Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 6 Episode 14

Older and Far Away

4
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 12, 2002 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

8.4
out of 10
Average
443 votes
  • "Older and Far Away" represents an episode with good intentions that just aren't realized very well.

    6.5
    I've scored it the same as "All the Way" because it shares many of that episode's problems: A focus on Dawn that doesn't really develop Dawn much, a plot that's fairly inconsequential, and a large part of screen time that just doesn't pay off in any kind of a meaningful way. Also like "All the Way", there's bits and pieces here that I absolutely love. It's rather unfortunate that the central focus isn't nearly as enjoyable as the surrounding material.



    Another sad fact is that anything following the scrumptious "Dead Things" is going to suffer in comparison. I'm not going to let "Older and Far Away" off the hook because of it though. Since, in theory, its intent is to largely focus on Dawn's issues, that's where I'll start my analysis. Although Buffy had a brief realization in "Dead Things" about her disconnect with Dawn, it's not until this episode where it takes center stage. I have to say that I like the idea of what's presented here and I love the continued follow-up from previous episodes.



    In an early scene, we catch Dawn asking the gang if anyone wants to go shopping with her for Buffy's birthday. The problem is that everyone's too busy to spend time with Dawn. I can't help but sympathize with everyone in this scene. The "adults" are too busy with real life and obligations, which causes Dawn to feel a bit rejected over it. I mean, true, the adults definitely need to attend to their priorities, but someone really needs to go out of their way to give Dawn a little companionship every now and then.



    With Tara never around anymore, Dawn's got no one to give her that little special nugget of attention. I really feel bad for Dawn here, even despite her inability to completely grasp the severity of the situations around her. Dawn explains her feelings out loud to Guidance Counselor Halfrek: "People keep... people have a tendency to go away... and, I miss them. And sometimes... I wish I could just make them Once again, I'm much with the sympathy. But still, that's no excuse for resorting to theft and lying, although I do understand the why.



    Further into the proceedings, Dawn postures that Buffy doesn't understand what it's like to be alone. Clearly she's not thinking hard enough. Manufactured memories or not, "Becoming Pt. 2" anyone? Dawn's being overly selfish here, no doubt about it. The selfishness may be rooted in something genuine, but it's still selfishness. This whole season is a time for her to really begin fully waking up to the adult world and its numerous complexities -- she's a part of it now simply by proxy of her relationship to Buffy and the situation around her.



    As the situation with the plot gets intense, more and more signs point to the fact that their situation of being stuck inside Buffy's house has something to do with Dawn. Eventually it reaches a boiling point when a desperate Anya starts digging through all of Dawn's things. I'm very pleased that Anya discovers all the little trinkets Dawn has stolen from the Magic Box for nearly a year now. This, of all things, would hurt Anya badly. In fact, I'm a bit surprised that Anya's not a lot more angry at her for the theft. When I think it about it some more, though, this is a testament to how much her relationship with Xander has affected her. Although Anya wants retribution, she's certainly not vengeful about it, which actively shows us the growth of Anya as a character.



    Although Halfrek's speech towards the end is a bit overwraught, she's not wrong. No one was noticing Dawn's pain because they were too busy dealing with their own. The episode's title fully manifests itself here: everyone's gotten older and feel much further away both from Dawn and, in reality, each other. This is unfortunately one of the inevitabilities of growing up -- old friends tend to get lives separate from their group, which ends up causing everyone to break apart. It's just a crappy situation all around, although I think just about everyone is a bit sympathetic to Dawn's pain. As Tara points out, "It happens. We all went through The episode ends with Buffy glancing at Dawn, who then throws back a genuinely warm smile. I loved the subtlety of this little moment and how it hints that their relationship, and things in general for Dawn, are going to improve which, more or less, in time they do.



    So, the primary focus of the episode definitely has its moments, but it's all a bit underwhelming. Things get especially rocky when the actual plot kicks in gear. First off, there's the overly hokey demon. Mr. Red Shirt gets stabbed right as expected, which leaves everyone all occupied by a boring plot, with a demon that exists only to prolong the episode and create non-existent tension. The episode tries really hard to play up the fear and claustrophobia, but all it succeeds in doing is making me wonder when we'll get another character moment. With a plot this uninspired, there's got to be some character relevance to back it up. Unfortunately, the episode doesn't have much.



    Although I found several things they did with Dawn inspired, there simply wasn't enough substantive material here to make an entire episode about. It's particularly bad when they go overboard with Dawn's angst. As expressed earlier, I have a lot of sympathy for Dawn's situation, but the way the scene in her bedroom plays out is just awful. Dawn comes off as far too whiny, in an over-the-top kind of way. Dawn's words and MT's acting in the scene are just atrocious. I rarely say that about this show, which makes it particularly stick out when it happens. Even so, I'm not going to let once bad scene spoil an entire episode for me.



    On a more positive note, there's a whole bunch of smaller moments that ended up allowing me keep the '.5' on the '6' that is this episode. I have to say, I just loved Tara in this episode. Everything she said and did made me smile, proud, and/or warm inside. It starts with some good continuity, with Buffy thrilled to see Tara showing up to her birthday. I love their new friendship, which is far stronger now than what they had before. Buffy tells Tara that she's alright at the moment even though she's still not at all better, let alone ready to openly admit her involvement with Spike.



    Continuing the Tara love is when Dawn's gift to Buffy, obviously a stolen one, is shrugged off by Buffy as seemingly nothing special the moment Xander rolls out his gift. Dawn deserved at least a hug and a heartfelt 'thank you' for the gift. When Dawn walks by Tara to shut the door, you can tell Tara can sense Dawn's sadness and you can feel Tara's sympathy for her.



    I nearly fell on the floor in laughter with how Tara treated Spike's delicious excuse for what he was trying to do with Buffy against the wall. "I had a, uh, muscle cramp. Buffy was Tara's barely-restrained-grin reaction is priceless: "A muscle cramp, in your... pants?" Spike looks terrified of her and I'm loving Tara for every moment of it. Tara's response to Spike out in the family room is also amazing, "How's that cramp Spike? Still bothering you? ... Maybe you, uh, wanna put some ice on I'll I can say is: grin.



    During a crucial moment, Anya is trying push Willow into using more powerful magic to get out of their current predicament. Xander, of course, backs Anya up, who does have a point: it is Willow's fault that she has self-control issues and can't use magic responsibly. Saying that now, though, doesn't help the current situation at all and puts Willow in a really awful, unfair situation. What happens next? Well, of course, Tara comes to the rescue and stands up for Willow! I just love Tara altogether in this episode -- she really steals the whole thing away from its intended focus on Dawn and ended up making the episode a frequent joy to watch. I'm very pleased to announce that Tara's really come into her own, and I'll always remember this episode fondly for it.



    One last little bit I found amusing is Anya's attitude towards Dawn. How very condescendingly funny she can be sometimes. This attitude has always remained the same in that she treats Dawn like a very small child. Although Dawn has every right to be completely frustrated at Anya because of this, I can't help but laugh at the way Anya talks. I just love it.



    So, the final verdict on this one is a mixed bag. There's a lot of material I really appreciated and enjoyed, but the poor use of the demon, some plot contrivances, the minimal and somewhat haphazard development of Dawn, and the overall failed attempt at producing any kind of real drama out of the situation just bring it all down. My biggest beef with it is simply that what it focused on wasn't nearly as good as it could've been. On the other hand, there's so much ancillary joy that the episode isn't a complete waste either. In a nutshell, it's a moderately important episode that has its moments but is plagued by a few serious issues.
  • Submarine ep

    8.0
    OLDER AND FAR AWAY



    The Good;

    Everything with Halfrek who I really like for some reason. Clem really comes into his own as a character here for the first time. Tara and Willow start to get back together and I also adore Sophie. Once again contrast Tara standing up to Spike and Anya here with the shy girl in 'Hush', she really has grown tremmendously.



    The Bad;

    Note there's a Sunnydale High Razorbacks pennant behind Halfrek in her office. But Dawn doesn't go to Sunnydale High (yet). The potion that Tara mixes up to try to break the spell looks like she's trying to make a chocolate cake.



    Best line;

    Spike; "I had a muscle cramp, Buffy was helping"

    Tara; "A muscle cramp. In your pants? You might want to put some ice on that"



    Women good/men bad;

    Anya implies that Halfrek has 'daddy issues'



    Jeez!;

    Upsetting to watch Anya have her panic attack.



    Kinky dinky;

    Richard, the handsome guy Xander has set Buffy up with, even Tara thinks he's cute. Dawn not only in leather for the first time but check out her miniskirt, fishnets and knee boots at the party, Joyce's little girl all grown up! (Eliza Dushku always complained that she got a lot of fanmail from guys in prison and couldn't believe that they showed a TV series full of hot teenage girls to incarcerated criminals. You shudder to think what kind of letters MT must have recieved). Spike asks Buffy if she'd like to 'blow out his candle'? Willow's back massager present for Buffy is certain to provide 'Instant gratification for all aches' (anyone else think of Samantha and her 'back massager' from Sex and the City?)



    Captain Subtext;

    Clem also thinks Richard is cute. In many ways he comes to resemble Buffy/Dawn's gay/demon male friend. Tara calls Buffy 'Sweetie'. They also refer to telling everyone their big secret and deciding it's time to 'Come out'. They probably mean Buffy's affair with Spike but what really happened after Buffy collapses into Tara's arms at the end of 'Dead Things'? Might she have jumped on the sapphic bandwagon a few years before Satsu? Taffy anyone?



    Scoobies to the ER;

    Xander cut but Richard is the only one to go to hosptial.



    Missing scenes;

    Reputedly a scene was filmed where Buffy and Dawn run out of the house at the end but I prefer the subtle implication of the ending we have



    Apocalypses; 6



    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; 3



    Scoobies knocked out:

    Buffy: 17

    Giles: 12

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 11

    Will: 8

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1

    Anya;3

    Dawn; 2



    Kills: Buffy kills one demon

    Buffy: 103 vamps, 43 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

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

    Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon

    Will: 6 vamps + 3 demons +1 fawn.

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

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

    Anya: 1 vamp and 1 a demon

    Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons

    Spike; 8 vamps and 4 demons

    Buffybot; 2 vamps

    Tara; 1 demon

    Dawn; 1 vamp



    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 4

    Anya; 1

    Dawn; 1



    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 7

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 4

    Tara; 1

    Dawn;1

    Spike; 1



    Recurring characters killed: 11

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



    Sunnydale deaths;

    95



    Total number of scoobies:

    Xander, Willow, Buffy, 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



    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

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

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 4 confirmed; Angel, Parker, Riley, Spike. 1 possible, Dracula(?)

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Joyce: 1;Giles, 2 possible, Ted and Dracula(?)

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 2;Oz and Tara

    Riley; 3; Buffy, Sandy and unnamed vampwhore

    Spike; 1 Buffy



    Spike; good or bad?



    Dawn in peril; 8



    Dawn the bashful virgin; 6



    Questions and observations;

    Another appalling Buffy birthday, if I was her I'd just hide under the bed all day and have Dawn bring me the occasional cup of tea until midnight. The title is a quote from Empire of the Sun (the book not the band) which Dawn is discussing in class at the beginning of the ep. Xander refers to Children of the Corn, Nic Brendon having acted in one of the sequals. Halfrek refers to vengence demons as 'justice demons' FYI. What does 'Total JD' mean?

    Spike and Halfrek, hmmmm? Question is did Cecilly become Halfrek as Aud became Anyanka? OR was there NEVER a Cecilly, was there only ever Halfrek?

    Subtle but very interesting final scene. Everyone leaves but Buffy and Dawn. They bid their friends goodbye then look at each other and smile. Because although they didn't want to be trapped there's no reason for them to leave because this is their house, this is where they belong together. Dawn wanted Buffy to spend more time with her and now when she has the option to leave she instead chooses to stay with the sister she loves and who loves her in return. Dawn is finally getting Buffy back in soul as well as in body.

    Marks out of 10; 8/10, really like this one

  • Panic House

    6.0

    Older and Far Away-Old and new friends gather at the Summers home for Buffy's twenty-first birthday party and it goes splendidly - at first. Feeling neglected by Buffy and the Scoobys, Dawn's wish to keep people from leaving her is answered by Anya's demon friend Halfrek, who binds the attendees of the party to the house. When Tara tries a spell to free them, she only makes the situation worse by accidentally releasing a demon trapped inside a sword.


    Ehw! It's not that "Older and Far Away" is bad, it certainly had it's moments, but the problem is: It's a Dawn episode. Not that Dawn is a horrible character, it's just her particular arc this season is by far the weakest. Sure, Dawn got a lot of flake from the fanbase during the show's run but I never hated the character. Michelle Trachtenberg is a strong actress for her age and anything the writers gave her, she delivered it well. The fact is, Dawn got the short end of the stick this season as her loneliness/kleptomania arc just doesn't seem as strong or interesting as the rest of the characters this season. It's evident as the best parts of the episode exclude Dawn's plot. Also, I find it hard to believe that Dawn's pain is worse than EVERYONE else's pain! Buffy was just ripped from hell, Willow had a magic addictionetc. Give me a back!


    Anyway, Idefinitelyliked the interaction with the other characters, especially Tara. It's a true testament to how much the character has grown immensely since Season 4. I loved her awkward welcome with Willow, it was so cute with Willow's over-politeness and Tara's nervousness, but I loved the moment where she stood up to Anya when she pushed Willow to use magic to help the situation. This wasn't just a big moment for Willow, it was for Tara as well. She now doesn't back down when situations get chaotic and will stand up for people like they once did for her. I also loved the scene toward the end where Tara really shows how proud of She does that not only for Willow but for Buffy when Spike continues to force himself on Buffy. Tara telling Spike to put some ice on his cramp in his pants was priceless. I also like the small guest characters in the episode like Sophie (who was awkward/borderline anti-social) Richard (who makes a hilarious assumption that Clem obviously doesn't have a skin condition) and Clem himself who just has so much charm despite lookingcreepyas hell. The demon attack moments were intense and I did like the effect of it popping in and off from the walls. But I have to say again, that Dawn's part of in all of this is weak. She comes off whinny and selfish, especially when the gang confronts her is she's behind all this. Sure it's a big assumption but Dawn acting like a brat didn't help matters. I don't blame Buffy for walking away when when Dawn gave her attitude about "caring". Dawn should be the one who should be one caring and supporting her sister during what she's going through. Not that Dawn should have her own problems, but she doesn't seem to be putting things into perspective, but considering she's a teenager, I'll give her a break I guess.


    I loved Halfrek'sappearance toward the end, especially that little moment where her and Spike recognize each other. Nice touch there writers! Of course the moment she realizes she's stuck too is priceless. But in the end, I still feel the episode was uneven, sure there is plot movement with Dawn as the gang discovers her stealing ways and the moments with Anya and Xander were touching, but I still feel "meh" after this episode. Fair but almost forgettable.

  • Older and Far Away

    9.0
    Older and Far Away was a superb episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and this episode continued the tradition of Buffy's Birthday Bash going wrong. This episode touched on a few characters story lines bringing some plots full circle. Dawn's theiving ways are discovered, Willow admits to keeping a few magic supplies, and Buffy is fighting Spikes advances. It was really nice to see Tara again this episode is the begining of her and Willow making up. This episode showed Dawn in her most annoying form, whining about every thing and every one. I see this episode as a spring board to the rest of the season. I can't wait to watch what happens next!!!!!
  • Dawn accidently makes a wish to a vengeance demon, Halfrek and makes everyone at Buffy's 21st birthday party can't leave the house.

    10
    Older And Far Away was a great episode. There was no action this episode because nobody could leave the house but not that's not point. The characters are stuck inside the house and you get to see more of Dawn whining which is usally bad but not in this episode. In this episode Buffy and her friends find out that Dawn has Kleptomania and has been stealing stuff. The great thing about the season was she didn't get caught in the first episode she stole something. This was a long story arc which was cool. You get to see more of Halfrek in this episode which was cool and at the end of the episode she appeared into the room out of no where and couldn't leave was funny. It was a great ending to this episode.
  • "I'm glad you're trapped – how else can I get anyone to spend any time with me?" - Dawn

    8.0
    After last week's dark episode, this is supposed to be a light, jolly installment; another of Buffy's terrible birthdays. But there's a pretty ominous under-current: perhaps the title of this ep should have been Where The Hatred Is. So, Dawn, after being the centre of attention in Season 5, unable to be left alone, fussed over and spoilt, is now expected to be an adult whilst being treated as a child. Willow is on a 12-step plan, Anya and Xander have their grown-up lives, Buffy has her secret lives and Dawn doesn't seem to have any friends of her own age. She has to go shoplifting at the mall on her own. She steals a birthday present for Buffy - the ultimate attention seeking cry for help. Leaving the tag on the leather jacket was only an accident in the realm of the unconscious. Anyway, Buffy gives scant attention to her sister's girl bonding gift (or Willow's one of "instant gratification") and is more interested in Xander's hand carved weapons chest – she prefers her slayer present to her familial gift.

    Dawn may have no age-appropriate friends, but Buffy's circle of chums isn't growing either. The attempt to have a normal birthday with normal people goes wrong once again as Spike and Clem gatecrash, Halfrek's spell is cast and the red demon is released from his sword. But what were Xander and Buffy thinking of anyway – even without the spell/monster of the week, what are outsiders going to make of Xander's choice of present? The guest stars are a pointless addition: Sophie is unfunny comic relief and Richard is merely a Spike foil. His black eye reminds us of the last time Spike encountered the Slayer, but he, fool for love, doesn't seem hold that against her, preferring to hold himself against her. Back-in-black Buffy, despite her insistence that "I was insane to think you could ever just hang out with my friends", still prefers him to cute but gormless Richard, and Spike shows that he is more her kind of man when he helps her slay the red demon, even saving Xander from it.

    The episode begins to drag, yes it is supposed to reflect the boredom of being trapped in the house, trapped with each other, but it feels more flat and lifeless somehow than it needs to be. "We all have places we'd rather be", says Tara, and it starts to feel that way to the viewer also. Tara's snark to Spike is more annoying than spunky and Willow may have spent ages getting ready to see her ex, but she still chooses something dreadful to wear. The contrivance of Halfrek inveigling her way into a guidance counsellor's role is fairly ridiculous as is Buffy's deduction that Dawn made a wish to a "justice demon". The only good thing about this episode is Hallie herself with her agony aunt self righteousness ("the children need me") and PC speak, the nod to the fans as William recognises the woman who once made his heart effulgent, and being cursed by her own curse as her dramatic exit fails. We see the "very embodiment of be careful what you wish for" as the gang turn on Dawn, and now she has got them to herself, she doesn't want them. I'm not sure anyone would want them at this point, their anger at Dawn inadvertently making a wish to Halfrek, their self-righteous disapproval when Willow is woman enough to admit that she still had some magic ingredients left and then their bullying of her when she doesn't want to cast a spell. It's Tara's magic that goes wrong this time, not Willow's. Anya has an attack of claustrophobia and behaves badly whilst the rest of the Scoobs hate being trapped together against their will, like families everywhere. Anya and Xander are stuck together in their engagement, Spike and Buffy in their S&M relationship and Buffy with Dawn. The twin revelations of her sister's kleptomania and that Dawn feels exactly like Buffy - alone whilst surrounded by people - means that when the gang leave, feeling the dewy grass and the stars in the sky, Buffy has to face up to her parenting responsibilities; she can't go out, she has to stay inside with Dawn. All they have is "time, and each other."
  • You'd think she'd know better.

    8.7
    Dawnie, Dawnie, Dawnie. As the little sister to the Slayer and resident on the Hellmouth, haven't you learned that wishing for things causes trouble no matter who you say it to or where?

    I like Clem. He's really cool. I wonder if he and Sophie were hitting it off as they chilled on the couch. You know, if Buffy and Spike weren't doing the seriously nasty, I bet she and Richard really could have hit it off.

    Lol, Cramp. That was freaking awesome, Tara. I salute you! Wow, Dawn really got on my nerves this episode. While I completely understand the need for some desperate attention from adults who have jobs and what not, there really is no need to get snotty about it.
  • Buffy's lamest birthday

    7.4
    Okay out of all of Buffy's birthday's this was the lamest one. Yeah the vengeance demon thing was interesting to an extent but you kind of expected that when Dawn made the wish with the guidance counselor.

    I liked Buffy and Tara in this one though. It was great to see them in a friendship light because you never really got to see them bonding before. Tara herself was incredible in this episode. I loved how she and Willow were almost dancing around each other. I liked that Willow's abuse of magic was brought into the light again. It was amazing to see how far they were coming along and how when Willow admitted to keeping the stuff that she kept they went right back. I loved Tara and Spike she was so funny when making fun of him I loved it.

    Dawn really needed to get over it here. I mean you could tell that Buffy and Dawn weren't spending a whole lot of time together but the last time Buffy offered in "Dead Things" Dawn ran off to hang out with her friend instead. Dawn stealing was really immature and it made me really wanna smack her. Dawn has been calling out for attention ever since the introduction of her character but she seems to need it more than any normal teenage girl.

    This was a pretty good episode but it could have been done a little bit better.
  • Amazing.

    10
    This season has been so great and this ep. is not letting that down I love it. It's great to see Halfrek again and I loved the end when she traped herself in the house and shes like fine the cruse is lifted are you happy lol. Also, it was a great storyline deff. with the demon in the sword that was so awesome i loved it so much.
  • This season is so great. this is a very original episode. and I love Dawn. all the characters were pretty awesome and Tara has grown soo much. everyone also finally noticed what is wrong with Dawn and the great Halfrek comes back.

    10
    Older And Far Away

    This is a really nice and underrated episode. I think it's very original and nicely done. very funny and with full of emotional stuff. I like all the characters in the episode as well. it's really entertaining.

    cut to Buffy going out and Dawn feeling alone. Buffy has to fight a demon and she kills it but it goes in her sword and she takes the sword with her.

    the credits start

    cut to Dawn going to the magic shop and asks the guys to go with her to the mall but they are all busy and Xander invited Tara to the party. cut to Dawn in school and they call her to the guidance office and a woman talks to her and Dawn tells her that she wishes she could stop people from getting away. cut to Buffy's party and she talks to Xander and Anya and she invited a friend Sophie and they invited a guy for her and Anya wants Buffy to get involved. cut to Tara coming in and Buffy is glad and she says Spike isn¡¯t gonna come. then comes Willow down and she has an awkward moment with Tara where they both feel shy.

    cut to Tara going in the kitchen and then comes Spike and his friend Clem. also Xander introduced Richard to Buffy and she is gonna show him where to park his house. Tara and Clem think he's cute but Spike is jealous. cut to Buffy getting her presents and she doesn't give Dawn any attention and then the door bell goes. Sophie says what she can't have and Anya says he friend is better. then Dawn closes the door and Halfrek is outside 'Wish granted'.

    cut to Richard coming to Buffy but she isn't really interested and Spike teases her and touches her but Tara sees it and Spike says its muscle cramp and she asks if it's in his pants. cut to the party and everyone is still playing and nobody is going. cut to everyone in the morning and Richard needs to go to work and Spike tries to make him feel bad and Buffy wants to throw Spike out of the house. then they wanna go but they realise they can't. they all have other places to go and Dawn says because nobody wants to be with her and she goes upstairs and they follow her. they think she did it but she didn't and says she's glad they're trapped because she never gets attention and tells them to get out.

    cut to the gang and the only way to get out is by magic but they don't have stuff except for Willow and Tara does a release spell and the demon comes out of the sword. he attacks Richard and he's injured. cut to night. everyone is freaking out and Anya is very warm. Xander goes to get water and he attacks Xander but they save him. then Buffy talks to Dawn and she says that she feels very alone. cut to Anya saying that Willow has to try now. but Willow is afraid and Tara protects her. Anya says she will do it by herself then. cut to Dawn and Buffy and Dawn tells her about the woman and that she made a wish and Anya goes to Dawn's room and finds all the stole stuff and Buffy remembers Dawn's present. Dawn stole stuff and then they tell Anya bout the wish and she knows it's Halfrek and she says that she's the only one who can brake the spell and when Halfrek comes she gets stabbed.

    the others attack the demon and they attack him and take him into his sword and Buffy brakes it. then Halfrek wakes up and she sees William but they day they don't know each other. Halfrek says that they all deserve it cause nobody had noticed her pain while she could here it. then she ties to leave but she¡¯s trapped now so she lifts the spell and everyone can leave. cut to Willow and Tara and Willow says she used it as a safety net and Tara says she gets it and she's proud because it got bad and she still said no. then everyone leaves and Dawn and Buffy smile and close the door.

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

    Buffy: I'm sorry.
    Dawn: It's okay.
    Buffy: No, we're gonna sit down and have a real dinner. Someday. I hate having to run out in the middle, it's just, you know, there's this thing out there. Definitely non-vampire.
    Dawn: I understand. Well, maybe when you get back we can set up for your party tomorrow.
    Buffy: Yeah. Uh, this could take a while though, I-I wouldn't wait up. Besides, Willow promised to be on birthday patrol, so there's nothing left for us to do.
    Dawn: Right.
    Buffy: Okay, so, finish dinner, homework, and don't stay up too late, all right?
    Dawn: Okay.
    Buffy: Okay.

    Hallfrek: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. Just a follow-up after your ... your loss. And since I'm new here, I thought it would give us a chance to know each other.
    Dawn: Great.
    Hallfrek So, I've been looking through your file and, um ... your grades have slipped a little.
    Dawn: I have really hard classes this quarter.
    Hallfrek Yeah, still. Teachers say that you seem a little distracted lately.
    Dawn: I'm not. I-I'm fine.
    Hallfrek Okay. It's just, you know, I know it must seem weird, talking to a stranger about stuff, but, um ... I want you to know that if something's going on, something's up, my job ... the most important part of my job ... is looking out for you.
    Dawn: I'm really okay.
    Hallfrek I know there's been ... a lot of loss.
    Dawn: Yeah. Kinda. -I mean, yes. People keep ... people have a tendency to go away ... and, I miss them. And sometimes ... I wish I could just make them stop. Going away.

    Willow: Hey.
    Tara: Hey.
    Willow: Hey. How are you?
    Tara: Fine, thanks, I'm ... I'm fine. I, how are you?
    Willow: Great! I mean... Fine. I'm, I'm ... finey McFine. Fine.
    Tara: Y-you look...
    Willow: Thanks.
    Tara: I mean ... great.
    Willow: Thanks. You do too. Is that a new-
    Tara: Oh, yeah.
    Willow: It's nice.
    Tara: Thanks. I-I'm gonna get something to drink.
    Willow: Oh, yeah, great. You should. You don't wanna get thirsty.

    Tara: I don't know. He seemed ... cute. W-was he cute? I mean, I'm not a very good judge, but... I think he seemed cute.
    Clem: I think he seemed cute, yeah.

    Dawn: If we get Buffy, can, can she start on opening the presents? It's been enough time, hasn't it?
    Anya: Not yet, sweetie.
    Xander: I think Buffy's busy right now.
    Anya: Buffy's making a new friend. A grown-up friend.
    Dawn: What, you mean the guy you invited to set her up with?
    Anya: Nothing.
    Dawn: It's not like I don't understand why you invited him. I was there, remember? I can hear you when I'm in the room, you know? I do understand these things.
    Anya: Yes you do!
    Dawn: You know I'm in high school, right?
    Anya: Yes you are!

    Buffy: Welcome! Uh, we're somewhere between, uh, presents and cake. There is gonna be cake eventually, right?
    Sophie: Hey. Uh, my mom told me to say thank you right away, 'cause, otherwise I usually forget. So, thank you. And, also, um, I can't have any, any chocolate, or, or peanuts or egg yolks.
    Anya: Is this the friend you brought from work?
    Buffy: Yes.
    Sophie: A-and sometimes dairy.
    Buffy: No problem.
    Anya: Our friend is better.

    Spike: Ooh, Buffy. Can I get you a soda pop? I think I'm in looove.
    Buffy: Stop it. Someone's gonna see.
    Spike: Mm-hmm. I had ... a ... muscle cramp. Buffy was, uh, helping.
    Tara: A muscle cramp? In your ... pants?
    Spike: What, it's a thing.
    Tara: Right.

    Spike: Must be some late-night activities to keep us busy till morning.
    Tara: How's that cramp, Spike? Still bothering you?
    Spike: What? Oh. Yeah.
    Tara: Maybe you, uh, wanna put some ice on it.

    Buffy: Dawn?
    Dawn: What?
    Buffy: Did you do something?
    Dawn: Me?
    Tara: Do you know something? 'Cause we want you to feel like you can tell us.
    Dawn: What would I know?
    Willow: Look, we're not accusing you of anything, it's just ... you were kind of taking it personal down there.
    Dawn: Oh. Okay. So you've all just decided that somehow I'm responsible. Great. Here's me baskin' in the love.
    Xander: No, it's just, you know, you're upset 'cause we all wanna leave. And now we can't leave. Only thing missing is a cornfield. There ... there isn't a cornfield, is there?
    Buffy: Dawnie, it's okay. You know, we're not gonna be mad.
    Dawn: Yeah, only I didn't do anything!
    Willow: You sure?
    Dawn: You want me to ask my other self?
    Buffy: Dawn, we're just trying to figure out what's going on.
    Dawn: Figure it out yourself. I'm done being talked to like a kid.
    Xander: Well, 'cause you know, sometimes we do something that seems like a good idea at the time, like, say, invoke the power of a musical amulet? And it turns out, you know, not so much.
    Dawn: God! I didn't do anything! I wish I had. I'm glad you're trapped. How else can I get anybody to spend any time with me?
    Buffy: Dawn. If you want us to spend time with you-
    Dawn: I don't. Get out. Get out, get out, get out!

    Anya: I think she's possessed.
    Xander: She's a teenager.

    Spike: So, you ever think about not celebrating a birthday? Just to try it, I mean.

    Buffy: It's getting kinda scary. You okay?
    Dawn: Do you care?
    Buffy: Fine. Stay with Spike.
    Dawn: It's not like I meant for this to happen.
    Buffy: I never said that you did.
    Dawn: I didn't want this.
    Buffy: What did you want?
    Dawn: Nothing.
    Buffy: Dawn, come on.
    Dawn: No. You don't know! You have this thing you do. You have all these friends. You have no idea what it's like.
    Buffy: What are you talking about? I don't know what, what-
    Dawn: Being alone!
    Buffy: You're not alone!
    Dawn: Then why do I feel like this?

    Tara: I'd say we do another spell, but I, I think we've tried everything.
    Anya: That¡¯s not entirely true ¡¦ Not exactly. We're sitting here with an incredibly powerful witch ... much more powerful than you, Tara, I'm sorry ... only no one seems willing to say it.
    Willow: I can't.
    Anya: No, see, that's not exactly true either. Not can't, won't.
    Willow: You don't know how much I hate this. I don't know if there's even ... anything I could do.
    Anya: Yes ... and a good way to find out is to sit around and try nothing. That was sarcasm, by the way.
    Spike: Look-
    Willow: It's dangerous.
    Anya: And so is all of us dying!
    Xander: Will ... look, I don't wanna gang up on you ... but Anya kinda has a point. We brought you back from it once. We're all here, it's just one little spell, whatever happens, we can bring you back again.
    Willow: No. I can't. If I start, I ... I might not be able to stop.
    Anya: And whose fault is that? You know, if you hadn't gotten so much of this in your system in the first place-
    Tara: Hey! You're gonna back off! She said no, and that's it. You're not gonna make her do something that she doesn't want to. And if you try... You're gonna have to go through me first. Understood?

    Anya: Her pendant! Get her pendant!
    Halfrek: There will be no touching of the pendant. What? Did you think I'd be stopped by a sword in the chest? Flesh wound. Honestly, Anyanka, you used to know better.
    Anya: How could you? Why would you do this?
    Halfrek: I told you I was going to take care of some business while I was here in town.
    Anya: Yeah, but cursing us? Some of them are in the wedding party.
    Halfrek: I just go where I'm- William?
    Spike: Hey, wait a minute.
    Buffy: You guys know each other?
    Halfrek: Uh, no. No.
    Spike: Not really.
    Tara: I thought vengeance demons only punished men who wronged women.
    Halfrek: Oh, that was Anya's little raison d'‚Ye. Most of us try to be a little more well-rounded. And actually, we prefer 'justice demon.' Okay? FYI.
    Anya: Well-rounded, huh? Is that how you explain your thing for bad parents?
    Halfrek: Oh, it's not a thing. The children need me.
    Anya: Hmm! Daddy issues.
    Halfrek: Sling all the little barbs at me that you want, Anyanka, it doesn't change the fact that this girl was in pain, and none of you could hear it. I could hear her crying out everywhere I went in this town. It was unbearable. And none of you knew. You people deserve to be cursed. Enjoy your time together. From now on ... all you have is time. Time ... and each other. Good luck! Wait ... Wait. Time, and each other.
    Anya: It's the curse, Hallie.
    Halfrek: Oh, for crying out loud. Fine, the curse is lifted! We can all leave now! ... Damn it.

    Willow: Thanks ... for before. And, and for taking this stuff with you.
    Tara: No problem.
    Willow: Just so you know, I-I was never ... gonna use it. I mean, not really, I ... I just kept it like a safety net. 'Cause ... there was always this ... thing in the back of my head. This, you know, voice, saying, like, 'what if things get bad, I mean really bad? And what if you can't handle it?' A-and it made me panic, so ... that's why I kept a couple of things. I ... kept them so I-I didn't have to think about it, so I could focus on ... on getting better.
    Tara: I get it. I-I really do. But it's time to work without the net, Will. You know, I don't know if you noticed, but it actually did get bad in there. Really bad, and ... and you still said no.

    ----------
    Story: 10
    Acting: 10
    Writing: 10
    Picture: 10
    Gripping: 10
    My Rank: 10
    ----------
    Total: 10
  • This episode shows the way that people need to get along in a trapped house.

    8.4
    I really like this episode.
    It shows the bonds between family and friends and how no one is really looking after Dawn when they all say what they need to be doing or what else they would rather be doing.
    It also shows the consequences of telling a stranger about things that bother you no matter how innocent it may seem.
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