Buffy the Vampire Slayer S06 E05 – Career Day

Previously: We were introduced to the Trio and all of their evil nerd glory. Life kept treating Buffy like shit and she leaves at the end of the episode to go see Angel off camera.
Life Serial

Lorraine: Buffy gets home with a bucket of fried chicken, only to find that Willow, Tara, Giles and Dawn are already having dinner. It’s says a lot about how not-okay things are that this makes everyone super uncomfortable. Giles even says they haven’t eaten, even though we can totally see the food. Buffy assures everyone that it’s okay, but they all make a big show of really wanting Buffy’s chicken.

Giles’s face is everything. DON’T LEAVE AGAIN GILES.

Kirsti: Oh, Giles. Don’t ever change. Also, this scene made me realise that we’re only just at the beginning of Buffy’s attempts at bringing things home for dinner, and now I has the sads.


Lor: I DON’T. 1 point for team Snow.

Dawn asks Buffy how it went with Angel, and she vagues that it was “intense.” That’s all she’s willing to say about it.

Giles says  that in her absence, they’d been discussing what Buffy should do now. Buffy thinks they mean about the money and bills issue, but they are talking in the larger life sense. She says that she always thought about going back to school, but she missed the registration deadline when she was being happy in heaven and shit. Willow suggests auditing classes. Pfft. I would probably stick to majoring in TV watching and minoring in pantslessness.

K: I would too, but mostly because auditing classes isn’t a thing in Australia.

Lor: Buffy asks Giles what he thinks about going back to school, and he fakes a smile.

We Segue Magic over to Jonathan complaining that the Slayer always knows what she’s doing. They will never take over Sunnydale while she’s around. We hear Warren say that’s why they are going to test her and see if they can find a weakness or two. He rolls into the shot from underneath a mini-van. Inside the van, there is a bunch of spy tech. Jonathan wants reassurance that Buffy won’t be able to tell they are spying. Warren is confident, though he does yell at Andrew for painting a Death Star on the side of the van. That might attract attention.

Roll credits.

At UC Sunnydale, Buffy is following Willow into a class. The professor quickly starts asking questions and Buffy has a hard time following any of the answers. Willow can only offer to “go with the flow,” and I want to give Buffy a t-shirt that says, “I’d rather be in heaven.”

K: A+.

Lor: We cut to Willow assuring Buffy that she isn’t dumb, just rusty. Tara runs up to them in the hall and Buffy tells them  both that she just needs more time to get re-acclimated. At that, a boy in a gray hoodie bumps into her, and the zoomy camera man shows us that he leaves a teeny tiny gadget attached to her clothes.

Sweeney: I always have a hard time keeping up with when we’re friends with the Zoomy Cameraman or not. I guess we are today. I don’t expect it to last.

Lor: The hoodie boy is of course Warren. He checks in with Andrew and Jonathan who are in the Nerdy-Van. He tells them the “inhibitor” is on and to initiate the omega pulse sequence. A small transmitter comes out of the top of the van and whirs around, which will probably attract more attention than a Death Star. Just saying.

Inside, Buffy is with Tara, killing time before art appreciation. Tara pulls out her art book and Buffy looks it over. We hear a strange, high pitched buzzing and when Buffy looks up, Tara is sitting on a bench, in the middle of a story about Willow’s cooking. Buffy is confused, but passes it off as being spaced out. She goes to take a drink from a nearby fountain (BUBBLER, RIGHT K?) (K: YES. #privatejokes) and hears the high-pitched buzz again. This time when she looks up, Tara is at the end of the halls asking if she’s coming. Buffy looks at her and gives a, “what the f-” before the scene cuts away. WELL, ALRIGHT, UPN.

In the Nerdy-Van, Andrew and Jonathan confirm to Warren that his teeny tiny gadget is working.

Back inside, Buffy rushes after Tara and some buzzing later, we’ve sped up to the end of art class. Tara asks where she was, and B tries to explain about the freaky time jumps, but it just happens again and Buffy is left alone. Buffy runs out of Contrivance U, yelling after Tara, when suddenly everyone around her gets stuck on fast forward. As the bodies rush by, Buffy gets knocked to the ground and then hit in the arm.

K: I have serious issues with this, because surely she’s still there but just standing still? It’s not like she disappears or anything. Also, HOW ARE THE TRIO NOT IMPACTED BY THE TIME JUMPS?!?!?! #somanyquestions

Sweeney: The trio’s fine, but I have a serious issue with the fact that everyone’s just trampling the impossibly slow moving girl on the lawn. Nobody’s walking around her or trying to figure out what the fuck is wrong with her? None of this makes sense.

Lor: I was mostly disturbed by Tara leaving her. Why would she just leave if Buffy is either moving in slow motion or spacing out or non-responsive? NO SENSE AT ALL.

Anyway, Buffy manages to crawl over to a nearby table and uses an incredible logic jump to determine that there is something on her. She takes off her sweater and spots the teeny tiny device. The Trio starts freaking out as they watch Buffy examine their device and Warren hits a self destruct button. The tiny device goes poof and everyone returns to normal speed.

Buffy crawls out from under the table and sue me, I like her top. She looks around, clearly a little disturbed. In the Nerdy-Van, Warren asks for his score. Andrew and Jonathan give him 50 points for ingenuity, 30 points since he touched the Slayer and settle on another 140 points for total freak out, leaving him with 220. If you multiply that by a millionty, that’s about how much I hate them.

After a cut, Buffy is wearing a hard hat with pigtails and she’s walking with Xander, who called in some favors to get her on a crew lifting things. Wrap it up, everyone else. Slayer’s here to do the heavy lifting.

Buffy appreciates Xander’s help because her other offer was to work at The Magic Box. She does a little “yech” at the thought of retail, and amen. I do not like people nearly enough. (Funny story: I work in HR…)

K: I discovered about half way through my Masters that being a librarian is a lot like working in retail, just with exchanges of information instead of money. Oh joy.


Xander asks what Giles had to say about her fast forward freak-out and he basically suggested it was stress related. Buffy says maybe it was, but she also found that teeny tiny device on her sweater. She wonders if maybe it could’ve been lint. Evil lint. Xander suggests she not mention anything about blacking out or evil lint to the foreman.

Tony is said foreman and he’s about as dismissive of Buffy as you’d expect him to be, and even calls her Gidget. Xander is all, “GOOD LUCK.” and takes off. Tony Foreman assigns jobs to a couple of guys, and one of them suggests letting Buffy haul some steel. They laugh at her. One nice guy follows Buffy and says that she shouldn’t let them heckle her into hurting herself as the beams weigh several hundred pounds. Buffy picks one up easily and asks where to take it. The guys look on in shock. ‘Member when Buffy was trying to be discreet about being the Slayer? So long ago.


Sweeney: This section is actually remarkably similar to the time Buffy tried out for cheerleading, except I enjoy this episode less.

Lor: Later, Buffy is chatting with a bro on her crew, saying she wants a career, and though she never considered going into construction it makes sense. As she talks, she helps him lift up a beam. Construction Bro tells her they get paid by the hour and that if she doesn’t want to mess it up for everyone, she should slow down. He walks off and we see that Tony Foreman is watching Buffy.

The Trio is also watching Buffy with the biggest binoculars ever. Jonathan tells Andrew he’s up, and he picks up a pair of wooden pipes and starts playing some spooky woods type tune. Buffy is grabbing some water from a cooler when Tony Foreman comes over, picking up a large wrench on his way, only because it will be good to mislead us with. Buffy jumps when she sees him. He asks if he scared her and she pushes him out of the way to reveal a green demon behind him. It’s got two tentacle pigtail things. Buffy fights the demon and a couple more arrive. She’s causing some damage as she goes. She kills one with a shovel and it turns to Alex Mack goo. (I’m pretty proud that this isn’t the first time we’ve managed to reference Alex Mack around here.)

A couple of men from the crew are crying and cowering, and Buffy quickly kills the demons that were after them.

The Trio are still being the worst spies ever and Andrew even accidentally hits the car horn, which is the Star Wars theme. Buffy looks out and sees the Nerdy-Van.

K: I’m honestly surprised she didn’t see their binoculars, because they were so fucking enormous that the ends of them were probably like ten centimetres from the end of her nose.

Lor: Back inside Xander arrives and freaks out about the damage the fight caused. She tries to explain but Tony Foreman comes over to say Buffy went berserk and attacked him. Buffy tells Xander about the big demons, but he tells her that’s her job and isn’t allowed at his job. Buffy says she can’t help being attacked, but Xander is more concerned about the damage and what he should tell the clients. He can’t even show them the demon bodies, on account of them going goo. Buffy tries to get a Construction Bro to be her witness and he says she went crazy and that it must be that time of the month.


Sorry. Feminist rage can’t always be controlled.

K: True dat. *fist bump of solidarity*

Sweeney: “Yeah, sure, I woke up in a pool of my own blood. Keeping fucking with me if you’d like me to end your day in the same fashion in which mine started.”


Buffy storms out and Xander follows. He tells her that something is clearly going on and she should go research it. Away from him. Far away. Buffy knows she’s being fired. She hands him her hard hat and we cut to black.

After the Not Break, Buffy is at The Magic Box, telling Anya that she’s always been interested in retail. Giles is bringing out books for research while Anya goes through recording returns and other retail-y things we’re not really supposed to be listening to, as the Zoomy Camera Man is cluing us in to a camera planted in the eye socket of a skeleton on a shelf.

The Trio is watching the video feed, and Warren complains about it being boring. Andrew and Warren joke e about the Slayer being without focus, in case we didn’t already get there in the episode by ourselves. Jonathan announces he’s ready. He’s doing some sort of magic with a magic bone and some fire which turns out to not a great idea when you are in a van.

K: Also, never use the phrase “Don’t touch my magic bone” around douchenozzle nerds who are trying to be evil, because they will giggle.

Lor: I have only to be ashamed about what happens later in this recap.

Inside the store, a woman walks in and give some expert shifty eyes. Giles tells Buffy to focus on service instead of a sale to have a satisfied customer. Anya encourages Buffy to go sell her something. On the way, Buffy helps another customer looking for a candle for a romantic atmosphere. Buffy hands him a lemon seduction candle (instead of the nearby slug candle) and and heads over to Shifty Patron. She’s looking for a mummy hand. Buffy gives her a bad pun for free, but then heads downstairs to find one.

She finds the mummy hand but it jumps up and starts choking her. Buffy grabs a nearby knife and jabs it. We cut to Buffy showing the Shifty Patron the hand with the dagger running through it. She tries to say it’s a buy-one-get-one sort of thing, but Shifty Patron isn’t buying it, because the hand is dead and useless now.

We cut to the door opening again, bell chimes and all. Buffy turns around and we see Shifty Patron walking once more. Giles repeats his line about service over sales while Buffy gives a, “Huh? What? Huh?” Buffy tries to tell him that something is happening but he isn’t paying attention. In the Nerdy-Van, Jonathan explains that he made it so that she has to satisfy a customer with a task that resists solving.

Sweeney: I love the ways in which this episode carries out the idea that each member of the trio brings a specific skill set to the table. I appreciate it most right now because Jonathan’s wheelhouse is the most interesting to me.

Lor: Agreed!

Inside, Anya sends Buffy to the Shifty Patron again. Buffy, without a word, hands the Lemon Seduction candle to Sexy Candle Patron. She then guesses that Shifty Patron needs a mummy hand before she actually requests it. Buffy tries to say she can’t have it, but Shifty Patron called ahead and knows they have one in stock. She insists. Buffy says she’ll go get it.

Nerdy-Van. Warren thinks Buffy’s picking up on the game, and Andrew says he hopes she solves it faster than some episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Knowing that that’s what TNG stands for is about as far as my Star Trek knowledge goes. That’s only a slight exaggeration. Warren compares it to an episode of the X-Files, which always just reminds me of Kirsti.

K: I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing… (I seem to recall it was a good episode though!) Meanwhile, my own comparison for the whole time loop thing is the Supernatural episode, Mystery Spot.

Lor: Buffy goes for the mummy hand with tongs and a knife. It appears to be taunting her. We cut to Buffy giving Shifty Patron a red bag which she looks at in disgust. “Fingers sold separately,” Buffy says and the chime of the door bell tells us Shifty Patron was NOT satisfied.

I realize now that Shifty Patron wasn’t really shifty, but whatever.

Sweeney: Eh. I’m still not convinced that her mummy-hand-requiring spell wasn’t Bad News Bears and she was basically placed there by magic. The nickname stands.

Lor: Thank you. Onward:

We go through the sequence again, this time with Buffy telling Giles that she’s going to marry Bob Dole and raise penguins in Guam. Giles cleans his glasses and doesn’t hear a thing. Buffy hands Sexy Candle Patron his sexy candle and heads straight down for the mummy hand. We cut to Buffy trying to wrestle the hand from Shifty Patron’s neck.

Ringing bell. This time Buffy just walks straight out the front door, but magic makes her walk right back into the store, where Giles, Anya, Sexy Candle Patron and Shifty Patron all stare at her.

Buffy watches the mummy hand that snaps a pair of tongs at her. (K: I must admit, I laughed at that.) She hears the bell ring again and heads up stairs to pull it off the wall. This only resets the loop. This time, Buffy gives Sexy Candle Patron the slug candle, as he isn’t going to get laid anyway. We don’t hear what happens between Buffy and Shifty Patron, but the Trio mock Buffy in their Nerdy-Van.

The loop resets. Giles starts his spiel about service, and this time Buffy takes his glasses, throws them down and stomps all over them. I laugh forever, because she must’ve wanted to do that at least once a week since she was 16. Giles gives her this look like, “GOOD GOD, GIRL.”

Bell rings, loop resets. Buffy grabs Shifty Patron by the collar.

Bell rings, loop resets, Buffy throws a sexy candle and knocks the breath out of Sexy Candle Patron.

Bell rings, loop resets, Buffy cries.

K: I don’t blame her…

Lor: Bell rings, loop resets, and this time we see Buffy telling Shifty Patron that their mummy hand is defective. Finally, giving it more than one second of thought, Buffy comes up with a solution: offer to order the lady a new mummy hand, delivered to her door. This satisfies Shifty Patron and the next ring we hear belongs to the cash register.

Inside the Nerdy-Van, the Trio is celebrating this development. IDK if they are supposed to cheer on the success of the Slayer, but OKAY. (S: Probably they were getting real fucking bored. Also, as makers of the game they have to appreciate the ingenuity of it eventually being solved.) Andrew starts tabulating points. Warren says that it isn’t over, however.

Giles congratulates Buffy for her first sale, but Anya notes that she didn’t charge for delivery, and says they will take it out of her wages. Buffy takes off her name tag and walks out. The bell rings one last time.

After a Not Break, we see Spike and hear Buffy’s voice say, “this is gonna be great.” We cut to her and I immediately go, “THIS! THIS SCENE! IT IS HERE!” Sure enough, Buffy takes a shot and this time I can hear her go, “bleaggh!”

Sweeney: I like to think of the seen-the-gif-forever scenes as “Brought to you by Tumblr!” moments, because somehow the gif(s) will always trump the actual television moment once you’ve seen it that way a certain number of times.

K: NGL, I cheered. And then sympathised because I would make the exact same noise drinking pretty much anything other than cider. And even then, it’s sometimes a little hit and miss.

Lor: Buffy tells Spike that life is stupid and he both vaguely remembers that and figured that’s why she’s drinking. You know, going back to putting this scene in context, I like that we find Buffy drinking because of life, and schools and bills, and maybe only the supernatural to a lesser extent. I think I’m projecting (life and school and bills makes me want to drink), which is fitting because everyone has been projecting onto Buffy this episode. Spike is no exception, and he says that instead of waiting for Giles and his research they could have some fun shaking up the demon world. B says that isn’t her kind of fun, but Spike insists that it is, and that her life would be less complicated if she accepted that. Buffy answers with another shot and bleaaahg.

K: HIS FACE IN THAT LAST GIF OMG I CAN’T EVEN. Anyway, what I was ACTUALLY going to say is that this scene kind of shows how much Buffy’s changed as a result of the whole dying thing. Because there’s no way in hell that season 5 Buffy would EVER have sat on top of a coffin in the TARDIS crypt doing shots with Spike. And now? She doesn’t even give it a second thought.

Lor: Buffy probably never thought she’d try construction or retail either. It’s like a fucked up career day for her.

Spike says that Buffy isn’t a schoolgirl or shop girl– she’s a creature of the darkness. Buffy’s all, “kay. Drinks?”

We cut to them arriving at a bar. The snake-tongued bartender starts to pour a drink and Buffy grabs the whole bottle. Spike walks toward the back room and Buffy takes a swig and “bleaaghs” again.

The back room turns out to be a bunch of demons around a poker table. Spike grabs some thing with three eyes and horns, pushes him away from the table and takes his spot. Buffy is upset he’s going to play cards when they came here for information about who is testing her. Spike pulls her aside and tells her the demons get loose lipped while they play, which is a lot more helpful than dead demons. Buffy settles in a chair with her bottle.

Spike sits down again and the demons all start pulling out kittens.

K: Oh, Tipsy Buffy. You’ve come so far since That Episode Where You Got Turned Into a Cavegirl That We Shall Never Speak Of Again. There’s that Slayer punning we’ve missed so much.

Lor: Warren is driving the Nerdy-Van, saying they are heading to final Jeopardy. Andrew likens them to real super-villains like Dr. No and this sets them off on a tangent about who was the best Bond. Andrews earns a slap upside the head for liking Timothy Dalton.

Cut back to the Kitten Poker and Spike’s just won. The demons complain about Spike cheating, but they are demons so like, all of them were cheating. (K: Including CLEM!!!!!!! Sorry. I just think Clem’s great.) Kitten mews are heard throughout this scene. Things seem to be escalating into a fight, which Spike doesn’t seem to mind, especially since he has the Slayer with him. Buffy objects. She was all for beating them for information, but she doesn’t want to get in a fight over kittens, which she calls stupid currency. One demon says they are delicious but we’re moving along and not paying attention to that.

Buffy opens up the kitten basket and tells them to scamper and be free before she leaves.

Back out in the bar, Spike asks Buffy what’s wrong, and she whines that he was supposed to fix her life, but he’s lame, and she’s still just Buffy who didn’t do a great job trying on everyone’s life today. She storms out on Spike.

In the Nerdy-Van, the Trio is still arguing about Bond movies. Warren calls the discussion stupid and over. One second later, though, he explodes about pigeons doing double takes in Moonraker. Jonathan just glares at him.

Spike leaves the bar and runs right into Buffy staring at the Nerdy-Van. She recognizes it from the construction site. Inside, more arguing about Timothy Dalton and Sean Connery, which results in some tussling.

Jonathan is the one who notices Buffy and Spike walking over at the speed of slugs, giving the Trio plenty of contrivance time. Warren tells Jonathan to grab his magic bone but starts cracking up immediately. It’s such a natural chortle, I wonder if it was ad-libbed. I laughed too. I laughed at magic bone.

K: Oh, Lor…

Lor: SORRY. I laughed more at his genuine sounding short laugh. IT HAPPENS.

Buffy is STILL walking towards the van when a red, fly-winged demon shuffles out from behind it, proclaiming that he’s been testing Buffy and knows her weaknesses. The van starts up and drives away. Buffy takes a swing at the red demon and misses his face. She kicks him square in the chest, but it also sends her back onto her ass. The demon struggles to stand as Spike helps Buffy up. The demon says he’s well struck and that he’ll be going now. He uses a little Are You Afraid of the Dark potassium MAGIC, and behind the smoke, we see he’s running away.

Buffy and Spike don’t seem to notice. Buffy says she’s going to be sick.

The red demon runs all the way to where the Nerdy-Van is parked. We soon find that it’s just Jonathan wearing a spell. He ends the spell and climbs in the back of the van hurting all over. Andrew is amazed that the Slayer touched him, but Jonathan just deadpans, “Yeah, it was sexy the way she touched me real hard with her fists.”

Sweeney: I still hate everything about the trio, but fine, all right, this was cute.

Lor: Warren has a more positive outlook: they took on Buffy and they collected a ton of data. To him, this proves that they could really pose a threat to Buffy. I laugh because she was drunk. Even better for them, though? They’ve discovered free cable porn. The thought of those three watching porn together in a van makes me want to wash my brain.

K: Forget the washing, this requires large quantities of bleach.


Lor: Buffy exits the bathroom at home where Giles is waiting for her with a glass of water and the question of whether she’s feeling better. “I think at one point, I actually turned completely inside out. But yeah, better.” Oof. Been there.

Giles apologizes for not finding the demon with his research as Buffy sits on the floor and grabs a blanket. She holds her head in her hand and takes a deep breath before saying, “I’m really screwing up, Giles.” Giles takes a seat on her bed and says he doesn’t called being tested screwing up. She doesn’t have to figure out everything at once. She doesn’t have to push herself so hard. Buffy says that the phone company thinks she isn’t pushing herself hard enough.

At that, Giles takes out a check from his pocket and hands it to Buffy. She opens it and is stunned by the amount. She says it’s too much, and Giles suggests ripping it up, but LOL. JAYKAY. That’s just the thing you’re supposed to say to make it seem like you don’t really, really want the free money. I don’t know why Giles didn’t just do this right away, but it’s a nice gesture. Also, the Council should work out some way to pay their Slayers. That shit should be paid for life, like Presidents. I mean, the life expectancy is in their favor.

K: SERIOUSLY. I mean, most of them probably spend a good chunk of their lives on junior wages anyway, given the life expectancy thing, so it’s not even like it would cost them that much! And you could give them bonuses for averting an apocalypse.

Lor: Buffy would be rolling in it.

ANYWAY. Buffy tells Giles that it makes her feel a little like having her mom back. Giles jokes about having to the be the mother and asks if they can go with, “rakish uncle.” Buffy is just saying thank you. She stands to go show Dawn their new, free money, but before she fully leaves the room she turns back.

“I just want to tell you that um, this… it makes me feel safe. Knowing you’re always going to be here.”

Giles smiles at her, but when she leaves the room, he drops it and furrows his brow.

Oh, Giles.

Sweeney: My Giles feels make me want to hug him, but my Buffy feels, as usual, trump all other feels and so I say: “YES, FURROW THAT BROW AND FEEL GUILTY FOR THE FACT THAT YOU’RE TOTALLY THINKING, ‘HOW QUICK CAN I GET OUT OF HERE?'”

Lor: Absolutely. And, I mean, I see what they are setting up here. From the start of the episode, Buffy asked Giles what his opinion on her going back to school was. We are painted this picture of Giles as a security blanket. She says as much, and yet, I can’t seem to fault her for thinking this way. If he’s thinking it’s time to push her out of the nest, I’d only say that last time she jumped anywhere, she died.

The episode overall is good, though it has its share of contrivance-y moments. The time loop in the Magic Box was fantastic, even if I was disappointed by how long it took Buffy to find a solution. Maybe that was the point, though. Buffy’s focus is gone, as Warren pointed out in so many words, and she’s giving up even before she even really starts a thing. What’s the point? What’s her point? She doesn’t even have a (known) Big Bad to fight.

K: Which is something that I love about season 6.

Lor: The different things Buffy tries in this episode really do highlight some of the real issues Buffy is facing. Lack of focus at UC Sunnydale, and the way everyone around her seemed to rushing by and knocking her down. Evil that finds her at the construction job, and how she never has a say over when and where she’ll have to fight. Stuck in a loop over at The Magic Box, because isn’t that just the way depression feels? And finally, with Spike. While she may indeed have very dark aspects to her personality, she’s still the Slayer. At the end of the day, though, she still feels most okay when she’s with Spike.


Next time: Tara is worried about Willow, so we get to spend an episode going, “SO ARE WE,” in Buffy the Vampire Slayer S06 E06 – All the Way.
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.

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.

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  • Wilhelmina Upton

    I don’t like the trio, period. Sure they had some funny moments this episode but they’re still stupid. And why would anybody even want to be reigning over Sunnydale? It’s a city on the hellmouth, what do you want with it?

    I loved the scenes between Spike and Buffy, especially the kitten poker. God I love kitten poker.

    • Agreed. This episode had some redeeming moments, but I just can’t stand them. Their stories often venture into contrived-this-makes-no-sense land and they are annoyingly exaggerated.

      • Jojo

        Also the portrayal of nerds is petty dated and cliche – though I have to say that later on Andrew has some good moments.

        • Disa

          Ten to fifteen years ago, it was still safe for a mainstream show–even an edgy and cerebral mainstream–to trash nerds.

          • Jojo

            Nerds are my people – as my middle daughter says. I find it hard to believe that Spike didn’t watch ST-TOS. Hey – talk about a series to snark..XD

          • I started watching TOS sometime last year and in an old blog I went on a hold blog about the lighting and acting and sets and MY GOSH. SO MUCH FUN. SO EXCELLENT.

            I should start watching again. With my “free time.” LOL.

          • Jojo

            When it was good it was excellent – when it was bad it was cringe-worthy. But I loved it back when I was much younger. In fact, I was a fan during the first showing, which shows how old I am. For it’s time it was pretty revolutionary – using both women and people of color in high positions.

            Not sure you’ve heard this one but Whoopi Goldberg said that when she was 9 she went into the living room and saw Uhura and ran into the kitchen yelling “Come here – you gotta see this – there’s a black lady on tv and she aint no maid!” :).

        • Clément Polge

          In this case I think I sort of disagree, Andrew and Jonathan are the two nerds here really, and they’re both sort of likable, they want to have fun but don’t really realise what they’re doing because they’re following a “charismatic” figure (Warren) and want to impress him.

          Warren has a nerdy side too, but that’s so far down on his list of descriptive qualities that I think it barely counts. He’s mostly trying to destroy/control women everywhere.

          Also, the trio referenced Doctor Who years before its revival, which is kind of awesome.

          • Jojo

            I agree with all of this – and you’ll be glad to know my granddaughter got a Tardis lunchbox for school, and a Tardis B-day cake among other Dr Who related gifts. The little one – 2 years old – recognizes several Doctors, the tardis and she say “Exterminate” when she sees a Dalek.

          • Clément Polge

            I have few nerd-related stuff, but a tardis lunchbox sounds all kind of awesome 🙂 Plus if it’s bigger on the inside, you could have a whole KITCHEN in there, that’s like a DIY lunchbox, right ?

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      99.9% of my problems with the trio are to do with Warren. I think Andrew and Jonathan – as we’ve seen before and will see again – just want someone to notice them, and so when Warren does, they just go along for the ride. I mean, obviously here (and elsewhere through the season) they’re actively messing with Buffy. But they’re never on the Let’s Kill Her train like Warren is. Fuck, that guy sucks.

      • Jojo


      • Wilhelmina Upton


  • The money situation is very confusing to me. Since Willow & Tara are now living in the house with Buffy & Dawn, should they not be helping contribute to bills and stuff? Why is Buffy the ONLY person who has to get a job here?

    • FUCKING RIGHT? We had a whole conversation about this on the last post too because this shit makes ZERO sense.

      • I believe that this is the season I start disliking Willow a lot and a huge reason for it is because of this alone.

        • Wilhelmina Upton

          Yes, me too! I started disliking Willow somewhere around here too. Also, I am also of the opinion that Willow and Tara should help out with the bills and finance situation (I may have started the discussion on the last post about this exact thing).

          • Jojo

            I really think this is another case of – we didn’t realize how that would make characters look. However – being a dedicated Watsonian – I have to agree that not paying anything toward expenses is ubermegadouchy. And if they are paying something then that should be shared with the audience.

          • I imagine they thought they were being great bringing up the money situations where other shows have a tendency of ignoring that completely. And yet, it just sort of unearthered all these additional problems/questions that weren’t address. Willow and Tara should be helping. The Watcher’s Council should be helping. Negligent Hank needs a swift kick to the nuts. Etc, etc.

          • Jojo

            Well, it does bring up money situations in a very real way. The council and Hank are never gonna give a penny. I guess Willow and Tara are in school so they can’t get jobs (yeah – right). And it all adds to more reason why Buffy is so depressed – so apathetic. Because not only was she ripped out of heaven, not only does she have to go back to killing, now she also is a single parent with no income. That may be the scariest part of all.

          • Alex

            I think it’s bad writing too. I think they liked the idea of having Willow and Tara move in, because having your characters all living together can be really fun, but they also wanted to give Buffy all these grown-up financial struggles to deal with. And they don’t seem to have been able to reconcile the two.

            I’m not sure how they could have done it differently, though. Having Willow, Tara and Buffy deal with it as a joint problem would mean a very different journey for Buffy, and I can see why they didn’t want that. I suppose I can see a scenario where Tara and Willow have been scraping by on their savings in her absence, but have now run out of cash and are considering dropping out of college to make ends meet, so Buffy then takes it upon herself to fix things so that they won’t have to do that. But it still wouldn’t quite add up, I don’t think.

          • Jojo

            +1 The needs of the storyline – and Willow at least is showing a side of her personality that has not been dominant. I can understand them living there while Buffy was dead and using the money available because they also took on the role of parenting a bereaved teen. But the – sorry no money sorry- bye cuz I have to make it to class – nah, not Tara at all.

          • Count me in as third in the disliking Willow in this season. I also wish that Tara could pull in some $$, but I think her family cut her off.

          • Alex

            I think I start disliking Willow somewhere during the fifth season. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment but there are a few scenes where she really pisses me off, such as the way behaves with Anya in ‘Triangle’, and the argument she has with Buffy about Dawn needing to do her homework. She definitely gets worse in this season, though. She’s almost unrecognisable compared with Season One Willow at this point. Can you imagine Season One Willow ever making a boobie-joke at the dinner table?

          • Wilhelmina Upton

            I am actually kinda fond of the breast joke but yes, you have a point. She is so unlike season 1 Willow it is sometimes painful to watch. Maybe the turning our love for Willow into dislike is done on purpose for the greater story arc. I’m not sure.

          • Alex

            Yeah, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the joke, exactly, just that it seems much more like a Xander thing to say than a Willow one. And especially when said at the dinner table in front of Giles and Dawn.

            But I’ve seen some reviewers claim that Giles’s reaction show that he’s somehow uncomfortable with Willow’s sexuality, which I don’t think is fair at all.

          • Wilhelmina Upton

            Nah, 2 seasons in, I don’t think Giles has a problem with Willow’s lesbianism. I never saw his reaction as anything like that, more in the ways of “my train of thought got interrupted, hey, let me speak now”.

          • Jojo

            I would imagine he’s not all that comfortable with any of the scoobies sexuality – just like they are not comfortable with his. I don’t think he gave her any more of a look than he gives Anya.

          • Wilhelmina Upton

            Yep! This.

          • Alex

            I read a bit more into it actually – I thought it was sort of indicative of the current tension between him and Willow after their big argument in Flooded. He’s not ready to laugh at her jokes yet. But yes, it’s also probably very similar to the look he’d give Anya or Xander if they made that kind of comment.

          • Clément Polge

            Oh… That’ll teach me to reply to comments as I read them in my mailbox, I made the same exact point !

          • Clément Polge

            I think Giles was indeed uncomfortable with Willow’s sexuality, but not because it’s homosexual, but rather with the idea of sexuality itself. He never sexualised her, so thinking of her in a sexual context must be sort of akward.

            Kinda like if your mom wrote a porn book and dedicated it to you (EL JAMES JOKE LOL)

          • Jojo

            I actually have a few Spike/Angel stories. I sent a link to my daughter and she wrote back that it was excellent and really creepy to have her mother writing explicit gay porn so I should never ever show her any of my fanfic again. Then she ran off with the brain bleach.

          • Clément Polge

            At the risk of being the odd man out, I can’t say that I *dislike* Willow in this season. I disapprove of her, obviously, but I get her, she used to be this akward shy little thing, and she hasn’t only found power, but also a sense of self-esteem, self-worth, and all the shebang, and she wants to make her voice heard, which is fair.

            The issue is more that she’s not familiar with that, so she often speaks or act out of turn, and can’t really realises she is doing so. In a way, it’s the bullied turning into the bully subconsciously.

          • Wilhelmina Upton

            I totally understand what you’re saying but I still tend to dislike her. I still love her character and the way it developed and what it will turn into is amazing but she still annoys me quite sometimes in episodes to come.

          • Jojo

            I don’t know that I ever really disliked Willow as much as I disliked the way she could do spoilery stuff and get a complete free pass. One thing I do dislike – though it is very real – is how differently characters are treated depending on what circle they are in. Willow in the innermost circle – no blame can stick there for long.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      Also, why not kick Willow and Tara out, sell the house, and move somewhere smaller? I mean, YES, it’s their home. But I’m not sure I’d be able to live in the house where my mother died, and spend every night sitting on the sofa where I found her body. Besides, the rent on a two bedroom apartment has to be FAR less than the mortgage on a three bedroom house!

      • Selling the house! I can’t imagine that Giles’s old complex was very expensive since he lived there while being a gentleman of leisure…

        • Jojo

          Selling the house wouldn’t change much – everything still has to be paid and Buffy still has no income. For the long term – yes. But it won’t make enough difference immediately. Hell, the house could have been up for sale for the last two seasons. 🙁

  • SuzyLee

    The only thing I can ever think of when I see Jonathan in his demon glamour thingy is this: http://deliciouspineapple.tumblr.com/post/10284329634/ragingbeard-there-shined-a-shiny-demon …. so yeah.

    The Spike and Buffy scenes steal this episode for me (though only narrowly beating loop de loop
    mummy hand repeato vision). I’m enjoying this (relatively) happy, companionable Spuffy while I can. Despite the levels of contrivance being pretty high and the continued existence of Warren (which unfortunately is not fixable any time soon) I still always thoroughly enjoy this episode, its one of those one’s I’ll fall back on when I want a bit of (mostly) light, silly Buffy fun.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      Oh my God, I knew Jonathan’s demon glamour reminded me of something but I could never work out what it was!!

  • darkalter2000

    Warren is the Star Trek geek and he uses techy stuff (Word of God says the Hellmouth grants his devices power). Thus it is an ‘out of phase with our reality’ sort of deal, not a ‘statue of a girl on campus’ deal. They could just put there van under the same effect Buffy was under to make sure they could keep track of her.

    • Out of phase with our reality I understand but it gets iffy when you add in the being bumped around thing. She’s solid enough to be pushed about, but not trampled. And it doesn’t explain what Tara was experiencing and why she would just abandon Buffy.

      It was meh. I mean, it didn’t destroy the episode, but there was eye rolling.

  • Melodie Hatley

    I like this episode, but then it’s heavy with symbolism. I was going to save this meta until you were done with the season, but then I realized it makes great supplementary reading, although I would wait until you’re done with the recap to read. Also, there are spoilers in the link, BUT each episode is clearly marked so you can stop when you reach an episode you haven’t seen.


    Also, I love that demons play poker for kittens.

    • Skrrrrt! It has spoilers for future things, even within the individual episode breakdowns.

      (It is totally an interesting read. Just the all-important SNOW warning.)

      • Melodie Hatley

        Yeah, I was just reviewing it and went WHOOPS. Caught in time though!

        • LOL, I was *just* editing my comment to acknowledge your edit. BRAIN SHARE.

    • Anagnorisis

      Your analysis is brilliant, I’m reading all the entries now. Season 6 will always be my favorite but I know it’s an unpopular opinion so it’s great to read how you view every situation, character and dialog in relation to Buffy’s situation.

      • Melodie Hatley

        Oh, I wish it was my analysis. I’m not that smart. It’s something I ran across when looking for analyses for Buffy. But it IS brilliant, and I thought it would make a really good companion piece, especially since this crowd is a very insightful crowd. 🙂

        • Jojo

          Join LJ – I read that one a while ago cus Gabrielle and I are friends. This really is the mecca for metas and fanfic, for a lot of series (Spn, Sherlock, Dr Who, etc). Not to sound like a commercial – it’s free and it’s fun! Okay…but it really is. My name is spikesjojo there – stop in and say hi.

  • SnazzyO

    I would probably stick to majoring in TV watching and minoring in pantslessness.
    A+ Life Choice.

    I too think the magic box sequence is gold and KITTEN POKER! Plus Clem. In short, there are some great moments in this ep.

    Oy, my Giles feels are really hurting today.

  • Clément Polge

    Ok, so:

    1) I totally laughed at “magic bone”.
    b) Fuck Anya. Your new employee made a mistake on their first go, maybe you didn’t explain well enough ? MAYBE when it’s your friend you don’t take it out of their pay ? Fuck Xander too and his “it’s your job, it doesn’t happen at my job” line. I get his firing her, but that line was so out of place.
    cat) Giles feels. So much.

    BUT HEALL YEAH CLEM’S HERE. I love him for 2 reasons: 1) he’s awesome, and 2) we have the same first name. And if I could choose any of those character to share my name, I would totally choose him, because his brand of awesomeness is the bestest. He’s a minor character, but I just love him.

    Not much more thought at this episode, the trio is fun and gross at the same time, which totally works for me. Watching porn with other dudes is a big no-no though.

    • Didn’t mention it in the recap, but I totally agree with you on both Xander and Anya. Fuck that shit forever.

  • lev36

    Given how important a slayer is, and how short her life expectancy, a slayer should never have to earn her own money. The Watcher’s Council should have a trust fund set up, given all their resources.

    Also, I absolutely love the Spuffy drinking-buddy scenes. Bleagghhh!

    • Clément Polge

      It’s especially weird since EVERY watcher are on the payroll, and it’ll be shown at some point how big the council is, but we’ve already seen a dozen of them flying from the UK, and we can assume that not only are they all on the payroll, but the trip was probably payed by the council… So they’re clearly not lacking money.

      So not paying the slayer makes zero sense. Or maybe they were supposed to, but don’t because Buffy severed her ties to the council ? She reinstated Giles, but never said anything about herself ? Still super weird. But it’s sort of in the same category as “why doesn’t willow magically fix the plumbing ?”

      • Disa

        I suspect they’re supposed to be underage wards of the COW who never survive their eighteenth birthday.

        • Ooh, interesting theory! Pretty reasonable given that we’ve already learned that they have an 18th birthday ritual that often kills off the slayer.

          • Disa

            Well, like Kendra, who didn’t remember her parents because she was discovered as a potential slayer when she was a toddler and sent to live with her watcher. She didn’t even survive to reach her own Cruciamentum.

          • Jojo

            OTH – Nikki Wood had a child who looked about 4 years old. It always bothers me when people say – in fanfic – that Buffy is the oldest slayer at 20 because that makes Nikki pregnant at 16 which no. Just no.

          • Disa

            According to the wiki, Nikki was 21 when she died–days away from being 22. So…17 when she got pregnant and still pregnant during her Cruciamentum. Not 16, but young enough, and she didn’t know who the father was. Seems she was a very Faith-like slayer. I won’t link, though. Spoilers all over the place.

          • Melbourne on my Mind

            So what you’re saying is Nikki was a fucking BAMF Slayer for a millionty reasons already, but now she’s even more so because she was pregnant during her Cruciamentum?

          • Disa

            My opinion, yeah. Remember when Spike is suddenly faced with two slayers (No waiting!) and Kendra and Buffy switch places so that Buffy is fighting Spike? He says, “Rather be fighting you anyway.” My impression is that he deliberately went after the BAMF slayers–the ones that would make his reputation.

          • Jojo

            If they injected her without her knowledge while she was pregnant – does not get worse than that! My head canon has her pregnant and in her 20’s – and I’d say she was 25 when she was killed.

            Also – it’s a freakin weird setup when all the potential are raised by watchers, even though most of them will never be slayers. I mean what would have happened to poor Kendra if she had never been called? And is there a cutoff age? Do all these kids grow up to their 40’s and then get told – sorry, no life for you and no early death either. But you can open a dojo.

            Which leads me to wondering why Buffy doesn’t do self defense training if she needs money – except that the really horrible part of depression is that you need to take care of yourself at the exact time that you cannot take care of yourself.

          • Disa

            Well, the stuff about her age and her pregnancy–that’s taken from the comics. It becomes relevant at a later point. Gur grra zbz guvat vf jul gurl erpnfg gur punenpgre sbe frnfba frira. Gurl jrer ybbxvat sbe n lbhatre, zber ihyarenoyr npgerff gb cynl Avxxv. Gurl sryg gur fghag jbzna jub jnf pnfg gb cynl ure bevtvanyyl jnf gbb byq. Injecting a pregnant eighteen year old with a cocktail of muscle relaxants and adrenal suppressors and sending her to fight a vampire alone does make the COW look like it’s on a moral level with the Initiative. Yeah.

            I always wondered what would happen to the watcher-raised potentials who weren’t called, too. It’s a very weird situation–pedo creepy. How do they convince the parents to give their little girls to them? Do they actually convince them? Kendra said her parents sent her to live with her watcher, but it had to have been her watcher who told her that because she didn’t remember her parents. That assertion sets off my parental not-rightness detector, anyway. It makes me think of guys in vans with candy.

            And Buffy totally should open a dojo.

          • Disa

            Now that I’ve said that, of course, I’m off looking into examinations of race in the Buffyverse…

          • Jojo

            What you will find is grim. Other than spoiler spoiler toward the end of the show I don’t recall any people of color who lasted more than a few weeks, if that. That is why I don’t like making Nikki so young – it’s such a racist cliche. Now, if she were one of many that wouldn’t bother me as much.

          • Disa

            I’ve done it before, but not for probably a year. There’s more out there, now. With the comics, Joss is making an effort to correct a little of the imbalance that existed from before, but given the hash he made of it, that may take some time. Wish I liked the comics…

  • Anagnorisis

    Hi Clem! Clem is awesome 🙂
    Agree with the trio having different abilities, they are three different people and we’ve known them for a while (except Andrew but we are getting to know him alright), and now we see how they work together and Jonathan’s spell was the best one during this episode.
    I have to admit that I’m somehow amused at the trio, their level of nerdiness is interesting for me, I know they are horrible people, I mean why do they want to hurt Buffy? Specially Jonathan. But at the same time, they have power, and power corrupts, and maybe it makes them forget that Buffy is a person and they see her more as a challenge.
    Now I’m thinking a lot about Jonathan, he was the irrelevant kid that was always there, at best, to receive abuse, to be bullied and humiliated, or to be simply ignored. But now he has the power to turn the tables. Reminds me of a quote I read on Craked (yeah…): ‘Nerds who get wedgies all day at school don’t dream of equality — they dream of being the one doing the beating and humiliating’ Of course this isn’t always true and the same for everybody but, I didn’t have the happiest high school experience and most of the time, I didn’t wanted to be friends with the popular girls, I wanted them to suffer because I was awesome and I wanted to show them. Of course I didn’t do anything, it’s just a fantasy and I was a teenager. But then again, I don’t have superpowers (sadly). Jonathan does and he is not going to show mercy because they never did. Except Buffy, of course. But, you know what? Sometimes, the kid that pretends to be nice to you, that pretends to care is the worst. Nobody liked him, he might think, at least the other were sincere.
    Ok, this turned into an essay, sorry about that XD

  • Rosalie M Town

    Clem!!! I met the actor who plays him at Comicon many years ago and he signed his name, drew a picture of a kitten, and wrote “Got Kittens?”. He’s so great.

    It pisses me off, too, how Willow and Tara don’t contribute to the bills. Were they just not paying the mortgage and utilities the entire three months Buffy was dead?

    • lev36

      Everyone loves Clem! I never saw a picture of the actor, though, so I googled until I found him, and underneath all that make up, he’s quite the looker! Google “James Charles Leary” and see if you agree.

      • Jojo

        Hey, you’re very correct – nice looking guy!

  • Jojo

    I love Buffy and Spike and the booze-bonding. James looks so adorbs – and you guys have the best gifs because Spike is in all the best! This was a nice light, skippable episode that established the powers of the 3 little bads and the big bad Buff. And Clem!! Clem who would never cheat at cards and everyone knows he doesn’t even eat his kittens. But he does like junk food – yeah, that’s a serious spoiler! It’s been a rough week and I want junk food.

    Only one episode left until OMWF!

    • Anagnorisis

      Clem and kittens, I always thought it was the cholesterol. I mean, morals.

      • Clément Polge

        Well, maybe it’s just me projecting my own self on my namesake, but I think Clem is more of a puppies kind of guy.

        • Jojo

          Well, I tell all our furry pets that they are no more than mittens and a roast. It keeps them humble.

  • geff

    Agreed that sometimes gifs can seem more significant or amusing out of context than in the actual show. That’s the downside of being spoiled by highly giffable scenes, but in this case it’s still pretty darn adorable. On a similar tangent, it’s funny (and occasionally disappointing) when you see these super slowed down gifs of what seems like an important moment but is really just a random facial expression or two second thing. Oh tumblr xD

    Also lol Lor, his chuckle really did seem genuine. Technically you can totally lie about what you do or don’t laugh at but I appreciate your honesty 😛

    • Clément Polge

      It’s not only gifs, it’s the case for most of the credits too, especially the last shot who’s always badass, and somewhat lackluster in context. It’s true for Angel credits too.

      And in a way it’s a good thing, it means those moments flow really naturally within the episode and are not just “let’s randomly insert some stuff” shots.

  • JEL

    “WELL, ALRIGHT, WB.” Was that the WB as in the defunct TV company? If, so it should be “UPN”. (That it is the UPN now makes a difference that will be more apparent in a few episodes.). If WB is some other abbreviation that I didn’t pick up on, forget I said anything.

    Of all the things that men say that irritate women, blaming something on “that time of the month” has got to be close to the top, if not the top. It also seems universally irritating; feminist or not. I remember my daughter and friends talking about how annoying they found it when the high school boys would do that. They certainly weren’t a very feminist group at least at that time in their lives.

    • Jojo

      I just read a perfect come back – “Yeah, I woke up in a puddle of my own blood. Keep fuckin with me and you’ll wake up that way tomorrow, asshole.”

      • JEL

        And of course later in life women get to look forward to men blaming everything on menopause.

        Amazing any of us are allowed to live.

        • Jojo

          Hell, I believe it was back then, maybe earlier, when the major drug companies only used men to test medicines because women’s hormones might give different results. Of course the medicines were then prescribed for women, without any testing..

          • Disa

            There’s this: http://goo.gl/DXhejE

            The comments made me want to pound my head against something.


      1- It should be UPN. I fixed it now. I always get confused because UPN is the CW you and nothing exits anymore, and blergh. Mistake.

      2- I love that you all sometimes just assume we’re abbreviating crazy ass shit. Probably because we do that ALL THE TIME.

      3- We pointed out the more grizzle deaths in the opener and here is a hint of a curse word! I hope it only gets more scandalous from here.

      • To be fair, UPN & WB joined cracktastic forces to create The CW. So, in that way, it wasn’t even a mistake. SAME SAME.

  • I wasn’t in love with this episode, but I could understand Xander’s anger. He’s the only one of the Scoobies with stable employment that allows him to pay his bills since he’s not freeloading like Willow and Tara, and he would like to keep his employment demon-free. He didn’t have to be a jackass, but I like that he did make up for it when he told Buffy he believed her.

    As for the magical check that Giles gave Buffy, I think he was waiting to see if she would try to do things on her own instead of just expecting him to give it to her. This is her Watcher, after all. He’s seen her do many things on her own, and I think he wanted to see that if she was the same after coming back from the dead.

    As for the Trio, I was still in like with them during this time because I still couldn’t take them seriously, even Warren.

    I’m not going to even get into the “that time of the month” thing, although I have thought of beating guys who say “I don’t trust anything that bleeds for seven days and doesn’t die” to a bloody pulp.

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  • BUFFY MAKING FACES OVER ALCOHOL. That’s how I am with anything that isn’t a sweet mixed drink or my preferred varieties of beer. Funniest moments of season 6 so far, hands down.

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  • SonicRulez

    Another episode where Buffy’s friends do nothing for her at all. I know it’s not their responsibility to help fix Buffy’s life, but their failure to help drives me up a wall.

    I with you girls on Warren’s brand of bothering Buffy. Surely at some point Tara would’ve noticed Buffy standing completely still and not talking?

    Giles feels!!! He knows that Buffy will straight refuse to grow up as long as he sticks around.

    • SonicRulez

      Oh yeah, and SMG is infinitely cute when she does her blegh face.

    • Arian_foe

      I’m kinda waiting for Buffy some day to have a meltdown and recriminate them all: “but I was in heaven and you brought back me to this shit” when they are less than helpful
      I liked Xander on S04 and S05 but here he’s an assç
      I wouldn’t have thought about Willow and Tara paying if I hadn’t read all of you commenting on it. +1