Written by Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie; directed by Nick Marck

The Scoobies convene at the Summers’ house, where Giles tells them that the Watcher’s Council (see “Helpless” and “Who Are You”) is on its way to Sunnydale. Anya grows nervous about their anti-demon status, and Buffy begs Giles to “make them not come here.” Dawn listens in on the conversation and Buffy worries that she’s suspicious. Dreg and another minion, Jinx, drag a mailman into Glory’s apartment so that she can suck his brain and regain some strength. The mailman immediately goes crazy. Jinx tells Glory that “the signs of the alignment” are speeding up, and that if she wants to use the Key, she will have to do so soon. She suspects that Buffy knows where the Key is.

Quentin Travers (last seen in “Helpless”) and other members of the Council arrive at the Magic Box and criticize Giles for selling some dangerous things. They tell him that, while they’re in town, they’ll have to shut down the store. Anya is at first frustrated, but when she realizes that the Council is involved, she tries to make herself seem inconspicuous so that they won’t realize she’s an ex-demon. Travers notes that Giles no longer respects the Council and informs him that they have information on Glory. However, they don’t know if they can trust Buffy with the info, since she turned her back on the Council. Buffy’s day starts out badly when she is criticized in class by a professor who doesn’t care for her opinion. She takes her frustration out on a vampire and is quickly aided by Spike. He tells her that her choices in men aren’t exactly stellar.

At the hospital, Jinx pulls Ben aside and tells him that Glory wants information on the Slayer. Ben, unaware that Buffy is the Slayer, says he can’t help her. Jinx tells him he’s talking about Buffy and Ben replies that he won’t help Glory go after her. Buffy arrives at the Magic Box to see the Watchers, who want to see how she trains with Giles. They tell her that they’ll also be talking to the Scoobies as part of her review. Giles objects to Travers’ demands, and Travers reminds him that they need information. He threatens to shut down the Magic Box or even deport Giles if he and Buffy don’t cooperate. He informs Buffy that she’s “dealing with grownups now.” Jinx returns to Glory’s apartment, having been beaten up by Ben, and tells her that he won’t be helping her. She reveals that she wanted Ben to seduce Buffy and figure out where the Key is. She resigns herself to finding Buffy on her own.

Back at the Magic Box, Giles tells Buffy that Travers is just trying to demonstrate how much power he has over them. Buffy wonders if she’ll be able to get through the review and worries that she won’t be able to fight Glory or keep Dawn safe. The Watchers start their interviews, meeting with Xander and Anya at Xander’s apartment. Anya lies that her full name is Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins and that she was born on the 4th of July. Willow and Tara are interviewed in their dorm room and mistakenly believe that the Watchers are interested in their relationship. The Watchers realize that Xander has no special skills, while Willow assures them that Buffy doesn’t really need their help. A Watcher asks her and Tara what level of magical proficiency they are at, and they lie that they are registered as practicing witches.

The Watchers head over to Spike’s crypt, confused about why he helps Buffy. He tells them that her work has suffered recently because Riley left. One of the Watchers admits that she wrote her thesis on Spike, who seems flattered. In the training room, Buffy is blindfolded and told to protect a dummy that one of the Watchers will be attacking with an axe. Travers will be giving her instructions, but in Japanese. The exercise begins quickly and Giles tries to help Buffy, but things don’t work out too well. Finally, she decides to ignore the orders and do things her own way. Unfortunately, the dummy winds up getting axed. Buffy begs for a retry and Travers tells that, instead, they will begin to study her plans and strategies later that night. Buffy goes home and is shocked to find Glory waiting for her in the living room.

Glory tells Buffy that she’s not there to fight; she just wants the Key. Dawn enters the room, unseen by Glory, and Buffy tries to get her to leave. Before she can, Glory senses her and brings her back in. Glory asks Dawn if she knows where the Key is and Dawn attempts to prove her maturity by trying to help, despite Buffy’s protests. Glory tells Buffy that she won’t be able to stop her from getting the Key. Glory leaves as Joyce returns home, and Buffy tells her mother to pack a bag. She takes Joyce and Dawn to Spike’s crypt and asks him to look after them for a little while. She tells him that he’s the only one who can protect them and he agrees to help her. Joyce is nervous at first, but soon bonds with Spike over their love of Passions.

Xander, Willow, Tara, and Anya sit on the balcony of the Magic Box, looking down at the Watchers as they prepare to meet with Buffy again. Travers notes that Buffy is late and Giles assures him that she’ll be there. In an alley, Buffy runs into three knights and fights them. She unmasks one and sees a symbol on his forehead. He tells her that he is a Knight of Byzantium, an ancient order working against both her and Glory. He tells her that no matter how many Knights die, more will come. Their mission is to destroy both Buffy and the Key. She takes his sword and sends him off. In the Magic Box, Buffy informs the Council that the review is over: “No review. No interrogation. No questions you know I can't answer. No hoops, no jumps - and no interruptions.”

She continues that she is the one with the power and that the Council is bothered by that. She mentions that she also has power over Glory because she knows something Glory doesn’t. “You guys didn't come all the way from England to determine whether or not I was good enough to be let back in,” she says. “You came to beg me to let you back in. To give your jobs, your lives some semblance of meaning.” Without Buffy, the Watchers serve no purpose. She tells them to leave and only contact her if they have any useful information. Her list of demands also includes reopening the Magic Box, letting Giles stay, and reinstating his salary, as well as paying him retroactively. One of the Watchers objects to Buffy letting “children” fight with her, but she says that her friends are powerful witches and an ex-demon. Another Watcher mentions that Xander doesn’t have any special skills, but Buffy states that his experience is enough. Travers announces that he accepts Buffy’s terms and the Scoobies cheer. Buffy asks him what the Council knows about Glory and he replies that she isn’t a demon - she’s a god.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Groups of powerful British people can be intimidating.

GRADE: B Buffy stands up to the Council, which has been a long time coming and is definitely fulfilling.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Buffy: “They’re coming here? Now? W-why do they have to come here?”
Xander: “Yeah, don’t they have phones? ‘Allo, Buffy, here’s some stuff we know, pip pip.’”
Buffy: “Yeah! Phones. See, I’d like them on phones.”

Watcher: “Also this statue. Its removal from Burma is a criminal offense…and when triggered, it has the power to melt human eyeballs.”
Giles: “In that case, I severely underpriced it.”

“You all stand around and look somber. Good job.” - Giles to Watchers

“Bad day. Bad, baaaaad….” - Buffy, upon seeing the Watchers

Giles: “It’s about who has the power.”
Buffy: “I’m guessing they do? Big power outage in Buffy County?”
Giles: “I should have set you loose on them, that’s what I should have done.”
Buffy: “Giles, that Travers guy is like sixty. I can’t hit him. Can I?”
Giles: “I suppose not. Well, I could. I think I will.”

“If I wanted to fight, you could tell by the being dead already.” - Glory

“I, I love what you’ve, um, neglected to do with the place.” - Joyce to Spike

Watcher: “This is beyond insolence--.”
(Buffy throws a sword past him, just missing him)
Buffy: “I’m fairly certain I said ‘no interruptions.’”
Xander: “That was excellent!”

Watcher: “I, uh, I…don’t want a sword thrown at me, but, but, civilians, I - we’re talking about children.”
Buffy: “We’re talking about two very powerful witches and a thousand-year-old ex-demon.”
Anya: “Willow’s a demon?!”

“I didn’t create the troll. I didn’t date the troll. In fact, I hate the troll. I helped deflate the troll.” - Willow (from the original script)

“And when I was seven, I had a pet dachshund that died from choking on a wiener, which I find ironic.” - Anya (from the original script)

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