Synopsis by Brian J. Dillard
As depression and a shadowy demon haunt Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), the Slayer and her friends must deal with the consequences of her resurrection in both personal and supernatural terms. Returning to the Summers house with Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) on the night of her rebirth, Buffy hides from bright lights and expresses confusion over the changes in her home. The Scoobies turn up, excited to be reunited with their friend, but she's uncommunicative and wants to do nothing but sleep. Though overjoyed that his unattainable beloved has returned, Spike (James Marsters) blows up at Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and the others for risking such perilous magicks to resurrect Buffy -- and for keeping him in the dark about their plans. Soon, though, more pressing problems arise in the form of a phantom presence that haunts and possesses the gang one by one. Eventually, research reveals that Willow's necromancy has unleashed an immaterial fiend that seeks to steal Buffy's new life and corporeal form for itself. The Slayer eventually defeats her foe, but not the dark cloud that seems to hang over her. Buffy feigns gratitude toward her friends for bringing her back, but she confesses to Spike that she was actually in a place very much like Heaven after she died. It's only now that she's been ripped back onto the mortal plane, with all of its trials and responsibilities, that she like she's descended into Hell. Originally broadcast October 9, 2001, on the UPN network, "After Life" marked episode 103 of the cult-favorite series.