Buffy 7×15: Get it Done

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Douglas Petrie | Director: Douglas Petrie | Aired: 02/18/2003]

“Get it Done,” an episode with a very relevant title, does a solid job at helping several key characters move beyond their fears and doubts so that they will be ready and able when the big fight is at hand. Buffy continues to take a very authoritative stance towards everyone, including her friends and even herself. If this group is to have any chance of winning their battle, though, they need to be confident in themselves and their abilities. “Get it Done” puts them through their paces and, thanks to Buffy, forces them to act now. I’m a real fan of this episode, although it’s not without its flaws.

First, let me get out of the way that I have mixed feelings over the effectiveness of Chloe hanging herself. I get the statement they’re trying to make, and it was certainly disturbing, but it just felt a little too extreme. What in the world could the First have possibly told her to get her to do that? It’s creepy, sure, but it still stretches my sense of believeability a bit. More effective is what comes out of it though. While everyone is moping inside, Buffy gets a bit miffed at their overall attempt to fight the First. In that burst of frustration, she targets both Willow and Spike for their lack of intensity.

I’m very sympathetic to both Willow and Spike’s plights, although I get why Buffy is side-lining her feelings for both of them. With that said, Willow does have to be careful with magic, and Spike has good cause to feel unenthused about violence. But, I must say, Buffy’s completely right to call them out. If they’re to win this fight, Buffy needs some of her biggest weapons fully active and willing to take risks. If anything, this speech by Buffy lays the building blocks for what happens towards the end of the season, and especially in “Chosen” [7×22]. Willow ends up performing a spell she in no way would have trusted herself to do if it wasn’t for this episode, and Spike is able to regain his sense of style and self worth and take his place in the final battle. Both of their roles in the finale were made possible by what was started here. This fact makes this episode not only incredibly relevant, but also in retrospect even more entertaining.

What didn’t work for me — and maybe this is because I’m watching this on DVD — is Buffy’s comment about carrying the Potentials for “too far, too long.” It hasn’t been that long Buffy, and you haven’t gotten them that far, at least with what I’ve seen. I liked seeing Kennedy step up and voice her opinion about Buffy’s harshness though. I agree Buffy’s approach leaves much to be desired, and was expressed out of frustration, but Buffy does have a point — a point that both Willow and Spike come to quickly understand. When Spike tries to sneak out in the middle of the argument, Buffy doesn’t let him off the hook either. She nails him for “holding back” and that she wants the Spike of old back as a fighter on her side.

Buffy’s biggest flaw here, and this is honestly attributed to sheer lack of experience, is that she really solidifies her dictatorship over everyone. Now, there’s something to be said for good structure in an army, but Buffy’s in a very unique situation here. Buffy has never been successful in the past by just ordering everyone around. Buffy is at her best when she’s working with her allies the best she can. Sure, Buffy should be the leader, but she isn’t at her best in the role of a bossy general. Just saying everyone should blindly follow her isn’t necessarily right or fair. Buffy’s earned devotion from her friends without needing to resort to such measures, but the Potentials don’t know her well enough to see the whole picture. This attitude is part of what leads up to her explusion from the group in “Empty Places” [7×19]. With all this said, I think that while Buffy’s approach is flawed given the situation, I can certainly understand the position she has found herself in. Buffy must lead without any substantive leadership skills or guide, and being everyone’s best friend isn’t necessarily going to help them win this fight either.

In a nutshell, I think Buffy’s approach is flawed, but I definitely understand where she’s coming from and agree with her criticism of Willow and Spike. Early in the episode we see Spike saving Anya from a demon. Instead of killing the demon, thereby ridding Anya of the bother, he just grabs her and runs. A Spike like this isn’t going to be terribly useful in the upcoming fight, and not just because of his lack of enthusiasm for fighting. He’s lost his moxie. I can’t blame him, considering what he’s gone through and how different of a being he is now. But that intensity and that knowledge of self is what’s truly going to be vital for him moving forward. That’s what will allow him to be able to help give Buffy the internal strength she’ll need when the end arrives. The moment when he finds his coat and throws it back on, I couldn’t help but cheer.

Willow must overcome her fear of doing intense magic. It’s interesting to see her suck the power from those strongest nearby to her to do her magic. This is really creepy and thrilling to watch, but feels totally right. This lines up with how she healed herself by leeching off some of Buffy’s strength in “Same Time, Same Place” [7×03]. I really love this episode for using the copious amounts of build-up we’ve seen this season to great use. This is a real breakthrough for Willow’s use of big magic and how to control it. I really like the after-effect is has on Kennedy too.

Another major aspect of the episode involves Buffy’s encounter with the Shadow Men. The concept of the First’s goals being tied directly to the root of the Slayer’s power, which goes back to the First Slayer, is pretty cool. I really like how all of this ties together. The Slayer origin myth is incredibly fascinating, and it’s fitting that we get to know the history behind it in the final season — a season about the slayer line itself.

When the Slayer Box opens that portal, everyone is justifiably concerned about Buffy’s idea to jump into it. But I can see right through Buffy’s facial expressions and know what she’s thinking. Buffy’s very nervous about it too, but jumping through that portal gives her several key things. First, she’s very curious to learn more about the source of her power. Second, jumping in that portal shows that she can overcome her fear of the unknown and just do it, hence why she says “I think that’s the point.” Third, by showing everyone else by example that she can do this, she inspires — yet forces — Willow and Spike to get over their hang-ups and stop holding back their power. They now have to use their power and work together to get Buffy back. This involves them finding faith in themselves again. As Willow says, “[magic] is the only way, and Buffy knew it.” This entire sequence was wonderfully written and shot. Count me in as a big fan!

All the Shadow Men are good for is power. They say, “We are at the beginning. The source of your strength. The well of the slayer’s power. This is why we have brought you here. … Herein lies your truest strength. The energy of the demon. Its spirit. Its heart.” They accurately tell Buffy that she is the Hellmouth’s last guardian. Like in the story, we see Buffy chained to the ground at the well of the Slayer’s power. What is the actual power? The essence of a demon. Wow does this make everything snap right into place about slayer mythology. I’d like to especially harken back to Season 5, a season that went to great lengths to explore the nature of the Slayer. Also think back to S4’s “Restless” [4×22], where in a brief moment we see the First Slayer chained to the ground. Buffy’s primordial instincts and urge to hunt and kill now make a lot more sense. And to think that this was at least somewhat intelligently thought up back in S4! This is just great coherent characterization and storytelling.

What the Shadow Men did to make the Slayer isn’t all that far off from how the First imbues Caleb — a very intended connection methinks. What the Shadow Men did was obviously very wrong. They essentially raped an innocent girl with the spirit of a demon and then used her as an instrument against their enemies. Against evil? Maybe, but as Buffy pointed out earlier in the season, “you don’t beat evil by doing evil.” In the spirit of her beliefs, she rejects the Shadow Men’s forceful offering of more power, correctly assuming that accepting this power would make her less human. It’s also true that more raw strength isn’t going to make all that much difference in the fight she is up against. This knowledge and faith in herself and her friends is what allows her to break free of the Shadow Men — very much a symbolic moment — and defeat them, thereby redefining her power. She tells them, “No, you don’t understand! You violated that girl, made her kill for you because you’re weak, you’re pathetic, and you obviously have nothing to show me!”

The final image of the episode, involving thousands of Ubervamps, is a very shocking sight that has Buffy doubting her decision. It’s just a bit of a shame that “Chosen” [7×22] takes away some of the scariness of these vampires, but I can’t hold that against this episode. “Get it Done” is an extremely solid endeavor that is both entertaining and probing. It does have a few missteps and doesn’t quite establish itself as a stand-out episode, but it’s one of those underrated necessary supporting players that makes the big moments resonate as much as they do.


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ The First Slayer warning Buffy in her dream.
+ Spike and Anya still enjoying conversation together, even though Spike has a soul now. I’ve always appreciated the writers’ consistency with their subtle development and connection through the series.
+ D’Hoffryn is apparently continuing to send the lamest demons imagineable after Anya. There’s just no way I believe D’Hoffryn seriously believes any of these demons could actually do anything to Anya, even if she wasn’t helped. They’re just so incredibly lame that I can’t see them as anything more than annoyances to Anya.
+ Buffy’s sarcasm in response to Wood wanting to know where she does her “work.”
+ Andrew’s Big Board!
+ Kennedy’s extreme exuberance over running drills for the Potentials.
+ Willow’s excuses to Wood about what all those Potentials are doing.
+ Willow’s awesome comment: “So much cooler than Synder.”
+ The wonderful tension between Wood and Spike.
+ Dawn’s playfulness in teasing Buffy.
+ The Slayer Box’s creepiness.
+ Nice to see some of the Potentials actually get into a real fight for a change.
+ The thematic and visual connection to “Restless” [4×22].
+ Spike lighting a cigarette on the demon’s horn.

– Cheap make-up on the First Slayer in Buffy’s dream.
– The totally-not SMG scream when Buffy expels the demon spirit.




93 thoughts on “Buffy 7×15: Get it Done”

  1. [Note: Jayde posted this comment on May 17, 2009.]

    Season 7 to me, had a problem with defining plots. Every single episode in all other seasons, I can remember easily for what it did. These plots seem to just … not have the same effect. I cannot remember for the life of me what this episode was about when you first started typing. It came back, but not much. It didn’t really leave any kind of impression, which is a shame.


  2. [Note: Darthmarion posted this comment on May 17, 2009.]

    Oh i didn’t see a plot problem like that, maybe because season seven is more recent in my mind. GEt it done => Shadow Men. Perhaps in the final arc, it’s kind of plot-blurred.

    So, again, thanks for the review! what a happy week-end, my complete Angel box, Dollhouse renewal and a review frome Mike! All good!

    I like the way you look at Buffy’s behavior for this episode, in a very objective way but still with your opinion! And I agree with you, what she does here is more effective for Spike and Willow but a little bit hockey for the potentials.

    One thing, i Was a little disappointed with is the music. Desert, mythology, first slayer i wished a freakin score to go with that but i found the music less bewitching than the bit from Restless for example.


  3. [Note: Sanjuro posted this comment on May 17, 2009.]

    Get it Done is where they turned the season around big time. First Date was fun but the main stuff with Xander was just terrible and smacked uncomfortably of Teacher’s Pet. But they gave the Potentials something to do other than annoy the piss out of everyone (though they still did that in spades) and offered up that awesome juxtaposition between the first and the Shadow Men. Sometimes the show’s feminism slips into outright superiority, but there was something wonderful about Buffy resolving to break the chain forced upon innocent young girls by a bunch of men who didn’t give a damn what happened to them as long as they kept demons at bay. For me that was the highlight of the season


  4. [Note: Adam posted this comment on May 17, 2009.]

    Since I obviously am not a big fan of season 7, I did not enjoy this episode much. In my opinion, this episode is forgettable and boring. It does have some interesting and entertaining things to it (Spike fighting the demon, the First Slayer) it just falls flat. Even the bad episodes in the earlier seasons were ENTERTAINING, this just really just isn’t. Also, though I know why she acts like that, Buffy is too serious. I think she needed to get herself back together if you know what I mean. Overall, I’d rate it somewhere between a 75-80 but still solid.

    Great review by the way, but, is it just me, or did the tone of this episode feel like an Angel episode?


  5. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on May 18, 2009.]

    Excellent review, mike. You highlighted all the points perfectly, especially concerning Buffy. I find Buffy totally fascinating this season and I totally agree that this episode is underrated. For me, it´s fascinating and it´s on my top 25, so you see how much I love it!
    But seriously, Mike, your review just exemplifies my thoughts on it.

    YOU ROCK!!!!!!


  6. [Note: Christian posted this comment on May 18, 2009.]

    Mike! As always a great review!

    I thought this episode fell together quite nicely. BTVS is the kind of show that really makes the viewer feel what the characters are feeling. The scene with Chloe made me feel truly disturbed and I actually felt really uncomfortable during Buffy’s speech; as if I was getting lectured by a teacher or some kind of authority figure.

    I do feel Buffy is trying to take control of the situation and I totally agree with you that her lack of experience results in her going about it the wrong way. Buffy has always been a leader but her “army� has never been so large. I think it’s natural to brush on the “dictator� side when you have so many people with so many opinions under your charge, you can’t agree with everybody and not everybody is going to agree with you.

    Jumping into the portal, to me, was a bit extreme. Buffy didn’t know how long she would take to return… or even if she did return. She is one the strongest weapons in her army and she risked herself. I think it’s kind of hypocritical after what she said to Willow and Spike… she can’t afford to risk her strongest weapons. Then again, this was a win or lose situation. She could either be lost forever or come back with more knowledge or more powerful. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures, so this was something she had to do… beats having nothing to work with.

    I find myself with mixed feelings and thoughts that are contradicting about the situation. I could only imagine how Buffy must have felt…
    Anyway, I liked the episode. It really was a layout for whats to come. Oh and I love: “Uh, this is my desk, and uh, these are my pencils� lol so funny =)


  7. [Note: Sam posted this comment on May 18, 2009.]

    Hooray. Another review! I must say, Mike, that I’m delighted to see you defending Season 7 so valiantly. Although it has many flaws, I think it’s an incredibly powerful year of television and I’m happy that someone out there is standing up for it. In fact, I’ve noticed that only twice so far during this season has your assessment dip below the B-range. Other than Season 5, that hasn’t happened, so I’m thrilled. Frankly, this entire season is underrated, in spite of its missteps, so thanks for sticking up for it.


  8. [Note: Ryan-R.B. posted this comment on May 18, 2009.]

    Great review by the way, but, is it just me, or did the tone of this episode feel like an Angel episode?



  9. [Note: Sam posted this comment on May 19, 2009.]

    My favorite line, which shows wonderful series continuity, is when Willow says that Robin is “way better than Principal Snyder”. 🙂 She’s so adorable.


  10. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on May 19, 2009.]

    Sam is right. It´s amazing how much love S7 is getting from Mike. Despite its flaws, it totally deserves the love it´s getting. And I think a lot of people neglect all the positive qualities it has.


  11. [Note: HarFang posted this comment on May 19, 2009.]

    It’s true, Mike’s reviews do bring out the best in every episode!
    I wince at Chloe’s death, and at the Potentials doing drills in the garden (and why don’t the neighbours say anything?) Buffy never believed in that kind of training, as she repeatedly told Kendra and the Council; she relies on instinct and improvisation. I guess this illustrates the fact that she’s going the wrong direction with the Potentials, but still.

    Now, what I like about the episode is its unexpected moments. Buffy’s brutal speech made my jaw drop several times, and Willow’s pathetic cover-up in front of the principal is hilarious. And the spell! Love the spell. The whole esthetics of it, and the great explanation about the Slayer’s powers, and the fact that, even though she sorely needs a power-up, Buffy rejects it without a second thought –and that she will win anyway, because unlike all the other Slayers she’s got friends who will tip the scales.

    (Oh, and, is Andrew’s baking frenzy an attempt to “lift about 30% of his guilt”, like Willow did in Something Blue?)


  12. [Note: Anne posted this comment on June 2, 2009.]

    I didn’t think that Buffy needed to hold back with Willow. It had been less than a year since Willow had tried to murder her and destroy the world. She will never be mousy season one Will again. She’s gone just as dark as Faith. Tara and probably the English coven could’ve gone their entire lives without going evil or using their magickal power for bad. Willow needed to deal with the reasons she went to the dark side. It wasn’t just because the magic was addictive or evil itself.

    If I was Buffy I’d be so frustrated at the group. Buffy was the ONLY one that was giving her all to defend everyone. Willow was acting helpless. Giles was PodGiles. Anya was human. Spike was relunctant to fight. The SITs didn’t want to be warriors.


  13. [Note: Mia posted this comment on June 21, 2009.]

    Great review!! I just wanted to note the minus you gave the non-SMG scream when she expelled the demon. What if it was actually the First Slayer’s scream when she was chained? Willow has the same scream when she draws from the girls’ strengths as the spell takes hold.


  14. [Note: Emily posted this comment on June 23, 2009.]

    @Adam, I totally agree with Ryan- this felt *nothing* like an Angel episode.

    Speaking of Angel- before I started watching AtS, I always understood why Buffy refused to add the demon spirit to make her stronger. But after watching Angel, I don’t understand, because Cordelia did it in “Birthday” [3×11] (I think). Cordy added a demon part to herself so that she could continue to fight the good fight. Here, Buffy is offered the same chance, and she refuses to take it. Why? Because of pride? Because they weren’t giving her a choice- was it a principle thing- was it because they’d forced it on the First Slayer and she didn’t want to condone their actions? I’m very confused.


    1. Buffy already has a powerful demon in her. Adding more demonic essence would be like if Angel chose to coexist with Eyghon in The Dark Age instead of forcing that demon out.

      We don’t know if Cordelia actually became part demon. There were no demonic drawbacks, such as being prone to violence or bloodlust. Skip manipulated her in order to create a vessel for Jasmine. And the AI team and most of the audience fell for it.


  15. [Note: Diana posted this comment on July 7, 2009.]

    You know, I usually agree with what you say about these episodes. But I think this episode is worse than you gave it credit for.

    I was really caring about Buffy by this point in the series. But I felt that this episode and Showtime, in particular, really bring down the season. The momentum dissapates. These are key episodes in the scheme of things, but multiple characters are behaving out of character. Buffy being the mean general didn’t seem like a logical jump to me. Even in Seasons 5 and 6 she always had a bit of humor to even her out (think of her giving Spike grief throughout S6 or in Once More With Feeling, where she makes a few quips about being dead). I think at this point in the series the funny points almost disappear and Buffy becomes this hardened stranger who is nasty for no especially good reason. I don’t like the Potentials either, but she agreed to take them on. Xander and Willow get little to no screen time and certainly not much where they get to talk to Buffy or each other. Willow is withdrawing into herself and becoming more of a wallflower than she was at the beginning of the series. Giles is also in the background doing nothing interesting or helpful. Spike is losing his zip from last season. I disagree that he had to be bad to be cool again…. I think he’s plenty badass and interesting in S5 and S6. But at this point, the tension between him and Buffy has turned from interesting to flat.

    This episode seems important but really it’s just another waiting point before the end. I think that Buffy has always been about character–these characters have carried the show through some pretty silly plot. S7 suffers from being too plot-centric and focused, running out of momentum in the middle.

    I think the end would have had just as much impact with less lead-up. The other seasons don’t begin their overarching plot until later in the season, and they have more episodes that venture outside of the overarching plot. Even in the final episodes before the end of S2 and S5, we have new, interesting topics. (Fish-monsters, robots, dogs attacking the prom) I would have preferred this episode to be a break from the First.

    That said, I love Buffy, I love S7 and I love how this ends. I just thought there were some bumps before the end, and this was one of them.


  16. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on July 8, 2009.]

    ” Buffy must lead without any substantive leadership skills or guide, and being everyone’s best friend isn’t necessarily going to help them win this fight either.”

    I think that Buffy had the potential to be a good leader. But her inexperience, I believe, is rooted in the fact that Giles never really taught her to be one. He, like the rest of the Watcher’s Council and the shamans – saw the Slayer as a weapon . . . and nothing more. Yet, earlier in S7, Giles dumps the Potentials on Buffy’s doorstep and orders her to be their leader. Hmmmm . . . not very wise.


  17. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on July 8, 2009.]

    By the way, this is one of my favorite episodes from Season 7. Which is like my second or third favorite season, overall.


  18. [Note: Selene posted this comment on July 20, 2009.]

    Not a fave episode of mine. I think Buffy was way harsh to Willow about her worry about doing powerful magick. Did she forget that one of the last times Willow did a strong spell, the First actually got inside Willow? That would make me kind of shy of doing magick, too. Buffy was being a non-understanding bitch and a really crappy friend (yet again)

    Oh, and further proof that Kennedy was a power junkie: how upset she was with Willow for taking some of her (Kennedy’s) power away to open the portal.


  19. [Note: Lucy posted this comment on October 29, 2009.]

    Emily:- I think the difference between what happens to Cordelia and what could have happened to Buffy was that Buffy was getting her power by being raped by a whispy demon. It didn’t make it particularly clear, and I might be totally wrong, but that’s the impression I got. Cordelia just had to stand there.

    Also, if you go to season 4 of Angel, (SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT!) the whole turning-Cordy-into-a-demon thing was actually an evil ploy to eventually get her to give birth to Jasmine and turn everyone into pod people so, right choice, Buffy!


  20. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on November 11, 2009.]

    “Buffy’s biggest flaw here, and this is honestly attributed to sheer lack of experience, is that she really solidifies her dictatorship over everyone. Now, there’s something to be said for good structure in an army, but Buffy’s in a very unique situation here. Buffy has never been successful in the past by just ordering everyone around. Buffy is at her best when she’s working with her allies the best she can. Sure, Buffy should be the leader, but she isn’t at her best in the role of a bossy general.”

    Actually, this should not be much of a surprise. Buffy had no experience in being a leader. No one had ever taught her to be one. I was surprised that so many fans had expected her to automatically become a good leader in the first place.


  21. [Note: Randy posted this comment on January 6, 2010.]

    Despite a few obvious flaws, I would’ve rated this episode slightly higher (maybe an A-) just because it was so satisfying to get to the bottom of the Slayer’s history. After 7 seasons, it’s nice to see that they put some real thought into it. And Spike getting his coat/mojo back made me do a little happy dance.

    For a change, I thought Dawn was really cute in this episode, with her teasing Buffy about the school work.

    I get why a lot of people were put off by Buffy’s harshness in this episode, but it still worked for me. She really is in over her head at this point, and doesn’t know how to lead an army. The fact that this show is willing to let its heroine make major mistakes and learn from them is one of the many reasons I love it so…


  22. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on June 27, 2010.]

    I see that Buffy is doing a wrong approach, but the Potentials don´t do much besides whine and complain. Yes, Buffy shouldn´t impose herself like that and she clearly needs to be challenged later on, but I´m siding with her most of time. Because they all expect Buffy to do everything right, and Potentials don´t wanna fight and no one comes up with a plan. I mean, if Buffy has a plan, they complain. If she has a plan and it fails, they come down on her and if she doesn´t know what to do, they come down on her.

    Honestly, I understand both sides, and Buffy is definitively making a wrong approach, but I´m on Buffy´s side most of time. She´s not Wonder Woman and it´s completely unfair to put the weight of the world on her shoulders.


  23. [Note: John posted this comment on January 13, 2011.]

    Good episode overall. I also enjoy it because it gave me more incentive to hate Kennedy. Telling the brutal vampire with over a hundred years’ experience fighting that he’s not as suited to go after a demon because “we have training”…yeah. God, I detest how she mouths off to people without knowing what she’s talking about.

    I enjoyed the episode as a whole, however; we finally learn more about how the Slayer works, we see Willow and Spike rockin’ it badass again (the coat is back!), and we get more of Principal Wood.


  24. [Note: CoyoteBuffyFan posted this comment on January 19, 2011.]

    This episode is ok in my book.

    MikeJer — The First almost got Angel to kill himself so I don’t have a problem believing it could talk Chloe into doing it. They showed her as vulnerable right from the get go.

    Also I agree with you when you say “Buffy has never been successful in the past by just ordering everyone around. Buffy is at her best when she’s working with her allies the best she can. Sure, Buffy should be the leader, but she isn’t at her best in the role of a bossy general. Just saying everyone should blindly follow her isn’t necessarily right or fair. Buffy’s earned devotion from her friends without needing to resort to such measures, but the Potentials don’t know her well enough to see the whole picture.” But I think it is BECAUSE the Potentials don’t know Buffy that she takes the dictator role. She doesn’t have TIME to earn the respect and devotion from them because they need to be ready SOON. I think that she believes that this is the best way to get them to respond to her quickly. Obviously she is wrong but I can follow her thinking here.

    The tension between Wood and Spike is palpable. I love the scenes between those two. Spike has animosity because of the Wood/Buffy relationship. I can’t blame Wood for his hatred and lust for revenge. Soul or no soul, I’d want to kill the thing that killed my mother too.

    Kennedy running the training class for the potentials…ugh. She is so freakin’ annoying. She takes a little too much pleasure out of calling someone a maggot. (Is it wrong that I was cheering for The First a little bit when it called her out on that?) Then saying to Principal Wood “Who the hell are you?” and telling Spike (Spike!) that the Potentials are better equipped to fight a demon than he? She is just too much (in a bad way). Yuck!

    When did Dawn learn Sumerian?

    This episode is tough because I can see both sides. I can totally understand the gang’s anger at Buffy for leaving them there to fight whatever (I mean she had to know that the “exchange” wouldn’t be fluffy bunnies — sorry Anya!) and forcing her friends into a situation where they are scrambling to get her back without any discussion on the matter. On the other hand, I totally get Buffy’s sense of duty. She realizes that she has to go in there — that it may be important to the fight to save the world. A Slayer’s duty.

    I love the scene with Buffy in the portal…the thought that the Slayer’s powers come from the essence of a demon is a great concept. I think Buffy rebeled against the demon essence because she didn’t want to admit that she had a little demon in her. It harkens back to “First Date” where she wonders, again, if she is attracted to evil in some way. I think letting the demon into her would be an admission that she has darkness inside her and she doesn’t want that.

    Also, the fact that Spike goes to get the very coat that he took from Wood’s mother in order to get his mojo back is tasty. Then the exchange with Wood as Spike walks by is brilliant.


  25. [Note: Mash posted this comment on June 15, 2011.]

    The shoes SMG was wearing before going into the portal are different than the ones she wore on the other side – just a mistake I noticed.

    Also – Alyson Hannigan, very bad with the languages. Very heavy accent. In a later episode where she says a Turkish spell – it was terrible [I studied some Turkish and while my accent is not even close to perfect, Im very aware of how it should sound]. She tried, I know, I cant hate that hard, but man. So glad they never had a Russian spell [I would have gone crazy].

    Also – Buffy has this crossed arms and stiff upper lip [literally her top lip is stiff, not the idiom] thing this season which after awhile, just feels like the actors/director have no idea what they need to be doing physically [in the sense of using the body while acting].

    And SO TRUE ABOUT KENNEDY TELLING SPIKE OFF. Clearly she doesnt know his history but COME ON.


  26. [Note: snowflakesaway posted this comment on November 6, 2011.]

    You make some interesting points in your review as always, Mike. But, in the end I feel that this episode is almost rock bottom for this season. The main reason is the Slayer origin idea. Throughout whole series, being the Slayer was supposed to be, you know, empowering. It fit with Joss’s first concept for the show, of the little blonde girl going into the alley, followed by a monster, then defending herself. The whole concept of Slayers worked, because it meant that a girl could defend herself against all the worst, without the help of a man (which is what you tend to see in most fantasy). Every episode/ arc/ moment dealing with being the Slayer made for wonderful, deep, beautiful television, and it’s the reason this show is my favourite. But in this episode, they basically went back on the thesis of the show by having the Slayer power come from demon origins after seasons and seasons of saying that Slayers are not killers, not demons, not evil, that they are good, if flawed. I feel that basically, they de-empowered Slayers in order to re-empower them, which I think is a huge mistake. I know what they were trying to do, but like I said, I feel that it betrayed the show. But, still, thank you for another great review of many.


  27. [Note: serenissima posted this comment on November 7, 2011.]

    yay, snowflake (comment right above me!) someone is watching the series at the same time i am! lol

    i liked this episode… i liked the parallels between Buffy this season and Giles last season… the feeling that, as long as the Big, Bad Slayer (or Watcher, in Giles’ case) is around, NOBODY wants to do ANYTHING.

    i also hate Kennedy just as much as everyone else. her lines are truly cringeworthy, and i have no idea who her character is supposed to be on the show.


  28. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on December 23, 2011.]

    -The demon dust still knocked Buffy up a little…as she said. Even though it didn’t stay it would have been something to have her stronger because of the smoke going through her and she could still be fully human.

    -Finally seeing Spike back again.

    -After Anya makes it clear she doesn’t care much, Buffy should have thrown her out.

    -Agree that the Turok-Han look unbeatable compared to ‘Chosen’.


  29. [Note: Helen posted this comment on May 12, 2012.]

    I was extremely annoyed by Anya in this episode. For the most part, her sarcasm and bluntness is great, but when she straight out said that she wasn’t Buffy’s friend after freeloading off of her for the past few months, I was disgusted. Later, she suggests to Wood that they leave Buffy there because of her “everybody sucks but me speech”. She is simply annoying and rude post-Selfless, and not in her previously endearing way.

    People always say how much Xander’s a hypocrite for loving Anya and condemning the Buffy/Angel and Buffy/Spike relationships, but I’m willing to give him a bit more leeway because he is a young human who sees with “the eyeballs of love”. Anya messed up big time when she purposely ripped the hearts out of those frat boys, and Buffy was acting within her boundaries when she went off to kill her. Anya is a huge hypocrite later on when she complains about the sword in the chest and how Buffy didn’t go after Spike when he was being controlled by outside forces. However, unlike Xander, she doesn’t have the excuse of youth on her side and she fully understood what she was doing. The Scoobies gave her many more opportunities than they gave Spike, and after that changed this season, she lashes out. I would have loved more closure on her this season, and to have seen a scene with her and Buffy having a serious conversation. Her dislike of Buffy came across as extremely petty, and coming from a young, unaware woman rather than a previous old vengeance demon.

    Getting more on topic, this was an enjoyable episode. Chloe hanging herself scared me, and was one of the few times the First came across as a serious threat. The puppet scene was great, and kudos to Dawn for taking up Ancient Sumerian and becoming useful! She’s a character that I would have liked to have seen in a spinoff or TV movie after the series ended since she has the potential to be an awesome Watcher. Oh well- apparently the Ripper spinoff isn’t dead yet, so I’m keeping my hopes up!


  30. [Note: Will posted this comment on August 7, 2012.]

    You really think the demons are harmless to Anya? Are you forgetting that when she’s not around others who are powerful, she’s still just human? As silly as the demons are, they could obviously kill Anya. This is all just hypothetical of course, as the writers wouldn’t have done that, but still, she’s just human now – which places her under demon on the food chain.


  31. [Note: Fred posted this comment on September 24, 2012.]

    I always get annoyed about Anya in this episode, but not AT her, rather the writer’s treatment of her. Since when does she not consider Buffy a friend? Sure Buffy stabbed her in ‘Selfless’ but it was also made pretty clear in that episode that Anya felt awful for what she did and understood why Buffy came after her. Heck, in the very episode after that, we see Buffy save her life from a demon at her apartment and the two seem fairly comfortable with each other from that point on. So why the sudden change?Anya’s arc (such as it is) after ‘Selfless’ should be about her accepting being human again and trying to redeem her mistakes, similar to Spike. Instead they have her acting rude, selfish and uncaring, more like the Anya of season three than anything else. It’s almost as if, with Spike having a soul, they felt as if they needed a token ‘snarky morally ambiguous character’ and decided it was going to be Anya, regardless of her recent character development.


  32. [Note: Matt posted this comment on September 27, 2012.]

    One of my favorite lines in the series is in this episode, and I’m shocked nobody mentioned it. The First as Chloe says “TTFM” as she leaves. Afterwards, Buffy says, “What’s TTFM?” and one of the potentials, very gravely, says, “ta-ta for now. It’s what Tigger says when he leaves.”


  33. [Note: Latecomer posted this comment on December 2, 2012.]

    Am I correct in understanding that Buffy already contains some “demon essence” within her by virtue of being part of the slayer line, and that she merely refused the Shadow Men’s offer of MORE demon essence? If Buffy does have demon essence within her, and the monks in S5 made Dawn from Buffy, how do we reconcile that with Glory’s observation that the Key had to be “pure”? Can one contain demon essence and still be pure? And if Dawn somehow escaped having demon essence within her despite Buffy’s having it, how was Buffy’s blood a close enough match for Dawn’s to close the portal in “The Gift”?


  34. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on December 2, 2012.]

    Your first point is correct, as far as I can tell.As for your second… it seems to me that this demon essence is what empowers slayers and therefore it would only enter their systems when they’re activated. Potentials are just humans without demon essence. That’s why Buffy’s personality starts to change once she becomes the slayer: she becomes a hunter, active at night, taking pleasure in the chase and the kill. See season 5 for this in particular. That’s the effect of the demon-essence. But this is not genetic, I assume. It’s mystical. So when Dawn is created out of Buffy’s blood, Buffy’s genes, it’s the human part of her that’s copied. Not the demonic part. Therefore Dawn is “pure” according to the monkish standards. This also plays a role in why Buffy wants to sacrifice herself for Dawn. She sees Dawn as representing her human side, the side she lost (to an extent) when she became the slayer.Of course none of this was explained in so many words on the show. This is just how I interpret it (or have heard others interpret it) and it’s the reading that makes the most sense to me.


  35. [Note: Waverley posted this comment on February 1, 2013.]

    Just rewatched this. It’s strange to see there is a fair bit of negativity towards the episode as, in my opinion at least, it does everything right. It drives the arc of the season forward, pushing Buffy more into the leadership role (for better or worse), Willow back into magic and Spike back into his pre-soul fightin’ groove. Plus we also get the contiuing tension between Wood and Spike and some excellent slayer-lore background.

    Because it does so much for the overall arc of the season, it perhaps suffers a little on the micro, individual episode level. So we don’t have a huge knock-down drag out with a baddie of the week or a lot of time for humour. But I think the episode does everything it needs to do for this point in the season, and does it very well.

    Scanning a few other sites, I found quite a lot of criticism of this episode. To me it seems unfounded. I have the impression that feelings get exaggerrated with shows people are really passionate about. Whatever they think is good about the show is the greatest thing in the world ever. Whatever they don’t like about it is a pox upon humanity. S7 seems to suffer from this a great deal. The whole season often seems to get written off as terrible because of a few things that didn’t work when in actual fact most of it is excellent quality television, Get it Done being a case in point.


  36. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on February 1, 2013.]

    Totally agree! I don’t know if you’ve read my Season 7 Review yet, but I think you’ll find it to be a fairly balanced analysis of the season — both pros and cons.


  37. [Note: JEL posted this comment on February 2, 2013.]

    If you haven’t seen this, this page contains a good summary of what some of the criticisms were at the time the show first aired (and commentary on those criticisms):


    I agree with your comment about feelings getting exaggerated. On another site a person opined that it was better to discover a show’s fandom after a show has completed its run as passions aren’t running quite as high later on. I think that is true, though BtVS manages to still create little internet storms even now apparently. I’m certainly grateful that I didn’t know about the fandom when I was watching while Buffy first aired.


  38. [Note: Miss Jay posted this comment on February 14, 2013.]

    Some of my random thoughts.

    First, how long has it been since ‘First Date’? Xander seems to be completely healed from his skewering. Time passing or continuity error?

    Second, I found the demon spirit effect to be kind of cheesy.

    Third, I am a bit frustrated by how ‘perfectly’ things inside and outside the portal were timed. There is no way the gang could know how much time Buffy needed to get/do whatever she needed in the portal. Yet somehow Spike finds and kills the demon, right when Willow’s spell is ready to work, right when Buffy defeats the Shadow Men. It’s all just a little too convenient.

    Fourth, I completely dig Spike getting his coat back – but how on earth does he know where it was?

    Finally, I like that there is an overlap of theme with both Willow and Spike having great power that they (for good reason) are afraid to use. I appreciate that Buffy sees this in then and pushes them forward. You may not like her method, but in this case you can’t argue with her results.


  39. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on February 15, 2013.]

    previously i must admit Get it Done was never a go to episode for me, re-watching it however has given rise to a change of mind.

    The darkness that Dracula mentions to Buffy in the season 5 premier that, its rooted in her power is fully explained here. Also when the shadow men/watchers….tell Buffy she is the last guardian of the Hellmouth was well wow! I got the shiver back when it first aired…thinking wait! no…huh? so my mind has been changed. Get it Done is as Buffy might say off the good!


  40. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 27, 2013.]

    And now comes the time of “bitchy Buffy”. It’s been building from some time now: Giles’ pressure, deep fear, anger and feeling of superiority. She’s built much confidence when she made her show with the übervampire and she’s blocking everything else and everyone else in the process. She has the power, the others are her army, as in she’s accepted that many of them will die, even her friends. And I completely agree with MikeJer, her behaviour is wrong but totally believable and most of all, her intent is absolutely correct.

    Spike and Willow understand her because they have a connection with her: they react the right way. The Potentials have absolutely no connection with Buffy and they can only react with antagonism.

    When Buffy jumps into the portal, it’s very much in character. She often risked her life without care for the consequences. Here, it’s more obvious because she’s desperate to find a solution and she believes it’s her duty.

    Now, I have a problem with the slayer being the guardian of the Hellmouth, because before Buffy, it seems that the slayers were elsewhere and it was never mentioned before season 7 that the slayer’s duty was to be the guardian of the Hellmouth. Though, it makes sense because one slayer can’t be everywhere to save the entire world.

    I like the parallel between Kassidy and Buffy: Kassidy takes pleasure with the power (command) she’s been given. She gleefully abuses her power by being mean with the other Potentials. Buffy is the exact opposite, she despises being a general but has no choice. For her, it’s not a game, it’s a real war, she tries her best with the abilities she’s got and fails.


  41. [Note: Gon posted this comment on March 27, 2013.]

    I’m sorry, MikeJer, I can’t accept “Kennedy’s extreme exuberance over running drills for the potentials” as a minor pro. Kennedy feels so proud of herself for humiliating a weaker girl in front of others; Buffy sees it and says nothing. The message is all wrong. This is NOT giving strength. To me, this is bullying – the exact thing “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” used to stand against in the early years. I see this as a complete perversion of the message of the show, something I’ve already mentioned in a comment to “Bring on the night”.


  42. [Note: Mott1 posted this comment on April 25, 2013.]

    Another good review, the Spike losing his mojo subtext is a strong one in this episode, and ties in well with Willow fearing she is doing the same, the scene where Buffy calls them out for this is indeed a very important one. Something just occurred to me as to why Kennedy is so unpopular with the fanbase, too. It’s the aforementioned scene where Kennedy bullies Chloe (who later hangs herself). From what I remember there isn’t any real soul-searching done by Kennedy after this happens, just a kind of curiosity mixed with a certain shock and fear. Along with Dawn’s cruel ejection of Buffy from the house at the end of ‘Empty Places’, these are scenes that live in infamy for those characters! (though I can put up with both of them, personally ).


  43. [Note: ralph posted this comment on May 31, 2013.]

    Thank you, Fred. Your comment outlined exactly what I was thinking and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    I just tried watching this for the first time in years and I had to stop watching after twenty minutes. Anya was always my favourite character and her treatment post-“Selfless” is unforgivable. As Fred mentioned, it’s not fair to be annoyed at Anya in this episode; we should be annoyed at the horrendously bad writing for her character. After this huge epic transformative experience in “Selfless” (easily the best episode of the season in my opinion, and a hint of the kind of thing this season should have aimed for instead of this never-ending dirge of a plotline) Anya just acts like an immature whiny shrew for the rest of the season. The worst thing is I get the feeling that in this particular episode everything her character does is done just for the sake of making Buffy and Spike look better (she’s a bitch to Buffy and follows Spike around begging for sex) since the writers were pretty much only interested in those two characters this season. She would never have said “I’m not” (your friend) to Buffy after the events of “Selfless”. Never never never in a million years, the writing is just so bad here.

    All of the other flaws are just icing on the crap-filled cake. Every new character this season is unwatchable. Wood manages to be boring and irritating at the same time (and the actor sucks) and Kennedy is just awful beyond words. That training scene in the backyard. Where does one even begin? Why is she being allowed to lead the other girls? Why doesn’t Buffy reprimand her for her treatment of Chloe? And she’s all excited and pleased with herself for being a bitch and cutting someone else down! What a nasty, hateful little prick of a character! And she says “Who the hell are you?” to someone new on the premises? How in the name of God did the writers expect us to appreciate the (considerably large) presence of this insufferable character so close to the end of the series? It just boggles the mind.

    Then there’s Spike taking up too much screen time, lack of humour, clunky dialogue, important characters being pushed aside for the sake of less interesting/relevant ones, but I’ve already covered all that in detail elsewhere.

    Really not a fan of this season. I haven’t watched it for a long time so I have been re-watching a few episodes recently to see if it’s better than I remembered and in fact it’s actually worse. People on this site keep insisting that maybe season 7 is actually really good but that people just exaggerate its flaws because it’s the show’s last season; fair enough if that’s your opinion but if you’re going to make sweeping statements like that I feel that it’s as bad as people say but some fans go out of their way to defend it because they don’t want to accept that the last season of the show was kind of a letdown.


  44. [Note: Fm posted this comment on July 24, 2013.]

    how’d Spike’s coat end up in the school basement anyway? Last we saw it, it was on the bannister at the entryway in Buffy’s house where he left it before going upstairs for the infamous Seeing Red scene. He jumped out the bathroom window and fled shortly thereafter on his quest without it…

    Not like he would have gone back to Buffy’s house to get it any time after Seeing Red and when she found him in the Season 7 premiere.


  45. [Note: Monica posted this comment on August 27, 2013.]

    I was very excited when I heard the premise of this episode because I love hearing of origins and backstories. While a solid episode, I think this episode had potential to be more. I sometimes imagine what episodes like “The Wish” and “No Place Like Home” would have been like if they were tweaked slightly and became take-or-leave B-rated episodes instead of brilliant ones, and I think they’d be something like this. Had the route been taken only slightly differently I think learning about the brutality behind the Slayer line could have been mind-blowing, but they failed to reach that. An A+, unique episode would have been perfect to take season seven out of its awful 8-episode slump.


  46. [Note: FaithFanatic posted this comment on December 27, 2013.]

    I think a lot of S7 just blurs together. All the episodes ‘Sleeper’ through ‘Get it Done’ just seem the same to me.


  47. [Note: Anonymous1 posted this comment on February 11, 2014.]

    I found the way that Chloe’s storyline was treated horrifying. I understand the point that Buffy was trying to make, but I cannot believe that no one would call her out on that. Calling Chloe weak and stupid was absolutely horrible. I think the writers really dropped the ball on that one, because I think Chloe needed a lot more respect than she got. Look at the situation she was in. She’s fifteen (I think), she’s been pulled away from her home, she quite possibly didn’t even know she was a potential beforehand, and the biggest evil in the world wants to kill her. Throw in a Slayer who’s supposed to be protecting you, but doesn’t really seem to care, and Kennedy’s drill-sergeant approach to training, and is it any wonder that she got overwhelmed? And it’s not like there was anyone there that she could talk to. We aren’t told anything about Chloe’s life before she came to Sunnydale. Do her parents even know she’s dead? Does anyone care about her after she’s buried? She’s never mentioned again. I wish we had gotten something to indicate that the Scoobies went around afterwards and talked to the families of all of the girls that died. Something to indicate that they cared.
    It really felt like this scared teenaged girl was relegated to being a plot point, and I don’t think that’s fair to anyone who’s ever felt like Chloe did.


  48. [Note: FaithFanatic posted this comment on February 11, 2014.]

    I’m one of the few people who actually semi-agree with Buffy’s position here. I feel that to commit suicide (unless you are suffering from depression, or are suffering a fatal illness) is selfish and cowardly. Of course, my outlook would probably be rather different if anyone I knew well had actually taken their own life.

    Although I do agree that the Scoobies should have notified the parents, this is a problem with the whole series – they never speak to Tara’s parents either, or Willow’s mom when she has her ‘sabbatical.’


  49. [Note: Nebula Nox posted this comment on June 6, 2014.]

    The First tries talking people into suicide a lot. Tried with Willow and tried with Angel. Willow was strong and knew that Tara would never send a message like the First was purporting and so did not fall for it. Angel was only saved by Buffy and the deus ex snow machina. It is not surprising that it would succeed with a young Potential, who might prefer to take her own life than to be killed horribly painfully later.


  50. [Note: Smallprint84 posted this comment on October 8, 2014.]

    No, imo that’s Rona, Anya and Andrew are also sometimes very annoying (Anya in S7 mostly, Get it Done, Empty Places, in S6: Older and Far Away).


  51. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on January 3, 2015.]

    One thing that annoys me about this episode is Buffy’ being an extreme hypocrite. She complains to Spike and Willow that they are being wimps and not using the full extent of their resources, even though using them could hurt the humanity they have just gained and yet when she is given the opportunity for more power with the possible loss of her humanity she rejects it. Yet the most baffling thing about this is that she never seems to realize the extreme irony in her actions this episode.


  52. [Note: Boscalyn posted this comment on January 3, 2015.]

    Oh my… Yet another hole in the single most infuriating Buffy episode, ever.

    While we’re piling on the deserved hate for this shitfest, I don’t think anyone’s brought this up: Kennedy derides Chloe earlier this episode, calling her a weak maggot and et cetera. And she likes it! She gets off on insulting these defenseless children. When Chloe hangs herself, you might expect her to think that you know, maybe she shouldn’t be so needlessly harsh on these teenage girls just so she can feel better about herself?? But this never happens. This could have been character development for her! Nope. Gross.


  53. [Note: Kyle posted this comment on January 3, 2015.]

    I think it can be viewed that Spike and Willow were not using the full scope of the powers they already possessed. Buffy was not being a complete hypocrite. The powers that the Shadow Men were about to give her were not hers yet (and never were). She was still supposedly using the powers she already possessed to their full potential. Spike and Willow were not. That was her argument.


  54. [Note: Random posted this comment on March 27, 2015.]

    On an intellectual level, I understand the argument of Buffy being a hypocrite. If Willow and Spike are being asked to risk their newly-regained humanity, certainly Buffy should be willing to risk hers. IMHO, what keeps her from being a total hypocrite, though, is something the viewers should be even more aware of than Buffy herself, and she’s quite aware of it — what sets Buffy apart from other Slayers, what’s kept her (mostly) alive far longer than the usual Slayer, is her humanity, her unwillingness to conform to the powers that created and control the Slayer. Having friends, for instance, is just a symptom of that. It’s not her friends that make her unique, it’s her willingness and desire to have friends in the first place. The price the Shadowmen demanded for their help, the loss of her humanity, could very well be the very price that would cost her any chance of winning. Power is well and good, but was there any implication that the Shadowmen had ability to invest enough power into one person to take out an entire army of nigh-unkillable (at least as of now, before we realize that they can be killed by ordinary humans using the power of sympathetic showrunners) ubervamps? That doesn’t seem to compute. If the Shadowmen had that sort of power, they’d be on Willow’s level and hardly in need of some poor primeval teenage girl to do their dirty work for them.

    So, yeah, I see the hypocrisy. It’s not only fairly blatant, it’s far too close to perfectly set up (losing humanity in return for power) not to call out. But I do think that the issue of Buffy’s uniqueness is a valid one, and the writers should have done a better job of clarifying that point.


  55. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on March 28, 2015.]

    I appreciate your words however one thing that should be noted is that Spike’s says it is her friends (as well as mother, sister and boyfriend) that kept her around and her losing these things is what caused the death wish in the gift. While your interpretation of her desire for friends seems pretty interesting and legit I’m not entirely sure that is what the writers had in mind by the time we got to Season 5 since her loss of these relationships and also the risk that she could be becoming inhuman is what caused her downfall (although she still has her friends at that point so clearly the logic is a bit flawed.

    I definitely agree that if this whole Buffy’s humanity=good is what the writers were striving for with this bit of hypocrisy they should have made it more clear. However it doesn’t say a lot of good about Buffy that she is willing to put her humanity over the humanity of her friends. If they were to acknowledge this fact it could have been an interesting story thread but since they don’t it makes Buffy seem pretty needlessly selfish for no justifiable story reason.


  56. [Note: Noah posted this comment on March 28, 2015.]

    Why do the writers have to make their points clearly? That’s boring. Buffy isn’t an essay. We get a very complex and interesting dilemma here, and it’s supposed to remain unresolved for a while. That’s what creates the thematic tension leading up to the finale. Buffy is horrible here, and she will be again. She rejects the power because it comes at the cost of her humanity, but she can’t see that increasing her power at the expense of humanity is exactly what she’s doing to everybody in her house, herself included. She’s treating them like objects, denying their agency with the justification of “this is war”. She’s wrong. She’s behaving wrongly. She is being hypocritical. But that doesn’t mean that this is inconsistent with anything that came before in the show – not only has she been wrong before, but events and her responses to them set her up to be wrong in this very way at this time. That’s my interpretation, but, as you can see from Rick Osborne’s analysis in LMPTM, others think that she was right, that concentration at the top of a hierarchy is the only possible form that power can take. I think he’s utterly wrong, and missing that “the Mission is what matters” is a lie told to Robin Wood by his parent, not the idea that we can remain moral ourselves in the fight against evil. If we can’t, what’s the point? (Similarly, Giles argument that Buffy should have let Dawn die is a lie; a world where Dawn needs to die is not one worth living in, and therefore not worth saving.)

    In any case, all of these things are given some form of resolution by the final episodes – Buffy chooses the opposite of what Giles and Osborne would try to make us think is her only choice.


  57. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on March 28, 2015.]

    Except it’s ultimately treated as a good thing that Buffy told Spike and Willow to use their full power so they can fight the First so that reasoning is problematic.


  58. [Note: Noah posted this comment on March 28, 2015.]

    Buffy could have accomplished a right result by the wrong means. Or she accomplished a right result by right means that were particular to the people with whom she was dealing. Or she accomplished a partially right result by problematic if defensible means. I was wrong to say she was a hypocrite if we are referring to her comments to Spike and Willow. She’s not telling them to accept power they don’t already have, so her decision at the end is not analogous.

    While Buffy clearly does have certain messages, the show is also rife with ambiguity. Whedon frequently seems to make contrary points simultaneously. I think it’s a mistake to look at what happens here with Willow and Spike and say that the writers are saying that it is good, and happened exactly as it should have. They make it seem exciting, and their acceptance of their own power certainly helps the team tactically, but I don’t think that means the writers are condoning her actions. What if I show that Buffy’s everyone sucks but me speech helped the Potentials improve their tactical position. Does that mean the show is saying that Buffy accomplished that goal in the right way? I don’t think so. You would have to present me with a lot of evidence before I’d buy that claim, and I don’t see evidence that the show makes any similar “statement” about Buffy’s treatment of Willow and Spike.


  59. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on March 28, 2015.]

    The thing is even though Willow and Spike have that power it could still risk their humanity. As for the “power they have” thing I don’t think the Potentials had those slayer Powers until Willow messed with the scythe so clearly that rule didn’t apply in their case. Granted the slayer powers don’t seem as dark as Dark Willow but there is still a demon essence and responsibilities to do so they are losing some humanity in a sense.

    As for the moral ambiguity thing I don’t mind the idea of it but one wonders if the writers meant it to be that way in regards to this whole Buffy/Willow/Spike thing.


  60. [Note: Noah posted this comment on March 29, 2015.]

    I would actually argue that they’d be risking even more by pretending that they didn’t have this dark power inside them. That’s clear in Willow’s case from the conversations that she had with Giles in “Lessons”, as well as her going all dark eyes in “Selfless”. It’s inside her, and it’s going to come out, so she better be in control of it when it does. Same with Spike: he’s got a soul, but he’s also got a demon inside him. He needs to tame it, not ignore it. That’s what the soul is for, after all.

    The Potentials didn’t have slayer powers, they had slayer power in potency. All they were missing was that power actually. The “One Girl in All the World” rule is arbitrary. It’s not a natural law, it’s a law of men, one that is preventing the natural state of all women (empowerment) from being actual. In addition to solving the problem you pose, I think this reading also makes much more sense as a metaphor for feminism: women are naturally powerful and equal, and patriarchal structures have selfishly and unnaturally imposed rules that keep them down. Buffy and Willow’s spell simply obviates the rule, allowing the natural order of things to be restored. If we read the scene as Buffy giving them power, how does the metaphor work? I’m not sure if it can.


  61. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on March 29, 2015.]

    That’s exactly how I interpret it. Many people feel the lack of subtlety in Season 7 is a negative while I believe it to be a positive. I think subtlety works for the majority of a series run (and indeed, it’s the best course of action, to the point I now hate when shows beat me over the head with things I’m intelligent enough to pick up on).

    However, when a series is ending, I think bold statements are necessary. Bringing to the surface the metaphoric and thematic purpose of the story seems to be, at least to me, the best way of not only making sure the audience understands the author’s intentions but also reassuring them that what they had read into is indeed what was intended. It’s the payoff I think the audience deserves and it’s just one of the reasons there is barely a conclusion to any medium that I’m satisfied with.


  62. [Note: Boscalyn posted this comment on March 29, 2015.]

    What frustrates me about this episode is… well, everything, actually, but the minor detail that could have made this episode less problematic in literally every regard is Kennedy.

    Buffy doesn’t realize that she’s basically reducing these children to footsoldiers? That’s fine. But why doesn’t Kennedy have that epiphany after the First explicitly told her that her military posturing was indirectly responsible for Chloe’s suicide? Oh, she starts off outraged enough, but then the conversation quickly turns into Xander jokes and Spuffy catfighting. Why is her one contribution to the conversation “Hey Willow’s really strong you guys!!” after her experience in “The Killer in Me”?

    If Kennedy brought up the real problems here, Buffy would have to cut to the heart of the issue; and it would give Kennedy actual depth as a character beyond Willow’s girl-toy. The episode doesn’t do that, and that’s why it fails for me.


  63. [Note: Noah posted this comment on March 29, 2015.]

    I think it’s okay that the show chose to kick the can down the road and explore these issues further, which “Lies My Parents Told Me” does extremely well. I’m not sure what in Kennedy’s character at this point would enable her to come to the realization that Buffy’s whole approach is wrong, and that her participation in it is wrong too. The First told her she was responsible for Chloe’s suicide, I hardly think Kennedy’s going to seriously listen to what it has to say. She’s not an interesting enough person to take evil seriously.

    Now, I don’t particularly like Kennedy. She’s a spoiled brat who develops only minimally in her time on the show. That in and of itself is a problem, perhaps, but I think her actions here are in character, for better or for worse.


  64. [Note: Random posted this comment on March 29, 2015.]

    No, it doesn’t reflect well on Buffy, and this sort of thing is why I was less enthused about her as a character over the last two seasons than over the first five. I still adore the character, mind you, but there were some major negatives weighing her down. Still, I’d suggest that one of the recurrent themes — indeed, the recurrent theme — of the series was Buffy’s role as the lone and final guardian against the forces of evil. Without her, the world would have been destroyed…oh, I guess about a half-dozen times (we’ll ignore the Acathla one because without her, Angel wouldn’t have turned evil in the first place barring some really torturous logic regarding how happy being tormented by VampWillow made his masochistic self feel) and, in the most callously logical sense, her humanity, assuming it helps her do her job, actually is more important than that of her friends. That’s a brutally utilitarian rendering of the situation, and I wouldn’t buy that she actually rationalized her decision in that exact fashion, but it’s a necessary point to consider in light of the overarching theme of solitude, leadership, and that necessity of cold-blooded decision-making that dominated the latter half of Season 7. Obviously the others have their own problems…Willow losing her humanity destroys the world. Spike losing his humanity leads nowhere good (though the Becomings indicate that he at least won’t actively try to help the First destroy the world.)

    Buffy, however, ultimately bears the responsibility for her choices, and ultimately has to do what she considers best. Was it an irrational but completely understandable personal distaste for the more-than-a-little rapey situation she found herself in? Or was it an implicit understanding of the effect her humanity has had on her success over the last seven years? No clue, and I disagree to an extent with the person replying you vis-a-vis making points clear. Excessive clarity is insulting, but excessive obscuration is counter-productive. A good writer — and most of the Buffy writers were excellent — shouldn’t abdicate his or her basic responsibility to enlighten the audience. It needn’t be blatant, but it should at least be hinted at in such a way as to make it clear that they aren’t just throwing ideas and/or plot points at the wall and hoping something sticks. In this case, we’re presented with what appears to be a contrary Buffy who doesn’t even consider the importance of the power being offered. Mind you, if she just hated the idea of being violated, I’d understand completely. That’s a valid reaction. Hell, it might be the most defensible reaction she could have had. But this wasn’t happening in a vacuum. It was the latest in a very long series of stories revolving around her, her destiny, and the choices she makes in defense of the world. So, yeah, the interplay of her choice here with her overall character arc spanning seven years could have benefited from a bit more attention.


  65. [Note: Noah posted this comment on March 30, 2015.]

    I agree that the isolation caused by her destiny as the slayer is the most important challenge that Buffy faces. And that’s really what this season is about: it’s her power that isolates her. The only paradigm for fighting evil she’s ever been given is top down, slayer as military leader. The people under her command are objects that she uses to act out her strategies. Another theme of the show is that you can’t beat evil by doing evil. What Buffy’s doing is bordering on evil. There’s a reason the First wears her face all the time. “Chosen” has Buffy take the opposite path. She ends her loneliness, she’s no longer chosen, she has chosen, and she has enabled others to choose as well. She’s connected with another soul, Spike. This all gets a lot of attention in the last half of the season. It’s very well developed. This episode is just part the exploration of these issues.


  66. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on March 30, 2015.]

    I know that it was a one time thing but what about Giles choking Ben to kill Glory. Isn’t that kinda evil. Granted Ben was making bad choices (which arguably made the situation more black and white than it needed to be) but it’s not like he deserved death. Giles does an evil act by killing him and yet he gets away with it scott-free. He doesn’t even consider that maybe he could have done the wrong thing (maybe it could have influenced his decision to leave in Season 6). Sure he was punished for trying to get Spike killed but that was a whole other thing, though obviously can parallel.


  67. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on March 30, 2015.]

    So I’ve heard though it’s probable that Buffy realized that Giles killed him from one of the Scoobies. Not sure if Giles had the opportunity to get rid of the body before any of them saw it. Also it seems weird that nobody investigated Ben’s death given that he was pretty well known around that hospital, though I guess with the amount of deaths in Sunnydale nobody would question it. Either way Giles doesn’t seem to suffer any consequences from this outside of damning his soul though that doesn’t appear to be anything new. Interesting how Buffy apparently would have killed anyone trying to kill Dawn yet when Giles went against her choices and killed a Ben despite him not doing anything yet she doesn’t seem to care. Granted she was depressed and busy for a lot of the later seasons and Dawn is obviously more of a priority but it’s a bit odd


  68. [Note: Random posted this comment on March 30, 2015.]

    I wouldn’t say Ben wasn’t guilty of “doing anything.” Dawn, at least, knows that he tried to trade both her and the world for his own benefit. While Giles’ killed him for reasons unrelated to that, it’s unlikely Dawn didn’t later choose to share her experiences while in Glory/Ben’s clutches. If nothing else, even a non-depressed Buffy would have a hard time making a huge issue out of Giles’ actions. He didn’t make her guilty by association, after all. It was his choice and he bears sole responsibility. Add in the fact that Ben showed that he was perfectly willing to (if not actually excited about) kill Dawn to save himself and I can see Buffy deciding that this was one wrinkle in the story that she should just ignore. The situation with Spike isn’t exactly parallel, after all. Spike was actively trying to be ‘better.’ Ben was headed straight in the opposite direction. As such, Buffy had no particular reason to endorse Ben’s continued existence, just to refrain from using her Slayer power to end it.

    Frankly, I’d guess it would be a matter of semantics mixed with pragmatism. I’d argue that Buffy didn’t choose for Ben to live a long and happy life. She simply chose not to be the one to kill him. I can see her accepting that what happens after that choice being out of her hands, especially since every single one of the Scoobies had a right to make their own choices — Glory was a threat to them all, not just Buffy. So Giles had every right to decide Ben needed to die and Buffy could easily have come to that same conclusion. Self-defense, after all, is a deeply personal choice.


  69. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on August 3, 2015.]

    So i just saw the Korra double-episode Beginnings and I think it’s safe to say that that story did a far better origin than this one did. It felt like a big deal while still tying sufficiently into the season (which hasn’t been that great to be honest) and also feeling like an old timey legend. Maybe that wouldn’t have worked as well in the Buffyverse but at least it would have been more interesting than pure man-hate and Buffy being a bit of a hypocrite.


  70. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on December 22, 2015.]

    I’ve been thinking and noticed the show has this theme of having to accept parts of you you don’t want and use them. I guess it’s a good sentiment though I’m not really a fan of the idea that you have to be forced to be a certain way as a little free will is nice too.


  71. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on January 4, 2016.]

    Kennedy was probably the best Potential earlier in the season but starting around this point the character took a huge nosedive in terms of likeability. It’s one thing to be complaining about how things aren’t going that well but what grinds my gears is how entitled she comes across (most likely due to the Willow fling) which apparently gives her the right to be condescending to everybody. While the actress was one of the better ones among the Potentials (even if she hasn’t done much since) the character became really grating from this point on and you can see why she’s not very popular with people. She started off OK but they just ruined it by the end, plus it didn’t help she was a poor substitute for Tara, even if it is a different kind of relationship. At this point Vi and Amanda and that’s mostly because they are in other shows that we like and it’s kind of neat to imagine them as those characters.


  72. [Note: Samm posted this comment on January 4, 2016.]

    I disliked Kennedy from Bring on the Night. Absolutely no redeeming characteristics, nor was she likable.


  73. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on January 4, 2016.]

    At the very least she had a bit more presence compared to some of the others and some spunk that was admirable at the time. By the time we got here though that spunk has twisted into obnoxiousness.


  74. [Note: Nathan posted this comment on January 4, 2016.]

    Have to agree that Kennedy started out good. She had presence and a tough quality that would make her a good Slayer. Unfortunately, she wasn’t given too much screen time and just became annoying.

    Did love Spike returning to form without getting weeping but wailed on.


  75. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on January 4, 2016.]

    I wouldn’t say she was given too little screen time since she got a lot more than some of the others, being Willow’s new bae gives you in-universe and narrative benefits.


  76. [Note: Samm posted this comment on January 4, 2016.]

    Just watched her first episode again and skipped to her scenes in next couple episodes. I can agree she definitely was more likable earlier on, but she was still an incredibly rude human being, you’d think she would show some gratitude.


  77. [Note: Samm posted this comment on January 4, 2016.]

    And i could be wrong but i am pretty sure she got more screen time than Willow or at least on par from when she entered the show.


  78. [Note: Nathan posted this comment on January 5, 2016.]

    Woops. I meant to write she was given “too much screen time.”

    When the other Potentials were sent upstairs, Kennedy stayed with the main group. That was telling the viewer that unfortunately, she will remain a big part of the series.

    Also, when the fight was going on downstairs none of the Potentials came out to see what was happening. I guess the writers forgot they had sent them upstairs.


  79. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on January 5, 2016.]

    Holy crap. I just learned that the actress who played Chloe was Lizzie McGuire’s friend on the show of the same. Surprised I didn’t recognize her earlier.

    Maybe this role is why she had disappeared for some episodes?

    Well that’s at least 3 Potentials I know from other things.


  80. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on January 5, 2016.]

    I’ve known that since I first saw BtVS. Nice find though. A very Hancock “good job” to you. ^_^


  81. [Note: Krssven posted this comment on January 12, 2016.]

    The only paradigm Buffy knows is Slayer as military leader?

    That’s simply not the case. Early on, Giles’ tutelage is trying to instil a sense of responsibility in Buffy, not leadership qualities. The Watcher/Slayer relationship is one of tutor and student, adult and child. That’s what all of the established lore tells us. Buffy eventually breaks out of this mold, by rejecting the Council and becoming her own person. But early on she was comfortable with Giles as a father and leadership figure despite her non-standard attitude to slaying.

    What doesn’t help in S7 is Giles’ insistence on Buffy taking the leadership role and telling her to learn. It’s probably linked to his belief that Buffy leans on him far too much (making him leave in S6), but he believed he’d made the wrong decision forcing Buffy to stand on her own, as he told her at the end of S6. Because he couldn’t be there as a permanent leader early on, he tried to make Buffy take the responsibility, which generally goes okay until ‘Empty Places’ when she learns the hard way that being a Slayer does not mean you are good at leading. It makes you good at killing. It all ties in with Buffy’s unique psychology – by S7 she has finally accepted her role as ‘Chosen One’ and bought into it. She has that superiority complex regarding Slaying, but still has the inferiority complex regarding it as Holden observed.

    I find it very curious though that Mike points out in this review that Buffy as a dictator is not good for her. She needs her allies working alongside her. But in the ‘Empty Places’ review, her allies turning on her is criticised as out of character. It isn’t – the foundations lie in the early series, all the way up to this episode where she finally tries to become the leader she thinks she should be. It takes the scene in ‘Empty Places’ to make her realise she’s wrong about leadership – making her a better leader in the process.


  82. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on January 12, 2016.]

    The rejection of Buffy is less the problem here (though you could make a case for that if you wanted) as much as the degree to which they reject Buffy. Not having her be the leader is one thing but then they go as far as kicking her out of her own damn house (which she was paying the rent for) even though she could still theoretically be useful (I mean it’s not like she doesn’t want the First defeated).

    No matter how you look at it the scene could have been handled a lot better. This also applies to the follow-through with stupid reasons for the crew not finding Buffy and the whole thing kind of being positioned as a “woe is Buffy” situation with the hero being betrayed by the people she thought she trusted except for that one dude who cares.


  83. [Note: Revenge Demon posted this comment on September 19, 2016.]

    Is it just me that i dont like what they did with Anya and spike? i really liked their relationship so i find it a little akward that they made anya annoying spike for sex…


  84. [Note: Sirena posted this comment on January 13, 2017.]

    “Buffy has never been successful in the past by just ordering everyone around. Buffy is at her best when she’s working with her allies the best she can. Sure, Buffy should be the leader, but she isn’t at her best in the role of a bossy general.”

    I agree that Buffy is at her best when she works alongside her friends. However, in this case her friends are holding back and not really contributing their strengths. Buffy is justified in feeling angry and frustrated with all of them, especially Willow and Spike. As you said in your review, Willow and Spike are Buffy’s most powerful allies and they are holding back, albeit for understandable reasons.Both Willow and Spike fear their power and what a loss of control could mean for themselves and those they care for. Still, when your enemy is powerful and willing to use every means necessary to destroy you, Buffy and her allies cannot afford to play it safe.


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