Buffy The Vampire Slayer: S07E09: Never Leave Me
Shown in the UK on Sky One 13.03.2003.
Nice to see the ‘big bad’ for season 7 is a really BtVS big bad, i.e. a vampire.
This episode has tight writing of a nature not seen since Faith last walked the streets of Sunnydale, the whole of the scooby gang use every skill they have (apart from Willow going all mental wicca – which is a good thing from a plot point of view), the balance of tension, teasing, humour and pathos in the episode is perfect, reminding the viewer why it is that we suffered all those badly written episodes in Season 6.
The depth of Buffy’s desire to keep Spike alive is pushed to the limits, although my personal favourite moment is seeing Watcher Central in London blow up! I may be English, but getting one over on pompous people is something I can get behind.
On the Spike/Buffy relationship topic it was good to see Buffy pushed on her desire to look after Spike, for her motivation to be questioned (mirroring the conversation with psychoanalyst vampire of the previous episode nicely).
The final image of Spike on a broken cross with occult symbols carved into his naked chest bleeding onto the symbol over the hellmouth was a beautiful piece of cinematography, as well as a well-researched piece of occult referencing. This episode truely wets the appetite of the BtVS afficionado for development of the nemesis arc and breathes life into the hope that this season may top everything that Joss has served up to us thus far.
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