Buffy Logo 'Bargaining'
Story Code '6ABB01'
and '6ABB02'

by Marti Noxon

Part 1:

Anya, Tara, Xander, Giles and Spike pursue two vampires though a graveyard, while Willow stands atop a crypt, directing her friends telepathically. Spike dusts one of the vampires by setting him on fire, and ‘Buffy’ - the robot built by Warren - kills the other one; however, it seems that Spike cannot even bear to look at the Buffy robot now. The next day, the gang gather at the Summer’s house, where Tara and Willow have moved in so that they can take care of Dawn. The Buffy-bot is malfunctioning, but Willow is confident that she can fix it; nobody outside the Scooby gang and Spike is aware of Buffy’s death, as the robot has kept up appearances by patrolling in her place; Giles is determined to keep it that way, as the only thing that demons and vampires are afraid of is the Slayer. Willow, however, is unsure that the robot will function enough to fool all of Dawn’s teachers at her school’s forthcoming ‘Parent / Teacher Day’. Later, at the ‘Magic Box’, Giles makes plans to return to England, although he is dragging his feet about actually leaving; as he and Anya begin arguing - because Anya just wants to be left in charge- Xander arrives and breaks up their fight. Xander and Anya discuss their engagement, but Anya cannot understand why Xander will not tell their friends that they are engaged. That evening, while out on patrol, the Buffy-bot’s face is slashed by a vampire and her circuitry becomes exposed - the vampire has unearthed the ‘Slayer’s secret; the creature escapes, while the robot tries to return to Willow for repairs. Later, Xander, Anya, Tara and Willow meet at Xander’s apartment; Willow is worried that because Buffy did not die a natural death, she may instead be trapped in another dimension; the gang make plans to resurrect Buffy using the Urn of Osiris, but decide not to tell Giles, Dawn or Spike, as they would not understand. Meanwhile, Spike baby-sits Dawn, living up to his promise to Buffy to take care of her. Elsewhere, in a biker bar, the vampire that slashed the Buffy-bot is drinking with a gang of demons called the Hellions; when he tells them of his discovery that the Slayer is actually a robot, the gang are reluctant to believe him; one of the demons makes him tell their leader, Razor, and the vampire insists that the Hellmouth is ripe for destruction. Razor immediately dusts the vampire, and then he and his gang head for Sunnydale. In the woods, Willow prepares for the spell needed to bring back Buffy; she pulls a fawn out of the bushes, kills it, and drains its blood into a container. Later, Willow meets up with Xander, Tara and Anya at the ‘Magic Box’; Anya has a note from Giles, telling them that he has returned home, slipping away quietly in order to avoid a scene. The gang dash off and catch up with Giles at the airport, armed with presents and a good luck placard; Giles is moved, and makes Dawn promise to call him if she needs anything. He then boards his plane, telling them all to be careful. That night, Willow, Tara, Xander and Anya gather at Buffy’s grave. As Willow offers a prayer to Osiris, the Egyptian god of the underworld, her body becomes covered with cuts and a snake emerges from her mouth, freaking out Xander. Meanwhile, the demon biker gang invades Sunnydale; Spike sees them causing mayhem, and tries to keep Dawn safe. The Buffy-bot does her best to fight the marauding creatures but is soon damaged, and so uses her internal homing device to lead her to Willow. In the graveyard, Willow has almost completed the ritual when she and the others are suddenly interrupted by the arrival of the robot - along with several demons pursuing her. When the monsters destroy the Urn the resulting magical backlash causes Willow to collapse, unconscious. While the demons beat up the robot Buffy, Xander picks up Willow, and together they escape into the woods, thinking that, because they were interrupted, the spell has not worked. However, inside her coffin, Buffy’s decomposing body suddenly rejuvenates; her eyes snap open and she takes a breath - and then begins to struggle inside her coffin…

Part 2:

As the demon bikers continue to beat up the Buffy-bot, Tara and Anya head through town to the ‘Magic Box’, while Xander carries Willow through the woods. Meanwhile, Buffy tries desperately to fight her way out of her grave. Willow regains consciousness and intends to try the spell again, but Xander reminds her that the demons destroyed the Urn - they have to face the fact that Buffy will never be coming back. At the Summer’s house, Spike searches for weapons to use to protect Dawn from the demons; he decides that the two of them should leave the house, reassuring Dawn that he will protect her, no matter what. As Buffy forces her way out of her grave, finally breaking through the earth to the surface, she sees her own gravestone; disorientated and confused, she makes her way through the burning streets of Sunnydale, bumping into things because her vision is so bad she is unable to make out her surroundings. Anya and Tara make it to the ‘Magic Box’; finding no-one else there, Tara casts a spell to bring Willow to her. Elsewhere, Willow and Xander are lost in the woods, until Tara’s guiding spell finds them and leads them to the magic shop. After the gang re-groups they decide to look for Spike and Dawn, who are not answering the phone at the Summers house. Anya tries to make them realise that they are no match for the demon biker gang, but Willow replies that they have no choice. Meanwhile, Spike and Dawn attempt to stay unseen while they run though the town; Spike steals one of the demons’ motorcycles, and he and Dawn ride off. Buffy stumbles across several of the demons, whose leader, Razor, declares that they will take over Sunnydale after they destroy their toy: the Buffy-bot. The robot is now attached to chains tied to motorcycles, and just before she is ripped apart she sees the real Buffy. Razor also catches sight of Buffy, but the Slayer flees before the demons can catch her, and promptly runs straight into her friends. Initially, they believe her to be the robot, but soon come to realise that this is the real Buffy. Still confused, Buffy runs off, but the gang catch up with her, huddled against a wall in an alley. When they try talking to her Buffy fails to respond; they realise that she is in shock, as the experience of finding herself trapped in a coffin, and having to dig her way out of her grave has proved too much to cope with. But when Razor and the demons arrive, Buffy’s Slayer instincts take over and she is able to fight off the monsters. Xander then tries to reassure her, but when he gets close it just frightens Buffy and she bolts, leaving Xander, Anya, Tara and Willow to fight off Razor and his gang. Thanks to her sudden familiarity with an axe, Tara saves Willow. In the distance, Buffy sees the tower that Glory’s minions built and she heads towards it. Spike and Dawn find the remains of the Buffy-bot; its head is still functioning, and as it talks to Dawn they realise that it has seen the real Buffy. Determined to find her sister, Dawn runs off, leaving Spike upset because he has no way of knowing where she has gone, and is unable to live up to his promise to Buffy. Dawn finds her sister at the top of the tower, preparing to throw herself off once more. The structure is unsafe, and groans under their weight. Dawn begs Buffy to climb down the tower with her, but when Buffy tries to reply, she finds that her vocal cords are still not working properly. As the tower threatens to collapse, Dawn implores her sister to come away, telling her that she has tried to be strong without her, but it has been too hard on her own, and she needs her sister to live. Buffy seems to understand, but the tower starts to collapse, and she just manages to grab both Dawn and a rope, taking them both out of harm’s way. Safely on the ground, Dawn begins to cry - she truly has her sister back. She hugs Buffy tightly - but Buffy does not respond, instead just staring blankly ahead...

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), James Marsters (Spike), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), Amber Benson (Tara), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Franc Ross (Razor), Geoff Meed (Mag), Mike Grief (Klyed), Paul Greenberg (Shempy Vamp), Joy DeMichelle Moore (Ms Lefcourt), Bru Muller (Teacher), Robert D. Vito (Cute Boy), Harry Johnson (Parent #1), Kelly Lynn Warren (Parent #2), Hila Levy (Pretty Girl), Richard Wharton (Homeowner)
Directed by David Grossman

TX (US): 2nd October 2001
TX (UK - Sky One): 10th January 2002

*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Anya, Tara and Dawn

*This is a double-length episode, although it is treated as two joined together