|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 3, Episode 1|
|Air date||September 29, 1998|
|Written by||Joss Whedon|
|Directed by||Joss Whedon|
"Becoming, Part Two"
"Dead Man's Party"
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Anthony Stewart Head|| Giles |
|Chad Todhunter|| Rickie |
|Larry Bagby III||Larry|
|Harley Zumbrum||Demon Guard|
|Barbara Pilavin||Old Woman|
|Harrison Young||Old Man|
|Dell Yount|| Truck Guy |
|Jeff Pruitt||Demon Bouncer|
|Mark Garcia|| Prisoner |
|Lisa Rae Black||Guitar Player|
Back in Sunnydale, lacking a Slayer, the Scooby Gang has tried to temporarily take her place. They attempt to slay Andrew Hoelich, a newly risen vampire, but they are very uncoordinated and weak. They discuss Buffy's absence and Willow wonders if Buffy knows school starts the next day. Meanwhile, Buffy is on the beach and Angel finds her and wraps her in his arms. They embrace and he tells her, "I'll never leave. Not even if you kill me". Then, Buffy wakes up. She has taken up residence in Los Angeles where she is living in a tiny apartment and working as a waitress at a diner, Helen's Kitchen.
The next day, school starts in Sunnydale. Willow is disappointed when Oz tells her that he will be repeating his senior year of high school, since he didn't graduate and didn't go to summer school. She doesn't know what to think about it. Giles continues his search to find Buffy, following all the leads he has, only to be disappointed by them. Xander Harris and Cordelia Chase, having been away from each other all summer long, are each separately looking forward to seeing one another. But when they meet, they feel awkward and say only a few words to each other, and then walk away.
While working in Helen's Kitchen, Buffy finds herself subjected to sexual harassment by a couple of guys she waits on, and she encounters homeless teens Lily and Rickie. They're looking for a meal for the minor change they have, having spent all of their money getting distinctive tattoos that together make a heart, with their names on them, proclaiming their love. After recognizing the girl as vampire-wannabe Chantarelle, Buffy leaves the diner, claiming to not be feeling well, and heads to her apartment where she just sits, staring at a can of food. Buffy, alone, roams the streets in search of solidarity, and passes an elderly homeless woman slumped in a doorway saying "I'm no one."
That night, Lily, recently Chantarelle, finds Buffy on the street and they discuss their previous lives in Sunnydale. Lily asks Buffy if she has any money and if she wants to go to a rave. Buffy says she wants to be alone, but is willing to give Lily the money to go spend with Rickie. An old man walks past them, in a daze, saying "I'm no one." Then, he stops in the middle of the street as an oncoming car drives towards him. Buffy rushes out to him and pushes him out of the way, only to be hit by the car herself. People gather around her and try to call for help, but she claims to be fine and runs off. She runs into a guy named Ken, who's passing out fliers about a teen shelter, and accidentally knocks all of his fliers to the ground. As they pick them up, he tries to make friends with her and get her to visit the home. She declines, claiming she is just fine.
Giles returns from his failed search to talk to Joyce. She's afraid to leave the house in case Buffy calls or shows up. Giles tries to comfort her and tells her not to blame herself. She doesn't, instead blaming him for taking her little girl away and having a secret life with her.
Lily goes to Buffy the next day, telling her that Ricky is gone and she's worried that something bad might have happened, and asking for help. They go to the blood bank that day to see if they have seen Ricky. Lily and Ricky went there before to get some money (and cookies). The doctor tells them she hasn't seen him, and Buffy leaves with Lily to go search for Ricky. Buffy finds the elderly man she had saved on the street, dead, having drunk drain cleaner. But he has Ricky's distinctive tattoo on his arm. Buffy realizes it's Ricky, but that something drained the youth out of him.
When Buffy tells Lily, she doesn't take it very well, accusing Buffy of maybe bringing a monster that caused this. Lily runs out. When she hits the streets, Ken finds her and convinces her into coming to the family home, telling her that Ricky was already with them, and not dead. Late at night at the blood bank, Buffy goes searching through the files trying to find out what happened to Ricky. She sees that many of the people's files say "CANDIDATE" on them. The woman who runs the bank shows up and Buffy makes it very difficult for her not to cooperate, she says that she just gives the names of the healthy ones to "them".
Meanwhile, Ken has gotten Lily to change clothes for the "cleansing" and leads her into another room, where he tries to convince her to enter a strange, dirty pool of water. At the front door of "Family Home" Buffy tries to enter undercover. When that doesn't work, she kicks down the door and finds Ken with Lily over the icky pool. However, it's too late for Lily; she's already been sucked in. Buffy tries to save her but Ken tries to keep her out. Instead, both fall through the black pool and into another dimension where time flows at a different rate. Ken reveals himself as a demon of some sort with a human face glued on, and sends his guards after the girls. The two are quickly caught and told that they will be living there for as long as they can serve as useful slaves. In this dimension time runs differently, in that a century passes there, but only a day on Earth. Slaves who are too old to work are returned to their former dimension to die on the streets. They have been chosen because they're no one--there is nobody to miss them or notice they are gone. Buffy says she wasn't chosen, but Ken tells her that it doesn't matter, because he knows who she is--she's Anne, a runaway anxious to get lost, hide herself and be no one.
At the Sunnydale Cemetery, Cordelia complains about being chosen as the bait. Oz checks to make sure everyone is "packing" with stakes and crosses and they all move to a hiding spot. Cordy follows after Xander and attempts to tell him that she didn't miss him over the summer and accuses him of having a summer fling. Just then a vampire comes up from behind Willow and attacks her. Oz knocks the vamp off and attempts to stake it, but is thrown off. Xander tries too, then Cordelia tackles the vampire and all three go down to the ground, the stake impaling the vampire and leaving Cordy on top of Xander. The two kiss passionately.
The new slaves are being inducted into their life in the new dimension. A demon berates them and tells them that they don't matter. He insists that they say "I'm no one" when asked who they are. When it is Buffy's turn, she introduces herself very elaborately and then asks the demon who he is (much to the demon's surprise) before battling all the demons. After many rounds, she is stopped when Ken holds Lily at knife-point. When he is distracted by a lecture he's presenting to Buffy, Lily pushes him off the platform and he falls. Buffy tries to escape with all the others through a large iron gate. As she tries to get underneath while holding the heavy gate up, Ken pushes her through and in turn gets his calves impaled by the stakes on the gate. Buffy smashes his head in, impersonating a version of Gandhi that's fitting for hell - not pacifist at all. After Buffy returns with all the others, the black pool vanishes leaving just an empty tiled basin behind.
After leaving Lily her identity as "Anne," Buffy heads back to Sunnydale. Back at home, Buffy's mom opens the back door to find her daughter on the steps. After a few moments, they hug.
- This episode is the first time the Scooby Gang are shown patrolling as a team sans Slayer. They will be required to do this several more times throughout the series, most significantly at the beginning of Season 6.
- Willow leads the gang in Buffy's absence; she will do so again during the period Buffy is dead between seasons five and six.
- In Buffy's dream, Angel sincerely described their relationship as "forever". Ironically, the real Angel stated to Spike much later that what he and Buffy had was a "forever love" in "The Girl in Question".
- Time passing differently in alternate dimensions is introduced here; it will become more relevant with Angel's and later Buffy's return.
- While trying to get into the mission to find Ken, Buffy says, "I just suck at undercover." However, in "Enemies", she does a lot better when she goes undercover to trick Faith.
- Lily's character first appeared as Chantarelle in "Lie to Me". She adopts Buffy's persona at the end of this episode. "Anne" would later appear on Angel as the social worker Anne Steele, helping Angel on a couple of occasions.
- The montage depicting the teen runaways will be used again in the Angel pitch tape. The image of the teenage girl with the large skirt alone in the street will be used in the credits of Angel.
- Rickie Thomas, death by drinking drain cleaner
- Andrew Hoelich, accidentally pushed by Cordelia Chase into a stake held by Xander Harris
- Ken, smashed by Buffy
Behind the Scenes
- Seth Green appeared in the opening credits starting with this episode.
- This is the first use of the remastered "Buffy theme". It will be heard in the opening credits from this season till season 7.
- The official Buffy logo appeared for the first time in the main title.
- There's a 3 minute, 24 second single shot at the beginning of the first act starting with Giles and Willow coming down the stairs in the library and ending with Xander and Cordelia's encounter in the lounge with nothing to say to each other. It is followed by a smash cut to Buffy by herself sitting on the bed of her apartment in Los Angeles. It shows the mayhem at the start of the school year in contrast to Buffy being alone by herself. The long shot has been broken up in the syndicated versions, potentially lessening the aforementioned intended effect.
- The following line was cut from this episode for length:
- Willow: "Oh! That reminds me. I asked around about Andrew Hoelich, our gymnastic vampire, and apparently he used to like to hang out in Hammersmith Park and pick up grilles! Or, okay, that could be girls."
Pop Culture References
- During this episode, Lily wears a white t-shirt underneath a green sweater. The visible part of the t-shirt says, "Dent" and has a red heart with the words "Home of" visible inside the heart. This is most likely a nod to the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in which a billboard is visible in a graveyard. On the billboard, there is a large red heart with the word "Denton" above it (Denton is the name of the town in which the film takes place) and the phrase "The Home of Happiness" inside it.
- At one point in the battle with Ken's henchmen, Buffy wields both a hammer and a sickle. The factory setting, hard labor and the hammer and sickle not only shows a theme of communism circa 1922 onwards - but more importantly the unification between peasants and workers to reach a better goal, seen here when everyone unites to defeat Ken's men.
- A poster for the band Phish is seen on the wall behind Xander and Willow in The Bronze.
Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors
- During the battle with Ken's henchmen, when one of the extras is thrown off the side, an overhead shot shows him landing on a very visible gymnastic mat.
- After Buffy says "Anyone who's not having fun here, follow me", you can see briefly that her purple undertop has turned green.
- In the hell dimension, Buffy's shoes change from flat-burlap shoes, like Keds, into sport trainers, like Nike's.
- German: Anne - Gefangen in der Unterwelt(Anne - Trapped in the Underworld)
- Bellylove - "Back to Freedom" (Plays as the gang discuss slaying and the absence of Buffy.)
- Christophe Beck - "Deliverance"
- Social issues covered by this episode include teenage runaways and sweatshops.
- Guest star Carlos Jacott who played Ken is one of only five actors to appear on Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. He appeared in "Bachelor Party", the seventh episode of the first season of Angel, and the pilot episode of Firefly.
- Buffy's temporary neighborhood of residence is in the area around 11th Street on the south side of downtown Los Angeles; the intersection where she is hit by a car is the corner of 11th and Broadway, and the leaflets for the Family Home give its address as 1123 S. Hill Street, just around the corner.
- David Boreanaz still appears in the credits despite his character Angel being killed the previous Season. This somewhat gives away the fact that he will be brought back to life. Until then, however, he only appears in Buffy's dreams.
- The demons who run the hell dimension and Family Home are identical to the demons who make up The Scourge in the Angel episode "Hero", differentiated only by color. The demon portrayed by Harley Zumbrum is nearly identical to Trask. Although they appear to be the same breed, it is unclear whether or not there is any affiliation between the two groups.
- The weapon Buffy used during the climax was the Hunga Munga. It was also the weapon of choice for a Lubber Demon in the Angel episode "Happy Anniversary".
- The first of two times in which Buffy refers to herself (or is referred) as "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer". The second time is in Help.
|Giles - "Well, for God's sake, be careful. I mean, I appreciate your efforts to keep the vampire population down until Buffy returns, but if anything should happen to you, you should be hurt or killed, I shall take it somewhat amiss."|
|Oz - Well, it's kind of a funny story. Y'remember when I didn't graduate?|
|Willow - Well I know you had a lot of incompletes but that's what summer school is for.|
|Oz - Yeah, well. Y'remember when I didn't go?|
|Buffy - "I'm Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. And you are?"|
|Xander - "First of all, what was with the acrobatics? How did that happen?"|
|Oz - "Wasn't Andy Hoelich on the gymnastics team?"|
|Xander - "That's right, he was! Cheater!"|
|Xander - "I can't wait to see Cordelia. I can't believe I can't wait to see Cordelia.|
|Willow - "I wonder what our first homework assignment's gonna be. Hey, you're excited over Cordelia, okay? We've all got issues."|
|Oz - "Oh, I don't know. I think we're kinda gettin' a rhythm down."|
|Xander - "We're losing half the vamps."|
|Oz - "Yeah, but... rhythmically."|
|Buffy - "You know, I just - I woke up and I looked in the mirror and I thought, "Hey, what's with all the sin? I need to change. I'm-I'm dirty, I'm-I'm bad with the sex, and the envy, and that-that loud music us kids listen to nowadays. B-" Oh, I just suck at undercover."|
|Lily - "Can I be Anne?"|
|Xander - "You don't hide. You're bait. Go act baity."|
|Cordelia - "What's the plan?"|
|Xander - "The vampire attacks you."|
|Cordelia - "And then what?"|
|Xander - "The vampire kills you. We watch, we rejoice."|
- ↑ Nancy Holder. The Watcher's Guide, Vol. 2, 2000.