Season 5, Episode 14
Original airing: 2/13/2001
My Rating: 72
The Good: I know Spike is evil, but I can’t help being sucked in by his attraction to Buffy. And I can’t help feeling a little sorry for him, even as he stalks her. Is it just because he’s so cute? Probably. But I think a small part of it is actually the writers successfully turning his character into one who really walks in a moral gray area. I can’t completely hate him because he is no longer a complete monster.
I love seeing him interact with Dawn in this episode. He’s less than pleased to learn she’s completely not scared of him. Yet he does seem to kind of enjoy her company, if only because of her connection to Buffy. Dawn and Spike’s relationship is really interesting and they play off of each other really well. I love the little moment of concern during the story telling when he asks Dawn if he’s gone too far.
His request for Harmony to dress up like a Slayer during their sex game was pretty interesting too. On a core level, it’s a very disturbing thing to do. Not only is he asking her to act as a Slayer, he’s dressed her in Buffy’s actual clothes. It’s a cruel thing to do to a clueless Harmony, who seems to genuinely care for Spike.
And yet, there’s almost an innocence to Spike’s crush on Buffy. His acting endures him to me because it really feels like this is his first discovery of love. He expresses so much confusion and wonder that reminds me of my first crush. It’s very well done.
I liked Drusilla’s return. It aligns well with the Angel storyline, which is quickly hinted at in the episode. Darla has been brought back into the fold, Angel is in the works, and Drusilla wants Spike back too. She’s her usual creepy, quirky self and I love the chance this gives Spike to really tread that line of morality. His moment in the Bronze where he’s holding the girl’s body but not drinking really speaks to the confusion and loss he’s been feeling since the chip was installed and his entire universe was turned upside down.
I really, really liked Spike’s speech to Buffy about how much he’s in love with her. It reminds me of the poet he used to be and the life he called mediocre. And yet, that’s what he turns to in his attempts to express himself.
And I really liked the very last moments as Spike finds himself shut out of Buffy’s home. Spike pointed out to Riley in an earlier episode that no one had revoked his invitation and it obviously never crossed his mind that they would. The hurt look on his face actually made my heart break a little.
The Bad: My only complaint in this episode is how Drusilla and Harmony both walk away. One could argue that Harmony isn’t really a threat (when has she succeeded at doing anything?), but Drusilla is legit insane and full on evil. To let her walk away is just crazy on Buffy’s part.
Favorite Moment: I love Spike’s final line of his speech to Buffy. “I’m drowning in you, Summers. I’m drowning in you.” It’s so beautiful and a perfect reflection of how Spike probably feels. I can’t even imagine falling in love with some who is so much of an anti-thesis to my entire core. A vampire without a soul in love with a Slayer is pretty ridiculous. I think Spike conveys that very well.
The Bottom Line: I really like this episode. Kudos to the writers for making me care about a blood sucking, soulless vampire