Buffy 5×18: Intervention

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Jane Espenson | Director: Michael Gershman | Aired: 04/24/2001]

In a nutshell, “Intervention” is set up to be an all out laugh-fest and while it is very funny, there’s also a surprising amount of substance present as well. With that said, however, it’s also got some problems which is honestly a shame. I really want to give “Intervention” a better score, but one thing in particular is holding me back: how the Scoobies react to the BuffyBot. This is a significant flaw and represents a rare time when characters are acting, well, out of character and is something I’ll go into more in a bit. Besides that and some other smaller issues, this is a winner. From much more self discovery by Buffy to Spike going all the way for Buffy to just the overall humor, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. “Intervention” has both big character revelance and big laughs while still managing to keep a little dark undertone that hints of what’s to come.

The opening scene between Buffy and Giles really captures the main point of the episode. We see Giles keeping frequent checks on how Buffy is doing and gets Buffy to admit things are a bit better now that her and Dawn have found a routine. In times of tragedy, routine is always a great way to help temporarily lose some of the pain of loss. But when Giles asks Buffy about starting up her training again there’s much hesitation–there’s just too much on her mind and she isn’t ready yet.

This leads to her coming out with her ultimate worry and verbalizes it by saying, “I’m starting to feel like being the Slayer is turning me into stone.” This gets her spilling her entire case (which she’s obviously been thinking a lot about) to Giles. Riley’s departure plays heavily into her consideration and says, “Just think about it. I was never there for Riley. Not like I was for Angel. I was terrible to Dawn … Riley left because I was shut down. He’s gone. And now my mom is gone, and I loved her more than anything. And I don’t know if she knew … To slay, to kill. It means being hard on the inside. Maybe being the perfect Slayer means being too hard to love at all.” This is a fantasic question from Buffy, and one which is answered later in the episode but not at all understood until “The Gift” [5×22] . The questions brought up here reverberate throughout the entire four-part finale.

All this talk leads Giles to help Buffy embark on the Spirit Quest, which in presentation at least is fairly cliche and bland. It makes up for this by providing a chilling piece of unique meaning for Buffy and linking itself thematically with Buffy’s dream in “Restless” [4×22] , of which she even remembers herself. Remember “You think you what’s to come? You haven’t even begun.?” Well, she’s been learning all season and will finally know what all this adds up to in “The Gift” [5×22] . The appearance of what looks like the First Slayer tightens this connection even more. The Spirit Guide tells Buffy some intriguing and haunting stuff when she asks it “What about love. Not just boyfriend love.”

But what does it all mean? Well, Buffy’s understably quite confused about the response she gets, so I’ll help explain with my mystical retrospective abilities. The Guide tells her “love is pain and the Slayer forges strength from pain.” This is something Buffy should already know through her experiences being the Slayer. Big life-changing experiences such as the events of, but not limited to: “Prophecy Girl” [1×12] , “Innocence” [2×14] , “Becoming Pt. 2” [2×22] , “The Prom” [3×20] , “The Harsh Light of Day” [4×03] , “Into the Woods” [5×10] , and “The Body” [5×16] . The pain Buffy has been through has made her a tremendously stronger person than she was in the beginning of the series; a much more experienced, intelligent, mature, and stronger person.

This is why the Spirit Guide (SG, not to be confused with Security Group, which only I would do so just ignore me) tells her “You are full of love. You love with all your soul. It’s brighter than the fire, blinding. That’s why you pull away from it.” Buffy responds, “I’m full of love? I’m not losing it?” The SG comes back, “Only if you reject it … Love. Give. Forgive. Risk the pain. It is your nature. For it will bring you to your gift.” It’s at this point when Buffy understably completely misses the point. She says, “Okay, no. Death is not a gift. My mother just died, I know this. If I have to kill demons because it makes the world a better place, then I kill demons. But it’s not a gift to anybody.” As we know, the SG meant that her death in the aptly named “The Gift” [5×22] is is her gift–a gift of pure love to the world, all her friends, and family, specifically Dawn.

The SG also tells her three vital words: love, give, and forgive, which already has an affect on her by the end of this episode, but an even bigger one in the finale. This is very heavy thematic development and it rounds out Buffy’s season-long exploration of what it means to be the Slayer, even though she doesn’t fully know it until “The Gift” [5×22] . Amazing writing here, just amazing. This is a huge chunk of foreshadowy goodness. One change Buffy makes right away is in her attitude to Spike after what he does for her and Dawn. So then lets talk about Spike!

Ah, Spike and the BuffyBot: short lived and surprisingly hilarious. I just can’t help but be amused by SMG’s chipper acting of the BuffyBot, which I’d think she probably loved playing in contrast to all the sad stuff happening. The BuffyBot is simply the pure embodiment of what Spike wants from the real, “not so pleasant,” Buffy even though it’s obvious the bot is a poor substitution that I bet even Spike would bore of fairly quickly. Like Warren before him, Spike doesn’t just want a sex toy (although Spike doesn’t necessarily want “the perfect girl” either), he wants something that emulates the real thing: “She looks good, but what about the rest? A little walk, a little talk… perhaps a zippy cartwheel…” He even has her programmed to slay vampires! Of particular interest in some of the dialogue they share. The BuffyBot says, “You’re evil … It excites me. It terrifies me. I try so hard to resist you, and I can’t.” Spike replies, “You know I can’t bite you.” The BuffyBot comes back, “I think you can. I think you can if I let you. And I want to let you. I want you to bite me and devour me until there’s no more.”

There’s a lot going on here. Spike wants something that’s afraid of him just a bit, but that revels in that fear and lets it sexually excite them. Curiously, he also wants to feel that exact same way. When the BuffyBot hops on top of him, tears his shirt off, and puts a stake outside his heart, he’s getting off on the fear. All this tells me is that he wants a mate that is an equal to him–someone that can stand up to him and fight back, both with words and physical strength. He doesn’t want Harmony, who is weak, annoying, and far too accomodating. As he says in “Crush” [5×14] , he wants “Heat. Desire.” This is why the BuffyBot is programmed the way it is and isn’t just a helpless sex bot–heck, that was Harmony. Spike wants “no programs. Just be Buffy.”

Buffy’s situation and Spike’s situation line up at the end of the episode. Spike lets himself be tortured and beat to such a bloody pulp that even Xander has sympathy for him, and that’s saying a lot. When Buffy, dressed up as the BuffyBot, confronts him on whether or not he told Glory about the Key she discovers that he truthfully did not and would have died with that knowledge. With Buffy learning from the SG earlier to “Love. Give. Forgive,” she gives Spike that nugget of hope he wanted in “Crush” [5×14] , only here he genuinely deserves it. Buffy, the real Buffy, kisses Spike as gratitude for his heroic behavior. It’s telling that Spike can recognize almost immediate that this is not the BuffyBot, but the real thing. Buffy nails it when she tells him, ” The robot is gone. The robot was gross and obscene … That thing… it wasn’t even real… What you did, for me and Dawn… that was real. I won’t forget it.” Wow!

Moving onto the plot front, we find out that apparently Ben is getting stronger, which thankfully helps explain why Glory hasn’t been appearing as much. Glory’s four episode absence is still too much after what the Scoobies did to her in “Blood Ties” [5×13] . It seems really odd to me that Glory would just be putting together the pieces now and not much ealier. I have to say that this is one of the season’s few problems.

As for the rest of this episode, though, we get Dawn stealing a necklace from friends, which is kind of silly for her age. The one biggest thing that bothered me in the entire thing and what robs it of some good pointage is Willow’s initial chat with the BuffyBot. It quickly becomes unbelievably obvious that what Willow is talking to is not really Buffy. The same group that got together and unanimously agreed “robot” with the AprilBot is completely dumbfounded by the BuffyBot. That unfortunately reeks of poor writing, as much as I hate to say it. This problem alone costed the episode 5, maybe 10 points. Aside from the one glaring flaw, “Intervention” is an excellent episode that really caps Buffy’s season-long journey, furthers the plot arc of the season, and moves Buffy and Spike’s relationship into an entirely new realm. Overall I’m an extremely happy camper and really wish I could have graded it higher. Regardless, let the four-part finale commence!

 


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ Giles is cooking for Buffy and Dawn!
+ How quickly Spike is pleased by the BuffyBot. “She’ll do.”
+ Giles’ hokey pokey ritual in the desert. “And that’s what it’s all about.” Hilarious.
+ Xander and Anya catching what they think is Buffy having sex with Spike.
+ Glory’s minions think Spike is the Key. haha.
+ The Bob Barker lines. What make them so funny is that that Glory and all her minions know who he is.

– Clunky, sluggish, and overall unimpressive fight scene at Glory’s mansion.


Foreshadowing

* The spirit guide tells Buffy, “love will bring you to your gift” and that “death is your gift.” Both of these phrases play heavily in the upcoming episodes, but especially in “The Gift” [5×22].


[Score]

85/100

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84 thoughts on “Buffy 5×18: Intervention”

  1. [Note: misplacedsanity posted this comment on January 13, 2007.]

    I understand your issues with the Scoobies reaction to the Buffybot, but I see it as necessary plot-device in order to facilitate the comedy gold that follows. I know its not true to form, but I’ll forgive them almost anything that will allow the line “The who whatting how with huh?”

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  2. [Note: Dingdongalistic posted this comment on January 13, 2007.]

    I have to agree with your comment that the characterisation is sometimes surprisingly sloppy in the episode. That’s partly why I’ve always felt that it is very overrated. It’s nice for a bit of light relief, and the insights into Buffy’s character is great, as well as the Buffybot’s visual image (The line “gay: 2000-present” never fails to amuse me), but it really isn’t up to the standard of the episodes around it.

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  3. [Note: Rick posted this comment on January 14, 2007.]

    Jane Espenson writes a lot of eps with great humour and particular moments, but seems to struggle in constructing a solid script in all departments. This is a funny episode, with good pace thematic developments (which I feel might be Joss) and one of my favourite all-time scenes in the seven seasons. (“That was real.” That is fantastic writing, which conveys gratitude in the most respectful and Buffy way possible…it must be Joss too.)

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  4. [Note: AeC posted this comment on January 14, 2007.]

    Just a slight tangent here, but it’s 2007 now. When you keep dating your updates on the main page 2006, it makes me think you’ve been slacking for the past year.

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  5. [Note: Dingdongalistic posted this comment on January 16, 2007.]

    Jane Espenson writes a lot of eps with great humour and particular moments, but seems to struggle in constructing a solid script in all departments. This is a funny episode, with good pace thematic developments (which I feel might be Joss) and one of my favourite all-time scenes in the seven seasons. (“That was real.” That is fantastic writing, which conveys gratitude in the most respectful and Buffy way possible…it must be Joss too.)

    I personally think “Afterlife” is the script in which she manages to be standout in all departments. I think “Intervention” is one which is more flawed in many areas. It’s got some good areas, such as the important scenes for the season, and some mindlessly funny bits, but the characterisation is seriously flawed.

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  6. [Note: Tobias Drake posted this comment on January 18, 2007.]

    I don’t really have any issues with the Scoobies’ reaction to the Buffybot. We can tell automatically that it’s not Buffy because we know there is a Buffybot. They, however, do not know this. The only robot they’ve seen in recent memory (not counting Ted) is the Aprilbot, and for all they know, Warren came to realize why what he had done was wrong and wouldn’t do it again.

    They don’t have any reason to assume Warren would build a robot of Buffy. And they don’t know anyone else who could build a robot of Buffy. Nobody that Buffy knows has the skill to build a robot of Buffy, so as far as they’re concerned, Buffy being a robot isn’t an option at the moment.

    Besideswhich, Buffy’s mom just died. If Buffy’s acting really strange and seems like she’s snapped, there’s good reason for it. There is logical reason to assume that the Buffybot is actually Buffy.

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  7. [Note: Dingdongalistic posted this comment on January 18, 2007.]

    I don’t really have any issues with the Scoobies’ reaction to the Buffybot. We can tell automatically that it’s not Buffy because we know there is a Buffybot. They, however, do not know this. The only robot they’ve seen in recent memory (not counting Ted) is the Aprilbot, and for all they know, Warren came to realize why what he had done was wrong and wouldn’t do it again.

    They don’t have any reason to assume Warren would build a robot of Buffy. And they don’t know anyone else who could build a robot of Buffy. Nobody that Buffy knows has the skill to build a robot of Buffy, so as far as they’re concerned, Buffy being a robot isn’t an option at the moment.

    Besideswhich, Buffy’s mom just died. If Buffy’s acting really strange and seems like she’s snapped, there’s good reason for it. There is logical reason to assume that the Buffybot is actually Buffy.

    Yes, but the point isn’t to do with practical issues such as who would have constructed the Buffybot and whatnot, so much as the fact that they’ve seen a bot only a few episodes back, and Buffybot acts and talks in exactly the same way, and they don’t get it at all. I would understand it if they’d made the connection immediately but dismissed it because of the closer connection to home, but the fact that they could honestly not spot any connection to recent events is absurd.

    Apart from this, the Scoobies have no reason to dismiss Warren, as they’ve never been given any reason to believe that he was trustworthy, and nor were they given any reason to think he wouldn’t do it again.

    It’s right that Buffy is expected to be acting differently to normal, but for them not to see the connection wasn’t a little moronic.

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  8. [Note: Angelus posted this comment on January 19, 2007.]

    “That was real”

    Top 5 moment..hell, top 3 moment in all of the Buffyverse for me. I really loved this episode.

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  9. [Note: greyfable posted this comment on January 19, 2007.]

    I had largely forgotten this episode when I was rewatching season five. I read the plot synopsis and thought I was going to really dislike it, because, I mean, buffy-sex-bot? As effectively as she’s used later, I doubted I would like her introduction.

    But, as it turns out, I really loved it. I agree that some of the characterizations seemed a little awkward, but they were easy to forgive. Because, off as they were, they were fun. And Spike — letting himself get so beat up – gave the episode such a strong emotion core that, well, it could have done anything and I would forgive it.

    That said: much as I loved the revelations of buffy’s quest, it was a bit cheesy (they get points for ackowledging this, though, and with killer dialogue). And its very convenient that they only had to go to the desert just out of town. With the Watchers in England and the first Slayer created — okay, can’t remember, but I assume Africa — Buffy is very lucky they her quest wasn’t on a different continent.

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  10. [Note: Tranquillity posted this comment on February 19, 2007.]

    “The same group that got together and unanimously agreed “robot” with the AprilBot is completely dumbfounded by the BuffyBot. That unfortunately reeks of poor writing, as much as I hate to say it.”

    Sorry, couldn’t disagree more, this is far from poor writing – it’s genius and the whole reason the episode is so funny! It’s an ironic foil to “I was Made To Love You’ and designed to lighten the heavy mood of the previous few episodes but at the same time moving the story forward in a powerful way.

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  11. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on February 19, 2007.]

    So you’re saying that just because the episode is funny that we should just ignore everyone acting OOC? Ummm… no. hehe. Sorry, but I don’t follow you with that one.

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  12. [Note: Tranquillity posted this comment on March 4, 2007.]

    No, its being ironic – not just funny for funnys sake. there is a difference. if they all accepted that bufftbot was a robot straight away then there wouldn’t be a story. the only thing OOC any of them do is not recognise the BB for what it is. willow and xander react as you would expect and demonstrate all their usual character traits in this episode except for that one small thing. Not recognising the BB as a robot is merely symbolic of them feeling alienated from Buffy after she has gone through her mothers death – something they have no experience with. Correct me if i’m wrong but neither Tara or Dawn see the BB prior to her revelation as a robot (do they see her at all? i’ll have to check) and they are the two people who know and understand what buffy is going through. I think it’s a very clever episode but each to his own.

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  13. [Note: Tranquillity posted this comment on April 8, 2007.]

    Irony is a literary or rhetorical device, in which there is a gap or incongruity between what a speaker or a writer says, and what is generally understood. may also arise from a discordance between acts and results, especially if it is striking, and known to a later audience

    I think it is used with great effect in Intervention.

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  14. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on April 8, 2007.]

    Tranquillity, I think it’s a very clever episode too, but I just can’t overlook Willow’s complete stupidity in not recognizing that the ‘Buffy’ talking to her wasn’t really Buffy. It’s just so painfully obvious that Buffy would never actually talk like that. I can buy that the Scoobies feel alienated from Buffy after Joyce’s death and that it might take then a bit longer than usual to notice the odd behavior, but not this alienated. Willow is smarter than this.

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  15. [Note: Latoya posted this comment on May 11, 2007.]

    I completely bought Willow not knowing the Buffybot wasn’t Buffy. She didn’t realize that it was Faith in Buffy’s body in Who are You? even though she was acting very unBuffy.

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  16. [Note: Mez posted this comment on June 30, 2007.]

    I think the Scoobies not realising about the Buffybot is very in character.

    Just to take a few examples from their past:

    They don’t realise that Vamp Willow isn’t Willow.
    They don’t realise that Buffy is actually Faith.
    They don’t realise that Willow and Cordy have been taken over by eggs.

    These people are not known for their powers of observation.

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  17. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on June 30, 2007.]

    Mez, please look at “I Was Made to Love You.” Additionally, the thing that really bugged me is how nobody realized that the BuffyBot wasn’t Buffy until the actual Buffy showed up. With how completely obvious the bot was behaving, especially in her talk to Willow, there’s just no excuse for Willow not to put the very simple pieces together and realize something’s clearly wrong like they just did three episodes ago with the AprilBot. That just boils down to poor writing, as much as you want to convince yourselves otherwise. Imo, naturally. 😉

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  18. [Note: LibMax posted this comment on August 16, 2007.]

    If the proof that the Scoobies are acting out of character in their reactions to the Buffybot is the quick and unanimous conclusion that April is a robot in I Was Made To Love You, let’s remember that April had demonstrated that she wasn’t human by throwing Spike through a window and then throwing Buffy across a room, both without any apparent effort. It was only when April had demonstrated that she wasn’t what she appeared to be that they decided she was a robot. The Buffybot looked exactly like Buffy and hadn’t done anything that Buffy couldn’t do. Plus all the Scoobies were half-expecting Buffy to start doing crazy stuff anyway, because of her loss. It boils down to people seeing what they expect to see, which is universal human nature and not any particular sign of stupidity.

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  19. [Note: Joan posted this comment on October 18, 2007.]

    The Scoobies failure to recognize the Bot *is* overdrawn, but it serves two purposes. As others have said, it’s necessary for the story to happen at all. If that were all, I’d agree with you that the stretchiness is a big price to pay for the comedy. But it also foreshadows season 6. They really don’t know her. We have to ask how much they really care.

    It’s a cross-road episode. We get the fore-shadowing of how the Scoobies maybe are not the friends they are supposed to be. And Spike turns out to be ‘real’ in a way that they are not. (The way the episode plays of ‘real’ ‘not real’ is tremendous. Lots of things are switching up here.)

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  20. [Note: gabrielleabelle posted this comment on November 13, 2007.]

    I also found it silly that Willow, at least, didn’t realize something was wrong. But I can overlook that for the wonderful Spike stuff. I adore Spike’s attitude, even when being tortured. The Bob Barker line makes me laugh every time.

    And the end scene more than makes up for anything else in the episode for me (but that’s just my subjective opinion. I’m a sucker for that sort of stuff).

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  21. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on November 27, 2007.]

    I agree with mike here. How Willow reacts to the Buffybot is really OOC, especially with the Angel line. She calls him (Angel) stupid and Willow should know better. That really bugs me too. Aside that, this is a really funny episode, mostly with Spike and the Buffybot.

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  22. [Note: elnino14 posted this comment on December 2, 2007.]

    I have to go along the lines that yes, it is a stretch that the Gang never figured out there was a Buffbot UNTIL Not-Robot-Buffy walked in the door. But I don’t think they would have figured it out.

    I think LibMx made a great point here that they recognized April-bot only after she did something that was completely well- out of the ordinary.

    Is it completely unlike Buffy to be screwing Spike…well yeah…but it isn’t anthing that she couldn’t do, she did lose Riley just recently and she was acting all wonky there too Plus people do really crazy things when they are depressed. It could be easily explained that this is her attempt at escaping from all the responsibility thats practically THROWN on her.

    I don’t know, it’s overdrawn I agree, especially since Buffy-bot’s mannerism are overly cheery.

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  23. [Note: Plain Simple posted this comment on February 28, 2008.]

    “Angel’s lame. His hair sticks straight up and he’s bloody stupid.”

    This line always cracks me up. 🙂

    I do agree with you on the bad characterisation of the Scoobies. They even showed the scene where they all immediately recognised AprilBot as a robot in the ‘previously on BtVS’ segment and then they make them all look stupid in the episode itself. Perhaps it was meant as an extra joke, to show this scene in the ‘previously on’ part, but to me it started to get a bit ridiculous at the end. It did give us a hilarious episode though.

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  24. [Note: macuga posted this comment on August 5, 2008.]

    I’m not sure why people are harping on the BuffyBot’s “unrealistic” behavior.

    “Buffy” is full of scenes where the characters over-act for dramatic/comic effect. For instance, when Willow is trying to get away with something, she often acts overly cutesy and protests too much–which in real life would only provoke immediate suspicion. But in “Buffy,” it usually works, because it’s dramatically convenient for her to be able to get away with it (for a while).

    One example that comes to mind is “Doppelgangland,” where Vampire Willow (pretending to be Willow) says “I’m… reading books. I… like books. ‘Cuz… I’m shy.” In real life, Cordelia would look at her incredulously, and ask, “WTF are you talking like that?” But in the episode, she is apparently fooled.

    I see the BuffyBot in a similar vein. SMG over-acts her for comedic effect, and the characters don’t notice because it’s convenient for them not to.

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  25. [Note: HarFang posted this comment on August 31, 2008.]

    I end up in stitches every time I watch this episode! It has that beautiful scene at the end, but on the whole it is very light-hearted, and we really need some relief from all the tragedies that make up the later part of the season. And even though I cringe for Buffy’s sake at some of the things Spike does, the oddest thing is that the “gross and obscene” Buffybot affair still seems far healthier than most of what happens in season 6. In many regards (especially the conclusion), this episode really acts as a fast-track version of their “relationship” to come.
    As for the Scoobies’ lack of reaction to the Buffybot, I agree that it is rather disappointing, especially on Willow’s part. I understand that the confusion serves a comedic purpose, but couldn’t the team have come up with a better theory than Buffy’s recent loss? Some kind of spell maybe (look at how she acted in Something Blue or Bewitched &c!)? Still, I tend to consider that Buffy’s indignant accusation when she comes back acknowledges the flaw, and thus partly makes up for it.

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  26. [Note: Paula posted this comment on September 4, 2008.]

    The logic problems with this episode aren’t limited to the Scoobies’ amazing inability to recognize Buffybot for a ‘bot (or something else than the real deal, anyway) simply by its weirdo chipper behavior. I never can help wondering at Xander’s lack of big reaction even just to Buffy suddenly patrolling again with Spike, who was recently found to have a dangerous obsession with her, deinvited from the Summers house, etc. etc. Also at Spike seeming totally unconcerned when it must have been glaringly obvious to him that after that graveyard encounter with Xander and Anya, there was no hope in hell Buffy wouldn’t find out about Buffybot very soon.

    However, I’m willing to overlook practically anything for the sake of all the priceless comedy this episode offers, and that final scene of absolute perfection on top of that.

    I can just imagine the writing team going all “OK, so this script makes next to no sense, but it’s way too much fun not to use”. And they were right about that! 🙂

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  27. [Note: Paula posted this comment on September 6, 2008.]

    Additional thoughts, re: the final scene, after re-watching this episode last night…

    Firstly, I suspect that when she came to the crypt pretending to be Buffybot (which role she had mastered very nicely, BTW), Buffy already had the idea that Spike might not have told Glory anything after all. First off, why else would he have been so badly beaten and trying to escape when they arrived? (I’d guess Xander’s words about Spike being “so trashed” made her wonder.) Also, it doesn’t seem to me like she brought a stake. So while she needed an honest answer to that question and was curious to hear the honest reason behind it too, it seems not to have come entirely as a surprise.

    Secondly, that scene shows a very profound change in Buffy’s attitude toward Spike in many ways. When she tells him that “The robot is gone. The robot was gross and obscene”, she says something she might well have yelled at him in angry disgust before – but now, the words come in tones of patient reproach. She’s not speaking to an “evil, disgusting thing“, someone totally beyond redemption. Spike is now considered to someone who can be taught. Someone who may do stupid and disgusting things but is better than that.

    And, hey, look at Spike’s reaction. No “Hello! Vampire! I’m evil!” He’s ashamed of himself, and as the following S5 episodes will show, Buffy treating him like a person instead of a thing will make him more and more human.

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  28. [Note: HarFang posted this comment on September 6, 2008.]

    ****! I lost a whole post here. A good, carefully laid-out post. ^^ I think it went like this:

    That’s a very good point, Paula! I am not sure that Spike needs to be *taught* the difference between right and wrong, though. He knows it already from his human days, but without a soul they just don’t mean a thing to him (just as Anya is willing to be polite but really doesn’t get the whole notion). So at first, Spike uses BUFFY as his moral compass, because he thinks it’s the simplest way to reach his end (=please her, and more if possible). In Intervention he may know that the bot affair was wrong, but that is not why he’s ashamed: it’s more that he knows how hurt and humiliated Buffy is, and he can’t bear the idea. Clearly this is better than nothing, and as habit sets in, Spike really seems to change -but with only an intellectual knowledge of morals, it is a lost cause.

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  29. [Note: Paula posted this comment on September 7, 2008.]

    I am not sure that Spike needs to be *taught* the difference between right and wrong, though.

    Well, I was talking about Buffy’s attitude, not the actual question of moral compasses. I’d say that Spike knows *about* the difference between right and wrong but doesn’t really understand it. As a soulless demon, that’s pretty much beyond him. His whole idea about the morals of things is distant and second-hand.

    (And as to Buffybot, I’m actually not very sure at all whether that’s a moral issue. Having the Buffybot built and using it the way he did was certainly gross, unhealthy and pathetic, but morally wrong…? Come on, who was he harming? Unless you feel sorry for the ‘bot or Warren, who I’m betting never got paid a dime?)

    So at first, Spike uses BUFFY as his moral compass

    Yes, and he takes this to impressive lengths, too. After all, even Buffy’s death doesn’t stop him acting like he figures Buffy would want him to (help her friends, protect Dawn, etc.), apparently simply to honor her memory. (How long this state of affairs might have lasted if Buffy had never been resurrected is actually a pretty interesting question.)

    In addition to Spike wanting to please Buffy, though, I think there’s another factor at work here – something that I was paying quite a lot of attention to before the being-in-love-with-Buffy thing became apparent, but which didn’t disappear afterwards either. It’s Spike’s desire to be accepted in the gang. No, he doesn’t think much of the Scoobies – but he doesn’t like being an outsider or considered a freak, either. His integration in the group while Buffy is dead probably helps him considerably to keep doing the right thing, and the realization that he had been left out of the whole resurrection scheme (and the resentment this induces) in turn helps to alienate him also from sticking to the “straight and narrow path”.

    I gather it’s also mainly the kindness and acceptance that Buffy rewards Spike with that he responds so well to, post-Intervention in S5. Much as his (un)life revolves around love/obsession/lust, I doubt even he ever mistook the kiss Buffy gave him for anything remotely romantic. (“I know you’ll never love me. I know that I’m a monster. But you treat me like a man, and that’s…”) Carefully, firmly and consistently handled*, particularly by Buffy, even soulless Spike might have turned out amazingly good. Unfortunately, the back-from-the-dead Buffy in S6 is far from prepared to be careful and consistent with him, and things get further and further out of hand the way they do.

    *Can’t help but compare Spike to a captured and tamed wild animal. It’s much the same thing with him, only he looks and acts human enough so it’s easy to forget that he’s not going to stay good unless the desired sort of behavior is continuously reinforced. The soul, of course, will make a huge difference here.

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  30. [Note: HarFang posted this comment on September 7, 2008.]

    Having the Buffybot built and using it the way he did was certainly gross, unhealthy and pathetic, but morally wrong…? Come on, who was he harming?

    I’d say that, even though Spike didn’t physically hurt her, creating the bot was a very degrading way to treat Buffy herself, even by proxy. It was wrong in every respect, and that is what morals are about. The fact that there was no actual damage done (and the fact that the whole affair is treated as comedy) explains why Buffy doesn’t enter the crypt intending to stake him, but still, I feel that my wording is valid.

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  31. [Note: Paula posted this comment on September 8, 2008.]

    even though Spike didn’t physically hurt her, creating the bot was a very degrading way to treat Buffy herself, even by proxy.

    Yeah, well, it certainly wasn’t healthy. The way I see things though, Buffy’s reaction is certainly disgusted, but she’s hardly taking any offence as such.* Also, Spike didn’t intend her to know about the bot (although by letting her slip out on the graveyard and meet Xander and Anya, he pretty much blew it already).

    *It’s rather later that she comes to expect so much better from Spike that she’d take offence at his behavior, I think.

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  32. [Note: gabrielleabelle posted this comment on September 8, 2008.]

    Hey Paula, HarFang,

    Hope you don’t mind me jumping in, but it’s an interesting discussion that I had the good fortune to notice (I only sporadically check the comments). Regarding whether Spike having the Buffybot made was immoral or not, that’s something I sat back and considered when I first saw the episode. I tentatively decided that, while it’s inappropriate, I don’t see it as being “immoral”, in the strictest sense of the word.

    Is it immoral for a person to masturbate while fantasizing of someone else? Or to do so while looking at a photograph of that person? What about having one’s partner dress up as a movie star (Marilyn Monroe, say) for some sexual role-play? Is that immoral?

    I think what Spike did (having a sexbot made in Buffy’s image) crossed unbelievable social boundaries, and Buffy had every right to be disgusted with him (I had a stalker incident a while back and was horrified when I was told, by him, that he pleasured himself to photos of me). But I wouldn’t call it immoral, at the end of the day. Because, like my stalker, Spike’s actions didn’t affect anybody but himself.

    I actually do think that Spike was ashamed of the sexbot. He hid it from the Scoobies, even to the point of lying to Xander’s face when confronted about it. He recognized it was inappropriate, at some level. But, with his soulless status, he didn’t care (as he’d pretty much given up hope of getting the “real” Buffy at that point so he was settling for what he could get).

    Er…feel free to ignore me since I just kinda butted in. Carry on. I agree with both of you for the most part. Just chiming in with some extra thoughts.

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  33. [Note: Paula posted this comment on September 8, 2008.]

    Gabrielleabelle, I absolutely welcome your input, or anybody else’s for that matter – we’re not exactly having a private conversation here. 🙂

    I agree with you just about 100%. I too think that BuffyBot was inappropriate although not necessarily immoral, and that Spike knew this all right.

    At least some good and respectable uses were found for the bot afterwards. 🙂 The Spike/Willow/Buffybot scene in Bargaining puts a lump in my throat, every time.

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  34. [Note: Lacie posted this comment on October 4, 2008.]

    Omg this episodes SO deserves better than an 85! I really really liked this episode – it was just so intense.
    When we think of Spike and this whole Buffybot thing, I mean maybe it was kind of immoral, but even humans are immoral and someone like Spike, without a soul but with that sexual obsession(and love, too) with Buffy and his desperation it does make sense that he wouldn’t hesitate, at least at first.

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  35. [Note: bigmoneygrip posted this comment on November 18, 2008.]

    I agree with the earlier comment by Plain Simple that the line about Angel’s hair standing straight up and he’s bloody stupid – so funny! Something Spike told Warren to slip in to the Buffybot’s programming?

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  36. [Note: Adam posted this comment on January 27, 2009.]

    I think this episode (as it appears many people agree) deserves a higher grade. I have seen so many more times in other episodes that Willow, Xander, or Buffy have been out of character but not ever have they been mentioned.

    I love Spike getting beat up by Glory and Buffy rewarding him with a kiss. There’s a lot of funny, touching, and great action moments in this episode –along with great writing too– that elevates this to one of my favorite S5 episodes. Not to mention, I love all the new things we find out about Glory and how brave/faithful Spike is when kidnapped by her. In my opionion, this is a Buffy Classic!

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  37. [Note: Emily posted this comment on June 1, 2009.]

    I’m gonna have to agree with Mike here and say how COMPLETELY out of character it is for the Scoobies not to realize that Buffy was a bot. Angel’s bloody stupid?????? When would Buffy ever say something like that so happily? The whole thing was very OOC, imo.

    Other than that, though, this episode was great. I don’t seem to have as much trouble with the lack of Glory as other people, because she says in this episode that Ben’s been getting stronger, so it makes sense that she’s not there as much. Also, I think someone mentioned in a comment on a previous review that Ben has to be able to work a lot of hours as an intern, so it makes sense that Glory isn’t around so much.

    I agree with the score. The character inconsistencies (as well as the cheesiness of Buffy’s vision) just knock off a bunch of points.

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  38. [Note: Selene posted this comment on July 12, 2009.]

    Okay, there were many, many flaws to this episode (I, too, cannot excuse Willow and Xander for not realising the Buffybot is a robot and I also have majot issues with the writers seeming attempts to make Giles look silly and stupid) but I have to point out what has to be one of the most priceless exchanges in all of Buffydom:

    SPIKE: (giggles weakly) Yeah … but it was fun. And guess what, bitch. (Shot of his hands still trying to twist free) I’m not telling you jack. You’re never gonna get your sodding key, ’cause you might be strong, but in our world, you’re an idiot.
    GLORY: I am a god.
    SPIKE: The god of what, bad home perms?
    GLORY: Shut up! (takes a few steps toward him, pats her hair) I command you, shut up!
    SPIKE: Yeah, okay, sorry, but I just had no idea that gods were such prancing lightweights. (Glory scoffs in disbelief) Mark my words, the Slayer … is going to kick your skanky, lopsided ass (Glory checks out her ass in dismay) back to whatever place would take a (sizing her up) cheap, whorish, fashion victim ex-god like you.

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  39. [Note: Sunburn posted this comment on November 1, 2009.]

    Interesting discussions here… I totally agreed with Mike at first about the Scoobies’ failure to recognise the Buffybot being laughably incredible, but I have actually changed my mind to some extent now.

    As we saw with the Willow clothes dilemma before, they are`absolutely desperate to help Buffy through her pain and desolation. They are so willing to understand and forgive any strangeness from her that it would probably seem almost like a relief to have something odd about her to deal with. That all fits with their gentle treatment of her when they confront her… Xander in particular would *never* normally have been so tactful.

    It’s still a stretch, but with that in mind I find it all much more convincing. And I have to agree that the comedy is worth it all. Absolute genius. 😀

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  40. [Note: Sam posted this comment on November 1, 2009.]

    I agree it’s strange that Buffy’s friends didn’t pick up on the Buffybot quicker, and I do think Espenson deserves blame for that, but at least Spike had Warren program the bot to say things that Buffy would be aware of, like Willow’s sexual orientation and Anya’s capitalist fervor. I find this to be far less of a stretch than say, “Who Are You?”, where Faith-in-Buffy thought that nobody would suspect a thing and acted so out-of-character for Buffy that it’s amazing that nobody picked up on it.

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  41. [Note: Kate posted this comment on November 24, 2009.]

    I noticed that Xander said ‘space coyote’….seems like a reference to The Simpsons. Also, in the scene with Buffy walking downwards in the desert, you can see someone in blue jeans in the top right hand corner just before she disapears out of sight.

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  42. [Note: Luz posted this comment on March 2, 2010.]

    “Weird love is better than no love” says Buffy…

    and then cut to Spike, Warren and the BuffyBot 🙂

    I absolutely LOVE these kind of transitions!

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  43. [Note: G1000 posted this comment on May 26, 2010.]

    I didn’t catch any “Dawn stealing a necklace” stuff. Did I miss something? I personally loved this hour. I did find her friends’ reactions a little bit difficult to believe, but they were so funny I didn’t care. And they were just as realistic as Xander putting his fist through a wall.

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  44. [Note: Amanda posted this comment on June 8, 2010.]

    Dawn stole a pair of earrings or something at Xander’s house before Xander and Anya went patrolling.

    And about the OOC discussion, Xander did speculate that maybe she was all wonky from the Spirit Quest. What’s interesting though, is the way Buffy has been acting after her mother’s death could be considered robotic. She takes care of Dawn and the does the slaying, but she shows next to zero emotion and is still pretty much keeping everyone at arm’s length (aside from Dawn and Giles). And when her friends are confronted with an *actual* robot Buffy they can’t tell the difference. Yeah, the dialogue between BuffyBot and Willow was pretty telling, but it was late and Willow was trying to be accepting of what Buffy was saying without wanting to really believe what she was hearing. Also, perhaps she didn’t want to make Buffy feel bad for what she was doing. What did she say during the intervention? “It’s a not about blame, it’s about love?”. She knows if she were to carp on Buffy for doing something so “stupid” she would only drive her to do it secrecy. (**Note this is how Willow reacts to people questioning her magic use)

    All in all – comical yes, OOC maybe a touch but still very well executed.

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  45. [Note: DeadLego posted this comment on August 4, 2010.]

    this is one of my favourite episodes of the entire series. The scene with buffy pretending to be the bbot and kissing spike is one of my top 3 moments of the series. I love the way BtVS explores the gray areas of life, how an evil thing can do good and vice versa being just one example. I think regarding the scoobies not realising the bbot is a robot-when they saw april acting robotic it was in settings and situations when that was very out of place. However buffy acting robotic straight after the death of her mother and especially after having announced that she feels like she is turning to stone, is not a strange reaction from her at all. I have felt so dead in side before, but through love of my family and friends just gone through the motions and faked emotions, pretended to be happy and excited and the like, and i think the result from someone elses perspective, especially those who really know me and see through my facade is probably me, for example, smiling like the bot does. Sometimes humans do behave this way.

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  46. [Note: Susan posted this comment on September 13, 2010.]

    I loved this episode despite the silly little flaws here and there. Regarding the Scooby’s inablility to recognize that the Buffybot wasn’t really Buffy, think ahead to season six when she really does have an affair with Spike. There are clues all over the place throughout those episodes that none of them pick up on. If I remember correctly, there isn’t any time at all when anyone has a clue despite her spending night after night with him. At her birthday party she sits with Spike. In the episode where she becomes invisible Spike comes into her kitchen and they are sharing a very quiet moment when Xander comes in and yells at Spike. When Buffy is at home right after her resurrection Spike is sitting there holding her hands as he prepares to clean them up and bandage them when the whole gang rushes in and no one notices. They seem to see only what they want to see and what they expect to see over and over. In this episode, they are expecting to see Buffy exhibit some out of character behaviour in view of what she’s been through and what Tara says on different occasions regarding how she behaved after her mother died. Willow does look surprised and disturbed at the things that Buffybot says but she is ready to accept the strangeness because they’ve been expecting it. I guess what I’m getting at with all this rambling is that I really, really liked this episode and I would have graded it in the A range.

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  47. [Note: John posted this comment on January 7, 2011.]

    Great episode! The only thing that really stood out for me here was Willow failing to see through the robot. I can understand why Xander might not, and Anya certainly wouldn’t, but Willow should have noticed; the “bloody stupid” line should have been telling in particular. Really the only flaw in this episode, and it’s unfortunate because it could have been easily avoided simply by having Willow realize the truth and address it.

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  48. [Note: Neil posted this comment on April 17, 2011.]

    Love the Buffybot calling Giles. “GUYILES”. And Giles being really put out about it only for the real Buffy to the same slip up moments later.

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  49. [Note: Mary Ann posted this comment on February 9, 2012.]

    Am I the only one not to find this episode funny? This episode is pivitol in that the Buffybot is necessary in the Gift. The attitude/acceptance towards the Buffybot is explained as Buffy going through a time dealing with the death of her mother. I have never accepted her relationship with Spike.

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  50. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on February 9, 2012.]

    This episode for me is pivotal in explaining Buffy’s thoughts and outlook in Season six. Her problem with saying love to those closest to her. Loosing her mom made her realise it. Its this that she struggles with a lot in season 6 when she is brought back. Her inability to feel anything. Hence her finding comfort in the arms of Spike, she doesn’t have to pretend to him, doesn’t have to love him. Its a dark relationship but one i am behind; Spike though, for his part has genuine feelings for her, cohesive feelings not whimsical ones. Its both the vampire in him and the Poet. Think about it this way. In season 6 Buffy has more in common with him then anyone else in her life. They both crawled from their own graves, both live in the dark and both have strength, skill and a penchant for violence and fighting and releasing er…urges? Its not a healthy relationship but its not unexpected or confounding as to the why.

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  51. [Note: VeloxMortis posted this comment on May 13, 2012.]

    Hope this wasn’t already said, but in Entropy (6×18) Xander has a really hard time believing that Buffy slept with Spike, however, he believes it right away because Buffy’s mom died. This is either really sloppy or it means that Xander didn’t know how traumatic Buffy being torn out of heaven really was for her.

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  52. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on October 29, 2012.]

    By creating the Buffybot, Spike probably saved Dawn from Glory. Without the Buffybot wanting to protect Spike the minions would have followed Xander and Anya back home and noticed they talk a lot about Dawn. So the Buffybot unintentionally helped Dawn. Spike got the crap beaten out of him but it saved Dawn for later.

    -I still always love the moment Giles turns to the Buffybot and she smiles wide. I bet both Sarah and Tony cracked up right after.

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  53. [Note: TheShanshuProphecy posted this comment on October 29, 2012.]

    Although I understand the BuffyBot being considered gross, it reminds me of when I had pre-pubescent crushes and used to pretend that my pillow was my ‘beloved’ (gawd, I hope that I am not the only one here who did that … :{ ) Spike’s love here is juvenile and confused and the BB helps him to realise that what he wants is the real Buffy, not a sexual facsimile, no matter how obliging.

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  54. [Note: JEL posted this comment on December 16, 2012.]

    The line from the ending that gets me the most is not “that was real” but the last line: “I won’t forget it.” And apparently she never does. To the best of my memory, Buffy is never again portrayed acting toward Spike the way she did before this point. (I admire that they were able to be so consistent with the continuity in that regard.)The review does mention that Buffy changes her attitude toward Spike and that the relationship between them is moved to a new realm; but looking back at this point from what happens in the rest of this season and following ones, this is such a huge change with such major consequences I feel like it should be emphasized even more. I don’t think it is much of an exaggeration to say that this moment changes everything in their relationship henceforth.

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  55. [Note: Ryan ONeil posted this comment on December 16, 2012.]

    Although, when Buffy and Spike started sleeping together, she TRIED to block it out by treating him the way she did before this, but you’re right, she couldn’t keep it up for very long.

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  56. [Note: JEL posted this comment on December 16, 2012.]

    You could certainly be correct; I’m not sure that I remember all the fine points of went on in season 6. I’ll probably get to it fairly soon on my current rewatch and I’ll look for this and see if I agree. Thanks for the response.

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  57. [Note: Gon posted this comment on February 20, 2013.]

    There are OOC reactions, agreed. But there are mitigating factors: Buffy just lost her mother and her friends are trying to be supportive in that occasion, plus Willow & Xander can be very blind to Buffy true feelings (see “Afterlife”).

    Willow says to Buffy: “I think maybe, with your mom and everything, everyone was being all sympathetic, making you feel weak. But Spike wasn’t like that.” This in a way explains Willow’s reaction; and I think it’s also a very important line. That’s one of the reasons why Buffy will be more close to Spike than to the Soobies in seasons 6 and 7.

    There’s just one moment in this episode I really dislike: the cat in the desert. This is SO obviously a fat zoo animal that the fact they present it as a wild animal offends me.

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  58. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 5, 2013.]

    I’m in complete agreement with MikeJer: Xander and Willow in particular are totally out of character. I can accept a silly plot to favour characters’ growth, but I can’t accept deconstructing characters for the sake of the plot or comedy.

    It’s exactly like the outbursts of tears in “Triangle”, just unbelievable. The funny bits come flat because of that.

    You can’t compare this to Buffy/Faith. Faith in Buffy looked crazed but it was natural, human like. They would have figured it out on the long term. Here, Buffybot is everything but natural. While the “how’s your money” works perfectly, the rest doesn’t fit, even under the circumstances of Joyce’s death. I can buy that they don’t recognize a bot, but even a sentence like “She must be possessed” would have suited me.

    Someone said the Scoobies don’t observe and that’s right, they don’t observe the depth, but they’re not as dumb as not to see the “beyond weirdness”. The parallels made with season 6 are not totally justified: the changes are very subtle, over a long time.

    Having said that, the rest about Buffy and Spike is excellent. We’ve seen Spike being selfless for the first time – even for the wrong reasons – when he was helping Dawn to resurrect her mother. Just a bit before, the flowers for Joyce but here, that’s the first real selfless act of love and loyalty he offers to Buffy. He genuinely liked Joyce and has a soft spot for Dawn (the Summer women). There’s huge character growth and we see that, even if he still has a long way to go, he’s capable of good deeds. On the other hand, Buffy’s quest permits her to forgive, give (an affectionate thank you kiss)and take the first step for trust. Love, she already has, for Dawn and her friends.

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  59. [Note: JustJenna posted this comment on September 29, 2013.]

    I wouldn’t dock points because Buffy’s friends didn’t realize that the Buffy-bot wasn’t Buffy, at least not at first. My reasoning is pure psychology. Even in Sunnydale, people see what they expect to see. It’s human nature. When they saw April, and realized she was a bot, it made sense because of their experience with Ted and because of April’s super strength and odd vocal mannerisms.

    It’s different with Buffy. They did not expect to see a robot that and dressed exactly like their best friend. They saw what looked like their best friend and believed it was her, because what else were they supposed to believe? They only had a brief encounter with the bot: longer exposure to it would have certainly raised a few eyebrows, but it makes complete sense that such a short encounter didn’t. After all, its not as if Buffy hasn’t gotten cozy with Spike before (see Something Blue.) It would make more sense that they might suspect some kind of love spell or enchantment, rather than realizing that what looked and talked like their best friend – the Slayer – was actually an identical-twin robot.

    Just my opinion, but I really think this episode deserves an A-. I’d rate it higher except that it lacks that certain something that makes an episode perfect.

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  60. [Note: JustJenna posted this comment on September 29, 2013.]

    Gah I really should read all the comments before I post. Apparently, my “enlightening” comment about human nature and psychology was already made long before me. Sorry for repeating what was already said.

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  61. [Note: Josh Man posted this comment on September 29, 2013.]

    I agree with those who feel Xander and Willow, et al, not realizing BuffyBot was a robot wasn’t OOC. Sorry, Mike, but I completely disagree with you here. After all, as a couple of people above said, they didn’t know April was a robot until they witnessed her insane strength. Yes, BuffyBot was acting strangely, and they all commented on this, but there was a perfect reason for Buffy acting strangely, her mother’s death, and therefore, no reason to suspect that a strangely acting Buffy was in fact not Buffy at all. Not only would the episode not have worked if they immediately figured it out, but based on the setup of the series to this point, including the episode with April where it took a supposed human girl throwing Spike through a window to set off the Scoobies’ robot sensor, it wouldn’t have made ANY sense for them to recognize that the BuffyBot was a Bot.
    This episode deserves a much better grade, in my opinion. Maybe you’ll recognize we’re right when you do your re-write! 😉

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  62. [Note: Sam L posted this comment on September 29, 2013.]

    I agree with Mike when he says that it’s out of character for the others not to suspect something upon seeing the Buffybot. Sure, it might take them a little time, but even if you rationalize everything else, there’s one line that’s impossible to reconcile, and that is when Buffybot says:

    “Angel’s lame. His hair sticks up, and he’s bloody stupid.”

    Buffy would NEVER say that, no matter how traumatized she may be, and especially not in that chipper, robotic tone. Willow should definitely noticed something wrong there, and that was a mistake on the writers’ part, so I disagree with people who say that it’s not OOC.

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  63. [Note: Nebula Nox posted this comment on October 29, 2013.]

    First-time commenter. Love the reviews!

    I think it is telling that although the Scoobies don’t recognize the bot is not Buffy, Spike notices almost immediately that Buffy is not the bot – even though he is injured and not so aware. Perhaps it is simply his enhanced vampire sense of smell, but I think it illustrates what he has always maintained: that he knows her better.

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  64. [Note: FaithFanatic posted this comment on October 29, 2013.]

    I think it’s more that post-S4 the rest of the Scoobies don’t seem to understand Buffy very well. Particularly in S6, it’s clear that as ‘normal’ people (at least to some extent) they don’t understand Buffy’s desire for understanding her Slayer nature or her attraction to the darkness which is intrinsically part of her (as you find out in that S7 episode where we see the First Slayer being imbued by the spirit of a demon.) I think the Scoobies think Buffy’s going through a rough patch and they just don’t make the assumption that Buffy is a robot because, to be fair, that’s not all that likely. You also have to remember that the Scoobies didn’t know that there WAS a robot version of Buffy whereas Spike knew there were the two of them so it was more likely he might work it out.

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  65. [Note: Nebula Nox posted this comment on November 25, 2013.]

    True, it’s not very likely that Buffybot is a robot – besides, in the Buffyverse, there are many other crazy explanations available. It’s sort of odd that alternatives were not discussed – for example, a love potion.

    On the other hand, it must have seemed so incredible to Spike that the real Buffy would ever kiss him.

    I think it’s interesting that the First Slayer is nattering on about “Love is pain” while Spike is letting himself be tortured because of his love for Buffy.

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  66. [Note: Nebula Nox posted this comment on May 23, 2014.]

    Note too that they kept the Buffybot and Tara mostly apart – which was necessary because Tara noticed that Buffy’s body had been taken over by Faith. Tara only sees the Buffybot when she has just woken up, and very briefly – presumably not enough time for her to perceive that there is no soul.

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  67. [Note: Lydia posted this comment on August 22, 2014.]

    I’m willing to forgive little inconsistencies that this episode has because it sets up SO much. Buffy and Spike’s relationship changes forever here on out; I’d go as far as to say that this is definitely the first page of the long journey that Spike has to redemption and his soul; and is Buffy’s first page of realizing just how much her and this anomaly of a vampire have in common. My heart melts every single time Buffy plants that kiss on his lips and then says, “That was real. I won’t forget it.” I don’t know why but it was all just perfect. A tiny nitpick would be that Spike is a vampire with heightened hearing, wouldn’t he be able to tell a human apart from a robot with that much proximity? He could probably hear Buffy’s heartbeat and breathing so, naturally, he should have been able to find out that it wasn’t the BuffyBot way before she kissed him. However, since the scene works so well on a dramatic; story-telling level, I am willing to let this go. I’d also like to mention that I really like Susan #52’s explanation for way the Scoobies were acting slightly OOC. I honestly feel like this episode should get at least an A- for all the foreshadowing, set-up and development it has in it – not only for Buffy and Spike, but for the rest of the series since their dynamic is an important one. Plus, it was hilarious and the Buffy-bot was adorable. I think we needed something a little on the lighter side because of how dark this season gets and because it’s only gonna get more dark from here on out.

    I think I’m not the only one who has to agree that this episode had some comedy gold and some great classic BtVS exchanges. Anya: We’re just kinda thrown by you having sex with Spike. Buffy: The who whatting how with huh?! Let’s not forget: “We will bring you Bob Barker! We will bring you the limp and beaten body of Bob Barker!” I almost fell off my bed at that one! Spike was so brave and awesome, the way he laughed with all that blood smeared on his face, he almost looked as twisted and deadly as he did in FFL and School Hard. Plus, Giles shaking his gourd always gives me a giggle. I love Spike’s insults to Glory, and also love this episode in general.

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  68. [Note: Nebula Nox posted this comment on August 23, 2014.]

    I think we have to remember how injured Spike was. He was in such bad shape that even Xander felt sorry for him.

    Spike would not be expecting a visit from real Buffy and so he would not be paying attention to her when she entered – he would just assume it was the bot. It was only when she kissed him that he understood – and that would mean the smell of her blood and the heartbeat.

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  69. [Note: unkinhead posted this comment on October 21, 2014.]

    I am somewhat okay with the reaction too the buffybot, I will explain in a moment, but I would just first like to appreciate SMG’s amazing acting in this one…She pulls off the bot very well, but it’s amazing too me how she plays Buffy pretending to be a bot, I can actually tell that it’s her character pretending to be a robot, and I think that’s phenomenal acting.

    The buffybot thing now, I tried to put myself in Xander/Willow’s shoes when listening to the buffybot, and tried to think of what it would be like without any knowledge that she was a buffybot, I think it’s plausible…See the thing with Aprilbot, is she was a completely blank slate ; They had reason to think she was something other than human, seeing Buffy, I don’t see why they would have any indication other than her behavior to assume robot. And I think them all agreeing that she was acting insane/not herself is perfectly fine, and them not specifying robot is certainly fair…The viewer already is aware of the Buffy Bot, so we can’t pretend we have no context, so the result is hilarity. But no piece of dialogue really stood out as “obvious robot” dialogue with a few exceptions: “I don’t understand that question…You are my friend, and a carpenter” which than Xander starts questioning “Are you alright…You’re all….” Timely interruption from Spike now, which is a perfectly plausible distraction from a very likely revelation of Xander’s that she was a robot. When Buffybot and Willow are talking, she starts to sense that something’s wrong (well more than just her being insane) and than Xander storms into the apartment, which interrupts another possible revelation, its a stretch sure, but fair enough. The lines which bother me the most are the ones that nobody responds to, the biggest offender being “This is my house” why would Buffy ever say that? haha, but than again, nobody responded so I can assume that nobody listened or really cared.

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  70. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on November 28, 2015.]

    Unless there’s something I’ve missed why is it out of character for the Gang not to figure out the Buffybot but it isn’t out of character when they didn’t realize something was up with Buffy in Who Are You?

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  71. [Note: Zarnium posted this comment on November 28, 2015.]

    It’s because in “I Was Made To Love You,” the gang instantly realize that April is a robot immediately after meeting her, but in this episode, they fail to realize that their closest friend has been replaced with a robot.

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  72. [Note: Samm posted this comment on November 28, 2015.]

    I don’t think it is out of character at all. They just all assumed Buffy was struggling and the spirit guide quest made her out of it a tad.

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  73. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on November 28, 2015.]

    OK that makes sense. Though that is kind of weird given that Espenson wrote both those episodes. I guess you could make the argument that they wouldn’t necessarily connect this weirdness with robot weirdness but..yah

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  74. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on December 23, 2015.]

    I find it interesting how Buffy condemns the Buffybot here and yet it would not only help in the battle but end up helping to cover for her death later on (pretty sure I knew this wouldn’t be the last of the bot due to some accidental spoilers, can’t remember what from though).

    I guess we’re supposed to view Spike having that thing built as wrong though I suppose it’s a similar question about whether you should screw people you know on the Holodeck. I suppose the problem would be that if he ditched him like Warren did with his robot it’d cause trouble.

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  75. [Note: Doyden posted this comment on April 15, 2016.]

    I have never commented on this sort of thing before ,so please excuse me ,I am a newbie.
    IT seems to me that the scoobies have seen Buffy acting very out of character before after a very stressful incident .At the start of the second series after returning from her summer visit to her father ,after she died briefly during her encounter with the Master ,she acted so out of character they started to speculate that she was possessed , Giles realises she just has ‘issues’ from her experience .In series 1 Buffy would never have danced with zander so provocatively or teased him in such a implied sexual manner.

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