-- Quotes --
Written by Zinna
Now, it's time for Giles and Willownator to face off and, of course, Giles has come prepared. He's packing major magical heat. Willownator says something like, "Uh oh, Daddy's home," announcing the obvious (for those of you that don't know GILES is BACK!). Giles stands in the doorway still giving Willownator this look like, "you're-worst-than-I-could-have-ever-bloody-imagined". If you remember from the Two to Go summary, Giles knocked Willownator on her ass, so now she struggles to get up. Giles puts her down with a magic Jedi finger move. She tries to get up again and Giles moves his fingers a second time but Willownator pushes his force away and stands up. This prompts Willownator to remark snidely about how he once called her rank arrogant amateur (Flooded) (She's trying to hit him where it hurts). What's sad is the remark is just an elaborate set-up for the stupid amateurish thing she says next, which is, "…Well, buckle up Giles, I've turned pro." (It's so childish I half-way expect Kelso from the That 70's Show to pop up and yell, "Ohhh! Burn!"). What's even sadder is when she starts cooking up her "pro" spell Giles kindly zaps her with this neon green ring of binding goo. The green goo wraps around her torso, trapping her arms to her sides, and lifts her a couple of feet from the ground. Suddenly Willownator's head is pulled back and she seems to unconscious (I hear the goo method is the most popular way to make professional witches to shut the hell up!). If you were wondering what Buffy and Anya are doing while this is going on, they're just standing around with jaws dropped, lovin' Giles and wondering how he got so bad-ass with the majicks.
With 'Nator put away for safekeeping, Giles finally has to moment to look at Buffy. He promptly notices that she has cut her hair and comments on it. Buffy can barely speak, she's so happy to see him. She plunges her arms around him and squeezes tightly. Anya rushes over feeling a little left out and tells Giles that she dyed her hair. Giles admits that he noticed that as well then he opens his other arm for Anya to hug him. Once the moment passes, Giles walks up to hovering Willownator and expresses deepest condolences for her loss. Willownator, being strong and unrelenting, opens her eyes and tells Giles that the binding spell goo can't hold her forever. Something tells me that Giles suspects as much, but isn't particularly worried. Surely, he has more up his sleeve.
Before Giles appeared there was a short scene I forgot to mention because I was wrapped up in the Wicca-Slayer catfight and reveling in the glory of Giles' return. As you know, Dawn, Xander, and the Keeblers fled by foot to nowhere in particular. Suddenly, Andrew wants to know where they are going. Xander admits that he's good at the running away part, but he hasn't quite mastered the destination part. Eventually, Jonathan gets tired and stops for a minute. Andrew decides they (by they I mean the Keeblers) should run off to Mexico. Xander isn't too keen on this idea. So, Andrew puts his sword to Xander's neck to make him keen on the idea. Jonathan, whose been dying to be the hero, puts his sword to Andrew's neck. Jonathan explains that since he has the bigger set and is actually willing to plummet the sword into Andrew's neck, Andrew better put his sword down. So, Andrew puts down his sword. I know it's riveting stuff.
Back to Giles: 'Nator is still stuck in a binding spell. Giles and Buffy go off to the training room to catch up on old times. Giles explains that a coven somewhere on his side of the globe sensed the rise of a dark and powerful force fueled in Sunnydale and the force was by grief. Naturally, he thinks the force is going to hurt his Scoobies so he investigates the matter further. Eventually, he runs into a seer that tells him about Tara and he figures the force must be Willow. The coven (a really powerful one) charge him up with all their juice, which would explain why his magic rivals Willownator's. That's what Giles has been up to. Now, what he wants to know is: "How did this (Willownator) happen?" Buffy has no choice but to explain the Scoobies' plight: Anya is a vengeance demon again because Xander left her at the alter, Willow's been abusing the majicks for some time now, Dawn's a klepto, Buffy works at the Palace, and oh yeah Buffy's been sleeping with Spike. Once, Buffy finishes her explanation she waits quietly for a well-earned Giles tongue-lashing. Giles looks at her for a while, then his face crumbles in to uncontrollable laughter. Buffy starts to laugh too.
In the other room, Willownator uses her telepathic powers to communicate with and manipulate Anya's mind. At the time, Anya is attempting to tidy up. Willownator knows how to break the binding spell, and since she can't move 'Nator guides Anya through it. They work very quietly so that Giles and Buffy's laugh fest can continue undisturbed.
After the laughter, Giles apologizes for abandoning Buffy. Buffy tells him that he was right to leave; it was time she acted like an adult. Then as if he just realized this himself, Giles says that one of the most adult things you can do is ask for help when you need it and Buffy replies, "Now you tell me." (I guess that hadn't occurred to her). Buffy has a revelation of her own, she starts talking about how she spent all this time trying to get back that "living" feeling that she left in her grave. Before you get all upset because she's said this like twenty millions times before, Buffy explains that now she knows why it was so hard (to live). Most of her anxiety stemmed from her inability to understand why she was brought back. Giles can't really want to travel around this logic block with her so he suggests that she came back because she had a calling. Buffy doesn't accept this. She really really firmly truly believes that when she jumped into that hell-cortex it was her time to go (The Gift). Giles is all like, "Ummph…"
Giles changes the subject. He explains that the coven is working on way to rid Willownator of her powers without destroying her in the process. Even if Willow survives such an ordeal, she may never be the Willow we all know and love (Well, she's murderer now. You don't come back from that. Look at Faith). Then Willownator appears and tells Giles, "I wouldn't worry about that…Willow doesn't live here anymore."
Uh oh, Willownator's up from her nap and she's all cranky. Giles tries his binding field goo again but this time it doesn't work. Willownator's mastered an anti-goo spell, which means Giles is in for a fight. Buffy lunges towards Willownator and Willownator lights her up with some lightning magic. 'Nator magically throws lots of knives at Giles' face. Giles quickly wills a training dummy in front of him to block the knives and then he sends 'Nator flying through the walls with some lightning magic of his own.
Elsewhere Xander, Dawn and the Keebs continue on their journey to nowhere. They still don't know where they are going. Xander is feeling nothing but useless. Dawn thinks they should go back and fight with the others. Xander doesn't think this is good idea. So, Dawnie tries to persuade him by telling him that Spike would go back and fight. Of course, the mention of Spike pisses Xander off, which would explain why he just blurts out that Spike tried to raped Buffy (Seeing Red). At first, Dawn doesn't believe Xander and tells him as much. Xander shrugs off her disbelief off opting to rant about how the Summers' women have an amazing blind spot when it comes to Spike and the only good thing Spike's ever done is leave town, etc, etc. Dawn notices that Xander doesn't even care if she believes him or not, which somehow makes her believe him (go figure).
Spike continues to trial it up in an "African" cave. The trials include: decapitating some demon and enduring the pain and discomfort of having a million giant dung beetles crawling all over him, under his flesh and up his nose.
Back at the magic demolition site, I mean shop, Willownator and Giles are still battling away. The bad news is Giles seems to be weakening, but he says something about still having a way to stop Willownator that he hasn't tried yet. I guess getting his ass handed to him isn't working all that well. What's worse is Willownator's magic fingers don't seem to be tired at all. Giles tries to reason with her, asking her what Tara would think of her blatant disregard for those who care about and want to help her through her grief. As we all know reason doesn't work with the Willownator. In fact, at the very mention of her beloved's name she becomes even more hell bent on destruction. For his comment, Willownator viciously zaps a shelf above Giles head (he's resting in a doorway), which causes the whole structure to crash down. Fortunately, Buffy wakes up or gets up from wherever she was hiding and pushes Giles and herself out of the way.
Suddenly it occurs to Willownator that Buffy is never going to stop trying to save them, so she devises plan to get Buffy out of her hair. She conjures up this fiery ball that will act as a Keebler-seeking missile. 'Nator tells Buffy that she could stick around and be a nuisance or follow the ball to try to stop it from blowing the Keeblers and whoever might be with them (Xander and Dawn) to high heaven or hell, whatever the case may be. Buffy, of course, has no choice but to run after the ball, leaving Giles to fend for himself.
Once Buffy is gone, Willownator really lets Giles have it verbally and magically. She's yelling at him about his being this and that (jealous or whathaveyou) while slamming him from the ceiling to the floor. Finally, Giles is able to get a zap in, which makes Willownator realize that her juice is running low. Giles attempts to say something wise, but before he can get the words out Willownator is shoving her magic-sucking hand in his chest ridding him of all his coven-imbued powers.
Giles' powers give Willownator a total head rush. She's so juiced up that her breathing is altered (it becomes heavier) and her vision is blurred. She sinks to a sitting position on the ground, no longer able to stand under the weight of the power. She tells Giles about how great and cool it all feels, until she realizes the head rush is turning into a deafening headache. Willownator begins to complain that the power is making her feel pain, everyone's pain. Giles says there is a way to make it stop. 'Nator doesn't need him to tell her what it is because she has an idea that will put all us bastards out of misery. What would a season finale be without the massive threat of apocalypse?
A few seconds later, 'Nator disappears, presumably off to destroy the world, leaving Giles barely conscious lying on the floor.
Finally, Xander and his band of nomads decide to seek refuge in the cemetery. They experience some trouble opening the crypts (what they seem to think are prime hiding places). Dawn notices the fiery ball soaring across the night's sky and tries to alert Xander. A second later Buffy comes running and warning them to get down! She leaps across the graveyard in time to push the Keeblers out of the fireball's way. The fireball crashes into the Earth with a magnificent explosion. Xander is knocked unconscious. The ground opens up and swallows Dawn. Buffy tries to pull her out and gets sucked into a deep hole beneath the cemetery. Immediately following, the swords the Keeblers were holding fall from their resting places into the hole one after the other, both nearly impaling Buffy and Dawn. For all Willownator's trouble, the Keeblers are completely unharmed. With the others incapacitated, Jonathan looks at Andrew to ask if he's still up for running off to Mexico. Andrew nods and off they go.
Back in the Magic Box wreckage, Anya crawls to Giles. She apologizes for letting Willownator out, and explains Willownator was controlling Anya with her brain. Giles is barely lucid and claims that he can see. Anya has no idea what he's talking about. When Willownator took Giles powers, she must have taken a good portion of his life force. The process allows Giles to see and possibly feel everything that Willownator is doing. Giles explains this to Anya and tells her that he can see what Willownator's going to do. She's going to end it… the world (SEE! I told you!).
In the casket cave land (Buffy and Dawn's graveyard hole), Buffy tries to find a way out. She starts to climb, but there aren't many things along the wall that can support her weight. She begins to stack coffins, but has a hard time getting coffins out of the dirt walls. Dawn suggests they look for a way to the cave system that connects to Spike's crypt. Buffy says that's the last place they would want to go and Dawn snaps back, "oh, but it's good enough to take me there after what he did to you or tried to do..." Buffy just sighs because she can't even begin to think how to address this topic, but Dawn is unrelenting. Dawn whines until Buffy shouts that all she was trying to do was protect Dawn. Dawn counters that such a task is impossible! You just can't protect a teenager from being trapped in hole, being bitched out by her psuedo-guardian (gone mad) and having all her loved ones die. Maybe on some level Buffy knew this, but wasn't able to handle it better. Whatever the case, we'll never know because it is at this moment that Xander decides to wake up and ask if they are all right. Buffy tells him to look for a rope. Xander can't find one but tells them that the Keebs have cut out on them. Then he goes off to find a rope.
Dawn is ready to resume their argument but Anya teleports in to give them a status report. She reports that Giles was unable to stop Willownator. Willownator has gone to Kingman's Bluff to destroy the world via a satanic temple. Buffy doesn't understand because there's no temple on Kingman's Bluff. That's because the temple was buried in the infamous earthquake of '32. You'd think that it would be impossible to burn a she-devil's effigy on a buried temple and in turn burn the earth to a cinder (if you even know what that means. I do not). Well, this in not a problem for Willownator, she expends little effort raising the temple.
Meanwhile in caveland, Buffy asserts that she's not going to let Willownator destroy the world (yeah, just like she wasn't going to let Willownator kill Warren. Gotta love that slayer spunk!). Anya tells her that she is actually powerless, or at least that's what Giles' says. No supernatural force can stop Willownator. Anya doesn't bother to explain if this is a prophetic statement or what. Anya just says she should get back to Giles, who may not have much time left. Buffy knows what this means and becomes infuriated by her circumstances. Meanwhile, Dawn whimpers about Buffy neglecting to tell her of Giles' return. As quickly as she came, Anya goes, leaving to them to their helplessness. Buffy isn't willing to give up. She tries to no avail to climb out of the hole while mumbling something about not allowing Willow to destroy the very thing she was chosen to protect.
Willownator's telekinetic ears perk up at the sound of Buffy's assertions. It amuses Willownator that Buffy is still trying to be the hero. She begins to communicate with Buffy through her mind. Willownator tells Buffy that even though Buffy's spent countless hours trying to save the world, in the end, it will be Willownator that saves it. Buffy wonders how ending the world and killing everyone is saving it. Willownator suggests a world that ceases to exist is better than one that exists with great suffering, but she understands Buffy's need to fight. Only problem is Willownator has no time to fight with Buffy though she thinks Buffy should go out fighting (it is the only fitting end for warrior). Willownator conjures a quick spell to animate the roots and dirt of caveland into dirt creatures. The creatures surround Buffy and Dawn in an effort to hurt them. Buffy picks up one of the swords and starts to chop up the creatures. Buffy sees that she can't take them all. She turns to Dawn, offering Dawn a sword and asking Dawn to help out. Dawn happily accepts, welding the sword like an old pro (it pays to have slayer blood).
On Kingman's Bluff, Willownator continues with her energy burning apocalyptic madness. The process requires Willownator to blast the temple with lightning bolts. After a short while the temple begins to glow in response. Xander wanders over and casually asks the black-eyed girl what she's up to. Willownator commands him to leave. He retorts that she may be a powerful uber-witch but he is a carpenter with the ability to drywall her into the next century.
Meanwhile, Dawn and Buffy fight the good fight in casket caveland. For a moment, Dawn is knocked off her feet and loses hold of her sword. Buffy works to swiftly finish off her opponent (a dirt monster) so that she can help Dawn. To everyone's surprise, Dawn doesn't need help. She somersaults out of way, retrieves her swords, jumps to her feet and gives her monster a fatal blow (Way to go Dawn!). Buffy watches this in shock, having never seen Dawn this way before. Once Dawn finishes off her monster, she looks up and smiles, facetiously asking Buffy what's up (like she kills monsters all the time). Before Buffy can say anything, Dawn basically says that she learned it from watching Buffy. Buffy's all like, "Whoa," then she has to redirect her attention to the task at hand, fighting dirt. The sisters stand back to back taking them all on.
Up at Kingman's Bluff, Willownator tells Xander to get out there. Xander explains that his best friend in the whole world is right there so where's he going to go? Willownator becomes a bit huffy at the thought that Xander's big plan to stop her singularly involves him telling her that he loves her. She scoffs at him and he tells her that he had alternate plan, which involved walking her off a cliff with an anvil, but that plan seemed a bit too cartoony. Willownator mentions that Xander will never quit with the jokes. Xander puts on his serious face and tells Willow that he understands the stupid evil thing she's about to do, but he still wants to be there because hey, it's Willow. Willownator commands Xander not to call her that. Xander goes on to say, "the first day of kindergarten, you cried because you broke the yellow crayon… and you were too afraid to tell anyone.... You've come pretty far. Ending the world, not a terrific notion, but the thing is… yeah, I love you. I love crayon-breaky Willow and I love scary-veiny Willow. So if I'm going out, it's here. If you want to kill the world, then start with me. I've earned that."
Willownator asks, if he dares to think she won't do it. Xander tells her it doesn't, because he still loves her. He moves towards her as if to hug her and Willownator lashes out with magical fingers that tear across his face. Slashed, Xander is undeterred. He continues towards her, telling her that he loves her and Willownator hits him with an even harder blow that knocks him to his knees. Xander gets up and resumes moving towards her, repeating, "I love you." This infuriates Willownator and she yells at him to shut up. She tries to get her lightning burn effigy thing going again, but Xander is between her and the temple. He keeps moving forward and Willownator's lightning fizzles. Xander makes it to her and starts to put his arms around her. Tears fill Willownator's eyes as she resorts to beating Xander's chest with her Willow-strength fists. Xander takes the tantrum into his arms and loves away Willownator until Willow and her grief are all that's left of the uber-destructo-witch. The two collapse to the ground in the tender embrace. Willow sobs violently into Xander's chest and the black of her hair, her spirit, fades to its original red. Doesn't it just bring tears to your eyes?
Giles regains his strength and sits up. Anya hugs him with great vigor, wanting to know why he and essentially everyone are still alive. Giles explains that Willownator was stopped. The magic that Willownator took from Giles was the pure essence of magic and it was somehow able to tap into what little bit of Willow there was left - allowing Willownator to feel, allowing Xander to reach her. Anya looks at him with relief, as she realizes Giles knew Willownator would take his powers along. He wasn't duped or bested by the Willownator's evil powers. So, we can all rest assured that Giles always knows what he's doing (well maybe not when her left for England). Anya also has a little twinkle in her eye when Giles tells her it was the great and mighty Xander that saved them.
In casket caveland, the monsters fade to dirt. Instantly it becomes apparent to both girls that the big bad has passed. Buffy sits down and starts to weep. Dawn mistakes her tears for sadness and makes a snippy remark. Just as the words escape Dawn's lips, she realizes Buffy's tears are those of joy. Buffy asks the big dummy if she thought Buffy wanted the world to end. Dawn wants to say something like, "Umm, yeah! You've been like miserable about being alive for like ever," but instead she says something like she didn't know. Buffy grabs her into a big emotional hug and apologizes for giving her that impression and for being such a suck-face miserable sister. Dawn is all forgiving, telling Buffy it's okay (knowing damn well it was not!), but Buffy knows she sucked. In fact, she tells Dawn as much, and then she asserts that things are going to change. Buffy's doom and gloom phase has passed. She's ready to live, be a good sister, see her friends happy, and all that good stuff. I bet you thought this day would never come. A little later they drag themselves out of caveland and marvel the beautiful early morning sun shining in the sky, the flowers growing on the bush, the Sarah Mclachlan song playing in the background (okay, maybe not that last part). All is well in good in Sunnydale again. All Hail Xander! Hooray!!!
Let's not forget our cute little shirtless friend the vampire, Spike. He successfully completed his trials so Deep Throat the Demon will grant his wish, make him the way he was and he will be able to give that bitch, Buffy, what she deserves… his soul. Yup, that wily old demon gave that Spike his soul (go figure).