Original Air Date: April 17, 2001

Written by Martic Noxon
Directed by Marti Noxon


At the funeral home Buffy has chosen a casket for their mother but Dawn voices her concern that maybe it's not the coffin their mother would have wanted. They return to the Summers' home for dinner. Buffy is busy planning for the burial while Giles takes her phone calls. Buffy's surprised that their father hasn't called yet. A sullen Dawn does not want to return home after the burial and requests to stay at Willow and Tara's place. Willow and Xander leave the Summers' home shortly and run into Spike who is coming up the walk with flowers in his hand. Xander is offended that Spike brought flowers but Spike tells them he just wanted to pay his respects because he liked Joyce.

A small gathering of people show up for the burial the next day. Dawn can barely watch, and clings to Buffy. Afterwards Dawn goes home with Willow and Tara while Buffy just stands there and looks down at her mother's burial plot while the sun goes down. Angel appears, apologizing for not showing up sooner. Meanwhile at Willow and Tara's place ,Dawn is restless. She wants wants to bring her mother back with a spell. Tara vehemently tells Dawn that witches cannot mess with life and death. It may be possible but witches took an oath long ago forbiding them to do it. Dawn gets frustrated and insulted that they won't help her. Over at Xander's apartment he and Anya have just made love and Anya explains to him that she understands more about life after Joyce's death and there's more to it than she originally thought. Back at the cemtery. Buffy is opening up emotionally to Angel and she's telling him she's afraid that she won't know what to do tomorrow without her mom. She feels that she can't replace her or be as strong as her mom was. Angel comforts her by telling her that she is that strong and she will figure it all out. They kiss and afterwards Buffy tells Angel that she is so grateful he came. Ben runs into Jinx on his way to work and accidentally lets out that the key is human. Realizing his mistake, Ben stabs Jinx in the gut. Jinx manages to return to Glory and tells her that they key is human before he dies.

The next day Willow and Tara leave Dawn in their room. Dawn begins to riffle through a book on the history of witchcraft. Later on she helps Giles clean up his shop and he warns her that the more potent books are kept on the second level. While he's not looking Dawn sneaks up there and shoves a book and some potion into her backpack. That night Dawn collects some dirt from her mother's grave. Spike surprises her and then offer to help, making it clear that she is not to tell Buffy about his involvement. He takes her to a man that knows all about resurrection spells. The slightly senile old man warns them away from this type of spell but ends up giving her an incantation and instructions on what to do. She needs the egg of a gora demon (which can be found in Sunnydale's sewer system) and a picture of her mother. To place these in the middle of a sacred circle and say the incantation. He says that her mom will return to her slowly and that she way not return the same as she used to be. If anything goes wrong the picture of her mother must be destroyed to break the spell. Dawn and Spike head to the sewers in search of the gora demon. They find it to be a rather large beast and Spike distracts it while Dawn grabs an egg. Unfortunately the egg cracks and Dawn goes back to grab another one. They make it out slightly injured, but alive.

Dawn goes home and sets up the sacred circle and begins the incantation. Meanwhile Tara notices that a book of witchcraft is missing from their bookshelf and she immediately suspects Dawn. They call Buffy who picks up the phone just as she walks in the door to her house. Tara tells her what's going on and Buffy rushes upstairs immediately. Dawn has just completed the spell. They rush downstairs and Buffy is so worried that the spell might have gone wrong. Dawn tells her that she needs her mother because she has nobody else. She thinks that Buffy doesn't even care the their mom died. Buffy slaps Dawn then tells her that she keeps busy because the pain is so great for her that if she stops everything in her life will collapse. Buffy starts to cry and says that she doesn't know how to take care of everything. Behind the curtains we can see the shadow of Joyce's head moving slowly towards the door. There's a knock at the door and Buffy rushes for the door but Dawn realizes what she has to do and pulls out the picture of her mother and rips it in half just as Buffy flings open the door to find no one there. The girls reach for each other and fall to the floor crying desperately together.

Summary written by Nika

Quote of the Week

Buffy: (crying) I have to do these things! Because when I stop... then she's really gone...

My Rating


Nika's Review

I adored this episode. The bond between Buffy and Dawn has been created so well by Sarah and Michelle that it's breathtaking. The interaction between them in amazing. The end of this episode was absolutely heart-breaking. I could completely see it coming though. Dawn doesn't understand how Buffy can keep all her feelings inside herself but Buffy feels that if she stops doing everything then she'll break down so much that she won't be able to put herself back together again. Buffy's meltdown at the end was the best I've ever seen her cry before. The emotions were just flowing out of her and the pain was visible and it was terrible. We could see the magnitude of everything that she felt she had to do (in her mother's shoes). And to her it's everything and she can't handle it. Dawn is so much younger that there's not much she can do but Buffy's got everything on top of her now. The thing that was so scary at the end was seeing Joyce's shadow on the curtains. Knowing that Buffy and Dawn might find their mom to be some psychotic monster was absolutely terrifying. And Dawn ripping up the picture just in time was downright scary. I'm glad that Joss placed the death of their mother in the same season as having Dawn be Buffy's sister. Buffy needs someone that she feels comfortable with, family. Had she been on her own this would have been even more terrible for her. But now that their mother is gone I've got very little faith in them removing Dawn at the end of this season. They can't take everything away from Buffy is one season! (Her boyfriend, her mother, her sister). That'd be a little much. Also, the return of Angel was a nice little treat. Though I wish he'd stayed for much longer. 2 minutes with him just wasn't enough.


Sarah Michelle Gellar
Nicholas Brendon
Alyson Hannigan
Emma Caulfield
Michelle Trachtenberg
James Marsters
Anthony Stewart Head
David Boreanaz
Clare Kramer
Charlie Webber
Troy T. Blendell
Amber Benson
Joel Grey
Todd Duffey
Andrea Gail
Alan Henry Brow
Darius Dudley
Annie Talbot
Noor Shic
  Buffy Summers
Xander Harris
Willow Rosenberg
Rupert Giles
Funeral Director
Lady with baby
Lady with Rosary