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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 4, Episode 11
411 Doomed
Air date January 18, 2000
Written by Marti Noxon
David Fury
Jane Espenson
Directed by James A. Contner
Episode Guide
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"Hush"
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"A New Man"
Cast
Starring
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Marc Blucas Riley
James Marsters Spike
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Guest Starring
Leonard Roberts Forrest
Bailey Chase Graham
Ethan Erickson Percy
Co Starring
Anastasia Horne Laurie
Anthony Anselmi Partier

"Doomed" is the eleventh episode of the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the sixty-seventh episode altogether. It was written by Marti Noxon, David Fury, and Jane Espenson and directed by James A. Contner. It originally broadcast on January 18, 2000.

An earthquake hits Sunnydale, signifying yet another Apocalypse. The gang must return to the remains of Sunnydale High to stop it. Buffy and Riley struggle with each other's secrets.

Synopsis

411 Doomed1

An earthquake hits Sunnydale.

Buffy and Riley finally talk. As much as Riley wants to tell Buffy who he really is, he can't, but Buffy is able to guess based on the evidence of the past several weeks. Riley is amazed by her talents and abilities, but when she confesses that she's the Slayer, he doesn't know what that is. An earthquake hits; though mild, the memory of the last earthquake in Sunnydale (which was a portent of her death) disturbs Buffy.

As Xander cleans up some of the earthquake damage, he informs Spike that if he's going to live there, he'll have to do some of the housework. Spike gets angry and tries to hit Xander over the head with a wrench while his back is turned, but has to stop due to the pain in his head. Willow checks in with Buffy and informs her of the aftershock party that is taking place in one of the dorm buildings that lost power. Buffy goes to Giles, fearing that the world is going to come to an end, but he dismisses her ideas telling her that earthquakes are a normal Southern California occurrence. He then changes the subject to tracking down the commandos, telling Buffy that based on their information it seems that the base is below UC Sunnydale and that other students may be involved. Buffy gets very uncomfortable with the topic and tries to discuss the earthquake more, but Giles once again shrugs off her concerns.

Riley pumps Forrest for information on the Slayer, which Forrest thinks is just a myth that monsters made up. In fact, the demons themselves are explained away as being simple animals. A demon goes berserk and attacks Riley and Forrest. They manage to subdue it and wonder at the strange activity their demonic captives have been exhibiting since the earthquake.

411 Doomed2

The lights come back on.

At the party, Willow sees Percy, whom she tutored in high school. The girl he is with, Laurie, has a problem with Willow talking to Percy and suggests that they go somewhere else. Meanwhile, a guy mixing drinks in one of the dorm rooms has his throat slit by a large demon. Later, Willow overhears a conversation between Percy and Laurie where Percy calls Willow "captain of the nerd squad" to soothe his girl. Depressed, Willow goes into one of the dorm rooms to lie on a bed, but when the lights come back on, she finds herself next to the body that was mutilated by the demon, who has carved onto the dead boy's chest a pyramid with an eye in the center.

411 Doomed3

Buffy: "Limbs with talons, eyes like knives, bane to the blameless, thief of lives."

Xander finds Spike wearing Xander's Hawaiian shirt and shorts because he shrunk his own clothes. When Spike tries to get temperamental, Xander quickly loses his temper and tears Spike down verbally, harshly telling him that no one is scared of him anymore and that he's not even worth the effort to pummel, before simply walking away.

Riley shoots baskets with Forrest and broods about Buffy when Graham walks in and tells them about the murder. Riley orders the others to report to Professor Walsh, while he checks the situation out himself.

Willow fills everyone in about the body she found, and about Percy talking bad about her. After she shows everyone the symbol carved into the student's chest, Giles says it is definitely the end of the world again. Buffy hunts down this demon, and finds it at a mausoleum where it's collecting the bones of a small child. She fights with the demon, but it escapes and she runs into Riley. He tries to talk to her, to convince her to give a relationship between them a chance, but because of all the pain in her past, and the problems she's certain it would cause, she tells him no.

Research leads them to find that the demon needs the blood of a man, the bones of a child, and the Word of Valios to perform a ritual called the Sacrifice of Three, which will destroy the world. Riley talks to his team and sends them out to find and kill the demon. Fed up with his pathetic life, Spike tries to kill himself by falling on a stake, but Willow and Xander walk in, distracting him and making him miss the stake. Pitying him, Willow insists that they take him along, and Xander reluctantly agrees, if only to keep Spike from trashing his room any further. Spike, however, is ecstatic over the news that another apocalypse is coming.

411 Doomed4

Spike prepares to stake himself.

Out on patrol, Buffy runs into Riley again and Riley resumes their earlier conversation. He tells Buffy that she needs to be more positive, to not look for the bad in the situation. He tells her he doesn't care about her past and begs her to just take a chance on him, but she continues to refuse. Meanwhile, at the library, Willow and Xander search for the Word of Valios, while an unappreciative Spike cheers himself up by verbally tearing them down, taunting them over Xander's lack of direction and Willow's inability to get Oz to stay, as well as their seeming uselessness to Buffy, insisting that they are merely "groupies" whom Buffy doesn't have the heart to turn away and that Buffy would be a much better Slayer without constantly having to watch out for them. Though Willow and Xander protest his words as being untrue, it's clear that Spike struck a nerve.

411 Doomed5

Spike discovers that he can hurt demons.

Giles discovers that the Word of Valios is actually a talisman that he has in his possession. The demons, however, have already made their way into his apartment and beat him up badly before taking the talisman. The gang find Giles and then head off to the high school after he informs them that the ritual is to open the Hellmouth.

The gang head back to Sunnydale High School, now nothing more than a burnt-out shell. After walking through the black corridors (and stepping around piles of charred "Mayor meat"), the gang makes it to the crater that used to be the library where three demons are performing the ritual. A fight breaks out, and then one of the demons jumps into the Hellmouth, revealing that the demons themselves are the sacrifice for the ritual.

Another demon attacks Spike, and after several hits, he finally hits back. There's no pain in his head, and he realizes he can hurt demons. Ecstatic over this revelation, Spike promptly beats the demon senseless and, caught up in the excitement, throws it into the Hellmouth before being knocked out by falling debris. While the rest of the gang escape the soon-to-be-falling building, Riley shows up to help Buffy fight. The third demon makes its way into the Hellmouth and Buffy goes in after it. Thanks to a cable and hook Riley attached to her belt, Buffy is pulled out of the Hellmouth along with the third demon. The world is saved again.

Afterwards, Riley tries to keep up his secret identity, but Buffy's friends pretty much know who he is by his clothes, while Spike conceals his identity by posing as a "friend of Xander's" with a bad American accent. The next day, Buffy goes to Riley's dorm, where he says how upset he is at himself for allowing her and her friends to find out about him. Telling him that everything will be okay, she kisses him.

Back at Xander's basement, Spike, eager for another brawl, tries to convince Willow and Xander to go out demon hunting rather than sit and watch television, but they are too disturbed by his overly-excited attitude.

Continuity

  • During the fight in the library the book cage can be seen hanging above the demon in one frame. The floor has been blown away, cutting into the earth, making the base of the library lower than that of what it was during the first three seasons.
  • Spike learns that his chip doesn't prevent him from hurting demons. This marks the beginning of Spike fighting evil alongside the Scoobies, albeit for different motives.
  • Buffy flipped herself off the ground and accidentally tried to punch Riley, believing him to be a demon. Riley easily blocked the punch. This situation happened exactly the same between them in "Real Me".
  • In this episode we also learn the Slayer myth appears in Medieval folklore, as a story demons tell to their young to scare them into behaving, similar to the boogeyman in human parlance.
  • This is the first time we have seen the ruins of Sunnydale High after the school was destroyed.
  • Xander steps in something odd while walking in Sunnydale High, explaining it as "Mayor meat—extra crispy," referring to Richard Wilkins.
  • The trophy that Amy Madison's mother is trapped in can be seen on the floor as the Scoobies walk through the halls.
  • Buffy briefly alludes to Faith, but not by name, mentioning she is in a coma because she had "so much fun on the job". This could possibly foreshadow Faith's return to the series, four episodes later in "This Year's Girl".
  • Xander is back working fast food in between construction jobs, this time delivering pizzas. Prior to "Pangs" it was mentioned he had worked at Hot Dog on a Stick.
  • Buffy explains the difference between herself and Riley is that he treats demon hunting as a job, while for Buffy, it is her destiny. This echoes Buffy's conversation with Kendra at the end of "What's My Line, Part Two" in season 2, in which Buffy's role was reversed and Kendra lectured Buffy about not treating slaying like a job because it is who she is. In the two years since that conversation, Buffy's experience has forced her to more readily reconcile her identity with that of being the Slayer.
  • This is the first appearance of Percy since Graduation Day, Part Two.
  • The Earthquake frighten Buffy, remembering that an precedent Earthquake in Prophecy Girl, announced her first death.

Body Count

  • A partier, sacrificed by a Vahrall demon
  • a Vahrall demon, jumped into the Hellmouth
  • a Vahrall demon, pushed by Spike into the Hellmouth
  • a Vahrall demon, pulled by Buffy from the Hellmouth

Behind the Scenes

Production

  • Marc Blucas is added to the opening credits starting with this episode.
  • Much of Anthony Stewart Head's dialog has been very noticeably re-dubbed in this episode. This is most noticeable in the scene where Buffy first asks Giles about the earthquake - the lip-sync is off and the audio is far too clean in comparison to Sarah Michelle Gellar's.

Deleted Scenes

  • This dialogue was cut due to length:
Xander: "Look at you! You have knees! Very white knees!"
Spike: "Damn things keep doing that."
Xander: "You know I'm not any happier about you wearing my stuff than you are."
Spike: "That cannot be true. Don't know how you let yourself be seen in this... Wanker-wear."

Pop Culture References

  • When Riley asked Forrest if he knew what a Slayer was, he first thought it was about the metal band.
This misdirection was again made by Fred in the Angel ep. "Spin the Bottle".
  • Forrest says Riley is from Smallville, a Superman reference.
  • Buffy askes Riley if now "is the time for Donkey Kong" the video game.

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • The dorm party is shown to be held at night, but during the intercut scene of Spike and Xander, daylight is coming in through the window.
  • During a wide shot of a fight between Xander and one of the Vahrall demons, James Marsters is seen in the background with his vampire make-up on as another Vahrall demon grabs him, and when the camera cuts closer, he is without his vampire make-up.

International titles

  • French: La fin du monde (The end of the world)
  • German: Das Opfer der Drei (The sacrifice of the Three)

Music

Quotes

Willow - "It just made me feel like I was right back in high school."
Xander - "Dumb jock! If it wasn't for you he still would be."
Willow - "I mean, I know the - Percy thing isn't really important, it's the - dead guy on the bed."
Xander - "Yeah, that's bad, too."
Riley - "I was trained in sneaking and stuff and I'm like 'Paintball. Just passing through.' Could I be any more obvious? I should've just got out my security code and rank."
Buffy - "You have a security code and rank?"
Riley - " ... No."
Buffy - "I thought a professional demon chaser like yourself would've figured it out by now. I'm the Slayer. Slay-er. Chosen One. She-who-hangs-out-a-lot-in-cemeteries? You're kidding. Ask around. Look it up: "Slayer, comma the."
Giles - "It's the end of the world."
Buffy, Willow, and Xander - "Again?"
Buffy - "I told you. I said end of the world. And you're like, "Pooh-pooh, Southern California, pooh-pooh."
Giles - "I'm so very sorry. My contrition completely dwarfs the impending apocalypse."
Buffy - "Fun? The last person I know that believed that is in a coma right now because she had so much fun on the job."
Spike - "What's this? Sitting around watching the telly while there's evil still afoot? That's not very industrious of you. I say we go out there and kick a little demon ass! What, can't go without your Buffy, is that it? Too chicken? Let's find her! She is the Chosen One after all. Come on! Vampires! Grrr! Nasty! Let's annihilate them. For justice, and for... the safety of puppies... and Christmas, right? Let's fight that evil! Let's kill something! Oh, come on!"
Xander - "Think of the happy. If we don't find what we're looking for, we face an apocalypse."
Spike - "Really? You're not just saying that?"
Spike - "You want me to tear this place apart, you bloody poof?"
Xander - "That's it! I am way past through with you! Hate to break it to you, O Impotent One, but you're not the Big Bad any more. You're not even the Kinda Naughty! You're nothing but a waste of space. My space! And as much as I always got a big laugh watching Buffy kick your shiny, white bum, and as much as I know I can give you a little bum-kicking myself right now, I'm here to tell you something... You're not even worth it."

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