Him (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode|
|Directed by||Michael Gershman|
|Written by||Drew Z. Greenberg|
|Original air date||November 5, 2002|
"Him" is the sixth episode of the seventh and final season of television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Xander introduces Spike to his new living environment: Xander's apartment. Buffy tries to convince a reluctant Xander that Spike needs their help and a place better than the basement to live. Spike's just about as reluctant as Xander, but Buffy thinks this plan is the right thing for him. Buffy and Dawn talk privately about Buffy's feelings for Spike and why she's helping him in light of the pain he's caused her. Dawn starts to rant about love and relationships and Buffy leaves so she can return to work. An attractive jock on the football field then catches Dawn's attention and she falls off the bleachers while distracted by him.
Buffy fights with and kills a demon at Anya's apartment that was sent by D'Hoffryn. Anya thanks her for the help, but doesn't want it to seem like she needs help. Buffy explains that the gang needs Anya's help and she wants to protect her friends, Anya included. At the high school, Dawn prepares to confront her dream guy, named R.J., and once she finds him, she tries to start up a conversation with him. He's with another player, O'Donnell, and two cheerleaders talking about cheerleader tryouts and most of Dawn's awkward comments don't quite fit with the crowd. Later, Dawn tries out for the cheerleading team wearing Buffy's old cheerleading uniform, but she falls and makes a fool out of herself. At home that night, Dawn locks herself in the bathroom and cuts up the cheerleading uniform while Buffy tries to get her to come out.
Buffy tries to offer help and support, but considering Buffy's track record with guys, Dawn isn't interested. The next day at school, Dawn overhears O'Donnell inform R.J. that he won't be starting quarterback for the game and she confronts O'Donnell. She yells at him at first, but then in a moment of anger, she shoves him and he falls down a flight of stairs. Dawn has a meeting with Principal Wood and Buffy about the incident and informs them that the jock just tripped and fell down the stairs. Buffy realizes though that Dawn may have been motivated by her love for R.J. and actually pushed O'Donnell down the stairs.
R.J. catches up with Dawn after her meeting and they talk then R.J. invites her out on a date. At the Bronze, the gang sit around and talk about Spike's progress at Xander's place as they spot R.J. dancing with a "slutty-looking" girl. They're all beyond shocked when they see that the girl is Dawn. Buffy confronts her sister and lays down the law about Dawn's clothes and behavior, but Dawn puts up quite a fight for her right to do whatever she wants. Unable to get past Buffy to return to the dance floor, Dawn leaves and encounters one of the cheerleader girls in the alley. They begin to fight over R.J. and have to be broken up by Buffy.
Buffy watches as Principal Wood lectures R.J. about not doing his own homework and then Buffy catches him for another lecture. She gets on his case about the way he's treating girls but, quickly, something comes over Buffy and she starts to swoon over him like a lovesick schoolgirl. Buffy catches Dawn as she returns home that night and tells her about her meeting with R.J. Buffy offers encouragement to her sister by explaining that she has a chance with R.J. and that he really likes her.
At school the next day, Buffy pulls R.J. out of class and takes him to an empty room. While Dawn walks the halls peeking into rooms in search of R.J., Buffy adoringly listens to R.J. talk about football and his troubles at school and then starts kissing him just as Dawn peeks into the room. Dawn runs outside in tears and into Xander. He tries to comfort her, but realizes that Buffy would possibly be more help and goes to find her. He's surprised to find her on top of R.J. and promptly takes her home for a much needed intervention with the others. At the Summers house that night, Buffy and Dawn fight about their love with R.J., while Xander, Willow and Anya try to keep the peace until they can reverse the love spell obviously affecting the sisters.
Willow searches for information on R.J. and instead finds information on R.J.'s older brother, Lance, who Xander remembers from high school. Xander and Spike go to find R.J.'s brother and despite his popular status at high school, he isn't quite his attractive, popular self anymore. After some chatting, the guys realize that R.J.'s jacket has been handed down through the family. R.J. shows up at Buffy's house looking for her, but Willow and Anya tell him to leave. As R.J. walks away, Willow and Anya start to look at him lovingly and then argue about which of them he loves more. Buffy and Dawn jump into the fight and soon Dawn is hurt and depressed that her friends and sister are taking her guy away while the other three plot to win R.J. Buffy goes to kill the Principal (who had disciplined R.J.), Willow works on a spell to make R.J. a woman, Anya takes off to rob banks, and Dawn lays herself across railroad tracks.
Xander stops Willow from completing her spell and then brings her along to stop Buffy from killing Principal Wood with her old rocket launcher. Spike tackles Buffy before she can kill the principal, and although she puts up a fight, he gets the weapon away from her. Using Willow's locator spell, they find Dawn on the railroad tracks just as a train is headed for her. Buffy jumps in and rescues her sister just before the train hits. Scared at the thought of losing her sister, Buffy shows that the spell wasn't that strong and admits her willingness to give up R.J. if it means that much to Dawn. Finally, Xander and Spike jump R.J. on the street and steal his jacket, then burn it in the fireplace at the Summer's home. All the girls feel terrible about the way they acted and the things they almost did, while Xander remembers an incident he had with a love spell in "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered". Willow questions what Anya did to prove her love to R.J.; Anya dodges the subject with a quick lie and turns off the radio as a news report is heard about a wanted bank robber on the loose.
- Spike, whose aspirations as a poet date back to his human days in the 1800s, rolls his eyes after R.J.'s older brother Lance said that he'd been worried about R.J. when he discovered poetry the younger brother had written.
- The Breeders make an uncredited appearance as the band playing The Bronze.
- During the scenes when Dawn, Buffy, Willow, and Anya are affected by the love spell, the instrumental song Theme from A Summer Place can be heard.
- The cheerleader's outfit that Dawn sports in the episode is the same uniform Buffy used during "Witch"; this outfit is considered outdated because it was originally from the original Sunnydale High, which was destroyed in "Graduation Day (Part 2)".
- Xander brings in Buffy's old rocket launcher from "Innocence".
- Spike moves out of the school basement and into Xander's house.
- Near the end of the episode, when Spike and Xander are standing in front of the electronics store window, right before grabbing R.J.'s jacket, Spike's reflection can clearly be seen in the window behind them. Vampires aren't supposed to have reflections.
- When Dawn is leaving the principal's office she forgets her bag on the chair, but when she comes outside it's on her shoulder.
- Buffy at one point says to RJ: "I just realized, I'm basically the same age as you, not really older." In reality, Sarah Michelle Gellar is two years younger than Thad Luckenbill, the actor who portrayed RJ.
- When R.J. and Dawn are talking in the hall after Principal Wood calls her to his office to discuss O'Donnell's fall down the stairs, R.J. says, "That sucks, facing the whole inquisition thing." Dawn replies, "Yeah, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition." This is a reference to Monty Python's famous Spanish Inquisition sketch, in which characters who express annoyance at being questioned on various unrelated subjects are accosted by the Pythons in red cardinal cassocks who shout, "NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!"
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