• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Twelve thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Discussion of 5.16 "The Body" - Aired 2/27/01 (WB-US)

Amethyst

Scooby
Joined
Oct 9, 2011
Messages
521
Age
36
Location
Cheshire
Sineya
This episode is so sad! :( When Buffy finds Joyce it's just awful :( I thought the dinner dream was kinda weird though :eek:
When Buffy is doing CPR on her mum and her rib cracks! :eek: that just goes right through me! :(
I thought it was kinda annoying though, when the paramedic is talking and they only show half his face, I know it's suppose to show Buffy just seeing his mouth and trying to take in the words but still annoying :rolleyes:
What made me well up a few times in this episode were Buffy's 'Don't move the body!', Dawn's reaction at school and Anya's little speech :(
This episode was so eerily quiet but really well done! I thought it was brilliant how they depicted how Buffy and everyone was feeling and how their minds were working :) Brill episode but so freakin sad!!!!! :(:(
 

Jules

Bite Me
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
4,057
Age
36
Location
England
Black Thorn
How cruel to have the opeing scene as a happy Christmas scene and then to cut to Buffy finding her mum and not knowing what to do. Then showing her alive. It was so heartbreaking, especially when Giles shows up. I cried so much during this episode, when Buffy told Dawn, when Willow didnt know what to wear, Xander and Willow dealing with each others pain and Anya's speech.

I also love when Anya's says that she wishes Joyce hadnt died infront of the group and Buffy looks at her and says ''Thanks you''. Then the scene with Tara and Buffy bonding over both having lost their mum.

Its just such a sad episode, especially with there being no music throughout.
 

Jules

Bite Me
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
4,057
Age
36
Location
England
Black Thorn
I'm listening to the commentary by Joss Whedon and this episode is still making me cry.

Joss wanted to capture what it felt like to lose someone and the shock that person experiences. By not focusing on the paramedics faces it was a way of showing that to Buffy they were almost not real because she was in shock. The teasers of Joyce being a live was to show the thought process of Buffy, her thinking that things would be ok.

Dawn's first scene of her crying is to show that you think the little things are important until your forced to deal with the really important things.

The scene with the Scoobies shows how differently everyone deals with death; Xander gets angry, Willow is totally lost and Anya just doesnt understand. Their all seperate dealing with their own grief, but when Xander punches the wall it brings the group together. It lets them focus on the physical pain rather then the emotional.

Alyson actually had an allergic reaction to the plater dust and her right eye swelled up so much that she had to go to the hospital!

The shot of Xander's car getting a ticket was to highlight that life goes on regardless of your loss and grief.

Dawn's need to see the body was because she doesnt believe it has actually happened. It also shows Joss' experience with death, Buffy and Dawn cant connect- Buffy has experienced Joyce dying and Dawn hasnt. Death can tear people apart. TV shows portray it that it makes everyone closer/stronger and his experience is an important piece had been taken from his family/friends and would never be replaced.
 
NeonNightLight
NeonNightLight
[No message]
  • Like
Reactions: jls

Jeff86

Potential
Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
164
Age
34
Location
Detroit
I just finished watching this episode about an hour ago. I've said it before, and I'll say it again; "The Body" is the episode of television I have ever seen. It's flat-out perfect. Of course I always dread watching it because of how sad it is. SMG was just amazing in this episode. The entire 911 scene is just amazing acting, she makes it seem so raw and real. Brilliant. I also just sat in silence and reflected a little after watching this episode. Just makes me think about the important things. This episode is perfect.
 
J
Jod
[No message]
  • Like
Reactions: jls
V

Vamp Jenny

Guest
I'd never been a fan of that episode. On my last marathon rewatch, though, I found myself loving it. The way it was filmed was so different of the usual episodes and the fact that there were so little dialogues made the images much more powerful. As soon as I finished watching, I ran over to internet to look if they had won any award for that episode because I really think it deserved something for the way it was filmed.
 

Jod

Cookie dough
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
201
Age
30
Location
The grey UK
I'm currently doing a Btvs rewatch and the next episode is 'The body' and im kind of scared (if thats the right word) to watch it again...
The episode is done so well, using no music makes it feel so real. What Buffy does after she finds her mum is also so realistic - being sick, keeping her mums dignity by covering her legs with the skirt, cracking her ribs from CPR, her vision/hearing goes fuzzy when shes trying to focus on the paramedics. Ohh its so sad poor Buffy/Joyce. Well done to Joss!
 
  • Like
Reactions: jls

Zorinne

Townie
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
24
Location
USA
This episode. Oh my gosh. So many emotions going on. I almost felt as is i was experiencing it with Buffy and the gang. All through Buffy's scene with finding her mother and calling the paramedics and waiting for the coroner, my heart was just pounding. I didn't cry until Buffy told Dawn. With all her schoolmates watching and feeling it too. Ugh that hit so deep. So deep.

I thought I'd be okay not crying after that. But then there was Willow. Alyson Hannigan is such an amazing actress. Here come the tears. Xander really didn't make me cry, but then Anya did. I loved how it was just wacky Anya at first, but then she breaks down. It affected everyone.

I love this episode, it is perfect. So emotional. I love that there was no big monster that Buffy had to kill, no Glory. The vampire at the end was simply a tool to reveal Joyce's body to Dawn.

I cried so much. My roommate probably thinks I'm a crazy person.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jls

Wesley Pryce

Angel Investigations
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
743
Age
43
Location
Georgia
Black Thorn
I love this episode but i truly think its so overrated,its not that brilliant. It is great ep though :)
 

The Thirst Evil

The Un-slept
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
138
Location
New Romney, Kent, UK
I never had a clear grasp on the concept of death before seeing this episode. When I was eight years old I lost my grandmother, and emotionally I just didn't know how to react, much like Anya. The Body sums up, in forty minutes, what losing a loved one is like. It comes from Joss' own experience which would explain how he managed to capture it so accurately.

So ten years after I lose my grandmother, I lose my grandfather (from the same side). My Dad was the one who found him, and afterwards he phoned me up to deliver the news. He ran me through exactly what the process had been like. He found his dad, noticed he wasn't breathing, phoned the emergency services, they told him to administer CPR, that didn't work so the paramedics were called out and they pronounced him dead.

All the time he was telling me this, all I could think was 'this is exactly what Buffy went through with Joyce', and strangely, that really helped a lot. Thanks to this episode, I was able to deal with the death of my grandfather and keep my emotions in check. As Xander Harris once said "Sometimes I think to myself, what would Buffy do?"

There's many reasons that I love this show, and that is just one of them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jls

RoxySilver

Fan student
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Messages
231
Location
Switzerland
Black Thorn
I really agree with you [MENTION=8860]The Thirst Evil[/MENTION].
What you describe shows, at least to me, how perfect this episode is. It gets to people. It's not just television to entertain it's not just television to be dramatic. Whedon and his cast went beyond that to make an episode that depicted life. Actual, real life. Buffy is not a show about demons, it's a show about humans who deal with demons.

When my grandfather died, I had this silence in my head, it's like I could'nt formulate any sentences. I think it would have been insulting to put any music in this episode. When someone dies, there are silence and emptiness for a while.

The actors are amazing. SMG, Alyson and Emma blow me away. I love Anya's speech because she's right, she cannot understand why death is so final. This is a question that comes up again when Buffy and Tara die.
I love the bonding between Tara and Buffy. Sometimes, help doesn't come from people you know or trust the most. This moment may be the reason why Buffy calls Tara for help when Spike can hit her in S6.

To show how life changes for some people and goes on for other is brilliant. The ticket on Xander's car makes the trick just fine. And then the vampire at the end pulls Buffy back into her normal life. Life goes on too.
But she will never be the same and death will never be the same for her. This is the whole point of season 5.
Buffy's killed hundreds of monsters, she killed Angel but he came back, so the pain must be weakened. Jenny was killed but she wasn't that close to Buffy. It's the first time Buff's world changes dramatically and she nows it will never be the same. And the show will never be the same.

Thank you Whedon for this perfect television moment!
 

SRMarx

Potential
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
152
Location
southwest
I think this episode was brilliant in directing, writing, and acting. I love how the viewer is put into Buffy's position in the beginning of the episode. Having been through similar grief, I felt the portrayal of Buffy's grief was very genuine.

I personally love watching the episode (even though it is sad) because of the way all the characters interact and respond. It felt raw, honest, and real.
 

AnthonyCordova

Earth Invasion Taskforce Unlimited
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
2,090
Location
Denver, Colorado
Sineya
I just have a few things to say. Many of the previous complimentary comments can speak for me.

This is one of the most powerful and moving episodes of television I've seen.

I feel that way because I appreciate the honest moments in life. Most of our lives, we only half-participate in the things happening all around us. We show a little of ourselves, we share a little of ourselves, but we also always keep a little bit of ourselves from other people too. We are all actors most of our lives...we are usually trying to be something we are not, projecting to the people around us what we would like them to believe is us (whether we're aware of it or not); and we are usually too busy being self-absorbed to give ourselves over completely to the various events happening around us every minute of the day. We are half-there. Most of the time. In unusual circumstances (incredibly happy moments, incredibly tragic moments, or something alike) we let our guard down and say and speak and feel and act completely openly and honestly, without the filters that we get accustomed to living with. As an observer of people especially, I appreciate those moments. I like seeing people being completely honest and unfiltered, as a change from the normal.

This episode creates a series of moments like that. Unfiltered people, raw experience. And that's what truly good art accomplishes. It transcends the normal/mundane into the extraordinary. And for the viewer it provides the opportunity for insight, to get a glimpse into a more truthful state/condition of people and things. The Body is art. You could put this episode on infinite loop and hang it on a museum wall and it would be art. It would belong in a place like that. Precious little television I've seen would really qualify.

The only other thing I would say is that an episode this effective doesn't get created without talented actors to pull it off. It was this episode and Restless that convinced me, really convinced me, that the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer were truly talented actors (not just people I liked for personal reasons, or because I just like the show.) These two episodes are the proof. If I ever meet anyone who doubts that these actors are talented, I will refer them to these two episodes. Truly great and artistic episodes like this don't just happen by accident. In fact, the talent extends to the writer, director...everyone involved. An episode like this really proves that BtVS deserves to be held in high esteem.
 
Last edited:
RoxySilver
RoxySilver
[No message]
PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
[No message]
thetopher
thetopher
[No message]
M

mudslides

Guest
I dread getting to this episode in rewatches. This time I made my mum watch it with me and we both just sat there transfixed. It is realistic to the point of it almost feels like a documentary on grief and loss. It is bloody horrible to watch but its also amazing.
 
PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
[No message]

Silverspike

Scooby
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
1,565
I agree, but as the years have gone on I find myself skipping it when repeats come on TV as I find It wears me down too much emotionally.
 
Last edited:

Vigeous

I've been thinking about the world...
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
178
Age
28
Location
Canada
I hate watching this episode. It's far too heavy for me. I don't find it boring, or annoying, or anything like that. It's just too well done and way too real. It's so difficult to watch.

On that same token; the cast/crew did phenomenal work putting this episode together. I don't think it could possibly be any better. And I agree with many others in this topic; definitely one of the best pieces of drama to have ever aired on tv.

One thing that was going through my head during the episode, and I could easily be very wrong, but I feel like Buffy was wearing that same red sweater for one of the times Joyce was at the hospital and I want to say it was either the first time she was admitted, or when she was released. If that's true, that's a very cool little nod/foreshadow. If not, great wardrobe choice; bright red and what red typically represents symbolically.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jls

VisionBoy

Scooby
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Messages
1,072
Age
28
Sineya
I must admit, I do sometimes have to skip it. I need to be in the right frame of mind for it. I think it's different from any other Buffy episode in that it's so horribly real. That fear of losing a parent, the helplessness of someone you love being so ill.

The acting was terrific though. The three that stood out most for me were Sarah (goes without saying), Michelle Trachtenberg was terrific and Emma Caulfield had that nice scene. It was good to see Anya's lack of understanding humanity used in a serious way.
 

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
22,230
Black Thorn
I feel the episode was hurt by the inclusion of vampire at the end. 99% it was a great episode. They just should have had it fantasy-less and it would have been even better.
 

dillonk47polik

Real Name: Dillon
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
59
Age
24
Location
MD, U.S.
Sineya
I really like the beginning of the episode; it's so different than anything ever done on the show before. I really like the long shots and how it was filmed. The only thing I didn't really like was when Buffy puked on the floor, they could have left this out.
 

Charmander

Potential
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
218
Age
26
Location
England
Everybody is absolutely brilliant in this episode but especially Sarah.
I love how the Scoobies represent how people react to death, with Buffy hearing the sounds of other people's happiness, Xander blaming the doctors, Willow not knowing what's appropriate to wear, Dawn wanting to know where her mother is and if the body is still her and Anya not knowing what to do with herself or what's going to happen. In fact I try to detach myself from this episode to not get too upset but it's always when Anya breaks down that I do too.
It was strange seeing a vampire fight without music or witty remarks. Made it seem very real. And I also wonder how often the hospital has to deal with vampires.
 
Top Bottom