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!