The Harvest

Written by:  Joss Whedon
Directed by:  John Kretchmer
Transcribed by:  AleXander Thompson

Copyright  1997 Alexander Thompson

                   ~~~~~~~~~~ Disclaimer ~~~~~~~~~~

I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". They were created by Joss Whedon and belong to him, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Television, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television and the WB Television Network.

This is not a novelization or a script. It is a straightforward and dry transcript of the episode "The Harvest". It also includes descriptions of the settings, action scenes and camera movements where I felt they were needed.

I made every effort to accurately transcribe the dialogue from this episode. If you notice anything that is transcribed incorrectly, please let me know and I will post an update.

rev 06.09.24

This episode was originally broadcast on March 10, 1997.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Prologue ~~~~~~~~~~

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.

Inside the mausoleum. Luke tries to bite Buffy, but burns himself on the cross hanging around her neck and jerks back. Buffy seizes the opportunity and push kicks him out of the coffin. She climbs out of it and races outside. Cut outside. Buffy runs to catch up with Willow, Xander and Jesse. She hears a vampire roar and a girl screaming and runs toward the sounds. Cut to Willow on the ground, about to be bitten.

Willow:  No! Get off!

Buffy:  Hey!

The vampire looks up, and Buffy snap kicks him off of Willow. He gets up and runs away. Willow is shocked by what she sees. Buffy quickly starts the hunt again. Willow gets up and runs after her. Cut to Xander being dragged away by two vampires. Willow appears between two gravestones.

Willow:  Xander!

The vampires are distracted. Buffy takes advantage of the opening and jumps in, high punches one and side kicks the other. She notices a dry branch on a tree and breaks it off. As one of the vampires gets up she plunges the stick into him. Willow rushes over to Xander who's still on the ground.

Willow:  Xander, are you okay?

Xander:  Man, something hit me.

Buffy:  Where's Jesse?

Willow:  I don't know! They surrounded us.

Xander:  That girl grabbed him and took off.

Buffy:  Which way?

Xander:  I don't know.

She stands up straight and slowly scans the cemetery.

Buffy:  (whispers) Jesse.

                    ~~~~~~~~~ Credits ~~~~~~~~~~

Wolf:  Howl.

Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 1 ~~~~~~~~~~

The library. The globe up on the stack level is spinning. Giles stops it while he lectures and makes his way down to where Buffy, Willow and Xander are at the study table.

Giles:  This world is older than any of you know. Contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise. For untold eons demons walked the Earth. They made it their home, their... their Hell. But in time they lost their purchase on this reality. The way was made for mortal animals, for, for man. All that remains of the old ones are vestiges, certain magicks, certain creatures.

Buffy:  And vampires.

Xander:  Okay, this is where I have a problem. See, because we're talking about vampires. We're having a *talk* with vampires in it.

Willow:  Isn't that what we saw last night?

Buffy:  No. No, th-those weren't vampires, those were just guys in thundering need of a facial. Or maybe they had rabies. It could have been rabies. A-and that guy turning to dust? Just a trick of light. (Xander gives her a look) That's exactly what I said the first time I saw a vampire. Well, after I was done with the screaming part.

Willow:  Oh, I-I need to sit down.

Buffy:  You are sitting down.

Willow:  Oh. Good for me.

Xander:  So vampires are demons?

Giles:  The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon's soul. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding... Killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind. Waiting for the animals to die out, and the old ones to return.

Cut to the sewers. Darla and Luke are forcing Jesse into the Master's lair.

Luke:  Move!

They reach the lair, which is actually what remains of a church, and Luke forces Jesse down the slope to the floor below. The Master approaches.

Master:  Is this for me?

Luke:  An offering, Master.

Darla:  He's a good one! His blood is pure!

Master:  (draws the obvious conclusion) You've tasted it.

Darla looks down in shame.

Master:  I'm your... faithful dog. You bring me scraps.

Darla:  I, I didn't mean it--

Master:  I have waited. For three score years I have waited. While you come and go I am stuck here, here in this house of... (with extreme contempt) worship! My ascension is almost at hand. Pray that when it comes... (takes Darla by the neck) I'm in a better mood.

Darla:  Master, forgive me! We had more offerings, but there was trouble. A girl!

Luke:  And there was a girl. She fought well and she knew of our breed. It is possible that she may be...

Master:  A Slayer!

Cut to the library.

Xander:  And that would be a what?

Giles:  For as long as there have been vampires, there's been the Slayer. One girl in all the world, a Chosen One.

Buffy:  He loves doing this part.

Giles:  Alright. The Slayer hunts vampires, Buffy is a Slayer, don't tell anyone. Well, I think that's all the vampire information you need.

Xander:  Except for one thing: how do you kill them?

Buffy:  *You* don't, *I* do.

Xander:  Well, Jesse's my--

Buffy:  (interrupts) Jesse is *my* responsibility. I let him get taken.

Xander:  That's not true.

Willow:  If you hadn't shown up they would have taken us, too. Does anybody mind if I pass out?

Buffy:  Breathe.

Willow:  Breathe.

Buffy:  Breathe. (to Giles) This big guy, Luke. He talked about an offering to the Master. Now, I don't know what or who, but if they weren't just feeding then Jesse may still be alive. I'm gonna find him.

Willow:  Uh, this may be the dumb question, but shouldn't we call the police?

Giles:  And they'd believe us, of course.

Willow:  Well, we don't have to say vampires. We, we could just say that there's a, a bad man.

Buffy:  They couldn't handle it even of they did show up. They'd only come with guns.

Giles:  You have no idea where they took Jesse?

Buffy:  I looked around, but soon as they got clear of the graveyard, they could have just, voom!

Xander:  They can fly?

Buffy:  They can drive.

Xander:  Oh.

Willow:  I don't remember hearing a car.

Giles:  Let's take an enormous intuitive leap, shall we, and say they went underground.

Buffy:  Vampires really jam on sewer systems. You can get anywhere in the entire town without catching any rays. But I didn't see any access around there.

Xander:  Well, there's an electrical tunnel that runs under the whole town.

Giles:  If we had a diagnostic of the tunnel system it might indicate a, a meeting place, it would, uh... I suppose we could go to the building commission.

Buffy:  We *so* don't have time.

Willow:  Uh, guys? There may be another way.

Cut to the Master's lair.

Master:  A Slayer! Have you any proof?

Luke:  Only that she fought me, and yet lives.

Master:  Hmm, very nearly proof enough. I can't remember the last time that happened.

Luke:  1843. Madrid. He caught me sleeping.

Master:  She mustn't be allowed to interfere with the Harvest!

Luke:  I would never let that happen!

Master:  Don't worry about it. I believe she'll come to us. We have something she wants.

Luke smiles at Jesse.

Master:  If she is a Slayer, and this boy lives, she'll try to save him.

Luke:  I thought you nothing more than a meal, boy.

He moves behind Jesse and takes his neck.

Luke:  Congratulations, you've just been upgraded. To bait.

Cut to the library. Willow has the city plans on the computer monitor.

Buffy:  There it is.

Willow:  That runs under the graveyard.

Xander:  I don't see any access.

Giles:  So, all the city plans are just, uh, open to the public?

Willow:  Um, well, i-in a way. I sort of stumbled onto them when I accidentally decrypted the city council's security system.

Xander:  Someone's been naughty.

Buffy:  There's nothing here, this is useless!

Giles:  I think you're being a bit hard on yourself.

Buffy:  You're the one that told me that I wasn't prepared enough. Understatement! (exhales) I thought I was on top of everything, and then that monster, Luke, came out of nowhere...

She flashes back to the fight in the mausoleum.

Xander:  What?

Buffy:  He didn't come out of nowhere. He came from behind me. I was facing the entrance, he came from behind me, and he didn't follow me out. The access to the tunnels is in the mausoleum! The girl must have doubled back with Jesse after I got out! God! I am so mentally challenged!

Xander:  So, what's the plan? We saddle up, right?

Buffy:  There's no 'we', okay? I'm the Slayer, and you're not.

Xander:  I knew you'd throw that back in my face.

Buffy:  Xander, this is deeply dangerous.

Xander:  I'm inadequate. That's fine. I'm less than a man.

Willow:  Buffy, I'm not anxious to go into a dark place full of monsters. But I do want to help. I need to.

Giles:  Well, then help me. I've been researching this Harvest affair. It seems to be some sort of preordained massacre. Rivers of blood, Hell on Earth, quite charmless. I'm a bit fuzzy, however, on the details. It may be that you can wrest some information from that dread machine.

Everyone stares at him. He looks back at them all.

Giles:  That was a bit, um, British, wasn't it?

Buffy:  (smiles) Welcome to the New World.

Giles:  (to Willow) I want you to go on the 'Net.

Willow:  Oh, sure, I can do that. (begins to type)

Buffy:  Then I'm outta here. If Jesse's alive, I'll bring him back. (starts to leave)

Giles:  Do I have to tell you to be careful?

Buffy turns back, gives Giles a look and goes.

Cut outside. Buffy is making strides for a side gate. Mr. Flutie is there and stops her.

Mr. Flutie:  And where do we think we're going?

Buffy:  We? (turns to face him) I... Me...

Mr. Flutie:  We're not leaving school grounds, are we?

Buffy:  No! No, I'm... just admiring the fence. You know, this is quality fence work.

Mr. Flutie:  Because if we were leaving schools grounds on our second day at a new school, after getting kicked out of our old school for delinquent behavior... Do you see where I'm going with this?

Buffy:  Mr. Giles...

Mr. Flutie:  What?

Buffy:  He asked me to get a book for him. Uh, from the store, 'cause I have a free period, and I'm a big reader. Did it mention that in my transcripts?

Mr. Flutie:  Mr. Giles?

Buffy:  Ask him.

Mr. Flutie:  (swings the gate closed) Well, maybe that's how they do things in *Britain*, they've got that royal family and all kinds of problems, (locks it) but here at Sunnydale nobody leaves campus while school's in session. Are we clear?

Buffy:  We're clear.

Mr. Flutie:  That's the Buffy Summers I want in my school. Sensible girl with her feet on the ground!

He turns and leaves. Buffy watches him go. When he's gone a ways she crouches and leaps the fence.

Cut to Willow and Xander walking down a hall.

Willow:  Murder, death, disaster. What else?

Xander:  Paranormal, unexplained, did you get natural disasters?

Willow:  Earthquake, flood.

Xander:  Rain of Toads.

Willow:  Right.

Xander:  Rain of Toads! Do you think they'd have anything like that in the paper?

Willow:  I'll put it on the computer search. If it's in there, it'll turn up. Anything that'll lead us to vampires.

Xander:  And I, in the meantime, will help by standing around like an idiot.

Willow:  Not like an idiot, just... standing. Buffy doesn't want you getting hurt.

They stop in front of their next class.

Willow:  I don't want you getting hurt.

Xander:  This is just too much. I mean, yesterday my life's like, 'Uh-oh, pop quiz.' Today it's 'Rain of Toads'.

Willow:  I know. And everyone else thinks it's just a normal day.

Xander:  Nobody knows. It's like we've got this big secret.

Willow:  We do. That's what a secret is, when you know something other guys don't.

Xander:  Right. Look, maybe you should get to class. (indicates the door)

Willow:  You mean 'we'. We should get to class.

Xander:  Yeah.

Willow:  Buffy'll be okay. Whatever's down there, I think she can handle it.

Xander:  Yeah, I do, too.

Willow:  So do I!

Cut to inside the mausoleum. Buffy comes in slowly, looking and listening. She scans around. Satisfied that no one's there, she walks down the steps to the floor. She hears a rat behind her and twists to look toward the sound. She continues and finds the tunnel access. It's locked with a chain. She lifts the lock. Angel appears behind her.

Angel:  (exhales)

Buffy:  I don't suppose you've got a key on you?

Angel:  They really don't like me dropping in.

Buffy:  (faces him) Why not?

Angel:  They really don't like me.

Buffy:  How could that possibly be?

Angel:  I knew you'd figure out this entryway sooner or later. Actually, I thought it was gonna be a *little* sooner.

Buffy:  Sorry you had to wait. (exhales) Okay. Look, if you're gonna be popping up with this Cryptic Wise Man act on a regular basis, can you at least tell me your name?

Angel:  Angel.

Buffy:  Angel. It's a pretty name.

She turns to the tunnel entrance.

Angel:  Don't... go down there.

Buffy:  (turns back) Deal with my going.

Angel:  You shouldn't be putting yourself at risk. Tonight is the Harvest. Unless you can prevent it, the Master walks.

Buffy:  Well, if this Harvest thing is such a suckfest, why don't *you* stop it?

Angel:  'Cause I'm afraid.

She looks at him for a moment and then spins around quickly, kicking open the doors to the tunnel. She turns back to him.

Angel:  They'll be expecting you.

Buffy:  I've got a friend down there. Or at least a potential friend. Do you know what it's like to have a friend?

He lowers his eyes as a look of sadness fills them.

Buffy:  That wasn't supposed to be a stumper.

They look at each other a moment longer.

Angel:  When you hit the tunnels head east towards the school. That's where you're likely to find them.

Buffy:  You gonna wish me luck?

Angel says nothing. They look at each other for another moment, then Buffy turns and heads into the tunnels. He watches her go.

Angel:  (whispers) Good luck!

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 2 ~~~~~~~~~~

Inside the tunnels. Buffy comes down a flight of stairs. She looks around. She hears rats. One crawls across her shoes. She slowly starts down the tunnels. There are lights at regular intervals. When she reaches an intersection, Xander surprises her from behind.

Xander:  Did you see anything?

Buffy:  (exhales in fright) Xander, what are you doing here?!

Xander:  Something stupid. I followed you.

Buffy:  Well, you--

Xander:  (interrupts) I couldn't just sit at home and do nothing.

Buffy:  I understand. Now, go away!

Xander:  No!

Buffy:  Xander, you're gonna have to.

Xander:  Look, Jesse's my bud, okay? If I can help him out, that's what I gotta do.

Buffy considers, then nods her head for him to follow. She starts down the tunnel again.

Xander:  Besides, it's this or chem class.

Cut to them reaching the top of some stairs.

Xander:  Okay, so, crosses, garlic, stake through the heart.

Buffy:  That'll get it done.

Xander:  Cool! Of course, I don't actually have any of those things.

Buffy:  (hands him a cross) Good thinking.

Xander:  Well, the part of my brain that would tell me to bring that stuff is still busy telling me not to come down here. I have this, though. (turns on a flashlight)

Buffy:  Turn that off!

Xander:  (turns it off) Okay! Okay! So, what else?

Buffy:  What else what?

Xander:  For vampire slayage.

Buffy:  Oh, fire, beheading, sunlight, holy water, the usual.

Xander:  You've done some beheading in your time?

Buffy:  Oh, yeah. There was this time I was pinned down by this guy that played left tackle for varsity... Well, at least he used to before he was a vampire... Anyway, he had this really, really thick neck, and all I had was a little, little Exact-O knife...

Xander laughs nervously.

Buffy:  You're not loving this story.

Xander:  No, actually, I find it oddly comforting.

Cut to the library. Giles is reading from a volume.

Giles:  'For they will gather and be gathered. From the Vessel pours life.' P... Pours life...

He turns the page back to the picture of Satan feeding power to a man.

Giles:  'On the night of the crescent moon, the first past the solstice it will come...' Of course. That's tonight!

Cut to the computer lab. Cordelia is struggling with her computer programming assignment.

Cordelia:  No! It's supposed to find the syntax and match it. Or wait...

Harmony:  Are we going to the Bronze tonight?

Cordelia:  No, we're going to the other cool place in Sunnydale.

Harmony looks confused.

Cordelia:  Of course we're going to the Bronze. Friday night? No cover? But you should have been there last night. 'Cause I ran into Buffy...

Willow overhears the conversation.

Cordelia:  ...and can she be any weirder? She attacked me! Do you believe it?

Harmony:  (exhales) I think we did this part wrong.

Cordelia:  Why do we have to devise these programs, isn't that what nerds are for? (whispers, indicating Willow) What'd she do?

Harmony looks at Willow's screen. She's surfing a newspaper archive website.

Harmony:  (to Cordelia) Uh, she's doing something else.

Cordelia:  Okay, and then pattern run, right? Or go to end? That's it!

Harmony:  Maybe!

Cordelia:  So anyway, I come outta the bathroom, and she comes running at me. Screaming! With a stick! 'I'm gonna kill you! I'm gonna kill you!' I swear!

Boy:  Who?

Cordelia:  Buffy!

Harmony:  The new girl?

Boy:  What's her deal?

Cordelia:  Well, she's crazed.

Harmony:  Did you hear about her old school?

Cordelia and the boy both shake their heads.

Harmony:  Booted.

Cordelia:  Well, I exhibit no surprise.

Boy:  Why was she kicked out?

Cordelia:  Uh, because she's a psycho loony!

Willow:  (interjects) No, she's not.

Cordelia:  What?

Willow:  (turns to them) She's not a psycho. You don't even know her.

Cordelia:  Excuse me? Who gave you permission to exist?

Willow turns away, eyes down.

Cordelia:  Do I horn in on your private discussions? No. Why? Because you're boring.

Willow gets up and goes to get her printouts.

Harmony:  Okay, I think the program's done.

Cordelia:  Finally the nightmare ends! Okay, so how do we save it?

Willow:  Deliver.

Cordelia:  Deliver? Where's that? (searches the keyboard) Oh!

She hits the "Del" key, and her program disappears. She stares at the screen in wide-eyed, open-mouthed horror.

Cut to the tunnels.

Buffy:  They're close.

Xander:  How can you tell?

Buffy:  No more rats.

Xander turns on his flashlight and spots Jesse on the ground.

Xander:  Jesse!

Buffy:  Oh, no!

Jesse reacts and jumps up.

Xander:  J-J-Jesse!

Jesse:  Xander!

The two boys embrace.

Xander:  Jesse, man, are you okay?

Jesse:  I am not okay, on an *epic* scale.

Buffy shines the light on the shackles around Jesse's ankle.

Jesse:  We gotta get outta here!

Xander:  It's cool, Buffy's a superhero.

Buffy:  Hold on... (breaks the shackles)

Xander:  Do you think anyone heard that?

They see shadows moving on the walls and start to run down the tunnel. Vampires come around the corner. Cut to Xander, Buffy and Jesse in another part of the tunnel.

Jesse:  They knew you were gonna come. They said that I... I was the bait.

Xander:  Oh, great, now you tell us.

They round a corner and are met by vampires.

Buffy:  Oops!

Jesse:  Oh, no, no, no, no!

Buffy:  Do you know another way out?

Jesse:  I dunno. Maybe. C'mon!

They run. At another intersection they see glowing eyes to their right.

Jesse:  Wait, wait. They brought me through here, there, there should be a way up. I hope!

Jesse leads them into a chamber.

Buffy:  I don't think this is the way out!

Xander:  We can't fight our way back through those things. What do we do?

Jesse:  I got an idea. (vamps out) You can die!

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 3 ~~~~~~~~~~

In the chamber.

Xander:  Jesse, man. I'm sorry.

Jesse:  Sorry? I feel good, Xander! I feel strong! I'm connected, man, to everything!

Buffy begins struggling with the door, trying to close it.

Jesse:  I, I can hear the worms in the earth!

Xander:  That's a plus.

Jesse:  I know what the Master wants. I'll serve his purpose. That means you die. And I feed.

Buffy:  (looks back at them) Xander, the cross!

He holds the cross up to Jesse's face. Jesse steps back and growls.

Xander:  Jesse, man. We're buds, don't you remember?

Jesse:  You're like a shadow to me now.

Xander:  Then get outta my face.

Jesse knocks Xander's arm to the side, making him hit the wall. He jumps to the other side of the room, facing Xander. Buffy grabs him from behind and throws him out of the chamber into the advancing vampires, knocking them all down, and goes back to trying to close the door.

Buffy:  (to Xander) Help me!

Xander jumps up to help, and together they get it to move. They close it on a vampire's arm. The vampire pulls its arm back out of the door, and Buffy slams it shut and closes the latch. The vampires begin pounding on the door.

Buffy:  We need to get out of here!

Xander:  There is no out of here!

He uses his flashlight to look around and spots a grate in the ceiling.

Xander:  Up there!

Buffy leaps on top of a barrel and begins to pry the grate open. The vampires have started to bend in a corner of the door. They twist it and push it in further. Buffy gets the grate open.

Buffy:  Go!

She helps Xander crawl up into a ventilation duct. A vampire starts to struggle through the bent corner of the door. He reaches in and pulls the latch open as Xander gets through the grate. Buffy follows him quickly as the first vampire enters the chamber. He follows them through the grate into the duct. Xander and Buffy crawl like mad. He finds a 
ladder up to a manhole and starts climbing the rungs. Buffy follows. The vampire is right behind them. Xander pushes open the manhole cover and climbs out into daylight. He turns to help Buffy out. The vampire grabs her ankle and tries to pull her back down.

Buffy:  Xander, pull!

He pulls on her, and the vampire's hand is exposed to the sunlight and burns. The vampire lets go, and they tumble backward to the ground.

Cut to the Master's lair.

Master:  She escaped? She walks free when I should be drinking her heart's blood right now? Careless...

Colin:  Master, we had her trapped!

Master:  Oh, are you going to make excuses?

Colin remains silent.

Master:  You are all weak. It has been too long since you have faced the Slayer. Huh. It is no matter to me. She will not stop the Harvest. Just means there'll be someone worth killing... when I reach the surface. Is Luke ready?

Colin:  He waits.

Master:  It's time. Bring him to me.

Colin turns to go get Luke.

Master:  Ah, Colin... (Colin turns back) You failed me. Tell me you're 
sorry.

Colin:  I'm sorry!

Master:  There. That wasn't so bad, was it? Hold on...

He stabs his finger into Colin's face.

Master:  You've got something in your eye.

Cut to the library where Giles is still doing his research. He hears someone come in.

Giles:  Buffy?

Willow:  It's just me. So there's no word?

Giles:  Ah, not as yet, no.

Willow:  Well, I-I'm sure they're... great.

Giles:  Did you find anything of interest?

Willow:  I think, maybe... I surfed through the old newspapers around 
the time of that big earthquake back in '37? And for several months 
before there were a rash of murders. (hands him her printouts)

Giles:  Great! I-I mean, well, not, not 'great' in a good way, uh, um, 
uh, go on?

Willow:  Well, they sound like the kind you were looking for. (flips 
through the pages) Throats, blood... (looks squeamish)

Giles:  It's all coming together. I rather wish it weren't.

Cut to the Master's lair. Luke approaches the Master and kneels before him. The Master offers his hand. Luke takes it and kisses it. He releases it and the Master turns it over to offer the underside of his wrist. Darla is watching and smiles. Luke opens the cuff of the Master's sleeve and pulls it back. He takes his hand again, sinks his fangs into the wrist above it and drinks of the blood. He releases the hand, and the Master takes it back.

Master:  My blood is your blood. My soul is your soul.

Luke:  My body is your instrument.

The Master steps down to Luke and begins to draw a three-pointed star on Luke's forehead with the blood still flowing from his wrist.

Master:  On this... most hallowed night... we are as one. Luke is the 
Vessel!

Darla's smile widens.

Master:  Every soul he takes will feed me. And their souls will grant me the strength to free myself. Tonight I shall walk the Earth, and the stars themselves will hide!

Cut to the library. Willow is looking at one of Giles' volumes. She hears the door open and looks up to see Xander and Buffy come in.

Willow:  Did you find Jesse?

Xander:  Yeah.

Willow:  Was he dead?

Buffy:  Worse. (sits at the end of the table) I'm sorry, Willow. We were too late. And they were waiting for us.

Willow:  At least you two are okay.

Xander violently kicks a waste basket. Buffy is startled.

Xander:  I don't like vampires. I'm gonna take a stand and say they're not good.

Buffy:  (turns to Giles) So, Giles! Got anything that can make this day any worse?

He goes over to the whiteboard and puts down his pen.

Giles:  How about the end of the world?

Buffy:  Knew I could count on you.

Giles:  This is what we know. Some sixty years ago, a very old, very powerful vampire came to this shore, not just to feed.

Buffy:  He came 'cause this town's a mystical who's it.

Giles:  Yes. The Spanish who first settled here called it 'Boca del Infierno'. Roughly translated, 'Hellmouth'. It's a sort of, um, portal between this reality and the next. This vampire hopes to open it.

Buffy:  Bring the demons back.

Xander:  End of the world.

Willow:  But he blew it! Or, I mean, there was an earthquake that swallowed half the town, and him, too.

Giles:  You see, opening dimensional portals is a tricky business. Odds are he got himself stuck, rather like a, uh, cork in a bottle.

Xander:  And this Harvest thing is to get him out.

Giles:  It comes once in a century, on this night. The Master can draw power from one of his minions while it feeds. Enough power to break free and open the portal. The minion is called the Vessel, and he bears this symbol.

He draws a three-pointed star on the whiteboard.

Buffy:  So, I dust anyone sporting that symbol, and no Harvest.

Giles:  Simply put, yes.

Buffy:  Any idea where this little get-together is being held?

Giles:  There, there are a number of possibilities.

Xander:  They're goin' to the Bronze.

Willow:  Are you sure?

Xander:  Come on. All those tasty young morsels all over the place? Anyway, that's where Jesse's gonna be, trust me.

Giles grabs his coat and starts out of the library. The others begin to follow.

Giles:  Then we should get there. The sun will be down before long.

Buffy:  I gotta make a stop. Won't take long.

Giles:  What for?

Buffy:  Supplies.

Cut to a view of the sun setting above a ridge. Cut to Buffy in her room. She goes to her closet and pulls out a heavy, black jacket. Her mother walks into the room.

Joyce:  Buffy?

Buffy:  Mom!

Joyce:  You're going out?

Buffy:  I have to. (puts on her jacket)

Joyce:  I didn't hear you come in last night.

Buffy:  I was really quiet.

Joyce:  It's happening again, isn't it? I got a call from your new principal. Says you missed some classes today?

Buffy:  I was running an errand.

Joyce:  We haven't finished unpacking, and I'm getting calls from the principal.

Buffy:  Mom, I promise, it is *not* gonna be like before. But I *have* 
to go.

Joyce:  No.

Buffy:  Mom?!

Joyce:  The tapes all say I should get used to saying it. No.

Buffy:  This is really, really important.

Joyce:  I know. If you don't go out it'll be the end of the world. Everything is life or death when you're a sixteen-year-old girl.

Buffy:  Look, I don't have time to talk about this...

Joyce:  Buffy, you've got all the time in the world, you're not going anywhere. Now, if you wanna stay up here and sulk, I won't hold it against you. But if you wanna come down, I'll make us some dinner.

She leaves the room, pulling the door closed behind her. Buffy can't believe what just happened. She leans against the closet door, takes a deep breath and exhales. Then she turns and opens the closet again and pulls out a large chest. It has a flat box in it full of her stuff. She lifts out the box to reveal what's underneath. Stakes, crosses, garlic, bottles of holy water. She pulls a bunch out and puts it in her sports bag. She takes a particularly sharp stake and conceals it in her jacket sleeve. She closes the chest, zips the bag closed and goes over to her door to make sure her mother isn't nearby. Then she grabs the bag, slides it out of the window onto the roof and climbs out after it.

Cut to the sun going down over a hill. Cut to the Bronze. The doorman is checking ID's. Cut inside to the upper level. Cordelia and her friends find a table.

Cordelia:  Senior boys are the only way to go. Guys from our grade, forget about it, they're children. Y'know? (they sit) Like Jesse. Did you see him last night, following me around like a little puppy dog. (they all giggle) You just wanna put him to sleep. But senior boys, hmm, they have mystery. They have... What's the word I'm searching for? Cars! I just am not the type to settle. Y'know? It's like when I go shopping. I have to have the most expensive thing. Not because it's expensive, but because it costs more.

Girl:  You know, I--

Cordelia:  Hello, Miss Motormouth, can I get a sentence finished? Oh, I love this song! Come on!

Cordelia and her gang make their way to the dance floor and start to move to the sound of "Wearing Me Down" by the Dashboard Prophets.

Lyrics:  You fight the good fight / You fight the good war / You fight to be right / You fight to restore / Why should I believe a word that you say / It was just a game that you don't wanna play / And I say / It's wearing me down, I realize / It's all in my head now, now, and I realize / It's not what you've done / As much as what you've said / As what you've said / As what you've said / As what you've said

Jesse watches Cordelia from the side. He walks onto the dance floor. The song is over, and Cordelia stops dancing. She starts to leave, but Jesse is standing in front of her, fingers on his lips.

Cordelia:  Uh, what do you want?

Another song, "Ballad For Dead Friends", starts. Jesse lowers his hand, takes hers and leads her back onto the dance floor.

Cordelia:  Hey! Hello! Caveman brain! What are you doing?

Jesse:  Shut up!

He begins to dance with her.

Cordelia:  Well, just one dance.

They dance close. Cut to outside where the doorman is counting money. Darla comes out of the shadows in a bouncy walk. She turns around and walks backward while other vampires come into the light behind her. She turns back again and approaches the doorman. They're all sporting their game faces.

Lyrics:  How are you feelin'? / Do you feel okay? / 'Cause I don't!

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 4 ~~~~~~~~~~

Outside the Bronze. The vampires head in.

Doorman:  Need ID. (looks up) Hey! Nobody gets inside until I get some sorta--

Luke:  (growls in the doorman's face) Get inside.

Cut inside. The vampires come in, pushing the doorman in with them. The last one shuts the door and stands guard.

Lyrics:  How are you feelin'? / Do you feel okay? / 'Cause I don't!

One of the vampires makes his way to the upper level. Another one finds the main power switch and shuts it off. The people start complaining and wondering what happened. Luke gets up on the stage.

Luke:  Ladies and Gentlemen! There is no cause for alarm. Actually, there is cause for alarm. It just won't do any good.

There are screams from the crowd as they see Luke's face. He laughs.

Cordelia:  I thought there wasn't any band tonight.

She looks at Jesse next to her. He's got his game face on, and she inhales in fright.

Luke:  This is a glorious night! It is also the last one any of you shall ever see. Bring me the first.

A vampire brings the doorman to Luke.

Doorman:  What do you guys want, man, huh? You want money? Man, what's wrong with your faces?

Luke grabs him by the throat. He wraps his other arm around the doorman's head.

Luke:  Watch me, people. Fear is like an elixir. It's almost like blood.

He bites the doorman and feeds on him. The doorman screams. Cut to the Master in his lair. He raises his head as he feels the first of the souls that will be taken for him. Cut to Luke. He drops the doorman's body.

Luke:  Next!

Cut outside. The team arrives running. Buffy tries the door.

Buffy:  It's locked!

Giles:  We're too late!

Buffy:  Well I didn't know I was gonna get grounded!

Xander:  Can you break it down?

Buffy:  No, not that thing. Um... You guys try the back entrance, and I'll find my own way.

Giles:  Right. Come on.

Buffy:  Um, wait! Guys! Here! (hands Willow her bag) You get the exit cleared and the people out. That's all! Don't go Wild Bunch on me.

Giles:  Uh, see you inside, then.

Giles, Xander and Willow run around to the back. Cut to the back. Willow tries the door. It's locked, too.

Willow:  No joy!

Xander:  We've gotta get in there before Jesse does something stupider than usual.

Giles:  You listen to me! Jesse is dead! You have to remember that when you see him, you're not looking at your friend. You're looking at the thing that killed him.

Cut to the Master, testing his confines. Cut to Luke, feeding on a girl. Cut to the Master.

Master:  Almost free!

Cut to Luke, still feeding on the girl. Cut to the Master.

Master:  Give me moooooore!

Cut to Luke. He's finished with the girl and drops her body. Cut to Darla and Jesse. She wants to take Cordelia to Luke.

Jesse:  This one's mine!

Darla:  They're all for the Master.

She pulls on Cordelia. Jesse lets go of her.

Jesse:  I don't get one?

Cut to Buffy breaking an upper window and crawling in.

Luke:  I feel the Master's strength growing!

Buffy sees Luke on the stage.

Luke:  I feel him rising. Every soul brings him closer! I need another!

Buffy:  (to herself) The Vessel.

The vampire on the upper level sees Buffy and growls. She looks over at him.

Luke:  Tonight is his ascension. Tonight will be history at its end! Yours is a glorious sacrifice! Degradation most holy. (no one in the crowd stirs) What? No volunteers?!

Darla:  (brings him Cordelia) Here's a pretty one.

Cordelia screams when she sees Luke up close. He caresses her face. He's about to bite her when Buffy kicks the vampire down from above them. Luke watches him land with a thud. Buffy approaches the railing.

Buffy:  Oh, I'm sorry, were you in the middle of something?

Luke:  You!

Buffy:  You didn't think I'd miss this. Did you?

Luke:  I hoped you'd come.

Buffy:  Be right down!

She steps away from the railing and executes a roundoff to get down. She lands on a pool table. A vampire attacks from her right. Buffy does a front walkover off of the table, grabbing a pool cue on the way. When she lands she thrusts it into her attacker and lets go. He begins to fall and burst into ashes.

Buffy:  Okay, Vessel boy. (removes her jacket) You want blood?

Luke:  I want yours! (releases Cordelia) Only yours!

Buffy:  (shrugs) Works for me.

She runs and cartwheels up onto the stage, and immediately launches into a full spinning hook kick. Luke staggers into a pile of chairs. Buffy assumes a fighting position. Luke gets up and growls. He comes at her and swings, but she ducks the punch and comes up behind him. He tries a backhand punch, but she blocks him, holds onto his arm and gives him three roundhouse kicks to his stomach before he shakes loose. She takes her stake and lunges at him. He blocks the lunge, knocking the stake from her grip. He lifts her up and throws her into a pile of boxes.

Cut to the back of the Bronze. Giles, Willow and Xander break in.

Giles:  Hurry!

Xander runs in to see what's going on. He sees Buffy is down. She gets up, so Xander turns his attention to the crowd.

Xander:  (in a low voice) C'mon! Let's go! C'mon! C'mon! C'mon! C'mon!

Cut to the back. Giles guides the people to the back door.

Giles:  (whispers) Hurry up! Come on! Through this door! Come on! This way!

Cut to the main room. Buffy spins around and lands a backhand punch on Luke's face, knocking him into another pile of stuff. He's dazed. Buffy turns to see a vampire grab Xander. She grabs a cymbal from a drum set and throws it at the vampire like a Frisbee. Xander sees it coming and ducks. The cymbal decapitates the vampire.

Xander:  Head's up!

Buffy can't resist a chuckle. Luke grabs her from behind. Cut to Cordelia on the floor with Jesse above her. She struggles and he grabs her arms.

Jesse:  Hold still! You're not making this easy!

Xander comes up behind him, stake in hand.

Xander:  Jesse, man! Don't make me do it.

Jesse turns to look up at Xander.

Jesse:  Buddy!

Cut to Buffy being held tightly from behind by Luke.

Luke:  I always wanted to kill a Slayer!

Cut to the back where Giles and Willow are still guiding people out.

Giles:  One at a time! Quickly! Quickly!

He crosses to the other side of the room in front of some stairs. Darla is standing on the steps above him.

Giles:  We're going to have to open the front as well!

Darla leaps onto him from behind, knocking him to the floor. Cut to Xander and Jesse.

Xander:  Jesse! I know there's still a part of you in there.

Jesse:  (jumps up) Okay... Let's deal with this. Jesse was an excruciating loser who couldn't get a date with anyone in the sighted community! Look at me. I'm a new man!

Cut to Buffy and Luke.

Luke:  Master! Taste of this... and be free!

He roars and moves in to bite Buffy. She senses his proximity and snaps her head back to land a headbutt on his face, knocking him off of her and back to the wall. She turns to him, winded.

Buffy:  How'd it taste?

Cut to Giles and Darla struggling on the floor. Willow approaches them while taking out a jar of holy water.

Willow:  Get off of him!

Darla is distracted and looks up. Willow throws the holy water at her. It burns her face and steams. She gets up and runs from the club, screaming. Cut to Jesse and Xander. Jesse grabs Xander by the jacket and lifts him around against a wall. Xander has the stake pointed at Jesse's chest.

Jesse:  Ooo! Alright. Put me out of my misery. You don't have the guts.

A fleeing patron bumps into Jesse, impaling him on the stake. Xander lets go of the stake, and Jesse begins to fall. He turns to ashes before he even hits the floor. Two vampires grab Xander. Cut to Buffy. She grabs a microphone stand and holds it like a javelin.

Luke:  You forget, metal can't hurt me.

Buffy:  There's something you forgot about, too. Sunrise!

She throws the stand at the window behind Luke. He ducks, and it breaks the window behind him. A bright light pours in through it. Buffy spies the stake she dropped on the stage and picks it up. Luke gets up and shields his face with his hands, expecting to be burned. He stops when he realizes it's only a bright lamp. Buffy lunges at him from behind and jams the stake home.

Buffy:  It's in about nine hours, moron!

Luke begins to stagger off of the stage. Cut to the Master. He's testing the strength of his confines. Cut to Luke. He continues to stagger. Cut to the Master. Still testing. Cut to Luke. He falls from the stage and explodes into ash. Cut to the Master. He feels Luke's death and falls to his knees.

Master:  Noooooooo! Noooooooo!

Cut to Buffy. She stares at Luke's ashes. The two vampires still have Xander. She lifts her gaze to meet theirs. The vampires panic and run. Cut outside. The vampires run past Angel standing behind some crates stacked against a wall. He watches them run, then looks back the other way.

Angel:  She did it! I'll be damned!

He walks away. Cut inside to the stage. Buffy hops down to the floor. Giles and Willow meet her.

Giles:  I take it it's over.

Willow:  Did we win?

Buffy:  Well, we averted the Apocalypse. I give us points for that.

Xander:  One thing's for sure: nothing's ever gonna be the same.

Cut to Sunnydale High the next Monday. Everything appears normal. Buffy walks along and overhears Cordelia talking to a friend.

Cordelia:  Well, I heard it was rival gangs. You know, fighting for turf? But all I can tell you is they were an ugly way of looking. And Buffy, like, knew them! Which is just too weird. I mean, I don't even remember that much, but I'm telling you, it was a freak show!

Girl:  Oh, I wish I'd been there!

Cordelia:  You should have been there. It was so creepy...

She and her friend walk off. Buffy meets Xander.

Buffy:  What exactly were you expecting?

Xander:  I don't know, something. I mean, the dead rose. We should at least have an assembly.

They run into Giles and Willow, and the four of them continue to walk.

Giles:  People have a tendency to rationalize what they can and forget what they can't.

Buffy:  Believe me, I've seen it happen.

Willow:  Well, I'll never forget it, none of it.

Giles:  Good! Next time you'll be prepared.

Xander:  Next time?

Willow:  Next time is why?

Giles:  We've prevented the Master from freeing himself and opening the Mouth of Hell. That's not to say he's going to stop trying. I'd say the fun is just beginning.

Willow:  More vampires?

They stop walking.

Giles:  Not just vampires. The next threat we face may be something quite different.

Buffy:  I can hardly wait!

Giles:  We're at the center of a mystical convergence here. We may, in fact, stand between the Earth and its total destruction.

Buffy:  Well, I gotta look on the bright side. Maybe I can still get kicked out of school!

The three students continue to class. Giles stays behind and watches them go.

Xander:  Oh, yeah, that's a plan. 'Cause lots of schools aren't on Hellmouths.

Willow:  Maybe you could blow something up. They're really strict about that.

Buffy:  I was thinking of a more subtle approach, y'know, like excessive not studying.

Giles turns to go back to his library.

Giles:  The Earth is doomed!