Before it was undermined here, Willow's reliance on magic appeared to originate from her need for power and control, turning to Wicca in order to prove her own worth or importance. There was also that element of the girl being plain lazy. Why bother performing menial tasks like buying party supplies when you can just magick shit in? Elements of both explanations appear here and there throughout Wrecked, and there's a wonderful coda where Willow seems to reveal that the only reason she's become so wrapped up in her abilities is because of her own fear of returning to her pre-magic self, where she was, in her own words, 'some girl'. Unfortunately, most of this is drowned out by the hideous 'magic equals drugs' metaphor, one of the laziest and most unintentionally hilarious storylines Buffy ever attempted.
The build-up to this episode was ridiculously fascinating, as we all slowly watched this sweet young woman became harsher and meaner, driven by her own desperation for control. If anything, it's depressing to see so much interesting character work get petered away in one fell swoop. Amy's six year-long arc is destroyed in order to get Willow from point A to point B in the story, becoming this junkie wingnut in the space of an episode. Marti Noxon relies on such easy plot twists to get Willow to hit rock bottom (endanger Dawn! Wah!), and the druggie demon thing is ridiculously perfunctory. It's a storyline misfire in the most overt sense.
However, the rest of Wrecked isn't entirely heinous. Buffy's post-coital characterization is interesting, as she runs the gamut of emotions we all experience after we do something 'different'. She subtly tries to defend her actions, she insults Spike to his face, and later pledges that it was a mistake that she'll never repeat. The only problem for Buffy is that Spike knows exactly what she's doing, and that no matter how she tries to cover it up, she had fun with him.
Willow's addiction is both the best and worst thing about Wrecked, since it's so wonderful in theory but entirely misjudged and cringe-worthy in execution. What should have been an interesting exploration into identity is instead made a poor collection of cold turkey shakes and child endangerment. Ugh. But Alyson Hannigan gives it her all, and that final scene is pretty remarkable. C-
Guest stars Elizabeth Anne Allen (Amy Madison); Jeff Kober (Rack); Amber Benson (Tara Maclay)
Writer Marti Noxon Director David Solomon