Story Code '7ABB01'
by Joss Whedon
In Istanbul, a young woman is pursued by robed figures, which overpower and then kill her. In Sunnydale, Buffy takes Dawn out on patrol and begins training her to slay vampires - although Buffy is more concerned about the opening of the newly-rebuilt Sunnydale High School. Meanwhile, Willow is in England with Giles, learning to control her Wicca powers, and trying to accept that they will be a part of her forever. Back in Sunnydale, Anya is once again a full-time Vengeance Demon; however, Halfrek tells her that their boss, D’Hoffryn, and the order of Vengeance Demons think that she has lost her touch and is going soft. Xander has been overseeing the construction work on the new high school; after he and Buffy drop Dawn off for her classes, Buffy meets Robin Wood, the new principal. Buffy decides to look around the new building, but when she enters a bathroom she is attacked by the ghosts of several people whose lives she once failed to save. Later in class, Dawn too sees one of the phantoms; she makes for the bathroom to recover and encounters Kit, another girl who has also seen the ghosts. As the three spectres appear before them, the floor collapses and the two girls fall through to the basement. Willow suffers a seizure, and cryptically tells Giles she felt the earth, and saw that it has teeth; Giles surmises that the Hellmouth is opening. Down in the basement, Dawn and Kit meet Carlos, another student who has experienced the spectres. Buffy is talking to Principal Wood when Dawn calls her on her mobile phone; the Slayer rushes to her sister's aid, and leaps into the pit. Here she is met by the ghosts, who mock her for not saving them; but Buffy only cares about Dawn, and fights her way past them to reach a door in the wall. She is expecting to find Dawn behind it, but is surprised to find Spike instead. The vampire is a mess, babbling incoherently and covered with self-mutilation wounds. When Dawn calls Buffy again, Spike tells them that they are fighting manifest spirits, raised to seek vengeance and controlled by a talisman; Buffy recalls seeing a talisman in the school bathroom, and calls Xander to ask him to locate and destroy it. Buffy prevents the ghosts from killing Dawn, and buys Xander the time needed to destroy the talisman; defeated, the ghosts vanish. Later, Principal Wood sees Buffy talking to Dawn, Kit and Carlos, and is impressed by the way they are now socialising together; he asks Buffy to be the school counsellor, and she happily accepts. Meanwhile, in the basement, Spike is apparently talking to himself; however, he is then tormented by a vision of Warren, who then transforms into Glory, then Adam, Mayor Wilkins, Drusilla, the Master, before finally assuming the image of Buffy, all the while eulogising on the merits of power...
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), James Marsters (Spike), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), D.B. Woodside (Principal Wood), Alex Breckenridge (Kit Holburn), Kali Rocha (Halfrek), Mark Metcalf (The Master), Juliet Landau (Drusilla), Harry Groener (Mayor Wilkins), George Hertzberg (Adam), Clare Kramer (Glory), Adam Busch (Warren), David Zepeda (Carlos Trejo), Jeremy Howard (Dead Nerd), Ken Strunk (Dead Janitor), Rachael Bella (Dead Girl), Ed F. Martin (Teacher [Mr. Lonegrin]), Simon Chernin (Student), Jeff Denton (Vampire)
Directed by David Solomon
TX (US): 24th September 2002
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Dawn, Anya and Giles