Sleeper-After battling a new vampire who claimed to have been recently sired by Spike, Buffy warns the gang that they must keep a close eye on him. When Spike manages to go out, he falls into a mysterious trance and then seduces and attacks a girl as the First Evil looks on. Meanwhile in England, Giles finds a fellow watcher close to death.
As a direct follow-up to "Conversations With Dead People", "Sleeper" may not be as cleverly potted or a classic in it's own right, but it maintains the menacing feel and dark twists. Spike's new found ability to kill causes tension in the Scooby Gang, especially Buffy who plans to stop Spike by any means necessary. James Masters once again gives a stellar performance as Spike goes through a variety of emotions this episode. From his nonchalant attitude toward Buffy when he talks about her last encounter with a vampire to his utter horror over what he's done the past few weeks. Then there was the sequence of Buffy following him, leading to a pretty cool twist when Buffy approaches Spike and tells him to pretty much kill the girl he's with. It's obviously the First, but the way the scene plays out is just chilling, Sarah Michelle Gellar is great at playing menacing. The following scene is also exceptional work from both Sarah and James, as Buffy confronts Spike about the whereabouts of the girl he was just with. From Buffy being feed up and pissed to Spike's disbelief and uncertainty, the scenes between these two always gel together so well andy ou can see that Spike is not the man he once was.
I also loved the humorous scenes in this episode, especially with Anya. Her reaction to watching Spike after finding out he's killing people again was hilarious as well as when Spike catches her snooping through his things. The fact that she tries to have sex with Spike to cover her tracks is priceless. Then there's the moment Spike knocks out Xander fighting through the pain. Although, I felt Spike's investigation at the Bronze was kind of a weak point. When he runs into a vampire he recently sired it turns into a prettyhookyfight....and not in a good way. Also, the actress' delivery of "So that's all I was? A one bite stand!" always rubbed me the wrong way. Usually the writers are good with pulling off this kind of clever, silly(ish), but the execution was all wrong! Although, I did love the off handed comment by the lead singer coming off the stage at the Bronze about playing vampire towns! lol The episode concludes with an intense brawl with Buffy and Spike's latest victims coming back from the dead. It's a pretty awesome fight, where Buffy shows just how GOOD she's become as a slayer. We've seen her dustmultiplevampiresbefore but it's always awesome to see how effortless she makes it seem. I also loved the moment where before staking the last vampire who is an elderly woman, Buffy apologizes and tells her it's her job! Only scene like that on Buffy work! Now with Spike being unstable again, Buffy plans to watch her as well as the rest of the gang. Overall, "Sleeper" is dark, chilling episode with nice fake-outs, strong performances from James and Sarah as well as a great fight sequence toward the end. The arc is continuing nicely!