Gone (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
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|Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||David Fury|
|Written by||David Fury|
|Original air date||January 8, 2002|
"Gone" is the 11th episode of season 6 of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Buffy feels life spinning out of control. In the previous episode, Willow got high on the magic (so much so that her eyes are almost permanently dilated and darkened to black) and crashed a car, breaking Dawn's arm. Willow is still distraught. Dawn is ignoring Buffy and resents her because Buffy was off secretly having sex with Spike during the crisis, so the younger Summers is only talking to Xander. Dawn is further irritated because Buffy is gathering up everything in the household even slightly magical and hiding it so Willow can avoid magical temptation, including a statue of the Hopi god Kokopelli, which Dawn treasures because it belonged to their late mother, Joyce.
The social worker comes round to check on how Buffy's doing (at the worst possible time) – while the living room is scattered with Willow's old spell ingredients and objects. Buffy digs herself into a deep hole by saying "It's magic weed." Spike, in the daytime but using a blanket to cover him, comes over to her house wanting his lighter back. Then he leaves after worsening the situation, calling Buffy Goldilocks.
In a state of depression and determined to become a grown-up, Buffy cuts her hair up to her shoulders, and makes a trip to the hairdresser to have it styled. As she leaves, the Trio pulls up to a tanning salon nearby. Warren has modified his freeze ray into an invisibility gun, and they are about to make themselves invisible. However, Andrew and Jonathan fight over who gets to use the gun first and accidentally overload it, sending beams over the parking lot; a beam hits Buffy (now with a new pageboy hairstyle), making her vanish (along with a dumpster, traffic cone, and fire hydrant).
Anya and Xander are talking about their upcoming wedding at the Magic Box. The door opens but no-one enters. Buffy's voice comes out of nowhere, along with picking up two magical circular items and making them look like eyes. Upon discovering this, Xander immediately believes that Willow may have suffered a relapse and confronts her, but Willow is offended and insists that she is not responsible. Buffy continues her invisible adventures in Sunnydale. "I'm the ghost of fashion victims past," she moans to a civilian, who is wearing a studded cap. She then drives off with a parking inspector's cart.
Buffy drives to the workplace of the social worker who had made that morning's inspection to the Summers' home. Using her invisibility to its full advantage, she tricks the social worker into behaving in a bizarre manner and replaces the Summers' report with pages consisting entirely of repetitions of "All work and no play make Doris a dull girl", an allusion to The Shining. Doris also tells her supervisor that "There was a voice. It made my coffee dance", not knowing that invisible Buffy was teasing and moving the coffee cup to make Doris react and appear insane. The supervisor believes that Doris is having a mental break with reality and sends her home, saying that he would send someone else to inspect the Summers' home the next day.
Buffy then heads to Spike's. She initiates foreplay with Spike while she's invisible, surprising him. "I told you to stop trying to see me," she finally jokes and then she and Spike go downstairs to have sex. In the meantime, Xander and Anya discover that the invisibility ray was causing the structure of the traffic cone to break down, and realize that the same thing would happen to Buffy if the invisibility wasn't reversed. Xander runs to Spike's crypt in search of Buffy, where he finds Spike in bed, naked and appearing to be alone. In reality, however, Buffy and Spike are making love. After Spike claims he's "doing push-ups", Xander has a chat with him, wanting to know where Buffy is, and Spike honestly says that he hasn't "seen" her. Throughout the conversation, invisible Buffy embraces and affectionately teases Spike, making him laugh despite Xander's presence. Spike tries to act normal, somewhat unsuccessfully. Xander finally leaves, puzzled by Spike's odd behavior, telling Spike that he really needs to get a girlfriend.
Buffy wants to continue their physical activities, but Spike tells her that he is tired of being with her and not really having her. He asks her to leave if she isn't really going to be with him. He is frustrated with her carefree attitude and doesn't appreciate the way she seems to be using the invisibility as an excuse to escape her real life. She protests, but eventually leaves. She doesn't do too well at home when she scares Dawn, who has the same frustrations as Spike, combined with extreme worry for her sister. The bad stuff keeps on coming when she gets the message from Xander and Anya on the answering machine. "Tell her about the pudding" says Anya, referencing the way the invisible traffic cone found by Willow had started to disintegrate into mush. However, before Buffy can head back to the Magic Box, Jonathan phones her up (disguising his voice so Buffy doesn't identify him) and tells her that the Trio has kidnapped Willow and tells her to meet them at the arcade.
Buffy does so. However, the Trio have also made themselves invisible, and Warren is holding Willow hostage. Warren lies to Buffy, telling her that he is going to reverse the invisibility. But Willow points out that he's put it on a setting that is going to kill her. Warren knocks her to the ground and aims the gun at Buffy, telling her that she can't see them. However, Buffy's Slayer training (and possibly her experiences in "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" and "Family") provide her with some ability to sense the invisible villains. A scuffle ensues. Warren ends up in the ball-pit, Andrew ends up in the pinball machine and Buffy is holding Jonathan. Willow, who has changed the frequency, aims at Buffy, Jonathan, Andrew, and Warren, and all four are visible again. Buffy finally sees that the Trio are human, rather than demons as she had been expecting. After a brief stand-off, a smoke-bomb goes off and the Trio - despite an embarrassing scuffle to open the arcade door - escape.
Buffy and Willow sit on the curb outside and talk. The two then discuss the events of the day, and Willow admits she nearly used magic but didn't; Buffy also admits that while she's still not happy about being alive, when faced with death she realised she didn't want to die. The two then contemplate their small but notable steps towards dealing with their respective problems.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar had requested to cut her hair, so the writers made her haircut a plot point of this episode.
- Buffy is whistling "Going Through the Motions", a song from "Once More, with Feeling" as she is leaving the Social Services building.
- Xander references the Season One episode "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" when questioning Buffy as to how she got invisible. Buffy goes on to refer to that episode's antagonist, Marcie Ross (Clea DuVall) by name.
- When Buffy takes the hat off the girl on the bench, she refers to herself as the "Ghost of Fashion Victims Past", a reference to the original "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" movie.
- Buffy discovers the identities of the Trio.
- Spike begins to question the nature of his relationship with Buffy, a change that will eventually lead to his quest at the end of the season.
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