-- Quotes --
Written by Zinna
A Bringer is behind Giles with his axe poised. Just as the Bringer swings for Giles' head, Giles catches the axe's handle centimeters away. Holding the axe, he punches the Bringer in the stomach. Then Giles maneuvers himself to swiftly kick the Bringer with such force that the dude lets go of the axe and falls into a chair. Giles quickly uses the axe to take off the Bringer's head. How's that for a story? The SITs seemed to be impressed too, especially when Giles humbly downplayed his badass-ness by chucking his Bringer casualty up to extraordinary luck.
No, we aren't watching the outtakes or deleted scenes from Sleeper. This is a whole new episode, where Buffy, Giles and a fawning group of potentials patrol the cemetery as Giles recounts the events of that fateful night a Bringer almost brought him to his end. His hope is that the story will help the potentials understand the importance of trusting your instincts. As he tells it, his ability to defeat the Bringer came from finely honed instincts, an awareness of evil or danger that he has developed over the years. Oddly enough these instincts didn't bother to tell Giles to duck or avert the impending attack. Out of nowhere, Spike runs up and tackles Giles to ground. Why would Spike tackle to Giles to the ground? According to Spike, he heard from Anya that Giles was the First (this of course didn't make any sense because Anya was there when they found out Giles was corporeal and therefore not the First, but whatever. Who am I to nitpick?). Well, that's all fine and good because obviously Giles is not the First, for the umpteenth time, GILES IS CORPOREAL! What Giles wants to know is why didn't Spike's chip deter him from tackling Giles. Buffy stumbles over her words as she tries to make light of the fact that she had Spike's chip removed. Needless to say, Giles isn't happy about this and the potentials are all very confused. I don't think anyone told them about the chip or explained that Spike has a soul now. Regardless, Buffy thinks Spike's soul is enough to deter him from causing harm now.
The next morning, Giles approaches Buffy in her bedroom and asks what on earth was Buffy thinking, removing Spike's chip. Buffy isn't sure what she thought. She was going on instinct, like Giles was when he offed that Bringer. This doesn't make sense to Giles because all that instinct stuff he was spewing the night before was a load of crap. He knew the Bringer was behind him because he heard the Bringer's shoe squeak. Ha! What's important here is that they keep the potentials safe. How are they going to do that with Spike on the lose? Buffy assures him that nothing's really changed. Spike had the chip when the First had him kill all those people so it's not the like the chip can really stop the First from manipulating Spike. Furthermore, what Giles is failing to note that Spike has a soul and that will stop him from running around killing people. Regardless, Spike could be a good man. Buffy can feel it. That's not good enough for Giles. He wants more for Buffy. It's obvious to Giles that Buffy's feelings are coloring her judgment and that way leads to a future filled with pain.
Buffy doesn't think that Giles needs to worry about that because she and Spike haven't been canoodling. Giles doesn't seem to care if they are canoodling or not. He still sees a connection between Spike and Buffy and that connection is affecting her judgment. Buffy, however, isn't backing down. She knows she did the right thing. The chip was like a muzzle. It was wrong and Buffy knows that you can't beat evil by doing evil. Giles isn't so sure.
In a Home Depot type place, Xander spies a pretty young woman fingering some rope. He wanders away from the circular saw demonstration he was watching to see if he can be of some help. Turns out the young woman needs a strong rope to store her kayak. Xander just happens to know that the rope she's fingering will not be strong enough and he also wonders if she would be interested in having some coffee with him later.
Over at Hellmouth High, Buffy snoops around Princi Wood's office (she suspects there's more to him than meets the eye, especially since she saw him in the school's basement with a shovel in Showtime). Just as Buffy is about to nose through a cabinet, Princi walks in. Buffy quickly explains that she was looking for some file folders and mechanical pencils. Princi tells her that those things would be in the outer office. So, Buffy excuses herself, but Princi stops her. He wants to know what she's doing that evening. Buffy was planning on watching a reality show about a millionaire. Princi then wonders if she wouldn't mind skipping that in favor of having dinner with him. Buffy wouldn't mind at all.
After she leaves, Princi takes a knife out from behind his back. It's wrapped in cloth and it is bloody. He wipes it off and returns it to his hidden cabinet, a cabinet full of weapons.
After work, Buffy tells Willow about Princi's invite. Buffy isn't sure if Princi meant for it to be a date. He could have invited her out to tell her she's getting a promotion. Willow laughs at the prospect. So, then Buffy speculates that maybe he invited her out so that he can kill her. Willow doesn't want to make any predictions about this one, but she would like to know if Buffy would be interested in Princi if it turns out that he's not a murderer or a demon or something. Buffy thinks about for a little bit and decides that Princi is pretty hot and quite the charmer. There's definitely a possibility that she could be into him if his feelings were actually mutual.
Xander bursts in with news. He has a date! A round-robin of teasing ensues until Giles and the potential he brought back from Asia return from their shopping trip. Chao-Ahn, the Cantonese potential, had to leave all her belongings behind. The two had quite a day, since Chao-Ahn speaks Cantonese and Giles doesn't. Giles had hoped to bridge some of their language barrier issue and make Chao-Ahn feel more welcome by buying her some ice cream. What he doesn't know is that she's lactose intolerant and the ice cream made her very uncomfortable.
In the kitchen, Andrew works dutifully to program the microwave. A surprise guest, Jonathan, drops in to let Andrew know that he shouldn't really need the manual to program the microwave. Andrew knows this guy is not Jonathan but rather it's the First. So, he tries to repel him with a cross. Again, Jonafirst lets him know that he's not a vampire. Then he gets down to business. He has a job for Andrew. He wants Andrew to kill the potential slayers. Andrew won't do it. He can't. He couldn't really stand it when he killed Jonathan. There would be too much blood and screaming. He just couldn't. Jonafirst tells him that he won't have to stab anyone. He can just use the gun that Willwarren purchased in The Killer in Me. Andrew still isn't too keen on the idea. He follows Buffy's orders now. He's seeking redemption for killing Jonathan. Jonafirst points out that they are going into a battle and odds are the that slayer's gang isn't going to make it, so Andrew should get with the side that's sure to come out on top.
Upstairs, Anya tells Buffy that she doesn't think it's a date. They are in the bathroom and Anya is attempting to get a stain out of Buffy's it-might-be-a-date shirt. Buffy explains that she chose this shirt because of it's ambiguity. It works for date or non-date or killing whatever the case may be. Anya, of course, wasn't referring to Buffy's dinner date. She was talking about Xander's sham date. She thinks it's an obvious ploy to make her jealous. Buffy assumes that a ploy like that wouldn't work on Anya or at least she's kind enough to pretend to assume that. Anya doesn't need Buffy to be polite. She's clearly freaking out with jealous rage. So she tells Buffy to leave. Buffy doesn't move so Anya tells her that she has to pee.
Outside in the hall, Buffy, donning merely her lacey camisole and jeans, runs head first into Spike. Spike admits that she looks hot and she explains the traditionally one wear something over the camisole. Spike segue ways into talk about her date. He heard about her date and wanted to let her know that he's perfectly all right with it. He no longer dreams of a crypt for two with a white picket fence. Buffy appreciates his blessing and she thinks Spike should try dating too.
As night falls, Xander waits for his date to show. She's a little late, but she's dressed to kill (I mean she looks hot!) By the way, his date is being played by the very popular, very pretty R&B/Hip Hop singer, Ashanti. I had to say that so you'd know just how hot she looked. They exchange pleasantries of the flirty kind and Lyssa (that's her name) orders a coffee drink. Things are off to a good start.
Meanwhile back at the manor, some of the potentials (Kennedy and Amanda), Dawn and Willow Google search Principal Wood, hoping to determine if he's evil. They can't seem to find any records on him before he moved to Sunnydale, which was right before he took the position as the school principal.
Anya bursts in with some very basic but graphic drawings that Giles created to communicate with Chao-Ahn. The pictures are of stick figures being brutally murdered - a Bringer murdering a potential, a slayer staking a vampire, a slayer (Buffy) with a bloody stake, the Ubervamp killing lots of people. Apparently, the pictures freaked Chao-Ahn out and she's locked herself in the bathroom. Willow and Co. can't believe that Giles showed the pictures to her. Giles attempts to explain that it was the only way he could think to facilitate her awareness and training. The girls notice that the pictures didn't really do much in the way of facilitation. So, they ask Giles if he wants in on researching Principal Wood. Giles is quite surprised to hear of Buffy's date. He can't believe she's out on a date when they have an impending apocalypse to contend with.
Elsewhere, Princi walks Buffy down a dark alley. Suddenly they are surrounded by 5 hungry vamps. Buffy takes on 3 and stakes them one by one in a matter of minutes. Just as she dusts the last of her 3, she accuses Princi of setting her up, but he can't hear her. He's too busy beating the crap out of his 2 vamps. He's pretty masterful with his stake. His two are dust fairly soon after. Once he's done, he helps a stunned Buffy up from floor (she dusted her last vamp from a low position and was so stunned to see Princi fight so well, that she never bothered to get up). Buffy looks at him for answers and he admits they need to talk. He just suggests they do it over dinner in the sexy little bistro he's selected for their dining pleasure.
Over at the coffee spot, Lyssa tries to understand why Xander still hangs out with his former fiancée. It seems to her, Anya isn't letting Xander forget what he did. Xander explains that Anya is entitled because he left at the altar. Lyssa thinks that it was probably good idea that he didn't go through with the wedding since he was having doubts. Xander, of course, appreciates this perspective and wishes that he'd taken Lyssa on a nicer date. Lyssa says she can think of something fun for them to do.
At the bistro, Buffy asks Princi how he took those two vamps out like he did. He attributes it to practice. He's never taken on 2 vamps at once before but he's pretty familiar with slaying vamps and the occasional demon. Oh, and he also knows that Buffy's the slayer. Turns out he's a freelance demon hunter, who purposely accepted a position as principal presiding in an office right above the Hellmouth. He knows something big is going down and he wanted to be there to help. In fact, that's why he offered Buffy the counseling position. He thought her slaying skills would come in handy. Buffy is amazed and wonders why Princi waited to long to come out of the closet. He explains that he wasn't sure he really wanted to be in the fight. So, he bided his time. Then he noticed things were starting to happen so he figured it was time to choose a side.
Buffy's next question is, "How? How do you know about slayers?" Now here's the real dish, Princi's mother was the slayer that is until she was killed by a vampire when Princi was four years old. Buffy then wonders if Robin inherited any slayer powers. Princi admits he has no extraordinary powers; he just happens to have some skills because his mother's watcher took him in and raised/trained him after she died. Lastly, Buffy asks why Princi felt the need to tell her all this in a sexy little restaurant. Princi isn't exactly sure how he came to that decision. Looks like he's interested in more than Buffy's slaying powers.
Back at the Hacienda, Jonafirst returns to instruct Andrew about how to kill the potentials. Andrew found the gun and shows it to Jonafirst. Jonafirst tells that he's going to have to trap them somewhere perhaps in the basement the next time they are training. Andrew wants to know why not have Spike do it, since he has the trigger. Jonafirst says it's not time for Spike yet. Andrew asks some more questions until Jonafirst suspects that Andrew is wearing a wire. Turns out Andrew is wearing a wire and Willow, Dawn, Kennedy, and Amanda are in another room listening. This makes the Jonafirst very angry. He warns Andrew that he will pay for his betrayal. Jonafirst's voice rings out in he room where Willow & Co. are listening. He says something like, "You dare try to trick me." Then Jonafirst appears in room with the listeners, but his flesh is rotting. He looks at the girls with sad rotting eyes says, "So many dead girls. There will be so many."
So, the thing that Lyssa came up with for her and Xander to do was a fun little S&M game I like to call "raise another Turok-Han." Yes, Xander's date is actually a demon and she has tied him to the same contraption Spike was tied to when the First raised Uberugly (Never Leave Me). She plans to bleed him and raise another. Xander asks if it's because he is friends with the slayer. Lyssa had no idea that he was in cahoots with the slayer. She just thought he was a nice guy.
At the Hacienda, Willow and Co. plus Giles, Anya, and Spike discuss the First's latest visit. Giles wonders what they were trying to pull with wire and stuff. Willow was hoping that they would be able to learn a little more about the First because currently they have nothing. Well, now they know that the First does not like to be recorded and that the First is royally pissed off. They also know that the First is not done with Spike, and it's not Spike's time yet and that he wants Andrew to kill the potentials only (so it must have something else in mind for Buffy and her friends). All this just proves to Giles that this is not a time for going on dates. He commands Willow to call Buffy and get her back to the house. Just as Willow is about to call Buffy's cell, she sees she's just received a text message from Xander. It's in code and she can't seem to remember if this particular code means "I'm getting lucky so don't call me for a little while" or "My date's a demon and she's trying to kill me." Considering the odds, the group decides it's probably the latter. So, they try to call Buffy but of course she left her cell at home. So Spike volunteers to go get her. He says he can still track Buffy's scent.
At the restaurant, Buffy is just in the middle of enjoying "maybe one of the best things [she's] ever had in her mouth." Princi tells her it's pears soaked in brandy and then he feeds her more. The two appear to be having a really good/intimate time… that is until Spike shows up. He explains that Xander's in danger.
In Hellmouth High's basement, Xander asks Lyssa why she's trying to raise a Ubervamp. She says the final fight is coming and they (demons) all hear the drumbeat telling them to chose sides, align themselves with good or evil partners. In this case, Lyssa has chosen evil. With that said, she plunges a large knife (much like the one the Mayor gave Faith in Choices) into Xander's lower abdomen. His blood flows down the length of the knife onto the seal.
Willow did a locator spell and found that Xander was at the high school. Princi rushes them over in his SUV and they have bit of tension in the car. Soon, they reach the school. Buffy and Co. bumrush the seal room. Buffy and Lyssa go toe to toe. Lyssa is a pretty fierce fighter. She is even proficient enough to lock Buffy a strangle hold, but you know how that goes. Buffy may get herself into some tight spots, but she always finishes on top. As the action unfolds, we see Spike jump in for some demon fighting action while Princi stands on the seal and cuts Xander from his restraints. Princi also notices that Spike is a vampire when he morphs into vamp-face for his fight. Part of the seal opens and a hand comes out. Princi pulls Xander off the contraption and the seal closes cutting off the Turok-Han's hand. Before long, Buffy decapitates Lyssa and as Lyssa dies her body reverts to its true form, an ugly hyena-lookin' demon. Xander is badly hurt but it looks like he's going to pull through. Buffy pats Xander and tells him that she's there. He awakes and asks how her date is going. She looks at Princi and he just glares.
Back at the house, Anya slowly loses her marbles. She is hopelessly worried that Xander may be hurt while at the same time she is furious with him for being on a date in the first place. When Xander returns in pretty good shape, Anya curses in frustration. Xander, on the other hand, comes in ranting about wanting to go gay, so as to deter demon women from being attracted to him. He asks Willow to gay him up and Willow looks at him like she's dumbfounded. Buffy starts to giggle and says that then Xander will probably just attract male demons. Dawn points out that Clem always liked him. More giggles ensue as Giles gets to his wits' end. He calls their attention to his graphic drawings and scolds them for making light of the situation with such eminent danger looming. He reminds them that the First is waging a war, the girls may die, they all may die. So, it's time to get serious. Then he walks out for dramatic effect, leaving a bunch of solemn faces behind him.
Later, Buffy sits her solemn face on the couch and stares off into the distance. Spike comes in and sits down to tell her something important. He asks if she heard about the First's visit. Willow told her about it, but he explains that the First told Andrew it wasn't time for Spike yet. Spike thinks he should leave town so that he won't be anywhere around when it is his time. Buffy tells him that he has to stay. Spike tells her she has another demon-fighter so she doesn't really need him anymore. Buffy replies doesn't him need there to fight demons. Well, then what does she need him for, Spike wonders. Buffy needs him there because she's not ready for him not to be there. Simple as that. Spike waits for elaboration. When no elaboration comes, he asks how the principal fits into all this (their little circle of demon-fighting love). Buffy looks down at the carpet.
At Princi's pad, Princi freshens up by splashing some water on his face. When he stands up, he sees his mother's reflection in the mirror. She is standing behind him. He is a little startled but he keeps his cool. He calmly tells his mother that she is not his mother. The First ignores it and continues to talk to him as if she were. So, to drive his point home, he walks right through her (the First). Finally, he asks why she's there. She explains that he has been coming up in the world, and it makes a mother proud. He looks her in the eye and tells her that his mother will be proud when he helps take her (the First) out, but since it's not time for that yet he has absolutely no use for her presence. Mommyfirst asks his back as he walks away, if he'd be interested in knowing who killed her. Princi halts. Mommyfirst tells him that he can check out the story later by re-reading the witness statements and stuff. Princi impatiently tells her to spit it out. Mommyfirst tells him that he already knows the vampire. Princi met him, knows him, and fought by his side. Princi concludes that she is referring to Spike. (Princi's mother just happens to be Nikki, whom we saw Spike kill in Fool For Love.)