-- Quotes --
During one of her increasingly
common naps in the middle of Professor Walsh's psych class, Buffy dreams
that she is called to the front of the lecture hall for a demonstration
with Riley. As their lips meet in a passionate kiss, the lights dim and
the rest of the class vanishes. All that Buffy can hear now is the voice
of a young girl in the hallway outside, methodically chanting an eerie
nursery rhyme about not saying a word, needing seven of something, and
a group called the Gentlemen. As Buffy and Riley walk out the door, they
see the girl standing at the far end of the hallway, carrying a small box
in her hands. When Buffy turns around, she sees a tall, gray-skinned man
wearing a suit and a devilish smile. Startled out of her slumber, Buffy
heads out of class with Willow. Riley meets up with Buffy, while Willow
takes off for her Wicca group meeting. Outside, after coming up with fake
plans for their evening, Buffy and Riley move in for their first kiss.
However, a slight flaw in Riley's excuse ruins the moment, and the two
postpone their intimacy for another day.
Giles gets a call from
Buffy, who describes all of the details she can remember from her dream.
Shortly afterwards, Xander and Anya arrive, arguing about the extent of
their relationship. Giles breaks up their debate by requesting Xander's
assistance in taking custody of Spike while a guest comes over. Despite
protests from Xander, Anya, and Spike himself, Giles insists that he get
some much-needed privacy. Meanwhile, Willow comes to realize that nobody
in her Wicca group actually practices witchcraft. When Willow suggests
that they focus on casting some spells, only one other girl, Tara, seems
remotely interested in this idea. After the meeting, Willow complains to
Buffy about her disappointment in the so-called Wicca group. Buffy, in
the meantime, has her own problems concerning the need to dodge the truths
about her profession around Riley. Underground, in the Initiative facility,
Forrest listens to the same complaints from Riley.
That evening, Giles greets
his old friend, Olivia, at the door. Wasting no time, they get right to
business, starting with the kissing. Meanwhile, Xander ties Spike to a
chair before hopping into bed. Hours later, after much of the city has
fallen asleep, one of the Gentlemen from Buffy's dream approaches a box
in the town's clock tower. When he opens it, the voices of Sunnydale's
residents leave their bodies and drift into the box.
It doesn't take too long
after waking up the next morning for Buffy and Willow to realize that they
can't hear themselves speak, let alone each other. A peek out into the
hallway reveals that everybody else in the dorm has been affected as well.
Hoping to get to the bottom of things, Riley and Forrest enter the elevator
that takes them down to the underground lab. Halfway down, the elevator
stops, and the security system requests either agent's voice code. Unable
to fulfill that requirement, Riley tries to recall the override code as
poisonous gas fills the elevator. Once safely outside the elevator, Riley
and Forrest find Walsh waiting for their arrival. Walsh orders her agents
to patrol the city in casual dress, preventing any riots or similar chaotic
events from getting out of hand.
Outside, Buffy and Willow
survey the traumatized people of Sunnydale. While some people attend silent
mass, others make a profit by selling message boards with neck straps.
After arriving at Giles' place with their newly-purchased message boards,
Buffy and Willow greet the others, who are watching a newscast about the
situation in Sunnydale. According to the news, it is believed to be a massive
outbreak of laryngitis, and all routes into and out of the city have been
blocked off for the purposes of quarantine. As nighttime arrives, both
Riley and Buffy walk the downtown streets, breaking up any fights before
they escalate. When they see each other, Buffy and Riley embrace and share
silent sentiments. Before splitting up again to take care of business,
Riley pulls Buffy into his arms and lowers his lips to hers.
After everybody calls
it a night and heads home to get some rest, the Gentlemen emerge from the
clock tower, accompanied by gruesome lackeys who wear unfastened straight-jackets.
While the lackeys can barely walk in a straight line, the Gentlemen's feet
don't even touch the ground. Instead, they silently hover above the streets
and sidewalks as they seek out their victims. Unable to sleep very well,
Olivia climbs out of bed and walks downstairs. When she looks outside the
window, the sight of the Gentlemen patrolling the streets causes her to
jump back in alarm. One pair of Gentlemen enters Stevenson Hall and arrives
at their destination, room 118. Several knocks awaken the lone freshman
inside. As soon as he opens the door, the lackeys pin him to the bed while
the Gentlemen come closer. Unable to scream, the helpless freshman can
only watch in absolute terror as one of the tall men produces a scalpel,
which he uses to cut into the boy's chest.
The next morning, Buffy
passes by room 118 and sees the body, while Giles reads several articles
in the newspaper about identical murders. In each case, the heart was removed
from the victim's chest. When Olivia finishes her sketch of the creature
she saw the previous night, Giles recognizes it and pulls out a book of
fairy tales. Assembled in an empty lecture hall, the gang watches as Giles
presents a slide show of transparencies that explain their situation. According
to Giles, the Gentlemen need seven hearts. In order to keep the victims
from screaming, they have stolen everybody's voices. Now, the only thing
that can kill them is an actual human voice not a recording, as Willow
That night, Tara uses
the student directory to locate Willow's residence hall and room. When
she accidentally trips outside and drops her books, Tara fails to notice
the Gentlemen and lackeys approaching from behind. Soon enough, Tara realizes
the danger she's in and starts running towards Stevenson Hall. Once inside,
she bangs on the closest doors. Unfortunately, nobody is willing to take
the risk of opening their door. With the Gentlemen closing in, Tara races
upstairs to the second floor and tries several more doors. The loud knocking
in the hallway wakes up Willow, and she heads towards the door to investigate.
Tara watches the door in front of her open up to reveal another one of
the hideous demons, carrying a freshly-extracted heart in his hand. Tara
turns and runs, colliding with Willow, who falls and severely twists her
ankles. Seeing the pursuing Gentlemen, Willow heads back downstairs with
Ending up in the basement
laundry room, Willow looks for something to barricade the door. Spotting
a vending machine several yards away, she limps over and tries to push
it. Even with Tara's help, Willow can't move it very far in her condition.
Willow then tries to lift the machine telekinetically, but her limited
experience makes the task impossible. Realizing Willow's true capabilities
of witchcraft, Tara joins hands with her injured partner. Together, they
slam the vending machine up against the door as if it weighed nothing.
At Giles' apartment, a slight misunderstanding and a large helping of coincidence
lead Xander to believe that Spike has just bitten into Anya's neck. As
Xander proceeds to land numerous punches on Spike's face, Anya wakes up
and shows to Xander that nothing happened. When Xander drops Spike and
immediately kisses her, Anya realizes just how much Xander really cares
for, putting an end to their little argument.
Meanwhile, Buffy patrols
the city once again, only this time she's armed with her crossbow. Riley
is also on duty, carrying a heavy-duty stun gun. Their encounters with
the Gentlemen's lackeys leads them both to the clock tower. After subduing
their opponents momentarily, Buffy and Riley raise their weapons at each
other. Just as soon as they realize who they're aiming at, more lackeys
arrive to interrupt the unexpected reunion. While taking care of his own
struggle, Riley manages to catch a glimpse of Buffy landing a blow that
sends the lackey flying across the room. Their fight takes them upstairs,
where the Gentlemen wait with scalpel's in hand, hoping these two attackers
will provide the remaining hearts that they need. Buffy spots the box on
the table and recognizes it from her dream. Unable to reach the box herself,
Buffy signals to Riley to destroy the box. After misinterpreting her intended
target the first time around, Riley successfully smashes the box into debris.
Instantly, the voices of Sunnydale return to their rightful owners. With
her voice back, Buffy lets loose a high-pitched wail that lasts long enough
to cause the Gentlemen's heads to explode.
As order is slowly restored
around Sunnydale, Willow learns that Tara has been studying witchcraft
ever since she was a small child. When Willow tries to downplay her own
abilities, Tara assures her new friend that she is indeed a powerful witch.
Meanwhile, confronted with the knowledge that Giles' stories about monsters
and demons were true all this time, Olivia tries to decide where she stands
on all this. Back at Stevenson Hall, Riley stops by Buffy's room and steps
inside. They know they need to talk about the previous night's revelation,
but the only thing that comes out of Buffy and Riley's mouths at the start
of the conversation is the same silence that the people of Sunnydale have
gotten all too familiar with.
~Episode Synopsis by: Alan Hufana