Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 7 Episode 7

Conversations with Dead People

3
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 12, 2002 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (21)

9.2
out of 10
Average
567 votes
  • When the writers want to pull out all the stops on Buffy, they almost always succeed.

    10
    "Conversations with Dead People" is a quintessential example of an extremely tight episode of television -- it's got plenty of action, brilliant and penetrating dialogue, tons of creepiness, a unique structure, and serves up a thrilling setup to the season's plot. The episode has me sold from the moment it begins, with the introduction sequence blowing me away. This is pulled off by a great mixture of music, tone, and cinematography. One thing that's not really apparent until you think about it is that none of the main characters interact with each other at all in this entire episode. This fact doesn't seem odd until you really think about it. How many shows have you seen that have done this before? I sure can't think of any. It's actually a fairly risky move, but one that really pays off due to the tone-setting nature of the episode.



    The First's exit speech and disappearing act left me with a very creeped-out feeling in my bones. I'm totally behind Willow in now being in all-out concerned mode. What an amazing setup for the rest of the season! If I have one complaint about this episode, it's actually that the rest of the season did not even come close to living up to what was started here. Sadly, the First is rarely if ever this scary again, which is truly a shame. This episode opened up the kind of potential that, if it had been realized, could have made this the best Buffy season of them all. Instead we're left with a flawed, unrealized season; a season that still has a lot of merit, but simply isn't all it could be.



    With that said, I can't hold what comes next against "Conversations," because this episode hits all the right chords and ends up being an incredibly unique and satisfying experience. Although not quite a Top 10 episode, it definitely comes close. Kudos to everyone involved. I'd also like to make special mention of guest star Jonathan Woodward, who plays Holden and does a phenomenal job with the role.
  • The cemetery psychoanalysis scene was hilarious!

    8.0
    Overall, the episode was only so-so. The cemetery psychoanalysis scene however was hilarious.



    Buffy patrols the cemetery and is about to slay a newly arisen vampire.



    But he turns out to be one of Buffy's high school classmates, who later became a psych major.



    He ends up sitting on a gravestone, questioning Buffy about her inability to commit, while she lies on an adjacent sarcophagus, as if it was a couch in a psychoanalyst's office.



    The tableau made for a terrific sight gag.
  • Pure brilliance!

    9.0
    CONVERSATIONS WITH DEAD PEOPLE



    The Good;

    All of it, pretty damn amazing the whole thing. In a pretty intense and serious episode I do like Dawn's fun anchovies song and dance not to mention her marhsmallow in the microwave (love to try that but then it didn't turn out too well for her)



    The Bad;

    The only problems I have is that there's no Xander and that the Cassie role was so blatantly supposed to be Tara. If it is The First that visits Dawn it's actions seem remarkably tame AND it seems to be able to move stuff with it's will which it can't do later. Also why put on the big show, why not just appear to Dawn as it did to Willow and Andrew? Maybe it is Joyce but the First is somehow manipulating her and only allows it to put over what it wants Dawn to hear? If it is The First trying to mislead Dawn why does it try to get her to leave the house?



    Best line;

    Holden; "Who knows, maybe I'll win?"

    Buffy; (almost pityingly) "No, I'm the Slayer. You're not leaving this graveyard"



    Women good/men bad;

    We learn that Hank cheated on Joyce and that was the reason for their divorce.



    Jeez!;

    Holden hitting Buffy in the face with the virgin Mary statuette. Dawn getting all cut up. Cassie/The First's description of how she imagined Willow committing suicide.



    Kinky dinky;

    When confessing to Holden Buffy says that during her sex with Spike she felt she deserved to be punished which explains some of the violent/S&M nature of their relationship. Buffy says she hates the way vamps equate sex, pain, death and love but then as Spike said, they are evil, they should be treading on the darkside. Looking back on her previous boyfriends Buffy observes she sure can pick them, every one a doomed romance. There were rumours at SDH that Buffy was dating a really old guy but did this mean Angel or Giles? ("Older man, very handsome, likes it when I call him daddy") Holden says he is 'chatting Buffy up'. Spike effortlessly picks a hot blonde up at the bar. Buffy refers to Spike 'taking me over completely' and 'doing such things to me'. Holden refers to guy talk in 'nailing a girl'.



    Captain Subtext;

    So if Spike sires his blonde after picking her up in a bar does he do the same thing with Holden? Buffy confesses she feels superior to her friends and lovers but feels guilty about it. This suggests that Faith is actually the ideal girl for her as they're equal in every way. Scott Hope, Buffy's boyfriend from season 3 has now come out of the closet which must be a relief for her as it means their break up wasn't her fault. But apparently he told everyone she was gay which given her track record with guys might be the best option for her?

    Note that Jonathon and Andrew actually want to be part of the Scooby gang which Andrew at least will achieve.



    Missing scenes;

    Supposedly we were to see Xander visited by Jesse and Anya by Halfrek but they couldn't get the actors which was a great shame.



    Apocalypses; 7,



    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 4

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 2

    Dawn; 4



    Scoobies knocked out:

    Buffy: 19

    Giles: 12

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 14

    Will: 8

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1

    Anya;5

    Dawn; 4

    Tara; 1



    Kills: Buffy kills 1 vamp

    Buffy: 110 vamps, 60 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 8 vamps, 2 demon, 1 human, 1 god.

    Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon

    Will: 6 vamps + 3 demons +1 fawn+1 human.

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 6 vamps, 2 zombies, 1 a demon,

    Anya: 1 vamp and 1 a demon

    Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons

    Spike; 8 vamps and 6 demons

    Buffybot; 2 vamps

    Tara; 1 demon

    Dawn; 1 vamp + 1 demon



    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 4

    Anya; 1

    Dawn; 1

    Buffy; 1



    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 4

    Tara; 1

    Dawn;1

    Spike; 1

    Anya; 2



    Recurring characters killed: 13 byebye Jonathon, with us from the untransmitted pilot who came good in the end.

    Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara, Joyce, Katrina, Tara, Jonathon



    Sunnydale deaths; Jonathon and Spike's victim

    101



    Total number of scoobies: 6,

    Xander, Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Anya, Spike



    Xander demon magnet: 5(6?)

    Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?), Dracula?



    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Riley; 1

    Buffy; 1

    Tara; 1



    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

    Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny and 3xDraccy babes?

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 4 confirmed; Angel, Parker, Riley, Spike. 2 possible, Dracula+RJ(?)

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Joyce: 1;Giles, 2 possible, Ted and Dracula(?)

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 2;Oz and Tara

    Riley; 3; Buffy, Sandy and unnamed vampwhore

    Spike; 2 Buffy and Anya

    Anya; 2 Spike and Xander



    Dawn in peril; 13 once again but this time she deals with it herself



    Dawn the bashful virgin; 9



    What the fanficcers thought;

    Loads of fic where Joyce's real ghost visits both Dawn and Buffy, how wonderful if we could see the mother we loved and lost again if only for a minute. Interesting to see Dawn in Ash from Evil Dead mode, once read a fic where Tara's family are actually Texas Chainsaw Massacre types and kill everyone in the season 5 Scoobies except for Tara, Riley, Willow and Dawn. However when Tara and Willow ressurect Buffy she finds that Dawn has now turned into a combination of Ash/Lara Croft (but still has both hands). Meanwhile Faith defeated the First and shared her power with the Potentials but was presumed to have perished in the collapsing the Hellmouth. But whose is that gorgeous female hand holding a scythe breaking the surface at the Sunnydale crater...?



    Questions and observations;

    I take it that the Dartmouth Holden refers to is a college in the US rather than the town in Devon? By the commentary we know that it isn't really Joyce who visits Dawn but her warning that Buffy wouldn't choose Dawn in the end turns out to be prophetic. Dawn's battle with The First(?) references The Excorcist, Die Hard (glass in feet), The Shining, The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, Highlander and especially the Evil Dead films . Andrew says he found Klingon easier to learn than Spanish but then as an artificial language it would be simpler. 'Insane troll logic' again. Kit from 'Lessons' reccurs although offscreen. Someone in the Summer's house likes Mariarchi music as it was also on their radio in 'Quelled'. Lovely music at the Bronze, is that the same band as in Dopplegangland? Is Jason Wheeler the guy who won the class clown award in The Prom? Holden has studied 2 years of Tae-Kwan-Do which is SMG's martial art. Buffy refuses to commit on the God question despite the effects of crosses and holy water on vamps. Considering how much real horror there is in Dawn's life you'd wonder that she watches a horror film? JE refers disparagingly to Charmed on the commentary. Holden refers to the SD mental hospital which was presumably built after season 5.

    Both Spike and his date smoke in a bar which I didn't think you could do in California. Buffy still suffers from the Slayer deathwish to a degree to judge from some of the things she says.

    How old is Buffy? Holden says she's 21 but if she's 15 in season 1 surely she's 22/23 now? The girl Spike picks up in the bar reminds me a lot of Christina Applegate. Holden seems to be a remarkably human vampire but then people sired by Spike and Dru always seem to be. So this was filmed in a real graveyard? I'm not sure I'd like my loved one's grave used as a prop in a TV series, especially with Holden sitting on it? Dawn can do magic, living with Tara and Willow all those years must have paid off.

    Apparently they had to cut 9 minutes off this ep. WHY can't we have Buffy Special Edition DVDs with all this footage restored and commentaries for all the eps?

    Marks out of 10; 9/10, only failing to be 10/10 due to no Xander and no Tara. This one I watched 4 times, twice with the commentary.

  • The Evil Dead Talk Show

    10

    ConversationsWith Dead People- Buffy squares off, physically and mentally, against former classmate Holden Webster, who has just risen as a vampire. Back at the Summers house, Dawn is terrorized by an unseen force, while Willow is visited in the library by the ghost of Cassie Newton, who says she's been sent by Tara.


    One thing I never understood about fans' attitude towards Season 7, is that it had no "special" episode(s) like the past 3 seasons. After asilentepisode, a dream episode, a music-less surrealistic episode and a musical episode, I guess "Conversations With Dead People" doesn't hold up and match theground-breakingachievements of the series that were "Hush", "Restless", "the Body" and "Once More With Feeling". Nevertheless, "Conversations With Dead People" is without a doubt, the series at it's finest! Mixed with horror, humor, gore and character drama as well as the show's signature witty dialogue and though-provoking subtext., this is anexhilarating hour. Like the other "special" episodes, the episode's structure is significantly different as the plot is split into 5 segments: Buffy in thecemeteryon a usual patrol, Dawn home alone, Willow studying in the library as UC Sunnydale, Spike at the Bronze drinking alone and Jonathan and Andrew return to Sunnydale in hopes of some sort of redemption. So I feel to give an effective review, is to review each segmentindividually. The episode starts with a beautiful music montage of each character with the date, time and year of the episode being shown as a band sets up and performs....


    Segment#1-Buffy's segment is probably the most humorous segment of all 5. What starts off as a typical fight between her and a vampire turns into familiar face from her High School days, who she can barely remember. Holden Webster is a surprisingly charismatic vampire who beaten catching up with Buffy and trying to get into her psyche brutally attacks her. Only in the Buffyverse could a sequence like this work and work brilliantly. Both Sarah Michelle Gellar and Whedonverse actor Jonathan M. Woodward are great together. The dialogue is filled with neat one-liners and hilarious references like Scott Hope turning out to be gay and Holden telling Buffy "I'm here to kill you, not judge you." But the parts are definitely when Buffy opens up to Holden about her brutal relationship with Spike, the reasons she kept going back to him as well as her superiority/inferiority complex. It'salwaysgreat to get into Buffy's head and even after her depression in Season 6, it's nice to see the character continuing to grow and realizing her faults. The segment ends with the chilling discovery that Spike sired Buffy, which continues in the next episode....


    Segment#2-Willow's segment is probably the most emotional of the segments. Falling asleep in the library, she wakes up to Cassie confronting her. Now originally, Amber Benson was to reprise her role as Tara for this scene, but considering how the scene ends, she didn't want the last image of Tara to be something evil or scary, so Azura Skye returns as Cassie here in her place. Regardless, this segment is remarkable with Azura showing just how impressive her acting chops are. Alyson is also stunning here and your heart just breaks when Cassie tells Willow she brought a message for Tara. Just seeing Willow crying trying to call out to Tara pulls at the heartstrings. This truly saddening piece than turns into something terrifying when Cassie wants will to stop using magic, telling her she'll kill everyone and when Willow refuses, she tells her to kill herself. From Cassie's facial expressions to Willow realizing what going on, it's all bone chilling! The First finally reveals itself and her threat to Willow was probably the finest moment from the First, especially this:


    Willow; "From beneath you, it devours."


    Cassie/The First: "Oh not it....me!"


    The SFX shot of the Cassie's smile as she morphs into a skeleton and disappears just gives me goosebumps! One of the genuinely scariest moments from the series.


    Segment#3-Dawn's segment is rather shocking and the most violent of them all. I have to say considering how much Dawn gets flake, I was really was impressed by the writers going there with her and Michelle Trachtenberg was more than up for the challenge! She was quite compelling here, showing the worst of Dawn at the beginning when some dark presence is in the house and is completely helpless yet showing the best of Dawn when Dawn realizes her mom is being tormented by this presence and fights to save her mom's soul with everything she has. From the bloody splattering to Dawn gettingrepeatedlycut to the disturbing images of Joyce's body appearing/disappearing, it was well done and horrifying. it's always great to see Kristine Sutherland back, even if Joyce is dead! Joyce looking beautiful after the hell of she'd been through and her vague message to Dawn about Buffy not chosing her are foreshadowing the final moments of the series, once again. Once again, Michelle must be commended for showing this side of Dawn, especially at such a young age. Definitely the segment that was the scariest story!


    Segment#4-Spike's segment is complete dialogue-free. We just see him getting friendly with a beautiful girl. He ultimately takes her home. Suddenly, he bites her and kills her. While a short segment, it's a "Holy SH!T" moment that was worth the wait!


    Segment#5-Jonathanand Andrew's segment is pretty funny as the duo return to Sunnydale to find some sort of resolution to their outlaw lives. We see that the First is manipulating Andrew as Warren and I love even as the First, Warren is still Warren and has his geek moments with Andrew. The saddest part of the segment is definitely Andrew killing Jonathan, especially Jonathan's last words before that. The fact that he missed his high school days from the bullies to the people who ignored him was a huge revelation after "Earshot". The boy who once was about to kill himself of the pains of his sad high school existence finally realized, it was all worth it and has grown from it. It's hard to watch Jonathan die and it's surprising to see Andrew of all people do it!


    With stellar cliffhangers ending each segment filled with laughs, scares and character insight, "Conversations With Dead People" is a masterful hour (and the only Xander free episode, though it would have been cool to see the First as maybe Jessie, manipulating him!). Some of the best dialogue and moments from the series. Definitely in my top 10 of series and one episode that sent the main arc into overdrive.

  • The First Evil reveals itself through various "conversations with dead people."

    6.0
    This is one of the most dissapointing episodes from Buffy's final season. Although ripe with potential the episode is dissapointing. It also sets up ideas that are not followed through. If Amber Benson had guested the scenes with willow would have more depth, importance, and meaning. Seeing Tara again would break the hearts of Willow as well as the audience. The stuff with Dawn and Joyce make little sence as Dawn must battle an unknown evil to communicate with Joyce. But who is behind this evil? If it is the first evil than it makes even less sense since "the first" is non-corporial and cannot actually DO ANYTHING, including wreck the summer's house. THe scenes with Buffy are the best of the episode as they give us a side of Buffy we rarely see. Overall a dissapointing ep!
  • Good, but could have been better...

    7.2
    I understand that this episode is important, but I didn't think it was that well written, not compared to some others. It seemed at times to be hard to follow. I think the writers could have gotten the same point across but with better writing if they had tried harder. It seemed to be a thrown together episode...they had to impart information to us, but could not think of how to do it and so came up with the dead people angle.

    Still good...just not one of the best.

  • Conversations with Dead People

    10
    Conversations with Dead People was a perfect and entertaining episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This episode was very interesting as messages from the dead came to the living. However we can not be sure of who is actually behind the messages received. I thought it was interesting that the big bad revealed itself to Willow, who was drawin in by the thought and memory of Tara. I thought it was good that Dawn faced her experience like a seasoned member of the scooby gang. I think this episode was great because it informally introduce the big bad of the season, which happens to be the source of all evil. I can't wait to see what happens next!!!!!
  • "Can I make it right? Can I spend the night.....alone" - Angie Hart

    8.5
    As Buffy stalks through a graveyard, Spike sulks in the Bronze and Willow falls asleep over some college work. So far, so normal. Dawn is taking advantage of Buffy's absence by spilling pizza on the Slayer's jumper, skewering the wall with a crossbow – let's hope Miss Kitty Fantastico isn't around – and dealing with an electrical poltergeist.

    This episode introduces the Big Bad properly as it appears to the gang for the first time, making it clear that it has a special interest in them, as well as the return of Andrew and Jonathan, and Spike's new killing spree.

    First of the dead is Tara-as-Cassie. It would have been cool if, within the theme of "back to the beginning", Xander and GhostJesse had met up. But each of the representations of TFE is designed to take advantage of the lack of something, or somebody, in the gang's lives. Andrew misses his alpha-male Warren, Dawn wants Joyce back. Warren's bullets left a Tara-shaped hole in Willow's life, and Buffy, Buffy just wants someone to talk to. Xander's only problem is Anya and she's not dead (yet). None of the main characters interact with each other in this episode, emphasising their aloneliness. Time and time again, we've been told that the characters' strength is in their togetherness. Like Spike in The Yoko Factor, the First finds them on their own to work on their weaknesses, to play on their fears. Dawn is afraid that she's not important to Buffy, Willow is terrified of what doing magicks will do to her and those around her, Andrew is still scared that he's a nobody, a nothing. Whilst Andrew never questions Warren's authenticity, and Dawn has to go through a self-reliant, Buffy-less battle to get her reward (her mother, whom she wanted to resurrect back in Forever), Willow, despite her desperate attempts to believe that Tara is still singing to her, realises that suicide is not the way out of her problems, that she is still strong enough to fight back against TFE's tricks. It wants to turn Andrew into a murderer, Spike into a killing machine, Willow to suicide, Dawn to well, a sulky teenager, and Buffy to despair, manipulating her death wish. Holden is not actually a representative of TFE but is connected to evil through his vampirism (""Feels great. Strong. Like I'm connected to a powerful, all-consuming evil that's going to suck the world into a fiery oblivion.") He analyses Buffy (lying on her gravestone couch), but he doesn't provide her with any positive reinforcement, he plays on her feelings of failure regarding relationships with men, which remain in conflict with her calling. He also brings her sexual guilt feelings to the fore (her relationship with Spike in which she had sex for sex's sake, not for love), emphasised when he bops her over the head with a Virgin Mary statuette. We've seen before that Buffy feels that her deathly power has made her hard and inhuman, making her believe she is unworthy of love; but at the same time, the "I am the Law" Slayer power she wields has made her feel superior, made her feel as though the opinions of those around her don't matter. For which she feels bad: "I'm beneath them. I'm worse than anyone."

    Andrew and Jonathan are keeping it "low-pro" as they go back to Sunnydale to try and make things right after having "bottom-eating nightmares" in Mexico. They want to save the day and join the Scoobies – well, at least that's Jonathan's plan. Andrew has a different mission; yet another attempt to open the hellmouth with a virgin sacrifice (did it always have a pentagram on it?). Jonathan is still trying to help and here we see his redemption: he has come to accept his past, he has forgiven his schoolmates for their taunts and still wants to see them despite the fact they derided and ignored him. He has (finally) grown up, just in time for him to die at the hands of the perennial adolescent. The episode, like Once More With Feeling with its similar musical introduction, is pivotal in the series. This ep sets up Buffy's inferior-about-being-superior feelings and her ongoing loneliness (being the only girl in all the world), in order for there to be a cure for it in the finale. We also see that this is going to be a different fight, as Cassie TFE says, "Fact is, the whole good versus evil, balancing the scales thing? I'm over it....I'm going for a big finish -" as, above Willow, she devours herself.
  • The episode is seperated into five encounters. Willow, Dawn, and Andrew all encounter the First. While Buffy encounters a vampire who is an old classmate and Spike encounters a lady at a bar. They all have to go through emotional tortue and/or decisions.

    10
    This quite possibly could be my favorite episode of Buffy ever. It is different than every other episode of the show. None of the main characters interact with each other and the lack of Xander makes it almost seperate from the show. Each character has to go through emotional torture and/or decisions. It has the perfect amount of suspense, action, and humor. It is one of the few episodes that actually freak me out. I watched this episode for the first time around one or two in the morning. I will admit to having my heart rate speed up. Andrew and Johnathon are hallarious and it's great to see them back on the show. Willow's reunion with "Tara" is heartbreaking. The scenes with Dawn are chilling. Spike's scenes do not include dialogue and are rather short but just as surprising as the rest. Buffy's encounter is semi-annoying in my opinion. Just an amazing episode. I love it and always will.
  • Buffy, Dawn, Willow, and Andrew all have encounters with The First - four separate story lines intertwined in four acts.

    10
    This is one of my absolute favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes. In fact, it may actually be my favorite, even above Once More with Feeling or The Body, but they are all very different expressions of my favorite show, so it's hard to quantify them. This episode brings every different genre Joss Whedon uses in the show - drama (Willow), horror (Dawn), comedy (Andrew), and a combination of the three (Buffy). All story lines are brought together in a beautiful and poignant climax, which is especially impressive as all four story lines were written separately. Like all Buffy episodes, the writers advance the plot of the season. But it is not plot that makes this episode unique. The scenes where Dawn is trying to contact her mother are truly the scariest scenes of the entire series, period. Further, Buffy's conversation with the vampire she knows she will slay in a matter of minutes are so effortlessly serio-comic that the viewer can't help but be pulled in and feel every emotion she is going through. And each story line ends in surprise. Overall, the episode is captivating, emotional, frightenting, funny, and truly enjoyable. One downfall is that a new viewer can't possibly enjoy the episode nearly as much as viewers who have been with Buffy and the gang the whole way. To which I say, go watch the rest of the series. It's worth it.
  • Buffy reveals her feelings to a vampire, Willow is visited by a ghost with a chilling message, Dawn confronts a hidden demon to try and make contact with her mother, Jonathon and Andrew return and Spike meets a new lady.

    9.6
    Conversations with Dead People is my second favourite episode of Season 7 (losing out to Chosen) and one of my favourites ever.
    It starts out with a beautiful song that really matches the events of the episode. The graveyard scenes with Buffy are perfectly done and still creep me out a little.
    The Willow scenes are absolutely fantastic. Whilst I am sad Amber Benson did not return, Azura Skye did a wonderful job of portraying a ghost with a message from Tara. She was able to turn from sad to chilling terror in an instant. I really was shivering when she revealed herself to not be from Tara but something else entirely. I love this quote:

    Willow: From beneath you it devours.
    Cassie/The First: Oh not it. Me.

    The Dawn scenes were good also and I liked the whole "Once for yes, twice for no thing". I also love the Joyce vision with the rays of light etc.

    The Jonathon and Andrew scenes were good also, although not on par with the rest of the episode. They felt out of place compared to the rest of the episode. Still all good though.

    All in all CWDP is a great episode and one that always gets me. Great episode, with a great ending.
  • A Highlight of Season 7

    8.5
    "Conversations with Dead People" is a fine genius example in a show that is so full of them. Dawn, Buffy, Willow and Andrew all get a visit from people that are dead.
    Buffy encounters a former pupil from school while staking out the cemetery. Only this former friend is now a new vampire who stops her from killing him by psychoanalyzing her. This is so tragic, yet so funny. Whenever Buffy tries to stake him, he finds a new way to analyze her. The biggest shock comes, when right before the end, he tells Buffy that Spike, who isn't supposed to be doing so, was the one who sired ( "vampified" )him.
    Dawn is home alone and watching TV when she has to fight of a monster, who seems to be keeping her from talking to her mother. Joyce words are chilling, as she makes Dawn doubt Buffys loyalty towards her.
    Willow gets a visit from Cassie ( the girl who died earlier this season in "Help" )to bring her a message from Tara.
    First Will is all teary as she finally thinks to have contact with her beloved Tara again, but soon she realizes that something is horribly wrong. Cassie is revealed to be The First Evil.
    And lastly, Andrew gets a visit from his former pal Warren, who brings him to kill Jonathan in an attempt to open a seal beneath Sunnydale High.
    All of this visits were an elaborate scheme of the First Evil, yet we still have to understand this. I guess it gets clearer in repeated viewings.
    Great episode, a classic show.
  • Buffy learns about herself from a vampire who was killed by Spike. Dawn hears from her mother, and Willow meets a ghost from Tara, but she finds something that's not a ghost- and not Tara. Jonathan and Andrew are back- with some help from Warren.

    9.8
    This is one of the greatest episodes of the Buffy series. Buffy's encounter with the vampire had an unusual awkwardness, which made us viewers uneasy. Buffy's conversation was so open and surprisingly heartfelt. It was great to be able to see how Buffy truly feels about herself and her friends. When Dawn has to try to talk with her mother, it was eerily calming that Dawn was now mature enough to do something for herself. Joyce's message and sudden disappearance were heartbreaking. Lastly, the horrible sadness of Willow's "chat" with Tara was almost unbearable, and especially when we find out that it's not really Tara. It's also the beginning of "From beneath you it devours" which pretty much sets up the entire season. The last few scenes, in which Andrew stabs Jonathan, are really upsetting, especially because we've known Jonathan from the second season. Overall, this episode was definitely special, from the beautiful song throughout the episode and the shots of Spike eating a lady, which he hasn't done since his chip three years previous. Conversations with Dead People is definitely a pivotal and classic episode.
  • Definitely a series classic.

    10
    There always comes a time when "Buffy" delivers an absolutely amazing episode. And although Nicholas Brendon wasn't in this episode (which is really sad because the gang wasn't all here), the episode was still a pure classic.

    Each character goes through different ways of coping with The First, who is playing with everyone's mind. It was time for The First to return after a few filler episodes, and it really did return with a blast.

    I think Willow's story was the most interesting one. The First is really scary and they way it played with Willow's mind through Tara was harsh. (I heard Amber Benson was meant to return in the form of The First, but she refused because it would be too harsh). After everything that Willow went through it was sad to see her like this. However, she has to cope with her past demons.

    First I thought Dawn's story was overblown, but the scenes were pretty interesting. The Summers house was destroyed so many times already. This one messed it up a lot. Anyway, the scene with Joyce was good. It's always nice to see Kristine Sutherland back on the show.

    Buffy's story was also OK. She really had nothing smart to do because she wouldn't just spend the entire night with a vampire. However, those scenes were pretty interesting. The tension was OK. Also, Jonathan/Andrew/The First scenes were OK too. I must say I was surprised when Andrew killed Jonathan.

    All in all, this was an interesting episode and a great introduction to what we're yet to see.
  • It eats you starting with the bottom!

    10
    This is such an excellent episode. So much about Buffy, Dawn, and other characters is revealed. Buffy talks about her difficulties with a relationship and how being a slayer makes it hard to live the life she wants. Dawn is attacked by someone claiming to be her mother. Willow is visited by the girl from helpless with a message from Tara. A very good "big bad" is introduced. The idea that it could be doing the things its doing is very intimidating. The scenes with Warren, Andrew, and Jonathon are too funny.
  • And so... The First appears. One of my all-time favourite episodes!

    10
    Holden: Oh my God!
    Buffy: Oh, your God what?
    Holden: Oh, well, not my God. Because I defy him and all of his works. Does he exist? Is there word on that by the way?
    Buffy: Nothing solid. I could quote the entire episode, because I love it sooo much. I haven't watched it in ages, but I just did and I remembered how amazing it is and how much I already loved it back then. I even like it better than that now knowing all that's gonna happen afterwards. Again: so much great foreshaddowing. You wouldn't believe it, but there are so many brilliant and beautiful references to Buffy being the only one and alone until the end and everything.

    Joss Whedon is a genius, seriously. I can't tell how much this guy influenced television with what IMO are the best dialogues ever written for screen!

    "But, you know, I've got the bloodlust pumping, and I kinda get it. I'm looking for a fight. And, oh, it's nothing personal."
    "Buffy, I'm here to kill you, not to judge you."

    I was a little worried about Dawn, but she got through it eventually. And I thought the storyline with the First showing as Cassie who's talking to dead Tara was kinda cruel. Poor Willow...

    Plus: OMG, the Spike thing, I almost forgot. How scary is that? I remember I was totally shocked, but I knew he was Holden's sire, so I'm not that shocked this time, just excited about the next episodes.

    Little trivia: The actor who plays Holden in this episode was on "Angel" in season 5 and I remember how that irritated me...
  • Buffy and her friends are revisted by some old friends from their past each one of them giving and dropping mysterious clues about what lies ahead for the slayer and her friends!

    10
    This episode was really crazy! It was also creepy i think that this is my favorite buffy episode! My favorite scene is where dawn tries to cast out the demon another creppy scene is where dawn tries to call buffy on her cell and her mom is on the couch behind her that was crazy this episode also had its sad parts like when cassie tricks willow into thinking tara is communicating through her and when dawn sees her mom at the end sad scene i like this episode because it has a mixture of drama and horror! Great episode!
  • buffy goes to hell

    8.8
    a very good episode when the season goes to hell. litteraly because it sucks after this episode. buffy sees she has issues, spike kills people, dawn sees her dead mother and willow is told to kill herself. a big dark episode, creepy even. i loved the ending and most of the episode.
  • A much darker and scarier episode of buffy than normal.

    8.2
    There are not many episodes of buffy that I have watched thta i would consider scary but the part with dawn in the house was pretty creepy at times, I liked the scenes between buffy and her ex schoolmate who is now a vampire and is learning everything about being a vampire and also talking to buffy like shes not about to kill him. it was a shame that jonathon was killed in this episode because i really liked him although he needed to die to progress the story along. I didnt like the scenes with the first pretending to be that girl that dies coming with amessage from tara. If Amber Benson wouldnt do it then dont do the scene at all, i thought the fact that it wasnt tara ruined it.
  • Another series classic. It had drama, humor and it was creepy! Here is where the real season began with the first and this is also the last 'perfect' episode for a while. It's no wonder it's one of Joss' favourtie episodes.

    10
    Conversations With Dead People

    This episode is another classic and where the real season begins. the best moments are Dawn's trying to save her mom but kudos to Willow's as well. Xander wasn't in this episode which was good or else it would have been too much. and even though I always had a problem with Webster’s and Buffy's scenes, those are actually pretty good. this episode is very strong and dark and creepy. it's a very good beginning of the real season.

    cut to the bronze with a girl beginning to sing and Buffy is in the cemetery and Spike in the bronze and Willow in the library. Dawn arrives home and goes to the kitchen and Buffy waits for a vampire to rise 'here we go'

    the credits start

    cut to Jonathan and Andrew arriving to sunnydale. they came to save the world. cut to Buffy fighting a vampire and Dawn in the house all alone. then she dances and puts food in the micro but she hears something bumping. cut to Willow and then she sees Cassie and she is there even though dead. she begins to talk about Tara and that she still sings. cut to Dawn watching a movie and talking to someone and then wind comes in and the phone goes off. she cannot turns off the tv. cut to Buffy fighting the vampire again and he knows her and his name is Webster. cut to Dawn again and everything goes on and she begins to smash everything. she goes to the kitchen and the machine explodes.

    cut to Webster and Buffy again and they begin to talk about what they have been doing. Webster sees that he's a vampire and he can morph and he likes it. and Buffy says she kills vampires since school cause it's a calling. and he says Scott said she was gay but now he came out. and the phone rings but Buffy doesn't pick up. cut to Dawn and her mom was on the seat. poltergeist things begin to happen. and she hears something and she tells to stop. and she asks things and it's her mom but she's not okay and she asks if she's alone and again she says no and the house begins to move. cut to the geeks coming in the school. and they want to save sunnydale. and they don't think the Scooby’s will allow them and then Warren arrives to Andrew. and they think that Jonathan is their lost hope.

    cut to Willow and Cassie on the table. she says she can't see Tara because of what she did. Willow says she misses Tara and Cassie says Tara is crying. and Cassie says that Tara said she's strong like an Amazon. cut to Spike in the bronze getting it on by a girl. cut to Webster and Buffy and they talk about relationships. and Buffy feels sad because she is gonna kill him and he says she feels superior. and then they talk about her parents splitting and it's because her dad cheated. and he says she thinks she's better than other people and that's why she can't get one. and then Buffy says that she says she has done a lot things and she says she behave like a monster to her last guy. and then he attacks her and tries to bite her.

    and she fights back and she's upset now. and they fight again and fall in a tomb. cut to Dawn and she hears the monster breathing. Dawn sees her mom and something on her. and Dawn is staying to save her mother. cut to the geeks and they go a place and they find what they are looking for. cut to Web and Buffy and he makes her upset. and he knows about Buffy having a relationship with a vampire. cut to Spike walking with a woman. cut to Willow and Cassie says things are more clear where they are and Cassie tells her to never use magic again. Willow says she's gonna be okay but Cassie says she's gonna kill everybody. cut to Andrew and Jonathan talking about high school. Jonathan misses it. he misses everything but Andrew says nobody misses him. but Andrew says they don't care but he does.

    cut to Dawn and she is casting out the demon and it hurts her but she continues. cut to Buffy and Webster and she says that Spike really cared about her. she says she wanted to be punished and hurt. she says she feels worse than anyone and that she's not worthy of their love because it doesn't mean anything because their opinions don't matter. she feels like she's superior. she says it doesn't make any sense and he says it's because she feels alone. and then they are ready to fight again. and she tells about Spike and he knows him. cut to Dawn again casting the monster out. and it dies and then she falls on the ground and her mom appears. cut to Willow and Cassie and she says that she has to stop. then Cassie tells her something and then she can see Tara. she tells her to kill herself.

    cut to Buffy and Web and he says that Spike sired him and cut to Spike killing the woman. cut to Dawn and Joyce and she says she loves Dawn but Buffy won't be there for her and Buffy won't chose her and goes and Dawn begins to cry. cut to the geeks and Andrew kills Jonathan and Cassie says she wasn't and tells Willow to kill herself. and she says she doesn't know hurt and she isn't a fan of easy death. she is going for a big finish and she will devour them and becomes all scary and goes away. and then cut to everyone and Jonathan falling dead and Buffy killing Webster 'can I spend the night, alone?'

    Black Out
    ----------
    Best episode quotes:

    Andrew: You keep circling around. Just?just drive straight in.
    Jonathan: Will you shut up? We gotta keep it low pro.
    Andrew: You're just scared.
    Jonathan: Of course I'm scared. Last time we were here, 33.3bar percent of us were flayed alive.
    Andrew: Calm down. No one's getting flayed alive. We got a plan. We're gonna fix all that.
    Jonathan: Wish I'd have stayed in Mexico.
    Andrew: Ah, I didn't like it there. Everybody spoke Mexicalan.
    Jonathan: You could've learned it. You learned the entire Klingon dictionary in two and a half weeks.
    Andrew: That had much clearer transitive and intransitive rules, OK? Besides, I can't keep having those nightmares.
    Jonathan: Me neither. Desde abajo te debora.
    Andrew: "It eats you starting with your bottom."
    Jonathan: Gonna make it right.
    Andrew: We're outlaws with hearts of gold.

    Cassie: So, this is the UC library, huh? It's so big. Hey.
    Willow: I know you. I mean, I saw your picture.
    Cassie: Yeah, I know, it's kinda weird 'cause we never really met.
    Willow: Or kinda weird because your're really dead.
    Cassie: Yeah well…
    Willow: Did I fall asleep?
    Cassie: No, no, I'm here. I mean, not-not here here... it's kinda complicated. Kind of ironic, too, you know. I wrote all that intense poetry about the end, and here I am again. Chatting you up.
    Willow: Yeah, ironic.
    Cassie: I knew this would completely freak you out. It's just? she asked that I come talk to you. It's important.
    Willow: She?
    Cassie: Don't worry. I'm not gona hurt you or anything?
    Willow: Who asked you? What are you talking about?
    Cassie: She says she still sings.
    Willow: What?
    Cassie: Remember that time on the bridge when you sang to each other? Well, she says even though you can't hear it, she still sings to you.
    Willow: Tara?

    Webster: OK, um, junior year, spring production of Pippin, uh, I did the lighting design.
    Buffy: I didn't see it.
    Webster: But you'd helped me move the lighting board, and I dropped it on your foot.
    Buffy: Right, foot. Yes, of course. History class. It's all coming back. Sorry.
    Webster: Well, you know, it's not like I was a big part of your life or anything.
    Buffy: No, I just?I didn't recognize you, you know, your face, all demon, and I think you've filled out a lot.
    Webster: Oh, yeah, well I got into to Tae Kwon Do in a big way at Dartmouth, so...
    Buffy: That's great.
    Webster: Yeah.
    Buffy: So what have you been up to?
    Webster: Well, apparently dying. Uh, no, but other stuff. Uhh, you know, majoring in Psych. Really liking that. Uhh, took a year of to do an internship at the Sunnydale Mental Hospital.
    Buffy: Wow. That's gotta be a... popular joint.
    Webster: I? I keep telling them we ought to get a velvet rope and a bouncer. Hey, you remember Jason Wheeler, you know, "Crazy J"?
    Buffy: Oh, yeah.
    Webster: He always had that shtick of "Yeah, I'm crazy, I'm crazy."
    Buffy: How is he?
    Webster: Crazy. He's been in the chronic ward since graduation. Not really that funny, I guess.
    Buffy: Ironic, sorta.
    Webster: Yeah. Whoa. Did my face just change?
    Buffy: Yeah. You look human now. You can do that?go back and forth.
    Webster: Oh, so I'm a vampire. How weird is that?
    Buffy: Sorry.
    Webster: No, no. Feels great. Strong. Like I'm connected to a powerful all-consuming evil that's gonna suck the world into a firey oblivion. How 'bout you?
    Buffy: Not so much connected.
    Webster: No, no. I mean, with the stake and the cross?you do this kind of thing a lot?
    Buffy: I'm the slayer. It's sort of a thing.
    Webster: So, what?you like fight vampires professionally? Or?
    Buffy: Oh, I don't get paid. It's more like a calling. Since?even in school.
    Webster: I heard a lot of rumors about you back then. You were all mysterious.
    Buffy: I was?
    Webster: Well, you were never around. A lot of kids thought you were dating some really old guy, or that you were just heavy religious. Scott Hope said you were gay.
    Buffy: What? I dated that ringworm.
    Webster: He says that about every girl he breaks up with. And then last year, big surprise, he comes out.
    Buffy: Men. Do I know how to pick 'em.
    Webster: So, all that time, you were a slayer?
    Buffy: The.
    Webster: "The", like as in "the only one"?
    Buffy: Pretty much.
    Webster: Oh. So, when you said not connected, that was kind of a telling statement, wasn't it??
    Buffy: Ah, Psych 101 alert.
    Webster: Well, I'm just saying.
    Buffy: Yeah, what I really need is emotional therapy from the evil dead.
    Webster: Hey, it was your phrase.
    Buffy: I'm connected. I'm connected to a lot of people, OK.
    Webster: No. No, I hear ya.
    Buffy: I really am.

    Warren: Nice job.
    Andrew: There you are. I'm scared out of my frickin' gourd here.
    Webster: Take it easy. Take it easy.
    Andrew: Do you have any idea how hard it's been to act this cool?
    Warren: Calm down, you're doing great. All specs are within parameters.
    Andrew: You keep leaving me. I hate it when you leave me. One time you died, and I ended up a Mexican.
    Warren: We've been over this. Now, that death thing was all part of the master plan. Come on, "If you strike me down..."
    Andrew: "I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine." Of course. Do you think, maybe, Willow could kill me, too?
    Warren: Hey, don't worry. If short round pulls off his end of the bargain, we'll both become gods.
    Andrew: "That boy is our last hope."
    Warren: "No, there is another."
    Andrew: Wait, really? Who's our last hope?
    Warren: No, I was just going with it. It was a thing. He's our last hope.

    Willow: Tara, is it you?
    Cassie: She's sorry she couldn't come herself.
    Willow: Why didn't she? I don't understand... I mean, if you can manifest yourself
    Cassie: She just can't.
    Willow: Why not? I don't understand.
    Cassie: Because of what you did.
    Willow: What?
    Cassie: You killed people. You can't see her. That's just how it is. I'm sorry.
    Willow: But?But she's talking to you? And-and she can hear me? Tara? Tara, I miss you. I miss you so much. Can she hear me? What's happening. Did she say anything? What? Did she go away?
    Cassie: She's crying.
    Willow: No. No, don't cry. Don't cry, sweetie. Talk to me.
    Cassie: She misses you, too. She wishes she could touch you.
    Willow: Me too. Oh, me, too. Oh, God, Tara, it hurts so much. Everyday, it's like this giant hole, and it's not getting better.
    Cassie: It will. It can.
    Willow: How? You're gone.
    Cassie: But you're not. You're strong, like an Amazon, remember?
    Willow: I do. I remember.

    Webster: So, you meet someone, you form a bond...
    Buffy: But it never lasts.
    Webster: Do you mean in all relationships, or just yours?
    Buffy: My parents weren't exactly the paragon of stay-togetherey-ness. Maybe that's part of it. I think there're people out there who'd make it. I just... target the impossible ones... with deadly accuracy.
    Webster: You think you do that on purpose? Maybe you're trying to protect yourself?
    Buffy: Protecting myself? From heartbreak, misery, sexual violence, and possible death? Not so much.
    Webster: From committing.
    Buffy: I commit. I'm committed. I'm a committee.
    Webster: So it's them? You're reaching out, they're just not coming through?
    Buffy: It's different. I think you're confusing me because you're evil.
    Webster: I just think you're in some pain here? which I do kind of enjoy 'cause I'm evil now? but you should just ease up on yourself. It's not exactly like you have the patent on bad relationships.
    Buffy: Wouldn't it be cool if I did?
    Webster: And what are you? supposed to be settling down already? At 21? You know, my girlfriend at college, she's so sweet. We have this great thing, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna go vampify her just so we can be together forever.
    Buffy: Sire.
    Webster: What?
    Buffy: The word? when you turn a human into a vampire? it’s you "sire" them.
    Webster: Cool.
    Buffy: It's a noun too.
    Webster: Oh, I have so much to learn. Come on, isn't this insane? I mean, I was afraid to talk to you in high school, and now we're, like, mortal enemies. Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we became nemeses?
    Buffy: Is that how you say the word?
    Webster: We're gonna have to fight to the death, aren't we?
    Buffy: It's the time-honored custom.
    Webster: Wow, reality just shows up sometimes, doesn't it? But, you know, I've got the bloodlust pumping, and I kinda get it. I'm looking for a fight. And, oh, it's nothing personal.
    Buffy: Oh, no, I mean, you've been great.
    Webster: And fun catching up. I haven't really kept in contact with many of my friends from high school. Guess I'll be looking them up pretty soon.
    Buffy: Yeah.
    Webster: Hey, I don't mean to be Count Buttinsky here, but you just don't seem as thrilled. Is it because we're gonna fight?
    Buffy: 'S 'cause I'm gonna win.
    Webster: Hello. Two years of Tae Kwon Do and vampire strength. I think somebody's counting their chickens.
    Buffy: You're not leaving this graveyard. Can't let ya.
    Webster: Do the words "superiority complex" mean anything to you?
    Buffy: You think I'm gonna let you go kill a bunch of people? You know I'm sworn to?
    Webster: No, no. I get the battle against evil. That's not the issue?
    Buffy: There is no issue. Don't issue me.
    Webster: Just answer me this: whose fault was your parents divorce?
    Buffy: OK, you know, this is beyond evil. This is insane troll logic. What do my parents have to do with??
    Webster: I'm just curious. Your opinion.
    Buffy: They both have a lot of?
    Webster: Off the top of your head.
    Buffy: My dad.
    Webster: Uh-huh.
    Buffy: He cheated. Um, I think he cheated.
    Webster: So, of all of these relationships of yours? that you knew subconsciously were totally doomed? Whose fault is that?
    Buffy: It's incredibly different.
    Webster: I was just wondering, is it possible, even a little bit, that the reason you have trouble connecting to guys is because you think maybe they're not worth it? Maybe you think you're better than them.
    Buffy: Say, there's that bloodlust I was looking for.
    Webster: Struck a nerve.
    Buffy: I'm gonna strike a nerve cluster in a minute, you don't get off this. I don't remember you being this annoying.
    Webster: You don't remember me at all.
    Buffy: Yes, I do.
    Webster: Yeah, like, after 30 minutes of reminding. And I don't take it personally because clearly you were in your own little world in high school. All chosen. All destiny. Who could live with that for seven years and not feel superior?
    Buffy: I'm not. My God, if anything, I?
    Webster: What?
    Buffy: I just? if you knew what I've done, what I've let myself become. My best friends don't even? You’d laugh, you heard some of the things I've done to them.
    Webster: Buffy, I'm here to kill you, not to judge you.
    Buffy: The last guy I was with, it got really? I behaved like a monster, treated him like? But at the same time, I-I let him completely take me over. Do things to me that? I'm sorry. Wow, I didn't mean to get all true-confessions there. I don't know what's wrong with me.
    Webster: There's nothing wrong with you. Everyone's got issues.

    Willow: I don't know where to start. Um, after Warren shot you? you know all about that, what happened? It was horrible. I was horrible. I?I lost myself, the regular me.
    Cassie: Well, you were grieving.
    Willow: A lot of people grieve. They don't make with the flaying. I hurt so many people.
    Cassie: It was the power.
    Willow: I am the power. It's in me. Did I mention the random destruction of property? The Magic Box is not so much a box now?
    Cassie: The power is bigger than you are.
    Willow: I know, but?
    Cassie: Things are more clear where Tara is, where we are. We can see your path, and you have to stop. You can't use magic again, not ever.
    Willow: Black magic, of course. But Giles says it isn't as simple as-as quitting it all cold-turkey?
    Cassie: It's too dangerous. You can't take the chance that you'll lose control.
    Willow: I-I don't want to. I-I can't. I never want to cause that kind of pain.
    Cassie: Of course you don't.
    Willow: So, I won't. I'm gonna be OK.
    Cassie: She says...
    Willow: What?
    Cassie: You're not gonna be OK. You're gonna kill everybody.

    Jonathan: We almost got this thing uncovered.
    Andrew: Yep.
    Jonathan: I hope Buffy'll know how to destroy it. 36-19-27! That's it! That was my locker combination. God, it's been bugging me all night.
    Andrew: Dude, we spent the last few years trying to forget about high school. Why are you trying so hard to remember it?
    Jonathan: I don't know. I guess I miss it. Don't you?
    Andrew: Yeah, I really miss it.
    Jonathan: No, I'm serious. I really miss it. Time goes by, and everything drops away. All the cruelty, all the pain, all that humiliation. It all washes away. I miss my friends. I miss my enemies. I miss the people I talked to every day. I miss the people who never knew I existed. I miss 'em all. I want to talk to them, you know. I want to find out how they're doing. I want to know what's going on in their lives.
    Andrew: You know what? They don't wanna talk to you?all those people you just mentioned. Not one of them is sitting around going, "I wonder what Jonathan's up to right now." Not one of them cares about you.
    Jonathan: Well, I still care about them. That's why I'm here.

    Buffy: And the joke is... he loved me. I mean, in his own sick, soulless way, he really did care for me. But I-I didn't want to be loved.
    Webster: Didn't you?
    Buffy: I have all this power. I didn't ask for it. I don't deserve it. It's like... I wanted to be punished. I wanted to hurt like I thought I deserved. I sorta think? you know, this is, um, complicated. If you'd rather just fight...
    Webster: Tell me.
    Buffy: I feel like I'm worse than anyone. Honestly, I'm beneath them. My friends, my boyfriends. I feel like I'm not worthy of their love. 'Cause even though they love me, it doesn't mean anything 'cause their opinions don't matter. They don't know. They haven't been through what I've been through. They're not the slayer. I am. Sometimes I feel? this is awful?I feel like I'm better than them. Superior.
    Webster: Until you can't win. And I thought I was diabolical? or, at least I plan to be. You do have a superiority complex. And you've got an inferiority complex about it. Kudos.

    Willow: I'm gonna what?
    Cassie: That's why I came. We needed to warn you.
    Willow: You saw my path? W-what do you know? What? what did you see?
    Cassie: You don't want to know what we saw.
    Willow: Oh, God!
    Cassie: But if you stop? completely. No more magic.
    Willow: Right. Right. Stop. W-what about Giles? He made it seem like it was just as dangerous for me to quit completely, like I'll go off the deep end again?
    Cassie: You can't. If you do so much as another spell?
    Willow: I tried to stop. I-I tried. What if I can't do this?
    Cassie: Don't think that way.
    Willow: Well, how can I not? You're telling me I'm gonna murder all my friends. I'm not strong. I'm not an Amazon. I'm just me.
    Cassie: Well, there is one thing? one thing you could do to stop it.
    Willow: What? Anything.
    Cassie: And you could see her. You wouldn't have to talk through me.
    Willow: Tara?
    Cassie: That's what you want, isn't it?
    Willow: Of course.
    Cassie: So go. Be with her. Everybody will be safe, and you'll be together again. It's not that bad. Really. It's just like going to sleep.
    Willow: Who are you?

    Joyce: Things are coming, Dawn. Listen, things are on their way. I love you, and I love Buffy, but she won't be there for you.
    Dawn: What? Why are you??
    Joyce: When it's bad, Buffy won't choose you. She'll be against you.
    Dawn: No! No, don't go! Please, don't go!

    Cassie: Suicide thing was too far, huh? Hmm. You seemed so ripe.
    Willow: Tell me who you are.
    Cassie: I stand by my opinion. The world would be a better place if you took a razorblade to your wrist?
    Willow: Stop.
    Cassie: I can see it now. Candlelight, the Indigo Girls playing, picture of your dead girlfriend on your bloody lap.
    Willow: Stop it!
    Cassie: Oh, baby, you left such a big hole. It hurt so bad. You don't know hurt. This last year's gonna seem like cake after what I put you and your friends through, and I am not a fan of easy death. Fact is, the whole good-versus-evil, balancing the scales thing? I’m over it. I'm done with the mortal coil. But believe me, I'm going for a big finish.
    Willow: From beneath you, it devours.
    Cassie: Oh, not it. Me.

    ----------
    Story: 10
    Acting: 10
    Writing: 10
    Picture: 10
    Gripping: 10
    My Rank: 10
    ----------
    Total: 10
  • The One Where the Dead Talk...

    9.4
    And this is where it all begins... After seven episodes and constant teasing, the big bad of the final season finally unleashes itself on the Scooby Gang. The First Evil, which was previously seen in season three's "Amends", has the ability to shapeshift into the deceased and uses this power to manipulate the Scoobies into committing acts of violence.

    Set in real time, the episode begins with a title card with the date and time. Buffy is on patrol. Willow is at the Sunnydale UC library. Dawn is at home alone. Andrew and Jonathan are driving back into Sunnydale. Spike is at the Bronze.

    The episode is split between four stories. Surprisingly, the story written by Joss Whedon is actually the dullest. Buffy finds herself fighting Holden Webster, a former pupil at Sunnydale High who Buffy knew, and who is now a vampire. Buffy finds herself being analysed by Holden, in between of fights, and discusses her problems with him. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Whedonverse regular Jonathan Woodward are brilliant in these scenes but they do tend to drag on. Sometimes you just wish for them to get back to fighting or wish that Buffy just stake him and get it over with.

    The Willow scenes are the best in the episode. Famously written for Tara to re-appear but re-written when Amber Benson turned down the opportunity to come back, it instead features Cassie Newton (of "Help") coming back to give Willow a message from Tara. Azura Skye is wonderfully creepy throughout, as she manipulates Willow into believing Tara is contacting her from beyond the grave whilst subtlety persuading her to commit suicide to be with her dead lover. The closing moments, as Willow realises he is being duped, and First-Cassie threatens her and then collapses into herself before morphing away are very effective and you genuinely feel that something bad is going to happen next.

    Andrew and Jonathan's return to Sunnydale isn't needed. Though well written, there plotline is too comedic compared to the rest of the episode and it takes a while until the shock finish... in which Andrew, goaded on by the First as Warren, stabs Jonathan to death. Appearing on the show since early season two, it's a shock to see Jonathan meet his demise. Especially in such a horrific and sad way.

    The scariest storyline is that of Dawn's. Jane Espenson has explained that she found it difficult writing full-on horror and was worried how the fans would react. She had no problem worrying. The scenes of the Summers residence being haunted by an unknown force are very scary and even though somewhat clichéd, they are very effective. Michelle Trachtenberg is brilliant throughout and the final revelation that a demon was holding Joyce's spirit captive is very shocking. When Joyce gives Dawn a dire warning for the future, it's very intriguing.

    The only annoyance of this episode is in retrospect. Most of the questions the episode leaves you with asking are never fully resolved during the season, most notably Joyce. We never discover if it was really her or the First manipulating Dawn. The final shocker is that Spike is killing again. It does offer up some interesting storylines for future episodes but we've already seen it happen before with Angelus, do we really need to see it again?

    Although it is somewhat annoying that most of the questions this episode serves up are never fully answered, "Conversations with Dead People" is a series classic with some classic scenes and a beautiful opening sequence in which Angie Hart performs the wonderful "Blue" at the Bronze.
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