-- Quotes --
Written by Zinna
There's a young woman running for her life in the woods. She is being chased by Bringers. She spies a truck driving up the adjacent dirt road and runs into the street to flag it down. Turns out a priest is driving the truck and obliges her when she jumps in and tells him to drive away. Once they are on their way, the priest tells the young woman that he doesn't think young girls should be out at night. Those boys that were chasing her appeared to be something like devil worshippers. The young woman doesn't know what or who those guys were; she just needs to be dropped in Sunnydale, at Revello Drive to be exact. The priest who introduces himself as Caleb, and says he's on his way to Sunnydale, so he can take her there. The young woman says her name is Shannon. Caleb then wonders why those "creepy tails" were after the young woman. He thinks that maybe it's because she is a whore. Shannon is appalled; she does not consider herself a whore and knows that there's something wrong with this priest if he can pass judgment so quickly. Caleb goes on to say that he is not here to lecture her because it would be wasted. There's so much filth in her head that the words wouldn't seep through. The simple fact is that this girl is dirty. Otherwise his boys wouldn't have been after her. Yeah, that's right. The Bringers are his. He explains that the crack about Satan was just him having some fun. Satan is a little man. Shannon figures she needs to get out of there, but there's no handle on her door and she can't seem to get it open. Just then Caleb uses the truck's lighter to heat his ring, and uses the ring to brand her neck, claiming the brand is a cleansing fire. As Shannon calls out in pain, Caleb explains that there is car behind them, and that the folks in it are going to same place that she wants to get to. He asks if Shannon will kindly deliver a message, but not to the one in car; rather, to the one and only original slayer. Shannon says she will and he takes a knife stabs her in the stomach. With the knife still in her, he whispers his message in her ear. Then he kicks open the door and shoves Shannon onto the freeway while the truck is moving at top speed. Shannon rolls out and lands face down on the road. A silver car rolls up and the driver gets out to check on Shannon. The driver is Willow. She and Faith are on their way back from Los Angeles. After a few seconds, Faith gets out of the passenger side just as Willow turns the badly wounded young woman over. Faith sees this as her welcome back to the Hellmouth.
Elsewhere in Xander's apartment, Xander sits in his bed talking to a scantily clad potential that I've never seen before. She confesses in a breathy voice that she is worried. She is afraid she will never be ready for battle, but what bothers her most is the fact that she is so young and there's so much that she hasn't done… like being with a man. Oh yeah, she's implying that maybe she and Xander should be together before she goes off to die. Then out of nowhere appears a second frightened/horny SIT, saying she's never been with another girl in front of a man before. The two begin to pounce on him, and Xander protests a little, afraid the other girls will hear them getting it on. But the other girls are too busy jumping up and down in their underwear having the world's biggest pillow fight. Yeah, right. In Xander's dreams… literally. Suddenly he is awakened by Rona, who is, by the way, not arousingly frightened or wearing a little nighty. Rona wants Xander to get up because someone has the stomach flu and the toilet is backed up. Ahh, if only dreams could come true.
At the hospital, Faith and Willow watch on as some doctors work to save Shannon's life. Faith is a little taken aback that Shannon is most likely a potential slayer. She doesn't look like much... more like a gutted like a fish. Willow says it tracks, considering the recent events. Faith suddenly realizes that someone or something has been killing slayers all over the world and no one bothered to give her a heads up. Doesn't she feel like the most important person on earth? Willow tries to explain that they thought she'd be safe in prison. Faith tells her no such luck. Someone came after with a crazy looking knife (See Angel episode - Salvage) and she didn't know why until now. Willow is sorry, as she didn't know anyone would go after Faith. Faith lets it go and wonders what their next move is. Willow says they should tell Buffy. Faith is ready to go but Willow thinks someone should stay at the hospital in case Shannon wakes up. Faith can't stand hospitals, so she figures she'll find Buffy by herself. Willow isn't so sure that's the best way for the two slayers to become reacquainted, but that doesn't matter to Faith.
In the cemetery, a young woman is shown running away from a vampire. Oh, but the vampire is Spike. Spike catches her and in his hunting face knocks her out. Just as he goes to get closer look, Faith knocks him one from behind. Spike knows instantly that she is Faith and tries to introduce himself. She knows who he is and continues to try to pummel him. He tells that he is on her side and she tell him that she's switched sides and he says he's switched sides too but she doesn't get it. They keep fighting until Buffy appears and knocks Faith a good one. Faith suddenly thinks that Buffy has changed sides and asks if she (Faith) is the good slayer now. Buffy explains that Spike has a soul and he fights on Buffy's side. Faith is still skeptical because he was chasing that defenseless young woman. Just then the woman jumps up but her face is bumpy. Faith realizes her mistakes and kindly stakes the vamp.
Buffy brings Faith home, where Faith is greeted by icy glares from both Dawn and Giles. Dawn wants to know if Faith is staying there. She's not too keen on people that tried to kill her staying at the house. Buffy explains that Faith is there to stay and then walks off.
After she leaves and Giles and Dawn wander back to whatever they were doing, Spike explains that not all the tension was about Faith. He tells her of Giles' involvement the recent attempt on Spike's life (Lies My Parents Told Me).
At a winery or vineyard of sorts, the strange priest, Caleb, drinks some wine. The wine makes Caleb think of the last supper and the ritual of drinking wine as a symbol of Christ's blood. As a little boy Caleb always wondered what would happen if someone had asked for white wine at the last supper. He never brought the matter up at the various parishes he's stayed with, even though he's spent a lot of time looking for answers. Finally he realized he was looking in all the wrong places. That is until she showed him the light. Buffy comes out of the shadows to ask if he thinks she is god. Caleb explains that he is beyond such concepts. Buffy then wonders why he still wears his priest get-up. Caleb likes to stay close to his roots and he finds black to be very slimming. Speaking of clothes, the First (you didn't really think he was talking to the real Buffy, did you?) asks if he likes what she's wearing. Caleb thinks she looks like just any other dirty girl. Can you say issues? Buffirst tells him to look harder. Caleb thinks she looks strong and lonely, a kind of loneliness that only comes with real strength. A spark lights in his eyes as he realizes that she is the slayer he has longed to meet. He can't believe that now Buffirst has finally shown him what the slayer looks like, now after all the work he's done and he's been busy. It was Caleb that was behind the bombing of the council, organizing the Ray Charles brigade (the Bringers) and the many deaths of potentials, but it wasn't until now that Buffirst decided he was ready to see Buffy. Buffirst explains that now he has earned it.
Buffirst asks if he will be meeting the real Buffy soon. Caleb is sure Buffy will show up because he is sure she'll get the message. He's sure because woman's first sin is curiosity. If he offers a woman an apple, she has no choice but to take it. No, really that's what crazy Preacher Man said.
Back at the house, Andrew, the storyteller, tells some of the SITs about the amazing rise and fall of Faith. We just get to hear his voiceover, while seeing a high energy montage of Faith's greatest hits: dancing at the Bronze, staking vamps, fighting along side Buffy, killing the Mayor's assistant, fighting against Buffy, etc... you know, season three stuff). Andrew tells them that Faith's name alone inspires awe. She is the dark slayer, a lethal combination of beauty, power, and death. For years, well actually a few months, she fought on the side of good but like so many tragic heros, Faith was seduced by the dark side. She became a cold-blooded killer. No one was immune to her trail of destruction, not friends, not family, not even the most pacifist and logical of races - Vulcans. Amanda wonders what the hell Andrew is talking about. She thought Faith killed a volcanologist. Andrew finds Amanda to be sweet but naïve. Why would Faith would kill a someone who studies Vulcans? Amanda explains that the man Faith killed didn't study Vulcans but rather he was professor that studied volcanoes. Regardless of Andrew's misunderstanding of a word, he wants the girls to know that everything else he said was true. Faith has a past not to be taken lightly. They must stand guard around her at all times. Their very lives might depend on it. Chao-Ahn, who obviously didn't understand a word that Andrew said (she doesn't speak English, remember?), wants the girls to know that there's a girl (Faith) outside doing gymnastics, but no one understands her language.
At Hellmouth High, Buffy stops by Princi's office to say he looks better, even though he doesn't really look that much better. He knows he'll be all right as long as she doesn't gang up on him. As far as Buffy is concerned they are even steven, though she wants him to understand that she meant what she said - she doesn't have time for his vendettas (Lies My Parents Told Me). But that doesn't mean she doesn't want him on her side. It means a lot to Princi that Buffy wants him on her side. In the next order of business, Buffy is fired! Not because Princi's mad at her, but because there's nothing at the school for her to do anymore. Half of Sunnydale has left town and many of the students are failing to show for classes. Besides, she has bigger things to deal with. Buffy sits down as she realizes she must put forth all her energies into leading the girls into a war. She admits that she's afraid the girls will die. She doesn't want to lead them into war. It doesn't feel right. Some of these girls haven't even been tested in battle. Princi thinks that maybe it's time for her to test them.
At the house, Faith escapes to the basement to smoke a cigarette. Only she's not alone, Spike likes to hang out half-naked on his cot. He asks for a smoke. Faith likes to share and is pleased to see he's not opposed to chains in the bedroom. Spike starts to explain but Faith doesn't need explanations. She's known guys that wanted her to dress up like a schoolgirl and whip them with a bullwhip. Spike still explains that for a time he was dangerous, hence the chains. He is explaining just in case she gets the urge to go dust happy on him. Faith isn't interested in staking someone whose so "repentie." Anyways, Spike wonders why she isn't upstairs with the rest of the girls. Faith just did a long stint with whole mess of females and she's really had her fill. Spike points out that she had the power to walk (from jail) anytime she wanted. Faith says she chose not to because for a time she was dangerous. You like how everyone keeps throwing each other's lines back at them? Yeah, me neither. More importantly, Spike wants to know if Faith is over her dangerous phase. More or less says Faith, though she still likes to get down and dirty… she was incarcerated for a long time, meaning she's up for a little bed play. Faith sits next to him and asks if he remembers the first time they met. Spike remembers her left hook from earlier that night. No, Faith was talking about time when they met at the Bronze. Maybe Spike doesn't remember because Faith was wearing a different body (Who Are You). Oh, Spike remembers her, quoting what she said to him. Something like: she would drive him to gallop until his knees buckled and squeeze him until he popped like warm champagne. Faith expects that he should have known it wasn't Blondie behind the wheel. Buffy would never do a thing like that… or so Faith thinks until Spike lets her in on Buffy and his dirty little tryst. Faith can't believe that Buffy was getting her naughty on and Buffy (who just happens to be coming down the stairs) can't believe Faith is so very cozy with her ex-lover. Luckily, Dawn calls down to tell Buffy that she should go to the hospital because Shannon's awake.
At the hospital, Shannon runs a play by play of what the fallen priest did to her and then tells them she was told to give Buffy a message from Caleb - "I have something of yours."
Buffy rushes back to the house to tell the troops what's the what with crazy evil priest guy. More importantly she tells them that she's tired of waiting, training, and talking. If he has something of hers, she's going to get it back and she's taking the girls with her.
At the vineyard, Caleb talks to a pretty young woman. She's come to talk to him because she was inspired by one of his brilliant sermons. He expected her to come because she's weak and the weak can't help but be drawn to the power. The woman follows him into a shadow and he slices her at the waist with his knife. Turns out, this is just a game he and the First like to play to pass the time. The First dresses up like old kills of his and he gets to relive the magical of experience of murdering an innocent, excuse me, I mean "dirty" woman. The First changes back into Buffy because that's her favorite suit and asks what kill he would like to her dress up as next, one of the potentials perhaps? Caleb wants to save those for later. He's in a nostalgic mood. See there was this choirgirl from Knoxville that he used to give singing lessons to that screamed when she died. Before round two, Buffirst explains that she is amazed that he's killed so many women and that most of them followed him to their deaths willingly. Must be his boyish good looks.
Back at the manor, Buffy talks strategy to the core (Willow, Faith, Spike, Xander and Giles). Buffy is planning to take Faith and do some recon to find out where Caleb is staying. Meanwhile she wants the potentials armed. Giles isn't sure this the best course of action. He isn't even sure this Caleb has anything of Buffy's. Buffy has to go in case it's another potential. If she must go in, why must she take the potentials? Giles is afraid they won't be able to handle it since many of them have never been in a battle situation, let alone a life-or-death situation. Buffy thinks they need to be tested and furthermore she's only taking the ones that have been at the house the longest. She's leaving Willow behind with the remaining potentials. Buffy is confident that Willow can protect them if something goes down, like say for instance this is a trick to lure Buffy and the girls away so the Bringers can come and kill the rest. Well, Xander still thinks this message thing has trap written all over it. Buffy thinks that this Caleb guy won't be expecting a full attack so soon that's why they have to move! Giles thinks they need more time. They need to be more prepared! Buffy tells them they don't have time and he isn't going into battle. He's staying behind with the rest of the potentials. She thinks that they could still use some teaching. She, of course, has had her fill.
Later, Buffy and Faith follow a Bringer into the woods. Along the way, Faith admits that Buffy's situation is tough - turning a bunch of little girls into an army. Buffy reminds her that the "little girls" are potentials like she and Faith once were. Faith says she'll work with them. Some of the SITs seem eager despite their poor taste in clothes. Buffy suddenly wants know why Faith came back. Faith was told she was needed. She didn't think twice, she just came down to help. If Buffy doesn't want her there then Buffy had better speak up now. Buffy wasn't trying to imply that. She is glad that Faith came and changes the subject to Angel. She wonders how Angel is doing. Faith alludes to the magical mind block thing she had to do with him (See Angel episode - Orpheus), but she doesn't get a chance to elaborate because she sees the winery. Both slayers notice the increased amount of Bringers and decide they've found the hornets' nest. They rush back to get the potentials.
Back at the house, Xander give the girls some last minute battle tips, like aim at chest and throat if they are fighting a vampire; stomach, chest, and face if it's a bringer. Rona wants to know what to do if its not a vampire or bringer. Xander suggests they go for the center or the head. Molly hopes there won't something with tentacles (she's not good with tentacles), while Kennedy doesn't care if its Godzilla, she wants to go in. Amanda figures if Matthew Broderick can kill Godzilla then it can't be that hard. Andrew is perturbed and wants Xander to explain that Matthew Broderick didn't kill the real Godzilla. Rona can't believe her ears. She thinks Xander and Andrew are crazier than that Buffy chick. Rona knows the plan is trouble and she wants no part of it. She didn't sign on for danger, she came there to be protected. Xander explains that if she stayed there then she signed on to fight for her own life. Rona understands that, but she doesn't think that Buffy cares about the potentials' lives. Xander stops her. He wants to tell them a little something about Buffy and they should all listen. Xander has been through a lot battles with Buffy and she's stopped everything that's come up against her. She's died two times to protect the people around her and she's still standing. Xander knows Buffy's heart and he's convinced she cares more about their lives then any of them will ever know. They have to trust her. Buffy and Faith walked in during the "died twice" part and tears well in Buffy's eyes as she hears the rest of Xander's heartfelt speech. At the pause Faith breaks the silence, she had no idea that Buffy was that cool. The girls turn and see the two slayers. Buffy tells them to saddle up.
Outside the vineyard, Buffy runs the plan. She tells a team to set up a perimeter and guard the door. She doesn't want anyone getting in or out. She's going to take a team in and she will signal (screaming) if it's a trap. Then the second team should come in and provide reinforcements. Everyone understands so Buffy takes her team in. As soon as they are in, Bringers attack them. They fight a good fight and do pretty well. Soon the Bringers are incapacitated (well for the most part), but everyone stops when the powerful voice of the Preacher Man rounds the corner. Caleb and Buffy stand face to face. Caleb is very please to meet the slayer, the strongest, most powerful of her bunch. Then with one smack, he sends Buffy flying across the room into a wall with such force that she is knocked unconscious. Now that he has put their most powerful member down, Caleb wants to know what else they got. Uh oh…
Well, they've got a vampire… Caleb knocks Spike into a barrel of wine and Spike's down. Caleb then knocks Kennedy out with one hit and breaks Rona's arm without even breaking into a sweat. Faith's team rushes in and Caleb is happy to take on Faith. He sends her flying, while he breaks the neck of one potential and when Molly screams out "No!" in horror, Caleb goes for her. He grabs Molly by the neck and raises her to eye level.
In another corner of the room, Buffy comes to. She tells Xander to get the girls out of there. Xander starts the retreat process as Buffy works her way back to Caleb's side the room. She is almost in time to save Molly, but Caleb hurries his speech along and shoves his knife into Molly's belly before Buffy can get to him. Once she sees Molly's body fall limp to the floor, she is pissed. This time when the two face off, Caleb misses all his hits and Buffy makes all of hers. She knocks Caleb across the room. She's about to kick some more of his ass when Spike grabs her and tells her that they are leaving. Xander is getting the stragglers out when Caleb comes up to him from behind. Caleb says that Xander is the one that sees everything and with that drives his thumb deep into Xander's left eye. Xander screams in pain. Spike runs over and pushes Caleb away from Xander. Buffy runs over to Xander and helps him up and out the winery before Caleb gets to his feet. Caleb seems satisfied at the moment and doesn't rush after them.
As Buffy surveys the damage of the night, seeing many potentials are in hospital beds (two are dead - Molly and the unknown potential) and Xander with a patch where his eye used to be, Caleb tells Buffirst, in his preacher way, that Buffy is sad because she doesn't know the good news. The SITs just need to take on more step and he will kill them all. How's that for a happy ending.