Spike (James Marsters) – Rest In Peace
Here’s a song I not only know all the words to, but can’t resist singing along with every time I hear it. Which is true for all of the songs from the Once More, With Feeling soundtrack – the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Buffy was one of those shows that, because of its kitschy, campy humour, and (at least in the beginning) storylines centred around teenagers and all their dramas, was too often dismissed as being a silly horror version of every other teen soap. The genius of it is that’s kinda exactly what it was, but as cliched as it sounds, it was much more than that, too.
Joss (Whedon) at least understood that if you base a show on the simple premise that ‘high school is hell‘, then you’re going to have to go to places that prove your mission statement – literally and figuritively. Vampires, monsters and demons, violence and even death completely aside, Buffy had some of the darkest moments ever put on television. I give the entire cast and crew massive kudos for successfully bringing one of my favourite things (that being the traditional fairy tale as a mirror to the horror that real life can be) back into popular culture.
The show was continually devastating, but season 6 (in which this episode appears) was some of the most skillfully disturbing TV ever produced¹. The Buffy and Spike romance, which in episodes previous to this one had only been skirted around, officially began it’s destructive course as the (virtual) curtains fell.
1. In a panel discussion, Joss offered the following quote to promote season seven (following fan complaints that 6 was too dark): “Some of our characters don’t want to die. Tune in!”
Also, the picture I’ve used is actually a screenshot I took from Beneath You, the second episode of season 7.