airdate: 23 May 2000.
In the month of April I will be FINISHING this Buffy project. I'm doing April's Camp NaNoWriMo and that's my goal. So there's my public announcement so that I will stick to it, damnit! Ok, here we go with the last episode of season 4 so that I can watch/blog seasons 5, 6, AND 7 in the next 30 days. Woo!
Riley is going away for the episode and they're all at Joyce's house. They're all cuddling in to watch videos and they fall asleep before the FBI warning is over.
We enter Willow's dreams. Tara is there and Willow is painting a spell on her back. Tara is telling her she doesn't know everything about her and that "they'll find out" about Willow. Willow looks out the window at a desert, then suddenly she's in school and Oz and Xander are there. They might be in the high school. Harmony is suddenly there and Willow is about to star in a play. Joss really makes it feel like a dream. Nothing makes sense and the transition between settings is exactly how it is in dreams (like walking into a completely different world like walking into another room or just appearing elsewhere with no transition whatsoever). The threads that hold everyone's dreams together are an elusive yet pursuing tribal chick and a weird dude that's obsessed with cheese. Suddenly Willow is in the outfit she was wearing in episode one after Buffy rips off her "costume" (the way she dresses now). The pursuing tribal chick catches up to her and suffocates her.
Now Xander's dream shows him watching "Apocalypse Now" with everyone. Joyce attempts to seduce him. Xander's dream reminds me the most of my dreams because when he opens the door of Joyce's bathroom he ends up in his basement and then he's in a playground with Giles and Spike swinging on a set. Anya finds she can steer by "gesturing emphatically" in the ice cream truck. I think about that all the time. Xander keeps ending up back in the basement. Then he ends up in the school and Giles tries to tell him how to solve the situation, but everyone starts talking in French...bad dubbed French. Then he's in "Apocalypse Now". Principal Snyder is there. Even in their dreams though, they're all connected and they're figuring out how to fight it as the "creature" pursues them in each of their dreams. Perhaps this is because they're still connected via the conjoining spell they used to defeat Adam. In the end of Xander's dream his dad is yelling at him from upstairs. "That's not the way out." The tribal chick rips out his heart.
Now we're in Giles' dream. Olivia is with he and Buffy in a carnival and Buffy is acting like a 5-yr old. Spike is posing for a photo shoot in his crypt. Olivia is pregnant and crying. Everyone is doing research in the Bronze. The dreams are sequential, so Willow and Xander are still dying: "sucking chest wound here". Everyone is looking to Giles for help, so he sings about it. So cute. He does figure it out, too, mostly. "I know who you are and I can defeat you..." She still scalps him as he says, "you never had a Watcher." So we know she was a Slayer.
And she's killing them in the ways they were contributing to the conjoining spell. Willow was Spirit, so that's why she's being suffocated. Xander is Heart, and now he doesn't have one. And Giles is brain, but she cut it out. She's taking away the things they brought to the union.
Now for Buffy's dream. She's in her childhood bedroom with Tara staring at her unmade bed. "Didn't Faith and I just make this bed?" Tara says, "You think you know what's to come. What you are. You haven't even begun." after showing her the "Manus" tarot card. She is Hands and Feet in the spell. Suddenly the bed is made. Buffy knows she needs to find them. As she leaves the room Tara says, "Be back before Dawn." Joyce is living in the walls of the school. This reminds me of a dream I have had too. She sees Riley and he's talking about world domination ("filing things, giving things names") with Adam as a human. Buffy washes her face with clay. She also had clay on her face in Giles' dream. Riley keeps calling her a "killer". Buffy is in the desert and the Israeli music is really peaceful and pretty. Tara speaks for the primal Slayer. The First Slayer. She tells her she's supposed to be alone. I'm not sure if the First Slayer is trying to kill Buffy necessarily, or just her friends...oh, wait, now she's stabbing her. Buffy tells her she's ignoring her until she goes away, then they all wake up. How cool is that?
They all talk about what happened: "the spirit of the first Slayer tried to kill us all in our dreams". Joyce says, "Oh, you guys want hot chocolate?"
COMMENTARY: I'm going to watch the commentary now because that is a DAMN good episode.
Willow's dream: Turns out what Willow was writing on Tara's back was a love poem by Sappho. When Willow finds Tara in between the red curtains that's a vaginal reference. Totally should have gotten that!
Xander's dream: All roads lead to his basement because of the sense of failure/something dangerous there. Joss is talking about the images having resonance by themselves. That is the coolest part of this episode. There's so much space with the music and the long shots/images. Xander talking about being a conquistador/comfortador...Joss talks about this being because Xander needs comfort/love in a way that he never got growing up. He also talks about when everyone is speaking French this is because he feels stuck while everyone else is moving on with their lives. Whoa. That's cool. Didn't get that either. I'm so slow.
Giles' dream: Giles can't decide if he wants to have his own life or be a mentor. Does he want to be a rock star or a Watcher?
Buffy's dream: Tara is her spirit guide. Riley can't handle when Buffy becomes primal (when she puts the mud on her face). Buffy defies the notion of climax and defies the notion of the tragic tale of the Slayer. When you stop taking a dream seriously, you wake up.