Season 4, Episode 10 - Hush
Original airdate: Dec. 14, 1999
Project 310 re-watch date: Feb. 24, 2009
Back when Buffy was originally on, it’s safe to say no episode had more lead-up hype than this one (not even the musical episode in Season 6 or the 100th episode to end Season 5). I wasn’t a Buffy watcher in 1999, but I was a WB watcher, so I saw lots of ads for it and tuned in.
Of course, back in 1999, there was so much that went over my head, but I’ve obviously caught up on everything.
The first time I watched this episode after seeing all the preceding episodes, I wasn’t that impressed, but it’s definitely grown on me.
Let’s go through the episode chronologically and highlight my favorite parts.
-The opening dream sequence is really cool. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen one of Buffy’s prophetic dreams, and this one was better produced than most of them. Most people focus on the demony stuff it foreshadows, but it also foreshadows the first Buffy-Riley kiss.
-We get our first Tara sighting in this episode. I didn’t like her in the Wicca Group scene, and thought it was weird how she went for Willow when the Gentlemen were attacking. I’d say my first few impressions of her were negative, but she definitely grew on me.
-The Gentlemen are probably the creepiest villains of the first four seasons -- their weird smiles and the way they float. It’s all just very creepy.
-Obviously, because of the whole “no voices” thing, the writers really had to rely on non-verbal communication in the second half of the episode, and they do a fantastic job of it. My favorite little thing is Anya’s “let’s have sex” sign to Xander after he beats up Spike, thinking Spike had bit her.
-Buffy’s scream when she gets her voice back is legitimately spine-tingling. I don’t know if that was actually Sarah Michelle Gellar or a recording, but it was loud and scary.
Look, the symbolism of the ending is obvious. Buffy and Riley (and everyone else) have their voices back. Buffy and Riley have learned a lot about each other and need to talk -- which is verbalized. But they just sit there in silence, again unable to speak. GREAT stuff.
Riley: “Well, I guess we have to talk.”
Buffy: “I guess we do.”