Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Episode Report Card
Ace: B | 5 USERS: A+

We see a record on a turntable and hear Cream's "Brave Ulysses," the song Joyce and Giles listened to in "Band Candy." Giles, in a wine-colored shirt, eases himself into a chair and sips his drink. His face wears a stunned expression.

Spike leads Dawn down a Sunnydale street, expositioning that he's taking her to an expert in resurrection spells. Dawn accuses him of helping her to "get in good" with Buffy, but Spike is vehement that Buffy should never hear of his involvement with the spell. Um, Spike? Buffy's bound to notice when her mother isn't DEAD anymore! How long do you think a fourteen-year-old could keep a secret under those circumstances? When Dawn wants to know why Spike is helping, he hangs his head and admits, "I just don't like to see Summers women take it so hard on the chin is all." Nice sentiment, but I'm not sure resurrecting corpses is the proper way to deal with that emotion. Spike threatens Dawn that she'll "end up in the ground" if she tells Buffy anything.

Glory flounces down a staircase in her apartment, trailed by two bumpy minions, So-Not Dreg and Nowhere-Near Dreg. Glory is ranting about Not-Dreg's failure to return. Yawp, yawp, yawp -- you know the drill. Two more bumpy minions burst in the door, supporting Not-Dreg between them. They rush him over to a delightfully tacky chair upholstered in crushed pink velvet and dump him. Glory wants to know if the Slayer was responsible, but Not-Dreg reveals that he was stabbed by Ben. This causes Glory to have a hissyfit and pull out handfuls of her hair. Shah, what a drama queen -- or perhaps "drama goddess" would be more appropriate. Luckily for Glory's raspy curly tresses, Not-Dreg interrupts to gasp out that Ben slipped up and told him the Key is a human. Glory is very excited and refers to Not-Dreg as a "robed stud," a phrase which is still turning up in my nightmares a week later. She burbles on, and when Not-Dreg finally croaks, she demands, "Get him fixed, would ya? I want to hear the whole story again, without all that annoying moaning." Are the bumpy minions fixable in the event of death? And what ever happened to the "we are legion" Knights of Borezantium? Did they lose their bus tickets? Stop for refreshments? Get sidetracked at Disneyland? Well, jot those down on my ever-growing list of "questions that will never be answered." In case you were curious, number one on the list is "Does anyone on this show kill vampires anymore?"

We're inside a dumpy house with most of the surfaces covered in stacks of books and paperwork. A black cat meows and runs away as Spike and Dawn open the front door and enter slowly. Dawn makes a disparaging remark about the place smelling like "grandpa," and Spike calls out to a figure we can see in another room. The figure, an older man wearing a bathrobe over his clothes, puts on his glasses and joins Spike and Dawn in the living room. He claims to know Spike as a guy who "hangs around down at the corner mart. Big into dominoes." Spike denies he's that guy, and Doc (for that is his name) chuckles affably and continues, "I mean, I'd swear you were that guy, I mean, your hair's a different color and you're a vampire but other than that..." He trails off, looking very confused; Dawn suggests leaving. Doc assures them that he still has "juice," and asks what they want. Spike explains about Joyce dying, and Doc offers his condolences. Spike says they're there to see "what's to be done about it," but Doc seems distressed by them wanting to raise Joyce. He tells them he'll give Dawn tonics to cure her grieving instead, and then asks if either of them are witches. Dawn and Spike just stand silently, and suddenly Doc yanks a strand of hair from Dawn's head. As she gasps in confusion, Doc takes the hair and holds it up to a lamp, claiming that he can tell her mother has strong DNA. Doc then begins puttering around the apartment, humming "Peter's Theme" from Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf." Did you know you can get a version of "Peter and the Wolf" narrated by David Bowie? Tempting. As Doc looks through a pile on the mantle, Dawn spots a lizard-like tail poking out of the back of his bathrobe. She turns to see if Spike has noticed, but he's busy lighting a smoke, and when she turns back to Doc the tail has been hidden again. Doc locates a large tome; giving Spike and Dawn a conspiratorial look, he shuffles over to a table, still humming. They follow, and Dawn says she has a spell but doesn't understand it. Doc tells her that she was missing a translation that explained about the Ghora demon. Apparently, the Ghora are local demons who live on the Hellmouth, and Dawn needs an egg from them to complete the spell. Dawn wants to know if she can purchase an egg, but Doc tartly explains that of course it's not that easy. He then informs her that she'll need an image of her mother, and gives her an incantation to say three times. He fixes her with his brown eyes and smiles, "It will take a while, but she will come to you." He continues that the spell can be reversed by destroying the image of Joyce. Then we get into the creepy territory, and the hair on the back of my neck begins to rise as he says that sometimes with these spells, "things get a little off." Oh man, I really don't want to see "off," zombie Joyce. Dawn seeks reassurance that the reanimated corpse will still be her mother, and Doc offers, "More or less." Dawn looks queasy at that, as do I. I can't believe she's going through with the spell after being told she'll only bring back her mother "more or less." I'd be worried about both the less and the more, y'know? Doc then tells them where to locate the Ghora demon, and Dawn tries to offer him money as they leave. He smiles gently and tells her to keep the money; he then removes his glasses and shakes her hand, asking her to keep in touch. The sentiment seems nice, if a little creepy, but then we hear a little growl and his eyes go totally black. Dawn jerks her hand back, but again Spike has not noticed anything amiss. They leave, and Doc looks thoughtful.

Spike and Dawn locate the entrance to the Ghora's lair where Doc said it would be. Spike plays the protector, telling Dawn he'll get the egg himself, but Dawn insists on accompanying him. She tromps into the sewer, demanding, "C'mon," and Spike snarks, "Well, what do you know? Bitty Buffy." The Ghora appears to be a large dragon-like animal that turns out to have three heads when Spike wakes it. What follows is a disorienting fight scene made up of extreme close-ups and quick cuts. This is the director's attempt to disguise shoddy special effects and the general ridiculousness of a one smallish man fighting a massive three-headed dragon. The director's not fooling me any, but he is making me a little oogy with all the quick cuts. As Spike fights the Ghora, Dawn grabs one of the eggs (the polka-dotted shell leading me to believe that the prop guy borrowed them from Dino over on the set of the The Flintstones Go Straight to Video). As they escape, she drops the egg and smushes its glowy blue contents all over the tunnel. Spike attempts to get her to leave, but then rushes back to attack the Ghora again so she can grab another egg. Let's wrap this up, shall we? Dawn gets the egg, the Ghora chomps into Spike's side, but they get away in the end. But of course, we didn't expect anything different.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer




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