Buffy and Spike are dealing with their chemistry issues sometimes in front of SITs and sometimes in the medium of counseling students at school. Back at home, Buffy deals with some of Xander's issues when she learns of a new potential slayer in Sunnydale. They decide to do a spell to figure out who it is as the SITs and Spike go out on another training field trip. When Willow does the spell, it fingers Dawn as the new potential, which freaks everyone out and leads to disturbing discussion that Dawn runs away from. While walking around at night, she comes across a girl from school, Amanda, who actually turns out to be the real potential. They go to the school where Amanda trapped a vamp, and attempt to kill it, when all sorts of anarchy ensues.
You know, I liked this episode for the most part. It had some neat camera tricks and stuff was done to the plot to give it more resonance, but there were a couple of things that also grated, so I wasn't the happiest Buffy watcher in the world by the end either. I guess we've really hit the middle of the season with this episode. First, I would really like to take issue with the speeches Buffy keeps making. Yeah they are nice once in a while. Even once in an episode, I find it inspiring, quotable and enjoyable. But it's sort of going overboard and she's becoming a real kill-joy too. "You are all going to die." I mean, come on! Do we have to listen to this stuff for the entire episode? And in her speechmaking, Buffy has seemed to forget all about Dawn too. Wasn't Dawn training all during the summer and up through the first two episodes? Why is she not continuing this with the SITs? I mean, she was better than Amanda was at first, using all the weapons, relying on instinct or whatever. I don't want her to be a potential, but I also think she should be able to see a little action. She was totally left out in this when she had obviously been training longer. When they thought she was a potential, I didn't believe it, and when she met up with Amanda, I knew it was Amanda instead... either that, or Amanda was a vampire.
The two best parts of this episode were the montage of Buffy speaking and Dawn fighting and the speech Xander made at the end of the episode. Both really made the episode for me. The montage thingie because it really showed Dawn's strength and Xander for the same reason. I felt as if they were speaking to us, the ordinary folk at the end. Here are these two people who have nothing really powerful about them on the outside, but their hearts and spirits make them strong. During the montage, Buffy was saying those things to these silly girls that didn't know anything, but had all this potential, whereas Dawn, an ordinary person, was already internalizing all that and using it to fight even though she theoretically has no potential. Then Xander reiterated it in his speech, especially because Dawn also had the internal emotional strength to give the "crown" over to Amanda in the end. It was really emotional since I felt that it showed the potential in all of us.
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