(November 9, 1998)
Written by: Jane Espenson
EXT. PARK - NIGHT
BUFFY, on patrol, idly tosses a stake from hand to hand. The leaves of a nearby shrub RUSTLE SUSPICIOUSLY. Buffy stops, pivots slightly toward the movement, brings up her stake...
Is it a vampire?
Buffy jumps. JOYCE is standing next to her, holding a brown lunch back and a thermos.
Mom? What are you doing here?
I brought you a snack. I thought it
was about time I came out to watch,
you know, the Slaying.
Mom, you know the Slaying, it's kind
of an alone thing.
Buffy circles the shrub, not taking her from where the potential vampire lurks. Joyce trails behind her.
But it's such a big part of your life,
and I'd like to understand it. It's
something we could share.
It's really pretty dull. Bam boom
stick poof. Not much to--
A VAMPIRE leaves from behind the bush. Buffy pushes Joyce back while stepping forward to meet the attack. She BLOCKS A BLOW from the vampire, and counters with a strong KICK.
Good, Honey! Kill it!
The vampire stumbles backwards. Buffy launches herself at it, but the vampire brings up a foot, which catches her in the midsection... she is TOSSED over the vampire and ends up landing BEHIND HIM on the ground.
Buffy! He's over there!
Buggy shoots Joyce a quick look even as she scrambles back to her feet and squares up opposite the vamp.
(stunned as she gets a good look at him)
Oh my God. It's Mr. Sanderson from
Buffy exchanges blows with the late Mr. Sanderson. It's a slightly clumsy effort on her part. She finally manages to sweep his legs out from under him with a kick and he's down. Buffy RAISES her stake - about to finish him off when-
Are you sure you have to kill him?
He opened my IRA.
Buffy forgets herself for a moment. Turns to Joyce, totally exasperated.
He's not Mr. Sanderson anymore, Mom, he's-
(cutting her off)
Buffy looks to see that, indeed, Mr. Sanderson has scrambled to his feet and is TAKING OFF across the park. Buffy shoots her mother a withering look.
Now Buffy SPRINTS after Sanderson, leaving Joyce behind. A beat - then Joyce moves past a low hedge that separates the PLAYGROUND from the rest of the park. She sits on the EDGE OF A SANDBOX, starts to unpack sandwiches.
But her eye is caught by something on the ground. She moves to pick it up: A CHILD'S TOY TRUCK.
She glances around. Things suddenly feel a little too quiet and she braces herself against the night chill. (read: SHMUCKY THE BAIT.)
ANGLE: BUFFY AND SANDERSON, in another part of the park, are locked in battle. Buffy finally gets the upper hand again - DUSTS HIM.
She turns back to the SANDBOX - is about to toss the truck in - but STOPS SUDDENLY, a look of sheer horror on her face.
We move FROM THE TRUCK across the sand and begin to PAN ACROSS THE LEGS OF A CHILD'S LIFELESS BODY.
The palm of the child's tiny hand. Upon which is drawn an ARCANE SYMBOL.
EXT. PARK - NIGHT - LATE
POLICE AND CORONER'S VEHICLES AND PERSONNEL are on the scene, which is periodically lit by the red sweep of a mars light. Crime tape is up. Police radios send out bursts of static. Buffy is visible in b.g. giving a statement to an officer. More sand has been removed and there are now clearly TWO SMALL BODIES. A POLICE PHOTOGRAPHER SMAPS PICTURES:
FLASH -- two little blonds in play clothes. They could be sleeping.
FLASH -- closer, a darling little blond boy, age 8. In this closer shot we notice the paleness of the skin, the faint blueness of the lips. Still, cute as a button.
FLASH -- much closer, the SYMBOL on a tiny hand.
Buffy, stunned by the crime, finishes giving her statement and walks over to Joyce, who doesn't react to her presence.
They said we can go home now.
No answer. Then...
They were little kids. Did you see
them? So tiny.
Joyce, devastated, finally looks at Buffy.
Who would do something like this?
She chokes a little, has to stop, fight back tears. Buffy is doubly distraught now - seeing her mother like this.
I'm so sorry you saw this. But it's
going to be okay.
I'll find whatever did it.
I guess. It's just, you can't, you can't
make it right.
Joyce gives in to the tears. Buffy hugs her - speaks in a soothing, measured tone:
It's okay. I'll take care of everything.
I promise, mom. Just...try to calm down.
INT. LIBRARY - DAY (DAY 2)
Buffy and GILES are alone in the library before school.
Don't tell me to calm down!
I only meant--
They were kids, Giles, Little kids.
You don't know what it was like to
see them there. Mom's just... she
can't even talk.
I'm sorry, Buffy. I just want to help.
Do we know anything about how... it
wasn't the vampire --
Buffy shakes her head.
There were no marks. Wait. I mean,
there was a mark, a symbol.
She grabs a piece of paper and a marker from the counter and moves to draw. Giles swiftly takes the paper from her hand.
Twelfth century Papal encyclical.
He hands her a notepad. She draws.
It was on their hands. The cops are
keeping it quiet, but I got a good
look at it.
She finishes and shoves the paper at him. Giles looks at THE SYMBOL.
Find the thing that uses this symbol
and point me at it.
Giles. Speak. What?
What? Oh. It's just, I wonder if
we're looking for a "thing." The use
of a symbol on a victim, it suggests
ritual murder, an occult sacrifice by
A group of... human beings. Someone
with a soul did this?
I'm afraid so.
A beat as this sinks in, then-
Okay. So while you're looking for
the meaning of the squiggly mark -
maybe you could turn up a loophole on
the "slayers don't kill people" rule.
Giles looks at her closely -- she's deadly serious.
Buffy, this is a dreadful crime. You
have every right to be upset.
However, I wonder if you're letting
this become a shade more... personal
because of your mother's involvement.
Oh, it's completely personal. So
find me the people who did this.
She exits. Giles looks after her for a moment, then at the symbol. He heads for the books.
INT. CAFETERIA - DAY
Oz and Xander are in line at the cashier.
Xander notes Oz' lunch selection, trying to make conversation.
This is a burrito.
They pay for their lunches, move off.
ON WILLOW AND AMY
Who carry their trays, looking for a table.
Oh, god, and Mr. Nyman, that thing he
does with his face --
The thing with the face! When he
makes a point, the -- I always think
he's going to sneeze!
I thought I was the only one who
They spot Xander and Oz, who are just sitting down, join them.
Hi Oz! Xander, hi.
I haven't seen you around. Where've
Not with me. No sir. Ask anyone.
Oz and Willow stare at Xander. He shuts up. There's an uncomfortable beat of silence, then Oz has a brilliant idea for something to talk about:
Hey, Buffy's birthday's next week.
Oh! Yeah. Good. I've been
pondering the gift options--
Oh, come on. We just got a topic.
Buffy joins them -- the reason Willow stopped Buffy gift talk.
So, Buff, what's up?
You guys didn't hear?
A murder. Somebody killed two little kids.
Like, maybe seven or eight years old.
My mom found the bodies during
patrol last night.
Oh my god.
Why was your mom there?
More bad. She picked last night, of
all nights, for a surprise "bonding"
God... Your mom would actually
take the time to do that with you?
(off their looks)
That's really not the point of the
story, is it?
No, the point is she's completely
Unnoticed, JOYCE has entered the cafeteria and is standing at their table.
Uh, well, everyone. You know, 'cause
of.... what happened.
It's so awful. I had bad dreams
about it all night.
Indeed - she looks somewhat haunted. Xander, Oz, Willow and Amy exchange looks.
Hi, Mrs. Summers.
Xander, Oz and Amy also MUMBLE HELLOS.
Buffy, did you talk to Mr. Giles yet
about who could've done this?
Uh, yeah. He says it looks like
something ritual, occult. He's still
looking. We're going to add to my
patrols, keep a closer eye on things...
Occult? Like witches? It's witches?
Willow and Amy both make involuntary little gasp/choke noises.
Sorry. Phlegm. Too much dairy.
Oh, I know you kids think that stuff
is cool. Buffy told me you dabble...
Absolutely. That's me. I'm a dabbler.
But anybody who could do this isn't
cool. Anybody who could do this
would have to be a monster.
That's it. Buffy's had enough. She tugs at Joyce's arm.
Mom. Can I talk to you for a sec?
(as she's pulled away)
Nice to see you kids...
STAY ON WILLOW, XANDER, OZ AND AMY
As Buffy and Joyce move out into the hall.
What a burn. Buff's mom was just
starting to accept the slayer thing.
Now she's going to be double-freaked.
(glances at Amy)
Makes me glad my mother doesn't know
about my extra-curricular activities.
Or my curricular activities. Or, you
know, the fact of my activeness in
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
ON BUFFY AND JOYCE
Are your friends gonna help with the
Mom, this isn't really --
You're embarrassed to be seen hanging
out with your mother.
(in her own defense)
I didn't hug you...
No, it's just... this hall is about
school. You're about home. Mix
them and my world dissolves.
I know. You have no mother, you
hatched full-grown out of a giant
egg. It's just, I keep thinking
about who could have done such a
thing. I want to help.
Oh. Well, Giles can always use--
I called everyone I know in town.
Told them about the dead children.
They're all just as upset as I am.
You called everyone you know?
And they called all their friends.
And guess what? We're setting up
a vigil tonight, at City Hall. The
Mayor's even going to be there.
Now we'll get some action.
Uh-huh. That's great. But, you know
what? A lot of times, when you're
working on something like this, you
try to keep the number of people who
know about it, kind of... small.
Joyce hadn't thought of that.
Oh. Right. Well, I'm sure it won't
be all that many people.
INT. CITY HALL ROTUNDA - NIGHT
An impressive crowd fills the rotunda, which is every bit as large and as elegant as we can afford. Many people hold candles or carry signs showing photographs of the two dead children (the photos show them alive), and the slogan "NEVER AGAIN." There are posters, with the same lay-out, on the walls. A podium faces the crowd.
Buffy, Willow and Joyce are in the crowd near the podium.
This is great. Maybe we can all go
patrolling together later...
At least your mom's making an effort.
My mom's probably
standing right in front of me this
Buffy, Joyce and Willow are joined by WILLOW'S MOTHER, MRS. ROSENBERG, who, exasperated, pushes though the crowd. She's sweet and well meaning - but definitely of the woolly intellectual variety.
Willow! I didn't know you were going
to be her. Hello, Bunny.
Mom -- what are you doing here?
Oh, I read about it in the paper and
what with your dad out of town --
Willow, you cut off your hair!
That's a new look.
Yeah, it's just a sudden whim that I
had... in August.
I like it. Hello, Joyce.
Sheila. I'm glad you could come.
GILES arrives, also perturbed after battling the growing mass of people.
There you are. I almost didn't find
you in this crush.
Giles and Joyce look at each other. Awkwardness.
Mrs. -- Joyce. This is quite a turn
out you've gotten here.
It wasn't just me. But, thank you.
Well - it's been a while.
Right. Not since, not since, not for
There's a rumor going around,
Rumor? About us? About what?
About witches. People calling
themselves witches are responsible
for this brutal crime.
Indeed? How strange.
Yes. So strange. Witches!
Willow makes a funny "pfff" noise, meaning "who could imagine such a thing?"
It's actually not that strange. I just
co-authored a paper on the rise of
mysticism among adolescents and I
was shocked at the statistical --
ooh, are we starting?
The crowd has fallen silent. The Mayor is at the podium. Our group turns to look at him.
He'll do something about this.
The Mayor begins his address, his demeanor subdued.
I want to thank you all for coming in
the aftermath of such a tragic crime.
Seeing you here proves what a caring
community Sunnydale is. Sure, we've
had our share of misfortunes - but
we're a good town, with good people.
And I know none of us will rest easy
until this horrible murder is solved.
With that in mind...
He holds up one of the posters.
I make these words my pledge to you.
There is a murmur of approval from the crowd. A few people get carried away and applaud.
And now, I ask you to give your
attention to the woman who brought
us all here tonight, Joyce Summers.
The Mayor gracefully maneuvers Joyce to the podium and steps back.
Mr. Mayor, you're dead wrong.
General surprise. Not the least of it from Buffy.
This is not a good town. How many of
us have lost someone who just...
disappeared, or got skinned, or
suffered "neck rupture"?! And how
many of us have been too afraid to
speak out? I was supposed to lead us
in a moment of silence. But silence
is this town's disease.
Buffy and Giles exchange a look - stunned by Joyce's candor.
For too long, it's been plagued by
unnatural evils. It's not our town
anymore. It belongs to the monsters,
to the witches and Slayers.
That hits Buffy hard, to hear Slaying lumped in with what's wrong with Sunnydale.
I say - it's time for the grown ups
to take Sunnydale back. I say - we
start by finding the people who did
this and making them pay.
EXT. SUNNYDALE - NIGHT (STOCK)
Only a few lights glow... the town is asleep.
INT. WILLOW'S ROOM
on a desk in a darkened room. The digital display shows the time as 1:00 AM.
PAN off the clock to MICHAEL
a young man we haven't seen before. Gothic Look: dressed in black, pale face, darkened lips, dyed hair.
PAN to reveal AMY sitting next to him. Also in black.
PAN to reveal Willow, completing the triangle.
The shot WIDENS. Amy and Willow each pour liquids into a container that Michael holds. Heavy-looking smoke begins to spill over the sides of the container. In addition, two things become visible: that we're in WILLOW'S ROOM, and that, on the floor, surrounded by herbs and powders, is a large square of cloth inscribed with THE SYMBOL.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY (DAY 3)
Michael and Amy at Michael's locker. Pasted inside: pictures of Marilyn Manson and other disturbing things, and a small mirror. Michael is still in Gothic death-on-toast mode. He uses the mirror to check his look. A HERD OF BIG JOCKS thumps down the hallway. One of them, ROY, slams the locker shut in Michael's face.
Oh, sorry. Did I make you smudge your
eye-liner? Gonna put a spell on me?
He pushes Michael against the lockers, ready to do some pummeling. Amy, furious, rushes to Michael's defense.
Hey! What is your problem?
Everyone know he's into that voodoo
witch crap. I heard about those kids;
people like him gotta learn a lesson.
What about people like me?
Get in my face and you'll find out.
He pushes past her and grabs Michael again.
A little crowd of students has gathered to watch. Among them, CORDELIA. Buffy pushes through the group and sizes up the sitch. She steps up next to Amy and Michael, and just lets the jocks see that she's there -- her expression more expectant than fierce. Roy and the guys see her. Stop. A beat. Then -
No problem here. We're walking.
Now Roy and the other thugs take off.
(to Amy and Michael)
You guys okay?
The hallway has emptied. Amy and Michael walk away, Michael rubbing his arm where it hit the lockers. Buffy sees that Giles has emerged from the library, drawn by the noise of the confrontation. She takes a step toward him, but is intercepted by Cordelia.
You're gong to be one busy little
Slayer, baby-sitting them.
I doubt they'll have more trouble.
I doubt your doubt. Everyone know
witches killed those kids. Amy is a
witch. And Michael is whatever the
boy of "witch" is, plus being the
poster child for yuck.
If you're going to hang with them,
expect badness, 'cause that's what
you get for hanging with freaks and
losers. Believe me, I know.
She takes a step away, then comes back.
That was a pointed comment about me
hanging with you guys.
Point made, Cordy turns on her heel and stalks off.
I get that. But witches didn't do it!
Giles clears his throat and leans in toward Buffy.
Actually, I'm afraid they may have.
My research keeps leading me back to
European Wiccan covens.
You found the meaning of the symbol?
Just about. I'm fairly sure a book
that Willow borrowed has the rest of
the information I need.
INT. SCHOOL LOUNGE - DAY
Buffy enters. Xander is sitting on one of the couches.
Hey. Is Willow around?
How can I convince you people that
it's over?! You assume because I'm
here, she's here, or that I somehow
mysteriously know where she is.
Buffy sees a stack of books at a nearby study carrel.
Are those hers?
Yeah. She's in the bathroom.
Buffy heads for the carrel. Xander trails along.
But the fact that I know doesn't
change that I have a genuine
complaint here. I'm sick of the
judgement. The innuendo. Is a man
not innocent until proven guilty?!
Buffy is looking at Willow's stuff. She hesitates, then moves some papers, revealing an old volume. On the cover: the symbol.
Xander. You are guilty. You got
illicit smoochies and you have to
pay the price.
But I'm talking about future guilt.
Everyone expects me to mess up again.
Like Oz. I see the way he is around
me. You know, that steely gaze...
The pointed silence...
Buffy picks up the book, flips through it casually.
'Cause he's usually such a chatterbox.
No. It's different now. It's a more
verbal non-verbal. He says volumes
with his eyes.
Now Buffy glances at the desk-top and sees what the book had been covering: an open notebook. Writing surrounds a hand-copied version of the symbol. Buffy looks at it if it were a snake. Willow comes over.
Hey, Buff. What'cha looking for?
You want to borrow something?
Buffy picks up the notebook and turns it so Willow can see.
A doodle. I do doodle. You too.
You do doodle too.
You're not going to make me feel
better, are you?
(to Will/ignoring him)
This is a witch symbol.
Okay. Yeah. It is.
This symbol was on the murdered kids.
Willow is stunned.
It was? On the kids... Oh no,
Buffy. I didn't know. No one told
me about that. I swear--
A big CLATTER AND COMMOTION interrupts Willow. Xander joins them as they look down the hall toward the noise. The NOISE builds, the clang of lockers, raised voices... Buffy hands Willow her notebook. Willow picks up the book from the carrel and the three of them head for the source of the noise.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS (DAY)
Students are gathered, watching with disbelief and indignation as SNYDER walks the row of lockers. One by one they are unlocked by a CUSTODIAN, and searched by ARMED SECURITY GUARDS. Farther down the hall, a FACULTY MEMBER stops students and searches their backpacks. Buffy, Willow and Xander join Oz, CORDELIA and AMY among the spectators.
Oh, man. It's Nazi Germany and I
have Playboys in my locker.
Snyder is speaking to the assembled students.
This is a glorious day for principals
everywhere. No pathetic whining
about "students' rights," just a long
row of lockers and a man with a key.
Oz leans over to Buffy and Willow.
They just took three kids away.
I don't get it. What are they
They found my spells. I'm supposed
to report to Snyder's office.
Oh my god.
A TEACHER comes over to Amy, takes her by the arm. As she's led away:
Willow, be careful.
I have things. In my locker.
Henbane, Hellibore, Mandrake root...
Excuse me, Playboys. Can we work the
Another locker is opened.
Get your grubby custodial hands off
that! That hair spray cost forty-
five dollars and it's imported!
The next one's mine.
Buffy, I didn't do anything wrong.
The symbol's harmless. I used it to
make a protection spell for you, for
your birthday. With Michael and Amy.
Only, now it's broken, because you
know about it. So Happy Birthday,
and please, you have to believe me.
Ms. Rosenberg. My office.
Willow looks up. Snyder is standing in front of her open locker. He holds up plastic bags filled with herbs and roots. Willow, resigned but terrified, starts to move off. Buffy very casually reaches out and takes the book with the symbol and Willow's notebook out of Willow's hands. Willow shoots her a quick, grateful look - heads for the office. Buffy head for the library.
INT. LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS (DAY)
Buffy enters the library just as AN ARMED SECURITY GUARD exits with a large box full of books. She steps in further to see ANOTEHR ARMED GUARD pulling books from the shelves, filling another box. Giles watches, frustrated and defeated.
They're confiscating my books.
Buffy sets Willow's book and notebook on the counter.
Giles, we need those books.
Believe me - I tried telling that to
the nice man with the big gun.
There's something about this symbol
we're not getting. Willow used it in
a protection spell. She said it's
harmless - not a big bad. So why
would it turn up in a ritual sacrifice?
I don't know. Ordinarily I'd suggest
we widen our research...
Using what? The dictionary and "My
Giles takes this in - reaching the boiling point.
This is intolerable. Snyder has
interfered before, but I will not
take this from that twisted little
Snyder has entered -- Buffy sees him and pushes Willow's book off the back edge of the counter onto the floor -- at least they're out of sight.
Ah, I love the smell of desperate
librarian in the morning.
Get out of here, and take your...
marauders with you.
Oh my. So fierce. I suppose I
should hear you out. Just how is
(picking up a book)
"Blood Rites and Sacrifices"
appropriate material for a public
school library? The Chess Club
These items are my personal research
materials. I assure you - they're all
But as Giles speaks, one of Snyder's goons OPENS A CABINET behind him in the book cage - revealing a brutal assortment of weaponry: crossbows, axes, spears... Snyder grins like the cat who ate the canary
So are you. A relic of a progressive
era that is finally coming to an end.
Welcome to the new new age.
This isn't over.
Oh, I'd say it's just beginning.
Fight it if you want -- just remember:
lift a finger against me, and you'll
have to answer to MOO.
Answer to MOO? Did that sentence
make some sense that I'm just not in
Mothers Opposed to the Occult.
Powerful new group.
And who came up with that lame name?
That would be the founder. I believe
you call her 'mom'.
INT. WILLOW'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Willow enters to find her mother, sitting in front of the coffee table - upon which lies all the magik-making items that were confiscated from Willow's locker. She looks up at Willow calmly.
Sit down, honey.
Principal Snyder talked to you.
Yes. He's quite concerned.
Mom. I know what it looks like, but
I can totally-
(cutting her off)
You don't have to explain, honey.
This isn't exactly a surprise.
Identification with mythical icons is
perfectly typical of your age group.
It's a classic adolescent response to
the pressure of incipient adulthood.
Willow actually looks a little disappointed.
Oh. Is that what it is.
Of course, I could have wished that
you would identify with something a
little less icky, but developmentally
Mom, I'm not an age group. I'm me.
I understand --
No you don't. It's probably hard to
accept, but I can do stuff. Nothing
bad or dangerous. But I can do spells-
You think you can. And that's what
concerns me. The delusions-
Willow is growing frustrated. She's not getting through to her mom at all.
Mom. How would you know what I can
do? The last time we had a conversation
over three minutes it was about the
patriarchal bias of the Mr. Rodgers show.
Well, with "King Friday" lording it
over all the lesser puppet --
Mom, you're not paying attention!
And this is your way of trying to get
it. Now, I've consulted some of my
colleagues and they all agree. This
is a cry for discipline. You're
Grounded? This is the first time -
ever - I do something you don't like
and I'm grounded? I'm supposed to
mess up. I'm a teenager, remember?
You're upset. I hear your -
That's it, Willow snaps.
Hear this, Ma! I'm a rebel. I'm
having a rebellion-
Willow. Honey. You don't have
to act out like this to prove your
Mom! I'm not acting out - I'm a
WITCH. I make pencils float. I
summon the four elements! Well -
two elements - but four soon!
And I'm dating a musician!
I worship Beelzebub! I do his
bidding. Do you see any goats
around? No! Because I sacrificed
them! All bow before SATAN!
I'm not listening to this --
She gets up, starts to go. Willow follows her around the room, calling out:
Prince of darkness - I summon you!
Come fill me with your black,
Mrs. Rosenberg's voice grows loud and sharp. She's had it.
Willow is stunned silent. This may be the first time her mother's ever paid enough attention to yell at her.
Now. You will go to your room and
stay there until I say otherwise.
And we're gonna make some changes.
I don't want you hanging out with
those friends of yours. It's clear
where this little obsession came
from. You will not speak to Bunny
INT. BUFFY'S DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Buffy stands in front of Joyce, who addresses her in a very similar tone to the one Mrs. Rosenberg just used. The dining room has been converted into an office. There are neat stacks of "NEVER AGAIN" posters, phone lists, Joyce's computer... and MOO lapel pins.
I don't want you seeing that Willow
anymore. I've spoken with her mother.
I had no idea her forays into the occult
had gone so far.
Buffy stares at her mom, disbelieving.
You're the one who ordered the raid
on the school today.
Honey, they opened a few lockers.
Lockers. First syllable, lock.
They're supposed to be private.
Also, they took all of Giles' books
He'll get most of them back. MOO
just wants to weed out the offensive
material. Everything else will be
returned to Mr. Giles soon.
But we need those books now. To help
solve this thing.
Sweetie, those books had no business
in a public school library. Especially
now. Any student could waltz in there
and get all sorts of ideas. Do you
understand how that terrifies me?
Mom, I hate that these people scared
you so much. And I know you're
trying to help. But you have to let
me handle this. It's what I do.
But is it really? You patrol. You
slay. Evil pops up, you undo it.
And that's great. But has Sunnydale
gotten any better? Are they running
out of vampires?
I don't think they run out--
It's not your fault. You don't have
a plan. You just... react to things.
It's bound to be kind of fruitless.
Buffy's hurt, but she turns it into anger.
Okay. Maybe I don't have a plan.
Lord knows I don't have lapel buttons...
...And maybe the next time the world
is getting sucked into hell, I won't
be able to stop it because, guess
what, the anti-hell-sucking book
isn't on the approved reading list!
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to put down--
Yeah. You did. But you know what?
I have to go. I have to go out on
one of my pointless little patrols
now, and "react to" some vampires,
if that's all right with MOO.
Buffy storms out. A beat, then she pops back in to say:
And nice acronym, Mom.
She sighs and looks tired.
I'm just trying to make things better.
WIDEN TO REVEAL:
The TWO LITTLE DEAD KIDS are sitting opposite Joyce at the table, right where Buffy had just been standing.
They have the slightest hint of death about them: a little pale, lips a little blue. They speak softly, beseechingly.
There's bad people out there.
And we can't sleep.
Not until you hurt them...
The way they hurt us.
EXT. PLAYGROUND - NIGHT
The playground is eerily quiet as Buffy patrols, fighting an overwhelming sense of foreboding. She moves somewhat reluctantly to the sandbox, which has been turned into an impromptu shrine - covered with flowers and photos.
Angel steps up beside her. She turns to him and without a word folds herself into his arms. After a bit of holdage...
Hey. How are you?
I'm all right.
(looks at her)
I think I'm better than you right now.
Buffy turns back to the shrine.
I heard about this. People are talking.
People are even talking to me.
It's strange... People die in
Sunnydale all the time. And I've
never seen anything like this.
They were children. Innocent. It
makes a difference.
And Mr. Sanderson from the bank had
Now Angel leads her to a bench - they sit.
My mom... She said some stuff to me.
About being the Slayer. That it's
fruitless. No fruit for Buffy.
Was she? Is Sunnydale any better
than when I came here? Okay - so
I battle evil. But I don't really win -
the bad keeps coming back and
getting stronger. I'm like that kid
in the story, the boy who stuck his
finger in the duck.
(off her confusion)
It's another word for a dam.
Oh. Okay, now that story makes a
lot more sense.
Buffy, you know I'm still working
things out; there's a lot I don't
understand. But I know it's
important to keep fighting and I
learned that from you.
But we never --
We never win.
We never will. That's not why we
fight. We do it 'cause there's things
worth fighting for.
Buffy takes this in.
Those kids. Their parents.
This seems to strike Buffy. She looks at Angel - realizing something.
Right. Their parents.
I know it's not much.
(deep in thought)
No. It's a lot...
INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT
The shelves have big ugly gaps where Giles' world should be. The man himself, supremely frustrated, sits alone at the table with a computer. He keeps pushing buttons - only to be confronted with a LOUD PROTESTING BEEP.
Session interrupted? Who said you
could interrupt -- Stupid, useless
fad -- That's right! I said fad!
And I'll say it again.
At that point I will become frightened.
He has walked in with Oz.
Take heart. We found your books.
Giles looks up as if Oz' voice were a chorus of angels.
Put the heart back. We can't get
'em. They're locked in City Hall.
Xander looks over his shoulder - pretends shock.
"Frisky Watcher's Chat Room."
Giles shoots Xander a withering look as Buffy strides in.
Buffy! Oz and I found out --
These kids. What do we know
Well... they were found in the park --
Where'd they go to school? Who are
their parents? What are their names?
The three men look at each other, trying to think.
We know everything about their
deaths, but we don't even know
Sure we do... uh... it's on the tip
of my tongue...
It's never come up. Ever.
And if no one know who they are,
how did they get these pictures?
I - I assumed that someone knew the
details. I never really...it's very strange.
(points to the computer)
We need to get some information.
Could somebody else... This thing has
shut me out.
Well if you didn't yell at it...
Oz moves to the computer. Giles gratefully move aside.
I can look around, but Willow really
knows the sites we'll need.
How - she's not even allowed to come
to the phone. The wrath of MOO.
We don't need a phone.
INT. WILLOW'S ROOM - NIGHT
Willow sits on her bed, reading. Her computer CHIMES. She look over at it.
INT. LIBRARY - LATE (NIGHT)
Giles, Xander and Buffy watch as Oz works the computer.
Okay. We're linked. If anyone's
ID'd the kids, she'll pull it up and
feed it here.
INT. WILLOW'S ROOM - NIGHT
Willow's at her computer. Her computer screen fills with data. A newspaper article. She smiles, hits a button...
INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT
The article appears on the screen of the library computer. Giles hovers over Oz, reading.
Two children, found dead. Mysterious
mark... No. These children were
found near Omaha in 1949,
They aren't ours. Keep going.
Oz is ready to clear the screen...
A black and white photograph appears on the screen, gaining resolution slowly as it is downloaded. Two little kids. The picture grows sharper.
INT. WILLOW'S ROOM - NIGHT
Willow looks at the same photo.
INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT
The same kids.
Fifty years ago.
The screen shifts, a new article.
1899. Utah... Two children... rural
community torn apart by suspicion...
A hundred years. How is that possible?
No mention of who they were.
They've never been seen alive, just
dead. A lot.
The screen fills with old-style German type.
Let me see that.
An Instant-Message box appears in the corner of the box. Oz reads it.
There were more articles. Every
fifty years, all the same.
From as far back as 1649.
Now Giles takes Oz's place at the computer, concentrates on the text, translating as he reads.
Written by a cleric from a village
near the Black Forest. He found
the bodies himself. Two children...
Greta Strauss, age six. Hans
Giles reads on silently.
So they have names. That's new.
Suddenly, the computer screen goes black. It them displays an official-looking message: "ACCESS TO THIS SITE DENIED."
INT. WILLOW'S ROOM - NIGHT
At a dead end, a frustrated Willow turns off her computer. Turns to see Mrs. Rosenberg standing next to her, not happy.
You're not minding me, Willow. I
thought I made myself clear.
Willow is shocked by the anger in her mother's voice.
Mrs. Rosenberg closes the computer and takes it.
I see what you're doing. You're
challenging me. But I will not have
you communicating with your cyber-
coven or what have you-
Coven? What happened to me being
"delusional" and "acting out?"
That was before I talked in depth
with Ms. Summers and her associates.
It seems I've been rather closed-minded.
So - you believe me?
I believe you, dear.
Now all I can do is let you go
Let me go? What does that mean?
Mrs. Rosenberg doesn't reply -- just leaves. She shuts the door, locks it.
INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT
Buffy, Giles, Oz and Xander, in confusion.
We lost Willow.
Oz types, tries to get the connection back.
Greta Strauss. Hans Strauss.
Deep in thought, Giles goes to on eof the bookshelves... and remembers the books are gone. He turns away helplessly, pulling the facts from his memory with effort.
There's a fringe theory held by a few
folklorists that some regional stories
have actual, very literal antecedents...
And in some language that's English?
Fairy tales are real.
Hans and Greta.
Hansel and Gretel.
Wait. Hansel and Gretel? Breadcrumbs,
ovens, Gingerbread house?
Of course... it makes sense now...
Yeah, it's all falling into place.
Of course, that place is nowhere
near this place...
There are demons that thrive on
fostering persecution and hatred
among the mortal animals. Not on
destroying men, but on watching them
destroy each other. They feed us our
darkest fear, and turn peaceful
communities into vigilantes.
Hansel and Gretel go home and tell on
the mean old witch --
And she and probably dozens of other
are punished by a righteous mob.
It's happened throughout history. It
happened in Salem, not surprisingly.
I'm still spinning on the whole fairy
tales are real thing.
What do we do?
I don't know about you, but I'm going
to go trade my cow for some beans.
(off their looks)
No one else is seeing the funny here?
Giles, we have to talk to Mom. If
she know the truth she can defuse
this whole thing --
The library doors fly open and Michael runs in. He's bloodied and out of breath. The group goes to him, holds him up.
I was attacked.
Officially not funny.
Dad. His friends. They're taking
people from their homes. And
something about a trial at city
hall... They got Amy.
Tell her to get out of her house.
Michael, stay here and hide. Giles,
we'll go find my mom. Oz, you and
We're already gone.
And they are.
INT. WILLOW'S ROOM - NIGHT
Willow hears the door being unlocked. She rushes to it.
Mom. We really need to-
The door opens. Revealing MRS. ROSENBERG and a number of hostile-looking MOO MEMBERS.
It's time to go.
Get your coat. It's chilly out.
Go? Go where-
I said - get your coat, witch.
Acting on instinct - Willow powers forward and SLAMS THE DOOR SHUT ON HER MOTHER. Mrs. Rosenberg and the others immediately start to pound on it and shout.
Trying to keep the door shut. Terrified.
INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE, ENTRYWAY/LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Buffy and Giles enter through the front door and rush into the living room, surprising Joyce who is in the middle of a lively debate with four of her fellow MOO members.
Buffy. Mr. Giles? Has something
Oh. Um. Mom? Can we talk to you?
Of course, Honey.
(to her guests)
You go on without me.
Joyce follows Buffy and Giles into the entry way.
Mom, we have to talk alone. There's
more going on than you --
Giles lets out a SHOUT, cut off quickly, as ONE OF THE GUESTS GRABS him from behind and DRAGS him back into the living room. Buffy whirls, ready to fight, when Joyce's hand clamps over her mouth and nose. The hand holds a soaked handkerchief. Buffy sinks to the ground. As she lies there, fighting for consciousness, she blink up at her mother.
You were right. That was easy.
The two dead kids step into Buffy's line of sight. The girl takes a previously-unseen bottle of chloroform from Joyce.
I told you.
It gets even easier.
But I'm still scared of the bad girls.
You have to stop them. You have to
make them go away. Forever.
The images of the little kids BLUR and waver. Buffy's eyes close. She's out.
INT. WILLOW'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Oz bursts in through the front door, Xander behind him. They run toward Willow's room.
INT. WILLOW'S ROOM - NIGHT
Oz and Xander freeze. The room is empty but upturned. There has clearly been a struggle here.
INT. CITY HALL ROTUNDA - NIGHT
Willow is being tied to a stake by Mrs. Rosenberg. Amy is tied to another stake, and Buffy, unconscious, is TIED TO A THIRD. Giles' books are piled at their feet. People with MOO buttons ring the room. Among them: Joyce.
Stand still. Be a good girl.
No! Why are you doing this to me?
There's no cure but the fire.
Buffy! Wake up!
Mom, this is crazy!
But Buffy is still out cold.
INT. BUFFY'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Giles lies unconscious on the floor of the living room. A hand SLAPS him hard. Again. And again. He grunts with pain and opens his eyes. The hand slaps him again anyway.
Sure enough, the hand belongs to Cordelia. And it's drawn back for one more swipe. Giles blocks it.
Took you long enough to wake up.
My hand hurts.
Giles rubs his face.
Pity... Why are you here?
Things are way out of control, Giles.
First the thing at school, and then
my mom confiscates all my black
clothes and scented candles. I came
over to tell Buffy to stop this
craziness and I found you all
unconscious again. How many times
have you been knocked out, anyway?
I swear, one of these times you're
going to wake up in a coma.
Wake up in-- Never mind. We have to
go save Buffy from Hansel and Gretel.
A beat as Cordy tries to process this. Then-
Now let's be clear, the brain damage
happened before I hit you.
She helps him to his feet.
INT. CITY HALL LOBBY - NIGHT
Xander and Oz run into City Hall and head for the doors that lead into the rotunda. Tow men wearing MOO buttons block their path. Two other MOO members close and lock the doors.
What's with the grim? We're here
to join you guys.
It's not going over The mini-mob presses in on them.
Really. Why should you guys have
all the fun? We want to be part of
Nope. The MOO freaks are looking even more murderous.
Just so we're clear - you know you're
With that, Xander and Oz run for their lives.
INT. CITY HALL ROTUNDA - NIGHT
As before: Willow, Amy, and the still-unconscious Buffy bound to stakes, Giles' books piled at their feet.
Willow tries kicking books at Buffy to wake her up. Finally Buffy comes to, takes in the situation. Joyce steps forward and smiles kindly at Buffy.
Good morning, sleepy-head.
You don't want this.
Since when does it matter what I
want? I wanted a normal, happy
daughter and instead I got a slayer.
Buffy takes this in - stricken.
ON JOYCE AND MRS. ROSENBERG
Joyce takes the torch.
This has been so trying -- but you've
been a champ.
You too, Joyce.
We should stay close. Have lunch.
How nice. I'd love to.
BACK ON AMY, WILLOW AND BUFFY
who watch, disbelieving, as Joyce and Mrs. Rosenberg light the pyre.
Oh, you can't be serious...
But it's too late. The books have already begun to burn.
CLOSE ON AMY
who is wild with fear - furious.
All right! You want to fry a witch!?
I'll give you a witch!
She throws her head back - starts to incant.
"Goddess Hecate, work thy will..."
Buffy glances at Willow. This sounds familiar.
Now Amy lower her head and crosses her arms over her heart - she's GONE BLACK-EYED from her majik-making trance.
"Before thee let the unclean thing craw!"
BOOM - AMY SHUDDERS as her body rocks with A BALL OF PURE ENERGY. The MOOSTERS fall back - screaming with fear at this display.
A beat as the smoke clears. Amy appears be gone - until Willow sees A RAT scurry from the pyre and away to safety.
She couldn't do us first?
Some MOOsters move tentatively forward --
Do not dare! You see what we can
do -- another step and you will all
feel my power!
What are you gonna do, float a pencil
But there seems to be some hesitation...
It's a really big power...
(getting into it)
That's right! You will all be turned
into vermin... and some of you will
be fish... the people in the back
will be fish...
It seems to be working. Moosters are moving slowly away. Even Joyce and Sheila are hesitating.
Maybe we should go...
NOW THE TWO LITTLE DEMON KIDS suddenly appear before Joyce, Mrs. Rosenberg and the rest of the terrified Moo members.
But you promised...
You have to kill the bad girls.
INT. GILES' CAR - NIGHT
Giles drives. Cordelia holds containers of various herbs, roots, etc.
I can't believe you had this stuff in
your apartment. It smells foul.
Shred the Wolfsbane -- that's the
leafy stuff. Then crush the Satyrion root.
Luften sie den something. Schumer?
God. This is killing my manicure.
What are you muttering about?
It's part of an incantation I'm trying
to recall. It's in German and
without my books...
What's it mean?
It's about lifting a veil. It should
make the demons appear in their true
form, which should negate their
influence. Oh, and you need to drop
a toadstone into the mixture.
This? It doesn't look like a toad.
She smells the small stone.
No reason it should. It's from
inside the toad.
I hate you.
INT. CITY HALL ROTUNDA - NIGHT
The flames burn higher. The little dead children press in closer, firelight reflecting off their faces. They speak in voices soft and clear:
They hurt us.
Mom, dead people are talking to you.
Do the math!
I'm sorry, Buffy
Mom! Look at me. You love me.
If you do this, you won't be able to
live with yourself.
You earned this. You toyed with
unnatural forces... Buffy, what kind
of mother would I be if I didn't
Willow and Buffy struggle, trying to free themselves.
INT. CITY HALL LOBBY - NIGHT
Giles and Cordy arrive at the door to the Rotunda where Xander and Oz faced the mob. Everyone's inside now, no one guards the door. Cordy holds the little vial of potion. Giles tries the door. Locked. He plucks a pin from Cordy's hair.
Ow! You got hair with that!
Giles ignores her - applies himself to picking the lock.
God, you really were the little
youthful offender, weren't you? You
must look back and just cringe.
INT. CITY HALL CORRIDOR - NIGHT
Meanwhile, a winded Oz and Xander peer around a corner - checking to make sure they lost the Moosters.
They move to some doors. Oz tries the doors - locked, of course.
We have to get inside.
A beat. Then Xander and Oz both SLAM their shoulders into the door. It doesn't even budge. A beat.
No! Oh, God! Help!
It sounds like she's right... above us?
They look above them - the sound is clearly coming from an overhead AIR VENT. They glance at each other.
Xander starts to give Oz a hand up. Oz knocks out the grate and pulls himself in.
INT. CITY HALL ROTUNDA - NIGHT
The fire burns merrily. Willow looks close to passing out.
Buffy... it's too hot. I can't take it.
I'm so sorry, Willow. If it wasn't
for me, you never would...
Buffy trails off when she sees Giles and Cordy sneak into the room behind Joyce.
ON GILES AND CORDELIA
As they make their way to a coiled fire-hose behind a glass hinged door. Giles takes the potion from Cordy and motions for her to open the glass door. Cordy nods, but instead, she SMASHES it.
JOYCE AND HER FRIENDS.
Whirl around. Cordy tugs at the water valve as Giles begins his spell, which he continues under the subsequent dialogue and action.
(shouting in German)
Dämonen zeight euch. Ich
beschwöre die Mächte der
Hecate, Königin und
Beschützerin der Hexen, die
Masken wegzureissen. Das
Böse soll das Gesicht des
Demons show yourselves. I
call on the powers of
Hecate, queen and
protectress of witches, to
strip away the masks. Let
evil wear an evil face...
MOO members converge, but Cordelia is armed. The hose comes on FULL FORCE. Cordelia barely manages to keep hold of it. MOO members are swept off their feet by the water. Cordelia keeps them at bay.
Buffy! I'm on fire!
Cordelia, put out the fire!
Realizing that sounds good too, Cordelia wrestles the hose into place, and douses the fire.
INT. AIR VENT - NIGHT
Xander and Oz follow the sound of the girls and the Moosters - crawling in almost total darkness.
INT. CITY HALL ROTUNDA - NIGHT
Cordelia is still battling the fire while Giles continues to chant:
Hecate ruft euch an.
Hebt den Schleier auf.
(Hecate implores you. Lift the veil)
He falters, stumbling over the German. He hesitates, then continues:
Hebt den Schleier auf.
Verbergt euch nicht hinter
(Lift the veil. Hide not behind false faces.)
Now Giles THROWS the potion.
ON THE DEMON KIDS
The little vial breaks at the feet of the dead kids - the liquid SPATTERS and STEAMS. The little dead kids start HOWLING, then MORPH together. They flow into a liquid shape that coalesces into ONE BIG NASTY DEMON. Their HIGH-PITCHED VOICES DROP, deepen alarmingly into a single deep how.
ON GILES, CORDELIA, JOYCE, MOOSERS, ET AL...
Okay. I liked the two little ones
better than the one big one.
MOO members fall back, confused, as they are freed from the hold the kids had on them. They see the demon, SCREAM AND SCATTER, except for JOYCE AND MRS. ROSENBERG.
Protect us! Kill the bad girls!
You know what? Not as convincing in
Snarling, the demon turns on her, RUNS.
Oh my god, Buffy!
Buffy gives on last wrenching pull on the ropes that bind her hands - and ends up BREAKING THE STAKE FROM THE FLOOR.
She's more mobile, but she's still tied to the stake. The demon sees that his time is limited. He ROARS and CHARGES at her, a flying tackle. Buffy bends forward and the stake angles out in front of her like a wooden sword-point. It CATCHES THE DEMON IN THE THROAT, piercing it -- a mortal wound.
Now Buffy's STUCK with her stake embedded in the dead demon, who has died on his feet. Buffy's still bending forward - can't see anything but the ground.
Did I get it? Did I get it?
Before anyone can answer XANDER AND OZ PLUMMET through the CEILING, the AIR VENT HAVING GIVEN WAY. They land DIRECTLY BEHIND BUFFY AND THE DEMON, creating a bizarre tableau.
Willow walks up to them on the ground.
We're here to save you.
INT. WILLOW'S ROOM - DAY
Buffy and Willow are on the bed, mixing various spell things and talking.
Your mom doesn't mind us doing this
in the house?
She doesn't know.
Business as usual?
Sort of. She's doing that selective
memory thing your mom used to be
so good at.
She forgot everything?
No, she remembered the part where I
told her I was dating a musician. Oz
has to come for dinner. So that's
sort of like taking an interest...
So. You want to try this again?
Let's do it. I think we got the mix
of herbs right this time.
And we see for the first time that they have the Amyrat on the bed in front of them.
Buffy drops some RAT HAIR in the dish. Lights it with a match. A THICK PLUME of smoke rises. Willow does the incantation.
"Diana! Hecate! I hereby license
thee to depart. Goddess of creatures
great and small - I conjure thee to
Buffy and Willow wave the smoke away - look at the cage expectantly.
CLOSE ON CAGE
Amyrat sits there. Unchanged. Buffy and Willow are at a loss. A long beat. Finally-
Maybe we should get her one of those