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The DARK AGE (ep 2.08)

(a.k.a. Giles's Skeletons)

Written by: Dean Batali & Rob Des Hotel
Directed by: Bruce Seth Green
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
David Boreanaz as Angel
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Starring: Robia La Morte as Jenny Calendar
Robin Sachs as Ethan Rayne
Stuart McLean as Philip Henry
Co-Starring: Wendy Way as Dierdre
Michael Earl Reid as Custodian
Daniel Henry Murray as Creepy Cult Guy
Carlease Burke as Detective Winslow
Tony Sears as Morgue Attendant
John Bellucci as Man

Plot Summary

Giles's rebellious past haunted him when a demon he helped raise possessed Jenny.

Plot Details

A man in a suit (Philip) was desperate to find Giles. He panicked when he saw a woman he addressed as "Diedre" and banged on the door to the library. Unfortunately, Giles could not hear because Buffy was playing loud music as she did her calisthenics. Eventually Diedre choked him to death and disappeared into a blue-green spot.

The next day, Buffy and Willow were playing "Anywhere but Here." Giles interrupted to say that the hospital was getting a fresh supply of blood, and that he and Buffy should go to ensure that vampires do not try to score a meal. Jenny Calendar came to remind them of the plot device to ensure that all characters would be on campus that Saturday (a remedial computer class).

Giles and Jenny got a little uncomfortable with the others watching, so they left and discussed a book that he lent her. The conversation ended with Jenny suggesting that they spend the weekend together.

Giles returned to the library to find two police officers and a detective. They wanted to question him about Philip's death. Cordelia interrupted wanting a computer book and did not understand why the police business would take precedence over her needs. She did take the opportunity to ask the detective to fix a ticket for her.

In the morgue, Giles identified the body for the police. He was particularly drawn to a tattoo that Philip had on his right arm. He claimed that he did not know what it meant.

Buffy observed the blood delivery and got suspicious when she saw two doctors take the delivery. When a third vampire drove up, she attacked. A fourth vampire soon arrived. Fortunately, it was Angel. Buffy managed to stake the two vampire doctors while Angel failed to stake the driver.

Buffy was worried that Giles did not show up, so, with perhaps too much trust, she left the blood in Angel's custody while she went to check on Giles. He seems to have forgotten all about their plans for that night and shooed Buffy away as quickly as he could.

Giles was apparently calling England for Deidre only to find that she had died. He then crossed her name off of a five-name list that included himself, Philip, and Ethan Rayne. He also rolled up his sleeve for no apparent reason than to show us that he too had the tattoo that Philip had.

In the morgue, Philip's eyes glowed red as he pulled the cloth off of his face. When an attendant checked on the bodies, Philip jumped him from behind and shoved the attendant into the drawer.

Buffy showed up to the remedial computer class where Jenny and Willow were to teach Xander and Cordelia. Buffy came to express her concerns about Giles. Nobody noticed anything wrong with him, but Cordelia let slip that he was talking to the police. She even let slip more information than was revealed while she was in the library, which suggested that she was eavesdropping outside.

Buffy went to check out the library. Rather than look at anything that might be useful, such as Giles's desk, she wandered the stacks. Ethan stalked her and tried to push a bookshelf on her, but she tumbled away. She quickly caught him.

Apparently, Ethan told her about something called the Mark of Eyghon, because she called Giles asking about it. While she was on the phone, Philip broke into the library. Ethan bravely hid behind Buffy. As Buffy went to confront Philip, Ethan tried to escape. Fortunately, Xander, Cordelia, and Jenny arrived just then. Xander tried to restrain him, but he slipped away. A well-placed knee from Cordelia stopped him. Meanwhile, Buffy trapped Philip in the bookcage.

Giles arrived and confronted Ethan. They were having an argument on who should have left town when Philip escaped and knocked Jenny unconscious. Philip then turned into a blue-green goo, which oozed toward Jenny. Meanwhile, Ethan escaped.

Giles led Jenny out of the library. Buffy decided that they should research the Mark of Eyghon. Even Cordelia wanted to help. Willow discovered that Eyghon possessed unconscious hosts temporarily, providing that proper rituals are performed. If not, possession could be permanent. They figured out that Eyghon moved from Philip to Jenny.

At Giles's apartment, Jenny tried to seduce Giles. When he hesitated, Eyghon revealed himself as possessing Jenny. She / it then started to attack Giles when Buffy arrived. It fled.

Giles finally came clean to Buffy. When he was 21, academic pressures got the best of him. He dropped out of Oxford and associated with a crowd that abused magic, which included Ethan. They would summon Eyghon and experience the rush of being possessed. Unfortunately, they lost control and one of the group was killed. Buffy assumed that it was going after Ethan and went to his shop.

Ethan seemed to be grateful to have a slayer as a bodyguard. However, once Buffy's back was turned, he somehow knocked her unconscious. When she awoke, she was tied to a table. Ethan proceeded to give Buffy the Mark of Eyghon and remove his with acid.

In the library, Xander and Cordelia had difficulty finding ways to kill Eyghon other than hot lava, burying a potato, or decapitating Jenny Calendar. The tension got so thick that Willow had to threaten them with expulsion from her library for them to calm down. They were both pleased when she then came up with the solution.

Eyghon / Jenny arrived just as Buffy was able to cut through her rope with a conveniently exposed screw. After a brief scuffle, Giles arrived, asking to be taken instead. Before Eyghon could act, Angel arrived, followed by Willow, Xander, and Cordelia. Angel strangled Eyghon / Jenny until Eyghon left her and entered him. It battled inside Angel until it lost.

The next Monday, Giles checked in on Jenny. She did not appear to be ready to be with him again. He and Buffy then had a talk about how he did not want Buffy to see that side of his life and how she was a little shocked to see it.

The Good

It is good to see some of Giles's backstory.

The conversation between Giles and Jenny about the book he lent her was good.

It is good to see Willow be the hero of this episode.

The Bad

Other than some lazy writing, there is nothing particularly bad in this episode, but I get the feeling that the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

Overall Rank: 77

Action: 5

Ethan made a pathetic attack on Buffy in the library.

The Philip zombie interrupted Buffy's interrogation of Ethan. They had a short fight which resulted in the Philip zombie being locked in the book cage.

While possessed by Eyghon, Jenny attacked Giles. She / it fled when Buffy came to the rescue.

In the climax, Eyghon / Jenny first threatened Buffy and then Giles until Angel came and attacked it. They had a scuffle until Eyghon moved to Angel, who defeated it.

Comedy: 2

The scene in which Jenny discussed the Forester book with Giles was amusing.

Drama: 7

Giles had to deal with two or three of his friends dying and the fact that he may be responsible for putting others in danger.

Romance: 4

For a while, it looks like Giles and Jenny were going to the next stage of their relationship, but Jenny now seems to be a little scared off.

Character Development: 9

Giles was the main focus of this episode. When he was young, academic pressures overwhelmed him. He responded by participating in dangerous magic, which resulted in the death of a friend. He still feels guilty about this and tries to keep this information from others who needed to know.

Buffy apparently trusts Angel not to "misplace" the blood. She also finds the fact that Giles was once insecure to be rather disconcerting.

Cordelia wants to be a part of Buffy's group, even if it means working with Xander.

Willow once again shows that she can be very good in a crisis.

Jenny has finally decided that Giles's life might be a little too dangerous for her liking.

Importance: 5

Other than throwing an obstacle in the progression of Giles's and Jenny's relationship, most of the importance of this episode comes from describing Giles's background.

Most Valuable Player: Willow

Ordinarily, I like to give the MVP and the Sherlock Holmes Awards to separate people. However, Willow's plan was so critical for the success that she gets both awards, including her first MVP. Angel was the only other candidate who could possible get the award by being the vessel that destroyed Eyghon.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Willow

Finding the Mark of Eyghon in Giles's book alone might have been enough to get this award. Willow went above and beyond by also coming up with the plan to stop Eyghon permanently.

Goat of the Week: Giles

If Giles were honest with the others, much of the trouble in today's episode could have been prevented. Instead, he let his concern about his privacy override the safety of the other characters, causing much trouble and endangering his relationship with Jenny.

Random Commentary

Cordelia was in a computer class in "The Harvest." It appears that she is taking another one now. Things have undoubtedly changed since I was in high school, but I had to take only one computer class, and it was a mostly worthless one-credit class that I took over two weeks in the summer. I suppose that she might have flunked her previous course when she "delivered" her project.

Did Angel show up at the hospital on delivery day because he wanted to prevent vampires from stealing the blood or because he wanted to steal the blood from them for himself? The fact that he did not tell Buffy about it ahead of time might be a clue to his intentions. Still, Buffy trusted him with the blood.

I do not know much about the Bay City Rollers. However, most of what I have read suggests that Giles almost certainly did not listen to them in his youth. Most fans seem to think that he would have been a Led Zeppelin fan.


I am not sure if Alyson Hannigan flubbed her lines or if the writers made an error, but Egyptian iconography predates Etruscan iconography by a couple of millennia.

It is well established that Ethan is not particularly strong. How was he able to knock Buffy unconscious with just one whack against her back?

Memorable Quotes

"I know music. Music has notes. This is noise." Giles

"Wonderful. You work on your muscle tone while my brain dribbles out of my ears." Giles

"Giles lived for school. He's still bitter that there are only 12 grades." Xander
"He probably sat in math class thinking, 'This could be mathier.'" Buffy
"Come on, you don't think he ever got restless as a kid?" Willow
"Are you kidding? His diapers were tweed." Buffy

"Thank you so much for loaning me the Forester book. It's wonderful." Jenny
"Glad you enjoyed it." Giles
"It was so romantic, so evocative." Jenny
"That edition was my father's. I must have read it 20 times." Giles
You know how you dog-ear your favorite pages so you can go back to them?" Jenny
"What?" Giles
"I practically had to fold back every single page, so finally I just started underlining all the pages I really wanted to discuss." Jenny
"Underlined?" Giles
"But then, I spilled coffee all over it. I can't even read it." Jenny
"It's a first edition." Giles
"I'm lying Rupert. The book's fine. I just love to see you squirm." Jenny
"Well I trust I gave good squirm." Giles
"Did anyone ever tell you you're kind of a fuddy-duddy?" Jenny
"Nobody ever seems to tell me anything else." Giles
"Did anyone ever tell you you're kind of a sexy fuddy-duddy?" Jenny
"No, actually, that part usually gets left out. I can't imagine why." Giles

"There are books on computers? Isn't the point of computers to replace books?" Cordelia

"It's delivery day. Everybody knows about it." Angel

"This is what happens when you have school on Saturday." Cordelia

"OK, Giles and orgies in the same sentence. I could have lived without that one." Xander

"I hope you're not taking this personally, Buffy. I actually kind of like you. It's just that I like myself more." Ethan

"This may sting a little, just at first, but don't worry. That'll go away once the searing pain kicks in." Ethan

"Hey, we don't have time for this. Our friends are in trouble. We have to put our heads together and get them out of it, and if you two aren't with me 110%, then get the hell out of my library!" Willow

"Well, I hate to mutilate and run." Ethan

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Police and Guns

Strictly the Caucasian Persuasion

Giles Unconscious

Spoiler Questions

Highlight the space after each question to find the answer. It is strongly recommended that you do not do so if you have not seen episodes through the episode indicated.

This page was last modified on November 6, 2012