Story Code '7ABB14'
by Jane Espenson
Whilst out on patrol, Giles explains to everyone how he managed to escape the Bringer in Robson’s house; he attributes it to his exceptional instincts and years of training, but it was actually the squeaking of the Bringer’s shoes that gave his attacker away. Giles is horrified when Buffy reveals to Giles that the Initiative has removed Spike’s chip, fearing that she may have unleashed an uncontrollable threat upon them, and concerned for the safety of both her and the Potentials; however, Buffy assures Giles that due to his newly acquired soul, Spike is no longer a danger to them or anyone else, believing that he can be a good person if given the opportunity. Giles senses that there is still a connection between Buffy and Spike, and, despite denying that there is anything between them, Buffy knows that he may be right. Meanwhile, at the construction site, Xander meets Lissa, a woman buying rope for her kayak; when the two of them hit it off, Xander asks Lissa out on a date that evening, and to his amazement she accepts. While at work, Buffy discovers that the Principal’s office is unattended, and so decides to do some snooping; however, before she can investigate what is hidden behind a huge screen, Principal Wood enters and catches her in the act; he accepts her bad excuse of looking for office supplies, and to her surprise, then asks her out on a date. Buffy accepts, but once she leaves the office, Wood lifts the screen to reveal a large collection of nasty looking knives. Talking to Willow about her date with her boss, Buffy raises the possibilities that he either wants to kill her, promote her, or is actually attracted to her; she decides that she is attracted to Wood, but is rather embarrassed when she then bumps into Spike. The vampire assures her that he has no a problem with her going on dates, unlike Anya, who cannot come to terms with Xander’s date. Meanwhile, Andrew is setting up the new microwave oven in the kitchen when the First appears to him in the guise of Jonathan, playing on Andrew’s guilt at having killed him. The First urges Andrew to get Willow’s gun and use it to kill all of the Potentials, demanding that he should help it because Buffy makes him continually pay for his mistakes, but fails to treat her previously-murderous friends the same way. While Xander anxiously waits for Lissa at the coffee shop, Willow decides to use the Internet to investigate Principal Wood, but is surprised when she is unable to find any information on him at all. While on her date with Principle Wood Buffy is a little suspicious when he insists that they walk down a dark alley to reach a restaurant that she has never heard of, and is further concerned when they are attacked by a gang of vampires. Convinced that Wood has set her up, Buffy is surprised to discover that he is armed with stakes and can fight extremely adeptly. Once the undead creatures are defeated Wood takes Buffy to the restaurant. Back at the coffee shop, Xander tells Lissa about Anya, and is pleased when she then suggests that they go somewhere to do something more fun. Buffy is amazed when Wood reveals that he knows she is the Slayer and then tells her that his own mother was a Slayer too; he was four when his mother was murdered, and was then raised by her Watcher. To exact his revenge Wood has been searching for the vampire that killed his mother, as well as dedicating his life to fighting evil and killing vampires. Back at the Summers house, Andrew shows the First the gun that he found in Willow’s underwear drawer; he then begins clumsily asking the demon questions about its weaknesses, but the First becomes angry, demanding to know if Andrew is wearing a wire - which he is, as Willow is down in the basement listening to their conversation. Despite being afraid, Andrew stands up to the First, refusing to do its bidding. Meanwhile, Xander is being strung up over the Seal Danthalzar by Lissa, who is planning to drain his blood in order to re-open the Seal and release another Turok-Han; Lissa tells him that it is now time for everyone to choose a side, and she is picking hers. Somehow, Xander manages to send a text message to Willow, prompting Spike to set off to find Buffy so that they can rescue Xander together. After Spike finds Buffy and Wood at the restaurant, the Principle follows them to the school where they attack Lissa; during the fight Wood sees that Spike is a vampire while Xander’s blood drips onto the Seal, which begins to open. Wood cuts Xander down, ensuring that the Seal snaps shut just as a Turok-Han climbs through, severing its arm. Buffy decapitates Lissa, and Wood sees that Buffy’s concern for Spike stems from more than just friendship. Back at home, Giles berates everyone for focusing on their romantic feelings instead of preparing themselves for the upcoming battle. Later that evening, Spike tells Buffy that he is going to leave, as he does not want to put Buffy and the others in danger, but Buffy tells him that she is not ready for him to leave. Wood is at home recovering from the fight when he is visited by the First, wearing the guise of his dead mother; it attempts to make him change sides, but Wood refuses to listen - until the First tells him that that night he fought alongside the vampire that killed his mother…
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), James Marsters (Spike), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Ashanti (Lissa), Danny Strong (Jonathan), Kristy Wu (Chao-ahn), K.D. Aubert (Wood's Mother), Tom Lenk (Andrew), Iyari Limon (Kennedy), Sarah Hagan (Amanda), D.B. Woodside (Principal Wood)
Directed by David Grossman
TX (US): 11th February 2003
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Anya, Dawn and Giles