Rewatching Buffy – Episode 107

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 22 years ago.

Once More, With Feeling

  • I’ll admit, I’m usually one of the first to complain about the overall quality of season 6.
  • But this episode is definitely a bright spot in an otherwise dark year.
  • Several years ago, a local theater did a special midnight showing of this episode as a fundraiser for a local charity.
  • It was kind of fun to go and watch the show with other Buffy fans.
  • I’m just not that into the whole interactive viewing experience… like what you hear about at viewings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • Anyway…
  • It’s a little more fun to watch this one with the captions on. That way you can sing, too.
  • We waste no time getting into the first musical number with Buffy’s “Going Through the Motions” as she patrols in the cemetery.
  • She stays on pitch while saving a handsome stranger and slaying three vampires and a random demon.
  • I really like that song. It’s got a nice tune and is catchy enough.
  • The next day at The Magic Box… “Did anyone else burst into song?”
  • It’s not just Buffy…
  • She claims not to remember what she sang about, but that it seemed perfectly normal.
  • This leads to our first group song, “I’ve Got a Theory.”
  • Giles starts off giving us the correct answer immediately… but then he second guesses himself.
  • A dancing demon? No… that can’t be it.
  • Or can it?
  • Anya gets a rock solo about the evils of bunnies. Lots of pyrotechnics.
  • Then Buffy transitions the group into “If We’re Together” to wrap things up.
  • They discover it’s not just their group.
  • Buffy heads outside to see all of downtown Sunnydale singing the praises of the local dry cleaner who got the mustard out of a shirt.
  • Great back and forth when Dawn comes in after school…
  • Dawn: “You will never believe what happened at school today!”
    Buffy: “Everybody started singing and dancing?”
    Dawn, deflated: “I gave birth to a pterodactyl.”
    Anya: “Oh, my God! Did it sing?!”
  • Leave it to Anya to gloss over the headline…
  • Willow and Tara decide to sneak away, leading to Tara’s love song, “Under Your Spell.”
  • I think I read somewhere that Joss Whedon considers this song the most sexually explicit thing he’s ever written. Don’t quote me… but I think that’s close to what he’s said in an interview.
  • That night, a random Sunnydale citizen is helplessly tap dancing until he spontaneously combusts.
  • A demon is watching nearby and proclaims, “That’s entertainment!”
  • See… Giles was right. A dancing demon.
  • The next morning, we get Xander and Anya’s duet, “I’ll Never Tell.”
  • This one’s fun in a classic movie musical kind of way.
  • Oh, and it’s hilarious how they each get a verse to share what they don’t like about each other, but Anya interrupts Xander’s verse with a dance number.
  • Later, Xander and Anya are complaining to Giles. Anya mostly complains that their song would never be a breakaway hit.
  • As they walk through town, we see how it’s still affecting others as a woman pleads with a cop not to give her a parking ticket and a trio of street sweepers dance in the background.
  • Buffy goes to Spike to see if he knows what’s causing the hubbub.
  • He doesn’t, and seems to be in a hurry to get her out of there.
  • It’s because he doesn’t want to burst into song while she’s there.
  • Which is exactly what happens as we get Spike’s rock number, “Rest In Peace.”
  • Not my favorite song, but really lets Spike express the torment he feels in the love he still has for Buffy… how it tortures him to be around her.
  • Back at the house, Tara is talking with Dawn and the kid mentions how glad she is that Tara and Willow made up after that whole fight they had about Willow using too much magic.
  • Tara’s lost on this one… what fight?
  • Oh, yeah… Willow did more magic to make her forget the fight so that everything would be sunshine and rainbows and songs in the park.
  • When Tara gets suspicious after this new info, she heads back to the shop.
  • Alone, Dawn opens her little box of stolen trinkets, putting on a small charm necklace, singing, “Does anybody even notice…?”
  • But she only gets a couple lines out before she’s kidnapped by a life size ventriloquist dummy.
  • Pretty creepy.
  • The giant dummies have brought Dawn the The Bronze where Michelle Trachtenberg gets to utilize her years of ballet training in a dance with the bad guys.
  • Now we get a proper introduction to the dancing demon. His name is never mentioned in the episode, but he’s credited as Sweet.
  • Turns out, that necklace that Dawn is wearing is Sweet’s amulet, thus he assumes she’s the one who summoned him.
  • Which means she’s got to marry him… because… reasons.
  • Then Dawn spills that her sister is the Slayer.
  • Shut up, Dawn!
  • Now Sweet wants Buffy. He wants to watch her dance til she burns.
  • We finally get to Giles’ solo, “Standing,” when Buffy’s training with him in the back of the store.
  • This one is all about how he still loves Buffy like a father, but the longer he stays with her, the longer she puts off taking responsibility for herself as an adult.
  • Unfortunately, Buffy doesn’t hear a word that he sings.
  • Tara secretly looks through some books and discovers the truth about Willow’s memory spell.
  • This leads to a beautiful blending of Giles’ and Tara’s songs as they both look on at oblivious Buffy and Willow.
  • Spike bursts in with Sweet’s henchman, who tells the Slayer to come to The Bronze.
  • “Dawn’s in trouble? Must be Tuesday.”
  • Giles puts his foot down, believing that Buffy should face this demon on her own.
  • But that opinion is swayed during the big “One Day More” style number, “Walk Through the Fire.”
  • I think this one is my favorite of the musical episode.
  • Buffy arrives at The Bronze first, kicking down the door.
  • She takes down Sweet’s hench-dummies while singing, “Something to Sing About.”
  • The others show up in time for Buffy’s second verse.
  • And they all get to hear the truth that Buffy has been hiding from them since she was resurrected.
  • She was never in an unknown hell dimension. She was in heaven.
  • I take it back about “Walk Through the Fire.” This is my favorite song from the show.
  • And the way Sarah Michelle Gellar performs it is incredible. Buffy knows the truth is about to come out of her mouth and she tries to fight it as she painfully looks at her friends.
  • Willow is devastated by this new turn of events.
  • The whole song is about Buffy wanting something that’s worth singing about in a life that, to her, is nothing but pain at this point.
  • Before Buffy can dance herself into a fiery frenzy, Spike shows up to stop her and provide the kind of encouragement that only he can provide.
  • Then Dawn throws Buffy’s dying words back at her, “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.”
  • Sweet still claims he’s taking Dawn with him because she summoned him.
  • But she only found the necklace at the shop, she didn’t summon anyone.
  • Xander did the summoning… He thought there would just be songs and stuff…
  • Sweet decides that Xander does not have to become his bride.
  • There’s one last group song, “Where Do We Go from Here?” before Sweet’s effects where off.
  • Then the spell seems to be broken for Spike, who says, “Bugger this,” and walks out.
  • Buffy follows him and the spell isn’t quite broken as they sing together once more, ending the show on an unexpected passionate kiss.
  • You really have to pay attention to the words they’re singing to understand why this relationship evolves the way it does.
  • Buffy sings, “I just want to feel…”
  • Combine that with everything she sang in “Something to Sing About,” and you’ve got a recipe for a Slayer who feels broken and unsure of who she is or how to feel, really, anything.
  • And she’s got Spike, who has never relented in his claim to love her.
  • He’s willing to be used. And she uses him.
  • More on that in a few episodes…
  • This episode really marked a turning point for season 6 because our main characters stopped hiding from each other with all their secrets revealed.
  • Before this, everything still had the veneer of quasi-perfection. From here on, things just get darker and darker.
  • Pretty much for everyone.
  • Hands down, one of the best episode of television ever.
  • Sorry… this one kind of got away from me. But there was just so much to say!
  • Body count: Vampires – 3; Demons – 1; Humans – 1

2 thoughts on “Rewatching Buffy – Episode 107

  1. Pingback: Rewatching Buffy – Episode 109 | The Confusing Middle

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