Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV 

Orius

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Family
Season: 5
Episode: 6
Air date: 2000-11-07

Guest stars: Amy Adams, Clare Kramer, Brian Tee, Teddy Pendergrass, Marc Blucas, Charlie Weber, Mercedes McNab, Steve Rankin, Kevin Rankin, Peggy Goss, Ezra Buzzington, Megan Gray, Amber Benson
Tara's about to celebrate her 20th birthday. Her family arrives but not to celebrate the occasion. They've come to take her home before she turns into an evil demon just like her mother did at the same age. When Glory sends some Lei-Ach demons to take care of the Slayer, Tara inadvertently helps the demons toward their goal by casting a spell to keep her friends from seeing the demon inside her. When the gang have a fight the resulting group of invisible demons, Tara lifts the spell to help them and they find out her secret. Willow tries to stop her from leaving with her family, but Tara is convinced of what her father says about her. Spike ends the argument by punching Tara in the face and then flinching from the pain, proving that she is a human.

I'm usually not a fan of sappiness, and I do admit that Tara's family being misogynistic (even Amy Adam's character's subconscious justification of her family) feels a little heavy-handed. However, Buffy's brand of sappiness doesn't feel insincere or hollow. Tara's insecurity as an outsider rings true, and so are the recurring insecurities that have been present throughout this season thus far (Dawn, Buffy, Xander, and even Riley). There's an anxiety present in the characters here that they might not feel as important to their friends and family, and each time (except for Riley), this has been proven false, which is heartwarming and therapeutic for those of us going through similar struggles. Reality is cruel and can often differ from the selflessness of fiction (with people often losing their sense of connection the Scoobies find themselves having among each other), but perhaps this makes stories like Buffy even more significant to present us what could've been and what people could work towards, encouraging a more empathetic connection between one another.

I like how "Family" turned out, even the Riley bits. The theme for this season so far has been a lot more consistent, and therefore, a lot more powerful and thought-provoking. I think when it comes down to it, this season is going to explore having appreciation for your friends and peers and seeing the kind of connection you have with them, whether it's Buffy and Dawn's sisterly bond or Xander/Tara and the Scoobies. Considering what "The Gift" and "The Body" are about, this theme makes sense, to appreciate whom you have... before they're gone.

8/10
 
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Orius

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Listening to Fear
Season: 5
Episode: 9
Air date: 2000-11-28

Guest stars: Debbie Lee Carrington, Kevin Weisman, Nick Chinlund, Marc Blucas, Charlie Weber, April Adams, Paul Hayes, Keith Allan, Erin Leigh Price, Barbara C. Adside, Randy Thompson, Kristine Sutherland
The Summers women are at the hospital when the doctor informs Joyce she'll have surgery in two days. The rest of the gang go vampire slaying. Willow and Tara are camping out on the roof of a building watching the stars when a large object crashes down in Sunnydale. A mental patient who has been released from the hospital is walking through the forest when a creature attacks him. At the hospital, the creature climbs along the ceiling, undetected. Buffy and Joyce talk the doctor into letting Joyce go home until her operation. The gang finds the location of the crash and the dead body of the released hospital patient. While everyone else goes to find help, Riley calls Graham. He later advises the military officers who answer the call on how to deal with the situation. At the hospital, the mental patients are attacked by the demon. Buffy's mom continues to act strangely and say things she doesn't remember. Dawn is hurt when Joyce calls her a "thing," but Buffy comforts her and tells her to

Man, what a great episode. It goes to show that BtVS is a show that could use an alien invasion to tell a story about coping with a family member suffering a mental disorder. A lot of Buffy and Dawn's struggles here with Joyce ring true to real life, right down to the kind of inadvertent abuse Joyce dished out like "You should stop eating; you're disgustingly fat" remark. Heck, my mum's paranoia condition wasn't as severe but she already had similar symptoms of verbal abuse when I was a kid. Buffy's breakdown is great and believable, thanks to the stellar performance of SMG, but along with Buffy and Dawn drowning out Joyce's voice, this episode hits too close to home.

The cliché of the cavalry arriving at the last minute though, god, that annoys me every time I see it.

An interesting detail I noticed though is that the Queller Demon's face looks a bit like the fluke monster from X-Files, and with this being an episode about extraterrestrials, it's almost as if it landed in the wrong TV universe. lol I call missed opportunity for a Mulder/Scully crossover.

That promise in the end... poor Buffy. I remember that Passion of the Nerd has said that Buffy resembles Peter Parker, and it's in moments like this that makes me see the connection, when Buffy has to stay strong and make the right choice, even if it means to sacrifice her own happiness and peace of mind, even when she loses her loved ones to the hands of cruel, random reality.

8/10

Great episode with a few minor flaws.
 
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Orius

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Into the Woods
Season: 5
Episode: 10
Air date: 2000-12-19

Guest stars: Nick Chinlund, Bailey Chase, Marc Blucas, Rainy Stout, Emmanuel Xuereb, Adam Gifford, Randy Thompson, Kristine Sutherland
At the hospital, the Scooby Gang awaits news from the doctor about Joyce's surgery and they are all relieved when the surgery is a success. Dawn spends the night with Xander and Anya. With the house to themselves, Buffy and Riley spend a romantic evening together. In the middle of the night, Riley sneaks out through the window and Spike follows him into an old building.

In Riley's defense, Buffy has rarely come forth to him for emotional release so far this season; it's just been sex, sex, and more sex in this relationship. I could understand that Riley wanted more out of it, to have Buffy open up to him and trust him enough to lean on him as someone who could listen to her problems (more than just being a sex doll). Maybe that's a little harsh on Buffy, but other than that volleyball scene in the first episode, I don't think the relationship gets any deeper than just "let's have sex." Like I said in the previous episode discussion threads, there's really no compelling reason why Buffy would love Riley other than him being Joe Normal. What has Riley done for her that makes him "the one"? Look at Sparmony for instance: Spike got bored quickly as well because there's nothing in Harmony's personality to connect Spike with other than sex, unlike with Drucilla (or even Buffy for that matter).

Don't get me wrong on this: Riley is definitely wrong here for cheating on Buffy. I'm definitely not justifying his behavior. But as LadyLavinia said on the first page of this thread, there's blame to go around for both sides when it comes to why the relationship broke down; more so for Riley for being self-centered and his poor way of handling it, but even before learning about Joyce's illness, Riley feels more like an outsider than Tara even. Everyone almost serves a significant purpose in the Scoobies, but Riley is merely Buffy's sexual fodder this season. There's really no real reason why this stale relationship would work out (see Xander and Cordelia). There's no emotional connection between the two and there's no "after sex bliss" like the ones we see for Bangel. I don't know what Buffy sees in Riley to ever hook up with him or stay as long as she did; did she become his girlfriend just because he's an average guy who spits out creepy and passive-aggressive lines? What's the play here? And as for Riley, he should've broken up with Buffy instead of cheating on her. But instead, he's too busy feeling sorry for himself to consider Buffy's feelings on this. As her boyfriend, it's his responsibility to break up if he truly thinks that the relationship isn't working out even after numerous attempts, not cheat. Cheating is never the answer.

In fact, seeing how Xandelia worked out, it seems like another attempt of Whedon's to justify cheating. You know, even sitcoms like "Friends" had healthy break-ups where two people just confess to each other that it isn't working out and that there's no connection, and they would break up without cheating on each other (Roschel notwithstanding). It's as if TV writers believe that relationships need to end with a dramatic bang instead of being more mundane.

And good lord, this whole "goodbye" conversation between Riley and Buffy is just cringeworthy, the way he repeatedly grabs her and forces her to listen to his justification of cheating would've made me think Whedon wrote this if I didn't look it up (Marti Noxon scripted this episode). The lazy expository way of telling the audience something we've known from the beginning: that there is no emotional connection between the two. It's such a horrid scene that belongs to some trashy soap opera, not primetime television.

3/10

This episode was so poorly handled right down to Xander's eye-rolling speech siding with Riley and that horribly cheesy Buffy running sequence in the last few minutes. What is this, Days of Our Slayer's Life? In a rush to write off a character that overstayed his welcome, Marti Noxon leaves a stain on an otherwise consistently quality season. It's far worse than the likes of episodes like "Beer Bad" because it consciously justifies an appalling behavior (as opposed to merely being comedically bad). For a show that inspires empowerment in young women, this episode feels like the antithesis to that and teaches them that they should blame themselves for their spouse's cheating.
 
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Orius

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Triangle
Season: 5
Episode: 11
Air date: 2001-01-09

Guest stars: Abraham Benrubi, Ranjani Brow, Kristine Sutherland
Giles goes off to England to talk to the council about Glory. Meanwhile, Anya and the gang tend to the magic shop. While attempting a new spell to assist Buffy with her slaying, Willow is distracted by her and Anya's constant bickering and accidentally conjures a troll. Actually Anya turned the guy into a troll 1000 years ago when he dumped her and she was then offered the chance to become a vengeance demon. The big, dumb guy goes around smashing things with his hammer until the gang is able to stop him and send him off to troll land.

I really like Willow's hair. She looks good with the curlies:



Other than that, is it me or is Willow's worst qualities come bubbling up in this episode? She belittles Giles for being an idiot, she thinks Xander is often out of line (which is more true in the earlier seasons, but not really season 4 or 5... except maybe "Into the Woods"), she steals from Giles without remorse, and she callously practices magic without the proper precautions. If she knew Anya would disrupt her spell, why didn't she just go into a secluded room or perform the spell later with Tara? Willow shares some of the blame too for bringing about that demon.

I like Willow when she's more sensitive about her words while remaining assertive and confident, but this new reckless Willow who casually wields dangerous spells around and gaining an ego due to her mastering magic? Not so much. You'd think she's learned her lesson from "Something Blue". I could see how this development would lead up to Dark Willow in season 6 though.

But I like how this episode uses the opportunity to point out some of the past transgressions that still have fans talking today, such as Willow cheating on Oz, or even Anya's past life as a vengeance demon. It's nice to get the perspective from Anya that she really has left behind her life as a man-killer, but I almost forgot about her past life until it's pointed out this episode, probably because she's been just "one of the Scoobies" for a while now, not a vengeance demon.

I love Spike's portrayal here. Let's remember: he's still a demon, a vampire whose heart is driven by his base desire alone rather than out of any genuine compassion, so it makes sense that his actions here are driven by his desire to impress Buffy and win her over. lol It's cute.

Overall, it's a fun and light episode that helps us recuperate from the heavy drama of the previous episode. We've got a demon here that acts like he walked out of the middle ages with his baby-eating and all around cartoonish villainy. I don't even really mind that much that Buffy's pain from break-up is played for laughs here in a somewhat comedic fashion whenever Xander and Anya's relationship is brought up in front of her.

6/10
 
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Orius

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Checkpoint
Season: 5
Episode: 12
Air date: 2001-01-23

Guest stars: Clare Kramer, Kevin Weisman, Harris Yulin, Charlie Weber, Ace Mask, Cynthia Lamontagne, Oliver Muirhead, Kris Iyer, Peter Husmann, Jack Thomas, John O'Leary, Troy Blendell, Justin Gorence, Kristine Sutherland
A team from the Watchers Council show up in Sunnydale with some info on who or what Glory is. Before they allow Buffy the details however, they want her to pass a series of psychological and physical tests. They even interview her very nervous gang of friends. Glory shows up at Buffy's house and has a chat with her about the Key and Buffy freaks and takes Dawn and Joyce to Spike so that he can protect them. After being attacked by a group of human Knights who claim they will send an army to defeat her if she continues to protect the Key, Buffy decides she's had enough and the Watchers will have to play her way. Buffy lays down the law and the Watchers agree and reveal to her what Glory is. Not a demon but a god.

Glorious episode (no pun intended) that embodies the kind of "stick it to the patriarchy" feminism of the show, Buffy snatching the power from the dominating Council asserting power over her.

Not much else needs to be said other than that. Joyce and Spike watching a soap together is adorable.

8/10
 
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Orius

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I Was Made to Love You
Season: 5
Episode: 15
Air date: 2001-02-20

Guest stars: Clare Kramer, Adam Busch, Shonda Farr, Charlie Weber, Gil Christner, Paul Darrigo, Kelly Felix, Paull Walia, Troy Blendell, Kristine Sutherland, Amelinda Embry
Buffy is very upset about Spike falling in love with her instead of a nice, good boy that she could date. Spike shows up at the same party as Buffy, and he gets thrown out a window by a strange girl who has been wandering around looking for a guy named Warren. The whole slaying team agree that the girl is a robot because of the way she acts. Buffy pays a visit to the girl's supposed boyfriend, Warren and finds out that Warren made the girl, April, to be the perfect girlfriend. April thinks only of Warren and devotes her entire existence to making him happy. The only problem is that Warren doesn't want her anymore, he has fallen for a real girl and has been running away from the robot.

Xander's speech at the beginning feels kinda weird in that he did a 180 from what he said in "Into the Woods", where he blamed Buffy for being the reason Riley cheated on her. I don't get him sometimes. I mean, while I agree with some of his points in "Into the Woods" about the reasons why Riley felt inadequate, Xander was the one who inadvertently gaslighted Buffy into questioning her own judgment in men in the first place, something which I think is a bit unfair to Buffy. Angel left because of his curse; Parker was a douche from the start; and Riley shouldn't have cheated! None of the reasons for any of Buffy's exes leaving were her fault! And now he's the one who tells Buffy to believe in herself and just be herself? Get out of here! I'm sorry, Xander, I know you're trying to help, but you're the last person I want to hear that from.

I love Tara's "Oh no you didn't!" look at Willow after she praised April's good looks. I think this is the first time I see Tara get genuinely angry. In fact, Tara's a lot more fleshed out in this episode with her surprising, as she put it, "spicy talk." lol

The episode really puts a new spin on Weird Science, that '80s movie about a bunch of kids creating a sexbot as well. At least it had a good theme song:
"From my heart and from my head, why don't people understand... my intentions!" Catchy.

In truth though, this whole sexbot theme would've probably been more relevant in Japan. Did America even have sexbots or virtual girlfriends in the '90s? Whereas in Japan, many teenagers even today prefer AI girlfriends on their phones than real life girlfriends because they feel dating is "too much trouble," partially leading to the decline in birthrate and overall population. Heck, there's even a "robot wife" whom some Japanese are married to! I honestly wish I'm joking.


But man, I do feel for Buffy here in this episode, and maybe not just her but all the characters who felt inadequate without someone else to fill that void; Riley, Spike, Dru, Darla, and maybe even Angel to some extent. I remember (vaguely) something that Passion of the Nerd said about this in one of his Buffy S5 videos, how it's not possible to expect another person to make you whole; the relationship will end up emotionally draining for both parties, as exemplified by Briley and Sparmony. There needs to be that "self" first, a love for your own self that doesn't tread into narcissist territory but in a self-confident manner where you understand your own qualities and what kind of joy and happiness you could bring to another person's life and vice versa, much like Bangel where Angel knows when to back off and when to step in (or Willoz and Twillow for that matter). Love is a two-way street.

I really love how Giles protects Buffy against Spike, even if I feel a tad sorry for Spikey. Giles has taken on the protective surrogate father figure for the Buffster, so it makes sense that he's so furious about someone who's driving her nuts, not to mention stalking her, tasing her, kidnapping her and chaining her to a wall. Without the proper context, it would be easy to get agitated about Spike. Plus, Jenny is probably still on his mind, even if she was murdered by a totally different vampire.

I like how April ended up in this episode, how Buffy talks to her as if she's speaking to herself, or perhaps saying words that she wish Riley would've said to her before leaving, saying how she felt like she has given every part of her soul and all her love to Riley, only to end up getting hurt like April here.

And boy, that foreshadowing... yikes. "Darkest before dawn," huh? No kidding. Next episode changes everything:
 
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Orius

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Body
Season: 5
Episode: 16
Air date: 2001-02-27

Guest stars: J. Evan Bonifant, Kelli Garner, Randy Thompson, Kevin Cristaldi, Stefan Umstead, Rae'Ven Larrymore Kelly, Tia Matza, John Michael Herndon, Loanne Bishop, Kristine Sutherland, Amber Benson
After finding Joyce unconscious on the couch, a terrified slayer calls 911. Unfortunately, it's too late to do anything. The paramedics tell Buffy that her mom had been dead for a while already. We see Dawn at school for the first time, and she's just getting over the freakout she had after finding out she was the key. Rumors were spread and Dawn was hurt by them, but she feels better after talking about it with a nice boy in her art class. Buffy interrupts this conversation though to tell her sister the bad news. Everyone is devastated by this tragedy and they spend the episode grieving, and dealing with their pain in all sorts of ways. Xander punches through a wall while Willow changes her outfit continuously. They are obviously very shaken up, especially since they were all so close with Buffy and her family. Even Anya sheds her first human tears.

Wikipedia said:
"The episode "The Body" was particularly highly acclaimed by critics. David Bianculli in the New York Daily News commends the acting abilities of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Michelle Trachtenberg, Alyson Hannigan, and Amber Benson. "The Body", according to Bianculli is "Emmy-worthy. It also will haunt you—but not in the normal way associated with this still-evolving, still-achieving series." Television critic Alesia Redding and editor Joe Vince of the South Bend Tribune write, "I was riveted by this show. This isn't just one of the best Buffy episodes of all time. It's one of the best episodes of TV of all time." Redding adds, "If you watch this incredible episode and don't recognize it as great TV, you're hopeless. A 'fantasy' show delivers the most stark and realistic take on death I've ever seen, deftly depicting how a loved one who dies suddenly becomes 'the body'."

Gareth McLean in The Guardian rejected the notion that Buffy is similar to other "schmaltzy American teen show(s)" like Dawson's Creek: "This episode was a brave, honest and wrenching portrayal of death and loss. The way this was handled by Joss Whedon. was ingenious. Time slowed down and the feeling of numbness was palpable as Buffy and her gang tried to come to terms with Joyce's death." McLean especially appreciated the small details of Buffy protecting Joyce's dignity and the confusion shown by the characters.

At Salon.com, Joyce Millman wrote, "there hasn't been a finer hour of drama on TV this year than 'The Body' You have to hand it to the writers; Joyce's demise came as a complete surprise. In that instant, Buffy's childhood officially ends. Even if Buffy gets stiffed in every other Emmy category this year, 'The Body' should convince the nominating committee that Gellar is for real. I can't remember the last time I saw a more wrenching portrayal of the shock of loss." Andrew Gilstrap at PopMatters declares it "possibly the finest hour of television I've seen, bar none. It is an incredibly moving episode, one that finally admits that you don't walk away from death unscathed. It also shows that, for all the group's slaying experience, they really weren't prepared for death when it stole a loved one."

After season 1 of BtVS, there's always one or two outstanding episodes that would be talked about by long time Buffy fans and general TV critics for decades to come. Season 2 had Passion and Becoming; season 3 had consistently quality episodes like Helpless and Graduation Day; while season 4 had Hush. Season 5 would have two episodes that would receive critical acclaim, one is The Gift and the other one is this.

And it's easy to see why from the very beginning of the episode: the lack of music, the many continuous shots, and most importantly, SMG's realistic performance showing the confusion and disconnection a person immediately feels witnessing the death of a loved one. Unlike many television drama even today, The Body takes its time fixating on the palpable numbness Buffy feels from such a shocking moment, offering the audience to feel that kind of detachment, even going so far as to letting both Buffy and the audience pretend that Joyce was resuscitated for just a moment, pretending that everything's going to be okay again... when it really is not. As Whedon put it, "there is no glorious payoff."

As Joyce is slowly processed from "Buffy's mum" to "the body" on the coroner's table, the episode would continue on to how others deal with the concept of death, with Dawn's breakdown being a more immediate response as all her emotions bubble to the surface. The others, the outsiders (in art class) looking out at Dawn's reaction could only feel so much of what Dawn and Buffy are going through, not just because of the muffled audio, but because they are not her or close to Joyce; they could only try and imagine what Dawn must've been feeling looking out through that window as observers, as outsiders usually do reacting to the grieving.

When we turn to Xander and Willow, they try to come to terms with the randomness of reality. "Things don't happen! I mean... they don't just happen!" Xander even tries to blame Glory or the doctors, trying to find some meaning, some reason that Joyce should be deprived from their lives. As said by Stanley Kubrick, “The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile, but that it is indifferent." Even though the Scoobies are grieving... life goes on and parking tickets are given, uncaring as things just... happen. Anya's pain surfaces. She's been a wish-granting demon for so long and has always been able to magic away people's problems with a simple deus ex machina. But this time, she couldn't do it, and she doesn't understand why this is so, why there's no easy solution to this problem. It's her way of processing Joyce's death as she comes to terms that this time, she can't just wish it away. In spite of fulfilling the desires of countless mortals, there's no changing this fate no matter how much she desires it.

I think very few shows that aren't medical drama deal with the meaning of death so profoundly. The only other show I recall was the procedural medical drama, "House M.D.", where in an episode titled "Simple Explanation", a recurring character dies, and the main characters too tried to figure out the cause of his death as they usually do for other patients. There must be an explanation for it, as it's hard to accept that death simply just happens.

Joyce is fully processed. She is now the eponymous body. The doctor covers her up, checks the forms, and makes his way to the grieving family. It's just another day in the office, but you could tell from the doctor's face, it never gets easier. But he has a job to do, so walk on he must. He did the best he could, but he might have felt responsible, feeling guilt as he relays the information to Buffy, but not being able to gaze at her for long as he speaks what he considers to be the truth, turning his eyes to Giles instead. Buffy senses that and imagines that the doctor's only trying to make her feel better, telling her what she wants to hear.

Tara seems to be the most subdued of the Scoobies when it comes to responses. But then it's revealed: her mother has died too. She has been through this before, having her own trauma before that she felt no one else could understand the way she does, and so she doesn't try to pretend she understand Buffy's pain. "Everybody wants to help," but no one could feel what she feels.

Somewhere in the hospital, Dawn still couldn't process the idea that Joyce is dead. She enters the morgue, hoping to look at whom she remembers as her mother for 14 years. While Buffy is forced to return to her usual routine of vampire-staking, gradually accepting that her mum is as dead as the vamp, her sister still hopes. Dawn hopes to provide some warmth to the dead, but the episode cuts off that touch of warmth. Like death itself, it's abrupt, never having the patience or care to give people more time.

"The Body" is arguably one of the finest moments of not just Buffy, but primetime television. It showed us the kind of cinematic quality storytelling that auteurs like Whedon could bring to the small-screen, foreshadowing the kind of equally innovative storytelling that's to come in modern series. It was regrettably snubbed from even being nominated for an Emmy when it's undoubtedly a far more ambitious episode than Hush, but it was nominated for the Nebula Awards in science fiction/fantasy writing.

On a personal level... I love this episode. And much like "Reprise" in AtS S2, it's hard to express the kind of "love" I feel towards such an episode. While its theme of grief isn't as personal to me, it's writing like this that makes me appreciate the power of storytelling, how a show about vampires and Frankenstein cyborgs could have a mature conversation about death and all the different ways we deal with it.

Usually, BtVS is the more cheerful counterpart in the relationship between BtVS and AtS. Angel, however, gets the more optimistic role this time. While it also deals with similar issues of nihilism, we would be given (in "Epiphany") a more solemn answer to what we should do in the face of meaningless horrors in life.
 
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Orius

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Forever
Season: 5
Episode: 17
Air date: 2001-04-17

Guest stars: Clare Kramer, Joel Grey, Charlie Weber, David Boreanaz, Alan Henry Brown, Darius Dudley, Annie Talbot, Noor Shic, Andrea Gall, Troy Blendell, Todd Duffey
After dealing with the pain of Joyce's funeral, Buffy falls into the arms of Angel who has come from LA to pay his respects, and he consoles her on the future and about getting her and Dawn's lives back together. Dawn becomes fixated on using witchcraft to resurrect her mother and despite her best intentions, Willow actually helps her toward her goal. Dawn gathers information for a powerful spell and enlists Spike to help her complete the task. He takes her to a witch doctor who gives Dawn some advice and warning. After collecting the final ingredient Dawn performs the spell. Willow warns Buffy about Dawn and she confronts her. Dawn cries that she has no one, Buffy has been pushing her away since Joyce died and hasn't even cried yet. Buffy tells her that when everything is over her mother will be truly gone, and she can't face that. Someone approaches the door and knocks and Buffy rushes to let Joyce in, but Dawn, realising that she was wrong, breaks the spell. Buffy opens the door t

Sigh. This episode. As Xander would say, "And the fun just keeps on leaving." I knew that Joyce's death wouldn't so quickly become a thing of the past, but dang... I think I need a happy episode soon. Another Dawn/Buffy meltdown and I might start crying alongside them too (again).

It makes so much sense that Angel would be the one to come console the Buffster during her darkest hour, and yet it's heartwarming just to see him be there for Buffy at all, reassuring the audience once again that (prior to Spuffy), Angel, not Riley, was always the one for her.

I think I replayed the "Close Your Eyes" kiss in this episode at least five times, wanting it to last forever... hah! (pun definitely intended!) But seriously, knowing that Spuffy's coming soon, I just wanted to cherish this moment while it lasts.

Oh no, Willow... what did you do?! 😆 Dawn should've really watched Pet Sematary. Resurrection using spells... Shades of Dark Willow S6 are dropping... I love how they set these things up before time.

That Ghora demon is a joke. Looks like it's placed on a rotating platform and operated with a remote. Can't blame them though with the limited budget of a '90s TV production.

Overall, another great episode that deals with Buffy's continued grieving. Sometimes it's easy to forget how much pressure the Slayer faces, particularly Buffy. That need to remain strong in the face of darkest storms. I've got a feeling she's gonna need that strength pretty soon...
 
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