Spoilers for season 6 episodes of Buffy
This is an Australian site
so the spoils will be relevant for Australian viewers (meaning US viewers have
probably already seen what I am "spoiling"). If you do not want to
be spoiled don't scroll down. It's up to you.
Older and Far Away
Dawn confides to a school guidance counselor her wish that the people in her life would stop leaving her, not knowing that the counselor is Halfrek, a vengeance demon. Later, the gang throws a big bash for Buffy's 21st birthday, which goes off trouble-free despite Spike's unexpected arrival. But while the party is in full swing, Halfrek casts her spell and no one is able to leave the house. Naturally, this leads to some tensions. Dawn is surly with Buffy, Willow and Tara deal with addiction fall-out, Xander comforts Anya, Buffy and Spike secretly flirt, and Dawn's stealing is finally revealed. Worse yet, a deadly demon is also trapped in the house, and causes some damage before being defeated by Buffy, Spike, and Anya. Anya realizes who's behind the house spell, and summons Halfrek to release them. Before lifting her spell, Halfrek--who recognizes Spike as "William"--chastises Buffy and her friends for neglecting Dawn.
As You Were
Ex-boyfriend and demon hunter extraordinaire Riley Finn swoops into Sunnydale to enlist Buffy's help in tracking down a nest of deadly demon eggs. Riley's military backup also happens to be his new wife. The Finns mix marital bliss with demon hunting in a way that reveals the flaws in Buffy's life, including her clandestine affair with Spike, and serves as a lesson on how to cope with despair and personal failure. When it's revealed that her vampire lover is harboring the deadly eggs, Buffy is forced to take responsibility for her own actions and mistakes. No one is going to rescue her or fix her life, there are no instant cures for what ails her, and using Spike for sexual gratification is harming both of them. After destroying the nest, along with most of Spike's crypt, Buffy resolutely ends her liaison with a heartbroken Spike, leaving him alone in the ruins to face the consequences of his own mistakes and rebuild his life without her.
When an average guy and an ex-vengeance demon tie the knot on the Hellmouth amid a volatile mix of human and demon guests, trouble is sure to follow--and it's not scary-looking bridesmaid dresses, Spike's equally scary-looking date, or a jealous Slayer. Anya's demon past comes back to haunt her when an old man, claiming to be Xander's future self, shows Xander what he'll become if he marries Anya: a bitter, violent failure just like his father. Spooked by the vision, Xander leaves the wedding. Amid the chaos of what was to be the happiest day of her life, Anya discovers Xander was tricked by a demon--who was once a man she'd cursed. The demon attacks Anya, but Buffy fights him off. Xander returns in time to kill the demon, then breaks the news to Anya that he can't marry her. As a miserable Xander checks into a sleazy motel, a devastated Anya, still in her wedding finery, is offered her old life back by D'Hoffryn.
A demon attack leads Buffy to believe her life as the Slayer is a delusion, and that she's actually confined to a mental institution. Willow, Xander, Dawn, and Spike try to help, but their own insecurities and in-fighting exacerbates Buffy's confusion. After a frustrated Spike challenges Buffy to "live already," she surrenders to the responsibility-free "reality" of the institution, where she's cared for by her loving parents. But in order to escape the "fantasy" of being the Slayer, along with the demands of her duty and responsibilities of life, she must remove the "traps" of that other reality: her friends. Buffy locks Willow, Xander, and Dawn in the basement, then turns loose a captive demon on them. Tara arrives to save the day, but watching the suffering of her friends and sister, and hearing their pleas for help, compels Buffy to embrace the true reality and reject the safe, insular illusion of the institution, and she kills the demon.
Spoilers are compliments of Buffy Cross & Stake and Bloody Awful Poets Society