Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 5 Episode 9

Listening to Fear

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 28, 2000 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

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out of 10
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  • This is a decent, if flawed, episode about the horrors of illness.

    The episode succeeds when it focuses on Joyce and it fails when it focuses on the semi-lame demon from space. I say 'semi' because in the sequence at Buffy's house the creature is pretty effective in its creepiness being in the midst of the sadness that is looming all over that home. Another problem I see is a pace that is just a bit too slow. This one's a mixed bag, although more excellent acting all around causes it to get its point across successfully.

    Even though Joyce is out of it most of the time, she's really the focus of everyone's concerns here. I can understand her not wanting to wait around in a hospital for her operation. That'd drive me crazy too. Willow getting the Summers' family individual presents to help cheer them up is both sweet and kind. I especially like the beer hat for Joyce and the homework with yoyo for Buffy. Joyce's sudden snap into abrasive words is pretty jarring. Later on she says, "No reason to get upset? Oh, right, sorry, I must just think there is because of my brain tumor!," which is also very abrupt and scary to hear her say, especially in front of Dawn as I'm so used to Joyce being so soft-spoken and kind. I have to say that I'm a bit surprised by how fast Joyce's symptoms manifested. I guess the writers didn't want to drag out the "Joyce is ill" subplot for too long, and I have to say I think it was a wise decision.

    I also found Joyce's randomness in speech back at the house later to be really effective. It's creepy in a realistic way that really hits home for me. I've gone through losing someone to a disease, and I've seen that person do a lot of weird and random stuff. I really appreciated seeing Joyce unaware of what she's saying, randomly thinking it's breakfast time and insulting Buffy. Joyce's rambling upstairs, when there's actually the demon right above her, is really sad to see. I have memories of being in Dawn's position of hearing a sick loved one through the wall having lots of pain and confusion in a room adjacent to mine, it's scary and not at all easy.

    The emotion-filled final scene with Joyce asking Buffy to promise to protect and take care of Dawn in case she doesn't make it is really tough to see. Buffy's expression when she hugs her mom is one of sadness and fright that this might be it; she really might lose her mom. The very final shot of the doctors taking Joyce away into surgery is obviously intended to make us think that was really her farewell. I now, in retrospect, love the way Whedon handled this plot thread. We get all the goodbyes, tears, and promises early on in the season. Then Joyce seems fine again only to suddenly die later from a complication of the surgery taking place now. This way we get all the goodbye talk out of the way and can simply experience the shock of an unexpected death without feeling completely cheated from losing a beloved character.

    All throughout the episode Buffy is trying to hold herself together. She turns on the radio while washing dishing to drown out her mom's loud rantings from upstairs. Unfortunately the sound of a crazy happy radio song combined with the mundane task of washing dishes that undoubtedly her mom would usually take care of, are the things that finally work to make Buffy emotionally break down all the way. SMG is heart-breaking in this scene. I so feel for her, and she makes me want to be there to offer some comfort because she looks so genuinely scared and sad; an excellent, realistic scene. In classic Buffy fashion, she faces her pain alone.

    There's some other interesting bits to talk about besides Joyce and Buffy though. The gang's patrol without Buffy and Willow's giddiness after staking two vamps in the intro is highly amusing. I'm sure Buffy expected Riley to be there helping out, but instead he's started the vamp suck jobs, sulking over Buffy not wanting him every second of the day. It's at this point where I lose my sympathy for Riley -- he's gone too far here, although I still understand why he's doing it.

    The Willow/Tara scene on the rooftop is really sweet. She says that looking at the stars is supposed to make you feel all insignificant, but that instead they make her feel like she's a part of them and therefore significant. I can't help but see this as a bit of a commentary on Willow. Before she had many friends, or many self-confident ones, she essentially viewed herself as an insignificant nerd. Just remember back to how she reacted when Buffy said, "Uh, Hi! Willow, right? ," and she replied "Why? I-I mean, hi! Uh, did you want me to move?" in "Welcome to the Hellmouth". Now, over the years of becoming part of the Scooby family, she's much more secure with herself and feels much more significant.

    The major fault of this episode is the space demon, which is silly even before we find out what it is. How is it that no one can see this huge thing crawling around the ceiling? It's called 'peripheral vision' people! However, the demon's a lot more effective when in Buffy's house, mostly because you can't really see it very well. It actually becomes a bit creepy during this sequence. Overall, though, I feel this episode does its job well of showing us the very icky horrors of illness and its affect on the people around it. It's also a lot better than I originally thought. Flawed, but nonetheless good.
  • Hard to watch Joyce so vulnerable

    The Good;

    Some great acting from SMG and KS with Joyce's madness. Lovely Buffy/Joyce/Dawn scenes, especially when they're in bed together. In many ways though this is Riley's ep, see him take charge of the military team, he's back in his place.

    The Bad;

    Not a great deal

    Best line;

    Joyce "My dear sweet brave Buffy, what would I do without you?" (always brings a tear to my eye)


    The Queller is HORRIBLE! Ben demonstrates his ruthless side.Poor Dawn spends the entire episode quaking in fear at either the Queller demon or mad people (including her mother) shouting at her. Buffy breaks into tears and I don't blame her. The scene where Joyce, always the tower of strength in Buffy begs for her daughters to take her home like a frightened child is heartbreaking.

    Kinky dinky;

    None this ep, too much happening

    Captain Subtext;

    Joyce works out that Dawn isn't her natural daughter but doesn't care because she still belongs to her and Buffy, she's precious and they love her. She makes Buffy promise to take care of her. When Joyce asks what she'd ever do without Buffy you can see Buffy wondering what she'd ever do without her mum?When Anya suggests that the radiation from the meteorite might cause sterility Riley and Xander look alarmed but Giles doesn't, given up on the idea of having his own children?

    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:

    Buffy: 15

    Giles: 10

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 8

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1


    Kills: 2 vamps for Will and one demon for Buffy

    Buffy: 86 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: a demon

    Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons

    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: 9

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

    Sunnydale deaths; 6 mental patients


    Total number of scoobies: 7

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

    Xander demon magnet: 5(6?)

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

    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Riley; 1

    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

    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; 2; Buffy and Sandy

    What the fanficcers thought;

    Buffy has sex with the Quellar demon. No, I'm NOT kidding either! 'Quelled'

    Questions and observations;

    Our first hints that Ben is not all he appears. Will finds the dead body again. Graham again, yay! He should fix his beret though. Dawn saves Joyce through her quick thinking, she's a Summer's girl alright. Joyce's insane remark about about Buffy being 'disgustingly fat' is all the more ironic given how painfully thin SMG looks this season. The vamps Willow stakes look like they're female wrestlers or something? Really this ep hits Buffy where she hurts, she can face all the dangers of being a slayer as long as she has her friends and Joyce and Dawn to come home to. When her home life is threatened that really unnerves her

    Marks out of 10; 7/10

  • Listening to Fear

    Listening to Fear was a superb episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fifth season. I really enjoyed watching this character driven episode. This is a very emotional season, and I personally relate to this episode as my step mother also had a brain tumor. I think that the writers of this episode, season, and series are all brilliant in connecting viewers to the characters. Riley is really starting to doubt his importance to Buffy and she is to preoccupied with every thing that is going on to notice. The story of this episode was interesting, and a good way to tie Ben to Glory. Joyce has always been more or less in the background of the series, and this episode really connects her to the viewers. I really enjoy watching the gang research, and discuss their findings, as the information is interesting and complex and the characters make it seem as if this was really happening. I can't wait to find out what happens next!!!!!
  • Season 5, Episode 9.

    A Queller demon lands in Sunnydale in a fiery meteorite and begins killing mentally ill people. Joyce has a brain tumor, and while she waits to undergo her operation, the tumor is making her act increasingly unusual. Buffy must find and defeat the demon before it senses her mother's madness and makes her its next victim.

    This episode wasn't bad at all. I thought the storyline was a little weird though. Anyway, the plot and monster and Joyce thing were definitely all weird. However, Buffy's amazing cry scene made this episode for me. The plot was just way too weird and Sarah Michele Gellar's acting was outstanding. Great episode. :)
  • A good episode with a somewhat weird plot but a few great lines and the continuation of one of the main arcs makes it a worthwhile episode.

    Listening to Fear is an episode where the side plot is more interesting than the main one. The whole alien thing was a bit too sci-fi for Buffy but it worked well and the demon of the week was brilliant; very creepy and disgusting. The two things that keep the episode better than average are the continuation of the Joyce arc and a few classic Anya lines.

    The demon summoned from outer space was just a bit out there for me. It was enjoyable but it just didn't feel like it fitted in with the mythology of the show well and felt a bit like a sci-fi hack job. Fortunately, it is mainly believable and not as sci-fi as two certain episodes of "Angel" that just felt completely out of place. I could accept the idea of the space demon and I must admit, it was a pretty cool idea.

    The Willow/Tara scene at the start was one of my favourites. I'm a huge fan of theirs- I love their relationship and think they have fantastic chemistry. I liked learning Tara's own versions of star constellations too Willow! Then the meteor crashing down to Earth ruined the moment but it looked good so I can forgive it.

    The Queller demon was very interesting and unique; it could have easily been fake and completely unbelievable but the costume looked great and it was quite menacing, what with it following Joyce around. The revelation that Ben was involved in it's summoning was shocking the first time. Not so much these days; there are some things in the show that still shock me but this isn't one of them. Ben annoys me but seeing as he is part of one of my all time favourite villains, Glory, I can forgive it.

    The Joyce arc was the real highlight here. I felt it had a really sleepy, monotonous atmosphere around it (a very good thing as it's not supposed to be pulse pounding drama) and I could really feel Buffy's pain here. I love the bit where she breaks down crying when washing up. I felt really bad for her and Dawn also. Some really good scenes.

    Anya was hilarious here (as usual!) and one of my all time favourite Anya lines is said here; where she refers to the Queller demon as the "space lamb". Anya is just the awesomest character. I love her so much.

    Listening to Fear is a bit out there but for the most part it works. It's not amazing or groundbreaking but it's very enjoyable and a worthy addition to the season. A great episode.
  • It's A Bird, It's A Plane...It's Slimmy?

    Listening To Fear-A Queller demon lands in Sunnydale in a fiery meteorite and begins killing all the mentally ill people it can find. Meanwhile, Joyce has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and while she waits to undergo her operation the tumor is making her act increasingly unusual. Buffy must find and defeat the demon before it senses her mother's madness and makes her its next victim.

    Probably the weakest episode of the season, "Listening to Fear" starts out intriguing when a comet falls from the sky and lands in Sunnydale, but quickly turns into a dreary mess. While the Queller demon looks pretty creepy and the way it slims it's victims is disturbing, the plot just weakens as it goes along and doesn't build as much suspense as it should. It doesn't help when Riley gets involved and brings the Initative back with him. All the guest stars are one note as well as Riley is getting on my nerves. The scenes of Riley and the soldier boys investigating were boring and grew very tedious. Also, finding out Ben summoned the Queller wasn't much of a shock.

    The only interesting development is Buffy being so overwhelmed by the responsiblity she has on her shoulders.
    Just the sight of Buffy crying her eyes out as she washes the dishes is one of the saddest moments of the series as Buffy finds herself helpless and defeated. All and All, "Listening To Fear" is a mediocre(ish) episode with some disturbing scenes, but the plot just doesn't sit well with me.
  • "You can’t call Buffy, she’s got life stuff. That’s got to come first." - Tara

    Season 5 is turning into ER; the slayer has spent more time recently in hospitals than in cemeteries. Fortunately, the Riley-less gang is there to kill vamps, star-gaze, spot meteorites and have a close encounter of the slimy kind on Buffy’s behalf. The queller demon, with its fish-eye lens, may be a dwarf in the ubiquitous rubber suit, but I, for one, find it very scary. Things that slime around slightly out of sight at night are more frightening than demons or snake-monsters or even the Gentlemen. The set-up in the hospital with the helpless mental patients strapped to the bed, unable to fend off the space-demon and ripe for the killing, is similar to the scenario in Killed by Death when the children and the fluey are the only ones able to see the Kindestod. No-one quite believes the vulnerable. Here, regular people can see the demon but the ramblings of the mentally ill make people believe that the queller is all in their minds. However, staying on this theme, it is confirmed to us that people who are out of reality either by being brain-sucked or brain-tumoured know that Dawn is not real. It is made clear to us that Glory is not causing Joyce’s illness but that the growth has the same effect as an attack by Glorificus.

    Joyce’s encounter with the demon, when we assume she is confused - but then the camera pans to the queller on the ceiling - is pretty terrifying. The nightmares we all have can turn out to be very real. Equally scary for the Summers girls is Joyce’s temporary descent into madness. Both Dawn and Buffy drown out the noise, Dawn with a pillow, Buffy with a lively Miami Sound Machine type instrumental which juxtaposes horribly with her breaking down over the washing up. A kitchen sink drama indeed. Buffy can’t hear the demon upstairs and so Dawn has to attack the beast and protect Joyce; like Buffy, she is being forced to grow up. Buffy deals easily with the queller – she can cope with death but is finding Life much harder. On top of this, she needs to handle Joyce acting like an adolescent, begging Buffy to let her go home (one wonders why anyone would think Joyce would be safer at home; I’m surprised the Summers house hasn’t been razed to the ground before now) as well as with Dawn’s fear, not just of Joyce’s illness, but her own adolescent drama in which her status as the key, not a real person, is just as much a metaphor for the alienation and feeling of not belonging (“people, they keep saying weird stuff about me”) as being the chosen one was for Buffy. In the end, when Joyce is once again lucid, she understands that Dawn is not human and Buffy promises to keep her safe: she knows she has to not just for Joyce’s sake. Joyce’s comprehension and sympathy show that she has come such a long way since her denial of Buffy’s calling way back in S2. It’s a horrible irony that Joss’s original idea was never to show Buffy’s mum and dad – by the end of S5, Buffy no longer has parents.

    The other story in this episode features everybody’s favourite big lug. He is no longer interested in patrolling and killing since he turned to the dark side and is more into hanging with vamps than killing them. We saw Riley as an addict before – to the Initiative sponsored “vitamins” and then to his super-strength, so it’s not surprising he can’t experience the pleasure/pain of being bitten and sucked just once. He calls in Graham and the boys to help deal with the queller and immediately has a place in things: despite his resignation from the army, he still belongs; he is not just an addendum, trying to help but getting in the way. In the end his aid is unnecessary as Spike has turned up to break the tension and to help Buffy fight the queller, ensuring that Riley is superfluous.

    The twist at the end tells us that it wasn’t Glory who summoned the demon (she is not interested in her victims after she has taken their brains) but cute Intern Ben. As it seems at this point that he is being set up as a romantic interest for Buffy, his involvement with Glory casts a nasty shadow over the future. It’s unclear whether Ben has figured out that mental patients would be able to see the key – which he doesn’t want Glory to find – or whether he’s acting out of pure self interest: he knows he and the hospital can’t cope with such an influx of mentally disturbed people. Maybe, as a doctor, he thinks that the people are so damaged that they would be better off dead. Whatever Ben’s reasons are, we understand that if he was the one who called the queller demon during every outbreak of mental health problems then his connection with Glory goes way back. Buffy’s problems are only going to get worse.
  • As Joyce's tumor advances she becomes more and more disturbing to be around. We find a connection between Glorificus and Ben and deal with a new type of demon.

    I find most of this episode to be difficult to review without simply regurgitating the plot because its mostly dull. The Quellor demon is both lame (a demon roach inside a meteor?) and suitably creepy (its barfing in people's faces). But Ben's motivation for summoning it to kill people is nonsense, especially with his being such a dedicated doctor.

    That will be a problem with Ben for the whole of the season though. His character seems ill thought out and his motivation's for anything he does seems to be 'because the script says so'. On a positive note though, we do receive information that he is tied to Glory.

    Easily the most disturbing thing about the episode, however, is Joyce's babbling. It is truly awful to see this woman we all care about suffering and the scene with Buffy crying while trying to do dishes is heartrending. Once again, poor Riley is left out in the cold. He not only calls in the military, which Buffy has never been comfortable with, but also by the time that he figures out where the demon has gone, Buffy has already killed it. And worst of all is Spike helped her. I really felt for Riley this season and its always struck me as a shame that the writers didn't really have a plan for him following the Initiative storyline.
  • aliens on buffy?

    i thought i was going to hate this episode but was so wrong!
    joyce is operated but is now crazy and a alien comes on the planet to kill the crazy people and is going to kill joyce.

    i think the monster is scary and when he killed the crazy people he drowned them in his spit. i loved the end when joyce knows that dawn is not real and tells buffy to take care of buffy, very pretty episode.
  • One of the worst episodes of the season (so far). However, there were lots of scenes that were good.

    All in all this was a pretty bad episode. It seemed to drag on forever and the bad parts outweighed the good. In this episode we have a demon alien from outer space that is summoned to kill the growing population of crazy people in town. While the idea of getting rid of the crazy people (who are ultimately connected to Glory) is an interesting idea, the way it was done was a mistake. The demon used in this episode is one of my least favorite. Add the fact that it's from outer space and it's just ludicrous. The scenes where it's "chasing" Buffy and Dawn were just funny. Despite the episode's ultimate suckiness, the scenes with Joyce were VERY well done and sad, and I was a little sad when she realized Dawn wasn't her daughter, even though she said she still felt like her daughter. On the bright side, Riley's exit is just around the corner. Too bad it didn't come sooner.
  • While Joyce's tumor-induced dementia tears the Summers family apart, a purple slug from outer space crawls around on people's ceilings and spits smelly goo into the faces of Sunnydale's ever-expanding mentally ill population. No, really.

    Some of the individual scenes elevate it above the level of its immediate predecessor, but "Listening To Fear" is overall a bleak and ugly episode that does little to help the already sluggish pace of the season in progress. The alien Queller demon is one of the scarier enemies the show has used, but it serves more as a device to let the writers vaguely connect some disparate threads (Joyce's illness, the link between Ben and Glory, an exit strategy for Riley) than as symbolism like "Buffy" used to do all the time back in the day.

    It's difficult not to levy the same complaints against "Listening To Fear" as those that have already been mentioned regarding "Shadow" and parts of "Family" and "Fool For Love." This reviewer chooses to blame this on a failure on the writers' part to in any way add to or reshape the ongoing storyline at this juncture of Season Five rather than any lack of insight on his own part. We're already acutely aware that Joyce is sick and Riley is losing his faith in the future of his relationship with Buffy. These developments have been communicated to best effect in episodes where they weren't the primary focus. Riley's aberrant behavior in "Fool For Love" is a subplot that works. His spending the entirety of "Out Of My Mind" acting like a child is just bad storytelling.

    While "Shadow" was just an across-the-board disaster, "Listening To Fear" has its bright spots. Willow and Tara's rooftop astronomy lesson is sweet and touching. Compared to the constant public spectacle that is Buffy and Riley, the inverted way the witches' growing relationship is presented is a breath of fresh air. It's also a simple thrill seeing the gang working in a library once again. As soon as that scene begins, Giles' authority seems to increase, Willow reinhabits her old bookworm persona, and Xander practically starts looking over his shoulder for Larry or Snyder.

    It belies the poor conception of this episode's monster that all of this research essentially is wasted. In the end, it doesn't matter what the name of the demon is or where it came from, it's just another thing for Buffy to search out and destroy. Likewise, the Initiative's involvement here is so obviously a setup for next week's trip "Into the Woods" that Graham's scenes seem like afterthoughts. It's not as if the showrunners created a cancer-eating demon (wasn't that an "X-Files" episode?) to reveal the extent of Joyce's illness, although that might have been a better way to go about it. As it is, we already know Joyce has cancer. She had a CAT scan last week!

    It's simply unlike "Buffy" to ever tread water this obviously and this desperately. Thankfully, after the trio of episodes that this show comes in the middle of, things pick up considerably. By season's end, the writers had learned well enough from their mistakes that they were able to complete the year with three episodes that followed in and out of each other in direct sequence, yet were incredibly different stylistically and conceptually. The best stretches of Seasons Six and Seven would behave in this manner too.
  • Storyline sucks, but Joyce being sick rocks

    My grandma was sick (just wrote a review about The Body. Check the conclusion of her sickness). And she was just like Joyce. We knew why she was saying those things, but it was horrible to hear. And this part of the episode captures it really nicely. You see someone good one day and in the other it's totally terrible. And the three actresses - Kristine Sutherland, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Michelle Trachtenberg - caught the spirit of the thing and acted really nicely. It's amazing how they evolved with the show. Michelle is new yet, but Joyce and Sarah were there at the very beginning, and now they are great. Really are.
  • This is one of the best of this awesome season. It's so beautiful, specially the Joyce parts. it's creepy and dark. just everything an episode needs. just perfect.

    Listening To Fear

    This is one of the most beautiful, dramatic, dark episodes. this is one of the reasons why season 5 is one of the best seasons of tv history. this episode is just totally amazing, the Queller was a great demon and it brought darkness to the episode. but all the characters, specially Joyce. and the end of the episode was heartbreaking.

    cut to the hospital, Dawn and Buffy are lying next to her mom. The doctor comes with the news that she will be operated the day after tomorrow. but Joyce doesn't want to stay much longer. They say that they are gonna keep company with her. but Joyce says that if Buffy has to patrol, she says no, Riley and the others are already going. cut to the commentary, the gang are fighting vampires and Willow kills them both. but Riley didn't show up. cut to a place, there is Riley, he is letting a vampire feed of him.

    the credits start

    cut to Willow coming in the hospital. she brought things for Joyce. and the others. gifts.(love Willow in this scene) then Joyce says something weird and then she asks them to go because she needs some rest. outside Buffy tells Dawn that the thing that's in her brain sometimes lets her say things without even knowing. then a man looks at Dawn and says that there isn't any data there. and then he goes away. Ben comes and tells them that there isn't any place in the hospital because there are to many crazy people.

    cut to Tara and Willow looking at the starts and naming them, then Willow sees a meteorite crashing in the earth. cut the something coming out of the meteorite, the crazy man is walking outside and the creature goes on the three and then jumps on the crazy man.

    cut to the hospital, they call the doctor and tell him that Joyce wants to go home. she's very tired. so the doctor tells Buffy that they need to go through some things and then she can take her home. cut to the woods, the gang and this time with Riley go to it. the find the meteorite and they thing something came out to do wrong. a little furder from it they find the crazy man. he’s dead. they gotta find Buffy to tell her but they can't. the gang goes to do research and let Riley there alone, the man has something in his mouth. Riley calls the government and say that this is urgent.

    cut to the hospital, some crazy guy. the demon is there with him and it jumps on him. it spits something on his face. cut to the doctor and the three summer woman. they are finally done but Joyce says something crazy, the demon sees it. then they take her with them. cut to them coming in the house. the light is to bright so they have to shut it off because it hurts Joyce.

    cut to some agents coming, Riley shows them the meteorite and the dead guy. he says that it's about extraterrestrial. Riley is very smart and he tells them how to track it. cut to the house. the demon is there. Joyce goes downstairs to make breakfast. Buffy and Dawn go there and take her back to bed, she's not going well. on the bed she calls Dawn a thing and that she's only a shadow and Dawn goes away. Buffy tells her that there isn't anything wrong and to go to sleep. Buffy goes to Dawn's room. Dawn tells her that Joyce isn't the only one that has said that to her, she doesn't know why. Buffy says that it's because they're crazy and tells her just not to listen to them. (beautiful scene)

    cut to a place with the scoop's, they find out what it might be, someone called the demon to kill the crazy people. It's a Queller demon. They call up Riley. Riley knows that it kills crazy people. because it killed five in the hospital. but they know Joyce isn't there so. he asks Willow to call him if she knows how to kill it.

    cut to Joyce talking to something, she keeps acting like a crazy person, Dawn is in the next room and she puts a pillow for her ears. cut to Buffy, she turns on some music and starts to cry. cut to Joyce again. she doesn't want it to stare at her. it's the demon on the roof.

    cut to the hospital, they think someone who checked out took the demon with it. then Riley realised about Buffy's mom and he says to go now. cut to the house. The demon jumps on her and spits on her face, Dawn comes to look and sees it and she hits the demon with something and Joyce takes that thing of her face. it follows Dawn and she runs into Joyce room again. Buffy doesn't hear anything because she is still crying. Dawn does the last scream and Buffy hears it this time. Dawn tells her about the demon and closes the door, the demon then attacks Buffy.

    they fall from the stairs, the fight and then Spike comes out of the basement. he stole some pictures of her but the demon attacks him. Buffy grabs a knife but it hits her out of her hand and jumps on her. Spike grabs it and throws it to her and she stabs it to death. the Riley comes but it's to late, demon is dead. she goes to her mom and Dawn and tells them that it's over.

    cut to Ben, one of Glory's workers is in the car and asks Ben why he summoned the Queller. he says because he is cleaning Glory's mess like he has been doing all his life. cut to the hospital, Joyce and Buffy are together. she asks Buffy and tells her that one day she had the knowledge that Dawn isn't hers. though it's still precious and belongs in this world. Buffy says it's true, Joyce tells her that they are going to protect her anyway, she feels like her daughter. and they hug. Joyce is going to go to the operation room and says goodbye to the gang.

    black out

    Best episode quotes:

    Joyce: Listen, you two, I know this creamed spinach is pretty delicious, but I promise I won't be offended if you go out for some real food.
    Buffy: Are you kidding me? This is the good life. Relaxing in bed while people bring you food on trays.
    Dawn: I like the jell-o.
    Joyce: Help yourself. There's something about food that moves by itself that gives me the heebie-jeebies.
    Dawn: It's good and wiggly. There's a girl at school told me that gelatin is made from ground up cows feet, and that if you eat jell-o there's some cows that are limping with no feet, but I told her I'm sure they kill 'em before they take off their feet... right?
    Buffy: You're the one who insisted on teaching her to talk.

    Buffy: Waiting? Give me a break. We got tons to do.
    Dawn: We have soap operas to watch, and trashy magazines to read.
    Buffy: And an adjustable bed to fiddle with. That alone can keep me busy for four hours or so.

    Giles: Oh my god, what a rough night.
    Willow: Ha haa! I just did two of 'em! Yay on me. That was pretty cool. Except the part where I was all terrified, and now my knees are all dizzy.
    Xander: Not so much a big success night for me But I think I should get points just for showing up. Unlike some Riley Finn who shall remain unnamed.
    Giles: Yes, that was disappointing. Things would have been easier if he'd been here.
    Willow: Oh, piffle, who needs him when I'm dusting two at a ti—[almost falls] Whoops. Maybe it would have been good if he had showed up.

    Willow: Care package! Special delivery for the Summers girls. Now, let's see what I have in this sack of mine. Oh, I feel just like Santa Claus, except thinner and younger and female and, well, Jewish. This is an extra-special gift for your mom, that I know she'll need. A beer hat! See, i-it's got cup holders, and a straw that goes directly into your mouth, and you can fill it with other stuff than beer. And somehow, when I was in the store this seemed like the most important idea and now there's the whole part where I'm crazy.
    Joyce: It's perfect. Thank you, Willow. You're very sweet.
    Willow: Now, let's see, who's next? Dawn, I believe I have something in here for you...
    Buffy: [to Joyce] Headache?
    Joyce: Just a little one. A biggish little one. I'm fine! Go on, what else is in that sack of goodies, Willow?
    Willow: All right. Dawn, to keep you busy.
    Dawn: Ooh, spells! Thank you, Willow!
    Buffy: You got her a book on spells. The girl who can break things by just looking at them, now has a book to teach her to ... break things by looking at them?
    Willow: Oh, well, it doesn't actually have spells in it. Just history, and anecdotes, stuff like that. Oh, Buffy- I have this for you.
    Buffy: Homework? Oh. I don't believe in tiny Jewish Santa any more.
    Willow: And a yo-yo.
    Buffy: Thank you.
    Willow: The book is just in case you get a chance to look it over. We're doing World War One now. The last exam was really pretty easy, just underlying causes and trench foot. So it should be no hassle to make it up-
    Buffy: I don't even know if I'm gonna take that exam.
    Joyce: I'd rip it in half and stick it in bed with me!

    Buffy: I'm sorry, the doctor spoke to me, and uh, I should have told you. Um, the, the thing that's pressing on her brain, sometimes it, it might make her say weird things.
    Dawn: Does she know she's saying them?
    Buffy: Not really. It's sort of like a flash, you know, but you saw her two seconds afterward. She was normal.
    Willow: And after the operation, no more pressing. She'll be all normal all the time.
    Dawn: Is that right?
    Buffy: Hey, Santa doesn't lie.

    Willow: You know what's weird?
    Tara: Japanese commercials are weird.

    Joyce: I bet it's not even hooked up to anything. Just like the push buttons at the crosswalk that are supposed to make the signal change.
    Buffy: I'm sure someone's on-- What? The push buttons aren't hooked up to anything?

    Riley: Heard I missed out on some fun.
    Xander: Oh, yeah, fun was had. Also frolic, merriment, and near-death hi-jinks.

    Anya: Is it hot? 'Cause, uh, if there's radiation, you could like go all sterile.
    Riley: No, it's not hot, it's warm. And broken. And sort of...
    Giles: Hollow?
    Riley: Yeah.
    Anya: So, we're all thinking the same thing, right?
    Xander: Festive pinata? Delicious candy?
    Willow: Something evil crashed to Earth in this, and then broke out and slithered away to do badness.
    Giles: In all fairness, we don't really know about the "slithered" part.
    Anya: Oh, no. I'm sure it frisked about like a fluffy lamb.

    Riley: That might be toxic. Don't touch it.
    Xander: Oh, yeah, touching it was my first impulse. Luckily, I've moved on to my second, which involves dry-heaving and running like hell.

    Willow: We can't call Buffy. I want to call Buffy!

    Willow: So, we'll just figure this out ourselves. We're experienced.
    Anya: Yes, 'cause it seems like we're always dealing with creatures from outer space... except that we don't ever do that.

    Riley: Believe me, something jumps out at me in the dark, you'll hear me even without the phone.

    Willow: I don't want to be the one that finds the bodies anymore.

    Riley: Not subterrestrial, Major. Extraterrestrial.

    Buffy: Mom, wha-what are you doing?
    Joyce: I'm making breakfast. And you shouldn't eat any more, you're disgustingly fat.

    Joyce: Don't touch me! You - you thing!
    Dawn: Mom, please!
    Joyce: Get away from me! You're nothing, you're, you're a shadow!
    Buffy: Mom-
    Joyce: I don't know what you are or how you got here!
    Buffy: Mom, it's Dawn.
    Joyce: Dawn? Honey, what's wrong?

    Dawn: She hates me.
    Buffy: No.
    Dawn: She called me a thing.
    Buffy: She loves you. Okay? She's not herself. I told you what the doctor said about the tumor.
    Dawn: No, not just Mom. People. They keep saying weird stuff about me.
    Buffy: Are you talking about the man in the hospital?
    Dawn: He called me a thing too. And there was another one. Weird guy outside the magic shop. He said I didn't belong. He said I wasn't real. Why does everybody keep doing that? What's wrong with me?
    Buffy: Nothing. It's not you. I think there's something that happens in people's brains when there's something wrong. It's, it's like a short-circuit ... and it makes them feel like nothing's real except for them. That's all it is.
    Buffy: Look, it is not you. Okay? And if anyone says anything like that to you again, don't listen. Even if it's Mom.
    Dawn: I hate it.
    Buffy: I know. Just don't listen.

    Xander: I still don't get why we had to come here to get info about a killer snot demon.
    Giles: Because it's a killer snot demon from outer space. I did not say that.

    Giles: Well, then, it would appear that the world is not being invaded.
    Tara: I'm pretty pleased about that.

    Giles: As if something emerged from the meteors, and quelled the madmen.
    Xander: Meteor go boom, crazy guy go bye-bye.

    Joyce: I wish that someone had bothered to tell me that there would be tennis being played! I just didn't know. Those eyes ... Those eyes, they're like gasoline puddles! Tell me. Tell me because I need to know why, why are you staring at me like that? What are you asking me? You are asking me, aren't you? Is this a test? And if this counts for the final grade, I need to know now! Okay, there are teachers, and they put this on the syllabus, but they do not stare down at you, they do not cling, they do not look down on you.... You know there are people who are nice, and they give you presents, even when you are bad.
    Joyce: Does someone know you're here? Because they should have told you that at the gate. You are not supposed to be here. I need to rest now. I-I don't like the way you're staring at me! Did they tell you that at the gate? Stop staring at me, I don't like it!
    Joyce: I'm going to close my eyes, and when I open them, you are going to go away.

    Dreg: Sir, forgive me. I just want to understand. Why summon the Queller?
    Ben: What do you think? Because I'm cleaning up Glory's mess. Just like I've done my whole damn life.

    Joyce: Buffy, uh, I'm gonna ask you something, a-and if I'm, if I'm being crazy you just tell me, okay?
    Buffy: You got it.
    Joyce: The other day ... well, actually, I'm, I'm not sure when, the days seem to all bleed together...
    Buffy: It's not important.
    Joyce: No, I guess it isn't. I do know I was ... pretty out of it, and I had ... not-not a dream ... exactly, more like I had this ... knowledge, i-it just came to me like ....truth, you know? Even though it didn't seem...possible, even though I shouldn't even think such things.
    Buffy: What?
    Joyce: That Dawn... She's not ... mine, is she?
    Buffy: No.
    Joyce: She's ... she does belong to us, though.
    Buffy: Yes, she does.
    Joyce: And she's important. To the world. Precious. As precious as you are to me. Then we have to take care of her. Buffy, promise me. If anything happens, if I don't come through this-
    Buffy: Mom-
    Joyce: No, listen to me. No matter what she is, she still feels like my daughter. I have to know that you'll take care of her, that you'll keep her safe. That you'll love her like I love you.
    Buffy: I promise.
    Joyce: Good. Good. Oh, my sweet brave Buffy. What would I do without you?

    Story: 10
    Acting: 10
    Writing: 10
    Picture: 10
    Gripping: 10
    My Rank: 10
    Total: 10
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