While there's a lot of vacuous fun to be had as Willow tears up the joint, my problem with this entire arc is that it quickly loses track of Willow's purpose for wreaking havoc. It becomes less about Tara's demise and Willow's self-destructive levels of emotional devastation, and more about Willow making snarky jokes and being mean to people. All season has built up to this point, and it's annoying to see such interesting character work thrown out in exchange for typical 'evilness'. It's underwhelming.
There's obviously a lot to like here, notably in the Dark Phoenix-inspired carnage that Willow is responsible for. In general, Two to Go feels like a bunch of elaborate set pieces: there's the jail break-out and the flying bricks, the highway chase with Willow on top of the out-of-control truck, that final smackdown at the Magic Box. But it's at the expense of interesting character work, Willow's transformation rooted not so much in something that makes sense anymore, but more in the writers wanting to shock the audience. There's an implication that bleeding Rack dry of his magic taints her sanity, but it still folds into that horrible drug storyline from earlier this year, Will even referring to herself as a 'junkie' in one of the more annoying moments of the episode.
The writers at least try to salvage some of the characterization in that intense stand-off between Buffy and Willow at Rack's place, with Willow referencing her own unhappiness and her anger at being a sidekick all this time. I mentioned it last episode, but Alyson Hannigan seems more comfortable in those moments when she lets her façade slip, her inner turmoil seeping through. With that in mind, the writers really should have pushed that angle of the story, and not pursued showy visual craziness instead.
Two to Go is fine, if slightly hollow compared to what this show usually does so well. I loved the Buffy/Willow fight (there's this one part where Alyson herself does this double-kick thing to both Buffy's belly and head, and it's ridiculously badass), but a lot of Willow's motivation feels contrived from here on out and some of the dialogue ('Get off me, super-bitch!') is crazily horrible. C+
Guest stars Danny Strong (Jonathan Levinson); Tom Lenk (Andrew Wells); Jeff Kober (Rack)
Writer Douglas Petrie Director Bill Norton