Season 3 | Episode 46 | Helpless

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Episode Summary

After a training session in the mansion, Buffy and Angel get a little too close for comfort. With her eighteenth birthday almost upon her, Buffy is anxiously awaiting to spend some time with her father at an ice show.

Later, at the library, Giles leads Buffy through a study of vibratory stones. Despite being a little fidgety, Buffy manages to concentrate on one of the stones. Afterwards, Buffy battles with a vampire in the park.

Just as she is about to deliver the final blow, something surges through Buffy’s body, and she suddenly finds herself powerless. The vampire quickly takes the upper hand, knocking her to the ground and turning the wooden stake on the Slayer herself.

Buffy panicks, but she is still able to stun the vampire with a headbutt and push him off of her. She grabs the stake and aims it straight up as the vampire leaps onto her. In an instant, the vampire is nothing but dust.

Giles enters the library the next morning to find Buffy practicing her aim with throwing knives. As the random placing of the knives on and around the target shows, the Slayer is not herself. Giles ensures Buffy that she’ll be okay.

Outside, Buffy downplays her friends’ enthusiasm over the upcoming birthday, suggesting that a party may not be the greatest of ideas, given her tainted history with such social gatherings.

Later that night, Buffy notices a birthday balloon floating in her kitchen with what appear to be an envelope and tickets attached to the string.

As Joyce informs her that Hank won’t be able to free up enough time to take her to the ice show, Buffy folds up the envelope without even opening it. Meanwhile, three men are hard at work inside an old, abandoned boarding house.

One of the men, Quentin Travers, looks on as his two associates, Blair and Hobson, work on laying bricks in several of the doorways. At the library, Buffy tries to indirectly ask Giles to take her to the ice show, but he is more interested in making her study the vibratory stones.

After Buffy finally gives up her futile effort, Giles instructs her to concentrate on the fault inside the large blue stone. As Buffy stares at it, she suddenly loses all touch with the outside world. Giles checks to make sure Buffy’s in a trance, then takes an injection kit out of his bag.

He injects a strange, green fluid into Buffy’s arm. After he finishes the task and puts away the kit, Giles waves his hand in front of the fault, breaking Buffy’s trance. Unaware of what just happened, Buffy decides to call it a night and leaves Giles alone in the library.

Outside of school the next morning, Buffy notices a guy harassing Cordelia. Buffy walks up to the guy and grabs him by the arm. However, she suddenly realizes that she doesn’t have enough strength to do anything to the guy, who casually shoves her to the ground with that one arm.

Buffy finds Giles in the hallway and tells him about her disturbing loss of strength. Giles doesn’t show a great deal of concern, although he definitely knows why Buffy is going through this.

Giles speaks with Quentin at the boarding house, voicing his disagreement with the Watcher Council’s insistence on subjecting Buffy to the Cruciamentum.

The Cruciamentum is a test which all Slayers must endure when they reach the age of eighteen in order to prove their instinctual skills and resourcefulness. To do so, the Slayer must survive an encounter with a vicious vampire while trapped inside a small space.

In this case, Buffy must defeat an insane vampire, Zackary Kralik, in the confines of this boarding house. After Giles leaves, a loud, painful scream emanates from Kralik’s coffin. Blair and Hobson open the coffin and give Kralik his pills.

Giles returns to the library, where Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Oz try to find any relevant info in the books that might explain her loss of power. While Buffy continues to search for answers, Kralik’s screaming keeps Blair and Hobson from getting any rest.

While Hobson takes a break, Blair opens the coffin to learn that Kralik wants more pills. As Blair goes to the kitchen to fill the glass with water, Kralik screams to cover up the sound of his straightjacket ripping at the seams.

Kralik then tricks Blair into stepping close to the coffin and grabs him by the throat with his freed arm before sinking his fangs into his neck. At the mansion, Angel gives a book of poetry to Buffy for her birthday.

Unfortunately, Buffy is distracted by her power loss to fully appreciate Angel’s gift. Buffy fears that she may have lost what made her special. Angel consoles her by confessing that he watched her long before she moved to Sunnydale, admitting that he lived her then every bit as much as he does now.

Meanwhile, Blair rises in front of Kralik as a newly-turned vampire. He picks up an axe and frees Kralik from his restraints. Giles stops by the boarding house to check in on things, but nobody seems to be around.

After noticing blood on the stairway railing, Giles grabs a make-shift stake and opens Kralik’s tomb. Finding it empty, Giles goes to the kitchen and discovers Hobson’s dead corpse. Overcome by the grotesque sight and smell, Giles runs out of the house.

He needs to find Buffy, who is walking the streets alone. She runs into Kralik, who grabs her jacket. Unable to fight him as she normally would, Buffy turns and runs for her life. She tries to climb over, then under a fence.

Blair shows up and tries to pull her back, but Buffy escapes and runs out into the middle of the street. Giles arrives just in time, and Buffy jumps into his car.

Back at the library, Giles tells the whole truth to Buffy, showing her the syringe filled with an organic compound of muscle relaxants and adrenal suppressers. He informs her that the effects of the compound will wear off in a few days, but Buffy is too furious to care about that right now.

Giles goes on to tell her that he just invalidated the test by telling her about it ahead of time. Unfortunately, Buffy refuses to listen or forgive him. As soon as Cordelia walks into the library to do some research for a paper, Buffy asks her for a ride home.

While Cordelia drives Buffy home, Joyce hears a noise on her front porch. She goes out and sees Buffy’s jacket draped over a figure. Assuming it’s Buffy, she bends down towards the covered figure. However, it’s not Buffy at all, but really Kralik.

When Buffy arrives home, she finds a polaroid of her mother and Kralik. She packs a large amount of her slaying supplies into her bag and heads towards the mansion.

Tied to a chair and gagged, Joyce can do nothing but watch as Kralik takes countless polaroids of her while rambling about his hatred for mothers. Buffy walks in through the main entrance of the boarding house and looks around.

As she realizes that all of the other exits have been sealed by bricks, Blair locks the main entrance, trapping the Slayer inside. Meanwhile, Quentin visits Giles at the library and tells him that the Cruciamentum has begun.

Giles informs him that he disclosed all of the information concerning the test, but none of that matters right now. He leaves Quentin in the library and races towards the boarding house. Buffy encounters Kralik and tries to take him out with her crossbow, but it’s no use.

He chases Buffy through the house. She takes refuge inside a dark room. When she turns the light on, Buffy sees that the walls are completely plastered with photos of her helpless mother. She runs out of the room, and Kralik finally traps her in the hallway.

Buffy attempts to ward him off with a cross, but Kralik is so insane that he actually enjoys the pain it causes. Before he can bite into her neck, Kralik is suddenly seized by his painful need to take his pills. He fishes the medicine bottle out of his pocket.

Spotting an opportunity, Buffy grabs the bottle out of his hands and dives through a laundry chute. Landing in the basement, Buffy finds Joyce on the chair. When Kralik reaches the basement, Buffy tries to flee the scene with his pills.

He rips the bottle out of her hands and quickly grabs the nearby glass of water. After swallowing the pills with the water, Kralik suddenly notices a burning sensation inside himself. Buffy holds out an empty bottle of Holy Water.

The blessed water soon disintegrates Kralik. As Buffy works on freeing Joyce from the chair, both Giles and Blair crash into the basement. Giles finishes the vampire off, then leaves with Joyce and Buffy. In the library, Quentin commends Buffy on her successful passing of the test.

However, he has bad news for Giles. Since he has demonstrated a relationship with Buffy that the Council has deemed too close, like the way a father loves his daughter, Giles is relieved of his duties as Buffy’s Watcher.

Quentin then tells Buffy that she will be assigned a new Watcher soon. Struck by this revelation of how much Giles cares for her, Buffy calmly allows him to tend to her wounds.

Back at home, Buffy’s friends try to make sense of Giles’ being fired… especially Willow, who almost refuses to believe the mere possibility of Giles losing his job.

Shooting Scripts


The CAMERA FLOATS PAST FLICKERING CANDLES casting shadows that dance across the walls, PAST
a blanket laid out with various foodstuffs: bottled mineral water, French bread, grapes, etc. Gothically
romantic. Apropos of the mood, we soon hear HEAVY BREATHING and…
BUFFY’s head falls into frame, her brow sweaty, muscles taut, straining, her hands gripping the
shoulders of ANGEL, appearing in frame, above her.
A moment, and she brings her knees up hard, flipping him over her and onto his back. THUD! Buffy
springs to her feet. Angel quickly recovers and he rushes her.
They tussle. She sweep kicks his legs out from under and he hits the floor hard, knocking the wind
out of him.
Swiftly, Buffy snatches the French bread, ROLLS over to Angel’s prone body, then kneels on his
chest, pinning him, the bread poised over his heart like a stake.
Right in the heart.
She tosses the bread back. They are still entwined, still close.

I’m not sure that’s the word…

A little close to home – self-awareness intrudes and discomfort sets in. She quickly stands.


Well, I didn’t mean satisfied


No, I wasn’t trying to –

‘Cause we’re not having satisfaction,
in the personal sense…
Of course.
(gathering her stuff)
I should take off. Giles is –
Waiting for you. I know.

She stops, realizing the moment has passed and she can relax.
Thanks. For the work out.

Am I going to see you this weekend?
You probably have plans…

Birthday, right. Actually, yeah, I do

have a thing.
A thing? A date?

Nice attempt at casual. It is a date.
Older man. Very handsome. Likes it
when I call him “Daddy.”
Your father.
(sudden worry)
It is your father…

She nods, happily.


He’s taking me to the ice show. It’s
great fun. And I could definitely use
a little more fun.

CLOSE ON: Buffy’s glum face.
She is staring at a crystal dangling right in front of her from a leather string.

And this one?

WIDEN to find GILES holding the string and Buffy sitting at the table, a variety of stone and crystals
laid out before her. She scrutinizes the crystal with a lack of enthusiasm.

Used for?
Breath mint?
(growing impatient)
For charm bags, money spells,
and cleansing one’s aura.

Okay, so: how do you know when
your aura’s dirty? Somebody come

by with a finger and write “wash me”

on it?

Buffy, I’m aware of your distaste for
studying the vibratory stones, but as
it’s part of your training, I’d appreciate
your glib-free attention.

Sorry. I just figure with Faith on one
of her unannounced walkabouts
someone should be out patrolling.


Faith is not interested in proper
training, so I rely on you to keep
up with yours.

I hate being the “good” one.


And as for patrolling, you’ll be out
there soon enough, why so anxious?

Buffy appears self-conscious.


Let’s just say I’ve got a lot of energy

to burn off.

Due time. For the present, if it’s not
entirely beyond your capabilities…
try to concentrate.

Giles places a large BLUE CRYSTAL before her. Buffy sighs heavily, then lazily eyes the crystal.
Faint WIND-CHIMES are heard…
The CHIMES blend into the RUSTY SQUEAKS of child swings, a small whirligig, moving slowly in the
night breeze.
Then, a SCREAM as a VAMPIRE’S airborne body comes crashing down near the top of a slide. Gravity
takes him for a ride to the ground.
in prime fighting mode, easily dominating her adversary.

Wow, that was really funny looking.
Could you do that again?
I’ll kill you for that!

For that? What were you trying to
kill me for before?

She deftly roundhouse kicks the vamp in the face, sending him sprawling onto the whirligig.

She whips out a stake and holds it high.

Okay, so here’s the deal –
WHOOF – she suddenly appears DIZZY and staggers a bit.
THE VAMP eyes her suspiciously. Then, seeing an opportunity, he LUNGES, throwing her to the
Instantly, he’s on top of her, much like Angel earlier, only this time Buffy’s far from in control.
The vamp GRIPS the stake in Buffy’s hand and, with little effort, twists it until the sharp point
touches her chest.
He pushes down on the stake hovering over her heart and WHISPERS to her in a manner both
intimate and obscene:


Let me know if I’m not doing this


terrified and struggling, but weak and disoriented, as the stake presses down on her chest.


Act One

As before, the vampire has a scared, woozy Buffy pinned, pressing the stake down toward her heart.
The pain brings her focus back and she gives the vamp a ferocious HEAD BUTT. He rolls off her,
nursing a bleeding brow.
As Buffy wearily pushes herself up, she spots
lying on the ground where it was dropped. She scrambles toward it on all fours as the vampire
recovers and sees her.
Snarling, he DIVES at her. Too late. Buffy turns over, and he impales himself on the stake propped up
in her hands. Dust.
Buffy sits up, brushing off dust, trying to shake off her near death experience.
She opens and closes her fists, feels her arms. Finally, concerned, she stands, takes a last glance
around, and walks away.
As she moves off, the CAMERA PANS to find a FIGURE, unseen by Buffy, lurking in the shadows.
PUSH IN on him to discover, in the half-light, the face and graying hair of an OLDER MAN watching
Giles enters for the day, carrying his case, engrossed in some old book, half noticing:

BUFFY – a throwing knife in hand, concentrating intently at some unseen target.

Bit early in the day…
She lets it fly (off-camera) – THWACK – then grimaces.
Giles, something’s wrong.

Giles follows her gaze to the:
sticking out of walls, a bookcase, book bindings – only one or two made the target, though none in
the immediate vicinity of the bull’s-eye.

Ah. Maybe you shouldn’t –

She hurls another knife – thwacks way wide.

— do that anymore.

On top of that, I got a bad case of the
dizzies last night and almost let a vamp
stake me. With my own stake!
(throws again, wide)
I am way off my game, my game’s
left the country, it’s in Cuernavaca,
what’s going on here?

Well… probably you’ve just
contracted a flu-bug or something.

Buffy registers the possibility with grave disappointment.

Oh, no. Not sick. I can’t get sick.


Buffy, with precautions, there’s no
reason to think you’ll end up in the
hospital like last time.

No, my father’s coming up to take
me to the ice show. We do it every
year for my birthday. If I cancel on
him, it’ll break his heart.

Perhaps you should take it easy for
the next forty-eight hours. Forego
any more patrolling until you’re
feeling yourself again.

No, no – I think I need to spend a
little more time training…

Buffy throws another knife (off-camera), followed by the CRASH of breaking glass.

I’m gone.
Thank you.
Buffy sits with XANDER, WILLOW and OZ, under a tree, having their lunch as other students mill

(to Buffy)

An ice show. A show performed
on ice. And how old are we, again?


I saw “Snoopy on Ice” once when
I was little. My dad took me backstage
and I got scared and threw up on


I know you all think it’s just a big,
dumb, girly thing, but it’s not.
Some of the skaters are Olympic
medal winners and my dad buys me
cotton candy, a different stuffed
animal wearing fuzzy skates every year
and okay it is a big, dumb, girly thing,

but I love it.

Not so girly. Ice is cool. It’s water.

But it’s not.

I think it’s sweet you and your dad
have a tradition, ‘specially now that
he’s not around so much.

Ixnay on the caramel corn if you’re
goin’ backstage…
(to Buffy)

Okay, but we’re still talking party,
right? I mean, some of us relish
celebrating the birth of the Buf.


Maybe it’s time to call a moratorium
on parties in my honor. They tend to
go badly. Monsters crash, people die…


Eighteen is a big one, Buffy. You
can vote now. You can be drafted.
You can vote not to be drafted.


Still, I think maybe I’ll just
celebrate this one with quiet


Where’s it written quiet reflection
can’t be combined with cake and

funny hats?

CLOSE on a small MYLAR BALLOON with the ever so cute picture of a duckling blowing out candles on
a birthday cake. The balloon sticks out of a pleasant, though not extravagant, bouquet of flowers on
the table.
WIDEN to find JOYCE at the stove, stirring sauce. We hear a DOOR SLAM.


Buffy enters.

(sees arrangement)
Oo, presents!

They’re not… They’re from your


It takes Buffy a nanosecond to register its meaning. Her face goes slack as she notices a small card
with two tele-tickets attached to the bouquet. She sits down at the table, her back to Joyce.


His quarterly projections are
unraveling and he can’t afford
to take off right now. He promises
he’ll make it up to you. It’s all there

in the note…

PUSH IN on Buffy.
as she removes the note and tickets and eyes them stoically.

If you want, I could ask someone
to cover for me at the gallery. I
mean, if you want me to take you…

as, unseen by Joyce, she crumples the unread note.
Do you want me to go?

Buffy pulls herself together and puts on a brave smile, then turns to face her mother.


That’s okay. Really. I was thinking
earlier how nice it would be to have
a quiet birthday.
Large and broken down. Overgrown shrubbery. Dead lawn. A faded sign near the end of what once
was a walk dangles limply from its rotted post: “SUNNYDALE ARMS. ROOMS TO LET. BREAKFAST

MOVING THROUGH a DARK sparsely furnished anteroom, past the staircase, BRICKED UP windows –
in and out of pockets of light generated by different fixtures. A real spook house.
For a few moments, we observe a weary YOUNG MAN perched at the top of a teetering stepladder,
laying mortar and the final bricks in the frame of a windowsill.
SWING AROUND to discover we’ve been in the P.O.V. of
QUENTIN TRAVERS, whom we recognize as the older man from the playground: his manner and
dress are British academia. (For all intents and purposes, he’s Giles in thirty years.)
ANOTHER YOUNG MAN, looking as overworked as the first, descends the stairs, his work clothes
splattered with mortar. TRAVERS turns to him.
How much longer, Hobson?
Five, maybe six hours, sir.

Travers checks his watch.


Once you’ve finished, you and Blair
can get some rest…
(a warning)
… but sleep in shifts.

Travers follows a LOW, GUTTURAL SOUND that’s been droning on for some time to a heretofore
unseen large, heavy wooden CRATE propped up against the wall, next to a mantelpiece. The wood is
old and scarred. The lid padlocked in four places. HUM emanates from it.

We’re getting very close…

He takes a step or two toward the box.
PUSH IN on a small slit cut out near the top, though the darkness reveals nothing.
Whatever it is inside, it’s HUMMING. Softly, tunelessly; echoing within its confines.


… the Slayer’s preparation is nearly


Buffy sits again at the large reference table, as Giles lays out the chorus line of stones and crystals
before her. She’s making conversation, he’s all business.

I mean, I know there’s cartoon
characters but they also do pieces
from ballets and operas… Brian
Boitano in Carmen, it’s a life changer…
He doesn’t actually play Carmen…
But a lot of sophisticated people go.

Giles moves the large blue crystal in front of Buffy.

I thought we’d start with the

Grounding Crystal again.

… it’s the kind of thing fathers do
with their daughters…

Now, look very carefully for the tiny

flaw at its core.

I mean if someone were free they’d
take their daughter or their… student…
(still nothing from Giles; sotto)
… or their Slayer…

Buffy, I think we need to concentrate


Buffy sighs a little, looks at the crystal.


Look for the flaw at its center.

PUSH IN on it as those faint WIND CHIMES fade in.
keeping a fixed stare, her eyes no longer blinking.

He studies her for a bit. She’s FROZEN. And Giles doesn’t seem a bit surprised. He reaches under the
table, picks up his case and from it produces a small leather box. He opens it to reveal one FREAKIN’
HUGE HYPODERMIC NEEDLE filled with a faintly yellow liquid. Turning back to Buffy, he swabs her
arm and (off-camera) injects her. She doesn’t flinch.
One more swab then he quickly shoves the hypo back into the box, the box back into his case, the
case back under the table. Satisfied that all is as it was, he reaches out…
CLOSE ON: The crystal as Giles’ hand envelopes it, breaking the optic connection. Buffy blinks back
to life.


What? Did I zone on you? Sorry,
must be this flu-bug I’m nursing.


Best take care of that. Why don’t


Call it a night. Good idea. See ya’.

Buffy turns to leave.

ON GILES as he watches her intently, his warm look quickly evaporating and replaced with a steely-
eyed demeanor.

Good night.


Act Two
Amid the mid-morning bustle, Buffy and Willow emerge.

How goes it with Amy the rat?


Good. She really likes the new
exercise wheel. When she runs,
her little nose wiggles so happily…


I meant, how goes it with changing
her back into a human being?


Oh. Still working on it. But I did
get her the cutest little bell –

She stops when they overhear:

GUY (O.S.)
You don’t do that to me!

Buffy looks over to see
CORDELIA and GUY, a hulking wrestler-type, hovering menacingly over her, in a secluded corner.
Though speaking in reasonably hushed tones, Guy’s anger is unmistakable.


I waited for you at the Bronze all
night! What’s the story?

Came to my senses. And the big

deal is…?

He grabs her arm, roughly.


You made me look like some
kind of dork in front of my posse.

First of all, “posse?” Passe.
Second, anyone with a teaspoon
of brain would know not to take
my flirting seriously. Especially,
with my extenuating circumstances.

What circumstances?
Rebound. Look it up.
She turns to leave and he throws her against the tree.

I’m not through here.

A hand grabs his arm.

I beg to differ.

She pulls. His arm does NOT budge. Guy looks at her like she’s a loon. Buffy tries again with both
hands, STRAINING. He casually SHOVES her away – she slams into the wall and slides to the floor.
Willow immediately rushes to her side.
Cordelia stares aghast at the prone Buffy, then turns to Guy and RAINS BLOWS on his chest and
shoulders. Guy cowers.

(to Guy)
What is wrong with you?
The chick started it.
As Guy continues to retreat from Cordelia’s assualt…

(to Buffy)
Are you okay?

Buffy stares up at her, looking very not.
Buffy catches up to Giles.


Okay, I just got swatted down by
some no-neck and rescued by Cordelia.
What the hell is happening, Giles?

All right. Calm yourself.

Are you getting the big picture here?
I have no strength. No coordination.
I throw knives like… like…

A girl?
She looks at him, her face a mask of fear and vulnerability.
Like I’m not the Slayer.

They stand speechless for a moment.
Giles tentatively reaches out to put a hand on her shoulder, then notices the black and blue mark
where Guy shoved her.

Nasty bruise.

Should see the one farther south.


Buffy, I assure you, given time,
we’ll get to the bottom of whatever’s
causing this… anomaly.
Promise me?
Giles eyes her uncomfortably. She’s too upset to notice.
I give you my word.
You’re having doubts…

A sitting room with bricked-up windows and fireplace. Giles sits on a sofa, absentmindedly stirring a
cup of tea.


I understand your concerns, of course, Giles.

WIDEN as Travers sits in a chair across from Giles.

But you lodged your appeals with
the watcher’s council. And, still,
they’ve decided to go forward.
There’s nothing we can do now but

carry on.

You know, I’ve always had nothing
but the utmost respect for the council.
I’ve followed their dictates to the letter.

But this…

The Cruciamentum is not easy. For
slayer or watcher. But it’s been done
this way for a dozen centuries.
Whenever a slayer turns eighteen.

It’s a time-honored rite of passage-

(cutting him off)
It’s an antiquated exercise in
cruelty. Locking her in this tomb…
weakened, defenseless…
(re: Kralik’s crate)
unleashing that on her.

If any one of the council still had
actual contact with a slayer they’d
see. But I’m the one in the thick of it.


Which is why you’re not qualified to

make this decision. You’re too close.


I’m not. No test is necessary of
her – especially not one as…
as perverse as this.

I’m appealing to you as a friend and
colleague, Quentin. I know you can

put a stop to it.

Quentin seems struck by Giles’ words. A beat. Then his resolve returns.


I’m sorry. A slayer must be more
than physical prowess. She must
have cunning, imagination… a
confidence derived from self-reliance.
Believe me, once this is all over – your
Buffy will be stronger for it.

Or she’ll be dead for it.

Hobson is working at the open front door, adjusting a large spring mechanism. Giles starts out,
escorted by Travers.


Giles stops and turns to him.


If this girl’s everything you say,
then you’ve nothing to worry about.

Giles nods slightly and, wordlessly, exits.

(to Travers)

Sir, if you can spare me for a short
spell, I’ll need to make a run to the
hardware store. I just need –

exchange a look as Blair appears.

Take care of it.

Blair and Hobson go to work.
CLOSE ON: Blair’s hand as he removes a key ring from his pocket and starts unlocking the padlocks.
Travis stands by, wielding a large FIRE AX. The two young watchers pry open the crate’s lid.
CLOSE ON: Eyes, clenched shut, partly from light sensitivity, but mostly from searing pain. All at
once, they snap open.
His name is ZACHARY KRALIK. He’s a vampire, clearly. But the eyes reveal, not just demonic evil, but
MADNESS. Heavy steel brackets bind him to the back of the box. His thin wiry frame is dressed in a

pale green jumpsuit and trundled up in a STRAIT JACKET. Blair and Hobson are momentarily stopped
by Kralik’s gaze, until they are startled by:

Come on! Come on!

Blair attends to one of two PRESCRIPTION BOTTLES on a nearby mantel. He places two pills on the
tip of a thin, metal telescoping wand. Standing a few feet away, Blair directs the wand to Kralik’s
mouth. The vampire is oblivious, too caught up in his pain.

Kralik. Your pills. Open your mouth.

Kralik takes the pills. Now Hobson approaches the crate with a pair of tongs that hold a glass of
water. Standing to the side, he brings it to the vampire’s lips. Kralik drinks voraciously, water
dribbling down his chin.

That’s enough. Close it up.

The watchers close the lid and reattach the locks. Travers crosses to the crate, inspecting their work.


Are you sure he’s containable?


I am. As long as we give him his


peering through the slit


And the opportunity to kill a slayer.

Buffy, Willow, Xander and Oz are scattered about combing through piles and piles of books.


Aha! A curse on slayers – oh, no,
wait. It’s “lawyers.”

Maybe we’re on the wrong track
with the spells, curses and whammies.
Maybe what we should be looking for
is something like slayer kryptonite.


Faulty metaphor. Kryptonite kills.


(recovering comic book geek mode)
You’re assuming I meant green
kryptonite. I was referring, of course,
to red kryptonite which drains Superman

of his powers.

Wrong, gold kryptonite’s the power-
sucker. Red kryptonite’s the one

that mutates Superman into weird –

They turn and look at he. She indicates their environs.

Buffy and Willow now settle in a quiet corner away from the geek squad.


Buffy, I know you’re definitely,
without a doubt, going to get your

powers back…
Thanks, Will.
But – what if you don’t?

Buffy looks at her, thrown.


I mean, there’s a slight, eensy
possibility and it just seems like,
maybe, it’s a good thing to get on
out there and discuss. Just in case.


Buffy tries to cover her fears on the matter.


Okay. If I don’t’ get my powers
back – I don’t. I’ll deal.

On the short side for a discussion.

But okay.

I mean, there’s a plus side to being

a regular girl. The whole not-bleeding-
and-killing-and-dying experience.

As for example.

Then there’s the buying outfits without

worrying if they’re good for bleeding-
and-killing-and-dying in. There’s a lot

of good to it.

Actually, it could really open up-
Willow doesn’t have a chance to finish before Giles enters. Buffy anxiously stands, her brave front



Did you find out… anything?

Giles takes a deep breath, considering his answer.

Not yet.
He looks pained as Buffy registers resigned disappointment.
Hobson enters, Blair is sleeping on a cot. Hobson lies down. We hear THAT SCREAM again. Blair bolts
awake – looks at Hobson.

It’s your shift.

Blair reluctantly gets up and exits as Hobson pulls the pillow over his head and tries to go to sleep.
Blair opens the last of the padlocks and raises the lid revealing Kralik who appears to be in
excruciating pain. Blair takes off to the kitchen with the nearby empty glass.
Kralik takes note of Blair’s departure, then purposefully strains within the strait jacket, SCREAMING
as he pulls.

It’s coming!

With one last mighty effort, the strait jacket TEARS LOUDLY and Kralik’s right arm is free.
returns with the water, glancing at Kralik who appears delirious with pain, though as strait-jacketed
as ever.


Blair places the pills at the end of the wand, then, hanging as far back as he can, offers it to the
seemingly pain-stricken vampire. The vampire doesn’t take them.

Take them.

They’re right in front of you!


The watcher apprehensively moves in a bit.

Can’t see… Can’t reach it…

BLAIR’S FEET inch forward.


Open your ey-
With startling suddenness, Kralik’s hand grips Blair’s throat – his eyes bulge as he’s lifted off the



Shhh… Everything’s okay now…

kicking in the air. We hear the SOUNDS OF FEEDING as the pills and wand clatter to the ground and
roll away.
A gift, wrapped in cloth, tied up with twine.
Who sit together as she unwraps a book: an old edition of Browning’s Sonnets. She lifts the front
INSERT: A one word inscription, signed by Angel: “Always.”
Buffy, clearly touched but also clearly bothered by something, closes the book.


Angel. Thank you. It’s beautiful.

Angel looks unsure, reading her mood.

You really like it?
Buffy tries for more enthusiasm. Leafs through the book.

Of course I do. It’s thoughtful and
sweet and, uh, full of neat words to
learn and say like “wilt” and

Then why did you seem more excited
last year when you got a severed arm

in a box?

Buffy sees that she’s nailed. Lets down.


I’m sorry. Really – I love the book.
And I love what you wrote.


It’s just… Suddenly, there’s this
chance that my calling could be a
wrong number. I guess it’s freaking

me out a little.
That’s understandable.


What if I have lost my powers, Angel?
I mean, for good?

You lived a long time without them.
You can do it again.

Buffy stands – agitated.

I guess.

But what if I can’t? I’ve seen too
much now. I know what goes bump
in the night. Not being able to fight
it – what if I just hide under my bed,
all scared and helpless…
(worse thought)
Or what if I just get pathetic?
Hanging out at “The Old Slayer’s
Home” – talking people’s ears off
about my glory days… showing them
Mr. Pointy, the stake I had bronzed…

Angel moves to her, speaks soothingly.


Buffy. You couldn’t be helpless or boring.

Not even if you tried.

Oh, don’t be so sure. Before I became
the Slayer I was… well I don’t want
to say shallow, but… let’s just say a
certain person who shall remain nameless,
let’s call her “Spordelia”, looked like a
classical philosopher next to me. If I’m
not the Slayer, I mean… what do I have

to offer?
Why would you like me?

I saw you before you became the


I watched you, I saw you called. It
was a bright afternoon, out in front
of your school, you walked down the
steps and I loved you.

Because I could see your heart. You
held it before you for everyone to
see and I worried that it would be
bruised or torn. More than anything
in my life I wanted to keep it safe,
to warm it with my own.

She folds into his arms, whispers.

That’s beautiful.

A moment, as he holds her.


Or, taken literally, incredibly gross.


I was just thinking that too.
The LOW, TUNELESS, HUMMING of Kralik drones on as we see Blair’s corpse lying at the foot of the
TIGHT ON: Blair’s face as it MORPHS to vampire form and his eyes snap open. He gets to his feet.


You’re up. I was afraid I drained
you too much. I do that sometimes.

Wordlessly, Blair picks up the ax and moves toward Kralik.

Ever have a tune that you can’t get
out of your head? Playing over and
over and over? Drives me nuts.

Blair raises the ax above his head.
as the ax comes down where the brackets are bolted in.
Finally, Kralik steps out of the box, the strait jacket slips off of him. He’s completely free.


Thank you. That’s much better.

He turns his head, cracking his neck.


It’s a game, you know. We’re not
going to play by their rules… But
that doesn’t mean we’re not going
to play. Call in your friend… and
we’ll discuss it over dinner.


Act Three
All is quiet as Giles enters from the front hallway.
(calling out)

He peers in to the parlor to find it empty, then takes a wary glance toward
THE CRATE, its lid closed, its contents, silent.
Finding no one, he crosses to the staircase and starts up the stairs, continuing to call out.


Hello? Quentin? Hob-
Something causes him to hesitate. He lifts his hand off the banister and turns it into the light. His

palm is WET and TACKY with BLOOD. He quickly glances up to the top landing, then at the crate.
Squinting in the dim light, he notices for the first time the unlocked padlocks and open latches.
His eyes widen as terror seeps into them. Instinctively, he backs away from the crate, the KICKS one
of the staircase’s vertical posts. Once, twice… It breaks off and Giles picks up a makeshift stake.
He cautiously moves to the box, takes hold of the lid. Summoning his courage, he RIPS IT OPEN.
Empty. Just shattered brackets, a torn strait jacket and splintered wood. Then Giles notices
something else…
leading to a closed door to the right of the mantelpiece. Crossing to it, he turns the knob and opens
the door slowly, his stake poised and read…
TIGHT ON: Giles’ hand, as it fishes along the wall for a light switch. Finding one, he flicks it on.
BLOOD, EVERYWHERE – Streaked and splattered all over the wall, the door. We don’t see what’s in
that room but Giles does. He quickly slams the door shut…
…pulls out a handkerchief and gags. He takes one more anxious look around, then bolts from the
Buffy walks along the empty street, lost in thought as she peruses her new book, completely
unaware of
THE TWO FIGURES in her path. Startled, Buffy stops and looks up to see…
TWO DRUNK CONSTRUCTION WORKER TYPES loitering on a corner, eyeing her. As she passes them,
one calls out:


Hey, sweet girl… how much for a
lapdance for me and my buddy?

She freezes. Slowly she turns and starts toward them. Then stops. What’s she gonna do about it?
Frustrated, she keeps walking, turning down a back alley.
“Walk me home? Don’t be silly,
Angel. I can take care of myself.”
Then, she hears something: HUMMING. LOW, GUTTURAL, TUNELESS.
She looks around. Nothing. Unnerved, she looks behind her.

Hummers – big turnoff. I like guys

who remember the lyrics.

No response. She turns back around and GASPS, finding herself smack up against…


Wish I could. But my mind’s not
what it used to be.

She tries to pull away, but he grabs her sleeve. Instinctively she hits him in the face. Twice. He
doesn’t feel it at all. Her terror builds as she WHIMPERS:
Let me go.
Didn’t say please.

He pulls her closer, fangs bared. Then her sleeve slips off her arm. She uses the opportunity to
scramble out of her coat, then retreats a few steps, only to find
blocking the way. She takes off in the opposite direction, running for her life.

Help! Somebody help me!

Kralik gestures with his head and Blair gives chase.
Buffy looks around, desperately, then spots a high chain-link fence and makes for it.

Help me please!

She LUNGES for the fence, but, with her leaping ability on the fritz, she can’t… quite… reach the…
Frantic, she suddenly notices a small hole in the chain link a few yards in front of her. She looks back
to find Blair is almost upon her. Sprinting as fast as she can to the opening, she clumsily pushes
herself through. The jagged cut links in the fence scratch her face, her arms.
Blair grabs her leg. She SCREAMS, then manages to pull away, staggering backwards. Blair’s hand is
reaching for her. Before she can get her baring, she’s bathed in an INCREASINGLY BRIGHT LIGHT.
She turns and squints into its source.
HEADLIGHTS from an oncoming car. Buffy tries to wave it down.


Stop! Please! I need-
The car never slows, almost mowing her down.


She looks back to the fence to see Blair scaling it. She SCREAMS and turns to run, failing to notice
the LIGHTS from another oncoming car, heading straight for her.
Too late to jump out of the way, Buffy braces to be hit. At the last instant, the care swerves to her
right and screeches to a halt. The passenger door swings open and Buffy sees…


She gets in and Giles puts pedal to metal even before she has the door closed, which is pertinent
since Blair is at her door pulling on it. Finally Buffy manages to kick him off. He hits the road and rolls
for a few feet.
LOW ANGLE – As the headlights get smaller in the distance, and Blair pulls himself up, we see
IN THE FOREGROUND – Kralik’s pale green legs standing in the middle of the street.
Buffy shivers uncontrollably, her breathing sharp and erratic.

I… couldn’t… couldn’t fight
them… I was…
Don’t speak.

Shame washing over him, Giles swallows hard, then turns his eyes back to the road. Buffy is welling
up with tears.

I was helpless…

Buffy is wrapped in a blanket to stave off shock. She speaks to Giles quietly:


I hit him… it felt like my arm
was broken, it hurt so much…
Giles, I can’t be… just a person,
I can’t be helpless like that…
We have to find out what’s
happening to me.

He places the box in front of her, opens it to reveal the hypo and a vial of pale yellow liquied.


It’s an organic compound of muscle
relaxants, adrenal suppressors…
The effect is temporary. You’ll be
yourself again in a few days.

With a quivering hand, she takes it from him and stares at it with growing revulsion. Giles deposits
something on the table in front of her. The blue crystal.

A mesmerizing crystal. Stare at it
for more than a few seconds and
it puts one in a deep trance. While

you were… under, I-

(in a stunned haze)

Giles swallows hard.


It’s a test, Buffy. The Tento di
Cruciamentum. It’s given to slayers
when they reach – if they reach
their eighteenth birthday.

He pauses for a reaction, but Buffy just stares at the hypo.

The Slayer is disabled then
entrapped with a vampire foe
whom she’s to defeat in order to pass.


The vampire you were to face
has escaped. His name is Zackary
Kralik. As a human, he’d murdered,
tortured, more than a dozen young
women before being committed to a
sanitarium for the criminally insane

when a vamp-
He ducks just in time as the leather box comes flying at his head, the hypo and vial SHATTERING

against a bookcase.
Giles looks over at Buffy, on her feet, still shaking, though now more with rage than shock.


You bastard! All this time you saw
what it was doing to me. All this
time and you didn’t say a word!

I wanted to…

In matters of tradition and protocol,
I have to answer to the Council.

Buffy buries her face in her hands.


My role in this was specific… I was
to administer the injections, then
direct you to the old boarding house

on Prescott Lane-

I can’t hear this, I can’t…
Buffy, please –

Who are you? How could you do this

to me?
(reaches for her arm)
I’m deeply sorry, Buffy, you have to


If you touch me I’ll kill you.


You have to listen to me. Because I
have told you this, the test is
invalidated. You’ll be safe, I promise.

Whatever I have to do, to deal with
Kralik and to win back your trust –


You stuck a needle in me. You
poisoned me.
What’s going on?
She has entered, surveys the scene. Two portraits of misery.

Oh god. Is the world ending? I have
to research a paper on Bosnia for
tomorrow but if the world’s ending
I’m not gonna bother.

Buffy starts out of the libaray.


Buffy you can’t walk home alone –

It isn’t safe!

He moves toward her – she turns.

I don’t know you.

Did something take her memory?

(to Buffy)
He’s Giles.
(pronouncing it)
Ji-ylls. He hangs out here a lot.


Cordelia… could you please drive

me home?
Her voice is small, plaintive. Cordelia kindly responds:
Of course.
Buffy starts out. Cordy follows, saying to Giles:

But if the world doesn’t end, I’m
gonna need a note.

Joyce is at the table, bills laid out, doing household finances when she hears- or senses-something. If
we hear it at all, it sounds like faint crying. She crosses to the front door…
…and opens it. A look of grave concern crosses her face when she sees someone balled up in a fetal
position at the foot of the porch. She immediately recognizes the coat.

She goes to Buffy and touches her arm. The figure rolls over.



Act Four
Buffy enters from the back door, still shaken and upset. She warily eyes the flower arrangement on
the table, then grabs the bunch and tosses it in the garbage under the sink.
That’s when she notices:
BUFFY’S P.O.V. – The front door, AJAR.


As she looks closer, light from the porch spills in the open doorway illuminating a small square object.
Buffy crosses to it and picks it up.
CLOSE ON: a Polaroid photo of a terror-stricken Joyce – with Kralik, his hand resting menacingly on
her throat.
BUFFY blanches, then turns the picture over. Written in silver marker, across the black backing:
Buffy, dressed for battle, throws her weapon’s bag on the bed and proceed to stock it: stakes,
crosses, crossbow… She stuffs a jar of holy water in her coat pocket, a cross in her back pocket.
Done, she grabs the handle and lifts the bag off the bed… WITH UNEXPECTED DIFFICULTY. She puts
it down again, REACTS to its heft, coupled with her diminished strength. She throws the bag’s strap
over her shoulder, and with great effort, lugs the heavy thing out.


In the DIMMEST POSSIBLE LIGHT, we can just make out the figure of Joyce, her mouth gagged,
bound to a chair in the middle of the dank, empty room, by thick ropes.

Mother… May I call you mother?

Joyce’s frightened eyes squint in the blackness, then…
FLASH! Joyce is startled, blinded by the popping flashbulb of a polaroid camera, followed by the
WHIR of a developing picture being spat out.

My mother was a person with no
self-respect of her own, so she
tried to take mine, ten years old
and she had the scissors, you wouldn’t
believe what she took with those…
FLASH! Joyce cringes from the assault on her dilated pupils.

She’s dead to me now. Mostly ’cause

I killed and ate her. But also because
time’s been a healing salve. I’m
shunned by my kind… I’m aware

of that.

FLASH! And in it, we focus on:
ANGLE: A pitcher of water and a glass, which sit on a stool. Kralik’s pills beside them.


But it’s okay. I can be sealed inside
a box for six years, give or take, and
not care. Because I know I won’t be
alone much longer. I’ll have your
daughter. I won’t kill her… I’ll make
her like me. Different. She’ll go to
sleep and when she wakes up… your
face will be the first thing she eats.
(off Joyce’s terrified look)
I have a problem with mothers. I’m

aware of that.
Joyce, terrified beyond words, violently and vainly struggles.


Buffy enters, moving slowly into the dark space. And it is dark – there may be a couple of lamps on,
but they only serve to throw huge shadows across the walls. Great portions of the space drop
completely off into black.
Kneeling down, Buffy sticks a stake in the doorway, letting the door close on it, keeping the door just
slightly ajar. She stands and pulls a loaded crossbow from her shoulder bag. Not knowing where to
go, and with no real sense of the layout of the place, she heads to the left, into the parlor.
She moves through this dark space slowly as well, trying not to shake. There is a doorway at the
other end and she approaches it. Summoning her courage, she opens it.
It opens onto a brick wall.
We see the stake as Blair pulls it out, lets the door swing shut.
Giles is on the phone, getting nothing but ringing, when Travers walks in. Giles hangs up.


I’ve been trying to reach you.

I was on watch, by the boarding house.


Then you know what’s happened.


He’s killed Hobson. And made Blair
his own – your perfectly controlled

test has spun rather impressively out
of control, don’t you think?
It changes nothing.

Then allow me. I’ve told Buffy

That is in direct opposition to the
council’s orders.

Yes – interestingly enough, I don’t
give a rat’s ass about the council’s
orders. There will be no test.
The test has already begun.

Giles stares at him.


Your slayer entered the field of play
about ten minutes ago.

I don’t know – I returned there just

as she entered.
Giles starts for the door – Travers steps in his way.

Giles, we have no business interfering –

Giles grabs him and throws him out of his way. Travers hits the cabinet by the wall, stumbling not to

This isn’t business.

Giles leaves.
Buffy drops her cumbersome bag. She inches forward, crossbow at the ready. She comes back out
She goes to the door – sees it’s shut and unopenable.
Blair steps out behind her.
She spins, fires, but it goes wild, and he grabs the crossbow, wrenches it from her grasp. He grabs
her throat – she wriggles free and ducks into the
and makes for her bag behind the sofa – Blair comes in and climbs on the sofa, grabbing at her over
the back of it, she scuttles away, not time to get a weapon, Blair comes around the sofa and Buffy

backs up next to a bookcase-
Blair comes and she pulls the bookcase down on him, lots of extremely heavy things fall on him, just

his arm and head exposed. Dazed, he grabs Buffy’s ankle – she grabs a table lamp and brings it down
on his head – again – again –
His hand goes limp. Buffy is breathing hard, definitely more freaked than usual. A moment and she
goes for her bag, taking the whole thing with her.
Buffy moves slowly out, looking about her. Looks toward the stairs, then in front of her, toward the
anteroom. Moves that way, when a whisper seems to come from all around:

Hide and seek!

Buffy spins — where did it come from? A moment more and she moves into the
She comes near the crate. It is closed, just as it was when Giles found it. She puzzles at it a second,
approaching – and Kralik leaps out of it like a jack in the box, grabbing the girl.
She squirms. He smiles.


Why did you come to the dark
of the wood…

He takes the bag with one hand, looks in it.


… to bring all these sweets to
grandmother’s house.

He tosses the bag aside, grabs her with his other hand. Makes with the teeth.
Buffy pulls a cross from her back pocket and holds it up to him. He lets go, moving back a bit and
Cross still held out, Buffy inches toward her bag. Kralik suddenly grabs her hand, cross in it. He pulls
open his jumpsuit and shoves her hand in, holding the cross against his chest. He smiles as smoke
begins to stream out of the jumpsuit. Moves her hand down just a bit to his stomach –

A little lower… there.
— like he’s got an itch. He beams with nearly sexual gratification.
Buffy jerks her hand away, frightened and repulsed. She bolts away from him, down the hall into:
— where she slams the door behind her. Gets her bearings-nothing useful here-and moves across to
exit out the other side, which puts her in:
at the opposite end from the door, under the stairs.
She looks up them – this must be where her mother is. She moves slowly toward the foot of the
staircase, expecting Kralik to seep in from the anteroom and head her off.
He doesn’t. There is only silence.

Buffy reaches the stairs and moves quickly up them.
Kralik’s hand bursts through the rails and grabs her ankle.
She’s halfway up and he’s on the hall floor, having followed her through the kitchen. One yank and
her legs come out from under her, she falls, her head hitting a step HARD, a WHITE FLASH of pain as
she momentarily blacks out –
— as she comes to in a second, he’s still grabbing at her – she fumbles for a splintered rail, jabs it at
his face. He snarls and withdraws enough for her to get up.
Blood is coming down her face where she hit her head – a small stream, but more than the Slayer is
used to shedding. Hand to her head she limps up the stairs as Kralik comes around to the foot. She
enters the
and quickly dashes into the
and slams the door shut behind her, bolting it.
It’s pitch black in here. Buffy stumbles, looking for a light.
A huge SLAM and the door shakes, Kralik outside trying to break through. Again. Buffy still stumbles
about – till her hand finds a dangling light cord. She pulls it.
The room is lit by a bare bulb. Every square inch of wall space is covered with polaroids of Joyce.
Every inch. Buffy wigs at first – then looks more closely:
Behind Joyce is clearly the boiler. She’s in the basement.
Kralik’s fist BURSTS through the door, starts reaching for the bolt. Buffy looks – there’s another door
and she goes out it, coming out again into the
To one side is the laundry chute. The other leads back downstairs – she heads that way but Kralik
steps in the way, grabs her. Not smiling.


If you stray from the path you
will lose your way.

He bears down on her neck – she fights wildly but she’s just a girl, pinned and wriggling as he gets
his mouth closer to her, he whispers urgently –

I won’t take it all, I won’t take it all…

Buffy is helpless, still making one last effort to push him away – and he rears back, roaring. Clutching
his head.
Buffy tries to take the moment to get by him, but he SLAMS her against the wall. She’s dazed as he
fumbles in his pocket, pulls out his bottle of pills. With shaking hands, he tries to open it.
Buffy darts forward and grabs the bottle, racing AWAY from Kralik, down the hall and she dives into
the laundry chute, two feet in front of him reaching for her:
Buffy shoots down it, head first, as Kralik – obviously too big to fit – grabs futilely for her. He is

Buffy comes out of the chute and hits the ground hard. She almost can’t get up. Then she hears:


She looks up to see Joyce tied to the chair. She pulls herself up, clothes torn, head bloodied, shaking.
But not down.


Buffy, we have to get-
Buffy holds her fingers to her lips. Looks around for a weapon, an idea.

Is just BLOWN off its hinges by the force of Kralik’s blow. He comes down the stairs, screaming:


Where are they?! Where are they?!?

He’s dazed with pain, but twice as lethal. He moves into the cellar – sees Joyce still tied up –
Buffy tries to slip by him upstairs but he grabs her, throws her against the wall. He pulls the pills
from her fingers and rips off the top, pouring them into his mouth. Grabs the water glass we saw
earlier and washes them down.
The pain subsides almost instantly. He turns to Buffy, who has sunk down into the corner.


You almost got away little girl.
I almost lay down and –

He stops, sudden pain wrenching his gut. He is still holding the glass and the bottle of pills – he looks
at Buffy.

What did you… My pills…

Very calmly, Buffy shakes her head. She holds up a small, and now empty, container. Of holy water.
Kralik’s eyes go wide.
As does his mouth, which smokes, sizzles, and is eaten away from the inside.
As Kralik’s whole body begins to tremble and crack, Buffy stands.


If I had the Slayer’s power… I’d
be punning right about now.

He explodes.
Buffy stares her deadpan warrior stare at the space he used to occupy. A moment, and she moves to
Joyce, starts untying her.


Buffy, thank God you’re okay.
That man…

I can’t get these. They’re too tight.

Well, can’t you just-


Not right now. Maybe there’s some

She moves away – and Blair is right behind her, looking pissed.


As Buffy spins, Blair moves – and is tackled from the side by Giles.
The two of them go crashing into a tool shelf – Blair turns on Giles, punching him with jaw-snapping
Buffy looks around for a weapon – and a stake pops out of Blair’s back, pushed through the front by
Giles. Blair dusts, leaving Giles and Buffy staring at one another.
Congratulations. You pass.

Buffy sits at the table, holding a wet cloth to her head. Travers stands before her, Giles stands
nearby. Nobody looks wildly happy.


You exhibited extraordinary courage
and clearheadedness in battle. The
council is very pleased.
Do I get a gold star?

I understand that you’re upset –


You understand nothing. You set that
monster loose and he came after my


You think the test was unfair?


I think you better get out of town
before I get my strength back.


We’re not in the business of ‘fair’,
Miss Summers. We’re fighting a war.


You’re waging a war. She’s fighting
it. There is a difference.

Mr. Giles, if you don’t mind-

The test is done. We’re finished.


Not quite. She passed. You didn’t.

Neither Giles nor Buffy knows what to say.


The Slayer isn’t the only one who must
perform in this situation. I have
recommended to the council, and they
have agreed, that you be relieved of
your duties as watcher effective
immediately. You’re fired.
On what grounds?

Your affection for your charge has
rendered you incapable of clear and
impartial judgment. You have a father’s
love for the child and that is useless

to the cause.

A moment, as Buffy registers the truth in this. Giles does not even look at her.


It would be best for you not to have

further contact with the Slayer-

I’m not going anywhere.

No, well, I didn’t expect you to adhere
to that. However, if you interfere with
the new watcher or try to countermand
his authority in any way you will be dealt

with. Are we clear.
We’re very clear.
(to Buffy)
Congratulations again.
Bite me.
(turning to go)
Yes. Well. Colorful girl.

He throws a look at Giles and walks out. Neither Giles nor Buffy says anything for a while. She puts

the rag to her head and winces-

–with pain. Giles moves to her, instinctively.
Let me see…

She looks up at him. A moment of silence, and she slowly hands him the rag. He dips it in water and
squats down, inspecting the wound, dabbing it with the rag.
She says nothing. Lets him tend to her.

Buffy, Willow, Oz, Xander and Joyce mill about. They have all been making lunch together, talking,
making with the lemonade.


I just can’t believe Giles was fired!
How could Giles get fired?


So how did you manage to kill Kralik?

Oh, she was very clever.
(off Buffy’s look)

You go ahead and tell it, dear. You tell

it better.

But when you say fired, you mean fired?


You’re not cruising past that concept
anytime soon, are you?

It’s just-he’s been fired! He’s
unemployed! He’s between jobs!


Giles isn’t going anywhere, Will.
He’s still librarian.

Okay, but I’m writing an angry letter.


Nothing’s really gonna change. The
important thing is, I kept up my

special birthday tradition of gut-
wrenching misery and horror.


Bright side to everything.
Buffy grabs the peanut butter, tries to open the jar as she continues:


Things won’t ever be exactly the same,
but once I… get back to… full…

She can’t do it. Xander smiles at her condescendingly.

Give you a hand with that, little lady?

Playful daggers in her eyes, she hands him the jar.

You’re loving this far too much.

He takes the jar-

Admit it. Sometimes you just need

a big strong…

— and., smiling, completely fails to open it. He struggles, manfully, the smile fixed all the while to his



Uh, Will? You wanna give me a hand?



Angel’s mansion. The lights are low. The logs in the fireplace are
burning steadily. Candles are lit throughout the room. The camera pans
across a blanket upon which are the remains of a cozy picnic dinner.
Suddenly Buffy hits the floor in front of the fireplace hard on her
back. She has her right knee pulled up to her chest. Angel crouches over
her, holding himself up with his arms and grinning down at her. She uses
her leg to throw Angel over her head. He flips backward and lands flat
on his back. Buffy does a kick-up, bringing her up to a standing
position, and spins around to face Angel as he gets to his feet. He
hesitates for a moment before lunging at her with a wide punch that she
easily ducks. She comes up behind him, and he turns around to face her.
He tries a left-hand punch, but she inner form blocks it and flies into
a half-spinning in-to-out crescent kick. Angel ducks it, but gets
knocked off his feet when Buffy keeps on spinning downwards with a back
leg sweep, sending him to the floor. She scrambles to grab a baguette
from the blanket and rolls toward Angel. She comes up straddling him at
the waist and plunges the long, thin loaf at his chest, stopping just
short of penetration.
Buffy: Gotcha!
Angel: (defeated) Uhh! Right in the heart.
Buffy: (smiling) Satisfied?
Angel: I’m not sure that’s the word.
Buffy: (taken aback) Okay.
She sets aside the baguette, stands up and takes a few steps away.
Buffy: I didn’t mean ‘satisfied’ like…
He grabs the baguette and gets up also.
Angel: No, I, I wasn’t trying to…

Buffy: (awkwardly) ‘Cause we’re not having satisfaction in the personal
Angel: Of course. (exhales)
Buffy: (smiles) I should go. (walks past him) Giles is…
Angel: (turns with her) …is waiting for you. (Buffy faces him) I
Buffy: (smiling) Thanks. For the workout.
Angel: (nods) Um, am I gonna see you this weekend? You, uh, you-you
probably have plans.
Buffy: Right, birthday. Um, actually, I, I do have a thing.
Angel: Oh, a thing. (trying to be cool) A date?
Buffy: (nods) Nice attempt at casual. Actually, I do have a date.
(steps closer) Older man. Very handsome. He likes it when I call him
Angel: (smiles) Huh, your father. (frowns) It is your father, right?
She gives him a big reassuring grin and nods.
Buffy: He’s taking me to the ice show. (Angel sighs with relief) Which
should be big fun. I could use a little fun.
Cut to the library. Buffy is sitting at the table while Giles dangles a
pink crystal in front of her. She plays with a long, thin, translucent
one. There is a rather large collection of crystals of various colors,
shapes and sizes on the table.
Giles: This one?
Buffy: Amethyst.
Giles: Used for?
Buffy: Breath mints? (looks up at him)
Giles: (exasperated) Charm bags, money spells, and for cleansing one’s
Buffy: Okay, so how do you know if one’s aura’s dirty? Somebody come by
with a finger and write (gestures with her crystal) ‘wash me’ on it?
Giles sets down his crystal, takes off his glasses and props his arms on
the table, leaning toward Buffy.
Giles: (seriously) Buffy, I’m aware of your distaste for studying
vibratory stones, but since it is part of your training, I would
appreciate your glib-free attention.
Buffy: Sorry. It’s just with Faith on one of her unannounced
walkabouts, I feel like somebody should be patrolling.
Giles: (looks over the crystals) Well, Faith is not interested in
proper training, so I must rely on you to keep up with yours.
Buffy: I hate being the good one.
Giles: And as for patrolling, well, you’ll be there soon enough.
(suddenly curious) Why so anxious?
Buffy: I guess it… (suddenly self-conscious about her crystal,
quickly puts it down) I just have some… energy to burn.

Giles: Well, in due time, (puts his glasses on) but, uh, for the
present, (selects the largest blue crystal) if it’s not entirely beyond
your capabilities, (sets it in front of Buffy) try to concentrate.
Buffy sighs and stares into the crystal.
Cut to a playground later that night. A vampire front rolls down the
slide and onto the ground. Buffy runs down the slide after him and stops
next to him in a ready stance.
Buffy: Wow, that was really funny-looking! (grins widely) Could you do
it again?
Vampire: I’ll kill you for that. (jumps up)
Buffy: For that? What were you trying to kill me for before?
The vampire swings at her, but she ducks it and comes up behind him. He
faces her just in time to take a roundhouse kick in the shoulder. He
swings again, but she ducks it and punches him in the gut, then rises
back up and backhand punches him in the head. Then she shoves him back a
step so she can follow up with a half-spinning wheel kick, making the
vampire stumble back and fall onto the carousel. She strides toward him.
Buffy: Okay, so here’s the deal. (raises her stake)
Suddenly she is overcome by dizziness. She closes her eyes and steps
back unsteadily, almost as though in pain. The vampire seizes the
opening and rushes her, grabs her by the jacket, swings her around and
throws her onto a picnic table. She rolls off of it and onto the ground.
The vampire jumps on top of her, straddling her. She turns her head away
in fright. He grabs her right wrist with one hand and with the other
grabs her hand and twists it around, hurting her and making her cry out.
Her stake is now pointed at her own chest, and the vampire uses his
weight to slowly push it down at her.
Vampire: Lemme know if I’m not doing this right.
Her eyes go wide with terror as she struggles desperately with him.
Opening credits roll. Buffy’s theme plays.
~~ Part 1 ~~
The playground. The vampire straddling Buffy leans hard on the stake,
slowly pushing it closer to Buffy’s chest. She struggles hard to keep
him at bay, but she’s losing the battle. In a desperate attempt to get
him off of her, she head butts the vampire. He is slightly stunned and
stops pushing down on the stake, but remains on top of her. She then
slaps him in the face hard and shoves him off of her. He rolls away and
onto all fours. Buffy scrambles to get the stake, rolls back onto her
back and braces the stake against her chest pointing upward. The vampire
jumps to his feet and lunges angrily for her, landing on top of her and
impaling himself. He explodes into a cloud of ashes. Buffy waits a
moment before she raises herself into a sitting position. She brushes
some of the dust from her jacket and takes a few breaths before standing
Cut to Sunnydale High the next morning. Cut to the library. Buffy stands
by the table concentrating on a target she set up against the railing of
the stack level. She raises a knife and throws it. It glances off of the
target and clinks as it hits the floor. Giles comes into the library
with his briefcase and a cup of coffee and heads toward his office.
Giles: Bit early in the day. (sips his coffee)
Buffy: Giles, something’s wrong.
Giles: (stops) Wrong?

He sees the target with a few knives stuck awkwardly into it. None of
them are anywhere near the center.
Giles: Ah. Perhaps you shouldn’t… (Buffy throws a knife and misses)
…do that anymore. (sets down his briefcase)
Buffy: On top of that, I got a bad case of the dizzies last night and
almost let a vamp stake me. With my own stake!
Giles sips his coffee again as Buffy throws yet another knife. It flies
Buffy: I’m way off my game. (Giles sips again) My game’s left the
country. It’s in Cuernavaca. Giles, what’s going on here?
Giles: (sits) Well, perhaps you’ve got a bad flu bug or something.
Buffy: No. No, not sick. I can’t get sick. My dad’s coming to take me
to the ice show. We do it every year for my birthday. If I cancel, it’s
gonna break his heart.
Giles: Well, just, um, take it easy for forty-eight hours. You know,
forego patrolling until you feel yourself again.
He gets up again and goes to get his briefcase. Buffy picks up a couple
more knives from the table.
Buffy: No. No, I just need to spend a little more time training.
She throws one. This time it goes very wild and breaks one of the
reading lamps. Giles didn’t see it, but he sure heard it.
Buffy: I’m gone! (turns and leaves)
Giles: Thank you!
He goes into his office without looking at the damage.
Cut outside to the lunch tables. Oz, Xander, Willow and Buffy are
Xander: An ice show? A show performed on ice. And how old are we again?
Willow: I went to Snoopy On Ice when I was little. My dad took me
backstage and I got so scared I threw up on Woodstock.
Buffy: Look, I know you guys think it’s just a big, dumb, girlie thing,
but it’s not. I mean, a lot of those skaters are Olympic medal winners.
And every year my dad buys me cotton candy and one of those souvenir
programs that has all the pictures, and okay, it’s a big, dumb, girlie
thing, but I love it.
Oz: It’s not so girlie. Ice is cool! It’s water, but it’s not.
Willow: I think it’s sweet you and your dad have a tradition.
Especially now that he’s not around so much. Ixnay on the caramel corn,
though, if you go backstage.
Buffy nods in agreement.
Xander: We’re still talking party, right? I mean, some of us still love
to relish celebrating in the birth of the Buff.
Buffy: I dunno. I think it might be time to put a moratorium on parties
in my honor. They tend to go badly. Monsters crash. People die.
Willow: But eighteen is a big one, Buffy. I mean, you can vote now.
You can be drafted. (smiles) You can vote not to be drafted.

Buffy: I think I’ll choose to celebrate this one with quiet reflection.
Xander: Where is it written that quiet reflection can’t be combined
with cake and funny hats?
Cut to the kitchen at Buffy’s house. A large birthday floral arrangement
is on the island, complete with helium balloon and card. The tickets to
the ice show are attached to the card. Joyce is at the stove making
dinner. She hears the front door close.
Joyce: Buffy?
Buffy: Present.
She comes into the kitchen, sees the flowers and smiles.
Buffy: Ooo, present!
Joyce: Uh, they’re not. They’re from your father.
Buffy takes the card and tickets from the arrangement and looks at them.
Her expression shows deep disappointment.
Joyce: His, uh, quarterly projections are unraveling and he can’t
afford to take off right now. He promises to make it up to you. It’s all
right there in the letter.
Buffy sadly folds up the tickets and the card without even opening it.
Joyce: I-if you want, I could ask somebody to cover for me at the
gallery. I-I mean, if you want me to take you.
Buffy: No. No, that’s not necessary. I-I was just thinking it might be
nice to have a quiet birthday.
Cut to an abandoned boardinghouse. The sign outside reads “Sunnydale
Arms, Rooms for Let, Breakfast Included, Inquire Within.” Cut inside.
The place is dark and musty. A few of the wall lamps are lit and there’s
a fire going in the fireplace. It’s clear, though, that no one has lived
here for years. The furniture is torn and the books on the shelves are
strewn about. A man is bricking shut one of the windows. Quentin
Travers, a member of the Watcher’s Council, observes his progress. He
turns as another man comes down the stairs.
Quentin: How much longer, Hobson?
Hobson: Five, maybe six hours, sir.
They slowly walk into the next room.
Quentin: Once you finish, you and Blair can get some rest. But sleep in
He and Hobson stop and look across the room. There stands a tall wooden
crate with a heavy lock on it.
Quentin: We’re getting very close. The Slayer’s preparation is nearly
Cut to the library. Giles gets out the crystals again and carefully lays
them out on the table. Buffy sits and watches him.
Buffy: You know, it’s not just cartoon characters. They do pieces from
operas and ballets. Brian Boitano, doing Carmen, is a life changer. Oh,
he doesn’t actually play Carmen, but a lot of sophisticated people go.
Giles: (absently) Yes, I think we should start with the grounding
crystal again.
He sets the largest blue crystal on the table in front of Buffy.

Buffy: You know, it’s usually something that families do together.
He absently sets the box aside.
Giles: Now, look very carefully for the tiny flaw at its core.
Buffy: I-if someone were free, they’d take their daughters or their
student… or their Slayer. (looks up at him hopefully)
Giles: Hmm? Yes, but, Buffy, I think we should concentrate now. Now,
look for the flaw at its center.
He leans against the table. Buffy gives in and starts to concentrate on
the crystal. At its center is a small stake-shaped flaw in an otherwise
nearly clear blue crystal. Faint wind chimes can be heard as Buffy
slowly goes into a trance. Giles leans over further and looks into her
Giles: Buffy?
Satisfied that she is caught in the crystal’s thrall, he pulls a small
case from his briefcase, sets it on the table and opens it. Inside is a
hypodermic needle, a test tube full of a clear yellow liquid and an
alcohol-soaked gauze pad. Keeping a careful eye on Buffy, he takes the
pad and leans toward her. He takes her arm, pushes up her sleeve and
wipes the pad on a spot near the inside of her elbow. He fills the
syringe, taps it to get any air bubbles to the tip and pushes on the
plunger until the fluid begins to squirt out. Again he checks to be sure
Buffy is under, then he takes her arm in one hand and with the other
sticks in the needle. Slowly he depresses the plunger, all the while
keeping an eye on his charge. She doesn’t stir in the least. He pulls
the needle back out. Buffy does not bleed from the site. Quickly he puts
everything away. Buffy remains in the crystal’s thrall. Giles sits on
the table, trying to be casual, and waves his hand between Buffy and the
crystal. She comes out of her trance and looks up at him.
Buffy: Oh, I’m sorry. (rubs her temples) Did I zone out on you? It’s
just… I’m nursing that flu bug.
Giles: It’s best to take care of that. Perhaps we should, um…
Buffy: …call it a night. Yeah, (exhales) that’s a good idea. Thanks.
She gets up weakly and groans as she walks out of the library. Giles
smiles to himself.
Giles: Good night.
~~ Part 2 ~~
The quad at Sunnydale High on the next day. Buffy and Willow come
walking from the stairs.
Buffy: So, how’s it going with Amy the rat?
Willow: (excited) Good! She loves her new exercise wheel. She runs
around, her nose wiggles…
Buffy: (interrupts) I-I meant, how’s it going changing her back into a
human being?
Willow: Oh. Still working on it. But I just got her the cutest little
They hear a boy raising his voice and look in his direction. He’s
talking to Cordelia.
Boy: (upset) You don’t do that to me! I waited for you at the Bronze
all night!

Cordelia: And the big deal is?
Boy: You made me look like some kind of dork in front of my posse!
He grabs her arm. Cordelia is offended, and slaps his arm away.
Cordelia: First of all, ‘posse’? Passe’! Second of all, anyone with a
teaspoon of brains knows not to take my flirting seriously. Especially
with my extenuating circumstances.
Boy: (confused) What circumstances?
Cordelia: Rebound! Look it up!
She tries to leave, but he grabs her by both shoulders and pushes her
against a tree.
Boy: Hey! I’m not through here.
Buffy immediately moves in and grabs the boy’s arm.
Buffy: Oh, I beg to differ.
She tries to yank at it, but finds she has absolutely no strength. He
scoffs at her and nudges her away rather hard. Buffy falls backward,
stumbling onto a bench and rolls off onto the ground. Cordelia is
incensed, and shoves him away from her.
Cordelia: What is wrong with you?
Boy: Ow.
She starts pounding him in the chest with girlie punches. He quickly
backs away, but Cordelia keeps up with him and won’t let up.
Boy: God, the chick started it!
Willow gets down to her knees to help Buffy up.
Willow: (very concerned) Are you okay?
Buffy slowly sits up, very confused.
Cut to the hall. Giles is heading toward the library with a stack of
magazines. Buffy catches up with him.
Buffy: Okay, I just got swatted down by some no-neck and rescued by
Cordelia. What the hell is happening?
Giles: I’m sure it’ll sort itself out.
Buffy: (desperate to know) You’re not getting the big picture here. I-I
have no strength. I have no coordination. I throw knives like…
Giles: (calmly) A girl?
Buffy: (confused by his reaction) Like I’m not the Slayer.
Giles: Look, Buffy, I, I, I assure you, um… given time… w-w-we’ll
get to the bottom of, of whatever’s causing this, um… anomaly.
Buffy: Promise me.
Giles: Yes. I give you my word.
He heads down the hall for his library.
Quentin: You’re having doubts.

Cut inside the boardinghouse. He and Giles are sharing a cup of tea.
Quentin: Cruciamentum is not easy… for Slayer or Watcher. But it’s
been done this way for a dozen centuries. Whenever a Slayer turns
eighteen. It’s a time-honored rite of passage.
Giles: It’s an archaic exercise in cruelty. To lock her in this…
tomb… weakened, defenseless. (looks at the crate behind him) And to
unleash that on her.
He stares at the crate in the other room for a long moment before
turning back to Quentin.
Giles: If any one of the Council still had actual contact with a
Slayer, they would see, but I’m the one in the thick of it.
Quentin: Which is why you’re not qualified to make this decision.
You’re too close.
Giles: That’s not true.
Quentin: A Slayer is not just physical prowess. She must have cunning,
imagination, a confidence derived from self-reliance. And believe me,
once this is all over, your Buffy will be stronger for it.
Giles: Or she’ll be dead for it.
Cut to later. Hobson is working on the front door. He stops for a moment
when Quentin and Giles approach and lets them go through.
Quentin: Rupert, if this girl is everything you say, then you’ve
nothing to worry about.
Giles isn’t so sure. He puts on his glasses and leaves without saying a
Hobson: (to Quentin) Uh, sir, if you can spare me for a short spell,
I’ll need to make a run to the hardware store. I just need some…
He is interrupted by loud screaming coming from inside the crate. Blair
hears it, too, and comes in from another room.
Quentin: Take care of it.
The two men reluctantly go to the crate. Quentin slowly follows them.
Whatever’s inside the crate keeps screaming its head off. Cut to the
crate. Blair opens the lock and removes it. He pulls open the latch and
jerks open the crate. Inside is a very angry vampire secured in a
straightjacket and strapped to the back of the crate with a metal band
across his forehead. The two men nervously stare at the vampire.
Quentin: (impatient) Come on. Come on.
Blair steps over to a table and pulls two pills from a bottle. He puts
them on a spoon that’s been tied to a long bar. Hobson stands behind him
with a glass of water also on the end of a long bar. Blair reaches the
spoon up to the vampire’s mouth.
Blair: Kralik, your pills. Open your mouth.
The vampire opens its mouth just enough, and Blair nudges the spoon in,
turning it to drop the pills in, then quickly retreats. Hobson steps up
with the glass of water and angles it for Kralik to drink. He gulps
deeply. Some of the water spills to the sides of his mouth.
Quentin: That’s enough. Close it up.
Hobson backs away, and Blair slams the crate shut.
Cut to the library. The gang is at the table doing research into Buffy’s

Willow: Aha! A curse on Slayers.
Buffy looks up. Willow reads again.
Willow: Oh, no. Wait. I-it’s lawyers.
Xander: You know, maybe we’re on the wrong track with the whole spell,
curse and whammy thing. Maybe what we should be looking for is something
like, um, (ahem) Slayer kryptonite.
Oz: Faulty metaphor. Kryptonite kills.
Xander: You’re assuming I meant the green kryptonite. I was referring,
of course, to the red kryptonite, which drains Superman of his powers.
Oz: (thinks) Wrong. The gold kryptonite’s the power-sucker. The red
kryptonite mutates Superman into some sort of weird…
Buffy: (impatiently) Guys? Reality?
She drops her book onto the table, gets up and walks toward the stairs.
Willow gets up and follows.
Willow: Buffy. (they stop) I know you are definitely, without a
doubt, gonna get your powers back.
Buffy: Thanks, Will. (starts up to the stacks)
Willow: But what if you don’t?
Buffy: (stops) Okay… (sighs) if I don’t get my powers back, then I
don’t. I’ll deal. (considers) And there’s a whole lotta good sides to
Willow: Actually, this could open up so many…
Giles comes into the library. Buffy runs up to him.
Buffy: Giles. Did you find anything?
Giles: (apologetically) Uh, no. Not yet.
Cut to the boardinghouse. Hobson comes into the room where he and Blair
have set up their cots. He has just sat down on his when Kralik begins
to thrash and scream in his crate. Blair wakes and sits bolt upright.
They both take deep breaths when they realize he’s not loose.
Hobson: It’s your shift.
Blair gets up and goes to take care of their charge, pulling the door to
their room closed behind him as Hobson lies down for a rest.
Cut to the crate. Blair pulls it open. Kralik is still tied up inside.
Kralik: Pills!
Blair: (nervously) Yes.
He looks over at the pill bottle and sees that there’s no water in the
glass. He takes it and quickly goes to the kitchen. Kralik takes a deep
breath and strains against the straightjacket, screaming very loudly.
The seam on his right shoulder tears. In the kitchen Blair fills the
glass and casts a worried look behind him.
Blair: It’s coming!
He turns off the water and runs back to the crate. Kralik lifts his
shoulder to make the tear in the seam less conspicuous.

Kralik: Pills!
Blair sets down the water, gets two pills from the bottle and puts them
on the spoon. He holds it up to Kralik’s mouth as the vampire continues
to groan loudly, crushing his eyelids shut and panting in apparent pain.
Blair: Take them.
Kralik: Pills!
Blair: They’re right in front of you.
Kralik: (sniffs) Where? (sniffs)
Blair: Here!
Kralik: I can’t see… can’t… (sticks out his tongue) can’t reach it.
Blair takes a careful step closer.
Blair: Open your eyes.
Kralik suddenly thrusts out his arm and grabs Blair by the neck, lifting
him from the floor and choking him.
Kralik: Shh. Everything’s okay now.
Cut to Angel’s mansion. The fire is going nicely. The camera pulls back
to show Buffy and Angel sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace.
Buffy unwraps a book, Angel’s birthday gift to her. She opens it and
leafs through it. It’s a copy of “Sonnets from the Portuguese”, classic
love poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning to her husband, Robert
Browning. On the title page Angel has written simply “Always”.
Buffy: (softly) Thank you. That’s beautiful.
Angel: You really like it?
Buffy: Of course I do. It’s sweet and thoughtful and… full of neat
words to learn and say like ‘wilt’ and ‘henceforth’.
Angel: Then why’d you seem more excited last year when you got a
severed arm in a box?
Buffy: I’m sorry. Uh, it’s just suddenly there’s this chance that my
calling’s a wrong number, and… it’s just freaking me out a little.
Angel: That’s understandable.
Buffy: Angel, what if I have lost my power?
Angel: You lived a long time without it. You can do it again.
Buffy: I guess. But what if I can’t? I’ve seen too much. I know what
goes bump in the night. Not being able to fight it… What if I just
hide under my bed, all scared and helpless? Or what if I just become
pathetic? Hanging out at the old Slayer’s home, talking people’s ears
off about my glory days, showing them Mr. Pointy, the stake I had
Angel: Buffy, you could never be helpless or boring, not even if you
Buffy raises her eyebrows and gets up.
Buffy: Don’t be so sure.
She steps over to a table.

Buffy: Before I was the Slayer, I was… (leans on the table) Well, I,
I don’t wanna say shallow, but… Let’s say a certain person, who will
remain nameless, we’ll just call her Spordelia, looked like a classical
philosopher next to me. Angel, if I’m not the Slayer, what do I do? What
do I have to offer? Why would you like me?
Angel: (quietly) I saw you before you became the Slayer.
Buffy: (confused) What?
Angel: I watched you, and I saw you called. It was a bright afternoon
out in front of your school. You walked down the steps… and… and I
loved you.
Buffy: Why?
Angel: ‘Cause I could see your heart. (gets up) You held it before you
for everyone to see. (walks to her) And I worried that it would be
bruised or torn. And more than anything in my life I wanted to keep it
safe… to warm it with my own.
Buffy looks up into his eyes for a long moment, then leans into him, and
they embrace, holding each other close.
Buffy: That’s beautiful. Or taken literally, incredibly gross.
Angel: (grimacing) I was just thinking that, too.
Cut to the boardinghouse. Although Kralik has his arm free, he’s still
tied too well to free himself from the straightjacket. No matter,
though, seeing as Blair is lying in front of him, soon to become a
vampire. Kralik idly hums and licks his fingers while he waits for his
new friend to wake. He watches as Blair’s face spontaneously morphs into
a vampire’s. Blair stirs, turns his head to see where the humming is
coming from and slowly gets to his feet.
Kralik: Ah, you’re up. I was afraid I drained you too much. I do that
Blair growls at Kralik, but knows what he must do. He looks around for
the ax he knows should be there.
Kralik: Ever have a tune you can’t get outta your head? It keeps
playing over and over and over? Drives me nuts.
Blair brings the ax over and swings it at the metal strap where it’s
attached to the crate on the left side of Kralik’s head, then on the
right. The strap falls to the floor, and Kralik steps out.
Kralik: Ahh. Thank you.
He grunts as he pulls the straightjacket off his other arm and lets it
Kralik: Ohh. That… is much better.
He goes over to his pill bottle and pops a couple into his mouth, then
picks up the glass of water and steps back over to Blair.
Kralik: Mmm.
He takes a good swallow of the water.
Kralik: It’s a game, you know. We’re not gonna play by their rules,
but… that doesn’t mean we’re not gonna play.
He smiles broadly and downs the rest of the water.
Kralik: Mmm. (points at Hobson’s room) Why don’t you call your friend
in? We’ll discuss it over dinner.

~~ Part 3 ~~
The boardinghouse later that night. Giles opens the door and takes a
tentative look inside. Everything seems quiet.
Giles: Quentin?
He steps in and closes the door, still wary of the place. He goes into
the sitting room. Nothing seems amiss. He walks back out and down the
hall, looking up the stairs. Still all seems well, but it’s just too
quiet. He takes a few steps up to the landing.
Giles: Hello? Quentin? Hob…
He notices that the stair railing feels clammy, and looks at his hand.
It’s covered with fresh blood. From the landing he looks into the other
room and sees the closed crate standing there. He rushes down the stairs
and looks for a weapon. He grabs one of the stair rail supports and
breaks it out with the heel of his other hand. He heads straight for the
crate, intending to dust whatever’s inside, but finds it empty. Alarmed,
he looks around and then down at the floor. There he sees tracks of
blood leading into the kitchen. He follows them, ready for anything.
Holding his makeshift stake up and ready, he grabs the doorknob and
swings it open, but nothing is there to meet him. He searches for the
light switch, first on one side, then the other, and flips it on when he
finds it. He sees what’s left of Hobson lying on the table. The camera
only shows his arm, but the mauling Hobson received must have been
horrific because Giles immediately drops the stake, backs out of the
kitchen, puts his hand to his mouth and does his best not to vomit.
Quickly he regains his composure and makes tracks out of the house.
Cut to the streets. Buffy is slowly walking home holding her coat closed
and hugging her book. She watches as a car passes, and then steps into
the street to cross it. Near the other side of the street she walks past
a couple of guys just hanging out by a car. They see her pass by and
check her out.
Man: (to the other) Let’s find out. (to Buffy’s back) Hey, sweet girl!
(Buffy stops cold) How much for a lap dance for me and my buddy?
They laugh to themselves. Buffy begins to turn around, but thinks better
of taking them on in her weakened state. She continues along the street.
The men make no move to follow her.
Buffy: (wryly) Walk me home, Angel. No, I’m fine. I can take care of
She rounds a corner and hears humming, but doesn’t see anyone around.
She stops and looks behind her, but sees no one there either.
Buffy: Hummers. Big turnoff. I like guys that can remember the lyrics.
She starts to walk again as she turns back, and runs right into Kralik.
He holds onto her by the arms while she tries to pull away.
Kralik: You know, I wish I could, but my mind just isn’t what it used
to be.
Buffy: Let me go.
She pulls harder, and he yanks her back.
Kralik: (playfully) You didn’t say please!
She starts to struggle in earnest and call for help.
She gets her left arm loose, pulls her right arm out of her jacket and

lets her left arm slip out of the other sleeve as she begins to run.
Blair heads her off and roars at her. She screams and begins to run back
the other way, dodging Kralik, who makes no move to give chase. He has
what he wants. Blair, however, continues to run after her.
Cut to an alley behind a row of houses. She runs along it.
At the far end of the alley she encounters a fence. She tries to climb
it, but doesn’t have the strength. She drops back down, checks behind
her and sees Blair coming. She looks down and sees that the fence has
been cut at the base, and so quickly gets down and crawls through it.
Blair catches up and grabs her by the leg. She keeps crawling, making
him lose his balance and grip, but he scrambles to grab her foot. He
can’t get a good hold of it, though, and Buffy slips through and begins
to run. Blair gets down and starts to squeeze himself through the fence.
Buffy runs into the street and tries to flag down a car.
The driver honks his horn and swerves sharply to get around her, but he
just keeps going.
She looks over at Blair, who couldn’t get through the hole, and sees him
climbing the fence instead. Another car honks at her and screeches
around her. A third car comes in the other direction. Buffy thinks she

recognizes it. She does when it stops. Giles pushes open the passenger-
side door.

Giles: Hurry!
She jumps in and Giles guns it just as Blair gets there. Blair grabs the
door and gets his feet up just inside the car. Buffy hits him repeatedly
as they speed along, and eventually Blair can’t hold on any longer. He
drops out of the car and rolls over a few times in the street before
coming to a stop face down. Back by the fence Kralik steps into the
street and watches them go.
Cut to the library. Buffy is sitting at the table wrapped in a blanket.
Buffy: When I hit him, it felt like my arm was broken, it hurt so much.
I can’t be just a person. I can’t be helpless like that. Giles, please,
we have to figure out what’s happening to me.
Giles opens his briefcase and pulls out the case with the syringe. He
opens it, lets out a deep sigh and sets it in front of her.
Giles: (with a shaky voice) It’s an organic compound… of muscle
relaxants and adrenal suppressers. The effect is temporary. You’ll be
yourself again in a few days.
Buffy can’t believe her ears or eyes. She reaches out to the tube of
liquid and touches it.
Buffy: You?
Giles: (shaky) It’s a test, Buffy. (takes off his glasses) It’s given
to the Slayer once she… uh, well, if she reaches her eighteenth
birthday. (swallows hard) The Slayer is disabled and then entrapped with
a vampire foe whom she must defeat in order to pass the test. (paces
toward his office) The vampire you were to face… has escaped. (stops
at the door facing away) His name is Zackary Kralik. As a mortal, he
murdered and tortured more than a dozen women before he was committed to
an asylum for the criminally insane. When a vamp…

Buffy stands up and throws the syringe case at him, but misses, hitting
the wall beside him.
Buffy: (sobbing angrily) You bastard. All this time, you saw what it
was doing to me. All this time, and you didn’t say a word!
Giles: (faces her) I wanted to.
Buffy: (sobs) Liar.
Giles: In matters of tradition and protocol, I must answer to the
Buffy runs her hands through her hair in disbelief of her betrayal.
Giles: My role in this… was very specific. I was to administer the
injections and to direct you to the old boardinghouse on Prescott Lane.
Buffy: (crying and shaking her head) I can’t… I can’t hear this.
Giles: Buffy, please.
Buffy: (looks him in the face) Who are you? (lowers her hands) How
could you do this to me?
Giles: I am deeply sorry, Buffy, (reaches out to her) and you have to
She backs away and warns him off with her hand.
Buffy: (shaking with hatred) If you touch me, I’ll kill you.
Giles lowers his hand.
Giles: (imploringly) You have to listen to me. Because I’ve told you
this, the test is invalidated. You will be safe now, I promise you. Now,
whatever I have to do to deal with Kralik… and to win back your
Buffy: (interrupts, sobbing) You stuck a needle in me. You poisoned me!
Behind them Cordelia walks into the library.
Cordelia: What’s going on?
She sees Buffy’s tear-streaked face.
Cordelia: Oh, God. Is the world ending? I have to research a paper on
Bosnia for tomorrow, but if the world’s ending, I’m not gonna bother.
Buffy starts to walk out of the library.
Giles: (desperately) You can’t walk home alone, Buffy. It isn’t safe.
Buffy stops. Cordelia doesn’t understand and looks at her.
Buffy: (facing away) I don’t know you.
Cordelia: (faces Giles) Did something take her memory? (turns to Buffy)
He’s Giles. Giiillles. (grins) He hangs out here a lot.
Buffy turns around.
Buffy: Cordelia, could you please drive me home?
Cordelia: (surprised) Of course.
Buffy turns and walks out.
Cordelia: (to Giles) But if the world doesn’t end, I’m gonna need a

She follows Buffy out of the library.
Cut to the Summers’ dining room. Joyce is doing her bills. She hears a
noise outside and looks up. She gets up from the table. Cut outside.
Joyce opens the door and steps out. She looks over to the side of the
Joyce: Buffy?
There she sees a figure lying on the floor shrouded in Buffy’s coat. She
reaches down and touches the figure’s back. It rolls over, and Kralik
looks up at her. She steps back in fright.
Kralik: (grinning horribly) Mother.
~~ Part 4 ~~
The kitchen at the Summers house. Buffy opens the door and comes in. The
bouquet from her father is still on the island. She pushes it to the end
and lets it drop into the wastebasket. She walks through the dining room
and sees the front door standing open. Taped to the doorframe is a
Polaroid photo. She strides over to it and pulls it down to look at it.
It’s of her mother with Kralik behind her holding her by the neck. She
turns the picture over, and on the back is written “come”.
Cut to her room. She has a heavy leather bag open on her bed. She pulls
a knife and several stakes from her trunk and drops them into the bag.
At her desk she opens the top left drawer with her Slayer stuff and
pulls out a bottle of Holy Water. This she drops into the pocket of her
coveralls. She closes the bag and heaves it up by the strap and onto her
shoulder. It’s very heavy, and she has to lean to the side quite a bit
to counterbalance it as she walks out of her room.
Cut to the basement of the boardinghouse. Joyce is tied to a chair and
Kralik: Mother.
She looks toward his voice, and he snaps another Polaroid of her.
Kralik: May I call you Mother? (walks in front of her) My own mother
was a person with no self-respect of her own, so she tried to take mine.
Joyce turns her head away from him, and he takes another picture. She
strains against the ropes around her arm, but they are too tight.
Kralik: Ten years old, she had the scissors. You wouldn’t believe what
she took with those. (takes another pic) But she’s dead to me now.
(takes two more) Mostly (chuckles) because I killed and ate her, but
also because I know I won’t be alone much longer. (kneels by Joyce) I’ll
have your daughter. I won’t kill her; I’ll just make her like me.
Different. She’ll go to sleep, and when she wakes up, (gets into her
face) your face will be the first thing she eats.
Joyce’s eyes are wide with terror. Kralik stops to consider.
Kralik: I have a problem with mothers. (chuckles) I’m aware of that.
Cut to the front door of the boardinghouse. It opens quietly, and Buffy
looks in. She has her crossbow up and ready. The front rooms are empty
and quiet, so she steps in. She takes one of her stakes and puts it down
between the door and the frame to keep it open. Again she raises her bow
and looks around the front rooms. She steps in further and looks through
the archway into the sitting room. The fire is going there. She walks
once around the room and then sets her bag down on the old couch. She
continues to explore the area quietly, her fear and nervousness evident
in her face. She approaches a door and cautiously takes hold of the
knob. Quickly she twists it and pulls the door open, only to find that

it’s been bricked up on the other side. She closes it again.
Cut outside. A hand reaches down and picks up the stake she left there.
The door closes and the latch echoes loudly. Cut inside. Buffy spins
around to face the noise. Cut outside. The camera pans from the hand up
to Blair’s face.
Cut to Giles’ office. He’s on the phone trying to reach Quentin. The
other end of the line keeps ringing. Just then Quentin appears at the
door and walks in. Giles sees him and sets the phone back down in its
Giles: I was just trying to reach you.
Quentin: I was on watch over by the boardinghouse. (paces away)
Giles: Then you know what’s happened.
Quentin: Yes.
Giles: (angrily) He’s killed Hobson and made Blair one of his own. Your
perfectly controlled test seems to have spun rather impressively out of
control, don’t you think?
Quentin turns and gives him a long look, then paces back the other way
to the teapot.
Quentin: It changes nothing. (lifts the lid from the teapot)
Giles: Well, then, allow me. (leans on his desk) I’ve told Buffy
Quentin: (looks up from the teapot) That is in direct opposition to the
Council’s orders. (sets the lid back down)
Giles: Yes. (crosses his arms) Interestingly, I don’t give a rat’s ass
about the Council’s orders. There will be no test.
Quentin: (pours a cup of tea) The test has already begun. Your Slayer
entered the field of play about ten minutes ago.
Giles: (stands up, surprised) Why?
Quentin: I don’t know. I returned there just as she entered.
Giles grabs his keys from his desk and starts out of the office. Quentin
tries to stop him.
Quentin: Now Giles, we’ve no business…
Giles grabs him by the coat and shoves him up against the doorframe.
Giles: This is not business!
He lets the other man go and strides out of the library.
Cut to the sitting room in the boardinghouse. Buffy slowly moves out of
it back into the foyer. She looks around before entering it, then goes
back over to the door to check it. It’s locked shut. She yanks at it
several times, but she can’t budge it. Blair comes up behind her and
growls. Buffy spins around and aims the crossbow at him. She pulls the
trigger, but the bolt flies right past his face. Blair grabs the bow,
jerks it out of her hands and throws it down. He grabs her by the throat
and begins to choke her. Buffy grabs onto his arm and stomps on his
foot. Blair lets go. She shoves him aside and runs into the sitting
room. She opens her bag and tries to reach in, but Blair reaches for her
over the back of the couch. Buffy jumps away and runs to the far wall by
the bookcase. Blair moves to follow, but Buffy pushes the bookcase over
on top of him. He struggles underneath it, but can’t lift it off. Buffy
climbs over it and goes to her bag, opens it and reaches in. Blair

reaches out from under the bookcase and grabs her ankle. Buffy screams
and looks around for a weapon. She spies the andirons, grabs the tongs
and starts to whale on Blair’s arm. She has to hit him several times
before he finally lets go. Buffy grabs her bag and runs out of the room.
She stops in the hallway and looks around. Somewhere Kralik is watching
her, and he taunts her.
Kralik: Hide and seeeek…
She looks all around her.
Kralik: Hide and seek!
The hall, the stairs and the adjacent room are empty. There she sees
Kralik’s crate. The crate door is closed and looks locked. She
approaches it, and it suddenly swings opens. Kralik jumps out and grabs
her by the throat. Buffy gasps in fright, but doesn’t struggle.
Kralik: Why did you come to the dark of the woods?
He yanks her bag out of her hands and looks into it. Inside is a smaller
bow, several stakes and a few knives.
Kralik: To bring all these sweets to grandmother’s house?
He drops the bag and pulls her closer. Buffy surprises him by holding up
a cross. He leaps back from her in fear. She holds it out at arm’s
length, shaking nervously. Kralik stares at her for a while, smiling
evilly, then suddenly grabs her arm and pulls it and the cross into his
chest. There he rubs it around and laughs as it burns against his skin.
Kralik: Oh-oh, no, no. Just a little lower. (nudges it down) Right…
(inhales in ecstasy) Oh, yes. Yes. Oh. (gasps) Oooh! Thank you very
Buffy lets go of the cross and runs in terror. Kralik just smiles and
watches her run. She runs into the kitchen and locks the door. Hobson’s
remains are still there. She notices the body but doesn’t have time to
really look at it before she is distracted by Kralik pounding on the
door. She runs to the counter and rifles through the drawers looking for
anything she can use. She finds nothing, but then looks up when the
pounding stops. Her breathing is shallow and panting with fear. She
looks around again, but can’t find anything of use. Slowly she steps
back to the door and quietly opens it.
The coast is clear, so she comes into the hall. She constantly looks
around as she makes her way toward the stairs. When she’s almost there
she makes a dash for them and starts to run up. Kralik punches his arm
through the railing and trips her, making her fall and cut her forehead
against the steps. He grabs her leg and pulls her down a ways. She
struggles to get away. She grabs a broken piece of the railing and stabs
at his arm with it. He lets go and decides to run up the stairs after
her. Buffy scrambles to her feet, runs to the top and starts down the
hall. At a bend in the hall she stops and looks around. The hallway is
empty, so she runs to the first door. It’s locked, so she goes to the
next. It opens, and she runs in, slamming the door behind her. The room
is pitch dark. Buffy searches around until she finds a string hanging
from the ceiling. She pulls it and the light goes on. She stares in
shock at the walls around her. They are covered with Polaroids of her
mother. She grabs one off the wall to make sure. Just then she hears
Kralik pounding at the door. He punches through and reaches in,
searching for the knob to unlock it. She runs to another door, opens it
and runs out into the hall. Just as she reaches the end, Kralik steps
out in front of her.
Kralik: If you stray from the path, you will lose your way.
He reaches out and puts his hand on her cheek. She tries to push him
away, but he’s too strong and bends down toward her neck.

Kralik: (reassuringly) I won’t take it all. I won’t take it all.
She strains hard to keep him at bay. Suddenly Kralik has one of his
attacks. He grabs his head and begins to scream. Buffy tries to get past
him, but he shoves her into the wall, stunning her. He pulls out his
pill bottle and struggles to get it open. Buffy regains her head and
grabs the bottle out of his hands. She runs down the hall away from him.
Kralik: No! No! No!
He has a hard time coming after her with the pain in his head. Buffy
reaches the far end of the hall and leaps into the laundry chute. Kralik
looks down the chute and hears her sliding, but doesn’t follow. Instead
he staggers back the other way.
Cut to the basement. Buffy comes sliding out of the chute and onto a
table. It breaks beneath her, and she falls to the floor in a cloud of
dust. Her mother is there, tied to a chair and gagged, and sees her
daughter fall.
Joyce: Buffy?
Buffy gets up and scrambles over to her mother. She tries to untie her,
but can’t.
Joyce: (muffled) Buffy, we have to get out…
They hear pounding at the basement door. Buffy stops struggling with the
ropes. Kralik smashes the door in and comes running down the stairs
demanding his pills.
Kralik: Where are they? Where are they?!
He runs into the room, and Buffy fakes trying to get past him and up the
stairs. He grabs her and shoves her against a wall. He sees the pill
bottle in her hands and snatches it from her. He struggles with the lid
as he stumbles over to where he sees a glass of water near the wine
racks. He gets the lid off, pops a couple of pills and gulps down the
water. He gasps for air and takes several deep breaths as he begins to
calm down, knowing that the medicine should soon take effect. He smiles
evilly over at Buffy and takes some forced steps in her direction. Buffy
just watches him come.
Kralik: You don’t seem to understand your place in all of this. Do you
have any idea…
Suddenly he realizes something is very wrong and stops in his tracks.
Kralik: Oh, my! (looks down at the glass in his hand) What have you…
He begins to shake and looks back up at Buffy.
Kralik: My pills!
She pulls the now-empty bottle of Holy Water from her pocket and holds
it up for him to see. He drops the glass and begins to shake violently,
grunting and groaning in pain.
Kralik: No. No…
Smoke begins to puff out of his clothes. Buffy watches coolly.
Buffy: If I was at full Slayer power, I’d be punning right about now.
Kralik: No! No!
He screams loudly one final time, and then crumbles to ashes from the
inside out. Buffy closes her eyes and lets out a sigh of relief. She
pockets the bottle and rushes over to her mother. She pulls the gag from
her mouth and begins to work on the ropes again.

Joyce: (breathing heavily) Buffy, thank God you’re okay. Oh, that
Buffy: (straining) I can’t get these. They’re too tight.
Joyce: Can’t you just…
She jerks in her chair suggesting that Buffy just tear the ropes.
Buffy: Not right now. (looks around) Maybe there’s some clippers
She stands up to look around, when suddenly Blair lunges at her. Giles
is right behind him.
Joyce: Oh, Buffy!
Blair grabs Giles and throws him against a shelf rack. Blair punches him
in the face and in the gut. Giles doubles over, but thrusts up with his
arm, plunging a stake into Blair’s chest. He bursts into ashes. Slowly
Giles straightens up. He and Buffy look at each other for a long time.
Quentin: Congratulations, you passed.
Cut to the library. Buffy is sitting at the table. Quentin stands calmly
at the head as he speaks. Giles leans in the doorway to his office.
Quentin: You exhibited extraordinary courage and clearheadedness in
battle. The Council is very pleased.
Buffy: (deadpan) Do I get a gold star?
Quentin: I understand that you’re upset…
Buffy: (with controlled fury) You understand nothing. You set that
monster loose, and he came after my mother.
Quentin: You think the test was unfair?
Buffy: I think you better leave town before I get my strength back.
Quentin: (evenly) We’re not in the business of fair, Miss Summers,
we’re fighting a war.
Giles: You’re waging a war. She’s fighting it. There is a difference.
Quentin: Mr. Giles, if you don’t mind…
Giles: The test is done. We’re finished.
Quentin: Not quite. She passed. You didn’t. (faces him) The Slayer is
not the only one who must perform in this situation. I’ve recommended to
the Council, and they’ve agreed, that you be relieved of your duties as
Watcher immediately. You’re fired.
Giles: (taken aback) On what grounds?
Quentin: Your affection for your charge has rendered you incapable of
clear and impartial judgment. (Buffy looks at Giles) You have a father’s
love for the child, and that is useless to the cause. (Giles looks down)
It would be best if you had no further contact with the Slayer.
Buffy breaks her stare, and considers Quentin’s words.
Giles: (with hostility) I’m not going anywhere.
Quentin: No, well, I didn’t expect you would adhere to that. However,
if you interfere with the new Watcher, or countermand his authority in
any way, you will be dealt with. Are we clear?

Giles: Oh, we’re very clear.
Quentin: (bows slightly to Buffy) Congratulations again.
She looks up at him with a stare of hatred.
Buffy: (vehemently) Bite me.
Quentin: (chuckles ruefully) Yes, well, colorful girl.
He turns and leaves the library. Giles looks up again and puts on his
glasses. He looks over at Buffy. She gazes down into space for a moment,
then sniffs and puts her hand to her forehead. She sniffs again,
reaching out for the cloth that’s lying on the table next to a bowl of
water, and picks it up. Giles walks over to her and puts his hand on the
cloth. She lets him take it from her hand. He dips it in the water and
kneels down in front of her, reaches out and gently pats it over the
gash in her forehead. She winces in pain, but doesn’t pull away. She
looks up at her Watcher sadly for a moment, then lowers her eyes. Giles
turns the now-bloody cloth over and continues to lightly dab it on her
Cut to the Summers house. Cut to the kitchen. The whole gang is over for
a visit. Buffy and Xander are making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Willow brings a jug of lemonade over to them at the island.
Willow: I can’t believe Giles was fired. How could Giles get fired?
Oz: So, how did you manage to kill Kralik?
Joyce: (smiles) Oh, she was very clever.
Buffy raises her eyebrows at her.
Joyce: Uh, you go ahead and tell it, dear. You tell it better.
Buffy sighs.
Willow: Now, now when you say ‘fired’, do you mean ‘fired’?
Xander: You’re not cruising past that concept any time soon, are you?
Willow: Well, it’s just… I mean, he’s been fired! He’s, he’s
unemployed! He’s… between jobs.
Buffy: Giles isn’t going anywhere, Will. He’s still librarian.
Willow: Okay, but I’m writing an angry letter.
Buffy: You know, nothing’s really gonna change. The important thing is
that I kept up my special birthday tradition of gut-wrenching misery and
Oz: Bright side to everything.
Buffy grabs a new jar of peanut butter and tries to open it.
Buffy: (sighs) Just feel better when I get my strength back.
Xander: Give you a hand with that, little lady?
He stands up and holds out his hand to take it from her. She hands it to
Buffy: You’re loving this far too much.
Xander: Admit it. (tries to open it) Sometimes you just need a big
strong man. (smiles)

He struggles with the jar for a while, then tries to cover it with a
Xander: Uh, Will, gimme a hand with that?

Marianne LeBlanc
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