Buffy the Vampire Slayer S06 E06 – Definitely sisters

Previously: The trio decided to test Buffy in a variety of stupid ways that ended in her doing shots with Spike and playing poker for kittens. Also, Giles gave her a big fat cheque that sorted out her money problems. Wheeeeeeeeee.

All the Way

Kirsti: We open at the Magic Box, where they’re having their Halloween Bone-anza, and they should REALLY have thought up a different name for that because that does NOT sound like something I would want to attend. (L: Lots of bone jokes lately…) ANYWAY. Xander’s dressed as a pirate and is trying to tell a small child dressed as a fireman that he found the bottle of fireflies he’s holding off the coast of Kathmandu. The small child is dubious, and I am too because apparently Xander’s never cracked an atlas in his life.

Lorraine: Xander gets points though, this being Talk Like a Pirate Day and all. I swear that’s a thing. Also, I clearly have to point out that this child is Beans from Even Stevens. That is all.


K: I…have no idea what that means.

Elsewhere, Dawn asks Anya what her costume is. Anya, wearing a tight t-shirt, hot pants and roller skates says that she’s an angel. But a special kind called a Charlie, who “just skate around with perfect hair, fighting crime.” Sounds a little like Buffy, only with crime instead of evil, right? Dawn’s all “Halloween is for babies,” but Anya’s on board with the getting to dress up and play games part, particularly the new game that Xander wants to teach her called Shiver Me Timbers. Tara rushes over to inform Dawn that Willow needs help, and Dawn hurries away. Anya asks Tara if she knows how to play the game, and Tara’s reply is “Not really one for the timber.” Goodness, show. That change of networks has just made you all kinds of smutty, hasn’t it?!

Lor: I’m picking up on the fact that Willow and Tara are gay. It’s just a feeling I’m getting here.

K: They’ve dropped a few hints, that’s for sure!

Willow, meanwhile, is having a rant about stereotypes at a woman dressed as a witch. She quickly changes her tune when an adorable small child comes up in a costume displaying the exact same stereotypes. Willow heads off to get the kid some candy, and Dawn takes advantage of the lack of supervision to get all klepto again, pocketing some kind of gold medallion thing with a dragon on it. Anya asks Buffy to fetch something from the basement, and she heads down there griping about time loops in reference to the last episode. At the bottom of the stairs, she bumps – literally – into Spike and informs him that he needs to get a bell around his neck, which makes me laugh because Xander said exactly the same thing about Angel way back in Spike’s very first episode.

She asks what he’s doing there, and he says that he came to get some disgusting looking weed thing that makes his pig blood taste spicy. She makes a grossed out face, and he says that he was most definitely going to pay for it. She gives him a look, and he’s all “OKAY, FINE. I WAS STEALING.” She asks for help in locating the mandrake root that Anya wanted, and he looks around for a second before locating the jar and handing it to her. Then this happens, and I cackle hysterically over Buffy’s confused face:

SPIKE: Feel like a bit of the rough and tumble?
BUFFY: What?
SPIKE: Me… you…
BUFFY: [stares in shock]
SPIKE: Patrolling? Hello?
BUFFY: Oh. Uh … I … should stay. Maybe tomorrow.
SPIKE: It’s not like I don’t already have plans. Great Pumpkin’s on in twenty.
BUFFY: (to herself) So much easier to talk to when he wanted to kill me.

Lor: Mmmhmmm, Buffy. I see what you’re thinking. Granted, it’d be hard NOT to think dirty if Spike said “rough and tumble” anywhere near or around me. So, yeah.

Sweeney: Indeed. We’re not judging, girl.

K: Agreed.

She heads upstairs and immediately gets roped into helping Giles behind the register. She suggests that maybe she should go patrol because EW RETAIL, but Giles points out that Halloween is the undead’s night off. She reminds him of That Time Their Costumes Came To Life and That Time There Was a Fear Demon, and he says that she shouldn’t need to patrol because history would indicate that anything bad will happen to one of them. Good point, Giles. And not just on Halloween.

Sweeney: 1430 for Giles!

K: I love it when they acknowledge shit like that. With that, we cut to a street somewhere in town where a bunch of kids in costume are trick or treating. An old guy walks down the street with a bag of groceries, humming “Pop Goes the Weasel” to himself. He heads into his house, which is filled with creepy looking toys, and into the kitchen. He peers out the window at the kids, and says that he’s got something special for them this year as he pulled a massive knife out of a drawer. Roll wolf howl.

After the credits, Dawn ushers the last of the customers out as the Scoobies collapse on the floor in exhaustion. Except Anya, who’s bouncing with excitement over all the money she made. And excitement over the possibility of making all the money again the following day, which she announces is a post-holiday clearance. The Scoobies groan. Buffy teases Xander about his costume, but he only has eyes for Anya, who’s busy teaching Dawn the money dance that she does every night as she closes the till.

Xander stands, and informs the gang that he and Anya have an announcement to make – they’re getting married.

Dawn squees, Giles smiles, and Tara offers her congratulations. Buffy looks shocked though, and Willow looks downright horrified. Xander and Anya kiss. Buffy asks Giles if he knew, and he replies “No. Unless I blocked it from my memory, much as I will Xander’s vigorous use of his tongue.” He takes off his glasses to clean them, and Buffy’s all “OMFG, THAT’S WHY YOU CLEAN YOUR GLASSES SO MUCH? SO YOU DON’T SEE WHAT WE’RE DOING??” and I fall about laughing as Giles quietly replies “Tell no one.


Sweeney: AND ANOTHER ONE! He’s on a roll!

K: It’s the Giles Appreciation Show!

Cut to Chez Summers, where the gang are having a spontaneous party. Tara apologises for the lack of decorations, and Willow instantly casts a spell that covers the room in streamers and paper lanterns. Anya’s thrilled, but Giles and Tara look worried. (L: Buffy and Dawn are oblivious.) Out in the kitchen, Tara voices her concerns and Willow gets defensive to the point where Tara’s stutter comes back. Dawn walks in and gets all “Uhhh. Awkward…” Willow leaves, and Dawn gives Tara an anxious look before following.

Back in the living room, there’s some more squeeing over the engagement, and then Dawn says that she’ll see them all tomorrow because she’s spending the night at a friend’s place. Buffy’s all “…what?” and Dawn says that Buffy promised she could. Giles watches from the other side of the room as Buffy looks to Willow and then him for advice. Neither offers any, and Dawn begs a little harder.

Cut to her walking down the street and grinning with glee. She cuts down a dark alley, then picks up a piece of wood when she hears a noise. Said noise turns out to be two teenagers sucking face, and Dawn apologises before backing away. She backs into someone though – her friend Janice, who I know as Joan of Arcadia. (L: Amber Tamblyn! I know you guys know she was Tibby in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies. Don’t lie.) (S: BRAIN SHARE. It’s like the Snow duty, really, to focus on all the, “I know this person from another place!” moments.) (K: I didn’t, because I’ve never seen those movies) Apparently they’re pulling the move Buffy and the gang used to pull in high school – say they’re staying at each other’s houses, and trust that their families don’t care enough to check. Ouch.

The girls head to the park where Joan of Arcadia’s boyfriend is waiting for them with his friend Justin, who’s wearing a Sunnydale letter jacket. Dawn gets a little swoony and then blushy when he says that he’s seen her around. JoA asks the guys what they want to do, and we cut to the guys throwing eggs at houses and letting the air out of tyres and destroying letter boxes while the girls stand around looking bored. They head down the street, and JoA asks Dawn what she thinks of Justin. Dawn squees a little, and it’s kind of adorable. Further up the street, Zack (JoA’s boyfriend) asks Justin what he thinks of Dawn. He says that she’s cute, but that’s not enough for Zack. He wants to know if Justin’s going to go ALL THE WAY.

Lor: Sucks to give this dick a gold star, but he said the thing. He said it.

Sweeney: It’s always sad when we have to sully the star’s good reputation by giving it out to terrible people. BUT RULES ARE RULES.

K: He quickly shuts up before the girls hear. JoA asks if they can do something more exciting than destruction, and Zack says he wants to hit one more house – the old man from earlier’s house.

Back at Chez Summers, Giles is giving Xander an awkward fatherly talk about how Anya should move in now, and they should start saving for a house. Xander gets awkward, and Giles says there’s no rush because they have the rest of their lives to plan. Xander looks terrified.

Lor: Was this on purpose on Giles’s part? I mean it was pretty heavy on the, “HAVE FUN WITH YOUR EX-VENGEANCE DEMON.” He had to totally be doing that on purpose.

Sweeney: This definitely felt deliberate. Xander probably gets the least substitute parenting from Giles, but Giles was definitely aware of the fact that Xander hadn’t really considered all the long-term consequences of this decision. He was laying that THIS IS FOREVER and BIG ADULT DECISIONS stuff on pretty thick.

K: Better now than after they’re married?

Outside the old man’s house, the teenagers discuss how the old man’s meant to be bonkers. Zack pressuring JoA to go smash the pumpkins on the old man’s porch, but she won’t. Dawn volunteers, and heads slowly up the path. She picks up the pumpkin and stands with it over her head ready to smash. A hand grabs her wrist, and the pumpkin falls to the ground. The old man crazies to Dawn that sometimes pumpkins bite, and the others rush up to defend her. Creepy Old Man just laughs crazily and invites them inside. JoA wants to leave, but they end up inside anyway.

Zack asks about the toys, and Creepy Old Man says that he used to design them back in the day, and he loved it and blah blah blah one mistake and they take it all away. He then asks who wants to help Daddy in the kitchen, and refers to Dawn as ‘Sally.’ Justin offers to help, and follows COM away. The girls want to leave, but Zack says that COM is a millionty and therefore harmless. Out in the kitchen, COM closes the door behind him, then picks up the big knife. Over his shoulder, we see Justin vamp out (PLOT TWIST!) as we fade to black.

After the Not Commercial Break, Justin gets his bite on. COM falls to the floor, simultaneously revealing that the big knife of deception was to cut up a tray of rice bubble squares.

Lor: Wow. So this creepy old man really did just like singing Pop Goes the Weasel to himself sometimes and ranting about his toy making days. Huh.

K: Out in the living room, the girls hear the sound of the knife dropping to the floor and freak out. Justin runs out of the kitchen, claiming that he swiped COM’s wallet and that they need to run. The girls do so. Justin and Zack follow at a more leisurely pace, as Justin complains about COM tasting gross. Zack wants to know if the girls are “Lunchables? Or should we go all the way and turn ’em?” Dude. You already had one gold star. Now you’re just being greedy. (L: Rude.)

Back at Chez Summers, Anya is wibbling away about wedding plans to Buffy and Giles as Xander looks increasingly nauseated. She mentions babies and Xander’s face drops. Giles suggests Rupert as a baby name and the gang all laugh. Poor Giles…

Lor: Buffy laughs! OW. Buffy feels.

Sweeney: Season 6 Buffy: turning even jokes into moments that hurt your feels.

K: A+, Sweeney. Buffy notices Xander’s expression and drags him out to the porch for a break. She asks if he’s okay, and he says that he’s a little overwhelmed. She points out that this is the good stuff, and how life is meant to work out, and he replies that he’s wallowing, not drowning. Could have fooled me, my friend. He heads back in, but Buffy says she’s all happy-endinged out and is going to go find Spike and patrol. She heads out as Xander takes a deep breath and heads back inside.

Elsewhere, Dawn and Justin flirt a little as they walk down the street, which includes her referencing her shoplifting habits. He notices that she’s cold and offers her his jacket, which she takes gladly. JoA appears and asks where Zack is. Justin says that he went to get the car. Cut to Zack biting and carjacking some random woman and driving away.

Buffy wanders the streets as the Piano of Feels starts up. She sadly notices happy couples walking by, then stops as an ambulance screams past. She follows it to a crowd standing around as the random woman is loaded into the ambulance with a giant conspicuous bite mark on her neck. (L: DARN BBQ FORKS.) Back at Chez Summers, the phone rings. Giles answers, and it’s JoA’s mother. They quickly realise what’s happened, and Giles hurries back to the gang. Tara’s watching with a hurt expression as Willow dances merrily with Xander and Anya. Giles turns the music off, and tells Willow and Tara to check downtown for Dawn while he tries to catch Buffy at Spike’s. He hurries out the door without waiting for a response.

Cut to the car, parked in the woods. JoA and Zack scramble out, and she giggles and runs off. Zack tells Justin not to do anything he wouldn’t do before vamping out and chasing her. In the car, Dawn awkwards that it’s cold and asks Justin if he wants his jacket back. When he says that he doesn’t feel the cold, she replies that he must be Superman. He says that he’s not, but that he does have some special powers. He leans in to kiss her as I cackle at the worst line in the history of EVER.

Dawn turns away, reaching for the radio. She makes some more nervous small talk, then asks what he expects, but he interrupts to say that he just wants to taste her (EW). He leans in, and they kiss and the camera is SUPER CLOSE and it’s making me very uncomfortable. Thankfully, we cut to black.

After the Not Commercial Break, Dawn and Justin are still kissing, but the camera is further away. Dawn breaks the kiss and squees a little, and Justin’s all “OMG, that was your first kiss, wasn’t it?” She tries to claim that it wasn’t, and ends up word vomiting all over the place before admitting that he’s right and she’s sorry that she’s awful at it. He says that it was perfect, and kisses her again.

Lor: They could calm down on the smacking noises just a tad, thanks.

Sweeney: They make Dawn seem so young that I didn’t realize that Michelle Trachtenberg was already 16 here. She’s still like 14 in my head so I had to do an actor age check. (16 and 22, which might be awkward, but pretty much NBD given that I looked it up because it seemed like 14 and 26.)

K: 16 and 22 is still pretty skeezy… Cut to the Bronze. There’s a band playing, and it’s packed. Willow and Tara walk in, and get grossed out expressions over a girl dressed as Princess Leia grinding with a guy dressed as Luke Skywalker, because EW SIBLINGS. Tara asks if Willow thinks Dawn is there, and she replies that it’s where she would have come if she’d snuck out at the age of fifteen. They head up to the balcony, and Willow complains that there are too many people to see clearly. Tara suggests asking security, but Willow says it will take too long. She heads to the edge of the balcony and starts casting a spell. Tara grabs her hand and asks what the hell she’s doing. Willow says she’s going to shift everyone who’s not a fifteen year old girl into an alternate dimension for a few seconds, just to check if Dawn’s there. Tara’s horrified and says that Willow can’t do it, because what if something went wrong? Willow has no fucks to give, so Tara asks what Giles would think. With that, Willow utters a one word spell that silences all the noise around them.

Willow accuses Tara of talking to Giles behind her back, and taking his side over hers, and Tara snaps:

Tara: Willow, you are using too much magic. What do you want me to do, just, just sit back and keep my mouth shut?
Willow: Well, that’d be a good start.
Tara: If I didn’t love you so damn much I would!

Tara storms away and Willow calls sadly after her, but doesn’t move.

Lor: UGH. DISLIKE. I hate disliking Willow.

K: Back in the woods, Dawn and Justin are still face-nomming. She pulls back a little and starts to say something, but he tells her that she’s beautiful, and she goes back to the kissing.

Lor: I get a decidedly She’s All That vibe from his beautiful line.

K: 1430, Lor. She trails her hand up his arm and onto his cheek. He’s vamped out now, and we see her shocked expression as she realises mid-kiss.

Cut to the TARDIS crypt. Buffy bursts in with a stake drawn, and tells Spike to grab his gear. He asks if Giles found her and she’s confused because NOPE. He fills her in on the Dawn situation, and says that he’s checked the tunnels and that Giles is searching the cemetery. She grabs some weapons from Spike’s stash, and tosses him a crossbow. Elsewhere in the cemetery (I assume? It could be any one of Sunnydale’s millionty cemeteries), Giles is wandering around in the fog by torchlight. He monologues, and then promptly trips over.

He dusts himself off, then hears a scream from the woods. He runs towards it, and finds a vampire biting a girl. He pulls Zack away and throws him down a hill, and is startled to find that the girl isn’t Dawn but JoA, who complains that the jerk bit her. Zack appears to say that she was asking for it, and Giles gets his ain’t-got-time-for-your-shit face on. They fight as JoA looks on in fear. It’s pretty shortlived because Giles is a BAMF – he jumpkicks Zack into a tree where he gets staked by a branch.

Sweeney: Apparently these guys have been around for a while, because he even got time to have last words! Not very good ones, but still. I’m going to assume that it was actually the result of power granted to him by the gold star.

K: Definitely. Back at the car, Dawn makes a run for it. But Justin catches her, and then uses a  bunch of cheesy lines – she’s not like other girls, he just wants to spend time with her, she’s special, blah blah blah. She’s falling for it, and he says that it’ll only hurt for a second as he lowers his head towards her neck. “I bet you say that to all the girls,” says Giles. Dawn is horrified, and Justin grabs her by the neck. Giles stalks forward, saying they can do it the easy way or the hard way, but then a light gets shone in his eyes. They’re surrounded by other cars, also filled with teenage vampires. Fade to black.

After the Not Commercial Break, the vampires close in. A hand claps down on Giles’shoulder and he jumps, but it’s just Spike. Buffy runs up and starts to ask if Dawn’s alright, but then sees Justin and is all “YOU WERE PARKING WITH A VAMPIRE?!?!?!?” Dawn’s briefly embarrassed, then uses the “You did the same thing when you were my age” routine. Buffy claims it was different.

A random vampire interrupts to ask if they can fight yet. Buffy, Spike and Giles are happy to oblige. Giles is quickly attacked by two vampires and struggles to overcome them. Buffy stakes another on the fly, and Justin’s all “Oh my God, I totally get why you’re different now – your sister’s the Slayer!” to Dawn. She knees him in the balls and runs. Buffy tosses Giles a stake and he quickly dusts the two vampires attacking him before a third appears and knocks him over the bonnet of the car.

Meanwhile, Spike is fighting the “can we fight yet?” vamp, who wants to know what Spike’s problem is. “It’s Halloween, you nit! We take the night off. Those are the rules.” Spike replies. The vamp says that his gang don’t follow rules because they’re rebels. “I’m the rebel. You’re an idiot,” Spike says as he shoots the vamp with a crossbow. He reloads and gets taken down by another vamp. Buffy’s fighting a vampire who’s trying to garotte her with a car antennae. She runs up the side of the car and flips over his head before decapitating him with the car door. Awesome.

Dawn’s somehow wandering alone in the woods. Justin grabs her from behind and drags her to the ground. He straddles her, and she tearfully says that she thought he liked her. He says that he does and goes to bite her, but hits the crossbow bolt she’s sneakily holding instead and turns to dust. Nice work, Dawnie!

Lor: Her first time? She looks less than thrilled.

K: I would too because she probably inhaled half a vamp worth of dust…

Cut to Chez Summers. Buffy apologises for the early finish to the party as she ushers Xander and Anya out the door. Spike leaves too as Willow apologises for missing the monster hunting. Tara says that she’s glad Dawn’s okay, then announces that she’s going to bed. Willow looks hurt and calls after her, but Tara doesn’t stop. Willow goes after her. In the background, Dawn’s sitting by herself in the dining room. Giles comes up and says that they can’t tolerate that kind of behaviour from Dawn. Buffy agrees, and says that she’s glad Giles is there to deal with it for her. She heads upstairs and Giles looks concerned then resigned.

He heads in to talk to Dawn. She makes a comment along the lines of “not angry, just disappointed, right?” and he agrees. Except for the part about not being angry. Dawn looks scared. Upstairs, Willow apologises to Tara in a really half arsed way. Tara is having none of her shit. Willow makes a joke about doing more magic to make it better, and Tara stares at her in disbelief before getting into bed. Willow suggests they forget it ever happened, then turns and picks up a sprig of some kind of flower. She holds it in her palm and murmurs “Forget.” The flower glows. Willow turns off the light and climbs into bed. Tara giggles and snuggles up next to her. Willow asks if she’s still mad, and Tara replies “About what?” Willow smiles to herself and closes her eyes. Fade to black.

I’m not a huge fan of this episode. It’s kind of a look-at-all-the-problems-they’re-not-dealing-with episode. Things come to light, but nothing gets resolved. It’s definitely the worst Halloween episode of the three, that’s for sure. And I would say that at least Dawn got some face-nomming out of it, but the face-nomming was creepy, so I’m still coming down on the side of nope.

Lor: I’m more in camp #meh. There was development, I think. The Xander/Anya engagement keeps raising red flags. Buffy’s changing perception of Spike is evident in this episode, from the “rough and tumble” line up to when she compliments his fighting before he leaves. It’s a casual sort of thing to say, but speaks about the leaps and bounds they’ve come already. Buffy keeps shoving her responsibility off on Giles. Willow is being awful. Surprisingly, we spend the most amount of time with Dawn but get the least amount of development from her. Her entire story line was slow, which is why this episodes suffers some.

Sweeney: It also reminded me of this repeated theme of using demonic stuff as a parallel for heartbreak, and I have to say that this shit has gotten disproportionately dumped on the ladies and we’re not even done yet. I couldn’t stop thinking about that, watching Dawnie feels in the dining room. It didn’t have to be this way, either. Xander had some demonic heartbreak of his own, but it was always played for laughs. I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this, but it’s a thought I just had and I’d like everyone in the comments to please give me some ideas on how I should feel about these things.


Next time: IT’S HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Watch us flail like idiots in Buffy the Vampire Slayer S06 E07 – Once More With Feeling.

Sweeney (all posts)

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

Marines (all posts)

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

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  • lev36

    I’d say this does indeed confirm that Dawn is a true Summers girl. While it’s not a great episode over all, there are a couple very good moments that you point out – Buffy’s face at the “rough and tumble” suggestion (so obvious to us she’s feeling some attraction, but I doubt she’s admitted it to herself yet), Giles’ glasses-cleaning revelation.

    I also laughed at the way Justin pipes up with “Living dead”. I can just hear Walter Sobchak saying “Dawnie, dead is not the preferred term. Undead-American, please.”

    But the best thing about this episode is that it queues up Once More With Feeling! I can hardly wait. Break out the popcorn and booze, dim the lights, and get ready for curtain time!

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      It’s going to be MAGICAL. Much like Giles’ glasses cleaning revelation.

  • Democracy Diva

    The Halloween Bone-anza sounds like a great name for a late October viewing of Rocky Horror. Though orgasming on stage was probably not what Team Magic Box had in mind when they thought of that name. (Except Giles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKgVln8XmuE)

    +1 to Buffy’s reaction to “rough and tumble.” Amazing. But that doesn’t even compare to my mental image of Spike at home watching the Great Pumpkin. Like, what a wondrously spectacular detail.

    Awesome money-dance gifs are awesome.

    YAY AMBER TAMBLYN THE ONLY COOL SISTER OF THE TRAVELING PANTS. Unless you count Blake Lively’s hair as a person. Which you should. Because it has more personality than she does.

    There are absolutely not words to describe my excitement for your Once More With Feeling post. This is basically what I have been waiting for since the beginning of time/your Buffy recaps.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Right, I forgot to add my ONCE MORE WITH FEELING EXCITEMENT in my comment so I’m doing it here. No, Kirsti and me didn’t recite Going through the Motions today via Twitter, nope. Not at all.

      Ah yes, I always counted Blake Lively’s hair as a person because it is phenomenal!

      • Jojo

        I’ve got a feeling that they will like OMWF more than this episode. XD

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight there with you on that last point. And you’re right – it does sound like a great name for a Rocky Horror event.

  • Anagnorisis

    I like this episode, it’s entertaining but I feel really sad for that old man 🙁 IDK, weird.
    But I do love Dawn here, a lot of people use this episode to hate Dawn but really, it makes me like her more. Yes, she lies to go out with her friend, something that puts her in trouble, but she chooses the night when it’s supposed to be safe to do it. Also, she is a teenager, she has to make mistakes and rebel and she’s been through horrible things lately.
    And then she meets a guy, probably the first guy she likes and that likes her back and she has her first kiss and when she finds out he is a vampire, she actually kills him!! She doesn’t go ‘Bella Swan’, she doesn’t think she is special and can change him and that it was true love or any of that BS, no, she understands and she gets things done. Awesome.

    • Jojo

      +1 I really agree with this. Yeah, the writing kinda sucked – not the dialogue but the story construction. But Dawn is growing up, and she deserves some pats on the back along with getting her wrist slapped. But, y’know, not from Giles – from BUFFY!

  • Wilhelmina Upton

    Oh Willow, Willow, Willow, you are using too much magic and it’s not a good thing at all. I didn’t remember any of this episode so that’s not a good sign…

    I was missing Giles’ pointy hat that goes with the cape he was wearing in the Magic Box. And maybe I am just super sensitive to this because I watched half of Fantasia today, but FANTASIA REFERENCE from Tara!!!

  • SnazzyO

    This episode gives me Xanya feels. Because the way he looks at her as she does her ADORABLE “Dance of Capital Superiority” tells me how much he does love her. Then Anya with the rushing and Giles with the heavy responsibility just gives Xander the wiggins and it’s very confusing. But they do seem like such a good match – he’s very accepting of her past (often debated as a character flaw on his part but I’m going to give that a big “whatev'”, he’s in love and love makes you do the whacky per Willow/Buffy so there ****sticks tongue out***). And she adores him. They clearly are both sex maniacs who are well matched in that department. They both seem to appreciate cuddling. He’s brought her round to “saving the day” vice “running and fleeing”. I just like these two. And again, the look on his face as he watched her dance … that said so much to me.

    Dawn’s plot.. arrrggggg… if they are going to give us a Dawn story, I wish it had been a better one.

    Willow….I’m so unhappy with you right now.

    Giles, you are the BEST PERSON EVER. I love your snark. OTOH…. hey, how about a direct conversation w/ Xander versus scaring him shitless with reality in an oblique fashion. Just saying.

    • Jojo

      I wouldn’t mind if Xander was accepting of Anya’s past but it seems to me that he is more deliberately ignoring her past and the implications. That’s fine if it works for them. It does however annoy me that Xander’s more than willing to condemn others in the cast for everything he refuses to see in Anya.

      I’m conflicted – I really do love Xander and Anya……but this is where the hypocrite Xander vibes start to annoy me. Then again, it looks like everyone is being less than honest, with others or with themselves.

  • darkalter2000

    First this. Once, Moooore, With, Feeeeling! I have waited for this since forever. I listen to the soundtrack all the time. I have a bunch of the songs memorized. The episode that sits in almost everybodys top 3 Buffy picks. LOVE!

    Willow is becoming an abusive partner in her relationship. Makes me angry with her. Very angry. Mindwiping my Tara! I let you have a relationship with my Tara because you make her happy, but continue down this path and your privileges will be revoked. Mind rape is still rape.

  • Jojo

    Ah, yes – we start the show with Willow raving about stereotypes and end it with Willow slipping Tara the equivalent of mystical roofies. Being a witch isn’t the problem – becoming addicted to the power magic gives you as a way of making your life easier – big problem

    This is a meh episode but it’s a likable meh. Everyone had a chance to get a nice bit in the spotlight. Love the rough and tumble conversation, and you know Spike is loving that reaction even if he doesn’t do his snoopy dance – cuz vamp got nose. Poor Buffy is finally realizing how edible Spike is – and yet he is off the table for her because no soul and I think he may still be saying he’s evil. Xander and Anya announcing their engagement, giving Giles a chance to suitably terrify the groom-to-be. I think it’s a way to winnow out the deluded from the committed – and we are not yet sure where Xander will fall. Dawn – who is now the age Buffy was when she was sneaking out the window to patrol – goes off to park with someone and of course he turns out to be a vamp so she has to KILL A BOY ON THE FIRST DATE. Karma anyone?

    Oh – and you knew exactly what Giles line was gif gold – mist, cemetery, Halloween…should end well. I love it when the show does even teeny meta.

    And Tara is being victimized by the person she loves. Yeah – Glory did a total brain suck. Willow is a bit more surgical. Her intention is not to feed – she wants to be in charge of Tara’s perceptions of the world. Easier to mind wipe your lover than to work through problems.

  • Danna

    Yes this is definitely a “look at all the problems they’re not dealing with” episode. It solidifies issues that have been developing over time and hints at new developments. Buffy wanting Giles to fix things, Willow getting out-of-control with magic, Xander trying to pretend he doesn’t feel uncertain, Giles feeling like he’s going backward, and Dawn acting out like a teenager who is being ignored. Spike seems to be keeping it together at the moment, but as you know, that can change on a dime.

    One snarky thing that sort of bothered me. When Giles went to the cemetery ALONE to look for Dawn? He didn’t even bring a stake with him! Fortunately there was a convenient tree branch sticking out. And then later, I think either Buffy or Spike tossed him a stake. I would think packing wood would be on page 1 of the watcher handbook.

    Many issues to be laid on the table.

  • Clément Polge

    In a way this episode is super setup-y though, because we see so many shit raining on everyone: Xander and his cold feet, Dawn and her identity crisis (“i only liked you because your sister’s the slayer”), Buffy’s overuse of Giles, and Willow’s serious issues with magic.

    I don’t really like this episode either because it just takes for-fucking-ever to get started and spend a ridiculous amount of time just for misdirection, giving the Toby Edit to Sweet (And Not Racist) Old Dude. It’s worth it though, because NEXT EPISODE WOUHOU.

    Also, I’m a fan of the smutty jokes, so bring it on show!

    • Jojo

      I’m afraid that we will build up OMWF so much that it will make it impossible to live up to the hype….kinda like we did to Fool For Love.

      • Clément Polge

        Can you *really* overhype this episode though ? It’s not “the body” perfect, but it’s goddam close. And that’s already saying a lot.

  • wlreed

    I guess I’m the only person who loves this episode. I don’t know why, I just do. It’s got some of my favorite quotes and I really enjoy Dawn in it. I adore the dance of capitalistic superiority. I can see why people don’t like it, but to me it’s kind of fluffy in the middle of some really dark stuff. And the darkness is still there, just sort of on the back burner until the end. If nothing else, it gave me “Bell. Neck. Look k to it.” Which I actually use as often as I can.

  • JEL

    Two minor historical notes (not spoilers) about OMWF. It was the only episode of BtVS that was intended to be seen in 16×9 format (so no funny edge effects). And it runs long. With commercials it was longer than an hour and the UPN let Joss go ahead and exceed his time slot. I remember reading an interview before it aired where Joss said how grateful he was to the network for allowing him to do that. It was reasonably well mentioned at the time (I thought) that it was going to be extra long, but some people missed the news and missed the ending because they didn’t adjust their VCR. (Back in the dark ages this was.). The episode was never broadcast in full again. (Even in the next summer reruns.) Happily the DVDs and the streaming services have the full version.

    ETA: Be sure to watch the “Grrr Argh” monster….

    • darkalter2000

      I don’t get why people are using “ETA:”, “Edit:” says the same thing without a three word acronym.

      • Totally true. Personally, it’s just a long-established habit. I picked it up in my livejournal days and it’s never really left me. More habit than any belief in it being the ideal way to denote an edited comment.

      • Nicole von St Ange

        Lol. I do both depending on which pops into my head first.

        Also – interesting notes JEL!

  • Sarah

    I actually kind of love this episode because it really shows what growing up in Sunnydale — when you’re not the Slayer — is like. There were a lot of parallels between Dawn and S1 Buffy.

  • Jojo

    It’s kind of important that you remember that Willow changed Tara’s memories as they went to bed at the end of this episode. The next episode takes place the following day so Tara is unaware that she is operating under a spell. It’s something to keep in mind during their first long scene together.

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  • THANK YOU for mentioning Joan of Arcadia! That’s always the first thing I think of when I see Amber Tamblyn, and very few people ever know what I’m talking about. She will forever be Joan to me. (And the end of season 1 will forever make me cry.)

  • Brandi1leigh

    I can’t look at Amber Tamblyn and not think about the fact that she’s married to David Cross (Tobias from Arrested Development and other things).

  • SonicRulez

    Normally the sex jokes don’t hit me, but “Not really much for the timber” is great. Probably because I don’t think of Tara as a snarker as much as the rest, so it’s a surprise laugh. Dawn and Anya dancing forever please. Previous episodes hinted at it, but this is the one where you really begin to understand that Xander is not going to happily marry Anya and settle into adult life. She bugs him FOREVER about announcing their engagement and he finally does it when he’s ready without consulting her at all. Then he almost immediately starts making “Fuck, what have I done” eyes at everything. Bad Xander!

    I don’t have any of the hate that certain fans have for Dawn (I saved it all for Riley and now I’m out, I guess) but I can see why episodes like this turned people against her. You guys were FLAWLESS when you pointed out that even though this episode is centered around her, she feels like the least important part of it. They occasionally brought in Plot Device Dawn where she was captured or otherwise in danger just to give Buffy something to do.

    Willow please stop being the worst!

  • Arian_foe

    These latest episodes are making me dislike Willow and NO,PLEASE! make it stop! I have gigantic amounts of Tara empathy so I dislike Willow’s attitude and I can see this “Willow is abusing magic” will bring something nasty

    Dawn’s story wasn’t the most riveting stuff but hey, she’s a teenager and do what teens to: go out with a friend telling she’s sleeping at a friend’s home, be interested in boys, etc. I love someone’s comment that at least she wasn’t a Bella and when she saw her dude was a vamp, she staked him

    The Old Dude made me sad :'(