|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 7, Episode 14|
|Air date||February 11, 2003|
|Written by||Jane Espenson|
|Directed by||David Grossman|
"The Killer in Me"
"Get It Done"
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Alyson Hannigan|| Willow |
|Special Guest Starring|
|Anthony Stewart Head||Giles|
|Ashanti|| Lissa |
|K. D. Aubert||Nikki|
|D. B. Woodside|| Principal Wood |
"First Date" is the fourteenth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the one hundred thirty-sixth episode altogether. It was written by Jane Espenson and directed by David Grossman. It originally broadcast on February 11, 2003.
Principal Wood asks Buffy out to dinner, to which she accepts partly because she likes him and partly because she is intrigued as to what he really is. Xander also agrees to go out at night with Lissa, a girl he meets at a tool demo somewhere in Sunnydale. Things go very differently for them. Buffy finds out Robin Wood is in fact the son of a Slayer, while Xander's date turns out to be a demon. Willow receives an SOS text message from Xander and she and Spike round up Buffy and Wood to rescue Xander. Wood finds out Spike is a vampire. Later, The First shows itself to Wood in the guise of Nikki Wood, his dead mother, and tells him it was Spike who killed her.
Giles takes the potentials on patrol and tells them how his keen senses saved him from the Bringer in Robson's flat that tried to sneak up on him, not telling them it was actually because the Bringer's shoes squeaked. During his talk, Spike suddenly tackles him due to having been told of the (now proven false) suspicion that he was actually the First. Giles points out that if he was actually the First then no physical attack would have hurt him anyway, and then asks why Spike is not in pain. Buffy, accompanying Spike, tells Giles of the choice the military gave her and how she decided to get the chip removed instead of repaired.
Later Giles confronts Buffy telling her he believed she made the wrong choice in deciding to get the chip removed, as he considers Spike to be too much of a loose cannon. Buffy reminds him the First still controlled him into killing people regardless, but Giles points out the chip may not have been working then and replacing it might have stopped the First from reasserting control. Buffy tells Giles she trusts Spike now that he has a soul, but Giles tells her he thinks she's making bad decisions where Spike is concerned due to their past relationship, reminding her she's putting a lot of lives on the line for him.
At work, Buffy tries to hunt for clues about whether Principal Wood is good or evil in his office. When she is about to open a cabinet, Principal Wood finds her in his office and asks her out to dinner. Back at the house, Buffy expresses mixed feelings about the date, and is unsure over whether she is interested in him. Willow suggests that it would be good for Buffy to "move on." Xander enters and reveals that he too has a date that evening. Upstairs, Buffy is getting dressed for dinner when Spike appears in the hallway, and tells Buffy that he feels fine about her having a date with another man, although Buffy tells him he doesn't have to be noble. The two are on friendly terms with one another.
As Andrew tries to set the timer on the new microwave, he is confronted by the First in the form of Jonathan who tries to persuade him that Buffy and the others don't care about him and will never trust him as he's a murderer, but promises to allow Andrew to survive the coming apocalypse if he helps him by killing all the potentials. Andrew is unwilling to stab them, but the First reminds him that Willow brought a gun into the house and he could use that. Andrew appears thoughtful.
On Buffy's date, she and Wood are jumped by a group of vampires. Buffy slays most of them, and thinks that Wood has set her up until she sees him take out two of the vampires. At the restaurant, Wood reveals that he is a "freelance" demon hunter, and tells her about his mother—that she was the Slayer and was killed when he was four years old, after which he was raised by her Watcher. Buffy is struck by the idea that it is possible for a Slayer to have children. Meanwhile, Xander's date appears to be going well until he learns that she is a demon who has, like other demons, been motivated to work for The First. She ties him up to the wooden structure over the seal in the school basement and sticks a knife between his ribs.
Andrew goes to the First, having retrieved the gun and the First guides him into how to kill the potentials as quickly as possible. Andrew follows along, but also starts to ask questions, like why the First doesn't get Spike to do it since he has a trigger anyway. However, when he asks if the First has any weaknesses, the First realizes Andrew is pumping it for information and that Andrew is wearing a wire; it’s then revealed that Willow, Dawn, Anya, and Kennedy are listening in (as Andrew had proved his loyalty to Buffy by going to them immediately). However it turns out they can only hear Andrew speaking, meaning the First can’t be recorded. The First, angry at being tricked, shows Andrew the knife that he plunged into Jonathan's stomach, stating that Jonathan is going to spend the rest of eternity in pain because of what Andrew did while starting to make the vision of Jonathan decompose. The First then appears to Willow and the others, still disguised as the disfigured Jonathan, promising they will all die before vanishing.
Immediately after the First leaves, Willow receives a text message with a help code from Xander. Spike offers to go fetch Buffy. He finds her at the restaurant with Wood in a slightly romantic moment, and they all rush out to rescue Xander, driving in Wood's car, the three of them awkwardly together with Spike in the backseat. When they get to the seal beneath the school, they fight and kill the demon woman and find Xander not too badly hurt. They prevent the seal from opening again, but during the course of the fight, Wood finds out that Spike is a vampire and that Buffy cares about him very much, making him uneasy.
Later at the house, Giles and Spike aren't happy that Andrew and Willow tried to record the First because of the danger however Dawn compliments Andrew on his bravery in standing up to it. When Spike asks why the First didn't just go to him since he has a trigger, Andrew replies that the First stated it wasn’t time for Spike. Giles declares it’s time for the gang to stop messing around doing things like going on dates. After adding that they need to get rid of the gun, he then says they should figure out a plan of action.
Later Spike tells Buffy that as The First is not ready to use him yet, he will leave town. Buffy tells Spike not to leave because she isn't ready for him not to be there.In the final scene of the episode, The First shows itself to Wood in the guise of his dead mother (although Wood isn't fooled for a second, and is well aware that it's the First), and it is revealed that she is actually the second Slayer that Spike killed in New York. Wood thanks the First for the information, and starts to think about his next move.
- When Willow and Buffy discuss her upcoming date with Principal Wood, Buffy asks "Why does everybody in this house think I'm still in love with Spike?" Although neither Willow nor Buffy herself seem to notice (or at least not consciously admitting they both - obviously in own way - grew fond of the vampire), the Slayer has tacitly implied that she WAS in love with him, something that she has never actually admitted to before. On the other hand, perhaps Buffy does notice, since near the end of the episode she will admit to Spike that her reasons for wanting him to stay are personal as well as "professional."
- When Buffy and Anya talk in the bathroom, Anya says a red stain on Buffy's shirt could be blood "or it might be pizza." Dawn actually spilled pizza sauce on this top in Conversations with Dead People, and assured herself that Buffy would just mistake it for blood.
- When Buffy and Spike are talking on the landing Spike references picket fences, later saying "Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous." Buffy previously staked a vampire with a picket fence in "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date".
- When Giles and the Scoobies were walking in the graveyard, there was a gravestone clearly marked "Snyder", which is a possible reference to Principal Snyder. Being eaten by giant snake Major Wilkins, who was then destroyed by Xander’s huge explosives, it's very unlikely there were some of his remains to bury.
- As Xander himself points out, Lissa was only the latest of several demonic women who have been drawn to him. Her predecessors included Natalie French, Ampata Gutierrez and Anya. Even Xander's Sunnydale High girlfriend Cordelia Chase ended up becoming part demon (although the Scoobies may not have been aware of this).
- The flash cards Giles shows Chao-Ahn are similar to the ones he used in order to communicate information about the Gentlemen.
- Spike claimed that Anya said Giles was the First. Anya and the rest of the Scoobies later disproved theory, but apparently neglected to update Spike.
- Spike's painless attack of Giles revealed to the rest of the Scoobies that Buffy decided to have his chip removed.
- Andrew was setting up a new microwave in the Summers house kitchen. The microwave was destroyed when Dawn was visited by The First in "Conversations with Dead People". Andrew had previously wondered about getting a new one when he wanted to make popcorn.
- Amanda still has a scar from the cut she received in "Potential".
- Buffy kept the gun used by Willow from "The Killer in Me", which Andrew recovered from her underwear drawer.
- In this episode Jonathon (as The First) plans a gun massacre, just as he was suspected of doing in the episode "Earshot".
- One Harbinger of Death, beheaded by Giles
- Three vampires, dusted by Buffy
- Two vampires, dusted by Robin Wood
- Lissa, beheaded by Buffy
Behind the Scenes
- K.D. Aubert portrays Nikki Wood in this episode (and in "Lies My Parents Told Me"). Nikki was originally portrayed by April Weeden-Washington in "Fool For Love".
- The clip of the first vampire stepping into the alley was footage recycled from the teaser of The Gift.
- Wood confirms that he grew up in Beverly Hills:
- Buffy: "In Beverly Hills."
- Wood: "See now, that detail takes the edge off my Little Orphan Robin story, but yeah, that was true."
- Xander asked Lissa a very logical question:
- Xander: "Did you hatch out of a praying mantis egg in the old high school?"
Pop Culture References
- During Xander's monologue about turning gay, he makes a reference to fantasizing about Scott Bakula. Andrew then dreamily remarks "Captain Archer..." a reference to Star Trek: Enterprise, which was also airing on UPN at the time.
- Buffy says she'll be home watching a reality show "about a millionaire," which could be a reference to "Joe Millionaire," a reality show that was airing at the time of the episode's broadcast. The show was similar in format to "The Bachelor," with a man choosing a potential future wife from among a number of women, but the twist was that the man was presented as a millionaire despite having only a meager job.
Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors
- Principal Wood expressed surprise when Spike was revealed to be a vampire. Earlier, while driving, he seemed to glance at Spike in the car's rear-view mirror. This appears to be a production oversight, as it is established earlier in the series that vampires, even with souls, cast no reflection.
- Buffy mentioned Giles picking up Chao-Ahn from China in "Potential." Since Giles had returned by "The Killer in Me," he had presumably already brought her back, so she was likely on the desert retreat with the other potentials. Thus, his remark about her to "take note" seems to come a bit late.
- Spike claimed that Anya said Giles was the First, but no such discussion was shown and very little time passed between the original suspicion and when it was disproved.
- Principal Wood mentioned to Buffy that he went through a whole "avenging son" phase in his twenties, giving the impression he was at least over 30 years old. However, given that he was born sometime after June 24, 1973 (which was his mother's 18th birthday, and she was still pregnant with him on that date), then he was 29 at the time this episode takes place.
- It's highly unreasonable that Wood hadn't found out that Spike killed his mother, given that Spike used to brag about it constantly and there was even literature on the subject.
- In this episode D.B. Woodside plays a man tempted into darkness by The First Evil. In the series 'Lucifer' he plays an Angel trying to tempt the Devil back into hell.
- German: Das erste Date (The first Date)
- French: Rendez-vous dangereux (Dangerous date)
|Willow - "We have this system we set up a while back. Like codes. This one's either 'I just got lucky; don't call me for a while' or 'my date's a demon who's trying to kill me'."|
|Kennedy - "You don't remember which?"|
|Willow - "It was a long time ago!"|
|Dawn - "Well, if we play the percentages..."|
|Giles - "Something's eating Xander's head."|
|Anya - "Say, that's gratifying."|
|Spike - "Anya said you were the First. Said you were evil. You're supposed to be all go-through-able."|
|Giles - "Then what the hell did you tackle me for, you berk? What's that supposed to do?"|
|Spike - "I, uh, I didn't think of that."|
|Spike - "Heard you got a date."|
|Buffy - "Well, it's unclear. I mean, I have this whole theory about a promotion. Or he's evil."|
|Spike - "Buffy, I'm all right."|
|Buffy - "You don't have to..."|
|Spike - "What? Be noble? I'm not. Really, I'm all right. Think I still dream of a crypt for two with a white picket fence? My eyes are clear."|
|Buffy - "Good. I'm glad. Thank you."|
|Spike - "Never much cared for picket fences, anyway. Bloody dangerous."|
|Willow - "What happened?"|
|Xander - "What do you think happened? Another demon woman was attracted to me. I'm going gay. I've decided I'm turning gay. Willow, gay me up. Come on, let's gay."|
|Willow - "What?"|
|Xander - "You heard me. Just tell me what to do. I'm mentally undressing Scott Bakula right now. That's a start, isn't it?"|
|Andrew Wells - [wistfully] "Captain Archer..."|
|Xander - "Come on, let's get this gay show on the gay road. Help me out here."|
|Buffy - "What if you just start attracting male demons?"|
|Dawn - "Clem always liked you."|
|Spike - "Did anybody tell you about what happened around here tonight?"|
|Buffy - "Willow did. The First is back in the mix."|
|Spike - "It, uh, it talked to the little boy. Said it wasn't time for me yet. I should move out. Leave town before it is time for me."|
|Buffy - "No, you have to stay."|
|Spike - "You've got another demon fighter now."|
|Buffy - "That's not why I need you here."|
|Spike - "Is that right? Why's that then?"|
|Buffy - "'Cause I'm not ready for you to not be here."|
|Spike - (looks at her a moment)"And the Principal? How's he fit in?"(Buffy looks at him a moment, then Spike looks away)|