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LOVER'S WALK (ep #3.08)

(a.k.a. Love's Bitches)

Written by: Dan Vebber
Directed by: David Semel
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
Seth Green as Oz
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Starring: Kristine Sutherland as Joyce
Harry Groener as Mayor Richard Wilkins III
James Marsters as Spike
Co-Starring: Jack Plotnick as Deputy Mayor (Allan Finch)
Marc Burnham as Lenny
Suzanne Krull as Clerk

Plot Summary

Spike came back to town and kidnapped Willow and Xander to coerce her into casting a spell that would help Spike win Drusilla back.

Plot Details

Willow was very upset to see that she received only a 740 on her SAT verbal test, but the others did not seem to understand why that was upsetting. Both Cordelia and Buffy did well, but Xander did not. Cordelia suggested that Buffy could leave town and never come back. After all, who would want to come back to Sunnydale? That night, as if to answer the question, we saw a car drive through the welcome to Sunnydale sign. A very drunk Spike fell out of the front seat.

Spike was not happy because Drusilla had left him. He first toured the burnt out factory where he and Drusilla used to live. Later, he spied on Angel and ended up passed out in the fountain outside the mansion. He barely made it into his car when the sun came up.

Giles was very proud of Buffy's scores and apparently her mother was as well. Like Cordelia, he believed that Buffy could leave Sunnydale to pursue her education and have Faith take over in Sunnydale.

Meanwhile, Xander, Willow, Oz, and Cordelia were planning to go bowling as a double date. However, Willow and Xander were afraid that their hormones might once again get the better of them, this time in front of their significant others.

Spike went to the local magic shop to get a curse for Angel, but the clerk was not interested in selling him anything like that. Spike ducked aside when Willow arrived to get supplies for a delusting spell for her and Xander, which happened to have the same ingredients as a love spell. Spike decided that was a better idea and ate the clerk.

The deputy mayor notified the Mayor that Spike was back in town and committed a murder that was difficult to cover up. Mayor Wilkins apparently enjoyed Spike's escapades in the second season but wanted him out of the way now. The Mayor suggested that a "committee" take care of the Spike situation.

Buffy discussed her SAT scores with Angel. Both she and Angel wanted the other to say that he was a reason for her to stay in Sunnydale, but neither of them did so. Buffy left with both of their feelings hurt.

Before the bowling date, Willow summoned Xander to a chemistry lab so she could cast her delusting spell. However, she told Xander that she was doing a chemistry experiment. He was not fooled and reminded her of the last time that he was involved in a love-type spell. In any case, Willow was unable to complete the spell as Spike interrupted. He knocked Xander unconscious and took him and Willow to the old factory.

While there, Spike ordered Willow to cast a spell that would make Drusilla love him again. After a long speech about how he lost Drusilla's love, Willow agreed to cast the spell but said that she needed a few supplies.

Cordelia and Oz arrived at the chemistry lab and found what looked like a fight scene but no Willow or Xander. They found Buffy in the library and asked her for help. Buffy sent Cordelia and Oz to find Giles at a retreat he was attending. Once they left, she received a call from her mother. Buffy was not happy to hear Spike in the background.

Spike was there, in part, to commiserate with a very understanding Joyce about his Drusilla situation. They were interrupted when Angel came along and saw the two of them together. Angel assumed that Spike was there to harm Joyce and tried to charge to the rescue. However, (1) he was no longer invited into the house so he could not get in, and (2) Joyce still believed that Angel was the real threat.

While Spike was having fun teasing Angel, Buffy arrived, pinned Spike to the countertop, and invited Angel in. She was about to stake Spike when he told her that he had Willow and Xander. Buffy and Angel had to spare Spike if they were to know where Willow and Xander were. Buffy and Angel reluctantly agreed.

While trying to find Giles, Oz somehow caught a whiff of Willow's scent and started to look for her. Meanwhile, Xander woke up and had Willow explain the situation to him. They decided that they had an "impending death exemption" that allowed them to act on their hormones, unfortunately, just as Oz and Cordelia walked in. Oz simply said that they had to leave, but Cordelia tried to run up the steps. Unfortunately, the steps collapsed. She fell and was impaled on a piece of rebar.

Spike, Buffy, and Angel raided the magic shop, where Spike lectured the other two on their pretense of being just friends. They managed to get the supplies they needed and left, only to run into Mayor Wilkins's "committee" of 12 vampires led by Lenny, a former Spike minion. Spike made it clear that Buffy and Angel had to help him if they wanted to save Willow and Xander, so the three of them fought the "committee."

Buffy managed to stake two vampires before she, Spike, and Angel had to retreat into the magic shop. There, Buffy staked a third vampire and Spike staked Lenny. Still, things were looking grim until Angel discovered some holy water bottles that they could throw at the vampires.

This worked. Buffy and Angel were exhausted, but Spike clearly enjoyed himself. He concluded that he just needed to get some violence in order to raise his spirits. He now decided that he was going to find Drusilla and torture her until she loved him again. He was so happy that he told Buffy and Angel where Willow and Xander were.

Oz went to get help while Xander stayed with Cordelia. It was clear that she was fading fast. In the very next shot, we saw a burial service at a cemetery. As everyone in the audience was coming to the wrong conclusion, the camera pulled back to show Buffy and Willow walking by saying that Cordelia was going to be OK. Apparently, Xander had yet to see Cordelia because she could not have any visitors. When he was able to do so, she made it clear that she wanted him to stay away from her.

Buffy saw Angel that night. She realized that Spike was right and that she and Angel still love each other, which means that they should not see each other. The episode ended with nearly every character except for Spike looking sad.

The Good

Even though the episode ended with nearly every character being miserable, it was a lot of fun. Spike is one of the best characters on the show and it was good to have him back. His character arc across the episode was even funnier than "Band Candy," which was probably supposed to be the more comedic episode.

The Bad

I am not sure of what I think of the edit from the shot of Cordelia impaled on rebar fading away to a funeral. Obviously, the editor was playing with our expectations, but it was very deceptive.

Overall Rank: 31

Action: 8

Spike arrived at the school to kidnap Willow. Xander tried to fight back but was knocked unconscious.

The "committee" attacked Spike, Buffy, and Angel. They fought in the street for a little while until Spike, Buffy, and Angel retreated into the magic shop. They fought some more there until Angel discovered some holy water.

Comedy: 9

On the surface, this looked like a pathos-filled episode. However, it is very funny.

Much of the humor came from Spike complaining about Drusilla leaving him to both Willow and Joyce and from their reactions. Willow was half-scared and half-baffled. Joyce was understanding and did not seem to realize that Spike was potentially dangerous.

Drama: 6

Spike did have to cope with losing Drusilla, but this was played mostly for laughs.

There is a bit of drama in Oz's and Cordelia's hurt over seeing Willow and Xander in a compromising position.

Due to a very deceptive edit, it looked like Cordelia had died.

Romance: 3

Most of the plot derived from the end of Spike's relationship with Drusilla and with Xander and Willow being unable to control their hormones. However not much romance occurs on screen.

Character Development: 8

Spike apparently has been dumped by Drusilla. This caused him to return to Sunnydale for reasons that he probably did not understand. For a while, he thought that a love spell would bring Drusilla back, but what he really needed was some violence that could build up his ego and make him think that he can win Drusilla back. He also saw more clearly than anyone else that Angel and Buffy were never going to be just friends.

Joyce apparently understands the concept of good vampires vs. evil vampires. However, she does not understand the fact that vampires do not necessarily remain in one of those categories for their entire undeath.

Willow has been feeling so guilty that she felt the need to cast a spell to keep her from Xander. She is feeling even worse now that Oz caught her with Xander.

Cordelia does not want to see Xander.

Oz has the ability to smell people at a distance through locked doors.

Importance: 8

Most of this episode's importance comes from the aftermath of Oz and Cordelia discovering Willow and Xander in a compromising position. This drives the plot of the next episode and has repercussions on their various relationships.

Most Valuable Player: Spike

At the beginning, Spike had no plan for what to do. Over the course of the episode, he realized that he wanted to get Drusilla back. First, he tried to get Willow to do a love spell, but later came across an even better plan, at least in his eyes. He is the only character who can be said to be better off after the episode than before. He is the first character other than Buffy or Faith to earn an MVP this season.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Spike

This was a weak episode for figuring things out. Xander was not fooled by Willow's "science experiment," and Buffy correctly guessed that Willow and Xander were in the factory. Neither discovery played a role in the episode. Spike gets the award for figuring out that Buffy and Angel were not and never will be just friends. Admittedly, it was rather obvious to the audience, but Buffy and Angel were in denial.

Goat of the Week: Willow

The two people who really blew it in this episode were Willow and Xander. Their ill-timed kiss caused a lot of pain for themselves and for Oz and Cordelia. I am giving the Goat to Willow because Xander at least had head trauma as an excuse.

Random Commentary

In my review of "School Hard," I criticized the episode for telling us that Spike was evil rather than showing us that Spike was evil. As a result, it failed in its attempt to get the audience to hate Spike. When I watched him hold a broken bottle to Willow's face and threaten to shove it into her brain, I saw exactly what was missing in the earlier episode.

If, in "School Hard," we saw the same thing, our reactions would have been different. At that time, we loved Willow and were just forming our opinion about Spike. If we saw Spike acting that way toward Willow, we would have hated him as the writers wanted. Given James Marsters's charisma and his chemistry with Juliet Landau, we would have loved to hate Spike, but we would have hated him. I am not saying that this would have made the second season any better, but it would have made the second season closer to what was intended.

In any case, by the time this episode aired, it was too late. The audience had already grown to like Spike. We do not see him as evil as much as we see him as desperate and pitiful, especially as he delivered his speech immediately afterward.

I would just like to point out that my SAT scores were ten points higher than Buffy's and that my GRE verbal was only ten points lower than Willow's SAT verbal. It is too bad that test scores do not necessarily translate into life success. Despite what everyone else said, Buffy's SAT scores do not open up many opportunities for her if her grades were as bad as Principal Snyder suggested they were a few episodes ago. In fact, if her grades were that bad, her options are pretty much limited to two-year community colleges regardless of her SAT scores.

I wonder if Angel would have been quite so concerned if Willow were safe and it were just Xander who was in danger?


Why is Xander still alive? A blow to the head using a heavy microscope with sharp corners wielded by someone with vampire strength should have killed him instantly.

DVD Extras

Original Script another extra for those who like to read Buffy.

Memorable Dialogue

"I can see why you'd be upset. That was my sarcastic voice." Oz
"You know, it sounds a lot like your regular voice." Xander
"I've been told that." Oz

"She saw these scores, and her head spun around and exploded." Buffy
"I've been on the Hellmouth too long. That was metaphorical, yes?" Giles

"I swear, I would sell my soul for a decent short game. Of course, it's a little late for that. I don't suppose I could offer your soul?" Mayor Wilkins

"Do you really need to resort to the black arts to keep our hormones in check?" Xander

"She wouldn't even kill me. She just left. She didn't even care enough to cut off my head or set me on fire. I mean, is that too much to ask? You know, some little sign that she cared? It was that truce with Buffy that did it. Dru said I'd gone soft, wasn't demon enough for the likes of her. I told her it didn't mean anything. I was thinking of her the whole time, but she didn't care. So, we got to Brazil and she was just different. I gave her everything: beautiful jewels, beautiful dresses with beautiful girls in them, but nothing made her happy, and she would flirt. I caught her on a park bench making out with a chaos demon! Have you ever seen a chaos demon? They're all slime and antlers. They're disgusting. She only did it to hurt me, so I said, 'I'm not putting up with this anymore,' and she said, 'fine,' and I said, 'Yeah, I've got an unlife, you know,' and then she said, 'we could still be friends.' God, I'm so unhappy." Spike

"Well, if at first you don't succeed, I'll kill him and you'll try again." Spike

"So, I'm strolling through the park, looking for a meal, and I happen to walk by, and she's making out with a chaos demon! And, so I said, 'You know, I don't have to put up with this,' and she said, 'Fine!' So I said 'Fine, do whatever you like.' I thought we were going to make up, you know." Spike
"Well, she sounds very unreasonable." Joyce
"She is. She's out of her mind. That's what I miss most about her." Spike
"Well, Spike, sometimes, even when two people seem right for each other, their lives just take different paths. When Buffy's father and I..." Joyce
"No, this is different! Our love was eternal, literally! You got any of those little marshmallows?" Spike

"He's crazy. He'll kill us." Joyce
"Not while I breathe. Well actually, I don't breathe." Spike

You do me now, and you'll never find the little witch." Spike
"Willow's a witch?" Joyce
"And Xander?" Buffy
"Him too." Spike
"Xander's a witch?" Joyce

"What if they were kidnapped by Colombian drug lords. They could be cutting off Xander's ear right now! Or other parts." Cordelia

Oh, God, I wish I was dead." Spike
"Well, if you close your eyes and wish real hard..." Buffy

"He's probably just got them locked up in the factory." Buffy
"Well, hey, how thick do you think I am?" Spike

"We killed a homeless man on this bench, me and Dru. Those were good times. You know, he begged for mercy, and, you know, that only made her bite harder." Spike

"The last time I looked in on you two, you were fighting to the death. Now you're back making googly-eyes at each other like nothing happened. Makes me want to heave." Spike

"You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both. You'll fight and you'll shag and you'll hate each other until it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children; it's blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but, at least, I'm man enough to admit it." Spike

"Drusilla broke up with him." Willow
"Gee, and we all hoped those crazy kids would make it work." Xander

"Now that was fun. Oh, don't tell me that wasn't fun. God, it's been so long since I had a descent spot of violence. Really puts things into perspective. Oh, yeah, you two, just friends, no danger there." Spike
"Could we just do the damn spell now?" Buffy
"Oh, sod the spell, your friends are at the factory. I'm really glad I came here, you know? I've been all wrongheaded about this, weeping, crawling, blaming everybody else. I want Dru back; I just got to be the man I was, the man she loved. I'm gonna do what I should have done in the first place. I'll find her, wherever she is, tie her up, torture her until she likes me again." Spike

"We're not friends. We never were. I can fool Giles, I can fool my friends, but I can't fool myself, or Spike for some reason. What I want from you I can never have. You don't need me to take care of you anymore, so I'm going to go." Buffy

"There's got to be some way we could still see each other." Angel
"There is. Tell me you don't love me." Buffy
"[Silence]" Angel

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Departed Characters Remembered

Police and Guns

Buffy and the Law

Unusual Pairings

Spoiler Questions

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This page was last modified on November 12, 2012