Story Code '3ABB19'
by David Fury
The final preparations for the Mayor’s Ascension are underway, and he gives Faith a gift: a huge, nasty-looking knife. Meanwhile, Joyce is thrilled to discover that Buffy has been accepted to university, but Buffy plays it down. At school, she discusses her mother with Willow, commenting that she seems to ignore the fact that Buffy is the Slayer, and therefore unable to leave Sunnydale; Willow has been accepted by several of universities, while Xander is planning to travel. Cordelia bitchily remarks that Buffy has no future, but refuses to tell anyone her plans. When Wesley forbids Buffy to go to university, she angrily decides to launch an offensive against the Mayor, instead of waiting for the Ascension to take place. Faith intercepts a man at the airport and takes the box he was carrying to the Mayor; Buffy sees her and reports back to the others. They realise that the box must be important, and so plan for Willow, Buffy, and Angel to break in and steal it, while Xander and Oz prepare a spell to destroy it. On the roof of City Hall, Willow casts a spell to break the mystical barrier around the building, but as Buffy gets the box an alarm goes off, forcing her and Angel to fight their way out. The Mayor is furious that the box has been stolen, but Faith has a consolation prize for him: Willow. Back at the library, the gang try to figure out how to get Willow back; Buffy tells Giles to call the Mayor and arrange a meeting. Willow frees herself by impaling her vampire guard with a telekinetically-propelled pencil; she makes her way to the Mayor’s office, and locates the Books of Ascension, and is in the middle of reading them when Faith catches her. The gang is waiting in the school cafeteria when the Mayor, Faith, and Willow arrive, together with a couple of henchmen. The Mayor points out that Buffy and Angel's relationship is doomed because Angel's immortality will cause problems; he cannot experience true happiness, so it would be selfish of Angel to stay with her. After they exchange Willow for the box, Principal Snyder arrives with the police, believing he has interrupted a drug deal; as the Mayor starts to explain one of the cops opens the box, letting out a huge bug that immediately attacks and kills him, before jumping onto the Mayor's face. Faith grabs the creature and throws it across the room; when the Mayor's wounded face instantly heals, Snyder is shocked. As more bugs try to escape from the box, the Mayor tells them that there are fifty billion inside. After he and Faith leave, Willow surprises Giles by giving him some pages torn from the Books of Ascension. The next day, Willow comforts Buffy with the promise that she will be going to U.C. Sunnydale with her; she wants to stay to fight evil and help people. That night, Buffy tells Angel of her hopes to live on campus, and reassures him that, contrary to the Mayor's taunts, their relationship will be fine.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel), Seth Green (Oz), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Eliza Dushku (Faith), Harry Groener (Mayor Richard Wilkins III), Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Armin Shimerman (Principal Snyder), Keith Brunsmann (Vamp Lackey), Jimmie F. Skaggs (Courier), Jason Reed (Vamp Guard), Bonita Friedericy (Manager), Michael Schoenfeld (Security Guard #1), Seth Coltan (Security Guard #2), Brett Moses (Student)
Directed by James A. Contner
TX (US): 4th May 1999
TX (UK - Sky One): 18th November 1999
TX (UK - BBC): 31st August 2000
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Oz, Cordelia, Faith and Angel
*This episode was shown out of order in the US, due to the tragic Columbine High School shootings