Original Air Date: April 15, 2003
Written by Drew Goddard
Directed by Michael Gershman
Vampires Slain = ?
A new Potential, Shannon, runs through the forest at night, chased by the Bringers. She stumbles onto a road and is rescued by a sympathetic minister type who promises to take her to Sunnydale. Shannon realizes she’s in trouble when out of nowhere the priest, Caleb, starts spouting some seriously twisted stuff about how she's a whore without a soul, and that the Bringers are his "Boys." After heating his ring with a cigarette lighter, Caleb brands her on the neck. He whispers a message to the girl to deliver to the Slayer, then stabs her and throws her out of the car. Caleb knew Willow was driving a little behind them, and Will slams on the brakes when she spots the girl lying in the road. Faith emerges from the car as well, fresh from her trip to help out Angel, and they cart Shannon off to the hospital.
Faith is a little peeved that no one bothered to let her know Potentials were getting killed, but somehow Willow thought she'd be safer in jail. Faith wasn't: someone there came after her with a knife, and it wasn't your average prison butter knife. Faith convinces Willow to stay and watch over Shannon while she goes to meet Buffy on patrol. Should be interesting.
In the cemetery, Faith gets into it with Spike and refuses to believe he's a good guy. They wail on each other for a while till Buffy interrupts by knocking Faith on the chin. It's business as usual between these two. They head home, and no one is exactly welcoming to Faith, least of all Dawn.
Back at his vineyard, preacher Caleb is clearly off his nut, having a glass of wine while gabbing with the First in the guise of Buffy. He's the one behind the Bringers' hunt for Potentials and the destruction of the Watcher's Council, and plans to use Buffy's innate curiosity to lure her to him. Sounds just crazy enough to work.
At Sunnydale High, Buffy and Principal Wood put their differences aside just before Wood fires her from her job. He doesn’t want her distracted from the mission, and no one's coming to school anymore anyway. Wood is still smarting from their last encounter, though he puts on a brave face.
Meanwhile, Spike and Faith share a smoke and get to know each other in the basement. They both have a shadowy edge that adds a spark to their conversation. He calls her on not escaping from prison even though she knew she could, and Faith admits that for a while, she felt a little more dangerous than healthy for her or anyone else. This flirt-fest is broken up by Buffy, who doesn't look happy to see the pair lounging comfortably on Spike's bed. Fortunately, the tension is broken by a call from Willow: Shannon is awake.
From her hospital bed, Shannon reveals her burn and delivers Caleb's message to Buffy, "I have something of yours." Buffy falls for it and decides she's got to pull her army together and find Caleb's hideout. Almost everyone disagrees with her decision, convinced the preacher is lying, but Buffy's only concession is to leave the weaker of the girls at home.
While Xander preps the girls for the fight, Buffy and Faith return to the scene of the crime and follow a Bringer through the woods. He leads them to the vineyard, and they return home to gather the troops. Buffy overhears Xander giving a rousing speech in support of Buffy, and she's touched.
When the group arrives at the vineyard, Buffy splits them in two sets, one to go in with her and Faith, the other to hold their ground with Xander. Inside, a huge fight with the Bringers ensues. The girls are holding their own until Caleb emerges to confront Buffy. He pretends to recognize her power, then hauls off and belts her across the room. Quickly, the fight turns even uglier when Caleb kills one girl, and the rest of them get pummeled, even after Xander brings in reinforcements.
As they are retreating, Caleb corners Xander, asking, "You're the one who sees everything, right?" Caleb brutally gouges Xander's eye, much to everyone's horror. Spike breaks in as the preacher is about to take his second eye, and he and Buffy drag Xander away. They've escaped, but with injuries and casualties galore. Their army is decimated.
In the hospital, Xander and some of the girls are recovering, but their spirits are low. While Caleb continues to spout his faux religious rhetoric to the First/Buffy, the real Buffy walks the streets of Sunnydale, alone.
Sarah Michelle Gellar|
Anthony Stewart Head