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Recap / Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 7 E 20 Touched

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"You listen to me. I've been alive a bit longer than you, and dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldn't imagine, and done things I'd prefer you didn't. Don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood, which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain. I've made a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years, and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of: you ... Here, look at me. I'm not asking you for anything. When I say "I love you", it's not because I want you, or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are. What you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand, with perfect clarity, exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the One, Buffy."

Faith takes over leadership of the Potentials.

Tropes Are:

  • Badass Longcoat: Buffy becomes a Badass Browncoat to fight Firefly Guy.
  • The Bait: Kennedy acts in this role to lure out a Bringer.
    Giles: Your performance as a disgruntled minion was spot on.
    Kennedy: I method.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment / What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: The First talks of how it envies the good people who are all having good sex — it's referring to being able to touch people, because the First would like to be able to snap someone's neck.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Spike watches Buffy when she is asleep in his arms, and Buffy does the exact same thing the next morning; she wakes up before Spike does, and spends a few moments tenderly stroking his hair and watching him sleep. Awww.
  • Big Blackout: For once this doesn't herald an attack by the enemy; it's because the employees of the power company have also left town.
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  • Bilingual Bonus / Hypno Pendulum: According to the shooting script Willow is saying in Turkish while casting the spell on the Bringer, "You are getting sleepy. Very, very sleepy. I do not have a pocket watch but then again, you do not have eyes."
  • Book Dumb
    Robin: That's exactly what the First does; finds your Achilles heel.
    Faith: Nah, it just talked to me. What? It does a heal thing too?
    Robin: Um, it's a phrase. Your weak spot.
    Faith: Oh, school thing. I was kinda absent that decade.
  • Bowdlerise: Some of Willow's/Kennedy's sex scene was cut from broadcast on TV.
  • Brutal Honesty
    Vi: I don't want to die.
    Anya: Don't worry. It's far more likely you'll live long enough to watch most of your friends die first. And then you'll die.
  • Buffy Speak: Buffy is an attaina-thon.
  • Call-Back
    • Buffy snarks at Spike that he really has a problem with the word "No", which has been the case throughout their relationship, from Spike's Anguished Declaration of Love in "Crush" to his Attempted Rape in "Seeing Red".
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    • Faith tells Spike "the time for speeches is over" in reference to Buffy's recent habit of speechifying.
    • Willow worries that making love to Kennedy will make her lose control and turn evil. Although the events of "The Killer In Me" are specifically mentioned, the similarities to Angel's Sex–Face Turn in "Surprise" are obvious.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Faith starts to feel them. Buffy lampshades it to Spike when he offers to kill Faith. "That's my problem. I say the word, some girl dies...every time."
  • Cliffhanger: Faith and the Potentials raid the Bringer armory, only to find an Incredibly Obvious Bomb ticking down the last few seconds.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Spike inadvertently copies Riley Finn's "You're a hell of a woman" speech from "As You Were". Also from that episode, Riley offered to solve Buffy's problems by killing Spike, and here Spike offers to solve Buffy's problems by killing Faith.
    • Giles is once again accused of being self-conscious about one of his students surpassing him in skill. Spike does it now (about Buffy) just as Willow did (about herself) in "Grave".
  • Darkened Building Shootout: Faith and the Potentials get into hand-to-hand combat with Bringers in a dark room, with the action lit mainly by the torches the girls are carrying.
  • Dead Girl Writing: The length of the message Buffy left on Spike's pillow implies that she didn't expect to come back — though we never find out what it says.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Spike shows how he loved being on a mission with Andrew.
    Spike: Bit of fresh air, that one. Thank God I don't breathe.
    • Then Faith tells Spike she's not interested in his reason-you-suck-speech, "so save your lack of breath."
  • Democracy Is Bad: Things devolve into chaos until Faith elects herself Fuhrer.
  • Demonic Possession: The Bringer talks via Andrew's mouth. Andrew isn't happy when Giles cuts the Bringer's throat, as he felt it too.
    "I feel used and violated... and I need a lozenge."
  • Dodge the Bullet: Buffy dodges Caleb's first punch by doing a Matrix-style backwards flippy thing.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The morning after their night of intimacy, Wood asks Faith how he can help with her plan of attack. Faith brushes him off by telling Wood to stay by the phone. "I'll call you if I need you."
  • Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That: Faith to Wood, because Faith has been spooked by her meeting with Mayor!First.
  • Double Vision: When Caleb fails to land a punch on Buffy, the First tells him off for lack of focus. Caleb snaps that the First appearing as Buffy at the time isn't helping. First!Buffy disappears with an irritated flash.
  • Dynamic Entry: Buffy tossing a dead Bringer down the stairs into the wine cellar.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Xander now wears one. Justified given his own nerd credentials; in the Season 8 comics he enjoys comparing himself to Nick Fury.
  • Get Out!: Faith to Mayor!First, who needless to say doesn't.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Spike says to Buffy that he's not much of a thinker. "I follow my blood, which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain."
  • Good Is Not Nice: Buffy evicts a man from his own house just so she can crash there. Ensouled!Spike offers to kill Faith for Buffy. Giles cuts the throat of their prisoner.
  • Heroic BSoD: Buffy after her friends kick her out.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Averted with the first lesbian sex scene on network television. And it didn't even involve a spell.
  • Hive Mind: Turns out the Bringers form one.
  • A House Divided: Played straight until Faith asserts her authority; then the Scoobies and Potentials fight as a well-oiled team. This implies that all they needed from Buffy was some proper leadership without the holier than thou attitude and a plan that made sense.
  • Hypocritical Humor: "Please don't mention parliamentary procedure." / "I second that."
  • Indirect Kiss: Anya and Xander share a tub of ice cream using a single spoon. When we cut back to them, they're making out on the floor.
  • Indy Ploy: Even Spike's love confessions are made up as he goes along!
    Buffy: What are you trying to say?
    Spike: I don't know. I'll know when I'm done saying it.
  • Ironic Juxtaposition: Spike words to Buffy, vs. First!Mayor's words to Faith, show the contrast between a good friend and an evil one.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Caleb calls Buffy a whore. Buffy cheerfully calls him a woman-hating jerk. Caleb rushes at Buffy in fury, knocking over a wine barrel exposing the trapdoor leading down to the Scythe.
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything
    Buffy: People are always trying to connect to me, and I just slip away. You should know.
    Spike: I seem to recall a certain amount of connecting.
    Buffy: Oh, please! We were never close. You just wanted me because I was...unattainable.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Buffy says she refused to connect to the Potentials knowing that they might be killed, then realises she's always cut herself off from people.
  • Jitter Cam: Used to show the disorganisation after Buffy leaves; the camera gets locked down when Faith asserts her authority.
  • Lecherous Licking: Kennedy licks Willow's neck with her studded tongue. From what Willow says in "Chosen", she licked some other places as well.
  • Leitmotif: The Spuffy...err Spike/Buffy theme plays during Spike's speech.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Mayor!First tries to set this up between Faith and Buffy. Fortunately Faith doesn't lose her head; she just sends the Scoobies to keep an eye on Buffy under the pretense of protecting her.
  • Love Confession: Spike's explains exactly why he loves Buffy.
    A hundred plus years, and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of. You. (Buffy looks away) Hey, look at me. I'm not asking you for anything. When I say I love you, it's not because I want you, or because I can't have you — it has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try... I've seen your kindness, and your strength, I've seen the best and the worst of you and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Spike offers to make Faith's death look like a painful accident.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Anya and Xander have sex on the kitchen floor; justified as the house is crowded, so there's a shortage of bedrooms.
  • Meaningful Echo: In Season 6's "As You Were" Riley Finn, having seen his relationship with Buffy collapse because she doesn't love him, returns to find Buffy at a low point in her life. He states that he loves her regardless, that nothing he's seen her do affects that in the least, and concludes by saying "You're a hell of a woman." Here Spike, having seen his own relationship with Buffy end for exactly the same reason, rallies her at a low point with a Love Confession that concludes with the same words.
  • Metaphorgotten
    Anya: We're all on death's door, repeatedly ringing the doorbell, like maniacal Girl Scouts trying to make quota.
  • Mind Screw: The First appears to Faith as the Mayor, the one person he knows will shake Faith up.
  • The Modest Orgasm: Willow's is shown by her eyes going very wide.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Faith wears a bra during sex — does Faith even own a bra?
  • No Mere Windmill: In the previous episode Giles dismissed Buffy's idea that Caleb was protecting something at the wine cellar as "tilting at windmills". It turns out she was right all along.
  • Mundane Solution: Caleb is trying to get around the old Sword In The Stone problem by having the Bringers drill out the rock around the Scythe.
  • Must Be Invited: Spike no longer needs one, which he puts down to the increasing influence of the Hellmouth. There's also the fact that everyone has fled Sunnydale.
  • Noisy Guns: There's a Dramatic Gun Cock when Buffy has a shotgun stuck in her face. It's a hammerless double-barreled type that should not produce such a sound.
  • The Nose Knows: Spike tracking Buffy.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Spike wakes up and finds Buffy gone and a note for him on the pillow. This is a Call-Back to Buffy's earlier lovers — Buffy woke up to find Angel (because he'd turned evil) and Parker (because he was The Casanova) gone, then Riley Finn ends up staying. This time it's Buffy who slips away the morning after.
  • Opposites Attract / Pair the Spares: Faith and...and Wood? After The First appears to Faith as Mayor Wilkins Robin checks on her, explaining how much of a threat she is for the Ultimate Evil to notice her. After trying to comfort her, Faith uses the opportunity to sleep with him.
  • The Power of Trust: Buffy inviting Spike into her bed.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: The trope was actually the whole basis of the episode, with even a bit of deconstruction by the incorporeal First. Though it was still a few episodes from the final battle, the stress of a half-season-long war resulted in Willow and Kennedy having sex for the first time, Robin and Faith hooking up, and Anya and Xander having sex despite being technically broken up, all at the same time (and rather noisily, too). As for Spike and Buffy, they just held each other through the night. Aw.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: Buffy tells Spike he only wanted her because she was unattainable; this provokes Spike's Love Confession.
    Buffy: What are you trying to say?
    Spike: I don't know. I'll know when I'm done saying it. Something pissed me off, and I just— "Unattainable." That's it.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: First!Mayor tells Faith that the Scoobies will always see her as a killer.
  • Right Through the Wall: Anya complains to Xander about the sound of Willow and Kennedy having sex; after all they've stopped doing it, so others should have similar consideration. Needless to say they end up having sex themselves.
  • Rousing Speech: Spike to Buffy, and Caleb even gives one to the First!
    Caleb: You're in the hearts of little children. You're in the souls of the rich. You're the fire that makes people kill and hate. The fire that will cure the world of weakness. They're just sinners. You are sin.
    Buffy!First: I do enjoy your sermons.
  • Rule of Threes: Buffy defeats Caleb on their third confrontation.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Spike crouches in front of Buffy as if proposing marriage when giving his Love Confession.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Spike's response to Willow's statement that Buffy took some time off after their 'discussion'.
  • Security Cling: Spike is about to leave so Buffy can get the sleep she wants, when Buffy invites Spike into her bed just to hold her — a major trust moment given his Attempted Rape last year.
  • Sex Montage / Sex for Solace: Except with one of the couples (Buffy and Spike) very pointedly not having sex.
  • Scare Chord: Faith suddenly confronted by Mayor!First.
  • Screaming Warrior: Amanda fires at a Bringer and misses, reaches for another quarrel only to come up empty. She screams and charges at the Bringer, bashing him with her crossbow.
  • Shaped Like Itself
    Willow: I think we're wasting time arguing about how to argue.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Spike starts telling off everyone, only to be cut off by Faith. "The time for speech-giving is over, Bat Boy." Spike agrees, and the two promptly slug it out.
  • Single Tear: Buffy during Spike's Rousing Speech slash Love Confession.
  • Slashed Throat: A captured Bringer gets one from Giles.
  • Something That Begins with "Boring": The Resident Badass and Resident Nerd are holded up in the mission, waiting for nightfall.
    Andrew: I spy with my little eye something that begins with a T.
    Spike: Tapestry.
    Andrew: Hey, good one. How did you?
    Spike: Tapestry's the only thing in the whole bloody room.
  • Stealth Pun: The title. Faith, Wood, Kennedy, Willow, Anya and Xander all get a little touch.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Spike confronts Giles with words along these lines, saying that one of the reasons that Giles turned on Buffy was that he was jealous that Buffy had surpassed him in her abilities.
  • This Is Something She's Got To Do Herself: Buffy goes alone to confront Caleb, even though she could have taken Spike with her.
  • Tongue Trauma: The Bringer can't talk because his tongue has been torn out. Dawn comes up with the idea of using a spell used to talk to the recently-deceased. The Bringer ends up using Andrew as his 'voice'.
  • Verbal Backspace:
    • Faith tells Giles to get everyone ready around 7 am, then realising she's got to appear more decisive, changes it to "seven sharp".
    • Wood says how he just wanted to be hugged when the First appeared in the form of his mother, then quickly adds, "In a manly way."
    • Spike mentions he hit Faith a few times. Buffy perks up somewhat. "Really? I mean, not that I'm glad..."
  • Wall Jump / In a Single Bound: Buffy defeats Caleb by using her surroundings to her advantage, so he can't land a punch.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Andrew says this re Buffy when Spike is fretting about being stuck in the mission during daylight. Well aware of the consequences of Tempting Fate, Spike just growls at him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Spike has this reaction upon hearing that the Scoobies kicked Buffy out.
    Spike: You sad, sad ungrateful traitors. Who do you think you are?!
    Willow: [stammering] We're her friends. We just want-
    Spike: Oh that's ballsy of you! You're her friends and you betray her like this?!
    Giles: You don't understand-
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: In his anger with the group (and Giles' attempt to rationalize their decision), Spike, after a beat, calls him "Rupert", right before invoking the Surpassed the Teacher trope listed above.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Faith vs. Spike.
    Faith: You're pretty sweet on her, aren't you? (kicks Spike in the face) I think it's cute...the way she's got you whipped.

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