Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)
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Lies My Parents Told Me 

Robin Wood seeks revenge on Spike for killing his mother nearly 30 years ago, whilst everyone else tries to find out how The First has control over him.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Principal Robin Wood (as DB Woodside)


Giles returns with a device that may be able to deactivate Spike's trigger. To rob the song of its power, Spike must step into his own past and relive one of the most traumatic experiences of his unnaturally long life. But unknownst to Buffy, Giles makes plans with Wood to make sure that Spike will never hurt anyone again. Written by Alex

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 March 2003 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode features a Buffy/Angel crossover. Willow receives a call from Fred and travels to LA. See more »


When Buffy goes to Robin Woods' office to tell him everything is still normal in the school , a crew member can be seen to the left of the screen. See more »


Buffy Summers: Spike is the strongest warrior we have. And we are gonna need him if we're gonna come out of this thing alive. If you try anything again, he'll kill you. More importantly, I'll let him.
See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
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User Reviews

Oedipus calling
4 June 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Good; All the flashback sequences are wonderful. Great to see the real Dru on the show again, love her expression when Spike talks of bringing his mum with them. Possibly the worst introduction of any new girlfriend to a prospective mother-in-law in history? The Wood/Giles and Spike/Woods scenes are awesome.

The Bad; Spike deciding to leave Nikki alone for a while after finding her beggars belief, couldn't they have had a police car pull up or something? Or was Spike worried about messing up his hair? No real comparison between Joyce and Nikki, Joyce died of natural causes, although heartbreaking for Buffy and Dawn there was no one to blame, it was just her time. Unsouled Spike hunted down and murdered Nikki for fun!

Best line; Buffy (to Giles); "I think you've taught me everything I need to know" Ooooohhhhhh!

Women good/men bad; At the end of the ep Buffy shares a moment of intimacy with Dawn in bed then closes the door on Giles. The implication is that she chooses her literal and metaphorical sister(s) over her father figure?

Kinky dinky; Spike tells Nikki he's going to 'ride her hard'. She responds that he's 'wet and limp'. Xander bemoans the fact that Spike's chains weren't there last week when he and Anya had their breakup sex. Dru refers to Spike as 'sweet Willy' whilst he describes her as saucy.

Captain Subtext; Needless to say a lot of people speculate on an incestuous attraction between Spike and his mum. I don't buy that, I think William is just a devoted son to his loving mother, even soulless Spike is horrified at her suggestion. I'm quite prepared to accept Connor having sex with Cordy, that Ares may be Xena's dad, even the fan theory that Buffy and Dawn find solace in one another's bodies at the end of Forever (and who'd blame them if they did?) etc but not this. Maybe Spike's mum is jealous of Drusilla whom she refers to as 'That trollop'. Note Dru calls herself Spike's 'Other mummy'. Check out her little look as Spike stakes her, almost of relief/affection? Could she have been goading Spike into killing her? Speaking of Oedipal implications Wood tells Buffy that she reminds him of his mother. Interestingly whilst most girls would consider that a turn off, she seems to rather like the idea. According to the commentary Spike's mum is called 'Anne' which of course is Buffy's middle name. Upon seeing Spike's relationship with his own mother I think we all understand his feelings for Joyce a lot better.

Andrew thinks Fred sounds 'effeminate'. In a Freudian slip Buffy substitutes 'prophylactic' for 'prokaryote' in regard to Spike.

Guantanamo Bay; Calculating general Giles wishes to kill Spike out of logic. Wood by contrast know's it's wrong but acts because his mother's love is more powerful than all reason. Giles acts increasingly like Travers/the Watcher's Council like Buffy in Potential, giving her girls their own Cruciantenam.

Questions and observations; Buffy is now willing to sacrifice Dawn to save the world. Because Dawn's older or because Buffy knows there's a heaven? Probably the latter as she says it after Giles remarks about what she's been through (death/afterlife). She regards death as the reward for being human, the big dessert at the end of the meal. Dawn is no longer her sole focus? She comments Dawn is 'tough'. Spike retains some of his humanity as a vampire (as the Judge senses in Becoming pt1), perhaps because of Dru's link to the PTB? When his mum is sick Spike suggests fetching Dr Gull, Queen Victoria's physician and a popular suspect for Jack the Ripper. Willow receives her phonecall from Fred in the Angel ep 'Orpheus'. Buffy still feels bad about how she treated everyone in 'Get it done', her punishment by the Shadowmen actually benefiting her by bringing her to her senses in that regard, she's not so hardass any more. We really do have bad boy Spike back here, the guy we know from seasons 2-4 but playing for the good guys. But deep down he'll always be William the Bloody (awful poet). He knew Buffy was in the light and he in the darkness. If he pulled her into the darkness he wouldn't love her anymore so he pulls himself into the light instead (with thanks to White Avenger from Buffyboards) Nikki speaks of Robin liking playing with the 'Spooky doodas' at her Watcher's house. Does she mean the Shadow puppets we see in 'Get it Done'? It speaks of Buffy's prowess as a Slayer that she can toy so effortlessly with the vamp whilst Giles talks to her. Does Spike mean what he says about not caring for Nikki or is this just revenge for his beating? Note both Spike and Angel(us) killed their mothers. Also although we don't see her use it Spike's mum has a wheelchair, no wonder he so hated being stuck in one in season 2.

So who's right? You understand Wood's point, imagine if Spike had killed Joyce and went around wearing her coat as a trophy? Would anything on earth stop Buffy staking him? Or would he wake up on fire as Dawn promised? Again Wood is very similar to Holtz on Angel or Callisto on Xena. Note that Wood realises that souled Spike ISN'T the man who killed Nikki, he has to play 'Early one morning' to bring him out. Rare to have 2 eps with such a similar theme (Andrew and Spike's flashback filled redemption) in a row but it works fine.

Marks out of 10; 10/10 brilliant!

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