Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Sleeper

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Season 7, Episode 8
Airdate November 19, 2002
Production Number 7ABB08
Written by David Fury &
Jane Espenson
Directed by Alan J. Levi
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Never Leave Me
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Seven

Sleeper is the eighth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the one-hundred and thirtieth episode overall. Buffy attempts to investigate whether or not Spike has been feeding on humans.

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike)

and Alyson Hannigan (Willow)

Special Guest Star: Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles)

Guest Starring: Robinne Lee (Sired Vampire), Rob Nagle (Robson)

Co-Starring: Lisa Jay (Linda), Kevin Daniels (Bouncer), Stacey Scowley (Young Woman), Lindy Christopher (Nora)

Uncredited: Aimee Mann (Herself)


Plot Overview

Buffy has intense concern that Spike has begun killing, despite his chip. As she keeps tabs on him to find out, Spike begins recovering memories that lead him to doubt his innocence.


Monster of the Week

  • There is no monster of the week in this episode, as this episode deals mainly with Spike.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Nora Robed Figure Stabbed London flat
2 Robson Robed Figure Stabbed London flat
3 Woman Spike Bitten Alleyway
4 Vampire Girl Spike Staked The Bronze
5/6/7/8/9/10/11 Vampires Buffy Staked Basement

Arc Advancement


  • Slayer or Slayee?: London, England.


  • Spike: Spike's violent and often homicidal outbursts come from The First triggering his vampire side with a song.



The Show

  • Music: Aimee Mann performs Pavlov's Bells and This Is How It Goes live at the Bronze while Spike looks for the girl he killed.
  • Pay Attention: If you'll notice, the old man playing the harmonica is playing the folk song that trigger's Spike's violence. This is presumably the First.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Sleeper: The title of this episode refers to a military term for someone who causes subterfuge after gaining the trust of the enemy. Occasionally, this sleeper is brainwashed into his position, much like Frank Sinatra in The Machurian Candidate.
  • Billy Idol: Billy Idol is a punk rock musician popular in the 1980s. His look is very similar to Spike's with bleached blonde hair and leather clothing. His biggest hit was White Wedding.
Bouncer: Yeah I know the guy, Billy Idol wannabe

Memorable Moments

  • Spike's trigger is activated by The First singing a song.


  • Xander: You're gonna be fine.
Anya: Better be. Because if I get vamped, I'm gonna bite your ass!
Xander: Wouldn't be the first time.
Anya: What was that?
  • Buffy: What the hell happened? Downstairs looks like--
Willow: Hell happened? Yeah. This big evil that's been promising to devour us - well, I think it's started chomping.
  • Spike: Anya, do be specific and tell a fellow just exactly what you're doing here.
Anya: Well, Spike... I'm here, obviously for, um... sex.
Spike: Uh, beg your pardon.
Anya: You and me. Here and now. Let's go. Let's... get it on, you big bad boy.
Spike: Wait, wait, Anya. Just a minute. This is not exact - Is that a stake?
Anya: Yes. Kinky.
Spike: Uh, well, yeah, but what do you...
Anya: Shh. No questions. No talking. I can't help it. I can't stop thinking about you and us and our brief but unforgettable time together. I mean, it's... Why else would I be here? I mean, it's not like I'm snooping around looking for proof that you're some sort of wacked out serial killer. I don't know why I said that. Forget I said that. It's craziness talking. It's just nerves. Nerves. Nerves and - and horniness. Oh, just shut up, William, and take me. Take me now.
  • Spike: It's not that I'm not tempted. Obviously, if things were different, you're a ripe catch.
Anya: I got it. No problem, I understand. You think I'm fat.
Spike: What?
Anya: Well, it's either that or the haircut.
Spike: Ridiculous. The do's quite fetching.
Anya: Oh, right. Now you like the haircut.
Spike: Love it.
Anya: Sure, as a friend.
  • Anya: All I'm saying is soulless Spike would have had me upside down and halfway to happyland by now.
  • Spike: You know I can't.
Buffy: Right. The chip.
Spike: No, not the chip! Not the chip, dammit. You honestly think I'd go to the end of the underworld and back to get my soul and then - Buffy, I can barely live with what I did. It haunts me. All of it. If you think that I would add to the body count now, you're crazy.
  • Spike: As daft a notion as soulful Spike the killer is, it is nothing compared to the idea that another girl could mean anything to me. This chip - they did to me. I couldn't help it. The soul I got on my own. For you.
  • Sired Vampire: (to Spike) So that's all I was to you? A one-bite stand?
  • Buffy: Oh, uh, actually, I need some help. I'm looking for this guy. Bleach-blonde hair, leather jacket, British accent? Kind of sallow, but in a hot way?
Bouncer: Yeah, yeah, I know the guy. Billy Idol wannabe?
Buffy: Actually, Billy Idol stole his look from - Never mind.
  • Aimee Mann: Man, I hate playing vampire towns.
  • Xander: Oh, an out of control serial killer. You're right, that is a great house guest.