Home page All episodes sorted by rank All episodes sorted alphabetically All episodes sorted by writer All episodes sorted by director All episodes sorted by season Episodes with the most polarized opinions Episodes largely forgotten by fans Best and worst streaks of episodes An analysis of what makes episodes great Buffy writers sorted by the quality of their episodes Buffy directors sorted by the quality of their episodes Seasons of Buffy sorted by the quality of their episodes Buffy characters sorted by their possible contribution to episode quality Predicted episode quality based on writer, director, characters, and when aired Episodes that are much better or much worse than predicted Tastes in episodes Episodes ranked by taste Seasons ranked by taste Characters ranked by taste Writers ranked by taste Directors ranked by taste How the results on this site were obtained Ranking important contributors Reviews and Essays Frequently Asked Questions The links page Go to the sitemap

SMASHED (ep #6.09)

(a.k.a. Taking Down the House)

Written by: Drew Z. Greenberg
Directed by: Turi Meyer
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Guest Starring: Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson
Adam Busch as Warren Meers
Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells
Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy Madison
Amber Benson as Tara Maclay
Co-Starring: Patrice Walters as Woman
John Patrick Clerkin as Man
Jack Jozefson as Rusty
Rick Garcia as Reporter
Kelly Smith as Innocent Girl
Jordan Belfi as Ryan
Adam Weiner as Simon
Melanie Sirmons as Brie
Lauren Nissi as Girlfriend

Plot Summary

Willow finally de-rats Amy and goes on a magic bender with her.

Plot Details

A couple of muggers cornered a couple in an alley. This being Sunnydale, people threatened in alleys stand a reasonable chance of being rescued by a skinny blonde woman. Buffy arrived and was amused to find that she was merely stopping a mugging rather than averting a vampire attack. Still, the muggers were not happy at losing their prey, so they attacked Buffy. She had an easy time handling them when someone worried that the audience might have forgotten that Spike had a chip. He came flying in and got a headache for his trouble. Spike wanted to talk about how the last two episodes ended. Buffy did not want to talk about it and walked away.

Meanwhile, Willow was talking to Amy. Willow finally realized that, rather than find a spell to turn Amy back to a human, she could simply make the spell come to her. It worked and a very scared (and naked) Amy appeared on the bed.

Andrew, who had seen Mission: Impossible one too many times, rappelled down into the Sunnydale Museum. Warren and Jonathan merely walked in. Warren cut through a glass case to steal a diamond, but the entire security system in the museum came down upon them. Fortunately for the three nerds, the entire security system was a slow-witted guard. Jonathan zapped him with a freeze ray (more Johnny Snow than Dr. Horrible), allowing the others to escape.

Amy was slowly becoming acclimated to becoming human. After all, it felt like she had been in that cage for weeks. It was probably a shock to find out that she had been in the cage for nearly three years.

Buffy arrived home and wanted to confess that she had kissed Spike a couple of times. Before Buffy could do so, Amy walked in. After a brief exchange in which Buffy being dead topped Amy being a rat, Amy went down for cookies. Buffy decided not to confess after all.

Buffy went down to talk with Amy. Amy expressed surprise at all the changes that occurred over the past three years—such as Snyder being eaten, Willow dating women, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman divorcing, and people getting frozen. The last one was new for Buffy, so Amy turned on the news, which happened to be showing that very story.

Buffy went to the museum to investigate. After getting a glimpse of the frozen guard, she walked away and ran into Spike. He wanted more kissing, but she was not interested. He grabbed her as she tried to walk away, so she hit him. He hit her back and felt no pain.

Forgetting his encounter with muggers a few hours before, Spike got the idea that his chip was no longer functioning. He wandered around town and picked out a victim. After cornering her in the same alley where Buffy broke up a mugging, he tried to convince himself that he was still dangerous before trying to bite her. He got a headache, and she escaped.

The next day, Tara took Dawn out to a "big movie and milkshake fun day" and was impressed on exactly how big Dawn's milkshake was. There was a pretty clear divorced parent metaphor. Dawn seemed to hope that Tara would get back together with Willow. Tara did not rule that out.

Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Anya were trying to figure out what froze the security guard. Willow pulled out a computer to help with the research. Xander and Buffy were excited to see Willow do something she has not done in a long time. However, they were a bit shocked when Willow used magic to access police files. Apparently the diamond was normal, albeit very large, and on loan from the British Museum.

Eventually, Anya commented on nobody else commenting on Tara leaving Willow. Willow claimed that she was OK. She said that Tara simply blew some little things out of proportion and would come back to her.

Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew admired the diamond that they stole. They were ready to embark on the next phase of their plan when Spike burst in. He wanted Warren to see if his chip is still working. When they started to balk, Spike threatened their limited edition 1979 mint condition Boba Fett action figure.

A panicked Jonathan, Andrew, and Warren quickly caved in. At first, Warren agreed to help Spike in exchange for a favor, but Spike was not interested in anything but getting what he wanted. Warren's analysis showed that the chip worked like it was supposed to. Spike actually seemed pleased at that news.

Willow returned home to Amy, who wanted to go out and have a good time. At first, Willow was reluctant to go, but she caved in like a nerd whose action figure was just threatened. At the Bronze, a couple of guys came on to them, but Willow was not interested for multiple reasons. Amy guessed one of them and used magic to lure a woman to Willow. Willow had other reasons not to want to be with someone and declined. Amy sent the woman back to her fairly upset girlfriend and went off to dance with the men.

Tara accompanied Dawn home to find nobody else in the house. Dawn wanted Tara to stick around until the others returned home. Tara did not want to, but Dawn's manipulations caused her to cave in like a nerd whose prize action figure was threatened.

At the Magic Box, Xander thought that he found the demon responsible for freezing the guard, but Anya pointed out that he was reading a Dungeons & Dragons manual even though it was way too thick. Anya and Xander were worried about Willow, but Buffy did not think that Willow was in danger of doing anything more dangerous than alphabetizing everything. Anya and Xander disagreed.

A phone call interrupted the conversation. Spike, trying to disguise his voice, told Buffy to meet him at the cemetery. Buffy was not fooled and did not seem interested in meeting him. When she finally left the Magic Box, he was upset that she did not meet him. He provoked her into hitting him and responded. He pointed out how he felt no pain and said that she came back wrong. They exchanged a few more blows.

The men dancing with Amy wanted to continue after she had enough. When they would not relent, Amy and Willow stripped them of most of their clothes, put them in cages hanging from the ceiling, and made them dance. Willow and Amy continued by changing the band, adding some sheep, and creating some funny costumes. Eventually, they got bored and put things back to normal.

Spike and Buffy continued their fight inside an abandoned home in the middle of taunting each other. As the house started to fall apart, Buffy kissed him. In the middle of the wreckage, they decided to boost the romance score for the episode.

The Good

Under different circumstances, the activities in the Bronze could have been fun.

I liked the scenes with Tara and Dawn.

The Bad

The magic = addiction metaphor has gotten far more blatant than is necessary. The first time I watched these episodes, I figured it out by "Life Serial," give or take an episode. However, it kept getting more and more blatant.

Overall Rank: 67

Action: 5

Buffy broke up a mugging.

Later, she and Spike had a fight that ended in action of a different kind.

Comedy: 3

The nerds supplied most of the humor, especially their attempts to save Boba Fett.

Drama: 4

Willow is in a lot of pain over her break-up with Tara.

Romance: 4

Tara admitted that she still loved Willow very much.

Spike and Buffy found something that they liked doing with each other even more than fighting.

Character Development: 5

Willow does not seem convinced that Tara was justified in breaking up with her. She thinks that Tara blew some little things out of proportion and will come back to her.

Tara still loves Willow and is open to eventually getting back together with her. She is smart enough to tell when Dawn is trying to manipulate her but does not resist all that much.

Dawn seems to want Willow and Tara to get back together.

Buffy apparently no longer sets off Spike's chip.

Importance: 5

Spike and Buffy made the beast with two backs.

Willow's magic addiction has gotten even more blatant.

Most Valuable Player: Spike

Warren successfully stole the diamond, Jonathan helped them get away with it, Willow successfully de-ratted Amy, and Dawn managed to manipulate Tara into staying with her. However, Spike gets the MVP for finally scoring with Buffy. He is now tied with Tara for the most MVPs in the sixth season, and Buffy has yet to earn one.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Anya

Several characters figured out little things. Spike found out that he could hit Buffy without pain. Warren figured out that Spike's chip was working properly. Anya realized that responsible people like Willow were the most likely to go crazy once they tasted power. Buffy figured out that it was Spike who was calling her on the phone and guessed that the bank robbery was connected to the frozen security guard. Anya's information will probably be most useful, so she gets the award.

Goat of the Week: Nobody

Both Buffy and Willow are likely to regret some of the things that they did in this episode. However, nothing was really worthy of a Goat, yet.

Random Commentary

I find it amusing that so many commentators are horrified that the Boba Fett action figure was out of its original packaging. This meant that it was worth far less than if it were in the packaging. There are a couple of explanations. Warren and Jonathan were in Buffy's high school graduation class and Andrew is a bit younger. This means that none of them were even born in 1979 when the figure came out. They clearly were not the original owners. Before the bank robbery in "Flooded," they did not have a lot of money. Maybe, the only way they could afford the action figure was to buy it at its greatly reduced out-of-package value. Second, they might not just collect the figures. They may also play with them. This would be much harder to do if the action figures were in the original packaging.


There is no way that the British Museum's insurance company would allow such a valuable diamond to be loaned to a museum whose entire security system is a guard named Rusty.

"Revelations" established that there were twelve cemeteries in Sunnydale. Why would Spike believe that Buffy would go to the right one when he told her to meet her at "the cemetery?"

DVD Extras

Commentary by Writer Drew Z. Greenberg spends a bit too much time stating the obvious, such as suggesting that the Dawn/Tara interaction symbolized a divorced parent/child interaction. He also spent time talking about how events in this episode foreshadowed later events. There is a very minor spoiler for the sixth episode of the seventh season and major spoilers through the end of the sixth season. Insights include:

Memorable Dialogue

"You'd think if the government was gonna put a chip in my head, they'd at least make it so I could attack criminals and that sort." Spike

"What's the matter, Amy? You lonely? We need to get you a nice companion rat that you can love, play with, and grow attached to until one day they leave you for no good reason. Won't that be fun?" Willow

"Amy, three things we have to talk about: One, Larry's gay; two, Larry's dead; and three, high school's kinda over." Willow

"How have you been?" Buffy
"Rat, you?" Amy
"Dead." Buffy
"Oh." Amy

"When I kissed you, you know I was thinking about Giles, right?" Buffy
"You know, I always wondered about you two." Spike

"The text I wanted Giles took with him. He has this thing that owning a book makes it, like, his property." Anya

"Oh, for crying out loud, this is bizarre. You're all 'la-la-la' with the magic and the not talking like everything's normal, when we all know that Tara up and left you, and now everyone's scared to say anything to you, except me. [To Xander] Is this that thing I do that you were commenting..." Anya

"So what's [Anya] like?" Amy
"Thousand-year-old capitalist ex-demon with rabbit phobia." Willow
"Well, that's so his type." Amy

"All the things that have been happening lately, OK, the bank robbery, the jewelry heist..." Buffy
"Exploding lint." Xander
"Is it me, or do these things seem really..." Buffy
"Lame?" Anya

Departed Characters Remembered

Police and Guns

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 December 3, 2012