Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 5 Episode 18


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 24, 2001 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
526 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Buffy and Giles leave for the desert on a vision quest in an attempt to find a way to fight Glory. While they are gone, Spike decides to have a little fun with his BuffyBot but the gang mistakes it for the real Buffy and think that she has gone crazy. Meanwhile, Glory's minions also mistake the BuffyBot for the Slayer and, noticing its devotion to Spike, begin to suspect that he is the Key.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
  • In a nutshell, "Intervention" is set up to be an all out laugh-fest and while it is very funny, there's also a surprising amount of substance present as well.

    With that said, however, it's also got some problems which is honestly a shame. I really want to give "Intervention" a better score, but one thing in particular is holding me back: how the Scoobies react to the BuffyBot. This is a significant flaw and represents a rare time when characters are acting, well, out of character and is something I'll go into more in a bit. Besides that and some other smaller issues, this is a winner. From much more self discovery by Buffy to Spike going all the way for Buffy to just the overall humor, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. "Intervention" has both big character revelance and big laughs while still managing to keep a little dark undertone that hints of what's to come.

    The opening scene between Buffy and Giles really captures the main point of the episode. We see Giles keeping frequent checks on how Buffy is doing and gets Buffy to admit things are a bit better now that her and Dawn have found a routine. In times of tragedy, routine is always a great way to help temporarily lose some of the pain of loss. But when Giles asks Buffy about starting up her training again there's much hesitation--there's just too much on her mind and she isn't ready yet.

    This leads to her coming out with her ultimate worry and verbalizes it by saying, "I'm starting to feel like being the Slayer is turning me into This gets her spilling her entire case to Giles. Riley's departure plays heavily into her consideration and says, "Just think about it. I was never there for Riley. Not like I was for Angel. I was terrible to Dawn ... Riley left because I was shut down. He's gone. And now my mom is gone, and I loved her more than anything. And I don't know if she knew ... To slay, to kill. It means being hard on the inside. Maybe being the perfect Slayer means being too hard to love at This is a fantasic question from Buffy, and one which is answered later in the episode but not at all understood until "The Gift". The questions brought up here reverberate throughout the entire four-part finale.

    All this talk leads Giles to help Buffy embark on the Spirit Quest, which in presentation at least is fairly cliche and bland. It makes up for this by providing a chilling piece of unique meaning for Buffy and linking itself thematically with Buffy's dream in "Restless", of which she even remembers herself. Remember "You think you what's to come? You haven't even Well, she's been learning all season and will finally know what all this adds up to in "The Gift". The appearance of what looks like the First Slayer tightens this connection even more. The Spirit Guide tells Buffy some intriguing and haunting stuff when she asks it "What about love. Not just boyfriend

    But what does it all mean? Well, Buffy's understably quite confused about the response she gets, so I'll help explain with my mystical retrospective abilities. The Guide tells her "love is pain and the Slayer forges strength from This is something Buffy should already know through her experiences being the Slayer. Big life-changing experiences such as the events of, but not limited to: "Prophecy Girl", "Innocence", "Becoming Pt. 2", "The Prom", "The Harsh Light of Day", "Into the Woods", and "The Body". The pain Buffy has been through has made her a tremendously stronger person than she was in the beginning of the series; a much more experienced, intelligent, mature, and stronger person.

    This is why the Spirit Guide tells her "You are full of love. You love with all your soul. It's brighter than the fire, blinding. That's why you pull away from Buffy responds, "I'm full of love? I'm not losing it?" The SG comes back, "Only if you reject it ... Love. Give. Forgive. Risk the pain. It is your nature. For it will bring you to your It's at this point when Buffy understably completely misses the point. She says, "Okay, no. Death is not a gift. My mother just died, I know this. If I have to kill demons because it makes the world a better place, then I kill demons. But it's not a gift to As we know, the SG meant that her death in the aptly named "The Gift" is is her gift--a gift of pure love to the world, all her friends, and family, specifically Dawn.

    The SG also tells her three vital words: love, give, and forgive, which already has an affect on her by the end of this episode, but an even bigger one in the finale. This is very heavy thematic development and it rounds out Buffy's season-long exploration of what it means to be the Slayer, even though she doesn't fully know it until "The Gift". Amazing writing here, just amazing. This is a huge chunk of foreshadowy goodness. One change Buffy makes right away is in her attitude to Spike after what he does for her and Dawn. So then lets talk about Spike!

    Ah, Spike and the BuffyBot: short lived and surprisingly hilarious. I just can't help but be amused by SMG's chipper acting of the BuffyBot, which I'd think she probably loved playing in contrast to all the sad stuff happening. The BuffyBot is simply the pure embodiment of what Spike wants from the real, "not so pleasant," Buffy even though it's obvious the bot is a poor substitution that I bet even Spike would bore of fairly quickly. Like Warren before him, Spike doesn't just want a sex toy, he wants something that emulates the real thing: "She looks good, but what about the rest? A little walk, a little talk... perhaps a zippy He even has her programmed to slay vampires! Of particular interest in some of the dialogue they share. The BuffyBot says, "You're evil ... It excites me. It terrifies me. I try so hard to resist you, and I Spike replies, "You know I can't bite The BuffyBot comes back, "I think you can. I think you can if I let you. And I want to let you. I want you to bite me and devour me until there's no

    There's a lot going on here. Spike wants something that's afraid of him just a bit, but that revels in that fear and lets it sexually excite them. Curiously, he also wants to feel that exact same way. When the BuffyBot hops on top of him, tears his shirt off, and puts a stake outside his heart, he's getting off on the fear. All this tells me is that he wants a mate that is an equal to him--someone that can stand up to him and fight back, both with words and physical strength. He doesn't want Harmony, who is weak, annoying, and far too accomodating. As he says in "Crush", he wants "Heat. This is why the BuffyBot is programmed the way it is and isn't just a helpless sex bot--heck, that was Harmony. Spike wants "no programs. Just be

    Buffy's situation and Spike's situation line up at the end of the episode. Spike lets himself be tortured and beat to such a bloody pulp that even Xander has sympathy for him, and that's saying a lot. When Buffy, dressed up as the BuffyBot, confronts him on whether or not he told Glory about the Key she discovers that he truthfully did not and would have died with that knowledge. With Buffy learning from the SG earlier to "Love. Give. Forgive," she gives Spike that nugget of hope he wanted in "Crush", only here he genuinely deserves it. Buffy, the real Buffy, kisses Spike as gratitude for his heroic behavior. It's telling that Spike can recognize almost immediate that this is not the BuffyBot, but the real thing. Buffy nails it when she tells him, " The robot is gone. The robot was gross and obscene ... That thing... it wasn't even real... What you did, for me and Dawn... that was real. I won't forget Wow!

    Moving onto the plot front, we find out that apparently Ben is getting stronger, which thankfully helps explain why Glory hasn't been appearing as much. Glory's four episode absence is still too much after what the Scoobies did to her in "Blood Ties". It seems really odd to me that Glory would just be putting together the pieces now and not much ealier. I have to say that this is one of the season's few problems.

    As for the rest of this episode, though, we get Dawn stealing a necklace from friends, which is kind of silly for her age. The one biggest thing that bothered me in the entire thing and what robs it of some good pointage is Willow's initial chat with the BuffyBot. It quickly becomes unbelievably obvious that what Willow is talking to is not really Buffy. The same group that got together and unanimously agreed "robot" with the AprilBot is completely dumbfounded by the BuffyBot. That unfortunately reeks of poor writing, as much as I hate to say it. This problem alone costed the episode .5, maybe 1 point. Aside from the one glaring flaw, "Intervention" is an excellent episode that really caps Buffy's season-long journey, furthers the plot arc of the season, and moves Buffy and Spike's relationship into an entirely new realm. Overall I'm an extremely happy camper and really wish I could have graded it higher. Regardless, let the four-part finale commence!moreless
  • Death is your gift.

    Buffy goes on a spiritual journey, Glory kidnaps and tortures Spike, the gang finds out about Spikes new toy......

    This episode is great in terms of the season arc it's serious but not too much. Buffy finds out something that is important later in the season. I'm not a Spuffy fan but I adore the kiss at the end of the episode it's natural and sweet and is something real between this mismatched couple.

    side not: I love joxerlives review and count awesome :)moreless
  • Buffy's destiny

    The Good;

    Pretty good, nice to have some levity after the intensity of the past few eps. I love the Buffybot, she's so sweet and innocent and happy all the time. Spike's idea of Angel which the Buffybot voices makes me laugh out loud every time. Buffy and Giles in the desert is also good.

    The Bad;

    Rather than chase after Spike, Glory just stands there and lets the Scoobies get away?

    Best line;

    Glory (of Spike); What the hell is that and why is it's hair that colour?


    Torturing Spike isn't nice

    Kinky dinky;

    Spike and the Buffybot 'lots of different ways'. Love her standing up when Xander knocks on the crypt door gag, you wonder was that SMG or her stand in? Note that even when the Buffybot is Spike's ideal woman he still wants her to beat him up before they have sex? The Key has to be pure? Does that mean if Dawn has sex with Kevin or RJ or whoever that means she'd be safe? Glory's negligee is also quite something. The Slayer forges 'strength from pain' according to the primitive which might explain Faith and Buffy's hints at S&M.

    Captain Subtext;

    Note when Spike has sex with the Buffybot he has her wear Buffy's black leather jacket, just like Angel's. The whole of the Buffybot's dialogue seems to be a satire on the Spikette's fawning over the peroxide one. Xanders description of Spike is rather vivid as Buffy observes and he also feels sorry for Spike having lost his sex toy. Buffy refers to her robot double as 'skirt girl'. Spike refers to Glory as whorish. Spike gets his first real kiss from Buffy.

    Scoobies to the ER;

    Spike gets the bejesus beaten out of him but I doubt the ER would do him any good.

    Apocalypses; 5,

    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 1

    Dawn; 1

    Scoobies knocked out: Xander

    Buffy: 16

    Giles: 10

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 9

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1


    Kills: Xander and Anya are considered competent enough to patrol alone, Anya nails her first vamp

    Buffy: 95 vamps, 32 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 5 vamps, 1 demon

    Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon

    Will: 6 vamps

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 5 vamps, 2 zombies, a demon, a demon

    Anya: 1 vamp and a demon

    Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons

    Buffybot; 1 vamp

    Spike; 1 demon and 2 vamps in Buffy service.

    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 3

    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 6

    Giles: 3

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 3

    Recurring characters killed: 10

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

    Sunnydale deaths;


    Total number of scoobies: 6

    Giles, Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Tara,

    Xander demon magnet: 5(6?)

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

    Scoobies shot: Anya wonders if they should have guns?

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Riley; 1

    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

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

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 3 confirmed; Angel, Parker,Riley, 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

    Questions and observations;

    Very long teaser, important to recap what's gone before. Buffy feels guilty about how she's treated Dawn. Ben and Glory seem to be merging more and more. Boy is that the FATTEST puma you've ever seen? Tara comments that Will has surpassed her in magical terms. The beginning of Dawn's kelptomania. Note that just like April the Buffybot begins to break her programme, not staying in the crypt like she was supposed to. Hellmouth energy or is Warren not as clever/cleverer than he thinks? Or subconsciously WANTS his girl to be independent as Katrina was? Love the way Glory says 'Precious?', very LOTR, Xander also refers to hobbits. It seems Glory and her minions like TV, demons once again overcome by humanity. I read once that Bob Barker was a karate expert (he beats up Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore "The price is wrong, bitch!")

    Marks out of 10; 8/10

  • Buffy seeks answers, Spike has a new toy and Glory captures Spike.

    Amazing episode! This episode has it all- humour, drama, action. This is a great episode to show someone who's never watched Buffy. It's light hearted for most of it but towards the end gets serious. Top performances from everyone especially Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffybot! Anya is hilarous as always and I loved her and Willows reactions to Buffybots questions. Glory was also great and we finally get to see how evil she really is. Her minions also make me laugh, especially Jinx. The vision scenes were also good and added mystery with the crypic warning "Death is your gift". All in all a top episode!moreless
  • The Buffybot plays checkers and Bob Barker is the Key. Could it get any more awesome?

    'Intervention' is just another awesome, awesome episode from Season 5 and probably one of the funniest of the whole show with many, many LOL moments, besides being Spuffy paradise! I don't think I've ever laughed this much while watching an episode of Buffy and this one ranks pretty high on my favorite episodes list.

    Sarah Michelle Gellar was outstanding as the Buffybot, showing that she is both great as a comedic actress as she is as a dramatic actress. James Marsters was also great and so was Clare Kramer, perfect as Glory, my favorite villain in the verse. The episode also had more serious parts with Buffy meeting the First Slayer once again and discovering that death is her gift and being grateful to Spike at the end in a very heart-warming scene. The other thing I liked about 'Intervention' is the contrast between this episode and the previous, much darker episodes and how it allowed everyone to show their funny side.

    Overall, this is a great episode and I wish that the Buffybot had stick around for a bit longer.moreless
Sharon Ferguson

Sharon Ferguson

The First Slayer

Guest Star

Kelly Donovan

Kelly Donovan

Xander stunt double

Guest Star

Adam Busch

Adam Busch


Recurring Role

Amber Benson

Amber Benson


Recurring Role

Todd Duffey

Todd Duffey


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • The incantation that Giles says in the desert is in Swahili.

    • Nitpick: Buffy and the Scoobies don't know just where Glory has her lair, yet Buffy and Xander burst into the building lobby as though they know where she is.

    • Goofs: Buffy walks to a remote, presumably seldom or never visited part of the desert, but in the low overhead shot of Buffy as she follows the cougar numerous footprints can be seen. In addition, the legs of someone walking can be seen in the top right corner.

    • Goof: Glory's minions bring Spike in with his hands tied behind his back, but when she hits him to knock him into the wall his right arm comes forward without being tied at all.

    • This is the first episode where Spike's platnium locks are mussed, instead of his usual immobile slicked back style.

    • Nitpick: In episode 5-15 "I Was Made to Love You", Xander, Anya, Willow, and Tara figured out fairly early on at the university party that April was a robot based on her demeanor, single-mindedness, and affect. Yet when faced with a Buffy displaying all the same characteristics and then some eight weeks later, such as using Spike-speak when calling Angel "bloody stupid", it takes being confronted with both Buffys side by side 3/4 of the way into the episode to realize she had been "Botted", so to speak. What took so long?

    • Goof: During the fight between Buffy and company and Glory's minions, on the close up shots of Spike, he's laying down, then in the wide shots of everybody fighting, he's sitting up, with his knees up to his chest.

    • Dawn's spree of kleptomania starts in this episode, and continues on until season 6.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Buffy: (to Spike) That thing, it wasn't even real. What you did for me and Dawn that was real. I won't forget it.

    • Willow: No, there's only love. And... some fear.
      Anya: Which is kind of thrown by the you having sex with Spike.
      Buffy: The... who whating how with huh?

    • Tara: Everyone, before we jump all over her, people do strange things when someone they love dies. When I lost my mother, I did some pretty dumb stuff, like lying to my family and staying out all night.
      Anya: Buffy's boinking Spike
      Willow: Oh. Well. Tara's right. Grief can be powerful, and we shouldn't judge...
      Tara: (interrupts) What, are you kidding? She's nuts.
      Willow: Well, it's not healthy. We're all agreeing there.
      Tara: What can we do?
      Anya: Sometimes in the movies, when they go crazy, they slap 'em.
      Xander: I'm gonna go find her and talk to her. If she's losing it, we gotta help her before she gets herself hurt.
      Tara: You aren't really gonna slap her, are you?
      Xander: No, but if I have to see her straddle Spike again I will definitely knock myself unconscious.

    • Glory: The vampire is lying to me.
      Spike: (laughs) Yeah... but it was fun. And guess what, bitch? I'm not telling you jack. You're never going to get your sodding key. And you might be strong, but in our world you're an idiot!
      Glory: I am a god.
      Spike: The god of what? Bad home perms?
      Glory: (Touches Hair) Shut up! I command you to shut up!
      Spike: Yeah, okay. Sorry. But I just had no idea that gods were such prancing lightweights. Mark my words, the Slayer is going to kick your skanky, lopsided ass back to whatever place would take a... cheap... whore-ish, fashion victim, ex-god like you. (Glory kicks him and he goes flying)
      Spike: Good plan, Spike.

    • Buffy: (pretending to be the BuffyBot) Spike! You're covered in sexy wounds!

    • BuffyBot: (to Willow) You're recently gay.
      Willow: Uhh...

    • BuffyBot: Oh Spike, devour me!
      Spike: All right.
      BuffyBot: Spike, I can't help myself. I love you!
      Spike: You're mine Buffy.
      BuffyBot: Should I start this program over?
      Spike: Shhh! No programs, don't use that word. Just be Buffy.

    • Xander: No one is judging you. It's understandable. Spike is strong and mysterious and sort of compact but well muscled.
      Buffy: I am not having sex with Spike! But I'm starting to think you might be!

    • Spike: Was that your best Slayer?
      BuffyBot: No.
      Spike: Why not?
      BuffyBot: I want to hurt you, but I can't resist the sinister attraction of your cold and muscular body.

    • BuffyBot: Xander... and Anya! How is your money?
      Anya: (Starts to laugh) Fine, thank you for asking!

    • Spirit Guide: Death is your Gift
      Buffy: Death...?
      Spirit Guide: Is your Gift.

    • BuffyBot: I had sex with Spike, and it wasn't just one time. It was lots of times and lots of different ways. I could do sketches.

    • Giles: Quite extraordinary really.
      BuffyBot: Thank you. But I really think we should be listening to the other Buffy, Giles. (She pronounces it Guy-les) She's very smart and she's gonna help us save Spike.
      Giles: Guy-les? Spike didn't even bother to program my name properly.

    • Buffy: So, how's it start?
      Giles: I jump out of the circle, then I jump back in it, and then, um...... I shake my gourd.
      : I know this ritual! The ancient shamans were next called upon to do the hokey-pokey and turn themselves around. (Giles performs the ritual) And that's what it's all about.

    • Xander: Spike must have had her built so he could program her t...
      Buffy: Oh god.
      Willow: Yikes. Imagine the things...
      Buffy: No! No, no imagining. Any of you.
      Xander: Already got the visual.

    • Buffy: Oh my god.
      Xander: And so say all of us.
      BuffyBot: Say, look at you. You look just like me! We're very pretty.

    • Glory: (about Spike) WHAT is that, and why is its hair that color?

    • BuffyBot: Angel's lame. His hair grows straight up, and he's bloody stupid.

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode is the first time that Buffy and Spike kiss without a spell cast on them.

    • In "The Replacement" earlier this season, Lame Xander thinks the other Xander is a robot, but it turns out that they're both really Xander. In this episode, Xander takes that lesson to heart and thinks both Buffys are real, but it turns out that one's a robot.

    • The pink shirt and black leather jacket that the BuffyBot wears are the same clothes that Buffy wore in the Season 4 episode "Hush".

    • Nicholas Brendon's twin, Kelly Donovan, is credited in this episode. According to Nick's official site, he was ill during filming and Kelly was used as a double for a few scenes.


    • Spike: It's that guy. On TV. What's his name? On that show, the price show, where they guess what stuff costs.
      Spike is describing The Price Is Right, which aired on NBC in 1956 and ran until 1965. In 1972, the show was revamped and moved to CBS. The object is for contestants to win prizes by showing their knowledge of the prices of everyday items through a variety of different games.

    • Buffy: Hey, I think I know this ritual. The ancient shamans were next called upon to do the Hokey Pokey and to turn themselves around.

      The Hokey Pokey is children's song/game, it is sung while performing the body movements described in the lyrics. The lyrics are as follows: "You put your right arm in, you put your right arm out, you put your right arm in, and you shake it all about. You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around, and that's what it's all about." The lyrics are then repeated with other body parts.

    • Buffy: A quest? Like finding a grail or something?

      The holy grail is the cup (or dish in some versions) that Christ drank from at the last supper and which collected his blood during the crucifixion. The legend goes that whoever drinks from the cup is granted immortality.

      The origins of the myth are debated. One belief is that it is a literary myth that began in the 12th century with church paintings as well as writings by Chrétien de Troyes and Robert de Boron. This myth is associated primarily with Arthur, King of the Britains.

      The second belief, put forth by Roger Sherman Loomis and others, is that the story of the grail dates much earlier than the Middle Ages, and the Arthurian version(s) is just the "final" written form. In fact, it is believed that the "Holy Grail" version is itself a much later Arthurian version with the earlier Arthurian versions having nothing at all to do with Christ or the Last Supper. The core of the legend is Celtic in origin and deals with a young adventurer/knight (Percival/Galahad/Gawain/etc.) who meets up with the Fisher King who is lame in one leg (euphemism for penis). As a result of this, the king's land is barren with drought. The quest deals with restoring the King's health/land's fertility. The grail itself is one of three ancient relics and is, in its original version, a platter of plenty that produces an endless supply of whatever dish you wished (the womb).

    • Visual: Dawn reading a magazine
      Dawn reads Twist while at Xander and Anya's, a magazine for teenage girls, with information about friends, boys, pop stars and other celebrities, and fashion.

    • Xander: The guys that work for Glory, you said they're kind of like hobbits with leprosy?
      Hobbits are characters created by JRR Tolkien and were made famous in his novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the latter of which is currently being adapted into movies. The first part of the epic, The Fellowship of the Ring was released in December 2001, with the sequels to follow one each year after.

    • Buffy: Hello, kitty.
      Buffy addressing the lion in the desert is probably not an allusion, but Hello Kitty is a cartoon character created in 1974 by the Japanese company Sanrio. Sanrio is famous for their cute cartoon characters, including others such as Keroppi and Melody.

    • Tara: History Channel, Discovery Channel, Salem etc etc...
      The History Channel and the Discovery Channel are both cable television stations broadcast around the world which specialise in documentaries, educational programs and the like.
      The Salem Witch Trials were the infamous trials of suspected witches in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1600's. For more info see season 3's "Gingerbread".