Lovers Walk (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

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"Lovers Walk"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode
Buffy 3x08.jpg
Spike holds Willow captive, wanting her to use a love spell on Drusilla
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 8
Directed by David Semel
Written by Dan Vebber
Production code 3ABB08
Original air date November 24, 1998
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Revelations"
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"The Wish"
List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

"Lovers Walk" is episode 8 of season 3 of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing in a Series.[1]

Plot synopsis[edit]

Willow complains about receiving a 740 on the Verbal portion of her SATs, while Xander notes that her Verbal score closely resembles his combined score. Buffy's unexpected SAT score of 1430 makes her start to think about all of the opportunities open to her in her future, should she want them.

That night, Spike drives through the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign, an echo of his actions when he first came to Sunnydale in School Hard, but this time he is extremely drunk and alone; he falls out of the car and reprises his first line in the series – "Home sweet home!" – before passing out. He returns to the old burned down factory (despondently singing Sid Vicious's cover of "My Way") and surveys the damage. He begins to shout and cry, destroying Drusilla's charred dolls and drunkenly wondering why she left him.

At school the next day, Xander persuades Cordelia to go on a double date with Willow and Oz. Oz presents Willow with a witch-themed Pez dispenser, and she is both delighted by the thoughtful gift and guilty because of the attraction she feels towards Xander.

Giles, packing for a Watchers' retreat, is delighted when he is presented with Buffy's SAT scores. Giles suggests that she has an opportunity to have a first-rate educational experience, and suggests that she could leave Sunnydale and her Slayer duties to Faith. He warns her about seeing Angel and she promises that nothing will happen between them because they are "just friends". Meanwhile, Xander and Willow have second thoughts about the bowling date with Oz and Cordelia. Willow is concerned that Oz and Cordelia will notice the attraction between her and Xander. She and Xander restate their commitment to avoid physical intimacy with each other. Xander tells her that he wishes that they could just get rid of their feelings of lust.

That night, Spike stands outside Angel's mansion and drunkenly rails at Angel for turning Dru against him, until he passes out in the garden.

Meanwhile, Buffy's mom continues to push the idea of college. When Buffy is resistant, Joyce asks her what could possibly be keeping her in Sunnydale, but Buffy does not mention Angel. Buffy visits Angel and asks his opinion on her future options, in the process trying to determine where their relationship stands. Angel, visibly torn, suggests as a friend that she go, reasoning that it is a good opportunity for her to live a life outside of her calling. Unhappy with his answer, Buffy leaves.

At dawn, Spike, still passed out in Angel's back garden, has his hand burned by the rising sunlight, forcing him to run back to his car with blacked out windows. A little later, Spike sneaks into the back of a local magic shop during the day in search of a curse for Angel. While he is there, Willow comes in looking for ingredients for a "de-lusting" spell. As she and the shopkeeper discuss ingredients, Spike, hidden, pays close attention. When Willow leaves, Spike kills the shopkeeper, having decided that a love spell to make Drusilla love him again would be a "better idea."

Later that day, the Mayor is playing golf in his office when his deputy lacky alerts him to Spike's return. The Mayor agrees that he organize and send a "committee" to deal with the problem.

At school, the night of the double date, Willow is in the chemistry lab, working on the ingredients for her anti-love spell. Xander shows up and they begin arguing when he figures out Willow was attempting to trick him into joining in the spell. Spike comes in and attacks Xander, knocking him unconscious, and announces that he needs to borrow Willow for a while. Spike takes Willow and the unconscious Xander back to the factory, where he locks them up. Spike explains his situation to Willow, first threatening her life if she fails to cast an effective spell, then sitting next to her and explaining that Dru thought he had gone soft after his alliance with Buffy, and was not "demon enough" for her anymore. The final blow had come when Dru told him that they could still be friends, not even having the decency to kill him. A frightened Willow tries half-heartedly to comfort the distraught Spike. When Willow tells Spike that she does not have enough ingredients, he takes her list and goes to collect what she needs.

At the library, Buffy is working out when Cordelia and Oz appear, worried because the lab is torn up and Willow and Xander are gone. Buffy tells them to go find Giles, and is preparing to go search for Willow and Xander herself when Buffy's mom calls her to discuss college, and over the line Buffy hears Spike say "Hello, Joyce." Buffy immediately runs home, thinking her mom is in danger. Meanwhile, Joyce offers Spike hot chocolate while he relates the painful details of his breakup with Dru. Angel spots them talking in the kitchen and attempts to attack Spike, but cannot enter the house because he is not invited. Joyce, thinking Angel is still evil, backs away while Angel begs her to invite him in, and Spike taunts him behind Joyce's back. Buffy arrives, pins Spike to the table and invites Angel in. Spike tells them he's got her friends and the three of them leave to get the supplies so that Willow can do the love spell and set Buffy's friends free.

As Oz and Cordelia are driving to find Giles, Oz catches Willow's scent and can tell that she is afraid ("a residual werewolf thing"). They follow the scent, hoping to find Willow and Xander.

Spike, Buffy, and Angel are getting the supplies when, prompted by Angel's comment that he's going to a lot of trouble for the sake of the fickle Drusilla, Spike tells them that they make him sick with their pretense that they can be friends. "You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other till it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it."

Xander wakes up to find that he and Willow are locked in the basement of the factory. They discuss what will happen to them. Deciding that the high probability of death is a mitigating factor, Willow and Xander kiss just in time for Oz and Cordelia to find them. Cordelia is horrified and runs up the stairs, but the stairs collapse and she falls through, and gets impaled on a piece of rebar sticking out of the rubble-covered floor below.

As they leave with the supplies, Buffy, Angel and Spike are surrounded by the "committee" of vampires sent by Trick. Spike points out that if Buffy and Angel leave him to die, then Willow and Xander die too. Buffy reluctantly joins the brawl. Spike, inspired and refreshed by the thrill of the fight, realizes that the only way to get Dru back is not via a love spell, but to become the man he once was, whom she loved. He tells Angel and Buffy that their friends are at the factory, and that he is going to find Drusilla, wherever she is, "tie her up, and torture her until she likes me again. Love's a funny thing."

Back at the factory, Xander makes it down to where Cordelia fell. After passing out from shock, the show cuts to a funeral, implying Cordelia had died. However, this is a ruse as the camera pans down to reveal Buffy and Willow walking in the cemetery. Willow tells Buffy that Cordelia survived the fall, but is in the hospital, having lost a lot of blood. She also says that Oz refuses to talk to her, and Buffy suggests time, patience, and groveling. When Xander brings flowers to Cordelia in the hospital, she tells him to stay away from her. Buffy visits Angel and tells him that they are not friends; she explains that she is not coming back, because he does not need her help anymore, and she cannot maintain the lie about their friendship to herself ("or Spike, for some reason"). Angel protests, and Buffy tells him that the only way they can see each other is if he tells her that he does not love her, something he cannot do. While each character broods in their own way, mourning for their broken relationships, a happy and confident Spike is seen back on the road driving out of Sunnydale, on his way to find Drusilla, while once again singing along to Sid Vicious' "My Way" on his car radio.

Christmas Buffy promo[edit]

Immediately after the first airing of "Lovers Walk" an advert aired featuring Gellar and Boreanaz as their characters, Buffy and Angel.

Buffy is standing outside at a phone booth. Strangely Sunnydale appears to be snowing. Buffy says, "This season with 1800 Collect, you don't have to be alone for the holidays". She begins dialing the phone. Buffy hears footsteps behind her. She turns grabs a stake-shaped icicle, and makes a staking motion before Angel grabs her hand. Buffy: "You should have called." Angel replies, "Sorry I'm late." The two smile, look into the snowing sky then walk off together.

The promo offered fans the chance to enter a sweepstakes every time they made a call using the 1-800-COLLECT communications system. The prize was a walk-on part on Buffy. Jessica Johnson of Maryland won a three-day trip for two to participate in the episode "The Prom".

Production details[edit]

The title[edit]

The title of the episode has been cited on listings, books and DVD covers and menus variously as "Lovers Walk", "Lover's Walk" and "Lovers' Walk". However, the introduction to Rhonda Wilcox's Why Buffy Matters says, "the script apparently does not carry an apostrophe, by the way--making for a short, sad, declarative sentence for a title." Most likely, the title is a nod to the Elvis Costello song of the same name (which also doesn't contain an apostrophe) from the album Trust.

Cultural references[edit]

Music[edit]

  • Spike sings the Frank Sinatra version of My Way at the beginning of the episode, and sings along to the Gary Oldman cover of My Way by the Sex Pistols at the end of the episode,[2] it is also of note that the Characters Spike and Drusilla were fashioned after the couple Sid and Nancy[3]
  • Gary Oldman - "My Way" Sung by Spike as he leaves Sunnydale. Spike's embrace of punk music, as opposed to quieter, more emotive music (Angel later shows an affinity for Barry Manilow as well as the "Rat Pack" itself, led by Frank Sinatra, who performed the most famous version of "My Way") is indicative of his personality as the foil to brooding intellectuals like Angel, as well as his former human self.
  • Spike gloomily sings "My Way", originally performed by Frank Sinatra as he wanders around his old haunts. When he is "back to his old self," he sings the wild Gary Oldman version. In Season Five of Angel, eye witnesses of an ensouled Spike's bravery will report that he asked them if they want to listen to Sex Pistols records after saving them.
  • The melancholic acoustic guitar piece 'Loneliness of Six' by George Doering is played during the penultimate scene of the episode[4]

Charisma Carpenter's scar[edit]

Carpenter has a large scar on her belly from a childhood accident. At five years old, playing around a swimming pool that was still under construction, she fell onto a piece of rebar. With the events of this episode, her character suffers an identical injury in similar circumstances.

Angel's book[edit]

  • The book Angel is seen reading is La Nausée (Nausea) by Jean-Paul Sartre; its main theme is the nature of existential angst, a quality often associated with Angel. The fact that the cover features the original French title suggests Angel is proficient enough with French to read the book in its original language. La Nausée has a great deal of personal significance for Joss Whedon. In his commentary for the Firefly episode "Objects in Space," Whedon says that when he first began to think about the meaning of life a friend gave him La Nausée, which defined his interpretation of existence.

Continuity[edit]

  • Buffy's last words to Angel ("Tell me you don't love me") are identical to the script she and Angel were forced to re-enact when possessed by the ghosts of a murder-suicide couple in the episode "I Only Have Eyes for You".
  • Cordelia asks "who would ever want to return to Sunnydale". After season three, Cordelia leaves and never returns to Sunnydale.
  • Spike's arrival in Sunnydale in the opening is a near-perfect recreation of his arrival in "School Hard" right up until he rams his car into the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign.
  • The advert would have to take place on the next evening after "Amends". However, it is clearly not part of Buffyverse canon; both the narrator and Buffy break the Fourth wall.
  • When Xander catches Willow making a love potion, he mentions that he hasn't had a lot of success with those, referring to the events of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered".
  • Buffy reinvites Angel into her home, after having revoked his access in "Passion

Arc significance[edit]

  • Spike makes his sole appearance this season before returning as a permanent regular in Season 4. He is still trying to recapture Drusilla's heart and resists the temptation to kill Willow in order to achieve it; he later reveals to Willow the extent of the bloodlust that he felt for her at this point.
  • This episode is the second example of Spike fighting alongside Buffy against other vampires and killing his own kind. One of the vampires mentions that Spike has "gone soft", which also echoes Drusilla's concerns over Spike's true character and his future with Buffy.
  • Joyce amiably hosts Spike in her house for the first time. This pattern will repeat several times later in the series.
  • Buffy recognizes for the first time that her relationship with Angel is doomed.
  • Xander and Willow's indiscretion has a major impact on their respective relationships.
  • This episode marks an early example of Willow automatically turning to magic to solve human problems and make her own life easier; as her powers grow stronger, so does her impulse to use magic as a catch-all problem solver and to manipulate human emotions. Eventually (Season Six), it becomes an addiction and has drastic implications for her life.
  • Cordelia leaves The Scooby Gang in this episode, but returns in "Enemies".
  • This episode marks the first time that Willow uncomfortably tries to comfort a highly distraught Spike. This dynamic will return in the Season Four episode "The Initiative," when Spike tries to attack Willow in her dorm room but is painfully hindered by his newly-implanted chip.
  • Oz recognizes Willow's scent. This is also significant in "New Moon Rising" when he smells her scent on Tara.
  • Spike's famous "Love's bitch" speech to Buffy and Angel, also can be seen to accurately describe Buffy and Spike's relationship in season six.
  • This is the final episode with Xander & Cordelia in a relationship. Their relationship remains strained until the prom.
  • It becomes apparent that Faith is no longer part of the gang and is not seen again for several episodes.

References[edit]

External links[edit]