Anne (Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode)
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode|
Buffy working in a diner in Los Angeles as Anne
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Joss Whedon|
|Written by||Joss Whedon|
|Original air date||September 29, 1998|
"Anne" is the third season premiere of the WB Television Network's of the drama television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The 35th episode of the show, it was first broadcast September 29, 1998. The episode was written and directed by Executive Producer/Showrunner and series creator Joss Whedon. The episode takes place a few months after Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) killed her lover Angel (David Boreanaz) and left Sunnydale; she has moved to Los Angeles and is living under her middle name, Anne.
Back in Sunnydale, lacking a Slayer, the Scooby gang tries to take her place, while Rupert Giles follows every lead to her whereabouts. Under her middle name, "Anne", Buffy is working as a diner waitress in L.A. She serves Lily and Rickie, a young couple living on the streets, who have just gotten a complementary set of distinctive tattoos. Later that evening Lily approaches Buffy on the street and reveals that she remembers Buffy from when Buffy saved her from a cult of vampire-worshippers, back when she was known as "Chanterelle"—she changes her name and group identification a lot, so understands Buffy's desire to change her name, get lost, and stay away from anyone who cares about her. As they talk, a man wanders into the street, muttering "I'm no one," and is nearly hit by a car, only saved by Buffy's quick rescue. Buffy refuses Lily's invitation out and says she just wants to be left alone. She runs into a man named Ken, who comments on her "lost" state and offers to befriend her. Buffy leaves him there.
The next day Lily comes to the diner and tells Buffy that Rickie has disappeared. Buffy reluctantly agrees to help find him. In her search, she finds the body of an elderly homeless man with Rickie's tattoo. Buffy reports her findings to Lily, who doesn't believe that the body could be Rickie's; she accuses Buffy of being the cause of their troubles and berates her. She runs away and on the street meets Ken, who claims to know Rickie and affirms that Buffy is a liar. He tells her Rickie is back at the "Family Home" waiting for Lily, so she eagerly goes with him. Buffy interrogates a blood bank worker who has been acting suspiciously, and learns that the woman has been giving Ken names of healthy homeless who come in to donate blood.
Meanwhile, Ken has prepared Lily for a "cleansing," which entails stepping into a bath in the floor, after which she will be reborn into a new life. Lily hesitates, as the "bath" looks like black oil. At the Family Home door, Buffy attempts to pass herself off as a "sinner" wanting a new chance, but ends up kicking her way into the building in time to see Lily fall into the pool. Buffy and Ken wrestle and they both fall in, coming out below into a huge factory. Ken's human mask falls off, revealing him to be a demon. Buffy and Lily are now amongst many other slave laborers of varying ages. Ken tells Buffy and Lily that they're in a hell dimension where time passes very quickly: a hundred years there equals only one day in Los Angeles. Since he only picks people who no one will miss, they will have worked themselves to a used-up death of old age without anyone noticing their absence. He tells Lily that Rickie remembered Lily, even after he'd forgotten his own name. But he eventually forgot her. Lily is resigned to ending up in hell, and she accepts her fate passively.
Ken lines the captives up and each one is asked, "Who are you?" and then bludgeoned unless they answer "I'm no one." Buffy realizes this is where the muttering old people on the street have come from. When it's her turn to be asked who she is, she says her name with pride and kicks the demon who asked. She rouses the rest of the captives to fight back and a battle ensues. She's finally stopped as Ken holds Lily at knifepoint. He then delivers a speech about how they're all stuck and will die there, until Lily, who has been passive until now, pushes Ken off a ledge onto the concrete floor. Lily then leads the captives back up through the "pool" as Buffy dispatches Ken, and once all of the humans are out of the demonic dimension, the pool gateway between the dimensions closes.
Back in her apartment, Buffy has packed her bag, ready to stop running away from her problems, reclaim her life, and face the people who care about her. She gives Lily her "Anne" identity – apartment, job, and nametag, as Anne vows to start taking better care of herself. (Lily will later appear as Anne in Angel.)
The episode ends with Buffy appearing at the door of her home and being embraced by her relieved mother.
Starting with this season Nerf Herder's opening theme song was changed to a new re-recorded mix for a better sound. This new version was used for the opening credits for the remainder of the series, except for Once More, with Feeling which has an orchestral rendition of the theme.
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