Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The Harsh Light of Day

Season 4, Ep 3, Aired 10/19/99
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  • Episode Description
  • Spike returns to Sunnydale with his new girlfriend, the now vampire Harmony. Spike is searching for the Gem of Amara - a stone which makes vampires immune to crosses, stakes, and sunlight - and he believes that it is buried somewhere under Sunnydale. Buffy is preoccupied with her budding relationship with Parker and eventually sleeps with him, but she is devastated when he grows distant the next day. Meanwhile Anya returns and throws herself at a flabbergasted Xander.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar

    Buffy Anne Summers

  • Nicholas Brendon

    Alexander 'Xander' Harris

  • Alyson Hannigan

    Willow Rosenberg

  • Anthony Stewart Head

    Rupert Giles

  • Jane Espenson

  • Fan Reviews (23)
  • The Harsh Light of Day

    By arkanitoo, Aug 14, 2014

  • Wow, "The Harsh Light of Day" is a loaded episode with a comparatively irrelevant stand-alone plot on the side.

    By tarafan2, Jun 11, 2013

  • Hooray for Spike!

    By joxerlives, Jan 20, 2012

  • Love hurts for all walks of life (and nonlife)

    By indgodream, Sep 11, 2007

  • Loving you is wrong

    By Troooika, Jun 02, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (26)

    • Parker: I mean, everybody says they get it. "Oh man, me too. Live for today." But what they really want is an excuse to goof off and not study for finals. Buffy: Also a valid life choice.

    • Spike: Listen to me, you stupid bint. This gem is everything. I came back to Sunnydale for it, a place which has witnessed some truly spectacular kickings of my ass.

    • Xander: I'm not enjoying this. Giles: Well, shelve them correctly and we can finish. Xander: I just don't get your crazy system. Giles: My system? It's called the alphabet.

    • Xander: So, the crux of this plan is... Anya: Sexual intercourse. I've said it, like, a dozen times. Xander: Uh huh. Just working through a little hysterical deafness here. Anya: I think it's the secret to getting you out of my mind. Putting you behind me. Behind me figuratively. I'm thinking face to face for the event itself.

    • Anya: So, where's our relationship going? Xander: Our what? Our who?

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    Notes (9)

    • The song "It's Over, It's Under" by Dollshead plays while Buffy searches for Harmony, Spike breaks through to the crypt, and Buffy waits for Parker to call.

    • The album that Giles and Oz bond over is "Loaded" by The Velvet Underground.

    • Intentional or not, this episode begins a tradition of Jane Espenson writing the third episode of each season ("The Harsh Light of Day" (4x03), "The Replacement" (5x03), "After Life" (6x03), and "Same Time, Same Place" (7x03).)

    • This episode opens with a Bronze performance of Dingoes Ate My Baby. The previous episode closed with their song "Pain" playing in the background.

    • Bif Naked performs "Moment of Weakness" and "Lucky" at the campus party where Buffy runs into Spike and Harmony.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (9)

    • The Greek word "amara" means "eternal" so the "Gem of Amara" means "The Gem of Eternity".

    • We see in Buffy's yearbook that Harmony's last name is Kendall. Interestingly, the character Sarah Michelle Gellar played on All My Children was named Kendall — perhaps this is an inside joke.

    • Buffy and Willow's dorm room is number 214. We have seen glimpses of the number in previous episodes, but this is the first time that we have seen it clearly.

    • We see that Buffy has a scar from when Angel fed from her. But before this there has never been any mention of The Master feeding from her and as far as we can tell she has no scar from that encounter. The scar that Parker is looking at is also where The Master bit her. The Master, Angel, and the third person to bite her all bite on the same side and acoording to the scar in the same spots.

    • Parker's comment about casual sex mirrors Angel's comments to Buffy when he lost his soul after they made love.

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    Allusions (5)

    • Spike: I love Syphilis more than you.
      Syphilis is a cronic infectious disease that is transmitted primarily by sexual intercourse. The disease is generally characterized by skin lesions and ulcerous skin eruptions. If untreated it can cause widespread damage to the heart, brain, eyes, nervous system, bones, and joints. Late stages of syphilis can result in mental illness, blindness, severe damage to the heart and aorta, and death.

    • Xander: Really? You know, if I'm in the checkout lane at the Wal-Mart I've had the same one.
      Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is a worldwide chain of retail stores founded by Sam Walton in 1962. Based on revenue, Wal-Mart is the largest retailer and largest company in the world. It is also the largest private employer in the United States, Mexico and Canada. $8.90 out of every $100 spent in U.S. retail stores is spent at Wal-Mart.

    • Harmony: Is Antonio Banderas a vampire?
      Antonio Banderas is a Spanish born actor who is considered to be quite the hunk. He also played the vampire Armand in the 1994 film Interview with the Vampire. Presumably this is why Harmony is asking the question.

    • Spike: Do Melanie and the kids too.
      Continuing with the idea of turning Antonio Banderas into a vampire, Spike is suggesting that Harmony also bite Melanie Griffith (Antonio's wife) and their children.

    • Giles: It's the vampire equivalent of the Holy Grail. Legend has it that the Holy Grail is the cup that Jesus drank from during the Last Supper, and that it was also used to catch some of his blood when he was dying on the cross. This cup became an object of great reverence, but was lost in the very early days of the Christian Church. For centuries people have spent lifetimes searching for the Grail including, most famously, the knights of King Arthur's round table. The term "Grail" or "Holy Grail" are now used to mean something that is searched for but is not real or, at least, is never found.

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