Witch

(October 1, 1996)

Written by: Dana Reston

Directed by: Stephen Cragg

Teaser

FADE IN:

EXT. SUNNYDALE HIGH - DAY - ESTABLISHING

GILES (V.O)
This is madness.

INT. THE LIBRARY - DAY

GILES, deeply concerned, is staring at someone we can't see.

WIDEN TO REVEAL BUFFY, in cute CHEERLEADING OUTFIT

BUFFY
You don't like the color.

GILES
I what? I don't -- Buffy, do you
ignore everything I say? As a
rule?

BUFFY
No, I believe that's your trick. I
told you I'm going out for the
cheerleading squad.

GILES
You have a sacred birthright,
Buffy. You have been chosen to
destroy Vampires, not wave pom-poms
at people. As the Watcher, I
forbid it.

BUFFY
And you'll be stopping me how?

GILES
Dyeh, uh, well -- by appealling to
your common sense, if such a
creature exists.

BUFFY
I'll still have time to fight the
forces of evil, okay? But I want
to have a life. I want to do
something normal. Something safe.

CUT TO:

INT. ATTIC - DAY

The windows have been boarded and taped over -- tiny pinpricks of sunlight stream in to this otherwise dark place. Whatever this place is, it's not safe.

A figure moves about before us in a black, hooded robe. It pauses before a bubbling cauldron, then crosses to a shelf.

On the shelf is a doll in a cheerleading outfit. Her hands have been wrapped with bits of cloth.

The figure reaches out and takes the doll. We HOLD on the empty shelf.

CUT TO:

INT. THE GYM - DAY

CHEERLEADING TRYOUTS reads a sign on the wall. Big banner showing the FIGHTING SUNNYDALE RAZORBACKS hangs next to it.

PRETTY GIRLS, in short skirts, twirl and warm up.

Buffy enters with WILLOW and XANDER.

WILLOW
Giles didn't approve, huh?

BUFFY
He totally lost his water. We
haven't even seen a vampire in a
week. I'd say he should get a
girlfriend if he wasn't so old.

WILLOW
Well, we're behind you.

XANDER
People scoff at things like school
spirit -- but when you see these
young women giving their all like
this...

AMBER, an attractive, agile girl, her feet on two chairs, slides down into an extra low split.

XANDER
(mesmerized)
...Oooh, stretchy. Where was I?

WILLOW
You were pretending that seeing
scantily-clad girls in revealing
postures was a spiritual
experience.

XANDER
What do you mean, pretending?

Xander pulls out an I.D. bracelet.

XANDER
Oh, hey. Here's a little good luck
thing for the tryouts...

BUFFY
(charmed)
What is this?

WILLOW
(less charmed)
What is that?

Buffy takes the bracelet, puts it on.

BUFFY
This is so sweet!
(reads on bracelet:)
"Yours always..."

XANDER
That was on there when I got it.
Really. They all said that.

CORDELIA, in cheerleader outfit, moves up, watches Amber stand on one leg and hold the other straight up in the air.

CORDELIA
Just look at Amber. Who does she
think she is, a Laker Girl?

WILLOW
I heard she turned them down.

A SENIOR CHEERLEADER (Cordelia two years hence) moves to the judge's table with two other SENIOR CHEERLEADERS.

SENIOR CHEERLEADER
Let's begin with...
(reads from list)
Amber Grove. If you're not
auditioning move off the floor.

Xander, Willow, Buffy, Cordelia move back. Willow spots AMY MADISON (in cheerleader outfit), nice girl, a little tightly wound today.

WILLOW
Hi Amy.

AMY
Hi.

WILLOW
I didn't know you wanted to be a
cheerleader. You lost a lot of
weight.

AMY
Had to.

WILLOW
Do you know Buffy?

AMY
Hi.
(to Buffy)
Oh how I hate this, let me count
the ways.

Buffy smiles, warming to Amy's honesty.

They watch Amber's routine -- she's really good.

AMY
She trained with Benson -- he's the
best coach money can buy.

BUFFY
They have cheerleading coaches?

AMY
Oh yeah. You don't have...? I train
with my mom, three hours in the
morning, three at night.

BUFFY
That kind of quality time with my
mom would probably lead to some
quality matricide.

AMY
(smiles)
I know it's kinda hokey... but
she's really great.

Cordelia, standing nearby, feigns boredom with Amber's performance, turns her back.

Everyone else watches Amber as SMOKE BEGINS TO EMANATE from her pom-poms.

BUFFY
What the ... ?

WILLOW
That girl's on fire.

CORDELIA
(back still turned)
Enough with the hyperbole.

Amber stops, drops the pom-poms. The smoke is coming from her - and her hands and forearms suddenly burst into FLAMES! Amber SCREAMS! (as do other girls.) Buffy vaults to the large RAZORBACKS BANNER, rips it down and tackles Amber, wrapped her tightly in it and smothering the flames.

BUFFY
(to Amber)
It's okay, you're gonna be okay...

Off Buffy,

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER
Act One

INT. THE LIBRARY - DAY

The foursome are gathered.

BUFFY
I've been slaying Vampires for more
than a year now. I've seen some
pretty cringeworthy stuff, but
nobody's hands ever got toasted.

GILES
I imagine not.

BUFFY
So this is not a vampire problem.

GILES
No.

BUFFY
But it is funky, right? Not of
the norm?

GILES
Quite. Spontaneous human
combustion is rare, and
scientifically unexplainable. But
there've been cases reported for
hundreds of years. Usually all
that's left is a pile of ashes.

WILLOW
That's all that would have been
left of Amber if it hadn't been for
Buffy.

XANDER
So we have no idea what caused
this? That's a comfort.

GILES
Well, that is the thrill of living
on a hellmouth -- one has a
veritable cornucopia of fiends,
devils and ghouls to engage --
(off their looks)
Pardon me for finding the glass
half full.

BUFFY
Any common denominator in cases of
spontaneous combustion?

GILES
Rage. In most cases the person who
combusted was terribly angry or
upset.

XANDER
So maybe Amber's got this power.
To make herself be on fire. Like
the Human Torch, only it hurts.

BUFFY
So I should get the skinny on
Amber. See if she's had any
colorful episodes before.

WILLOW
That means hacking illegally into
the school's computer system -- at
last something I can do.

She moves to a computer.

XANDER
I'll ask around about her.

BUFFY
Guys, you don't have to get
involved.

XANDER
What do you mean? We're a team!
Aren't we a team?

WILLOW
Yeah, you're the Slayer and we're
like the slayerettes.

BUFFY
I don't want you putting yourselves
in danger.

XANDER
I laugh in the face of danger.
Then I hide till it goes away.

BUFFY
Okay, well, I'm psyched for the
help.
(to Giles)
And what if we find out Amber
didn't cause this herself?

GILES
Then we will have to determine who
or what did. And deal with it
accordingly.

XANDER
(off Buffy's worried
look)
Hey, we've fought vampires!
Anything else'll be a walk in the
park.

BUFFY
I hope so...

CUT TO:

INT. BUFFY'S KITCHEN - AFTERNOON

There are crates strewn about. Joyce is opening them with a crowbar (and some difficulty).

Buffy enters, throws her books on the kitchen table.

BUFFY
Hey, Mom.

JOYCE
Hi. How was school?

BUFFY
A reverent joy. What's all this?

JOYCE
It's for the tribal art display.

Buffy picks up a statue, looks at it.

BUFFY
Oh. Cool.

She sits down on the table, grabbing a donut. Watches Joyce a minute -- Joyce hasn't looked back at her -- before offering:

BUFFY
We had tryouts today.

JOYCE
Great! How'd it go?

BUFFY
Well, I didn't get to try out yet.
There was an accident. Pretty fierce
competition, though.

JOYCE
I know you'll do fine. Keep on
plugging. Just have to get back on
the horse.

Joyce tries to pry open the crate on the table next to Buffy. It won't budge.

BUFFY
Mom?

JOYCE
(finally looking around)
Yeah?

BUFFY
What was I trying out for?

JOYCE
(stops, stumped)
Um... some activity? I have no
idea, I'm sorry.

BUFFY
That's okay. Your platitudes are
good for all occasions.

JOYCE
I'm distracted. I've got a lot of
inventory to go through here. This
is my gallery's first major show.

She gives up, turns to another crate.

JOYCE
It might not physically kill you to
give me a hand...

Buffy casually flips the lid off the unopenable crate with one hand.

BUFFY
It was cheerleading tryouts.

JOYCE
Oh! Good. I'm glad you're taking
that up again. Keep you out of
trouble.

BUFFY
I'm not in trouble, mom.

JOYCE
No, not yet. I mean -- you stopped
cheerleading right before the
trouble. So it's good you're going
back --

She pulls a statue of a man halfway out of a crate, stops.

JOYCE
Oh, dear.

She puts it back.

BUFFY
What is it?

JOYCE
Fertility statue. You don't need
to see it.

Buffy heads for the fridge. Looking in:

BUFFY
You know, this girl Amy trains with
her mom like three hours a day.
(closes the fridge)
Sounds like her mom's really into
it.

JOYCE
(Absently)
Sounds like her mom doesn't have a
whole lot to do.

She exits, carrying a couple of pieces. Buffy watches her a moment, then looks down into the crate with the fertility statue. Her eyes go wide.

BUFFY
Jeepers.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUNNYDALE HIGH - DAY - ESTABLISHING

SENIOR CHEERLEADER (O.S.)
Despite the terrible thing that
happened yesterday...

INT. THE GYM - DAY

Cheerleader tryouts. Buffy, Amy, Cordelia (wearing pink headband) and ten or twelve others.

SENIOR CHEERLEADER
...we still have to pick new
cheerleaders. If you make the team,
you'll find your name posted in the
Quad after lunch. Let's begin with
group performance -- Cordelia,
Buffy, Amy, Morgan, Janice and
Lishanne.

LISHANNE is an attractive African American. The five girls walk to the center of the gym. Amy glares at her hands.

AMY
Why do my hands have to sweat when
I get nervous?

BUFFY
Don't worry, you'll do great.

MUSIC UP. The girls perform a group cheer (to be choreographed.)

It includes synchronized leaps, twirls and basketball cheer, ala:

LISHANNE
We're Sunnydale, Sunnydale

GROUP CHEER
We Never Fail, Never Fail

LISHANNE
Jump and Shoot, Swish and Score

GROUP CHEER
The Other Team Is Such a Bore
YEAHHH!

Morgan is okay. Lishanne is great. Cordelia is surprisingly good, as is Buffy, still a little rusty but impressive.

Amy starts out well but tries too hard -- misses a couple of synchronized moves -- and, in the big finish (each girl doing a cartwheel and sliding to their knees one at a time) AMY'S HANDS slip on the floor, and she careens into:

CORDELIA
(to judges)
You saw that, right? That wasn't
me.

CUT TO:

INT. GYM FOYER - MOMENTS LATER

Amy, in cheerleader outfit, depressed, stands before a big trophy display case (includes cheerleader trophies and photos).

Buffy, dressed for school, exits locker room, moves up. Looks at CHEERLEADER PHOTO. Under the photo, it reads: 1977 -- TRI-COUNTY BEST.

AMY
That's my mom.

BUFFY
No...
(reads name)
Catherine Madison. Get down with
your bad self.

AMY
Her nickname was Catherine The
Great: she took that team and made
them tri-county champions, no one's
ever done that before or since. She
and my dad were homecoming King and
Queen, got married right after
graduation.

BUFFY
That's kinda romantic.

AMY
Well... he was a big loser,
couldn't make any money, took off
with Miss Trailer Trash when I was
twelve.

BUFFY
Okay, that part's less romantic.
My folks split up, too.

AMY
Drag, huh. He left my mom with
nothing. She put herself through
cosmetology school, bought me
everything I ever wanted and never
gained a single pound...

BUFFY
She sounds great, Amy, but that
doesn't mean you have to, you know,
lock step as far as the
cheerleading thing --

Amy turns to Buffy, eyes filling.

AMY
It's just, she was the best, and I
can't get my body to move like
hers. I choked in there so bad.

Amy looks very sad and forlorn as Willow enters. She tries to put on a brave face, heads for the GIRLS' LOCKER ROOM.

AMY
...I gotta get changed...

WILLOW
(to Amy's departing back)
Hi Amy...
(to Buffy)
She okay?

BUFFY
She's wiggin' about her mother...
(re: photo)
...the big cheer queen back when.

WILLOW
Yeah. Her mom's kinda...

BUFFY
Nazi-like?

WILLOW
Heil. If she gains an ounce she
padlocks the fridge and won't eat
anything but broth.

BUFFY
So Mommie Dearest is really...
Mommie Dearest.

WILLOW
There's a bitter streak -- but
Amy's nice. We used to hang in
Junior High. When her mom'd go on a
broth kick Amy'd come to my house
and we'd just stuff ourselves with
brownies.

BUFFY
Any word on Amber?

WILLOW
(pulls paper from
bookbag)
Nothing thrilling. Average student
-- got detention once for
smoking -- regular smoking, with a
cigarette. Not being smoky. All
pretty normal.

BUFFY
We'll just have to see what happens
next. Maybe nothing will.

They head out.

CUT TO:

INT. GIRLS' LOCKER ROOM - DAY

MOVING CREEPY-CAM through the dimly lit room. Past the cold floors, the metal lockers...

Amy, alone, changes into her school clothes. Her movements are slow and tired. She rubs an aching shoulder -- hears a NOISE, whips her head around. HER POV - The empty locker room. Spooky. A lone shower DRIPS.

She instinctively does up a couple of buttons on her blouse, as if to protect herself, turning slowly around in a circle -- and suddenly

CORDELIA IS STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO HER

Amy jumps, frightened. Cordelia is perfectly dressed and coiffed. She holds the pink headband she wore during auditions. She speaks very quietly and in a chillingly kind voice, gesturing very close to Amy's face with the headband.

CORDELIA
I have a dream. It's me on the
Cheerleading Squad, adored by every
Varsity male as far as the eye can
see. We have to achieve our dreams,
Amy, otherwise we wither and die.

AMY
Look, I'm sorry about --

CORDELIA
Shhh. If your supreme klutziness
out there today takes me out of the
running you are going to be so very
beyond sorry. Have a nice day.

Cordelia hurls the headband into her own locker and SLAMS IT! She walks out -- her locker swinging back open. Amy takes a breath, watching Cordelia's departing back.

CUT TO:

EXT. QUAD DAY

Kids mill about after lunch. Xander and Willow walk through them.

WILLOW
I told Buffy about Amber.

XANDER
Cool. Was she wearing it?
(off her look)
The bracelet. She was wearing it,
right? That's pretty much like
we're going out.

WILLOW
Except without the hugging or
kissing or her knowing about it.

XANDER
So now I'm a figure of fun. I
should just ask, right?

WILLOW
Won't know till you ask.

XANDER
See, this is why you're cool.
You're like a guy. You're my guy
friend that knows about girl stuff.

WILLOW
Oh great. I'm a guy.

He sees the Senior Cheerleader moving towards the bulletin board, list in hand. Girls begin to gather.

XANDER
Hey, they're posting the list!

He bolts for:

EXT. QUAD - BULLETIN BOARD - DAY

A sizable crowd has gathered. The Senior Cheerleader posts the list and goes. Girls stand on tiptoe, push and poke, trying to see. Buffy and Amy are on the periphery as Xander and Willow move up. A GIRL IN TEARS breaks out of the crowd, runs off. Lishanne, reading the list, jumps up and down with some friends.

LISHANNE
Yess!

AMY
I can't take this...

Buffy tries to wedge into the crowd but TWO CONTENDERS step right in front of her.

XANDER
Spot me, I'm goin' in.

Xander takes a little dive into the throng, works his way to the front where he finds himself nose to nose with Cordelia at the list. He lets her check it out first.

XANDER
Women and children first.

ANGLE - EDGE OF THRONG

Cordelia emerges, triumphant.

CORDELIA
(to Amy)
You're lucky.

AMY
I made it?

CORDELIA
I made it.

Cordelia moves off; Xander, rubbing his arm, emerges from the throng.

XANDER
One of those girls hit me really
hard -- we have to start testing
for steroids --
(to Buffy and Amy)
-- okay, not only did you make it,
but you, Miss Summers, are the
number one alternate and Amy's the
number three!

Amy's face falls, she turns and walks off.

XANDER
Any what better way to celebrate
than with a romantic drive-through
for two at --

WILLOW
Xander, alternates are the ones who
didn't make the team. They only
fill in if something happens to the
ones who did.

BUFFY
(moving after Amy)
Excuse me.

XANDER
For I am Xander, King of the
Cretins, and all lesser cretins
must bow before me.

ANGLE - AMY, TRYING TO CONTROL HER FEELINGS

As Buffy moves up.

BUFFY
At least it's over. And you know
what I think we should do about it?
Brownie pig-out, my house, now.

AMY
How many more hours a day can I
practice? How much more can I do?
This would never have happened to
my mom. Never.

Amy takes off. Buffy watches her go.

EXT. AMY'S HOUSE - DAY

A Sunnydale two story, a little darker and foreboding than the others on the street. WE PUSH in on the house, moving up towards the attic window.

INT. AMY'S ATTIC - DAY

Creepy, dark and strange. Walls adorned with witch and warlock paraphernalia. Burning black candles.

The floor is dominated by a large hand-painted pentagram on top of which sits the classic black iron cauldron, hideous bubbling brew cooking inside.

A HAND ENTERS FRAME drops a serpent's head into the brew. We don't see the robed WITCH'S face but we (dimly) HEAR HER CHANTING.

WITCH
...Lord of Darkness, Lord of
Night... accept they supplicant's
sacrifice...

The Witch moves to a ROW OF DOLLS neatly lined up on the wall. Pretty dolls, Barbie-types.

The hand picks up a brunette doll. The hand brings the doll to the cauldron. We now see CORDELIA'S PINK HEAD BAND in the Witch's other hand. The CHANTING grows more intense as the pink headband is wrapped round and round the Cordelia doll's face, tighter and tighter.

WITCH
...reap thy vengeance with keen and
cruel might... send thy sudden
darkness out of darkest night.

And the hand drops the Cordelia doll in the brew. The pink headband soaks up the foul-colored liquid and the little doll sinks from sight.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

INT. BUFFY'S KITCHEN - MORNING

Buffy is getting her books together. Joyce enters carrying an old yearbook.

JOYCE
Look what I found! It's my old
yearbook, from junior year. Oh,
look, there I am.

Buffy looks for a second.

BUFFY
Mom, I accepted that you've had
sex. I'm not ready to know you've
had Farrah hair.

JOYCE
This is Gidget hair. Don't they
teach you anything in history?

BUFFY
That's cool. I gotta book --

JOYCE
Well I was thinking, I mean I know
the cheerleading thing didn't work
out. Maybe you should think about
joining the yearbook staff. I did
it, and it was a lot of fun.

BUFFY
Not really my tip, mom.

JOYCE
I was photo editor. I got to be on
every page. Made me look much more
popular than I was.

BUFFY
Have you seen the kids who do
yearbook, mom? Nerds pick on
them.

JOYCE
Some of the best times I had in
school were working on the
yearbook.

BUFFY
This just in: I'm not you. I'm
into my own thing.

JOYCE
Your own thing, whatever it is, got
you kicked out of school. And we
had to move here to find a decent
school that would take you.

Quite frankly, ouch. The sting hangs in the air before Buffy grabs her books and walks out.

JOYCE
Honey...

Joyce stands there a moment, upset with herself.

JOYCE
Great parenting form. Little shaky
on the dismount...

CUT TO:

EXT. SUNNYDALE HIGH - DAY - ESTABLISHING

INT. SCHOOL HALL - DAY

Cordelia, walking more slowly and regally than usual, passes Xander and Willow (pen in mouth).

XANDER
(to Cordelia)
Morning your Highness, beheadings
at noon as usual?
(to Willow, re:
Cordelia's departing
back).
Okay, see how she has now clue I'm
even a mammal, much less a human
being?

WILLOW
None.

XANDER
This invisible man syndrome, a
blessing in Cordelia's case, a
curse in Buffy's.

WILLOW
You're not invisible to Buffy.

XANDER
Worse, I'm just part of the
scenery, like an old shoe, or a rug
you walk on every day but you never
really see --

WILLOW
(trying to be helpful)
-- like a pen that's all chewed up
and you know you should throw it
away but you don't, not 'cause you
really like it that much but more
'cause you're just so used to it
and --

XANDER
Will. That is the point and let's
not drive it through my head like a
railroad spike. What I have do --
what I'm going to do -- is just
what you said --

WILLOW
Throw away the pen, forget about
Buffy.
(tosses pen in trash)

XANDER
What I have to do -- what I'm going
to do -- is be a man and ask her
out. No more i.d. bracelets, subtle
innuendo, or Polaroids outside her
bedroom window late at night --
that last is a joke to relieve the
tension because here she comes.

Buffy rounds a corner, heading their way.

WILLOW
I know I'm relieved.

XANDER
Alright. Into battle I go. would
you ask her out for me? No. Man.
Me. Battle.

ANGLE - BUFFY

Passing Cordelia at her locker. Buffy sees Cordelia reach for her combination -- her fingers miss it, find it. Buffy moves on, is intercepted by:

XANDER
Buffy, how would you like to...

BUFFY
(looking back)
Is that even Cordelia's locker?

XANDER
Huh? I don't know, what I'm saying
here is, accompany me Friday
night...

Buffy, not really listening, sees Cordelia give up on the locker which won't open for her, walk off.

BUFFY
Hang on, Xander, I have to... we
can pick this up later, you don't
mind, do you?

As she turns and goes. He watches her. A small high-pitched sound builds slowly in the back of his throat -- the sound of a plan going down, down, down.

XANDER
(explosion)
Pplllewww!

CUT TO:

EXT. CAMPUS - DAY

Cordelia, still moving more slowly than usual, makes her way across campus.

Buffy exits a building fifty yards or so behind Cordelia. Follows her, concerned.

EXT. DRIVER'S ED - DAY

Orange cones are set up in a little course on the blacktop. A DRIVER'S ED car, MR. POLE, the beleaguered TEACHER, two STUDENTS. Cordelia walks up.

MR. POLE
Nice of you to join us Cordelia. We
didn't keep you waiting or anything
did we? It's your turn to drive.
Let's buckle up, people.

Pole and students move to the car.

CORDELIA
I don't want to drive today, Mr.
Pole.

Mr. Pole looks wildly uncomfortable for a beat, then:

MR. POLE
You've flunked Driver's Ed twice -
show me some moves or you'll be
taking the bus to college.

Cordelia marches to the car, climbs behind the wheel.

ANGLE - BUFFY

Moving up, keeping an eye on Cordelia.

EXT.\INT. DRIVER'S ED CAR - DAY

Mr. Pole buckles up in the passenger seat.

MR. POLE
Check your brake, your mirrors,
start the engine, put the car in
drive...

ANGLE - CORDELIA

Tight on her face, looking at the

GEAR SHIFT INDICATOR

It's a big blur. This girl is having trouble seeing.

MR. POLE
...let' move forward and through
the cones in a gentle, even turn to
the --

Cordelia puts the car in REVERSE, steps on the gas. The car jerks backwards, knocking into a pole.

MR. POLE
-- brakes!

Cordelia slams on the brakes, jams the car through every gear until she finds drive, hits the gas.

The car SCREECHES forward.

MR. POLE
Slow down, turn right, right,
BRAKES, BRAKES!!

Cordelia does as she's told, yanking the wheel, stomping on the brakes.

Cordelia's car launches into a nasty skid, right off the blacktop, onto the grass, careening out of control now towards the street.

Buffy starts running like hell.

Mr. Pole and the KIDS IN BACK SCREAM bloody murder.

EXT. STREET - DAY

Cordelia's car skids into the street and stops. A car swerves around them, tires squealing, HORN BLARING.

MR. POLE
Everyone out!

Cordelia, Pole, the students scramble out. Mr. Pole and the students run. Cordelia looks around, completely disoriented.

CORDELIA'S POV

Dark and murky, dimmest shape of a UPS size truck bearing down on her. She takes a step away, then another -- in about five seconds she's going to be hamburger.

BUFFY

Tears across the grass onto the sidewalk.

CORDELIA

Screams, terrified, expecting the worst.

THE TRUCK

Hits its breaks, heading right at Cordelia.

BUFFY

Leaps on a parked car, using it as a booster to send her AIRBORNE.

BUFFY FLIES THROUGH THE AIR, TACKLES CORDELIA

Carrying her out of harm's way as the truck screeches past.

CORDELIA AND BUFFY

On the ground.

CORDELIA
What's happening?!? I can't see
anything!

BUFFY
Cordelia, it's okay, you're gonna
be -- Oh, god...

Buffy looks at Cordelia whose EYES GLAZE OVER TO MURKY WHITE.

CORDELIA
What's happening to me!?!

CUT TO:

INT. THE LIBRARY - DAY

CLOSE ON GILES

GILES
Witchcraft. Blinding your enemy to
disable and disorient them is a
classic.

ANGLE - Buffy, Xander, Willow. Giles holds a witchcraft text. We see AN ENGRAVING of SCARY WITCHES in SACRED CIRCLE in the woods.

XANDER
First vampires, now witches... no
wonder you can still afford a house
in Sunnydale.

GILES
Why would someone want to harm
Cordelia?

WILLOW
Maybe because... they met her. Did
I say that?

GILES
Then why was Amber set ablaze?

XANDER
Yeah, those guys don't hang.

BUFFY
They're both cheerleaders.

GILES
Someone doesn't like cheerleading.

BUFFY
Or likes it too much.

WILLOW
Amy.

BUFFY
Amy.

XANDER
So you guys are leaning towards
Amy.

BUFFY
She's desperate to get on that
team... I get the feeling she'd do
anything to make her mom's dream
come true.

GILES
Now I do want to make sure I've got
this right. This witch is casting
horrible, disfiguring spells so
that she can be a cheerleader.

BUFFY
Your point being?

GILES
Priorities. Really, if I had the
power of the black mass I'd set my
sights a little higher than making
the pep squad.

BUFFY
I think you're underestimating the
amount of pressure a parent can lay
on you. If you're not a picture
perfect carbon copy they tend to
wig.

WILLOW
Cheerleading was kind of her mom's
last hurrah.

XANDER
We still gotta stop Amy. We should
grab her before --

GILES
(flipping though text)
Let's be certain she's the witch
before we arouse her suspicions.
She's capable of some fairly ugly
things.

BUFFY
All right, you're a high school
girl, you're desperate to make the
team and please your mom, you turn
to witchcraft. What's the first
thing you do?

WILLOW
check out the books on witchcraft!

Willow moves to the computer at check-out desk, scanning records.

XANDER
That's the last thing you do! You
don't leave a paper trail. Forget
that --

WILLOW
It'll just take a minute --

XANDER
We don't have a minute.
Cheerleaders' lives are in
danger -- Buffy's in danger.
(grabs Buffy, tries to
hustle her out)
You were the first alternate.
You're on the team now that
Cordelia's out -- you could be
next, we have to get you to a safe
house.

WILLOW
(sees something on
computer)
Xander...

XANDER
(innocent)
Yes?

WILLOW
"Witches - Historic Roots to Modern
Practice" checked out by Alexander
Harris.

BUFFY
(moves to computer)
"The Pagan Rites", checked out by
Alexander --

XANDER
All right, all right. It's not
what you think.

WILLOW
You like to look at the semi-nude
engravings?

XANDER
Oh. Well, then it is what you
think.

GILES
We'll need a conclusive test
anyway. There should be one - yes!
The ducking stool. We throw her in
the pond. If she floats, she's a
witch; if she drowns, she's
innocent.
(off their looks)
... some of my texts are a bit
outdated.

BUFFY
You think?

GILES
(looks in another book)
Ah! Yes. This should work.
You'll need some of her hair, a
little quicksilver and aqua fortis.

WILLOW
That's just mercury and nitric
acid, we can get it in the science
lab.

GILES
(reads)
"Heat ingredients and apply to
witch, if a spell has been cast in
previous forty-eight hours witch's
skin will turn blue." Oh, and
you'll need some eye of newt.

SMASH CUT TO:

A FROG - INT. SCIENCE CLASS - DAY

His big ol' eye looking up at us.

PULL BACK, revealing we are seeing this in a BIG MIRROR, mounted on the teacher's desk in front of the class. The mirror is so the students can see what DR. GREGORY (kindly, older) is doing. willow, Xander, Buffy, Lishanne and Amy are part of the class.

DR. GREGORY
Those on track one may begin their
dissections. Those on track two,
add your hydrochloric acid and
ammonium hydroxide to your
beakers...

He demonstrates, we see it in the big mirror. Smoke and gas. He holds up the smoky beaker.

ANGLE - WILLOW AND XANDER

At a large table. Xander holds a scalpel poised over a frog. He lowers the scalpel, then:

XANDER
I can't.

He puts the scalpel down. Willow takes it, makes (off camera) a quick neat incision.

WILLOW
One eye of newt...

XANDER
Wow, you've got a killer streak
I've never seen before. Hope I
never cross you.

WILLOW
I do too, then I'd have to carve
you up in neat little pieces.

She holds up the scalpel, gives him her sweet "Willow" smile.

XANDER
Ha ha.
(takes scalpel
respectfully)
How's Buffy coming with the hair?

ANGLE: BUFFY

Moving past Lishanne.

LISHANNE
(sarcastically)
Isn't this exciting?

BUFFY
(small laugh)
Oh yeah.

Buffy reaches Amy at another big desk with Bunsen burner, beakers, etc.

BUFFY
Help. Which is the hydrochloric
acid and which is the ammonium
hydroxide?

AMY
Well, the bottle that says
hydrochloric acid is usually the
hydrochloric acid.

BUFFY
Read the bottles -- what a concept.

Buffy drops her pen, bends down to pick it up, as she does, her hand slips INSIDE AMY'S purse, grabs some hair off Amy's brush.

ANGLE - BUFFY STRAIGHTENS UP

Amy's looking at her -- did she see the hair grab?

Buffy moves back to her seat (in front of Willow and Xander.) Keeping her back to them, she reaches back, drops the hair in front of Willow who adds it to a chemical mix on a Bunsen burner.

Amy glances at them.

XANDER
(through his teeth)
Smile and wave to the nice witch.

Willow hands the beaker to Buffy.

WILLOW
All set. You have a plan?

BUFFY
Spill it on her, try and make it
look natural.

XANDER
We'll be right behind you. Only
farther away.

Buffy heads for Amy's desk with beaker. As she does,

DR. GREGORY
Lishanne, can you tell me why these
chemicals have this reaction?

Buffy casually spills a drops or two on Amy's arm. Buffy looks at:

ANGLE - AMY'S ARM

The drops do turn blue, but we tilt up to see Amy's eyes locked on someone else.

ANGLE - LISHANNE

We see her from behind, starting to shake, to spaz out.

DR. GREGORY
Lishanne? Are you -- Oh my god.

She knocks a few beakers over as she stumblingly rises and turns, grabbing at the first thing she sees -- which is Amy. Amy is brought face to face with Lishanne -- WHO HAS NO MOUTH. Amy backs away, terrified by what she sees.

CUT TO:

INT. HALL - MOMENTS LATER

Our three are clustered, conferring.

XANDER
Did you see? Amy was as freaked
out as the rest of us.

WILLOW
So it's not her?

BUFFY
The test was positive. She's our
Sabrina. I just don't think she
realizes what she's doing.

WILLOW
Should we talk to her?

BUFFY
Maybe we should talk to her
mother. I wonder if she knows
what she's created.

CUT TO:

EXT. AMY'S HOUSE - DAY

Pushing in on the house as Amy enters frame, marches up and through the front door.

INT. AMY'S HOUSE - DAY

Dark. Austere. Clean. Amy moves through, pissed. We haven't seen her like this before.

AMY
Where are you?!

Amy finds her mother, CATHERINE MADISON, late thirties, very well preserved, sitting in the blue light of the T.V. Catherine quickly flicks the T.V. off, like a kid caught doing something wrong.

AMY
Another productive day in front of
the T.V. I got a history report due
tomorrow. Write it.

Amy hurls her book bag on the couch next to her mother.

AMY
I should be on that team by now.
Instead, Miss Buffy and friends are
sneaking around stealing bits of my
hair.

CLOSE - AMY'S HAND

As she angrily dangles something from it -- the i.d. bracelet Xander gave Buffy. We're close enough to read "Yours Always".

AMY
I'll be upstairs.

Amy wraps her fingers around Buffy's bracelet, marches out.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO
Act Three

INT. BUFFY'S BEDROOM - MORNING

We TRACK IN on Buffy sleeping.

ANGLE: ALARM CLOCK

It's one of the old fashioned round ones with the bell, and it starts RINGING.

Buffy lumps around under the cover, mewling in protest before she reaches for the clock.

She grabs it and casually CRUSHES it with her hand. Poles her head out from under the covers to look at what she has wrought.

BUFFY
(laughs)
Oops.

CUT TO:

INT. BUFFY'S KITCHEN A BIT LATER

Joyce is making breakfast. Buffy comes in in a really good mood.

BUFFY
(sings to herself)
MACHO MACHO MAN... Hey, juice.

She downs an entire glass in one sip.

BUFFY
Quality juice. Not from
concentrate.

JOYCE
(tentatively)
You're in a good mood.

BUFFY
I am. I'm on the squad. Which is
great because I feel like cheering.
And leading others to cheer. Hey,
juice!

She downs Joyce's as well.

JOYCE
Listen honey, about yesterday...

BUFFY
That's totally yester. Besides,
it's not like you were wrong. I
did get kicked out. I'm wacky that
way.

JOYCE
Still, I want you to know that
despite the problems you've had --

BUFFY
Mom, you don't get it. Believe me,
you don't want it. There's just
things about being a vampire slayer
that the older generation has a
problem with.

JOYCE
A what?

BUFFY
Long story. I mean I'm kidding.

JOYCE
Buffy, are you feeling well?

BUFFY
I can't be in a good mood? That's
a new house rule? Fine, I don't
mind, cuz I'm a
(sings)
MACHO MACHO MAN...

She sings her way out, leaving Joyce somewhat worried.

EXT. SUNNYDALE HIGH - DAY - ESTABLISHING

BUFFY (O.S.)
Turn up the music!

INT. THE GYM - DAY

The cheerleaders -- Buffy, Senior Cheerleader and the rest practice. Buffy has a big, happy grin on her face, she's workin' this cheer -- unfortunately she's workin' it completely out of sync with everyone else.

Buffy stomps on the Senior Cheerleader's foot.

SENIOR CHEERLEADER
Ow! Get it together, Buffy, we have
a game in less than four hours.

ANGLE - DOOR

Willow and Xander slip in to watch.

BUFFY
(yells)
Hey Willow, Xander! My buds are
here. I love my buds.

WILLOW AND XANDER

React to Buffy.

XANDER
Is it me, or is Buffy somewhat
looped?

Each girl launches the one next to her into a spinning cartwheel. Buffy is launched.

WILLOW AND XANDER

WILLOW
We better get her out of there.

XANDER
Yeah, before she...

Buffy cartwheels to the Senior Cheerleader, grabs her and HURLS HER OUT OF FRAME like a flying sack of potatoes.

WILLOW AND XANDER WINCE

XANDER
....hurts somebody.

ANGLE - SENIOR CHEERLEADER

Splatted in the corner of the gym where she landed. She gets up, way more angry than hurt.

BUFFY
Did I do that?

SENIOR CHEERLEADER
You are so out of here!

Willow and Xander rush in, grab Buffy.

WILLOW
It's not her fault --

XANDER
She's on medication --

SENIOR CHEERLEADER
Obviously not enough. Who's our
next alternate -- oh.

Amy is right there, in costume.

SENIOR CHEERLEADER
Amy, you just made cheerleader.

BUFFY
No no no, you don't want her, she's
a wi--

Xander clamps a hand over Buffy's mouth as Willow and he hustle her out.

XANDER
A wise choice indeed.

As Amy stands, innocently joins the line,

CUT TO:

INT. GYM FOYER: DAY

Willow and Xander drag Buffy out, shut the door.

BUFFY
She's a witchy!!

WILLOW
Buffy --

BUFFY
I just got kicked off the team,
didn't I?

XANDER
I don't think it's your fault.

BUFFY
I know you don't. That's cause
you're my friend. You're my
Xander-shaped friend.
(wells up)
...do you have any idea why I love
you so, Xander?

WILLOW
We gotta get you to --

XANDER
Let her speak!

BUFFY
I'll tell you. You're not like
other guys at all...

XANDER
Well...

BUFFY
You are completely and totally one
of the girls. I'm that comfy with
you.

Willow can't help but look a little pleased; Xander looks like he just got cancer.

XANDER
That's great.

BUFFY
Any other guy gave me a bracelet,
they'd want to date me, it'd be a
thing, but you -- you --

She staggers a bit.

BUFFY
Oh. I don't feel so good.

She slumps over, pale and sweaty.

WILLOW
Buffy?

BUFFY
Something is really... not good...

She collapses in their arms.

CUT TO:

INT. THE LIBRARY - GILES' OFFICE - DAY

Buffy's laid out in two easy chairs. A cold compress on her head. She's conscious but very sick. Giles (ever present text in hand) Willow and Xander stand over her, concerned.

WILLOW
We gotta get her to a hospital.

GILES
They can't help her. This is a
Bloodstone Vengeance Spell, hits
the body hard, like drinking a
quart of alcohol, then eradicates
the immune system.

XANDER
Vengeance spell. Like she's getting
even with Buffy?

BUFFY
(weak)
'Cause she knows I know she's a
witch.

GILES
The others she just wanted out of
the running, you she intends to...

BUFFY
Kill.

WILLOW
How much time do we have?

GILES
I'm sure we have --

BUFFY
Truth please.

GILES
Couple of hours, three at most.

XANDER
So how do we reverse Buffy's spell?

GILES
I've been researching that. We can
reverse all the spells if we can
get our hands on Amy's spell
book --

WILLOW
And if we can't get our hands on
it?

GILES
The only other way is to cut the
witch's head off.

XANDER
(raising his hand)
Show of hands...

BUFFY
No. It's not Amy's fault. She
became a witch to survive her
mother.

XANDER
I don't care why, I care that you
go on breathing.

BUFFY
Giles, where would she be casting
these spells?

GILES
She needs a sacred space with a
pentagram, a large pot...

BUFFY
At home. Help me get up.
(Giles helps her up)
We'll go to her house, find her
book --

WILLOW
We'll go with you.

BUFFY
No. Stay here, keep an eye on Amy.

GILES
And keep her away from the science
lab. We'll need it to cast our
counter spells.

CUT TO:

EXT. AMY'S HOUSE - AFTERNOON

Giles pulls up.

ANGLE: THE DOOR

He knocks loudly. Buffy peeks in the window by the door.

ANGLE: THROUGH THE WINDOW - AMY'S LIVING ROOM

We see Catherine start at the sound of knocking. She takes something we can't see very well and slides it under the coffee table. Comes anxiously to the door.

It opens, and she stands before Buffy and Giles. It's clear from the expression on Buffy's face that this isn't what she was expecting.

CATHERINE
What do you want? Is there
something wrong?

GILES
Mrs. Madison, we need to talk to
you about your daughter.

CATHERINE
I'm not allowed to -- you'll have
to come back.

she tries to shut the door -- he pushes it open rather forcefully. He ushers Buffy in.

CUT TO:

INT. AMY'S LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Giles moves Buffy to the couch, turns to Catherine.

GILES
Your daughter is up to something
very dangerous. Are you aware of
that?

CATHERINE
I don't know what you're talking
about.

GILES
I think you know very well.

CATHERINE
You have to go. She's gonna be
home soon.

GILES
This girl is very sick. You will
shut up and you will listen to me.
You daughter has access to some
very powerful magics. Somehow
your obsession with cheerleading has
made her --

CATHERINE
(near tears)
I don't care about cheerleading!
It's not my fault she's doing
stuff.

Buff is staring intently at Catherine.

GILES
As her mother, you should accept
some responsibility for her
actions.

Surprisingly, she starts laughing.

CATHERINE
Well, these kids today...

Buffy looks at her, then looks at what Amy hid under the table.

ANGLE: UNDER THE TABLE

is a plate of brownies.

Buffy stands, weakly.

CATHERINE
She's out of her mind. Ever since
control her.

GILES
You're afraid of her.

She turns to look at Buffy, who approaches her slowly. Giles turns as well.

BUFFY
Amy?

Catherine takes a step back, wide eyed.

BUFFY
Are you Amy?

GILES
I don't understand...

BUFFY
She switched, didn't she? She
switched your bodies. She wanted
to relive her glory days.
Catherine the Great.

GILES
Good lord...

Catherine nods, quietly.

CATHERINE
She said I was wasting my youth...
So she took it.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

INT. AMY'S LIVING ROOM - SECONDS LATER

Catherine has sat down on the couch next to Buffy. She is terrified and fighting back tears.

CATHERINE
I didn't know about her... her
power. When my dad was here they
would fight, he called her a witch.
I thought he meant something else.
When he left I wanted to go with
him but she wouldn't even let me
call. She got crazy. She'd lock
herself upstairs for days. And
she'd get down on me all the time.
She said I didn't deserve to have
it so easy, that I didn't know how
hard it was to be her. I guess she
showed me, huh?

She does cry now, quietly. It takes all of Buffy's effort to say:

BUFFY
Amy, it's gonna be okay.

CATHERINE
A few months ago I woke up in her
bed, I didn't know where I was...
and I looked in the mirror...

GILES
She locked herself upstairs.
Where?

CATHERINE
She has a room in the attic.

GILES
Show me.

CUT TO:

INT. AMY'S ATTIC - A BIT LATER

We see the dolls lined up in the foreground as in the background the DOOR BURSTS OPEN, Giles coming in behind it.

Catherine stays in the doorway, too afraid to enter as Giles comes up to the dolls.

CATHERINE
If she finds out I've been in here
she'll kill me.

GILES
My God...

ANGLE: TWO DOLLS

A woman and a girl. The dolls are lashed together with a thorny vine.

GILES
I believe we can reverse your
mother's spell. All of them, in
fact.

CATHERINE
You really could?

GILES
Yes, but I need her books. There
are certain volumes she would need
for this kind of casting.

He looks around. Tentatively, she enters, and helps. They rummage about in the dark recesses of the place, looking on shelves, under old blankets.

Giles discovers a small trunk. As he pulls it open he says to Catherine:

GILES
Collect those dolls, and all the
personal --

something LEAPS at him from the trunk, SCREECHING -- a black cat. Giles jumps back as the cat hits the floor and takes off out of the room.

Giles takes a moment to recover himself.

GILES
Nice kitty...
(looking in the trunk)
What were you guarding? Yes...

He pulls out the book.

GILES
This is it.

INT. AMY'S LIVING ROOM - SECONDS LATER

Giles comes back down with the book, Catherine with the box of talismans.

Buffy is back on the couch. She looks ghastly, but she looks up to Giles with hope.

BUFFY
Did we find?

GILES
We found.

He gently helps her to her feet. He hands the book to Catherine and picks Buffy up.

CATHERINE
Where are you going?

GILES
We're going to school. And you're
coming with us.

CUT TO:

INT. THE GYM - EVENING

We hear students CHEERING as the school basketball team takes the floor.

The camera is in steady motion, following the team, sweeping across the stands, racing by the cheerleaders. The last one is Amy.

CUT TO:

INT. SCIENCE LAB - EVENING

They enter, Giles placing Buffy in a chair as Catherine drops the box on a table. He squats before Buffy, looks her in the eyes.

GILES
I'm going to stop this.

ANGLE: BUFFY'S POV

the figure of Giles is a colorful BLUR. The room seems to teeter and shift around him, his VOICE a bizarre and deep echo.

GILES
I promise. Just hang on.

He stands up (we are no longer in her POV), digs in the box for the book.

CATHERINE
How is she?

GILES
We only have a few minutes.

Giles pulls the book out of the box, starts looking through it.

GILES
Let's see... I'll need lead,
sulphur, some sort of diacetate...

He goes over to the glass cabinet with the chemicals in it. It's locked. Casually, still looking down at the book for reference, he picks up a metal beaker and smashes the glass. He looks in and starts picking out vials of useful substances.

CATHERINE
What should I do?

He turns to her.

GILES
Find me a frog.

CUT TO:

INT. THE GYM - CONTINUOUS

The game has started, the kids in the stands CHEERING. The cheerleaders are on the sideline, doing steps.

ANGLE: AMY

Is right there with them, last on the left. She is beaming.

ANGLE: THE CROWD - AMY'S POV

They are a ROARING mass, an appreciative audience. A joyful noise.

And she moves in SLOW MOTION, the camera circling LOW around her, as she relives her greatest glory.

ANGLE: THE STANDS

The camera whips across the fans to find Xander and Willow up off to the side.

They alone are silent, their eyes never leaving Amy.

CUT TO:

INT. SCIENCE LAB - A BIT LATER

Giles has something bubbling in a beaker, a Bunsen burner under it.

Catherine is nearby, reluctantly prying out a dead frog's eyes.

GILES
Right.

He throws in a powder, and begins:

GILES
(reading)
The center is dark.
(in Latin)
centrum est obscurus.
(reading)
The darkness breathes.
(in Latin)
tenebrae respiratis.
(reading)
The listener hears.

He throws in another powder.

GILES
Hear me.

CUT TO:

INT. THE GYM - CONTINUOUS

Amy is still strutting in step, still basking in her glory.

ANGLE: AMY'S POV

The appreciative crowd is before us, and then suddenly it becomes

ANGLE: CATHERINE'S POV

the lab. A table. A frog.

It's just a flash, and then it's the audience again. Amy starts, wide eyed, and nearly messes up.

CUT TO:

INT. SCIENCE LAB - CONTINUOUS

Catherine is reeling just as Amy was, shaking off the momentary change.

CATHERINE
It's working...

GILES
(reading)
Unlock the gate, let the darkness
shine. Cover us with holy fear.
Show me.

He barks the order again, "show me", but this time in Arabic (waar re-nee).

The lights in the room blow out.

CUT TO:

INT. THE GYM - CONTINUOUS

The cheerleaders are forming a pyramid, Amy at the top. She is up there when:

ANGLE: CATHERINE'S POV

flashes before us again. This time it's clearer; we can see Giles, and the whole room. Our gaze sweeps over to include the dying Buffy.

Amy SCREAMS -- and falls, wrecking the whole pyramid. The girls tumble about, the fans LAUGHING a bit.

SENIOR CHEERLEADER
Amy, what's your problem?

Amy stands, primal fury on her face. The cheerleader backs off.

 

Amy RUNS out of the gym.

ANGLE: XANDER AND WILLOW

They see her go.

WILLOW
She must be heading for Buffy!

XANDER
Come on.

CUT TO:

INT. SCIENCE LAB - CONTINUOUS

ANGLE: BUFFY'S POV

Giles continues the spell, in Buffy's increasingly weird, dark view. His voice is not even human to her anymore.

ANGLE: CATHERINE

She is still reeling from the flashes. She looks up suddenly.

CATHERINE
She's heading this way.

CUT TO:

INT. SCHOOL HALL - CONTINUOUS

Amy turns a corner and runs smack into a very casual Willow.

WILLOW
Amy!

AMY
Get out of my way!

WILLOW
Wait! I needed to talk to you. I
can help you.

The look Amy gives her raises one's hair.

AMY
Help me? With what?

WILLOW
Well, you know, all your...
witchcraft. I know a really
good... cauldron... do you actually
ride a broom or --

Xander is sneaking up behind Amy. She SPINS suddenly and glares at him. She mutters something under her breath and he stops, suddenly unable to breathe. Drops to his knees.

WILLOW
Xander!

Amy turns and PUNCHES Willow, knocks her to the ground.

Amy takes off.

CUT TO:

INT. SCIENCE LAB - CONTINUOUS

Things are really heating up in here. Giles holds his hands to the heavens:

GILES
Corsheth, and Gilail, the gate is
closed. Receive the dark, release
the unworthy... Take of mine
energy and be sated!

He PLUNGES HIS HANDS into the brew! Huge colored cloud shoots up.

INTERCUT WITH:

INT. HALL OUTSIDE LAB - CONTINUOUS

Amy arrives, tries the door.

Catherine sees the door rattle, startles back in terror

ANGLE: AMY

Smashes the emergency glass and pulls out an axe.

ANGLE: GILES

Pulls his dripping hands out.

GILES
Be sated! Release the unworthy!

ANGLE: THE AXE

hits the door, burying itself above the lock.

ANGLE: GILES

GILES
Release!

ANGLE: BUFFY

Her eyes flutter shut, her head slumping over.

GILES
Release!

INT. SCIENCE LAB - CONTINUOUS

And the door BURSTS OPEN, An axe wielding Amy running in. She takes one quick look around, heads for Buffy --

GILES
RELEASE!

Amy raises the axe -- there is a flash of light --
--and she stops. Lowers it as

ANGLE: BUFFY

stands, completely restored. She and Amy look at each other in wonder.

BUFFY
Amy?

And Catherine FLIES into frame, SCREAMING and tackling Buffy. The woman has gone completely apeshit. Giles comes at her and she just LOOKS up at him --

-- and a desk MOVES at him, knocking him down.

Catherine stands, comes toward the cowering Amy. Nothing but hate in her gaze.

CATHERINE
You. You little brat.

AMY
Mom, please...

She is retreating, raising the axe more for protection than anything else. Catherine merely cocks her head and the axe FLIES out of Amy's hand and into her own. Amy stifles a scream.

CATHERINE
Raise a hand to your own mother?
Who gave you birth, who gave up her
life, her LIFE so you could drag
your worthless carcass around and
call it living?

She SLAMS the axe into a table top.

Amy looks from the axe to her mother.

ANGLE: CATHERINE'S HANDS

Something is happening -- energy begins emanating from them -- like sparks, only black. Something very powerful is brewing in her.

CATHERINE
You were never anything but
trouble. I'll put you where you'll
never make trouble again.

Buffy appears right behind Catherine.

BUFFY
Hey, guess what?

Catherine turns.

BUFFY
I feel better.

ANGLE: Catherine flies over a table, hits the ground with all attendant smashing of glass things.

Buffy comes around the table and Catherine pops back up, wired with fury.

CATHERINE
That body was mine! Mine!

BUFFY
Oh, grow up.

Catherine throws her head back in a mystical shriek --- and Buffy is flung back over the teacher's desk. She rises to see Catherine shaking, about to cast the spell.

CATHERINE
I shall look upon my enemy --

Her arms CRACKLE with energy -- she opens her eyes and they are glowing darkly- she throws her arms forward with the final phrase --

CATHERINE
-- I shall look upon her and the
dark place will have her soul!
Corsheth! Take her!

And Buffy SWINGS her leg over the table and BREAKS the support for the mirror above -- it comes down, hitting the table at an angle, still supported on the other side.

It's too late for Catherine to stop. The spell shoots out of her arms at her own reflection. It bounces right back at her.

She SCREAMS. Glows. Energy singing around her, wrapping her up.

Then there's nothing.

Giles, no longer pinned, gets up, creeps forward with Amy. Buffy comes from behind the desk. They all look around them, but they are alone. After a while...

GILES
Well, that was interesting.

BUFFY
Are you guys okay?

AMY
(feelingly)
I'm fine.

Buffy smiles at her.

GILES
I think all the spells were
reversed. Of course, it's my first
casting, I may have got it wrong.

BUFFY
You save my life. You were a god.

GILES
One doesn't want to be immodest,
but I am not unsatisfied --

BUFFY
Giles, stop being so proper.
You're in America. Brag.

And they head for the door, Giles obliging:

GILES
Well, it was the first time and some of
those incantations are quite
tricky. And I was somewhat
interpretive with the
ingredients --

A FIGURE LEAPS OUT at Amy, tackles her.

It's Xander.

XANDER
I got her! I got her! Cut her
head off!

BUFFY
Xander, what are you doing?

XANDER
Saving you.

Buffy pulls him off Amy.

XANDER
But she's evil!

GILES
Well, it wasn't exactly her.

AMY
It was my mom.

XANDER
Oh.

It takes a moment for him to realize he has no idea what they're talking about. Willow runs in now, carrying a baseball bat.

WILLOW
Where is she?

XANDER
Willow! It's cool.

WILLOW
It is?

XANDER
Oh yeah. I took care of it.

CUT TO:

INT. BUFFY'S BEDROOM - AFTERNOON

Buffy is throwing pieces of her alarm clock in the trash when Joyce enters.

JOYCE
I don't get it.

BUFFY
What?

JOYCE
I've been thinking a lot about
where you're coming from, how to
relate to you, and I've come to a
simple conclusion. I don't get it.
What you want, what you're
thinking. Not a clue.

BUFFY
I'm inscrutable, huh?

JOYCE
You're sixteen. I think there's a
biological imperative whereby I
can't understand you because I'm
not sixteen.

BUFFY
Do you ever wish you could be?
Sixteen again?

JOYCE
There's a frightful notion. Go
through all that again.
(shudders)
No even if it helped me understand
you.

Buffy kisses her on the cheek --

BUFFY
I love you, mom.

-- and exit, leaving Joyce thrown once more.

JOYCE
I don't get it.

CUT TO:

INT. HALL BY THE GYM - DAY (DAYS LATER)

Buffy and Amy are walking through the hall.

AMY
Dad is so impossible. He doesn't
ever want me going anywhere, wants
to spend total quality time
together.
I'm like, "Dad, I can go out, it's
perfectly safe." He's got all this
guilt at leaving me with mom and
he's being a total pain.

BUFFY
You're loving it.

AMY
Every single minute.

Cordelia breezes by with the other cheerleaders as they get out of the gym. We see Amber and Lishanne -- all recovered.

CORDELIA
Hey, I'm really sorry you guys got
bumped back to alternate. Hold
it -- wait -- no I'm not.

AMY
Well, I know I'll miss the
intellectual thrill of spelling
words out with my arms.

CORDELIA
Ooh, these grapes are sour.

She exits, passing Buffy, who is staring at the trophy case. Amy looks to her, the smile leaving her face.

AMY
Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot you
actually wanted to be on the squad.

BUFFY
No, that's okay. Cheerleading is
just a little too hairy these days.

AMY
That's for sure.

For a moment they both look at Catherine's trophy.

AMY
Catherine the Great.

BUFFY
And there's been no sign of her?

AMY
That last spell, she said I'd never
make trouble again. Wherever she
is, I don't think we have to worry.

BUFFY
Twisted.

AMY
I'm just happy to have my body
back.
(as they walk off)
I'm thinking of getting fat.

BUFFY
Well, that look is in for spring.

As they leave, we stay on the trophy. TRACK in closer to the cheerleading figure on top. And closer, to the impassive bronze face.

Her eyes dart back and forth.

BLACK OUT.

END OF SHOW