-- Quotes --
Written by Zinna and Kristina
Previously on "Preacher Smack Down," Buffy smacked down that nasty old preacher and Angel, her first love, watched with a great degree of satisfaction. Once the preacher went down, Angel wondered if Buffy was happy to….well he didn’t have much time to wonder with Buffy’s lips on his.
Currently on Buffy…Buffy and Angel continue to devour each other's faces. Dramatic music plays in the background. It is all very romantic, which, for Angel, qualifies as happy to see him. Then Buffy floats back to reality; she wants to know what Angel is doing there. Angel came as soon as he heard about the distress. Apparently, he was able to obtain the entire back story (the First is preparing an army to take out the entire slayer line).
Buffy is glad until she sees her ex-lover smacked down for the count and her supposed-to-be-down-for-the-count preacher up and exclaiming, “Are you ready to finish this…Bitch!”
Turns out she’s ready to finish it. Kick, punch, duck, flip, smack, pause to ask just how many times she is going to have to kill him before he actually stays dead. He, of course, claims that he can’t be killed enough but in actuality it only takes being ripped in half starting from his balls up through the top. This time preacher, both halves, is down for the count and just in time for Angel to wake, ready for action.
Buffy explains that Caleb had to split and of course there’s some chuckling. Ha! Angel gets back to his reasons for coming to Sunnydale. One being that he has a powerful amulet necklace type thing that will bestow great strength to the right person who wears it. The “right” person is someone en-souled, but stronger than human -- a champion. Buffy wonders if it’s for her and Angel doesn’t think so. It could be dangerous and he doesn’t know enough about it to risk her wearing. Besides, she’s got that cool axe-thing.
Buffy realizes that this means Angels plans to fight alongside her when the First brings about its Armageddon. Buffy thinks a second, then tells him that he can’t be there. She can’t risk it. She needs a second front in case she isn’t able to defeat it. Angel figures that makes sense but smells another reason having to do with Spike.
Buffy can’t stress how creepy it is that Angel is sniffing her. Angel bypasses that, wanting to know if she loves Spike. That’s not any of his business. He concurs that he may be out of line but he’s really thrown for a loop here. So, Buffy runs down the schpeil: Spike is different now. He has a soul. This news sends Angel into an excessive amount of grumbling. He feels slighted and less special now that he is no longer the only vampire with a soul and that he is being blown off for “Captain Peroxide.”
Buffy wants to know if he plans to come to Sunnydale and go all Dawson on her every time she has a new boyfriend. Angel feels triumphant to catch her use the word “boyfriend” to describe Spike. Buffy explains that Spike is not her boyfriend, but she admits that he is in her heart. Angel grumbles more about how that will end well. Buffy points out that their (her and Angel’s) relationship wasn’t exactly a bowl of cherries what with her having to kill him and he having to dump her on prom night. She goes on to explain that she is well-aware of her stellar history with men, but now that the end draws near it’s all beginning to make sense. She doesn’t see herself growing old and fat with Spike, but that doesn’t matter to her right now. See, Buffy always thought something was wrong with her because she couldn’t make it work in any of her romantic relationships, but now she’s seeing that maybe it’s not suppose to work out for her. It’s like she is cookie dough that is not done baking yet, she’s not finished becoming whoever she’s going to turn out to be. One day, however, she will be done. She will be cookies and then if she wants someone to enjoy warm delicious cookie-Buffy then it will work because she’ll be ready.
Angel wants to know if she has thought about who she would want to enjoy the cookies. Buffy hasn’t thought that far ahead. Angel understands and hangs his head as he decides he should be getting to that second front. Buffy calls out to him. She wants him to know that sometimes she thinks that far ahead. “Sometimes” is somewhat consoling for him. He leaves knowing that she’ll know where to find him when she’s ready.
At home, Dawn greets Buffy at the door. Buffy is surprised because she had arranged for Xander to take Dawn out of the way. Well, Dawn doesn’t appreciate Buffy’s attempts to keep her safe, so she kicks Buffy in the shin and calls her a dumbass. Buffy looks at Xander for an explanation and he’s got nothing except that Summers women are not to be messed with. Buffy concedes and tells her that if Dawn dies, she’s going to tell.
Buffy goes into the dining area to tell everyone that she nixed the preacher. Everyone is delighted.
Downstairs, Buffy finds Spike pounding her punching bag. Immediately, he lays into her lip lock with “Dr. Forehead." Buffy figures that he must smell Angel on her or something but Spike explains that actually he saw them. Buffy just doesn’t have the energy to fight. She tells that the kiss was just a hello, a hello that didn’t include tongue. Spike continues to be agitated, but tells Buffy to hand over “trinket” her “Sweetie-bear” gave to her. He believes that it is for him. Buffy is hesitant, explaining that the amulet is volatile. He says that she’ll need someone strong to wear it and wonders if she was planning to give it to Andrew. Buffy says that Angel said it is for a champion. Spike hangs his head, assuming this means that she doesn’t think he’s worthy and then is surprised to see Buffy walk over and hand it to him. Spike is honored, but Buffy is tired and changes the subject. Faith is still occupying Buffy’s room (implying that she will need somewhere to sleep). Spike protests, claiming that she still has Angel breath. She understands and turns to leave, but he stops her. He was just trying to save face. He doesn’t want Buffy to go. Buffy breathes a sigh of relief.
In the deep dark night, Buffy stirs restless as Spike sleeps peacefully at her side. She caresses his arm (his arm is draped over her) for comfort until finally she gets up. She goes to basement window to stare off into the night, but soon from the shadows comes her recently defeated adversary, Caleb. Buffy is not alarmed. She knows it is the First. Caleb!First sort of congratulates Buffy on her very small win—killing Caleb, its right arm (so to speak). Caleb!First isn’t worried, however, because Caleb was just one of many that the First plans to use to kill Buffy and all her little friends. See, the First is building an army that will outnumber the humans on earth and once that happens the First will become corporeal. Buffy isn’t worried; she has an army of her own. The First doesn’t seem to think that Buffy’s little army of wannabe slayers is going to be any match for her (she’s in her Buffy suit, now) army, especially since none of those girls will ever have any real power unless Buffy dies. You know the drill—into every generation one girl in the all the world will have the power…blah blah blah. Buffy knows the drill and doesn’t really have a snappy comeback. All she can say is Buffy!First is right. Meanwhile over on the cot, Spike wakes himself up with his own sleep talking. Buffy looks over to see what’s the trouble and when she looks back her evil twin is gone. Spike, awake now, asks what’s wrong and Buffy says that she just realized something that never occurred to her before. They are going to win.
The next morning in her bedroom, Buffy tells Giles, Dawn, Xander, Anya, and Faith her plan, which we are not privy to. By the look on everyone's faces, it’s a humdinger of a dozy of plan. Silence rings out in the room and finally, Buffy asks what they think. Xander wants to know if Buffy is kidding, while Faith thinks the plan is pretty out there. Giles rises to his feet, claiming that it “flies in the face of everything we’ve ever…every generation has ever done in the fight against evil.” Buffy seems a little worried that once again Giles is not on her side, but then his scowl breaks into a grin. He thinks the plan is “bloody brilliant!” Willow is the only one that is a little worried because the plan’s success depends solely on her magical abilities. As we all know, Willow is very afraid to dip into sea of overwhelming magical power for fear she will become veiny Willow again, but everyone else including Giles and Buffy is completely confident that she can pull it off without a hitch! So, the plan is a go. Giles and Dawn leave to do some last minute research. Xander and Anya leave to gather the cannon fodder (don’t worry they don’t call them that to their faces). Buffy hands Willow her groovy axe-thing and that’s that.
Later downstairs, Buffy calls in the troops for one last inspirational speech. She starts by telling them that she hates this, having to put them in this position, having to lead them into war. Hell, she wishes that she herself wasn’t chosen and she knows that some of them wish she wasn’t chosen either (**coughs** Kennedy, Rona), but this isn’t about wishes. This is about choices. Buffy’s ready. She finally knows that they can beat it. So, the next day she’s going into the hellmouth, she’s opening the seal and she’s finishing this war. So, here’s where they get to make a choice. We don’t really get to know what the choice is because they skip to…
Faith and Princi barricading (with office furniture) all the pathways out of the basement hellmouth room. Princi makes a comment that lets Faith know that he is a little miffed by her recent behavior. Faith apologizes for blowing him off, but explains that once she gets horizontal with a guy, she pretty much knows all she needs to know about him. Princi thinks this is a daft attitude and wonders why Faith thinks she can only be seen as sexmeat to men. Faith figures it’s because she’s so hot that’s all men can think about. Princi chuckles, saying that he is so much prettier than her. He goes on to say that their “little encounter” didn’t change his world, that she was enthused but still in need of some experience. Faith starts to unbuckle her low riders. She wants a rematch. She wants him to learn some respect. Princi stops her and asks her to allow him to surprise her if they live through the final battle.
Back the house, Willow tells Kennedy that she wishes that Buffy hadn’t said “that” about her (we don’t know what Buffy said, but it probably has something to do with Willow being pivotal to the plan’s success). Kennedy assures her that Buffy was right and that Willow is whatever Buffy said Willow was. Willow isn’t so sure. She’s still very afraid of the power of magic taking over her. She turns to Kennedy and lets her know that she will need to Kill Willow if Willow gets stuck in her dark place. Kennedy doesn’t think she needs to worry about that because Kennedy’s a brat. She gets her way and Willow is her way now. So, nothing’s going to happen to Willow. Kennedy won’t let it.
Downstairs, Amanda, Giles, Xander, and Andrew pass the night away with a little game of Dungeons and Dragons. Amanda’s kicking all their butts by the way. Apparently, they can’t sleep. Xander is pretty sure only a crazy person could sleep on a night such as this. Yeah and Anya’s having no trouble catching some Z’s on the other side of the table.
The next morning, Princi leads everyone in. He sends the potentials with Faith and Spike, he points Willow and Kennedy in the direction of his office, and pairs up the civilians (Xander with Dawn, Andrew with Anya, and Giles with himself) to guard the only entrances from the basement in case some get by the potentials (the front line). Everyone splits to take up their stations -- Dawn telling Buffy not to say anything to her since it'll sound like goodbye -- and only Buffy, Giles, Xander and Willow are left. Despite all the time that has passed since Buffy first arrived at Sunnydale High and how much they've been through, they are still the same. Rather than focusing on the coming fight, they talk about the mall, prompting Giles to walk off, muttering about how the world is doomed (a gorgeous throw back to "The Harvest"'s last scene). The three friends walk through the not-so-familiar halls, splitting off to do their appointed tasks.
In the basement, Buffy joins Faith and the other potentials. In turn, starting with Buffy, they cut their palms and let their blood fall onto the seal, opening it up. Cautiously, they enter, prepared for the worst.
While this is going on, Kennedy and Willow are above the Hellmouth in the principal's office, ready for Willow to begin her spell. Despite making it known that she doesn't believe in magic, Kennedy believes Willow can make it work.
Spike's wearing his bling bling, but not getting any vibes from it. He joins the potentials and slayers as they look over the cliff at the legion of ubervamps. The plan is to spy on the ubervamps until Willow gets her spell to work. Of course, things go awry when the ubervamps look up and see the girls.
Holding onto the scythe, Willow surges with power as the spell begins to work.
Back to Buffy's inspirational living room speech. The girls get to make a choice -- they can all be slayers. It was men that decided there would only ever be one, but Willow is more powerful than them. Using the scythe, Willow can transform every single potential into a slayer. As Buffy tells them it is their choice to stand up and be strong, we see the effects of Willow's spell. All over the world, normal girls doing normal things such as playing baseball, eating dinner, going to school, feel the change wash over them. Unsteady at first, they embrace their power.
In the hellmouth, the ubervamps rush the Slayers. Where once nervous girls stood, confident young women hoist their weapons and rush to meet their destiny.
Willow's hair glows white, and she's caught up in the ecstasy of her spell. Kennedy watches, unsure of what is happening,
and enjoying the feeling of her new strength. The spell ends, and Willow gives Kennedy the scythe to return to Buffy. As her girlfriend races off, Willow slides to the floor in exhaustion.
As natural as it is to breathe, the Slayers fight the ubervamps. Kennedy tosses Buffy her scythe but the ubervamps outnumber the Slayers, and some manage to escape into the high school.
Anya and Andrew both nervously prepare to fight. Anya didn't expect to be so nervous - she thought she'd be making fun of a scared Andrew. Doing his best, Andrew tells Anya to think of happy thoughts, including bunnies. With a look of determination on her face, Anya grips her sword and thinks of those floppy hoppy bunnies.
Fight montage. Giles and Robin hold their ground, fighting ubervamps. Andrew and Anya fight valiantly as Bringers come up behind them. Spike's bling bling begins to glow, and when he touches it, it burns him. Buffy yells out commands to her slayers when she discovers, to her shock, that an ubervamp has stabbed her from behind with a sword. She collapses to the ground. Faith runs over to her, and in true leaderly fashion, Buffy tells her to hold the line. Faith picks up the scythe and is off to fight the good fight.
Dawn and Xander are holding their own up in the main part of the school, but they aren't slayers. Dawn stays back as Xander does most of the fighting, but comes to his aid by letting sunlight in to dust vampires.
In Anya and Andrew's portion of the hallway, Anya is busy fighting away. She doesn't see the Bringer sneak up behind her and slice her in half, lengthwise. She slides to the ground dead. She finished out like one of those "stupid mortals."
The Bringers have made their way to Robin and Giles, and a Bringer manages to stab Robin before Giles can kill it. He catches Robin on his way down.
The slayers continue their fight with the ubervamps, but they begin to fall victim. Girl after girl drops to the ground, dead, including Sunnydale's very own slayer, Amanda. The scythe is tossed around between the remaining slayers. The First appears to Buffy as herself, taunting her about her mortal wound. Not one to let her adversary get in the last word, Buffy stands up and tells the First to get out of her face. The scythe is tossed back to Buffy, and she makes short work of any ubervamp that chances to get in her way.
As Spike's bling bling kicks into high gear, he moves away from the fight, doubling over. Light shoots up from him and goes straight up through Robin's office. The Slayers rush out of the Hellmouth as it begins to quake, but Buffy stays behind with Spike. He can feel his soul and he's beginning to burn up.
As the girls rush through the hallways, Andrew pushes dead Bringers off of himself, and wonders why he is still alive. Despite being in pain, Robin yells for everyone to get on the bus. Less wounded girls help the more seriously wounded get to the bus.
Xander yells out for Anya, trying to find her before the school collapses, but he doesn't find her body buried under some rumble. He is one of the last people to dash out of the school.
Lacing her fingers in his, Buffy tells Spike that she loves him. He knows she doesn’t mean it, but still appreciates the gesture. Their hands begin to burn, and Buffy pulls back. With one last look at Spike, she races out of the school.
As Buffy runs through the hallways, the school begins to crumble and explode. Unable to wait any longer, the bus leaves without her, much to Dawn's chagrin.
In the Hellmouth, Spike laughs before he turns to dust.
On the bus, the less injured slayers look after their more seriously injured comrades. Andrew suffers from survivor's guilt, and Dawn watches for Buffy. Buffy races just ahead of the destruction in the town, and finally manages to leap onto the moving bus. The bus continues out of the now collapsing town, and doesn't stop until it is clear of the wreckage. Where a town once stood, only a crater remains.
Once the bus stops, Dawn runs out and embraces her sister. Buffy tells the survivors that it is Spike that caused the destruction of the town and the final closing of the hellmouth. As Andrew comes off of the bus, Xander goes over to him. He wants to know what happened to Anya. Andrew, although still guilty, tells Xander that she died saving his life. This causes Xander to smile, since his ex went out doing the stupid thing. Leaving Andrew, he goes to Buffy.
Faith goes to Robin, who is slumped over the driver's seat of the bus. She tries reassuring him that they'll get him help, but he stops breathing. Distressed, she watches his face, and is shocked when he sputters back to life. He succeeded in surprising her. She only leaves his side when Rona comes up to him.
Buffy is joined by Xander, Willow, Giles, Faith and Dawn. As they survey the crater, the full weight of what they've done hits them. They've changed the world, destroyed malls, and their task is only just beginning. When Faith and Dawn ask Buffy where they're going to go from here, she just watches the crater quietly, smiling to herself.