Season 7, Episode 2
Original airing: 10/1/2002
My Rating: 67
The Good: I like the trend the show is giving us around the murdered girls. These two openings have been intense and interesting and are obviously Slayer related. Bringing it back to the beginning apparently includes Buffy’s prophetic dreams!
It was fun to have a one off character with some spunk to her. Nancy was pretty entertaining and I like her interactions with Xander. I was also quite amused by the scene in the Bronze where Nancy’s presence allowed a bit of who-has-slept-with-who comedy. Xander and Spike’s shared glance at the end was perfect.
I also appreciated Dawn’s moment in this episode. It was nice to see her stand up to Spike in Buffy’s defense. I was curious how she would react to Spike given their previous rather friendly relationship. This made sense given Dawn’s knowledge of the rape attempt and supported Dawn’s growth into a stronger individual.
Anya seems to be waffling. I suspect she’ll be brought back into the Scoobie fold, at least on a part time sense, and she’s displaying a tendency towards that. Last episode, she was told to shape up and do some real damage with her curses. She’s out doing her best, but she also caves to Xander’s puppy eyes in the end. I think this is a good place for her in terms of the show. She’s a demon again and she has her loyalties there, but she can’t completely ignore the three or so years she spent as a human.
Finally, I really liked Spike and Buffy’s interactions. It’s interesting as a viewer to see Buffy off balance. And Spike’s sudden sanity and straight forward acknowledgement of his wrongs puts her in a place of true confusion. The final scene is so heart breaking and Sarah Michelle Gellar displays it all. She’s prepared to kill Spike if she must, but her realization about his soul shocks her to her core. I can’t help but wonder what she’s thinking.
The Bad: Nothing stood out to me as particularly terrible in this episode, except for a few of the special effects concerning Ronnie the Worm Demon. But I won’t let something like that dampen my enjoyment of this episode.
The Unknown: I don’t know what to make of Spike at this point. The first scene in this episode seems to indicate something turned him from crazy to sane and then perhaps he went crazy again? Or was it an act of will?
Willow’s return is also a puzzle. I expect things will work out in the end amongst all the Scoobies, but I am intrigued to see how the show will get from A to B.
Favorite Moment: I really liked how the scene in the street was presented for Buffy and Spike. It felt very true to the characters and their past relationship for both of them to just lay it all out there in the conversation. Buffy bluntly tells Spike she’ll never forgive or trust him due to the rape and he accepts that. But she also believes him when he says he’s changed. I wish characters would have these kinds of conversations more often. It’s quite refreshing and suited the situation well.
The Bottom Line: I really enjoyed this episode throughout. I was entertained and engaged, which has been lacking in the last season. It feels like there is purpose so far to Season Seven with the flow of the stories and the inexplicable endings to both episodes. I can’t wait to see the next one.