OLDER AND FAR AWAY
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.
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.
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'
Upsetting to watch Anya have her panic attack.
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?)
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.
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
Scoobies in bondage:
Scoobies knocked out:
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:
Recurring characters killed: 11
Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara, Joyce, Katrina
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?
Notches on Scooby bedpost:
Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny and 3xDraccy babes?
Buffy: 4 confirmed; Angel, Parker, Riley, Spike. 1 possible, Dracula(?)
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