Blood Ties (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

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"Blood Ties"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode
Buffy assures Dawn that they are true sisters, with the same blood.
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 13
Directed byMichael Gershman
Written bySteven S. DeKnight
Production code5ABB13
Original air dateFebruary 6, 2001
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 5)
List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

"Blood Ties" is episode 13 of season 5 of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Plot synopsis[edit]

The gang discusses plans for Buffy's birthday and dealing with Glory. Giles reveals that Glory is the god of a demon dimension and in order to stay in human form, she needs to suck energy from humans, leaving them insane. The gang starts asking questions about the Key, and Buffy and Giles finally decide to tell them the truth about Dawn. Several of the Knights of Byzantium chant around a fire before they are interrupted by Jinx. Glory arrives and destroys all of the knights except one, whom she later tortures for information.

At the magic shop, Dawn feels awkward because of the way everyone is treating her and notices when Giles hides a book in a hidden counter drawer. Buffy opens presents from her friends and everyone gets quiet when she receives a framed picture of herself and Dawn (from a vacation which is, like most of Dawn's life, a false memory) from her sister. Dawn finally gets upset and confronts everyone about their strange behavior around her, then storms to her room. After sneaking out of the house, Dawn runs into Spike, who was keeping his nightly watch outside Buffy's house. After a brief conversation, Dawn tells Spike that she is on her way to the Magic Shop to steal a book. Spike notes the myriad dangers of roaming around alone at night, and then he accepts Dawn's offer to let him tag along. With Spike's assistance, Dawn breaks into the shop and finds the Book that she had seen Giles hide earlier. By candlelight, Dawn and Spike read about the truth of Dawn and the Key. Oddly, Spike treats this revelation with total equanimity; Dawn's reaction, of course, is far more vivid.

Dawn returns to the house, bleeding from a self-inflicted knife wound, tearfully questioning what she is. Joyce and Buffy try to talk to Dawn, but everything has changed for her and she's scared, so she demands that they leave her alone. Buffy initially blames Spike for letting Dawn find out the truth the way she did. He turns the tables on her and blames her for not telling Dawn the truth in the first place. He also notes that Dawn was going with or without him, and that he only went along to protect her from harm, thinking that she would be safer with "Big Bad" looking over her shoulder. Buffy reflects on what he says. Jinx threatens Ben at the hospital, but Ben reveals that Glory can't hurt him, no matter what he does.

After overhearing Buffy and Joyce talking, Dawn rampages through her room, burns her diaries and runs away. The smoke alarm alerts Buffy and her mom to Dawn's little fire and departure. The whole gang gathers at the shop then split up to search for Dawn. Xander is a little bit excited that a form of energy like Dawn could have a crush on him. Spike does what he can to comfort Buffy and tells her that they will find her sister before it's too late, and Buffy admits that Spike had been right about Dawn; Buffy should have been honest with her in the first place. Dawn passes through the park, reliving past memories only to be reminded of their falseness, then ends up at the hospital.

She searches for answers in the Psych ward, trying to persuade the mental patients to tell them what they see when they look at her, then runs into Ben. She confesses to Ben that she's the Key and he freaks out trying to make her leave before Glory can find her, but it's too late. Ben suddenly changes into Glory, but Glory remembers nothing about Ben's conversation with Dawn and the young girl pretends to know nothing. Dawn asks questions about the Key and Glory reveals that the Key is very old then concludes Dawn knows nothing and is wasting her time. Dawn doesn't seem to remember exactly how Glory got into the room.

Buffy shows up to stop Glory from draining the energy from Dawn. With some help from the rest of the gang, Buffy gets in a few good hits and takes a few as well before Willow and Tara perform a spell to teleport Glory somewhere else. Glory ends up high in the sky and falls straight to earth. Buffy shows Dawn that no matter what, they are sisters that are bound by blood.


Arc significance[edit]

  • The 12th, 13th or 14th episode of each season is traditionally when Buffy celebrates her birthday; her birthday takes place in episode 13 of Season Two ("Surprise"), episode 12 of Season Three ("Helpless"), episode 12 of Season Four ("A New Man") and episode 14 of Season Six ("Older and Far Away"). Buffy's birthday is not shown celebrated in Season One (it presumably occurred before the beginning of the half-long season) or in Season Seven.
  • The rest of the Scooby Gang, as well as Dawn herself, learn that Dawn is the Key.
  • Buffy stresses to Dawn that their blood is the same, that they share "Summers blood." This becomes crucial in the season finale.
  • Dawn is revealed to have arrived six months ago, according to Buffy. It is very probable that Dawn arrived in the moment that Buffy entered her room, at the end of "Buffy vs. Dracula" asking her what she was doing there.
  • Although a link between Ben and Glory had been referenced previously (in "Listening to Fear" Ben told Dreg that he had summoned the Queller Demon to clean up Glory's mess, like he had done his whole life), this is the first time it is shown that Ben and Glory share a body, and they're conscious of this, although neither retains memories of the other's activities.
  • Dawn (after a brief interval) does not remember witnessing Ben change into Glory; this memory glitch, courtesy of Glory, will be a recurring phenomenon throughout this season, affecting everyone who witnesses the shift (except Spike).
  • This episode marks the beginning of Spike being part of the Scooby gang, when Buffy invites Spike to help look for Dawn. Also it shows Buffy noticing that Spike cares for Dawn which will progress throughout the season.
  • This episode marks the beginning of the bond between Dawn and Spike.
  • Buffy begins to see Spike as a person she can relate to and confide in. This is shown when she tells him, "You were right," and Spike tries to calm her down telling her it isn't her fault that Dawn ran away.
  • After performing the teleportation spell Willow collapses and suffers extreme headaches. This is one of the first signs of Willow using magic that is outside her control. This isn't incredibly important to Season 5, but it continues the escalation of a problem that will become more dramatic for Willow in Season 6.
  • Spike and Buffy's future relationship is foreshadowed when Spike steps in to help in the final fight and Glory refers to him as Buffy's boyfriend. This is also the first episode that sees Buffy talk to Spike as though they were close friends, when the two of them discuss Dawn. This connection is then completely undermined in the following episode, Crush, when Buffy asks Spike why he's talking to her as though they are friends.
  • This episode foreshadows Dawn's eventual kleptomania which will be focused on more in the next season.

External links[edit]