Spiral (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode
After Dawn is captured by Glory, Buffy falls to the ground and goes into a catatonic state
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 20
Directed by James A. Contner
Written by Steven S. DeKnight
Production code 5ABB20
Original air date May 8, 2001
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Tough Love"
Next →
"The Weight of the World"
List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

"Spiral" is the 20th episode of season 5 of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Plot synopsis[edit]

With Glory now possessing knowledge that Dawn is the Key, Buffy and Dawn run for their lives, escaping thanks to Willow's magic and a large semi-truck slamming into Glory out on the street after which she transforms into Ben, ending the chase. The gang gathers in Xander's apartment to discuss possible plans of action, where Buffy surprises everyone by declaring that they will never be able to defeat Glory and the only way to stay alive is to leave Sunnydale, to which the gang reluctantly agrees. Spike solves their transportation problem by providing a sun-protected Winnebago, and Buffy allows him to accompany them. Though Giles and Xander are anything but pleased by this, Buffy informs them that she and Spike are the only ones who stand a chance at protecting Dawn in the event that Glory catches up to them, and makes it clear that the topic is not open for discussion.

Ben talks to one of Glory's minions, who reveals that he is just a human body encasing Glory's god form and that upon her full rejuvenation, he will die; Ben, knowing this, states that he will do anything in his power to keep his life, even destroying the Key. The Knights of Byzantium retrieve their crazy member from the hospital, who babbles that the Key is the Slayer's sister; their General orders the Knights to assemble for battle. Giles, driving the RV, talks with a motion-sick Xander about Buffy's state of mind. Depressed and worried about their future plans, Buffy is comforted by Dawn until the Knights attack. A sword through the roof nearly kills Buffy, but Spike stops it with his bare hands. While Buffy battles the Knights from the top of the RV, one knight impales Giles with a thrown spear, causing the RV to crash onto its side.

The Scoobies rush to an abandoned gas station, where Buffy fends off the attacking Knights until Willow erects a barrier spell. Meanwhile, at the hospital, all those left crazy by Glory repeatedly mutter, "It's time."

Spike suggests to Xander that they run, but Buffy refuses to let anyone die. Buffy captures the General, who reveals Glory's plan to use Dawn's blood to open a portal and return to the dimension from which she was banished. Buffy is initially incredulous that Glory's plan is to simply return home, however the General explains that opening the portal will dissolve the boundaries between dimensions and destroy the universe. He also says that Glory shares her body with that of a mortal man, whose identity has never been discovered. In this lies Glory's only weakness; if the man is killed then Glory will also be destroyed. Buffy promises Dawn that she'll protect her.

Realizing that Giles is seriously injured, Buffy arranges a deal with the Knights to allow Ben to safely pass; he stabilizes Giles, and then is left alone with the General, who suspects Ben is an outsider and tempts him with the idea of killing Dawn. Ben realizes that Glory is about to take over his body, but before he can get outside the forcefield, Glory comes forth. She kills the General, fights off the Scooby Gang to take Dawn, and bursts through the forcefield. By the time Willow releases the field, Glory has disposed of all the Knights and disappeared with Dawn. Knowing they have to move fast, everyone heads for Ben's car to chase after Glory. Having lost Dawn to Glory after going through so much to protect her, Buffy suffers an emotional breakdown and collapses into a state of shock.

Arc significance[edit]

  • During Buffy's negotiations to save Giles, it is mentioned that 10 of the Knights are dead. The Knights are known by Buffy to be normal humans and it is clear she was willing to kill them since she deliberately impaled one with an axe during the fight on the RV's roof. Until this point in the series, Buffy has not clearly killed or deliberately attempted to kill another normal human until a what if moment in Season 6. No mention is made of the significance of this, despite her reaction to Faith accidentally killing Allan Finch in Bad Girls.
  • This episode shows how the Scooby gang (mostly Giles and Xander) still dislikes Spike. Giles tells Spike to get out of the trailer, Buffy says "we need him, he is the only one strong enough besides me that can protect us." Buffy and Dawn are the only ones who seem to have looked past the previous wrongdoings of Spike.
  • This episode explains the significance of Ben and Glory's connection, along with the reason why Glory ends up on Earth and her plans for using the Key.
  • Willow is again seen with dark eyes when casting the spell to protect the group while in the shack; this becomes more significant during the next season, especially the 'Dark Willow' arc from "Seeing Red" to "Grave".

External links[edit]