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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Lie to Me
November 03, 1997
5V07

 
Credits

Writer:
Joss Whedon


Director:
Joss Whedon


Regulars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
David Boreanaz as Angel
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Robia LaMorte as Ms. Calendar
James Marsters as Spike
Juliet Landau as Drusilla
Cast:
Jason Behr as Ford
Jarrad Paul as Diego
Will Rothhaar as James
Julia Lee as Chantarelle
Todd McIntosh as "Hi" Vampire

 
Synopsis

Buffy spies Angel talking to Drusilla, but from her viewpoint, mistakes it for kissing. The next day in school, Billy "Ford" Fordham, her fifth grade crush has transferred to Sunnydale High. Xander is unsurprisingly jealous, as is Angel, especially since Buffy is suspicious of him after seeing him with Dru. That night at the Bronze, Ford sees Buffy stake a vampire, but he already knew she was the Slayer. We then discover that unknown to Buffy, Ford has cut a deal with Spike: he will be made a vampire in exchange for giving him Buffy. Spike makes the mistake of bringing Dru along to see him kill Buffy. She holds Dru hostage, and Spike is forced to let Buffy go. The next night, Ford rises as a vampire and is staked by Buffy. — Short synopsis by Bruce.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

The theme of a person facing death and therefore trying to achieve immortality, has been seen before in speculative fiction of all natures (science fiction, fantasy, and horror). But by mixing it with his vampire mythos, Joss has given the old story a fresh twist.

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Dialogue to Die For

Cordelia takes on European history: "I just don't see why everyone's always picking on Marie-Antoinette. I can so relate to her. She worked really hard to look that good, and people just don't appreciate that kind of effort. And I know the peasants were all depressed..."
Xander: "I think you mean O-pressed."
Cordelia: "Whatever. They were cranky. So they're like, 'Let's lose some heads.' Uh! That's fair. And Marie-Antoinette cared about them. She was gonna let them have cake!"

Xander: "'This is Ford, my bestest friend of all my friends!' Jeez, doesn't she know any fat guys?"

Xander: "Angel was in your bedroom?
Willow: "Ours is a forbidden love."

Chantarelle: "This is a beautiful day. Can't you see that?"
Buffy: "What I see is that, right after the sun goes down, Spike and all of his friends are going to be pigging out at the all-you-can-eat moron bar."

Buffy: "Does it ever get easy?"
Giles: "You mean life?"
Buffy: "Yeah. Does it get easy?"
Giles: "What do you want me to say?"
Buffy: "Lie to me."
Giles: "Yes, it's terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everybody lives happily ever after."
Buffy: "Liar."

More quotes from this episode...

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Dialogue to Bury

Willow: "Help? You mean like on homework? No, 'cause you're old and you already know stuff."
    This is the kind of uncharacteristic cluelessness she exhibited in the last Whedon-penned episode, "When She Was Bad."
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References

    Marie-Antoinette
  • "She was gonna let them have cake!"  Cordelia's little speech in history class gives her eloquently skewed view of the French Revolution, a violent uprising in France that began in 1789 in which the lower- and middle-classes in France demanded equal rights from King Louis XVI and the land-owning aristocracy. Rather than make any concessions that could have saved the monarchy and appeased the French people, King Louis' Austrian-born queen, Marie-Antoinette, convinced her weak-willed husband to hold out and seek aid from foreign governments. When Austria and Prussia declared war on France in 1792, she passed secrets to those armies, hoping that they would defeat the "rabble" that had essentially deposed her and her husband. The Revolutionary government tried and convicted the royal family of treason, and both King Louis and Marie-Antoinette were executed at the guillotine in 1793. Her famous quote, "Let them eat cake,"was not, as Cordelia believes, a generous gesture, but rather her response to the peasants' complaints of bread shortages: cake was a cheaper and much less nourishing food item than bread, and so her statement becomes dismissive rather than magnanimous.

  • "I Touch Myself" was an enormous international hit for the Australian band the DiVinyls in 1991. (For the record, that supports her statement that Ford was her fifth grade crush, for if Buffy is in 11th grade in 1997, she would have been in fifth grade in 1991.)

  • In the club at the end of Act 2, the movie playing on the TV is the 1973 TV movie Dracula, directed by Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis and starring Jack Palance. Ford lip-synchs to Palance's uniquely breathy delivery of the line: "So, you play your wits against mine. Me, who commanded armies hundreds of years before you were born."
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Notes

  • There were multiple references in this episode to Hemery High, the setting of the 1992 movie.

  • The vampire who says "Hi!" to Willow and Xander when they visit the Sunset Club was played by the show's make-up supervisor, Todd McIntosh.

  • Drusilla was assumed killed by the angry mob in Prague mentioned in "School Hard."

  • Buffy tells Angel she loves him for the first time in this episode.

  • Angel made Drusilla a vampire the day before she was to take her holy orders as a nun, after driving her insane by killing her friends and family.

  • The sun set at 6:27 PM, which means the events of this episode took place in early to mid-October.

  • Spike's right hand vampire is named Lucius, but doesn't have a speaking part in this episode.

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Music

  • Willoughby - "Lois, on the Brink" (From Be Better Soon, Fuzz Harris Records, 1996)
      This song plays in the background as Willow and Xander play pool with Ford at the Bronze.

  • Sisters of Mercy - "Neverland (a fragment)" (From Floodland, Merciful Release, 1987)
      This is the song playing during Ford's first visit to the Sunset Club. (Only used in the original airing of the episode — in subsequent airings, this scene instead featured an original song called "Blood of a Stranger," written by series composers Shawn K. Clement and Sean Murray.)
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Comments

Brian:
The second flawless episode in as many weeks. Like Chris Carter with The X-Files, Joss Whedon comes along and makes even the best of the other writers on this series look like hacks. The characters developed and showed new sides of themselves. I especially enjoyed the unlikely pairing of Angel and Willow, a duo often dreamed of in fan fiction — it could have been nothing more than functional, but instead it was engaging and memorable. The plot was beautiful: multi-layered, heartwrenching, with Spike the only clear-cut villain (and even there, his obvious love for Drusilla makes him more than one-dimensional). And this episode featured, from open to close, the most consistently excellent dialogue of any episode I can remember. It wasn't only quotable, but it was deep and, like the plotting, multi-layered. The exchanges between Buffy and Ford were eminently believable, and the conversation between Buffy and Giles at the end was a gem that should be recorded and treasured always. But the thing I liked best about this episode was that so much of it was based in Buffy and her friends just being teenagers — Buffy's jealousy over Angel and the great scene at the Bronze especially stick out in my mind. "Lie To Me" touched me on so many levels that I feel somehow inadequate — I am just a reviewer, but Joss Whedon is the man who created (with, of course, the invaluable assistance of flawless performances from his perfect cast) this beautiful gem of an episode that epitomizes everything Buffy the Vampire Slayer is about. Tape this one and show it to your friends, fellow Buffy fans — it will make believers of them. (10/10)
Will:
Buffy is just good fun. Brian and I try to make the practice of watching Buffy into a ritual or even a mildly religious experience. The weekly build-up to the newest installment of Buffy always fills me with anticipation. This week I was not disappointed. I have concluded that I will love any episode that has Spike in it. Joss created a story as near to perfection as I could imagine. There was drama, lots of wit and humor from everyone, and a good story. Spike was so very quotable in this latest episode and I loved it. I find his sarcastic wit to be brilliant and whoever came up with his character deserves to be bronzed and hung on a wall. When Spike asked permission to eat Ford, I found myself smiling from ear to ear and hoping that Spike's character will never be killed off. Joss and his cohorts have created such a well-oiled machine that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer that they rarely miss the mark on how brilliant this show is on a weekly basis. I especially enjoyed the glimpse into the history that Angel and Drusilla had together. It allowed me to see a slightly darker side (even though he is a vampire) of him than I thought existed. My only criticism of this episode is the on-again, off-again relationship between Angel and Buffy. It is actually becoming a bit irritating. Overall I give Joss and company almost full marks for this gem. They have done worse in the past but rarely have they done better. (9.5/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
November 03, 1997 3.4 98 of 113
March 10, 1998 3.4 97 of 112 (tie)

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