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ENTROPY (ep #6.18)

(a.k.a. Things Fall Apart)

Written by: Drew Z. Greenberg
Directed by: James A. Contner
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
Kali Rocha as Halfrek
Amber Benson as Tara Maclay
Co-Starring: Edie Caggiano as Mother

Plot Summary

Anya failed to curse Xander as vengeance for leaving her at the altar, but she found a different way to hurt him.

Plot Details

The episode opened with two vampires fleeing in a cemetery. Rather than avoiding the slayer, they were fleeing nerds on three-wheeled motorcycles. One of the vampires threw a branch into Andrew, causing him to fall and the others to crash into Styrofoam graves.

The vampires escaped the cemetery only to run into Buffy. She fought one while Spike lifted the other off the ground. He offered to take care of the second vampire if Buffy would tell her friends about her relationship with Spike. She did not care. Eventually Spike dropped the vampire and asked Buffy why she will not sleep with him again. The vampire turned in shock, a bad move as it led to an easy slay for Buffy. While this was going on, Warren managed to snag a disk that one of the vampires was carrying.

Meanwhile, Xander was drinking alone in his apartment while listening to sad music. Eventually he left as Anya watched from the bushes.

Willow once again waited for Tara after class. This time, she did not flee. Tara explained that the woman Willow saw in "Normal Again" was just a friend. Willow was quite relieved and suggested going out for coffee. Tara agreed. Meanwhile, Buffy and Dawn walked in downtown Sunnydale going over all the stores where Dawn shoplifted things. Buffy was amused that Dawn stole a toothbrush.

Jonathan was doing something with science. Being a television show, this meant that he was busy staring at glassware filled with colored water. Warren was eager for him to do what he was doing, but Jonathan just wanted out of the group. Warren then walked over to Andrew and suggested that they were going to betray Jonathan.

Xander returned home to find Anya. They had a very tense reunion. He did not regret calling off the wedding, but he did regret how he did so and how much it hurt Anya. He wished that they could go back to the way things were like before. She wished that he was never born. More importantly, she morphed into vengeance demon face when she did so.

Anya was surprised that nothing happened. She made a few more wishes with little success other than an unsatisfying acknowledgement of metaphorical pain. She got frustrated and left the apartment. Later, she met with Halfrek. Apparently, going a millennium without being scorned causes a vengeance demon to forget that she cannot make curses on behalf of herself. The best she could do is try to get someone to make wishes for her.

Buffy overdid a breakfast that she prepared for Dawn. Dawn believed that this was (over)compensating for trying to feed her to a glarghk guhl kashmas 'nik demon in "Normal Again," but Buffy claimed that she wanted to spend time with Dawn. Dawn had a better idea. She wanted to go patrolling. Buffy did not like that idea.

While having coffee, Willow told Tara about what happened in the dull episodes that Tara was fortunate enough to miss. Before Willow could spend too much time doing so, Anya arrived. Both Willow and Tara seemed pleased to see her even if she did interrupt their date. Anya proceeded to try to convince them to make a wish that something bad would happen to Xander. She also tried to get Dawn and Buffy to make wishes. Dawn was afraid to use the word "wish" after the events of "Older and Faraway," and Xander's arrival interrupted Buffy just as she said "I wish..."

Anya stormed off. Xander wanted to go after her, but Buffy realized that doing so would be a bad idea. He was upset and kicked a lawn gnome in frustration. Buffy was upset to see one in her yard. She was even more upset when Xander found a camera inside the gnome. He thought that Spike was responsible.

Buffy believed Xander enough to confront Spike. Spike was amused by the idea but a bit hurt that Buffy believed Xander. He insisted that he truly loved Buffy and would not hurt her. She tried to tell him to move on with his life, but he did not want to hear it.

At the Magic Box, Anya complained to Halfrek that nobody would curse Xander for her. They both realized that Anya needed someone who hated Xander. Just on cue, Spike walked in, wanting something to numb his pain. Anya realized that Spike would be perfect, if someone would simply wish that he were a woman. Halfrek suggested that Anya might grant vengeance wishes to men every once in a while. Anya was happy to present Spike with something that would numb the pain, a bottle of whiskey.

Willow tapped into the camera's system to find out who was spying on Buffy. Xander was not ready to believe that Spike was not involved, but he realized who probably was responsible if Spike were not.

Meanwhile, Jonathan used the disk recovered during the teaser in a spell to find something. Like in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it cast a beam onto a map, indicating where they were supposed to go. It also set the map on fire, causing a bit of a panic.

In the Magic Box, Spike and Anya bonded over their frustration with the other characters as well as over the whiskey. Eventually, they decided to bond in a different way on the top of a table in the Magic Box.

Willow discovered that there were cameras in many sites, such as the Doublemeat Palace, the Bronze, UC Sunnydale, and Xander's construction site. Eventually, her investigations set off an alarm at the nerds' lair. As they rushed to shut down everything, they were distracted by what was going on in the Magic Box. Willow was also shocked as well. Both Xander and Buffy saw and were hurt. Dawn was a bit curious until she saw Buffy's pain.

Dawn and Buffy talked about what went on between Buffy and Spike. Dawn was understanding, but she wished that Buffy had told her. Willow interrupted to say that Xander left with Buffy's ax.

Spike stepped out of the Magic Box only to have to dodge an ax blade. Xander started to attack Spike until Anya and Buffy arrived to stop him. Xander and Anya had a bitter argument until Spike let slip that he was with Buffy as well. Xander walked off in disgust. After Buffy left, Spike was about to make a wish, but Anya told him not to.

Tara paid Willow a visit. Tara talked about how things change and that it was not reasonable to expect things to be like they were after going out for coffee. However, Tara just wanted Willow to be kissing her again. Willow did not need to be told twice.

The Good

The scene in which Anya tried to get Willow, Tara, Dawn, and Buffy to curse Xander was a lot of fun.

I also liked the final scene of the episode.

The Bad

I know that this is a nitpick, but the scene in which Anya pulled Halfrek aside to confer with her while Spike just stood by felt like a sitcom.

Overall Rank: 37

Action: 2

Two vampires fled the nerds only to encounter Buffy and Spike.

Comedy: 7

Willow's description of the "Doublemeat Palace" villain was funny.

Anya's attempt to get people to make vengeance wishes against Xander was rather fun.

Anya came up with an amusing plan that required someone to wish that Spike were a woman.

Drama: 6

Anya is in a lot of pain over the events in "Hell's Bells."

Romance: 7

Willow and Tara went on a coffee date and had a nice kiss at the end of the episode.

Spike and Anya's activities on the table top in the Magic Box contributed to this score.

Character Development: 8

Anya is now a vengeance demon again. She originally wanted to use her powers to get revenge on Xander for hurting her, but, when she hurt him a different way, she found vengeance to be empty.

Dawn is taking responsibility for her shoplifting. She would very much like to accompany Buffy on patrols.

Buffy does not want Dawn to go patrolling with her.

Jonathan is ready to leave Warren and Andrew as soon as possible. He has some resentment over Warren killing Katrina.

Warren appears to be ready to betray Jonathan.

Andrew is following Warren's lead.

Xander regrets hurting Anya but not calling off the wedding.

Tara missed being part of the action and missed Willow.

Spike showed that he could be quite sensitive when he wants to be.

Importance: 4

We now know that Anya is a vengeance demon.

Willow and Tara are back together.

Most Valuable Player: Willow

This episode covered the fallout of people making messes of things, so there was little room for heroics. However, one person did accomplish a longstanding goal. Willow has now gotten Tara back and earned her fourth MVP of the season. Warren gets a bit of credit for recovering the disk.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Willow

Xander gets a bit of credit for discovering the camera inside the lawn gnome. He lost points for thinking that Spike was responsible. Willow gets the award for the discoveries she made on the computer, including the other camera locations and what was going on in the Magic Box.

Goat of the Week: Xander

Anya would get consideration for failing to get anyone to curse Xander for her. However, by the end of the episode, it became clear that hurting Xander would not make her feel better. Xander gets the Goat for failing to do anything to clean up the mess he made in "Hell's Bells."

Memorable Dialogue

"Dawn, I work very hard to keep you away from that stuff. I don't want you around dangerous things that can kill you." Buffy
"Which would be a perfectly reasonable argument if my sister was chosen to protect the world from tax audits, but, see, my sister is you, and dangerous things that want to kill me seem to find me." Dawn

"It was under her wig?" Tara
"Well, it was this thing. It just came out from inside her head." Willow
"That's disgusting. What did it look like?" Tara
"Well, let's put it this way, if I wasn't gay before..." Willow

"You're lesbians, so the hating of men will come in handy. Let's talk about Xander." Anya

"What if all you dreamed about was that magical day, the day when the one person you love with all your soul would promise to cherish and protect your heart for the rest of his life, but instead he shatters it into a million jagged pieces." Anya

"Well, it's not really so much about hating the men." Tara
"We're more centered around the girl-on-girl action." Willow
"And men really like to watch that kind of stuff, don't they. Men like Xander." Anya

"God, what kind of lesbians are you? If you love men so much, go love men!" Anya

"I saved the Scoobies how many times, and I can't stand the lot of you." Spike
"Me either, I hate us. Everybody's so nice. Nobody says what's on their mind." Anya

"I have nothing but respect for a woman who's forthright. Drusilla was always straightforward. Didn't have a single buggering clue about what was going on in front of her, but she was straight about it." Spike

"Wait. You know I'm only doing this because I'm lonely and drunk, and you smell really good." Anya
"See, forthright." Spike

"Things fall apart. They fall apart so hard." Tara
"Tara?" Willow
"You can't ever put 'em back the way they were." Tara
"Are you OK?" Willow
"I'm sorry. It's just... You know, takes time. You can't just have coffee and expect..." Tara
"I know." Willow
"There's just so much to work through. Trust has to be built again on both sides. You have to learn if we're even the same people we were, if you can fit in each other's lives. It's a long, important process, and can we just skip it? Can you just be kissing me now?" Tara

Characters in Peril


Departed Characters Remembered

Buffy and the Law

Willow Gay References

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 5, 2012