of Rack’s waiting room! It’s vaguely reminiscent of Blue Velvet for me, only without Al from Quantum Leap. I’ll need to watch that again.

    Is it just me or does anyone else wish David Lynch got the chance to write and direct a Buffy episode (*cough* Restless)?

    • msjacks permalink*
      October 10, 2010 2:59 PM

      Yeah, I think “Restless” would be the only choice. Or maybe the one where Buffy and Giles go out into the woods to get high (do magic) and meet the First Slayer, or the one where they find the box of magical puppets and figure out that the Slayer was created by a bunch of men. It would have to be something really trippy, anyways.

  4. caselogic permalink
    October 6, 2010 10:06 PM

    Serendipity! I only learned about Piggly Wiggly this week, otherwise that reference would have gone right over my Midwestern head.

    • msjacks permalink*
      October 10, 2010 3:00 PM

      Ha! It’s the grocery store of my childhood/hometown! I couldn’t think of a universal, every-town grocery store because it always varies from region to region. So I just decided to pick one with a silly name.

  5. Chromde permalink
    October 7, 2010 1:28 AM

    It’s not just a metaphor … it’s a MARTIPHOR! (tm TWoP) But UGH, I really don’t like Wrecked. (Smashed, may have the World’s Loudest Zipper Unzipping and cheesy Bronze magicking, but at least I can watch it (well, except when the Spuffy groinyness starts.))

    Spike is such a copycat. It’s not just doing Angel’s old girl, or getting a soul, or using vast amounts of hair product — he also follows grandsire’s bizarre skanky manjewelery fad. Seriously, earlier seasons. Angel wears this long nechainlace with a weird little twist at the end CONSTANTLY and numerous rings, though at least he never lowered himself to a bracelet. Though interestingly, Angel never wears this manjewelery over on his own show. Maybe Buffy makes her paramours buy this kind of stuff. (Obviously she never loved Riley because he never wore the manjewelery she prescribed to him. A-ha!)

    Great fashion recap; your commentary on both the plot and the fashion had me in stitches.❤

    • msjacks permalink*
      October 10, 2010 3:02 PM

      I’ve only gotten one season 2 episode thus far, but yeah, I’ve noticed some hideous Angel jewelry decisions in season 1. That fucking pinky ring! It’s so terrible! He wore lots of dinky gold chains too, if I’m remembering correctly. Ugh, it’s so awful!

  6. Sarah permalink
    October 7, 2010 11:52 AM

    wow, hard choices today because most of these outfits were awful. I wavered between Anya (I like those sweet dots) and Spike (do i need to explain this?).
    Tara made my worst list because she is actually such a beautiful woman although she clearly tries to hide it with her mini tents. Do the writers really assume that every lesbian woman dresses that way?
    I hope for a regular roulette on Tuesday because it is my most hated university day (Russian grammar, State law plus some useful but boring computer courses) and I need something to looking forward to.

    • msjacks permalink*
      October 10, 2010 3:04 PM

      I have a hard time with Anya. At the time, I ADORED her clothes more than half of the time. But they just don’t seem to hold up the way I remember them looking. It’s really upsetting!!

  7. Jenn permalink
    October 7, 2010 12:32 PM

    “Willow’s sniffing fat lines of majick,” – Omg, you are cracking my shit up! I really enjoy reading these and am waiting impatiently for you to post a new one.:)

  8. Nicki permalink
    October 7, 2010 6:57 PM

    This week was sooo easy to vote for. Obviously Spike is best dressed.😉 His birthday suit is amazing!!!! And Tara’s long bathrobe was just disgusting. Something I found disturbing though: I used to think Rack was ickier. He looked almost kind of maybe normal-ish in this picture. Maybe he gets worse. We’ll see eventually, hopefully.:) Keep up the blog, it’s the highlight of my week! (Whatever week it happens to come out on)

    • msjacks permalink*
      October 10, 2010 3:07 PM

      I think a lot of the creepiness of Rack comes from Jeff Kober’s performance, rather than just still shots. It’s the way he darts his eyes around and wiggles his fingers. It’s a testament to kickass acting, rather than inherent creepiness. Sometimes screen captures just don’t tell the whole story!

      Thanks for yr nice compliment! BFR will be around for awhile; there are over 100 episodes left to recap. LAWDIE. Heh.

  9. Missy permalink
    October 8, 2010 2:24 AM

    Voted Anya Best Dressed for the obvious reasons
    (She looked like the only person who put thought into what she was going to wear that day)
    Rack got Worst dressed….(even though I really like Jeff Kober)
    When you mentioned how Dirty everything about Rack was I thought even if he took a bath (Magical or otherwise)is “Meth Lab” was so filthy…..he woulda wokeup Dirty again anyway
    I was going to pick Amy for the hideous Denim Dress(I cringe when I see that Dress)……but you do only see it in that scene…Rack “won” by default Lol
    Stoner Willow is very Mouthy….compared to all the other Willows we see…..I❤ it too:)
    Everyone else was dressed kinda Blah just like the ep is.
    Have to give props for the Dawn Willow Bitch Slap…..very nice & kinda unexpected.

  10. October 11, 2010 3:20 PM

    i highly doubt that tara left that outfit behind on purpose. seeing as she regularly dresses as if she’s going to a renaissance fair, you know she was kicking herself for not grabbing her velour turtleneck/ ankle length skirt ensemble before she stormed outta there. can’t wait till you draw “once more with feeling.”
    love the piggly wiggly reference:)

  11. Kristin permalink
    October 11, 2010 7:23 PM

    Oh, those sweater bathrobes of the late ’90s and early 2000s were awful, and yet so many women wore them! Also, I would like to note that I had a clearance version of Dawn’s butterfly shirt before this episode aired, and at the time I felt somewhat proud to be dressing like a BtVS character. Even if that character was Dawn.

    I think Buffy’s hair is in braids because SMG cut her hair, apparently in the middle of filming this episode. She had to wear that horrendous wig in the next episode until they revealed her haircut.

  12. October 11, 2010 9:13 PM

    You should’ve included a screenie of that moment where Willow’s lounging on the ceiling and she kind of makes eyes into the camera and basically looks incredibly hot.

    Which… you probably disagreed with and therefore left it out.

    But it would have made up for all those times you wickedly attached photos of Miserable Willow.

  13. October 13, 2010 5:56 PM

    “It occurs to me that most of Spike’s clothing up for critique is, well, nudity. Nudity and silver chains.”


    If the polls weren’t closed I’d totally vote for The Return of The Killer Bath-Robe. I remember when the cool kids wore those… in middle school.

  14. Jessica permalink
    October 16, 2010 6:59 PM

    A reference to Dio? HOLLA.

    You are superbly bitchin, no doubt about it.

    I actually have this blog on a convenient link to start a new tab for it and check it periodically.

  15. Casie permalink
    February 6, 2011 2:33 PM

    Msjacks where did you go?! I’m really missing my weekly dose of Buffy fashion! Please come back soon!

  16. Vicky permalink
    July 25, 2011 1:00 PM

    It’s interesting to watch this storyline with fashion in mind. You’ll notice that in this episode and the ones leading up to it, Willow is wearing heavy make-up and weird, low-cut tops. I guess this look symbolizes evil-black-magic addiction. In the next episode, as Willow battles her addiction, we see a return to natural make-up, quirky t-shirts and fuzzy sweaters.

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