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REAL ME (ep #5.02)

(a.k.a. Who's That Girl?)

Written by: David Fury
Directed by: David Grossman
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Marc Blucas as Riley Finn
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Starring: Mercedes McNab as Harmony Kendall
Bob Morrisey as Crazy Man
Amber Benson as Tara
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Co-Starring: Brian Turk as Mort
Chaney Kley Minnis as Brad
Faith S. Abrahams as Peaches
Tom Lenk as Cyrus

Plot Summary

Harmony came up with a Harmony-like plan to kill Buffy.

Plot Details

The episode opened with Buffy meditating to Giles's voice. In the process, she did a handstand, then lifted her right arm in slow motion. Eventually, someone put an extra crystal on a pile, causing them, and Buffy, to fall over. Buffy's sister had apparently grown impatient and wanted to leave.

Buffy was planning to go to the magic shop, so Joyce asked her to take Dawn for school supplies even though the supplies she needed would not be found at a magic shop. Before Giles arrived to pick them up, Riley showed up. Buffy apparently forgot that she and Riley planned to hang out that day.

Giles drove Buffy and Dawn to the magic shop in his new, red convertible. On the way, they saw Willow and Tara, who were also headed to the magic shop. Willow was proud to hear that Buffy was developing a work ethic in her slayer studies until Buffy said that she had to drop drama class. Willow was quite upset.

They entered the magic shop. It was quite clear that something bad happened there, especially when Willow tripped over the owner's body. Buffy quickly escorted Dawn outside and went back to investigate. While outside, a crazy man accosted Dawn. Eventually, Tara came out to sit with Dawn.

Those in the shop noted the absence of many of the slayer reference books that they were looking for. Giles was disturbed that a gang of vampires was interested in learning more about Buffy. However, he was distracted by the high profit margins that the magic shop got. He started thinking about how the high mortality rate of magic shop owners probably kept rents low.

Giles discovered a piece of "cheap, tasteless statuary" was also missing and wondered who would want it. He apparently forgot about Harmony, who thanked one of her minions for bringing her the unicorn statue. The raid on the magic shop was part of a plan to kill Buffy, and the minions were getting very anxious to complete it.

Joyce did not like Buffy trying to pass off Dawn while Buffy and Riley patrolled that night. Dawn protested that she did not need a baby sitter until Buffy suggested that Xander come over. Dawn was very amenable to that.

Dawn made a point to change her clothes before Xander arrived. She was disappointed when Anya arrived as well. The three of them were playing Life when a rock went through the window. The message called Buffy out to die. Unfortunately for Harmony, Buffy was not home. Xander was quite amused by the idea of Harmony having minions. He and Harmony traded insults until Dawn accidentally invited her in.

Harmony pinned Xander to the floor while Dawn fled upstairs and Anya tried to bash Harmony with a lamp. Anya missed, but that gave Xander the opportunity to kick Harmony outside. Xander was worried that Buffy would not like this turn of events, but Buffy was too amused with the idea of Harmony having minions and the fact that Harmony wanted to kill her. However, the idea that Harmony could enter the house sobered her up.

Harmony was very disappointed not to kill anyone. One of her minions wanted some more action, and Spike was ready to give him some. However, Harmony recognized Spike's voice and intervened. She was more pleased to see him than she would admit. He was nearly as amused at her having minions as Xander and Buffy were. He sarcastically suggested that Harmony capture one of Buffy's friends as bait for a trap. Harmony took him seriously.

Buffy was very angry that Dawn invited Harmony into the house. Unfortunately, Dawn heard her ranting and got upset. She ran out of the house. Anya went after her and tried to drag her back in. Unfortunately, Harmony's minions were there. Mort knocked Anya unconscious, and the rest kidnapped Dawn.

Buffy burst into Spike's crypt to find out where Harmony was. Buffy seemed to enjoy punching Spike very hard in the face, even after he told her. Meanwhile, in Harmony's lair, Harmony's minions wanted to eat Dawn right away, but Harmony vetoed them because it was not the plan. Harmony vented her frustration to Dawn, leaving the minions to decide to eat Dawn and kill Harmony. Fortunately for both, Buffy arrived in time to kill three of the minions quickly.

Buffy started to lecture Harmony when Harmony's fourth minion tried to attack Buffy. He was harder to kill than the others, but Buffy managed to stake him using a carousel unicorn's horn.

Buffy and Dawn arrived home just before their mother arrived. Neither mentioned the events of that night. The next day, it appeared that Giles purchased the magic shop.

The Good

I love the choreography in the scene in which Buffy, Joyce, and Dawn prepared breakfast.

This episode did a very good job in introducing Dawn to the audience even though it had the handicap of there being no need to introduce Dawn to any of the other characters, all of whom already knew her for some yet to be explained reason. It also helps to introduce the other characters to new audience members, who might have been confused in the previous episode.

The Bad

I have no problem with the addition to the opening credits in this episode, but Kristine Sutherland and Amber Benson were in line first and should have been added as well.

Overall Rank: 50

Action: 4

Xander and Harmony fought in Buffy's house.

Harmony's minions kidnapped Dawn and fought off Anya.

Buffy took out Harmony's minions.

Comedy: 8

Some of Dawn's observations were quite amusing.

Anya proposed an interesting trade while playing Life.

Buffy and Xander both thought that the idea of Harmony having minions was hilarious.

Drama: 3

Both Buffy and Dawn are envious of each other.

Romance: 2

Dawn has suspicions about what Riley and Buffy might have done together.

Dawn has a very obvious crush on Xander.

Character Development: 8

Dawn believes that she is in Buffy's shadow and, therefore, is ignored. She is not particularly impressed with the job that Buffy does. She likes Willow and Tara, although she considers Tara to be Willow's friend rather than her own. She has a big crush on Xander and apparently believes him to be far more heroic than he really is. She is not so fond of Riley and Anya and does not think that Giles likes her. She does not seem to understand that she might occasionally give Giles good reason not to like her. She is interested in learning more about witchcraft.

Joyce is uncomfortable either with the idea of Dawn practicing witchcraft or with Dawn doing some of the other things that Willow and Tara do together.

Tara knew the previous magic shop owner by name. She still considers herself to be an outsider and does not know if she even wants to be part of the group. She is also not convinced that she is a good guy.

Harmony loves unicorn statues. She now fancies herself to be a major villain, with minions and a plan to kill Buffy.

Giles was so bored that he watched a soap opera with Spike. He has recently purchased a classic midlife crisis car and is the new owner of the local magic shop.

Importance: 7

This episode was important mostly for introducing the character of Dawn.

Giles now owns a magic shop.

Anya will not heal from her injury right away.

Most Valuable Player: Buffy

Buffy gets the MVP taking out Harmony's minions and rescuing Dawn.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Harmony

This was a bad episode for figuring things out. Harmony at least came up with plans, so she gets the award even though the plans were not good.

Goat of the Week: Dawn

Buffy was right. Dawn should have known better than to invite Harmony in. Furthermore, she should not have gone outside when she had good reason to believe that there would be dangerous vampires lurking. She put both Xander and Anya in danger.

Random Commentary

I know that this makes me sound very geeky, but the shirt that Dawn wore in the first act made her look like a science officer or a medical officer on Star Trek.

DVD Extras

Commentary by Writer David Fury & Director David Grossman took a while to get going as the two of them started talking about obscure topics. It got better later on as they focused on the episode itself. It contains modest spoilers into the sixth season and major spoilers for the next few episodes. Insights include:

Memorable Dialogue

"Nobody knows who I am, not the real me. It's like, nobody cares enough to find out. I mean, does anyone ever ask me what I want do to with my life or what my opinion is on stuff or what restaurant to order in from? No, underline, exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point!!! No one understands. No one has an older sister who's a slayer.

"People wouldn't be so crazy about her if they had to live in the same house with her every single day. Everybody cares what she thinks just 'cause she can do back flips and stuff. Like that's such a crucial job skill in the real world. Plus, mom lets her get away with everything. 'Your sister's saving the world.' I could so save the world if somebody handed me super powers, but I'd think of a cool name and wear a mask to protect my loved ones, which Buffy doesn't even. If this town wasn't so lame, everyone would completely know what she does, and then I bet they wouldn't even be that impressed because, like, killing things with wood, oh, scary vampires. They die from a splinter." Dawn

"We're just going to the magic shop. No school supplies there." Buffy
"Yeah, mom, I'm not going to Hogwarts." Dawn

"'I'm here to violate your firstborn' never goes over with parents." Riley

"Riley, my sister's boyfriend, is so into her. They're always kissing and groping. I bet they've had sex." Dawn

"I'm plotting your death, but in a happy way." Riley

"I don't think Buffy's watcher likes me too much. I think its 'cause he just so old. I'm not sure how old he is, but I heard him use the word 'newfangled' one time, so he's got to be pretty far gone." Dawn

"Giles, are you breaking up with your car?" Buffy
"Well it did seduce me, all red and sporty." Giles
"Little two-door tramp." Buffy

"[Tara] and Willow are both witches. They do spells and stuff, which is so much cooler than slaying. I told mom one time I wish they'd teach me some of the things they do together, and then she got really quiet and made me go upstairs. Huh, I guess her generation isn't cool with witchcraft." Dawn

"Can't loiter. There's no loitering. That's why I'm a cat. Quiet. See, cat's in the cupboard, but they find you there anyway, and it hurts. Please make it stop! Shut up! Shut up! They'll hear you." Crazy Man
"Buff..." Dawn
"I know you, Curds and Whey. I know what you are. You don't belong here." Crazy Man

"Xander's so much cuter than anyone, and smarter too. He totally skipped college and got a job working construction, which is so kind of deep, you know? He builds things, and he's brave too. Just last week, he went undercover to stop that Dracula guy." Dawn

"So you want your mother to give you space to be a slayer and shield you from it at the same time." Riley
"Thank you, logic boy. Did I mention this is a rant? Sense really has no place in it." Buffy

"Your mom loves you both equally, but, if I'm wrong, I find money usually helps tip the scale. Slip Joyce a ten or a twenty once in a while. Then we'll see who's the favorite." Xander

"Now I'm burdened with a husband and several tiny pink children and more cash than I reasonably manage." Anya
"That means you're winning." Xander
"Really?" Anya
"Yes, cash equals good." Xander
"Ooo, I'm so pleased. Can I trade in the children for more cash?" Anya

"Harmony, when you tried to be head cheerleader, you were bad. When you tried to chair the homecoming committee, you were really bad, but when you try to be bad, you suck." Buffy

"Most magic shop owners in Sunnydale have the life expectancy of a Spinal Tap drummer." Buffy

"How bored were you last year?" Buffy
"I watched Passions with Spike. Let us never speak of it." Giles

"She still thinks I'm Little Miss Nobody, just her dumb little sister. Boy, is she in for a surprise." Dawn

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Departed Characters Remembered

Buffy and the Law

Unusual Pairings

Spoiler Questions

Highlight the space after each question to find the answer. It is strongly recommended that you do not do so if you have not seen episodes through the episode indicated.

This page was last modified on November 28, 2012