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LIE TO ME (ep 2.07)

(a.k.a. Five Seconds of Immortality)

Written by: Joss Whedon
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendan as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
David Boreanaz as Angel
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Starring: Robia La Morte as Jenny Calendar
James Marsters as Spike
Jason Behr as Billy "Ford" Fordham
Jarrad Paul as Diego (Marvin)
Juliet Landau as Drusilla
Co-Starring: Will Rothhaar as James
Julia Lee as Chanterelle

Plot Summary

Buffy's friend from Los Angeles, Ford, was dying from a brain tumor and willing to trade Buffy to Spike in exchange for eternal life as a vampire.

Plot Details

At night, in an otherwise empty playground, Drusilla approached a boy who was waiting for his mother to pick him up. The boy was smart enough not to take Drusilla up on her offer to walk him home. Before she could have a snack, Angel came and told the boy to run home. He then told Drusilla to take Spike and leave Sunnydale. Drusilla ignored the ultimatum and instead talked about Buffy, who happened to be observing this conversation from a rooftop.

The next day, Jenny made a date with Giles but neglected to tell him where they were going, much to his displeasure.

Buffy was depressed over what she saw the previous night. However, she was interrupted mid-mope by the arrival of Ford, a friend from Los Angeles. Apparently he recently moved to Sunnydale and is enrolling in Sunnydale High. Xander went back to instant jealousy mode while Willow finally figured out what the song, "I Touch Myself," is about.

Ford, Xander, and Willow were playing some sort of game at the Bronze that involved two white pool balls. Buffy arrived only to find that Ford was telling stories that she would rather remain untold. She quickly went to get drinks and ran into Angel, who made the blunder of lying about his whereabouts the previous night. Buffy was not pleased and retaliated by pointedly taking Ford out for a walk, leaving Angel behind with Willow and Xander. If her goal was to make Angel jealous, she succeeded.

Immediately outside, Buffy heard a vampire attack. She sent Ford back in, allegedly for her purse, and fulfilled her duty. He did not go back and, unlike nearly every other character in the show, did not buy her pathetic lie. Apparently, he somehow already knew that she was the slayer.

Later that night, Ford gave a secret knock on a metal door and entered a goth bar. He was plotting something with someone who called himself Diego, but Ford told us (and Diego for that matter) very little about what was going to happen other than that they were going to die young and stay pretty.

Meanwhile, Angel paid a visit to Willow's bedroom and finagled an invitation. He wanted Willow to investigate Ford on the net. Both Willow and Angel realized that he might be motivated by simple jealousy.

The next night, Buffy took Ford on a tour of Sunnydale. Apparently, Sunnydale is not that interesting. As they were finishing, they saw two vampires on campus. As Buffy staked one, Ford told the other that he would let her live if she told him what he wanted to know. Apparently, she did, which cost Ford the opportunity to be credited with a kill on the list below.

Angel, Willow, and Xander found the goth bar and easily gained entrance. It became quite clear that the people in the bar viewed vampires more positively than any of the main characters do. Xander and, particularly, Angel had a difficult time suppressing their opinions. They all left wondering what Ford was up to.

Seeing vampires on campus led Buffy to conclude that she must interrupt Giles's date with Jenny. He was very grateful, as she brought him to a monster truck rally. They just started to research when Buffy noticed a picture of Drusilla. They decided to read up on Drusilla and Spike instead, when the vampire Ford allegedly killed burst out of Giles's office and ran away with one of his books.

Apparently, Buffy was not the only one who spied on Angel and Drusilla. Someone named Lucius saw them and told Spike. Spike was a little upset because he viewed Angel as being their enemy. Unlike Buffy, he was not jealous, just worried about Drusilla's safety. Ford burst in on their conversation. Spike was about to kill him, but Drusilla believed that he should wait. Apparently, Ford wanted to become a vampire and was willing to give him Buffy in return.

Angel went to check in on Buffy. He wanted to talk about Ford, but she wanted to talk about Drusilla. He admitted that he was responsible for turning her into a vampire, only after he tortured her into insanity. Buffy was shocked enough by this revelation that she did not interrupt when Angel told her that Ford was part of a vampire-worshipping group.

At the goth bar, Buffy confronted Ford, apparently falling into his trap. Diego locked the door, trapping all of them inside. Ford and Buffy spoke away from the others. Apparently, he was dying of a brain tumor and wants to be a vampire to avoid dying.

Spike, Drusilla, and their minions started their attack. The other people in the room figured out a bit too late that vampires were monsters who kill people rather than lonely ones who walk the night. Buffy saw Drusilla watching in the corner and jumped up to her. While holding a stake to Drusilla's heart, she told the vampires to leave without killing anyone or Drusilla will die. Spike did not need to be told twice. After he let the humans go, Buffy tossed Drusilla down the stairs and left, locking the door behind her.

Buffy visited Ford's grave with Giles. They had a discussion on how she can no longer see life as being only black and white, interrupted only briefly as she staked Ford as he rose out of his grave.

The Good

As one would expect with a Joss Whedon episode, "Lie to Me" had more than its share of memorable quotes.

I love the expression on Willow's face when she figured out that "I Touch Myself" is really about masturbation.

I like villains who have a motivation other than simply being evil, greedy, or insane. The focus will always be on the heroes, but the villains should be equally complex.

The final scene was very good. Television likes to simplify issues so that they could be fit into a single 30- or 60-minute block with frequent commercial interruptions. The final conversation was a sign that things will not be simple in the Buffyverse.

The Bad

The episode focused on a character that we never saw before and will never see again. It is difficult to care about him as much as if we had more time to get to know him. Furthermore, there are no lasting consequences. Still, this was good for a stand-alone episode.

Overall Rank: 66

Action: 3

Buffy staked a vampire outside the Bronze. Most of the fight was off screen.

She staked another vampire on campus.

Spike and his minions attacked people in the goth bar. It ended quickly when Buffy threatened to stake Drusilla.

Comedy: 4

This episode has more than its share of humorous lines, many of which are in the Memorable Quotes section.

Willow's face when she figures out what "I Touch Myself" is all about.

Angel encountered a person dressed exactly like him just as he is saying that nobody in the goth bar knows how vampires really dress.

Drama: 6

Both Buffy and Angel acted on jealousy.

Buffy was torn when she found out that Ford was offering her to Spike because he was dying.

Buffy appeared to mourn for Ford in the end of the episode. It was clear that she was realizing that the world is not as simple as she would like it to be.

Romance: 2

Buffy's jealousy over Drusilla caused her to try to make Angel jealous.

Character Development: 5

Angel is responsible for turning Drusilla into a vampire. He did not merely bite her, suck her blood, and let her suck his. Instead, he made her suffer while she was a human, including killing all her loved ones. It is clear that he feels so guilty about this that he is willing to let her leave Sunnydale unharmed.

Spike clearly puts Drusilla's safety and well-being above all else. When she was in danger, he made no attempt to stall for time or negotiate. He simply did whatever was necessary to save her.

Jenny Calendar apparently believed that a monster truck rally would be a good place to take Giles for a date.

Importance: 1

We got some back story on Angel and his relationship with Drusilla.

Most Valuable Player: Buffy

Buffy was in the right place at the right time to save the people in the goth bar and did not let her conflicted feelings get in the way of her duty.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Angel

Angel was the first to suspect that there was something wrong with Ford, even if he was motivated by jealousy more than by anything else.

Goat of the Week: Spike

There are no good candidates for Goat. Buffy did fall for Ford's trap, but that put her in a position to save the others in the bar. Ford's undeath as a vampire did not last long, but he did not have any good alternatives. Spike did not kill Buffy, but it is clear that he puts Drusilla's safety above everything else, and he did save her. He still gets the award for two minor blunders. He probably should have left Drusilla back in the lair where she had little chance of running into a slayer, but I can understand if he was worried about leaving her unprotected. He also should have engaged Buffy immediately rather than feeding on Chanterelle first. However, it is not clear if that would have made a difference. After all, she might have slain him.

Random Commentary

It is a good thing that Xander did not end up making a small wager on Ford's knowledge of Buffy's secrets.

I wonder if the reference to a swimsuit competition is a reference to I Know What You Did Last Summer, in which Sarah Michelle Gellar's character won a beauty contest that involved a swimsuit competition.

I understand that I am in a minority, but I am not convinced that Giles and Jenny make a good couple. The monster truck rally is a good example of why. Either Jenny does not know Giles very well, or she feels that it is her job to try to change him rather than accept him as he is. They served on the faculty together for almost a year. They have had several adventures together. She should know that he is not the type to enjoy monster truck rallies. This raises the question, Why bring him to one? The most likely explanation is that she believes that it is her duty to try to bring him out of his shell. However, I see no evidence that it is necessary to do so. He appears to be very satisfied with his life as it is. She should find someone who is already out of his shell, and he should find someone who accepts him as he is.

Giles could have given Buffy one bit of reassurance. Brain tumors can lead to radical changes in personality. It could have been the tumor, and not the Ford that she knew, that was responsible for his actions.


Why was Ford buried in Sunnydale? His parents would presumably have custody of his body and would bury him in Los Angeles.

Memorable Dialogue

"My mummy used to sing me to sleep at night. 'Run and catch / The lamb is caught in the blackberry patch.' She had the sweetest voice. What will your mummy sing when they find your body?" Drusilla

"[T]he slayer. Your heart stinks of her. Poor little thing, she has no idea what's in store." Drusilla

"How will I know what to wear?" Giles
"Do you own anything else?" Jenny Calendar
"Well, not as such, no." Giles

"I don't see why everyone picks on Marie Antionette. I can so relate to her. She worked really hard to look that good, and people don't appreciate that kind of effort. And I know the peasants were all depressed." Cordelia
"I think you mean 'oppressed.'" Xander
"Whatever, they were cranky. So they're like 'Let's lose some heads!' That's fair, and Marie Antionette cared about them. She was gonna let them have cake." Cordelia

"Hey, it's me. If Angel's doing something wrong, I want to know, 'cause it gives me a happy." Xander

"I moped over you for months, sitting in my room listening to that Divinyls song, 'I Touch Myself.' Of course, I had no idea what it was about." Buffy

"Oh, that's what that song is about!" Willow

"Buffy, Ford was just telling us about the ninth-grade beauty contest and the swimsuit competition." Willow
"Oh, my God, Ford, stop that! The more people you tell, the more people I have to kill." Buffy
"You can't touch me, Summers. I know all your darkest secrets." Ford
"Care to make a small wager on that?" Xander

"There was a cat, a cat here, and, um, then there was another cat, and they fought, the cats, and then they left." Buffy
"Oh, I thought you were just slaying a vampire." Ford
"What? Whatting a what?" Buffy

"A couple more days, and we'll get to do the two things every American teen should have the chance to do: die young and stay pretty." Ford

"Uh, Angel, if I say something you really don't wanna hear, do you promise not to bite me?" Willow

"Things used to be pretty simple. A hundred years, just hanging out, feeling guilty, really honed my brooding skills. Then she comes along." Angel

You're not, by any chance, betraying your secret identity just to impress cute boys, are you?" Giles

"Yeah, I'm gonna have to go with Dead Boy on this one." Xander
"Could you not call me that?" Angel

"OK, but do they really stick out?" Willow
"What?" Xander
"Sore thumbs. Do they stick out? Have you ever seen a thumb and gone 'Wow, that baby is sore!'?" Willow
"You have too many thoughts." Xander

"We welcome anyone who's interested in the lonely ones." Chanterelle
"The lonely ones?" Willow
"Vampires." Angel
"Oh, we usually call them the nasty pointy bitey ones." Xander

"Honestly, I've always, I've always been interested in monster trucks." Giles
"You took him to monster trucks?" Buffy
"I thought it would be a change." Jenny Calendar
"It was a change." Giles
"Look, we could have just left." Jenny
"What, and miss the nitro-burning funny cars? Couldn't have that." Giles

"Her name is Drusilla, a sometime paramour of Spike's. She was killed by an angry mob in Prague." Giles
"Well, they don't make angry mobs like they used to, 'cause this girl's alive." Buffy

"Do I have anyone on watch here? It's called 'security' people! Are you all asleep, or did we finally find a restaurant that delivers?" Spike

"I did a lot of unconscionable things when I became a vampire. Drusilla was the worst. She was an obsession of mine. She was pure and sweet and chaste." Angel
"And you made her a vampire." Buffy
"First I made her insane, killed everybody she loved, visited every mental torture on her I could devise. She eventually fled to a convent, and, on the day she took her holy orders, I turned her into a demon." Angel

"Angel was in your bedroom?!?" Xander
"Ours is a forbidden love." Willow

"I am trying to save you. You are playing in some serious traffic here. Do you understand that? You're going to die, and the only hope you have of surviving this is to get out of this pit right now, and my god, could you have a dorkier outfit?" Buffy

"Now you let everybody out, or your girlfriend fits in an ashtray." Buffy

"Nothing's ever simple anymore. I'm constantly trying to work it out. Who to love or hate, who to trust. It's just like the more I know, the more confused I get." Buffy

"Does it get easy?" Buffy
"What do you want me to say?" Giles
"Lie to me." Buffy
"Yes, it's terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everyone lives happily ever after." Giles
"Liar." Buffy

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Unusual Pairings

Spoiler Questions

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This page was last modified on November 6, 2012