• 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 7.05 "Selfless" - Aired 10/22/02 (UPN-US)

gite63

Gone
Joined
Feb 21, 2015
Messages
1,888
Location
Brazil
Sineya
Great episode. Crazy Spike in the basement rambling about Dru (a nice call back to a past episode), Buffy being all about the mission, the excitement of Willow about being back to college, a glimpse of her Dark self (scary!) and D'Hoffryn saying to her that she did an amazing job with Warren and that "Lloyd has sketches of it in his wall" (a call back to the demon that gave Spike his soul).

But the star is Anya, of course.

Yes, she chose to be a vengeance demon and, for a thousand years she killed people, even having a soul - but her time with the Scoobies, her love for Xander, changed her. Ditched at the altar, she got hurt and again chose to be a Vengeance Demon, but this time she didn't feel good killing people, it didn't feel right anymore. When fighting Buffy, I got the impression that she eventually would have given up - she said to Xander "stop trying to save me", like she meant she didn't desserve to be saved. Then, she begged to D'Hoffryn to undo the deaths of the frat boys, and when he said that it would cost the life and soul of a VD, she accepted her sentence without a second thought - a *demon* who wanted to redeem herself and fix the evil she had just done (since it was the only one she could have undone). No crying, no brooding, just sacrificing - Anya has to be giving some credit for that.
 
Watching now the DVD commentaries by David Solomon and Drew Goddard, and they both said that Anya was really willing a "death by cop", that she didn't move when Buffy was about to kill her with the sword - which I hadn't notice; in slow motion, you can see in her face that she wants Buffy to end her, but Xander interferes, and that's when she tells him to stop trying to save her.
 
Last edited:

Scary and Veiny

Darth Rosenberg
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
32
This is actually my favorite Season 7 episode (though CWDP is a very very close second). I adore backstory episodes anyway, so all the flashback scenes were amazing to me. Aud and Olaf were too funny (and Aud actually breeding bunnies!) and I loved the "I'll Be Mrs." song.

Poor Halfrek, though! D:
 

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
Joined
Feb 4, 2015
Messages
2,655
Sineya
So Willow should just be normal ??? o_O

Who went on a human feeding rampage ??? o_O

Anya :mad: (at least she regrets it...).

Flashback to 800...

Olaf is ugly...

What is Mead ??? o_O

Aud is an ugly name...

Anya, please turn yourself in...

Spike looked like a little boy for a second there when he was talking about Dru :)

Poor Spike :(

Willow wants to go back to college :)

Willow, she murdered many fraternity boys...

It looks like ISIS visited the fraternity house...

Poor girl :(

It's here :eek:

Yay Willow :D

Olaf, put the hammer down, you are not worthy...

So Anya was always socially awkward...

Buffy is balancing a pencil storage thingy on her forehead :D

Halfrek, I don't think it's that easy...

Freon, what's that ??? o_O

Xander, webbing is not supposed to be fun... :rolleyes:

Great aim :D

Buffy :mad:

Anya killed people who look like Russian comrades in what used to be Stalingrad...

Buffy, stop being a hypocrite...

Keep preaching Xander :D

Buffy would make a great dictator...

Willow :mad:

Anya has a point, Xander can be an idealist sometimes...

I know Anya doesn't exactly die here, she dies in the series finale...

Is this OMWF again ??? o_O

Anya can sing :D

Not dead yet :)

What do you want back ??? o_O

Anya will just be Anya again, not a vengeance demon :)

Halfrek has died, R.I.P :(

Poor Anya basically lost her best friend :(

Next time: Xander and Spike are roomies again...
 

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
8,027
Location
UK
I've always thought we get just the right amount of Anya during the show and I've never wanted more Anya-centic episodes. Selfless explains to me why I feel like that. It's because I never knew Anya, never saw any real vulnerability and therefore didn't feel any particular emotional attachment to her. It feels like the writers felt the same, and used this one episode to explain who Anya had been.

Dawn is brilliant again, being funny and cute while explaining that we should never be ourselves and should always attempt blend in, be what others want you to be. 'Self' being the theme of the episode.

The flashbacks to Anya's change from human to vengeance demon were entertaining, but also mundane. She became a vengeance demon because her boyfriend cheated on her. It's just so unimaginative, which I think it's meant to be. Then we see another version of Anya duiring the Russian Revolution and she's a committed socialist Marxist. She takes on the flavour of wherever she is at the time. Any 'self' that existed has been wiped away and she says 'Vengeance is what I am', she has become what she does.

This of course is the same as Buffy. She is the Slayer. It's the only thing she can be. 'There's only me. I am the law'. I think we see her being bored at work because being school cousellor is not her real work, being the Slayer is.

There is also conflict in Willow's true self. She's happy excited college-girl, but we soon see she also has the darkness within her. She is afraid to use her power, because it's evident she still can't fully control it.

Spike is in the basement, talking calmly and openly with Buffy, who promises to help him and forgive him. As she reaches to take his hand, she vanishes and the real Buffy appears. I find it sweet and sad that in his darkest moments, tormented and in pain, he dreams of this compassionate Buffy. Though that's not the version for Buffy we see.

Buffy stabbing Anya with the sword is still shocking. I never truly believed Buffy would kill her, yet here it is. Of course it's a fake-out, but it still makes an impact. D'Hoffryn executing Hallie in Anya's place was so brutal and horrible and totally unexpected. The final scene that I love is Anya singing His Mrs. For me this is the first time I've ever felt Anya was truly showing us any vulnerability.

There are other nice moments. The 'kick his ass' lie was finally exposed and I liked how they treated it as so unimportant all these years later. I like how Anya and Buffy are referred to as friends, when in reality they were never friends, and in fact Anya was never really friends with any of the scoobies, even she and Xander were lovers before they were friends.

It's nice to see Xander and Buffy working together. Xander wasn't really present for most of season 6, but he's back now and it's great to see. He of course has his own conflicts, saying he and Anya are totally over and he's happy to be single, then later he admits he's still in love with her. But he understands enough to know to walk away from her.
 

Ethanrayne

Townie
Joined
Jan 18, 2018
Messages
12
Age
25
Location
sweden
My favorite thing in this ep is in the flashback when you hear someone singing about that mustard stain before they got it cleaned in OMWF. Kind of silly but made me laugh :D Anyway i loved seing more of anyas background so a good episode imo
 

Izzie

Townie
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
22
Age
43
For the Anya and Olaf scene they were told that they didnt need to learn sweedish because the audience wouldnt be able to hear them but they learnt it anyway so the writers kept it in.
-I also love that the directors decided not to make those scenes in the original language, but the actors had already memorized the script so they went with it. Hilarious.
Just watched this episode and have to comment on this. Honestly, I give credit to them for trying to learn the language, but as someone who understands swedish, they did not get one single word right. Okey, maybe a few were sort of sounding like swedish.

But at first I thought they were speaking an imaginery language, then at some point I thought they were speaking english and that it was just made faster in speed during editing. At the end, it sounded as a combination of german, dutch and swedish LOL So basically the end result was an imaginery language, cause it just didn't sound swedish at all. And I know that they can't be pro's at it, but usually in movies I at least understand if someone is trying to speak my own language of finnish, or swedish which I understand.
Cause it's not learning the words correct, it's more about the rhythm of how some language is spoken. And they just got both wrong here, but hey kudos to them for at least trying... I'm sure it wasn't easy.
 

kalike123

Townie
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
49
Location
where it snows
It's a shame that Season 7 sucks so much, because saying this fantastic episode is the best of the season...not saying much in S7, lol. But this episode would hold its own even in Season 2 or 3.

I always liked Anya a lot - she's so easy to like! - but I loved her after this. Happy for her.

I don't think Anya became a vengeance demon because her husband (boyfriend?) cheated on her. She turned him into a troll because he cheated.

She became a vengeance demon because:

  1. Done with the husband, she has no sense of who she is &
  2. D'Hoffryn told her that she was a vengeance demon

She always fills the role she's handed and I'm so happy for her, at the end of this show. She turns Xander down when he reaches out. Thanks him, but goes her own way. I don't think Anya is just going off to find out who she is. Turning Xander down, she has already found herself. She just needs to get to know her.

So proud of Anya. No longer defining herself through others.

Excellent song, too.
 

thrasherpix

Scooby
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
3,412
Age
38
Quick rewrite: after Buffy impales Anyanka, she rips off the amulet and waits. (I'll say Anyanka wouldn't underestimate Buffy as she did Giles.) Once Anyanka shakes it off Buffy smashes that amulet like she did Warren's orbs. If they still need a lot of drama, Anya who is now a mortal could still need emergency medical care that she has to recover from, reminding her of her mortality as well as having some dark emotions about the whole thing. It could open up Anya to asking, "Why didn't you just kill me?" It could be a bitter question, but one that turned into a good moment.

Maybe even Spike visits Anya in the hospital, though of course the writers would have to have Xander see that and react wrongly.

If only the writers weren't so burned out...
 

Athene

Scooby
Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
2,524
Age
20
Sineya
I hate defending Anya but I don't think that Buffy making the comparison of killing Anya to killing Angel is fair as the situations were completely different. Buffy had to kill Angel because otherwise the entire world would literally end - her hand was forced as much as it could possibly be and she didn't act until her hand was forced that much. If Buffy had killed Angel right when he started killing people then she would have a point. I mean, I think Xander would kill Anya too if the alternative was the world ending.
 

katmobile

Scooby
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
1,474
Age
49
I have kinda mixed feelings about this episode. The moment where Buffy and Xander are arguing about whether or not Buffy should kill Anya was a very powerful, emotional scene, and was one of the best of the season in my books. It had been a while since Angel had been brought up on Buffy (which always kind of bugged me that the shows didn't interact more, even though I get that they were on different networks by that point), and Buffy bringing up how S2 ended, with her stabbing Angel into a hell dimension, made perfect sense.

Despite Angel not being in the episode, it had quite the stellar Bangel moments. Buffy saying that she loved Angel more than she'd ever loved anyone, ever, after it had been so long, was pretty powerful, and I thought it really enhanced that scene and the story of the episode. Plus, Xander, despite being a character I like, has always been one of the bigger hypocrites on the show, so seeing him get put into his place, and totally not know how to handle it, was pretty refreshing.

However, despite how much I loved that scene, Anya and the way everything was dealt with (or, well, not dealt with) bugged me a bit. I mean, Angel and Spike get ridden on all the time by a number of characters for all the evil they've committed, but virtually all of it was done when both of them were soulless. And yet, Anya, with a soul, chooses to become a vengeance demon again, totally out of free will, murders a house full of frat guys on a whim, and because D'Hoffren can magically fix it, everyone just forgets what she did. Now, to be fair I've never been an Anya fan, but if Faith can have a seasons-long redemption storyline that includes quite a bit of jail time for an accidental death, Anya should have been locked up with the key thrown away. I get with all television there has to be a certain degree of suspension of disbelief, but this was a pretty massive stretch. I just didn't get why anyone in the Scoobies (except Xander) would have forgiven her. Didn't make sense to me.
I don't mind how Anya is forgiven due to how she is trying to change but I get very very cross with how she takes Xander's hypocrisy and runs with it. Anya dear - stop ragging on Buffy for not forgiving you. She did the minute she knew you were actually going to stop and saved your ass from assassins - stop being a bitch in a manger and grow some self awareness and effing gratitude! Also no one calls her out on her pissy attitude apart from Buffy asking what she's contributing.
 

katmobile

Scooby
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
1,474
Age
49
I hate defending Anya but I don't think that Buffy making the comparison of killing Anya to killing Angel is fair as the situations were completely different. Buffy had to kill Angel because otherwise the entire world would literally end - her hand was forced as much as it could possibly be and she didn't act until her hand was forced that much. If Buffy had killed Angel right when he started killing people then she would have a point. I mean, I think Xander would kill Anya too if the alternative was the world ending.
The world wasn't ending but Anya was creating havoc in front of Buffy's nose. She couldn't ignore it and Anya didn't seem to want to change. Buffy couldn't just give her a free pass because she was her friend's honey.
 
Athene
Athene
I don't want Buffy to give Anya a free pass I'm just saying that the comparison she made was unfair.

katmobile

Scooby
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
1,474
Age
49
Athene
Buffy is making the point to Xander a) she's not asking him to do anything she wouldn't do herself b) that he wasn't exactly sympathetic when she was in that situation. The comparison still holds especially since Anya has a soul whereas Angelus didn't and ergo wasn't really Angel so Angel's guilt for what he was being sacrificed for is questionable.
 

Athene

Scooby
Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
2,524
Age
20
Sineya
she's not asking him to do anything she wouldn't do herself
But she is. The reason Xander even brought Angel up (the way he does is uncalled for) is because Buffy did let Angel run around for months in which he was killing people and on principle that was the stage Anya was at in 'Selfless' she wasn't ending the world which is the stage in which Buffy killed Angel.
And while the soul thing is valid Buffy only stuck to that idea so hard because she was in love. It's an excuse to hold off on going after Angel and it's similar to Xander making excuses for Anya in 'Selfess' because he's in love. Excuses can be valid or not but the love element always keeps them from being impartial.
 

katmobile

Scooby
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
1,474
Age
49
But she is. The reason Xander even brought Angel up (the way he does is uncalled for) is because Buffy did let Angel run around for months in which he was killing people and on principle that was the stage Anya was at in 'Selfless' she wasn't ending the world which is the stage in which Buffy killed Angel.
And while the soul thing is valid Buffy only stuck to that idea so hard because she was in love. It's an excuse to hold off on going after Angel and it's similar to Xander making excuses for Anya in 'Selfess' because he's in love. Excuses can be valid or not but the love element always keeps them from being impartial.
When Angelus first appeared Buffy didn't have time to mourn the loss of Angel or to bring herself to accept he was gone forever (which he wasn't as it turns out) and it didn't help Angelus was gaslighting her. She vowed she'd kill him after Jenny died and hope was lost apparently. When hope in the form of the re-ensouling spell emerged Buffy became ambivalent again. Anya did have similar issues as she did reverse a spell before but was punished for it but only Willow knew she was convicted. Xander only probably hoped so. However Anya wasn't stopping and didn't seem conflicted to Buffy and there wasn't a spell that could fix that so she took the attitude Anya had to die as she an active threat to others of her own free will. Buffy was in order to save others prepared to send the man she loved more than anything to hell to save people and Xander accuses her of not caring about HIS pain or Anya's but she making the point that for the greater good she put herself through the pain of inflicting great pain on a loved one of hers for the greater good. The situations aren't exactly the same but they're parallel enough to be valid especially since Buffy let Anya go with a wrist slap after reversing her previous spell which got a dog eaten, scared a woman, destroyed large parts of Sunnydale and landed a dude in hospital. Just how many chances do you give someone with a soul and a sound mind they are completely in control of before you decide they're beyond saving? Especially if you don't know how conflicted they are and the last time they blamed their ex. Anya has never been good at owning her shit and apart from here and her part in Buffy's resecurection after the Eye of Bejora she doesn't really get much better - it's the one gripe with season seven I have is that Anya ultimately doesn't really grow in self awareness apart from Vis a vis Xander and she could have.
 

Athene

Scooby
Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
2,524
Age
20
Sineya
When Angelus first appeared Buffy didn't have time to mourn the loss of Angel or to bring herself to accept he was gone forever (which he wasn't as it turns out) and it didn't help Angelus was gaslighting her. She vowed she'd kill him after Jenny died and hope was lost apparently. When hope in the form of the re-ensouling spell emerged Buffy became ambivalent again.
I agree but in the comparison Buffy essentially said that she killed Angel and therefore she's asking Xander to be okay with her going to kill Anya right now but she left out that it took her months to finally be ready so no surprise that Xander wasn't okay with it. You could say as Buffy did that they've all thought about the possibility of Anya being killed but for the comparison to have worked we should have seen a conversation between Xander and Buffy after Anya becomes a vengeance demon again in which Buffy says that she is willing to kill Anya if she has to because then Xander would have had months to digest that and the comparison would have rang more true. I think Anya is a monster so it's not that I object to her being killed I just object to the way Buffy justified it. I do think it's strange that in the Buffyverse it seems like if a souled person does something evil it's like they're a lost cause or it's seen as worse than if a literal demon with no soul does evil when having a soul is meant to mean by definition that the person can be redeemed.
 

katmobile

Scooby
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
1,474
Age
49
I agree but in the comparison Buffy essentially said that she killed Angel and therefore she's asking Xander to be okay with her going to kill Anya right now but she left out that it took her months to finally be ready so no surprise that Xander wasn't okay with it. You could say as Buffy did that they've all thought about the possibility of Anya being killed but for the comparison to have worked we should have seen a conversation between Xander and Buffy after Anya becomes a vengeance demon again in which Buffy says that she is willing to kill Anya if she has to because then Xander would have had months to digest that and the comparison would have rang more true. I think Anya is a monster so it's not that I object to her being killed I just object to the way Buffy justified it. I do think it's strange that in the Buffyverse it seems like if a souled person does something evil it's like they're a lost cause or it's seen as worse than if a literal demon with no soul does evil when having a soul is meant to mean by definition that the person can be redeemed.
You say that but I'd not bet my coin on Warren growing a conscience. He managed to be a bigger git than Spike despite having a soul when Spike didn't.
 
Athene
Athene
It is hard to imagine but maybe very very deep down he has potential for a conscience 🤷‍♀️

Dora

Scooby
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
1,102
Age
54
A good episode in S7 only topped by CWDP in a season of well below S1 to 5
 

Dora

Scooby
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
1,102
Age
54
You say that but I'd not bet my coin on Warren growing a conscience. He managed to be a bigger git than Spike despite having a soul when Spike didn't.
The only person in S6 that was not a git to Buffy was Tara
My big bad S6 was Spike , not caring about Buffy at all once he got what he wanted , stalking her and using her,allowing her to use him knowing she had come back wrong , never saw him meeting her from work or patroling with her , never even asking her about her problems if he had he would have found out about Warren etc
Just a selfish evil demon....
 
Top Bottom