Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5, Episode 5: No Place Like HomeWritten by Douglas Petrie; Directed by David Solomon
Ah, so it was Spike that coined the phrase "Captain Cardboard" for Riley. I'd forgotten that.
Anyway, this is the episode that sets the main seasonal arc into action, with the introduction of Glory and Buffy's discovery of the truth about Dawn. I must confess that I have mixed feelings about Glory. On the one hand, she's a considerably more engaging villain then either Walsh or Adam from Season 4, and there's something kind of neat about an all-powerful god who behaves like a petulant little girl. At the same time, though, there's something about Clare Kramer's performance that sets my teeth on edge at times, and the (to quote Xander) "hobbits with leprosy" that follow her around (introduced in later episodes) feel like something out of a much weaker show.
Still, other than that, this is a fine episode and the best of the season so far. The dream sequence in which Buffy realises that Dawn doesn't belong in this world is very atmospheric and even a little creepy, and the season's key themes of family, origin and responsibility are beginning to develop nicely. And there's even a monk who looks like Dario Argento. That's pretty cool.
Overall rating: 9/10.
Next time: Family.