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Discussion of 7.19 "Empty Places" - Aired 4/29/03 (UPN-US)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Sineya
#1
Caleb launches an attack against Buffy at Sunnydale High. Faith takes the potential slayers out to blow off some steam, but soon they run afoul of Sunnydale's Finest. Hurting from their last battle and unsure of Buffy's leadership, the gang makes a decision that may change everything.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 
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#2
Why didn't Buffy just say, "Screw you all, this house is in my name. I don't leave. You do. You don't like how I'm running the show? You can all leave. I'm not going anyhwere." Think about it, the house had to have been left to Buffy after Joyce died. It must have been transferred to her. You can't keep a house in a dead person's name. At least, not in the states. I would have thrown everyone else out and made them come crawling back to me.

And how did Spike get in that house with Buffy? The owner wasn't dead, he just left. If that's all it takes than every time someone left for work, a vamp could come trolloping in, yeah? How does that particular curse know that the house was abandoned?
 
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WakingNightmare

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#3
And how did Spike get in that house with Buffy? The owner wasn't dead, he just left. If that's all it takes than every time someone left for work, a vamp could come trolloping in, yeah? How does that particular curse know that the house was abandoned?
I think it was because of the First and all the hellmouthy business that was causing the balance to shift. The town was all out of control.
 

StarSlayer

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#4
Why didn't Buffy just say, "Screw you all, this house is in my name. I don't leave. You do. You don't like how I'm running the show? You can all leave. I'm not going anyhwere." Think about it, the house had to have been left to Buffy after Joyce died. It must have been transferred to her. You can't keep a house in a dead person's name. At least, not in the states. I would have thrown everyone else out and made them come crawling back to me.
By that point, everyone was ganging up on Buffy though. Willow, Xander, Giles, even Dawn. They hurt her emotionally and I think she just couldn't be around them, regardless of whether it was really her house or not.

And how did Spike get in that house with Buffy? The owner wasn't dead, he just left. If that's all it takes than every time someone left for work, a vamp could come trolloping in, yeah? How does that particular curse know that the house was abandoned?
Spike mentions that he could walk in, no invite needed, because "the town is really theirs now," meaning the First had taken over. Like WN said, I think this caused some kind of shift in the balance of things, since Spike is still a vampire and would need an invite.
 
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#5
Why didn't Buffy just say, "Screw you all, this house is in my name. I don't leave. You do. You don't like how I'm running the show? You can all leave. I'm not going anyhwere." Think about it, the house had to have been left to Buffy after Joyce died. It must have been transferred to her. You can't keep a house in a dead person's name. At least, not in the states. I would have thrown everyone else out and made them come crawling back to me.

I agree. I had no problems with the Scoobies and the Potentials rebelling against Buffy, if they were dissatisfied with her leadership. But they and Dawn had NO RIGHT kicking her out of her own home.
 

brinkster130

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#6
I think this one one of the beast episodes in season 7. I was so angry and upset at the scoobies. I was so disappointed in Willow, angry and Dawn and Giles and annoyed at Xander...not because they questioned her but because they didn't have her back when things got hard.

Why didn't Buffy just say, "Screw you all, this house is in my name. I don't leave. You do. You don't like how I'm running the show? You can all leave. I'm not going anyhwere."
Yeah, I wanted her to say something along those lines but I think it was easier for her to just leave. I don't think she was too worried about the house with all that was going on at this point and she would have been alone either way.

Anya's rant about Buffy thinking she was better than everybody seemed so spiteful. It gave me the feeling that she had been waiting for a chance to tear into Buffy.
 
N
Nathan
I got that impression about Anya too...

The Unspoken

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#7
I'm glad the Scoobies didn't go along with Buffy's plan. Otherwise the season 8 comics would probably revolve around just Buffy and a couple of newly activated Slayers. Well, that or The First would've succeeded in bringing about the apocalypse.
 

Gum Gnome33

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#8
I actually think it makes sense that Buffy didn't put up a fight when they kicked her out, regardless of the fact the the house was in her name. First of all, they were facing a seemingly un-beatable evil and it probably didn't matter to her any more who owned what. But more importantly, I think at this point she was so tired both physically and mentally, that it was easy for her to walk away. She was feeling insecure enough about herself after all that had happened in the previous battle that she actually let her friends put her down and for a while she couldn't argue with them.
Truly, she needed someone to tell her that she was brave and she was right in order for her to believe in herself again, (which Spike did in the next episode). A house full of loved ones suggesting otherwise was just enough to break her down, almost completely. When she walked away from the house, she really wasn't herself. And with good reason.
 
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StarSlayer
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#9
I see your point, however, I get very defensive. If it were me, I'd throw everyone else out.

I must have missed that thing about Spike. I'll watch for that when I get there on my rewatch.
 

Kana

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#10
Although Buffy was hurt, she really was thinking about the mission. She's not hateful or bitter and she does empower Faith when she comes outside to comfort her.
 
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#11
I hate this episode. Definitely my least favorite of the show.
I feel kinda bad for Buffy, and at same time I'm annoyed with the plot of making Spike the only one to support her. Willow and Anya are being bitches, seriously when Buffy looks at Willow for support and she just looks away, what a ****..
 
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soulunsung

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#12
This is one of the few times where I really do get protective of Buffy and where I really do love that Spike is the only one who spoke on her behalf, because the things that he said to the rest of the Scoobies and everyone else, were things that really needed to be said - needed to be addressed.

It's not lost on me that they were upset with her and that they felt like she wasn't listening to them and it was virtually a one-Slayer-show, but if you look at the show as a whole it had always been that way from the very beginning - where she was the one girl in all the world who had the power to save them from the big evil that lurked upstairs, downstairs, in a rumbly ol' hellmouth underneath a school they attended.

They went too far, though. They had absolutely NO RIGHT to throw her out of her house. However, when I think about it, I can't take back the beautiful Spike/Buffy scene that happened in the following episode. I still get mad though, when I think about how hypocritical and just down right ungrateful the rest of them were to her in doing this, especially Dawn. Ugh! Don't even get me started on her.
 
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StarSlayer
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Willow My Love
I hate Dawn anyhow.

Abby27

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#13
I never thought it was OK for them to turn on her. Yea, Buffy had been getting a little annoying with her speeches and General Buffy is definitely less fun to than High School Vampire-Ass Kicking Buffy or even College Buffy (IMO) but guess what? It was a war and Buffy needed to be the general and for everyone to turn their back on her after everything they had been through, man, that just really sucked. And that's a theme that pops out throughout the series: the gang not trusting Buffy and she usually ends up being right. We see it with Kathy in Living Conditions, it's continuous with Spike throughout season 6 and 7 and finally comes to blows in Lies My Parents Told Me. Honestly, Buffy isn't perfect, but she usually is pretty trustworthy when it comes to slaying. I don't know why they all abandoned her the way they did here. It is such a slap in the face.
 
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soulunsung
It really was a slap in the face and I've never been one to immediately jump to Buffy's defense, but in this sense I will and I will become very overprotective of her.
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The Unspoken

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#14
If Buffy was so right in 'Empty Places', why did it take:

-a completely different plan (facing Caleb alone and dodging him rather than fighting him);
-sheer luck (one of numerous barrels that Caleb just happened to push away, revealing the underground passage as well as the absence of the dozens of Bringers that are usually present);
-and overconfidence on the enemy's part which Buffy had no way of knowing (setting the trap in the same place where the Scythe is);

for her to succeed?

'Empty Places' would've worked better if Buffy had a cryptic prophetic dream that could be interpreted several different ways.
 
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soulunsung
I'm not necessarily suggesting that she was was "so right," in so far as I'm saying that the rest of the Scoobies with Dawn and Giles inlcuded, had no right to throw her out of her own home. That's pretty much where I get overprotective.

white avenger

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#15
As for the question of how Spike could enter the house uninvited, as much as he assumed that he could do so because of the First Evil's growing power and influenc, I thimk that it had more to do with the owner. He didn't just leave, he ABANDONED the house, evacuating Sunnydale, no longer thinking of it as his home. That made the house just an unclaimed building, like Angel's mansion after he and his minions had killed the legal owners.

As for why Buffy didn't just say, "It's my way or the highway for anyone living under this roof," I have no clue whatsoever unless it's because of her eagerness to see herself in the wrong so often, especially when dealing her friends, whenever things went bad.

And in this episode, we see the weakness in Buffy that compares with Angel's own. Whereas Angel seems to take it as fact that he is somehow the ultimate authority in what is the "greatest good," and what should be done to see it come about, even to the point of manipulating his friends' memories, or even alternating time itself, Buffy seems to feel that the ultimate blame for any and everything within her sphere of influence that goes wrong must ultimately be her fault. We will see this, I believe, quite a bit in Season 9, when Buffy wants to take the blame and guilt for everything that Angel, Willow, and Giles did that contributed to the disaster. Granted, she contributed her share, mainly in going all "Kama Sutra" with Angel/Twilight, but the others contributed at least as much, if not far more.

If, as the First Slayer told her, death is her gift, unnecessarily assuming all the blame for bad things happening is Buffy's curse.
 
W
Willow My Love
My question about Spike was answered. But what I was saying was it was a freshly abandoned house. How could the curse on Spike know the difference?
crazysoulless
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#16
Your post makes a lot of sense. I still would've thrown everyone else out and gone on my own mission. Plenty of abandoned houses for the potentials and company.

I never say this. Ever. It hurts me to say this, but I hate Willow in this episode. I really hate her. How many times has she screwed up? Malcolm? Almost killing Dawn? Warren? And who was there trying to save her each time? Her best friend, that she turns against. There's one word reserved for that kind of backstabbing. But, this is a family board. I will say it begins with a 'C' though.
 
brinkster130
brinkster130
Me too. Its sad but I think we see the worst in Willow here.

Abby27

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#18
I'm imagining being Buffy: having all that happen, I'm in my house, all my friends and family are there and they are basically kicking me out because they thought I was doing a horrible job leading them. I imagine this and I imagine I would feel so embarrassed, so hurt, so humiliated I would walk out with my tail between my legs. Wrong or right.
 

white avenger

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#19
Comments on this post
Willowmylove agrees: My question about Spike was answered. But what I was saying was it was a freshly abandoned house. How could the curse on Spike know the difference?

The same way that the curse "knows" when there Is someone considering someplace, whether it be house, apartment, leanto in an alley, or tent in the wilderness. It's magic. Beyond that, When Buffy disinvited Spike in Season 5, Spike arrived only seconds after the spell was completed, and it was in force already. How does the spell "know?" The same way that a qiuck-blow fuse "knows" when it has an electrical current overload. The spell is either in affect or it isn't, and apparentley, by the time Spike got there, it wasn't working.

Obviously, though, this is just my way of explaining why Spike was able to come in. Obviously, if the spell was still working, all that he could have done would have been to knock on the door, and it's most likely that Buffy would just have ignored the knock, given her state of mind. Even if she did tyr to let Spike in, if the spell WAS still working, she, as a non-resident, wouldn't have been able to invite him in. (I know, everybody here already knows that. My point is, the writers needed a way to get Sunnydale's Dynamic Duo back together, so they used the "town's really theirs, now" approach. I just think that the abandoned house theory works better.

It's all astronauts vs cavemen, anyhow,
 
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#20
Your post makes a lot of sense. I still would've thrown everyone else out and gone on my own mission. Plenty of abandoned houses for the potentials and company.

I never say this. Ever. It hurts me to say this, but I hate Willow in this episode. I really hate her. How many times has she screwed up? Malcolm? Almost killing Dawn? Warren? And who was there trying to save her each time? Her best friend, that she turns against. There's one word reserved for that kind of backstabbing. But, this is a family board. I will say it begins with a 'C' though.
I don't hate Willow in this episode. She was really gentle when she told Buffy she didn't agree with her plan, she stopped Kennedy from badmouthing Buffy, and obviously she was hurt that Buffy didn't trust her anymore and that Buffy wouldn't find the time to stay with Xander at the hospital. It all bottled up inside her. She couldn't bring herself to trust Buffy when Buffy didn't trust her -as seen Giles said to the whole room that Buffy didn't trust them. It upset everybody, especially Xander and Willow who had done nothing this season to make Buffy not trust them, Xander actually got hurt because he trusted Buffy.
 
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