Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E22 – Becoming, Part Two

In the twenty-second (and final) episode of the second season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I will need to be held until the end of time. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

The point at which I realized that the finale I was about to watch would be utterly horrifying occurs during the cold open of “Becoming, Part Two.” It’s a moment that is so unexpected and brutal that it’s a clear sign that all bets are off, that Whedon is ready to deliver a story that is going to go far beyond our expectations for a season finale.

Buffy punches a cop in the face.

I shrieked. I just yelled at the episode over and over again. In my head, this episode was going to show how Buffy has to deal with the police, similar to what happened in “Ted,” but in much more detail. And then she PUNCHES A FUCKING COP AND ESCAPES. My face? Take Principal Snyder’s look of pure shock and that’s what mine was doing. Buffy Summers was now a fugitive. HOLY FUCK.

If I can be honest with you, my dear Buffy fandom friends, if this was the final episode of Buffy ever, the series finale, and if there was never going to be another episode of this show after this, I would be satisfied. This is despite that things are left unanswered, that many story threads are not only left open but RENDERED CHAOTIC, and that we are given one of the most bleak stories I have seen on television.

I am just so satisfied.

I didn’t necessarily believe that this finale would be like “Prophecy Girl.” Most of season two pushed the boundaries of what Buffy could be about, and what Whedon could do to his characters. But I admit that I expected “Becoming, Part Two” to give a sense of closure to a lot of the story arcs that had been stretched over the last twenty-one episodes. This is, of course, before I watched a second of this season finale. That cold open pretty much crushed my dream of a neat and feel-good story being delivered my way.

I’m trying to learn. I swear.

The decision to follow up Buffy’s escape with a reunion between her and the rest of the Scooby gang is that sign I needed that this episode wasn’t going to be an easy thing to watch. Xander has a broken hand. Willow is in a coma. Cordelia is awash with guilt over running away from the library during the attack. And Giles is missing; we discover that Angelus is preparing him for a bout of torture in order to get the information he needs to wake up Acathla.

But the true horror here is how Buffy’s life has spiraled so terribly out of control that her shaky alibis are not going to work on her mother. I thought that perhaps Buffy might be able to come up with some sort of reason to protect her identity, but how on earth was she going to explain punching a cop in the face? Even worse, when the cop from “Ted” brings up Buffy’s “violent past,” then I  wanted to punch him in the face. My god, there are few things I despise more on the planet than authority figures trying to paint disingenuous stories of people they want to scapegoat and blame. Yet I couldn’t ignore two complications to this idea: Buffy did punch a cop, and Buffy did have a past of violence. How on earth was she going to justify herself this time while also keeping her identity as a secret? IT’S TOO MUCH. MY HEART HURTS JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.

I’m not the biggest fan of Whistler, and aside from one moment he has, I think his character was best suited to frame the narration of “Becoming, Part One.” He is truly unnecessary to the story and to Buffy in this episode, speaking in bizarre, ambiguous code about himself, Angel, Angelus, and Buffy’s role in this whole affair. I was kind of glad that she blew him off because he wasn’t making any sense at all. JUST TELL HER WHAT TO DO AND STOP ACTING ALL ~*MYSTERIOUS*~.

And then she runs into Spike at the same moment that a police officer recognizes her and I start to think, “Oh, great, this is just great, can this girl please get a break, why can’t she – HOLY FUCKING GOD, WHAT DID HE JUST SAY? WHAT? WHAT WAS THAT? WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!?! HE WANTS TO FORM AN ALLIANCE WITH BUFFY? SO HELP ME WHEDON, THIS IS SO GODDAMN AMAZING. It’s just such a fascinating and game-changing twist: Spike is sick of Angelus. Spike doesn’t want to actually end the world. And Spike wants Drusilla back. So he’s willing to put aside a burning hatred for Buffy Summers, his number one threat as a vampire, in order to get ride of Angelus.


Even typing this sentence right now is giving goosebumps because it’s now time to talk about the one moment I thought I would have to wait years to get to. I admit that for a brief moment of time, as Buffy and Spike tried to come up with some awful cover story about being in a band, I was irritated. These lies that Buffy was coming up with just didn’t make any sense anymore, and I worried that Joyce would start to believe that her daughter was maliciously lying to her. How long could this show keep up the charade?

Turns out it was about thirty seconds. I sat in complete and utter shock as Buffy slays a vampire in front of her mother. I started laughing out of pure disbelief. I had no other way to react to this. Buffy just told her mother that she’s a vampire slayer. IN THE SECOND SEASON. I wanted this moment since the introduction of Joyce Summers, and I got it. That’s when Joss Whedon teaches me that I should never, ever desire anything ever from him, because he will promptly destroy it.

At this point, the story sort of bounces around between three main plots: Giles being tortured, Xander, Oz, and Willow at the hospital, and Buffy’s ongoing crisis of identity and fate. It’s never confusing at all, and I really enjoy how Whedon constructs the cutaways to give us this sense of growing chaos and complication. We have Xander declaring to Willow that he loves her. At possibly the most inconvenient time imaginable? I mean seriously. I thought it was a tad cheesy that this was the one thing that would wake her up, but then Whedon reminds me of his own taste for Misery when Willow asks for Oz first. WELL. This is going to make for an awkward season three, isn’t it? And I am just beginning to seriously like Cordelia and Xander as a couple! WHY MUST ALL THINGS BE RUINED? Oh god, and now Willow wants to try to curse Angel again? SO MANY THINGS ARE HAPPENING AT ONCE.

I suppose they’re not ruined yet. You know what is ruined? GILES. Angelus torturing Giles is bad enough, but when Spike intervenes in order to keep the man alive for Buffy, “Becoming, Part Two,” takes my heart, crushes it into sand, and then feeds me that sand, and then throws me under a bus that Joss Whedon is driving with glee on his face. We see Drusilla’s full power of mind reading at work against Giles as she tries to determine what his real weakness is, and when “Jenny” appears, I was pretty much ready to start sobbing endlessly. It’s a fucked up dynamic for the obvious reasons, but also because it shows that while Spike wants his alliance with Buffy to work for him and Drusilla, that doesn’t mean he is going to be friends with her or Giles. Truthfully, though, the scene feels like Whedon is just dumping salt in the wound. It’s no surprise that I think Jenny was one of the best-written characters on the show, and now I have to be reminded of that, of the chemistry that she had with Giles, and of the fact that I will never see her again?

You are a cruel man, Joss Whedon.

Though I suppose this whole episode is an exercise in cruelty. As I said before, I’d been eagerly awaiting the day when Buffy could talk to her mother openly about being the Slayer. Now, that day has arrived, and it’s FUCKING MISERABLE. Seriously, what the fuck did I expect? That her mother would joyously join her in killing demons and paranormal creatures? What an unrealistic fool I am. Joyce’s reaction here is entirely believable from the first moment she knows until the crushing ending. She doesn’t accept it. She doesn’t understand it. It’s not the answer to end all answers that Buffy (and myself) thought it would be. If anything, Joyce has more questions than ever, and now her daughter is running off to do something dangerous and violent again, refusing to talk to her. You may think that Joyce was being overly strict with Buffy by demanding her to stay, but what else was she going to do? Her daughter doesn’t talk to her. She just dropped the neutron bomb of reveals and now she’s just leaving?

Oh, Joyce. My heart breaks for you.

It eventually breaks for pretty much everyone, though, as the episode finally heads to its shocking endgame. Buffy consults the Whistler to learn how to stop Acathla: she must kill Angelus and use his blood to close the portal to hell. Of course, he makes some ambiguous reference to her having one last thing to lose in this battle and I hate him so desperately because COULD YOU JUST FUCKING TELL HER THAT INSTEAD OF MUTTERING IT AFTER SHE LEAVES? But it’s child’s play when you compare it to the actions of Xander, who has the most morally conflicting action in the entirety of “Becoming, Part Two.”

He doesn’t tell Buffy that Willow is trying to curse Angel again, instead egging her on to kill him. As soon as he said it, I screamed WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING????? at the television set. Because XANDER WHAT ARE YOU DOING? With some time to reflect on his choice, I feel less certain that it’s easy to determine whether he was right or wrong in his actions. Obviously, on its face, it’s a horrific lie, one that Buffy will suffer for greatly, so I do think there’s a whole lot to be argued for this position. But at the same time, Buffy has had the chance to kill Angelus before, and she didn’t. I don’t believe that Angelus is Buffy’s responsibility by any means. Yet she is truly the only person who could defeat him, and I think Xander didn’t want to derail the possibility that she might actually do it. Angelus murdered their friend and other people. He tortured Giles. He’s ruined lives, and now he is opening a door that’ll suck all of existence to Hell. Yeah, I don’t feel bad saying that killing Angel is pretty much excused in my own moral book if that’s what it will take to stop the world from going to hell.

I ultimately don’t want to make a judgment either way until I see what comes of this. My gut tells me that Buffy was wronged by Xander’s lie, and my brain tells me that he may have made the right choice. And then I think that perhaps there really isn’t a “right” or “wrong” in this situation anyway. And then I think about what happens next and I just want to curl up into a ball forever.

The final battle scene of “Becoming, Part Two” is organized chaos. It’s beautiful. It’s frightening. It’s brutal. It’s as if Whedon somehow acquired a doubled budget just for this episode, as the camera angles and production quality all seem leap years ahead of all of season two. You can see the emotion on Buffy’s face as she comes to terms with the fact that she has to kill Angelus once and for all, and then realizes that she’s losing, especially when Angelus removes the sword from Acathla. Even Spike truly believes that Buffy’s about to be killed, but he chooses to leave with Drusilla rather than stop it.

In the end, the Whistler’s ramblings prove to be true: Buffy really only has herself, and this season’s giant thematic arc is given to us. We have always been leading to this point, of Buffy being alone. When Willow succeeds at giving Angel back his soul, it’s at the worst possible time: Acathla has opened his mouth, and the vortex to hell has been opened. It is one of the most damning plot twists I’ve experienced, a moment of pure ironic terror. Buffy gets Angel back at the exact moment she must murder him. Sarah Michelle Gellar gives the best performance of the entire show as a young woman who must forever sacrifice someone she loves.

But I think what shocked me most was how in that instant, David Boreanaz is able to show me what Angel used to be. I have not forgiven him for what Angelus did, but I felt sorry for him. Sympathy can be a powerful thing, and now I know that there is at least a method for bringing about forgiveness. I said before that this would be the number one thing that I’d have a problem with because the writers crossed such a specific line with his character.

Still, that’s for another day. I don’t even think I could come up with a theory about how Angel is going to come back, so let’s not go there until tomorrow. For now, let’s just appreciate (and sob over) the end of “Becoming, Part Two.” Buffy leaves town. She leaves her friends, her mother, and her school behind. She has become exactly what she wanted to be long ago: a loner. She was always concerned about bringing people into her world, and now she’s going to pursue exactly what she thinks is best for her.


Tomorrow, I’ll post my predictions for season three, as well as neat feature I’d like to start doing at the end of each season, and we’ll start season three on Wednesday. In the meantime, I am going to ask that y’all provide some comfort to me in the form of cuteness in the comments. Because this shit has fucked me up.

Fucking Joss Whedon, I swear.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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679 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E22 – Becoming, Part Two

  1. <img src=""&gt;

    Strong contender for greatest moment in all of Buffy, and it's two letters long.

    I love moments when a character (re)claims their identity and embraces their inner badass and/or fuck-up. Vg'f bar ernfba V ybir "Naar" fb zhpu. Fur trgf nabgure erpynzngvba-bs-vqragvgl zbzrag gurer jvgu gur "Jub ner lbh?"/"V'z Ohssl. Gur Inzcver Fynlre. Naq lbh ner?" See also: Zuko's "My name is Zuko. Son of Ursa and Fire Lord Ozai. Prince of the Fire Nation and heir to the throne." (A whopping 75 letters! You couldn't just say, "Me"?)

    In conclusion, everything is more exciting in movie-trailer form.

    [youtube u1Z4NO91Z4k youtube]

    • seekingoutfriday says:

      That Buffy moment right there is in my top two Buffy character moments EVER. Chills.

      • Ooh, what's the other one?

        • seekingoutfriday says:

          I don't know how to do that secret language thing so I can't say!

          • Hee! You can use to join the spoiler party!

            • cait0716 says:

              another excellent moment

              • hamnoo says:

                Gah! What did they say? I want to know!

                • notemily says:

                  Nope, it was in plain text. The mods got like fifty spoiler reports.

                  • The reply I got in my e-mail was in rot13, so that's weird.

                  • hamnoo says:

                    That would have been some spoiler.

                    • DreamRose311 says:

                      During this rewatch I've been showing them to my roommate for the first time, and one night she invited a friend of hers over and he watched with us. We were talking about it before hand and he said he hadn't see all of it but he had seen that particular part.

                      V gevrq gb cynl vg bss nf uvz zrnavat gur raq bs gur svefg frnfba (orpnhfr ur bayl fnvq gung ur fnj jura fur qvrq), ohg V'z cerggl pregnva zl ebbzzngr qvqa'g ohl vg. Rfcrpvnyyl vs fur cvpxrq hc ba n yngre cbvag (be rneyvre cbvag, qba'g erzrzore juvpu) jurer ur fnvq fbzrguvat nobhg bayl frrvat gur 'ynfg srj frnfbaf'. Fur'f fzneg, fur cebonoyl erzrzorerq uvz fnlvat vg naq cebonoyl chg gjb naq gjb gbtrgure… cyhf ol abj fur'f cebonoyl ybbxrq hc jung unccraf guebhtubhg Ohssl naljnl >.< (Fur'f n ernq gur ynfg puncgre svefg glcr).

                      Naljnl, V arrq gb irag nobhg guvf! Ur jnf fb naablvat!! Jr jrer jngpuvat na rc fubegyl nsgre Bm'f neeviny naq ur nfxrq jub vg jnf, naq V fnvq fbzrguvat nobhg vg Jvyybj'f oblsevraq naq ur tnir zr guvf ybbx bs pbashfvba (ur unq bayl fgnegrq jngpuvat va n cbfg-Gnen rkvfgrapr). Vg jnf fb sehfgengvat! Gurer jrer fb znal zbzragf yvxr guvf jurer ur fgnegrq gb pbzzrag naq vg jnf irel zhpu "TNU FGBC GELVAT GB FCBVY ZL EBBZZNGR!!!NETU!!!" Zna V pna'g oryvrir V qvqa'g enag nobhg guvf ba gur svefg cbfg nsgre gung unccrarq…. >.<

      • Laura says:

        Whfg bhg bs vagrerfg, jung vf lbhe bgure gbc Ohssl zbzrag? :Q

    • cait0716 says:

      "ME" is such an excellent moment and a stellar example of why Buffy is my hero. I love this show so much and I'm so glad that this is the role model I had when I was in middle and high school

    • ZeynepD says:


      Yes. That. That right there. I rewatched this last night, and I was surprised at how vehemently I was looking forward to that moment.

    • 1979semifinalist says:

      Wow. That's a fantastic trailer! Well done!

    • etherealclarity says:

      I don't know why… it's a weird thing… but just before that 'me' moment of Buffy's, all I can focus on is the little wrinkle on her forehead. For some reason it highlights some of the despair she was feeling before she catches the sword.

    • Those Buffy ( and Angel ) trailers are the bestest Buffyverse trailers ever!

      In a perfect world, that's what a Buffy movie would look like…..

    • ruthliz says:

      As far as I'm concerned, Buffy's "me" is the defining moment of the entire series – as they say in the hokey pokey, that IS what it's all about.

    • Katarina_H says:

      I love that moment SO MUCH. Naq gbzbeebj jr trg Naar! Gur rc naq gur punenpgre! Lnnnl!

    • Ridia says:

      In one of my college creative writing courses, my professor had everyone in the class write a quote from a book, TV show or movie on the blackboard and discuss why that quote was memorable and resonant. I chose that whole "Me." exchange and it was hard to describe to people who hadn't seen the show just why that moment was absolutely perfect.

    • Pooslie says:

      i love how it harkens back to the movie and (idk if this needs to be in Rot-13 but i will do it anyways)
      ubj Zreevpx (Qbanyq Fhgureynaq SGJ) cebirq gb ure gung fur jnf gur fynlre. "lbhe guerj n xavsr ng zl urnq!" "V unq gb fubj lbh" "lbh GUERJ n XAVSR ng zl URNQ" "lf, naq lbh pnhtug vg, bayl gur pubfra bar pbhyq unir qbar gung" naq gura fur chapurf uvz! "V qvqa'g rira oernx n anvy!"

    • That moment seriously makes me cry every single time I see it. In the midst of all this pain and torture and emotional horror, this moment rings out as one of the most empowering things I have ever seen on television. The power of it really affects me.

      "Take all that away, and what's left?" "Me."

    • Lina says:

      Awesome! Loved that!!

    • Nomie says:

      Forget moments of Buffy, one of the best moments in television history.

  2. laneswitch says:

    okay, ill admit it, i jumped when the vampire attacked joyce, and then i cried at the end, just like i do EVERY SINGLE TIME. this episode is easily one of my favoritess in the entire show and definatly of the second season because it is just so sad. buffy is also unbelievably amazing in this ep too.i mean, she caught a fricken sword with her hands.

    i agree with the monster at the end. after watching buffy kill angel after he was reensouled and running away, i need a hug

  3. In the meantime, I am going to ask that y’all provide some comfort to me in the form of cuteness in the comments.
    I present to you…485 Indian boys dressed up as Gandhi.

    <img src=""&gt;

  4. pica_scribit says:

    I remembered that this season finale was sad. Possibly the saddest thing I ever saw on television until 2006 when the Doctor and Rose stood on a beach in Norway. What I didn't remember was how damn *good* it is. So many awesome character moments.

    Spike fighting for the good guys! Joyce finding out Buffy's secret (and I *love* the confrontation dialogue)! Spike and Joyce being awkward in the living room! Giles maintaining his snark under torture! Sweet/awesome Scoobie interactions at the hospital!

    And can we just take a moment to appreciate SMG's ability to emote without dialogue here? Just watch her face as she goes from confused to hopeful to completely fucking devastated when Angel regains his soul just after the nick of time. And Xander was doing so well in this episode, right up until he tells Buffy that Willow said "kick his ass". OK, maybe he did it because he knows Buffy needs to not hold back here, but given the portrayal of his character so far, I have a feeling his motives are probably more selfish than that.

    And all I could think while watching was, "Mark is going to fucking *die* when he sees this!"

    (Also, way to respect your girlfriend's consent there, Spike. But I suppose you *are* evil.)

    • Kickpuncher says:

      I think Xander is still hung up on Buffy a little because he was crushing on her for a long time, but I don’t think he wanted Angel dead so he could move in on Buffy. I think he just really hates Angel. At first it was because of his crush on Buffy but it isn’t as if Angel hasn’t given him plenty of other reasons since then.

      • lurknomore says:

        I don't actually think it is either jealousy or vengence motivating him here. Nicholas Brendan has played both of those emotions before, and his acting as Xander clearly weighs what to tell her, and then settles on the lie, is quite different. Rather, I think he is doing what he believes he needs to do in order for Buffy to survive and the world to be saved. Whether or not you agree with his choice – which, by the way, is the one I suspect Giles would have made in similar circumstances – that puts a very different spin on it.

        Frankly, Buffy may not have survived if she was fighting from the start with the thought that she might be able to stall Angel until he got his soul back. Her sacriice at the end proves that she was willing to kill Angel once there was no other option, but I'm not sure if she would have been able to fight him as effectively while the dichotomy was less clear cut. Buffy had to make conscious choice to kill Angel; all it would have taken for him to kill her, had she held back even a bit, would have been a moment of hesitation.

        • tigerpetals says:

          You have good points. But I think the fact that she was able to kill Angel, souled, which she had no way to prepare for, in the little time she had to do it, proves that she could have killed him soulless if she had to, if she could see the spell wasn't taking effect.(Granted Xander couldn't have seen that.) She wouldn't have tried to stall him forever with Acathla around. Either way, she didn't notice when he did what was needed to open Acathla during the fight, because she was totally shocked when it happened.

          It is also a good point, brought up above (or below, now I can't find it), that Buffy was stalling in the fight in part 1. I still believe she would have done it then if the spell hadn't taken effect and he hadn't revealed it was all a trap anyway. Otherwise she could have just stayed with everyone else at the library, increasing their chances of survival – she went to him because she didn't want him killing even a single person more.

    • cait0716 says:

      Also, way to respect your girlfriend's consent there, Spike. But I suppose you *are* evil.

      Just a bit of proof that while Spike may be able to feel love, without a soul it's a jealous and possessive love. He doesn't care about Dru as much as he cares about having Dru.

      • Karen says:

        YEEPPPP. Like it doesn't bother me because the show is not trying to portray Spike as a good guy. He's not. So. Yeah. I don't exactly expect his behavior to be good.

      • Ginsue says:

        I have to agree. He just needs to remind us, that despite his charm, he is a villain, an evil one at that. I think she might hurt him when she wakes up.

    • Jaxin says:

      Oh god, don't make me think of Becoming and Doomsday at the same time. My tears, they are endless.

    • tigerpetals says:

      I do think he was doing it so that Buffy wouldn't hold back, I just don't think that's very respectful or trusting of him. I believe in Buffy, and after Passion she's showed no hesitation. Xander just blew up last episode at the very idea that this could end with Angel souled, regardless of whether it was necessary or not, and acted like Buffy was just not giving a shit about anything except Angel as long as she could have him back. That's why I don't think well of him lying in the episode. I don't hate him for it, I don't dislike him, but I don't think well of what he did or his motivations even though I understand them.

      • notemily says:

        I do think he was doing it so that Buffy wouldn't hold back, I just don't think that's very respectful or trusting of him.

        Yes, this. Buffy is the Slayer and this is her responsibility, and acting like she can't handle it is awfully disrespectful of Xander. It's not up to Xander to decide what Buffy needs to know in order to do her job.

    • tardis_stowaway says:

      Yes to this entire comment. I agree with the connection to "Doomsday" as supremely sad television. (I actually made a macro about this topic a while ago. Look, I found the link!) I honestly blame the fact that I imprinted on this and other Joss Whedon moments in my teenage years for my continuing devotion to television that breaks my heart, like RTD's Doctor Who. Yet Becoming pt. 2 is definitely not manipulative heartstring-tugging; it is masterfully written, giving growth to so many characters.

      Spike and Joyce being awkward in the living room may be my favorite scene in the episode.

  5. cait0716 says:

    "V ungr lbh"
    "Naq V'z nyy lbh'ir tbg"

    V ybir guvf ovg bs qvnybthr. Cbffvoyl zber guna nal bgure ovg bs qvnybthr va Ohssl. Vg'f fhpu n cresrpg fhzzngvba bs Ohssl naq Fcvxr'f eryngvbafuvc sbe gur arkg sbhe lrnef. Gurl znl tebj pybfre, ohg guvf qlanzvp erznvaf gur pber bs gurve eryngvbafuvc. Rira nf Ohssl eryvrf ba Fcvxr zber naq zber fur pbagvahrf gb ungr uvz.

    Vg fgnegf urer, jvgu Fcvxr urycvat Ohssl qrsrng Natryhf. Gura ur pbzrf onpx va Ybire'f Jnyx naq rira nf fur'f svtugvat uvz, ur sbeprf ure gb snpr gur gehgu bs ure eryngvbafuvc jvgu Natry. Guvf vf fbzrguvat ab bar ryfr pbhyq znxr ure frr, abg rira Tvyrf. Ohssl naq Natry unir gbb zhpu uvfgbel, gbb znal vagrafr rzbgvbaf gb rire or "whfg sevraqf". Unatvat bhg gur jnl gurl unir orra vf grzcgvat sngr. Ohssl ungrf Fcvxr, ohg ur znxrf ure frr guvf. Naq, sbe n yvggyr juvyr, fur'f orggre sbe vg.

    Va gur sbhegu frnfba Fcvxr orpbzrf ure zbfg vzcbegnag fbhepr bs vasbezngvba nobhg gur Vavgvngvir. Ng svefg Ohssl hfrf uvz sbe vasbezngvba. Gura, jura ur qvfpbiref gung ur pna svtug qrzbaf, Fcvxr fgnegf urycvat jvgu gung svtug. Ur'f fgvyy rivy, fbzrguvat ur erzvaqf gur Fpbbovrf naq gur nhqvrapr bs frireny gvzrf, ohg ur'f orpbzvat eryvnoyr. Ur ybirf gb svtug naq pna'g unez uhznaf, fb Ohssl vf noyr gb eryl ba uvz gb xvpx fbzr qrzba ohgg. Rira nf ur'f gelvat gb haqrezvar ure, ur hfhnyyl raqf hc urycvat ure va gur raq. Bs pbhefr fur fgvyy ungrf uvz. Gurer'f ab ernfba fur fubhyqa'g. Ohg ur xrrcf pbzvat guebhtu sbe ure, nyzbfg va fcvgr bs uvzfrys.

    Gur svsgu frnfba vf obgu ornhgvshy naq perrcl. Ohssl ortvaf gb tb gb Fcvxr zber jvyyvatyl. Fur nfxf uvz gb cebgrpg Qnja naq ure zbgure. Fur frrxf uvz bhg sbe vasbezngvba jura fur nyzbfg qvrf. Guvf urycf srrq vagb uvf pehfu ba ure. Abj ur'f npgviryl gelvat gb or zber eryvnoyr. Ur yvxrf orvat gurer sbe ure. Ohg ur'f fgvyy n inzcver. Ur'f frysvfu naq cbffrffvir naq uvf pehfu ba Ohssl vf zber bofrffvba guna ybir. Fb bs pbhefr fur fgvyy ungrf uvz, xrrcf uvz ng n qvfgnapr, pbafvqref uvz orarngu ure. Ohg ur'f inyhnoyr, gbb inyhnoyr gb xvyy. Naq Ohssl fgvyy svaqf urefrys yrnavat ba uvz va gvzrf bs arrq. Jura Tybel pncgherf naq gbegherf uvz, ur qbrfa'g tvir hc Qnja. Ohssl znl ungr uvz, ohg ur'f nyjnlf gurer sbe ure. Rira nf ure bgure sevraqf ner trggvat zber naq zber nofbeorq va gurve bja yvirf, Fcvxr erznvaf ol ure fvqr. Ur pbzsbegf ure jura ure zbgure tbrf gb gur ubfcvgny, qbrf uvf yriry orfg gb xrrc Qnja nyvir, grnpurf ure jung frgf ure ncneg sebz bgure fynlref, naq pevrf uneqre guna nalbar jura fur qvrf.

    Va gur fvkgu frnfba guvf qlanzvp trgf gjvfgrq. Abj Ohssl ungrf urefrys n yvggyr ovg. Fur ungrf gung fur'f nyvir. Fur'f qrcerffrq naq natel ng ure sevraqf naq ng gur jbeyq. Naq Fcvxr vf fgvyy gurer sbe ure. Ur'f onfvpnyyl gur bayl bar gurer sbe ure. Fur pna'g pbasebag ure sevraqf jvgu gur snpg gung fur jnf va urnira, fb fur gryyf Fcvxr. Fur srryf qrnq vafvqr, fb fur hfrf Fcvxr gb srry nyvir. Fur ungrf urefrys naq rkcerffrf gung ungr ol orngvat hc Fcvxr naq gura univat ernyyl ebhtu frk jvgu uvz. Naq guebhtu vg nyy ur'f gurer, ernql naq jvyyvat gb tvir ure nalguvat fur arrqf. Rkprcg fcnpr, bs pbhefr. Gurl qba'g unir n urnygul eryngvbafuvc orpnhfr gurl unira'g cebterffrq cnfg gubfr fvzcyr jbeqf. Fur fgvyy ungrf uvz. Ur'f fgvyy nyy fur'f tbg. Vg vfa'g hagvy ur trgf uvzfrys n fbhy gung gurl pna erqrsvar gurve eryngvbafuvc naq oernx bhg bs guvf unezshy cnggrea.

    • haguenite says:

      Yrg'f abg sbetrg gung Ohssl pbafvqref uvz orarngu ure dhvgr evtugyl, jung jvgu gur Ohssl obg naq gur nggrzcgrq encr.

      • haguenite says:

        Lrf, bxnl, tbbq, V whfg jnagrq gb or pyrne ba gung. V yvxrq lbhe nanylfvf, ohg fbzrgvzrf vg fbhaqrq n ovg gbb… V jbhyqa'g fnl cbfvgvir, rknpgyl, ohg lrnu, VQX, cbfvgvir. Yvxr, lbh pna nqzver gur fgbel-gryyvat gung tbrf ba urer, va gur Ohssl/Fcvxr nep, ohg gurer ner gbb znal Fchssl snaf bhg gurer jub tybff bire nyy gur onq, fgnyxrevfu, ubeevoyr, bofrffvir, ivbyrag fuvg gung Fcvxr chgf Ohssl guebhtu. Va n jnl, vg erzvaqf zr bs Evyrl (jubbb qnatrebhf greevgbel orvat ragrerq urer) jub ybfrf uvf fuvg orpnhfr Ohssl ershfrf gb or ihyarenoyr va uvf cerfrapr. Yvxr vg'f bar guvat gb or va ybir (naq V ernyyl qba'g guvax jung Fcvxr srryf vf ybir hagvy F7), ohg vg'f nabgure guvat gb qrznaq gung gur bgure crefba arrqf lbh naq bofrffrf bire lbh nf zhpu nf lbh qb gurz. Be fbzrguvat? V qba'g xabj, V'z jbexvat ba n cncre naq zl oenva'f nyy zhqqyrq.

        • cait0716 says:

          V qrsvavgryl fuvc Ohssl naq Fcvxr…va gur ynfg frnfba. V nterr gung jung ur srryf vfa'g ybir hagvy gura, ohg ol gur ynfg srj rcvfbqrf V guvax ur qbrf znantr gb cebir uvzfrys jbegul bs ure, juvpu vf jul fur'f svanyyl noyr gb fnl gung fur ybirf uvz.

          • haguenite says:

            V'z jvgu lbh ba gur fuvc (va snpg, V jnf fuvccvat gurz hc hagvy gur nggrzcgrq encr, juvpu vf n jubyr 'abgure fgbel, naq bs pbhefr tbg onpx ba va F7). V'ir whfg frra gbb zhpu Fcvxr-ncbybtvfz sebz fuvccref ba gur jubyr naq unir unpxyrf gung graq gb trg envfrq dhvgr dhvpxyl jura vg pbzrf gb Fcvxr naq Ohssl. Abg gung lbhe pbzzrag jnf unpxyr-envfvat. Yvxr V fnvq, V gubhtug vg jnf n tbbq pbzzrag. Whfg, ntnva, htu, oenva abg shapgvbavat.

            • cait0716 says:

              V unq n ovg nobhg ubj gjvfgrq vg trgf naq ubj Fcvxr ernyyl pna'g unaqyr Ohssl abg erylvat ba uvz. Fur vf noyr gb oernx bhg bs gur cnggrea ng gur raq bs Nf Lbh Jrer, ohg ur pna'g yrg tb. Urapr gur jubyr nggrzcgrq encr. Ohg gura vg jrag bss vagb n gnatrag gung qvqa'g jbex jvgu gur erfg bs gur nanylfvf. V ungr uvz sbe qbvat gung gb ure, ohg V nyfb guvax vg jnf ragveryl va punenpgre sbe uvz tvira gurve uvfgbel hc gb gung cbvag. Naq vg raqrq hc orvat gur arprffnel gheavat cbvag va gurve eryngvbafuvc jura ur ernyvmrq gung ur arrqrq gb shaqnzragnyyl punatr be fnl tbbqolr gb ure sberire.

              • haguenite says:

                Zl bayl ceboyrz jvgu gung nanylfvf – juvpu V guvax vf obgu gehr naq hggreyl arprffnel sebz n fgbel-gryyvat crefcrpgvir – vf gung V qba'g yvxr vg jura encr/nggrzcgrq encr/frkhny nffnhyg vf hfrq nf n zbzrag juvpu ranoyrf crefbany tebjgu be fbzr xvaq bs BZT NZNMVAT VAFVTUG sbe gur crefba crecrgengvat gur ivbyrapr. V srry yvxr vg fraqf n jebat zrffntr gb gur Erny Jbeyq (GZ). Ohg gung'f n crefbany vffhr zber guna nalguvat ryfr.

                • Karen says:

                  V guvax vg'f gehr jvguva gur fubj, OHG V UNGR GUNG VG VF GEHR. V ungr gung Wbff hfrq Ohssl'f nffnhyg nf shry sbe Fcvxr (gur nffnhygre)'f punenpgre tebjgu. ZNXRF ZR FB NATEL NAQ VG'F FB YNML NAQ HTU.

                  • haguenite says:

                    Wbff Jurqba'f Thvqr gb Orpbzvat n Orggre Inzcrefba:
                    1) gel gb encr gur crefba lbh fnl lbh ybir
                    2) tb guebhtu gevnyf jvgu haxabja checbfr
                    3) trg lbhe fbhy onpx
                    4) ?
                    5) CEBSVG

                    (Qba'g trg zr jebat, V fgvyy ybir Jurqba naq Fcvxr naq rirelguvat, ohg oynetu.)

                    • haguenite says:

                      V whfg zrna gung sbe n gvzr, vg jnfa'g ernyyl gung pyrne phg, naq nyfb V jnf wbxvat. Urapr gur jubyr 5-rnfl-fgrcf frghc?

                  • Esther says:

                    V qvfnterr. V qba'g guvax gur nggrzcgrq encr jnf va punenpgre sbe Fcvxr. Va snpg, V yvxr gb tybff bire gung nf n onq fubegphg gur jevgref gbbx gb trg Fcvxr'f fbhy onpx. Be znlor gung'f whfg jvfushy guvaxvat ba zl cneg.

                    Naljnl, V pna'g jnvg gb ernq jung Znex unf gb fnl nobhg gung. Ur'f tbaan unir n uneq gvzr unaqyvat vg.

            • notemily says:

              V'z n ovt F/O fuvccre, ohg… abg va gur fubj vgfrys, vs gung znxrf frafr? Yvxr, gur fubj znxrf zr frr ubj zhpu cbgragvny naq purzvfgel gurl unir, ohg gur bayl gvzr V'ir ernyyl sryg terng nobhg gurz orvat gbtrgure vf va snasvp. V ybir zbfg bs gurve vagrenpgvbaf bafperra, ohg va zl urnq gurve eryngvbafuvc cynlf bhg n ybg qvssreragyl guna vg qbrf ba gur fubj.

    • ZeynepD says:

      Wow. That is … a greatly thoughtful (and extremely spoilerful, don't look Mark!) analysis. Just a "+1" didn't seem to suffice.

    • etherealclarity says:

      Jryy qbar… guvf vf n ernyyl ornhgvshyyl ynvq bhg nanylfvf.

    • darkwater says:

      "V znl or ybir'f ovgpu, ohg ng yrnfg V'z zna rabhtu gb nqzvg vg."

    • RaeBear says:

      very interesting. V ybir Fcvxr naq Ohssl naq unir arire orra noyr gb gehyl nanylmrq gur gjvfgrq zrff gung vg vf. Gb zr zber guna ungr — yrff guna ungr rira jura fur fnlf "ungr" orpnhfr hayvxr gur bgure fpbbovrf, Fcvxr vf n jneevbe yvxr Ohssl. Ur pna svtug naq unaqyr uvzfrys va n svtug. Ng fbzr ebpx obggbz yriry Ohssl erfcrpgf gung. arrqf gung va fbzrbar va ure jbeyq, arrqf gung uryc. V guvax Fcvxr tebjf fb zhpu va gur fubj naq yvggyr ol pubvpr be angher. V zrna vg vf va gur angher sbe Ohssl, Jvyybj, Mnaqre rgp. gb tebj — gurl ner tebjvat hc. Rira Jrfyrl, jub unf na nznmvat nep, vf uhzna naq guhf angheny gb tebj naq punatr. Ohg abar bs gur znghevgl gung unccraf gb Fcvxr vf "angheny" — ur'f n hayvivat guvat! Ur'f n inzcver! Ur'f pbashfrq orgjrra bofrffvba naq ybir (rira jura ur jnf n uhzna). Lrg ur tebjf. Fb qbrf Natry frnfba 5 artngr gung? Netu! Fhpu n pbzcryyvat punenpgre gb zr.

      • cait0716 says:

        Fcvxr'f bar bs zl snibevgr punenpgref naq ur unf n terng nep. Naq guvf vf whfg bar nfcrpg bs na vaperqvoyl pbzcyrk eryngvbafuvc. Gurer ner n gba bs jnlf gb nanylmr Fcvxr naq Ohssl. Ur'f pregnvayl ure rdhny va znal jnlf naq bar bs gur svefg zra jub vfa'g pbjrq ol ure orvat nf fgebat be fgebatre guna ur vf. Ohg ur pna nyfb ubyq uvf bja, fb Ohssl arire unf gb jbeel nobhg cebgrpgvat uvz. V ernyyl ybir gurz.

      • lyvanna says:

        Guvf pbzzrag erzvaqf zr bs cebonoyl zl snibhevgr cneg bs gur Ohssl naq Fcvxr vagrenpgvba va guvf rcvfbqr – jurer gurl svtug gbtrgure gb fynl gur Inzcver va sebag bs Ohssl'f ubhfr. Gurl whfg qb vg fb anghenyyl.

      • Esther says:

        Natry frnfba svir? Erserfu zl zrzbel.

        • RaeBear says:

          Well ur'f bs pbhefr svtugvat sbe gur fvqr bs tbbq va Natry frnfba 5 naq vg'f uvf angher gb abg or nyy oebbql yvxr Natry (naq qba'g trg zr jebat V ybir Natry gbb — V ybir rirelbar). Ohg Fcvxr frrzrq gb zr gb orvat gnxvat guvatf yvtugyl sbe fbzrbar jub qvrq sbe gur jbeyq, fbzrbar jub fnvq gubfr ornhgvshy guvatf gb Ohssl jura rirelbar ryfr ghearq njnl sebz ure naq xvpxrq ure bhg. Fur'f uvf Abegu fgne, jurgure gung'f urnygul be abg, naq gura — cbbs — ur'f bire vg? Ohg V'z abg ernyyl tbbq ng nanylmvat guvf fghss.

          • Esther says:

            Nuuu Natry gur Frevrf frnfba svir. V gubhtug lbh zrnag Natry gur punenpgre va Ohssl'f svsgu frnfba. Arire zvaq gura, V'z fgvyy va gur svefg frnfba bs Natry 😛

            • _Bailey_ says:

              V qba'g guvax ur'f ernyyl bire vg. V guvax ur chgf ba n znfx — qrfcvgr uvf nggvghqr, Natry unf gur cbjre gb uheg uvz qrrcyl guebhtu uvf rzbgvbaf. Jr frr guvf jvgu gur synfuonpx jvgu Qeh jura Fcvxr jnyxf va ba gurz sbe gur svefg gvzr onpx jura ur jnf svefg ghearq. Abj, ur'f tbg Natry pbafgnagyl gryyvat uvz gung Ohssl jvyy arire ybir uvz gur jnl fur ybirq Natry, gung ur qvqa'g fnir gur jbeyq, bayl "jber n arpxynpr," rgp. Naq juvyr ur znl orpbzr sevraqyl jvgu Serq, Thaa, Ybear naq rira Jrf, hygvzngryl gurl ner Natry'f sevraqf, abg uvf. Fb V guvax Fcvxr hfrf uvf nggvghqr naq "erterffrf" gb uvf Ovt Onq crefban fvzcyl gb cebgrpg uvzfrys.

              Lbh pna nethr gung guvf vf jul ur "perngrq" Fcvxr va gur svefg cynpr — gb cebgrpg uvf fbsg Jvyyvnz haqreoryyl gung arire gehyl jrag njnl. Jvyyvnz vf fgvyy irel zhpu cerfrag va gur synfuonpxf whfg nsgre Fcvxr vf ghearq. Ur fgvyy ybirf uvf zbgure, ur guvaxf ur'f sbhaq uvf Bar Gehr Ybir va Qeh, rgp. Vg vf bayl nsgre ur zrrgf Natryhf naq trgf gur fcrrpu nobhg ubj abguvat orybatf gb uvz nalzber gung ur ortvaf gb uneqra uvf urneg naq orpbzr gur onqnff inzcver jr nyy xabj naq ybir.

              FB V guvax gung, va Natry'f cerfrapr, vg vf cresrpgyl va punenpgre sbe Fcvxr gb npg gur jnl ur qbrf va NGF F5. Nf ragregnvavat nf gurl ner gb jngpu, ur naq Natry oevat bhg gur jbefg va rnpu bgure, naq Fcvxr pnaabg nyybj Natry gb uheg uvz ntnva. Gur nggvghqr cebgrpgf uvz; Natry vfa'g Ohssl, naq vs Fcvxr fubjrq Natry gur fvqrf bs uvzfrys gung ur fubjrq Ohssl, Natry jbhyq evc uvz ncneg. Fb Fcvxr qbrf gur orfg ur pna gb cebgrpg uvzfrys, juvyr fgvyy vapbecbengvat nf znal bs gur yrffbaf gung ur yrnearq sebz Ohssl nf ur pna.

              Nf sbe Fcvxr abg tbvat gb Ohssl . . . . juvyr Fcvxr znl or qbvat uvf orfg gb cebgrpg uvzfrys ntnvafg Natry, gur guvatf Natry gryyf uvz ner varivgnoyl tbvat gb gnxr gurve gbyy. Ur znl abg yrg ba gb vg, rfcrpvnyyl va Natry'f cerfrapr, ohg vs fbzrbar gryyf lbh rabhtu gvzrf (naq chapghngrq jvgu ivbyrapr n yn "Qrfgval") gung lbh qba'g qrfreir gur tvey, gung gur tvey arire ybirq lbh, rgp, riraghnyyl lbh jvyy fgneg gb oryvrir vg, ab znggre ubj uneq lbh gel abg gb. Guvf vf jul ohyylvat vf fb qnzntvat gb fb znal crbcyr. Nyfb, Fcvxr vf na vaureragyl vafrpher crefba, juvpu vf nabgure guvat gung Natry arire frrf vs Fcvxr pna uryc vg. Ubjrire, jura Fcvxr pbasvqrf va Unezbal ng gur raq bs "Unez'f Jnl" nobhg uvf ernfbaf sbe abg tbvat gb Ohssl, V pna ohl vg, orpnhfr Fcvxr'f vafrphevgvrf, fnyg arjyl ehoorq va ol Natry, ner srfgrevat bcrayl ba gur fperra va gung fprar.

              Fb ur fgnlf va YN, qbvat uvf orfg gb ubabhe Ohssl ol svtugvat gur tbbq svtug, xabjvat fur znl arire urne bs vg. Ur gryyf uvzfrys gung ur naq Ohssl jrag bhg ba n tbbq abgr, naq ur jnagf gb yrnir vg gurer va pnfr fur qvqa'g zrna ure "V ybir lbh" be unf tbggra bire uvz. Ur qbrfa'g jnag uvf urneg oebxra ntnva, abg nsgre univat tbar guebhtu fhpu yratguf gb cebgrpg vg ntnvafg Natry. Ur'f tbg n tbbq yvsr va YN. Ur znl abg or yvivat uvf qernz, ohg vg'f tbbq. Ur'f chg uvzfrys onpx gbtrgure, cvrpr ol cvrpr, nsgre qrnyvat jvgu gur vffhrf trggvat uvf fbhy oebhtug hc, naq ur'f svanyyl va n cynpr jurer ur pna or pbzsbegnoyr jvgu uvzfrys. Ur qbrfa'g jnag gb hcfrg gur qryvpngr onynapr ur unf perngrq jvguva uvzfrys.

              Fb, nz V znxvat frafr, be gur xvaq gung'f abg?

              Bu, naq ba n eryngrq-ohg-abg-ernyyl abgr, V guvax gung gur znwbevgl bs gur ernfba gung Natry npgf nf ur qbrf gbjneq Fcvxr vf wrnybhfl — bire Ohssl, gur fbhy, rgp. Ohg gung'f nabgure cbfg sbe nabgure gvzr. Guvf bar'f ybat rabhtu nf vg vf!

              • RaeBear says:

                TOTAL sense. Awesome essay. I love your spicy brains. You would not believe how I have tried to sort this out over the years. V arire gubhtug bs vg va grezf bs ohyylvat naq cebgrpgvat uvf fbsghaqreoryyl ohg bs pbhefr. Va zl QU unf nyjnlf ungrq Natry nf zhpu nf Knaqre qbrf naq hfrf cerpvfryl gung: ur'f n ohyyl.

                • _Bailey_ says:

                  Ur ernyyl xvaq bs vf! Ubj znal gvzrf unf ur hfrq uvf fvmr, fgeratgu naq guerngf gb vagvzvqngr fbzrobql, vapyhqvat ahzrebhf uhznaf (V'z jngpuvat uvz orng hc sbe vasbezngvba gur thl jub vzcertangrq Pbeql va "Rkcrpgvat" ng gur zbzrag, OGJ)? Ur'f irel nycun, naq ur pna'g qrny jvgu vg jura uvf nhgubevgl vf punyyratrq. Ybbx ubj zhpu gebhoyr ur unf freivat haqre Jrf nsgre gur Qneyn qronpyr bs NGF Frnfba 2 — naq ur jnf gelvat gura! Jura Fcvxr pbzrf nybat naq jba'g fhozvg, svefg nf n syrqtyvat naq gura ng J&U, Natry'f penaxl fvqr pbzrf bhg naq ur xrrcf gelvat gb sbepr gung fhozvffvba, gur ivbyrapr naq ireony nohfr rfpnyngvat nf ur qbrf fb.

                  And I'm glad you liked the write-up! I've been thinking about this for a long time! 🙂
                  Also, No one has ever called my brain spicy before. I like it!

          • arctic_hare says:

            Please don't use the word "crazy" on this site.

            • _Bailey_ says:

              My apologies. I've reworded the statement in question, but could not edit the comment, so I've deleted and reuploaded.

          • _Bailey_ says:

            V yvxr lbhe pnaba! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      I HAD THE SAME THOOOOUGHT. I was just too lazy to put it all into writing. SO UPVOTE FOREEEVERRRR.

      Nf shpxrq hc nf Fcvxr naq Ohssl'f eryngvbafuvc jnf, V fgvyy guvax gung vg jnf (sbe gur zbfg cneg) vaperqvoyl jryy pensgrq. Yvxr, V qbhog gung Fcvxr/Ohssl jnf rira n gjvaxyr va Wbff'f rlr ng guvf cbvag, naq lrg gung yvggyr ovg bs qvnybthr whfg pncgherf gurz cresrpgyl.

      V guvax gung va frnfba 7, jura Fcvxr trgf uvf fbhy, Fcvxr vfa'g NYY fur'f tbg. Ohg ur'f qrsvavgryl gur bar jub jvyy NYJNLF onpx ure hc. NYJNLF. Ur'f gur bar gurer sbe ure nsgre Jvyybj naq Knaqre naq Qnja naq gur Cbgragvnyf xvpx ure bhg bs ure ubzr.

      • cait0716 says:

        V guvax Wnzrf Znefgref cynlrq n frkhny nggenpgvba gb Ohssl fvapr ur fnj ure va gur Oebamr va Fpubby Uneq, ohg lrnu, V qbhog gurer jnf nal vqrn bs trggvat gurz ebznagvpnyyl vaibyirq hagvy zhpu yngre.

      • Esther says:

        "Ur'f gur bar gurer sbe ure nsgre Jvyybj naq Knaqre naq Qnja naq gur Cbgragvnyf xvpx ure bhg bs ure ubzr."

        Bu zl urneg. Gung'f bar bs zl snibevgr Fchssl zbzragf.

      • ajaxbreaker says:

        V nterr gung gur eryngvbafuvc jnf rkgerzryl jryy-pensgrq. Vg sybjrq anghenyyl sebz gur rfgnoyvfurq crefbanyvgvrf naq onpxtebhaqf bs gur gjb punenpgref. Vg jnf irel rnfl gb haqrefgnaq obgu bs gurve zbgvingvbaf. Vg jnfa'g cerggl, vg jnf zrffl, naq vg jnf n urpx bs n ybg zber gehr gb erny yvsr guna n ybg bs gur bgure eryngvbafuvcf ba gur fubj. V ungr nyy bs frnfba 7'f fgbelyvarf rkprcg gur ornhgvshy erfbyhgvba bs Fchssl – urer ner gjb punenpgref jub fnj rnpu bgure ng gurve jbefg va frnfba 6, jub'ir orra qbja gbtrgure va gur qrcguf bs qrcenivgl, naq fgvyy sbhaq fbzrguvat jbegujuvyr va rnpu bgure nsgre nyy gung. V guvax vg yrq gb erny tebjgu va obgu bs gurz. V nyfb nqber gurz va frnfba 6 orpnhfr fcevaxyrq va orgjrra nyy gur jnyy frk naq gur unaqphssf, gur fubj tnir hf gbaf bs yvggyr zbzragf bs gurz orpbzvat sevraqf naq ohvyqvat n qrrcre haqrefgnaqvat. Bar bs zl snibevgr guebj njnl zbzragf vf gur dhvpx fubg bs gurz cynlvat pneqf va Byqre naq Sne Njnl.

        V jbaqre jung jvyy or Znex'f gnxr ba Fchssl. V unir n srryvat gung gur ungrfrk vfa'g tbaan tb qbja jryy jvgu uvz (cerggl fher ur'f tbaan ungr gur encr nggrzcg).

    • erinmarie says:

      Ughhhhh your brain is perfect. All of this is flawless. Such lovely commentary.

    • Avery says:

      I only regret that I have but one upvote to give to this comment.

      • cait0716 says:

        Comments are like up voting twice! (in my mind)

        • OCTBernie says:

          So if I comment on a comment that expresses regret over being able to only up vote the original comment once saying I wish I could up vote it and the original comment more than once is that like up voting the original comment three times?

    • Fuzzysnowpuffs says:

      Abg fher vs nalbar unf cbfgrq guvf orsber ohg lbhe nffrffzrag bs Ohssl/Fcvxr (Juvpu vf nznmvat naq FCBG ba ogj) erzvaqrq zr bs guvf guvat gung V ernq njuvyr ntb:

      "Wbff nyfb fcbxr nobhg Fcvxr, jub ur sryg hygvzngryl orpnzr gur zbfg shyyl qrirybcrq punenpgre va gur Jurqbairefr, pbzvat sebz gur ybjrfg ehat va Frnfba Fvk (jura ur sbeprq uvzfrys ba Ohssl) gb fbzrbar jub yvgrenyyl rnearq uvf bja fbhy, nf bccbfrq gb Natry, "jub unq n fbhy guehfg hcba uvz sbe n uhaqerq lrnef naq zbcrq nobhg vg.""

    • DreamRose311 says:

      That was one damn fine well put evaluation.

    • Ginsue says:

      Long blocks of rot13… All I see is "doom. doom. doom" written over and over again.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      Lrf… fbeg bs. V qba'g guvax gung fur ernyyl "ungrq" uvz va gur yngr frnfba 5 be va frnfba 6. Jura fur xvffrf uvz ng gur raq bs Vagreiragvba, gung'f pregnvayl abg n fvta bs ungr (naq ab, vg'f abg whfg bhg bs "tengvghqr", orpnhfr jbzra qba'g xvff zra gung gurl qba'g yvxr/nera'g nggenpgrq BA GUR YVCF gb whfg rkcerff tengvghqr, juvpu vf n ernyyl tebff vqrn). Fur qbrfa'g ungr uvz jura fur'f gnyxvat gb uvz va rneyl frnfba 6, naq juvyr gurer'f n ybg bs ungr va gur zvk orgjrra gurz qhevat zbfg bs frnfba 6, vg'f pregnvayl jnl gbb birefvzcyvsvrq gb pnyy vg "ungr". Rira gubhtu Ohssl qbrf qb gung bapr, va Abezny Ntnva – gur gehgu vf gung fur pna'g qrsvar gubfr *srryvatf* fur unf sbe uvz, fb fur whfg fnlf gurl ner "srryvatf", ohg vafvfgf gurl'er abg ybir.

      Senaxyl V qba'g guvax bs gurve eryngvbafuvc ng gung cbvag nf bar-fvqrq – V guvax gung ure srryvatf sbe uvz va frnfba 6 ner nf vagrafr naq cnffvbangr nf uvf sbe ure – ohg ur pnyyf uvf ybir naq fur pnyyf uref ungr be qbrfa'g xabj ubj gb pnyy gurz, naq ur jnagf gung eryngvbafuvc ng nal pbfg juvyr fur'f rvgure gelvat gb qral vg be raq vg be orvat ernyyl pbasyvpgrq nobhg vg. Ur qvq ybir ure "va uvf fvpx fbhyyrff jnl", ohg V nyjnlf gubhtug gung, juvyr ur jnf fbhyyrff, uvf ybir sbe ure jnf irel fvzvyne gb ungr, juvyr Ohssl'f ungr sbe uvz jnf irel fvzvyne gb gur ybir nf qrsvarq ol fbhyyrff Fcvxr. V graq gb guvax gung znwbe zvfhaqrefgnaqvat jnf gung gurl qrsvarq srryvatf fhpu nf "ybir" va shaqnzragnyyl qvssrerag jnlf, nf frra va gurve pbairefngvba va Frrvat Erq. Ybir nf cnffvba, bofrffvba, sver gung "oheaf naq pbafhzrf", if ybir nf fbzrguvat gung vapyhqrf gehfg naq erfcrpg naq fhccbeg. Gur ynggre bayl pnzr va frnfba 7.

    • lyvanna says:

      Lbhe cbfg vf terng. Guvf rcvfbqr vf nyzbfg 40 shyy zvahgrf bs urneg-oernx… ohg V pna'g fgbc zlfrys tevaavat sebz rne-gb-rne ng nyy gur Ohssl naq Fcvxr (naq Wblpr!) vagrenpgvbaf, rfcrpvnyyl va gur yvtug bs uvaqfvtug. Qvggb gb "V'q engure or svtugvat lbh naljnl" "Zhghny" sebz JZY cg2. Vg'f gur punenpgre jbex V nccerpvngr zbfg ba OGIF, rira vs Jurqba qvq bayl cyna frnfba-gb-frnfba (jvgu n pbhcyr bs rkprcgvbaf) ur znantrq gb znxr gur punenpgre nepf fb oryvrinoyr naq pbafvfgragyl va punenpgre (VZB) gung lbh pna tb onpx naq frr guvf fprar naq guvax 'bu gung'f jurer gung fgnegrq' naq vg nyy znxrf cresrpg frafr, rira vs vg jnfa'g cynaarq ng gur gvzr. Vs gung znxrf frafr!

    • Smurphy says:

      I opened this in my google chrome rot13 translator and its too long and I can't close it now but I have like 6 other tabs open and I can't close chrome right now and…

      V npghnyyl pbzcyrgryl sbetbg nobhg guvf. Vg ernyyl qbrf xvpx bss rirelguvat gung unccraf orgjrra gurz.

      fyi. I figured out how to close it. but you still temporarily broke my computer.

    • pandalilies says:

      This comment is brilliant.

  6. stellaaaaakris says:

    I have no cuteness to provide in these comments because I too am destroyed. SMG, I'm sorry if I ever doubted you. You play heartbreak so well.

    I suppose that ending would be a lot more effective if I didn't know that a show called Angel was in the future. All the same though, it didn't occur to me that he wouldn't be around for the next (insert number) episodes.

    Things I liked
    -I stated earlier that the worst thing that could happen for me in this season finale would be the return of Angel's soul because I infinitely prefer Angelus as a character. So if that had to happen, I liked how it went down. Back around for 2 seconds, then BAM! Sucked into Hell. And I also liked that it made me feel conflicting feels because I care about Buffy and this obviously hurts her.
    -We get to see Jenny again. Sort of. But that also makes me sad.
    -SPIKE!!! ALKJSFOJ:HFSDOI I knew the alliance was coming, due to a Once Upon a Time recapper saying something reminded her of it. Grrrr. I really, really, really wish that had been a surprise since I've been doing such a good job of not decoding everything you guys are saying.
    -Sword fights! I was so tempted to take fencing in college for credit, but I didn't have the money for the equipment fee.
    -Buffy realizing that even after everything else, she still has herself. You go, girl!

    Things I disliked/Things that confused me
    -Buffy being sad 🙁
    -Don't people only faint from being in a headlock because of the lack of air to their brain or something? Vampires don't have breath, as established by Prophecy Girl and Angel CPR not being a viable solution. Shouldn't that not have worked on Dru?
    -Still confused why Buffy had to stab Angel to stop the big, bad demon. Because he was resurrected with Angel's blood, did she need Angel's blood as well? Couldn't she just have sliced his hand a bit? Why did he need to be sent into the Time Vortex? Couldn't she just have hip-checked him to the side and then done the stabby thing? Or was it because the vortex had already opened and she'd be stabbing through air? Hmmmm…I don't get it. (Apparently I missed the Whistler explanation, but still. I don't get it.)
    -Bye, Spike. I'll miss you.
    -Buffy and Joyce yelling at each other

    • cait0716 says:

      Yeah, Spike should have knocked Dru out with a punch or something. But the whole breathing thing has always been inconsistent. If Angel can't even muster enough breath for CPR, how does he talk? How does Spike smoke? It's one part of vampire mythology that tends to get executed better on the page than the screen because you have to deal with human actors who do need to breathe.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        Fanwank theories about CPR:
        One idea: their lungs do not filter oxygen, so he would more or less breath out what he breathes in, which would not help to bring her back.
        Second idea: He breathes, but not as regulary as a human and can't breath in and out in a rythm he would need to give her enough oxygen.
        Or simply: He has no idea how to do CPR. When would he have learned it after all?

        • cait0716 says:

          Hooray fanwank! Though in the case of the first idea, that would actually make vampires *better* at performing CPR, since they'd be forcing more oxygen into your lungs than a human would. But I like the thought of him just not knowing how and not really wanting to admit that to Xander

        • unefeeverte says:

          But… wouldn't breathing out exactly what he breathes in be even more effective? IIRC, when a human does CPR the air that leaves our lungs has 4-5% less oxygen than before, so still about 15%. So if a vampire did it (according to this theory), it would be a full 20-21%.

          I've always thought about that bit in season one (not being able to breathe) as something that was simply dropped from the story later or not sufficiently thought through. Isn't there a shot of a vampire blowing out a candle at one point?

          • settlingforhistory says:

            Oh, I know. What I meant was, that when Angel says "I don't have any breath" he is saying he doesn't have any oxygen. Who knows what demons breath, maybe their lungs work with carbon dioxide.

      • @Jody_927 says:

        I think that the writers mean for the vampires to not need to breathe, but that sometimes gets forgotten in actually making the show with actors who need to breathe. I didn't think about vampires being able to smoke until you brought it up. Maybe they can inhale air if they want to, but don't need the oxygen. I also see Drusilla passing out as a continuity error. And one more piece of info supporting that vampires don't need to breathe in this mythology: Va Natry frnfba 5 "Jul Jr Svtug" Natry fjvzf qbja gb n JJVV fhoznevar gung unf oebxra qbja (be orra fubg? V pna'g erzrzore) sne orybj gur fhesnpr bs gur jngre. Ur qbrfa'g unir/hfr nal oernguvat nccnenghf orpnhfr ur qbrfa'g arrq gb oerngur.

        • cait0716 says:

          You're right. The vamps probably don't need air, but the writers are a bit inconsistent.

          Gurer'f nyfb n fprar va gur svsgu frnfba bs Natry jurer n onq thl vf gelvat gb pubxr uvz jvgu gur sbyybjvat qvnybthr (ebhtuyl):

          onq thl: xabj jung V'z qbvat evtug abj? Pehfuvat lbhe jvaqcvcr naq oybpxvat bkltra gb lbhe oenva. Va n srj zvahgrf lbh'yy or qrnq
          Natry: xabj jung V'z qbvat evtug abj? Abg hfvat zl jvaqcvcr.

          • Esther says:

            Can we put a system in place to label spoilers for things other than Buffy/whatever Mark's post was about? I.e, writing in plaintext "Angel Spoiler ahead," or something similar. I have yet to watch all of Angel, but I assumed this was a Buffy spoiler and decoded it, and am now slightly spoiled.

            • cait0716 says:

              I’m sorry. That was my bad. I try to remember to do this and I forgot this time

            • Caitlin says:

              Yeah, I'd like it if people could just say, for example, "Spoilers for Buffy, season 4" (if that's not a spoiler itself? I don't know). I'm in season 3 and I'd like to know which parts I can decode.

              • Esther says:

                I am utterly unable to remember what happens in which season, so that particular idea would be hard for me to follow. If it's agreed that it's non-spoilery to say "Spoilers for Buffy, season X" then I suppose you and others would just not read my comments.

                However, I think it can be spoilery to say what season the spoilers are from. If you're talking about, say, Bob, and then say "spoilers for season 4" and start writing in rot13, it'll be pretty evident that Bob probably hasn't died by season 4. Although this being Whedon, one can never know.

        • notemily says:

          Maybe they can inhale air if they want to, but don't need the oxygen.

          That's what I always thought. As for Angel not being able to give CPR, I fanwank that that's more of a metaphorical thing–an undead person can't give the "breath of life." Still doesn't explain Dru though.

        • VicarPants says:

          I figure it's like eating or drinking non-blood items. Apparently they can and will do it, but they don't *have* to?

      • notemily says:

        I always got the idea that they do "breathe" in the sense of air going in and out of their lungs, but they don't "breathe" in the sense of oxygen from the air supplying vital needs in their body. That doesn't explain Dru, though.

      • Dru says:

        not to mention (spoiler for life) humans look older as they get older. How on earth is someone who isn't actually immortal/never-aging supposed to play someone who, well, is? Because no amount of Botox and fillers are going to keep anyone looking like a 20something forever.

        (I suspect this is going to be a problem on The Vampire Diaries in the future, Ian Somerhalder is beautiful but by no stretch of the imagination does he look like a 24-year-old – his character's supposed age at vamping time. It's equally laughable that they cast Paul Wesley as a teenager, and since the CW just lets shows run on forever the idea of a mid-30something playing a person who is supposedly stuck at biological adolescence forever is a very real possibility)

        • cait0716 says:

          No kidding. This is exactly why they had to kill off The Annointed One at the beginning of this season. Vampires having growth spurts just doesn't work.

          I love me my vampire shows, but I think books tend to be a better medium

        • UnstrungZero says:

          humans look older as they get older

          Unless that human is Wnzrf Znefgref. (rot13-ed just to be ubercareful) XD

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Don't people only faint from being in a headlock because of the lack of air to their brain or something? Vampires don't have breath, as established by Prophecy Girl and Angel CPR not being a viable solution. Shouldn't that not have worked on Dru?

      I belive he didn't cut of her oxygen but simply broke her neck, which takes time to heal but isn't fatal for vamps.

      Couldn't she just have sliced his hand a bit?

      This is just fanwank, but my thory is that in order to kill the demon you have to kill the one who woke him or better, give him every last drop of Angel's blood.
      Vg'f gurl jnl vg jbexf jvgu Qnja naq gur cbegny gbb, evtug?
      Fur unq gb oyrrq bhg.

      • NB2000 says:

        V guvax lbh'er evtug, vg'f orra n juvyr fvapr V jngpurq vg fb V qba'g erzrzore gur rknpg yvarf ohg Qnja naq Tvyrf, vg znl or fbzrbar ryfr, fnl fbzrguvat gb gur rssrpg bs "Hagvy gur oybbq fgbcf sybjvat vg'yy arire fgbc", fb nf ybat nf fur'f nyvir naq oyrrqvat gur cbegny fgnlf bcra.

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        Oh, that's interesting. I didn't think of that. From my (admittedly extremely limited) knowledge of wrestling, it looked like a chokehold. Plus, as someone said farther down the thread, they didn't have the Hollywood sound affects to let me know a neck is broken! How am I supposed to know? Spike even did it slowly, as if he didn't want to hurt Dru too badly. I like that interpretation.

        Yay! Something I can cross off my "Bugs Me" list.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      Whistler said: " His blood will open the door to Hell. Acathla opens
      his big mouth, creates a vortex. Then only Angel's blood will close it.
      One blow will send 'em both back to Hell. "

      Which is exactly what happened, as soon as she stabbed him, he got sucked into hell.

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        I don't know how I missed/forgot that. My laptop was less than a foot away from my face. I have no excuse except maybe my brain was in overload. *shrug*

    • I *think* he uses a rear naked choke to knock her out which is actually a blood choke and not an air choke. It works by cutting off the carotid arteries. I don't know what the canon is about vampire blood flow though…

      • VicarPants says:

        They must have some kind of circulatory system, as they bleed when they sire a new vampire.
        And apparently are capable of sustaining erections.

    • notemily says:

      Angel is actually about Angel's LONG-LOST TWIN. Who… is also named Angel. For reasons.


      • stellaaaaakris says:

        Why are you spoiling me??? Now I know that Angel is essentially Pete and Pete but with vampires. Hmmm…actually, intriguing.

    • tigerpetals says:

      I made this fanwank a few weeks ago:

      I don't remember an actual explanation in the episode, but you can fanwank that it was implied by the imagery. Acathla was woken by blood spilled on the sword stuck in his chest and took the sword out, the sword being what turned him to stone. He's like an evil remnant of what he once was and he responds to evil now, like some kind of amulet. But he can't be turned to stone again and he isn't the one who opened the portal. So it was Angel who has to be stabbed in his place, because he became like an heir to Acathla, taking his place in a way as the bringer of hell.


      Whistler does give an actual explanation. More like he says 'one blow will send them both back to hell,' which doesn't explain anything but that Buffy knew. I don't think she had anything else to go on or any time to research. As has been pointed out in another board, the portal wasn't sucking anything in at the time, except for Angel after Buffy stabbed him.

    • Binx says:

      Vampires and Breathing, my own personal theory:

      Not only do I think they don't need to breathe, I don't think they can (which is backed up by Angel's remarks in Prophecy Girl). I think their lungs are dead and incapable of expanding/performing normal breathing motions just as their hearts are still and incapable of beating.

      Yes, we've seen them smoke, but who says they're *inhaling* that smoke into their lungs? What if they're just sucking it in, down their throats, and into their stomach, like they would with blood or booze? Sucking is one thing we definitely know vampires can do.

      Nf sbe gnyxvat – jr'ir frra Natry gnyx juvyfg orvat fgenatyrq/univat uvf nve fhccyl phg bss gjvpr (va uvf fubj). Bapr juvpu jnf nyernql zragvbarq (jura n zna gevrf gb phg bss uvf jvaqcvcr va F5) naq nabgure va F4 jura na bpgbchf qrzba guvat jencf vgf gragnpyr nebhaq Natry'f guebng naq Natry ercyvrf fbzrguvat gb gur fhz bs "V'z n inzcver. Fgenatyvat ernyyl vfa'g tbvat gb jbex." Juvpu ur fnlf cerggl cresrpgyl pyrne, qrfcvgr abg univat nal nve. Guhf, vg frrzf gung inzcverf ner cresrpgyl pncnoyr bs gnyxvat jvgubhg nve be bkltra.

      And I'm also with the poster who suggested that Spike actually snapped Dru's neck (or dislocated it or something) rather than strangled her. Because…that's the only thing that makes sense. Even though the writer's have a habit of adding a nice big CRACK sound effect when someone's neck is snapped and didn't for this one. I'm going to go with it regardless.

  7. Kari18212 says:

    I AM SO GLAD THIS REVIEW IS UP EARLY. I just finished rewatching this episode and I deeply needed something to think about besides crying. SMG is SO GOOD in this episode.

    So, about Xander. This time around, I was pretty much pissed off at him for not telling her, although I do agree that my brain tells me it may have kept her from holding back in the fight. On the other hand, I can't help but hate that Xander basically decides that he knows what she's going to do and doesn't give her a chance to make the decision herself. Yes, she has had the opportunity to kill him before, but that was long before Jenny and Kendra and torturing Giles. I don't know how the battle would have gone differently with her knowing that Willow was doing the curse, but I don't like that Xander decided to keep something that big from her.

    Also, I LOVE that Spike and Buffy team up 🙂 🙂 🙂 It is hysterical to me to watch Buffy watching Spike when they're walking to her house, since they so clearly don't trust each other still. Plus, Spike and Joyce in the same room. BEST THING EVER, especially him explaining where she knows him from, it is just so funny to me.

    Besides the 'What's left? Me' moment, my favorite is probably Buffy yelling at her mom about how much she would love not to be the Slayer. SMG does such a good job selling the idea of a girl who is totally overwhelmed by this destiny she's been handed and yet steps up and deals with it anyway. It's just… I'm running out of words besides good… Awesome in a totally depressing way maybe??

    One last thing-the Giles Knock Out Count. I had a really hard time telling if Giles was actually unconscious or just had his eyes closed. My personal guess is that he was knocked out at least once more, so I would put it at 10.5, but if anyone thinks it was twice or it doesn't count, I'm all ears 🙂

    • cait0716 says:

      I'm mostly just mad at Xander. I get that he thinks that Buffy won't fight as effectively if she thinks Angel might get his soul back. But she proved that wrong in the very last episode, by committing to a fight to the death with Angel while Willow was attempting the spell the first time. It wasn't up to him to make this decision and Buffy definitely deserved to have all the information when she was going into battle.

      • Rayne says:

        Actually, she didn't fight to her full ability in that first fight (which turned out to be a trap). Angel even commented on the fact that her heart wasn't in it. I thought it was pretty neat that Joss showed the juxtaposition between a full on fight (in Becoming part 2) and a half-assed fight (in Becoming part 1).

    • Karen says:

      Yeah it might have made Buffy hold back in the fight, but idk. It just feels WRONG that Xander would take the power of having that information away from Buffy.

      • mangoface says:

        I kind of feel like Buffy would have fought harder if she knew Angel could come back – I don’t know, like it would have made her even more determined to beat him down quickly so they could shove his soul back in.
        Either way, I think Xander’s choice was really not okay. I felt like it stemmed more from his own biases than his concern for Buffy and the world.

  8. mia says:

    Wah! It was a sad one.
    When are you starting the next season?

  9. cait0716 says:

    If I can be honest with you, my dear Buffy fandom friends, if this was the final episode of Buffy ever, the series finale, and if there was never going to be another episode of this show after this, I would be satisfied.

    Well, they honestly didn't know whether or not Buffy was going to get renewed, so that's what they were going for. And I think they did it splendidly.

    This episode hurts. A lot. But it's still one of my favorites (I'm a masochist, what can I say). I love Spike and Joyce awkwardly hanging out in the living room. I love Xander realizing that he does have more-than-friends feelings for Willow, just in time to learn that she really is over him now. I love that Robia LaMorte came back to really torture Giles some more and the look on his face when he realizes that he gave Angel the key to the ritual. I hate Joyce kicking Buffy out of the house, but their fight is just so real and it makes it that much more devastating. I love Buffy's crowning moment of awesome when she stops the sword and says, "ME". I love the epic sword fight between her and Angel and the realization that she's going to have to kill him, even though he got his soul back. "Full of Grace" still makes me cry every time I hear it because this episode just has all the sad.

    Angel spoilers:

    Vg'f arng ubj rira guvf ncbpnylcfr gvrf vagb gur Funafuh cebcurpl nobhg Natry. Rirelbar xabjf ur'yy unir n cneg gb cynl va gur ncbpnylcfr, ohg ab bar xabjf juvpu fvqr ur'yy or ba. Lbh npghnyyl pna (naq V graq gb) vagrecerg guvf cebcurpl nf orvat shysvyyrq orsber gurl rira qvfpbire vg va Natry. Urer ur gevrf gb oevat nobhg gur ncbpnylcfr. Sbe uvf rssbegf, ur vf znqr uhzna va "V Jvyy Erzrzore Lbh". Bayl vg'f abg fb zhpu n erjneq nf n chavfuzrag, fvapr vg ernyyl jvyy erfhyg va uvf qrngu (gurerol ceriragvat uvz sebz gevttrevat nal zber ncbpnylcfrf). Fb ur erwrpgf vg va beqre gb fgnl va gur svtug sbe n srj zber ncbpnylcfrf. Ng gur raq bs gur frevrf ur hygvzngryl erwrpgf gur Funafuh cebcurpl, fvtavat vg njnl gb trg uvf punapr ng bar ynfg ncbpnylcfr.

    • Meltha says:

      Huh. Your Angel spoilers are both interesting and devious enough to have been what Joss planned all along.

    • Karen says:

      Be qbrf gur Fnafuh nccyl gb Fcvxr? V qba'g ernq gur pbzvpf, ohg qbrf nalbar xabj vs gur Fnafuh vf nqqerffrq va gur pbzvpf ng nyy?

      • cait0716 says:

        Va gur Natry pbzvpf, Natry trgf ghearq vagb n uhzna va gur vzzrqvngr nsgrezngu bs "Abg Snqr Njnl". Fb vs lbh gnxr gur pbzvpf nf pnaba, zl jubyr gurbel trgf pbzcyrgryl qrfgeblrq.

    • cait0716 says:

      V nterr jvgu guvf, gbb.

    • fintain says:

      Yeah I think this is one of those instances where there being more seasons and a spin off almost act as a spoiler in knowing that it's not the end.

      When I originally watched this I really did think it was the last one I don't know if I'd have been so teary if I knew there was another series

      Guvf bs pbhefr vf tbvat gb trg jbefr va Frevrf 5 jurer V QRSVAVGRYL gubhtug vg jnf gur raq nf vg fubjrq ure TENIR

      • _Bailey_ says:

        Fcrnxvat bs, ubj qb jr xrrc Fcvxr'f zbir gb NGF n frperg sebz Znex? Vf vg gbb fcbvyrel sbe fbzrbar gb gryy uvz abg gb jngpu gur perqvgf bs gur svefg rcvfbqr bs NGF F5? Orpnhfr jngpuvat gur perqvgf jbhyq pbzcyrgryl ehva gur fhecevfr.

        V xabj guvf vf jnl va gur shgher, ohg V'z ernyyl phevbhf.

  10. haguenite says:

    Two of the worst moments for me: the way Giles is tortured by Drusilla (she is just so utterly terrible) and Sarah McLachlan playing over the aftermath. "Full of Grace" is Feelings-inducing as it is, and adding it to all that has just happened is just so utterly destroying. Also, let's not forget Joyce kicking Buffy out…

    • atalantapendrag says:

      Joyce kicking Buffy out DESTROYED me… way too close to home.

    • Tat says:

      I honestly think it's in Sarah McLachlan's contract that her music can only be played over heart wrenching imagery. Could you imagine if those ASPCA commercials were around back when this episode aired? Devastation. She could be a Big Bad.

  11. settlingforhistory says:

    Oh man, what a finale! I have so many feelings about this awesome episode; though I fear most of my comment will be in rot13.

    First of all I love that the secret is finally out. It didn’t work out as well as we could have hoped, but at least Joyce knows about vamps now. Sure, Buffy could have done a better job of explaining more patiently, there really was no time however.
    “Don’t even think about coming back” made me a little teary though. It was such a harsh thing to say and you can see Joyce immediately regrets it.

    V'z fgvyy hafher jurgure guvf fprar pbasvezrf gung Qnja pnhfrq Ohssl gb raq hc va gur nflyhz be vs vg unq unccraqrq va rvgure gvzryvar.
    Wblpr frrzrq gb nfx n ybg bs dhrfgvbfa nobhg Fynlref, ohg fur frrzrf yrff fhecevfrq nobhg qrzbaf, nf vs fur unq urnerq nobhg gurz orsber.
    Nyfb gur jnl Ohssl fnlf "V'z abg penml" pbhyq uvag ng fbzrguvat va gur cnfg , ohg vg qbrfa'g unir gb.

    Joyce and Spike, these two are a lot of fun together. I crack up every time she tries to start a conversation with him. (V ybir rirel fprar gurl fcrag gbtrgure. Wblpr vf fhpu n terng zbgure svther sbe uvz.)

    The way Angelus tortures Giles is so hard to watch. Especially as we don’t see what really happens my imagination kicks in and eek! Vg erzvaqf zr bs Natry orrvat gbegherq ol InzcJvyybj. V qbhog Natryhf vf nal yrff pehry. *fuhqqre*Do not want!

    I want to hit Dru so badly every time I see her impersonating Jenny. Don’t do this! It’s too soon, way too soon! Poor Giles, the defeated look in his eyes when he figures it out, it’s so painful. Chainsaws would have been more humane.

    Spike fighting on Buffy’s side really surprised me. I like that he points out how ridiculous it would be to end the world (or turn it into hell), after all vampires need humans to survive.
    I guess it was also a chance to finally get rid of Angelus and let all his frustrations out on him.
    It’s beautiful how he hits him over and over again. “Painful, isn't it?”

    “Kick his ass!” Oh Xander, you stupid jerk. I mean, I get why he did it. He didn’t want Buffy to hesitate and he wanted Angel to pay, but still. It would probably not have saved Angel, but then I don’t get why he had to say anything at all.
    (Vg znxrf zr rira natevre gung vg vf arire shyyl oebhtug hc va yngre frnfbaf. Rkprcg sbe gung yvggyr erznex va frnfba frira. Vg jbhyq unir orra n avpr pbasyvpg orgjrra Knaqre naq gur bgure Fpbbovrf, cresrpg sbe “Gur Lbxb Snpgbe” be sbe gur zhfvpny. Gurl qvqa’g whfg yrg Knaqre trg njnl jvgu vg, ohg gurl nyfb eboorq uvz bs nal jnl gb znxr hc sbe vg, gb ncbybtvmr.)

    I love, love the fight between Angelus and Buffy. It’s exciting and looks great, they are just so evenly matched; know each other’s weaknesses and both will not back down.
    “Take all that away and what’s left?” “Me!” Goosebumps, that’s all I can say about that.

    And then comes the absolute tearjerker. Even if you don’t like or still hate Angel, the way Buffy has to thrust that sword through him is never not heartbreaking.
    “Close your eyes.” Oh god, this just too much.

    I like how it mirrors Buffy’s dream in Surprise though. (Pbashfvat Fynlre qernzf, lnl!)

    Guvf fprar cebirfgb zr gung Natry naq Natryhf ner frcnengr crbcyr va gur fnzr obql.Vg gnxrf Natry n juvyr gb ertnva uvf zrzbevrf bs gur cnfg zbagu naq ur srryf yvxr ur jnf tbar nyy guvf gvzr. Vg’f yvxr ur unf n fcyvg crefbanyvgl naq Natry gnxrf bire jura thvyg birejuryzf Natryhf, jub arvgure jnagf abe haqrefgnaqf rzbgvbaf.

    SMG does such a good job of crying and melting my already bruised heart.
    Also the, according to the script, “incredibly poignant Sarah McLachlan song”, all the tears.

    • cait0716 says:

      "Close your eyes" is the name of the Buffy/Angel love theme. It works on so many levels.

      • ZeynepD says:

        And it's also what Darla said to Angel-not-yet-Angelus, during his last breaths as a human, as it were. (Opening of _Becoming, Part 1._)

        When you watch the two episodes back-to-back, there are several mirrorings / continuations like that. Awesome structure.

    • NB2000 says:

      I like how it mirrors Buffy’s dream in Surprise though.

      As I said back in the Suprise comments I didn't even catch that until recently, there was much sadness when it hit me.

  12. Andie says:

    This episode makes me bawl every time. And Close Your Eyes is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard.

  13. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Here is a quote from my comment on the last episode that made you all laugh:

    ”I am just numb at this point. There is nothing this show could do to emotionally break me further.”

    Let’s review all the ways that was 100% wrong, shall we?

    The Top Ten Things This Show Totally Did To Emotionally Break Alice Further In This Episode Alone (Alice being me, by the way)

    1) Let’s have Angel horribly torture Giles for the entire episode, shall we? Won’t that be fun to watch!
    2) Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s fuck with his mind by making him think the woman he loves is back from the dead. That’s just perfect! Because clearly Alice has not yet cried enough tears this season! oh jenny
    3) Hmm…but Buffy’s still too happy. I know, let’s have her mother completely reject her after finding out she’s the Slayer, and tell her to get out and never come back!
    4) What the heck…expel her from school too!
    5) And make her a wanted fugitive, on suspicion of murder!
    6) But I don’t think we’re hurting the other characters enough. Better throw in Xander apparently realising that he loves Willow, just as she’s finally gotten over her feelings for him. For maximum angst.
    7) To eliminate any possible joy or happy feelings from Alice’s watching experience, let’s also have Spike leave town, thus removing the most brilliant, charismatic villain of the show. Oh, and effectively destroy his relationship with Drusilla while you’re at it, because we need to make sure that no-one in this show, good or bad, is ever happy.
    8) Hey, it looks like Willow is about to succeed in helping Angel! We can’t have that…let’s make him get back his soul just a few seconds before he fucking dies.
    9) Buffy will have to kill him herself of course, in order to traumatise her properly. We don’t want this episode to be too jolly now, do we?
    10) To top it all off, we’ll have to end with Buffy leaving Sunnydale, miserable and alone, having lost everything.

    God I love this show.

    Two things I really wanted to mention that didn’t fit into the list…

    -I’m sorry I said I’d never forgive Angel. I really am. Because the second he got his soul back, I realised I couldn’t hate him. I want to, but I can’t. Perhaps it’s just that David Boreanaz does a surprisingly good job at portraying the two distinct personalities, or maybe it’s because we learnt more about his backstory recently, but I just suddenly felt…this is a guy who has had some awful shit done to him on a regular basis. At the end of the day…it’s not his fault. I still don’t LIKE him, I don’t think I ever will again now, not after what he did. But I don’t want him to be dead, because more than anything I want Buffy to be happy, and Angel dying just destroys her. Hell, I just want things to go right for someone, just once. So yeah, if he comes back…I can tolerate him. That’s the best I can do for now.
    Who the hell is Principal Snyder?? Guys, he mentioned the Mayor again, and I’m certain this time that there is something going on. Like, is this all some big conspiracy? But if the town officials know about all this supernatural jazz, why wouldn’t they support Buffy as the Slayer? So what, are they evil? But then why are they covering up all the vamp activity? I MUST KNOW MORE.

    • I'm glad you've come around on Angel! When you were so vehement in your determination to NEVER FORGIVE, I was just waiting to see how you would react to this.

      Because the second he got his soul back, I realised I couldn’t hate him. I want to, but I can’t.

      V ybir Natry, ohg V ybir uvz zber ba uvf bja fubj, fb V'z rkpvgrq gb trg gb vg!


      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Yeah yeah, I'm fickle as hell. I swear, I'm so easily manipulated. But I mean, he finally got his soul back and was immediately stabbed to death by the girl he loves and sent to an eternity of torment in a hell dimension? The guy has some rotten luck.
        I suppose it's sort of like…he did the crime, sure…but now he most certainly is doing the time.

        And it's hard to hate someone whose life is just one big ball of unmitigated suck.

        • gonzoron says:

          To be fair, Joss is the king of audience manipulation. So don't be hard on yourself, it's not just you. 🙂

          "Buffy.. What's going on?" damn, it gets me every time.

          "one big ball of unmitigated suck"

          (I'm rot13'ing the following comment, but it's just my own description of the mood of Angel, the series, not specific events. Decipher or not at your own discretion.)

          Ba nabgure obneq, n Ohssl arjovr ng nccebkvzngryl guvf cbvag bs gur frevrf fnvq fur jnf "gverq bs [Natry] trggvat gur fuvg raq bs gur fgvpx"

          Zl ercyl jnf: "Bu… lbh'er whfg tbvat gb ybir Natry: gur frevrf. Jurer obgu raqf bs rirel fgvpx ner gur fuvg raq. Naq Natry whttyrf fgvpxf. :)"

      • darkwater says:

        "Jryy tbfu!"


      • Karen says:

        Re your ROT13: MTE.


        V nz fb orlbaq rkpvgrq sbe gur Znlbe.

      • notemily says:


        now I'm imagining one of those abused animal commercials only with sad Angel in a cage looking out pitifully.

    • haguenite says:

      Oh man, that comment of yours. WE ALL DIED. Never say such things again, or we'll have to send out a special contingent of super-awesome huggers to get you through the rest of this series.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        For some reason I read that as 'super awesome face-huggers' and had this horrific mental image of a contingent of the face-huggers from Alien coming to get me…

        Oh god, please don't send them!

    • cait0716 says:

      I love your reactions so much. Especially that all of the heartbreak led to you loving this show. I can't wait to see what you think of next season.

    • darkwater says:

      "I’m sorry I said I’d never forgive Angel. I really am. Because the second he got his soul back, I realised I couldn’t hate him. I want to, but I can’t."

      Called it! 🙂

    • SecretGirl127 says:

      [mod edit: Theories Abound]

      Principal Snyder is in on stuff. I just don’t know how much he is in on, like is he a demon of some kind too?

    • Karen says:

      Like I don't really care all that much about Angel, but BUFFY? Oh Buffy. I just love her so much, so I DO care that killing Angel while he had his soul destroyed her. So the scene breaks me not because I love Angel or that I ship Buffy/Angel, but because I can't stand to see Buffy hurting so much.

      • Dru says:

        YES TO ALL THIS, thank you for putting it so succinctly.

        I used to think I was a Buffy/Angel shipper because of this, but then it dawned on me that the only person I cared about in that relationship was Buffy. And there, ship sunk.

    • Auracounts says:

      And what did we learn about absolutes? 😉

    • mutatio42 says:

      "Bu, naq rssrpgviryl qrfgebl uvf eryngvbafuvc jvgu Qehfvyyn juvyr lbh’er ng vg, orpnhfr jr arrq gb znxr fher gung ab-bar va guvf fubj, tbbq be onq, vf rire unccl."

      “Fur yrsg zr sbe n Punbf Qrzba! Unir lbh zrg n Punbf Qrzba? gurl’er nyy fyvzr naq nagyref!”
      Cvgvshy!Fcvxr vf bar bs zl snibhevgr Fcvxrf

    • NB2000 says:

      Fb jung, ner gurl rivy?

      Zjnunun, jryy…fbeg bs…fbzr cebonoyl unir ab vqrn jung'f tbvat ba.

    • Fuchsia says:

      We had an entire thread in rot13 speculating if you'd take back what you said about Angel. We had a feeling this episode would do it.

    • theDMG says:

      Let’s review all the ways that was 100% wrong, shall we?

      Or, we could go back to the predictions thread now and see how ridiculously right you were there 🙂

      1.There will be a new main villain, but we won’t find out what/who until a few episodes in.
      Correct. At first it looks like it took until episode three with Spike and Drusilla's arrival, but in reality, it didn't really come until Innocence and the arrival of Angelus.

      2.There will be vampires
      Obviously very true with the three main villains all being vamps.

      3.There will be more prophecies
      ….Not remembering if there were any specific prophecies this season and too lazy to go through episode by episode…

      4.Buffy and Angel will…I don’t want to say ‘start dating’ because that seems a little inappropriate, but start being more obviously couple-y and hanging out more

      5.Xander will finally get over Buffy, but Willow will find someone new in the meantime
      Debatable, but I'd give you this one. He moves on to someone else and by that time Willow has also moved on. Whether he's over Buffy or not, though, is debatable.

      6.Giles and Miss Calendar will also start dating because they are adorable and I will go down with this ship
      So correct it hurts. A lot.

      7.We will find out more about someone’s past
      Off the top of my head, we have flashbacks/backstory for Angel, Buffy, Giles, Jenny, and Drusilla this season.

      8.Actually, I really want some Angel flashbacks
      Very, very check with that finale. At this point, I was stunned speechless with your accuracy.

      9.And some Giles flashbacks
      And then some more stunnagement.

      10.More people will die
      Check. In a big frickin' way. And reading this knowing your budding Giles/Jenny ship was pretty painful.

      11.Still no-one in this whole stupid town will notice
      For the most part, correct. Until we begin finding out that there are some officials (Snyder, the police, the mayor) that are in on it to some degree. And Joyce eventually has her veil of ignorance lifted. Oz, too, I guess.

      12. Ok, on the to the real stuff. A main character will die. I mean, this is Whedon, right? Right now I’m leaning towards Cordelia, Xander or maybe Buffy’s mom. I mean, I don’t WANT them to die but…Whedon.
      Ouch, ouch, ouch. Now imagine watching this season and not knowing Whedon's tendencies beforehand…..

      13.Conversely, a new main character will be introduced
      Hey, Oz. How's it going? And hey, Kendra could possibly count for both this and the last one depending on your definition of "main character".

      14.I will almost certainly hate them on principle, but grow to love them anyway
      And the one you get the most wrong is one of self-knowledge, not predictions ability.

      15.Joss Whedon will fuck with our minds constantly
      Now just remember this one anytime you feel like making declarations like you did after last episode.

      16.I will probably cry again

      17.Stuff will…happen

      Normally, yes, it is. You kinda nailed this season, though.

      • @Ivana2804 says:

        3. Prophecies – Whistler found Angel and showed him Buffy because of some sort of prophecy, which obviously turned out wrong or was wrongly interpreted. He said he thought that Angel would be the one to stop Acathla – but instead, he was the one to awaken him. "Nobody saw you coming" – he thought Buffy would need Angel's help ("She's just a kid"), and didn't realize that Buffy is the hero to count on and that she would be the one to stop Acathla.

    • Ginsue says:

      "God I love this show. "

      XD Nothing like a show that makes you cry and simultaneously lose all hope. To top all this off, the last scene is of the sign, saying, "Now Leaving Sunnydale. Come back soon!" It's like someone took that sign, tore it from the ground, and stabbed you like a stake through the heart!

    • MrsGillianO says:

      Yes, this show is evil and that's why we love it so much.

      There was a lot of sympathy for you yesterday as well as predictable glee, because we all remember what it was like. Hell, it's still not easy to watch it without welling up. I first watched the (BBC, slightly bowdlerised version) episode with my daughters, then nine and thirteen. We got through half a box of tissues.

      ALWAYS be careful what you wish for with Joss. He will give it to you, but only if it causes you the MAXIMUM PAIN.


      • always amy says:

        see in some ways knowing it's Whedon is a spoiler. Because this is where he started, this is what he gave us before we knew what a Joss Whedon program ment.

        I love this show.

        • Dru says:

          see in some ways knowing it's Whedon is a spoiler.

          This exactly. And in some cases (like Prophecy Girl) even knowing there's more to come is a spoiler!

    • tardis_stowaway says:

      I think closing a list of sources of horrible heartbreak with God I love this show proves that you are now a true BtVS fan. Someone will be arriving at your house shortly to instruct you on the secret handshake and present you with your official tissue box.

    • Dru says:


      <img src="; width="480" height="270" />

  14. plaidpants says:

    This episode was just heartbreaking. Gah. Everything seemed to go wrong/get worse before it got better – Willow in the hospital, Giles kidnapped, tortured, and the cops hunting down Buffy. And what is up with Principal Snyder? I'm a little disappointed we didn't delve more into his story in this episode, although maybe that'll be next season.

    The fight between Buffy and her mom was so upsetting. I understand why Buffy was impatient with her, but her Mom just found out all this upsetting information, had no context to put it in, and sees her daughter going out to put herself in danger – I can understand her reacting that way. And I know that no matter what she said, Buffy would be welcome back in the house, but I'm sure Buffy didn't/couldn't see it that way. (Although that scene between Spike and Joyce sitting there uncomfortably in the house was so lolzy, and definitely worth it.)

    I LOVED Buffy teaming up with Spike – they made a great pair, and we can really see how much Spike cares for Dru. He's like, nope, don't want the world to end, I like eating people, so I'm going to do the best thing possible – get out of Dodge!

    The odd torturing of Giles – I guess they didn't want to show too much blood/exactly how Giles was being tortured (some things are best left to the imagination I guess). I was amused by Dru continuing to make out with Giles – lets be real, I think we'd all love to be making out with him.

    I should have guessed that Angel would be sent to hell, right after he gets his soul back, since that's the most heartbreaking possible route. V guvax V erzrzore frrvat fbzrjurer bayvar qvfphffvba/gnyx nobhg Ohssl tbvat gb uryy , fb znlor gung'f ubj Natry jvyy pbzr onpx? Ohssl tbrf gb uryy naq fbzrubj oevatf uvz bhg? It was interesting that Angel seemed to remember nothing about what he did/what happened in those months of him being evil. Does he have any idea why Buffy kills him? I feel like his memory would come back eventually, because he remembered all the horrid things he did when he was first cursed. It'd be pretty awful for Buffy and the Scoobies to have to explain to him everything he did – oh yea, you killed Jenny, tried to kill me multiple times, killed all these other people.

    And the Xander issue. I feel like his "I love you" to Willow was more of a realization of how much her friendship means, rather than a "you're the love of my life" kind of thing (at least, I hope this is the case since I'm enjoying the Xander/Cordelia pairing). As far as him lying to Buffy about Willow's attempt at the curse, I'm torn. First of all, he has no right to keep this information from Buffy. She should really be informed of everything before heading into battle, and it's not his place to decide that she does or doesn't get to know something. On the other hand, would it have made a difference? It seemed like from Whistler guy that as soon as Angel took that sword out and opened the portal, the ONLY way to close it was to kill Angel and send him back with the demon. And Buffy was unable to stop Angel from opening the portal before he regained his soul. It's hard to believe she wasn't trying her hardest to stop him even not knowing he could be turned back. IDK, I have a lot of feelings apparently.

    • etherealclarity says:

      "On the other hand, would it have made a difference? "

      This is also why I am torn about it. Upon rewatching that scene, it doesn't seem like it would have. It all happens too quickly. Buffy comes in and beheads a vamp, Spike attacks Angel, Dru attacks Spike, vamps attack Buffy and she's fighting them off, Angel recovers from Spike's (quite vicious and brutal attack) and grabs the sword. From then on it is inevitable. What was she going to do, not defend herself from the vamps who were attacking? If she just focused on Angel at that point – who seemed like he was down for a few minutes at least – the vamps would have kept attacking and maybe killed her. I think it is very unlikely that, had Xander told the truth, anything could possibly have been different about that scene.

      On the other hand, Xander probably should not have lied regardless.

      • plaidpants says:

        Exactly. So it just ends up with a philosophical question of whether things that have no problematic consequences can be wrong in and of themselves.

        • notemily says:

          Well see, the fact that it wouldn't have changed the outcome just makes it seem MORE wrong to me, because the only thing it does change then is Buffy's emotional preparedness for what happens. If she had KNOWN that as soon as he pulled the sword out, she had to stab him even if he got his soul back, maybe she wouldn't have been so devastated. I mean, still pretty damn sad, but it wouldn't have taken her by surprise.

          • UnstrungZero says:

            This is an excellent aspect that I had never previously thought of. I've always felt the moral greyness and "I guess it wouldn't've made a difference" but that's true, Buffy could've at least had a few extra minutes to prepare herself.

            Though sometimes more time means more time for doubt. :\

      • cait0716 says:

        It is a little weird that the circumstances of the episode make the whole question of what to do about Angel pointless. The choice gets completely removed from the characters because letting him live would end the world. Though I suppose that does play into what Whistler said in the last episode about "the big moments". Some things are just out of your control.

        • etherealclarity says:

          Jryy. Gurer JNF n pubvpr gb abg raq gur jbeyq. V zrna, va Frnfba 5, Ohssl fnlf bhgevtug gung fur'yy yrg gur jbeyq raq vs abg raqvat vg zrnaf Qnja jvyy qvr. Ohg pregnvayl gur pubvpr gb qb nalguvat jvgu Knaqre'f vasbezngvba jnf abg gurer, QBHOYL abg gurer orpnhfr abg bayl qvq ur gryy ure, ohg rira vs ur unq gbyq ure vg jnf gbb yngr gb qb nalguvat nobhg vg. Naq npghnyyl, vg jbhyq zbfg yvxryl nyjnlf unir orra gbb yngr gb qb nalguvat nobhg vg… gur bayl yvxryl jnl gung gubfr riragf qvqa'g cynl bhg jvgu Natry tbvat gb uryy jbhyq or vs Jvyybj unq qbar gur fcryy rneyvre guna fur qvq, naq gur bayl jnl GUNG unccraf vf vs Ohssl qbrfa'g gnxr Natry'f onvg va Cg1.

          • cait0716 says:

            Good points. I guess her "choice" here really calls back to Ford's choice in Lie to Me. There is a choice, but choosing wrong paints you in a really bad light. V ungr gung Ohssl vf jvyyvat gb fnpevsvpr gur jbeyq gb fnir ure fvfgre va frnfba svir. Gurer vf whfg ab ybtvp va gung qrpvfvba.

        • L_Storm says:

          V srry gung vg qbrfa'g znxr n qvssrerapr va jurgure be abg Ohssl jbhyq xvyy Natry, ohg vg zvtug unir znqr n qvssrerapr va ubj nybar Ohssl srryf nyy gur gvzr. Gur snpg guvf vf arire npghnyyl zragvbarq ntnva hagvy frnfba frira, naq gura bayl oevrsyl, ohtf zr. Ohg gur jnl vg vf oebhtug hc, gur pbagrkg, fubjf ubj zhpu zber nyvrangvat guvf jnf sbe Ohssl guna unq fur xabja Jvyybj jnf gelvat ntnva.

          Ohssl unf uhtr gehfg vffhrf sbe gur erfg bs gur frevrf, orpnhfr va gur raq fur nybar vf gur fynlre. Uryy, Ohssl naq Snvgu (nsgre Snvgu ergheaf gb gur "tbbq fvqr" ntnva) rira gnyx nobhg guvf, orpnhfr gurl ner obgu fhpu ybaref, naq fb nybar rira jura fheebhaqrq ol gur erfg bs gur tnat.

          V guvax gung zvtug or jung jbhyq unir punatrq. Gur rzbgvbany bhgpbzrf… Arrqyrff gb fnl, Knaqre lbh'er n senpxvat qvpxurnq.

          • UnstrungZero says:

            Gur snpg guvf vf arire npghnyyl zragvbarq ntnva hagvy frnfba frira, naq gura bayl oevrsyl, ohtf zr. Ohg gur jnl vg vf oebhtug hc, gur pbagrkg, fubjf ubj zhpu zber nyvrangvat guvf jnf sbe Ohssl guna unq fur xabja Jvyybj jnf gelvat ntnva.

            Gung zbzrag jnf fhpu n :B zbzrag sbe zr, gung vg jbhyq or oebhtug hc nsgre fb ybat, ohg yvxr fbzrbar va nabgure guernq urer fnvq, gung'f jung erny yvsr vf yvxr. Ohg guvf vf na rkpryyrag cbvag naq fubjf Knaqre'f fubegfvtugrqarff, ur arire ernyvfrq gung Ohssl jbhyq oynzr Jvyybj, guvaxvat fur'q gbyq ure gb "xvpx uvf nff" jura fur jnf ernyyl gelvat gb phefr uvz ntnva. V qb yvxr gung gur jevgref cbvagrq gung bhg riraghnyyl.

    • Bonnie says:

      V ybirq Ohssl grnzvat hc jvgu Fcvxr – gurl znqr n terng cnve

      I'm giggling.

    • Tina says:

      And the Xander issue. I feel like his "I love you" to Willow was more of a realization of how much her friendship means, rather than a "you're the love of my life" kind of thing

      This is what I think too. And because "male/female strong friendship" can be confusing (how many times do we heard that men and women can't be friends) I think Xander could misunderstood his feelings for Willow, but in the end I'm on the team "strong and deep friendship feelings"

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      Xander probably thought that Buffy might hold back in fight if she hoped she could get Angel back, but the way everything happened, it wouldn't have made a difference to the fight itself, because he managed to pull out the sword quickly, and from that moment on, she had to send him to hell, soul or no soul.

      But the lie might have affected something else. If Buffy hadn't gotten the impression that Willow said "kick his ass", she might not have thought that none of her friends would understand what she's going through, and maybe she wouldn't have skipped town? Or maybe she still would have, but it's hard to say.

    • notemily says:

      Everything seemed to go wrong/get worse before it got better

      You're saying it got better? 😉

  15. theoopsgirl says:

    Well, if anything, this episode does conclusively prove that Giles is the most badass British librarian of all time. "You must perform the ritual… in a tutu." LOVE GILES. LOOOOOOOVVVVVVVEEEE.
    Also, this little gem between Giles and Xander:

    Giles: It's a trick. They get inside my head, make me see things I want.
    Xander: Then why would they make you see me?
    Giles: Oh, right. Let's go.

    No, seriously, maybe it's because I have a special gift to overlook the bleak in this episode, LMAO FOREVER.

    • cait0716 says:

      That bit between Giles and Xander is great. A much-needed moment of levity in such a bleak episode.

    • PheasantPlucker says:

      "You must perform the ritual… in a tutu."

      I, for one, would like to see this.

    • ajaxbreaker says:

      Not to forget that "pillock" is pretty much the best insult ever 😀

      • Fiona says:

        I concur. British insults are the best, especially berk once you know what it's the rhyming slang for (which I didn't for years.

        ROT13 in case you don't want to know: vg'f rkgraqrq gb Orexfuver Uhag, abj guvax jung gung eulzrf jvgu…

    • tanbarkie says:

      Giles has the stiffest upper lip of them all.


    • ZeynepD says:

      Yes, those two. And the We-Redefine-"Awkward" interaction between Joyce and Spike in the living room while Buffy's on the phone in the other room. I cling to those moments because the rest of the episode is 80% Heartbreaking Tearjerker and 20% Crowning Moment of Awesome and may become too much to deal.

  16. monkeybutter says:

    I'm not prepared for cuteness!

    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    I hope these help you through your difficult time.

  17. cemeterybaby says:

    I literally cannot talk about how much I hate Xander in this episode without going into fits of apoplectic rage so SKIPPING RIGHT PAST THAT…

    The fight with Angelus is pretty much what sealed Buffy as my favorite fictional character ever. Can we all just remember that she's seventeen? SEVENTEEN. A seventeen year old girl who can stop a sword with her eyes closed and make the decision within 5 seconds of getting the person she loves back to kill him for the good of the world.

    SMG pretty much knocks it out of the park the whole episode, but:

    <img src=""&gt;

    HER FACE WHEN SHE KISSES HIM. Jesus I didn't know it was possible to have so many feelings

    And that is all I can say about this episode because I need to go cry

  18. t09yavosaur says:

    Even the mutant at the end needs a hug.
    <img src=""&gt;

    EDIT: I wanted to add a post with words but I still don't have any.

  19. SecretGirl127 says:

    First off, HOLY SHIT. Second, I then proceeded to watch the next episode, because I just had to.
    Now that that's over, here are comments to my comments from Friday…
    1. Willow to the rescue! She will turn Angel back to a good guy. YEAH I WAS RIGHT!
    2. Together, Buffy and Angel will take care of the bad guy, Dru, and Spike. WELL, IT WAS KIND OF BOTH BUFFY AND ANGEL THE TOOK CARE OF THE BAD GUY. NOT THE WAY I MEANT, BUT IT TOOK THE TWO OF THEM. AS FOR DRU/SPIKE, OH WELL.
    3. It will end with Buffy thankful for having Angel back, but not yet able to forgive him. AGAIN, I WAS KIND OF RIGHT, BUT NOT THE WAY I MEANT, BOY OH BOY, NOT THE WAY I MEANT.
    4. BONUS: The next season will be about Angel brooding about and trying to win her back. BOO I WAS WRONG! NEW PREDICTION, MY PREDICTIONS WILL BE EITHER ALL WRONG OR RIGHT BUT NOT IN WAYS I INTENDED.

  20. sixth_queen says:

    I only read the comments quickly, but there's the possbility that Xander's motivation is that he is still crushing on Buffy and wants Angel out of the way. He doesn't care if if it's Angel or Angelus in that body, he just wants them both GONE so that he can have Buffy to himself.

    btw, I watched this episode ONCE, and I have not watched it since. I ReFUSE to watch Buffy kill the real Angel again. If it hadn't been for Angel, I would have stopped watching after the second episode of the whole series.

    • haguenite says:

      With him just having told Willow he loves her, I'd like to give Xander the benefit of the doubt about that. He's a hormone addled teenage asshole of epic proportions a lot of the time, but I don't believe he's *quite* that bad.

      • Kickpuncher says:

        I think Xander just hates him some Angel. That hatred was initially informed by Buffy's feelings for Angel, but as of Angel's soullessness, he hates Angel way more for killing Jenny and making Buffy miserable. Xander isn't scheming to get with Buffy anymore.

        Ur frrzf zber be yrff bxnl jvgu Fpbgg Ubcr va F3.

        • settlingforhistory says:

          I agree with this so much. "Xander just hates him some Angel" , this is a nice characterisation.

          Ur nyfb vf sevraqf jvgu Evyrl yngre ba naq vf ubarfgyl natel gung Ohssl jbhyq whfg yrg uvz yrnir.

  21. etherealclarity says:

    I don't really have a lot to say today, but I do want to say that I don't often cry at television/movies (or at least, I used to not often cry) but the end of this episode gets me EVERY DAMN TIME. The look on Buffy's face after Angel has been sucked into hell, as she's fighting tears and losing that battle? It kills me. And then that whole sequence where they drive home the fact that she has lost so much – she's wanted by the police, has been expelled, and has been kicked out of her home. She can't go back. So she leaves. Even though her friends are waiting for her and don't know. And you see Joyce's face as she discovers the note. And I don't like Sarah McGlauglin (I'm sure I mangled that spelling but whatever I don't care enough to look it up), but that song at that moment always breaks me. All the sads. 🙁

    • Fuchsia says:

      I start crying when Joyce tells her to never come back, and I just keep crying up until the very end. And then some. I've seen this episode SO MANY TIMES but still, every time, I cry. I think SMG's acting is just amazing in this episode.

  22. Meltha says:

    You did stick around for the little Grr Argh demon at the end, right? Cuz if not, go back and see that.

    As for the Lie, as it is often referred to… no. Xander decided he knew better than everyone else and lied to Buffy so he'd do what he wanted her to do, which was kill Angel, and sorry, but the real impetus for that is that he has always been jealous of Angel's relationship with her. He decided she was weak and he was the big strong man who could handle everything if only the woman would just do what he said.

    And as for for the ending… heartbreaking. Stunning. I remember watching this the first time with my mouth open in shock.

    Joss will destroy us all, and we will say thank you for it.

    • cat lady says:

      "Joss will destroy us all, and we will say thank you for it."

      We will say, "Thank you, sir, may I please have another?"

    • Rob M says:

      Sorry – I somewhat jumped the gun there. I +1d for the Grr Argh demon comment as you were the first to mention it and it needed to be mentioned… and then I wanted to take it back for the Xander comments.

      Yeah, I come down on the other side of this one; it's clearly possible to interpret it the way you have, but I only have to look back just a single episode for an example of Buffy dragging a fight with Angel out hoping that Willow's spell will work to see that maybe she doesn't need to be distracted during this fight. Yes, Buffy might be able to deal with it and fight at the top of her game, but it's a thin reed to rest the fate of the world on.

      • PheasantPlucker says:

        I fall on the Xander-is-an-asshole side of the coin. I guess I see it as him justifying his own actions to himself (because yes, saving the world is important and sometimes doing terrible things gets the job done), but we've had two seasons of Xander acting like a jealous, controlling jerk with respect to Buffy. Benefit of the doubt no longer applies in my head.

        Even assuming that protecting Buffy and the world is his major motivation, it a morally ambiguous choice. He's deciding what she does or doesn't need to know, without giving her the opportunity to choose her own course of action. If they'd shown him being even a little conflicted at his actions at that point then maybe I wouldn't judge him so harshly but as it stands he makes his choice, is happy with it, and goes about his business with no repercussions.

        • tanbarkie says:

          Heh, I'm right in the middle with Mark – I think Xander can have a point and still be an asshole.


          • hpfish13 says:

            I will join you in this!!! I want to punch Xander in the face in this episode, but I understand why he did it.

            That being said vg gbbx dhvgr n srj rcvfbqrf bs frnfba 3 orsber V qvqa'g tyner ng uvz pbafgnagyl, V oynzr gur fcrrq ng juvpu V jngpurq gurfr rcvfbqrf, univat n fhzzre gb zbir ba jbhyq unir cebonoyl orra urycshy.

        • SelphieFairy says:

          Yes, but is the need to give Buffy "the opportunity to choose her own course of action" really worth risking the fate of the world? Maybe she makes the wrong choice (holding back while fighting Angel) and we all die. Obviously, in the end, it made no difference, but there's no way Xander could have known that beforehand. So he does something which he believes will help try and GUARANTEE that she doesn't back down. It's really a question about whether or not the ends justify the means.

    • Rebcake says:

      Heh. Yeah, I'm not privy to Xander's motivations for what he did, and there may well have been sound strategic reasons for trying to keep Buffy undistracted/uninformed. But who the HELL put XANDER in charge of strategy? Who would ever do that? Only himself and his privilege. Not cool, Xander. Get over yourself.

    • majere616 says:

      Xander did the right thing, plain and simple. People died because Buffy didn't have the resolve to kill Angelus when she had the chance. And then when she has mustered that resolve and it's all that stands between the world and Hell you're trying to tell me Xander is wrong to withhold information that could only serve to weaken her determination? What possible good could telling her have done?

      • Rebcake says:

        I think you will find that it is neither plain nor simple, as it is still being hotly debated 14 years later. 😉

    • Rebcake says:

      Another point about The Lie that I haven't seen mentioned:

      Even if Xander had strategic reasons for The Lie (as mentioned above, this is not exactly his area of expertise) the unintended consequence was to alienate Buffy from Willow, the only person she could conceivably have expected to sympathize with what happened with Angel. He cut off her last avenue of connection to Sunnydale with his lie. No cookie, Xander.

  23. rabbitape says:

    I debated reading this review at all, since I’m at the airport and it seems inappropriate to board a plane while crying, but this episode is too damn good/awful. Ugh, my endless tears. Thanks for all the weird looks from strangers at the gate, Joss!

  24. Carina says:

    First – all of the possible hugs in the world Mark (V guvax lbh'yy arrq gurz ol gur gvzr lbh svavfu Ohssl).

    Second – I just love the song at the end of this episode – to me it really helps make it.

    Third – I love Spike! His conversation with Buffys mum in this episode – and his attitdue towards the end of the world always amuses me!

    Glad you are enjoying the show so much though!!!! Can't wait til Wednesday and your epic unpreparedness to being once again!

  25. misterbernie says:

    So. From your review of Go Fish:
    Oh, another appearance from Angelus. Great. UGH JUST PLEASE GO AWAY.
    Look, YOU GOT YOUR WISH! Happy dance time!

    <img src=""&gt;

    V hygvzngryl qba’g jnag gb znxr n whqtzrag rvgure jnl hagvy V frr jung pbzrf bs guvf.
    Guvatf univat pbafrdhraprf? Jung?

    After having watched it about, uh, 50 times, the final fight starts to cross from "awesome" into "hilarious" when you can't do anything but notice the obvious stunt doubles. Especially Boreanaz's, who has a completely different hairline.

    Also, your hatred of Whistler is a beautiful, precious thing.

    German titile: Spiel mit dem Feuer – 'Playing with Fire', which, wait, what?

    • Also, your hatred of Whistler is a beautiful, precious thing.
      He really does make no goddamn sense. I want to like him, but he makes no goddamn sense.

      • etherealclarity says:

        Vs V erpnyy pbeerpgyl, gurl bevtvanyyl jnagrq gb trg Juvfgyre onpx sbe Natry ohg jura gurl pbhyqa'g gung'f jura gurl perngrq gur punenpgre bs Qblyr. Fb juvyr V nterr jvgu lbh (ur znqr ab frafr va gurfr rcvfbqrf), znlor Wbff qvq unir zber bs n ybatre-nep cynaarq sbe Juvfgyre va gur onpx bs uvf zvaq gung jbhyq unir znqr Juvfgyre srry yrff hfryrff va ergebfcrpg? Ohg fgvyy, birenyy, zru.

      • @Ivana2804 says:

        Ur ergheaf va gur pbzvpf, naq uvf ebyr va frnfba 9 fher ybbxf gb or vagrerfgvat…

        Ohg V guvax vg'f dhvgr qvssrerag sebz jung gurl cebonoyl bevtvanyyl vagraqrq sbe gur punenpgre, orpnhfr guvf Juvfgyre vf abguvat yvxr Qblyr (V jba'g fnl nalguvat zber fb abg gb fcbvy frnfbaf 8 naq 9…)

    • cait0716 says:

      The fight gets even more hilarious when Angel smashes a pot with his sword and you realize that they use the same sound bite that gets used in Zelda when Link smashes pots.

      • misterbernie says:

        … what, really? Oh dear, I'll never be able to take the ending seriously again >.<

      • knut_knut says:

        WHAT!!! I have to go back and listen for that! Smashing the pots and cutting the grass are my favourite activities in Zelda, which is kind of pathetic. I’m easily entertained.

        • enigmaticagentscully says:

          Cutting the grass is legit the best part of Zelda games, especially on the Wii.

          If they came out with a game called 'Xtreme Grass Cutter' I would buy it.

        • Fuchsia says:

          I love those two things too [especially on the Wii] but every time I play, I can't help thinking, "Wow Link's such an asshole, just barging into people's houses and breaking all their pottery." But nobody ever gets mad at him!

          And I wish I found money at random in grass all over town… if only!

      • tanbarkie says:

        Turns out Angel isn't trying to kill Buffy. He just wants some damn rupees.

    • Karen says:

      "Guvatf univat pbafrdhraprf? Jung?"

      Abg sbe Knaqre gurl qba'g!

    • FuTeffla says:

      Whistler is *textbook* enigmatic.

    • RoseFyre says:

      "After having watched it about, uh, 50 times, the final fight starts to cross from "awesome" into "hilarious" when you can't do anything but notice the obvious stunt doubles. Especially Boreanaz's, who has a completely different hairline."

      IKR? There's a couple of moments where it's like "oh yeah, that's totally the stunt double…"

  26. Rayne says:

    This perfectly sums up my feelings (I love that they added this at the end of the episode!)

    Meh, having problems with embedding. Here's a link instead.

    Man, that was a loooong summer after this aired! I remember being depressed for DAYS!

    (Managed to embed it in a post further down)

  27. guest_age says:

    That line where Angel asks Buffy what she has left and she catches the sword and replies, "ME," is just one of my favorite lines from anything ever. Delivered perfectly and such a powerful moment.

    Also: "Ted" already set me pretty against Joyce for the deeply personal reasons I detailed in the comments of your review for that episode, "Bad Eggs," didn't help, and then this episode was pretty much the final nail in the coffin of me ever liking Joyce again. I loved her before "Ted" and then…yeah. Sigh. Ew. Just…gross.

  28. darkwater says:

    And there you have it, Mark. Embrace the pain.

    They couldn't have picked a better piece of music to end the season either.

    I really do love Spike's little monologue about why he likes the world too.

  29. enigmaticagentscully says:

    I'm so glad we're just doing predictions tomorrow, because I just finished my predictions post and MY GOD it's long.

    Also, I was extremely unprepared last season.

  30. Karen says:

    The episode opens with Buffy getting in trouble with the police, and I think this is a great bit of writing because it adds ever MORE tension to the whole situation. Willow and Xander are injured. Giles has been taken by Angel. Angel is going to destroy the world. And now Buffy is also on the run from the police.

    V guvax guvf rcvfbqr pbasvezf sbe zr gung Juvfgyre VF jbexvat sbe GCGO? Whistler says that no one saw her coming even though Whistler was the one who pushed Angel to Buffy? But I guess he didn’t think they’d fall in love- just that Buffy would inspire him. So Buffy doesn’t get any useful info about of Whistler and starts to head home where some cops almost pick her up! But then suddenly! A wild Spike appears! BU TBQ GURL NYERNQL UNIR PURZFVGEL NAQ GRAFVBA. FBZRBAR UBYQ ZR. V UNGR ZLFRYS SBE FUVCCVAT GURZ. Gur onagre!

    Anyway, Spike is proposing an alliance. Oh God. I love the little bit of laughter that creeps into his voice when he says, “I want to save the world”. It’s like he can’t believe himself that he’s actually going to be in an alliance with the Slayer. I love the motivation for Spike’s betrayal of Angel because the seeds have been planted so many episodes ago. He’d been growing increasingly jealous of Angel and Dru and it’s finally boiled over.

    Buffy and Spike just have a fabulous dynamic. I love that bit where Buffy is like, “I hate you.” To which Spike replies, “I’m all you’ve got.” ALSO LOL I love Spike being all “right, let me just kill this guy” and Buffy is all “um, no.” LOL FOREVER at Spike and Buffy pretending that they are in a band to cover for Joyce. Seriously, these two working together (however begrudgingly) IS THE GREATEST THING EVER.

    So, now Joyce knows about Buffy being the Slayer. Can I just say? Spike and Joyce being awkward in the living room is a fabulous shot. Whfg lbh jnvg, lbh gjb. Bar qnl lbh thlf jvyy or fbnc bcren jngpuvat ohqqvrf! I love this bit of dialogue: “Have we met?” “You hit me with an axe one time. Remember? ‘Get the hell away from my daughter’?” It’s just all so dead pan and IDEK. I LOVE IT.

    I’m going to take a bit of time to talk about Joyce and her reaction to Buffy being the Slayer for a moment. I think Joss is obviously trying to go for a bit of a metaphor of gay teens coming out to their parents with Joyce saying things like: “Honey are you sure you’re a vampire slayer?”, “Have you tried not being the slayer?”, and “It was because you didn’t have a strong father figure, isn’t it?”. I think this is good in some respects but bad in others because if you keep with that analogy, Joyce telling Buffy not to come home is pretty horrible. But really, from Joyce’s point of view, she’s just found out that vampires and demons are real and her daughter is telling her that it is her duty to fight them, and she’s going to just go off and do so. Joyce is confused and scared. She wants Buffy to stay home because she wants her daughter safe and is having trouble believing that this all true. It’s a heat of the moment ultimatum that Joyce makes because she’s scared for Buffy and confused and a bit angry that Buffy has been hiding this. I mean, Buffy challenges Joyce by saying “you can’t stop me” and then when Joyce starts to say, “oh yes I can”, Buffy uses her superior physical strength to shove her aside, so all Joyce has left is that ultimatum, but it’s powerless. I don’t for one second believe that Joyce meant it. I mean the second Buffy leaves, you see Joyce put her face her in hands like “what the hell just happened?” But at the end of the episode, Buffy is so hurt and upset by what had happened with Angel that she wants to run away anyway, I think. And she takes her mom at her word and leaves town. So yeah, I don’t hate Joyce for what she said. That scene is painful all around, but Joyce obvious loves her daughter a lot.

    • Karen says:

      Anyway, moving on to the main plot conflict of the episode. Angel has Giles and is torturing him for information. Dru hypnotizes Giles so that he sees her as Jenny and it’s SOOOO AWFUL AND HEARTBREAKING. He wants to believe that she’s there, so he does for a while and reveals that Angel’s blood will awaken the demon. Angel has got the information that he needs so he’s ready to kill Giles, but Spike keeps Angel from killing Giles to keep his deal with Buffy intact.

      Xander finds Buffy who is on her way to confront Angel, but doesn’t tell Buffy that she’s going to try to complete the spell. WHAT AN ASSHOLE. OMG. DIE IN A FIRE, XANDER. That was knowledge that Buffy deserved to have. Like, idk. I hate that Xander is taking the ability to choose how to deal with Angel away from Buffy by keeping that info from her. V UNGR GUNG GURER NER AB PBAFRDHRAPRF SBE GUVF RKPRCG SBE BAR GUEBJ NJNL YVAR VA FRNFBA 7. SHHHHHHHHHHH

      Anyway, Buffy shows up at the mansion and Spike makes good on his deal, knocking Angel out. Dru is upset by this, so Spike knocks her out so he can take her out of there. Spike notes that Angel is going to kill Buffy but then continues on his merry way. I love that moment because it shows that while Spike might have made a deal for his and Dru’s lives, he really doesn’t give a shit about Buffy and is still a bad guy.

      And now we’ve come to it. Buffy and Angel are going to fight. The entire second half of season 2 has been building to this, and it’s happening. It’s a pretty great fight scene too. OMG WHEN BUFFY GRABS THE SWORD WITH HER HAND, I FLAIL WITH HAPPINESS. SO GREAT.

      As Willow is doing the spell to re-ensoul Angel, she’s starting to feel weak but then bam! It’s like she’s possessed b y something and is full of power. (BU UNV QNEX JVYYBJ.) And it works! Angel gets his soul back. He’s confused at first, but he recognizes Buffy. And as a viewer, I’m like “yay! This is going to end happily! Angel has his soul back!”

      And then no. Some of Angel’s blood accidentally got on the statue. And now there’s only one thing to do. Buffy sees the portal opening and she knows. She has to kill him. It’s the only way. She finally got her Angel back, but she has to kill him with his soul intact in order to save the world. It’s such a quiet moment. “Close your eyes,” Buffy says. And then she does it. She runs the sword through his heart and he says her name as he gets consumed by the portal, sealing it. Buffy is broken. And then Sarah MacLachlan starts to play. (TRUE CONFESSION: I KIND OF LOVE SARAH MACLACLAN IN A COMPLETELY NON-IRONIC WAY.)

      And as Sarah MacLachlan sings, we get a montage. Joyce hears something from Buffy’s room so she goes to investigate and is clearly hoping to see Buffy there. But all she finds is a note. Buffy’s leaving town. Snyder expelle her. Her mom doesn’t want her. She had to kill her boyfriend. Her friends seem to be fine without her. She can’t stay anymore. She just has to get away. She has nothing left in Sunnydayle, so she leaves town.

      The Scoobies are at school wondering where Buffy is. They know that Buffy succeeded because the world exists. But they don’t know if that’s because Angel got his soul back or because Buffy had to kill him. Buffy, always an outsider (because really the Slayer is always alone- she’s the only one with the special destiny), looks on at her friends and leaves.

      • monkeybutter says:

        I like everything about this comment.

      • MrsGillianO says:

        Nf Jvyybj vf qbvat gur fcryy gb er-rafbhy Natry, fur’f fgnegvat gb srry jrnx ohg gura onz! Vg’f yvxr fur’f cbffrffrq o l fbzrguvat naq vf shyy bs cbjre.

        V guvax guvf vf gur obbfg gung znxrf ure fb zhpu zber cbjreshy arkg frnfba. Naq gur shfvba gb qrsrng Nqnz tvirf ure nabgure cbjre-obbfg. Rnpu gvzr Jvyybj unf nabgure ovt cbjre-hc vg unf ynfgvat rssrpgf, gvyy jr trg gb gur nqqvpgvba naq orlbaq. Ohg bayl guebhtu Qnex Jvyybj jvyy jr ernpu Tbqqrff Jvyybj.

        Vg nyy znxrf ybtvpny zntvp frafr. Va zl urnq juvpu vf arvgure zntvpny abe ybtvpny.

      • notemily says:

        I love the rot-13 "SHHHHHHHH" thing. It sounds like you're telling everyone to be quiet 😀

        [V nyjnlf guvax Jvyybj'f rlrf qb gur nyy-oynpx guvat va guvf rcvfbqr, ohg gung pbzrf yngre.]

      • notemily says:

        Also, I thought that the deal was sealed ever since Angel pulled the sword out of Acathla, not that some of his blood got on the statue?

      • tardis_stowaway says:


        Willow suddenly accessing all that magical power is a pretty great crowning moment of awesome, even if it did come at the worst possible time in this episode. (Naq chg ure ba n cngu gung yrnqf gb tbvat qnex naq nyzbfg qrfgeblvat gur jbeyq. Ohg jvgu n ybg bs tbbq naq rzcbjrevat fghss orsber naq nsgre!)

        • Karen says:

          True story: I have her her album Closer which is a Best Of type album, and I used to love walking around London listening to it on my ipod (especially when it was raining). I REGRET NOTHING.

      • _Bailey_ says:


        Whfg yvxr jvgu "Gur Cnpx" naq gur bar enaqbz yvar va "Cunfrf". Naq gura ur yrnirf Naln ng gur nygre naq oneryl trgf n jevfg-fync sebz uvf sevraqf juvyr Naln trgf yrsg bhg va gur pbyq, ab bar rira obgurevat gb nfx vs fur'f bxnl be ubj fur'f ubyqvat hc.

        Knaqre trgf njnl jvgu sne gbb znal guvatf sne gbb yvtugyl.

    • Karen says:

      Fur qvqa'g xvpx ure bhg gubhtu. Abg ernyyl. Vqx. Sebz gur jnl gur fprar cynlrq, vg whfg frrzrq gb zr yvxr vg jnf Wblpr tenfcvat ng fgenjf gb xrrc Ohssl sebz yrnivat orpnhfr Wblpr jnf fpnerq naq pbashfrq. Ohssl unq whfg culfvpnyyl gbffrq Wblpr nfvqr, fb nyy fur unq yrsg jnf na hygvznghz. V qba'g oryvrir sbe n frpbaq gung fur ernyyl jnagrq Ohssl gb yrnir.

      • cemeterybaby says:

        (Coming off rot13 because I think we're off the spoilery part of my comment…) I think "don't even think about coming back" is…pretty clear though? I mean, yes, it's an ultimatum too, but it's an ultimatum where one of the choices is being kicked out. And for what it's worth, Joyce is the one who put her hands on Buffy first. It's a messy, complicated, ugly situation and I'm not saying Joyce's reaction was completely unreasonable–she had just found out demons exist, she can be forgiven for not immediately understanding that or what being a Slayer means–but IMO the responsibility isn't on the child to like, clarify what the parent is trying to say. If you're a parent and you don't mean to kick your child out, even if you're fighting, the responsibility is yours to not say things that will make your kid feel like it's not safe for them to come home. I don't believe that she really wanted Buffy to leave either. But that doesn't change what she said to her.

        • Karen says:

          I think that the ultimatum is a last desperate grasp for something when you are powerless and don't have anything left. Joyce wasn't trying to kick Buffy out. She was trying to stop Buffy from leaving. It's not that I endorse what Joyce said, but she was desperate and powerless and grasping at straws, doing anything she could to stop Buffy from leaving. But all she had was an ultimatum so she threw that out there.

          And honestly, I think that if Angel had lived, Buffy would have come home. I don't think she left because of what Joyce said to her. I think that what Joyce said was PART of why she left at the end, but it wasn't the only reason. At the end, she had just killed Angel, she had been expelled by Snyder, and she felt like she had nothing left and like her mom didn't understand or what her, so she left. But if things with Angel had ended better, I think Buffy would have felt up to facing her mother and they would have worked things out.

          So Joyce wasn't trying to kick Buffy out and Buffy didn't leave solely because of what her mom said, so idk. I just think it's a bit unfair to frame the situation as Joyce kicking Buffy out of her house.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      ITA with your thoughts on Spike, Buffy and Joyce.

      "Whistler says that no one saw her coming even though Whistler was the one who pushed Angel to Buffy"

      I think I only understood that comment on my fourth or fifth viewing of the episode, and that's because I remembered Joss talking in an interview about Buffy and saying that she's "the guy you don't see coming", a hero completely unlike the traditional image of the hero (that was always the point of her character – that she seems like the typical "victim" in horror movies), hayvxr Natry, jub unf "genqvgvbany vzntr" bs n ureb – n oebbqvat gnyy unaqfbzr zna va n ybat qnex pbng.

      Remember, Whistler told Angel that Buffy needed his help. "She's just a kid". He tells Buffy he believed that Angel would stop Acathla – rather than awaken him. He didn't realize that Buffy won't need the help of a big strong manpire, and that she will be the real hero.

    • notemily says:

      YES to Spike and Buffy working together being the greatest thing ever. <3333

      The "strong father figure" line always kind of makes me laugh, because it's such a ridiculous idea. As is the idea that people are "turned gay" by the lack of a strong father figure or whatever. But some people actually do think that, so it's not that funny, I suppose.

  31. « Close your eyes »….. And the tears come every time, like the first time so many years ago, and won’t stop till the end. And I can’t listen to this song from Sarah McLachlan anymore, without thinking of this Buffy Finale.

    This Finale is heartbreaking… Everything hurts.
    Sorry Mark, the only comfort is to know that you're not alone feeling that way. That we are not alone with broken hearts…. *tons of hugs*

    So Buffy leaves town, alone, after having killed the man she loves, kicked out by her mother and unable to face her friends…
    Deal with it people. Joss leaves you with a deep hole in the heart…. That’s what he does the best….

    One of the things I’ve learned and appreciated from watching Whedon’s shows is that everything is more complex than it looks.
    There’s not just black and white. Not just good or bad.

    It’s a life full of grey, where characters screw and make mistakes and sometimes do horrible things. And they have to live with it, deal with what their actions have brought. Everything has a consequence. Nothing is forgotten. And it’s never easy. Sometimes they can be forgiven, sometimes they can’t. Sometimes they learn, sometimes they will screw again. And new alongside the old scars…

    This “little” show that Joss’s created is simply about life. A journey of initiation to which, everyone, somehow, can relate. And if you can enjoy the grey, the complexity that is behind all actions, then you’ll feel grateful that Joss Whedon came into your life.

    Few more thoughts before we start season 3 :
    Since “Passion”, I read a lot of negative comments about Angel/Angelus. I understand the reactions. I respect them, that’s why I never really reacted to them. But now, I feel the need to spread my love for Angel the character and the Bangel love story.
    Angel doesn’t really need me to defend him though. He got his own show for 5 years, in contrast to all other secondary characters of this show.

    What I just want to say is that, whatever opinion you have of Angel/Angelus, Buffy & Angel as a couple, you have to respect what they are. Because it is thanks to this story, this season 2 and what happened there, that Buffy The Vampire Slayer became so popular in 1998 and entered in the history of TV. This is what Whedon created and he believed on it.
    To deny this, is denying Whedon’s choices and a part of the identity of this show…

    You can dislike this love story, find it cheesy, creepy, unrealistic or whatever… To each, our own taste/sensibility when it’s related to love stories. But you have, at least, to respect it.
    I just hope that some will keep an opened mind and will try to understand the character of Angel, beyond of what he looks like in the show Buffy. There is so much beyond…

    Ok, that’s it. First time I do such a long comment and wrote it yesterday when I rewatched the episode! And sorry in advance if there’s some typos. English is not my mother tongue. 😉

    Anyway, I truly enjoy all your reviews Mark, with all the passion and the feelings that you can transmit to us. Much more to go. Can’t wait !

    "That’s when Joss Whedon teaches me that I should never, ever desire anything ever from him, because he will promptly destroy it."….. Yep, keep that thought in mind… Always….

    Grrr Arrgh

  32. pica_scribit says:

    Also, was it just me, or did Buffy's dialogue with her mom read like a "coming out" talk/argument? Mom just can't accept it yet, no matter how much she loves her kid. *sigh*

    "Have you tried *not* being the Slayer?"

    "I didn't choose this!"


    • Karen says:

      I think Joss was intentionally going for that. But I think that it um… kind of falls apart because there is a fundamental difference in being gay and going out to fight vampires and demons. Joyce is bewildered by the fact that those things exist and can't really process that. Plus, you know, she has a real concern for her daughter's safety. Being the Slayer means putting her life in danger. It's why Joyce thinks that Buffy should call the police so that they can handle things. Buffy is putting her life on the line as the Slayer.

      Trying to make that analogous to being gay just doesn't work in the end.

      • cat lady says:

        It really does work a lot better than that…. Think back to the AIDS epidemic, before it was understood. A lot of people thought it really was putting you life on the line. And Joyce's inability to process the "coming out" was totally in line with how well many people could process being gay at that time. (Or how some people deal with it, even now.) Joss knows that time period very well; he grew up in it.

        Joss has said that he likes to write on at least three levels at once. This is a prime example of that.

        • Karen says:

          Yeah, but idk. I just feel like it makes the dialogue feel a bit dated? IDK. Maybe that was still the culture back in 1998 when this aired, but nowadays it REALLY feels dated. The AIDS panic has calmed, but idk. I suppose you could try to make it analogous to religious parents believing their gay children are going to hell or something.

          Idk. It just doesn't completely work for me and feels a bit forced.

        • Danny_SAP says:

          I hadn't noticed until this last viewing but it totally does. "How dangerous… how lonely." not a choice, lack of a strong father figure.

      • pica_scribit says:

        It does not surprise me at all that Joss intended it to read that way. Reminds me a bit of Remus's monologue at the end of movie!PoA.

        • gonzoron says:

          I agree, that's what he was going for. It doesn't have to be a perfect analogy. It just hits the same emotional strings.

          Same as the "Have you tried not being a Mutant?" scene in X-men, which Joss has writer credit on, although he only ended up with a few lines in the final cut. I wonder if that was one of them, going back to the same well….

          • gonzoron says:

            whoops, another poster on the next page reminds me that was in X-men 2, not X-men 1. No Joss involvement in that one. So it's clearly plagiarism. 🙂

    • Meenalives says:

      To me it seemed like an extremely cliched version of a coming-out conversation (I don't know if it was quite so overdone back when it aired). I know people who have had their parents say some of these things to them, but never all at once within the space of five minutes. It just seemed like they were putting in every coming out trope just to make sure we got the metaphor. Of course, I say this as someone with who never exactly came out to my family, since they figured it out before I did (about a third of the women in my mom's family are queer, so I had a lot of groundwork laid by previous generations).

  33. Noybusiness says:


    [youtube nXAa_o0XMjk youtube]

  34. Noybusiness says:

    "Close You Eyes (Buffy/Angel Love Theme)"

    [youtube _Pyq5h4aW2E youtube]

  35. woadgrrl says:

    Is it wrong that two of my favorite quotes from this episode refer to torture?

    Spike: "…I don't fancy spending the next month trying to get librarian out of the carpet."

    Angelus: "Last time I tortured someone, they didn't even have chainsaws."

  36. lawrence_s says:

    I think the problem with Xander's lie to Buffy is that it's unnecessary.

    Had he said nothing at all, he wouldn't have risked betraying Willow or leading Buffy to hesitate at the wrong moment and doom the world. I think in the end Willow was more wronged by the lie than Buffy, though, especially considering he just told her he loved her. I think Buffy could tell he was being dishonest. Willow doesn't even have any idea he said anything at all.

    What this scene (along with many others in this season) does show is that Xander has a tendency not to think things through before speaking or acting. I think he was really about to tell Buffy that Willow was going to try the curse again and changed his mind mid-stream, possibly for the very good reasons you brought up, so he made up the "Kick his ass!" lie.

    V whfg jvfu gurl npghnyyl erfbyirq guvf ng fbzr cbvag. Whfg zragvbavat vg va cnffvat jvgu na natel ergbeg sebz Jvyybj va frnfba frira vf gbb yvggyr gbb yngr.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      You're right, it is unfair to Willow more than it is to Buffy, who at this point was already prepared to kill Angelus.
      It didn't change the outcome of the fight, but it was also pretty unnecessary.

      V'z abg ernyyl natel ng Knaqre, zber ng gur jevgref sbe arire erfbyivat vg.
      Gurl arire yrg Knaqre yrnea sebz uvf zvfgnxrf, ur vf zbfgyl pbzvp eryrnir.

    • Tangent says:

      i think it's totally necessary. As soon as he says "Willow.. she said to tell you…" he has to finish that sentence somehow. I really believe he was debating on whether to give the message to Buffy at all all the way there and he had made his mind up to do so but just look at Buffy's face when he starts that sentence, just look at the hope in her eyes. That's why Xander lies. Yes his feelings for vampires ever since Jesse's death are wrapped up in that, yes he doesn't like Angel and some of that comes from jealousy but he's acting here purely from a utilitarian point of view in my opinion.

  37. pica_scribit says:

    Also, also, I totally didn't read Xander's declaration of love to Willow as romantic love. But maybe that's just me. Of course he love her. Of course he's hurting when she's ill/in danger. She's his best friend.

    • That's how I read it as well, although I imagine there might be the tiniest hint of confusion for him.


    • etherealclarity says:

      Yeah, this was my take on it as well.

    • Karen says:

      VQX. Pbafvqrevat gur nssnve arkg frnfba… vqx. Guvf zvtug unir orra gur fgneg bs gung.

    • DreamRose311 says:

      I go with spectralbovine – This is how we read it, but for Xander he might not yet know what the difference between those is.

      Fb lrf gb vg orvat gur fgneg bs gur nssnve, ohg gung'f nyfb jul vg qbrfa'g ynfg naq ghea vagb n eryngvbafuvc. V guvax vg'f xvaq bs gur fnzr sbe Jvyybj. Ng svefg jura guvatf urng hc orgjrra gurz vg frrzf rnfl gb guvax 'bu, guvf ng ynfg!.' Ohg bapr vg uhegf Bm fur dhvpxyl frrf gung gur ybir fur unf sbe Bm naq Knaqre ner irel qvssrerag guvatf.

  38. knut_knut says:

    I always expect season finales to be TERRIBLE. It might be because Doctor Who is the first show I’ve seen in its entirety, and its finales tend to be shockingly bad. Either way, I wasn’t expecting this episode to be this good, or for it to end in a quasi-cliff hanger. IT’S ONLY SEASON 2!! BUFFY CAN’T LEAVE YET!

    Lazy thoughts and capslock flails:
    – I did not expect the scenes with Buffy and Joyce to go like that AT ALL, but I think Joyce has every right to be upset and demand an in-depth explanation from Buffy, just not now. WORST TIMING EVER.
    – XANDER’S LIE. WHAT. I’m with Xander on the wanting Angel dead front. Angel is boring, Angelus is PURE EVIL and not in the fun way, and I just don’t like David Boreanaz, which is a terrible thing to say but it’s true. However, YOU CAN’T JUST LIE TO BUFFY, XANDER!! THIS IS GOING TO BITE YOU IN THE ASS IN THE FUTURE.

  39. erinmarie says:

    Becoming Part II. I love this episode so fucking much. It’s definitely ranks among my top five. V erpbtavmr gung Gur Obql vf bowrpgviryl gur orfg, ohg Gur Tvsg naq Orpbzvat Cneg VV jvyy nyjnlf or zl snibevgrf. Cnffvba naq Sbby sbe Ybir svavfu bhg gur gbc svir whfg sbe tvivat zr nyy bs gur srryvatf.

    List of things Spike cares about in this episode:

    That’s it. That’s the list. AND I LOVE IT. He sees that Buffy is about to die, goes “Oh well,” and walks away with Drusilla in his arms. Villains in love, you guys. It never fucking fails. The dynamic between Spike and Buffy is so fantastic, too. Lbh thlf whfg jnvg hagvy jr trg gb Sbby sbe Ybir. V jvyy unir n shpxvat RFFNL jevggra nobhg gur eryngvbafuvc qlanzvpf. I love how they keep on waiting for the other to do something on the walk back to Buffy’s house. Like, how long was that walk? It just entertains me to think of them angrily staring at each other for fifteen minutes. They had to have walked into a sign or tree or something. And how fucking perfect was his speech? Minor complaint: why would Drusilla pass out from Spike suffocating/choking her? It was clearly established in Prophecy Girl that vampires can’t breathe. Whatever. That was just created so Xander would be able to do CPR and save the day. SPEAKING OF WHICH

    XANDER FUCKING HARRIS. YOU ARE SO HIGH ON MY SHIT LIST YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW. HOW FUCKING DARE YOU? It’s actually hard to make words at this point because I’m in such a rage. I’ve dealt with your jealousy and general NiceGuy™ bullshit for 34 fucking episodes, but there is a line. And you fucking crossed it. What kind of person would deprive their friend of crucial information like that? What kind of person would do that to anyone? Buffy actually can make her own decisions, Xander. Who the fuck are you to make them for her?FUCK. YOU. Qrnq Zna'f Cneg vf gur cvaanpyr bs uvf ngebpvgl, gubhtu. Be jura ur yrnirf Naln ng gur nygre. Be jura ur gryyf Qnja nobhg jung Fcvxr qvq gb Ohssl. Knaqre vf whfg na njshy crefba.

    But Buffy Summers, you guys. Buffy Summers. She’s actually stunning in this episode. This is Buffy at her best. Being a hero isn’t easy. It isn’t fun. It’s an incredibly raw deal. During most of the series thus far, she tends to fall back onto the ‘oh I just want to be a normal girl’ act. But it is in episodes like this – where she truly understands and accepts her calling – that she truly shines. She has to send the man she loves to hell. And she’s the Slayer, so she does it.

    • Karen says:


      Xander Harris is the worst.

      Buffy Summers is the best.

      • misterbernie says:

        Buffy rules, Xander drools!
        /eloquent mode

      • TrampyMcBitca says:

        V'z abg n ovt sna bs Knaqre. V nyjnlf gubhtug gurer jnf gbb zhpu Knaqre va gur svanyrf pbzcnerq gb Jvyybj naq Tvyrf. 🙂

        Frnfba 1 Knaqre erivirf Ohssl. Jvyybj naq Tvyrf ner genccrq va gur yvoenel.

        Frnfba 2 Knaqre neevirf jvgu uvf ebpx gb uryc Ohssl naq erfphrf Tvyrf. GUR YVR. Tvyrf vf gvrq hc naq Jvyybj qbrf gur fbhy fcryy gung raqf hc abg urycvat ohg npghnyyl uhegvat.

        Frnfba 3 Knaqre vf "Xrl Thl" naq yrnqf gur "nezl". Jvyybj vf n sbbgzna naq Tvyrf vf bss gb gur fvqr jnvgvat gb frg bss gur rkcybfvirf.

        Frnfba 4 Rirelbar vf vaibyirq ohg vg'f Knaqre gung tvirf Tvyrf gur vqrn sbe gur wbvavat fcryy.

        Frnfba 5 Rirelbar vf vaibyirq. Ohg V thrff V pbhyq fnl gung vg jnf Knaqre'f jerpxvat onyy gung tnir Ohssl gur hccre unaq ntnvafg Tybel fvapr fur erpbirerq sebz Jvyybj'f oenva fhpx. 🙂

        Frnfba 6 Knaqre fnirf gur jbeyq juvyr Ohssl vf va n cvg. Jvyybj vf gur ivyynva naq Tvyrf vf n urnc ba gur Zntvp Obk sybbe.

        V qvq abg jngpu Frnfba 7.

        • erinmarie says:

          V qvq abg jngpu Frnfba 7.

          Va nyy ubarfgl, tbbq. Gur fubj vf pbzcyrgryl haerpbtavmnoyr. Ohssl gur Inzcver Fynlre xvaq bs orgenlf vgfrys va gur frafr gung frnfbaf 1-5 vf n genqvgvbany ureb aneengvir, naq frnfba 6-7 ner n pbzcyrgryl qvssrerag ornfg. Juvpu jbhyqa'g or njshy rkprcg gung vg'f cbbeyl qbar. Gur frevrf svanyr npghnyyl bssraqrq zr.

        • misterbernie says:

          Knaqre fnirf gur jbeyq juvyr Ohssl vf va n cvg. Jvyybj vf gur ivyynva naq Tvyrf vf n urnc ba gur Zntvp Obk sybbe.
          NXN Fgenvtug pnecragre erqrrzf yrfovna jvgpu. Jvyy arire abg ungr gung sberire.

    • cait0716 says:

      V ybir lbhe gbc svir yvfg, naq V pna'g jnvg sbe gur rffnl jura jr trg gb Sbby Sbe Ybir. Gung'f bar bs zl nofbyhgryl snibevgrf bs guvf fubj.

      <3 Buffy so much.

    • notemily says:

      List of things Spike cares about in this episode:

      That's not true at all! He also cares about Manchester United and dog racing. 😉

    • notemily says:

      Also: Qrnq Zna'f Cnegl bu tbq V ungr gung fb zhpu NAQ VG'F FBBA

      • Sarah says:

        This is what I was thinking all through the Joyce/Buffy encounter. UGH 🙁

      • erinmarie says:

        Vg'f qbjaevtug cnvashy. Yvxr Qrnq Zna'f Cnegl npghnyyl znxrf zl urneg uheg. V pna'g rkcerff nalguvat ryfr bgure guna "Cbbe Ohssl." Jryy, naq "Shpx lbh, Knaqre." Ohg fb, fb cnvashy birenyy. Naq V srry yvxr vg jvyy uvg Znex rfcrpvnyyl uneq tvira uvf cnfg.

  40. erinmarie says:

    Angelus’ face before Spike hits him is actually my favorite thing ever. So much sass.

    <img src=>

  41. Raksha says:

    "I wanted this moment since the introduction of Joyce Summers, and I got it. That’s when Joss Whedon teaches me that I should never, ever desire anything ever from him, because he will promptly destroy it."

    When 'Battlestar Galactica' was on, I used to go to a messageboard where they called this sort of thing "Getting what you want in the worst possible way." I think that phrase works very well for Whedon shows as well!

    • tanbarkie says:

      Moore has nothing on Whedon in this department. Nothing.

    • ladysugarquill says:

      I think that phrase works very well for Whedon shows as well!
      Exactly! That is actually IN Doctor Horrible, the lines "everything you ever"… are repeated a lot.

  42. NB2000 says:

    Ack early post.

    "Female, blonde, approximately sixteen years old. Suspect is very dangerous." A good line to cut to the credits on and possibly the most apt description of Buffy (at least from an outsider's perspective).

    as Buffy and Spike tried to come up with some awful cover story about being in a band

    You say awful I say hilarious, the mental image of them in a band together will never stop amusing me.

    One incredibly bad night for Joyce, police asking about her daughter and then getting the Slayer reveal dropped on her. Awkwardly sitting in the living room with Spike is a thing of beauty though "So do you live here in town?". Uryy Fcvxr naq Wblpr va trareny vf bar bs gur orfg guvatf ba gur fubj vzb. Gurer'f fhpu n trahvar jnezgu naq sevraqyvarff orgjrra gurz. Buffy's "Open your eyes" speech before she leaves is such a heartbreaking summary of how hard her life has become.

    Willow! Resolve face WIllow! Just, she has resolve face, there's really nothing more I can add here.

    I'm firmly in the Xander was wrong not to tell Buffy about the spell. It's bad enough that he didn't tell her but to effectively put words in WIllow's mouth encouraging Buffy to kill him is just so out of line.

    Annoyingly all I can think during most of the Buffy/Angel duel is how incredibly obvious the stunt doubles are (I swear Angel's double looks more like Xander). There's probably moments that are even worse in their obviousness but this just takes me out of the emotion of the scene. That said, even though I'm not a fan of them as a couple the final moments, after the curse kicks in, still reduce me to tears.

    "Well we know the world didn't end 'cos…check it out." I love you Oz.

    • Inseriousity. says:

      lol buffy and spike in a band with buffy playing the triangle? how can you not find this image hilarious 😛

    • Ginsue says:

      How could I forget about Willow's resolve face? That is among my favorite Willow moments…, for this episode. She has good Willow moments every episode.

  43. RaeBear says:

    Oh Mark. You are so not prepared. Still.

  44. pica_scribit says:

    My all-time favourite gif of cuteness. Who wouldn't, given the opportunity, tickle a baby otter?

    <img src=""&gt;

    And also this one of Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green again.

    <img src=""&gt;

  45. geo_hof says:

    There will be no comfort for you. If Whedon does anything, he teaches that there is never a quick fix and you can infer that he believes that happiness is equal to boring. Keep in mind this was the last episode of the season and I had to wait all summer with this feeling that nothing would be right again!

  46. Mandy says:

    This review is one of the best I've ever read. You just put into words all my feelings, and all the unpreparedness that I was before watching the season finale. I don't think I'm able to don't watch now all season 3 🙂

  47. etherealclarity says:

    Side note unrelated to the discussion – the Buffy Complete Series collection is on RIDICULOUS sale today on Amazon for $72.99 – Normally this collection is $160-$200 – so if there's anyone out there who is watching for the first time like Mark (or just hasn't picked up the DVDs yet), now is a good time. No idea how long it will last.

    Sorry for the unrelated note, hope it isn't against the rules or anything, just thought it might be useful to someone here. I'm tempted to pick it up myself and I already own all the DVDs.

    • lawrence_s says:

      If you already own all the DVDs, this set isn't worth it. It's apparently literally just a big box around the individual season slim sets with no additional video, audio, written, or artistic content.

      Sadly, the Chosen Collection, which is more of a true box set and has additional content, appears to be out of print.

      • etherealclarity says:

        Ahh, thanks for the heads up. One of the reviews mentioned a bonus disc but upon investigation they are referring to the Chosen Collection. (Sometimes I wish Amazon reviews would make it more clear which version of a product a review is referring to.)

        Still, for me it still might be worth it as something of a space saver/consolidator. I have a friend who might be willing to buy my old sets 🙂

        And it's still a good deal for anyone who doesn't own the DVDs at all.

      • _Bailey_ says:

        I'm Canadian, and on our Amazon (, not the Chosen Collection is still listed as in stock for $159.99 CDN ( available for sale used at $120), which is apparently down from its regular price of $199.98 CDN. However, I got mine a couple years ago at HMV for $119.99. So it is still available, and sometimes for a fairly decent price (if you break it down, the Chosen Collection cost me less than $20 a season).

  48. LucyGoosey says:

    So, I started watching Buffy during the last season, when reruns were on CONSTANTLY. The first two episodes I saw were the season 5 finale, and "The Witch". Thanks to WB and FX having different schedules, this was the first episode on when I started watching them there.

    It was like being hit by a semi.

    To this day, "Full of Grace" gives me chills.

    • devilscrayon says:

      That was when I was watching too!! I forgot they were on different networks, no wonder I was confused 😉

  49. redheadedgirl says:

    That’s when Joss Whedon teaches me that I should never, ever desire anything ever from him, because he will promptly destroy it."

    You'd think you would have learned this from Firefly, but no.

    And you think that you would have learned this one finally, for real and for true this time around, but, well, what is it that they call doing the same thing over and over and over again expecting a different result?

    Yeah, it's like that.

  50. Rayne says:

    Trying this embedding thing again. Sorry about that!

    [youtube 8aU_Nw27T3k youtube]

  51. @liliaeth says:

    Mark, considering your focus as a gay man, I was actually surprised that you didn't seem to notice Joyce's line of : "Have you tried not being the Slayer.", since this is often seen as a specific comparison between being the Slayer or being gay.

    A very similar line is used in X-men 2, making the exact same comparison.

    • haguenite says:

      Ha, I'm pretty sure he noticed it, but there's so much going on in this episode already.

    • pica_scribit says:

      A little game I play with myself (to distract me from the unrelenting Whedon-induced despair) is to try and guess what Mark will say or what themes he will pick up on in a given episode. And yeah, I also thought he might identify on some level with Buffy's "coming out" to her mom. As many times as I've watched this show, this is the first time I picked up on that interpretation of the dialogue.

    • tigerpetals says:

      And the 'it's because you didn't have a strong father figure' thing.

  52. Kickpuncher says:

    Oh, Mark. Little do you know that the Angel spin-off is just five seasons of David Boreanaz being gratuitously tortured in Acathla's hell dimension.

  53. hpfish13 says:

    What a way to end the season! Everything is kind of terrible isn’t it? The only thing in this episode that makes me happy (kind of) is Spike joining up with Buffy to fight against Angel. I love the storytelling device of enemies joining up to fight a worse foe.

    On the other hand, in the awful column, we have Buffy getting expelled, Willow almost being dead, Angel getting his soul back and then getting sucked into hell, and Buffy leaving town.

    And in the “makes me want to punch something” category, we have Joyce’s reaction to finding out Buffy is the slayer (WHY JOYCE, WHY?) and Xander not telling Buffy about Willow’s plan to re-ensoul Angel (GRRRRRRRRRRRR ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!)

    Also, I didn’t know this until today (thank you Wikipedia!), but in this episode the end credits finish with the Ghoul but instead of his normal "GRRR ARGH" he says "I need a hug!" You do indeed, we all do.

  54. iremo says:

    "V qba’g rira guvax V pbhyq pbzr hc jvgu n gurbel nobhg ubj Natry vf tbvat gb pbzr onpx"

    Reee, pbzr gb guvax bs vg, *jnf* gung rire ernyyl rkcynvarq?

  55. tigerpetals says:

    That hospital scene reminds me: how come Drusilla didn’t know the curse would be tried again? Of course what happened to Miss Calendar should have put it into their heads that they might be attacked for trying it. So, why wouldn’t Drusilla see the same thing she saw before? Who decides what visions she gets?

    Well, but Spike did try to tend the world in WML, and the Master too. Granted, these are all different ways of ending the world. The Master wanted to bring things to the Earth, and Spike was going to go around actually literally purifying humans off the face of the earth, while Angel is letting it get sucked into a different dimension, where who knows what exactly would happen except that it would be bad. Yeah, I know it can be fanwanked that Spike only wanted to end the world for Drusilla, but no matter what he was shown as wanting to do it with no compunction, so it can’t be that big a deal to him.

    That is one confused man. He loves Willow now he’s got a caring stable relationship with Cordy, and up until at least BBB he was still interested in Buffy and would have been with her now if her feelings had been genuine.

    Something people have debated about. I don’t blame Mrs. Summers. She’s in such a state that she’s even letting Spike sit in her house after he reminded her of his attempt to kill Buffy. I don’t blame Buffy either. She’s in disarray and has no time to deal with it. With what happens later, I don’t blame her for taking it seriously and leaving. She felt so isolated.

    Giles. My other character I want to hug.

    The one more thing she has to lose is herself or Angel?

    Another much debated topic. I feel like they’re both having their last say, Willow with the soul and Xander with the killing. Only Xander gets his message through, and they both get what they want in a way.

    I don’t think it was necessary to not tell Buffy. I don’t hold it against him, but I don’t agree. As per last episode, he thinks Buffy needs him to remind her of her duty, but she doesn’t. I wonder if anything would have gone differently, whether in the fight or in her leaving. I think not in the fight, no matter if she stalled, but perhaps her sense of isolation. Everyone who was able and chose to tell her wanted her to kill Angel, even her supportive Willow, she’d been carrying the burden of it herself already, trying the curse got her people hurt and killed (from her POV and I think from Xander’s), she’s lost her mom’s support, is expelled, and has to kill the version of Angel she said she’d run to in these sort of situations. Plus being wanted for murder.

    The love theme returns to break my heart.

    I feel like all the main players do something that doesn’t better the situation in this episode.

    Buffy can do what she has to, push herself to the max, but everyone needs to fall apart and not do the smartest bestest problem-solving thing. So Buffy leaves.

    [youtube rKNAhJS8b8E youtube]

    • @liliaeth says:

      Well I'd say there's a big difference between the judge and Acathla.

      For all of Spike and Drusilla's talk of 'we're going to end the world', the judge is actually stopped pretty easily. And Spike is smart enough to know that if the demon was stopped by human armies in a time before technology, then there's no way that with current level of tech, that he wouldn't have been stopped long before actually destroying most of the world.

      Even if Buffy hadn't stopped him, the judge was not undefeatable.

      Acathla on the other hand, would have sucked the entire world into hell, and if Buffy hadn't been there, there would have been no way to stop it.

      Thing of what Spike says, vampires like to brag about destroying the world, but most of them have no intention of actually doing so. Sure they'll go along with things that will get dozens, hundreds even thousands of people killed, but beyond that, … a vampire would have to be well insane(which I could argue, Angelus is) or a serious fanatic, to actually succeed.

      uryy rira gur znfgre'f cyna va 'gur jvfu' cerggl zhpu pbzrf qbja gb 'inzcverf gnxr bire naq srrq ba nyy gur uhznaf'

      • tigerpetals says:

        We don't know what Spike knew. Nobody else could think of a way to stop it until Xander did, partly with the aid of his soldier memories. It's possible, but I'd have to fanwank it, unless I were to first assume that he was telling the truth here and not being honest with Drusilla back in WML.

        I think some vampires we have seen do want to destroy the world. If they go along with such plans, then it's what they want to do, even if they wouldn't have come up with it/done all the work on their own (anymore than Angel or Drusilla did here – they found out about an easy way to it right now with an artifact, it practically fell into their laps). Though I won't argue it's an extremist position for a vampire to take, I'm just saying Spike went along with it, arranged for it in the first place as a surprise present, and called it 'destroying the world'.

        • tigerpetals says:

          Con'td because too long

          Gur Znfgre'f cyna va frnfba bar vaibyirq fbzr ornfg sebz gur Uryyzbhgu, naq gur ortvaavat rcvfbqrf fcbxr nobhg oevatvat gur Byq Barf onpx gb ehyr gur Rnegu. Fb vg'f cerggl jrveq ubj guvatf ghearq bhg va Jvfu!Fhaalqnyr, ohg jung pna nalbar qb. Whfg gnxr gur fpencf naq gel gb znxr gurz znxr frafr.

      • arctic_hare says:

        Please don't use the word "insane" on this site.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      There's a big difference between the Judge and Acathla. The Judge wasn't going to end the world in one big swoop, he was going to start burning people one by one, which would've resulted in a lot of mayhem and chaos, and Spike seemed to think it was fun in Innocence when he said he was bored and urged the Judge to start doing something. The Judge would be burning people, the Slayers and other demon hunters would be trying to stop him, while Spike and Dru and the other vampires would attack the other humans in the meantime – it would be a lot of violence and fighting and Spike's kind of fun.

      Whereas Acathla would just suck the entire world in hell in a few seconds or minutes. Where's the fun in that?

      "The one more thing she has to lose is herself or Angel? "

      I don't think Whistler meant Angel, because Buffy didn't have Angel at the time and she was certainly counting him as something she lost, and I don't think Whistler knew if Willow would succeed with the spell or not (he didn't seem to know that much about the future – he never saw that Angel would lose his soul, thought he was going to be helping Buffy stop Acathla, etc.).

      I think the answer is Buffy's belief in herself.

      "I've got nothing left to lose."
      "Wrong, kid. You've got one more thing."

      ''No weapons,no friends,no hope…take all that away and what's left?''

      That's the theme of the episode: it's not the big moments that come whether you want them or not, it's what you do afterwards. Buffy still has something left, and this helps her fight in an apparently hopeless situation: her belief in herself, the belief that she is doing the right thing, the will she has to keep fighting. That's the essence of Buffy's character.

      But even though she finds the strength to fight, and then the strength to send Angel to hell seconds after getting him back, it takes a huge emotional cost. And at the end of Becoming II, Buffy has in a way "lost" herself – she is giving up, she doesn't want to be who she is (when being who she is means having to kill the man you love and damn him to hell), she doesn't want to be Buffy, or the Vampire Slayer, and runs away from her old life. Fur bayl trgf gung jvyy onpx va "Naar" jura fur gryyf gur qrzba: "V nz Ohssl, gur Inzcver Fynlre. Naq lbh ner?"

      • tigerpetals says:

        Yes, I acknowledged that the attempts at apocalypses were different.

        I know that's a theme of the episode. Angel is one thing she lost again that she didn't expect to lose, however. I find this ironic because, earlier, Buffy believed she had killed him by sex, but now she actually is responsible for it and chose fully knowing the consequences.

    • t09yavosaur says:

      "That hospital scene reminds me: how come Drusilla didn’t know the curse would be tried again? Of course what happened to Miss Calendar should have put it into their heads that they might be attacked for trying it. So, why wouldn’t Drusilla see the same thing she saw before? Who decides what visions she gets?"

      I think Dru only knew about Jenny's attempt because Jenny went to the store to get the orb. If Jenny had waited until the spell was done translating I think she would have had enough time to perform the spell before Dru told Angel. Dru probably can't see the future until the decision has been made. Both times Willow tried were a bit spur of the moment.

      Speaking of, it is possible that Xander lying to Buffy had less to do with his personal feelings and more to do with Willow. If Buffy had known that Willow was attempting the spell she might have worried about the danger Willow was putting herself in.

      • tigerpetals says:

        Interesting theory. Like Alice in Twilight? Or maybe that was just a fanfic.

        I don't see how that would help Willow, though. What would make him think the magic would be less dangerous if Buffy didn't know, even if she had killed Angel before the spell could take effect? It's not as if he was planning to go right back and tell Willow Buffy was going ahead with the killing, not the souling, plan.

        Buffy did worry, and she told Willow to try it. Of course then she blamed that decision for Willow getting hurt, and then didn't know she'd try again when she woke up. She might have agreed with Xander this time.

        • t09yavosaur says:

          😛 Most of the "science" in Twilight did have some logic behind it, but that is also the way foresight works in plenty of other stories.

          It probably wouldn't help or hurt Willow, unless Buffy would choose to go stop Willow or told Xander to do so (That is another thing, maybe Xander didn't want to be sent off). On the other hand it would be another thing on Buffy's mind as she is trying to stop Angelus.

          I didn't really have a firm grasp of this when I first posted. I just realized that Willow possibly was a part of Xander's decision making process

      • L_Storm says:

        Ba bar unaq lrf, V nterr jvgu lbh. Ba gur bgure unaq, n synfuonpx onfvpnyyl vzcyvrf gung Qeh xabjf sebz fubegyl orsber fur zrg Fcxvr RIRELGUVAT GUNG UNCCRAF! Va gur fnzr synfuonpx fur fnlf "v pbhyq or lbhe zhzzl" gb Qneyn, naq Natry naq Qneyn grnfr ure nobhg gheavat gur svefg crefba fur ohzcf vagb, anzryl Jvyyvnz gur Oybbql Njshy (cbrg.)

  56. Ryan Lohner says:

    And so Spuffy was born, probably from the same people who gave us Zutara.

    • Kickpuncher says:

      If only they had given us Spoyce instead.

    • Karen says:



      V UNIR N GLCR.


    • @liliaeth says:

      you really think it took that long 😉
      Ryan, there have been spuffy fics since School Hard. And I'm asaying that as someone who qvqa'g npghnyyl tb sbe gur cnvevat hagvy Vagreiragvba

    • tigerpetals says:

      V fuvc Onatry naq Mhgnen, erfcrpgviryl. Gubhtu V qvq yvxr Fchssl hagvy frnfba fvk (naq snaqbz vagrecergngvba bs Fcvxr naq gubfr riragf) znqr zr ungr Fcvxr(qhevat zhpu bs frnfba fvk naq fryrpg bgure zbzragf) naq abg jnag gb frr gurz gbtrgure rire ntnva.

      Interestingly enough, part of the reason I ship Zutara is, I think, that I started watching with the season two finale. The last few minutes of it, though, not the parts with them talking alone.

    • mutatio42 says:

      v jbhyq fb fuvc ohssl/fcvxr vs snvgu arire rkvfgrq

      abg rira nfunzrq

  57. Tina says:

    Mark, I have to say that I'm glaed to read that you don't now how to think about Xander because you're right when you say "there is no wrong or right answer".

    Ultimately, I think the "best" thing would have been if Xander didn't start his message about what Willow wanted to Buffy.

    Let's try to think how things could have gone if Buffy knew that Willow was trying to save Angel again : Buffy angsting, because whe will she do ? Will she fight with Angelus with the aim to kill him, risking then to not have Angel back, or she could have delay the battle to give Willow time. About the latter, we saw that when she is fighting super seriously with the aim to kill, she's still struggle a lot to bring Angelus down, and the gate would still be open and the end would have been the same.

    In the end it may appears that Xander's decision was crucial, that if he told her it would have gone differently. But I'm leaning toward it would have not. It was a hard enough task for Buffy to gain the willpower to kill Angelus (several episode actually) and knowing that Willow wanted to try again to give him back his soul would have crush or at least, make Buffy's will shake. So I actually think that Xander's "power" here was pretty much insignificant.

    It's also the forever question :"what is the most important, saving the world by sacrifice one of your loved one, or sacrifice the world to save you loved one?"

    This apart, I still don't really understand why Buffy still kills Angel after he has his soul back. This is where the episode is the most confusing for me, Whistler stated that Angel needs to be killed to closethe gate (like the person who opens the gate is the only one whose death can shut it) but for the audience, it seemed like Angle's blood was enough to close it.

    And finally, Spike is the best character ever ! <3

  58. Danny_SAP says:

    <img src="; />

    BUFFY Okay. That was about equal parts protecting me and copping a feel, right?

    Oh. Xander's too sad to make a stupid joke. 🙁
    <img src="; />

    SPIKE We like to talk big. Vampires do. 'I'm going to destroy the world.' That's just tough guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got… dog racing, Manchester United. And you've got people. Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision. With a real… passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye, Picadilly. Farewell, Leicester Bloody Square. You know what I'm saying?

    I love this monologue so much.
    <img src="; />

    JOYCE It's because you didn't have a strong father figure, isn't it?

    Slayer as gay metaphor?
    <img src="; />

    BUFFY I told you. I'm a Vampire Slayer. JOYCE Well, I just don't accept that! BUFFY Open your eyes, Mom. What do you think has been going on for the past two years? The fights, the weird occurrences. How many times have you washed blood out of my clothing, and you still haven't figured it out? JOYCE Well, it stops now! BUFFY No, it doesn't stop! It *never* stops! Do-do you think I chose to be like this? Do you have any idea how lonely it is, how dangerous? I would *love* to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or… God, even studying! But I have to save the world… again. JOYCE No. This is insane. Buffy, you need help. BUFFY I'm *not* crazy! What I need is for you to chill. I *have* to go! JOYCE No. I am not letting you out of this house. BUFFY You can't stop me. JOYCE Oh yes I… You walk out of this house, don't even *think* about coming back!

    Yup… definitely a gay metaphor
    <img src="; />

    WILLOW There's no use arguing with me. Do you see my resolve face? You've seen it before. You know what it means.

    <img src="; />
    <img src="; />

    XANDER Willow. Uh, she told me to tell you… BUFFY Tell me what? XANDER Kick his ass.

    <img src="; />
    This is Angel's douchebag face.
    <img src="; />

    ANGEL Now that's everything, huh? No weapons… No friends… No hope. Take all that away… and what's left? BUFFY Me.

    Best line ever.
    <img src="; />

    BUFFY I love you. ANGEL I love you. BUFFY Close your eyes.

    A bucket for my tears
    <img src="; />
    The over-alls of sadness make another appearance.

    • cait0716 says:

      I love this comment! Angel's douchebag face is a spot-on description.

      Buffy's line at the beginning "that was equal parts protecting me and copping a feel" is interesting. It suggests that even though she rejected Xander she likes the sexually-charged banter with him. She seems to find his crush on her flattering. Or at least considers it normal.

      • @Ivana2804 says:

        I think she was just trying to lighten the mood. She doesn't normally have sexually charged banter with Xander at all. Every sexually charged line was always coming from Xander and Buffy would just try to ignore it.

    • haguenite says:

      Naq vg'f avpryl rpubrq (gur tnl zrgncube sngure svther ovg, gung vf) ol guvf favccrg sebz F4:
      Jnyfu: Fur'f irel frys-eryvnag, irel vaqrcraqrag–

      Tvyrf: Rknpgyl!

      Jnyfu: –juvpu vf abg nyjnlf n tbbq guvat. (guvf pnhfrf Tvyrf gb cnhfr) V guvax vg pna or haurnygul gb gnxr ba nqhyg ebyrf gbb rneyl. Jung V fhfcrpg V'z frrvat vf n ernpgvba gb gur nofrapr bs n znyr ebyr zbqry.

      Tvyrf: (fdhvagvat) Nofrapr?

      Jnyfu: (fgnaqvat) Ohssl pyrneyl ynpxf n fgebat sngure svther.

    • notemily says:

      can't stop laughing at Angel's douchebag face.

  59. Tat says:

    Okay, this is the opposite of uplifting cuteness that I think Mark was asking for, but if you have any tears left and you want to get them out:

    [youtube 9gspElv1yvcElv1yvc youtube]

    Seriously, Sarah McLachlan wants to devastate your soul. I think she learned it from Joss Whedon.

  60. dasmondschaf says:

    oh god

    So, this episode was spoiled for me, way back in 1998! For the second week in a row, I was unable to be in front of the TV, but this time I didn't have the chance to record it. So I asked the one other person in my 6th grade class who I knew watched Buffy, a geeky, skinny guy whose name I no longer remember, and his eyes watered up as he told me what had happened.


    On this watch, it was like a parade of sads, because I knew what was coming. I spent the entire episode with my hands on my face, wishing that it would somehow end differently, and I teared up the second that Angel was re-ensouled. But oh, the waterworks really started when Sarah McLachlan began to play; it was like a TIME MACHINE TO 1998.


  61. pica_scribit says:

    And because I haven't quite posted enough comments on this episode yet….

    How the hell did Buffy know Dru was the one who killed Kendra?

    • 00guera00 says:

      Didn't she go to the hospital before that? I'm sure Xander filled her in on what happened…

      • pica_scribit says:

        Hmmm…possible. I'll have to go back and watch again. I thought Buffy took off out of the hospital pretty quickly, and we saw the gang's whole interaction with her, and I also can't remember if Xander was even conscious when Kendra died.

  62. Bonnie says:

    Been a while since I've seen this, so I can concentrate on the fun. Nice.
    – I'd pay to see Buffy and Spike's band. They would be called Scary Little Blonds and they would be awesome.
    – Speaking of, did Buffy and Spike stop by a waxing salon on their way to Buffy's for Spike to get his eyebrows done? Cause they go from bushy to slightly less bushy in an alarmingly beauticiany way between their talk next to the police car and their confrontation with Joyce.
    – I know you're evil and all, but what is that belt, Angel?
    – Actually, what is that entire outfit? You look like a big ninny.
    – I want to have Spike and Joyce making awkward small talk in my living room, now. They're hilarious.
    – Willow's voice has gone even more nasal. Was that deliberate?
    – The sword fight was fine, once you get used to the obviously not Boreanaz and Smidge part of it.
    – 'You need to perform the ritual in a tutu, pillock!' – Go Giles!

  63. @alexiel921 says:

    Don't have anything cute, but something I think is quite interesting; combining Buffy and Doctor Who! (spoilers for Doctor Who, but not Buffy

    [youtube YqeKC3FmMoE&list=LLeWBnqYa8DYwoB3yQdXRoUg&index=8&feature=plpp_video youtube]

    There's a Season 5 version too: Click here

  64. Raenef_the_5th says:

    Url thlf V guvax lbh'er xvaq bs fcbvyvat Natry orvat nyvir va fbzr uryy qvzrafvba. V zrna jr xabj ur'yy pbzr onpx fvapr gurer'f n frevrf, ohg yrg'f xrrc gur uryy qvzrafvba ohfvarff haqre jencf hagvy yngre?

    And from the shooting script:

    His mouth closed once more.

  65. Mez says:

    Failure of Secret Identity Count:

    20 + 2 (Joyce and Snyder) = 22

  66. ajaxbreaker says:

    The fight scene between Buffy and Angel was ruined for me because they didn't bother to disguise David's stunt double at all. The stunt guy has jet black hair and David has light brown! The switch is so jarringly obvious that it always takes me out of what's otherwise a beautifully emotional fight.

    • Danny_SAP says:

      And also SO SO much thinner than David.

    • NB2000 says:

      I swear the stunt guy looks more like Nicholas Brendon than David, at least from a distance. Up close the guy probably doesn't look like either of them but with that little bit of a gap it looks like Buffy (or some random blonde woman if you prefer) is fighting Xander.

    • haguenite says:

      Don't decypher this if you haven't seen season 3: Ng yrnfg vg'f abg nf onq nf gur qvaare ynql'f fghag qbhoyr va "Rnefubg."

    • Inseriousity. says:

      lol is it bad that I've never noticed then lol

    • DreamRose311 says:

      I think I finally trained my eyes to purposefully not look at the obvious spots. It used to annoy the hell out of me for years.

      Also for the first time I thought of a reason it could be more obvious here than other scenes (if someone knows and can confirm/deny?) – But maybe they had different doubles for this scene because they needed ones with swordplay experience that maybe the others didn't have? Just a thought…

  67. hassibah says:

    I have made this comment so many times but if I was a slayer, this is the kind of slayer I would be, my life falling apart all over the damn place. Buffy is my favourite character (naq Snvgu) for a reason. I just get amazed that she kept it together for so long.
    Like a bunch of people have said by now I could not give a shit about Angel (take it as a character building experience guy) but I care about Buffy and I feel bad cause she feels bad-though Giles and Jenny and her fight with Joyce made me feel exponentially worse. Buffy pulled through and did what she knew she had to, at the worst time that she ever could have had to do it and I really love her for it.

    Okay I am way overexposed to Sarah Mclachlan as it is (I am Canadian and this is so a thing) and I can't take anything Angel does seriously with that hair but whatever.

  68. feminerdist says:

    Wow. This episode was… wow.

    Though I think it would have been much more of a "OMG HOLY FUCKING SHIT" moment if I had watched this in real time and didn't know of the existence of a show called "Angel" where David Boreneaz does… something? Smolders? Does bad accents? Look, I don't know.

    Anyway, that was a damn good season ending. I'm with Mark: I'd be satisfied if I never got any more show after this episode.

    • tigerpetals says:

      I forget to say things, but yes. There are lots of great episodes after this, but for me there's something about how these episodes combine the best elements of Buffy (action, loss, friendship, romantic love, doubt, horror of several kinds) in such a good way that it works perfectly for me every time. (Except the Whistler, and the accent in the last episode, but they don't damage the episodes.) This is the best the show gets, and for me nothing else was as good.

  69. @sesinkhorn says:

    See, see, thank you for sharing my dislike of Whistler's character. STUPID, STUPID, POINTLESS CHARACTER. YOU DID NOTHING AND HELPED NO ONE PLEASE GO AWAY.

    I imagine everyone's gone over the INTENSE EMOTIONS of this episode in detail, and they've also probably gone over the point I'm going to make. Again, this finale — this whole season of the show, really — was really fundamental in my development as a reader and a writer. It was thanks to this show that I developed the expectation that writers really, really, really make their characters EARN good things and not be afraid to make them suffer. It's painful and it sucks, but it gives so much depth and life to the characters that just can't be built through handing them everything after minimal obstacles. I can't take a story seriously when it ends with no one getting truly hurt or losing anything and everyone getting exactly what they wanted. That's not the way I write, either.

    And now on to METAPHORS.

    This episode (the whole story arc) is very well done and multi-faceted in so many ways. Harkening back to the fact that this is a YA/coming-of-age kind of show, though, is the fact that this whole thing between Buffy and Angel is one gigantic and realistic metaphor for young relationships and breakups. OBVIOUSLY breaking up with your boyfriend is not the same thing as literally stabbing him and sending him to hell, but the metaphors are all there. Young love is intense, passionate, chaotic, and painful. When it ends, it is kind of like killing and dying. Something you held so close to you is torn from you, again and again. The hope that the person you fell in love with is still in there somewhere is destroyed. Your love still exists in you, you want it to live, but sometimes you have to "kill" the relationship and walk away, both to grow as a person and because it's just not right for you. This story arc captures the gutting pain and horrible confusion of first love/breakup so well.

    And then on top of that, it's entertaining and full of paranormal activity and even more layers of storytelling then you can count.


    • @Ivana2804 says:

      I love your comment about Buffy/Angel. I had my own Angel in high school, minus the vampire – killing people – trying to suck the world into hell and other details.

      As for Whistler – I think that's the whole point of his character: HIGHER POWERS AND THEIR MESSENGERS AND PROPHECIES SUCK BIG TIME AND ARE COMPLETELY USELESS.

  70. Jaxin88 says:

    Oh, and now for the beginning of possibly my favorite interactions in all of Buffy- Spike and Joyce! God, that scene is hilarious. I love his nonchalance about the ax. William the Bloody, the vampire who does nothing you expect him to. Also, Fcvxr naq Wblpr'f eryngvbafuvc vf fb fjrrg- ab znggre ubj zhpu ur ungrf ure qnhtugre, Wblpr vf n zbgure jub qrfcrengryl ybirf ure puvyq, naq ur jvyy arire abg erfcrpg gung (bu, Fcvxr, lbh naq lbhe vffhrf. *uhtf*). Whfg guvaxvat nobhg gur obhdhrg ur yrnirf nsgre Gur Obql znxrf zr jnag gb grne hc. Ur znl unir na vaperqvoyl ghzhyghbhf eryngvbafuvc jvgu Ohssl urefrys, ohg ur nqberf ure snzvyl.

  71. Fiona says:

    Right, random thoughts in list form time:
    – I like how Buffy's idea of being stealthy is wearing dark clothes and a hat.
    – Tamest version of the old 'fake out make out' ever.
    – Comatose Willow makes my heart hurt.
    – 'I mean the last time I tortured anyone they didn't even have chainsaws.' Angelus, always more fun than Angel in his own psychotic way.
    – Poor Joyce, she spends so much of her time being confused and worried. If this was some other show she probably would have developed a drinking problem by now.
    – Spike to the rescue! He's a pragmatic guy so it makes perfect sense to me from a character development point of view.
    – 'lbh'er cngurgvp' bbbu qrne. Frevbhf pnfr bs unefure va uvaqfvtug gurer Ohssl.
    – Don't punch him Buffy, you just know he not so secretly enjoys it. That slight smirk of his gets me every time.
    – Sexually charged glaring all round :D. (What can I say? I ship it.)
    – Oh Xander. He's already lost one best friend. That's seriously bad timing though.
    – Giles snarking at vampires may be my favourite thing. Nfvqr sebz uvf fanexvat ng Jrfyrl bs pbhefr.
    – Buffy's a terrible liar. It's a wonder she managed to keep it secret this long.
    – Joyce's reaction shot is the best.
    – Wblpr naq Fcvxr'f njxjneq sevraqfuvc vf bar bs zl snibhevgr guvatf.
    – 'Have we met?' 'You hit me with an axe one time, remember?' Brilliant.
    – 'Dru bagged a slayer? Good for her!' Too soon Spike, too soon.
    – I could easily just write out this whole scene again but I won't. It's all brilliant.
    – Yet another scene which makes my heart hurt. I don't know who to feel more sorry for.
    – RESOLVE FACE. It's good how it shows that Willow is an incredibly strong person even though everyone has this feeling that she needs protecting all the time. She's not some delicate flower who needs saving.
    – 'This is all making a kind of sense that's not.' Other than James he gets the best quotes.
    – That tiny smirk ASH does while Angelus' back is turned. He is such a BAMF.
    – 'In order to be worthy you must perform the ritual… in a tutu. Pillock.' Makes me proud to be British :D.
    – Ooh, mysterious conspiracy time and another mention of the Mayor…
    – This scene is so incredibly cruel. I'm always slightly scared by Joss' brain at these moments. He did say in the commentary for Innocence that it makes him feel oddly powerful as well as slightly sick. Writers are sadists.
    – It's good to see Robia's face again though, whatever the circumstances.
    – This is one of ASH's best episodes acting wise, he really is flawless.
    – Dru gets a little bit to into kissing him, well who wouldn't really?
    – ASH's 'what have I done?' face is heartbreaking.
    – Oh bugger off Xander. He claims to be objective but it's clear that he isn't. It isn't his place to make Buffy's decisions for her.
    – I'm just waiting for someone to say 'I am not left handed' with all of this sword fighting :).
    – V'z cerggl fher gung tybjl rlr fubg raqrq hc va gur perqvgf sbe gur arkg frevrf, be znlor gung jnf n qvssrerag tybjl rlr fubg. Gurer ner gbb znal bs gurz nebhaq.
    – You got your boyfriend back, now send him to an eternal hell dimension of pain and suffering. Joss you are an evil genius.
    – The bad blue screen takes away some of the trauma of this moment.
    – Damn you Sarah McLachlan!

    This episode doesn't quite hit me as hard as it used to but I still always tear up once Full of Grace starts. I was never really much of a Bangel shipper but it's hard to resist that song being used at that moment. Some of the music choices are incredibly nineties or odd but I can't fault that one. Now roll on series three, onto some of my favourite episodes and storylines.

    • Rebcake says:

      Poor Joyce, she spends so much of her time being confused and worried. If this was some other show she probably would have developed a drinking problem by now.

      "Have another drink, mom."

      Yep, she's on her way already…

      • Fiona says:

        Ooh, I somehow forgot about that. I mean in other series it might become a bigger part of the storyline, if Buffy was just about an average teenager minus the slaying parts. Of course then she probably wouldn't have a drinking problem so I'll shut up now…

    • t09yavosaur says:

      Your first few bullets were almost exactly like mine before I gave up on keeping track.

    • UnstrungZero says:

      I was never really much of a Bangel shipper but it's hard to resist that song being used at that moment. Some of the music choices are incredibly nineties or odd but I can't fault that one.

      THIS, like I said somewhere else here, rewatching this ep so I can start watching with Mark made me put on Full of Grace for hours. *facepalm* Not a good life choice, really.

  72. Abygail says:

    Ever since seeing this episode, the song Full of Grace from Sarah McLachlan makes me cry… I wanted to post the lyrics to that song as response to the review, but I doubt that'll help Mark, so I'll just *hug* him instead 😛

  73. FuTeffla says:

    Mark, I love you and I will make you a cup of tea even though you are in America and I am not in America. I will make soothing tea for everyone here, even though I only have, like, four cups. Tea for everyone! We drink in shifts!

  74. NB2000 says:

    Qnvyl Qnja guernq?!

    V npghnyyl jrag bss ba n gnatrag nobhg guvf va zl abgrf sbe gur rcvfbqr. V whfg pna'g vzntvar gur fprar jurer Wblpr guebjf Ohssl bhg jbexvat vs Qnja vf cerfrag. Qnja jbhyq or gbb hcfrg nobhg jung jnf unccravat naq cbffvoyl rira gelvat gb trg Wblpr gb fgbc naq gung zvtug npghnyyl unir znqr ure erpbafvqre. Qb va zl urnq Qnja jnf cerfrag jura gur cbyvpr pnzr bire gb gnyx gb Wblpr naq urneq gung Jvyybj jnf vawherq, fur gura vafvfgrq Wblpr gnxr ure gb gur ubfcvgny gb frr ure. Wblpr yrsg ure gurer jvgu gur Fpbbovrf naq jrag bhg gb ybbx sbe Ohssl nybar, fb gur fprar jvgu Fcvxr jbhyq fgvyy or ebhtuyl gur fnzr.

    V'z fher Qnja jnf zragvbarq qhevat Wblpr naq Ohssl'f nethzrag, ohg V unir gjb gubhtugf nobhg ubj Wblpr jbhyq yrnea nobhg Qnja xabjvat. Rvgure vg jbhyq pbzr hc qhevat gur nethzrag jvgu Ohssl naq znxr Wblpr gung zhpu natevre qhevat gur fprar BE vg qbrfa'g pbzr hc hagvy Qnja pbzrf ubzr naq svaqf Wblpr hcfrg naq Ohssl tbar. Va guvf pnfr gurer'f cebonoyl n cnvashy fprar jurer gurl unir gb qrny jvgu jub xarj jung naq jung unccrarq gb znxr Ohssl yrnir. Rvgure jnl V vzntvar vg jnf n irel grafr fhzzre va gur Fhzzref ubhfr.

    Lrnu V xvaq bs gubhtug ibzvgrq nobhg guvf bar.

    • Mez says:

      V guvax Qnja jnf frag gb ure ebbz nf fbba nf Ohssl naq Fcvxr tbg gurer. Naq fur farnxrq bhg naq fcrag zbfg bs gur rafhvat nethzrag fvggvat ba gur fgnvef uhttvat ure xarrf…

    • Mez says:

      V qba’g guvax Qnja’f gung frysvfu, ubarfgyl.

      Wblpr xvpxvat Ohssl bhg nsgre n ovt nethzrag… sbe n tvey jubfr sngure unq yrsg ubzr nsgre n ybg bs nethzragf, gung jbhyq unir orra qrinfgngvat.

      V guvax fur jbhyq unir fcrag n ybg bs gung fhzzre cynlvat purff jvgu Jvyybj – jub jbhyq unir orra ovt-fvfgreyl naq pbzsbegvat.

    • L_Storm says:

      V guvax gung Qnja jnf va gur ebbz sbe Ohssl/Wblpr'f nethvat, naq pelvat guebhtu gur jubyr guvat. Rvgure gung, be znlor yvfgravat ba gur fgnvef. Fur nyernql yvirq guebhtu ure cneragf nethvat naq gura ure sngure yrnivat, naq abj Ohssl frrzf gb or qbvat gur fnzr guvat gb ure. V guvax gung znlor guvf vf jurer Qnja fgnegf gb ernyyl ubyq n tehqtr ntnvafg Ohssl, abg sbe gur nggragvba ohg orpnhfr Ohssl yrsg ure. Whfg yvxr rirelbar ryfr. Naq gubhtu Ohssl pbzrf onpx, vgf arire bxnl ntnva… (Shaal ubj guvf qrfpevorf frnfba svir/fvk gbb…)

      V guvax gung jura Wblpr svaqf Ohssl'f abgr ng gur raq, gung'f jura Qnja pbzrf va gb tvir n ure n ovt uht… naq vg'f whfg gur gjb bs gurz fvggvat gurer, pelvat.

    • ladililn says:

      V whfg srry fb onq sbe Qnja nsgre gur riragf bs guvf rcvfbqr, ertneqyrff bs jurgure be abg fur jnf gurer jura gurl npghnyyl genafcverq. :/ V zrna, ybbx, ure nonaqbazrag vffhrf ner nyernql fgnegvat (jryy, V fhccbfr gurl fgnegrq onpx jura ure qnq yrsg) naq fur qbrfa'g rira rkvfg lrg. Cbbe Qnjavr!

  75. Ginsue says:

    Cue fetal position!

    I knew that Mark would be traumatized. I think this episode broke me. It broke me so bad that I needed to know if things got better and watched all the way up to 03:04… That was the first time I watched ahead! This episode did that to me! I had to stop, though!

    Joss Whedon really does destroy hope. I feel bad for wishing that Joyce found out about her daughter being a slayer, and for wishing that Angel and Buffy did not get together. I take it all back! I AM A HORRIBLE PERSON! ANGEL AND JOYCE'S PAIN ARE ALL INEXPLICABLY MY FAULT!

    The one thing I am not conflicted with is Xander withholding information! WTF! Bad Xander! If this was a one time occurrence with him having no ulterior motive and conflicted about it, then maybe I would call this a gray action. However, he had shown this pattern over and over again. It is only the second season, and I wanted to wait to give him a chance. I was actually feeling for him when he was with Willow, a very touching scene, but he had to ruin it! I hate this because he is almost two characters: the brave despite his odd quirks friend, and this unemphatic, Angel-hating, jerk. Yeah, I am not Angel's fan, but that is because he was boring to watch. On a personal level, Angel did nothing [to the scoobies to warrant this level of animosity] until he lost his soul. Even Giles, the one who is most personally affected by Jenny's loss, is not acting like this.

    Darn, now I reminded myself of Giles-torture. T_T

    The main upside, least depressing aspect of this episode was Spike! Although I was spoiled by Netflix, his alliance still was awesome and out of nowhere. Spike's and Joyces conversation was so awkward and glorious, it was off the charts.

    Darn, now I just reminded myself of Joyce. T_T

    I cannot think of any character without a gut-wrenching feeling now.

    Buffy! "Come Back Soon!"

    • plaidpants says:

      Although I was spoiled by Netflix, his alliance still was awesome and out of nowhere.

      Me too! I'm trying to avoid reading the little Netflix blurbs when i hover over to click, but sometimes I can't help but catch a glimpse of a few lines. They really shouldn't spoilt it like that!

  76. mophead50 says:

    Every time I hear "Full of Grace" all I can think about is the end of this episode….Hugs for Mark, all of the first time Buffy fans and all the Buffy fanatics like myself…..Joyce "haven't we met before?" Spike " You hit me with an axe once"….never skip an episode or you will miss so much….being a hero can really suck….no one does season enders like Joss and every year he never knew if it would be the last….The scene with Buffy where she stops the sword with her bare hands cemented her in my mind as one of the best badasses in fiction…I second the comments that Giles is so in touch with his Ripper side……..Mark….no one new to BTVS is ever prepared…

  77. notemily says:


    – Snyder, you are completely a stupid little troll.
    – Beating up cops for great justice!
    – Aw, Buffy brought the black skullcap look back! Only this time it's less "cute and fashionable" and more "hiding from the police."
    – For once Xander doesn't go for the sexist joke. That's how you know it's serious, I suppose?
    – Willooooow
    – Look, it's the same policeman who victim-blamed Buffy in "Ted"! I admire the continuity, but damn I hate that guy.
    – "Nobody saw you coming." Dude, YOU WERE THE ONE WHO SHOWED BUFFY TO ANGEL. I really don't know what Whistler means by this. I have to assume he means nobody knew about the "perfect happiness" escape clause of the curse, because otherwise it doesn't make sense.
    – OH HI SPIKE! Flirting with Buffy! <3. I ship them so hard, and this episode has a lot of great moments between them. Once they decide to work together, they just… seem to GET each other, making plans like they're a natural team. I just like watching them interact.
    – I love that Spike LOVES the world! And that's why he wants to stop Angel! From the beginning of Spike's story we've seen that he is a vampire who LOVES things. He loves Drusilla, he loves hunting slayers, and he loves the world. He's an amoral vampire, yes, but unlike Angel he would never want to scrub any trace of "love" off of himself.
    – "Hang on, let me kill this guy"
    – Willooooooow
    – Xander saying nice thiiiiings
    – It's interesting to me that they start off this season with Willow and Xander almost kissing, and they end the season with Xander telling Willow he loves her, and you get the sense he means something more than "as a friend" right there. But then she says "Oz," and he steps back and lets the actual boyfriend take over. They seem to keep just missing each other.
    – "I'm in a band, a rock band, with Spike here!" "Right, she plays the… triangle!" "Drums!" Hee hee hee, also OF COURSE Spike sings.
    – Well, the vampire slayer is out of the bag now.
    – "I know who's president, and how many fingers…" Willow is so cute here.
    – JOYCE AND SPIKE OMG I LOVE THEM. I love that she keeps trying to make Mom small talk because that's what Moms do.
    – "Dru bagged a slayer? She didn't tell me! Good for her!"
    – "Have you tried… not being a slayer?" ACTUALLY YES SHE HAS, a few times, as we know from the very first episode and the finale of the first season. Which makes this whole thing very sad. Like the later "have you tried not being a mutant" from the X-Men movies, this scene has obvious parallels to the experience of coming out to your parents and having them be unable to accept it. It's so painful to watch. And knowing how hard it was for Buffy herself to accept her destiny just makes it worse.
    – "God, even studying!"
    – Jooooyce Y u tell Buffy not to come back 🙁 🙁
    – Willow's resolve face!
    – "In order to be worthy, you must perform the ritual in a tutu."
    – LOL Spike you are not doing a very good job of not destroying the world by having Dru get the info out of Giles.

    • Bonnie says:

      Your thoughts are extremely entertaining. 🙂

    • Fiona says:

      'It's very spicy so you love it but it also hurts?'

      Sounds about right to me :D. Joss seems to be very good at destroying people's hearts and then making them want to come back for a second helping. He's just that good.

    • Scottish Eddie says:

      Brilliant posts!

    • pica_scribit says:

      "Hallelujah" will forever be one of my favourite songs, but it's gotta be the version of the Leonard Cohen's 1994 live album. No cover version has ever been as good as the man himself.

      • notemily says:

        Oh, it's a good song, it's just been way overused to create sadness in media. "Brothers in Arms" is on notice.

        • pica_scribit says:

          You mean the Dire Straits song? I haven't heard that used in *anything*, but coincidentally, I just recently bought the album on vinyl, and I listened to it yesterday. Twice. One of the best albums OF ALL TIME.

          • notemily says:

            It's a BRILLIANT song. [Vg jnf hfrq va Gur Jrfg Jvat gb terng rssrpg,] and previously in Due South as well, but those two uses are so well-done and iconic that if someone else uses it, those two shows are all I'm going to be able to think of.

            ETA: Someone reported this for a spoiler, so: the rot-13'd part is a spoiler for a future Mark Watches project.

    • Kari18212 says:

      I would like to upvote this comment 1000 times for all the entertaining thoughts and then another 1000 for your thoughts on Spike and Spike and Buffy working together. Every time I watch this episode, I pretty much have my eyes glued to the screen looking at every little way they interact (desperate for signs of my ship? Nooo I'm sure that's not it) including random eye contact lol. I've always loved how easy it was for them to work together when that vampire comes up to attack them. I guess they've probably had enough experience fighting each other to know how to fight together 🙂 And his monologue on why he likes the world is in my (not actually officially written) list of top 5 things Spike has ever said. I just have a LOT OF FEELINGS about Spike I guess lol.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      I think Whistler meant they didn’t expect Buffy to be such a strong and capable Slayer – remember, he recruited Angel to help Buffy: “She’s going to have it tough, this one, she’s just a kid”. Buffy was not raised by a Watcher or discovered at the time when she was only a potential slayer. Whistler thought Angel would be the one to stop Acathla.

    • kelseyofcake says:

      Well it looks liek I don't need to be bothered about the fact most of my notes on the episode got eaten, because I'm just sitting here agreeing with just about everything you've said (and did so much better than I did.)

      "but for me this season showed what Buffy was really capable of. It's when it became the show that I love. "
      It was the same for me. Season 1 was pretty much a jolly romp through 90s cliches and silliness, but this was when Joss finally decided he was going to take this more seriously and make us really feel so much more for these characters. This was when I started begging my sister for "Buffy time" to last longer (she had the DVDs we watched together).

      "Nyfb jung vf gur tbbq arjf? Gung gur Fynlre vf xvpxrq bhg bs fpubby? Gur Znlbe jbhyq xabj gung gung jbhyqa'g fgbc ure sebz, lbh xabj, orvat n Fynlre."
      Jryy ab, ohg fur unf cebira gb or n irel gbhtu, sbezvqnoyr fynlre jub sbvyf nyy rivy cynaf rire. Gur znlbe jbhyq cebonoyl or tynq gb unir ure njnl sebz gur pragre bs gur gbja'f cnenabezny npgvivgl. Rfcrpvnyyl pbafvqrevat ur cynaf gb nfpraq gurer.

    • RoseFyre says:

      "- Spike, I thought you DIDN'T want the world destroyed? He just leaves and he's like *shrug*"

      I think Dru's more important to him. Sure, he didn't want the world destroyed, but his real goal was to get Drusilla back. Also, he knows how dangerous Angel is, and isn't ready to risk that, I think.

      • notemily says:

        Yeah, but if he leaves with Dru and Angel DOES kill Buffy, the world would be sucked into hell, including him and Dru, right? Maybe he figures they'll be together in hell.

        • RoseFyre says:

          Hrm, point. I still think Dru's more important, though, and as much as he doesn't particularly want the world destroyed…he's adaptable, he'd figure out how to live in hell.

    • UnstrungZero says:

      EVERY TIME I see Spike say "Well, I sing." I just CRACK UP. Meta humor!

  78. canyonoflight says:

    Ask and ye shall receive cuteness!

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    • NB2000 says:

      So much cuteness! <3

    • pica_scribit says:

      The tiny piggy is my favourite. The baby orangutan kind of freaks me out. The eyes don't look right.

      • misterbernie says:

        I totally agree on the orangutan bit. That… it just ain't right.

        Also to be more of a cuteness party pooper, seeing animals dressed up makes me irrationally angry (kitty don't need no stinking pig costume to be adorbs!).

        • rabbitape says:

          My mother likes to tell me that when I was little I looked like an orangutan, because I had red hair that stuck straight out. (Not all over my body, though, thank god.) I've never ever liked that comparison. Which may be why she keeps making it.

        • knut_knut says:

          its overalls kind of look like they've been photoshopped on. I'm not an orangutan fan, BUT WHY WOULD YOU PUT IT IN OVERALLS? In real life or in photoshop?

        • pica_scribit says:

          When my best friend got married and we were looking at patterns for bridesmaid dresses, the pattern catalogue included a section of formalwear for pets. There was a picture of a dachshund in a pink satin dress with the *saddest* look on its little face. It seemed to be pleading for its tiny doggy dignity.

    • Rayne says:

      And now I'm dying from cuteness instead of from sadness. I guess that's an improvement!

    • echinodermata says:


    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


    • Smurphy says:

      I just saved half of these on the computer to share with my sister… gracias.

      ALSO does anyone know where I can purchase a pig costume for a cat??

    • LadyPeyton says:

      You win all the internets!!!

  79. mophead50 says:

    The winter here's cold and bitter
    It's chilled us to the bone
    We haven't seen the sun for weeks
    To long too far from home
    I feel just like I'm sinking
    And I claw for solid ground
    I'm pulled down by the undertow
    I never thought I could feel so low
    Oh darkness I feel like letting go
    If all of the strength and all of the courage
    Come and lift me from this place
    I know I could love you much better than this
    Full of grace
    Full of grace
    My love
    So it's better this way, I said
    Having seen this place before
    Where everything we said and did
    Hurts us all the more
    Its just that we stayed, too long
    In the same old sickly skin
    I'm pulled down by the undertow
    I never thought I could feel so low
    Oh darkness I feel like letting go
    If all of the strength
    And all of the courage
    Come and lift me from this place
    I know I could love you much better than this
    Full of grace
    Full of grace
    My love

    • notemily says:

      I think my favorite part is "It's just that we stayed too long…" and then the harmonies come in. <3

    • UnstrungZero says:

      Rewatched this the other day to start watching along with Mark, ended up putting this song on repeat for hooouurrsss. And I'm not even a Buffy/Angel shipper. *sniffles* It's just a perfectly despairing song. <3

  80. robin_comments says:

    Everyone else has said all the interesting, meaningful things about this episode already so I'm not going to even try. Instead, have a bit of joyous nostalgia!

    Spike and Joyce! wheeeee! Willow's badass spell casting! aaaaaah! Buffy still has herself, and herself is pure awesome! WHOOOOO Xander utters The Lie that fandom will debate until the end of time! noooooooooooooo

    The first thing I did after this episode originally aired:
    Go online looking for spoilers (not that I knew that name for them yet), desperate for any news or rumors on if Angel was gone from the show for good. This endeavor took MUCH MUCH LONGER than it would now. heh.

    The second, third, fourth, fifth, and twentieth thing I did online the summer after this episode originally aired:
    Search out every Spike/Buffy adventure or romance fanfiction in the woooooorld. Anyone else remember all the post Season 2 ones where they ended up on a cross country road trip? And the ones where Spike and Buffy run each other months later, all depressed and forever alone? And then the ones where they return as best friends to Sunnydale after like 5 years to help avert the apocalypse? GOOD TIMES.

    Basically, "Becoming II" completely broke my teenage brain.

    • Raenef_the_5th says:


      THOSE FICS. That summer was the least okay summer ever, but great for online fandom!

      • robin_comments says:

        ahahaha I love that it's The Lie. I've seen it mentioned in so many Buffy meta discussions, where someone referenced Xander and The Lie and people knew exactly what they were talking about. LOL.

    • Rebcake says:

      Thee Fic! Moar fic!

  81. I've seen all the episodes before so I knew what was going to happen, but this is the first time that I've watched the show in order (as far as I remember, anyway). I also rarely, if ever, cry at TV/films. The only instance I can remember where I teared up was watching ET as a child.

    I teared up last Thursday when I watched this episode. My dog felt the need to come over and attempt to comfort me. Mr Wheadon, I tip my hat to you sir.

    Sadly, I've run out of DVDs for the time being, so I can't continue to watch along until the 15th (my birthday). I'll have to have a Buffy marathon to catch up. I'm such a sucky fangirl for waiting until now to buy the boxsets. ^^;

  82. Scottish Eddie says:

    MY HEART!!! My kingdom for a happy ending!!

  83. canyonoflight says:

    I have seen this finale at least a hundred times and I still cry every time Buffy has to kill Angel and then when she watches her friends from afar and then gets on the bus. It's such a twisting kind of pain.

  84. DreamRose311 says:

    Ooo! Ooo! Idea!! So, while I'm excited to see everyone's predictions for Season 3, I was being kind of sad that I can't make predictions (though maybe also glad because I think I would've been awful at it) And, this could be something that people already do for prediction days, but since Season 2's predictions were done along with the first ep review, I might have missed it… but anyway, in case:

    We who have already been through all the fun and heartbreak can have our very own rot 13'd predictions! (with season 2 examples)

    So my first thought was – It might be fun to predict things that others will/won't predict (a la "I predict that for Season 2 Mark will predict that Buffy will slay vampires and that he won't predict that Angel will lose his soul)

    Then, (and probably better) we could predict reactions/comments that will happen throughout season 3! 'I predict someone will fall madly in love with Jenny and then have their heart broken and swear never to forgive Angel/Joss', 'I predict that Becoming pt 2 will be so full of awesome that Mark will have way too much to comment about and forget to point out his love for the call back of "You hit me with an axe once, remember? 'Stay the hell away from my daughter'?" "Oh, right"'

    Who is with me on this?

  85. tigerpetals says:

    I didn't know this until this community.

  86. pondaroon says:

    hey mark you know that thing you do where you start a new paragraph to give a concept more impact?

    like this.

    you. you do that a lot.

  87. This episode went for me like this the first time I watched:

    Joss: Hey! How you doing today.
    Me: ummm…okay. I guess. I don't really now whats going on.
    Joss: Great! Can I barrow this for a moment?
    Me: You mean my heart?
    Joss: Yeah, that thing that's the most precious vial organ of the human body!
    Me: Ummm….I guess. I'll need it back…
    Joss: Thanks, I won't be long with it. I'm just going to..*rip*
    Me: Ow!
    Joss: Sorry. Oh wait a second I'm Joss Whedon! No I'm not! *foot stomp*
    Me: What are you doing?!
    Joss: *stomp stomp stomp*
    Me: STOP THAT!
    Me: JOSS!
    Joss: *STOMP* okay, here you go.
    Joss: That's the point! MAUAHAHAHAHA! *runs off to next victim. *

    I did the 30 Days of Buffy meme on LJ a while back (didn't finish due to time and laziness) but I made a picspam of season 2 as part of my favorite season. It's not the greatest because I have little to no graphic making skills but I thought I'd share.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  88. Suzannezibar says:


    I just…god, Joss, how many emotional punches can you pack in one episode? And then when we're lying curled up in a fetal position, spent from the emotions, you JUST HAD TO GIVE US ONE MORE SUCKER-PUNCH, didn't you???

    I don't know why I expected Joyce to be okay once she found out about Buffy's identity, but there it was. And I do understand her reactions and thought process, but oh my lord, what an awful way to end it between her and Buffy.

    And, god… even though Jenny was my favorite character, even though I DESPISED Angelus for everything he did and felt that he goddamned deserved to rot in hell, JESUS FRAKKING CHRIST, he gets his soul back RIGHT BEFORE BUFFY HAS TO KILL HIM???!? How heartbreaking can you get. How heartbreakingly, gutwrenchingly sad can you possibly get.

    And then she's alone. Buffy, my Buffy who I've come to care about so much, is alone and running away from Sunnydale.

    Fuck, I cried so much the first time I watched this episode. I've yet to watch it again, but I have a feeling the tears will be coming the second time too.

    Also, one more thing…V'z guerr rcvfbqrf vagb Frnfba Svir evtug abj. V qba'g xabj jung'f pbzvat va gur arkg gjb, nyzbfg guerr, frnfbaf, ohg V unir n qvfgvapg srryvat V'z va gur fybj qbjajneq fcveny bs guvf fubj. Creuncf V jvyy or cyrnfnagyl fhecevfrq. Ohg fb sne, ab frnfba unf zbirq zr naq nssrpgrq zr nf zhpu nf Frnfba 2. Bhg bs gur sbhe shyy frnfbaf V'ir jngpurq fb sne, guvf frnfba vf nofbyhgryl zl snibevgr, naq guvf svanyr vf nofbyhgryl gur orfg, zbfg zbivat guvat V unir rire frra bs Ohssl (gubhtu V'ir urneq gur grez "cresrpg" pnfg nebhaq sbe gur F5 svanyr, fb jr'yy frr). GUVF VF FHPU SHPXVAT TBBQ GRYRIVFVBA EVTUG URER

    • Karen says:

      Qvssrerag guvatf nccrny gb qvssrerag crbcyr. Crefbanyyl, frnfba 5 vf zl snibevgr bhg bs nyy gur frnfbaf, naq V ybir n tbbq puhax bs frnfba 6, fb… Lrnu. Gurer vf n inevrgl bs bcvavbaf nf gb jura Ohssl vf gur Orfg. V qb guvax gung gurer vf n qrsvavgr gbany fuvsg sebz frnfbaf 1-3 if frnfbaf 5-7 (jvgu frnfba 4 nf n genafvgvbany crevbq), naq vg pbzrf qbja gb juvpu gbar lbh cersre zber. Crefbanyyl, V cersre gur yngre fghss, ohg fbzr crbcyr cersre gur rneyvre fghss.

      • Suzannezibar says:

        Lrnu, V unir qrsvavgryl tbggra gur vzcerffvba gung crbcyr rvgure ybir gur rneyvre frnfbaf be gur yngre barf. Zl sevraqf jub'er jngpuvat vg jvgu zr (nyy bs jubz unir frra vg orsber, gurl'er ybivat vaqbpgevangvat zr ununun) frrz gb or cerggl fcyvg qbja gur zvqqyr…V jvyy fnl gung V qb yvxr gur srry bs Frnfba Svir fb sne! Qrfpevovat 4 nf n genafvgvbany crevbq vfa'g fbzrguvat V'ir urneq orsber, ohg vg qrsvavgryl znxrf frafr. Vg sryg yvxr vg qvqa'g ernyyl xabj jung gb qb jvgu vgfrys nsgre tenqhngvba, ohg abj guvatf frrz gb unir tbggra vagb n arj eulguz.

    • Raenef_the_5th says:

      Bbbu, lbh zhfg jngpu naq ebg13 lbhe ernpgvbaf naq cbfg gurz urer! :Q Ohg V nterr, frnfba 2 jvyy ubyq n cynpr va zl urneg sberire sbe vg'f ebyyre pbnfgre evqr bs rzbgvbaf naq gjvfgf.

    • Suzannezibar says:


      Nyfb, fcbvyref sbe yvxr…rirelguvat…??? V npghnyyl qb jbaqre ubj zhpu bs na vzcnpg gur F5 svanyr vf tbvat gb unir ba zr, fvapr V xabj ng yrnfg cneg bs jung unccraf.

  89. Ellie says:

    Oh, this episode. I feel like nothing I could say could do it justice. It really is just that good.

    On the Xander front, his lie very well may have saved the world. If Buffy had known Willow was trying the curse again, she may have been just conflicted enough to give Angelus the edge. Yes, ideally she still deserved to know as this was her fight, but we are talking about every single person in the entire world possibly getting sucked into Hell, and Buffy has had difficulty fighting Angelus before. If it had been, say, Cordelia who had lied to Buffy, I couldn’t hold it against the character, because it would’ve just been a pragmatic choice to maximize the odds of everyone not dying.

    But–that’s not what really motivated Xander. He’s hated Angel since “before it was cool” and wants him to die. His lie is a culmination of a very personal disrespect of Buffy’s choices that he’s consistently and loudly expressed since about halfway through season 1. It’s low and mean and makes me hate him. Abg nf zhpu nf V’z tbvat gb ungr uvz sbe gur jnl ur unf gur tnyy gb gerng Ohssl va Qrnq Zna’f Cnegl, gubhtu.

  90. Inseriousity. says:

    "You didn't have a single date in high school, did you?"
    "So? Your point being…"

    lol doesn't even deny it. love you snyder! 😀

    • Bonnie says:

      The funniest part about it is that Joss based that tidbit on himself, cause he never got a single date in high school. So he's not laughing at 'dateless nerds', but at himself, which is… neat.

  91. vermillioncity says:

    Joss Whedon is like the cursed monkey claw from that story. Oh, Mark wants Joyce to know that Buffy's a vampire slayer? OKAY, BUFFY'LL TELL HER AND SHE'LL GET KICKED OUT THE HOUSE.
    Hold on, did you say you wanted Jenny back? SURE, LET'S USE HER TO TORTURE GILES SOME MORE.
    Did people want Angel to get his soul back? LET'S GIVE IT HIM AT THE LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT BEFORE WE SEND HIM TO HELL.


  92. I forgot to add this. Not spamming I swear. Here is Sherlock and John as puppies!!

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  93. 00guera00 says:

    The problem I have with Xander is that he has next to no empathy. It's like he can't put himself in anybody else's shoes. And he tends to make decisions based on how he feels rather than take into consideration that others may feel radically differently. I don't think he's malicious, just…road to hell, intentions and whatnot :\

    Joyce. It's hard to think about the whole 'reveal' scene because it hits to close to home (bar bs gur ernfbaf V jvyy abg jngpu Qrnq Zna'f Cnegl rire ntnva, vg vf ol sne, gur rcvfbqr V ungr gur zbfg, juvpu V znl enag nobhg jura gur gvzr pbzrf, jr'yy frr ubj gung qnl tbrf) I get that it's quite a lot to take in, that the supernatural is real, your daughter is the slayer, the world may end soon, but that ultimatum? Uh, NO. Words mean things, and you can say you're sorry and things can be forgiven, but certain words cut so far deep that they set up house in your brain and it's really hard to evict them. "Don't ever come back" is one such phrase. TMI time, my father once looked me dead in the eye and told me I wasn't his daughter anymore. And up until this point, I had practically been Daddy's Girl. It doesn't matter who was at fault (both of us) it doesn't matter that we've both moved past it and have a good relationship now, or that I love the man to pieces, to this day, those words still hurt.

    (vg qbrfa'g uryc zl bcvavba bs Wblpr gung fur tbrf ba gb oynzr Tvyrf sbe Ohssl yrnivat va gur arkg? rcvfbqr. Be ure jubyr nggvghqr va Qrnq Zna'f Cnegl. Gubhtu gb or snve, gur bayl punenpgre V yvxrq ng gur raq bs QZC jnf Tvyrf. V guvax vg'f gur bayl rcvfbqr V'ir rire unq gur hetr gb fync Jvyybj…)

  94. SnarkyWriter says:

    Sarah McLachlan + SMG's destroyed look = ALL THE CREYS

  95. Rayne says:

    Did you notice the "Close your eyes" sort of serves as bookends for Becoming? Darla said it to Angel at the beginning of Becoming Part 1 just before she turned him into a vampire. And then of course Buffy said it at the end of Becoming Part 2 just before she sent him to hell. *sob*

    Somehow I doubt Angel will be closing his eyes again if someone tells him to!

  96. Rebcake says:

    Our hearts are broken, but there was so much to love.

    "Hello, Cutie." And then he goes on to quote "Tipperary"! Where are all the Spike/WWI fics?

    "Have you tried not being the Slayer?" Oh, Joyce. You are blindsided, for sure, but listen to yourself. (There's a silver lining to the horribleness, though. When we watch this episode with our grubs, we can point to Joyce and say, "She was frustrated, but she didn't mean it. If I ever get frustrated and say something like that, I won't mean it, either." This saves future generations of Slayers (and other oddballs) grief. *nods*)

    Giles is sooooo virile! Torture him and he just gets more amazing. Drusilla has done a lot of damage in these last two episodes, now that we know about her mind-control powers. *shivers*

    Oz! Cordelia! Willow! Stepping up and doing their duty, even when it's scary as all heck.

    Sword fight! Woo!

    "Me." 'Nuf said.

    "Close your eyes." Hey, remember when Darla said, "Close your eyes" in the last episode, right before she vamped Angel? Coincidence? I think not. Also, with Buffy telling her mother to open her eyes, we've got a lot of the whole facing/not facing reality thing going on here. And yet, harsh reality always wins. 🙁

    Still: Best. Season. Finale. Ever.

  97. VicarPants says:

    Spike and Joyce need to have their own chat show. That is all.

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