Dead Things-The Troika's latest scheme, a new device which will make women their mindless slaves, goes horribly wrong when Warren's ex-girlfriend Katrina is accidentally killed. The trio use magic to make Buffy think that she has killed Katrina - and it works. Between finding out the truth about her resurrection and believing that she has killed an innocent girl, Buffy's world begins to fall apart.
It's not even the end of the season yet Season 6 up to this point is probably the darkest season of Buffy, but of any other TV season I've ever seen. Yes, darker than any season of Angel, darker than Supernatural, even True Blood, because despite all the blood and sex that spews from that series, it's pretty campy about it. Yet this season of Buffy goes beyond anything I've ever seen, especially when we know how the series started out. The writers are seriously putting the characters through the Ringer this season to the point where even Sarah Michelle Gellar admitted years ago she was kinda put off by Season 6 at times and uncomfortable with the material, but who can blame her? That witty, light-hearted supernatural high school drama we once knew is gone, now we see as series with very surreal, mature themes about love, sex, drugs, abuse, obsession, loneliness and ultimately...life. During the course of Season 6, some of these themes were illustrated beautifully (Bargaining, After Life, Life Serial) or pretty sloppy with a disastrous outcome (Gone, Doublemeant Palace), here, the writers once again find that great balance ofsolidcharacter development and riveting dark drama. I honestly had written off his episode previous, but after just-rewatching it, I was thoroughly impressed. When the writers really go for the psychological aspects of the characters, it's amazing.
One thing that was desperately needed at this point was for the Trio to develop, at this point, they've been childish nerds trying to live out a fantasy about being super-villains having absolutely no idea what being a "villain" truly means. When they turn Katrina, Warren's ex, into a sex slave as the latest part of their plan, things really start to hit home. Katrina makes sums it perfectly by telling them that it's rape and it leads to a horrifying moment where Warren accidentally kills her. It's a shocking moment with very convincing acting from those three actors. From Andrew's "Oh Gods" to Jonathan's anger to Warren taking charge and planning a way to cover up the body, now this is where the Trio really shines. This is not only a pivotal moment for Trio but a lot more for Warren, as he descends to an even darker place by season's ends. But here, when the Trio plan to pin the murder of Katrina on Buffy, it's probably the most sinister plan they've thought of and not some supernatural prank. The time whammy they put on Buffy is really well done, SFX wise, not to mention continues this season's trend of disturbing sequences. Buffy's reaction to killing Katrina and Spike's desperation to protect Buffy by getting rid of the body is very reminiscent of "Bad Girls" and "Consequences" with Faith's committing her first murder. I also love how Buffy's guilt-ridden dream with allusions to her despair over her relationship with Spike. I really liked all the Buffy/Spike scenes this episode. Essentially, Buffy is in an abusive relationship, especially during the scene at the Bronze where Buffy is looking down at her friends while Spike comes from behind her...and well....you know. It's a creepy moment where Spike whispers into ear and tells her she doesn't belong with them but in the shadow in him. Then there's that haunting moment where they are on each side of his crypt door, sensing each other. The scene where Buffy beats Spike to death is one of the most heart-wrenching moments from the series as Buffy beats Spike's face in until he is brutally deformed. The moment where he calls out for Buffy as walks away was especially chilling. Once again, Sarah and James are doing remarkable work here, I was left speechless after that scene.
They are other great character moments spread throughout the episode. For one, it was great having Tara back. Tara and Willow re-unting outside the Magic Box was a touching moment between them. You can tell how happy Tara was to see Willow's progression and Willow was happy to see Tara actually speaking to her. Also, Tara's sub-plot with researching Spike's sudden ability to hurt her shows how Buffy and Tara's friendship has grown, leading to a devastating breakdown from Buffy when Tara reveals that nothing is wrong with her. It's a truly complex and tragic moment for Buffy as she truly wants something to be wrong with her to find an excuse for her unhealthy relationship with Spike. You once again feel for Buffy here as she continues to spiral downhill not knowing why she's doing the things she's done and fearing what will happen when the truth gets out. Sarah is masterful and Amber is wonderful as well when Tara finds out about Buffy and Spike. I loved how she just knew, but didn't judge Buffy and knew she was just hurting, showing Tara has grown to be a good support system for the Scooby Gang. All and All, "Dead Things" is atremendouslydisturbing yet profoundly moving hour.