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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Sleeper

Anya: "You know, you were a lot more fun when you didn't have a soul."

So the Big Bad this year is focusing directly on the Scooby Gang. It knows them intimately. How? The First Evil in "Amends" certainly knew Angel intimately; maybe that's just the way It operates.

The romantic Spike fan in me is way happy. Spike isn't evil after all; he hasn't lost his soul or his chip. And he's moved out of Xander's closet and in with Buffy, so color me happy. Buffy may say that it's just to keep him from killing and to stay in touch with the Big Bad, but I don't believe her.

Let's examine the evidence. Buffy still thinks Spike is hot ("bleached blond hair, leather jacket, British accent, kind of sallow but in a hot way"). She was moved by what he told her in his bedroom, i.e., "This chip, they did to me. I couldn't help it. But the soul I got on my own. For you." and "God help me, Buffy, it's still all about you." Finally, there was that moment when Spike remembered the killings, confessed everything, and then matter-of-factly opened his jacket so that Buffy could stake him. I think if it had been any other vampire, Buffy would have done it. And she didn't; she chose to take him home with her.

The Big Bad said at one point, "There's an order. Slayer's not in order. But it can't hurt to play." It hadn't intended Buffy to die this early, then. What was its plan? Did it want Buffy to kill Spike, and remove one of her most powerful allies from the playing field? Was Nora, the dead girl in London, a Slayer in training, and is the reason that Buffy was "not in order" because the Slayers in training haven't all died yet?

Of course, I'm assuming Giles will survive the axe attack in progress as this episode ended. The last thing his friend said was, "Gather them. It's started." Gather whom? And what has started? Don't tell me that they've only now just realized that something is going on.

And finally, I really loved the cover story Anya came up with when Spike woke up and caught her searching his room. I think Anya really did want him. She isn't sleeping with Xander right now, after all, and she does like the sweaty stuff. Soulless Spike probably wouldn't have turned her down.

Bits and pieces:

-- The Big Bad was initially trying to get Spike to create a lot of other vampires. There were ten missing people; Buffy staked seven in the basement, and Spike staked one at the Bronze. The blonde we saw him kill and bury wasn't one of them. Will we be seeing her later?

-- Does the Big Bad use music to manifest? It kept singing, humming, or harmonica-ing the same old song, "Early one morning." Is there a reason why it was that particular song? (And wasn't it nice to hear James singing it?)

-- More possible evidence that the Big Bad is the First Evil: was the hooded thing that killed Giles' colleague an evil priest from "Amends?" The glimpse we got of its face made it look possible.

-- Xander looked yummy in a suit, and even yummier in a black tee with tousled hair. What's with him lately, by the way? He looks hot in one episode, and terrible in the next.

-- Naked Spike returns; thousands cheer. Thank goodness he doesn't look quite as emaciated as he did last spring. Must be that human blood he's been drinking. And speaking of goodness, how about that basement scene where vamped Spike was nuzzling Buffy's neck and licking the blood off her arm? Yum.

-- Buffy's cell phone is much better than a bat signal. How come it took so long for her to get one?

-- My theory last week about Joyce not being a manifestation of the First might have been right, after all.

-- Spike finally got to punch Xander out. Waaaaay overdue.

Quotes:

Buffy: "Any idea where he went?"
Xander: "I don't know, creature of the night, Buff. He's probably out creaturing."

Xander: "You're gonna be fine."
Anya: "Better be. Because if I get vamped, I'm going to bite your ass."
Xander: "Wouldn't be the first time."

Spike: "Wait, wait, Anya. Just a minute. This is not exactly... is that a stake?"
Anya: "Yes. Kinky!"

Anya: "All I'm saying is soulless Spike would have had me upside down and halfway to happy land by now."
Spike: "I need my pants."

Buffy: "Oh, uh, actually, I need some help. I'm looking for this guy. Bleach-blonde hair, leather jacket, British accent? Kind of sallow, but in a hot way?"
Bouncer: "Yeah, yeah, I know the guy. Billy Idol wannabe?"
Buffy: "Actually, Billy Idol stole his look from... never mind."

Aimee Mann: "Man, I hate playing vampire towns."

Three out of four stakes, mostly because of James Marsters again. Give him something to work with, and he delivers every time,

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

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