Recap: Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 5 E 6 Family

The women in our family have demon in them. Her mother had it. That's where the magic comes from.

It's Tara's birthday and her family comes to take her away before her true demonic nature surfaces. Glory sends some demons to kill Buffy

  • Action Fashionista:
    • Buffy has seen a nice sweater she could get Tara for her birthday, but she'd rather have it for herself.
    • Glory interrogates the Lei-Ach demon inside a walk-in closet full of expensive dresses.
  • Anything That Moves: Glory does her usual thing with a chained-up Lei-Ach demon. "You have the cutest suppurating sores, do you know that?"
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Spike works out that Tara's family have made up the entire demon story to keep their women in line. He then says with approval, "Oh you're a piece of work. I like you."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Glory describes Buffy as blonde, short, strong for a human, and massively rude!
  • Bad Liar: Buffy explaining why she doesn't want Dawn spending the night at a friend's place, because Glory is on the prowl.
    Buffy: I don't want you hanging out with someone that...short.
    Riley: Yeah, a lot of young people nowadays are experimenting with shortness. Gotta nip that in the bud.
  • Between My Legs: Buffy re Spike during his sex dream.
  • Birthday Episode
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Harmony asks Spike what he's thinking during sex. Spike replies, "All about you, baby."
    • Spike tells Harmony he's going to watch the demons kill the Slayer; he actually saves her life.
    • Giles says he's narrowed down the search some for the Big Bad's identity. The camera pans to a table full of open books.
    Buffy: Your definition of narrow is impressively wide.
  • Book Ends: Tara's "insect reflection" joke. At the beginning of the episode, she tells it and nobody gets it; at the end of the episode she explains it to Anya.
    Anya: But it's still not funny.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Xander suggests a "cheesy Crystal Ball" as a present, only to learn Giles already has one wrapped. At the birthday party we see Tara faking a smile as she unwraps the ball.
    • Tara is seen at the end of the episode trying to explain the "insect reflection" joke.
  • Buffy Speak: Willow says there's "Scooby-age afoot".
  • Calling Your Orgasms: In Spike's sex fantasy.
    Spike: You want me, Slayer? Come and get me!
    Buffy: Oh I'm coming. I'm coming right NOW! (Smash Cut to Spike finding 'sweet release' in Harmony)
  • Casual Kink: Buffy promises to reward Riley by wearing "outfits".
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Willow hits the 'Invisible Monster' attacking Xander with a chair.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Sandy was made a vampire in "Doppelgangland".
  • Continuity Nod
    • Willow suggests using the demon locate spell to find Glory, even though it didn't work last time they used it — because Tara sabotaged the spell, for reasons we now discover.
    • In the previous episode, Anya said crystal balls were popular with amateurs, which explains why an experienced witch like Tara isn't impressed by them.
  • Cute Kitten: The episode opens on Miss Kitty Fantastico playing about in Willow's dorm.
  • Dark Magical Girl: What Tara thinks she is.
  • Damn With Faint Praise: Tara is...nice.
  • Dance of Romance: It's magic.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Tara.
  • Daydream Surprise: Spike's Spuffy fantasy. As if that will ever happen.
  • Description Cut:
    • Buffy says she could "use a break from all this craziness." Cut to another crazy person being wheeled into Sunnydale hospital.
    • Xander advises Buffy to work out to get rid of her tension. Cut to Buffy fighting Spike — which turns out to be Spike working off his tension.
    • "How do you think your friends are going to feel when they see your true face?" Cut to close-up of a demon.
  • Disappeared Dad: Buffy says that her father is now living in Spain with his secretary, and that he didn't even call when she left a message about Joyce being sick.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Wicca lifestyle as homosexuality. Tara's father said she doesn't try to hide who she is anymore, while holding a phallic crystal. Then there's this exchange:
    Buffy: Thinking there will be a lot of Wiccans there? Heavy Wiccan crowd?
    Xander: That's sort of her deal. Her and Willow are all Wiccie. Swinging with the Wiccan lifestyle.
    Xander: Oh yeah.
    • Tara doesn't want to "cast spells" with Willow because she's too tired.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Tara tries to explain the insect reflection joke.
    Tara: No, see, 'cause your insect reflection represents your insignificance... (Anya nods) in terms of the karmic cycle.
    Anya: But it's still not funny.
  • False Memories: Buffy ponders how Dawn cried for a week after father left. "Except she didn't. She was never there, but I can still feel what it was like."
  • Family of Choice
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Angry that Buffy is holding back information from him, Riley goes to a Bad-Guy Bar to drown his sorrows and gets hit upon by a female vampire. He turns her down. This time.
    • Buffy doesn't want to tell the other Scoobies about Dawn because they'd act weird around her, and Dawn would Freak Out if she knew the truth. This is exactly what happens in "Blood Ties".
  • Go Through Me: The whole gang does this to protect Tara from her abusive family. Except Spike.
    Buffy: If you want Tara, you'll have to go through all of us.
    Spike: Except me.
    Xander: Except Spike.
    Spike: I don't care what happens.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Buffy not wanting Dawn to hang around short people. By Season 6 she'll be shorter than her 'little' sister.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Spike saves Buffy's life from a demon, and despite his above claim of indifference hits Tara to prove she's not a demon.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Cousin Beth is Amy Adams.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Spike hitting Tara.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: Tara's family abuse her emotionally and lie to her to make her hate herself, fooling her into believing that she's less than human. When she breaks free and makes a life of her own, they start threatening to move on to physical abuse, and would most likely have made good on their threats if it wasn't for almost the entire cast closing ranks around her and telling them that they would have to go through them to get to her.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Spike fantasizes about getting his ass kicked by Buffy while having sex with Harmony.
  • I Resemble That Remark
    Tara: Yeah. You learn her source (grins) and, uh, we'll introduce her to her insect reflection. (everyone stares at her) Um ... that, that was funny if you, um, studied Taglarin mythic rites...and are a complete dork.
    Riley: Oh, then how come Xander didn't laugh?
    Xander: I don't know that Taglarin stuff.
    • Beth snaps, "I hope you're happy!" after Tara rejects her blood family for the Scoobies. Tara just smiles because yes, she is now.
  • Isn't It Ironic: You'd think they could have chosen a better number for the closing scene than a love song to a television!
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Glory pushes out of a pile of rubble.
    "OK. Now...I'm...upset."
  • Last-Second Word Swap
    • Tara seeing her family again.
    "How did you fi— I, I mean, how come you came?"
    • Spike hearing the demons are going to kill Buffy.
    "God, that would be...pleasant."
  • Love Floats: The episode ends with Tara and Willow slow-dancing at the Bronze. A Reveal Shot shows they're floating a foot above the ground.
  • Magic Misfire: Tara's spell is meant to hide her 'demon self' from her friends, but instead makes all demons invisible to them.
  • Neck Snap: Buffy breaks the neck of a demon with her foot.
  • Non-human Lover Reveal
  • Not Worth Killing: Buffy assumes Glory will come after her; in truth Glory is embarrassed to discover she fought a mere Slayer, and just sends some demons to kill her as she regards Buffy as an interfering nuisance.
  • Oblivious Mockery: Buffy warns Dawn against boozing at the party; she replies that only losers drink alcohol. The Scoobies all look at their drinks.
  • Omniglot: Glory can understand the demon's language.
  • Once Upon a Time: Tara tells a story of a stray kitten who was placed with a bunch of other strange animals in the pound and eventually adopted by a nice family.
  • Perception Filter: Tara casts a spell so her friends can't see her demon side. Unfortunately this means they can't see the demons attacking them.
  • Prodigal Family: Tara's family are an example of the possessive, malevolent variety.
  • Right Behind Me
    Anya: But we just helped Buffy move her stuff a few days ago... (turns and sees Buffy) ...and it was fun!
  • Sarcasm Mode
    Donny: So all these books got spells in 'em? Turn people into frogs, things like that?
    Xander: Yeah, we're building a race of frog people.
  • Speech Impediment: Tara's stutter returns with a vengeance the moment her family turns up.
  • Spider-Sense: Buffy senses the 'invisible' demons creeping up on her while she's in the training room.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: Giles is trying to establish who Glory is, but isn't having any luck — all Buffy can tell him is that she looks human, acts like Cordelia and recently dyed her hair.
  • This Is Something She's Got to Do Herself: Riley offers to contact the military for help in fighting Glory, which Buffy quickly turns down.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Thanks to the confidence boost gained when all the Scoobies rally behind her (even before learning that she's not actually a demon), Tara is able to stand up to her family, for what seems to be the first time ever.
    Tara: Just go.
  • True Companions / Friendship Moment
    Mr. Maclay: This is insane. You people have no right to interfere with Tara's affairs. WE are her blood kin! Who the hell are you?
    [Shot of Giles, Dawn, Buffy, Willow, Tara, Xander, and Anya all standing together in a group, with Spike in the background.]
    Buffy: We're family.
    • Also a moment of Foreshadowing: it's no coincidence that Spike is there and Riley isn't.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Ben changing his clothes in the locker room. The camera pans away just as he's taking off his pants.
  • Wicked Witch: The Scoobies give Tara cliched presents like broomsticks and crystal balls.
  • Was It All a Lie?
    Willow: Tara ... look at me. I, I trusted you more than anyone in my life. Was all that just a lie?
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: Tara's family threaten to take her away by force, and aren't impressed when "two little girls" say they won't.
    Dawn: You don't want to mess with us.
    Buffy: She's a hair-puller.
  • Your Door Was Open: Tara finds her father waiting in her dorm room.