|Warning: this page contains info about episodes up through season 6 BtVS/season 1 AtS. If you're in danger of being spoiled, proceed with caution.|
Sweet is a devilish-looking demon who wears a flashy zoot suit and has ventriloquist dummy minions. He is summoned with a special talisman and a spell. According to the "rules" that he accepts or rejects at his whim, whoever summoned him must join him in his demon dimension as his queen. He assumes Dawn did the deed because she is wearing his talisman around her neck. When it is revealed that Xander summoned him, Sweet decides to head back to the underworld alone.
The musical extravaganza evil:
"Songs, dancing around... what's gonna be wrong with that?" --Dawn
When everyone in Sunnydale starts bursting into song spontaneously and uncontrollably, the gang's theories range from demons to bunnies to being stuck inside a kid's nightmare. Buffy, on the other hand, doesn't seem worried at all. But when unnatural things go on in Sunnydale, it doesn't usually lead to hugs and puppies. Sure enough, a man in an alley starts tap dancing frenetically and bursts into flame with no external cause--burning up from the inside out. It is likely that people who put the most emotional energy into keeping their highly-charged secrets are the ones who incinerate.
Evil in "Once More, With Feeling"
I can bring whole cities to ruin,
...and still have time to get a soft-shoe in.
The demon Sweet brings chaos to Sunnydale in the form of dancing and singing that reveals deep, painful secrets and brings death to some. Sweet has his minions capture Dawn, believing that she summoned him. When Dawn tells him her sister is the Slayer, Sweet interrupts his seduction of Dawn in order to witness what most demons in Sunnydale want to see--the Slayer's death.
Moral Ambiguity in "Once More, With Feeling"
When Xander and Anya reveal their secrets to each other in song, it's a mixed bag. Both want to be with each other forever, but they also have pre-wedding jitters they've been keeping secret. Anya the ex-vengeance demon is afraid Xander will betray her. Xander worries that his career as a carpentry foreman won't be enough to satisfy the avaricious Anya. Xander's fears lead him to summon a demon who he hopes will lighten the mood with some happy singing and dancing. Oops.
Dawn has her stolen booty stashed in a secret compartment in her jewelry box, including a pendant on a chain she stole from the Magic Box. When she's feeling picked-on for being only fifteen, she puts it on. Almost instantly, she is kidnapped by Sweet's minions. Dawn wakes up in the Bronze and tries to escape to no avail. When Sweet tells Buffy that Dawn summoned him, Dawn truthfully swears that she didn't. But when she tells the gang how she got the pendant, Dawn stretches the truth to hide her stealing.
Tara awakens to find an herb under her pillow. Knowing Willow put it there, she pins it to her lapel as a symbol of her love. Later, she sings about how Willow reached into her shy, withdrawn world and brought her out into the light with love and with a shared talent for magic. She was cynical about her chances for love in the past, but Willow changed that. Then Dawn mentions a fight with Willow that Tara can't recall. She looks down at Willow's herb and realizes what it might be for. In the Magic Box, she finds out the truth from a book on magic--Willow cast a spell on her to make her forget.
Spike: When Buffy arrives for her nightly visit with Spike, he isn't very welcoming. He believes she has chosen him to reveal her secrets to because in her eyes, he is a not a real person, and that somehow makes her confessions less real. She also comes to him because she longs to "misbehave"--to eschew her responsibilities--and yet she is afraid to give in to that desire. But Spike is in love with her, and this behavior only teases and hurts him. He wants to kill her for doing this, but he also wants to help her. In the end, he stops her before she gives into Sweet's deadly fire.
Giles has stayed in town to help Buffy, but now he is realizing that that was a mistake. Buffy is laying her responsibilities on him instead of facing them herself. When Sweet's minion tells them about Dawn's kidnapping, Giles announces that Buffy will face Sweet alone. Later he starts to fear that Buffy won't face that challenge, either, and Dawn might be in danger. He and the others go to the Bronze to help Buffy, but Giles has already decided he can't stay in Sunnydale much longer.
Buffy was dead for months, and now, months after being raised by Willow, she still feels dead. She is sleep-walking through life--going through the motions of slaying, unable to feel the emotional impact of anything. She doesn't want it this way; she longs to feel alive, but she is unable to combat her emotional death. When she goes to the Bronze to save Dawn, she is perfectly willing to join Sweet in hell in Dawn's place.
Sweet is curious about her motives. Buffy breaks into ironic song about the happiness of life, then reveals to her friends that she believes she was in heaven and that her new life is hell in comparison. Her song ends in a dancing frenzy--an unleashing of her pent-up emotions. She seems to want the incineration and death that is to come. Spike stops her. Later, he finds her outside the Bronze. Overcome by her desire to feel something, Buffy throws herself at Spike, who sweeps her up into a passionate kiss.
The Metaphysics of "Tabula Rasa"
Demons: Welcome to Sunnydale, where loan sharks are literally... sharks. OK, land-shark demons. The metaphor may be a little too literal, but the threat is real for Spike, who finds himself on the pointy end of a stake from the loan-shark's vampire lackeys.
The tabula rasa spell: Willow lays a sprig of Lethe's bramble in Buffy's fireplace and sets it on fire. She incants:
She puts the tip of a small crystal in the flame. As the flame dies, the crystal will grow black, absorbing the power of the spell from the flame.
When the fire burns out, when the crystal turns black, the spell will be cast.
Tabula Rasa, Tabula Rasa, Tabula Rasa.
Willow pockets the crystal, but in her haste to go to the latest Scooby meeting, leaves a large bag of Lethe's bramble on the hearth of the fireplace. Giles has called the meeting to tell everyone that he's leaving. Back at Buffy's, a spark flies out from the fireplace and sets the entire bag of Lethe's bramble on fire. As Buffy attempts to explain to her friends what she's been going through, the fire burns out and the crystal in Willow's pocket turns black. The spell kicks in. Rather than effecting just Tara and Buffy, the whole gang faints.
Memory loss: When they wake up, they no longer remember who they are nor what has happened in their lives. Such memories are called "personal memories". They are specific to an individual's personal identity. The gang still retain their "skill memories", however--the ability to e.g., speak English and to understand and apply everyday concepts such as "girl"; Likewise, Buffy hasn't forgotten her slayer training.
The personal memories are really still there as well; the gang just can't tap into them on a conscious level. But they are clearly acting on these memories on an unconscious level. Anya still worries about her cash register; Spike retains his heroic nature of the last year; and Willow and Tara's attraction to each other shines through the unpleasant memories they've forgotten.
The reason for this total black-out of personal memory (as opposed to just forgetting one particular incident) can be found in the words "tabula rasa", which mean "blank slate"--the chalkboards of their conscious minds has been erased of all such memories.
The gang slowly piece together personal stories based on the evidence they have. Before they can do anything about their situation, however, they are attacked by the loan shark and his lackeys. Giles and Anya remain in the shop while Buffy and Spike (in a suit suspiciously remnant of William the Bloody) head out to fight the vamps. The others flee to the sewers.
Breaking the Tabula Rasa spell: A vampire attacks the gang in the sewers, throwing Willow and Tara to the ground. Willow's crystal falls out of her pocket. As Willow and Tara close in for smootchies, Xander steps on the crystal (where the power of the spell resides) and breaks it, ending the spell.
The Magic Box spells: Vampires also lay siege to the Magic Box. Anya reads from a magic book:
"Bara bara himble gemination"
A bunny appears. Every new spell she uses to get rid of it (e.g., "Hible abri, abri voyon") creates a new rabbit. Soon she has a room full of them. Her spell also creates a green cloud and an animated skeleton. Giles finds another book and whispers,
"Fata, venga, mata, warel"
In a flash of light, all of Anya's spells are undone and the vampires disappear.
More than one heaven? Tara tells Anya that Buffy could have been in "one of a zillion heavenly dimensions." They are all different, but generally speaking, happy places.
Moral Ambiguity and Ethical Quandaries in "Tabula Rasa"
Spike is in debt from his late-night kitten-poker games. He owes a loan shark forty Siamese. The shark starts out with intimidation, but soon moves on to elimination.
The gang is feeling guilty after Buffy's revelation that she was in heaven and happy when they resurrected her. Willow even admits that she was selfish to bring Buffy back. Tara suggests they stop obsessing about what they did and try to make things better for Buffy. Willow's idea of "helping", however, is to use a spell to make Buffy forget heaven.
Tara objects to Willow's use of magic for the same reasons she did before. Willow believes she's simply using magic to help people. Tara points out that while this may have been Willow's intention in the beginning, she is now using magic to help herself--Willow's first memory spell didn't "help" Tara; it violated her mind and free will.
Tara tells Willow that she doesn't think their relationship is working. Willow responds by swearing to forego magic for a month. Tara challenges her to try it for a week. Willow doesn't last a day. When everyone gets their memories back, Tara realizes Willow broke her promise and packs up her things and leaves. Is Willow addicted to magic?
...its more than just addiction here, that would be adequate to describe it if say Willow just couldn't resist using the dressing spells, etc.-someone being addicted to cigarettes is different than someone smoking too much and grinding a cigarette out in someone's face, for example. Tara's line, "we are in a relationship, you don't decide what to do, WE decide what to do" ...really described the problem, which is not so much magic (although that makes the possibilities of abuse more extensive and scarier) as narcissism and disrespect. ...a relationship with someone like this is completely destructive and non-existent (briseis, 11/14/01 5:16).
When Giles tells Buffy that he is leaving Sunnydale for her own good, Buffy protests. As far as she's concerned, Giles is deserting her when she needs him the most. Giles believes that Buffy has the knowledge and strength to face the challenges of adulthood herself. But he fears that she will keep running to him instead as long as he is there, and he will continue to help her despite himself because he cares. When the spell is over, Giles takes his flight back to England. For the moment, his decision leaves Buffy feeling the angst of her new life all the more.
Buffy takes comfort from her pain with Spike. Even though she was in denial about their secret kiss during the musical extravaganza evil, she can't help herself and initiates another.
The Metaphysics of "Smashed"
De-ratting Amy: Willow has been trying for three years to find a spell to de-rat Amy, with no success. Now she is powerful enough to tell the spell to find her instead. "Rivili!" she says. A piece of parchment appears with the spell:
Cio che fu non e piu
Cio che fu fatto, disfa
Passato e il pericolo,
Finita e la prova
Metti a cose a posto
Willow reads the spell outloud. The rat transforms back into the human Amy. In rat form, Amy seems to have had a rat's instincts and level of awareness. She was also unaware of the true passage of time.
What is Buffy? Spike's chip prevents him from hurting non-demon life--birds, flowers, people. So when Spike attacks a mugger, he gets a headache. Then later, he hits Buffy and doesn't. A malfunction of his chip? Apparently not. Spike tries feeding off a girl in an alley and gets the ouchies he's come to expect. Spike asks Warren to examine his chip. While Warren doesn't understand what the chip does, he understands how microchips work in general. He tells Spike that the chip's electronic signal is steady. Spike concludes that he hasn't changed; Buffy has. She has "came back wrong". But wrong how?
Like many of the Trio's toys, the prototype freeze-ray rifle doesn't work by magic. It shoots out a chemical agent that freezes things (like security guards) on contact. The freezing process doesn't kill the guard. Instead, every system in his body--nervous system, circulatory system, etc.--is slowed down until he is defrosted.
Moral Ambiguity in "Smashed"
The Trio freezes the museum guard to steal a diamond--"Phase One" of their latest plan. While investigating the guard, Buffy points out that the recent bank robberies and jewelry heists in town are rather unusual events for Sunnydale. But she doesn't take the next step in her thinking--that these are quite common crimes for humans. For now, the gang are still looking for demon baddies.
When Willow's friends show concern over her nonchalant behavior since the break-up with Tara, Willow passes it off. She calls Tara's worry over her use of magic a "little thing" that "got blown out of proportion". But Xander, Buffy, and Anya agree with Tara--Willow is using too much magic. And the fact that Willow was the gang's "level-headed" member only makes them more concerned. Willow has little experience handling things that are as dangerous and seductive as the power she now has. They fear it will come to control her, rather than the other way around.
Willow is easily talked into going out with Amy to the Bronze. Amy isn't ready to face responsibility, either--in her case, dealing with her dad's questions about how the whole rat fiasco happened in the first place (Amy's father may have had troubles with Amy's mother's magic getting out of control just as Tara has with Willow). Willow and Amy have fun making the Bronze more to their liking--but flying patrons, a girl band, and male go-go dancers don't hold their interest for long. Willow wants something "bigger" and more exciting.
When Spike hits Buffy without pain, he decides his chip must be malfunctioning. He puts it to the test by cornering a girl in an alley. It takes a minute or two for him to meet his vampire instincts half-way, though. It's been two years since he has attacked and fed on humans--and he's saved the lives of a few in the interim. But the instincts are still there, and he lets them out. Spike's chip prevents him from assaulting the girl--but would he have done it if he could have?
His behavior towards Buffy is equally ambivalent. Spike has been someone Buffy has turned to in the aftermath of her resurrection. But when Spike realizes that the balance of power between them is no longer as inequitable as it was, he taunts her--telling her she has come back "a little less human"--and attacks her. Buffy refuses to accept what he says, and taunts him right back with his inability to be fully vampire or human. Their physical blows turn into rough sexual foreplay and finally, sex. Is this a highly-charged start down a healthier road for Buffy and/or Spike or are they slipping further into an unhealthy dependence?
I have long said that Spike's "love" for Buffy is mostly obsession. ...Spike has been obsessed with Slayers since he first found out they existed. At first it was to kill them, so he could have one up on Angelus. But over the years Spike's obsession has changed. Is this due to Drusilla's dark, twisted love? Or is it due to the chip in his head? Spike still wants *something* from the Slayer. In season 2 he wanted to kill her. By season 5 he couldn't decide if he wanted to kill her or shag her. And now, halfway through season 6, he claims to love her at every opportunity. Somehow sex and death, and violence and foreplay have gotten all twisted together in Spike's brain. Will he be able to sort them out? Does he even want to?? Honestly, I don't think Spike wants to sort them out. On some level he still sees himself as the Big Bad and he's not about to go all "Nancy-boy" like Angel. And perhaps due to Drusilla being his first sexual experience (possibly), he *can't* separate sex and violence (purplegrrl, 12/05/01 12:42).
As Buffy struggles to learn her origins and what being 'less than human' means, she gets to have a Guide to help her. Spike is her Guide. ...he is a companion for her on the road that can provide wisdom. But Spike is more than the Guide. He's also part of the lesson, because he's some of the dark that Buffy must incorporate. His dark side tempts her. It's because it's what she needs. When she gives into it, she experiences joy and freedom. ...The tension comes from the fact that as Buffy and Spike continue their relationship, she will have to struggle so that she doesn't get too much dark from Spike. ...it's all about the balance. But without accepting the dark, by continuing to deny it, she'll never grow or be truly happy. The relationship also gets more problematic and angsty ...by the fact that Spike is on a journey too, and he needs guidance. He needs to incorporate more light into his nature to balance his dark. His relationship with Buffy helps with that, but I think only in the sense that Buffy creates an opportunity for Spike. ...But he has to do the hard work himself (rowan, 12/04/01 9:17)
Stephanie Zacharek on Buffy's Will to Power
The Metaphysics of "Wrecked"
Magic and energy: After an evening's magic at the Bronze, Willow is unable to perform a spell as simple as closing her bedroom curtains. It takes her all day to get her powers back. It seems as if even magical powers--in some cases, anyway--are subject to Newton's pesky law of the conservation of energy.
The cloaked house: Amy takes Willow to an apparently empty alleyway. She holds Willow's hand up to a patch air in front of her. It's hot. Amy walks backward into it and disappears. Willow follows. She reappears in a inside a dingy-looking waiting room. Visitors sit on the sofas looking strung out. This is Rack's den of magic--an invisible house that moves to different locations nightly. From here, Rack feeds his visitors with an addictive and dangerous rush of magical power.
Rack: Demon or human? Whatever he is, Rack is less of a warlock trading spells than he is a "magic-pusher" putting people under his spell. He is the powerful proprietor of the cloaked house where Amy and Willow go to partake of some strong magic. Sparks of mystical energy fly off his fingers. He can sense Willow's own magickal power emanating off her body. Rack puts his hand near Willow's chest. A bolt of energy enters her body. This allows him to explore Willow's magical abilities (and perhaps her desires and fears), and it likely makes a connection with her that will allow him to cast his black magic spell. It also leaves Willow high on his mystical power.
Spell-tripping: Rack puts both Amy and Willow under the influence of a hallucinatory spell not unlike an LSD trip. He keeps tabs on them, and very likely manipulates their experiences, with a holographical ball he holds in his hands.
After her second trip, Willow leaves Rack's with Dawn. Unknownst to her, the demon Willow hallucinated has been made flesh. The demon claims to have been raised by Willow's magic. Most likely, Rack manipulated Willow into creating or calling forth this demon during her trip by addling her mind with magic until she lost her judgment.
Evil and Moral Ambiguity in "Wrecked"
"I may be dirt, but you're the one who likes to roll in it, Slayer."
Buffy wakes up naked in the abandoned house where she and Spike had sex the night before. Spike asks her to stay since he's stuck in the house for the day, but Buffy insists in a panic that she has to leave. Spike pulls her into a kiss and she eagerly relents, but Spike is soon gloating about having sex with a Slayer and Buffy backs off. In a role reversal of Buffy's previous morning-after experiences with Angelus and Parker, Buffy tells Spike he's just "convenient", and that she "got hot" for only one vampire, Angel. Angrily, Spike reminds her that he no longer has to put up with her condescending behavior towards him. Later, Buffy takes to heart Willow's decision to put a stop to her use of magic despite the thrills and decides to put an end to her secret trysts with Spike. Where is the Spike/Buffy relationship headed?
"if you could be ...plain old Willow or super Willow, who would you be?"
After Tara and Dawn discover that neither Buffy or Willow came home the night before, Willow soon arrives with Amy in tow. Amy brags to Tara about Willow's magic abilities and tells Tara about the dangerous and violating spells they did the night before in the Bronze. Tara leaves. She has realized what Xander later points out--that Willow has found a new "playmate" to do magic with, someone who won't monitor her, like Tara did. Buffy defends Willow as a grown-up who can make her own choices. She believes that if Willow crosses the line, she'll realize her mistake and grow from it. But Anya argues that Willow is not herself these days.
That night, Amy tempts Willow into visiting Rack, a man who knows powerful spells. Willow is reticent at first, then goes along. Rack surmises that Willow wants help becoming more powerful--she's used every spell she knows, and her powers get depleted too quickly. Rack is willing to help her, but he wants something in return. After the first spell, Willow feels violated. She finds Dawn at home alone again and offers to spend the evening with her. But the temptation to return to Rack's is too great. Fifteen minutes soon turns into two hours as Dawn waits for Willow to finish her second magic trip. When Willow comes out, it's late, but she insists that Dawn join her for "fun".
The demon Willow unwittingly raised soon finds them and goes after Dawn. Willow leads her to a parked car. They speed away using Willow's magic. But Willow is still under the influence of Rack's spell and crashes into a concrete pillar. The demon tracks them down and attacks Dawn again. Meanwhile, Buffy finds Amy upstairs in Willow's bedroom. She has ransacked the room looking for spell ingredients. Amy tells her that Willow is probably at Rack's. Buffy concludes that Dawn is with her and goes out in search of them. She stops by Spike's to enlist him in the hunt. While Buffy fights the demon, Spike attends to Dawn, who has been injured by the demon and the car-crash.
The demon goes into sudden convulsions and disintegrates. Willow appears, her eyes black from defeating the demon. She is devastated by what she's done to Dawn. Dawn's only response is to slap her across the face. Then Buffy confronts Willow. Willow admits that she is out of control with her magic. She begs for Buffy's help, and promises her "no more spells". She even suffers the apparent pains of withdrawal. But will it be that easy to step away from magic?
Willow comes from a place of very low self-esteem, if you'll pardon the buzz-word. She was always the wall-flower, the geek, the outcast. ...She had very little sense of being able to affect the world around her, so she sought power where she could find it. ...By the time of The Harvest, Willow was already a successful hacker...And for a time, that allowed her to contribute to the SG's efforts... Then she discovered magic, and, now, that was a rush! Suddenly this little girl has the power, or at least the potential, to really affect the world. ...Starting with Bargaining, we have a Willow who is tremendously powerful, but still very afraid. ...look at her reaction when anyone confronts her. Magic is what makes her 'cool,' so any threat to her use of magic is a threat to her sense of self. ... I still have hope that Willow can be redeemed, but there's going to be a hefty price to pay. ...it's clear that there's no going back to the way things were at this point (Humanitas, 10/31/01 9:01).
The Metaphysics of "Gone"
The Illuminata is a diamond rumored to have "quasi-mystical" quantum properties. In other words, it is able to mix physical (quantum-mechanical) energy with mystical energy, combining their powers.
The invisibility ray uses this power to turn things invisible. The gun creates a surge of electro-magnetic energy. The diamond then imbues that energy on a quantum-mechanical level with the mystical power necessary to make visible things (like chairs) invisible, and vice-versa. During a field test, Andrew and Jonathan wrestle over the gun. They hit the controls and put the gun on overload. It shoots out a ray of energy that hits Buffy and several objects around her (e.g., a fire hydrant and a traffic pylon). The circuits burn out.
Buffy's invisibility is consistent with Marcie Ross's invisibility, which also involved an interplay of magic (in her case, Hellmouth energy) and quantum physics. For Marcie, the act of being ignored by others initiated this interplay and made Marcie invisible (see also Xander's invisibility). Buffy hasn't felt ignored (although there's a case to be made that her friends have ignored her troubles since her resurrection); instead, she was directly in the line of fire of a ray of physical-mystical energy.
Disintegration: Xander takes the invisible traffic pylon back to the Magic Box. Anya touches it. It melts in her hand. Xander points out that whatever happened to the pylon will happen to Buffy as well. He calls Buffy to warn her.
So what happened to the pylon? As Warren explains, Buffy got hit with a large dose of radiation when the gun overloaded. And soon, like the pylon, her body will begin to lose its molecular integrity.
Moral Ambiguity and Ethical Quandaries in "Gone"
What should the Trio do with an invisible slayer?
The gadget-boys built their ray-gun to make themselves invisible so they could go wherever they wanted and do whatever they wanted--e.g., entering a women-only spa. Before that happened, however, they accidentally shot the Slayer. Now the overload of the gun that caused her to disappear is causing her to disintegrate. Only turning invisible again will save her.
Jonathan and Andrew cannot stomach letting someone die if they can stop it, even if that someone is Buffy, their "nemesis". Warren argues that they are criminals, implying that they shouldn't care if they kill anyone. Jonathan responds that they are not villains, they are "crime lords". Andrew explains the distinction by drawing an analogy to Lex Luthor, the Metropolis crime lord who considered his deeds less clever if he had to resort to the simple and hackneyed device of killing someone to achieve them.
Jonathan demands that they get the ray working and re-visible Buffy. They kidnap Willow and use her to lure Buffy to an arcade. But Warren has no plans to save her. He aims the ray gun at Buffy. Willow points out the gun is set to invisibility, not re-visibility: shooting Buffy will only hasten her demise. An invisible fight ensues. Willow grabs the gun and re-visibles the Trio. Buffy finally meets the occupants of the mystery van that has been stalking her for months: Warren and Jonathan (who she knows) and Andrew. Buffy is unimpressed. When a security guard appears to find out what is going on, the Trio escape.
Dawn is recovering from the car accident, but not well. She feels disoriented as all of Willow's treasures disappear from the house; she isn't eating well; and she's giving the angry-cold shoulder to Buffy.
Then a social worker shows up at their door. The house is a mess. There are spell ingredients lying about that look like pot and a guy in leather named "Spike" in the living room talking about how Dawn hangs out in his crypt. Dawn's grades have fallen sharply over the last year and it doesn't seem as if Dawn's unemployed sister is doing anything about it. The social worker decides it's in Dawn's best interest to take Buffy's guardianship away.
While Buffy thwarts this decision, it is clear that Dawn needs a mother, someone who can be the ground under her feet. And an invisible, flying-pizza Buffy is not the best candidate.
Willow is going cold turkey from magic. Buffy and Dawn clear away all her magic paraphernalia to help her fight temptation. Willow returns to her former research methods to investigate the diamond stolen from the museum. She squashes the urge to float a book over that she needs. Then Xander arrives to tell her about Buffy's invisibility. Xander suspects at first that Willow slipped up on her abstinence and made Buffy invisible as an accidental side-effect of some magic. Willow takes offense at this assumption, and feels like she's being turned into a scapegoat for new problems that arise.
But rather than use this as an excuse to fall off the wagon, Willow goes to the corner where Buffy was turned invisible. She spray-paints invisible objects, finds the tread marks of a car and paint on a fire hydrant she assumes was hit by the car. It is the same paint color as the van that has been stalking Buffy. Willow then searches the DMV database. As the internet search drags on, she is tempted to speed it up, but stops herself again. She tracks down the van to the Trio's lair and sees the plans for the ray gun on a tack board. At that point, Warren grabs her and takes her hostage, but Willow ends up uncloaking the identities of the Trio for Buffy.
She got through a rough day without magic!
Buffy's invisibility follows right on the heels of a bad morning--a social worker has threatened to take Dawn away from her. But when Buffy turns invisible, she's giddy. She's free of rules and reports, free of her old life. She takes a traffic cop cart for a joy ride, haunts the social worker until the woman's colleagues question her sanity, and jumps in the sheets with Spike. The day without adult responsibility does allow her to get a new interview with a different social worker, but was the rest of it just a relaxing "vacation from me"?
...Inviso-Buffy's hijinks with others parallels Willow's and Amy's manipulative actions at the Bronze: power to inflict self on others without accountability.... No one wants an emotional relationship... with someone who isn't all there. Buffy was willing to "play" with Dawn and Spike, but in a way that negated responsibility. For her when invisible, "life is but a song," and we know that is undesirable and dangerous from OMTwF (LoriAnn, 1/09/02 8:30).
When Xander calls and tells Buffy that she will dissolve if a way isn't found to reverse her condition, Buffy realizes she's scared. Since her resurrection, she's been mourning the fact that she is no longer dead. Now she finds herself relieved to be alive. She's still not happy, but she doesn't want to die.
When an invisible Buffy jumps Spike, he is receptive at first. But after Buffy teases him in front of Xander, Spike decides that Buffy is only there because she doesn't have to face the fact that she's there. Spike wants all of her, not the "some of her" she's offering, and tells her to go.