|Written by:||Douglas Petrie|
|Directed by:||Bill Norton|
|Starring:||Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers|
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
|Guest Starring:||Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson|
Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells
Jeff Kober as Rack
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles (Special Guest Star)
|Co-Starring:||James C. Leary as Clem|
Jeff McCredie as Officer
Damian Mooney as Patrol Cop
Michael Younger as Truck Driver
Steven W. Bailey as Cave Demon
Willow set her sights on Jonathan and Andrew as her next victims while the other characters tried to stop her.
The episode started where "Villains" left off. Buffy, Anya, and Xander were sprinting in pursuit of Willow. According to Anya, Willow was going to fly to Jonathan and Andrew, which meant that Anya had time to teleport and warn them. Buffy and Xander made their way to his car, but Willow had already destroyed it. Buffy sprinted off toward the jail, leaving Xander behind.
In the jail cell, Andrew was desperately trying to find a hidden implant that Warren must have placed on him as part of a test. Jonathan was rapidly losing patience with him until Anya arrived and filled them in on the events from the end of "Seeing Red" through the end of "Villains." She tried to warn the guard of Willow's coming, but he did not believe her, even after she teleported out of the cell in front of the guard's eyes.
Willow arrived and started to dismantle the wall of the jail. The fact that it was on the second floor did not stop her. Fortunately, this distracted enough police officers that Buffy was able to get in sneak Jonathan and Andrew out.
Meanwhile, Xander commandeered a police cruiser. Buffy, Jonathan, and Andrew quickly climbed in. Willow was not happy about this and magically commandeered a semi truck to ram the car. Fortunately, she ran out of energy before she was able to harm anyone.
In Spike's crypt, Clem tried to entertain Dawn with a taste test. He realized that he was failing miserably and desperately tried to find ways to entertain her. She said that there was something that he could do. At first, he was eager to please her until he got worried that Dawn was going to get him in trouble with the one person that demons like Clem should want to be on the good side of: Dawn's sister.
In Africa, Spike was busy performing the test necessary to get what he wants. The first part involved fighting what looked like a body builder with flaming fists. After a long struggle, in which Spike was severely burned in several places, Spike knocked him on the ground, kicked him in a very painful part of the anatomy, and broke his neck. The cave demon declared that Spike passed the first stage of the test.
Anya, Buffy, Xander, Jonathan, and Andrew all congregated at the Magic Box. Anya found an anti-magic book that Willow did not know about, but it turned out to be written in Sumerian or, as Jonathan hypothesized, Babylonian.
Clem apparently gave in to Dawn and reluctantly accompanied Dawn on a search for Rack's lair. Unfortunately for Rack, Willow arrived first. By the time Dawn arrived, Willow had already drained him and left his body floating in the room. Willow had a bit of fun taunting Dawn until Buffy interrupted.
In the Magic Box, tensions were growing. Andrew wanted Jonathan to use magic against Anya and Xander or to raise a demon to attack them. Jonathan vetoed both ideas. Fortunately, Andrew was still in a submissive mood and listened to Jonathan. Meanwhile, Xander and Anya were trying to decipher the protection spell despite lingering tensions between the two of them since "Hells Bells."
In Rack's lair, Buffy tried to reason with Willow even though it was very clear that reason had no part of anything that was going on. Willow suggested that the only good thing in her life was Tara and that Buffy was a hypocrite for suggesting that the world was worth living in. During her speech, Willow transported the two of them and Dawn to the Magic Box.
Willow was very excited to see her prey in the Magic Box and shot some visual effects at them. She was mildly frustrated when the visual effects failed to achieve the desired result. Apparently, Anya was busy chanting the protection spell in a corner. Willow decided to make herself strong enough to kill Jonathan and Andrew physically, but Buffy got in the way.
As Buffy and Willow were knocking each other across the room, Xander gathered Dawn, Jonathan, and Andrew together to flee. He tried to get Anya to go along as well, but Anya knew that she was well on her way to earning the MVP for this episode and did not want to blow her chances by either abandoning Buffy or letting Buffy steal the MVP from her. After Xander, Dawn, Jonathan, and Andrew left (with Jonathan and Andrew carrying swords), Willow and Buffy exchanged some words before stepping aside to give their stunt doubles some work.
Eventually, Jonathan needed to stop and catch his breath. Andrew wanted to leave and held a sword to Xander's throat. Dawn and Jonathan told him to leave Xander alone. Jonathan was the more convincing of the two because held a sword to Andrew's throat as well. After a bit of a standoff, Andrew backed down.
In the Magic Box, Willow eventually noticed that Anya was chanting the protection spell. Buffy tried to protect Anya but failed miserably. Willow grabbed Anya by the throat and threw her across the room. Willow then used magic visual effects to knock Buffy around as well. Willow was certain that nobody could stop her, but she was thrown across the room by someone who disagreed, Giles.
Alyson Hannigan spent much of this episode chewing the scenery, but she did so in the good sense as well as in the bad sense. She commanded our attention with an over-the-top performance, but we still saw glimpses of the real Willow.
This episode is rather fun if one can overlook the parts that lack credibility.
It is good to see Giles again, and he had a great entrance.
Tara's death might explain Willow's desire for revenge against Warren in "Villains," but it does not explain Willow's actions in this episode. Alyson Hannigan did a good job in selling it.
Willow tore apart the police station.
Later, she used a semi truck to ram the police cruiser that Xander, Buffy, Jonathan, and Andrew were in.
Willow fought Buffy in the Magic Box.
Clem was given the comic role in this episode. He did it well, but had too little screen time to boost this score very much.
Anya and Andrew also contributed a little comedy as well.
Xander blamed himself for all that was going wrong.
Clem took his role as Dawn's protector very seriously. In part, he did so to stay on Buffy's nice list and avoid being slain, but he genuinely seemed to care about Dawn's welfare. He was not strong enough to resist Dawn's pressure to help her find Rack in order to help Willow.
Jonathan is beginning to take responsibility for his actions. He offered to help the other characters and opposed Andrew's attempts to act against the others.
Andrew is not yet ready to take responsibility for his actions. Rather than help those who were saving his life, he thought mostly about how to escape, even if it meant harming those who were helping him. He was deferential to Jonathan, however, which kept him in check.
Xander blames himself for much of what went wrong in the last few episodes.
Willow was almost nothing like the Willow we have seen in the 120 episodes before this.
Willow is still on a rampage.
Giles is back in Sunnydale and appears to be more powerful than ever.
Giles may have had the spectacular entrance, but he arrived far too late to get an award as Anya proved her heroism when it counted. In part, she got the award for little things like being able to teleport in time to warn Jonathan and Andrew. Most importantly, she held off Willow long enough to keep her from killing Jonathan and Andrew. She stuck around to help Buffy at great risk to herself even after Xander invited her to escape with him, Dawn, Jonathan, and Andrew. She is the obvious MVP.
Most of the other characters get some credit as well. Xander managed to procure a police car to enable the escape from the jail. Buffy broke Jonathan and Andrew out of jail and later held off Willow while Xander and Dawn took Jonathan and Andrew away. Spike successfully completed stage one of his test. Finally, Jonathan successfully stopped Andrew from threatening Xander.
Both Xander and Anya worked on deciphering the spell. Anya was the clear MVP, so Xander gets this award.
Willow failed to kill Andrew and Jonathan, but I doubt that she has stopped trying yet. Furthermore, it is difficult to give the Goat to someone who largely ran the show in this episode. Xander believed that he deserved the Goat, but he made a positive contribution, and it is hard to see how he could have averted the things that went wrong. Therefore, the Goat goes to Rack for failing to recognize that a powerful witch in town was a threat to him.
Buffy talked about keeping Willow from crossing a line, but I am not sure what that line is. In the Magic Box, Willow shot magical visual effects at Jonathan and Andrew, presumably trying to kill them. She failed not from any moral reluctance to kill but from Anya's heroism. The consequences of the act would have been worse if Anya were not there, but I do not think that the intention was any worse.
Many wonder why the police just stood there and let Willow take apart the police station. The most obvious explanation is that she was using magic to keep them at bay. In hindsight, the director probably should have had Alyson Hannigan hold out a hand to make this clear. Another explanation is that to someone who does not know about magic, all Willow did was stare at a crumbling wall. At worst, this is just loitering, which is hardly something to get worked up about. The final explanation is the all-purpose one that Principal Snyder gave in "Becoming, Pt. 2," the Sunnydale police are deeply stupid.
"What exactly is coming?" Guard
"One of the many things in this world you are not prepared to deal with." Anya
"Still can't believe that was Willow. I mean, I've known her almost as long as you guys. Willow was, you know... She packed her own lunches and wore floods and was always just Willow. [Smash] Jeez it!" Jonathan
"What was that?" Andrew
"Just Willow." Xander
"You're not gonna go and get yourself in trouble now, are you, or me, 'cause your sister's the slayer. I'm a demon. That's real good incentive to get along with her." Clem
"I'm not protecting you, Jonathan. None of us are. We're doing this for Willow. The only reason it happens to be your lucky day is because Willow kills you, she crosses a line, I lose a friend, and I hate losing." Buffy
"Play nice, fellas, or you'll break our concentration, ..." Xander
"... which means no protection spell, ..." Anya
"... and Willow will make you two boneless chickens skinless too." Xander
"Then what? Think your little witch buddy's gonna stop with us? You saw her. She's a truck-driving magic mama, and we've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers, and not one of you bunch has the midichlorians to stop her." Andrew
"You've never had any tiny bit of sex, have you?" Xander
"The annoying virgin has a point." Anya
"She tried to use you for a hood ornament, Xander. She doesn't care of you live or die." Anya
"Guess you two finally have something in common." Xander
"I care if you live or die, Xander. I'm just not sure which one I want." Anya
"I saw the gun before Warren raised it. I saw it, and I couldn't move. He shot two of my friends before I could even... You want me to know how useless I am, that it's my fault? Thanks, already got the memo." Xander
"Let me tell you something about Willow. She's a loser, and she always has been. People picked on Willow in junior high school, high school, up until college, with her stupid, mousy ways, and now, Willow's a junkie." Willow
"I can help." Buffy
"The only thing Willow was ever good for, the only think I had going for me, were the moments, just moments, when Tara would look at me, and I was wonderful. And that will never happen again." Willow
"You're trying to sell me on the world, the one where you lie to your friends when you're not trying to kill them, and you screw a vampire just to feel, and insane asylums are the comfy alternative? This world? Buffy, it's me. I know you were happier when you were in the ground. The only time you were ever at peace in your whole life was when you were dead, until Willow brought you back, you know, with magic." Willow
"Oh Buffy, you really need to have every square inch of your ass kicked." Willow
"I get it now. The slayer thing really isn't about the violence. It's about the power, and there's no one in the world who was the power to stop me now." Willow
"I'd like to test that theory." Giles
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.