EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Buffy' nostalgia recap: Imagining a world without Dawn

Season 5 | Episode 13 | “Blood Ties” | Aired Feb 6, 2001

“Blood Ties” is maybe better known as “The One Where Dawn Finds Out She’s the Key and Goes Psycho.” You know, she cuts her wrist and starts babbling about if she’s real or not. She has the kind of breakdown most 14-year-olds only contemplate in their most melodramatic of teenage moments. “Blood Ties” is also the one where Buffy tells the rest of the Scoobies that Dawn doesn’t exist. It’s also Buffy’s birthday, which we all know never means anything good. When Dawn gives her sister a framed picture from a trip that, at this point, everyone but her knows never really happened, things get awkward and the truth comes out.

Did this episode need to happen for the arc of season five to progress? Yes. Of course. Does that make it any more bearable to watch Dawn be the center of attention and shriek and whine at frequencies you thought (hoped) only dogs could hear? No. No it doesn’t.

Since “Blood Ties” also reminds us, for the umpteenth time this season, that Dawn was not real until late 2000 and that everything before that is fabricated memory, courtesy of a group of very thorough and detail-oriented monks, let’s take this opportunity to imagine the glory (pun only partially intended) of a world without Dawn.

In a world without Dawn, Buffy never died (um, the second time). If Buffy never died (you know, the second time), season six becomes instantly more enjoyable, as we get to skip the portion in which she was haunted by her return to the mortal coil and depressed about being ripped out of heaven. That was a bummer to find out, and the more I think about it, the sadder I get. Boo, Dawn.

In a world without Dawn, Joyce wouldn’t have almost been a zombie. That was weird and sad and yuck. Boo, Dawn.

In a world without Dawn, Joyce might STILL BE ALIVE. I don’t know if this theory holds water in the actual, true Buffy-verse, but I theorize that Joyce’s tumor is a result of having her brain totally wonkified by the monks. Joyce and Buffy would have had more mind-melding done than anyone else (be thankful you were such an absentee father, Hank). It stands to reason that, on a normal human mind, that might take a toll. I blame Dawn for Joyce’s tumor and death. BOO, DAWN.

In a world without Dawn, Xander has less power. Dawn and Xander are cut from the same cloth, and each is strengthened (in an annoying kind of way, not an empowering kind of way) by the other’s existence. It’s a “we’re normal and boring” pity party with a guest list of two. Boo, Dawn. (And Xander).

In a world without Dawn, this shrill banshee shriek never happened:


You can never unhear the sound of Dawn’s pubescent screams. Boo, Dawn.

In a world without Dawn, walruses aren’t ruined forever.


What did walruses ever do to you, Dawn? Boo, Dawn.

In a world without Dawn, this gloriously nonsensical line would probably have been given to Anya, and we’d all be allowed to like it.


Yay, Anya. Yay, nonsense. And, oh yeah, boo, Dawn.

In a world without Dawn, Buffy gets to eat a damn bowl of cereal once in a while.

Slayers need the energy provided by a well-balanced breakfast if they’re going to save the world every Tuesday. The sidekicks must make sacrifices, and Dawn has clearly never learned that lesson. Boo, Dawn.

In a world without Dawn, Gossip Girl would be the only show that people complain about Michelle Trachtenberg being on.

I don’t even watch Gossip Girl, but I hear talk. Boo, Dawn/Georgina.

In a world without Dawn, we probably would have cured all cancers by now.

Because the brilliant nerds of the world wouldn’t have had to waste time being annoyed by this nonsense. Boo, Dawn.

But maybe I’m being too hard on Dawn. Maybe she’s the Jessica Rabbit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Maybe she’s not really terrible; the monks just created all knowledge and memory of her that way.

Who am I kidding? Boo, Dawn. A million boos.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like