"The Dark Age"
Written by Dean Batali & Rob Des Hotel; directed by Bruce Seth Green

A man enters Sunnydale High after dark and encounters a janitor. The man asks to see Giles and the janitor tells him where to find him. On his way to the library, the man encounters a woman he calls Diedre and who calls him Philip. He runs towards the library as she slowly follows. Inside the library, Buffy is doing aerobics and listening to loud music while Giles covers his ears. Of course, they can’t hear Philip yelling and banging on the door. Diedre begins to choke him and he collapses, dead, as Buffy turns off the music. Diedre collapses next to Philip and turns into a puddle, which makes its way towards Philip. That night, Giles has nightmares about tattoos and a strange ritual. A younger version of himself says, “Time to go to sleep!”

At school the next day, Buffy and Willow play “Anywhere But Here,” a game in which they envision themselves someplace nicer than school. Buffy imagines being on a beach with Gavin Rossdale, and Willow imagines being in Italy with John Cusack. Xander arrives and gives his usual fantasy - “Amy Yip at the waterslide park.” They joke about Giles liking school as he approaches. He tells Buffy that they’ll be keeping an eye on a medical transport that night. Jenny arrives, greeting Giles with “morning, England,” and Willow teases, “Feel the passion!” Jenny makes sure that Willow is coming in the next day, Saturday, to help out with a computer tutorial. Xander is unhappy to hear that he’s not only one of the students required to attend, but Cordelia will be there as well. Jenny and Giles head off and the Scoobies are soon squicked out by the thought of the two of them together. Jenny thanks Giles for a book that he loaned her, then drives him crazy by pretending that it was destroyed. They make plans for Saturday night and split up.

Giles enters the library to find police officers waiting for him. One of them, Detective Winslow, tells him that someone was killed on campus the night before and that Giles’ name and address were found on his body. Cordelia enters, looking for a book about computers, and Giles tries to get her to leave. Of course, being Cordelia, she doesn’t get the hint and asks the detective for help with a parking ticket. Giles finally gets rid of her and goes to the morgue with the police. He recognizes Philip’s body and tells the police that he hasn’t spoken to him for twenty years. He spots a tattoo on Philip’s arm and the detective asks if he recognizes it, but Giles says that he doesn’t. At the hospital that night, Buffy wonders why Giles isn’t there on time. She sees a couple of doctors accepting a delivery of blood, but grows suspicious and realizes that they’re vampires. Angel shows up to help and they stake one vamp, while the other one gets away. Buffy tells Angel that she’s worried about Giles and he sends her off to find him while he gets the blood into the hospital.

Buffy goes over to Giles’ apartment and he tells her that he’s busy and will see her on Monday. He calls someone, trying to reach Diedre, and learns that she died recently. He crosses her name off of a list, which includes her name, his, Philip’s, Ethan’s (see “Halloween”), and someone named Thomas. In the bathroom, we see that he has the same tattoo on his arm that Philip has. “So,” he says into the mirror. “You’re back.” In the morgue, Philip’s eyes glow yellow. Later, an attendant opens up Philip’s drawer and sees that his body isn’t there. Philip attacks him and escapes the morgue. Willow, Xander, Jenny, and Cordelia go to their Saturday class session, at which Buffy makes a surprise appearance. She tells Jenny that Giles is acting strangely, and that when she stopped by his apartment the night before, he was drinking. The Scoobies tell her that they haven’t noticed any change in his behavior, and Cordelia mentioned that he seemed normal when he was talking to the police the day before. Upon learning that Giles was being questioned about a homicide, Buffy heads off to call him.

On her way towards Giles’ office, Buffy hears someone else in the library. Just as she sees that it’s Ethan, he tries to push a bookcase over on her. She stops him from escaping and punches him in response to his Halloween stunt. She realizes that he knows Giles and he asks if she knows where he is. It turns out that he’s having another nightmare, this time seeing a demon and Diedre with her eyes glowing yellow. Buffy calls him and asks him what the Mark of Eyghon is. He doesn’t respond and she tells him that she’s with Ethan. Giles warns her that she’s in danger with Ethan around. Just then, Philip crashes into the library. Giles hears the commotion on the other end of the phone and rushes out of his apartment. Ethan tries to escape as Buffy fights Philip. The Scoobies enter and Buffy tells Xander not to let Ethan leave. Cordelia winds up kicking Ethan and ensuring that he stays put while Buffy locks Philip in the book cage.

Ethan confirms that Philip is dead as Giles enters the library. Giles is shocked to see Philip and grabs Ethan, angry that he put the Scoobies in danger. Ethan says that Giles must have had the dreams as well and Buffy demands to know what’s happening. Philip breaks out of the cage, attacking Jenny and knocking her out. Buffy gets him back into the cage, where he turns into a puddle, which makes its way towards Jenny. Ethan escapes as Jenny regains consciousness and Giles helps her out, no one seeing that her eyes are glowing yellow. Buffy asks Giles again what’s going on, but he tells her that it’s nothing she should be concerned with. He takes Jenny home and Buffy tells the Scoobies to research the Mark of Eyghon. Cordelia actually offers to help, but isn’t thrilled when Buffy assigns her to work with Xander. Giles takes Jenny to his apartment and apologizes for getting her involved in something dangerous. She tells him that it’s all right.

Willow finds information on Eyghon - it can only exist in reality by taking the form of someone who’s unconscious or dead. If it’s inside a dead person, it has to jump into someone unconscious or it will die. People used to “induce possession for bacchanals and orgies,” which squicks the Scoobies out again. They realize that Eyghon must have jumped from Philip to Jenny. At Giles’ apartment, Eyghon!Jenny unplugs Giles’ phone and suggests that he “take advantage” of her “weakened state.” Buffy tries to call Giles but, obviously, can’t get through, so she decides to go over. Eyghon!Jenny tries to seduce Giles, who doesn’t think this is a good time. Rejected, Eyghon!Jenny says, “You’re like a woman, Ripper. You cry at every funeral. You never had the strength for me. You don’t deserve me.” She kisses him, begins to transform into Eyghon, and asks, “Was it good for you?”

Eyghon!Jenny tries to knock Giles out as Buffy arrives and briefly fights her. “Three down, two to go,” Eyghon!Jenny says as she leaves. Buffy asks Giles once again to tell her what’s going on, but he still doesn’t want to talk. She asks if he doesn’t know how to stop it, but he says that he created it. The Scoobies keep looking through Giles’ things but can’t find anything helpful. They find a picture of Giles from the 70’s (picture Giles’ head on Sid Vicious’ body, because that’s actually what the picture is) as Giles tells Buffy his story. While he was studying history at Oxford, he got involved with the occult. He dropped out of school, went to London, and met up with some people who practiced magicks. One of them would go into a deep sleep and the others would summon Eyghon inhabit him or her. One of the people was taken over by Eyghon and killed. The rest of the group thought that Eyghon was gone after that, but obviously, it’s back. Buffy decides to go find Ethan, and before she leaves, Giles tells her that he’s sorry.

Buffy heads to Ethan’s costume shop and warns him that Eyghon is coming for him. He tells her that they can’t run, because Eyghon tracks them by their tattoos, so she tells him to hide until everything is over. On their way to the back door, he knocks her out with a mannequin. When she regains consciousness, she’s tied to a table. Ethan tells her that she’s going to be initiated into the Eyghon club. He assures her that she can scream all she wants as he starts to tattoo her neck. The Scoobies search for ways to kill Eyghon, but all they can come up with is decapitating the demon. Xander points out that they can’t cut off Jenny’s head and they two begin to argue. Willow lays down the law and tells them to stop fighting and start helping. Xander suggests finding another dead body for Eyghon to jump into, and this sets the wheels turning in Willow’s brain.

Ethan finishes Buffy’s tattoo and uses acid to remove his own. Buffy tries to fray her ropes enough to untie herself. Giles is on his way out of his apartment when he begins having visions of Eyghon and a now-tattooed Buffy. Eyghon!Jenny arrives at Ethan’s shop and tells Ethan that his time has come. She realizes that he no longer has the mark on him and goes over to Buffy, who has just freed herself. Buffy and Eyghon!Jenny fight as Giles arrives and tells Eyghon to take his body. Eyghon!Jenny approaches Giles and is about to grab him when Angel runs in and attacks her. Giles worries that Angel will kill Jenny, but Willow assures him that he knows what he’s doing. Angel chokes Eyghon!Jenny to put Eyghon in danger so that it will have to jump out of Jenny’s body. It jumps into Angel’s body, where the demon that’s already inside him fights and beats Eyghon. Ethan escapes as the Scoobies explain what they did.

The next day, Buffy complains to Willow and Xander that she has to hide her tattoo from her mother until she can pay to have it removed. She and Xander congratulate Willow on her plan to defeat Eyghon and suggest that she might make a good Watcher. She says that she doesn’t think she could do it, and isn’t sure how Giles handles it. Buffy points out that he doesn’t have a choice. Giles tries to talk to Jenny, who assures him that she’s all right but is a little nervous around him. Buffy asks Giles if she’s okay and he says that he doesn’t think she’ll ever forgive him. He tells Buffy that he didn’t want to know that side of him, and she says that they kind of have something in common. They head off to train to more loud music.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Even your middle-aged librarian has a secret past.

GRADE: B- The Cordelia/Xander fight and subsequent Willow smackdown are the only parts I really like.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Willow: “Do you think Giles ever played ‘Anywhere But Here’ when he was in school?”
Xander: “Giles lived for school. He’s actually still bitter that there are only twelve grades.”
Buffy: “He probably sat in math class thinking, ‘There should be more math. This could be mathier.’”
Willow: “C’mon, you don’t think he ever got restless as a kid?”
Buffy: “Are you kidding? His diapers were tweed.”

Buffy: “Have I ever let you down?”
Giles: “Do you want me to answer that, or shall I just glare?”

Jenny: “I just love to see you squirm.”
Giles: “Yes, well, I, uh…trust I gave good…squirm.”
Jenny: “Did anyone ever tell you you’re kind of a fuddy-duddy?”
Giles: “Nobody ever seems to tell me anything else.”
Jenny: “Did anyone ever tell you you’re kind of a sexy fuddy-duddy?”
Giles: “Well, no. Actually that, that part usually gets left out. I c-can’t imagine why.”

“There are books on computers? Isn’t the point of computers to replace books?” - Cordelia

Cordelia: “Why does everyone always yell my name? I’m not deaf! And I can take a hint. (pauses) What’s the hint?”
Giles: “To come back later.”
Cordelia: “Yeah, when you’ve visited decaf land.”

Xander: “Y’know, computers are on the way out. I think paper’s gonna make a big comeback.”
Willow: “And the abacus.”
Xander: “Yeah, you know, you don’t see enough abaci.”

Xander: “My Uncle Rory was the stodgiest taxidermist you’ve ever met by day. By night, it was booze, whores, and fur flying. Were there whores?” Buffy: “He was alone.”
Xander: “Give it time.”

Buffy: “And you waited till now to tell us this because…?”
Cordelia: “I didn’t think it was important.”
Xander: “We understand. It wasn’t about you.”

Buffy: “You sold me that dress for Halloween, and nearly got us all killed!”
Ethan: “But you looked great.” (Buffy punches him) “Owww! So now we’re even?”
Buffy: “I’ll let you know when we’re even. What’re you doing here?”
Ethan: “Snooping around.”
Buffy: “Honesty. Nice touch.”
Ethan: “It’s one of my virtues. Not really.”

Giles: “Is everyone all right?”
Cordelia: “Super! I kicked a guy!”

Willow: “Now, there’s something you don’t see everyday.”
Cordelia: “I’m gonna be in therapy till I’m thirty.”

Buffy: “Xander, how do you feel about digging through some of Giles’ personal files and seeing what you can find?”
Xander: “I feel pretty good about it. Does that make me a sociopath? Nah.”

Buffy: “I’m not much into running.”
Ethan: “Aren’t we manly?”
Buffy: “One of us is.”

Ethan: “Y’know, I hope you're not taking this personally, Buffy. I actually kinda like you. It’s ju--, it’s just that I like myself a whole lot more. If you think of it karmically, this is, this is really big for your soul. You know, taking my place with the demon, giving so that others may live.”
Buffy: “I’m gonna kill you. Will that blow the whole karma thing?”

Xander: “That’s it! Twelve years of you and I’m snappin’! I don’t care if you’re a girl or not, I’m throwin’ down! Come on!”
Cordelia: “I’ve seen you fight. And don’t think I can’t take you!”
Xander: “Give it your best shot.”
Willow: “HEY! We don’t have time for this! Our friends are in trouble! Now, we have to put our heads together and, and get them out of it! And if you two aren’t with me a hundred and ten percent, then get the h@$# out of my library!”
Cordelia: “We’re sorry.”
Xander: “We’ll be good.”

Giles: “Bay City Rollers. Now, that’s music.”
Buffy: “I didn’t hear that.”

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