"The Magic Bullet"
Episode # 85
Original Air Date: April 16, 2003
Review by: Anne
A week has passed and Jasmine has almost everyone in town under her spell; the Hyperion is full of people who want to be close to her. Gunn asks Jasmine why she doesn't go to a TV station and broadcast her love to the world, but Jasmine replies that it's not the world's time and that she still has much to learn. Fred is still hiding from the others and trying to figure out how Jasmine is controlling them. The gang is now able to sense what Jasmine wants; she says they are becoming connected, and she uses that to let all of her followers know to look for Fred. After Fred is wounded, she realizes that Jasmine's blood is the answer. Fred turns herself in, arranging the scene so that she can shoot Jasmine and hit Angel with the bloody bullet. Angel is cured and he escapes with Fred, as Jasmine realizes that her blood is what opens people's eyes. Angel and Fred sneak into Cordy's room to collect her blood. Meanwhile Jasmine grants private audiences to a select few; after one encounter she leaves the room glowing. When Connor asks what happened to the people, Jasmine sweetly tells him that she ate them and he replies, "Cool." Cordelia's blood works to cure Lorne, Wesley, and Gunn. However, when they try to help Connor, he remains under the spell. He runs to the hallway, shouting for the others to come.
At this point, Neo is wishing that he had chosen the blue pill . . . no, wait, that's another review. Still, things are getting a bit Matrix-y. People are caught up in a lie and (I suspect) fueling Jasmine's power, plus Jasmine is able to see -- and act -- through her followers. In the Matrix, someone explained that when the bad guys gave people a vision of a perfect life, the people kept trying to wake up out of it. Similarly, Jasmine has given them a "utopian wonderland" but Lorne, Wesley and Gunn observed that something doesn't feel right when Jasmine's not around.
It seems that Jasmine's power increases after she feeds: that's why she could tell Connor that she ate those people and he remained entranced by her. Her power must be growing, because the man at the bookstore fell under the spell after hearing her talk on the radio, instead of seeing her like her previous victims did.
It's no surprise that the cure didn't work on Connor, since life for the gang is just not that easy. Jasmine called Connor a "unique soul" -- maybe he shares a different connection with her that isn't broken in the typical way. Or maybe he so desperately wants to believe the lies that he's subconsciously(?) choosing to remain under the spell.
Wouldn't It Be Nice was a good way to start the episode, since the song speaks of a delusional notion that everything will be better in the future. Certainly, that is what Jasmine's followers are thinking. Seeing everyone be so happy and nice, someone could question whether a vision of perfect happiness is such a terrible thing. The answer to that question can be seen in the fates of those who blindly - albeit happily - followed Jasmine to their doom.
* Angel must have been really shaken: he didn't hear the people approaching then he fell into Cordy's room in a most un-stealthy way.
* Could Jasmine not feel the "connection" being broken with the others?
* When seeing through her followers, Jasmine is apparently vulnerable to their weaknesses.