snark squad | where nostalgia comes to die

Buffy the Vampire Slayer S05 E21 – Head canon

, and on August 19, 2013 · 47 comments in Buffy the Vampire Slayer,Season 5,TV

Previously: The Scoobies made a run for it in a Winnebago, but Giles got lanced by a crazy horse-riding knight. Buffy called Ben to come help, and obviously he turned into Glory and took Dawn. Womp womp.

The Weight of the World

Kirsti: After the previouslies, we’re at Glory’s. Her Flattery Demons are packing up all her stuff and talking about how they’re already behind schedule. Glory, meanwhile, is trying on some kind of robe thingy. She overhears her minions talking smack about her, and wonders out loud why she doesn’t have the urge to kill them for it. She follows it up with a ramble about all the chaos she’s going to cause when she gets home, then asks why she isn’t happy. “What do you think?” she says, and the camera pans across to a bound, gagged, and crying Dawn sitting in a chair.

Cut to the petrol station. Spike informs the gang that he’s successfully hot wired Ben’s car, so they can leave. Xander asks Giles if he’s up for moving, and he replies that Buffy’s more important than him. Willow looks worried, and says that it’s been nearly half an hour, and that she’s not sure Buffy’s actually in there. The camera pans across to show us a zoned out Buffy sitting quietly in the corner. Willow calls her name repeatedly, but there’s no response. Cue wolf howl.

After the credits, Spike’s trying his luck with yelling at Buffy. Still no response. Willow worries about the medical side of moving her. Giles thinks she’s in a catatonic state. Spike’s not having a bar of it, and shakes Buffy repeatedly. When that fails, he slaps her and Xander shoves him away. Spike gets panicky about Buffy’s lack of response and goes to shake her again. Xander intervenes, and they face off. But before they can fight, Willow separates them with magic. She steps up to the plate and BAMFs out a plan: they’ll head back to Sunnydale, then Anya will watch Tara, Xander will take Giles to the hospital, Spike will find where Glory’s hiding out, and she’ll help Buffy.

Sweeney: I love all these strong Willow scenes, and I love that it’s not just the magic, but also her increasing assertiveness too.

Lorraine: I love the assertiveness too. I’m trying not to worry about where this is headed because you two don’t seem very concerned. Or you’re playing with my emotions.

K: Spike’s all,”don’t kill the messenger for pointing out the flaw in the plan, but what do we do if Ben turns up?” The gang are confused because they don’t see what Ben has to do with anything. There’s some back and forth in which Spike’s explains that Ben literally just turned into Glory in front of them. The Scoobies are all “Uhhh. Whut?” This culminates in a typical piece of Spike brilliance:

The gang still don’t get it, and Spike works out that there’s some kind of magic in place that stops humans from remembering. He explains a few more times, but as soon as they understand, they instantly forget again. Spike headdesks a little, which is understandable. BRB, checking for tally marks.

Lor: A+ Who-gifing. I approve.

K: Back in Sunnydale, we’re at a construction site. All the workers are people who’ve been brain sucked by Glory. She sweeps in, dragging Dawn behind her, and all the workers bow down before her as she passes.

Sweeney: Didn’t give it a whole lot of thought as I was watching, but man, that’s adding major insult to epic injury. They’re now like enslaved cultists doing the bidding of the thing that sucked their brains out? Rough break, random extras.

K: Seriously. Also, Whedon REALLY hates religion…

Glory heads into a room and shuts the crazy people out. A Flattery Demon starts mumbling at Dawn in Czech, and Glory’s all “Dude, WTF?” He informs her that the Key has to be anointed, and Glory does an excellent impersonation of Dawn, yelling “Get out, get out, GET OUT!” It’s less screamy though, which is a plus. The Flattery Demons leave, and Glory rubs the ash mark off Dawn’s forehead before asking if she’s okay. Dawn tearfully says that she wants to go home, and Glory informs her that she’s about to. Dawn looks surprised, but Glory didn’t mean 1630 Revello, she meant her real home – in the lock-y thing that the Key fits into.

Sorry not sorry.

Dawn starts crying and begs Glory to stop. But she makes it worse by postulating that she and Dawn are the same – both girls who are wearing human costumes but meant for bigger things. Dawn gets pissed because Glory calls her Dawnie, and Glory says that her feelings are hurt. Also that she’s feeling guilty, and that’s not meant to happen on account of she’s a god. She accuses Dawn of doing some kind of spell to make her feel all the feels. Dawn says she didn’t do anything, but Glory calls the Flattery Demons back in to finish anointing Dawn. She then does the compulsory Reveal the Bad Guy’s Plan thing, and informs Dawn that her blood is the key to the Key, and that she’s going to die the following day.

Cut to Xander’s gift apartment. Anya asks Willow if she knows what she’s doing, and Willow’s not sure but she has to try. Tara crazies in the background, and Willow calms her before leaving her in Anya’s care and heading into the bedroom. She lights a few candles, then sits on the bed opposite Buffy who sits unmovingly in an office chair. Willow stares at her for a second, then there’s a bright flash and Willow’s suddenly in a bright, colourful room. The camera pans around enough to show us that it’s not anywhere familiar. Willow wanders through various rooms and looks family photos, then a little girl’s voice say,s “Hi Willow.” The camera pans down to show us a pigtailed blonde five year old sitting at a table holding a doll. “Hello Buffy,” Willow replies, and we fade to black.

Sweeney: This was a cute little moment, in which Willow insta-recognizes her BFF from a decade before they actually met. Obvs being in Buffy’s brain helps make that connection, but I prefer to think of it as some combination of having seen pictures of bitty Buffy around her house and recognizes the similarities in features, if we suspend disbelief and pretend this kid actually looks like SMG.

K: YUP. After the Not Commercial Break, Spike’s kicking in the door at Glory’s apartment. It’s abandoned. He wanders around for a minute, then heads through a doorway which turns out to lead to Ben’s room.

Cut back to Mini-Buffy. She asks Willow why she’s there. Willow replies that she was looking for Buffy, and says that she needs Buffy to go back with her, because they need her. Mini-Buffy says that it’s a big day for her, and then the  front door opens. Joyce and Hank walk in, and Mini-Buffy runs over to them. They’ve just brought Baby-Dawn home from the hospital, and there’s some “You’re a big sister now” stuff that Mini-Buffy baulks at because she thinks it means less attention for her.

But then Joyce hands her Baby-Dawn and Mini-Buffy asks if sometimes she can help look after her. “Yes, Buffy. You can take care of her.” Joyce says. We cut back to Willow, who’s watching this take place. There’s movement behind her, and she turns to see Present Day Buffy walking past. She follows her, and the set changes to the Magic Box. Present Day Buffy shelves a book, and Willow looks confused. She turns back to where Mini-Buffy was, and is suddenly standing in the desert next to an open fire. “O…kay?” she says.

Lor: We’ve had five seasons of evidence, but again: Buffy’s head is a funny place.

K: At the hospital, Xander helps Giles put his jacket on, and then fills Giles in on Willow’s spell. There’s another dose of “magic is bad, yo” as Giles is shocked that Willow can do such an advanced spell, then he says that they should check on Glory’s brainsuck victims while they’re there. Xander says he’s already checked it out, and they’ve all left the hospital. Spike turns up and informs them that Glory’s apartment is abandoned. He then says that he knows someone who may be able to help them – a demon-y someone who’s basically a last resort, but they’re basically down to last resorts. He then says that he found Ben’s room at Glory’s apartment, and Xander’s all “Wait, what??” Spike decides that it’s worth it, and slaps Xander across the back of the head. They both grab their heads in pain.

Back to the construction site. Glory’s moping to the Flattery Demons about how she’s starting to remember all of Ben’s memories. She asks Dawn if she remembers that they called Ben to help them, and that he then turned into her. Dawn says that she does, and Glory freaks out because no one’s meant to remember that. She begs the Flattery Demon who did the anointing to get Ben out of her because she can’t take all the feels any more. She briefly turns into Ben, who says that she can’t hurt Dawn, then collapses on the floor.

She begs some more, but the Flattery Demon says that he can’t because this is the price to pay for opening the portal. Glory decides that she can’t wait any more and grabs Dawn.

Cut back to the fire in the desert. The First Slayer is there, and Willow makes a Restless reference. The First Slayer repeats what she told Buffy on the quest – that death is her gift. Both Willow and Buffy are confused, and then they’re back in the Magic Box with Buffy shelving the same book again. Willow turns and sees another version of Present Day Buffy walking down the upstairs hallway at Chez Summers. She follows her.

The Flattery Demons, meanwhile, are informing Glory that she can’t kill Dawn now because then they’ll all be stuck here forever, and EW. Glory calms down, and says that she and Dawn need some girl time, kicking the Flattery Demons out again. She asks Dawn how people deal with all the feels all the time, saying that people are just puppets to their emotions. Dawn’s reluctant to say anything, but Glory says that she’s going to die regardless. Dawn relents, and says that it depends on the person, and that some people like having all the feels. Glory, in a speech reminiscent of Spike’s “I may be love’s bitch”, says that everyone on earth is crazy and she’s the only one who can see it. She then asks Dawn for one example of someone who can cope. “Buffy“, Dawn replies.

With that, we cut back to inside Buffy’s head. Willow demands that Present Day Buffy #2 talk to her, but she walks through the door to Joyce’s room to show Joyce’s grave where the bed should be. Willow says that she’s sorry, but PDB#2 tells her not to be, because death is her gift. She walks through the room and into Dawn’s bedroom. Dawn is lying on the bed, silently crying. PDB#2 tells Willow that death is all she is. With that, she picks up a pillow and places it over Dawn’s face. Dawn struggles, and Willow yells for her to stop, but PDB#2 says calmly that death is her gift as Dawn goes limp. Fade to black.

After the Not Commercial Break, Glory turns back into Ben. He asks Dawn if Glory’s hurt her, and she says that she has to get out of there. He’s too busy wigging out though, because he’s remembering all the murdering that Glory’s done. Kind of like Angel post-resouling, but not. Dawn begs for his help as there’s a knock on the door. Ben drags the Flattery Demon inside and knocks him out. He says that he’ll take Dawn as far as he can before Glory returns, and they run out.

Sweeney: I never really understood why Ben’s initial plan was to stay with Dawn for any length of time beyond, “Getting out of the place where they currently were,” particularly since he was aware of the fact that they were now remembering each other’s shit. This didn’t make any sense.

K: It really, really didn’t. I also never understood why he never ditched the lacy ceremonial robe he was wearing…

Lor: Style, girlfriend!

K: Back in Buffy’s head. It’s back to the start of the sequence again, with Mini-Buffy, and everything happens pretty much the same as before, despite Willow telling Mini-Buffy that they don’t have time. PDB#1 shelves the same book again.

Cut to a cozy looking room with an open fire burning. The camera pans across to show Joel Grey, he of the “Here’s how to raise your mother from the dead” spell. There’s a knock on the door, and Spike and Xander walk in. Spike’s in the middle of asking for help when Xander suddenly remembers the whole Glory = Ben thing, because the spell is progressively lifting.

Joel Grey says that he can’t help them because Glorificus is big time and he’s a small town guy. Spike says that Dawn’s in trouble, and Joel Grey says that he thinks he might know a guy in China who can help. Spike looks suspicious as the Zoomy Camera Man does his thing, zooming in on a box behind Joel Grey. Spike accuses him of lying and standing right in front of what they need. Joel Grey grins manically and leaps across the room to grab a sword. He holds it at Spike’s throat, and hisses “Idiot.” Spike knocks the sword away but falls to the floor. Joel Grey pushes Xander back with his tongue, which is apparently like 4 metres long (EW) and then says “You think only underworld bottom-feeders worship the beast?” He throws the box into the fire. Xander jumps up and knocks him to the ground. They fight as Spike goes for the box in the fireplace. He gets it out, smoking but otherwise undamaged, as Xander runs Joel Grey through with the sword. They leave, and the camera pans back to Joel Grey. His eyes snap open.

Buffy’s head. Willow insists that PDB#2 stop killing Dawn over and over because it never happened, but PDB#2 doesn’t believe her.

Dawn and Ben are walking down the main street of Sunnydale. Ben drags Dawn down an alley to hide from the Flattery Demons, and she hits him over the head with a convenient heavy chain, knocking him out. She apologises as she turns to leave, but Glory informs her that it hurt and her apology isn’t good enough. Womp womp, Dawnie. Fade to black.

After the Not Commercial Break, Glory threatens Dawn with all kinds of pain that won’t spill any blood, then things reach a new level of crazy as she proceeds to flip between Glory and Ben.

They have a full blown conversation, morphing between forms with each line. At some point, Ben grabs a beer bottle and threatens Dawn with it, but Glory can feel his emotions and knows that he can’t go through with it. The conversation culminates in them making a deal, because Glory informs him that he won’t disappear if a god grants him immortality, and if he stops protecting Dawn, she’ll feel pretty chummy towards him. Ben apologises to Dawn, and drags her back to the construction site.

Buffy’s head. PDB#2 heads towards Dawn’s room, but this time it leads to the Magic Box. Willow asks her what PDB#1 shelving the book is all about, because it’s clearly the start of something much bigger. After some cajoling, the two Present Day Buffys (Buffies?) inform Willow that this was the moment where she gave up. Just for a split second. She knew that Glory would win. And in that moment, she WANTED Glory to win because then it would all be over and she could finally feel relief. That single moment, she says, was what led to Dawn’s death. Because if she hadn’t given up for that second, if she hadn’t in some way wanted it to happen, Glory couldn’t have taken Dawn.

Willow stares at the two Buffys in horror, then says that Spike was right back at the start. “SNAP OUT OF IT!” she yells, and the Buffys turn to face her in surprise. She says that what Buffy’s feeling is guilt, and it’s perfectly normal. Then she gets awesome and BAMF-y:

Willow: You’ve carried the weight of the world on your shoulders since high school. And I, I know you didn’t ask for this, but … you do it every day. And so, you wanted out for one second. So what?
Buffy: I got Dawn killed.
Willow: Hello! Your sister, not dead yet! But she will be if you stay locked inside here and never come back to us.
Buffy: But what if I can’t?
Willow: Then I guess you’re right. And you did kill your sister.

Willow turns to leave, and PDB#2 asks where she’s going. “Where you’re needed. Are you coming?” Willow replies.

Sweeney: There’s Assertive Willow again! This is interesting because to me, this reads as more, “Willow’s sincere reaction,” than an attempt at tough love because it’s what she thinks Buffy needs. That’s really thin distinction because I don’t think those are mutually exclusive ideas, just that one is more of driving factor in this situation and it’s character significant, to me at least.

K: I think it’s a little from column A and a little from column B – it’s her sincere reaction, but she also knows that Buffy needs a bit of tough love to get her back on track. You know?

Lor: I’ll only add that that I like that Willow calls back to Spike. He may not have been able to do it, but he knew that Buffy just needed that tough love to snap out of it.

K: PDB#2 turns to watch PDB#1 shelve the book again, then we cut back to Xander’s bedroom. The real Buffy snaps out of her catatonic state, looks at Willow, and starts to cry. Willow hugs her.

Cut to the Magic Box, where Spike, Xander and Giles are huddled around the table. Buffy and Willow arrive with Tara and Anya. Giles tells her that he’s found a ritual that can stop Glory. She looks at him expectantly. There’s not much margin for error, he tells her, and goes on to say that he’s found out what Glory’s planning to do with Dawn. Apparently once the blood letting ritual begins, the only way to stop it is to kill Dawn. Buffy looks horrified as we fade to black.

The first time I saw this episode, the endless loop through Buffy’s head drove me nuts, but the more I rewatch it, the more it sums up perfectly the changes that Buffy’s had to go through over the course of the season. This episode is at least 75% set up for the big finale, so there’s not a lot more I can say about it!

 

Next time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer – It’s the big season finale! Can Buffy finally defeat Glory? Find out once and for all in S05 E22 – The Gift.

 

Kirsti (all posts)

I'm a grad student who's staring down the barrel of 30 and I still live with my parents because I'm super broke. My degree is in information management, which is a fancy way of saying librarianship, which is a fancy way of saying "I get to read young adult books and have it count as studying". I have an inexplicable love for 90s television, eat too much chocolate, and tweet about the random crap that happens to me on public transport more than I should.





Lorraine (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.





Sweeney (all posts)

I collect elaborate false eyelashes, panda gifs, and passport stamps. Reconciling my aversion to leaving the house/wearing pants with my deep desire to explore everything is my life's great struggle. I like language; semicolons bring fantastic things to the party, like letting it last longer.





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  • behind blueiz

    Although the loop-d-loop in Buffy’s brain is jarring, I think it works perfectly. Like Kristi says, it sums up the whole season. Plus, if one sees Buffy’s comatose state like an awake dream, the whole thing makes perfect sense. True, her thoughts are not linear, but in her mind they connect together and led her to where she is now.

    Oh, a star to Willow for saying the name of the episode during her “Suck-it up Buffy” spiel.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      I like the loop too. I liked seeing that right from the start, Buffy was unsure of Dawn, and yet willing to watch over her. Those two things never changed. Little sisters never stop being a challenge, but she never stopped taking care of her. Except now she’s gone, and the one person Buffy thinks she can’t beat has taken her.

      PLUS. JOYCE FEELS. DID YOU SEE HER? DID YOU SEE JOYCE? :(

      We missed the star! Let’s blame it on the jarring loop in Buffy’s brain then, yeah? ;)

    • darkalter2000

      I was totally going to mention the “Congratulations! You said the title, you’re kind of a big deal” star. You beat me to it.

      • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

        I love you guys.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      DAMMIT. My bad. I totally suck at spotting gold stars, because I’ve seen all the episodes so many times that I think of them as “That episode where this thing happened” rather than by their names.

      • Jojo

        Honey – I still do that. And I’ve been watching for years – there are name people and then there are the free spirits…..that is my rationalization and you can feel free to borrow or improve on it.

  • geff

    Yeah, not a big fan of this episode. I remember when I first watched it being really annoyed by the conversation between Glory and Ben where they morph into one another. It felt like it dragged on and on and seemed like an idea that probably sounded better on paper. Also, I feel like they could’ve made the trip into Buffy’s mind more interesting and Restless-esque. It was all very clean-cut and spelled out. I loved Mini-Buffy saying “I like it here” and laughing at the way Willow speaks but aside from that she just didn’t seem like a real kid? And definitely not what I imagine Buffy would be like as a little girl. Still, I lol-ed at Lor’s “Buffy’s head is a funny place.” So, so true xD

    I do love all the assertive Willow moments you pointed out, and I love that Buffy/Willow hug after Buffy bursts into tears. Can’t wait for The Gift! One of my favorites.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      I like the episode, but Ben/Glory scene WAS dragged out and they got to that point because of that awful, Ben decides to run away with Dawn plan. Definitely the low-light of the episode.

      I was okay with this trip into Buffy’s mind being a little more linear. The cause of her trauma isn’t a mystery. The past is much clearer than the future, sort of thing. There were certain steps that got Buffy to her cataonic state, and we watched the abridge version of that in her head.

      I’m excited for The Gift (I haven’t watched it yet!) as it’s one of Sweeney’s favorites as well, and our opinions usually match up. Plus, FINALE! Can you believe it’s the end of season 5? Jeez.

  • Jojo

    Let’s run away from Glory is kinda dumb when Ben is BRINGING GLORY WITH THEM. Maybe he is really trying to keep Dawn occupied? Or his brain is scrambled? Because – I will get you as far as I can until Glory returns…and then I will obviously take you right back….is not a plan, it is insane troll logic.

    I do like Willow – from the nerdy anxious high school kid to BAMF – kinda nice to watch everyone grow. I like the flashes of almost friendliness between Xander and Spike. I have to admit that I was rather stunned at how quickly Giles recovered. A sword wound into the gut usually requires more than first aid – but I am without concern.

    I truly love Spike’s declaration – “You’re not getting Dawn back any way you slice it, Harris. That’s for Buffy to handle.” That right there is why Spike functions well with Buffy. Xander and the others will discuss possible options – but Spike knows when the shit his the rotor that the only person who is qualified to decide on taking action is the slayer. I don’t know that anyone else ever has that complete unqualified belief in the Slayer.

    This is a decent episode that sets up the season finale – so let’s go rescue Dawn!

    • Clément Polge

      ” I don’t know that anyone else ever has that complete unqualified belief in the Slayer.”

      Giles, definitely! Not the same way though, he’s more the “let them talk, but Buffy’s the one I’m listening to”

      • Jojo

        Well, no spoilers so I will just say there are times when Giles disagrees or does what he thinks is best for her rather than asking her.

      • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

        This my be true, but I’m not entirely certain it’s a good thing. I mean, there is a thin line and I have definitely called The Scoobies out on not believing Buffy straight away when they should have.

        But then again, they are family. You always see family differently. I do lots of important things at work. I call shots and make decisions and etc, but to my mommy? She’ll still ask me if I’ve taken a shower for the day or something like that. It’s a familiarity thing, I think, for one.

        The second is that no one should be completely unchallenged. They should absolutely believe in Buffy, but the moment when she’s retreated far into herself would be a moment to start asking questions and formulating plans. Sometimes Buffy needs the push back.

        • geff

          +1 to all of this but ESPECIALLY the “no one should be completely unchallenged” part.

          • Jojo

            I actually agree – just didn’t explain it well.

        • Jojo

          No – I only mean in times of crisis. Yeah – it isn’t necessarily a good thing for either. Like right now when Buffy is not available he is left with WWBD, but we all agree that is better than his earlier modes of making decisions. Watch next episode and see what the choice would have been if Buffy had not woken. It would have caused some dissension. But if Buffy had made the same choice Spike would follow her believing she had a plan. Like I said, Buffy is his new certainty in times of crisis. – what she says goes. This is the start of a new behavior that we see begin in the episode – the only time Spike has actually been involved in this sort of crisis.

          In normal time he’ll do things that he shouldn’t and everything is….well, normal (for a Whedonverse and a chipped vampire) He will also call her on her bullshit, and she’ll snipe at him.

          • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

            I get what you’re saying and I’ll keep my eyes peeled for it, just like I will forever notice whenever either one of them tosses the other a weapon. ;)

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      “Let’s run away from Glory is kinda dumb when Ben is BRINGING GLORY WITH THEM,” made me laugh. It was a long day, too, so thank you.

      I’M STILL WORRIED ABOUT WILLOW. I’d ask you if there is anything to fear, but you lie.

      • Clément Polge

        WE NEVER LIE. Didn’t we tell you that Joyce was going to survive her cancer ? Well, she did. We never said anything about an aneurysm though.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          TROLLS.

          • Jojo

            I do live under a bridge!

            Lor, I hate to break it but you should spread your worry around. This is a Whedon show and there are two full seasons left. So worry – just don’t get too focused on any one worry. Because….well Whedon.

            S’truth.

          • Clément Polge

            Yep, this ain’t no musical where everyone’s just singing and dancing.

          • Jojo

            And we all wanna be sure they have a happy ending…..but….Whedon…

          • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

            I GET IT. ‘CAUSE THERE IS A MUSICAL EPISODE.

          • Melbourne on my Mind

            Seriously. I keep getting all “YAY SEASON 6!!” because my two favourite episodes ever are in season 6. But then I remember everything else, and GODDAMMIT WHEDON.

          • Jojo

            Yeah – more than two for me. I like seeing buildings demolished among other things. And I am expecting brisk discussion in some places! :D

          • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

            Can you believe though, just two more seasons? Wooo-wee!

          • Jojo

            The end of this will bring teeth gnashing and wailing. But I suspect we would all stay around for Supernatural Snark though. Buffy fans have very defined tastes I am finding.

            Besides James Marster and Misha Collins just celebrated their birthday yesterday. It is a sign – I know it.

  • Clément Polge

    I remember being pretty disappointed by this episode, because it’s the one before last, and it feels almost a waste to spend the whole thing in Buffy’s head… Some nice bits, sure, but not much more.

    And in general, this tend to mean one thing: big convenient deus ex machina for the finale. Which is the least satisfying of resolution. It sort of cheapen the rest of the season arc pertaining to the big bad in my eyes. But Buffy do enjoy her deus ex machina.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      Well, when you put it that way… “/

      We truly didn’t get very far in this episode, but I liked it.

      Also, deus ex machina will now forever remind be of the Lost episode of the same name.

  • SuzyLee

    I remember way back when, when I was in lower secondary school and refused to watch Buffy because I saw about 10 seconds of something for Season 2 once and it had scared the crap out of me, couldn’t tell you for the life of me what it was though! Anyway I remember a group of boys sat at the back on my geography class discussing this episode (also about how hot Michelle Trachtenberg was, because 13 year old boys) and hearing them talk about Willow going into Buffy’s mind, and that was pretty much the moment that I decided to watch the show because if there is one plot devise I love more than any other its ‘dreams/comas/inside another’s mind’ type stuff. I didn’t actually start watching until Season 6 came on since I realised that watching just the Season finale of 5 probably wasn’t a good plan. But yeah, basically long rambling way of saying that this episode will always hold a special place for me because it tangentially got me into Buffy!

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      I love this story from start to finish. We all have our Buffy moments I think. I clearly started watching from the beginning for this project, But I fell in love with the show during Nightmares in S1, so that’s the one that holds a special place in my heart.

      Also, I’m the resident dream lover! We share love of that plot device! INTERNET HIGH FIVE.

  • darkalter2000

    I like this episode just fine. Mostly for the details of personal interaction that happen. Also for the introspective moment with Buffy where she shows a bit of The Slayer Deathwish. She just wanted to be defeated so she doesn’t have to fight anymore. It was only for a moment but she FELT the desire to lose, and it is a part of her from now on.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      It says so much about our dear Buffy. She had this ONE MOMENT of wanting to and she zones in on it to this extent. Buffy, girl. I want to quit ALL. THE. TIME. Okay, maybe not like all, all the time, but a lot more than one moment that leads to a coma, you know?

      She really absorbs blame and takes on… wait for it… the weight of the world.

      • Jojo

        A lot of pressure on her – giving in to her other needs even once can lead to disaster.. That is so much responsibility. You and I want to give up – we want it all to be over – it’s okay, no one will die. But Buffy doesn’t have that comfort – part of the hell the slayer goes through I think. Just imagine if every failure – no matter how small – might cost lives.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          The other part of this hell is that sometimes victory costs lives too, and sometimes your life is the cost, and sometimes death ignores all the rules and takes the people you love, and it has nothing to do with being the Slayer.

          Sigh.

  • Anagnorisis

    Oh I love when Willow takes the leadership because Buffy isn’t able to. I remember Halloween (it was so long ago!), it’s one of my favorite episodes.
    IDK what else to say, it was weird, but that doesn’t mean bad.
    I’ve only seen this episode once, maybe I should re-watch it. But then again, I was too busy playing The Sims (I think I have a problem).

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      You’ve come to a very understanding and nurturing place. I don’t think you have a problem at all.

  • Jojo

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned, but the next episode will require tissues, and perhaps chocolate or other comfort food. Whether or not alcohol should be used depends on what kind of drunk you are because once you start, you will continue to drink. A lot of fans would vote this the best season finale, it is powerful. I am even willing to risk the chance of overly heightened expectations.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      I watched it yesterday morning and cried all the cries. Incidentally, The Gift was the first episode of Buffy i ever saw. I cried all the cries and I had literally no idea what was happening. Well done, show. Well done.

      • Jojo

        I wrote this after watching it last night. Even after forever, can’t help but cry and sob, and then really cry – the gut clenching kind. I forgive all the holes and contrivances because THIS. ((huggles and chocolate))

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      I’m thinking about starting it right now, but IDK if I’ve mentally prepared myself enough. I was about to start it for real, and someone ended up responding to all the comments instead. I’M AVOIDING THE FEELS.

      • Jojo

        It’s a really beautiful kind of sad….I would watch it again tonight. In fact I will. Then you’ll know you have company. Gonna be at least 2 hours for me

  • littlredhedgrl

    First of all, this site rocks. I happen to be obsessively re-watching Buffy, and as luck would have it I seem to be on sort of on the same schedule as Snark Squad, having just finished TWotW. Love the recaps here – you ladies are so talented. THANK YOU for helping me extend my obsession!

    So… mini-spoiler alert: ***

    Watching Willow enter Buffy’s brain made me particularly sad for the vast suckiness that is the final ep of Season 6, in no small part because Buffy just is never the kind of friend to Willow that Willow is to Buffy. Willow can get through to Buffy in these amazing ways, as we saw here — but when the tables are turned — Willow trying to go after Glory in Tough Love, or when she tries to go after the world in Season 6 — Buffy just gives these limp motivational speeches that make no impact. The later seasons make me miss their friendship so damn much. One of my favorite Buffy moments *ever* is the tiniest one — it’s just a line really, at the end of Season 3′s Choices, the one where Faith takes Willow hostage at the Mayor’s office and Willow tells her off, etc. Well, back at the library when Willow is re-telling the story to Buffy — even before the adorbs hug under the tree — it’s just the freakin’ cutest.

    Willow: “So Faith was like, ‘I’m going to beat you up’ and I’m all “I’m not afraid of you” and then she had the knife which was less fun a-and then, oh! I-I told her ‘you made your choice, Buffy was your friend!’”

    Sigh. I think I’m going back to watch Season 3 again now. Sorry for the rant, and thanks again for such insightful and funny recaps!

    • Clément Polge

      Yay, a newcomer ! Always fun to see new faces !

      For spoilers, we generally use rot13, just go to http://www.rot13.com/ , type your message there, and click “cypher”. To decypher, you just have to click “cypher” again.

      And yeah, Willow is often a better friend to Buffy than the other way around, but she probably doesn’t have the same weight to carry either. And I don’t necessarly mean slayer stuff, I also mean taking care of Dawn, so I’ll cut Buffy some slack. But valid point nonetheless!

      And welcome :)

      • littlredhedgrl

        Thank you both! And thanks leading me to the proper spoiler etiquette.

        As for Willow/Buffy, you’re absolutely right. Buffy is the of course the title character carrying TWotW on her shoulders as well as family sadness. I just get nostalgic for the way things were sometimes between these BFFs.

        Now on to relive The Gift!

    • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

      You will find even more awesome stuff to help your obsession down here. We’ve been slacking a little lately, but usually this (as in, the comments section) is where all the fun is. We recap stuff and pick at a few things, but down here is where you’ll find the actual picking apart of all the glorious little moments and how they all link together and all of that magic.

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