Rewatching Buffy – Episode 95

buffy-titleWelcome to Rewatching Buffy, the part of the blog where I rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Each Tuesday evening, you’re invited to join me as I attempt to rediscover what made me love this show 21 years ago.

Forever

  • Buffy peruses coffins in a showroom.
  • When she picks the one for Joyce, the director says, “It speaks of your deep feeling for the deceased.”
  • I’m sorry… Why is it okay to say things like that?
  • I mean, I know there’s no right thing to say in this situation.
  • I don’t know. Anyone out there work in a funeral home? Can you clue me in on how you decide to deal with people who are freshly grieving? I know it can’t be easy.
  • Dawn and Giles are there, too. But Buffy admits they probably shouldn’t have brought Dawn along.
  • She shouldn’t have to deal with this stuff.
  • Later, the gang is picking at dinner and discussing further funeral plans.
  • Buffy reveals that, prior to Joyce’s initial surgery for her tumor, she did discuss some of her wishes, just in case.
  • Dawn isn’t thrilled that Joyce never talked to her about these things.
  • Kid, you’re a kid. You shouldn’t be a part of those conversations at your age.
  • Xander and Willow leave the Summers house and run into Spike in the front yard.
  • He’s dropping off flowers. And not because of his crush on Buffy. He genuinely liked Joyce.
  • “She’s the only one of the lot of you I could stand… She was decent.”
  • There was no card with the flowers.
  • At the funeral, people begin to peel away, leaving Buffy alone at the open grave.
  • Dawn leaves with Willow and Tara while Buffy waits for sunset.
  • Once night falls, she’s joined by Angel. She simply takes his hand.
  • Dawn doesn’t want to go to sleep and lets Willow and Tara know that she wants to do a spell to bring Joyce back.
  • Seems like a good idea.
  • I mean, there’s a reason why the Genie in Aladdin says he can’t raise the dead. I feel like it’s not because he can’t. It’s because once someone is dead, reanimating their corpse isn’t going to bring them back correctly.
  • Or maybe it’s more like Pet Sematary. Sometimes dead is better.
  • Anya and Xander’s pillow talk is kind of sweet. She’s beginning to understand that the love they share for each other is more than about sex, it’s about life. That life could come from their love.
  • Tara takes a stand against what Dawn wants to do. Willow’s a little less severe about it.
  • Bottom line: resurrection spells are a bad idea. It’s dangerous.
  • Buffy and Angel sit and talk. She’s worried about tomorrow because she doesn’t know what to expect when tomorrow gets here.
  • She’s beating herself up, playing the what if game. What if she’d gotten home a few minutes earlier? What if she’d started CPR before the emergency dispatcher had told her to do it?
  • She thinks she fell apart.
  • “I can stay in town as long as you need me to.”
  • “How’s forever? Does forever work for you?”
  • Elsewhere, one of Glory’s minions runs into Ben. Glory wants to encourage him to keep trying to ask Buffy out in order to find out more info about the Key.
  • Ben accidentally says that he would never do that to an innocent… and then he catches himself.
  • Of course, the scabby demon minion quickly puts two and two together; the Key must be a person.
  • So Ben takes the demon’s own knife and stabs him in the gut.
  • Back and Willow’s, she and Tara tell Dawn they’re heading to breakfast and then they both have class. Dawn’s not hungry.
  • Understandably, she’s moodier than normal and refuses to go to breakfast with them, saying that Giles will pick her up later.
  • Before she leaves, Willow uses magical telekinesis to make it obvious which book Dawn would need to look in for resurrection spell info.
  • Stupid.
  • Later, Dawn is keeping busy by volunteering at the Magic Box and she’s asking suspicious questions of Giles.
  • Get a clue, Giles! Figure out what she’s doing!
  • No… He doesn’t pick up on the context clues and pretty much tells her where all the most dangerous books and supplies are kept.
  • So she steals what she needs.
  • That night, she returns to Joyce’s grave to get another ingredient: dirt.
  • Spike shows up and warns Dawn that if she’s after more than dirt, she’s into zombie territory.
  • She asks him not to tell Buffy. He’s not gonna tell. He’s gonna help.
  • Dawn accuses Spike of only helping because he’s in love with Buffy.
  • He says that there’s no way Buffy finds out he’s helping. If she knew, she’d drive a redwood through his chest.
  • He’s helping Dawn because he doesn’t like seeing the Summers women take it across the chin.
  • At Glory’s place, her minion arrives in pretty bad shape. He survived the knife to the gut and is able to let her know that the Key is a person.
  • Spike takes Dawn to Joel Grey’s place. He’s big in the magic and can’t be human, since Spike was able to enter without an invitation.
  • Joel (I know that’s not the character’s name, but that’s who’s playing him), tries to provide a weak warning about resurrection spells, but is still willing to help.
  • He lets them know they need the egg of a Ghora demon and an image of Joyce. And if anything goes wrong, Dawn can reverse the spell by destroying the image.
  • Again, he warns her that Joyce may not come back quite right.
  • Spike helps Dawn get the egg and then she goes home to perform the spell.
  • Tara notices that the History of Witchcraft book is missing. Dawn must have taken it.
  • They call Buffy to warn her what Dawn is probably up to.
  • Buffy runs up to Dawn’s room just as she finishes the spell. “She’s coming…”
  • “You know you can’t let this happen… Not to Mom.”
  • Dawn thinks she’s alone, that Buffy won’t even look at her, like she doesn’t want her around.
  • She accuses Buffy of not caring that Joyce died… Because she hasn’t cried.
  • “You’ve just been running around like it’s some chore…”
  • Buffy says, in tears, “I have to do these things because, if I stop, she’s really gone.”
  • They’re standing in the living room, both crying… and behind them, outside, we see a shadow walk by the window.
  • Followed by a knock on the door. Buffy turns toward the door, “Mommy?”
  • She runs to open the door, but Dawn rips the picture in half just in time.
  • Buffy opens the door and no one is there.
  • The Summers girls collapse in each others’ arms, sobbing.
  • Body count: I’m gonna say no one died this episode, since we’re not really sure what Dawn’s spell actually called forth.

On a personal note, while this episode isn’t as difficult to watch as last week’s, it’s still hard to get through. And that’s because there’s so much I can easily identify with, having lost a parent. When Buffy admits that she’s staying busy to hold off the reality that Joyce is really gone, that is 100% the way I felt when my dad passed away. I stayed busy for so long after he died. It wasn’t until a few months later when I was moving everything out of his house that I finally completely broke down. If there’s a stage beyond ugly crying, I’m pretty sure I went past that, too. So I get it when Buffy and Dawn let it go.

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One thought on “Rewatching Buffy – Episode 95

  1. Great read and a very tough episode for me to watch as well. “How’s forever? Does forever work for you?” One of my favorite Bangel lines here. So glad that Angel came to support Buffy in this difficult moment. Love that Spike is always there to watch over Dawn, but realizes that she can make decisions on her own too. That relationship is so sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

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