After Life

Original Air Date: October 9, 2001

Written by Jane Espenson
Directed by David Solomon


Willow, Xander, Anya and Tara are worried about Buffy and suspect she's at home. Willow's afraid that Buffy won't get over the trauma of being ressurrected. Meanwhile Dawn has brought Buffy back home. Buffy doesn't like the bright light and she finds her home different, which disturbs her. Buffy walks from room to room and then freshens up. She's still emotionless but Dawn continues talking to her, explaining things: that Giles is in England, that Willow and Tara live there now. Spike arrives and he's shocked to see the real Buffy. He notices her hands and knows immediately that she clawed herself out of her coffin because he did the same and he can relate to how she's feeling. The gang then arrives and crowds around Buffy but Dawn orders them to back off even though they're trying to be heplful. All Buffy wants to do is sleep right now. Willow tell her to be happy because they saved her from hell, but she says nothing. Outside Spike speaks angrily to Xander because he wasn't told that Buffy was going to be brought back and that she might have come back wrong. Spike walks off warning them that there will be consequences for Willow's magic.

Inside, Willow has called Giles and he's coming back in a few days. Willow tells Tara that she wishes Buffy would have said thanks for being brought back. And if she is happy that she was back, why isn't she showing it more? Willow and Tara go to bed and are woken up in the middle of the night by a Buffy who starts screaming nonsensical things at them. They turn the light on and the image of Buffy disappears. But the real Buffy is sound asleep in bed. They sense something is in the house so they call Xander. While Xander is talking to them, Anya goes crazy and her eyes turn white. She starts cutting her face with a large knife but when she falls to the floor, the cuts have disappeared, as has the knife.

The next day the group hits the books and absently Buffy says she misses Giles, she then heads out for patrol alone. Dawn then becomes possessed and breathes fire. She collapses and she's released by the demon. Buffy goes to Spike's crypt and they talk for a while about how Spike wishes he had saved her and how he does save her continually, in his dreams. Back at the Magic Box, Willow has figured out that they accidentally created this demon by ressurrecting Buffy. But the demon is temporary and he can't live unless it kills Buffy. Unfortunately the demon has possessed Xander and now the demon knows what to do.

Buffy returns home to find the shadowy demon in her room. It attacks her but she can't fight back because it has no form. Xander, Anya and Dawn rush to the Summers' home while Willow and Tara cast a spell to give the shadow solid form so that Buffy can fight it. During the spell a higher power reaches for Willow and she commands the being into solidity. Buffy, now able to fight, cuts off the demon's head.

The next day Buffy goes to the Magic Box and thanks her friends for saving her from hell, she doesn't want to talk about it though. She smiles, but it doesn't reach her eyes. Buffy goes outside where Spike is hanging around in the shade. He asks how she's doing and she says that she was happy wherever she was. She knew everyone was alright and that she was warm and loved. Finished and complete. She thinks she was in heaven but now she's been torn out of there by her friends to this bright, hard, violent place. This is hell to her. She gets up and leaves, telling him that her friends can't ever know.

Summary written by Nika


Quote of the Week

Buffy: I was happy. Wherever I was... I was happy. At peace. I knew that everyone I cared about was alright. I knew it. Time didn't mean anything, nothing had form, but I was still me, you know? And I was warm. And I was loved. And I was finished. Complete. I don't understand theology or dimensions, any of it really. But I think I was in heaven. And now I'm not. I was torn out of there, pulled out, by my friends. Everything here is hard, and bright, and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch... This is hell. Just getting through the next moment. And the one after that, knowing what I've lost...


My Rating



Nika's Review

There were so many references to hell in this episode that it stated to make me realize that I don't think Willow really knew what she was doing. Sure, she researched the spell and she knew how to perform the spell but she really didn't know anything about where Buffy had been, or what her soul had been doing. How could she possibly believe that Buffy would go to hell? Buffy was the Slayer, if there's one person on earth that's not deserving of hell then it's the Slayer. So why would Willow immediately assume that Buffy went straight to hell? That bothered me. They mentioned hell so much that I was thinking maybe Buffy's going to start to believe them. But then the last five minutes of the show tore my heart in half and left it bleeding on the family room floor. The yanked her out of heaven. They stole her paradise! That's horrible! For the seven minutes or so of the show I wished they hadn't done that. Buffy should have stayed dead. She was happy and warm and everything everyone wants to be. And then all that was destroyed because her friends thought they were doing the right thing. I can't even begin to describe the kind of anguish she must be feeling. I couldn't even cry (okay, well not much). My mouth just hung open in utter shock. This also makes me wonder... what if Buffy's so desperate to get back to her paradise? She wouldn't become suicidal would she? What if she attempts to her kill herself in order to find that peaceful place again? And her friends can't know? Why the hell not?! They should know! They should know what they've done to her! Oh god... what a total mess! Oh yeah, and how creepy is Willow getting? That spell and the end was really eery. Especially when Tara pulled away, looks like Tara is getting terrified of Willow...


Sarah Michelle Gellar
Nicholas Brendon
Alyson Hannigan
Emma Caulfield
Michelle Trachtenberg
James Marsters
Amber Benson
  Buffy Summers
Xander Harris
Willow Rosenberg