Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 3

The Harsh Light of Day

4
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 19, 1999 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (23)

8.6
out of 10
Average
539 votes
  • The Harsh Light of Day

    9.0
    Wow, "The Harsh Light of Day" is a loaded episode with a comparatively irrelevant stand-alone plot on the side. There's a big difference between the stand-alone style of "Living Conditions" (4x02), where there's very little character insight, to this one though. Spike's back, Harmony's a vampire, Buffy and Parker have sex, Xander and Anya have sex, and more. There's a lot to talk about, so let's begin!



    While we get some interesting material involving Anya and Harmony, the focus here is squarely on Buffy. She goes through quite the emotional roller coaster and it's all perfectly woven into the main story. The episode begins at the Bronze with Buffy lusting over Parker through his reflection, which in retrospect turns out to be a telling metaphor. (Side note: Using a mirror to spot someone is a tested technique which I myself have used on a few Willow gets Buffy to admit that she is "having lusty wrong feelings" towards Parker and adds that it's not wrong to have those feelings because they're both Unfortunately, I think Willow is being a bit too short-sided and aggressive here. Some people have sex just for the sex, like Parker, but to others sex means something more, like Buffy. So jumping into sex based purely on "lusty wrong feelings" isn't a very smart move for Buffy -- it will only set her up for being hurt.



    The big problem with Parker is that he doesn't just come out and say he just wants sex. He manipulates Buffy into thinking he's a considerate nice guy who genuinely wants to learn more about her, and not just enough so he can get her into the sack. Normally I'd say that Buffy's too smart to be duped by this routine, but I've got to admit that Parker's got his game down perfectly. When I first watched him talk with her I, like Buffy, thought he was what he seemed. He snags sympathy points from fake stories about his dad dying and says stuff like "I'm not doing the deep, get sympathy Yet he is doing the deep, get sympathy routine and it is really tough to tell whether or not he's geniune. He takes a chance when telling Buffy "It made me think about, you know, living for now," but she buys it and Parker knows he's got a ripe one.



    All of that leads to the party where Buffy decides to "make a choice" and have sex with Parker. With Angel gone, life in a dorm, and her strong desire to move past Angel, I do understand where she's coming from. The following morning Parker outright lies to her and says he'll call her later. At this point Buffy feels really good about her decision ("it was nice") and is absolutely excited about developing what she shared with him into something more. Gellar acted the hell out of this episode, from the early scenes with Parker to the decision to make "a choice" to the nervous excitement afterwards with Willow to the anticipation, heartbreak, and confusion that follows. Willow keeps pointing out how everything's a discovery. While that is more or less true for what the characters are experiencing, I personally never felt there was much to discover in college aside from how to get my ass kicked by exams in a whole new way. Of course I'm a pretty atypical college student in more ways than one, so maybe imparting my own experiences aren't that useful in this case.



    Buffy's personal woes are wonderfully weaved into the search for Spike, which has become a higher priority. While Buffy is searching she is constantly checking her messages, anxiously awaiting Parker's promised call. The call, of course, never comes and Buffy collapses on her bed in pain. She's able to eventually track Parker down and finds him using his sympathy speech on another girl already. Parker says he "had fun," and Buffy replies, "You had fun? Was that all it was?" In Buffy's mind sex is an intimate experience that is indicative of something more (a sentiment I certainly agree with). Parker says, "I'm starting to feel like you felt what? Some kind of commitment? Are you sure that's what you want right now?" The truth is, yes, that is what she wants right now. She wants a boyfriend, a lover, and a companion. It pains me tremendously to see Buffy think that Parker's cold reaction is her fault and to see her even apologize to him. I really feel for her and am right there with her. No one likes to be used, and that's what Parker did here.



    Back in "Surprise" (2x13) I proposed the idea that Buffy simply wasn't emotionally mature enough to have sex yet. That isn't a problem anymore though. The mistake she makes here is that she jumped in the sack with a guy she only knew for a week. This is thankfully an experience she learns from. For now she has to deal with the consequences of her hasty rush to move past Angel, and nobody knows how to force Buffy into seeing these consequences better than Spike. In their fight outside he gets some really truthful jabs in and jumps right to the heart of the matter. He says, "So, you let Parker take a poke, eh? Didn't seem like you knew each other that well. ... Did he play the sensitive lad and get you to seduce him? That's a good trick if the girl's thick enough to buy While these comments are blunt and pouring salt in a wound, Spike is completely correct in his analysis of the situation. He also gets her stirred up enough to gain her focus back and snatch the gem from him.



    This whole ordeal is succinctly captured by Willow's helpful "he's a poophead" speech. Buffy still wishes that she can make it work with Parker. Even after Parker and Spike's comments she still has trouble believing that someone actually just used her for sex. Buffy still feels that it's her fault he doesn't want anything to do with her beyond that. In time she'll fully realize the only thing she was at fault for was falling for it. I have to say I am extremely impressed with how carefully, naturally, maturely, and in-character all of this was dealt with. Kudos to the writers (and Espenson) for having Buffy's second sexual experience be an important event that's not washed over. I also like the ripples we see from this in the next couple episodes.



    Buffy's not the only one encountering problems with a second sexual encounter. Anya's back in town and is very confused about how relationships develop. She's spent a thousand years inflicting vengeance on the unfaithful, so she knows how to deal with the end of relationships, but the beginning of them is completely new territory for her. She takes her usual direct approach and succeeds in confusing the hell out of Xander. She comes on strong and he can only respond with "Anya. Slow down there. In fact, come to a screeching halt. See these things kind of have to develop on their She then understandably asks, "Okay. How?" Xander then proves he doesn't have any answers: "I don't know. I just - Later on she stops by his room in the basement and, in a hilarious scene, drops all her clothes and proposes to have "sexual intercourse" with him. His response is to squeeze a juicebox empty and shake. Awesome. To his credit he attempts to resist her nude physical advancement by saying that they aren't ready for this yet, but he quickly gives in. Afterwards they don't look particularly satisfied and appear to be even more confused.



    We find out that Spike's new girlfriend is Harmony of all people. At first it seems ludicrous that a vampire like Spike would allow himself to be with someone like her, but once we begin to see how their relationship functions things begin to make more sense. The only way that Harmony can gain Spike's affections is through sex, and we can see that Spike's not satisfied by it at all. He's nice enough to take her out to a party, but after a while his limit is reached and he just stakes her. Fortunately for her she was wearing the invulnerability gem at the time. Spike's noticeably different now that Drusilla isn't in the picture anymore; he's a lot harsher. Listening to Harmony run on about France all day is likely a large part of why he's acting this way, because in "The Initiative" (4x07) we see his swagger briefly returned to him when he escapes an Initiative holding cell. Even though Harmony is incredibly annoying, I can't help but feel sorry for her when she remains loyal to Spike and doesn't tell the Scoobies where he is.



    It all ends on a really fitting note. We have Buffy, Anya, and Harmony all walking outside physically near each other, but emotionally isolated. They all seem to realize that sex isn't the key to lasting happiness and that it often leads to much confusion. All in all this is a superb and probing episode which really focuses on the characters. My only complaint lies with the main plot of Spike trying to retrieve the gem -- it's just not very interesting. Also, we know Spike isn't going to get to keep something that makes him invincible, so no real tension is generated. Although that fact slights the episode a notch, it's still close to top notch. All the characters are in a really new, uncomfortable, and unexplored state. "The Harsh Light of Day" successfully reflects that feeling and does it in vivid style.

  • Wow, "The Harsh Light of Day" is a loaded episode with a comparatively irrelevant stand-alone plot on the side.

    9.0
    There's a big difference between the stand-alone style of "Living Conditions", where there's very little character insight, to this one though. Spike's back, Harmony's a vampire, Buffy and Parker have sex, Xander and Anya have sex, and more. There's a lot to talk about, so let's begin!



    While we get some interesting material involving Anya and Harmony, the focus here is squarely on Buffy. She goes through quite the emotional roller coaster and it's all perfectly woven into the main story. The episode begins at the Bronze with Buffy lusting over Parker through his reflection, which in retrospect turns out to be a telling metaphor. Willow gets Buffy to admit that she is "having lusty wrong feelings" towards Parker and adds that it's not wrong to have those feelings because they're both Unfortunately, I think Willow is being a bit too short-sided and aggressive here. Some people have sex just for the sex, like Parker, but to others sex means something more, like Buffy. So jumping into sex based purely on "lusty wrong feelings" isn't a very smart move for Buffy -- it will only set her up for being hurt.



    The big problem with Parker is that he doesn't just come out and say he just wants sex. He manipulates Buffy into thinking he's a considerate nice guy who genuinely wants to learn more about her, and not just enough so he can get her into the sack. Normally I'd say that Buffy's too smart to be duped by this routine, but I've got to admit that Parker's got his game down perfectly. When I first watched him talk with her I, like Buffy, thought he was what he seemed. He snags sympathy points from fake stories about his dad dying and says stuff like "I'm not doing the deep, get sympathy Yet he is doing the deep, get sympathy routine and it is really tough to tell whether or not he's geniune. He takes a chance when telling Buffy "It made me think about, you know, living for now," but she buys it and Parker knows he's got a ripe one.



    All of that leads to the party where Buffy decides to "make a choice" and have sex with Parker. With Angel gone, life in a dorm, and her strong desire to move past Angel, I do understand where she's coming from. The following morning Parker outright lies to her and says he'll call her later. At this point Buffy feels really good about her decision and is absolutely excited about developing what she shared with him into something more. Gellar acted the hell out of this episode, from the early scenes with Parker to the decision to make "a choice" to the nervous excitement afterwards with Willow to the anticipation, heartbreak, and confusion that follows. Willow keeps pointing out how everything's a discovery. While that is more or less true for what the characters are experiencing, I personally never felt there was much to discover in college aside from how to get my ass kicked by exams in a whole new way. Of course I'm a pretty atypical college student in more ways than one, so maybe imparting my own experiences aren't that useful in this case.



    Buffy's personal woes are wonderfully weaved into the search for Spike, which has become a higher priority. While Buffy is searching she is constantly checking her messages, anxiously awaiting Parker's promised call. The call, of course, never comes and Buffy collapses on her bed in pain. She's able to eventually track Parker down and finds him using his sympathy speech on another girl already. Parker says he "had fun," and Buffy replies, "You had fun? Was that all it was?" In Buffy's mind sex is an intimate experience that is indicative of something more. Parker says, "I'm starting to feel like you felt what? Some kind of commitment? Are you sure that's what you want right now?" The truth is, yes, that is what she wants right now. She wants a boyfriend, a lover, and a companion. It pains me tremendously to see Buffy think that Parker's cold reaction is her fault and to see her even apologize to him. I really feel for her and am right there with her. No one likes to be used, and that's what Parker did here.



    Back in "Surprise" I proposed the idea that Buffy simply wasn't emotionally mature enough to have sex yet. That isn't a problem anymore though. The mistake she makes here is that she jumped in the sack with a guy she only knew for a week. This is thankfully an experience she learns from. For now she has to deal with the consequences of her hasty rush to move past Angel, and nobody knows how to force Buffy into seeing these consequences better than Spike. In their fight outside he gets some really truthful jabs in and jumps right to the heart of the matter. He says, "So, you let Parker take a poke, eh? Didn't seem like you knew each other that well. ... Did he play the sensitive lad and get you to seduce him? That's a good trick if the girl's thick enough to buy While these comments are blunt and pouring salt in a wound, Spike is completely correct in his analysis of the situation. He also gets her stirred up enough to gain her focus back and snatch the gem from him.



    This whole ordeal is succinctly captured by Willow's helpful "he's a poophead" speech. Buffy still wishes that she can make it work with Parker. Even after Parker and Spike's comments she still has trouble believing that someone actually just used her for sex. Buffy still feels that it's her fault he doesn't want anything to do with her beyond that. In time she'll fully realize the only thing she was at fault for was falling for it. I have to say I am extremely impressed with how carefully, naturally, maturely, and in-character all of this was dealt with. Kudos to the writers for having Buffy's second sexual experience be an important event that's not washed over. I also like the ripples we see from this in the next couple episodes.



    Buffy's not the only one encountering problems with a second sexual encounter. Anya's back in town and is very confused about how relationships develop. She's spent a thousand years inflicting vengeance on the unfaithful, so she knows how to deal with the end of relationships, but the beginning of them is completely new territory for her. She takes her usual direct approach and succeeds in confusing the hell out of Xander. She comes on strong and he can only respond with "Anya. Slow down there. In fact, come to a screeching halt. See these things kind of have to develop on their She then understandably asks, "Okay. How?" Xander then proves he doesn't have any answers: "I don't know. I just - Later on she stops by his room in the basement and, in a hilarious scene, drops all her clothes and proposes to have "sexual intercourse" with him. His response is to squeeze a juicebox empty and shake. Awesome. To his credit he attempts to resist her nude physical advancement by saying that they aren't ready for this yet, but he quickly gives in. Afterwards they don't look particularly satisfied and appear to be even more confused.



    We find out that Spike's new girlfriend is Harmony of all people. At first it seems ludicrous that a vampire like Spike would allow himself to be with someone like her, but once we begin to see how their relationship functions things begin to make more sense. The only way that Harmony can gain Spike's affections is through sex, and we can see that Spike's not satisfied by it at all. He's nice enough to take her out to a party, but after a while his limit is reached and he just stakes her. Fortunately for her she was wearing the invulnerability gem at the time. Spike's noticeably different now that Drusilla isn't in the picture anymore; he's a lot harsher. Listening to Harmony run on about France all day is likely a large part of why he's acting this way, because in "The Initiative" we see his swagger briefly returned to him when he escapes an Initiative holding cell. Even though Harmony is incredibly annoying, I can't help but feel sorry for her when she remains loyal to Spike and doesn't tell the Scoobies where he is.



    It all ends on a really fitting note. We have Buffy, Anya, and Harmony all walking outside physically near each other, but emotionally isolated. They all seem to realize that sex isn't the key to lasting happiness and that it often leads to much confusion. All in all this is a superb and probing episode which really focuses on the characters. My only complaint lies with the main plot of Spike trying to retrieve the gem -- it's just not very interesting. Also, we know Spike isn't going to get to keep something that makes him invincible, so no real tension is generated. Although that fact slights the episode a notch, it's still close to top notch. All the characters are in a really new, uncomfortable, and unexplored state. "The Harsh Light of Day" successfully reflects that feeling and does it in vivid style.
  • Hooray for Spike!

    8.0
    The Good;

    Spike's back and the series is better off with him in it. Our first sign that Harmony survived graduation and is now a vamp. Great fight and some excellent comedy, especially love Spike's workers groaning when Harmony starts bleating on about France again. Also like Parker's complaining about guys who are so 'Dark and brooding, give me love'. Nice reveal of Spike



    The Bad;

    None, good ep, best of season 4 so far



    Best line;

    Buffy; 'Spike, with Harmony. What you lose a bet?'

    but I also like Willow (on Harmony being a vamp) 'She must be dying without a reflection'



    Character death;

    nope, the guy Spike and Harmony bite at the party survives and we see Asian Joe again in 'Pangs' so the Scoobs obviously rescue him.



    Tied up;

    Asian Joe chained to the wall.



    Knocked out;

    Xander in the fight with Spike



    Women good/men bad;

    The final scene with a broken hearted Buffy, Anya and Harmony all miserable having been dumped. Xander remarks that he's 'Actually turning into a woman as he's saying this' when hesitating before the offer of casual sex with a beautiful girl. But as he says 'Still more romantic than Faith'. Spike and Harmony have an abusive relationship but in fairness to Spike she seems just as bad as he is and even more manipulative.



    Jeez!;

    Spike's 'trash-talk' with Buffy whilst fighting her (he should know better!)



    Kinky dinky;

    Harmony may be dumb but she knows how to get what she wants. She hints that she and Spike have bondage, S&M and exhibitionist sex. Anya does a striptease for Xander (cue juice gag!) and brings black condoms for their coitus. Parker and Buffy have sex but he dumps her afterwards. Harmony seems to have a thing for Antonio Banderas. Spike comments that he loves syphilis more than he does Harmony. Xander dreams of being naked at the Walmart. Willow seems to want to know the details of Buffy and Parker's night of passion, not graphically but as a 'blurry watercolour'.



    Calling Captain Subtext;

    Harmony wants to bite Willow. Maybe there was an underlying attraction between the 2 all these years? Parker suggests Buffy and Spike used to go out and she laughs.



    Guantanamo Bay;

    The gang threaten Harmony to try and find Spike.



    Scoobies to the ER;

    Xander is hurt in the final fight but not too badly. Willow needs a band-aid.



    Questions and observations;

    Where season 4 kicks into gear really, quite marvellous. Willow becomes the 3rd Scooby to be bitten by a vampire (Buffy twice by Angel and the Master, Angel and Joyce by Darla although the latter is not a Scooby). Buffy still has the scar from where she was bitten but is that from The Master or Angel? Personally I never know what to make of Parker, Buffy seems to think their sex is the beginning of a relationship whilst it's casual to him. I don't think he's a bad guy really. Giles never locks his door and owns a TV which disappoints Oz who nevertheless seems to appreciate his vinyl albums just as Joyce did in Band Candy. Good music, especially like 'Lucky' (for the Buffy/Parker sex scene) and the interestingly titled 'Faith in love'. Asian Joe, the guy who is chained to Spike's wall is a recurring extra as a Sunnydale High School student (Harmony comments she used to have a class with him), you can see him in many eps but most prominently in Earshot where Buffy hears him thinking about being a 'software gillionaire'. Unfortunately the last appearance of Devon in the series although he's mentioned in Something Blue

    Marks out of 10; 8/10, very good

  • Love hurts for all walks of life (and nonlife)

    9.5
    You know, I am genuinely surprised to see this episode rated below a 9. Spike's return (with ditzy Harmony at his side) really brings back the witty bad guy we know and love. Spike seeks the Gem of Amara, a powerfully cool item that makes vampires impervious to stakes, crosses, and sunlight. In addition to this action, we are introduced to new romance on the Buffy front as well as the awesomely dysfunctional relationships of Xander & Anya and Spike & Harmony. The interactions between these couples were very entertaining, while the Buffy and Parker storyline was mildly heart-wrenching. Overall, I was impressed with the combined humor and drama of this episode.
  • Loving you is wrong

    9.4
    So, Spike returns, and not alone- he brings the annoying Harmony with him. We see a couple of romantic moments and then everything turnes to a nightmare. All three girls (Buffy, Harmony and Anya) are dumped. Buffy's heart is broken again, like it was after Angel made love to her and then dissapeared - he turned into a bad demon. Now that Scoobies got the Gem of Amara, Buffy sends it to Angel in L.A. Spike really did wake up the whole serie when he returned. I'm looking forward to see the upcoming episodes! Interesting episode, a-must-watch! I'm glad Spike came back!
  • Spike and Harmony.

    9.5
    Harmony is really funny in this episode from when she bites Willow and threatens to send Spike to beat her up to the sad pathetic girl she becomes after Spike tries to stake her for the gem. Willow and Oz are so cute together in this episode and I love the mentions of the angry puppy. I feel so bad for Buffy in this episode too, because Parker is clearly just using lines and she just falls for all of them, I love when Spike calls her out on it the next day. Xander and Anya are also great, I love how she demands that they sleep together and then is still not over he by the end. Spike is so great in this episode and him and Harmony are so funny together, all the relationship things that play out are really interesting and when Parker thinks that Buffy and him used to date it is really funny and a bit of foreshadwoing.
  • Spike and Dr- Harmony?!

    9.0
    The Harsh Light Of Day contains everything a good Buffy episode needs- action, humour, drama and sadness. It sets up 3 new couples, one which will remain important until the end. It continued Season 4's trend of fun episodes and that is not a bad thing.

    Spike and Harmony are a funny couple that whilst being very entertaining, don't have the spark that Spike and Buffy have and the dark glamour that Spike and Drusilla have. They're still very, very fun though. My initial thoughts to them being together was "What the f-? Didn't Harmony die?" but I soon got used to it. Harmony is a hilarious character that is probably the only character who is more sympathetic as a vampire! As a human she was just very, very mean but as a vampire, she kicks ass! So very amusing.

    Seeing Spike back again was a treat. I'm a big fan of him (he's probably my favourite male character in the 'verse) and he's so witty and entertaining that you can't hate him even though he's the villain of the episode! This episode sets up his eventual joining the main cast and I thought this was a brilliant addition to the show.

    However, Spike wasn't the only character returning! Anya makes her grand reappearance here and I couldn't be more thankful- behind Darla, she's my favourite character ever. She's so unbelievably funny and while Emma Caulfield hasn't quite grasped her character fully yet, it's worth the wait to see her eventually become one of the best actresses on Buffy. I love Xander/Anya and this was their first real start, so I couldn't not love it!

    However, the Buffy/Parker story doesn't do it for me. It is a realistic thing but seeing Buffy mope over Parker for 2 more episodes after this was very very annoying. Parker is real jerk and the best thing Riley ever did was smack him in The Initiative. Good Riley!

    The Gem of Amara was an interesting concept and one that is continued in the just as brilliant Angel episode "In The Dark". This is the first Buffy/Angel crossover and it's a great one!

    The Harsh Light Of Day was a fantastic episode that'll keep you smiling. It brings back three much loved characters and had a brilliant plot.
  • Season 4, Episode 3.

    9.5
    Spike and his new girlfriend, Harmony, search for the Gem of Amara, which would make vampires invincible to sunlight, stakes, and crosses. Anya seduces Xander, and Buffy and Parker sleep together, but Parker grows distant soon after.

    I liked this episode. It was the most entertaining episode this season. Buffy looked hot throughout the whole episode, as always. I liked that Spike came back, even if it's just for one episode. I liked his little Angel comment that made Buffy go crazy on Spike. It was awesome. Plus, we got to see Xander shirtless. Rawr! Hehe that was hot. Interesting episode, definitely. Best one so far this season.
  • He's back...

    10
    This episode shows the return of spike, while he was still bad. It also shows the return of Harmony, this time as a vampire. I like when Harmonies on because the whole time you think, "Buffy can totally take you, so could Xander, Willow, Oz, Giles, and even Dawn, in about 2 years." This episode ends with a real good hand to hand fight with Buffy and Spike (It also reminds you that if you use Angel to make fun of Buffy, run,) and in the end it starts a Buffy Angel crossover. This episode was sheer perfection, with the story, the characters, and the fight scene.
  • The Harsh Light of Day

    8.5
    The Harsh Light of Day was a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This episode saw the return of some familiar faces, some of whom have changed since we last seen them. There was lots of ground work in this episode for future episodes of the season, series, and also for Angel spinoff series. I think its really cool how every thing intertwines and has some sort of continuity. I enjoyed watching this episode. It was an interesting mix of sub plots full of action, drama, and humor. I think that there was a good amount of character development too. Especially for Buffy who wasn't the only one who felt the burn of The Harsh Light of Day.
  • Blondie-Bear!

    8.9
    3 of my favorite characters return to bring in the funny.

    Spike is my all-time favorite character. I find his story the most intriguing of the whole series. From Big Bad, to neutered puppy, to a vampire seeking redemption. In this episode he plays the Big Bad, and he does it well! He wants the Gem of Amara so he can be invincible. He brings with him another one of my favorite characters, Harmony.

    Harmony is underrated IMO. Admittedly, she does her best work in Angel, but I still enjoy her scenes here as well.

    We also welcome back the pure awesomeness that is Anya. Anya is probably my second favorite character behind Spike. She comes back looking to continue her relationship with Xander. However, Xander takes exception to the term "relationship". Her scenes are all comedy gold in this episode. This episode we see Buffy lower her guard a little and she has sex with Parker. Turns out Parker is an A-hole and wants nothing to do with Buffy after the deed is done.

    The episode ends with Oz taking the Gem to Angel in a crossover episode.
  • Day Light Cravings Time

    8.7
    The Harsh Light of Day-Spike returns to Sunnydale with his new girlfriend, the now vampire Harmony. Spike is searching for the Gem of Amara - a stone which makes vampires immune to crosses, stakes, and sunlight - and he believes that it is buried somewhere under Sunnydale. Buffy is preoccupied with her budding relationship with Parker and eventually sleeps with him, but she is devastated when he grows distant the next day. Meanwhile Anya returns and throws herself at a flabbergasted Xander.

    I never understood why Buffy slept Parker so soon after breaking up with Angel. I understand it's college, and your meeting new, interesting people, but you could tell Parker was trying to get into Buffy's pants a mile away. I guess the the writers were trying to show the typical college jock whose only objective is sleeping with mutiple women, but come on, Buffy fell for him way to fast. Despite that, "The Harsh Light of Day" features a solid demon plot and the return of some truly great characters.

    The return of James Masters as Spike and Mercedes McHab as Harmony couldn't be more welcomed, especially with the revelation of Harmony being a vampire and her dating Spike of all people. Both actos play off each so well with Spike being so annoyed by Harmony's dizty comments and never-ending bambling. Then there's this priceless line:

    Harmony: "You love that tunnel more than me." Spike: "I love syphilis more than you."

    The Gem of Amara is wonderful plot development and it's great how it can make any vampire who wears immune to any of it's weaknesses. The episode also features one of the best fight scenes from the series I think when Spike and Buffy duke it out on the college campus. Not to mention, Buffy going into a$$kicking mode when Spike mentioned Angel was priceless. Another great plot development is Buffy deciding to give the gem to Angel, which continues the storyline into the Angel episode, "In The Dark". Also, I love the Anya coming back and her relationship with Xander is cute and beyond hilarious, especially when she goes full frontal and Xander reacts with the most pricless facial expression, lol. All and All, "The Hars Light of Day" is solid epiosde with great characters returning and a cool demon plot.
  • This was my favourite episode of Season 4 so far.

    8.5
    I guess a lot of people heartbroken in this episode.

    Spike is back with his new Girlfriend Harmony - I can't believe she is a Vampire!!

    Buffy slept with tha guy and that he gave her the boot.

    Anya slept with Xander and he just let her leave.. but we all know that she has got a lot of feelings for him. She told him that she was over him but was she?

    We saw a lot of people sad in this episode but it was a really good one.

    Spike came out in day light because of that gem that he had.. That gem is really powerful for Vampires. It's good to have Spike back!
  • Buffy learns the hard way that Parker is a poophead.

    9.4
    Favorite Quotes:
    Parker: "I'm not doing the deep "get sympathy" routine. I mean, don't you just hate guys who are all, "I'm dark and brooding, so give me love."
    Buffy: "I don't think I've ever met that type."

    Another great ep. Spike shows up with a new girlfriend; Harmony. Spike and Harmony....I never saw that one coming. Anyway, he is in town to find the gem of Amarra. Meanwhile, Buffy grows closer to Parker. Unfortunately, Parker is a smooth talker who has no intention of anything beyond bedding Buffy which he does in this ep. In another part of town, Anya shows up at Xanders house and drops her dress in front of him. She was always direct....
    Spike finds the gem and promptly goes out into the sunlight to kick Buffys butt, but not before he gets some digs in about her experience with Parker. Buffy is able to get the ring from him and she is sending it with Oz to L.A. for Angel.
  • Spike returns to Sunnydale with his new girlfriend, Harmony, and a plan to find the Gem of Amara.

    9.4
    This is one of my favorite episodes. I never liked Harmony and I think she makes the perfect vampire (she was already evil). It's weird to see her with Spike though. I don't like the fact that Buffy slept with Parker. Why!? You'd think she'd be smarter than that. I also don't care for the fact that Xander slept with Anya. I think I would rather see Xander and Willow get together. I really really liked the fighting scene at the end of the episode between Spike and Buffy. I have to admit that I was afraid Spike might die when Buffy took the ring away from him. I'm glad he didn't die.
  • Oz (to Giles): OK, either I'm borrowing all your records or I'm moving in.

    9.2
    So Harmony isn’t dead. She is now all vampy and dating Spike, her blondie-bear. Anya is also back, considering that the Ascension didn’t happen. She is still into Xander and wants to sleep with him to get over him, they hook-up, but she isn’t over him and is upset. Buffy sleeps with Parker and then he ditches her, upsetting Buffy. Spike is acting like a jerk to Harmony, which upsets her. Seems that all of the Sunnydale women are upset, but Willow. Anya: I like you. You're funny and you're nicely shaped, and frankly it's ludicrous to have these interlocking bodies and not... interlock. Please remove your clothing now.
    Xander: And the amazing thing? Still more romantic than Faith.
  • chick love

    1.2
    the first horirble episode of the seaosn. such a stupid storyline that even made the angel version bad but at least not as bad as this episode. buffy sleeping with parker? eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew! i liked anya as the only thing i liked about it. i hated harmony and spike and they should not come back ever! this is really a bad episode only for anya and xander it had some good moments.
  • Parker's equals poop head

    7.0
    I really felt that this season rang as true to real life more then any other season. Though each season has it's fill of demons, problems, and every thing a hell mouth could have and more this season did focus a lto on college and Buffy and the gangs start of that life. This episode really touched on the instability of that and the impact every decision we make can have on our lives. Buffy, Xander, and Willow all really hit on the first year of college vibe with everything that happened to each of them this season. I felt that this episode was the start of it all and where it really took off in the over all plot of the season.
  • Spike finds a mystic relic that allows him to shrug off sunlight and stakes. Did he really think that would be enough to kill Buffy?

    7.4
    The episode centers around Spike's hunt for a holy grail among vampires. The Gem of Amara is able to grant a vampire immunity to their usual killers; sunlight and stakes have no power over the undead that wears the gem.

    Of course, even with this advantage, you still need to be able to keep the ring on. When he goes after Buffy...again... he once again fails to kill her.

    The episode is a bit of a filler and leads to an entirely unnecessary cross over with Angel the Series. The reason to watch this episode is Spike and Harmony. The oddest vampire couple ever, they are a riot to watch. You almost have to feel sorry for Harms.
  • Spike searches for the Vampires Holy Grail. How Noble

    9.0
    Love hurts. So does being staked.

    Spike is back this week, and a very good job he does. The Vampire career of Harmony is first introduced this week, one of ups and downs that goes on to the very end of Angel.

    Still it is a good set up for her and her continuing liason with Spike and her many valiant but unsucessful attempts at being evil. The episode had it moments like for the spilt second we think Harmony is about to get dusted and Spikes usual bluster in his attempts to kill Buffy.

    This episode also links into Episode three of Angel with gives the two series a good connection, something not seen in very many shows.
  • 'The gem of Amarra. Official sponsor of my killing you.'

    8.5
    ‘The Harsh Light Of Day’ is the third season 4 episode but it didn’t entirely succeed.
    The problem was probably with the chick-feeling, a boring love storyline. Three times. But on the other hand, it was actually what made this episode fun, the ring of amarra sure didn’t.

    One of the three love stories is the Buffy/Parker one, definitely the least appealing of the three. They are starting to hang out more, Parker does the come-onto-me and innocent speech and Buffy completely falls for it. They talk about scars and everything seems to make him vulnerable while the only thing he’s thinking about is to get Buffy as soon as possible into bed.

    Meanwhile, Harmony is back only she’s less tanned. She attacks Willow but is saved by Oz. Harmony says her boyfriend will be so mad, meaning Spike but he couldn’t care less cause he likes syphilis more than her. Spike is back in town after the gem who makes vampires invisible, he’s now with Harmony and he didn’t even loose a bet. But Harmony keeps irritating him and it’s obvious he’s sick of her.

    The third couple is Xander’s Anya who believes they have a relationship. He appears out of no where and thinks that Xander is into her just because they went on a prom date. Anya says that she can’t stop thinking about him and the only way for her to stop is by going to bed with him, but he turns into a woman and says that relationships have to develop on their own. But eventually they wind up in bed after she takes of her clothes and wants their bodies to interlock.

    After all the three couples have sex, Spike makes sure Harmony knows how much he hates her. Xander is also not very much in a relationship with Anya and doesn’t give her any attention and Parker promised Buffy to call her but naturally he doesn’t.

    While Spike finally graves him Gem, turns out that Harmony has it and he stakes her. But she doesn’t die because she has the gem, so he takes it off her and goes to visit Buffy who has just been spiritually damaged by Parker, in a very pathetic way. Spike hits Buffy up and down but she eventually manages to take off his ring.

    The episode had three love stories and all three had their ups and downs. Parker and Buffy were a bit icky, and too fast after Angel left. Anya and Xander were plain hilarious but he doesn’t seem to be so interested in her. And Spike and Harmony were completely two different persons and I wonder how they got together, but that doesn’t keep them from being funny.

    ‘The Harsh Light Of Day’ was an okay episode, certainly not one of the best but still fun to watch. Oz continues the storyline by going to LA with the ring.

  • "Love hurts, baby" - Spike

    9.2
    Poor old Buffy. Her college woes continue. In these opening episodes she has to deal with all the staples of University life – being unsettled and trying to fit in, bad roomies, bad men, frat parties and alcohol. As in S3, we get all of the emotional stuff out the way first before moving onto the meat and potatoes of the Big Bad Frankenfighting.

    Playboy Parker knows how to inspire “wrong lusty feelings” in vulnerable Freshman on the rebound. He’s sensitive, yet not “all dark and broody”, he’s sweet and a gentleman and thus seems perfect for a Spike killing. At first sight, this ep appears to be a repeat of Never Kill a Boy on the First Date – cute, kind, insightful guy needs Buffy’s protection. But no, this is about the real world. Angel losing his soul post-coitus was a metaphor for the way men can ‘go bad’ after sex and here we have the reality. Parker’s pseudo-profound ethic of living for the day hits a nerve with Buffy whose last boyf was eternal and the somewhat literal symbolism of the scar Angel left on Buffy’s neck reminds us of her wounds from her relationship with the vampire.

    However it’s not just Buffy who is in the love wars - we meet up with some old friends: Devon, Harmony, Anya and Spike! some of who are also suffering from the love-bug. Harmony and Spike make a fabulous couple, as he searches for the Gem of McGuffin and she insists on being treated like a Goddess, much to Spike’s chagrin and indeed derision. They get all the best lines: “Being a vampire sucks”, “Blondie bear”, “My platinum baby” and “I love syphilis more than you”. Spike is on the rebound just as much as Buffy, and just like Parker (and, to an extent, Anya) he’s only after one thing. Ok, he’s only after two things: Killing Buffy being the more important. As they have their first scuffle Buffy gets to taunt Spike about Drusilla, but methinks she may come to regret this.

    Meanwhile, Anya has gone from a man-hating blonde to a needy brunette and is stalking Xander. Her disrobing provides the 2nd best visual joke of the series with the juice squirting out of the carton.* Yep, everyone’s getting some but all the relationships are based on sex, not love. Which is bad, children, bad. Unlike Parker (and, to some extent, Harmony), Anya doesn’t know how these things work and so she just states what she wants, rather than playing the love-game. Still, at least Xander reckons that Anya has “a certain directness that I admire” (like Faith, like Cordelia) and some ex-demon shenanigans must be a welcome relief from the first of his many McJobs (filing for Giles). Xander, one presumes, isn’t on the rebound, but this (like Spike, like Buffy) is his second relationship, and all of them are finding it hard to move on.

    Angel, the reason that Buffy’s vulnerability allow her to sleep with – nay - seduce Parker, is bubbling under the surface the whole episode, but he is not mentioned until the Indestructible Spike vs. Buffy battle. It’s a bad day for the Slayer as Parker effectively tells her that their relationship was a one night stand and Buffy apologises to him (oh Buffy!), followed by Spike smacking her around, invincibly. It’s only when he gets his own back and starts to taunt Buffy about Parker and Angel not wanting her (“Guess you’re not worth a second go”) that he gives Buffy the stimulation to slap him down and remove the ring. Spike escapes, but the episode comes full circle as Buffy resolves to give the Gem to the man whose name shall not be mentioned. Which of course leads to only one of the two good crossover episodes as Spike goes to LA to try to get the ring back and gives the wonderful speech from on top of the building. [“No, helping those in need’s my job - and working up a load of sexual tension and prancing away like a magnificent poof is truly thanks enough! Evil’s still afoot! And I’m almost out of that Nancy-boy hair-gel that I like so much. Quickly, to the Angel-mobile, away!”]

    But at the end we don’t get a real resolution as vulnerabuffy is still fixated on Poophead Parker: “He’s manipulative and shallow and why doesn’t he want me?” and we see the three masochistic girls walking way, fools for love.

    *the best visual joke is during the scene in the library in Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered when Xander barricades the doors, forgetting that they open outwards.
  • Three stories written for three different girls.

    8.3
    This episode is not only about the Gem Of Amara, but it is also about three very different relationships. One about two vampires one newly turned and one 126 year old, one about an ex-demon and a guy who lives in his parents basement, and the last between a slayer and a college boy. I like this episode because Spike returns for the Fourth season to stay this time! lol I like this episode because we find out that Harmony one of the ditziest girls on the planet is a vampire whose boyfriend is Spike... lmao!!
    This is also the beginning of the Xander/Anya Sexcapades! This is where we first see the pair go at it and Anya because she thought that was what Xander wanted to hear said she was over him but she never really got over him ever! Xander never got over her even though he ends up leaving her at the alter.
    This is also the episode where Buffy finds that her new crush is to be called "stinky Parkerman" and he is going to be punched by Riley (but not in this ep).
    The harsh light of day goes into an episode of Angel of which the name slips my mind at the moment Spike is very determined to have the Gem and he goes looking for it in LA (bad idea!). Both good episodes and the first transition episodes of their kind there will be a whole lot more in future seasons and even another in this one (the fourth).
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