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Recap / Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 7 E 2 Beneath You

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"I think they were dreams. So weak. Did you make me weak, thinking of you, holding myself, and spilling useless buckets of salt over your ... ending? Angel ... he should've warned me. He makes a good show of forgetting, but it's here, in me, all the time. The spark. I wanted to give you what you deserve, and I got it. They put the spark in me and now all it does is burn."
Spike

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_20190219_043900_video_player.jpg
"...can we rest?"
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The Scoobies meet a woman who's being terrified by a worm demon. Spike turns up offering his help.

  • Am I Just a Toy to You?
    Spike: Am I flesh? Am I flesh to you? Feed on flesh. My flesh. Nothing else. Not a spark. (nods) Oh, fine. Flesh then. Solid through. (starts unzipping his pants) Get it hard; service the girl.
  • Arc Words / Vagueness Is Coming: From beneath you, it devours. The Hellmouth, as Willow knows, has teeth.
  • Avengers, Assemble!: Averted — Dawn suggests they round up the Scoobies to deal with the Monster of the Week. Xander points out that what's left of the Scooby Gang is already there in the room.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For
  • Beware the Nice Ones / If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Dawn getting unbelievably scary.
    Dawn: Spike. You sleep, right? You. Vampires. You sleep.
    Spike: Yeah. What's your point, niblet?
    Dawn: Well, I can't take you in a fight or anything, even with a chip in your head. But you do sleep. If you hurt my sister at all... touch her... you're gonna wake up on fire.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: Buffy comes swinging in on a rope to snatch Nancy from the jaws of the monster. Errol Flynn would be proud.
  • Bilingual Bonus: A Potential in Germany is being chased by assassins near a nightclub. A techno piece by Stillste Stund blares on the score, with the only lyrics being "Von der Tiefe verschlingt es" — German for "From the depth it devours".
  • Bored with Insanity: Subverted; Spike appears to have reverted to normal, but Buffy doesn't believe his explanation that the zombie ghosts in "Lessons" were responsible for his ravings. She soon discovers his 'sanity' is only a facade.
  • Brick Joke: Wood doesn't eat at the Doublemeat Palace because he's a vegetarian — the Secret Ingredient of their burgers is soy meat. He also warns Buffy not to befriend the students as they'll "eat you alive."
    Buffy: You heard about Principal Flutie, right?
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  • Buffy Speak: Willow is worried she'll go all veiny again. Xander says the Arc Words sound "monsterific".
  • Call-Back:
  • Continuity Nod: Loads
    • Buffy's prophetic dreams, last seen in Season 4's "Hush".
    • Spike taunting Buffy with "Working out the personal issues, huh?" and "Ooh, up for another round at the balcony then?" refer to Buffy beating Spike and having sex with him on the Bronze balcony in "Dead Things"
    • Dawn smooching a vampire happened in "All The Way".
    • Anya and Spike bring up their one-time Sex for Solace in "Entropy".
    • Spike assuming that Buffy just wants sex when she touches him refers to their Destructive Romance, when Buffy would use Spike for sex and then walk out whenever things got platonic. Buffy's horrified response is due to his Attempted Rape in "Seeing Red".
    • "Do not start by saying you're sorry." The rape attempt happened after Spike went to Buffy's house to apologise for sleeping with Anya.
    • Spike talks of "spilling useless buckets of salt over your ending" (Buffy's death in "The Gift").
    • Principal Flutie was eaten by students possessed by hyena spirits in "The Pack".
  • Crash-Into Hello: Nancy flees from the worm demon and runs into Xander. Unfortunately it doesn't lead to romance despite Xander's hopes, because Nancy finds the Scoobies are even crazier than her ex.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Though it wasn't Nancy's fault, as she didn't know she was talking to a vengeance demon with a quota to fill.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Spike referring to the catwalk sex scene from "Dead Things" confirmed it wasn't an Imagine Spot, as some fans claimed.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Beneath You" refers to both the burrowing Monster of the Week and the Arc Words. It may also refer to "Fool for Love" where Cecily and later Buffy rejected William/Spike's ardor with the flat statement of "You're beneath me."
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Buffy dreams of the murder of a Potential in Frankfurt, and realizes there's more deaths to follow.
  • Eureka Moment: Nancy using the word 'wish' makes Xander realise that Anya is responsible for the worm monster. Spike mentioning Angel makes Buffy realise that Spike now has a soul.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Spike's Slicked-Back Hair of Sanity.
  • Eyes Never Lie: Anya looks in Spike's eyes and sees he has a soul.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: Spike in the church. "I dreamt of killing you."
  • Fatal Attractor: Dawn tells Buffy and Xander that they really need to "ease up with the whole dating demons thing."
    Buffy: Uh, hello, I'm sorry. Wasn't that you having the smooch-a-thon with Teen Vampire last Halloween?
  • Foreshadowing: Anya warns there will be consequences of her cancelling the spell on Ronnie.
  • Flashback Cut: Spike hands Buffy a torch and their fingers touch — the body contact causes Buffy to flash back to Spike's Attempted Rape.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: This is Joss Whedon. Come on. After this Spike talks about getting it hard to service the girl while taking off his pants.
    "Holding myself, spilling useless buckets of salt over your...ending."
  • Ghost Butler: On her first day as school counsellor, Buffy slips down to the Creepy Basement to check on Spike. She can't find him, but a door slams elsewhere, implying Spike slipped out to avoid her.
  • Good Costume Switch: Spike's blue shirt. After his breakdown he takes it off, saying, "It didn't work. Costume. Didn't help. Couldn't hide."
  • Heroic BSoD: Just as Spike stabs the worm demon it reverts back into Ronnie, firing the chip in Spike's head. The shock shatters Spike's fragile mental control.
  • Holy Burns Evil / Macho Masochism / Crucified Hero Shot: The episode ends with Ensouled!Spike draping himself over the church cross.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: The intertwined sexual history of Buffy, Spike, Xander and Anya is explained to Nancy. In exasperation she asks if any of them haven't slept together — Xander and Spike share an awkward look.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: "They put the spark in me, and all it does...is burn."
  • Improvised Weapon: After Spike says, "I dreamt of killing you", Buffy grabs a broken piece of the church pew as a stake.
  • Internal Reveal: Buffy discovers Spike has a soul.
  • Leitmotif: The Season 7 Spuffy theme is heard for the first time.
  • Literal Genie: Subverted as Anya - feeling the pressure from her fellow demons - is embellishing the wishes. Nancy just wished her ex-boyfriend Ronnie was a worm, not that he'd turn into a giant Sluggoth demon.
  • Love Martyr: Buffy is shocked that Spike would damage himself like this by getting a soul.
    Buffy: Why? Why would you do that—
    Spike: Buffy, shame on you. Why does a man do what he mustn't? For her. To be hers.
  • The Mad Hatter: Some of Spike's Deadpan Snarker nature breaks through his insanity.
    Buffy: Spike, have you completely lost your mind?
    Spike: Well, yes. Where've you been all night?
  • Meaningful Echo: When Buffy hears Spike repeat the Arc Words during his raving.
  • Mission Control: Dawn appoints herself this. When Buffy gives her a look, she says she'll actually be doing her homework, "but the other one sounded cooler."
  • Monster of the Week: Ronnie, due to being turned into a Sluggoth demon by Anya.
  • Moral Myopia: Anya being upset over the dog being eaten.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: The techno-beat music stops when the Frankfurt Potential is killed.
  • Must Be Invited: Buffy hasn't revoked Spike's yet. While this has Ship Tease implications, a simpler explanation is that Willow and Tara are no longer around to cast a de-invite spell.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Spike moves to stab Ronnie when he's a worm only for Anya to turn him back into a human right before the pole impales him. The attack causes Spike's chip to go off and Spike, realizing that he's just attacked a human again, starts to break down, leading to the church scene between him and Buffy at the end of the episode.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Principal Wood jokes that kids only understand "the boot, the bat and the bastinada." When Buffy just stares, Wood mutters that the joke never works because no-one knows what a bastinada is.
    Buffy: Wooden rod to slap the soles of the feet in Turkish prisons, but if made with the correct wood makes an awesome Billy club?
    Wood: I think you're going to fit in just fine.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: There are times during his crazy rants where James Marsters' normally pretty good English accent slips. Most noticeable during the "From beneath, it devours" speech on words like "Bloodshed."
  • Poor Communication Kills: The Scoobies call Buffy on the fact that she's still holding back important information from them. Averted when Buffy has the patience to sort through all Spike's evasions and mad babbling to find out what's really the problem.
  • Red Herring: The Scoobies assume that "From beneath you it devours" refers to the burrowing Monster of the Week.
  • Roof Hopping: Buffy and Spike chasing the worm demon.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Again subverted.
    Anya: Oh, penis!
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend
    Xander: Who? Buffy? Oh, no, no, no, no, no. See, uh, I mean, she's a girl, and she's a friend, but she's not my girlfriend.
    Dawn: Xander... a little drool.
  • Shout-Out: The Cold Open to Run, Lola, Run.
  • See You in Hell
    Spike: And now everybody's in here, talking. [snip] They all just tell me go... go... to Hell.
  • Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter!: Set in a church, no less.
    Buffy: You got your soul back...
    Spike: It's what you wanted, right? (looks up) It's what you wanted, right?
  • Stealth Pun: Dawn (Sun) threatens to set Spike (vampire) on fire.
  • Sunnydale Syndrome
    Nancy: You hear things in this town, living here in Sunnydale, but nobody actually believes them.
  • Take That!: A rather petty one that's, well, beneath them as the opening scene kills a young woman with pink-dyed hair who looks a lot like Sydney Bristow when she wears a red/pink wig, the character who was currently stealing a lot of Buffy's thunder as a badass female hero. The rest of the series would show this scene at every opportunity.
  • Talk to the Fist: Spike punches Anya to stop her blurting out that he has a soul.
  • Tender Tears: Buffy weeps at the sight of Spike burning himself on the cross.
  • Trauma Button: While she's able to keep it under wraps, inadvertently touching Spike's hand while investigating the worm demon's attack causes Buffy to flashback to Spike's rape attempt in "Seeing Red."
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: In a platonic love version, Giles walks Willow to the taxi (so she can catch the plane back to the US) under his umbrella.
  • Walk-In Chime-In: Spike's unexpected appearance.
    Buffy: The only thing that I need is a little—
    Spike: (from the door) What you need is help. Fortunately, you've got me.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Played for Drama — being alone in close proximity to a half-naked vampire who once tried to rape her puts Buffy on edge.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Dawn and Xander both call out Buffy for not telling them she saw Spike in the basement in the previous episode, as well as her tendency to shut them out and resort to Poor Communication Kills.
    Buffy: Okay, yes. I saw Spike. I just didn't—
    Dawn: What? You just forgot to mention it?
    Buffy: Things were insane in the basement! I saved your life! We can discuss this later.
    Dawn: Sure.
    Xander: Whenever you want.
    Dawn: Right. 'Cause that seems to be the only time you let us in, Buffy. Whenever you want.
  • Wormsign
  • Would Hit a Girl: Spike attacks Anya when she's about to blurt out that he has a soul. He ends up getting Punched Across the Room by Anya in her Game Face Super Mode.
  • Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: Asked by Buffy of Spike In-Universe. "Do you think you could just come back and...be with me?" Spike snarks back that there's a first time for everything.
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