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Contains season 6 spoilers – You've been warned.
Wrecked: Willow's magic abuse takes a turn for the worse.
Season 6, Episode 10
First US Airdate: November 27, 2001
Written by Marti Noxon, Directed by David Solomon
Elizabeth Anne Allen... Amy Madison
Jeff Kober... Rack
Amber Benson... Tara
The scene opens in Buffy's living room the morning after the events of Smashed. Dawn and Tara wake up, having fallen asleep the night before while watching TV. They're immediately concerned, since both Buffy and Willow have stayed out all night. Across town, Buffy and Spike wake up in a pile of rubble. Spike is quite pleased with himself, but Buffy doesn't exactly have a morning-after glow about her. Buffy, disgusted with herself, gets dressed in a hurry and heads for the hills.
Back at Buffy's house, Willow and Amy finally come home. Things are a bit awkward between Willow and Tara, and then Amy starts talking about all the magic that Willow had done the night before. Tara, upset that Willow is still overdoing the magic, hurries out just as Buffy gets home. Buffy finds out that Willow had been out all night and that Tara stayed over to watch Dawn, but she and Willow are both too tired to talk about much. The two dirty stayouts go upstairs to catch up on their sleep. Willow tries to close her curtains with magic, but it seems that her power has been drained.
Later that day, Xander, Anya, and Buffy are at the Magic Box researching what demon could have frozen the museum guard and stolen the diamond from the museum... or at least, Xander and Buffy are researching. Anya is doing some covert wedding planning, since she thinks the research won't turn up anything. Xander kind of agrees with her and asks if maybe Willow could help them out, but Buffy tells him that Willow's home sleeping because she had stayed out all night with Amy. Xander knows a warning sign when he sees one, but Buffy, who is self-identifying with the whole "bad decisions" thing, says that Willow's a grown-up and that if she crossed a line, she'll learn from it.
That night, Willow and Amy are out again, trying to figure out something to do. Amy suggests that they go see a warlock that she knows. They head for Rack's place, which is cloaked in order to keep Rack out of trouble. Rack, an unsavory character is ever we've met one, makes a beeline for Willow and Amy. He can sense power in Willow, but she tells him that she gets tapped out pretty quickly. Rack passes up her offer of money or computer help, and instead saps some of her power to help him cast a spell on her. The spells on Willow and Amy do some trippy things, and as the spell on Willow starts to wear off, she sees a red demon, and then begins teleporting, first to the Bronze, then to the Magic Box, and finally to her bedroom where she comes to he next day. She showers and cries, presumably disgusted with how far things have gone. Back in her room, she lays out some of Tara's clothes and magically causes them to fill up as if someone were wearing them. The clothes sit up, and Willow rests her head on her inflated creation.
Later that day, Willow offers to take Dawn out for dinner and a movie, and they head out, leaving a note for Buffy. Buffy gets home later and finds the house dark. She then hears a noise upstairs, and finds Amy going through Willow's magic supplies to steal some sage. Amy tells Buffy that Willow is into it worse than she is, and that she's probably at Rack's right now. Buffy realizes that Dawn is there with her, and she asks Amy where Rack is. Amy explains about Rack's place being cloaked, so Buffy will need someone who can sense where it is.
Willow and Dawn, meanwhile, are on their way to the movie, but Dawn realizes that they're going the wrong way. Willow says that she just has to make one quick stop, and sure enough, they end up at Rack's. Willow says that she'll just be a minute before she goes into the back room. 'Just a minute' turns into over an hour as Willow, under another spell from Rack, ends up hallucinating about the same red demon from the day before.
Buffy, now in need of someone who can sense Rack's place, goes to get Spike. She's not sure why she can't sense it, but then Spike tells her that one has to be "into the big bad" to be able to feel Rack's place. Meanwhile, Dawn is still waiting for Willow almost 2 hours later. Dawn heads for the back room, but then Willow comes out. Her eyes are completely black, and she's feeling no pain. Dawn is plenty ready to go home, but Willow wants to have fun, unaware that something is following them down the street.
Buffy and Spike, meanwhile, are having no luck finding Rack's place. Buffy thinks that Spike is just stalling to spend more time with her, but he says that things have changed between them. Things are getting worse for Dawn and Willow, as the red demon from Rack's spells jumps out at them. Willow tells Dawn that the demon isn't real, but the demon slashes Dawn's cheek, which pretty much proves that he's real. The girls take off. They come across a car, get in, and try to get away. Willow, however, is still high as a kite from Rack's spell, and she's driving using magic, laughing and having a grand time... right until she crashes the car into a pillar.
Dawn comes to and gets out of the car, while Willow remains slumped over the steering wheel. Even after all of this, the demon is still in pursuit, and it goes after Dawn. Buffy and Spike are nearby, and after hearing Dawn screaming, they come a-running. Buffy fights with the demon for a while, but then it suddenly begins shaking and burns up. As the demon dissolves, Willow is revealed behind it, her hands crackling with magical energy. Dawn's arm is hurt, and both she and Buffy are mad as heck at Willow for putting Dawn in danger. Willow breaks down sobbing, and as Spike takes Dawn to the hospital, Buffy stays behind with Willow. Willow now sees that she has a problem and begs Buffy to help her.
Once they get home, Willow and Buffy talk some things out, and Willow promises that she's going cold turkey. Buffy realizes that she also has to stop things with Spike. The last shot is of Buffy in her room, surrounded by garlic and holding a cross to ward off vampires... or, one vampire in particular.
Things to note:
So, in case you didn't get it, Willow's addiction to magic is supposed to be a metaphor for drug abuse... except that here she's actually getting high, so the magic isn't just like a drug, it IS a drug. Buffy fans are never happy when the writers don't give them enough credit, so "Wrecked" rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. At least Willow has finally admitted that she has a problem, and that's always the first step to recovery.
Jeff Kober, who plays Rack, has played a sleazy villain type on lots of other shows, including Walker, Texas Ranger, Charmed, and CSI. He also played mental vamp Zackary Kralik in Buffy season 3 episode "Helpless."
Willow: So, uh, the burger was good? You liked it?
Dawn: Are you kidding? It was like a meat party in my mouth... Okay, now I'm just a kid, and even I know that came out wrong.
Buffy: Get dressed. Dawn's missing.
Spike: Again? Ever think about a LoJack for the girl?
Willow: The magic wasn't all great. I won't miss the nosebleeds and the headaches and stuff.
Buffy: There you go.
Willow: Or keeping stinky yak cheese in my bra... Don't ask.
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide