While patrolling, Faith asks Buffy if she's ever had sex with Xander, and Buffy says they're just friends. They slay a vampire wielding a short blade and long blade.
The next day at school, the gang are discussing college and their future plans. Willow has received early acceptence from colleges and academies all the over the world... while Xander, on the other hand, isn't expecting any acceptances, early or otherwise. Buffy leaves to report to Giles in the library, and Willow tells Buffy that Giles was wanting to see her anyway. Inside, Giles is in the company of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, Buffy and Faith's new Watcher and it's obvious that the man is stuffy, pompous and full of himself. Buffy reminds him that the last Watcher who turned up was evil, but Wesley assures her that, unlike Mrs. Post his credentials have been checked by Giles, although Buffy is still extremely unimpressed by him. She tells the two about the vampire that was bearing swords, and Wesley recognizes as being him from a cult that worshiped a demon named Balthazar, who led a cult of swordsman vampires before he was killed. Now Wesley believes the vampires are looking for Balthazar's amulet which was reported to give him strength, and he orders Buffy to get the amulet from the crypt from which it was buried. Buffy doesn't enjoy being given orders. Faith walks in and upon learning who Wesley is, walks back out. Buffy tries to get her to come back. When Faith expresses to Buffy her belief that as the Slayers, they can do what they want, and enjoy it, Buffy is skeptical. But Faith believes Buffy gets off on slaying as much as she does.
That night, Buffy finds the amulet but a group of Balthazar's vamps enter before she can take it. Faith arrives and the two slay some of the vamps before retrieving the amulet. In the course of that battle one of the vamps tries to drown Buffy, which marks a turning point (akin to a baptism) for her. After handing over the amulet to Wesley, Buffy leaves to take a necessary chemistry test, but she can't stop talking about the previous night and how much she ended up enjoying it. Faith shows up at the window and she and Buffy leave to destroy a vampire nest. The two go dancing afterwards at the Bronze, where Buffy meets up with Angel. She's acting very strange and he tries to ignore it and tells her that Balthazar isn't dead and he's looking for his amulet. When Wesley comes looking for Buffy, she takes the amulet from him and gives it to Angel.
Buffy and Faith go out and find Balthazar, an obese and ugly demon that must live in a large pool of water and constantly be kept wet, since only his amulet would give him the strength to stand up again. At a loss for weapons against a large group of vampires, they break into Meyer Sports and Tackle. Faith continues to expound on her philosophy of being a Slayer to Buffy. "Life as a Slayer is very simple. Want, take, have." The police arrive and arrest them, but in the car, the two Slayers kick down the metal grate separating them from the cops, causing the car to crash and the cops to be (mildly) injured. The following morning, Buffy checks the local newspaper for any news regarding the accident, but finds nothing. The Mayor is attacked by one of Balthazar's vampires, who is captured by Mr. Trick.
Balthazar demands his minions bring him the Watchers and kill the Slayers. No matter the cost, he must have his amulet. The enemy who crippled him is about to gain ultimate power and he refuses to let this come to pass. Willow presents Buffy with a protection spell and is ready to go slaying that night, but Buffy tells her that it's too dangerous and that she's going with Faith instead. This leaves Willow feeling hurt. The two run into several vampires and stake them. Then Allan Finch, the deputy mayor walks out and Faith accidentally stakes him, too. He dies before anything can be done and both Slayers flee the scene of the crime in separate directions. Buffy runs into Angel and he tells her about Balthazar taking Giles while Faith returns to the scene where Allan is. Only at the end do we learn what she does then.
With the two Watchers in his possession, Balthazar searches for answers as to who has his amulet. Wesley is willing to give up anything in exchange for his life, exposing his cowardly nature in the face of actual danger. Angel shows up with Buffy, frees Giles and everyone fights. When Balthazar captures Angel, Buffy electrocutes him. With his dying breath, Balthazar warns them of his enemy. "When he rises, you'll wish I'd killed you all."
In his office that night, the Mayor performs the Dedication then has Mr. Trick release the vampire. Mr. Trick is confused, but does what he is ordered. The vampire emerges and cuts straight through the Mayor's head... only for it to instantly heal. Mr. Trick stakes the vampire and the Mayor declares that the hundred days before the ascension has begun, and until that time he is totally invincible. In celebration, he suggests going out for a root beer.
Buffy confronts Faith about Allan's death but Faith doesn't want to talk about it. In the ensuing argument, Faith nonchalantly declares that she does not care that she killed a human being, much to Buffy's horror. We now learn she has taken the body, weighted it and dumped it.
- Accidental Murder: Deputy Mayor Finch suddenly appears while Buffy and Faith are fighting El Eliminati vampires. Buffy only realises he's human a second before Faith stakes him.
- Adventure Duo: Buffy and Faith, the Chosen Two.
- Aesop Amnesia:
- Xander has clearly lost what self-confidence he gained by the end of "The Zeppo"; indeed his image as a loser is something he'll struggle with throughout the series.
- Buffy at the Bronze interacts with Angel in a highly-sexual manner. Fortunately Angel is more focused.
- Averted with Giles who, not wanting a repeat of the Gwendolyn Post affair, thoroughly checks Wesley's credentials and rings the Council in England to confirm he's supposed to be taking over as Buffy and Faith's Watcher.
- Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Vincent favors swords and daggers in a fight, a fact lampshaded by Mr. Trick.Trick: Why do they always gotta be using swords? (picks it up, tosses it to Finch) It's called an Uzi, ya chump! Could have saved your ass right about now.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The compound longbow Faith stole from the shop; untrained in its use, she has to resort to staking the vampire with the arrow (she gets better in later episodes). Also the swords used by El Eliminati.
- Badass Bookworm: Giles taunts his captor, defies the threat of torture and engages in some serious sword-wielding. One wonders why Wesley doesn't just give up and go home.
- Bad Boss/Blofeld Ploy: When one of his mooks interrupts his ranting with excuses on why his amulet has been taken by the Slayers, Balthazar floats him over with his telekinetic powers and breaks his neck. He then menacingly calls Vincent (who actually lost the amulet) over to him, but gives him the task of killing the Mayor instead.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: Buffy tries to convince Faith to play along with their new Watcher."Look, I know this new guy's a dork, but... Well I have nothing to follow that. He's pretty much just a dork."
- Behind the Black: Giles calls Wesley's attention to the Eliminati glaring through the window at them, but Wesley was facing towards that window a second before.
- Being Personal Isn't Professional: Wesley criticizes Giles over his 'emotional' attachment to the Slayer, which he says is 'something of an embarrassment' to the Watcher's Council. Giles starts to explain that his personal connection has its advantages, but ends up snapping at Wesley to knock off his snide comments.
- Blatant Lies:Wesley: You're not helping.Giles: I know. I feel just sick about it.
- Buffy turns down Willow's offer to help take down Balthazar, claiming she doesn't want to put her at risk, but it's obvious she'd rather be Slaying alongside Faith.
- Buffy Speak: Lampshaded when Wesley is reading from Giles' first diary entry on Buffy. "Her abuse of the English language is such that I understand only every other sentence."
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Mayor Wilkins' daily planner.Greet Scouts
Plumber Union Reschedule
Call Temp Agency
Meeting With PTA
- Bros Before Hoes: A gender-swapped version, when Willow gets depressed because Buffy would rather spend time with Faith.
- By "No", I Mean "Yes":Giles: If you want to criticize my methods, fine. But you can keep your snide remarks to yourself. And while you're at it, don't criticize my methods!
- Call-Back: "I hate it when they drown me." That incident also lead to Buffy acting out in an irresponsible fashion in "When She Was Bad". It also serves as foreshadowing to Buffy's dream in the next episode.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': While raiding a shop for weapons, Faith lectures Buffy on the simplicity of life as a Slayer: Want, Take, Have. A few smashed display cases later, the police shows up. Whoops.
- Captain Obvious: Buffy and Faith are fighting off a horde of vampires.Buffy: We're surrounded!Faith: You noticed that too?
- Casual Danger Dialogue: In the Action Prologue Faith is grilling Buffy on why she never slept with Xander.
- Changed My Mind, Kid: Wesley orders the Slayers to search for the amulet, but Faith isn't interested. "Tell you what: you do the homework, an' I'll copy yours." She turns up anyway to watch Buffy's back.
- Chekhov's Gun: The compound longbow stolen by Faith is put to use later in the season.
- Cat Scare: Buffy hides in a sarcophagus from the Eliminati. As she climbs out, she's startled by Faith grabbing her shoulder.
- Comeback Tomorrow:Cordelia: Well, Xander, I could dress more like you, but my father has a job.
Xander: I'm not gonna waste the perfect comeback on you now. But don't think I don't have it. Oh, yes! Its time will come!
- Counting to Three: Faith charges in on "one". When she claims that it's impossible to plan these things, Buffy gripes that counting to three isn't a plan, it's Sesame Street.
- Deadpan Snarker: Wesley's presence brings Giles' talent up to full strength.Wesley: Stay calm, Mr. Giles! We have to stay calm!Giles: Well, thank God you're here. I was planning to panic.
- Defiant to the End: A bound Wesley and Giles are brought before Balthazar.Balthazar: You know what I want.Giles: If it's for me to scrub those hard-to-reach areas, I'd like to request you kill me now. (mook hits him) Ow!Wesley: (beginning to panic) Are you out of your mind? This is hardly the time for games!Giles: Why not? They're going to torture us to death anyway.
- Description Cut: Wesley checks his watch and says that according to his "mission scenario" his Slayer will be back in one minute. Cut to Buffy and Faith surrounded by sword-wielding vampires.
- Dirty Coward: He's faced two vampires (under controlled conditions), but Wesley quickly spills his guts when threatened with Knee Capping. In the subsequent fight he's completely ineffectual and Giles has to save his ass.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Best friends drawn apart because one of them meets someone new and more exciting.
- The Dragon: Vincent to the demon Balthazar.
- Dual Wielding: The members of El Eliminati use longswords, with shortswords in the off hand.
- Empathic Environment: The Bronze rocks to the music of Curve, matching Buffy's mood.
- Ensign Newbie: Wesley boasts of being up on all the latest techniques, but he's obviously in over his head in the field, and even Giles makes only a token effort of accepting his authority.
- Evil Laugh: More like an evil chuckle by the Mayor.
- Evil Smells Bad: Averted with Willow's lavender-scented protection ward.
- Eye of Newt: Willow says chemistry is like witchcraft, but with less newts.
- Falling Chandelier of Doom: Buffy pulls a light fixture down on Balthazar's head.
- Family Values Villain: The Mayor poses with a troop of Boy Scouts. "Back-bone of America, those little guys."
- Fat Bastard: Balthazar is in desperate need of a Stairmaster.
- Foil: Reckless rookie Faith vs. cautious and experienced Buffy. Arrogant and cowardly Wesley vs. brave and dependable Giles.
- Flower in Her Hair/Pink Means Feminine: Buffy when she's still dressing as Good Girl, as opposed to bad girl Faith in her see-through shirt and levi jacket. Buffy soon ditches it for a black Badass Longcoat when embracing her inner Slayer.
- While looting the sporting goods store Faith takes an interest in a compound longbow while Buffy likes a wall display of knives.
- Angel unambiguously takes on the badass hero role of his spin-off series.
- The Mayor re: Boy Scouts: "Seeing the hope and courage on their bright little faces, I swear I could just eat 'em up."
- Balthazar has a grudge against the Mayor, yet Wesley notes that he and his vampire cult were driven out of Sunnydale a hundred years ago.
- Willow has been accepted to several colleges, and Buffy says there's nothing holding her back. Oz points out that they still have to get past that whole Graduation business.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: During the Bronze scene, Buffy is shown to have a still-bloody cut on her upper arm which she doesn't even try to hide. It's in the same position as the tattoo on Faith's arm.
- Glasses Pull: Wesley and Giles start cleaning their glasses simultaneously — Giles stops in irritation when he notices this.
- The Glomp: Buffy and Faith get revved up killing vampires and dancing together at the Bronze. On seeing Angel, Buffy rushes up and leaps into his arms, wrapping her legs around him. As they Can't Have Sex, Ever, Angel isn't as pleased as he should be, and makes a point of putting some personal space between them.
- Handshake Refusal: Buffy refuses to shake Wesley's hand and pointedly sits down next to Giles, making it clear who her Watcher is.
- Handy Cuffs: Averted; Buffy and Faith are cuffed with their hands behind their backs.
- Heart Symbol: In a scene laden with Les Yay subtext, Faith entices Buffy out of a chemistry test for some vampire slaying by breathing on the window, then drawing a love heart with a stake through it.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Faith changes into the Leather Pants of Evil before going on the mission where she accidentally kills Finch.
- Hidden Depths: Wesley shows he's not a complete fool when he instantly works out who the Eliminati are from Buffy's vague description.
- Hollywood Torches: Used by the Eliminati when searching crypts for the amulet. Fortunately for Buffy, Balthazar prefers electric lighting.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Loads of Les Yay between Buffy and Faith.
- Hostage for MacGuffin: Wesley suggests this after he and Giles are captured.Wesley: Now, hold on. We-we-we can deal with this rationally. We have something you want. You have something we want.
Balthazar: Hmm... A trade. Intriguing. (considers) No. Wait. Boring. Pull off his kneecaps!
- Inadvertent Entrance Cue:
Angel: I spoke to Giles, but he said you gave it to someone.Wesley: (appearing) Ah. There you are.Buffy: Ah. Speak of the really annoying person.
- The Mayor asks if there's any information on those Eliminati guys. Cue Vincent charging out of the closet, brandishing a sword.
- Angel turns up looking for the amulet.
- Wesley tells Giles that it's time for someone else to take the field as Watcher. Giles says that "Now's a good time to start", given there's a bunch of Eliminati vampires glaring at them through the window.
- Insane Troll Logic: Mum Logic, which says that waffles have less calories if you bake them for someone else.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: The uggh! sound Faith makes to describe sex and later staking a vampire.Buffy: Again with the grunting.
- Faith can't understand how Buffy can fight alongside Xander, yet has never been interested in him sexually. Later Buffy gets revved up after slaying vamps and so vamps her vampire boyfriend.
- Ironic Echo:Buffy: I love Xander. I just don't... love Xander. (looks at the ground) Besides, I think it ruins friendship to do that stuff.
(She takes a closer look at the boot prints on the muddy ground.)
Faith: You think too much. (starts to leave)
Buffy: (grabs Faith's arm, looking down) Hey. There's one more.
Faith: How do you know?
Buffy: I think too much.
- Just Friends:Buffy: I love Xander, I just don't...love Xander.
- Kill 'Em All: After Vincent's assassination fails, Balthazar starts ranting at his mooks to forget honor, just bring him the amulet and kill everyone who gets in their way.
- Kleptomaniac Heroine: Buffy and Faith enjoy looting the sporting goods store until the police arrive.
- Language of Magic: The Mayor does an incantation in the usual Latin.
- Large Ham: Balthazar.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Faith's M.O.
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen:
- Vincent waves his sword at Buffy and suggests they settle this honorably. After getting the drop on Buffy he says, "Well, then, let's just settle it" and dunks her head in water.
- Balthazar notes that Vincent tried to kill the Mayor with courage and honor, one-on-one as befits a true warrior. AND HE HAS JACK TO SHOW FOR IT!
- Let's You and Him Fight: The Mayor hopes the Slayers and El Eliminati will kill each other, and tells Trick to feed them the required information. Finch may have been trying the same, using El Eliminati to kill the Mayor and when that failed, approaching the Slayers.
- Let Us Never Speak of This AgainFaith: Okay, this is the last time we're gonna have this conversation, and we're not even having it now, you understand me? There is no body. I took it, weighted it, and dumped it. The body doesn't exist.
- Mating Dance: Buffy and Faith dance wildly at the Bronze surrounded by three hunky guys. Tellingly the two girls face each other the whole time.
- MacGuffin: The amulet that will restore Balthazar to his full strength.
- Miles Gloriosus: Wesley brags to Giles that he can handle himself, since he dealt with vampires "under controlled circumstances." When he get in a real fight, however, he proves completely useless and has to be saved by Giles.
- Mind over Matter: As he's rather immobile, Balthazar floats people over to him so he can crush their heads.
- The Mole: Implied with Finch; what was he doing with the Eliminati in the first place? And who got Vincent past the Mayor's security? The following episode suggests however that he may have been trying to contact the Slayers as a whistleblower.
- Mook Chivalry:Buffy: We're never gonna make it to the warehouse.
Faith: If they keep coming one at a time, we got a shot.
- Also combined with Once Is Not Enough: Vincent starts to drown Buffy and walks away with a satisfied look on his face when she stops moving. Sure she cant be faking it, can she?
- Also combined with Why Don't You Just Stab Him?: Vincent assaults the Mayor, points a sword to his neck and... starts talking to give time to get kicked away.
- Murder by Mistake: Poor Deputy Mayor Finch.
- Musicalis Interruptus: When Faith stabs Finch.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- Faith stabs a human during a melee with vampires, beginning her Start of Darkness. It's later suggested that Finch, worried he was in over his head, may have been trying to contact the Slayers. At this point the Scoobies don't even know who the Big Bad in Sunnydale is, let alone his intentions, so Finch could have saved them some quite risky missions in future episodes.
- The open contempt for Wesley shown by Faith, Buffy and Giles leads to his ill-considered actions in the following episode, in an attempt to reassert his authority.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: The Mayor gets this power. Big trouble ahead.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Verging on Memetic Molester material at times.
- Wesley leans in toward Buffy to make a gratuitous point. Buffy and Giles lean away in unison.
- Buffy sits closer to Giles than she normally would to emphasize who her surrogate daddy...err, real Watcher is. In the Bronze she snuggles up to Angel, who pointedly distances himself. Then Wesley comes in and leans close so he can whisper to Buffy over the blaring music. Buffy grimaces and moves away again.
- Faith finds excuses to touch Buffy quite a bit.
- Not Quite Dead: Wesley isn't alarmed by El Eliminati at first, because his all-knowing textbooks say their leader Balthazar was killed a hundred years ago. After he's electrocuted, Balthazar gives everyone an Oh, Crap! moment when he opens his eyes, but he's just an Almost Dead Guy."Slayer! You think you've won. (chuckles and wheezes) When he rises... you'll wish I'd killed you all!" (dies)
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Buffy is scanning the newspaper for any mention of their delinquent acts, when Joyce walks in and says, "Admit it." Buffy looks startled until Joyce continues, "Some days don't you wanna just wake up and say to Hell with the diet?"
- Oh, Crap!: Vincent watches in complete shock and awe upon seeing the Mayor survive having his head split upon by his blow.
- Opposing Combat Philosophies: Faith prefers to charge in while Buffy has a more cautious approach.
- Out, Damned Spot!: Faith is vigorously and obsessively scrubbing her hands and clothes after killing Finch.
- Police are Useless: The recklessness the officers showed during the arrest sort of implied that they can easily be suppressed by Faith.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Vincent is a honorable warrior for a vampire (its the El Eliminati's hat after all).
- Punctuated Pounding: "I have never...done it...with Xander!"
- Punny Name: The Eliminati as a pun on The Illuminati.
- Really Gets Around: When Buffy hauls Faith away from the three guys she was dancing with, Faith points at all three and tells them to call her.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Balthazar
- Reality Ensues: Before Wesley was assigned to be Buffy and Faith's Watcher, his only encounters with vampires were brief and, in his own words, "under controlled circumstances," arrogantly declaring himself to be capable in the field. Needless to say, when he gets in a real fight later on, he turns out to be completely useless and Giles has to save him.
- Sarcastic Confession: After catching Buffy and Faith looting an arsenal of weapons, the police want to know if they're with "one of them girl gangs". Faith responds sarcastically, "Yeah. We're the Slayers."
- Self Offense: A non-humourous example when Faith stakes the mayor's aide, believing him to be a vampire.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Faith does this after meeting Wesley.Faith: New Watcher?Buffy and Giles: New Watcher.Faith: Screw that! (walks out)Buffy: Now why didn't I just say that?
- Shout-Out: Giles sardonically refers to his fellow Watcher as Captain Courageous.
- Smash Cut: Buffy and Faith burst into a vampire nest, deliver a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner, draw their stakes and—cut to them dancing at the Bronze.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Xander vs. Cordelia. Cordelia wins.
- Stealth InsultWesley: I didn't get this job because of my looks.Buffy: I really, really believe that.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: Balthazar, ALL THE TIME!
- Super Window Jump: Buffy and Faith actually use this as a weapon when they burst into a vampire nest through a painted-over window in broad daylight, setting one vampire on fire and causing the rest to flee in panic.
- Swiss Cheese Security:
- The Mayor's office, though it's hinted that Finch let in Vincent to kill the Mayor before he could become invulnerable.
- Wesley says he has the amulet in a secure location. Buffy removes it from his coat pocket.
- Take Me Instead/Walk-In Chime-In:Giles: Look, um, tell you what, let Captain Courageous here go, and I'll tell you what you need to know. How's that deal?Balthazar: THERE IS ONE DEAL! YOU WILL DIE QUICKLY, OR YOU WILL DIE SLOWLY! THE MAN WHO HAS MY AMULET! WHAT IS HIS NAAAME?!Angel: His name is Angel.
- Terse Talker: Wesley asks for an After-Action Report on last night's mission. Buffy replies, "Vampires. Killed 'em."
- That's an Order!: Wesley discovers that teenage California girls with superpowers don't get the whole obeying orders thing.Wesley: Are you not used to being given orders?Buffy: Whenever Giles sends me on a mission, he always says 'please'. And afterwards I get a cookie! (Giles tries not to laugh)
- This Cannot Be!: Balthazar shouts "Unacceptable! Unacceptable!" as the heroes dust his remaining mooks. No-one pays him any attention.
- A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Faith doesn't "Wait, stop, think!" and this eventually causes her downfall.
- Twitchy Eye: Xander's eye twitches whenever Faith's name is mentioned, after having sex with her the previous episode.
- Two-Part Episode
- Use Your Head: Giles has his hands tied behind his back, so he headbutts the mook holding him prisoner. Buffy then cuts him free with a sword.
- Villain Ball:
- El Eliminati were a notorious vampire duelist cult that dwindled after an increase in anti-vampire activity "and a lot of pointless dueling".
- Vincent assaults the Mayor, points a sword to his neck and... starts talking long enough for him to get kicked away and have his attempt stopped.
- Villainous Valor: It's acknowledged by Vincent's master that he tried facing his enemies with courage and honor as befit a true warrior. Sadly he has jack to show for it.
- Villains Out Shopping: The Mayor, Mr. Trick, and Finch discuss their favorite newspaper comics.
- Wasn't That Fun?: After the Mayor has just completed a dark ritual to give himself Complete Immortality.Mayor: This officially commences the Hundred Days. Nothing can harm me until the Ascension.[beat. Breaks into a fit of gleeful giggles]Gosh, I'm feeling chipper! Who's for a root beer?!
Faith: Tell me you don't get off on this.Buffy: Didn't suck.
- After Faith persuades Buffy to abandon all pretense of strategy and just rush blindly to attack half-a-dozen sword-wielding vampires...
- Wham Line: The very last line of the episode.Buffy: Faith, you don't get it. You killed a man.Faith: No, you don't get it. I don't care.
- Why Didn't I Think of That?: Faith enters the library and eyes up Wesley.Faith: New Watcher?
Buffy and Giles: New Watcher.
Faith: Screw that. (walks out)
Buffy: Now, why didn't I just say that?