Listening to Fear

Original Air Date: November 27, 2000

Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner
Directed by David Solomon


Joyce is still in the hospital and the doctor is informing her that her surgery is scheduled at 10 AM in two days. Joyce doesn't want to hang around but Buffy and Dawn pormise to keep her occupied. The rest of the gang is trying to dispatch of vampires in the cemetery. Riley isn't present, which surprises them. Riley, meanwhile, is in some dark room while a vampire dirnks the blood from the veins in his arm.

The next day Willow, bearing presents, visits the Summers at the hospital. Suddenly Joyce says something completely uncharacteristic of herself and then returns to normal and decides to go to sleep. Outside Buffy tells Dawn that the tumour is pressing on Joyce's brain and it's causing her to say bizarre things. Suddenly a mental patient begins to point at Dawn and tell her that there's no one inside of her. Buffy tells her to forget what the crazy man said but it's clearly bothering Dawn. That night Tara and Willow are up on a roof top watching the stars. Willow spots a huge flaming meteor that crashes to the ground somewhere in Sunnydale. A crazy person is walking through the woods close to where the meteor landed when he's suddenly attacked by a small demon that came from inside the meteor.

Back at the hospital, Joyce is becoming more and more impatient with everything around her. The doctor appears and after some argument from him he agrees to let Buffy take her mother home until the day of the surgery. Meanwhile the gang, after hearing from Willow, head to the forrest where they find a crazy man, dead. Willow recognizes him from the hospital as the mental patient that verbally assaulted Dawn. Riley finds a rather foul-smelling substance in the man's mouth. Riley decides to stay and examine the body while they others go to do research. Once they've left Riley calls in the Initiative. Over at the hospital in the psychiatric ward the mental patients are going to bed when they're suddenly attacked by a small demon that vomits on to them. Buffy takes her mother home and puts her to bed. Her mother insists on keeping the lights off because it hurts her eyes. In the woods the Initiative arrives and is greeted by Riley. He briefs them and shows them the body and the meteorite. Back at the Summers' home, unbeknowst to Buffy, one of the little demons from the meteorite has come along home with them. Dawn is tucking Joyce in to bed when suddenly Joyce tells her that she's a shadow and that she doesn't belong here. Buffy calms her mother down and then joins Dawn in her room and tries to console her. Dawn then tells her that it isn't just their mom but other people have been telling her that she doesn't belong here. Buffy assures her that it isn't her and that she should ignore anyone that says anything like that to her.

Giles and co. are at the public library researching aliens. They discover that a demon called a Queller, that kills crazy people, must be summoned in order for it to reach Earth. They call Riley and tell him about the Queller. Meanwhile Joyce is in her bed saying insane things. Buffy is downstairs washing dishes. She begins to sob uncontrollably while Joyce continues to talk to the Queller demon who is hanging from her ceiling. Riley and the Initiative have traced the demon to the outside of the hospital where the slime trail stops. Suddenly Riley realizes that the demon has gone after Buffy's mom. At the Summers' home, the demons drops down onto Joyce and spits up on her face. Dawn, hearing her mother's screams, rushes into her mother's room. Seeing the demon she calls for Buffy. Buffy hears the screams and rushes upstairs. She's attacked by the demon and they fall down the stairs. Buffy grabs a knife and searches for the queller on the lower level of her house. Suddenly Spike appears and his excuse is that he was stealing furniture from her. They're attacked by the queller and Buffy manages to stab it to death. Riley and his troops then burst in. Buffy rushes upstairs to reassure her family that the danger is over.

Over at the hospital, Ben is getting into his car when Dreg confronts him about summoning the queller demon. Ben says that he did it to clean up after Glory, like he's been doing his whole life. A few days later Joyce returns to the hospital and she's left alone with Buffy. Joyce then tells Buffy that she realizes that Dawn isn't her child. Buffy doesn't know what to say but tells her mom that she's right. Joyce is also aware that Dawn is precious to the world and makes Buffy promise that if she doesn't make it through the surgery she'll take care of Dawn. Joyce is then wheeled off into the surgery room while Buffy and Dawn look on.


Summary written by Nika

My Rating


Nika's Review

I did NOT enjoy this episode. I would it boring, uneventful and ever so slightly annoying. The demons from outer space theme was a big hit with me. Joyce's tumour is wearing thin on my patience (Patience is NOT one of my virtues). Nothing about this episode held my interest. I couldn't wait until it was over! Terrible, just terrible. I can't wait to find out what's going on with Riley though. Does he really find it necessary to be sucked on all the time by a vampire just to find out something about Buffy? I think it's highly unnecessary and just a tad gross too. Ugh. I don't even want to write anything about this episode, that's how much I disliked it.

Sarah Michelle Gellar
Nicholas Brendon
Alyson Hannigan
Marc Blucas
Emma Caulfield
Michelle Trachtenberg
James Marsters
Anthony Stewart Head
Charlie Weber
Nick Chinlund
Kevin Weisman
Randy Thompson
Amber Benson
Kristine Sutherland
Paul Hayes
Keith Allan
Erin Leigh Price
April Adams
Barbara C. Adside
Debbie Lee Carrington
  Buffy Summers
Xander Harris
Willow Rosenberg
Riley Finn
Rupert Giles
Major Ellis
Joyce Summers
Older Nightwatchman
Skinny Mental Patient
Vampire Chick
Nurse Lampkin