Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Forever

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Season 5, Episode 17
Airdate April 17, 2001
Production Number 5ABB17
Written by Marti Noxon
Directed by Marti Noxon
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The Body
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Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Five

Forever is the seventeenth episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the ninety-fifth episode overall, and further follows up on Joyce's death--particularly the funeral.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: David Boreanaz (Angel), Clare Kramer (Glory), Charlie Weber (Ben), Troy T. Blendell (Jinx), Amber Benson (Tara)

and Joel Grey (Doc)

Co-Starring: Todd Duffey (Murk), Andrea Gall (Customer), Alan Henry Brown (Funeral Director), Darius Dudley (Minister), Annie Talbot (Lady with Baby), Noor Shic (Lady with Rosary)


Plot Overview

Everyone continues to deal with the emotional aftermath of Joyce's passing. As Buffy keeps herself occupied, Dawn discovers a supernatural and potentially dangerous means of bringing back their mother.


Monster of the Week

  • No monster of the week was given enough screen time to be considered as such.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
There were no deaths in this episode.


  • Cream - "Tales of Brave Ulysses"
  • Splendid - "Tomorrow We'll Awake"

Arc Advancement


  • The Key: Ben slips and mentions that the key is "an innocent." This leads Glory to realize that the key is human.


  • Willow: Willow shows that she may have some degree of telekinesis beyond being able to cast spells by pulling the book out for Dawn subtly.


  • Band Candy: Giles listens to "Tale of Brave Ulysses" by Cream at his home. This is the song that he and Joyce listened to before they had sex in the referenced episode.


The Show

  • Final Appearance: While it isn't a character, this is the last time we see Giles' apartment in the series.
  • Video Game Tie-In: The second Buffy video game, Chaos Bleeds takes place between this episode and "Intervention".

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Cream: Cream was one of the most influential and important bands of the 1960s. The band featured Eric Clapton on guitar, Jack Bruce on bass and Ginger Baker on drums. They produced some of the great blues rock classics like "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room." In the show, the song "Tale of Brave Ulysses" is played which originally was released on the 1968 album "Disraeli Gears."
  • Peter and the Wolf: The tune that Doc hums while looking for a book is from the children's symphony "Peter and the Wolf" by Sergei Prokofiev, composed in 1936.
  • Osiris: In the ancient Egyptian mythology, Osiris was the lead god (like the Zeus of the Egyptians). However, his brother (and lord of the underworld) killed and dismembered him, scattering his pieces across Europe. His wife and sister recovered all of the parts except for this "manhood" and resurrected him. He was rendered unable to give new life and became the Lord of the Dead and Resurrection.
Dawn: Osiris, giver of darkness...
  • The Monkey's Paw: The episode was clearly influenced by the "Monkey's Paw" horror story, written in 1902 by W.W. Jacobs. In the story, a person (it varies from telling to telling) gets a magic monkey's paw that allows them to ask for three wishes. The first wish is always careless with horrific consequences, the second attempts to fix the consequences of the first and the third is made when the consequences of the second wish arise. By the end of the story, the last two wishes are cancelled out but the first stands.

Memorable Moments

  • Angel appearing to console Buffy after the funeral.
  • Dawn performing the incantation to resurrect her mother.
  • Buffy and Dawn having the heartfelt confession with a shadow moving in the background that was vaguely in the shape of their mother.


  • Buffy: You don't like it?
Dawn: (looking at coffin) No, it's not that. It's just... What if mom - What if she'd like something else better?
Buffy: Dawn...
Dawn: I mean, how do we know for sure? She's the one who has to be in it forever.
  • Xander: You going home?
Willow: I'm gonna stop by my mom's first. Been doing that a lot lately.
Xander: Yeah. Actually, I might stop by your mom's, too.
  • Xander: You have got to be kidding.
Spike: I'm not going in.
Xander: (pointing to the flowers in Spike's hand) And you're not leaving those. You actually think you're gonna score points with Buffy this way?
Spike: This isn't about Buffy.
Xander: Bull. We're all hip to your doomed obsession.
Spike: They're for Joyce.
Xander: Like you care about her.
Willow: Guys. Guys, not here.
Spike: Care? Joyce was the only one of the lot of you that I could stand.
Xander: And she's the only one with a daughter you wanted to shag. I'm touched.
Spike: I liked the lady. You understand, monkey boy? She was decent. She didn't put on airs. She always had a nice cuppa for me. And she never treated me like a freak.
Xander: Her mistake.
  • Buffy: It's going to be light soon.
Angel: I can stay in town as long as you want me.
Buffy: How's forever? Does forever work for you?
  • Glory: What about the key?
Jinx:: He indicated that it was a person, most... highest... you.
Glory: The key's in human form?
Jinx: I believe so... good one.
Glory: Jinx, you robed stud, you're my man! I'm even gonna let you slide on the lame toadying on account of you're dying and stuff.
  • Willow: What did I have for breakfast this morning? Do you remember?
Tara: Huh?
Willow: I want to say bagel, but I think that was yesterday. You had two eggs, sunny-side up. I remember because they were wiggling at me like little boobs.
Tara: Sassy eggs.
  • Buffy: Dawn, you know this is wrong. You know you can't let this happen. Not to mom.
Dawn: But I need her. I don't care if she... I'm not like you, Buffy. I don't have anybody.
Buffy: What? Of course you do. You have me.
Dawn: No, I don't. You won't even look at me. It's so obvious you don't want me around.
Buffy: That's not true.
Dawn: Yes, it is. Mom... died and it's like you don't even care.
Buffy: Of course I care. How can you even think that?
Dawn: How can I not? You haven't even cried. You've just been running around like it's been some big chore or something. Cleaning up after mom's mess.
(Buffy slaps Dawn across the face)
Buffy: Dawn... I've been... working. I've been busy because I have to --
Dawn: No! You've been avoiding me.
Buffy: I'm not! I have to do these things 'cause... 'cause when I stop, then she's really gone. And I'm trying - Dawn, I am - I am really trying to take care of things, but I don't even know what I'm doing. Mom always knew.
Dawn: Nobody's asking you to be mom.
Buffy: Well, who's gonna be if I'm not? Huh, Dawn? Have you even thought about that? Who's gonna make things better? Who's gonna take care of us?
Dawn: Buffy...
Buffy: I didn't mean to push you away. I didn't. I just - I couldn't let you see me - Oh god, Dawnie. I don't know what we're gonna do. I'm scared.