Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 4

Fear, Itself

4
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 26, 1999 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (25)

8.9
out of 10
Average
580 votes
  • Fear, Itself

    9.5
    This is the best this season has put out yet! We get a thoroughly entertaining plot, the usual wittiness, useful character insight, and a whole lot of fun. This is a modern version of "Nightmares" (1x10), and the fear demon plot works because the characters have changed and new ground is being covered. This is the first episode of the season that has that 'homely' feel between the characters. When Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Oz meet up in front of the frat house I can't help but feel cozy and excited for their fun little adventure. Much of what happens here is further setup for the internal conflicts of the season: Willow's use of magic and growing power, Oz's beast coming out and having serious repercussions, Xander feeling that he's not important in the group, Giles' aimlessness, and Buffy's relationship issues.



    I'm going to take a "set 'em up, and knock 'em down" approach to this review. I think I'll begin with Willow this time around. A big theme with her this season is the developing need to be a more powerful witch. Willow wants power and although right now it's used for good, the magic stems from very dark roots and is sparking a gradual change in her. Oz points out that he's afraid Willow will get hurt, and he compares it to his experience when "wolfing He says "I touch something, deep. Dark. It's not When the group meets in front of the "scary house" we see that Willow is dressed up as Joan of Arc, a girl who helped lead armies and was burned at the stake.



    The big moment of insight comes during the Buffy/Willow dispute in the frat house. Buffy wants her friends to leave so she doesn't have to worry about their safety, but Willow takes offense to this because she believes she has power and can help Buffy as an equal. Willow says "Being the Slayer doesn't automatically make you boss. You're as lost as the rest of us," but that's not necessarily true, Buffy does have certain advantages and instincts the others don't. Buffy's also realistic about Willow's current magical limitations: "Will, let's be realistic here. Okay, your basic spells are usually only Willow eventually yells back, "I'm not your sidekick!" and that is ultimately the big issue. We can openly see right here that Willow wants to become a more powerful individual which commands respect and seniority over others, not unlike Joan of Arc.



    Through the fear demon we discover that Willow's big fear right now is not being able to successfully advance her magical abilities and that they'll always backfire on her. Buffy's comment about her spells being only fifty-fifty likely brought that fear to the surface when she did the conjuring spell. The demon doesn't just work its mojo on Willow though. Lets move on to Xander. Early on we see Anya paying another visit to him and ask some tough questions. She says, "It's those people. You continue to associate with them though you share little in common ... I mean they go to college, you don't. They no longer live at home, - you Xander tries to come back but ultimately feels she's right. He replies, "Oh, hey, those things... The bonds of true friendship transcends... Could we just change the subject?" Later on in the frat house we find out that his fear of not fitting in and not being noticed by his friends comes true. This is a theme that will plague Xander for the rest of the season. Xander himself says what he wants when talking about his costume: "As long as I'm cool and wield some kind of



    The reason why Buffy gets so little attention from the fear demon compared to the others is because her fears have already been discussed by that point. In the very beginning of the episode we see her completely "out of it" and suffering from "post-Parker She recites the life of a pumpkin and then takes off from the pre-Halloween gathering with the Scoobies. Xander says, "does anyone else want to smack that guy?" Everyone raises their hands and so do I. I really enjoyed seeing Buffy telling Willow she's reached her quota of 'someones' and that she wants to be no dating Buffy for a while. The person that finally begins to shake her mood is Professor Walsh who essentially splashes some cold water on her face. She says, "if you miss another class you're Riley is pretty observant and is able to piece together that Buffy is the type of person who makes things hard on herself.



    The Riley chat leads to her enlightened conversation with her mother back at the house. They get to talking and Joyce says, "Our divorce had nothing to do with This is when Buffy reveals her growing feeling about serious relationships. She says, "I don't know. - I'm starting to feel like there is a pattern here. - Open your heart to someone, and he bails on you. Maybe it's easier to just not let anyone Joyce responds and tells her it's "Fear. I didn't believe I could trust anyone again. It's taken time and a lot of effort, but I've got a nice circle of friends now. - I mean, don't get me wrong. I - I'm still a little gun shy. It certainly didn't help that my last boyfriend turned out to be a homicidal robot. I will always be here for you. And you got Mr. Giles and your friends. Believe me, there is nothing to be afraid This is her mom telling her that she can risk a serious relationship because she's got her friends and family to support her when things don't go well.



    While this doesn't completely wash away Buffy's fears, as made clear by the fear demon and her resistance to a relationship with Riley in "Doomed" (4x11), it certainly helps a lot. We also see that Buffy has a ways to go before fully learning from her mistakes. When Giles is reading out of the book on how to defeat the fear demon, Buffy rushes to judgement and assumes that the first thing he read was how to stop it. Instead she releases the demon. This is exactly what she did with Parker. She rushed into sexual relations with him before really getting to know him well which ended up releasing the demon within him. Buffy needs to learn to be more careful in both her Slaying and her personal life, or she's going to keep getting hurt both physically and emotionally, respectively.



    Next up on the list is Oz. Early on he tells Willow how dark the beast within him is and that it isn't any fun. His fear is obviously that the beast will get loose and hurt his friends. In the frat house the fear demon makes this fear come true. Oz's fear isn't just brought up as an excuse for him to have something to fear in just this episode. It's a real fear which comes true in a much more damaging way in "Wild at Heart" (4x06). This is good setup for what happens to him there and makes why he leaves town make more sense.



    Although Giles and Anya weren't under the influence of the fear demon we did get to see what they fear. Anya simply fears Bunnies and losing Xander. I enjoyed it when she bursts into Giles' place and says "Xander is in trouble. We've got to do something, right now! ... Are you listening? Xander is trapped!" Giles poses an important question: "Uh, ah, where is Buffy and the others?" Anya snaps back, "They're trapped, too, but we've got to save Xander!" We can see he's very important to her right now. Giles, on the other hand, is unfortunately living his fear. He's sitting around at his home, bored to death, eating his own Halloween candy with a sombrero on. In the span of this episode we get to see Sombrero Giles, Candy Giles, Toy Giles, and Chainsaw Giles. He's in a rut and doesn't know where he fits right now. Throughout the season this situation will only get worse.



    When the fear demon finally rises we get the to the heart of the matter: fear, itself is actually really small. All you need to do is spot it and squash it, just like Buffy does. This is classic BtVS which works on all the levels that make the series fantastic. It's an episode with great: plot, character development, subtle lessons, and humor. All around I loved it!

  • This is the best this season has put out yet!

    9.5
    We get a thoroughly entertaining plot, the usual wittiness, useful character insight, and a whole lot of fun. This is a modern version of "Nightmares", and the fear demon plot works because the characters have changed and new ground is being covered. This is the first episode of the season that has that 'homely' feel between the characters. When Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Oz meet up in front of the frat house I can't help but feel cozy and excited for their fun little adventure. Much of what happens here is further setup for the internal conflicts of the season: Willow's use of magic and growing power, Oz's beast coming out and having serious repercussions, Xander feeling that he's not important in the group, Giles' aimlessness, and Buffy's relationship issues.



    I'm going to take a "set 'em up, and knock 'em down" approach to this review. I think I'll begin with Willow this time around. A big theme with her this season is the developing need to be a more powerful witch. Willow wants power and although right now it's used for good, the magic stems from very dark roots and is sparking a gradual change in her. Oz points out that he's afraid Willow will get hurt, and he compares it to his experience when "wolfing He says "I touch something, deep. Dark. It's not When the group meets in front of the "scary house" we see that Willow is dressed up as Joan of Arc, a girl who helped lead armies and was burned at the stake.



    The big moment of insight comes during the Buffy/Willow dispute in the frat house. Buffy wants her friends to leave so she doesn't have to worry about their safety, but Willow takes offense to this because she believes she has power and can help Buffy as an equal. Willow says "Being the Slayer doesn't automatically make you boss. You're as lost as the rest of us," but that's not necessarily true, Buffy does have certain advantages and instincts the others don't. Buffy's also realistic about Willow's current magical limitations: "Will, let's be realistic here. Okay, your basic spells are usually only Willow eventually yells back, "I'm not your sidekick!" and that is ultimately the big issue. We can openly see right here that Willow wants to become a more powerful individual which commands respect and seniority over others, not unlike Joan of Arc.



    Through the fear demon we discover that Willow's big fear right now is not being able to successfully advance her magical abilities and that they'll always backfire on her. Buffy's comment about her spells being only fifty-fifty likely brought that fear to the surface when she did the conjuring spell. The demon doesn't just work its mojo on Willow though. Lets move on to Xander. Early on we see Anya paying another visit to him and ask some tough questions. She says, "It's those people. You continue to associate with them though you share little in common ... I mean they go to college, you don't. They no longer live at home, - you Xander tries to come back but ultimately feels she's right. He replies, "Oh, hey, those things... The bonds of true friendship transcends... Could we just change the subject?" Later on in the frat house we find out that his fear of not fitting in and not being noticed by his friends comes true. This is a theme that will plague Xander for the rest of the season. Xander himself says what he wants when talking about his costume: "As long as I'm cool and wield some kind of



    The reason why Buffy gets so little attention from the fear demon compared to the others is because her fears have already been discussed by that point. In the very beginning of the episode we see her completely "out of it" and suffering from "post-Parker She recites the life of a pumpkin and then takes off from the pre-Halloween gathering with the Scoobies. Xander says, "does anyone else want to smack that guy?" Everyone raises their hands and so do I. I really enjoyed seeing Buffy telling Willow she's reached her quota of 'someones' and that she wants to be no dating Buffy for a while. The person that finally begins to shake her mood is Professor Walsh who essentially splashes some cold water on her face. She says, "if you miss another class you're Riley is pretty observant and is able to piece together that Buffy is the type of person who makes things hard on herself.



    The Riley chat leads to her enlightened conversation with her mother back at the house. They get to talking and Joyce says, "Our divorce had nothing to do with This is when Buffy reveals her growing feeling about serious relationships. She says, "I don't know. - I'm starting to feel like there is a pattern here. - Open your heart to someone, and he bails on you. Maybe it's easier to just not let anyone Joyce responds and tells her it's "Fear. I didn't believe I could trust anyone again. It's taken time and a lot of effort, but I've got a nice circle of friends now. - I mean, don't get me wrong. I - I'm still a little gun shy. It certainly didn't help that my last boyfriend turned out to be a homicidal robot. I will always be here for you. And you got Mr. Giles and your friends. Believe me, there is nothing to be afraid This is her mom telling her that she can risk a serious relationship because she's got her friends and family to support her when things don't go well.



    While this doesn't completely wash away Buffy's fears, as made clear by the fear demon and her resistance to a relationship with Riley in "Doomed", it certainly helps a lot. We also see that Buffy has a ways to go before fully learning from her mistakes. When Giles is reading out of the book on how to defeat the fear demon, Buffy rushes to judgement and assumes that the first thing he read was how to stop it. Instead she releases the demon. This is exactly what she did with Parker. She rushed into sexual relations with him before really getting to know him well which ended up releasing the demon within him. Buffy needs to learn to be more careful in both her Slaying and her personal life, or she's going to keep getting hurt both physically and emotionally, respectively.



    Next up on the list is Oz. Early on he tells Willow how dark the beast within him is and that it isn't any fun. His fear is obviously that the beast will get loose and hurt his friends. In the frat house the fear demon makes this fear come true. Oz's fear isn't just brought up as an excuse for him to have something to fear in just this episode. It's a real fear which comes true in a much more damaging way in "Wild at Heart". This is good setup for what happens to him there and makes why he leaves town make more sense.



    Although Giles and Anya weren't under the influence of the fear demon we did get to see what they fear. Anya simply fears Bunnies and losing Xander. I enjoyed it when she bursts into Giles' place and says "Xander is in trouble. We've got to do something, right now! ... Are you listening? Xander is trapped!" Giles poses an important question: "Uh, ah, where is Buffy and the others?" Anya snaps back, "They're trapped, too, but we've got to save Xander!" We can see he's very important to her right now. Giles, on the other hand, is unfortunately living his fear. He's sitting around at his home, bored to death, eating his own Halloween candy with a sombrero on. In the span of this episode we get to see Sombrero Giles, Candy Giles, Toy Giles, and Chainsaw Giles. He's in a rut and doesn't know where he fits right now. Throughout the season this situation will only get worse.



    When the fear demon finally rises we get the to the heart of the matter: fear, itself is actually really small. All you need to do is spot it and squash it, just like Buffy does. This is classic BtVS which works on all the levels that make the series fantastic. It's an episode with great: plot, character development, subtle lessons, and humor. All around I loved it!
  • Happy Halloween

    6.0
    Fear Itself



    The Good;

    Buffy does a Halloween ep once every couple of years and it's always special, this is no exception. The Scoobies face and overcome their fears and the final gag is fantastic. Also love the postmodern gag of Buffy hitting the demon only to find out it's a guy in a Halloween mask (presumably a student rather than a local who'd know better).



    The Bad;

    Would the Scoobies ever really watch horror films like Phantasm? Don't they get enough gore?



    Best line;

    Giles; "Actual size!"



    Character death;

    Only the guy who breaks his neck falling dow the stairs



    Jeez!;

    What's the story with the girl in the tiara on the couch who appears dead then grins maniacally at the camera?



    Kinky dinky;

    The frat boys think Halloween is all about 'getting laid'. Interestingly Willow's crush Tina Fey in her film Mean Girls says it's all about allowing girls to dress up in slutty male-fantasy costumes whilst keeping their reputation intact. Buffy gets grabbed all over by the hands in the cellar (anyone else reminded of the Evil Dead series) and was I the only one to think 'Boy you can see up her skirt' when Buffy crushes the demon at the end?



    Calling Captain Subtext;

    Willow "What is college for if not experimentation?" Hmmmm? She also begs "Oz don't leave me"



    Scoobies to the ER;

    Buffy cut but not too badly



    Where's Dawn?

    Adore the scene with Buffy and Joyce it's so precious. You wonder what costume Dawn wore trick or treating? Is Joyce taking her this year? Joyce comments that she's not the social butterfly she used to be in LA, as we see in Buffy; The Movie. She now knows that Ted was a robot (as Dawn does in IWMTLY).



    Questions and observations;

    The first sign of Anya's bunny phobia. The first encounter between the Scoobies and The Initiative (aside from Out of Sight, Out of Mind?). Anya comments that it's been a week since she and Xander had sex so we must assume that each ep in the Buffyverse is a week in real time. Uncle Rory mentioned again and Willow is still scared of spiders which she overcomes by the time of Selfless. The guiding spell that goes wrong for her is reminiscent of the one Tara uses successfully in Bargaining pt2. Xander uses the old 'Standing right here' Scooby line. At least Anya knocks on Gile's door which is progress. The ghouls at the frat party are very Evil Dead

    Read an interesting fanfic once where Michael Myers from the Halloween series shows up in season 3 Sunnydale and kills Joyce and Faith. In the follow-up story however the Nerd Trio capture him and use his blood to bring them back to life, I think the author's point being that heroism and villainy is sometimes just a question of timing and circumstances (which you can certainly make the case for with characters such as Andrew, Amy, Faith etc?)

    Marks out of 10; 6/10

  • Fear, Itself

    8.5
    In this episode, we get to see Buffy, Willow, Oz, Xander, and Anya's biggest fear. Buffy is afraid that all of her friends will abandon her, Xander's is pretty much the same. Oz's is that he won't be able to control the wolf and it will take over. Willow's is that the magic will turn on her. We get to see the first glimpse of Anya's bunny-phobia, which will become a popular running gag in the series. The end of the episode is pretty funny and ironic, with everybody being afraid of the demon to come, and he's about two inches tall. This was a great episode, but not perfect, and I kind of grade Buffy on a curve, so on another show, this would have been a 9.5
  • The idea here tries to evoke the classic season 2 Halloween, but this comes way short

    7.5
    Buffy is known for it's traditional Halloween episodes. Given the nature of the show, it makes sense and it's a cool characteristic that follows in the lines of The Simpsons (Tree house of Horror) and Friends (Thanksgiving).

    Unfortunately there's nothing here that's scary, fun, or really, very interesting. Hearkening back to the classic episode where costumes turned trick-or-treaters into literal manifestations, here, it is a fraternity haunted house that becomes a REAL real of terror! This is due to careless use of an old mystic symbol, and the gang gets split up inside, everyone facing their worst fears. Too bad the material written here wasn't stronger, because the potential was great.

    ONLY GOOD MOMENT: Anya arriving in her bunny suit. Funny (and oddly, hot..)
  • Fear, Itself

    10
    Fear, Itself was a perfectly classic episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Thie episode fits right in with the halloween, which as of this review is a couple weeks away. I really enjoyed watching it because there was an excellent story, great humor, many allusions, and insights. It was interesting to see the different peoples costumes. Halloween, oh nothing will happen, but that never quite works out that way for Buffy. There were some very interesting scenes and the whole episode and every aspect of it was sensational. This episode follows a line of Halloween themed episodes in the series, and it was definitely great!
  • Season 4, Episode 4.

    8.5
    The gang attends a fraternity Halloween party in hopes of helping Buffy get over the pain of being used by Parker. However, when they get to the house, all of their worst fears become a reality.

    I enjoyed this episode, but they did this already. It just played out differently. It feels like a combination of the episodes "Nightmares" and "Halloween." Not a bad episode though. It came out cool, and Buffy continues to look beautiful. I liked the scenes in the house, but this episode seemed different somehow. Good writing, good performance. Plus, the fear demon is tiny! Hehe, Buffy squishing him was awesome. Cool episode.
  • "Post Parker Depression", or "Actual Size"? Mwahahahaha!

    9.5
    Buffy is having trouble getting over Parker, so the gang gets her to go to a Halloween party in hopes that she will meet someone. Magic and Chaos ensue and the gang finds themselves trying to escape a "Haunted House".

    I'm not sure why, but I find Willow more adorable than usual in this episode. Giles in his Halloween sombrero is good for a laugh. And as usual, the Anya and Xander exchanges are hilarious. 1 week copulation anniversary...lol. We also learn of Anya's fear of bunnies in this episode.

    As the second Halloween episode of the series, I think it surpasses the original. The actors have really come into their own, and the episode just runs a lot smoother. The funny demon twist at the end is what really puts this one over the top for me!
  • Massively underrated gem.

    9.0
    Fear, Itself is another underrated episode of the terrific Season 4 that while not being as brilliant as the previous Hallowe'en episode, was still excellent (and MUCH better than the last Hallowe'en episode, All The Way).

    This episode is so much fun. People often class Season 4 as the worst season and I can't see why; it's better than Seasons 1 and 7 and is probably tied with Season 2 for me. This episode embodies why I love Season 4 so much; it's a great mix of horror, comedy, action and emotion.

    The whole house of horrors thing wasn't original but was great, very scary and horror movie like. The cheesy voice of Gachnar shouting throughout the house could have been very, very bad but it was put to great use and came off well. The skeletons and spiders added to the creep factor and the windows closing over was a good effect.

    The gang's worst fears were quite amusing and although done previously in the episode "Nightmares", was still a good addition. I thought Oz's of turning into the werewolf was really good and Willow's "Don't leave me!" being magnified and repeated about 4 times was very creepy.

    The real highlight of this episode is Anya coming dressed the house in a bunny outfit and admitting bunnies are her greatest fear. This is one of the best recurring jokes of the show and it was brilliant to see it here. That bunny outfit is so awesome, as is Anya.

    What I didn't like in this episode was Buffy's continued moping over Parker. Realistic, yes. Annoying, very. It was just a bad storyline that no one liked and one that sort of dampens the episode. Parker is such an annoying jerk that you just wish she'd punch him to death. It just sort of brings the episode down. Fear, Itself is a brilliant episode that is both scary and funny. A really fantastic way to spend an hour.
  • Little House of Horrors

    9.8
    Fear, Itself-To help Buffy get over the pain of having been used by Parker, the gang head to a fraternity Halloween party expecting a few cheap scares and a bit of harmless fun. Unfortunately, some accidental magic turns the party into a house of horrors where everyone's fears come to life.

    Probably one of the most underrated episodes of Buffy's 7 year run, "Fear, Itself" is near classic Buffy with it's excellent mix of horror, humor, drama, and action. The whole haunted house scenario has been done to death of movies and TV, but David Fury penns an wonderful script giving it that Buffy twist and the whole cast does so well throughout. I loved the costumes everyone chose for Halloween, especially Oz being God, ha! But nothing could top Anya going in her bunny costume, revealing her phobia about bunnies frightening her. Her bunny ear is one of the best recurring jokes of the series and it's used so well here.

    The Haunted house scenes are very creepy and superbly directed by Tucker Gates who creates a great sense of chaos in a small space as well as creating a chilling atmosphere. I love how the house brought everyone's fears to life as it gave some insight on the characters. We find out Xander fears that his friends won't notice him anymore now that they are all in college so now no one can see him. Then after a minor blow out with Buffy, Willow tries to use her magic only for it to backfire and it literally attacking her. The saddest is actually Oz, who tries to stop himself from turning into a werewolf. You honestly see for the first time how deeply conflicted Oz is about his wolf in him and it's a development that will be fleshed out significantly for the rest of the episode. Lastly, there's Buffy who almost gets dragged into the ground by some zombies in a very suspenseful scene. David Fury really knows how to create surreal tension and spliting up the gang worked in the episode's favor.

    Other great scenes is Giles and Anya coming to the rescue, not to mention seeing Giles with a chainsaw was brilliant! The ending twist with the Gachnar is one of the funniest moments of the series as her turns out be only 4 inches tall. Just the sight of Xander taunting him with "whose a little fear demon" was priceless as well as Giles revealing at the very end that he mis-read the lauguage under the Gachner photo, which translated to "Actual Size", lol. All and All, "Fear Itself" is excellent hour with tons of suspensful scenes, hilarious moments, and great developments.
  • It's Halloween time and the Buffy and the gang go to a party at a haunted house where they can't leave and are left alone with their fears.

    10
    This episode of Buffy was a great Halloween episode. It wasn't as good as the one in season 2 but it was more creepier. Buffy being abondoned by her friends was on of her fears. It was a little wierd that she couldn't find her friends at first because I thought she was joking. Then I started to laugh because Xander thought he was invisible. Xander's fear was either being invisible or everyone not being able to hear what he's saying. Xander was funny when he was freaking out. I don't really know Willow's fear, but she was freaking out over spiders. Oz turning into a werewolf is always cool. The end of this episode is really funny and cool. Anya wearing a bunny costume is hilarious. Bunnies are supposed to be cute and she thinks they are evil so she dressed up as on. Giles making a door opening with the chain saw thingy was coolest thing ever. At the end when the Fear Demon was summon Xander was so funny when he said "Who's a little Fear Demon? Come on, who's little Fear Demon?" That's one of the most funniest quotes Xander has ever said. Then Giles said that Xander was tacky. This episode was great.
  • Creepy house and not as creepy demon!

    9.5
    Haloween brought a night of terror to the people. The party with Haloween theme was creepy. Even more when all the creepy things came to life! I don't like horror, my imagination is just too big to handle all that. I liked the bunny costume, and of course Oz's 'GOD' 'costume'! Everyone's fear came to reality. Interesting. We've already found out a couple of things about main characters, but it's still interesting to watch them dealing with the fear. But I think it wasn't shown well enough. I mean, it wasn't intense. It didn't leave a mark on me after watching it. It was an interesting episode and nothing else. But I still liked it.
  • the gang planed to go to a party,not knowing they'll be in a haunted house.

    9.1
    i like the begining when buffy started to talk about the life of a pumpkin,it's funny.giles's costume was funny,with that big Mexican hat.Anya looks more like she's ready for easter day,but thats the funny thing about Anya. they ended in a party that became a haunted house,anyway.they somehow split up and got lost.the part where giles say he knows how to make a door was funny,considering instead of all so powerful spells,he just use a chain saw to cut out a door.then he came and look menancing when he broke down the door infront of the gang again with the chain saw.he started reading from the book and buffy just had to break the seal.then,the fear demon itself came.it looks powerful with it's sharp horns and teeth and menancing roar,only if you're an ant that is.buffy just squashed it with her foot and later they found out hte picture in the book of the demon is actual size.
  • It's Halloween and the gang visit a Haunted House that becomes too scary for them to handle.

    8.1
    I liked this episode it was pretty creepy and there were some great lines. Though I think I'm biased because I love BtVS. All through the episode I was thinking "What would someone who's never watched BtVS think about this episode?" There are many scenes that may be considered lame and cheesy. Some Of The Good Points
    - Joyce and Buffy talk. I missed Joyce we didn't get a lot of her in S4 and that scene was great. It gave us insight on Joyce and on the divorce. - Oz in the tub. I really felt for the guy. And of course the Classic Bunny Anya Scene. You got to love her. Some Of The Low Points
    - Downer Buffy. Why'd you come to the party if you're gonna be such a party pooper? Sure you're having boy troubles but get over it. - Alyson Hannigan: I Didn't like her "Get them off me! Get them off me!" When she reached the Attic. It sounded too forced. - Buffy destroying the symbol and Giles watching her do it not saying anything until after she did it.
  • Litteraly a haunted house!

    8.5
    Willow, Oz, Buffy, and Xander go to a haunted house for Halloween. The hosts of the party drew a symbol later reavealed to be used for summoning a demon. They symbol made things real and when people started getting scared the demon fed of the fear. The episode was pretty good all around. Some funny lines. Buffy and the gang see the initiative but they think its just some coustume. We find out that Anya is terrifed of bunnies. This episodes marks a week since Anya and Xander "copulated". Buffy went to the house as Little Red Riding Hood. Xander went as James Bond. Willow as Joan of Arc. Oz has god. And Anya as a bunny.
  • Another amazing Halloween episode

    9.5
    It was so sad to see how Parker was affecting Buffy throughout this episode. The beginning when she just had her hands in the pumpkin guts made you feel how depressed she really was. And after Xander invited Anya to go with them to the haunted house Buffy really did feel like a third wheel or fifth wheel as Xander put it.

    Anya's fear of bunnies and Giles dressing up in a sombrero made the episode funny. I loved the little fear demon that's picture was actual size too. And Giles telling Xander not to mock the demon because it was tacky was another laugh.

    I liked that they all started fighting when they were in the house, because it was foreshadowing what was going to happen later in the season. I liked how Buffy told Willow that her basic spell was 50-50, because that also shadows what is going to happen with her magic later in the series, and it was something that Willow just really needed to hear more often.

    Brilliant Halloween episode.
  • Another wacky Halloween for Buffy

    8.8
    Favorite Quotes:
    Buffy: "Let's be realistic Willow, your basic spells are usually only about 50/50"
    Willow: "Oh yeah? Well, so's your face!"
    Buffy: "What!?"

    Buffy and Halloween just do not mix. Im thinking she should have learned this lesson a couple of years prior, but what the hey. So the gang decides to attend a frat Halloween party and end up getting more than they bargained for. I have to quote Xander at this point: "Big overture. Little show." It wasn't the worst of season 4, by no means, but it was far from spectacular. Personally, I enjoyed seeing Giles in a sombrero more than anything else.
  • Who's the little fear demon?

    10
    So this is one of my all time favorite Buffy’s ever. It is just has a bit of funny in it in the start (Anya as a bunny knowing that you are supposed to dress up as something scary made me laugh till I cried). But most of the episode is actually really serious. Each person must deal with their own fear. Xander becomes invisible because of how he feels left out of the group. Buffy’s fear is that her friends stop listening to her as the slayer. Oz starts morphing into a werewolf even though it’s not a full moon. Willow’s next as she does a simple spell and it goes haywire. Giles shows up and he and Anya fight to get inside. He realizes that a fear demon named Gachnar is trying to manifest himself by feeding off of their fears. He starts to tell them how to stop the demon but Buffy acts to quickly causing the demon to manifest. And we are back to the humor. The demon appears in his true size, about 6 inches tall. The guys all look at him and mock how cute he is. Then Buffy realizes that small or not, he’s a demon that must be slayed so she steps on him.

    Xander (taunting the fear demon): Who's the little fear demon? Come on, who's the little fear demon?
    Giles: Don't taunt the fear demon.
    Xander: Why? Can he hurt me?
    Giles: No, it's just... tacky.
  • halloween part 2

    3.7
    i did not like the first halloween episode much but at least it was original. this one was plain pointless as buffy kept obsessing over parker and the house did have fun parts but most of it was lame. a fear demon? a little fear demon? but the episode did have its good times especially willow with those light things and oz becoming a werewolf. also some shocks that could have made it a good episode if it weren't for the badness of season 4.
  • As another Halloween rolls around, the gang attend a frat party. But on a Hellmouth, a party is never just punch and snacks.

    7.5
    We have here another amusing holiday episode, though once wackiness ensues there are some nice chills as well. Buffy is a downer over the Parker deal (slept with him, he didn't call...it was a casual thing, she's feeling foolish) and really that story is uninteresting.

    To make up for that though, we have Anya and Xander's scenes which are just amusing. We find out that Anya has a fear of bunnies which will provide a lot of grist in coming seasons for little asides. We also get an insight into Xander's feelings of isolation caused by his being a non-student and working menial jobs for a living. This will play directly into the Scooby-break up a little later. Creepy scenes include poor Oz believing he's changing into Ozwolf despite the lack of full moon and Willow's spell going wacky and turning on her. There's some nice effects shots including a plastic spider that morphs into a real tarantula, but overall, I find myself having trouble remembering the episode for long after its over.
  • Who's the little fear demon? Come on, who's the little fear demon?

    9.3
    Halloween horrors, Buffy can't ever have a normal Halloween can she?

    From the moment you see they guys painting a mystic symbol on the floor you just know something is going to go wrong.

    When you see everyone in their costumes, it is a pretty good reflection of their characters from Oz as God to Buffy as little Red Riding Hood. I have to say though Anya in the Bunny suit was a stroke of genius.

    Buffys cynacism of Halloween, a night were evil is supposed to be resting is well placed with the basket of weapons.

    The Fear Demon was great, all that build up and he's about an Inch high. It was a fabulous twist, with everyone expecting some big huge monster.

    The humor worked.
  • Who’s afraid of the big bad Buffy?

    9.4
    Buffy doesn’t get a Crap Birthday this season, but we do get another Hallowe’en episode. This time it’s not a chaos-worshipper who causes the, erm, chaos but a random pentagram and an accidental spot of blood which instigate the proceedings. It’s also the last of the dressing up episodes and even Giles has got in on the act, donning a sombrero and a poncho in order to hand out candy to local foolhardy kids. Xander, mindful of the last Hallowe’en ep, is dressed as someone to whom he aspires (James Bond), Willow’s confidence has come on leaps and bounds; from Season Two’s Eskimo and ghost to this year’s Jean d’Arc, accompanied by a minimalist Oz-God with complementary blasphemous jokes. Buffy, who dressed as an 18th Century lady to impress Angel, has now reverted back to childhood in the same Red Riding Hood costume she wore when trick or treating with Hank in her youth. The Hank reference is a clever one since this episode is similar to Nightmares (fears becoming real) and Buffy’s horror in that ep was her father losing interest in her. Which, by this point, has come true. We see that Buffy’s neediness with men may stem from her relationship with her father, her dread of being dispensable.

    Buffy’s return to Joyce gives an opportunity for her, so depressed that she's starting to compare herself to pumpkins, to receive a pep-talk from Joyce, who, now that Buffy has left home, seems more able to mother her properly. She talks about how she was afraid when she came to Sunnydale (“I didn’t believe I could trust anyone anymore”) but now she is happy and has a large circle of (unseen) friends. She reminds Buffy that she has her friends and Giles, which is a little ironic given what follows.

    Meanwhile, Anya is back. Xander wants some more booty time, but now they’ve had sex they can get better acquainted and they arrange a date at the party. Similarly, we see Riley and Buffy also slowly getting to know each another rather than the faux-deep relationship she had with Poophead Parker, who, in his own shallow way, sets up an important scene. In the refrectory, Willow is upset by her friends warning her about witchcraft and Oz compares it to his wolfieness: he doesn’t want her to get out of control. Buffy sees Parker eating and laughing at a table and bails, upset once again by his dismissal of her. These, and Xander’s anxiety over not being invited to the student party (exacerbated by the first of many many many many tactless remarks by Anya), themes are more fully explored when they get to the frat party. Amongst the real-life spiders and the CGI bats, Xander’s fear of being ignored becomes real as the gang can’t hear or see him, which feeds into Buffy’s anxiety about being abandoned. Willow’s fear of being forever Buffy’s sidekick also comes into Buffy's fear of rejection as Willow stomps off in a strop after the Slayer refuses to allow her to help the Scoobs escape the frat party from hell. Cleverly, these fears are not only explored in this ep but set the themes for the rest of the season. The gang are arguing and separated, their bond is already starting to break down as they literally go their separate ways. Xander feeling invisible and left out of the gang leads him to becoming less involved in their lives and more with Anya and the world of work. Oz is obsessed with not losing control as his wolf takes over – and of course this is explored further in Wild at Heart, leading to his departure, Willow, also scared of not being able to control the dark side of herself and her magicks going wrong, is also terrified of Oz leaving her - both of which come true. More interesting though is her comment about not being the Slayer’s sidekick. At college, she is the confident, popular one and we see her not wanting to relinquish this - she wants to be the powerful one, the one who can save them. This is a new side to Willow and this episode sets the S6 Dark Willow wheels in motion.

    Meanwhile, as Buffy wanders through the party trying to go through small doors like Alice (in Hell-land), the fear demon whispers to her: “No matter how hard you fight, you’ll just end up in the same place”, explaining that she can’t get out of the house, but this is really about her emotional state. The fear demon is like the voices schizophrenics hear telling them that they’re worthless or that they’ll never get over their depression or that they’ll never escape the voices – but Buffy needs to address the voices, to get over her terrors. Hallowe’en itself is about facing one’s fears - for one night the ghosts and the goblins are real so that people can deal with the nasties and move on. Buffy shows that she is still strong - whilst the rest of the party is comatose with fear, Buffy (and once again, it is the slayer part of her keeping her tough) is trying to find a way out, a solution. But she needs her friends to do so.

    Meanwhile Anya dressed in an adorable bunny costume (setting up the running rabbit joke), approaches the house, sees someone screaming and the house closing itself up to feed on the fear of those trapped inside, and thinks: “Xander!” The girl is nothing if not single-minded. Finding Giles absently eating sweets she urges him to help, thus turning him from Politically Incorrect Latino into Chain Saw Massacrist. Let’s hope he doesn’t have to pay for the damage to the house, although frat houses probably have insurance for mystical occurrence damage. The gang have to work together to fight Gachnar the fear demon, and in a brilliant visual joke, as Gachnar rises, he turns out to be the “actual size” of the picture in the book and his speech about being the “Dark lord of nightmares, the bringer of fear:- tremble before me!” doesn’t really work in a falsetto and Buffy stamps on him; she is stamping out her fear, the obvious metaphor being the title of the episode: you have nothing to fear but fear itself.
  • 'We have to make sure she has fun. We have to force fun pon her. Yeah, and if Parker shows up, we'll just ax-murder him. That's halloweenie.'

    9.3
    ‘Fear, Itself’ was a good follow up. A better Halloween episode than ‘Halloween’ and it had some very cool and creepy scenes. Still, it failed a little to have some more depth.

    The teaser was a bit fun, were the scoobies are playing with their pumpkins. Except Buffy, she’s still Parker depressed. I don’t blame her, but she should get over herself. Besides, I didn’t like the Parker storyline at all.

    Then Anya goes back to Xander and wants more again, and this time he doesn’t mind her looking him up. He wants to go on a date with her but he already is going to the fear-house his friends are going. Xander tells Anya to come and she has to dress up into something she’s afraid of.

    Xander goes with Oz to the house where they are doing a fear-house, Oz’ friends are painting a symbol on the ground that they found in a book. Oz then accidentally cuts himself and lets blood come on the symbol that brings a plastic spider into life.

    I really enjoyed Buffy’s scene with Joyce who is making Buffy’s costume for the scary-house. Buffy says that everyone she opens herself to bail on her, so now she doesn’t want to let people in. Joyce tells her that the year they arrived to sunnydale, that she was afraid to let people in. But now knows that they need to let people in.

    Meanwhile at the party, everything is coming to life and the people there are getting killed. When Buffy and her friends arrive, they begin to see strange things like spiders and bats. Then they found a guy in a closet who is hiding, a skeleton attacks Buffy but when she hits it, it turns into something fake. Buffy soon has a fight with Willow and they go their own separate ways while Buffy can’t see Xander and leaves him alone as well.

    Anya goes in a bunny suit to Giles, she tells her that there was no door in the house where a door should be and that she saw a window disappear from the house. They go and Giles opens a door with a chainsaw.

    While Willow and Oz are together, Oz begins to notice some changes and he begins to become a werewolf. Willow wants to help him but he runs away and hides in the bathroom. Then Willow does her spell and brings out some green ball that turns into many and attack her.

    When Buffy and Xander are separated, Xander looks in a mirror and a big head is looking at him. Buffy then hears Willow cry for help and then Buffy falls into a room where bodies begin to come out of the ground. It leads her to the place of the party where everyone is hiding. Something brought them there, Giles and Anya soon arrive and read the book and find out that it’s Gagnar who is doing everything, a little fear-demon. Buffy destroys it’s mark but that brings out the little fear demon, he’s very tiny and Buffy just simply steps on him and destroys it.

    ‘Fear, Itself’ was a good episode with some frightening scenes. But it didn’t have much depth which is okay for this kind of episodes, but still. I did enjoy the Riley/Buffy chemistry quite a lot and Anya in a bunny soot was hilarious, we also learn that she is afraid of bunnies.
    It was a great episode but not entirely memorable.


  • Just when you think you have things figured out...Wham!

    10
    One thing Buffy's writers are good at is having twists at the right time.
    Watching this episode without spoilers is the best way to go.
    You are on the edge of your seat until the gang comes into contact with the demon at the end.
    And thus, the stunner.
    Brilliant!
    It is made all the more great by the last scene where Giles informs the gang of his blunder earlier which set up the demonic arrival.
    Even though "Hush" is a more famous episode, it is this one that I love even more.
    Just remember that just when you think you know where they are going with the story, they hit you like a bolt of lightning--but you'll always love it at the end.
  • This is by far my favorite episode of this amazing series.

    10
    I have always considered this to be a true example of everything that is right about Buffy. The mix of horror and comedy is brilliant. Some of my favorite comedic moments happened in this ep. A classic for me is when Xander tells Anya to show up to the party dressed as something scary and then we see her arrive in a giant bunny costume. A real treat for any true fan of the show who's well aware of Anya's hatred of bunnies. I also love how the show exploited everyones darkest fears and foreshadowed so much of the character development that was to come. Finally, the ending is a classic. I had to watch it twice. It's hilarious. A must see episode.
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