Guest Starring: 
 Kali Rocha: 
 Ryan Browning: 
 Laura Roth: 
 James C Leary: 
  14. Older and Far Away.  
  Dawn has a wish granted, and no one is able to leave Buffy's birthday bash.  
  Great quotes:  
Dawn has some teen angst.
  • Spike to Buffy: "So, did you ever think about not celebrating your birthday?"
  • Buffy: "We do not joke about eating people in this house."
  • Anya: "Dawnie, there are two words I want you to get used to; punitive damages."
  • Tara: "He seemed cute. Was he cute? I mean, I'm not a very good judge but, I think he seemed cute."
  • Willow: "I'm fine... Finey McFine fine."
  • Xander: "News from the files marked 'duh'."
  Fantastic moments:  
  • Buffy's beefy furry red coat is fantastic.
  • Xander's attempt to match make Buffy with a guy from his work is quite funny. He tells him that Buffy will show him where to park his car before virtually pushing him into her face.
  • Tara and Willow have a stunted conversation when they first meet at the party.
    Tara defends Willow against attack from Anya.
    The best bit is later on when Tara defends Willow against Anya and the others who think she should use magic to try to get them out of the house. Tara physically steps in front of Willow and tells Anya "Hey, she said 'no' and you're gonna back off!" She then praises Willow for her magical abstinence, telling her that it that she did well to resist the temptation to cast spells despite the fact that it 'got bad' at the party.
  Duff Bits:  
  • In the pre-credit opening the slain demon goes into the sword Buffy used to kill him. Can you say 'sign-post'?
  • Do vengeance demons often target teenagers? Surely its far too easy to get then to make horrible wishes about people they dislike.
  • Buffy jumps suspiciously quickly to the conclusion that a vengeance demon is keeping them in the house.
  Dean's comments:  
Anya tells everyone the wedding plans while Xander looks on anxiously.
Well it's time for another Dawn episode kids. The same criticism that applied last time applies again; BtVS has already covered the teen angst thing, doing this is just superfluous. Now we know that teenagers are insecure but Dawn takes this to a new level when she interprets everyone talking about leaving as them wanting to get away from her. There seems to be a lot of judging going on in this episode, people are judgmental of Dawn and Willow for their larceny and refusal to help; later in the season the same people will be judging Buffy for sleeping with Spike. This all makes the story a little hard to swallow. It's also a little hard to see what point the episode is trying to make, after all we spend 45 minutes in Dawn's company and at the end can fully appreciate why someone would want to avoid her when she's in full whine mode. By far the best thing in the episode is Amber Benson's characterisation of Tara as a more rounded individual (in terms of her personality) rather than as a foil to Willow's kookiness. She has a subtle dig at Spike by milking her secret knowledge of his liaison with Buffy; she also shows great strength when defending Willow from attack by her friends. Such a shame that this character - who only now, after 2 years, was becoming a multi-dimensional personality on the show - would be written out of the series within 7 episodes.
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