Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 7, Episode 5

Selfless (22 Oct. 2002)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 1,067 users  
Reviews: 6 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)

Selfless (22 Oct 2002) on IMDb 8.7/10

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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


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Release Date:

22 October 2002 (USA)  »

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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. Actually, using a sword, she just sent him in Hell. See more »


Anya: Besides, Russia was ready to explode. All we did is just give it a little push.
See more »


I'll be Mrs.
Written by Joss Whedon
Performed by Emma Caulfield
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User Reviews

A mixed bag
9 June 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In my opinion, this episode has brilliant moments and some bizarre, frankly terrible ones.

Let's start positive: the twist at the end where Anya agrees to die in return for the undoing of the vengeance wish and then her demon master kills Halfreck instead is brilliant. For starters, I genuinely thought Anya was going to die and was extremely shocked, but secondly I think it draws amazing parallels with what Anya has been doing as a vengeance demon. Like the wishes she grants for vengeful girls, she gets her wish, but in a horrible twisted way that she didn't want.

But I also have some negative comments. For starters, Buffy deciding she's going to kill Anya is possibly the biggest overreaction EVER! While what Anya did was evil and horrible, things like this happen all the time in Buffy and there's always some better way out of it. Buffy doesn't even try and talk to Anya and convince her to stop before she charges wildly into the situation wielding a sword.

Secondly, some people love the flashback scenes, but I think they're hideous. Previous episodes featuring flashbacks have been tasteful and insightful into the characters lives (and to be fair I don't mind Anya's Russian Revolution flashback) but the flashback to her early days is awful. It feels like some dreadful comedy sketch without an ounce of realism or drama at all. I also despise the 'Once More With Feeling' flashback. Once More With Feeling is my favourite Buffy episode ever, but this flashback just seems like an excuse for Joss Whedon to milk it, and it totally breaks the tone of the episode for no reason. We all get that Anya was really looking forward to marrying Xander and then got betrayed by him, we don't need to be reminded through the medium of song.

Also, there's a humongous continuity error. If Anya wanted to return everything to normal, save those boys, and become human again, why didn't she just break her necklace? That's how Giles fixed everything back in season three's "The Wish." It seems everyone appears to have completely forgotten about this.

Overall a nice conclusion to an otherwise pretty poor episode.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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