|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 7, Episode 9|
|Air date||November 26, 2002|
|Written by||Drew Goddard|
|Directed by||David Solomon|
"Bring on the Night"
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Alyson Hannigan|| Willow |
|Harris Yulin||Quentin Travers|
|D. B. Woodside|| Principal Wood |
|Roberto Santos|| Grimes |
"Never Leave Me" is the ninth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the one hundred thirty-first episode altogether. It was written by Drew Goddard and directed by David Solomon. It originally broadcast on November 26, 2002.
Xander works to repair the living room window while Dawn, Willow, and Anya help clean up and discuss the potential danger that is Spike. Wearing a trench coat like Spike's, Andrew is coached by Warren to continue playing his part in the game. Warren explains that because he can't take corporeal form, Andrew is a crucial player and then he morphs into Jonathan to continue the encouragement. Andrew stresses that he can't kill anymore, but Jonathan doesn't consider that to be a problem. Buffy tries to offer comforting words to Spike while she ties him down to a chair. He just instructs her to tie the rope tighter so he can't get free.
Principal Wood lectures two students about damaging school property and ultimately threatens the students into repairing their mistake. Dawn drops by his office and informs him that Buffy is sick and unable to attend work. Buffy calls Quentin Travers and asks about Giles, but he's just as clueless as she is. He's with a group of Watchers and informs them that they need to find Giles quickly. Buffy checks on Spike, but he's struggling to control his blood lust after tasting so much human blood. He vamps and snaps at her, but remains tied to the chair. Buffy and Willow talk about Spike outside the room and Willow offers to get him some animal blood to help ease his cravings.
Warren coaches Andrew on killing a pig, but Andrew fails horribly and resorts to going to the butcher shop to get the blood that they need. At the butcher shop, Andrew orders an array of meats and pig's blood, but as he's leaving, he literally runs into Willow and spills his purchases on the ground. Noticing Willow has seen the blood, Andrew runs from her, but she catches up with him and uses his assumption that she's evil to frighten him. She takes him back to Buffy's house with her, pointing out his suspicious behavior and purchase of animal blood to the rest of the group. Xander and Anya interrogate Andrew while he's tied to a chair, but he doesn't have any answers they want to hear. Anya snaps and slaps Andrew before Xander pulls her out of the room.
Upstairs, Buffy feeds Spike some of the animal blood Willow bought as Anya and Xander meet in the bathroom to rave about their performance with Andrew. They compliment each other about their strategies, Buffy joins them and although none of them have information yet, they're sure they'll get some soon. Back in the bedroom, Spike is calmed and talks to Buffy about how little he remembers about his killing. She asks about how he got his soul and he tells her about his extensive efforts. He explains how he now understands that she used him in attempts to deal with her own self-hatred. Also, now after falling in love with her and acquiring a soul, he has come to hate himself.
Xander returns to Andrew and changes tactic to politeness. He unties Andrew and offers him water while using Anya's ability to hurt men as a threat. Anya comes charging in and attacks Andrew, intending to beat his knowledge out of him. Buffy leaves Spike momentarily to investigate Andrew's cries for help, but leaves as soon as Anya and Xander assure her they have things under control. When she leaves, the morphy version of Spike appears and starts to talk to the real Spike. Buffy hears Spike talking through the door to her room and when she goes back inside, she finds him acting different. He asks for blood, but as soon as she turns away, he breaks free from his chair and knocks her down. While Andrew leans against a wall and starts to talk to Anya about what he knows in the next room over, Spike punches through the wall, grabs Andrew, and viciously bites him.
Buffy pulls Spike off of Andrew and knocks Spike out with a powerful kick. Buffy talks to the gang about Spike's strange behavior and based on Buffy's information, Xander concludes that some sort of evil is using a trigger to activate Spike's killer instincts. Buffy instructs the gang to begin researching so they can figure out what they're dealing with. At the high school, Principal Wood leaves his office, but detours through the basement where he finds Jonathan's dead body on top of the seal.
Buffy goes down to the basement to clean up Spike's wounds while he lies chained up to a brick wall. He wakes up and doesn't understand why he has no memory of his actions. He orders her to kill him because she doesn't know what the real Spike is like and it's not something she's prepared to handle. He taunts her with some of the evil actions of his past. Again, he rails at her about her feelings and accuses her of needing pain from men, but she doesn't let his verbal assault rattle her. She claims to believe in him and thinks that he's changed and she shouldn't give up on him yet.
Suddenly, the windows and doors break all over the house as robed figures attack the Scooby Gang. In a deserted location, Principal Wood buries Jonathan's body. The gang fights a vicious battle with the robed figures attacking them. Dawn handles herself pretty well with a couple of them while Buffy chases one upstairs and protects Andrew from being killed. Most of the robed figures are disabled or killed, but they didn't come for Buffy and the gang; they came for Spike.
Down in the basement, Buffy and Xander find that Spike's chains are empty and he's nowhere to be seen. Buffy recognizes the faces of the robed figures as Harbingers of Death (aka "Bringers") working for the First Evil, the entity that attempted to coerce Angel into killing himself in "Amends". She then realizes that the ghosts haunting them, the games being played on them, and the impending danger that will come from beneath are all connected to the First Evil.Watchers report to Quentin about the numerous attacks on the Council around the world. Quentin confirms that the First Evil is responsible and orders the Watchers to prepare for their greatest challenge. Seconds later, the Watchers Council headquarters explodes. In the school basement, Spike is strapped to circular contraption and the Bringers cut designs into Spike's skin. The First talks to Spike and blames him for this happening to him. The First morphs into Buffy and she talks as she watches the contraption and Spike raise up to the ceiling and turning Spike face-first over the symbol on the ground. Spike's blood falls onto the symbol beneath him, opening it and as the First explains, allowing a real vampire to emerge.
- The headquarters of the Watchers Council was destroyed, killing many of the Watchers, including Lydia, Nigel, Phillip and Quentin Travers. It is later revealed that Caleb was responsible. However Wesley refers to the Watcher's Academy being in Hampshire rather than London so presumably the organisation is not entirely destroyed.
- The first Turok-Han vampire is released by the First and will be a major threat against Buffy for a few episodes.
- Andrew will appear in every episode of Buffy from this point onwards. He is tied up, knocked out and bitten by a vampire in this episode as nearly every Scooby has.
- When the Bringers attack the house Buffy and Dawn use the same fighting move at the same time, implying the Summer's sister link.
- One Harbinger of Death, killed by Xander
- Two Harbingers of Death, killed by Buffy with a dagger
- Quentin Travers, killed in the bomb explosion by Caleb
- Lydia, killed in the bomb explosion by Caleb
- Phillip, killed in the bomb explosion by Caleb
- Nigel, killed in the bomb explosion by Caleb
- Unidentified watchers, killed in the bomb explosion by Caleb
Behind the Scenes
- This was the last episode to feature Harris Yulin as Quentin Travers. It was aired on the same night as Yulin's first appearance on 24.
- Willow's enormous powers, even if she is not fully in control of them, forced the writers to figure out a way to keep her from being part of every fight. Here, she is immediately knocked unconscious when the Bringers attack. The same plot device is used in "Get It Done".
- This line where Xander plays the good cop was cut due to length:
- Xander: "I know. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I get that. But they don't. They need your answers. It does seem suspicious, you know, you buying the blood."
- Andrew: "That blood wasn't for me. I was just buying meat."
Pop Culture References
- The title is derived from the refrain from the English folk song "Early One Morning," which is also the subliminal trigger that causes Spike to kill people - overriding both his soul and the pain chip implanted in his brain.
- Andrew references the 1990 film Ghost when he talks to the First in the guise of Warren about corporeal forms, in Ghost Patrick Swayze appears to Demi Moore in corporeal form, hence the relevance.
- Andrew and the First in the guise of Warren again provide us with no end of Star Wars references.
- As Andrew jumps to kill the piglet, he shouts "That'll do, pig," a famous line from the movie Babe.
- When Andrew is at the butcher shop, the butcher says "This is a butcher shop, Neo, we don't sell toothpaste," a reference to The Matrix and Andrew's new "look." The scene itself may be patterned after a convenience-store scene from the 1973 film American Graffiti in which a teenager tries to buy alcohol by slipping it into a list of unrelated items, much as Andrew attempts to deflect attention from his buying blood.
- The Bible passage quoted by Travers before his death is Proverbs 24:6.
- Quentin Travers makes a reference to a speech by Winston Churchill on September 9, 1941. He was paraphrasing the final two lines of the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley with these lines: "We are still masters of our fate. We are still captains of our souls."
- When Xander is explaining what is happening to Spike, he says, "Trigger," and Anya responds, "The horse?" This is a reference to Trigger the Horse, famous from American Western films.
- Robert Duncan - original score
Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors
- When Buffy leaves her bedroom to check on Xander and Anya she walks out of her bedroom and into the landing, then enters Dawn's bedroom from there. However there is a door connecting their two bedrooms.
- It is revealed that Buffy's basement has a cellar door. This was never seen when Xander and Cordelia were stuck in it in "What's My Line, Part Two" and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", in which they were hiding from the Bug Man and fleeing from a love-obsessed mob, respectively. It is likely that it was bolted shut.
- This episode is Spike-centric.
- In classic Whedonesque irony, The Watchers Council is wiped out right as they come to the conclusion of their series-long arc. Just as they realize out is their duty to provide the Slayer with support, rather than tell her what to do from afar with no regard for her personal safety, and are about to travel to Sunnydale to finally assume their intended role, they are destroyed.
|Buffy - "He's been feeding on humans for weeks. Having some pretty bad withdrawal. I think we need to get him some blood."|
|Willow - "Want me to kill Anya?"|
|The First - "I was going to bleed Andrew, but you look a lot better with your shirt off."|
|Xander - "Usually the operative completes his task and either blows his head off or steals a submarine."|