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


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Here to Help. Want to Live.

Episode 5.22: The Gift. Original Airdate: 5.22.01 

"As Glory prepares Dawn for a bloodletting ritual that will open a portal to another dimension, Buffy and her friends prepare for battle."

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • The lame thing about the DVDs for Buffy is they don't include the Previouslies. But streaming Netflix Buffy does! The Previouslies for this ep are tied for my favorite (the other being the one where all the Previouslies consist of is Travers saying "You're fired." to Giles). The Previouslies for this ep include a frame for every episode in the series - all 99 of them. They cut faster and faster and then break to the running shot down the alley that opens the episode. Because if we're going to have a finale that, if not the end of the show, is the end of its WB run, we should end the old fashioned way - killing an ordinary vamp with her typical snark.
  • "Been a long while since I met one who didn't know me."
  • "But you're just a girl." // "That's what I keep saying." BUFFFFFFFY
  • "Blood is life, lackbrain. Why do you think we eat it? It's what keeps you going. Makes you warm. Makes you hard. Makes you other than dead. Course it's her blood." Awesome line, awesome delivery.
  • Giles yelled at Buffy. Make them stop fighting. "Tell me to kill my sister." // "She's not your sister."
  • The dialogue in this scene is killing me. "Then the last thing she'll see is me protecting her." // "You'll fail. You'll die. We all will."
  • I like the moment of Dawn demanding Glory over Ben. Because while Glory owns who she is, Ben still thinks he's a good guy and not a weak little hypocrite.
  • "I've sworn to protect this sorry world, and sometimes that means saying and doing ... what other people can't. What they shouldn't have to." foreshadowing to when he kills Ben, something Buffy can't do.
  • "I don't know how to live in this world if these are the choices. If everything just gets stripped away, I don't see the point. I just wish ... I just wish my mom was here."
  • "If Dawn dies, I'm done with it. I'm quitting." No matter which way this shakes out, this is Buffy's final fight. She either dies attempting to save Dawn, or Dawn dies and Buffy quits the fighting for good. This is her final battle (except it's not, oops).
  • It's interesting to think about this, about how Buffy approaches the final battle though. She doesn't expect to live. She doesn't really expect Dawn to survive. But she'll be damned if she lets Dawn go without a fight. Dawn is the last thing she has left in this world, Dawn is a piece of her, and she's the last piece she'll fight to protect. Buffy doesn't care whether she survives this fight or not - it's gone beyond that - her one focus is saving Dawn. Which is why she comes to the conclusion she does so peacefully.
  • Oh god. The fact that Dawn has folded her clothes neatly, is lining up her sneakers under the chair. Taking such care, knowing she's about to die. It hurts. She's just a kid.
  • "It's an omen. It's a higher power trying to tell me through bunnies that we're all gonna die, oh god." I love her delivery.
  • Man, the slap from Tara to Willow is so hard and harsh.
  • Aaaaaaaaah my Spuffy shipping heart loves this scene so much. Spike's face when she invites him back in, and his immediate covering of what it means to him. Focusing on the work.

thanks Lucas for the gifwork!

  • "I'm counting on you to protect her." // "Til the end of the world, even if that happens to be tonight." Because his love for her has expanded to protecting the people she loves. He cares for Dawn too, at this point (even if he's still indifferent to some of the Scooby gang)
  • "I know you'll never love me. I know that I'm a monster. But you treat me like a man, and that's ...." FEEEEEELINGS
  • "We few, we happy few." "We band of buggered." I love that exchange so very very much.

We know the difference.
  • That's why Buffy's only speaking off-camera.
  • I do enjoy me some Buffysnark. Even if it's Buffybotsnark.
  • Yeah Scoobies! You fight the baddies!
  • Yay Tara's brain is back! No more badly acted crazy scenes.
  • But their power dynamic never truly shifts back to equals. Willow is the acknowledged superior witch in power, and she remains the dominant partner in the relationship. When Tara asserts her own dominance, it comes in the form of a break up. Anyway, enough with the jumping ahead, Buffy just hit Glory in the head with a giant troll hammer and it was wonderful. "You're not the brightest god in the heavens, are you?"
  • Epic scary tower battle, punctuated by Buffy repeatedly trying to get up to Dawn in time.
  • They must have had so much fun building the various levels of the tower set, and choreographing the fight across them.
  • Ugh. Doc. Here to ruin lives. "Hey, kid, wanna see a trick?" With that wink. So creepy.
  • I love the moment of Willow and Tara joining hands to repel the minions and brain sucks - a very nice callback to Hush.
  • Spike's face right before Doc throws him down. The horror. "No." He failed. He failed in his promise to Buffy. If Xander knew about this, he'd blame Spike as much as Spike does for Buffy's death.
  • Scary Giles time! Kill that Ben! rah rah shh km bah! "She's a hero, you see. She's not like us." Glasses on, suffocating on.
  • Just like with Angel and his soul and Acathla, we're just a little too late to avert the apocalypse without sacrifice.
  • And, bless her, Dawn goes running toward the edge to jump and close the portal. She can be a hero too. But the truth is, Buffy can't live with Dawn gone, too. This is the only way for Buffy to have a happy ending - if she gets to save Dawn. Save everyone. For the people she couldn't save. And then her fight can be done, and she can rest.
  • Music's started, busy crying.
  • "Buffy, no." // "Dawnie, I have to."
  • The fact that Buffy looks peaceful in a way she hasn't since Joyce died.
  • And she runs smoothly, easily, and dives down.
  • "This is the work that I have to do."
  • Willow's face. Giles's face. Spike's face. a little sun in my eyes
  • You can see Giles wants to look away. He wants nothing more than to not see what he's seeing. And he can't look away.
  • Damn. What a way to end a show that may or may not be getting picked up by another network. "...and then our title character DIED."

Daniel's Thoughts:
  • This episode feels so much like a series finale.  Because it almost was.
  • I love that this episode starts with a typical vampire kill.
  • And what vamp still hasn’t heard of the Slayer? Duh.
  • This kid looks like he could be 50 or 17.
  • Insta-stake!  Just throw someone into wood.
  • “But you’re just a girl.” Eww.  Sexist victim.  Cue Gwen Stefani. (Song came out in '95, before Buffy began.)
  • I like Spike’s description of blood being a life force.
  • “She’s not your sister.”  Ew.  I just…don’t buy Giles saying that.
  • Shut up Spike and Giles. 
SPIKE: Why don't *you* go think outside the bleeding box.
GILES: Yes, Anya, apart from your incredibly uninfectious enthusiasm, have you anything else to contribu-
ANYA: The Dagon sphere!
GILES: Sorry?
ANYA: When Buffy first met Glory, she found that magical ...  glowy sphere that was meant to repel Glory. We've got it in the basement. It might drive her away or hurt her. Ooh!
  • The dagonsphere.  SEE.  ANYA IS AWESOME.  And Olaf’s HAMMER.     She’s so smart.
  • “Here to help, wanna live.”  SUCH A GREAT LINE.  ANYA IS A FIGHTER.  And GILES, YOU ARE ON MY LAST NERVE.
  • Seriously, they are just so mean to her.
  • Glory Glory Glory!  And Glory appears!  It’s such a horror trope– like Candyman…..or Beetlejuice.
  • Everyone’s so hard on Ben for not killing himself to save the world from the apocalypse but Dawn could do the same thing.  Is she really more innocent than he is?
  • Awww, the music.  It’s starting so early in the ep.  But we know what this music eventually means.
  • “I had the pleasure moment.”  Hehe.
  • Buffybot!
  • “It’s a higher power trying to tell me through bunnies that we’re all gonna die!”
  • Aww.  Engagement!   This will last.
  • The dagonsphere is so shiny!
  • I’m glad they remembered that Spike was barred from the Summers’ house.  Good continuity there.
  • Oooh.  I forgot about Tara pointing at Giles, “You’re a killer!”  Ramblings of a crazy person or psychic foreshadowing?
  • BUFFYBOT!  It’s cool – in the shots they were walking, we only saw Buffybot.
  • You know….kinda dumb that they never thought of the dagonsphere until now.  But… it’s still nice that they brought it back all the way from the season premiere.
  • Anya with a bat!  So awesome!
  • Awww.  Tara’s back! “I will always find you.”
  • “Did everybody else know that the slayer’s a robot?”  Heh.
  • Heh. Buffy didn’t so much throw that minion off the stairs so much…as he threw himself off.
  • This is a pretty neat set.  I like the fight choreography on that thing.
  • Oh, Joel Grey.  You’re ruining everything. [He's like communism. - Z]
  • Fake bouncy bricks!
  • And Tara’s prophesy comes true: Giles becomes a killer.  The thing this point,  he didn’t need to kill Ben.  Since the moment had passed.  I imagine,  he still considers Glory a threat.
  • Oh no! The one street in Sunnydale is getting destroyed!
  • Oooh, some of the demons coming out of this apocalypse are really creepy.
  • Oh that music.
  • I still don’t 100 per cent get how Buffy’s death closes the portal.  They have the same Summers’ blood, sure – but Buffy doesn’t have key energy and it’s that blood that opens/closes the portal.
  • Why is Spike the only one sobbing? Is it the sun?  Is the sun affecting his tear ducts and nothing else?
  • She saved the world a lot.
  • Aww, what a nice series season finale.

Spike: But you' treat me like a man and that's -
Daniel: *snorts**rolls eyes*
Zelda: Shut up I love it.
Favorite Lines:

Zelda: "We few, we happy few." // "We band of buggered." - Giles/Spike
You're proposing to me 'cause we're gonna die! And you think it's romantic and sexy and, and you know you're not gonna have to go through with it 'cause the world's gonna end!"/" I'm proposing to you, Anya, because it's not." - Anya/Xander
Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: Tara, the Dagon Sphere, Olaf's Hammer, Ben, Scabby Minions, Glory, Buffybot, Anya's bunnyphobia, Doc.
  • Giles claims "six at least" apocalypses but that it feels like 100. Our count is seven apocali, but the 100 is a shoutout to this being the 100th episode.
  • Shoutout to killing Angel.
  • Xander proposes to Anya, but she tells him to give her the ring when the world doesn't end.
  • Buffy re-invites Spike to the Summers house.


Anya's Hair - wavy, honey colored, past the shoulders
Dead Humans - 2
Dead Undeads - 4
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Xander Breaks a Wall - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0


  1. I love this episode and I still firmly believe that the series should have ended here. But that's my hatred of the bleak season 6 and 7 shining through.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I have something in my eye.

    1. The only reason why I disagree with you is OMWF*.

      Oh, and Willow's "and I think I'm kinda gay" from Tabula Rasa.

      *except for Spuffy's kiss at the end. *glares at Zelda*

  2. Daniel: *snorts**rolls eyes*
    Lucas: *snorts too**judges Zelda*


    2. It's ok, you're not alone in your spuffy shipping Zelda. Their relationship is all kinds of bad, but it's the truest one Buffy has had. He knows the good and the bad of her, the stuff she's hidden from both Angel and Riley, and still loves her. It's because of Buffy Spike seeks to better himself. Angel without a soul is just a douche. Spike without a soul already has so much humanity.

      Plus, those cheek bones............

  3. I used "Here to help, wanna live" at a staff meeting last week. I don't think anyone got it.

    1. That may be our most depressing comment ever. THAT LINE IS ICONIC.

  4. I have to admit, given what's to come, I would almost prefer this as a series finale. Season Six -- except for "Once More With Feeling -- was pretty friggin' horrible. Season Seven was very uneven, and built up to Joss' nihilistic finale.