Buffy the Vampire Slayer S05 E05 – Family is the key.

Previously: Spike’s got the hots for Buffy and Riley got points for recognizing a doomed relationship when he was in one.

No Place Like Home

Lorraine: We start with a couple of monks running through darkened halls. One monk trips and falls and this is my stress dream. Not the monks or darkened hall part, but the part where I’m running away from something and keep tripping and falling. At least it isn’t teeth falling out.

K: Mostly, monks running through darkened halls made me assume that the TARDIS was going to be turning up shortly. I’m still disappointed that it didn’t.

Lor: Fair.

A title card tells us that this is happening two months ago. The monks run into a room, bar the door and yell at each other in Czech to hurry up and perform the ritual. They start chanting and a bright flash of light appears between them just as the Unseen Evil Thing breaks the door down.

We flash to the present where Buffy is punching-and-punning her way through a fight with a large vampire who looks like he enjoys things like motorcycles, jean vests and leather boots. They appear to be in an empty parking lot in front of an abandoned building. Buffy stakes him and starts to go off on her way when she’s approached by a security guard. Night Cop says that he broke up a rave the night before, so Buffy, in her full length Jackson-Pollock-esque furry coat, is too late for the party. Buffy feigns disappointment, but before she heads off, Night Cop tells her not to forget her magical, glowy orb! Buffy examines said orb as Night Cop makes a “kids these  days!” joke. Roll credits.

Sweeney: Thanks for holding onto the random magic object and handing it over to the slayer, random night cop!

Lor: Buffy is serving up breakfast and warns Dawn not to touch anything. Then Dawn knocks over a vase, and when Joyce walks in, takes credit for the breakfast. Kids these days.

K: My younger brother does much the same with Christmas presents – I come up with the ideas, buy them, wrap them and write the cards. He takes the credit. As an older sibling, Dawn taking credit made me super twitchy.

Sweeney: I just like that you keep saying, “Kids these days,” as it’s one of my little sister’s favorite phrases ever, so I’m reading it in her voice. It’s delightful.

Lor: Maybe mentioning her means we’ll be graced with a Lion comment! Lion always shows up when we talk about how awesome she is.

Anyways, Joyce wants to know what the occasion is, and Buffy says they knew she was feeling ill. Apparently, she’s still having those headaches. Buffy freaks out about wanting a second opinion on the diagnosis, but Joyce points out that that would mean waiting to hear the first opinion. She adds that she’ll do all the worrying since she’s the mom of the vampire slayer and a “little pumpkin belly.” Dawn groans at this display of affection but things get awkward when Buffy wonders if she ever had any pet names. Nope.

K: Womp womp. Although really, Buffy, you should be relieved. My pet names from my mum were “duds” and “Kaka”. Yeah. That happened.


It’s Giles’s grand opening day, so Joyce sends Buffy and confirms plans for a book club with Dawn. Buffy questions this book club she didn’t know they had, but just sort of sadly changes the subject. Off she goes to the grand opening with Dawn in tow, so she won’t bother Joyce.

Sweeney: All this parental sharing problems gives me all the sibling feels. All the sibling feels! SHE WAS MY MOM FIRST, KID.

Lor: Buffy walks into The Magic Box to find Giles decked out in purple wizard-y robes and a pointy wizard-y hat. Buffy just stares at him silently until he cowers and walks off to take off the outfit.

K: I think my favourite part is that you can basically see them having an entire conversation through their expressions without anyone saying a word. Buffy: “Oh dear God, what have you done?” Giles: “What, you don’t like it? I thought it was rather fitting given my new profession.” Buffy: “Oh, honey, no.” Giles: “Yes, perhaps you’re right. I shall dispense with the gimmicks.”

Sweeney: I just know that I could watch this gifset for hours.

Lor: Giles’s little smile is just the best.

Dawn walks in and wonders when the place is open for customers and Giles says it has been since 9am. He’s sure that with all the monsters in Sunnydale, though, people will be lining up soon.

Giles notices that Buffy looks distracted and asks about it. Buffy recaps the whole “Joyce is sick and we don’t know with what” thing. Giles is mid-comforting her when Riley and Willow walk into the store. Willow excitedly asks where Giles’s hat and cloak are.

No time for that, however, it’s down to business: Buffy takes out her Glowy Orb and asks the Scoobies what it is. Giles guesses that it’s paranormal in origin because it’s so shiny. Riley says there might be more of them and that they should go back out on patrol that night to look. Buffy awkwardly agrees. Dawn pops in to perform some Drive-By-Dawn-Destruction: she tells Riley Buffy says he isn’t allowed to patrol. Buffy quickly says that she didn’t say that. Dawn keeps hammering, though, and says B said it would be easier if she didn’t have to look out for anyone. Behind Buffy, Giles is doing the most hilarious awkward shuffle.

K: I don’t blame him. Having to stand there and watch Dawn say what everyone knows but is too polite to mention? Hella awkward.

Lor: Buffy tries to cover again and says she didn’t mean Riley. Dawn is all, “yeah. But I’m not done ruining lives yet,” and goes on that Buffy said Riley is cute when he’s all weak and kitten-y. Dawn finally finishes by welcoming Riley into the cute, useless and never allowed on patrol club.

Everyone glares at Dawn as she asks, “what?”

Riley excuses himself to the training room and Buffy tells Dawn they are leaving. Willow stops Buffy and tells her to go easy on Dawn. Will’s got a soft spot for the big spaz. I’m not sure if what Dawn is can be likened to a spaz. This little episode of word vomit was either painfully, stupidly unaware or evil. Buffy tells Willow she really wishes she were an only child as we hear something crash in the background and Dawn squeak out an, “oops.”

Sweeney: I like Willow’s line, before the “big spaz” comment. She says she just has all the involuntary empathy for her. I SEE YOU, SHOW. Clever.

Lor: The girls arrive back home and call out to their mother, who is on the couch suffering another bad headache. Buffy insists she go to the doctor, but Joyce says she just needs her prescription filled.

Buffy heads to do that at the hospital pharmacy. As she’s walking out, Ben, the intern we met last episode, calls out to her. Just then, the patient Ben stopped transporting in order to have this little chit chat starts freaking out about having specific instructions. Ben struggles with him, but Buffy easily pushes the patient back down on his gurney while he’s strapped down. Ben is all, “not to be sexist, but you are strong for a girl!” Which, you know, sexist.

K: Truth. Also, I’m pretty sure that the hospital would frown on him being all “Screw patient care, let’s chat up the cute girl and THEN do my job!”

Sweeney: We’ve talked about this many times before (or maybe it’s just Lor and I in our emails?) but beginning sentences with “Not to be _____” is one of my least favorite things ever. The best way to not be _____ is to just, you know, not be _____!

Lor: “Not to be” is basically a way of saying, “I’m going to be, but I feel justified in doing so.”

The freaking out patient that is still being ignored freaks out again and grabs Buffy’s arm. She recognizes him as Night Cop. He says that Buffy isn’t above it, that they are coming for her her, and that they will get to her family. He knocks the pills out of Buffy’s hand as Night Cop is finally wheeled away.

Ben picks up the pills and hands them to Buffy, asking if Joyce isn’t feeling better. Buffy says not yet, but that she’s starting to figure out what is wrong.

We cut back to the abandoned building from the beginning of the episode where a monk is still being fidgety and nervous. Something starts beating at an aluminum looking door and the monk just kind of watches with an, “oh shit” face, as he calls whatever is pounding on the door, “the beast.” This so called beast finally breaks through the door and we see it is a blonde girl in a red dress. I initially thought it was Buffy, to be honest. But the woman walks in and we see it’s a different pretty, incredibly strong blonde. “I have been looking all over for you,” she tells the monk.

K: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!! I kinda sorta love her.

Sweeney: AGREED. She’s one of my favorites. Also, as I was watching, I was all, “Kirsti’s going to have an exclamation-point filled response to this.” I was going to try to play it cool because of spoilers and pretending she’s NBD. But she’s so much fun that you had to know they wouldn’t waste her on just one episode. So, we’ll flail away and let the commenters call you Lor Snow and stuff.

Lor: Gee. Thanks.

After a cut to black, we’re back at The Magic Box where Giles is giddy over some paying customers. A few more customers come in right behind Anya, who loudly says Giles’s conjuring powder is overpriced. But really, she’s just bitter because she suddenly has to afford things. I won’t make yet another “poor blogger” joke, but you know.

Sweeney: They just keep setting them up for us!

Lor: Buffy runs into the store and shares her theory that what’s hurting her mom is supernatural. When she says the Night Cop who found the Glowy Orb went crazy, the Scoobies all take a cautious step back. Buffy assures them that the Glowy Orb won’t hurt them. See, Night Cop said something was trying to get to her through her family. They need to find this something so she can get on with the hunting and killing.

Sweeney: I loved this because it’s another one of the things that are delightful about this show, because it makes you go all, “I WANT TO BE LIKE THAT. I WANT TO KNOW I COULD HUNT/KILL ANYTHING THAT HURTS MY FAMILY.” Real stuff/magic stuff. Show brilliance. Etc.

Lor: Monk Building. The fidgety monk from before is bound and gagged while the Blonde Beast is rambling about not wanting to be here– “here” being the”whole mortal coil.” There is randomly some guy in the background of this scene who looks like he’s tied to some plumbing. It’s weird.

Blonde Beast is bad-guy-speeching about how selfish Fidgety Monk is, because all she wants is to know where the key is. She even gets down on her knees and begs. Then she crazies as she climbs into the Monk’s lap that she forgot his mouth was duct taped, and painful relieves him of said tape. BB asks again where the key is and Monk responds in Czech that she should kill him. She freaks out and tells him to “speak American.” In English, Fidgety Monk says he will tell her nothing.

Blonde Beast really starts to legit lose her shit. She cries that the monk must love torturing her because all she wants is the key and he’s keeping it from her. The random security guy in the background starts to plead, saying stuff about his wife and children which FYI, never works on television. Most killers aren’t gonna be all, “oh shit! You have two daughters? No, yeah. Just go. It’s fine.”

The next bit is a few quick cuts of Blonde Beast sort of talking to herself, and there is even a piece where we see her smiling creepily as her voice keeps talking. Most of what she says sounds nonsensical, but she gets in a Little Miss Muffet reference: doing it over and over and over until someone’s gonna sit down on their tuffet and make this birthing stop!” With that exclamation, Blond Beast inserts her hands into the random security guy and there is cheap-effects-white-light that surrounds them both. They both collapse after a bit– security guy in a “dead” kind of way and Blonde Beast in a “that feels better” kind of way.

K: The return of the Worst Special Effects Eva!! 

Lor: After five seasons, it’s like welcoming back an old friend.

Business is booming at The Magic Box and all the people are making Giles nervous. Anya hands someone their merchandise and says, “please go.” Xander fills her in on the long tradition of insincerity behind, “have a nice day.” I have a bad habit of replying to these insincere wishes in the worst possible ways. I can’t tell you how many times a waiter has said, “enjoy your meal,” and I’ve replied, “you too!” only to later spend my meal in shame.

Sweeney: ALL. THE. TIME.

Lor: Xander sits by Buffy and wonders if she ever thought she’d miss the school library. WE MISS YOU WIGGINS LIBRARY.

K: SO MUCH. Like, OMG.

Lor: Buffy fills him in on her mom is supernaturally sick thing and he, to his credit, seriouses right up. Buffy isn’t any closer to determining what’s doing this to her mother.

Willow, meanwhile, has been struggling with gift wrap. She asks Anya if her mess of tissue paper and tape looks right and Anya says, “if you wrapped it with your feet.” Anya grabs the wrapping material and as she gives it a go, starts talking about a 16th century sorcerer who used to have a spell to see spells. All spells leave traces that can’t be see by the human eye. Buffy wants to get trance-y, but Giles warns her that she may not be ready for this. Since this is her mother they are talking about, she says she’ll get ready.

Cut to Buffy’s room where she’s invited Riley over to help her, and she very unsubtly points out how helpful he’ll be, and how he’ll have a job to do. Mostly, though, he’s there to light incense and pour sand. Riley sees right through it and assures Buffy he’s fine with not being super dude, and doesn’t need her pity sand pouring. He says that they just need to agree to take care of each other. She mildly agrees to that, they kiss and Riley leaves Buffy to do the trance thing on her own.

Buffy is about two seconds into attempting to trance it up when Dawn knocks on her door to ask what she’s doing and if she can watch. Buffy yells at her to go away before settling back down and doing the trance thing. It includes a mini-montage of Buffy and some buildings and a camera doing circles around Buffy a few times until a deep breath over the mystical music soundtrack alerts us to the trance success!

Sweeney: The more TV we watch, the more upset I get about the lack of a helpful, informative soundtrack in my own daily life.

Lor: B gets up and she walks around her house and it’s a bit slowed and in a grainy wash. Joyce calls out  and Buffy looks at her mom in Trance-o-Vision but there isn’t any sign of spell traces. Just behind Joyce’s head, though, is a picture of the three Summers ladies. Dawn is flickering in and out of the picture. INTERESTING.

Joyce heads out and Buffy goes up to Dawn’s bedroom. In her Trance-0-Vision, it also flickers back and forth between the bedroom and a dark, storage room. Dawn storms into the room and asks who gave Buffy permission to be there. Dawn appears and disappears. Buffy tells her, “you’re not my sister.” and it snaps her out of the trance.

Dawn starts to brat-back an answer but Buffy grabs her roughly and asks who she is and what she’s doing. Dawn starts to say she’ll tattle to mom, but Buffy warns her to stay away from Joyce and throws her back against a wardrobe. They have a bit of a stare down that is interrupted by a phone call.

B heads downstairs to answer. It’s Giles. He says that they may have underestimated what they are dealing with, and it’s funny because he’s saying this in his shop full of people. But he’s talking about the Glowy Orb, which is actually called the Dagon Sphere, used to ward off evil. Buffy wants to know if maybe that evil kind of looks like Harriet the Spy. She doesn’t actually say that, but almost. Giles says that the Sphere is meant to protect against that which cannot be named.

K: Man, Voldemort gets around… (I swear to God, I wrote this comment and then scrolled down to see that gif. And I would remove the comment on account of Lor already covered it with some A+ gif work, but SNARK SQUAD MINDMELD, YO)


Probably not him, but I would’ve lost my Internet cred if I didn’t make that reference.

Sweeney: TRUTH. Our Internet cred is very dear to us.

Lor: Buffy says she’s off to the old abandon buildings where she found the Sphere. Giles tells her to be careful and asks how the Trance-o-Vision went. She starts to tell him but senses that Dawn has entered the room. B lies that it didn’t work and hangs up the phone without saying goodbye, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. WHY DO PEOPLE ON TV DO THIS?

K: Because they’re asshats with no manners?

Lor: Sure!

Dawn asks what’s going on and Buffy answers that it’s slayer stuff and she’s going out. Dawn: Do you really think I care you’re the Slayer? Buffy wants to know what that means and Dawn gives a little smug shrug. Buffy says she’ll be home in an hour and Dawn says mom will be back too. Buffy will be back first.

Just outside of her house, Buffy hears rustling. She grabs behind a tree and pulls out Spike who has apparently taken a page out of Angel’s Book of Seduction and will now resort to shadow lurking. It worked for Angel, my friend.

Buffy greats him with a punch to the face and asks what he’s doing there, in five words or less. I’ll admit that this is one of the gifs I’ve seen before, out of context, and it made me LOL then. Spike counts on his fingers as he says, “out…for…a…walk.” With his remaining word and finger he adds, “bitch.”

K: This will never not be perfect. 

Lor:  I love it dearly.

Spike then babbles about passing through the neighborhood and tries to involve B in some banter. She’s distracted, though, and he’s doing a terrible job. I mean, he calls her hair “stupid.” He walks off and Buffy notes that there are ton of cigarette butts by the tree meaning he was standing there a little longer than “just passing by.” Buffy walks off and we see Dawn watching all of this by the window.

Later, Joyce returns home to find Dawn home alone. She acts a little weird as she offers Joyce tea but in kind of a murder-y way. Not as murder-y as say, Toby, or King Murderer, Christian Grey, they are really trying to sell the strange vibes here.

At the abandoned buildings, Buffy finds the worse for the wear Fidgety Monk and unties him. She assures him that she’s strong and has had experience with this kind of stuff. We see Blonde Beast sneaking up behind her, but Buffy stand,  turns and spins as she says, “best of all, I’m not stupid.” Blonde Beast back hands her so hard, Buffy flies through the air and hits the opposite wall. Buffy stands, shocked and Blonde Beast asks, “you sure about that last part?”

Things have slowed down at The Magic Box. Giles, Willow and Xander look kind of how I look on a Friday at 6pm. They complain about numb feet and sore backs. Anya is still at the cash register chatting about what they need to restock and what they can mark up. Giles yells her name until she stops talking and then quietly offers her a job. She accepts and this is the best thing that has happened at The Magic Box since the acquisition of The Magic Box. (K: YUP) (S: +1. Major best.) They wonder how Buffy’s doing and that Segue Magics us back to her.

She’s being thrown around by Blonde Beast who still hasn’t gotten a name, so I’m going to cheat. The Internet says she’s Glory. KAY.

Glory is making pretty easy work of Buffy and is even punning while she does it. Buffy manages to get in a few defensive hits in, but finally decides to grab the Fidgety Monk and jump out of a window. Glory breaks a heel trying to chase after them and throws such a violent tantrum that she causes the building to collapse. I’m not joking; that is an actual thing that happened.

K: I’ll take “Things that would happen if Cher Horowitz had superpowers” for $2000, Alex.

Lor: Outside, Buffy tries to help the Monk along with her, but he collapses and says he’s pretty done with life. He says that Buffy must protect the key or else many more will die. Buffy asks what the key is and he explains that it is a portal. “For centuries, it had no form at all,” he explains, but when the abomination found them, they had to hide it. They gave the key a human form and sent it to Buffy.

Realization (no pun intended) dawns on Buffy as she figures out Dawn is the key. The Monks built all those fake memories because they knew Buffy would protect Dawn. Buffy demands he take it all back, but Dying Fidgety Monk says that Dawn is now human, helpless and innocent in the whole transaction. Buffy: She’s not my sister? Monk: She doesn’t know that. And with that he dies

Buffy returns home to find Dawn snuggled up with Joyce. Dawn runs upstairs immediately and Joyce asks what that was about. Buffy says, “sister stuff.” Upstairs, Buffy goes to Dawn’s room and apologizes. Dawn calls her a butthole for hurting her arm, and B apologizes again. After Dawn prattles about Buffy being an adopted howler monkey, Buffy says she’s never been able to accept an apology, ever since… but she cuts off, realizing the end of that sentence would be, “ever since Whedon wrote you into the script.” Something like that.

Buffy sits on the bed next to Dawn and says she just had a bad day. Buffy lovingly strokes her hair and Dawn asks what’s wrong with Joyce. “I don’t know,” Buffy offers, as she continues to stroke Dawn’s hair. We switch POV’s out into the hallway and the episodes ends after a few seconds of uneasy silence.

After five episodes of pretending Dawn has always been around, we get the beginning of this explanation and I have to say that no matter how I’ll feel about Dawn later in the series, I want to capture this moment of thinking Whedon is a genius. Dropping Dawn in on us that way was excellent in retrospect and every ragey moment I felt in the pilot was worth every second from the Trance-o-Vision on.

Sweeney: IT’S JUST. SO. BRILLIANT. I can’t get over how awesomely done the Dawn introduction was. I get that people hated feeling punked by the show, but it was clever as hell and so worth it as build up to this reveal. I’m also really glad the random number assignment gave you this episode. That’s great too.

Lor: Agreed! It’s cool that I got to rage about the Dawn episode and then also cover this reveal. Well played to both Whedon and the random episode assigning luck.

A few more random things about this episode: The actress who plays Glory does some excellent, subtle physical work. Go stare at the gif where she’s sneaking up on Buffy and be entertained by her little “shhh!” hand movements. She seems like she will be fun. Or fun to hate. This is the second time we’ve come across a crazy person (Night Cop) who is on hand to babble things and then disappears. JOYCE IS FREAKING ME OUT. MAKE IT STOP. I love how handy Anya was at the shop today, from the business savvy to the gift wrap. I don’t know where she would’ve picked up gift wrapping skills, but I like that she’s being useful for something other than Xander’s socially awkward girlfriend.

Overall, a good episode for me.


Next time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tara’s got a secret and Buffy is attacked by a hoard of demons in S05 E06 – Family.

Sweeney (all posts)

I collect elaborate false eyelashes, panda gifs, and passport stamps. I earned my MA in Global Communications and watching too many YouTube videos. Now people pay me to edit YouTube videos. The circle of life. Reconciling my aversion to leaving the house/wearing pants with my deep desire to explore everything is my life's great struggle.

Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

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  • darkalter2000

    I love what it says about Sunnydale that everybody is stocking up on magic the instant that they realize shop is open again.

    • I love this version of Sunnydale much more than the oblivious, ditzy, PCP Sunnydale. We see it a lot with Cordelia in LA, where she references the different ways she’s a Sunnydale citizen tried and true. Of course they would all stock up on as many magic items as possible. I love it too. 🙂

  • Jojo

    Are you guys lion about how great Sweeney’s sister is? Or is she furry with sharp teeth?

    Dawn is definitely a bitty Cordy – “Tact is just not saying true stuff. I’ll pass.” I’m not sure that she’s any less tactful than anyone else. Just, she doesn’t try to do the whole backstroke ooops thing after she lobs a truth bomb. Usually at the everyone glares the truth bomber will do more than ask “what?” and then people are happy because the person at least tried. Dawn is still written as a 9 year old – so not evil, just seriously under-aged and appears weird again. And now that you know the secret, keep in mind Dawn is less that 6 months old – granted she is larger and more mobile than a normal infant but you don’t pick up many social skills as a glowy green light.

    I actually think the hospital would frown even more on letting random people in the corridor help restrain psych patients. Can we say LAWSUIT! I can count four or five of them offhand.

    Okay – the white light effect – I have to say that I’ve given this way too much thought. Apparently we all have halogen lights tucked into our brains and when the power builds up to a dangerous level we emit a lighpheramone to attract help and then Glory comes and reaches into your brain and changes your bulb. Yeah – lame – back to lousy special effects.

    I wish for a soundtrack as well – but I suspect it would be one of those tinkly piano things from the early soundless movies. “Out for a walk” – Iconic gif is iconic – like the Taj Mahal of BTVS gifs. It is moment of pure Spikeliciousness.

    We love you Lor Snow – don’t spoiler yourself because we love your innocent wonder. I’m sorry I can’t make Joyce’s headaches stop but I have no time machine and even if I did I would probably kill Hitler – cuz priorities. I fear you must suffer with all of us because we were all innocent once upon a time.

    • She growls sometime! I think that counts.

      Oh, I never thought about the Dawn/Cordy comparison. I think I like the “new human” explanation more than her being quite in the same vein as Cordy, though. Dawn, to me, doesn’t seem to really understand the that the things she’s saying could be even considered bad. Cordy did but cared less.

      I guess thankfully for the hospital, Night Cop was freaking out too much to care he could sue the pants off of them!

      I’m going to go around life wishing someone would ask me to explain something in five words. That’s all I need. It doesn’t need to even make sense. “In five words, why should be hire you?” “Out…for…a…walk…Bitch!” AM I HIRED?

      I will never spoiler myself! I haven’t always been this true in Game of Thrones to be completely honest, but I avoid Buffy spoilers like the plague. It’s easier, though, it being an older show. But, yes, I will suffer and such. Just wait until the next show we cover because I will know things and Sweeney will not AND I WILL ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF IT.

      • Ooo, role reversal! Yay!

        • Jojo

          Very true – Sweeney is soon to be Sweeney Snow. Lor will be…can you think of a GoT character we are sure won’t be killed?

          • Urm, yeah, I don’t think that’s a sure thing for any of them… #sadlolz

          • Jojo

            I just ran into this – Joss Whedon, George RR Martin and Steven Moffat walk into a bar and everyone you have ever loved dies.

          • SnazzyO

            Can I award a 1430 to this? Is so, then 1430.

          • That is the best because it’s so true… *cries for allthereasons*

          • JEL

            That is funny. I also ran into this and was amused by it, especially the fake Joss Whedon quote in item 23. (Spoilers for those not up to date with Game of Thrones on HBO or the equivalent in the books.) http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/24-reasons-why-george-rr-martin-is-the-biggest-troll-in-lite

          • Jojo


          • That is brilliant, and tragically accurate.

          • This Lor Snow knows enough to know ain’t no such thing, girl.

          • Clément Polge

            I’m only half-way through season 1, but I know they won’t kill Ned Stark, I mean he’s Sean Bean, they wouldn’t kill a celebrity. Duh.

      • Jojo

        Too true on Dawn – I have to admit to liking that quote so that influenced me. But Dawn is just a large infant who thinks she’s 14 but is written as a nine year old. She has to be very confused.

        As for the suing, Buffy could have fallen to the floor clutching her back…except she is the slayer and she wouldn’t do that because it would be wrong. And that guy you just called bitch is calling Sunnydale hospital where you can go and call Dawn Miss Muffet. Which still doesn’t make sense to me – not sure what the curds and whey have to do with Dawn. Is there a nursery rhyme about green glowy girls?

        I am so proud of you for not spoilering yourself. I’m not sure I would have the strength of will. I would be up at 2 am sneaking a peek in my computer and then I would do the potato chip thing and read all of them and then I would have to present myself for public humiliation for my lack of self control, and run away in shame.

        • JEL

          If you were serious about not being sure what curds & whey have to do with Dawn: Those references are all harking back to the shared Slayer dream of Faith & Buffy at the end of season 3 where Faith said “Little
          Miss Muffet counting down from 7-3-0.”. And SMG confirmed in an interview after season 7 that that was a reference Dawn. (She asked Josh what that dream was all about after season 3 and he told her to not tell anyone but Buffy was going to get a sister.)

          • Jojo

            Curds and whey is essentially spoiled milk. The curds are the squishy clumps of gunk and the whey is the liquid. I think that Muffet hired the spider because everyone yelled at her if she didn’t eat the disgusting mess.

            Ah, yes on the dream – forgot that. But why Miss Muffet still. Maybe it just was better than Mary and her lamb?

          • darkalter2000

            The dream predicted the rhyme and it’s significance is basically that a crazy person called Dawn that. The actual rhyme doesn’t really matter. Just that we had a bunch of refereneces to ‘little miss muffet’ coming and now we can pin it to a person.

            Of course…

            Tybel gnyxf nobhg zhssrg nf jryy naq fur vf pbaarpgrq gb nyy gur penmvrf. Fb gur vqrn bevtvangrq jvgu ure.

          • Jojo

            Aha! Good one! Will watch for it!

      • lev36

        If I was the interviewer, I would mark “1430” on your application and hire you on the spot.

    • JEL

      “Dawn is still written as a 9 year old”. I’m not so sure that excuse holds any more. It was certainly said in the commentary that the original proposed age of the character affected the writing in the “Real Me” but we are now 5 episodes in. Maybe they already had 5 scripts written before MT was cast, but the impression I get is that while they had broad outlines sketched out way ahead of time, the writing of actual episodes tended be much more last minute. I feel the writers should have adjusted to the actual age of the character by now.

      It certainly shouldn’t be used as an excuse for how Dawn is portrayed for very much longer.

      Another of the commentaries mentioned that none of the writers actually had teenagers at home and that might have also affected their writing of Dawn.

      • But when they started the series, weren’t Buffy and co all suppose to about 15? Which to me, makes the excuse of “oh, we don’t have teens so we can’t write them” sounds a bit flimsy…

        • JEL

          16. And yes.

          • oops, yeah, 16. I knew she was suppose to be around there, but I get fuzzy about what ages equal which years in High School, because I didn’t do grades or anything for my education…

          • JEL

            Which ages equal which high school grades is a fuzzy equation and the writers seem to get it all messed up with Dawn over the seasons (producing minor raging internet debates). But with Buffy it is easy because she turns 18 in January of season 3 of her senior year and you can count up & down from that. (Remembering that season 1 is only half a season and she already had her birthday when it started.) And then you can assume Willow, Xander, Cordelia are more or less the same age.

          • Lol, that takes way more thought than I have right now, but I’ll try to remember for next time, thanks!

      • I’m with you on the “Dawn was written young!” thing very quickly losing steam. Things written can be re-written. It’s part of why I like the “Dawn is a new human” thing much, much more. It mostly works for Anya, though, yes, that is getting old for her too…

        • Jojo

          I didn’t want to spoiler by saying how young she really was – but then I got to the part where the monk told all and I could really say – hey, 5 episodes – that’s how old she really is!

        • +1 for being over that. It was fair enough for the first episode, but that’s about it.

  • Democracy Diva

    I have the recurring teeth-falling-out dream (and I have veneers on a couple of my teeth so I wake up actually convinced that they have fallen out and it’s FO REAL SCARYTIMES), and I just watched the Sopranos episode where Tony dreams about the same thing. So I’m with you, Lor – any dream that avoids the teeth-falling-out thing is where I want to be. BECAUSE YUCK SCARY EW TIMES.
    As for pet names – my sister still calls me Shmoo. I’m a 24-year-old J.D., and I’m in my sister’s cell phone as SHMOO. #littlesisterproblems
    Giles’s Mickey Mouse magician costume? I mean, there are so many great Giles costuming/prop moments, from ponchos and sombreros to cigarettes and chain saws, but Merlin!Giles makes me cry from laughing so hard. His proud little smile before he realizes how completely fucking stupid he looks is such a phenomenal moment.
    “Out. For. A. Walk. BITCH.” Oh my God, I forgot how fucking hard I laughed at that. Spike’s got flaws, but lack of comedic timing is NOT one of them.

    • I had various orthodontic hardware on my teeth as a small child, so I definitely know the panic of a teeth-centric nightmare, too. Also common were the need-to-run-but-can’t-move/always-trip (like this episode), and the need-to-shout-but-can’t-speak (like in Hush). Whedon is good at nightmares.

      As for family nicknames, my Dad still calls me ‘Boo’ (a shorting of one of the many nicknames my family had for me), and I’m 26. But he also still calls me by my sister’s name sometimes, too, so he basically just can’t remember my real name at this point.

      I will always heart any of Giles’ costumes. He’s just so precious.

      • Jojo

        Falling Teeth is the most common dream. (And how the hell did they get that info!)

        As bizarre as this dream may be don’t be alarmed because it’s quite
        common. Falling teeth points to all of our worries and anxieties that
        surround us in life and not being in control. If you are under a lot of
        pressure and is worried about the outcome its possible this dream may
        appear. To better understand you’re dream trying to remember as much
        information might help you decode it properly. You need to figure
        out who was with you, the mood of the dream and how you felt. Below are
        some suggestions of what you’re dream could imply based on peoples own

        * Stressed about your job situation.
        * Fear of being impotent
        * Afraid looking stupid in front of people
        * Stress about looking older/trying to stay young
        * Have you lied to somebody
        * Lacking power at work or relationships

        • As a small child who was aware that the things added to her mouth cost her parents lots of money and she was ABSOLUTELY NOT allowed to do something bad to them (eat an apple without slicing it, say, and thus bend the wires), and had also only just stopped having baby teeth falling out, I’d say there wasn’t a lot of hidden messages in those dreams for me…

          But yes, I have also heard that it is a common nightmare.

          • Jojo

            Both of my children still have baby teeth – there were no adult teeth behind them. One is 32 and one is 27. I believe only one of the baby teeth needed to be removed. And now I am thinking this is a rather random segue. I just had a minor surgical procedure and I am drugged. I will blame it on that because I never segue without drugs.

          • Drug-induced segue excuse accepted. ^_~

          • Jojo

            Look! Shiny!

        • So I have nightmares and stress dreams pretty often, (I’m terribly confused by the idea that there are people who don’t have nightmares. Confused and jealous as hell.) BUT, I have never actually had the teeth falling out dream. It’s strange to me, particularly since this dream is supposedly so common. And that several of the things on this list are among my fears.

          • Jojo

            I don’t have many nightmares since I started Lucid Dreaming. You can get it on some radio (online). It’s a hemisphere synchronization tape with suggestion. My first lucid dream was so cool. I was looking out a window and I realized I had dreamed this all before and I turned to tell the other people this was a dream but I decided not to because I didn’t want to make the dream go away. It’s great for nightmares because you can actively participate and shape your dream. If you go for it use 2B. You can put it on as background noise and play a game – you don’t need to consciously listen. I use Grooveshark – just type in hemi-synch.

    • My family will call me Coley Coley Coaster when I’m 90. That will never leave me. The best part is that Lor hung out with my family for a weekend and last week she sent me an email to tell me not to stress the lateness and began said email by addressing me as, “Coley.” It’s infectious, apparently.

  • Danna

    I love this episode. This is the start of a whole run of really great episodes on both Angel and Buffy. Shit get’s complicated and it’s in a more adult way.

    I think it is to Buffy’s credit that once she learns about the key, she makes the decision to look after Dawn, and even love her as a sister. But then, the memories are all there, so it would be painful to do anything else. The question is, what is this going to mean to the rest of the characters. Especially Joyce.

    Glory is hysterical. Some people don’t like her, but I’ve always thought she was a very entertaining villain and she does it with flair!

    Whipped Spike is the funniest!

    Wonderful review. Thank you!

    • SnazzyO

      The little hair touch gesture from Buffy is just TENDER.

      • Danna

        Agreed. Very tender given the circumstances.

  • Anagnorisis

    I have the recurring dream of being chased by different people/animals and I try to run away. No monks, though. Yet.
    I liked Giles’ costume! Don’t judge him, Buffy! 🙁
    Glory! I mean: She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named! I don’t remember how I felt about her, weird. She was annoying at some points I guess, but she was also awesome and she was my first Buffy Big Bad.
    ‘Out for a walk, bitch’ is great but I adore the next line: and I never really liked you anyway and you have stupid hair. Spike: I’ve met 5 years old that are better at hiding their crushes than you!

    • Jojo

      Love that too – and your hair is stupid. Tip while lurking – bring a freakin ash tray! I think there are about two packs of butts next to the tree. Also, for a real lurk, climb the tree next to Buffy’s window. Don’t just stare at the porch all night.

  • lev36

    I, too, found it very gratifying that Dawn’s sudden appearance had an actual, story-driven reason, after several episodes of “WTF?”.

    Spike’s lurking, and five-finger response, are so precious. And yay for Glory! She does do some awful things, but with such verve and style. More of that to come!

  • Izzygirl

    I loved the Mayor, but Glory is my favorite Big Bad. Her “Oh sh!t” moments are priceless. Kinda sad she never squares off against Faith- they both have that ‘everyone’s against me and I really just want what I want is that so wrong’ attitude- and it’d be a nice op to use some gifs from the cheerleading movie they were both in (I forget the title).
    Poor Giles. I can totally imagine how excited he was picking out his wizard outfit.

  • Clément Polge

    My only issue with Glory is the special effects budget, I’d love to see her do more awesome stuff, collapsing that building in a rage tantrum was A+.

    And that Spike gif is probably the best thing ever. You know, until the next Spike thing.

    And that Dawn reveal is indeed great, though as several other people here I started watching Buffy through random episodes, so my reaction was more a “huh ? Why no Dawn ?” on earlier episodes. But still, it’s great!

    • I’m a little sad for people who didn’t get to experience it in a more linear fashion. And honestly you guys only got a portion of my freak-out thanks to the emails I sent the girls and editing. It really was so crazy to me to think that they were dropping this Dawn girl off on us that way!

      Tantrums and Spike things: appreciated.

      • SnazzyO

        If I had known this was yours and that you were completely unspoiled Lor Snow, I would have requested you turn on you computer video to capture WTF moments.

        And the BEST part about the tantrum? It was about a broken heel. BRILLIANT.

  • SnazzyO

    I have a srsbsn request of SNARK SQUAD Ladies.

    Please please please keep Lor Snow “Snow White Virgin” for S6 – i.e. NO HINTS, NO SPOILERS. And if she is in that state PLEASE let the random number generator give her THE episode. And if you DO give her THE episode, please make her film herself if she’s still Lor Snow about it. Pretty please with sugar on top plus whipped cream, nuts and a cherry???

    That is all.

    • Jojo


      • Guest


    • Melbourne on my Mind

      Unfortunately, it looks like the luck of the draw is with Sweeney for season 6. In regards to pretty much ALL the episodes. Sigh.

    • NGL, I’m not actually sure which episode is THE episode in S6. Episode #, s’il-vous-plaît?

      • Clément Polge

        (“s’il vous plait” is not hyphenated)

        (if you want to punch me for that useless grammar nazi remark, I’ll allow it)

        • LOLOL no, I thank you for it.

          Excuse me while I edit my comment AND PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED. Except that it obviously did because we’re talking about it.


      • SnazzyO


        • GOT IT. Yes, that’s mine. And that’s what I guessed, but I wasn’t sure.

          I’m so lazy and therefore I never deal with rot13, but OMG FINE I HAVE TO:

          V’z gelvat gb pynevsl juvpu bs gjb cbgragvny znwbe ernfbaf lbh zragvba guvf. V nz pregnva fur nyernql xabjf vg’f n zhfvpny rcvfbqr, fb gurer’f ab ovt erirny gurer. Guvf vf gur rcvfbqr jurer jr yrnea fur qvqa’g tb gb uryy, gubhtu, evtug? Gung’f boivbhfyl n ovt guvat.

          I’m pretty thrilled with my draw and reluctant to give up E7, but since she’s right after me in the rotation, 7 & 8 would be an easy trade. While I’m definitely on the losing end of that bargain, it’s a pretty minor loss. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, though. Generally speaking our trades have been more about schedule madness than anything else, but if that doesn’t prove to be a problem, then maybe we’ll swap.

          • Clément Polge

            Jr (gur nhqvrapr) nyernql xabj gung, fur pbasvqrq va Fcvxr (juvpu vf ersreerq va uvf fbat, jvgu gur “juvfcre va n qrnq zna’f rne, vg qbrfa’g znxr vg erny”), ohg guvf vf gur zbzrag jurer vg’f erirnyrq gb gur fpbbovrf, lrf.

          • GOT IT. Yes, I remember now. See, my future knowledge is hazy.

          • Correction to your rot13 comment/guess: Ohssl gryyf Fcvxr va rcvfbqr guerr gung fur jnfa’g va Uryy, npghnyyl. Ohg vg’f gur svefg gvzr gur erfg bs gur tnat svaq bhg.

          • NOTED.

          • (Sorry, I didn’t see Polge’s comment when I left mine, didn’t mean to repeat.)

          • No worries!

          • SnazzyO

            Npghnyyl vg jnf sbe vg orvat n zhfvpny va gur svefg cynpr. Whfg orpnhfr vg’f fhpu n JGS. Ohg vs fur’f nyernql fcbvyrq sbe gung gura Vg’f fbeg bs hc gb lbh. V whfg jnagrq gb frr ure unir n sernxbhg orpnhfr Ybe Fabj vf sha.

          • LOL. Yes, I understand the fun of Lor Snow. Someone mentioned the musical episode back when she and Kirsti fiiiirst started it, before I got on board. But it’s been mentioned a few times since then too. Plus, I think that’s another one of those big pop culture things — like Dawn’s existence and Willow being a lesbian. I know that when I first watched last summer I knew it was coming. It’s still pretty WTF because I had zero concept of WHY that was happening.

          • Clément Polge

            Yeah it’s hard to know this episode doesn’t exist, because if you looked at the critic for ANY musical episode of ANY show, be it wikipedia or the regular web, people will mention and compare it to Buffy’s.

          • SnazzyO

            No worries. I’m sure it’ll be fun no matter what.

  • Shea Foley

    The Mayor is still my favorite Big Bad because Glory (Clare Kramer) will always be Courtney from Bring It On in my mind. I just hope she’s wearing her “spanky pants” in the BtVS-verse. (Probably not, though, considering Buffy’s propensity for no-bra-wearing.

    The next ep is a great one!! AND THEN! FOOL FOR LOVE!!!!!

    ETA: Be on the look out for a pretty big name star in the next ep pre-fame.

    • Glory is only a close second because THE MAYOR FOREVER.

  • geff

    “I initially thought it was Buffy, to be honest.”
    Cool that you picked up on that, it’s part of the point of Glory (so glad we can just go ahead and call her that xD). I’m not a big fan of her – she has her moments (like sneaking up behind Buffy in this episode) but overall I just find her kind of obnoxious.

    So much excellent snarking. “Angel’s Book of Seduction” made me laugh, and I loved “Things that would happen if Cher Horowitz had superpowers.”

    Also what you said about telling waiters to enjoy their meals too reminded me of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3O1tcqVYuU I do that all the time, too. At restaurants, movie theaters, anywhere.

    • Jojo

      I really liked Glory the first time through. By the time I hit the third time (passing the torch to my granddaughter) I found her annoying.

  • Jojo

    Hey – I just pimped you guys on my tumblr! That’s five sites I’ve pimped you on. Everyone else – start pimping cuz then the Snarkies can get lots of hits and get ad income and retire to snark all day long. (Can I call you Snarkies? It just came out….yeah, drugs.)

  • Erika Johnson

    I just have to say that I have dreams about my teeth falling out and it is THE WORST. No matter how many times I’ve had the dream, I always think that this time its come ture and it is scary as heck to think you are going look like a hilbilly.

    • Jojo

      Unless you are a hillbilly. Probably.

  • Melodie Hatley

    And there’s the other reason I hate the fifth season: I don’t like Glory. She has some good lines, yes, but to me, she’s a poor man’s Mayor. So, with me disliking to actively hating two of the major metaplot points… that’s the reason why season 5 will always be the last of my list. That’s not to say there isn’t awesome moments in it, or good episodes, which there are, but I couldn’t get past those two things.

  • Acy

    Sweeney: Oh, how I desperately want a helpful, informative soundtrack to my life. Perhaps some of the hypothetical budget for the nonexistent SnarkSquad HQ could be used to hire an orchestra.
    Lor: I rant to my sister all the freaking time about TV characters hanging up without saying goodbye. Maybe I’m just especially sensitive to it because I usually get stuck in that awkward, “That sounded conclusive. Is the conversation over? Did they say something like ‘See ya’ or ‘Bye,’ because I don’t know if I can hang up without being rude” and then I say goodbye like seven times.

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  • Steven Brown

    Is there any significance in the resemblance of the three monks to the 3 Stooges?

  • SonicRulez

    I love that Buffy/Giles Magic Box scene beyond words. “No.” “But I think..” “No.” “….fine.” Glory is great, or at least the actress does a phenomenal job playing her. The plot gets a bit wonky, but I remember enjoying S5 quite a bit.