Story Code '7ABB18'
by Drew Goddard
A young girl is pursued through a forest by the Bringers. She runs out onto a road and gets a lift from a car driven by a preacher; when he starts chatting to her, she tells him that she needs to go Sunnydale, specifically Revello Drive. The preacher introduces himself as Caleb, and the girl replies that her name is Shannon. But then Caleb’s attitude towards Shannon suddenly changes: he calls a whore, and states that she is ‘dirty’. Shannon tries to get out of the vehicle, only to discover that the door handle is missing. Caleb tells her that his boys - the Bringers - are still out there, and then, using the lighter from the dashboard, he heats up a ring he wears and presses it into Shannon’s neck, branding her. Caleb tells the frightened girl that the car behind them is going to Sunnydale, and gives her a message to deliver to the Slayer. He then stabs her in the stomach and throws her out of the car. As Shannon tumbles onto the road the car behind stops, and Willow and Faith get out to help; seeing the girl’s wounds, they decide to take her to hospital. Meanwhile, there are now so many Potentials that Xander’s apartment is packed with them - causing Xander to have some particularly naughty dreams about all the young, attractive girls he is currently living with. At the hospital, Willow tells Faith that the injured girl is a Potential, and they need to inform Buffy; Faith confronts Willow about not being told about the Bringers killing Potentials, but Willow replies that they thought she was safe in prison. Faith counters by telling her of the recent attempt to stab her. Willow stays with the girl, while Faith goes to look for Buffy. Later, a young girl is being chased through a cemetery by Spike; Faith intervenes by attacking the vampire. Spike realises who she is, but Faith will not listen as he tries to tell her, through all the punching, that he is a good guy too. Faith is promptly knocked to the ground by Buffy; this confuses her even more, until Buffy informs her about Spike’s new soul, which in turn leads to comparisons with Angel. When the young girl punches her, Faith realises that Spike’s quarry is a vampire; she grabs one of Buffy’s stakes and dusts the creature. Buffy, Spike and Faith return to the Summers house, but Dawn and Giles are not thrilled to see Faith. Dawn tells Buffy that Willow has been calling from the hospital. When Faith comments upon all the tension, Spike tells her about Giles and Wood’s plan to kill him. Meanwhile, Caleb is in a storeroom at a vineyard talking to the First, which is wearing the form of Buffy; when the First asks the preacher if he likes how it looks, Caleb realises that she is dressed as the Slayer; he is astonished that it has finally shown him what the Slayer looks like, especially after he blew up the Watcher’s Council for it. Back at the house, Andrew tells Faith’s history to the Potentials, while the girl in question works out in the garden; Andrew warns that she is a killer, and the girls should be on their guard around her. The next day, Buffy goes to work at Sunnydale High School; she talks to Principal Wood, and is pleased that there are no hard feelings over recent events. But then Wood fires her, telling her she needs to concentrate on the war, and noting that half the students have left town anyway. He reminds Buffy that the mission is what matters. As Faith and Spike chat in the basement their conversation turns to a more sexual edge, and they flirt heavily with each other; Spike tells her about his affair with Buffy, which adds to Faith’s surprise. Buffy comes down the stairs, and seems to be jealous at Faith and Spike spending time together; Dawn interrupts, telling them that the girl at the hospital is now awake. At the hospital, Shannon tells Willow and Buffy about Caleb, and shows them the burn mark. Willow takes a photo to study it, and Shannon delivers the preacher’s message: “I have something of yours”. Returning home, Buffy tells everyone that she is going after Caleb, to get whatever he has of hers. In the vineyard, the First appears as various young women that Caleb has killed so that he can relive killing them again and again. Giles objects to Buffy’s plan, pointing out that the Potentials could be killed, and it is probably a trap; but Buffy argues that the girls need to see combat. She tells Willow to stay behind to protect the remaining Potentials. Later, Faith and Buffy track a Bringer and follow him back to the vineyard. In the living room, Xander prepares the girls for their battle by showing them the different areas to aim for to ensure a kill. When Rona voices her concerns about being killed, Xander tells them that Buffy has saved his life more times than he can count; she herself has died twice to save people she loves, and has earned their trust. He is unaware that Faith and Buffy have walked in and heard most of his speech, which has moved Buffy to tears. After having organised themselves they arrive at the vineyard, where Buffy splits the team into two groups, instructing Xander, Faith and half the Potentials to guard the perimeter, while she, Faith, Spike, Kennedy, Rona, Molly and another Potential enter the building. However, they are swiftly attacked by Bringers, and the desperate battle only stops when Caleb emerges from the shadows. Buffy asks him what he has of hers. Caleb stares at her, almost in awe, before backhanding her and sending her flying across the room. Spike attacks the preacher, but Caleb easily throws him into a wine barrel. The Bringers attack again, and the Potentials are now on their own. Caleb effortlessly breaks Rona’s arm, but the battle is interrupted once more by the arrival of Xander, Faith and the other Potentials. Caleb recognises Faith as the other Slayer; they begin to fight, but she too is overpowered and sent crashing into a wine barrel, while Caleb snaps the neck of a Potential. As Xander helps Buffy up, the Slayer orders a retreat, but Caleb then stabs Molly. In anger, Buffy attacks again; this time she is able to hit the preacher, but Spike urgently tells her they have to leave. Caleb confronts Xander, and, grabbing him round the throat, remarks that he is the one that sees everything - he then gouges out Xander’s left eye with his thumb. Spike attacks Caleb, while Buffy helps the injured Xander out of the cellar. Later, in the hospital, Rona has her arm in a cast, while Xander lies unconscious, his head and eye bandaged, Willow sitting sadly by his bed. At the vineyard, Caleb rambles to the First about Eve and evil. Elsewher, Buffy walks the streets alone, trying to comprehend what has happened...
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), Eliza Dushku (Faith), Nathan Fillion (Caleb), Tom Lenk (Andrew), Iyari Limon (Kennedy), Indigo (Rona), Clara Bryant (Molly), Sarah Hagan (Amanda), Kristy Wu (Chao Ahn), D. B. Woodside (Principal Robin Wood)
Directed by Michael Gershman
TX (US): 22nd April 2003
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Anya, Dawn, Giles and Faith