|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 6, Episode 13|
|Air date||February 5, 2002|
|Written by||Steven S. DeKnight|
|Directed by||James A. Contner|
"Older and Far Away"
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Alyson Hannigan|| Willow |
|Amber Benson|| Tara |
|Rock Reiser||Desk Sergeant|
|Bernard K. Addison||Cop #1|
|Eric Prescott||Cop #2|
"Dead Things" is the thirteenth episode of the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the one hundred thirteenth episode altogether. It was written by Steven S. DeKnight and directed by James A. Contner. It originally broadcast on February 5, 2002.
The Trio try to make Warren's ex-girlfriend Katrina their willing sexual slave by magical means. But when she fights back she is accidentally killed, they use magical and demonic forces to make Buffy think that she has killed Katrina. Between finding out the truth about her resurrection and believing she killed an innocent girl, Buffy's world begins to fall apart.
After a wild round of sex on the bottom floor of Spike’s crypt, Buffy and Spike carry on a real conversation about decorating and Buffy’s feelings for Spike. Spike asks Buffy if she even likes him, to which she replies, “Sometimes.” Pulling out a pair of handcuffs, Spike then asks Buffy if she trusts him to which she replies, “Never.”
Meanwhile, The Trio, now hiding in a rented house after being forced to flee their lair, have put the finishing touches on a new gadget, the Cerebral Dampener, which will turn any woman of their choice into their pseudo-willing sex slave.
Buffy takes a break at her job to talk in private with Tara. While nervously rubbing at her handcuff burned wrists, Buffy reveals that Spike is now able to hurt her, but not other humans. Suspecting that the resurrection spell brought her to life “wrong” but not wanting to take a magic-related problem to Willow, Buffy asks Tara to do some research to see if she can find out just what is “wrong” with her.
Warren browses a bar for attractive women while Andrew and Jonathan watch through a camera in Warren’s tie, pointing out various women they would like to have as slaves. Irritated by the suggestions, Warren removes his earpiece and approaches someone familiar: his ex-girlfriend, Katrina. Katrina wants nothing to do with Warren, but after he uses the Cerebral Dampener she addresses him as “Master”.
Buffy returns home after a long, hard, dirty day at work to find her friends preparing for Xander and Anya’s wedding by teaching Dawn to waltz. Buffy becomes upset when she learns that Dawn is spending the night at her friend Janice’s house, but she decides it is better for her to go to the Bronze with her friends than to stay at home and brood.
The Trio enjoy champagne served by Katrina, who has been dressed in a maid’s outfit, and admire Warren’s selection. Warren takes Katrina to another room for sex, but the Dampener’s control fades. In her fury, Katrina reveals to Jonathan and Andrew that she is Warren’s ex-girlfriend; shocking the two (with Andrew telling him that’s “messed up”). Katrina goes on to tell The Trio that what they were planning to do to her (having sex with her against her will) constitutes rape. Suddenly things stop being fun and turn very serious, as Jonathan and Andrew start to realize the severity of their actions. Katrina, planning on going straight to the police, then tries to leave the confines of the basement. But Warren hits her on the back of her head with a champagne bottle and she falls to the stairs, dead. Warren formulates a plan to get rid of the body that will also take Buffy out of the picture, though Andrew and Jonathan are not eager to take part in covering up the accidental murder.
At the Bronze, Buffy and Willow talk about Willow’s recovery while watching Xander and Anya dance jubilantly together. Willow joins the couple on the dance floor, but Buffy wanders up to the balcony, where Spike soon joins her. Hidden away, Spike and Buffy have sex while he speculates on how her friends would react to the truth about the two of them. Buffy closes her eyes at the thought, but Spike tells her to open them, to watch her friends while she gets away with it right under their noses. He urges her to remain in the shadows with him.
The next day, Willow and Xander are on their way to The Magic Box when they meet Tara, leaving the shop with a book. Willow and Tara talk about the magic book Tara holds, and about Willow’s success with staying away from magic. They part ways.
That night, Buffy is supposed to be on patrol, but she finds herself in front of Spike’s crypt instead. He senses her arrival, but when he opens the door, she has already bolted.
As she resumes her patrolling duties, Buffy hears a woman screaming and follows the sound. She is soon disoriented as time seems to jump between the crying woman, an attack by several demons, and Spike finding Buffy in the woods. In the end, Buffy strikes out at something and instead of hitting one of the demons, she hits the woman whom the viewer recognizes as Katrina. Katrina’s body rolls down the hill as Buffy rushes behind trying to catch her. When Buffy finally does catch up, she realizes that Katrina is dead and assumes that the blow she dealt killed her. Behind a tree, another Katrina watches.
Spike escorts Buffy away from the scene and back to her house.
Warren is pleased with the success of their scheme. The Katrina double returns to the van and shifts appearance to reveal a very bitter Jonathan.
That same night, Buffy dreams of Spike joining her and comforting her in her bed. Her dream shifts and they’re in his crypt with her on top and Spike bound by the handcuffs. With Buffy still on top, Spike becomes Katrina and the crypt becomes the woods. Her dream shifts again and Buffy lowers a stake to Spike’s chest. When Spike becomes Katrina again, Buffy asks her, “Do you trust me?” Katrina’s now cloudy eyes open wide as the stake is shoved into her chest.
Shaken by her dream, Buffy wakes and dresses and then goes to Dawn’s room. She professes her love to her sister and then admits that she was involved in an incident earlier that night and that she has to go to the police about it. Dawn is alarmed at the possibility of losing her sister and lashes out, accusing Buffy of running away and deserting her loved ones.
Spike catches Buffy outside the police station and tries to stand in the way of her turning herself in to the police. He says that he took care of the body, but then two cops passing by reveal that the body was found washed up by the river. Despite the failure of his attempt at a cover-up, Spike is still determined to stop her from admitting guilt. He tells Buffy that, having saved thousands of lives, she shouldn’t have to pay for accidentally taking one. As Spike vamps out and attempts to physically restrain her from going to the police, Buffy takes out her frustration and anger on Spike, and he does not retaliate, saying that she should “put it all on him”. She punches Spike repeatedly in the face, declaring that he is evil and soulless, and that there is “nothing good or clean in [him]”. After beating him senseless, Buffy is shocked by what she did, and walks dazedly away from Spike.
She enters the police station and overhears that the girl in the woods was Katrina Silber, whom she now recognizes as Warren’s ex-girlfriend. Immediately guessing the truth, Buffy leaves without discussing the incident with the police.
The Scooby Gang research and find that the demons Buffy encountered in the woods caused the time shifting, concluding that Katrina was dead long before Buffy even encountered her. Buffy knows Warren is connected to the incident, and this deepens her resolve to find the Trio and ensure they pay for everything they’ve done.
The Sunnydale police rule Katrina’s death to be suicide by drowning. Warren is very pleased that his plan to get rid of Katrina’s body worked, with the only disappointment being that Buffy didn’t actually take the fall for his crime… but Warren simply tells his partners that she’ll be taken care of when the time comes. Andrew starts to enjoy the fact that the Trio got away with murder, but Jonathan is clearly very uncomfortable being part of the group now as he starts to realize just how deep the Trio has gone.
After researching the resurrection spell, Tara reports to Buffy that the spell didn’t bring Buffy back “wrong”. Tara explains that the only effect the process of re-materializing had on Buffy’s body and soul was something akin to a molecular suntan. This effect didn’t make Buffy more or less human; she’s as human as she ever was, but it was just enough of a change to “fool” Spike’s chip into wrongly categorizing her as non-human. Buffy then confesses to Tara that more than just an exchange of punches has been going on between her and Spike. Tara is supportive, first asking Buffy if she loves Spike because if she does, it’s okay, since Spike did a lot of good the previous summer, and Tara (unlike the other Scoobies) believes he truly loves Buffy. Buffy does not reply, looking noticeably guilty. Then Tara tells Buffy that if it isn’t love that Buffy feels, that’s okay too. Buffy admitted that she had been using Spike and nothing is okay about that, calling herself “wrong”. Caught between the unsavoriness of using Spike, Buffy begins to desperately plead for something to be “wrong” with her so that she can blame her “wrongness” for what she does with Spike, how she treats him and how she lets him treat her. She breaks down crying in Tara’s lap, unable to accept that she’s actively deciding to use Spike.
- During his post-coital conversation with Buffy, Spike jests about one of his many victims, and Buffy smiles at the joke, apparently undisturbed by such casual talk of murder at such an intimate moment. This sequence, itself rather a dark commentary on Buffy's current state of mind, may have been intended to counterbalance Buffy's later guilt over a death she believes that she accidentally caused.
- We continue to see Buffy and Spike in what is a both physically and emotionally abusive relationship, with abuse coming from both sides - noticeably emotional from Spike and physical from Buffy. The final confrontation between Buffy and Spike reveals that Spike, at the time of the episode, is stuck at the motivational level of reward and punishment, unable to understand why Buffy would turn herself in if there's no evidence of her connection to the crime. Buffy cries that Spike "can't understand why this is killing me, can you?" In the season seven episode "Sleeper", Spike, now possessing a soul, realizes that he has killed people (not yet aware that he was under the control of The First), and immediately brings Buffy to see the bodies, despite the very real chance that she would kill him for his crime. In the next episode, "Never Leave Me", he also confesses that he finally understands self-loathing.
- Tara becomes the first of the Scoobies to find out about Spike and Buffy's sexual relationship, because of her role as "confidante" in the Scoobies.
- While in the Bronze, Xander and Anya dance like they did in their apartment.
- When Buffy asked, "Is there singing? Are we singing again?", she was wondering if Sweet, the musical demon, had been called again.
- When Dawn said she was staying at Janice's house, Buffy said, "And I'm falling for that again because of the surprise lobotomy?" This is a reference to when Dawn and Janice snuck out on Halloween to go on dates with two boys who turned out to be vampires.
- The situation involving Katrina and the Trio defines Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew's characters. Warren emerges as much darker and more capable of actual evil than Andrew and Jonathan. While Andrew adjusts to the idea of getting away with Katrina's murder over the course of the episode, Jonathan remains uneasy. The Trio will begin to fracture culminating in Warren and Andrew attempting to use jet packs to escape and leaving Jonathan to take the fall.
- When Dawn objects to Buffy's decision to turn herself in to the police, Buffy says, "Dawnie, I have to." This is the same thing she said when Dawn begged her not to sacrifice herself.
- When Buffy confronted Faith about killing the deputy mayor Faith responded by saying, "Anyway, how many people do you think we've saved by now? Thousands? And didn't you stop the world from ending? Because in my book, that puts you and me in the plus column." When Buffy goes to turn herself in Spike tells her "And how many people are alive because of you? How many have you saved? One dead girl doesn't tip the scale." In both cases, Buffy takes a moral stance disgusted in both Faith and Spike.
- Spike's admission of how he went back and "took care of it.", was identical to what Faith told Buffy about the death of the deputy mayor, likely another reason Buffy was even more upset. Interestingly, both attempts failed and the victims were recovered from bodies of water.
- Buffy's moral position makes her believe that she must take responsibility for her actions, but does not take into account her responsibility as a Slayer: were she to be imprisoned, there would be potentially severe consequences not only for Dawn and for her friends, but also for Sunnydale and possibly the world, as without Buffy to guard the Hellmouth, and with Faith also imprisoned, the consequences could potentially be dire (e.g. the Wishverse).
- Faith pushes Buffy about her relationship with Angel and her "goody-two shoes" persona claiming, "You can't handle watching me living my own way, having a blast, because it tempts you! You know it could be you!" to which Buffy responds with a back hand to Faiths face. When Faith balances herself she looks up with a smile and says, "There's my girl." When Spike asks Buffy to try explaining the pain of killing a human she attacks him to which he tells her to "put it on him," she starts her attack and he says, "That's my girl."
- When Faith and Buffy are battling each other in separate bodies Faith in Buffy starts attacking Buffy in Faith, seeing herself and finally coming out of denial. Disgusted in herself she continues her attack saying, "You're nothing! Disgusting! Murderous bitch! You're nothing! You're disgusting..." While Buffy is attacking Spike she says, "You don't have a soul! There is nothing good or clean in you. You are dead inside! You can't feel anything real! I could never be your girl!" Buffy is speaking to Spike but speaking of herself believing she came back "wrong" and that she killed Katrina.
- Buffy's previous experience with a Slayer causing the death of a human accidentally made her aware that this had happened many times before, and that the Watchers had procedures in place to investigate and determine guilt and punishment. She had already reconciled with the Watchers, but nonetheless did not follow their procedure, which was presumably intended to give the Slayer a fairer hearing than they would receive at the hands of a skeptical judicial system.
- When Faith accidentally killed someone, Buffy wished (at least until Faith was later shown to have completely betrayed the Scoobies) to shield her from punishment by the civilian legal system, in stark contrast to her intention to immediately turn herself in.
- During her conversation with Tara, Willow wears the jacket she will wear as 'Dark Willow' later this season in "Villains", "Two to Go" and "Grave".
- Katrina Silber, hit in the head with a bottle and killed by Warren Mears
- Two Rwasundi Demons, killed by Spike
- Rwasundi Demon, killed by Buffy
Behind the Scenes
- Sarah Michelle Gellar disliked the way her character was treated in this episode, telling Entertainment Weekly, "I had trouble with the one where Buffy had sex with Spike on the balcony while watching their friends. I really thought that was out of character. And I didn't like what it stood for. That was the moment that I had the most problems with." Writer Steven S. DeKnight says, "I totally understand why that part made her uncomfortable... I wish that I could say it was my idea but it's something Joss Whedon had in the back of his head for a year. It just so happened that it happened in my episode." Despite Gellar's dislike, this episode is DeKnight's personal favorite because "it had humor at the beginning and then it had that great twist where the nerds accidentally killed Katrina and then it got dark, dark, dark, dark. We really wanted to highlight how unhappy Buffy was with herself and really show why she was mistreating Spike because she hated herself."
- In the scene in which Buffy reveals to Tara that she has been sleeping with Spike, Buffy was scripted to lament how hard it is to lie to everyone about who she's sleeping with, and Tara responded, "Sweetie, I'm a fag. I've been there." Dailies reveal that the lines were filmed but cut in editing.
- This line was cut due to length:
- Xander: "According to this, they place the time of Katrina's death almost a full day before you saw her in the woods."
Pop Culture References
- When Andrew gets mad at Jonathan for touching his stuff, Jonathan is holding Peter Frampton's Frampton Comes Alive! album.
- Buffy mentions David Lynch, a director known for the unorthodox, non-chronological timelines in his films.
- Andrew and Jonathan play with lightsabers.
- Warren's plan to control women's brain is similar to the plot into the novel The Stepford Wives, written in 1972 by Ira Levin where many feminist, free-minded, liberal women are transformed into submissive like robotic housewives by their husbands.
- German: Manipulationen (Manipulations)
- French: Esclave des sens (Slave to the senses)
- Bush - "Out of This World"
- Extreme music library - "Finger snap"
- Red and the Red Hots - "Boo wah boo wah"
- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - "Sleeping Beauty Op the Waltz"
- Thomas Wanker- original score
|Buffy - (enters the Summers house from outside) "I'm home! Who wants to help scrape the grease off my…" (she looks into the living room, surprised to see Xander and Dawn dancing in the middle of the room, while Anya and Willow sit on the sofa watching) "Is there singing? Are we singing again?"|
|Xander - "Nope, just the dancing."|
|Anya - "We're teaching Dawn perfectly synchronized dance steps for the wedding reception." (Xander whirls Dawn around into a dip, and Dawn giggles delightedly)|
|Willow - "Hey, we're thinking of heading to the Bronze later. Wanna come, get all unwindy?"|
|Xander - "Tall glasses of frosty relaxation on me. Nectar of the working man."|
|Buffy - (smiles) "No, thanks. I think I'll stay here with Dawn." (Sound of a car horn honking outside) "Curl up on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn and- (Dawn moves toward the door and picks up her jacket) ...listen to the cars honk?" (to Dawn) "Where are you going?"|
|Dawn - "I'm... sleeping over at Janice's?"|
|Buffy - "And I'm falling for that again because of the surprise lobotomy?"|
|Willow - "It's okay, I checked it out. Janice's mom is picking her up."|
|Buffy - "Oh."|
|Dawn - "I didn't think you'd care. You're never home, so..."|
|Buffy - (looks contrite, gets up and goes over to Dawn) "I know. I'm sorry. You know, but I, I'm here now. All visible and everything. Couldn't you just stay at Janice's another night?"|
|Dawn - "Her mom's cooking Mexican. She's gonna teach me how to make real tortillas." (softly) "Not like I knew you'd be around." (The horn honks again. Dawn grabs her stuff and leaves as Buffy stands there, looking unhappy. The door closes, and Buffy turns to her friends, giving a small brave smile; she has decided that going to the Bronze with them sounds better than staying home by herself and brooding)|
|Buffy - "Frosty nectar. Now, please?"|
|Andrew - (The Dampener flashes briefly, weakly, and nothing happens, while Katrina stares at it) "Aw, crap."|
|Jonathan - "It's out of juice!"|
|Katrina - (to Warren) "Is that what you used on me?! Oh, my God! First the skankbot, and now this?! What is wrong with you?" (She shoves Warren in the chest)|
|Warren - "I just, I wanted us to be together!"|
|Katrina - "There is no 'us', Warren! Get that through your big meaty head! I am not your girlfriend anymore!"|
|Jonathan - "She's your ex?"|
|Andrew - "Dude, that is messed up."|
|Katrina - "Oh, you think?" (walks over to Andrew and Jonathan) "You bunch of little boys, playing at being men?" (yelling) "Well, this is not some fantasy! It's not a game, you freaks! It's rape!"|
|Jonathan - (stunned) "What?"|
|Andrew - "No... we didn't-"|
|Katrina - (crying while still angry) "You're all sick." (turns to Warren) "And I'm gonna make sure you get locked up for this. Then we'll see how you like getting raped!"|
|Buffy - "We missed the bed again."|
|Spike - "Lucky for the bed."|
|Willow - "We're not going to do have to do that at the wedding, are we? 'Cause there's this last thread of dignity I've been desperately clinging to."|
|Buffy - "You know, this place is okay for a hole in the ground. You fixed it up."|
|Spike - "Well, I ate a decorator once. Maybe something stuck."|
|Spike - "Are we having a conversation?"|
|Buffy - "What? No! No ... Maybe."|
|Spike - "Hmm."|
|Buffy - "What?"|
|Spike - "Well, isn't this usually the part where you kick me in the head and run out, virtue fluttering?"|
|Buffy - "That's the plan... soon as my legs start working."|
|Tara - "I have this sudden urge to dedicate my productive cooperation."|
|Buffy - "Well, if you close your eyes and repeatedly smash yourself in the head with frozen meat, it'll go away. Eventually. I'm hoping."|
|Buffy - [to herself] "Don't think about the evil bloodsucking fiend. Focus on anything but the evil bloodsucking fiend." (A woman screams, and Buffy looks upward gratefully) "Thank you!"|
|Spike - (to Buffy) "You see, you try to be with them, but you always end up in the dark. With me."|