Written by Marti Noxon; directed by Michael Lange

Buffy gets up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water and is followed down the hall by Drusilla. She enters the bathroom but finds herself in the Bronze, where Willow is sitting at a table with a monkey. “L’hippo a piqué ses pantalons,” Willow says in French (translation: “the hippo stole his pants” - see “What’s My Line, Part 2”). Buffy walks past her and encounters her mother, who asks, “Do you really think you’re ready, Buffy?” and drops the saucer she’s holding. Buffy walks through the crowd to Angel, but before she reaches him, Dru stakes him. Buffy reaches for him, but he’s already turning to dust. “Happy Birthday, Buffy,” Drusilla says. In her bedroom, Buffy wakes up for real.

Buffy goes to Angel’s apartment to make sure that he’s okay and tells him that she dreamed that Drusilla was alive. She worries that, like her previous dreams, this one was prophetic, but he convinces her that not all of her dreams are. They do a little kissing, and she finds it difficult to leave him to go to school. He asks her what she wants for her birthday and she tells him to surprise her. She says that she likes seeing him first thing in the morning; when he points out that it’s actually his bedtime, she says that she likes seeing him at bedtime and that saying goodnight to him is getting harder. At school, she relates what she said to Willow and they discuss the possibility of sex. Willow encourages her to seize the day. Buffy points out Oz and asks if there’s anything between them, but Willow isn’t sure. Buffy encourages her to make the first move, but Willow’s nervous that they’ll wind up having an awkward conversation. She and Oz talk about his band, and he tells her that he’s going to ask her out for the next night. She assures him that she’ll say yes. He asks her, but she realizes that she can’t go, because Buffy’s surprise birthday party is the next night. She invites him to come along as her date and he accepts.

Xander approaches Cordelia at her locker and brings up Buffy’s party. He asks if they should go together, but she says that they’re not actually dating, they’re just making out a lot. She adds that he wants to tell everyone because she makes him look better, but that she’s the one who has reason to be ashamed. Xander and Giles meet up with Jenny and Buffy, who tells them about her dream. Giles tells her to be on alert in case Dru is alive, but that he’s sure there’s nothing to worry about. Dalton, Spike’s henchvamp, arrives at the warehouse with a wooden box, which Spike tells him to put “with the other gifts.” Spike is now confined to a wheelchair after the events of “What’s My Line, Part 2,” and though Dru is still insane, she’s no longer weak. She’s planning a party, which Spike isn’t sure he wants to hold in Sunnydale, and wants to open a present. She tells Spike that it will be the best party ever because “it will be the last.”

On the morning of Buffy’s birthday, she tells her mother that she woke up suddenly possessing “the qualities one looks for in a…licensed driver.” “Do you really think you’re ready, Buffy?” Joyce asks, dropping the saucer she’s holding, just like she did in Buffy’s dream. At school, a man named Enyos (Vincent Schiavelli) approaches Jenny in her classroom and accuses her of ignoring her “responsibility” to her people. He tells her that an elder woman has been reading signs that “his pain is lessening.” Jenny admits that there’s a girl involved, but that Angel still suffers - he’s making up for his past wrongs and even saved her life (see “The Dark Age”). Enyos reminds her that Angel killed a member of their tribe, and as punishment, is supposed to suffer eternally. If he has one moment of happiness with Buffy, his punishment will end. He addresses Jenny as Janna of the Kalderash people - a gypsy. She addresses him as her uncle. He tells her that things between Angel and Buffy have to end, and she assures him that she’ll take care of it.

In the library, Buffy tells Giles about part of her dream being fulfilled. Willow and Xander arrive and wish her a happy birthday, but note that she’s unnerved because of her dream. Giles tells her that, just because part of her dream came true doesn’t mean the rest of it will. Giles suggests that she return that night to figure out a strategy for staying away from the possibly-alive Drusilla. After she leaves, he tells Willow and Xander that they’ll go ahead with her birthday party. Willow points out that Angel’s coming, so Buffy will have him close by and won’t have to worry about him. That night, Jenny meets up with Buffy at school and tells her that Giles wants to meet them somewhere closer to his apartment. Jenny offers her a ride and, as they pass the Bronze, Buffy sees a truck outside and heads over to investigate. She spots Dalton with the wooden box and fights him and some other vamps. Inside the Bronze, Angel, Oz, and the Scoobies wonder what’s taking her so long.

Buffy and a vamp crash into the Bronze and she stakes him with a drumstick. Cordelia jumps up and yells, “Surprise!” Buffy realizes that she’s crashed her own surprise party. Willow asks Oz if he’s okay, since he was unaware of the existence of vampires, but he quickly adjusts to the idea, commenting that it explains a lot. Jenny brings in the wooden box and Buffy opens it. An arm reaches out and starts choking her. Angel gets the arm back in the box and tells the others that it may be part of a demon called the Judge, who was summoned to kill all humans. Giles says that the Judge couldn’t be killed, but was only dismembered by an army. The pieces were spread around the world, and Dru might now be bringing them to one place in order to put him back together. Giles decides that the best way to avoid another apocalypse is to take the arm out of the country, and Jenny announces that Angel should be the one to do it. However, this would mean he would be gone for months in order to get it as far away as possible. He decides that he should leave that night, even though it’s Buffy’s birthday.

Drusilla is upset to hear that Dalton lost her “present” and is about to hypnotize and kill him when Spike tells her to give him a second chance to get the arm back. Buffy and Angel head to the docks so that Angel can get on a ship, and he tries to convince her that he’ll come back and that they’ll be fine. He gives her her birthday present, a claddagh ring (remember this - it will be important from now through “Faith, Hope, and Trick”), and they kiss goodbye. Suddenly, vampires arrive, followed by Dalton, who grabs the box while Buffy and Angel fight the vamps. Buffy winds up in the water and Angel jumps in after her as the vamps run off with the arm. In the library, the Scoobies wonder where Buffy is, and Willow says that she feels bad that Angel has to leave on her birthday. Xander expresses doubt that their relationship would have led to anything meaningful anyway. Buffy arrives and tells the Scoobies what happened. Giles tells her that the Judge burns the humanity out of people; demons can survive, but humans can’t. “No weapon forged” can kill him. The Scoobies decide to do a “round robin” in order to stay at the library all night - each calls his or her parents and tells them that he or she is spending the night at another Scooby’s house.

That night, during the research session, Willow tells Xander that she’s impressed with the way Oz handled everything. Giles and Angel see that Buffy has fallen asleep and leave her alone to save her strength. Buffy dreams of going to the warehouse, where she sees Jenny. Drusilla grabs Angel and threatens him with a knife. In actuality, Drusilla and Spike are preparing for their party and Dru is thrilled to receive to see that the Judge (Brian Thompson) has been assembled. He’s big and blue and he could crush you with his pinkie. The Judge accuses Spike and Drusilla of having humanity, but Spike points out that they’re responsible for his reassembly. The Judge gives a demonstration of his powers by burning Dalton, leading Drusilla to gleefully say, “Do it again! Do it again!” Buffy tells Giles and Angel that she thinks she knows where Spike and Dru are. She says that she and Angel will go to the warehouse to see how far they’ve gotten with the Judge, and the other Scoobies should go see if any more boxes have arrived anywhere in town.

Buffy and Angel arrive at the warehouse and Buffy notes that things look very similar to the way they did in her dream. The Judge spots them, but before they can make their escape, vampires capture them. Angel orders Spike and Drusilla to leave Buffy alone and tells the Judge to take him instead of her. Spike informs him that it doesn’t matter, because they’re both going to die. Buffy tries to fend off the Judge and Angel grabs some chains, making monitors fall on the Judge. He and Buffy jumps into a sewer, running from henchvamps, and wind up going through a manhole up into the street. They head over to Angel’s apartment, soaking wet, and confess their feelings to each other. They start making out and, though we don’t see anything, eventually have sex for the first time. In the middle of the night, Angel wakes up and runs outside, calling Buffy’s name. To be continued….

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Sex is naughty, and deadly. Like James Bond!

GRADE: A- You won’t see it coming. I guarantee it.


MEMORABLE QUOTES - Angel: “Still, not every dream you have comes true. I mean, what else did you dream last night? Can you remember?”
Buffy: “I dreamt…I dreamt that Giles and I opened an office supply warehouse in Vegas.”

Willow: (re: Oz) “Oh, I don't know, though. I mean, he is a senior.”
Buffy: “You think he’s too old ‘cause he’s a senior? Please. My boyfriend had a bicentennial.”

Oz: “I’m gonna ask you to go out with me tomorrow night. And I’m kinda nervous about it, actually. It’s interesting.”
Willow: “Oh. Well, if it helps at all, I’m gonna say yes.”
Oz: “Yeah, it helps. It-it creates a comfort zone. Do you wanna go out with me tomorrow night?”
Willow: “Oh! I can’t!”
Oz: “Well, see, I like that you’re unpredictable.”

Cordelia: “Well, just because she’s Miss Save the World and everything, you have to make a big deal? I have to cook! And everything.”
Xander: “You’re cooking?”
Cordelia: “Well, I’m chips and dips girl.”
Xander: “Horrors! All that opening and stirring.”
Cordelia: “And shopping and carrying.”

Giles: “Here comes Buffy. Now remember: discretion is the better part of valor.”
Xander: “You coulda just said, ‘Shh!’ …Are all you Brits such drama queens?”

Giles: “We’re having a party tonight.”
Xander: “Looks like Mr. Caution Man, but the sound he makes is funny.”
Giles: “Buffy’s surprise party will go ahead as we planned. Except I won’t be wearing the little hat.”

Xander: “Vampires are real. A lot of them live in Sunnydale. Willow will fill you in.”
Willow: “I know it’s hard to accept at first.”
Oz: “Actually, it explains a lot.”

Xander: “But let’s look at the upside for a moment. I mean, what kind of a future would she’ve really had with him? She’s got two jobs - Denny’s waitress by day, Slayer by night - and Angel’s always in front of the TV with a big blood belly, and he’s dreamin’ of the glory days when Buffy still thought this whole creature of the night routine was a big turn-on.”
Willow: “You’ve thought way too much about this.”
Xander: “No, no. That’s just the beginning. Have I told you the part where I fly into town in my private jet and take Buffy out for prime rib?”

Giles: “A true creature of evil can survive the process. No human ever has.”
Xander: “What’s the problem? We send Cordy to fight this guy, and we go for pizza.”

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