This Year's Girl
(January 14, 2000)
Written by: Douglas Petrie
INT. BUFFY'S ROOM - DAY
We open with a ripple of WHITE, filling the screen. The ripple flows past us and settles - it's a bed sheet. BUFFY is in her room (her old room, not the dorm) and she's making the bed, along with somebody else.
Smell good, don't they?
We see holding the other end of the sheet: FAITH. And the two women talk like they're old friends. They make the bed slowly, in sync, like they're performing a ritual.
Clean sheets. Like summer.
I wouldn't know.
Now they ritualistically fold in the corners…
Right. I forgot.
Buffy looks at A CLOCK on the wall. Her face falls.
I wish I could stay, but-
You have to go.
It's just, with…
Little sis coming. I know.
The bed is made. Couldn't be neater.
So much to do before she gets here.
(glancing at clock)
Now I really have to go.
So go. Don't let me keep-
Faith stops - looks at the bed, disappointed.
Damn. Just when we made it so nice.
Close-up of the bedsheet. Plop! A single red drop of BLOOD hits the fabric, staining it. Then another drop of blood. Then another, and another. The drops start to flow…
ANGLE ON FAITH. Now looking down at herself, maintaining her casual tone. Buffy is holding a KNIFE in Faith's stomach. Faith's bleeding on the sheets. The stain spreads…
Are you ever gonna take this thing out?
As if in answer, Buffy's expression goes hard and cold-blooded as she (out of frame) RIPS the knife up, hard, killing Faith. Faith's expression turns to total shock, she opens her mouth to scream but before we hear a sound we-
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY
BEEP! A hospital machine, monitoring a heart beat. The iridescent green line skips just a little bit higher, just once, then settles down into a steady, regular beat. Continues.
We pan across the room to the sound of the machine and the sound of slow, regular breathing. Rest on the sight of FAITH, lying alone, hooked up on the machine in a small, lonely hospital room. It's not a nightmare, but it ain't too nice. A little paint peels from one of the walls, and the overhead fluorescent light clicks on and off, flickering.
Faith breathes steadily, lying still in her coma. We hold on her face and go to…
END OF TEASER
INT. XANDER'S BASEMENT - DAY
Close-up of a standard issue Initiative BLASTER RIFLE. It's side panel's open, exposing a vastly complicated inner design of criss-crossing wires, tubes and buttons.
So, here it is. The latest in state-of-the-art
combat technology. I gotta say, it
doesn't look that complicated.
Buffy looks on as Xander and Willow examine the blaster by workbench lamplight. Xander's holding a wrench like he's about to dig in. Giles watches from a chair.
So, you can repair it?
Sure. Just as soon as I get my master's
degree in advanced starship technology.
He throws down his wrench in disgust. Buffy's disappointed.
Well, why don't we experiment, then? You
know, press some buttons, see what happens.
I'd like to veto that.
Second. It's called a "Blaster," Will. The word
that tends to discourage experimentation. Now
if it was called "The Orgasminator," I'd be first to
try your basic button-press approach.
(a little testy)
Just tell me - can you fix it or not?
Working on it, working on it…
But if I blow a hole into Mom's azalea patch,
the neighbors will not be pleased.
Xander switches to needle-nose pliers, goes back to fiddling with the blaster. Giles approaches Buffy.
Buffy, are you sure you're all right? You've been
patrolling around the clock three days
straight, perhaps you need…
What? Some rest? I can't, Giles. There's a
demonoid killing machine out loose, and it doesn't
only work the night shift.
I was going to say you might need back-up, but
now that you mention it, gathering strength is a
Just get the blaster working. That's all the strength
Are you sure?
Why, because ray guns aren't in the Slayer Handbook?
You haven't seen this Adam thing, Will. He's
the Terminator without the bashful charm. He's fast,
he's deadly, and the last time we met - he kicked my ass.
Oh. No, blast away, by all means, I only meant…
No word about Riley?
Buffy freezes. Closes her eyes. Just hearing his name causes pain.
They keep telling me he's fine, and that's all
Maybe they're telling the truth.
Maybe, but I don't even know what
The Initiative version of "fine" is. They
could be forcing him back onto medication,
or torturing him for all I know.
I know it's hard, but from all we've seen,
I doubt they'd be trying to hurt him.
The only thing I know for certain is,
my boyfriend's locked away and
I'm not helping.
Suddenly, in the background - BZZT! - Xander, holding his pliers to the Blaster, gets loudly and painfully zapped. Electric blue sparks burst up his arms, making him jump.
He regains his composure as best he can, gets back to work. The others continue their conversation, never noticing.
Maybe Giles has a point. Riley is kind of
their top gun guy. It doesn't make sense
that they'd hurt him.
But the Initiative has a whole branch of
brain-washy, behavior modification guys.
So… what happens when they
start not liking Riley's behavior?
Nobody thought of that before. And as they ponder the nasty possibilities, we CUT TO:
INT. INITIATIVE - HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY
Riley's getting out of bed. The one he was last seen de-toxing in in Episode 14. On his bed stand lies Buffy's scarf. Riley slowly, painfully pulls a shirt on over his bandaged ribcage. His right hand is now bandaged in sterile gauze.
He stands. Tests his footing. Okay. He picks up the scarf and walks out.
INT. INITIATIVE - DAY
Riley walks past the GUARD who's standing at his hospital room doorway. The guard, confused to see him up, stands in his way.
Stand down, soldier.
The Guard doesn't move.
Stand down before I put you down.
FORREST appears by the Guard's side. Puts a friendly hand on the Guard's shoulder.
You heard the man. At ease.
The Guard steps aside. Forrest walks alongside Riley, who moves slowly but deliberately. Baby steps.
The shish-kebob that walks like a man.
Looks like you're doing better -- walking
around and threatening people and all that.
Man was in my way. I got places to be.
Really? Where were you thinking of going?
You know where I'm going.
Forrest stops, closes his eyes and sighs. Riley just keeps taking those baby steps, holding the wall for support, hard purpose in his eyes.
Don't even tell me you're headed
for that girlfriend of yours. Look at
you! One good conjugal visit and
you'll be back in intensive care to stay.
You wouldn't understand.
Forrest catches up to Riley. Not joking anymore.
How about you explain it to me, then?
GRAHAM joins the two of them. Immediately sees the tension.
We all friends here, fellas?
Absolutely. Riley here's just about to
explain why he's leaving us so very quickly.
I don't explain, because I don't have to.
I'm the one in charge.
Hey. In case you failed to notice, we
are in a world of hurt around here, and
now is the time for us to band together,
not go flying off our separate ways.
Forrest has a point, Rye.
We have a problem, we will deal with
that problem, and you know the most
important thing of the equation right
now is - we keep said problem within
Family. Is that what we are?
Forrest and Riley just glare at each other.
Forrest doesn't. Riley takes one step forward, then grimaces in pain. Grabs his own side. Immobilized by the pain.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT
Close-up on Faith's face. Still in her hospital bed, motionless. Except - her eyelids twitch. A dream is coming. And we hear:
You think it's gonna rain?
EXT. FIELD - DAY
Now we are looking up at the most perfect BLUE SKY you ever saw. Tilt down to reveal Faith and MAYOR WILKINS, sitting on a blanket to a perfect picnic lunch. Alone together in a field under the clear blue sky.
Nonsense. There's not a cloud in
the sky. Now eat your sandwich.
They eat a little.
I don't know, it just seems like it
always starts raining right about now.
You're too young and too pretty
a girl to start wearing worry lines
on your face. Oop…
He notices a small, harmless GARTER SNAKE slithering across the blanket. Nothing to worry about. He picks it up and sets it on its way, away from them.
There now, little fella. I don't
know where you belong, but it's
sure not here with us. There you go.
You see? There's nothing that can
spoil our time together.
The Mayor reaches into the picnic basket, fishing about…
Now who wants cheese cake?
Faith smiles, a little re-assured. Then suddenly:
We cut back to the Mayor - he's being horribly, brutally HACKED APART by Buffy with her knife. He's real dead real fast. Finished with his prey, Buffy whips her gaze to Faith, impatient and peeved.
I told you I had things to do.
Faith tumbles back and crawls backward away from Buffy as fast as she can. It's not nearly fast enough. Buffy is on her in an instant. She lifts the bloody knife high out of frame - then lashes it down to strike into Faith as the thundering sound of a rainstorm blasts out and we CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT
Faith, still in her coma bed, lies still but twitches slightly. Her eyelids flicker as if in REM sleep. And instead of settling down this time, they keep flickering, faster, like something's building up inside her…
EXT. WOODS - NIGHT
We are in the woods. A light swings into frame. It's a flashlight, held by Buffy. Xander and Willow pull into frame behind her, also carrying flashlights. On patrol.
Not too far.
So not a problem.
Willow and Xander fan out, out of frame. We hold on Buffy as she passes a cluster of brush, comes to a clearing, coming around, looking up, to see…
Buffy's P.O.V.: before her in the tree is an EVISCERATED DEMON. Looking like it's been crucified, but much worse. Its arms splayed out on either side, its guts are missing. It is strung up like Hannibal Lecter's cell guard in "Silence of the Lambs." It's head is thrown back in a silent scream of demonic agony. Willow and Xander's flashlights, coming from behind, send streams of light shooting through its ribcage, blasting out its open mouth and eye sockets. If it weren't so horrifying, it would be beautiful. Except, it's really horrifying.
INT. XANDER'S BASEMENT - NIGHT
Buffy, looking shaken, sits staring dead ahead. Takes a sip from a mug of something hot and soothing, then speaks.
I've never seen anything like it.
Willow and Xander, sitting with her, looking really wigged.
And I could go a long healthy stretch
without seeing anything like it again.
It had to be Adam who killed that
thing. But why?
He's studying biology. Humans,
demons, whatever he can get his
hands on and tear apart.
Learning what makes things work.
I really don't want to be around
for the final exam.
It's not coming to that. The Initiative
made this monster, now they can't stop it.
But we will.
Question: will hiding in a cabin with
stockpiled chocolate goods be any part
of this plan?
Riley. I gotta get him out of there. I am
not leaving him down there with the
people who made this thing. I don't care
how many guns they have. We're going in.
Buffy stands and paces. She's in general-mode now, thinking on her feet, quickly and efficiently.
Willow. I need you to hack into the
security mainframe and buy me a
ten-minute shutdown of all
That could be…
Tricky, but not impossible. If you
can't do it online, use magic.
Just get it done. Xander. Any
gear you've been saving for a
rainy day - you give to me.
You want the stealthy-stuff?
(shakes her head)
We tried sneaking in, this time
it's force. Explosives, tear gas,
grappling hooks. I'll go in
through the elevator shaft, use
the cables for tow line.
Blast open the main facility doors
and find the infirmary.
As she talks, she's so wrapped up in her planning that, at first pass, she doesn't see RILEY standing, smiling, at the foot of the basement stairs.
By now their reserve generator's
kicked in so I take out the main
guard fast and…
Am I really worth all that?
Buffy throws her arms around Riley and squeezes. Oops. Riley lets out a yell of pain. Buffy lets go immediately.
Oh my God, did I hurt you?
No, a giant skewer through the
ribcage hurt me. That was just a
How'd you get out?
They didn't try to stop you?
They did. Repeatedly. But then
I told them they couldn't keep me
without a major ass-kicking one
way or another… and here I am.
That's great, Riley. And you
know, there's no polite way to ask
you this, but - did they put a
chip in your brain?
Forget it, we're just happy to
have you back.
We were all pretty worried about
you for awhile there, Mister.
Me, too. I know my behavior was
pretty out there…
He looks to Willow.
Forget it. Tell you what. You
two crazy kids take down an
unstoppable killer cyborg-demon
hybrid thingie, and… we'll call
it all even.
Taking Adam down is gonna be
tough. No way to predict what
he'll throw at us.
Buffy embraces him again.
You're here. Whatever comes we
can handle it.
Buffy, holding Riley, smiles for the first time in a while.
EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT
Faith is now RUNNING, dead-out panic. She passes, near-stumbling, through a Sunnydale cemetery, pursued by some monster we can't see. What we can see is Faith more scared than we've ever seen her.
She runs past a headstone, painfully bashing her knee. Limps along, looks back to see:
Faith's P.O.V.: Buffy's walking calmly toward her, knife in hand.
Faith runs some more. Trips and falls - into an OPEN GRAVE.
ANGLE ON THE GRAVE: Faith lands painfully onto the packed dirt. Tries to get up and out, but Buffy walks over like she's got all the time in the world, knife dangling in her hand. Buffy drops into the grave with Faith. We hold outside the grave, hearing but not seeing the fight within. Grunting, punching, and finally a wet noise - followed by silence.
Long pause. A drop of RAIN falls. Then another. Then another.
A dirt-caked HAND thrusts itself up out of the open grave, clutches soft grass and pulls itself up. It is FAITH, Beaten, bloodied and torn, but alive. Victorious. The drops of rain escalate into a torrential RAINSTORM as she pulls herself all the way out of the open grave and stands. Looks to the night sky and lets out a YELL of pain and triumph and agony all at once and we CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT
Close-up of Faith as she gasps a startled deep intake of air and her eyes snap open. Faith is awake.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT
We see a close-up of Faith's face. Motionless. Calm. Still. Only her eyes move, sliding over to look at the machine she's so rudely plugged into. Slowly, as if testing her motor skills, Faith lifts an arm into view and looks at it like it's some foreign object. She flexes fingers. Everything works. So she slowly, still testing, grabs hold of her white sheet and -
RIPS it back off her. Nothing happens. The sounds of the hospital P.A. system can be heard far off down the hall.
Faith gets up from the bed. Stops short. Realizes she's still hooked up by an I.V. tube stuck in her arm. She looks at it - an annoyance - and pulls it out of her arm.
She walks out.
INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY - NIGHT
Faith wanders out into the hall. It's empty. She's been stuck in some tucked-away basement wing of the hospital. She walks a bit, then is stopped short when she hears:
Faith turns to face… not what she expected. A pretty young hospital VISITOR. Girl about her age, nicely dressed and carrying a gift shop teddy bear.
You know how to get to third floor
west from here?
The girl notes Faith's hospital gown and bare feet.
I see. Um… you need some help
Graduation. I gotta get to the…
Sunnydale High School
graduation - now.
You can't. I mean, Sunnydale High
school isn't even there anymore.
Faith freezes. Focuses on the girl like a lesser.
What day is it?
What date. The date.
Okay, the girl is spooked now.
Maybe I should get you a nurse.
What happened to the school?
You sure you don't want a…
Just - tell me.
And as she answers, we slowly close in on Faith's face as it slowly hardens into a mask of rage and hurt…
Well… it was a tragedy, really.
Lots of students died. The
Principal, the Mayor…
Faith reacts, her face setting in grim stone as the camera pushes in on her.
…it's a tragedy, really. They
never did find out for sure what
started the fire. I really think
maybe I should get you some help.
EXT. HOSPITAL - NIGHT
Faith walks out of the hospital, wearing the visitor's clothes. She breathes in the crisp night. Savors it. It's good to be free. She walks out of frame.
You know I never stopped thinking
INT. BUFFY AND WILLOW'S DORM ROOM - NIGHT
Buffy sits in her dorm room, watching Riley. Riley seems a little nervous, pacing (as best he can), picking things up, putting them back again. Looking out the window. Not entirely comfortable.
Me, neither. All I had in there
was this one little part of you.
He pulls out Buffy's scarf, the one he had wrapped around his hand, from his back pocket.
It's just the scarf part of me, really.
I'm serious. Knowing you were out
there, that you cared…
You think we're being watched?
Um… I don't know. Does The
Initiative do that?
She gestures for him to sit next to her. He tears himself away from the window, sits beside her.
You seem a little… somewhere
else. Anything I can do?
Give me an order. That's what I
do, isn't it? Follow orders?
Don't have to.
Don't I? All my life, that's what
I've been groomed to do. They say
jump, I ask how high, and I get
the job done. But I don't know if
it's the right job anymore.
I know how you feel. It's like,
Giles is part of this council.
For years all they did was give me
Ever obey them?
I mean, the ones I was gonna do
anyway. The point is, I quit the
Council. And it scared me, but
now it's okay.
See, we're different that way. I
just suck at the whole gray area
It's a choice. You can go back,
maybe make some changes from the
inside, or, quit the team and keep
fighting demons your own way.
You make it sound so simple. I
don't even know what my way is.
Time to find out.
I'm a soldier. You take that
away, what's left?
A good man.
Pause as Riley considers this. Buffy takes his face gently in her hands and kisses his forehead. He closes his eyes, enjoying it. She gently keeps kissing.
What are you doing?
Checking for any brain-washy chips
in your head.
She keeps kissing…
Not sure. Might have to keep looking.
And in between kisses, she tells him:
You have been strong long enough,
Riley Finn. And now I'm going to
help you, and we will find this
demon, and kill it together, and
in the meantime, you will stop
You sure about that?
It's an order.
She kisses him on the mouth. He returns it, and the kiss blossoms into tender passion as we CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT
Back in Faith's hospital room. A very flustered-looking OLDER NURSE is being questioned by an angry DOCTOR. Standing by, looking cool and checking out the room, is DETECTIVE CLARK, a no-nonsense plainclothes policeman.
What do you mean, "She's just not
I - I don't know! I came to check
the monitors like I always do at
five o'clock. Five o'clock is my
shift - I got here on time and…
You found the bed in this
Haven't touched a thing.
Get the duty rosters, check the
logs, I want to know exactly what
happened. Coma patients do not
just get up and walk away.
We're checking every room on every
floor now. She could still turn
Walk me through this one more
time. You knew this woman was
wanted for questioning in a series
of murders - and there was no
security on this wing?
You don't understand. There was
no way that girl was going to wake up.
An ORDERLY pokes his head in the door.
(continuing, to Clark)
This can't be happening.
Did you find her?
(shakes his head)
Another woman. Unconscious and
badly beaten. And she's been stripped.
We couldn't have known - how could
we have… ?
Clark and the Doctor ignore her and follow the Orderly out of the room. The Older Nurse watches them go. And the second they're gone, her composure changes. Her face goes deadpan. She is no longer flustered. Calmly, coolly she picks up a phone.
It's happened. Send the team.
EXT. SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL - NIGHT
The wind blows as we pass across a field to find Faith, standing alone, looking grim. We see what she sees:
Faith's P.O.V.: The RUINS of Sunnydale High. (Matte).
Faith just stares at it, taking in the sight, what it means, then suddenly turns and walks away.
EXT. SUNNYDALE MAIN STREET - NIGHT
As if in a dream, Faith walks down the street. The people around her are alive and well. A happy COUPLE walks by, arms around each other. Faith turns to watch them go and her eye is caught by the sight of a YOUNG DAD and his beautiful dark-haired DAUGHTER, walking down the sidewalk hand-in-hand. The little girl skips. Faith watches like it's something she used to know and is trying to remember - when her reverie is broken by a group of college-age PARTYERS. One bumps into her, mumbles an apology, then they head off as a group. Faith watches them go, thinking…
EXT. GILES' COURTYARD - NIGHT
We see Faith slip into Giles' courtyard at night. She crosses stealthily, without making a sound, to Giles' window. She stands outside looking in, the shadows of tree branches playing on her face. We see from her P.O.V.: Through the glass, the first thing she sees is BUFFY.
Faith reacts. After all this time, there she is.
Back to P.O.V.: Fuller view this time. Riley, Buffy, Giles, Willow and Xander, inside, sitting around the living room, talking.
It looks cozy.
INT. GILES' APARTMENT - NIGHT
We find Riley and Buffy in the middle of their leading a war room session on Adam. Riley, seated, has the blaster cradled in his lap.
The puzzle, it seems to me, is why
Adam would stay dormant the past
When he's not making performance
art out of other demons, that is.
He's probably working off an
autonomic power-source, and
because he's straight out of the
box, needs to charge up awhile.
Okay - but what's he charging up for?
Based on the clues? I'll go with
And that's a best-case scenario.
I suppose a little firepower
wouldn't hurt right now. Here.
He opens a side panel on the blaster. Presses a button. It makes a humming "power-up" noise (like the power-packs in "Ghostbusters.") He hands it to Buffy.
How'd you do that? How'd he do that?
Is there like an "On/Off" button
somewhere in here?
EXT. GILES' COURTYARD - NIGHT
Faith, looking in, focuses on Buffy as she gives Riley a small affectionate kiss on the head. Puts her arm around him as he speaks. So natural she's not even aware she's doing it.
But outside - Faith is. Very aware. She focuses on Riley. Back inside…
INT. GILES' APARTMENT - NIGHT
The war room continues. Riley hands the blaster to Xander.
Blasters are easy. Adam won't be.
Since Professor Walsh designed
him - is there any chance she left
instructions lying around?
If she did, they're in The Initiative.
Which we can't get into without
mounting a major offensive.
Speak for yourself.
Beat. Everyone looks to Riley. The phone rings.
I'm just saying…
Having a man on the inside working
for us could be…
… A really great idea. You sure
you want to be double-agent guy?
I'm not exactly sure what you'd
call me. But I will share
information. Least I can do.
Riley's right. It is the least he
Giles answers the phone.
(puzzled, to Buffy)
It's for you.
Buffy takes the phone.
Hello? Speaking. What's the
Her face drops.
I'll let you know.
She hangs up.
What is it?
Faith. She's awake.
Beat someone up, took her clothes
and disappeared out of the
hospital. No one knows where she is.
One silent beat of shock, then everyone gets talking fast.
I'd say this qualifies for a worst-
timing ever award.
What do we do?
You must find her immediately.
But what about Adam?
Yeah - I'd hate to see the pursuit
of a homicidal lunatic get in the
way of pursuing a homicidal lunatic.
Faith's not exactly low-profile-
girl. I'll patrol, let her make
…And then what?
Ooh! I have an idea. Beat the
crap out of her!
Good on paper, but Giles has a
point. Let's say I talk to Faith…
Willow holds up a finger, waiting…
After I beat the crap out of her…
Willow nods and smiles.
…we still have to make a
decision. Do I turn her over to
the cops? They couldn't handle a
Slayer even if they knew we existed.
What about the Council?
Been there, tried that. Not
unlike smothering a forest fire
with napalm, as I recall.
The Initiative? They do have
One word? Evil.
There's no way around it. Faith
is back, and like it or not, she's
Yeah, too bad.
That was the funnest coma ever.
First thing? We have no idea
where Faith is right now. What
she's thinking, what she's feeling…
…Who she's doing…
She could be terrified. Maybe she
doesn't even remember. What if
she does and she's sorry, hiding
This shames Xander and the group into shutting up a minute.
Perhaps there's some form of
rehabilitation we just haven't
though of yet.
And if not, ass-kicking makes a
solid plan B.
Don't think I'd rule it out. But
first we gotta find her. Then
we'll take it from there.
A beat as they all consider the plan.
EXT. CAMPUS - DAY
Buffy and Willow walk across the campus together.
What'd you tell him?
The truth. She's my wacky
identical cousin from England, and
every time she visits, hijinks ensue.
It's good you guys have such an
I told him the story. Vagued up
some details, but no flat-out lying.
That's fair. How'd you handle
the Angel-y parts?
Did some editing. Not that I'm
trying to hide anything from
Riley, it's just - that's a longer
conversation, and I had a Faith-
Hunt to do.
Couldn't find her. Don't know
where I'd place that in the luck
At least you're not alone on this.
Right now I'll bet every cop in
Sunnydale's looking for her.
Pressure's definitely high. If I
were her, I'd get out of Dodge
Standing right before them, blocking the way, is FAITH. Smiling, cocky, arms folded across her chest and waiting for them like she owns the campus.
You're not me.
EXT. CAMPUS - DAY
And we're back. Buffy and Faith stand face-to-face. Willow looks around, stunned. UC Sunnydale students flow past in both directions, oblivious to the fact that King Kong and Godzilla are squared off in their midst.
So. Check you out, B.
Nice. The "big girl on campus"
thing's really working for you.
Buffy approaches Faith cautiously - trying to get a read on her.
I've been looking for you.
I've been standing still for eight
months, B. How hard you look?
Are you all right?
Five by five. That's the thing
about a coma, you come out all
rested and rejuvenated…
Faith's real close. In Buffy's face.
And ready for pay back.
So much for the pleasantries, huh?
What'd you think? I'd wake up and
we'd go for tea? You tried to gut
You would have done the same to me
if you'd had the chance.
Faith smiles a little. It's true. She gets even more in Buffy's face - itching for a fight.
So let's give it another go. See
who lands on top.
It doesn't have to be like this
Actually - I think it has to be
exactly like this.
Buffy glares at the students passing by.
Not here. Not now. These are
No such animal.
Buffy takes this in. Then-
I guess it was too much to hope
you'd used your down time to
reflect and grow.
Could say the same about you.
You're still the same old better-
than-thou Buffy. I knew it
somehow. I kept having this
dream -- not sure what it means, but…
As Faith talks, she doesn't notice Willow, edging around to her side and sneaking up behind her.
…in the dream this self-
righteous blond chick stabs me.
And you know why?
You had it coming?
That's one interpretation. But in
my dream, she does it for a guy!
If it weren't so corny, it'd be
beautiful. True love conquers
all, and that. But then…
Willow's now behind Faith. She gestures to Buffy like she's going to grab her. Faith never looks back.
Try it, Red, you lose an arm.
Willow backs off. Faith continues like nothing happened.
… I wake up to find out this
blonde chick isn't even dating the
guy she was so nuts about before.
She's moved on - to the first
college beefstick she meets. Not
only has she forgotten the "love
of her life," she's forgotten all
about the chick she nearly killed for him…
So, that's my dream. Well, that
and some stuff about cigars and a
tunnel. Tell me, College girl…
Faith saunters up to Buffy. Leans in, close and menacing.
…What does it mean?
To me? Mostly that you still
mouth off about things you don't
Faith takes this in. Then - CRACK! She punches Buffy in the head.
Buffy takes it - and comes back harder. Faith goes down. She kicks Buffy's legs out from under her.
Buffy hits the ground. Faith moves toward her and Willow hits her with a chair. Faith staggers, then knocks the chair away. She's about to go for Willow when Buffy leaps up between them.
The two Slayers square off in their fight stances. They hear the blaring "WHOOP!" of a POLICE CAR siren.
Cops get out fast and head past the gathered students, making their way straight to Buffy and Faith.
Faith sizes up the situation fast.
You took my life, B. Payback's a bitch.
Look who's talking.
See ya 'round.
Faith BOLTS - straight back toward the cops. They make a grab for her but she plows through them like an NFL running back breaking tacklers. She runs up and over the squad car, leaps off the trunk, hits the ground running.
Buffy runs around the car, hot after Faith.
EXT. CAMPUS - DAY
Faith runs across the campus, past an ultimate frisbee game, past a couple romantically "studying" under a tree. Buffy follows. Faith gets to a wall on campus, scales it fast, and jumps over the side. Buffy gets to the same wall, scales it, jumps over…
ANGLE ON: The other side of the wall. Buffy lands to see that Faith is nowhere to be found. Just students, milling.
Buffy looks in every direction, no Faith. Off Buffy's concern and frustration, we…
INT. COMMONS - DAY
Willow and Tara enter the commons, blending in and looking around at the same time. Willow's checking the milling college crowd for Faith's presence.
Thanks again for coming with.
Hunting a sociopath super-bitch
is definitely in the "above and
It's okay. Really. So, um, what
do we do if we find her?
Run. Flee. Maybe skedaddle.
We're not here to engage. This is
Tara smiles, trying to hide how amused she is.
You said "recon." You're like,
cool monster fighter.
Well, technically, Faith's not a
monster, and as for fighting? I'd
be lucky if I bruise her fist with
Face punching… I'm not good
with the whole…
Don't worry - we're sure to spot
her first. Faith's like some big
cleavage-y slutbomb walking around all…
"Check me out, I'm wicked cool,
"Five-by-five?" Five-by-five what?
That's the thing - no one knows.
Buffy can handle Faith. And
you're plenty safe with me.
Tara nods, believing it.
So… we "recon" 'til nightfall?
Then the ritual hiding begins.
Willow walks out of frame, still looking. Tara follows.
EXT. STREET - NIGHT
Giles and Xander walk down the street together. Giles checks the streets around him for any sign of Faith. Xander's a little more caught up in his running monologue:
…the point being, I could be
the target here. Faith finds Mr.
Xander Harris still in town - odds
are she goes tighter than cat gut.
Lot of pent-up feelings there.
I'm only saying.
Yes, I'm sure.
I can't be held responsible for
the effect I have on women.
No, of course not.
See, Faith and I have a little
thing between us called "history."
Giles stops short, holds up a hand to silence Xander. They stand at an alleyway entrance - and there's noise coming from inside. They enter the alley.
INT. ALLEY - NIGHT
Xander and Giles enter the alley, backlit. Xander pulls a hand-held taser from under his jacket - they step forward, toward the noise - to find SPIKE. Emerging from the shadows, lighting a cigarette.
What are you doing here?
Me? Hey, I'm not the one out of
For your information, smarty,
we've got a rogue slayer on our
hands. Real psycho-killer, too.
It is. What do you know?
What do you need?
Her. Dark hair, this tall, name
of Faith, criminally insane…
Have you seen her?
This bird after you?
In a bad way, yeah.
Tell you what I'll do, then. Head
out, find this girl, tell her
exactly where all of you are, and
then watch as she kills you.
Off Giles's and Xander's dazed expressions.
Can't anyone in your damned little
Scoobie Club at least try to
remember that I HATE YOU ALL?!?
Points to his head.
And just because I can't do the
damage myself doesn't stop me from
aiming a loose cannon your way.
And here I thought my evening'd be dull.
He shoves past Xander and Giles, heading out the alley.
Go ahead - you wouldn't even
Dark hair, this tall, name of
Faith, criminally insane - I like
this girl already.
Spike storms out of the alley, smoking. Xander turns to Giles.
EXT. HOSPITAL - NIGHT
We go from day to night. And in the night sky, a single bright light appears. It pierces down and blinds us momentarily. Rotors whirl to a loud roar. A helicopter is coming.
Looking up at the approaching light is the Nurse from Faith's room. Her face is expressionless. She's a professional and she's expecting this. She holds her cap pinched between two fingers to keep it on against the approaching rotor wind.
The helicopter lands. The Nurse approaches it, ducking down like "M*A*S*H" doctors under the slowing blades.
Three MEN get out. We don't know it yet, but they are Watcher Council Special Ops (COLLINS, WEATHERBY AND SMITH). None of them say a word. They are all dressed similarly.
Whoever they are, you don't want them around. They look deadly. Leather coats, black gloves and hats. Each one carries a smart-looking leather briefcase. Each briefcase is new.
They exchange some words, briefly (we can't hear a thing they say) with the Nurse then march away from the tarmac as the unmarked helicopter lifts back up into the sky.
EXT. SUNNYDALE MAIN STREET - NIGHT
Faith leads up main street, looking nervous. She pauses, stops before a sporting goods store. Inside the glass is a KNIFE. Looks like just what she needs. She looks left, looks right, then freezes.
A PATROL CAR is sidling up the street, slowly.
Faith forces herself to be casual and steps away from the window. She turns and walks down the street, blending in with the pace of the pedestrians around her. Then she walks a little faster.
The patrol car picks up just a little speed, heading her way.
Faith ducks into an ALLEY.
EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT
Faith presses herself against the wall of the alley.
The lights of the police car come, illuminate her, then go. Faith breathes a sigh of relief. She doesn't move for a moment. Then heads out the alley, but her path is now blocked - by someone big.
It's a DEMON. Huge, horns, the whole bit.
Faith tries to get away, but it won't be easy.
A friend sent me.
The demon approaches her, reaching around to the small of his back. Faith looks around. No exit…
I got a little remembrance from…
Faith shoots a hand out fast as lightning, grabs the Demon's neck and with a sickening twist, SNAPS it. The Demon falls to the ground, dead.
Faith starts to step over and past the Demon when the police car slowly backs up for a second look. Faith starts to run out the alley but stops. She looks down to the weapon in the Demon's hand. It's not a weapon - it's an ENVELOPE. A thick, oversized manila one marked "Office of the Mayor, Sunnydale CA." Faith picks it up.
She jumps to the top of the back wall like an alley cat. The searchlight swings by, illuminating her. It passes, then swings back - but she is gone.
INT. APPLIANCE STORE - NIGHT
We see a broken door LOCK. Smashed off its hinges, splintered wood around it. We go inside…
Inside an appliance store. Pass a store room filled with stereo equipment, DVD players, video recorders, and various electronics. We find Faith, sitting alone, her face illuminated by the electric blue glow of a television set.
She's watching TV. Whatever it is, it's the most interesting show she's ever watched. We hear the familiar voice of MAYOR RICHARD WILKINS.
Hello, Faith. If you're watching
this tape, it can only mean one thing.
Reverse angle to show the TV. Mayor Wilkins is on the screen. We push in as he speaks, so he's on our screen as well. He stands in his office, before the American flag.
I'm dead. And our noble campaign
to bring order to the town of
Sunnydale has failed, utterly and
He pauses, thinking, then brightens:
On the other hand - heck, maybe we
won! And right now I'm on some jumbo
monitor in the Richard Wilkins
museum, surrounded by a bunch of
kids sitting "Indian style" and
looking up at my face, filled with
fear and wonder. Hi, kids!
He waves happily, then straightens his tie. Serious:
But the realist in me tends to
doubt it. Now Faith. As I record
this message, you're… sleeping.
And the doctors tell me you might
never wake up. I don't believe
that. Sooner or later, you'll
find the world has gone and
changed on you. I wish I could
make the world a better place for
you to wake up in. But tough as
it is to accept, we both have to
understand that even my power to
protect and watch over you has its
The Mayor looks saddened by this fact, then continues:
The hard pill to swallow here is:
once I'm gone, your days are just
plain numbered. Now, I know
you're a smart and capable young
woman in charge of her own life
but the problem, Faith, is that
there won't be a place in the
world for you anymore. Right now,
I bet you're feeling very much
alone. But you're never alone.
You'll always have me. And,
you'll always have this.
Onscreen, he holds up a BOX.
Go ahead, look in the envelope.
Faith, dubious, looks in the envelope.
Don't worry, it won't bite.
That's my job.
Faith reaches in, pulls out an ornately carved wooden BOX. The same one the Mayor is holding onscreen.
Faith opens the box, reaches in, and pulls out… a DEVICE. A small but intricate-looking metallic mechanism with three metal prongs that extend out and end in small, circular loops. Faith looks at it curiously, holding it up to the light, turning it this way and that.
Surprise! You don't get these in
any gumball machine. See, when
you've been around as long as I
have, you make friends, and some
of them forge neat little gizmos
like the one you're holding now.
And here's the good news: Just
because it's over for you, doesn't
mean you can't go out with a bang.
He laughs. She examines the device.
She's a very dangerous woman.
INT. RILEY'S ROOM - NIGHT
We are in Riley's room with Buffy and Riley. Buffy's locking the locks on the door. Turns to Riley.
Okay, I get it. Really. "Faith
bad." Do I look like I'm arguing?
Not yet, but you always make that
innocent face just before you start.
Figured that out, huh?
Damn, took Mom twelve years to
catch that one. All I'm saying
is, if you're in trouble, I want to help.
Give me one reason why.
In answer, Buffy casually tosses Riley one of the mini-Nerf basketballs lying around the room. He catches it, winces in sharp pain.
Okay, I'm not exactly action guy.
But there's got to be something I
can do besides sitting around
waiting for you to pummel this gal.
Riley, the fact that you just
called Faith a "gal" only proves
you never met her.
I've never seen anybody get under
your skin this way before. What
did she do to you, exactly?
It's a long story.
I'm from Iowa, we drive four hours
for a high school football game.
He folds his arms and waits at the door. Buffy can see he's not giving up without some spillage of the beans.
I told you. She hurt me, and some
people I care about and did I
mention the psycho-killer part?
There's something you're not
I have to go. She's out there.
All right, I'm just saying, I
think you're holding out on me.
She tries to get past him. He playfully grabs her.
Buffy pulls back.
It's not a joke, Riley. There's
a criminally insane woman out
there with, oh, did I mention -
super powers - who thinks I'm
responsible for ruining her life.
She comes to him, more tender.
I know Faith. She'll come after
me, and she'll come after the
people I love.
EXT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - NIGHT
A doorbell rings. The door opens. It's JOYCE SUMMERS answering the door.
Her smiling face goes from curious to terrified.
Joyce's P.O.V.: Faith is standing there, smiling.
WHAM! Faith throws a punch (out of frame) knocking Joyce out cold.
Mind if I come in?
She steps into the house, closes the door behind her.
INT. JOYCE'S ROOM - NIGHT
Faith. Sitting at Joyce's vanity mirror, rummaging through a drawer filled with cosmetics. She plucks out, examines and rejects different shades of lipstick, one by one.
"Harlot." Huh. Way to go, Joyce.
We see Joyce, sitting on the edge of her bed, terrified. Hands in her lap. Faith gives her a smile in the mirror.
Now, normally? I wouldn't be
going with a color this dark, but
I read in some magazine, eight
months in a coma will damage a
girl's natural skin tone.
She uncaps the tube, twists the bottom so lipstick pops up, and applies it luxuriously to her lips.
Good thing pale is in this year.
She smacks her lips together, admires herself, then kisses the mirror, leaving a big sexy lip print.
Or was it last year?
(shakes it off)
Anyway, for real now. I want to
ask you something, and you gotta
promise you'll be honest and not
spare my feelings just because I
could kill you. Promise?
Okay: How do I look?
Faith turns to face Joyce. She looks fabulous. Raises her eyebrows, awaiting an answer. Joyce thinks about it. Then:
I was shooting for "sultry," but
hey. Bet I know what you're
"You'll never get away with this." Warm?
Actually, I was thinking, "My
daughter will kill you soon."
Is that a fact?
More like a bet.
Whoa, you got a pair on you,
Joyce. I like seeing that in a
woman your age.
Guess you can afford to talk that
way. In the "World According to
Joyce," Buffy's gonna come
crashing through that door any
Faith grabs something from the vanity, runs and jumps onto the bed like a little kid. Sits uncomfortably close to Joyce. We see now that she's got a stack of mail in her hand.
But look what I found.
Faith starts flipping through the letters, reading who they're addressed to.
"Buffy Summers, Buffy Summers,
Buffy…" Lot of letters. She
hasn't been by in a while, huh?
(off Joyce's silence)
And you'd think with a crazy chick
like me on the loose, a crazy
chick with a wicked grudge against
her, no less, she'd call and give
you a heads up.
Now Faith gets up, paces about the room.
But Buffy's too into her own deal
to remember dear ol' mom.
You don't know the first thing
about Buffy. Or me.
Don't I? I know what it's like.
You think you matter - you think
you're part of something, and you
get dumped. It's like the whole
world is moving - but you're
stuck. Like those animals in the
tar pits? You're sinking a little
deeper every day, and nobody even
Were you planning to slit my
throat anytime soon?
But Faith doesn't seem to hear her. She paces with growing anger and agitation.
Don't tell me you don't see it,
Joyce. You've served your
purpose. Squirted out the kid,
raised her up and now you might as
well be dead. Nobody cares.
Nobody remembers. Especially
Buffy, the fabulous super hero.
Sooner or later you'll have to
face it - she was over us a long
time ago. Too busy climbing onto
her new boytoy to give a single
thought to the people that matter.
You're her mother and she just
leaves you here to die.
CRASH! Faith is interrupted as Buffy comes shattering through Joyce's bedroom window and smashes into her. Hard collision. Buffy gets to her feet first. Punches Faith hard in the face. Turns to Joyce.
Faith punches Buffy back. Buffy side-kicks Faith, catching her under the jaw and sending her crashing into the vanity. Faith regains her footing and dives at Buffy, tackling her, the momentum carrying both fighters out the bedroom door and into the hallway. They're gone.
Joyce rushes to her phone. Grabs the receiver. Dials "911."
We CUT TO:
INT. GILES' APARTMENT - NIGHT
Giles comes in to his apartment. Double-locks the door behind him. Turns on the light switch, but - no light.
Giles tenses immediately. But before he can make a move, a silhouetted hand casually reaches up to the overhead lamp above his kitchen table and flicks on the light, revealing:
Three MEN. Sitting around Giles' kitchen table, smoking cigarettes and making themselves a little too at home. They are the three ASSASSINS from the airport. One of them, sporting a nasty old scar above his right eyebrow (this is COLLINS), smiles a wicked smile.
Giles just stands there, mouth open as Collins exhales a lazy plume of cigarette smoke.
INT. BUFFY'S STAIRWELL - NIGHT
Buffy and Faith come tumbling down the stairwell together, locked in combat, rolling over one another, neither staying on top for long.
They finally come crashing painfully down into the dining room together.
INT. BUFFY'S DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Faith rolls over, jostles a table, and the VASE on it falls neatly into her hand. She rolls back, bringing the vase smashing down - right where Buffy was.
Buffy's already standing - she kicks Faith in the face. Faith rolls with it, comes up in fight stance.
Thought I'd go after the clean
marine, didn't you? He's a cutie.
Looks like he could use a good
roll in the sack…
Buffy throws a punch. Faith blocks, then counterpunches, catching Buffy in the ribs. Buffy swings back - connects.
You're not his type. He's not big
She lands a left-right-hook combination, staggering Faith back, toward the dining room entrance. But Faith grabs Buffy by the throat, slams her back into the dining room wall. Holds her there.
He's probably just never tried it.
Faith pulls back her fist - Buffy breaks the neck-grip just as Faith lands a punch that puts a dent in the wall - Buffy turns to face her.
Going for the boyfriend again?
Just something to remember me by
once I've moved on.
Faith grabs Buffy and shoves her hard and fast…
BAM! The two Slayers hit the dining room table and go sprawling across it, sending candle holders, place mats and dishes flying. Both roll over, onto their feet.
Ever occurred to you that the
reason we all forgot you, Faith,
is 'cause we wanted to?
Faith, feral, hair splayed over her face, yanks a drawer from the dining room cabinet, pulling it all the way out. Joyce's "good silver" goes clattering to the floor. Spoons, forks - and knives. Some of them glisten - sharp.
Faith grabs a knife. Grins. She swipes at Buffy, just missing. Buffy backs up. Faith presses the attack. Faith lunges, stabbing. Buffy side-steps and Faith's knife goes plunging into the wall. Buffy grabs Faith's arm and bends it the wrong direction - nearly breaks it.
I mean - let's face it - you're a
royal pain in the ass.
Suddenly, we hear the sound of SIRENS, coming this way, growing louder.
(whispers, to herself)
Faith looks to the living room. Looks back to Buffy. Buffy punches Faith so hard, Faith goes down. She doesn't stay there. Hitting the floor, Faith rolls back like a gymnast and heads back for the living room. Buffy follows, hurdling over the dining room table.
INT. BUFFY'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Faith enters, Buffy right behind her. The sirens are blaring louder, and red lights start to flash in the living room.
Faith's P.O.V.: The BOX the Mayor left her sits peacefully on the living room table. Faith runs for it. Buffy tackles her. Faith twists out of Buffy's grip, rolls over backward and kicks Buffy back into the wall. Buffy hits it hard, bringing a few knickknacks shattering to the floor.
Faith spots a framed PHOTO of Buffy and Joyce together in happy times. She hurls it backhand, spinning lethally Buffy's way. Buffy - THWAP! - catches it perfectly. And sets the picture of herself and Mom down, undamaged, away from the fight.
Faith grabs the box. Police sirens are now deafening. The whole living room is awash in spinning red light. Faith opens the box.
Buffy grabs Faith, spins her around to face her. Enough of this shit.
Buffy PUNCHES Faith.
And PUNCHES her again.
Faith extends her open hand fully out, poising it to strike.
A quick close-up of Faith's hand shows the Mayor's DEVICE strapped to her palm. This is what it's for. Her thumb, forefinger and ring finger fit through the metallic loops. The metallic mechanism rests in her palm.
Faith GRABS Buffy with her open hand, like she's giving her a joy-buzzer from Hell. And the second she makes palm-to-palm contact, a small PULSE WAVE flows out of the two women's hands, extending up to their elbows fast, then dissipating.
It is gone. Both women look stunned for just a moment.
Buffy shakes it off first. She gets her bearings on Faith and - BOOM! Punches her a third time, knocking Faith out.
Buffy stands over Faith's unconscious body. The police sirens are drowned out by the sound of their screeching tires and radio call-in static. Footsteps. A pounding can be heard on the door.
Buffy reaches down and strips the metal device from Faith's hand. Examines it. Joyce comes down the stairs, takes it all and, and comes to stand beside her daughter.
All things considered?
What is that?
Weapon of some kind. Didn't work,
whatever it was.
She sets the device on the floor and grinds it under her heel, SMASHING it. A small CGI explosion of light emanates out from under the now-broken metal.
She's their problem now.
You sure you're all right?
Buffy thinks, then answers:
Buffy looks down upon Faith and smiles. We see her lying knocked out cold.
We go to black and the title card tells us this story is…