Season 1, Episode 12
This episode marks the culmination of everything that's happened in the first season -- Buffy renounces her Slayer status, then accepts it, then dies, then kills The Master. Xander makes his feelings towards Buffy known, and we see Cordy and Willow hanging out a bit. Also marks the reappearance of Jenny Calendar.
Master Interlude: Meanwhile, below the surface, The Master is chatting with The Anointed. He feels the earth shaking and says, "Yes, yes! Shake, earth! This is a sign. We are in the final days! My time has come! Glory, glory!" He then looks at The Anointed and says, "Whaddaya think? 5.1?" I realize I've used this quote on The Master's character page, but now you know that I really like it!
Yi. It's been a while since I've seen this ep, and to spare you from reading more blather, I'm gonna try to nutshell it sorta. Really!
Anyhoo, Giles learns that Buffy is supposed to face the Master and that she'll die. It pretty much disturbs him. It disturbed me, too.
Next day at school, Xander does the awkward asking-out thing with Buffy. She turns him down and it pretty much crushes him. Later, when he tells Willow what went down, he suggests that the two of them go together to the Spring Fling, but Willow rejects him, too. That had to have been hard. Of course, it's possible that she was still reeling from the fact that Cordy just spoke to her in the hallway and asked for her assistance in setting up the sound system..but..nah. So Xander goes home to mope to Patsy Cline.
Meanwhile, Jenny pays Giles a visit...she's obviously freaked about the whole "end of the world" signs of late. She tells Giles she'll get in touch with Brother Luca, the crazy monk -- Rasputin? No..he was just mad -- who's been sending out global e-mails about some prophecy. Giles promises to give her the skinny on the sitch later. It's all pretty interesting if you take into account what happens with Jenny in Season 2, and the fact that she's of the Gypsy clan and already knew about Buffy and Angel and all that. Sure, no one knew for sure this was gonna get renewed for another season, but now that I think about it, when she learns of Buffy's secret in this ep., she says the part that gets her about Buffy's being the Slayer is "She's so little." Whatever..so much for my nutshell here.
Anyhoo, Buffy later is washing her hands when she notices that the water is all...bloody. She goes to tell Giles and happens upon his convo with Angel, you know, the one where he says that "Tomorrow Buffy will face The Master, and she will die." Buffy's freaked. This is quite the scene. Desperate to ward off her untimely demise, she renounces her slayer status, resigns, etc. She's not real accepting about it. But hey, she's 16. I'm older than that and I don't wanna accept it either. Heh.
Later, Buffy's mom is trying to figure out what's up with her daughter. Especially since Buffy keeps asking about their leaving town for some quality bonding time, stat. Joyce figures out that Buffy was asked to the Spring Fling, but not by the guy she wanted. So she ends up telling her about the time she went to a dance by herself, and that that was the night she met Buffy's dad (Hank). Joyce surprises Buffy with a fab new dress that Buffy liked. You gotta love Joyce, clueless or no.
Cut to Willow and Cordy the next day at school. Cordy's talking about her latest flame, semi-complaining about his not meeting them to help set up for the dance. She and Willow spy the guys watching cartoons in the A/V room and open the door. Too bad a dead Kevin was slumped against the inside of the door...otherwise he might not have fallen onto Cordy. It's another creepariffic scene here, with those evil dancing cartoon pigs and blood on the tv set.
Buffy goes to see Willow, who's ultra-disturbed about the whole thing. She tells Buffy it's like the vamps had fun taking the lives of these guys and destroying the room, etc. Buffy tells Willow to stay inside tonite, and Willow tells Buffy that she likes her dress in what becomes one of the in-jokes in this episode.
Buffy goes to the library and overhears Giles talking with Jenny about the prophecy. They've figured out that a child will lead Buffy into hell, taking her to the Master. Some good continuity from Never Kill a Boy on the First Date, which gave rise to The Anointed..the "child" who will lead Buffy. Prior to this ep., the gang thought they'd snuffed out the Anointed. (I don't think it was revealed before now that they goofed.)
Buffy tells Giles she's not letting him go face the Master, and she socks him one to knock him out, takes the crossbow, and goes. The Anointed is waiting for her, and they begin the journey into the Hellmouth.
Later, Xander and Willow show up at the library, can't believe Jenny's in the club, can't believe Buffy's gone, etc. Xander goes to Angel's place to enlist Angel's help in finding Buffy. The big scene here is where they both kinda admit that they love Buffy.
At the library, Willow thinks that the vamps will be going to the Bronze, since that's where The Harvest went down, so she and Jenny go there to evacuate the Spring Fling. Well they try to go there. They get surrounded by vamps aplenty in the parking lot.
Meanwhile, Buffy and the Master are exchanging witticisms. Another great scene when the Master tells her that it's Buffy who frees him from the Hellmouth. He makes her cry, too! That's guilt, that's fear, that's awful. So he bites her and she drops into a pool of water and drowns. On the upside, he tells her that he likes her dress...
Angel and Xander arrive seconds later to find her face down in the water, not breathing. Xander does CPR and it finally works! She wakes up, feels strong, and they head off to find the Master. Buffy says she knows where he is, and they end up going back to the school.
Meanwhile, Cordy's pulled up in her car to save Willow and Jenny. They drive into the school and barricade themselves in the library with Giles. The floor opens up, and hello Hellmouth! It looks like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors to me.
Big fight, Buffy kills the Master, Cordy bites a vamp's arm, Angel and Xander "watch Buffy's back" and Giles helps crush the Hellmouth Audrey Plant. More specifics in the Buffy versus The Master Story Arc on The 411/Mythology Page.
I cannot believe how much I have yammered. Anyway, folks are hungry and hungry for fun, so they decide to go to the dance after all. Oh, and by the way, Angel likes Buffy's dress.
1. Buffy used a stake to kill a vampire.
2. Buffy tried using a crossbow on The Master.
3. Buffy threw The Master from the roof down into the library, where he landed on a wooden table and impaled himself.
4. Xander used a cross to keep a vampire away from Buffy.
5. Angel punched a vampire to keep it away from Buffy.
6. Giles used an axe to keep the Hellmouth from killing Willow.
7. Cordelia bit a vampire on the arm to keep it from coming inside the library.
1. That the Hellmouth is situated directly beneath the library.
2. The Hellmouth looks like a large venus flytrap plant, with a few heads.
3. Everyone really likes Buffy's dress.
4. When it's called for, Xander listens to country music, "the music of pain."
1. Sunnydale High School
2. Buffy's house
3. The Master's lair
4. A bedroom in Willow's house
5. Xander's bedroom
6. Angel's place
7. Jenny Calendar
8. The Master
9. The Anointed
10. Joyce Summers
The ABCs of Sunnydale