"Never Leave Me"
Written by Drew Goddard; directed by David Solomon

The Scoobies clean up the Summers’ destroyed house (which, apparently, they were too busy to clean up in the two days that “Sleeper” covered). Willow tries to assure Dawn, Xander, and Anya that Buffy knows what she’s doing with regards to Spike, but Anya is certain that Spike has reverted to his ways as William the Bloody. Out on the streets of Sunnydale, Andrew struts around in a leather jacket, accompanied by his trusty dead companion, Warren. Andrew is hesitant to do what Warren has encouraged him to do and wants to know why Warren himself can’t do it. Warren explains that he is noncorporeal, then morphs into Jonathan, who tells Andrew that being killed was the best thing that ever happened to him. Andrew says that he doesn’t think he can kill anyone else. Jonathan blames himself for the ritual’s failure - he didn’t bleed as much as necessary because he was anemic.

At the Summers’ house Buffy ties Spike to a chair; he encourages her to tie the ropes as tightly as possible, because he knows that if he escapes, someone will be killed. Dawn tells Wood that Buffy is sick (going to great lengths to describe her illness) and won’t be at work. Buffy calls Quentin (last seen in “Checkpoint”) and asks him to get in touch with Giles. Quentin claims that the Council doesn’t keep track of Giles’ whereabouts but Buffy doesn’t believe him. After he hangs up he tells other Watchers that Buffy doesn’t know where Giles is, and that they need to find him as soon as possible. Spike goes into withdrawal and Willow heads out to get him some animal blood. In the school basement Warren tries to get Andrew to practice killing by starting with a pig. The pig proves to be smarter than Andrew.

Still needing pig’s blood, Andrew heads to a butcher shop. On his way out, he runs into Willow. Frightened, he begs her not to hurt him and reminds her that Warren was the one who killed Tara. He tries to convince her that he’s good now and she asks why he just bought pints of blood. He changes his tune, saying that he’s evil but protected, which she doesn’t buy. She drags him back the Summers’ house, where Xander ties him up and Anya attempts to intimidate him by stepping on his new coat. Xander asks him why he bought so much blood; he lies that he’s dating a vampire and that they’re trying to be good guys now. Angry, Anya slaps him and Xander pulls her into Dawn’s room, where they congratulate themselves on their performances.

Spike tells Buffy that he doesn’t completely remember what he’s done and that things have been strange ever since he returned from getting his soul back. He tells her that he traveled across the world and made a deal with a demon for his soul; he had to suffer to get it. He accuses her of using him, which she admits to doing because she hated herself. He tells her that he understands her better now that he has an insight into the violence she experiences, and now hates himself the way she hated herself. Xander goes back to playing good cop to try to get Andrew to talk. He warns Andrew that Anya is dangerous and explains that she once got revenge on a man who had wronged her by replacing his heart with darkness; Andrew doesn’t realize that Xander is talking about himself. Andrew says that he didn’t do anything, then is suddenly tackled by Anya. Xander tries to pull her away and she slaps him, secretly mouthing “I’m sorry.” Andrew promises to tell them what he knows.

Buffy hears the commotion and heads over to see what’s going on. As soon as she leaves, Spike #2 appears. When Buffy enters Dawn’s room, Anya tells her that everything’s okay and she leaves. On her way back to the other room, Buffy hears Spike speaking to someone and singing, “Oh, don’t deceive me, / Oh, never leave me.” When she enters, she only sees Spike, who claims that he was talking to himself. He distracts Buffy, then breaks the chair and stands up. He pushes her down and heads towards the wall. Just as Andrew is starting to tell Anya about the Seal of Danthazar, Spike breaks through the wall and pulls Andrew into the next room, where he bites him.

Buffy throws Spike off of Andrew and knocks him out, not seeing Spike #2 behind her. Buffy tells the Scoobies that when she returned to the room, Spike seemed like a completely different person - he was talking and singing to himself. She tells them that he mentioned a song when they were in the basement and Xander mentions that the song could be a trigger. He tells them that the military brainwashes sleeper agents, then triggers them to change suddenly with songs. Buffy asks how they can stop the trigger from triggering Spike; Xander says that in military movies, “usually the operative completes his task and either blows his head off or steals a submarine.” The Scoobies set out to research. At the high school, Wood heads to the basement and finds Jonathan’s body on top of the seal.

In the Summers’ basement, Spike tells Buffy that he doesn’t remember attacking Andrew and she explains that he may have been brainwashed. He tells her to kill him before he can kill anyone else. He challenges that she doesn’t love him but instead thrives on the pain that men cause her. She tells him she believes in him just before the lights suddenly go out. Someone bursts in and pushes Buffy away from Spike. Upstairs, robed figures invade the house. At an oil rig site Wood digs a hole and buries Jonathan’s body. Back at the house, the Scoobies try to fight the robed figures. Once they’re defeated, Buffy heads to the basement and sees that Spike is gone. She realizes that they were after Spike the whole time. She recognizes the robed figures as minions of the First Evil (last “seen” in “Amends”), and realizes that the First is the big bad that has been coming after them.

At the Watcher’s Council Headquarters in England, the Watchers have lost records, lost contact with Watchers, and heard of a number of deaths. Quentin announces that the First Evil has “declared all-out war” on the Council and that they will have to fight back. He tells the Watchers to bring all of their operatives to the headquarters so that they can all go to Sunnydale. Suddenly an explosion takes out the whole building. Back in Sunnydale, Spike is strapped down in the high school basement by one of the First’s minions (a Harbinger) as the First appears to him as Spike (aka Spike #2). The First tells him that he will have to “do the honors,” since he wasn’t able to deliver Andrew. The First morphs into Buffy, who asks, “Wanna see what a real vampire looks like?” Spike is hoisted above the Seal of Danthazar, where his blood causes the seal to glow. A disfigured vampire emerges from the open seal.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Singing is a bad omen.

R.I.P.: Quentin and the other Watchers

GRADE: B+ Maybe I'm biased, since Andrew cracks me up. Anya and Xander are also especially great here.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Wood: “Now, guys, look, we can settle this one of two ways. You can repaint the walls, or I can suspend you and report this little incident on your permanent record.”
Punk #1: “Fine. Do that.”
Wood: “Okay, I was bluffing. I hadn't really thought that one through. Listen, this whole permanent record thing is such a myth anyway. Colleges never ask for anything past your SAT scores, and it's not like employers are gonna be calling up to check to see how many days you missed back in high school. So, listen, I-I could suspend you, but that would mean calling your parents, alerting your teachers, filling out paperwork, and, quite possibly, having to talk to the school board, all of which sounds positively exhausting to me. No. No, I think it would be much easier if I just called the police, let them deal with it. Oh, and, in case you're wondering, this is the part where I'm not bluffing.”

Buffy: “I think we need to get him some blood.”
Willow: “Do you want me to kill Anya?”

Babe 2: Pig in the City was really underrated.” - Andrew, before trying to kill a pig

First Evil as Warren: “You're Conan. You're the destroyer. It's you against nature. You're the hunter, you're primal, you live off the land. You're Andrew. Everyone knows you. You play by your own rules. It's kill or be killed.”
Andrew: “That’ll do, pig!”
First Evil as Warren: No - you gotta - you gotta corner it. Stay between it and the hall, or it--. That's the worst attempted pig slaughtering I've ever seen.”

Andrew: “I'd like 12 pork chops, 2 pounds of sausage, 8 quarts of pigs blood, 3 steaks, um, halibut, and, uh, some toothpaste….”
Butcher: “This is a butcher shop, Neo.”

Andrew: “I'm bad, I'm evil, but I'm protected by powerful forces. Forces you can't even begin to imagine, little girl. If you harm me, you shall know the wrath of he that is darkness and terror. Your blood will boil, and you will know true suffering. Stand down, she-witch. Your defeat is at hand--.”
Willow: “Shut your mouth. I am a she-witch, a very powerful she-witch…or witch, as is more accurate. I'm not to be trifled with.”
Andrew: “But I--.”
Willow: “I'm talking. Don't interrupt me, insignificant man. I am Willow. I am death. If you dare defy me, I will call down my fury, exact fresh vengeance, and make your worst fears come true. (brightly) Okay?” "You're barking up the wrong asparagus, man." - Andrew

Xander:“I was worried I overdid it with the whole ‘easy way, hard way’ thing.”
Anya: “No, you were great! And I wasn't sure if I should slap him, but then he made me want to slap him, so I thought, okay, slap him!”

Buffy: “How’s your guy?”
Anya: “The weasel wants to sing. He just needs a tune.”

Buffy: “And then he started singing.”
Anya: “Maybe it’s another musical. A much crappier musical.”


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