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Buffy's best episode ever By Stephanie McGrath of AllPop

Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 6

Buffy's a show/A show that rocks my world/She is the coolest girl/And this I think you know/

Best. Episode. EVER x infinity.

Dear AllPop readers: I'd like to announce my retirement from AllPop.com. Tonight I leave for L.A. where I will spend my days stalking Joss Whedon and asking him: "Can I please be on your show? No? Okay, how about now? No? Okay ... maybe in five minutes? No? Okay ... how about now then?"

Why would I do that, you ask? Simply because this week's musical episode of "Buffy", titled "Once More, With Feeling", was absolutely amazing. OMG, I am forever spoiled because no episode will ever be able to match the greatness that was the musical episode.

So in addition to having unbelievably hilarious and touching musical numbers, the show also moved the plot forward -- secrets were said ("gasp!"), hearts were broken ("oh no!"), and lips were FINALLY locked ("Halle-freakin'lujah").

Okay, breathe. Now hold on, my dear friends, this could get lengthy.

The show kicks off with a big-band style version of the "Buffy" theme song. The camera pans onto the Summers residence while cheery, Disney-style music plays.

Cute shot of Willow getting ready, Dawn waiting for the bathroom, and Buffy slapping her alarm and then ... it's time for our first song.

Buffy is in Sunnydale's trusty graveyard, slaying demons and vampires with a completely bored expression on her face. It looks like she's just doing her job without thinking about it, she gets no rush from it anymore. Quelle surprise! Her first big number is "Going Through The Motions".

So Buffy slays vampire, yawns, stakes another demon who sings:

"She's not even half the girl ... owwwww" (and it's very funny).

The song ends with a "Disney's Little Mermaid" crescendo and a close-up of Buffy's face in front of the night sky as she croons: "I just want to be/aliiiiiiiiive".

[Note: This is kind of the theme of the episode. Buffy needs to snap out of her post-heaven blues and go on living. She needs to get back in touch with her emotions ... you know ... through song.]

The next morning, old Buffster bursts into the Magic Box where she finds her pals sitting around, no demon to hunt, no vampires to plot against. Xander is busy mock-fighting with two doughnuts:

"Respect the crueller, and tame the doughnut," he says. (Oh that Xander, always with the jokes).

"Hey, did anybody, you know, burst into song last night?," Buffy asks.

"Merciful Zeus," exclaims Xander.

Turns out all of the Scoobies were busy crooning the night before. But none of them are too eager to discuss the song subjects. (Pssst: they're singing their most intimate thoughts, get it?)

The group decides to research it before it happens again but, ooops, here we go:

"I've got a theory/it might be demons/A dancing demon/No, that's not quite right," sings Giles (who, by the way, fancies himself a bit of a Bowie/Mick Jagger/flamboyant Broadway star during the show).

"It's getting eerie/What's this cheery singing all about," they all sing (Psst again: Okay, Willow is just bad. Thank goodness Joss recognizes this and keeps her in the background for most of the show).

Now for what could possibly be the funniest moment ever:

"I've got a theory it might be bunnies," howls Anya before going all rock 'n' roll on us, and then she starts wailing about bunnies and how they're not that cute and "What's with all the carrots anyway/What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?"

Then, she notices that the rest of the Scoobies find her song absolutely weird so she sings: "or midgets" and, oh dear, can't. Stop. Laughing.

So, when the song ends, Buffy wonders to herself if they're the only ones singing. She opens the door to find a "Westside Story"-type dance going on in the street and some guy singing about how the dry cleaners got the mustard out of his shirt.

Meanwhile, Tara and Willow have been making eyes at one another. They say they're going home to do "research", and scamper off into the sun.

[Note: During the Magic Box scene, Dawn is shown swiping a necklace from the store.]

The two of them wander through the park, and Tara starts her romantic ballad "I'm under your spell", and there's even a little ballet. The song then gets a touch racy as she and Willow find themselves back in their bedroom. Hmmmm. (Remember, last week Willow cast a spell on Tara to make her forget they had fought about Willow using too much power? That comes into play later.)

But not all is well in dancing land. In the first spooky shot of the episode, a man is shown tap-dancing to his death. He dances so fast, he spontaneously combusts. That's trouble right there.

Next up is one of the best performances of the night. Anya and Xander wake up together and then perform an MGM, Ginger & Fred-style number about the secrets they're never going to tell one another, but then they do. (Xander snores, Anya wheezes, they're both nervous about getting married and "Xander's penis got diseases from some tribe").

Later that day, the two catch up with Giles and beg him to stop the singing madness. (Much hilarity ensues in the background as a woman sings about her parking ticket and window-washers do a choreographed broom dance.)

It seems as though both Xander and Anya are a bit disturbed by the singing and the secrets they're revealing through song.

Buffy makes her way to Spike's , and when he learns she's just there to pump him for information ("What else would I want to pump you for? I really just said that, didn't I?," Buffy responds hilariously), he gets angry. Now it's time for another one of the best songs of the night.

"Rest In Peace" is Spike's angry rock number about how it hurts him to be around Buffy because she doesn't love him. He runs around the graveyard singing and the two of them eventually end up in a freshly dug grave together. They almost kiss but, oh no, Buffy runs away at the last minute.

Back at Buffy's house, Dawn tells Tara she's glad Willow and Tara aren't fighting anymore. Tara looks shocked and runs off to the Magic Box. Dawn starts to go through her treasure chest of shoplifted items and puts on the necklace she stole from the Magic Box.

"Does anybody even notice?/Does anybody even care?," she sings. [She's not bad but is obviously uncomfortable singing.] But before Dawn can begin singing again she's kidnapped by some truly scary looking puppet-type demons.

What ensues is a truly classy ballet number that features Dawn doing a stylized trying-to-escape dance with the puppet-demons. It's fantastic.

Then we're introduced to the demon that's been causing all the havoc and chaos and such. He makes his grand entrance with a fancy tap-dance and a theme song. It's very good, but he's not a regular so I don't really care about him.

It turns out that someone summoned the demon, he thinks Dawn did it, and he's going to take her down to hell to be his queen. The musical spell means that people will continue to reveal their secrets and bare their emotions through song until it all gets to be too much for them and they simply dance to their death.

When the demon learns that Dawn's sister is the slayer, he decides he'd like to see Buffy dance until she burns before he takes Dawn to be his queen.

"What I mean/I'm fifteen/So this queen thing isn't legal," Dawn sings/argues.

Back at the Magic Box, Buffy is training and says she knows Giles will figure out the singing problem. As Buffy trains, Giles sings "Wish I", which explains that he wishes he could stay and slay Buffy's demons for her and act as her father figure but that he has to go in order for Buffy to move forward and begin looking after herself and growing up.

Tara eventually joins in Giles' song. She realizes that Willow has been messing with her memory. Both Tara and Giles sing about how they don't want to leave the ones they love but they know they have to. (Oh no! Tara and Willow look like their heading for splitsville.)

At the end of the song, one of the puppet demons bursts into the shop and tells all the Scoobies that Dawn is kidnapped.

"Dawn needs rescuing," quips Buffy. "Must be Tuesday."

Buffy expects her pals to go with her to help, but Giles tells her it's something she needs to do on her own. Sadness.

Our heroine wonders through the dark streets.

"When I touch the fire it freezes me," she sings sadly and then a large-scale, major musical number (think "Les Miserables") is born in the song "Walk Through The Fire".

Buffy is sad, she tells us in song. She feels nothing, she can't get her fire back. She doesn't want to be this way anymore. She's miserable and alone. She misses heaven.

Then, back at the Magic Box, Giles realizes he's made a mistake and that they should all go and help Buffy, so the entire cast joins in "Walk Through The Fire".

Willow's one line? "I think my lines are mostly filler" (hee hee hee).

Spike is sulking in a corner. He's hurt.

"I hope she fries/I'm free if that b**** dies/I wonder if she needs help," he sings before running off to try to help Buffy too.

Buffy kicks open the door to the demon's home and finds Dawn and the demon waiting for her. The demon is very happy.

Now it's time for Buffy's really big number.

"Life's a show/And we all play our parts/And when the music starts/We open up our hearts," she sings. The Scoobies arrive in time to help her, and Tara and Anya start dancing to Buffy's song. Buffy goes on to say/sing that all the things that should make her happy -- friends, family -- aren't helping her.

The demon gives Buffy a look. It's time for her to reveal her really big secret. It's going to be so big she won't be able to deal and will dance to death.

Her song morphs into: "Give me something to sing about," which is all about how nothing makes her happy, how life has no meaning for her because ... (yep, she's going to say it, they're all going to find out,) her friends pulled her out of heaven and now she's in hell.

Willow looks like she's going to throw up. Giles looks shocked, and Xander looks upset.

Then Buffy starts to dance hysterically and smoke starts rising from her body. Oh no! She's going to burn up!

But it's Spike who saves her. He grabs her and sings: "Life isn't bliss/Life is just this/Living/You have to go on living/So one of us is living".

He seems to snap Buffy out of her dancing trance.

The demon prepares to go and take Dawn with him but Xander reveals the fact that he was the one who summoned the demon (by accident), not Dawn. The demon decides to wave the clause about taking the person who summoned him to be his queen.

Willow-is-turning-evil alert: Willow tells him to leave, and the demon looks right at her and says "Hmmm, I smell power".

So the demon sings a little goodbye song, but he's not one of the Scoobies so who cares about that.

Once he leaves, the group looks stunned and shell-shocked.

"Where do we go from here?," Dawn sings.

Then the rest join in for the grand finale.

"Understand/We'll go hand in hand/But we walk alone in fear/Tell me/Where do we go from here?"

The cast starts doing synchronized dance moves but Spike shakes it off, yells: "Bugger this" and leaves the finale.

Buffy races outside to follow him. He turns on her, he's angry and heartbroken (or would be if he wasn't a vampire).

Now, time for the ABSOLUTELY BEST MOMENT OF THE WHOLE SHOW. To all those "Buffy" fans who've been waiting anxiously for Buffy and Spike to get together, here's your moment.

"This isn't real/But I just want to feel," sings Buffy and then she and Spike throw themselves into a major-motion-picture-style lip-lock.

THE END.

Overall: This episode was so much fun. The song and dance numbers were great but weren't just a gimmick to grab ratings. They actually contributed to the overall "Buffy" story. Now Tara knows for sure that Willow is using too much magic, Willow knows her spell did a terrible thing by pulling Buffy out of heaven, and Anya and Xander have acknowledged that they're nervous about the wedding while Giles thinks it's time for him to leave Buffy and, best of all, Buffy might be snapping out of her heaven-induced coma and besides, she got together with Spike! Hooray!! This episode deserves a million stakes out of five.

"So Joss, about that part on "Buffy"... oh, okay not now then. How about now? No? Maybe tomorrow? .... Please?"




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