Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 7, Episode 5

Selfless (22 Oct. 2002)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 826 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

Anya grants a young woman's wish, and the violent and deadly act of vengeance leaves everyone stunned. Buffy must put aside her feelings for her friend and take action before more people ... See full summary »



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Title: Selfless (22 Oct 2002)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joyce Guy ...
Professor Hawkins
Jennifer Shon ...
Villager #1
MaryBeth Scherr ...
Villager #2
Alessandro Mastrobuono ...
Villager #3
Daniel Spanton ...
Viking #1


Anya grants a young woman's wish, and the violent and deadly act of vengeance leaves everyone stunned. Buffy must put aside her feelings for her friend and take action before more people die. Meanwhile, flashbacks depict how Anya became a vengeance demon, and Willow returns to college. Written by Alex

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama | Fantasy


TV-PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

22 October 2002 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sarah Michelle Gellar got married while she was shooting this episode. See more »


When Buffy argues with Xander about killing Anya, she reminds him that she once killed Angel. While she is using the term more for semantic effect, the phrase "killed" is still misleading. As the Slayer, she knows that, as a vampire, Angel is technically already dead, and that vampires are "killed" either by a stake to the heart, being set on fire, or beheading. See more »


D'Hoffryn: The flaying of Warren Meers - oh, truly inspired. That was "water cooler" vengeance. Yes. Lloyd has a sketch of it on his wall.
See more »


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

"Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain."
8 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain. That seems to be the fundamental operating principle of the writers of BtVS this season.

Moving on...

Is there anything more moving than a Vengeance Demon with a conscience? Well...that depends. Willow and Tara in bed are quite moving. But as I said...it depends...on what's moving.


Selfless is All About Anya. (Is that a contradiction in terms?) Anya is one of the more interesting characters in Buffyverse. She's sort of a combination of Spock & Carrie At The Prom, with a serious case of Social Tourette Syndrome tossed in for good measure. And so when her Olaf comes home, smelling of "blood and musk", then tries to tell "Aud" (Anya) that it's because of a band of minor trolls, when she knows it's because of a local, load bearing bar matron, it's not long before she turns him into Olaf The Troll. It's pretty funny stuff. So are lines like: "Run...Hide your babies and your bead work". "Hit him with fruits and various meats".

And while I'm the first to point out that Buffy not only routinely over-reacts -- she also over ACTS just about every line she gets her mouth on -- in this episode, I do not agree with the other reviewers who state that Buffy was way out of line in her decision to kill Anya. She'd been anticipating what might have to be done if/when Anyaka the Vengeance Demon did something that needed to be redressed for quite some time. As such, this was not something that just popped up, out of the blue, at that particular moment.

But Willow...trying to dictate judgment to a vengeance demon? Does it get any more hypocritical than that?

Folks...this series is a mess. A total, flaming, mess.

Do as I say...and not as I do...and stop watching it. (Could I be any more hypocritical than that?)

But seriously...this series hasn't just gone off the track...it's reached critical mass, and is imploding faster than Chernobyl.

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