The Harvest: My Thoughts
Whenever I think of the Season 1 BtVS episode The Harvest, I usually recall this speech from Eric Balfour’s Jesse McNally, who could’ve shown a lot of potential as a Scooby Gang member (if he hadn’t been sired as a vampire, and then accidentally staked by Xander at The Bronze):
Jesse: OK… Let’s deal with this. Jesse was an excruciating loser who couldn’t get a date with anyone in the sighted community. Look at me. I’m a new man!
From my perspective, that speech is really awesome and inspiring, as well as very neat and well-written too.
However, this time around, I’m reviewing the computer lab scene with Willow Rosenberg, Cordelia Chase and Harmony Kendall.
The way I see it, Willow knew exactly what she was doing. In one such stereotype (which Joss later helped to change), the “nerdy” girl doesn’t have a verbal defense for the frontal assault of a witchy insult from the mean popular girl. What she does have is the disruptive guerilla tactic of knowledge. By misleading her opponent, the “nerd” successfully heads the popular girl off at the pass, thus destroying her efforts and forcing her to regroup — in this case, deleting her work and making her re-do it.
Alyson’s delivery of the line is definitely what I see as “spot on” right there. Willow, the computer geek, nonchalantly says ‘Hit deliver’ because she is the one who knows what she is doing in that environment. The popular girl, who happens to be out of her element, does what the knowledgeable person says — and is utterly unaware that she has been duped until it is too late.
From my perspective, it is quite possible that the way Willow avenged Buffy by misleading Cordelia could be seen as Joss’s revenge scene for all the times when he was not wildly popular in high school for being the “smart kid” who had all the right words and knew what to say instead of the BMOC (which is short for Big Man On Campus), although he did admit he based the character of Xander partially on that. This is one of those situations where those words have their power — and he sure showed them.