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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Shadow
November 21, 2000
5ABB08

 
Credits

Writer:
David Fury


Director:
Daniel Attias


Regulars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Marc Blucas as Riley Finn
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn
James Marsters as Spike
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Clare Kramer as Glory
Charlie Weber as Ben
Amber Benson as Tara
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Kevin Weisman as Dreg
William Forward as Dr. Isaacs
Cast:
Megan Gray as Sandy

 
Synopsis

Joyce checks into Sunnydale Memorial Hospital for a CAT scan, which reveals a shadow on her brain; a biopsy reveals that it's low-grade glioma — a brain tumor. Buffy is thrown by the revelation, to say the least, and even more so by the fact that there's nothing she can do. Meanwhile, Glory conjures up a big snake to seek out the Key, which Buffy can do something about. The snake does find Dawn, but Buffy kicks its ass before it can report back to Glory. All the while, Riley feels left out and not needed, and decides to go out for a bite — letting a vampire have a bite of him, that is.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

Spawn of Sobek

An ancient Egyptian deity named Sobek does exist, whose form is that of the crocodile — not a snake, but still a reptile. For more information, see here or here.


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Body Count

Spawn of Sobek
Punched to death by Buffy somewhere in Sunnydale.
Sandy
Staked by Riley outside Willy's Bar.
Total: Two
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Dialogue to Die For

Xander: "Am I right, Giles?"
Giles: "I'm almost certain you're not, but to be fair, I wasn't listening."

Riley: "Were you ... were you just smelling her sweater?"
Spike: "No. (Riley glares at him) Well, yeah, all right, I did. It's a... predator thing, nothin' wrong with it. Just ... know your enemy's scent, whet the appetite for a hunt. (He sniffs the sweater again.) Ah, that's the stuff! Slayer musk, it's bitter and aggravating!"

More quotes from this episode...

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Dialogue to Bury

Xander: "Our circles are going around in circles. We've got dizzy circles here, Giles."

Glory: "Chill, worm. I'm gonna make you a star!"

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References

  • Dawn: "What is a CAT Scan exactly?"
  • Acronym for Computed Axial Tomography, also known as Computed Tomography Imaging. It's basically an xray tube that rotates in a circle around the patient, taking many pictures as it rotates.

  • Xander: "When a person makes a 'destroy all vampires' date, it's simple courtesy to wait for your co-destroyers."
  • A likely reference to the movie Destroy all Monsters.

    Captain America
  • Xander (about Riley): "Captain America blowed it up real good!"
  • Captain America is a Marvel Comic Books hero who debuted in 1941 and was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. "Blowed it up real good" was a catchphrase on the "Farm Film Celebrity Blow-Up" sketch on SCTV (sample skit on YouTube - see about 1:50 - 2:10).

  • Spike (to Riley): "Face it, white bread. Buffy's got a type, and you're not it."
  • "White bread" is a slang term used to refer to someone who's boring, plain, nondescript, a "goody-goody," etc.

  • Spike (to Riley): "Not that she doesn't like you ... but sorry Charlie, you're just not dark enough."
  • "Sorry Charlie" is a catch phrase popularized by the Starkist brand of tuna. In their advertisements, Charlie the tunafish thought he was good enough to be in a can of tuna, and the company kept telling him he wasn't, thus the "Sorry, Charlie."

  • Joyce: "They have to do a biopsy to find out exactly what it is."
  • A biopsy is a medical procedure to extract and examine a tissue sample to detect the existence of disease, such as cancer.

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Continuity

  • Fool For Love

    Joyce checked into the hospital last night. Willow, Xander, and Anya discover the vampire nest that Riley blew up. Spike refers to Buffy having bought him drinks last night, which she did (as well as paid him) to get him to tell her how he killed two slayers. Spike's knowledge of Joyce's condition suggests that Buffy opened up and talked to him at some point after the show's ending.

  • Buffy vs. Dracula and Real Me

    Spike notes that Willow has recently performed two un-invitation spells on the Summers' home, which were to lock out Dracula and Harmony.

  • The Pack

    The Sunnydale Zoo was first (and last) seen in Season One's "The Pack."

  • Graduation Day, Part Two

    Buffy says that the snake demon isn't "Mayor size," referring to Mayor Wilkins' incarnation as a giant snake demon at the graduation ceremony.

  • Welcome to the Hellmouth

    Dawn talks about celebrating her tenth birthday at the amusement park and mentions that it was right after they moved to Sunnydale, which would be consistent because she is now fourteen and they have lived in Sunnydale a little more than four years.

  • Fear Itself

    Anya refers to her fear of bunnies, first mentioned during last season's Halloween episode.

  • Family and Doppelgängland

    Riley met Sandy the vampire in Willy's Place two episodes ago. As mentioned in the "Family" episode guide, Sandy was killed by Vamp Willow in "Doppelgangland." She was not shown being vamped and hasn't been seen or heard of until "Family."

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • Watch Joyce's hair as she goes into the CAT scan. It's placed differently before and after she goes in, even though she doesn't seem to move.
          Spotted by Mathew.

  • Glory pulls Buffy's right shoulder, but when Buffy is at the hospital she puts ice on the left shoulder. Since she didn't appear to injure the left shoulder during the fight, it doesn't make sense to ice that shoulder.
          Spotted by A.J.

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Notes

  • This episode begins the day after the events of last week's episode, "Fool For Love."

  • Buffy finally learns Glory's name and tells Giles.

  • The Magic Box is located at 5124 Maple Court in downtown Sunnydale. The phone number there is 803-555-8966.

  • This episode is Daniel Attias' directorial debut for BtVS. He has directed for over 20 other TV shows, including Miami Vice, Party of Five, and The Sopranos.

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Comments

Soupytwist:
Four words: Spike sniffing Buffy's clothes. Three words: I hate Riley. Spike is my favorite. I love that he is able to get under Riley's skin so easily. It makes me love Spike even more and makes me think even less of Riley. *sigh* I was so excited when I thought that Dawn's comments had driven Riley to being vamped. I was bouncing up and down on my couch, thinking, "After what happened with Angelus, there's no way Buffy won't stake him!" Then Riley staked Sandy. I was sorely disappointed. Then I thought, "I'm actually interested in what happens to this character, that's never happened before!" This had better not have a lame resolution. Riley wants to be the center of Buffy's universe. Selfish, selfish, selfish! Joyce has a tumor fer cryin' out loud! Get over yourself! Buffy and Dawn need support, not someone who is needy and going to distract them from their task: Get Joyce Well. Dealing with your own mortality is one thing, but dealing with the mortality of your parents? It's sad, but it's almost like the other side of the coin for Joyce and Buffy. Joyce has had to deal with Buffy's mortality for a long time, now Buffy has to deal with her mom being at risk. Joyce couldn't protect Buffy from being a Slayer any more than Buffy can protect Joyce from a tumor. (8/10)
Jamie Marie:
Who knew Riley was such a selfish bastard, huh? I mean, less-than-stellar relationship or not, now is not the time to get all pouty and stupid over not being front-and-center. And this little "Bite me baby" thing is just lame. Loser. Anyway, the Joyce storyline I like. Maybe I'm too easy, because sad mom stuff always gets to me, but I think it's a solid plot which is already leading to some great acting by both Sarah and Kristine — and Michelle Trachtenberg, too. It's about time that Joyce was really involved in Buffy's life in some noticeable way. But the snake thing... sigh. Snakes are old, and the effects were not pretty. The scene with Buffy riding snakey-wakey was especially disappointing. Glory herself is cool and all, but I just wasn't digging this deal (although Dreg does amuse me). All in all, not a terrible episode, but it felt slow, and only the Joyce-related scenes really gripped my attention. This will be one that it won't take me long to forget. (7/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
November 21, 2000 3.2 85 of 129

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