beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah























season seven  >  sleeper



I hate to say this, since I’ve actually been enjoying this year and last week’s was so good, but this episode bored me to tears. I disliked much of what was done, and I sort of fear where they’re going to go with a premise that I thought was kind of cool. So it’s only fitting that I do the recap for it.


This episode of eternal boredom picks up almost right where CWDP left off. Buffy goes running to Xander --and why? Because she loves him? Hell no. Because he’s saved the world a bazillion times, and deep, deep, deep down somewhere she knows that? Yeah, right. She goes to Xander because Spike is at Xander’s, but Spike isn’t there so she settles for Xander. Whom she complains about Spike to. Oh, is he evil? Is he not evil? Do we care? And Spike buries the chick he sucked dry while humming the jaunty tune mentioned later.


Willow, fresh from her Tara-less night, comes running in to find the house trashed, Dawn on the floor crying. This would be a typical teen scene, only there isn’t a keg in sight, so Willow is understandably concerned. And, of course, tries to convince Dawn it wasn’t Joyce that she saw. Dawn, predictably, doesn’t tell Willow the entire message delivered from Joyce/maybe-not-Joyce. And we’re pausing this recap for a rant, folks. When are the fucking Scoobs ever going to learn? Full disclosure, dumbasses, especially when you think the bad guy’s fucking with you. You tell your sister your dead mother warned you that Buffy would turn on you; you don’t silently mope about it. Of course, if they were ever going to learn that lesson, I rather suspect it would’ve happened a season or two ago. But it’s fucking annoying. You’re fighting evil on a daily basis. You only have each other to trust. So, you know, hold things back. Especially really important things.




Spike comes home to his closet that actually resembles a full-sized bedroom. Odd, that. He pathetically talks to Buffy a bit and I pause once more to just make it clear that I totally and completely despise what they’ve done to Spike. Spike retreats after some very awkward moments that were almost as hard to watch as Dawn in Buffy’s cheerleading outfit, and we all breathe a sigh of relief. Except for Buffy, who doesn’t seem to care about vampires’ ultra-good hearing…and hey, do they still even have that I wonder? But anyway, before the door is even completely shut she’s harping on poor Xander to babysit Spike because she has to go home and check on Dawn. As if she’s ever worried about it before. And you know, if ME had stuck to the story that vamps burn up in daylight, instead of allowing them to run around all willy-nilly, this totally wouldn’t be a problem. But they didn’t, so it is. Xander selfishly snarks that he has to go to a big client meeting tomorrow—and how much do I love that the only person getting on in life is the only one that didn’t go to college?—and that he can’t do Buffy’s duty. So they call on Anya. Poor Anya. Sure, I find her annoying and poorly written, but not even she deserves what they do to her this episode.


OK, but if he turns me into a vampire, I'm gonna bite your ass.


So Buffy goes home to check on Dawn. Doesn’t actually see Dawn, or anything, because when Willow tells her about Dawn seeing Joyce, Buffy immediately does not run in to comfort and reassure Dawn, but instead turns it into something to do with her. Namely, Holden and Spike. Because if Spike’s bad, she’s in deep shit. Yep. Oh, and Willow mentions her run-in, but once again, motherfuckers, she doesn’t go into detail. And these bitches better have a Scooby meeting later to hash all this out, because they’re all freaking about how evil it is, but no one’s writing down the important stuff. Wanted Willow dead. Check. May or may not have had vamp psychoanalyze Buffy. Check, and why? Appeared as Joyce? Told Dawn that Buffy would not choose her. Check. Left Xander alone. Why? If Buffy can have a dry erase board up with pertinent details on people’s weaknesses for the Homecoming Queen race, I want to see those skills applied where it counts.


Sometimes this show frustrates me.


Xander leaves a truly unhappy Anya at his house. But now, a sidebar. Where is Anya living? I thought Buffy had her staying with her? Because Anya had her bags packed, one would assume to avoid D’Hoffryn’s lackeys. Did she only stay at Buffy’s for a short while? Is she on the streets? Living in the burnt remains of the Magic Box? Living it up like a pimp daddy in some posh penthouse? [No, she had that whole apartment in Him, when she told Buffy that she didn't need any help, oh and by the way thanks for saving her life. She just hangs at Buffy's all the time because it's where all the cool kids hang out. -SP]




All I'm saying is that soulless Spike would have had me upside down and halfway to happy land by now.





































Eh, it’s apparently not important. After Xander leaves and opens the curtains so she’ll have plenty of sunlight to protect her if Spike has gone wacko (as if that would help) she decides to take a stake and go search through his clothes for keepsakes from victims. Spike of course wakes up, though probably not because of his excellent hearing, and proceeds to seriously annoy me in this scene. I don’t know if it’s JM’s delivery or the fact that Spike is needlessly naked, but it’s really off and not at all like Spike. Even the dialogue is off. Whatever. Anya tries to distract him by seducing him. It’s bad. It’s really bad. But he says no to her. Thank god. She then gets mad, because it must be that she’s fat and that her hair is bad, and sluffs off to the living room.


Spike leaves, Anya calls Buffy to let her know, blah blah blah, Buffy goes to find Spike. Oh, and before that Buffy, Willow and Dawn sort of talked about how Spike might be possibly evil and Dawn keeps jumping into the conversation trying to grasp at any straws to convince herself that everything was a lie, rather than talking to Buffy. Because, to Dawn, everything everyone was told the other night has to be a lie, or then what her mother said was true. So if Spike’s a killer, Buffy’s not going to choose her. Even though nobody ever said Holden was related to the other two visitations. And even though maybe the evil is so diabolical that some things it says are true so you believe everything it says is true. So shut up Dawn.


I used to tell the truth all the time when I was evil.


And there was something about Willow looking up morgue records and not coming across anything spectacular and then finding out that 10 or so people, mostly women, have recently disappeared. Because on the hellmouth, that’s unusual. Oh, and Anya was there. For, I don’t know, decoration or something.


Buffy follows Spike through the mall, with Spike humming a jaunty tune he picked up from a harmonica-ist. And I know this tune. Is it the one Steve Martin sang to his father in that movie with Goldie Hawn? Anyway, it seems to be what wakes up the killer in Spike (for those of you that don’t watch Alias, a “sleeper” is someone that doesn’t know what they do or what they’ve been trained for and have no memories of it until they are woken with a catch phrase or song or whatever.) as he heads on over to a young lady dressed for La Boom in Cancun. And it’s well worth noting that everyone else in the scene, including Buffy, is dressed for winter. Spike takes her to an alley, Buffy loses him, and Spike kills the girl just to get her to shut up.


And here is where everything I hate about this episode really kicks in. Right before Spike kills this week’s red shirt, bad!Buffy (meaning not Buffy, but the evil that dares to annoyingly morph) walks up to him and tells him that he knows he wants to do it, she wants him to do it, so gosh, just do it. And he does. Then runs away in horror. And then bad!Buffy morphs into bad!Spike and says something like “how could you use a fair maiden so” and then I beat my head against the wall. Because it’s so stupid. Why would the evil dude morph into Spike? Why not just dissipate? It’s not like the evil then went out and did something as Spike. And it’s not like Spike should believe that Buffy wants him to go sucking other girl’s necks anyway. So, really, it’s just dumb. And I hate it.


Buffy, bitter that she lost Spike, goes to Xander’s and tosses Spike out of bed. We take a moment to thank all that is holy that Spike has chosen to sleep in pants today. [Oddly, leather pants. Are those comfortable to sleep in? Is that meant to be a hint about his state of goodness or lack thereof?] She demands to know if he killed the girl. He is sad and pathetic and confused. I can’t recap this whole scene. I hated Spike and his “god help me, Buffy, but it’s still all about you”. And I really think that ME has painted themselves into a corner with Spike. You make him evil and bad again, you piss of the Spuffyists. You make him sweet and souled and have him win back Buffy, you piss off the people who were disgusted with the near rape. You leave him in this fucking limbo land and you piss me off. It’s a no-win sitch guys, so give yourselves a pat on the back.


Anyway, Spike doesn’t think he killed anyone, gets mad that Buffy thinks the chip would be what stops him when he feels she should realize it was his soul, Buffy is really bitchy and cold and promises to get some proof that he did do it. And I once again beat my head against the wall.


Spike gets ready to go out, find’s the cigarettes from the poorly dressed chippee from last week, and has a flash of her dead body. Instead of going for help, he goes to the Bronze, where he asks everybody if they’ve seen her. Sorry, Spike, but blonde, slutty and a smoker ain’t exactly a description that’s going to stand out in any bar.


Better luck next life. He goes to mope upstairs where he is approached by yet another slutty vixen. Spike insults her by turning her down, she vamps out [and mentions that he turned her] and Spike freaks out. They fight, she makes a predictable one-bite stand joke, then Spike stakes her with what looks sort of like a bong made in high school woodshop and calls Buffy for help. And Aimee Mann plays in the Bronze during all of this, if you cared.


Buffy meets him at some house. Spike thinks he killed whoever owned it. And a bunch of others. And buried them there. Spike goes down to the basement where he runs into evil!Spike. Now, I ask you, if this thing has the ability to be anyone, why would it choose the form of the thing it’s torturing? Why not Drusilla? Why not Angellus? Why not one of the Slayers he’s killed? Or any nameless person. What about the vixen he just dusted in the Bronze? Why himself? I never listen to myself, especially if I suspect I’m evil. And I know Spike’s crazy, but is he that crazy? But whatever.


Evil!Spike tells him he’s brought the Slayer too soon, there’s an order and dammit, this isn’t it, but hey, bring her in and feed on her and blah blah blah. Buffy comes down, there’s some talk about remembering I think, and then evil!Spike starts singing that damn song and Spike attacks Buffy and Buffy’s all “you don’t want to do this” and then the vampires start rising. It’s kind of like when the mummies started coming at her from Grave, but without the sword and even less interesting. The vamps hold her down, Spike is instructed by Evil!Spike to take a taste, Spike actually does then gets sort of grossed out, understandably, and falls back in horror at all the memories that come back. Buffy fights the vamps in what is possibly the most boring and slowest fight scene ever that isn’t shot in slo-mo though it feels like it was, and kills all the vamps. Spike’s huddled in a corner with Evil!Spike telling him that Buffy’s going to kill him. [And why was evil!Spike invisible anyway? Are all these manifestations only visible to the one person? And why did Spike leave Holden and this week's red shirt in an alley, but buried all these people here? And why was the vamp from the Bronze (and Holden) all risen when no one else was? And if Spike killed them all on different nights, whey did they all suddenly rise at the same time. And coincidentally right then? Is the big bad able to manipulate when a new vampire rises? If so, why didn't he save all of them for that moment? Why did he let Holden and the Bronze vamp rise early? Were they made of that fast acting yeast or something?]


Buffy comes stalking on over with her big long stake [a big shovel! it's a shout out to the Buffy X-Box game!] and Spike’s all ‘just do it fast’. And while I may hate Spike now, I like JM’s delivery there. This is me, being nice. Don’t get used to it, especially not if the rest of the episodes follow this vein of poor pacing. Buffy asks him why he’s done what he’s done and he says he doesn’t know he can feel all the people he’s killed and that he needs help. Buffy says she’ll help him and evil!Spike, who now has no reason to still be evil!Spike but still is, looks on in disgust. Or disinterest. I’m not sure which.


Back at the Summers’ house, Spike is huddled in a blanket. Everyone sits at a table discussing him an arm’s length away. Once again, not caring whether or not he can hear them. Xander’s concerned. Dawn’s concerned. Willow seems to understand, lord knows why. And lord knows why she’s wearing that shirt, but I suspect the costume designer has found our site and decided to fuck with us just a little bit more. But, regardless of the shirt, Willow gets it. To understand the evil one must withhold information from one's friends and also one must get close to it. Which means getting close to Spike. Which better not mean the return of handcuffs and single entrendres.


And in the final scene, which ties to one of the first scenes that I ignored that involved a British man coming home to what appears to be an oft-stabbed dead teenager on his drawing room floor named Nora before getting stabbed himself. So now, Giles comes busting through this unfortunate man’s door, and his name seems to be Robson. Robson comes alive long enough to tell Giles that he needs to gather “them” because “it’s” starting. And Giles dutifully begins to say he’ll take care of it, but is interrupted by one of those hooded men swinging an axe at his head. And we fade to black. But hey, did anyone else notice that we could see a face this time? And that the eyes were glowy and it looked sort of demony? Huh. Wonder what that means.


Please don’t be the bringers from Amends… Please don’t be the bringers from Amends… Please don’t be the bringers from Amends

Please don’t be the bringers from Amends





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