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Recap / Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 7 E 11 Showtime

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"I don't know what's coming next, but I do know it's gonna be just like this. Hard. Painful. But in the end it's gonna be us. If we all do our parts, believe it, we'll be the ones left standing. Here endeth the lesson."
Buffy Summers
'"Try picking on someone my own size."'

Directed by Michael Grossman

Written by David Fury, Rebecca Kirshner, & Drew Z Greenberg

A young woman gets off a bus at a bus station at night and heads to a payphone to find the number for Buffy Summers. Before she can find the number, one of the Bringers appears behind her with a knife. She backs away to escape the cloaked figure and others like him until she hits a wall, but before the Bringers can attack, Buffy arrives and rescues the young Potential. Once Buffy disposes of the Bringers, Buffy welcomes the frightened woman, Rona, to Sunnydale. At the Summers house, Willow struggles to sleep on the floor of her room while Kennedy talks constantly from her spot on the bed. Kennedy talks about the luxurious life she had when she was younger, prompts Willow to do some magic and repeatedly attempts to get Willow to join her on the bed, making Willow uncomfortable.

Downstairs, Molly tells several new Potentials about the recently killed Anabelle. Xander suggests they be quiet and sleep, but a still-bound and very bored Andrew suggests they speak louder. Buffy arrives with Rona and the gang is updated on the recent activities and findings. The gang lacks answers to most of their current problems like destroying the Turok-Han and rescuing Spike from the First Evil.

The Potentials are worried and lacking confidence. Giles suggests they seek answers from an oracle-like creature known as Beljoxa's Eye. Down in the cave where he's kept prisoner, Spike is approached by one of the Bringers, but for once, he fights back and breaks free of the bonds that hold him to a wall. He runs through the underground tunnels and finds Buffy waiting for him, but quickly is pulled away from his dream and into reality where the First Evil, looking like Buffy, is waiting for him. The First continues to taunt Spike, insisting that Buffy is not coming to save him, but Spike refuses to listen, quietly muttering to himself that Buffy will save him.

Giles and Anya go together to meet with a demon, named Torg, about Beljoxa's Eye. After some careful persuasion, Torg opens up a dimensional portal for the humans to pass through. On the other side, they find themselves in a dark, windy dimension and soon come face-to-face with a caged mass of eyes, the Beljoxa's Eye.

Willow gets a call from a member of the Coven in England. The decision is taken to free Andrew from his bonds, however Buffy warns him that if he tries to run or act against them he'll pay for it. Andrew promises he'll behave himself as Willow informs Buffy that another Potential arrived in town two days earlier and Buffy rushes off with Xander to pick the girl up before the Bringers do. As they leave, Dawn questions the usefulness of these girls. The Potentials work out in the basement of Buffy's house and thanks to some depressing comments from Eve, they talk about the seemingly insurmountable challenge they are facing and being called as a Slayer.

Buffy and Xander knock at the room where the latest Potential is staying. When no one answers, Buffy kicks the door in and they find a dead blond girl lying on the ground. Upon closer inspection, they find that the girl is Eve and she's been dead for days. Back at the house, Andrew talks to Dawn about his usefulness and continues to ramble, even after Dawn informs him that Buffy gave her permission to kill him. Buffy and Xander return to the house and proceed towards the basement where they tell "Eve" to get away from the others. The First in Eve's form finally reveals itself and with some thanks for all the information over the past few days and threatening comments about the future, then disappears. In the other dimension, Giles and Anya speak with the Beljoxa's Eye, which tells them that the First Evil cannot be destroyed and that it exists now because of a disruption in the Slayer's line, which was in fact, caused by the Slayer.

The gang, all worried after the frightening invasion by the First, talk about what they are going to do. Buffy tries to keep the Potentials calm, but they continue to worry about whether they are prepared to handle anything that lies before them. Buffy and Willow exchange glances and then both leave the dining room, followed by a confused Xander while the others continue to panic.

Back in the cave, the First approaches the Turok-Han as Eve and sends him out to kill everyone except "her." A crowd of Bringers forms outside Buffy's house that night, but do nothing but keep the Slayers from leaving. Buffy disperses weapons to the gang as they all wait for the expected attack of the Turok-Han. Willow practices some simple magic to see if the First would go after her again. Kennedy interrupts and is intrigued by Willow's skills and her past struggles with it. Willow warns her that the evil magic she's been exposed to in the past is not something Kennedy wants to see.

The Turok-Han charges at the house and breaks the front door down. Willow puts up a barrier that keeps the vampire at bay, but it's almost too much for Willow and Buffy instructs everyone to run out the back. The gang encounters Bringers in the backyard, but they are destroyed and the gang runs off as the Turok-Han finally breaks through Willow's magical barrier. The gang runs down the street together and then Buffy tells them to break up. Willow and Xander lead the Potentials, Dawn, and Andrew to a safe location while Buffy turns and attacks the Turok-Han. After a brief struggle, Buffy runs and tries to get the vampire to follow her.

Meanwhile, Giles and Anya return from the Beljoxa's Eye's dimension, where it is revealed that the glitch in the Slayer line was due to Buffy's second revival the previous year. Anya laments that she, Xander, Willow, and Tara are effectively responsible for what the First has done and still doing, and remarks that they would have most likely been better off if Buffy had just stayed dead.

Xander leads the way through a construction site, which the Potentials find to be an extremely exposed and unsafe location in which to hide. The Turok-Han appears, proving that it decided to go after the easier Potentials instead of Buffy. Kennedy prepares to attack the vampire, but then bright lights flood site and Buffy appears as the Potentials move back to watch from a distance. Buffy tells the ubervamp that he's going to help her set an example for the other girls and begins a fight. A vicious battle ensues, but the Turok-Han again proves to be stronger. As Dawn watches, she realizes aloud that Willow and Buffy planned everything as a teaching tool. A quick flashback to the panic-filled discussion at the house earlier shows that at the moment that Buffy, Willow, and Xander left the others, it's revealed that the three were communicating telepathically about a plan to destroy the Turok-Han and boost morale of the others at the same time.

The Potentials begin to worry as Buffy ends up on the losing end of the fight, but Willow tells them to just wait. Just in time, Buffy turns things around and strikes the Turok-Han Vampire with a few harmful blows. Buffy finally grabs a wire to wrap around the vampire's neck and pulls until she decapitates the creature, slowly turning it to dust. The Turok-Han dusted, the bruised and blood splattered Buffy ends her lesson and leads the newly confident Potentials back home. In the cave, Spike tries to tell off the First in Buffy's form as she stands before him with a Bringers' knife in hand. Buffy cuts away his bonds and Spike wraps his arm around her, realizing it's the real Buffy, and she helps him out of the cave.

Tropes featured

  • Absurd Cutting Power: Buffy garottes the Ubervamp with a length of barbed wire until his head comes off.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Turok-Han and the Bringers invade Buffy's house
  • Badass Boast:
    • Buffy declares herself "the thing that monsters have nightmares about". And then demonstrates why.
    • Parodied when Andrew tries to convince Dawn he's a bad-ass Demon Summoner. Dawn casually mentions that Buffy gave her permission to kill him if he talks too much.
  • Bait-and-Switch: First!Eve Death Glares over the defeat of her Turok-Han. Cut to Spike watching White Blouse Buffy advancing on him wielding a Bringer knife. Uh oh. Spike is telling the First that she's just a figment of his imagination when she reaches up and cuts his bonds. Turns out it's the real Buffy.
  • Bizarre Demon Biology
    Torg: You broke my heart, Anyanka.
    Anya: Don't be so dramatic, Torg. You don't even have a heart. Six spleens, two stomachs, half a brain maybe, but no heart.
  • Bring My Brown Pants / Brick Joke: The Scoobies untie Andrew from his chair and tell him to go wash as he's smelling rather ripe. After their confrontation with the First, Andrew rushes off saying he needs to go wash again.
  • Brutal Honesty: Anya manages to pull a version of this on herself when she realizes what caused the glitch in the Slayer line, to the point that she shuts down Giles' attempt to continue phrasing it gently.
    Anya: Willow and me...and Xander and Tara. We're the ones who brought Buffy back. We're the reason the First is here, the reason those girls were murdered. (Giles tries to interrupt) No, it's our fault.
  • Buffy Speak: Kennedy says that magic sounds "new age-y". Willow replies that what she practices is definitely "old age-y".
  • Call-Back:
    • The use of telepathy between Willow and the other Scoobies, seen in "The Gift" and "Bargaining".
    • "I wouldn't touch you for all the kittens in Korea." Demons were shown gambling with kittens in "Life Serial". They're delicious.
    • And of course, Buffy greeting Rona with: "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (being the title of the first episode of the series).
    • Buffy thinking she's Richard Marcinko showing off to the potentials finishes with, "Here endeth the lesson," Spike's words from teaching Buffy in "Fool for Love."
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Buffy saving Xander from an axe-wielding Bringer.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Well, there's no need when you're threatening a geek who's seen Misery.
    Andrew: Six times. But the book was scarier than the movie 'cause instead of crushing his foot with a sledge hammer, Kathy Bates chops it off with— (sees Buffy staring evenly at him, and swallows) I'll be good.
  • Daydream Surprise: As a Bringer walks over to carve up Spike with his knife, Spike snaps his neck with his legs, breaks the chains and escapes through the tunnels until he runs into Buffy, effulgent in her white blouse and blonde hair. Lovestruck!Spike takes a step towards her...and is brought up short by his chains.
    First!Buffy: Dreaming of me again?
  • Dead All Along: The Scoobies hear of a Potential who's arrived in Sunnydale and is staying at a hotel. When Buffy and Xander go there, they find the body of Eve, a Potential who's been in their midst for several days.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kennedy shows she has what it takes to be a Slayer.
    Rona: (taking a sword from Buffy) Like this'll do any good. I mean, what's the point?
    Kennedy: (points to the tip of Rona's sword) It's this end right here. Just stick that in the bad guys. Any more questions?
  • Defensive Feint Trap: Buffy, Willow and Xander allow the Ubervamp to breach the defenses of the Summers home and 'chase them away' in order to lure it to a construction site, where Buffy decapitates it with barbed wire. Note that, in this case, the trap isn't about making the kill easier (the barbed wire is an Improvised Weapon), but about setting up an arena suitable for the real plan - killing the Ubervamp spectacularly enough to inspire and motivate the Potentials by showing that yes, it can be killed.
  • Description Cut: "If I wanted to sleep, I'd be downstairs with the other girls." Cut to the other girls keeping Xander awake with their yakking.
  • Evil Tastes Good:
    Willow: Last time I tried using magic, the turned it around on me. Got inside. I felt it just surging through me, every fiber of my being. Pure, undiluted evil. I could taste it.
    Kennedy: How's evil taste?
    Willow: (makes a face) A little chalky.
  • Extra Eyes / Faceless Eye: Beljoxa's Eye. It's nothing but eyes! In the shape of an eyeball and attached tendons. Hate to think what the rest of Beljoxa looked like.
  • Eye Scream: Buffy gets out of a Choke Hold by pulling a No-Sell arrow out of the Turok-Han's chest and using it to stab his eye out.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: At the end of the episode, Buffy once again shows up to torture Spike, only you'll notice that she's slightly bruised and cut up. It's the real Buffy, not the First Buffy.
  • Foreshadowing: After Buffy's stunt and speech we cut to Kennedy, observing, nodding in agreement. This suggests she takes Buffy's approach to heart in later episodes.
  • Get Out!: Doesn't work on an incorporeal being, Buff.
  • Ghost Story: Molly telling the other Potentials what happened to Annabelle.
  • Happy Ending: The Ubervamp is defeated, the Potentials get a morale boost, and Buffy rescues her not-a-boyfriend.
  • Heel–Face Turn: This episode signals the start of Andrew's turn, as Buffy starts to trust and inspire him. Most clearly signaled when they share a reference to Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
    Buffy: Welcome to Thunderdome.
    Andrew: Two men enter, one man leaves.
  • Held Gaze: Shared between Buffy and Spike at the episode's end (with tears in each of their eyes) as Buffy confirms to Spike that she isn't the First and that she did come back to save him.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Buffy lets Andrew have a bottle of holy water (which he can use to defend himself but won't harm anyone else). Andrew isn't happy; even less so when Buffy grabs it off him later and tosses it into the Ubervamp's face. Neither is the Ubervamp.
  • Humans Are Ugly: Anya tries to get help from a demon, who starts complaining that she walked out on him after a one-night stand. Anya promises to sleep with him again, but the demon isn't interested.
    Torg: Ugh, please, you're human. The way you look now, I wouldn't touch you for all the kittens in Korea.
    Anya: You're rejecting my offer of sexual bribery? (to Giles) What am I, a leper in this town? I can't even give it away!
    Torg: Come back when you're a leper.
  • Idiot Ball: Subverted: Buffy sends the Potentials to hide in a very unprotected place, staying behind to fight the Turok-Han who promptly shakes her and tracks down the girls. Then it turns out this was part of a plan to allow them to witness supreme slayage in action. (Could have led to an actual Idiot Ball moment if something went wrong, of course.)
  • Improvised Weapon: The inevitable result of fighting in a construction site.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: When First!Buffy realises Spike keeps saying "She'll come for me" she taunts him by replying, "No, I won't." Cut to Anya asking a demon, "Why not?"
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Dawn saying that the reason only girls are Slayers is down to Rule of Cool.
  • Malaproper:
    Buffy: What is Botox's eye?
    Giles: Beljoxa's Eye. It's an oracle-type creature that exists in a dark dimension.
  • Manly Tears: In the final scene, Spike quietly sobs when he realizes Buffy has actually come to rescue him.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Here endeth the lesson" was said by Spike to Buffy in "Fool for Love".
    • It was also said by the Master during the first season.
  • Must Be Invited: Turns out the Turok-Han only needs an "Open!" Says Me.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Anya figures out that the reason the First is active is because she, Xander, Tara, and Willow brought Buffy back from the dead, it breaks her.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Giles asks Beljoxa's Eye why the First has waited till now to try and kill off the Slayer line. Turns out it's just seized the opportunity provided by the Scoobies bringing Buffy back from the dead last year, which has caused the mystical forces controlling The Chosen One's line of succession to become unstable.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The First Evil, by focusing on eliminating the line of Slayers, called the attention of the Slayers. And demonstrated why the Slayers are to be feared, even by the origin of all evil and its army of übervamps.
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech: Buffy, after spending an episode fleeing, with her friends, from a supposedly unkillable, prehistoric "uber-vampire," finally meets him face-to-face, in front of her friends, and gives a speech:
    Buffy: Look at them. They're terrified. Meat for the beast. You're going to kill them, and there's no way I can stop you. You can't be killed. But, see, here's the thing: I don't believe that. I always find a way. I'm the thing that monsters have nightmares about. And right now, you and me are going to show them why.
  • No-Sell: Buffy gives the Turok-Han a running drop-kick, which barely staggers it. Holy water, on the other hand, is surprisingly effective (as much as on a normal vamp... which is to say, not very).
  • Once More, with Clarity: Watching Buffy face off with the Ubervamp in an improvised arena, Dawn realises that Big Sis has set up the whole thing beforehand. Flashback to an earlier scene where Buffy, Willow and Xander exited the room leaving the Potentials to argue among themselves; this time we hear the three Scoobies using telepathy to discuss their plan without anyone overhearing.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Torg reminisces over Anyanka wearing pink. Anya points out it was entrails.
  • The Reveal: Buffy's second revival in the sixth season permanently destabilized the mystical forces surrounding the Slayer line, giving the First the opportunity to attempt to snuff it out for good.
  • Ripped from the Phone Book: Rona steps off a bus and goes to a public phone to look up Buffy's address, only to find the page ripped out. Having identified herself as a Potential by turning to the torn page, the Bringers move in to kill her.
  • Running Gag:
    • Sarah Michelle Gellar's height now becomes a Bond One-Liner.
      Buffy: Try picking on somebody my own size.
    • Andrew's habit of complaining of physical ailments completely unrelated to the activity at hand continues: this time he complains of an inner ear problem while climbing a construction site.
    • Anya is once again frustrated that a past demon lover of hers no longer finds her sexually attractive.
    • More speeches from Buffy the Motivational Speaker.
  • Sarcasm Mode:
    Beljoxa's Eye: "The eye sees not the future, only the truth of the now and before."
    Anya: "Yes, we've all got that. It's called MEMORY!."
  • Sex for Services: Defied; Anya tries offering this to Torg, but he rejects her flat-out, leading to...
  • Shame If Something Happened: When Torg turns down Anya's offer of sexual bribery, Giles comes up with a better offer.
    "You help us, and the Slayer won't kill your clientele and burn your establishment to the ground."
  • Shout-Out:
    Buffy: It's time. Welcome to Thunderdome.
    Andrew: Two men enter, one man leaves.
  • Sickly Neurotic Geek: As Andrew climbs down into the construction site he gripes, "I have an inner ear condition."
  • Some Kind Of Forcefield: Willow tries to use a protection spell against the Turok-Han.
    Willow: Caerimonia Minerva, saepio, saepire, saepsi...
    Andrew: Um, deflector shields—deflector shields up!
  • Sophisticated as Hell
    Beljoxa's Eye: It cannot be fought, it cannot be killed. The First Evil has been and always will be. Since before the universe was born, long after there is nothing else, it will go on.
    Giles: I refuse to believe that. There must be some way to destroy it.
    Beljoxa's Eye: (irritated) What, am I talking to myself here? There's no way!
  • Sunnydale Syndrome: Averted; Xander notes that tourism is down because it's apocalypse season.
  • Survival Mantra:
  • Take That!: After Andrew tells the potentials to keep the chatter down, he complains "I'm bored. Episode One bored".
  • Talented, but Trained: Buffy realizes that the Potentials are freaking out, that she needs to show them what a Slayer can do, that even an Ubervamp is vulnerable to a well-prepared Slayer. So she gathers the collected two and a half decades of experience of the Scoobies to take the Turok-Han down in front of the Potentials, without barely even breaking a sweat.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Willow spends an uncomfortable night on the floor even though (or because) Kennedy is more than willing to share the bed with her.
    Kennedy: If I wanted to sleep, I'd be downstairs with the other girls.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: A literal unspoken plan, made via telepathy.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Buffy's response to Andrew's trying to support her Rousing Speech to the Potentials with comic book references.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Eve's Southern drawl.