Original Air Date: January 26, 1999
Written by Dan Vebber
Directed by James Whitmore Jr.
Vampires Slain = 0
Outside of school the next morning, Xander accidentally upsets Jack O'Toole, the local psychopath. After successfully escaping the wrath of Jack, Xander runs into Cordelia. She delights in pointing out Xander's insignificance, seeing how all of his friends possess one special quality that makes them fit in. Xander, on the other hand, has nothing to warrant his involvement in the Slayerettes' circle. Inside the library, Giles unloads some bad news on Buffy. Apparently, the demons they fought the previous night belong to an Apocalypse cult called the Sisterhood of Jhe. They intend to reopen the Hellmouth, and there's no telling how soon that event will occur. As for Xander, his main problem concerns finding a special "thing" to help him fit in. The only "thing" that Xander can come up with is a car, which he procures from his Uncle Roary. Unfortunately, this brings little joy to Buffy and Willow, who are preoccupied with the Sisterhood of Jhe's plan. Xander offers to help -- which only leads him to the local bakery to pick up some doughnuts. Outside the shop, a beautiful woman by the name of Lysette admires Xander's car. Dumbfounded by his luck, Xander offers to give her a ride. Their impromptu date soon becomes an abyss of boredom for Xander, who learns that Lysette's one and only interest is cars. When Angel enters the Bronze, Xander immediately showers him with warm greetings, desperately in need of an escape from his personal hell. Angel doesn't have time to help Xander, for he's more intent on finding Buffy and warning her about the upcoming danger. Buffy and Willow, meanwhile, come up empty-handed in the research department. Unable to find anybody on the Watcher Council willing to listen to him, Giles heads to the cemetery to contact the spirit guides for any help. Buffy goes to Willy's bar later, only to find the place trashed and the bartender bleeding on the floor. Willy warns Buffy that the Hellmouth will be opened before sunrise.
Upon leaving the Bronze, Xander has another run-in with Jack. This time, he carelessly crashes his car into another, from which Jack O'Toole emerges. Just before Jack ends Xander's all-too-short life with a really big knife, a police officer shows up. Instead of turning Jack in, Xander tells the cop that everything's fine. Impressed by this surprising turn of events, Jack invites Xander to hang out with him and his friends. Back in his car, Xander drives Jack and Lysette to the cemetery where they're supposed to meet up with Jack's friends. Unbeknownst to Xander and Lysette, Jack's friends have a slight case of death. Lysette screams and runs for her life after Jack uses a ritual to raise one of his friends, Bob, from his grave. While Jack raises two more guys, Xander spots Giles, who was unable to get any answers from the spirit guides. Xander offers his help again, but Giles advises him to stay out of it. Xander's new "friends" appoint him as their designated driver, then have him drive them to the hardware store. While they break in and loot the place, Xander sees Willow emerging from a magic shop with a bag full of ingredients. Once again, he asks if the gang needs any help, but Willow doesn't tell him what he wants to hear. After she leaves, Jack and his friends decide to initiate Xander into their group. However, the sole requirement for initiation is Xander's death. Xander argues that Jack isn't dead, who then proves him wrong by revealing the bullet holes in his abdomen. Fed up with this party, Xander makes a run for it, eluding the zombies quickly enough to get back in his car and speed away. After a short drive, Xander sees Faith battling another Sisterhood of Jhe member. Flooring the gas pedal, Xander rams his car into the demon, then takes off with Faith. They take refuge in her motel room, where Xander discovers that his night isn't over by a long shot. The victory- less battle has left Faith all worked up, and the only thing that can relax her is a physical encounter of a completely different kind. After shedding their clothes, Faith does the deed with Xander in bed... then kicks him out of the place as soon as they finish.
Xander notices that the bags left in the back seat of his car contain ingredients for a bomb. He speeds back to the hardware store to Jack and the zombie gang, but they're are long gone. Unsure of what to do next, he seeks out Buffy for help. Xander finds her at the mansion with Angel. Their heated discussion forces Xander to leave them alone and take care of matters by himself. Meanwhile, Willow relocates werewolf Oz, who broke out of his cage earlier and had to be tranquilized, to a safer part of the school. She then returns to the library to help Giles prepare a binding spell which might take care of the Hellmouth demon. Neither of them are aware of the four zombies in the boiler room beneath them. Jack's gang puts the finishing touches on the bomb and leaves. Xander sees them walking down the street. Needing answers fast, he pulls up between them and grabs one of the zombies before hitting the gas. He learns that the bomb is in the boiler room of Sunnydale High. Before Xander can get the info he needs to disarm the bomb, the zombie's head connects with a mailbox and instantaneously departs from its body. Xander reaches the school and runs inside, completely unaware that the rest of his friends are in a life-and-death battle with the Hellmouth demon in the library... again. The zombies pursue Xander, who succeeds in taking them out one by one. In the boiler room, Xander encounters a knife-wielding Jack, while the bomb timer reads two minutes and counting. Xander dares Jack to let the bomb explode and permanently end his days as one of the walking dead. Jack's not ready to give up his lifestyle just yet, so he disarms the bomb. After Xander leaves the boiler room, Jack has a fatal encounter with werewolf Oz.
The next morning, Buffy, Willow, and Giles look back on their epic battle, while Oz tries to figure out why he's so full. Cordelia makes her usual fun of Xander, but he now has a better outlook on his role in the grand scheme of things.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Anthony Stewart Head