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Empty Places

Original Air Date: April 29, 2003

Written by Drew Z. Greenberg
Directed by Drew Z. Greenberg & James A. Contner

Summary

    All of Sunnydale seems to be packing up and moving out of town. Buffy strolls among the many cars making their way out of town as she runs in to Clem who's in his car, leaving town as well. He can feel the tension rising in Sunnydale, and he knows that everyone can feel it as well. He urges her on to save the world but then mentions that maybe she should get out of town as well this time around. He takes off, leaving Buffy to meander among the vehicles by herself. Meanwhile at the police station, Willow is using her mind control magic on an officer there, and he hands over a great deal of files concerning Caleb and some ministries because he believes they're from Interpol. As Willow and Giles leave the station, a bunch of officers discuss the latest: a wanted fugitive, namely Faith, is in Sunnydale and their job is to capture her. Buffy and Willow meet up at the hospital and try to console Xander who's still a patient there, recovering after losing his left eye. Buffy heads off rather quickly, much to Willow and Xander's dismay, they were hoping to hang with her. Willow stays behind with Xander and they try to make jokes about him having one less eye, but it ends with Willow starting to cry, although Xander hopes she won't. Back at home, Anya is lecturing the potential slayers on how to kill Ubervamps; holy water doesn't work, but stakes will, so long as they get through their extremely resilient sternum. The potentials don't seem too eager about any of it though. Kennedy and Amanda head upstairs to join Faith, telling her that everyone feels pretty pointless down there. Buffy comes home with the info that Willow and Giles got from the police and she sets everyone to work reading through the paperwork. Dawn asks her about Xander, but Buffy avoids the issue. Buffy heads  to the school to pick up the rest of her stuff while the others research.

    The school is completely deserted and Buffy stares wistfully at a picture of her, Xander and Willow when they were much younger. Much to her surprise, she finds herself face to face with Caleb in her office.  He taunts her about Xander and tells her to mind her manners, wondering why she would want to get in the First Evil's way. She tries to fight him but only ends up being thrown through a glass window and into a wall where she passes out unconscious while Caleb walks away. Dawn has discovered some news on Caleb involving a church north of Sunnydale. Giles sends Spike and Andrew off to the convent to try and discover what exactly happened there. However, once they've left, all the potentials are still desolate and Faith decides to take them out, and get their minds off this war. She takes them all to the Bronze where they all let loose and dance to their heart's content while Nerf Herder plays onstage. Buffy returns home to find a completely empty nest, save for Giles who informs her that Spike and Andrew are away on a mission (much to Buffy's distrust of Giles' intentions regarding Spike) and that Faith took all the potentials to the Bronze for a little down time. Buffy marches off to the Bronze to retrieve them. Meanwhile, at the Bronze, four cops tear Faith away from the dance floor and pull her outside. One stands guard by the door to prevent the potentials from following them outside. Outside, the cops all pull their guns on Faith and she immediately fights back. However, they have the advantage and start wailing on her. The potentials finally make their way outside and start wailing on the cops, helping Faith out. Just as they manage to knock all the cops out, Buffy appears on the scene less than pleased to see the potentials fighting. She orders all the potentials to go home and Faith and Buffy are left alone outside. Buffy begins to chew her out, but Faith thinks that the potential slayers needed a break from everything. Faith taunts Buffy after being repeatedly attacked verbally by her but Buffy merely punches her in the face and walks off.

    Meanwhile, Spike and Andrew are on the road, headed north to the convent, discussing onion blossoms and how to make them.  Once Andrew and Spike get to the convent they're confronted by a priest who shows them the room that Caleb discovered in the church. There's an inscription on the wall in Latin that reads "It is not for thee, it is for her alone to wield" that Caleb became enraged when he read it and killed all the other priests in the convent.

    Back at the Summer's residence, Faith and Wood are talking outside on the porch. Faith tells him that she didn't fight back against Buffy because other things matter more. Xander is brought home and everyone is quietly very happy to see him, but less than two minutes into Xander's arrival, Buffy steps in, saying that she found something out involving the vineyard and Caleb. She tells them all that they're going back in to the vineyard. Despite obvious distaste for the idea from the others, Buffy pushes on and says that Caleb doesn't seem to be guarding the seal, which means that his power must be at the vineyard and she wants to go in and take it away from him. However, Faith steps in saying that she doesn't think it's a good idea, she wants more proof than Buffy's guessing games. Giles and Wood both speak out saying that they don't think it's a smart idea. Buffy can't believe that they're not trusting her because she's been protecting them for seven years. Kennedy steps in and Willow agrees with her; they're worried about Buffy's judgment after everything that's happened. Buffy tells them that they all need her to lead them, which is when Anya steps in saying that it's automatically Buffy that gets to lead. She points out that Buffy's powers were handed to her not given to her because she was deserving, and that doesn't make her better than them, just luckier than them. They suggest putting it to a vote, to see who wants Faith in charge as opposed to Buffy. Faith doesn't really want the job, she just thinks that Buffy needs to take a bit of a breather. Dawn goes up to Buffy and tells her that she can't stay with them if she's not going to agree with them, so they need her to leave. Buffy looks around for someone to stop her, but no one does. She storms out onto the porch, only to be follow by Faith who tells her that she didn't want it to end this way. Buffy tearfully tells her to not be afraid to lead them. Faith goes back into the house, leaving Buffy alone outside.

Summary written by Nika

 

Quote of the Week

Andrew: Run is a four letter word!

 

My Rating

4/5

 

Nika's Review

I think Buffy's trying to stay away from Xander because it makes her realize her defeat, her loss. It's awkward, but she doesn't like to see what she's lost. It makes her have to face the reality that it's partly her fault that people died or were injured. And since she IS the general or whatever of this group, then seeing her soldiers in pain is not a good way to bolster her confidence. While I think she does need some sort of distance from her troops, I still agree with what Faith said, about needing to know their names. Faith was very much right. Buffy can't expect these girls to fight for her, especially since they've known her for so very little. They need a reason, no one does anything blindly, there's always a reason for doing something and that's all that Buffy needed to give them. However, Buffy didn't HAVE the information, which isn't good either, she really needed to do some more recon involving Caleb before deciding to just throw everyone in there again. It's a ballsy move that has a 50-50 chance of working or failing. However, after last time's brilliant failure, I seriously think she would have put a lot more thought into what she was expecting them all to do.


One thing that really stuck out about Buffy's confrontation with Caleb at the school was how petrified she seemed. Seeing Buffy her so terrified of Caleb is unbelievably disconcerting. This is the girl that's always been able to fight or destroy whatever came near her. And now she realizes that he seems to have more power than her is just plain scary. That was an absolute moment of weakness and it SCARED me. Poor Buffy.

And yup, without fail, Faith's tattoo is upsidedown. Damn buggers. And then they fixed it! THEY FIXED IT!!! GO THEM! And then they buggered it up WITHIN the same damn scene. Good lord. Of all the aspects of BTVS, that has GOT to be the most inconsistent one.

How hilarious were Andrew and Spike's discussions about onion blossoms? I just died laughing.

Anya was unbelievably harsh, but you know what? She's right. I honestly think that Buffy could have stayed and worked it out if she really wanted. She was not literally kicked out. Other decisions could have been made. She could have agreed to sit back for a little while, but it was her ultimate decision to leave.

Sorry that my review was kind of all over the place, I'm not feeling very structured today. ;)

Cast

Sarah Michelle Gellar
Nicholas Brendon
Alyson Hannigan
Emma Caulfield
Michelle Trachtenberg
James Marsters
Anthony Stewart Head
Eliza Dushku
Tom Lenk
DB Woodside
Nathan Fillion
Iyari Limon
Indigo
Sarah Hagan
Kristy Wu
Dorian Missick
Larry Clarke
Mary Wilcher
James C. Leary
Justin Shilton
Nathan Brooks Burgess
David Grammer
  Buffy Summers
Xander Harris
Willow Rosenberg
Anya
Dawn
Spike
Rupert Giles
Faith
Andrew
Principal Wood
Caleb
Kennedy
Rona
Amanda
Chao-Ahn
Bringer (?)
Priest
Shannon
Clem
Munroe
Duncan
Crazy Citizen