Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 7 Episode 9

Never Leave Me

4
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 26, 2002 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

8.4
out of 10
Average
444 votes
  • "Never Leave Me," and to a slightly lesser extent, "Sleeper", do what I feel is an excellent job of blending plot, character development, drama, and comedy.

    9.0
    "Never Leave Me," in particular, also has many of the same qualities I applauded "No Place Like Home" for, although it's not quite as polished and tight. Drew Goddard is quickly emerging as a top-tier Buffy writer. He has an incredibly adept understanding of the show's genre-blending nature and is insanely well-read on the characters. This is an episode that is buoyed on a coupled brilliant conversations between Buffy and Spike, but is assisted by a ton of awesome little things that spread the love around to all the characters and really add up to quite a fun episode.



    As I just mentioned, this episode is really centered around two particularly probing Buffy and Spike conversations. Knowing this, I appreciated getting an idea of what the other characters felt about Soulful Spike the Killer. Dawn and Anya are voicing concern; Dawn being concerned about what Spike might be capable of, Anya just being practical. Xander stays out of it completely, which is interesting. Instead of getting all worked up over Spike, Xander seems to have some perspective now and clearly trusts Buffy to handle the situation herself -- he's lost that jealously and feeling that Buffy's better than Spike. I see this as a reflection of Xander's growth from last season. Buffy's not on his pedastal anymore, and is instead treating her more like a trusted friend rather than a desired girlfriend.



    I really like Spike's soft but blunt outing of his thoughts on everything that's happened. Of particular interest is when he tells Buffy that his pain and suffering is all relative. He had to redefine what those words meant after falling in love with Buffy. Now, I can see why Buffy might take offense to that comment, but I think I understand what Spike means by it. I really don't think Spike is entirely trying to put blame on Buffy by saying this, but rather just that loving her has led him on a journey that redefines what pain and suffering means. With that said, he clearly has some blame for Buffy as well, as he just now fully realizes what it means that she used him last season. He says, "I'm feeling honest with myself. You used me. I never understood it though. Not until now. You hated yourself, and you took it out on This certainly doesn't excuse Spike's awful behavior at points of last season, but both characters did bad things to each other which fueled a growing flame.



    Spike goes on to talk about now understanding "the violence What he's talking about here is that internal struggle inside all of us -- to be good people, to strive to be better, and the guilt most of us feel when we do wrong. Spike articulates what it means to have a soul and guilt -- or self loathing -- is definitely a part of that. This entire segment beautifully summarizes what it truly means for Spike to have a soul. We can not only see and feel the difference, Spike is now also articulating the difference. Once again, the writers have done a phenomenal job synching us up with the characters' psychological state, which is then used as a spring board for new developments that are actually believeable.



    Later in Buffy's basement, once Buffy explains to Spike that he's being triggered, he pleads with her to kill him. This leads him to a speech about what he's truly capable of, telling her "you got off easy Buffy, still acting very mature and intelligent about this, reminds Spike that he's not responsible for these recent triggered-induced actions. Soulful Spike is not the same person as Soulless Spike. Buffy knows this from experience dealing with Angel. This is why she's so quick to want to help him. Spike, on the other hand, is really letting that whole self-loathing thing overwhelm him. Being soulless for so long, it's probably easy to forget how to constructively channel that guilt. It's only human to struggle with it though.



    Spike tries to make a case for how bad he is with creepy murderous knowledge he has. What's more interesting is when Spike asks one of the biggest questions of the series: "Have you ever really asked yourself why you can't do it? Off me? After everything I've done to you, to people around you. It's not love. We both know Spike goes on, "Don't do that. Don't rationalize this into some noble act. We both know the truth of it. You like men who hurt Buffy refuses to completely believe this. Though her response does insinuate that there is some truth to it before, which is true to what was going on in Season 6.



    In particular, I think most of their dialogue here is referencing Season 6. Buffy hits it home with her rebuttle, "No. I don't hate like that. Not you, or myself. Not anymore. You think you have insight now because your soul's drenched in blood? You don't know me. You don't even know you. Was that you who killed those people in the cellar? Was that you who waited for those girls? ... Listen to me. You're not alive because of hate or pain. You're alive because I saw you change. Because I saw your Spike's understandably in the trap of, well, self loathing and isn't really in the mood to give himself any credit whatsoever.



    Buffy goes on to say, "Be easier, wouldn't it, it if were an act. But it's not. You faced the monster inside of you and you fought back. You risked everything to be a better man. And you can be. You are. You may not see it, but I do. I do. I believe in you, This is really moving and powerful stuff! The dialogue between the two of them in "Never Leave Me" not only sets up Spike's final journey, but also extremely clearly shows us why Buffy has faith in Spike, and why Spike feels the way he does. I want to stress that it's clear to me that Spike's motivation to go get his soul goes well beyond just sex. I think Buffy has it completely right. Spike did risk everything to be a better man -- a better man for Buffy. As Spike said in "Beneath You", "What must a man do what he mustn't for her, to be hers. To be the kind of man, who would never... to be a kind of Spike's behavior paints a pretty consistent picture to me, and it's all built on top of what came before while simultaneously laying new foundation for the the rest of the series. This is fantastic television at work.



    It's extremely beautiful that the last thing Buffy tells Spike before the Bringers flood into the house and capture Spike is "I believe in At that moment, Spike fully gets it, and has a newfound belief in himself. I also think Buffy communicating this belief to Spike is a direct threat to the First, which is why it mobilized the Bringers on a raid to immediately get Spike out of there. The last thing the First needs is a Spike that believes in himself and is fighting strongly on Buffy's side. This sets up the First's approach to bringing him down a notch over the next couple episodes.



    The Watcher's Council headquarters being blown up is certainly quite a huge shock, especially after Quentin's "rousing speech" and a promise of another Council visit to Sunnydale and Buffy. You just don't expect something like that to happen, but then again, that's always been a staple of this series -- to do the unexpected. I really love the ambitious scope of the First's attack and how "huge" this whole thing feels. The only big problem is that the season sadly isn't able to maintain this pace for very much longer.



    "Never Leave Me" is a very well-rounded episode that moves the overall story along while also giving us some key character insight and development. There's a lot of fun around the edges as well, from Willow bumping into Andrew at a butcher's shop to Anya and Xander working together to "break" a hilarious Andrew. On the more serious side, some big events happened such as the Watcher's Council being blow'd up good, the First capturing Spike, the First raising the real Ubervamp, and us being left to question whether Giles is still alive. The only thing this episode is missing is a little more character depth of the non Buffy and Spike variety. With Spike being out of focus until later in the season and the Potentials beginning to arrive in the next episode, this deficiency sadly isn't handled better until later in the season. Despite that one flaw, though, I feel this is an excellent episode.
  • Andrew at Revello Drive

    8.0
    NEVER LEAVE ME



    The Good;

    Nice humour from Dawn and Andrew, a good fight and our first hints that Principal Wood is more than he seems



    The Bad;

    When Spike attacks Buffy we see a glimpse of his arm reflected in the mirror as she blocks his blow



    Best line;

    Dawn (on Buffy's illness keeping her off work) "Her exact words were 'I've got stuff coming out of both ends"



    Jeez!;

    Spike feeding from the blood filled bag is horrible as is his little girl story. The Turok-Han is one genuinely scary beastie!



    Kinky dinky;

    Spike (of falling in love with Buffy) "I've had to redefine the words pain and suffering since I feel in love with you". Maybe he could just hire some dominatrix or something? Spike elaborates on his little girl in the coal cellar story implying that she was Dawn's age and that he did more than just kill her and her family, keeping her alive so she cried when he...because it would be no fun if she didn't cry (anyone else glad he didn't finish that story?) Spike implies that Buffy likes men who hurt her, he may be right given her track record. He also postulates that she needs that pain to do her job which is also what the First Slayer stated in Intervention and we will find out more about the Slayer's darkside in 'Get it done'. (Hell hath no fury...?)



    Captain Subtext;

    Warren asks Andrew to feel him. Andrew like's Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Willow declares "Tool talk not my thing". Xander declares that he'll be 'pumping' Andrew in no time. Note when Buffy and Dawn are fighting the Bringers they use EXACTLY the same fighting move at the same time, again more than sisters?



    Guantanamo Bay;

    Xander and Anya torture Andrew without remorse.



    Apocalypses; 7,



    Scoobies in bondage: Andrew is but he isn't a Scooby yet. Spike is.

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 4

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 2

    Dawn; 4

    Spike; 2



    Scoobies knocked out: Spike by Buffy, Willow and Anya by The Bringers

    Buffy: 19

    Giles: 12

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 15

    Will: 9

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1

    Anya;6

    Dawn; 4

    Tara; 1

    Spike; 1



    Kills: presuming that the Bringers are humans score 2 for Buffy. Presumably Xander killed the Bringer attacking Dawn?

    Buffy: 117 vamps, 60 demons, 6 monsters, 5 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 8 vamps, 2 demon, 1 human/1 god.

    Will: 6 vamps + 3 demons +1 fawn+1 human.

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 6 vamps, 2 zombies, 1 a demon, 1 human

    Anya: 1 vamp and 1 a demon

    Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons

    Spike; 9 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

    Spike; 1



    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 4

    Tara; 1

    Dawn;1

    Spike; 1

    Anya; 2



    Recurring characters killed: 13 goodbye Quentin Travers, well intentioned but out of touch (which could well be the Watcher motto?)

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



    Sunnydale deaths;

    101



    Total number of scoobies: 6,

    Xander, Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Anya, Spike



    Xander demon magnet: 5(6?)

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



    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Riley; 1

    Buffy; 1

    Tara; 1



    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

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

    Buffy: 4 confirmed; Angel, Parker, Riley, Spike. 2 possible, Dracula+RJ(?)

    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; 14 yes although she's pretty capable of taking care of herself nowadays



    Dawn the bashful virgin; 9



    Questions and observations;

    Anya still pretty bitter at having been stabbed by Buffy in Selfless. When Buffy says that Spike needs blood Willow suggests killing Anya. I guess Triangle didn't resolve everything. Xander comes through as knowledge guy. The Spike/Buffy scene is pivotal, she keeps him around not just because they've fought side by side and she needs him to do her job but because she's seen what he's been through in order to redeem himself. He never hated himself before he had a soul because he didn't understand the value of self-worth. Many think that the central figure of the Buffyverse is Dawn, that at heart it's all about protecting her as the innocent. But in some ways Spike also has that claim, he lost his innocence and now strives to reclaim it which is perhaps the harder path? The Watcher's Council talk of losing their files, taken by Giles or Rutherford Sirk who later turns up working for Wolfram and Hart on Angel? Note even the First Evil can't be bothered to recall Andrew's name!

    We have here the end of the Watcher's Council in it's familar form although individual Watchers such as Giles, Robson, Wes' dad etc survive to help Buffy and co in season 8. Note it's the London headquarters that are destroyed, according to Wes in Spin the Bottle the training school is in Hampshire so we should have a new generation ready to take to the field?

    Marks out of 10; 8/10, season 7 kicks into high gear

  • Pull the Trigger

    8.0

    Never Leave Me-Spike is held captive in the Summers home while the Scoobies ponder their options in the aftermath of his murder spree. Willow finds Andrew buying blood and decides to take him prisoner also. While they try to decide what to do next, the gang are interrupted by the mysterious hooded figures called "Harbingers" or "Bringers" - the minions of the First Evil.


    "Never Leave Me" is one of those episodes where a lot happens yet nothing really happens. What I mean is that it's another plot heavy episode,especiallydealing with Spike being under control by the Big Bad, The Watcher's Council, Andrew etc. But there is a lot of sitting around and talking and the big moments are sprinkled around the episode. That doesn't mean "Never Leave Me" is bad, in fact, in some scenes, the dialogue is exceptional. Buffy and Spike continue to have the best character interaction, from the little moments like Spike telling Buffy to tie his ropes to Spike realizing why his relationship with Buffy was so wrong from the start. I love the depth James keeps giving Spike, even after all these years, Spike continues to be afascinatingcharacter and with a soul, Spike seems so level headed and compassionate than even Buffy realizes. I also loved the scene in the basement between them. Spike brings up a good point about Buffy's lack ofability to kill him over the years. Spike really lets Buffy have it and let's her know, despite what she thinks is redemption for him, doesn't compare to the 100+ years of the unimaginable evil that he's done. Also the point he makes about what he's done to girls Dawn's age is pretty creepy. But even after that, even after what Spike even did to her, Buffy makes a point about Spike now being put in a position to be a better man and she sees some put good in him now, that it would be a waste. A really great scene!


    We also get some nice humor with Andrew and evenafterthe fact he kills Jonathan, the character is stilllikable. Tom Lenk really mashes well with the cast automatically and I absolutely loved the scene where he bumps into with at the butcher shop. Willow's awkward threats by trying to recapture her Dark Willow persona was hilarious, especially with Andrew growing more cowardly with each threat. Though, I have to admit, the interrogation scenes with Xander and Anya getting information out of Andrew, felt a bit like filler. I mean, the moment where Anya accidentally slaps Xander made me laugh out loud, but the majority it felt like the writers just wanted to give Xander and Anya something to do. The Bringers' raid on the house was a pretty cool sequence, especially seeing Dawn getting a chance to show she is actually improving as a fighter. Also, I just love Buffy using Andrew as a "weapon" against the Bringers. After the fight and Spike is taken, we finally find out who the Big Bad is: The First. A villain which we saw way back in Season 3's "Amends". It's so cool how the writers brought it back as the final baddie for the gang, considering it seems pretty unstoppable. Meanwhile, back in England, we've been seeing Watchers get killed and that they are also having trouble dealing with the First. Quentin Travers and the Watcher's Council get a pretty brutalfarewellas their headquarters is destroyed! Not to mention, it looks like Giles might be killed off! All and All, "Never Leave Me" is an episode despite it's filler(ish) feel has some great character interaction, humor and a shocking cliffhanger that involves the First bleeding Spike and unleashing the scariest vampire I've ever seen! Yikes!

  • “A soul's not all about moonbeams and penny whistles. It's about self-loathing.â€� - Spike

    8.5
    For once, we see the house being fixed up after the fight. It's a fairly fruitless task though, how many days usually go by without a Summers residence smackdown? It's a good job Xander works for free.

    This episode confirms the Big Bad as The First Evil to both the viewers and the gang. It also brings Andrew into the fold and furthers the Buffy and Spike reconciliation. Just as Spike has been compared to other characters (we've seen similarities between his predicaments and Riley's, he and Anya, even Spike's relationship with Buffy and the gyndroid April's with Warren) and now it's Spike and Andrew who share affinities. This is even pointed out to us as Anya wonders if William the Bloody is back and we then cut to a mysterious figure in black boots and a long dark coat striding imperiously down the Sunnydale street, who turns out to be....Andrew.

    Meanwhile Buffy is tying Spike up in her bedroom. What S6 Spike would have done for this! But now he's going through murder withdrawal, Buffy feeding him his methadone pigs' blood and counselling him when he wants to give up. It's not just about the ensouled guilt; like Willow, Spike fears what he is capable of. He is prepared to die to save others from his unwitting actions, foreshadowing his Christ-like actions at the end of the season (his sacrificial blood at the end of the episode drips from a crucifix, hammering (pun intended) the point home). He taunts Buffy to force him to kill her, telling her that she needs men to hurt her â€" a Slayer needs hatred in order to be able to do her job, and he tells her about the things he used to do to “girls Dawn's ageâ€� (possibly lies; we know it was Angel who liked the torture and Spike who preferred a good fangs-out fight). But the two are starting to understand each other; Spike realises why Buffy had a love/hate relationship with him (it was all about the self-loathing) and Buffy comprehends why Spike had to get his soul back. “You faced the monster inside of you and you fought back. You risked everything to be a better man.“ She isn't prepared to let him sink into self-pity or to be a shadow of his former vampire: “You're alive because I saw you change. Because I saw your penance.â€� To top this off, she tells him that she believes in him and we see a glimpse of what their future relationship could be, one based on mutual trust and understanding.

    Andrew too is soon tied up. Just as the ghosts of Jonathan and Warren played good and bad cop with Andrew to persaude him to do TFE's bidding, here Xander and Anya play bad cop and worse cop as they bond over the interrogation of Andrew, even though Anya is still annoyed about Buffy trying to kill her (“Shouldn't we stab him through the chest? Isn't that what we do when these things happen?�) and Xander feels that, because of Anya, there is only darkness where his heart used to be. But unlike Spike, Andrew feels no remorse and the gang is not that concerned when Spike, under TFE's brainwashing, tries to eat him to stop his blabbing. Buffy even uses him as a weapon at one point. And Andrew only tells them anything because he is more scared of Willow and her she-witchery than he is of Warren-as-TFE.

    TFE failed with Spike and Andrew and so it has to send in the big guns in the physical form of the Harbingers. To be honest, if I were a supremely powerful but incorporeal form of evil, I wouldn't use blind monks. Sightlessness isn't usually much of an aid to Slayer-slaughter. But the monks get their vamp and they take Spike off to be blood-let (it turns out that Jonathan was anaemic) and to open the hellmouth, revealing, not the tentacley monster of previous times, but one of Spike's ancestors, an uber-vamp.

    What this episode doesn't tell us is what has happened to Giles, whether the council are dead after their CGI dynamiting, and we still don't know if Wood is good. On one hand, he accepts Dawn's lies about Buffy being too ill to come to work (neat mother substitute/child role reversal) and busts the myth of the permanent record; on the other he threatens the children in his care with the police and, just as Buffy says: “I need to know what we're dealing with,� we cut to Wood seemingly psychically discovering Jonathan's body still lying on the hellmouth opening. Determined to remain his true intentions ambiguous, the writers have him burying the body in a sort of trance. Is he bad? Under a spell? Working for the First? Time, as is often the case, will tell.
  • oh. its andrew

    1.3
    not as bad as sleeper but still very bad. andrew has to kill someone. the first takes spike and bleeds him. there is a new vampire. i think that is everything in this episode.

    i liked anya hitting andrew. without scene the episode would have been completely bad. i wonder why the writers wanted to ruin the shows last season?
  • Never Leave Me

    10
    Never Leave Me was a perfect episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I really enjoyed watching this episode because there were lots of interesting interactions between the characters. Willow catching Andrew at the Butchers was funny, Anya and Zander interrogating Andrew, Buffy and Spike, The First and Spike, and just what is Principal Wood's role in all this? This episode had classic Buffy humor, action, drama and intrigue. The end of the episode was great, about time the Big Bad does some thing Big and Bad! I also was shocked what happened to the Watchers Council, but it was a classic Buffy scenario, which makes it all the better. I can't wait to see what happens next!!!!!!!
  • good episode.

    8.0
    just like the conversations on this one. the scene w/ spike tied to the basement coz he'd been triggered by the first & buffy helped him out. spike thought that buffy should kill him instead coz of the danger he posed. & he asked her why she couldn't kill him. it explained the relationship they had why it got so out of control. this is like the episode 'amends' in season 3 when angel was being haunted by the first & wanted to kill himself so he couldn't be a threat to buffy anymore if he lost his soul once again. spike got his soul back. he was sorry for that attempted rape. he understood now why buffy couldn't love him. & buffy told him that she saw him changed & believed in him. a chance for atonement that's why he doesn't need to die & that was enough revelation for spike to know that buffy somehow cares.
  • Spike gets kidnapped, Andrew becomes a hostage

    7.5
    Buffy is intend on finding the truth behind Spike's madness and what he really did. But she begins to suspect it is not him she has to worry about.
    Since the Gang is at a loss Buffy tries to find Giles but even the council does not know his whereabouts.
    Willow encounters Andrew for the first time since she went bad. Of course Andrew thinks immediately that Will wants to finish what she started. Instead she takes him back to the house and he becomes their "hostage". In a very funny rendition of "good cop-bad cop" Anya and Xander try to find out about Andrews motives.
    Most shocking scenes in this episode where when the Watchers Council was eliminated and Spike taken by the Bringers to open a seal beneath Sunnydale High.
  • Better than the previous one.

    7.7
    After an uneven episode it's time for the story to continue. Spike is still battling with The First (just like in the previous episode) and it was quite fun seeing how will the gang handle him (and Andrew). The Andrew scenes combined with Anya's dialogue was pretty interesting and fun. Spike's scenes weren't much interesting. However, the end was amazing.

    After they spent the entire episode trying to figure out what's happening, the episode finally got a purpose. The First finally raises the thing from the high school. And it looks pretty scary. Can't wait to see what's next... .
  • There's nothing like Joss' dialogues!

    9.3
    I loved this episode! It had interesting storylines, but most importantly some of the greatest lines. I love all the pop-culture references that this show includes like when the butcher called Andrew "Neo" like in the Matrix movies. Or when Andrew compared the First evil/Warren to Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost.
    I think it's great that they brought Andrew back in for the final season and I love how everyone keeps asking "who" when it's about Andrew. But when they say "Tucker's brother", they know. I love it!
    The scene with Willow pretending to be all mighty and revenge-searching was amazing, I love how she's doing the bad thing (when she's not actually bad) - like in the Doppelgang Land episode when she was pretending to be the other Willow and always made some funny Willow gestures in between :)

    Did I mention that I really like this final season? The storyline with the First Evil is amazing actually, because it gave us the opportunity to see so many great characters one last time!
  • Spike and Andrew

    7.4
    While Buffy and the others try and figure out what exactly is happening with Spike and his super special breakdowns and The First Willow runs into Andrew while in town buying blood for Spike. Not only does she bring him back to the house but he becomes to latest captive of The Summers home, though he isn't exactly there by choice as Spike is. While Spike and Buffy hash it out, really reaching an one of the more important and meaningful moments in their relationship Andrew does his best to cover up his involment with the wackiness that is happening in the high school basement and his involment with The First, though once again he is another who isn't aware that there is something out lying and manipulating him to do it's bidding.
  • A slow start but a terrific end as the uber vamp makes a welcomed arrival.

    8.7
    Never Leave Me is one of my favourite seaon 7 episodes. The reason for this, mainly covers the ending as we discover who the big bad of the season is.

    Buffy has tied Spike to a chair with some rope that looks like it couldn't hold me down, let alone a super-butt-kicking vampire, but never mind, because it doesn't in the end, does it?

    After Andrew fails to kill a little piglet in an attempt to do The First's bidding in opening the Hell mouth with some funny(but a little forced) pop-culture referencing of "That'll do pig!" he makes his way to the butchers to "buy" some blood instead. I like the mislead of the panning up shot that makes you think he is Spike (I also like that Andrew idolises Spike, it's funny and it also flies in the face of everything that Xander has ever thought of him). Andrew is now providing comedic relief, a role that Xander had filled in previous seaons. And he has a leather coat!

    Meanwhile, Willow too is on her way to the butchers to also buy blood for Andrew's (Billy)idol. What follows is one of the dreaded season 6/7 scene's where the humour should be there, but is slightly off. Willow reprises her dark Willow role in order to get Andrew to return to the Summer's house with her. I don't know why but I feel that they didn't pull this off to it's full potential, I just feel that they don't play-off one another very well. The script could be a little sharper I suppose.

    Andrew is then exposed to much interrogation in the form of good-cop/bad-cop Xander and Anya. Again, I get the same feeling here as I do to the Willow/Andrew scene. It all seems slightly caricature. Although, at the same time, I knew this would please a lot of fans, but I just felt that it was a little too obvious comedy for BtVS. Anyway...

    Buffy and Spike share some really great scenes. We are reminded of Spike's evil past with the disturbing near- confession of "You wanna know what I've done to girls Dawn's age?". Spike's painful words do not stop there, not when he has an opportunity to give his shrink anaylisis of the Slayer, "You like men who hurt you... you need the pain we cause you. You need the hate. You need it to do your job, to be the slayer". A Buffy of one year ago would have been outraged by his remarks. However, with the events of last year seemingly behind her, we see a more mature side to her, a more understanding side, "You're not alive because of hate or pain. You're alive because I saw you change. Because I saw your penance". Sarah and James are fabulous throughout their scenes showing that they have both come along way since the days when they were black and white enemies, in what are well-scripted exchanges. I love the presence of The Council in Never Leave Me. But then again, I always do, because I think Quentin Travers is a fantastic character. The exchange between Travers and Buffy, via the telephone, is a brilliant example of how far she has come. She no longer needs Giles to carry out all council-related tasks, and indeed her actions in Checkpoint have given her the confidence to demand answers from them. Bringing the Council into season seven is also an excellent way of highlighting the magnitude of danger that this big bad is going to pose. Although now, to put this big bad ahead of Glory in terms of the bad-scale, we see the head quarters of the Council, we see that they too are being taken-out and as Lydia puts it, "Sir, we are crippled". Just when we think Travers is going to to start acting, as opposed to just talking, the head quarters are blown up in a massive explosion. Oh. My. God. This is serious.

    Principal Wood is as charming as ever in this episode. I love the way he gets through to the two rebellious students in his office. He's like a small screen Samuel L Jackson. He just oozes coolness. Dawn's description that Buffy's got "Stuff coming out of both ends" companied with Wood's reaction made me laugh-out-loud! I think this was the first time that Dawn actually had this affect on me, apart from her confession that she liked Britney Spears until she "sold out". So mostly just her early work of finger paintings and pasta shapes! This was far funnier than anything Andrew had said through the episode. Wood is left doing a great impression of a red-coloured herring, as he burries poor little Jonathon's body we are left to wonder if he is fighting the good fight or the bad one. I love Wood.

    Back at The Summer's House and the scoobies are under siege by some familiar characters. This opens the way for Buffy to (finally) discover what she is facing. The First Evil. I love this part, in much the same way that I enjoyed Travers saying, "Glory isn't a demon at all...she's a god" in season five. It's not often a show brings back an enemy that previously has only appeared in one episode before(season7). If it hadn't been for the brilliance of Ammends the First might even had been forgettable, so Buffy's realisation of her opponent is suitably played. And exciting!

    However, something that is even more exciting (and terrifying), is the final scene of Never Leave Me. Spike is being bleed in the school basement and we eagerly await the outcome: it's been nicely dragged out for long enough with Jonathon dying, Babe the pig escaping and Andrew's diversion at the butchers. The seal is opened and from it emerges the scariest thing since The Gentlemen! Scarier in fact as it lets out a horrific "Jurassic Park meets LotR's Orc" growl. This is scary! Roll on the next episode!!!

    Slow start but worth the wait for an exciting finish. Spectacular!

    (Please note that the extra-long paragraph that includes both my views on Buffy/Spike and the Council is suppose to be separate, but it keeps joining tegether even though I keep separating it!!! This has also happened with some of my other reviews! Meh, sorry guys!)
  • A really good episode that had everything a good buffy episode needs.

    8.1
    It has Humour, Drama and a great fight scene at the end. This is also the first episode we see the Uber Vamp - the First's first major move. The Bringers have their first fight with Buffy since Amends which was a great fight with everyone involved not just Buffy. The scenes with Xander and Anya interogating Andrew were really funny and were done well, also the scene where Andrew is trying to catch a pig is also hilarious. Overall this episode was good and was needed to progress the storyline with The watchers Council being Blown up, The first view of the Uber Vamp which has a very big part to play and the Scoobies finally figure out what there up against.
  • Another great episode that made me laugh a lot. Andrew is back and kind of annoying and Spike continues with his problem and almost kills Andrew. Anya was amaing like always and the end was cool with the Turok-Kon.

    8.8
    Never Leave Me

    The story continues and Buffy finally finds out what is being after them. The First is back and so is Andrew. It's a good episode but not that special, at the end Spike bleeds and a vampire-Master thing comes out a seal.

    cut to the house and Anya is the only one who wants to kill Spike. cut to Andrew walking outside and Warren is there and Andrew can't touch him. and then Warren changes in Jonathan but he feels normal and it's not his fault he didn't have as much blood but Andrew doesn't want to kill anybody else but Jonathan says that they can work around it. cut to Spike and Buffy and he tells her to make it tight because if he gets free someone is gonna die.

    the credits start

    cut to Robin with two guys treating them and telling them to behave. Cut to Dawn going to Robin and she tells that Buffy is sick and vomited a lot and can't come today. then Buffy calls the council and she wants to know where Giles is and he doesn't want to talk. then he hangs up and they have to find Giles that Buffy doesn't know. cut to Buffy and Spike and he gets mad now and then and attacks. cut to Willow and Buffy and they have to feed them and Willow is going to get some blood. cut to Warren and Andrew and he has to kill the pig but he can't kill it because he likes the pig. so Andrew goes to the meet back and asks for blood and buys it but he sees Willow and she runs after him. He goes to an alley and begins to annoy Willow and she hits him and begins to talk and scares him.

    cut to the house and took Andrew and he will say nothing. cut to Xander and Anya tying up Andrew and he doesn't want to and they hurt him and Anya hits him again and hurt him and they go outside. And they are proud about what they did and then Buffy comes out and they say they will pomp him and then Buffy goes back to Spike. and he says he only remembers flashes and that he has been losing time and that things have been weird. Spike says how he went to get soul and he did trials and got tortured and he told Buffy what he did and he says the true and that she used him and that hurt more than the trials. he knows that she hated herself and took it out on him. Spike says he understands her now and and that he never hated himself like he does now.

    cut to Xander going back to Andrew and unties him and gives him water. and that she tortures men and that they all die and he tells Andrew how she killed a guy and died very slowly and empty and he was actually was him. then Anya comes in to torture him and she hits Xander and then Buffy hears it and goes to check it and Spike stays and he sees The First and Buffy enters the other room and when she goes back she hears a voice and someone singing and she goes in and she sees that he changed and he says he is hungry and she goes to feed him more but then he cuts loose and knocks her out and goes through the wall and grabs Andrew and bites him and Buf then takes Spike away and knocks him out.

    cut to Buffy later telling the gang about Spike and that he suddenly changed and Xander says it was a trigger when she told about the song and that the trigger makes him different and controls him and Buffy wants to know how to de-trigger him. cut to Robin in the night and he goes to the basement. He goes over to a place and finds Jonathan dead. cut to Spike chained in Buffy's basement and she enters with some blood. He wakes up and asks if he did anybody but she says Andrew but he'll survive and she thinks that something is controlling him and then he asks her to kill him. and that he's capable of many things and that she never met the real him. He says that he's horrible but she says it's not his fault but he says he'd kill girls like Dawn and he keeps telling her to kill him. Spike says that she needs the pain and hate and she needs men that hurt her. Buffy tells Spike that he's wrong and that he doesn't even know himself and that he's not alive cause of hate and pain but because he changed. Buffy says that he's a better man and that she believes in him and then the light go out and some men crash in. They come in and knock everyone out.

    cut to Robin in a place and he puts Jonathan in the ground. cut back to the house where everyone is fighting those weird men but they are too many and one goes upstairs and Buffy follows. a guy goes to kill Andrew but Buffy enters and she kills the man. cut back to Dawn and then man makes her trip but Xander saves her. and then they realise about Spike and they downstairs and he's gone. cut to them going back and Buffy says she knows them and she has seen them before and that it's all the same thing. She says they're up with the first. cut to the council and they don't know what to do but then their office blows up. cut to Spike in a place and he's being tied up and they cut him open and he begins to bleed. and the other Spike turns into Buffy and she says he looks better with his shirt off. and his blood bleeds on the sign thing and then it opens up and it's how a real vampire looks like.

    Black Out
    ----------
    Best episode quotes:

    Warren/The First: All right. Looking good. How do you feel?
    Andrew: Good.
    Warren/The First: Excellent. We've got work to do.
    Andrew: I have to do work right now? Can't I just walk around for a while in my coat?
    Warren/The First: Don't go soft on me now. We're right in the trench, and the exhaust port's in sight.
    Andrew: I thought that was it. I did what you told me. It's not my fault it didn't work. Why do I have to do all the wet works?
    Warren/The First: Hey! You know the rules. I can't take corporeal form. Here, feel. Mm-hmm.
    Andrew: Cool.
    Warren/The First: Pretty bitchin', right? I'm like Obi Wan?
    Andrew: Or Patrick Swayze.
    Warren/The First: Believe me, I would do this stuff if I could. I can't. I need you. You're my iron fist.
    Andrew: I just don't think I can kill anybody else.
    Jonathan/The First: Oh, will you stop whining about that?
    Andrew: I didn't want to kill you. Warren made me.
    Jonathan/The First: Hey, I'm glad he did. This is the best thing that's ever happened to me.
    Andrew: It didn't hurt too much? I-I'm not very good at stabbing.
    Jonathan/The First: You know, it wasn't that bad. It was like a sharp pain, then a burning, then a general queasiness. It's kinda like when I used to get ulcers in high school, only at the end I became one with light and hope.
    Andrew: I can't do it. I can't do it anymore.
    Jonathan/The First: Hey, this isn't your fault, OK. It's my fault the ritual didn't work. I screwed up. I'm little- I-I don't have as much blood as other people. And I probably should've told someone I was anemic. Don't worry. We're gonna fix it. You gotta trust us. We know what we're doing.
    Andrew: I can't kill anybody else.
    Jonathan/The First: OK, calm down. We can work around that.

    Dawn: I just wanted to tell you that Buffy won't be coming in today. She's really sick.
    Robin: Oh, no.
    Dawn: Yeah, last night she was vomiting, and then this morning she was vomiting some more, and then, just when we thought she was done, she was vomiting again.
    Robin: Yeah, we got that stomach flu going around.
    Dawn: Her exact words were, "I've got stuff coming out of both ends."
    Robin: Thank you. That's very helpful.
    Dawn: Sure. No problem. Hey, guys. How's it going?
    Punk: Pretty good.
    Robin: Um, tell your sister not to worry about it. We'll soldier on without her here. Just, um, tell her to concentrate on getting better.
    Dawn: Yeah, she'll be fine. She just needs to get some stuff out of her system.

    Buffy: He's been feasting on humans for weeks. He's having some pretty bad withdrawls. I think we need to get him some blood.
    Willow: Do you want me to kill Anya?
    Buffy: No, we should probably try to wean him off humans. He'll have to make do with animal blood.
    Willow: I'll go get some.
    Buffy: You don't mind?
    Willow: No, I have to get out of the house. Xander's installing the new windows, and he keeps giving lectures on proper tool maintenance. Tool talk- not my thing.
    Buffy: Thank you.
    Willow: How're you doing in there?
    Buffy: He's in pretty bad shape, past the point where he can tell me anything.
    Willow: I wasn't asking about him.
    Buffy: I'll be OK.

    Andrew: Babe 2: Pig in the City was really underrated.
    Warren/The First: Don't think about Babe.

    Butcher: Number 87.
    Andrew: I'd like 12 pork chops, 2 pounds of sausage, 8 quarts of pigs blood, 3 steaks, um, halibut, and, uh, some toothpaste-
    Butcher: This is a butcher's shop, Neo. We don't sell toothpaste.
    Andrew: Um, OK- just the other stuff then.

    Willow: Wait a minute!
    Andrew: Don't kill me!
    Willow: I'm not gonna kill you.
    Andrew: Don't torture me and send me to an eternal pain dimension.
    Willow: I'm not gonna.
    Andrew: Warren killed Tara. I didn't do it. And he was aiming for Buffy anyway.
    Willow: Not making it better.
    Andrew: And you got your revenge. You killed my best friend. We're even.
    Willow: Even? You think I get satisfaction from what I did?
    Andrew: Maybe not, but let me keep my skin, OK? I'm not bad. I'm not bad anymore. I'm good. I do good things now.
    Willow: Then, why do you need lots and lots of blood?
    Andrew: I am bad. I'm bad, I'm evil, but I'm protected by powerful forces. Forces you can't even begin to imagine, little girl. If you harm me, you shall know the wrath of he that is darkness and terror. Your blood will boil, and you will know true suffering. Stand down, she-Witch. Your defeat is at hand-
    Willow: Shut your mouth. I am a she-witch, a very powerful she-witch, or witch, as is more accurate. I'm not to be trifled with-
    Andrew: But I-
    Willow: I'm talking. Don't interrupt me, insignificant man. I am Willow. I am death. If you dare defy me, I will call down my fury, exact fresh vengeance, and make your worst fears come true. OK?

    Anya: Did you see that? I actually made him cry.
    Xander: You were perfect. I was worried I overdid it with the whole "easy way, hard way" thing.
    Anya: No, you were great! And I wasn't sure if I should slap him, but then he made me want to slap him, so I thought, OK, slap him!
    Xander: He'll be singing in no time.
    Anya: So, what do we do now?
    Xander: Now, we let him stew in his own juices for a bit, then we give him the hard brace.
    Anya: Right. What's the status with your guy?
    Buffy: He's not talking yet. We'll get there. How's your guy?
    Anya: The weasel wants to sing. He just needs a tune.
    Xander: He's primed. I'll be pumping him in no time. (Buffy and Anya stare at him) He'll give us information soon.

    Buffy: Better? Good.
    Spike: I don't remember anything.
    Buffy: Well, you were having pretty bad withdrawal.
    Spike: No, not that. I don't remember... what I did.
    Buffy: Nothing?
    Spike: It's all flashes here and there. It's like I'm watching someone else...do it, kill people. I've been losing time for a while now, waking up in strange places.
    Buffy: When did your chip stop working?
    Spike: I wasn't aware that it had, you know. Not 'til now.
    Buffy: And the losing time? How long has that been going on? You got your soul.
    Spike: Figured that's what it was like, it'd been so long since I had one.
    Buffy: How did you do it? How'd you get your soul back?
    Spike: Saw a man about a girl. I went to seek a legend out. Traveled to the other side of the world, made a deal with a demon.
    Buffy: Just like that?
    Spike: No, not just like that. There was a price. There were trials, torture, pain and suffering... of sorts.
    Buffy: Of sorts?
    Spike: Well, it's all relative, isn't it?
    Buffy: Meaning?
    Spike: Meaning I have come to redefine the words pain and suffering since I fell in love with you.
    Buffy: How can you say that?
    Spike: Apparently, I just slaughtered half of Sunnydale, pet. I'm not really worried about being polite anymore.
    Buffy: So, that's what this is about. You feeling sorry for yourself, Spike?
    Spike: I'm feeling honest with myself. You used me.
    Buffy: Yes.
    Spike: You told me that, of course. I never understood it though. Not until now. You hated yourself, and you took it out on me.
    Buffy: You figured that out just now?
    Spike: Soul's not all about moonbeams and pennywhistles, luv. It's about self-loathing. I get it. Had to travel 'round the world, but I understand you now. I understand the violence inside.
    Buffy: Violence? William the Bloody now has insight into violence?
    Spike: Not the same. As bad as I was, as evil and as wretched as I was, I never truly hated myself back then. Not like I do now.

    Xander: How's your face?
    Andrew: OK.
    Xander: Sorry about that. She shouldn't have hit you. Thirsty? Go on.
    Andrew: That chick's psycho.
    Xander: You don't know the half of it. She's a vengeance demon, you know. She's bad news.
    Andrew: This one time I saw her having sex with Spike.
    Xander: She's killed more men than smallpox.
    Andrew: Does smallpox still kill people?
    Xander: She's killed a lot of men. She tortures them. Anyone who incurs her wrath. One time she- No, never mind.
    Andrew: What?
    Xander: It's not important.
    Andrew: What'd she do?
    Xander: Well, there was this one guy- there was this one guy, he, uh, he hurt her real bad, so she paid him back. She killed him, but she did it real slow. See first she stopped his heart, then she replaced it with darkness, then she made him live his life like that. But he still had to go do his job and see his friends and wake up in the morning and go to bed at night, but he had to do it all empty. Without anything to look forward to. Ever.
    Andrew: Sounds bad.
    Xander: Well, then she tore out his intestines and rubbed it in his face and took pictures of it.
    Andrew: Oh, God.
    Xander: But she's downstairs now. Don't worry about her.
    Andrew: What if-
    Xander: See, the thing is, we've all been a little on edge lately. Some bad things have been happening, and the girls- they're all looking for someone to blame.
    Andrew: I didn't do anything-
    Anya: You lying son of a bitch! You're gonna tell us what we need to know, and you're gonna tell us right now!
    Xander: Anya no! Stop it!
    Anya: Get off me, Harris! C'mere, you pipsqueak!
    Andrew: Get her off me! I'll tell you! I'll tell you what you need to know!

    Buffy: He didn't seem to want anything to do with me. I mean, he just pushed me aside and charged at the wall.
    Willow: Are you hurt?
    Buffy: Not- not really.
    Dawn: How is what's his name?
    Xander: He's got a good chunk taken out of his neck, but he'll be all right. Had to tie him up again, but mainly just to keep him from scratching at his bandages.
    Willow: What the hell happened up there?
    Buffy: I-I don't know. Spike and I were having a conversation, and he was fine. I mean, you know, fine as Spike can be. And then I went to check on you guys, and when I got back, it was like he was a completely different person.
    Willow: Different like "William the Bloody" type different?
    Buffy: He was talking to someone. I heard through the door, he was having this conversation. And then he started singing.
    Anya: Maybe it's another musical. A much crappier musical.
    Buffy: He- he mentioned something about a song in the cellar. Uh, a-and he changed there, too- I mean instantly became another person.
    Xander: Trigger.
    Anya: The horse?
    Xander: No, in his head. It's a trigger. It's a brainwashing term. It's how the military makes sleeper agents. They-they brainwash operatives and condition them with a specific trigger, like a song, that makes 'em drastically change at a moment's notice.
    Willow: Is this left over from your days in the Army?
    Xander: No, this is left over from every Army movie I've ever seen. But it makes sense. We've had ghosts or something haunting us, right? Well, what if Spike's ghosts have figured out a way to- not only haunt him- what if they figured out how to- how to control him?
    Buffy: Spike said he's been seeing things since I found him in the basement.
    Willow: So, he gets his soul back, he starts seeing spooky things, and he goes extra-extra-crazy.
    Buffy: This trigger. How do we holster- safety, or- I don't know guns. How do we make it stop?
    Xander: Well, usually the operative completes his task and either blows his head off or steals a submarine.
    Buffy: All right. I need information. If Spike's a bomb, then I need to know how to diffuse him. You two, I wanna know what did this to him. Spirits, ghosts, demons- check the lot of them. Look for anything that could haunt or-or possibly control like this. I need to know exactly what we're dealing with.

    Spike: Buffy, I don't know why.
    Buffy: We think we do. Something's playing you. Some ghost or demon has figured out how to control you. Got the gang researching it right now. Xander has this theory that you're being triggered.
    Spike: Kill me.
    Buffy: What?
    Spike: Buffy, you have to kill me.
    Buffy: You don't understand. When I left the room earlier, I heard you talking to someone-
    Spike: Do you have any idea what I'm capable of?
    Buffy: I was in the cellar with you. I saw what you did.
    Spike: I'm not talking about the cellar. The people in the cellar got off easy. I'm talking about me. Buffy, you have never met the real me.
    Buffy: Believe me, I'm well aware of what you're capable of.
    Spike: No, you got off easy too. Do you know how much blood you can drink from a girl before she'll die? I do. You see, the trick is to drink just enough to know how to damage them just enough so that they'll still cry when you- 'cause it's not worth it if they don't cry.
    Buffy: It's not your fault. You're not the one doing this.
    Spike: I already did it. It's already done. You wanna know what I've done to girls Dawn's age? This is me Buffy. You've got to kill me before I get out.
    Buffy: We can keep you locked up. Keep you here and we'll figure out-
    Spike: Have you ever really asked yourself why you can't do it? Off me? After everything I've done to you, to people around you. It's not love. We both know that.
    Buffy: You fought by my side. You've saved lives. You've helped-
    Spike: Don't do that. Don't rationalize this into some noble act. We both know the truth of it. You like men who hurt you.
    Buffy: No.
    Spike: You need the pain we cause you. You need the hate. You need it to do your job, to be the slayer.
    Buffy: No. I don't hate like that. Not you, or myself. Not anymore. You think you have insight now because your soul's drenched in blood? You don't know me. You don't even know you. Was that you who killed those people in the cellar? Was that you who waited for those girls?
    Spike: There's no one else.
    Buffy: That's not true. Listen to me. You're not alive because of hate or pain. You're alive because I saw you change. Because I saw your penance.
    Spike: (lunges violently at her, but chains hold him back) Window dressing.
    Buffy: Be easier, wouldn't it, it if were an act, but it's not. (walks toward him) You faced the monster inside of you and you fought back. You risked everything to be a better man.
    Spike: Buffy...
    Buffy: And you can be. You are. You may not see it, but I do. I do. I believe in you, Spike.

    Buffy: I know these guys. I fought them before. We aren't being haunted. This isn't some demon. It's all the same thing. Spike's ghosts, the people you guys saw, from beneath us, it's all the same thing. I know what we're up against. The First.

    Spike/The First: You'll have to excuse the spectacle, but I've always been a bit of a sucker for the old classics. Oh, don't look at me that way. I wanted to do this more subtle-like. My Harbingers have a tendency to call attention to themselves. You're the one who couldn't hold his end of the bargain. You're the one who couldn't take care of what's-his-name. You're the one who had to make breakthroughs and learn something about himself. So now, fittingly, you're the one who gets to do the honors.
    Buffy/The First: I have to admit, I'm glad it worked out this way. I was going to bleed Andrew, but you look a lot better with your shirt off. To be honest, I'm getting a little tired of subtle. I think it's about time we brought some authority to our presence. Now, Spike, wanna see what a real vampire looks like?

    ----------
    Story: 9
    Acting: 8
    Writing: 9
    Picture: 10
    Gripping: 8
    My Rank: 9
    ----------
    Total: 8.8
  • Tense, emotional, another accomplishment in a remarkable string of episodes.

    10
    If there's any doubt about Drew Goddard's flawless presence as the newest writer on Buffy's staff, "Never Leave Me" dispells it. Amidst a season whose tension has been upped so dramatically, it's an episode that keeps the emotions subtle and moving and the action breathtaking. That has to do as much with the acting as the writing - Buffy's scene where she finally brings herself to say to Spike that she believes in him is masterfully underplayed by both Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Marsters - the two have so much history and chemisty, a few longing-filled glances get the entire point across. Couple that with Willow, Xander, and Anya doing variations on characters they've seen on tv (Willow as evil to lure Andrew back to the house, Xander and Anya playing good cop/bad cop), and you get moments that are as full of pathos as they are of humor. Many balked that season 7 got slower as Buffy got bossier, but "Never Leave Me" sees Buffy at her strongest and most determined, both about the uncertain fate of the world (how thrilling for her to finally figure out The First is the villain!) and the uncertain future of her friends and reluctant allies. Plus the end of the Watchers Council? The tension of Giles's disappearance growing? Positively unmissable television.
  • The One with the Uber-Vamp

    6.9
    A difficult episode to review as it doesn't really appear that different from the other 5+ episodes around it, "Never Leave Me" has some engaging set-pieces but it's hardly engrossing stuff.

    Buffy continues trying to get through to Spike but this eventually turns boring, only livening up when he finally turns evil. Andrew turns up again and is taken back to the Summers' residence to be questioned about the First and the Seal of Danzalthar. Anya and Xander's good cop-bad-cop routine is hilarious and Anya is really scary as she completely flips out and gets a little too into her routine.

    The action set-piece of the episode is the best moment of the hour. The raid on the house by the Bringers is extremely exciting and watching Buffy use Andrew as a shield is the funniest scene in ages.

    A decent episode, but hardly anything special. Creepy vamp at the end though...
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