Original Air Date: May 13, 2003
Written by Douglas Petrie and Jane Espenson
Directed by Marita Grabiak
Vampires Slain = ?
Caleb is shocked when Buffy pulls the scythe from the stone with ease. While Buffy watches with a smirk, Caleb and the First argue over letting Buffy go, since the First is convinced Buffy is too powerful for the moment. Caleb relents, and Buffy takes off, big axe-type thing in hand.
The bomb in the sewer goes off. It's not pretty, and the survivors regroup to pull Faith from the wreckage. As they assess the damage, they hear something growling in the darkness. They run, dragging Faith along, and are soon confronted by an Ubervamp. But there's more than one, and they want blood. The girls are backed into a corner.
Meanwhile, at the Summers house, the rest of the potentials are scarfing down treats Andrew has looted from the grocery store. Xander, Anya and Willow return from their hunt for Buffy empty-handed, since their locator spell only found the empty house she slept in.
The girls look doomed as the Ubervamps close in an attack, until Buffy crashes through the ceiling of the sewer and quickly dusts the bad guys with her super scythe. They gather the wounded and head home, Buffy wondering if she even wants to take charge again. The girls blame Faith for leading them into a trap, but Buffy defends Faith, saying she could have made the same mistake herself.
While Faith recovers, Giles, Buffy and Willow realize they need some information on the scythe. Buffy can feel the power emanating from the weapon, but Will doesn't: must be a Slayer thing. Downstairs, Anya and Andrew get a little tipsy while tending to the wounded, and decide they are going to raid the hospital for triage supplies. They're scared, but they want to go for it.
Willow doesn't find much information on the scythe, but she does discover that the vineyard was once a monastery, and the monks there told stories about an ancient pagan temple. Giles recommends they find the place where the pagans would have buried their dead. Maybe that will give them more information on the power of Buffy's new weapon.
At Buffy's request, Xander chloroforms Dawn at the car and loads her in, unconscious. Even though Xander wanted to stay by Buffy's side for their last battle, he agreed to her last request to take Dawn away from the danger.
Caleb is furious Buffy got away with the scythe. The First has "merged" with Caleb, and plans to do the same with everyone on earth to create a new world. Right now, though, the First makes do with merging only with Caleb to provide him with strength, and for a moment, it reveals its true self.
When Spike arrives home, he forgives Buffy for leaving him alone the night before and plays off the seriousness of emotion coursing between them. But Buffy comes clean, explaining that she never would have been able to get the scythe had Spike not given her the strength to do it. Spike confesses that night was the best of his long life, and the first time he'd ever felt really close to someone. They don't put a name to what's between them.
Andy and Anya loot the hospital with gusto, and Andrew realizes that for all her bluster and bluntness, Anya really does love humans and all their imperfections. He's sure he won't make it through the coming battle, but he wants to try. In the meantime, the two engage in some serious battles of their own: wheelchair races and crutch fights in the abandoned halls.
With Willow's help, Buffy finds the ruins of an unconsecrated burial ground behind the cemetery. She finds an overgrown tomb, and once inside, she is surprised by an old woman. Once "one of many," the woman was one of the group that created the scythe hundreds of years before and placed it in the rock. It was made outside the knowledge of the Shadowmen (later called Watchers), which explains why Giles had known nothing of its existence. Since there was no one watching the Watchers, this woman became a guardian for the Slayer. "Perhaps you can beat the rising dark, she tells Buffy, “One way or the other, it can only mean an end is truly near." At that moment, hands appear behind the woman's neck and break it. It's Caleb.
Dawn wakes up in the car with Xander, irritable and not a little groggy. When she realizes they've left town at Buffy's request, she tazers Xander and turns the car around, heading back to Sunnydale.
Caleb is strong after his merge with the First, and he makes some progress in defeating the Slayer. He gets the scythe away from Buffy and holds it above her head, ready to make the kill, when an arm comes out of nowhere and clocks him. It's Angel. He helps Buffy up, and offers to fight Caleb, but she knows she must do it herself. Eventually, Buffy slices Caleb in the gut, and he falls. Angel smiles and says, "At least you could tell me you're glad to see me." She steps into his arms and kisses him.
Spike watches from the shadows, the First at his side. He doesn't look happy.
Sarah Michelle Gellar|
Anthony Stewart Head