Guest Starring: 
 Danny Strong: 
 Adam Busch: 
 Tom Lenk: 
 Jonathan M Woodward: 
 (Holden Webster) 
 Azura Skye: 
 Kristine Sutherland: 
 (Joyce Summers) 
  7. Conversations with Dead People.  
  Several of the Scoobies - and others - encounter people who are meant to be dead.  
  Great quotes:  
Dawn is terrorised by The First.
  • Dawn: "Anchovies anchovies you're so delicious, you're my favourite of all the little fishes."
  • Buffy: "Okay, this is beyond evil, this is insane troll logic."
  • Andrew and Jonathan discuss what they should do if they find the seal: "We find it, we alert the slayer, we help her destroy it, we save Sunnydale, then we join her gang and possibly hang out at her house."
  • Holden: "So I'm a vampire? How weird is that?" More Whedonesque dialogue that seeks to upset the horror genre.
  • Holden: "... I defy him [god] and all his works; does he exist? Is there any word on that?" Buffy: "Nothing solid." BtVS strays into the world of theology.
  • Jonathan: "Desde abajo te devora. 'It eats you starting with your bottom'." A very very bad translation of this season's catchphrase, 'From beneath you it devours'.
  Fantastic moments:  
  • Is Dawn in 'The Exorcist' or something? She is under the most vicious attack from the first from the very start of the episode when her television starts behaving like it was in 'Poltergeist'; the lights go out, bulbs explode, bloody messages appear on the walls (the censor-challenging motto reads 'Mother's milk is red today', blimey!) and booming demonic voices taunt her. There are a number of really scary moments; first when Joyce appears on the sofa behind her for a split second (kudos to the director) and secondly when she screams out "Die you bastard!"
  • Jonathan's reminiscing about the joys of high school is quite touching. He was always the least 'evil' of the evil trio from last season, and a lot of what he says about the simple ideals of going to school and making friends ring true. School always seems like a terrible place, but when you leave you'll wish you could go back.
  • The opening to the episode is set to the fantastic track 'Blue' by The Angie Hart Project. This track also plays as an out-tro to the episode. Great stuff.
  Duff Bits:  
  • The failure to include Amber Benson in a reprise of her role of Tara was a great shame. I realise that the problem was a clash of schedules but they should really have made much more of an effort.
  • I was deeply irritated by Holden. I don't know if it was something about the casting or perhaps that I naturally react badly to psycho-analist types, but I think there could have been a better way to get Buffy to understand the nature of her power.
  Dean's comments:  
The nerds are back!
A structurally interesting episode, 'Conversations...' is really 5 different tales (Buffy talks to a vampire, Andrew talks with Warren, Willow talks to Cassie, Dawn talks to Joyce, a woman in a bar talks to Spike) that are barely woven together; these stories will only truely converge later on in the season. The bottom line is that Willow and Dawn are both being taunted by The First (Dawn is told that Buffy wont choose her - although strictly true it isn't in the sense that The First means it - while Willow is told she has to kill herself lest her magic consume the world - this is totally untrue, but it is clear that The First knows how important Willow will be in the evens of 'Chosen'.) while Andrew is being manipulated by the same in a rather lacaklustre attempt to open the 'seal'. Buffy is psychoanalysed by a vampire who knew her at high school while Spike is being made to kill people in the hope that Buffy will dispatch him (again The First clearly knows how important Spike's role will be in the final battle). For an episode that attempts to draw so many seperate and long-ranging story thread together, it is strangely engaging. This is probably because of the range of genres and styles that are on show in each of the plots, Dawn is in a horror film, Buffy and Willow are in soap-opera land while Andrew and Jonathan (thank god they're back) provide light comic relief. Sad as it is to admit, in Holden's analysis of Buffy's mindset - ham-fisted as it is - he makes a decent attempt to work out what's going on in her head. He talks about her power, her mistrust of that power and knowledge that she is - no matter how much she doesn't like to admit it - better than her friends. Worth a decent rating for its interesting style if nothing else, 'Conversations with Dead People' marks to true beginning of the arc of season 7, here comes The First...
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