Directed by Joss Whedon
We're back on the balcony; Faith has just taken her swan dive. Buffy is in a state of shock over what's she done. She scurries down the fire escape — just missing Mayor Wilkins and his henchvamps, who emerge upstairs. Wilkins surveys the shattered window and pieces together what happened. He orders one of his mooks to find the Slayers: "Put everyone on it." The mook meekly reminds Wilkins that they're on a tight timetable here...
The henchvamp exits as the Mayor quietly goes bonkers.
Back at the mansion, Willow and Oz are tending to Angel, who is delirious. Buffy enters, and they ask if she found Faith in time. Buffy asks to be alone with Angel. Naively, her friends take their leave, no doubt assuming she's come to pay her last respects. Buffy goes into Angel's room, where he tells her he's ready to die. She disagrees, then slips off her jacket:
Angel's having none of that. He begs her to not make him drink, and she punches him in the face. ..And when that doesn't work, she punches him two more times. This triggers the game face. She pushes her shirt aside and pulls his face to her neck. He begins to feed. Buffy goes weak, and they fall to the floor. He ends up taking too much and Buffy passes out just as Angel finally breaks free ... but gets no response from an unconscious Buffy.
Angel rushes Buffy to the hospital, then goes to use a payphone. In a nearby room, a doctor is telling the Mayor that Faith has broken bones, damage to the kidney, head trauma, and severe blood loss—there is almost no chance that she will ever awaken. The nurse comes in to tell the doctor about the other girl with severe blood loss. A lightbulb goes off. The Mayor realizes who it must be, walks into her room, and puts his hand over her mouth, trying to smother her and moves her head so the bite wound will open and she'll bleed. The nurse tries to stop him and calls for security. Angel bursts back in and yanks the Mayor away, causing a scene. The Mayor, all smiles again, dusts himself off and tells the onlookers the "show's not over — but there will be a brief intermission." Angel grrs that he'll be there.
The Scoobies arrive, having received Angel's phone call. Xander notes with mock sincerity that when chips are down and things look grim, Angel can be counted on to save his own ass. Angel apologizes, but Giles icily insists that Angel go; the sun will be up soon. The lonely figure of Angel departs down the hall as the others go see how Buffy's doing.
Buffy finds herself in Faith's sunny apartment, which is full of moving boxes. It's a dream, of course, which Buffy seems to realize. The two trade cryptic comments, and Faith offers Buffy a tip: "Human weakness. It never goes away. Even his." Faith reaches up to touch Buffy's face, thus awakening her.
Buffy wakes up in the hospital, and walks into Faith's room. She compassionately kisses the unconscious Faith on the forehead, and walks away. Then, after changing from the hospital gown into her street clothes, goes out and tells the gang to get Angel; she's ready for war.
Back in the library, Buffy has just finished describing her plan to the gang. Wesley enters, and Buffy tells him she's in no mood for orders and that the Council is no longer welcome, but he says he is there to help of his own volition; not on behalf of the Watcher's Council. He tells them the Ascension will be preceded by an eclipse, putting Angel "back in the game." Xander and Willow are to recruit other students for help, while everybody else is put on "volcano detail." Buffy instructs Giles to get "weapons, weapons, weapons." In Giles' office, Angel tells Buffy that he's not going to say goodbye; when the whole thing is over, he's just going to go. Later, Jonathan and Larry carry a last bag of fertilizer into the school from Oz's van. Cue Willow and Oz having sex, again.
The students march in to the Graduation ceremony. Willow arrives to her seat, next to Buffy. A little way into the Mayor's speech, the sky goes dark. He doubles over in pain. Characteristically, he tries to continue with his upbeat speech. But to no avail. The Mayor suddenly morphs into a giant serpent/dragon thing.
Buffy calls, "Now!"
The students take off their gowns to reveal a full range of medieval-type weapons, plus a few flame-throwers. The Mayor finds himself attacked with fire. Snyder finds this whole scene unacceptable. Xander gives the order to "Fire!", and the students rain down flaming arrows on the vamps. The vamps turn to flee, but are walled off by a pack of good guys, including Angel, Wesley, and Percy. Snyder shouts warnings at Olvikan, insisting on maintaining order on his campus. He is interrupted when Olvikan eats him. Buffy shouts up at the Mayor, holding the knife he gave to Faith as a gift. Remember this?
Buffy scurries back into the school, the Mayor right behind her, head-butting through entire walls. She runs through the library, then ducks out a window, leaving Olvikan surrounded by fertilizer explosives.
Giles sets off the explosives—and the library, the Mayor, and the whole darn school are awash in a sea of flames, smoke, sparks, smoke, and still more smoke.
In the aftermath, fire trucks and ambulances litter the area. Giles congratulates Buffy on a job well done, and pulls out her diploma, which he fished out from the wreckage. Buffy spots Angel twenty yards away. They exchange a long, plaintive look. He turns and walks away, disappearing into the haze.
The gang gathers together, taking stock of the situation. Oz thinks they should take a moment to reflect on the fact that they survived. Buffy comments that it was a hell of a battle, but Oz says screw that noise: they survived High School. They all stare blankly at the smoking ruins. Oz is spacious. "We're taking a moment."
"...and we're done." Everyone walks off together.
- Achilles' Heel: While briefing his lackeys, Wilkins warns that he'll be temporarily vulnerable after his Ascension. He'll need to devour some attendees quickly to sustain his power.
- Animalistic Abomination: The Mayor transforms into one: Olvikan.
- Apocalypse Anarchy: The students of Sunnydale High band together to take on an attack of vampires and snake. Averted.
- Arrows on Fire: The students have a flaming arrow unit in their offensive against the Mayor. Justified as Buffy-verse vampires tend to be about as flammable as the average person after a dip in the ol' gasoline swimming pool.
- Asshole Victim: Principal Snyder is eaten by Olvikan in mid-tirade. "You're on my campus, buddy!"
- Awkward Kiss: Wesley and Cordelia and how. So awkward that kills the desire between them ever after and it even gets referenced as a Running Gag when the two reunite on Angel.
- Badass Normal:
- Percy West fights vampires alongside Angel and a bunch of other jock-type guys.
- Xander, too. He's the one who commands the students fight against the vampires.
- Willow proudly boasts at having "kicked some demon ass".
- Big Badass Battle Sequence: As required with a season finale that says goodbye to the cast's high school years.
- Book Ends: When Buffy reawakens in the hospital, she approaches Faith's bed and returns the forehead kiss that Faith had given her in "Enemies."
- Irony chuckles at the fact that right before their climatic fight, Faith told Buffy to "give [her] a kiss." Pretty sure that's not what she meant.
- Brick Joke: Principal Snyder is killed in this episode by being eaten. This after Snyder made such a big deal back in his first appearance ("The Puppet Show") about how former Principal Flutie got devoured by hyenas because he was too soft on kids.
- Willow suggested to Buffy in "The Harvest" that one way she could get out of school would be to "blow something up." In this case Buffy blows up the school itself.
- At City Hall, as the vamps are leaving, the Mayor reminds them to "watch the swearing." Mayor Wilkins is nothing if not sincere.
- Bridal Carry: When Angel takes Buffy to the hospital after feeding on her, he bursts through the doors of the ER carrying Buffy in his arms.
- Bury Your Gays: Olvikan's tail whacks Larry, killing him. Sorry, Larry.
- Call-Back: Xander thinks a rocket launcher oughta work on Olvikan, but Buffy says that won't get it done. It took a volcano to bury Olvikan last time.
- Captain Obvious:Xander: Hey it's Mr. States-the-Obvious.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: In her dream, Buffy looks down at her hand, where the knife she stabbed Faith with appears and then disappears.
- Chekhov's Gun: In the scene with Oz comforting Willow in his van, Jonathan and Larry cryptically unload bags of fertilizer from the back.
- Chekhov's Skill: Xander's military knowledge is used to make the bomb.
- Collapsed Mid-Speech: The Ascension begins a bit earlier than planned. "I had this whole section on civic pride."
- Convenient Coma: Faith's down for the count.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Buffy has just outlined her plan, and wants to know if she's crazy. Willow offers, "Crazy is such a strong word...", but Giles says not to rule out that adjective. Cordy challenges the world to come up with something crazier.Oz: We attack the Mayor with hummus.
Cordelia: I stand corrected.
Oz: Just keeping things in perspective.
- Credits Gag: The Mutant Enemy zombie wears a graduation cap.
- Cryptic Conversation: Buffy lampshades this in her dream. Faith apologizes, chalking it up to her bruised noggin.
- She says "lotta new stuff", perhaps in reference to the prophetic knowledge she's trying to pass on to Buffy.
- The gist is that the Mayor — even as a giant snake — is still human, and that weakness can be used against him. Faith's 'baggage' is just that; Buffy's going to have to carry it now.
- Damned by Faint Praise: Graduation time! Ceremonial music plays as the kids file in to their seats. Snyder congratulates the kids, saying that they were "more or less adequate."
- Death Glare: Giles to Angel when he reveals he drank Buffy's blood.
- Description Cut: Cordelia complains that ditching the Council is a classic Buffy maneuver, as "she's always thinking of herself." Cut to the remaining Scoobies tending to Angel, who is dying in bed.
- Defensive Feint Trap: Buffy grabs the Demon Mayor's attention, and holds up Faith's knife. She taunts him about stabbing Faith with it, then hightails it back into the school, with the enraged Olvikan in pursuit.
- Distinction Without a Difference:Oz: Are you nervous?
Willow: Only in a terrified way.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: In the Buffy/Faith dream, Faith comments, "Little Miss Muffet counting down from 7-3-0", which going by the date that the episode was supposed to air, and given the fact that the year 2000 was a leap year, marks exactly 2 years (730 days) before Buffy dies. "Little Miss Muffet" also foreshadows the arrival of Dawn. In Season 5, the poem is quoted several times with regard to the Key, which Glory is furiously searching for.
- Dying Declaration of Love/Hallucinations: Back at the mansion, Willow and Oz are tending to Angel, who is delirious. He's professing his love for Buffy. Who is actually Willow. Whoops.Willow: He's delirious. He thought I was Buffy.
Oz: (nods understandingly) You too, huh?
- Eaten Alive: Principal Snyder is Swallowed Whole by the Mayor post-Ascension.
- End of an Era: The high school era of the show comes to an end with the school being blown up and Angel and Cordelia departing.
- Environmental Symbolism: The final shot is of a charred SHS yearbook, emblazoned with the words, "The Future Is Ours."
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Buffy takes advantage of this and finishes with a Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? moment to lure the Mayor into a trap
- Failed Attempt at Drama: Oz insists on a moment of silence after the school blows up. Everyone gets annoyed and leaves. "... And we're done."
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: Forget Axes at School - try flamethrowers!
- Felony Misdemeanor: The Mayor smiles at the class of '99 and says that it's a special day, the town's centennial, Blah blah blah journeys are about change blah. Buffy gets a look of horror on her face when she realizes he's going to do the entire New Era Speech. "...Evil."
- Foreshadowing: The Mayor says that Nothing Is the Same Anymore now they've graduated, and he's right; the dynamics of the Scoobie Gang (and ex-Scoobies like Angel, Cordelia and Wesley) change dramatically once they've left SHS. And of course the dream sequence with Buffy & Faith set up both Faith's return next season as well as Season 5; specifically the term "Little Miss Muffet", foretelling Dawn, and "counting down from 7-3-0", as in two seasons before Buffy's death.
- Food Slap: The Great Hummus Offensive.Oz: He'll never see it coming.
- Good Is Not Soft: After Buffy fails to kill or capture Faith she tells Angel to drink her own blood, as that would cure him. Angel refuses, so Buffy punches him until he vamps out then makes him feed on her.
- Goshdang It To Heck: Played for Laughs when the Mayor's last words are a mild "Well Gosh!" Not so earlier when he has an uncharacteristic burst of anger and calls Buffy a whore.
- Graduate from the Story: Instead of High School as Hell, it's now College/Real Life as Hell.
- Half-Truth: When the doctor asks how Buffy lost so much blood, Angel mutters, "Something bit her."
- Healing Hands: Buffy wakes up when touched by Faith in her dream.
- Heel–Face Turn: Presumably, whatever was good in Faith gave Buffy the clue to destroy Wilkins.
- Hit Me, Dammit!: After failing to capture Faith, Buffy tries to get Angel to drink from her. Angel refuses, so Buffy punches him until he vamps out and bites her.
- Hollywood Kiss: Hilariously averted with Cordy/Wes.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: In this case, Graduation Day. Justified though as the Mayor wants all the kids gathered in one place. And he does love making a speech.
- Hypocritical Humor: Snyder takes the podium. He acknowledges that this is "a time for celebration" so he tells everyone to sit still and shut up. He orders Xander to "spit out that gum." At last, Snyder introduces the Mayor, but not before an aside: "I saw that gesture. You see me after graduation."
- Infinite Supplies: OK we know Giles has some extra weapons stashed away, and maybe Wesley too, but is it really enough to supply the numbers we saw being used, which include several flamethrowers?
- I Want Them Alive!: Inverted; at City Hall, the Mayor orders the vamps that there is to be no snacking, only killing.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Principal Snyder gets eaten while in the middle of shouting at the Mayor.
- Killed Off for Real: Snyder, Larry, and Mayor Wilkins. Of course, this being a genre show, two of those characters reappear later on (as a nightmare and a meatsuit, respectively). Harmony gets bitten by a vampire during the one-on-one fight between vampires and students. In Season 4 she'll be Back from the Dead.
- Kill It with Fire: In this case, flamethrowers and fertilizer-based explosives.
- Kiss of the Vampire: The scene of Buffy forcing Angel to drink her blood has an overt sexual vibe. There's a lot of thrusting going on, Buffy and Angel fall to the floor, Angel's making sounds of enormous ecstasy. While he's lying on top of her, she grabs a metal object for support, and it just crumples. She also wraps her legs around him, then spasms kicking a table in half.
- The Season 5 premiere "Buffy vs. Dracula" confirmed that being bitten by Angel was pleasurable to Buffy.
- Last Kiss: Following her dream conference with Faith, Buffy wakes up in her hospital. She thinks a bit about what happened, and rises. She slowly walks over to where Faith lies, looks down at her, then softly kisses her forehead.
- Ludicrous Gibs: The Mayor completes his plan to ascend and become a full demon (almost every demon seen on the show is actually some flavor of low-powered half-demon or another). This also removes the immortality that he had benefited from previously, which leads to the heroes, knowing how big and strong he will become, to bait him into a trap where they have laid a considerable amount of high explosives to blow him to giblets.
- Madness Mantra: "Faith's a good girl. She'll be alright. She'll be alright. She'll be alright."
- Mathematician's Answer: During their tender moment in the van, Oz takes Willow's hand and promises they will live through the day. Willow asks if he's sure. Oz considers for that a minute.Oz: I sound pretty sure, don't I?Willow: Yeah.Oz: Then I must be sure.Willow: Is that just a comforting way of not answering the question?
- Mauve Shirt: Larry's flamethrower jams, and he gets swiped to the ground by the Mayor's tail, breaking his neck in the fall. His death was vague enough to warrant confirmation in Season Six ("Smashed").
- Harmony gets bitten by a vamp. Guess that the Mayor's "no eating" rule is a wash. Harmony returns in Season Four. The circumstances of her siring is agreed by most to be a Plot Hole, though some fics paint her as being vamped by a distance member of the Aurelian line.
- Meaningful Echo: In the previous episode, the Mayor let a self-conscious Faith know just how important she was to him by saying that the Ascension was her day as much as his - an opportunity for her to blossom. After finding Faith comatose in this episode, the Mayor gently repeats the line, indicating how much he plans to make everyone pay for the pain Buffy inflicted on Faith.
- Men of Sherwood: The rest of the seniors in Buffy's class come to graduation with armor and weapons beneath their robes and help Buffy and her friends fight Wilkins and his minions, with only a few kids being killed or turned into vampires.
- Missed Him by That Much:
- The episode opens with Buffy on the roof, in a state of shock from having just 'killed' Faith. After casting a look around, she disappears down a ladder on the side of the building. Back in the penthouse, the Mayor steps into the picture just as she leaves.
- This happens again in the hospital scene, before the Mayor finally gets wise. Even the camera pan between rooms is similar.
- Must Have Lots of Free Time: Cordelia lampshades Giles —a grown-ass librarian who always hangs around with them— when she reasons that Wesley doesn't need to leave the country, what with Giles being unemployed (by the Council) and still following them around like a big loser.
- Negated Moment of Awesome/*Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": Wesley runs into the fray, and gets knocked down with a single punch. He spends the rest of the fight on the ground, whining for help.
- Never Say Goodbye: Buffy returns to Giles's office to find Angel preparing weapons. They exchange updates, and Angel abruptly says that he's not going to say goodbye. She looks gobsmacked. He tries to continue, saying that he won't be sticking around when the dust settles, but Buffy cuts him off with a hand gesture. True to his word, he does not.
- New Era Speech: Mayor Wilkins' graduation speech.
- No Sparks/Now or Never Kiss: Wesley tells Cordelia that, should they survive, he's going back to England. They inch closer as Wesley removes his glasses. They kiss. ...And it's the most forced, out-of-sync kiss imaginable. The dramatic romantic music stops. They pause, realizing it's not going so well. They give it another go. It's even worse than before. They give up.Cordelia Good luck in England!
Wesley: Yes, uhm, I'll drop you a line sometime.
Cordelia: That'd be neat.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Angel leaves Sunnydale (along with Cordelia, we later learn), the Scoobies graduate high school, and the high school is destroyed. It's pretty safe to say this episode is meant to have a chapter-ending feel to it.
- Not so Dire: A lampshaded example after the battle with The Mayor.Oz: Guys, take a minute and just think: We survived.
Buffy: It was one hell of a battle.
Oz: Not the battle. High school.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- Xander fetches Giles coffee, then wonders why Giles isn't drinking tea.Giles: Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense.Xander: OK, but you're destroying a perfectly good cultural stereotype here.
- After a whole season of easy amiability, Wilkins finally loses it. He snarls a threat at Buffy, furious at what's been done to Faith. Angel says he's not exactly misty-eyed over the loss. Notably, this is the only time Wilkins ever uses foul language; even his Last Words are "Well, gosh!":Wilkins: Well, I'd get set for some weeping if I were you. I'd get set for a world of pain. Misery loves company, young man, and I'm looking to share that with you and your whore!
- It's short-lived, however, as the Mayor creepily shifts back to 'jolly' in no time flat.
- Xander fetches Giles coffee, then wonders why Giles isn't drinking tea.
- One-Hit KO: Wesley leads the charge against the Mayor's forces, and goes down in one punch to the face.
- The Oner: The scene in the hospital from when Angel enters with Buffy to just after Angel stops Mayor Wilkins from suffocating her lasts just over two minutes and fifty seconds without a cut.
- Parenthetical Swearing: "Wanna get it back from me... Dick?"
- The Mayor's last words.
- Percussive Prevention: Buffy tries convincing Angel to drink her blood, but he's adamantly against it. Reaching a standstill in the argument, Buffy resorts to her fists. After the third wallop, Angel vamps out and bites her neck.
- Percussive Therapy: Angel carries Buffy into a gurney and yells at a nurse that she needs a transfusion. A doctor starts overwhelming him with pertinent questions, none of which Angel can reasonably answer. In his concern, Angel rips the door handle out of a door, prompting the doctor to ask yet another pertinent question: namely, whether he's on drugs.
- Plunger Detonator: Giles gets to do the honors.
- Pre-Climax Climax: Implied with Willow and Oz in the van, which explains their lateness to the ceremony. They both hurry to their seats, pretty clearly post-coital.
- Prepare to Die: "It has begun. My destiny. [beat] It's a little sooner than I expected. I had this whole section on civic pride. But I guess we'll just skip to the big finish!"
- Prophecy Twist: Back in "Amends", the First (as Jenny Calendar) told Angel, "Sooner or later, you will drink her." In this episode, he does.
- "Psycho" Strings: The Mayor strolling into Buffy's hospital room as jangly music plays.
- Psychic Link: The dream sequence subtly implies that Slayers' minds are linked somehow. Buffy asks Faith if this is her mind or Faith's, but Faith doesn't know.
- Punched Across the Room: Wilkins gets in Angel's face, calling Buffy a "whore." At this, Angel sends him flying across the room.
- Put on a Bus: This episode is the last in which David Boreanaz and Charisma Carpenter are series regulars, and marks the final appearance of Cordelia and Wesley. The trio will make their triumphant return to the Buffyverse that following season on the spin-off show, Angel. However, Angel will continue to appear at least once per season (either in person or in flashbacks), with the exclusion of Season Six. (Looks like you're stuck with him, Xander.)
- Recruit the Muggles: The entire Sunnydale High senior class join with Buffy to fight off the Mayor and his minions.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder:
- Cordy bursts into the library and demands an explanation for what happened to Wesley. Xander responds, "Inbreeding?"
- Buffy says that Faith told her how to defeat the Mayor. Willow snips, "Before or after you put her in a coma?" Everyone is surprised (and naturally skeptical) when Buffy admits "After."
- Roar Before Beating: Olvikan.
- Rule of Symbolism: Giles congratulates her on defeating the Mayor, and hands her her diploma, saying he fished it out of the wreckage. "I'd say you earned it." Damn right!
- Rule of Three: Buffy punches Angel to get him to vamp out. Of course, she hits him once, twice, and the third time does it.
- Scaled Up: Mayor Wilkins transforms into a giant snake demon.
- Screaming Warrior: Jonathan hilariously lets out a war cry before barreling into some vamps.
- Season Finale: The end of season three, and in many ways the status quo of the first three years.
- Security Cling: Cordelia throws herself into Jonathan's arms just as the school blows up. According to Danny Strong, this scene was an idea of Charisma's, because she never got much screen time with him.
- Series Fauxnale: Like the other finales, there was no guarantee of a renewal when it was written. Our heroes defeat a giant monster and graduate high school (the setting of the last three years) all on the same day, then walk off triumphantly into the night. Meanwhile, the break-up of the Buffy/Angel relationship (which had been the emotional lynchpin throughout the series until then) is cemented by him wordlessly leaving Sunnydale.
- Sex Dressed: Willow and Oz are late for their high school graduation ceremony (and accompanying Big Badass Battle Sequence). They both hurry to their seats, pretty clearly post-coital.
- Shaky P.O.V. Cam: Olvikan leering down at Snyder and (later) Buffy.
- Sickbed Slaying: In Faith's hospital room, the camera moves in for a close-up of her comatose face, and the Mayor strokes her hair. He desolately tells her, "It's your day." His face hardens, however, when he hears a nurse telling the doctor that they have another young girl with severe blood loss. He walks in on an unconscious Buffy in her room and tries to suffocate her.
- Skewed Priorities: Wilkins' mooks are scheduled to hit the school just as he's winding up his speech. He backpedals that he's sorry they're going to miss the good stuff, "because I think it speaks to every one of us."
- Stealth Hi/Bye: The Running Gag of Angel suddenly disappearing is averted; he walks off into the night watched by a heartbroken Buffy.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The school explosions was filmed at 5am in Torrence, California (where the show's outdoor scenes had been filmed for three years). The huge explosion woke up many residents, broke windows, and set off car alarms, causing the town to disallow future BtVS filming in the town.
- Swallowed Whole: Principal Snyder is devoured by his Bad Boss.
- Sympathy for the Devil: The seeming reconciliation between the two Slayers in their dream.
- Talking in Your Dreams: Buffy has a dream in which Faith appears to reconcile with her, giving a clue on how to defeat the Mayor.Faith: "You want to know the deal? Human weakness - never goes away. Not even his."
Buffy: (with a half smile) "Is this your mind or mine?"
Faith (laugh) "Beats me."
- Teeth-Clenched TeamworkBuffy: You and Xander are going to have to work together now. Can you guys handle that?Xander: I'm still Key Guy, right? Then Angel - in his non Key-Guy capacity, - can work with me.Angel: What fun.Xander: Hey, Key Guy is still talking!Buffy: Oh, that's good! Start bickering. That's going to look great for us. You guys are like little old ladies!
- This Is Gonna Suck: Mayor Wilkins' final words before he's blown up are a mildly surprised "Well, gosh..."; made even funnier by the fact that he's in the form of a gigantic snake demon at the time, so it comes out in a deep distorted voice.
- This Means War!: All better now, Buffy walks out out her hospital room fully-dressed and greets the Scoobs. They're all flummoxed at her quick recovery. She tells them to get Angel and the others, because she's ready. For what? "War."
- Too Dumb to Live: Snyder, who until now has generally taken a "look away and run when things get weird" approach to the casual horror of life in Sunnydale, gets the bright idea to mouth off to an ascendant demon; the results are predictable.
- Total Eclipse of the Plot: The Mayor uses his powers to arrange an eclipse so his henchvamps can work in the daytime.
- Tranquil Fury: The Mayor wordlessly putting his hand over Buffy's unconscious face. Buffy starts thrashing around until the nurses try to pull him off, but Wilkins continues to choke her with an empty smile.
- Trash the Set: Bye bye, Sunnydale High. For now.
- Trenchcoat Warfare: Looking on with horror, the guests try to flee. The kids, however, stand their ground. We see about twenty vamps approach the scene from the side opposite the Demon Mayor. Buffy shouts, "Now!" The kids throw off their gowns, they're all wearing crosses and armed with stakes, crossbows, and flamethrowers.
- The Triple: Giles wearily telling Xander to keep scanning the books for any mention of Olvikan. "Powers, weaknesses, hat size, anything..."
- Buffy says she'll need all of them, but that Xander is the key figure. "Key? Me?" He's predictably pleased. "Okay, pride, humility.. and here is the mind-numbing fear."
- Trouble Entendre: Wilkins inviting Angel to stayed tuned for his "second act", in full view of witnesses.
- In the middle of his speech, Wilkins makes eye contact with Buffy in the crowd. He darkly goes on that some people who should be there aren't.
- Two-Part Episode
- Two Scenes, One Dialogue: A planning session in the library, where Buffy is briefing the Scoobies. Meanwhile at City Hall, the Mayor is laying out his plan for his lackeys.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Played straight — the plan isn't discussed beforehand, or where they got all those extra crossbows and flamethrowers.
- Villainous Breakdown: The Mayor, upon seeing Faith in a coma, shows rage for the first time and tries to smother Buffy in her sleep and attacks Angel in front of civilians, going so far as to break his language etiquette. He regains his composure for the final showdown though, his last words being "Well, gosh!"Mayor: Murderous little fiend! Did you see what she did to my Faith?Angel: Hadn't any plans to weep over that one.Mayor: Well, I'd get set for some weeping if I were you. I'd get set for a world of pain! Misery loves company, young man, and I'm looking to share that with you and your whore!
- Villainous BSoD: Wilkins goes a little nuts when he finds Faith's disappeared. After she turns up in a coma, we see a doctor describing her condition to Wilkins, who is almost catatonic with grief.
- Voluntary Vampire Victim: Without Faith available as an unwilling donor, Buffy offers herself. Angel takes a bit of convincing.
- What the Hell, Hero?: None of the Scoobies are particularly pleased to discover that Angel fed off of Buffy to cure his poison, especially since Buffy is not able to confirm that it was her idea. Xander is the most vocalXander: That's good to know. That when the chips are down and things look grim, you'll feed off the girl you love to save your own ass!
- You No Take Candle: Giles comes up, and asks Buffy she's all right. She says her brain isn't functioning on the higher levels; all it can formulate is "Fire bad, tree pretty."