Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 7 Episode 5

Selfless

3
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 22, 2002 on The WB
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
539 votes
26

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Anya grants a young woman's wish, and the violent and deadly act of vengeance leaves everyone stunned. Buffy must put aside her feelings for her friend and take action before more people die.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Season 7 does a great job using six years of character development to define the actions that are taken in the critical situations that arise in it.

    10
    The final scene of the episode provides us with the perfect epilogue to this big moment in Anya's life. Xander, trying to provide her some amount of comfort, tells her "Whatever's between us, it doesn't matter. You shouldn't be alone in Anya, finally understanding her major character flaw, sets the record straight: "Yes, I should. My whole life, I've just clung to whatever came Still, she worries, "Xander? What if I'm really nobody?" He simply replies, "Don't be a Anya asks, "I'm a dope?" Xander says, Then Anya, really getting it now, responds with not only the final line of the episode, but with the first building block of her new, own, identity: "That's a Yes, Anya, indeed it is. If I were forced to pick one word to describe what I thought of this episode, it'd bemoreless
  • Anya's story

    10
    SELFLESS



    The Good;

    Lovely to see Anya singing in her gorgeous wedding dress again. Great scenes between Anya and Halfrek, wonderful Swedish scenes and a terrific ending. Also like Buffy's busy school day.



    The Bad;

    ?



    Best line;

    Villager; "Pelt him with fruits and various meats!"



    Women good/men bad;

    D'Hoffryn kills Halfrek to spite Anya, almost like killing one of his daughters. What the Frat boys do to the girl is horrible but doesn't warrant having your heart torn out.



    Jeez!;

    Frat boys with their hearts ripped out! Not the ep for you if you're arachnaphobic (we know Willow is from 'Nightmares' but she appears to keep it in check)



    Kinky dinky;

    Love Will's miniskirt and booties, you forget what a hot momma-yomma she can be sometimes! Buffy comments that Anya 'boned a troll' whilst Anya refers to the 'sweaty' part of a relationship.



    Captain Subtext;

    Xander refers to himself as 'giddy' which even Willow comments isn't a very masculine term.



    Guantanamo Bay;

    Buffy is prepared to kill Anya for the greater good, Xander doesn't want to. Buffy makes a good point that Spike, Angelus, The Master etc never chose to be evil, Anya chose to become a vengence demon once again and poses an ongoing threat to humanity. Also do we doubt that Xander and certainly Giles would have killed Angelus in season 2 if they could have?



    Missing scenes;

    I would love to have seen the scene where D'Hoffryn looks at the slaughtered frat boys and says someone should phone Maxim and cancel 12 subscriptions, perhaps a comment on the Buffy/Angel girl's tendency to strip off and pose for that particular magazine seemingly at the drop of a hat (or a large cheque/free publicity for their upcoming projects?). Also interesting on the commentary is that they wanted Halfrek to appear to Anya in 'Conversations with Dead People'.



    Apocalypses; 7,



    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 4

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 2

    Dawn; 4



    Scoobies knocked out: yep, Xander

    Buffy: 19

    Giles: 12

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 15

    Will: 8

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1

    Anya;5

    Dawn; 4

    Tara; 1



    Kills: demon spider for Buffy

    Buffy: 109 vamps, 61 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+1 human.

    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 6 demons

    Buffybot; 2 vamps

    Tara; 1 demon

    Dawn; 1 vamp + 1 demon



    Scoobies go evil: Anya does although she's not technically a Scooby at this point

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 4

    Anya; 1

    Dawn; 1

    Buffy; 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: Halfrek but she's evil so she doesn't count-12

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



    Sunnydale deaths; 12 frat boys dead but alive again by the end of the ep

    99



    Total number of scoobies: 4,

    Xander, Buffy, Dawn, Willow



    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?

    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; 2 Buffy and Anya

    Anya; 2 Spike and Xander



    Dawn in peril; 12



    Dawn the bashful virgin; 9



    What the fanficcers thought;

    Read a bizarre one once called Web of Desire where Buffy and Xander are captured by the demon spider and Buffy get's impregnated by it (which is normally Cordy's job?). But in the follow up story they both escape after Buffy beguiles the spider with her feminine wiles and strangles it with it's own web because SHE's the Black Widow, she mates and then she kills (she certainly did with Angel!). You know what they say about the female of the species?

    Also a much funnier one is where Anyanka's bunny fear stems from her cursing an unfaithful man to 'Go like a bunny forever' whereupon he is turned into a killer rabbit which goes on to attack Gabrielle in the Xena ep 'In sickness and in hell' and takes on the Monty Python's Knights of the Round table before being finished off by the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch!



    Questions and observations;

    Very little Dawn in this one (plenty of her next ep), she only has one scene but it's Anya's ep so that's ok. A wonderful tour de force showing us all how much we've learned to love and care about Anya who was introduced as a one-note character 4 years back but who is now a regular and so deserves to be! Especially love her little vengful stare when she first meets D'Hoffryn.

    Buffy still doesn't know about Xander's lie in Becoming pt2, another point against Normal Again being true but you wonder will he ever really pay for what he did? Dawn's advice to Willow about fitting in is reminiscent to that given to Bart by Homer Simpson. It never occured to me until this ep but much like the end titles for season 6 having the Buffybot at the end this season actually has the First-as-Buffy.

    Unfortunately the last we'll ever see of D'Hoffryn or Halfrek. Anya comments she's good with math which is weird as we heard that she was failing it in season 3 (maybe running the Magic Shop improved it?). Anya's invented surname is Jenkins, did we know that before? A vengence demon's 'soul' is referred to? The final scene is very reminiscent of the final bit 'The Harsh Light of Day'.

    Marks out of 10; 10/10 first of the season



    moreless
  • The History of Aud

    9.0
    Selfless-Anya grants a young woman's wish, and the violent and deadly act of vengeance leaves everyone stunned. Buffy must put aside her feelings for her friend and take action before more people die.

    Anya, at this point, has become one of the most beloved characters of the series. Since her debut in Season 3's "The Wish", we've seen Anya evolve from a one off demon of the week to a comic foil for Xander to anintegral part of the Scooby Gang to here, an woman who finally realizes that she needs to form her own identity and do what's right. Emma Caulfield is truly a gifted actress who we've seen deliver some of the series' funniest moments as well as some of it's most heart-breaking ("The Body"). In an episode that explores Anya's 1000+ year history as well as her internal struggle to find her true self, she gives possibly her best performance yet! You feel for Anya deeply, even after her latestvengeancespell caused the death over a dozen innocent people, Anya is guilt andsadnessover what she did reminds the audience that even being a demon again, she's still Anya. She got a taste of humanity and a part of that she remains inside of her. You just can't help but route for Anya to pull through and find the way out of her situation, especially when the others find out what she did.

    One of my favorite scenes from the episode isBuffy, Xander and Willow. From the actors' performances to their point of views on the situation, the scene was exceptional. I also loved the reference back to "Becoming, Part II" and how Buffy was willing to sacrifice her own personal ties with Angel to save the world.Buffy's point was very understandable, Anya crossed the line and she has to do what a slayer is needed to do. Xander of course still loves Anya and wants to help her like he did with Willow, even though Willow is human and Anya is a demon, so there's really no point.Then you have the "Kick his a$$" moment being brought back up after all these years and Willow's reaction was priceless! It just shows how much the writers of Buffy really pay attention to their continuity, considering most shows in their genre (like Smallville, especially Charmed) almost forget or retconn previously established events. In fact, this episode was so full of continuity and references to the past events discussed, it made the episode even more enjoyable and fascinating. From Willow using the summoning talisman D'Hoffryn gave her in "Something Blue" to Olaf and how Anya turned him into a Troll, this was all brilliantly revisited and interwoven into the story. The flashbacks from the old fashion cinema style of Anya's 9th century humble beginnings to her early 20th century chaos ridden chat with Halfrek to her never before seen musical number from "Once More, With Feeling" were all masterfully done as well. We even find out how her infamous bunny phobia began!

    One moment I also love and find so brilliantly edited was Buffy and Spike in the basement. What seems to be a very touching scene between Spike and Buffy, turns out to be the First as Buffy once again as the real Buffy confronts Spike soon after. It's a scene that literally gets me everytime and I forget it's not really Buffy at the start of that scene. Anyway, the final confrontation between Anya and Buffy is tense, with good fight choreography and quick flash editing that was really effective when you see Anya impaled by Buffy's sword. I also loved D'Hoffryn in this episode and how he pretty much owns everyone during the last few moments of the episode. Only seen in small doses in priorepisodes, he makes for amenacing,formidablevillain here and the fact he kills Halfrek to make Anya feel even more guilty and ashamed of herself is just plain cruel. With Anya once again human now, the episode ends with a touching scene between Xander and Anya. The beginning of their healing and rebuilding their relationship, Anya and Xander come to terms with Anya's identity, coming to terms with who she is now. It's a pivotal moment for Anya that will continue to evolve her character until her heroic demise in the series finale. All and All, "Selfless" is a superb look into all things Anya. Showing a deeply thought out and well developed character, who after 10 centuries of vengeance and humanity, is still growing and changing. Amazing!moreless
  • "When our friends go all crazy and start killing people, we help them" - Xander

    10
    Anya finally gets a flashback episode and like Becoming (I) and Fool for Love, we see the things and people that made her what and who she is, and what brought her to be washing blood off of her hands, Lady MacBeth style, in a frathouse bathroom.



    In Anya's flashback, instead of Darla, Dru and Buffy, or Cecily, Dru and the Slayers, we have Olaf, D'Hoffryn and Xander. The latter may think that Anya re-vengeanced because "she was hurt and she just turned back to what she knew", but he doesn't realise how far back her vengeance went, how long it was her and what she gave up to be with Xander and to attempt to be human. Anya started off as Aud, a sweet girl who wanted nothing more to tend to her husband, played by Jerry the ER Receptionist, bringing him mead and giving out rabbits to the townsfolk "for goodwill and the sense of accomplishment that stems from selflessly giving of yourself to others." We learn where Anya's literal mode of speech comes from (Sweden), jealousy (her husband cheated on her with a bar-matron), and her fear of bunnies seems to stem from associating them with her husband's infidelity and perhaps even her transformation from Aud to Anyanka. We switch from scratchy sepia Bergman-esque life to Technicolor Hollywood (in English) as D'Hoffryn introduces her to the demon sorority. D'H thinks Anyanka is her true self but we know some part of her is still Aud: witness her attempts to persuade herself that the frat boys "got what they deserved" (one wonders what Anya was doing in the frathouse anyway; does she hang around there trying to catch one of them in a date-rape?).



    Due to Xander's betrayal, Anya can no longer hang with the humans, so she has to fit back into the demon clan. Halfrek is congratulatory: "Anyanka is back to her old self again", but we remain unsure as to what Anya's true self is. In the third flashback, as St Petersburg burns, we discover that Hallie and Anya, sitting at a feast in their blood-stained gloves, were "somewhat responsible" for the failed Bolshevik uprising of 1905, that Anya has gone from "goodwill" to being a communist and that her identity is now tied up in her demon life: "Vengeance is what I do. I don't need anything else. Vengeance is what I am". Of course, by the final flashback we see that she has returned to her old Aud self, covering Xander with a blanket as she dreams of nothing more than being "his missus". "Who am I?" She asks. "I've found my guy". She lives through Xander, the man who has already got his name (even if one of them is Lavelle) which "he carries with pride". Naming is very important in this episode. Anya claims her maiden name was "lame-ass" and "made-up". By being Mrs Harris, she will finally have a name that she thinks of as her own, even though it is somebody else's. D'Hoffryn renames her Anyanka, but Anya (also what Xander claims she is called) is what she has become, neither fish nor flesh, human or demon. The parallels between Anya and Spike have been running for some time (and will continue to the series finale); they both were both hurt by love and both turned by a demon. They changed their names, their personalities, their lives. But now, both he and Anya want to repent, to redeem themselves; they are both now finding their way in the world, unsure in their own centuries-old skin. Willow too is linked with Anya. Whilst Xander wants to save Anya and Buffy wants to kill her, Willow uses magic and tries to get D'H to intervene; she has gone from disliking Anya to empathising with her, she too is struggling with the dark arts. She may be back to being the good college co-ed, but she still goes black and b*tchy when she has to cast a spell to quell (the very badly CGI-d) spider-demon. Buffy quickly kills the spider-demon, but it is not the real big bad of the episode.

    There is no saving (or killing) of Anya, she will have to do that herself. The gang's arrogance in dealing with her (Xander believes he can save everyone by "talking with his mouth", Buffy with her strength, Willow with magicks) doesn't help her at all. She could easily transport herself away from the frathouse, but she chooses to stay and fight, knowing she is no match for the Slayer, it's a suicidal gesture. "Stop trying to save me, Xander", she tells him.



    Meanwhile, another person waiting to be saved is visited by the first evil (in white!) who is everything Spike wants Buffy to be – tender, forgiving, conciliatory, whereas when she does turn up (in black!), she is less than affectionate. Spike needed a soul to feel remorse, whereas Anya is already feeling it, demon or no demon. Xander is right when he points out that Buffy won't kill demons she's "boning". However, we see a little link between the demon and the demon-fighter – Anya was judge, jury and executioner on the fratboys, Buffy states that: "I am the law". Both are wrong. Buffy's statement isn't the only reference to the past (Faith made a similar comment), we see a lovely fan-centred moment as Buffy reminds us that Xander failed to pass onto her that Willow was going to cast a spell to "cure" Angel. Her "the slayer is always cut off" speech foreshadows Buffy's alienation and overly wrought sense of responsibility towards the end of the series and I think there is a little omen re: Xander's future injury as the spider-demon strikes him across his eye. Later on, as D'Hoffryn repeats the catchphrase of the season: Beneath you it devours", he too has a hints to the future - that self-destructive Anya will find the peace-in-death that she desires.



    In the flashback-to-Once-More-With-Feeling song, Anya states that she has "No need to cover up my heart", triply ironic as firstly, the spider demon ripped out the fratboys' hearts, secondly, everything she thought about men came true, and finally because as she and Buffy fight, she is stabbed through her heart (which is, as we know, no way to kill a vengeance demon). We have two unfinished statements; in the song as Anya, wedding-attired, throws open the balcony windows to proclaim her joy to the world, she sings: "I will be...." We immediately switch back to the present day and the silence as we see Anya pinned and pierced. What will she be? Whatever she intended to sing, it is irrelevant now. Everything that happened in Anya's life led to this moment. The other unfinished sentence also occurs in this scene as Anya rages at Buffy: "...or is this like one of your little pop-culture references I don't get, 'cos I'm a vengeance - " When she awakens from the stabbing, she is no longer a demon, just as when she cast the troll spell, she was no longer human, even though the actual transformation has and had yet to take place. In her desire to wash her hands clean, she begs D'H to undo the spell, willing to "selflessly give" of herself to save the fratboys, whom she earlier said "deserved it". This is not because Buffy has taught her a lesson, but because she knows what's right and wrong.



    Unfortunately, D'H will "never go for the kill when [he] can go for the pain" and he murders Halfrek in place of Anya. We see that Anya's penalty is not death but more torment, and we see that it is not Buffy's place to hand out retribution, that comes from her father figure, the man who created her. The punishment fits the crime as Hallie immolates and Anya has to live with this as well as everything that she's done. We see the terrible power of taking wishes literally; Anya asks D'H why he did this and he replies: "Because you wished it". What people want in anger isn't what they want - the girl who had her heart metaphorically ripped out wanted to "take it back", just as Anya did.



    Despite being over a thousand years old, Anya hasn't found her true path, she admits that "My whole life I've just clung to whatever came along". She is truly self-less. She has come full circle, but still doesn't know who she is. Eleven hundred years isn't enough to examine a life. At the end of the ep as Xander is still trying to save her, there is a brilliant BTVS moment as, echoing the scene in The Harsh Light of Day when she, Buffy and Harmony all walked away from their disappointing lovers, Anya and Xander stumble away from each other in opposite directions, she goes off alone, no rabbits, no men, no friends, no job, no socio-political creeds to sustain her, she is "just lately Anya".moreless
  • The One with Aud

    7.4
    Anya has always intrigued me. Even though she has been around since season three, there are a lot of things in her past which we had not yet discovered. How did she become a vengeance demon? How did she meet Olaf and D'Hoffryn? But most importantly... What's up with the bunny fear??!!!?



    This episode reveals the answers to all of these questions. "Selfless" has Anya becoming deeply remorseful after killing an entire fraternity party. Wracked with guilt, she becomes depressed and we see her past through flashbacks. Meanwhile, Buffy wants to kill Anya for what she has done, despite Xander's objections, and goes to end Anya's killing spree once and for all.



    Emma Caulfield IS this episode. Underused for most of her time on Buffy, she rarely gets the chance to show how brilliant an actress she really is. As Anya, she has managed to convey so many different character traits, successfully making her one of the best-loved characters in Buffy history.



    Some other good points: the spider demons were extremely cool despite some dodgy CGI, it was nice seeing Olaf and D'Hoffryn return and Halfrek's death was very explosive. Plus, any episode which features a hilarious flashback to the events of "Once More, with Feeling" is good in my book. The bad points: I didn't like Buffy at all in this episode. She seemed extremely arrogant throughout and her sudden decision to kill Anya seemed pointless and cruel. She did everything she could to save Willow from the dark side last season but as soon as Anya slips up, she completely ignores the pleas of one of her best friends and goes off to kill her anyway. Thankfully, Anya can easily survive some measly stab wound.



    All-in-all, "Selfless" is a phenomenal episode with plenty of fun action scenes and some brilliant flashbacks. Perfect.moreless
Marti Noxon

Marti Noxon

Parking Ticket Woman (uncredited)

Guest Star

Abraham Benrubi

Abraham Benrubi

Olaf

Guest Star

Andy Umberger

Andy Umberger

D'Hoffryn

Guest Star

Kali Rocha

Kali Rocha

Halfrek

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (15)

    • The Dragonfly tattoo on Sarah's lower back can be seen as Buffy stands back up after D'Hoffryn's arrival.

    • Buffy holds her sword over her head as Anya is lying on the floor. As the scene changes to Xander tackling Buffy suddenly she is holding the sword straight down pointing at Anya.

    • In the St. Petersburg scene Halfrek's glass is on the table as Anya is talking. The shot changes as Halfrek asks Anya what she wants to do with the rest of the evening and suddenly Halfrek's glass is being held above the table.

    • Anya is similar to Angel in that both started out as humans with their first names being revealed but their last names being unrevealed (Aud, Liam), became demons for a long time with a different name given to them (Anyanka, Angelus), then became good again and shortened their demon name (Anya, Angel).

    • In "The Wish," we saw that crushing a vengeance demon's pendant both removes her curse and restores her humanity. This is sadly not an option for Anya in this episode because it wouldn't bring the boys back to life. The breaking of the pendant would just undo the curse, in this case un-summon the spider demon that Buffy already had killed. In the episode "Older and far away," the undoing of Halfrek's curse sets the gang free from the house but doesn't heal Buffy's wounded date, and the same thing would have happened here.

    • This is writer Drew Goddard's first ever produced television script.

    • The language Aud and Olav are speaking (or at least trying to speak) to each other is Swedish. It is, however, almost impossible for a Swedish person to understand it, as the melody, pronunciation and emphasis are wrong.

    • As we know from the musical episode (Once More With Feeling) and in earlier episodes Anya tends to despise bunnies and believes that they are evil. When she had the name of "Aud" and lived with Olaf, she had many bunnies living in their house. Apparently she used to like them when she was Aud but the fact that Olaf cheated on her might attribute to the fact that she hates bunnies now.

    • In the flashback to the song "Mrs" Anya says she's good at math but in Season 3 Dopplegangland while ranting to D'Hoffryn about being mortal she says she's flunking (failing) math.

    • This episode suggests that Willow is still in possession of the magical talisman from D'Hoffryn, that she recieved in 4x9. But, in 6x11, Buffy and Dawn remove everything that even resembles a magical trinket from Willow's possession (including candles). All Willow has left is the small package of magical items that she kept as a 'safety net' (used in 6x14). Would Willow have deemed a talisman that's only purpose was to summon a vengeance demon that important as to hide it with the rest of her stash?

    • When D'Hoffrin is delivering the "Abercrombie and Fitch catalog" line, his very modern-looking sneakers can be seen under his robe. I suppose he could just be changing with the times but the sneakers did seem a little out of place.

    • During the Musical flashback scene - "Mrs" - Anya has her longer blond hair that she had especially done for the wedding ("Hells Bells", season 6). However, in the episode they flash back to, "Once More with Feeling", Anya's hair was actually light brown and didn't go lighter until a couple of episodes down the track

    • In the musical flashback, Anya hears the neighbors singing about mustard on the husband's shirt. But in "Once More With Feeling", after the "Theory" song, Anya is the one to ask if the Scoobies were the only ones singing (whereupon Buffy opens the shop door to hear how "they got the mustard out!") She should have remembered from the previous night that others were being affected.

    • Anya's unusual bluntness has always been attributed to the fact she was a demon for 1000 years, but we see in this episode that she's always been blunt and hard to get along with.

    • When Anya is singing and she is on Xander's lap spinning around you can see a circle around the chair where stage people most likely are spinning it.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Rachel: We were going to a party, everybody was going to be there. But it was a game, he broke up with me in front of everyone. They started laughing at me, and I said "Just once, I wish you all could feel what it's like to have your hearts ripped out!"

    • (Willow casts a spell to protect herself from a spider demon while the girl behind her is sobbing in fear, she turns around with her eyes black)
      Willow: Oh for God's sake, stop your whimpering now!

    • Aud: What would I have to do?
      D'Hoffryn: What you do best: help wronged women punish evil men.
      Aud: (Intrigued) Vengeance...
      D'Hoffryn: But only to those who deserve it.
      Aud: (Grimly) They all deserve it!
      D'Hoffryn: That's where I was going with that, yeah.

    • D'Hoffryn: The flaying of Warren Mears? Oh, truly inspired. That was water-cooler vengeance. Lloyd has a sketch of it on his wall.

    • Villager: (After Olaf has been turned into a troll) Run! Hide your babies and your beadwork!

    • Buffy: It is always different! It's always complicated. And at some point, someone has to draw the line, and that is always going to be me! You get down on me for cutting myself off, but in the end the Slayer is always cut off. There's no mystical guidebook, no all-knowing council. Human rules don't apply! There's only me. I am the law.
      Xander: There has to be another way.
      Buffy: Then please find it.

    • Anya: Oh uh ummm, I have a new boyfriend now, he lives here.
      Willow: Thats great.
      Anya: Yeah, we just had lots and lots of sex.
      Willow: OK?

    • Anyanka: The workers will overthrow absolutism and lead the proletariat to a victorious communist revolution, resulting in socio-economic paradise on earth. It's common sense, really.

    • Anyanka: I had forgotten how much a sword through the chest hurts.

    • D'Hoffryn: It looks like someone slaughtered an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog!

    • Villager: Throw fruits and various meats at him.

    • Buffy: I have to kill Anya.

    • (Buffy and Anyanka fight)
      Anya: Are there any of your friends you haven't tried to kill?

  • NOTES (21)

    • Joss Whedon wanted the first "Anya" scene in 880 to be shot like a really bad movie. The director was able to throw all the rules out the window.

    • The name "Aud" was found during research. There was a viking king who was named "Olaf" and he had a wife named "Aud". Apparently she was known for her sense of humor and ability to manage money well.

    • The first scene after the credits, that is spoken in swedish, was originally going to be dubbed over in english so that the actors wouldn't have to learn everything word for word. However, the two actors, Emma Caulfield and Abraham Benrubi, went ahead and learned 5 pages of Swedish. The director thought that it was so funny listening to them speak that they no longer wanted it to be dubbed over.

    • The "dead frat boys" scene and story line was the idea of creator Joss Whedon.

    • This episode is eleventh in Joss Whedon's list of his top ten favorite episodes (which is more of a top twelve episode list) according to his personal letter included in the Australian Chosen Collection Box-set. The episodes on this top "ten" list are not ranked, but are put in order of which episode aired first.

    • Sarah Michelle Gellar was only available for three days of this episode's shoot due to her wedding to Freddie Prinze Jr.

    • Buffy has not changed her views in declaring that she is the law. When it comes to the demon world, she alone has the power to make decisions because she is the slayer and there's only one (in theory). In Season 3, Faith thinks that she has the right to put herself above the law in the HUMAN world, which Buffy disagrees with. Since Anya is a demon now, the laws of the human world do not pertain to her, so it is up to Buffy to "be the law."

    • Drew Goddard wanted to call the episode, appropriately enough, "Anya."

    • According to the DVD commentary the Russia (1905) scene was initially set to take place during the Renaissance - but that was changed, so it wouldn't interfere with the Halfrek/Cecily connection.

    • The flashback to 'Once More with Feeling' is similar to the placement of the Christmas dinner flashback in 'The Body'. The flashback is followed by Anya looking like she's dead, like Buffy's mother was shown to be dead in 'The Body'.

    • The BBC's cutting of this episode, for early evening purposes, was so ham-fisted that Rachel's ordeal was made to look like gang rape, rather than ritual humiliation.

    • Anya's "lame-ass, made-up, maiden-name" is first mentioned in Season 5's 'Checkpoint'.

    • This marks the final appearance of Kali Rocha as "Halfrek" and Andy Umberger as "D'Hoffryn" on the series.

    • Apparently, Willow hung onto the talisman that D'Hoffryn gave her back in season 4's 'Something Blue'.

    • Buffy stands firm against Xander and declares "I am the Law". In season 3's "Consequences" she is rather dismissive (and evasive) of Faith's argument when Faith says "We don't need the law - we ARE the law". This is not only another subtle 'coming full circle / back to the beginning' reference, but also shows how Buffy walks a fine line between good and evil.

    • The wedding dress Anya wears in the flashback of "Mrs" is the same that as in last seasons 'Hell's Bells'.

    • The song in the "Once More With Feeling" flashback is called "Mrs", which was written in one night by Joss Whedon.

    • Marti Noxon and David Fury reprise their roles as "Ticket Lady" and "Mustard Guy" during the flashback to 'Once More With Feeling'

    • Anya's real name was Aud.

    • In the flashback, human Olaf makes a comment about troll logic, similar to that of Xander's comment in "Triangle" and Buffy's comment in the later episode "Conversations with Dead People".

    • There is a reference to 'Becoming (2)' when Buffy reminds Xander about when he said "kick his ass" referring to 'Willow's' advice to Buffy. Willow, of course, never said that.

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Buffy: Willow said it was a spider demon. Maybe it's its webbing.
      Xander: This isn't springy high-flying fun!
      He finds some stringy sticky black webs in the tree. These are references to Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man and the webbing that he uses to swing around New York. The webbing even looks reminiscent of the webs in the comics, albeit black as opposed to more of a grey.

    • Anya: The worker will overthrow absolutism and lead the proletariat to a victorious communist revolution, which will result in socio-economic paradise on earth. Its common sense, really".
      This reference is to the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The text stated that the working class will overthrow the exploitative upper class that built the society on the workers' back. Marx proposes that the overthrow of the bourgeoisie by the proletariat is inevitable.

    • Spike: Scream Montressor all you like, Pet.
      From Edgar Allan Poe's story The Cask of Amontillado in which the character Montressor walls up his rival, fortunato, in a deep basement and leaves him to die. Fortunato is left screaming Montressor's name in vain.

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