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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Episode cast overview:
Xander Harris (credit only)
Anya (credit only)
Holden Webster
Young Woman


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_

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama | Fantasy


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 November 2002 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Amber Benson was supposed to return as The First Evil impersonating Tara, but she didn't want to come back just as a villain, so Cassie Newton (Azura Skye) from a recent episode was put in her place. See more »


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 »


Buffy: Okay, this is beyond evil, this is insane troll logic.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


References True Confessions (1985) See more »


Written by Angie Hart and Joss Whedon
Performed by Angie Hart
See more »

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User Reviews

Pure brilliance!
11 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Good; All of it, pretty damn amazing the whole thing. In a pretty intense and serious episode I do like Dawn's fun anchovies song and dance not to mention her marshmallow in the microwave (love to try that but then it didn't turn out too well for her)

The Bad; The only problems I have is that there's no Xander and that the Cassie role was so blatantly supposed to be Tara. If it is The First that visits Dawn it's actions seem remarkably tame AND it seems to be able to move stuff with it's will which it can't do later. Also why put on the big show, why not just appear to Dawn as it did to Willow and Andrew? Maybe it is Joyce but the First is somehow manipulating her and only allows it to put over what it wants Dawn to hear? If it is The First trying to mislead Dawn why does it try to get her to leave the house?

Best line; Holden; "Who knows, maybe I'll win?" Buffy; (almost pityingly) "No, I'm the Slayer. You're not leaving this graveyard"

Women good/men bad; We learn that Hank cheated on Joyce and that was the reason for their divorce.

Jeez!; Holden hitting Buffy in the face with the virgin Mary statuette. Dawn getting all cut up. Cassie/The First's description of how she imagined Willow committing suicide.

Kinky dinky; When confessing to Holden Buffy says that during her sex with Spike she felt she deserved to be punished which explains some of the violent/S&M nature of their relationship. Buffy says she hates the way vamps equate sex, pain, death and love but then as Spike said, they are evil, they should be treading on the darkside. Looking back on her previous boyfriends Buffy observes she sure can pick them, every one a doomed romance. There were rumours at SDH that Buffy was dating a really old guy but did this mean Angel or Giles? ("Older man, very handsome, likes it when I call him daddy") Holden says he is 'chatting Buffy up'. Spike effortlessly picks a hot blonde up at the bar the actress going on to play Senator Perrin's wife in Dollhouse. Buffy refers to Spike 'taking me over completely' and 'doing such things to me'. Holden refers to guy talk in 'nailing a girl'.

Captain Subtext; So if Spike sires his blonde after picking her up in a bar does he do the same thing with Holden? Buffy confesses she feels superior to her friends and lovers but feels guilty about it. This suggests that Faith is actually the ideal girl for her as they're equal in every way. Scott Hope, Buffy's boyfriend from season 3 has now come out of the closet which must be a relief for her as it means their break up wasn't her fault. But apparently he told everyone she was gay which given her track record with guys might be the best option for her? Note that Jonathon and Andrew actually want to be part of the Scooby gang which Andrew at least will achieve.

Missing scenes; Supposedly we were to see Xander visited by Jesse and Anya by Halfrek but they couldn't get the actors which was a great shame.

Recurring characters killed: 13 byebye Jonathon, with us from the untransmitted pilot who came good in the end.

What the fanficcers thought; Loads of fic where Joyce's real ghost visits both Dawn and Buffy, how wonderful if we could see the mother we loved and lost again if only for a minute. Interesting to see Dawn in Ash from Evil Dead mode, once read a fic where Tara's family are actually Texas Chainsaw Massacre types and kill everyone in the season 5 Scoobies except for Tara, Riley, Willow and Dawn. However in the follow up story Tara and Willow resurrect Buffy and she finds that Dawn has now turned into a combination of Ash/Lara Croft (but still has both hands). Meanwhile Faith defeated the First and shared her power with the Potentials but was presumed to have perished in the collapsing Hellmouth. But whose is that gorgeous female hand holding a scythe breaking the surface at the Sunnydale crater...?

Questions and observations;

I take it that the Dartmouth Holden refers to is a college in the US rather than the town in Devon? By the commentary we know that it isn't really Joyce who visits Dawn but her warning that Buffy wouldn't choose Dawn in the end turns out to be prophetic. Dawn's battle with The First(?) references The Excorcist, Die Hard (glass in feet), The Shining, The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, Highlander and especially the Evil Dead films . Andrew says he found Klingon easier to learn than Spanish but then as an artificial language it would be simpler. 'Insane troll logic' again. Kit from 'Lessons' recurs although off-screen. Someone in the Summer's house likes Mariarchi music as it was also on their radio in 'Quelled'. Lovely music at the Bronze, is that the same band as in Dopplegangland? Is Jason Wheeler the guy who won the class clown award in The Prom? Holden has studied 2 years of Tae-Kwan-Do which is SMG's martial art. Buffy refuses to commit on the God question despite the effects of crosses and holy water on vamps. Considering how much real horror there is in Dawn's life you'd wonder that she watches a horror film? JE refers disparagingly to Charmed on the commentary. Holden refers to the SD mental hospital which was presumably built after season 5. Buffy still suffers from the Slayer death-wish to a degree to judge from some of the things she says.

Marks out of 10; 9/10, only failing to be 10/10 due to no Xander and no Tara. This one I watched 4 times, twice with the commentary.

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