Buffy the Vampire Slayer
After Life

Episode Report Card
Sep: B- | 2 USERS: A-
My best friend went to hell and all I got was this dumb t-shirt

Previously on Buffy, Spike chained Buffy up in "Crush," but she told him he had no chance with her. Buffy jumped into the portal and died. Her friends were sad. Willow, Tara, Xander, and Anya schemed to raise Buffy from the grave, in part because of Willow's conviction that Buffy's soul was trapped in Hell. The spell to bring the Slayer back works, but Buffy is addled and scared. "You're alive and you're home," sniffles Dawn. Buffy looks blank.

We start where we left off, at the end of "Bargaining, Part Two." The Scooby gang hurries down an alley in search of Buffy. Willow is convinced the Slayer has gone home, and Xander promises to lead them there quickly. What? They need Xander to guide them home? It's not like Sunnydale is that big, plus they all found their way into the alley in the first place. Now they can't find their way out? Oh, I geddit, it's all a set-up for some "humor." Xander is reassuring the wimmins that he's large and in charge when a Hellion rides by on his hog and startles Xander into shrieking like a little girl. Hoo. Haw. Because of the death of their leader, or to wrap up dangling plot points from the premiere, we get some exposition about the Hellions fleeing Sunnydale. The gang frets about whether they actually saw Buffy, and whether she was brought back "broken." Willow is vehement that Buffy is fine, but is probably "disoriented" from her experiences in Hell. Yeah, just keep telling yourself that, Willow. Nothing to do with feeling her own rotten corpse re-manifest, or having to claw her way out of her grave, or that nasty-ass fashion disaster you guys buried her in. Tara worries that perhaps Buffy is now dangerous.

Buffy and Dawn are on the front walk of the Summers house. Dawn gently tells Buffy that she's home and Buffy just stares, her brow crinkled and her face stupefied.

Inside the house, Buffy blinks when Dawn turns on a light. The Buffster slowly surveys the living room and then frets, "It's different." Dawn, frantic to please, babbles on about Willow and Tara moving in and then about interior decorating changes they've made since Buffy, well, you know, died. I'd usually make fun, but poor Dawn. Wonder what she thinks brought Buffy back. Buffy notices a picture of her mom and then silently walks into the dining room. Dawn follows her, still babbling. Her sister gives her that crinkled-brow look and heads upstairs as Dawn chatters.

A little while later, Dawn and Buffy are in the bathroom. Buffy has changed her clothes and…washed, cut, colored, and deep-conditioned her hair, it looks like. Have to have your priorities, I guess. Dawn wets a washcloth in the sink and gently wipes some dirt off Buffy's neck, crooning to her like a mother to a child. It's really very touching, and I would sniffle if I weren't so curious as to how Buffy managed to do all that to her hair but not clean her neck. Dawn tries to crack a joke, but Buffy doesn't respond; she just stares into the mirror. Dawn suggests that Buffy button up her shirt and then notices Buffy's bloody, damaged hands. In a sad little gesture, Buffy hides her hands at her sides, fingers curled up tight. Dawn promises to bandage her sister's hands and then starts buttoning up her shirt. Buffy suddenly turns and walks away, into what was Joyce's room. She looks around at the changes that Willow and Tara's tenure have brought. Dawn tries to explain why the witches have taken that room, but when her sister wanders off again, she follows her and urgently asks, "Buffy? Do you want to stop? We can sit down and talk." Buffy is still not making eye contact and eventually says, "What else is different?" Dawn struggles to understand if Buffy means in the house or in general, and then tells her that Giles left. Buffy bows her head.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer




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