|'A New Man'
Story Code '4ABB12'
by Jane Espenson
It is Buffy’s birthday, and all her friends have arranged a surprise party for her. During the celebrations Giles’ discomfort at attending such a bash increases further when introduced to Riley, as he was unaware that Buffy was even dating anyone. Spike decides to move out of Xander’s basement into a crypt of his own. Giles discovers that tonight is the rise of the demon Prince Barvain; he tries to track down Buffy, unaware that at that moment she is being introduced as the Slayer to Professor Walsh, and is learning about Maggie’s role at the Initiative. After Buffy astounds Maggie and Riley with the sheer number of demons and vampires that she has killed over the years, Riley feels rather inadequate and inferior. Giles tracks Buffy down to Maggie’s office, but he and the Professor do not get on, especially when Maggie tells Giles that Buffy has no strong male role models. Later, Willow and Xander accompany Giles to a crypt to find the Prince; while they are waiting for the demon to appear, Giles is utterly astounded to learn from his companions that Professor Walsh is the leader of the Initiative, and that Riley is one of the commandos; he becomes hurt that Buffy did not share any of this information with him. Willow and Xander go home, and after a while Giles leaves too; Ethan Rayne then emerges from the shadows. Giles unexpectedly re-enters the crypt, but before he can beat Ethan up, the renegade warns him of impending danger. The two of them visit a diner and begin a drinking session, where Ethan warns Giles that something called ‘314’ has the demon community scared; he then passes on his motel number to the waitress. In Tara’s dorm room, she and Willow perform a spell together, but it goes awry. The next morning, Giles stumbles out of bed feeling a bit worse for wear, but when he looks in the mirror, he sees that he has been transformed into a hideous demon! Unused to his new physique, he causes damage to his apartment, and decides to visit Xander for help. Unfortunately, Giles is now speaking in the demon’s language, and only succeeds in scaring Xander. Buffy and Willow discuss Willow’s spell, and Buffy remarks that she is concerned that she is much stronger than Riley; Willow tells her that Giles is feeling left out, as she forgot to tell him about Riley and the Initiative. That evening, Xander, Willow and Buffy head to Giles’ to see if he can find out about the demon that was in Xander’s basement, but instead they find the wreckage of his apartment, leading them to conclude that the demon must have got there first and taken Giles. Meanwhile, the demonic Giles is walking through the cemetery when he encounters Spike, who, to Giles’ surprise, both recognises him and understands his language. Spike tells him that he is now a Fyarl demon, and he needs to find Ethan to reverse the spell, although Spike will only help Giles if he pays him. Riley arrives at Giles’ apartment and assures Buffy that he will help her find Giles. Spike drives himself and Giles to the diner; on the way Giles spots Maggie, and takes great delight in chasing the terrified woman down the street. Researching the demon, Buffy discovers that the monster can be killed with silver, and, taking a silver letter opener, she goes to the magick shop to look for clues. Here she discovers a receipt with Ethan’s name on it; Riley radios this in to the Initiative, enabling the two of them to find out where the villain is staying. Spike learns from the waitress that Ethan is staying at the Sunnydale motor Inn, but on their way there, he realises they are being followed by two army vehicles; Giles jumps out of the car, which Spike then crashes. Meanwhile, Ethan is packing to leave town when an enraged demonic Giles bursts through the door. Buffy and Riley arrive just as Giles is throwing Ethan around the room; while demon Giles and Buffy fight, Riley subdues Ethan. But just as Buffy stabs the demon in the chest with the letter opener she looks into its eyes and realises that the monster is really Giles. Ethan performs the reversal spell, and luckily Giles is unharmed, as the opener was not real silver. Ethan is escorted away by Initiative agents for ‘rehabilitation’. Later, Buffy apologises to Giles for keeping him out of the loop, and he advises her to be cautious with the Initiative. Underground in the Initiative, Riley assures Maggie that Buffy is on their side; but after he leaves, Maggie enters a high security section, and then enters a room marked ‘314’…
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), James Marsters (Spike), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Robin Sachs (Ethan Rayne), Amber Benson (Tara), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Lindsay Crouse (Professor Maggie Walsh), Elizabeth Payne
Directed by Michael Gershman
TX (US): 25th January 2000
TX (UK - Sky One): 24th March 2000
TX (UK - BBC): 11th January 2001
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Riley, Anya and Tara