snark squad | where nostalgia comes to die

Buffy the Vampire Slayer S06 E08 – Mind rape.

and on September 26, 2013 · 79 comments in Buffy the Vampire Slayer,Season 6,TV

Previously: SINGING AND DANCING! Singing and dancing about really depressing stuff. Singing and dancing and then Buffy and Spike kiss.

Tabula Rasa

Lorraine: Cemetery, night, and I’m a little sad this won’t lead to a big number. Buffy turns around suddenly to find that Spike is right behind her. He wants to talk bout the fact that they totally kissed, but Buffy’s taking the, “I don’t want to talk about it” approach to this all. That’s disappointing. I mean, not because I want them to kiss again per se, but because I hate back and forth in relationships. It killed Bangel for me right at the end. JUST KISS HIM, BUFFY. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

K: I’m sorry, but on behalf of those of us who fangirl, I’m gonna go ahead and add in Spike’s line here: “We…we kissed, you and me. All Gone With The Wind, with the rising music, and the rising…music, and what was that, Buffy?” Hehehehehehehehe.

Lor: Fair enough. Fangirls do what they must.

Spike pretty much says that Buffy should just kiss him, in a more gross way (“I know what kind of girl you are.”) (ew. Shut up.), but Buffy insists she’s never, ever going to touch him again. One second later, she launches herself at him, to push him out of the way of an incoming stake. Behind him, some sort of shark-headed-demon is calling off his lackeys, saying there is no reason to get physical. This demon reminds me of a cheap version of Victor Krum during the Triwizard Tournament. Probably because there are only so many shark head references in pop culture.

Like this, but demon-y.

Sweeney: A+ & WE’RE TAKING EVERYONE TO HOGWARTS!

K: I’m gonna go ahead and award a 1430 to Victor Krum for at least knowing that SHARKS DON’T HAVE A DORSEL FIN ON THE TOP OF THEIR HEADS, something this demon clearly doesn’t know.

Lor: Don’t be racist. He was born with his fin that way!

Spike asks Sharky the Demon what he wants, and he smarms a bit before he revealing that Spike owes him a large number of kittens. You know. ‘Cause of kitten poker. Buffy snarks at them for their preferred currency. Spike wants more time to pay, but Sharky the Demon says time turns kittens into cats. #deep

Anyways, this all gives way to a little scuffle, in which Buffy easily knocks out the Lackey Vampires. Sharky the Demon wonders if Buffy has ever thought about dabbling in debt collection, see ’cause he’s a loan shark. GETIT? (K: Given her current state of brokeness, she should maybe take him up on that offer…) Spike takes this opportunity to clear out of there. When Sharky notices that Spike’s gone, he takes his leave as well. Buffy notes that if she’d just stop saving Spike’s life, things would be simpler. Girl. The time for that realization was seasons ago.

A-WOOOOOO. That was my wolf howl, FYI.

Sweeney: Beautifully done. I expect a reenactment the next time I see you. (Don’t worry everyone, I’ll bring my camera.)

Lor: I’ll think about it.

After the credits, Anya, Xander, Willow and Tara are at the Gift Apartment, discussing Buffy’s stint in heaven. Anya is having some of her mouth diarrhea and the other Scoobies glare at her, though she thinks she’s just voicing what everyone is thinking. Tara speaks up and says that Buffy could have been in any one of many heaven dimensions, but she was happy there. Willow admits that she was too selfish to even consider the possibility of heaven.

Xander  can’t wrap his mind around being sad – his friend is alive, so he’s simplified and decided to be happy she’s there. That’s… still selfish. Tara thinks they need to stop obsessing about what they did, and start focusing on ways they can make things better for Buffy. Anya agrees. Xander’s suggestion is to spend more time with Buffy. Willow jumps in to suggest a spell, but Tara slaps that down quickly. Willow insists that she knows a spell that will make Buffy forget heaven, and that sends Tara over the edge. “What is wrong with you,” she asks, while slamming her cup down. Xander and Anya have enough tact to clear the room and let the witches talk.

As soon as they are out of the room, Tara asks Willow, “do you think I’m stupid?” She knows about the forgetting spell. Willow starts an apology, but Tara doesn’t want to hear any of it. She can’t believe Willow would violate her mind in that way, especially after what Glory did to her. Willow is surprised that Tara said “violate,” as she didn’t mean it that way. I believe she probably didn’t mean it that way, but realizing that Willow didn’t see mind rape as mind rape only makes it worse for me.

Willow says she didn’t want to fight any more. Tara: If you don’t want to fight, you don’t fight. You don’t use magic to make a fight disappear. Tara goes on to say that Willow doesn’t get to decide what is best for them. Will says she realizes she did it wrong, and Tara points out this is her modus operandi– she uses magic to fix things to her own liking. She may have started wanting to help people, but now there is just this. Willow controlling the outcome of all things.

Sweeney: Reiterating what you said, the fact that Willow doesn’t even get that what she did was wrong makes it so much worse. She just wanted them to stop fighting and be closer. Sorry not sorry for getting all real and serious and shit, but: rapists are usually someone the victim knows and it’s generally about one party wanting something the other doesn’t. The fact that someone (a (mind)rapist) can’t see that making that call for the other person (a victim of (mind)rape) is violating them, and that they’ve done something wrong? Yes. That is even more awful.

K: Exactly. Add in a dose of an apology that smacks of “I’m sorry you feel that way” (read: I’m not sorry at all), and we’re on the train to Hulk Smash town.

Lor: Tara lowers her head for a few seconds before looking at Willow again and saying she doesn’t think this, their relationship, is going to work. This scene has been shot very tightly, so that we are right in Tara and Willow’s space. It truly feels like we are butting into a private conversation. I can barely look at Tara as Willow says she needs her, but not magic. Will offers to go a month without magic. Tara sighs slightly and nods her head knowingly as she tells Willow to go a week. She knows, she knows, she knows this is about more than magic. Tara knows here Willow won’t make it. “Go a week and then we’ll see.” Tara says they need space and Willow asks if this means she’s going to leave.

Sweeney: My heart breaks so much for Tara right now.

Lor: We Segue Magic over to Giles who says, “I have to.”

K: This was a perfect transition for me, especially following on from Tara and Giles’ duet in OMWF.

Lor: Buffy is distraught. Giles tells her to be strong, but all she sees is that Giles is abandoning her in a time of need. Buffy begs him not to leave, because she can’t do it without him. Giles says she can, and explains that as long as he sticks around, Buffy will always use him as a crutch. He’ll always step in because he can’t see her suffer. Buffy points out that she’s pretty much all maxed out on suffering anyway, but Giles has made up his mind. He’s taught her everything about being a Slayer, and Joyce taught her about life (LOL. YEAH RIGHT. I mean, RIP Joyce). She needs to trust that and do things on her own.

Buffy then asks the question that I’ve been asking myself about Giles’s decision: why now? He’s brought the issue to her attention, and she says she won’t give up. She’ll be strong, but he can still be there for her. Giles says leaving is the right thing to do. Buffy tells him he’s wrong and storms out.

Summers’ Home. Tara and Dawn are waiting downstairs for Willow. She comes down in a towel and tells them she isn’t ready, and that they should go ahead. Tara is noticeably short and heads off with Dawn. Alone, Willow magics her clothes on and promptly does more magic: a spell for Tara and Buffy to forget their grim memories. She repeats “tabula rasa” three times and I DON’T WANT TO GIVE THE GLITTERY STAR TO HER FOR MAGIC ABUSE.

title star

Sweeney: I HATE WHEN PEOPLE TAINT THE STAR.

K: Not only did she taint the star, but she broke her promise to Tara within, like, twelve hours.

Lor: WHATEVER, WILLOW. I’M MAD BUT TAKE YOUR STAR. She sticks a crystal in her pocket, and once it goes completely black, the spell will be complete.

At the Magic Box, Dawn is excitedly asking what monster of the week they are facing. Giles says no monsters, just as Willow and Xander walk in, her thanking him for lending her his jacket. Giles starts to stumble through his “I’m leaving speech,” but Buffy butts in with a, “cut to the chase!” That is interrupted with Spike running in, sizzling, AND FOR FUCK’S SAKE. HIS PROTECTION FROM THE SUN IS A HAT. He’s also wearing a suit as a disguise.

Sweeney: Whedon, you are using sunlight to confuse me. Sorry, I’ll stop making all of my comments tags. Maybe.

K: Never stop, Sweeney. Because Snark Squad tags are made of magic, and should be shared with as many people as possible.

Lor: Agreed.

Spike starts blabbing about the Sharky Demon for a bit, and Willow uses the time to pull out the crystal from her pocket. It’s turned black.

Giles resumes his speech. He’s leaving, back to England, indefinitely. Xander is shocked, and Anya starts being hopeful about having this shop to herself again. I kind of want to slap her. Buffy can’t take it and starts to storm out, but Willow calls out to her. She apologizes, but Buffy doesn’t want to hear her apologies either. Everyone is sorry but no one knows how she feels. She says she feels like she’s dying, and then she passes out. The camera goes around the room showing us that all of the Scoobies have passed out. Dramatic music caries us to the Summers’ home, where we see Willow’s spell ingredients are all consumed by fire.

After a Not Break, we join back at the Magic Box where it’s communal nap time. It looks fucking fantastic. Sorry. I need a nap.

Sweeney: Naps save the day. SORRY, I CAN’T HELP MYSELF.

Lor: Buffy wakes first and she’s very confused. She turns on the lights which stirs everyone else. Willow and Xander gasp awake before Xander gives her a, “hey” and an eyebrow waggle. The confusion is universal.

K: I’m going to stop right here to discuss the fact that I love that they all basically go through their entire character arc in the space of about 25 minutes. Willow’s reaction to waking up next to a guy she (thinks she) doesn’t know is pure season 1 geek Willow. 

Lor: Dawn is the first to truly speak and she asks, “who are you people?” Ruh-roh! Memory loss hijinks! Buffy approaches Dawn cautiously and says she doesn’t know anyone there either. She can’t answer Dawn’s, “who are you?” though.

Xander is the next to ask who the heck everyone is, and Willow is shocked that he doesn’t know her, on account of his earlier eyebrow waggle. Xander admits that he just thought she was a girl. Willow does a quick boob-check to confirm that she is indeed a girl, but not a girl who remembers who she is exactly.

Giles stands up and asks if anyone remembers anything, and no one does. His first explanation is that they all got drunk and blacked out. GILES, DON’T LEAVE ME. Dawn says she doesn’t think she drinks, and Anya says she doesn’t see booze, feel head bumps, or see Allen Funt.

Xander’s panicking a bit, but Buffy says that no one looks particularly axe-murdery so they are probably safe. Willow points out all the weird stuff in the shop, and Tara says they are in a magic shop. Buffy thinks maybe something magic happened to them and Giles laughs. MAGIC IS FAKE. He has managed to deduce that he’s British, a man and wears glasses. A+ Giles.

K: Except that the “British” thing pisses me off. GILES, YOU ARE CLEARLY ENGLISH. Great Britain = England + Scotland + Wales + Northern Ireland. I think you should be able to narrow things down a *little* more than that, dude.

Lor: It’s the stress.

Dawn whines that she doesn’t like this, and Buffy tells her that they will take care of each other. She does the Sisterly Hair Stroke that immediately tickles my feels. It’s been too long.

Sweeney: Fictional sisters who give me actual sister feelings. It’s too easy.

Lor: Giles tells everyone they will get their memory back and be right as rain. Spike starts to make fun of “Mary Poppins,” with his stiff upper lip and nancy-boy accent, up until he realizes.

 

K: I adore this moment so much.

Lor: Spike wonders if maybe he’s related to Giles, and Anya says they do share a certain amount of ruggedly handsome. Giles beams at her before saying he does feel a certain amount of familiarity and disappointment toward Spike. He asks maybe if he’s the older brother, but Spike is all, “NOPE. FATHER.” He must’ve seen Restless. (S: MEMORY HIGH FIVE FOR YOU. YOU GIVE GOOD TV.) (K: I also feel the need to mention that the suit Spike’s wearing is the same one he wore in Restless when he and Giles were playing on the swings.) Spike assumes he must hate Papa Giles, because isn’t that always the way? Besides, he saw Giles sleeping with Anya, whom he calls a trollop. Giles says they were merely resting together, but Anya spots the ring on her finger and assumes they are engaged. Giles smiles at her real nice. Spike is now upset he’s got a “tarty” step mother half Papa Giles’s age. Giles is insulted. He’s still young enough to get carded.

Sweeney: LOL. I love you dearly Giles, but LOL.

Lor: While that’s laughable, it does inspire Willow to tell everyone to look at their driver’s licenses, and quick, before this becomes the Giles and Spike show. Xander identifies himself as Alexander Harris. Willow is up next and she giggles over being, “Willow,” which she thinks is weird. Tara says she thinks it’s pretty. Wait ’til you get your memory back, girl. Tara says she’s a student at U.C. Sunnydale, and Willow wonders if they are study buddies. Sure. The sexual kind.

Dawn tells Buffy she doesn’t have a wallet, but it’s okay because she’s wearing a name necklace. I used to have one of those. Buffy tells her she’s Dawn, and she jokes, “or Umad.”

Giles says he’s Rupert Giles and Spike has a good laugh over “Rupert,” though Giles mumbles something about being able to put Spike across his knee. It’s like this episode is trying to launch fan fics. Giles asks what he named Spike, and Spike looks at the inside of his jacket that is labeled, “Made with care for Randy.” Randy-Spike is pissed at having to be Randy. “Why not just call me ‘Horny Giles’…?”

K: The first time I saw this episode, I laughed until I cried over that line. Sorry not sorry.

Lor: Willow notices that she’s wearing a jacket with Xander’s last name on it, so they assume that they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Anya, now over by the cash register, proudly proclaims that she’s Anya, but will less “ahn” and more “an.” She’s figured out that the magic shop belongs to both her and Rupert.

Since Buffy can’t remember her name, Dawn offers to name her. Buffy thinks that’s sweet, but decides she wants to name herself. She picks Joan. Dawn thinks this is a bad pick, and they argue a bit until they start talking over each other. It’s then that they deduce that they are sisters. They hug.

Sweeney: I already did this tag, but I love the Summers sisters so very much.

Lor: Randy-Spike is watching all this and yells at Giles for never showing him affection like that. Joan-Buffy says they need to get going, and Randy-Spike says Joan-Buffy thinks she’s the boss. J-Buff just wants to watch out for the teenager in the room and get to a hospital. Everyone seems to agree. Xander offers Willow his arm and she takes it. J-Buff asks for suggestions on how to get to the hospital, and Randy-Spike says Papa Giles can drive. “He’s bound to have some classic midlife-crisis transport. Something red, shiny, shaped like a penis.”

K: There’s that new network again – two references to penises, and we’re only half way through the episode!

Lor: Buffy opens the front door, and they find the two Lackey Vampires from the beginning of the episode.

 

THIS MOMENT: BROUGHT TO YOU BY TUMBLR.

Sweeney: LOOK AT YOU, GIRL! And you didn’t even know we were playing this game!

K: FAVOURITE MOMENT EVER.

Lor: After the screaming, they all head back inside and crouch down on the floor. Randy-Spike identifies them as vampires, and after ruling out the possibility of Halloween and costumes, everyone starts to freak out. Willow takes Xander with her to barricade the doors. Buffy wonders if they already knew that monsters were real, and Tara, her stutter making a come back, says that they need to get to a hospital STAT. Forgive her; she doesn’t remember how crazy Sunnydale’s hospital is. She’ll probably suggest calling the police soon.

Papa Giles says that maybe they should use the stuff in the magic shop to fight them and Joan-Buffy is hilarious shaking her head. The Lackey Vampires, meanwhile, are still banging on the doors and windows.

 

Joan-Buffy fiddles with a stake and things only get more confusing when they think the vampires are shouting, “slay her” instead of “slayer.”

 

Willow and Xander return, and they’ve found the trap door in the basement that leads to the sewers. Just as they are heading that way, the vampires break into the store. One vampire grabs J-Buff, Xander drops to his knees and tries a few prayers (K: Which reminds me FAR too much of Beni in The Mummy), and another vampire pins Spike against a bookshelf. He demands his kittens. Buffy breaks free of the vampire that has her, kneeing him in his junk and kicking him. She runs over to help Randy-Spike. She stakes the Lackey Vamp, though is surprised by the resulting dust. The remaining vampire skedaddles.

The Scoobies are impressed by J-Buff’s skills. She doesn’t know how she did it, but she smiles as she proclaims it, “cool.” SHE SMILES. She tells the others that she thinks Joan is in charge because she’s a super hero. Xander faints.

K: Does J-Buff referring to herself as a superhero count as Avengers shots?

Lor: …no. But have a shot anyways!

Outside, Sharky the Demon is saying that there is no need for fighting. The humans will turn on Spike soon.

Inside, Joan-Buffy has a plan: since she’s strong and the demons want Randy, they will give them a run for the money while the others get to the hospital. Anya says she isn’t leaving the money, and Giles says they can probably help with something magic-y. J-Buff asks Randy-Spike if he’s ready and he is, but before they leave, Giles calls him over.

 

Beautiful.

Sweeney: That was one of my favorite things, and I know I can find a million uses for that second gif.

Lor: Joan-Buffy and Randy-Spike run out of the shop and one of the Lackeys quickly grabs Randy-Spike. He vamps out and super-punches the vampire away. J-Buff calls out for him, and he turns around, really happy about being a super hero too. J-Buffy is shocked by his vamp-grill and takes off running. Randy-Spike is punched in the face by a lackey.

After a Not Break, Randy-Spike fights off the whole group of vampires and takes off after Joan-Buffy.

In the sewers, Xander is helping the girls down, and Tara and Willow let a touch linger. Not for too long, though, because there is a vampire in the sewer and they must run

At the Magic Box, Giles finds his ticket to London. He pockets it quickly and asks Anya if she has the book they need. She brings one over and says her intuition tells her it’s the right one. They aren’t listening to Giles’s intuition because he appears to be more of a paperwork guy. I think Giles is thinking, “and maybe this is why I’m leaving her.”

Anya opens up the magic book and chants the first spell she finds.

 

BUNNIES. ROCK SIDEBAR? NO? NO? NO? NO? Okay.

Sweeney: Snark Squad Recommends: Taking this opportunity to pause this episode for 20 seconds to listen to Anya’s rock sidebar before continuing on.

K: A+, 10/10 would recommend.

Lor: Randy-Spike catches up to Joan-Buffy and she quickly pins him down. She realizes he doesn’t even know he’s a vampire and gives him a chance to feel his face bumpies and check out his fangs.

 

I was cackling by “help the helpless.” I mean, that’s about as much crossover magic as we’ll get now-a-days. (S: But there’s some old crossover magic if anyone cares. Because tags.)

K: I love it when they have Spike make “Angel is lame” jokes. You were not alone in cackling, Lor.

Lor: I give most of that joke credit to Buffy. Spike was seemingly sincere. BUT CACKLES NONETHELESS.

Magic Box. Anya has made a lot bunnies.

In the sewers, the gang is still running from the vampire and in hiding, Tara and Willow are forced very close together. We spend a lot of seconds just watching them breathe each other’s air. Sexually.

Anya is still refusing to put down the book that’s making all the bunnies. She’s even got a nefarious looking green cloud all conjured up. Giles yells at her.

Joan-Buffy and Randy-Spike fight off a group of vampires while Sharky the Demon watches. J-Buffy Buffy Breaks! a mailbox into a perfectly fashioned stake and I squee a bit.

Magic Box. Giles is sword fighting with an animated skeleton, still yelling on Anya to put the freaking book down.

Sewers. Willow asks Dawn how she’s doing, and Dawn admits that it’s scary but familiar. Willow says she’s confused, between the hiding from the vampire thing, and also thinking she’s “kind of gay.”

K: DOPPELGANGLAND REFERENCE!!!!

Lor: Magic Box. There is now some growling coming from somewhere in the shop. Anya and Giles are hiding behind the counter. He calls Anya a lunatic and she releases a string of insults before saying she feels compelled to take some vengeance. She hits him on the head with a book. Giles says it’s no wonder he’s leaving her, and she angrily removes and throws her ring.

Sewers. The vampire finds Xander and punches him a few times, though Xander gets a few hits in himself.

Magic Box. Giles whispers a spell and we hear a thunderclap and then silence. He’s undone all the bunnies and monsters. Anya runs toward her discarded ring and Giles apologizes to her. She reciprocates, saying she picked the wrong book. Anya calls him, “Rupy.” She tells him not to leave and this leads to a kiss and THIS IS SO WEIRD. But funny. But, like, weird.

Sweeney: I think I might be laughing because I’m uncomfortable, as discomfort usually makes me giggle.

Lor: Sewers. The Lackey Vamp pushes Willow into Tara so they land on top of each other. Sexually. The crystal goes flying from her pocket. Sexually. Wait, no, whoops. Sorry. Got carried away. Xander fights the vampire while Dawn locates a conveniently placed pointy piece of wood. She shouts for “Alex” and tosses him the stake. Xander stakes the vampire. Willow and Tara are still on top of each other and it leads to a kiss.

Xander gets up and accidentally steps on the black crystal, smashing it. The spell is broken, and Tara pushes Willow off of her. At the Magic Box, Giles and Anya are still kissing, but they stop and their eyes widen. Buffy and Spike are still fighting and Buffy happily says you shouldn’t mess with Joan, when her memories come slamming into her. She freezes and a vampire punches her in the face.

After a cut to black, Buffy is still on the ground, being kicked repeatedly. She doesn’t make a move to fight and I think the memories are hurting worse than the kicks. Spike calls out to her.

In the sewers, Tara is glaring at Willow, disgust written over her face. Willow feels her pocket and finds it empty. Dawn notices the smashed crystal and it seems everyone is realizing what happened. Xander says they should get back and walks away with Dawn. Willow stands, but Tara can’t even look her in the eyes. Willow follows after Xander and Tara after that.

K: I honestly think it was Dawn’s face that hurt the most. Tara looks almost resigned, like she knew Willow wouldn’t be able to go a whole week without using magic. But Dawn looks betrayed.

Lor: Spike is still fighting and Buffy is still on the ground. Spike finishes with the last of the vampires. Sharky the Demon nervously approaches Spike, but Spike’s good for the damn kittens. Sharky will get paid.

Spike asks Buffy if she’s alright, and offers his hand to help her up. She doesn’t take it, stands, scowls and walks away.

We’re at The Bronze and Michelle Branch is on stage. Huh. Thanks to Michelle Branch being on stage, we get an extended musical montage: Buffy is sitting alone at the bar, staring at nothing. Tara is at the Summers’ home, packing up her things. Willow sits alone in the bathroom. Michelle Branch sings her relevant song about good-byes. Giles is on an airplane because he was serious about leaving in the middle of all this shit. He’s sad though, so there’s that. Willow’s lip quivers. Buffy is still vacant when Spike finds her at the bar. She won’t look at him so he leaves. Michelle Branch sings. Tara leaves and Dawn is a brat about it. Willow is sad. Giles is sad. Buffy and Spike are making out now.

Once again, I am not super impressed by this episode ending kiss. MEH.

K: Obligatory SPUFFY!!!!!! squeeing from Team Heartless Cow.

Lor: I know, I know. And I like the both of them, but this entire, “EW. NEVER GONNA KISS YOU!” “Okay gonna kiss you now.” thing is already old.

Despite that, though, what a fun episode. I mean, about as fun as season 6 Buffy can be, and only because no one really remembered they were in season 6. I love that there was plenty of follow-up from Once More With Feeling. Giles and Tara both followed through with their decisions to leave, for better or worse, right or wrong. However you feel about Giles leaving, he truly believes he’s doing what’s right, and he’s sticking by his guns.

Sweeney: I wasn’t a fan of his decision to leave so abruptly the first time, but this time it feels right. Painful, but right. (Tara too, obviously.)

Lor: Some people mentioned that this is a favorite all time episode and although I can see it ranking very high in the season for me, I can’t imagine it ranking high overall at the end of everything. I’m going to be honest and say that’ll probably be because my top five will be FEELSY EPISODE, MUSICAL, FEELSY EPISODE, FEELSY EPISODE, FEELSY EPISODE. Who knows though.

Sweeney: LOLOLOL. +1 At least we know ourselves? #teamfeelsforever (But ZOMG this episode is fun.)

K: Meanwhile, over on Team Heartless Cow, this is my second favourite episode ever. Because I base my favourites on rewatchability, which automatically discounts the feelsy episodes. Plus, I have no fucks to give about Bangel, which gets rid of a bunch of feelsy episodes.

I think the reason that I love this episode so much is that it’s the breaking point of everything that’s been building up over the course of the season so far. And it’s done in a way that’s feelsy AND funny. The Scoobies, as I mentioned before, go through their full character arcs in the space of 25 minutes. And I love that there’s no big “Please don’t leave me” scene at the end between Willow and Tara. Willow KNOWS that she fucked up and broke her promise. I can’t even hate Dawn for having a brat moment when Tara leaves. Because Tara was the closest thing Dawn had to a parent while Buffy was gone (Giles may be Buffy’s surrogate father, but he’s always been more uncle-esque towards Dawn, and Willow’s more like a sister), and now Tara’s leaving her too? A little 15 year old girl angst is totally understandable. In short (ha), Team Heartless Cow loves ALL THE THINGS.

Lor: I can totally see why it’s a favorite. I must say, though, that while rewatchability might be a factor, a list based on rewatchability is a list of, “these are the episodes I like to watch a lot.” That doesn’t necessarily speak to quality overall. And plus, my list will have 0 rewatchability factored in because, um, I haven’t rewatched anything.

I think Xander was the person who truly had a full arc in an episode. Sort of a pansy, joking along, but down in the sewers when it was time to fight, he jumps right into the fray does so. Dawn gets nothing except for a heaping of whining. Buffy is fantastic to see, because it reminds us that stripped of past experience, she’s so much a Slayer that she even enjoys what she does. Spike is great because he feels noble.

Lots of highlights, and yes a fantastic episode, that I’m sure you all will have different ideas on just how fantastic.

 

Next time: RAT AMY! in Buffy the Vampire Slayer S06 E09 – Smashed.

 

Lorraine (all posts)

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





Sweeney (all posts)

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





Kirsti (all posts)

I'm a 30-something under-employed librarian and I still live with my parents because I'm super broke. Leader of Team Heartless Cow. I have an inexplicable love for 90s television, eat too much chocolate, and tweet about the random crap that happens to me on public transport more than I should.





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  • http://natalie-writes.tumblr.com/ Natalie Meyer

    Proud member of Team Heartless Cow here. Love Joan & Randy. Love this episode. And especially love the Spuffy kiss at the end of this one and the last one. Bring on episode nine!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      +1 on Team Heartless Cow.

    • lev36

      Episode nine! Oh yeah, bring the house down. :-)

      • behind blueiz

        Wink, wink, nod, nod, say no more say no more. ;)

        • Jojo

          Smashing good!

      • Melbourne on my Mind

        I may have cheered a little when I worked out that I got to cover episode 9.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      I’m guessing Kirsti will like covering episode 9? Don’t answer, don’t answer. Spoilers.

      TEAM HEARTLESS COW ALWAYS HAS ALL THE MEMBERS. Sweeney and me, just chillin’ on our Feels Couch. D:

      • http://natalie-writes.tumblr.com/ Natalie Meyer

        I won’t answer, but I will say that you probs know the answer. Ahem.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          Being good at TV is a blessing and a curse. ;)

          It’s so hard to have to watch this series at a tempered pace. WANT TO WATCH NOW.

          • Wilhelmina Upton

            I don’t know how you’re doing it *imaginary hat*

          • http://natalie-writes.tumblr.com/ Natalie Meyer

            Right? When I discovered it around the end of last year, well…self restraint was at zero. I think I watched the whole series in like a month. It was awesome.

      • Clément Polge

        Team feels all the way here. Except for Bangel, for which I’m team Ugh.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          I think you just want to be on the couch with me and Sweeney.

          • Clément Polge

            Well, that’s definitely on the “pro” list.

      • Melbourne on my Mind

        Who wants to sit on a couch when there’s AN OTTOMAN???

    • Ashlea Kobukowski

      *raises hand* also a proud member of Team Heartless Cow :)

      • Regina

        Pretty sure I was born a Heartless Cow :)

  • Wilhelmina Upton

    Gosh i love this episode, I didn’t remember it to be this funny. I mean, only the amnesia part is really funny when they all have no clue who they are. I laughed so hard over the Giles/Anya thing when she was hitting him with the book?! PRICELESS!

    Oh, and Sweeney, never change with your tagging the tags of tags.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      It was really funny. I think the Papa Giles and Spike bits were my favorite. But yes, it’s only funny because for a while, they go to forget all the crap they’ve come up against the past years.

      The vengeance part made me giggle too. It’s funny that Anya and Giles just assumed they were together right from the beginning.

      • Wilhelmina Upton

        Like it’s the most natural thing. And it’s interesting, Tara and Willow kinda felt they belong together whereas Xander and Anya didn’t even though they are engaged and supposed to be head over heels for each other. Just something to consider.

        Also, I was robbed of so many jokes this episode. Germans suck at translating the good and slightly dirty ones.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          Excellent point. Even Buffy and Dawn were drawn to each other, in that sisterly way. Randy agrees to go off with Joan. Xander and Anya? Nope.

  • lev36

    One of my all-time favorite episodes, and I love the continuity with “Restless”. And while Tara is, alas, right to leave Willow at this point, I don’t think Giles made the right choice. I know he wants Buffy to have a fulfilling life as a self-reliant adult, which is laudable, but she’s the Slayer, and I think different rules apply. She’s never going to HAVE a normal life, and what she needs most is support while she does her slayer-y job for however long she’s got.

    I dunno; it’s a tough call either way. But I think he could have found some other way of backing off a bit without leaving her completely.

    And I thought the kiss at the end was poignant – maybe because I’ve been in a similar situation myself, and lemme tell you, deeply conflicting feelings about someone are no fun at all.

    I love the Giles-family thing; I could just see the Rupert, Anya and “Randy” going off on family vacations together and not getting along in various hilarious ways.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      I didn’t pick up on the continuity until the part where Spike says father! Kristi brought it up earlier in her comments, but since I didn’t realize it until that moment, I moved her comment down. I LOVE THE CONTINUITY. Restless is definitely an episode I’m going to rewatch right after I’m done. It’s so much fun.

      I agree about the tough call. I also know my opinion is clouded by my Buffy feels. EVERYONE HELP BUFFY, PLEASE.

      I think perhaps I had a preconceived notion of what Spuffy was and that’s my bad. The reality is super different, and not for better or worse, but just different. The kiss at the end is meaningful, and I’ve been in the “bad for you” sort of relationship too. Right about Buffy’s age, in fact. It ISN’T fun, and that is translating into a weird watching experience. It’s not what I expected. It reminds me that in California, I tried to get Sweeney to give me a slight spoiler about Spuffy. I can’t even remember what I asked her, but her answer was, “WHAT? NO. IT’S NOT EVEN LIKE THAT.” I need to wrap my head around the dynamics of these two.

      Um, the Giles family spinoff, please.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      NGL, I would watch an entire show based around Rupert, Anya and “Randy” going on family holidays.

      • Regina

        I WOULD WATCH THE SHIT OUT OF THAT.

  • Katharine Short

    I remember a lot of Spike related discussion about this episode when it first aired. Discussion that may give us all soul-related headaches but … Spike doesn’t remember that he has a chip. Why does he not behave in an “evil” way? And when he does find out he is a vampire he feels no compulsion to be bad but assumes he is a noble vampire – again, without remembering the chip, and without the restraining factor of a soul. Also, at first Spike was speaking with a lot less of the Mockney accent – he sounded more posh – memory loss stopping him affecting his bad-boy persona and reverting to his normal accent?

    I love the combination of feels and humour in the episode – e.g. the contrast between Joan’s delight in her powers and Buffy’s reaction when her memory returns is heart-breaking. Joan is an interesting choice of name for Buffy as even before she realised she had super-powers she chose the name of a renowned female warrior from history.

    I also seem to remember Gile’s threat to put Spike over his knee did indeed launch a thousand fan-fics – there was so much Buffy inspired vampire BDSM fan-fic out there waaaay before EL James decided to “spice up” Twilight…

    This is definitely one of my all time favourite episodes and one that I re-watch over and over, usually as a double hander after a sing-along session with OMWF.

    • Danna

      Really good points about the way Spike behaved when he lost his memory. So much I could say about that. Oh, and spanking fics with Giles and Spike are being written to this day!

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      I like the Joan of Arc implications, but I also like that Buffy – the girl whose name is mocked throughout the course of the series – would pick a really plain, traditional name for herself. It’s like she’s tired of standing out of the crowd and just wants to be like everybody else for a change.

      • Petra47

        Just like when she picked “Ann” in Season 3.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          This is what I thought of when I heard Joan. Just, good ole Joan. But I like both Joan of Arc and what @justdisa:disqus said about Joyce/Dawn.

      • Disa

        I liked the Joan of Arc implications, too. I also note that Joan is a neat combination of Joyce and Dawn.

  • stephynee

    My favorite bit in this episode is when one of the Lackey Vamps has Spike, and he says, “fine, take your damn spikes!” and throws all the stakes on the floor LOL.

    I’m not usually a fan of back and forth romances either, but I think it makes sense here because it’s SPIKE. She’s using him, and she doesn’t even really like him much at this point. I think Spuffy fans tend to hype this relationship up a bit much because it’s not really supposed to be romantic, and MEH or discomfort is a good response to what’s going on between them? I don’t know! Sometimes I try to explain my thoughts and I make no sense all of the time.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      I can’t speak for all Spuffy fans, but I definitely don’t see the relationship as romantic. When the big kiss happened at the end of OMWF, all my squeeing was because “OMG THE WRITERS ARE FINALLY DOING THIS?!?!?!?!?!” The relationship between Spike and Buffy has always been a strange one, all the way back to season 2. I mean, how many other vampires out there would team up with the Slayer to stop the world from ending?

      In summary, it’s less “YAY, ROMANCE OMG” and more “It’s about fucking time, I’ve been waiting years for this moment.”

      • Clément Polge

        +1 to all of that, that was exactly my reaction as well: it’s creepy because it’s self-destructive on both sides, but it’s been such a long time coming…

      • stephynee

        Haha no, I totally get that, that’s how I feel about Spuffy too! I just meant that someone who has been pre-spoiled about Buffy/Spike may be really confused when it actually starts to happen and it doesn’t unfold the way they expected it to? Like I said, I’m bad with the explaining.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          YES. THIS.

          I mean, it’s a ship, right? And granted you can ship all sorts of things, but what I’ve seen of the ship built up this expectation that is just NOT reality. I wasn’t expecting the uncomfortable and WHUT reaction I’m having. I can’t even be relieved that they are finally getting to where they’ve been headed because it’s a hot mess.

          it’s weird.

    • Petra47

      I completely understand, and I will have lots to say in the upcoming episodes. I’m a Spuffy-shipper, but there are definitely some huge issues with the pairing that sometimes get glossed over with the fangirl squees.

      • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

        I respect this admission. And it helps me put inter perspective that there is still story to come. Ships aren’t always perfect, ya know?

  • Clément Polge

    “Xander can’t wrap his mind around being sad – his friend is alive, so he’s simplified and decided to be happy she’s there. That’s… still selfish.”

    I’m not sure I would call that selfish, I think it’s more of a “we can’t change the past, so let’s focus on the new”, which is probably a good idea.

    Also, when Spike talks about Giles’ car, “Something red, shiny, shaped like a penis.”, isn’t that exactly the car we saw him drive not so long ago ? I can’t remember the episode though…

    And at the risk of being the odd man out, I’m not really fond of this episode… It’s funny, yeah, but it feels super slow and the sewers scenes are kind of boring. Not one I’d rewatch on its own.

    And I think Buffy going back and forth is actually a testament to her mental state, so knows she shouldn’t, but she just have the need to FEEL so she still go to Spike, but only using him… That’s really ugly for both of them.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Yes, the description of the car made me immediately think of the one Giles drove last season or so.

    • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

      Also +1 to basically all of this, but specifically your comments on Xander. I don’t think it was selfish of him to say, “Here’s where we’re at and I’m glad she’s alive, so let’s figure out what to do next.”

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      The problem I have with Xander’s approach is this: it’s fine for him to be happy that she’s back. But he has zero useful suggestions to offer on HOW TO HELP BUFFY. So it comes out as selfish because he gets as far as “here’s how this makes me feel”, and then stops. You know?

      • Clément Polge

        Yeah but it at least have the merits of reorienting the discussion to something that have a chance to produce something…

        Plus I think he’s mostly overwhelmed, and that voicing how he feels is somehow helping him process, which is kind of necessary.

        And it reminds me of that “cirle of pain” theory Sweeney (I think?) linked to at some point, and he’s at least expressing with people in the same circle as he is.

        • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

          YES to the circle of pain thing. This is exactly that. They’re on the same basic circle; Anya and Tara might technically be out one rung from Xander and Willow, but the point still holds. It’s not like he’s saying that to Buffy; he’s expressing that feeling to Willow, Tara, and Anya.

      • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

        Eh, he doesn’t have great suggestions, but he *is* trying. Xander’s such an easy scape goat because of his insecurity, but he does offer up that stupid video club idea. The basic point of which would be to be there for Buffy and spend time with her. This notion gets no follow through because it’s interrupted by the Tara/Willow fight, but it’s not a completely invalid idea.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      IDK. I stand by my Xander statement. I think Tara said the, “we can’t change the past” thing better, and that is not selfish. That’s just life.

      Tara: Not to be Miss Psycho Pep Squad, but we have got to stop obsessing about what we did and start trying to make things better for Buffy.

      Xander: I just feel weird feeling bad that my friend’s not dead. It’s … too mind-boggling. So I’ve decided to simplify the whole thing. Me like Buffy. Buffy’s alive, so, me glad.

      It’s too hard for HIM to feel bad for what they’ve done to Buffy so he’s decided to be glad she’s there, because it’s easier for HIM. It’s not a huge deal because he goes on to offer ways to make things easier for Buffy, but that whole sentiment seemed selfish to me.

      I will at least amend that it’s understandably selfish. It happens when faced with tragedy. You can’t help but think about how it affects you and how you can make it easier, etc.

      It’s driving me nuts that I can’t find the episode where we saw the car, though i can picture the scene perfectly in my head.

      • Disa

        “Real Me” is the episode in which we see Giles with his little two-door tramp.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          THANK YOU. I was close when I realized that I’d dedicated way too much work time to the search. ;)

  • Danna

    It was mightily fantastic! And a perfect follow-up to OMWF. In the last episode, all the uncomfortable issues came to light but we didn’t know exactly what would come of it. In this episode, everybody lands in their spot. I realize Giles left because ASH needed to leave, but I sort of hate Giles for it anyway. He could have helped Buffy get to where she needed to be without making that harsh decision. It was just wrong, and the wrongness of it is born out in spades. Maybe there is something to be said for personal growth through hard times, But Buffy has had enough hard times and could
    have used Giles in her corner.

    I so disagree about the meh factor of the makeout session at the end. This was not the same as the melodrama that happened between Buffy and Angel. This was about Buffys desperation, and it broke my heart. This is about Buffys problem figuring out “how to live in this world”. Spike is a numbing escape. They both sang about it in OMWF. And as sympathetic as I am to Buffy, I have to say that by this episode I am starting to get really pissed off about the way she treats Spike like he’s an ant she needs to step on… Until she needs her drug, and then he’s conveniently there for her. I don’t like it! It’s not right, even if he is a demon.

    Here is some artwork I did for this episode, if anyone is interested.
    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/chasingdemons/50823861/18329/18329_original.jpg

    • Regina

      You’re so talented, I love Willow’s hair especially.
      Agree about the way Buffy treats Spike, it’s a sign the whole relationship is not right.

      • Danna

        Thank you! :)

        The relationship is not right at all. But I do love to watch the train wreck!

        • Regina

          And her expression, the whole way you captured her.
          I love it too, it’s done so well. I like to think of it as the Masochism Tango :)

  • Ashlea Kobukowski

    This is one of my favorite episodes of all time! I love how silly and campy it is but I also love the layers underneath. The show always has deeper currents below the plot. I know it’s hard for all of us to take because Willow is one of the most beloved characters ever, but can we talk for a moment about the whole “magic as addiction” metaphor and how brilliantly it was portrayed? There is more plot development on this later but this is the first time for me that I knew that Willow actually couldn’t stop. Previously, I understood that she loved doing magic and that it was becoming an issue but she chose magic over the love of her life in this episode. I think Joss does an amazing job of dealing with addiction and all of the horrible things that are a result of it.

    On a happy note, the interaction between Randy/Spike and Giles is one of my favorites of the series. Also, I love when they open the door that they are all scared of the vampires :) Can’t wait for the next episode because of reasons. ;)

  • Melodye

    Spike’s girly scream after falling off the counter: BEST. I have been known to replay that moment over and over because EVERY time, I laugh hysterically.

    I really love this episode. The funny bits, the feels, Michelle Branch at the end – such a great episode.

    I’m going to go ahead and jump on the never change with the tagging of the tags, Sweeney. I enjoy those as much as I enjoy girly screams.

  • Coey Ohwow-Godsey

    Randomly this is my second favourite episode too. Maybe it’s all the jokes at the expense of being British. I watched it with friends when it aired and we loved it. I can never watch Once more with feeling without following it with this.

  • Anagnorisis

    This is one of my favorite episodes too! At first it was because it’s fun and rewatchable and Spuffy 4 ever! But after a while I realized it’s actually a very good episode too.
    I love the exploration of the characters and personalities. How they identify and how they end up falling in their usual places. Or not.
    Some people already mentioned it but Spike is really interesting, he is a souless vampire but identifies himself as a good guy, even against his nature, he doesn’t want to kill and eat Joan. BTW, Randy & Joan are A Thing (Joandy!), I’ve managed to find fanfiction on them and it’s awesome, usually the story follows the ‘what if they never got their personalities back’. Anyway, Randy also gives himself a father, we know William was alone with his mother, at least that’s what we’ve seen for now, so maybe he is searching for a father figure?
    Giles gets a family too. And I find so funny that Randy teases Giles for having a younger girlfriend when both Spike and Anya are way older than him, especially Anya.
    Buffy and Dawn are drawn to each other as family, Willow and Tara have an obvious attraction, Joan and Randy end up working together but Xander and Anya don’t even acknowledge each other, which is interesting. Anya is still attracted to money.
    Buffy pics the name Joan, which is at the same time, a very simple name but with a lot of symbolism too. She identifies as a superhero and the leader of the group. And regarding their original personalities, Xander (or Alex lol) first instinct after seeing Willow is wearing a ‘Harris’ jacket is to believe she is dating a brother of him. That’s his first idea, a hot girl like Willow can’t be dating him.
    One can argue that Willow is not only a ‘mind-rapist’ but an actual rapist, since she and Tara had sex last episode, while Tara was under her spell and probably wouldn’t have consented. IDK. But even if I’m not sure how to call it, whatever she is doing is still horrible.
    The thing about Restless is that why did the have the need to foreshadow this episode? Especially Spike’s suit and his relationship with Giles. I mean, it’s not really that important. It’s not like Giles being Spike’s father is actually an important plot point. And the suit is just a joke. IDK, I’m one of those people who doesn’t think Restless is that great, and this continuity feels cheap for me.
    BTW, I remember the promos for this episode, they showed Giles and Anya kissing without explanation and I spent a week really confused.

    • Clément Polge

      I’m not sure we can really say that Restless “foreshadows” this episode, and more that this episode is a callback to Restless.

      Also it’s interesting to note that Joan of Arc was supposedly on a mission from god, so I guess she got to heaven too. But maybe there are more prominent Joan in US culture that I’m not aware of.

      • Anagnorisis

        Oh, I never thought about it that way! Makes more sense now.
        And yeah, I was thinking about Joan of Arc too.

      • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

        Ah, yes, silly Frenchman! You don’t realize that this is obviously a reference to the great Joanie and her deep love of Chachi.

        • Clément Polge

          See! I knew I was missing something.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      Oh my God, I remember that promo. I just stared at the TV in horror for the longest time.

  • Rosalie M Town

    God I love this episode. These four (OMWF, Tabula Rasa, Smashed, Wrecked) are among my most favorites ever (alongside the feelsy feels episodes of season 2). I just live on the Couch of Feels. And I love it.

  • darkalter2000

    You missed the part in Restless that references the demon of this episode:

    Xander: You gotta have something. Gotta be with movin’ forward.
    Buffy: (in a childish tone) Like a shark.
    Xander: Like a shark with feet… and much less fins.
    Spike: (same tone as Buffy) And on land.
    Giles: (to Spike) Very good.

    I was a little disappointed you guys didn’t call him The Land Shark Loan Shark. I mean we didn’t even get his name so it would have been the perfect episode to give the demon a SnarkName™.

  • SnazzyO

    While I appreciate the humor of this episode I just can’t LIKE IT. Because Willow. And it’s just too much WTF WILLOW????? Don’t get me wrong, we saw this coming a mile off…but it’s like watching a train wreck and the fun bits don’t make up for it. I feel like I’ve lost Willow as much as Giles. I’m totally proud of Tara BTW. And I have major Dawn FEELS because this is yet another abandonment moment for her:
    – Bad Dad
    – Riley (sort of)
    – Mom
    – Buffy
    – Giles
    – Tara
    – Giles AGAIN

    Girlfriend has EARNED her bratty.

    • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

      YES. And I don’t really even think Dawn is bratty. There are many additional things to be said about Dawn, but anyone who calls her bratty can go fuck themselves for failing to remember that even with all these major abandonment issues, she was — at 15 years old — fully prepared to die to save the world. She was scared, yes, because she didn’t have a death wish. She wanted to live, but was ready to sacrifice herself to save the world. There are future!Dawn things, too, but UGH. Yes. I love her a thousand times more on re-watch and feel so deeply protective of her now.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      EXACTLY. Plus, the abandonment by Buffy kind of continues throughout the episodes we’ve had so far this season. Yes, she came back. But Buffy would rather go see Angel/do shots with Spike/patrol than spend time with Dawn. And yes, Buffy has very valid reasons for not wanting to be around the Scoobies. But Dawn doesn’t know about the reasons, she just sees the abandonment. So yeah. She’s totally earned her bratty.

    • JEL

      Also, it slips by very quickly, but in OMWF Buffy tells Sweet that if she can’t beat him, she’ll go with him in Dawn’s place. Which is just what she did in The Gift; take Dawn’s place and leave her behind. So that would have to feel to Dawn as another proposed abandonment.

  • Democracy Diva

    First of all, the tags: never apologize for the use of Snark Squad tags. They are so awesome I sometimes want to use them on my blog but I think that might be more than a little bit confusing. (“Ho suspension”, “sense this doesn’t make any”, “the unsexiest” – I could use all of these regularly in fashion recaps. Not to mention “whut is fashun?”)

    I forgot that this extremely silly episode comes right after OMWF. I really do love this weird little episode. And K, 1430 for noticing that Spike is wearing the suit he wore on the swings, because that’s such a phenomenal detail.

    THANK YOU FOR THE SCOOBIE GANG SCREAMING GIF. Things just get even more slapstick from there on out – Spike puns! Demands for kittens! Giles/Spike father/son hugs! BUNNIES, IT MUST BE BUNNIES! Angel-is-lame jokes! Michelle Branch at the Bronze! Literally the only old-school comedy flavor this episode lacks is a song-and-dance number, which we got our fill of in the last episode.

    First-time-watching, when Dawn screamed “Alex”: my boyfriend “What did she say?” Me: “Alex.” Him: “Who?” Me: “Alex. Like, Alexander. Like because they don’t remember everyone calls him Xander.” Him: “….. WAIT, THAT’S WHAT XANDER IS SHORT FOR? WHAT AN ASSHOLE!”

    • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

      In Xander’s defense, being born Joseph and making everyone call you Joss is equally ridiculous.

      • Democracy Diva

        Wait, let me pull a Nate and scream, “THAT’S WHAT JOSS IS SHORT FOR!?!?!?”

        Because I did not ever know that. And it is DUMB.

        • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

          YUP. That’s the reaction everyone should have when they first learn that information. But it makes his weirdly named characters make all sorts of sense.

  • Melodie Hatley

    I know it’s been brought up before, but I really hate how the Scoobies raised Buffy and then thought their responsibility died there. As far as I can see, hardly ANYONE helps her out in any meaningful way, except to perhaps babysit Dawn. Even though they specifically bring it up this episode, no one has any suggestions or anything to help her in any way. Not to excuse Willow’s actions [which I won't--mindrape is mindrape], but she’s the ONLY one to even attempt to do ANYTHING, and it’s definitely the wrong thing.

  • Raluca

    Am I the only one who feels sorry for Spike? I mean, Buffy is treating him like shit and he doesn’t deserve it! He’s helped her time and again, her and lately the Scoobies. And yet she treats him like dirt! I do not like this one bit! I know he is “evil” but he does love her and she usually resorts to him when she needs someone strong to protect Dawn etc. Why does she have to treat him so bad?!
    I know it’s supposed to convey the “he’s no good for her, because soulless vampire” feeling, but to me it’s just UNJUSTIFIED and AWFUL.

  • geff

    Your recaps and commentary are so comprehensive I often don’t even know what to say except excellent job, ladies! I loled at Sweeney’s tag comments, Kristi’s fangirling, and Lor getting carried away with the Willow and Tara “look at the sexual tension!” signposts.

    I like this episode but it’s never been a favorite. Anything to do with kitten poker is eye-roll-worthy for me. And the idea that all these strangers would interact according to the relationships they thought they were in is too unrealistic. This said, they do a great job with most of the humor (especially anything to so with Giles) and I like the little touches like Dawn calling Xander “Alex.” Spike and Buffy’s back and forth doesn’t bother me at all because I buy/sympathize with Buffy’s confusion (then again, S3 Bangel doesn’t bother me either so maybe that type of story doesn’t grate as much for me if I can understand it). I don’t see Spike and Buffy as romantic but I think they’re a fascinating couple and I hate-love the desperation in that last kiss, it’s very sad and very effective, and really got to me even the first time I watched it.

    This is also the beginning of Tara really growing into her own, which I absolutely love.

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