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Buffy fighting vampires in "Helpless."
GILES VOICEOVER: Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer...
Quinton Travers talking to Giles in "Helpless."
TRAVERS: When the Slayer turns 18, it's a time-honored rite of passage.
GILES: It's an archaic exercise in cruelty.
Quinton, Giles, and Buffy in the Sunnydale High library.
GILES: We're finished.
TRAVERS: Not quite. She passed, you didn't. I've recommended to the Council you be relieved of your duties as Watcher immediately. You're fired.
Giles, Wesley, and Buffy in Angel's mansion in "Graduation."
WESLEY: The Council's orders are to concentrate-
BUFFY: I don't think I'm gonna be taking any more orders. Wesley, go back to your Council and tell them, until the next Slayer comes along, I'm not working for them any more.
Buffy, Giles, and Joyce sitting around the table in "Triangle."
BUFFY: What about the key, were they all over it?
GILES: Well, they're interested.
BUFFY: But they didn't guess about Dawn, right? I mean, they don't know that it's her.
Dawn listening in on the stairs.
Episode begins. Fade in on exterior of the Summers house, night.
BUFFY VOICEOVER: Here, I'll get that.
Cut to inside.
BUFFY: Sorry. Mom's still not a hundred percent, and I guess I haven't really been taking up the slack.
We see the living room. Tara, Anya, and Willow sit on the sofa. Xander sits in a chair. Buffy and Giles are standing. Buffy moves around trying to pick up stuff that's lying around.
WILLOW: No, the place looks fine, Buffy.
TARA: Yeah, it's just us.
Buffy picks up a sweater (Riley's) and looks sadly at it.
XANDER: That must have belonged to, uh... (We see that Xander's right wrist is in a cast after having been broken in "Triangle.") Um, aren't we supposed to have a meeting?
GILES: Uh, yes, yes, we, we're here for a reason. (Buffy sits) I've had some rather, uh ... well, I've had some news. It seems that the Council of Watchers has ... found some information that may help us out.
BUFFY: About Glory?
GILES: Presumably. We'll find that out when they ... arrive. Could be very important.
BUFFY: Arrive? They're coming here? Now? W-why do they have to come here?
XANDER: Yeah, don't they have phones? (fake British accent) "Allo, Buffy, here's some stuff we know, pip pip."
BUFFY: Yeah! Phones. See, I'd like them on phones.
TARA: Well, what's so bad about them coming here? Aren't they good guys? I mean, Watchers, that's just like other Gileses, right?
BUFFY: Yeah, they're scary and horrible!
GILES: Um, they, well, they can appear a bit ... well, uh, hard-nosed, but, uh, well, essentially, their agenda is the same as ours, they want to save the world and kill demons.
ANYA: Kill the current demons, right? *Current* demons.
BUFFY: Giles, I don't want them to come here. I don't trust them. Make them not come here.
GILES: They're probably already on their way. Our old friend Quinton Travers is ... heading up the delegation.
BUFFY: They put me through that test, and it almost killed me. And then, when I was Faith, they almost killed me again. Honestly, I really can't handle almost being killed right now.
ANYA: I don't like the sound of this. They don't sound very ex-demon-compatible.
TARA: Are you sure they're English? I-I thought English people were, um, gentler, then, uh, (trailing off) normal...
WILLOW: Maybe it won't be so bad this time. I mean, Buffy, they did think you were Faith last time. Now that they know you're just you, maybe they won't care enough to kill you.
BUFFY: It's not just that. They're gonna screw everything up. I-it's a delicate time right now. I-I have to take care of Dawn, and-
XANDER: But that's not new, you've always taken care of her.
BUFFY: Right. Right, I, I know that, it's just, you know, there's, there's Glory, and...
We see Dawn on the stairs, listening in, wearing pajamas.
BUFFY: (OS) ...and I don't need the Council looking over my shoulder when I don't even know what we're dealing with.
GILES: (OS) Well, that's precisely why we need to talk to them.
Joyce comes down the stairs and sees Dawn.
JOYCE: Dawn, honey, what are you doing up at this hour? Go back to bed.
Cut back to living room. Buffy hears Joyce and looks alarmed.
DAWN: (OS) I was just getting a snack.
BUFFY: (yelling over her shoulder) Dawn, are you listening?
Cut to stairs.
DAWN: (calling to Buffy) I can get a snack if I want to.
Dawn turns and goes back upstairs. Cut back to living room.
BUFFY: (alarmed, to Giles) She was listening.
WILLOW: Does it matter? I mean, is she really gonna set the junior high school buzzing with "ooh, there's a delegation a-coming"?
BUFFY: No, I, I guess not. You know, it's just ... sometimes we ... say stuff, and, and ... it's all good. Giles, you were saying ... something?
GILES: Um, just that ... if the Council knows something about Glory, her agenda or her origins, then ... (sighs) then maybe it will help us get a, a, a grip on what we're dealing with. Right now I think we're, we're a bit lost.
Cut to: Glory sitting on the floor of her apartment, panting and sweaty, looking pale and in pain. The door bursts open and Dreg enters with another demon who looks like him (Jinx). They are dragging a man in postal carrier uniform.
DREG: Mistress, at last we've found one.
They throw him to the floor next to Glory.
MAILMAN: Look, don't hurt me. I beg of you, if you just let me go, I swear I won't tell anyone.
Dreg pulls him upright.
DREG: (to Jinx) Help her!
Jinx goes to Glory and drags her toward the mailman.
JINX: We're here for you, great one.
Glory gets up on her knees and the demons put her hands on the mailman's head.
MAILMAN: Oh, what is this? What the, what the hell are you things doing to me?
Glory puts her fingers on the sides of his head, and then pushes them into his head. Instead of blood, yellow light streams out as Glory pushes her hands deeper into his brain. Both Glory and the mailman scream. After a moment the light stops and they both fall to the floor.
DREG: Very good, delicious.
Glory lies on the floor panting and smiling. She no longer looks pale or sweaty. Jinx moves toward her but she stops him.
GLORY: No, I'm good. It's okay.
She looks at the mailman in disgust, smacks the side of his head. He sits up, then stands.
MAILMAN: I know you're all always looking at me. I can tell. Always tell. I can see. I, my hat, where's my hat? (wanders off)
GLORY: (groans, laughs) Try not cutting things so close next time, understood?
DREG: Yes, we live to serve.
JINX: As always.
GLORY: Cool. (to Dreg) Take this mess out with the rest of the trash. (Dreg moves away) And you ... (Jinx takes her hand, helps her up) have something to tell me?
JINX: Indeed, Glorificus.
GLORY: (smiling) Well, I'm waiting. (picks up a hand-mirror and rubs lipstick off her teeth)
JINX: We have found that the signs of the alignment are moving faster than expected.
GLORY: (primping in mirror) Meaning?
JINX: If you are to use the key, you must act quickly.
GLORY: Fine. (puts mirror down) I have been cooling my heels in this crappy little town long enough. (lies down on bed) Sunnydale's got too many demons and not enough retail outlets. (Picks up a pair of shoes)
JINX: All you need is the key.
GLORY: (lying on her back) Yes, and I bet Mousy the Vampire Slayer has an idea where it is.
JINX: If I may remind your eminence ... you don't have much time.
GLORY: (scoffs) Baby, if that girl's the only thing between me and my key? I don't need much time.
Wolf howl. Opening credits.
Guest starring Clare Kramer, Charlie Weber, Cynthia LaMontagne, Oliver Muirhead, Kris Iyer, Kevin Weisman, Troy T. Blendell, Amber Benson as Tara, Harris Yulin as Quinton Travers, and Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers. Written by Douglas Petrie and Jane Espenson, directed by Nick Marck.
Fade in on magic shop. Giles is talking to a female customer. He is holding two books.
GILES: Well, if you're serious about these matters, all right, but ... you need to be very careful. Measure precisely, and, and, please don't step ahead.
TRAVERS: (OS) No, he's quite right.
We see Quinton Travers standing there with six other Watchers standing behind him: four men, two women. Quinton takes one of the books from Giles and looks at it.
TRAVERS: You wouldn't want to do anything dangerous. Turn the wrong person into a badger. (Smiles, hands the book back)
GILES: Quinton. I didn't realize you were here. (Gives book to customer; she walks off)
TRAVERS: Well, evidently.
GILES: Been a while. I see you've, uh, brought some of our ... colleagues with you. Would you care to introduce us?
TRAVERS: Well, first I thought we might catch up.
The other Watchers begin to spread out through the store.
GILES: Well, certainly, certainly. Uh, well, um, this is the shop, obviously. (Begins walking toward the counter. Travers follows) Uh, i-it's been a very interesting transition into the world of retail. But I think it's gone rather well. I'll give you the grand tour if you like.
TRAVERS: No, that's all right, I think I can see what you've been up to.
Anya comes up to them behind the counter.
GILES: Yes, well, I, I, uh, do limit my time here, obviously.
Watcher #1 (Nigel) comes up behind Anya, looking at the racks of magic stuff behind the counter. Anya looks at him suspiciously.
GILES: Buffy and I have been training a great deal these days. Uh, there's a, a back room... (points toward the back)
TRAVERS: (sits on a chair beside the counter) Oh yes. I thought perhaps you were keeping that space for the really dangerous items that should be kept out of the public's hands. (Giles frowns) Or maybe you don't worry about that.
GILES: I'm very careful.
NIGEL: (comes over holding a vial) Most of this stuff couldn't harm anyone. Incense, dime store trinkets ... but there are some things. (Hands vial to Travers)
GILES: I'm sorry, who are you?
Watcher #2 (female) is looking at the stuff on another shelf.
WATCHER2: There are some very potent elements here ... focusing crystals, runic artifacts, an amulet of Cauldis... Also this statue. (Picks up a statue about 2 feet tall) Its removal from Burma is a criminal offense... (Giles looks surprised. Watcher 2 carries the statue over to Travers) ...and when triggered, it has the power to melt human eyeballs. (She gives the statue to Travers and walks off)
GILES: In that case, I severely underpriced it.
TRAVERS: (nods to Nigel) Uh, Giles, sorry, but this is just for the duration of our stay. I think you can see why.
Nigel takes the book from Giles.
GILES: What, what, wha-what is just for the duration?
Nigel stands in the middle of store and speaks loudly.
NIGEL: Magic Box shoppers! We're going to have to ask you to leave. The store is, uh, closing early today.
Watcher #3 (Philip) takes an item away from a customer.
PHILIP: Terribly sorry for the inconvenience.
Customers begin to leave. Anya looks alarmed.
ANYA: Hey! Giles, what are they doing? Customers! Please bring your money back.
Watchers escort customers out. Giles glares at Travers.
GILES: You knew you were gonna do this before you even saw the place.
TRAVERS: I'm sorry. It's just for the duration of the Council's review.
ANYA: Council? You're the Council? (smiles) Welcome to our store. We're closed now. I'll be in the back. (Begins walking toward the back)
GILES: What review, Quinton? Let's just stop a moment and talk about this.
TRAVERS: (to Anya) Miss, excuse me, you, uh, you work here?
Anya stops walking, turns back looking apprehensive.
ANYA: Yes I do. Ever since I moved here from southeastern Indiana, where I was raised by both a mother and a father.
GILES: Anya, just go. You don't have to talk to him. (Anya looks relieved, leaves) She works for me. Now tell me about this review. No one said anything to me about this.
TRAVERS: Let's sit down and talk about it over here.
All the Watchers move toward the round table at the far end of the store. Watcher #4 (female) pours some tea. The others stand around.
GILES: You all stand around and look somber. (They do. Giles rolls his eyes) Good job.
TRAVERS: You used to respect us, Giles. You used to be one of us.
GILES: You used to pay me. If you recall, firing me was not my idea.
TRAVERS: Touche. (sits at table) But you were on the inside once. You know what sort of resources we command.
Another Watcher puts a suitcase on the table, opens it, takes out some papers and puts them in front of Travers. Watcher #4 gives Travers a cup of tea.
TRAVERS: We've discovered information about this creature, your Glory. Some of it is clearly vital, the rest merely extremely disturbing. And it won't be handed over until we're convinced that you and your Slayer are prepared for it. Thus the review.
GILES: (leans over to put hands on table, speaks softly) I'm not having you put her through another one of your insane tests.
TRAVERS: It's not a test. It's a check of her methods. We need to know that this information is safe.
GILES: You can trust her. (straightens up) Buffy's come very far recently. She's acquired a remarkable focus.
Cut to: UC Sunnydale classroom. Buffy is sitting among the students, yawning while the professor lectures.
PROFESSOR: Now, Rasputin was associated with a certain obscure religious sect. (Buffy taps her pencil on her desk. The girl next to her glares. Buffy sees her and stops tapping the pencil but continues fidgeting) They held the tenet that in order to be forgiven, one first had to sin. Rasputin embraced this doctrine and proceeded to sin impressively and repeatedly. The notion that he was in fact evil gained strength years later (Buffy fiddles with her pencil, drops it, shrugs and doesn't pick it up) when the conspirators who set out to kill him found it nearly impossible to do so.
BUFFY: (to herself) Nearly impossible?
PROFESSOR: I'm sorry, there's a question?
The students look at Buffy.
PROFESSOR: (sighing) Miss Summers, of course.
Buffy makes a pained face, stands up as the professor gives her a disapproving look.
BUFFY: I, uh, about, you know, killing him ... you know, they, they poisoned him and, and they beat him and they shot him, and he didn't die.
PROFESSOR: Until they rolled his body in a carpet and drowned him in a canal.
BUFFY: But there are reported sightings of him as late as the 1930s, aren't there?
PROFESSOR: I can assure you there is near consensus in the academic community regarding the death of Rasputin.
BUFFY: There was also near consensus about Columbus, you know, until someone asked the Vikings what they were up to in the 1400s, and they're like, "discovering this America-shaped continent." (Professor looks annoyed) I just ... I'm only saying, you know, it might be interesting, if we .... came at it from, you know, a different perspective, that's all.
PROFESSOR: Well, I'm sorry if you find these facts so boring, Miss Summers. Maybe you'd prefer I step aside, so that you can teach your own course. Speculation 101 perhaps? (The other students laugh) Intro to Flights of Fancy? (The students laugh more)
BUFFY: I only meant-
PROFESSOR: What was it you were going on about last week? Mysterious sleeping patterns of the Prussian generals? (Buffy looks annoyed) Now, some of us are here to learn. Believe it or not, we're interested in finding out what actually happened. It's called studying history. You can sit down now. Unless you have something else to add, professor?
Buffy scowls, sits.
BUFFY VOICEOVER: Miss Summers!
Cut to graveyard, night. Buffy is fighting a vampire. She kicks him backward.
BUFFY: Some of us are here to learn, professor!
She kicks, punches twice. The vamp swings, she ducks. She grabs him and spins him around, throws him against a headstone.
BUFFY: Maybe you'd like to teach your own class!
VAMP: Who are you talking to?
Buffy approaches and the vamp punches her in the face. She spins around from the blow, gets her bearings and turns to attack again.
Spike comes flying over the headstone and grabs the vamp from behind, knocking him to the ground. As he gets up, Spike kicks him, then stakes him. Spike grins at Buffy, who stalks forward.
BUFFY: Spike ... why did you do that?
SPIKE: Not for money, if that's what you're thinking. Your heartfelt gratitude's plenty. (stops grinning) I expect I'll be getting that any moment.
BUFFY: Gratitude. For getting in my way?
SPIKE: Ge-getting in your way? I saved you.
BUFFY: I was regrouping.
SPIKE: You were about to be regrouped into separate piles. You needed help.
BUFFY: I didn't need you. I never need you, Spike.
She turns and starts to walk off.
SPIKE: Oh, I get it. (follows) You just don't like who did the rescuin', that's all. Wishin' I was your boyfriend what's-his-face. Oh wait, he's run off.
BUFFY: You know what? I don't need a boyfriend, to rescue me or for any other reason.
SPIKE: Don't need or can't keep? (She stops walking to glare at him) You keep making notches in the headboard but eventually they get up out of the bed and run off, don't they?
BUFFY: (deeply annoyed) You're disgusting.
SPIKE: Oh, rough talk. (They resume walking) Maybe that's your problem, maybe you push 'em away. Or is it the other? Maybe you cling too much. Or maybe ... your beauty's fading. (They stop again) The stress of slaying, aging you prematurely. Things not as high, not as firm.
Spike grins and makes a gesture with his hand as if trying to hold up sagging breasts.
BUFFY: You know what, Spike? The more I get to know you, the more I wish I didn't.
SPIKE: Or maybe you just don't hold their interest.
He walks off, leaving Buffy looking stung.
Cut to: interior hospital. Ben comes around a corner, wearing scrubs but putting on his jacket. Jinx comes out of a doorway and grabs him.
JINX: Begging permission to speak with you, sir.
He pulls Ben into an empty room.
BEN: Don't touch me, you're crusty. What do you want?
JINX: Oh, not me, the magnificent Glory. She wants. She wants more information on the Slayer, she ... knows you know her.
BEN: The Slayer? I don't know any Slayer. Get away from me, you shouldn't be here.
JINX: Oh, I believe you do, sir. She's short, symmetrical, hair on top? Buffy something.
BEN: Buffy Summers is the Slayer?
JINX: That's the one! Very clever of you, sir.
BEN: The Slayer. How does Glory know this?
JINX: I do not know, I was not there. But the beauteous Glory said for you to tell us please, where her dwelling is ... who her friends are...
BEN: Why? So Glory can find her, do something to her? Why would I do that?
JINX: I don't know, sir, she just said to tell you to do it. For her. That was her message.
BEN: Well, I've got a message for Glory too.
Cut to: interior magic shop. Giles is walking out of the back room, along with the other Watchers.
GILES: We've been developing sort of a, a hybrid fighting style ... let me outline her progress for you and I-I think you'll see that your review isn't strictly needed.
Buffy enters, sees the Watchers and tries to back out.
BUFFY: (muttering) Bad day. Bad, baaad....
TRAVERS: Miss Summers ... (Buffy stops backing away) good to see you again.
Buffy enters reluctantly, closes the door behind her.
BUFFY: Mr. Travers.
TRAVERS: Giles has just been telling us of your training regimen. Perhaps you'll favor us with a demonstration while we're here.
BUFFY: Right now?
TRAVERS: No need to rush you.
GILES: (ruefully) They're ... staying a little longer than I'd anticipated.
TRAVERS: We've already laid out our project for Mr. Giles. Nigel?
The Watchers and Buffy move toward one side of the room while Giles stays leaning against the counter.
NIGEL: It's an exhaustive examination of your procedures and abilities. We'll observe your training, talk to your friends...
BUFFY: Talk to my friends?
TRAVERS: Yes, we understand you're still taking civilians out on patrols.
BUFFY: Oh, you've gotta be kidding me.
TRAVERS: Buffy ... I can sense your resistance, and I don't blame you. But I think your Watcher hasn't reminded you lately of the resolute status of the players in our little game. The Council fights evil. The Slayer is the instrument by which we fight. The Council remains, the Slayers change. It's been that way from the beginning,
GILES: (scornfully) Well, that's a very comforting, bloodless way of looking at it, isn't it?
TRAVERS: Giles, let me talk to Buffy, because I think she's understanding me. (to Buffy) Glory is stronger than you. She's a more powerful instrument, if you will. We can help you. We have information that will help. Pass the review and we give it to you without reservation. Fail the review, either through incompetence, or by resisting our recommendations...
GILES: (angrily, moves toward them) Resisting your recommendations? She fails if we don't do whatever you say! How much under your thumb do you think we are?
TRAVERS: How much do you want our help?
GILES: (pokes his finger angrily at Travers; the other Watchers restrain him) She's not your bloody instrument and you have no right to do any of this!
Giles shakes off the other Watchers and moves away, frustrated.
TRAVERS: I understand you think this is unfair. But there are factors which should motivate you to go along with the review. Now, I don't want to do this, but obviously we could shut this place down permanently.
BUFFY: You can't do that. You don't have that kind of power.
TRAVERS: Of course we do, and a great deal more. In fact, if you insist on fighting us, we'll arrange to have Mr. Giles deported within the day. Never set foot in this country again. Now perhaps you're used to idle threats and sloppy discipline, Miss Summers, but you're dealing with grownups now. (pause) Am I making myself clear?
Buffy looks angrily from Travers to Giles (who doesn't look at her) and then back. She glares at Travers. Blackout.
Glory's apartment. Jinx enters, holding his head down to hide his face.
GLORY: Jinx... hey, what's the deal with your face?
Jinx lifts his head to reveal his face bruised and bloody. We see Glory standing in front of a vanity with a towel wrapped around her.
JINX: It's a message from Ben. He ... isn't going to help.
GLORY: (pouring oil into her hand) Isn't go... (bemused) isn't going to help?
GLORY: All he has to do is turn over that tiny squirming Slayer girl! (rubbing oil on her arms) I have business to do with her. If she knows where I can start looking for my key... aah!
She grabs her head in frustration. Jinx watches. Glory calms down and begins walking toward him.
GLORY: Why won't he help? He knows her. He could go to her ... he could talk to her ... (irritated) he could seduce her and bang the key out of her!
JINX: He is quite attractive.
GLORY: Well, of course he's attractive! (pouty) But he drives me insane. Know what I mean?
JINX: He drives you insane?
GLORY: Yeah! That's it exactly! (puts her head on Jinx's chest) Oh. Sweet lumpy minion. You're the only one that understands. (thoughtfully) Probably cause I haven't sucked your brain out yet. (Jinx cringes) He makes me so mad... if I could just ... get my hands on him...
She curves her fingers into claws and gestures as if she's about to grab Jinx's head. He cringes in fear.
GLORY: (drops her hands) You know? (Walks away. Jinx sighs in relief) I'll just find her myself.
Cut to magic shop. Buffy and Giles are alone. Buffy sits at the round table; Giles paces.
GILES: It's a power play, that's what it is. It's about who has the power.
BUFFY: I'm guessing they do? Big power outage in Buffy county?
GILES: I should have set you loose on them, that's what I should have done.
BUFFY: Giles, that Travers guy is like sixty. I can't hit him. (looks up) Can I?
GILES: I suppose not. Well, I could. I think I will.
BUFFY: Can they really do the stuff they threatened? Kick you out the country?
GILES: In a heartbeat. (Takes off his glasses, takes out a handkerchief and begins cleaning his glasses) See, the rough stuff, they're all right out there, a bit ham-handed, but they get it done, but, uh ... this stuff, the, uh, bureaucracy, the pulling of political strings, they're the best in the world. They can kill you with the stroke of a pen. Poncy sods.
There's a crunching noise as Giles's glasses break in his hands from too vigorous a cleaning. One of the lenses has popped out of the frame. Giles looks down at them.
BUFFY: (softly) Am I gonna be able to get through this review?
GILES: Well, I..... (comes over and sits next to her) I suppose they'll make it as difficult as they want to. The physical stuff could be a bit of a challenge. (Puts on his glasses, immediately takes them off again)
BUFFY: That's not what I'm worried about. It's the other stuff. Examining decisions I've made. I mean, twice now I've been within slaying distance of Glory, and twice she's kicked my ass without even tensing a muscle. And I haven't been able to figure out ... what she is, or anything about her except that she wants the key, which I have, and I can't even figure out if it's okay for me to tell anyone that.
GILES: Buffy, no one could have done any better than you.
BUFFY: But no one else is gonna be asked the questions that I can't answer. (getting agitated) They're gonna expect me to ... to be like a Slayer and, and know stuff, but I'm just me and I don't know anything, and they're gonna go away, and they're not gonna tell me how to fight Glory, and I'm not gonna be able to protect Dawn.
GILES: Buffy, calm down. The scandal here is not anything you've done wrong, it's the way they're behaving. Holding what they know hostage with a gun pointed at my bleeding green card, no less. (sighs) It's humiliating.
BUFFY: Also smart. They picked the perfect thing. I can't lose you.
GILES: (softly) Thank you.
BUFFY: (sighs) I guess I should be getting ready. What do you think it'll be like, I mean, how do you think they'll start?
Cut to: Anya sitting next to Xander in Xander's apartment.
ANYA: Anya Christina Emanuella Jenkins, twenty years old. Born on the fourth of July, and don't think there weren't jokes about that my whole life, mister, 'cause there were. "Who's our little patriot?" they'd say, when I was younger, and therefore smaller and shorter than I am now.
We see Philip sitting across the table from them, and Watcher #4 standing in the background.
PHILIP: (taking notes) So, you spell it A-N-Y-A, yes?
PHILIP: Fine, now we can get to the questions.
Cut to: Willow and Tara's room. Willow and Tara sit on the bed side-by-side. Nigel stands before them with a notebook.
WILLOW: Questions, great.
TARA: Well, we can answer questions.
NIGEL: Good. I need to know a little bit more about the Slayer, and about the both of you. Your relationship, whatever you can tell me.
TARA: O-o-our relationship?
WILLOW: We're friends.
TARA: Good friends.
WILLOW: Girlfriends, actually.
TARA: Yes, we're girlfriends.
WILLOW: We're in love. We're ... lovers. (puts hand on Tara's knee) We're lesbian, gay-type lovers.
NIGEL: I meant your relationship with the Slayer.
Both girls look embarrassed. Willow removes her hand from Tara's knee.
TARA: Um, just good friends.
Cut back to Xander/Anya interrogation.
XANDER: *Best* friends. Willow and me and Buffy. The three of us have been together from the beginning. We've always gone on patrols, and uh, done demon research with her and everything.
PHILIP: Have you mastered any fighting disciplines over the years?
PHILIP: So, you have no special skills, or powers, or knowledge that you bring to the mix. Neither of you.
ANYA: Just enthusiasm for killing the demons. Go deadness for the demons.
XANDER: I don't have any powers, but I do help.
PHILIP: How? Be specific.
XANDER: Last year, uh, Willow, Giles and me combined our essences with Buffy, which isn't as weird as it sounds. (laughs nervously) We merged, and I was the heart part of a super-Buffy. Again, let me stress the not-as-weird thing.
ANYA: I'm told it was all very professional.
NIGEL VOICEOVER: Are you saying that the Slayer needs that level of help from you often?
Cut back to Willow/Tara interrogation.
WILLOW: No, no, she doesn't need help.
TARA: She'd be fine without us. Sometimes she goes off and does stuff without even telling us.
WILLOW: Not that she's like a, a weird loner or anything.
TARA: I'm not sure we're saying this right.
WILLOW: See, here's the thing. We, we can help because we do magicks. I'm working on this ball of sunshine thing. See, I have this theory.
TARA: It's very cool.
WILLOW: A-and if it works, easier slaying for Buffy. Not that it's hard for her now!
NIGEL: Interesting. What level are you at?
NIGEL: Magical proficiency level?
WILLOW: Oh! Uh, high, a high level. Very high. One of those ... top levels.
Nigel writes this down as Willow and Tara give each other anxious looks. Willow mouths, "five??" and Tara shrugs.
NIGEL: And you're registered as practicing witches under the names as you gave them to me?
WILLOW: Oh yes! Yes, of course we're-
TARA: ...r-r-registered. (nodding)
Cut back to Xander/Anya interrogation.
PHILIP: Do either of you know anything about the key?
ANYA: Nope, but it sounds demony to me. I don't hold with that demon nonsense. (picks up a basket of muffins and holds it toward Philip) Muffin? I cooked them myself.
PHILIP: (gestures to indicate "no thanks") So, Buffy sometimes protects you from the dangerous elements of her work.
XANDER: Yes. She's saved my life lots of times. The vampires in this town hate her.
Cut to: Spike's crypt. Spike staring at someone.
WATCHER #2: (OS) But we understand that you *help* the Slayer.
We see that Spike is being interrogated by Watcher #2 while the other two nameless male Watchers stand between her and Spike. One of the men holds a cross, the other a crossbow.
SPIKE: I pitch in when she pays me.
WATCHER2: She pays you? She gives you money?
SPIKE: Money, a little nip of blood out of some stray victim, whatever.
SPIKE: Well, if they're gonna die anyway. (considers) Come to think of it, though, that's a bit scandalous, isn't it? Personally, I'm shocked. The girl's slipping.
WATCHER2: You've noticed a decline in her work?
SPIKE: Oh, yeah. See, the poor little twig can't keep a man. Gets her all down. Few more disappointments, she'll be cryin' on my shoulder, mark my words.
WATCHER2: (frowns) Is that what you want? I'd think you'd want to kill her. You've killed Slayers before.
SPIKE: (intrigued) Heard of me, have you?
He walks a little closer. The two male Watchers shift nervously and hold up their weapons.
WATCHER2: (embarrassed smile) I ... wrote my thesis on you.
SPIKE: (grins) Well, well. Isn't that neat. (stops smiling) Tell me, pet, now we're such good friends, how's the Slayer doing? Is she okay? High marks in all categories?
TRAVERS VOICEOVER: Agility, clarity, stamina and strength-
Cut to the workout room in the back of the magic shop. Nigel is tying a blindfold around Buffy's head. Giles and the other Watchers are standing around.
TRAVERS: ...these are the qualities that the Slayer must possess to do her job.
BUFFY: What came after agility?
GILES: If you want her to attack the dummy-
TRAVERS: No, no. Philip will attack the dummy. (We see Philip standing next to the dummy, wearing a karate robe) The Slayer's job is to protect it. Do you understand?
BUFFY: Protect the dummy.
TRAVERS: As if it were precious. Now, getting the best of Philip will require agility. Listening to my instructions at the same time, that will demonstrate clarity. And stamina and strength will win the long fight. Good luck.
TRAVERS: Yeah, I'll be telling you what to do, how to counter Philip's attack. We assume you're familiar with the Japanese names for aikido and jiu-jitsu moves.
WATCHER2: (clicking a stopwatch) And, go!
BUFFY: Whoa, hold on a second. We uh, you know in America, we usually just work our way up to "go."
Philip bows toward Buffy. He's holding a short axe.
TRAVERS: (speaks Japanese)
GILES: He wants you to bow. Take a bow.
BUFFY: Oh. (bows)
Philip circles around her. Buffy follows his movements. He thrusts at the dummy and Buffy blocks. Then she kicks at him and misses. She spins around and blocks his overhead punch.
Philip punches Buffy in the face.
GILES: Punch him.
BUFFY: Thanks, Giles.
GILES: Uh...back kick, elbow-
Buffy back-kicks and Philip moves out of the way. She thrusts with her elbow and he avoids it.
TRAVERS: How have you been training her?
GILES: I've trained her to win.
Buffy looks annoyed.
BUFFY: You know what? I'm gonna have to do it my way, guys.
Philip swings the weapon and she ducks. He lifts it for an overhead blow and Buffy grabs the handle, kicks him in the stomach, forces him back against the training horse and elbows him in the face. He tumbles backward over the horse, losing his grip on the weapon. The momentum pulls it out of Buffy's hands and it flies backward to land in the dummy's chest, knocking the dummy backward into Nigel. He falls to the floor with the dummy on top of him.
Buffy turns around, pulling the blindfold off.
Watcher #2 kneels by Nigel and clicks the stopwatch.
The others help Philip up.
PHILIP: I think she just broke my rib.
TRAVERS: Yes, well.
BUFFY: I didn't mean to. Um, you know, I, I can do better. I think I might be getting this, like, inner ear thing, and so maybe, maybe if I got a note, I, I could try again.
TRAVERS: No, that's all right, I don't think we need to see any more physical tests for a while. We can move on to the real review. Look into your strategies, plans ... figure out what's going on in that head.
BUFFY: (unhappily) Good. Head stuff.
TRAVERS: We start at seven tonight. Give you time to, uh ... (looks from Buffy to Giles) well, however you prepare.
The Watchers leave. Buffy and Giles look glum.
Cut to: Buffy entering the Summers home.
BUFFY: (puts down her bag, calling) Mom?
She walks toward the living room. As she rounds the corner, she comes face-to-face with Glory.
GLORY: Long day, sweetie?
Fade back in on Buffy looking apprehensively at Glory as Glory checks out the living room.
GLORY: So ... this is where the Slayer eats, sleeps, and (runs her finger through the dust on a side table) ...combs her hair? Oh... (picks up a photo) so cute. (Holds it up for Buffy to see, then puts it down) I can't even stand it. Personally? I need more space, but uh, this is good for you, it's, it's so quaint, and...
As Glory is speaking with her back to Buffy, Buffy moves across the room to the fireplace and picks up a poker. When she straightens up, Glory is right behind her.
GLORY: Buffy... (takes the poker) If I wanted to fight, you could tell by the being dead already. (goes to sit in an armchair, giggles) So play nice, little girl.
BUFFY: What do you want?
GLORY: The key. Why else do you think I'd come here? See, (points poker at Buffy) I think you knew where it is. And that's a good thing.
BUFFY: I'm glad you think so.
GLORY: Well, it's the only thing keeping you alive right now. Because you may be tiny queen in vampire world...
Dawn enters behind Glory. Buffy looks at Dawn in alarm, tries not to let Glory see her looking.
GLORY: ...but to me, you're a bug. You should get down on your knees and worship me!
Dawn walks closer. Buffy widens her eyes to signal Dawn to go away.
GLORY: But oh, no, you still think it's neat having Slayer strength. (Dawn mouths "What?" at Buffy) Ooh, big deal! Stronger than humans! (Dawn begins to back away) Who isn't? I could crush the life from you as easy as you'd break a nail. But I need the key.
Dawn has reached the stairs. She begins to turn away.
Dawn stops. Buffy looks alarmed.
GLORY: Come here a sec.
BUFFY: Leave her out of this.
GLORY: Not asking twice.
Dawn approaches, still behind Glory and out of her line of sight.
BUFFY: This is between you and me.
GLORY: No. This is between me and my key. You just happen to be the thing in the way.
Glory lifts her hand over her head and snaps her fingers. Dawn walks into her view, folds her arms over her chest sullenly.
GLORY: And you are just the darlin'-est thing I ever did see in my life. What's your name, honey?
GLORY: Dawn? Did you know your sister took my key, Dawnie? And she won't give it back! I bet you know where she put it, don't you?
BUFFY: She doesn't know anything.
DAWN: (looks at Buffy, annoyed) I know some stuff.
GLORY: I bet she takes your stuff all the time without asking, doesn't she? Where's my key, Dawn?
BUFFY: Go upstairs, Dawn.
DAWN: (angrily, to Buffy) You're always talking about stuff I'm not supposed to hear. (Glory looks interested) I'm gonna figure it out, you know.
GLORY: (grins) Ooh, I like her. She's sassy. (pauses, gets serious) And I'll kill her. I'll kill your mom, I'll kill your friends ... and I'll make you watch when I do. (sighs) Just give me the key. You either have it or you know where to find it. (stands up) Obviously, this is a one-time-only deal. Next time we meet, something you love dies bloody. You know you can't take me. You know you can't stop me.
She drops the poker on the floor and leaves. Buffy watches her go with a grim expression.
JOYCE: Buffy, who was that?
BUFFY: Pack a bag.
Cut to Spike asleep in his crypt. A ray of sunshine falls on his face as the door opens. He screams and jumps up to find Buffy standing beside his "bed."
SPIKE: (sarcastically) Oh, it's the Slayer. For a second there I was worried.
He starts to rub his eyes sleepily, pauses and looks over at the other end of the crypt.
Shot of Dawn and Joyce standing by the door.
SPIKE: (surprised) So, what's with the family outing?
BUFFY: (quietly, walking up close to him) I need your help.
SPIKE: Great. I need your cash.
BUFFY: I'm serious. (even more quietly) You have to look after them.
SPIKE: Well, that's a boatload of manly responsibility to come flying out of nowhere. What's the matter, Slayer? You're not feeling a hundred percent?
BUFFY: (frowns) No.
SPIKE: (frowns) They didn't put a chip in your head, did they?
SPIKE: Be funny if they did.
BUFFY: (annoyed) Spike, I need an answer. Now. In or out? (quietly) You're the only one strong enough to protect them.
SPIKE: (looks at her for a moment) All right then. (calls to Joyce and Dawn) Ladies... (walks toward them; Buffy follows) Come on in. There's plenty of blood in the fridge.
DAWN: Do you mean like, real blood?
SPIKE: What do you think?
DAWN: Mostly I think "ew."
BUFFY: (to Joyce) Keep Dawn here as long as you can. I'll be back soon.
BUFFY: (walks over to Spike) I don't think I need to remind you, but-
SPIKE: Yeah, yeah, "anything happens to 'em I'll stake you good and proper." Sing me a new one sometime, eh? That bit's gone stale.
Buffy leaves. Spike, Dawn, and Joyce stand around looking uncomfortable.
JOYCE: I, I love what you've, um, neglected to do with the place.
SPIKE: Just don't break anything. (goes to turn on the TV) And don't make a lot of noise. Passions is coming on.
JOYCE: (comes forward) Passions? Oh, do you think Timmy's really dead?
SPIKE: Oh! (gestures to his armchair. He and Joyce each sit on one arm) No, no, she can just sew him back together. He's a doll, for god's sake.
JOYCE: Uh, what about the wedding? I mean, there's no way they're gonna go through with that.
Dawn makes an exasperated face, walks off.
Cut to magic shop, night. The Watchers are walking around, looking at books, moving stuff around. Giles sits in a chair by the table. Anya, Xander, Willow, and Tara sit on the balcony above, looking down. Their feet dangle in the air and they lean against the railing watching the Watchers.
XANDER: Look at them. Big tough Council members pickin' on the books.
TARA: Why doesn't Mr. Giles put them all out of here?
XANDER: Because if they deport him, they're not just destroying his career, they're ... condemning the man to a lifetime diet of blood sausage, bangers, and mash.
Cut to below. Travers walks over to where Giles is sitting.
TRAVERS: Well, your Slayer's twenty minutes late and counting, Rupert.
GILES: Buffy will be here, I assure you.
TRAVERS: (chuckles) Yes, but when?
Cut to: Buffy walking through a dark alley. She looks at her watch.
She walks faster. Suddenly someone appears from behind a trash can and grabs her around the waist, pulling her down to the ground. They both get up. It's a person in medieval armor with chain-mail covering his face. He backhands Buffy, she spins around and flies into a pile of garbage. As she straightens up, two more knights appear. The first one has a sword, the other two have metal staves. They circle around Buffy, twirling their weapons.
BUFFY: Uh ... guys? A-any way we could ... not do this?
Overhead shot of the three knights circling her. Blackout.
Fade back in on the same scene.
The knight with the sword swings. Buffy ducks. She spins and punches him, ducks a staff thrust, kicks the other staff, ducks again, kicks the first staff-holder in the stomach. Ducks another swing, kicks the second staff guy twice. Ducks a swing from sword guy, blocks a punch, punches him in the face while holding his sword arm. Kicks him back, grabs the staff of another and pushes him away. Deflects the other staff holder. Then she does two back-flips that carry her over the two staves, grabs one staff and thrusts it into that knight's stomach, deflects a sword thrust with it, kicks the sword guy in the stomach. Jabs the staff into disarmed knight's stomach again, ducks a thrust from the other staff, kicks that knight so he goes spinning away. Buffy and the disarmed knight grapple for his staff, finally she hits him in the face with it. He goes down. She drops her staff and blocks an overhand sword thrust, punches the sword holder and he goes down. Buffy kicks the other staff holder away, picks up the staff again and faces off with the sword holder.
Buffy knocks the sword out of the knight's hand and pushes him to the ground, jumping on top of him and holding the staff to his throat.
BUFFY: Okay. Let's see what you are.
She removes the chain-mail mask to reveal an ordinary-looking human man with a symbol on his forehead.
BUFFY: Or who you are.
KNIGHT: One soldier in a vast army.
BUFFY: What army?
KNIGHT: The Knights of Byzantium, an ancient order. And now your enemy.
BUFFY: (pushes the staff harder into his throat) You work for Glory?
KNIGHT: You think we align ourselves with the beast? You must be mad.
BUFFY: You're the ones tried killing me.
KNIGHT: No, we were fools, three alone. But if it takes a hundred men, we send a hundred men, and if it takes a thousand, we send a thousand.
BUFFY: A thousand?
KNIGHT: So long as you protect the key, the brotherhood will never stop until we destroy it and you. You are the Slayer, and we know what we must do. Now, be done with it. Kill us, and let legions follow.
Buffy shoves the staff into his throat again, then tosses it aside, gets up and picks up the sword. The knight gets to his feet, and she puts the sword to his throat. He turns his head away waiting for the kill stroke.
The knight looks surprised, edges around her and leaves. Buffy stares at the sword.
Cut to: Buffy entering the magic shop, still holding the sword. Pan across all the Watchers standing there, the four Slayerettes still sitting on the upper level, and Travers sitting at the table with a pile of papers spread out in front of him. Giles sits on the stairs leading up to the balcony.
TRAVERS: You're late.
GILES: (sees the sword, gets up) Was, was there an attack?
TRAVERS: We can begin the review at last. We'll, uh, skip the more obvious questions...
Buffy puts the sword down on his papers.
BUFFY: There isn't gonna be a review.
BUFFY: No review. No interrogation. No questions you *know* I can't answer. No hoops, no jumps - (Nigel starts to speak) and no interruptions.
Nigel shuts up. Buffy looks around, begins to pace.
BUFFY: See ... I've had a lot of people talking at me the last few days. Everyone just lining up to tell me how unimportant I am. And I've finally figured out why. (looks Travers in the eye) Power. I have it. They don't. This bothers them.
Buffy moves back to the table, removing her coat.
BUFFY: Glory ... came to my home today.
GILES: (alarmed) Buffy, are you-
BUFFY: (puts her coat on a chair) Just to talk. (resumes pacing) She told me I'm a bug, I'm a flea, she could squash me in a second. (stops, looks at Travers again) Only she didn't. She came into my home, and we talked. We had what in her warped brain probably passes for a civilized conversation. Why? (pauses) Because she needs something from me. Because I have power over her.
Buffy looks around, hands on her hips. She walks the floor, looking from one Watcher to the next as she talks.
BUFFY: You guys didn't come all the way from England to determine whether or not I was good enough to be let back in. You came to beg me to let you back in. To give your jobs, your lives some semblance of meaning.
NIGEL: This is beyond insolence-
Buffy grabs the sword from the table and throws it across the room in a single movement. It flies point-first into the wall directly in front of Nigel's nose. He jumps back looking shocked.
BUFFY: (clears throat) I'm fairly certain I said no interruptions.
XANDER: (whispers) That was excellent!
Willow and Tara grin.
BUFFY: You're Watchers. Without a Slayer, you're pretty much just watchin' Masterpiece Theater. You can't stop Glory. You can't do anything with the information you have except maybe publish it in the "Everyone Thinks We're Insane-O's Home Journal." (Pauses, addresses Travers again) So here's how it's gonna work. You're gonna tell me everything you know. Then you're gonna go away. (resumes pacing) You'll contact me if and when you have any further information about Glory. The magic shop will remain open. Mr. Giles will stay here as my official Watcher, reinstated at full salary...
GILES: (coughing) Retroactive.
BUFFY: ...to be paid retroactively from the month he was fired. I will continue my work with the help of my friends...
WATCHER2: I, uh, I ... don't want a sword thrown at me, but, but, civilians, I - we're talking about children.
BUFFY: (looks up at her friends on the balcony) We're talking about two very powerful witches and a thousand-year-old ex-demon.
ANYA: Willow's a demon?!
PHILIP: The boy? No power there.
BUFFY: The boy has clocked more field time than all of you combined. He's part of the unit.
WILLOW: (whispers to Xander) That's Riley-speak.
XANDER: (whispers back, with a big grin) I've clocked field time.
BUFFY: Now. (addresses the Watchers) You all may be very good at your jobs. The only way we're gonna find out is if you work with me. You can all take your time thinking about that. (turns back to Travers) But I want an answer right now from Quinton, 'cause I think he's understanding me.
TRAVERS: (clears throat) Uh, your terms are acceptable.
Giles smiles hugely. The Slayerettes burst into cheers and applause, but quickly stop, looking embarrassed. Buffy looks up at them, looks at Giles. She doesn't smile, but looks satisfied. She sits across from Travers.
BUFFY: See? No biggie.
TRAVERS: (nods) Uh, Rupert.
TRAVERS: When we inventoried your shop, we found a bottle of single malt scotch behind the, uh, incense holders.
GILES: Well, it's, it's not, you know, during working hours.
TRAVERS: I think I could use a glass.
GILES: Well, I suppose we could- (starts to move away)
BUFFY: (gets up) Just a minute. (Giles stops) Glory. I wanna know.
TRAVERS: Well, there's a lot to go through.
BUFFY: Just tell me what kind of demon I'm fighting.
TRAVERS: Well, that's the thing, you see. Glory isn't a demon.
BUFFY: What is she?
TRAVERS: She's a god.
BUFFY: (long pause, eyes widen) Oh.