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18 June 2014
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Episode Guide
The Harsh Light of Day


You can often tell a lot about what the priorities in a Buffy episode are, and where the padding has been added, by dissecting its structure. In this episode, there’s a pivotal scene almost exactly half way through, when Buffy sleeps with Parker. The first half of the episode leads up to the scene, and the rest deals with the fallout.

Spike’s return is a welcome development, of course. If the revelation of his identity itself is disappointingly understated, his beautifully written and performed scenes with Harmony more than live up to expectations.

If you were to remove this week’s McGuffin (the gem of Amara) and the resultant daylight fracas between Spike and Buffy, what you're left with is nicely-studied examination of the relationships developing between three odd couples: Anya and Xander, Parker and Buffy, and Spike and Harmony.

Sadly, Parker's pick up and drop fling with Buffy is a sharp contrast to her serious relationship with Angel. Who could blame viewers for unfavourably comparing the new with the old?

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