Synopsis by Brian J. Dillard
As Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) awaits her role as sacrificial victim for monstrous hell-god Glory (Clare Kramer), her slayer sister (Sarah Michelle Gellar) withdraws deeply into herself. Devastated by the shame of having allowed Dawn to be kidnapped (see "Spiral"), Buffy retreats into the safety of an illusory childhood in which she's safe with her long-estranged father, her now-deceased mother, and her mystically incarnated baby sister. Meanwhile, Glory battles for control with Ben (Charlie Weber), her unwilling host body. Ben's conscience and memories keep leaking into Glory's consciousness, leading her to pontificate about the misery of the human condition to the captive Dawn. Ben briefly manages to wrest full control from his demonic sibling. He attempts to free Dawn, but Glory promises him immortality if he'll stop fighting. He acquiesces, earning Dawn's disgust. Meanwhile, a firm but patient Willow (Alyson Hannigan) uses her magicks to wrench her way into Buffy's subconscious and give the Slayer a good talking-to. Buffy awakens from her catatonia, ready to save the day. That's when Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), recovering from his injuries, reveals that Glory's plan to break down the barrier between dimensions requires that Dawn's blood be spilled at a certain place and time; the barrier will remain open until all of Dawn's blood is spent. Originally broadcast May 15, 2001, on the WB network, "The Weight of the World" marked episode 99 of the cult-favorite series. This episode marked the first of several posthumous appearances by Buffy's mother, Joyce, played by Kristine Sutherland. The recently deceased Summers matriarch would feature in another of her daughter's hallucinations (see "Normal Again") and pop by for a beyond-the-grave chat with Dawn (see "Conversations With Dead People").