"Triangle"
Written by Jane Espenson; directed by Christopher Hibler

Xander and Anya chat in bed, discussing Riley. She tells him that if he ever decides to leave, she wants a warning. She wonders if Buffy is to blame for her failed relationships, and Xander wonders how Buffy is dealing with the break-up. She happens to be slaying in the courtyard of an abbey and possibly wondering what it would be like to be a nun. Later, she trains with Giles in the back room of the magic shop and discuss his upcoming trip to England to visit the Council (see “Helpless”) and find out if they have any information on Glory. She makes him promise not to mention Dawn to them. Anya is thrilled that Giles is leaving because she gets to run the Magic Box on her own. He is worried about leaving her in charge, but the other Scoobies ease his fears by offering to help out. Anya complains to Xander that Willow is encroaching on her territory, but Xander doesn’t want to get involved.

At home, Buffy is happy to see that Joyce is feeling better. Buffy talks with Dawn about Riley and says that his leaving hurts, but that she’s optimistic that he’ll come back. In his crypt, Spike holds a box of chocolates and practices telling Buffy (using the mannequin as her stand-in) that he’s sorry about what happened with Riley. He grows angry when he imagines her getting defensive; he smashes the box over the mannequin’s head, then calms himself and starts over. Back at the Magic Box, Willow and Tara gather supplies, preparing to do a spell which can create a ball of sunlight to help Buffy with her slaying. Anya tells them that they can’t use the supplies without paying for them and Willow replies that Anya is like the fish in The Cat in the Hat. She offers to show Anya some spells and Anya accuses her of trying to make her succumb to peer pressure. Xander arrives and Anya and Willow complain to him about each other. Again, he doesn’t want to get involved.

Willow accidentally makes the cash register disappear, upsetting Anya. Willow mocks Anya for worrying about money more than people and Xander tells them to work out their problems on their own. Tara takes a page from his book and leaves as well. Anya begins taking inventory of everything that Willow is using. Willow warns that the spell is sensitive and that any non-magical words spoken can affect it. Of course, Anya doesn’t quite get this, and she talks during the spell, frustrating Willow. The ball of sunlight that she creates begins to move crazily and a troll, Olaf (Abraham Benrubi), appears. He smashes up the shop with a hammer, then heads outside. At UC Sunnydale, Buffy and Tara discuss the class they’re taking together. Tara mentions that Xander was upset about Anya and Willow’s squabbling, but Buffy interprets this as trouble in Xander/Anya paradise. Tara tries to assure her that the two will be fine.

Anya and Willow drive Giles’ car through Sunnydale, trying to track down Olaf. Anya tells Willow that he must have been trapped in the crystal she used in the spell and blames her for releasing him. Unfortunately for Willow, Anya is driving, though she’s never driven before. (You may say that she mentioned driving in “Graduation Day, Part 1,” but no one would listen to you.) Willow looks through papers for a spell to help them. At the Bronze, Xander runs into Spike, who sings the praises of the Bronze’s version of a blooming onion. Buffy and Tara arrive at the magic shop to find the place destroyed and Willow and Anya gone. They head off to find out what happened. Olaf intimidates some Sunnydale residents, then heads towards the Bronze.

Spike and Xander play pool while Xander vents about Willow and Anya’s problems with each other. Spike tries to get information out of him about Buffy, but doesn’t find Xander very helpful. Olaf arrives and asks the two if they know where he can find babies. Xander and Spike are attempting to escape when Willow and Anya arrive, followed shortly by Buffy and Tara. Willow attempts to do a spell to get rid of Olaf, but he stops her. He accuses Anya of putting Willow up to the spell, then reveals that he and Anya once dated. In fact, she was the one who turned him into a troll, as punishment for his unfaithfulness. As a result, she was made a vengeance demon. (See “Selfless.”) Olaf threatens to kill her and Willow tries the spell again, but it’s unsuccessful. Buffy fights Olaf, but he starts smashing pillars in the Bronze, causing the balcony to collapse.

Once the Scoobies have surveyed the damages, they realize that Olaf is gone. Buffy sends Xander after him and Willow and Anya back to the Magic Box to find a spell to stop him. She spots Spike helping someone who was injured and he tells her that he could feed off of the victims, but won’t. She confirms that he wants credit for not taking advantage of them, then calls him disgusting. “What’s it take?” he asks, exasperated. At the Magic Box, Willow and Anya try to gather spells but Anya is still bitter about Willow stealing from the shop. She realizes that Willow thinks she’s going to hurt Xander; Anya assures her she won’t. She tells Willow that she knows she broke up Xander and Cordelia (see “Lovers Walk”) and is worried that she will break up her and Xander. Willow’s response is, “Hello, gay now.” They both confirm that they won’t hurt Xander just as Olaf returns. Xander arrives shortly after and fights Olaf. Olaf announces that he will only kill either Willow or Anya, and that Xander will be the one to decide which one lives.

Xander refuses to choose, accusing Olaf of using “insane troll logic.” Olaf snaps Xander’s wrist and demands that he choose. Xander again refuses and Olaf tells him he’ll just kill him instead. Anya steps forward to take Xander’s place as Willow attempts another spell. However, she only succeeds in making the cash register disappear again. Buffy and Tara arrive and Anya tells Buffy that Olaf’s strength lies in his hammer. Willow tells Anya to distract Olaf so that she can perform a spell. Anya starts yelling insults at Olaf, who grows irritated and goes after her. He tells Buffy that Anya and Xander’s relationship will never last, which upsets Buffy and makes her fight harder. She finally knocks him out and Willow sends him to another dimension. Buffy cries with joy at their happy ending. Later, Buffy, Giles, and Joyce gather at the Summers’ house and discuss the fact that he went all the way to England to be told that the Council doesn’t have any information. Dawn eavesdrops in the stairwell, only hearing that she is somehow involved.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Your girlfriend and your gay best friend might not always get along.

GRADE: B Full of rare pairings - Willow and Anya, Buffy and Tara, and Spike and Xander. Plus, Willow and Anya’s long-standing rivalry finally comes to a head.

WELCOME TO THE HELLMOUTH: Olaf

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Anya: “If you ever decide to go, I want a warning. You know, big flashing red lights, and-and-and one of those clocks that counts down like a bomb in a movie? And there's a whole bunch of, of colored wires, and I'm not sure which is the right one to cut, but I guess the green one, and then at the last second, ‘No! The red one!’ and then click, it stops with three-tenths of a second left, but then you don't leave. Like that, okay?”
Xander: “Check. Big bomb clock.”

Giles: “Uh, the resources that the…Watchers Council has at their disposal…I mean, the central library alone is just….”
Buffy: “Don't talk about the books again. You get all…and sometimes there's drool.”

“I'm envious, Mr. Giles. A trip to England sounds so exciting and exotic. Un…less you're English.” - Tara

Willow: “We can come by between classes! Usually I use that time to copy over my class notes with a system of different colored pens…but it's been pointed out to me that that's, you know, insane.”
Tara: “I said ‘quirky.’”

Xander: “So, how goes the slaying?”
Buffy: “I killed something in a convent last night.”
Xander: “In any other room, a frightening declaration. Here, a welcome distraction. Tell us all about the killing, Buff.”
Buffy: “Pretty standard. Vampire staking. Ooh! But I met a nun, and she let me try on her wimple.”
Xander: “Okay, now we're back to frightening.”

Dawn: (seeing Buffy reading a magazine in her room) “Whatcha doin’?”
Buffy: “Playing soccer.”

Willow: “You're the fish!”
Anya: “What?”
Willow: “The, the fish in the bowl, in The Cat in the Hat. He was always saying that the cat shouldn't be there while the mother was out.”
Anya: “What are you talking about?”
Tara: “It's a book. This cat does all this mischief.”
Willow: “It's so cute. He balances a bunch of stuff, including that fish in the bowl! A-and, but don't try it for real when you're six, because then you're not allowed to have fish for five years.”

Buffy: “He left? Xander left Anya?”
Tara: “Ummm…no, not ‘left her’ left her, he just left. It was only a little thing, it--.”
Buffy: “Little thing? (starting to cry) “See, the thing is, the…little things get bigger, you know, and, and, and, and, if you don't catch the little thing and then, boom! You have this, this, this whole huge thing!”
Tara: “Oh, dear.”
Buffy: “Not, not, not them with the little things! They can't break up!”
Tara: “Oh, I think--.”
Buffy: “They have a beautiful love.”
Tara: “I think they’ll be fine.”
(Buffy starts crying on Tara’s shoulder)
Buffy: (muffled) “They have a miraculous love!”
Tara: “What?”
Buffy: “A miraculous love!”

Spike: “They have chicken wings, too. Also a sort of a flower-shaped thing they make from an onion. It’s brilliant.”
Xander: “Are you talking to me hoping that I’ll get so depressed that I’ll impale myself on a fork right in front of you?”

Xander: “I’m gonna run and get Buffy. Or maybe you could fight him.”
Spike: “Yeah, I could do that, but I’m paralyzed with not caring very much.”
Olaf: “You there! Do you know where there are babies?”
Spike: “What do you think, the hospital?”
Xander: “What? Shut up! Um…listen….”
Olaf: “I find myself very hungry. And when I’m hungry, I grow short of patience.”
Xander: “Well, we can take care of the hungry, so how’s about you just sit down in one of the…sturdier chairs, and we can…have a calm talk and something to eat?”
Olaf: “Can it be babies?”
Xander: “Well, not so much.”

Willow: “I wish Buffy was here.”
Buffy: (arriving) “I’m here.”
Willow: “I wish I had a million dollars.”

Xander: “You are one crazy troll. I…I’m not choosing between my girlfriend and my best friend. That’s insane troll logic.”
Anya: “Go, Xander. I love you.”

Willow: “Uh, distract him from Buffy, uh, pi$% him off.”
Anya: “I don’t know how.”
Willow: “Anya, I have faith in you. There is no one you cannot pi$% off.”
Anya: “Hey, Olaf! You’re as inadequate a troll as you were a boyfriend!”

Xander: “You really dated him?”
Anya: “Yes.”
Xander: “But you like me better, right?”
Anya: “Yes! Oh, and Willow likes you, too, but not in a sexy way, you know, ‘cause she’s gay.”

Buffy: “Where did you send him?”
Anya: “The land of the trolls. He’ll like it there. Full of trolls.”
Willow: “It’s hard to be precise, though. Alternate universes don’t stay put. Trying to send him to a specific place is sort of like…like…trying to hit a…puppy, by throwing a live bee at it. Which is a weird image, and you should all just forget it.”
Anya: “It’s possible that he’s in the land of perpetual Wednesday…or the crazy melty land…or, you know, the world without shrimp.”
Tara: “There’s a world without shrimp? I’m allergic.”

“Um…Giles? Could you maybe make an angry face? ‘Cause the smile is kind of scaring me.” - Willow (from the original script)


Back to Buffy episode guides

Back to Fun and Games