Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 6 E 19 Seeing Red

Go To

Warren steals a pair of demon orbs that give him superpowers. Spike's attempt to reconcile with Buffy goes disastrously wrong. After Buffy foils the Trio's latest scheme, Warren takes a terrible revenge and in the process produces one of the most if not the most infamous moment in anything Joss Whedon ever did. Original air date, May 7, 2002

  • Ambiguously Gay: King Andrew of the Ambiguous Gayness returns again, becoming rapidly less ambiguous.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The Orbs of Nezzla'khan give whoever possesses them Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability.
  • Attempted Rape
  • Big "NO!": Andrew seeing the archway collapse on Warren.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Willow ends up covered in Tara's blood after Tara gets shot and killed by Warren.
  • Booby Trap: The Trio's basement gets torn apart by automated buzzsaws after Buffy enters it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Broken Pedestal: Xander finally takes Buffy off the pedestal that he's had her on for years after finding out that she and Spike were sleeping together.
  • Bullets Do Not Work That Way: The bullet that kills Tara has to make at least two sharp turns in mid-air. The first one to travel horizontally from the bullet hole in the window to Tara, after having to travel diagonally upwards to reach a second-story window from the back yard.
  • Bully Hunter: The first thing Warren does on gaining superpowers is look up someone who bullied him in school and pick a fight with him by hitting on his girlfriend.
  • Bury Your Gays: Hoo boy. Joss however said he was unaware of the trope.
  • Covered in Gunge: Jonathan after wearing the Neezla skin.
  • Cliffhanger: Warren shows up in broad daylight with a gun, shoots Buffy on purpose and Tara by accident, and runs. Tara dies instantly, Buffy's close to death and Willow, who just watched Tara die, starts getting glowing eyes as she sobs in rage and grief...
  • Advertisement:
  • Curse Cut Short: Warren gets out "I swear to God I'm gonna take you down, you piece of sh—" before taking off in his jetpack.
  • Daylight Horror: Spike's rape attempt occurs in a brightly-lit bathroom, in deliberate contrast to their rough but mutually-agreed sex in crypts, catwalks and dark alleys.
  • Description Cut
    • The Xander/Buffy argument cutting to Tara saying "It's all a mess." (the Trio's captured files)
    • Warren says, "Let's make some noise." Cut to Buffy fighting a vampire.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: It seems like everything's been wrapped up, 2/3 of The Trio are behind bars, Warren no longer has the Orbs, and Buffy has reconciled with Xander...then Warren shows up with a gun.
  • Did the Earth Move for You, Too?
    Tara: When did morning happen?
    Willow: After the moon went down. (kisses Tara) I forgot how good this could feel... us together... without the magic.
    Tara: There was plenty of magic.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The Buffy fight against Warren.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Warrens gains strength from a pair of balls.
  • Double Entendre: Tara and Willow work in as many as possible.
    Willow: Hey. Clothes.
    Tara: Better not get used to them.
    Tara: What about the Trio's evil scheme?
    Willow: (moving over to Tara) I'm busy working on my own.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Could be referring to Andrew going off the deep end, or Willow at the end.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: According to James Marsters, the rape scene was the idea of a female writer, based on an incident where she tried to force sex on her boyfriend who was breaking up with her. "The thing is, if you flip it and make it a man forcing himself on a woman, I believe it becomes a whole different thing."
  • Downer Ending: Both Buffy and Tara have been shot by Warren, Tara fatally.
  • Dramatic Irony: It's only when things are about to break down completely between Buffy and Spike that they start to have that 'relationship' talk Spike wanted back in "Gone" and "Tabula Rasa".
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Buffy gets a back injury during a fight with a vampire, and falls against the bathtub when Spike grabs her, injuring herself again in the same spot. This (along with sheer panic and disbelief that this is happening to her) slows Buffy's response to Spike's attack.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way
    Buffy: There's two ways this can end. And right now, I'm thinkin' they're both going to hurt.
    (Warren climbs out of the rubble)
    Andrew: I think you're right.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Spike and Xander.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Not even spoiling this one because we all know who.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Jonathan, having long since sussed out Warren is out of control, surreptitiously tells Buffy how to defeat him
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Spike assumes that Buffy stopped Xander from killing him because she's secretly in love with him.
  • Failed Dramatic Exit: After Buffy has defeated Warren and Andrew, the former escapes using a Jet Pack. Andrew reveals that he has a jet pack as well, and tells Buffy that it's not over and We Will Meet Again before jetting into an overhanging roof and knocking himself unconscious.
  • Famous Last Words: We know them.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Jonathan re Warren. "He's going to end up getting us thrown into jail. Or worse."
    • Buffy tells Spike that she does have feelings for him, but doesn't trust him enough for those feelings to become love. A major trust moment between the two in Season 7 is when Buffy invites Spike to hold her while she's sleeping; a couple of episodes later she finally admits she loves him.
    • For the Grand Finale: "Great love is wild and passionate and dangerous. It burns and consumes." / "Until there's nothing left."
    • Andrew telling Warren he's done being the bait - "Next time one of you can wiggle on the hook." One episode later, Willow tortures Warren to death by tying him to a tree and ripping his skin off.
  • Friendship Moment: When making up after their previous argument, Xander says he doesn't know what he'd do without Buffy and Willow, to which Buffy replies "Let's never find out".
  • Geographic Flexibility: Sunnydale has an amusement park too.
  • Get Out!: The first thing Buffy says to Spike in the bathroom scene. It goes downhill from there.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Spike breaks a bottle in his hand after having a Flashback Cut of his Attempted Rape of Buffy.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Averted when Warren activates the orbs.
    Andrew: [You] don't look any different. I thought they were supposed to make us all huge and veiny.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Jonathan tips Buffy to Warren's Achilles' Heel.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: For once, this is true.
    Buffy: [Anya did] something very stupid.
    Xander: With your boyfriend.
    Buffy: He is not my boyfriend.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Averted; after two years of lesbian love being conveyed by Held Gaze, Intertwined Fingers and Does This Remind You of Anything? subtext, we suddenly have three smoochy scenes in a single episode between Willow and Tara! Unfortunately, it doesn't last.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Andrew re Warren.
    "I can't wait to get my hands on his orbs."
    • The subtext rapidly became text:
    Andrew: How could he do this to me? He promised we'd be together, but ... he was just using me. He never really loved... hanging out with us.
  • I Should Have Done This Years Ago: Buffy has this to say after fighting Spike off.
    Buffy: Ask me again why I could never love you!
    Spike: Buffy... My God, I didn't--
    Buffy: Because I stopped you! [quieter] Something I should have done a long time ago.
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: Willow is saying (re Buffy and Spike) "You know, when two people have such strong feelings for each other—" when a bedsheet-wrapped Tara steps out into the corridor, turning Dawn into Squee! Girl.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Well, not instant, but close enough. Tara barely has time to say two words to Willow before the hole in her chest registers and her brain shuts down.
  • Is That the Best You Can Do?: Buffy knocks Warren into a stone archway. He gets up unharmed.
    Warren: Is that all ya got? (archway collapses on top of him)
  • Last-Second Word Swap: More Ho Yay from Andrew re Warren.
    Andrew: He never really loved... hanging out with us.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Dawn is eager to give Willow and Tara some space. Eventually the lovebirds depart for Tara's dorm so everyone can have the house back. This means Buffy is alone in the house when Spike pays a visit...
  • Living Bodysuit: The Trio skin the Neezla demon so they can pass through the energy barrier and steal the orbs.
  • Love Hurts
    Spike: I wanted something, anything to make these feelings stop; I just wanted it to stop! (whispers) You should have let him kill me.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Love makes you an attempted rapist, in Spike's case. And Willow losing her love, whoooo boy...
  • Meaningful Echo: In "Dead Things" Buffy said that the only time she felt anything was when she was sleeping with Spike. Here Spike says when trying to rape her, "I know you felt it. When I was inside you. You'll feel it again, Buffy. I'm gonna make you feel it!"
  • Metaphorgotten: Both Anya and Xander start talking to a woman in a bar and end up ranting about their recent problems.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Given that it involves two women, at least it's less conspicuous.
  • Moral Dissonance: Spike believes Buffy is in denial about her love for him, and so tries to force himself on her, hoping to reignite the violent passion of their sexual relationship.
  • Mundangerous: Laid low by a bullet instead of a supernatural threat.
  • My Favorite Shirt: Buffy gets her leather jacket sliced by a bandsaw. "OK, that's gonna cost ya."
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: There are shades of this with Xander and Buffy. Almost kinda.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Spike tries to force himself on Buffy before she stops him. He looks up at her, realizing how far he just crossed the line.
    Spike:"Oh god. Buffy... I didn't —"
  • Neck Snap: Warren tests his new powers by doing this to a Neezla demon.
  • Nerds Speak Klingon: Buffy finds a bunch of documents in the lair of the nerdy Trio. Willow and Tara are not able to all decipher all the documents, but Xander recognizes it on sight.
    Xander: It's Klingon. They're love poems. Which has nothing to do with the insidious scheme you're about to describe.
  • Noodle Incident: When a now super-strong Warren seeks revenge on a high school bully of his and refreshes his memory.
    "You and your jock buddies used to give me such a hard time. That thing with the underwear? God, I thought I'd never stop crying!"
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Subverted. We knew from the get-go Warren had some darkness, "Dead Things" confirmed it, and here it's crystallized.
  • Oh My Gods!: Xander lets out a "Sweet fancy Moses!" after Warren lets fly.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner
    Warren: Say goodnight, bitch!
    (Buffy snatches the orbs off Warren and smashes them)
    Buffy: Goodnight, bitch! (Warren gets Punched Across the Room)
  • Person as Verb
    Willow: Tara and I can Sherlock around.
    Andrew: You can't Siegfried and Roy the barrier.
    Buffy: Jonathan and Andrew got clinked, but Warren pulled a Rocket Man.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: Just when it seems like the story has been wrapped up, Warren appears, and shoots Buffy and Tara.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Amber Benson is promoted. This was the tipoff something would happen, but no one was prepared...
  • Punched Across the Room:
    • Warren now has this power, as well as Punch Catch.
    • During the rape scene, Buffy struggles and pleads with Spike to get off her; he only stops after she kicks him across the bathroom into the wall.
  • Rape as Drama: The writers knew that Spike had to commit something particularly shocking to make his decision to undergo the Demon Trials plausible, especially given his Badass Decay. In-Universe Spike is horrified because he tried to rape Buffy, not for the rape itself — in fact he's just as upset that he didn't go through with it. Xander views the act as one with the mass murders Spike committed in his pre-chip days. Buffy appears to blame herself, conscious of how her desire for rough sex and "No" Means "Yes" behaviour has led up to this point.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The cliffhanger at the end shows Willow's eyes turning red.
  • Rock Bottom: Xander says he thought he'd hit rock bottom with his wedding breakup over Anya, but the news of Buffy sleeping with Spike managed to be an extra kicker.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Willow and Tara wake up among red sheets.
  • Running Gag: "Warren and Jonathan and that other guy have been watching Buffy."
  • Sex Equals Love: What Spike believes — all that violent passion must have meant something to her, right? Nope.
  • Shout-Out: When Spike complains about the chip in his head, Clem suggests using a wet cloth.
  • So Happy Together: We finally get to see Willow and Tara together. Fans immediately knew something was in the offing, but again, no one was ready.
  • Some Kind Of Forcefield: The barrier protecting the orbs.
  • Shower of Angst: Inverted from the usual scenario. Buffy is about to have a hot shower to soothe her back injury when Spike walks in on her — her vulnerability at that point only increases the tension. When Xander finds Buffy afterwards, she's sitting on the floor crying, not in the shower.
  • Speaking Simlish: Spoofed; the ancient text the geeks had in their basement is actually a Klingon love poem.
  • Squee!: Dawn on realising Willow and Tara have gotten back together again.
  • Squick: In-Universe, while searching for the Trio Buffy has a good look at the scantily clad figurines they collect and is clearly put off by their lecherous ideas about women.
  • Static Stun Gun: Used by the Trio on the Nezzla demon.
  • Stay Frosty: Warren to Andrew.
  • Stray Shots Strike Nothing: Rather famously averted.
  • Tempting Fate/Rhetorical Question Blunder
    Buffy: How hard you gonna hit when you're blowin' in the wind?
    (Vampire kicks Buffy into a tombstone just as she dusts him)
    Buffy: (groaning) That was rhetorical.
  • Tested on Humans: Warren tests Jonathan's ability to survive the Nezzla demon barrier by shoving him through it.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Willow and Tara come downstairs, all Holding Hands and giggly.
    Willow: Okay, we're here, ready for action! ...uh, bad guy fighting action.
  • There Was a Door:
  • Third Act Stupidity: Warren attacks Buffy in her home instead of fleeing Sunnydale. Likely a sign of his Villainous Breakdown by this stage.
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: Warren activating the orbs.
  • Toasted Buns: Warren yelps as he takes off with his Jet Pack.
  • Twisted Echo Cut: Anya is ranting about Xander.
    Anya: And then he thinks he can just sweep the carnage underneath the rug by saying , "Oh—"
    Smash Cut to Andrew: (backing off from a demon) I'm sorry! Sorry!
  • Visual Innuendo: Feminist Fantasy Buffy destroys Straw Misogynist Warren's power by busting his balls...err, orbs. He responds by getting a gun.
  • We Will Meet Again: Spike on his bike.
    Spike: "Get nice and comfy, Slayer. I'll be back. And when I do, things are gonna change."
  • Wham Episode: The Ur-Example for the series.
  • Wham Line:
    Warren: "You think you can just do that to me?! You think I'd let you get away with that?! (laughs crazily) Think again."
  • What Were You Thinking?: Xander's response to Buffy sleeping with Spike.
  • White Shirt of Death/Blood-Splattered Innocents: Willow's white shirt gets splattered with Tara's blood.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Spike's attempted rape of Buffy only got as far as it did because a run-of-the-mill vampire had got a lucky shot in earlier (as she was staking him, no less). Both injuries carry over into Buffy's fight with a superpowered Warren; he can tell she's off her game.
  • Wrong Name Outburst: Tara and Willow are smooching when Tara looks out the window and sees: "Xander!"
    Willow: OK, not quite the response I was looking for.
  • You Fight Like a Cow
    Warren: You think maybe you could put in a word for me with that Anya chick? 'Cause if she's taking it from a vamp, I think I might have a chance.
    Xander punches Warren — and gasps in pain.
    Warren: No wonder she's screwing a dead guy. You hit like a girl.
    Xander: Well, at least I know how to get one.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Buffy whines "Oh come on!" after seeing Warren take off in a Jet Pack.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: