Episode Number: 7.5
Running Time: 42:55
Summary written by Leoff
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Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Olaf the Troll confronts Anya about their dating (from Triangle), Anya explains to Willow about Spike being insane in the basement, Willow's "re-appearance" in Sunnydale, Anya confronts group about making worm boy, Willow and Anya talk about vengence, Halfrek talks to Anya about her place as a Vengence demon.
Helping Willow unpack in her old bedroom, Dawn gives the Wicca some pointers about how to handle her return to college classes: When to speak, when to shut up, and mainly "do what everyone else does." Willow smiles as she loads up her drawers with clothes, saying she's been to college before. Buffy and Xander walk in carrying a box and a lamp. "Have you talked with her lately?" Buffy asks. Xander says no, not since the Gnarl demon, and even then it wasn't such a happy talk. Xander thinks he should call Anya, but Buffy shows some uneasyness, not wanting Xander to get his hopes up. Xander says he's not, that he knows it's over with Anya, but he's a "strong, sucessful male who's giddy at the thought of all the women he will soon be dating in the near future." "Strong, successful men say 'giddy'?" Buffy cracks. Xander just says his concern is that she's lonely, she seems so sad. Buffy expresses concern at the "definite vengence vibe" Anya was eminating, but Xander says he actually understands that Anya just went back to what she knows, but that's not her now. He points out that she did turn the worm guy back and thinks that she's coming around.
A man lays on the ground, dead, a large bloody hole in his chest where his heart was. The camera slowly pans around the night-time room, showing two, three, five, many young men, all dead, all with the same wound. Sitting on the floor in a neighboring room, Anya has blood on her flower print dress, her face full of horror. "What have I done?" she asks.
Opening Credits: Nothing new.
"Sjornjost, 880" reads the caption as we are transported back to a very medival Sweden (complete with grainy old-style film appearance), where "Aud" (Anya) is carrying a rabbit around inside a cottage. Olaf bursts in the front door, greeting his woman and saying he is hungry enough to eat a small child. Aud is glad to see him, but wonders why he smells of blood? He was battling a few Trolls and talks of how ugly they were. Aud sits Olaf down and starts to tend to him, putting away his great battleaxe, when Olaf looks around and notices an unusual amount of rabbits around the cottage. Aud tells him that they breed quickly (which briefly get's Olaf wanting to "breed" himself) and that she's been thinking of an idea to trade the rabbits to the townspeople for goods and services and will express goodwill. Olaf laughs, saying her logic is like that of a Troll, and that the matrons at the bar talk of her. Aud gets a very dark look on her face, asking if he was at the bar? Olaf unknowingly sidesteps the question, saying that it's not his fault they don't speak well of her because she speaks oddly and says what is on her mind.
"Was Rannveig there?" Aud asks, her anger still bubbling. Olaf says he has told her many times that he has no interest in Rannveig. "Her hips are wide and load-bearing, like a Baltic woman. "Your hips are small, like a Baltic woman from a more arid region." He says, telling Aud that she is the perfect woman for him. Aud smiles, pushes her jealousy/anger aside and hugs Olaf, apologizing, saying she could not live without him.
Back to the present where we see bloodstained hands being washed in a sink. Anya looks at herself in a mirror, seeing a blood-splattered face, arms, and dress. She is a bit rushed, nervous.
"I don't trust what I see anymore..." Spike sits in his basement on the floor, leaning against a wall. Buffy crowches by him, looking at him understandingly, listening. He remembers how Drusilla used to 'see things' that used to make him think she was really crazy, but then she would see the sky while indoors and he remembers it would make her so happy to see the stars and showers. Spike's smile soon fades as he admits he's in trouble to Buffy. She says his name gently. "I could never ask... not after..." he says, but Buffy says it's different now. Buffy comforts him "It's me and it's you and we'll get through this... we'll get through this." then the camera pans around to down the hall. Buffy comes walking into the basement, dressed quite differently. "Spike, this basement is killing you." She says matter of factly. Spike laughs when she mentions it's on the hellmouth, but she continues, saying he should get out of here soon before things get worse. "But I don't have anywhere else to go." He answers.
Outside of Sunnydale University, Willow talks (and starts to plead) with one of her old instructors to come back to classes, but the instructor says it's ok, she can't deny one of her best students. The teacher comments that she saw Willow's grades start to slip at mid term, but then she turned it around and got straight A's out of nowhere, "As if, boom, like magic." The instructor tells Willow to meet her during her office hours the next day so they can talk about Willow getting caught up, then she leaves. Willow was half distracted during the instructor's departure, noticing Anya walking out of a fraternaty house wearing an old raincoat, noticably trying to keep herself covered. Willow calls her over and is all excited to tell Anya about her return to school, and all the homework and surprise quizzes they have planned for her, but Anya looks tired, uneasy, a little confused. Willow asks her what she's doing there, walking out of the fraternity house. Anya tells Willow nervously that she's there to see her new boyfriend, and that they just had lots and lots of sex. Willow smiles, saying that's great that she's moving on, but she notices a smear of blood on Anya's palm as Anya went to brush her hair back. Anya nervously excuses herself and leaves as Willow (naturally) heads towards the Frat house to investigate.
Walking inside, she calls out hello, but no answer is heard. She immediately notices a large pool of blood on the floor, with streaks leading away, hinting that someone was dragged towards a door to the left. She sees blood smears on the front of the door and slowly pushes it open. Inside, she glances around and all we see is a horrified look come on her face.
From the other room, she hears a feint wimpering, a girl's voice, saying "I take it back" repeatedly. Going to investigate, Willow opens a closet door and finds a young woman crouching inside, crying, her clothes smeared with blood. She rambles when Willow asks what happenned, going on about there being a party and that everyone is bringing dates, but then when she showed up it was just her, and "them." Her boyfriend invited the woman there to break up with her in front of his frat boy friends as a game, a cruel joke, with the boys laughing and laughing. Willow tries to console the girl a bit as she continues "And I yelled just once... I wish you could all know what it feels like to have your hearts ripped out... just once... I wish... and then it came." Willow asks what came? The woman says "the spider." Willow asks where it is now, as the girl looks up and sees it on the ceiling behind Willow.
Commercial Break: You say you want to record that commercial, but you just don't want to waste all that extra space on the videotape? Now available: Fuji 2 minute VHS tapes! (6 minutes in EP).
The girl wimpers as the spider closes in on Willow, who notices that the girl is looking behind her. Willow spins and sees the "spider", a large spider/crab-like thing leap to the attack. "Protect!" Willow says, raising her hand and cereating a golden barrier that keeps the spider demon away. The girl continues to wimper even more now as willow turns to her, black eyes peircing "For God's sakes shut your wimpering mouth." The spider demon tries to repeatedly punch through the force shield, but Willow uses it to bounce the demon off and out through a window. Lowering her hand, Willow looks at the girl with normal eyes apoligetically. "I'm sorry."
"A Troll!" "That's the largest Troll I've ever seen!" "Run! Hide your babies and your beadwork!" The Swedish villagers run and scatter as Olaf, brandishing a large hammer, tries to plead with them "Stop! It's me, Olaf!" "The Troll is doing an Olaf impersonation!" one of the villagers yells. "Hit him with fruits and various meats." says another, as they villagers start pelting Olaf the Troll with fruits and various meats. He runs off with the villagers in pursuit as Aud watches coldly from a distance. From behind her, D'hoffryn walks around, asking her how she she did the spell. "Thorton's hope" she answers, with ellsbane to get the troll element. When D'hoffryn asks Aud what Olaf did, she answers "Bar matron... a load-bearing bar matron." Aud starts to walk off as D'hoffryn remembers his manners and introduces himself. Aud introduces herself, which makes D'hoffryn smirk. He says that she does not see her true self, that she is Anyanka. He then goes on to explain that he is from a family of vengence demons and wonders if she's heard of them? Aud apologizes, saying she hasn't because no one talks to her, thinking she's odd.
Olaf now chases the villagers, saying they are as small as toys, as D'hoffryn says "I get the feeling your talents aren't fully appreciated here Anyanka. We'd like you to join us." Aud says that's not her name. "Perhaps, but Anyanka is who you are." he answers. She asks what she would have to do, to which D'hoffryn replies that she would do what she is good at, Help wronged women punish evil men, "but only to those that deserve it." "They all deserve it" she says coldly. "Well, that's where I was goin with that, yeah..." he replies.
We see a pencil cup with pencils inside (duh) and as the camera pulls back, we see that cup balanced on Buffy's forehead. She is sitting at her office desk being... busy... when the phone rings, sending the pencils and cup to the ground. She answers the phone. Willow's on the other end and from the Buffy sidded conversation we understand that Willow tells Buffy about the spider demon, the carnage at the frat house, and the ripped out hearts. Buffy takes notes on a pad of paper as she says she'll grab Xander to go along. She is slighly horrified by what Willow described before her mood instantly changes "Hey, did you get that physics class you wanted?"
"Wonderful, Anyanka" says Halfrek. The two women sit in a very fancy sitting room as Halfrek gloats over her friend, saying there's going to be a party to welcome the old Anyanka back. Anya's mood hasn't really changed, though, as she remembers the image from earlier and remarks that she didn't realize how much damage a Crimslaw demon could do. Halfrek starts to go on about how hard Crimslaw demons are to train, but she sees the confusion in Anya's face and asks if something's wrong. Anya says she just didn't expect it to hit her like this. Hallie says it's ok, it will take time, but she'll get back in the swing of things, and Anya smiles and thanks Hallie for being there.
Willow walks in unannounced, and looks coldly at the two vengence demons, ordering Hallie to get out. Hallie looks a little unnerved, but Anya says it's ok and Hallie leaves uncomfortably in a flash of teleportation light. "Anya, you have to stop this." Willow says. Anya asks back if Willow knows what they did to that woman by humiliating her with their game. Willow says she's in trouble and that she's there to help her. Anya laughs, seeing a little irony, and asks if Willow's Flayed anyone lately. "How quickly they forget!" "I haven't forgotten a second of it." Willow defends back. "They got what they deserved!" Anya says, arguing at Willow but almost trying to convince herself. "I am a vengence demon, don't you understand? They got what they deserved!"
Walking through a forest, an axe-carrying Buffy and Xander look hunt for the Spider demon. Buffy thanks Xander for coming. Xander says it's no problem, better than doing Freon work at the site. They talk briefly about Willow returning to school and her being a little more nervous than she led on, but just around a tree they stumble upon a dead body, a large hole in it's chest. "How big did she say this thing was?" asks Xander, now having second thoughts, but Buffy says Willow wouldn't send them out there if they couldn't handle it. Buffy notes the heart is completely ripped out, confirming it's the spider demon. Xander sees some black viney things hanging from a tree and after grabbing it, "Yuck, it's sticky!" Buffy points out that it is a spider demon, so it goes to figure. They both hear rustling up in the tree above and try to look, but with the sun and branches, they can't tell. A long, black web-vine shoots down and strikes Xander, but Buffy quickly pushes him aside as the spider demon drops and is instantly on top of Buffy. The demon struggles to lower it's three pronged mouth down to her chest as she tries to push it away, then she launches it in the air over hear head. It lands and then instantly scurries up a tree. Buffy and Xander re-group, looking up in the tree, trying to spot it. "I think we need more swords" says Xander "I say we go home and pick up some more swords and some sort of spidery-demon protection..." But he trails off as he sees Buffy throw her axe up into the tree with force. We hear a thud, a squeal, and then see the spider-demon drop to the ground, the axe imbedded in it's chest. "or..." xander responds.
Walking in the front door and placing her axe on the counter, Buffy says they should worry about more of the spider-demons appearing and should start to research, but they walk in the living room to find Willow sitting sadly. "I know where it came from."
"How many?" Buffy asks. Willow says 10 or 12. Xander is angry at Willow for not telling them up front. Willow says she's telling them now. Buffy says sadly that she understands why Willow didn't tell them. "She didn't tell us for a reason. She didn't tell us because she knows what i have to do. I have to kill Anya."
Commercial Break: That window that the spider-demon flew through earlier? yep, you guessed it... Windex made it SHINE!
"I swear I'm in awe of you" says Halfrek as the camera pans across an ornate dinner table in St. Petersburg, 1905. The bodies of men sit at each of the settings, slumped in their food, with Anyanka and Halfrek sitting at the head, commenting on Anya's handiwork. They then wonder what they both should do, and Halfrek suggests going and watching the winter mansion get razed, but Anya wants to go to Madam Dubisov's. "No better spot for vengence than a Brothel." Halfrek calmly sips wine and comments that Anya is always work work work (while in the background a well dressed man walks in, his legs on fire, the flames growing as he tries in vane to pat them out. He runs out, engulfed in fire). Haflrek hints that they should stop and take a breather, take a look around at the revolution that Anya is somewhat responsible for, and not work, but after Anya explains (in a very detailed, technical sounding speech) that the Communist revolution was going to happen anyways due to the current political climate, she'd rather get back to work. Halfrek says there are other things and they should relax a tad. "Vengence is what I do, Halfrek... I don' t need anything else." Anya answers.
"She's not the Anya that you knew, Xander. She's a demon." Buffy tries to reason with Xander "That doesn't mean you have to kill her!" he says back, very bothered. Buffy says this isn't easy for her. Xander says there are other options, to which Buffy says she's considered them. Xander is upset now "When? Just now? It took you all of 10 seconds to consider killing one of your best friends?" Buffy says the thought that this would have to be done has been had before. Xander says there's got to be another way, and says that it can be reversed. He says the boy's deaths are mystical and can be reversed, turning to Willow for agreement. Willow says no, that's something way to powerful to be done, raising so many dead, and that even if she had that power, she doesn't trust herself with it. Buffy says it's ok and turns to Xander, saying she knows it's tough for him to hear, but it's what she has to do. "Hard for me to hear? Buffy, you want to kill Anya!" Xander shouts, getting more upset. "I don't WANT to." Buffy argues back. Xander continues, saying Anya needs help, that this isn't new ground for them, and when their friends go all crazy and kill people they try to help them. "Sitting right here..." Willow says, to which Xander apologizes, but continues with his rant.
Xander opens up "it's different, because you don't care about her the same way that i do. Buffy, I still love her."
"I know," says Buffy, and that's why you can't see this for what it really is. It is different... she (points to Willow) is human. Anya's a demon."
"And you're the Slayer. I see now how it's all very simple."
"It is never simple."
"No, of course not." Xander rises and starts to pace. "You know, if there's a mass-murdering demon that you're, oh, say, BONEING, then it's all gray area."
"Spike was harmless. He was helping."
"He had no choice."
"And Anya did. She became a demon... twice."
"You have no idea of what she's going through."
"I don't CARE what she's going through" Buffy says as she rises, her voice now stern and upset. "
"Oh, of course not. You think we haven't all seen this before? The part where you just cut us all out? Just step away from everything human and act like you're the law? If you knew what I..."
"I killed Angel." Buffy silences Xander. "Do you even remember that? I would have given up everything I had to be with... I loved him more than anything I had in this life, and I put a sword through him because I had to."
"And that all worked out ok?" Willow says, trying to break the tension from the couch.
Buffy continues "Do you remember cheering me on? Both of you! Do you remember giving me Willow's message 'kick his ass'?"
"I never said tha...."
"This is different" Xander interrupts.
"it is always different. It is always complicated." Buffy is forceful now, then slowly turns somber. "And at some point someone has to draw the line and that is always going to be me. You get down on me for cutting myself off but in the end the Slayer is always cut off. There's no mystical guidebook no, all knowing councel. Human rules don't apply. There's only me. I am the law."
"There has to be another way." Xander says.
"Then find it." Buffy answers.
Hurt, confused, and angry, Xander storms out, leaving Willow sitting sadly on the couch. Buffy walks over to her weapons chest and pulls out a sword, slamming the lid shut. She heads for the door and turns towards Willow. "I can't..." Willow says as Buffy grabs her coat and walks out.
Willow rifles through her desk drawers, searching for something. She pulls out a talisman.
Sprinkling powder from a small container on the ground in a circle before her, Willow chants a spell in Latin. She then grabs the talisman and, finishing the spell, a flash of light fills the room! "Behold D'hoffryn, Lord of Arashmahal, he who turns the rain to blood and..." His booming presence lessens upon seeing Willow "Ms. Rosenburg. Nice to see you again. Have you done something with your hair?" Willow welcomes him and D'hoffryn said he thought he'd hear from her again and goes on to compliment her on her "water cooler vengence": the Flaying of Warren Mears. (one of the other vengence demons has a sketch of it on his wall). Willow says that's not her anymore, she wishes to talk about Anya, to which D'hoffryn sighs heavily and agrees.
Back in the slaughterhouse that was the Frat room, Anya's hand caresses a blood covered wall in confustion. "I thought I might find you here" says Xander, walking in the front door. Anya rolls her eyes and asks what he wants. Xander says he wants to help her. Anya smirks briefly, saying everyone is so helpful and she should have killed people weeks ago. Xander says he's sorry, he's sorry for everything that he put her through. "Thank you. All better. Thank goodness you got here in time!" Anya says sarcastically. Xander says he's trying to help her because Buffy is on her way to kill her. "She's going to try." says Anya coldly. Xander wonders how the two of them could think like this with them being friends. Any knew that this was always coming, and accuses Xander of not wanting to realize it. Buffy appears, standing in the doorway, sword drawn. Buffy tells Xander to get out of the way, to which he says no. Anya does the same, but puts on her game face and them backhands him aside and off to the ground.
The fight starts, with Buffy swinging right for Anya's head. Anya easily ducks and then punches Buffy, sending her flying back. During the fight, Anya has a slight upper hand, dodging the sword attacks and occasionally getting a good hit or kick in on Buffy. Anya comments that Buffy doesn't have any clever retorts for her, as Buffy has been fighting in silence. After getting thrown against a wall, Buffy says "Anya, I'm sorry?" "You're apologizing? What fight have you been watching?" Anya answers sarcastically. Anya dives at Buffy, who side-spins, sending Anya into the wall, then jams the sword into Anya's chest.
Commercial Break: "I wanna be spoiled so rotten I'll know what's gonna happen before the writers do!" you say. I say, go to Spoilerzone and soak in the spoilery goodness!
Xander sits in a recliner, tired, dozing off from a hard day's work. Anya, in long blonde hair and housewife's dress, sits in a chair nearby, asking if he's ok, then asking if it was weird earlier "with the singing and the coconuts." It's Sunnydale 2001, the evening before the events of 'Once More, with Feeling.' Anya briefly hears song off in the distance... Dry Cleaning Man and Parking Ticket Lady crooning to each other.
Both: Oh no!
Man: Mustard on my sirt
Woman: Mustard... we'll never get it out.
Man: My favorite shirt. Dry clean it!
After asking a dozing Xander if he wants anything to eat, she herself breaks into song...
Words to... um... whatever the heck song this is called:
Mr. Xander Harris,
I'm just lately Anya
I've boned a troll
I'm the Missis.
What's the point of loving,
Maybe if you're lucky,
I need to cover up my heart
And I'll be Missis
We'll never part, not if we can
I'll show him what bliss is,
He's my Xander and he's awfully swell
I'll be Missis
The tune aburptly stops, showing present day Anya (with game face off) is impaled against the wall on the sword. Xander rises, calling her name in shock. Anya then takes a deep sudden breath. "I've forgotten how much swords through the chest hurt." Anya pulls the sword out herself and takes an offensive stance, saying that Buffy forgot how much it takes to kill a vengence demon. The two square off again, first with Anya using the sword, then losing it after Buffy kicks her in the face. Buffy quickly grabs it and goes for a death strike while Anya's on the ground when Xander suddenly tackles Buffy. "Stop trying to save me, Xander!" Anya shouts.
Just then, a crackle of lightning and then D'hoffryn appears! He tells the confused trio to go about their fight, he'll just watch. He strolls over to the adjoining room and looks at the bodies "Breathtaking. It's like somebody slaughtered an Abercrombe and Fich catalogue. Buffy raises her sword to attack, but D'hoffryn says not to bother, he'll be gone before she gets close. He then goes on to say he had a talk with Ms. Rosenburg (he has high hopes for her). Seems Willow thinks that Anyanka would be better suited outside of the vengence fold, they know what "Ms. Hacks-a-lot" wants, and Xander only sees things through the eyeballs of love, but no one has asked what Anyanka wants. "Her name is Anya" Xander growls. D'hoffryn corrects him "Funny historical sidebar, actually her name is..."
"I want to take it back" says a tearful Anya. She approaches D'hoffryn and tells him she wants to undo what she did. D'hoffryn says it's not an easy thing to do, with their being 12 bodies and all, but not impossible. But in order to restore the lives of the victims, the fates require a sacrifice: the life and soul of a vengence demon. "Do it." Anya says. Xander shouts NO! and begs for Anya, wondering if there's some other alternate way, but Anya says no, there's no help for her. "I'm not even sure there's a me to help."
D'hoffryn asks her if this is her wish, and she says yes. She wants what she did to be undone. He agees and claps his hands and the crackle of lightning and thunder fills the air, with Xander shouting "NO!" in Anya's direction, but instead of harm to Anya, Halfrek appears in the room. She smiles "Anya." Suddenly Halfrek raises her head, her eyes grow bright, and she is engulfed in flame, screaming, dissapearing in smoke. D'hoffryn turns to Anya and starts to scold her, asking her what she thought would happen?!? "Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain!" the head vengence demon says, knowing that what Anya truly wanted wasn't punishment enough. Anya mumbles that he should have killed her, but D'hoffryn says he wouldn't worry about that: "From beneath you, it devours. All good things in time." With the same lights show, D'hoffryn dissapears and the three scoobies stand silent. Anya starts slowly, sadly, towards the door. Buffy says she'll check on the boys while she motions for Xander to follow Anya. Xander heads out.
In the nighttime air Xander catches up to Anya and calls her name. "Xander, please..." she says, being tired of it all. "Whatever went on between us it doesn't matter. You shouldn't be alone in this." he says.
"Yes I should. My whole life I've just clung to whatever came along."
"Well, speaking as a cling-ee, kinda didn't mind."
"Thanks. For everything." Anya turns and slowly starts to walk away, but then turns towards Xander again "Xander, what if I'm really nobody?"
"Don't be a dope." he smiles.
"I'm a dope?"
"That's a start." She says and watches Xander walk off slowly. She turns and does the same, with tears in her eyes and a sorrowful look about her.
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