Empty Places

There's a mass exodus going on in Sunnydale. Everyone is loading up their cars and leaving town, including Clem, who waves goodbye to Buffy on his slow drive through the crowded streets. He's not exactly encouraging to the Slayer, recommending that it might be best if she leaves as well.

Using a little of her magical mojo, Willow helps Giles get information from the police on connections to organizations Caleb might have in California or elsewhere. Then they head to see Xander in the hospital as he recovers from the loss of his eye. Willow is supportive, but Buffy seems guilty and troubled, and she leaves Will and Xander alone, unable to face her friend in his time of need.

Anya and Andrew give their best (and funniest) group lesson to the girls about what they know so far, but no one is really paying attention. Everyone feels useless and doomed. Faith is playing hooky from the "lesson," and talks with Kennedy and Amanda, who echo the rest of the girls' hopelessness. Buffy makes a quick stop at home to drop off the police records for further research, but she departs almost immediately, reacting poorly to the sadness looming over the house.

She heads for the school to pick up the last of her belongings, and the place is eerily deserted. Yearning for times gone by, she stares at an old photograph of herself, Willow and Xander from years earlier. Caleb appears at that moment to harangue her for her weakness, telling her she's going to be a part of the history that he makes. When he implies he'd go after Xander's other eye, she punches him, but Caleb springs forward and tosses her through a window. He's the one in charge, and he leaves her there alone.

Back home, Giles recognizes Caleb's symbol in a the police photograph taken in Northern California, and somehow Spike and Andrew get elected to go search out more information. After they leave, Faith gets inspired: she takes the girls out for a night on the town.

A battered Buffy arrives home to find the house empty of everyone except Giles. They clash again over the subject of Spike. Buffy is sure Giles sent Spike on the search, hoping he'd be killed, therefore eliminating the one person who'd been backing her. She becomes even more irritated when she learns that Faith took the girls away to let off some steam.

At the Bronze, the Potentials have a wild time, since it appears everyone who's stayed in Sunnydale is at the bar. Faith's three-way dance party is rudely interrupted by four menacing cops, there to cart her back to jail. However, they appear to have an ulterior motive when they throw her outside and aim their guns at her. While she's fighting them off, a cop with a big gun keeps everyone inside, until Kennedy steps up and disarms him. The rest of the girls rush outside to keep Faith from being killed, and they eventually defeat the cops. Buffy arrives in a huff and sends the girls home, berating Faith for leading the "children" into danger. Faith counters that they aren't children, and that Buffy is the one who led them into danger at the vineyard, and look what happened then. Buffy slugs Faith and stalks off.

Spike and Andrew ride a motorcycle up to Gilroy to investigate what appears to be an abandoned mission. While they're poking around, Andrew is attacked by what looks like a Bringer until his hood falls back. It's just a priest, and they grill him for information (Andrew is the bad cop, natch). He says that Caleb came to the mission in search of a plaque that even the priests didn't know existed. When he found it, his temper exploded, and he branded the priest, who ran and hid. When the man shows Spike the plaque, the Vamp translates, "It is not for thee, it is for her alone to wield."

When Xander arrives home, everyone is there to greet him, although it's not a very cheerful crowd. Buffy comes forward and announces that she has a plan: they have to return to the vineyard and defeat Caleb. She believes he must be hiding something powerful there, since he's not coming to the Hellmouth or guarding the Seal. Every person in the room balks at the idea, each saying they won't go to the vineyard without more proof. They all share Anya's opinion that Buffy is blinded by her desire to defeat Caleb, and she can't see reason. The girls demand a democracy, and they want Faith to be in charge. Buffy refuses to believe that after seven years her friends and family can no longer trust her, and she won't stay and watch Faith lead them to their deaths. Dawn finally stands up and kisses her goodbye, answering, "Then you can't stay here."

Buffy takes off, but Faith catches her, saying it wasn't what she wanted. Buffy understands, and tells her their lives are now in Faith's hands. Defeated, she walks off into the darkness.

Summary from Buffy.com

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