Willow beats Giles and plans to end the world herself. Spike passes the Demon Trials.
- Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Giles talking to Buffy in the training room.
- All Up to You: Xander saves the world while Buffy is otherwise occupied.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Dawn and Buffy fighting in the hole.
- Batman Gambit: Willow steals Giles' magic from him but it ends up connecting her with the suffering of all humanity. It is this empathy that leaves her open to Xander's appeal to their friendship.
- Battle Discretion Shot / Off with His Head!: Spike tosses a couple of demon heads at the foot of the Scary Cave Demon to show he's passed the first stage of the Trials.
- Bittersweet Ending: Xander saves Willow (and the world) with his friendship speech, Buffy regains her desire to live, and Dawn proves to Buffy that she's more that Just a Kid in need of protection when it comes to battle, suggesting a healthy shift in their relationship. However, Tara is still dead, and while Willow no longer wants to destroy the world, she's still last seen sobbing into Xander's arms, with the viewer uncertain of how long it may take her to recover from the trauma of the last few episodes. Additionally, Xander and Anya are still broken up, The Magic Box has been wrecked, and Jonathan and Andrew, terrified of Willow's rampage, flee to Mexico (with Jonathan either ignoring the epiphany he had in the previous episode or deciding that Buffy's inability to stop Willow left him with no other option). Meanwhile, Spike reclaims his soul, but given how he last left things in Sunnydale, it's unclear where things might go from here now that he has it.
- Blah Blah Blah
- Black Eyes of Evil / Evil Sounds Deep: A deep voice and Black Corneas Of Evil mark Dark!Willow turning pro.
- Black Magic vs. White Magic: Dark!Willow's magic draws its strength from her rage. The magic she steals from Giles comes from love.
- Book-Ends / Rule of Symbolism: Buffy starts Season 6 by clawing her way out of her grave into the night, beginning a year-long Heroic BSoD. She ends the season climbing out of her hole into the light, having rediscovered the value of living.
- Broken Pedestal: Dawn's borderline hero-worship of Spike is completely broken when Xander lets it slip that Spike tried to rape Buffy a few episodes before.
- Contagious Laughter: Buffy and Giles can't stop giggling over Buffy's list of disasters.
- Continuity Nod: Willow brings up the argument she had with Giles in "Flooded". Buffy tells Giles of the events of "Normal Again". Kingman's Bluff is the same place Angel tried to kill himself in the Season 3 episode "Amends".
- Cool Down Hug / Cry into Chest: After her power and rage fades, Willow collapses sobbing in Xander's arms.
- Crucified Hero Shot: Giles pinned to the ceiling by Willow's magic.
- Description Cut: "There's no temple on Kingman's Bluff." Cut to Willow pulling the temple spire out of the ground.
- Did You Get a New Haircut?: Giles, when he suddenly notices that Buffy cut her hair. Group Hug!
- Disney Death: Giles.
- Diving Save: Buffy to Giles and later the Duo.Dark!Willow: You're always saving everyone. It's kinda pesky.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Dark!Willow creates the dirt and root golems because she thinks Buffy deserves to go down fighting.
- Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: The Duo find themselves being eyed lecherously by a truck driver.
- Dramatic Thunder: Distant thunder is heard after Dark!Willow absorbs Giles' magic.
- The End of the World as We Know It
- Exact Words: Giles told Anya that neither Buffy nor any supernatural force could stop Willow from destroying the world. He didn't say that a human force, like Xander's love and compassion for his friend, wouldn't do the job.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Willow's hair returns to its natural red color as she breaks down crying in Xander's arms.
- First-Name Basis: Willow taunts Giles by calling him 'Rupert', but switches back to 'Giles' when she absorbs his magic and suddenly starts to empathise with him again.
- Flechette Storm / Mind over Matter: Dark!Willow sends Buffy's training weapons hurling at Giles, who blocks them with the training dummy.
- From Bad to WorseAnya: Things just got a whole lot worse.
Buffy: How worse?
Anya: End of the world worse. Willow's going to destroy it.
- Geographic Flexibility: I've never seen that arboretum next to the cemetery before...
- Then again, it is mentioned in previous episodes that Sunnydale has lots of cemeteries.
- Go Through Me: Xander stands between Dark!Willow and the church spire.
- Gone Horribly Right: Giles lets Willow absorb his magic in an effort to put her in touch with humanity's pain. It works, but either because the world just sucks that much or because she's in no mood to think of the positives, decided to put an end to all that suffering permanently.
- Great Balls of Fire: Willow conjures a homing fireball to attack Andrew and Jonathan, as well as Dawn and Xander, declaring that Buffy's attempt to hold her off means nothing and she can kill them anytime from anywhere.
- Group Hug: Seeing Giles hugging Buffy, Anya hesitantly points out she changed her hair too. Giles smiles and includes her in the hug as well.
- Healing Factor: Willow instantly heals the scratches and bruises Giles managed to give her.
- Immune to Mind Control: Anya claims this of vengeance demons. Of course, since Willow successfully brainwashes Anya into freeing her from the binding spell, it's either an Informed Ability, or Willow's just that strong.
- Implied Death Threat: Giles asks what Tara would think of how Willow is acting. Dark Willow says, "You can ask her yourself."
- It Only Works Once: After Willow brainwashes Anya into freeing her from the binding field Giles placed her in, Giles tries it again... only for Willow to dispel it with a wave of her hand.Willow: Fool me once, shame on you.
- Is That the Best You Can Do?: Willow to Giles, and Spike to the demon.
- Just a Kid: Another Buffy/Dawn argument on the subject of Buffy's overprotectiveness. In the end Buffy accepts that she got it all wrong."I don't want to protect you from the world. I want to show it to you."
- Love Makes You Evil and destroy the world.
- MeaningfulEcho/Once More, with Clarity!: After finishing his trial, Spike repeated the same like he said when he first entered "to give the Slayer what she deserved". It took on a new meaning when we learned that he was talking about getting his soul back.
- Mercy Kill: What Willow was trying to do except on a global scale.
- Mind Control: Willow gets Anya to free her.
- Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: During their fight, Giles wonders aloud what Tara would think of Willow's current rampage. Willow responds with the Implied Death Threat above.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After hearing of everything that's happened in his absence, Giles has a moment of this, remarking that perhaps his leaving the Scoobies was a mistake after all.Giles: Can you forgive me?
Buffy: For what?
Giles: I should never have left.
Buffy: No. You were right to leave. We're just... stupid.
Giles: I know you're all stupid. I should never have abandoned you.
Buffy: No. Giles, you were right about everything. It is time I was an adult.
Giles: Sometimes the most adult thing you can do is ask for help when you need it.
Buffy: Now you tell me.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Lampshaded.Anya: In hindsight, it would have been better if you (Giles) didn't come back and Willow would never have taken your magic and become like ten times stronger. That would've been a plus.
- The NicknamerXander: Hey, Black-Eyed Girl. Whatcha doin'?
- Off to See the Wizard: Willow gleefully says, "Fly my pretty, fly!" when she sends her ball of fire to seek Andrew and Jonathan.
- "Open!" Says Me: Spoofed; Xander is shown kicking ineffectually at the kind of crypt door that Buffy kicks open as a Running Gag. "Ow! Ow! Ow!"
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Dark!Willow does this with Anya's unconscious body.
- Pet the Dog: After defeating and immobilising Willow, Giles tells her he was sorry to learn of Tara's death.
- Platonic Declaration of Love: Xander says this to Willow multiple times.
- Power Glows / Supernatural Gold Eyes: Spike getting his soul.
- The Power of Friendship: Xander's friendship is what eventually brings down Dark Willow.
- The Power of Love: The platonic kind, but it's enough to save the world.
- Razor Wind: Dark!Willow slashes Xander's face and chest.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dark!Willow to Giles.
- Red Herring: Spike meant to get his soul back, not lose his Restraining Bolt. Confirmed by Word of God after many viewers assumed that the demon had double-crossed Spike.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Buffy cries Tears of Joy that the world wasn't destroyed, Dawn mistakenly believes that Buffy wanted the world to end, leading to this:Dawn: Wait. Is... is that happy crying?
Buffy: Yes, dummy. You think I wanted the world to end?
Dawn: (uncertain) I don't know. Didn't you?
- Rule of Symbolism: One of the Trials involves Spike being covered in scarab beetles, which were sacred to the ancient Egyptians who associated it with the sun which brought renewal, rebirth, and more importantly resurrection. During mummification a stone scarab was placed over the heart of the mummy to ensure the eternal endurance of the human soul as the person made the journey into the Afterworld.
- Rule of ThreeBuffy: Giles!Anya: Giles!Dark!Willow: Daddy's home. I'm in wicked trouble now.
- "Save the World" Climax
- Saying Too Much: Xander mentions Spike's Attempted Rape of Buffy to Dawn.
- Shock and Awe
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The Duo do a runner for Mexico.
- Special Effect Failure
- Ropes can be seen holding up the satanic church spire as it thrusts out of the ground.
- And in the scene where Xander almost falls into the hole in the ground, you can clearly see someone holding Nicholas Brendon by the belt.
- Talking the Monster to Death
- Tempting Fate: Anya telling Dark!Willow her mind control mojo won't work on her.
- Tension-Cutting Laughter: Buffy lists all the ways the Scoobies have stuffed up since he left, ending with "And I'm sleeping with Spike." She then looks nervous as she waits for Giles to tear strips off her...only for Giles to burst into laughter. After a moment Buffy can't help but join him.
- The Three Trials: Though there may be more than the three we see off-screen.
- That Man Is Dead: When Xander tries to talk down Willow and uses her name, she snaps, "Don't call me that!"
- This Is Your Brain on Evil: Willow when she absorbs Giles' magic. "Woah! Who's your supplier?"
- Throw It In!: Anthony Head started corpsing during the scene where SMG talks of what had wrong since he'd gone. Joss kept it because he thought the scene worked better that way.
- Took a Level in Badass: Buffy looks surprised when her little sister decapitates a dirt golem.Dawn: What? You think I never watched you?
- Trash the Set: After a Battle Discretion Shot Willow and Giles are shown facing off in the wrecked Magic Box.
- Walk-In Chime-In / That Woman Is DeadGiles: Willow has killed a human being. How will she be able to live with herself?Dark!Willow: I wouldn't worry about that. Willow doesn't live here anymore.
- Weapon Twirling: Dark Willow lifts the training weapons off Buffy's Wall of Weapons using her telekinetic powers. Before they fly at Giles in a Flechette Storm, the knives and one of the axes twirl in mid-air.
- Wham LineSpike: So you'll give me what I want. Make me what I was. So Buffy can get what she deserves.Demon: Very well. We will return...your soul.
- What Could Have Been: Buffy originally would have fought the dragon that escaped in "The Gift". It was changed to earth monsters because of the budget.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: The human race is once more saved by a carpenter.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Dawn asking Buffy why she let her go to Spike's after his Attempted Rape of Buffy.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Willow, Destroyer of the World.