Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Episode 5.2
“The Real Me”
First Aired October 3, 2000
(Some spoilers – but who hasn’t watched all of Buffy by now, really?!?)
It wasn’t the moon landing, or the day Reagan was shot, or the day the Patriots blew the Super Bowl after a perfect season, but I remember vividly the first time I watched the Buffy vs. Dracula episode. This first installment of the fifth season was funny, well-written, and Drac was hella-sexxy, if a little pale. Thanks to Xander, Butt-Monkey became part of my vocabulary.
But that ending.
Who the hell was this twerp, and what was she doing there? We learned slowly about Dawn’s origins, but right up front, we knew she was trouble. Which starts with T. Like Teenager. And Tantrum.
As the season progressed, my favorite expression of discontent became
Man, if I had talked to my mother the way Dawn did, I would still be washing Lava soap out of my mouth. Not sure if you can tell, but she isn’t my favorite character in the WhedonVerse. She’s down at the bottom, actually, with Riley and Warren Mears. The scene where she spoon fed yogurt to an addled Tara makes me scream at the maudlin-icity. Drives me nuts when I know it’s coming – grind my teeth crazy.
But she has her finer moments (Riley did too, I’m not a total hater). And as she grew up, the tantrums and stupid moves became a serious drive to help and an amazing ability to read ancient languages like a boss. But damn – for most of Season Five, she drove me nuts.
Speaking of like a boss, Mad Color brings us our first colorway for Season Five in a big Dawn-y way. The colors are immediately reminiscent of the sweater Dawn was wearing in The Real Me (5.2), where she first demonstrates that preternatural ability to annoy, whine, and confuse. We also get the first hint, thanks to Crazy Man #1 outside the Magic Box, that all things are not well in Sunnydale.
But do you love the name of this colorway? “I’m Telling Mom You Slayed in Front of Me!”
As the oldest of three sisters, man, I can RELATE.
Dawn: [about Tara] She and Willow are both witches. They do spells and stuff, which is so much cooler than slaying. I told mom one time I wish they’d teach me some of the things they do together. And-and then she got really quiet and made me go upstairs.
Dawn: [about Buffy] She still thinks I’m Little Miss Nobody, just her dumb little sister. Boy, is she in for a surprise.