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FOREVER (ep #5.17)

(a.k.a. ReJoyce)

Written by: Marti Noxon
Directed by: Marti Noxon
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Starring: David Boreanaz as Angel
Clare Kramer as Glory
Charlie Weber as Ben
Troy T. Blendell as Jinx
Amber Benson as Tara Maclay
Joel Grey as Doc
Co-Starring: Todd Duffey as Murk
Andrea Gall as Customer
Alan Henry Brown as Funeral Director
Darius Dudley as Minister
Annie Talbot as Lady with Baby
Noor Shic as Lady with Rosary

Plot Summary

Dawn attempted a spell that had the possibility of bringing Joyce back.

Plot Details

The episode opened with Buffy picking out coffins in a dimly lit room. She settled on one, but Dawn wondered if Joyce would have preferred a different one. Buffy decided that Dawn did not have to be involved in funeral plans.

That evening, the group gathered to discuss funeral plans. Buffy did not want a wake after the funeral but feared that people would expect one even though wakes take place before funerals. In any case, there was not going to be a gathering. Dawn wanted to go to Willow's dorm room after the funeral. Willow and Buffy agreed.

Willow and Xander left Buffy's house and ran into Spike carrying flowers. Xander accused him of trying to score points with Buffy. However, there was no card with the flowers.

The burial service was the usual depressing affair. Fortunately, we did not see much. Afterward, Dawn went off with Willow and Tara while Buffy remained in the cemetery until nightfall, when Angel appeared.

Willow and Tara tried to comfort Dawn, but she was resistant. Rather than sleep, she wanted to cast a spell to bring her mother back. Tara and Willow both objected to the idea of resurrecting Joyce, but only Tara seemed to understand why. Meanwhile, Anya and Xander were doing Anya's favorite activity. After Joyce's death, something that could create life now had more meaning, even if actual creation of life was not planned.

Buffy told Angel that she was afraid of the day after the funeral when daily life was to start again. She did not feel ready. She felt guilty and believed that things might have been different if she arrived home sooner or if she started CPR right away. She wanted Angel to stay in town but also realized that it was a bad idea.

Jinx approached Ben to encourage him to pursue a relationship with Buffy as a way to discover the key. Ben refused to help but let slip that the key was innocent. Jinx found this information to be very interesting and immediately tried to leave. Ben realized his slip and stabbed Jinx in the gut.

The next morning, Willow and Tara left for breakfast. Dawn wanted to stay in the dorm. As she left, Willow shifted a specific book on a bookshelf. Dawn opened it and found a chapter on the controversy over resurrection.

Later that morning, Dawn was helping out at the Magic Box. Giles was glad to give her the opportunity to do something distracting, but Anya felt threatened. Dawn asked about the dangerous materials, and Giles actually believed that she asked so she would know what to avoid. Instead, she went straight up to the more potent and dangerous materials and put some in her bag.

That night, Dawn collected fresh soil from Joyce's gravesite. Spike caught her and figured out what she was up to. He promised to help her and not to tell Buffy. He brought Dawn to someone named "Doc" who was supposed to be an expert on resurrection.

Meanwhile, Giles listened to the same song he played for Joyce in "Band Candy," and Glory waited impatiently for Jinx to return. She was quite upset when he returned wounded. She threatened to get revenge for him against Buffy until he said that Ben wounded him. She became thrilled when Jinx said that he found out that the key was human.

Spike and Dawn entered Doc's home. Doc tried to discourage Dawn from resurrecting her mother, but less forcefully than Tara did. He eventually relented and said that Dawn needed a ghora demon egg and a picture of Joyce for her spell. The spell would be reversed only if Dawn destroyed the picture. Furthermore, Joyce would not come back as she was.

The ghora resembled a three-headed hydra. Spike distracted it by attacking with an ax while Dawn went to snatch an egg, which was about the size and shape of an American football only longer and a bit thinner. On their way out, Dawn accidentally dropped the egg, so she went back for another. Spike got bit while distracting it again, but he and Dawn got away with an intact egg.

Willow started a journal in order to keep track of her life, especially her life with Tara. While discussing it, Tara noticed a missing book and realized that Dawn must have taken it. Willow tried to minimize the harm, but Tara knew that it was serious. She called Buffy just as Buffy returned home.

Buffy found Dawn just as the spell finished. Buffy was worried that the spell would do something terrible. Dawn insisted that it was something she had to do because, unlike Buffy, she had nobody else that she could rely on. Dawn also believed that Buffy did not care that Joyce died. Buffy told her that she was wrong and that Buffy hurt deeply over Joyce's death. There was a knock on the door, but Dawn ripped the picture before Buffy could open the door.

The Good

Once again, an Angel crossover served the episode in which he appeared rather than an episode of his own show.

The Bad

Nearly any episode following "The Body" would come across as a let down.

Overall Rank: 85

Action: 5

Ben stabbed Jinx.

Spike fought the ghora demon while Dawn stole two of its eggs.

Comedy: 1

Anya realized that there was more to life than smooshing.

Drama: 8

Much of the episode centered on the characters dealing with Joyce's death.

Romance: 3

Anya and Xander discussed the meaning behind sex.

Willow and Tara shared a tender moment.

Character Development: 7

Willow sort of gets that magic should not be used to resurrect people but does not understand why.

Tara understands both that magic should not be used to resurrect people and why it should not.

Anya is still insecure about her value in the Magic Box.

Spike appears to have genuine affection for Joyce.

Giles is also mourning Joyce, albeit privately.

Doc is a fairly cheerful expert on resurrection. He appeared human, but he has a tail and a home that Spike could enter without an invitation.

Dawn feels like she has nobody that she could depend on now that her mother is dead. She also believed that Buffy did not care about Joyce's death.

Buffy has tried to look strong and cover up the pain that she was feeling inside.

Importance: 6

Glory now knows that the key is an innocent person.

Most Valuable Player: Jinx

Jinx got very valuable information from Ben and survived long enough to get the information back to Glory. Spike and Dawn would have received serious consideration if Dawn went through with the spell and it worked like she hoped.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Tara

Jinx recognized Ben's reference to an innocent as being a major slip up and valuable information. Tara discovered the missing book, realized that Dawn took it, and realized that Dawn taking it would be bad. Jinx got the MVP, so Tara gets this award.

Goat of the Week: Ben

Even though Ben at least shares a body with Glory, they do not have the same goals. Therefore, Ben really blew it when he (1) let slip that the key was an innocent, (2) tried to kill Jinx after the slip, which only emphasized that it was a major slip, (3) failed to kill Jinx, and (4) failed to warn Buffy that Glory knows what she knows. If I awarded Goats for entire seasons, Ben would definitely be in the running.

Random Commentary

Far too often, television dramas include a death for immediate shock value but then forget about it. One example that comes to mind is Tasha Yar's death in Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was just tossed into a typical first season episode that focused on a monster of the week. I like the fact that Buffy has devoted one episode completely on Joyce's death and now a second that is primarily about her death with only a couple of scenes to advance the season plot arc.

One of the problems with watching the episodes out of order is that I often have an idea of what would happen in an episode before I see it. Fortunately, sometimes, when I knew what would happen, I did not know how it would happen. I knew that Dawn would try to raise Joyce from the dead. I pictured a really dumb episode with Zombie Joyce lumbering around. I was quite relieved that the episode did not go that direction.

I criticized both "Some Assembly Required" and "The Zeppo" for making it look like it would be easy to bring back the dead. When reviewing both episodes, I thought about Doc's line about how if it were easy, everyone would do so. Why did Buffy not look up Chris Epps and Eric to see if they wanted to raise Joyce? Why did Xander not mention the fact that Jack O'Toole's uncle was able to raise him almost immediately after he died?

Memorable Dialogue

"I understand sex more now. It's not just about two bodies smooshing together. It's about life. It's about making life." Anya
"Right, when two people are much older and way richer and far less stupid." Xander

"You have a hand, a paid hand. A hand that isn't the hand of the illegal child labor." Anya
"Anya..." Giles
"But of course it's wonderful that you find doing my job so distracting. I am unthreatened. Proceed." Anya

"I hope it's just dirt you're after. If the spell calls for anything more than that, you're into zombie territory, and that's bad news." Spike

"Jinx, you robed stud, you're my man! I'm even gonna let you slide on the lame toadying on the account of your dying and stuff." Glory

"Life goes by so fast. If you don't write stuff down, it just gets lost, and I wanna remember." Willow
"Down to every last bagel." Tara
"Down to every last thing I do with you." Willow

Characters in Peril

Departed Characters Remembered

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 30, 2012