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Recap: Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 5 E 7 Fool For Love
"Every day you wake up, it's the same bloody question that haunts you: is today the day I die? Death is on your heels, baby, and sooner or later it's gonna catch you. And part of you wants it... not only to stop the fear and uncertainty, but because you're just a little bit in love with it. Death is your art. You make it with your hands, day after day. That final gasp. That look of peace. Part of you is desperate to know: What's it like? Where does it lead you? And now you see, that's the secret. Not the punch you didn't throw or the kicks you didn't land. Every Slayer has a death wish. Even you".

Buffy gets Spike to tell his story of how he killed two Slayers after she is nearly killed by a normal vampire. The Scoobies find the vamp's nest and plan to destroy it but Riley does it alone.

  • Backhanded Compliment
    Dawn: Come on; who's the man?
    Buffy: You are. (Dawn smiles) A very short, annoying man.
  • Badass Longcoat: Nikki Wood — Spike takes it off her dead body as a Battle Trophy.
  • Bad Guys Play Pool: Spike plays pool with Buffy while relating his past. Later he uses the cue while sparring with Buffy outside.
  • Blah Blah Blah: Buffy is researching what mistakes previous Slayers made leading to their deaths.
    "Same as all the others. Slayer called. Blah, blah. Great protector. Blah, blah. Scary battles. Blah, blah. Oops! She's dead. Where are the details?"
  • Brick Joke: We finally hear William's love poem in its entirety in the Angel Grand Finale "Not Fade Away" when a drunken Spike recites it at a poetry slam. To Spike's joy he gets a standing ovation!
  • Brought Down to Normal: Buffy is nearly killed by an ordinary vampire.
  • Call Forward: Angel warns of falling victim to the mob — Angel is lynched by a mob in the Hyperion Hotel during the Fifties, while Spike and Drusilla were attacked by a mob in Prague prior to their appearance on the show. Angela and Drusilla are driven off by a mob of Yandere women in "Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered". Xander used just the threat to make Angelus back off in "Killed by Death". Then there's the guy who makes the crack about railroad spikes - he probably shouldn't have been so specific.
  • Continuity Nod: To "Lovers Walk", where Spike related how he caught Drusilla with a chaos demon — "all slime and antlers".
  • Conveniently Timed Attack From Behind: Riley saves Buffy's life at the beginning of the episode.
  • Cry for the Devil
  • Double Entendre: In the dialogue between Buffy and Spike outside the Bronze, with Spike's desire to 'dance' (fight to the death) also merging in Spike's mind with a desire to have sex with her.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Spike and Riley.
  • Death Seeker: The weakness of all Slayers, according to Spike.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Giles is reluctant to discuss the subject of Buffy's inevitable death.
  • Erotic Eating: Dru sucking the Chinese Slayer's blood off Spike's finger.
  • Call Back: "Helpless" also began with a vampire getting the drop on Buffy with her own stake, causing a similar crisis of confidence.
  • Consulting a Convicted Killer
  • Cross Over: With the Angel episode "Darla", which shows events from the POV of the other members of the Whirlwind.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "William The Bloody" actually referred to Spike's bloody awful poetry.
  • Evil Only Has to Win Once
    Spike: We just keep coming. But you can kill a hundred, a thousand, a thousand thousand and the armies of Hell besides, and all we need... is for one of us, just one, sooner or later, to have the thing we're all hoping for.
    Buffy: And that would be what?
    Spike: One good day.
  • Fainting: Buffy is embarrassed that she passed out after being stabbed by the vampire.
  • Famous Last Words
    Chinese Slayer: [subtitles] Tell my mother I am sorry.
    Spike: Sorry luv, I don't speak Chinese.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Loads in this episode alone.
    Spike: The first was all business but the second, she had a touch of your style. She was cunning, resourceful... oh, did I mention? Hot. I could have danced all night with that one.
    Buffy: You think we're dancing?
  • Fool for Love
  • Foreshadowing: Buffy refuses to 'dance' with Spike because she's better than him. Spike spends the rest of the season trying to be worthy of her but it's not until Spike convinces Buffy in Season 6 that she is a demon like him that they actually become lovers.
    • Spike killing the New York Slayer has consequences in Season 7 when her grown-up son seeks revenge.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare
  • Guy on Guy Is Hot: Darla and Dru enjoy the sight of Angelus and Spike — as Doug Petrie put it, getting ready to "drive their poles through each other".
  • Hand Signals: Unfortunately the Scoobies aren't even Mildly Military.
    (Riley pumps his fist to tell the Scoobies to move forward)
    Xander: What's with the hand move?
    Willow: It's code. I think it breaks down to "choo-choo".
  • Hoist By Her Own Petard: Buffy is stabbed with her own stake. Later Riley grabs the stake off the vampire (who's kept it as a Battle Trophy) and dusts him with it.
  • The Hunter Becomes The Hunted
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Spike has sex with Dru after killing the Chinese Slayer; when Buffy expresses disgust that he "got off on it" Spike replies, "Well, yeah. I suppose you're telling me you don't?"
  • It's Personal: Riley stakes the vampire that nearly killed Buffy before blowing up the others with a hand grenade.
  • Ironic Echo: "You're beneath me" spoken to Spike first by Cecily (refuses his love) then by Buffy (refuses to believe he will be the one who will kill her)
  • Kiss of the Vampire: William reacts with pain, then pleasure to Drusilla's bite.
  • Let's Dance: Used for some quite overt Foe Romance Subtext.
  • Mad Oracle: As she reveals in "Crush", Drusilla realises that Spike loves Buffy long before he does; it's this, rather than the fact that Spike is no longer purely evil, that causes her to reject him.
  • Manly Tears: William after being rejected by Cecily, and Spike after being 'rejected' by Buffy.
  • Mid-Season Twist: Spike was a loser in life, which will become relevant in "Lies My Parents Told Me". More importantly, all Slayers having a death wish, which will be explored in "Intervention" and "The Gift".
  • Miles Gloriosus: Spike only avoids getting killed by either Slayer due to luck — an explosion knocks down the Chinese Slayer at a crucial moment, and the lights on the subway train blacking out enabled him to turn the tables on Nikki Wood.
  • Neck Snap in New York Subway: Spike killing Slayer Nikki Wood.
  • No Name Given: The Peking Slayer and the New York Slayer. Rectified by later canon as Xin Rong (in the Spike & Dru comics) and Nikki Wood (in Season 7).
  • Offscreen Teleportation: After being stabbed, Buffy is fleeing the vampire when he suddenly appears in front of her.
  • Origins Episode
  • Perspective Flip: Angelus doesn't look happy when he hears that Spike killed a Slayer, which Spike assumes is down to jealousy. But in "Darla" it's revealed that Angel has been ensouled by this stage.
  • Pat the Buffy: Spike can't go through with killing Buffy when he sees how distraught she is; instead he sits next to her and awkwardly pats her on the shoulder.
  • Power Walk Out of the Inferno: Spike, Drusilla, Angelus and Darla during the Boxer Rebellion.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Buffy telling Spike he's beneath her after he fails to goad her into a fight is enough to get him to go, "sod the chip, sod my feelings, bugger the old ways and bugger my chances" and is enraged enough to dig out a Sawn Off Shotgun to do the Slayer in, until he sees Buffy distraught over what might be wrong with her mother.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The scar over James Marsters eye (got during a mugging) is explained by the Chinese Slayer injuring him with her sword (presumably magical).
  • Reminiscing About Your Victims
  • Rummage Sale Reject: 1977 Spike. DEAR GOD, 1977 Spike.
  • Sawn Off Shotgun: More of a coach gun actually; Spike takes it to kill Buffy, convinced he can pull the trigger before the pain overwhelms him.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!
    Buffy: Say that it's true. Say I do want to. It wouldn't be you, Spike. It would never be you. You're beneath me.
  • Start of Darkness: William is shown to be a decent, sensitive upper class wannabe poet, who after Cecily rejects his Anguished Declaration of Love becomes easy prey for Drusilla.
  • Stylistic Suck: William's love poetry. And that's one of his better ones.
    Aristocrat: "My heart expands / 'tis grown a bulge in it / inspired by your beauty, effulgent." Effulgent?
  • Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious: Slayer blood for vampires.
  • Tempting Fate: One of the aristocrats remarks about William's poetry, "I'd rather have a railroad spike through my head than listen to that awful stuff!" If the origins of Spike's name given in Season 2 are correct, it's safe to assume he got his wish.
    • Buffy riffing on Dawn's height — she'll have grown taller than her 'big' sister by the end of the series.
    • "It wouldn't be you, Spike. It would never be you."
  • Unreliable Voiceover: Spike saying "I've always been bad" cuts to William writing a sappy love poem.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Spike and Dru of course.
  • Walk In Chime In: The vampire that nearly killed Buffy is showing off her stake.
    Vampire: They ought to put this in a museum!
    Riley: You know what they put in museums? Mostly dead things.
  • Warrior Therapist: Spike says that it's not a matter of understanding what moves the dead Slayers did wrong, but their inate deathwish.
  • With Catlike Tread: To Riley's chagrin, the Scoobies munch chips and talk loudly while he's stalking vampires. Justified due to their different tactics — Buffy & Co. act as The Bait to draw vampires out so they can be killed, while the Initiative had to sneak up on vampires in order to capture them alive.
  • Whole Episode Flashback
  • You Look Familiar: Kali Rocha (Cecily) would reappear in the next season as Halfrek the vengeance demon. This was retconned as Cecily and Halfrek being the same person. The actress playing the Peking Slayer plays one of the Potentials in "Chosen".
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