Giles: I trust you remember the demon, Acathla? We need to make sure that he remains dormant and that the dimensional vortex is sealed tight. So I’m working on a binding spell. It involves creating a protective circle around… Well, I don’t want to bore you with the details, but, uh, well, there’s a litany that one has to recite in Aramaic, and it’s very specific. So I need to get a few details about your experience of defeating Acathla and Angel.
BtVS season 3 and 6: I’ve never noticed just how many similarities and noteworthy parallels there are between the beginning of season 3 and 6 before.
I’m currently doing a rewatch and was floored by how much of it I’d like to consider either parallels or foreshadowing, just from the first 4 episodes of each season. I’ve mentioned parallels here and there before, but this requires it’s own post.
The very first scene of both season 3 and 6 is of the scoobies fighting off vampires in the cemetery without Buffy. With Willow seemingly being in charge of the operation.
Willow delivers a poorly constructed come-back that gets called out for being bad, much like what happens with Buffybot in Bargaining Part 1.
Everyone’s upset over Buffy being gone, while having taken on her responsibilities as their own, feeling the burden of them.
The scoobies try their hardest to keep their spirits up about Buffy coming back, particularly Willow.
Giles leaves town, the first time in hope of getting her back. When in season 6 it’s because that hope is gone.
Buffy being forced to get spirit crushing jobs.
In Anne we see Joyce telling Giles that he’s responsible for Buffy leaving. In Bargaining Part 1 Giles implies that he blames himself for her death; “I did what any good Watcher would do. Got my Slayer killed in the line of duty.”
Buffy goes to hell instead of heaven, which is a pretty neat parallel in general. But she was also in hell both times; “What is Hell but the total absence of hope?” - Ken, 3x01 Anne. “Is this hell?” - Buffy, 6x02 Bargaining Part 2.
Buffys attitude is almost the same. The main difference with Buffy in Anne is the anger and bitterness (much like in The Wish). And Buffy in After Life has replaced the anger with shock and additional numbness from depression. Yet we get similarities such as; Seeing her sit on a bed in a depressed, miserable state. Same sense of not belonging, wanting an out from her life and the responsibilities that come with it, and is too emotionally drained to put on her trademark “I’m ok” face at first (x).
Buffy having a lot of troubles adjusting to her new life once she gets back. Everything around her is letting her know that she doesn’t belong anymore. She goes back to an environment that used to be part of her normal everyday routine, but now feels very different, tainted (the dream of her walking through the empty school in Dead Mans Party. Then walking through the cemetery in After Life).
The scoobies first instinct is to help Buffy, but in empty ways that she doesn’t actually need or want. Like the party they throw for her in Dead Mans Party. Or like how they come barging in, offering things like pizza in After Life. They aren’t willing to be there for her, really be there and listen, when she’s obviously going through a hard time (x).
Early on in both Dead Mans Party and Flooded, Buffy undergoes unpleasant things in the basement (finding the dead cat, flooding the basement). Then later in the episode the Summers home suffer severe damage.
Creepy things happen in the master bedroom after Buffy’s gone to bed (the mask lighting up in Dead Mans Party, and the fake ghost Buffy in After Life).
Giles giving Willow a stern talk about the dangers of Magic; “These forces are not something that one plays around with,
Willow. What have you been conjuring?” - Giles 3x03 Faith, Hope & Trick. “The magicks you channeled are more ferocious and primal than anything you can hope to understand.” - Giles, 6x04 Flooded.
The introduction of Faith, which ends up being a mirror/foreshadowing for both Buffys and Willows behavior in season 6 (I could go into an essay long rant about this, but to make it as short as possible; They apply her motto of “want, take, have” to their own lives and explore the darker sides of themselves).
Buffy ends up venting the secret aspect of her traumatic ordeal to her current confidant. Which in season 3 is Giles and Willow. She confesses only to them that Angel had his soul when she killed him. In season 6 her unlikely confidant is Spike, and she confessed only to him that she was in heaven.