Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 6 Episode 8

Tabula Rasa

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 13, 2001 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (50)

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out of 10
649 votes
  • This is a fun, emotional, and moderately probing episode that unfortunately isn't consistently so.

    The first half or so along with the end of the episode are excellent and provide all kinds of important, memorable, and intriguing moments. All the stuff in between, though, is another story. I'll concede that the middle material is occasionally hilarious but, unlike "Something Blue" for example, it just doesn't have very much depth or value. Did any of the memory-loss stuff propel any character arcs forward? No. Even for Willow, because it was her act of causing the memory loss that was the last straw for Tara. So, this episode marks one of those rare occasions where the main plot did not service the characters and, instead, we got it the other way around, played for laughs. Because of this, I don't feel the plot works very well.

    Since "Tabula Rasa" is so cleanly split into different parts, I'm going to talk about the pre-spell stuff and the post-spell stuff separately -- the former being the much meatier topic. It begins doing something that I never tire of and is extremely rare in television: good, solid, and immediate follow-up from the events of the previous episode. In this case it involves Spike running up to Buffy trying to pry her thoughts out on their big kiss in "Once More, with Feeling". Buffy claims it was the spell and that it will never happen again, although we can see right through her words.

    This episode-to-episode continuity continues strong when the Scoobies discuss the big news of Buffy's deathly whereabouts. Each person has a very unique reaction that's in character and still interesting. Willow says she was selfish, but then suggests another reckless action: doing a spell to make Buffy forget she was ever in heaven. This is typical of the way Willow's been doing a lot of things lately: using spells to make things better in uber quick time. A shame she didn't take what happened in "Something Blue" to heart, but that's not where the character has been heading since then, which is the point. Although robbing Buffy of her heavenly memories would, in the short term, make her happier, it is completely side-stepping the real issues. Plus, heaven was a happy place, somewhere Buffy felt endlessly warm and loved. Even if that memory causes her pain by contrast now, it is still a huge sin to rob someone of knowledge, let alone happy knowledge. Buffy's traumatized enough. The Scoobies must suck it up and deal with the horrible decision they made in resurrecting Buffy, but Willow's not listening.

    Tara's reaction is mute until Willow starts the undoing discussion. This is when Tara angrily bursts out "No! No more spells! ... God, what is wrong with you!?" She's been extremely clear of her opinion of magic and its proper use since she was introduced, but especially clear in S5 up until now. The fact Willow's completely ignoring her partner combines to push Tara to threaten ending their relationship. Tara gives Willow one final chance to show she can live without this magic on a daily basis, and Willow fails nearly immediately while additionally screwing around with everyone's memories again and "fixing things to [her] This episode shows just how much growth Tara's had since S4 and, while very sad to see, she's completely right to show this kind of individual strength.

    Xander's opinion of Buffy's situation is probably the most intriguing of them all. Although he pretty much agrees they made a monumental mistake, I sympathize with him when he says he's having a hard time feeling bad that their friend is alive. While I have sympathy, it doesn't make his statement anything less than extremely selfish. Buffy's in awful emotional torment and pain because they made her 'alive' again. It's time for Xander to see the context of the situation. But as Anya will tell him in "Selfless", "Xander, you've always seen what you wanted Here and throughout most of S6, this trait of Xander is in full effect until he is forced to see what is sitting right in front of his Xander-face. On the other end of the spectrum, Anya's reaction to this Buffy stuff is unsurprisingly superficial: harps and clouds. At least she keeps quiet and is understanding during the rest of the conversation.

    Someone who sure didn't have a superficial reaction to the situation is Giles. His conversation to her about going back to England is just as heart-breaking as Tara telling Willow it isn't going to work out, if not moreso. Right or wrong, Giles has made his choice and Buffy isn't happy about it one bit, going as far as practically begging him to stay and telling him he's making the wrong decision. Both Buffy and Giles have valid respective points -- Buffy's being the emotional one and Giles' being the rational one. Although one may lean to be inclined to agree with Giles here, it's important to remember sometimes that we're all human beings with complex, powerful, and relevant emotions. Although our emotions should never rule our rational thought, the same must be said of the reverse. This whole situation, as pointed out in my "Once More, with Feeling" review, is very complicated and, well, perfectly represents how real life actually is.

    When Xander and Willow enter the Magic Box before the spell occurs Willow says, "Thanks for the jacket. It's cold out Xander replies with something incredibly subtext-filled in "Not a problem, the cold only makes me stronger and more The cold only makes me stronger, huh? Don't I recall hearing Buffy saying something about touching the fire and it freezing her... about her friends not being able to face the cold? Didn't Angel grow stronger after hitting rock bottom and feeling "the cold" in "Reprise"? I think we know the answer to all these questions is a big yes! This will be true of Buffy as well, but it will be a much longer, personally painful, and harrowing internal journey than Angel's in AtS S2 or, for that matter, anything else in the entire Buffyverse. This is also the exact reason why Giles is leaving, of which he's going to tell the group right after Xander's comment. I think we've just witnessed some more sublime writing!

    At the Magic Box a big scene starts unravelling. Willow tells Buffy's she's sorry. Buffy's reaction is fitting: apologies don't help one bit for what the Scoobies did. Normally I'd be pissed that Willow's spell cut Buffy actually verbalizing her feelings out loud short, but in this case there's actually severe consequences from it, and not just for Willow. If Buffy had gotten out what she was trying to say, it would have been an important step to begin her healing process and things may have not dove into living hell for her after this episode. Interesting to think about.

    Anyway, it's at this point in the episode where the interesting material starts to disappear. There's still a few things, though, that I find worth talking about. For one, the initial memory loss sequence is hilarious. Everyone seems to maintain their base feelings for one another. It's like the part of their memories that holds their acquired instincts is still there, and only their raw memories have been lost. The thing I find most fascinating about this entire process is how Buffy begins to stroke Dawn's hair again, something we haven't seen out of her since S5. This is a really nice little touch that reminds us that, yes, Buffy still deeply cares about Dawn, but her revived situation is overriding her normal feelings and reactions. It's also a hint that Buffy didn't "come back wrong" in the demon-y sense.

    It's about at this point where the episode really starts to lose steam. The rest of the memory loss material -- the sewer chase and the Buffy/Spike combo fighting outside -- is quite boring. It's not until after everyone gets their memories back that I become interested in the episode again. When Buffy gets her memory back we see this huge contrast in feeling represented in only her face. Her fun time wailing on vamps with no memory is immediately dampened by this huge visible wave of depression and pain. In fact, being kicked repeatedly in the gut seems to hurt her much less than the emotional pain she's feeling.

    Spike reaches his hand out to help Buffy up. She just looks at him with sickness, disgust, and confusion that is completely meant to reflect her feelings and choices up to this point. Those emotions -- sickness, disgust, and confusion -- are where these two are headed as soon as the next episode, so that look from Buffy says a lot. The ending song "Goodbye to You" by Michelle Branch is very obvious in meaning, but powerful nonetheless as we watch Giles flying away for good on a plane, Tara packing up her stuff and leaving Willow, Dawn in tears, Willow in the corner of her bathroom crying, and Buffy completely failing at listening to her feelings of disgust with herself while having an extremely passionate/hot kiss with Spike.

    And so the extra complicated times begin! To sum this episode up, I enjoyed it a lot but felt that something was lacking. That something boils down to the disjointed and unsupportive nature of the main plot. The memory loss doesn't serve the characters very much and it doesn't show the audience very much either. With that said, the rest of the episode, which is still a sizable chunk, is excellent and does offer up loads of development and assorted character-related goodies. So, like most plots that struggle but still have a lot of excellent material in the episode, this gets an 8.5.
  • Suffers only from comparison to OMWF

    The Good;

    All great, emotional turmoil mixed with side-splitting humour at every turn. Especially love Anya and the bunnies and the beautiful ending song

    The Bad;

    The Loanshark is a funny idea poorly realised (foreshadowed in Restless as is Giles thinking Spike's his son). Works better in the comics although he comes to a sticky end.

    Best line;

    Giles "Welcome to the nancy tribe"

    Women good/men bad;

    Spike refers to Anya as tarty and a trollope. Anya's woman's intuition needs work.


    Once again the creature we don't see behind the counter is the scariest of all, just like in Forever. Seeing Buffy get kicked on the ground also isn't nice.

    Kinky dinky;

    Spike and Buffy kiss again. And the Spuffers did rejoice! Spike is 'Randy Giles' and dresses just as he did in Restless. Anya describes Spike and Giles as 'ruggedly handsome'. Willow in her towel. Dawn seems to like Xander helping her down the ladder.

    Captain Subtext;

    Even when amnesiac Willow and Tara sense they're lovers and Buffy and Dawn sense they're sisters (amnesiac Buffy knows amnesiac Dawn for all of one minute and they're already both enjoying Buffy stroking Dawn's hair in the traditional Summers' way) . How funny would it have been if it was the other way around and both pairs came to each other's conclusion? Check out Dawn's expression when Willow tells her she's 'Kinda gay' (as she remarked of VampWillow). Interesting it's 'kinda' giving another hint of bi-Willow. Willow and Xander also sense their affection for one another. BUT Anya and Xander don't, she's actually attracted to Giles (and still hugely capitalist). Maybe Anya is actually in love with the idea of Xander rather than the guy himself? Even more interesting is Giles' affection for her. Anya looking for a daddy figure (like D'Hoffryn?) and Giles transferring his fatherly love for Buffy to Anya?

    Willow and Tara break up just as another relationship blossoms. Giles threatens to put Spike across his knee (well Buffy already has him spanking Dawn). Spike refers to Giles as 'nancy' and Giles welcomes him to 'the nancy tribe'. Note Spike seems to desperately want to be like Angel (because Buffy loves Angel or does he wants Buffy only because Angel loves her?) Spike refer to Gile's car as 'penis shaped' but then they hug. We never meet Spike's dad, divorce taboo in Victorian society so he may have died young (much more common), perhaps Spike harbours feelings of resentment towards him as his relationship with Angelus might suggest?

    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: everyone but Xander also faints

    Buffy: 17

    Giles: 12

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 11

    Will: 6

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1


    Dawn; 2

    Kills: 2 vamps for Buffy, 3 for Spike and 1 for Xander

    Buffy: 103 vamps, 41 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 + 1 demon +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 2 demon

    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: the whole gang go amnesiac

    Buffy: 7

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 4

    Tara; 1


    Spike; 1

    Recurring characters killed: 10

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

    Sunnydale deaths;


    Total number of scoobies: 7 (but not for long!). Note how keen Dawn is to participate in the Scooby meeting, slowly becoming a full member of the gang.

    Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Tara, Spike, Giles

    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: 3 confirmed; Angel, Parker,Riley, 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; good or bad?

    Amnesiac Spike doesn't seem to realise he's supposed to be evil and wants to be good. He saves Buffy again.

    Dawn in peril; along with everyone else 7

    Dawn the bashful virgin; 5

    Questions and observations;

    Teeth asks if Buffy has ever considered working as a debt collector. Well it would solve her financial problems. Tara's very right, Willow violating her mind is no joke especially after what Glory did to her. It also makes their sex whilst Tara is amnesiac virtual rape. Buffy wears her cream number she died in for the first time. Xander wears what looks like an army jacket, left over from his faux soldier days? Xander's latent insecurites are very apparent, wondering if Willow is dating his brother. But he still comes the hero in the end. Buffy's choice of 'Joan' suggests Joan of Arc. Note amnesiac Tara begins to stutter, just as she did before she befriended the Scoobs.

    Marks out of 10; 9/10, suffers in comparison with OMWF but otherwise not perfect only because of the loanshark.

  • Hey! Remember Us? We Sure Don't!


    Tabula Rasa-Willow is devastated to learn that she pulled Buffy out of heaven, not hell, and she resolves to make things better by casting a spell to make Buffy forget her afterlife experience. The spell, however, backfires and causes the whole gang to wake up with no memories. The amnesiac Scoobies must piece together their lives and find a way to reverse the spell while dealing with the usual incursion of demons and vampires.

    A straight continuation of the last episode's events, Spike confronts Buffy about their kiss, The rest of the gang deals with Buffy's revelation about being in heaven, Giles finally tells Buffy's he's leaving for good and Tara finally gives Willow an ultimatum if she doesn't her magic addiction. For a comedic episode, the episode starts off on with a very heavy tone (well, besides the part with lone shark being....well....an actual shark!) Buffy's in denial about her new attraction with Spike as well as her dependence of Giles. Giles breaking the news to Buffy wasn't easy, but he had to do it to make her stronger. Buffy is very fragile and emotional now, but if she's to over come her post-resurrection trauma, she has to deal with her issues head on and Giles being there would only delay her dealing with those problems. Then you have the rest of the Scooby Gang's discussion on the consequences of bringing Buffy out of heaven. Everyone involved feels guilty (as they should) butultimatelywant to help Buffy heal.....except Willow. Once again, she thinks a spell will solve the problem and suggests wiping her memory clean. Seriously, Willow's mental state is scary, she already caused a lot of pain by bringing Buffy back, now she wants her to forget about the only time she's ever felt at peace. That would only make things worse in the end! Tara finally can't take it anymore and truly makes Willow enough is enough. Her ultimatum is completely justified! Tara's not only concerned with Buffy's safety but her own, considering she kinda leaving in an abusive relationship now. Whether Willow admits it or not, she mental "abused" Tara with that spell and that crossed the line. It's a heartbreaking development but shows how much Tara has grown since her debut in Season 4 as she won't but up with any kind of abuse from anyone, not even Willow.

    Naturally, Willow doesn't heed Tara's warning and does a spell anyway to make both Tara and Buffy forget. At the Magic Shop, after Giles announces his permanent exit from Sunnydale, things get heated once again. Buffy looks like she's about to have a serious breakdown. No amount of "sorry"from her friends can help her, what she's going through is unimaginable and a part of me would have loved to hear what Buffy would have said if Willow's spells didn't backfire and whammy everyone...oh well! What follows anyway is a series of some the series' funniest gags and jokes! Where to begin? As everyone wakes up with amnesia, every tires to put the pieces together, but fail humorously. Willow and Xander think they're dating, Giles and Anya think their engaged, Giles and Spike think their father and son, Buffy calls herself "Joan" etc. You also got to love Spike making fun of the British only to find he himself is also English, Buffy finding out she's "like a superhero or something" and Spike's declaration that he's a vampire with soul, out to fight for redemption. Buffy's reaction? "A vampire with a soul? Gosh, how lame is that!" If only we could have seen Angel's face at that moment. Anya continuing to conquer bunnies and cringing in fear was also a laugh out loud moment. I also enjoyed how the characters, even without their memories, realized the specific connections that had with each other. Like Buffy and Dawn's hilarious moment as they realize they're sisters and the sexual eye gazes Tara and Willow keep on giving each other. "I think I'm kinda gay?" You have no idea Willow! Surprisingly, Xander and Anya don't realize they're engaged or even sense a connection between them. Maybe another foreshadowing of their sudden break-up? After the spell is broken, once again, the episode gets even heavier than it began. Tara's face after realizing it was a spell like the rest of them was heartbreaking, you knew her and Willow were over. The final sequence with Michelle Branch's "Goodbye To You" wasn't exactlysubtlebut it still pulls at the heartstrings. Everyone is pretty despressed, Giles is finally off to England for good, Willow's a wreck, Tara is packing her things, Dawn's upset that she's leaving and Buffy once again finds comfort in Spike of all people by kissing him again. All and All, "Tabula Rasa" is both a terrific comedy and heartbreaking drama, something Buffy does so well and this is a perfect example.

  • Rehashed plot line with some development in character relationships and advancement in story arc. Buffy and Spike...does she have Stockholm syndrome?

    Willow's selfish actions and abuse of magic continue to have serious consequences, this time when she affects the whole gang and erases their memory. This plot seems very similar to several other plots in this series where the characters lose their memory/identity in one way or another. I know that this kind of device is used to add some development to reveal some hidden truth about the natures of the characters, but I do not appreciate it as much as some, who I suspect are merely getting a kick out of the absurd fantasies that play out (Giles and Anya kissing etc.).

    Overall, the episode was still quite good, and had key advancements in the plot and character relationships with Giles moving away and Tara breaking it off with Willow. I feel this development makes sense and is fair. However, the continued obsession of Spike with Buffy and her again kissing him at the end, this time not under any spell, is just insulting to the viewers. The writers are clearly just pandering to the 14 year old Buffy and Spike 'shippers with no regard to consistent storytelling. Does Buffy have Stockholm syndrome from that time Spike kidnapped her, chained her up, and threatened her life unless she said she loved him? I doubt it. Or was it the Buffy shrine, sexbot, obsessive stalking, unwanted puppy dog eyes all the time, and generally pathetic behavior by Spike that ultimately won her over? That is not attractive to anyone, ever. Whatever happened to the Spike/Quasimodo parallel that they so poignantly illustrated in Season 5? They negated their whole point by putting them together. This is the biggest misstep so far in the writing of this show.
  • Poorly written amnesia episode.

    Two words: loan shark. This episode was total crap, start to finish. Awful attempts at humor, pathetic attempt to retcon the uncharacteristic Willow loves Tara crap. The scene with the guy in the ridiculous rubber shark costume and this sudden idea of using cats as currency could well be the very worst moment in the entire run of the show. This episode is embarrassingly bad.
  • Apalling...this just ISN'T Buffy at all.

    This episode is so dreadful. It makes me ashamed to be a Buffy fan.

    I probably wouldn't hate it so much if it weren't for the fact that a lot of Buffy fans like it!

    The script-writing is lazy, and the comical element it is trying to achieve is totally missed and obvious.

    The gang wake-up not knowing who they are. Buffy "makes-up" her own name???? Yeah, because that would be the first thing that someone would do??? "Joan the Vampire Slayer"-I'm sorry but am i watching BtVS, one of the greatest television shows ever created, if not "the" or am I watching "Charmed"????-

    Buffy and Dawn realise that they are sisters because they briefly and stupidly start bickering???? What??? Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of this episode, but it was lamely put together. The characters jump from a situation where they should all be terrified and confused to lazy jokes and roleplay. It's like someone from the writing staff of Saved by the Bell hijacked the script. I love the idea that Spike and Giles think they are father and son (as previously, excellently portrayed in Restless) but it just doesn't fit with this ludicrous story.

    I love Buffy...this episode is it's worse mistake, maybe if Joss has written it instead of Jane Espenson it would have worked. It's only saving Grace was Buffy and Spike's kiss at the end, and possibly Spike's realisation that he is English, "Sh*gging, b*llocks..."

    And do not get me started on the "Loan Shark" guy. He looks like he was constructed with Paper mache by primary school children.

  • everyone has no memory

    another silly episode but not as good as the musical. the episode has willow do a spell and takes everyones memory away. very silly humor but fun sometimes like giles fighting a skeleton and willow finding out shes gay.

    i loved the end of the episode. it was very sad and tara left willow. the episode also had a girl named michelle branch singing and that is possibly the best about it.
  • Willow wants Buffy to forget her Afterlife experience and casts a spell. But the spell goes awry when everyone forgets who they are.

    One of my favourite stand alone episodes of Season 6, Tabula Rasa definetly shows the hard times that everyone is having. Buffy is still getting over being torn out of heaven, Willow and Tara are arguing about how much magick Willow is using. Giles is planning on moving to England, Spike is having trouble with a Loan Shark and Dawn is...just coping being a teenager.

    The Willow using too much magic storyline is one of my favourite storylines and this episode shows how much Willow is in danger of being consumed with power. Willow's spell involves crystals and fire and other magical stuff which is a very, odd yet tasteful way to do a spell. It is a very funny episode, but not my favourite comedy episode. Everyone forgetting who they are is like scrapping everything and starting a new. The writers made Anya and Giles a couple, changed Buffy's name to Joan, Spike and Giles are son and father and Willow and Xander think they're going out. I loved the Loan Shark, a demon we don't see in any other episode. The end of this episode is so sad it's quite hard to watch. Willow is crying in the bathroom, Dawn is furious that Tara is moving out, Buffy and Spike kiss at the Bronze. I do think that the song and the scene went on for a long time and then after a couple of minutes got very boring. Even still, a very good episode with a sad ending, love it!
  • Season 6, Episode 8.

    The Scoobies all lose their memories after a guilty Willow casts a spell to make Buffy forget that she was in Heaven.

    This episode was definitely different. Haha. It was entertaining though. I hate the spell-addicted Willow, though. I liked them waking up in the magic shop as amnesiacs. Anya & Giles are together, Willow & Xander are together, Dawn & Buffy are still sisters. It was interesting, to say the least, and entertaining, but it kinda got dull at times. And, first off, ew, Joan? Buffy likes the name Joan?! Bleh. Otherwise, not a bad episode. I'm liking how season six is shaping up so far. :)
  • Tabula Rasa

    Tabula Rasa was a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and very enjoyable to watch. This episode showed us different sides of the characters in a humorous way with an interesting story. This episode is also important to what happens in the major story lines of this season. I thought it was interesting what Willow chose to do, given what she knows about how Tara feels. I thought it was also interesting seeing Spike and Buffy interacting. There was a lot going on in this episode and it was full of action, usual drama, humor, and of course intrigue. I can't wait to see what happens next!!!!
  • One of my favorites! *Warning Spoilers*

    Since plenty of reviews have already told you what happens I just had to comment on how FUNNY this episode is and the brilliance of BTVS writing team. That is what makes this show so unforgettable. This episode in particular. It is just amazing. Spike is in the same outfit he was in during the finale of season 4, "Restless" in a dream sequence..at the time of watching it I knew I had seen that suit before and at that time he was on a swing set with Giles. Funny then that in Tabula Rasa, he thinks Giles is his dad, and named him after being horny. That cracks me up as much as when Angel called him sit and spin in season 2. Love Spike! I love that Anya pronounces her name wrong, that Willow knows she is gay and that Dawn (whose character I never liked) thought Xander's name was Alex. This episode is unreal and a must see.
  • What's this episode about again? I forget...

    It's great that a show primarily about slaying vampires and other nasties can let its hair down once in a while and have some fun with the storyline.

    Willow casts a spell to try and make Tara forget about a fight they had previously been having. However, this results in not just Tara losing that memory, but in the whole Scooby gang losing all their memories altogether.

    Buffy - not being able to remember her name decides to call herself "Joan". Spike decides to name himself "Randy" when he can't remember his name, but finds "Randy" written on the inside of his jacket. Giles believes he is Spike's (Randy's) father - when the two of them learn they are British. Spike tries to pay off a loan shark with a handful of spikes (stakes) not knowing that his real name is Spike and thinking that "spikes" are what the loan shark wants as payment. Anya (trying to break the amnesiac spell) accidentally creates wave after wave after bunnies. Anya and Giles also believe they are married - and end up sharing a hilarious passionate kiss. Willow "learns" she is a lesbian.

    I have seen this episode a number of times, and while it is not the best the series has to offer, it is still hilarious. The only problem I had was with "Shark Man" (or whatever his name is) - he looks like something that a 5 year old created out of paper mache. At least this episode showed us that the writers of Buffy could still create a good comedy.
  • Meet Randy.

    'Tabula Rasa' is another great episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and one of the best of the sixth season. In it, Giles decides to go back to England while Willow, in order to erase Tara's memories, makes everyone forget who they are. The episode is the third to be written by story editor Rebecca Rand Kirschner and turns out to be really good, with lots of memorable moments, including some Spuffy romance and Giles/Anya interaction. Another important part was the continuation of Willow's magic addiction plot which eventually led to Tara's break up with her.

    Amber Benson and Alyson Hannigan were great in the more emotional scenes and everyone keeps getting better in the comedic ones. Other nice moments were Anya and the rabbits she summoned and Spike as Randy, but I'm not a big fan of Shark Boy.

    Awesome episode with an even more awesome ending set to Michelle Branch's Goodbye to You.
  • "Randy Giles! I knew there was a reason i hated you! Why not just call me Horny Giles or Desperate For A Shag Giles?" "Goodbye to you. Goodbye to everything, that i do. You were the one i loved, the one thing that i tried to hold onto." Michelle Br

    How hilarious was this episode? This really is exactly why i watch this series! :) I loved it! Willow does a spell to erase Tara's memory of the fight they had about Willow using too much magic. The spell goes awry and instead the whole gang lose their memories, they even forget their names. Spike thinks that Giles is his father and his name is Randy Giles: "Randy Giles! I knew there was a reason i hated you! Why not just call me Horny Giles or Desperate For A Shag Giles?" Buffy doesn't know her name so she calls herself Joan. Dawn: Do u want me to name u?
    Buffy: I think i can name myself. I'll name me... Joan.
    Willow thinks she goes out with Xander (sorta)
    Xander: Maybe... u go out with my brother
    Willow: Or maybe... i go out with you?
    Xander: Either that or i have one pissed of brother somewhere! :)
    And then another great episode ender with the fabulous Michelle Branch singing "Goodbye to You" at the bronze while Buffy continues to pour out her misery into Spike's delicious lips! Mmm...
    "Goodbye to you. Goodbye to everything, that i do. You were the one i loved, the one thing that i tried to hold onto."
  • Tabula Rasa is one of the best episodes of season 6! The storyline is great although it has a sad ending.

    Okay so what I was saying about the sad ending is at the end they play this song and they show all the different characters who are all sad. The song is "Goodbye to You" by Michelle Branch and it shows (not in this order), Giles on the plane to England, Willow in the bathroom crying probably beacuase the next scene is Tara in the next room, packing her things and also crying. Dawn is outside on the porch and when Tara comes out with her things and tries to hug Dawn, she goes inside crying. Buffy is at the Bronze sitting by herself until Spike comes to her. She turns away and before he says anything he walks away.
    All in all a really good episode!
  • The gang lose their minds.

    Tara is annoyed at Willow for making her forget their argument, so Willow decides to give up magic for 1 week. Instead, Willow tries to make Tara forget this, but makes everyone forget who they are. Giles and Anya think their a couple, with Spike as their son, Randy. Willow and Xander think their together. Buffy thinks shes called Joan. Teeth and some vampires come to the gang, who are terrified. Joan and Randy fight them off, Xander, Willow, Tara and Dawn escape through the sewers, being chased by a vamp. Giles and Anya look through magic books to try and regain their memories. Anya just keeps making Bunnies. I loved the chemistry between Emma Caulfield and Annthony Head Stewart. It was awesome. This is definatley one of my fave Buffy episodes.
  • A very sad episode

    The whole reason why the relationship between Tara and Willow worked is becausse of the chemistry of Alyson Hannigan and Amber Benson. This episode very neatly upsets that relationship and eventually we see it fall apart.

    Buffy's been a little out of her depth since being resurrected. Now Giles is going and she is having a sorrid affair with Spike. Can she get any lower?

    This is a fine episode, full of hilarious moments (Welcome to the nancy-tribe) and some downright heartbreaking moments (Tara leaving Willow)

    Oh and a shout out to Michelle Branch who performs a great version of Goodbye to You at the end.
  • every one loses there memory 'cause of willow

    this has to be my favourite episode because it is very funny and has a lot of really cool quotes my fave is,
    RANDY: Randy giles why not call me horny giles or desperate for a shag giles i new there was a reason i hated you.
    but also willow an tara look really hot in this episode by the way they look at each other and the way they show there emotions at theend when they are just about to kiss and then poof they get there memory back. i also like the song at the end of the episode good bye to you by michelle branch.
  • Amazing episode. Captured every aspect of this series.

    This episode has been one of the sadder episodes of this series. Maybe because I love Willow/Tara. I can't believe Willow is so selfish. SHE BLEW IT. Willow seriously needs help because the one person that loved her no matter what couldn't stand Willow using all that magic. ONE WEEK. But no, you have to do a spell to make Tara and Buffy forget things, and it backfired. I love Tara and nobody should be treated like Willow has been treating her. It's horrible and Willow doesn't even have any morals anymore. The memories lost part of the episode was funny - LMAO at Spike's name - "Randy"! I can't believe Giles thought Spike was his son! So funny. Willow was even gay with her new identity, I found that amusing. Giles and Anya - Sick! I can't believe all those bunnies showed up! The ending of the episode was so sad - I was looking forward to the episode where Michelle Branch sings and since it's the last two season I knew it had to come in here sometime, but she did an amazing job. That whole part when Tara was packing her stuff up, Buffy was thinking, Willow mourning. It was so sad! I wish I cried, but I didn't. This episode was perfect. It captured every reason why I love this show.

    Rating = A+
  • One of Willow's magic spells goes awry causing Buffy and her friends to forget who they are.

    A Really good episode. Willow and tara have a fight where Tara asks Willow to go for one week without using magic and Willow agrees, although Willow dosen't keep that promise and is soon back to using magic when people are not around. She casts a spell to help Buffy forget that she was i heaven but it backfires and makes the gang forget who they are. Giles and Anya think they are engaged, Spike thinks he is Giles's son and is called Randy because inside his stolen jacket it says to Randy with care this causes some comments from spike. Willow thinks Xander is her boyfriend because she is wearing his jacket. This is the only episode where Xander gets called Alex. Dawn was so upset when Tara left that she couldn't even say goodbye she just ran inside.
  • they all lost they're memories.it's the funniest episode ever.

    yes,it's what got me to watch the series.the first episodes i watch was "once morei love this episode,it's just plain 20 minutes of hilariosness(is that even a word?). they started off when willow decided to do a memory spell on Buffy,but tara told her no.willow didn'y listen,she did the spell.something went wrong and they all anded up losing they're memories in the Magic Box.the way Xander acted,all nervous and panicky, was funny and still is.dawn ended up frrightend,as usual.giles and anya thought they were engage,which is just so funny.but i still think that the funniest part was when giles and Spike think that they are father and son,i'm smilling as i write this.and the whole Randy comment,that was very funny.and the part where everyone thinks the spike the other vampires are refering to was spikes and not the Spike.i like the part where Anya started making bunies and calling the floor 'pit',which is why she'll not go down and let the bunnies hop all over her vulnerabel skin as she say.have anyone notice the giant bunnies when giles was fighting with the skeleton?also the part where Spike realize he's a vampire with a soul. but the ending was very sad,since giles left and so did tara.and willow was heart-broken.the music just suites it so well.and i shall stop my wondorous and boring rambling now.
  • blank slate

    this is the beginning of willow's uncontrollable addiction to magic. she put a spell intended only for buffy and tara but it made them all forget who they are. the scene in the magic box is funny. while they're trying to figure out what's going on, they were interrupted by vampires who wanted spike. i like the ending of this episode complete with a background song appropriate for this heartbreaking scene when tara decided to break-up w/ willow and at the same time giles left for england leaving buffy. willow sitting down crying in her room while buffy looking forlorn sitting alone in the bar. and in the final shot, buffy is seen kissing spike.
  • The gang feels guilty after they learn they pulled Buffy out heaven. Tara tells Willow she knows about the magic. Willow casts a spell to make Buffy and Tara forget all the bad stuff that happened. Her spell backfires and everyone forgets who they are.

    Tabula Rasa is a great episode. It's a funny episode until the ending. I didn't like that Willow did a spell even though Tara told her not to. I thought it was sad that Tara moved out at the end of the episode. I thought it was funny that Giles and Anya thought they were a couple. And Spike thinking that he's Gile's son. I also thought it was really funny when Buffy named herself Joan. Spike is funny when he realizes he's a vampire and he thinks he has a soul. My favourite part is when Anya keeps doing spells and bunnies keep appearing everywhere.
  • "You know how powerful magic is, how dangerous. You could hurt someone….you could hurt yourself." - Tara

    After last week's red and black sartorial similarities, Buffy is now clothed in virginal white, contrasting with Spike in his customary black. Whilst Spike has been influenced by I'll Never Tell as he talks about "the rising music and the rising….music", Buffy is in denial about the kiss. But she still protects Spike from attack by the very silly loan shark demon who is after unpaid kittens. Whilst they are obsessing about their non-relationship, the gang are obsessing about their having raised Buffy from the dead. It finally hits Willow: "We were selfish. I was selfish," and one would think that after Buffy's revelation about being in heaven and Tara finding out about her brain-wipe, Willow would rein in her spells. But no, she heads straight back into the bad magicks, the sort that "fix things to your liking", according to Tara. Willow can't face her guilt, she knows a Scooby book 'n' video club isn't going to sort it, but she can't see another way out of the situation. She also can't see Tara's point of view about her use of magicks as the metaphor changes from sex to drugs: "When things get rough, you don't consider options, you just do a spell". Willow is naïve, she thinks that she is using magic to "make things better" – she too is in denial. Like an alcoholic who can't start the day without a quick drop, she can't even get dressed without using magic (although magic does nothing for her hair), and although she has made an addict's pointless promise to stay off magic for a month, she immediately starts on a new spell. Faced with the extra pressure of Tara threatening to dump her, she wants to wipe out both her girlfriend's and Buffy's memories – with Hilarious Consequences.

    Meanwhile, Giles too is carrying out his resolution of the last ep as he tells Buffy that he will be leaving. Buffy is relying on Giles to make her life bearable just as Willow is relying on magic. Buffy also makes lame-ass promises: I will stand alone, I won't give up. And just as Willow can't cope with being dumped once more, Buffy, after being deserted by her dad, Angel, Riley, and Joyce, can't face Giles leaving. But as she sets off on a whining rant, the spell kicks in and the gang suddenly have a clean slate. The rest of the ep is a little folly with the shark-demon and his vamp cohorts, some paying off of fake foreshadowing (Spike in his Restless suit, believing that he's Giles's son), and various interesting comments on the gang's personalities. Their memories wiped, the gang revert to their natural states, their natural characters. Thus Buffy both cares for and bickers with Dawn, who is a scared child, wanting to be looked after but who can step up when needed - throwing a vital stake to "Alex", who in turn is panicky and fainting, yet brave and resourceful, willing to fight the vamps with no special powers. Tara is shy and stammering but also valiant and totally in love with Willow. Xander and Willow still have that spark of attraction, but we know they can only be together in a vamp dimension or in brain-wipe world. As she recognises her attraction to Tara, Willow inadvertently references her vamp self, telling Dawn: "I think I'm kinda gay".

    As he vamps out, Spike's problem is stated; he wonders to Buffy: "How come I don't want to bite you? And how come I'm fighting other vampires?" There is some piss-taking of Angel, but this is essentially the crux of Spike's issues. Without the knowledge that he is bad, Spike acts for good, but he still runs after Buffy and she still protects him. Buffy still fights and slays on instinct and she seems happy: quite perky, in fact: her natural state of mind. She takes control and forms a plan, as Giles tries to logically think things through and shows that he is a dab hand at spells after Anya's Fantasia moment with bunnies, fighting skeletons and growling invisible monster. She still "clings, she's needy" but with a different man. She is obsessed by marriage, but not to Xander; he and she virtually ignore each other whilst Anya states that Spike is "ruggedly handsome," foreshadowing their little tryst – although Spike thinks that she is "tarty". We also see the core of Spike and Buff's romantic quandary as Buffy tells him: "I kill your kind," and Spike rejoinders with: "I bite yours". Unfortunately, they're on top of each other when they say this. Buffy names herself Joan, which could mean that she relates to Joan of Arc – she certainly likes being "wicked strong" and "like a superhero or something", which belies her constant carping about being the chosen one. On the other hand, Joan is a kind of boring name - Buffy wishes to be as a normal boring girl with a normal boring life. Or it could just be a joke on the fact that the Slayer is called Buffy, the name of an airhead valley girl. There are certainly other linguistic jokes, Spike being called Randy and discovering that he is English with verbosity: "Sodding limey shagging knickers bollocks", perhaps a little gag about American TV shows getting away with swearing by using British rude words (although we never say limey).

    The spell breaks, as they tend to do, and Buffy immediately goes back into her depression, rejecting Spike not once but twice. She promised Giles that she wouldn't give up, but she lies stunned on the ground as the vamps attack and her memories come back. She once again finishes the episode by kissing Spike, as addictive and bad for her as magic is for Willow. Willow too sits on the floor in the bathroom as Tara leaves her. She has her clean slate, but will she use it wisely? Will she heck. And what I want to know is, who got custody of Ms Kitty Fantastico - or did Spike give her to the shark-demon?
  • The gang is upset after finding out Buffy was in Heaven. Tara knows Willow used a spell on her and tells Willow not to use magic. Willow cast a spell to make Buffy and Tara forget bad things. The spell backfires causing everyone to forget who they are.

    I love this episode! It was so funny. I hate that Willow went against Tara wishes and did a spell almost immediately after she told her not to. I love all the little gags like Anya doing spells that creates bunnies and Spike not realizing he's a vampire. I also love that you can feel the sexual tension between Willow and Tara, even though Willow's supposed to be with Alex. I also love that Giles and Anya kissed and the part at the beginning where Giles wipes his drool on her. It is just a very fun episode to watch over and over except for the end. That sucked but I totally blame Willow.
  • Willow! Shame on you!

    So, that's what the Scoobies are like when they lose their memory. I must say it's rather funny. Lol, Randy Giles. Bet those two won't be speaking to each other for a while. And I'll say again, Buffy, grow up! I think Giles was totally in the right to leave for London. Buffy needs to learn how to fend for herself and how to take care of Dawn at the same time without help.

    Oh my, it is not peace in the Tara/Willow world. I am so not happy with Willow. You know, I'm not a Wiccan, but any self respecting witch would know not to leave stuff lying around while a spell's being preformed. Frankly, I think Willow got her just desserts. She'll be lucky if the whole gang doesn't turn on her.
  • This has to be my favorite episode.

    Wow. This is such a good episode. It goes from hilarously funny to really sad without being corny. The Spike and Giles thing was so funny. No wonder why I hate you, you named me Randy. Spike was so weird with his I'm a tortured soul bit. And Anya and Giles?? Who would have thought that. They managed to fit in the evil bunnies. Joan the Vampire Slayer, not as good of a ring. I kind of feel bad for Willow now that I htink of it because she was just trying to make things right but it went terribly wrong. The ending was so great, and sad. With Giles going back to England and Tara moving out. The song playing at the end just made it so much better. Then at the end Spike and Buffy are making out.? Ok then, well maybe he thought Joan and Randy were such a good team.
  • One of my all time favourites . . . .

    I love Willow and Tara so the break up at the end really, really sucked - it seems that Willow will never learn.

    The show has the amazing ability to be dramtic one second and in the very next scene it has you laughing out loud.

    Even with no memories, the Scooby's are the Scooby's and they still manage to save the day.

    The scene's of them waking up are some of the funniest I've seen (study buddies indeed!!!!) and then at the end when Tara leaves it rips your heart out.

    Excellent writing and acting and just a perfect example of why I love the show.
  • Willow and her magic issues cause yet another comical episode of Buffy

    Well it was obvious that Willow was gonna do something wrong with the magic! I liked how in the beginning the gang was gathered together trying to figure out how they could make things up to Buffy. Willow and Tara needed to get that argument out then too. I loved how Xander and Anya reacted to that by running for the "ringing" phone!

    I loved Buffy and Spike and their little chat at the beginning. It was so annoying to watch Spike following Buffy like a little puppy. She told him before they kissed in "Once More, With Feeling" that she just wanted to feel so he should have known better than to follow her like that. And Shark guy was quite amusing I loved Buffy jumping into action and saving Spike. And Buffy's kitten criticism was amusing as well.

    Willow promising Tara not to do magic and then doing a spell like that was just... It wasn't like Willow it was a new Willow that was brewing at this point and I found that I don't like her.

    The spell itself was so funny and I loved it. Everyone losing their memory was great I loved Spike and Buffy not knowing their real names. It was great that Willow and Xander thought they were going out and Anya and Giles thought they were getting married.

    Tara leaving Willow was devastating as was Giles leaving for England. I hated Buffy and Spike making out at the Bronze at the end, but the Michelle Branch song "Goodbye to you" was just perfect for that scene.
  • Lost memories

    great episode, when the gang lose their memories. joan the vampire slayer & randy giles classics! i love it when the open the door at the magic box & all scream, & then they have to decide what to do. i dont think ive ever laughed so much at a single episode. well done to the writers & actors. also the song at the end "goodbye to you" is a real tearjerker. love it!!
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