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NEVER LEAVE ME (ep #7.09)

(a.k.a. The Manchurian Vampire)

Written by: Drew Goddard
Directed by: David Solomon
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 Morphy (posing as Jonathan)
Adam Busch as Morphy (posing as Warren)
Tom Lenk as Andrew
Cynthia LaMontagne as Lydia
Oliver Muirhead as Phillip
Kris Iyer as Nigel
Harris Yulin as Quentin Travers
DB Woodside as Principal Robin Wood
Co-Starring: Donald Bishop as Butcher
Camden Toy as Ubervamp
Bobby Brewer as Hoffman
Roberto Santos as Grimes

Plot Summary

Xander and Anya interrogated Andrew as Buffy and Spike exchanged insights before Spike got abducted and the Watchers council blew up.

Plot Details

The episode opened with Dawn, Willow, and Anya filling us in on the previous episode while Xander repaired the window. Willow trusted Buffy's judgment, but Dawn was not so sure, and Anya thought that Spike should be treated like she was in "Selfless."

A man in a long black coat strode the town. Andrew just wanted to walk around, but Morphy, in Warren's form, had other plans. Meanwhile, Buffy was busy tying Spike to a chair.

At Sunnydale High, Principal Wood tried to coerce students into covering up their graffiti though threats of suspension and notations on their permanent records. This did not work, so he just threatened to call the police. Dawn interrupted to say that Buffy was sick. Dawn seemed to enjoy describing Buffy's "illness."

Buffy was really trying find Giles. She was so desperate that she even called Quentin Travers, who claimed not to be concerned. However, Travers really believed that they needed to find Giles as soon as possible.

Spike was having difficulty maintaining control, perhaps due to lack of blood. Willow suggested killing Anya, but Buffy thought that animal blood would be better. Willow was glad to go as an errand meant a break from Xander's tool lectures.

Meanwhile, Morphy was trying to get Andrew to kill a piglet in the same place where Andrew killed Jonathan. Unfortunately for Morphy (but fortunately for the pig), Andrew was not a very good pig killer. In desperation, Andrew went to the butcher shop for blood and ran into someone who wanted to zap him with visual effect rays at the end of the sixth season.

Andrew fled with Willow in close pursuit. Each tried to intimidate the other, with Willow having more success. She dragged Andrew, and the blood, back to the Summers house where Andrew soon found himself tied to a chair. Xander and Anya had a lot of fun playing good cop / bad cop with Andrew while Buffy fed the blood to Spike.

After a bit, Xander went back to Andrew and told him about how dangerous Anya was. For example, Anya made Xander feel very guilty about jilting her at the altar. Eventually, Anya came in and started to beat on Andrew.

Meanwhile, Spike was telling Buffy about what it was like to have a soul. When Buffy heard the commotion, she went to check it out, leaving Morphy to haunt Spike. Morphy started to hum the tune for "Sleeper" ("Early One Morning"). Buffy overheard a bit of this and got suspicious. When she stepped away, Spike became enraged and hit her. He then reached through the wall, pulled Andrew through it, and started to eat him.

Buffy threw Spike off. Xander and Anya tied Andrew up again and went down to Buffy, Dawn, and Willow, none of whom were checking on Spike. Buffy noted that Spike was singing a song, which led Anya to suspect a repeat of "Once More, with Feeling." Xander realized that this was a Manchurian Candidate situation.

That evening, Principal Wood left his office and got the sudden urge to go to the basement. While there, he noticed Jonathan's body and immediately called the police. Actually, he did not do that because that would have been logical. A bit later, he buried Jonathan near some oil wells.

Spike was now chained in Buffy's basement. Buffy went down to wash Andrew's blood off his mouth. He did not remember who Andrew was, despite meeting him in "Smashed," but he did seem to recognize "Tucker's brother" even though there is no evidence that Spike ever met Tucker. Buffy tried to explain what Xander figured out, but Spike insisted that she kill him. Each tried to give insight into the other's character while denying the other's insight.

This went on until mysterious guys in robes burst in and started to wreak the house. Most of the characters were knocked out, but Dawn and, to a lesser extent, Buffy fought well and managed to stay conscious. The guys went after Andrew, but Buffy rescued him. Another got the jump on Dawn, but Xander woke up and saved her.

Buffy killed two guys in robes as Xander caught up to her. He realized that some were unaccounted for. They went to check on Spike and found him missing, as he was the target all along. Afterward, Buffy checked one of the bodies and recognized it as a harbinger, a servant of the First Evil (a.k.a. Morphy, c.f., "Amends").

We then see some stock footage of a building in London as Quentin Travers received some fairly alarming reports of attacks. The other watchers panicked, but Travers appeared calm and confident. He got pretentious and insisted that they could strike back. Then, we see stock footage of a different building blowing up.

Spike found himself tied to a wheel as harbingers carved various symbols on his chest. He was then suspended over the Seal of Danzalthar as his blood dripped down. This caused the seal to open with a vampire-like creature emerging.

The Good

Xander and Anya's interrogation was fun.

The Bad

"Sleeper" ended with an ax that was or was not about to remove Giles's head from the rest of the body. That means that this episode had to start with his head either coming off or not coming off. If it were intended for his fate to be ambiguous, then that scene should never have been included at the end of "Sleeper."

After an episode with no "From beneath you...," we hear those three words again.

Overall Rank: 84

Action: 6

Harbingers raided the Summers house and took Spike.

Comedy: 4

Willow wanted to feed Anya to Spike.

Anya and Xander had a lot of fun interrogating Andrew.

Drama: 6

To various degrees, the characters were worried about Spike.

Spike and Buffy traded insights into each other.

Romance: 1

Xander feels a bit guilty about jilting Anya.

Character Development: 6

Anya is a bit bitter about Buffy attacking her during "Selfless." She loves to play bad cop.

Dawn is not happy about living with Spike.

The First Evil is what was called "Morphy." It cannot take corporeal form, so it has to get humans (or vampries or harbingers) to do its dirty work. It thinks that Spike looks better with his shirt off than Andrew does with his shirt off.

Andrew likes wearing a black coat, but he does not like killing. This is probably good, as he was quite bad at killing a little pig. He does not realize that butcher shops do not sell toothpaste.

Willow was not opposed to feeding Anya to Spike.

Buffy preferred not to feed Anya to Spike.

Principal Wood does not like suspending students or putting things on their permanent records. He also believes that calling the police when the school is vandalized but not when he finds a body in the basement.

Xander feels guilty about jilting Anya.

Importance: 8

We, and Buffy, now know that Morphy is the First Evil and the mysterious guys in robes are its harbingers.

Andrew is now in the custody of the other characters.

The First has engaged in a major attack against the Watchers Council.

The First Evil's harbingers have abducted Spike and used him to raise a "real vampire."

Most Valuable Player: The First Evil

Buffy and Xander get a bit of credit for saving Andrew and Dawn respectively. However, the First Evil gets the MVP for finally getting enough blood on the Seal of Danzalthar to free the "real vampire" and for its attack on the Watchers Council.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Buffy

Xander was the one who figured out that there was a Manchurian Candidate (1962) situation going on (with a song rather than the queen of diamonds). Willow gets some credit for running into Andrew. However, Buffy gets the award for figuring out that Morphy was the First Evil.

Goat of the Week: Quentin Travers

Quentin Travers gets the Goat for his pathetic security at the Watchers Council headquarters despite having every reason to believe that an attack was imminent. Andrew got some consideration for his failure at pig slaughtering and for getting captured even though Willow had red hair instead of black.

Memorable Dialogue

"Shouldn't we stab him through the chest? Isn't that what we do when these things happen." Anya

"Listen, this whole permanent record thing is such a myth anyway. Colleges never ask for anything past your SAT scores, and it's not like employers are gonna be calling up to check to see how many days you missed back in high school. So, listen, I could suspend you, but that would mean calling your parents, alerting your teachers, filling out paperwork, and, quite possibly, having to talk to the school board, all of which sounds positively exhausting to me. No, I think it would be much easier if I just called the police; let them deal with it." Principal Wood

"I think we need to get him some blood." Buffy
"Do you want me to kill Anya?" Willow

"I have come to redefine the words 'pain' and 'suffering' since I fell in love with you." Spike

"There was this one guy. He hurt her real bad, so she paid him back. She killed him, but she did it real slow. See, first, she stopped his heart, and then she replaced it with darkness, and then she made him live his life like that, but he still had to go do his job, see his friends, wake up in the morning, and go to bed at night, but he had to do it all empty, without anything to look forward to, ever." Xander

"Maybe it's another musical, a much crappier musical." Anya

"Do you know how much blood you can drink from a girl before she'll die? I do. You see, the trick is to drink just enough to know how to damage them just enough so that they'll still cry when you... 'Cause it's not worth it if they don't cry." Spike

"You like men who hurt you." Spike
"No." Buffy
"You need the pain we cause you. You need the hate. You need it to do your job, to be the slayer." Spike

"We aren't being haunted. This isn't some demon. It's all the same thing. Spike's ghosts, the people that you guys saw, 'From beneath us,' It's all the same thing. I know what we're up against, the First." Buffy

"Ladies and gentlemen, our fears have been confirmed. The First Evil has declared all-out war on this institution. Their first volleys proved most effective. I, for one, think it's time we struck back. Get me confirmations on all remaining operatives. Visuals and tacticals, highest alert, get them here as soon as possible. Begin preparations for mobilization. Once we're accounted for, I want to be ready to move." Quentin Travers
"Sir?" Nigel
"We'll be paying a visit to the Hellmouth. My friends, these are the times that define us. Proverbs 24:6, 'For by wise counsel, you shall make your war.'" [BOOM!] Quentin Travers

"I'm glad it worked out this way. I was going to bleed Andrew, but you look a lot better with your shirt off." First Evil

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Departed Characters Remembered

Buffy and the Law

Strictly the Caucasian Persuasion

Unusual Pairings

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 January 10, 2013