LAC Writer SealLori Ann

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All contents © 2011
by Lori Ann Curley
unless otherwise specified

Episode synopses written for

All episodes are from the fifth season of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  Buffy the Vampire Slayer TM and © Fox and its related entities. No copyright infringement is intended nor implied.

Fool for Love
Listening to Fear
Into the Woods
Blood Ties

Family ( site for this episode)

In Willow and Tara's dorm room, an exhausted Willow asks Tara for a story. Inspired by Miss Kitty Fantastico, Tara tells a story about a cat at a pound, and the story ends with Tara and Willow snuggling on the bed. Tara asks, "Do you think Buffy found out anything tonight?"

In a dark Summers home, Buffy tells Giles about Dawn's supernatural origin, of which Dawn is totally unaware. They also discuss Joyce's illness and Buffy's father's lack of participation in the family. Buffy stresses that she will take care of Dawn and Joyce and declares that it would be safer for everyone if they keep Dawn's true nature a secret.

Glory arises from the rubble of the warehouse and declares, "Okay, now I'm upset."

The Scooby Gang moves Buffy out of her dorm room. Tara tries making a joke, but it's so intellectual that even Giles doesn't get it, making Tara feel even more alienated from the group. While Tara takes a load to the car, Willow reminds the group of Tara's birthday surprise party at the Bronze the next night.

At the hospital, Ben the intern talks with another intern about the rash of mental patients checking in. Ben goes to the locker room to leave for the day, when a Lei-Ach demon, with a tongue that would rival Gene Simmons, is about to attack. Glory stops the demon, stating, "I need a favor."

At the Magic Box, Anya shows great enthusiasm for her work, while Xander and Buffy discuss Tara's party and their difficulty finding a gift. The gang is having similar bad luck finding information on Glory. Buffy complains of getting a headache trying to think of everything, so Xander suggests she go a few rounds in the training room.

Scene shift to Spike and Buffy fighting. "You want me, Slayer, come and get me." "Oh, I'm coming right now." Buffy says. Back in reality, Spike "comes" with Harmony, then lies that he was thinking only of her.

Back in the Magic Box, Giles asks if Buffy and Xander are making any progress, and the two make suggestions that have nothing to do with information on Glory. They're talking about gifts for Tara; they don't know what to buy her. "You're in a magic shop, and you can't think what Tara would like?" As the discussion digresses, a hick of a man asks them questions about the spell books on the table when Tara and Willow enter. Tara introduces the Scooby Gang to her big brother Donny who's in town for her birthday. She's not happy to see him.

Tara's father enters, and he's got the Puritan scowl down pat. Tara hugs her dad timidly and refers to him as "Sir" (bad sign). The family, which includes Cousin Beth, makes dinner plans before the breath of icy air leaves the magic shop.

At the Summers house, Riley informs Buffy that he has unpacked for her, for which she is very grateful. When Dawn tries to go to a neighbor's house for dinner, Buffy refuses to let her go. Buffy is in hyper-overprotective mom mode. Riley knows there's more going on, but Buffy refuses to inform him. He leaves, "You've got a lot on your mind. When you decide to let me in on any of it, let me know. (sarcastically) I'll come running."

When Tara enters her dorm room, she finds her disapproving father there complaining of all the witchcraft stuff around the room. "You don't even try to hide it anymore." When they talk about "what's going to happen," he informs Tara that he's taking her home because of the evil inside of her. When she insists that her power doesn't feel evil, he rebuts, "Evil never does." He leaves saying, "Your family loves you, Tara, no matter what. How do you think your friends are gonna feel when they see your true face?"

In Glory's overstuffed closet, the Lei-Ach demon finally awakes. She informs him that she wants him to take care of the girl who has been giving her problems. When he informs Glory that she's been fighting the Slayer, Glory orders the demon to find and kill her.

Willow informs Tara of another meeting of the Scooby Gang, and Tara declines to go, saying that so much is going on. She suggests that Willow give her a progress report in the morning. Willow agrees, saying, "We'll be demon hunters" as she leaves. Tara scours her spell books.

Giles gives the group an update at the Magic Box. During the meeting, Tara — hidden in the training room — casts a spell on the Scooby Gang.

At Willy's Place, the bartender (not Willy) tells a patron that he shouldn't be coming there. The camera shows Riley, who claims he "comes for the ambiance." A gorgeous woman named Sandy sits next to him and starts to flirt with him, but he informs her that "my heart belongs to another. Besides, I don't go out with vampires; they're never interested in my intellect." Sandy is noticeably annoyed with Riley.

Harmony returns to the crypt to tell Spike of her wonderful stealing spree at April Fool's. While out, she heard gossip that a Lei-Ach Demon was recruiting his brethren to kill the Slayer. Spike decides to go get a decent seat to watch the Slayer die.

Cousin Beth meets up with Tara on campus, and Beth berates Tara for not going home to take care of her father and brother. When Beth finds out that Tara cast a spell so her friends wouldn't see the demon part of her, Beth threatens to tell Tara's dad.

A knock is heard on the magic shop door. Willow answers it thinking it is Tara, but she sees no one there — not even the three demons waiting outside the door.

Beth says she's going to tell Tara's father about the spell. Beth is sure that Tara' father will tell her friends about her demon side, and thinks that Tara should tell them first.

The demons are happily surprised that the Scooby Gang can't see them. One of them goes into the training room, where Buffy is hitting the punching bag. She hears one of the demons growl, and starts to fight her invisible foe. Hearing the struggle, Xander leaps up to help, but is stopped in the doorway by another invisible demon. Fighting ensues, and Giles hides Dawn under a desk. Spike arrives to watch. Seeing Buffy in trouble, he starts to enjoy the scene, but soon steps in to help her. After that demon is taken care of, Buffy gets up to go into the shop area. Spike says, "You're welcome," as he fights a second demon, but Buffy can't see either of them. Tara enters the shop, and sees the group struggling to fight a demon they cannot see. She warns Buffy when the third demon is about to strike, then reverses her spell to help them fight. Tara's dad enters the shop as the fight is concluded, and informs the group that Tara is a demon, and he's taking her, because she belongs with her family. Willow, though baffled, doesn't want to let Tara go, and asks her if she wants to leave. Dad presses a tearful Tara, but Buffy intervenes. "If you want to take her Mr. Maclay, you gotta come through me." "And me." Dawn adds. The whole Scooby Gang — minus Spike — backs up Tara. When the cousin says, "I hope you'll be happy hanging around with a disgusting demon," Anya asks, "What kind?" The family doesn't know or care — evil is evil. Spike finally says, "Why don't we make this simple?" and hits Tara. Tara and Spike are both in pain. No demon exists in Tara; it was just a family legend to keep the women in line. The family finally leaves at Tara's insistence.

Tara's birthday party in the Bronze is a blast. Xander buys drinks and makes goo-goo eyes with Anya. Tara loves the crystal ball from Giles, and Dawn presents her with a new broom. Riley shows up, to Buffy's pleasure. When a slow song comes on, Willow asks Tara to dance. During the slow rhythms, Tara confesses that she wasn't sure Willow would like her if Willow met her family. Seeing how far Tara has evolved from her family makes Willow proud of her and love her more. The two embrace as they dance and float in the air.

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Fool for Love  ( site for this episode)

Buffy is on the job at one of the several cemeteries in Sunnydale. She is fighting a vampire with her usual repartee. When she pulls out her stake for the killing blow, the vamp turns the tables and the stake on her and impales her abdomen.

Stunned, Buffy pulls the stake out and drops it. The vamp picks it up and is about to strike her again when Riley shoves him out of the way. The two struggle, and the vamp flees. Riley wants to chase the vamp, but he sees Buffy falling and goes to her. She faints in his arms.

Riley patches Buffy up in her bedroom. She's concerned that he thinks she's a wimp, but he knows much better than that — until he finds out she was injured by single, normal vampire. Dawn barges into the room to warn them that mom is coming into the room. Buffy doesn't want mom to know that she's injured, so Dawn covers nicely as Riley is trying to hide the first aid equipment. Buffy shows Dawn the wound, which Dawn thinks is cool. Buffy asks Dawn to help with the household chores, and Riley offers to take patrol that night. Buffy asks him to take the Scooby Gang with him.

That night, Riley is stealthily leading Anya, Xander, and Willow, who are all eating chips, through the cemetery. When Xander bellows out, Riley suggests they split up. But the group still follows Riley, commenting on his coolness.

Buffy and Giles are going through the watchers' diaries looking for more information on the deaths of previous Slayers. Buffy is concerned about slipping up last night, and wants to know more about her predecessors last battles. Unfortunately, the watchers didn't write down much about these final fights because, according to Giles, the watcher finds the death of a Slayer rather painful. Buffy needs information, so she goes to the only person she knows who witnessed the death of a Slayer.

Buffy attacks Spike in his crypt and orders him to tell her how he killed two Slayers.

Over a beer at the Bronze, Buffy strikes a deal with Spike. She'll pay him cash to tell her how he did it. The fights weren't about the moves, he says, and he negotiates chicken wings as part of the deal. Spike soon realizes why she wants to know — she's injured. Spike reacts with his normal lack of tact, and Buffy asks, "Were you born this big a pain in the ass?" Spike claims he's always been bad.

Flashback to London 1880. William is a British gentleman composing poetry at a party. He sees Cecily, the object of his adoration and his poetry. Another partygoer asks William about recent attacks in the area, and William admits that he doesn't concern himself with such brutish matters; they are police business. He concerns himself with creating things of beauty, so someone grabs his poetry and reads it aloud. As the group laughs we hear the true origin of the nickname "William the Bloody," given because his poetry is so bloody awful. William finally retrieves his poetry and goes to the couch where Cecily is seated. At her questioning, he admits to her that his poetry is about her and that he loves her. She is disturbed and says that she can never love him: "You're beneath me." William is stunned.

William leaves the party in a huff, tears up the poetry, and accidentally brushes up against a dark stranger out in the street. Drusilla seeks out William, who is crying in an alley. She finds him dashing, and she offers to unleash his imagination. When he accepts, she makes him a vampire. He's quite pained by the bites and screams "Ow!" several times.

Back in the present, Riley et al find the vamp that hurt Buffy. They follow the vamp to a crypt full of a nest of vampires, and the Scoobies decide to take it at daybreak.

Spike continues his (version of the) tale to Buffy while playing pool at the Bronze. After being made a vampire, he decided to live by his own rules rather than society's. However, he needed a gang. In England of the past, Angelus is holding William by the throat. William declares his name is Spike. Angelus, Drusilla, and Darla are angry with Spike because his carelessness makes them run. Angelus and Spike fight, and although Angelus gets the upper hand, he lets Spike go. "If I can't teach you, maybe someday an angry crowd will. That, (he laughs) or the Slayer." Spike wonders what a Slayer is.

Present, Bronze: Spike tells Buffy of his obsession with the Slayer and how to kill her. A vampire has nothing to fear, except the Slayer.

China, 1900, Boxer Rebellion: Spike is fighting the current Slayer, while outside, the surrounding village is burning, and the villagers are fleeing. Spike gets the upper hand and after he strikes the killing blow, he drinks a long drought from her neck. As the Slayer dies, she says (in Chinese), "Tell my mother I'm sorry." Spike replies, "Sorry, Love. I don't speak Chinese."

Drusilla enters and sees that Spike has killed a slayer. He refers to the Slayer's blood as a powerful aphrodisiac and gives some to Drusilla. They make love near the dead Slayer's body as the village burns.

Outside, Darla is walking with Angel. Drusilla informs them of Spike's success, and Angel gloomily congratulates him. When Drusilla smells fear in the area, Angel wants to leave because of the reek. The four stalk away as the village burns.

Back in the Bronze, Spike comments that it was the best night of his life. Buffy is disgusted that he got off on it, but Spike is surprised to discover that she doesn't get off on killing his kind. Spike tries to point out the futility of her work because there is only one of her, and there are hundreds of thousands of his kind all looking for the same thing: one good day. The lesson isn't over, though.

A lone Riley walks dazedly back to the crypt full of vamps even though it is still night. He stakes the vamp that injured Buffy, but he knows he can't take on the entire nest. So he takes out a hand grenade, pulls the pin, and leaves the vamps inside to burn.

Outside the Bronze, Spike takes Buffy through a blow-by-blow re-enactment of his battle with a slayer that took place aboard a New York subway train in 1977. As the scene flips back and forth between New York of the past and Sunnydale of the present, Spike explains that it's not a question of how did he win, but how did the slayer lose. Buffy doesn't understand the difference, so Spike shows her. Spike, all punked-out like a junior Billy Idol, fights a young black woman wearing a long black coat just like the one Spike wears in modern times. He refers to fighting with both the past and present slayers as dancing. Spike claims all Slayers are haunted by the same bloody question, "Is this the day I'm going to die?" He continues to explain that part of the Slayer wants to die, to end the fighting. Buffy has lasted so long because of her ties to her family and her friends in the Scooby Gang, but the truth is that every Slayer has a death wish. As Spike says this, he kills the Slayer of the past and takes her jacket. When Buffy is ready to die, Spike will be there to have himself another good day. "Here endeth the lesson," he decrees. Buffy orders him out of her sight, but he taunts her instead. Then he tries to kiss her. Bewildered by his action, she pushes him down and says, "It would never be you, Spike. You're beneath me." She throws the money at him and walks away. He picks the money up and starts to cry. Then he gets angry.

Spike digs in a trunk in his crypt and takes out a shotgun.

Although Harmony tries to talk him out of it, Spike is determined to kill the Slayer. When he storms out of the crypt, Spike hears Drusilla's voice instead. "Why can't you kill her?"

South America, 1998: Whenever Drusilla looks at Spike, all she sees is the Slayer around him. They argue, and Drusilla's date — a demon with antlers and a lot of slime — leaves the scene.

Back at home, Joyce is packing and confesses to Buffy that she has to spend the night at the hospital for observation and a CAT scan. Joyce reassures Buffy that she'll be fine because even if they find something, it's still early.

Buffy heads out to the back porch for a good cry. Spike comes up to her brandishing the shotgun, but when he sees her tears, he softens. "What's wrong?" he asks. She doesn't want to talk about it, so he asks if there's something he can do. When she doesn't respond, he sits beside her and puts his hand on her shoulder in comfort.

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Shadow  ( site for this episode)

Joyce enters the CAT scan machine while Buffy and Dawn wait in the waiting room. Dawn asks what a CAT scan is and wonders where the "cat" part comes from. Buffy doesn't know and is starting to get irritated, but softens and comforts Dawn instead.

Giles shows his ad in the new yellow pages to Tara at the Magic Box. When Xander, Anya, and Willow show up, Xander is complaining that Riley recklessly attacked a vampire den all by himself. The conversation turns to research about Glory, and Xander suspects she's lying low in some sewer or condemned church or rat-infested warehouse — the usual haunts.

In reality, Glory is staying in a posh apartment, where Dreg, a lowly demon dressed in monk's robes, offers her a spell amongst his insipid praises for her. She confirms with him that the spell will work because if it doesn't, she'll have to kill him. Dreg assures Glory that the spell will work provided she has the materials to work the spell. She rips Giles' ad out of the yellow pages to go shopping.

As Riley approaches the Summers home, he notices the door is open. He finds a heavy blanket and hears a noise coming from upstairs. In Buffy's room, he catches Spike sniffing her sweaters. Riley forcibly escorts Spike to the front door where Spike protests that Buffy wouldn't mind him being there. After all, Spike spent the better part of last night with Buffy. Besides, Willow has done two spells in recent history to bar vampires from the house. How come Buffy hasn't had Willow do the spell for Spike? Spike insists that he is more Buffy's type rather than Riley. Riley insists that he's what Buffy needs. Spikes then asks why Riley isn't at the hospital — Joyce is there for more tests. Riley tosses Spike out in the daylight.

Buffy is pacing outside a hospital room door. Riley appears, stating he just heard. Buffy asks him to sit with Dawn while Buffy goes in to be with Joyce. In the hospital room full of CAT scan pictures, Joyce tells Buffy that she has to have surgery in two days. The doctor found a shadow on Joyce's brain, and the surgery is a biopsy to figure out exactly what the shadow is.

The Scooby gang keeps researching while business as usual goes on at the Magic Box. Tara suggests that whatever they're fighting might be very old, perhaps even older than written language. Giles is intrigued, because if no record of this demon exists, they can't determine where she'll turn up next. He turns around to find himself face-to-face with the demon that we know is named Glory, who is there to purchase items. Because neither Giles nor anyone in the Scooby Gang knows it's her, Glory makes her purchase and leaves.

Riley puts his jacket over Dawn, who is asleep in a chair at the hospital. The doctor comes out to tell Buffy bad news: Joyce has low-grade glioma — a brain tumor.

The doctor warns Buffy that Joyce's symptoms may progress quickly: loss of vision or appetite, lack of muscle control, mood swings. The doctor is working to determine if the tumor is operable. The prognosis is good: one out of every three patients turn out just fine. The doctor asks Buffy several questions about Joyce: does she use a cell phone? live near power lines? Buffy seems to be in shock and can't answer all the questions. Ben the intern approaches and informs the doctor he is needed in ICU, but Ben really just wanted to give Buffy a chance to absorb the news. He informs Buffy that Joyce will be in recovery for several hours, and advises Buffy to take a break. Buffy tells Riley she's going to look for a healing spell, but Riley says that people get sick, and he's not sure magic can help. "That attitude's not helping." Buffy says. Riley is admonished. Buffy asks Riley to take Dawn to school. Riley is willing to do whatever is needed, but what should he tell Dawn about her mother? Buffy instructs him to tell her they don't know anything yet.

Anya is going over the Magic Box's receipts when suddenly she shouts out, "Hey!" several times. She is startled to discover that Giles sold someone a Kohl's Amulet and Sobekium Bloodstone, and she berates him for it. Apparently the Sobekites were an ancient Egyptian cult heavy into dark magic, and the Kohl's Amulet was a transmogrification conduit. Giles isn't worried, because the Sobekium transmogrification spells were lost thousands of years ago, and the young woman to whom he sold the items would have to have enormous power to— oh, dear lord! The gang realizes they saw Glory, and sold her items she needs for a powerful spell.

Instead of taking her to school, Riley takes Dawn to an amusement park. They sit near the carousel, and Dawn talks about her tenth birthday party, for which Joyce rented the whole carousel for just Dawn, Joyce, and Buffy for an entire hour. Dawn's worried about Joyce not getting better, and Riley reassures her that "Summers women are tough." Dawn appreciates Riley being there, and feels that Buffy appreciates him, too. Dawn tells him about how much Buffy cried when she dated Angel. Every day seemed like the end of the world. "She doesn't get worked up like that over you," Dawn tells Riley, but he takes it as a bad thing, even when Dawn says, "I think you've been really good for her."

Buffy asks her friends at the Magic Box for help with finding a spell to heal her mother. Although they are willing to try, everyone warns Buffy that the mystical and the medical aren't meant to mix. A healing spell could make things worse. Anya comments that they've already done enough to make things worse. When the gang tries to cover Anya's off-hand remark, Buffy knows something is wrong. They admit that Glory bought an amulet and a bloodstone to conjure a monster, but Anya determined what kind of monster Glory is going to conjure: Sobek the reptile demon, and she's going to create it out of a cobra. Unfortunately, they don't know what the reptile monster will do once it's created.

Glory smashes through the glass of the cobra display in the reptile house of the Sunnydale Zoo. She takes the cobra out and places him in a large clay pot. Dreg hands her the amulet, and she orders him to chant. Buffy enters as they perform the ritual, and she starts beating on Glory. Glory soon gains the upper hand and tosses Buffy into the Cobra display already smashed. Glory and Dreg complete the ritual, and the cobra has grown to human size.

Buffy comes to in time to see the spawn of Sobek monster and hear Glory give it instructions to find the Key. She slinks off before Glory completes her orders. Sobek slithers away.

Riley seeks out Buffy at the Magic Box and is worried when he discovers she's gone off to fight a monster by herself. Xander rebuffs Riley for blowing up the demon nest alone. When Riley claims that was different then what Buffy is doing now, Xander tells him that Buffy needs something to fight, a problem to solve, and Xander doesn't know what Riley is after. Riley takes the verbal flak, stating he's been a little crazed, but if Buffy needs him...

Sobek searches in Sunnydale's churches for the Key.

Giles answers the Magic Box's phone, and when he hears it's Buffy at Sunnydale Memorial, he's concerned. Buffy couldn't stop Glory, not even slow her down. Glory's conjured a big snake thing — though not mayor-big — and Buffy wanted to warn him about the snake. She tells him that Dawn is coming to the magic shop after school. Dawn's fragile and doesn't know how bad Joyce is. Buffy's at the hospital to be there when Joyce wakes up.

In a montage of images with soft music audio, Riley is drinking at Willy's Place, Buffy is waiting at the hospital, and Dawn is doing homework at the Magic Box. Sandy — a beautiful female vampire — sits next to Riley. Buffy looks on as the doctor tells Joyce of her tumor and Joyce tries to be strong at the news. Sandy takes Riley to a secluded spot and starts to drink from his neck, which he allows and seems to enjoy for a few seconds, until he stakes her.

Sobek is still searching for the Key. He passes by the carousel and smells the right scent. His eyes glow, and he heads off with determination.

Buffy arrives at the Magic Box. Dawn rushes to her and hugs her. Dawn asks about mom: is she awake? ("Yeah.") Can they take her home now? ("We'll see.") Buffy asks the Scooby gang about monster reptile sightings. Willow is just reporting negative when Sobek crashes through the window and knocks a set of shelves onto Buffy. He approaches a screaming Dawn, then slithers back out the broken window.

Xander checks on Dawn as Buffy frees herself from the shelves. Buffy informs Giles that, "It knows" and takes off after Sobek, who is now slithering down the street and wreaking havoc with the denizens of Sunnydale. Buffy runs after it, and Giles gets his car. They pursue after Sobek in Giles' red convertible.

Glory is furious and throws shoe boxes at Dreg. She is impatient for news from "snakey-wakey" about her Key. Apparently she is on a schedule.

Sobek bursts through a fence, and Buffy pursues him on foot grabbing a length of chain along the way. She jumps on his back and pulls the chain around his neck, strangling him (think Leia and Jabba the Hutt from Return of the Jedi). Unfortunately, he was only faking his death to get her to drop the chain. So she pulverizes him with punches until long after he is dead. The camera pans up from the dead snake being punched by Buffy to the lush building where Glory is waiting. Very close.

At the hospital, Buffy asks Joyce if she wants her to stay, but Joyce feels she should talk to Dawn alone. Buffy exits, and Dawn enters. Outside the hospital room, Riley, wearing a turtleneck sweater, approaches Buffy. She buries herself in his arms, and he tells her to let it out. But she backs away from him, telling him she can't let it out, not now. If she starts, she won't be able to stop. Joyce calls Buffy back into the hospital room, and Riley is left very alone in the hall.

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Listening to Fear  ( site for this episode)

The Summers women are gathered in Joyce's hospital room. Joyce complains about the hospital food, though Dawn likes the Jell-O. The doctor enters to announce that Joyce's surgery is scheduled for the day after tomorrow. Joyce can't bear the idea of staying in the hospital for another two days, plus she's concerned that Buffy is missing patrol. Buffy reassures her that Riley and the others are taking care of patrol for her.

In the cemetery (where else?), Giles, Xander, and Willow are fighting a couple of tackily dressed female vampires. Giles loses his glasses and almost hits Xander. The team works together, and Willow dusts both vamps. Afterwards, the team decries Riley for not showing up.

Riley is in a dilapidated old building, where a vampire sucks blood from his arm.

Willow comes in with presents for the Summers women: a beer hat for Joyce, a spell book for Dawn (more history and anecdotes rather than actual spells), a book on history for Buffy, plus a fun yo-yo. Willow tells Buffy of an exam on World War I, and Buffy isn't sure if she's going to take it. Joyce blurts out that she'd rip up the test and put it in bed with her. The others in the room are concerned about the outburst, but Joyce then sweetly says she needs rest. The young women leave the room, and Dawn wonders what's going on with Mom. Buffy apologizes for not telling her earlier, but the outburst was probably a side effect of the tumor. Suddenly a middle-aged man sees Dawn and shouts, "There is no data here!" Naturally, Dawn is freaked, but Willow and Buffy comfort her. Ben the intern arrives and also tries to soothe the situation. He is annoyed because the mental ward is so overbooked that patients with families are being sent home.

Tara and Willow are lying on a rooftop stargazing. Willow starts naming some of the constellations, but Tara claims that the real constellation names never made any sense to her, so she started creating some of her own: the big pineapple, short man looking uncomfortable, moose getting a spongebath, little pile o'crackers. Suddenly the two witness a flaming meteor falling to Earth.

Something or someone exits the meteor and sees the mental patient that was released from the hospital, walking in the forest near where the meteor landed, rambling to himself. A small but ugly creature falls out of a tree onto the man's back.

In the emergency room of Sunnydale Memorial, another patient is admitted. Unbeknownst to anyone, the creature seen earlier crawls across the ceiling.

Joyce is trying to use the call button on her bed, claiming vehemently that it's not working. Buffy tries to reassure Joyce that it does function. The doctor enters, and Buffy informs him that Joyce wants to go home before her surgery. The doctor doesn't like the idea, but he sees how upset Joyce is. Only if Buffy will take full responsibility and care for Joyce will he let the elder Summers go home. Joyce is relieved, and Buffy asks what she needs to do. The doctor starts talking about giving medications and taking vitals, but Joyce wants to leave now. Buffy calms her mother, convincing her to get the medication and instructions first.

Out in the woods, Riley is glad the Scooby Gang called him in on this one. Xander rebuffs Riley for not showing up for their last mission. Riley apologizes as they find the meteor. When Anya warns of heat radiation and the risk of sterility, Xander backs off, but Riley says it's warm. The meteor is hollow, and the Scoobies theorize that something came down to Earth. Exploring the area further, they come across the dead body of the mental patient. Riley uses a pen to pull goo from the deceased's mouth, and the smell is terrible. The group is unsure about what to do, noting they can't call Buffy. Giles suggests investigating the woods more, but Xander counters, "Who votes research?" All the Scoobies but Riley leave. Riley prefers a good crime scene to doing research. After the others leave, Riley calls the military.

In the mental ward, a nurse makes her rounds, and one patient is quite vociferous, asking her not to leave. She turns out the light, shuts the door, and sits at her desk to do paperwork. The creature seen earlier climbs onto the patient and spits goo onto his face.

The doctor checks Joyce out, giving Buffy emergency phone numbers and Joyce's medications. Joyce says some weird things again, as the creature watches her from the ceiling. Buffy starts to explain Joyce's behavior, but the doctor understands. He tells Joyce, "We're all done here. Why don't you take your girls home, now?" The three women are seen leaving from the creature's point of view.

When Joyce walks in the house, the lights that are on are so bright they hurt her eyes. Buffy and Dawn turn off the lights, and Buffy takes Joyce upstairs.

A helicopter flies over and then lands near the meteor site. Riley greets Major Ellis, Graham, and others. Graham jibes Riley about calling the military rather than his girlfriend. Riley ignores him and points out the stuff in the victim's mouth. He tells the major it's some kind of protein alkaloid. Ellis asks if this fits the profile of any sub-terrestrial they know of. Riley informs them it's extra-terrestrial and should have a trace radiation signature. The group begins to track the being with Geiger counters.

Buffy and Dawn are watching TV in the Summers living room. A nightgown-clad Joyce walks zombie-like downstairs to the kitchen. The girls hear noise and investigate. Joyce is making breakfast and makes another bad remark. Buffy and Dawn take her back upstairs. None of them notice that something is in the basement stairwell.

Buffy gives Joyce her medication. When Dawn tries to say goodnight, Joyce rejects her, and refers to Dawn is a "thing." Buffy calms Joyce and puts her to bed. Then she soothes Dawn who is feeling bad because so many people have been calling her a "thing."

Xander is trying to avoid working in the astronomy section of the university library, where the gang has gathered due to the extra-terrestrial nature of the incident, but Giles insists. They discover that other meteor landings have not occurred in the last week, but have fallen throughout history. Meteoric anomalies go back to the Queller Impact in the twelfth century. The meteor landed in Iceland, but the name is confusing because it didn't land near any place called Queller. Xander reads that primitive people believed the moon caused madness, and people would pray to the moon to send a special meteor to quell the madness. Willow finds a historical correlation between sweeping plagues of madness stopping just after a meteor fell. Tara points out that the Queller had to be summoned, but who summoned it? Xander votes for Glory. The Scoobies want to call Buffy, but know they can't. They call Riley instead.

Riley is at the mental ward of Sunnydale Memorial. Five corpses lead him to confirm Willow's news about the Queller demon. Riley doesn't tell her about the military involvement. He requests that if she finds information about how to kill it, she let him know. Willow suggests that the gang should go help him, but Riley hangs up before she finishes the offer.

Even though she's home, Joyce's condition is worsening. She stares at her bedroom ceiling and spouts gibberish. Across the hall, Dawn can't bear to hear her mother's ramblings. Buffy is washing dishes in the kitchen. She turns on the radio, and with this cover noise finally releases her pent up tears.

Upstairs, Joyce continues her ramblings, and we see the Queller demon just above her clinging to the ceiling.

Graham exits the hospital reading his Geiger counter. The trail of the Queller stops in the parking lot. The demon must have hitched a ride with a discharged patient. Riley realizes where it went and tells the group to hurry.

The Queller demon drops from the ceiling and lands on Joyce. Dawn hears the commotion and goes to investigate. She sees the Queller has just spit goo on Joyce's face, and Dawn grabs a coat tree and knocks the demon off Joyce. Dawn allows the Queller to chase her out of the room, calling for Buffy in the process. Buffy, however, can't hear over the radio, the running water, and her own tears. Dawn runs back into Joyce's bedroom, shuts the door, and calls for Buffy again. The older sister has just turned off the water and finally hears the call. She goes upstairs, and Dawn informs her of the creature. Buffy instructs them to stay in the room and shuts them in. The Queller drops down on Buffy and the two fall downstairs. At the bottom of the steps, the Queller crawls away. Joyce and Dawn try to comfort each other as Buffy walks back into the kitchen and takes a knife. She continuously hears the Queller and is ever-alert looking for it. Spike comes out of the basement and asks if she heard a noise. She demands to know what he is doing there, and he claims to be stealing stuff from her basement. When she asks about pictures of her he's trying to hide in his pocket, Spike is attacked by the Queller. In the commotion, the knife is knocked out of Buffy's hand. Buffy attacks the Queller anyway, getting it off Spike who immediately grabs the knife and tosses it to Buffy. She stabs the Queller to death. Spike lends her a hand up, as Riley and the military boys burst in the house. When Riley asks if Buffy is okay, she responds by dashing upstairs. Spike informs Riley he missed a real nice time, as Buffy informs Joyce and Dawn that the creature is gone and dead.

Ben leaves the hospital, and discovers he's not alone in his car. Dreg is there and wants to know what Ben is doing. Why did he summon the Queller? Ben says he's cleaning up Glory's mess — just like he's done his whole damn life.

The day of Joyce's surgery has come, and a nurse is putting an IV into her hand. After the nurse leaves, Joyce asks Buffy about Dawn. While she was feeling loopy, Joyce gained a knowledge that Dawn isn't her child. Buffy confirms this. Joyce knows that Dawn somehow belongs to them, and that she is important and precious to the world, as precious as Buffy is to Joyce. So Joyce asks Buffy to take care of Dawn and keep her safe. Buffy promises. Joyce is then rolled in to surgery as Dawn, Buffy, and the whole Scooby Gang look on.

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Into the Woods  ( site for this episode)

This episode picks up exactly where the last left off: Joyce is rolled into surgery. The whole Scooby gang waits with Buffy and Dawn, the latter falling asleep on Riley's lap. Someone walking up to the group turns out to be only Giles, who offers to do a snack machine run, but no one wants anything. Willow asks Xander the time, and he points out the clock right behind them. She points out the watch he's wearing. Xander shows her the watch, and when Willow can't believe it's right, she confirms with the clock behind her. Finally the doctor comes out, looking very tired. Buffy and the gang await his words.

The doctor was able to find and remove the entire tumor. Barring any complications during recovery, Joyce is going to be fine. The gang celebrates with many hugs, except Giles and Xander, who decide to shake hands instead. Buffy bear hugs the doctor and nearly squishes his innards.

Dawn is spending the night at Xander's apartment. Although Xander tries to say otherwise, Dawn knows she's there so that Buffy and Riley can be alone to have sex.

At the Summers home, Riley and Buffy are slow dancing. Buffy can't believe how relaxed she feels. Riley says it's her night. He's impressed with how strong she's been, and comments that she didn't even cry. She did cry, she admits, which makes Riley sad. Later the two make love. Spike is watching outside the house. While Buffy sleeps, Riley gets up and leaves. He doesn't notice Spike following him to a dilapidated old building.

The next day at the hospital, Buffy is trying to convince Joyce to wear a wig, but mom'll settle for a scarf. Joyce tells Buffy she should go out and have fun. Buffy wants to spend the day alone with her mom to make up for lost time.

Elsewhere, Graham and other military types confirm that a nest of demons is present and breeding in Belize. Graham suggests to Major Ellis that they take Riley (Agent Finn), though it might be difficult to convince him to go. Ellis wonders what reason Riley has to stay in Sunnydale.

Spike appears in Buffy's room, insisting that he has a good reason. He says he's there to help her... but is she naked under her covers? Despite her threats to throw him out the window, Spike persists that it's something she needs to see. After she gets dressed, he takes her to the dilapidated building he followed Riley to. There are lots of vampires are there, but Spike warns Buffy not to slay. Buffy notices that a lot of humans are also in the building. Spike takes her to a room on the second floor where a vampire is sucking blood out of Riley's arm, as he orders her to suck harder.

Buffy and Riley are stunned to see each other. Spike is pleased with himself. When Buffy runs out of the room, Spike taunts Riley, "We're only here because we care about you, friend." Spike goes after Buffy, but then he sees her expression. Despite his protestation, "I thought you should know." Spike realizes what pain he has caused. Riley runs after them, but is stopped by one of the vampires who berates him for leading the Slayer to their place. Riley breaks from him, but doesn't catch up to Buffy and Spike.

A stunned Buffy slowly walks into her room and shuts the door. She cannot believe what she has seen.

Although Riley is disturbed when he enters his apartment, he notices Graham and Major Ellis are there. He greets them with a cheerful, "Get out." Riley's not in the mood to talk, so Ellis orders him to listen. They tell him about the demon nest in Belize — they want him along. They're going to kill demons, not do experiments on them like the Initiative. It's the real deal: high risk, low pay, and the transport leaves tomorrow night at midnight.

Giles is proudly posting a banner in the Magic Box: "Don't forget: the holidays are coming!" and the banner lists several holidays. No longer a victim of crass holiday commercialization, he's now a purveyor of it. As the group talks, Buffy bursts in and demands information on a vampire nest downtown where humans pay to have their blood sucked. Giles and Anya have both heard of such setups, although Giles hasn't seen any since his Ripper days. Humans hire vampires to bite them because it can be a rush. The vampires don't kill the humans because they get cash, hot and cold running blood, and no bodies means no risk of being caught. Giles didn't know about the setup here in Sunnydale, but if he did, he wouldn't have brought it to her attention. Her time is better spent fighting Glory, and the people going to this nest are willing victims. Buffy persists that, "Vampires are vampires, and my job description is pretty clear." Xander suggests waiting for Riley to develop a strategy, but she's going with or without backup.

The building is empty of vampires despite the daylight. Buffy is determined to find them and torches the building in her frustration. Giles and the crew are stunned at her extreme behavior.

Spike is in his crypt drinking straight from the bottle when Riley rushes in and stakes him.

Spike is in pain, but not dust — the stake was plastic. Riley informs Spike that he's knows what's going on with the vampire and his feelings for Buffy, and he warns Spike to stay away, or next time the stake will be real. Spike laughs at Riley's jealousy. Spike tells Riley that even if he weren't in the picture, Riley won't be able to hold on to Buffy. Spike even goes so far as to say the girl needs a little monster in her man, and that's not in Riley's nature. Spike is so aware of what's going on that he even realizes he doesn't have a shot at Buffy, though he figures a guy's gotta try. He tosses Riley the bottle he was drinking from before Riley's entrance. As Riley drinks, Spike speaks of his envy of Riley because Riley actually gets to touch Buffy, to hold her in his arms, feel her beneath him — even though Riley knows he doesn't really have her. "I'm the lucky guy." Riley says with full sarcasm. He tosses the bottle back to Spike.

Buffy is beating the crap out of the punching bag in the training room at the Magic Box after business hours. Xander expresses his concern about her to Anya. "Something seriously bad is going on with her."

Riley interrupts Buffy's training saying they need to talk. Buffy doesn't want to talk unless he wants to fight. "So let's fight." Riley says. He knows they need to have this out, but he doesn't expect her to understand why he let the vampires bite him. He wanted to even the score after Dracula bit Buffy. He wanted to know why Dracula and Angel have such power over her. He wanted to understand her more because she's so mysterious. Buffy can't believe he's putting the blame on her. Riley knows it's his fault. However, the vampires made him feel needed, even if only on a physical level. He knows it wasn't real, but he craved that feeling of being needed. Buffy realizes that she doesn't make Riley feel needed. For Riley, whenever he is around Buffy, the whole world falls away until only she exists. Riley believes that Buffy doesn't feel the same. Buffy keeps him at a distance; she didn't even call him when her mother went into the hospital. She thinks it's about her taking care of him, but this is about Riley taking care of Buffy, so she doesn't have to be on top of everything all of the time. According to Buffy, that's part of what being a Slayer is, but then she thinks that Riley still has issues with her being stronger than him. While he admits that's hard sometimes, that's not what this is all about. Buffy says she gives him her heart and her body and her soul, and she doesn't know what else she can give. He just doesn't feel it. Buffy asks, "Whose fault is that?" Riley announces that the military wants him back, deep undercover, no contact with civilians, and the transport is leaving tonight. He doesn't know if he's going. If they can't work this out... Buffy can't believe he's giving her an ultimatum and becomes angry. Riley challenges her to hit him. When she doesn't, he says that he's leaving. Unless she gives him a reason to stay, he's leaving tonight. Buffy leaves the training room.

Buffy is walking along an alley when the vampires from the nest approach her. Their leader announces that she's not going to shut him down, and she's not going to make it through the night. Then vampires surround Buffy.

Buffy warns the vampires to walk away. When they don't, she fights them all, and handily takes care of all eight of them. The last one is the woman who was biting Riley. Buffy offers lets her go, but as the vampire runs away, Buffy javelins her. Xander arrives and asks her if she needs help. She orders him to go away, but he won't. He says that she's been acting like a crazy person. She stalks into an empty warehouse. Buffy again tells him to go away, because he doesn't know what's going on. When Xander asks, "So you and Riley aren't imploding?" Buffy is surprised and asks who told him. Xander figured it out. Buffy tells Xander about the covert operation and Riley's ultimatum. Xander asks Buffy if she's going to let him go. She says it's not fair, and Xander says who cares about fair; Riley is going to leave. When Buffy asks if she should just beg him to stay, Xander asks why wouldn't she? She says she doesn't know who he is anymore. Xander points out that Buffy has been treating Riley like the rebound guy, but he's the kind that comes around once in a lifetime. Riley has never held back with Buffy, he's risked everything for her, and she's about to let him go because she doesn't like ultimatums? If he's not the one, Xander advises, let him go. Break his heart, and make it a clean break. But if she really thinks she can love this guy, "I'm talking scary, messy, no emotions barred need" — if she's ready for that, she should think about what she's about to lose. From the emotions shown on Buffy's face, it's clear that the message was received. Xander advises her to run.

Riley waits outside a helicopter as its propellers start to rotate. Buffy runs to reach him. Riley keeps looking around, obviously hoping she'll show up, but she doesn't. Riley boards the helicopter. Buffy arrives, at last, just as the helicopter takes off. Riley, resolved, doesn't look down; doesn't know she's there. She shouts to make herself heard over the noise, but to no avail. Riley leaves, and Buffy numbly walks home.

Xander arrives at Anya's apartment, and he tells her in very many words just how much he loves her because, among a myriad of other reasons, she makes him feel like a man. She passionately kisses him.

Buffy tries to walk up the stairs to her bedroom, but can only make it halfway. She sits, forlorn, and thinks of Riley, who is flying away in the night.

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Triangle  ( site for this episode)

While in bed, Anya and Xander discuss Riley's departure and wonder how Buffy's dealing with it. Cut to a convent where a vampire attacks a nun, then Buffy attacks and kills the vampire. After asking the nun if she's all right, Buffy inquires about the nun lifestyle.

Buffy is training with Giles in her training room behind the Magic Box. He's going to England to seek the Watchers Council's help in gaining more information about Glory. He promises Buffy that although he will tell them Glory is seeking the Key, he will not mention Dawn. Buffy is adamant about protecting Dawn, even from the Watchers Council. Giles, now sitting with Buffy, mentions that if the Initiative still existed, he'd seek their help, but with Riley gone, they don't have any contact to that former source. Giles then apologizes to Buffy for bringing up Riley, but she insists that she's dealing, even managing to joke with Giles a bit.

Upon hearing the news that Giles is going to be gone from the Magic Box, Anya is ecstatic, especially because she believes she will be in charge. While Giles realizes that Anya is good with the inventory and the money, her people skills are less than desirable. Willow offers to help, but that only makes Anya angry. The two verbally spar, and poor Xander is literally in the middle of their battle. He changes the subject by asking Buffy about her slaying. When the Slayer mentions that after she staked a vampire at a convent last night, a nun let her try on a wimple, Xander becomes frightened.

On Joyce's bed lies her powder blue bathrobe. She is fully dressed in actual clothes and a fetching scarf around her head. When Buffy notices, she calls Dawn to witness their mother's improvement. They make fun of the fuzzy bathrobe Joyce wore, thus lightening their mom's spirits. Buffy goes to her bedroom and reads on her bed. Dawn follows. Dawn notices that Buffy has taken down all of Riley's pictures and comments that he was gone so fast. Buffy states that everyone else noticed that he left gradually, and that she hurts. She admits that she's mad at him, and herself, and she can imagine a lot of ways she could have prevented it. Dawn lies on the bed with her head in Buffy's lap and asks if it will get better; Buffy strokes her hair and says it will soon. Maybe he'll come back, and she can say all the things she didn't get to say.

In his crypt, Spike is bearing a box of chocolates before the mannequin he has set up to look like Buffy. He practices an apology to her for leading her Riley at the vampire den, but then he imagines her giving him flak for it and he becomes angry and slams the chocolates over the dummy's head, knocking it to the floor. He picks up the dummy, straightens her hair, picks up the chocolates, and tries again.

Willow and Tara are gathering items from the shelves of the Magic Box to perform a spell to create simulated sunlight, which Buffy could use to fight vamps. Anya tries to assert authority and stop them, claiming that they're stealing. Willow tempts her by offering to teach her magick, but Anya declares that as peer pressure. "Any second now you're gonna make me smoke tobacco and have drugs." Xander enters, and of course Willow and Anya immediately put him in the center of their argument. Xander refuses to get in the middle again, and leaves in a huff. When Tara sees that they're about to put her in the middle, she also leaves. Willow pours ingredients into a cauldron as Anya tallies up the cost of the ingredients being used. Willow angrily tells Anya to stop distracting her. Once the sensitive spell begins, any non-ritual word can disrupt it. Of course Anya disturbs the spell, and the two women fight. During their argument, a very large troll is conjured out of the cauldron. He screams at the frightened girls, destroys some displays, and stomps out of the shop.

Tara and Buffy collect syllabi from the professor of the class the two are taking together. Buffy needs to take this course because the alternative was a course on Central American Geopolitics. If Buffy hears the word jungle, she thinks of Riley. Tara uses a quote from Willow to comfort Buffy, who suggests they pick up Willow and go for a hamburger. Tara states Willow is at the Magic Box, and tells Buffy about the spat Willow and Anya had that resulted in Xander leaving the shop. Buffy completely misconstrues the whole leaving part and becomes hyper-emotional, thinking Xander and Anya are breaking up.

Anya and Willow uses Giles' red convertible to chase after the troll, who is leaving a distinct trail of destruction to follow. Willow is desperately searching for a reversal spell as Anya drives. Willow suggests putting the top back up, but Anya doesn't know how yet — she just figured out the pedals. That's when Willow realizes that Anya doesn't know how to drive. The two argue more. Anya goes faster, and Willow loses some of the pages out of the spell book she is searching.

Xander bumps into Spike at the Bronze. The vampire taunts the human and realizes that Xander is upset. Spike digs for information on Buffy to determine if she holds a grudge against him. When Xander demands to know what Buffy has to do with this, Spike realizes that Buffy is not mad at him and covers by saying, "I'm sure she's merrily slaying some pals of mine, having a grand old time."

Buffy and Tara see the mess at the Magic Box and realize that Willow and Anya are gone. The two rush off after the trail of destruction.

The troll torments some Sunnydale residents until he smells ale and goes off for a drink.

Spike and Xander are shooting a game of pool together as Xander laments about Anya and Willow putting him in the middle of their fights. Spike asks what the Slayer thinks of all this friction in the ranks, then he goes off on a rant about the Slayer until the troll bumps into him. Spike begins to pick a fight, but thinks better of it. The troll grabs and drinks an entire half-barrel of beer and demands stronger ale and some plump, succulent babies to eat. Xander tries to calm him as Willow and Anya enter. Anya warns Xander of the troll, and Willow wishes for Buffy. Buffy enters. Willow wishes for a million dollars, just in case. Buffy demands to know from where the troll came. Spike sheepishly says hello to Buffy. Anya interrupts to tell Buffy that Willow released the troll, but they can stop him if Willow does another spell. When Willow starts to speak the ritual, the troll interrupts and tells Anya, "You seem determined to put an end to all my fun, just like you always did when we were dating." Everyone in the Scooby Gang, except Willow, is surprised that Anya dated a troll. Anya declares that he wasn't always a troll — she changed him into one after she caught him cheating on her. After his transformation, a coven of witches trapped him in a crystal. The troll declares that all must die and is about to attack. Buffy orders Willow to do the spell, but when Willow tries, nothing happens. The troll is amused, and Buffy attacks him. He tosses her with his hammer, and she falls on Spike, who cops a feel. The troll knocks down the support beams for the loft, which falls to the main floor.

Buffy is not injured after the loft falls on her, but the troll is gone. She gets up and gives orders: Xander is to find the troll, and Willow and Anya are to go the magic shop and find a spell that will stop the troll. Those who were on the loft when it fell are injured, and Buffy is surprised to see Spike trying to make one of the victims comfortable. He asserts that he's only trying to help; he's not sampling their blood because he knows Buffy wouldn't like it. Buffy is disgusted that Spike wants credit for not feeding off of bleeding disaster victims, and Spike is disgusted that he can't satisfy her.

Even though they're trying to work together to find a solution to the current problem, Anya and Willow still fight. Finally it comes out that Willow is worried that Anya is going to hurt Xander either by exacting vengeance on him or in some other way. Anya protests that she would never hurt Xander, and besides, she doesn't even have those powers now. Willow is the magical one, as is proven by D'Hoffryn offering her Anya's old job of being a vengeance demon. Maybe Xander should be afraid of Willow. Now it's Willow's turn to protest that she would never hurt Xander, as he's her best friend. Anya brings up Willow kissing Xander which ultimately led to his break up with Cordelia. Willow says that won't happen again: "Hello, gay now!" Finally they both admit that neither one of them is going to hurt Xander. Then Olaf the Troll bursts in to kill them. Xander rushes in and tries to fight Olaf to protect Willow and Anya. Although he's no match for the troll, Xander's willingness to fight impresses the troll, and Olaf offers Xander a reward: only one of the women will die, and Xander shall be the one to choose.

Xander, of course, refuses to choose between his girlfriend and his best friend. After commending Xander's loyalty, Olaf takes him by the wrist and breaks it. Xander still refuses, and Olaf is about to kill Xander for his unwillingness to choose. Anya tells Olaf to kill her but not to harm Xander. Willow tries another spell, but only the cash register disappears. Buffy and Tara enter, and Buffy fights Olaf. Anya distracts him while Willow does a spell, which rips the hammer from Olaf's grasp and sends it flying. Olaf makes a comment about how difficult Anya is and that her love with Xander will never last. Wrong thing to say — Buffy pummels him. Anya and Willow tend to Xander because they both love him, though, as Anya points out, Willow is not going to break them up because she's gay. Willow then performs a spell to send Olaf to an alternate universe full of trolls. Buffy is happy that Olaf is gone, and that she has his nifty hammer, which she sets on a glass display that shatters under the hammer's weight. Buffy is also happy that Xander and Anya are still together — so happy that she starts crying again.

In the dining room of the Summers home, Buffy, Giles, and Joyce discuss the Watchers Council and their search for information on Glory. Buffy asks about the Key, wondering if the council knows that it's Dawn. Giles is concerned about discussing this in front of Joyce, but she explains that she figured out the basics on her own and that Buffy filled her in. Dawn comes downstairs and hears their voices; she stops to listen. The Watchers Council has their theories, but they don't know about Dawn. Buffy is worried about what they'll do if they figure it out. Dawn, not knowing everything but aware that something is wrong — and it involves her — is disturbed.

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Checkpoint  ( site for this episode)

The Scooby Gang is meeting at the Summers' home. Buffy apologizes for the mess; Joyce still isn't 100%, and Buffy has been too busy to pick up the slack (or the living room). As she's clearing space, Buffy comes across a sweater that used to belong to Riley. Xander wisely shifts attention to the meeting at hand. Giles announces that the Watchers Council is coming, but Buffy adamantly doesn't want them to come. The Council almost killed her twice. Anya is concerned because they don't sound very ex-demon friendly. Dawn walks down the stairs, and she hears the group talking. Joyce sees Dawn and tells her to go to bed. Buffy freaks about Dawn listening, and Dawn insists she can get a snack. Giles insists that if the Council knows something about Glory, it may help the gang get a grip on her.

Glory is lying on the floor of her apartment looking terrible. Dreg and Jinx, another of Dreg's brethren, force a mailman into her room and help Glory drain his essence. Once she's okay, Jinx informs Glory that the signs of the alignment are moving faster than expected, and if she is to use the Key, Glory must act quickly. All Glory needs is the Key, and the only thing standing in her way is the Slayer.

Giles is giving advice to a customer of the Magic Box when Quentin Travers enters with his entourage. Giles offers Travers a tour, but Quentin sits at the large round table as the various members of the Council's group poke about the shop. They state that most items for sale are harmless: incense and dime store trinkets. However some items are potent, even dangerous. The Council orders the "temporary" closing of the Magic Box. Giles is outraged; Travers intended this to happen "for the duration of the review." Anya is upset by the disruption in business until she realizes that the newcomers are from the Watchers Council. She tries to leave, and when Travers questions her, she starts in with a story about being from Indiana. Giles excuses Anya and demands to know about this review. Travers explains that the Council's resources have yielded information about Glory. However, due to the sensitive nature of said information, the Council needs to review the Slayer's methods to insure that she is prepared for it. Giles assures Travers that Buffy has become quite focused.

Buffy is yawning through class and persistently dropping her pencil, until she disagrees with the professor on the death of Rasputin. When she stands to make her points, he belittles her in front of the entire class.

Later that night, Buffy takes out her frustrations on a vampire. The vampire gets a lucky hit, and before Buffy can strike again, Spike jumps in and stakes the vampire. Buffy demands to know why he did that. He says it wasn't for money, just her heartfelt gratitude. When she is annoyed rather than grateful, he becomes angry and taunts her about no one being able to help her. He mentions her ex-boyfriends running off, and he hits the proverbial nerve.

At the hospital, Jinx asks Ben about the Slayer. After hearing the description, Ben realizes that Buffy is the Slayer. Jinx relays Glory's message to Ben demanding help. Ben says he has a message for Glory.

Giles is describing Buffy's hybrid fighting style to the Council members when the Slayer walks in. Seeing Travers, she tries to slip out, bemoaning her bad day. Mr. Travers and Ms. Summers greet each other stiffly. Giles explains that they're staying longer than anticipated, and the entourage starts describing the review they're going to conduct: examining her procedures and decisions, observing her training, and talking with her friends, because she still takes them on patrol with her. The Council is concerned because Glory is powerful and dangerous and the information they have is highly sensitive. They need to make sure Buffy can handle the information. Buffy is reluctant, and Giles is decidedly pissed off, but Travers threatens her by declaring that if she doesn't comply, the Council can and will shut down the Magic Box and have Giles deported.

Jinx timidly enters Glory's apartment and shows her the message from Ben: his own bruised and battered face. Glory confesses that Ben drives her insane. She embraces Jinx and tells him he is the only one who understands, "probably because I haven't sucked your brain out, yet." Finally Glory admits that she'll just have to find the Slayer herself.

Buffy and Giles realize they are powerless. The Council really can pull strings and have Giles deported. Buffy worries about passing the review, especially the questions about her decision-making. Plus, she still hasn't beaten Glory. Giles goes into father mode and tries to comfort and encourage Buffy, even though he's humiliated that they're coercing her with his "bloody green card." The Council certainly knows where to strike; Buffy admits that she can't lose Giles. She wonders where they'll begin.

In Xander's apartment, Anya regales a Council representative with a yarn about her past: born on the fourth of July, etc. Another Council hack questions Tara and Willow. When he asks about the Slayer, and them, and their relationship, the two witches first state they are friends. Then they gather more courage and reveal the true nature of their relationship: they're lesbian lovers. The Council man states, "I meant your relationship with the Slayer." Oops. "Just good friends." Back at his apartment, Xander emphasizes, "best friends." The three of them have been together from the start: Buffy, Willow, and him. They go on patrols and help with the research. When the Council man asks if Xander has mastered any fighting styles, he has to answer no. Yet Xander punctuates his importance to the Slayer and the group, and he even mentions he played the role of the heart in a spell to make super-Buffy. Council man asks if she needs that help often. Flip to Willow vigorously shaking her head and emphatically answering no. The scene continues with the Scooby Gang obviously being so uncomfortable with the fact that the Council is so invasive. The Council even asks Spike some questions, although he's better at handling them. Despite the cross and crossbow being aimed at him, he too falls prey to revealing more than he wants, as they wonder why he would want the Slayer to cry on his shoulder.

Later, to demonstrate her skills, Buffy is supposed to protect a dummy set up in the training room, while she is blindfolded, performing whatever moves Travers commands. He commands moves using their Japanese names. Giles tries to translate, but that slows Buffy down. Eventually she does the demonstration her way, but ends up cracking a rib of the Council member fighting her. The dummy meets a worse fates, as he winds up with an axe in the head. Flush with failure, Buffy is informed that the review will continue at 7:00 that evening.

Buffy enters her home to find Glory there waiting for her.

While Glory chatters on about the house, her search for the key, etc. Buffy tries to grab a fireplace poker for a weapon. Glory cheerfully disarms her. She's come to talk and make a deal: hand over the Key, or else. During the exchange, Dawn enters the room behind where Glory is seated. Buffy tries nonchalantly to tell Dawn to leave, but Glory senses the teenager and orders her forward. Glory tells Dawn that Buffy took her Key, and asks if Dawn know where it is. Buffy protests that Dawn doesn't know anything, but Dawn insists that she knows "some stuff." Before stamping out of the room, Dawn tells Buffy, "I"m going to figure it out, you know." Glory threatens to torture and kill all the Slayer's friends and family and force the Slayer to watch. Glory leaves. Joyce enters the room, and Buffy orders her to pack a bag.

Spike is stunned awake in his crypt when Buffy opens the door and lets in the sunlight — and her family. She asks him to protect Dawn and Joyce. He reluctantly accepts, and he and Joyce sit down to watch "Passions."

Travers et al are waiting at the Magic Box. The Scooby Gang sits in the loft and ponders Giles' future if he's deported. Travers points out to Giles that Buffy is more than twenty minutes late, and counting.

Buffy is rushing to the shop when she is waylaid by three knights in full chainmail and armed with swords and metal javelins.

The Slayer handily disarms and defuses her attackers. She pulls the chainmail hood off of one and makes him tell her whom he is. The Knights of Byzantium are a large order, and are now her enemy because she protects the Key. They are not allies with the Beast, a.k.a. Glory — they just want to destroy the Key. If Buffy kills him, legions will follow. She doesn't kill him, as he is human. Buffy orders him to go, but keeps his sword.

Buffy dazedly walks into the Magic Box. When Travers points out that she's late, she says, "Yeah." Buffy lays the sword on the table pointed directly at Travers, and she informs him that there will be no review, and no interruptions as she continues to talk. In the last couple of days, others have gone out of their way to tell Buffy she's unimportant. She's finally figured out the reason why: power. She has it; others don't. Buffy talks about Glory's visit, and how civilized it was, because Buffy has something that Glory needs. Buffy points out that the Council didn't travel all the way from England to determine if Buffy was good enough to be let back in; they came to beg the Slayer to let them back in. When one of the Council members tries to disagree, Buffy throws the sword at him and narrowly misses him. After all, Buffy continues, a Watchers Council without a Slayer is pretty much just watching Masterpiece Theatre. They may have information on Glory, but they can't act on it without the Slayer. Buffy lists her demands: The Council will tell her everything they know; then go away. They will contact her only if they have more information about Glory. The Magic Box will reopen, and Giles will be reinstated as her official Watcher with full salary, retroactive from the month he was fired. She will continue her work with her friends. When one of the Watchers points out that her friends are civilians, Buffy points out that those "civilians" are two powerful witches, a thousand year old ex-demon, and a boy who has clocked more field time than all of the Watchers combined. Buffy asks "Quentin" for an answer, and he agrees to her terms. Travers asks Rupert for some of the Scotch hidden behind the incense. Buffy interrupts, first wanting to know what kind of demon Glory is. "She's not a demon," Travers says, "She's a god."

Buffy is stunned. "Oh."

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Blood Ties   ( site for this episode)

The episode begins with a meeting of the Scooby Gang at the Magic Box. Buffy bemoans that it's her birthday time again. Mom wants to make a big deal of it, but Buffy has bad luck with birthdays. Willow tries to encourage Buffy, who claims she's too busy with Glory to party. Xander is amazed that they're facing a god. Giles offers some of the information uncovered by the Watchers Council: Glory and two of her fellow hell-gods ruled over one of the rather nastier dimensions, until she found a way to our reality. She's immortal, invulnerable, and insane. She survives by extracting energy from the human brain. Once drained, all that's left behind is a crazy person. While the Gang discusses strategy, Xander wisely brings up the Key for which Glory has been looking. An uncomfortable Giles and Buffy try to dissuade them from worrying about it, but the Gang is insistent. Finally Buffy and Giles have to admit they know where the Key is. The Gang is disappointed that the two didn't let the rest of them in on it. Buffy agrees, "They're going to be risking their lives. They deserve to know." She tells them that Dawn is the Key.

The Knights of Byzantium are chanting around a bonfire: "The Key is the link; the link must be severed; such is the will of god." Jinx appears with some of his brethren and attack the knights. Just as Jinx is about to be killed, Glory steps in and fights the knights, killing most, and capturing one of them.

Tara and Willow are pouring magic sand around the Magic Box when Dawn walks up and asks them about the spell they are doing. The witches are setting up an early warning incantation. "If anything hell-goddishly powerful comes within a hundred feet of the shop, then screechy siren things will, you know, screech." They've already put one up around the Summers house. Dawn wants to help, but they all know Buffy wouldn't like it. Dawn gloomily enters the shop and starts teasing Xander, who, along with Anya, is uncomfortable around Dawn considering their new information about her origin. Giles and Buffy come out of the training room and talk a little with Dawn. During their conversation, Giles hides his journal in a secret drawer under the cash register. Dawn notices its disappearance, but not its new location. Dawn teases Buffy about fighting someone prettier than the Slayer. Buffy asserts that Glory is evil and powerful and in no way prettier than she is.

Glory is tormenting the Byzantium Knight she captured and now has tied up in her apartment. Despite the torture, he refuses to give her any information, so she sucks out his brain energy.

Although Buffy didn't want the birthday party Joyce is hosting at the Summers' home, she is nonetheless pleased about receiving the presents. Anya is excited at the suspense and wants the presents for herself. Buffy opens a pretty dress from Tara and Willow. Then she opens Dawn's gift: a frame comprised of seashells surrounding a picture of Buffy and Dawn at the beach in San Diego. It's a very sweet and sentimental gift that makes everyone think again of Dawn's supernatural origins. Buffy is impressed, and gives Dawn a thank you hug.

In the kitchen, Buffy, Giles, and Joyce are discussing Glory when Buffy notices Dawn listening in the dining room. She's just collecting plates; when she takes them in to the living room, the people in the room get quiet. Dawn gets angry at everyone for giving her the silent treatment and goes up to her room. Then she climbs down the trellis to exit the house. Spike approaches with a box of chocolates for Buffy, and he startles Dawn. He tries to scare her, but Dawn is not frightened. Indeed, she teases Spike about bringing a present for Buffy. She claims to be badder than he is: She's going to break into the magic shop to steal things. Spike points out the dangers between the house and the shop, so Dawn asks him to come along and steal stuff with her. He accepts.

Spike picks the lock, and they enter the shop. Dawn finds the secret drawer and Giles' journal. As she reads, Spike pokes about the shop and leaves a used cigarette in an urn. Dawn is confused about the part that reads, "those outside reality being able to see the Key's true nature." Spike explains that only those with second sight are able to see it, along with your run-of-the-mill lunatics. Dawn remembers the crazy people who have berated her. Spike sits next to her and reads from the journal that the monks sent the Key to the Slayer in the form of a sister to insure that the Slayer would protect it with her life. Spike annoyingly points out to Dawn that she is the Key.

Back at the birthday party, Willow, Tara, and Buffy are discussing the fact that Riley didn't even send a card due to the communications blackout. Tara then notices Dawn, who has slit her wrist with a knife. Dawn demands to know if she's real, if she's more than just a "key." Party's over.

After Buffy sees her guests to the door, she and Joyce talk with Dawn in her bedroom. Dawn wants to know why they didn't tell her. (They thought it would be better if they waited until she was older.) When did the monks create her? (Six months ago.) She's having an identity crisis. Even though the two elder Summers try to comfort her, Dawn kicks them out of her room.

The next day at the Magic Box, Buffy presses Giles for more information about the Key, not because of Glory, but because Dawn needs to know. Giles wonders how Dawn found his journals and got into the shop into the first place. Anya discovers the cigarette in the urn.

Spike is painting his fingernails when Buffy bursts into his crypt. He tries to banter, but she slams a concrete slab into him, demanding to know why he helped Dawn find out about being the Key. Does Spike hate Buffy that much? (If only she knew Spike's true feelings for her!) Spike points out that Dawn was going to the shop no matter what, and he thought she'd be safer with "big bad" looking over her shoulder. Dawn was going to find out anyway. Buffy couldn't keep it away from her forever. She's just kicking Spike around out of her own frustration.

Dawn is still in her bedroom when Joyce informs her that it's time to go to school. Dawn is still despondent and doesn't want to go. When Joyce coddles her daughter, Dawn becomes even more upset and decides to school to be away from Joyce.

At the hospital, Ben the intern is dispensing medicine in the mental ward when he sees that one of the patients is a Knight of Byzantium. Jinx appears, and confirms the arrival of the order and the consequences for Glory. He threatens Ben on behalf of Glory, but Ben is unruffled and leaves.

Back in her bedroom, Dawn is looking through her diaries. Downstairs Joyce and Buffy are discussing her, and she overhears them. Dawn then trashes her room and tears apart her journals. In the living room, Joyce and Buffy hear an alarm, and Buffy fears that it's the Glory-alert spell in action. Joyce recognizes it as a fire alarm. A fire is burning in the trash can of Dawn's bedroom, which Buffy quickly puts out with a blanket. Joyce realizes and points out that Dawn has run away.

Buffy enlists the help of her friends and Spike to look for the runaway Dawn, who is aimlessly wandering the city.

As Giles and Xander search together, Xander points out all these memories he has about Dawn, including that Dawn has a crush on him.

Buffy is shouting Dawn's name when Spike berates her, pointing out that she'll head the other way if she hears Buffy. Buffy admits that he was right; it is her fault that Dawn took off. Spike reassures Buffy that she'll find Dawn. "And then what?" Buffy asks.

Dawn sees an ambulance traveling down the street, then sneaks into the mental ward of the hospital. Amidst whispers of "it's here," she asks the patients if they know what she is. The Byzantium Knight says, "The Key. I found the Key. Thank you, thank you." He wants to destroy her, but he's tied to the bed. Dawn runs out of the ward and almost plows into Ben the intern. He takes her to the locker room and gives her some cocoa. Ben is concerned. Is Joyce all right? Can he call anyone for Dawn? Her sister? Dawn denies having a sister. Ben understands. He has a sister, too, and she can be a real pain sometimes. Dawn says it's not Buffy, it's her; she's not real. Ben realizes that Dawn is the Key and insists she leave. Ben warns, "She's coming. She's here." And then he morphs into Glory.

Glory changes out of Ben's scrubs into a satin red dress found in his locker. Dawn is confused about Ben and Glory, and Glory doesn't expect Dawn to understand the complications of family. Dawn looks to escape, but Glory threatens her. Dawn is still confused, but realizes that Glory has no clue about the conversation with Ben, and thus does not realize that Dawn is the Key. A guard walks in and informs them that this area is for staff only. Glory effortlessly breaks his neck and escorts Dawn out to a more private place for a long, uninterrupted chat.

The Scooby Gang converges in a park, but no luck and therefore no Dawn. Anything could have happened to her. Buffy suggests checking out the hospital.

In a lab, Glory asks Dawn about the Key, and tries bribing the teenager with puppy dogs and ice cream to start singing. Dawn turns the tables and asks for more information about the Key. If Glory could tell more about it, Dawn would know if she's seen it.

Buffy discovers that Dawn was not brought in to the hospital. When she overhears that a guard has been killed, and that his head was twisted almost clean off his body, Buffy deduces that Glory is around.

Dawn keeps asking questions about the Key, and Glory gives answers. The Key has been around "just this side of forever" and is not evil, but Glory doesn't tell what the Key unlocks. Glory gets frustrated as she realizes that Dawn... has no idea where the Key is. She starts to lose it and is about to suck Dawn's brain when Buffy walks in. A fight ensues. Spike pitches in to fight Glory and gets knocked out. Willow and Tara start chanting. Giles tries to shoot a crossbow bolt, but it just bounces off of Glory. Xander hits her over the head with a crowbar. She's unfazed and disarms him. Glory throws the crowbar at Dawn, and Buffy jumps in the way and catches the crowbar in her chest. Glory says, "Is that the best you little crapnats could muster?" Willow and Tara throw sand on Glory. Willow claps her hands and shouts, "Descadae." Glory disappears. Willow collapses.

Glory reappears high over Sunnydale and falls to the ground as she mutters an obscenity.

Giles is concerned about the powerful teleportation spell the witches did, and Willow, who is obviously hurting, says, "Won't be trying that one again soon." Buffy is concerned about Dawn, who thinks that Buffy doesn't care. But Buffy does care; Dawn is her sister. "No I'm not," Dawn says. Buffy shows Dawn the blood the younger girl has in her hand, and the blood from from Buffy's chest wound. It's Summers blood. Buffy mixes the two together and insists that Dawn is her sister. The two hug. Dawn tells Buffy that Ben was here trying to help her. Buffy reassures her sister that they'll thank him the next time they see him. Right now they need to get home because Mom is freaking out. Dawn is concerned that Joyce will be mad about the fire. "I think you have a sort of get out of jail free card on account of trauma."

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Crush  ( site for this episode)

The Bronze is reopening after the restoration of the loft area destroyed by Olaf the Troll. Willow, Tara, Xander and Anya are enjoying the dance floor while Buffy looks on. Suddenly, Spike — dressed much nicer than usual — sits down next to the Slayer. He bemoans the higher prices at the bar due to the restoration, and Buffy suggests he find a new place to patronize. Although Spike considers the option, he doesn't take Buffy's hint and makes himself comfortable. Buffy demands to know why he's sitting with her pretending they're talking-buddies. Spike says he just wanted to give her some company. When her look informs him that his company isn't welcome, he gets up, but but then he tries again. Because he helped her fight Glory, he feels Buffy should cut him some slack. She's unimpressed. The song being done, the rest of the Scooby Gang comes back to the table. Xander kicks Spike out of his chair. Spike reluctantly leaves but makes some sweeping gesture toward the table. Because it's payday, Xander offers to buy drinks for the group — until he notices that his change from the last round is missing from the table. Over at the bar, Xander sees Spike making a purchase. Willow requests a water because she's still having headaches from the teleportation spell she and Tara did on Glory. Buffy states that because this is the first chance they've had for some relaxation, she would prefer they didn't talk about Glory. Tara agrees, "let's just refer to her as..." and Buffy shouts out "Ben" because she has just spotted the hospital intern, and she excuses herself to go talk to him. Xander is berating Spike for taking his money, but the inert vampire is distracted by Buffy talking with another guy.

At the Sunnydale Train Station, the porter boards a train to discover that several people have been murdered. Then he is attacked himself by an unseen foe.

Buffy arrives home to find Joyce and Dawn watching TV as Giles reads a book at a desk. They ask if she had fun, and despite Willow's headaches and Spike's cameo, she did. Dawn is interested in the fact that Spike was there. Joyce is relieved that Buffy's home, as she didn't feel safe without the Slayer nearby. Giles raises his eyebrows and Buffy indicates him to Joyce with her eyes. Joyce tries to cover, but Giles is not insulted. He knows he's no substitute for the Slayer. As he leaves, Buffy asks about Dawn. She's doing better. Buffy says they've been going easy on her, and Giles states the best thing is to behave as normally as possible. Good. Buffy yells at Dawn for taking her blue cashmere sweater.

Spike is stroking said sweater in the privacy of his crypt when Harmony tries to persuade him to go to bed... but not to sleep. Spike isn't interested, so she suggests playing a game. Harmony is next seen with her hair long and down like Buffy's. In fact, she's pretending (rather badly) to be the Slayer and stalking Spike, who grabs her in his arms.

In school the next day, Tara, Willow and Buffy are discussing The Hunchback of Notre Dame when Buffy notices a newspaper headline: Six Found Murdered on Train at Sunnydale Station. Because of the neck traumas reported, the three determine that it was vampires.

Spike is coming out of the tunnels below his crypt when he is surprised by a visitor: Dawn. He wonders if Buffy knows she's here. Of course not. Spike tells her to leave, but she wants to stay. The two talk, and Dawn appreciates that Spike talks to her as a person. She feels safe with him, she says, which makes Spike cough, "Take that back!" Dawn tries to placate Spike by saying he's tough. Even Buffy thinks so. The Slayer's always wondering what she's going to do if Spike ever gets that chip out of his head. Spike, interested, asks, "What else does Buffy say about me?"

Buffy announces that she's home, and Joyce asks if Dawn is with her. Dawn didn't come home from school. Buffy goes off to find her.

Spike is telling Dawn scary stories reminiscent of the style of ghost stories around a campfire. When Buffy bursts in to ask Spike for help finding Dawn, the Slayer demands to know what is going on. Spike immediately changes the story to a happy ending, much to Dawn's disappointment. Buffy and Dawn leave, and Buffy lectures her younger sister about how dangerous Spike is. Dawn protests. Buffy realizes that Dawn has a crush on Spike. Dawn points out that she doesn't have a shot at Spike because Spike is in love with Buffy. Buffy is baffled.

Xander and Buffy are checking out the murder scene on the train. As they search for clues, Buffy attempts to ask Xander for advice on Spike's crush on Buffy. Xander laughs and dismisses the vampire's crush as entertaining. He asks how Dawn knows about Spike, and Buffy tells Xander that Dawn has a crush on Spike. He's astounded: Dawn has a crush on big funny Xander, not Spike! They leave the train because they can't find any clues. Too bad they didn't look in the luggage rack — they would have seen a makeshift bed and a porcelain doll.

In the Summers' kitchen, Joyce is telling an anecdote about the gallery to Dawn and Spike. Buffy enters at the end of it and is annoyed with Spike's presence. He says he's there on business: he's got a lead on the vampire who hit the train. He'll show Buffy the warehouse where two vamps are holed up.

The vampire and the Slayer sit in his car like they're on a stakeout. Spike reaches into the glove compartment and pulls out a flask. He drinks and offers it to a grossed out Buffy. "It's bourbon." he says. She's still grossed out. He puts the flask away. He starts singing a Ramones tune. As Buffy is about to ask why Spike is doing this, the two vampires show up. Slayer and assistant enter the warehouse, and the vamps flee upon seeing who entered their place. Buffy notices that the two have nested here; they couldn't have attacked the train because the attacker was a newcomer. Buffy yells at Spike for wasting her time and walks away. When she approaches the door, Spike holds it open for her. She demands to know what is going on. Is this a date? Spike tries to cover, but unsuccessfully. Buffy's disgusted. Spike tries to tell her that he loves her, but Buffy stops him. She refuses to talk, despite Spike's imploring.

A dejected Spike returns to crypt and realizes someone is already there: Drusilla has come to make everything right again.

After a recap of the gossip from LA regarding Angel and Darla, Drusilla professes that she wants them all to be a family again. Spike doesn't want to go back to LA; he's been there and done that. He claims he likes Sunnydale, but Drusilla knows the truth about the chip. She insists that Spike is really a killer, and no little tinkertoy can stop him. But the pain is searing, he explains. Drusilla tells him it's all in his head; the electricity is a lie. Harmony makes her presence known by yelling and is disgusted to think that Spike has brought in a Drusilla look-alike for another sex game. Spike informs her this is the real Drusilla. Harmony gives her an earful until Spike shuts her up by literally throwing her out.

Buffy is in her living room talking with Joyce and Willow about Spike and his love obsession. They're worried that he could become dangerous, but Buffy tries to blow it off. The two advisors want Buffy to make sure that she's broken him off completely.

Spike and Drusilla go out to the Bronze. They spot a yummy snack in the loft, and it's not that onion thing that Spike raves about.

Joyce insists that Buffy go now to set Spike straight. Willow offers to go with her, but Buffy will take care of this herself. However, there is something that Willow can do for her while Buffy is gone...

Drusilla and Spike approach a couple making out in the loft of the Bronze. Drusilla snaps the neck of the female and tosses her body to Spike. She snaps the head of the male and starts drinking. Spike is reluctant at first, but then he puts on his vamp face and drinks.

Buffy enters Spike's crypt and can't find him, so she goes below to search the tunnel. She explores and discovers the mannequin and several pictures and drawings of her. She's astonished and climbs out of the tunnel, but Spike is at the top of the steps, blood still on his lips. Drusilla is also there, with a taser, and shocks Buffy into unconsciousness. Dru suggests tying Buffy up and hands Spike the taser. He shocks Dru into unconsciousness.

Buffy wakes to discover that she's chained up, but Drusilla is also restrained. Spike wants to prove his love for Buffy by killing Drusilla for her. However, that doesn't prove anything to Buffy other than Spike is a sick, miserable vampire whom she should have dusted a long time ago. Spike ups the stakes: if Buffy doesn't admit that there is something between her and Spike, he'll untie Drusilla and let her kill the Slayer. Buffy tells him the only chance he had with her was when she was unconscious. He's furious and wonders — loudly — what's wrong with women. He blames Drusilla for leaving him. He knows his feelings for Buffy are wrong. During his rant, Harmony enters and shoots a crossbow bolt at him, but misses his heart. Now it's her turn to rant. As she reloads the crossbow, Spike attacks and disarms her. During the fight, Drusilla undoes her bonds, and attacks Buffy, who puts up a pretty good defense, despite being chained. Spike knocks down Harmony, then knocks down Drusilla, and unlocks Buffy's chains. Drusilla and Harmony each get up and leave in turn, giving vocal pot-shots at Spike as they go. Buffy turns to Spike and punches him so hard that he falls into his display of Buffy's pictures. He chases after her as she walks home. As she enters her house, she tells him that she wants him out of her life. Spike is insistent that she can't shut him out, until he tries to cross the threshold and can't. He's shocked to discover that Buffy has had his standing invitation revoked.

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