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Discussion of 5.21 "The Weight of the World" - Aired 5/15/01 (WB-US)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Sineya
Despite their best efforts, Glory has succeeded in taking Dawn. This failure after so much effort proves too much for Buffy and she slips into a catatonic state. Willow must use magick to enter her mind and help her work through the trauma before it is too late to save Dawn. Or the rest of the world.

Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 

VisionGirl

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I really like the scenes with Willow in Buffy's subconscious. But the Ben/Glory thing got tiresome. OK, OK, we get it, Ben is Glory, Glory is Ben, and the mystical barrier between the two is starting to fall. So Glory is feeling Ben's human emotions, and Ben is remembering Glory's heinous acts. It does drag on for a little too long.

So...Buffy does indeed have a death wish? Spike says it in FFL, but we (OK, maybe I) tend to think that no, it is different for Buffy, because of her ties to her humanity. She delves into that more when she communes with the First Slayer. Maybe all the events of season 5 (dissolution of Briley, discovering who Dawn really is, Joyce dying) really do build up this death wish for her, making the events of The Gift even more sad.
 

PassionBecoming

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I really liked this episode. It's interesting going into Buffy's mind - it is obvious how lost and guilty she feels about everything going on around her. She HAS had the weight of the world for years, and longs to go back to a place where she was taken care of and worry-free. What a great bonding moment for Willow and Buffy, too - I always like when the Scoobies have those because they are so important.

Spike trying to explain the Ben and Glory situation cracks me up every time. "Is everyone here very stoned??" HAHAHA. And at the hospital when he smacks Xander: "This will be worth it." Heehee.

I felt bad for Dawn in this one, especially in the alley when Ben and Glory are fighting. She almost made it away, then gets thrown around like a doll while they're arguing. Sheesh.

Ben is pretty much disgusting to me - he could end his life and save everyone, but is too selfish. Then he sacrifices Dawn to save his own hiney. Hello, Hypocratic Oath?

All in all, this was the best episode since "Forever" for me, I think.
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
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K
katmobile
One reason I had no problem with what happens to him next. He's a douche.

Amethyst

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Seeing Buffy catatonic was certainly different! :S Were so used to her taking on anything and everything but this time it just got too much :(
Buffy's poor mind was totally messed up :(
I really hate Ben :mad:
 

Ripper666

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I was a little bit snubbed about the fact that Buffy was so far away... Nobody could reach her! That was quite scary. And after thinking about it I have to think about what could had happen if Willow wasn't a strong witch with magical powers! Maybe no Happy Ending...
 
AnthonyCordova
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patriot1123

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I loved this episode. I loved the dialogue with Spike (is everyone here very stoned?). I loved that Ben was painted as a selfish person who would sacrifice Dawn, which made Giles's actions in The Gift a lot less morally ambiguous. I loved the parts inside Buffy's mind, and the flashbacks to her childhood. I love that Spike's ability to be the only person to see Glory's true identity vindicated Buffy in bringing him along. Think where they would be if he had not been with them.

And, forgive me for being the brokenest record in existence (I can hear all of your eyes going on a roll around the world at this point) but, once again, I LOVED Anthony's acting. One of the things I've noticed about him is that he does "pain" in such subtle, genuine ways. Here, just the way he holds himself in the hospital corridor talking with Xander and Spike displays considerable pain without being ham-handed about it. He does the same thing in Becoming Pt. 2 at the end, outside the school.
 
E
EvilWillow
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wickedtiger86
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AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
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Charmander
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Jules

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Watching Buffy have a complete break down was interesting. We've seen her rant and rave about her destiny and lose battles but she always gets it done, she never stops being the Slayer, a leader. So this was interesting. It was also good to see Glory feeling Ben's emotions and vice versa. Willow was great taking charge, she's really getting powerful. I was shocked at the last scene were Giles suggests to kill Dawn.
 

AnthonyCordova

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Ooooh, what's in the box Spike stole?!

Watching Ben and Glory trade lines was entertaining. I also enjoyed watching Glory lose a little control and confidence and suffer brief moral pain (feeling Ben's feelings). Clare Kramer was an excellent choice for Glory; her acting is terrific.

I liked Willow taking command of the situation in the beginning with Buffy out. Willow is the best thinker in that group with the exception of Giles. I imagine next episode Buffy will have to lean on her more than usual to be successful.

---------- Post added at 11:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:03 AM ----------

Ben is pretty much disgusting to me - he could end his life and save everyone, but is too selfish. Then he sacrifices Dawn to save his own hiney. Hello, Hypocratic Oath?

Oh snap! Great point about the Hypocratic Oath, you got him there! And he speaks so much about how much he liked his job and helping people as a nurse. Hypocratic Oath dude!
 
PassionBecoming
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Vigeous

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Like others have said; great episode. The scenes with Willow in Buffy's head are great. Also have to love Spike's stoned line.

I also like how Spike is finally not completely shunned by the Scoobies. At the least Buffy sees value in having him around.
So...Buffy does indeed have a death wish? Spike says it in FFL, but we (OK, maybe I) tend to think that no, it is different for Buffy, because of her ties to her humanity. She delves into that more when she communes with the First Slayer. Maybe all the events of season 5 (dissolution of Briley, discovering who Dawn really is, Joyce dying) really do build up this death wish for her, making the events of The Gift even more sad.
Good points. I definitely agree that Buffy has so much going on and it's really not hard to imagine it being completely overwhelming, even for her. After re-watching this episode, I interpreted it not so much as Buffy having her own death wish, but has a death wish for Dawn. She kept imagining killing Dawn in her catatonia and her and she explains to Willow that everything would be easier going forward, even if it was painful now.
 

YummySushiPJs

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Young Buffy: You talk funny.
Willow: Yes, as you'll tell me again when we're older and in chem class.

Is this a reference to an actual episode during the school years? If so I've never spotted it.
 

Give Us A Kiss

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Glory doesn't want to kill, interesting...o_O

Poor Dawn, if only they had Cordy's visions to help them... :(

Spike, I'm just as concerned as you are.

Spike's right about one thing, Buffy likes it rough ;)

Spike, that kind of news is the kind of news people need to wrap their heads around before coming to terms with it...

Everyone is bowing to The Key...o_O

Glory, Dawn is not 5...

Glory, I don't think Dawn is doing anything...

Tara lost her mind, but it looks like she remembers Willow :)

Willow is in Buffy's subconscious o_O

Dawn's a very cute baby :)

At least Giles is better :D

Glory, they can't take Ben out of you...

Glory, we humans manage somehow, haven't figured out how yet...

Buffy :mad:

Ben is pretty strong...

Willow seems to be getting nowhere...

The lizard guy isn't giving them the info that's needed...

The lizard guy has blue blood :eek:

Glory is struggling...it's kind of entertaining to watch :p

Glory, not everyone wants immortality... :rolleyes:

Buffy, please cooperate :rolleyes:

Buffy, snap out of it, we miss you :(

Buffy's back :)

Next time: Buffy dies by sacrifice.
 

Mr Trick

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The Willow and Buffy dream stuff was mind blowing. Its great how Willow finally takes charge and snaps Buffy out of it. Its a nice set up to Buffy telling "your my big gun" in the Gift. It makes sense too that we see the Summers family at a happy stage given what has gone on this season.

One thing that goes overlooked is how great Claire Kramer is. She really balances a lot as Glory here. Her rage, power, and torment are beautifully sold. Like I said when chatting about it last night, she has a bit of the Michelle Pfeiffer to her. Its good that we see a murkier side to Ben too. This is the episode where I got into his thing with Glory more.
 

GraceK

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The Willow and Buffy dream stuff was mind blowing. Its great how Willow finally takes charge and snaps Buffy out of it. Its a nice set up to Buffy telling "your my big gun" in the Gift. It makes sense too that we see the Summers family at a happy stage given what has gone on this season.

One thing that goes overlooked is how great Claire Kramer is. She really balances a lot as Glory here. Her rage, power, and torment are beautifully sold. Like I said when chatting about it last night, she has a bit of the Michelle Pfeiffer to her. Its good that we see a murkier side to Ben too. This is the episode where I got into his thing with Glory more.

I think Bens murkier side is also shown in Listening to Fear. The fact he summons a demon from space to eat all the innocent people Glory brain sucked and dismisses it as “ cleaning up Glory’s mess” shows a darker side to Ben that tends to get overlooked. It’s not like his actions in the last two episodes was a total face heel turn. Just because he’s good looking, charming and nice doesn’t mean he’s a good person. He’s outwardly kind, and yes, he’s human and wants to be a doctor, but he’s self serving, cold and out for himself. He’s willing to kill people and sacrifice a teenage girl . He’s not an innocent. He makes choices that help lead to the end of the world . I think Giles was entirely right in killing him and I think Buffy’s “ never kill a human philosophy “ is flawed as the savior of the universe. It’s one of the reasons I prefer the grayer ATS .
 
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
Well said. Love that you used a wrestling term with the "face heel turn" comment!

Oromous

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I like this episode. It's definitely stronger thematically than the previous one. It's got that feeling of building up to the season finale, with all the pressures and despair Buffy has felt over season 5 building up to the boiling point that's this inevitable nervous breakdown. I've got a feeling that the next episode will be the culmination of all these feelings Buffy has, addressing how she feels about the responsibility she carries as a Slayer and, depending on how the episode goes, I guess we'll get to see if she truly has a death wish that's resulted from the weariness of all the deaths and tragedies she had to endure as the Slayer. God, I hope it won't disappoint. There's a lot of hype built on this finale.

I've always had a fondness for the more unconventional episodes with an even more abstract metaphorical structure than usual such as "Restless" and "The Body". They seem to be more intricate in their writing and far more impressive. This is far weaker than those other two episodes because of the whole Glory/Ben schtick dragging on far longer than needed, but I really like the Buffy-mind sequence where Buffy's guilt has finally become too much for her. There's always been a fine line between Slayer and killer in this series, so this "death is your gift" idea associating Buffy as a bringer of death seems like a discussion that was inevitable. Season 4 tried to do that with the whole ambiguity of killing/experimenting on demons, but Lindsay Crouse had to leave the show and the whole structure of that season came tumbling down. But it's nice that season 5 finally gets to play around with this idea of Slayer and death.
 

Ethan Reigns

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Am I watching an episode of Buffy or am I watching paint dry? Both seem equally entertaining.

We do get another appearance of Hank and we see a young version of Buffy, something we haven't seen since she lost her cousin Celia to Der Kinderstot in "Killed by Death".

I get just as frustrated as Spike about the "Ben is Glory" obfuscation spell.

When the priest tries to anoint Dawn, we see Glory say, "Get out, get out, get out!" Maybe there is more of a connection between Dawn and Glory than we know.

We see Glory being contaminated by Ben's humanity but eventually, Ben chooses to cooperate with Glory.

We finally see that Buffy keeps putting the book back on the shelf because that is where she quit and decided that Dawn was not someone she could save.

Lots of things happen in this episode but the scenes with Willow entering Buffy's mind just drag on and on. I understand a therapist has to be patient but as a viewer, I am not patient - I want to see action taken, decisions made and plans being put into action - and action is missing for a large part of this episode.
 
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