Story Code '4ABB11'
by Marti Noxon,
and Jane Espenson
Buffy and Riley are still unable to break the silence; Riley decides to take the first step, and is amazed to learn that Buffy has worked out almost exactly who he is and what the Initiative is. Buffy, however, is rather deflated when Riley has never heard of the Slayer, and then becomes quite alarmed when they are interrupted by a sudden earthquake. Later that day, Buffy insists that something bad is about to happen, but Giles assures her that it was just an ordinary earthquake. Down in the Initiative Forrest scoffs at Riley, saying that the Slayer is a myth that mother demons tell their babies. Willow attends an aftershock party, but finds that she does not know anyone; she is relieved to run into Percy West, from Sunnydale High, but then becomes very upset when she overhears him telling his date that Willow is a geek. She goes to a dark room for a rest, but as she lies on the bed the lights come back on and she discovers a dead body of a young man lying next to her. Buffy arrives and the party and finds Willow, and together they go to tell Giles; Willow shows him a drawing of the symbol that the body had carved into its chest, which Giles recognises as a sign of the apocalypse. Realising that she has seen the symbol on a mausoleum Buffy investigates the tomb and finds a demon inside, collecting bones from one of the skeletons. Seconds after the demon throws Buffy to the ground and escapes Riley arrives; before running after the demon, Buffy tells him that their relationship cannot continue any further. While researching the demon at Giles’s apartment, Willow discovers a ritual called the Sacrifice of Three: the demon needs the blood of a man, the bones of a child, and the Word of Valios. Xander and Willow set off to the library to look for this Word of Valios; on the way they stop off at Xander’s apartment and find Spike about to attempt to kill himself with a stake. When they take pity on him, Spike accompanies them to the library, although he still mocks their belief that the Slayer needs them, remarking that she would be better off without them. When Riley and Buffy run into each other again Riley tries to convince her that she cannot always be alone. While continuing his research into the Word Giles finds a drawing of it, and, recognising the talisman, he rummages through a box of his possessions and finds it - just as the Vahrall demon appears. Later, while the gang tend to his wounds, Giles tells them that the Vahrall demons are attempting to open the Hellmouth. Buffy, Xander, Willow and Spike return to the remains of Sunnydale High, where they find the demons in the old library, chanting above the Hellmouth. While Buffy attacks the monsters, Xander and Willow attempt to retrieve the bones and blood; after one of the demons grabs the jar of blood and jumps into the Hellmouth Xander realises that the demons themselves are the sacrifice. Spike hits one of the demons and is amazed when he feels no pain; realising that the chip does not affect him from harming demons he joins in the battle, although he gets carried away and throws one of the demons into the pit. Another earthquake signifies that the ritual is almost complete, and as Buffy tries to prevent the last demon from jumping into the pit, Riley comes to her aide. The demon eludes them, grabs the Talisman, and jumps into the Hellmouth. Riley hooks up Buffy to a cable, and she dives into the pit after the monster; through a series of more aftershocks Riley manages to pull the triumphant Slayer, now holding the demon, back through the hole. With the ritual incomplete the demon dies and the earthquakes stop. Riley tries to explain his appearance to Willow and Xander, but they immediately realise that he is one of the commandos. The next morning, Buffy visits Riley, telling him that she wants to continue their relationship. In Xander’s basement, an elated Spike tries to motivate Willow and Xander into going after demons and vampires so that they can continue the fight against evil - Spike finally feels like his old self once more.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), James Marsters (Spike), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Leonard Roberts (Forrest Gates), Bailey Chase (Graham Miller), Ethan Erickson (Percy West), Anastasia Anselmi (Partier / The Dead Guy)
Directed by James A. Contner
TX (US): 18th January 2000
TX (UK - Sky One): 17th March 2000
TX (UK - BBC): 4th January 2001
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Riley, Anya and Tara