Buffy the Vampire Slayer/The Weight of the World

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The Weight of the World
The Weight of the World
Season 5, Episode 21
Airdate May 15, 2001
Production Number 5ABB21
Written by Douglas Petrie
Directed by David Solomon
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The Gift
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Five

The Weight of the World is the twenty-first episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the ninety-ninth episode overall, and follows Willow's descent into Buffy's subconscious where she retreated into.

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: Clare Kramer (Glory), Charlie Weber (Ben), Dean Butler (Hank Summers), Lily Knight (Gronx), Bob Morrisey (Crazy Guy), Amber Benson (Tara)

Special Guest Star: Joel Grey (Doc)

and Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers)

Co-Starring: Todd Duffey (Murk), Alexandra Lee (Young Buffy), Paul Bates (Crazy #2), Carl J. Johnson (Crazy #3), Matthew Lang (High Priest Minion)


Plot Overview

With Dawn having been taken by Glory, Buffy has fallen into a catatonic state, leaving Willow to go into her mind to get her out and wake her up. While the others try to find anything they can to stop Glory or the ritual, Glory and Ben have a tug-of-war of conscious.


Monster of the Week

  • There is no monster of the week as this episode continues the Glory plot uninterrupted.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Imaginary Dawn Buffy Suffocation Her Dream Bedroom

Arc Advancement


  • Glory: She has started to feel guilt and emotion, although she's a god and should be immune from emotion. She's starting to change between Ben and herself randomly and retaining his memories and emotions. Doc says that her real name is Glorificus. Ben betrays Dawn by accepting Glory's offer of immortality. It is discovered that the only way to stop her is to kill Dawn.


  • Buffy: Buffy realizes that in some way she wanted Glory to win because of the relief it would give her.


  • Intervention: Scenes from Buffy's contact with the first slayer are reshown with Willow witnessing them.


The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • Joyce's Birth: The gravestone that Willow sees in Buffy's mind says that Joyce was born in 1958. This is likely not a coincidence because Kristine Sutherland was also born in that year.

Allusions and References

  • Déjà Vu: The psychological condition of déjà vu (French for "Already Seen") was developed by the French psychic researcher Emile Boirac. The theory was developed in his book L'Avenir des sciences psychiques and refers to a compelling sense of familiarity with something that the subject believes already occurred. This feeling is generally attributed to dreams. However, due to déjà vu being difficult to recreate, empirical studies are difficult to accomplish.
Willow: I think we already déjà'd this vu.

Memorable Moments

  • Buffy's attempt to rationalize her gift of death.
  • Ben and Glory arguing over Dawn's death.


  • Willow: Buffy's out. Glory has Dawn. Sometime real soon she's gonna use Dawn to tear down the barrier between every dimension there is, so if you two want to fight, you do it after the world ends, okay? All right. First, we head back to Sunnydale. Xander'll take Giles to a hospital. Anya's looking after Tara. And, :Spike, you find Glory. Check her apartment, see if she's still there. Try anything stupid like payback and I will get very cranky. Everyone clear?
  • Spike: Is everyone here very stoned?
  • Spike: Ben, Glory. He's a doctor, she's the Beast. Two entirely separate entities sharing one body. It's like a bloody sitcom.
  • Willow: So... Ben and Glory... are the same person?
Xander: Glory can turn into Ben, and Ben turns back into Glory.
Anya: And anyone who sees it instantly forgets.
Spike: And a kewpie doll for the lady.
Giles: Excellent. Now... do we suspect that there may be some kind of connection between Ben and Glory?
  • Willow: Hey. I know you. You're that first original Slayer who tried killing us all in our dreams. How've you been?
  • Willow: No. And I think we already déjà'd this vu.
Young Buffy: You talk funny.
Willow: Yes, as you'll tell me again when we're older, and in chem class.
  • Xander: Ben's Glory!
Doc: Who's what?
Spike: Look at this. Special Ed remembers.