Buffy 6×11: Gone

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: David Fury | Director: David Fury | Aired: 01/08/2002]

“Gone” is an episode that tries to juggle comedy and character growth in the middle of a season who’s tone is decidedly not funny. I don’t have a huge problem with the writers attempting to inject a little fun in here, but this episode is often not actually very funny. With that said, there’s still some value to be salvaged from it. This value includes some solid character development, a few entertaining scenes, some nice realizations, and a few hints of what’s to come.

At the beginning of the episode, Buffy’s going off about not giving into temptation right as she stumbles upon Spike’s lighter. Although a little convenient in timing, the reminder here of how dependent Buffy is of Spike now is still appropiate. Even though Buffy appears to have thrown the lighter into the “magic clearance” box, we find out very soon that the lighter ends up in her pocket, a clear symbol that Buffy is still failing at overcoming her temptation and overall rut.

Very soon after this, Spike hilariously comes running into the house with a blanket over his head while proceeding to lightly push himself onto Buffy, and she continues to let him. At this point comments like Xander’s “Only a complete loser would ever hook up with you [Spike]. Well, unless she’s a simpleton like Harmony, or a, or a nut sack like Drusilla-” only unknowingly make Buffy crawl further away from being open with her friends, which thereby draws her even closer to Spike. This is some solid character development for Buffy that really sets up the brilliant psychological look at their relationship in “Dead Things” [6×13] .

When the social services lady arrives (Doris), the picture of Buffy’s life that’s viewable from the outside world is not exactly a thrilling one. Doris is not particularly portrayed as a good guy here, but what’s interesting is that, in reality, she really isn’t that bad. Although we know and love Buffy and her friends and can sympathize with them when they’re having a really hard time, imagine things from more of an outsider perspective. If I were Dorris, I’m not sure I would come to much of a different first impression than she had. Think about it: no full-on adults around, Buffy has no job, there’s some other girl living in the house that’s “not feeling well,” there’s a shady British guy in a big black leather coat hanging around, and there’s some magic weed lying around in the open. That doesn’t add up to a meal fit for healthy a teenage girl to me either. Although we know the situation more intimately and know Buffy just needs some time to pull her life together before having Dawn taken away from her, I can certainly also sympathize with the job of a social service worker to look out for teens in bad situations.

With her life continuing to push inward on her, Buffy tries to change herself in the hopes that maybe it’ll help snap her out of her post-resurrection funk. At first she thinks cutting her hair will make a difference. It turns out that, no surprise, that’s just a physical change and doesn’t really help matters. Then Buffy gets accidentally shot by the Trio’s invisibility ray, which eventually leads to the sequence where Inviso-Buffy has fun with Doris. This oddly works for me, is pretty funny, and fits with Buffy feeling like she can do whatever she wants without feeling guilty over it. This will soon spill over into having fun sex with Spike… and not beating herself up over it for a change. However, this leads to something interesting that happens.

This scene, in Spike’s crypt, really gets at the point of the episode which, as I pointed out, is pretty decent in of itself. Buffy says “What’s the matter? Ashamed to be seen with me? Come on. He had no idea I was here. This is perfect.” Spike aptly replies, “Perfect for you … This vanishing act’s right liberating for you, innit? Go anywhere you want. Do anything you want. Or anyone … The only reason you’re here, is that you’re not here.” He goes on to point out that she’s not too put off by the fact she’s invisible, to which she replies with, “No! Maybe because for the first time since … I’m free. Free of rules and reports … free of this life.” Summing up my response to that comment, Spike says, “Free of life? Got another name for that. Dead.”

Essentially being this liberated from herself and her responsibilities is like another form of suicide. She’s acting out a life that’s not real so she doesn’t have to face the other, more painful, one. This desire is something she doesn’t actually deal with until “Normal Again” [6×17] , which takes the idea brought up in this episode and runs with it to astounding emotional heights. This shows more solid thought put into Buffy’s character arc than the season hardly ever gets credit for. Also, kudos to Spike for recognizing that having sexual fun with an invisible Buffy isn’t much different than playing with the empty BuffyBot which, by the way, is not the same as recognizing that Buffy’s completely using him as a glorified sex toy. That he won’t fully understand until S7.

The ending Buffy/Willow conversation is good as well. Buffy admits that she — in the middle of her “no see me” fest — actually got scared at the thought of dying. I’d call that a good step in the right direction. It’s just a shame there wasn’t an overall better episode to support this realization.

While Buffy’s development in this episode is pretty intriguing, I can’t say the same for Willow’s. This episode furthers the idea that Willow’s big problem is a drug addiction. The opening scene (among others) re-inforces this. I continue to feel this is the wrong direction for the character. When Xander suspects Willow might be accidentally responsible for making Buffy invisible, he says “who’d be messing with that kind of powe-.” That’s the direction they should be going in here, but instead we cut to Willow sucking down water bottles and physically struggling to control herself from using casual magic.

As I mentioned in my “Wrecked” [6×10] review, this aspect — so heavily represented in that episode — is rather unfortunately carried over into subsequent episodes. So here it is in “Gone.” This makes the vast majority of the episode’s development for Willow fairly uninteresting to watch, although thankfully it’s not a large focus of this episode. With all that said, I really do enjoy that Xander immediately thought of Willow when something magically wacky happened to Buffy — that’s simply great continuity.

The Trio finally gets some decent yet subtle development as well. I really appreciate, in retrospect, the Trio more than I ever did before when first seeing S6. The fact that they’re the only external threat to the Scoobies at this point is understandably baffling when first seeing the season, but in reality they’re really not the real villains, although Warren’s descent into true villainry is made all the more powerful and shocking by the contrasting setup. For example, Andrew brings up the point that the Slayer could be watching them as they speak. The way they all buy into Andrew’s further ridiculousness for a second is actually pretty funny. This bit of innocent humor actually works here, where it clearly won’t after Warren’s actions in “Dead Things” [6×13] .

When first watching the season, I was pretty tired of the Trio’s goofy antics at this point. But knowing where they’re headed makes these earlier, goofier moments feel a lot more necessary. Without this kind of innocent humor, what’s to come wouldn’t be nearly as shocking and interesting. “Dead Things” [6×13] then demonstrates how much of a real effect they can have on Buffy in her emotionally unstable state and “Normal Again” [6×17] uses the Trio to highlight the fact that Buffy’s life is truly screwed up right now. All in all, solid setup and nice follow-through for the Trio. In addition to the humor here, we begin to see how Warren is morally separating himself from the rest of the group when he makes it clear that he doesn’t care if Buffy dies and then, later, even tries to facilitate her death.

Unfortunately, “Gone” really starts to go awry when the Trio’s silly plan intersects with Buffy’s troubles. The writers try to somehow get a light, funny episode while simultaneously tackling Buffy’s problems… and it just doesn’t mix together in a satisfying way. Frankly, the episode’s just too silly for it’s own good. I kind of like the concept in theory: Buffy becomes invisible and completely lets out her inhibitions with the thinking that it doesn’t matter if no one can see her. The problem is that I don’t think Buffy would be quite as non-chalant and almost uncharacteristically goofy and chipper about it — at the very least, not to this extent.

I think using the same basic outline while taking a more serious approach with more subtle humor, and removing the Trio out of the main plot entirely, would have worked a whole lot better. I still like a couple of the ideas brought up and it’s genuinely funny on occasion, but the overall taste when these aspects mix together is pretty lacking. A good example is how the skirmish between all the invisible people at the end of the episode is supposed to be funny, but it really isn’t; mostly, I’m just kind of bored. Fortunately it doesn’t last too long and the Trio’s failed exit is pretty amusing.

Overall, there’s both several things to like and dislike about “Gone.” I think the basic outline of the plot is a fresh take on what could have been a hollow episode, but the execution of it is a bit lacking. When the Trio’s plans intersect with Buffy’s problems, it really loses its balance. Also, Willow’s poor development from “Wrecked” [6×10] shows up again here rather than being justifiably forgotten about. Faults and all, though, most of Buffy’s development is quite good and interesting to watch along with some of the humor and ancillary stuff going on in the background. In the end, this is one of those episodes that is classified as troubled but with some good redeeming character value. That alone is enough to keep me interested in the material.

 


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ Buffy understands Dawn’s anger towards both Willow and herself. Willow went crazy, but Buffy’s the one who wasn’t paying attention and let it happen. Good acknowledgement, but one that Buffy doesn’t act on until after “Normal Again” [6×17] .
+ Spike’s breakfast ‘entrance:’ comedy gold. The looks on Buffy and Willow’s faces are priceless.
+ Xander being the “put-together” one and taking Dawn to school.
+ Buffy mentioning Marci from S1’s “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” [1×11] . Character memory is always fun.
+ Buffy whistling the tune from “Once More, with Feeling” [6×07] ‘s “Going Through the Motions.”
+ Spike’s always watching the most amusing things on TV.
+ Spike’s “excercises.”
+ Dawn’s sneaking out of the house at night. I can sympathize with her slight over-reaction to finding out Buffy’s invisible though. Just put yourself in Dawn’s shoes and look around.

– Xander’s “blinvisible” lines annoy, rather than amuse, me.


Foreshadowing

* Warren tries to kill Buffy. This is huge hint of where he’s headed.


[Score]

65/100

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70 thoughts on “Buffy 6×11: Gone”

  1. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on September 5, 2007.]

    Great review. You analysed it in an amazing way. All the points you made are very good. I also have to say that I was again surprised by your score. For me, I have to go with a 50, because I´m not a big fan of this episode. I like the kitchen scene, I like Buffy/Spike. I also like the final scene, great development. I like the episode up until the Doris/Buffy invisible scene. From then, I don´t like it very much. But still, this is not a bad episode and your review is great.

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  2. [Note: WorldWithoutShrimp posted this comment on September 5, 2007.]

    After reading your review, I think I like “Gone” slightly more than before, which is to say, still not very much. 🙂 I’m afraid “Wrecked”/”Gone” are the worst back-to-back episodes of latter-day BtVS. There are definitely redeeming values in both, though, and your reviews have really done a good job of showing those redeeming values while at the same time recognizing each episode’s failures.

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  3. [Note: Dingdongalistic posted this comment on September 5, 2007.]

    “Unfortunately, “Gone” really starts to go awry when the Trio’s silly plan intersects with Buffy’s troubles. The writers try to somehow get a light, funny episode while simultaneously tackling Buffy’s problems…”

    That’s really the episode’s problem in a nutshell. They don’t tackle Buffy’s problems satisfactorily, they turn them into a joke. A bad joke. At the same time, they make a mockery of a very serious issue, and make out Buffy’s disgusting actions to be a laugh.

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  4. [Note: viewer posted this comment on September 5, 2007.]

    I hate that people get on Buffy’s case for not seeing that Willow was out of control. Buffy was suffering from severe depression and was suicidal BECAUSE of Willow. Willow ripped her out of HEAVEN. What did people expect Buffy to do about Willow being power hungry?

    I understood Buffy messing with Doris. It was the only option she could think of to get a new case worker and hopefully have that day’s visit erased.

    None of the reasons for Buffy failing the Social Services checkup were her fault. One, Dawn had bad grades (though she was smart enough to get straight As) and was ditching/tardy. Buffy had been warning her since S5 that if she continued she could be taken away to foster care. Two, Dawn was late for school that day. Buffy had told her several times to hurry up and even said exasperatedly, “she’s going to be late”. Three, Willow lived with them. Buffy never told Willow she could live with them. She moved in when Buffy was dead and never moved out, never paid rent. Three, Spike showing up. There was no way Buffy could have known that he would come over in broad daylight to see her. Four, the drugs. She was trying to help Willow by clearing out all of the magical items to make Willow’s transition to non-magic use easier. Five, she didn’t have a job. Buffy should have been paid by the Watchers Counsil. She goes patrolling almost every night, stops apocalypses, slays hundreds of demons and vampires, saves peoples’ lives on a daily/weekly basis, does the majority of the household chores, etc, and yet they give the Watchers money but not her.

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  5. [Note: Jeremy Bowers posted this comment on September 6, 2007.]

    “The fact that they’re the only external threat to the Scoobies at this point is understandably baffling when first seeing the season, but in reality they’re really not the real villains, although Warren’s descent into true villainry is made all the more powerful and shocking by the contrasting setup.”

    Whenever I see a list of the “Big Bads” for the Buffy seasons, they almost inevitably list the Trio for season six, but as Joss says on the DVDs repeatedly, the Big Bad for Season Six is no more and no less than “real life” itself. The season makes way more sense that way.

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  6. [Note: Austin posted this comment on September 12, 2007.]

    I agree that there is no real big bad in the sense that it is presented as something clearly evil early on in the season and attempts something destructive in the final few episodes. I never thought about life being the big bad but that really makes a lot of sense.

    About being paid, well she doesn’t officially work for the council since she died, but in the wider perspective, I don’t think slayers get paid because usually, they are called and die so young that they never really have to support themselves, Buffy wouldn’t have had to this season had her mother not died, and even then I have trouble believing that her life insurance money would be gone (they mention hospital bills, WHAT bills?) especially with Anya around, you’d think they would have had her handle their investments. (In reality you are supposed to have 10-12x your annual income in life insurance and then put that money into a 10% yield investment and live off the interest.

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  7. [Note: anon posted this comment on September 13, 2007.]

    My view of the Buffy/Spike is completely different from yours. You see it as just using, I don’t. Buffy has real genuine feelings for Spike too, which she admits in Seeing Red. Dare I say it in love? Yeah I will. 😛

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  8. [Note: robgnow posted this comment on September 18, 2007.]

    Yecch. Spuffy!

    Anyway, the problem I have with most of S6 is that no matter how horrible Buffy’s problems are, I seem to have to work to sympathize with her or anyone, really. The writing just feels so flat to me, maybe because Joss wasn’t around to punch up the scripts with his unique talents (what with Firefly going on). And also, I love looking at James as much as the next gay guy, but honestly! It feels like Marti was obsessed… if I was James I would have started getting scared when I saw her coming. There was way too much skin from him over and over without engaging drama to go with it.

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  9. [Note: viewer posted this comment on September 20, 2007.]

    I have the opposite problem. I sympathize with Buffy the most. In every episode. Every season. By the end of the series she was the only one–other than Spike, and that was due to his loyalty and love for Buffy–that I still liked and had respect for.

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  10. [Note: Joan posted this comment on October 26, 2007.]

    Good review. The magic as drug addiction line just can’t be deplored enough. It’s a major blemish on a season that is otherwise quite brilliant.

    The one observation I’d add is that Buffy isn’t just having a lark while invisible. She behaves quite badly. Shoving people out of her way while complaining about Spike being insensitive, mocking strangers on the street, and, of course, the way she treats Spike in the crypt. There’s an edge of cruelty on display that took me aback. And it is played for laughs. And that bugs me. We’re supposed to find Buffy acting as a bully and a user funny? I just couldn’t tell if we were supposed to be seeing her dark side, or if the writers don’t even notice it. The tone didn’t match the content, leaving me puzzled.

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  11. [Note: MrB posted this comment on October 31, 2007.]

    Joan:

    I agree with your comments about Buffy’s behaviour. It always seemed to me that this was revisiting some stuff that was covered in S3 with Faith (Bad Girls / Consequences.)

    This goes to show that sometimes we need to learn things more than once and than we slip up, especially at this stage of younger ture adulthood.

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  12. [Note: Jaden posted this comment on May 1, 2008.]

    im glad that theres someone else that sypathises with dorris a little bit. if anyone has seen “i am sam” you can see the comparison. in “i am sam” though he clearly has a strong love for her that isnt anywhere near enough what he needs to handle a child. its obvious she would be better off in foster care with visits with her father. though i know that this situation is different and that buffy can care for dawn, it still makes sense that dorris would think what she does.

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  13. [Note: lee posted this comment on May 5, 2008.]

    seriously have 2 disagree about doris, what a self righteous fool she was. Fine, its her job and she was *only trying to help* whatever. why do people just assume they know whats best?? wot could a foster family do for dawn that buffy couldnt? she got a job, they got good friends, and dawn wants to stay. So when doris turns up, buff aint working, but its obvious that they aint poor and starving and buffy can always get a job(which she does). And ANYBODY who judges a bag of weed and a guy who likes to wear a punk outfit is a sad, narrow minded, arrogant, stuck up, far right wing, IMMORAL tit.

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  14. [Note: lee posted this comment on May 5, 2008.]

    ok,that was a bit harsh, she wasnt THAT bad, but there is a difference between making a moral, educated decision with the knowledge u have and being snooty n judgmental. it was her stance, her tone and expression, she didnt appear to even want to know if buffy was capable of looking after her or wanted whats best for her. think on how much snatching a child, well, teenager away from a lovin home where she wants to be could mess her up emotionally!!

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  15. [Note: HarFang posted this comment on September 9, 2008.]

    Concerning Doris, it’s true that she arrives at a rather bad moment and doesn’t try to put herself in Buffy’s shoes, but I can sympathise with her point of view. I guess most people make an effort when a social worker comes to check on them, and she must think that if THIS is Buffy’s effort, what must it be on a “normal” day? Her job is not to be lenient and understanding, she’s here to assess Buffy’s job as a caretaker and to protect an unknown teenager from being abuse or neglect.
    What she sees hardly amounts to a healthy family life, as Mikejer pointed out. Plus keep in mind that Buffy does have quite a record in Sunnydale, which must have made its way into her file at social services.
    And even if circumstances hadn’t made things worse, the truth is that Dawn IS deeply unhappy and increasingly unbalanced: she’s turning klepto, lying through her teeth, she hardly ever sees her sister(and I’m not talking about the invisibility spell) and while in season 5 she was introduced as a kid who loved school, now she’s hating it. Buffy may not help it, but the fact is that her sister could do with a bit more sanity around.
    And honestly, Doris doesn’t arrive at the WORST moment either; she doesn’t even arrive unannounced. Imagine her reaction is she had arrived right in the middle of Normal Again, Wrecked, Hell’s Bells, etc.?

    Still, I would have liked to see another visit take place, maybe in Lessons which has a similar scene, just to show that by then things HAVE improved and Buffy is now deemed reliable enough to care for her sister.

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  16. [Note: Paula posted this comment on September 9, 2008.]

    Pretty much agreeing with HarFang here. I’m not crazy about this episode, but the whole social worker affair I consider a pretty good example of S6 writing: entertaining on the surface, but it’s supposed to make you feel uneasy and conflicted when and if you think about it even just a little bit further.

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  17. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on January 12, 2009.]

    “That’s really the episode’s problem in a nutshell. They don’t tackle Buffy’s problems satisfactorily, they turn them into a joke. A bad joke. At the same time, they make a mockery of a very serious issue, and make out Buffy’s disgusting actions to be a laugh.”

    I have to agree. One of the prime examples of the writer turning Buffy’s transgressions into a joke, was her attempt to sexually assault Spike. It seems interesting that if she had not giggled while assaulting him, Spike would have never recognized her voice . . . and eventually consent to having sex with her. Which makes me wonder . . . if Buffy had not given herself away, would she have have continued to assault Spike?

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  18. [Note: Zillex posted this comment on February 27, 2009.]

    I think this is the only Buffy episode that I genuinely disliked (this includes Bad Eggs, IRYJ, Beer Bad, etc). Buffy being all chipper and playing pranks on people when shes invisible felt so out of character and juvenile. The dialogue felt very stiff with very little flow. Willow tempted to use magic again because her webpage is taking a few seconds to load? Ugh. I also thought the ‘whimsical’ music was very annoying.

    The only part I found mildly amusing was when Spike did more pushup ‘excerizes’.

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  19. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on April 16, 2009.]

    This will soon spill over into having fun sex with Spike… and not beating herself up over it for a change.

    You do realize that this moment of fun sex started with an invisible Buffy trying to rape Spike? Right? She pushed him against a wall and started ripping off his clothes. And Spike looked genuinely frightened. It was only when she giggled and started talking when Spike realized that Buffy was in his crypt and they had consented sex.

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  20. [Note: Emily posted this comment on June 13, 2009.]

    I really don’t like how the writers portray Doris and what Buffy did to her. They made it seem like social workers are horrible people- that they take a one-minute look around and happily decide to ruin people’s lives. lee, if I was a social worker and saw a bag of weed lying around in open view, where anyone could take it, including a 15-year-old girl, I’d also have some major concerns. The way Buffy deals with Doris is childish and stupid, and it shows a horrible side of Buffy.

    “I understood Buffy messing with Doris. It was the only option she could think of to get a new case worker and hopefully have that day’s visit erased.”

    Viewer, I completely disagree with you. Buffy could’ve tried to be on her best behavior, help Dawn with homework, make sure she gets to school, talk to her teachers, get a job (which she does, but only *after* making the well-meaning social worker crazy), be around more by having Spike and the Scoobies do patrols (they did it when she was dead!), and pretty much just shape up- slowly but surely. Instead, she plays a stupid and cruel joke, and I don’t find this funny at all. I definitely don’t find the way the writers portray social workers funny- at all.

    I also wanted to mention- notice that only after Buffy begins to have sex with Spike does she have this epiphany of “not wanting to be dead.” Dare I say that even though this relationship (I don’t know if you can really call it that) was unhealthy, it still *helped* Buffy, made her feel alive?

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  21. [Note: Emily posted this comment on June 16, 2009.]

    What I meant to say was that, as unhealthy and emotionally abusive (on Buffy’s part, in the way she treats Spike) as this relationship was, Buffy would not have healed from her traumatic experiences without it- or it would’ve taken longer.

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  22. [Note: wagdog posted this comment on June 17, 2009.]

    Together, my wife and I are watching all seven seasons of Buffy for the first time (I got the seven season set for Christmas – woohoo!). What a wonderful roller coaster ride it’s been and I’ve been fine up to this episode, which we watched last night, but I have to say that Gone has left me cold.

    The jokes weren’t funny (for the most part) and what was supposed to be funny was actually cruel. Buffy was totally out of character, not intentionally as near as I can tell, but more due to bad writing I presume. I have a hard time imagining Buffy running around all giggly and doing stupid and mean things just hours after being told she could lose Dawn if she doesn’t straighten up. And happily sexually attacking Spike? What was that all about? Wasn’t it just an episode or so ago she was all self loathing for having anything to do with him (and rightly so)? Sadly, this is the first episode where I had little sympathy/empathy/connection at all with Buffy. I hardly knew her.

    My wife had an astute observation. She said “I don’t like Willow anymore”. I’m not there yet but I can see her point. Willow’s whole “junkie” thing seems to have derailed her amazing arc of ‘shy girl turning into a powerful and dangerous sorceress’ journey. Too bad. Maybe at some point Willow could have hit rock bottom, but not now, and not this silly way. It feels artificial.

    Xander and Anya seem to spend all their time at the Magic Shop futilely looking up monsters in books (or half heartily planning the wedding). Come on, we’ve got two great characters there, let’s use them! I know Xander has some great depth to him and I bet Anya could still surprise us all.

    There were some good moments, like the Trio getting stuck with the locked door, but even that was cliche (I still laughed though). And I liked the reflective Willow and Buffy bit at the end, the only scene that seemed genuine to me.

    As an aside, this episode felt like filler to me. The fact that the principal character was only a voice over for most of the show makes me think that SMG had scheduling conflicts and they had to rush something together to work around it. Wouldn’t you have loved to have been a fly on the wall at some Buffy production meetings?

    Anyway, I’ve rambled enough. Gone got me worked up enough to actually post something on Mike’s wonderful reviews. I don’t know what the future holds since this is my first time through (and I’m not reading ahead) so let the journey continue!

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  23. [Note: Leelu posted this comment on June 17, 2009.]

    Most people seem to think that Buffy behaves out of character this episode, but I have to I disagree. She’s always had a much more aggressive, darker, bitchy side to her. And it’s a generally well-accepted notion that if one were to become invisible, they would begin to lose sense of right and wrong. Even on the internet, anonymous people are much more likely to behave like total assholes.

    Now, I do agree that they make poor choices with the humor. Dark humor can be done quite well, but it just did not work in this episode.

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  24. [Note: Shannon posted this comment on June 17, 2009.]

    I’m on my first rewatch of this season, and this is one of two episodes in this season that I considered skipping. The other was As You Were, but there are some great character moments – between Anya/Xander and Spike/Buffy in particular – that manage to distract the viewer from the horrendous plot and horrendous acting on the part of Sam. However, I really didn’t find anything in Gone that would make this episode worth watching again in the future. The only valuable thing we get out of this episode is Buffy’s realization that she doesn’t want to die, and also I suppose the rather amusing meeting in the arcade.

    Some points made by others in previous comments that touch on why I find this episode distasteful, and won’t be watching it again.

    Joan: “The tone didn’t match the content” – Exactly. We have a dark premise, with Buffy acting in a rather despicable manner because she feels she can escape from her life by being invisible, yet we have a lighthearded comedic tone, with “whimsical” music and a chipper Buffy voice. I really think this episode would have worked so much better if they’d gone DARK with it – a mean and sinister Buffy who only snaps out of her revelry because she doesn’t want to die. Leelu, I don’t think her behavior was out of character, the episode just completely took the wrong tone with that behavior – it comes across as if it’s supposed to be cute and funny, when it should have shown how angry and desperate Buffy has become.

    Emily: “I really don’t like how the writers portray Doris and what Buffy did to her.” Social workers in this country tend to be overworked and underpaid, and get very little thanks for the good work they do (much like teachers!). I have a few friends who are social workers, and they tend to be people who really care and want to make a difference – they’re willing to sacrifice a lot to try to help people. The fact is that Buffy wasn’t doing a great job taking care of Dawn, and to vilify and mock Doris feels very wrong.

    wagdog: “Willow’s whole “junkie” thing seems to have derailed her amazing arc” Yes, and this is one of the major complaints about S6 as a whole. I could almost deal with it in Wrecked, but here is where I find the mataphor to be the most grating – Willow drinks a lot of water and is tempted to move books across the table. Lame.

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  25. [Note: Tara posted this comment on June 27, 2009.]

    I have mixed feelings about ‘Gone’. Beneath the whimsical silliness, this is actually a rather nasty little episode: Buffy’s behaviour goes from a worrying nonchalence to being downright cruel, not to mention the sexual assault and attempted murder that is disturbingly easy to gloss over if you’re not watching closely. In this sense, ‘Gone’ is reminiscent of ‘Once More With Feeling’ in that there is a lot of deeply unsettling stuff beneath the jaunty surface, and this becomes even more apparent on repeat viewings.

    However, I can’t decide whether this was Fury’s intention (much of Season 6’s seemingly upbeat moments actually have a very melancholic undertone) or merely a misjudged attempt to inject a little comedy into a point in the Season where it feels very misplaced. The general fan reaction to this episode suggests the latter.

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  26. [Note: Mush posted this comment on July 26, 2009.]

    One of the funniest moments in this episode is just after Xander catches spike having sex with invisible Buffy and then when he leaves he says ‘I’ll just let you get back to your……exercise’ The look on Xander’s face has me in fits of laughter even now.

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  27. [Note: Chris posted this comment on October 20, 2009.]

    Just a thought, no-one remembers andrew’s flying monkies, could this be an event changed by the introduction of dawn? Just an idea. I’m aware its not truly logical but thats the only other massive memory change.

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  28. [Note: Sunburn posted this comment on November 14, 2009.]

    I agree with other commenters about Buffy having a dark side and it showing here. I love and sympathise with Buffy, but she treats Spike very badly at times and – something I am only noticing on this, my second watch of the whole series – she and Willow are frequently incredibly bitchy and put-down-y of Anya.

    The scenes where Xander lays into Spike for being a loser when he is actually shagging Buffy are hilarious for me. Poor Buffy! And Spike’s expression when they’re at the kitchen sink is pure joy… the cheekbones at their very finest. Also, like Mush, I LOVED Xander’s delivery, complete with expansive gesture, of the ‘I’ll leave you to your… exercises’ line. Lollerama!

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  29. [Note: Echo posted this comment on January 8, 2010.]

    I just recently discovered this site, and I just recently discovered Buffy! Amazing that I could have gone so long without seeing it. I am seeing this stuff for the first time, and I haven’t even seen Season 7 yet. I’m delighted to see that there’s some ongoing conversation in the threads on this site :).

    At any rate, I almost always agree with Mike’s reviews, so I find it very interesting when I find myself totally disagreeing with him and/or most of the rest of the fandom. I absolutely loved Gone, and I wasn’t very kind to the episodes in the middle of these season overall.

    Gone delighted me because it took what I saw as a standard scifi/fantasy trope and did something entirely different with it. Invisibility stories are stock in SFF, and they *always* involve the invisible character getting to watch other characters talk and behave as they would when she’s not there. So she learns that someone secretly hates her, or loves her, or some bit of plot is not as she thought it was. When I saw the Trio gun misfire and render her invisible, I was so annoyed I almost shut off the TV.

    But no! This is a different kind of invisibility story. Like other times tired tropes are brought into the series, it goes in a totally different direction. Buffy’s delighted to be invisible, not upset. Other than messing with the social worker, she doesn’t even try very hard to mask her presence. She certainly doesn’t eavesdrop on her friends. I found her delight at playing games with her invisibility very fun to watch. And I thought the camera comedy of a showdown between an invisible Trio and an invisible Slayer was laugh-out-loud funny. I really don’t understand why you would want to cut the Trio out of this episode. It seems like the perfect place for them, somewhere in the middle of being uselessly goofy to actually becoming sinister.

    I didn’t find the use of this lighthearted story to address Buffy’s issues to be nearly so hollow as most of you did. I was touched by how fun-loving and relaxed invisible Buffy became when she had a chance to step outside herself for a while. I don’t think this actually made light of her problems. It seemed to underscore just how trapped she felt in her life.

    I think my only real gripe with this episode was the social worker scene at the beginning. That really was shallow, and I couldn’t imagine anything in that short awkward scene actually upsetting a social worker as much as it did. Dawn’s grades and lateness? Sure. The fact that there’s a legitimate tenant sleeping upstairs? Why should that bother anyone, and why would Buffy feel the need to conceal it? Huh?

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  30. [Note: Sven posted this comment on June 5, 2010.]

    With her life continuing to push inward on her, Buffy tries to change herself in the hopes that maybe it’ll help snap her out of her post-resurrection funk. At first she thinks cutting her hair will make a difference.

    I’m rather surprised that apparently no one has picked up on this yet on the comments, but trying to “snap her out of her post-resurrection funk” is *not* the reason Buffy cuts her hair. She cuts it literally right after Spike comments how much he likes it calls her Goldilocks. Buffy cuts her hair as another attempt to deny her attraction of him and to push him away, to give him one less reason to “try to see her”.

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  31. [Note: Afterthebattle posted this comment on August 4, 2010.]

    I agree with Sven, but I also thinks she cuts her hair, because she is disgusted with herself after Spike touched it.

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  32. [Note: MrB posted this comment on October 15, 2010.]

    This is the worst episode in S6, but not for the lame plot. Plots don’t matter when they serve character development.

    The problem with this episode is that it completely broke character rules – Buffy isn’t mean, and on the odd occasion when when she is, she isn’t giddy or gleeful about it. This is exactly covered in Season 2’s When She Was Bad – “Buffy’s always been different, but she’s never been mean.” In that episode, she was mean for a reason, but not gleeful about it.

    She does NOT take pleasure in causing other people pain. What she does to Doris is so far out of character that nothing can explain it away. Buffy could have just changed the report and submitted it. While not nice, it is not as mean as *torturing* Doris.

    This is not like “what if Buffy got superhero powers.” She already has them and knows how to deal with them. Adding invisibility is just another thing, like preternatural strength and healing abilities.

    This really breaks canon for no good reason. The only useful line in the show was about her not wanting to die. That could have been there regardless of previous developments. You don’t change an almost DNA-based character trait for the sake of a so-so episode at best.

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  33. [Note: DarthMarion posted this comment on November 6, 2010.]

    I don’t know if it’s out of characterness.

    You’re referencing to WSWB and you’re totally right.

    However, WSWB applied in season 6, actually in all season 6.

    Buffy is living through a far more difficult trauma than in WSWB and she’s actually ill (depression is an illness). So I can see her mean and I can see her totally losing to the point of not caring about the consequences of her state.

    The problem in my opinion is the tone. Gone is I think Buffy at her lowest in her illness. It’s the lowest point she gets to in season 6 and that says a lot. And what kind of episode are they doing about this state? Such a shame!

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  34. [Note: debisib posted this comment on November 30, 2010.]

    I dont get the responses… i mean… I read the review, and it made me think about the episode, and i said to myself “i dont remember hating it this much, let me watch again.”

    So i did.

    Aaaaand came to the same conclusion i did previously… the humor isn’t great but its ok. Buffy acting out of character is actually in character. For the first time since she was brought back, she felt like she didnt have to be the strong, caring, no holds barred girls she is becoming, and becomes in season 7. Think about it, in season 7, we all see her take charge and she feels the true pressures of being the leader…. to the point where she almost quits. In this episode, we see her get a break from that pressure that is already starting to build up in her. she has a lot to deal with, with money and dawn and slaying, and from her POV, one’s got to assume shes using this power as a way to escape her responsibilities, even if for only a few hours. I actually appreciate the tone of her character in this episode because it seems to make the other times, where she is feeling overwhelming pressure and depression, more pertinent to her arc. I might act out of my own nature too.

    As for Willow, i dont agree with anyone. I think her arc this season is incredible. I’ve dealt with withdrawals of painkillers before. It’s very similar to her situation. If you get addicted to anything, it’s very hard to give up…(im also a cigarette smoker)… and in her case, and the way the show wrote it, using magic drains your energy. However, while you’re i nthe process of using it, it makes you feel great. Anything that makes you feel eutopia, which is then stripped from you, cold turkey, will have lingering effects on your mind. Her body isn’t craving the magic, her mind is. It takes a strong willed person to give up anything, but something that powerful SHOULD have a negative effect on her. The metaphor really doesnt bother me that much, in fact, i think it was a good way to show the viewers how much Willow has changed, and how much she despises who she used to be. She’s willing to get addicted to an unstable force just to change herself.

    In the episode previous to this, Amy elludes to this when she says

    “you dont wanna stay home all night like you did in high school, do you?”

    and willow responds with an emphatic NO! And if she didn have magic at this point, she may have turned to an actual drug… realistically.

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  35. [Note: serenissima posted this comment on October 29, 2011.]

    This is completely inconsequential, but I have to say that the wig they used for when Buffy cuts her hair is awful! The first ten minutes of the episode I watched it thinking, ‘Why does SMG have on a wig? What’s up with that part in her hair?’ It looked so fake! When she busted out the scissors and cut ‘her’hair after Doris left, I was like ‘Ah!’ It was WAY obvious.

    Like

  36. [Note: Alex posted this comment on October 31, 2011.]

    Oh, totally agree – that wig is HORRIBLE. But what I really want to know is, how did SMG grow her hair so long again by Season 7? It was only a year later and her hair was back to below her shoulders again! I am seriously jealous of anyone who can grow their hair that fast.

    OK, I’ll stop being so superficial now.

    Like

  37. [Note: BGAP posted this comment on March 12, 2012.]

    Appreciated the reference to one of my favorite horror films, “The Shining,” with “All work and no play…” typed repeatedly on multiple pages.

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  38. [Note: Odon posted this comment on May 11, 2012.]

    So candles are like bongs to a witch. And to think we thought Willow and Tara were just having rampant lesbian sex during their spellcasting sessions.

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  39. [Note: Great Whazoo posted this comment on November 29, 2012.]

    I found this episode thoroughly enjoyable but once again I seem to have a different perspective on Willow not using her magics to search down the van. The fact that she used paint chips & tire marks to trace the black van to the trio’s lair was a huge leap for her. I think Mike just skipped over this as I find these reviews are always tougher on Willow’s story line than the rest. In these episodes, Alyson had to portray many different aspects of Willow’s persona, going through some horrendous moments, and was well up to the task. I enjoy the “brainy” Willow finding their hideaway and her figuring out the Ray guns spec’s and Buffy’s dissappearance much more than the magic spell methods. My only concern is she figures out alot on little known facts, though. Having the showdown in an amusement arcade was my favourite scene, (besides a frisky, invisible Buffy tormenting Spike!)

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  40. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 7, 2013.]

    This episode was made for laughs, but what’s in it is terrible.

    The “joke” with the social worker is the worst and a missed opportunity. First, she’s written to look bad, but she isn’t saying: I’m taking Dawn away, she’s saying she’s gonna watch carefully in the coming months and that makes perfect sense. What Buffy does to her is mean: good way to destabilise the mental state of one person and messing with her job ! But that does say something about Buffy: she doesn’t want to face the problem with Dawn. She has thoroughly neglected her sister, at this point she has no job and any sane person should be worried about Dawn’s well being and environment. (Again, where is the father ?).

    Then she goes to Spike’s crypt and sexually assaults him. In my book, wether it’s again a man or a female, it’s more than wrong. Okay, Spike is a soulless vampire and I don’t think Buffy would have done the same with a human, but there’s a parallel to draw when the roles are reversed. The message that’s given, because of the light tone of comedy, is very disturbing: Buffy finally feels free of restraints, so she runs to abuse a social worker and Spike, and it’s alright ? I believe that’s the only episode in BtVS where the writing disgusted me, because there were no consequences (or good ones: no more social services !!!) after totally immoral behaviours.

    What was done partially right was about Willow: I don’t buy the physical withdrawal but I buy her mental problems to restrain herself from using a quick fix. When she manages to resolve a puzzle without magic, well, it would have been nice for her friends to reinforce her confidence.

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  41. [Note: Harriet posted this comment on September 15, 2013.]

    Willow’s problem being treated as drug addiction ruins the storyline for me. Having her messing with power out of arrogance and not understanding the repercussions of her actions or considering how they affect others is far more interesting to me than her simply being addicted to magic. Also it doesn’t fit with the buildup over the past few seasons. Before ‘Wrecked’ magic and being a witch was never portrayed having any connection or being similar in any way to drugs and drug use. It’s just plain silly and cheapens it in my opinion.

    Also making the social worker seem like she’s having a mental breakdown, something I’ve witnessed someone go through, is a horrific thing to do and should not be played for laughs. As Arachnea said she could well destabilise her mental state for real.

    I also agree with Arachnea that Buffy sexually assaulted Spike. I do feel it became consesual sex but the beginning of the scene, when Buffy pushes him against the wall and rips open his shirt is assault. Not convinced? Imagine it with the genders reversed and see if you still see it as okay and funny.

    The whole exchange between Xander and Spike was terribly written in my opinion. I don’t see why Xander never mentions the danger Buffy is in, if for no other reason than to motivate Spike to try and find her. Also Spike says he’ll look for Buffy in a bit and neither character seems to notice what a stupid statement this is since she’s invisible so it’s not as simple as just going around searching for her.

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  42. [Note: Myself posted this comment on October 24, 2013.]

    One thing that has always bothered me with this episode in particular is why the Watchers Council aren’t able to take a hand when the authorities (in this case social security) get involved in Buffy’s life. OK, so perhaps they themselves couldn’t care less about Buffy losing guardianship of Dawn, but as we saw in the Season 5 episode ‘Checkpoint,’ they are willing to do what Buffy wants as long as it doesn’t hurt their interests and it keeps her from rebelling like Faith did (and she did, back in Graduation Day.) You could argue that the Watchers Council didn’t have the power to get involved in these matters, but since they could apparently ‘deport Mr Giles in a second’ I think it’s likely they had some measure of influence over these sort of affairs.

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  43. [Note: Seele posted this comment on October 25, 2013.]

    Yeah, but then Buffy would have to ask them for help first, and that would destroy any progress she had made in Season 5 at making them stop trying to control her.

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  44. [Note: Myself posted this comment on October 26, 2013.]

    Although you would have thought she would have been able to swallow her pride if custodianship of Dawn had been on the line. Thankfully she managed to creep out that lady enough that it didn’t come to that.

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  45. [Note: Joy posted this comment on October 26, 2013.]

    I never understood why the Watcher’s Council didn’t take better care of their one-and-only-Slayer. At the very least they should have covered her living expenses and paid her a decent salary. They somehow had money to pay the Watchers, but not the Slayer.

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  46. [Note: Boscalyn posted this comment on January 22, 2014.]

    “I think using the same basic outline while taking a more serious approach with more subtle humor, and removing the Trio out of the main plot entirely, would have worked a whole lot better.”

    I think you’re missing the point of this episode. This episode may seem to be centered around Buffy, but it’s actually using Buffy’s plight to give the viewer insight into the Trio and their motivations as villains.

    Warren, Andrew, and Jonathan only do the things they do because the Trio is facing scrutiny, not them. The reason they’re posing as supervillains is so that they don’t have to confront the implications of their actions. Take the scene in Flooded where they discuss their plan to hypnotize Buffy and make her a sex slave– Jonathan and Andrew would never even suggest something like that if they stopped and thought, “Hey wait, doesn’t this constitute sexual assault?” Warren, on the other hand, is consciously putting up these supervillain facades so that he doesn’t have to deal with the implications of his actions. (The other two are doing this too to a certain extent, albeit more subconsciously than consciously. This comes to a head in Storyteller.)

    The invisibility ray is the perfect metaphor here. Warren constructs this intricate web of comic book tropes so he doesn’t have to face the gravity of his actions. Warren Mears, basement-dwelling roboticist couldn’t hold Willow hostage or attempt to murder Buffy, but the Slayer’s mysterious archnemesis can get away with all that.

    When Buffy becomes invisible, we get to see firsthand how her invisibility lets her slip into a childish fantasy. She’s not Buffy Summers, crappy teen mom– she’s the malignant poltergeist haunting the innocent social worker. (Note her allusion to The Shining– she’s consciously invoking horror tropes here.)

    Of course, in the process of turning into a horror trope, Buffy is slowly disintegrating– she’s disappearing behind that barrier. If Buffy doesn’t own up to the implications of her actions, she herself is going to be gone forever, replaced by the childish revenge fantasy.

    This, of course, leads into the climactic fight scene, which ends with both Buffy and the Trio visible, unable to hide anymore. The environmental symbolism can’t not be intentional: the Trio drags Buffy to an arcade because it stands for childish fun and innocence. When their fight is over and they’re revealed for who they really are, the games have all been smashed. The fun and games are over– now they’re going to have to own up to their actions. This is the turning point in their characterization; the next time we see the Trio is Dead Things, where Katrina forces Warren to look behind his suave supervillain disguise and see himself for the gross misogynist he is, with fatal results.

    Underrated episode. Really ties into the central themes of the season in a way that’s subtle and actually pretty funny.

    Like

  47. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on January 23, 2014.]

    I generally always approach an episode from Buffy’s perspective, her being the lead character and all, unless the show is obvious in redirecting me (a la “The Zeppo”), but your way of looking at “Gone” is quite intriguing. You make some excellent points in favor of it, which I’ll be keeping in mind going forward. Very cool.

    Great comment!

    Like

  48. [Note: Keith posted this comment on July 21, 2014.]

    I disagree with this reading of things. Warren, up to this point, has shown some frightening sociopathic tendencies. Unlike Andrew and Jonathan, Warren has been mostly serious about the work of being a villain. While A&J bicker incessantly about various minutae of geekdom, Warren actually gets things done. Note his total lack of interest in the well-being of the security guard they shoot with the freeze ray. A&J act mostly like children in many of their endeavors – such as Andrew taking the diamond heist as an opportunity to construct an intricate, Mission Impossible-esque suspension mechanism while his cohorts simply walk into the musem.

    And not for nothing, but the sexbot that Warren built for himself in S5 shows he will go pretty much as far as he has to to obtain what he wants. This becomes much more clear in “Dead Things.” What also becomes clear in “Dead Things,” is that Warren is unmoved by murder, where A&J are rightfully horrified. No, Warren Mears is not simply an inept character, putting on the mask of a super-villain in order to play out some twisted childhood fantasy. He is a narcissistic, sociopathic, power-hungry man who sees the Slayer as the only legitimate obstacle between him and his goal of taking over Sunnydale. I think we see through the fist half of S6 that what may have started out as a game for all 3 turns deadly serious for Warren rather quickly, and may have been a serious endeavor all along; A&J are much slower to catch on, and are not real enthusiastic when the implications of their actions become clear.

    As for the rest of this episode, it is just awful on so many levels. The ray itself makes no sense – things turn invisible, but blasts go everywhere and yet buildings, sidewalks, and the Earth itself remain unchanged. The traffic cone begins turning to goo a mere hours after being shot, but Buffy goes more than 24 hours without being harmed by invisibility. Willow finds the lair of The Trio, where all of the ray’s schematics just happen to be lying about, allowing her to defuse the end scene where Warren intends to kill Buffy.

    Never mind the fact that it makes NO SENSE for The Trio to meet Buffy at the arcade to kill her – they could have simply skipped town with the ray, let her die, and come back to rule Sunnydale. Why in God’s name would you meet up with the Slayer to introduce yourselves as her nemesis-es-es, when you are just going to kill her anyways and it risks foiling your whole plot? It all amounts to writing that is much, much lazier than we’re used to on this show. It also makes a critical analysis of this choice of setting maddening to me – writing a story that makes no logical sense in order to make a point is far worse than just writing an illogical story because you are a bad writer, or you phoned it in. The latter is merely annoying; the former is insulting.

    Buffy’s metaphoric “liberation” in the form of invisibility is about the only decent plot line here, and can we all focus on how awfully Buffy treats the social worker? The social worker’s assessment of Dawn’s chaotic home life and Buffy’s absentee parenting was pretty much spot on. She gives Buffy an ample period of time in which to improve the situation, and Buffy goes to the woman’s workplace and discredits her, likely to the point that she can no longer be trusted to do her job. The theme of what Buffy might be like with power but without Slayer duties is one that is tackled repeatedly throughout the entire series, and I like that the answer is often that she might not be such a good person after all. Of course, this amounts to basically a rehash of this old theme, although combined with her escapades with Spike it does help show that perhaps she’s fallen lower and farther this time than at any time in the past.

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  49. [Note: Freudian Vampire posted this comment on July 21, 2014.]

    First of all, I think it’s a tad ridiculous to expect the invisibility ray to affect the ground, buildings and such – it’s likely that the gun is simply not powerful enough to do that. The writer’s didn’t include an explanation, but I’d argue it’s logical enough that they didn’t need to. As for the traffic cone, I think it is stated in the episode that the amount of time it takes depends on the size of the object. Again, seems fairly logical.

    Secondly, Warren is in your own words a ‘narcissistic, sociopathic, power-hungry man’, and being a misogynist he is specifically invested in destroying the Slayer, a symbol of female power. I don’t see why it’s out-of-character for him to want to be there when Buffy dies.

    To be honest, though, your nitpicks are minor. Buffy has errors like this frequently and even in the best of episodes (“Innocence” for example).

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  50. [Note: Kyle posted this comment on July 21, 2014.]

    “Never mind the fact that it makes NO SENSE for The Trio to meet Buffy at the arcade to kill her – they could have simply skipped town with the ray, let her die, and come back to rule Sunnydale.”

    It was pretty clear in this episode that Jonathan and Andrew did not want that to happen to Buffy. I doubt they would have done this even with Warren pushing them. Furthermore, Warren obviously had no intention of killing Buffy originally. He only went with that idea after figuring out that the invisibility ray was harming her. His original intent was to become invisible.

    “Why in God’s name would you meet up with the Slayer to introduce yourselves as her nemesis-es-es, when you are just going to kill her anyways and it risks foiling your whole plot?”

    Like I said, the Trio did not want to kill Buffy (at least not Jonathan and Andrew. Also, it is important to note that Warren not only wanted to be bad he want to be a big bad. As a result, he believed he had to make his presence known to the most powerful person on the good side, his “nemesis”: Buffy.

    Anyway, this episode is okay at best. It does have some interesting things going on though…

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  51. [Note: Keith posted this comment on July 21, 2014.]

    The goal may not have been to kill her originally, but Warren had to know the danger of invisibility, as he put the “turn to goo faster” setting on the ray. He knew all along she was going to die once they shot her. It simply defies logic that he would want her dead and then give her the chance to save herself, when they didn’t need to help her die. And it makes it doubly stupid to want to introduce yourself to someone who you want to be dead soon. And to have Willow nearby for the confrontation when she saw the plans for the ray? That’s just asking for your plan to fizzle.

    I will admit that my concerns about the ray are nitpicky. If the rest of the episode worked, it wouldn’t be much of a concern. But in an episode where the villains act extra stupid for no reason that is evident from what they say or do on screen, it just stands out as another thing that more attentive writing would have explained.

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  52. [Note: Kyle posted this comment on July 21, 2014.]

    I doubt that Jonathan and Andrew would have let Warren kill Buffy at this time. They had made their opposition to that course of action quite clear up until this point and beyond (until “Dead Things”). So, Warren needed a way around that. To do this, he had to make Buffy think that he was going to save her to get her into the meeting place, and he also had to make Jonathan and Andrew believe it as well so that they couldn’t do anything to stop him (as they wouldn’t have known about his intentions in the first place). Also, Warren did not introduce himself. Once Willow zapped him with the gun (making him visible again) Buffy found out who he was (same with the other two).

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  53. [Note: Keith posted this comment on July 22, 2014.]

    He could have broken the ray before he went and made the Trio invisible, for one thing. Or taken off with it in the middle of the night. No ray means no way for anyone to save Buffy, no matter what A&J have to say on the matter. Or, he could have called her in private and sent her somewhere else.

    At this stage, I think it’s pretty clear that Warren is deadly serious in his ambitions, even while A&J still mostly see it as a game. There’s just no way you can say it makes sense for him to put so little thought into killing his arch-enemy to go through with such a half-assed plan. Not when it’s so easy to come up with any number of plans by which he could stall long enough for her to die.

    The superhero always wins when you try to kill him or her at arm’s length. Did Warren really learn nothing from comic books?

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  54. [Note: Kyle posted this comment on July 22, 2014.]

    One thing you’re neglecting however, is just how clumsy the Trio is at this point (Warren included). While Warren did mean to kill Buffy, he still wasn’t really serious about anything. He was just doing the things he did up until “Dead things” to try to be evil (like children on a play ground, someone always wants to be the bad guy) rather than, after “Dead Things,” doing the things he did to survive and, in addition, to truly become a power in Sunnydale (he began to get serious about what he was doing because he had to if he wanted to continue down his path of evil). Because of Warren’s still more childish behavior before “Dead Things,” much of what he did up until that episode was, frankly, quite stupid and, like I said, clumsy.

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  55. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on September 5, 2015.]

    Does anyone else agree that outside of Triangle this might one of Gellar’s more grating performances. I would say it was because she was voice-acting for most of it but she seems to have pretty well for herself in other voice-acting roles. My guess is that there wasn’t a whole lot of proper direction for those scenes so it didn’t really sound right.

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  56. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on September 5, 2015.]

    Apparently the reason for Triangle getting kind of messed up was that that was the director’s only episode and maybe he just couldn’t get the best out of Gellar, though the writing might not have helped either. For Gone that was the first television episode that David Fury directed (he also did Lies my parents Told Me and Power Play) so I guess he either lacked the experience or he didn’t handle the voice-over part with much care.

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  57. [Note: Krssven posted this comment on September 7, 2015.]

    I think it sums the season, not just the episode, up when you realise where they were trying to go with the themes and darkness of the overall season but juxtaposed it with ‘villains’ who are really just three dorks messing around. I mean, I get that Warren’s different than the other two…I just didn’t care. By the time he becomes interesting enough to be considered villainous the season’s almost over. Killing one person (even if it’s his ex) doesn’t make Warren a true Buffy villain. If anything, they needed a true villain even more this season than any other. The scoobies are all over the place this season in a similar way to Angel Investigations in late S3/early S4, but on that show they manage to balance their character work with proper plot and true villains with motivations. I’m not the biggest fan of Sahjhan and Holtz, but they are interesting, amusing and have specific reasons to be after Angel. The Trio have no such redeeming qualities – they are just occasionally randomly amusing and nothing else. In Angel S4, there are all kinds of character disputes and angst going on, but at the end of the day there’s still the main thrust of why they are there: to kill monsters and help people. On Buffy they lost this focus after S5 and never really got it back; S7 felt tired, full of exposition and with too many instances of lazy writing (the Scythe, anyone? Never mentioned prior to the penultimate episode, yet is important to the end of the entire show. Or the mysterious amulet that you had to have seen the Angel finale to fully get where it came from?)

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  58. [Note: Gaut posted this comment on April 13, 2016.]

    Just rewatched it, and noticed something… After Xander’s visit to Spike, Buffy (in)visibly kneels in front of Spike. Next thing on screen is Willow on a computer in a place called “Pump”.

    As Buffy said in OMWG, what else could she pump him for…

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  59. [Note: Toove posted this comment on June 13, 2016.]

    I write this so many years later … 😀 Will someone read my comment?

    Some of these comments seem to be based on the belief that how we behave is how we ARE, and that it is inborn, not a choice. Obviously when we decide to discuss the hedge hight with our neighbour in a more or less sivilised manner instead of trying to chop his head off with the hedgetrimmer, it is a choice we do, because we know what will happen. Although for some people it is more difficult than for others to stay calm.
    There has been research done on hormones of people from cultures were you are seen as week if you talk quietly, and people from these places (especially men) state that they work themselves up to be able to shout, and thus their stress hormones also rises. (Very unhealthy)
    Now Buffy is of course a superhero and you can expect a bit more from her, but it seems to me completely believable that she is near a breaking point and would love to “give a bit back to the world”by treating the world in a shitty way. After all, she saves the world on a regular basis and doesn t even get paid, or get to keep her boyfriends. Most people doesn t even know that the world has been in peril.

    About the alleged assault on Spike: Spike has been pestering her for sex for ages. Would he really say no? Their relationship is quite abusive in general, and they enjoy hitting eachother, so it seems perfectly in line.
    Certainly their relationship is a great advocate for womens right to chose whichever sexual partners they want, since it is so obvious that after death Buffy does want him yet says no. Does she mainly say no because of what the others might think?
    His behaviour before her death is terrible stalking behaviour, and I am sorry if it makes some boys think this would be acceptable behaviour. If a guy I really was not interested in behaved like that I would be totally freaked out.

    Spike has saved the life of the others various times and fought alongside them for the half year Buffy was dead. I think they treat him badly, Spike certainly has more sensible lines than Xander, the writers seem to dislike the character and want him to be selfish, jealous, not much help etc

    I quite like the episode, but agree that it shouldn t be played so lighthearted, Buffys depression and near breaking point could have been more obvious.

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  60. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on June 13, 2016.]

    Don’t worry, this community is still active and so are the comment sections.

    Indeed, Mike’s still planning to re-write some of his older reviews, though he’s rather busy at the moment, what with work and marriage and all.

    If you want more discussion, come join us over at the forum. There aren’t a ton of us, but we’re quite active.

    Anyway, that aside, you have some good points here. (Though that hedge-trimmer example seems awfully specific. Are you speaking from experience?)

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  61. [Note: Toove posted this comment on June 13, 2016.]

    haha no I don t even have garden, so no experience with neighbouring feuds, but here in Norway lawyers do make a good living from hedge heights and placement 🙂
    Tip for Mike would be to make it easier to find more of the older comments, since there are so many posts and only a few “latest comments” can be seen on the list.
    I am writing a comment on the second to last episode as well ( touched), but yes, maybe I should join the forum.
    It is super interesting how different people interpret the screen personaes actions, even when we can rewatch what they do many times and so can catch everything they say and all small expressions.
    Shows why we easily have conflicts and misunderstandings in real life, doesn t it?

    Like

  62. [Note: Toove posted this comment on June 14, 2016.]

    Possibly I write this below the wrong episode, but while i am at it:
    More on LOVE oh LOVE
    Especially the relationship between Xander and Anya reflects the belief that our own status is enhanced or belittled by who we love.
    Anya the ex-demon doesn t really get this, she is beautiful (the womens main asset), yet choses a man who lives in his parents cellar and frankly doesn t contribute that much to their monsterfight. Xander yet starts to think he can do better, and that the silly and socially awkward things Anya says somehow reflects back on Xander.
    Why do we think like that? Why not just accept that the person we love is likely not perfect, just like we ourselves are not perfect, and that love doesn t always make much sense.
    It is not just about the person itself, but also about how this person makes us feel and wether we can understand eachother and enjoy eachothers company.
    Our lovers are separate people from ourselves. Let us compete for status on other arenas.

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  63. [Note: trilliumjente posted this comment on July 25, 2016.]

    RE: Buffy cutting her hair. I believe there is another motivation for her. This scene floored me, because I had done the same thing, several months before I ever watched BtVS for the first time. I had several reasons for cutting my hair, which I did in exactly the same way Buffy did, just grabbing it and whacking, without even thinking or caring how short I cut it or how it would look afterward. The action was a result of frustration, despair, and suicidal feelings (hello, Buffy, I understand you here). I could not allow myself to act on those feelings, and the hair cutting was an act of mutilation, to destroy something precious and beautiful to both myself and others, instead of my life. Note that this occurred earlier in the same episode where Buffy confessed to Willow that she no longer wished to die.

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  64. I’m going to say for my own headcanon that the invisibility ray messed with Buffy’s brain, and that’s why she acted so out of character while invisible. I cannot imagine Buffy pulling such ridiculous pranks on people and laughing about it like that. And what she did to the social worker was horrible.

    And yet, on one level, I’m glad she did. One thing I don’t like about this season is the intrusion of real life. I don’t want to see Buffy struggling to make ends meet, I don’t want to see annoying social workers coming by and threatening to take Dawn away. It’s not why I’m watching the show. So if Buffy’s horrible behavior ended that threat, then good.

    I don’t get Dawn’s anger with Buffy. She’s flat-out blaming her for the car crash. Huh????

    I hate the “magic is like drugs, and Willow’s addicted so no more magic for her” storyline. I like that Buffy has super powers. I like her not being the only one. I like Willow being powerful in her own right and in a different way. It makes the show more enjoyable for me. Taking away Willow’s superness is not good.

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