|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 helped clean up and discuss the potential danger that was Spike. Wearing a trench coat, like Spike's, Warren coaches Andrew to continue playing his part in the game. Warren explains that because he cannot take corporeal form, Andrew's a crucial player in their "plan". Warren then 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.
Principal Wood lectures two students about damaging school property, convincing them that they're better off cleaning up their mess. Dawn interrupts the meeting by informing him that Buffy's too sick to attend work. Back at the Summers' home, Buffy calls the Watcher's Council, trying to track down Giles, although Quentin Travers informs her they've had little contact with him since he left Sunnydale. He promises to look into the matter, and upon hanging up he tells the group of Watchers in the room that Buffy knows nothing. He adds that they need to find Giles, and quickly. Buffy returns to check on Spike, but, after tasting so much human blood, his thirst was getting hard to control. Although he remains tied to his chair, he vamps out and snaps at Buffy. Outside of the room, Willow offers to get Spike some animal blood to help ease his cravings.
Warren coaches Andrew on killing a pig, but Andrew lets the pig escape. Instead, he resorts to getting the blood they need from a butcher. At the butcher shop, Andrew orders an array of meats and pig's blood, but as he leaves, he literally runs into Willow, spilling his purchases on the ground. He runs from Willow, but she catches up to him. Willow, knowing Andrew believes she is still "evil", takes advantage of the situation and frightens him. She's able to take him back to Buffy's house, pointing out his suspicious behavior and purchase of animal blood to the rest of the group. Xander and Anya interrogate Andrew while tied to a chair, but he's unable to provide any useful information. After Anya slaps Andrew in the face, Xander drags her out of the room, and, behind closed doors, the two rave about how well their performance with Andrew went.
Upstairs, Buffy gives Spike some of the animal blood Willow bought, and it calms him down. He tells Buffy that he still remembers very little, if anything, about his killings. He also explains how he was able to get his soul back, and how he now realizes that Buffy was using him because of her own self-hatred. At that point, after falling in love with her and acquiring a soul, he had come to hate himself.
Xander returns to Andrew and changes his 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 the knowledge out of him. Buffy leaves Spike momentarily to investigate Andrew's cries for help, though Xander and Anya reassure her that all is well. While Buffy is away, the hallucination of Spike reappears and starts to talk to the real Spike. Buffy hears Spike talking and humming a song through the door, and when she opens the door, 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. In the next room, Andrew is finally revealing some information about the Seal of Danzalthar. However, Spike punches through the wall, grabs him, and viciously bites him. Buffy pulls Spike off of Andrew and knocks Spike out with a powerful kick.
Downstairs, Buffy talks to the gang about Spike's strange behavior. 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 is leaving his office, but curiosity gets the best of him, and he goes into the basement. There, he finds Jonathan's body on top of the seal.
Buffy goes down to her basement to clean up Spike's wounds while he lay chained up to a brick wall. While she wipes away the blood, he wakes up, and tells her to kill him, claiming that she has never seen all of what Spike is capable of. Spike also says he was not something she was prepared to handle, and taunts her with details of his past assaults and person insults. However, she is undeterred by his words, and thinks that he's changed; she's not ready to 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 that attacked them. Most of the figures end up 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 Spike 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 discovers that the ghosts haunting them, the games being played on them, and the impending danger that would come from beneath are all connected to the First Evil.
Meanwhile, Watchers report to Quentin about the numerous attacks on the Council around the world. Quentin confirms that the First Evil was responsible, and tell the group to prepare for battle. Seconds later, the Watchers Council headquarters explodes. In the school basement, Spike has been strapped to a wheel and the Bringers are cutting symbols into Spike's chest. The First talks to Spike -- in the shape of himself -- and blames him for the situation he's in. The First then morphs into Buffy and continues taunting Spike as the wheel is raised up to the ceiling, turning him face-first over the symbol on the ground. As Spike's blood falls onto the symbol beneath him, the seal begins to open, 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 Watchers Academy being in Hampshire rather than London, so presumably the organization 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 the Vampire Slayer from this point onward.
- Andrew is also tied up, knocked out, and bitten by a vampire in this episode as nearly every Scooby has.
- Anya refers to Spike's singing with the words "Maybe it's another musical.", relating to the events in "Once More, with Feeling".
- This is the second episode in Season Seven (the other being "Beneath You") to feature an image of Spike being crucified on a cross, foreshadowing that Spike will sacrifice himself in the series finale to close the Hellmouth.
- 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
- Sunnydale, CA
- London, UK
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 and non-corporeal forms; in Ghost, Patrick Swayze appears to Demi Moore in a non-corporeal form similar to Warren/The First.
- 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." The butcher is referencing The Matrix and Andrew's new "look", reminiscent of The Matrix's hero, Neo's, typical dress. 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.
- German: Boten des Bösen (Bringers of Evil)
- French: Le sceau de Danzalthar (The seal of Danzalthar)
- 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 onto the landing, then enters Dawn's bedroom from there. However, as seen in previous episodes, 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."|