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Discussion of 7.08 "Sleeper" - Aired 11/19/02 (UPN-US)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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#1
After battling a new vampire who claimed to have been recently sired by Spike, Buffy warns the gang that they must keep a close eye on him. When Spike manages to go out, he falls into a mysterious trance and then seduces and attacks a girl as the First Evil looks on. Meanwhile in England, Giles finds a fellow watcher close to death.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 
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#3
This episode is not one of my favorites of season 7, but I do love that scene when Buffy fights all the vampires in that basement and Buffy pulls up that old lady out of the ground and she says "Sorry ma'am but it's my job!" and then she stakes her. haha :D how can you not love Buffy..
 

Chosen Enemy

Losing my soul
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#4
Poor little puppy Spike.... This episode breaks my heart, especially when he and Buffy fight, I hate when they fight without having a trading fists fight, it makes me sad. Also makes me sad that she doesn't understand him at first, only attacks him. She really annoyed me here.
 

VisionGirl

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#5
I always like this ep, maybe because of Spike's fight with the vamp in the balcony, with Pavlov's Bell playing in the background. Love how the fight interrupts the song, but only momentarily. Aimee Mann: "Man, I hate playing vampire towns." Yes, she's the only musical artist to have a speaking part on Buffy. It's one of my fav songs (see my status update) & performances in the series. I also love the imagery comparison of Pavlov's Bell with Spike's "trigger".

I do like JM's performance here when he realizes what he has done. Y'know, we don't get to see very much of Angel newly souled (just bits in flashbacks), so it's interesting watching Spike grapple with it, although in an incredibly accelerated way LOL.

Naked Spike, I'm OK with that too. :D

Fav quotes:

Anya: Soulless Spike would have had me upside down and halfway to happyland by now.

and

Anya: If I get vamped, I'm gonna bite your ass!
Xander: (mumbles) Wouldn't be the first time.
Anya: What was that?
 
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
Oh yeah forgot Aimee's line! That is really cool.

Doppelgang

Always Believe
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#6
I thought this episode was really good overal, you start to see Anya back as she used to be, joking about things rather than just dwelling on what happened in Hells Bells, and she has some good comedy lines in this episode as pointed out by the previous post, then there is the whole Spike/Buffy story, and slaying all those vampires in one go, is that the quickest time for staking that many vamps or what!

James Marsters plays the role really well in this episode as a lot was being asked of him in terms of sudden changes of emotion etc.. You really do get the sense in this episode that he is now struggling with his soul, rather than with a chip in his head, and to make this transition was very well acted by JM, but I do think this episode may have been better placed a bit later in the series as it seemed a bit soon for Spike to be just going out to clubs socialising when only the other episode had they just managed to drag him out of the school basement.

The way the episode was done though, the style of it, was very good, both of them realising in the end that they have a common enemy in the first evil was a clever way to bring them closer together and in preparation for whats to come later in the season.
 

Chosen Enemy

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#7
I read something about this episode that I really loved. In the basement, Spike licks Buffy's shoulder (the blood, after he injured her). And James really felt uncomfortable doing that, licking Sarah. Sarah was all like: "Come on, just lick me"! HAHA, pure Sarah/James moment.
 

white avenger

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#8
I read something about this episode that I really loved. In the basement, Spike licks Buffy's shoulder (the blood, after he injured her). And James really felt uncomfortable doing that, licking Sarah. Sarah was all like: "Come on, just lick me"! HAHA, pure Sarah/James moment.
Something about that scene that I've always wondered about. There were six vampires there in the basement, not counting Spike. Sarah had been shown handling that many at one time before, and she was doing fairly well here until two, and ONLY two, vampires grabbed her arms. Then she looked at Spike and just quit struggling. Even when she thought that he was going to bite, and almost certainly kill, her, all that she did was just grit her teeth and flinch. Then, as soon as she realized that he actually wasn't going to kill her, she actually looks surprised before breaking away from the two holding her and then she takes out all six vampires like it was nothing.

To me, it always just looked like she almost WANTED Spike to kill her, or that the shock of it being him just froze her momentarily, neither one very typical Buffy.
 

Nathan

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#9
Something about that scene that I've always wondered about. There were six vampires there in the basement, not counting Spike. Sarah had been shown handling that many at one time before, and she was doing fairly well here until two, and ONLY two, vampires grabbed her arms. Then she looked at Spike and just quit struggling. Even when she thought that he was going to bite, and almost certainly kill, her, all that she did was just grit her teeth and flinch. Then, as soon as she realized that he actually wasn't going to kill her, she actually looks surprised before breaking away from the two holding her and then she takes out all six vampires like it was nothing.

To me, it always just looked like she almost WANTED Spike to kill her, or that the shock of it being him just froze her momentarily, neither one very typical Buffy.
I felt she was more numb with shock; she knew what Spike once was, but as she said in the episode earlier, she'd have to "see it to believe it", I think she wasn't sure what he was going to do to her really, but I don't think she ever believed he's take a bite out of her. So I kinda saw it like she took a risk to see what he'd do...
 
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Black Thorn
#10
I thought the Anya/Spike scene was great, she is just so funny. I nearly cried when Spike offers Buffy his chest so she can stake him. I'm loving him at the moment. I kept wondering when Giles would appear and I cant believe they left the episode like that.
 

PassionBecoming

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Sineya
#11
And more character smashing for Spike. :( I don't remember this ep that much, though.

-Does Xander still live in the apartment he got with Anya?
-Oh, good, Spike is burying people he killed. Though why sire some and not others? And why bury them at all? It's not like you can really pin one death by vampire on him specifically in that town. Hmmm.
-Eeep! Was that Nora's father or her Watcher/trainer??? I cannot remember anything from these eps!
-I'm glad Xander is around to keep some sense into Buffy. Her judgment is so clouded with Spike, which I get. I wouldn't want to think someone I slept with, plus now has a soul and I defend, could be out killing people. But she should also know by now that in Sunnydale, weird crap happens, so it's quite plausible that Spike is on a killing spree.
-Awkward Spuffy talking moments are not as entertaining as mortal enemy bantering Spuffy moments. :( But points to Spike for trying to be friendly and all that.
-Love Anya's outfit in this!!! And the "Better be, because if I get vamped I'm gonna bite your ass!" "Wouldn't be the first time." "What was that?" Heehee. They are still so cute!
-I feel terrible for Dawn and Willow. That had to be such an emotional roller coaster, dealing with the evil pretending to be people they love. Not to mention the doubt Dawn must be feeling about Buffy. Gargh.
-Hahahaha. Love Anya rifling through Spike's stuff, then Spike's "Do be specific..." line. Then her mentioning sex and him getting all jittery. Heh. (Though, what would she have done if he had gone along with it??)
-"You think I'm fat!" Anya is just hilarious. And I agree. Spike was more fun without a soul.
-Ok, I remember there being a trigger. So was harmonica guy The First?
-Erm, the girl screaming and man running out of an alley attracted no one's attention at all? Really??
-Hmmm. So Spike did purposely get his soul back. Good to hear! Also, is his hair blonder than usual? If that's even possible...
-Aw, Spike. :( He's all moony over Buffy. Sweet and sad at the same time.
-"I used to tell the truth all the time when I was evil." Does Anya ever not tell the truth? Haha.
-I would think there would be more than 10 missing people in Sunnydale. With all the demons lurking around that place, lots of people must be gone. Hmmm.
-Yay for Spike trying to figure out what's going on!! But, oh!! Girl he sired showing up. Oh, my!
-Haha. Gotta love The Bronze goers. Girl falls off the balcony and turns to dust? Just another Friday night. :p
-Eeep! Vamp basement! Not good!
-I do believe that's the first time Spike has tasted Buffy's blood. Interesting that it brought his memories back.
-That look on Spike's face after Buffy is done fighting and walking up to him. It's heart-wrenching. :(
-GILES!!!! Always happy to see him.

It's hard to see Spike and Buffy not know how to act around each other, and for Spike to suffer so much. Everything is so screwy.
 

AnthonyCordova

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#13
Oh no, what's going to happen to Giles' head? He has like half a second to duck! Cliffhanger!

The First (I guess that's its name) has the formidable ability to enter people's minds, manifest as someone they know, prey on their emotions/feelings, and to an extent get people to behave the way it wants. But it feels like the scoobies have become wise to its tricks too early. As long as they maintain their critical faculties and remain cautious they should be able to sense it trying to manipulate them from a mile away. I hope this new big bad has more tricks up its sleeve than that. So far S7 has been fun though. I can't wait to see the rest.
 
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thetopher

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#14
This is a pretty good Spike-centric ep (then he goes on to get many, many more...) but something always bugged me.
So Spike's completly under The First's thrall, killing and turning wantonly, until one taste of Buffy snaps him out of it.
Talk about incredibly weak-willed! Why couldn't he snap out of it before and save some people's lives. I never got that that, really I didn't- it just makes Spike look weak.
 
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#15
I love Aimee Mann...she is one of my favorites. I love the rendition of "This Is How It Goes" & "Pavlov's Bell." I think it's pretty cool that she got a speaking part as well; I think it's the best example of a music cameo for the series.
Speaking of music, this recent re-watch has got me enjoying some of the real music used on the show...I've been downloading a lot of the songs they used.

K's Choice and Bellylove are stand-outs as well.
 
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#16
This is a pretty good Spike-centric ep (then he goes on to get many, many more...) but something always bugged me.
So Spike's completly under The First's thrall, killing and turning wantonly, until one taste of Buffy snaps him out of it.
Talk about incredibly weak-willed! Why couldn't he snap out of it before and save some people's lives. I never got that that, really I didn't- it just makes Spike look weak.
I think he snapped out of it when he saw the cigarettes, and realized the accusations might be true. Then he went searching to find out the truth. But it wasn't until after this that he even knew the First was a player - as I recall he thought the blackouts and bizarre situations were part of having a soul.
 

Cordy_Chase

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#17
I've just finished watching this episode and something confuses me. How is Spike able to harm regardless of being used by the First? What happened to the chip? Was the First able to deactivate it or something?
Or perhaps my memory is fuzzy as it's been a while since I've watched BTVS. I'v picked up where I left this season some time ago.
 

Doppelgang

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#18
So just had a rewatch of this episode to try and make a bit more sense of Spikes motivation in season 7. No doubt artistically it is a very good episode. And one of the better ones along with the previous episode as far as presenting the first evil goes. Still find it strange he should be out "on the prowl" so soon after getting the soul. Okay the trigger was influencing him, but he still remembered going out, if not the killing/siring he was doing at this time. And if he remembered that you think he would question it. He says he was doing it to make up for not being with Buffy, but this just seems like Spike from the second half of season 6, rather than the guilt-ridden Spike from early season 7. His character switches around a lot at times in this episode. He reverts back and forth to his pre-soul ways and then back to being ashamed of his actions. I think he is clearly struggling at this time to know what or who to be. The only thing he knows is that he trusts Buffy and her judgment, regardless of his own. He wants her to help him, and so he is unable at this stage to take responsibility for his own self. We only see development of this latter kind in Angel season 5.
 
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#19
So just had a rewatch of this episode to try and make a bit more sense of Spikes motivation in season 7. No doubt artistically it is a very good episode. And one of the better ones along with the previous episode as far as presenting the first evil goes. Still find it strange he should be out "on the prowl" so soon after getting the soul. Okay the trigger was influencing him, but he still remembered going out, if not the killing/siring he was doing at this time. And if he remembered that you think he would question it. He says he was doing it to make up for not being with Buffy, but this just seems like Spike from the second half of season 6, rather than the guilt-ridden Spike from early season 7. His character switches around a lot at times in this episode. He reverts back and forth to his pre-soul ways and then back to being ashamed of his actions. I think he is clearly struggling at this time to know what or who to be. The only thing he knows is that he trusts Buffy and her judgment, regardless of his own. He wants her to help him, and so he is unable at this stage to take responsibility for his own self. We only see development of this latter kind in Angel season 5.
I think he's struggling, too. But I can see going out as opposed to sitting in a closet, or having to deal with Xander. That would lead to more crazy. Also - mentally - well his puzzle is not put together and is still missing pieces. Buffy realizes that and she waits to see what he'll do once she is held - and had he done anything she would have kicked him across the room and dusted him. The fact that - even triggered - he was able to pull away was a deciding factor, as was the fact that she had already battled the First for a different souled vampire.
 

white avenger

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#20
.
So Spike's completly under The First's thrall, killing and turning wantonly, until one taste of Buffy snaps him out of it.
Talk about incredibly weak-willed! Why couldn't he snap out of it before and save some people's lives. I never got that that, really I didn't- it just makes Spike look weak.
Possibly because it WAS Buffy, and, even under the thrall of the First Evil, his feelings for her, call it love or loyalty, were too strong to allow him to do her any sort of real harm. He never even went into game face as he approached her, and never made any attempt to bite her. Also, it's been established that Slayer's blood has restorative powers that normal human blood doesn't, so that little taste from Buffy's cut shoulder was apparently all that Spike needed to shake off the First Evil's influence, at least temporarily.

How is Spike able to harm regardless of being used by the First? What happened to the chip? Was the First able to deactivate it or something?
Most likely, either the First Evil was able to deaden the area in Spike's brain that would respond to the chip's charge, much like a surgeon can deaden an area so that the patient doesn't feel the scalpel cutting him, or, since Spike had no actual knowledge of what he was doing, whatever triggered the chip wasn't ever activated.
 
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