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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 7, Episode 20
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Air date May 6, 2003
Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner
Directed by David Solomon
Episode Guide
previous
"Empty Places"
next
"End of Days"
Cast
Starring
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Emma Caulfield Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg Dawn
James Marsters Spike
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Special Guest Starring
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Eliza Dushku Faith
Nathan Fillion Caleb
Guest Starring
Tom Lenk Andrew
Iyari Limon Kennedy
Sarah Hagan Amanda
Harry Groener Mayor Wilkins
D. B. Woodside Principal Wood
Co Starring
Felicia Day Vi
Dania Ramirez Caridad
Lisa Ann Cabasa Injured Girl
Lance E. Nichols Middle-Aged Man
Uncredited
Kristy Wu Chao-Ahn
Alex Baik Demon
Bruno Gioiello Captured Bringer

"Touched" is the twentieth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the one hundred forty-second episode altogether. It was written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner and directed by David Solomon. It originally broadcast on May 6, 2003.

A depressed Buffy is comforted by Spike while the Scoobies capture and interrogate a Bringer. Faith decides on a plan.

Synopsis

With Buffy gone, the rest of the gang sit around and debate how they're going to deal now that they don't have Buffy making decisions for them. In the midst of their debating and arguing, the power goes out and Faith concludes the power company has left town and taken the power with them. Meanwhile, Buffy watches as people load up their cars and plan to escape the city, then breaks into a house in search of a place to stay. The owner is still there, but Buffy quietly convinces him it's a smart idea to leave town because nothing in Sunnydale belongs to any of them anymore.

Andrew talks incessantly to Spike while the vampire impatiently waits for the sun to go down again. Worried about Buffy, Spike temporarily gets Andrew to shut up and they continue to wait. Down in the Summers' basement, Faith and the others talk about their plan and their enemies. Kennedy pushes for a say in decisions, but Faith steps up and makes it very clear that now that Buffy's gone, she's the leader they all voted for and they all need to accept that, and Kennedy reluctantly backs off. Faith decides they should go after the Bringers to attempt to gain information about The First or Caleb from one of them. Kennedy walks alone down an alley until a Bringer steps out of the shadows and tries to attack her. The Bringer is ambushed by the rest of the Scooby gang and taken as a captive. Back at the house, they find that the Bringer is without a tongue. Dawn suggests a spell she read about in an old Turkish text that would allow them to communicate with the Bringer.

Andrew and Spike return and when Spike asks about where Buffy is and when she will return, Willow tries to explain with an embellished version of what happened the previous night. Spike is not convinced that Buffy would "take a time off" during an apocalypse and realizes that the others turned their back on Buffy by kicking her out. Furious over their betrayal, he snaps at them for being ungrateful to Buffy after all that she has done for them. When an unimpressed Faith interrupts his speech, Spike loses his temper and physically attacks her, going so far as to taunt her, claiming that she has always been jealous of Buffy's life and demanding to know where Buffy has gone. After admitting she doesn't know, Faith stands prepared to continue, but Spike has lost interest. Spike then steps outside to catch her trail with his vampire ability to catch scent. He goes in search of Buffy.

In the basement, Willow uses a spell to get the Bringer to talk while Kennedy, Giles, Xander, and Andrew sit around waiting. Andrew begins to talk whilst the group wonders if the spell worked, but they soon realize that he's speaking for the Bringer. Andrew explains that the Bringers are everywhere preparing for battle, taunting them until Giles becomes angry and slashes the throat of the Bringer, breaking his spell on Andrew, who complains that beheading the Bringer instead of ending the spell magically could have led to his (Andrew's) death.

Spike finds Buffy curled up in a bed at the house she broke into, noticing that Sunnydale has gone to hell, explaining that he didn't need an invitation. He tells her about the Vineyard and what they found. She was right, but Buffy doesn't seem to care anymore and is ready to give up. Spike tries to convince her that she shouldn't listen to what they said, reminding her of everything that ever happened, but she never gave up.

Giles and Faith look over a map as they plan to begin a search through the sewers for the Bringer's hideout and decide to attack there the next day. As Giles leaves, the First in the Mayor's form appears to Faith. She knows what he is and isn't fazed, but he prods anyway, praising her for kicking Buffy out and warning that Buffy is a dangerous threat.

Meanwhile Spike works to convince an exhausted Buffy that she is still needed. Buffy talks about how she detached herself from the Potentials and how detaching herself from people is something she's done for as long as she's been the Slayer. Spike talks about his feelings for her, and how much he admires her. He tells her that he had always thought he was evil until he met her. He tells her that as difficult as everything has been the one thing that he was always sure of was her. He tells her that she is the one. Spike then professes his true love for Buffy and starts to leave, but Buffy asks him to stay and just hold her.

Robin interrupts Faith's chat with the First and they start to talk about the First's visits with both of them and the effect it had. The two express their apprehension about the coming battle, then Faith takes things in a different direction and they kiss and tumble onto the bed.

Willow returns to her room to find Kennedy waiting for her and all of the other Potentials gone from the room. They kiss, but Willow breaks it up, worried that if they let things go too far, she will lose the self-control that she has been working for and something bad may happen. Kennedy convinces her that everything will be okay and she will "anchor" Willow, then the two get back to kissing. Buffy and Spike continue to hold each other while at the house, Anya and Xander, Faith and Robin, and Willow and Kennedy all have sex. The First talks about the gang and the knowledge that they're all taking comfort in each others' arms. Caleb talks to it about how he has its strength inside of him and the First's need to feel. The next morning, Faith gives out her orders to the gang, sending some to go find Buffy and others to help her investigate the sewers. Spike wakes up to find Buffy gone and a note left in her absence.

At the Vineyard, the First talks with Caleb about their progress, but the First is impatient, worried that Buffy may get her hands on what they have. A Bringer is tossed down the stairs of the cellar and the real Buffy stands at the top, asking for whatever it is Caleb has of hers. Buffy goads Caleb into attacking her, but instead of taking a beating, she keeps her distance and avoids his blows. In the sewers, Faith and the girls find the Bringer's lair and the Bringers that live there. Meanwhile, as the battle with Caleb dies down, Buffy spots a trap door in the floor and dives through it. The girls battle with the Bringers, eventually disposing of all of them. After the fight ends, Kennedy finds a stairway that leads to an area below the sewers. Buffy finds a scythe embedded in a rock while Faith finds a locked metal box. Faith breaks open the box only to find a bomb inside, ticking away with a few seconds to go as she tells everyone to take cover.

Continuity

  • This episode begins minutes after the conclusion of the previous episode, continuing the meeting of the Potentials after Buffy leaves.
  • Buffy's comment "You really really have problems with that word, don't you?" to Spike after repeating the word "no" is a reference to Spike forcing himself upon Buffy, almost raping her in "Seeing Red". The two have obviously been able to move past it.
  • During Spike's speech, he says "You're a hell of a woman," which is the same thing Riley said to Buffy during "As You Were" in Season 6.
  • Though vampires cannot enter a home without being invited, Spike walks into the house where Buffy has hidden away without such an invitation. (He explains this being due to Sunnydale being deserted by all the townsfolk - "Do you realize I could just walk in here, no invite needed? This town really is theirs now, innit?")
  • This episode introduces the Scythe into the TV series. It has been seen before in the Fray comics, as the weapon of that time's Slayer, Melaka Fray.
  • In this episode we can see the presumably last residents of Sunnydale leaving town. The entire town of Sunnydale was, thus, apparently deserted except for the Scoobies and the First's forces. However, we learn later in Buffy Season Eight, that at least Amy Madison and Warren Mears remained in Sunnydale, even after the whole destruction of the city.
  • This episodes marks the final appearance of Harry Groener as Mayor Wilkins in the series.

Body Count

  • One Bringer, stabbed by Kennedy
  • One Bringer, stabbed by a potential slayer
  • One Bringer, throat slit by Giles
  • One Bringer, stabbed by Vi
  • One Bringer, stabbed by Faith

Behind the Scenes

Production

Buffy the vampire slayer " Touched " episode promo trailer !00:33

Buffy the vampire slayer " Touched " episode promo trailer !

Original UPN Promo of "Touched"

Broadcast

  • The sex scene between Willow and Kennedy is the first lesbian sex scene ever on network TV.

Deleted Scenes

  • This exchange was cut due to length:
Andrew: "I spy with my little eye something that begins with a...Y."
Spike: "A Y? There's nothing here that-"
Andrew: "Yet another tapestry!"

Pop Culture References

  • In the abandoned house with Buffy, Spike says "That diabolical old torture device, the comfy chair". This is a reference to one of the Spanish Inquisition sketches in Monthy Python's Flying Circus.
  • Mayor Wilkins references Little Women during his conversation with Faith. 
  • Andrew and Spike play a game of I spy.

Music

International titles

  • German: Die Quelle der Macht (The Source of Power)

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • Despite being a continuation of the previous episode with no time in between, Anya's hair has gone from straight to curly, Kennedy's hair is noticeable curlier, Xander's hair seems lighter and a little longer, and Vi is now sitting in the spot behind Xander (though people could have rearranged their seats in the few minutes between when the episodes take place).
  • Spike tells Buffy she was right about Caleb guarding something at the vineyard, as if he knew that was why she was kicked out of the group, even though he left before Buffy came to that realization, wasn't there when Buffy told that to the group, and wasn't back in the house long enough for anyone else to fill him in before he stormed out looking for Buffy. And Spike doesn't have a cell phone for Buffy to have told him, since if he had one there wouldn't have been as much urgency for Spike to get him to report his findings. (This could be in reference to the fact that Buffy believed Caleb 'has something of hers,' leading to her first encounter with Caleb in Dirty Girls. Many of the Scoobies believed that Caleb's message was meant only to lure them into a trap and that Caleb did not actually have something of Buffy's.)
  • When Buffy first arrives at the vineyard, she says, "Where's it at? I'm going to find it sooner or later." When the camera flashes to Caleb to hear his reply, you can see a crewman's arm in the shot.

Other

  • The Turkish spell that Willow casts to get the Bringer to speak was translated as followed:
"Speak to us the man without a voice. Speak to us the man without eyes."

Quotes

Spike - "You listen to me. I've been alive a bit longer than you, and dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldn't imagine, and done things I'd prefer you didn't. Don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood, which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain. I've made a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years, and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of: you ... Here, look at me. I'm not asking you for anything. When I say "I love you", it's not because I want you, or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are. What you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand, with perfect clarity, exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the One, Buffy."
Faith - "I'm your leader. Which means I go first, and I make the rules, and the rest of you follow after me. Is that clear?"
Spike - "That diabolical old torture device, the comfy chair."
Spike - "'No'?"
Buffy - "No."
Spike - "You mean as in, eventually?"
Buffy - "You really have a problems with that word, don't you?"
Andrew Wells - "I spy with my little eye something that begins with a 'T'."
Spike - "Tapestry."
Andrew Wells - "Hey, good one. How did you..."
Spike - "Tapestry's the only thing in the whole bloody room."
Faith - "Man, look at that. My hand's shakin'! Demons, vampires, women in the penitentiary system ... none of that freaks me out!"
Robin Wood - "That's exactly what the First does. Find your Achilles' heel."
Faith - "No, it just talked to me. It does a heel thing too?"

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