PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bitty Buffy

Episode 5.17: Forever. Original Airdate 4.17.01

"With some help from Spike, Dawn attempts to bring Joyce back from the dead."

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Buffy skulking around coffins usually has a different feel.
  • "Fine choice, it speaks of your great feeling for the deceased." Fuck you.
  • This whole business of profiting over death is disgusting.
  • Just cremate me and let me be food for the fishes. Even cremating costs a lot. But also, instead of sprinkling me over the ocean, can you sneak me into Disney World and sprinkle me over my favorite rides? I'll ride the Haunted Mansion forever! This...just got weird. [Done. - Z]
  • So nice that Giles is helping so much.
  • It's weird that Dawn's never actually met her dad despite her memories.
  • Spike vs. Xander....I don't care?
  • "There's no card," says Willow? Who cares? His plan wasn't to just leave it. It was to give it to Buffy directly.
  • I don't remember Xander's hair being this long.
  • Buffy is fine, Tara. She's going to wait there until someone else can pay their respects.
  • Hi Angel. You're what she needed. For now. Angel always trumps Spike. Always. [Them's fighting words! - Z]
  • Sex is not just about two bodies schmooshing. Wise words, Anya.
  • Tara would have made a good mom. She tells Dawn how it is. Willow is trying to reason with Dawn. Tara is just saying, "No. This is bad. This is why. Don't even think about it."
  • "Mom was the strong one in real life. She knew how to make things better; just what do say." Did she? Cause I have a whole blog full of things that makes me think not. Sorry, Joyce, not to speak ill of the dead, but...
  • Ugh, Ben. He's so bad at this. 'Uh, no...forget I said that.. it's not a person!"
  • Oh, Willow. You mean well, but just stop.
  • Sometimes I think Giles is the only one who understands how to talk to Anya.
  • "She gets to fondle the money?" Oh, Anya.
  • Aww, Giles is reminiscing about Joyce with the albums they listened to during Band Candy.
  • Aww, poor Jinxy is hurting so much he can't think of compliments for Glory.
  • Hey, it's Joel Grey!
  • All these warnings, Dawn. All the movies you've seen, the books you've read about this all going wrong. And you still do it. Nothing good comes from bringing someone back from the dead. (Unless they're Buffy. Always bring back Buffy.)
  • Ghora looks like a dinosaur. Like a fake fake dinosaur.
  • Why isn't it charging at her? Ugh, this is really badly done. It's like the Dinosaur ride at Disney World but less realistic.
  • Sassy eggs!
  • Tara is so smart, really. I love her in this episode.
  • I wonder if this is really Kristine Sutherland. They never show her face. I know that's on purpose for the mood of the scenes but they could have just used another actress. She's not listed in the credits.
  • Again, with the "Mommy?" It's even better than the first one because there's such hope.

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • This aired seven weeks after The Body, in case the fans had gotten through their grieving for Joyce, GUESS WHAT THERE'S MORE.
  • I was thinking last episode that Dawn was suddenly looking older. She's in braids and a t-shirt now and is younger and smaller - a reminder that Buffy's the only one who can take care of her now. (side note: fuck you, Hank Summers)
  • Even though so much sad, I'm glad they didn't do a hard tonal reset right after The Body in terms of Joyce's death and the season's plot. This is a grief that keeps going, something you still have to deal with.
  • Oh Spike. We forgot all about you.
  • I like that they're acknowledging Spike and Joyce did have a bit of a relationship, even outside his Buffy obsession. Everyone misses Joyce.
  • God. This shot of Buffy and Dawn, sitting alone on their beds, isolated, unable to move.
  • I've never been to a funeral that was held at the grave site. Is that a real thing or just a TV/film thing? [Me neither! -D]
  • Dawn can't watch Joyce's coffin be buried. And Buffy can't look away.
  • I love that Angel shows up. Whatever my feelings about him, this is right.
  • Interesting touch, Willow's in Sunnydale High colors. I wonder what the significance is.
  • I held off on this last episode because of the sads, so I'll do it now - shenanigans on the queen-size bed in Willow's and Tara's dorm.
  • "It's tomorrow that I'm worried about." // "What's tomorrow?" // "That's exactly what I don't know. Up until now, I've had a road map. Things to do every minute, having to do with Mom." // "Tomorrow the stuff of everyday living resumes." // "And everybody expects me to know how to do it, because .. I'm so strong."
  • "If I had just gotten there ten minutes earlier." Buffy's still obsessing over whether she could have saved her mom. She's still trying to bargain her way out of this.
  • The return of the Buffy/Angel love theme. Haven't heard this music in a while.
  • So Buffy sat vigil with her mom (and with Angel) all night.
  • Ugh fucking Ben and the minions. You guys suck.
  • Ben you moron. Now they know the Key is human. And you're so bad at trying to lie to cover up.
  • Goddammit Willow. Why are you showing Dawn a book with dangerous spells? Nothing about this plan is good.
  • Daniel's face while Anya's being funny is so fond and sweet. It's like he's watching his kid or something, all "I JUST LOVE EVERYTHING YOU DO."
  • "She gets to fondle the money?"
  • GILES IN A DRIVE-BY GLASSES CLEANING while Dawn steals from the Magic Box
  • And we've got more "well-meaning" adults letting Dawn do really fucking stupid things. This time it's Spike helping Dawn with her spell.
  • "I just don't like to see Summers women take it so hard on the chin, is all." Reinforcing that he's formed an attachment to more than just Buffy. (even if he still can't stand the other Scoobies)
  • Glory you are a terrible actor and I do not enjoy your presence.
  • Oh hi Joel Grey! Is it time for a song?
  • Such weird random casting, Joel Grey showing up on Buffy.
  • He's humming "Hall of the Mountain King" I think that counts as a song.
  • relatively weak line readings from MT this episode. AB too, for that matter. should I blame the directing when all the weaker actors are acting especially weak this episode? they were fine in the last episode
  • Ah, they found the Cave of Contrivance where the Ghora lives with its MacGuffin eggs.
  • "Hey, Ghora, heads up!" *Ghora raises its three heads* "Right, heads it is."
  • Wow that was like a close up shot of stunt Spike.
  • Also pretty sure they looped the same Spike line "Come on, bastard!" twice in the same fight. #awkward
  • The scene between the sisters at the end is everything, though. It's just brutal and heartbreaking.
  • "I have to do these things, 'cause when I stop, then she's really gone."
  • "Who's gonna take care of us?" Buffy's face.
  • Fuck and then the silhouette of Zombie Joyce outside the window.
  • And Buffy's voice, childlike and hopeful again. "Mommy?" Because for all that she was trying to stop Dawn, the thought that her mom might be at the door, no matter what form - it's the same thing that drove Dawn all episode.
  • And then they hold each other, sobbing. This fucking show.

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "I can stay in town as long as you want me." // "How's forever? Does forever work for you?" - Angel/Buffy
Zelda: "I have to do these things, 'cause when I stop, then she's really gone. And I'm trying, Dawn, I am. I am really trying to take care of things, but I don't even know what I'm doing. Mom always knew." // "Nobody's asking you to be Mom." // "Well, who's gonna be if I'm not? Huh, Dawn? Have you ever thought about that? Who's gonna make things better? Who's gonna take care of us?" - Buffy/Dawn

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • First appearance: Doc
  • Recurring: Tara, Angel, Ben, Minions, the chicken feet that the Magic Box can't get rid of, Glory
  • Joyce is still dead.
  • Hank is still a deadbeat dad - the line he left in Spain is disconnected.
  • Shoutout to the toxicity of Xander's family.
  • Ben accidentally reveals to the minions that the Key is in human form.
  • First time Dawn steals from the Magic Box!
  • The song Giles listens to, "Tales of Brave Ulysses," is one he listened to with Joyce in Band Candy.


Anya's Hair - honey colored, loose curls, shoulder-length
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 0
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 1
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0


  1. Hey
    Such an emotional episode. In fact if I was doing stats for crying season 5 would win hands down. The last scene is one of my favourite ones ever. It's so emotional and raw.
    Two things…
    1. I always thought the "There's no card," line was meant to indicate that he didn't want recognition and this wasn't about him impressing Buffy, it was just that he wanted to pay his respects to Joyce. I like to think this was the case.
    2. Could there be an argument for shadowing with Willow. I'm not sure what I actually think about this but she was pretty keen to let Dawn have that book and immediately lied about it to Tara because she knew it was a bad idea. Perhaps deep down she wanted to see what would or could happen…maybe not though, just putting it out there.

    1. foreshadowing even…

    2. 1 - That's how I read it, too, but we don't officially find out I guess (the implication reads that way though)
      2 - That's a thought. It's certainly connected to the Willow Solves Problems With Magic Shortcuts arc, even if it's not connected for her need for power and control that also drive her future addiction. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt that she didn't think Dawn would actually try to cast a spell - she just thought reading about it might help quieten Dawn on that subject.

  2. As for 1, I know that was Willow's impression but there was no indication that Spike was going to drop the flowers and leave. He wanted to give the flowers to Buffy and would have, too, if Xander hadn't been in the way. If he was going to give the flowers to Buffy, there was no need for a note.

    1. I think the point of "there's no note" was that he backed down relatively easily after Xander challenged him, and left the flowers instead of taking to presumably look for another way to get them to Buffy directly. (Or to go write a note).

      So the fact that leaving them with no note qualified as a backup option is the point.