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TOUCHED (ep #7.20)

Written by: Rebecca Rand Kirshner
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: Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles (Special guest star)
Eliza Dushku as Faith (Special guest star)
Nathan Fillion as Caleb (Special guest star)
Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells
Iyari Limon as Kennedy
Sarah Hagan as Amanda
Harry Groener as The First Evil (posing as Mayor Wilkins)
DB Woodside as Principal Robin Wood
Co-Starring: Felicia Day as Vi
Dania Ramirez as Caridad
Lisa Ann Cabasa as Injured Girl
Lance E. Nichols as Middle-Aged Man

Plot Summary

A bunch of characters had sex, Faith found a trap, and Buffy found a neat looking ax.

Plot Details

The episode opened with the aftermath of the mutiny from "Empty Places." Kennedy wanted to have more say but decided that the amount of say people get should depend on how long they had been there. Amanda wanted to start a Model United Nations. Eventually, Faith told everyone to relax, but having electicity cut citywide did not help much.

Meanwhile, Buffy went looking for a place to stay. Rather than take over an abandoned home, she found one that was still occupied. Her spacey attitude soon scared the owner out of town.

The group met to discuss strategy. With a lot of struggle, Faith eventually got the group to focus on their varied enemies and identify the weakest link, the bringers. She wanted to kidnap one, which led to much needed sarcasm from Xander and to some whining from Kennedy. Faith did not want to hear this and let everyone know that she was in charge.

A dejected Kennedy was wandering the streets when a bringer sneaked up behind her. It was about to stab her when, unfortunately, Giles lassoed it. Two more bringers arrived, but Amanda, Caridad, and another potential helped Kennedy take them out.

Giles found that the surviving bringer was mute. Fortunately, Dawn knew a Turkish spell that allows people to communicate even if they cannot talk. They were about to implement this, when Spike and Andrew returned. Andrew was quite excited about their trip, but he was even more anxious to use the bathroom. Willow awkwardly tried to tell Spike about the end of the previous episode, suggesting that Buffy left on her own accord. Not even Spike believed her. He started to lecture the other characters until Faith interrupted. He responded by hitting her, and she returned the favor. After a few more exchanges and a bit of damage, Spike walked out.

Willow cast the spell, which allowed the bringer to speak through Andrew. Mostly, it just ranted about how it was not afraid of the characters and how it will enjoy killing them. Giles got sick of this talk and slit its throat. It also mentioned an underground arsenal, which greatly interested Giles.

Meanwhile, Spike used his super-scent tracking ability to find where Buffy had crashed. The homeowner had apparently abandoned the house so completely that Spike could walk in without an invitation. He tried to give her a pep talk, but she was too depressed.

Faith examined a map and told Giles about a likely location for the arsenal. Giles told her that she was doing a good job. The First Evil, posing as Mayor Wilkins, agreed. In addition to praising her leadership, it also warned her about the possibility of Buffy getting back at Faith. Faith knew that she was talking to the First Evil and not Wilkins, but she was still shaken.

Spike continued the pep talk. For a while, Buffy was still too depressed to hear what he had to say. However, he eventually got through to her. She even asked him to stay with her and hold her instead of going out patrolling.

The First Evil finished telling Faith to watch out for Buffy. Faith was badly shaken when Principal Wood arrived. At first, Faith did not want to explain why, but she eventually admitted that the First haunted her. She knew that she had given Buffy good reason to be upset at her and that she still wanted Buffy back. Faith then remembered that she had been celibate for a long time and decided to do something about it.

Willow returned to her room to find Kennedy in her bed and the other potential slayers elsewhere. Kennedy had a good idea of what she wanted to do. Willow was a bit reluctant. However, this simply fits the script of minors seducing reluctant adults from "The Killer in Me." It eventually progressed into something similar to what Faith and Principal Wood were doing.

Anya and Xander shared a carton of ice cream. She was disturbed by all the sex sounds, particularly since she was celibate at the time. She and Xander soon rectified that situation.

The First Evil and Caleb were apparently aware of what was going on and appeared to be a little grossed out. The First Evil did understand the desire to touch someone. However, the kind of touching it desired involved cracking the necks of the innocent.

The next morning, Andrew described what he and Spike found at the mission. He believed that Caleb was trying to keep something away from them. That something could be a weapon at the arsenal. Faith sent Willow, Xander, Dawn, and Anya to spy on Buffy while she led potential slayers to the suspected arsenal.

Spike woke up to find a note beside him. Buffy had gone to the winery. She dared Caleb to kill her and easily dodged his clumsy blows. This angered him. He charged her and accidentally revealed a trap door. She went down and found a very neat looking ax embedded in the rock.

Faith and approximately six potential slayers—including Kennedy, Amanda, and Vi—wandered the sewer until they found a small cache of axes and pole arms. Soon a few bringers arrived, leading to a small battle. After the bringers were defeated, Kennedy discovered a stairway down to a room containing, among other things, a chest. Faith opened it. It contained a lot of C4 explosive and a timer with only a few seconds left.

The Good

As with "Empty Places," one bad scene made the episode much worse than it could have been.

It is good to see Harry Groener again, even if we, and Faith, knew that he was not really playing Mayor Wilkins.

Spike gave a great speech to Buffy.

It looks like several potential slayers, including Kennedy, are about to be vaporized.

The Bad

The sex-a-thon scene was gratuitous and beneath the dignity of the show.

Overall Rank: 107

Action: 7

Giles and a few potentials fought three bringers.

Spike and Faith had a tussle.

Faith, Principal Wood, Kennedy, Willow, Anya, and Xander all participated in "action" of a different sort.

Faith and a handful of potentials fought a few bringers at the armory.

Caleb tried to fight Buffy at the winery.

Comedy: 0

Drama: 6

Buffy spent much of this episode depressed over the mutiny in "Empty Places."

There was a lot of conflict among the mutineers.

Faith worried about her ability to lead the others.

Romance: 7

Realizing that the Romance scores have been quite low this season, Faith and Principal Wood, Kennedy and Willow, and Xander and Anya decided to do something about that.

Meanwhile, Buffy and Spike had a more tender moment.

Character Development: 3

Amanda was in a Model United Nations program.

Kennedy believed that everyone should be equal, with her being more equal than most. She is back to the whiny version of herself that we say in "Bring on the Night" with a good dash of the unconscientious version from "The Killer in Me."

Spike still has his super scent tracking ability.

The First Evil can imitate the scent of dead people (while they were still alive) as well as the voice, appearance, and mannerisms.

Principal Wood has transferred his oedipal slayer obsession from Buffy to Faith.

Importance: 6

It looks like Faith and a few potential slayers are about to be vaporized.

Buffy has found an ax that looks really neat.

Most Valuable Player: Spike

Not much happened in this episode, so it is hard to find appropriate characters to earn awards. Willow gets credit for successfully casting a spell to get the bringer to talk. Buffy eventually found the neat-looking ax. However, Spike gets the MVP for his pep talk that gave Buffy the confidence to get over her self pity and find the ax.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Buffy

Again, this was a tough choice. Spike saw through Willow's version of the mutiny, Dawn discovered the spell that allowed the bringer to talk, and Faith discovered the likely location for the arsenal. Buffy, however, gets the award for finding the neat-looking ax. By doing so, she has ensured that she will win the Sherlock Holmes more than any other character will across all 144 episodes of the show.

Goat of the Week: Faith

Again, not much happened in this episode, so it is hard to find a Goat. However, Faith's plan to capture a bringer led her to an armory that turned out to be an ambush. She gets the Goat for this episode. Caleb gets some consideration for failing to keep Buffy from finding the ax.

Random Commentary

I do not have a problem with sex scenes in general. However, I found the scene in this episode to be gratuitous. It felt like it was inserted just so the network could use sex scenes in promos in order to titillate viewers into watching the episode. The episode works better if I fast-forward through the scene. Fortunately, the scene is unimportant and can be skipped, unlike the mutiny scene that dragged down the otherwise good "Empty Places."

Memorable Dialogue

"All I'm saying is, now that Buffy's not here, we finally have some say in how and when we lose our necks." Kennedy

"You can't just kick me out of my own house." Homeowner
"Why not, it's what all the cool kids are doing nowadays." Buffy

"I don't want to die." Vi
"Don't worry. It's far more likely you'll live long enough to watch most of your friends die first, and then you'll die." Anya

"She [Buffy] has saved your lives again and again. She has died for you, and this is how you thank her?" Spike

"You were their leader, and you still are. This isn't something you gave up. It's something they took." Spike
"And the difference is?" Buffy
"We can take it back." Spike

"I've been alive a bit longer than you and dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldn't imagine and done things I prefer you didn't. Don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood, which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain, so I make a lot of mistakes, a lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years, and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of, you.
"Hey, look at me. I'm not asking you for anything. When I say I love you, it's not because I want you or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you, and I understand, with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy." Spike
"I don't want to be the one." Buffy
"I don't want to be this good looking and athletic. We all have crosses to bear." Spike

"You're everywhere. You're in the hearts of little children. You're in the souls or the rich. You're the fire that makes people kill and hate, the fire that will cure the world of weakness. They're just sinners. You are sin." Caleb

I know why they grab at each other: to feel. I wanna feel. I want to wrap my hands around some innocent neck and feel it crack." The First Evil
"Amen." Caleb

"If someone didn't know you, they might think you were a woman-hating jerk." Buffy

Characters in Peril


Departed Characters Remembered

Police and Guns

Buffy and the Law

Strictly the Caucasian Persuasion

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 13, 2013