Tough Love
Episode 19 of 22 within Season Five. Item 98 of 145 overall.
Production number 5ABB19.
353 votes

Buffy has to withdraw from college to take care of Dawn, who it turns out has been skipping school. Dawn's school principal warns Buffy that she might not be found fit to be Dawn's legal guardian, so Buffy resolves to be more like a mother than a sister now. Willow and Tara have their first fight as Tara admits she's frightened by how powerful Willow is becoming.

Meanwhile, Willow feels that Tara doubts Willow's love for her and storms out. Glory, after discovering that Tara is the newest member of the Scooby Gang, believes her to be the Key. She finds Tara alone but, realizing that Tara isn't the Key after crushing her hand and tasting the blood, demands to know who is. Tara refuses to talk, so Glory drains her mind instead. Giles, Anya and Willow capture one of Glory's minions, who reveals that Glory thinks Tara is the Key.

However, Willow rushes off to save her, but is too late. After taking Tara to the hospital, Willow goes after Glory alone and although she is able to hurt the god briefly with some dark magic, Glory soon overpowers her. Buffy, realizing what Willow was going to do, turns up at Glory's apartment and helps Willow escape. Back at Willow and Tara's dorm room, the witches, Buffy and Dawn are having a snack when Glory appears, tearing down the dorm wall. When Tara, out of her mind, looks at Dawn and talks of the pure green energy she sees, Glory smiles, finally realizing who the Key is.

original airdate--May 01,2001  rating--4.6 million


music--Theme Song: "Buffy Theme" by Nerf Herder



  • Ben & Glory: Ben's transformation into Glory is indeterminate. It isn't like the two switching places, but being in one body. Ben loses his job at the hospital because Glory had inhabited his body for two weeks.
  • The Key: Glory figured out that the key was human and one of Buffy's friends, but went after Tara instead of Dawn. By the end of the episode, Tara reveals that Dawn is the key to Glory.


  1. Tara: Tara's hand is broken and is driven insane by Glory. She reveals earlier that she's afraid of Willow's growing power and possibly that Willow may fallback on being heterosexual.


Buffy Summers looks like your typical high school cheerleader type, with nothing to worry about but grades and boys. Change that to vampires and demons and you'll be right. For Buffy is the "chosen one," the latest in a long line of Slayers whose destiny it is to fight evil.

related items

Previous episode :
097 Intervention
Next episode :
099 Spiral

regional titles

De taaie liefde
Tough Love
Magie noire
righin Grá
Contrasti d'amore
Amor duro