When She Was Bad
Xander chooses a scene from Witness and smears ice cream on Willow's nose. She's sitting atop a wall, and Xander leans in to lick the ice cream off, but Willow pushes him away. Hoo boy, some tension here, a smooch in the making...but alas, a vampire rears its ugly head and interrupts them. Or maybe they pulled back before vamp got there, I dunno. Things are not looking good, but all of a sudden the vamp is attacked by fresh-from-LA Buffy! She throws the vamp into a tree, he dies, and that's about it. She's back...and she's bad!
Basically, Buffy spends this episode in high-gear training, which somewhat shocks Giles. She has nightmares about the Master and being killed, which pretty much drives her behavior in this episode. Don't believe me? Well, she also alienates her friends -- at the Bronze, she cozies up to Xander and then leaves him hanging. She does all this under the watchful eyes of Angel, Cordy, and Willow. That's pretty harsh, y'know?
She also tells the gang that they can't come with her when she fights anymore because it distracts her and she can't protect them. The gang tries to get a handle on what's up with Buffy, and Xander becomes so outraged by her actions that he verbally lets her have it after the vamps lured Buffy away from the library so they could kidnap Willow and Giles.
Buffy and Xander go back to the Bronze, where she left Angel guarding the girlvamp-bait. Watching Buffy torture the vamp by holding a cross in its mouth is pretty ghastly, but it does the trick. Xander and Angel look a little shocked or appalled by it, but hey man, whatever works, y'know?
It turns out that in order for The Anointed to perform the ritual that would resurrect The Master, he needs the blood of those who were near him at the time of his death. So Giles, Willow, Cordy and Ms. Calendar are being held upside down over the Master's bones, waiting for their throats to be slit. Not the best way to spend an evening.
Buffy and the guys arrive on the scene, where she instructs them to get the gang while she distracts the vampires. Her method? "I'm going to kill them all." Always good to have a plan, I say. She kills the vamps, the gang is saved, and they watch as Buffy works through her issues by smashing the Master's bones with a sledgehammer. It's this act that seems to wash away all of her fears about the Master and her dying at his hand last season. (See Prophecy Girl.).
Later, she feels guilty for putting her friends "in mortal danger on the second day of school." Giles tells her she was wrong, but it's no big deal, and Buffy's a little ashamed when she enters the classroom and sees Willow and Xander. They've saved her a seat and they chat with her and all is pretty much forgiven.
The Anointed made it out alive, and returns to find the Master's bones smashed into oblivion (or the warehouse table and floor). He's kinda upset, which I can dig. His words close the episode, which you can see below in the Quote section. Buffy's back to normal and the season's underway. Yee-ha.
1. Buffy threw a vampire against a tree, where it was impaled on a limb.
2. Buffy used a stake to kill a vampire.
3. Buffy used a long wooden torch to kill some vampires.
4. Buffy took a sledgehammer to The Master's bones.
1. There's no miniature golf course in Sunnydale. But by the episode Ted, there will be.
1. Sunnydale High School
2. The Cemetery
3. Buffy's house
4. The Bronze
5. The Warehouse
7. Hank Summers
8. The Anointed
9. Jenny Calendar
10. Joyce Summers
12. The Master's bones
13. Principal Snyder
The ABCs of Sunnydale