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SLEEPER (ep #7.08)

(a.k.a. Early One Morning)

Written by: David Fury & Jane Espenson
Directed by: Alan J. Levi
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: Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles (Special guest star)
Robinne Lee as Charlotte
Rob Nagle as Robson
Co-Starring: Lisa Jay as Linda
Kevin Daniels as Bouncer
Stacey Scowley as Young Woman
Lindy Christopher as Nora

Plot Summary

Buffy investigated the idea that Spike might be killing people again.

Plot Details

Xander awoke to frantic knocking at his door. Buffy wanted Spike, but Spike was doing creature of the night activities, which involved humming a tune and burying the woman he ate at the end of "Conversations with Dead People."

Next, we saw stock footage of London. A man (Robson) returned to his apartment flat to find signs of a struggle. He found a young woman (Nora) dead and a mysterious guy in a robe ready to attack him. He deflected one stab with what I assume is a very dense book. However, he found himself stabbed in the back as he reached for a sword.

Willow returned home to find a very shaken Dawn. Dawn wanted to believe that her mother visited, but Willow believed that Dawn may very well have seen Morphy.

Xander was less reluctant than Buffy to believe that Spike had sired Holden. Spike returned during the conversation. He realized that Buffy would not be there if nothing were wrong and got a little suspicious when Buffy was reluctant to talk about it. However, he seemed to buy the idea that Buffy was just shaken after staking someone she had known. Buffy wanted Spike to be monitored during the day, but Xander had a client meeting. Anya agreed to watch him, but she was a bit upset that nobody mentioned the possibility that Spike might be killing again until she arrived.

Buffy returned home to be briefed on what happened to Willow and Dawn. Willow believed that Morphy was simply trying to mess with the characters or be cruel and that Holden might have been another manifestation. Buffy was not sure about the latter.

In Xander's apartment, Anya remembered that the one desirable award that she earned this season involved an insight about Spike. She decided that she wanted to get a second by inspecting his room for clues. Unfortunately, she was not as stealthy as she believed. She covered with a fairly plausible story, that she was looking for sex. Even though he was already (un)dressed for it, Spike was not interested, which hurt Anya a bit. She even suggested that he thought she was fat.

Spike left again that evening. Buffy found him on a very crowded street. She watched as he picked up a woman who appeared to be turned on to the silent bad-boy type. He seemed more receptive to her advances than to Anya's but he hesitated when he saw Buffy, or someone who looked like her. This version encouraged him to eat her and looked on approvingly when he did so. He got horrified and ran off as "Buffy" morphed into Spike.

Buffy confronted him in his room. He denied killing anyone and soon concluded that Buffy was jealous. He insisted that he only talked with women to pass the time and that Buffy was the only one who meant anything to him. He also considered Holden to be an unreliable source.

Buffy, Willow, Anya, and Dawn did research to see if Spike was or was not a killer. Anya suggested looking for deaths with neck trauma, but there were no more than usual in Sunnydale. However, there were ten missing people, mostly young women.

As Spike got ready to leave that evening, he got a flashback of the woman he ate in "Conversations with Dead People." Xander tried to stop him, but one punch was all that was needed to overcome that obstacle. At the Bronze, Spike asked about the woman, but nobody remembered her. Another woman (Charlotte), however, seemed to be hoping that he was looking for her. He was uninterested until she put on her vamp face and suggested that Spike simply sired her and dumped her. He got very upset and staked her, interrupting the performer (Aimee Mann) in the process.

Meanwhile, Buffy was outside quizzing the bouncer about Spike. Apparently, Spike has a reputation for taking home a different woman home every night. A bit later, Spike started remembering things and told Buffy to go to a particular house. Morphy, as Spike, told him that telling Buffy was against the plan, but Morphy could still work things out.

At the house, Morphy added lyrics to a tune Spike hummed earlier. This seemed to cause Spike to go into a rage and attack Buffy. As they were scuffling, seven vampires rose from the ground. Buffy quickly decided that these should be her new priority. She fought them for a bit, then stood passively as two of the vampires held her for Spike. He went to eat her, but, after tasting her blood, he fell back. Buffy then staked six of the vampires and staked one more who rose a bit late.

After this was done, Spike expected Buffy to stake him as well. He mumbled about someone who might have been himself singing and saying that Buffy would stake him. Buffy, however, was in a merciful mood and brought him home, despite concerns from the rest of the characters.

The guest star credits promised us Giles. We finally see him as be burst into Robson's apartment. He found Nora dead and Robson in bad shape. Robson told Giles to gather "them" because something has started. Meanwhile, a mysterious guy in a robe was swinging an ax roughly at Giles's neck.

The Good

The episode ended on a nice cliffhanger.

The Bad

The previous five episodes (really four of the previous five plus about a third of the fifth) make this episode look bad in comparison.

Overall Rank: 82

Action: 7

Spike staked a vampire in the Bronze, interrupting Aimee Mann in the process.

After briefly fighting Spike, Buffy fought seven other vampires, staking six of them.

Comedy: 4

Anya supplied much of the comic relief, especially when she was trying to convince Spike that she wanted to have sex.

A tussle interrupted Aimee Mann's performance, causing her to comment on playing vampire towns.

Drama: 6

Buffy spent much of the episode worried about whether Spike was killing people.

Dawn was concerned about what she was told at the end of the last episode.

Romance: 2

Anya told Spike that she wanted sex.

Spike has apparently been something of a player recently.

Character Development: 6

Spike appears to be able to kill without activating the chip or is able not to feel the pain. He has been preying mostly on young women, but he kept a supply of male bodies buried in a basement. He also was the main inspiration for Billy Idol's look, or, at least, that is what he told Buffy.

Buffy believes that Billy Idol stole his look from Spike.

Dawn is preoccupied with what she was told by the entity who may or may not be Joyce.

Willow has the ability to determine the trend of deaths involving neck injuries with only a few keystrokes.

Giles may not have a head for much longer.

Aimee Mann does not like playing vampire towns.

Importance: 6

Spike has been killing people despite both a chip and a soul.

Because of the above, Buffy decided that it would be a good idea for Spike to live with her, Dawn, Willow, and Anya.

Giles is supposed to gather unknown entities because some unknown event is happening.

Giles's ability to do the above may be hampered by an ax that is currently swinging toward his neck.

Most Valuable Player: Buffy

By staking 7 vampires in one battle, Buffy clinches the race for most MVP awards across all 144 episodes of Buffy. Spike gets a lot of credit for resisting Morphy's attempt to manipulate him.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Willow

Anya really wanted this award, but Willow took it by finding increased reports of missing people. Spike also gets credit for remembering what he has been doing recently.

Goat of the Week: Morphy

Morphy had a plan concerning Spike, but it seemed to underestimate Spike's willpower

Random Commentary

Regarding the final cliffhanger. The ax blade in question looked like it was going to swing well behind Giles. I will leave it up to the reader as to whether this means that Giles will luck out due to poor aim or if this means that the stunt person swinging the ax did not want to get fired for accidentally hitting the actor.

Memorable Dialogue

"If I get vamped, I'm gonna bite your ass." Anya
"Wouldn't be the first time." Xander

"Why else would I be here? I mean, it's not like I'm snooping around to prove that you're some sort of whacked-out serial killer." Anya

"Soulless Spike would have had me upside down and halfway to Happyland by now." Anya

"I can barely live with what I did. It haunts me, all of it. If you think that I would add to the body count now, you're crazy." Spike

"As daft a notion as soulful Spike the killer is, it is nothing compared to the idea that another girl could mean anything to me. This chip, they did to me. I couldn't help it. The soul, I got on my own, for you." Spike

"I used to tell the truth all the time when I was evil." Anya

"Is that all I was to you, a one-bite stand?" Charlotte

"I know the guy. Billy Idol wannabe?" Bouncer
"Actually, Billy Idol stole his look from... Never mind." Buffy

"Man, I hate playing vampire towns." Aimee Mann

"An out-of-control serial killer. You're right; that is a great houseguest." Xander

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Departed Characters Remembered

Buffy and the Law

Strictly the Caucasian Persuasion

Giles Unconscious

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 January 10, 2013