-- Quotes --
Written by Zinna
Emergency medical vehicles sound their sirens as they approach the Summers' household. Xander meets the EMT's at the gate with Buffy's blood all over his shirt. He quickly leads them to Buffy, telling them she was deliberately shot. Buffy is lying on her back, barely conscious, as blood puddles around the bullet hole in her chest. Buffy is dying.
Upstairs in Willow's room, Willow begs a now lifeless Tara to wake up. Realizing that Tara is never going to wake up again, rage and panic seizes Willow. Her eyes go black and then an explosion resembling fireworks erupts in her pupils (Just like at the end of Seeing Red). A storm rages above Willow's head as she summons Osiris (the underworld keeper of souls that Willow beseeched for Buffy's life - Bargaining). She commands him to bring Tara back. Osiris' face forms out of clouds; he is angry that Willow dares to call him for this task. He tells her that she cannot violate the natural passing of a human. Willow asks, how is this natural? Osiris tells her that Tara was taken by natural order - she was killed by a human. Though Willow raised one killed by mystical energy, this is not the case for Tara. Willow begs and pleads Osiris to find another way. Osiris says it is done. Willow belts out a gut-wrenching NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Osiris' essence seems as if it is sucked into Willow's mouth as she screams.
Downstairs Willow runs into Xander on her way out of the house. She asks him how this happened. Xander tries to explain that it was Warren - he had a gun. The EMTs tell Xander that he has to come with them immediately if he wants to ride with Buffy in the ambulance. Xander notices that Willow is acting really strange even for the circumstances, but concerned for Buffy, he gets in the ambulance anyway.
At the County Jailhouse, Andrew and Jonathan stew in their cell. Andrew is relatively calm, wondering if his aunt will bring him his discman. Jonathan, on the other hand, is really freaking out. Jonathan thinks the man in the adjacent cell wants to make him his butt monkey. Andrew tells him that they are not in Oz. Their jail cell situation is more comparable to Mayberry. He also tells little Shortround that the guy in the other cell is in there for parking tickets. Andrew's feeling so at ease because he thinks that Warren will bust them out, like Matthew Broderick busted his friend out in "WarGames". For a moment, Jonathan is distracted by the thought of how cool Matthew is in "WarGames". Andrew mentions that he misses "Ferris-Matthew" because he finds "Broadway-Matthew" a little cold. Jonathan is a little bewildered, trying to think of how "Broadway-Matthew" is cold, then he remembers where he is and tells Andrew to shut up. He also recalls how Warren and Andrew were going to leave him to take the fall for the armored car caper. Andrew tries to say that he was planning to carry Jonathan. Jonathan's not buying it and he's not buying Andrew's theory that Warren's somewhere thinking up a plan to get them out.
Warren is really at a bar, a vamp bar, buying a round for the house. He's hoping they will all be congratulatory when he says he has killed the slayer. The bartendar asks him, How? Warren explains that's he's tried everything, but in the end what finally worked was a good old-fashioned gun. The vamps all laugh, but suddenly Warren realizes they are laughing at him not with him. The vamp next to Warren explains that the slayer is not dead. She survived the shot (it was on the news) and Warren's really screwed. Slayers heal fast and it will only be a matter of time before she comes gunning for Warren.
Just then, Willow bursts through the door of the Magic Box. Anya knows that something terrible has happened. She tries to talk to Willow about it, but that's not what Willow came there for; she came for dark magic books. Anya tries to stop Willow from getting to the books, but Willow flings her hand at Anya, which paralyzes her. Willow stands before the table and summons all the dark books to the table. One book in particular opens up. Willow walks to it and she places her hands in the book. The works travel up her arms, onto her face and penetrates her mind through her eyes. As this is happening, Willow is transforming into a dark force. In fact, her hair turns black (well more like a ravenish color).
Dawn returns home. She calls out to Buffy, but no one answers. Dawn walks into Willow's room and finds Tara's body, lying dead on the floor.
Meanwhile, Warren goes to Rack (Willow's magic dealer - Wrecked) demanding he see Warren first on account that he has a bunch of dead presidents with him and because he's the head of the trio. You have heard of the trio haven't you? Well, Rack has not. He has, however, sensed that Warren is in serious trouble and the slayer is the least of Warren's worries. Rack tells Warren he should be worried about Willow, the new power. He says that Willow will tear the town apart, starting with Warren. Warren is convinced and really scared. He gives Rack all the money on him and promises more. Warren wants Rack to load him up with all the mojo he can give him. Rack can't promise anything because he can feel Willow's running on pure fury and he's never felt anything like it before.
In a hospital operating room, a team of doctors operate on Buffy. They are in the middle of trying to stop the bleeding when suddenly there is a power outage. Willow appears and commands the doctors and hospital staff to leave. They do as they are told. Buffy flat-lines. Willow wills the bullet out of Buffy's chest and marvels at how small it is. Buffy instantly heals, awakening in a confused state. Willow seems a bit happy that Buffy's all right, but just a tiny bit. Buffy sees something is wrong with Willow. Willow says she'll explain but first they have to find Warren. Willow walks out leaving them to follow.
Warren gets on a bus on its way out of town, but soon after Xander is driving Buffy and Willow to the path of that bus. Willow can feel Warren's essence and she is telling Xander where to go. In fact, she makes the car turn magically when Xander is slow to heed her commands to turn. Buffy is really apprehensive; she doesn't like that Willow's using magic. Willow says that if she didn't use magic Buffy would be dead. Buffy can't really argue with that but tries to anyway. Her slayer-sense is telling her that things are going very very wrong. Xander is also a little perturbed by Willow's new hair color and detached but forceful attitude.
Eventually, Willow leads the car to the path of the bus. She gets out and stands in front of it, willing the bus to stop. It halts at her unspoken command. Warren gets off the bus to face her. He begs for his life as she squeezes his neck. His eye pops out and there are wires behind it. It's a WarrenBot. Willow says that he tricked her, but it doesn't matter because they can find him another way. Buffy asks what Willow plans to do to Warren. Willow says they will find him and kill him. Buffy says that they can't kill humans. Willow, finally, thinks it time to tell them that Tara was shot too - Tara is dead. Buffy has to take a moment to understand Tara's really dead, but she pulls herself together when she realizes she must reason with Willow. She tells Willow that she loves her and Tara too, but that doesn't mean that they can kill Warren. If Willow kills Warren then he will be able to destroy Willow in process. Xander tries to point out that Willow herself said that there's no coming back from dark dark magic (the kind Willow is currently using). Willow doesn't plan to come back. She walks away, flinging her paralyzing force at Xander and Buffy. They are knocked off of their feet. When they look up, Willow is gone.
That night, Xander and Buffy return to Buffy's house. They go up to see Tara's body and find Dawn huddled in a corner. Dawn is shaking and crying. She says she didn't want to leave Tara alone. Buffy bends down to hold her. Dawn collapses in Buffy's arms, exclaiming that she doesn't understand. Buffy doesn't understand either.
A while later the coroner comes to claim Tara's body. Buffy, Dawn and Xander sit in the living room. Buffy tries to figure out their next move. She knows that they need to find Willow and fast. Warren's a dead man if Willow finds him first. Dawn thinks that's good. Buffy says Dawn shouldn't say that because Dawn doesn't really feel that way. Dawn is pretty sure that she does feel that way and she wants to know why Buffy doesn't feel Warren should die too. Xander agrees, he thinks Warren is no better than a vampire. Buffy may think that Warren should die but she understands that being a slayer doesn't give her a license to kill. Humans have their own way of dealing with people like Warren. There are limits to what they (Buffy and her friends) can do. Willow doesn't want to believe that and now Willow is messing with forces that want to hurt Willow, that want to hurt all of them. Dawn and Xander reluctantly see Buffy's part (Can I just say that Buffy really steps up to plate in a crisis, she always knows exactly what to say and what's important).
Buffy decides they should go to the magic box and see if they can do a locating spell. Xander says he's up for it, but they can't leave Dawn alone. Dawn wants to go with them, but Buffy says no. Dawn has already been through more than anyone else ever has. Buffy thinks that it is important Dawn stay someplace where she can feels safe. Dawn wants to go to Spike's. Buffy sighs, but says it's all right. Xander doesn't think it's all right after what Spike did to Buffy (Seeing Red). Buffy is sure that Spike won't hurt Dawn (even if he wanted to he could not - the chip still works on humans that haven't been resurrected from dead) and at this point Spike is all they've got. Ultimately, Buffy has autonomous decision-making power when it comes to Dawn.
In Tara's room at the dorm, Willow uses a blood of the slain (her blood-stained shirt) spell to locate Warren in the woods.
Buffy and Dawn go to Spike's crypt, except Spike is nowhere to be found. Clem, his gambling buddy (Life Serial and Older and Far Away) is there crypt-sitting. Clem tells them that Spike has gone away for a while. Buffy asks Clem if Dawn can stay with him. Clem's more than happy to have the company. He figures they can play Parcheesi or rent "The Wedding Planner" (he's been dying to see that movie).
Spike appears to be in Africa. He walks past some Africans trying to stop him from going into a cave and confronting a demon. The demon knows Spike has come because of a woman. The demon tells Spike to look at what Buffy has reduced Spike to. Spike let himself be castrated. Spike used to be a dark warrior but now he's a pathetic excuse for a demon. Spike wants his chip out and this demon says that he may be able to grant Spike's request if Spike passes a number of trials that he believes Spike is not up for. Spike is ready for whatever the demon's got.
Xander helps Anya at the store; her paralysis is barely wearing off. She explains that she already knows about Tara. Xander asks if Anya will help them do a locating spell. Anya says that she doesn't need one because she can feel where Willow is. Anya can fell Willow's thirst for vengeance. Xander wonders if this is a power left over from her vengeance days, but Anya says it's not left over. Xander gets the hint. Buffy arrives and asks how Anya knows where Willow is. Xander says that Anya's gone vengeance demon on them, then he asks Anya why she hasn't gone to Willow since Willow's all "wrathy". Anya explains that normally she would have to go Willow but Willow does not want her. Buffy doesn't really have time to worry about Anya being a demon. Buffy just wants to know if Anya's in or out. Anya agrees to help them, but only because it's Willow (I can't tell if its because she really cares about Willow or because Willow's the wronged party and that's what Anya specializes in).
As they speak, Willow is closing in on Warren. She stops to taunt him, telling him to come out from hiding. He comes from behind and shoves an ax in her back. Willow goes down for moment, but as Willow says, an ax just isn't going to cut it. Warren runs away and sends an exploding device in Willow's direction. She freezes the explosion and breaks through it. The explosion does not harm her. She continues to go after Warren and Warren tries to tell her that it was an accident (like it's really comforting that he was only trying to kill her best friend instead of her girlfriend). Willow zaps him and he turns to throw a magic sludge that encases Willow. Willow melts it like ice. She commands a spell that wills the branches near Warren to wrap tightly around his wrists and ankles. Willow faces him so they can have a little chat. Warren tries to talk big, telling Willow she'll be sorry once Warren gets out this. Looking at him, Willow can tell that Tara was not the first woman Warren has killed. Willow says, "Reveal!" and suddenly Katrina walks around from behind a tree to confront her murderer. Katrina says she wishes that she'd strangled Warren while they were asleep so that she could save them all from his madness. Warren is very disturbed by the sight and tells Willow to make Katrina go away. Willow isn't taking orders from Warren. Katrina asks Warren how he could kill her when he said that he loved her. Warren yells to her that she deserved it, but by that time there is no one there. Willow says that she can tell Warren killed Katrina because he felt powerless over her. It was only in Katrina's death that he felt strong, which explains why killing Buffy would give him such a hard-on.
Not to far away, Anya leads Buffy and Xander closer to where Willow is holding Warren.
Willow takes out the bullet she retrieved from Buffy's chest and opens Warren's shirt. She thinks he should know what a bullet feels like. She wills the bullet to move slowly into his chest. Warren shouts out in pain and pleads with Willow to stop. Willow sews his mouth shut with a flick of her finger. Willow describes to him in detail how the bullet is destroying his lungs, making him feel like he's drowning. She says, the pain will be unbearable, but he won't be able to move. Usually the bullet would be moving a lot faster, but the dying takes forever. When she says this, you can tell she's remembering Tara dying in her arms. She talks about how amazing it is that such a little piece of metal could cause so much pain. How it could take Tara's light away from Willow, away from the world while a piece of crap like him gets to live. She asks if Warren feels the bullet. Warren can't speak because his mouth is sewn shut. Willow undoes the sewing shut thing so that he can talk.
He tries to reason with her, telling Willow that she's not a bad person like him. He tries to get her think about what she's doing, just as Buffy, Xander and Anya arrive. Buffy shouts out to Willow, but she doesn't want anyone to have time to talk her out of it. She says, "Bored now" (like her famous vampire counterpart often said in The Wish and Doppelgangland) and rips his skin off (it disappears) with a command of her finger.
Buffy, Anya and Xander are stopped in their tracks by the horrible sight. Buffy asks, Willow what did she do?!
Willow says, "One down," as she wills Warren's skinless body to disintegrate into flames. Soon after Willow disappears into flames as well.