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Discussion of 7.04 "Help" - Aired 10/15/02 (UPN-US)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Sineya
#1
Buffy is settling in to her job as the newest counselor at Sunnydale High helping troubled teens and sorting out problems. But when a student named Cassie calmly states that she has only a week to live, Buffy is at a loss. Buffy investigates, and soon comes to believe that Cassie is psychic rather than suicidal.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 

VisionGirl

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Sineya
#2
I wouldn't say this is my favorite episode, it's pretty sad & depressing, and definitely alludes to the near future when Buffy & the gang won't be able to save all the potentials.

Some interesting tidbits from tv.com:
-According to the watchers guide Vol.3 Anya was in this episode, but her scene was cut due to length. Anya was suppose to seek vengeance, but instead counsels a woman.
-If you turn on the Closed Captioning display during the library scene with the demon near the end of the episode, you will see that the demon has two lines. They read, in close succession, "GRRRR..." and "ARRRGH..."
-Willow is performing a Jewish ceremony of honoring the dead when visiting the grave of loved ones. Stones are placed on the headstone while reciting prayers for the dead to be at peace in the afterlife.
-Cassandra was made a prophet by the god Apollo, but then was cursed so that no one would ever believe her prophecies, though they were always true. Among other things she foresaw her own murder, but couldn't prevent it.
-Cassie is reading Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. The novel is largely concerned with themes of free will vs. predestination - the protagonist Billy Pilgrim is "unstuck in time" and thus knows about some things before they happen (but is apparently powerless to change them).
I love when Cassie tells Spike "Someday she'll tell you" of course speaking of Buffy telling him she loves him in Chosen. He doesn't know what to make of that! It's also surprising when Spike doesn't cut Peter [I'm sorry but I will always think of him as Brad Taylor from Home Improvement!] with the knife like we think he will. Instead he cuts the rope with it, reminding me a lot of Buffy's actions in Showtime.

I think Willow's reference to fanfic was hilarious- the writers joking with the fans perhaps? Also her Doogie Howser reference of course, although I'm sure that AH doesn't know at the point that she will be starring in HIMYM with him. Unless she shares Cassie's precognition powers LOL.
 
brinkster130
brinkster130
I never noticed the Cassie thing before...but that is neat!
K
kittenpoker
cool information!! thanks!!
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#3
I really like this episode, I like Cassie she was interesting.

That scene with Willow at Taras grave is beautiful, and I never knew that Jews put stones on graves so that the dead is to have peace in the afterlife, I mean I knew that we put stones on graves! but I didn't know why.. I'm a bad Jew.. half Jew....

How annoying is that guy from that Home Improvement show! I can't stand him
 

Anya2012

Floppy, hoppy, bunnies!
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#4
This isn't my favourite but it does have some funny bits. Buffy trying to kill Robin Wood with the fire launcher, getting tackled by Spike, Anya robbing a bank, and Willow wanting to turn the guy (forget his name) into a woman!
 
VisionGirl
VisionGirl
Oops, you're thinking of "Him"

Anya2012

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#6
This isn't my favourite but it does have some funny bits. Buffy trying to kill Robin Wood with the fire launcher, getting tackled by Spike, Anya robbing a bank, and Willow wanting to turn the guy (forget his name) into a woman!
Whoops, wrong episode. Duh.
 
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Black Thorn
#7
I thought Cassie was a really good character. Her speach to Buffy and Xander was heartbreaking. I liked the scene were Dawn is talking to Buffy and complaining about her sister. I feel very sorry for Spike and I'm glad that Buffy keeps going to him for help, its almost like she's trying to force him to come to terms with what's happening.
 
K
kittenpoker
the dawn scene is great!!!
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
yeah, the Dawn bit in the counseling office with Buffy was funny
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#8
I'm watching the episode as I write this. The scene where Buffy reaches out to Spike just finished. Breaks my heart. He's losing his mind, and Buffy doesn't know how to begin to help him. She even walks away saying, "I think it's worse when I'm here." Their relationship breaks my heart because it was never allowed to grow to its full potential. The entire situation with Cassie is depressing, that's the only way to put it. Imagine if you knew exactly the day you were going to die. Cassie has lost all hope. It's sad to realize there are people like that in the world. Yes, they're not psychics but they've lost all hope in life at such a young age.
 
Wesley Pryce
Wesley Pryce
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PassionBecoming

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Sineya
#9
-Ok, pretty sure a funeral director wouldn't leave a casket open during the night. Also, Buffy hiding in a coffin? Talk about triggering PTSD. Her outfit is rather cute, though.
-It's Brad from Home Improvement! :p Love the look Buffy gives him at the end.
-Haha. Buffy can't always resort to violence with the job!!
-Again with Willow's odd ensembles. All black, long-sleeved dress? Seems to be dressing the part of "witch"...
-I've always loved Xander's power vs. control analogy.
-I wonder if Buffy and co. did Tara's burial since she was kind of cut off from her family? Hmmm...
-Buffy does have a pretty good way with teenagers
-Awww, Cassie. :(
-Principal Wood is from Beverly Hills. Heh heh
-Love that Dawn got an assignment. And that she's kind of making some friends.
-Yay for computerizing Willow!!!
-Ah, Buffy has another hat to wear. Slayer, sister, friend, counselor...
-I feel for Cassie's dad. I get the alcoholic thing, but he does seem to care about her and love her.
-Not sure why, but Cassie's speech reminds me of Buffy in "Prophecy Girl".
-Why does Buffy always approach Spike in such an ornery way? Just residual anger from him attacking her/their S6 relationship? She didn't act like that towards Angel came back all nutty, she helped him. I find that odd and possibly telling.
-Gargh, stooopid high school boys!
-It's like "Reptile Boy" all over again! :p
-Ok, Peter got punched and kicked by Buffy AND Spike - shouldn't he be knocked out?
-That demon was highly flammable.
-Mean, awful Joss and his twists. Sigh.
 

AnthonyCordova

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Sineya
#10
I thought some of the counseling scenes were pretty funny, especially the surprise visit and complaint from Dawn. Haha.

Overall it wasn't a bad episode by any means (and there were some memorable moments), but in the end I rate it just sort of average by Buffy standards. I don't have too much else to say about it.
 

Wild At Heart

the moon lights his way
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#11
I really, really liked the character of Cassie & the actress Azura Skye that played her. I wish she wouldn't have died right away & that we would've seen her more throughout the season somehow. I felt really connected to her character & definitely shed a tear or two at the end. I remember seeing it for the first time & being so shocked at how she ends up dying especially after it seems like Buffy really did save her.

I love Buffy's question at the end "What do you when you know that?" after Dawn says something about not always being able to help. Then it shows Buffy returning to work the next day because you can't do anything else except keep trying. I love what that ending meant because it's so true.

My favorite part of the episode though is definitely when Willow visits Tara's grave. Very emotional.
 
Charmander
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#12
How can Buffy stand being in a coffin again? Lol.
I liked Dawn's remark about being stuck in the kid coffin, it's funny that she always brings up that Buffy is shorter than her. :D

The scene at the gravestone is heartbreaking, it really hits home that Tara's gone, and how lonely Willow must be. I miss the heart-to-hearts that those two used to have.

I liked the actress who played Cassie too. She looked really familiar, but the only thing I've seen her in was a random episode of Cold Case. I wish they'd had her stick around to be a potential. She'd have been more likeable than most of them.

Did those boys just get allowed to go back to normality after that? There didn't seem to be any repercussions.

It shows how dated this is when Xander misinterprets "Have you Googled her yet?"

Was there any explanation about why Cassie could predict the future?
 

Give Us A Kiss

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#13
The open casket thing is kind of creepy, I don't want people to be able to come to view my corpse when I die...

Why does Dawn need the kid coffin if she's bigger than Buffy ??? o_O

Vampire :eek:

Buffy looks all professional ;)

That girl talks kind of funny...

She should just ignore the bullies, they will stop if they don't get a reaction :)

He should get back to bio...

Buffy should have just said the s word...

Willow, you will be fine :)

Tara's grave :(

Buffy's voice is getting raspy...

Buffy's right, there is nothing wrong or shameful about being gay.

How does she know that she's going to die ??? o_O

Trig, it's not that hard to complete missing classes in that...

Wood has a point, teenagers will be teenagers...

Lame=funny ??? o_O

Never got the fuss about A's anyways...

Google's first mention on TV ever :D

Dawn, what's your huntch ??? o_O

He looks like a tough, scary guy...

At least he pays child support...

Poor Cassie :(

Cassie's room is a mess :eek:

Spike, what are you doing ??? o_O

Why is Spike hitting himself ??? :(

Free period, I never really liked them all that much...

Mad Buffy :D

That boy looks weird...

I agree with Dawn, he is an ass...

Chanting is creepy :eek:

Poor Cassie :(

How did they turn off the candles with their fingers and not get hurt ??? o_O

Buffy, you are probably referring to Blue Oyster Cult, and FYI, Heavy Metal music doesn't summon the devil...

Good Spike :)

Nice reflexes :D

R.I.P Cassie :(

This is creepy as hell...

Dawn, you can greive...

Next time: More about Anya...
 
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#14
This is not one of my favourite episodes, I'm not a fatalist (if that's the right word) and Cassie exasperates me. She might have a maturer attitude than me, but I'm with Buffy, you keep fighting, no matter what.

The episode can be seen as a homage to Reptile Boy :) There's a lot of the earlier seasons reflected here. We have three scoobies working together to stake a vamp, in a funeral home no less. We see them sat arround a computer, huddled over books, doing the reasearch thing. It's all very retro and enjoyable.

We had a lovely scene with Willow and Xander as old friends, Xander giving great advise, being supporting and loving, no longer the self-obsessed Season 6 Xander. Willow visits Tara's grave, which is an important moment for her and is an attempt to move her character forward. It's a very moving scene, subtly well done.

Buffy is being brilliant as a counsellor, she's very empathetic. We get to see a little more of Robin, and he seems like a good guy, but we're still not sure and I like that ambiguity. The scene with Dawn plays right into the theory that Dawn and Buffy are actually the same person, with Buffy saying 'so your sister makes it hard to establish your own identity, she's controlling . . . '

Then there is Cassie. She's clairvoyant and sees her own death. She's reading Vonnegut for a reason and is very accepting of her fate. She does nothing to help herself and I find that disturbing. She's reliant on Buffy, just as the future potentials are going to be, when they all should be trying to help themselves. Cassie reminds me of Chloe in that they both accept the futures they've been shown . . . :(

Anyway, there is more good in this episode. Spike comes out of the basement to help the girl, even though the chip is torturing him, but of course he still believes he should be punished. As a Spuffy fan it's great to hear Cassie say 'she'll tell you, someday she'll tell you', I loved hearing that, though of course I had no idea how it was actually going to play out :rolleyes:

The scene of the scoobies together after Cassies death is moving, especially Dawn, who is sobbing and breaking my heart. Buffy believes she failed Cassie and Dawn tells her she didn't because she tried, and Buffy asks 'what do you do if you know you can't help?' And we cut to Buffy going back to another day of being a councellor, knowing she can't save everyone but always wanting to try.
 

Fool for Buffy

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Sineya
#15
I think this episode is really underrated; "you can't save them all" is more of an Angel theme that Buffy hadn't really explored before. In Angel, we see an example of that in the Pilot. In Buffy, however, there are the big deaths, but if Buffy tries to save people, she will. Cassie is a perfect example that sometimes it's just about trying. Dawn says that brilliantly at the end of the episode. And I realize "She'll tell you, someday she'll tell you" culminates in Chosen, but I'm still waiting for a more real I love You in the comics.
 
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#16
I think this episode is really underrated; "you can't save them all" is more of an Angel theme that Buffy hadn't really explored before. In Angel, we see an example of that in the Pilot. In Buffy, however, there are the big deaths, but if Buffy tries to save people, she will. Cassie is a perfect example that sometimes it's just about trying. Dawn says that brilliantly at the end of the episode. And I realize "She'll tell you, someday she'll tell you" culminates in Chosen, but I'm still waiting for a more real I love You in the comics.
You are right, it's more an Angel theme, maybe that's why it feels a bit awkward to me in a Buffy episode. The ghost's in Lessons showed us that Buffy doesn't save everyone, so I thought Cassie was a little heavy handed, though I think she is meant to foreshadow all the future potentials and she works better on that level then as an individual.

Totally agree we are all waiting for another I Love You in the comics :) They're building up the tension so much, I just hope they're not saving it for a death bed scene and Spike or Buffy sacrifices themselves again :(
 

Fool for Buffy

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Sineya
#17
You are right, it's more an Angel theme, maybe that's why it feels a bit awkward to me in a Buffy episode. The ghost's in Lessons showed us that Buffy doesn't save everyone, so I thought Cassie was a little heavy handed, though I think she is meant to foreshadow all the future potentials and she works better on that level then as an individual.

Totally agree we are all waiting for another I Love You in the comics :) They're building up the tension so much, I just hope they're not saving it for a death bed scene and Spike or Buffy sacrifices themselves again :(
If there is a death bed scene that would be so cruel and emotional. But just so you know I'm not caught up yet on the comics, just in early season 11. I guess that means you've been waiting a lot longer than me.
 
P
Priceless
Sorry if I'm 'spoilering' it for you, I won't say anymore :-(
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#18
If there is a death bed scene that would be so cruel and emotional. But just so you know I'm not caught up yet on the comics, just in early season 11. I guess that means you've been waiting a lot longer than me.
Wouldn't it be ironic if the death bed scene was Buffy as an old woman.
 
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#19
If there is a death bed scene that would be so cruel and emotional. But just so you know I'm not caught up yet on the comics, just in early season 11. I guess that means you've been waiting a lot longer than me.
Hope you're enjoying it? There are so many great Spuffy scenes in this season, you just feel ILY must be happening soon . . and when it seems Buffy's just about to say it, Spike stops her! :confused::eek: The tension is terrible :)
 
Wouldn't it be ironic if the death bed scene was Buffy as an old woman.
I hope that's many many years in the future :eek: Spike would still be there with her, holding her hand, loving her no matter what :) Of course it's not so far fetched, they could take the next season years into the future, it's been done on a lot of shows, so why not?
 
Fool for Buffy
Fool for Buffy
Don't worry you were not spoiling lol. And I totally agree with this post.
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#20
In this episode, we finally get some insight into Buffy's job as a school counselor. All sorts of students come to her for advice: students who just want to find an excuse to get out of class, students who are faced with mundane bullying problems, and then there's Cassie, who foresees that she will die on Friday. Buffy's help with the other students are minimal, as she is unable to connect too well to people facing normal issues (having faced all kinds of supernatural forces, she possibly just pushes these normal issues away). But when Cassie talks to her, Buffy is immediately drawn in, intrigued, the first time we see that she is going above and beyond for one of the students that come to her. And that's because the supernatural is her forte, rather than the mundane.

So in the whole episode, Buffy and the gang try to find out who in Cassie's life pose a threat to her. They search her up, go to her father's house, and Buffy even asks Spike for help. (Also another point-this part, her going to Spike, poses a sort of juxtaposition for students coming to her for help because he asks her for help too. He doesn't ask her as a student asks a counselor, though, he asks as a friend because he is desperate for someone to stay with him through his pain. But too focused on Cassie, Buffy can't stay at the moment, and she doesn't even think she can quite help him at the moment. In addition, it's so painful to watch Spike punch himself, beating himself up for hurting Buffy.)

When Buffy finally pinpoints the group of guys that are planning to hurt Cassie and basically saves her from them (with the help of Spike, YAY I was so happy when Spike came in wielding that flaming torch, what an entrance), Cassie falls over from a heart attack, to everyone's (including our) dismay. After all, Buffy and the gang went through all of that... And for what? Cassie to succumb to her fate?

But this message is so powerful. It just serves as a reminder that despite Buffy's Slayer strength, fate still remains more powerful than her, than everyone. Fate is the one that rules in the end, taking out Cassie even though Buffy and the others strived to save her till the very end.