Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 6 Episode 18


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 30, 2002 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
445 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Having become a vengeance demon again, Anya attempts to curse Xander for the pain he caused her... but she can't do it herself. Instead, she enlists the help of some old friends but it doesn't go the way she expected. Buffy spends some quality time with Dawn to make up for her violent actions in Normal Again, but Dawn's idea of a good time is the dangerous world of patrolling. Willow and Tara meet for a coffee date and begin to mend their troubled relationship. The gang discover that the Troika have been watching their every move with hidden cameras. The cameras are traced to the trio's lair and what is seen on video proves to be devastating for all of them.moreless

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  • "Entropy" represents the core of what is at just about every episode of Buffy: character work.

    This episode has much in the way of nothing for a plot, and instead opts for cleaning up some loose character threads before heading into the four-part season finale. I must say that it does an admirable job at this even if it ends up being slightly unspecial in the process. What we get, though, is the very definition of solid methodical character development. I can't help but be reminded of "Choices", which is also an episode that isn't particularly mind blowing, but is solid, useful, and entertaining nonetheless.

    "Entropy" is a very solid episode with no real flaws other than its own relative uneventfulness. Yet, just about everything we get here is valuable character work that propels things forward. If it had packed more of a punch, I'd be giving this an 9.5, but as it stands, it misses the full marks. Despite that, though, this is really good, solid television that very much embodies the aspects of TV I enjoy the most.moreless
  • Careful what you wish for


    The Good;

    Anya's hilarious attempts to take vengence on Xander. The Geeks vamphunting. Buffy and Dawn the happiest they've been together in a long time. But best of all Willow and Tara back together.

    The Bad;

    Not much, a lot more fun than recent eps. You do feel bad for Anya though.

    Best line;

    Anya; "What kind of lesbians are you? If you love men so much, go be with men!"

    Women good/men bad;

    Actually Tara and Willow are fine with guys liking the girl/girl action and understand completely much to Anya's disgust. Anya is perfectly justified in her rage at Xander. Halfrek has cursed a man who refuses to pay child support to recieve a paper cut each time he touches paper (in many ways Halfrek is much more merciful than Anyanka?). She also comments on Anya's whole 'female power take back the night thing'. Xander actually says the old relationship cliche 'It's not you it's me'. Anya comments on her 'changing to please' Xander.


    Jonathon tells Warren to leave him alone with his experiment or they'll be 'Deader than an ex-girlfriend'. Stick it in and break it off why don't you?

    Kinky dinky;

    The Troika and the Scoobies voyeuristically watch Anya and Spike at the Magic Shop via the nerd's cameras. Anya describes men as having been 'riding roughshod over Buffy' for years. She describes Xander as 'bumpy in the right places' and says she has a sexy dance. Spike says Anya's the only Scooby he'd consider biting but we know that's a lie from Buffy and Willow in 'Lover's Walk'.

    Captain Subtext;

    Tara and Willow say they don't hate men and are all about the girl/girl action. As Andrew watches Spike and Anya at the Magic Shop rather than comment on the hot girl he thinks Spike is cool. As with Hell's Bells Buffy might want rid of Spike but is not too keen on him immediately taking up with another girl. Buffy and Dawn seem a lot closer this ep, partly as a measure of big sis' guilt over Normal Again. Buffy confides in Dawn about her and Spike but not the others who have to find out for themselves. Willow tells Tara about the wig lady monster and says what we were all thinking about it's appearance. Spike calls Xander a ponce. Anya observes that none of the Scoobs speak their mind which is true. And Willow and Tara get all kissy, awwww!

    Guantanamo Bay;

    Anya wants to talk about torture

    Apocalypses; 6

    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: 17

    Giles: 12

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 12

    Will: 8

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1


    Dawn; 2

    Kills: 2 vamps Buffy

    Buffy: 106 vamps, 56 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.

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

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

    Anya: 1 vamp and 1 a demon

    Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons

    Spike; 8 vamps and 4 demons

    Buffybot; 2 vamps

    Tara; 1 demon

    Dawn; 1 vamp

    Scoobies go evil: I wouldn't class Anya as evil just yet

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 4

    Anya; 1

    Dawn; 1

    Buffy; 1

    Alternate scoobies: Demon Anya

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 4

    Tara; 1


    Spike; 1

    Anya; 2

    Recurring characters killed: 11

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

    Sunnydale deaths;


    Total number of scoobies:4

    Xander, Willow, Buffy, 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

    Notches on Scooby bedpost: Now, Buffy remarks on her four partners which tends to suggest only Spike, Riley, Parker and Angel and seems to rule out Dracula. But then again we all know how good the Summer's girls are at denial.

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

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 4 confirmed; Angel, Parker, Riley, Spike. 1 possible, Dracula(?)

    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 Xander and Spike

    Spike; good or bad?

    He feels sympathy for Anya being left at the altar and it seems quite genuine.

    Dawn in peril; 9

    Dawn the bashful virgin; 8 Willow shields Dawnies' eyes as she catches her watching Spike and Anya have sex at the Magic Shop

    What the fanficcers thought;

    A truly hilarious fanfic dealing with this episode has the various Scoobies appearing on The Jerry Springer Show and Xander being confronted by the footage of Anya and Spike at the Magic Box AND Buffy's shameful confession live on air. Of course he then does the sensible thing and hits Spike over the head with a chair.... But as Jerry says in his final thought if Tara and Willow can find their love for one another again can't we all. Take care of yourselves and each other.

    Questions and observations;

    Do we really think Giles would drink Jack Daniels? Surely he's a Scotch man? Maybe Gwendoline Post was right, he has become too American. Dawn no longer likes pet shops, perhaps because she too has been a prisoner at least twice. Note Warren seems to take sadistic glee at hunting the vamps. Buffy feels bad about the events of Normal Again but her friends and sister easily forgive her, she's delighted to feel the love. Are there real gnomes in the Buffyverse?

    Marks out of 10; I was going to say that Entropy was a good title for a season that had lost it's way and become quite dismal in places but actually this is more like it, sex and character based comedy with a happy ending. 8/10

  • Demon On Demon Action

    Entropy-Having become a vengeance demon again, Anya attempts to curse Xander for the pain he caused her... but she can't do it herself. Instead, she enlists the help of some old friends but it doesn't go the way she expected. Buffy spends some quality time with Dawn to make up for her violent actions in Normal Again, but Dawn's idea of a good time is the dangerous world of patrolling. Willow and Tara meet for a coffee date and begin to mend their troubled relationship. The gang discover that the Troika have been watching their every move with hidden cameras. The cameras are traced to the trio's lair and what is seen on video proves to be devastating for all of them.

    You know this episode has been so far from my radar in the past, it's surprising how much I enjoyed it this time around. In fact, I've enjoyed Season 6 a lot more as whole this re-watch than I have during other re-watches. Maybe it's because I'm about the same age as the characters in this season and at the point in my life where I need to start being an adult aswell. Sure, there are still some plot points that still feel too heavy handed, it's definitely a better sit through this time around. This episode is all about Anya's pain and her finding a way to make Xander feel the same way. Emma Caulfield really excels throughout and you can't just resisted her menacing charm now that she's a vengeance demon again. I loved her first confrontation with Xander since the wedding. There was some genuine humor mixed in the heartache when Anya thinks Xander's insides are being destroyed but it turns out it's all just a metaphor. lol I also loved the sequence of Anya interrogating the rest of the gang and trying to tricked them into making a wish for her to make Xander suffer. Another couple or former struggling to more forward are Buffy and Spike. The confrontation between them was tense as usual and the moment where Buffy tries to get Spike to move on as he cuts her off was good stuff. While I don't blame Anya and Spike for what happens between them, I have to admit, it's a pretty disgusting sight. It makes for a devastating moment when the rest of the gang discovers this. Xander's reaction of course is the most extreme as he decides to kill Spike. The confrontation at the end outside the Magic Box is definitely one of the most surreal scenes. Once again, the cast is amazing and I loved as Xander continues to degraded Anya for sleeping with Spike you could see Buffy feel disgusted with herself. The moment Spike reveals to them that Buffy slept with him, it really hits hard.

    Surprisingly, in the mist of all this, Willow and Tara's relationship begins to heal from their cute coffee date to Tara's beautiful declaration of wanting to skip the healing process and just wanting be with her intimately again. It's one of the most romantic moments of the series as Tara and Willow embrace for a passionate kiss. Unfortunately, as we all know, when a couple on Buffy is truly happy, things will go sour Fast! Overall, another solid episode and progressing the characters' relationships in great ways.moreless
  • Things Fall Apart.

    Anya returns to Sunnydale determined to exact vengeance on Xander, while Tara and Willow get back together. ‘Entropy’ is a great episode that focuses on developing more and more the main characters of the show without relying on monsters or vampires to tell a story.

    The episode has a slow start, but halfway through it manages to be a very good addition to Season 6. I think it’s great how it brings closure to Anya and Xander’s relationship and how it deals with the other two main love stories of the show. Xander, Anya and Dawn discover about Spike and Buffy’s relation and Tara and Willow work things out. The acting, especially Nicholas Brendon’s and Emma Caulfield’s was great and I loved how they are finally getting a chance to do more powerful scenes, like the very last one. Also good, was Anya trying to convince the girls to wish something bad would happen to Xander. On a side note, loved the soundtrack choices.moreless
  • "Things fall apart. They fall apart so hard. You can't ever put them back the way they were" - Tara

    In which things come to a head. We open in the traditional setting of a graveyard, but this time it's not vamps chasing humans or Buffy chasing vamps, but the geek trio chasing a couple of bumpy foreheads. They're stepping up. They lose the vamps, but Buffy and Spike – attempting to blackmail Buffy by threatening to set a vampire on her If he doesn't tell her friends that they slept together – unwittingly save the day. Meanwhile, Xander sits desolately on the floor in the same manner as when Buffy turned down his invitation to the dance in S1. Five years have passed, Xander may have a beer, a beer gut and a fancy flat, but nothing has changed. He's still a loser.

    The three stories converge as relationships break down all over the place. Jonathan, still feeling guilt over Katrina's death, wants out of the gang, agreeing to this one last (mysterious) plan, then "we'll call it a day". Warren has other ideas to split up the group, as yet unexplained. Spike is stalking Buffy, and Anya, Xander. Anya is still torn, she seems prepared to forgive Xander if he is willing to marry her; perhaps it her self abasement and (what she perceives as) his continuing rejection of her that leads her to try to curse him. She doesn't see that his "metaphorical pain" is just as bad as actual physical pain. Anya attempts to get the gang to wish bad things on him by playing on what she thinks are their weaknesses – Buffy's disastrous love life, Tara and Willow's homosexuality and Dawn's kleptomania (for once Anya is more interested in vengeance than commerce). But the Scoobs have forgiven the Xand-man. That's what they do. They forgave Willow her black magicks, Dawn her bad behaviour and Buffy her trying to kill them all. The implication is that they'll forgive the Slayer's sexual peccadilloes. It's what Buffy is so sure of as she dukes it out with Spike. As Anya and Spike take to the whiskey (beer bad, but whiskey better), it seems that Anya is going to manipulate Spike into cursing Xander, wacky hi-jinks will ensue, ending with Buffy beating the monster. But it's much worse than that. Apart from the two-a-penny cemetery vamps, there's no big bad this week, only people feeling the consequences of their actions. Even Dawn wants to pay her debt to society by returning stolen goods and paying for the rest in work time. It seems that her relationship with Buffy is improving – only for it to take a step back as Dawn (and Willow) realise what's been going on with the Slayer and Spike; Dawn thinks the thing that Buffy wants to protect her from is not violence, but sex.

    Spike, linked in the past to Riley and April-the-robot, is now compared to Anya. Both are "love's b*tch" both have changed to please their partners, both are outspoken and not given to society's norms of tact and not saying what one feels, both are demons ("who should be dead by now") with their powers reduced, both are inside, yet outside, the gang and both feel unappreciated. Spike is led to the magic shop by the troika's machinations, Xander's suspicious bullying and Buffy's frustration. Entropy is the notion that the disorder of a system will tend to increase over time. The cameras, installed to reveal the gang's secrets, do their job most admirably. Seeing the Spike 'n' Anya show, Xander storms down to the magic shop to have it out with Spike with an axe. It's not the fact that Anya slept with another man that upsets him so much as that it was Spike - "an evil soulless thing". It is this echoing of Buffy's insult to her ex that makes Spike speak out. He fails to defend himself against Xander's violence until this reminder of Buffy's rejection is aired. Spike has managed to hurt Xander far more than physically – he hasn't cursed him, but has succeeded in causing more of that "metaphorical pain", adding to it as he reveals Buffy's relationship with him to Xander . Even Anya sees how hurt and upset Xander is and when she finally gets her wish – to have someone wish pain on him – she stops Spike from doing so. Spike makes it clear that humans do not have the moral high ground – he points out to Anya that he would never leave a girl at the altar and to Xander that even people on pedestals can sleep with vamps. The humans are as bad as the demons with their pettiness, jealousy, violence, self-involvement and self-disgust. The monster of the week is everyone.

    But just as someone is always miserable in the Whedonverse, someone is always happy. The episode ends with a reconciliation, Tara and Willow forget their differences and make up and make out, showing us that there is hope. Don't get too comfy, girls!moreless
Edie Caggiano

Edie Caggiano


Guest Star

Danny Strong

Danny Strong


Recurring Role

Adam Busch

Adam Busch


Recurring Role

Tom Lenk

Tom Lenk


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • When Dawn walks in and sees Spike and Anya on the computer, Willow says "ho ho ho" and covers Dawns eyes, but her mouth doesn't move when she says it.

    • When Tara is talking to Willow at the end Willow's dress from the episode Once More, With Feeling (6x07) can be seen hanging on the door.

    • In the breakfast scene Buffy puts pancakes on Dawn's plate. When Buffy tells her to eat and Dawn sits down, the pancakes are no longer on her plate and the toast is re-arranged and partially eaten.

    • After Xander leaves with a weapon Willow sees the open door and open chest. The weapons chest she sees is the one Xander made for Buffy's birthday in Older and Far Away.

    • When Spike is on the Magic Box table with Anya, his reflection (mainly his hand) can be seen on the table surface.

    • When Anya is talking to Dawn at the Magic Box the third time Dawn's hair is in front of her shoulders and hanging in front of her face. As the scene progresses her hair gradually moves back behind her shoulders, then in the very last shot the hair is in front of her shoulders again.

    • Halfrek and Anya discuss how to use Spike to curse Xander while they are just a few feet away from him. They should both know (since it's pretty common knowledge on the show) that vampires have super-hearing, and Spike is not the type to be polite enough to tune out a conversation.

    • After Anya and Spike hook up, you see Anya with no lipstick from kissing Spike. The next camera angle you see Anya with bright red lipstick on again.

    • In the scene where Buffy is making Dawn breakfast and the camera pans behind Dawn, you can clearly see something obscuring the top right of the screen, yet when it pans back to Dawn you see nothing is behind her. This same obstruction is there for all 4 or 5 times the camera pans behind Dawn, most likely it's some part of the filming equipment.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Anya: So tell me again how you wish Xander's brains and guts would go plooey?
      Dawn: No I didn't!
      Anya: Yes you did, I distinctly heard you!
      Dawn: But I didn't say that!
      Anya: (quickly) Didn't say what?

    • Anya: I wish you felt the pain of a thousand searing pokers boiling your heart in its own juices!

    • The trio see, through the camera at the Magic Box, Spike and Anya having sex.
      Jonathan: Oh my God.
      Andrew: What are they... oh.
      Warren: Is that...?
      Jonathan: Spike.
      Andrew: (intent on the screen) He is so cool. (looks warily towards the others) And, I mean, the girl is hot too.

    • Buffy: I don't think he could feel any worse.
      Anya: Let's test that theory.

    • Xander: (to Anya) You let that evil, soulless thing touch you. You wanted me to feel something? Congratulations, it worked. I look at you, I feel sick. 'Cause you had sex with that.
      Spike: Good enough for Buffy
      Xander: Shut up! Leave her out of... (he sees Buffy's face and realizes that Spike is telling the truth) this.
      Anya: Buffy...
      Buffy: Xander...
      Xander: I don't want to know this. I don't want to know any of this.

    • Dawn: I don't say that word anymore.
      Anya: Coagulate?
      Dawn: W-i-s-h.

    • Tara: Things fall apart, they fall apart so hard.
      Willow: Tara?
      Tara: You can never put them back the way they were.
      Willow: Are you ok?
      Tara: I'm sorry, it's just... you know, it takes time. You can't just... have coffee and expect...
      Willow: I know.
      Tara: There's just so much to work through. Trust has to be built again, on both sides. You have to learn if... if we're even the same people we were. If you can fit in each other's lives. It's a long, important process and... can't we just skip it? Can - can you just be kissing me now?

  • NOTES (2)

    • The song playing at the end is "That Kind Of Love" by Alison Krauss.

    • This is not the first time that Spike and Anya have comforted each other due to their mutual frustation with love. In the season 4 episode 'Where the Wild Things Are', Spike and Anya talk about getting revenge on Drusilla and Xander. They abandon the 'revenge' idea and instead Anya takes to the party at the Initiative soldiers' house.


    • Episode title: Entropy
      This episode's title refers to the second law of thermodynamics which states, in layman's terms, that the disorder of a system will tend to increase over time. More nuanced definitions are common now, but the title refers to the concept of entropy as chaos and disorder.

    • Warren: Not impressed, Padawan.
      "Padawan" is the title used for a Jedi apprentice in the Star Wars films. By using this term, Warren is insinuating that Jonathan is beneath him, as if he were a student or apprentice.

    • Visual: Using the medallion to locate the demon lair.
      This is a reference to the film Raiders of the Lost Ark in which the headpiece of a staff was used to find the burial site of the Ark of the Covenant.

    • Warren: Cheer up, Short Round.
      Warren is referring to the sidekick character Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

    • Dawn: Gosh, did we open a chain? Are we the International House of something?
      This is a reference to the International House of Pancakes (IHOP), which is a restaurant chain that is well known for having many types of syrup available at each table.