|'Same Time, Same Place'
Story Code '7ABB03'
by Jane Espenson
At Sunnydale airport, Buffy, Dawn and Xander anxiously await Willow’s arrival from England, but when their friend fails to disembark from the flight that she was supposed to be on, the gang are eventually forced to give up and leave. The scene plays out again, but this time from Willow’s perspective: after getting off the plane she is unable to see any of the gang, and, feeling upset, goes to the Summers house to find them. Disheartened to find no-one at home, Willow soon falls asleep on the couch. Buffy, Dawn and Xander arrive but are still unable to find Willow; they sit on the couch and call Giles to confirm that she definitely got on the flight. The next morning, Willow wakes up alone in the house; she heads for ‘The Magic Box’ and meets Anya. When Willow asks her about the gang, Anya remarks that they are probably at the High School, telling her that Dawn is now a student there, Buffy is the Counsellor, and Xander has been overseeing the construction. Arriving at the school construction pit, Willow is disturbed to find a skinned body. Buffy and Xander are also there, but, as Willow climbs out of the pit, they only hear the sound of someone climbing a ladder; Buffy jumps to the conclusion that Willow is responsible for the body, as she killed Warren in the same way. Willow finds Spike in the school basement, but he just rambles about it being her fault. When Xander and Buffy arrive Spike talks to all three of them - but Willow cannot see Xander and Buffy, and they are unable to see her. Willow goes to Anya for help and together they cast a spell to locate all the demons in Sunnydale; after the spell reveals lots of demons at the High School and a large burnt mark at the park, Willow decides to investigate. Back at the Summers house, Dawn is researching into the identity of the demon that could have skinned the body; she thinks it was a Gnarl demon, which are known to paralyse their victims, eat them alive, and then drink the spilt blood. The gang use Spike as a bloodhound; he follows the scent of the Gnarl to the entrance of a cave and then leaves them there. Willow is also standing in front of the cave mouth, and she crawls inside; here she finds a fire burning, and hears an eerie voice taunting her about being alone. As Xander, Buffy and Dawn enter the cave, Dawn is able to hear the voice, but it sounds distant. The Gnarl jumps out at them and slashes Dawn with its claws, paralysing her. After it disappears, Buffy decides to take Dawn home, and as they leave, Xander blocks the entrance behind them - unknowingly sealing Willow inside. Xander and Buffy congratulate Dawn on correctly identifying the demon, and then Buffy calls Anya to come and look after Dawn. Inside the cave, Willow is attacked by Gnarl and paralysed. Anya arrives and tells the others that she has seen Willow, informing them that she went to the cave, and that Gnarl is the only demon of his kind. She then leaves with Xander and Buffy in search of Willow. As Gnarl begins slicing off strips of Willow’s skin to eat, Buffy breaks into the cave and attacks him, although she is still unable to see Willow. Anya tends to the injured girl, and tells Buffy how to destroy Gnarl - enabling Buffy to gouge the demon' eyes out and kill him. Willow starts to move, and after a few seconds, begins to re-appear before them. Later, at the Summers house, a bandaged Willow attempts to mediate in order to heal herself. She is joined by Buffy, and together they talk about how much they missed each other; Willow admits that she must have made herself invisible just by thinking about it, as she was unsure if she was ready to face her friends yet. Buffy is disturbed that her friend is so powerful that she can cast a spell by just thinking about it. She then gives Willow some of her strength to help her new skin grow faster.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), James Marsters (Spike), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), Camden Toy (Gnarl), Anthony S. Johnson (Father), Matt Koruba (Teen Boy), Nicholette Dixon (Sister), Marshe Daniel (Brother)
Directed by James A. Contner
TX (US): 8th October 2002
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Anya and Dawn