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Bargaining, Part One

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 6, Episode 1
Willowspell
Air date October 2, 2001
Written by Marti Noxon
Directed by David Grossman
Episode Guide
previous
"The Gift"
Angel
"There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb"
next
"Bargaining, Part Two"
Cast
Starring
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Emma Caulfield Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg Dawn
James Marsters Spike
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Special Guest Starring
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Guest Starring
Franc Ross Razor
Amber Benson Tara
Co Starring
Geoff Meed Mag
Mike Grief Klyed
Paul Greenberg Shempy Vamp
Joy DeMichelle Moore Ms. Lefcourt
Bru Muller Teacher
Robert D. Vito Cute Boy
Harry Johnson Parent #1
Kelly Lynn Warren Parent #2
Hila Levy Pretty Girl
Richard Wharton Homeowner

"Bargaining, Part One" is the season premiere of the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the one hundred first episode altogether. It was written by Jane Espenson and Douglas Petrie and directed by Douglas Petrie. It was originally broadcast on October 2, 2001 and was the first episode of the series broadcast on UPN.

The Scooby Gang try to keep up appearances of normality as they prepare a ritual to raise Buffy from the dead.

Synopsis

601 Bargaining1a

Buffybot: "If we want her to be exactly, she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone" who?

The Scoobies patrol in the absence of the Slayer, who has been dead for five months. Willow and her growing powers lead the efforts and the gang with telepathy and other magic from a perch on top of a crypt. The gang are helped by the Buffybot, who helps the group slay several vampires—and helps keep Buffy's death a secret from both the regular and the supernatural world. Willow has tried to make the robot behave more normally, but her tuning never really goes quite as planned. Although the Buffybot is doing its job fine, it also serves as a painful reminder of the friend they've lost.

The next morning, Willow and Tara (who have moved into Buffy's house and are secretly acting as Dawn's guardians) prepare for the day, getting Dawn ready for school as Dawn prepares to take a phone call from her father who they are also trying to keep Buffy's death a secret from. At one point the Buffybot, acting on its programming, hugs Dawn creating an awkward and uncomfortable moment, knowing that the robot is a pale imitation of the real Buffy. The Buffybot is sent to attend Parent's Day at Dawn's school. She behaves oddly, but the other parents hear her comments in Ms. Lefcourt's class as expressing concerns similar to their own and the Buffybot doesn't draw any suspicion. At the Magic Box, Giles and Anya are going over paperwork however Anya is angry at Giles, since he has announced his intention to return to England and leave her in charge of the store, but has yet to go through with it leading to an argument. Xander arrives, and defuses the situation before taking Anya aside, as she admits that she wants to announce their engagement to the gang, but Xander doesn't want to go through with it while everything is still 'up in the air' in regards to the issue that they're discussing with Willow and Tara that evening.

That night, Spike stays with Dawn while the rest of the gang have a meeting. Dawn suggests that Spike can leave, but he steadfastly refuses, still feeling guilt that his failure to protect Dawn lead to Buffy's death. The two then start a card game. The Buffybot hunts a vampire, but gets hit with a bottle and her motion skills are impaired. The vampire realizes the Slayer is a robot and quickly leaves.

Anya has found — on eBay of all places — the last Urn of Osiris. Willow's pleased and announces their plans to bring back Buffy the next night. Xander, Anya and Tara are all feeling unsure that bringing Buffy back to life is the right thing to do, as something could go wrong. Willow insists however, and  stresses that Giles, Spike, and Dawn cannot know, and that because Buffy was killed by mystical energy, they have a chance of bringing her back. She then tells the others of her worry that Buffy is suffering eternal torment in a hell dimension like Angel did and refuses to leave her there, and this makes them promise their support. 

601 Bargaining1b

Willow: "Come forward, blessed one. Know your calling."

Willow returns home to find Spike keeping a wounded Buffybot out of trouble, the Buffybot having been programmed to return to Willow if damaged. Spike angrily leaves when the Buffybot innocently compliments him on his physique – a programming remnant from her sexbot days – and Buffybot confides in Willow about Spike's constant shame in her presence. Without her real sister, Dawn tries to find comfort from the Buffybot, but doesn't get much. The next day, Giles engages the Buffybot in training to make sure she's ok after being damaged. He also attempts to get her to practice her breathing and to release her 'chi', but Anya points out that teaching this to a robot is pointless. Giles realizes he's trying to teach the Buffybot as if she were human, and the Buffybot responds that 'every Slayer needs her Watcher'. Giles notes that, like any good Watcher, he got his slayer killed in the line of duty and that all slayer-watcher relationships end the same way, and now his job is done. The Buffybot innocently asks why Giles is still there, and Giles finds himself unable to come up with a reason.

At a demon biker bar, the vampire that hit the Buffybot with a bottle brags about it to several "Hellions" — a gang of biker demons. Although the Hellions are uninterested at first as the vampire embellishes the story, he gets them interested when he mentions that the slayer is a robot. The leader of the Hellions, Razor, decides that the gang is going to head to and trash Sunnydale. The vampire suggests that he be allowed to join as a thanks for passing on the information, only for Razor to behead him with his bare hands before the gang departs.

In a forest glade, Willow invokes Adonai during a summoning spell and a baby deer approaches her. She suddenly stabs it in the throat, collecting its blood for the resurrecting spell. She returns to the Magic Box, claiming she got the "vino de madre" from the black market.

601 Bargaining1c

Buffy returns.

The gang finds a note from Giles, stating that he's already left and isn't one for goodbyes. Not about to accept a silent escape, the Scooby Gang tracks him down at the airport and he gets a proper farewell with presents, signs, balloons, and tears. After Giles departs, Willow, Xander, Anya and Tara return home for final preparations and then head to the cemetery. They prepare the ritual, sitting around Buffy's grave and Willow begins the spell. While performing the spell, Willow's skin is cut by invisible blades, large insects appear to crawl underneath her skin, and a large snake is produced from her mouth, but Tara insists that they can't stop.

Meanwhile, Spike is watching Dawn when the demon bikers arrive ready to tear Sunnydale apart. Buffybot tries to stop them, but the leader, Razor, wounds her and she runs away to find Willow. The bikers following her reach the cemetery and interrupt Willow's spell by breaking the Urn of Osiris and scattering the gang's circle. One of the bikers tries to take Anya away, but Tara uses magic to get her back. Xander tells Willow that the spell didn't work, and the two continue to run. However, below the ground and inside the coffin, mystical energy surrounds Buffy's decomposing body before she is restored to life and awakens, very confused and frightened.

Continuity

  • This episode sees the Scooby Gang performing a spell to raise Buffy from the dead, a decision which will have consequences for Buffy and her friends throughout Season Six, and eventually allow the First Evil to exploit the vulnerability in the Slayer line in Season Seven.
  • It is unknown why Willow and the Scoobies believed that Buffy was in hell when she sacrificed her life in order to save them, an act that would surely have allowed her into Heaven. However, judging by one of Willow's lines of dialogue ("She could be trapped in a hell dimension like Angel was"), they might have presumed that, as Buffy died in Glory's vortex much like Angel died in Acathla's vortex in "Becoming, Part Two", she was trapped in hell just as Angel had been. Another possibility is that, desperate to get her friend back, Williow came up with the idea that Buffy was in Hell as justification to do the spell without ever considering the possibility that it might not be the case.
  • This episode features Willow lying once again about magic, as she didn't tell her friends about sacrificing the deer.
  • With Giles' departure this leaves Xander as the only male member left in the Scoobygang
  • The eraser puppet Tara buys for Giles is the Mutant Enemy logo monster and she makes the accompanying 'Grrr, Arggh' noises.
  • Despite being soulless and believing Buffy to be gone for good (hence not having any motivation to impress her), Spike still demonstrates concern for Dawn's safety.

Body Count

  • One vampire, burned by Spike
  • One vampire, dusted by the Buffybot
  • One vampire, decapitated by Razor
  • One baby deer stabbed by Willow

Behind the Scenes

Production

  • One of the Hellions was to be called Pike but this was changed to avoid confusion with Pike from the 1992 Film.
  • Anthony Stewart Head has been removed from the opening titles and is now credited as a "Special Guest Star". Alyson Hannigan has taken his place in the opening titles and is now credited as "And Alyson Hannigan as Willow".
  • Originally the scene with Willow killing the deer had a pan up her very bloody dress, but most of that pan was removed before the episode aired.
  • The front of Long Beach International Airport was used for the establishing shot for "Sunnydale Airport", from which Giles departed.
  • Alyson Hannigan, who is an animal lover, found the scene where Willow kills the deer difficult to film and was very upset about it. It probably didn't help that the music in the scene was dubbed "Willow Kills Bambi".
  • When put into syndication, some parts of this episode have been edited out. Specifically, Willow's sacrifice of the doe to garner the blood necessary for her ritual, is cut out, however it is included in the episode aired on SPIKE TV and Sky One.
  • We see Willow wearing a shirt with a number on it (11) and then Xander comes in wearing what looks like a football jersey with a number on it. Later when the gang is saying goodbye to Giles, Dawn is wearing a shirt with '07' on it. The crew got many letters asking what the numbers were supposed to mean, but there was no connection. Executive Producer Marti Noxon said that this was completely unintentional and was just a wardrobe coincidence.
  • Buffy herself doesn't appear in this episode until the very last few seconds.
  • In the airport scene there is a blonde haired man sitting behind the Scoobies who strongly resembles Spike. However James Marsters has confirmed at conventions that this is not him and it is thought to be his stand-in/stunt double filling in as an extra.  
  • On Netflix, there is a cutout scene where the Buffybot sees someone playing with two towers and a plane, this is most likely because of 9/11 even though the episode was filmed beforehand.

Broadcast

  • The show had run on the WB for the previous five seasons. UPN showed a series of Buffy Season Six promos prior to airing the show. The UPN aired Buffy for the next two seasons.
  • The 2-hour season premiere of "Bargaining Parts 1 & 2" on UPN attracted 7.7 million viewers, the second highest viewership the show has ever received, behind only "Innocence".
  • Buffy's move from WB to UPN was marked with a major advertising campaign and giant billboards proclaiming "Buffy's Back".

Pop Culture References

  • Tara gave Giles a small rubber monster and says, "Grrr. Argghh.", a reference the end-of-credits logo for Mutant Enemy.

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • If the ritual was interrupted and the urn smashed when the spell was incomplete, then how was Buffy resurrected at all? Unless that was why she remained disoriented throughout this two part episode and the beginning of "After Life". A second possibility was that Willow's magic skills was strong enough to bring Buffy back, even without the urn for the end of the spell. A third possiblity was that Osiris had already brought Buffy back before the urn was destroyed. A fourth is that this is the reason why the demon in "After Life" is created.
  • During Giles' training session with the Buffybot, after Anya enters the room, a microphone pole can be briefly seen in the upper right corner of the screen. This can be easier seen in the widescreen version of the episode.
  • When Willow is first seen on top of a tomb in the graveyard, lighting flags can be clearly seen from the corner of the screen.
  • Given the gang's worries about the Buffybot messing up in front of the wrong person (as it does in this episode), why did they then allow it to patrol alone?

International titles

  • French: Chaos - Partie 1 (Chaos - Part 1)
  • Portuguese: Negociando - Primeira Parte (Bargaining - First Part)
  • German: Die Auferstehung - Teil 1(The Resurrection - Part 1)
  • Italian: Il rito - 1ª Parte (The Ritual - First Part)

Music

Other

  • Alyson Hannigan cried for nearly the whole day after shooting the scene where she kills the deer.

Quotes

Giles - "You might have let me in on your plan while he throttled me."
Spike - "Oh, poor Watcher. Did your life pass before your eyes? Cuppa tea, cuppa tea, almost got shagged, cuppa tea."
Buffybot - "That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, Bingo."
Xander - "Excuse me? Who made you the boss of the group?"
Anya - "You did."
Tara - "You said Willow should be boss."
Anya - "And then you said "let's vote," and it was unanimous ..."
Tara - "And then you made her this little plaque, that said "Boss of Us", you put little sparkles on it"
Giles - "We just can't have her messing up in front of the wrong person. Or the wrong thing. We, we need the, the world and the underworld to believe that Buffy is alive and well."
Willow - "And I will therefore fix it. I got her head back on, didn't I? And I got her off those knock-knock jokes."
Buffybot - "Ooh, who's there?"
Xander - "You know, if we want her to be exactly ..."
Spike - "She'll never be exactly."
Xander - "I know."
Tara - "The only really real Buffy is really Buffy."
Giles - "And she's gone."
Buffybot - "'If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?"

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