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"Gone" is the eleventh episode of the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 111th episode in the series. Written and directed by David Fury, it was originally broadcast on January 8, 2002, on the UPN network.

Synopsis[]

Buffy's efforts to help Willow's recovery are disrupted by a run-in with an intrusive social worker and a spat with Spike. Then, she's mistakenly zapped by an invisibility ray wielded by Jonathan, Warren and Andrew. At least she gets a new hairdo.[1]

Summary[]

Buffy and Dawn remove all possible sources of magical temptation from the house to support Willow's recovery. Buffy finds Spike's Zippo lighter in the couch cushions, and, after remembering their night in the abandoned house, she tosses it in the collection box. Meanwhile, the Trio uses the Illuminata diamond they stole to complete an invisibility ray.

The next morning, Willow tells Buffy she is not ready to return to school but wants to spend the day researching the stolen diamond. Dawn gives them both the cold shoulder and leaves. Willow understands why Dawn is angry with her but fails to comprehend Dawn's behavior towards Buffy. Buffy admits she was not there to protect Dawn the night she was injured, and she apologizes for being too preoccupied with her own life to see Willow's pain. Suddenly, Spike runs in beneath a smoking blanket. He explains he's looking for his lighter, but Buffy denies seeing it. Willow excuses herself and heads back to her room.

Spike calls Buffy "love," which she dismisses and tells him to stop making up excuses to see her. He teases her with various terms of endearment and strokes her hair. When he reaches down to touch her, Buffy whispers for him to stop. Spike suspiciously looks down at her jeans as Xander unexpectedly walks into the kitchen. As Buffy slaps Spike's hand away, Xander pokes fun at Spike for trying to "mack" on Buffy. Buffy interrupts Xander and tells Spike to let himself out.

Xander is taking Dawn to school, and she mentions the car accident as Buffy opens the door. Doris Kroeger, a social worker, visits the Summers home to see how Buffy is doing in her role as Dawn's legal guardian; however, Buffy is unprepared, believing the visit would take place on a different day. The living room has magic ingredients scattered about. Buffy assures the social worker the "magic weed" is not marijuana. Doris sees Spike asking for his blanket and assumes he's her boyfriend, which Buffy denies. Willow announces from the top of the stairs that she is heading to bed, and Buffy explains she lives with another woman who happens to be a lesbian. Doris tells Buffy that her case does not look good and she will recommend immediate probation, meaning Buffy might lose custody of Dawn.

Once the social worker leaves, Buffy snaps at Spike when he asks how the visit went, telling him to get out. Spike lunges forward and pins Buffy against the wall. She closes her eyes, and he yanks out his lighter from her front pocket. He tells her he's just getting what he came for and storms out of the house while calling out, "So long, Goldilocks." Buffy walks up to her bedroom and slams the door. She paces and then sits in front of the mirror. She takes out a pair of scissors and proceeds to cut off the majority of her hair. Later, in a hair salon, the puzzled stylist asks Buffy what she wants done with her hair. As Buffy looks in the mirror, she asks to be made different.

The Trio is on the same street, about to make themselves invisible so they can see naked women inside a spa. However, when they see Buffy, Andrew and Jonathan panic and start a tug of war over who will use the invisibility ray first. They accidentally overload the device, and the beam hits Buffy, causing her to waver and disappear along with a dumpster, a traffic cone, and a fire hydrant.

Anya and Xander are planning their upcoming wedding at the Magic Box. The door opens, but they see no one entering. Buffy tells them about her predicament while playing around with being invisible. Xander is concerned, assuming Willow is misusing magic and goes to confront her. Buffy goes out to have invisible fun in Sunnydale. She takes the outdated cap of a woman as the "ghost of fashion victims past" and drives off with a parking inspector's van.

In the Department of Social Services, Buffy uses her invisibility to trick Doris into behaving bizarrely and replaces the Summers report with pages consisting entirely of repetitions of "All work and no play makes Doris a dull girl." The social worker tells her supervisor, and he believes she is having a mental break. He sends her home, saying he will send someone else to reinspect the Summers home the next day.

Buffy enters Spike's crypt, turns off his television, and bumps into him as he wonders out loud if a ghost is haunting him. Suddenly, Buffy throws him against the wall and rips open his shirt. Spike frowns in uncertainty before gasping as an unseen Buffy has her way with him. He looks down and tentatively asks whether Buffy is there. She answers, "I told you, stop trying to see me," and yanks him off the wall.

Meanwhile, Xander approaches Willow, who has no idea how Buffy became invisible and is offended that she is automatically being blamed. She leaves in a huff to find out what has happened to Buffy. Although magic continues to entice Willow, she resists and instead uses deductive reasoning to determine the people responsible are the drivers of the black van seen trailing Buffy. Willow meets Xander where Buffy was last seen and gives Xander a traffic cone that also turned invisible. He takes it back to the Magic Box and research books with Anya. She discovers the invisibility ray is causing the structure of the traffic cone to break down, and Xander realizes the same thing will happen to Buffy if her invisibility isn't reversed.

In the Trio's basement, Warren tries to fix the invisibility ray but says Buffy will die from the radiation overload if she continues to be invisible. He finds no problem with that, but Andrew and Jonathan are upset and do not want to kill her. Warren grudgingly agrees to help.

Xander enters Spike's crypt and discovers it in disarray. He goes downstairs, where he finds Spike in bed. Spike is having sex with an invisible Buffy but appears alone. He explains that he is exercising, and Buffy squeals in surprise as Spike slams himself into the mattress while pretending to do push-ups. Xander asks about Buffy's whereabouts, and Spike admits he has not seen her. Throughout the conversation, Spike tries to act normal despite Buffy's attempts to physically tease him, but Xander is oblivious to Buffy's presence. Confused by Spike's odd behavior, Xander tells him he needs to get a girlfriend and leaves.

Spike tells Buffy that he is tired of being with her and not truly having her. She argues they were having fun, but he says she only came to him because she's not really there. Spike is frustrated with her carefree attitude and doesn't appreciate the way she seems to use being invisible as an excuse to escape her life. He insists that everything will return to normal once her friends have restored her. He asks her to leave if she isn't truly going to be with him.

Buffy doesn't fare well at home when she scares Dawn, who worries about her sister. Buffy listens to a message from Xander and Anya on the answering machine about the negative effects of the invisibility ray. Meanwhile, Willow has looked up the van by hacking into the DMV records and has figured out who owns it. She enters their hideaway in Warren's mother's basement, but an invisible Trio catches her. Disguising his voice, Jonathan calls Buffy, informs her that the Trio has kidnapped Willow, and instructs her where to meet them.

Buffy finds Willow at the arcade, and an invisible Warren says he will reverse the mechanism and make her visible again. Willow warns her that he's put it in a setting that will kill her. Warren knocks Willow to the ground and aims the ray at Buffy, but Buffy senses the invisible villains. After a scuffle, Willow makes Warren, Andrew, Jonathan, and Buffy visible again.

Buffy sees the members of the Trio for the first time and asks them if they joined forces to be a pain in her ass. Warren proclaims his group to be Buffy's "archnemesises-ses." After a smoke bomb goes off, the Trio struggles to open the door and escapes. After Willow praises Buffy's new hair, the two friends sit on the curb outside. Willow says that, while she found the Trio without magic, she was tempted to use it. Buffy reveals that, while she is still struggling with her resurrection, learning the full effects of the invisibility ray made her realize she did not want to die. Together, they commemorate the small but significant steps they made that day.

Continuity[]

  • Dawn's arm is in a sling after the car accident in "Wrecked."
  • While trying to seduce Buffy, Spike admits he loves her hair. Before recognized his feelings for her, Spike told Buffy she had "stupid hair" ("No Place Like Home") and complained about her "bouncing shampoo-commercial hair" ("Out of My Mind").
  • Buffy whistles "Going Through the Motions," which she sang in the musical episode "Once More, with Feeling."
  • Xander asks Buffy if she has been feeling ignored once he learns about her invisibility. In "Out of Mind, Out of Sight," the Scooby Gang learned Marcie became invisible as a result of being ignored by those around her. The circumstances will repeat in the episode "Lessons."
  • While asking Willow about her mistakes in magic, Xander mentions the "recent forgetting" in reference to Willow's memory purge spell in "Tabula Rasa."
  • Andrew and Jonathan are against the idea of killing Buffy, but Warren goes behind their backs to use the ray gun to speed up the process of killing her. In "Seeing Red," Warren will once again try to kill Buffy without the other Trio members knowing.
  • Willow recognizes Jonathan's voice as familiar when he's invisible, having last interacted with him in the episode "Superstar."
  • Buffy and Willow fail to recognize Andrew, beginning a recurring gag in the series ("Never Leave Me," "Two to Go," Turbulence, Own It, Part Five).
  • Buffy recognizes Andrew as Tucker's brother, who she met in "The Prom."
  • Buffy will learn how to pronounce "nemeses" in "Conversations with Dead People."
  • Buffy first recognizes that she does in fact want to live — something that she has been struggling with since her return in "Bargaining, Part Two."
  • In Predators and Prey, when facing imminent death, Andrew makes a series of confessions to Buffy and mentions he liked when she cut her hair in this episode.

Appearances[]

Individuals[]

Organizations and titles[]

Species[]

Locations[]

Objects[]

Death count[]

  • None.

Behind the scenes[]

Production[]

  • The scene where Buffy has her hair styled was filmed in Torrance, California — the names of the various shops and their phone numbers are readily visible. The beauty salon was the real Continental Hair and Nail Design, formally at 1425 Marcelina Ave.
  • This is the first of the two episodes both written and directed by David Fury, the other being "Lies My Parents Told Me."

Broadcast[]

  • "Gone" had an audience of 3.3 million households upon its original airing.[2]

Deleted scenes[]

  • While Buffy was invisible, she would stop a boy from bullying a girl and say:[3]
    Buffy: "Watch who you bully, kid. She might be the next chosen one."

Pop culture references[]

  • Andrew makes a reference to Industrial Light and Magic, the company founded by Georges Lucas, in opposition to Ed Wood, a filmmaker of low-budget science-fiction movies in the 1950s.
  • The phrase "All work and no play makes Doris a dull girl" is a reference to the horror film The Shining (1980), in which Jack's manuscript is comprised entirely of pages repeating the phrase "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
  • Warren calls Jonathan "Frodo" after the character from The Lord of the Rings.
  • In lieu of "good god," Xander exclaims, "good Godfrey Cambridge," using the comedian's name.
  • Andrew argues the fictional supervillain Lex Luthor always tries to take over the city of Metropolis, but he does not kill Superman.
  • Buffy tells Dawn that Xander and Anya are "Muldering it out," which is a reference to the character Fox Mulder from The X-Files known for investigating paranormal cases.
  • Andrew and Jonathan play the the game Dead or Alive 3 at the arcade.

Goofs[]

  • During the scene in the Social Services building, Buffy types on the social worker's computer, and the keys depress as her invisible hands move over them. In the widescreen version of this episode, the strings used to make this effect are visible coming out of the left side of the keyboard.
  • As Buffy searches the folders for Dawn's files, her hands are visible at the bottom of the screen picking the files up.
  • Spike's TV can be seen already off before Buffy turns it off.
  • When Willow checks the DMV records, the same six names are listed twice.
  • Willow's hair changes in between shots in the scene when she's telling Xander that she's going to find the van.
  • In the Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime versions of the show, the DMV computer has "encrypted" spelled wrong: "encrytped." Interestingly, this error is not present in all versions of the show.

Music[]

International titles[]

  • Armenian: "Անհայտացածը" (Disappearance)
  • Czech: "Neviditelná" (Invisible)
  • Finnish: "Näkymättömät" (Invisible)
  • French: "La Femme Invisible" (The Invisible Woman)
  • German: "Verschwunden" (Vanished)
  • Hungarian: "Eltelt" (Elapsed)
  • Italian: "Scomparsa" (Disappeared)
  • Japanese: "姿なき敵" (Enemy without Form)
  • Polish: "Niewidzialny Wróg" (Invisible Enemy)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Sumiço" (Disappearance)
  • Romanian: "Plecat" (Gone)
  • Russian: "Исчезнувшая" (Vanished)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Invisible" (Invisible)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Invisible" (Invisible)

Gallery[]

Promotional stills[]

[]

Quotes[]

Buffy: "That's Willow. She, uh, she kind of lives here too, actually."
Ms. Kroger: "Oh, so you live with another woman."
Buffy: "Oh! Oh, it's not a, a gay thing, you know, I mean, well... She's gay, but, but we don't... gay. Not that there's anything— Oh! Wrong with... You know, I know what that looks like, but I swear, it's not... what it looks like. It's magic weed. It's not mine."
Xander: "Sorry! Her clothes are, uh, invisible, too. Buffy, how did this hap- Wait a sec, have you been feeling ignored lately?"
Buffy: "Yeah, ignored. I wish. No, this isn't a Marcie deal. I don't know what happened. I left Main Street after getting my hair cut, and was..."
Anya: "You cut your hair?"
Buffy: "Oh, yeah!"
Anya: "Really? How short?"
Buffy: "Um, about up to here. Well, if you could see my hand, it's kind of above my shoulders."
Anya: "Ahh, that sounds so adorable! I was thinking about getting my hair cut before the wedding..."
Xander: "Can we get back to freaking out about no-show Buffy? This is serious."
Spike: "This vanishing act's right liberating for you, innit? Go anywhere you want. Do anything you want. Or anyone."
Buffy: "What are you talking ab—"
Spike: "The only reason you're here, is that you're not here."
Buffy: "Right. Of course, as usual there's something wrong with Buffy. She came back all wrong. You know, I didn't ask for this to happen to me."
Spike: "Not too put off by it though, are you?"
Buffy: "No! Maybe because for the first time since... I'm free. Free of rules and reports... Free of this life."
Spike: "Free of life? Got another name for that. Dead."
Buffy: "Why do you always have to... I thought we were having fun."
Spike: "Yeah, now! But sooner or later your chums are gonna work out a way to bring you back to living color. You need to go. Get dressed if you can find your clothes, and push off. 'Cause if I can't have all of you, I'd rather— Okay, that's cheating."
Buffy: "Pretty neat, you finding the van. So, how did you manage to do it exactly? I mean, to locate it?"
Willow: "The hard way. The spell-free way. The oh-my-god-my-head's-gonna-fall-off, my-feet-are-killing-me way. I don't know how I got through this day."
Buffy: "The whole taking-a-vacation-from-me thing didn't work out so well.
Willow: "Tell me about it."
Buffy: "Except, when I got Xander's message, you know, that I was fading away, I actually got scared."
Willow: "Well, yeah. Who wouldn't?"
Buffy: "Me. I wouldn't. Not too long ago I probably would have welcomed it. But I realized... I'm not saying that I'm doing back-flips about my life, but I didn't — I don't — wanna die. That's something, right?"
Willow: It's something. So I guess we both made good first steps."
Buffy: "I guess."
Willow: "Yay for us."
Buffy: "Yay."

References[]

  1. "Buffy Season 6." Craig's BuffyVERSE 4ever. Retrieved on June 28, 2019‎.
  2. "Nielsen Ratings for Buffy's Sixth Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008.
  3. "Gone Script." BuffyWorld. Archived from the original on October 31, 2017.
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