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The Body


From:Loey's Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer

We see a repeat of the last scene from "I Was Made to Love You". That's it for the teaser.


Flash back to Christmas, with everyone having dinner at the Summers home. It's a happy scene, with Buffy and Joyce teasing each other and basically making us all weep.

Buffy tries to wake Joyce up, then calls 911. The operator talks her through a CPR attempt, which only results in a cracked rib. When Buffy says that her mother is cold, the operator goes silent for a moment, then tells her to just wait for the paramedics.

Buffy immediately calls Giles, giving him the impression that Glory is or was there (I'm not sure if Buffy really thinks this or not). The ambulance arrives, and Buffy sees a vision of her mother coming to and recovering completely. It's just a fantasy, though - in reality, nothing works. They think it might have been an aneurysm, and there's nothing anyone could have done. One of the guys tells Buffy that he'll call the coroner, and she shouldn't disturb the body. The paramedics have to go on another call, leaving Buffy alone in the house.

Buffy wanders around, pausing briefly to throw up on the floor. She's trying to clean it up when Giles arrives, panicked at the thought that Glory has attacked. He sees Joyce and goes over to her, and it takes him about a nanosecond to figure out what's happened, especially after Buffy yells at him, "We're not supposed to move the body!". He puts his arms around Buffy, who just stands there with her hand over her mouth, staring.

Dawn is in the restroom at school, crying, but not over Joyce (yet). She's upset because some of the kids were picking on her, and one of her friends is trying to help her pull herself together. They go to art class, and Dawn gets to flirt with a cute guy (who sort of looks like Ben's younger brother). Buffy arrives and takes her into the hallway. She wants to go outside, but Dawn makes her tell what's wrong now. Buffy breaks the news, and Dawn starts screaming and crying, then collapses.

Xander and Anya drive in silence to the college to pick up Willow and Tara. Willow is obsessing over what shirt to wear, pouring all her pain and frustration into finding this one blue sweater that Joyce really liked. Tara kisses (that's right, kisses) her and tries to offer comfort.

Anya and Xander arrive, and they all stand around, not sure what to do next. Xander wants someone to blame - Glory, the doctors, anybody - but soon realizes it's useless. Willow changes clothes again, and Tara goes to the laundry room to look for the blue sweater. While she's gone, Anya starts asking extremely inappropriate questions, which pisses Willow off. Anya starts to cry - she's just trying to understand what's happening and what she can do to help. This is all tremendously upsetting to someone who isn't used to mortality. She sits down (right on Will's blue sweater, which nobody notices, even after Anya absent-mindedly puts it in a drawer).

Suddenly, there's a loud noise, and the girls jump. Xander has just let out his pent-up anger by running his fist through the dorm's cheap drywall. Tara comes back just as he gets it unstuck - it's all bloody, and he really doesn't feel better. They decide to get it together and go to the morgue to meet Buffy, Dawn, and Giles. They need to be there for their friend, and that's really the only thing they can do right now.

When they get there, it's hugs all around (including Xander and Giles). Dr. Kriegel comes out of the morgue and confirms the paramedics' theory. It was, indeed, an aneurysm, something they couldn't really detect ahead of time, although Joyce knew about the possibility. He assures Buffy that her mother didn't suffer.

He also says there are forms to fill out and decisions to make. Giles offers to handle as much of that as he can, and goes with the doctor. Dawn heads for the restroom, while Xander, Willow, and Anya go to find food for everyone.

Buffy and Tara are left alone, and Tara tells Buffy about her own mother's death. Tara was 17 at the time, and had thoughts and reactions that were totally unexpected and irrational. She wants Buffy to know that this is OK, and she'll be there for her. It's very sweet.

Dawn sees the morgue entrance and sneaks in. She walks up to Joyce's body and starts to lift the cover, then hesitates. On the other side of the room, a man gets up. Vampire! Dawn turns around just as he starts toward her.

The gang returns with armloads of snacks (Willow: "We panicked.") Buffy realizes Dawn's been gone a while, and quickly figures out where she is. She gets there in time to catch the vampire, although she's so exhausted and off her game, she has a hard time fighting him.

In the ensuing chaos, the cover accidentally gets pulled off Joyce's body. After Buffy dusts the vamp, she and Dawn sit on the floor, looking up at their mother's lifeless form. Dawn stands up and slowly reaches over to touch her face.

The End.

I Was Made to Love You


From:Loey's Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy takes out her Spike frustrations on a punching bag in the training room, with Giles standing off to the side, trying to make her feel better (as best he can). She's convinced that she somehow made Spike feel the way he did, and once again wonders what's wrong with her.

We discover that her punching bag is actually Xander in a puffy protection suit, and he's had enough. Giles goes to get ice, while Xander leans against the wall and takes over pep-talk duties. Buffy goes into her "I can't keep a decent man, but I attract all the bad ones" routine, and Xander insists that this isn't true, that someday a great guy will come along and "he'll see your amazing heart and he'll fall in love with you" (this gets him a hug). He also mentions the little fact that the Hellmouth isn't really the best place for relationships in general.

Elsewhere in said Hellmouth, a car stops at a curb, and a beautiful, perky, plastic-looking young woman gets out and thanks the driver for the ride. He asks her what on earth she's looking for in a place like Sunnydale. She smiles and replies, "True love".

OK, I'm guessing this is the role Britney Spears was supposed to play....


At the Summers home, Joyce is trying on a nice new dress, showing off for Buffy and Dawn. She's got a date tonight with a very nice man she met at the gallery, and she's incredibly nervous. The girls tease her about it, but they're obviously as thrilled as she is.

Tara and Anya walk along a sidewalk, while Anya describes the wonders on online trading. She's apparently tripled her investment, and she's quite proud of herself. The girl from the car walks up to them and asks if they've seen somebody named Warren. When they say they haven't, she thanks them and asks the next person she sees the same question.

That night, there's a Spring Break party at UC Sunnydale (which means either the show's timeline has jumped ahead quite a bit, or they have Spring Break really early in Southern California). Anyway, Xander and Buffy are dancing, and Anya's not the least bit threatened, which she eagerly points out to Willow and Tara. After the song is over, Buffy sees Ben, God of Interns, standing nearby, and goes over to talk to him. She's very nervous, but he doesn't need much prodding, and he asks her out for coffee.

Xander joins the others, and tries to explain Chex Party Mix to Anya, who is fascinated by the little grain squares. He sees the same girl who talked to Tara and Anya (her name is April, by the way), and can't help but go homina-homina a little. Even Willow comments on how attractive she is, which seems to prompt a little jealous moment from Tara.

Spike shows up and starts half-picking on, half-flirting with Buffy, who tells him to go the hell away. Ben comes over soon after and gives her his phone number.

Meanwhile, April is asking everyone if they've seen Warren, but she apparently doesn't see him herself, even though he is, indeed, at the party. He's not exactly eager to be found, though, and he grabs his girlfriend and leaves quickly.

Spike sees April and immediately propositions her. Instead of just being offended (or taking him up on it), she grabs him and hurls him through a window. She's got a boyfriend, thankyouverymuch, and Spike isn't him, so he can't talk to her that way. Spike expresses his condolences to her real boyfriend and leaves.

As amused as Buffy is by the sight of Spike getting thrown through a window, she still confronts April and tells her to relax. April responds by tossing Buffy across the room this time.

After the party ends, the Scoobies sit around, wondering what just happened. The consensus is that April must be a robot (and only on this show would that be an easy assumption to make). Willow offers to look for Sunnydale students named Warren, but it could take a while to track this guy down. They decide that they can probably wait till morning, since April didn't seem to want to hurt him.

Besides, Buffy has to go rescue Giles, who has been staying with Dawn while the other two Summers ladies are out for the evening. Dawn made him listen to bubble-gum music, among other horrors, and the poor guy is completely traumatized. Then Joyce comes home, ready to gush about her wonderful date. Horrified, Giles escapes to the relatively sane world of occult texts and demonic incantations....

April spends the night going door-to-door, asking if Warren lives there. So she may not be that dangerous, but she's certainly one of the more annoying creatures ever to plague Sunnydale.

At the shop the next day, Willow finally tracks down the Warren in question - he used to go to Sunnydale High, then transferred to a tech school in a nearby town. His parents are still in Sunnydale, and Will gets that address. The gang discusses why someone would make a robotic girlfriend, and the answers are obvious - sex and loneliness. Either way, they agree it's kind of sad.

The conversation hits close to home for Buffy, who calls Ben and agrees to the coffee date. Before he answers the phone, he has to change from Glory back into himself. He's even still wearing her dress (heh).

Warren and his new girlfriend, Katrina, pack quickly to leave town. Katrina doesn't understand why he's acting so weird, especially when Buffy shows up at the door to talk about "her". Angry, Katrina leaves, and Buffy aks Warren about April's visit. He explains that April is a robot, and is a little startled when Buffy shrugs off this earth-shattering revelation.

Spike comes to the magic shop, where the rest of the gang is hanging out, and tries to make himself part of the team again. They're having none of it, however - even Dawn doesn't want anything to do with him anymore. He tries to "explain" (i.e. lie about) what happened with him and Buffy, but Giles cuts him off by pushing him into a bookcase and giving him the Ripper Super Laser Death Glare. "We're not your friends," he seethes, "We are not your way to Buffy. There is no way to Buffy. Clear out of here. And Spike, this thing? Get over it."

Spike protests briefly, then takes Giles' advice and leaves. In a hurry.

Buffy gets Warren to explain what happened with April, and he's practically a Ted-in-training. He wanted the perfect girlfriend, so he created her himself, and she was everything he thought he wanted. Only he realized how boring that was, since there were no surprises, no excitement. Once he met Katrina, whom he could really fall in love with, he decided to just abandon April and hope her batteries ran out before she found him.

No such luck. April is still going all over town, hunting him down. She runs into Katrina at a playground, and when she asks about Warren, Katrina makes the mistake of insisting that he's her boyfriend. April grabs her and tries to make her "tell the truth". Warren and Buffy arrive before actual murder occurs (although Katrina's unconscious). Warren tries to explain the situation to April, but you can't break up with a robot whose only reason for existence is to have you as her boyfriend. April immediately determines that Buffy has gotten between them, and starts kicking the Slayer around. While they fight, Katrina wakes up and runs away, furious, with Warren close behind.

April tries to choke Buffy, but she's running out of juice. The two of them end up sitting on the swings together, with April insisting that she did everything she was programmed to do. "I'm only supposed to love him," she says, "If I can't do that, what am I for? What do I exist for?"

Nothing, as it turns, out, but Buffy tries to reassure her that this wasn't her fault. As April slowly winds down, she tries to be cheerful, mouthing sunny platitudes right to the end. Then she "dies", with that big, too-bright smile on her face.

Buffy isn't smiling though - she's thinking. A lot. Later, she watches Xander fix the busted window from the party, and they talk about April. Buffy understands her, and has come to understand something even more important - it's time to be single for a while. "I don't need a guy right now," she says, "I need me. I need to get comfortable being alone with Buffy."

To that end, she calls Ben and leaves a message on his machine, canceling their date. Of course, Ben isn't the one screening the calls today - Glory is. Jinx suggests that Ben is dating the Slayer, but Glory's convinced that he's plotting against her somehow.

Warren calls Katrina, trying to apologize, but she's having none of it. Just as he hangs up, Spike walks in (Mom invited him). He's packed up his Slayer Shrine, and he wants to place an order. One Buffy Fembot, please. Now. And make it a good one.

Buffy comes home and discovers a lovely bouquet of flowers sitting just inside the door. They're from her mom's date, and Buffy's impressed. Until she sees Joyce lying on the couch, motionless. She walks over slowly, a look of dread coming over her face.

Joyce's eyes are open, but she's not moving. Or breathing.



From:Loey's Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The Bronze is having a swingin' Grand Re-Opening party, after undoing Olaf the Troll's remodeling job. Buffy sits alone while her couply friends dance, and Spike sits down next to her, complaining about the price hikes and menu changes (no more onion flowers, darn it). Buffy wants to know why he's talking to her like they're buddies or something, and he reminds her that he helped her fight Glory. She reminds him that he wasn't really much help, since he got knocked out and all.

The Scoobies come over, and Xander gets his seat back from Spike, who goes to the bar.....with money he just swiped from the Xand-man. Meanwhile, Willow's got another headache, thanks to doing teleportation spells, which Tara (again) warns her away from.

Buffy sees Ben and goes over to thank him for looking after Dawn. Spike sees them talking and laughing together and, well, his skin kind of takes on a greenish tinge :-)

At the Sunnydale train station, a redshirt employee checks out the last train of the night, concerned that no passengers have gotten off. There's a good reason for this, as it turns out - they're all dead, covered in blood. The man finally sees what attacked them, and runs away screaming. He doesn't get far, though, and the thing (which we don't see) grabs him and pulls him back into the car, then starts slurping and chomping.

Welcome to Sunnydale. Enjoy your stay!


Buffy gets home from the Bronze, much to the relief of Joyce and Dawn. Giles has been there looking after them, but they all have to admit, it's better to have a Slayer handy when big, bad evil things are after you. Buffy stops Giles as he's leaving and tells him that she and Joyce have been going really easy on Dawn lately, cutting her an unusual amount of slack. He advises against this, insisting that it's better to behave as if everything were normal (whatever that word means in this family...). Buffy agrees, and immediately starts yelling at Dawn about taking her blue cashmere sweater.

Which she hasn't touched. But you can probably guess who has touched it. And sniffed it. And gazed longingly at it, which is what he's doing right now. Yep, it's our boy Spike, whose reverie is interrupted by Harmony. She wants to fool around, but he'll only do it if she dresses up as Buffy and lets him jump her bones. This is both quite funny and extremely disturbing.

At UC Sunnydale, Buffy, Willow, and Tara are discussing The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Willow, as usual, has romantic notions about how she wishes the story had ended, but Tara points out that it couldn't have had a happy ending, because Quasimodo was acting out of selfish motives See, he had no concept of right and wrong, and was only doing the things he did because he was in love. Besides, as Tara reminds us all, it's just not gonna turn out well if the guy's "all bumpy". Preach it, sister.

Buffy sees a newspaper headline about the train car attack, and quickly figures out that it was vampires, not Glory. Not that this is a good thing, mind you, but at least it's something Buffy can actually fight.

Dawn takes a detour on her way home from school - right into Spike's crypt. She wants to hang out with him, since he treats her like a normal, intelligent person, unlike just about everyone else she knows. So, the two of them end up bonding, with Spike regaling Dawn with tales of his bad-ass days. She seems to enjoy hearing about his slaughter of helpless innocents. Maybe a little too much, in fact.

Meanwhile, Buffy comes home to find her mother pacing the floor because Dawn isn't home yet. Buffy goes to the crypt to get Spike's help in finding her, and is not exactly thrilled to discover Little Sis listening raptly to his campfire tales.

As the girls walk home, Buffy pauses in her chewing-out long enough to realize that Dawn has a crush on Spike. Dawn sort of halfway admits it, then counters Buffy's revulsion by bringing up the A-word (she doesn't see a difference between Angel's soul and Spike's chip). Besides, she says, her feelings for Spike don't matter anyway. He's only got eyes for Buffy.

Buffy: "Huh?!"

The next day, Buffy and Xander check out the Train of Death, but the police have already cleaned the place out pretty well. After a couple of false starts, Buffy tells Xander what Dawn said about Spike, which Xander finds incredibly funny. He stops laughing, however, when Buffy mentions Dawn's own feelings for Spike. Wrong crush object, there.

As they walk out, the camera pans up to one of the luggage compartments. There's a pretty Victorian doll there, with a gag over its mouth.

Guess who?

When Buffy comes home that evening, she finds Spike making small talk with Joyce and Dawn in the kitchen. He says he came over to apologize for what happened earlier, and because he has information for Buffy. There are a couple of vamps downtown who might be responsible for the train massacre. So, he and Buffy check the place out, sitting in his car while they wait for the vamps to come home. It's very awkward, with Spike trying to act cool and Buffy being entirely freaked.

They see the guys return to their lair and follow them in. These aren't the types to perform a massacre, though - as soon as they see the Slayer, they run away like little girly-men (Spike is embarrassed for his whole species).

As they leave, Spike holds the door open for Buffy, and this is the last straw. She wants to know just what the hell is going on here, and he finally admits his feelings. He wants her to reciprocate, insisting that there's some "heat" between them. Not only does Buffy find this notion disgusting, she is also less than convinced by Spike's claim that he's changed. He even says "I love...", before she cuts him off and storms out.

Spike goes to his crypt, clearly upset, when he senses someone in the room with him. It is, of course, Drusilla, looking like her usual Goth Princess self, although she still has a few scars from her last run-in with Angel. She fills Spike in on the doings in L.A., and offers him the chance to come back with her and get up to their old tricks again. She knows about the chip, but believes that his true, bestial nature can overcome it if he really wants. She's more than ready to help, natch.

Harmony bursts in and launches into a jealous tirade. She says some particularly nasty things to Dru, prompting Spike to grab her by the throat and toss her against the wall, telling her to get out.

Harmony: "Why? Because she's back?"

Spike: "No. Because I am."

Buffy tells Joyce and Willow about her conversation with Spike, and they're both quite worried about it. Chip or no chip, Spike could be an especially unpleasant lovesick stalker. Willow encourages Buffy to make sure Spike is clear on her feelings, so he won't keep thinking he has a chance with her. Buffy eventually agrees, and asks Willow to do her a favor while she's gone.

Spike and Dru go to the Bronze, where they find a young couple dancing away from the rest of the crowd. Drusilla snaps both their necks, and she and Spike drink. Spike hesitates for a moment, seemingly uncertain. But he soon vamps out and joins the fun.

Buffy goes to the crypt, where she finds a ladder leading down to the underground portion of Spike's lair (which is kind of neat, like a catacombs). This is where he keeps the Buffy shrine, complete with mannequin, and it's pretty creepsome. Buffy climbs back up quickly, only to find Spike and Dru waiting for her. Drusilla zaps her with a stun thingie, knocking her out. Dru's all ready to play with her food, but Spike has other ideas. He zaps her. She's a little, well, shocked (heh).

When the ladies wake up, they are, quite literally, Spike's captive audience - Buffy is shackled and Dru is tied to a pole. Spike has decided to make Buffy understand how strong his feelings are, even if he has to stake Drusilla to do it.

That's right. He offers to dust his own sire, the woman who gave him the best years of his unlife, in order to prove his love to Buffy.

Who is not at all impressed, and lobs her usual insults at him. Spike then threatens to turn Dru loose on her if she doesn't "admit" to having at least some feelings for him. All he wants is to know he stands a chance. Buffy glares at him: "The only chance you had with me was when I was unconscious."

Spike's had it. He throws a massive tantrum, raging against the women who have ruined everything for him. As if on cue, Harmony appears, just missing his heart with a crossbow. She pounds on him, and while they fight, Drusilla frees herself and starts in on Buffy. Buffy can barely defend herself, and Dru is really hammering her. Seeing this, Spike pushes Dru away and knocks her to the ground. He frees Buffy from her chains, as Dru watches, hurt. "Poor Spike," she laments, "So lost. Even I can't help you now." With that, she disappears into the darkness.

Harmony leaves too, but not before officially breaking up with Spike in her usual idiotic way. This leaves him alone with Buffy, who responds to the tender moment by popping him one and sending him flying right into the photos of her he has plastered on the wall.

Spike follows Buffy home, trying to get her to talk to him, to give him some shred of hope. All Buffy wants is for him to leave her alone, and preferably to leave Sunnydale. She goes into her house, and he tries to enter, too, insisting that she can't shut him out.

Wrong-o, buddy. That little favor she asked of Willow? It's called a de-invite spell. Spike can't get past the front porch.

Buffy shuts the door in his face.

Blood Ties


From:Loey's Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The gang is having a late research night at the shop, while also making plans for Buffy's 20th birthday party (ah, here's the birthday episode!). Buffy would rather concentrate on learning about Glory. The Council's information fills in a few blanks - Glory is one of three gods who ruled over a particularly nasty demon dimension. As Anya and Giles point out, there are thousands of these dimensions, all "pushing on the edges of our reality, trying to find a way in", and Glory has apparently accomplished this part, although they have no idea why she's there or what exactly she plans to do. They do, however, realize that she has a weakness, and must draw power from the minds of human victims.

The subject of the Key comes up, and Buffy finally decides to 'fess up about Dawn. The others are a little upset that she didn't tell them sooner, and she tries to explain her reasoning. But, as we know, even she hasn't been certain of that reasoning, and she ends up admitting that she should have told them sooner.

Meanwhile, the Knights of Byzantium are in a clearing in the woods, chanting: "The Key is the link. The link must be severed. Such is the will of God". Unfortunately for them, it's not the will of a certain blonde god, and she and her minions attack the group. Most of them are killed, but Glory stops short of offing the cute one from "Checkpoint".


Willow and Tara set up a sort of magical alarm system outside the shop, a way of letting them know if Glory ever gets near. Dawn walks over and asks if she can help, which they politely decline. So, Little Sister goes inside, where she talks to Xander and Anya. These two are doing exactly what Buffy was afraid they would - acting really strange around Dawn and making her suspicious (they need to take "act normal" lessons from Will and Tara). Buffy and Giles come out of the training room, and Dawn notices Giles hiding a notebook under the counter somewhere. Buffy tries to make small talk with her about school, but she's clearly getting annoyed at the way they're all acting.

Glory takes the knight back to her place, where she tortures him for information about the Key. He doesn't know anything, and wouldn't tell her if he did, so she brain-sucks him.

Buffy's birthday party goes ahead, with cake and gifts and food. Willow and Tara buy her a nice dress, which makes Anya jealous ("I want presents"). Dawn gives Buffy a picture of them on a beach together, back when they made some trip to San Diego with their dad. It's a nice little gift, but everyone else in the room gets very quiet.

Later, Dawn overhears another vague conversation between Buffy, Giles, and Joyce, which abruptly stops when she comes too close. Then she goes into the living room and snaps at the others for "acting all weird" whenever she's around. She knows they talk about her behind her back, and it's pissing her off. She runs up to her room.

And climbs out the window, running into Spike in the backyard (he's lurking around with that infamous box of chocolates for Buffy). Dawn is preparing to break into the magic shop so she can find the notebook Giles had, hoping it will tell her what the heck is going on. Spike offers to look after her, reckoning the Slayer wouldn't be too happy if her sister got hurt running around Sunnydale at night.

So, they get into the shop, and Dawn finds where Giles hid the notebook. (Spike takes something from the counter, too, although I'm not sure what it was.) Dawn reads the book, and finally gets to the part about the Key. It tells her pretty much everything we already know - The Key is pure energy; the monks were trying to protect it; only crazy people and certain animals can see its true nature; it was sent to the Slayer for protection. And, oh's the Slayer's sister.

Back at the house, Buffy sits in the living room with Willow and Tara. She hasn't gotten a card or anything from Riley, and doesn't expect to. As Buffy contemplates the virtues of a boyfriend-free birthday, Tara sees something across the room that gets her attention, to say the least. Dawn is standing there, with blood all over her arm. She's just cut herself with a knife, wanting to see if she - and her blood - are real.

Yep, kids, it's an official, full-blown freak-out.

After the others leave and they get Dawn upstairs, Buffy and Joyce try to explain things to her. They wanted to tell her when she was older, which just makes things worse, since they then have to tell her how old she really is. She insists that Buffy only cares about her because it's her job, which Buffy denies, pointing out that their emotions are very real, regardless of anything else. Dawn is not ready to hear any of this, however, and literally screams at them to get out.

The next day, Buffy and the others gather at the shop, trying to find out more about the Key so they can tell Dawn who and what she is, and hopefully provide some comfort. After finding a cigarette butt in one of the relics, they at least figure out who helped her get into the shop, and Buffy goes to Spike's crypt, ready to rumble. She's furious that he let Dawn find out the truth the way she did, but Spike throws it right back in Buffy's face, telling her it wouldn't have happened if she had just been honest with Dawn in the first place. This hits home, and Buffy leaves.

Joyce tries to get Dawn up for school, but Dawn has decided that "blobs of energy don't need an education". Joyce starts to baby her, which prompts Dawn to grab her book bag and leave after all. "I'm not sick," she says bitterly, "I'm not anything."

At the hospital, Ben finds the knight Glory crazified babbling in the psych ward. Just then, Jinx the Crusty Minion walks in, and reminds him that more knights will follow. He says that Ben's fate is linked to Glory's, and he should help her. Ben isn't afraid of her, though, and refuses. Apparently, she can't lay a finger on him.

Buffy and Joyce argue over what to do about Dawn, who has managed to get herself suspended from school. While they hash things out, Dawn is upstairs trashing her room and burning her diaries, which sets off the smoke alarm. When Joyce and Buffy get up there, they discover that she's gone out the window again. Maybe for good this time.

Buffy rallies the troops at the magic shop. Joyce has stayed at the house in case Dawn comes back. Anya will stay at the shop, in case she shows up there. The others split up in twos - Xander and Giles, Willow and Tara, and Buffy and Spike (yes, Spike).

Dawn wanders around a playground, remembering when she played on the swings there with Buffy. It doesn't exactly giver her a warm, cozy feeling.

Xander and Giles look around an alley, talking about how bizarre it is that Dawn is really this mystical, powerful thing, when they all have such vivid memories of her being just a regular kid. As usual, Xander can't leave well enough alone, and just has to mention Dawn's crush on him. This gets one of those classic looks from Giles, who is obviously less than impressed.

Buffy and Spike get to the playground a little too late, and Buffy admits that this might not have happened if she'd told Dawn the truth sooner. Spike tries to make her feel better, and assures her that she will find Dawn and keep her safe.

Dawn goes to the hospital, making her way to the psych ward, where she tries to get the crazy guys to shed some light on the situation. The knight recognizes her, but he's too incoherent (and potentially hostile) to be of much help. She runs into the hallway.....and right into Ben.

Who takes her to a break room and makes her hot chocolate. He's worried that her mom might be sick again or she had a fight with Buffy. (He has a pain-in-the-ass sister, too. Guess who?) It's not that, she tells him, and then she starts ranting about being the Key and hiding from Glory, which would utterly confuse and confound most people. Not Ben, though - he just panics. This kid is the Key, and Glory will hurt her if she finds her there. He senses that Glory is coming, and tells Dawn to run away real damn fast.

Too late, though. Glory is there, all right. Ben turns into her, right before Dawn's eyes.

Seems that Glory has somehow replaced Ben (or something). Anyway, she doesn't know what Dawn and Ben were talking about, but she does recognize Dawn as Buffy's sister. A guard comes in and tells Glory to leave. She responds by breaking his neck. She takes Dawn to another room and starts grilling her about the Key, asking if she knows where it is. That Dawnie's a quick thinker, though, and she begins asking questions herself - What does it look like? What does it do? Is it evil? You know, just a little information, so she can figure out if she's seen it before. Slick, that girl.

Buffy and Co. have regrouped and decided to check out the hospital, fearing that Dawn may be hurt. While there, they overhear someone talking about the murdered security guard, and figure out that Glory could be responsible. They find her and Dawn, and just in time, too. Glory has decided that Dawn doesn't know where the Key is, and is preparing to do the sanity-suck on her, just so she'll be good for something.

Buffy, Spike, and Xander all fight Glory, to little avail. Giles tries to shoot her with a crossbow, and it bounces right off. She laughs at these puny mortals, then hurls a crowbar at Dawn. Buffy blocks it, taking the crowbar in the shoulder. Finally, Willow and Tara do what mere physical strength cannot - they cast a teleportation spell, which makes Glory disappear. Only they don't know where they sent her, and Willow nearly passes out from the spell's power (it's a bit out of her league).

Glory materializes in the sky above Sunnydale. She utters the first two letters of a popular swear word (rhymes with "spit") before plummeting to the ground.

Dawn is, obviously, still upset, and Buffy makes one last attempt to get through to her. "It doesn't matter where you came from or how you got here," she says, "You're my sister." Dawn finally accepts this, and they hug. They get up to leave, and Dawn says that Ben tried to help her, but she doesn't remember what all happened (she thinks he left before Glory arrived). Buffy says they'll thank him later.

The sisters walk out, hand-in-hand.

The Replacement


From:Loey's Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy, Riley, Xander, and Anya (whose arm is in a sling from last week) are in Xander's basement, watching a kung fu movie. Buffy is actually studying (gasp!), stopping only to make fun of the lame fighting technique of the movie's hero. Xander's parents come home, and everyone can hear them upstairs arguing and throwing things. Xander thinks maybe it's time to find a new place to live. Oh, and somewhere in Sunnydale, a glow-in-the-dark demon is doing a yucky ritual so he can kill the Slayer. Yeah, sure, buddy. [credits] Xander finds a really nice apartment, and he and the gang go to check it out (that would be Buffy, Riley, Willow, and Anya). It's way out of his price range, though, especially since his current construction job is about to end. Anya is pissed that she had to come and look at this great apartment, and now she can't even have it. At the magic shop, Giles is attacked by the demon, who is looking for Buffy. Luckily, he's a very "focused" demon, and only throws Giles across the room before leaving to hunt for the Slayer. When the kids come to the shop, they help Giles research the demon's origin. It's a creature called Toth, and it uses special magical devices to carry out its deeds. It also smells, which leads the gang to check out the city dump. They find Spike there, scavenging for knick-knacks. Sure enough, the demon shows up, and starts blasting at Buffy with a big stick that shoots out greenish fireballs. (Spike eggs him on - until one of his new trinkets gets obliterated.) The demon shoots like a Stormtrooper, though, and manages to hit Xander instead of Buffy, knocking him into a trash heap. Toth disappears, and Giles and Riley help Xander up and lead him towards home. Only, unbeknownst to them, there is now another Xander, and he's still lying in the trash. This Xander wakes up the next morning, hurting and disoriented. He goes to his place but can't get in, then sees himself through the window. So, of course, he does what anyone would do when faced with a situation like this. He calls Buffy. While he's making the call, however, he sees the other Xander walk by, and decides to follow him. (Buffy picks up the phone, realizes no one's there, and goes back to sucking face with Riley in her bedroom. Dawn is in the hallway making choking noises. Along with several viewers :-) Anyway, Xander follows his double to the construction site, and watches him go into a meeting with the boss. Turns out, he's been doing a really impressive job, and the boss offers him a full-time job and a promotion. Other-Xander has a small coin in his hand that keeps flashing light at the boss' face, and Xander assumes that he's hypnotizing people with it (how else would he get a promotion?). Meanwhile, we see what Spike was picking up at the dump. It's one of those wig-model statue things, and he has it dressed up as Buffy. Then he kicks the crap out of it. Yikes. Other-Xander (who is very suave and self-assured, by the way) decides to get the fancy apartment that he can now afford, and calls Anya, telling her to meet him there later. Xander is waiting for him in the hallway, and jumps him as soon as he walks out the door. Other-Xander wigs out and punches him in the face. Xander goes to Giles' apartment, but his double has already gotten there, and is telling everyone that some evil thing has taken his identity. They figure out that Toth may have shot him with some sort of shapeshifting device, and Buffy vows to take the demon down. Xander stands at the window (in the rain, no less), listening to this and being miserable. So he goes to see Willow, who has no idea what's going on. He tells her that a demon or a robot or something has taken his place. Worse yet, it seems to be smarter, more confident, and just generally better than he is, which really has him upset. Then it occurs to him that Anya might be in danger. Willow points out that it took him an awfully long time to think of Anya, but he insists that he "needs" her and runs off to her place (yes, Anya has a home - we actually see it!). While there, he finds the answering-machine message from Other-Xander, telling him to meet her at the new apartment. At said apartment, Other-Xander and Anya are having a romantic moment. Anya's not a happy camper, though. Seems that being injured has got her thinking about her mortality, and she's terrified that she only has about 50 years or so ahead of her. Other-Xander is very understanding and tries to reassure her. Xander bursts in, and poor Anya is completely confused. It gets better when Xander pulls out a gun, which he got from her house(!). Willow shows up at Giles' to tell the others what happened. Giles is consulting his books, however, and learns something startling. It seems that neither of the two Xanders is actually a demon - the weapon that Toth used was designed to split people in two, with each half receiving different personality traits. The idea was to zap Buffy with it, leaving one normal-human Buffy and one pure-Slayer Buffy. If one half is killed, the other one dies, too, and Toth was going to destroy Buffy by killing her weaker self. Needless to say, this does not bode well for the scared guy with the gun. Buffy and Riley borrow Giles' car and race toward Xander's apartment. On the way, Buffy asks Riley if he wishes she really could split into two people, so he could have a normal girlfriend instead of someone who has to go off and fight monsters all the time. He tells her that he wouldn't want her to be any different than she is right now - "There's no part of you I'm not in love with." Awwww. They make it to the apartment in time for Buffy to disarm Xander and explain what the heck is going on (the coin is just a flattened nickel Other-Xander found and thought was cool). Before they can leave, Toth busts in and goes after Buffy, who kills him (surprise). At the magic shop, Willow and Giles prepare a spell that will merge the two Xanders back into one (Anya kind of prefers him this way, though, for typically lascivious reasons). As they are about to walk into the circle, Xander asks Other-Xander how he got the promotion if he wasn't hypnotizing people. Turns out, Xander really was good at the job all along, and he actually earned it. Imagine that. The spell is successful (and remarkably easy), and Xander is back to his old, singular self. Later, Buffy and Riley help Xander move out of the basement, while Anya reads a magazine (her arm is OK now). Xander insists that she help carry stuff - she complains, but does it anyway. When Xander and Riley are alone, they commiserate about their girlfriends. Xander kind of envies the relative sanity of the Buffy/Riley relationship, but Riley points out that Anya is really nuts about Xander, despite her behavior sometimes. Riley then waxes poetic about how much Buffy means to him. "But she doesn't love me." This isn't said with any anger or whininess. It's just a simple, resigned statement. Buffy comes in and snuggles with Riley. Xander stands there, stunned at what he's just heard.



From:Loey's Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The gang has a meeting at Buffy's house, where Giles informs them that some representatives of the Council are on their way to Sunnydale with information about Glory. Buffy is understandably not happy at the prospect of having them around again.

Dawn overhears a little of this conversation, but Joyce sends her back to bed before she can learn anything important. Not that she would anyway, since Buffy and Giles are studiously avoiding any mention of Dawn being the Key.

Meanwhile, Glory is exhibiting a rare sign of weakness. She's a mess in fact, until her minions (Dreg and some other guy) bring her a fresh mailman to "eat". She drains his sanity and gets back to her usual self. One of the minions tells her that the "alignment" is coming sooner than expected, so she'll have to speed up her plans, which means getting the information about the Key away from Buffy. "You don't have much time," he says. She grins. "Baby, if that girl's the only thing between me and my Key, I don't need much time."


At the shop, Giles is helping a customer, until he's interrupted by the arrival of Quentin Travers (boo, hiss) and a contingent of about half a dozen other Watchers. They proceed to kick out all the customers and shut down the store for the duration of their visit. Anya nervously goes to the back room (she's afraid they'll learn about her ex-demon status).

Travers (boo, hiss) informs Giles that they won't hand over their info on Glory until they've done an evaluation of Buffy's methods and abilities. This isn't a test like the Cruciamentum, but a comprehensive review of how she does things. They want to determine if they can trust her with the job of fighting Glory (yeah, like they've got anybody else to do it). Giles tells them that Buffy's skills are improving, and she's becoming a lot more focused.

Not in class, though - as a history professor drones on about Rasputin, she's yawning and dropping her pencil on the floor. Until he mentions how hard Rasputin reportedly was to kill. That perks her up, and prompts a debate with the professor about whether he was really assassinated the way the books claim. The professor notes that Buffy seems to argue strange things like this a lot, and he's tired of it. He shuts her down pretty harshly. (Geez, are all UC Sunnydale professors jerks? The best one we've seen so far was Maggie Walsh and, well, look how she turned out....)

Anyway, Buffy later takes her frustrations out on a vampire. Spike shows up out of nowhere and stakes the vamp, but gets no gratitude from the Slayer, poor guy. She just thinks he's in the way. He doesn't help matters when he starts picking on her about her crappy love life and how she can't seem to keep a man.

Way to show your affection, O Bleached One.

At the hospital, one of Glory's minions corners Ben to deliver a message. Glory knows Ben has had contact with the Slayer, and wants him to reveal her whereabouts, or at least find out where the Key is. Ben refuses to help and sends a "message" of his own.

Buffy arrives at the shop, to find Travers (boo, hiss) and his crew there waiting for her. They tell her about the evaluation, that they'll be watching her train, interviewing her friends, etc. Giles is extremely pissed off about all this (he even yells at Travers - it's really cool), but Travers reminds Buffy that Glory is more powerful than she is and she's going to need the information they have. He gives Buffy a little speech about her place in the universe: "The Council fights evil. The Slayer is the instrument by which we fight. The Council remains. The Slayers change. It's been that way from the beginning."

Sensing her continued resistance to the idea (and having Giles' resistance thrown right in his face), Travers brings out the big guns. If Buffy doesn't cooperate, the Council will not only have the magic shop closed permanently, they will also have Giles deported, and see to it that he never sets foot in the U.S. again. This stops Buffy in her tracks. No more argument. (Did I mention the "boo, hiss" part?)

Glory's minion returns to her, all beat up, courtesy of Ben. The minion informs Glory that Ben won't help, which she simply does not understand. Frustrated, she decides to do the job herself.

That night, Buffy and Giles discuss the situation with the CoW. Buffy is worried she won't pass the evaluation, and the thought of losing Giles terrifies her. Giles is mostly just furious, calling Travers and Company all sorts of great British insults. He even breaks his glasses when he tries to clean them.

The next day, the Council guys start their interviews with Buffy's friends. Anya makes up this ridiculous past for herself, and Xander is forced to admit that he doesn't have any special training or powers. Willow and Tara are asked about "your relationship" and boldly declare their love.....until the questioner says he meant their relationship with Buffy. He also asks them what level of magical proficiency they have, and whether they're registered as practicing witches (they, of course, have no idea what he's talking about).

Then there's Spike. Turns out the woman doing the interview wrote her thesis on him, so he's flattered and uses the opportunity to flirt a little. He also lets on how he feels about Buffy and that she pays him for help. Needless to say, the Watchers are a bit startled at all this.

Buffy's own assessment begins in the training room, where she's blindfolded and told to protect the straw training dummy from the attacks of one of the Watchers, who is armed with an axe. Travers will call out aikido and jujitsu moves (in Japanese, no less), and she is to follow his instructions. Buffy is utterly lost (Giles has to translate the commands), and she comes awfully close to getting creamed. Finally, she just decides to do it her way. This means knocking her opponent around pretty seriously, possibly breaking a rib, and accidentally axing the dummy.

She's mortified, and asks for a do-over, but Travers just smirks and tells her they've seen enough of her physical abilities. The rest of the evaluation will be that evening at 7 o'clock.

So Buffy goes home, dejected, but things can definitely get worse - Glory is waiting for her. She's not there to fight, though - she's there to trash talk. She knows Buffy either has the Key or knows where it is (although she doesn't figure out it's Dawn, even when Little Sister comes into the room). Glory tells Buffy that her loved ones will die slowly and horribly if Buffy doesn't decide to help. Buffy's a "bug" and Glory will gladly squash her like one.

Buffy realizes she needs to keep Glory away from Dawn and Joyce, so she packs them up and takes them to.....Spike's crypt. That's right, she actually asks Spike for help. He's the only person who could possibly protect them right now, and Buffy holds the threat of immediate staking over his head if he lets anything happen to them. So, he reluctantly allows them in, and he and Joyce bond over Passions. Dawn rolls her eyes.

At the shop, Travers complains to Giles that Buffy's late for her review. Her friends sit on the upper level of the shop, observing the goings-on unhappily.

Buffy is on her way, when she's suddenly surrounded by a bunch of guys in black masks, armed with major swords. She fights them off, and pins their leader to the ground. When she takes off his mask, she discovers he's human (albeit with a funny tattoo on his forehead). He's one of the Knights of Byzantium, an ancient order, and they're determined to destroy the Key and its protector. They'll send armies if they have to. This just thrills Buffy, who nonetheless lets the guy go.

Buffy makes it to the shop, and Travers settles in for the rest of the questioning. Buffy isn't having it, though. There will be no review, no jumping through hoops, nothing. She's spent the last few days listening to people tell her how unimportant she is, and she's finally realized why - Power. "I have it," she says, "They don't. This bothers them." She tells them about Glory's visit, and that she has power over Glory right now because she has something Glory needs.

Then it gets really good. See, she's also concluded that the Council needs her, too, at least as much as she needs them. They can't fight Glory without the Slayer, and they have no purpose to their existence without her, anyway. They came to Sunnydale with their threats and bravado, but what they really wanted was to be let back into her circle, not the other way around.

So, this is how it's gonna be. The Council will share all the information they currently have about Glory, then will leave and call again only when they have more. They will not only let Giles stay in the country, they will reinstate him as her official Watcher, with full retroactive salary. End of discussion.

Travers sits there for a moment, then grudgingly accepts her terms. Then he asks Giles for a drink (and he doesn't mean tea). Buffy demands to hear what they've learned about Glory. She wants to know what kind of demon she's dealing with.

Glory isn't a demon, Travers points out.

"She's a god."

Loey's Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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