Buffy finds her mom.
The Body is what happens next.
A post about one of the most devastating episodes of Buffy ever, all part of my SPOILER filled My Year of Buffy!
What Buffy Did!
Buffy comes home and starts chatting with her mom, whom she is sure is somewhere nearby. But she gets no reply. Buffy finds her mom fallen onto the couch, staring straight at the roof. Flashback to Christmas dinner at Buffy’s house and all the Scoobies and Buffy’s mom Joyce are enjoying themselves. Today Buffy is trying desperately to wake her mom up. Buffy calls 911. Buffy tries CPR. Buffy breaks some of her mom’s ribs while doing CPR. Buffy call Giles and tells him to come over right away. Paramedics show up and try to save Joyce. They succeed and it is a miracle. Joyce, Buffy and Dawn end up at the hospital celebrating life. This dream sequence of Buffy’s ends and reality snaps back on. The paramedics tell Buffy that her mom is dead. They leave, saying someone will be by soon for the body. Buffy walks into the hall and pukes. Giles arrives, wondering what is going on, then sees Joyce and tries to help her. Buffy tells Giles not to move her. Dawn is at school crying in the bathroom because a girl made fun of her. She goes to class and gets ready to do some art and talks to a boy and all is well. Buffy shows up and talks to Dawn outside of class. Dawn collapses and cries. Willow and Tara are talking in their dorm room. Willow is worried about finding the right shirt. Xander and Anya show up and Xander double parks. Willow starts freaking over what shirt to wear. Tara kisses Willow and calms her down. Anya want to know what to do and Xander does not know. Xander wants to go get justice from Glory and hates the doctors for not fixing Joyce. Willow changes shirt again. Anya asks about the body and Willow gets mad. Anya cries that she does not understand how death works and no one is explaining anything to her. Xander slams his fist into the wall. It bleeds and everyone takes care of it. The Scoobies go to the hospital. Xander’s car gets a parking ticket. The doctor informs Buffy that her mom died from an aneurysm. It was fast and with no pain. But Buffy hears what she wants to hear and thinks the doctor is lying. The Scoobies offer solace to Buffy and Anya tries her best to express sympathy. Some of the Scoobies leave to get food and Dawn goes to the bathroom. Buffy and Tara talk and Tara says her mom dies when she was seventeen. Dawn sneaks out of the bathroom and sneaks into the morgue. As she goes up to her mom, another body gets up as a Vampire. Buffy goes looking for Dawn and shows up in the morgue as the Vampire attacks Dawn. Buffy fights the Vampire and wins. And the sheet comes off their mom. Her face is shown. Dawn stares at their mom and asks Buffy where their mom went. Dawn goes to touch her mom’s cheek.
And we start just before we left off… That is the most heart wrenching mommy ever. Flashback to a wonderful Christmas dinner with barf talk. Anya knows there really was a Santa Claus. Joss wrote and directed this one. Everytime I see Giles and Joyce in a scene together, all I hear is bow-chica-wa-wa. And obviously so does Buffy, since she just mentioned the Band Candy. Now back to that scary blank stare. Buffy can face millions of Vampires and demons, but she is losing it completely because it is her mom. And that is understandable and real. That 911 operator is so calm, it is amazing. Giving CPR. That blank stare. And she cracks a rib. Is Buffy calling Giles? Must maintain her mom’s dignity, so straighten out her skirt. That blank stare. That has to be an imaginary sequence. They are not going to call it. But the paramedics called it. Buffy’s and Dawn’s mom, their mother, Joyce, the art museum curator, is dead. And Buffy cannot even focus. The paramedics are leaving Joyce’s body for the coroner. And now she is alone with her mom left on the floor. Throwing up, while those damn windchimes keep going. Is she imagining those kid sounds? Trying to clean up the vomit, going through the motions of normalcy. Giles! Thank God Buffy’s real dad is here. And now Giles sees Joyce and Buffy just keeps trying to regain her sanity, thinks of Dawn. STOP LOOKING AT YOUR MOM BUFFY!!! JUST STOP!!!! That blank stare. I hate that zipper sound. Dawn. In the girls room with the world shattering problems of a fourteen year old girl. Cutting mention? Forgot that was around back then. Rumours that Dawn was adopted. We are just waiting for the shoe to drop. That girl in the hall is such a bitch. She likes that boy. Dawn likes art. I don’t like that boy. Buffy outside the classroom, slow walk, a look, and Dawn knows something. I am really going to hate what happens next. Everyone is watching. We don’t hear the words, just see the devastating reaction. And Dawn collapses. She was doing a drawing of a body. That blank stare. Those are loud scissors. Tara. Willow. Anya. Xander. Trying to decide what to wear is driving Willow to distraction. Purple. I love Tara for how wonderful she is with Willow here. This is the first time these two have kissed on camera. Love how Willow and Xander hug. And Willow being a bit snippy with Anya. Of course the Scooby gang would know where the morgue wing of the hospital is. Xander is trying to logicate the whole thing back to Glory. And now Xander blames the Doctors. Love how Willow disarms Xander with humour and mock play fighting. Guys, cut Anya some slack, she has no clue. Tara is such a rock. And Tara is not stuttering here either. Anya really has no concept of death after all this time. Or what to do. But the Scoobies have no clue either, do they? The blue sweater Willow was looking for. And Anya does not clue in. Xander punches the wall. And it is a second. Distraction by talking construction. Xander’s bloody fist gives everyone pause. And Xander gets the parking ticket Anya predicted. Those blank eyes. Those gloves are loud. How short a distance from Joyce to Buffy in the hospital. Lots of hugs. And Joyce died from completely natural causes with probably no pain. Nothing our super powerful Slayer could have done. Dawn is full of pent up anger which is not gonna be fun when it comes out. Interesting, Buffy and Tara together. Will Tara’s calm presence help? Tara’s mother died when she was seventeen, which explains so much with her family. And now the stutter almost comes back. Dawn is going to go look at her mother, which is so not a good idea. Locking the door? Dawn really does not to be disturbed here. And she can’t do it. She can’t look at mom. Oh crap! Crap! Crap! Crap! Vampire rising! And Buffy figures out where Dawn went. Is Dawn maybe talking to the Vampire? Nope, he’s attacking and Buffy is here to save the day. Joyce, their mom, uncovered. Is Buffy so filled with grief she is having trouble with this Vampire? Dawn sees her mom’s head. Vampire gone. At least Vampire bodies disintegrate when they “die.” Now Buffy looks up and sees her mom’s head. Dawn asks the questions we all ask. Those blank eyes. Then Dawn reaches over to touch her mom’s face. But, Buffy is right, all it is now is a body. And we never see if Dawn and her mom touch one last time.
Buffy tells 911 information just like so many of us would, “She’s cold.” and 911 replies “The body is cold.” and Buffy says “No, my mom.” Buffy tells the paramedics when they leave the only thing she can think of “Good luck.” Buffy tells Giles off with, “We are not supposed to move the body!” Willow asks Tara several important questions, “Why can’t I just dress like a grownup? Can I be a grownup?” Willow admits something to Tara, “I can’t do this.” Tara replies to Willow, “We can do this.” Willow tries to explain the reality to Xander of Glory not being the killer, “Xander, I don’t think it was anyone. It just happened.” Xander tries to rally the Scoobies with “You’re right. The Avengers gotta get with the Assemblings.” Buffy hears what the Doctor says, and what she thinks he is saying, “Absolutely. (I have to lie to make you feel better).” Anya desperately expresses herself as best she can, and be comforting to Buffy with, “I wish that Joyce didn’t die. Because she was nice, and now we all hurt.” Buffy replies “Thank you.” to Anya, surprising the still angry at everything Xander. Buffy asks Tara the question everyone always asks, “Was it sudden, your mother?” And Tara replies honestly to Buffy with, “No. And yes. It’s always sudden.” Dawn asks Buffy one last question, “Where did she go?”
You have successfully destroyed so much of the Buffy’s and the Scoobies world here. And it took me along for the ride filled with pain, sorrow, and wind chimes that intrude so rudely.
While I am very very critical of Buffy and Dawn’s mom, with her cranky bitchy attitude, Joyce did grow on me as she became nicer once Buffy left high school. After awhile, she touched so many lives of the Scoobies, and gave them all so much love. The affect of Joyce is so pronounced that it is noticeable how each of the Scoobies take on the characteristics of the five stages of grief, all because of what she meant to them.
R.I.P. Joyce, Buffy and Dawn’s mom. You shall be missed.
…is currently reading Sisters by Raina Telgemeier