Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Once More, With Feeling

Episode Report Card
Sep: A | 24 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Once More, With Feeling
Sep: Actually, I'm kinda worried it's not a schtick with some of those guys. I'm betting that halfway through this season, half the staff is gonna end up in Mighty Big Rehab.
Ace: (concerned bystander voice) "We all thought it was just fun and games until Keckler fell down the stairs."

Buffy doesn't take the hint, however, and just stays planted where she is. Oops -- seems that Spike is not immune after all, and he's been trying to get Buffy to leave before he too breaks into song. "I died so many years ago / But you can make me feel / Like it isn't so," he croons, and then shakes his head in frustration at being forced to share his feelings this way. Looking very sultry and lit in the very best cheekbone-emphasizing light, he tells her (in song of course) that he knows she only comes to see him because she's afraid to tell her friends about where she spent her death. "Whisper in a dead man's ear / It doesn't make it real." Buffy purses her lips and rolls her eyes, but she doesn't make any sort of verbal protest. She looks away, and Spike heaves himself up on a tomb, telling her that since she only thinks of him as dead, he wants her to stay away from him. He sings lying on his back and then crosses his arms over his chest. That's kinda dorky. I'm not really fond of this number. There are some good lines, but overall the staging is really cheesy and the song doesn't play to James Marsters's vocal strengths at all. I think it should have been a much more punky song with a more raucous chorus. More like the "I hope she fries" lines that Spike delivers near the end of the episode, which come off much more successfully than this entire song. "Let me rest in peace, / Let me get some sleep," he sings, then advances on Buffy angrily. "I can lay my body down / But I can't find my sweet release." Is this another naughty song? This is the night of heavy-breathing symbolism.

Buffy tries to leave, but Spike steps between her and the door and drops to his knees before her. "You know that you got a willing slave." His eyes do a slow, appreciative crawl down her torso. "And you just love to play the thought like you might misbehave." Buffy rolls her eyes again. I'm not convinced that he's actually bugging you, hon. He rises to his feet, demanding that she stop "visiting his grave," and I for one am happy that the show is again admitting that Spike's a walking dead man. He flings the door open. Next scene -- the two of them walk slowly through the graveyard as a funeral passes in front of them. I know, I know, a funeral at night? But I've got it figured out -- it's a demon funeral! Demons who look very human and have their own special reasons for burying at night that they don't, mercifully, tell us about in song. Joss missed an opportunity to include another musical cliché here, though. He could have the funeral in the daytime with Spike dancing around outside, holding an umbrella. Spike croons that his love for Buffy hurts him: "If my heart could beat / It would break my chest!" ("It would break my chest" sounds really good, so I know Marsters was up to better material.) Buffy's just giving him a sour glare, so he once again tells her to let him, you know, R.I.P. Then, in front of a painfully obvious blue screen, he morphs into his game face. At first, when I saw this total cock-up on the part of the special effects team, I thought it would be a tribute to all those Hollywood movie musicals shot in front of blue screen. You know, that the scene would continue like that for awhile. But no, we're immediately back to the location shoot and I'm left with a bad taste in my mouth. Worst effect since Fake the Snake. Spike proceeds to thrash his way through the funeral and has just laid hands on the priest when Buffy grabs him by the shoulder. They both fall into the fresh grave, Buffy on top, and Spike concludes his song: "Why won't you let me rest in peace?" Without a word, Buffy leaps from the grave and races off into the night. "So you're not staying then?" Spike queries her quickly vanishing figure.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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