"Becoming, Part 2"
Written and directed by Joss Whedon

Picking up from the end of “Becoming, Part 1”, a cop is holding a gun on Buffy and telling her to step away from Kendra. Another officer arrives as Buffy tries to explain that she didn’t do anything wrong. She sees Xander unconscious on the balcony but is kept from going up to check on him. She’s led into the hallway, where Snyder approaches and says he doesn’t believe that she didn’t do anything. He tells the police that she’s trouble and has an attitude problem, and one of the officers starts to handcuff her and read her her rights. She hits the officer and makes a run for it. Another officer tries to take a shot at her but Snyder is in the way. As Buffy escapes, the officer puts an APB out on her, calling her dangerous.

Buffy sneaks into the hospital and meets up with Xander, who she’s relieved to see is all right, save for a broken arm. He hugs her, helping her hide from passing police officers, and takes her to see Willow, who’s still unconscious. Buffy says that Angelus must have known that Willow was going to try to do the curse. Xander says that her parents are on their way back from out of town, and that he’ll call Oz and let him know what happened. Cordelia arrives, explaining that she ran from the library until she finally realized that no one was coming after her. Xander asks if Giles was with her, and she says that she never saw him. Realizing that he’s not at the hospital, either, Buffy worries about where he is. Giles regains consciousness at the mansion and is surprised to find himself in the company of Angelus, who is excited about the prospect of getting to torture him. Angelus asks Giles to let him know what he has to do to wake Acathla (though he kind of wants Giles to be stubborn, so that he can torture him).

The police, including Detective Stein (see “Ted”), go to the Summers’ house and ask Joyce where Buffy might be. She doesn’t believe that Buffy could have killed someone. Buffy goes to Giles’ apartment and encounters Whistler (see “Becoming, Part 1”), who says that he was waiting for her. He tells her that things weren’t supposed to happen the way they did - he thought Angel was going to try to stop Acathla, not awaken him. He asks what Buffy is prepared to do, and she assures him that she’ll do anything she has to. “Maybe I should ask, what are you prepared to give up?” he rephrases. Buffy accuses him of being useless (“some immortal demon sent down to even the score between good and evil”) and challenges him to do something helpful rather than just sit around. “I’m sick and tired of doing it myself,” she tells him. “In the end, you’re always by yourself,” Whistler replies. “You’re all you’ve got. That’s the point.” As she leaves, he says that the sword Kendra gave her (again, see “Becoming, Part 1”) isn’t enough - she has to know how to use it. Buffy walks through Sunnydale and is spotted by a police officer, who tries to get her to stay put so he can arrest her. Suddenly, the cop is knocked out and Buffy is surprised to see his attacker - it’s a wheelchair-less Spike.

Buffy hits Spike a couple of times, but he stops her and tells her he wants to surrender. She’s reluctant to accept a cease-fire, so he tells her that he’s her only hope to stop Angelus. She is even more skeptical when he admits that he wants to save the world rather than destroy it, and listens, unimpressed, as he waxes poetic about the world. She asks why he would come to her for help, and he admits that he wants Drusilla back and wants everything to go back to the way it was before Angel became Angelus again. Buffy says that she lost a friend and could lose more, so she doesn’t have time to help him out with his relationship problems. Spike tells her that neither of them can fight Angelus and Drusilla alone. The officer begins to regain consciousness, so Buffy and Spike decide to get inside somewhere. At the hospital, Cordelia offers to get Xander coffee so that he can stay with Willow. He talks to Willow, trying to encourage her to wake up, and finally tells her that he loves her. She begins to wake up and asks for Oz, who arrives just in time. Giles has survived his first round of torture, adamant that Angelus not see his pain. Joyce returns home just as Buffy and Spike arrive, and Buffy tries to get her mother to go inside before anyone sees them. Buffy lies that she and Spike are in a rock band together (Buffy plays the drums and Spike sings). A vampire attacks and Buffy and Spike work together to kill him, thinking that he must have been sent by Angelus. Joyce, having seen the whole thing, asks Buffy what’s going on. Buffy finally tells her the truth - she’s a vampire Slayer.

Willow talks to Buffy on the phone from her hospital bed, assuring her that she’s all right. Willow apologizes for not being able to finish the spell, but Buffy has accepted that she’ll never get Angel back. She says that she got a break in finding Giles, but Willow wouldn’t believe it. In the living room, Spike and Joyce sit awkwardly and avoid talking to each other. Buffy tells Xander that she thinks Angelus and his buddies are staying in a mansion on Crawford Street and says she’s going to hit it first thing in the morning. Back in the living room, Joyce asks Spike if they’ve met. He reminds her of “School Hard,” when she hit him with an axe to protect Buffy. Buffy comes into the living room and tells Spike that she’s ready to make a deal with him. His terms are that he’ll help her kill Angel if she helps him and Drusilla get out of town. She refuses to let Dru off, since she killed Kendra, and Spike is briefly proud of his girlfriend for killing a Slayer. Joyce is relieved that Buffy didn’t kill Kendra and wonders if she “explode[d] like that man out there.” As Joyce asks if Buffy’s sure she’s a Slayer, Spike lays down the final details of the deal - once Angel’s dead, he’ll take Dru out of the country and Buffy will never hear from them again. Buffy finally agrees and tells him to go to the mansion and check on Giles. “…Have you tried not being a Slayer?” Joyce asks Buffy. Buffy tells Spike to be ready when she is, and warns that she’ll kill Drusilla if Giles dies.

After Spike leaves, Buffy finally addresses Joyce’s questions, telling her that she’s fated to be the Slayer. Joyce says that they should call the police, but Buffy denies that they’ll be of any help. She’s frustrated that Joyce didn’t seem one hundred percent sure that she was innocent, and tells Joyce that the police will just get killed if they get involved. Buffy starts to leave, telling Joyce to have another drink, and Joyce angrily tells her that she can’t just give her this information and then pretend it’s not important. Buffy tries to say that she doesn’t have time to explain everything, but Joyce is fed up with her teenager excuses. She says that she doesn’t accept that Buffy is the Slayer. Buffy reminds her of the times she’s come home with blood on her clothes, been in fights, and experienced weird stuff. Joyce says that it has to end, but Buffy tells her that “it never stops!” She says that she would love to have a normal life, but she can’t. She has to go out and save the world yet again. Joyce tells her that she needs help, but Buffy assures her that she’s fine and tries to leave again. Joyce firmly tells her she can’t leave, and Buffy shoves her away to get out. “You walk out of this house, don’t even think about coming back!” Joyce warns. Buffy leaves anyway.

Willow tells Xander, Cordelia, and Oz that she wants to try the spell again. Xander reminds her that she’s weak, but Willow has “resolve face,” which means that no one will be able to talk her out of doing what she wants to do. She sends Oz and Cordelia to the library to get the Orb of Thesulah (see “Passion” and “Becoming, Part 1”) and her other spell stuff, and tells Xander to find Buffy and let her know that they’re trying the spell again. Angelus is pleased that Giles seems to have finally broken and decided to give him information about the awakening ritual. “In order…to be worthy…,” Giles begins, “you must perform the ritual…in a tutu.” Angry at having been mocked, Angelus calls for a chainsaw. Spike enters (back in his wheelchair) and reminds Angelus that killing Giles won’t get him any information. (He also doesn’t want to have to “get librarian out of the carpet.”) He calls Drusilla into the room to try something new. Buffy heads to the library and is on her way out with the sword when she runs into Snyder. He tells her that, whether or not she’s found guilty of murder, she’s expelled from Sunnydale High. “You never ever got a single date in high school, did you?” she replies. She leaves and he calls someone, informing whoever it is to tell the Mayor that he has good news.

Drusilla hypnotizes Giles, telling him, “See with your heart,” and suddenly turns into Jenny (last seen in “Passion”). Dru!Jenny asks Giles if he told Angelus anything about the ritual, and, thinking it’s really Jenny, he assures her that he didn’t, but says that they need to get him away from Acathla. He hints that Angelus’ blood is the key to the ritual, and she quiets him with a kiss. Satisfied that he has everything he needs now, Angelus orders his henchvamps to kill Giles. Spike stops him, pointing out that Giles could be lying, and Angelus relents. He and Spike tell Drusilla, who’s still kissing Giles, that they’re done. “Sorry. I was in the moment,” she says. Buffy heads back to Giles’ apartment, where Whistler is making himself at home, and asks why the sword isn’t enough. Whistler informs her that Angelus’ blood will awaken Acathla, and then only his blood will close the portal after Acathla has done his job. If Angelus and Acathla are both stabbed with the sword, they’ll be sent to Hell and the world will be saved. He warns that it won’t be easy for her to have to battle and/or kill Angel, and Buffy tells him that she has “nothing left to lose.” “Wrong, kid,” Whistler says after she leaves. “You got one more thing.”

It’s morning, and Buffy is on her way to the mansion with her trusty sword. Xander catches up with her and she tells him to get Giles and get out, because she won’t be able to make sure they’re safe. He remembers Willow’s message, and starts to tell her that they’re trying the spell again, but instead tells her that Willow said to “kick his a$#.” (This won’t be addressed again until “Selfless.”) At the mansion, Angelus tries the ritual again as Willow prepares to try the restoration spell again, with the help of Cordelia and Oz. Angelus cuts his palm, but before he can use his blood to awaken Acathla, Buffy arrives and kills a henchvamp. “Hello, lover,” Buffy says, echoing Angelus’ greeting in “Becoming, Part 1.” He asks if she thinks she can take on everyone there, and she admits that she can’t. Spike stands up and smacks Angelus a bunch of times, obviously pleased to be able to finally take out his aggression on him. As Buffy fights a henchvamp, Drusilla tackles Spike to get him away from a now-unconscious Angelus. Xander enters and heads to the next room to get Giles. Spike tells Dru that he doesn’t want to hurt her, then punches her and says, “Doesn’t mean I won’t.”

Willow begins the restoration spell as Xander reaches Giles and unties him. Giles isn’t sure that Xander is real, but Xander convinces him that he is and helps him out of the mansion. As Buffy continues to fight henchvamps and Spike and Dru continue to battle each other, Angelus wakes up and heads towards Acathla. He grabs the sword and a light shines out of Acathla as it did in “Becoming, Part 1.” However, this time, he’s able to pull out the sword. Buffy decides it’s time to grab her own sword as Drusilla excitedly says, “Here he comes.” Willow continues the spell, growing weak, as Buffy and Angelus face off with their swords. “You’re going to Hell,” he tells her. “Save me a seat,” she shoots back. They begin sword fighting, equally matched. Oz and Cordelia notice that Willow doesn’t seem to be doing too well and ask if she’s all right. Suddenly, she grows stronger and she begins chanting in Rumanian, seemingly in a trance, which makes Oz and Cordelia nervous. Buffy and Angelus continue their sword fight, not seeing that Acathla is awakening nearby. Spike chokes Drusilla until she passes out, then picks her up and heads for the door. He sees Angelus cornering Buffy and realizes that he’s going to kill her. Of course, he’s not that concerned; he shrugs and heads out with Dru. Angelus points his sword at Buffy, mocking that he’s gotten the better of her and that she has no one left to help her. “No weapons…no friends…no hope,” he says. “Take all that away…and what’s left?” He thrusts the sword at her and she catches it in her hands. “Me,” she replies, pushing it back at him and restarting the fight.

Spike and a still unconscious Drusilla speed out of Sunnydale in a car. (He’ll be back in “Lovers Walk.”) Willow continues the spell as Buffy manages to get the better of Angelus and send him to his knees between her and Acathla. At the hospital, the Orb of Thesulah glows briefly and Willow seems to come out of her trance. Buffy is about to stab Angelus with her sword when he gasps and his eyes briefly glow red. He collapses and she stares at him, uncertain. He pulls himself up and quietly says, “Buffy? What’s going on?” He tells her that he doesn’t remember what happened and she realizes that the restoration spell worked. The two hug and Angel says that he feels like he hasn’t seen Buffy in months. Buffy sees Acathla’s eyes glow red and his mouth widen to show the vortex of Hell. “What’s happening?” Angel asks. “Shh,” Buffy whispers. “Don’t worry about it.” They kiss and tell each other, “I love you.” “Close your eyes,” Buffy says. Then she pulls back her sword and thrusts it through Angel’s chest. The sword begins to glow as Angel looks at Buffy in confusion and says her name. He reaches for her as he’s pulled backwards into the vortex. Then, suddenly, he’s gone and Acathla’s mouth is closed again.

As we hear Sarah McLachlan’s “Full of Grace,” Buffy leaves the mansion and walks home. Later, Joyce goes to Buffy’s room and finds clothes and a note on the bed. The Scoobies gather at school, none of them having seen Buffy since Giles and Xander left the mansion. Giles says that they returned to the mansion and found Acathla dormant, and Willow says that she thinks the restoration spell worked. Xander wonders if they were too late and Buffy had to kill Angel, in which case, Oz points out, she’d want to be by herself. Willow suggests that they succeeded and she and Angel want to spend time together. Cordelia points out that they still have school, and Willow says that Buffy will be there eventually. They don’t see Buffy watching them from the street. She silently walks away, winding up on a bus on its way out of Sunnydale.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: You always kill the ones you love.

R.I.P.: Angel (technically)

GRADE: A The perfect combination of drama, humor, and heartbreak.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Giles: “What do you want?”
Angelus: “I wanna torture you. I used to love it, and it’s been a long time. I mean, the last time I tortured somebody, they didn’t even have chainsaws.”

Buffy: “What are you doing here?”
Whistler: “I’m waiting for you.”
Buffy: “Why?”
Whistler: “‘Cause I-I-I need a date to the prom.”
Buffy: (shoving him against the wall) “I have had a really bad day, okay? If you have information worth hearing, then I am grateful for it. If you’re gonna crack jokes, then I’m gonna pull out your ribcage and wear it as a hat.”
Whistler: “Hello to the imagery!”

Spike: “Hey! White flag here. I quit.”
Buffy: “Let me clear this up for you. We’re mortal enemies. We don’t get time-outs.”

Spike: “I want to save the world.”
Buffy: “Okay. You do remember that you’re a vampire, right?”
Spike: “We like to talk big. Vampires do. ‘I’m going to destroy the world.’ That’s just tough guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You’ve got…dog racing, Manchester United. And you’ve got people. Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It’s all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision. With a real…passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye, Piccadilly. Farewell, Leicester Bloody Square.”

“The whole earth may be sucked into Hell, and you want my help ‘cause your girlfriend’s a big ho?” - Buffy to Spike

Buffy: “Talk.”
Spike: (re: the police officer) “I’m just gonna kill this guy.”
(Buffy clears her throat)
Spike: “Oh, right.”

“Dru bagged a Slayer? She didn’t tell me! Hey, good for her! Though not from your perspective, I suppose.” - Spike to Buffy

“Okay, I pretty much missed out on some stuff, didn’t I? Because this is all making a kind of sense that’s…not.” - Oz

“You know, raiding an Englishman’s fridge is like dating a nun. You’re never gonna get the good stuff.” - Whistler

“Cavalry’s here. Cavalry’s a frightened guy with a rock, but it’s here.” - Xander

Giles: “You’re not real.”
Xander: “Sure, I’m real.”
Giles: “It’s a trick. They get inside my head, make me see things I want.”
Xander: “Then why would they make you see me?”
Giles: “You’re right. Let’s go.”

Angelus: “Now that’s everything, huh? No weapons…no friends…no hope. Take all that away…and what’s left?”
Buffy: “Me.”

“But we know the world didn’t end, ‘cause…check it out.” - Oz

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