Story Code '6ABB22'
by David Fury
As Giles strides into the ‘Magic Box’ Willow realises that he has borrowed magical energy to fight her; but it is too later, and Giles is able to immobilise her. Buffy and Anya come to, and, seeing Giles, the three of them share a joyful hug. Giles tells Willow that he is sorry about Tara, but she retorts that he cannot stop her. Giles and Buffy head to the training room to talk; Giles tells the Slayer that a coven in Devon told him about the magical power rising in Sunnydale, and, when a seer informed him of Tara’s death, he realised that it was Willow; the coven then gave him some of its power, and he was able to teleport over. Buffy fills him in on everything that has been happening: Xander and Anya not getting married, Dawn’s stealing, and her sleeping with Spike. The last situation causes Giles to laugh at the sheer absurdity of it all. In the shop, Anya is trying to clean up, but Willow attempts to perform mind tricks on her. When Giles admits to Buffy he never should have left, Buffy confesses that she still does not understand why she was brought back. They discuss Willow, Giles noting that the coven is currently working on a way to stop her without killing her; even if she survives, Willow will have the guilt to deal with. However, they are then interrupted by Willow, who has managed to take control of Anya and used her to set herself free. She starts fighting with Giles, but he knocks her through a wall. Elsewhere, Xander, Dawn, Andrew and Jonathan walk through town, looking for somewhere to hide; when Dawn remarks that Spike would go back and defend Buffy, Xander angrily tells her of Spike’s attempted rape of her sister, but Dawn does not believe him. In Africa, Spike passes another test, this time involving the decapitation of several demons; his next test is even worse: bugs crawl over - and inside - his skin. Willow causes the balcony to fall onto Giles, but Buffy is able to push him out of the way in time. Willow sends a fireball off to seek out Andrew and Jonathan, and Giles instructs Buffy to find the two boys first. Willow then proceeds to strike Giles again and again, pummelling him into submission, but she then begins to tire once more; she drains Giles of all of his magical energy, but the magic is different, and connects her to the pain and emotion experienced by everyone in the world. This causes the witch to decide to stop the suffering by destroying the planet. Xander takes Dawn, Andrew and Jonathan to a cemetery to hide, but the fireball still finds them. Buffy arrives and is able to push Andrew and Jonathan out of the way, but the fireball creates a crater, which the Slayer and her sister fall into, while Xander is knocked unconscious. Andrew and Jonathan take their opportunity to escape. Anya regains consciousness and finds Giles, who tells her that he is dying; however, he is now connected to Willow, and can see and feel what she is doing. As Buffy and her sister try desperately to climb out of the grave, Dawn suggests looking for Spike’s tunnels; she tells Buffy that she knows of the vampire’s attempted rape, and Buffy replies that she was trying to protect her by not telling her about it. Dawn states that she cannot be protected from everything, and needs to be included instead. Xander comes to on the surface above them, but is unable to help the two girls. Just then, Anya teleports into the grave with the news that Willow is planning to raise a satanic temple and use its demonic power to drain the earth of its life-force, burning it to a cinder; she tells Buffy and Dawn that Giles does not have much time left, and then goes back to comfort him. Xander has gone as well. Willow has now begun raising the temple, and keeps Buffy occupied by creating zombies out of the tree-roots in the grave; Buffy realises that she cannot fight them all herself, and so hands Dawn a weapon. The two sisters stand back-to-back in battle. Xander arrives at the temple and stands in front of Willow; she warns him to get out of her way, but Xander states that if the world is going to end, he wants to be with his best friend. He tells Willow how much he loves her, and reminds her of all things they did together as children. The witch tries to ignore Xander, and uses her power against him, but no matter how much she hurts him, he just keeps on telling her that he loves her. Willow tries to hit him, but breaks down, sobbing. Xander holds her as the temple falls back into the earth. Willow becomes her normal self again; the root-zombies in the grave vanish, and, in the ‘Magic Box’, Giles suddenly sits up, alive and well. He tells a surprised Anya that the magic Willow drained from him was good magic, and he hoped it would tap into what was left of her humanity; Xander was able to get to her in time and bring her back from the darkness. Anya is astonished that the apparently useless Xander has just saved the entire world. Back in the grave, Buffy sits on a coffin and begins to cry. It is happy crying though; she apologises to Dawn for everything, and tells her that things are going to change; she wants to show Dawn what the world is really like, and help her grow into the beautiful, powerful woman she is destined to be. Together, they climb out of the grave and into the sunlight. Xander holds Willow in his arms, continuing to comfort her. Andrew and Jonathan have hitched a ride out of town. As Anya and Giles stumble from the wreckage of the ‘Magic Box’, Buffy and Dawn walk together. However, Spike lies on the floor of the cave, bruised and bloody; he has passed his final test, and demands that the demon make him what he was, so that he can finally give Buffy what she deserves. The demon complies - and Spike cries out in agony as his soul is returned...
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), James Marsters (Spike), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), Danny Strong (Jonathan), Tom Lenk (Andrew), Jeff Kober (Rack), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Steven W. Bailey (Cave Demon), Brett Wagner (Trucker)
Directed by James A. Contner
TX (US): 21st May 2002
TX (UK - Sky One): 30th May 2002
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, ,Anya, Dawn and Giles