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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 5, Episode 12
512 Checkpoint
Air date January 23, 2001
Written by Douglas Petrie
Jane Espenson
Directed by Nick Marck
Episode Guide
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"Triangle"
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"Blood Ties"
Cast
Starring
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Emma Caulfield Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg Dawn
James Marsters Spike
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Guest Starring
Clare Kramer Glory
Charlie Weber Ben
Cynthia Lamontagne Lydia
Oliver Muirhead Phillip
Kris Iyer Nigel
Kevin Weisman Dreg
Troy T. Blendell Jinx
Amber Benson Tara
Harris Yulin Quentin Travers
Kristine Sutherland Joyce Summers
Co Starring
Wesley Mask Professor Roberts
Justin Gorence Orlando
Peter Husmann Mailman
Jack Thomas Council Member #4
John O'Leary Council Member #5
Uncredited
Erik Betts Assassin
Jessica Biscardi Council Member

"Checkpoint" is the twelfth episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the ninetieth episode altogether. It was written by Douglas Petrie and Jane Espenson and directed by Nick Marck. It originally broadcast on January 23, 2001.

The Watchers Council comes to Sunnydale to tell Buffy what they know about Glory, on condition that she proves herself worthy. She refuses to go through their tests and they tell her Glory is a god.

Synopsis

512 Checkpoint1

The Watchers Council inspects The Magic Box.

The Scooby Gang gather at Buffy's house to discuss the Council's plans to come to Sunnydale, which Buffy isn't happy about. She recalls that her two previous experiences with the Council put her life in serious danger, and wishes that they would just give her the information she needs without making the trip to Sunnydale.

Glory is at her place, panting, sweating and in obvious pain. Dreg and another one of her minions rush into the room to her aid, bringing along with them a hysterical mailman. They carry her to the crying man and help her put her fingers to his temples to drain away his all of his sanity. She gets up, refreshed, and the disoriented mailman wanders away. The other demon warns her that she has even less time now to use The Key, but Glory isn't worried. She explains that if Buffy is the only obstacle between her and The Key, she won't need much time at all.

Quentin Travers and a team of Watchers arrive at the Magic Box. They disrupt the business, sending paying customers home, and criticize Giles' handling of merchandise. They announce that the Magic Box will be closed for the duration of the Council's stay in Sunnydale. Giles is frustrated and takes an antagonistic position and then learns that the Council plans on conducting an extensive review of Buffy (her methods, skills, and abilities). Quentin announces that they have information on Glory but won't reveal it until Buffy's skills have been comprehensively tested and she proves she can handle the information.

512 Checkpoint2

Buffy: Oh, you've gotta be kidding me.

In Buffy's history class, the teacher is discussing how Rasputin was considered nearly impossible to kill. Buffy challenges the professor to look at the history from a different angle but he shoots her ideas down with scathing criticism and sarcasm, embarrassing her in front of the entire class. That night, Buffy complains about class to a vampire she's fighting until she is thrown off balance. Spike suddenly appears, flying over a tombstone to tackle and stake the vampire. He expects gratitude from her, but Buffy tells him he is getting in her way. The two then verbally attack each other.

Jinx confronts Ben at the hospital and relays a message from Glory, who wants Ben's assistance in gathering useful information about the Slayer. He accidentally lets slip that the key is a human. Before Jinx can run and tell Glory, Ben beats up the demon. Quentin informs Buffy and Giles that she must pass the review or he will shut down the shop and deport Giles. Buffy and Giles realize that they must cooperate with the Council, which is powerful enough to carry out all its threats. Buffy worries that she may fail, placing everyone in even greater danger.

512 Checkpoint3

Joyce and Spike watch "Passions".

Council members interview the rest of the Scooby Gang, including Spike, for information about the Slayer. Lydia interviews Spike and she reveals she wrote her thesis on him. With the exception of Spike (who declares her to be "slipping" because she "can't keep a man"), they all try not to incriminate Buffy in any way, and each tries to justify his usefulness to her (without making it sound like Buffy actually needs help, of course). In the training room, Buffy is blindfolded and her fighting skills are tested against one of the council members, but she does not pass the test.

Upon returning home, Buffy finds Glory in her living room. After Dawn sees her and departs, Glory openly threatens to kill Buffy's loved ones and friends and force her to watch her do so. Visibly disturbed, Buffy takes Dawn and Joyce to Spike for protection. Although Spike initially protests the sudden increase of "manly responsibilities", he agrees to look after them; after a moment's awkwardness, Joyce and Spike discover their shared addiction to "Passions" and sit down to watch it together.

512 Checkpoint4

Buffy forcefully silences Nigel.

On her way to the shop to meet with the council for a comprehensive review of her plans and strategies, several well-armed men wearing medieval fighting gear attack Buffy. Buffy takes them out and discovers from the last conscious one that they are the Knights of Byzantium and are in town to destroy The Key. They consider her their enemy because she protects The Key.

Buffy returns to the shop and informs Quentin that she is not going to deal with the review anymore. She now knows that she holds power against both Glory and the Council because they both need something from her: Glory needs to know where The Key is, and the Council needs her to make their jobs meaningful. She delivers an authoritative speech justifying the participation of each of her friends and demands that Giles be reinstated as her Watcher (receiving retroactive pay from the month of his dismissal). She finally instructs the Council to give her the information that she needs.

Quentin reluctantly agrees to her terms. He then informs Buffy that Glory isn't a demon.. she's a God.

Continuity

  • In this episode, Anya invents the name "Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins" to give to the Council delegation. Despite the fact that the name is entirely fake, Anya keeps it, as shown by the fact that she sings the full name in the Season Seven episode "Selfless".
  • The karate instructions Buffy is given in Japanese are shoumen ni rei (bow to the front), shoumen-zuki (front punch), and ushiro-geri, empi-uchi (back kick, elbow-strike).
  • This episode sees Giles reinstated into the Council as Buffy's Watcher, and reveals the truth of this season's Big Bad: Glory isn't any ordinary demon, she's a Hellgod.
  • This is the first time Giles is officially Buffy's Watcher since season 3's "Helpless". Additionally, the last time that we saw Quentin Travers was near Buffy's eighteenth birthday; this episode is very close to Buffy's twentieth.
  • It's possible that when they came to Spike's crypt with a crossbow and a cross, the Watchers were either unaware of the chip in Spike's head or were being extra careful.

Body Count

  • One vampire, dusted by Spike

Behind the Scenes

Deleted Scenes

  • Willow had some rhyming fun in this line cut due to length:
Willow: "I didn't create the troll. I didn't date the troll. In fact I hate the troll. I helped deflate the troll."
  • And Anya's false story was a little longer:
Anya: "And when I was seven, I had a pet dachshund that died from choking on a wiener, which I find ironic."

Pop Culture References

  • In Buffy's line to The Watchers Council she makes a reference to the dramatic series "Masterpiece Theatre":

Buffy: "Without a Slayer...you're pretty much just watching Masterpiece Theatre."


  • Spike and Joyce were watching Passions together.

International titles

  • French: L'inspection (The inspection)

Music

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • The woman to whom Giles is speaking when the council arrives is seen leaving the store twice when the council closes it.

Other

  • Until Anya established her own invented name, Buffy Trading Cards listed her last name as "Emerson." However, this is not canon.

Quotes

Joyce - "I love what you've, um, neglected to do with the place."
Quentin - "You're late."
Buffy - "Yeah."
Giles - "Was, was there an attack?"
Buffy - "Yeah."
Quentin - "We can begin the review at last. We'll, uh, skip the more obvious questions. But--"
Buffy - [drops sword in front of Travers] "There isn't going to be a review."
Quentin - "Sorry?"
Buffy - "No review. No interrogation. No questions you know I can't answer. No hoops. No jumps. And no interruptions. See, I've had a lot of people talking at me the last few days. Everyone just lining up to tell me how unimportant I am. And I finally figured out why. Power. I have it. They don't. This bothers them. [pauses] Glory came to my home today."
Giles - "Buffy, are you--"
Buffy - "Just to talk. She told me I'm a bug, I'm a flea, she could squash me in a second. Only she didn't. She came into my home and we talked. We had what in her warped brain probably passes for a civilized conversation. Why? Because she needs something from me. Because I have power over her. You guys didn't come all the way from England to determine whether or not I was good enough to let back in. You came to beg me to let you back in. To give your jobs, your lives some semblance of meaning."
Nigel - "This is beyond insolence--" [sword slams into the post in front of Nigel, who recoils]
Buffy - "I'm fairly certain I said no interruptions."
Xander - [whispers] "That was excellent."
Buffy - "You're Watchers. Without a Slayer, you're pretty much just watching Masterpiece Theater. You can't stop Glory. You can't do anything with the information you have except maybe publish it in the Everyone Thinks We're Insane-Os Home Journal. So here's how it's going to work. You're going to tell me everything you know. And you're going to go away. You'll contact me if and when you have any further information about Glory. The Magic Shop will remain open. Mr. Giles will stay here as my official Watcher reinstated at full salary."
Giles - [fake cough] "Retroactive."
Quentin - "Oh Rupert."
Giles - "Quentin?"
Quentin - "When we inventoried your shop, we found a bottle of single-malt scotch...behind the incense holder."
Giles - (stuttering)"Well it's not for, uh you know, working hours..."
Quentin - "I think I could use a glass."
Buffy - "Just tell me what kind of demon I'm fighting."
Quentin - "Well, that's the thing, you see. Glory isn't a demon."
Buffy - "What is she?"
Quentin - "She's a god."
Buffy - "Oh."

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