Story Code '3ABB12'
by David Fury
Buffy and Willow are trying to perform a spell that will restore Amy, now trapped as a rat, back into her human form, but the spell has no effect. Later, Giles notes that Buffy is no longer interested in learning the various uses for stones and crystals; she replies that she is just anxious to patrol, as Faith seems to have disappeared. That night, Buffy only just manages to kill a vampire after experiencing a dizzy spell. The next morning, she is unable to hit a target with her knives during practice, and confesses to Giles about feeling giddy, but he just attributes it to flu. After school, Buffy is disappointed when her father cancels their annual trip to see an ice skating show; she later drops hints to Giles that she would like him to take her to the ice show, but he insists that they continue studying the crystals. However, when Buffy becomes mesmerised by one of the crystals she falls into trance, enabling Giles to inject her with a syringe; he then brings her out of the trance, and she is completely oblivious to what just happened. The next day, when Buffy tries to defend Cordelia from the unwanted attention of a boy, she is easily knocked to the ground. She tries to tell Giles about what has happened, but he just brushes her concerns off. Giles subsequently visits an abandoned building and meets with the Chief Watcher, Quentin Travers, together with his two assistants, Hobson and Blair. Travers tells Giles that the Cruciamentum is a rite of passage that each Slayer must endure on her eighteenth birthday, noting that Giles is clearly upset at having to subject Buffy to the ritual. After Giles leaves, the Hobson and Blair unlock a large box containing a straight-jacketed vampire, to which they administer a drug. Oz, Willow, Buffy and Xander continue to research into Slayer curses, but are getting nowhere, and Giles also tells Buffy that he has been unable to find anything out; she decides to seek comfort from Angel. Meanwhile, the vampire, Zackary Kralik, is able to free itself, killing Hobson and vampirising Blair, and escaping with the pills it needs. Later, Giles arrives looking for Quentin, but instead finds an empty cage and the body of Hobson; concerned, he sets off in search of Buffy. Elsewhere, Buffy is walking home when she runs into Kralik; knowing she is too weak to fight she chooses to run away, managing to jump into Giles’ car as he drives past. Returning to the library, Giles confesses all: this is a test, in which a Slayer has her powers suppressed before being trapped with a vampire whom she must defeat; he shows her the syringe, assuring her that the effects are only temporary. Distressed at his betrayal, Buffy threatens to kill Giles if he touches her; Cordelia enters the library Buffy and asks her for a ride home. Kralik kidnaps Joyce, and when Buffy arrives home she discovers a Polaroid photograph of her mother with the word “come” written on the reverse. She gathers weapons, but has trouble carrying the heavy load. Meanwhile, Kralik has Joyce bound and gagged, and is taking dozens of Polaroid’s of her. Buffy arrives to rescue her mother, but Blair locks her in; Quentin visits Giles in the library and informs him that Buffy is about to undergo her ‘test’, prompting Giles to rush off to her aid. Kralik begins a cat and mouse game with Buffy, which culminates with her finding a room covered in Polaroids of Joyce. Kralik catches her, but suffers withdrawal symptoms from his pills; Buffy grabs the bottle and dives into the laundry chute, arriving in the basement where her mom is tied up. She is pursued by Kralik, who grabs his pills and swallows them with a nearby glass of water - only to find that Buffy has filled the glass with holy water. He disintegrates, and while Buffy is trying to free Joyce Blair Blair bursts in, only to be killed by Giles. Later, Travers commends Buffy on her successful passing of the test; however, since Giles has demonstrated an unsanctioned relationship with Buffy, he is relieved of his duties as a Watcher.
Cast: 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), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Jeff Kober (Zackary Kralik), Harris Yulin (Quentin Travers), Dominic Keating (Blair), David Haydn-Jones (Hobson), Nick Cornish (Guy), Don Dowe (Construction Worker)
Directed by James A. Contner
TX (US): 19th January 1999
TX (UK - Sky One): 21st October 1999
TX (UK - BBC): 12th July 2000
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Oz, Cordelia and Angel