|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 6, Episode 9|
|Air date||November 20, 2001|
|Written by||Drew Z. Greenberg|
|Directed by||Turi Meyer|
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Alyson Hannigan|| Willow |
|Elizabeth Anne Allen||Amy|
|Amber Benson|| Tara |
|John Patrick Clerkin||Man|
|Kelly Smith||Innocent Girl|
|Lauren Nissi|| Girlfriend |
|Jackson Bolt|| Viking Warrior |
|Stephen Fahlsing||Guitar Player|
|Dave Martin||Guitar Player|
|Tobias Wilson|| Bass Player |
|Band (Halo Friendlies)|
|Judita Wignall||Guitar Player|
|Natalie Bolanos||Guitar Player|
|Ginger Reyes||Bass Player|
A nightly patrol begins as Buffy, much to her own surprise, thwarts a simple mugging. From the darkness, Spike tries to come to the rescue. Unfortunately, the muggers are human so his chip activates. After the pain is relieved, Buffy and Spike argue briefly about their kisses. Once again, Buffy blows him off.
At the Summers' home, Willow finds herself lonely without Tara and starts talking to Amy, still in rat form, only to realize that she now has the knowledge to turn her back into a human. Summoning a spell containing the correct spell words, she reverses the transformation and Amy is human again. At the Sunnydale Museum of Natural History, The Trio steal a diamond and freeze Rusty, the security guard, with their Freeze Ray.
Back at home, Amy and Willow catch up. Amy starts talking about prom, but she soon finds out that she has been a rat for almost three years. Buffy returns home, confused to find a non-rat Amy. Buffy intends to tell Willow about her attraction to Spike, but the shock of seeing Amy derails the conversation.
After seeing the frozen museum security guard on the news, Buffy rushes to investigate, only to find Spike already there. He wants to talk about the kisses, but Buffy is uncomfortable and tries claiming she was just depressed about Giles leaving. Spike is not convinced, and neither is Buffy (as much as she doesn't want to admit it). He tries to show Buffy he's changed, but Buffy is not in the mood and ends up slugging him. Spike hits her back and braces himself for the pain, but the chip does not activate. However, he quickly pretends to be in pain, not wanting Buffy to know. Thinking that the chip has malfunctioned, Spike takes to the streets looking for a victim. After choosing one, he dives in for the kill, but the chip activates, allowing the girl to get away. The encounter leaves Spike incredibly confused. Meanwhile, Tara takes Dawn for the day, and the two see a movie. Afterwards, Dawn mentions the possibility of Willow and Tara reconciling. Tara confirms she still loves Willow, but right now, it's not possible.
Meanwhile, at the Magic Box, Buffy, Anya, Willow, and Xander research the stolen diamond. Willow takes out a computer to look up information, and everyone is happy to see her doing things without the use of magic. Their happiness is short-lived, however, as she uses a spell to connect with the computer. As the Trio prepare to begin the next phase of their plan, Spike arrives, looking for Warren, and coerces him into looking at his chip by threatening a vintage Boba Fett action figure. Warren examines the chip, and tells Spike that it still works fine. Spike doesn't understand at first, but when Warren swears he's telling the truth, the vampire realizes there's only one conclusion: Buffy has been brought back 'wrong'.
Willow and Amy decide to go do something fun out on the town, and at the Bronze, Willow continues to bring Amy up to date. When two boys ask them to dance, Amy is only too happy to accept. Later, when the two college guys forcibly try to get Amy back on the dance floor, Willow and Amy magically trap the two into go-go cages and skimpy outfits.
At the Magic Box, Xander, Anya, and Buffy continue their detective work. Discouraged by their lack of progress, their focus changes to Willow, as Xander and Anya tell Buffy that they share Tara's concern that she is abusing magic. Anya warns that once someone good gets a taste of "bad" that it's difficult to bring them back. Spike calls, inviting Buffy to the cemetery. At first she declines, but after Xander and Anya head home for the night, the trench-coated vamp appears from the shadows. He stands in front of Buffy, not letting her pass. She smacks him. To her horror, Spike hits her back. Unaffected by the chip, Spike explains saying, "Don't you see? You came back wrong." Immediately, a scrap breaks out.
At the Bronze, Willow and Amy continue generating havoc. As Willow turns a boy band into a girl band, people are dancing aimlessly in elaborate outfits and mutate. Dawn and Tara return to the Summers' residence, and since neither Buffy or Willow have returned home Tara agrees to wait.
The brawl continues between Spike and Buffy at a condemned house. The Slayer and the vampire are knocking the structure, as well as each other, all over the place. Suddenly, Buffy pins Spike against a wall and begins kissing him. Buffy jumps onto Spike, and the two sexually consummate their violent relationship. As they engage in their most passionate make out session to date, the house crumbles all around them and they fall through the floor.
- Amy is returned to being human after being a rat since the middle of the third season. Amy was somehow able to get her hair styled during that time; it's very different from when she became a rat in "Gingerbread" and also different from "Something Blue".
- Amy says she wants to ask Larry to the prom, only to be informed by Willow of his death (and that he was gay). Larry was killed by Mayor Richard Wilkins in the Season 3 finale Graduation Day, Part 2, when he broke his neck with a tail whip.
- When Spike threatens the Trio, he seems unfamiliar with the Star Wars character Boba Fett. However, in "School Hard", he refers to Angelus as his "Yoda", showing some familiarity with Star Wars. However, while Yoda was a focal character in in the franchise, Boba Fett was not, and it is possible for someone who had seen the films to not recognize the name.
- Amy casts a spell on a woman in the Bronze to make her fall for Willow until Willow says no. She identifies herself as "Brie", an appropriate target for Amy since Brie is a form of cheese. Many fans have commented how closely Brie resembles Cordelia in appearance.
- This episode marks the beginning of Spike and Buffy's sexual relationship. They continued with their violent, passionate, and rough sex throughout many episodes. Ironically, Buffy would later undergo a slightly similar situation with Angel (trying to kill him before sleeping with him) in Twilight.
- Spike learns that he can hit Buffy without his chip activating.
- In a sign of foreshadowing, when Amy is watching television downstairs, you can hear a commercial talking about a "Doublemeat Medley". Buffy winds up working at "Doublemeat Palace" a few episodes later.
- Both Buffy and Willow are out of control: their fears about themselves become what leads them both into destructive relationships, one sexually, and one magically. Unlike other seasons, where Buffy and Willow are shown having long conversations, there are few times in season 6 when Buffy and Willow actually confide in each other and speak honestly. Buffy approaches Willow to have a serious conversation in this episode, but Amy's presence throws her off and she leaves without having voiced anything real. Thus, this episode typifies the season-long theme that self-involvement often leads to self-destruction. It's not until Season 7 "Same Time, Same Place" that the two best friends are able to show their affection to each other fully again.
- Giles isn't seen in this episode, and won't return until the end of "Two to Go".
- Spike evokes to Buffy that they twice kissed each other in "Once More, with Feeling" and "Tabula Rasa". However, they kissed each at other times as well ("Something Blue" and "Intervention").
- In this episode, Buffy has sex with Spike after fighting and Dawn comments that her sister always goes straight to the refrigerator after Slayer patrol. This bears out Faith's assertion in "Faith, Hope & Trick" that Slaying "makes you hungry and horny".
- Amy is turned back into a rat once again by magic itself in "Lost and Found, Part Five".
Behind the Scenes
- A longer, more intense lovemaking scene was originally filmed for the finale of the episode, but cut out. The clip still makes the rounds occasionally in Whedon fan circles.
- Steve Tartalia, James Marsters' stunt double, says he knocked himself out during the last scene, in which Buffy and Spike fall through the ceiling. "On that fall," he says, "our legs got tangled in the breakaway ceiling, and it caused us to tilt at an angle so that my head would be the first thing to hit the ground. And it did, and it knocked me out. Basically, I came to with some flashlights and smelling salts." Stunt coordinator John Medlen also hurt himself during this episode, while demonstrating how Spike should swing from the chandelier. The chandelier broke, he fell 7 feet, and the chandelier landed on his face, breaking his nose.
- In his DVD commentary, writer Drew Z. Greenberg says that in his original conception of Willow's confrontation with the homophobic men at the Bronze, he intended for Willow to cast a spell on the men so that they couldn't stop kissing each other. Joss Whedon vetoed the idea because he did not want to portray people's sexual orientation as changing in an instant and he did not want to portray same-sex kissing as a punishment.
- Elizabeth Anne Allen claims that Amy was de-ratted because fans wrote to Joss pointing out that 3 years was the average lifespan of rats.
Pop Culture References
- The nerds talk about Red Dwarf and Doctor Who - Andrew claims to have seen every episode of the latter, but not all of the former as it isn't out on DVD yet. While only about a quarter of the total Doctor Who serials have been released on DVD (and indeed, some serials don't even exist in the BBC archives anymore), he could have watched them on VHS cassette. James Marsters would later go on to have a recurring role in the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood.
- Spike makes a reference to Star Trek: "You can play Holodeck another time..." He also refers to Warren as "Spock".
- After Spike attacks one of the muggers, Buffy calls him Jessica Fletcher; this was Angela Lansbury's character in Murder, She Wrote.
- While Amy is marveling at all that has happened while she was a rat, she mentions "Tom and Nicole", referencing Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman's divorce.
- The action figure Spike threatens to break to extort the help of The Trio is, according to Andrew, "a limited edition, 1979 mint condition Boba Fett." While this scene parodies the obsessive nature of collectors, it's also a nod to the famed bounty hunter from the Star Wars franchise. There actually was a 1979 Boba Fett figure, available through a mail-in promotion for buying four other Star Wars figures. Fett debuted in the much-maligned Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978 and later appeared in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, for which the mail-in offer was intended to promote. The promotional figure originally was designed with a missile-launching backpack, but due to safety concerns the missile came glued in and without the ability to be fired. Hasbro recently instituted a new mail-in offer for a retro Boba Fett figure that does come with a firing backpack.
- One of Amy's dance partners calls Willow "Ellen", a reference to talk-show host and TV star Ellen Degeneres who famously came out as a lesbian in her self-titled sitcom.
- Halo Friendlies - "Run Away"
- Roxy Music - "Avalon"
- Virgil - "Here"
- Virgil - "Parachute"
- Virgil - "Vermillion Borders"
- Thomas Wanker - original score
- German: Alte Feinde, neue Freunde? (Old Enemies, New Friends?)
- French: Ecarts de conduite (Misconducts)
- Three consecutive episode titles in the sixth season are euphemisms for drunkenness or being under the influence of narcotics in American English: "Smashed", "Wrecked", and "Gone".
|Amy - "I felt like I was in that cage for weeks. But it can still be okay, right? I-I can still get into the swing of things. Like, prom's coming up. I-I was so hoping Larry would ask me. We would make such a splash at... oh. Oh, god. He hasn't asked someone else, has he?"|
|Willow - "Uh, Amy, three things we have to talk about. One, Larry's gay. Two, Larry's dead. And three, high school's kinda over."|
|Amy - "How long was I in the cage?" [Willow looks nervous] "How long!?"|
|Buffy - "Oh, Tara, hey... Amy?"|
|Amy - "The whole school. By a giant snake thing. Okay, still adjusting. Hi, Buffy."|
|Buffy - "Hi. How've ya been?"|
|Amy - "Rat. You?"|
|Buffy - "Dead."|
|Amy - "Oh."|
|Buffy - "Spike... It's late, okay, can we just finish this another time?"|
|Spike - "So you wanna jump right to the kissing, then, eh?"|
|Buffy - "I am not kissing you, Spike. Once was..."|
|Spike - "Twice."|
|Buffy - "But not again."|
|Spike - "You're a tease, you know that, Slayer? Get a fellow's motor revving, let the tension marinate a couple-a days, then bam! Crown yourself the ice queen."|
|Buffy - "Need a few more metaphors for that little mix?"|