Buffy Logo 'The Initative'
Story Code '4ABB07'

by Doug Petrie

Spike wakes up to find himself held in a white cell with electrified glass doors, apparently a laboratory or prison. Meanwhile, Giles and Xander discuss the commando guys, whom the latter notes are better at fighting evil than they are; Buffy arrives and asks them to go on patrol in her place that night, as she plans to take Willow to a party to cheer her up. In his cell, a packet of blood drops down for Spike to eat; however, a vampire in the neighbouring cell tells him that the blood is drugged - anyone drinking it will pass out and then be taken away for experimentation. Spike decides that Buffy is to blame for his current situation. Learning that Oz’s name has been taken off the psychology class register, Willow becomes upset, causing Buffy to accuse Professor Walsh of lacking in human behaviour. When Riley tells his friends about how Buffy stood up to Professor Walsh, Parker walks past and tells them that he slept with her, before making a derogatory joke; Riley gets angry and punches Parker, making himself realise that he really likes Buffy. Back in the cells, Spike has passed out and is being dragged from his cell by men in lab coats; however, he is only faking; he fights them off and then releases his neighbour, who knows where the exit is. After a troop of commandos appear Spike sacrifices his accomplice and escapes. Riley visits Buffy’s dorm room and finds Willow there; he confesses that he wants to ask Buffy out, and Willow helps by telling him a few of the things that Buffy likes, including cheese, and that they are going to a party tonight. Spike reaches his lair, but when he tells Harmony that he is going to kill Buffy, his suffers a violent headache. Later, at the party, Willow prompts Riley to go and talk to Buffy, but warns him that if he hurts her friend, she will hit him over the head with a shovel. Xander is on patrol when he sees Harmony burning a pile of clothes; on learning that she is destroying Spike’s things because he has left her again to kill the Slayer, Xander heads off to find Buffy. Riley feels he has failed with Buffy as she is dancing with another guy; Willow tells him she is going home, and asks him to tell Buffy, but as he is about to talk to her, Xander bursts in and the two of the run off. Riley’s friends tease him about Buffy, and note that he is needed ‘downstairs’; arriving in front of a mirror, they are subjected to a retinal scan - the mirror then slides back to reveal a hidden elevator. After Riley is identified as Special Agent Finn, ‘downstairs’ is revealed to be a giant laboratory where demons are being examined by people in white coats and commando gear. As Riley muses whether any girl would want to go out with someone who is normal during the day and hunts demons at night, Professor Walsh appears and informs them they have a ‘Code Red’: ‘Hostile Seventeen’ - Spike - has escaped. She puts Riley in charge of the operation. Buffy sets off to kill Spike once and for all, while Spike breaks into a campus office to learn where Buffy’s dorm room is. Later, Buffy waits on a bench in order to lure Spike out, unknowingly preventing Riley and his commandos from continuing their operation; Riley changes into his civvies and tries to entice Buffy to go inside, but they hear a scream and both run off in separate directions. Willow is lying on her bed when there is a knock on the door; after inviting the person in, she is terrified to see it is Spike, who pins her to the bed and leans in to bite her. But something is wrong - Spike cannot hurt her, as whenever he suffers a terrible headache. Willow hits him over the head with a lamp and tries to escape, but the commandos rush in and throw a bag over Spike’s head. However, while they debate what to do with Willow, Spike gets loose; the troops try to shoot him, but instead hit a fire extinguisher, which promptly explodes. Buffy arrives and fires her flare gun, blinding everyone, but inadvertently enabling Spike to jump out the window. Riley aborts the mission, and the commandos leave. Back at the laboratory, Professor Walsh berates Riley and his team for letting Spike escape; Riley reminds her that they successfully implanted Spike, who is now unable to feed or harm anyone. Later, Riley meets up with Buffy, and they begin to talk…

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), James Marsters (Spike), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall), Adam Kaufman (Parker Abrams), Bailey Chase (Graham), Leonard Roberts (Forrest), Lindsay Crouse (Professor Maggie Walsh), Mace Lombard (Tom, the Lab Rat Vamp), Scott Becker (Lost Freshman)
Directed by James A. Contner

TX (US): 16th November 1999
TX (UK - Sky One): 18th February 2000
TX (UK - BBC): 16th November 2000

*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles and Reily