BUFFY 5.18 FAQ
What’s the new “Buffy” called?
Teleplay is credited to Team Whedon secret weapon Jane Espenson (author of some of this season’s funniest and most haunting episodes: the Xander-duplicating “The Replacement,” the troll-conjuring “Triangle,” the Watcher-heavy “Checkpoint,” and the robo-centric “I Was Made To Love You”).
The big news?
One of our best long-lead spoiler sources, “Scriptgirl,” already told us all about this one way back on April 8.
"Scriptgirl?” What were “Cap’n Kronos’” March 11 predictions for 5.18 again?
Anya is offered a shot at regaining her demonic powers, which causes major drama in Casa Del Xander. Spike’s “Master Plan” – replacing Buffy with the Stepford Buffy – is revealed. Buffy quickly uncovers said plan, destroys the Stepford Buffy, and beats Spike to an inch of his unlife (supposedly worse than he’s even been beaten before). She then issues Spike an ultimatum: leave Sunnydale or get staked. Spike hints that his Inhibitor Chip is now either malfunctioning or has been removed. Brian is revealed to be the father of Glory/Ben.
Was “Cap’n Kronos” right?
No. Anya is offered no demonic powers. Spike has no plan to replace Buffy with the Buffybot. Buffy does not beat up Spike or tell him to leave Sunnydale. Spike does not learn his chip is malfunctioning or has been removed. Brian, whoever that is, is not revealed to be the father of Glory/Ben.
Angel arrives in Sunnydale to find Buffy an emotional wreck; Buffy’s dad Hank and his new cookie (Melissa Gilbert) turn up to collect Dawn; Spike gets his Buffybot, which immediately starts trying to kill him; Ben the Intern disappears; Glory possesses Spike.
What did XG get right?
Not much. Spike does gets his Buffybot, but the Buffybot at no point tries to kill Spike, as amusing an idea as that is. Angel does not turn up, and neither does Buffy’s dad. Though Ben does not appear in this episode, neither does he “disappear.” Glory does not possess Spike.
Enough with these pretenders! What did “Scriptgirl” say on April 8?
Buffy, who starts to fear she is losing the ability to love, agrees to leave Dawn with Xander and Anya and join Giles on a desert retreat so she might gain information from "The Guide" (in the form of the “first slayer” from “Restless”). Buffy’s “guide” will tell her that love will lead her to her gift – and that "death is your gift."
Glory, now aware that The Key is human, dispatches minions to spy on the Scoobs because she thinks Buffy knows the identity of The Key.
Spike gets his Buffybot from Warren. Spike whines about it looking plasticky, but once Buffybot kisses him, he is very satisfied.
A post-coital Buffybot heads out on patrol and runs into Xander and Anya, also on patrol. Xander is surprised to see Buffy back so soon, and finds her behavior most passing strange. Soon Xander catches the Buffybot having sex with Spike, and relays this news to the other shocked Scoobs, who think Buffy must be doing this out of her grief over Joyce’s death.
As Xander speaks to Spike about Buffy, Glory’s minions bust in and kidnap Spike. Because the Buffybot was seen protecting Spike, the minions are now convinced that Spike is The Key. When Spike is delivered, Glory is enraged; Spike can’t possibly be The Key because he’s not human! Glory sets about torturing Spike for information about The Key.
Worried about Spike spilling the beans about Dawn to Glory, the Scoobs head to Buffy’s house to gather weapons, only to be met there by the Buffybot, itself looking for help. As the Slayer Circle tries to stage a (hilarious) intervention, Buffy herself returns and is hugely peeved that the Scoobs couldn’t tell the Buffybot from the real thing. On the way to find Glory’s lair, the Buffybot is damaged by minions.
Though beaten and bloodied by a Key-seeking Glory, Spike can’t resist mocking her, calling her a “god of bad home perms" and the like. Glory hits Spike so hard she breaks his restraints, and Spike manages an escape. Glory abandons her lair as the Scoobs close in.
The damaged Buffybot returns to the Spikecrypt and finds Spike with his eyes so swollen he can barely see.
BUFFYBOT: Why don’t you just tell Glory what she wants to know?
SPIKE: Because I can't do that to Buffy. The real Buffy.
(The Buffybot kisses Spike on the lips, sweetly)
SPIKE (pulling back in shock): What did you do with my robot?
BUFFY: The robot is gone. The robot is gross. Don't do it again. And thank you.
What did “Scriptgirl” get wrong?
Nothing of consequence. The ending dialogue is not literally the ending dialogue, but rather a very efficient summary.
Didn’t Coax predict the Spike-Buffy kiss way back on March 5?
It did. To give credit where credit is due, note that this ending was predicted by “Harold in Chicago” nearly two months ago.
What did “Harold” say?
”Apparently the final arc of the season will have Spike captured and tortured by Glory to find out what he knows about The Key. Spike in true Scooby fashion will refuse to break and Buffy posing as the imitation Buffy will know of it and give Spike an unexpected and steamy reward.”
What did Herc say about Harold’s rumor way back on March 5?
“I swear I can feel the Hand of Whedon in it.”
What did some of those rascally talkbackers have to say about Herc’s appraisal?
“Somebody’s slipping. Herc, buddy, I think your meds need readjusting. The Buffy rumor sounds neat, and lords know that I want Buffy and Spike to hook up, but I just don't see it happening.” – Grimjack99
“Faker than Pam Andersons boobs… c'mon guys...never print anything like this on instinct! Jesus when this is proved wrong just keep your promise… Buffy WILL NEVER touch Spike that way.” – sundown
“How do you like your crow, Herc? Because I will be personally shoving it down your throat when these prove false. Why is it everyone has a better bullshit detector than the guys that run these sites? It's almost as annoying as these wanna-be-writer fanboys who come up with this crap and send it to you in the first place.” – WrathfulBuddha
“FALSE. Buffy wouldn't do Spike just for helping her out, since he's already done so a few times at least. Of course, having lost her mom she might not be in her right mind, but she'd have to have beef with him over the Buffy-bot.” – Twig
What didn’t Harold and Scriptgirl tell us?
Dawn is up to something. She inexplicably steals a pair of Anya’s earrings!
Is the “first slayer” all inarticulate and grunty again?
No. The first slayer is just a “form” this time. She’s very well-spoken (in a hard-to-know-what-she’s-getting-at kinda way).
What key question does Buffy ask the first slayer?
”I’m getting a gift? Or do you mean that I have a gift for someone else?”
How does the first slayer reply?
”Death is your gift.”
What’s good about 5.18?
What’s great about 5.18 is the hilarious Buffybot (who’s a bit like Anya squared)!
What’s so funny about the Buffybot?
Its programming. Wait till you hear how she’s programmed to talk about Angel! Wait till you hear how she refers to Spike during sex! And there are these inspired Terminator-type point-of-view shots (the best readout is the homage to IMDb it displays for Willow)!
Does anyone actually call it a “Buffybot”?
Anything else great about 5.18?
Tons! The Buffy-Dawn stuff! The Spike-Buffybot stuff! The Spike-Glory stuff! The Glory-minion stuff! Anya’s first meeting with the Buffybot! Tara’s reaction when she learns “Buffy” is boinking Spike! Buffy’s vision quest (the slayer’s enduringly pragmatic approach to the mystical never fails to elicit a laugh)! Buffy’s reaction when the Scoobs accuse her of having sex with Spike! Buffy’s line about Xander when Xander starts analyzing Spike’s attributes!
Whoa, whoa, easy, Herc!
And that’s just the funny stuff! The final scene – teeming as it is with redemption and forgiveness – made Herc cry like Kentucky Joe in front of a computer screen! I’m tellin’ ya, this baby is packed!
You still like Glory?
Glory rules, baby.
What’s not so good?
Um, not enough Tara? There’s very little not to like about “Intervention.” It’s just plain wonderful!
Do we learn why Willow “pulled a Tara” last episode?
Does Joel Grey turn up?
Is anyone possessed by Glory?
How do you feel about the move to UPN?
I’m for it if Joss is for it. (Joss is for it.) I hope UPN gets “Angel” too.
Do you think WB is going to let UPN have “Angel?”
I think so.
Wanda the TV Gossip over at E! Online still hasn’t revealed outright how the season ends, but she’s been dropping the biggest, most insanely huge hints ever since Herc broke this major spoiler weeks ago! In exchange for the spoilers she gets, does the WB prohibit Wanda from revealing the really big stuff?
I don’t know!
HERC’S RATING FOR “BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER” 5.18?
The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
**** better than most motion pictures
*** actually worth your valuable time
** as horrible as most stuff on TV
* makes you quietly pray for bulletins