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Discussion of 7.02 "Beneath You" - Aired 10/01/02 (UPN-US)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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#1
Buffy wakes from a bad dream with the warning, "From beneath you, it devours." Xander meets a young woman, Nancy, who's dog was eaten by a large creature that burrowed up out of the ground. Spike offers his assistance in dealing with the monster, but Buffy and the gang are still a little uneasy about having him around. In tracking down the monster, the Scoobies soon discover that an estranged friend has returned to her old ways. Meanwhile, Willow has mixed emotions as she prepares to leave England and return to Sunnydale.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 

VisionGirl

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#2
Another great episode. Kind of sad that only the 3 of them are "the Scoobies" now.

I think the scene with the Potential reminds me so much of one of Jennifer Garner's hair & outfits in Alias.

I'm not going to discuss the fabulous church scene since I've already done so on the other thread. Just to say that it's one of the best scenes & dialogue of the series, and the image of Spike resting on the cross is so iconic.

My fav quote is Spike's monologue, but Dawn gets honorable mention:

Dawn: Spike. You sleep, right? You, vampires? You sleep?
Spike: Yeah, what's your point?
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.

Dawn kind of kicks ass here. I'm like her so much better in season 7.

I thought that I was hearing things when Anya says "Oh, penis" when Xander walks in The Bronze, but I looked it up, and lo, it's correct LOL!
 
brinkster130
brinkster130
I think those are Dawns best lines.
Jules
Jules
I thought the same thing about the Potential
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Black Thorn
#4
What is it with Buffy and not telling her friends that her ex-lovers have returned. She didnt tell the Scoobies when Angel came back from hell and she didnt tell Xander and Dawn that she'd seen Spike.

I felt very sorry for Spike in this episode. He was trying to keep it all together.

It was another good episode.
 

PassionBecoming

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#5
-Another girl getting chased by creepy black robe guys opening. These girls are all remarkably spry. ;) Creepy death scene.
-Yeah, Buffy's dreams are usually not just dreams...
-Oh, I forgot about the Tremors!! Hahahaha.
-Aw, Xander wanting to date.
-"Can I give detention?" Love Buffy's smile!
-And she goes straight to find Spike. Though I probably would, too, since he was acting all nutty.
-Watching Willow and Giles talk makes me wonder how she got from "Grave" to England. I would be scared to go home if I was Willow, too.
-Aw, puppy. :(
-Spike in blue!! Nice to see him up and moving. Weird to see him wearing color.
-And yeah, you would think Buffy would have learned her lessons about keeping her returned formerly evil boyfriends a secret from everyone.
-LOVE Dawn telling Spike what's what.
-"I can be useful, because honestly, I don't have anything better to do." Ah, Spike.
-Ugh, Xander, ask her out already!!
-Yup, Tremors!
-"Oooh, penis." Ah, Anya. The awkwardness of the whole table conversation is wonderful.
-Why would Buffy attack Spike for hitting Anya?? Other than she's just mad at him. And why is Anya dressed like an old lady?
-Ah, poor Spike. Massive bad timing. And now more crazy.
-This scene with Buffy and Spike in the church is so disturbing. I feel bad for Spike, but also want him smacked up. But him on the corss...sad.
 
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#6
I hate Spike in this episode, so, so, so much. From bashing Anya to his vulgar language, and then turns it into some guilt fest for Buffy... urgh, gross. The rest of the episode is okay, except the Spike thing and that there are allegations of abuse against the man who Anya turned into a worm, and then it is ignored, completely thrown out the window... it's meh, 60/100.
 

AnthonyCordova

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Sineya
#7
I thought this episode was pretty good. I really like Spike now. The new developments of his character are allowing Marsters to show off some different sides to his acting chops! And you know, I like Spike as a character so far in S7. He's a little different, but also even more interesting than usual. I hope the follow-through is good.

A nice monster of the week episode.
 

thetopher

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#8
I like this episode, not as strong as 'Lessons', which is unusual, but the whole ep had a nice feel to it.

-A lot of the dialogue/interplay between the characters is really well written/acted.

-Another doomed Xander love interest. At least she runs before she gets caught up in more crazy.
- Nice to Buffy at least being a little wary around Spike, after what he tried to do to her. (or at least the demon part of him.)
-Nobody seems too concerns about Anya's return to vengeance form. Do they not remember how cruel and arbitrary vengeance demons can be?
-I like JM's performance in this ep, but...I really don't like a) the fight at the Bronze (though I understand why it happened.) or b) the end speech. Joss rewrote the speech from Spike apologising/asking for forgivness (that's why they're in a church) and instead decided to make it a blame-Buffyfest.
This trend will continue throughout the season when it comes to the Spike/Buffy relationship, the writers will keep on putting most of the blame for the S6 badness on Buffy. Rape not-withstanding. :mad:

-Dawn gets the best line of the episode when she threatens Spike. :D
 
PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
The one ep where I cheered for Dawnie!

FuzzyHandcuffs

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Sineya
#9
The look on Spike and Xander's face when Nancy asks if there's anyone who hasn't slept together... HAHAHAHAHAHA I died.

It is nice to see Spike in a color other than black. He looks so... alive and... freaking delicious.

I also love Giles in this episode. He and Willow are very Karate Kid in these 2 episodes. Love it.

---------- Post added at 08:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:32 PM ----------

And Oh. My. Good sweetness. Spike is absolutely fantastic at the end. His speech, all troubled and crazy. I loved his quote "They put the spark in me and now all it does is burn." Absolutely amazing monologue, no matter how crazy he sounds. I do love Spike.
 
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#10
I'd like to have seen more of Giles and Willow in England. Seems silly to fly all the way over there just to film a few scenes.
 

Give Us A Kiss

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#11
Why do we need such long 'previously on' ??? o_O

Another potential, this time in Frankfurt...

and she dies...

Buffy is having nightmares :(

The earth is rumbling...

Spike is scared of rats ??? o_O

Dawn, Buffy understands that...

Xander :mad:

Buffy, you dated 2 vampires... stop being a hypocrite...

How did Buffy know that ??? o_O

Wood is a vegetarian, I wonder if that caused Faith (who strikes me as a big meat lover) to dump him before season 8...

Willow, go back home, your friends miss you...

The dog was swallowed alive :eek:

There are only 3 Scoobies left, two of them original scoobies...

Spike got a haircut :)

Nancy must be confused...

Spike has a point...

Nancy, let's not call the police...

Dawn is doing homework, I'm proud of her :)

The soul seemed to have changed Spike, and not in a good way...

Sunnydale has good food ??? o_O

It's scary :eek:

Anya should find better things to do...

Nancy is confused...

Spike must really want to keep his soul a secret...

Ronnie needs to get a hint... :rolleyes:

Anya, don't blame Xander for everything :mad:

The chip works :eek:

Spike seems to have split personalities...:(

Poor Spike, the soul is screwing him up :(

Good thing he told Buffy about his soul :)

Is Spike trying to commit suicide ??? :(

Next time: Willow comes back to Sunnydale, but her friends are gone, creepy...
 

Fuffy Baith

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#12
Another potential, this time in Frankfurt...
Does Buffy only have dreams about the potentials that die? Cause it would have been cool if Buffy had a dream about one of the potentials that shows up. Or maybe she does, I haven't seen season 7 in a while.
 
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#13
Buffy's having slayer dreams about the potentials, and later Spike mentions them, as though he knows she's dreaming about them. I think that idea is put in his head by The First, as he says later that the evil 'beneath you' is in his head. We see him in the basement, going slowly out of his mind.

This is in contrast with the happy family unit of Xander, Buffy and Dawn driving to school. This fits well into the 'back to the begining' theme, with Buffy going back to school and Xander calling himself a 'dateless nerd', the exact thing he was when we first met him in season 1.

Willow preparing to leave the safety of Giles' home, scared that she won't be accepted back. Giles is so sweet, and to think only a few months ago Willow tried to kill him.

From dateless nerd we see Xander progress to cute and flirty as he tries to chat up Nancy, and Nancy is into him, which is sweet. We haven't seen this Xander for a while.

From being crazy in the basement we see Spike, in a blue 'I am sane' t-shirt, which he later rightly calls a costume. He and Buffy talk and she accepts his help. Dawn threatens to kill him in his sleep if he hurts Buffy, which was very cool. Dawn really comes into her own in season 7 and is great in pretty much every scene.

Spike tells Buffy that he can't say sorry, can't ask for forgiveness but he's here and she should use him, this is an echo of Buffy's season 6 speech in which she says she's using him and it's killing her. She says nothing, but Spike later accompanies her to the Bronze in search of Anya, so she seems to accept his usefulness.

The gang confront Anya, which is a nice scene, but it's when she spots Spike's soul-havingness that things get interesting. She's going to tell everyone and Spike doesn't want them to know, he's already told Buffy they're not besties anymore , he wants to put distance between them, as he thinks that's the right thing to to for her. To shut Anya up, he punches her, but she lets her demon out and punches him back.

Then, for me, this is the best moment of the episode;
ANYA
I am so gonna kick your ass.

Spike gets up off the pool table, fully ready to engage Anya in a fight.

SPIKE
Right, bitch. Round and round we—

But Buffy cuts him off by grabbing his arm and turning him to face her. He is in demon face now.

BUFFY
You haven't changed, Spike.

Buffy punches him in the face. He punches back. They continue to fight. Buffy is angry. He's not fighting back anymore.

SPIKE
Working out some personal issues, are we? (Buffy punches and kicks him). Hey, I guess this would be first contact since, uh, you know when. Ooh, up for another round up on the balcony, then? (She hits him again, and he lands on the floor; he laughs) Right you are, luv. I haven't changed. Not a lick. (He's in her face now.) And watching your face trying to figure me out was absolutely delicious.

I love this fight. I love that Spike is trying to goad Buffy into hitting him, to push her further away from him, to punish him, it reminds me of Dead Things, one of my favourite episodes. Buffy punching Spike in the face, and him accepting it, makes me happy :):eek:

This is followed by a Xander confronting Anya, telling her to reverse the spell. he also tells her that she cannot continue to blame him for the path her life has taken. She has to take responsibility for the decisions she's made, which is a reversal of their usual conversations, where it's usually Anya telling Xander some home truths.

These two scenes are made ever better by the music being played during, The Von Bondies 'I Come from Japan' and Joey Ramone's 'Stop Thinking About It' - possible two of the best song choices in the shows history.

We see Spike hurting a human (I've no sympathy for Ronny at all) and the combination of the chip and the soul mean Spike falls apart and runs off. Buffy follows him. He's in a church. I'd like to just post the whole script of the following scene as it's so beautifully written. Spike explains about the spark, Buffy tries to touch him, but he pushes her away. He goes to unbuckle his belt and she throws him across the church.

He tries to explain what's happened to him, but he can't bear her looking at him. He says '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'. Buffy realises he got his 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. To be the kind of man who would nev— (looks away) to be a kind of man.

Spike walks toward the cross altarpiece at the front of the chapel.

SPIKE
She shall look on him with forgiveness, and everybody will forgive and love. He will be loved.

Spike's standing only a foot away from the crucifix, staring at it.

SPIKE
So everything's OK, right? (sighs)

Spike embraces the crucifix. Smoke is rising from where he touches the cross.

SPIKE
Can—can we rest now? Buffy...can we rest?

It's an amazing final scene. We finally realise the enormity of what Spike has done and how this is affecting him, and Buffy, who is in tears. This means that everything has changed between them and nothing can ever be the same. He is forcing Buffy to change, as she has forced him previously. It's a great way to set up their new dynamic for the rest of the season. It's another great ending and elevates the whole episode.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
You gave a really good interpretation of this that had me see the episode in a way I hadn't before, and it makes the episode better for me. Thank you.
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#14
That last scene between them is heart breaking, one of the most heart breaking scenes throughout the show's history. Spike's line "can we rest now? Buffy...can we rest?" could also refer back to his song "Rest in peace" where he wants to be rid of his feelings for Buffy because he considers them torture, now he is literally being tortured by what he's done because of his feelings.
 
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#15
That last scene between them is heart breaking, one of the most heart breaking scenes throughout the show's history. Spike's line "can we rest now? Buffy...can we rest?" could also refer back to his song "Rest in peace" where he wants to be rid of his feelings for Buffy because he considers them torture, now he is literally being tortured by what he's done because of his feelings.
It really is emotional. The acting in superb, the shock and sadness on SMG's face just breaks my heart. 'Can we rest now' may very well refer to Spikes song in OMWF. Spike definitely wants the pain to end and he's not in his right mind. Not only is he suffering from the guilt the soul brings, but he's got The First whispering in his ear, so it's no wonder he's going crazy and can't differentiate between what's real and what isn't.
 
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#16
It really is emotional. The acting in superb, the shock and sadness on SMG's face just breaks my heart. 'Can we rest now' may very well refer to Spikes song in OMWF. Spike definitely wants the pain to end and he's not in his right mind. Not only is he suffering from the guilt the soul brings, but he's got The First whispering in his ear, so it's no wonder he's going crazy and can't differentiate between what's real and what isn't.
JM should've won an award for that scene.
 

Fool for Buffy

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Sineya
#17
I love the look on Buffy's face when Spike says "Angel, he should have warned me". It's perfect timing and we as an audience can see that she now understands what we already know. I could go on and on about this scene. It's the show at its finest. The one thing I will say since no one else did is it is great foreshadowing to Destiny. Spike falling onto a cross is him surrendering to the burden of trying to redeem himself, accepting that there will always be evil inside of him. Then, in Destiny, he uses a cross as a weapon. The cross represents the evilness inside him and he ignores it, tossing it aside as if it were never there.
 
jls
jls
Love your thoughts about Spike & the cross.

WillowFromBuffy

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#18
The cross represents the evilness inside him and he ignores it, tossing it aside as if it were never there.
Why would the cross represent both redemption and evil?

In Beneath You, I felt that he was flagellating. In Destiny, he believes in himself again, because no matter how low he sinks, he is better than revenge-sex Angel.
 

Fool for Buffy

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Sineya
#19
Why would the cross represent both redemption and evil?

In Beneath You, I felt that he was flagellating. In Destiny, he believes in himself again, because no matter how low he sinks, he is better than revenge-sex Angel.
Both times it represents the evil inside him. I never said it represents redemption. He surrenders to the burden of redemption by falling onto the cross aka the evil.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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#20
Both times it represents the evil inside him. I never said it represents redemption. He surrenders to the burden of redemption by falling onto the cross.
But in what way does the cross represent Spike's evil? The cross was the punishment Jesus endured for the wickedness of mankind.
 
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