Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 7, Episode 7

Conversations with Dead People (12 Nov. 2002)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
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Buffy has a conversation with a vampire who once went to Sunnydale High, and learns something interesting about Spike. Joyce materialises to Dawn in the living room. The ghost of Cassie ... See full summary »

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Storyline

Buffy has a conversation with a vampire who once went to Sunnydale High, and learns something interesting about Spike. Joyce materialises to Dawn in the living room. The ghost of Cassie brings a message to Willow from beyond the grave. Meanwhile, Andrew and Jonathan have returned to Sunnydale on a mission to save the town Written by spyk_

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Action | Drama | Fantasy

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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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12 November 2002 (USA)  »

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Trivia

According to the DVD commentary, a scene was intended for Kali Rocha to return as Halfrek to haunt Anya. This scene was never made as Kali Rocha was busy with her stage acting in New York. See more »

Goofs

After Dawn pulls the plug on the television set she holds it up in front of her chest, but in the reverse angle she is holding the plug down by her hip. See more »

Quotes

Webs: Oh, my God!
Buffy: Oh, your God, what?
Webs: Oh, well, you know, not my God, because I defy him and all of his works. Does he exist? Is there word on that, by the way?
Buffy: Nothing solid.
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For the second time in the series the episode title appears on screen at the opening. The date and time which follows corresponds with the date and time the episode originally aired. See more »

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References Star Trek (1966) See more »

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
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Enter the First
6 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Conversations with Dead People" is the episode where the First makes itself known to the Scoobies. In one night Cassie brings Willow a message from Tara, Dawn sees her mother, Jonathan and Andrew come back to town and Buffy meets up with a former classmate-turned vampire, who tells her that Spike just sired him. This is a pretty important episode to the story arc this season and you really shouldn't skip it.

"Conversation With Dead People" is hard to explain. Basically, it shows five stories unfolding concurrently. There's Dawn, being attacked in her home by an unseen force. Dawn fights back, thinking that her mother trying to contact her and something evil is blocking the message. "Joyce" finally appears to her and warns Dawn that, when things are at their worst, Buffy will be against her. Meanwhile, Willow sees "Cassie." (The girl who died back in "Help") Cassie claims to have a message from Tara: Willow can never use magic again. If she does, she will wind up destroying the world. Willow buys it at first, but then "Cassie" suggests that Willow kill herself to make sure she can never hurt anyone. Knowing that Tara would never suggest such a thing, Willow demands to know who "Cassie" really is and what she wants. "Cassie" laughs. It seems that "Cassie" isn't Cassie, at all. Instead, Willow realizes its the evil "from beneath you it devours" thing (they don't know to call it the First, yet) And that it's coming after the Scoobies.

Meanwhile Buffy meets up with vampire named Webs, who she actually went to school with. As a human, he was a psychology major and he and Buffy have a long discussion about life and love. When Buffy mentions Spike, Webs claims that Spike is his Sire. That Spike bit and turned him just two nights before. Spike has been sitting at the Bronze talking with a woman all night. After he walks her home, though, he suddenly vamps out and kills her. Then there's the Duo. Jonathan and Andrew are back from Mexico and determined to do good now. At Sunnydale High, "Warren" appears to Andrew. He tells Andrew to kill Jonathan over the Hellmouth seal thing. "Warren" promises that it will allow all of them to become gods. Andrew kills Jonathan, but Jonathan's blood doesn't open the seal.

There are some really good parts to this episode. Buffy's conversation with Web is fun and also very enlightening. It tells you a lot about her character (According to our vampire shrink, she has "inferiority complex about her superiority complex.") Also, Joyce appearing and disappearing on the sofa where she died is really scary. As is "Warren" just standing by the door in the Sunnydale High basement. And I'm really glad to see Jonathan and Andrew back in town. (Even though "33.34%" of them were "flayed alive last time" they were here.) The two of them are so funny together, quoting Star Wars and deciding that they're heroes now. But, Andrew's blind devotion to Warren is so destructive and sad, that he can't break free. Jonathan can fondly reminisce about high school now and say that he still cares about all his fellow students. Andrew can't. He's far more bitter about his high school experiences. Warren was the only "cool" friend that he's ever had. The First, appearing as Warren, can manipulate him so easily. Andrew stabs Jonathan, wanting so badly to believe that Warren is really there and that he's doing the right thing. But, on some level, he already knows that he's made a horrible mistake. His obsession with and revulsion towards stabbing will follow him through out the rest of the series. My heart breaks for Jonathan and Andrew in that scene.

In order to make "Conversations With Dead People" fit into the larger story arc this season, you have to do some creative filling in the blanks. Personally, I explain it as the First targeting Willow, Spike and Buffy because it somehow knows that they will be its strongest adversaries come the season finale, "Chosen." It wants Willow to swear off magic or kill herself, thereby preventing her from joining in the final battle. And it wants Spike and Buffy to fight and kill each other. Either Buffy will kill Spike for feeding again, or Spike will kill her to protect himself. But either way, at least one of the strongest warriors will be gone. As for Dawn, I guess that this episode plays into the later showdown in "Empty Places." When the Scoobies are at their lowest, and turning on Buffy, the First must want Dawn to side against her sister. So, it has her "mother" warn Dawn that Buffy will turn on her. It's the only explanation that I can think of.

On the down side, how did the First move all that stuff around the Summers' living room to scare Dawn? And why did it want Andrew and Jonathan involved? As much as I like them, they are kind of screw ups. If you were an all powerful evil force, wouldn't you get some better henchmen? Maybe it has something to do with that knife. But, then why do the Duo have to have the knife? Couldn't the First just have Spike get it and then dump a dead body on the Hellmouth to open the seal? It seems like it would be a lot simpler. And I'm really sorry to see Jonathan die. He was a basically good person and right up until the end, all he wanted was to belong to the Scoobie gang. He really has one of the most tragic stories in all of the Buffyverse. Also, where was Xander in this episode? How can there be a BTVS without Xander, for crying out loud? It's just wrong.

My favorite part of the episode: Andrew talking to Warren. "One time you died and I became Mexican."


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