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"Seeing Red" is the nineteenth episode of the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 119th episode in the series. Written by Steven DeKnight and directed by Michael Gershman, it was originally broadcast on May 7, 2002, on the UPN network.


Buffy's ongoing tussle with a trio of would-be supervillains intensifies in an episode packed with imaginative plot twists. Buffy goes looking for trouble in the lair of Warren, Andrew and Jonathan, the three nerds obsessed with her destruction, and she nearly falls victim to a booby trap of buzz saws. But that's the least of the Slayer's worries. With a little help from his friends, Warren acquires the Orbs of Nezzla'khan, a pair of demonic talismans that he says imbue him with "strength, invulnerability... the deluxe package," thus setting the stage for a fateful showdown.[1]


Willow and Tara snuggle in bed together after their reconciliation, discussing the possibility that something is going on between Buffy and Spike. Tara confirms Willow's suspicions, adding that Buffy feels ashamed of it. Though Willow is hurt that she was never told, she puts it aside when Tara informs her that she is reacting exactly how Buffy feared she would react. Willow goes to check on Buffy, but she instead encounters Dawn in the hallway. When Tara appears wearing just a sheet, Dawn is thrilled to see they are back together.

Meanwhile, Buffy breaks into the Trio's lair but finds the place deserted, with dangerous traps waiting for her. She escapes, managing to grab a few items before large saw blades tear apart the basement. Buffy, Dawn, Willow, and Tara gather to go over those items, realizing that the rest of the group won't be helping since they all have other priorities or lack interest.

Anya sits with a young woman who wants to wish vengeance on her cheating boyfriend. Anya is too busy talking about her own relationship problems to notice her wish. Dawn visits Spike at his crypt, informing him that she knows he had sex with Anya and Buffy. Before leaving, Dawn lectures him about hurting Buffy when he supposedly loves her.

Meanwhile in a cave, the Trio kills a large Nezzla demon who is guarding the Orbs of Nezzla'khan. Warren and Andrew make Jonathan wrap himself in the dead Nezzla demon's skin to cross a barrier that can only be passed by one of the demons. As he fetches the Orbs, the other two conspire against him. With the Orbs, Warren tests their power and is pleased when he can easily kill another demon.

Xander, aghast that Buffy could have been involved with Spike, storms out of an argument with her. He walks the streets alone, pausing briefly to secretly look in on Anya as she works at the Magic Box. He ends up at the Bronze, drinking away his sorrow, when the Trio enters. Orb-enhanced Warren hits on a former schoolmate's girlfriend; when the woman's boyfriend steps in, Warren fights him off and several others with ease. Xander tries to intervene, but is tossed aside. Warren comes close to killing him before Jonathan and Andrew intervene and remind him of their "job" tonight.

Later, at home in bed, Willow reviews some files on her laptop, but is quickly distracted by Tara.

Buffy, injured from the earlier patrol, sets up a bath for herself. Spike shows up uninvited and tries to apologize for sleeping with Anya, explaining he needs her to know he's sorry because he cares about her. He then tries to convince Buffy that she loves him and just needs to admit it. She says she has feelings for him, but it is not love because she can't trust him. Spike argues that "great love" is wild, passionate, and dangerous, but Buffy says that kind of love doesn't last. He then attempts to sexually assault her, stating that she loved him when he was inside of her and that he will make her feel it again. Buffy finally manages to kick him away from her. Immediately stunned, Spike attempts to apologize, but Buffy says he only stopped because she made him.

Xander notices Spike's duster on the stairs. He finds Buffy on the bathroom's floor with a large bruise on her leg. He realizes what has happened and wants to go after Spike, but Willow and Tara arrive to tell Buffy they found plans indicating the Trio are planning to steal a large amount of money. Xander warns Buffy of Warren's new strength before she rushes off.

Returning to his crypt, Spike thinks back on his attempted rape. He pours himself a drink but crushes the glass in his hand. Just then, Clem comes by and Spike begins to question what he almost did, why didn't he do it, and what Buffy has done to him. He says he can feel the chip in his head and that things between Slayers and vampires were clearer before Buffy. He realizes aloud that the chip won't allow him to be a monster, yet can't be a man. Clem tells him that things change. Spike suddenly gets an idea and tells Clem that things do change, if you make them.

Warren overturns an armored car loaded up with money from a big weekend at an amusement park. Buffy shows up and fights him, but he quickly gains the upper hand. Warren taunts Buffy with his supposed mastery, boasting that he has finally bested the Slayer when no one else has ever done so. Jonathan jumps on Buffy's back and appears to be fighting her, but he quietly informs her that she needs to smash the Orbs to defeat Warren. Warren overpowers Buffy and has her at his mercy, but Buffy, noticing the pouch containing the Orbs of Nezzla'khan on his belt, grabs it and destroys them, before kicking the now-depowered Warren in the chest. Buffy advances and Warren uses a hidden jet pack to escape into the sky, but not before swearing that he will take Buffy down. Andrew reveals he too has a jet pack, but, when he tries to escape, he knocks himself out on the overhanging roof above him. As the cops haul Jonathan and Andrew off to jail, Jonathan realizes he was the only one without a jet pack and the two were about to betray him.

Meanwhile, at the city limits, Spike boards his motorcycle and leaves Sunnydale. He makes a promise that, when he returns, things will be different.

The next day, Willow and Tara get dressed and, while hugging, Tara notices Xander and Buffy in the backyard together. Buffy and Xander begin to discuss Buffy's relationship with Spike. Xander tells her that he was hurt she didn't trust him enough to tell him about the relationship but accepts that he gave her plenty of reason to believe he would react badly. The two accept they've made some very bad choices recently but know they can't imagine life without the other.

As the two hug, Xander spots Warren entering the backyard with a gun. Warren rants about his recent defeat and declares his intentions of revenge. He pulls out the gun and fires directly at Buffy, who pushes Xander to the ground, then shoots over his shoulder as he runs away. The window to Willow's bedroom is broken and a bullet strikes Tara in the back as she's facing Willow. The blood from her wound splashes on Willow's shirt. Tara stares at the stain and manages to say "Your shirt..." before she collapses. Xander tries to stanch the bleeding of Buffy's chest wound, while in the house, Willow cries out as she holds Tara's body. Willow's eyes turn dark red.


  • Anya talks about steps leading up to her wedding, including "the apocalypse" ("The Gift"), "the back from the grave" ("Bargaining, Part One"), and "finally standing there in that beautifully expensive white dress" ("Hell's Bells").
  • Buffy also mentions coming back from the grave, as well as Spike patrolling with the Scooby Gang and taking care of Dawn while she was dead ("The Gift"–"Bargaining, Part One").
  • Xander's lament that he is part fish recalls his brief tenure as a member of the Sunnydale High swim team in "Go Fish."
  • Dawn refers to Andrew as "that other guy," continuing the running joke about nobody remembering Andrew's name, also present in "Gone," "Two to Go," "Grave," "Never Leave Me," Turbulence, and Own It, Part Five.
  • Buffy tells Spike she could never trust him enough for what she fells for him to be love. In "Lie to Me," Buffy told Angel she loved him but didn't know if she trusted him.
  • While they will allude the event in "Beneath You," Buffy and Spike will only discuss the attempted rape years later, in Triggers.
  • Buffy has been sexually assaulted before in episodes such as "Halloween," "Phases," "Go Fish," and "The Pack." Buffy was also sexually harassed in "Anne" and "Helpless." She was also under the legal age of consent in California when she lost her virginity to Angel in "Surprise." Faith's sex with Riley whilst in Buffy's body in "Who Are You?" could also be construed as rape.
  • Spike's horror for what he did in this episode motivates him to regain a soul, which he'll receive in "Grave."
  • Spike says: "It won't let me be a monster. And I can't be a man. I'm nothing." This mimics what Buffy said to him in "Smashed."
  • Clem echoes Spike from "Lovers Walk": "Love's a funny thing."
  • When Tara is shot, she is wearing the blue shirt that Willow wanted to wear to meet Buffy after Joyce's death in "Forever."
  • From Tara's gravestone in "Help," her death occurs on May 7, 2002, which is the original airdate of this episode.
  • Tara's death will contribute to Buffy's distaste with guns, as she will declare: "I don't like [guns]. They keep killing my friends." (Twilight, Part One). She previously described them as "never helpful" ("Flooded") and "never useful" ("As You Were"), and will affirm: "I'm really not a fan of guns." (Predators and Prey) and "Slayers don't use guns." (Retreat, Part Two)
  • Andrew will feel responsible for Tara's death and try to resurrect her in Return to Sunnydale, Part Two.
  • The time period spanning from the last scene of this episode up to the end of the season ("Grave") will take place within twenty-four hours.



Organizations and titles[]





Rituals and spells[]

Death count[]

  • One Nezzla demon, electrocuted by Warren.
  • One Nezzla demon, neck snapped by Warren.
  • One vampire, staked by Buffy.
  • Tara Maclay, accidentally shot by Warren with a gun.

Behind the scenes[]


  • This is the last episode of the series written by Steven DeKnight.
  • Amber Benson is added to the opening credits for this episode only. Joss Whedon had wanted to kill off a major character in the same episode in which they first joined the main credits, which he originally intended to do with Jesse McNally in "Welcome to the Hellmouth."[2] This will the last time in the series in which someone is added to the main cast.
  • About the scene in which Spike attempts to rape Buffy, James Marsters stated: "I'm proud of it artistically, but as a human being I never, never, never want to do a scene like that again and I will always refuse because I know what it does to me."[3]
  • According to Marsters, the bathroom scene came from a writer's personal experience: "One of the writers, a female writer, had a situation in her life where she was and her boyfriend were breaking up and she decided if she just made love to him one more time, that they wouldn't break up. She ended up trying to force herself on him and decided to write about that. The thing is, if you flip it and make it a man forcing himself on a woman, I believe it becomes a whole different thing... I'm not really sure it expressed what the author was intending and on that score it was not successful."[4]
  • According to Jane Espenson, Spike's lines about getting what Buffy deserved were intentionally misleading to the audience: "Where we wanted you to think he gonna go get the chip. We knew, the whole time, from the very beginning he was gonna go get a soul. And when he says I want Buffy to have what she deserves, he means a lover with a soul. Very vague and if we are vague, we're vague for a reason."[5]
  • Alyson Hannigan has described that getting the shot of Tara's blood spraying onto Willow's shirt was incredibly difficult. Because they only had two shirts, the wardrobe department kept washing the shirts but did not have time to dry them, so the shirt was wet in most of the takes. Hannigan joked that when they finally got the take she wasn't sure what she was doing acting-wise, she was just concerned with, "Was that blood good? OK, good. Let's move on."[6]
  • By the end of the filming of Tara's death scene, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Amber Benson were crying: "A really close friend of all of us at work had just passed away and it brought all of that back."[7]
  • This episode begins a tradition in television shows created by Joss Whedon in which a character's lover is killed/injured in front of them, and their blood sprays on the characters clothing and face. Tara's blood sprays on Willow in this episode when she is shot. Later, on Angel, when Fred becomes fatally sick after being infected by Illyria, she coughs up blood onto her lover, Wesley. In Whedon's Serenity, the character of Hoban "Wash" Washboune is killed by a harpoon through the side of the ship, and his blood sprays on his wife Zoe. On Dollhouse, this happens twice: the character of Bennet Halverson is shot in the head, and her blood sprays on the man she had just kissed, Topher Brink; and Mellie shoots herself in the head, her blood spraying on the face of her lover, Paul.


  • "Seeing Red" had an audience of 2.7 million households upon its original airing.[8]
  • The episode was transmitted to Canadian affiliates a week early by accident. Although none of them broadcasted the episode by mistake, the episode was leaked onto the internet more than a week before it was meant to air. UPN did not transmit this episode incorrectly, the mistake was made by Fox International's satellite uplink facility.[citation needed]
  • Several scenes were cut out during its first airing on The BBC in the UK. The attempted rape of Buffy was cut from where she falls and hits her back on the shower to where she finally kicks him away. The exit wound appearing on Tara's chest and her blood being splattered on Willow's shirt was also cut and restarted from where Tara says, "Your shirt." Warren snaps a demon's neck, but the scenes were changed so that only the sound effect was heard.[citation needed]

Deleted scenes[]

  • A line was cut where Buffy tells Xander that it's a little early in the morning for him to be drinking:[9]
    Xander: "The tyranny of the clock must be overthrown."
    Buffy: "So how many coup d'états is that?"
    Xander: "General Cirrhosis has seized control of the Liver Parliament."

Pop culture references[]

  • The figurine Buffy looked at with disgust in the Trio's lair is a model of Vampirella, a sexy vampire superheroine from comics.
  • The saws in the Trio's lair are placed like the ones in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
  • Andrew calls the demon "Pufnstuf," a reference to the children's television series H.R. Pufnstuf.
  • Warren says to Andrew: "Just stay frosty," a quote from the 1986 film Aliens.
  • Andrew calls Jonathan a "skin job," a reference to the film Blade Runner.
  • Jonathan calls an orb-empowered Warren "Charles Atlas," referring to the famous bodybuilder.
  • Andrew describes Warren as Picard and Jonathan as Deanna Troi," referring to the human captain and the Betazoid counselor from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Xander identifies Trio's writings in Klingon, a language from the Star Trek universe.
  • Xander says "Warren's gone all Mighty Mouse," referring to the super-strong animated character.
  • Clem mentions there's a marathon of the TV series Knight Rider.
  • When Spike complains he can feel the chip "squirmin' in [his] head," Clem suggests a wet cloth. In the film Total Recall, the main character uses a wet cloth to block a signal from a tracking chip in his head.
  • Buffy says "Warren pulled a Rocket Man," the title of a Elton John song.
  • Buffy refers to Warren as the remaining member of the Trio as the "Evil Uno," which Xander jokes to be a variant of the card game Uno.


International titles[]

  • Armenian: "Ամեն ինչ կարմիր գույնով տեսնել" (See Everything in Red)
  • Czech: "Krvavý pohled" (Bloody Sight)
  • Finnish: "Veristä leikkiä" (Bloody Play)
  • French: "Rouge passion" (Passion Red)
  • German: "Warrens Rache" (Warren's Revenge)
  • Hungarian: "Piros látás" (Red Vision)
  • Italian: "Profondo Rosso" (Deep Red)
  • Japanese: "激情" (Passion)
  • Polish: "W afekcie" (In Affect)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Final Trágico" (Tragic Ending)
  • Romanian: "Nebun de furie" (Mad with Rage)
  • Russian: "Видя всё в красном свете" (Seeing Everything in Red)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Viendo Rojo" (Seeing Red)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Todo rojo" (All Red)


Promotional stills[]

Behind the scenes[]



Willow: "I think something might be going on with Spike and Buffy. I mean, she looked so hurt when she saw him with Anya. I think maybe..."
Tara: "They've been sleeping together."
Willow: "No. I wouldn't go that far."
Tara: "No, I mean, she told me they've been sleeping together."
Willow: "Sleeping together? You mean, like, the naked kinda together?"
Warren: "Say good night, bitch."
Buffy: "Good night, bitch. You're nothing but a sad little boy, Warren. But it's time you grow up, and pay for what you've done."
Jonathan: "Jet packs. You jerks were setting me up to take the fall."
Andrew: "He left me. He flew away and left me."
Jonathan: "Oh god, the Big House."
Andrew: "How could he do this to me? He promised we'd be together, but... he was just using me. He never really loved— hanging out with us."
Buffy: "Just making sure there are no more evil Trio cameras. Or... evil Uno."
Xander: "The sinister yet addictive card game?"
Warren: "You think you can just do that to me? You think I'd let you get away with that? Think again."


  1. "Buffy Season 6." Craig's BuffyVERSE 4ever. Retrieved on March 12, 2022.
  2. Joss Whedon, The Complete First Season on DVD; audio commentaries for "Welcome to the Hellmouth." 20th Century Studios, January 15, 2002.
  3. Karen Butler, "James Marsters on Life After Buffy." jamesmarsters-justmagic.com, June 11, 2003. Archived from the original on January 11, 2011.
  4. Al Norton, "411mania Interviews: James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel)." 411mania, March 10, 2012. Archived from the original on June 17, 2018.
  5. "Jane Espenson Interview 22 May 2002 - The Succubus Club (Transcript)." Slayage.com, May 22, 2002.
  6. Vrataski, "Buffy: American Television Arts & Sciences Panel Discussion." YouTube, September 14, 2016.
  7. "Final thoughts, including some spoilers." BBC. Retrieved on February 21, 2021.
  8. "Nielsen Ratings for Buffy's Sixth Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008.
  9. "Seeing Red Script." BuffyWorld. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018.