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.