snark squad | where nostalgia comes to die

Buffy the Vampire Slayer S06 E18 – Vengeance o’clock

and on November 7, 2013 · 153 comments in Buffy the Vampire Slayer,Season 6,TV

Previously: Sunnydale may or may not have been a figment of Buffy’s imagination. Either way, it caused a lot of feels.

Entropy

Kirsti: After the previouslies, we’re in one of Sunnydale’s many cemeteries. A couple of vampires are running for their lives, but not from Buffy. No, they’re running from the Trio, who are all riding quad bikes with stakes on the front of them and who are after the metal disc one of the vamps is holding. Because OBVIOUSLY to everything in that sentence.

One of the vamps stops and breaks a branch off a nearby tree, and uses it to knock Andrew off his quad bike. Warren and Jonathan swerve to avoid him and collide. The vamps run for it but only get as far as the gate before they’re attacked by Buffy. Clearly not having a good night.

Buffy knocks one vamp out, and starts pummelling the other. While doing so, the knocked out vamp comes to and starts creeping up behind her. Spike’s hand descends from the top of the cemetery gate and holds the vamp up in midair. Warren grabs the disc while everyone’s distracted and the Trio scarper.

Sweeney: Did it seem a little contrived to anyone else that the vampire didn’t sense the three humans right under his nose?

Lorraine: Yes. And also that neither of them saw the Trio or heard the quads or noticed that the vampires were running away from something. But okay, teaser. Okay.

K: Seriously. Vampires have super hearing and Buffy can target stuff without looking, but neither of them hear QUAD BIKES?!

Spike, meanwhile, says that he could take care of the vamp he’s holding for Buffy in exchange for her telling her friends about them. She tells him to go ahead and do it because her friends don’t hate her at all for trying to feed them to a Candle Demon in the previous episode, so clearly they’ll be fine with this news too. She stakes one of the vamps as she says this, and turns to go. Spike releases the second vamp and asks why she won’t sleep with him again. Buffy and the vamp turn to stare at him with “WTF??” expressions. She stakes the vamp and says “Because I don’t love you,” as she walks away.

Lor: Right that the vampire turned around all, “say wuh? You guys are sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g?” Because everyone cares about Spuffy sex, apparently.

K: I interpreted it as “Dude, WTF? I’ve never seen you before in my life,” but your version works too. Cut to Xander’s Gift Apartment. He’s sitting on the floor in the dark, drinking beer and listening to mope-tastic music. He turns the music off, sits in the silence for a second, then gets up and grabs his jacket. He heads outside and walks down towards the street. From behind a hedge, Anya watches him with a sad expression. Wolf Howl time.

Sweeney: Her hair! It’s not crimpy which is like ultimate proof of badness, but it’s in some super tight curls. Suspicious curls.

K: SO SUSPICIOUS.

After the credits, we’re at Contrivance U. Willow dashes up to Tara as she comes out of class, trying and failing to act nonchalant. Tara asks how everyone is after the Nearly Fed To A Candle Demon incident, and Willow laughs awkwardly before saying that everything’s fine. Tara mentions having seen Willow after class before, and casually drops into conversation that the girl who kissed her cheek is just a friend. Willow grins with relief before claiming to have no idea what Tara’s talking about. She goes on to ask Tara out for coffee, and they’re adorable for a minute while trying to clarify that neither is seeing anyone else. There’s giggling and they resolve to meet for coffee the following day.

Lor: Giggling. This can’t mean anything good. HOLD ME. I’M SCARED.

K: You’ve finally learnt the signs of impending doom in the Whedonverse! I’m so proud. Elsewhere in Sunnydale, Buffy and Dawn are attempting to go on a sisterly bonding shopping trip. Said trip is hampered by Dawn’s kleptomania because it means they pretty much can’t go into any of the shops. Dawn lists what she stole from various shops, which includes a toothbrush. Buffy mocks her, and Dawn says that it was a fancy toothbrush and that dental hygiene is important. Bless.

Buffy points out the pet store and suggests that they go look at the puppies seeing as it’s unlikely Dawn stole anything from there. The idea makes Dawn a little sad, because puppies in cages, but she agrees because it’s the only store where she can still show her face. There’s some other sisterly bonding stuff, but mostly I’m distracted by the fact that Buffy’s hair is looking fabulous again. Welcome back, friend!

Lor: Michelle Trachtenberg is also beautiful and just really growing up right before our very eyes.

K: Cut to the Trio’s Basement. Jonathan’s working with a big chemistry set, whipping up something to make the metal disc do whatever the fuck it’s meant to do. Warren gets all up in his space because it’s taking too long, and Jonathan tells him to back off because if they rush things, it’ll surge and they’ll be “deader than an ex-girlfriend.” Warren gets pissy, Jonathan bitches about being done with the Trio, blah blah blah, Jonathan reluctantly agrees to get shit done.

Warren heads off to one side for a whispery conversation with Andrew. Andrew says that he thinks Jonathan’s going to tattle on them and that they can’t trust him. Warren says that they don’t have to trust him for much longer and that “it” is going to happen soon. Andrew gets all swoony because Warren’s such a fucking dreamboat genius. Ugh.

Xander’s Gift Apartment. He walks in to find Anya waiting for him. He rushes over to her, and she backs away, twisting her hands nervously. He tells her that he wants to make up for leaving her at the altar, that he loves her, that he should have said something earlier. Anya asks forcefully if he still wants to get married, and he hesitates long enough that she looks hurt. Some day, he says, yes. But not now. He says it’s a good thing and that he’s just trying to be honest. Anya looks like she’s about to cut a bitch, which, FAIR and ME TOO. She yells that she wants to know what his honesty medal will say. She spins and goes over to stare out the window. Behind her, he says that he wishes they could just go back to the way things were. She – unseen by Xander – vengeance demons out and says “And I wish you were never born!” Fade to black.

Lor: NOOOOOOO. I mean, I saw it coming but, ugh.

K: After the Not Commercial Break, Xander says that he knows everything is coming out wrong. Anya de-demon faces in surprise, and turns, wishing many other horrible things on him. Nothing happens though. She gets pissed off, and storms out. Cut to a cafe, where Anya’s sitting with Halfrek. Halfrek is talking about a guy she punished for not paying a millionty years of child support and how now he gets paper cuts whenever he touches a piece of paper that isn’t a child support cheque. Anya’s not listening. She asks Halfrek why her wishes didn’t work, and Hally’s all “DUH, you can’t make wishes on your own behalf.” She suggests getting someone else to make the wish for her.

Chez Summers. Dawn walks into the kitchen to find Buffy making pancakes. She wants to know if they’re now an International House of Something, but is shortly thereafter surprised to learn that there are different sorts of syrup, which implies that she’s never been to IHOP. I guess someone doesn’t want to marry a misogynistic billionaire! (L: I knew I liked you, Dawn!) Buffy babbles about them doing something that night, and that weekend, all while making toast and cereal. Dawn sees through things and says, “I’m gonna be okay with the basement thing. Really. You weren’t you.” Buffy worries that she’s being the embarrassing mother who cramps her teenager’s style, and all I can think of is this:

Sweeney: Same.

K: She even has the hair down! Anyway, Dawn says that she wants them to do things together, but that maybe she could hang out with Buffy rather than the other way around. And that maybe this could happen in the form of patrolling. Buffy “LOL NOPE”s, and Dawn uses the age-old “You did it when you were my age!” argument.

Buffy tells Dawn that she just wants to keep her safe and away from dangerous things, and Dawn points out that when your sister’s the Slayer, dangerous things kind of flock your way by default. Buffy says that it’s all the more reason not to seek them out, and to hurry up and go to school. Dawn sighs.

Sweeney: I loved Dawn an extra lot in this scene – she was so great about comforting Buffy and assuring her that she wasn’t holding the basement thing against her. She missed an important point in her argument, though, that if all the evil things are finding her, then she should be getting a little more in the way of preparation. Those epic screams can only do so much.

Lor: Also, the one and a half joke was great. SHE IS. SHE’S A BABY.

K: YES. To all the things. Cut to Willow and Tara’s coffee date at the Espresso Pump. Willow’s telling Tara about all the episodes monsters she missed, including Invisible Buffy and The Penis Monster. Willow even makes a joke about how much it looked like a penis, thereby justifying the nickname I gave it. THE NICKNAME IS CANON TRALALALALALALA.

Anyway, they’re adorable some more but get interrupted by Anya. They’re surprised but glad to see her. Willow wants to know if there’s anything they can do, and Anya says that the man-hating lesbian thing is going to come in handy and can they please talk about Xander? Cut to the Magic Box and Dawn saying that Xander feels terrible. Anya has no fucks to give (fair). We cut back and forth between the Espresso Pump (Willow and Tara), the Magic Box (Dawn), and Chez Summers (Buffy) with Anya trying to get each of them to make a “I wish Xander was in screaming agony until forever” statement. None of them oblige.

Eventually, we settle at Chez Summers. Anya tells Buffy that it hurts, and just as Buffy says “I wish,” Xander walks up. Anya yells, “well, congratulations. They all still love you. Even after what you did to me!” and storms off. Xander goes to follow, but Buffy stops him. He says that he wants to be proactive, and she points out that proactive Xander would probably lose a limb or two. There’s a random shot of an ugly garden gnome by the one of the trees in the front garden. Xander gets angry, asking if he’s supposed to just walk away and pointing out that it’s clearly what he’s good at. He kicks the gnome, which smashes. Buffy says that clearly having a heart to heart when he’s angry is a bad plan, then stops as she realises that no one in the house put the fugly gnome in the front garden. The smashed gnome parts reveal a camera hidden inside. Buffy wants to know who would be spying on her, and Xander suggests Spike.

Sweeney: While obsession and stalking have been Spike’s MO for much of the season, it’s insane to me that both of them would assume that this technological attack, of sorts, was initiated by him. I call contrived bullshit on this.

Lor: ESPECIALLY WITH THE TRIO STILL OUT THERE. Sloppy.

K: Exactly. Cut to the TARDIS Crypt. Spike is all “So the Big Bad is a trio of nerdboys and you think *I* was responsible for this?” Well, not really. He doesn’t mention the Trio at all, but I was too distracted by his hideous shirt to pay attention to the actual words. He gets pissy when Buffy tells him Xander thinks the camera’s his, and says that he would never hurt Buffy and that the way he feels about her is real. “I think it is. For you,” she replies. He looks hurt. She heads to the door, and apologises, then tells him that he needs to move on. He tells her to get out. She does.

Lor: I love that he was offended by the spying thing considering all the creepy-lurking-shadow-hiding stuff we’ve seen him do. And the whole, “I wouldn’t hurt you,” thing I’m sure he thinks is true, but also only kind of. I mean, off the top of my head, the first thing I think of is the date he brought to Xander’s wedding while asking, “am I hurting you yet?” Spike, let’s be self-aware, yeah?

K: I guess there’s lurking-shadow-hiding creepy and then there’s watching-via-hidden-camera creepy. Creeps have standards too, Lor!

Magic Box. Anya is bitching to Halfrek about the Scoobies’ inability to wish horrible things on Xander. Halfrek says that clearly she’s talking to the wrong people, and Anya’s all “Oh, please. Like I’m just going to stumble across a Xander-hater.” Obviously, the door opens and Spike walks in. Anya’s face lights up as we fade to black.

After the Not Commercial Break, Spike tells Anya that he needs a numbing spell. She gleefully pulls Halfrek to one side, and starts rabbiting on about how she’ll get someone to wish that Spike was a woman, and then Spikette can wish evil upon Xander. Halfrek rolls her eyes and tells Anya that sometimes men need vengeance too, and maybe it’s time to give up the Woman Power thing. She finger-waves at Spike as she heads out the door.

After she goes, Spike repeats that he wants something to dull the pain. Anya tells him that Giles left something behind that will be perfect. She heads behind the counter and pulls out a bottle of Jack Daniels. OH PLEASE. GILES WOULD *NEVER.* Giles would totally be a 12 year old single malt Speyside whisky (read: scotch if you’re American) kind of a guy. Not a 5 minute old cheap shitty American whiskey drinker. Anyway, Anya plonks it on the counter, and Spike grins.

Chez Summers. Willow’s working some old school hacker magic to trace the camera feed back to the source and find out who’s spying on Buffy. Xander says that if it’s not Spike, it must be the Trio. Willow and Buffy agree. Cut to the Trio’s Basement. Jonathan lights a candle and holds the disc up in front of it. He sprinkles some magic pixie dust on it, and says “Uncover.” A beam of light streams through it, Raiders of the Lost Ark style, and hits a spot on a map of Sunnydale that’s sitting on the floor. The Trio are excited, but just then, the map bursts into flames. Jonathan screams and runs away.

Sweeney: A fair reaction.

K: I thought so. Magic Box. Spike and Anya are doing shots. Spike bitches about the “real for you” thing without mentioning Buffy by name. Anya’s all “Right, so about cursing Xander”, and Spike says that he’d do the job for her if it weren’t for the chip in his head. Spike moves from the counter to the table, and pours another round of shots. She asks what he’d wish on Xander, and he tells her to name it because she’s the wronged party. Anya fake-smiles because things aren’t quite going to plan.

There’s a stupidly quick shot of the Trio stomping out the fire, then another of Willow saying that she thinks she’s got something, then it’s back to the Magic Box. There are more shots as Anya and Spike agree that they wanted a use ‘em and lose ‘em situation, just to know what they were missing out on, and instead they ended up in love. They both look wistful. She complains about changing to please Xander, and how being off her guard led to singing in the shower doing her sexy dance. Spike’s all “ME TOO!” then stops and thinks and says that he has no sexy dance.

Lor: NO ONE BELIEVES YOU, SPIKE.

K: Chez Summers. Willow informs the others that the network is pretty fancy pants and includes lots of firewalls and booby traps. Buffy asks if she can get through it, and Willow’s mock-offended. Then she realises that there are other cameras on the network. Magic Box. The shots continue to the point where there’s slurring and giggling. Spike tells Anya that he hates the Scoobies, and that she’s the only one he wouldn’t bite if he were chip free. He pines a little for Dru and her straightforward brand of crazy, and tells Anya that she – like Dru – is forthright and he likes that. She says that Xander thought she was rude, and Spike replies that it’s because he’s uptight. He goes on: “It’s no wonder they couldn’t deal with the likes of you and me, love. We should have been dead hundreds of years ago…and we’re the only ones who are really alive.” They smile at each other.

Chez Summers. Images from the other cameras start to pop up on Willow’s screen. They cover all the regular Scoobie haunts – the Bronze, the Doublemeat Palace, Xander’s worksite and Contrivance U. Buffy WTFs in confusion, and Willow says that there are more feeds but she can’t quite pinpoint them. She tries a different tactic as we head back to the Magic Box. Spike pours Anya the last of the bottle. She takes his hand and thanks him, because it’s the first time since the wedding that she’s been around someone who understands. She tears up, wondering out loud if it was her fault, what if Xander never wanted her the way she wanted him. Spike brushes her hair off her face and cups her face in his hand. “He would have to be more than just the git he is, Anya. He’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to want a woman like you,” he tells her. She presses her face into his hand, and he strokes her face. He leans in towards her, and she asks if she can see his sexy dance. He grins and goes to kiss her. She pulls back a little, asking what they’re doing. “Moving on,” he replies, and they kiss, with grabby hands.

Lor: I don’t even know what is happening right now. Does not compute.

K: Welcome to my reaction the first time I saw this episode. Chez Summers. Willow says that she’s nearly found another feed. Magic Box. Anya tells Spike that she’s only doing this because she’s drunk and lonely and he smells good before resuming the kissing. Trio Basement. An alarm sounds, and they realise that someone’s trying to hack their feed. They rush towards the computers. Magic Box. Spike pulls off Anya’s shirt, knocks the books and shot glasses off the table, and lays her down on it. She wraps her legs around him as they resume kissing.

Chez Summers. Willow tells Buffy and Xander that she thinks the camera is at the Magic Box, then stands in horror as the picture comes up. Trio Basement. They furiously tap at keyboards as Warren yells off screen to shut everything down. They freeze, mid-typing, as they see the feed from the Magic Box.

Sweeney: Andrew’s reaction was delightful. He fanboys that Spike is ~*so cool*~ and then awkwardly tries to cover it up with, “The girl is hot too,” but the actual reason it was delightful enough for me to bring it up was the little eyeroll he does after he says it. Still totes over The Trio, but LOL.

K: Andrew is a fanboy, and it’s kind of fabulous. Magic Box. The camera pans past the sexy times-ing Anya and Spike to a skull on the shelf next to the table. In one of its eye holes is a camera. Chez Summers. Xander rushes around the table as Willow begs him to stop. Buffy follows. They both stare at the screen in horror. Dawn walks in the front door, and is all “What are you all looking at?” She only gets a glimpse of the screen before Willow covers her eyes.

Xander shakes his head in confusion, but Willow only has eyes for Buffy, who’s looking teary and hurt. Dawn notices too. Buffy storms out, and Xander wanders off, dazed. Willow snaps out of it and rushes to shut down the feed. Dawn follows Buffy, and once Willow shuts down the feed, she heads after Xander. But it’s too late. He’s gone, and has raided Buffy’s weapons chest on the way.

After the Not Commercial Break, Dawn and Buffy are in the back garden as Chez Summers. Dawn wants to know if this – Spike – is the stuff that Buffy’s been protecting her from. Buffy tells her that it’s over, and Dawn says she wishes Buffy had told her rather than bottling it up. Buffy replies that she didn’t really want to admit it to herself. Just as they’re doing the sisterly bonding thing, Willow appears to say that Xander’s taken Buffy’s axe and disappeared.

Sweeney: BOO. Way to interrupt some A+ sister bonding / Dawnie earning that 1430.

Lor: Agreed. I’m actually pretty darn happy Buffy was able to both admit it to herself and another person.

K: Truth. With that, we cut to the Magic Box. There’s stuff everywhere. Spike and Anya are getting dressed, both looking a little ashamed. Spike heads to the door without a word. At the door, he stops and turns. Anya gives a little nod, and a moment later, he nods back before opening the door.

Outside, he has to quickly dodge the axe that’s coming at his head. Xander struggles to pull the axe out of the door frame, then gives up and throws Spike into the street. There’s a shot of Buffy sprinting towards them, then Xander picks Spike up and throws him into a pillar before punching him in the gut. Xander yells at him to fight back, but Spike says there’s no point on account of chip. Xander knees him in the stomach, then pulls out a stake.

Anya rushes out of the Magic Box and yells at Xander to stop just as Buffy runs up and pulls him away from Spike. Xander tells Anya that he saw everything, and she looks horrified as he glares at her angrily. Look, I get that he’s pissed. But DUDE. YOU LEFT HER AT THE FUCKING ALTAR. LITERALLY. And then told her that you don’t want to get married, but you still want to be together. Homegirl’s entitled to pretty much anything at this point. Anya says pretty much just that. Xander tells her that when he looks at her, he feels sick because she had sex with Spike, an evil, soulless thing. Both Anya and Buffy look at the ground.

Sweeney: RAGE. Xander, you left her at the altar. You don’t get to judge her for this. As Kirsti just said, Anya’s entitled to just about anything at this point (demonic murder/torture not withstanding) so fuck this slut shaming bullshit.

Lor: Additionally, way to hold yourself way above the “evil soulless thing,” WHEN YOU LEFT HER AT THE ALTAR.

K: EXACTLY. “It’s good enough for Buffy…” says Spike. Xander yells at him to shut up, then stares at Buffy as he processes what Spike said. Anya stares too. Buffy looks hurt and teary. Xander, disgusted, drops his stake and walks away. Buffy glares at Spike, who has no fucks to give, then follows Xander. Spike and Anya watch her go. “I wish -,” he starts, but Anya cuts him off with a “Don’t.” She turns and walks into the Magic Box and starts to tearily clean up.

Sweeney: While Anya brought me back to the feels, on first watch (before I acquired all the rage) the big reveal + Xander running away just made me giggle because it was all SO soap opera.

Lor: That last look Buffy gives Spike is pretty intense too. Like, “what was that about not hurting me, bitch?” Something like that.

K: Things fall apart. They fall apart so hard,” Tara says in a voiceover. We cut to Willow’s room at Chez Summers. She’s sitting on the bed, and turns to stare with surprise at Tara, who’s standing in the doorway. Tara tells Willow that it’s a long process, they can’t just have coffee and then expect… “I know,” Willow interrupts. Tara stands on the opposite side of the room, then continues:

“There’s just so much to work through. Trust has to be built again, on both sides… You have to learn if…if we’re even the same people we were, if you can fit in each other’s lives. It’s a long…important process, and… Can we just skip it? Can-can you just be kissing me now?”

There’s a pause as Willow processes this, then she grins and crosses the room in a second. Tara meets her half way, and they kiss passionately as we fade to black.

There’s a lot going on in this episode. A lot of things get broken, and secrets are finally discovered. In a way, this episode sums up season 6 quite nicely – people trying to avoid their problems with disastrous consequences. There’s almost nothing here in the way of magic or beasties. It’s just life, pure and simple. People make decisions, and they’re not always good ones. For me, this episode is about regret. They all regret the decisions they’ve made – Xander regrets leaving Anya at the altar, Buffy regrets sleeping with Spike, Dawn regrets stealing, Anya and Spike regret sleeping with each other, Willow and Tara regret their break up, Jonathan regrets joining the Trio. And they have no one to blame but themselves for the way they feel. It’s not a perfect episode, not by a long shot. But it’s pretty damned fabulous. Plus, that final scene? ALL THE FEELS.

Sweeney: I’m not sure I agree with that full list — specifically Willow and Tara. I think their regret is more for all the things that led to that point rather than the breakup itself.  I agree with your basic point though. It’s an only OK episode, that is fitting at this point in a season that has involved a lot of avoidance. Everyone is now at varying stages of acceptance and moving on. The episode suffered a lot from the various moving plot parts. From Xander kicking over the gnome camera to the dramatic reveal of secrets, it was all very, “Well, it’s episode 18 and it’s time to start wrapping a few things up!

Lor: Agreed. It really feels like we’ve dragging some of these story lines forever, to the point where The Great Contrivance Spirit just had to step in and get a few things in motion. The episode suffered because of few of those moments, as Sweeney pointed out. That aside, I can be happy with the forward motion. The scenes between Anya and Spike were especially well acted, but with those two it’s no surprise. Spike was incredibly nice to Anya, which is either part of his complexity or inconsistency, depending on which view of things you take.

The end with Tara and Willow puts me on my guard because nothing happy will happen this season. I’m convinced. Tara doesn’t earn a title star, but she does tell us that things fall apart. Entropy is an interesting name for this episode which seems to deal mostly with things that have already fallen apart. The point is that things cannot go back to the way they were.

K: No matter how much Xander wants them to…

 

Next time: The shit hits the fan, big time. Find out if we can come up with words that aren’t “NOPE” in Buffy the Vampire Slayer S06 E19 – Seeing Red.

 

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.





Marines (all posts)

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





Sweeney (all posts)

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





Did you like this? Share it:
  • lev36

    To whomever is on deck to review the next episode: I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      SWEENEY.

      Before every season, we usually look at how the numbers work out and the non-Snows squeal about their luck/lack there of. So. Sweeney has been DREADING this episode for quite a while…

      She needs everyone’s love, hugs and e-booze!

      • lev36

        And she’ll have it!

        Also, this episode’s make-up scene between Willow and Tara just gets me every time. So beautiful.

        • Wilhelmina Upton

          ME TOO!

      • Shea Foley

        All I can say about the next ep without being spolier-y is, “You know nothing, Lor-Snow.”

      • Raluca

        I am not sure I do not dread the review of the next episode so much as to postpone reading it for a week or two :). I am sure it’ll raise hell and I also know my opinion will not be shared by many (I also know why and am ok with it) but I hope I’ll be able to convey how I feel when the time comes without offending anyone :) (I’ll sure keep any bad words out of my comments, but somehow know my opinion will not be seen favorably, no matter how I express it).

    • Ashlea Kobukowski

      The next episode is brutal. All the hugs to poor Sweeney. Also, can I say that I will be scared of the comments section that day. Kirsti and I just discussed this on Twitter.

    • SuzyLee

      Only episode I’ve never re-watched. Ever. I’m not sure I can even cope with the recap.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      Sweeney really lucked out this season. She got Hell’s Bells, Seeing Red and Dead Things. Even covering Once More With Feeling can’t make up for all that.

      • Jojo

        Sweeney – a special box of alcohol filled chocolates that is always full, a fluffy blanket, teddys chosen for super softness, and your own private weeping pillow so you don’t need to use a wet one.

  • Ashlea Kobukowski

    Oh, the regret in this episode. Heartbreaking and really illustrates the theme this season of life as the Big Bad.
    I’m so glad the hair was mentioned! I was driven to distraction by the corkscrew curls of vengeance. Also, I kinda love Halfrek. Anyone else?
    I know Spike has been horrible this season but I loved the interaction (verbal) with Anya. He was really kind of sweet to her, which I think Lor mentioned.
    Andrew had some moments this episode that I had forgotten about that made me laugh reading them. He is a flawed character, definitely, and the Trio makes me cringe but I can see the future and there are lots of Andrew chuckles for me later. Not in the near future, though.
    I’m sending virtual hugs to everyone in preparation for Seeing Red.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Seeing red, OMG *hides in a corner with a safety blanket*

      Halfrek has her moments, plus you gotta love a gal named Halfrek, it’s so awful it’s awesome.

    • Idriss Boukhanef

      I love Halfrek ! She’s precious. And despite being a wicked vengeance demon and all, she’s Anya’s only true friend and that gives her a millionty awesome points in my book.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      You can pretty much count on us to ALWAYS mention the hair.

    • Raluca

      I love Halfrek too. She is just the best.

  • Wilhelmina Upton

    OH MY GOD I AM ALREADY ANTICIPATING THE NEXT EPISODE BECAUSE NOPE!!!

    Willow and Tara were so cute and perfect at the end. The little speech Tara gave is just another reason she’s an awesome character.

    Also, Buffy looked really gorgeous this episode.

    • http://stephaniec.tumblr.com/ stephynee

      Buffy’s face is really distracting from this point until the end of the series. She’s always pretty, but I think they start to do her makeup differently or something because she looks amazing.

      • Wilhelmina Upton

        True, I’ve also observed this phenomenon with other shows and other actresses. They just suddenly become so much more stunning in comparison to earlier episodes/seasons.

    • Ashlea Kobukowski

      I forgot to mention Willow and Tara! So sweet. I love the speech. Damn you Whedon! I can’t even be happy during the flail-worthy times :(

  • SnazzyO

    The XDF accepts rage at Xander as a perfectly reasonable response. OTOH, because we love him, we see this is completely in character with the poor way he’s learned to deal with his rage. It’s not justifiable but understandable. Bottom Line: Xander’s inability to control his own hurt and the way he immaturely lashes out at Anya is evidence enough that he is a mess here. He’s lucky Anya stopped Spike from making a wish.

    Buffy FEELS. She doesn’t love Spike but it still hurt to see him with Anya. How messed up is that for her? I’d be going for some serious alcohol at this point.

    Anya FEELS. Oy, she is beyond a mess. I don’t like her attempt to take vengeance on Xander but I have no problem with her having comfort sex w/ Spike. And now its just ALL a mess because not only has she lost her direction, everyone got to watch her at a moment she may not be happy about later.

    All the LOVE for Dawn, Tara & Willow.

    Spike – You are in pain. I get it. I don’t like your choices but I get your pain.

    • Jojo

      I don’t see where sleeping with Anya was a bad choice? What am I missing?

      • SnazzyO

        Because you shouldn’t sleep with another person to get over your pain of losing someone. It’s not a good call for either party IMO.

        • Jojo

          I don’t see why there even has to be a should or shouldn’t. Am I the only one who says that if both are willing adults then why judge? They were both in pain, they both wanted solace, they drank a little but not enough to really get them drunk. Even Anya says -” You know I’m only doing this ’cause I’m lonely and I’m drunk and you smell good.” They completely agreed with each other, both wanted to have comfort sex, and they took solace in each others company.

          Sorry, I see no reason why two people need to be judged for having unapproved sex. There’s this sorta slut shaming here – blaming two people for consensual sex when the people blamed should be those who judge.

          • SnazzyO

            But they regretted it — or at least appeared to. So, I don’t feel like I’m judging them. And frankly a bit offended you think that I’m slut shaming Spike (because that’s who I was talking about).

            I also think you shouldn’t buy a car when your angry. Or make a significant financial investment when you’re distraught. Is there something about sex that makes it 100% always a great idea? I don’t think so. I think if they immediately regret it after the fact, then maybe it wasn’t a good idea in the first place. JMO YMMV.

          • Clément Polge

            Are you car-shaming people now ? And financial-investment-shaming too ? HOW DARE YOU ??

          • Zovc

            This comment made my day :). Also making big decisions while angry is a terrible idea, and having sex with someone based on sheer loneliness isn’t a great deal better.

          • Jojo

            Making big decisions while angry can be a wonderful thing – it kind of depends on the decision and the circumstances. I’m not going to let you use my face as a punching bag is a common one made while angry and upset. Having sex based on sheer loneliness is also not always a bad thing – friends with benefits, etc. Mutual comfort is an okay reason to have sex.

          • Zovc

            OK, I suppose I should have said making big decisions that can be postponed while angry is bad idea. As for sex, everyone is going to have a different opinion on whether casual sex can ever be a good thing, but it seems to me that while Anya and Spike having sex didn’t seem to hurt the process of moving on, it didn’t seem to help either.

          • Jojo

            I don’t think it was meant to be a cure all – just a diversion. Anya needed to know she was still beautiful and desirable. Spike needed to move on, and to be with someone who cared and wanted him as something more than a shameful secret. Yes, they were still hurt after but that hurt was never gonna disappear in 20 minutes. It just seems kinda bittersweet – we hurt but we can share and hurt together for a bit.

          • Zovc

            I still am not convinced the sex helped, but you definitely phrased your argument well, so I understand your point much better.

          • Raluca

            Comfort sex NEVER helps, imo, for longer than it takes to have it. But, if you’re in a bad place, even 10 minutes of physical “ok-ness” is to be desired.

          • Raluca

            I like the “fuck you, stop using me as a punching bag!” decision – best one ever to make, especially when angry. That said, comfort sex is sometimes a good idea, but not always, imo. And it’s generally associated with shame, if it’s a bad idea (especially since it occurs while you’re drunk and the defenses are low). I’ve had comfort sex in my time and sometimes it felt good the next day (even started a new relationship that way) and sometimes I woke up to discover I not only kept feeling depressed, but that I now was ashamed as well. Decisions… :D
            I do not blame Spike or Anya – if anything, I understand and completely sympathize.

          • Jojo

            I don’t think they regretted it until Xander and Buffy showed up. I saw it as kinda bittersweet – both of them aware of the step taken, the first time you sleep with someone other than your ex. They both knew the terms – I feel bad and you are here so let’s find some temporary solace.

            What did you see that showed regret?

          • SnazzyO

            At the 37:37 mark (on iTunes), they are getting dressed. Anya looks slightly nauseous. Spike, a little shell-shocked like “what did I do?”. Anya pulls her sweater around her shoulders and it looks a little like she’s trying to comfort herself. Spike looks at her, and the nods and moves on. No conversation. VERY awkward and to me it looked like Spike was putting back on his “devil may care” attitude to psych himself up.

            There was no tenderness. No thankyou’s-I-needed-that. Nothing. Just silence and discomfort. I read that as “regret”. YMMV.

          • Jojo

            I don’t see it as ashamed – more as the temporary awkwardness of sleeping with someone new after you have just broken up. And I have no idea what was said between the time of making love and the time of getting dressed. I saw contact – looked to me like Spike asking nonverbally if she was all right. She nods slight and he nods back.

            I think there is a difference between comfort sex and relationship sex. I see no nausea, shell shock or whatever. YMMV

        • http://www.saraswearsalot.blogspot.com/ Sara

          I agree. It was obvious that both Anya and Spike felt shitty about sleeping together after the fact, so I’m betting they came to the same conclusion. They both needed comfort, but afterwards, they didn’t look all that comforted at all and it ended up being a bad move.

          • Jojo

            How was it obvious they felt shitty about sleeping together – and not about the pain they were sharing earlier. Sex wasn’t meant to be a cure all, just a comfort.

          • darkalter2000

            I saw their scene as being a sort of bittersweet thing myself. I doubt they would have had any really negative feelings about it if Buffy and Xander hadn’t seen.

  • http://stephaniec.tumblr.com/ stephynee

    “Spike was incredibly nice to Anya, which is either part of his complexity or inconsistency, depending on which view of things you take.”

    His niceness with Anya works for me here, mostly because there’s a similar scene of them bonding and complaining about life together in everyone’s favorite episode “Where the Wild Things Are”

    • Jojo

      +1 I don’t think they’ve ever disliked each other – and they have had a few other good scenes together. I kinda like the whole view of the human world from outside.

    • Ashley Menvielle

      It works for me too. It’s a nice bit of character continuity between that scene in WTWTA, and their subsequent conversation and comiserating we see here. I always really liked that scene in WTWTA.

  • Idriss Boukhanef

    This episode gives me massive Anya feels. Turning back as a vengeance demon again was a bad choice, but the Scoobies should have seen it coming. The ones who were here for her in this awful moment were Halfrek and d’Hoffryn. And when she was seeking comfort – well, vengeance technically, but she was just trying to feel better – the only one who took time to help her was Spike – Spike ! I find it very telling.
    It always saddened to see that nobody cares much about Anya. In the end, Xander was her only link to the Scoobies, and to humanity in general.

    • Jojo

      You and me both! I mean, Scoobie solidarity and all that but kinda getting creepy there too. It’s not just that no one will make a wish – no one will even take Anya’s side. And, like I already wrote, it really annoys me, and disappoints me, that Buffy stands there and listens to Xander rip Anya apart for something Buffy has done more than once. It’s like her pride matters so much more than her former friend.

      • Melodie Hatley

        Yeah, I couldn’t believe no one would take Anya’s side or even really express to Xander, “YOU WERE A DICK. HOW COULD YOU BE A DICK TO THE WOMAN YOU LOVED LIKE THAT? WTF WERE YOU THINKING, YOU DICK?” Because, well… he was a dick. I’ve seen a similar situation to that IRL, and everyone universally, was on the groom’s side (bride left him at the alter), EVEN HIS FAMILY, and it came down to “WHY did you wait for the WEDDING DAY to say something?!”

        • Jojo

          +1 billionty! It has always upset me to see Buffy stand there and watch Xander slut shame Anya to the max even though he publicly dumped her and humiliated her. I get that he’s crazy and that he has some huge feels but he has no right to take even more of his own crap out on her. Let alone to try to ambush and kill Spike in front of her. Frankly, beating someone you know is unable to fight back and taunting him is kinda creepy too. I just can’t get over the massive sense of entitlement Xander has.

          Wow – I am seeing some serious parallels with an incident in the next episode. More to say Monday, I’m sure.

          • Raluca

            As I said above, Spike doesn’t react, and I think it’s because he actually feels guilty, not because of the chip.

            I do not want to comment on the next episode. Not yet.

          • Jojo

            Yeah – no spoilers! Was it you who began talking about the parallels between Xander/Anya and Buffy/Spike? Because even just thinking about it has really opened up realizations for me!

          • Alicia

            I think it was Ashley Menvielle:)

          • Jojo

            It’s been a very interesting lens flip. Never saw the parallels – no, they’re not identical relationships but they do have some of the same traits and results.

          • Ashley Menvielle

            :). I have to give credit to Mark Field and his great blog unpaidsophistry.com for connecting those dots for me in the first place! I had read his stuff months ago and I integrated that into what I looked out for on rewatchs to see if I saw things similarly and then kinda forgot where I got the seeds planted for the connection from. JEL commented on one of my posts that Mark F. made the same connection and I remembered, oh that’s where I got that from! So, yay Mark F., via me for opening up those connections for others! :)

          • Alicia

            Yeah he’s great! I read a lot of Buffy meta after I watched the series so I’m sure my thoughts are quite influenced by various connections other people have made.

      • Alicia

        Sadly, I don’t think Buffy and Anya were ever really friends and this just highlights that.

        • Jojo

          I agree. That’s part of what bothers me. Anya was tolerated because she came with Xander. She didn’t have terrific human skills, so it took more effort to befriend her. I don’t think any of the Scoobies cared about her deep down.

  • Clément Polge

    Ok I can get Xander being pissed at Anya for sleeping with Spike, he doesn’t really have a ground to stand on because of that tiny “left her at the altar” thing, but I get that seeing that hurts him too.

    But why the fuck does he back down like “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore” when he learn that Buffy did too ? Not only is it none of his buisness, but maybe he forgot already how he kindasorta RIPPED HER FROM HEAVEN ? Maybe he can understand how people sometimes do stupid things like, oh, say, LEAVING PEOPLE AT THE ALTAR ?

    Talk about selective memory and feelings.

    • SnazzyO

      “But why the fuck does he back down like “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore” when he learn that Buffy did too ?”

      Feet of clay on his hero is not what he was hoping for? Sure it’s his own fault for putting Buffy on a pedestal and yes he knows she’s struggling. But still, he just can’t take all the hits. Willow’s a magic-crack head, he’s screwed up his life, and Buffy is having sex with a soulless demon. World tilt. Back into the bottle.

      • Ashley Menvielle

        Yes, good points . Xanders self made family is imploding in on itself and he doesn’tknow to deal with that beyond exploding and melodrama. It’s terrible to witness but true to real life reactions I’d say. On the other hand, sometimes things have to, as Tara and Yeats said, fall apart in order to rebuild and become better. And wow, are things falling apart for Scoobies now.

    • http://www.saraswearsalot.blogspot.com/ Sara

      I hate Xander so much at this point in the series. A big reason is for exactly what you said here.

      • Clément Polge

        I do get the point SnazzyO put forward though, it’s valid and it does make sense, but it still feels like he’s judging her for her sexual partners without any concerns for context or anything, and it really just sucks.

        • http://www.saraswearsalot.blogspot.com/ Sara

          And let’s not forget that XANDER ALMOST HAD SEX WITH A FREAKIN’ PRAYING MANTIS.

          • Clément Polge

            He also went close to eating his principal !

            Aaah, season 1, how far we’ve come…

          • http://www.saraswearsalot.blogspot.com/ Sara

            Good times…..

          • Clément Polge

            Remember when Buffy hadn’t even died once ?

          • http://www.saraswearsalot.blogspot.com/ Sara

            NOSTALGIA. <3 <3 <3

          • Jojo

            And he tried to rape Buffy – for which he was immediately let off the hook by everyone (including us).

        • Raluca

          Yes, it does. And it’s understandable. And I still hate him with fiery passion.
          His hypocrisy is grating to me :(

    • Ashlea Kobukowski

      I do love Xander but he’s always been about placing blame while never looking at what he’s done wrong. It makes me so mad that he blames Anya for anything at this point. I feel like he puts the women in his life on pedestals and if they act even a bit differently than his image of them, he acts like a dick. It’s one of his biggest faults IMO.

      • Ashley Menvielle

        I love Xander too, but yes I agree with all your points here. Putting his friends, especially Buffy, on a pedestal is just as unhealthy as the slut shaming. One leads to the other, like you said.

        It’s unfortunate that he is so afraid of becoming his father and yet, that was his primary model of manhood for most of his life so, sometimes he does act in a way his father probably would: using his words and personal knowledge to shame and hurt his friends and ex lover. Bullying, in other words just like we see his father bully his wife in Hells Bells. His physically attacking Spike is also telling behavior for me here because while he uses words on his friends he physically attacked Spike, who he knows can’t really fight back. Again, bullying.

        I think Xander can see the big picture of avoiding the marriage to Anya because he fears and realizes the potential he has for becoming the crappy, angry husband and father his dad was but he can’t see how some of his daily behaviors, slut shaming pedestal gazing, towards his female friends and Anya, when she was his girlfriend even, are really just as hurtful as the big stuff, assaulting Anya years down the line if they got married, he’s fearful of doing. In these ways he already is emulating behaviors learned from his father. He means well but he can’t see the forest for the trees, I suppose. When I first saw this episode I really was shocked at the way Xander acted this episode toward Anya, Buffy and even Spike but on re watch I could see his frustrations with himself and his situation building to this point. He exploded this episode. I’m so nervous about the reactions to next episode because I know there’s more explody coming up :(. Someone hold me.

        • Alicia

          That’s an interesting link between Xander’s father bullying his wife and Xander’s own bullying in this episode. I agree with everything you say here! Hopefully he will be able to one day better understand how his current attitudes are so harmful to the people he loves. It’s sad to see someone who can be so brave and a great friend have these issues that hurt those same people so much. It’s no wonder he has at least some issues, with a role model like that!

          • Ashley Menvielle

            Yes, he definitely does have great qualities and is, I believe, a flawed but ultimately good person who sometimes gives into much darker behavior, just like all the Scoobs do here and in earlier seasons. I definitely don’t excuse his behavior here, but he really did seem to have a very unhealthy home life and that had to have affected and informed him and the man he has become up to this point. Tony Harris is a terrible person, let alone father figure, and the fact that Xander recognises this about his father and tries to be a better man despite his father’s influences is commendable in and of itself. Sometimes he fails at this, spectacularly at times but he is trying to be better and the fact that he doesn’t always succeed makes him a more realistic character in my opinion. He’s not one dimensionally terrible as I’ve seen him depicted as in many a fan fic imo. I will say that some of his bad behavior though, when he objectifies and slut shames the women around him for ex, is very bad and has wider implications in that it can be seen as feeding into rape culture and sexist tropes with out then having them be subverted. So, that’s problematic. But, in general, I heart Xander and I feel for him. He really needs to grow up already this season though so I can stop wanting to smack him.

            Anyway, thanks for the lovely comment :). I wasn’t sure how well I had articulated my thoughts on Xander, so I’m glad you found my points interesting in a good way :).

          • Alicia

            +1

        • SnazzyO

          **Sends hugs**
          Me too.

          This is a really ugly series of episodes for Xander that brings to light a long-running problem.

          • Ashley Menvielle

            (Hugs received and treasured) Thank you :).

            Yes, that’s so true but at least he’s beginning to face and deal with his issues instead of burying them under snark as he usually does. Oh Xander…

        • Ashlea Kobukowski

          You have some amazing points here, especially about his fears of becoming his father. Very insightful!
          I’m dreading the next episode too! Hugs, puppies and ice cream are planned for my rewatch.

          • Ashley Menvielle

            Thanks! And, yes, the re watch of the next ep is looming but I’m relieved it’s almost time for it to be out of the way too.

            Lots of vodka and a bucket for my tears are what I have planned… and of course hugs like you said :). We’ll get through it!

  • Democracy Diva

    I was excited for this post just for the Amy Poehler gif, and it lived up to that high standard. Also, “suspicious curls” is a phrase I will be adopting from now until forever.

    When it got to the pet store part, all I could think was that I would have loved a subplot of Dawn stealing a puppy and trying to get Spike to help her hide it from Buffy. I’m just saying. We could have used that kind of lightness this season. Also, Spike + puppies = everything.

    “Invisible Buffy and the Penis Monster” is ABSOLUTELY the title of a slash fic somewhere, right? It has to be. Also, it’s a great album name for a thrash metal band. I’m just saying.

    ACCURATE ANALYSIS OF WHAT GILES WOULD DRINK IS ACCURATE. My headcanon is that it’s Anya’s and she just pretends it’s Giles’s when other people are around.

    Andrew’s love for Spike is endless amounts of awesome. If only we all could have had that reaction to the Anya-Spike sex scene, instead of WHAT IS HAPPENING ON MY SCREEN RIGHT NOW. This episode definitely had its soap opera moments, but Anya’s “Don’t” as Spike finally tried to make a wish gave me all kinds of feels.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      Okay, surely there’s fanfic somewhere in which Dawn steals a puppy?? And thank you for noticing my headcanon of Giles’ drinking habits.

    • Raluca

      Andrew is funny, in a creepifying sort of way. He is so closeted and self-aware at times it is both painful and funny. :)

  • Zovc

    Well, this episode isn’t exactly fantastic, but it’s also one of the least depressing of the season, and it’s better that the three that precede it, so… yay?

    Anya going back to being a vengeance demon bothers me both because it seems a little unlikely she would want to be one again, given her newfound respect for human life*, and because in “Dopplegangland” (sigh, Season Three), D’Hoffryn refused to turn her back. What changed his mind?

    I normally don’t hate Xander outside of Late Season Two/Early Season Three, but I come very close in this episode. How he treats Anya is pretty much totally unjustified, not to mention his absurdly asinine judgment of Buffy.
    Dawn is still my second-least favorite character on the show, but she is far more mature from here on out, and mercifully for my ears, less whiny (my guess is the writers finally listened to what the fans were saying).

    The Trio do NOT get to pretend they are Indiana Jones! EVER!!!!!!!!!!

    Willow and Tara’s scenes are easily the best part of this episode, and the last scene may be my favorite W/T moment ever.

    The Spike/Anya sex does come out of nowhere, but back in “Where the Wild Things Are”, they did both commiserate over their recent power loss. We may have all failed to notice due to chemistryless Biley sex blinding us (when I rewatched, though, Spike and Anya bonding in “WtWTA” immediately made me think of this episode).

    The next episode is so goddamned hard to watch. I suppose just reading the recap will be marginally easier than watching the episode. My sincerest sympathies to Sweeney. Here’s an Internet hug, and I’m not ordinarily a hugger.

    * I realized after typing this that I took this phrase from “Gross Point Blank”

    • Jojo

      I suspect Anya’s rage at being left at the altar was what changed D’Hoffryn’s mind. A newly recharged, refreshed, really pissed off Anya was more than ready to do some damage, and I have to say I am with her at the moment.

      • Zovc

        Brilliant explanation, I have to say, though since it isn’t mentioned on the show it’s kind of a fanwank. A really good one though.

    • wlreed

      1430 for any Grosse Point Blank reference. That’s one of my favorite movies ever and anything that can make me giggle when I think about the next episode is steller

    • Raluca

      “The Spike/Anya sex does come out of nowhere” – isn’t that valid for most comfort sex?

  • Jojo

    I always thought the Magic Box booze was useful booze – pour on an owie, disinfect tools. have a shot of courage. The good stuff gets left home because too many people behind the counter.

    I like the demon solidarity of the misery loving company of the two mildly inebriated demons – with sharing misery sex. I always did like Anya and Spike together – and I love Anya’s “Me either! I hate us! Everybody’s So “nice.” Nobody speaks their mind.” I have to say that this episode makes me dislike Scoobies too. Xander was the first friend so Anya not only got shafted at the wedding, she finds out that Xander got all the friends in the settlement. The prime example to me is Buffy at the end.

    Buffy just stands there feeling butt hurt that the person she told to move on has….guess what, moved on. They didn’t know they were doing it on film – just for personal solace – and then Xander is screaming all sorts of stuff at Any about her sleeping with evil dead and Buffy jumps in and sticks up for her friend and for fair play and – whoops, wrong. Buffy stands silently and just lets Xander berate Anya. I think Buffy is as big a hypocrite as Xander – early in the episode she didn’t care if her friends know but once the time comes to prove it she lets a former friend be abused in her place. I was glad Spike finally said what he did.

    Back to the timing glitch. Everyone see Spike and Anya making out on a table – Xander jumps up, grabs an axe and storms off. Buffy goes into the back yard and has a nice heart-to-heart with her sister and then when that talk is over, Willow finally tells Buffy what is going on with Xander, and that Spike and Anya are in danger. Was I the only person who was bewildered by that glitch in the matrix?

    I love Willow and Tara and I just want to cuddle up on the couch of FEELS with them, and be happy. PSSST – special surprise because Amber Benson will finally make it into the credits. I assume that isn’t a spoiler.

    Finally – some Yeats

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    • Clément Polge

      I’m, huh, not sure what’s the glitch ? That Xander had a head start and yet they both arrived at the same time ? Because on one hand we got a slighty overweight man, and on the other hand we got a slayer. I’m actually amazed Buffy didn’t stop for ice cream on the way.

      And Buffy was right to let Xander berate Anya, not only can she stand her own, this was couple stuff, and none of her buisness. The fact that she slept with Spike herself doesn’t actually change anything to the fact that Anya did, or is Xander supposed to go “oh, Buffy did too ? Well then that’s ok, my bad, lol”.

      And it was a serious dick move from Spike, because not only was it irrelevant in any possible way, he said it with the only purpose of hurting everyone just for his own pride. Not sure where’s the good in that…

      • Jojo

        I just think that a talk with Dawn about all this stuff would take more than five minutes – or at least it should take more than 5 minutes. But we – the audience – already saw Xander with the axe going after Spike. I’ve always been surprised that Buffy walks out in the back with Dawn right then. Yeah, the talk is needed but the timing seems weird.

        Buffy was right to let Xander berate Anya? So, if Anya were Willow, what would have happened? If Anya were Dawn, what would have happened? How is this none of Buffy’s business – sorry not sorry. Her friend is being seriously slut shamed and verbally abused by a fiance that left her at the altar and she doesn’t do anything to stick up for her.

        As for Spike – in this event I see no reason for Spike to put up with seeing a woman he just had a small romantic interlude with being verbally flayed for sleeping with an undead like this – “‘m not joking now. You let that evil, soulless thing touch you. You
        wanted me to feel something,congratulations. It worked. I look at you – I feel sick – ’cause you had sex with that.” He has the right to stick up for Anya but more than that – he has the right to stick up for himself.

        XANDER HAS NO RIGHT TO JUDGE ANYA – BUFFY HAS NO RIGHT TO JUDGE SPIKE. They were told to move on and they did. No one has the right to attempt murder or abuse the crap out of either of them.

        • Clément Polge

          Well if Anya was Willow, or if Anya was Dawn, then it wouldn’t be a couple’s discussion now, would it ? Which was my point: this is couple stuff.

          Xander has no right to judge Anya ? I mean, yeah, she’s the wronged party here, but he’s been trying to make amends, and she’s never really told him anything along the lines of “we’re over” or “i don’t want to see you anymore”, did she ? Sure this was a rough hit, but I’m sure some relationships have endured worse. And just because he did wrong doesn’t mean Anya should get a free pass on anything. She clearly sees he’s trying to fix things and still she doesn’t dump him, so what she did was cheating on him. With extenuating circumstances, sure, but cheating nonetheless.

          The discussion wasn’t about Spike at all, he was just the dick Anya happened to get a ride on, his butting in wasn’t even about sticking up for himself either, it was about giving away that grand reveal he’s been asking for (because sexual privacy is for chump, i guess), it had absolutely no relevance to the conversation. And again – couple stuff, you just don’t get into the middle of a couple argument.

          • darkalter2000

            You defend your friends, even if it is from your other friend. Labeling it a ‘couple thing’ is just not wanting to get involved. Police get involved in domestic disputes nowadays because it is bullshit to say that it isn’t anyone else’s business. Only if both parties /tell/ you not to get involved should you back off.

            She moved out. That is a breakup. She didn’t have to spell it out because she left. The man left her at the damn altar! It doesn’t matter if he wants to “work things out” with Anya. She is clearly not having any. Rememer their fight at the beginning of the episode? She gave him a chance to rescind his position and marry her and he pussyed out. Cheating my ass…

          • Clément Polge

            Domestic dispute ? Come on, the thing last for less than 2 minutes (I timed it at about one and a half minute), and there is no shouting involved, only voice raising, and no physical contact whatsoever between them. Nothing to call the police about.

            So she asks him to marry her and that means she wants to break up ?

            I’m not saying Anya shouldn’t break up, she should… If she want to. As it stands, she’s clearly letting that door open, so it kinda looks like she doesn’t want to.

            And again, YMMV, but I’ve seen at last one couple IRL with one of them moving out and still remaining in a relationship. And how many occurences where one of them needs some space and decides to crash on someone else’s couch for a while, to be able to think things through ? Wedding, living together, all of these are things, it seems to me a relationship is about the people rather than the things.

          • Jojo

            Polge – my assumption is that Willow or Dawn were in a position of being publicly berated. Willow or Dawn were being abused for doing something Buffy also did but was hiding. Would Buffy act differently – cuz I really, really think she would.

            For the love of God – she was trying to curse him in their first scene together:
            “I — I wish you felt the pain of a thousand searing pokers boiling your
            heart in its own juices! I wish you lived in a state of constant panic! I wish you had tentacles where your beady eyes should be! I wish your intestines
            were twisted into knots and ripped apart inside your lousy gut!” I think that is a bit more emphatic than “we’re over”

            It amazes me that you seem to think that after dumping Anya publicly with no explanation – just walking away without even being willing to face her – that Xander still is somehow in a position of being CHEATED ON when Anya decides to sleep with someone else. I don’t care how he says that he feels, and obviously Anya doesn’t either or she wouldn’t be a vengeance demon again and trying to punish him. Xander may say he loves her, but walking out on her sure as hell makes that a huge lie. There is no relationship between Xander and Anya anymore.

            As for the reveal – didn’t Buffy say it didn’t matter at the beginning of the show? And didn’t it break up the argument, and protect Anya from more abuse?

          • Clément Polge

            You’re taking a specific situation and turning it into a generic one: “if someone was accused of something Buffy did, Buffy would speak out”. Without any details or context we have no idea how Buffy would actually react.

            “For the love of God – she was trying to curse him in their first scene together”

            Except he doesn’t know she tried to curse him, does he ? All he’s hearing is her feeling betrayed and spouting insults. Something she is more than entitled to given the situation. He’s just seeing someone frustrated and he’s trying to win her back.

            And he didn’t dump her, he left at the wedding. Not exactly the same thing. He’s making that exact same point: love does not neccesarly equals wedding, and while he wants to be with her, he acknowledges that he has stuff to work out about himself before being able to really commit to something that scare him. It’s a bit late for that bit of self-realisation, but better late than never, isn’t it ?

            Even if we consider what Xander did breaking up, the fact remains that he’s clearly trying to make amends, patch things up, and she can’t not see it. But she never closes that door to him, she never tell him it’s over, hell she even ask him to marry her, how is she not in a relationship with him ? A tense, fragile one, where he has to make it up to her, sure, but a relationship nonetheless.

            And how is it abuse ? If you want quotes, maybe you should start one line before on that Xander quote, when he says “so this is your solution to *our* problems”. Because it sums up the situation: there is still an “us”, and they are working through their problems (at least in Xander’s mind, which Anya never cared to correct if she ever thought otherwise, although he was very clear in his intent). In this situation, he has a ground to call that cheating. Note that even in this conversation, Anya never say that things are over between them, she doesn’t say “i can do what I want we’re not together anymore”, what she DOES say is what drive her to this, explaining her actions, kinda like… Someone in a relationship, perhaps ?

            Reveal: it doesn’t matter what Buffy said, it was not up to Spike to decide what part of her sexual life she should disclose to *her* friends, nor was it the good time, not was it done for any reason besides boasting of “I hit that, yo”.

          • Jojo

            Would Buffy act differently – and we both know the answer is yes. I am trying to point out that Buffy would have stood up for Willow and Dawn. Since Anya is not in the core group she can be verbally abused. No one stands up for her right to make her own decision with her own body. Funny thing is that after all the calling out of Spike for similar attitudes – not many people seem to be bothered by Xandar feeling he gets to decide who Anya sleeps with. Even if you want to consider this a separation – Anya is still allowed to have sex with anyone she wants to.

            Whether or not he knows she is trying to curse him, she is certainly expressing strong feelings. If leaving someone to stand up all alone and tell the wedding guests that your husband-not-to-be has done a runner is not dumping someone then I really hate to know what you do consider dumping someone. That is about as public and humiliating being dumped can be.

            And yes, you can ignore the quotes I posted and come up with your own but the fact is the abusive and cruel quotes were used by Xander and no one tried to stop him. “‘I’m not joking now. You let that evil, soulless thing touch you. You wanted me to feel something,congratulations. It worked. I look at you – I feel sick – ’cause you had sex with that.” That’s no longer making amends, and he has no right to slut shame her.

            Since Buffy was not masturbating there were two people involved and this was Spike’s sex life, too. He can reveal what he wants and when he wants. Yes, knowing Buffy doesn’t want her friends to know, he has held back. But being told it no longer mattered, he had every right to say whatever he wanted.

          • Clément Polge

            Huh, no, we don’t both know that Buffy would act differently, because I don’t, because again, you can’t reason on just a generic description of the situation. And if Willow wasn’t gay and it was Willow instead of Anya here and arguing with her boyfriend, I could see Buffy not interfering either. She would probably be more comforting afterwards, though.

            My definition of dumping is irrelevant here, it’s about them, and clearly these two aren’t done with one another, at least at the beginning of the episode.

            And even if they were broken up, why wouldn’t Anya really tell Xander to get lost when he tries to patch things up with her ? She’s expressing her anger, but that’s not the same thing.

            And that’s my issue: since she let Xander believe that there was a relationship to be saved (and she probably wants that too), then we have to consider them as a couple, and then that’s not slut-shaming, that’s disgust at cheating.

            So, if a girl breaks up with a guy and the guy decides to go see all of her friends and her parents to tell them aaaaall about her sexual life, it’s ok then, because it’s stuff they did together ?

            And yeah, sure, she told him to go ahead. You know. Just after that “I am NOT telling my friends about us” line.

            There’s just no dimension in which it’s Spike’s call to reveal anything about Buffy’s sex life without her explicit consent, and not just a “go ahead” thrown as a provocation in a middle of a fight, especially considering the rest of the sentence.

            Especially to *her* friends.

          • Jojo

            Sorry not sorry – done here. This is kinda getting out of control so YMMV. We are good but I don’t think we’ll ever agree on this so let’s just stay with good but disagree.

          • Ana KH

            … Xander has no right to be mad at Anya for ANYTHING after leaving her at the alter. He showed zero respect for her and their relationship. What he did was horrible, and immature, and it killed their relationship.

            I can’t with this “Anya was cheating” argument. It’s bullshit.

          • Raluca

            You know what I find interesting? That Spike actually lets Xander beat him, without even raising his hands to protect himself (not to hit back). I don’t think it’s the chip, because he’s hit Xander before, for the sheer pleasure of it. I think he actually feels guilty for hurting Xander, by sleeping with his ex.

            In general, I agree with you. I do not have a problem with comfort sex, even if it doesn’t solve anything – it just makes you feel good for a while.

            I feel bad for Spike and Anya in this episode, and have no fucks to give about Xander – I know I am applying double standards, as I understand that Xander feels hurt and lashes out, even if he has no right to, and I let Spike off the hook (sort of) for lashing out at Buffy. I just dislike Xander intensely, all the time. And his shame – slutting of Anya (and implicitly of Buffy) rubs me the wrong way.

          • Jojo

            I’m gonna have to watch that scene again and see what I think. I do suspect Spike knew that this was not a situation to risk pain incapacitating him. If nothing else, if Xander tried to kill him again he could escape.

            I don’t know that Spike lashed out at Buffy. She did tell him at the beginning of the episode – “You wanna tell them so badly? Go ahead. You know why? I tried to kill my friends, my sister, last week … and guess how much they hate me. Zero. Zero much. (shrugs) So I’m thinking, sleeping with you? They’ll deal.” I just assume Buffy means what she says – and I think she has made a huge amount of progress. I really think Spike steps in because Buffy doesn’t.

          • Raluca

            Well, I think he kinda lashes out, because Buffy doesn’t step in to assume her part in it. He has been called “an evil, disgusting, soulless thing” for a long time, but I guess this was one time too many. And to see his and Anya’s fleeting moment dragged through mud, with B there looking guilty as hell and not stepping in, was the last straw.

          • Alicia

            I thought it was because he was so low that he couldn’t be bothered to care that Xander was trying to kill him.

          • Ashley Menvielle

            Agreed

          • Raluca

            Maybe you’re right. But I think he feels a bit guilty as well, because he understands how his sleeping with Anya would hurt Xander.

          • SnazzyO

            “There is no relationship between Xander and Anya anymore.”

            It was too serious for there not to be residual relationship somethings… What it is, IDK, but while I don’t think Anya was cheating, I think Xander having feels is normal. Whether or not he has any “right” to feels is kinda irrelevant. Feels happen.

          • Jojo

            I agree – my issue is that regardless of how Xander may feel, he’s old enough to control his feelings. He doesn’t have the right to try and control Anya by shaming her.

          • SnazzyO

            He might be old enough to control his feelings but it’s precisely because he COULDN’T that he wasn’t ready to get married. At least he recognized that as a problem. It took a potential demon with a set of fake future visions to bring him to this realization but THIS is Xander’s darkness. And he’s not going to get over it with one event.

            I love Xander but recognize this darkness in him is something he has to fix.

          • Jojo

            We really do love our flawed characters, don’t we? Hey, at least Xander hasn’t sent anyone’s baby through a portal to a hell dimension!

          • Ashley Menvielle

            “at least Xander hasn’t sent anyone’s baby through a portal to a hell dimension”. Lol! And also, poor well meaning Wesley….

    • Zovc

      I see nothing wrong with how the Scoobies treated Anya. She didn’t attempt to talk with them about how she felt, she just wanted vengeance. Both Dawn and Buffy expressed sympathy, and Willow and Tara likely would have if Anya hadn’t spent the whole conversation trying to get them to hate men. Had she just talk to them about her feelings, the gang probably would have been very understanding, especially that given Willow and Buffy both know how it feels when the person you love most leaves you.

      • Jojo

        Well, yeah – they are willing to let her vent. But Xander is their friend and they are actually supporting him. Hell, that’s my anger at Buffy at the end. She let’s Xander act – well obsessive, obsessive, and abusive and does nothing to defend Anya. I’m not saying Anya is weak – but Buffy and the rest of the Scoobs are no kind of friend. I kinda get the feeling that if Anya left town for good they would barely notice.

        It’s something Tara mentioned once – that the Scoobies are kind of insular.

        • darkalter2000

          She gets less screen time, therefore she is less of a person.

          Seriously, if Anya had been around in the first season instead of the third more people would be on her side. Xander gets more slack because he was first. He doesn’t deserve it but he gets it.

          People say Tara doesn’t really have an arc, just because she is quiet and gets less screen time. Which is patently ridiculous. If their were an ‘ideal’ state of humanness we could say that. We could say she didn’t ‘grow out’ of her quiet cerebralness and start acting like everybody else thus she didn’t arc.

          This is on of the reasons I dislike TV as a medium. We can’t look into people’s thoughts without it being cheesy and overdone. Plus their just isn’t enough time to do it in 23 or 45 minutes. Doing it well is the exception, never the rule.

        • Ashley Menvielle

          “That the Scoobies are kind of insular”. Yes, I think this is accurate and they”ve gotten to be more insular as they’ve gotten older in my opinion. We’ve really only seen significant others join with the group, Angel, Cordelia, Riley, Anya, Tara, so I think that’s telling. I think in the first season they would have accepted others into the group more easily but after that they seem less welcoming, and I don’t think it’s really too conscious on their parts but it’s what happens. I will say that considering their whole saving the world, battling baddies all the time would be kind of a hard sell to bring outsiders in on but I think it works well for a metaphor on how real life close knit groups can become very insular and how unhealthy that can sometimes be. The Scoobies are becoming older and changing, and inevitably that’s going to have an impact on group dynamics for good and bad, as we can see this season.

          • Ashley Menvielle

            Oh and I’ll add that Faith also tried to fit in with the Scoobs in season 3 and found it very hard to do so after awhile and so said eff it and tried to isolate Buffy too come be one with her on the darker side, oh sounds familiar! Speaking of trying to get B to walk on the darker side, I think Spike thought, at least unconsciusly, that he had become a part of the group after the end battle with Glory and the summer of hanging and slaying. The minute Buffy came back this was proven to be false.

          • Alicia

            Great points in these posts. Spike in this season and Faith could be seen to share similar roles regarding Buffy. Sort of a ‘shadow self’ that can be used to explore her darker side.

            I think that Spike actually seemed pretty genuinely hurt in ‘Afterlife’ when he realised the Scoobies didn’t need him anymore because Buffy was alive. He was actually doing much better without her there! Once she was in his unlife again and leaning on him so heavily it developed into a situation that he really hasn’t been able to handle very well.

          • Ashley Menvielle

            Yes, I think shadow selves is a really accurate description :). I’ve read a few different meta, Mark Fields makes the case as I recall too on his blog, that made strong cases that Faith and Spike both play that shadow self metaphorically for Buffy in S3 and S6, respectively.

            I definitely agree with you on Spike seeming to really be hurt in Afterlife, he had found a place and purpose with a social group in the wake of Buffy’s death and he lost that immediately after Buffy came back. He fixated on her because he loves her and he’d be the first to say he doesn’t care about or need the Scoobies, but I wonder if he realized how much being cast aside by the Scoobs probably played a part in his need to be a part of her life again. That must have been like going from 0 to 60 because, what else did he have in his life? Nothing, really. And, yes, she did lean pretty heavily on him with all her darker feels and I think it was confusing and pretty, impossible for him to fully understand and deal with it well at all like you said.

            Great points! :)

            .

          • Alicia

            Yeah, he says that Anya is the only one he wouldn’t bite, but I’ve never seen any evidence that he actually hates any of the Scoobies except Xander. Spike may pretend he doesn’t need people, but I think he actually is a social creature. He’s not really a loner I don’t think. But as in life, he has never really been able to find real acceptance in a group.

            Spike definitely needs a purpose! When Buffy entrusted him with protecting Dawn in season five he rose to the challenge. But he doesn’t do so well on his own. He’s got no support system so he just muddles through and gets it wrong quite often for various reasons, partly being a vampire with no soul, but also his own unique personality traits and faults. Buffy was not in a position to morally babysit him this season when she was struggling so much with her own life!

          • Ashley Menvielle

            Yes! +1 to all this, I totally agree! This is why I have feels for Spike, or largely why because also he’s cute and snarky, because he tries even with very little support and capacity to do some good by the people he cares about. Is that limited?Yes. Is that selfish thinking in its own way? Yes. Is that also problematic in that the only people he really ever cares about and does things for are women he feels protective and possessive of? Oh, yeah. But, he is trying and evolving and I find it fascinating. :)

            And yes, Buffy couldn’t be his moral guide this season, and it highlights how difficult it is to be viewed as someones moral guide and babysitter. I forget that the Scoobies are still pretty young, or supposed to be even if the actors look older, and still growing so I think that definitely plays a part in how often they mess up and end up neglecting and hurting each other this season, in regards to the inner circle and outsiders like Spike.

          • Alicia

            I forget how young they are too. Which is weird because they’re actually my age!

            I have feels for every character this season. They’re all going through a tough time. But because I already loved them so much I can forgive them for screwing up even if there’s moments of dislike/hate, like for Xander in this episode. And I include Spike in this, not just because he’s my favourite character, but because I think he’s also going through a rather painful ‘growing up’ process along with them, despite being over a century old!

          • Raluca

            Iro Spike, I hope you are ready for gur ungr srfg gung vf tbvat gb or arkg rcvfbqr. V nz abg fher V rira jnag gb ernq gur erivrj, zhpu yrff pbzzrag ba vg, fvapr V npghnyyl flzcnguvmr jvgu Fcvxr va Frrvat Erq (abg nccebir bs, zvaq zr).

          • Alicia

            I’m ready, I think. I hope so anyway. We’ll get through it.

          • Raluca

            LOL I am not sure I am. I know it’ll be hard to watch and be objective and really see what is on screen and what it leads to – V nz fher gur Fcvxr ungr jvyy or fb uvtu vg’yy or uneq gb pbagvahr erpnccvat fprarf eryngrq gb uvz be gung unir uvz va vg cnfg gur nggrzcgrq encr.

          • Alicia

            Lrnu, yhpxvyl ur qbrfa’g unir zhpu fperra gvzr sbe gur erfg bs gur frnfba. Frnfba frira znl or qvssrerag.

          • Ashley Menvielle

            Yes, THIS. Exactly, how I feel about the characters :).

          • Ashley Menvielle

            Yes, +1. Your feels and mine align on loving and forgiving the characters for their mistakes this season. And, YES, Spike despite his age is growing up too and its been very hard and painful for him as well.

          • Jojo

            Agreed.

            I always kinda wished they hadn’t so quickly slotted Anya into quirky comic relief. 1000 years old – how many demons must she know, and how many languages. Oh, and one more name to add to the list – Angel

            The inner circle remains the inner circle – and the outer circle will always be lesser. I can understand how seriously bonded they were by the end of the first season, but after 3 years of fighting with them it seems that at least Anya and Tara would make it into that bond.

          • Ashley Menvielle

            Oh, yeah agree with you on Anya there so hard! She has tons of potential and Emma Caulfield is so wonderful playing her too! Lots of missed opportunities there to explore her character bc as you said she gets relegated to comic relief all the time. I feel like the treatment of her character by the Scoobies kinda serves as meta commentary on the writers themselves: the Scoobs pigeon hole her as “quirky comic relief” because the writers themselves had. Too bad, but also, spoilers! So, at least there’s that but still….

            And, yes, three years is long enough to be considered inner Scoobies for me too.

          • Jojo

            I kinda think part of it – Watsonian (inside the world) – is that Willow did not like Anya. They stopped spatting but the dislike was still there. Hence everyone takes Willow’s side over Anya’s. Xander can have her join the group but no one will try to bond with her.

            And Emma Caulfield did so much with what was pretty much same-old same-old. She really is underrated!

          • Ashley Menvielle

            Ah, yes! Great point! I forgot that Willow didn’t really like Anya! That’s true for Angel too. Xander disliked him from the beginning, because of him being a rival for B ‘s affections, and then later he piles the actions of Angelus into his reasons for disliking Angel. Obviously, after Jenny, Giles disliked Angel, too. Oh!Willow also disliked Cordelia and Faith, pretty much from the get go to over simplify both relationships for the sake of brevity. Buffy was never too comfortable with Faith or Cordelia either when they tried to join the inner sanctum.

            In contrast, none of the core Scoobs really disliked Tara or Riley and they seemed to be pretty easily accepted if not really integrated into the Scoobies. Hmmm, interesting! You have given me food for thinky thoughts, thank you!

          • Jojo

            Remember Spike when it comes to Giles. Angel may have tortured him but it was Spike who broke him by calling in Dru. No one has ever mentioned it but I suspect that Giles has to have some lingering resentment

          • Ashley Menvielle

            Oh! Yes! I’m so glad you reminded me of that because I had completely forgotten!

          • Raluca

            Oh, God, the good old times of S2 and S3 Spike :D

          • Ashley Menvielle

            He was so fun loving and carefree, except for his Dru feels back then. Good times :).

          • Raluca

            I think this is the normal way with “closed groups”, you have to be accepted by all members. I do not hold the Scoobies responsible for their like/dislike of certain non-Scoobies, but I most of the time prefer the “outsiders” anyway.
            What is interesting to me is that Buffy and the Scoobies themselves are actually outsiders, so Anya and Spike are actually worst than outsiders (Spike has Clem, sometimes, and Anya has Halfrek, but that’s it)

          • Ashley Menvielle

            A+ to all your points here. The Scoobies started out as the misfit outcasts in school, I always feel that Buffy banded together with Willow and Xander so she would have a support system to combat the loneliness of her life as a slayer. It’s ironic and sad that they, as outsiders, have such a hard time accepting others like themselves but as you said not really that unusual with close knit group.

    • Ashley Menvielle

      A+ and a hearty thank you for the Second Coming quote, it’s one of my faves and certainly can be used to describe this season.

      • Jojo

        As we slouch toward Bethlehem :)

        You are so right – it really does describe this season!

        • Ashley Menvielle

          “As we slouch toward Bethlehem”
          Oh, gosh, yes, we are getting closer and closer….

    • Alicia

      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity

      Sounds like Buffy and Spike!

  • Christine Tran

    …And the Scoobies are now as dysfunctional and incestuous as the cast of The Brady Bunch! Here’s to the syphilis!

    In all seriousness, this episode so painful/good to watch. Here’s to Xander acting exactly how Buffy was originally afraid he’s react! The fun just keeps on leaving and I love* that! From midseason onwards spilling right onto the next ep (no spoilers) it’s just a ride of effupery that one must just sit back against, let happen and thank God you’re not one of them. Bottom up! (weeps)

  • Alicia

    There’s not much to yay about in this episode, just like a lot of season six. But I loved the sisterly bonding scenes. It was about time and really nice to see! Also I giggled at Willow talking about the DoubleMeat Palace penis monster. Anya’s attempts to get the Scoobies to make a wish against Xander were funny too, even though it would have been the exact opposite if anything had actually happened.

    I really really think it’s a bad idea that Willow and Tara seem to be getting back together, even if they are adorable in this episode. Tara perfectly described exactly why they shouldn’t be jumping into things. It’s completely understandable but makes me cringe cause it really shouldn’t be happening. At least until we’ve seen some sign of Willow understanding exactly what she did to Tara with the whole mind-rape thing. It makes me uncomfortable even though I want to root for them.

    The Spike/Anya scene is really well done and highlights the parallels in their stories as demons/ex-demons who have been forming their identities around their respective humans. I am SO glad that they both had someone to talk to, who can understand and empathise with their pain and confusion over being rejected by the person they love. I like that it brings out Spike’s compassionate side. It was fascinating to watch them vent and bluster, and then their masks fall away as we see deeper feeling revealed. Anya’s line “What if he never wanted me, the way I wanted him?” and expression KILL me, as does the little ssshhh sound Spike makes in response, looking like he’s on the verge of tears as well. And Spike’s “She was so raw. I’ve never felt anything like it” line was great too. They have nice chemistry too(surprise surprise). But the sex they had doesn’t really seemed to have helped them at all except briefly in the moment. They both still look so depressed when they part. I liked the shared look/ nod of acknowledgement. It’s such a shame that the camera was there because I truly think it was a complete one time thing not meant to hurt anybody. They deserved that moment to be kept private.

    Xander, Xander Xander. I normally like him but his rant to Anya pretty much causes intense hatred in me when I watch that scene. It reminds me how incredibly nasty and judgemental he can be of the women in his life. I can’t believe he has the gall to slut-shame Anya in such a horrific way after breaking her heart. It makes me recoil from the scene. Not to mention that he seems to think that they can stay together without even having an a half-way adequate explanation for his actions. He really needs to think about what he’s doing to her. And trying to kill Spike went way too far, especially since he can’t fight back. It must have been really hard for Buffy to hear that rant as well.

    Spike really is a wreck at this point. He was willing to resort to magic to ease his pain! Honestly, to me it looks like he doesn’t particularly care if Xander kills him in the last scene. And his body language is all slumped and defeated throughout that scene. I find his outburst understandable .I think he wanted to shut Xander up and is probably incredibly sick of being referred to as a ‘thing and ‘that’ by everyone, like he has no worth at all. Except when the Scoobies need his muscle or someone to take things out on. He looks like he regrets it instantly when he looks at Buffy. I think he really believes his earlier statement about not hurting her.

    Speaking of Buffy, I’m a little frustrated with her regarding Spike this episode. I wish she’d make up her mind about what she wants from him. In the crypt scene it was painful to watch her dismiss Spike’s feelings as only real “For you”. Her ‘apology’ just came off as condescending when she follows it with “move on and get over it”. And then later she makes that snide “Didn’t take you long” comment. I think seeing Spike with Anya hurt way more than she would’ve expected it to. I do sympathise with her being hurt, it sucks, but she needs to keep it to herself and not take it out on Spike. She can’t tell him to move on one second and then get angry with him when he appears to be starting to(not that he was). I think she takes Spike’s feelings for her for granted a little bit, and also has more feelings for him that she will admit to. It’s a mess!

    • Jojo

      +1 and will you marry me?! I do love Anya and Spike together. I am so glad that they have each other. As you said – even if it was only for the moment. It never even occurred to me that Spike is seeking out magic! (serious facepalm) As for the treatment of Spike – no, I don’t like it either. In fact, if I were to write a complete reply it would mean plagiarizing your entire letter because I agree with every word!

      • Alicia

        Proposal accepted:)

        You aren’t going to leave me at the altar, right?

        • Jojo

          Well, how do you feel about polygamy?

          • Alicia

            I’m open to it:) Internet marriages are fun!

      • Guest

        I’m open to it. Internet marriages are fun!

        • Alicia

          How did I manage this? Weird.

          • Jojo

            I can handle weird – weird is good. Does Sims have vampires?

          • Alicia

            Maybe they do? I’m sure there’s probably an expansion pack with them. I haven’t played that in a long time!

          • Jojo

            I have a very dim memory of trying it out – and quickly dying with boredom. Hey, maybe if I tortured them….XD

          • Alicia

            I’m pretty sure I spent a while finding all the ways to kill my Sims off. I remember you could make them drown by taking away the pool ladder so they couldn’t get out. Um, I’m nice really!

          • Jojo

            Hey, anyone who can’t kill off the families they made is way too repressed. OTH – I really hope most gods have a more benign view because I may well be living in a celestial petri dish and this is getting into the cosmic wiggins.

            Can you stab them? Um, yeah on the nice thing and I really am sane – my mother had me tested.

          • Alicia

            Not sure about the stabbing.

            And regarding your sanity. I believe you, thousands wouldn’t :D:D:D

          • Jojo

            You scare me. And that’s not a bad thing….except when it is. Still undecided – wait for bulletins……

    • Ashley Menvielle

      Yes to this and you can have all my 1430s because you summed up all my feels so eloquently :). Especially, that moment: “What if he never wanted me, the way I wanted him?” “Sshhhhh” (touches her face tenderly). EC and JM are magic in this scene and all my feels are belong to them :). You described why beautifully <3.

      • Alicia

        Why thank you!:D You know, I was determined to write a short comment for once and it ended up being even longer than usual!

        That moment though *cries*. That whole scene really *hugs them tight*.

  • Pingback: Buffy the Vampire Slayer S06 E19 – NOPE.

Previous post:

Next post: