After the initial success of Peckinpah's "Buffy" series among the comatose, Fox demanded another episode to bring the season up to an even twelve. Peck then proceeded to hire a cameraman to follow Kelly Brendon and Alyson Hannigan around, with their only instruction being "look for something invisible." "It's sort of like a Zen thing, or two hands clapping, you know," Peckinpah stated.
This episode garnered the most critical acclaim of the series' first season. Particularly singled out was an in depth discussion of the personal histories of the Fantastic Four. When the episode still ran short, Peck inserted a cut scene from the finale where Giles tries to figure out why he can't see Angel in the mirror. He eventually concludes that he needs new glasses.
From the 'script': Xander: "Sue is like the Olive Oyl of the piece. Reed digs her, Thing digs her, Hell, even Namor the fish boy's hot for her. And if Johnny weren't her brother..."
The story begins as Angel's kid goes missing. Buffy reluctantly says that she could "patrol" the town looking for it, but it would be rough as she's never done anything like that before. Angel drinks a glass of holy water to relieve his nerves.
This is actually all part of the Master's plan. He releases dozens of vampire babies across Sunnydale and then instructs his Nazi vampire followers to wage war on the population, giving them guns and grenades and bringing in vampire divisions flying planes and using tanks. It also turns out that he has not been in any sort of Heckmouth prison and can now freely walk around. The fact that none of this makes any sense is one of the favorite topics of discussion among hard core fans.
Somehow the military gets wind of his plan and they send a special group called the Irritative, led by Special Agent Riley Finn (played by Kari Wuhrer), to deal with the situation. Finn doesn't waste time "thinking" or "formulating a plan" and soon the vampires and the Irritative are waging all-out war on the streets of Sunnydale (as portrayed by stock footage from World War II that Peck lifted from the History Channel).
Meanwhile, Giles is unnerved by the discovery of an ancient prophetic document, the Pokemon Stridex (which Peck thought was a great stab at product placement), which says that the only way the vampire army can be defeated is if Buffy dies. He gives the news to Buffy, who isn't exactly thrilled. "Black is so not my color," she whines. Giles tries to convince her that it is her destiny, and then offhandedly suggest that he might go fight in her place. "Ooh, good idea. Tell the Master...I don't know. Think of something cool and tell him I said it." She then leaves the library and a befuddled Giles behind her.
Willow has been giving Xander pointers on how to ask Buffy out when she walks by and overhears. Buffy quickly dismisses him. "Sorry, Xander. You're a loser, I'm the Slayer. It just wouldn't work out. For me, I mean." Xander then turns to ask Willow out, but she's heavily engaged in conversation with Amy.
When Xander learns that there are armies tearing Sunnydale apart (since apparently this escaped everyone's notice up until now), he remembers that he played with G. I. Joes as a kid, and thus can use that "military training" to his advantage. He goes and gets a distraught Angel and they are soon helping the Irritative (when they're not drooling over Agent Finn).
As the episode winds to a conclusion, Giles faces the Master in a scene lifted almost verbatim from the scene in "Star Wars" where Obi Wan fights Darth Vader. Buffy and Cordelia eventually decide to show at the battle, because as Cordelia puts it, "this whole apocalyptic battle is seriously messing with the feng shui around here". They arrive just in time to see the Master kill Giles with a 'vamp saber' (whatever that is). Buffy is so grieved over the fact that she broke a nail while listening to Giles' last words that she beheads the Master with her nail file. "Poetic justice," she declares.
In the final two minutes, Buffy kills all the vampires without really trying and Sunnydale is soon back to normal, literally (all the wreckage and debris are cleaned up within moments of the battle's end). Buffy promises to take Agent Finn clothes shopping, since "those fatigues are so last season" and the episode ends with the entire Stupor Gang going off to party, that is after Buffy delivers this touching five second eulogy of Giles. "He lived by the book and he died by the book. Kind of funny, don't you think?"
From the script: Final POV: The Master's skeleton. We do a long shot of the entire prop and then cut to... Angel's kid, who drags the skeleton off with him. In his hand is a page from one of those sacred book thingies that says "Spell to bring the Master back to life." Some dramatic music like 'Dun dun dun.' should end it.
In the two part season finale of Sliders, the sliders find out that the man they knew as the Professor might not be who they think he is. Also, Logan St. Clair returns to create havoc on a world where people can change their appearance at will.
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