Monday, 12 November 2012


Nice little trailer for the ep.

WRITER: Marti Noxon

DIRECTOR: Marti Noxon


Following Joyce’s funeral Dawn goes back to Willow and Tara ’s to stay overnight. While there, she tells the two witches that she wants to use magic to bring Joyce back. Tara says it shouldn’t be done as it is very dangerous and that the dead don’t come back as they were. However Willow is a little less definite on the matter. The following morning Tara and Willow leave for class and Dawn finds a book on magic that point her in the right direction to a resurrection spell. Later that same day she goes and finds some better info on resurrection spells hidden away in the Magic Box’s restricted area. And that night she heads to the graveyard to collect dirt from Joyce’s grave, which is where Spike finds her, and, knowing what she is up to, offers to help her do the spell to bring Joyce back. Spike takes Dawn to see an old man called Doc, who turns out to be a demon. Doc tells them what they need to do to complete the spell including getting hold of an egg from a Ghora demon, which won’t be easy. But the pair does manage to get the egg and Dawn goes home to conduct the resurrection ritual that Doc described. Buffy arrives home just as Dawn is about to complete the spell. Horrified at what her little sister is doing, Buffy pleads with her to stop before it is too late.


This is all about dealing with loss and grief. How different people deal in different ways. And if one could, who wouldn’t want to bring back a recently deceased loved one? Especially in the case of suddenly alone children who’ve lost the comfort and security of their only remaining parent, the one person who has always taken care of them, taken care of everything. Dawn feels utterly alone. She doesn’t understand why Buffy has been busy and businesslike about the whole horrible affair and she accuses her sister of not even caring that their mother has died.


Creepy old guy Doc I guess, but it is the idea itself, what Dawn is planning that is truly scary.


Thematically it’s a good idea, delving in to how individuals deal with the immediate loss of a loved one, especially a child losing a parent.

Angel returns for a poignant (if brief) cameo.

Joel Gray is nicely creepy as Doc. A splendid guest star to nab.

Spike bringing flowers for Joyce. No soul, huh? Could have fooled me.

While Michelle Trachtenberg is fine it is SMG who takes the acting honours. Her sweetly affecting scene with Angel is lovely and her end confrontation with Dawn is powerful and emotional. The look on her face when she thinks her mom has come home is a thing of heartbreak.

Willow’s laxer attitude to Dawn’s request to resurrect Joyce foreshadows what she will do for Buffy in early season six.


Though a nice idea the episode is kinda ‘meh’ overall. The scene with Angel is sweet and the big emotionally honest confrontation between sisters at the end is powerful and affecting. But everything in between has the feeling of functional filler. And the less said about the awful rubber Ghora demon the better. Yikes!


The final scene between heartbroken sisters.


Spike: "I liked the lady! Understand, monkey boy? She was decent. She didn't put on airs. She always had a nice cuppa for me. (pause) And she never treated me like a freak."

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: “Nobody's asking you to be Mom.”
Buffy: “Well, who's gonna be if I'm not? Huh, Dawn? Have you even thought about that? Who's gonna make things better? (crying) Who's gonna take care of us?”


This episode appears to be inspired by The Monkey's Paw, W.W. Jacobs' classic short horror story about how there's always a price to pay if you interfere with the natural order of things. The end of the story is almost identical to how this episode ends with the moral being the same.


Who wants to live forever? 2.5 (out of 5)

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