Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 6 Episode 22

Grave (2)

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 21, 2002 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
632 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Giles is able to bind Willow, but not for long. Soon her rampage begins again, but an influx of true magick makes her see the world in a new light. Now she can feel the pain of every being on the planet, and she decides that their pain must end. Even if she must destroy the world to do it.moreless

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  • Well folks, we've made it!

    It's the end of S6 and "Grave" does a very good job of wrapping up the season's threads, while setting up several new ones for the upcoming final season. But is this a quintessential mind-blowing Buffy finale, the likes of "Becoming Pt. 2", "Restless", and "The Gift"? Nope. Right from the start of the episode you can feel the lack of Joss Whedon's polish, humor, and complexity. Not to say there isn't any, but not nearly as much and not done nearly as well as Mr. Whedon himself has accomplished in previous season finales. One can look at "Grave" and feel understandably disappointed, but we have to remember that even though this isn't an awesome Whedon finale.

    David Fury's put together a solid script in "Grave," but it undeniably lacks that special Whedon feel. But with that out of the way, we have an episode that has a whole lot to like, including one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. Willow's rise and fall was a long-time coming and, although I didn't get everything I wanted out of it, I found myself occasionally riveted and always entertained by this climax. Sure I'd have liked -- and feel Willow deserved -- even more, but I like what we got nonetheless.moreless
  • Heart>Strength

    This episode would've been excellent if they'd ended with Xander and Willow hugging on the cliff.

    This episode showed that you don't need power, magic, smarts, etc, to save the world.

    All you need is Love.
  • My favourite scene in the series

    The Good;

    My all time favourite ep of Buffy is 'Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered'. My all time favourite scene is the ending of 'Forever' where Buffy and Dawn collapse into each other's arms. And my all time favourite Buffy moment is when Xander confronts DarkWillow and that first tear rolls down her cheek. And in that second you realise he's got her, that everything is going to be all right after all. Makes me cry every time. First saw it at a convention where they played Enrique Ingliseas' song 'Hero' over it and it was wonderful.

    And little Dawnie swordfighting side by side with big sis Buffy, makes me cheer every time! Also love Willow's 'Fly my pretty!'. You'd think they'd have tried the whole bucket of water routine on her?

    The Bad;

    Although there's supposed to be a limitless amount of root monsters you can see there's actually only 4.

    Best line;

    DarkWillow (dismissively) "This is your master plan? Telling me that you love me?" (Yep and it's BRILLIANT!)


    Spike and the beetles, urgh!

    Kinky dinky;

    Willow (upon Giles' entrance) "Uh oh, daddy's home. I'm in trouble now" Yes you are my dear, prepare for one magical spanking. Dawn finally learns of what Spike tried to do to Buffy.

    Captain Subtext;

    Buffy says that Dawn will be beautiful and powerful. Face it Buff, she already is. Andrew and Jonathon seem very wary of the trucker who gave them a lift. Spike calls the demon a 'ponce'. Check out Anya and Buffy flocking into Giles' arms like a couple of excited little girls happy to see their daddy home.

    Apocalypses; 7, Willow wants to destroy the world, come a long way since the softer side of Sears

    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 and Anya knocked out again plus Xanderx2

    Buffy: 19

    Giles: 12

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 14

    Will: 8

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1


    Dawn; 3

    Tara; 1

    Kills: Spike kills 2 demons as does Buffy whilst Dawn kills one

    Buffy: 107 vamps, 58 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


    Spike; 1

    Anya; 2

    Recurring characters killed: 12

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

    Sunnydale deaths;


    Total number of scoobies: 3-Giles is back

    Xander, Buffy, Giles

    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. 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 Spike and Xander

    Dawn in peril; yep, down the hole 11

    Dawn the bashful virgin; 9

    What the fanficcers thought;

    Liked the one where DarkWillow does destroy the world only for Dawn 'The Key' Summers to appear in front of her, glowing with green energy and putting it all right. Also liked the idea of Xander actually failing to persuade Willow but then higher power Cordy turns up because she's the REAL love of Willow's life and she succeeds where Xander fails.

    On a lighter note there's a good one showing Willow's first day at Sunnydale nursery (with teacher Flutie and little Harmony, Jonathon, Larry etc). We find out that actually frightened little Cordy snapped Willow's crayon because she was jealous of Willow and Xander's instant friendship, feeling excluded and leaving her to sit with Harmony. The_Yellow_Crayon

    Always amazing what fanficcers come up with. I remember one where Dru and Snyder sexually enslave Faith and Buffy in season 3 (I think it's literally called 'Buffy in a Slave Labor Camp'?). In the follow up story Snyder get's eaten by the Mayor at Graduation (who's then destroyed by the rest of the Scoobs)and Buffy just shrugs, breaks her chains and walks home into Joyce's arms whilst Dru falls in love with Faith and it's HER that get's her soul back so that they can be together.

    Questions and observations;

    According to the commentary SMG finds it easier to cry than to laugh? Hmmmm? DarkWillow feeling the world's suffering is similar to what CC experienced in 'To Shanshu in LA'.

    I know that Joss is an avowed aethiest but you have to wonder about a story where a simple carpenter saves the world by professing his love? It strikes you as very Christian. Love conquers all.

    I must confess that even after the final revelation I didn't understand the twist in the tail. I genuinely thought Spike had gone to Africa to get his chip removed and that the demon had doublecrossed him and restored his soul instead. Someone at The Bronze had to correct me (hangs head in shame). But once again, love conquers all, it can save the world, it can save a friend, it can bring two sisters together and it can redeem a monster.

    Marks out of 10; 9/10 just great

  • The Dark Willow Saga Part III: Xander's Last Stand

    Grave-Giles is able to bind Willow, but not for long. Soon her rampage begins again, but an influx of true magick makes her see the world in a new light. Now she can feel the pain of every being on the planet, and she decides that their pain must end. Even if she must destroy the world to do it.

    "Grave" is quite the finale! Sure, it make not be earth-shattering conclusion of "Becoming" Part 2, the thought-provoking surrealism of "Restless" or even the heartbreaking series finale(ish) feel of "the Gift", but it definitely a finale with epic feel and powerful message about finally embracing life no matter how unbearable it may seem. It's what the whole season has been building up to and the writers do it in a brilliant fashion. It's great to have Giles back, it been over half a season since we last saw him yet AnthonyStewart Head doesn't miss a beat in this episode. Giles' is fearless in his confrontation with Willow and is in utter disbelief when Buffy feels him on what's happened to the gang since she left. In the past, I always found Giles' sudden bust of laughter bizarre yet watching it again now, I find it very appropriate and something Buffy needed as she soon starts to laugh too. It's like the saying, "Things may seem bad now, but years from now you'll laugh about it". Buffy needed to find the humor in situation to see how despite everything that's happened...it's okay. After the big laugh, Giles feels bad about living but Buffy tells him he was right for leaving, that she needed to be an abult, which is big progress in seeing that Buffy is starting to become at peace with herself again.

    Once again, I do find that Anya is pretty pathetic when dealing with Willow. You'd think after being a demon for 1000 years she'd be smarter and have a few tricks up her sleeve but Willow just makes her look like a fool again. Anyway, the fight between Giles and Willow is awesome, full of more great special effects. The moment where Willow smarks at Giles' weakness and heals her wounds like their nothing was chilling, Alyson just playsmenacingwell, adding in her signature Willowisms to mix to make it believable as well. I loved the twist with Giles and how he overdoses Willow with good magic to start reverting back to her normal self. Meanwhile, Willow's latest spell causes Buffy and Dawn to be trapped under a graveyard where the sisters are finally forced to confront their issues with each other head on. Dawn has been filling not only distant from the gang but overprotected all season and it's time that she be treated like a adult not just a kid. Dawn makes a strong point about Buffy's endless protectiveness being pointless when trouble finds Dawn all the time, it's not just about of Buffy's life anymore, it's hers too and there may come a day when Dawn may have to protect herself. It's probably the most honest and genuine moment from Dawn all season and it's one Buffy quickly accepts as when both of them start being attacked by Grave monsters Willow conjures, Buffy finally trusts Dawn to find by her side. It's apivotalmoment for both sisters and the moment where Dawn manages to kill a monster all her own with some nice moves,solidifies the notion that Dawn is starting to come into her own.

    The final moments of the episode are by far some of the most powerful moments from the series. For the first time, Buffy isn't the hero standing against the villain trying to end the world, it's Xander of all people. While it's a little ridiculous andsuicidal for Xander to even attempt to stop Willow, it's a incredible moment for not on him but Willow as well. At this point, you forget these two have been friends long before they met Buffy and who better to remind Willow of her true self than her best friend since childhood? Nicholas Brendan is exceptional and Alyson couldn't be more engaging. The whole yellow crayon speech with the heartfelt I love yous are tearjerkers, not to mention the sight of Willow finally letting go and breaking down gets me everytime. Then you have Giles telling a shocked Anya that Xander saved them. You could tell she would think Xander would be the last person she would have to thank for saving her life as well as the world. Lastly, we have Buffy happily crying to be alive to Dawn's disbelief. Buffy finally gets it after a year of struggling to live her life: she should be embracing the best parts of life not suffering because of the worst part. Life is beautiful and wonderful, something she declares to wants to show and share with Dawn. Oh and Spike survives his trials with the demon in Africa....things couldn't be better?......Until he gets back his soul! Uh oh! Overall, "Grave" isn't exactly a masterpiece but it's a stunning ender to the darkest year of the series that promises the gang finally healing and finally accepting adulthood to the fullest.moreless
  • No magic or supernatural force can stop it - Giles

    In which the father figure returns. As Giles enters with some waffle about witches, non-judgmental attitude to the gang's daft doings, and Potter-esque magic which goes to further destroy his shop, we feel that everything will be alright with the world, that without parents the gang has been going crazy, but now that one has returned the young adults can return to being children, daddy'll sort everything out. This theory is soon blown out of the water by rebel Willow who smacks Giles around and manipulates Anya into releasing her from his spell. Willow spells out her desire to challenge the father figure, the (if you will) patriarchy, by familiarly using Giles's first name as she warns him to: " Buckle up Rupert, I've turned pro". "I used to think you had so much to show me," she mocks him anxious to show dad that she knows more than him, is more powerful than him, desirous to turn the parent/child relationship on its head, although she isn't ready for it, she, like the rest of the gang, has struggled with adulthood throughout this series.

    "Nothing can hurt me now," Willow states, forgetting that hubris is always around the corner in the Buffyverse. The drug references keep on coming as Giles gives Willow a bad hit of magic, one that leaves her "juiced" and "connected to everything, I can feel everyone....all the emotion and pain," as Willow goes from merely wanting to kill Jonathan and the other one to being a true Big Bad with aspirations of destroying the world, and the rest of the CGI budget is blown on the rather ridiculous Satanic temple that Sunnydale didn't even know it had until now. Jonathan and Andrew, seeing their chance to get out of the frying pan and into Mexico, escape as soon as they have the chance, leaving Xander knocked out and Buffy and Dawn in a hole, literally.

    The season ends as it began with Buffy trying to dig her way out of her grave yet again. This time though, she has someone to help her as the person she has sacrificed some of her life to protect becomes protector, As Dawn points out: "People I love keep dying and you can't protect me from that" - Buffy has to relinquish her mother role to become one half of an equal adult relationship, one which reconnects her to the world. She allows Dawn to comfort her rather than the other way about and finally asks for some help. "I wanna show [the world] to you," she tells her sister. When they escape the grave, we have a rare daytime cemetery scene as Buffy leaves the darkness for the sunshine – almost dying again made her want to live. She had to fight her own demons down below and leave it for someone else to save the world.

    Enter....Xander? Xander the useless, Xander the moany, Xander who lost a fight against Harmony? Joss goes on a Christian tip as Xander the ordinary (the carpenter) saves the world, not through violence, but through love, becoming a human shield as he turns the other cheek when Willow rips into him again and again. Giles even makes it clear that nothing the world of magic or demons can throw at Willow will halt her in her tracks, it's got to be a human, not a Slayer or a witch, to stop Willow. Just as Dawn connects Buffy to the world, Xander connects Willow to the human feeling still left in her, because he still believes in that speck of humanity: "I loved crayon-breaky Willow and I love scary veiny Willow". Buffy was feeding Willow's anger, Xander feeds her humanity. This is an interesting role reversal - not just Xander the brave saving the day (although he did so in practically every other series finale), but of traditional female and male roles: the man calm and loving, the woman angry and vengeful. As Willow decides to destroy the world ("Killing us is the only way to stop the pain"), Xander states: "You've been my best friend my whole life, where else would I wanna be?". Just as Giles, connected to Willow through magic, is prepared to sacrifice himself for humankind, so is Xander. Giles lies half-dead, leaving Xander takes on the parent mantle, a hint at his future role in S7; we even see a possible future reconciliation with Anya as Giles informs her that her ex-beau took down Dark Willow.

    Anya, although newly re-vengeanced, also shows her humanity more than ever as she hugs Giles when he returns, and tends to him when he is injured. Just as the other's relationships with each other strengthens them, Anya is humanised by her relation to Giles.

    Spike has no such relationships to guide him, nonetheless he is victorious ("a doddle and a piece of piss") as the tedious mislead goes on: "Take care of the Slayer...give her what's coming to her". Like Anya, he too is becoming more human as what is returned to him is not his pre-chip state but – his soul! Didn't see that coming.moreless
Brett Wagner

Brett Wagner


Guest Star

Tanoai Reed

Tanoai Reed

Fire Demon

Guest Star

Steven W. Bailey

Steven W. Bailey

Cave Demon

Guest Star

Danny Strong

Danny Strong


Recurring Role

Tom Lenk

Tom Lenk


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • When Buffy is talking to Giles she says that she doesn't understand why she came back after she died. (at the end of season 5) She goes on to say that it was her time and that another slayer would've been called to replace her. However, is this entirely accurate to the slayer lore? When she died at the end of season 1 Kendra was called to replace Buffy even though Xander brought Buffy back to life by giving her C.P.R. Then when Kendra died at the end of season 2 Faith was called. It would seem that the only way that another slayer would be called is if the "replacement slayer" Faith died. Technically, when Buffy stabbed Faith at the end of season 3, Faith didn't actually die she was just in a coma.

    • In this episode Willow reminds Giles of their argument in which he called her "a rank, arrogant amateur". This happened in the episode Flooded (6x04), when Giles was angry at Willow for being irresponsible in bringing Buffy back from the dead.

    • The first sword to fall into the pit sticks in the ground, wobbling back and forth. The second sword falls in, landing flat on the ground. In the shot of the sword laying on the ground the upright sword is still. The shot changes again and the upright sword is wobbling again.

    • When Buffy and Giles are laughing in the training room Buffy is shown from behind laying on the pummel horse. Her shirt is pulled down over the top of her pants. The camera angle changes to a side shot and Buffy's shirt is pulled up revealing one of Sarah's tattoos. The tattoo is also visible when she is climbing out of the hole at the end of the episode.

    • This episode was filmed in a 4:3 aspect ratio, but in some countries it was incorrectly altered for airing on widescreen televisions. This means that some things which were intended to be off-camera are visible in the version aired in those countries.

      These errors include:

      When Xander is looking down the hole where Buffy and Dawn are trapped you can see a hand grabbing Nick Brendon's jeans, holding him so doesn't fall in.

      When Willow is bringing up the temple from the ground there is a shot of Willow from behind the temple, two cords can be clearly seen holding it up.

    • At the very end of the show, the song "Prayer of St. Francis" by Sarah Mclachlan is playing. It is not her first song to be featured in the show. They also played "Full of Grace" at the very end of "Becoming Part 2", which is the season finale of Season Two, making Sarah Mclachlan's songs featured twice on season finales.

    • As Xander speaks to Willow in the end, the sky changes from an orange color to blue, and back and forth between many shots.

    • When Giles is on the ceiling, Willow is to his left. When he falls, you can see a quick glimpse of her behind him. When he's on the ground, she's to his left again.

    • When Buffy and Willow are fighting in Two to Go Willow sends Buffy into a bookshelf and it breaks, then in this episode where Giles says to Willow "I wonder how Tara would feel about that?" if you look to the left you will see the same bookshelf that Buffy landed on and it is okay with no damage to it at all.

    • Giles sends Willow through the wall, she crashes into a pillar and quite a bit breaks off, but one quick second later, we see that the pillar is back to normal and not broken at all.

    • After Giles first knocks Willow down, her nose is bleeding but as the camera switches between the two of them the blood keeps disappearing and reappearing.

    • When Xander talks to Willow and makes her cry (at the end) they hug on the ground... On one angle, Xander's left knee is up but another angle (the one that Willow's hair changes back) his knee is on the ground. And we don't see him putting his knee down in ANY angle.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Buffy: Things have really sucked lately, but it's all gonna change. And I wanna be there when it does. I want to see my friends happy again. And I want to see you grow up. The woman you're gonna become. Because she's gonna be beautiful. And she's going to be powerful. I got it so wrong. I don't want to protect you from the world. I want to show it to you. There's so much that I want to show you.

    • Xander: First day of kindergarten you cried 'cause you broke the yellow crayon and you were too afraid to tell anyone. You've come pretty far. Ending the world, not a terrific notion, but the thing is yeah, I love you. I loved crayon-breaky Willow and I love scary veiny Willow. So if I'm goin' out, it's here. You wanna kill the world? You start with me. I've earned that.

    • Willow: Willow doesn't live here anymore.

    • Willow: Uh Oh. Daddy's home. I'm in wicked trouble now.

    • Willow: You're such a hypocrite. Waltzing in here with your borrowed magicks so you can tell me, what? "Magick's bad. Behave. Be a good girl"? Well, uh, I don't think you're in any position to tell me what to do. Do you? I used to think you had all the answers. That I had so much to learn from you.
      Giles: Willow...
      Willow: You were jealous. Still are. Just couldn't bear that I was the one with the power. That's why you ran away.

    • Willow: Fool me once.
      Giles: Willow...
      Willow: Shame on you.

    • Giles: Can you forgive me?
      Buffy: For what?
      Giles: I should never have left.
      Buffy: No. You were right to leave. We're just... stupid.

    • Dawn: What? You think I don't watch you?

    • Giles: Sometimes, the most adult thing to do is ask for help.
      Buffy: Now you tell me?

  • NOTES (13)

    • The first time this episode aired in Italy, the translation of the last line of the demon who gives Spike his soul back was incorrect. It was translated, "Very well, we will return your identity". Before the airing of the 7th season the episode was aired again, but this time with the right translation.

    • According to the Commentary for this episode, writer David Fury said that the whole underground battle with Buffy and Dawn was supposed to take place in a sewer. The tree/dirt monsters were supposed to be "really cool" looking tar monsters (streets, tar, it fits) but due to budget constraints he was forced to change it to a graveyard. Otherwise, the scene would have been exactly same. Fury had also thought of having Buffy fight the dragon from the Season 5 finale The Gift, but again the budget would not allow it.

    • This is the only season without at least a guest appearance by Angel (David Boreanaz).

    • As a joke, Nicholas said in an interview that when Willow and Buffy are about to fight, he let in a real mouse onto the set, scaring both actresses in the progress.

    • This is the only season finale not to be written and directed by series creator and executive producer Joss Whedon.

    • When Xander shows up to stop Willow and starts talking to her, before Willow begins hurting Xander, a tear can be seen rolling down Willow's right cheek. Alyson Hannigan said in an interview that her emotions kicked in when hearing Nicholas say his line. A crew member was signaling her to hold it in, but that one tear escaped.

    • On the DVD release of this episode, Anthony Stewart Head is credited twice - once right after the opening credits and again at the end credits - both as 'Special Guest Star'.

    • This marks the final interior appearance of 'The Magic Box' (it was dismantled to make room for the new Sunnydale High School), though the exterior can be seen during Season Seven.

    • Giles was also called "Jeeves" by alternate reality Buffy in "The Wish."

    • When Buffy and Dawn climb out of the hole, we get a glimpse of the tattoo on Sarah Michelle Gellar's lower back. It is the Chinese symbol for integrity.

    • In the U.K., on its first broadcast, the season finale was split into its two parts and so 'Grave' had opening credits (naming Anthony Stewart Head as a special guest star). In a subsequent broadcast, it was shown as a two-hour special and- like Bargaining- only had one set of credits.

    • Like this season's Season Premiere, this episode did not have the opening credits since it was following of "Two To Go"

    • The grave Xander attempts to enter has the last name Alpert, after one of the producers, Marc David Alpert.


    • Willow: Fool me once... Shame on you.
      An allusion to the saying "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." The origin of this phrase is unclear (some sources list it as Chinese, but most simply say that it was originally a children's saying) but the meaning is simple: If you fool or trick me one time then I will blame you for that act, but if I allow you to fool me a second time, once I know you are not trustworthy, then I only have myself to blame. Generally, the phrase is used to indicate distrust of the person who is spoken to.

    • Willow: Is that all you've got, Jeeves?
      Reginald Jeeves is the personal butler of fictional character Bertie Wooster, and has become known for his convoluted language and problem-solving skills. His name has become synonymous with the stereotypical stuffy English butler, and could be considered an insult to more modern Brits.

    • Xander: Well, I was going to walk you off a cliff and hand you an anvil, but that seemed too cartoony.
      Xander is describing the now famous act of illogically defeating an antagonist with the weight of the anvil, not the fact that the character is floating in midair used frequently by the likes of Road Runner vs Wile E. Coyote.

    • Willow: Fly my pretty...fly!
      When Willow sends out her little ball of fire to find Andrew and Jonathan she makes this reference to The Wizard of Oz. In the film, the Wicked Witch of the West says the same thing when she sends out her flying monkeys to find Dorothy.