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


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Billy Idol Wannabe

Episode 7.8: Sleeper. Original Airdate 11.19.02

"The Scooby Gang fear Spike may have turned evil again when people begin mysteriously disappearing around town."

Zelda's Thoughts: 

  • Yeah I'm just going to call my shenanigan now before the episode starts. I think they misnamed this episode and the next one. This episode is called "Sleeper," and yet the concept of Spike being a sleeper agent isn't named until the next episode, "Never Leave Me." MEANWHILE, this is the episode where Spike is humming "Early One Morning" song (which contains the lyric "Never leave me") to himself, NOT the next episode. This ep shoulda been "Never Leave Me," and next ep shoulda been "Sleeper." Someone done fucked up.
  • Okay so I checked the shooting script - they originally intended the song he's humming to be "I'll Be Seeing You." I'm still pissed though. Whichever song it is should have dictated this episode's title, not the next. They even have The First saying "I'll be seeing you" to a retreating Spike, instead of "How could you use a poor maiden so?" My argument stands.
  • All righty, this episode is the same night, but later, 4:30 am. So today is November 13th. JUST KEEP THAT IN MIND, PEOPLE.
  • Spike's kind of a terrible hummer y'all.
  • BUT IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING, HE'S HUMMING THE SONG. Ohhh don't deceive me, oh never leave me, how could you use a poor maiden so. As he buries his latest kill.
  • London! Where's Giles?
  • Oh right, this dude.
  • The Bringers are back! And they killed a potential.
  • Awkward scene is awkward.
  • Unless Spike is completely passed out, I'm sure he'd be able to hear all of Xander's and Anya's conversation in the living room. They're not exactly modifying their volume.
  • "Before that, the lies were very convincing. It just seems real." Man, remember back when we thought The First was an awesome villain? It was because of stuff like this, the terrifying skill of manipulation, where it didn't NEED to be corporeal when it could just manipulate whoever it wanted to do whatever it wanted, punch people in the hearts and watch them bleed.
  • Spike's "closet room" is definitely bigger than some New York apartments.
  • Spike still sleeps naked, for anyone who was wondering about that.
  • "Anya, do be specific and tell a fella just exactly what you're doing here." JM is good at toeing the line with his delivery and presence this ep, whether he's gone evil or not. SEE, WRITERS? YOU CAN LET YOUR ACTORS IN ON THE GAME AND THEY CAN STILL DELIVER. *growls at S6*
  • "Ridiculous, the 'do's quite fetching." This scene is so bizarre but it has some gems in it. "All I'm saying is soulless Spike would have had me upside down and halfway to Happy Land by now."
  • Aw landlines, you guys, remember landlines?
  • None of these exteriors look like the Sunnydale we know and love. Headcanon that we're one town over.
  • I LOVE THE TOUCH of the harmonica guy picking up the "Early One Morning" melody (The First has great influence, yo), which triggers Spike into prowl mode.
  • Good fakeout, we think it's Buffy approaching Spike with the woman in the alley. His complete surprise when he sees her contributes to that. "You know you want it. You know I want you to." but NOPE IT'S THE FIRST. And then it shifts to Spike's visage JUST TO MAKE SURE WE KNOW OUR BUFFY ISN'T EVIL. And as Spike, it recites a lyric from "Early One Morning," which - honestly? I wouldn't have recognized the song from how Spike was humming it. This episode needed to be named "Never Leave Me." I think I need to go channel Xander and blame a wall.
  • "Did you kill that girl last night?" Okay it is now November 14th, for those keeping score at home.
  • Watch, after all my fits, the timeline actually play out. But right now I'm convinced it won't.
  • "This chip, they did to me. I couldn't help it. The soul I got on my own."
  • "Cuz god help me, Buffy, it's still all about you." my shipper heart!
  • Seeeeeeeee Xander, Spike's chip is still active! ... sometimes. Just not when he's been sleeper activated. Or when it's Buffy.
  • Hi Aimee Mann.
  • HI COVERT VAMPIRE. Let's fight.
  • "One bite stand." I need to go blame the wall for that line, too. Somehow the dorky puns are only acceptable when Buffy delivers them.
  • It is kind of hilarious, that everyone pauses when the vamp goes over the edge and dusts, then - back to the song.
  • "Man, I hate playing vampire towns." I'm blaming a lot of walls today.

*eye roll*
  • You shouldn't have done that. It's not time yet. Not nearly. You're going against the plan. But we can make it work." THE AMOUNT OF TIME I SPENT PARSING THIS LINE FOR MEANING DURING THE ORIGINAL AIRING. Back when we thought The First actually had any semblance of a coherent plan. Back when we had hope for Season Seven.
  • oh look we're singing the song again. YOU KNOW THE SONG. THAT THIS EPISODE IS NOT NAMED FOR. I'm sorry, it's just ... so dumb. And so easy to fix.
  • JM is such a good actor, I love how he plays the scene. She walks up to him with the stake. He opens himself, prepares, "Do it fast, okay? He said you'd do it."
  • "I can't cry this soul out of me. It won't come."
  • "There's something playing with us. All of us." // "What is it? Why is it doing this to me?" because it's impotent.
  • "Help me? Can you help me?" // "I'll help you."


  • Man, this was such serious trolling. If he had been killed, it was trolling of "Giles is back! And he died instantly." And he's not killed but THEY TROLLED US SO HARD WITH THINKING HE WAS DEAD AND FUCK YOU WRITERS.
  • Headless Giles.

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • And now, the rest of the season will be all about Spike.
  • 4:30am – same night as Conversations with Dead People.
  • Spike is out burying the girl he killed. Ugh. I – really, this is the beginning of the end, people. This might have been a good season 8 episode? But he’s had his soul for what, a few months?
  • Willow: I saw something too. Dawn: It was Tara right? Because that would make sense, right? Nope. NOPE.
  • Some of the wounds from earlier in the night are missing from Dawn’s face. Bad continuity there.
  • I still don’t understand why Spike is living at Xander’s. There’s no logical reason.
  • Xander has a tool wall over his couch. I bet Anya didn’t allow that when she was living there.
  • “If I get vamped, I’m gonna bite your ass.” “Wouldn’t be the first time." “What was that?”
  • Mine wasn’t actually Tara. Because Amber wouldn’t come back. But Dawn saw your mother. because Kristine Sutherland is actually awesome.
  • Has Anya really just been sitting there on the couch all day? It’s almost night. No soaps?
  • And of course Spike is sleeping naked, because why not?
  • Anya’s being helpful and looking for clues! Cause that’s what she does.
  • Oh this is so awkward, Anya’s fake seducing.
  • “I’m just saying soulless spike would have me upside down and halfway to happy land by now”
  • I think Anya dialed five numbers. Also, why is she wearing bathroom wallpaper?

Whoever dressed Anya this season needs to be fired from all things.

  • I’m just watching this and I have no opinions. I’m just bored with this. Spike should have been dead ages ago.
  • How does Buffy think he’s getting blood?
  • How does Spike think he’s getting blood? Let’s say he buys some blood bank stuff….does he not  realize he’s too full to drink it? I know: none of this matters.
  • “I used to tell the truth all the time when I was evil.”
  • Ugh, everything about this episode is so damn dreadful. It’s depressing without my actually caring about what's depressing.
  • It’s weird that he doesn’t get a vamp vibe from her until she shows her face.
  • “A One Bite Stand”? Even the puns are lame.
  • Love this bouncer. 1) knows hotness when he sees it, by telling Buffy to skip the line and go right in. 2) Makes fun of Spike, “Billy Idol-type?” 3) Wisely tells Buffy to stay away from Spike.
  • Now’s the time to stake Spike, Buffy.
  • Because we’ve left Spike alive, there’s at least 8 more innocent people dead. Willow only killed one. But sure, let’s keep Spike alive.
  • And Anya’s reaction. She can’t believe it, having almost been killed by Buffy weeks before.
  • There are so many excuses to keep Spike around. So many lame excuses.
  • Giles!!!
  • That axe swinging at his face was sure scary the first time I saw it. Still kinda gives me chills.

Favorite Lines:

Zelda: "I used to tell the truth all the time when I was evil." - Anya
Daniel: Anya: 
“If I get vamped, I’m gonna bite your ass.” Xander: “Wouldn’t be the first time." Anya:“What was that?”

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • First appearance: Robson (Watcher)
  • Recurring: that blonde girl Spike drained last ep,The Bringers, The First, The Bronze, The Giles
  • Giles may or may not have gotten his head cut off

Anya's Hair - brown, shoulder length, wavy
Dead Humans - 2
Dead Undeads - 8
Dead Flashbacks - 6
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 1 (Spike is being controlled, not volitional murdering)
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0


  1. "And then it shifts to Spike's visage JUST TO MAKE SURE WE KNOW OUR BUFFY ISN'T EVIL."

    Which is why it shouldn't have shifted to Spike. Imagine how confusing we would've got thinking Buffy was being controlled too.

  2. Replies
    1. we've run into scheduling difficulties, but we should have a new post on the 25th!

  3. Glad to hear this hasn't been abandoned! another hardcore buffy fan here! Been following the blog since its inception and thoroughly enjoy your take on things :) will be sad when its over!