Primer for Buffy,
"The Body"

This episode is from Season 5 (#16 of 22). “Hush” and “Restless” were from Season 4. A major diegetic shift happens in Season 5. The season opens with a new character suddenly appearing without anyone, apparently, taking notice: Dawn, Buffy’s sister. She is, in fact, interpolated into all existing photos, etc.. As the troupe discovers, Dawn is, in fact, a mystical key hidden in human form to ensure Buffy will protect it/her and thus keep it/her away from this season’s villain, the God, Glory. Glory needs the Key to open a gate into her hell dimension (an act that would bring about, you guessed it, the end of the world). Buffy has already had numerous run-ins with Glory, who has threatened to kill Buffy’s family and friends.

A good portion of this year’s episodes dealt with Joyce’s health after it was discovered that she had a brain tumor; however, the operation had proven successful, and Joyce was deemed completely cured about six episodes earlier. Her death in this episode (due to an aneurysm) was, therefore, a complete shock to viewers. The previous episode ended with Buffy discovering her mother’s body.




Passing References

  The reference to “Band Candy” recalls an earlier episode when all of the adults in Sunnydale behaved like wild teenagers, and Giles and Joyce had sex… twice.
  Dawn picked up a reputation for cutting herself, which she did after she discovered that she was the Key. (She had wanted to see if she was real.)

Things to Note

  There is no discursive (or other kind) of music in the entire episode.
  This episode includes the first on-screen kiss between Tara and Willow.
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