The Scooby Gang finds flayed corpses and believe it may have been done by Willow, who has just returned from England. Unknown to all concerned, Willow and the Scoobies have become invisible to each other.
- 555: Buffy's address book. Willow is saddened to see she's not listed.
- And I Must Scream: Gnarl paralyses his victims, then skins them alive and eats their flesh.
- Actor Allusion: Alyson Hannigan has a similar plot in the How I Met Your Mother episode "Three Days of Snow" when her character Lilly Aldrin and husband Marshall can't see each other at the airport. In this case, they were actually three days apart due to airline delays, but the way the episode was edited made it seem like the same day.
- Black Comedy
Anya: Oh, wouldn't it be tragic if you were here being kinda silly with your comically-paralyzed sister while Willow was dying?
- Buffy Speak: Shock Face. Wiggins with extra wig. Hell-mouthy.
- Clear My Name
- Continuity Nod
- Xander writes his WELCOME BACK WILLOW sign in yellow crayon, in a deliberate homage to his Talking the Monster to Death speech in "Grave".
- The flayed body is of course similar to how Willow killed Warren in "Villains".
- The Magic Box is boarded up after it got destroyed in the fight between Giles and Dark!Willow.
- On seeing Buffy, Spike tries to think up another word for glowing, which has "got a rhyme." The word is "effulgent," a reference to the love poem William wrote for Cecily in "Fool For Love".
- Dawn does research on the "Demons, Demons, Demons" website seen on Angel.
- Anya's teleporting rights have been removed in punishment for her reversing the vengeance spell in the previous episode.
- The demon location spell was first seen in Season 4's "Goodbye Iowa".
- Willow avoids mentioning bunnies around Anya, who has a phobia about them.
- Xander suggests asking questions about the demon at Willy's.
- Deadpan Snarker
Anya: Come in, enjoy my personal space.
Willow: I found a dead body near the school.
- Even as she lies paralyzed on the couch
Dawn: (muffled) Stop talking about vomit!!
- Eureka Moment
- Evil Laugh / Third-Person Person: Gnarl
- Eye Scream: Buffy kills Gnarl by gouging out his eyes with her thumbs.
- Femme Fatalons / The Paralyzer
- Foreshadowing: Buffy sharing her strength with Willow foreshadows the events of "Chosen" where Willow casts a spell enabling Buffy to share her Slayer powers with every Potential in the world.
- Xander is especially squicked out by Buffy gouging Gnarl's eyes out.
- Flashback Cut: When Willow goes near the window, she has an audio flashback of Warren killing Tara.
- Flayed Alive
- Friendship Moment: Anya wishes things were better for Willow. Buffy and Willow hold hands.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Buffy and Willow holding hands on the bed? Willow and Anya doing spells together?
Anya: It did get a little sexy, didn't it?
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Anya and Willow both.
- Immune to Bullets: Willow's magic is no good against Gnarl.
"Gnarl loves spells. He keeps them as pets. They love him, and they leave him alone."
- Invisible to Normals: Only demons Spike and Anya (and Gnarl) can see Willow, implying she regards herself as Not So Different.
- The Killer In Me: What Willow fears is happening.
- Lampshade Hanging: While helping Willow with a spell, Anya asks if it's gonna "get all sexy". It's like she watched all those Does This Remind You of Anything? moments with Willow and Tara back in season four.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Willow helpless like Warren was, unable to stop the skin from being stripped from her.
- Last-Second Word Swap
Well, that's why you teleport over there real quick like a bunn— (Death Glare
from Anya) real quick and, uh, see if I'm right.
- Lotus Position / Holding Hands: Buffy and Willow.
- Mobile Maze: The basement of Sunnydale High.
Xander: We can't use the blueprints to find our way around down here. It's like the walls move or something.
- Motionless Makeover: Dawn is paralyzed by Gnarl. Anya has fun posing her. When they have to run off to save the day leaving Dawn sitting on the couch with her arm extended, Buffy comes back momentarily to stick a remote in Dawn's hand.
- Monster Munch: The graffiti artist is our Victim of the Week. He happens to be wearing a Red Shirt.
- Monster of the Week
- Mortal Wound Reveal
Buffy: Dawn! Are you OK?
Dawn: I guess so... (looks down to see cut across her belly)
- Never My Fault / Poor Communication Kills: Lampshaded by Dawn, who points out that everyone is blaming themselves for what Willow has done. "When are people going to ask for help when they need it?"
- Nothing Is Scarier: The Gnarl demon is only shown fully towards the end.
- Nightmare Fetishist: They'll make a Watcher of Dawn yet.
Dawn: OK, so I looked up demons that skin their victims and demons that flay their victims 'cause, you know, same thing. There's a ton of prospects. Anything else gone? Uh, eyeballs, toenails or viscera? That's guts.
Buffy: She knows about viscera. Makes you proud.
- Now You Tell Me
Buffy: It says the paralysis is permanent.
Buffy: No. Oh, wait. My bad. Um, permanent until the creature dies. Sorry.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Anya has to file a flight plan every time she teleports.
- Parrot Expo-what?
Anya: Buffy's got some kind of job there helping junior deviants, Spike's insane in the basement, Xander's there doing construction on the new gym-—
Willow: Wait, Spike's what in the what-ment?
Anya: Insane, base.
- Pass the Popcorn: Buffy munches Brazilian nuts while Anya poses her paralytic little sister.
- Power Perversion Potential: The implications of Dawn getting hit by the paralysing agent has 'inspired' certain Fan Fic writers, as seen in this NC-17 fanfic.
Buffy: Spike follows the exciting smell of blood, and we follow the fairly ripe smell of Spike.
Dawn: It's smellementary.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Gnarl
They don't want you. (singing) Lock you in, nice white skin... (talking) And if they do return, where will they find you? Inside me, you'll already be.
- Sarcasm Mode / The Mad Hatter: The Scooby Gang follow Spike to...a cliff.
Xander: Well, give him a break, Buffy. Maybe it's a vicious skin-eating rock cliff.
Spike: There's a cave in it. Look. (pushes the bush aside to show a cave) I'm insane. What's his excuse?
- Spell My Name with a "The": Averted
Anya: Uh, it's not "The Gnarl", just "Gnarl".
- Shadow Discretion Shot
- Speak In Unison
Willow: Something horrible killed a boy. Took his skin right off.
Willow & Anya: (suspicious) Was it you?
Willow & Anya: (defensive) No!
- Talkative Loon: Subverted as Crazed!Spike figures out what's happening before the Scoobies do.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Xander re his heroics in "Grave".
"I saved the world with talking from my mouth. My mouth saved the world."
- Two Scenes, One Dialogue / Switching P.O.V.: Willow goes down to the Sunnydale High basement to see Spike. Suffering from a slight case of crazy at the time, Spike carries on a disjointed dialogue with Willow, at times speaking to an invisible person who we assume is the First. Minutes later, the scene shifts to Buffy (who can't see Willow) asking questions in the exact same room, with Spike repeating the exact same responses as before, only now the "blanks" from the audience's point of view are filled in.
- Un-Person: Due to her feelings of rejection, Willow's powers cause her to be erased from "family photographs" and Buffy's phone book. Later, she is lying on the couch in one reality, while Buffy, Xander and Dawn are sitting on the couch at the same time in another.
- What the Hell, Hero?
Willow: I wanna help any way I can with that. I feel really responsible.
Anya: You feel really responsible? You are really responsible!
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Dawn thinks she's in CSI.
Buffy: Wow, that was so close to being empowered.
Dawn: Everybody loves a slender ankle.
- Your Mind Makes It Real / Self-Inflicted Hell: Willow accidentally makes herself and the Scoobies invisible to each other simply by convincing herself that she couldn't face them after what she did
- And may have accidentally summoned the Gnarl the same way because she felt Giles and the Coven weren't punishing her the way she deserved for flaying Warren