Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Bargaining, Part 2

Dawn: "Talk to me. Say something!"
Buffy: "Is this Hell?"

Wow. Dark much?

Buffy's biggest fear in the episode "Nightmares" was being buried alive. The Scoobies should have known. Leaving her in that coffin was inexcusable.

There were way too many upsetting images here of Buffy dead or dying. It wasn't just Buffy trapped alive in her coffin and clawing her way out; we also saw the BuffyBot being beaten and eventually pulled to pieces by the biker demons, and a replay of Buffy's death last season, with her looking down longingly and suicidally at the pavement. Sarah Michelle Gellar got a chance to show her acting range. Michelle Tractenberg was also very good; that final Buffy/Dawn scene made me cry.

The demon bikers didn't do much for me villain-wise. They were unrelentingly brutal and ugly, and the trashing of Sunnydale was unnerving. The rickety, robotic tower falling to its CGI end was also uncomfortable and reminded me of the Twin Towers, and the verbal ugliness of "anatomical incompatibilities" and rape was pretty icky.

I love what they're doing with Spike, though. There is something very touching about Spike's relationship with Dawn. It isn't just guilt because he failed Buffy; he genuinely likes Dawn and empathizes with her, and it's a natural extension of his love for Buffy. The one thing missing in this episode is that we didn't see Spike's reaction to Buffy's resurrection. I hope we get that next week.

Bits and pieces:

— This is the first episode of the series without Anthony Stewart Head.

— I was sorry to see the BuffyBot go, even though the plotline had run its course and she more than fulfilled her purpose.

— In this week's hair report, we finally saw Buffy and her hair was even longer. This played into the myth about hair and nails continuing to grow after death. Which they do, but not that much.

— The tinker bell lights from "Fear, Itself" were back. Willow and Tara can always find each other.


Anya: "Less talk, more running away."

Tara: "Maybe they got lost, in the woods."
Anya: "The woods? Are we going back to the woods? I hate the woods. All those woodsy trees."

Xander: "Demons. Ah. There's something you don't see every day. Unless you're us."

Xander: "Maybe they're on their way here. I mean, this place is NORAD, and we are at DefCon One. (The women all look at him.) Okay, I so need male friends."

Razor: "So you got a witch in the mix."
Tara: "More than one."
Xander: "I happen to be a very powerful man-witch myself."

Two out of four stakes,

Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.


  1. I was SO pissed in this episode at how dumb the Scoobies were! Like I said in the previous episode's comments, I couldn't believe they kept her coffin underground. Basic zombie 101, ya know? :)

    My heart just broke when Buffy looked at Dawn and asked, "Is this hell?" I just wanted to wrap her up in a blanket and cuddle her--kudos to SMG for selling it!

  2. Very dark episode, but it fit the mood of the season. Buffy is going to find her way out of the dark and into the light. Biker gang was gagworthy, where are the cops? Maybe no one responds in Sunnydale anymore because the cops know they'll get hurt, but they need a swat team! What was with Buffy's dress? So ugly, they buried her in that? The scene on the tower was nicely done.

  3. Buffybot, I...

    The rape-jeering coming right after we saw Buffybot disembodied was too much. I let it slide in Go Fish because it was out of the blue and kinda hilarious that they got away with it, but here it just felt like the writers testing the boundaries of their new network. I hated it, hell I hated the way Buffybot was taken out too but I have to admire how metal (no bun indended) THAT was. I flashbacked to watching The Animatrix lol, another upsetting experience. Only a bot would've gotten away with suffering such a fate on TV... ANDROIDS RISE UP!

    "-- I was sorry to see the BuffyBot go, even though the plotline had run its course and she more than fulfilled her purpose."
    Yeah... this is the only real take-away (although I was moved by Dawn's reunion with her). We can deal with Buffy's ambivalence later. Sigh, and we just dealt with that from Angel last season.

    Good night sweet princess :( Press S to spit on demon bikers
    (I'm still genuinely upset by it lol, I'm not playing it up. Still shocking, the brutality)

    I still liked this 2nd half of the premiere, but I can see why the s6 haters can easily say they hate the whole thing and not leave out exceptions besides Once More. I thought they should've included the premiere too at least but now I can see... I didn't remember the whole thing with Buffy staring at that spot from the tower. They already set the tone with that for the remainder. Anyway, I hope I like the rest of it, even though Giles is gonna be missed (but at least not wondering about whether Buffy still needs him or not, how tired that particular musing was).

  4. I like how this episode segues right out of the last. Poor Buffybot. Doom for her for sure.

    I liked how Xander stepped up with command when Willow was sidelined. And Tara wasn’t a slouch either, taking care of Anya and dealing death with an axe. But no one thought about the real Buffy coming back in her own grave. All that planning, and no one realized?

    I love Spike & Dawn’s relationship. Special and enduring. (Very sweet through ALL of canon.) And funny. “Here, want me to bloody thump you? I told you to stay away from the window!” Lol. And it didn’t take either of them long to figure out what the appearance demon pirates meant. Loved their escape on the motorcycle. “Let’s fly, pigeon!”

    Poor real Buffy. So confused and disoriented. It must’ve been hard, reading her own name on the tombstone. And seeing the buffybot destroyed - weird and cringey. I look away on rewatches. I’m glad real Buffy’s fighting skills resurfaced quickly, just in time to help the friends she wanted to avoid.

    Anya sure was extra irritating.

    Spike & Dawn finding the Buffybot was sad. Spike tried to comfort Dawn, reminding her it was just a machine. He moved away when Dawn knelt beside her, and wow was he not happy when she gave him the slip. But she was on her way to save Buffy.

    Nice instincts, both sisters were drawn to the tower. It’s weird that tower was still standing and you’d think its collapse would’ve been heard all over Sunnydale! Alive and home. Buffy didn’t look thrilled.

  5. My heart broke for Buffy this episode. To come back to all this chaos and think she had finally arrived in hell. I’m going to try and get through this season again but I just remember it being so depressing. This episode definitely set the tone.

  6. Also I hope it’s explained why another slayer didn’t rise when Buffy died. I can’t remember if they ever address that.

    1. Miguel, Joss Whedon explained it at some point but I don't think the explanation made it into the series. When Buffy died the first time, the slayer mantle passed to Kendra, and when Kendra died, it passed to Faith. Another slayer can only be called when Faith dies.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.