"What’s My Line, Part 1"
Written by Howard Gordon & Marti Noxon; directed by David Solomon

It’s career fair time at Sunnydale High, and Buffy and Xander are filling out aptitude tests. Cordelia passes by with a couple of Cordettes and decides that she aspires to help her fellow man, as long as he’s not poor or ugly. Buffy tries to decide if she likes shrubs, finally going with them. She notes that the test doesn’t even matter, since she’s already destined to be a Slayer, but Snyder would get on her case if she didn’t take the test. Drusilla reads tarot cards at the warehouse while a vampire named Dalton translates a text for Spike. However, he translates it as “debase, the beef, canoe,” which Spike doesn’t think is entirely accurate. He tells Dru that they’re working on finding her a cure and worries that Buffy will get in the way. Drusilla tells him that Dalton can’t help them, “not without…the key.” (She seems to be in the wrong season.) She shows him a card with a mausoleum on it and tells him that the key is there.

Buffy patrols in the cemetery that night and sees Dalton trying to chip through the wall of a mausoleum. She’s distracted by another vampire, and by the time she’s killed him, Dalton has skedaddled. When Buffy returns home, she finds Angel in her bedroom, holding her stuffed pig, Mr. Gordo. She tells him that her mother is in L.A. for the week and that she only came through the window out of habit. He tells her that he knows about career week (“I lurk”) and she laments that she can’t have a normal life. She tells him that he’s the only semi-normal thing in her life (despite the fact that he’s her “cradle-robbing, creature of the night boyfriend”). Angel sees a picture of her ice skating as a kid and tells her about a skating rink nearby that’s closed on Tuesdays (which happens to be the next day.)

The next day, Xander and Cordelia look up the results of their aptitude tests - Cordelia is best suited to be a motivational speaker or personal shopper, and she just laughs when she sees Xander’s results. Buffy and Willow discuss the skating date as Xander approaches and tells them that his aptitude test names him a prison guard. Buffy laughs and Xander informs her that she’s been assigned to law enforcement. She heads over to talk to Giles, who is on a “hyper-efficiency kick.” Willow asks Xander where she was placed, and he tells her that he didn’t see her name on the list. In the library, Giles tells Buffy that he’s been indexing Watchers’ diaries. She tells him about the vampires from the previous night, stating that one of them stole something from the mausoleum. He complains that she didn’t try to find out what he took, and she says that if he doesn’t like her work, he can get someone to replace her. “I don’t have to be the Slayer,” she says. “I could be dead.” He admonishes her and tells her that they need to figure out what Dalton took.

In the warehouse, Spike and Drusilla examine the cross that Dalton stole from the mausoleum. Spike complains about Buffy always getting in the way of his plans and decides to bring in the Order of Taraka, a group of bounty hunters. Drusilla deals three tarot cards - one of a Cyclops, one of a centipede, and one of a panther. Willow and Xander discuss Buffy’s impromptu field trip with Giles, which they try to hide from Snyder, who thinks something’s up. Willow is approached by two recruiters, who take her into the student lounge, where she is offered canapés. The recruiters tell her that she’s supposed to meet with the head of a software company and has been tracked for some time. The recruiters say that the company is selective and that only one other student from Sunnydale met their criteria. As they leave, Willow turns to see the other student in the lounge - it’s Oz. He quickly realizes that she’s the girl he’s been wanting to meet (see “Inca Mummy Girl and “Halloween”).

In the cemetery, Buffy hightails it to the mausoleum as Giles accuses her of acting immaturely. “I am immature,” she reminds him. “I’m a teen. I have yet to mature.” She tells him that he treated her harshly earlier and reminds him that she doesn’t have a choice as to being a Slayer. He asks if she’s ever considered going into law enforcement. In the mausoleum, Giles tells her that it belongs to a guy named Joseph du Lac, who wrote the book that was stolen from the library in “Lie to Me.” The book contains rituals and spells that can bring about evil, and that whoever stole it must have figured out how to translate it. “Something’s coming, Buffy, and whatever it is, I can guarantee it’s not good,” Giles announces. At the bus station, an angry-looking man arrives in Sunnydale. On Buffy’s street, a man named Norman Pfister goes to a neighbor, telling her that he’s selling cosmetics, and seemingly kills her. A plane arrives in Sunnydale with a young woman (Bianca Lawson) stowed away in the cargo hold.

The Scoobies convene in the library, where Giles tells them that the du Lac cross is used to decipher things. He decides that they need to figure out what was in the stolen book, but Buffy remembers her skating date and begs off of doing work. At the rink, she skates by herself as the angry man from the bus watches. He grabs her and chokes her as Angel comes in to the rescue. The three fight, and Buffy slits the guy’s throat with a skate. In the warehouse, Drusilla turns over the Cyclops tarot card, indicating that the first of the three bounty hunters is dead. Angel points out the ring that the bounty hunter is wearing and tells Buffy that she’s in danger. She tries to tend to a cut on his face, but he says that he doesn’t want her to see him vamped out. She says that she didn’t even notice. As they kiss, the girl from the plane watches.

Giles examines the ring from the assassin as Xander makes jokes and Giles eventually snaps at him. He tells Buffy that she should hide somewhere, saying that the assassins are different from vampires - some are human and some aren’t, but none has any ties to the world. If she kills one, another will follow. She will never be able to predict where one will strike. As he speaks, Norman, who appears to be made up of worms, takes up residence in Buffy’s neighbor’s house. Buffy walks through the halls of the school, nervous that she might encounter an assassin. She grabs Oz, telling him to “try it,” but he’s confused as to what she means. She starts to go home that night, then changes her mind. The Scoobies are in the library, unable to reach her. Buffy goes to Angel’s apartment and curls up in his bed.

Angel heads to a bar to speak with its owner, Willy (Saverio Guerra). Willy promises that he’s moved away from the underworld, but Angel doesn’t believe him. He asks about the Order of Taraka, wanting to know if Spike is behind their arrival, and tries to beat information out of Willy. Willy tells him that Spike is sick of Buffy messing things up for him, but before he can say more, the girl from the airport knocks Angel out. Before she can stake him with a broom, he gets out of the way and they start to fight. She shoves him into a cage and locks him inside, telling him that the sun will rise and kill him while she goes to find Buffy. In the morning, Giles calls Xander at home and tells him to get Cordelia to take him to Buffy’s house. He wakes Willow, who slept in the library, and tells her that he found a description of the stolen manuscript. He says that it’s used to cure a weak vampire, such as Drusilla. Dalton finishes translated the manuscript and Spike and Drusilla realize that the answer was in front of them the whole time. Dru draws a tarot card with a picture of an angel.

Xander and Cordelia head towards Buffy’s house, which Xander breaks into. While Xander looks for Buffy, Norman comes to the door and offers Cordelia free cosmetics samples. In the bar, Angel is close to being met by some happy little sun rays. Buffy receives a surprise awakening in the form of a hatchet next to her head. The attacker is the girl from the plane, who tries again to whack Buffy but fails. They fight, almost equally matched, and the girl asks Buffy who she is. Buffy points out that the girl was the attacker and should be the first to introduce herself. “I am Kendra,” the girl replies. “De Vampire Slayer!”

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Check peoples’ rings before you get on their bad sides.

GRADE: B- It would be better if we weren’t hit over the head with the theme.


MEMORABLE QUOTES - “‘Are you a people person, or do you prefer keeping your own company?’ Well, what if I’m a people person who keeps his own company by default?” - Xander

Willow: “I'm kinda curious to find out what sort of career I could have.”
Xander: “What, and suck all the spontaneity out of being young and stupid? I’d rather live in the dark.”
Willow: “You’re not gonna be young forever.”
Xander: “Yes, but I’ll always be stupid. Okay, let’s not all rush to disagree.”

Cordelia: “‘I aspire to help my fellow man.’ Check. As long as he’s not smelly, dirty or something gross.”
Xander: “Cordelia Chase, always ready to give a helping hand to the rich and the pretty.”
Cordelia: “Which, lucky me, excludes you. Twice.” (she leaves)
Xander: “Is murder always a crime?”
Buffy: “Do I like shrubs?”
Xander: “That’s between you and your god.”

“Motivational speaker? On what? Ten Ways to a More Annoying You?” - Xander to Cordelia

“Principal Snyder! Great career fair, sir! Really! In fact, I’m so inspired by your leadership, I’m thinking principal school. I wanna walk in your shoes. Not your actual shoes, of course, because you’re a tiny person. Not tiny in the small sense, of course. Okay, I’m done now.” - Xander

Snyder: “Whatever comes out of your mouth is a meaningless waste of breath. An airborne toxic event.”
Xander: “Well, I’m glad you feel comfortable enough to be so honest with me. And I can only hope that one day I’m in the position to be that honest with you.”
Snyder: “Fascinating.”

“Uh, Giles, it’s one thing to be a Watcher and a librarian. They go together like chicken and…another chicken, or…two chickens, or…something, you know what I’m saying!” - Buffy

“Note to self - religion: freaky.” - Buffy

Giles: “This article describes an invention of his, which he called ‘The Du Lac Cross.’”
Xander: “So, why go to all the trouble of inventing something, and then giving it a weak name like that? I mean, I’da gone with ‘The Cross-o-matic,’ or, uh, ‘The Amazing Mr. Cross.’”

“But Ho-Hos are a vital part of my cognitive process!” - Xander

Giles: “Well, maybe Buffy unplugged the phone.”
Xander: “No, it’s a statistical impossibility for a sixteen-year-old girl to unplug her phone.”

Willow: “Don’t warn the tadpoles!”
Giles: “Are you all right?”
Willow: “Giles, what are you doing here?”
Giles: “It’s the library, Willow. You fell asleep.”
Willow: “Oh! I….”
Giles: “Don’t warn the tadpoles?”
Willow: “I…I have frog fear.”

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