Buffy Logo 'Blood Ties'
Story Code '5ABB12'

by Stephen S. DeKnight

Buffy and the gang are at the ‘Magic Box’ discussing Buffy’s upcoming birthday. When the conversation turns to the Beast, Giles tells them that Glory and two other hell-gods once ruled a demon dimension, until she found her way here; Glory is immortal, invulnerable and insane, and survives by extracting energy from people’s brains, leaving her victims insane instead. Xander and the others begin worrying about the Key, prompting Buffy and Giles to reveal that it is actually Dawn. Elsewhere, the Knights of Byzantium are chanting around a fire when Jinx and the rest of Glory’s lackeys attack them. Just as Jinx is about to be killed by one of the knights Glory appears, takes one knight hostage, and kills the others. Tara and Willow cast a warning spell around the ‘Magic Box’ to notify them if Glory appears, and when Dawn comes by they tell her they have set one up around her house as well. Dawn enters the shop and Xander treats her as normal, but Anya obviously now has problems relating to her; Giles and Buffy emerge from the training room, and Dawn watches Giles as puts his journal away. Glory tortures the knight, but he refuses to give her any information and so she drains his brain essence. The birthday party is underway at the Summers house, and Buffy is having fun opening her presents; opening Dawn’s - a homemade picture frame with a picture of the two of them in it - Buffy is very touched, and the others are lost for words. Later, as Buffy, Giles and Joyce discuss Glory in the kitchen Dawn walks into he living room only to have everyone instantly fall silent; suspicious and angry, she goes to her room and climbs down the trellis on the outside wall, only to find Spike waiting in the garden. She ridicules his gift of flowers for Buffy and tells him that she is going to break into the ‘Magic Box’; Spike offers to accompany her. At the shop, Dawn finds the secret drawer where Giles keeps his journal, but as she reads it she finds some of the phrasing confusing; Spike helps, reading that only crazy people and those with second sight can see the Key. As Dawn recalls the times that insane people have said she was not there, Spike continues to read aloud from the journal, revealing how the monks sent the Key to the Slayer in the form of her sister so that she would protect it with her life. Realisation strikes Spike - Dawn is the Key. Back at the party, Willow, Tara and Buffy are discussing Riley when Tara notices that Dawn is standing there holding a knife, her arms covered in cuts; Dawn is in shock, asking them if her blood is real, if she is more that a Key. Later, after all her friends have left, Buffy and her mother talk with Dawn in her room; the young girl demands to know why they did not tell her, and is shocked to discover that in reality she is only six months old. Dawn becomes more distraught, demanding to be left alone. The next day, at the magic shop, Giles wonders how Dawn found his journals; Anya then finds cigarette butts in an urn. Buffy bursts into Spike’s crypt and demands to know why he helped Dawn; the vampire points out that Dawn was determined to go anyway and he thought she would be safer with his protection, and comments that Buffy could not keep the facts from Dawn forever. Joyce tries to treat Dawn normally, but the girl storms out of the house to go to school. Ben is working at the hospital when he sees the insane Knight of Byzantium strapped to a bed in the mental ward; Jinx appears and threatens Ben on behalf of Glory, but the intern is unruffled and simply leaves. Dawn overhears Buffy and Joyce discussing her, and in outrage sets her diaries on fire; Buffy and Joyce enter her room, only to find that she has run away. Buffy enlists the help of her friends and Spike to look for her sister, but they are unable to find her. Meanwhile, Dawn sneaks into the hospital mental ward, causing all the patients whisper “it’s here”; the Knight confirms that she is the Key, and he wants to destroy her. Frightened, Dawn runs away and bumps straight into Ben, who takes her to the locker room for a calming hot chocolate; as they talk Ben realises that Dawn is the Key; fearful for her safety, he desperately urges her to leave - only to suddenly transform into Glory. As the Beast changes out of Ben’s clothes and into a sexy red dress she tells Dawn not to escape; Dawn realises that Glory is unaware that she is the Key. Glory kills a guard and then takes Dawn off somewhere so that they can talk. Re-grouping in a park, Buffy suggests they look for Dawn at the hospital. In a hospital laboratory, Glory tries to bribe Dawn into telling her where the Key is; Dawn sees that she can turn the tables and begins questioning Glory about the Key and its purpose. Buffy and the others learn about the dead guard and deduce that Glory is nearby. Glory tells Dawn that the Key has been around forever and that it is not evil, but refuses to reveal what it unlocks; disappointed that Dawn has no information for her, Glory is about to suck the girl’s essence when Buffy and the gang burst in, and a fight breaks out. Spike tries to help but is quickly knocked out, while Tara and Willow begin chanting a spell, and Xander hits Glory with a crowbar. Unfazed, the Beast throws the crowbar at Dawn, but Buffy jumps in the way, saving her sister but taking the hit in her chest. Willow and Tara complete their spell and Glory disappears, but Willow collapses from the strain of the spell. The Beast re-appears some miles above Sunnydale, and is furious as she swiftly plummets back to earth. Buffy makes Dawn realise that she does care for her sister - after all, they share the same blood. They hug, but Dawn is still worried about their mother freaking out…

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), James Marsters (Spike), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Amber Benson (Tara), Clare Kramer (Glory), Charlie Weber (Ben), Troy T. Blendell (Jinx), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Justin Gorence (Orlando), Michael Emanuel (Burly Guard), Joe Ochman (Janitor), Paul Bates (Crazie #1), Carl J. Johnson (Crazie #2), Candice Nicole (Young Buffy), Elyssa D. Vito (Young Dawn)
Directed by Michael Gershman

TX (US): 6th February 2001
TX (UK - Sky One): 30th March 2001

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