Obviously a classic episode and the season finale of season 1~ (This post will be image heavy since it's a HEAVY episode.)
We start off with Xander seemingly confessing his love to Willow. But, we find out he's just practicing to ask Buffy out. Poor delusional boy. Then, we cut to Cordelia and her boyfriend making out with her boyfriend, but is startled after hearing a noise outside. That noise just happens to be slow-motion Buffy fighting off a vampire.
"Three in one night. Giles would be so proud."
Speaking of Giles, he is slaving over the books, as per usual. But, he finds something a little unsettling. "'The Master shall rise, and the Slayer...' My God!" Well, we know that can't be good. I'm guessing the word he was looking for is 'will die.' And then an earthquake erupts throughout Sunnydale, cutting to the Master laughing maniacally. He's convinced his freedom is nearing.
The next morning, Buffy finds Giles in the same condition she left him; slaving over the books. He seems disturbed and preoccupied, for obvious reasons. Buffy, of course, just thinks he's being a little too Giles.
Buffy: Giles, care? I'm putting my life on the line battling the undead. Look, I broke a nail, okay? I'm wearing a press-on. The least you could do is exhibit some casual interest. You could go, 'hmm'.
I love how her superficiality peaks through every now and then. Anyway, after Biology class, the trio (Xander, Willow, and Buffy) are walking around and Xander hints that he needs to talk to Buffy. Oh no, the inevitable confession we've been waiting for all season is coming. He asks her to the dance; she has no idea what to say. Basically, she just thinks of him as a friend, nothing more.
Xander: Nah. Forget it. I'm not him. I mean, I guess a guy's gotta be undead to make time with you.
Buffy: That's really harsh.
Jeez, Xander. She's saved your life how many times and you've seen her moon over Angel for how long? What did you expect? Except I do feel sympathy for him since it's Xander and I love him. Anyway, he goes off to pout, leaving Buffy to feel like the worst human being on the planet.
Miss Calendar pays Giles a visit, knowing something is going wrong with the universe, so he enlists her help. Meanwhile, Xander is emo-ing out over Buffy, moping in an empty classroom until Willow finds him. He asks her to the dance instead.
Willow: You think I wanna go to the dance with you and watch you wish you were at the dance with her?
Wise words, Willow. Especially considering her never-ending crush on Xander.
After school, Buffy is washing up in the restroom, only to find that the sink is pouring out blood!
Gross! So, she rushes to Giles, only to find him talking with Angel in hushed, but anxious tones. Buffy eavesdrops a little and finds out some startling news.
Giles: But it's very plain! Tomorrow night Buffy will face the Master, and she will die.
Buffy's immediate reaction, after staring in shock, is to laugh. And then a heartbreaking scene ensues that I can't do justice, so I'll just post the dialogue.
Buffy: I've got a way around it. I quit!
Angel: It's not that simple.
Buffy: I'm making it that simple! I quit! I resign, I-I'm fired, you can find someone else to stop the Master from taking over!
Giles: I'm not sure that anyone else can. All the... the signs indicate...
Buffy: The signs? (throws a book at him) READ ME THE SIGNS! (throws another one) TELL ME MY FORTUNE! YOU'RE SO USEFUL SITTING HERE WITH ALL YOUR BOOKS! YOU'RE REALLY A LOTTA HELP!
Giles: No, I don't suppose I am.
Angel: I know this is hard.
Buffy: What do you know about this? You're never gonna die!
Angel: You think I want anything to happen to you? Do you think I could stand it? We just gotta figure out a way...
Buffy: I already did. I quit, remember? Pay attention!
Giles: Buffy, if the Master rises...
Buffy: I don't care! I don't care. Giles, I'm sixteen years old. I don't wanna die.
So heartbreaking, I cry every time. She tosses her cross necklace to the ground and heads home. She starts looking over her photo albums, clearly convinced her fate is sealed. Her mom comes in to check on her, assuming she's moping over a boy. I love how naive and stereotypically mom-like Joyce is. She tries to convince her mom to go on a road trip with her, but Joyce wants her to go to the dance. Especially since she got her the perfect dress.
The next morning, Cordelia and Willow head to school early to help Cordelia's boyfriend get stuff ready to set-up at the Bronze. He missed their meeting time, so Cordelia is feeling like a concerned girlfriend and actually falling for this guy. Of course, when they open the door, he falls right out of it...with all of his blood drained.
Buffy gets ready for the dance, but stops by Willow's to make sure she's all right. She lost some friends and is quite upset. (Argh, Alyson Hannigan crying is so touching. It's hard to resist spouting a few myself whenever she does it!)
Willow: Buffy, I like your dress.
Back at the library, Giles and Miss Calendar are trying to figure everything out. They figure the Anointed One must be a kid and he's the one who will lead her to The Master's lair. Buffy comes in, puts her cross necklace back on, and punches Giles in the face since he was reading to go and fight the Master himself.
As of now, this is the first of MANY times Giles will get knocked out in the course of the show. So, I will be keeping a tally of poor old unconscious Giles. So far: 1
So, Buffy heads off in search of the kid, who just so happens to be waiting outside the school. He leads her to the Master's lair.
Afterwards, Willow and Xander show up at the library, angry that Buffy went off by herself, despite the prophecy. Xander is convinced he must be the hero and rushes off to help her, while Miss Calendar starts to wonder, if the Hellmouth is going to open up when the Master rises, where will it open? A valid question.
Anyway, Xander heads to find Angel and enlists his help after many displays of testosterone. They head to the Master's lair.
Buffy hunts the Master in his lair, almost hits him with her crossbow, but he seems to catch up to her quickly, using his fancy 'thrawl' on her.
Buffy: Y'know, you really oughtta talk to your contractor. Looks like you got some water damage.
Master: Oh, good. The feeble banter portion of the fight. Why don't we
just cut to the...Nice shot!
Meanwhile, with the two stooges or romeos--however you wanna look at it:
Xander: You were looking at my neck.
Xander: You were checking out my neck! I saw that!
Angel: No, I wasn't!
Xander: Just keep your distance, pal.
Angel: I wasn't looking at your neck!
Xander: I told you to eat before we left.
Back at the high school, Willow and Miss Calendar assume the Hellmouth is going to open at the Bronze where the dance is. So, they plan to go warn everyone. Not sure exactly what they would tell them, but it's a nice effort. Of course, they can barely get to Miss Calendar's car before they see this:
Back in the Master's lair, he has Buffy in his grasp. OH NO!!!
The Master: Oh god, the power!
The Master: And by the way, I like your dress.
The Master is then released from his imprisoned lair as Xander and Angel make their way inside. A little bit late, guys. But, really, how did they expect to fight the Master AND save Buffy on their own?
Anyway, Buffy is dead. Yep, she's really dead. She drowned. So, someone needs to revive her. Unfortunately, Angel has no breath, so Xander has to do it. He seems to only do it a few times. Put a little more effort in for the girl you love, eh?
Voila! Buffy has been revived!
Back at school, Cordelia saves Willow and Miss Calendar from the hoard of vampires. They drive INTO the school to get to the library, rushing to secure all the doors and windows to keep the vamps out. ("Of course, we generally walk there!") And while they do that, a giant three-headed demon is rising out of the middle of the library. Well, guess we know where that pesky Hellmouth is located! The Master is above the library on the roof, taking in the atmosphere. "My world! My beautiful world!"
Back in his lair, Buffy is regaining her strength.
Xander: No. You're still weak.
Buffy: No. No, I feel strong. I feel different. Let's go!
Cue the Buffy theme. I don't care how cheezy it is, I get so pumped when Buffy, Xander, and Angel are power-walking back to the high school with the theme playing in the background. Also, it's the only time the theme song plays during the show, other than the opening/ending credits, of course.
Buffy: Oh look! A bad guy. (punches)
In the library, everyone else is fending off vampires and the three-headed tentacle monster, which has wrapped itself around Willow's ankle. Someone left Cordelia to fend for herself to guard the doors. Who thought this was a good idea? At least she's keeping them at bay:
Cordelia: There! See how you like it!
Buffy finds the Master on the roof, much to his surprise.
The Master: You were dead.
Buffy: I may be dead, but I'm still pretty. Which is more than I can say for you.
The Master tries to 'thrawl' her again, but she can't fall for it anymore. The fight continues in the library and Xander and Angel fend off some vamps.
The Master: Did you really think you could best me here when you couldn't below?
Buffy: You have fruit punch mouth.
This confused him so much, he lets his guard down and the ass kicking truly begins. At some point, he gets her by the throat again. She spots the up-ended table in the library with a conveniently placed spike right below them.
Master: You laugh when my Hell is on Earth?
Buffy: You're that amped about Hell...Go there!
She grabs him by the neck and tosses him through the glass like a rag doll. He falls onto the spikey table and disintegrates. YAY! The vampires leave and the three-headed tentacle monster disappears. A job well done, scoobies.
Xander: Hey! I hear there's a dance at the Bronze tonight. Could be fun.
Buffy: Sure! We saved the world. I say we party! I mean, I got all pretty.
Ms. Calendar: And what about [The Master]?
Buffy: He's not going anywhere. Loser.
Giles: (to Ms. Calendar) I'm not dancing, though.
Ms. Calendar: We'll see.
Willow: You can come with us, Angel.
Buffy: I'm hungry.
Xander: So what's the story with the car?
Cordelia: Oh, that was me, saving the day!
Buffy: Is anybody else hungry? I'm really, really hungry.
Angel: By the way, I really like your dress.
Buffy: Yeah, yeah. Big hit with everyone.
The End~ Of Season 1, anyway. :)