In this Anya-centric episode, Anya wakes up to a morning-after from hell at a UC Sunnydale frat house. Drunken raunch? Not on the Hellmouth. While Anya regrets ripping out all the hearts of the frat boys, Willow is getting back into the swing of things, but discovers what her friend did. She tries to get Anya some help. However, Anya is in too deep to get this help and Willow has no choice but to go to Buffy as the Slayer. Xander fights it, but Buffy decides to kill Anya. So she dons the leather and tries her best, but to no avail. Willow goes to save Anya with the help of a very angry D’Hoffryn who ends up letting Anya redeem herself at the cost of Halfrek. Then he fires her from vengeance-demondom. She may be Xander-less and not so fancy-free, but at least she gets to walk away from it this time.
I have to say that I enjoyed the Anya-ness of this episode. The grainy, movie-like flashbacks of “Aud” and Olaf were neat, especially her old philosophy then. I also really liked the Sunnydale musical sequence. It went on a touch too long, but the shot of Anya singing that cut into Anya being stabbed in the heart was worth it for the emotional impact as well as how reminiscent it was of “The Body.” That scene really got to me because I think that it represents her spirit at this time as well and how it’s a little desperate, alone and dying bit by bit. It made sense.
As for the non-Anya aspects, yes, we know Willow is not fully healed, but do they have to throw it in our faces all the time? I guess it was supposed to look like foreshadowing, but it just rang false to me. D’Hoffryn telling Willow that she still had it in her was just annoying to tell the truth, although the rest of the D’Hoffryn scenes were good. When he chose to kill Hallie instead of Anya just to hurt Anya more, I was really impressed by the cruelty. Although I have to point out that the way D’Hoffryn was talking, the vengeance demon thing sounded more like a prostitution ring than a company of wish-fulfillers.
But like I said, I liked this episode, despite unanswered questions and even more Gratuitous Leather Usage by Buffy. At least you know when she’s doing her “dirty work”…