Written and directed by Joss Whedon
Summary written by Zinna
Every single night it's the same arrangement, Buffy goes out and fights the fight. Lately, she seems to feel the strangest estrangement, nothing here is real, nothing here is right.
She does very well with fiends from hell, but lately they can tell that she's just going through the motions. Walking through the part. Nothing seems to penetrate her heart.
Will she stay this way forever? Sleepwalk through her life's endeavor? Ask her she might say whatever, but she doesn't want to be going through the motions, losing all her drive. She just wants to be alive!!!!!!!
Sound like the song? That's because most of it is. My written version of a song our favorite slayer sang as she slay her night's worth of demons on what should have been a regular patrol in the cemetery. That's right folks; we've got ourselves a musical episode on our hands.
The next beautifully sunny morning finds the gang hanging out at the Magic shop. Buffy appears to ask if anyone else burst into song the previous night. They all had singing experiences of their own. It was the most amazing thing. Even more amazing is that they start to sing speculations about the strange singing events. Giles, Xander, and Anya sing their theories, beginning with the line with, "I've got a theory…" Anya, of course thinks it could bunnies. The gang content to move the song along ignores her theory, which prompts:
Anya, in a serious rocker-chick voice complete with air guitar, to belt: BUNNIES AREN'T JUST CUTE LIKE EVERYBODY SUPPOSES THEY'VE GOT THEM HOPPY LEGS AND TWITCHY LITTLE NOSES AND WHAT'S WITH ALL THE CARROTS? WHAT DO THEY NEED SUCH GOOD EYE SIGHT FOR ANYWAY? BUNNIES, BUNNIES, IT MUST BE BUNNNNIIIEEEES!
Anya notices that gang isn't really feeling her tribute to Heart, so she concedes back to the original melody of I've Got a Theory, singing, "…or maybe midgets."
Buffy's got a theory, "It doesn't maattterrrrr." Because what can't they doooo if they’re togetherrrr. What's in the hell mouth they can't weather? Apocalypse? They've all been there, the same old trips. Why should they care? Well, they have to try. They'll pay the price. It's do or die. Hey, Buffy's died twice.
On a final note, Buffy and the gang are pretty sure in the song that there's nothing they can't face if they're together.
Immediately following the dual melody, Buffy asks what could be causing this cheery singing. I guess it does matter. She checks outside and finds that all of Sunnydale has been infected with the singing bug. You know what's next - RESEARCH.
In the afternoon, Dawn rushes in, her face all a glow, to tell the gang about her singing experience. They, of course, already know. Tara and Willow, who have been giggling and whispering in the corner, hurry out of the store, claiming they must retrieve an important volume from the house. By their giggles and blushing faces, the others understand that they are just going to somewhere to get it on.
Willow and Tara, take the long way home. They walk through the park and come across some guys that appear to be checking out the hotness of Tara. Willow tells Tara that the guys were checking her out and she blushes. Tara's not use to getting attention like that of any sort. Tara tells Willow that what they see in her is Willow. Feel a song coming on? Tara did and might I add she has a very strong melodic voice, angelic even.
I'll take you through to the first chorus:
I lived my life in shadow
Never the sun on my face
It didn't seem so sad though
I figured it was my place…
Now I'm bathed in light
Something just isn't right
I'm under your spell
How else could it be
Anyone would notice meeee
It's magic I can tell
how you set me free
Brought me out so easily
The song continues to as the girls walk through the park. As you can see, the song conveys Tara's belief that her pairing with Willow completes her and gives her a glow that makes life all the brighter. She's in love. She has completely surrendered to it.
The couple eventually ends up in their bedroom and while still in the throws of song they do the things that lovers do: cuddle, kiss, mesh, etc. Willow lay Tara down on the bed and disappears from sight. We can assume what ever she's doing, Tara's more than enjoying because Tara sings, "…Lost in ecstasy, spread beneath my willow tree." The scene ends with Tara floating above the bed, singing, "You make complete," (3 times).
That night, we see a nameless man in a business suit, tap dancing. It is obvious that the man cannot control his tapping, especially as it becomes more out of control. The dancing becomes so intense; the man begins to sizzle and then he combusts, burning from the inside out. A demon in snazzy suit watches in amusement, saying, "Now that's entertainment."
Anya and Xander awake to another glorious morning. Anya sits on the side of bed, singing to the audience that Xander is the man that she plans to entangle. Isn't he fine? Her claim to fame was to maim and to mangle. Vengeance was hers, but she's out of the biz. The name she made she'll trade for his. The only trouble is…
Xander chimes in with rhyming praises. This song is a duet. The couple takes their act into the living as they sing their pet peeves about each other, which include: Xander snores, Anya wheezes, she eats skeezy cheeses, and Xander's penis got diseases from a Chumash tribe, among other things. Anya accuses Xander of always hiding behind Buffy. Xander begins to sing that Anya has problems but his verse is taken over by Anya, who claims his eyes are beady. Next thing you know, she's dancing. Xander matches her moves and joins in the fun. They twirl around a little less gracefully than Ginger and Fred, but amusing nonetheless. Eventually, their song leads back to praising each other, but it also reveals that they are both petrified about getting married. They have no idea if it will work, but neither is going to tell the other except for in the song. The song ends as they collapse laughing into each other's arms.
Later the couple is seen walking with Giles towards that Magic Store. They are both complaining about what a nightmare it is to stuck in uncontrollable songs that reveal all their hidden truths. Giles reassures them that they are working to figure out who is behind this. They are working, not just to end the singing but also because a man has died from spontaneous combustion and it is possible that the two events are linked. This means that there could be great musical danger ahead. Xander wonders if they have any leads. Giles says Buffy's checking out the word on the street, though Giles is unsure how serious Buffy is about her work these days.
Night falls and Buffy shows up at Spike's crypt. She claims to be looking for leads on the singing phenomenon. Spike claims to be fresh out of useful information and tells Buffy she should look elsewhere. Because of his snippy tone, Buffy asks why he's so crabby. He says its nothing and tells her get out. At the door, the proverbial singing bug stings Spike and his song begins.
He died so many years ago but Buffy can make him feel like it wasn't so. Why she comes to be with him, he thinks he finally knnooowwsss.
She's scared, ashamed of what she feels, and she can't tell the ones she loves. She knows they couldn't deal, but telling him doesn't make it reeaallll.
That's great, but Spike doesn't want to play because being with her touches him more than he can say. Since he's only dead to her. He's saying stay away and let him rest in peace.
The first portion of this song, which is pretty much provided above, sums up the overall sentiment. Buffy sticks around for the first two verses then she leaves. Spike follows her out to the cemetery, singing, "I know I should gooo, but I follow you like a man possessed, there's a traitor here beneath my breast and it hurts me more than you'd ever guess. If my heart could beat it would break my chest, but I can see you're unimpressed, so leave me be…" (I had to include that part because it's my favorite part of the song). When Spike breaks into the second chorus he jumps atop a coffin a funeral procession is carrying to its gravesite. Spike's song works him into a (sexy) little fury and he starts to terrorize the burial proceedings taking a place around the open grave. Buffy intervenes and they tussle. Their tussle takes them in the grave, Buffy lying on top of Spike. He looks at her like they might kiss and Buffy high tails it out of there as fast as she can.
At the Summers' house, Tara tells Dawn that Willow may have a lead on what kind of demon is causing the singing and dancing routines. Dawn doesn’t seem to be worried. Dawn mentions to Tara how happy she is that Tara and Willow made up after their fight, which Dawn walked in on during Anya and Xander's impromptu engagement party (All the Way). Tara becomes confused because as far as she knows Willow and she never had a fight. Then Tara thumbs the dried flower she found under her pillow earlier that morning. Tara quickly excuses herself to further investigate the origin of the flower.
Left alone, Dawn looks at all the necklaces she's lifted from various other places. She puts on a necklace that was left on counter of the magic store the day before and begins to sing a few lines in a sullen but sweet sounding voice. Her song presumably is about whether or not anyone will ever notice that she's been shoplifting and if they do notice, will they care. Apparently, her acts of rebellion are cry for help and/or attention. Before she can take her song any further, men with big wooden doll heads kidnap her as she screams.
Dawn must have passed out during the kidnapping because she awakes in the Bronze. The Bronze appears to be completely deserted. She gets up to run out but is cornered by the wooden dummy heads. They engage her in a chase, which would be more accurately described as a dance. They surround her and she dances with them. The dance ends with them flinging her across the floor.
On the stage, entering from stage right is the tap dancing demon named Sweet. Sweet is the same demon we earlier saw enjoying the spontaneous combustion of the tap dancing man. Sweet explains his presence in a song. In his song, he explains that he believes Dawn invoked him and for that reason she will join him in his hell dimension as his queen. With that he zaps Dawn into a pretty junior prom type dress. He also explains that his power to make people sing can also cause them to burn from the inside out, becoming a victim of their out of control emotions. Dawn sings into his song that she cannot be his queen because she's only 15. Sweet doesn't seem to care. So, she tries to tell him in that she needs to leave because her sister will get pissed. When that doesn't work she further explains that her sister's the slayer. This intrigues the demon and he tells his minions to find the slayer and tell her everything so that she will come to him. He thinks this will be his chance to see the slayer burn.
Back the Magic Box, Giles and Buffy are training. Giles asks if Buffy ever spoke to Dawn about her defiant behavior as of late. Buffy tells him that she thought he took care of that. Giles looks distant, as Buffy stands ready to take what weapons he'll throw at her. Giles begins throwing knives just as he starts to sing.
Buffy's path is unbeaten and it's all uphill. She can meet it but she never will because Giles is the reason she's standing still.
Giles wishes that he could play the father and take her by the hand. He wishes he could sta-aay, but now he understands that he's standing in the wa-ay.
During Giles' melody Buffy continues to train, which includes flipping, kicking air and punching her punching bag. At the end of his melody Buffy is stretching. She looks at him and asks if he said anything.
Meanwhile, Tara sits in the powerful spell books section in the loft above the store and looks for the flower. She finds out that the flower is called Lethe's Bramble and it is often used in spells to make someone forget. Tara realizes that Willow used a spell to remove their fight from her memory. She looks up in misery and sings a continuation of her first melody except this time she sings, "I'm under your spell, God how can this be, playing with my memory, you know I've been through hell, Willow don't you see, there'll be nothing left of me.”
Buffy walks into the front of shop to discuss something with Willow. In the back of the shop, Giles chimes in and Tara's song turns into a harmonized bridge of the song Giles was singing to Buffy. Both are wishing they could stay but they must do what they must. Buffy and Willow are completely unaware that any of this is going on.
Later when the gang's all there, Spike bursts into the shop dragging one of Sweet's minions with him. Spike tells the wooden dummy head to speak. He tells the gang that Sweet has Dawn and that he plans to make her his bride unless the slayer comes to him. Then the guy runs off before Spike or anyone else can do anything about it.
Buffy looks at Giles and asks what the plan is. Giles tells her that she will have to face Sweet alone. The rest of the gang is bewildered but they respect Giles' authority. Buffy asks what he expects her to do and he says she should do her best. Realizing that he is dead serious, Buffy gets ready to go alone. Spike says he has her back and she reminds that he told her to stay away from him in his song. Spike leaves the shop in the huff.
Outside on her way to the Bronze, Buffy begins to sing what later turns into a group harmony. The harmony begins with Buffy singing about her inability to feel and she might save the day or maybe melt away, to Buffy it's all the same. In an alley Spike sings the second verse, which is a wish that Buffy will fry because he'll be free if she dies, but then he decides he'd better help her out. Back the magic shop, Giles musically wonders if he did the right thing, letting Buffy go alone. Xander and Anya sing that they should help her and finally the gang decides to go to the Bronze to provide back up for Buffy. On their way they sing how different Buffy is since she returned from the grave. Buffy sings how her friends have abandoned her because she's become so cold. Spike sings how he'll kill her then save her or the other around. The song climaxes with the group singing how they'll walk through the fire and let it burn!
Buffy is the first to arrive at the Bronze. She kicks in the door. Immediately, she offers Sweet a deal: die or take Buffy in Dawn's place. Ultimately, Dawn is not going anywhere. Sweet isn't interested in deals; he wants to be entertained. Luckily, Buffy has time for a song… Life's a show and we all play our parts.
The rest of Scoobies get there just in time to hear Buffy sing why she has been so devoid of human emotion recently. She sings to Sweet, "There was no pain, no fear, no doubt 'til they pulled me out of heaven. So that's my refrain I live in hell 'cause I've been expelled from heaven. I think I was in heaven. So give me something to sing about… Please!!!!"
Sweet shakes his head and Buffy dances to until she is out of control and sizzling from the inside. Spike grabs hold of her, and sings, "Life's not a song, life isn't bliss, Life is just this. It's living. You'll get along. The pain that you feel only can heal by living. You have to go on living. So one of us is living."
Dawns says, "The hardest thing to do in this world is live in it (which is direct quote of what Buffy said to her right before she died - The Gift)" and the ends the song. Buffy is still alive, thanks to Spike.
Sweet is bored with tunes, decides it is time to take his bride and leave. Dawn tells the group that she did not summon him. Sweet begs to differ because Dawn is wearing the necklace that is used to summon him. Dawn tells him that she found it at the shop. Giles quickly deduces that if Dawn did not summon Sweet, another one of the Scoobies did. Xander raises his hand.
Sweet is not exactly gay, so he decides to leave without a bride, but before he goes he lets the group know that despite their victory he got the better of them. He dares them to say they're happy now, once more with feeling. Of course, they can't say that, knowing what they know now. All they can do is sing the final number, Where Do We Go From Here.
In middle of the song, Spike is fed up with singing and leave. Buffy follows him to the back alley. He tells that she should go finish the final number like a good little girl. Buffy doesn't want to. Instead she sings, "I touch the fire and it freezes meee (the first line of the Walk Through The Fire song)". Spike replies in song that he died many years ago. They inch towards each other and BOOM! Buffy plants a big Hollywood kiss on him to which he is happy to return.