Drinks Taken: 22
Vamps Dusted: 0
Follow the whole rewatch here!
Last week, Sarah kicked off season six, which sees the Scoobies trying to keep the peace in Sunnydale with the addition of Spike, the Buffybot, and Willow’s magical telepathic CB radio abilities. Then the gang put Giles on a plane back to England and promptly went about raising Buffy from the dead, having been worried that she was languishing in a hell dimension. After the ritual was interrupted by demonic bikers they assumed it was a bust, but Buffy was actually crawling her way out of her grave, disoriented, a little bit feral, and fearing she had now arrived in hell. Yep, we feel that.
The Buffy Season Six Drinking Game Rules
Drink once every time:
A vamp is dusted
A scene takes place in a cemetery
Giles removes his glasses
Willow misuses magic
Tara gets upset at Willow misusing magic
Anya or Xander mention being engaged or their wedding
Spike and Buffy are the epitome of Bad Romance
Warren, specifically, is the worst
Drink twice every time:
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
There’s a callback to previous season shenanigans
Dawn steals something
Buffy emotes existential dread
The “Trio” makes a pop culture reference
You really miss Giles
Consider this to be your public service announcement about the potentially harmful effects of Buffy’s existential dread on your liver.
6.03 “After Life”
The Scoobies head back to the Summers house, sure that’s where Buffy must have gone. They worry being fresh from being tortured in a hell dimension, she’s come back either damaged or broken. Meanwhile, Dawn brings Buffy home, where she notices things look a little different, now that Willow and Tara live there. Dawn gets Buffy cleaned up and out of that terrible funeral sack, but she’s definitely shell-shocked and scraped up from clawing her way out of her coffin. Spike arrives, ready to give Dawn hell for disappearing on him. When he sees Buffy back from the dead, he’s nearly speechless. But he pulls it together when he realizes they need to patch up her hands and sends Dawn off for supplies.
The gang arrives in a stampede, pelting Buffy with questions, demanding to know where she was, what it was like, and if she’s a zombie. Spike quietly slips out, and Dawn has to be the one to tell them to back off. Buffy says she just wants to sleep, and Willow insists that she be happy that they got her out. They’re all kind of off-putting except for Dawn, and Xander (who offered to go get a pizza). As Xander and Anya leave, Anya confides to him that she doesn’t think Buffy is as fine as Willow insists she is. They catch Spike leaning on his favorite tree in the front yard, smoking and wiping away tears. Xander immediately loses points by accusing him of being back to his old obsessive ways now that Buffy is back. Spike is pissed that he fought beside them all summer and they didn’t tell him that they were bringing her back. Xander has no defense for this, but Spike has it all figured out. Willow knew there was a possibility that Buffy could come back wrong and they’d have to kill what came back, and Spike would never let them. As he heads off on his awesome new motorcycle, he warns them that the thing about magic is there are always consequences.
That night, Willow tells Tara that she called Giles and he’ll be on the next plane from England. He sounded shook. There were a lot of “dear lords” and she’s pretty sure she actually heard him cleaning his glasses. (Drink!) Willow confides to Tara that if the spell went as well as it seems, she expected that Buffy would be more grateful. Tara just thinks Buffy needs more time.
Buffy is alone in her dark room when she looks at photos of her friends and sees them as skeletons. The next moment, we see her standing over Willow and Tara’s bed yelling at them about blood and calling them filthy bitches like a possessed person. When they turn on the lights, there’s no one there, and when they check Buffy’s room, she’s asleep. Then the pictures on the wall start moving as if something is crawling under the wallpaper. Willow calls Xander (who is asleep despite the fact that Anya is still talking to him). As Willow tells him they were attacked, Anya comes back into the bedroom with white eyes and slicing her face with a knife while she laughs. It’s terrifying. When Xander grabs the knife away, she passes out on the floor, with no visible cuts on her. Then the demon is seen crawling away under the carpet.
The traumatized Scoobies regroup in the Summers yard the next day and Anya surmises that a hitchhiker demon hopped a ride with Buffy as she traveled back from hell. Buffy comes in on their discussion, obviously not quite herself and mentions the skulls in photos, but she thought she was just going crazy. As the gang heads into research mode at the Magic Box, they try to isolate which type of hitchhiker it could be, and Buffy admits that she misses Giles. US TOO. But the gang promises her that he’s on his way and in the meantime, they’ll figure this out, and either way, they’re so glad to have her back. Buffy is getting antsy and decides she needs to go off to patrol, alone and doesn’t even notice Dawn’s assurances that she’ll be fine staying with the gang. After Buffy leaves, Dawn’s eyes go white and she gives an evil smile, quite obviously possessed now herself. (If you’ve ever seen Michelle Trachtenberg’s work on Gossip Girl, you know she can do champion evil.) When Anya comes back with the coffee orders, Demonic Dawn starts spouting accusatory nonsense about blood, and then breathes fire, setting some of the books on fire. (One of my husband’s all-time favorite Buffy moments.) They don’t see where the demon goes after it leaves Dawn, but Anya somewhat chillingly reminds them that evil things have plans.
In the cemetery, Buffy wanders around and ends up at Spike’s crypt, probably because he’s the only one not putting any pressure on her to be her old self again right away. He prattles on about Willow getting pretty powerful and his new furniture before he tells her that he remembers the promise he made to her, to protect Dawn and that he thinks of what he could have done so that Buffy wouldn’t have had to jump. Honestly, it’s pretty swoony.
Back at the Magic Box, Xander tells Tara that Spike got him thinking, if there was any way Willow could have known there might be bad consequences to bringing Buffy back. Tara is certain that Willow didn’t because she would never hurt anyone. Right then, Willow figures out that what they’re dealing with is the universe demanding a price for the spell they performed to resurrect Buffy. The price is the demon they created which has no body. Anya corrects her that this would actually be a gift with purchase. But the only way to return it is to undo the spell that brought Buffy back, which sends Dawn into a near meltdown. Willow then finally gets to the part in the book that says the demon is temporary. It will dissipate without a host body and the only way it can keep one of those is to kill the subject of the original spell. A possessed Xander thanks them for the tip before the demon sneaks off again.
Arriving home, Buffy is obviously stalked through the house by the demon. It’s suddenly able to appear as a misty form that tells Buffy she doesn’t belong here. She tries to fight it without any success, though the demon seems to be able to attack her. Xander, Anya, and Dawn are driving as fast as they can to get to Buffy, while Willow and Tara stay at the Magic Box to do a spell to help. Dawn is worried that it could send Buffy back but Xander promises that it’s just to make the demon corporeal enough to kill. As they’re doing the spell, there’s a moment when Willow obviously channels more power than Tara and pulls away to complete the spell alone. Buffy is then able to chop the head off the demon.
The next morning, Buffy follows Dawn out the front door to hand her the lunch she made. Buffy looks like she’s back to normal, although dressed like a Stepford wife, but one with fantastic hair. She even manages a joke about summer school and that she’s going to start charging money every time someone asks if she’s okay. Buffy then heads off to the Magic Box and thanks her friends for rescuing her from hell and they all hug. Buffy goes out to the alley and finds Spike hanging out there in the shade because of all the sunny daylight and all. Uh, how did he even get there? He said he was about to go inside but didn’t want to interrupt the love fest. Buffy said she just wanted some time alone, but she can be alone with him there. Spike knows she’s not okay and offers to do anything for her. Buffy admits to him that she wasn’t in hell. She was happy, complete, and at peace, and she thinks she was in heaven, and she was ripped out and brought back to this hell by her friends. He just stares at her in shock and as she walks away, she tells him that they can never know.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
8 – Unless you factor in the existential dread, in which case, you may as well fill up your bathtub with booze.
The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week
Anya: Yeah, jet lag from hell has gotta be, you know, jet lag from hell.
Dawn: Large and small bone eaters? If we get to pick I say we go with the small bone eaters.
Anya: Well, that just means they prefer to eat things with small bones, like you.
Anya: I found one of those 24-hour places for coffee. You remember that book store? Well, they became one of those books and coffee places, and now they’re just coffee. It’s like evolution only without the getting better part.
Spike: Well, I haven’t been to a hell dimension just of late, but I do know a thing or two about torment.
Stylish Yet Affordable Boots
I couldn’t find any full-length photos of Anya’s terrible outfit, but I need to know on what planet someone would pair this lace-trimmed floral top with these striped pants?
Bonus: You can tell Buffy isn’t herself, since she’s dressed in solid button-downs. Do we even believe she’d own those?
Buffy wanders through her creepy basement, not in search of a monster, but a dripping pipe. Dawn sits on the stairs offering to call a plumber, while Buffy tightens it. Buffy refuses, and once she thinks she’s stopped the drip, pipes all over the basement start spraying water everywhere. I could have told you, Buffy. Homeownership is the worst.
The girls are having breakfast in the kitchen while Buffy stares at the water pouring from the kitchen sink and goes through the motions of normal conversation, but is obviously not paying any attention. Xander comes up from the basement with his plumber friend, Tito, who tells her she basically needs her entire plumbing system replaced. The invoice is apparently alarming, despite Xander haggling the price down. Buffy doesn’t think it’ll be a big deal, which is when the gang has to break it to her that her mother’s life insurance money was eaten up by medical bills and there’s not really anything left and the house is hemorrhaging money just sitting there. I’m guessing Willow and Tara aren’t exactly paying rent here.
Anya suggests that Buffy could make money by charging for slaying vampires and everyone acts like this is the most horrible idea ever as if it’s not the entire premise of the show Angel, but sure, guys. Anya calls Xander out for never taking her side and storms out. He follows her and asks if this is about the fact that he hasn’t told anyone about their engagement. Which, duh. Xander says he’s still in on the whole marriage thing, but it’s a forever thing, and he’s still getting used to having a steady paycheck and being out from under his parents’ roof.
Buffy applies for a loan at the bank but is told her only collateral is the house, which isn’t really worth anything because Sunnydale property values have mysteriously been declining over the years. He also tells her she has no job, just as a demon bursts through the window roaring. Buffy fights it, while someone else robs the bank in the background. A security guard tries to help, and the demon gets away. But props for Buffy’s anti-gun stance.
Willow is shocked to hear that Buffy still got turned down for the loan. But while Buffy is working over the punching bag in the Magic Box gym, Willow notes that Buffy is angry, that she’s having an actual emotion. But she backs off on explaining the concern when Buffy is confused by why Willow would want to keep trying to piss her off. Anya and Xander are bickering over the secret engagement again and I’m already sick of it. Dawn tries to convince Tara that she’s old enough for research, but Tara has doubts since she’s only 15. As with Dawn needing a babysitter, this is an absurd premise, since the Scoobies were barely older than that when they started researching (and fighting!) demons. Tara finally gives in and hands her a book, and Dawn has immediate regrets due to the graphic illustrations but perseveres. Buffy comes in and immediately makes a crack about if Dawn is doing research now, she must want a cappuccino and cigarettes.
Buffy loses her train of thought when someone walks in the door and we see that it’s Giles, who drops his things as they go to hug each other. And suddenly, there’s a lot of crying, mostly in my living room. She and Giles take some time to have a private heart-to-heart about how he feels about coming back to Sunnydale and how she’s adjusting to back from the dead. But she resists going too deep and insists she needs to prepare to slay. Giles confirms to the group that they’re on the right trail with the M’Fashnik demon, which comes from a mercenary line that sells their services to the highest bidder. The highest bidder turns out to be three dweebs in beanbag chairs, who hired the demon to rob banks and now he’s on the slayer’s radar and they’re obligated to promise her head on a platter. The trio is composed of Warren the bot builder, tiny Jonathan from Sunnydale High days, and Andrew (whose brother summoned the devil dogs to prom). Jonathan and Andrew are anti-murdering Buffy and overrule Warren. Yet he privately gives the demon Buffy’s address and tells him to go for it.
Later that night, Giles (who’s bunking down on the Summers sofa), asks Willow about the spell she performed to bring Buffy back. She relays how intense it was, but he’s less than impressed and disappointed that she of all people didn’t respect the forces of nature or the immense risk involved in harnessing those kinds of dark forces. He calls her a rank, arrogant, amateur, and she tells him that she’s very powerful and maybe he shouldn’t piss her off. Giles reminds her that they still don’t know where Buffy has been or what was done to her. It’s kind of an awful fight, and we see that Buffy is on the porch and overheard it all. Spike arrives, having overheard it as well and tells her she shouldn’t take it personally. Buffy knows that they’re all just worried about her, but trying to make them believe she’s fine is exhausting her. They sit on the steps and commiserate over how they’re both not one for crowds these days.
Since Dawn and Giles are unable to sleep, she convinces him to join her in a cereal mixing experiment when the M’Fashnik demon busts through the door, throwing people into banisters and coffee tables, and stressing out a newly money-conscious Buffy. She gets Spike’s help corralling the demon towards her flooded basement, where she beats him to death while yelling about her full copper repipe needs. The trio congratulate themselves on their successful mission and their new lair. They wonder what they’re going to do about Buffy, and all of their suggestions are pretty gross. This is a very bad portent for what’s to come.
As Anya tabulates the new debt amount, Buffy wonders how her mom paid for it all, considering how many times Buffy trashed the house. Giles knows that she’ll get through it, just like her mother did. When Buffy gets the call that Angel knows she’s back from the dead and needs to see her, she drops everything to head off and meet him somewhere, and thanks Giles for taking care of dealing with the bills and the Dawn, which he didn’t exactly offer to do.
How many times do I have to take a drink?
Giles For Life
The way he looks at her and touches her face? It’s just, it’s too much.
This is some excellent Spuffy content, and I’ll tell you why. We get to see some really emotional and heartfelt moments from Spike that seem to be all about his love for Buffy, without any need to possess her or make her return his feelings. It’s hard to juxtapose this version of him with last season when he kidnapped her, and you know, the whole sex robot thing. Does this just make Spike a complex demon, or does it smack of inconsistent writing?
There’s a moment when Dawn yells at Willow in “After Life” about how she “can’t just do this to people” and combined with Willow’s subsequent fight with Giles, do you think it’s realistic that the consequences of this resurrection spell didn’t make a bigger impression on her attitudes about magic?
Don’t forget to join me in the comments, and then meet back here next week when Meredith will be talking about “Life Serial” (which marks the first appearance of Clem!) and the final Halloween episode, “All the Way.”