"Crush" is the fourteenth episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the ninety-second episode in the series. Written by David Fury and directed by Daniel Attias, it originally broadcast on February 13, 2001 on The WB network.
SPIKE CONFESSES HIS LOVE TO THE SLAYER — Buffy confronts Spike about his suspected crush and is appalled by his admission of love, but her brutal rejection sends him back into the clutches of Drusilla who has returned to Sunnydale intent on returning Spike to his killer ways.
The Bronze re-opens after its repairs and refurbishment following the damage caused by Olaf and Buffy watches as her friends dance. Spike shows up and starts discussing the bar menu with Buffy, who is confused at the fact he seems to be attempting to carry on a regular conversation with her. Willow reveals that she is suffering from headaches and nosebleeds as a result of her teleportation spell. Buffy spots Ben and offers her thanks to him for looking after Dawn. A train pulls into Sunnydale Station, but when no one gets off, the porter boards the train and finds all the passengers dead before he too is attacked.
Buffy returns home and Giles suggests that Dawn be treated normally. Harmony, trying to get Spike sexually aroused, engages in a game in which she pretends to be Buffy. Buffy reads about the train murders and concludes that it's a vampire and not Glory. Buffy searches for Dawn and finds her with Spike, listening to one of his scary stories. Dawn admits to her own crush on Spike, but really shocks her sister when she says that Spike has a crush on Buffy, making Dawn's interest irrelevant.
Buffy and Xander investigate the train and Buffy confesses the possibility of Spike loving her, though Xander finds it very funny and is more concerned with Dawn's crush no longer being on him. Buffy finds her mother and sister talking in the kitchen with Spike; Joyce subsequently explains that Spike arrived to apologize for the situation with Dawn. Spike tells Buffy that he believes that the vamps from the train are.
On a stakeout in Spike's car, Buffy is unnerved by some of Spike's behavior, such as offering her bourbon, asking her what kind of music she likes, and the fact that he is doing this for free. Buffy and Spike enter the vampires' lair, but the vampires immediately run off at the sight of the Slayer. Buffy realizes that the warehouse is a vampire nest, and thus they couldn't have been involved in the train massacre. When Spike goes so far as to unwittingly hold the door open for her, Buffy finally demands to know why he is acting like this and if everything that just happened was Spike's version of a date. At first, Spike loudly denies it, but then asks, in a hopeful manner, "Do you want it to be?" Buffy is immediately disgusted. Despite Spike's pleas and confessions, Buffy refuses to listen to him and denies that there is something between them, insisting that Spike is still a dangerous villain and, being soulless, is incapable of such emotion. Having completely and brutally rejected Spike, Buffy departs the warehouse in horror and disgust. Despondently returning to his crypt, Spike is greeted by his sire and longtime love, Drusilla.
Drusilla tells him of the events in Los Angeles and tries to convince him to return with her. She's already aware of the chip in his head and tries to convince him he can be evil, even with the chip. Harmony arrives and yells at Drusilla for hurting Spike, however Spike quickly kicks Harmony to the curb, announcing that not only is Drusilla back — he's back. Joyce and Willow talk to Buffy about the problem with Spike and tell her she has to make it clear to Spike that there is nothing between them. Buffy agrees, but tells Willow to do "something" for her while she is out...
Spike and Drusilla dance at the Bronze before Dru spots a couple on the catwalk for them to feed on. She snaps the neck of the girl, offering her to Spike before taking the guy for herself.
Spike hesitates initially but soon vamps and bites. Buffy discovers the extension of Spike's lair underground and a shrine dedicated to herself. As she returns to the surface, Buffy finds Spike and Drusilla waiting for her. Spike watches Drusilla shock Buffy with a cattle prod. After the Slayer collapses, Drusilla turns to Spike, only to be shocked herself as he seizes the cattle prod and uses it on her.
Buffy awakens to find herself chained up in the underground space below Spike's crypt, Drusilla tied to a pole across from her. Spike professes his love and offers to kill Drusilla to convince Buffy of his love. He threatens that if Buffy does not return his love, he'll untie Drusilla and let her kill Buffy. Spike asks for only a small sign that Buffy could love him. Buffy rejects Spike again and he goes into a rage about women being so difficult. Harmony arrives and shoots Spike with a crossbow bolt. While Harmony and Spike fight, Drusilla breaks free and goes after Buffy while the Slayer is still chained up. Spike saves Buffy. Realizing that the Spike she once loved is gone forever, Drusilla leaves Sunnydale heartbroken. Harmony leaves Spike, telling him it's completely over between the two of them. The minute she leaves, Buffy punches Spike into his shrine, destroying it, and storms off.
Spike quickly tracks Buffy down and desperately attempts to get her to talk things over with him, but Buffy makes it very clear that he is no longer a part of her life, and he is to stay away from her and her family and friends from now on. Undeterred, Spike attempts to follow her into her house, but discovers that she has had his invitation revoked. As he spends time recovering from this, Buffy merely glares at him with disdain before shutting the door in his face.
- It's established that it's been about a week since previous episode "Blood Ties".
- Willow has headaches as a result of her teleportation spell to get rid of Glory in "Blood Ties".
- This is the Bronze's first appearance since "Triangle", in which it was badly damaged by Olaf. Its new look remains for the rest of the series.
- When discussing crushing on vampires with Buffy, Dawn states that Buffy dated Angel for three years. This is somewhat inaccurate; they first kissed in "Angel", but Buffy and Angel's formal dating relationship actually began in "Reptile Boy", and ended abruptly when Angel lost his soul and was sent into Acathla's dimension. Upon his return, they did not resume dating until "Amends", and broke up in "The Prom". Although indeed during a period of three years, in reality Buffy and Angel only dated for a little over a year.
- Spike's feelings for Buffy become known to the Scooby Gang at large; Spike himself noticed this in "Out of My Mind".
- Drusilla's arrival in Sunnydale follows the events of Angel's episode "Redefinition". She mentions Angel setting her on fire and still had scars from the incident.
- Spike finds out that Darla has been resurrected, revealed in "To Shanshu in L.A.".
- Spike says the "L.A. scene [...] didn't agree with me", in reference to his latest defeat in the city in "In the Dark".
- Buffy accuses Spike of being unable to love without a soul; in Prague, Drusilla's torturer accused her of lacking emotion as a vampire (The Problem with Vampires), while the Judge accused the couple of "stinking" of humanity for sharing "affection and jealousy" ("Surprise"). Seven years later, in Return to Sunnydale, Part Two, Spike will declare that his early feelings for Buffy were different from what he became capable with a soul, describing them "a selfish bastardization of love".
- Buffy has the invitation she extended to Spike in "Becoming, Part Two" revoked. She will invite him again in "The Gift".
- In a way, this episode is antithesis to episode "Angel". Buffy was surprised to find out that Angel, the man she loved, was a vampire and voluntary fought against Darla, who want to reestablish a relationship with Angel. Darla was finally dusted by her ex-lover and Buffy invited him into her house. Here, Buffy is repulsed to discover that Spike, the vampire she hated, is obsessively and desperately in love with her and fights involuntarily against Drusilla who wants to reestablish her relationship with Spike. Spike vainly tried to dust her to demonstrate his love to the Slayer. Finally, Drusilla escaped from Sunnydale and Buffy removed Spike's invitation to her home.
- After breaking up with Spike, Harmony is next seen in Angel's episode "Disharmony", to never return to Sunnydale.
- Angel (Only mentioned)
- Darla (Only mentioned)
- Rupert Giles
- Alexander Harris
- Anya Jenkins
- Harmony Kendall
- Jennie Lozano (Only mentioned)
- Tara Maclay
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Joyce Summers
- Benjamin Wilkinson
Organizations and titles
- The Key
- Scooby Gang
- Sunnydale Police Department (Only mentioned)
- Whirlwind (Only mentioned)
- Los Angeles (Only mentioned)
Weapons and objects
- Behavior-Modification Circuitry (Only mentioned)
- Buffy shrine
- Soul (Only mentioned)
- Sunnydale Press
Rituals and spells
- Sutton and five train passengers, killed by Drusilla.
- One young man, neck snapped and drained by Drusilla at the Bronze.
- One young girl, neck snapped by Drusilla and drained by Spike at the Bronze.
Behind the scenes
- David Fury, asked to do "an episode that takes the Buffy/Spike relationship to the next step", decided that it was time for the audience to discover that Spike was in love with Buffy. He says, "...and it then progressed into Buffy finding out, which was something we were saving for later. It turned out to be a good play because we were able to take them to interesting places throughout the rest of the season." According to Fury, the resurrection of Spike and Drusilla's relationship "was really significant in terms of what love means to Spike."
- David Fury didn't like the direction the show was going in with regard to Buffy/Spike. To keep viewers from romanticizing their relationship too much, he inserted the line about Quasimodo being unable to truly love Esmeralda, which draws a parallel with Spike being unable to love Buffy without a soul.
- The pink dress that Anya wears in the scene at the Bronze is later worn by Harmony in the Angel episode "Life of the Party".
Pop culture references
- Xander refers to Spike as Evil Dead, a reference to the film of the same name.
- Willow and Tara read the book "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame", which draws parallels between Quasimodo and Spike. Buffy mentions renting the movie, however she jokingly implies with her mention of "singing gargoyles" that she didn't rent the 1939 movie but the animated version.
- Harmony refer to Drusilla as "Morticia", a reference to Morticia Addams of The Addams Family. McNab, who plays Harmony, had a role in the 1991 film adaption of the series and also in the 1993 sequel film.
- Drusilla's "We can love quite well, if not wisely" is paraphrased from Shakespeare's Othello.
- Armenian: "Սիրահարվածություն" (Crush)
- Czech: "Poblouznění" (Crush)
- French: "La Déclaration" (The Declaration)
- German: "Die liebe Liebe" (The Lovely Love)
- Hungarian: "Tömeg" (Crowd)
- Italian: "Cotta" (Crush)
- Japanese: "クラッシュ" (Crash)
- Polish: "Zauroczenie" (Crush)
- Portuguese (Brazil): "Paixões" (Passions)
- Romanian: "Crush" (Crush)
- Russian: "Влюблённость" (Amorousness)
- Spanish (Latin America and Spain): "Spike Enamorado" (Spike in Love)
- Johannes Brahms — "Hungarian Dance No 5"
- Devics — "Key" (played in the Bronze)
- Ramones — "I Wanna Be Sedated" (sung by Spike)
- Summercamp — "Happy"
- Summercamp — "Play It by Ear" (played in the Bronze)
- Thomas Wanker — original score
- Walter Borchert, here portraying the vampire Jeff, also portrays the waking vampire in "The Freshman" and a Mok'tagar demon in "Living Conditions".
- A illustration of the scene of Spike and Dawn in his crypt was included in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Adult Coloring Book.
|Dawn - "I like how you talk to me like I can understand things. Everyone else is being all twitchy and secretive."|
|Spike - "They're just trying to keep you safe, I expect."|
|Dawn - "I feel safe with you."|
|Spike - "Take that back!"|
|Buffy - "What, that chip in your head? That's not change. That's just holding you back. You're like a serial killer in prison."|
|Spike - "Women marry 'em all the time!"|
|Joyce - "Honey, did you somehow, unintentionally, lead him on in any way? Uh, send him signals?"|
|Buffy - "Uh... I do beat him up a lot. For Spike, that's like third base."|
|Spike - "What the bleeding hell is wrong with you bloody women? What the hell does it take? Why... do you bitches torture me?|
|Buffy - "Which question do you want me to answer first?"|
|Spike - "You can't tell me that there isn't anything there between you and me. I know you feel something."|
|Buffy - "It's called revulsion. And whatever you think you're feeling it's not love. You can't love without a soul."|
|Drusilla - "Oh, we can, you know. We can love quite well... if not wisely."|