Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5, Episode 16

The Body (27 Feb. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
9.5
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Ratings: 9.5/10 from 2,494 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 1 critic

Buffy, Dawn, and their friends deal with the aftermath of Joyce's death.

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Title: The Body (27 Feb 2001)

The Body (27 Feb 2001) on IMDb 9.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Spike (credit only)
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Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
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First Paramedic
Stefan Umstead ...
Second Paramedic
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911 Operator (voice)
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Kevin
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Kirstie
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Storyline

Buffy sees Joyce lying on the couch, calls 911 and unsuccessfully follows emergency procedures. When the paramedics arrive, they realize that Joyce is dead. Buffy calls Giles and goes to the school to tell Dawn. Along the day, the Scooby gang grieves the death of Joyce and sympathizes with Buffy. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

27 February 2001 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Xander (Nicholas Brendon) punched his hand through the wall, only a shot of Willow's left eye is shown. This is because actress Alyson Hannigan had experienced an allergic reaction to the dust from the plaster on the wall - a reaction that resulted in her right eye swelling badly. Because of this, she had to go to the hospital the next day to get her eye treated. See more »

Goofs

The drawing on Dawn's easel after she learns of Joyce's death is not the same one she had earlier. The original drawing had large black areas and the new one shows those areas much lighter. See more »

Quotes

Anya: I wish that Joyce didn't die. Because she was nice and now we all hurt.
Xander: Anya, ever the wordsmith.
Buffy: Thank you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Instead of the regular opening credits, a flashback scene was created that consisted of the whole cast having Christmas dinner at the Summers' house. It was created so as not to have written credits appearing over the dramatic opening scenes. See more »

Connections

References The Powerpuff Girls (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Joss Whedon (almost) goes ingmar Bergman!
25 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If anyone ever asks if a show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer is capable of transcending not just its targeted demographic but just the possibilities of the medium of TV, you don't need to look too much further than the episode The Body. While there were a plethora of fantastic episodes in the first three seasons, four and five were a little more spotty and hit or miss. But when it hit- most often thanks to Joss Whedon's direct involvement in episodes Hush, Restless and this one- it really connected. In this case it's a true heartbreaker of an episode, and one that you shouldn't watch out of context of the season. The build-up leading in season five to what happens with this 'body' brings on an enormous gulf of pain and horror. But it's not of the supernatural. It's something so relatable it stings- a good sting, I suppose, but one that comes out of real art.

What Whedon taps into in his style here (what he calls the "physicality" of people in the first few hours after a loved one has passed) is the inability to cope with mortality. Every character has his or her own way of "dealing"- in quotes since it's a dealing that is about as heavy as one can not hope to imagine- and most significant is seeing Buffy's initial reaction at the start of the episode, of the same disillusionment that sends one into a state of shock (and, frankly, us too), and Anya, who up until now has been mildly or quite annoying as a 'comic-relief' only to provide as the once-demon persona on the show the most profound statement on death heard in a while. Only monologues spoken in Ingmar Bergman films dealing with the matter of life and death (and the incredible, impossible void left for us in the presence of nothingness) top this one for a cinematic depth of this situation.

It's great storytelling, superb and intimate acting, and with a final moment in a morgue that has a poetic flavor. Dare I say it, it's even better than Hush at conveying a breakdown of the human spirit.


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