Buffy the Vampire Slayer may have gotten off to a less-than-promising start, with its cheesy hyena-hypnotism and other goofy plotlines, but it matured into one of the most beloved and greatest TV shows ever to hit our screens. Its just as enjoyable to rewatch today, and incredibly nineties to boot. The comic book sequels are worthy of the name too.
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When it comes to favorite episodes, many fans will cite Season 6s Once More, With Feeling, the iconic musical episode, in which everyone is enchanted to reveal uncomfortable truths through the medium of song. Theres a lot to unpack in these songs, and today weve scoured their lyrics to find some of the best lines.
Of course, our heroine had to get both the first song and our first shout-out here. Buffy opens the episode with "Going Through The Motions", a song which reveals some of the numbness shes been feeling since she was resurrected.
At this point, she has confessed only to Spike that she believed she was in paradise after her death and being pulled out of it by her friends was devastating. Later in the episode, she admits this to her friends (through song, under Sweets influence) and begins to make peace with the fact that shes back and must stay true to her calling.
While Buffy the Vampire Slayer might be a show about the battle against vampires, demons, bizarre, gigantic bug-creatures and people wearing questionable prosthetics, its also a show featuring a band of young adults. As such, various romances are going to blossom.
Buffy and her undead beaus aside, one of the most endearing relationships in the show was that between Willow and Tara. Before tragedy struck when a stray bullet of Warrens killed Tara, the pair had their differences over Willows magic use but were super happy. Taras song "Under Your Spell" represents a brief, peaceful time in Willows life, even as it foreshadows disaster coming.
As the episode wraps up and Sweets plan is foiled, the group combine to finish up one big group number. One line of Spikes from "Something To Sing About" is particularly telling.
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These words neatly summarize the villain-turned-anti-heros character arc. The conflicted vampire is initially horrified to discover he has feelings for Buffy, but is powerless to do anything to change them. All he can do is simply accept this truth and try to do his best for her and prove his love, ultimately recovering a soul and using it to sacrifice himself to save all of Sunnydale from The First during the shows finale.
Anya Jenkins life was also quite a wild ride. For more than a century, she was the Vengeance Demon Anyanka, a powerful being who granted the vicious wishes of women who had been wronged by men (with generally grisly results). Later, in the show, she develops a relationship with Xander and becomes human.
Unfamiliar with the ways of human society, Anya often doesnt act in an appropriate manner, saying or doing the wrong things and offending countless people in the process. Her bracing frankness is the source of a lot of the humor on the show, along with her fear of rabbits. Its all very, very Joss Whedon, a quality that the show just wouldnt be Buffy without. This line of Anyas is from "I Have A Theory" in which the Scoobies are trying to discover the cause of the whole musical predicament.
In their duet "Ill Never Tell," Anya and Xander are finally able to voice their doubts and concerns about their upcoming wedding. Xander leaving Anya at the altar, fearful that their marriage wont be a happy one, is one of the most poignant and heart-breaking moments in the show and its foreshadowed a little here.
This is important for two reasons. Not only does it emphasize the fact that these two characters are so much more than comic relief, it also highlights the human side of this demon-battling group.
James Masters has a background as the lead singer of a rock band (Ghost of the Robot). Its no surprise, then, that his soulful rendition of "Rest In Peace" is probably one of the highlights of Once More With Feeling.
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Here, again, we get an insight into Spikes mindsight and the role Buffy plays in his life. Though the pair have constantly been at odds, they just cant let go of each other. Love is an alien concept to Spike, with all the horror of his past, and hes not even sure if thats what hes feeling. All he truly knows is that hes feeling something, and something very, very strong at that.
At this stage in the show, Buffy is suffering from a great deal of inner turmoil. With everything shes had to deal with (dying for a second time being quite high on the list), its completely understandable that shed feel totally uncertain about herself and hesitate to take on certain responsibilities.
In this line from "Ive Got A Theory," she highlights her friends importance to her life and the work they do together. While this is all very positive, it also suggests that shes somewhat reliant on them. This idea forms the crux of Giles song, as well see.
The younger Summers sibling is quite the enigma. When she was first introduced, she was simply slotted into life with Buffy and her mother Joyce as though she had always been there. As we discover later, this was exactly the way things were intended to go. Dawn was actually so much more than she seemed: a completely different beingsent to live with Buffy, safe with the legendary Slayer.
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As it turned out, though, life with the legendary Slayer wasnt easy. Dawn constantly felt either mollycoddled or ignored by Buffy and the gang, and though she played an important role, she still felt stifled. Thats exactly what Dawns lament was all about or would have been, if it hadnt been cut short.
Now, Watchers dont always have to worry about their Slayers growing, maturing and no longer needing their teachings. After all, disembowelment by demon is a common side-effect of being a Slayer. However, Rupert Giles had reached a point in Season 6 when he thought that leaving would be the best thing he could do to help Buffy.
She had become reliant on him, unwilling to take on more responsibilities while Giles would be around to handle them. Her final step to becoming the leader she was meant to be would be a step she would have to take alone.
As weve already seen, Willow and Tara had a super sweet relationship, but still one fraught with strife. The biggest disagreement between the two was about Willows use of magic, as Tara felt she was going too far and was losing herself. When Willow cast a spell to make Tara forget theyd argued, she crossed another line and lost Tara, too.
"Under Your Spell" signifies all of this, reminding us that even the most loving relationships will hit rough spots. In the end, the pair reconciled before Taras tragic death.
NEXT: Buffy The Vampire Slayer: 5 Reasons Dark Willow Is The True Big Bad Of Season 6 (& 5 Why Its The Trio)
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