Buffy gazes at her robot twin


Title: Buffy S5.E17 “Forever” + Buffy S5.E18 “Intervention”
Released: 2001

Drinks Taken: 27
Vamps Dusted: 3


Follow the whole rewatch here!

In last week’s recap, we met creepy Warren, who made himself a robot girlfriend which made Spike decide he wanted one just like it, and Joyce died suddenly, leaving Buffy and Dawn, and the rest of the Scoobies reeling. We’re still VERY UPSET. This week, we’re dealing with the aftermath of Joyce’s death, as well as Spike’s continuing obsession with Buffy. Oh, and Glory is still looking for that pesky key.

Buffy eagerly watching a pitcher of beer being poured into her glass.

The Buffy Season Five Drinking Game Rules

Drink once every time:
A vamp is dusted
A scene takes place in a cemetery
Willow and/or Tara get witchy with it
Riley’s a drag
Things get uncomfortable between Anya and Xander
Dawn is annoying
  Anya loves money
Spike has zero chill around Buffy

Drink twice every time:
Giles drinks tea
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
There’s a callback to previous season shenanigans
The Magic Box has customers
Glory sucks someone’s brain

Dawn does some heavy-lifting in this week’s drinking game, followed by plenty of references to past episodes. But still, I hope you brought some tissues.

Buffy leans on Angel as they sit against a tree in the nighttime cemetery

5.17 “Forever”

Giles accompanies Buffy and Dawn to the funeral home to choose a casket for Joyce. Dawn worries that they have no way of knowing which one Joyce would like best since she’s the one who has to be in it forever. Buffy belatedly realizes she probably shouldn’t have brought Dawn along for this. Saint Giles also helps Buffy make the rest of the funeral decisions over dinner, where a petulant Dawn is upset that their mom told only Buffy about her burial preferences. Xander tries to get Dawn to eat but neither of the Summers girls has much appetite, and it doesn’t help that Buffy hasn’t been able to reach their horrible deadbeat father. Since Joyce didn’t want a wake, Dawn asks Willow if she can go to her place after the service, rather than come back to their sad empty house. As Xander and Willow are leaving, Spike shows up with a cheap bouquet that Xander insists Spike not be able to use to try to score points with Buffy. But Spike tells them that Joyce was the only one of them he could stand since she always had a nice cup of tea for him and didn’t treat him like a freak.

The small graveside service the next day is just as depressing as you’d expect. Buffy makes it through dry-eyed but stays at the site after everyone else leaves. As night falls, Angel steps up beside her and apologizes for not being there sooner, and she reaches back for his hand. Oh, Angel. We’ve missed you. As Buffy snuggles with Angel against a cemetery tree, she tells him that the funeral was brutal, but it’s tomorrow she’s worried about, and the day after that. Buffy wonders if things might have been different if she’d just gotten home ten minutes earlier, and worries that when she needed to be a grown-up, she fell apart. Angel reassures her there wasn’t anything she could have done to save her mom and tells her he can stay as long as she needs him, and she asks how forever sounds. But she realizes that would be a bad idea, in her current state of neediness. He says he doesn’t mind, but they share a kiss and agree that she’s right, but she tells him she’s grateful that he came.

At Willow and Tara’s dorm, Dawn can’t be comforted by anything they say and then announces that she wants to do a spell to bring Joyce back. They try to explain that magic can’t be used to alter the natural order of things. Dawn argues that they do that all the time, but Tara tells her life and death are different. Willow admits that there are spells in books, but she assumes they must backfire or something, which Tara reminds them is not the point. Dawn flounces off to bed at their refusal. The next morning, she refuses to go down to breakfast with them and says she’ll just sleep some more and then call Giles to pick her up. Willow takes pity on Dawn and uses her magic to pull out a book from the shelf on their way out of the room. Dawn quickly finds the information on resurrection she was hoping for. Later at the Magic Box, Dawn looks for spell supplies under the guise of dusting. She asks what’s off-limits and Giles helpfully points out that the more dangerous books and potions are up in the loft. Nice going, Giles. Dawn sneaks up there and loads up her backpack while Giles and Anya help customers. (Drink!)

Outside the hospital, one of Glory’s minions approaches Ben and tells him that Glory would like to encourage his interest in the slayer, in her attempt to locate the key. Ben says that he won’t help her find the key, he would never do that to an innocent. Since the minion notices that less than subtle slip-up, indicating that the key is a person, Ben has no choice but to stab the minion with the dagger at his belt.

At the cemetery that night, Spike comes upon Dawn performing a ritual with dirt from Joyce’s grave. She tries to deny being up to anything but Spike says the book she stole from the Magic Box is infamous and she’s headed into zombie territory. Dawn begs him not to tell Buffy, but that she has to get her mother back. He promises that he won’t tell, he’ll help her. Oh, Spike, you dummy. Dawn assumes he’s doing this to get in good with Buffy, but Spike tells her that if Buffy knew, she’d drive a redwood through his chest. Accurate. He’s helping because he thinks the Summers women have been through enough.

Glory frets over her missing minion, Jinx, who hasn’t come home yet. He’s shortly carried in by two other minions, which makes Glory literally tear her hair out in frustration when she finds out Ben stabbed him. But once Jinx tells her the key is in human form, she’s delighted that her search has been narrowed down.

Spike takes Dawn to see an elderly demon named Doc who tries to talk her into a nice tonic instead of messing with nasty things like resurrection. But since she’s resolved, he gathers a book and a list of ingredients and instructions while humming Peter and the Wolf. He warns her it’s a tricky spell and he can’t guarantee that her mother will come back as she was. These things sometimes go a little off. Spike then has to take her into the sewer lair of a three-headed Ghora demon, because stealing the egg for her spell is a two-person job. Spike tries arguing, but she’s right that he needs her, but her antics manage to get him bit by a demon.

Later, Tara notices A History of Witchcraft is missing from the shelf in their room and immediately realizes Dawn must have taken it and the fact that it refers to specific resurrection spells and potions is bad news. Willow denies knowledge of it but is quickly convinced that they should call Buffy right away. Buffy comes home just as Dawn finishes the spell. Buffy insists that they can’t let this happen, that Joyce could come back wrong. As we see a woman’s shoes slowly walking through the graveyard and Dawn tells Buffy that she’s not like her, she doesn’t have anyone else. Dawn assumes that Buffy isn’t as sad since she hasn’t even cried. They have a teeth-gritting argument, culminating with Buffy slapping Dawn. That seems to crack the fragile hold on her emotions and tearfully says that she’s not avoiding Dawn, but she doesn’t know what she’s doing, and she’s trying so hard to take care of things like Joyce did, and she’s scared.

It’s heartbreaking. They then hear a knock at the door. Buffy gets a hopeful look on her face and asks “Mommy?” As she rushes to the door, Dawn finally has second thoughts and rips up the photograph of Joyce, reversing the spell. Buffy opens the door to nothing and then collapses on the floor in Dawn’s arms, sobbing.

How many times do I have to take a drink?


Vamps Dusted


The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week

Xander: You going home?
Willow: I’m gonna stop by my mom’s first. Been doing that a lot lately.
Xander: Yeah. I actually might stop by your mom’s too. (She looks at him.) Well, I’m not going to my place. Those people are scary!

Dawn: Spike, I’m not stupid. You’re, like, stalking my sister. You’d do anything to get in good with her.

Giles: I can always use a hand.
Anya: But you have a hand. A paid hand! A hand that isn’t the hand of illegal child labor.
Giles (pointedly): Anya…
Anya (to Dawn): But of course, it’s wonderful that you find doing my job so distracting. I am unthreatened. Proceed.


actor Joel Grey wears glasses as Doc

Doc is inexplicably played by legend of stage and screen, Joel Grey. (Also known as Jennifer Grey’s dad!) Best known for his hundreds of TV appearances, including playing Another Mr. Sloane on Alias and his Oscar and Golden Globe-winning role in 1973’s Cabaret, as well as his work on Broadway.

Giles For Life

Not only does he stand-in for their missing father again, in helping with funeral arrangements and childcare, Giles mourns alone in his apartment, by lamplight, drinking whiskey and listening to the same Cream album that he and Joyce rocked out to in “Band Candy”. Sniffle.


The Buffybot holds a weapon while grinning at Giles

5.18 “Intervention”

Giles helps Buffy dry dishes, even though he cooked dinner. Where can I get a Giles? He asks Buffy how she’s doing, and she admits that some minutes are harder than others. Giles suggests Buffy get back into her training routine, but she was thinking she should take a break since she’s been worrying that being the slayer is turning into her stone. Giles thinks it’s perfectly natural for her to feel emotionally numb after what she’s been through, but she believes she’s been shut down for a long time and that’s why Riley left. And now her mother is gone, and what if she didn’t even know how much Buffy loved her because she can barely say the words. She feels compelled to tell Giles that she loves him and then admits that it feels weird to say, which he seems to agree with. He suggests that some slayers have managed to reconnect to their purpose by taking a little desert retreat. Buffy doesn’t want to leave Dawn while Glory is still looking for her, but Dawn reassures her that she can hang with the gang if this will help Buffy learn something.

Buffy: I love you, Dawn. You know that right?
Dawn: Yeah. I love you, too.
Buffy: I love you. Really love you.
Dawn: Gettin’ weird.
Buffy: Sorry. But it’s important that I tell you. Weird love’s better than no love.

Spike is at Warren’s, picking up his custom-ordered Buffybot. He says that she looks good, but wants to know if she has all the things he asked for. Warren is being squirrely, quickly packing up a bag, while assuring Spike that he loaded the bot with response scenarios, the profiles on Buffy’s friends, and the uh, special skills Spike asked for. Warren is desperate to leave town, but Spike is worried that she looks a little too plastic. When she opens her eyes and seems thrilled to see him, before laying a kiss on him, he decides that she’ll do.

Glory pouts about being an exiled god, far from the hellfires of home, and stuck sharing a body with an enemy that stabs her minions in their fleshy bellies. Since they now know the key is a person, she orders the minions to watch the slayer and to look for someone who’s new in her life, who’s special or different.

Giles takes Buffy out to Joshua Tree (okay, I might have made that up, I know nothing about California) and performs a ritual to conjure Buffy’s guide for the weekend. Buffy starts walking in the desert when she comes upon a mountain lion. (Okay, I’m guessing again. I know even less about big cats than I do about the geography of Southern California.) Buffy follows the cat to a place she recognizes, and that night she’s visited by the First Slayer, who she remembers from her dream in “Restless”. At Buffy’s questions, the First Slayer assures her that she’s full of love, it’s brighter than fire, and that’s why she rejects it. She tells Buffy that love is pain and the slayer forges strength from it. And love will bring her to her gift, which is death. Death is her gift. Buffy disagrees with death being a gift, but the First Slayer tells her the question has been answered.

Spike has some role-playing fun with his new toy. Luckily, she’s a better actor than Harmony in the role, but she’s also nothing like Buffy. Spike doesn’t seem to mind. She appears to have multi-function capabilities, since the next time we see them, they’re post-coital. Gross, Spike. The Buffybot delivers all of her lines in such a cheerful tone, that it’s hard not to find her delightfully hilarious.

Dawn is hanging out at Xander’s place while Tara tells Xander that Willow has more natural witch ability than anyone she’s ever seen, but mentions there’s a TV special about the Salem Witch Trials she doesn’t want Willow to watch that night, since it will just upset her. Anya says she was there and it wasn’t really that bad, since if you were a real witch, you could just do a spell to escape, so it only sucked for the FALSELY accused, and well, they never have a good time. One of Glory’s minions peeks through the window as Dawn swipes a pair of Anya’s earrings.

As Spike sleeps, the Buffybot gets dressed, announcing “It’s time to slay. Vampires of the world beware,” and leaves the crypt without him noticing. She runs into Xander and Anya in the cemetery, where they’ve come to patrol, thinking Buffy was out of town. They notice she’s acting strangely, but they’re interrupted when Spike runs over and tries to tell them they should split up because the place is crawling with vamps. And just then, a group of vamps shows up. As they’re fighting them off, the Buffybot keeps telling Spike to be careful, which Glory’s spying minions notice. After the slaying, the bot assures Xander and Anya that they can head home since she and Spike can patrol. But as those two are leaving, they realize Buffy never asked about Dawn and Xander is certain something is wrong. They turn back to the cemetery, only to get a peek at Spike and what they assume is Buffy, going at it. Get a crypt, y’all.

Willow is angrily watching the Salem Witch Trials documentary, as Tara predicted when Xander and Anya rush in to tell them that Buffy has gone insane and is boinking Spike. They all agree that grief can be powerful and this can’t be healthy, but aren’t sure what they should do. Anya helpfully offers that when people go crazy in the movies, someone slaps them. The entire conversation is pretty funny, given the alarming news.

Back at Spike’s crypt, he sends the Buffybot down to hide when he hears someone coming. Xanders confronts Spike over what he thinks is happening, but he doesn’t think it’s any of Xander’s business. Since Buffy is his friend and going through a hard time lately he wants to make sure Spike isn’t taking advantage of her.

Glory’s minions arrive in the midst of Xander’s threats, and they knock Xander out and take Spike, believing him to be the key. The bot comes out of hiding because she missed Spike. When she sees that he’s missing, she goes to Xander’s place and Willow answers the door and the bot tells her that Spike is gone. Willow takes her out on the patio, since everyone else is asleep, and she asks Buffy if it’s true about her and Spike. The bot assures her that she did have sex with Spike, lots of times, in lots of different ways. She offers to do some sketches. Before Willow can talk some sense into her, Xander arrives with news that the “hobbits with leprosy” took Spike and since he knows Dawn is the key, they decide to gather weapons at Buffy’s and go find Spike.

At Buffy’s, the gang rifles through her weapons chest, and then asks the Buffybot where they should go to look for Glory. The bot doesn’t know anything, so they send her off to change clothes. Then the real Buffy arrives, which is when they decide to stage their intervention over her having sex with Spike. As she’s denying the charges, the Buffybot comes back downstairs, and within ten seconds, Buffy knows she’s looking at a robot and is mad that her friends couldn’t tell the difference. They’re all squicked out at why Spike must have had her made, but once Buffy hears that Glory has Spike, she knows they need to go get him. They meet up with Giles to decide on a course of action.

The minions deliver Spike to Glory, who is disappointed in them for not realizing that the key would be pure, something vampires are not. But the minions assure Glory that the slayer treated the vampire as precious. With that knowledge, Glory tortures him to see if there’s any information she can dig out of him. Despite being hurt and tied up, Spike continues to insult Glory while also insinuating that the key is Bob Barker. He eventually manages to escape, and with the minions hot on his trail, falls into the elevator shaft. Buffy and Xander arrive and start fighting the minions. Giles and the bot show up and he goes to fight, while she’s distracted by an injured Spike. When Giles calls for Buffy’s help, the bot tries to help him and is thrown into a wall where she shorts out. The minions take the defeating news to Glory.

Meanwhile, at the Magic Box, Willow is tinkering with the Buffybot (which Buffy thinks looks nothing like her), when Giles and Xander show up to report that they dumped Spike in his crypt after not being able to get much information out of him due to his injuries. But Anya points out that if he told Glory anything, he would just lie about it. Also, Tara told Dawn that Spike built a robot Buffy to play checkers with and LOL forever. Willow announces that the bot has some fried wires, which is an easy fix but is glared at by Buffy at the idea of doing so. Xander feels kind of sorry for Spike since he was thrashed and his best toy was taken away.

The Buffybot visits Spike in his crypt and comments that he’s covered in sexy wounds. He asks where she’s been and she claims that she fell down and got confused, but that Willow fixed her. Spike is surprised to hear that, but then the bot asks why Spike is beaten up and he tells her it’s because Glory wanted to know who the key is. The bot thinks that’s not a problem, she knows and can go and tell Glory, but Spike stops her. He says that if anything happened to Dawn, it would destroy Buffy, and he’d rather Glory kill him than have to see Buffy in that much pain. The Buffybot stares at him and then kisses him and that’s when Spike realizes it’s not the bot, but Buffy. As she goes to leave, he asks after his robot. Buffy tells him that it’s gone and that it was gross and obscene, and it wasn’t real. But what he did for her and Dawn was real and she won’t forget it.

How many times do I have to take a drink?


Vamps Dusted


Bloody Good Snark

Glory (about Spike): What the hell is that, and why is its hair that color?

Why The Buffybot Is One Of The Best Characters Ever

Spike: Was that your best, Slayer?
Buffybot: No.
Spike: Why not?
Buffybot: I wanna hurt you, but I can’t resist the sinister attraction of your cold and muscular body!

Buffybot: You’re evil.
Spike: And that excites you?
Buffybot: It excites me, it terrifies me… I try so hard to resist you and I can’t.
Spike: Yeah?
Buffybot: Darn your sinister attraction!
Spike: Are you afraid of me?
Buffybot (smiling enthusiastically): Yes.

Buffybot: Spike, I can’t help myself! I love you!
Spike: You’re mine, Buffy.
Buffybot: Should I start this program over?

Buffybot: Spike! It’s Spike. And he’s wearing a coat.

Buffybot: Angel’s lame. His hair goes straight up, and he’s bloody stupid!

Buffybot (in the midst of conversation with Willow): You’re recently gay!

Buffybot (seeing Buffy): Say! look at you! You look just like me! We’re very pretty.

Gah, “Forever” is wrenching, isn’t it? I find it interesting because, not only does it feature another killer SMG performance, it shows us an instance of Willow being somewhat cavalier about magic. It’s cool to see how far back that descent began.

So, now it’s time to talk about the plastic elephant in the room. It is beyond repulsive that Spike commissioned a robot to look like the woman who doesn’t love him. But it does lead to that really touching scene at the end, and also, SMG got to have the best time being ridiculously chipper after two heavy and tragic episodes. I think that’s the real reason I love “Intervention” so much. Join us in the comments if you feel the need to stage an intervention for me now!

And join us next week, when Meredith will be covering the very upsetting “Tough Love” and the road trip episode, “Spiral.”

Kandis (she/her) is a proud member of the Austin FYA book club chapter who loves vampires, romance novels, live tweeting CW shows, and Jonah Griggs. She’s not like a regular mom. She’s a cool mom.