What if their problems are all weird and tricky?

Help (Rebecca Rand Kirshner)

Season 7 is now 3 for 4 which isn’t bad, I suppose. This strongly reminded me of “Reptile Boy” from way, way back. However, it was better than “Reptile Boy” even if it was relatively predictable until Cassie’s death which was totally unexpected and yet satisfying. Buffy cannot help everybody. Actually, that theme may have been touched upon before. Maybe in S5. Oh, anyway, I enjoyed this rehash of old stories and themes with added Amanda (“and I slammed his stupid-ass insecure face right into the pavement”).


Obviously there is still that elephant in the room. Maybe Xander might have mentioned Tara to Willow as they were walking to her grave? Maybe.

It's as if they can't say her name.

It's as if they can't say her name.

Buffy knows an awful lot about the Foreign Legion.

“Have you Googled her yet?”

“Look, all I’m saying is that this is normal teen stuff. You join chat rooms, you write poetry, you post Doogie Howser fan-fic. It’s all normal, right?” – who knew Alyson and Neil would be together in a Friends type environment?

I'm over you now, sweetie.

I'm over you now, sweetie.

When is Cassie’s dad going to sue Sunnydale High, Buffy’s employer?

We lasted such a long time without Spike in this episode. No Anya at all.

I love it when Buffy catches the bolt (that is some booby trap) and then Cassie dies.


Azura Skye totally looks like…

I got so much strength, I’m giving it away

Same Time, Same Place (Jane Espenson)

Buffy - Same Time Same Place - airport clock

This is more like the Buffy I love. It felt like an old fashioned earlier episode in which valuable lessons are learned and wrapped up in an interesting MOTW with the bonus of Gnarl being really nasty looking and really nasty behaving. Moreover, it is no coincidence that it was a Willow-centric episode in which Alyson Hannigan gets to play sweet, lost, perturbed, vulnerable, confused and adorable, and that is what she does brilliantly.

buffy - same time same place - willow at the window

The funniest part of this was Dawn falling off the sofa with a squeal. Poseable Dawn was a treat even if people should have cared a tiny bit more.

same time same place - posable dawn-anya-buffy

Buffy’s total lack of concern over Dawn’s paralysis make me think of the lack of concern over Xander’s syphilis in “Pangs”. Both episodes were written by Jane Espenson…

There was evidence of the episode being cut (or a lack of concern about continuity) when Buffy and co appeared in the cave just like that despite the fact they had previously blocked it up.

buffy same time same place - anya-and-willow

I liked Anya interactions with Willow. I liked her telling Willow she was the one responsible for the mayhem.

I love Jane’s dialogue here:

Oh, at the new high school, probably. Everyone’s all about the high school. Buffy’s got some kind of job there helping junior deviants, Spike’s insane in the basement, Xander’s there doing construction on the new gym—

Wait, Spike’s what in the whatment?

Insane. Base. Xander does construction. He likes to start early, so he’s probably there by now.

And here:

This isn’t going to get all sexy, is it?

I’d be shocked. OK, do you have your powder?

Oh, I ate that. I have it.

And here:

I don’t know. Sounds pretty thin to me.

Well, that’s why you teleport over there real quick like a bunn—real quick and, uh, see if I’m right.

No. Sorry. You damaged my carpet.

Anya, you’re a vengeance demon. Just teleport!

…because that bunny reference is just for the fanatics.

Unfortunately, Anya doing spells with Willow highlighted the loss of Tara. The Scoobies conversation at the airport would have been a good moment to mention Tara. So far we have had no dialogue that mentions her by name and no other character (apart from Willow) has alluded to her at all. Not that I am obsessed in noticing this or anything.

same time same place -buffy-and-willow

Nobody should be at be worried that Willow made her friends go away by  “just by thinking it”, should they?

From beneath you, it devours

Beneath You (Douglas Petrie)


For some people the last five minutes of this are some of the best minutes of Buffy ever. For others, they might have been some of the most interminable. Apparently the scene was written by Joss Whedon himself.

I’m struggling to find much to say about this episode.

I like DB Woodside as Principal Wood. He’s handsome and appealing.


I like Emma Caulfield and she makes Anya, the unrepentant vengeance demon, far more likeable than she should be. She was the highlight of this episode particularly when she realises the truth about Spike.

And how much better would the scene at the end have been if we hadn’t known about Spike’s soul?


This is the one that begins with a homage to an early episode of Alias which itself was a homage to Run Lola Run. Dollhouse played Beck’s cover of “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” which itself was used at the end of the similarly themed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Nothing original there, is there?

And stay away from hyena people, or any lizard-type athletes, you know, or if you see anyone that’s invisible.

Lessons” (Joss Whedon)

Lessons - Buffy in the toilets

I turned to Andy at the end of this and said “here’s hoping the rest of the season is as good as this”.

My heart sunk when Spike appeared because insane characters don’t entertain me at all.

…I only tolerated Tara in S5 because, you know, Amber Benson.

…and River because, you know, Summer Glau (and because I had seen Serenity first).

…okay, I lied.

…maybe it’s because Spike and Dru don’t entertain me.

…okay, maybe it is just my low Spike tolerance.

I’m not buying that anyone could think that Buffy was Dawn’s mother but it was funny and Michelle Trachtenberg was sweet without being patronising.

Who’s got the power?
He does.
Never forget it. Doesn’t matter how well prepped you are or how well armed you are. You’re a little girl.
Little woman
I’m taller than you.

Often Hollywood can’t fake England without it looking like Random Harvest so it was fun seeing genuine English locations.

The lesser spotted mobil phone
The lesser spotted mobile phone

It’s sad that Xander has moved on to wearing a suit and driving a snazzy car while Anya has coffee while seated on uncomfortable stools with her only friend listening to a drippy duo. I’m sure this is a point that could be developed further.


It was nice having some quippy vampire dusting in the pre-credits sequence and it was nice to have a MOTW episode after the a stretch of breathless arc-y stuff at the end of S6. And you can’t beat a “duck” joke.


The ending with Spike being tormented by Warren, Glory, Adam, The Mayor, Drusilla, The Master and Buffy was a handy S7 mission statement:

And that’s where we’re going…right back to the beginning. Not the Bang. Not the Word. The true beginning. The next few months are going to be quite a ride. And I think we’re all going to learn something about ourselves in the process. You’ll learn you’re a pathetic schmuck, if it hasn’t sunk in already. Look at you. Trying to do what’s right, just like her. You still don’t get it. It’s not about right, not about wrong…it’s about power.

[Spoiler: Dru touches Spike but I remembered that the First couldn’t touch anyone or is it different for vampires?]