Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | January 28, 2013

Cordia’s Review: S5, E18 – Intervention

Cordia’s Second Look
Season 5, Episode 18
Original airing: 4/24/2001

My Rating: 74

The Good: I really enjoy this episode for the character study it gives of Spike. He’s such a unique creation for a TV show and the writers really spend some time delving into his psyche here. The creation of the Buffy-bot allows the viewers to see that Spike’s love is real, if completely unhealthy.

Spike’s interactions with the Buffy-bot show just how much he gets lost in his fantasy. He really is in love with Buffy, and for various reasons. But most of them are a reflection of himself and that shows the core of his obsession. He wants her to yield before him, he wants her to see him as the Big Bad, he wants to pump himself up via her. His feelings have little to do with Buffy herself and almost everything to do with her effect on Spike.

The episode shows this really well with the last scene when Spike explains he didn’t tell Glory anything because it would hurt him to watch Buffy in pain.

But despite his selfish reasons, it’s still easy to feel for him when he withstands torture from Glory to protect Dawn’s identity. The makeup and his lurching motions showcase very well how effected he is physically by the experience. Even Xander mentions how bad Spike looks and how sad it is to see him brought low by loneliness. Vampires are demon/human hybrids and can feel emotions. So I think it’s nice to see people recognizing that a little bit.

The Buffy-bot was a great way to play with that loneliness. She was a lot of fun and really entertaining while also putting Spike in a sad and scary light. Anyone who could make a robot of another person and treat it truly as a play thing has some twisted thoughts. But it certainly made for entertaining TV.

The Bad: The bad part about all this Spike development is how stupid it makes Buffy look at the end. The show does a great job of making Spike complicated and humanizing him through his loneliness and determination, but we also know he has the demon nature. He is obsessive and violent. And yet, Buffy kisses him. Obviously, a kiss can be platonic and a thank you, but I can’t see any way that Buffy would expect Spike to interpret it in that manner. She’s been doing everything she can to dissuade him since he revealed his feelings, and then she kisses him. It’s a really stupid move on her part.

The Unknown: I’m very curious to see where the Dawn storyline is going. On the surface, stealing the earrings seems like a cry for attention after the death of Joyce, but Dawn’s deliberate nature about it makes it seem like she truly doesn’t want to get caught.

The other big question of the episode is Buffy’s conversation with the First Slayer. I love the affirmations that Buffy is a loving person and nothing will really change that. It’s something we knew as an audience, but it definitely makes sense that Buffy would lose sight of her ability to love. The really interesting part, of course, is the idea that Buffy’s gift is death. Her rejection of that statement is powerful and true, but it obviously means more than the surface level. Why make a big deal out of it if it’s just to say she’s the Slayer?

Favorite Moment: The moment when Spike is forced out of his Buffy-bot fantasy by Buffy-bot herself is wonderfully done. She’s saying all the right things while they cuddle on the floor, until she asks if he wants her to restart the program. Spike’s insistence that there is no program and that she should just be Buffy shows how lost he is to his desires. It makes him appear sweet and utterly sad at the same time.

The Bottom Line: This is a great episode for Spike and really showcases his complex character. And it really allowed Sarah Michelle Gellar to shine with her dual comedic and dramatic roles. It’s very enjoyable, but I can’t look past the illogical nature of the kiss at the end to give this a higher score.



  1. Hey guys. I was just listening to the podcast for Intervention when I heard you talking in feedback about how you could see Willow experimenting with resurrection. You were responding to a listeners comment on how differently Willow and Tera reacted to Dawn’s request. Do you really think Willow would do it? What about Dead Man’s Party and The Zeppo…and the one where the dead football player needs a girlfriend? Those are all resurrection scenarios. Why would bringing Joyce back wouldn’t be any different? And why do you think Willow would take that risk?

    I was also wondering why everyone is so shocked by a vampire in the morgue in The Body. I get that the timing isn’t great, but that’s not an unusual place to find one. Buffy has been to the morgue looking for vamps before. Specifically in Don’t kill a boy on the first date when she was looking for the anointed one. I imagine that’s not the only time.

    Love love love the podcast!!! Thanks for all the time you guys put in 🙂

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