Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Tabula Rasa

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Tabula Rasa
Tabula Rasa
Season 6, Episode 8
Airdate November 13, 2001
Production Number 6ABB08
Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner
Directed by David Grossman
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Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Six

Tabula Rasa is the eighth episode of the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the one-hundred and eighth episode overall.

Starring: 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: Raymond O'Connor (Teeth), Amber Benson (Tara)

Co-Starring: Geordie White (Vamp #1), Stephen Triplett (Vamp #2), David Franco (Vamp #3)

Performer: Michelle Branch (Herself)


Plot Overview

As everyone reels from Buffy’s revelation, Giles readies himself to again leave for England for the sake of Buffy. Tara reveals to Willow that she knows about the memory spell she used on her to make her forget their last fight. In order to solve both problems, Willow casts another amnesia spell, but it backfires and everyone loses their memories, leaving the Scoobies to try to piece together who they are.


Monster of the Week

  • Teeth: Teeth is a loan shark, literally. He has the appearance of an anthropomorphic shark and is something of a crime boss. He is after Spike to pay his debt from the poker game but backs off after seeing Spike off three vampires and stare him down.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Buffy Staked Magic Shop
2 Vampire Spike Staked Street
3 Vampire Buffy Staked Street
4 Vampire Xander Staked Tunnels
5/6 Vampires Spike Staked Street

Arc Advancement



  • Willow and Tara: Willow and Tara's relationship breaks down entirely as as result of Willow breaking her promise to not use magic for a week.
  • Giles: Giles leaves Sunnydale for England again after realizing that as long as he's along, Buffy will continue to use him as a crutch.


  • Tough Love: Tara references the time when Glory robbed her of her sanity after altering her mind.
  • Life Serial: Willow cast the amnesia spell on Tara two episodes prior when the two had a fight about overzealous magic usage. Also, the debt that Spike owes stems from the poker game towards the end of the episode.


The Show

  • Angel Mockery: Several jabs at Angel are made in this episodes. Among them is Buffy saying "a vampire with a soul? How lame is that?" and Spike saying the slogan for Angel Investigations, "I help the helpless."
  • Music: The woman singing at the Bronze is Michelle Branch, who performs the song "Goodbye To You".
  • Buffy takes the name Joan while amnesic. According to the script for "Lie to Me" this was the real name Lily who, ironically, would go on to take Buffy's middle name Anne.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Candid Camera: Candid Camera was a series that premiered in 1948 and has been continued in various forms since. On the series, unsuspecting people are put into embarrassing, confusing or unusual positions while their reactions are filmed by hidden camera. Most often, the series employed schadenfreude to amuse the audience. Allen Funt was the host, director and producer of the original series.
Anya: I... I don't see any booze. I don't feel any head bumps. I don't see Allen Funt.
  • King Ralph: King Ralph is a 1991 comedy which stars John Goodman as the stereotypical ugly American who is identified as the next in line for the British throne after the Royal Family is killed.
Xander: Sorry, I just got back the memory of seeing King Ralph.

Memorable Moments


  • Spike: Can we talk?
Buffy: Vocal chord-wise? Yes. With each other? No.
  • Spike: We kissed, Buffy.
Buffy: So?
Spike: We - We kissed. You and me. All Gone with the Wind, with the rising music and the rising... music.
  • Buffy: (about Spike) If I would just stop saving his life, it would simple things up so much.
  • Anya: What? I'm just saying what everyone else's thinking. Right, baby?
Xander: You are attractive and have many good qualities.
  • Xander: I just feel weird feeling bad that my friend's not dead. It's too mind-boggling. So I've decided to simplify the whole thing. Me like Buffy. Buffy's alive. So me glad.
  • Spike: Oh, listen to Mary Poppins. He’s got his crust all stiff and upper with that Nancy-boy accent. You Englishmen are always so -- Bloody hell. Sodding. Blimey. Shagging. Knickers. Bollocks. Oh, God. I’m English.
Giles: Welcome to the Nancy tribe.
  • Spike: (to Giles) You don't suppose you and I... We're not related, are we?
Anya: There is a ruggedly handsome resemblance.
Giles: (to Spike) And you do inspire a, um, well, a particular feeling of... familiarity and... disappointment. Older brother?
Spike: (scoffs) Father. Oh, God, how I must hate you.
Giles: What did I do?
Spike: There's always something. And what's with the trollop?
Anya: Hey!
Giles: Her?
Spike: I saw you, sleeping together.
Giles: Resting together.
  • Spike: (reading the inside of his jacket) "Made with care for Randy". Randy Giles? Why not just call me Horny Giles or Desperate-For-A-Shag Giles? I knew there was a reason I hated you.
  • Spike: Dad can drive. He's bound to have some classic mid-life crisis transport. Something red, shiny, shaped like a penis.
  • Buffy: Who do those jerks think they are?
Anya: Bloodsuckers. They kill by sucking blood. Take it easy, Joan.
  • Anya: This is the book for us.
Giles: Oh, good. Does it focus on mind control, or memory loss?
Anya: Not exactly. I just, um... My intuition tells me this is the book. And I figure being a magic shop owner and a natural at the supernatural, I should trust my intuition.
Giles: That's fine, but as you recall, I too, am a magic shop owner.
Anya: True, but my intuition says that you're not so much the magic guy and more of a paperwork type.
  • Buffy: I kill your kind.
Spike: And I bite yours. So how come I don't want to bite you? And why am I fighting other vampires? I must be a noble vampire. A good guy on a mission of redemption. I help the helpless. I'm a vampire with a soul!
Buffy: A vampire with a soul? Oh my God. How lame is that?
  • Spike: I'm a hero, really. I mean, to be cast such an ugly lot in life, and then to rise above it. To seek out better, nobler things. It's inspirational, isn't it? And the two of us -- natural enemies thrown together, to stand against the forces of darkness. Utter trust. No thought of me biting you; no thought of you staking me.
Buffy: Depends on how long you keep on yapping.
  • Dawn: How are you?
Willow: A little confused. I mean, I'm, uh, all sweaty and... trapped, no memory, hiding in a pipe from a vampire. And I think I'm kinda gay.