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Episode Guide for Buffy Season Four

by Old Master 3.0

4.01 The Freshman
4.02 Living Conditions
4.03 The Harsh Light of Day
4.04 Fear Itself
4.05 Beer Bad
4.06 Wild At Heart
4.07 The Initiative
4.08 Pangs
4.09 Something Blue
4.10 Hush
4.11 Doomed
4.12 A New Man
4.13 The I In Team
4.14 Goodbye Iowa
4.15 This Year’s Girl
4.16 Who Are You?
4.17 Superstar
4.18 Where the Wild Things Are
4.19 New Moon Rising
4.20 The Yoko Factor
4.21 Primeval
4.22 Restless

The Freshman (4.01)

The fourth season starts off with Buffy and Willow hanging out in the cemetery choosing Buffy's classes, as she was a bad girl and procrastinated on this important to-do. As they talk, a vampire rises from a grave behind them, but takes off upon seeing their weapon supply. The girls don't hear him, as they are too busy discussing how Buffy needs to balance college with slaying, and stay sharp at the slaying part.

Buffy wanders around campus during orientation, completely disoriented. She spots Willow, who is thoroughly excited and nowhere near as overwhelmed as Buffy. The two run in to Oz, who is familiar with the campus, since his band has played there multiple times. The girls go in search of the library, mentioning along the way that Giles is unemployed and Xander is still on his road trip. The UC library is way bigger than the high school library, and Willow is practically giddy with excitement. The two head off to spend some parental money on books. Buffy reaches up for a couple, and drops them on the head of Riley, who just happens to be the teacher's assistant for their psychology class. Buffy proceeds to make a fool of herself, while Willow and Riley bond over talk of psychology.

Buffy goes to her dorm room, where she finds her roommate, Kathy, unpacking. Kathy is quite a hyper girl, though she claims she isn't always. Buffy, uncomfortable already, looks distressed when Kathy puts up a Celine Dion poster. Even worse, as Buffy finds out later: Kathy snores.

The next day, Buffy tries to petition a class but is ridiculed and kicked out by the Big Bad Teacher when he spots her talking. Buffy then runs in to Riley, who doesn't remember her at first, then recalls her as "Willow's friend." They walk to psychology class, where Buffy sits with Willow and Oz. The teacher, Maggie Walsh, doesn't seem much nicer than Buffy's first teacher. She reveals that she teaches hard and fast - and that her t.a.'s call her "the evil bitch monster of death."

Later that evening, Buffy tries to find her way back to her dorm and bumps into (literally) another lost person, Eddie. They find their way and chit-chat as they walk, discovering that they both have Professor Walsh for psychology, and agree to try to help each other with the class. Along the way, Eddie mentions that his favorite book is Of Human Bondage, which he keeps with him always, like a security blanket. Unfortunately for Eddie, he is attacked by vampires after he parts ways with Buffy. Afterwards, the vampires go to his dorm room, take all of his stuff, and leave a forged goodbye note on his bed.

The next day in psych class, Buffy wonders where Eddie is. She finds his dorm, where his R.A. tells her that he just left, leaving a note saying that college was too much for him to handle. Buffy spots his security book in his nightstand, though, and puts on her thoughtful face.

Elsewhere, the vampires, led by a pretty blonde girl, go through Eddie's stuff. Eddie, it turns out, has been made a vampire.

Buffy heads over to Giles's house, where she finds a British woman ... wearing only a man's shirt. Giles then comes out in his bathrobe, explaining that the woman, Olivia, is an "old friend" (who refers to him as Ripper). Buffy, after telling Giles how gross this situation is, explains the Eddie situation and asks for help. Giles doesn't feel that his help is necessary, and reminds Buffy that she has to learn to take care of herself, as she no longer has an official Watcher. A rejected Buffy leaves.

That night, Buffy is on the hunt when she spots Eddie. Of course, he is a vampire, and she has to kill him. The blond vampire (whose name is Sunday) and her buddies arrive on the scene. Sunday, realizing Buffy is the Slayer, claims dibbs on her. They exchange insults. They fight. Pretty typical, until it becomes clear that Buffy is getting her ass kicked. Buffy, her left arm wounded, does the unthinkable - she runs away. Buffy goes home and favors her arm while her roommate snores.

The next day, a bruised Buffy spots Willow and Oz, but walks the other way before they spot her. At the vampire hangout, the vamps make fun of Buffy. Buffy goes home, and is disturbed to see that Joyce has filled her room with packing crates (while they do inventory at the art gallery) because she didn't expect Buffy to visit home so soon. The phone rings, and Buffy answers, but no one speaks. (If you watched this week's Angel premiere, you saw Angel make that call.) Buffy heads back to her dorm room, but finds her half of the room empty. There's a note on her bed saying she "decided to take off," with her forged signature.

Buffy goes to the Bronze alone, where a band is playing a slow song and happy couples are dancing. Buffy thinks she spots Angel, but she's mistaken (actually, it's a guy who looks suspiciously like Joss). Just then, Xander appears, much to Buffy's excitement. Turns out Xander didn't get farther than Oxnard, where his car broke down. Instead of traveling, he washed dishes at a male strip club to pay for the repairs - and he hints that he may have stripped at least once. Now he's home, where his parents have him living in the basement and paying rent. Buffy reveals that she was taken down by a vampire and is worried that she can't cut it. Xander tries to comfort her with inspiring movie quotes, but can't quite make it work. Instead he reassures her that she is his hero, and they team up to fight evil.

Buffy and Xander do some research and figure out that the vamps must be living in an abandoned frat-house. They get up onto the skylight, and find them going through Buffy's stuff. Xander leaves to get weapons, and Buffy proceeds to fall through the skylight, landing on her wounded arm. Sunday is pleased.

Willow and Oz are at Buffy's dorm, where they have found Buffy's note. Xander arrives, hugging Willow and Kathy in an amusing scene. Covering in front of Kathy, Xander says that the theft of Buffy's stuff was a prank, and he gathers up Willow and Oz to go save Buffy.

At the frat house, Sunday breaks Buffy's class protector award, giving Buffy the impetus to start kicking butt despite her injured arm. The gang arrives, and Buffy gets her man ... er, woman. As the gang is carrying Buffy's stuff back, Giles runs up, weapons in hand. He has been wracked with guilt over leaving Buffy hanging. Though he's missed all the action, Willow finds him useful in taking a box off her hands. Buffy determines that college isn't so bad after all.

Elsewhere on campus, a vampire is suddenly shocked with a taser gun. As he lays there motionless, three guys in ski masks come out from the bushes and close in on him with their guns.

Written and directed by Joss Whedon

Original Air Date: October 5, 1999




Living Conditions (4.02)

It's late-night, and Buffy's preparing to go on patrol. Kathy (Buffy's roommate) is ironing her jeans, and Buffy says she needs to go on a coffee run. Kathy shows concern that Buffy comes and goes at all hours - and her concern is not for Buffy's sake. Dear Kathy has also implemented a "system" in which the girls are required to log in all their phone calls, and she is curious as to whether a thief has been drinking her milk. Buffy gives Kathy her best cheerleader-smile before finally escaping to meet Willow. Buffy shares some roommate-whining with Willow, but tries to have a positive outlook. Willow goes off to meet Oz and Buffy patrols alone, not knowing that a demon with glowing green eyes is watching. She hears something, turns, and finds ... Kathy! She's decided a decaf latte sounds good after all. As luck would have it, a green-glowy-eyed-demon jumps out of the bushes. Buffy pushes Kathy down into the bushes and fights the demon until he runs away. Kathy comes out, complaining about her ruined sweater, and Buffy claims that a guy tried to mug her. They head back to the dorm to clean her up, and the demon is joined by another. In demon language (with subtitles), they discuss whether "she's the one." They decide to follow her to make sure.

The next day, Buffy is hanging out at Giles's place in order to avoid Kathy. Buffy describes last night's demon so that Giles can look it up. Giles encourages Buffy to learn to tolerate Kathy's oddities (including measuring her pencils to make sure they're all exactly the same size), and Buffy agrees, resolving to be a "roommate extraordinaire."

Back at the dorm, Kathy is trying to clean her ruined sweater. Growing frustrated, she looks in Buffy's closet for a sweater. She spots Buffy's bag o' weapons, but shrugs it off.

In the dining hall later, Buffy spots Kathy and tries to hide. A cute male student catches on, and they chat. He gives her some tips on getting more than her dining-card's worth. They introduce themselves, and they part ways. Buffy joins Willow, Oz, and Xander at a table, and they quiz her about the "cutie-patootie," who they think has the hots for Buffy. Suddenly, Kathy appears, and invites herself to sit down with them. Buffy is perturbed by the presence of her sweater on Kathy's body, but she tries to make nice - until she spots Kathy dripping ketchup on it, and gives her the evil eye.

Later, Buffy talks on the phone with Willow about her annoyance with Kathy. Willow has a hard time hearing, since she has ended up in a loud-party-dorm room. Buffy hangs up when Kathy comes back. She goes to the fridge, where she finds that it's full of stuff labeled with Kathy's name - right down to the hard-boiled eggs. Kathy, meanwhile, closes the window. Buffy goes back and opens it. Kathy picks up a book to find gum stuck to it, but Buffy claims innocence. She settles into bed, but has a strange nightmare which involves the glowy-eyed demons, a scorpion on her belly, blood being poured down her throat, and her soul being sucked out of her. She wakes up to find Kathy glaring at her, wondering if she always makes strange noises when she sleeps.

The next day, Buffy's detailing her dream to the gang - including Giles, who's on campus presumably to visit them. Kathy arrives, and hears Giles is trying to make sense of Buffy's dream; she describes the same dream that Buffy had. The tension between the roommates is obvious, with both exhibiting that special kind of bitchiness which disguises itself as extra-sweetness. Giles is concerned that they had the same dream, and decides to research it. Buffy goes off to class, while the gang discusses Buffy's not-so-great attitude toward Kathy.

Elsewhere, the demons meet around a fire and agree that yes, "she is the one;" they prepare for the summoning of the Great One, Tapparich.

Buffy heads to her dorm room, where she finds Parker chatting it up with Kathy. He came to bring Buffy plastic bags with which to steal food from the dining hall, but lost track of time with Kathy. Buffy is obviously perturbed, and after he leaves, the two get into it. In an effort to piss Kathy off, Buffy dramatically drinks Kathy's milk, making such a show out of it that she gets the milk all over herself.

Willow and Oz go to Willow's dorm, and Willow tells Oz that she can't be with Buffy and watch out for her because she has an English paper to do. Oz offers to do the job for her (hang out with Buffy). Willow tells him she's probably out patrolling already. Upon opening the door to her loud-as-the-Bronze dorm room, Willow decides to go to the library.

On his way to find Buffy, Oz passes a girl. As they pass each other, their heads turn as they look at each other. It's an interesting look. We then see the three camouflaged guys follow in the direction of the girl. A tad later, Oz and Buffy are walking and talking. Buffy, of course, is describing her latest Kathy-incident. Getting riled up, Buffy lashes out at a bench, breaking it to pieces.

That night in her dorm, Buffy is thoroughly annoyed by Kathy's clipping of her toenails. Kathy is equally annoyed by Buffy's pencil-tapping, and blasts her Cher CD. Buffy puts on earmuffs. Kathy cracks a hard-boiled egg. Buffy stares at her. All the while, the girls say nothing, until Buffy says that she's going to bed. She begins to have the nightmare again, and wakes up - Kathy wakes up a moment later, appearing to have also had a nightmare.

The next day, Kathy is talking to Willow in a hallway about how weird and touchy Buffy is. Buffy spots them, prompting Kathy to leave, and Buffy is incensed that Willow was talking to her. Buffy reassures Willow that she has found the solution to her roommate problem: Kathy is evil, and since Buffy fights evil, Buffy must kill Kathy. Willow wonders if Buffy is jumping the gun, and Buffy pulls out a baggie filled with Kathy's toenails, which she claims grew last night after they were cut, which is a "demon thing." Willow convinces Buffy to go to Giles first and run her plan by him. Buffy agrees, and heads there. Willow calls Giles to warn him that Buffy's gone insane. When Buffy gets to Giles's place, a net is thrown over her. Giles, Xander, and Oz tie her up, insisting that they are stopping her from making a mistake. Buffy insists that Kathy is evil, citing her growing toenails along with the facts that she irons her jeans and listens to Lite FM. Giles, who thinks the demons have possessed Buffy, leaves the boys to watch while he goes to get some supplies to cure her.

Willow goes to Buffy's dorm, suggesting that Kathy might want to give Buffy some space, by leaving the room. Kathy is "concerned" that Buffy is crazy and might hurt herself ... or push someone too far. Oz calls and updates Willow, who changes her mind and tells Kathy to stay put.

Buffy is not pleased with Oz and Xander. They realize that her ropes may not be tight enough, and carefully approach her to check them. When they get to her, she jumps up and bangs their heads together, knocking them out. Guess they weren't tight enough.

Buffy goes back to her dorm and confronts Kathy. Kathy punches Buffy, and when Buffy fights back, she manages to rip off some of Kathy's face. "I knew it," declares a triumphant Buffy. [The demons have summoned their guy, who demands, "Where is she?"] While fighting, Kathy demands that Buffy let her finish her ritual. [Giles discovers a ritual involving the forced ingestion of animal blood during slumber, and realizes Buffy's nightmares were real.] Kathy tells Buffy that her nightmares were real. Turns out she's a demon (duh) who left her dimension to become a college student, but "they" sent some guys after her. [Giles reads that the demons can disguise themselves as human, and that the other demons can recognize each other by their lack of a soul.] Kathy explains to Buffy that she's going to "borrow" her soul, so that when the demon guys come, they'll think soul-less Buffy is one of them and take her back to their dimension instead of Kathy. The "nightmares" Buffy was having were actually Kathy trying to steal her soul, but Buffy kept waking up before Kathy could get the whole thing. They fight, doing some damage to their dorm. [Xander and Oz come to as Willow arrives at Giles's place. Willow tries to call Kathy and tell her to leave before Buffy comes back, but there's no answer.] Kathy is beating Buffy across the face with the phone receiver. [Giles arrives, telling them that Buffy was right about the toenails and Kathy. Apparently Buffy's strange behavior was caused by the fact that she was missing part of her soul. Giles knows a spell to repair the damage, which he will perform with Willow while Xander and Oz go to help Buffy.] The girls continue to fight, while a dorm-neighbor (male, further proving that Buffy's dorm is co-ed) complains about the noise. [Willow and Giles perform the spell at the same time that Kathy tries to suck the rest of Buffy's soul.]

Buffy's soul is returned to her body, just as the demon leader arrives. The demon yells at Kathy, who complains that she is treated like a child. Xander and Oz arrive just in time to see the demon open up a portal in Buffy's floor; the bad guys leave through it.

Willow is moving in with Buffy now, putting up a Dingoes Ate My Baby poster. Buffy is talking about how glad she is that it was Kathy's ritual making her "no-fun Buffy," when Willow spots half of a sandwich. She bites into it, and doesn't notice the evil eye that Buffy gives her.

Written by Marti Noxon ~ Directed by David Grossman

Original Air Date: October 12, 1999




The Harsh Light of Day (4.03)

Dingoes Ate My Baby is playing at the Bronze while Buffy and Willow watch. Parker is there, too, and Buffy is watching his reflection in a mirror. Willow reveals to us that Buffy and Parker have been hanging out a lot, and Buffy admits that she has "lusty feelings" for him. Parker approaches, offering to walk Buffy back to the dorms. They take off. Willow, Oz, and Devon load the instruments into Oz's van, and Willow is left alone for a bit when the guys go back for more stuff. Good ol' Harmony comes along, and seems happy to see Willow. They each comment that the other hasn't changed, but Harmony has changed - into a vampire! She grabs Willow and bites into her neck, but Oz comes out and saves her, then holds Harmony at bay with a cross. Harmony pouts, saying that her boyfriend is gonna be mad that Willow was mean to her.

Buffy and Parker are walking and talking, and Parker asks about the scar on her neck. Buffy attributes it to an angry puppy. She asks if he has any scars to show, but he claims that his are all psychological, mainly stemming from his father's death last year. They sit down, and Parker explains how the trauma taught him to live for now, and Buffy agrees, saying that her own death-by-drowning taught her that. Buffy then agrees to go to a party with Parker the next night.

Over at Giles's place, Xander is shelving books when Anya arrives and lets herself in, commenting that Giles should lock his door. She takes Xander outside, asking where their relationship is going. Xander is confused, as he was unaware that they had a relationship. Xander tries to explain to the unenlightened Anya that these things have to develop on their own - though he's not sure how.

Oz and Willow show up at Buffy's dorm just moments after she and Parker arrive at the door. They tell Buffy that Harmony's in town, and that she's changed. Buffy catches on, and sends Parker away. They go in, and Oz tends to Willow's wound while Willow tells Buffy what Harmony said about her boyfriend - though she says Harmony used to lie about her boyfriends.

Harmony heads underground to find her boyfriend ... Spike. He and his crew are trying to dig their way into some underground crypt. Harmony bugs him to kill Willow, but he explains that killing the Slayer's best friend would reveal his presence in Sunnydale. Harmony then finds something new to whine about, declaring that she wants to go to a party. Spike finally gives in, promising to take her out later.

Later, Buffy and Parker arrive at the party, and quickly run into Spike and Harmony (carrying an almost dead victim between them). Spike and Harmony make a run for it, and Buffy chases them, ordering Parker to stay put. Spike pops out from behind a bush and punches Buffy. Harmony tells Buffy that Dru left Spike for a fungus demon. She also blurts out that Buffy will be sorry when they have the Gem of Amara. Spike is obviously peeved at Harmony's inability to keep her mouth shut, and drags her violently away.

Anya arrives at Xander's basement apartment. When Xander turns around to get her some juice, Anya drops her dress to the floor.

Buffy makes a call to Giles from a payphone, giving him the rundown. Giles promises to do the necessary research, though he always thought that the Gem was a myth. Buffy says that she's going to bed, then heads back to the party. Back at Spike's lair, Harmony is in bed, still reveling in the newness of her vampirism. Spike is not amused, but Harmony manages to lure him into bed with her.

Over at Xander's, Anya is standing there nude explaining that she wants to have sexual intercourse so that she can then get Xander off of her mind. Xander reminds her that they hardly know each other, but she has more arguments. She kisses him, and he kisses back ... just as the washer dings, signaling that it's time to add fabric softener.

Over at the party, Buffy finds Parker, saying that the English guy was an old friend who's not supposed to drink. Parker wonders if they ever dated, and Buffy laughs out loud. The two go dance. Afterwards, they talk some more. Parker tells her he's a History major, and explains how fascinating it is to him. They go back to his dorm, and make out. Meanwhile, Giles calls Buffy's dorm, but gets the answering machine ... because Buffy is out having sex with Parker!

The next morning, Buffy wakes up in Parker's dorm, alone. She covers up with a sheet and starts to look for her clothes. Parker returns with coffee, and tells Buffy that his mom is coming to visit today, but says that he'll call her later.

Over at Xander's, he and Anya are getting dressed. Anya tells Xander that she's over him now, but gets pissed off when he says "okay."

And over at Spike's, Spike wakes to find Harmony writing "Spike loves Harmony" on his back. Spike doesn't want to play; he's got to get back to work.

Buffy arrives back at her dorm to find Giles there. She stutters out that she was studying at the library all night, but changes her mind and tells Giles that she's an adult and it's none of his business where she was. Giles isn't all that interested anyway, as he has found some info about the Gem, which may exist after all, in a sealed underground crypt. Buffy decides that he and Willow should try to find the crypt while she tries to find Spike before he gets there. After Giles leaves, Willow pushes Buffy for the girly info on Parker.

Underground, Spike and his cohorts have found the crypt. Spike instructs Harmony not to leave the lair until he has the gem, so that no one can track her back there. She pouts, wondering why she lets him be so mean to her.

Buffy goes on the hunt for Spike and Harmony, checking her answering machine every so often, only to find that Parker hasn't called.

In the crypt the next day, Harmony starts putting on some jewelry, while Spike puts on a necklace, thinking it's the Gem. He doesn't feel any different, so he touches a cross to make sure, but it burns him. Harmony starts babbling about France, and a fed-up Spike grabs a stake and shoves it into her ... but it doesn't kill her. An understandably pissed Harmony starts hitting at Spike, who notices a ring on her finger. He realizes it's the Gem, which she throws at him after he tries to rip it off of her finger, and he leaves her there.

Over at Giles's place, Oz is going through Giles's record collection, and he's quite impressed, wanting to borrow all of them. Xander discovers that Giles has a TV, buried behind some books. Xander turns it on, and finds a news-lady mentioning a sinkhole in a road near UC Sunnydale. They realize that's where the crypt is, and take off, telling Xander to go get Buffy.

Buffy is wandering the campus when she spots Parker giving some girl his "live for now" speech. She wonders why he didn't call, but he doesn't know why it's a big deal. She asks if he wants to do something that night, but he makes an excuse. She asks if she did something wrong, and he says no, it was fun. "Is that all it was," Buffy asks, and Parker's not sure what else it was supposed to be. He claims that he thought she knew that's all it was, and Buffy apologizes (!). Just as Parker walks away, Spike appears, and punches an off guard Buffy. He comments on how nice it is to be out in the daylight, and the two fight. She stakes him, but he doesn't mind at all.

Willow, Oz, and Giles arrives at the crypt and find only Harmony, who whines that "being a vampire sucks" - then puts on her vamp face and attacks.

Xander goes to Buffy's dorm, but no one answers his knock. He turns around to find Anya, who wants to explain that she didn't mean that she was over him. Xander, lacking time, leaves her there.

Giles holds off Harmony with a stake, and she admits that Spike has the Gem. She's upset because he ripped it right off her finger, since she would have given it to him if he'd asked nicely. She says that she would have given him anything; she loved him. She then takes off.

Buffy and Spike are still fighting when Xander finds them and gets sent flying by Spike. Spike tries to get to Buffy by commenting on her sex life. He then brings up Angel, kicking her into high gear. She gets his arm in a grip and takes the ring off his finger. He starts to sizzle, but makes it into a sewer entry before getting smoked.

At Giles's place, Buffy tells the gang that she wants Angel to have the ring. Oz says he has a gig in LA and can drop it off. The gang quietly agrees. Later, Buffy and Willow discuss the Parker thing. Willow says that Parker is a poophead. Buffy agrees, but wonders why he doesn't want her. She thinks perhaps they can still work it out, but Willow thinks she's not quite getting the poophead principle. Buffy sends Willow on ahead; she wants to take a walk by herself.

Buffy walks, as do Anya and Harmony - all separately, of course, and all sad for their own reasons.

Written by Jane Espenson ~ Directed by James A. Contner

Original Air Date: October 19, 1999




Fear, Itself (4.04)

We start off with an interesting shot of Xander through the eye of a pumpkin - literally. Xander has apparently carved a pumpkin version of himself: it is, according to the gang, both mocking and full of self-loathing. They're obviously way more observant than we are, because we see nothing but a plain old pumpkin face. A woeful Buffy is not participating in the carving, because she identifies with their pain too much. Xander, who accidentally rented Fantasia instead of Phantasm, feels left out because the gang forgot to mention the upcoming frat-house Halloween party. This is our first big clue to the fact that Xander has issues about being the only non-student in the group. Buffy takes off, claiming sleepiness. The gang discusses her depression, wishing they could smack Parker. On her way back to the dorm, Buffy mistakenly attacks a "demon" in a Halloween costume.

The next day at school, Willow is sharing with Buffy her concerns about moving on to the next level of witchcraft. Oz comes in on the tail end of the conversation, and hopes Buffy didn't encourage her. He's worried about Willow because he knows what it's like to have a power you can't control; his werewolf situation puts him in touch with some dark stuff that he doesn't much like. Buffy spots Parker laughing with group of friends and suddenly realizes she "forgot to ... be hungry." She takes off, and Willow follows, telling her not to let Parker get to her. Buffy just wants to not deal with anything right now, and she doesn't want to go to the party, either.

Buffy heads to Giles's place in order to share with us the absolutely hilarious image of Giles in a poncho and a fringed sombrero. Buffy is confused, because she thought Giles hated Halloween, but he doesn't; he just never had time to get into it. Giles tells Buffy that there's no need to patrol, since creatures of the night shy away from Halloween.

Over at the frat-house, everyone's preparing for the party. They realize that they need to call Oz for help with the sound system, which isn't cutting it. One frat-boy shares the enlightening revelation that Halloween is all about getting laid. Another, Chaz, displays a mystical symbol in a book, which he's going to paint on the floor upstairs. He thinks it's nothing more than cool - but the ominous music tells us it's more than just cool.

Over at Xander's, Anya surprises Xander in his basement, though she's not naked this time. Uncle Rory, smelling of peppermint schnapps, let her in. Anya is upset because Xander never called her; she admits that she didn't mean it when she said she was over him. He admits that he's not unhappy to see her, and they agree to go to party together, with Willow, Oz, and Buffy, of course. Anya, though, feels that Xander has little in common with them, since they go to college and don't live with their parents, unlike Xander. Xander tells Anya that she needs to get a scary costume.

Buffy goes to get her assignments from Professor Walsh, the mean psychology teacher, because she missed class for no good reason (Buffy and Jamie are kindred spirits). The Professor is expectedly harsh, telling her that she'll be kicked out if she misses one more class. Riley gives Buffy some rather teacher-like advice to work harder, but nonetheless encourages her to go party tonight.

At the frat-house, Oz comes to loan the guys his stereo system just after they've painted the weird symbol on the floor. Xander, who came with Oz, is impressed with their set-up. They suggest that he pledge the fraternity, but Oz tells them Xander's a "civilian." Xander looks annoyed with Oz. Oz manages to cut himself when trimming a speaker wire, and accidentally drips a bit of blood on the symbol. Something mystical happens, though no one notices. A little plastic spider laying on the symbol suddenly morphs into a real tarantula, providing nightmare-fodder for Jamie.

At Buffy's house, Joyce fixes up an old Red Riding Hood costume for Buffy, remembering that Buffy wore it when she was twelve and her father still went trick or treating with her. Buffy expresses sadness that her dad didn't like spending time with her enough to stay with the family, but Joyce reminds her that their divorce had nothing to do with her. Buffy worries that whenever you open your heart to someone, they bail on you, but Joyce declares that she, Giles, and Buffy's friends are there for her; there's nothing to be afraid of.

On campus, people are toilet-papering and generally being crazy. Willow, on the phone in her dorm, tells Oz that Buffy said she'd go to the party after all, and they need to make sure she has fun. "If Parker shows up," she says, "we'll just ax-murder him. That's Halloweeny." She leaves, in her Joan of Arc costume, and runs by some interesting characters in the hall.

At the party, a girl sticks her hand into a bowl of peeled grapes intended to feel like eyeballs, but when she takes off her blindfold, she sees that they really are eyeballs. She screams.

Buffy meets up with Xander, who is dressed as James Bond, in case they get turned into their costumes again. Willow and Oz come along, Willow as Joan of Arc and Oz as God (wearing regular clothes and a name tag reading, "My name is God"). Xander mentions that Anya will be meeting them there, causing Buffy to feel left out. As the group walks, they run across the camouflaged, weapon-bearing, vampire hunters, wondering who they're supposed be.

At the party, some serious chaos is going on upstairs. Not that we really know what it is, because there's some really freaky directing here. Basically, the lights are flashing, and people are running around screaming their heads off. We do see one guy trip down the stairs and break his neck. Pretty. The gang enters, but no one's downstairs. Willow walks into a "fake" cobweb, and Oz spots a tarantula on her shoulder. Buffy finds real blood on the floor, and the gang hears some squeaking. Suddenly, a horde of bats swoops down from the ceiling, and the group cowers. Once the bats are gone, they find a rubber one on the floor. A deep, threatening voice shouts, "Release me!" They're catching on that something is wrong.

Anya arrives in a riotously not-scary bunny costume, and finds that the frat house has no door. She sees a girl screaming in a window, but the bricks around the window suddenly grow and merge, covering the window. The cute little bunny instantly fears for Xander's safety. Inside, the gang can't find the door either - or the stairs, for that matter. The gang hears something ... it's Chaz, hiding in the closet. Behind Buffy, a fake skeleton becomes real and stabs Buffy in the shoulder with a "fake" knife. She kicks its butt before it becomes fake again. They hear screaming upstairs, and Buffy orders the gang to find a way out and get Giles while she investigates, but Anya is already there, giving him the rundown. An argument ensues at the frat-house when Willow rebels against Buffy's orders, wanting instead to do a spell. Buffy rather rudely declares that Willow's spells don't work all that well. Willow stalks off, Oz follows, and Xander tries to comfort Buffy. She doesn't hear him or see him, though, and is peeved because she thinks he bailed on her. Xander realizes that he's become invisible.

Buffy's and Xander's fears, then, have already come true. Oz is next, suddenly starting to morph into werewolf-mode (despite the lack of a full moon) and being, of course, unable to stop it. He runs away from Willow, in order to protect her. We next see him in a bathtub, chanting to himself, "You're not gonna change. You're not gonna change." Xander spots himself in a mirror, glad that he can, at least, see himself. So, apparently, can a "fake" head nearby. Willow does her spell, but the little light she conjures refuses to follow her instructions, and splits itself into many little lights, attacking her like a swarm of bees. Buffy hears her shouting and bursts through a door, falling into the basement. The dead guy who fell down the stairs appears, telling her she's not alone anymore ... dead bodies start climbing out from underground attacking Buffy.

Outside, Giles and Anya have arrived. Giles, realizing he needs to create a door, whips out a chainsaw and gets to work. Inside, the gang all wind up in the room with the symbol, back to normal. Xander finds the book with the picture of the symbol, and Willow, trying to translate, explains that a summoning spell must have been triggered, and that a fear demon named Gachnar is trying to manifest himself by feeding off of their fears. Giles and Anya suddenly arrive, having sawed their way in, with the walls closing up behind them. Giles shows Buffy a picture of the terrifying-looking demon, and starts to read aloud how the demon can be destroyed, and when he first says, "Destroying the Mark of Gachnar, " Buffy rips apart the floor in order to do so. Giles finishes his sentence: "...is not one of them and will in fact immediately bring forth the Fear Demon itself." Loud noise ensues, and a freaky looking demon emerges, roaring. He looks up - he's no more than six inches tall. He threatens them in a squeaky little voice, and Xander taunts him. Since Buffy's job is to slay demons big and small, she squashes him like a bug.

The gang chows down on Giles's chocolate, Xander makes fun of Anya's "scary" costume (bunnies scare her), and Giles realizes that the picture of the demon in the book had a caption: "Actual size."

Written by David Fury ~ Directed by Tucker Gates

Original Air Date: October 26, 1999




Beer Bad (4.05)

Buffy is kicking serious vampire butt in the cemetery when Parker comes along and gets caught in the crossfire. Buffy orders him to get down, which he does while she dusts the three vamps she was fighting. Parker comes up to her and apologizes profusely for how he treated her. The music swells as he begs her forgiveness, and suddenly...

Buffy comes back to reality in Psychology class, where she's watching Parker flirt with some chick while Professor Walsh lectures about the id, the ego, and the superego. The id, she stresses, works solely out of the pleasure principle - the id wants, and that's all there is to it. Buffy fades back into daydream mode, where she replays the vampire dusting scene. This time, though, Parker approaches with his shirt open, bearing pink roses and quart of ice cream.

Later that day, Willow and Buffy are studying outside when Xander arrives, flicking a lighter in Buffy's face, offering to listen to her woes. Turns out that he's gotten a job bartending at the campus pub. Our boy thinks the main duty of his job will be to light people's cigarettes, listen to their problems, wipe down the bar, and kick people out. He's not particularly worried about making actual drinks. Buffy isn't too interested in spilling pretend problems to Xander, though Willow gives it a shot, making up a Jerry Springer-esque problem. Buffy states that it's class time, and the group wanders off. Buffy starts musing about Parker, theorizing that he's got intimacy problems, and is perhaps keeping her in a bubble fantasy, which he may soon pop her out of, preferring Real Buffy instead of Bubble Buffy. Willow advises her to think about "not Parker," reminding that there are better men, who are not ruled by the penis.

That night at the pub, Xander's got his own problems - he's surrounded by angry patrons demanding more drinks than he can make at one time. Buffy meanders in, and bumps into Riley. They discuss Parker, who's cozying up to a girl. Riley tells her that Parker is a major girl-chaser who "sets 'em up and knocks 'em down." Xander tries to comfort a girl, who turns out to be a very cheerful sorority girl. A male friend of hers approaches, trying to intimidate Xander with his intellectual ramblings. He goes on to clarify for Xander the concept that guys like him date sorority girls and run the country, while guys like Xander keep the bowl of peanuts full. Xander tries to ID him for his pitcher of Black Frost beer, but the bar manager orders him to "just give him a beer." Xander spots Buffy, who declares that she was wrong about Parker, and that she's a slut and an idiot. Xander tries to comfort her, but he's ordered to get back to work. Buffy starts to leave, but is hit on by four guys, one of who is the guy who picked on Xander. They offer to buy her beer, and she accepts.

Over at the Bronze, Willow tells Oz that she copied the Psychology notes for him, since he missed class today. As the band takes the stage, Oz makes a strange face, making Willow wonder if he's sick. The lead singer begins singing, and Oz seems strangely fascinated with her. Willow wonders if he knows her, but he doesn't. Oz keeps staring, and Willow looks disturbed.

At the pub, Buffy's new friends are babbling more smart-speak, and starting to get a bit disoriented by the beer.

The next day in the girls' dorm, Willow is making fun of Veruca, who apparently called Willow a groupie when they met last night. Willow tells Buffy that she dresses like Faith and has a voice like an albatross. A hungover and rather child-like Buffy is not really interested, though, as she is fascinated by the "bright colors...music...[and] tiny little people" in the television. She tells Willow she had a night of badness last night. Willow thinks she slept with Parker again, but Buffy says she was with four smart guys, prompting Willow to think that Buffy had sex with all four of them. Buffy corrects her, shares with her the niceties of beer, and attempts to leave for class in her pajamas.

That day in Psych. class, Buffy raises her hand to tell Professor Walsh that Willow did the reading, prompting murmurs in the classroom. Buffy then notices a student in front of her eating a sandwich, which Buffy reaches down and grabs from the girl, biting into it. The girl just stares as Willow asks incredulously, "Buffy! Are you ok?" "Sure," replies a nonchalant Buffy with her mouth full, "why wouldn't I be?"

Cut to a shot of elsewhere, where a mad-scientist chemistry set-up sits brewing... something, dripping it into a keg of Black Frost beer.

Later, Buffy is again drinking with her smart-guy friends at the pub, while Xander looks on disapprovingly. The group is acting strangely, spouting such knowledgeable gems as, "You stupid" and "I like girls." At the bar, a young woman announces to Xander that she's having a bad day and asks for a light for her cigarette. Xander says nothing; he just holds up a no smoking sign to her.

Back at the dorm, Oz catches Willow outside her room. Oz, who missed class today for band practice, invites her to the Bronze, where he's going to play with Shy (Veruca's band). Willow isn't interested, and they go their separate ways, a definite air of tension between them.

Back at the pub, Xander turns on the jukebox, which quite intrigues Buffy, who practically climbs on top of the jukebox. Xander announces to Buffy that he's cut her off, drags her over to the door, and orders her to go home. The guys notice that their girl is gone.

Willow runs into Parker at the Grotto, and she gives him a piece of her mind, berating him for hurting Buffy. He maintains innocence, wondering why people can't just "come together and create something wonderful" for one night, and then get back to their lives and move on. He does apologize for misleading Buffy though, and is "impressed" by Willow's thoughtfulness.

At the pub a while later, the guys are now barely functioning, and Xander is able to get way more money from them than they actually owe him. The lead guy, who had gone to the restroom, comes bursting out and attacks Xander, knocking him to the floor. The guy has transformed into a long-haired, protruding-teeth cave man. The other guys are suitably alarmed, but before they can leave, they too transform into cave men. Xander gets up, and scares them away with his trusty lighter. They run out, and Xander goes to tell the bar manager (Jack) what has happened. Jack reveals to Xander that he did something to the beer purposely. He's tired of guys like these acting like they're better than everybody else. He thinks it's pretty funny, and says it'll wear off in a day or so, but Xander rushes off to check on Buffy.

The cave guys are running around outside, climbing trees, hitting each other with sticks, and laughing at each other. One manages to get himself hit by a car, which the cave guys beat with sticks. They then spot two girls walking by and chase after them.

Xander arrives at Buffy's dorm with Giles, who is disappointed in Xander for having served Buffy beer in the first place. They enter the room to find Buffy drawing on the wall with her lipstick.

At the Grotto, Parker is telling Willow that he's never found a girl who he can just sit and talk with openly. He then takes her hand and tells her how much he's enjoyed talking with her. Willow looks all googley-eyed, and then asks him a question: "Just how gullible do you think I am?" She laughs at his methods, announcing that men haven't changed since the dawn of time. And as if to prove her point, the cave guys come in, dragging the two girls they found with them, and knock out both Willow and Parker.

At the dorm, Buffy spins on her chair and bangs on the television ("Want people!") as Giles and Xander watch. Buffy notices Xander's nice smell, and then decides she wants beer. Giles won't allow it, so she pushes him down and runs out. They split up to find her.

At the Grotto, the cave guys start a fire, which soon starts to spread. Everyone becomes trapped behind the fire. Outside, Xander spots Buffy, who smells the fire. She goes to check it out, and throws a fire extinguisher into the fire. She then spots Willow on the other side of the flames, and her Slayer instincts kick in. She hurls herself over the fire, climbs up to open a window, and helps Willow out. Buffy goes back in and finds Parker, who has come to and hasn't a clue what to do. She conks him over the head with a big stick, knocking him out, and then helps him escape. Outside, Xander has locked the cave guys into an unlocked van of unknown ownership. Parker approaches Buffy and apologizes for how he treated her, asking for forgiveness. Buffy stares at him for a moment before knocking him out again with her stick.

Written by Tracey Forbes ~ Directed by David Solomon

Original Air Date: November 2, 1999




Wild At Heart (4.06)

Buffy starts us off this week by running from a vampire across campus. Running from a vampire? Yep, luring him to a deserted area of campus so that there are no witnesses. She makes quick work of him, and a heartburn pun to go with it, and wonders to herself why the forces of darkness aren't sending her better foes. Spike is at a distance, watching and listening, and comments (out of Buffy's earshot) that she shouldn't tempt the Fates, because he's back in town, and this time - but he doesn't get to finish his threat, as he's interrupted by the commando guys who zap him with a taser and drag him away.

At the Bronze, the gang is discussing the benefits of hanging out at the Bronze as college students, as well as the predictability of it. Giles suddenly drops in for a social visit, ruining the predictability. He defends his coolness - "I'm down with the new music!" - as Veruca takes the stage. Willow looks uncomfortable, Oz stares intently, Buffy says Veruca's boring, and Giles says she has presence. Tension ensues.

The next morning, Willow and Oz wake up in Oz's bed together. They cuddle and engage in sexual banter, but Willow has to get to class. They realize they can't get together tonight: it's the night before the full moon, so Oz has to be locked up. Willow says that she'll be checking out a campus Wicca group orientation on each of the three nights Oz will be wolfy, so he'll have to lock himself up.

In Psych. class, Professor Walsh returns a paper to Buffy and compliments her work, saying she wants Buffy to lead a discussion group in the next class. Buffy shows Willow her paper and tells her about the discussion group thing, and Willow is both happy for Buffy and also jealous academically. Oz, who's supposed to be meeting Willow at the campus cafe, runs into Veruca. He joins her, and they discuss amplifiers. Willow arrives, spotting them together, and joins them. More tension ensues. Willow tries to get in on the music talk, but she mistakes an amp brand for an Elvis song. It's not long before Oz bails on the situation, leaving Veruca and Willow staring at each other. Veruca leaves, too, just as Buffy's arriving. Willow tells Buffy that Oz thinks Veruca is sexy, but Buffy reminds her that "Oz just isn't the type to stray." Especially not tonight, agrees Willow, since he'll be locked in his cage.

However, we next see Oz locking himself up, wolfing out, and promptly breaking out of his cage. Professor Walsh is walking across campus that night when she hears a noise. Oz-wolf comes out of the bushes, but before he attacks, another wolf arrives, and the two werewolves roll around violently, forgetting about Walsh, who runs away in terror. The next morning, Oz wakes up naked in the wilderness with a naked Veruca at his side. Veruca realizes he doesn't remember, but she does. Apparently werewolves eventually do begin to retain memories of their wolf-time. Oz is clearly distressed, and they go to a dorm laundry room to steal some clothes. Oz throws on a shirt and shorts, and Veruca picks a little black bra and panty set to strut around in. Oz finds out that Veruca doesn't even have a cage; she just allows herself to run free. Veruca tries to convince him to accept that the wolf is a part of him all the time, and he shouldn't try to restrain it. Oz isn't sold; he doesn't want to kill people. Veruca insists that they belong together, but Oz disagrees and walks out.

At school, Professor Walsh is telling Riley about her shocking run in with two giant wild dogs. Buffy approaches, and Walsh tells her about it, so that Buffy will be careful on campus. Buffy realizes what she saw, and takes off.

Willow goes over to Oz, dressed in leather pants, and tries to seduce Oz. He resists, though, claiming that he's too tired. Willow claims to understand, but she's obviously hurt. She leaves, and Oz looks guilty.

Giles is at home, watching a TV trivia show, when Buffy arrives. He's glad for the company, and hopes there's something for them to work on. Buffy tells Giles about Walsh's run in with the two werewolves, and then goes to ask Oz about it.

Willow goes to Xander for advice. Xander notes that his mum won't let him put a lock on his door (probably fearing that he'll have "the sex"), so he's withholding rent. Willow asks what it means if a girl wants to make love and her boyfriend doesn't want to, and tells him that Oz and a girl have been noticing each other. Xander encourages to talk things out with him.

Oz is welding his cage back together when Buffy arrives. She asks if he knows about another wolf having been out last night. Though he does admit that he got out, he claims he wouldn't remember if he saw another wolf (apparently he doesn't "remember" waking up naked next to one, either). Buffy says she'll be looking for this other wolf tonight.

Veruca and her band rehearse at the Bronze, and we cut back and forth between shots of them, shots of a worried Willow at her Wicca meeting, and shots of Oz thinking heavily in his bedroom. He makes a phone call, and Veruca arrives at his cage. He tries to convince her to stay in the cage with him, warning her that someone will be out hunting for her. She comes closer, telling him that she sensed him and wanted him even before she saw him. He grabs her by the hair and pulls her in the cage. The cage door shuts and locks, and the two wolf out.

The next morning, Willow drops in, and she is shocked to find Oz and Veruca curled up naked together. They wake up, and Oz gets his pants on while Veruca slowly stands and stretches. Willow looks like she's going to throw up. Oz tries to claim that it's not what it looks like, and he had to lock her in there with him so she wouldn't hurt anyone. Willow disagrees, pointing out that he could have told someone. Oz orders Veruca to leave. Oz says he knows how it feels, but Willow argues that what happened with Xander doesn't compare to this. Oz tries to argue that he can't control what he does once the wolf has taken over, but she knows that he wanted her even as a human. Oz can't argue, and Willow runs out. She wanders in the street, in her own world, and is almost hit by a car. Buffy spots her, but is too far away to get to her in time. Luckily, Riley is nearby, and her saves her. He tells her whatever is going on isn't worth hurting herself over.

Later, in the dorm, Buffy tells Willow she has to go find Veruca and end this thing. Willow is practically a zombie, and Buffy tells her the important thing is to put the blame where it belongs and not hurt herself. Buffy leaves, and Willow mulls over this advice.

Buffy goes to Oz's, and he says that he doesn't know where Veruca is, but he can follow her scent. He tries to explain to Buffy, but she doesn't want to hear it. In a lab at school, Willow is working on a spell against Oz and Veruca, to let them find no love, solace, or peace. Buffy and Willow track Veruca's scent into the woods, and find her clothes, realizing that Veruca wanted to throw Oz off her scent. They rush off to find Willow. Willow's about to finish her spell when she changes her mind at the last minute. Veruca arrives just then, and locks the door. She points out that the sun's almost down. Oz gets ahead of Buffy when she runs into one of the commando guys. They tussle for a minute, but she gets away and takes off after Oz. Veruca hits WIllow just as Oz arrives on the scene. He orders her not to touch Willow again, but Veruca argues that when Willow is gone, he'll be able to be his true self. "Animals kill," she says, as they begin to wolf out, and Oz agrees, attacking her. They fight as they finish the wolf-formation, and he mauls her, ripping open her neck and killing her. He then runs toward Willow, but Buffy arrives just in time to shoot him with a tranquilizer. Willow sobs in Buffy's lap.

Buffy goes to give Giles the rundown, and tells him about the commando guy. Giles is intrigued, but Buffy is more worried about Willow. Giles reminds her that she's gotten through that kind of pain, but Buffy points out that she ran away first.

Willow goes to Oz's place, and finds him packing. He says he's leaving. Willow asks if she has any say in this, and he matter-of-factly tells her no. He tells her that Veruca was right about the wolf being inside him all the time, and he no longer knows where the line is between him and the wolf. Until he gets a grip on that, he feels that he shouldn't be around her or anyone else, so he's going to find somewhere to be alone. Willow cries, and asks, "Don't you love me?" Oz tells her that he's never loved anything else. They hug, he kisses her on the forehead, and Oz walks out. He sits in his van for a moment. Willow cries in his room. Oz, holding back tears, starts the van and drives away.

Written by Marti Noxon ~ Directed by David Grossman

Original Air Date: November 9, 1999




The Initiative (4.07)

Riley starts us off this week, sitting in the cafeteria grading papers while his friend, Forrest, comments on all the hotties. Forrest spots Buffy, whom he's quite impressed with. A third friend, Graham, joins them just as Riley is explaining that Buffy is too "peculiar" for his taste. While they're discussing her, Buffy is obliviously going about her cafeteria-business - managing to overfill her soda and break the ice cream machine.

Meanwhile, Spike is just awakening from unconsciousness, mumbling about killing the Slayer. When he fully comes to, he finds himself trapped in one of many white cells is some kind of laboratory/demon prison. He touches the glass doors of the front wall, but gets electrocuted.

Over at Giles' place, Giles is making a sketch of what he believes the commando guys look like, while Xander suggests that they summon some evil just so they can kick its ass - the two have noticed that they haven't been fully necessary lately. Buffy arrives and gives them something to do: she's decided that they should patrol tonight while she takes Willow (who's despondent over Oz's departure) to a party to cheer her up. She departs, off to find something slutty to wear.

Back in Spike's cell, a packet of blood is dropped down to him through the ceiling. Spike is about to dig in when his neighbor warns him that it's drugged. Once a vamp eats it, he passes out, and he's taken to be experimented on. Spike comes to the conclusion that Buffy is to blame for this, and vows to take her apart, no matter how brilliant she is.

Brilliant Buffy in in Psych. class, breaking her ballpoint pen and getting ink all over her notes. Class ends, and Willow goes to tell Riley that Oz isn't dropping out; he'll be back. Walsh interrupts, telling Willow that if Oz can't stick to her schedule, he just shouldn't come back. Willow leaves, on the verge of tears, and Buffy comes to her defense, telling Walsh that she should try exhibiting some human behavior, seeing as she does teach it. Buffy walks out, and Walsh tells Riley that she likes Buffy. "Really," Riley wonders, "You don't think she's a little peculiar?"

Xander and Giles are in Xander's basement, rounding up some weapons that Xander requisitioned when he was turned into "military guy." Xander admits that his skills are fading, but insists he's still a hand-to-hand expert. Xander's mom calls down to the "boys," asking if they want some punch; Giles wonders if it's raspberry flavored.

Back at school, Riley tells Forrest about Buffy having told off Professor Walsh. Forrest admires her guts, but Riley thinks she's nuts. Parker strolls by, and Forrest takes the opportunity to ask what he thinks about Buffy. Parker says she's ok, but a little clingy. He makes a joke comparing Buffy to a toilet, and Riley suddenly punches him. This prompts Riley to realize that he likes Buffy, and he says he's off to see a girl.

Back in the lab, Spike has passed out, and some white coats come to take him away. They drag him out of his cell, set him up on a gurney, and suddenly his eyes pop open - he was faking, of course. Fighting ensues, and Spike's neighbor convinces him to let him out, since he knows where the exit is. They make it out one door, but get caught by some commandos. Spike distracts them by throwing the other vamp into their arms, and he runs out.

In her dorm, Willow is lying on her bed listening to depressing music when Riley arrives. He tells Willow he was thinking of asking Buffy out, and wants her advice. Willow spots Buffy's bag o' weapons and tries to covertly slip them under her bed. Riley does it for her, without looking down at the contents. Willow then declares that if she helps him, one of them will probably end up getting their heart broken. Riley gets the point, and goes to leave, disappointed. Willow blurts out that Buffy likes cheese. She also tells him that she has a stuffed pig named Mr. Gordo, she likes the ice capades, and they'll be going to the party that night at Lowell House. Ooh, isn't that interesting, that's where Riley lives! She warns him not to get fresh, and insists that she is not his accomplice.

Meanwhile, Harmony is hanging a unicorn poster in her lair when Spike surprises her. She's both happy and mad, but he insists that he's here to stay this time, and that she'll have his full attention - after he kills Buffy. She gets physical with him, and he complains that she's hurting his head.

Giles and Xander are out on patrol; Xander is annoying Giles with his dramatic ramblings.

Buffy and Willow arrive at the party, and Willow sneaks over to Riley. She tells him that, based on Buffy's outfit, she's looking to dance and have fun, with no heavy conversation. Riley claims that he can't dance, though, so she tells him to just make conversation (warning him that if he hurts her, she'll beat him with a shovel). Riley heads over to Buffy, and proceeds to talk about the Psychology reading. Then he offers her cheese.

Xander, who's on his own since Giles decided to split up, spots Harmony pouring gasoline over a pile of clothing and such. He threatens to stake her, prompting her to slap him. His response: to kick her in the shin. The two then engage in a very second-grade girly-fight, finally getting each other in headlocks and agreeing to call it off on the count of three. He decides to just leave her alone with her fire, but she says it's not her fire, since it's Spike's stuff she's burning. She whines about Spike leaving her again, and how he was so caught up in his plan to kill the Slayer. Xander takes off in the middle of her sentence, and she tosses a match onto the fire.

At the party, Riley declares to Willow that he totally bombed with Buffy. She tries to comfort him while Buffy dances with some guy. A Dingoes Ate My Baby song comes on, and Riley senses that there are bad associations for Willow, so he asks a guy near the stereo to change the song. Willow tells Riley to tell Buffy that she's going home, and not to worry about her. Just when Riley is about ask Buffy something, Xander bursts in and takes Buffy off with him. Riley's friends tease him, and tell him that he's needed downstairs. They go up to some mirror, where a retinal scan is done on them, and the mirror opens up into an elevator. They get in, and Riley talks into a speaker, which identifies his voice as Special Agent Finn, Riley. As they head downstairs into a huge fancy laboratory in which demons are being examined, Riley wonders what kind of girl would want to go out with a guy who's normal by day and demon-hunter by night. They head over to Professor Walsh, who tells them they have a Code Red - Hostile 17 (Spike) has escaped. She gives them the rundown, and puts Riley in charge of the operation. He gives orders, and takes Forrest and Graham with him.

Over at Giles', Buffy is mad that Spike keeps coming back to her town - and on her night off, no less. Xander makes fun of Riley, and Buffy "defends" him. She declares that she's going out alone to lure Spike and kill him once and for all. Xander insists that she take his flare gun, just in case.

Spike has broken in to a campus office, where he looks up Buffy's dorm room on the computer.

Out on campus, Buffy sits on a bench waiting for Spike, and Riley and pals spot her. Needing to get her out of the way, Riley takes off his commando gear and heads over, trying to convince Buffy that it's too dangerous outside. She refuses to let him take her home, calling him teutonic when he admits that he thinks boys can take care of themselves and girls need help. Their debate is interrupted when they hear a scream and both take off in different directions.

Riley heads over to the commando guys, who have used some technical gadget to spot the movement of what they presume to be Spike.

Lying on her bed, Willow hears a knock at the door, and invites the person in. Bad move: it's Spike. He gives her a choice of whether she wants to stay dead or be vamped. She screams, prompting Spike to turn the stereo on loud to drown out her struggling. He pins her on the bad and leans in for the kill...

After the commercial, we find Spike and Willow sitting on the bed. It turns out that Spike can't bite her; when he tries, he's hit by a terrible pain in his head. Willow thinks she's not attractive to him, but he reassures her that he's thought about biting her before, and would if he could.

Outside, the commandos are use a heat sensor to figure out where Spike is, and they head in to the dorm.

Willow, after comforting Spike, comes to her senses and knocks him over the head with a lamp. She can't open the door, so she throws herself onto it - just as the commandos push it open; she crashes into them. Spike comes out, and they throw a bag over Spike's head. While they debate over whether to take Willow, Spike gets loose; when they try to shoot at him, he holds up a fire extinguisher in front of him, which explodes. Buffy arrives and shoots her flare gun and everyone is pretty much blind by this point. Spike jumps out a window and gets away, while Buffy and Riley unknowingly fight each other. Just as the smoke starts to clear, Riley calls to abort, and they leave.

Back at the lab, the guys are getting reamed by Walsh for not catching Spike. They believe Buffy to have been an accomplice of Spike's - a big, male accomplice. Riley does confirm that the implant they put in Spike has rendered him unable to feed or harm anyone, and he promises to catch him.

The next day, Riley approaches Buffy walking on campus and apologizes for his behavior last night; she apologizes as well. He asks how Willow's doing, and Buffy says that the fraternity prank last night didn't help. Riley says he doesn't remember what he was going to tell her at the party, and he then asks if Willow told her that he likes cheese. Buffy looks up at him and tells him, "You're a little peculiar." Riley decides that he can live with that, and they walk off.

Written by Douglas Petrie ~ Directed by James A. Contner

Original Air Date: November 16, 1999




Pangs (4.08)

So Buffy's after some random vampire, who tells her that she should go back where she came from; things were better before she came. She kills him quite easily, but looks around uneasily, as though she thinks someone is watching her. And someone is... Angel, hiding in the bushes.

The next day, Buffy, Willow, and Anya are witnessing the ground-breaking the new Cultural Center on campus. Xander's doing construction for the site, and Anya's very turned on by the construction worker look. She is, in fact, imagining having sex with him. The Professor of Anthropology, who's in charge of this project, rambles on about all the cultures working together to make one big great culture, and how nice it is to do this right before Thanksgiving, and Willow thinks she's full of it. Willow declares that Thanksgiving is a farce, seeing as we pretend to have eaten maize with the Indians, when really the Pilgrims massacred them and stole all their land. Buffy admits that Willow has a point, but she won't be celebrating anyway, because her mom is going to Aunt Arlene's. Willow's family doesn't celebrate it. Xander begins to dig, much to Anya's delight, and he suddenly falls right through the ground into some mysterious place with drawings on the dirt walls.

That night at the dorm, Buffy is looking out the window; it seems as though she thinks someone or something is out there. Is it the truth? No, just Angel, secretly spying again. Willow tells Buffy that she found out that Xander fell into the old Sunnydale Mission, which was thought to be lost. Some noisy students walk down the hall, and the two comment on all the kids who get to go home for Thanksgiving. Buffy is jealous, but suddenly decides that she can have her own Thanksgiving. Willow is disturbed, but Buffy convinces her. Willow perks up at the idea of not inviting Anya, but Buffy points out that she and Xander are pretty tight. Buffy is glad that everyone has a place to go.

Except for Spike, apparently, who's stumbling about, cold and hungry, covered in an extremely tattered blanket. Riley and his crew are out looking for him. Forrest figures that Spike's no threat, since he can't feed, but Riley points out that he's a threat because he knows about the Initiative. He wants to do things Walsh's way.

Anya goes to Xander's, wondering why he's not digging (she went to see him at work, but he wasn't there). He's about to leave for work, but Anya realizes that he's sick and decides to take care of him. Xander refers to her as his girlfriend, though he claims that he could be delirious.

At school, the anthropology teacher is looking at an artifact display, when a green glowy film appears, a hand materializes around a knife in the display, and a big Indian guy appears. He grabs her and slits her throat with the knife.

Buffy and Willow are researching the deed (turns out her ear was cut off), and Willow has some interesting theories. Buffy notices that there's a knife missing from the display.

The next day, Buffy is at Giles' place, preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, which she's decided should be at his house. She shares the details of her trip to the grocery store, as well as the details of the murder. She leaves to go get more stuff, and Angel appears. Giles asks what he thinks of the murder. Giles isn't particularly pleased about Angel trying to help Buffy without at least telling her that he's here, but Angel maintains that it's the only way. He tells Giles that they should speak to Father Gabriel, a priest whose family has been in this area since missionary times; he may be of some help. Angel then leaves to go watch Buffy.

Spike is still wandering about in his blanket. He watches sadly through a window as some vamps make a meal out of someone.

Buffy and Willow are downtown on their way to the store that night, debating the joys of whipping your own whipped cream, when Riley approaches. Willow heads into the coffee shop to leave them alone, and promptly bumps right into Angel. He covers her mouth before she can blurt out his name, which makes her think he's evil again. He explains that he's protecting Buffy, but she can't know. And then he wonders who the guy is that Buffy's talking to. Buffy invites Riley to their Thanksgiving dinner, but he's headed to Iowa for the holiday.

Spike heads over to see if Harmony will take him in, but she's been reading self-help books, and she claims that she is powerful and doesn't need Spike to complete her. He tries to seduce her, but she grabs a stake and chases him out with it. She won't even give him someone to eat.

Buffy goes to the church to look for Father Gabriel, and finds him hanging, dead. The Chumash guy has already killed him, and he claims that she can't stop him, as he is vengeance; the avenging spirit sent by his people to get justice. They fight, and she gains the advantage. He manages to guilt her out of it, claiming that she slaughtered his people and is now going to kill their spirit. She lets him go, and he turns himself into a flock of birds.

The next day, Buffy is going over the events with Giles. Giles points out that Hus has killed innocent people. Willow arrives, armed with peas and a bunch of books about the Chumash. Turns out they were peaceful until the Europeans came, spreading diseases, hanging them, cutting of their ears... all sorts of nice stuff. Willow thinks that if instead of killing Hus, they should find a way to help him. Giles just wants to kill him, and the two get into an old fashioned Thanksgiving argument. Outside, a coyote watches them through the window. Giles takes Willow aside, and they realize that they have both seen Angel. There's a knock at the door; the group opens it to find Anya and a sick Xander.

At UC Sunnydale, Hus is going through the Cultural Center, presumably looking for Chumash artifacts.

At Giles', Xander says that the doctor didn't know what was wrong with him, as he has a lot of symptoms that don't connect. Buffy points out that they connect to the Chumash guy. Willow tells him that the Chumash suffered from diseases like malaria, small pox, and syphilis. Xander locks onto the syphilis part, and wonders why they're not slaying him yet. Willow explains that it's not that simple, and Xander claims that you don't talk to vengeance demons, you kill them. This, of course, offends Anya, and the whole group begins to argue - except Buffy, who chooses to make pie. Giles tries to talk some sense into her, and suddenly there's a knock at the door. Buffy answers, to find Spike, cowering from the sunlight under his blanket. He asks for help, but Buffy isn't interested. She and Giles refuse to let him in, but he explains that he can't bite, getting Willow to confirm it, and offers them information about the Initiative.

Elsewhere, Hus does a little spell, bringing forth some more warriors to help him get revenge.

They've decided to let Spike in, but Buffy ties him nice and tight to a chair. Giles has figured out that Hus must be targeting authority figures, and they determine that the Dean of UC Sunnydale may be at risk. Buffy and Willow begin to debate the whole killing-the-Chumash-guy thing again, and Spike thinks it's ridiculous. He claims that conquering nations conquer people, and that's all there is to it. Xander and Giles admit that he's right (though Giles points out that he already said this stuff). Willow, Anya, and Xander go to warn the Dean. Spike asks when he's going to get fed. Buffy is just telling him to quit his whining, when suddenly an arrow is shot into the centerpiece of the table. They look up to see Hus outside, and Buffy tries to offer apologies. She and Giles duck, leaving Spike out in the middle of the room, as arrows start whizzing through the windows. Spike gets nailed, just shy of the heart.

The gang is coming back from the Dean's house (where they were met with skepticism) when they run into Angel. Xander, too, thinks he must be evil again. Willow explains that they think he's looking for a leader, but Angel explains that to a warrior, the leader is the strongest warrior. In other words, Buffy.

At Giles', Giles receives a warning phone call from Angel, Spike's getting hit by more arrows, and Buffy gets hit in the arm by one. Elsewhere, the gang (not Angel) has stolen bicycles and is on their way back. Buffy and Giles try shooting their crossbows, but they miss. The gang (including Angel) arrives outside, and some of the warriors come inside. Everyone fights, and they start to realize that these guys don't die. Buffy finally catches on that they can be killed with their own weapons, but before she can put that to the test, Hus then turns himself into a bear. Spike is not pleased with this. Buffy gets knocked around a bit, Xander throws rolls at the bear to distract it, and Buffy stabs it, causing him and the other warriors to turn into green mist and disappear. Angel, still outside, looks at Buffy through the window and sneaks off. Spike wonders if they won.

The gang sits down to dinner. Willow is mad at herself for trying to kill the Chumash. The gang concludes that it wasn't so bad - they got through it, after all, and Willow points out that it was like old times, with them all working together. Xander agrees: "Yeah, especially with Angel being here and everything." Buffy stares at him. Everyone stares at her. "Oops," says Xander.

Written by Jane Espenson ~ Directed by Michael Lange

Original Air Date: November 23, 1999




Something Blue (4.09)

Willow is in Oz's room, comforting herself by smelling his shirt. Riley hangs a poster for the Lesbian Alliance at school; Buffy comes along and forces him to admit that he's a lesbian. Riley reminds Buffy of when they were talking about having a picnic, but she reminds him that they never had such a conversation. He admits that sometimes he practices before talking to her, because she's tricky, "like an oral exam." He also tells her that she's beautiful, and he does ask her to have a picnic. That night, presumably on patrol, Buffy tells Willow how she feels about Riley. He's nice, there's sparkage, and she likes him... but she wonders if a relationship without pain and fighting can also have intensity and passion. As they walk, she distractedly stakes a vamp who jumps out at them, barely pausing in her conversation.

Over at Giles' the next day, Buffy tries to get information about the commandos out of Spike, who's chained in the bathtub. He's not giving much up, even after they feed him some pig's blood from a cup reading "Kiss the Librarian." Apparently he's worried that they'll kill him after they get what they want. Buffy toys with Spike, and Willow suggests to Giles that he use a truth spell on Spike. She plans to return in the morning with the ingredients. Giles comments to Buffy that Willow seems to be coping better with Oz's departure, but Spike disagrees ("What, are you people blind? She's hanging on by a thread!").

Willow heads over to Oz's room, and is shocked to find it empty. That night, she cries as she explains to Buffy that Devon said he sent for his stuff. The realization that he's not coming back devastates Willow, and Buffy tries to console her.

The next day, Giles calls Willow, who didn't show up to help him with the spell, but he just gets the answering machine. Spike shouts out to him, demanding that the television be turned on.

Meanwhile, Buffy and Riley have their picnic, and Riley finds out that Buffy's not big on driving. He explains the joy of driving, relaxing and letting the air and motion wash over you. The conversation takes on a slightly sexual air, and Riley promises to take her driving one night. Willow comes along, obviously depressed, though she claims she's fine. The three seem uncomfortable.

That night, at the Bronze, the gang comments on Willow's situation... and then notice her dancing quite happily. She comes over to them, claiming that she decided to "shake and shimmy" her depression away. Her methods of doing so come into question when she knocks a beer bottle out from it's hiding spot under her jacket. Xander and Buffy berate her, and she explains to Buffy that she just wants the pain to be over. Buffy tells her she just has to go through it, but Willow just wants to make it go "poof."

Later, while Buffy sleeps, Willow gets out of bed and sets up shop in the bathroom, doing a spell to have her will be done. The flames around her increase in intensity and electricity courses through her circle. The next day, Willow tries to will her heart to be healed, a book to speak its words to her, and a q-tip to unbend itself, but to no avail. It would seem that her spell didn't work. Giles arrives, and scolds her a bit for not showing up to do the truth spell. She admits that she's been off lately, mentioning that her spell to have her will be done didn't work. She claims that he and the gang aren't satisfied with her efforts to get through her pain. Giles says he sees how she could feel that way, but Willow argues, "You don't see anything!" Her eyes flash as she says it, and Giles suddenly seems as though his eyes are bothering him. He leaves, bumping in to a student on his way down the hall.

Later, when he tries to do the truth spell on Spike, Giles clearly has trouble reading the spell from the book. He unknowingly drops the key to Spike's chains, and Spike manages to reach it and break free, knocking Giles out of the way and escaping out the front door.

Later, Willow complains to Buffy that she's not a good witch as she cleans Amy's rat cage. She says that "fuzzy little Amy" has way more power than she does, pointing out that, "First, she's a perfectly normal girl." Amy, sitting on the bed behind the girls, suddenly becomes human again. Buffy and Willow don't notice, and Willow continues, "Then 'poof,' she's a rat." Poor Amy instantly reverts to rat form. Willow pouts that she could never do something like that. The phone rings; it's Giles, asking Buffy to find Spike. Willow's disappointed, as she wanted to have a girl's night with Buffy, but Buffy insists that duty calls. "I don't see the big," Willow says after Buffy walks out, "he's probably just standing out there. You'll find him in two seconds." Her eyes flash again.

Suddenly, Buffy appears in a clearing on campus, where Spike is just standing there. They comment that they thought it would take longer for her to find him. Spike thinks he's found the spot where he came out from the underground commando lab, but there's nothing but grass and dirt. Buffy gets annoyed, and Spike hits her, instantly feeling the pain in his head. Buffy hits him back, causing him pain in his face. She gets him back to Giles', and the two argue like children while Giles puts eye drops in his eyes.

Willow goes to Xander for comfort, but he's not of much use. He tries to convince her that Buffy needs Spike to tell her about the commandos, and she can't just let him go. Willow pouts some more, insisting that if Spike is so important, then "why doesn't [Buffy] just marry him?" Her eyes flash yet again.

Giles comes out into his living room to find Spike kneeled down in front of Buffy, where Buffy is just accepting his proposal of marriage. They kiss, and Giles squints at this confusing sight. "Giles," Buffy squeals, "you'll never believe what's happened!" Yeah, she's probably right about that. The poor guy looks like he thinks he's hallucinating.

Over at Xander's, Willow continues to complain. She points out Xander's track record ("Insect lady, mummy girl, Anya - you're a demon magnet!"). Xander looks hurt, and we hear the sound effect that goes with Willow's eye-flashes. Giles calls Willow, asking for help, but he gets the machine again. He thinks his vision problem must be due to a spell, since something else has gone horribly wrong as well (Spike and Buffy). The couple debate over their wedding plans, beginning to argue but ending up kissing. Buffy asks Giles to give her away at the wedding, and he is clearly flattered - until he remembers that the whole thing is nonsense. Buffy points out that the gang wasn't crazy about Angel at first either, prompting Spike to become jealous. Again, they begin to argue and end up kissing, just as Giles realizes that he's now completely blind. Spike offers to help, suggesting a reversal spell, and Buffy leaves Giles with Spike while she goes to the magic shop. On her way out of the magic shop, Buffy spots a wedding dress in a shop nearby. Riley, wandering by, catches her ogling it, and she tells him that she's getting married. He is understandably flabbergasted, and doesn't understand where this is coming from. He decides that he needs to be away, and walks off.

At Xander's, Xander and Anya begin to make out, but are interrupted by a demon bursting through the door. He and Anya struggle with it until Anya reveals that drowning is the only way to kill it; they drown it in a conveniently full-of-water sink. Another demon then tries to climb in through a window, and the two run out.

At Giles', Buffy explains to Giles that the magic shop was out of an ingredient they need for Giles' cure, but comforts him that they'll have it tomorrow. Buffy plays with a wedding-cake-couple, and she and Spike begin to argue about the wedding invitations. Xander and Anya burst in, all worked up about the demons chasing them. They are confused that Spike is not only untied, but he and Buffy are holding hands. The happy couple shares the good news. The news rings a bell, and Xander struggles to recall that Willow said that he was a demon magnet, and that Buffy and Spike should get married. Giles then remembers that she said he couldn't see anything, and they realize that Willow must have done a spell, without realizing what it's doing. Buffy thinks that she escaped the spell because being a Slayer must give her "natural immunity." Just as they decide to go find her, Willow enters her dorm and is accosted by a demon who grabs her head and causes a ruckus of noise and bright light.

The gang goes to look for Willow, and find a large burn circle in the dorm floor. Anya recognizes it as a portal of D'Hoffryn's, and Buffy wonders why he would attack Willow, but Anya doesn't think it was an attack. Anya explains that D'Hoffryn got wind of her doing some little vengeance spells, and offer to elevate her - to make her a demon. Buffy realizes that's why he took Willow, but gets distracted when she spots a good place for wedding pictures. A demon comes along, which Buffy tries to fight without ruining the foliage, but when more demons start coming, the group runs into a crypt. Anya begins to perform a spell to give them a gateway to the world of Arashmaha, where D'Hoffryn resides, while the gang tries to keep the demons out. Anya has trouble remembering the spell, but is interrupted anyway when the demons get in; the group does their best to fight them all. Meanwhile, in Arashmaha, D'Hoffryn explains to Willow that her magic is strong, and her pain is like a piercing scream. She thinks he wants her to be "quiet," but he says that's not his intent. He thinks she has great potential, after seeing the pain she has inflicted on those she loves. Willow argues that she didn't mean to, but that doesn't matter to D'Hoffryn. He shows her an image of her friends fighting in the crypt. Willow is distressed, and insists that she doesn't want to be a demon; she just wants to go help her friends. D'Hoffryn is disappointed, but gives her his talisman with which to call him if she ever changes her mind.

Suddenly, Willow appears in the crypt, where Buffy and Spike have stopped fighting and started kissing. Willow undoes her spell, the demons disappear, and Buffy and Spike are horrified to find themselves kissing.

The next day, Willow bakes cookies for the gang as an apology. Xander tests Giles' sight, and Giles wishes that Willow had given him perfect vision. Spike, who's tied up again, requests a cookie to get the "Buffy taste" out of his mouth. Willow apologizes to Buffy, who suggests the idea of a forgetting spell. Buffy remarks that she's over the bad boy thing, and she'd be very happy with a decent, reliable guy. This reminds her that she told Riley she was engaged. She freaks out, and wonders what in the world she's going to say to him.

The next day at school, Buffy tells Riley that she made it up to give him a hard time, because she saw fear in his eyes when he caught her looking at wedding dresses. He thinks she's insane, but is nonetheless pleased that she's still single. Buffy tells him that he has a lot to learn about women. He steps closer to her, puts his hand on her shoulder, looks at her intently... and says, "You're gonna teach me." He then walks away. Buffy looks after him.

Written by Tracey Forbes ~ Directed by Nick Marck

Original Air Date: November 30, 1999




Hush (4.10)

Professor Walsh begins this episode with a lecture about non-verbal communication, and the thoughts and experiences that we don't have a word for. She orders Buffy to come up for a demonstration, and has her lie down on the desk. Walsh asks Riley to participate. He leans is toward Buffy, and says that when he kisses her, it'll make the sun go down. He kisses her, and indeed it does get dark. The other students and Walsh disappear, and when they finish their kiss, Buffy says, "Fortune favours the brave." She then hears the voice of a little girl. She goes out into the hall to investigate, and sees a little girl, holding a carved box, singing a rhyme: "Can't even shout, can't even cry / the Gentlemen are coming by / looking in windows, knocking on doors / they need to take seven and they might take yours / can't call to mum, can't say a word / you're gonna die screaming but you won't be heard." Riley comes up behind Buffy and puts his hand on her shoulder, but when she turns, she sees an eerie smiling monster... and she wakes up from her Psych class nap just as class is ending. Willow teases her, and as they leave, Riley approaches, wondering if he was in her dream. She flirtatiously admits that he was, but refuses to give details. He asks what she's doing tonight, and she blurts out, "Patrolling." She covers, saying "petroleum," which confuses Riley. He says he'll be grading papers tonight, and as they reach their parting point, he almost kisses her. Before he can, though, Buffy pipes up with, "What papers?" She realizes there should be no more papers to grade; all that's left for the class is the final. Riley covers with "late papers." She accepts that, and they go their separate ways. "Fortune favours the brave," Buffy mutters to herself.

On the phone with Buffy afterwards, Giles has written down the rhyme, and agrees to check it out, acknowledging that it could be one of her prophetic dreams. He hangs up, and asks if Spike has ever heard of The Gentlemen, but Spike, of course, is no help. Outside, Anya is arguing with Xander over whether or not he actually cares about her. They enter, and Anya continues the argument, saying, "All you care about is lots of orgasms." Xander is suitably embarrassed, but puts that aside when Giles tells him he needs Xander to keep Spike for a few days. Turns out he has a friend coming over for a few days, whom he'd like to be alone with. Anya wonders if it's "an orgasm friend," and she, Spike, and Xander complain.

At her Wicca group meeting, the girls talk about dance recitals, newsletters, and bake sales. Willow suggests that they might take an interest in doing spells, but she is scoffed at. A blond girl, Tara, looks like she's about to agree with Willow, but when the group's attention is focused on her, she gets shy and says nothing. Willow and Buffy meet back up and head back to their room, and Willow complains that all the group does is talk. She comments that she'd like to be able to float something bigger than a pencil someday. She changes the subject to Buffy and Riley, but Buffy comments that all they do is talk, as well. Willow's disappointed (she wants some "vicarious smoochies"), as is Buffy. Buffy also doesn't like that every time they talk, she has to lie to him (about slaying); she wishes she could come clean.

Over at Initiative headquarters, Riley expresses the same wish to Forrest, who reminds him it's a burden he has to bear.

That night, Xander ties Spike to the chair for the night, though Spike insists he wouldn't bite Xander anyway. Xander argues that he's very biteable, and Spike teases him about Anya.

Giles is researching when Olivia arrives, apologizing for being late. They talk for about 10 seconds before Olivia suggests that that's enough small talk; they kiss.

In the Sunnydale clock tower, some demony-looking hands open a box which looks just like the one in Buffy's dream. We see what looks like the breath being sucked out of the people of Sunnydale as they sleep; all the breath (in a fog-like form) makes its way to the clock tower and inside the box. The box is then shut, by a grinning monster like the one Buffy dreamt.

The next morning, Buffy goes to the restroom and brushes her teeth; she sees a girl crying in the hall. Willow is waking up when Buffy enters the room again, and they try to say good morning to each other. Willow at first thinks that she's gone deaf, but Buffy can't hear her, either. Buffy peers out into the hall, where students appear to be talking and freaking out, but no voices can be heard from them.

Xander, too, wakes up voiceless. He accuses Spike of doing this to him, mouthing "You did this to me," but Spike can't talk either, and brushes Xander off. Xander tries to call Buffy; she picks up the phone, but since neither of them can speak, they hang up. Spike gives him a look.

At Lowell House, Forrest gets Riley up. He puts on his shirt and they head to the elevator. The retinal scan lets them in, but the elevator balks when it doesn't hear Riley's voice. Riley tries breathing into the microphone, but it doesn't work, and the system threatens lethal countermeasures. Riley tries to input the override code, but can't remember it, and poison gas begins leaking into the elevator. The doors suddenly open, and Walsh is waiting in front of the elevator. She points at a sign: "In case of emergency, use stairwell."

At school, Tara walks into the student center, where it's dead quiet except for one girl crying. Suddenly, a student drops a glass bottle, the sound startling everyone. Tara, who appears to be looking for someone, leaves.

Buffy and Willow walk through downtown Sunnydale, holding hands. Only cars, sirens, and a dog barking can be heard. They see a group of people reading bibles, holding up a chalkboard reading, "Revelations 15:1." They also see an entrepreneur selling dry erase message boards for ten dollars each. The girls look disapproving... and show up at Giles' place, each one wearing a message board around their neck. Giles says that he doesn't know what's going on. Xander turns up the news, on which the newscaster announces that Sunnydale is quarantined until this town-wide case of "laryngitis" is cured; no one but the CDC will be allowed in or out. Buffy writes on her board that she should be in town tonight. Giles wonders why...

"Because there will be chaos," Professor Walsh types into her talking computer. She directs the guys to work in town tonight, dressed in civilian clothing, because a military presence would only make things worse. Riley wonders what's happening, and Walsh says they're looking into it.

Out in town that night, Buffy spots Riley breaking up a fight between two men. As she approaches, one of them is about to make a move, but Buffy stops him. She and Riley hug, and confirm that they're OK. They hear something shatter, and each indicates that they're headed the other way. They start to walk away, but Riley pulls Buffy back and kisses her. They kiss passionately, and Buffy watches as Riley walks away.

At the clock tower, a door opens to the outside and the Gentlemen glide out. We see six of them, gliding in pairs, and each pair is "armed" with a pair of goons "” hunched over, straitjacketed, hyperactive things. Each pair of Gentlemen, smiling away, goes a separate way. At Giles', Olivia can't sleep. She gets out of bed and goes downstairs, where she looks out the window. A Gentleman glides right in front of the window, and gives her quite a fright.

Elsewhere, two Gentlemen head to a residential house; another two head to the UCS dorms. They end up in Stevenson, but they seem to be pretty choosy about which dorm to enter, and they pass Buffy and Willow's. They finally choose one, and knock on the door. The resident wakes up and answers the door; the goons pin him down while he does his best to struggle and scream. The Gentlemen take out their scalpels, toast each other, and lean in. The camera cuts away as we hear the sound of an incision.

Later, the Gentlemen meet back at the clock tower. There are seven jars around the box; four empty and three with hearts in them. One Gentleman seems to present them to the others, and the others applaud. The first makes a modest "it's nothing" gesture.

The next day, Buffy checks out the dorm room crime scene. At Giles', Olivia has drawn an excellent sketch of the monster she saw. Giles looks at the newspaper, featuring the headlines, "15-year-old Girl Found Stabbed, Heart Was Missing" and "Brutal Slaying Shocks Silent Community." He looks at Olivia's sketch and gets an idea; he goes to his books and gets out a Fairy Tales book.

Later, the gang meets in the lecture hall at school. Giles plays some music and takes the floor as the others sit down, and he begins a show of transparencies on the overhead projector. He puts the first one up backward, and the gang signals for him to turn it around. He does; it says, "Who are the Gentlemen." The next shows a little drawing of one, and says, "They are fairy tale monsters." Next: "What do they want." Willow excitedly raises her hand and points to her chest. Xander is confused, and cups his hands in front of his chest, mouthing, "Boobies?" Giles puts up the next transparency, "Hearts." Xander catches on; Anya smirks. The next ones, with cute drawings, read: "They come to a town... they steal the voices so no one can scream... then... Giles then displays two graphic drawings of the Gentlemen cutting the heart out of someone. Buffy and Willow look at each other; Anya excitedly munches her popcorn. Giles posts, "They need seven, they have at least two," while Xander writes out on his board, "How do we kill them?" Buffy makes a fist and jerks her arm up and down repeatedly. The gang looks at her strangely. She gets a stake out of her bag and repeats the motion, stake in hand. The gang gets it; she gives them a weird look. Giles posts, "In the tales, no sword can kill them," and then, "But the Princess screamed once, and they all died." Willow gets excited again, and grabs a CD from her bag. She holds it up, and then grabs her ears and acts out pain and then choking, breaking into a goofy smile at the end. Giles presents his next statement, "Only a real human voice." Willow is disappointed. Buffy writes out, "How do I get my voice back?" Giles shrugs. He puts up, "Buffy will patrol tonight," with a little drawing of what's supposed to be Buffy. Buffy balks and gestures that he's drawn her as fat and wide-hipped. Giles isn't concerned; he gestures that she'll patrol and that the gang will research. They get up to leave, and Buffy goes to take a better look at a drawing of the bad guys.

At Initiative headquarters, Riley and some other guys suit up and arm themselves. Riley heads out on his own, and spots shadows moving up in the clock tower. He goes to investigate.

Elsewhere, we see a list of dorm residents with a Post-it note stuck to it, reading, "Willow, #214, Stevenson." Under the list is a book, open to a page titled, "Spells of Speech and Silence." Tara grabs the Post-it and some books and leaves. She heads out into the night, but hears a noise - it's the Gentlemen. She drops her books and starts to run; they give chase. Tara heads into the dorms, pounding on dorms. One girl is shown waking up, but is too scared to open the door. Tara heads to the second floor, where Willow hears her banging on doors. She goes out to investigate, just in time to be knocked down by a running Tara. Willow hurts her ankle, and sees the Gentlemen. The girls run.

Buffy, out on patrol, spots a Gentleman. Suddenly, she's attacked by one of the goons. They fight; she breaks its neck, and chases after another one. Riley goes into the clock tower and is attacked by goons. He fights. Buffy suddenly bursts in, but Riley is too busy fighting to notice her... at first. After a bit more fighting, the two end up pointing their weapons at each other. Riley stuns a goon with his taser, and the two each take one on. Riley is startled by Buffy's moves.

Over at Giles', Spike gets a cup of blood from the fridge. Drinking it cold, he vamps out and gets blood on his mouth. He takes his snack into the living room, where Anya is sleeping on the couch. Xander arrives, and sees what looks like Spike killing Anya. He rushes over and starts punching Spike, taking a while to notice that Anya has gotten up and is fine. She finally gets his attention, and the two hug and make with the smoochies. Anya is obviously convinced that Xander does care about her. Xander shrugs to Spike, and Olivia smiles at the couple... until Anya gestures to Xander that they should go have sex. At school, Willow and Tara continue to run from the Gentlemen. They run into the laundry room, but the monsters are trying to burst through the door. Willow, not strong enough to push the vending machine in front of it, tries to move it with her mind. She can't get it to do more than shake a bit, though, until Tara takes her hand. Holding hands, the girls concentrate, and the vending machine slides over, blocking the door. The girls stare at each other.

Riley and Buffy continue to fight bad guys. Buffy chases one upstairs, where she's overtaken by three goons. They hold her back while one of the Gentlemen comes at her with a scalpel. Suddenly, he's zapped by Riley. More fighting. One of the Gentlemen gets a good stab at Buffy's back, and a goon manages to hold her back again. She sees the box from her dream, and tries to indicate to Riley that he should smash it. Unfortunately, it's amongst all the jarred hearts, and Riley smashes a bottle instead, looking quite pleased with himself. A frustrated Buffy manages to correct him, and he smashes the box. A fog of voices bursts out, and when Buffy gets hers, she screams better than any movie scream queen. The Gentlemen finally stop smiling, the goons convulse on the floor, and the heads of the Gentlemen burst into green goo. Buffy and Riley stare at each other.

The next day at school, Tara explains to Willow that she'd been looking for her; Willow impressed her at the Wicca group meeting. Tara explains that she's been practicing since she was little - her "mother was [a witch] too, and she had a lot of power, like [Willow]." Willow denies that she's anything special, but Tara insists that she is. Willow smiles, as does Tara. Over at Giles', Olivia confesses that she never believed Giles about the monster stuff he told her about. He wonders if it's too scary for her, and she says she doesn't know. They look contemplative.

Riley arrives at Buffy's dorm. "Hi," he says. "Hi," says Buffy. Silence. He sits down on Willow's bed. She stares at him. "I guess we have to talk, " he finally says. "I guess we do," agrees Buffy, as she sits across from him on her own bed. They look at each other, they look around the room. They don't say a word.

Written and Directed by Joss Whedon

Original Air Date: December 14, 1999




Doomed (4.11)

We start off right where "Hush" left off: Buffy and Riley sitting in silence in Buffy's dorm. Finally, Riley blurts out, "What are you?" An irked Buffy responds that she's a Capricorn. She asks who he is, and he says that she knows who he is, but he can't tell her what he does. Buffy (having gotten info from Spike) proceeds to describe to Riley what he does. She wonders if Riley is even his name, and he reminds her that she wasn't forthcoming with the truth either. She tells him that she's the Slayer, but he's clueless as to what she's talking about it. He's in awe of her fighting, and she points out that he did pretty well, too; but he points out that he's all bruised up and she's fine. Buffy is disappointed that Riley isn't a nice, normal guy (though he insists that he is), and they agree to take a little time to process everything. As he starts to leave (after reminding Buffy not to reveal his secret), he notices the rat (Amy) acting strangely; an earthquake suddenly hits and the two run into the closet doorway. Riley's excited about his first earthquake, but Buffy looks upset, commenting that it's not her first.

Over at Xander's, the earthquake has broken a couple of pipes, causing a leak in Xander's basement. Xander is off to his new job delivering pizzas, and he orders Spike to fix the pipes, clean up the basement, and do some laundry while he's gone. Spike, none too pleased with these orders, tries to hit Xander from behind with a monkey wrench, but the pain in his head is too much for him.

Buffy is about to leave the dorm when Willow arrives, having come from the library. Willow reveals that the Porter dorm's power is out, so they plan to have an "aftershock party." Willow suggests that Buffy invite Riley, but Buffy skirts around it, saying that she's pretty sure he's busy. Buffy promises to show up at the party later, then heads off to Giles', after reassuring Willow that everything's fine. When she gets to Giles', however, she reveals that she's convinced that something big and bad is coming. This apparently stems from the fact that the last time there was an earthquake, she died. Giles dismisses Buffy's concern, as he is more interested in the Initiative - he's deduced that their headquarters may be under Buffy's school, and that one or more of the members may actually attend the school. Buffy clearly doesn't wish to discuss this, so she continues to suggest ways in which the world may be ending, much to Giles' chagrin.

Over at Initiative Headquarters, Riley asks Forrest what a Slayer is. Forrest reveals that it's a myth, and comments that demons are just animals, nothing more. Just then, a captive demon breaks loose and attacks Forrest. Riley saves him, and the two notice that the other demons are rattling in their cages. Forrest figures it's the earthquake making them act strangely.

At the aftershock party, Willow is alone and uncomfortable. She spots Percy and goes over to talk. She comments that she thought that he was going to USC on a football scholarship; he is, but his date, Laurie, attends UC Sunnydale. Laurie gives Willow her best fake smile, but it's only a moment before she whispers something in Percy's ear, dragging him away. Willow is left alone again. We see some students leave the party, and a demon hand grip the door. Cut to a nearby dorm room, where a shirtless student is mixing drinks, preparing for naked limbo. As he turns to go, a demon presents itself. The demon quickly slashes his throat, and we see the blood dripping onto the cups the boy dropped on the floor.

Willow is wondering to herself where Buffy is when she hears her name being spoken - Laurie is questioning Percy about Willow, and Percy scoffs at the idea of flirting with her. He explains that Willow is nice, but she's "captain of the nerd squad." Laurie teases that perhaps Percy has a thing for geeks, but he insists that he likes his women hot. The two kiss, and Willow walks away, hurt. She wanders into a nearby dorm room, which she presumes is empty. She lies down on the bed, pouting, and suddenly the power comes back on - revealing that Willow is accompanied on the bed by the dead boy, bloody and marked on the chest with an eerie symbol.

Xander arrives home from work to find the basement an even bigger mess. Spike speaks from behind him, telling Xander not to turn around. Xander does anyway, and finds Spike wearing his clothes "” a Hawaiian shirt and khaki shorts. Xander laughs; Spike apparently did attempt to do laundry, but shrunk his clothes. A cranky Spike orders Xander to go out and get him clothes and blood, but Xander's had enough. He points out to Spike that he's not the "Big Bad" anymore, and that he's not even worth Xander's energy to kick his "shiny white bum." Xander stalks off, leaving Spike speechless.

Buffy arrives at the now-over party, and finds Willow, who explains what happened (that she found a dead guy, and that Percy said she was a nerd). The two head to Giles' to report on the murdered student.

Forrest and Riley are playing Nerf basketball in Riley's room, but Riley's mind is clearly elsewhere. He brings up Buffy, annoying Forrest, who's obviously sick of hearing about her. Graham arrives, alerting the guys to the murder at the aftershock party. He couldn't get close enough to determine if it was demon-related, so Riley says that he'll investigate while they report to Walsh.

Over at Giles', the gang has assembled and is discussing both Percy (who, Xander points out, would still be in high school if it wasn't for Willow) and the dead guy. Willow reveals that the victim was propped up, as though whatever killed him and drained his blood, probably taking some with it. Willow shows Giles her sketch of the symbol, and Giles reveals that the end of the world is coming. Buffy reminds him that she told him so, and announces that she's going to stop it. She goes to the cemetery, where she finds the dead boy's symbol on the side of a mausoleum. She hears a noise inside, and goes in to find a demon stealing the bones of a child's skeleton. They fight until he slams her backward over a tombstone, and while she catches her breath, he runs away. Buffy spots a shadow above her, and bounces back up, fists ready. Riley blocks her, impressed with her moves. She wonders why he didn't follow the demon, and he comments that he's no Slayer "” he's got no weapons or backup, and that's one big demon. Riley notifies the Initiative guys over his walkie-talkie, and then attempts to talk to Buffy. She tells him that she can't be with him, because there's too much risk and it would be doomed. Riley doesn't understand, but he argues that he's not going to walk away because it might not work. Buffy isn't swayed, arguing that what he does is a job and an adventure, but what she does is her destiny. He argues that she can change things, but she walks away, firmly telling him that her answer is no.

The next day, the gang finds the demon in a book - it's a Vahrall demon. Riley is sharing what little information he has with the Initiative, as well. The gang figures out that the demon needs something called the Word of Valios, along with three sacrifices (plus the blood and bones he already has), in order to perform a world-ending ritual. Riley reveals that the demon leaves major traces of pheromones wherever he goes, so they'll be using an invention of Forrest's (a pheromone detector) to track it. Riley orders them to go out in "civvies" (their civilian clothes) and to keep their weapons hidden in bags until nightfall. Buffy and crew, assuming the Word of Valios is a book, head off to look at the magic shop and the book archives at the museum. Giles stays behind to keep researching.

Willow and Xander stop at his place to get Xander a clean shirt, and they walk in on Spike trying to stake himself. Xander offers to do it for him, but Willow won't stand for it. Spike asks if he's even remotely scary anymore, and Willow points out that the clothes don't help. Willow insists that he come with them, not wanting to leave him alone.

That evening, Buffy runs into Riley on the street. He tells her that this "you and me thing" is stupid, and she agrees, citing that that's why they can't do it. But he meant that she was stupid, which doesn't flatter her into changing her mind. He insists that if she always looks at life with her "doom and gloom mentality," things will turn out just as she expects. He points out that they're job is rewarding, and fun, and Buffy notifies him that too much fun on the job gets people into comas. Riley points out to her that there will always be evil, but people get through it by having someone to get through it with. He realizes that her behavior isn't only about the job thing, but that there was probably "some good-looking guy who done [her] wrong," and that she wants to stay down in the dark place because it's safer there. She accuses him of being out of line, and insists that if she's too scared to give it a try, then that's her business. She orders him to leave her alone, and he does, stalking off to leave her with her head hanging.

Spike, Willow, and Xander leave the museum, having found nothing. Spike begins to rail on Willow and Xander, insisting that they're useless geeks, and that Buffy only keeps them around because she's too much of a softie to let them go. Spike smirks, proud of his remarks.

Meanwhile, Giles comes upon a picture of the Word of Valios. It's not a book, it's a talisman - one that Giles happens to have in a box right in his house. He grabs it and prepares to leave, but three Vahrall demons arrive and attack him before he can escape. We cut to an outside shot of Giles' place, still hearing the sounds of him being beaten up. Later, Buffy arrives, the rest of the gang having gotten there first. Giles, who got quite a beating, explains that he got it at a sorcerer's estate sale; he thought it was a fake, and never looked at it again. He reveals that the demons are going to open the Hellmouth in the Sunnydale High School library.

The gang arrives at the SHS ruins, Spike included. Buffy's not exactly keen on having Spike there, but she allows it. She orders them to look for the three sacrifices, making sure they get them out alive. They head to the library, Xander stepping on "Mayor meat" along the way. They find the crater that used to be the library, and see the three demons beginning the ritual around a big crack in the ground (presumably leading into the Hellmouth). Buffy charges in and begins fighting; Xander gets the vial of blood, and Willow gets the bones. She tosses them to Spike, who's not thrilled with that development. Xander fights a demon, who suddenly jumps into the crack in the ground. The ground begins to tremble, and Xander realizes and shouts to the gang that the demons are the sacrifices. Spike is getting whaled on by a demon, until Spike finally gets fed up. He gathers up all his strength and hits the demon over the head, expecting pain. He feels nothing, though, and realizes that he can hurt demons. He vamps out and promptly begins kicking ass. He picks up the demon and, despite Xander and Willow's shouts not to, tosses the demon into the hole in the ground. The earth trembles more, and Buffy orders the gang to get out. Spike gets knocked out, but Xander grabs him. Suddenly, Riley appears, helping Buffy with the last demon. It manages to sneak into the hole, though, so Riley hooks Buffy up to a tether and lets her go in after it. He pulls her out, demon in hand. The ground trembles again, and then stops, as the demon dies.

Riley sees the rest of the gang, claiming he was just passing by. Willow wonders about his G.I. Joe outfit, and he nervously explains that he was playing paintball. They don't buy it, and Xander comments that Riley is one of the commandos. Riley claims innocence, and then changes the subject when he thinks he recognizes Spike. Spike dons an impressively horrible Mid-Western American accent (there's a sound clip in the Quotes Page), claiming to be an old friend of Xander's. They all start to leave, and Willow comments that the school seems smaller.

The next day, Buffy visits Riley. He reveals that he's a dead man, pointing out that his excuses to the Scooby gang were see-through. He figures that his secret is out and it's the end of the world. He sits down on the bed, and Buffy steps in front of him. "No, it's not," she states, and she leans down and kisses him passionately.

Over at Xander's, he and Willow are trying to watch TV, but Spike won't have it. He thinks they should go out and kick some demon ass. The two stare at him in blank-faced awe and patriotic music plays while Spike encourages them to go out and fight the forces of evil. "Let's kill something," he exclaims. Cut to Joss' Executive Producer credit as we hear Spike: "Oh, come on!"

Written by Marti Noxon & David Fury & Jane Espenson ~ Directed by James A. Contner

Original Air Date: Janauary 18, 2000




A New Man (4.12)

A Buffy-Riley makeout session starts us off this week. They take a breath to confirm that Willow will be out all night, and just as Riley's moving on up under Buffy's shirt, Willow bursts in. She's frantic: a fire-breathing demon just burst into the rec room! Buffy hands Riley a crossbow and gets a stake ready. She opens the door of the dark rec room - suddenly the lights turn on, and Buffy's attacked with shouts of "Surprise!"

Giles is regaling Xander and Anya with stories of his youth, but Anya blurts out that she's bored and wants to eat. Xander makes her apologize for her rudeness, but Giles dismisses them and is left alone with his cake. A bit later, a perky Willow comes over, bringing him more cake. He mentions that there are some new faces here; she explains that they're kids from the dorm and a couple of Riley's friends. Just then, a giddy Buffy comes over, dragging Riley behind her. She hugs Giles and introduces Riley as her boyfriend. Riley tries admirably to make small talk, but slips up a bit when he presumes that Giles is retired. Buffy, not noticing the cake that Giles has set down, sends Riley off to get him some. Buffy thanks Giles for the party, but he admits that Willow and Xander planned it; he figures Buffy has enough things jumping out at her in the dark. This reminds Buffy of something Professor Walsh said, and she gushes that Walsh is "absolutely the smartest person" that Buffy's ever met. Giles, thinly veiling his hurt feelings, suggests that perhaps they should have invited Professor Walsh to the party. Buffy disagrees, though, because Walsh is "like, forty. She's got better things to do than hang out with a bunch of kids." To add insult to injury, Riley arrives just then with cake, calling Giles "sir."

The next day, Spike is preparing to leave Xander's basement; the gang is apparently going to let him move out on his own. He's thinking about getting a crypt, but Anya points out that he might want electricity to keep his blood fresh in a refrigerator. She suggests a hotel room, and Spike likes the idea, hitting Xander up for money. That's a no-go, but Anya does try to give Spike a lamp of Xander's as a housewarming gift (she read about the tradition). Xander points out that that tradition is for friends, not enemies. Spike wonders why Buffy didn't come say goodbye, and Xander reveals that she had an appointment with someone who's "actually still scary."

Cut to Professor Walsh, telling Buffy that they thought she was a myth. Walsh figures that only their methods differ; with the Initiative using magnificent technology, and Buffy poking them with sharp sticks. Walsh figures that they can learn a lot from each other, and is trying to get Buffy clearance to come into the Initiative. In an effort to impress Buffy, she prompts Riley to share his count of demons he's captured or killed (a whopping seventeen). Buffy feigns being impressed, and Walsh asks, "How many Hostiles would you say you've slain?" Buffy looks around the room...

Giles is dusting his bookshelf, and picks up a book. Flipping through the pages, he suddenly realizes that tonight is "the third new moon after the 900th feast of Delthrox." A moment later, he's on the phone with Willow, telling her that the demon prince Barvain is going to rise tonight, and they can't wait for Buffy.

Buffy and Riley are taking a walk, and she's just finished sharing some of her war stories. Riley is quite in awe, but Buffy reassures him that he'd have a bigger resume, too, if he'd been fighting since he was fifteen. That impresses him, too, but she reminds him that she does have "that whole preternatural Slayer-strength deal." Still, Riley counters, "I'm not even sure I could take you." Buffy looks up at him coyly: "That all depends on your meaning." Riley smiles.

Walsh is in her office, and is interrupted by Giles. He introduces himself as a friend of Buffy's (and her high school librarian), and wonders if she's seen her. She hasn't, but Giles makes a bit of conversation, commenting that Buffy quotes Walsh a lot, almost sounding like an introductory textbook. Walsh takes offense to this, commenting that she doesn't lecture from the textbook, but does state that Buffy is bright, and only lacking academic encouragement. Giles counters that it's best to let a young person find their own strength, but Walsh dismisses the idea. Giles insists that once you get to know her, Buffy is a very unique girl. Walsh agrees: she is a unique woman, but she's too self-reliant and independent, which are bad qualities in Walsh's book. Walsh feels that Buffy's problems stem from the absence of a strong father figure. Giles is floored by this, and is then dismissed by Walsh.

Giles, Willow and Xander head off to take care of the demon prince Barvain, worried that they're late. They get to the mausoleum where the rising was to take place, but there's no sign of damage. Willow and Xander figure that perhaps Riley and the Initiative got there first, and already cleaned up. Giles is confused; it turns out that Buffy didn't tell him that Riley was a commando. Giles is quite perturbed to learn that everyone knew but him, and he's even more upset when they reveal that Walsh is in charge. A depressed Giles sends Willow and Xander on their way and sits down to wait in case the demon rises. He gives up shortly, though, and leaves. After he leaves, Ethan Rayne steps out of the shadows, commenting that something interesting is about to happen. Giles, having heard a voice, comes back in, startling Ethan: "Oh, bugger, I thought you'd gone!" Giles is almost glad to see Ethan, as giving him a thrashing should do wonders for Giles' mood. Ethan holds him off, though, convincing Giles that he has important information about something bad that's coming; something for which Giles will need time to prepare.

Giles and Ethan are in a bar, having ordered a couple of draft beers. Ethan tells Giles that something is harming demons, and they're scared. Something called 314 is scaring them the most; "the kind of scared that turns to angry." This new outfit is butting in where it doesn't belong, throwing the worlds out of balance, and Ethan predicts that they're headed for one hell of a fight.

Buffy and Riley are sparring, practicing their moves in what is presumably the college gymnasium. The two admit that they're holding back, and agree to go all out. It only takes a moment for Buffy to get in a kick to the chest that sends him flying across the room. He insists that he's not hurt, though he looks rather pained, and Buffy apologizes profusely.

Back at the bar, Giles is now quite drunk. He begins rambling about Maggie Walsh and her "nancy ninja boys." Ethan gives his number to the none-too-thrilled waitress, and Giles goes on, complaining that he's nothing but "an unemployed librarian with a tendency to get knocked on the head." Ethan tells him he won't have to worry about that for long, as he has poisoned Giles' drink and he'll be dead in an hour. They stare at each other. "Just kidding," laughs Ethan, and the two crack up. Giles comments that he's gonna feel like hell in the morning, but Ethan encourages him to relax "” the night is still their time; a time of magic. The two toast "to magic" and Giles downs a shot.

Elsewhere, in what we can only assume is Tara's house, Willow and Tara have gotten together at Willow's urging. Willow's idea is for them to do a spell together, in which they will make a rose float, and then use their minds cooperatively to pluck the petals off, one at a time. The spell is a "test of synchronicity," to see if their minds are attuned to each other. The girls close their eyes and hold hands, sitting across from each other with the rose in between them. A breeze begins to blow, and the rose floats up. The girls notice, but when they're about to begin the petal part, the rose begins flying violently around the room, eventually landing on the floor, the petals gone and the stem smoking. The girls wonder what the heck that was about.

The next day, an alarm goes off. Giles, hidden beneath the covers, turns it off and mumbles that he feels like hell. He goes downstairs, and when he reaches the bottom, he spots himself in a mirror; he's a large, ugly, horned demon. He hits the wall in frustration, and punches right through it. As he makes his way through the house, he breaks everything he touches, including the phone when he tries to make a phone call; probably to find out where Ethan is, as he quickly realizes who's to blame for this. Giles tries to put on a shirt, but rips it, so he throws a blanket over himself and heads out the door, pulling it right off the hinges.

Buffy and Willow are having breakfast, and Willow comments on how fun she is when she has a new boyfriend. Buffy wonders where Willow was last night, and Willow lies that she was in the chemistry lab by herself. She does tell Buffy about the rose spell, remarking that it seemed as though there was some powerful "dark majicks energy" blocking the spell. Buffy thinks perhaps she'll tell Walsh about it, as she is interested in the mystical side of things, but Willow advises that she go to Giles. Willow explains that Giles is feeling neglected and "out of the loopy," due to not having been told about Riley and the Initiative. Buffy, who thought that she did tell Giles, promises to make it up to him tomorrow, as she's spending today with Riley. Buffy tells Willow about how she kicked Riley across the room, and Willow thinks that Buffy should never hold back with Riley or pretend that she's less than she is. Buffy agrees, but admits that she was still holding back a little.

Giles heads over to Xander's, and enters the basement from outside. Xander's still asleep, much to Giles' surprise (it's 10:30 a.m.). Giles tries to wake him up, telling him not to be alarmed when he opens his eyes, because Ethan has turned him into a demon. Xander wakes up to find a demon above him, speaking in garbled demon language. Xander begins to shout and throw pots and pans at Giles, while Giles shouts that it's him, Giles. Xander hears only demon shouting, though, and Giles finally runs out. As he runs through the neighborhood, neighbors scream at the sight of him.

That evening (we can only presume that Buffy was occupied at school and/or that Xander had to work that afternoon), the gang heads to Giles to seek advice about the demon that "attacked" Xander. However, they find his front door removed, his house a disaster, and him not home. They conclude that the demon has been there, too, and must have taken Giles. Anya, seeing Giles' ripped shirt, opines that that demon may have "ate him up."

Giles is walking through the cemetery when he happens upon Spike, who's measuring a crypt (potential living quarters). Giles prepares to fight him, talking to himself, but Spike understands him. Spike reveals that Giles is a Fyarl demon, and that he's therefore speaking Fyarl, which Spike happens to understand. Giles explains that Ethan did this, and agrees to pay Spike $200 to help him find Ethan. Spike offers to go tell Buffy what's happened, but Giles wants to get this taken care of without Buffy ever knowing that anything happened.

Over at Giles' apartment, the gang hears a gate squeak outside, and Buffy stands at the door, stake ready. Riley enters "” the Initiative's tap into the 911 system made them suspect demon action here, as neighbors had called about the ruckus at Giles' place. Buffy explains that Giles is missing, and Riley tenderly reassures her that he and the whole Initiative will help.

Spike is driving Giles around in his Citroen, and Giles is shouting at Spike, who's having a bit of trouble with the beat up old car. Spike tells Giles that Fyarl demons are very strong, and that they have paralyzing, hard-as-rock mucous (but not sizzling eye beams, as Giles hoped). Giles growls, grumbling that he feels as though he's filled with anger, rage, and the mindless need to destroy. Spike encourages him to go with it, but Giles refuses; he's a human with a conscience. Suddenly, Giles interrupts his lecture on morality, ordering Spike to stop the car. He does, and Giles jumps out; he's spotted Professor Walsh on the street, and he proceeds to roar at her and chase her screaming down the street.

The gang finally finds a picture of Xander's demon in a book, and Willow proceeds to describe them. Riley gets a call on his cell phone, while Willow reads that the demon can be killed with a weapon made of silver. Riley hangs up, and announces that the demon jumped out a gray Citroen and attacked Walsh. The gang concludes that, oddly enough, the demon stole Giles' car. Buffy reasons that someone must be controlling the demon, and Willow agrees that if someone was using magic to do so, that could have caused her rose spells to go wrong, as she mentioned earlier. Buffy orders Willow and Xander to stay there, and she and Riley head to the magic shop to see if anyone got supplies for such a thing. Buffy first grabs a silver letter opener with which to kill the demon.

At the bar, Spike coaxes the waitress to whom Ethan gave his number to tell him where Ethan was staying.

Buffy breaks into the magic shop downtown, and Riley scolds her; he has a master key that opens every shop on Main Street. Buffy quickly finds a receipt showing that Ethan Rayne was there, and figures that he's gotta be behind this. Riley makes a call to have Ethan's name compared with local hotel registrations, but then tells Buffy that Walsh gave him strict orders not to take Buffy with him when the demon was located. "Oh," says Buffy, and she heads for the car anyway. Riley insists that he can't take her with him, but she puts him in his place: "You're not taking me with you. I am going and I am letting you come along." She will not be dissuaded, and Riley can only follow her out to his car.

Giles and Spike head for Ethan's motel, when suddenly two Humvees appear behind them. They realize that it's the Initiative, and Giles panics, breaking the car window. Giles orders spike to slow down so he can jump out, figuring the Initiative will keep following Spike. Spike's not too keen on that idea, but Giles offers him another hundred dollars; at the next corner, Giles rolls out, and the Humvees keep after the car. A moment later, Giles bursts through the door of Ethan's hotel room, interrupting his packing. Giles attacks, while Ethan tries to talk him out of killing him. Buffy and Riley arrive just then, and Ethan tells Buffy that the demon killed Giles.

Meanwhile, Spike's maneuvering the Citroen quite well, looking as though he might be able to lose them. But as he looks at them in his rearview mirror, he crashes the car at the end of an alley.

Back at the motel, Riley takes on Ethan while Buffy goes at it with Giles. Buffy gains the upper hand, straddling Giles and raising her letter opener. "This is for Giles," she declares, and she brings down the letter opener, shoving it into his chest. As she does, she looks into his widened eyes and realizes that it's Giles. She apologizes profusely and begs him not to die. He speaks ("Actually I feel quite well"), and though she doesn't understand him, she thinks he's OK. "Is this thing real silver?" she wonders.

It's a bit later, and Giles has been turned back, although he still looks strange, as he's wearing a rather loud shirt of Ethan's. Buffy asks if Giles is OK; he tells her that he's mostly just embarrassed (and that Ethan's shirt isn't helping). He wonders how Buffy knew it was him, and she reveals that his eyes proved it "” no one else could look that annoyed with her. Ethan decides it's time for him to go, and since Buffy can't kill a human, he figures she has no choice. Just then, some military police enter, cuffing Ethan and taking him into custody "by the authority of the U.S. Military” pending a determination of [his] status." Riley states that they'll take Ethan to a secret detention facility in the Nevada desert, where he'll be "rehabilitated." A practically giddy Giles goes out to watch them manhandle him, and Buffy thanks Riley for his help. Riley tells Buffy that she's really strong, and that she's in charge; no one gives her orders. "I'm the Slayer," Buffy shrugs. "I like it," confirms Riley; though he predicts that he'll be able to take her down after a week or so of preparation. The two smile at each other.

The next day, Giles is hooking up his new cordless phone, commenting pointedly that one could call him on it and tell him any information that he needed to know. Buffy apologizes for not having told him about Riley and the Initiative, insisting that she thought she did, and promises to tell him everything in the future. Giles shares his concern that Ethan may not be wrong about the Initiative, and Buffy points out that she's dating Riley, not the Initiative, and she wonders if Giles' comments arise from the fact that he hates Walsh. Giles insists that that's not the case, though he does admit to hating her. He just wants Buffy to keep her eyes open and make sure she knows what she's getting into.

Over at IHQ (Initiative Headquarters), Walsh complains that the rules all broke when Buffy entered the picture, and Riley confirms that. Walsh warns Riley that Buffy reacts on instinct, in undisciplined, and has uncertain loyalties. Riley argues that Buffy's good at what she does (plus, she has the truest soul Riley's ever known, which gets an actual laugh out of Walsh). Walsh admits that Riley's probably right that Buffy will work out in the Initiative, and he walks away. Walsh uses an id card to get into a secured door, and walks to another secured door, letting herself in with the card and a security code. She enters, and we can see a metal contraption, along with what could be a covered body on a gurney. The door falls shut behind her, and we see the number stenciled on the door: 314.

Written by Jane Espenson ~ Directed by Michael Gershman

Original Air Date: January 25, 2000




The I In Team (4.13)

While Willow and Xander try to introduce Anya to the challenges of poker, Maggie Walsh applauds Buffy's latest training exercise with the Initiative's top agents. In less than a minute, Buffy manages to overcome Riley's squad with nothing but her own two hands and feet.

At the cafeteria the next morning, Buffy and Willow tell each other about the previous night. After Riley walks in, Willow makes sure that Buffy remembers their planned get-together at the Bronze later that evening. Meanwhile, Giles pays a visit to Spike's new home in the cemetery. Giles tries to motivate him towards joining their cause, but the only thing that Spike is interested in is the money that Giles owes him. Swearing off any future relations with the good guys, Spike orders Giles to leave. Later, Riley accompanies Buffy on her first trip into the Initiative laboratory beneath the surface of Sunnydale. Upon stepping out of the elevator, Buffy marvels at the vastness of the facility. Maggie Walsh greets them and escorts them to the central testing area, which is called the Pit. Buffy notices an unfamiliar pair of demons that are being observed by scientists, and Riley tells her about the difficulty of their capture. By the armory, Maggie shows Buffy a communication camera headset prototype that also reads the heart rate of whoever is wearing it. After the tour, Maggie issues a pager to Buffy in order to alert her to any future missions. Once the Slayer is gone, Maggie enters the restricted-access 314 lab, where Dr. Angleman is working on their secret project: a hideous biological weapon that they are creating out of various demon body parts. Named Adam, his completion is not too far away.

Meanwhile, Tara gives Willow a gift in the form of a rare Dolls-Eye crystal. When Tara explains that it once belonged to her grandmother, Willow respectfully turns down the offer. Tara then invites Willow to hang out at her dorm room later that night. Having made prior engagements with Buffy and the others, Willow regretfully turns down a disappointed Tara once again. At the Bronze, Buffy arrives late with Riley, whose friends tag along. Willow wonders if Buffy needs to slow things down and be more cautious, seeing how they still know very little about the Initiative and how Ethan Rayne's 314 warning factors into any of this. Before their conversation gets very far, the incessant beeping of the pagers pulls Buffy, Riley, and the others out of the Bronze and back to the laboratory. With Xander and Anya off on their own, Willow heads over to Tara's dorm.

During the mission briefing, Maggie and Dr. Angleman explain the squad's objective. They must capture a Polgara demon, which defends itself with bone skewers that extend from its arms. Dr. Angleman makes it perfectly clear that they must leave the demon's arms unharmed, which prompts a series of curious questions from Buffy. Afterwards, Riley assigns Forrest and Graham to head the Beta team, while Buffy accompanies him on the Alpha team. Out on patrol, Graham spots Spike walking through the woods. Failing to capture him with a net, Graham fires a tracking device into Spike's back as he makes his getaway. Distracted by Forrest's call on the radio, the Polgara demon takes Riley by surprise. Buffy rushes in to attack, while Riley and another agent ready their tasers. A drop kick to the demon's chest by Buffy gives them the opening they need, and soon the Polgara demon is stunned into submission. Stimulated by the fight, Buffy and Riley spend the night together in bed, consummating their relationship under the watchful eye of a hidden surveillance camera in the ceiling of Riley's room. Unbeknownst to either Buffy or Riley, Maggie Walsh sits in a secret room, watching their lovemaking on a monitor.

Pleased to wake up next to Riley in the morning, Buffy revels in her newfound happiness. When Buffy asks Riley if he knows anything about 314, the ringing of the telephone immediately breaks up their moment. Reporting in for duty, Riley stops outside the restricted-access security door. Curious about what Buffy said, he peers through the window and sees another door with the same number inscribed on it. Interrupting Riley's investigation, Maggie orders him to lead the Beta team in recapturing Spike. Once Riley leaves, Maggie informs Dr. Angleman that Buffy is apparently aware of their secret experiment. While Maggie prepares their back-up plan, Dr. Angleman completes the amputation of the Polgara demon's left arm. On the surface, Spike retreats to Giles' apartment for help. When Xander identifies the object in Spike's back as a tracking device, they conclude that the Initiative will be on their doorstep in no time. Meanwhile, Buffy returns to her room and finds that Willow's bed hasn't been slept in. Willow arrives shortly, but another series of beeps from Buffy's pager prevents the two from going into any detail regarding the events of the previous night. After Buffy takes off, Willow gets a call from Giles, who requests her assistance. At the apartment, Willow recites a spell that ionizes the surrounding atmosphere, thus obscuring the tracer's signal. As soon as Giles successfully removes the tracking device, Xander flushes it down the toilet, bringing an abrupt end to Beta team's mission.

In the Initiative lab, Maggie briefs Buffy on a basic reconnaissance mission. After notifying her of a possible hostile roaming the sewers, Maggie equips Buffy with the com-cam prototype and a taser. Soon after beginning her mission, Buffy detects the target heading towards her from up ahead. When two axe-wielding demons step around the corner and confront Buffy, she immediately recognizes them from the Pit at the Initiative laboratory. Realizing that something is up, Buffy aims her taser and pulls the trigger. Instead of firing an immobilizing bolt, the weapon short-circuits in Buffy's hands, forcing her to drop it. In an instant, a steel gate drops behind Buffy, sealing off her escape route. As Buffy engages the demons in hand-to-hand combat, Maggie watches the struggle via the com-cam headset. During the struggle, Buffy's headset is knocked off her head and falls to the ground. The view from the camera, along with the terminated heart rate, leads Maggie believe that Buffy has been successfully eliminated. Back in the sewers, Buffy lures one of the demons into taking a careless swing with his axe. Buffy dodges the weapon, which sinks into the chest of the other demon. With one down and one to go, Buffy disarms her opponent, sending the axe into the nearby water canal. However, the demon strikes back, knocking Buffy to the ground before retrieving his axe. Noticing that the taser is still short-circuiting, Buffy grabs the sabotaged weapon and throws it into the canal. In seconds, the demon is electrocuted to death.

When Riley returns from his failed recovery mission, Maggie informs him that Buffy is dead. Unable to comprehend what he's hearing, Riley is overwhelmed with grief. Suddenly, his eyes fall on the set of monitors behind Maggie, which show Buffy adjusting the com-cam to a suitable angle. Maggie's act is cut short by the sound of Buffy's voice, and she turns to hear the Slayer threaten her with payback. Realizing his boss' deception, Riley leaves the premises, refusing to acknowledge Maggie's orders to stop. Back at Giles' apartment, Spike vows to stay in Sunnydale until something is done about the implant in his head. Buffy arrives shortly afterwards, and she tells the others that the Initiative is not what it seems.

Inside the 314 lab, a furious Maggie Walsh paces around the motionless body of Adam. She declares her intent to get Riley back and get rid of the Slayer once and for all. Suddenly, a sharp pain rips through Maggie's chest. When she looks down, she recognizes the tip of a bone skewer protruding from her chest. Moments away from death, Maggie slowly looks over her shoulder to see Adam standing behind her. As Maggie drops to the floor, Adam looks down at her now-lifeless body and affectionately says, "Mommy."

Written by David Fury ~ Directed by James A. Contner

Original Air Date: February 8, 2000




Goodbye Iowa (4.14)

After Buffy details the events in the sewers, Spike suggests that Riley is probably in on it. The others offer their own opinions, but Buffy refuses to believe that Riley knew anything about Maggie's plot. As far as Maggie's reasons go, they surmise that Buffy must have been getting too close to something, such as the significance of 314. Deciding that all of their lives are in danger from the Initiative, Buffy orders the gang to stay in Xander's place for the time being. Just as Giles objects to this course of action, Riley arrives at the apartment to see if Buffy is okay. Buffy tries to explain what happened to her, but Riley has trouble buying the fact that Maggie or the rest of Initiative is hiding something. However, Spike's presence distracts Riley from the subject at hand. Finally recognizing the vampire, Riley turns the tables on Buffy, demanding her excuse for harboring a known target of the Initiative. Spike takes off, leaving Buffy and her friends to focus Riley on the more important matter at hand. Still in denial, Riley leaves on his own.

Emerging from the underground lab and onto the surface for the first time, Adam slowly takes in his surroundings. Adam soon comes upon a lone young boy in the woods. When the boy's curiosity falls on the bone skewer in Adam's left arm, a knowing grin forms on the face of Maggie's creation. The next morning, Buffy and the gang greet the new day with a news report on the television regarding the brutal murder and mutilation of a young boy in the woods. When the reporter mentions a skewer as the probably murder weapon, Buffy assumes that Maggie sent the Polgara demon after her. Meanwhile, Dr. Angleman enters the 314 lab and tries to find his way in the darkness. Slipping on a pool of blood, Angleman immediately spots the body of Maggie Walsh. On the surface, Forrest grills a returning Riley with inquiries regarding the previous night. Taking Forrest into his room for privacy, Riley admits his conclusion that Maggie tried to have Buffy killed. However, Forrest won't believe that Maggie's reasons were anything but legitimate. Forrest goes on to express his feeling that Buffy probably deserved whatever Maggie had in mind for her. Just as their debate begins to heat up, Graham interrupts the scene with news of Maggie's death.

The sight of his murdered mentor is almost too much for Riley to bear, as Forrest attributes her fatal wound to the act of a wooden stake. Seriously disturbed by this accusation, Riley challenges Forrest. Dr. Angleman breaks the two apart, demanding a moment of respect for their fallen comrade. Riley and Forrest listen as Dr. Angelman mentions the recent escape of the Polgara demon. Angleman then informs Riley and the rest of the team that the government has ordered them to cease all operations until further notification. Knowing that Dr. Angleman has no real authority over them, Riley orders his troops to patrol the entire town of Sunnydale and permanently eliminate the Polgara demon. At the cemetery, Forrest and Graham inspect Spike's crypt, but they leave without locating the vampire's hidden resting place. Buffy, in the meantime, arrives at the crime scene to search for any traces of the Polgara demon's trail. Riley arrives shortly and informs Buffy of Maggie's death. Back at UC Sunnydale, Willow stops by Tara's room. After they discuss the spells they performed all-night recently, Willow suggests that they perform another spell, one that would conjure the goddess Thespia to locate any demonic energy in the area. After constructing a basic map of the town on the floor, Willow pours a handful of the potion into her hand and Tara's. While Willow blows her portion onto the map as the spell requires them to do so, Tara stashes her handful of the potion under her bed. When Willow opens her eyes, she believes that the spell was a total failure.

Meanwhile, Buffy pays a visit to Willy's bar, hoping to get some information on the whereabouts of the Polgara demon. However, Willy hasn't heard anything about the demon since it was originally captured by Buffy and the Initiative. As Buffy turns her line of questioning to the Initiative and 314, Riley walks in and immediately spots Buffy. Further confused by Buffy's apparent socialization with demons, Riley demands answers from the Slayer. Buffy notices the uncontrollable trembling in Riley's hands, which forcefully grab her by the shoulders. When a woman tries to leave the scene, Riley draws his gun and levels it at the frightened patron's head. Buffy and Willy try to talk him out of it, but Riley cannot manage to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad, anymore. Finally, Riley lowers his gun and slumps onto the counter, allowing the terrified woman to make a hasty exit. After Buffy brings him back to Xander's apartment, Riley struggles to understand what is happening to him. As Riley declares the loss of everything he's ever held to be true, Buffy notices a crimson rash on his hand. Riley's nails continuously scratch at the rash, and Buffy pulls his hands apart. Pulling a scarf from her hair, Buffy wraps the garment over Riley's wounded hand before getting him to rest. By the laundry machines, Giles and Anya tell Buffy of the inconsistencies between the young boy's murder and the documented behavioral patterns of the Polgara demon. Suspicious of Riley's deteriorating physical condition, Buffy believes that there is more to it than grief. She asks Xander to accompany her on an investigation of the Initiative laboratory.

After Buffy passes the retinal scan and gains entrance to the main elevator, she changes into a scientist's lab coat and glasses while Xander wears the fatigues he's been keeping in his basement. As they roam through the facility, Buffy and Xander overhear a conversation between Dr. Angleman and another scientist. According to them, the Initiative soldiers have been fed performance-enhancing chemicals unknowingly through their food. Since Riley dispatched the team that morning, the soldiers have been experiencing severe withdrawal. Most of the soldiers have returned to the lab, but Dr. Angleman insists that they find Riley soon, due to his vital importance to their project. Back at Giles' apartment, Riley abruptly gets out of bed and asks for Buffy. When he realizes that Buffy has infiltrated the Initiative, Riley gets dressed and heads for the stairs. Willow tries to block off his exit, but Riley shoves her to the floor and heads up the stairs. In the lab, Buffy and Xander follow Dr. Angleman through a security door and confront him inside the room. When Dr. Angleman tries to warn Buffy that her presence has probably been alerted to security by now, Riley appears with news that the security monitors are currently off-line. Buffy turns her attention back to Angleman, who confesses that Maggie was responsible for the attack on the Slayer. When Dr. Angelman begins to reveal the details of Project 314, Riley decides that he's heard enough and doesn't want Maggie's memory to be tainted by these accusations. Buffy tries to convince him that she's only after the truth, but Riley's psychosis has reached the point where he believes his own girlfriend is responsible for everything that has happened recently. Before their argument can escalate, the body of a soldier hits the floor not too far from where they are standing. Buffy, Riley, Xander, and Dr. Angleman look up to see Adam, who has returned to his place of creation.

Dropping down to the floor below, Adam pulls from his pocket a stack of computer disks that he retrieved from the lab. Inserting them into a disk drive in his chest one by one, Adam recalls files that detail his own existence as a "kinematically redundant, biomechanical demonoid". After inserting a disk labeled "Finn", Adam tells Riley how the two of them are connected in the eyes of the late Maggie Walsh. While Maggie literally constructed Adam with various parts of humans, demons, and machines, Professor Walsh was also responsible for creating Riley. Although Riley has a true biological family in Iowa, it wasn't until he met Maggie Walsh that he started his path to becoming the soldier that he is today, due in part to the chemicals that he was fed daily. When Adam offers to disclose the full scope of Maggie's plan for the two of them, Riley puts a stop to the back story by aiming his gun at the creature. In a blinding instant, Adam shoves the gun aside, knocks Buffy to the floor, and sends Riley flying across the room with a thunderous punch. After flooring Xander easily, Adam extracts his bone skewer and drives it through a fleeing Angleman, who dies instantly. Riley makes another attempt to fight, but Adam quickly stabs the soldier's torso with his bloody skewer. Down for the count, Riley can only watch as Buffy tries her hand at fighting Adam. Unfortunately, her blows have virtually no effect on Adam, who crushes her to the floor once again. As the rest of the Initiative squad tries to bust into the room, Adam escapes through a ceiling vent. Just as his feet disappear into the shaft, the rest of the team barges in, completely unaware of the departed Adam. Riley confirms Buffy's story that Adam was responsible for his own injury as well as Dr. Angleman's murder. While the troops launch a search for the creature, Forrest orders Buffy to back off and let them take Riley to a military hospital.

Elsewhere, Spike waltzes in to Willy's bar for a drink. However, Spike gets a greeting in the form of a severe beating from several of the demon patrons. Disgusted with Spike's apparent alliance with the Slayer, the demons threaten the vampire outcast with a merciless death if he doesn't wise up soon. The next morning, Buffy and Willow try to figure out what to do about Adam, while also wondering about Riley's fate. Buffy fears that her boyfriend is completely alone in the Initiative infirmary, but such is not the case, for Riley still has her scarf wrapped around his hand to motivate a quick recovery.

Written by Marti Noxon ~ Directed by David Solomon

Original Air Date: February 15, 2000




This Year's Girl (4.15)

In a sundrenched dream, Buffy visits the comatose Faith through some sort of telepathic connection she shares with her fellow slayer. Just when they seem to be getting along, Faith motions her stomach. The knife Buffy stabbed her with still protrudes, dripping with blood. Meanwhile, in Xander's basement, Buffy, Willow and Giles discuss how to destroy the unstoppable Adam, while Xander works on repairing the faulty blaster that Professor Walsh gave Buffy. The Slayer, however, seems equally concerned with the condition of the injured Riley who is in the questionable care of the Initiative. Just then, Riley wakes up in the medical unit of the underground headquarters. As he attempts to leave to see Buffy, Forrest intervenes. It appears that their standoff can only result in a fight. Meanwhile, as Faith lies in her own intensive care unit, she dreams of a pleasant picnic with her deceased father figure, Mayor Wilkins III. The serenity is disrupted when Buffy appears and murders the Mayor with the same knife she stabbed Faith with. That night, Xander and Willow go on patrol with Buffy in search of Adam. Instead of finding the demon-cyborg, they come across one of his morbid biology projects. A red, horned demon is strung up between two trees with his chest cavity splayed open for dissection. Back in Xander's basement, he and Willow listen to Buffy's plans to liberate Riley from the Initiative headquarters. Surprisingly, Riley shows up at that moment and embraces Buffy.

Still dreaming, Faith sees Buffy chasing her through a rain drenched cemetery. When she falls into an open grave, Buffy jumps in after her. After an unseen battle, Faith alone emerges from the six foot hole. Back in reality, her eyes explode open as she awakens from her coma. Disoriented, the groggy Faith rips out her IV and wanders down the barren Coma Ward halls. She comes across a teenage visitor who she forces to tell the date and explain what happened on Sunnydale High graduation day. With ambiguous intentions, Faith storms out of the hospital unnoticed by the staff. Meanwhile, alone in Buffy's dorm room, Riley and the Slayer share a tender moment of affection. Riley explains that he is afraid to leave the Initiative, no matter how corrupt they may seem. He feels that without the soldier in him, he's got nothing. Buffy reassures him that he's much more than just a soldier. Meanwhile, at the hospital, doctors and FBI agents search the hospital frantically for the missing Faith. The teenage girl she encountered is found unconscious and badly beaten. The head nurse makes a secretive phone call to an unknown organization telling them to mobilize a team.

Faith wanders the streets of Sunnydale planning her next move. After seeing the bombed out structure that was Sunnydale High, she secretly visits Giles' house. Through the window, she watches Buffy, Xander, Willow, Riley and Giles receive word of her escape. Buffy makes plans to confront Faith before continuing her mission to destroy Adam. With this knowledge, Faith is one step ahead of Buffy and surprises her by showing up on the UC Sunnydale campus while Buffy and Willow chat during a class break. Faith dispenses with the pleasantries and shatters Buffy's hope for peace by announcing her plans for revenge. In the middle of campus, a fast and furious fight ensues that is cut short when the police show up looking for Faith. The Slayer-turned villain takes out both cops on her way out of the situation. Later on, Willow and Tara go on recon around the campus in search of the elusive Faith. Willow describes Faith to Tara as a slutty primadonna who throws around Boston slang like "wicked" and "five by five". Giles and Xander take over the recon that night, armed with the blaster that Riley fixed. Instead of Faith, though, they come across Spike smoking a fag in an alley. When they ask his help in locating Faith, he tells them that when he finds her he'll tell her where they are and then watch her kill them all. He can't believe they would seek his help for nothing in return.

Back at the hospital, a helicopter lands and three mysterious suited men exit to meet with the head nurse. Faith encounters a demon in an alleyway who says he has a package for her from a mutual friend. Instead of inquiring about details, she breaks the demon's neck and opens the package, which contains a video tape. On the tape is the Mayor who explains that if she's watching, it means he's dead. He tells Faith to open the accompanying package. Inside is a bizarre metallic trinket that was forged by an evil accomplice of the Mayor's. He tells her that with the object she's going to go out with a bang.

Buffy and Riley sit in Buffy's dorm room discussing Faith. Buffy explains that Faith is tougher than Riley can imagine. Meanwhile, Faith shows up at Mrs. Summers' house and punches her out. When she comes to, Faith is holding her hostage in her bedroom, while trying on her makeup. Without warning, Buffy comes crashing through the window and tackles the unsuspecting Faith. The two Slayers erupt into a brawl throughout Mrs. Summers' house, destroying doors, windows and tables. In the heat of battle, Faith slips the Mayor's metallic token into her palm and grabs Buffy's hand. Feeling its awesome power, the two gladiators are jolted momentarily. As they snap out of it, Buffy throws Faith a right cross that finally puts her down. When Joyce enters, she notices something different and almost evil about her daughter. She doesn't think anything of it when Buffy says she's "five by five".

Written by Douglas Petrie~ Directed by Michael Gershman

Original Air Date: February 22, 2000




Who Are You (4.16)

Police and paramedics are on the scene at the Summers' house, investigating the aftermath of Buffy and Faith's battle. Faith is brought out on a stretcher as a detective thanks Buffy for somehow knocking her unconscious. When he calls Faith a kid though, Buffy becomes defensive and retorts that she's tougher than he thinks. Faith has obviously transferred her spirit into Buffy's body with the Mayor's amulet.

Back in the living room, Joyce can't understand why her "daughter" is acting so cold and shallow. She can't even bring herself to hug Joyce. Faith, in her new body, retires to take a bath and explore herself. She looks in the mirror and practices acting as Buffy-like as possible. For the most part she overdoes it though and ends up looking foolish. The real Buffy wakes up in the hospital in Faith's body. When she tries to go save her mother, the police restrain her and load her full of sedatives. Back in Tara's room, she and Willow discuss their "relationship". Willow explains that she hasn't introduced her to her friends yet because she likes to have something that is just hers. Tara reassures her that she is hers. Meanwhile, Faith goes through Buffy's room and tries on her clothes. When she comes across Buffy's wallet, she orders a flight for 10 am the next morning. Joyce informs her that Giles and the gang are waiting to meet her at Giles'. Faith decides she wouldn't mind seeing what her enemies are up to and leaves to head over. The real Buffy is simultaneously waking up again, this time in the backseat of a police car. Suddenly, the police car is rammed by an armored truck and the cops knocked unconscious. The same men who met at the hospital after Faith came out of her coma, jump out of the back of the vehicle. They smash the police car window and drag the girl they think is Faith, out. The stone-faced men inform her that she is under arrest in the name of the Watcher's Council.

Back at Giles' house, Faith enters and greets the unwitting gang. Giles informs them that "Faith" has been extracted to England by a Council Retrieval Team. When Willow announces her repulsion of Faith, Faith does everything she can to act natural and restrain from killing Buffy's friend. That night, Faith takes advantage of her new sexy body, by cutting a rug at the Bronze. She runs into Spike who just assumes it is the same old Buffy. But instead of her normal righteous self, this Buffy rubs against Spike, titillating him. She tells him she could "have him" if she wanted and then leaves him frustrated, angry, and thirsty for revenge. Elsewhere, a group of marauding vampires enter their lair to find Adam waiting for them. When one of them attacks, Adam easily defends himself, tearing the vamp's head clean off. He tells the other four bloodsuckers that he has a plan to help them unite.

Under the guard of the Watcher Retrieval Team, Buffy tries to convince the men that she's not Faith. The less-than-professional soldiers just mock and spit on her. Back at the Bronze, Willow and Tara arrive to hang out. Willow sees "Buffy" and decides to finally introduce her to Tara. Faith decides to have a little fun with Tara when Willow leaves them alone to get a drink and mocks the apparent feelings she has for her Wiccan companion. Suddenly, Willow returns and points out a vampire leaving the club with an oblivious girl. Faith, forced to act as Buffy would, leaves in pursuit. She slays the vampire in the parking lot with a broken pool cue and helps the girl to her feet. When the shaken young lady thanks her sincerely for saving her life, Faith seems to feel good about it for a split second. When she returns inside, Willow announces that she is taking her friend home because she isn't feeling well. When she mentions Riley, Faith decides to leave too and pay Buffy's boyfriend a visit.

When Willow and Tara arrive at Tara's room, they discuss "Buffy's" behavior. Tara feels that the energy she gave off was fragmented and Buffy couldn't have been her normal self. The two Wiccans decide to perform a ritual that opens a passage to the netherworld where Willow could visit Buffy's body on an astral plane and investigate her inner self. Meanwhile, the outer self of Buffy is busy turning Riley on. When Faith gets a little too kinky though, Riley starts to suspect something is wrong with his normally conservative girlfriend. Before he can question her, Faith seals his lips with a more romantic kiss. Later, when they rest in a post coital embrace, Willow and Tara's ritual begins to take effect. Surrounded by a ring of energy, Willow's spirit leaves her body and enters Buffy's. Faith rolls out of bed and questions the other inhabitant of Buffy's body. Riley watches confused as his girlfriend argues with herself schizophrenically. Faith seems to finally suppress Willow's intrusion and return to bed.

In a subterranean cave, Adam lectures to his new pupils. He wants to use his small vampire posse to spread the word of his coming apocalyptic attack on humanity. The next morning, Faith leaves Riley's room before he wakes up. On her way out the door, Forrest confronts her about disturbing Riley while he recovers from his injuries. When he criticizes her profession by calling her a killer, Faith finds herself defending what Buffy does. Confused about why being called a killer offended her, she storms out the door to catch her flight. At the shipyard, Buffy makes a flight of her own. When one of the guards reaches a tranquilizer gun into her room, she grabs it with her feet and kicks the guard in the head. After a couple more slick moves, she jumps into the driver's seat of the armored truck they picked her up in and drives it through the front of the shipyard warehouse. When she shows up at Giles' house in Faith's body, her ex-Watcher is understandably shocked. To prove it is her, Buffy lists things that only she could possibly know about Giles, like the fact that he had sex with her mom. Just then Willow and Tara show up. They show Buffy and Giles a Katra they conjured which is a small, glowing green orb they have in a charm box. Willow explains that all they have to do is bring Buffy and Faith together to employ the Katra which will switch their spirits back to their rightful bodies. Suddenly they notice a breaking newscast on Giles' television. A group of citizens are being held hostage in a church by unknown assailants. At the airport, Faith is watching the same newscast.

Inside the church, the vampires that Adam took under his wing are the ones tormenting the frightened Sunnydale locals. When Faith shows up outside, she runs into Riley who still thinks she is Buffy. When she tells him she wants to go inside and do some slaying, Riley tries to stop her from entering alone. Faith shrugs him off and goes in anyway, driven by some force to help the innocent people inside. She takes on Adam's followers in a grueling fight that rumbles throughout the church. After slaying three of them she is pinned down by the leader. Out of nowhere, Buffy stakes him from behind. But rather than thanking her, Faith attacks Buffy. After a knuckle-splitting flurry, Buffy is able to grab Faith's hand and switch their bodies back with the power of the Katra. Faith, now in her original body, jumps up and runs out of the church. Later, in Riley's room, Buffy explains to him what happened. She is angry to find out that Riley unknowingly slept with Faith, but relieved with the knowledge that she probably won't be returning for a while. Meanwhile, somewhere far away, Faith somberly rides across the countryside in the boxcar of a train she apparently hopped leaving Sunnydale.

Written and Directed by Joss Whedon

Original Air Date: February 29, 2000




Superstar (4.17)

At the cemetery, Buffy, Willow, Anya and Xander battle two acrobatic vampires. Buffy manages to stake them both with some help from her friends and decides to check out the tomb they came out of. The gang follows her into the dank chamber where they encounter a nest of vampires feasting on a body. Greatly outnumbered, they decide to retreat before their presence is noticed. Needing help, they go to the one man that can aid them. After walking into a lush mansion, they approach a massive desk and ask the person concealed behind the chair for help. The chair swivels around to reveal Jonathan Levinson, the Sunnydale High geek, looking suave and dangerous. At Giles' house, Buffy, Willow, Xander, Anya, Jonathan and Giles discuss their plan of attack on the vampire nest. Jonathan has all the answers and the group decides they should pretty much stick behind him. When they enter the tomb to do battle, vampires rush at the gang from all sides. Buffy manages to kill two of them but Jonathan emerges as the real hero, dusting vampires right and left with a crossbow while kicking and flipping his way across the room. When the group emerges from the tomb, there's plenty of paparazzi waiting to score a candid photo of the leather-clad Jonathan. When Spike appears on the scene, Jonathan is quick to confront him. With no need to attack the harmless ex-vamp, Jonathan settles for giving him a good tongue-lashing and swaggers off.

That night at Tara's, Willow details the night's action as they make a collage on the wall. Tara is intrigued by Willow's tale and asks how Buffy is doing with Riley since he inadvertently slept with Faith. Willow assures her that they'll get over it as she puts the last cut-out Jonathan head on their tributary collage. Meanwhile, in Riley's room, Buffy and Riley attempt to smooth out their crumbling love life. When Riley tries to give Buffy a kiss, she just can't get Faith out of her head and has to leave. She decides to get some sage advice from Jonathan whom she meets at a diner. Between signing autographs for star struck fans, Jonathan explains to Buffy that her hang-ups with Riley are in her head. If she wants everything to be alright with him, she needs to let herself love him. Later, Colonel George Haddoway introduces himself at the Initiative Headquarters as the new Commander In Chief until someone else is appointed to take over command. In briefing the soldiers on Adam, he introduces Jonathan to give his perspective. Jonathan, in military fatigues, shows the men a blueprint of Adam's body. He explains that there is a cache of Uranium 235 that will keep him alive forever. Cutting his head off or stabbing him in the heart will not stop him; his body needs to be annihilated.

After the meeting, Jonathan gives Riley some advice on how women want to be treated. He explains to Riley that Buffy needs to be reassured that Faith meant nothing to him and her sexual maturity can't compare to Buffy's sensuality. That night at Jonathan's mansion, a young woman is trying to catch a glimpse of her idol from the backyard with binoculars. Suddenly she is attacked by a bony, wolf-like demon that she barely fends off for the time being. Meanwhile, at the Bronze, Buffy, Riley, Xander, Anya, Willow and Tara enjoy drinks and discuss Jonathan. Suddenly he hits the stage in a white tuxedo and sings a lounge song dedicated to Buffy and Riley. This inspires the troubled couple to reclaim their love for each other. Suddenly Karen, the fan who was attacked by the demon at Jonathan's estate, comes running in having narrowly escaped its slashing claws. The gang takes her back to Jonathan's where she describes it in detail. When she draws a symbol she saw on its head, Jonathan begins acting suspicious. He tells everyone that it is nothing more than an animal from the nearby woods that he will take care of on his own.

Meanwhile, Adam and one of his followers gather information at a house they invaded. When Adam sees Jonathan on television, he tries to explain to his vampire soldier that reality has been changed. Everyone is under a spell except himself because his molecular structure is more in tune with the surrounding world than any human, demon or member of the undead. Across town, when Tara enters her building on her way to bed, she is attacked out of the blue by the same demon that was outside Jonathan¹s house. She is instantly pinned beneath the howling beast but manages to whip together a spell that shoots dust in its face. With her attacker distracted for a moment, she bolts out from beneath it and bounds into a janitor's closet. A few hours later she is found by a student huddled up in shock, and brought to Willow and Buffy's room. When Buffy comes home, she shows the symbol that Karen drew to the still rattled Tara. Tara states that it was present on the demon's head that attacked her. Buffy begins questioning Jonathan's bizarre lack of compliance to help find the creature and calls a meeting at Giles'. When the gang gets there she explains that it seems impossible that Jonathan has done so many great things, including coaching the US Women's soccer team to an Olympic Gold. She explains a theory that they could be living in an alternate universe that could be created by a spell like the ones Anya used to create. She shows them a photo in a Jonathan Swimsuit Calendar in which the same symbol from the demon is displayed on his back in scar tissue. Suddenly Jonathan walks in and questions their inquisitive glances. When asked about the scar, Jonathan gives a bizarre explanation that seems to satisfy everyone but Buffy. Buffy asks Jonathan to go on patrol with her to put the demon’s reign of terror to an end.

At the cemetery, Buffy and Jonathan come across Spike, lurking by a tomb. To extract information from him, Buffy threatens to put an embargo on the butchers that supply Spike with blood. The reluctant Spike discloses the location of a vampire lair that was recently invaded by something powerful. Knowing that this is probably the handy work of their demon, the Slayer and the hero leave in pursuit. Meanwhile, back at Giles', Willow finds Jonathan's symbol in one of the Watcher's medieval tomes. It says that the bearer of the symbol has performed an augmentation spell, affecting how everyone perceives him or her. She immediately figures out that Jonathan must have used it to make himself a para-god. It continues that, with the spell, comes a force of evil to counter the power of its conjurer. The only way to end the spell is to kill its evil spawn. It dawns on them that the demon Buffy and Jonathan are after is obviously the spinoff of the augmentation spell and Jonathan will probably do anything he can to prevent it from being destroyed. Meanwhile, in the cavernous lair that Spike pointed them to, Buffy and Jonathan come across the demon. Rather than helping it kill Buffy, Jonathan realizes that the charade is going to hurt people he actually cares about and helps her fight it. When it has Buffy on the edge of a vast pit, Jonathan attempts to sacrifice himself, tackling the demon into the pit. At the last second Buffy catches his ankle as the demon plummets into darkness and Jonathan is returned to his normal self.

The next day the gang sits on the front lawn of campus, marveling at the fact that they have full memory of worshipping the high school twerp. When Jonathan shows up to apologize, Buffy explains that people aren't necessarily as mad at him for creating a demon that endangered lives, but for treating them as sock puppets in his game. Jonathan leaves remorseful, but before he does he tells Buffy that he did mean what he said about letting herself love Riley. That night, as Buffy and Riley sink into a passionate kiss, their relationship is restored.

Written by Jane Espenson ~ Directed by David Grossman

Original Air Date: April 4, 2000




Where the Wild Things Are (4.18)

While on patrol, Buffy and Riley tag-team a vampire in the cemetery. Suddenly a blue, horned demon joins the vampire to form a tag-team of its own. While Riley serves the vampire a stake, Buffy makes fast work of the howling demon. Afterwards, Buffy and Riley are too turned on from fighting to report back to Giles. They choose instead to head over to Riley's for some "tension relief". Later that night, Riley wanders through the Initiative house, driven by an unknown obsession. When he arrives in the bathroom and turns off the dripping shower, he can finally go back to bed. The next afternoon, an ice cream truck pulls up to a curb in a quiet neighborhood. Behind the wheel is Xander, with Anya riding shotgun to keep her boyfriend company on his new job. Anya begins questioning his virility because Xander wasn't in the mood for sex the night before. The defensive Xander tells her that he'll have sex with her right then and there in the back of the van. When he starts unbuttoning his shirt, the only thing that stops Xander's kink is the fact that ten children and a parent waiting for ice cream are staring at him. Meanwhile, Buffy, Riley, Willow, Tara and Giles meet in a study room. They discuss the bizarre pairing of demon and vampire in the previous night's battle. Giles explains the rarity of an alliance between these opposing members of the undead. Before their discussion can get too theoretical, Buffy and Riley's hormones force them to leave for a pre-class quickie. Again that night, back in Riley's room, the horny couple copulates while other members of the Initiative stoke a fire in the living room downstairs. As Buffy and Riley's passion reaches a crescendo, a fireball erupts out of the fireplace and engulfs one of the unwitting soldiers. Forrest is barely able to smother the flames with a wall banner before his friend is seriously burned.

The next night, Anya walks through downtown Sunnydale when Spike jumps out of an alley and grabs her. He tries to scare her into giving him money but Anya is far from frightened. When Spike asks why she isn't with Xander, he has obviously hit a sore spot with her. Over at the Initiative house, the young militia throws a raging party packed with college kids, including Buffy and her friends. Willow asks Xander where Anya is and he tells her that he just isn't in the mood for his girlfriend tonight. Meanwhile, Anya is at the Bronze having drinks with Spike. They both reminisce about the days when they had the power to make people do whatever they wanted. Tortured with thoughts of Drusilla and Xander respectively, they wish they were still evil enough to maim them both. Back at the party, one of the soldiers tries out some sleazy lines on a girl he's hitting on. When he puts his hand on the wall, an orgasmic sensation rushes through his body. After getting the girl to do it, he starts getting his friends to touch mysterious spot. Meanwhile downstairs, Xander flirts with an attractive girl named Julia, who digs his sense of humor. On the stairway, Willow and Tara discuss horseback riding. When Willow puts her hand on Tara's knee, Tara stands up disgusted and tells her to get away. The confused Willow tries to apologize but Tara runs into the bathroom. Just then, Anya and Spike show up at the party. Xander walks up and expresses his anger at Anya for trying to make him jealous. When Spike pokes fun at Anya's distressed boyfriend, Xander announces the arrival of Hostile 17 to the party. When none of the Initiative pay any heed to the scene, Spike realizes that they don't recognize him anymore and heads in to mix it up. Anya has had enough of Xander and breaks up with him on the spot. The infuriated couple goes their separate ways to enjoy their newfound single life. When Xander sees Julia in a spin the bottle game, he decides to join in. On his first try, the bottle lands on Julia who he gives a little peck on the cheek. Julia grabs Xander in a bizarre fit of passion and starts sucking on his face. When she snaps out of it and releases the liplock, she runs into a bathroom embarrassed.

Meanwhile, Willow enters the bathroom that Tara ran into. The room is empty, but when she opens the shower curtain, she finds a little boy drowning himself in the tub. As Willow grabs a hold of him, he disappears. When she turns around, the pasty-faced boy is standing there staring at her. Downstairs the bottle from the spin the bottle game starts spinning like a top until it explodes. While these bizarre events unfold throughout the house, Buffy and Riley's love-making grows more and more intense. Xander, Willow and Tara all meet up and run to Riley's room to get Buffy. The door is entwined by living roots that grow and multiply sporadically. Suddenly, the house is rocked by an intense earthquake that causes the party-goers to flee. One girl runs right at Anya but passes through her like a ghost. Forrest and another soldier jump in the hidden Initiative elevator and head for the underground base to find out what is going on. Xander, Willow, Tara and Anya all regroup outside the front door of the house. The earthquake has stopped and the house is now deserted. When Xander tries to rush back in to find Buffy, he is ejected by an invisible force. The gang decides they need Giles to tell them what's going on. They rush to the coffee house where Giles told them he would be spending some adult time. When they arrive, they are shocked to find him in the center of the room, entertaining people with a song on his guitar.

Back at Giles', Willow finds an old newspaper article detailing the use of the Initiative house as an orphanage back in the 50's. When they discover that the Mistress of the house, Mrs. Holt, is still living in Sunnydale, they decide to pay her a visit. The sweet old lady that begins telling them about her "children" turns out to have a deep rooted psychosis. Apparently she would punish the children for, what she considered, their impure hormonal thoughts. To cleanse the girls she would cut their hair off and to cleanse the boys she would hold them underwater in the bath. After Giles gives Mrs. Holt an earful for emotionally damaging children, the group storms out. In the hallway, Giles explains to them that whatever is going on at the house is a result of the energy released from the deep emotional trauma and spiritual damage to the children. The people they were seeing, like the girl who ran through Anya and the boy in the bathtub, were poltergeists rather than ghosts. They were released by the damage done to the children's souls so many years ago. The anomaly must have been caused by the intense sexual energy of Riley and Buffy lately. Giles explains that since Riley and Buffy are the catalyst, they will die if the poltergeist leaves before their sexual energy runs out.

Tara takes Willow and Giles to her room to conjure a spell that will distract the poltergeists. This will buy Xander and Anya enough time to find Riley and Buffy. While the two Wiccans and the Watcher concentrate, the poltergeists of the children suddenly appear around them. This allows Xander and Anya access to the house through the front door. As they make their way up the vine-covered staircase towards Riley's room, Willow, Tara and Giles lose the spell and the children disappear. Xander and Anya are instantly thrown from the staircase to the living room below. Xander's body is dragged through space to the bathroom. He is thrown into the bathtub and held underwater as the children appear around the tub looking in at him. Anya picks herself up and charges back into the vines, even as one tears through her hand. She fights her way to the bathroom and pulls Xander out of the water. Together they rush back into the living vines and battle their way through. The vines coil around them and slash at their faces like a snake pit. When they finally reach Riley's door and smash it open, Buffy and Riley separate to cover their naked bodies. This severing of the sexual coupling instantly evicts the poltergeist and causes everything to turn back to normal. The next day in the cafeteria, Riley and Buffy explain that some supernatural force was driving them to constantly make love and they had no idea what was going on outside the room. When Willow says how horrible that must have been, Riley and Buffy share a glance of disagreement.

Written by Tracey Forbes ~ Directed by David Solomon

Original Air Date: April 25, 2000




New Moon Rising (4.19)

Willow and Tara stroll through campus and discuss getting a pet cat that they would share. As they hold hands, their smiles indicate that they feel perfectly comfortable with one another. They meet Buffy, Riley, Anya and Xander at Giles' house to discuss demon activity. They can't explain why Buffy is finding almost zero activity on her patrols. Giles thinks that Adam must have something to do with it, but their discussion is cut short when the door swings open to reveal Oz. Without any explanation as to where he's been, he tells Willow that he'll meet her at her place later to talk. When Tara sees how speechless Willow is, she decides to leave herself. That night on patrol, Buffy and Riley come across a tentacle-headed demon that they make short work of. Afterwards, Buffy tries to explain to Riley the complications of Willow and Oz's relationship. When he finds out Oz is a werewolf, he asks why Willow would be stupid enough to fall for someone who tries to eat her once a month. Buffy is appalled and calls him a bigot for being insensitive to the complications of love. Meanwhile, Oz shows up at Willow's room. He brings her outside and points to the sky. Willow looks up to see a full moon. She hugs him joyously and asks what he did to change back to a human. He tells her that he'll explain later, he has something more important to discuss. Since Xander told him that Willow doesn't have another guy, Oz was hoping he could try to mend their severed love for each other.

Out in the cemetery, three members of the Initiative are attacked by a fast-moving enemy that manages to floor them instantly. Before it takes off, one of the men looks up to see that it is a werewolf. The next morning, after talking all night, Oz gives Willow a blanket he acquired on his world travels. He explains that in Tibet he met a Warlock that trained him how to quell the werewolf within him and be free of its full moon powers. Oz invites Willow to sleep next to him for a while, but Willow decides she would rather go to a more friendly breakfast. While she freshens up in the bathroom, Tara comes to the door.

When Oz answers, she decides to leave and come back later. Meanwhile, in Riley's room, Buffy wakes up still upset about Riley's comments the night before. She tries to explain to him that there are different variations of demons and believe it or not, some are good. Riley is beginning to understand her when Forrest shows up. He announces that Willy’s died and Graham can barely walk after the werewolf attack. Buffy goes home to find Willow sitting on her bed alone. She asks how it went with Oz and Willow tells her it's complicated. Without saying it outright, she announces her romantic feelings for Tara. Buffy at first feels weird about her friend's new revelation, but is quickly supportive. Meanwhile, Spike wakes up in a tomb with Adam standing over him. After punching him in the stomach to no avail, Spike realizes Adam has him beat. The human-demon hybrid explains to Spike that he has come to help him. Back at UC Sunnydale, Willow shows up at Tara's and tells her that nothing happened between her and Oz the night before. Tara says she'll stay friends with her no matter what happens. Willow tearfully embraces her, confused about just who she wants to be with.

When Oz runs into Tara later in the halls, he tells her he's coming back to school. Before Tara can excuse herself, Oz smells Willow on her. His werewolf instincts tell him instantly that they are emotionally involved in some way. As Oz gets angry, he suddenly begins to transform into a wolf. Before it takes his body over completely, he warns her to run. Tara ducks into an empty lecture hall with Oz in wolf form, hot on her heels. As he lunges at her something knocks him out of the air. Riley, Forrest and other members of the Initiative rush in, having just shot Oz with a tranquilizer. Before Tara can explain to them that it's a human, they haul it back to the base. Back at the tomb, Adam offers to remove the chip from Spike's head if he helps him get to Buffy. He just has to help them out a few times to build their trust, and then set them up for a trap. Meanwhile, everyone meets at Giles' to come up with a plan to liberate Oz. In the headquarters of the Initiative, Oz wakes up trapped in a steel cage. He is put back to sleep and wakes up again strapped to an operating table. As Initiative scientists run tests on him, Riley tries to convince them to take it easy. He is finally escorted out of the room for his sympathies. When an electric shock turns Oz back into a werewolf instantly, they determine that negative stimulation causes his transformation. Back at Giles', Buffy decides to infiltrate the headquarters with Xander and Willow.

Suddenly Spike shows up and announces that he can show them the back way into the compound.

Meanwhile, Oz wakes up naked in a cell, bruised and beaten from the tests. In an unexpected turn, Riley shows up and gives him some clothes. As they try to escape, a squad led by Forrest stops them before they can even get up the stairway.

Riley is put in a cell and approached by a Colonel. He tells his soldier that ever since he started going out with the Slayer, it has made him a traitor. The Colonel tells him that if he doesn't help the Initiative take out Buffy and all of her friends he will go to the grave in disgrace. Meanwhile, Anya and Giles cut the power to UC Sunnydale, including the Initiative compound, while Spike shows Buffy, Xander and Willow the secret entrance. They catch the sleeping Colonel off guard and force him to lead them to Riley and Oz's cells. By using him as a hostage, they are able to march right through the compound and release their friends. Back outside, Riley and Buffy go to the bombed out remains of Sunnydale High for shelter.

When Riley admits he was wrong about Oz, Buffy tells him there's more he needs to know. She begins the complicated task of explaining her relationship with Angel. Meanwhile, Oz tries to sort things out with Willow in his van. The only thing that can make him upset enough to turn into a werewolf is her. Since Willow is happy with Tara, he knows that the best thing for both of them is if he takes off again.

They share a tearful embrace and Willow leaves. She shows up at Tara's room with a candle to light the still powerless dorm room. To Tara's shock, Willow tells her that Oz is gone and they can finally be together uninhibited. As Willow blows out the candle, the two Wiccans embrace.

Written by Marti Noxon ~ Directed by James A. Contner

Original Air Date: May 2, 2000




The Yoko Factor (4.20)

Colonel MacNamara talks about Riley's defection with an unidentified military or government official over a live video link. To the Colonel's surprise, the man in the video monitor wants to get Riley back, and Buffy may be the key. Meanwhile, Spike warns Adam about the threat that the Slayer brings, but Adam only welcomes the challenge as part of his 'plan.' He convinces Spike to distract Buffy's friends so that Buffy will have to fight alone when his plan comes to its fruition. Spike happily agrees. After a physically and emotionally exhausting trip to LA, Buffy returns to her dorm room to find it empty.

Meanwhile, Xander visits Riley at the burned out remains of Sunnydale High to drop off some clothes and offer some human companionship. In true Xander form, he inadvertently lets Riley know the facts behind Angel's curse, and the fact that Angel and Buffy had sex to set the curse off. Riley doesn't take the news well, despite Xander's attempts to comfort him.

Back at his house, Giles is deep into a solo rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" when Spike suddenly announces his presence. Spike offers to steal files with information about Adam from the Initiative in exchange for amnesty from the stake and a large amount of cash. Giles agrees to the offer, but Spike will only take the word of the Slayer, not a retired librarian who is no longer a respected authority figure. As Spike leaves, Giles lets Spike's words sink in and wallows in feelings of inadequacy.

Tara and Willow discuss future class schedules and living arrangements in Tara's dorm room. As Willow decides on taking a chance on Drama class, Tara asks Willow where she plans on living next year. Willow expresses her doubts about living with Buffy the following year. The next morning, Riley shows up at Buffy's door in Xander's clothes. The two share an uncomfortable moment when Riley inquires about Buffy's trip to LA. When Riley figures out that Buffy is not ready to talk about it with him, he leaves abruptly. Meanwhile, Xander and Anya bring Spike some supplies to help him break into the Initiative. Spike uses some fake rumors about joining the Army to get into Xander's head, and before long, Spike has Xander believing that his friends think of him as a useless member of the group.

On patrol later in the day, Buffy runs into Forrest outside the mouth of a cave. The two reluctantly agree to patrol the cave together after Forrest expresses his dislike for Buffy. Just as Forrest accuses Buffy of ruining Riley's military career and Buffy learns that she may have been Riley's first serious Girlfriend, Adam interrupts their growing squabble. Adam quickly proves to be too much for both of them, and kills Forrest when he tries to fight back. Realizing she is outmatched, Buffy runs out of the cave, but falls in her haste and knocks herself unconscious on some rocks outside the cave. Later that night, Spike delivers the 'stolen' disks to Giles' house. He gives the disks to Willow to encode and demands his money from Giles, who is well into a drinking binge after Spike's last pep talk. Spike immediately moves in on Willow, telling her that Buffy and Xander have been talking about her and Tara's relationship as a just a phase in Willow's "trendy" behavior. Willow is noticeably distracted from her work decoding the encrypted disk, and begins to doubt her friends' loyalty and honesty.

Back at the Initiative, Colonel MacNamara and another officer discuss the overcrowded state of the Initiative's holding cells when an emergency call for help comes over the radio. Riley intercepts the mayday call on his radio and goes to the scene to help the endangered soldiers, only to find that Angel is the culprit. The two engage in an acrobatic fight when Angel expresses his intent to see Buffy, but both fugitives must flee the scene when backup from the Initiative finally arrives. When a bruised and beaten Buffy returns to her dorm room, she receives an unexpected visitor in Angel. Before Angel can explain the purpose of his visit, Riley bursts into the room wielding a pistol. As Buffy tries to make sense of the situation, Angel and Riley exchange childish quips and blows until Buffy shoves them apart, threatening to put them both in the hospital if they continue bickering. She and Angel step out into the hall and Angel explains that he came to Sunnydale to apologize for leaving things on such a bad note in LA. After a moment of mutual understanding that their lives have naturally separated, Angel leaves, but not before expressing his disapproval of Riley. Amused, Buffy returns to a distraught and confused Riley.

Spike returns to Adam's lair, drunk in his apparent success of breaking up the Scooby Gang. When Adam questions the level of Spike's success, Spike makes the analogy of the "Yoko factor." He explains that everyone blamed Yoko Ono for breaking up The Beatles, when in actuality, they just naturally grew apart, just as the Scooby Gang is. Feeling that he has fulfilled his part of the agreement, Spike asks for the chip to be removed from his head, but Adam has one more thing in mind for Spike. Back in Buffy's room, Buffy tries to explain the purpose of Angel's visit and Riley expresses his true love to Buffy, regardless of her past with Angel. After reaching an understanding, Buffy tells Riley about Forrest's death at the hands of Adam. Back at Giles' house, Spike's plan starts to take effect. As Willow, Tara, Giles, Xander, Anya and Buffy try to figure out how to face Adam, everyone's insecurities and suspicions about the rest of the group begin to surface. Minor accusations and old fears turn into a huge venting session, and Buffy eventually storms out of the room claiming that she doesn't need her friends anymore. Spike's plan is successful - the Scooby Gang has broken up. Back at Adam's lair, Adam receives a welcome visitor who he has been expecting: Riley.

Written by Douglas Petrie ~ Directed by David Grossman

Original Air Date: May 9, 2000




Primeval (4.21)

While Buffy visits an empty Sunnydale High School, Riley wonders why he has paid a visit to Adam's lair. While referring to Riley as his brother, Adam explains that Professor Walsh implanted a behavior modification chip in Riley's central nervous system, and that he has activated to carry out his 'plan.' When Riley professes his intent to stop Adam, Adam tells Riley to sit, and Riley dutifully carries out his order. Adam continues to explain that Professor Walsh planned for Adam and Riley to be part of a master race that is better than both demons and humans. Spike makes an uninvited entrance, demanding the chip be removed from his head. Adam tells him that he must draw Buffy into the Initiative before he has met his part of the bargain. His plan is to have Buffy kill as many demons as possible before he kills her. Riley tries to voice his real opinion, but is quickly silenced by the behavior chip when Adam orders him to stop talking. When Spike realizes that there might be a hole in his plan to separate the Scooby Gang, he leaves Adam's lair to correct the situation. Willow and Tara stop by Giles' house to pick up her laptop and the disks, and Willow shares an awkward moment with a hung-over Giles. With the previous night's events, none of them know what to say, and their exchange seems like the beginning of a long goodbye.

Buffy sits alone in her dorm room, thinking about the night before. She gets up and finds an old picture of Willow, Xander and herself, and has a quiet moment of reflection before assembling her weapons for the battle to come. Over in Xander's basement, Anya arrives to find Xander still lying in bed. Xander won't go to the unemployment office because he has been thinking about what Buffy and Willow had said the night before, and he is coming to believe that he is a loser with no future. Anya lies down beside him and tells him that no matter what his friends think of him, she still loves him. Buffy returns to the cave where Adam killed Forrest and finds Adam's lair, but Adam is not there. Adam, meanwhile, leads Riley into a secret area of the Initiative where he says the new race will begin. He tells Riley that Professor Walsh hid her secrets very well. Riley is shocked to see a scared, but re-animated Professor Walsh limp over to assist a re-animated Dr. Angleman operate on a body in the corner of the vast underground space. Realizing that Adam has killed Walsh and Angleman as part of his plan, he fears that Adam has the same planned for him. Just as Adam assures Riley that his fate is much greater than Walsh's and Angleman's, Forrest sits up from the operating table, brought back to life with a face made partly of yellow demon skin.

Still patrolling the caves, Buffy runs into Spike, who inquires about the information on the disks that he gave to Willow. When Buffy tells him that they haven't been decoded, Spike tells her that even though they have had a falling out, they should still concentrate on decoding the disks. Knowing that Spike wasn't around to see their "falling out," Buffy begins to put things together. Just as Buffy begins to realize Spike's plan, Willow gets closer to decoding the disks in Tara's dorm room. Just before Willow has figured out how to break the code, the disks begin decoding themselves, spitting out information about the Room 314 Objective. As the disks decode, Buffy calls on the phone. Soon after, Buffy, Willow, Giles and Xander all meet in the middle of campus. Buffy explains to them that Spike instigated their battle of words by spreading rumors to each one of them individually. While they all realize that Spike had tricked them into their squabble, the doubts about the strength of their friendship remain. After an uncomfortable moment of silence, Buffy figures out that Adam was planning on releasing demons in the Initiative to kill the soldiers, then using Spike to lure her in to kill the demons, leaving him with hundreds of parts with which to build his new race of human-demon hybrids. When Xander asks if Adam is worried that Buffy will get in the way of his plan, Buffy realizes for the first time that Adam may be too powerful to fear her.

Back in the secret Initiative lab, Riley sits bound in a chair, while Professor Walsh prepares him for his 'operation.' When he tries to talk to her, Forrest informs Riley that she is merely a walking corpse, but that he is more alive than he has ever been, and that Riley will be joining them soon. As Riley tries to tell him that they will never control him, Professor Walsh injects him with a clear liquid. Back at Giles' house, Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles try to figure out how to defeat Adam. Willow suggests casting a spell to paralyze Adam, but the spell must be recited in Sumerian by an accomplished wicca in close proximity to the subject. Xander sarcastically surmises that they need someone with the strength and speed of Buffy, the magic expertise of Willow, and the linguistic skills of Giles. To Xander's surprise, Giles tells him that's exactly what they need. While they break into the Initiative house, Giles explains to Buffy, Xander and Willow that while an "enjoining" spell is powerful enough to defeat Adam, it is also very dangerous.

As Buffy and Willow rappel down the elevator shaft into the Initiative compound, Buffy apologizes to Willow for what she had said. She tells Willow that she has been too wrapped up in her own life lately to be a good friend. Willow apologizes for keeping Tara a secret from Buffy and everybody else, and as the two embrace, they fall to bottom of the shaft. Xander follows them down, and when he lands, they gleefully embrace Xander, and tell him that they missed him. For the first time in a long while, the Scooby Gang is happy to be together, and ready to do battle. But when they pry the doors to the initiative open, they are greeted by a bevy of soldiers wielding guns. Adam and Spike watch Buffy and the gang being escorted through the halls by Initiative soldiers on closed circuit TV. When Adam sees that Buffy's friends are still with her, he orders Forrest to honor his agreement with Spike to remove the chip by tearing off his head. Spike puts his cigarette out in Forrest's eye, and narrowly escapes a gruesome death.

In the Initiative control room, Buffy tries to tell Colonel MacNamara that Adam is planning an attack from within his own compound, from a secret lab built for the 314 Project. Unaware of any of these activities, the Colonel tells her that every inch of the compound is under surveillance, and that a tic couldn't get in without him knowing about it. Just as he professes his control over the situation, the power goes out, and a soldier at the controls informs everyone that backup generators are not responding, locking them all in the compound. From his secret control room, Adam opens the containment units, and the demons immediately pounce on two unlucky Initiative doctors. Buffy urges the Colonel to let her go and escape with his men, but he orders his men to take the infirmary and leaves two men to keep Buffy and the Scooby Gang under arrest. Buffy immediately dispenses of the two soldiers, and Willow takes the reigns at the control console. As they look into the monitor, they see the fierce battle going on throughout the Initiative compound. Blood and carnage are everywhere as the demons massacre the doctors and soldiers. Amidst the melee, Spike suddenly returns to his old self, the behavior chip somehow disabled. In a flash of fury, Spike manhandles a small battalion of demons en route to his escape from the compound. Back in the control room, Willow uses the schematics of the compound to try and find a way out. Instead she finds a system of air ducts that supposedly lead to nowhere. Buffy speculates that the air ducts must lead to Adam's secret lab, so the Scooby gang sets out to find it.

Armed with only stun gun, Buffy, Xander, Willow and Giles run through the main operations room of the Initiative, knocking demons out of their way right and left. Willow narrowly misses being shot by a panicking Initiative soldier, and Xander saves Buffy by blasting a demon with the stun gun. Miraculously, they make it through the explosive battle unscathed, and enter into a small laboratory. They move a cabinet in the corner to reveal a secret door that leads to Adam's secret lab. Buffy pauses at the door and tells Willow to barricade the door behind her. Xander tells Buffy that he is still uneasy about Buffy going in alone, but Buffy assures him that with the magic spell, she will not be going in alone. With that, Buffy goes in, and Willow barricades the door. When Buffy enters the secret lab, she finds Riley bound in his chair. She asks Riley to tell her what is going on, but he is unable to speak. Adam comes out from the shadows and orders Forrest, Professor Walsh and Dr. Angleman to kill Buffy. Forrest grabs Buffy from behind and Walsh approaches with a medical saw.

In the other room, Willow, Xander and Giles perform the enjoining spell as Buffy breaks free from Forrest and sends Professor Walsh to the floor with a swift kick. Buffy tries to take Forrest out, but Adam has made him too powerful and he throws her to the floor, breaking a bottle on the arm of Riley's chair. As Forrest wails on Buffy, Riley grabs a piece of the glass and cuts into his chest, painfully beginning to remove the behavior modification chip. As the spell in the other room progresses, Buffy gains some momentum, which is quickly crushed by Forrest, who slams her down onto an operating table and holds her down. On her way down, she breaks an electric cable coming down from the ceiling. As Walsh and Angleman approach Buffy, Riley rips the behavior chip from his body and gets up and tears the life-giving tubes from Walsh and Angleman, sending them to the floor, dead once again. Riley begins his rematch with Forrest as Buffy runs off to find Adam sitting at his system of closed circuit monitors. Buffy manages to break off Adam's trademark bone skewer, but to her surprise, his left arm mutates into a gattling gun and he opens fire in the small room. As Buffy dives behind one of the consoles, Willow, Xander and Giles complete the spell, and their powers rush into Buffy's body.

Adam destroys the console with a single mortar shot, but Buffy rises from the rubble with magical, yellow eyes, speaking in Sumerian. Adam sends a long burst of machine-gun fire at Buffy, but the bullets are stopped by an invisible force field just inches from her. Back in the other room, Riley and Forrest are engaged in a fierce battle. Forrest throws Riley into a stack of Hydrogen tanks, causing them to leak. Riley picks one up and pushes Forrest back with it. Forrest grabs the tank and raises it over his head near the broken power line to hit Riley, who ducks behind one of the operating tables. As he swings forward, the hydrogen gas ignites, and Forrest is blown into tiny chunks of burning flesh. Back in the other room, Buffy uses the combined powers of Willow, Giles and Xander to ward off Adam's mortar attack. Buffy collapses Adam's weaponry telepathically, then in a blistering display of power, forces Adam against a wall, pierces Adam's chest with her hand, and pulls his Uranium power supply from his chest. Adam is no more. As Riley looks on, Buffy levitates Adam's power supply from her hand, and dissolves it into thin air.

With their work done, the spell wears off and all Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles collapse with fatigue. A demon crashes through the barricaded door and almost gets to Willow, Xander and Giles, but Spike comes up from behind and snaps its neck. Giles scolds Spike for helping Adam with his plan but fatigue and the fact that Spike just saved their lives prevents him from doing anything about it. Buffy and Riley emerge from the secret lab, and the whole team goes to work securing the compound. Meanwhile, in a secret government conference room, the same powerful Government official who had spoken with the now deceased Colonel MacNamara proclaims the Initiative a failed experiment to harness the powers of the otherworld, and orders the facility destroyed.

Written by David Fury ~ Directed by James A. Contner

Original Air Date: May 16, 2000




Restless (4.22)

It's soon after the events of "Primeval", and Buffy and the others are at her house. It is night, and Buffy is saying goodbye to Riley who is on his way to a debriefing regarding Initiative. Buffy is worried about him, but he assures her they're not going to make him disappear. With Graham and many of the other commandos testifying that they're alive because of him, he thinks he's likely to get off with an honorable discharge.

Xander walks into the room announcing dinner is served. Willow teases him about how difficult it must have been to punch the "popcorn" button on the microwave, but it turns out Joyce had to help him with that when he hit the "defrost" button instead. Riley says goodbye to everyone and tells Joyce it was nice to meet her. "It was nice meeting you . . . finally." she says. As soon as he's gone she tells Buffy, "Did you notice how pointedly I said 'finally'?" Buffy just says no and heads to the living room where Xander has a stack of videos waiting. Giles asks Joyce if she'd like to join them, but she's tired and surprised that they're not. They still haven't slept after performing the enjoining spell and figure it'll be a while before they'll be able to. Xander votes that they see Apocalypse Now first but assures the others that he has plenty of chick and British guy flicks to last them all night. Joyce goes upstairs and Xander pops in the first tape.

By the time the "FBI" warning comes on the screen . . . they're all asleep.

We take a look into Willow's dreams first. She's in Tara's room. Tara is lying on the bed and Willow is using a calligraphy brush to cover her back in Greek letters. Tara is watching Miss Kitty playing with a ball of red string and is worried that Miss Kitty hasn't told them her name yet. Willow tells her she will; she isn't grown yet. Tara tells Willow that Willow doesn't know everything about her, and Willow asks her if she told Willow her real name. "Oh, you know that," Tara says. Then she warns Willow that "they" will find out about her, but Willow doesn't have time to worry about that. Tara reminds Willow that she's never taken drama before and shouldn't be late, but Willow doesn't want to leave. She pushes aside the curtain to look out at a dry landscape. "There's something out there."

Willow is walking down a corridor at the UC Sunnydale campus where she sees Xander and Oz. Oz heard she was taking drama and tells her it's a tough course. "You took it?" she asks. "Oh, I've been here forever," he says. As she works the combo on her locker, Xander wonders if she was doing spells and tells Oz that she does spells with Tara. Oz says that he's heard about that. The bell rings and Willow hurries off because she's going to be late.

She arrives backstage to find everyone busy, already in costume preparing for tonight's show. An ecstatic Harmony in a milkmaid dress rushes up to her excited about their first production. Willow is confused. An equally excited Buffy, dressed as a flapper from the 20's runs up and tells her that the place is packed and that Willow's entire family is in the audience and they look really angry. Willow is still trying to make sense of it all and Harmony thinks she has stage fright. "But isn't this the first class?" Willow asks. Riley walks up saying she would have gotten a better part if she showed up on time; he's happy that he gets to be Cowboy Guy. Buffy tells Willow that her costume is perfect and no one will know the truth about her. "Costume?" Willow says. "You're already in character," Buffy pouts. "I should have done that!" Willow points out that they haven't even had class or rehearsal.

The play's director, Giles, calls for everyone's attention. He's full of excitement, informing them that everyone Willow's ever met is out there. Willow notices something crawling in the shadows behind the others. As Giles continues his rousing speech, a vamped out Harmony is behind him snapping her fangs at his neck, annoying him. As the cast breaks up, Willow sees a bald man in glasses who shows her cheese slices lined across a small table. She walks into the stage curtains where she finds Tara, who asks if things are going well. Willow tells her she doesn't think they're doing drama class the proper way. "And why is there a cowboy in Death of a Salesman anyway?" "You don't understand yet, do you?" Tara asks. Willow wants to know if something is following her and Tara tells her there is. She warns Willow that everyone is starting to wonder about her, the real Willow, and if they find out they'll punish her.

On stage the play has already started. Tara is suddenly gone. Willow is calling out to her when a jagged, blood stained dagger stabs through the curtains at her. Screaming, Willow falls to the floor as a hand claws at her and she hears a savage growling. Then another hand reaches in to grab her and Buffy pulls her out of the curtains into an empty classroom, asking her what it looked like, but Willow didn't see what attacked her. Buffy thinks she must have done something wrong. "No. I never do anything. I'm very seldom naughty. I just came to class and the play was starting." Buffy informs her that the play is long over and wonders why Willow is still in costume. "Okay, still having to explain wherein this is just my outfit." Willow says. Buffy tells her everybody already knows and wants her to take it off. Willow doesn't want to; she needs it. Buffy rips it off her and sits down at a desk in the suddenly full classroom. Willow is standing in front of them looking exactly how she did in the very first episode. Harmony asks the class if they're all clear on this. Anya thinks it's a Greek tragedy. Oz is sitting beside Tara whispering in her ear. "I tried to warn you," he tells her. Willow is about to give an oral book report. "Oh, who cares!?" says a loud Xander. Oz is still whispering in Tara's ear, which she seems to enjoy. As Willow begins, she is knocked to the floor by the thing that was stalking her. She cries for help, but everyone acts as if nothing's wrong. Willow is bitten on the neck and her flesh starts to shrivel and her eyes start to fade completely white.

In Buffy's living room, Willow gasps for air in her sleep.

Xander wakes up and asks if he missed anything. Buffy and Giles are munching on popcorn watching Apocalypse Now, which Giles thinks is overrated. Xander tells him it gets better. Buffy offers him some popcorn and he notices Willow still struggling to breathe and asks what's wrong with her. "Big faker," Buffy says. Xander has to pee and heads upstairs, where he finds Buffy's mom standing in the doorway of her bedroom in a flimsy red robe and nightgown. He asks if they're making too much noise downstairs. Joyce tells him they left a while ago. He says he should probably catch up with them, but Joyce thinks he should rest . . . in her bed. Xander would like that, but he still needs to go to the bathroom. She tells him not to get lost. When he's standing over the toilet he realizes he's not alone. The bathroom is in a large chamber in the Initiative and several commandos and scientists are watching him. "Okay, we'll find another bathroom." He crosses the hall and opens the door to find himself in his basement. Someone is trying to open the door at the top of the stairs. "I didn't order any vampires," he calls up. Realizing that's not the way out, he leaves the basement.

He walks into a park. It's a sunny day. Giles is swinging on the swings with Spike, both of them wearing tweed suits. Buffy is playing in the sandbox. "There you are," he says. Buffy asks if he's sure it was them he was looking for. Spike informs Xander that Giles is teaching him to be a Watcher. Giles tells him Spike is like a son to him. Xander says he was into that for a while but now has other stuff going on. In the parking lot, he sees himself in the ice cream truck selling ice cream to a group of kids. He needs to keep moving forward. "Like a shark," Buffy says. He's worried that Buffy might not be safe in such a big sandbox. She's suddenly sitting in the middle of a vast desert but tells him she's okay. "It's not coming for me yet." He warns her there's some stuff she can't protect herself from. "I'm way ahead of you, big brother." "Brother?" he says, and they just stare at each other. Giles urges Spike to swing higher.

In the ice cream truck, Xander is watching himself and the others in the park. Then he moves to the front, behind the wheel, but the truck is already in motion down a suburban street. Anya is sitting next to him and asks if he knows where he's going. She's been thinking about getting back into vengeance, feeling it's going to be a big year for vengeance. He doesn't like the sound of that, and Anya accuses him of not wanting her to have a hobby. He's trying to talk her out of it when he hears giggling in the back and sees Willow and Tara in heavy makeup and revealing clothing, holding each other. "Do you mind? I'm talking to my demon," he says. They apologize and say they think he's interesting. He assures them he is indeed going places, but Willow's way ahead of him. "Watch this," she says, kissing Tara long and deep (off screen; we hear only the sounds of the kiss). Xander can't take his eyes off them. Tara invites him to join them. Anya permits him to go. Xander moves to the back and climbs over the freezer through a narrow space, and emerges in his basement again. Someone upstairs is still trying to get in. As he leaves the basement he runs into the bald man, holding up a plate of cheese slices. "These will not protect you." The door upstairs is kicked in and Xander runs out of the basement.

He rounds the corner into a corridor on campus. Looking back he sees something creeping behind a bunch of students. He finds Giles and asks what's after him. Giles tells him it's because of what they did. The others have already gone ahead, and Giles is about to tell him something that his life may depend on, when his voice is suddenly replaced by dubbed French. Xander doesn't understand and Giles gets upset, still being dubbed. Anya walks up to him but she is also being dubbed in French. They start dragging him with them and he tries to resist, but a couple of students and commandos also grab him and start carrying him away.

Xander is being led through a jungle by an armed soldier into a dark room where he kneels on the floor, hands tied behind his back. He's in a scene from Apocalypse Now, with Principal Snyder in the Marlon Brando role lying on a cot in the dark. He asks Xander where he's from. "Well, the basement mostly," he replies. Snyder goes on to tell him how he saw a bunch of students at the guidance counselor's office waiting to be shepherded and he remembered smelling dead flowers, realizing the hope of the nation's future is a bunch of mulch. "You know, I never got to tell you how glad I was you were eaten by a snake." Snyder asks Xander where he is heading. "Well, I'm supposed to meet Willow and Tara. And possibly Buffy's mom." Snyder tells him he's running out of time, that he's a whipping boy, raised by mongrels and set on a sacrificial stone. Xander tells Snyder he's getting a cramp and stands up.

He's suddenly standing in the courtyard of Giles' apartment building. There is something crawling on all fours on top of the steps and Xander runs into Giles' apartment to find him, Buffy, and Anya standing over Willow who is still gagging. He tries to warn them that "it" is here, but their attention's on Willow. "It's more serious than we thought," Giles says. "I can fight anything, right?" Buffy asks. Xander runs down the hallway and finds himself in Stevenson Hall. He hurries to Buffy's dorm room but doesn't find her there. He hears the creature growling from somewhere behind him and ducks inside Willow's closet, heads down a long dark passageway, and emerges in his basement once again. Someone is still pounding on the door atop the stairs. "That's not the way out," he whispers, and the door bursts open to reveal a man in the doorway. It's Xander's father, who's angry with him, accusing him of not coming upstairs because he's ashamed of his family. Xander tells him he doesn't understand. His father walks downstairs. "You haven't got the heart," he says, and shoves a fist into Xander's chest. His father is now the creature that was chasing him and it rips his heart out.

In Buffy's living room, Xander arches back in pain. Giles is next.

Giles is standing in front of Buffy, who is sitting in a chair in his empty apartment. He is in his Watcher-tweed suit swinging a pocket watch in front of her face, telling her to stop thinking, let it wash over her. She thinks this is a little old-fashioned but he assures her this is how men and women have behaved since the beginning. "Now look into the light." But Buffy can't keep a straight face and starts giggling.

It is night and Buffy is skipping happily pulling Giles by the hand into the cemetery, eager to get to the carnival. Olivia is walking by his side, pregnant and pushing an empty stroller. "Does she always want to train this badly?" she asks him. Giles tells her apparently Buffy never heard the fable about patience, "the one about the fox and the . . . less patient fox." Buffy stops in front of one of the game booths hopping up and down, wanting to play. He lets her and Buffy throws a ball at a fake vampire but misses. "Buffy, you have a sacred birthright to protect mankind," he says. "Don't stick out your elbow." Buffy knocks the vampire down with the next ball and is very pleased with herself. "I haven't got any treats," he tells her. Olivia thinks he's being too hard on her, but he says this is his business. Buffy's prize is cotton candy, which Giles warns her she'll get all over her face. Buffy looks at him with a stoic expression, her face covered in a gray clay. "I know you," he says.

Giles turns when Spike calls to them, motioning them inside a crypt, saying they're going to miss everything. Giles is shoved inside, and Olivia, who looks to be experiencing a contraction, is already there. Giles claims he has a great deal to do. Spike is standing in front of a group of people who are taking pictures of him while he strikes poses. He's hired himself as an attraction. "Sideshow freak?" Giles asks. Giles wants to know what he's supposed to do with all this. Spike tells him he needs to make up his mind and stop wasting time. "I still think Buffy should have killed you," Giles says, and runs into the bald man. He has cheese slices on his head and shoulder, telling Giles, "I wear the cheese, it does not wear me."

Giles leaves the crypt and is walking through the Bronze now. He finds Willow and Xander sitting in front of the stage, where Giles' furniture has been moved. They are going through his old books. Giles has a book in his hand as he sits down next to them, apologizing for being late, and tells them there's a lot happening at once. "Don't I know it," Willow says. "Only at death's door here!" She points to the gaping wound in Xander's chest. On stage, Anya is trying to tell a joke. Willow tells Giles this is all his fault; that some animal force - something primal - is after them. Anya completes the joke and actually gets a laugh from the audience. Willow says he must have some kind of explanation.

Giles starts singing as he thinks about it, that they've never faced anything like this before. He climbs up on stage to the microphone and is accompanied by Four Star Mary, and Chris Beck on piano. Giles feels that it's familiar somehow. He realizes that the enjoining spell must have released some primal evil. He needs to warn Buffy because she'll probably be next. He wants Xander to help Willow go through the chronicles but not to bleed on his couch because he's just had it steam-cleaned. Then it seems he actually knows what might be behind all this but the microphone gives off feedback and he traces the cord backstage, where he finds his pocket watch in a tangle. He realizes the trap he was lured into and the wild creature is standing over him. Giles, though frightened, thinks that he can cripple it with his thoughts and intellect. "Of course, you underestimate me. You couldn't know." The creature starts to slice open his head with its knife. "You've never had a Watcher."

In the living room, Giles starts having spasms in his sleep, dropping his glasses.

Buffy is sleeping in her dorm room when Anya tells her to wake up. She sees Anya in Willow's bed and tells her she's not in charge of these things. Anya continues to plead with her, but Buffy needs her beauty sleep and turns on her back. The creature is hanging from the ceiling above her and growls at her.

Buffy wakes up in her own bedroom at home. Then she's suddenly standing in her doorway looking at her unmade bed. "Faith and I just made that bed." Tara is standing beside her and asks, for who? Buffy thought Tara was there to tell her, but she does tell Buffy she lost the others. Buffy feels that they need for her to find them. She sees that the clock by her bed reads 7:30, but Tara tells her the clock is completely wrong and offers her tarot cards. Buffy's never going to use them. "You think you know," Tara says, "What's to come . . . What you are. You haven't even begun." The bed is now made. Buffy says she needs to find the others and Tara warns her to be back before dawn.

Buffy is walking through the corridors on campus looking for the others, and finds her mother living inside the walls. Joyce tells her she's fine and not to worry. Buffy doesn't think she should live in there but then catches sight of Xander heading upstairs and goes after him. She enters a large room, where Riley is sitting at a glass table with a perfectly human Adam. "Hey there, killer," Riley greets her. He tells her the debriefing went great and that he was appointed Surgeon General. Buffy tells him they could have celebrated together, but Riley is busy making plans for world domination using coffeemakers. Adam tells Riley she's uncomfortable with certain concepts. He tells Buffy, "It's understandable. Aggression is a natural human tendency. Though you and me come by it another way." Buffy insists they're not demons. "Is that a fact?" he challenges. Riley tells her they have a lot of work to do. She asks Adam what his name was. "Before Adam? Not a man among us can remember." The lights dim and a computer voice announces that the demons have escaped and they should run for their lives. Riley suggests they should make a fort. Adam will get the pillows. As they leave, the demons are closing in behind Buffy and she sees a leather bag at her feet. She tries to call out after Riley and Adam that she has weapons. She opens the bag, but it is filled with gray clay mud. She starts to cover her face with it. "I thought you were looking for your friends?" says Riley, in the room again. "Okay, killer . . . if that's the way you want it. I guess you're on your own."

As Buffy walks down the corridor it opens out to a sandy hill in the desert. She no longer has the clay on her face. She doesn't think she'll find her friends here. She sees Tara walking towards her. "Of course not," she says. "That's the reason you came." Buffy knows Tara isn't in her dream. Tara tells her she was borrowed. "Someone has to speak for her." Buffy wants "her" to speak for herself. The creature "” a young black woman wrapped in long white cloth with a painted face - circles Buffy in a prowling crouch. Buffy asks why she's following her - Tara says she's not. Buffy asks where her friends are, but Tara tells her she's asking the wrong questions. Buffy tells Tara to make her speak. Through Tara: "I have no speech. No name. I live in the action of death. The blood cry. The penetrating wound. I am destruction. Absolute. Alone." Buffy realizes - "The Slayer." The First, Tara tells her.

Buffy is suddenly holding the tarot cards and she sees herself with her friends in her living room watching movies. She tells the First Slayer she's not alone. "I walk. I talk. I shop. I sneeze. I'm gonna be a fireman when the floods roll back. There's trees in the desert since you moved out. And I don't sleep on a bed of bones. Now give me back my friends."

“No friends," the First Slayer herself growls. "Just the kill. We are alone." The Cheese Guy steps in front of Buffy holding up a slice of cheese in each hand, smiling. Buffy's had enough and says she's waking up now. But the First Slayer tackles her and they start to fight. They get back to their feet and Buffy says it's over. The First Slayer lunges at her again and they tumble down the hill.

"Enough!" Buffy shouts, and wakes up on her living room floor. She sees the others still asleep. She's about to get up when the First Slayer suddenly jumps on top of her and starts stabbing her repeatedly in the stomach. After a couple of seconds, Buffy just rolls her eyes. "Are you quite finished?" The Slayers stand up, and Buffy informs her that she (Buffy) is going to ignore her, and she (the First Slayer) is going to go away. Buffy returns to her original spot on the couch and is advising the First Slayer on hair care when -

Buffy wakes up again, for real this time. Giles, Willow, and Xander also wake up. Some time later, they are gathered around the dining table and have shared their dreams. Giles figures that their joining with Buffy and invoking the Slayer's power was an affront to the source of that power. Buffy tells him he could have brought that up before they did it. He insists he did inform them that there could be dire consequences. "Yes, but you say that about chewing too fast." Joyce enters and realizes she just missed something. Willow tells her it was just the spirit of the First Slayer who tried to kill them in their dreams. Joyce thinks this calls for some hot chocolate and asks Xander, who's acting a bit funny around her, to help.

Giles asks Buffy if she's all right. She says she is, but it was little intense. As she heads upstairs to take a shower, she says, "Well, at least you all didn't dream about that guy with the cheese. I don't know where the hell that came from." Willow, Xander, and Giles just exchange a look.

Upstairs, Buffy stops by the open door of her bedroom and looks at her made bed. She hears Tara's voice again. "You think you know. What's to come. What you are. You haven't even begun."

Buffy steps away from the door.

Written and Directed by Joss Whedon

Original Air Date: May 23, 2000
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