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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Blood Ties

Spike: "Brown robe types are always protecting something. It's the only way they can justify giving up girls."

Very good episode. Buffy got through another horrendous birthday, but this time without a boyfriend. Unless you count Spike.

I was way impressed with Michelle Trachtenberg; she could easily have overacted or underacted ("What am I? Am I real? Am I anything?") but instead she hit just the right note in each and every one of her difficult scenes. And I really liked seeing her keep her cool and take advantage of her opportunity to pump Glory about the Key. I've been semi-apprehensive up until now about Dawn's addition to the cast, but I'm not any more.

I got a big charge out of Dawn's breaking-and-entering sojourn with Spike, particularly with their quip-trading. And speaking of Spike, as I love to do, isn't it interesting the way the Buffy/Spike relationship is changing? Instead of continuing with "another round of kick the Spike," Buffy actually said to Spike "You were right"; Spike comforted Buffy by telling her that she'd find Dawn in the nick of time like she always did; and Spike even joined the Slayerettes on a mission and was helpful. Wow. This certainly wouldn't have worked last year, but the change has been so gradual.

The Glory/Key/Brotherhood plot is getting more interesting, too. Is Ben Glory's brother? Is he one of the other two hell-gods that rule the Bitch dimension? I'm still confused about his role with the brain-suck victims, but he was definitely trying to protect Dawn from Glory, which makes him possibly a good guy. (And hey, if Glory and Ben are two of the hell-gods, who is the third?)

At the end of the episode, Dawn pointedly did not tell Buffy that Ben is related to Glory. Why?

Bits and pieces:

— The X-rays on the wall behind Dawn and Glory as they talked in the hospital were really weird.

— Xander's arm is still in a cast.

— I liked Anya saying that she wanted Buffy's presents.

— Loved Spike's bent box of chocolates for Buffy. And being caught doing his nails.


Giles: "I'm not sure our regular workout is challenging you any more. Perhaps we should make it harder."
Buffy: "You always think harder is better. Maybe next time I patrol I should carry a load of bricks and use a stake made of butter."

Buffy: "How was school today?"
Dawn: "The usual. Big square building filled with boredom and despair."

Buffy: "It's beautiful. Thank you, guys."
Tara: "Well, we thought you'd get lots of crossbows, other killy stuff."
Willow: "Yeah, so we figured, less killy, more frilly."

Dawn: "Geez! Lurk much?"
Spike: "I wasn't lurking. I was standing about. It's a whole different vibe."

Dawn: "Sorry, it's just ... come on. I'm badder than you."
Spike: (insulted) "Are not!"
Dawn: "Am too. You're standing in the bushes hugging a bent box of chocolates, and I'm..."
Spike: "What? Sneaking out to braid hair and watch Teletubbies with your mates?"

Willow: "Not even a card, huh?"
Buffy: "I wasn't really expecting one. No contact with civilians. There's probably a code name for it. You know, like radio silence. It's greeting card silence."

Willow: "Teleportation spell. Still working out the kinks."
Buffy: "Where'd you send her?"
Willow: "Don't know. That's one of the kinks."

Three out of four stakes for this one. And next week, a Buffy/Spike valentine episode? Be still my heart,

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


  1. Mostly from her facial expression (and that she had no reason I can think of to lie about it) I had the impression that Dawn actually didn't remember Ben turning into Glory.

  2. I don't think I ever really came around to Dawn. No disrespect to Michelle, who did a great job with her, but annoying characters are annoying. (See Wesley Crusher.)

  3. I KNEW there was something fishy about Ben. When he turned into Glory I had to pick up my jaw from the floor. And clever little miss Muffet turned out to be good at fishing for information. Well done Dawn. But why didn't she remember the Ben/Glory transformation? And now Spike knows about Dawn as well...hmm, interesting.

    That's what I thought when I first saw this. Love this ep...I often come back and rewatch it.

  4. Like Gavrielle, I never came around to Dawn. She is my least favorite character in this world, by a long shot.

    Having said that, I think this is an excellent episode as everyone learning the truth is long overdue. I think Trachtenburg did a very good job, especially for an actor as young as she was at the time.

  5. I'm just going to third what Gavrielle and ChrisB said re both the character Dawn, and Trachtenburg.

    Good episode.

  6. Aaah so THIS is where the "Get out, get out, get OUUUUUT" began. I'm kinda sorry that's something I didn't misremember.
    But I am glad Buffy told Spike he was right when he defended his inadvertent aid to Dawn finding out about the truth of her existence. Buffy and co. should've told her right when they found out, so she could share in their shock and not just the news, and deal with it together... "The right time," what bullpoopy. She had a right to know, and they were clumsy as hell with discussing her behind her back.
    Also I don't care nor share in the vitriol a lot of fans throw towards Glory. She can ham it up all she wants, I still think she's fun and her run-ins with the gang interesting. Can't wait for more.

  7. Aren't Glory and Claire Kramer held in high esteem by the majority of fans. First I'm hearing that people had a problem with her on the show. Most of the fan conventions I have seen have been hosted by her and she seems pretty popular.

    Also with Dawn on my rewatches I notice she bothers me less and its more of the missed potential with her character. S5 was understandable but she is completely wasted in 6 and 7.

  8. ^Is that right? Thanks for sharing that and it's cool to know she hosted a lot of them... damn, I really missed out. I wasn't as big a Buffy fan then as I am now, not sure what changed or why I've come to appreciate it more but I swear this rewatch has been the most I ever enjoyed the show, even more than that first time, and I've rewatched it more than once.
    I'm just going off anecdotal evidence (AKA my ass), my small circle of friends who watched the show and being pretty unanimous about Glory's acting. Also going off the AVclub comments feedback. Not an accurate reflection of the consensus but all I have to operate on because despite its wild popularity I've always enjoyed it most in a bubble. Needed my refuge from the Spuffy insanity lol (I still love Spike himself though).


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