Bargaining (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
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|Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode|
Buffy climbs out of her grave after Willow's resurrection spell is successful
|Episode no.||Season 6
Episode 1 & 2
|Directed by||David Grossman|
|Written by||Marti Noxon (Part 1)
David Fury (Part 2)
|Production code||6ABB01 & 6ABB02|
|Original air date||October 2, 2001|
"Bargaining" is the two-part season premiere of the sixth season of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, consisting of the first and second episodes. They are also the 101st and 102nd episodes of the show overall. The two constituent episodes were both aired on October 2, 2001 on UPN. The episodes were written by Marti Noxon and David Fury and directed by David Grossman.
The Scooby Gang resurrect Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), after her death in the previous episode. Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) returns to England, and a group of biker demons wreak havoc on Sunnydale.
With Buffy having been dead for five months, the Scooby Gang continue to patrol, led by Willow, whose power is progressing steadily. They use the often-imperfect Buffybot to conceal Buffy's death from any lurking enemies, as well as from social workers who believe Buffy to be Dawn's guardian. Meanwhile, at the magic shop, Giles is packing up his items in preparation for his return to England.
Willow announces plans to resurrect Buffy by magic, having found the last mystical artifact she needs on eBay. She conceals her intentions, however, from Giles, Spike and Dawn. A vampire survives his encounter with the Buffybot and realizes the real Slayer is gone. He tells a demon biker gang, which sets out to attack Sunnydale. Willow slaughters a baby deer in preparation for her ritual of resurrection. Giles leaves for England.
Willow, Xander, Anya, and Tara gather at Buffy's grave and Willow begins the ritual. As it progresses, the demon bikers wreak havoc in the town and damage the Buffybot when it intervenes. They trail the Buffybot as it tries to find Willow, interrupting the ritual at its conclusion. After the bikers destroy an essential artifact of the resurrection spell, the Scooby gang members flee in multiple directions from the attacking demons, convinced the ritual has failed. Unbeknownst to them, Buffy has been resurrected and has awakened, still buried in her coffin.
Xander carries Willow to the magic shop where Tara and Anya are to meet them. The demon bikers batter the Buffybot. The resurrected Buffy breaks out of her coffin and claws her way to the surface, confused and traumatized. Spike steals a motorcycle from a demon and rides off with Dawn, intent on escaping the demons still rampaging through Sunnydale.
The disoriented Buffy roams through the town, coming upon demon bikers as they complete the destruction of the Buffybot. As she flees them, she stumbles across Willow and her allies, but runs from them as well. As they pursue her, they are attacked by the demons, but Buffy turns and defeats them. Spike and Dawn find the head of the destroyed Buffybot. As Spike tries to reassemble it, the head suggests to Dawn the real Buffy has returned; distraught, she runs away.
Still in shock, Buffy returns alone to the site of her death, the top of Glory's tower. Dawn finds her there and climbs the unstable structure in pursuit. Buffy prepares to restage her death, but Dawn interrupts and tries to convince her to come down. Undissuaded, Buffy asks if she's in hell. As the tower collapses, Buffy's instinct to protect Dawn takes control, and she carries her sister down a rope to the ground.
- This episode was the first time Anthony Head is credited as a "Special Guest Star". He had been a series regular for the previous five seasons, but now his character has left for England. He would return later in the season and for much of the next. Alyson Hannigan is now credited as "And Alyson Hannigan as Willow".
- Depending on how the two-part episode is split Buffy Summers may not appear in Bargaining Part One. Buffy doesn't appear until 46 minutes into the episode, which would be considered to be Part Two, as each individual episode is about 42 minutes long. On Netflix, Part One ends with Buffy's first appearance.
- The front of Long Beach International Airport was used for the establishing shot for "Sunnydale Airport", from which Giles departed.
- This episode marked the first time the show aired on UPN. It had aired on the WB for the previous five seasons until it was cancelled by them but picked up by UPN. UPN aired Buffy until its conclusion at the end of season seven.
- UPN aired an extended "previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer" recap along with this episode chronicling the entire series from the first season forward since this was the first episode of Buffy that aired on their network. Syndication airings of this episode only show the events in season 5 in the recap leading up to the start of season 6.
- The Region 1 DVD contains the full uncut feature length version of "Bargaining" as it originally aired on UPN with several short extra scenes and lines included. While streaming versions have all used the syndication cut of this episode, which was split into "Bargaining Part 1" and "Bargaining Part 2" with those extra bonus scenes cut out. Scenes missing include an extended talk between Spike, Giles, and Tara in the opening scene at the cemetery. Scene missing of Buffy Bot and Dawn outside of Parent Teacher Conferences. Spike and Dawn playing cards was shortened. The girl walking down main street before being attacked was edited down. Willow sacrificing the deer is missing a few seconds of footage.
- In this episode Giles is given a small monster by Tara. Tara, before giving it to Giles, says "Grr. Argh," a reference to the Mutant Enemy Productions logo.
- Anya hands Giles a parting gift, an apple pie, "We brought some lovely parting gifts. It's American. Get it? Apple pie." This is an oblique reference to Alyson Hannigan's movie, American Pie 2, which came out on August 6, 2001, two months before the airing of this episode.
- The 2-hour season premiere of "Bargaining, Parts One and Two" on UPN attracted 7.7 million viewers, the 2nd highest viewership the show has ever received, behind only Season 2's "Innocence".
- After Buffy is resurrected she is seen wearing 3 kinds of shoes: strappy heels when she is walking in town, chunky heels when she is on the tower and sneakers when she is jumping the fence.
- In the last three minutes of the episode (Bargaining Part 2) when Dawn and Buffy are on the tower, Buffy looks down after the tower shakes. Dawn stumbles and at that point, a man in a red sweat shirt and blue jeans, with his hood pulled up, is casually walking across the concrete in the upper left hand corner of the scene.
- The episode sees the Scooby Gang performing a spell to raise Buffy from the dead, a decision which will have consequences for Buffy and her friends throughout Season Six, and which eventually allows the First Evil to exploit the vulnerability in the Slayer line in Season Seven.
- Willow's increasing power is also shown in this episode, as she is able to endure the tests required to bring Buffy back. Willow's secrecy and attitudes towards magic also play a major part of Season Six, particularly in the episodes "Smashed", "Wrecked", "Villains", "Two to Go", and "Grave".
- According to Willow in part 1, some of the Scoobies believe that Buffy's soul was trapped in a hell-dimension because she died within Glory's mystic portal. At the end of Season Two, Buffy killed Angel while he stood within Acathla's similar portal and Angel's soul did indeed go to a hell dimension, so their belief, although in error, is understandable.
- When Buffy was brought back to life, it is like she feared it would be in the first-season episode "Nightmares", when she is buried alive.
- The episode shows Buffy's uncertainty and confused feelings about being back from the dead. She asks Dawn, "Is this hell?", which is a view that the Slayer will express throughout the season as she tries to adjust to normal life.
- The Buffybot, which first appeared in Season Five, is destroyed in this episode, and does not make any further appearances on the show, until its comic book continuation in Season Nine.
- There are also some hints about the different attitudes that Willow and Tara have towards magic, with Tara fearing that the Scoobies were wrong to meddle with the laws of nature, while Willow seems sure that they are doing the right thing.
- The second part of the episode is also the first in the series without Anthony Head as Giles.
- Tara makes her first kill in this episode when she axes Razor in the back as he tries to strangle Willow.
- The episode shows Spike stealing a motorcycle from one of the biker demons, which he will keep and use all the way up through Season Seven.
- "Top Ten Genre Broadcast TV Ratings (Oct. 1-7)". Mania.com. October 11, 2001. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
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