"Potential"
Written by David Fury; directed by Michael Grossman

A bus arrives at the Sunnydale bus station and a teenaged girl named Rona (Indigo) gets off. She looks through a phone book but quickly realizes that the page she needs is missing. She looks up and sees a Bringer (formerly known as the Harbingers - Bringer is easier to type), then more. Just as one is about to stab her, Buffy appears and kills the Bringers (which can’t be that hard, considering they’re blind). Rona realizes that Buffy is the famous Slayer and informs her that she was told she would be safe with her. At the Summers’ house, Kennedy sleeps in Willow’s bed while Willow sleeps on the floor. (If it was a choice between the floor and sharing a bed with Kennedy, she made the right choice.) They discuss the fact that more potentials are arriving all the time. The conversation turns to Kennedy’s family, who is apparently rich, but we don’t care. She encourages Willow to show her a magic trick but Willow declines.

Downstairs the other potentials share their opinions about Buffy - some feel that she can protect them but others are skeptical. Buffy brings Rona home and everyone welcomes her. Buffy tells Giles that the First is always a step ahead of them but Giles is unsure how to remedy this. Buffy decides that the first step is to get rid of the Übervamp so that she can get to Spike. Giles suggests going to Beljoxa’s Eye, an oracle who can only be reached with the help of a demon. Anya is skeptical that Beljoxa’s Eye will be able to help them, but Giles encourages her to get a demon acquaintance to help them. Back in Torture Land, a Bringer prepares to, well, torture Spike, who manages to get the upper hand. He is on his way out of the cave when he spots Buffy…but he’s actually dreaming. The First, appearing this time as Buffy, mocks him, saying that Buffy doesn’t believe in him and won’t be coming to save him. Spike repeats, “She will come for me” and First!Buffy tells him that she won’t.

In an alley, Anya begs an ex, Torg, to open the gateway to Beljoxa’s Eye. He is loathe to do so, claiming that she broke his heart. Giles gets Torg to help them and he opens the gateway. Anya and Giles enter and encounter a multi-eyed creature suspended in a cage. Buffy and Xander untie Andrew, threatening to pull an Annie-from-Misery on him if he tries anything funny. Willow tells Buffy that she’s heard from the coven in England that another potential is arrived in town a couple of days earlier. They were unaware of her arrival because her Watcher was killed by Bringers before he could tell anyone she was coming. Buffy and Xander head out to the hotel where the potential is staying while Dawn tells Willow that she’s not sure the potentials are actually helping them.

In the basement, the potentials - including Kennedy, Molly, Rona, Chloe (Lalaine), Vi (Felicia Day), and Eve - work out. Eve announces that she doesn’t think they serve much purpose in Sunnydale, and that none of them is prepared to face a vampire. Vi tells them that there is actually more than one Slayer, and they all discuss some of the technical aspects of being a chosen one. Buffy and Xander arrive at the hotel and find the potential dead. Buffy recognizes her as Eve and they realize that the Eve in their house is actually the First Evil. (First Evil, Eve…makes sense.)

Andrew and Dawn discuss Slayer mythology and Spike. Dawn tries to intimidate Andrew (which isn’t actually that hard) and tells him that he might not feel so alone if he hadn’t killed Jonathan. Buffy returns home and heads for the basement, where she tells First!Eve to get away from the other potentials. First!Eve replies that a special guest will be arriving at sunset to kill some more potentials. Back with Beljoxa’s Eye, Giles and Anya learn that there is no way to defeat the First. Giles asks why the First has chosen this time to make its move and Beljoxa’s Eye replies that “the opportunity has only recently presented itself.” Because the line of chosen ones was altered recently, the First was able to take advantage of the situation to sever the line altogether. Giles asks who caused the disruption of the line and the First replies that it was Buffy.

The potentials contemplate running, since the First was able to get to them inside a supposedly safe house. Buffy tells them that they’re stronger if they stay together. She asks Willow to put up a magical barrier around the house to protect them and Willow says that she’ll try. The potentials begin to wonder if they should even try to fight, even going so far as to contemplate surrendering in the hopes that they won’t be killed. Buffy, Willow, and a confused Xander head to the kitchen, where they give each other meaningful looks. First!Eve tells the Turok-Han to kill everyone except “her” and the vampires head out. The potentials see the Bringers coming and wonder why they aren’t attacking; Buffy tells them that they’re there to make sure no one inside can get out. All of the potentials get weapons and Andrew is allowed a bottle of holy water.

Willow tries to face her fear and tells Kennedy about her bad experience the last time she tried to do magic. The Übervamp approaches the house as Willow puts up the barrier. Everyone else runs out the back door as Willow struggles to hold the barrier. The Scoobies and potentials fight the Bringers as the barrier falls and the Übervamp heads after them. Anya and Giles exit the portal and Anya tries to figure out how Buffy’s death messed up the Slayer line. Giles tells her that the line was altered when Buffy was resurrected, and Anya realizes that she, Xander, Willow, and Tara are to blame for the First’s return.

Out on the street, Buffy tells Willow to take everyone to a safe place; Xander announces that he knows where they can go. Buffy says that she will get the Übervamp to chase her so that she can lead it away from them. Buffy fights the Übervamp, then runs to see if it will chase her, but it doesn’t. Xander leads the potentials to the construction site, though they don’t feel that they’re safe there because it’s a big, open space. They see the Übervamp approaching with Buffy nowhere in sight. Just as the potentials begin to panic, a light comes on, illuminating Buffy, who is standing on a ledge. Willow announces that it’s “show time” and they all climb the scaffolding to watch. Buffy taunts the Übervamp and begins to fight it. Dawn realizes that Willow and Buffy planned the whole thing - the failure of the barrier and the retreat to the construction site.

We flash back to the fight in the living room and this time hear Buffy speak to Willow telepathically, telling her that they should get Xander and head into the kitchen. Buffy telepathically announces that she needs to kill the Übervamp so she can get to Spike, and she needs to do it in front of the potentials so that they’ll see what she can do. Back in the present, Buffy continues to fight the Übervamp, finally beheading it. First!Eve watches, unhappy with the outcome of the battle. Back at the cave, Spike sees Buffy approaching him and believes that it’s the First. He is proven wrong when she cuts him free and leads him out of the cave.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Mental telepathy is a useful skill to have.

R.I.P.: Turk-Han (aka Übervamp)

GRADE: B- Clever ending, but it doesn't make up for the boring factor.

WELCOME TO THE HELLMOUTH: Rona, Chloe, Vi

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Buffy: “Next time you're attacked--.”
Rona: “Whoa, whoa - next time? You saying I'm gonna get attacked again?”
Buffy: “Welcome to the Hellmouth.”

Xander: “Maybe we can save the maybes for a more dayish part of the day, girls. Potential slayers can function without sleep. Me, I'm no good without my usual 90 minutes.”
Andrew: “I'm with him. Keep the chatter down! Or, speak up so I can hear you. I'm bored. Episode I bored.”

Rona: “Um…why is that guy tied to a chair?”
Xander: “The question you'll soon be asking is, ‘Why isn't he gagged?’”

Torg: “I remember, you wore pink.”
Anya: “Those were entrails.”
Giles: “I'm sorry, perhaps we could skip the nostalgia--. (Anya glares at him) Sorry, no, no, carry on.”
Anya: “OK, Torg, look, you open this tiny little gateway to the Beljoxa's Eye for me, and I'll - you and I will go--. (sigh) I'll have sex with you again.”
Torg: “Ugh, please, you're human. The way you look now, I wouldn't touch you for all the kittens in Korea,”
Anya: “You're rejecting my offer of sexual bribery? What am I, a leper in this town? I can't even give it away!”

“It's okay. We're friendly. And we have eyes.” - Buffy to actually-dead-Eve

Beljoxa’s Eye: “The eye sees not the future, only the truth of the now and before.”
Anya: “Yes, we've all got that - it's called memory.”

Buffy: “We cannot afford to fall apart now.”
Andrew: “She's right. Where would the Justice League have been if they hadn't put their differences aside to stop the Imperium and his shape-shifting alien horde?”
Buffy: “Don’t help me.”

Willow: “I felt it just surging through me, every fiber of my being. Pure, undiluted evil. I could taste it.”
Kennedy: “How’s evil taste?”
Willow: “A little chalky.”

Buffy: “Looks good, doesn't it? They're trapped in here. Terrified. Meat for the beast, and there's nothing they can do but wait. That's all they've been doing for days. Waiting to be picked off. Having nightmares about monsters that can't be killed. But I don't believe in that. I always find a way. I'm the thing that monsters have nightmares about. And right now, you and me are gonna show 'em why. It's time. Welcome to Thunderdome.”
Andrew: “Two men enter. One man leaves.”

“See? Dust. Just like the rest of 'em. I don't know what's coming next, but I do know it's gonna be just like this. Hard. Painful. But in the end it's gonna be us. If we all do our parts, believe it, we'll be the ones left standing. Here endeth the lesson.” - Buffy to potentials


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