Episode Number: 7.17
Running Time: ---
Summary written by Leoff
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Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike tackling Giles in the graveyard and the subsiquent revelation of the chip's removal, Buffy defends Spike to Giles, Wood and Buffy's date, Wood's "son-of-a-Slayer" status revealed, Spike kills Nikki, Wood sees Spike with Nikki's coat.
"New York City, 1977" the caption reads. It's dark as it shows the skyline and raining hard. From above we watch a punkish Spike in mid battle with Slayer Nikki. Both dripping wet, they exchange kicks and barbs. From behind a park bench we see a pair of small eyes peer out between the bench's slats, watching the fight. Just as Spike seems to have the upper hand, Nikki regains control, until Spike has Nikki again, her arm behind her back, he's ready for the kill. Then the young boy behind the bench bumps a garbage can, which distracts Spike and let's Nikki break free. Nikki quickly reacts, throwing a stake at Spike like a knife, but Spike catches it between his hands, inches away from his chest, then lets it clatter to the ground. Spike brings the fight to a hault, saying he doesn't want "the dance" to end so soon as he talks to Nikki, even calling her by name. He says he's been looking for her for a while, before he starts to walk off and up to the edge of the wall. Before dropping, he smiles at her and says "By the way... love the coat."
"Momma?" The small boy rises up as Nikki tells him he did good by staying down, just like she told him to. He asks if they can go home, but she says they can't, it's not safe at home anymore. She instead offers to drop him off at "Crowley's" house. The boy wants to stay with her. She says she can't do that, saying that he knows she always has to work the mission. "You know I love you, but I've got a job to do. The mission is what matters, right?" The boy nods sadly in agreement. The two start to walk off down the street, but the boy notices something and runs back a few steps, bending down to pick up the discarded stake as Nikki calls back "Robin..."
... And Robin turns with the stake in his hands, ready to strike the attacking vampire back in present day Sunnydale. In a dark alley Buffy, Spike, and Robin each fight their own vampires and it's a lengthy battle. Spike is the first to dust his with the handle of a shovel, then at Buffy's request goes to help out Robin who is not doing so hot with his. As the vamp stands over Robin snarling, he suddenly becomes dust and we see Spike standing behind with the shovel handle. "Little tip mate... the stake's your friend. Don't be afraid to use it" Spike tells Robin as he helps the silent Slayer Son to his feet. Robin has a very cold look on his face which makes Spike question it, but Robin silently shakes it off. Spike walks off to help Buffy (who is pummelling her vamp silly in the background) as Robin grips a stake in his hand in such quiet anger that his hand bleeds. "Just waiting for my moment" he mutters.
Opening Credits: Nothing new (although in the latest Angel episode, we do now see Lorne added to the opening credits of regulars.)
Daytime, the Sunnydale High School bell rings as we find Wood peering out from between the slats of his office window at the formerly trashed high-school, his hand bandaged and a cut above his eye from the previous night's fightl. Buffy is glad to see everything back to normal. Robin gives kudos to Buffy for closing the seal, but Buffy says it's not over. "Any apocolypse that I avert without dying? Those are the easy ones." Robin tells her that he's been keeping his eye on her, saying that she reminds him of his mother. Buffy says normally that wouldn't be a compliment, but in this case she'll take it as one. Buffy smiles, trying to show a little relief "Maybe you're right, maybe everything is fine."
"Everything's terrible!" Giles walks into Robin's office, concern on his face. "total catastrophe! Have you seen the new library? It's all computers, not a book to be seen!" Buffy smiles as Giles wonders who he can talk to about the situation. Robin says "that would be me" and introduces himself. Giles says that Buffy has told about him and his freelance demon fighting (which prompts Robin to shut the office door so as no prying ears can hear). Giles says he's relieved to have another ally, as they're running short on them. Buffy questions if things are still bad, which Giles relates that the Seers in the coven are still detecting that the First is still gathering power and that war is inevitable. "We should go to the school board" Giles says. Robin questions this, but Giles is talking about the library and he offers to bring his own personal library at home. "Did you bring back any potentials?" Buffy asks, but Giles says his trip back is concerning Spike, which raised his concerns when Buffy had Spike's chip removed. "Chip?" Wood asks.
(The next scene is a bit back and fourth, with Robin being confused on the banter between Buffy and Giles concerning Spike's chip and the initiative, Spikes Soul, and the trigger the First uses on Spike. Basically it boils down to Robin thinking that Spike's trigger isn't active anymore because the military gave him a soul... for a moment. Robin also learns that Spike has been triggered into killing again, dispite having the soul and the chip. Giles apparently has brought something that will help to defuse the Trigger.)
Giles says that the trigger is still active, and Buffy says it's because of that song which nobody remembers. "It was boring, old and English, just like You.." A glare from Giles makes Buffy continue "... ule Brenner. Yule Brenner. A British Yule Brenner." Robin asks what Giles brought to help with Spike's trigger. Giles says it's something that will require a bit of magic.
Down in the basement of the Summers home, Xander is locking Spike's manacles as he complains to himself that the chains weren't there a week ago, only when Spike needs them. Spike sits on his cot, chained to the wall, as Dawn, Buffy, and Robin stand by watching him. Spike asks what Robin's doing there, wondering if he wants to see a show. Robin says it's moral support (but his glare says otherwise). "Whattya gonna do, some hypno beam or disarming spell?" Spike questions as Giles walks up and says that the First has him brainwashed and it triggers something violent within him, so they're going to put something in his brain. Giles produces a small box with a shiny, brown blob of a stone inside. "Bugger that!" Spike objects, but Giles says that the "Prokaryote" stone will go through his mind to reveal the root of the trigger's power, then they'll be able to break it's hold on Spike.
Spike asks how they are to get it in his brain, which brings Willow forward with a spellbook. She starts an incantation and after a few words, the stone turns into a liquid blob, wriggling in the box that Giles holds. "oh, you have GOT to be joking!" Spike freaks at the sight of the gooey former-rock and asks what next? Giles tells him it has to enter through his optic nerve. He holds the box up to Spike's eye and the squiggling mass slowly crawls onto his cheek, and then up under the eyelid. Spike seems a little squicked, but doesn't complain much until after a few moments, when he grips his head and howls in pain. Buffy rushes to Spike's side and asks if he's alright. After the pain subsides, he says he's fine, then asks "How am I supposed to know if this bugger is doing it's..." He trails off as the room starts to get light.
(Scenes in Italics will be flashbacks)
Spike looks up and sees an image out in front of him. He sees himself as William, reading some... um... well, "poetry" would be kind to name it, but he reads it to an older woman, who sits in a Victorian drawing room, with roaring fire and many older English decorations about.
"Let the smell, it doth linger, painting pictures
in my mind.
Well, it got me sick, but the older woman seemed to enjoy it. William's Mother questions the name Cecely, wondering if it's the underwood's daughter? William becomes very shy on the subject, but his mother says he needs a woman in his life. "I have a woman in my life" he says as he looks at her and they both laugh. William admits he still does have home to have another in the house, but he stresses he will always look after her. His Mother starts to smile, but then a coughing fit erupts and William hands her some water as she grabs a hankerchief and coughs into it, pulling it away to reveal some blood. William question whether to get the doctor or not, but his Mother says she's ok and asks him to sit by her. Like a little boy, William sits on the floor by his mother's knees as she picks up her crochet and starts to softly sing a tune, the same tune that is used as the trigger by the First...
Suddenly the close-up of William morphs into vamp face. Spike grabs Buffy by the throat, throwing her off the cot and across the room. He's gone berzerk as he starts to growl and snarl at the others, being restrained by the chains. Furious with rage, he picks up the cot and tosses it wildly. The cot strikes Dawn and knocks her out as he continues his madness, but suddenly he stops and feels pain in his head again. Spike goes quiet as we seem the squirming lump appear under the skin of his eyebrow and then slowly leak out of his eye, falling to the ground as a hard stone again. Spike, no longer in game face, looks around confused as Buffy and the others look on, Robin giving a particularly evil gaze.
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"Get these sodding things off me, I'm FINE!" Spike argues to the group that he's still chained to the wall, but Buffy wants him to wait until he's sure. He says the stone is out and it probably did it's job, but Giles says that the stone was only a catalyst, not the cure. Spike does remember the name of the song, Early One Morning, and says it was a song that his mother used to sing him.
Upstairs, Dawn's headwound from the flying cot is tended to by Willow as Andrew, Xander, Kennedy, Rona, and Anya are gathered around the living room. Rona and Kennedy express concern over Spike's trigger being active all this time and Buffy allowing him in the house, but Anya says "Don't waste your time going down that road. Spike's got some sort of get-out-of-jail-free card that doesn't apply to the rest of us. I mean, he could slaughter a 100 frat boys and..." and after some glares from all assembled "... forgiveness makes us human, blahdy blah blah blah..." In the background the phone rings and Andrew answers it, saying someone named Fred is on the phone for Willow. "Guy sounds kinda effeminant."
Giles presses the still shackled Spike for information, asking what it is about his mother that makes the trigger activate, but Spike says there is nothing special. Buffy thinks it's enough and wants to unshackle Spike, but Giles says that the process isn't through, that Spike's subconscous is blocking the real trigger somehow and they need to take their time. Spike struggles silently with his chains and looks at his hand...
... a lace-gloved feminine hand slips into his. "Such a pretty house you have, sweet William. It smells of Daffodils... and Viscera" says Drusilla as Spike/William slowly raises up from the chair in the old drawing room and begins to dance with his Sire. William now has a slightly different aura about him, being a little more confident, not as "wussy." Wanting to give the home a final goodbye, William and Drusilla lay on the couch and start necking, with William talking of grand scemes of murder and mayhem, saying the three of them will cause much carnage. Drusilla questions "Three of us?" William states almost matter of factly him, her, and his mother, then continues with the gloating talk. Drusilla again questions bringing his mother with them. "Yes... You'll like her" William says. "To eat you mean?" Drusilla asks.
Into the drawing room walks William's mother, hobbling with a cane. She is frantic, saying she's been worrying about him for days. William smiles and says that she no longer has to worry about anything again, that everything will be ok. Anne (William's Mother) notices Drusilla and asks who she is. "I'm the other that gave birth to your son" Drusilla answers. Anne is confused as William smiles again and takes Drusilla by the hand, saying that she made him who he now is "I am no longer bound by this mortal coil. I have become a creature of the night." "Are you drunk?" Anne asks, shocked and puzzled. "A little bit" he admits. He talks to her, talks to her of a life without sickness or death, and that he wants to do this for her. Anne is still confused as William approaches lovingly, embracing his Mother. "It's all right mother, it's only me. We'll be together forever..." as he puts on his game face and bites at his Mother's neck. "It only hurts for a moment."
Spike comes out of his daydream vision after he hears Willow come down the basement stairs looking for Buffy. Willow tells her that she got an important phone call and that she has to leave for a few days. Buffy questions where, but Willow says she'll fill her in on everything when she gets back and that she might return with some good news, which Buffy says they need now. Buffy tells Willow to hurry back as Willow splits up the stairs, then Buffy goes to unlock Spike's chains, much to Giles' displeasure. Buffy and the unlocked Spike coldly walk past Giles up the stairs as Robin calls after Giles, wanting to talk to him in private for a moment.
Robin says they have themselves a problem. Giles sighs "Spike" as Robin says that Spike is a problem if the Trigger is still active. Giles says it's unlikely that the First would simply forget such a powerful weapon. Robin continues, recalling the First's words to Andrew about it not being "time" for Spike yet and that he's still a liability. Robin says something needs to be done but Giles says that Buffy would never allow it. Robin says that she'd listen to her watcher, which makes Giles snicker a little, saying he doesn't understand the Watcher/Slayer relationship. Robin says he does, mentioning to Giles's suprise that he was raised by a Watcher, a Bernard Crowley. The name makes Giles put two and two together "You're Nikki Wood's son... Spike killed your mother." Robin answers Yes to both, but says that Buffy doesn't know about Spike killing his mother. Giles expresses concern over personal vengence. "Does it matter? Spike is an instrument of evil." Robin contines, saying that Spike will be Buffy's undoing and he wants to do what needs to be done, for the greater good. Giles is listening and is in agreement. "What exactly do you propose?" Robin says he just needs Buffy away for a few hours.
Nighttime in a cemetary and Giles and Buffy walk alone, with Buffy wondering if it's such a good idea to have a training session at a weird time. Giles says despite everything, she must remember her original calling, and there are always new things to learn. Buffy says that her plate is full right now with other stuff and that she is a little nervous about leaving Spike in Robin's care. Giles says everyone else seemed to like the arrangement, then goes on to say that while technically not her Watcher anymore, he can still impart valuable lessons to her and that she must look at the big picture. Buffy counters, saying that she's seen the big picture, giving big motivational speeches and knows it's serious. Giles says that to win this war, she has to be able to make some tough decisions, regardless of cost.. Buffy fights back, saying that she has treated her friends, family, and Andrew very poorly because she knows what it takes to win. "Well, that's what we're here to find out, while we work on the basics" Giles says as a vampire's hand shoots up from a nearby grave.
Robin unlocks a padlock to his garage or "workroom" as he calls it as Spike says it's nice that he has a place to let loose in. They enter the darkened garage but then the lights come up and Spike looks at dozens of wooden crosses surrounding him on the walls. "What the bloody hell is this?" Robin says it's his sanctuary and says he's just being careful because it's the hellmouth. He then walks over to a computer that sits in the corner (a Macintosh that makes PC sounds) and starts typing in some info as Spike asks Robin what his "deal" is. Robin says there is no story, he's just trying to do what is right and make a difference. There is obvious tension in the air as Robin starts to take off his shirt and don some studded gloves, talking to Spike, saying that he's been searching for Spike for a long time, ever since he killed Robin's mother. Spike looks concerned/suspicous as he says that he's killed a lot of people's mothers. Robin says that Spike would remember his, because she was a Slayer. Light dawns on Spike as he says "so that's it, you brought me here to kill me?" "No, I want to kill the monster who took my mother away from me" Robin says coldly. Robin then turns and clicks the mouse on the computer. Suddenly the room is filled with the song Early One Morning and Spike starts to look around, paniced and confused. Robin looks on coldly as Spike struggles for control, but then the song overtakes him and Spike vamps out. "Oh, there he is." Robin says.
Commercial Break: Windex makes it SHINE!
William walks in the front door and soon sees his mother's walking cane leaning against the couch. He looks around and calls for her and soon she appears, but her visage is very different. She looks younger, healthier, with longer flowing blond hair and a smile on her face. William is very pleasantly surprised as Anne says she feels much better and that she owes it all to him, wondering how she can repay him. William says seeing her well is payment enough! He continues, saying the night will be theirs of dancing and dining and anything she wants, then questions her as to what is her pleasure. "My pleasure? To take my leave of you." She quotes a line from his previous poem and laughs in his face which now grows confused, wondering if he could believe she could listen to any more of that "twaddle."
Spike growls in game face as Robin punches him. "That's right, dog! Fight back!" Robin shouts.
Anne walks around, looking at the world with new eyes. She comments how she feels great and then apologizes for being cruel as William looks at her strangely, a bit hurt. She then says she's not sorry for being cruel, not like she used to be. She now feels it rather freeing. Her talk is sarcastic and cold at times as she says that her being cruel is necessary for her to get his grubby little paws off of her apronstrings...
Robin and Spike continue their fight, with Robin punching Spike hard.
"I could have saved myself a lifetime of tedium if I had just bashed your brains in when I first saw you" Anne says to William, now in shocked pain.
More punches are traded. Robin clearly has the upper hand. He pushes a dazed Spike up against a cross and Spike's face begins to hiss at it's touch.
"God I prayed you'd find a woman to release me, but you barely showed an interest. Who could compare to your doddering housebound mum, a captive audience for your witless prattle?" Anne looks at William coldly, mocking him, as he tries to defend himself "Whatever I was, that's not who I am anymore." "It's who you'll always be, a limp, sentimental fool." she snarks back.
First kicked into a bookshelf, then on the ground, Spike is pummeled hard by Robin, who says "Hurts, don't it. Is this what it felt like, when you beat the life out of her... toyed with her... when you SNAPPED HER NECK?!?"
Buffy draws her stake back, ready to dust the vampire, when Giles tells her not yet, then the vamp and Buffy fight as she talks to Giles. Giles asks her if she would let the vampire live if it meant saving the world? She says yes, the vamp seems like a nice enough guy (the vampire thanks her for that and introduces himself as Richard). Buffy says they've had this conversation before, about not sacrificing Dawn to save the world, but Giles says that things are different now asks her if she were faced with the same choice now, would she sacrifice Dawn. "if I had to... to save the world" Buffy agrees. The Vampire attacks again and in mid combat Giles asks if Buffy really understands the difficult decisions she'll have to make, that she cannot allow any threat that might jeapordize their chances of winning? Buffy is very adimant in saying yes, she gets it. "And yet there is Spike" Giles says.
Spike, nearly unconcious, gasps for air as he lays on the ground with Robin above him. Robin takes off his studded gloves and puts on his shirt, then strips Spike of the Leather Duster as he talks about Spike never caring about his kills, what it does to lives. Robin grabs a cross off the wall and advances towards Spike.
William staggers back, confused by his mother's cruelty as she continues to mock him, saying that he's now probably going to go and cry to his little trollop, but all he'll ever be able to see is her, that he wanted her. She talks strongly of incest as he struggles to get out from her grasp and mock caresses. He tells her he loved her, but not like that, but she still continues her mocking advances until he pushes her back into a chair. She suddenly becomes violent, grabbing her cane and swinging wildly at him, telling him to get out. The struggle briefly until the cane breaks. She then goes into Vamp face "There there, precious... it will only hurt for a moment..." "I'm sorry." William says to her.
"I'm sorry." Spike says, looking up in the direction of Robin, which confuses him.
William thrusts the broken cane end into Anne's chest. She winces in pain, then morphs back into the kindly, loving face of his mother for a moment before she slowly turns to dust.
Robin takes the pointed cross and swipes down at Spike, but Spike blocks the blow and is now very in tune with his surroundings. Back in human face, he throws Robin's arm back, then kicks Robin back as he stands up with renewed confidence. Robin asks Spike how he thinks "sorry" is going to make up for everything. Spike says he wasn't talking to him as he starts to punch Robin with renewed energy. "I don't give a piss about your mum. She was a slayer, I was a vampire. That's the way the game is played." The two exchange blows, but Robin is now on the losing end. Spike says his mom knew what she was signing up for, but Robin says he didn't sign up for it. Robin is now incensed but fighting poorly as Spike gives him the blunt truth. She was a Slayer and like it or not, the job comes first. Robin says that Spike took his childhood and that he loved her, but Spike continues to point out the facts, that she didn't love him as much as her mission. Spike grabs Robin's leg mid kick and throws him hard into some shelves. Panting and bleeding, Robin says that his mother loved him. "But not enough to quit though, not enough to walk away" Spike points out, then begins to relate the story of his love for his own mother and how it led him to turn her. That turning led to her saying the harsh words, which weighed on Spike for quite a time, but Spike realized that it was the demon in her talking, not his real mother. Spike didn't realize it until that moment, and it's because of Robin.
"My mother loved me with all her heart. I was her world" Spike says as he walks over to the computer and taps the mouse, starting the song playing again. Spike stands, unaffected, saying it's a nice song, then he shuts it off and walks towards Robin, still sitting against the wall, beaten "Thanks Doc, you cured me after all! I've got my own free will now. I'm not under the First's or anyone else's influences now. I just wanted you to know that... before I kill you." Spike puts on his game face and goes into Robin's neck.
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"Spike's a liability Buffy. He refuses to see it, and so do you..." Giles says in the night-time graveyard as Buffy continues her fight with Richard the Vampire. Buffy tries to counter Giles' argument by saying it's different now because Spike has a soul, but Giles says that the First is exploiting that to it's advantage. It's then that Buffy realizes that she's being stalled. She almost absentmindedly swings behind her and dusts Richard and confronts Giles. "It's time to stop playing the role of General, and start being one" Giles says as Buffy sprints off.
Spike walks out of the garage door, slowly putting on his leather duster, just as Buffy runs up and asks what happened. Spike sighs and opens the garage door for her to see Robin, sitting on the ground against the wall, battered and bloody but moving "I gave him a pass... let him live, on the count of the fact that I killed his mother. But that's all he gets. He even so much as looks funny at me again, I'll kill him." Spike then walks off into the night as Buffy goes inside to check on Robin, helping him up to a standing position with concern on her face. Buffy starts to talk about how she discovered her mother when she died. She says she understands what he tried to do, but it's different now. Spike is the strongest warrior they have and they need him. "If you try anything like that again, he'll kill you. And more importantly, I'll let him. I have a mission, to win this war, to save the world. I don't have time for vendettas. The mission is what matters." She says as she turns and walks away.
At Dawn's bedside, Buffy brushes Dawn's hair out of her face as she leaves her to sleep, quietly closing the door behind her. Giles approaches, starting to be sympathetic at what Buffy might be going through, but Buffy says that Robin failed, Spike is alive. Giles says that doesn't change anything, what he told her is still true. "No, I think you've taught me everything I need to know" Buffy says very coldly as she closes her bedroom door in Giles' face.
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