A Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode written by Joss Whedon and transcribed by Joan the English Chick (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Original Air Date: February 27, 2001
Note: "Previously on Buffy" was not shown at the beginning of this episode.Back to Transcripts Page
The episode opens with a rollback to the end of "I Was Made To Love You." Buffy enters her home.
BUFFY: (calling) Hey, Mom.
She turns, sees some flowers on the table beside the door.
She opens the card that came with the flowers. Shot of the card, which reads: "Thank you for a _lovely_ evening. See you soon? Brian."
BUFFY: (to herself) Still a couple of guys gettin' it right.
She turns to call up the stairs, putting down her jacket.
BUFFY: (calls) Hey. Flower-gettin' lady. Want me to pick Dawn up from school?
In the background, on the living room sofa, we can see someone or something, but it's out of focus; the focus is on Buffy in the foreground.
Buffy frowns, looks down the hall toward the kitchen.
She turns and looks in the living room.
BUFFY: What are you doing?
She walks into the living room, stops.
Shot of Joyce lying on the sofa. Her eyes are open, staring sightlessly at the ceiling. One arm hangs loosely over the edge of the sofa. She does not move or blink.
BUFFY: (quieter) Mom? (even quieter) Mom? (very quietly) Mommy?
Wolf howl. Opening credits.
Guest starring Randy Thompson, Amber Benson as Tara, and Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers. Written and directed by Joss Whedon.
NOTE: There is no background music at all in this episode.
Open on the Summers dining room. Christmas lights are lit around the walls and candles are burning all around. On the left side of the table are Buffy, Anya, and Xander. On the right are Dawn, Willow, and Tara. Giles sits at one end, Joyce at the other end. As the scene opens, Buffy and Joyce stand up.
JOYCE: I think we're just about ready for pie. (She and Buffy begin clearing dishes)
XANDER: Then I'll be pretty much ready for barf.
XANDER: No, no, (to Joyce) barf from the eating. 'Cause all was good, and too much goodness...
JOYCE: I'm taking it as a compliment.
GILES: Yes, uh, everything was delicious. (stands to help clear)
ANYA: Yes, I'm going to barf too.
Joyce smiles wryly as she carries a pile of dirty dishes past Anya toward the kitchen.
JOYCE: (sarcastic) Everyone's so sweet.
Joyce, Giles, and Buffy exit. Xander looks to see if Joyce is angry, then turns back to the table.
XANDER: How you doing there, Will, are you in the vomit club too?
WILLOW: (groaning) I had too much nog.
TARA: (sympathetic) Oh, baby, want me to rub your tummy? (to the others) She likes it when I ... (pauses, quietly) stop explaining things.
DAWN: My nog tastes funny. I think I got one with rum in it.
WILLOW: That's bad.
XANDER: Yeah, now Santa's gonna pass you right by, naughty booze hound.
Tara and Dawn giggle.
WILLOW: Santa always passes me by. Something puts him off. Could be the big honkin' menorah.
TARA: (to Dawn) Oh, did you write him a letter?
XANDER: What'd you ask for?
DAWN: Um, guys, hello, puberty? Sorta figured out the whole no Santa thing.
ANYA: That's a myth.
ANYA: No, I mean, it's a myth that it's a myth. There is a Santa Claus.
Everyone looks surprised.
XANDER: The advantage of having a thousand-year-old girlfriend. (turns to Anya) Inside scoop.
TARA: There's a Santa Claus?
ANYA: Mm-hmm. Been around since, like, the 1500s. He wasn't always called Santa, but you know, Christmas night, flying reindeer, coming down the chimney -- all true.
DAWN: (smiles hopefully) All true?
Buffy re-enters and begins clearing more dishes.
ANYA: Well, he doesn't traditionally bring presents so much as, you know, disemboweled children, but otherwise...
TARA: The reindeer part was nice.
The camera follows Buffy as, smiling, she carries dishes into the kitchen. We see Giles doing something by the counter and Joyce taking something out of the oven.
JOYCE: Damn it! I hate this oven. It burnt.
She puts a pie on the kitchen island.
BUFFY: Oh, no, it's just blackened, you know, it's, it's Cajun pie.
Giles turns and we see he's holding a bottle of wine.
GILES: (to Joyce) Shall I open another?
JOYCE: Oh, do you think we dare?
BUFFY: As long as you two stay away from the band candy, I'm cool with anything.
Joyce and Giles look embarrassed. Giles clears his throat, grabs the bottle opener and moves off, out of the picture frame. Buffy begins examining the burnt pie.
JOYCE: (quietly to Buffy) You are a demon child.
BUFFY: I live to torment you, is that so wrong?
JOYCE: A daughter's duty, I suppose. (kisses Buffy on the forehead)
BUFFY: Look, all we have to do is just cut off a little bit of the burnt...
As she begins trying to cut the pie, it falls off the island and onto the floor.
Cut back to present day. Shot of Joyce's face as she lies on the sofa, her eyes open and unseeing.
Buffy rushes over and begins shaking Joyce by the shoulders.
BUFFY: Mom! Mom! Mom Mom Mom-
She repeats the word many times and then shouts it in Joyce's face, getting no reaction.
Buffy gets up, panting and sniffling. The camera follows her into the kitchen where she picks up the phone and dials 911. She fidgets anxiously while it rings.
911 OPERATOR: 911 emergency.
911 OPERATOR: Do you have...
BUFFY: My mom, she, she's not breathing.
911 OPERATOR: Is she conscious?
BUFFY: (moving back into living room) No. I-I-I can't, she, she's not breathing.
911 OPERATOR: OK, I need you to give me your address.
911 OPERATOR: I'm gonna send an ambulance over.
BUFFY: Si-Sixteen thirty Rivelo, it-it's a house, Rivelo near Hadley.
911 OPERATOR: I'm sending a unit right away. Are you alone in the house?
911 OPERATOR: Well, did you see what happened, did she fall?
BUFFY: No, no, I-I came home and she-what should I do?
911 OPERATOR: Do you know how to administer CPR?
BUFFY: (upset) No, I don't remember.
911 OPERATOR: Okay, it's very simple. You wanna tilt your mother's head back. Cover her mouth with yours, and breathe into her mouth.
The operator continues talking but Buffy drops the phone to her side and moves toward Joyce.
BUFFY: I know this. I know this. God.
She puts the phone down and takes hold of Joyce's legs, pulls Joyce down across the sofa so that she lies flat.
BUFFY: I can do this. Okay. Okay.
She tilts Joyce's head back, opens her mouth, pinches Joyce's nose shut and breathes into Joyce's mouth twice. Then she begins chest compressions.
BUFFY: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight...
She makes a face, does two more breaths and resumes compressions.
BUFFY: One, two, three... (We hear a cracking noise) Oh! Oh god.
She reaches for the phone.
BUFFY: I, are you there? I, I broke something.
911 OPERATOR: Hello?
BUFFY: It cracked.
911 OPERATOR: Is she breathing?
911 OPERATOR: Paramedics should be there in a moment. You might have cracked a rib. It's not important.
BUFFY: (putting her hand on Joyce's) She's cold.
911 OPERATOR: The body's cold?
BUFFY: No, my mom! Sh-should I make her warm?
911 OPERATOR: No ... if she's not responding to CPR, the best thing is to wait for the paramedics, okay?
BUFFY: (angry) When will they be here?
911 OPERATOR: They're very nearby.
Buffy drops the phone to her side and looks up at the window, stands up. Bright sunshine streams in the window. It's totally quiet except the faint sound of the 911 operator's voice. Buffy brings the phone back up to her ear.
BUFFY: (very quietly) I have to make a call.
She presses the hang-up button.
Lingering shot of the telephone number pad.
Buffy hits a speed dial button. We hear it dialing, ringing.
GILES: (on phone) Hello?
BUFFY: (softly) Giles. You have to come.
GILES: (on phone) Buffy?
BUFFY: She's at the house.
She turns the phone off, turns to look over her shoulder. She walks to the front door, opens it and looks out. We hear a siren and the sound of the ambulance coming to a stop. Buffy goes back inside, leaving the door open.
Buffy walks back into the living room.
Zoom in on Joyce lying on the sofa.
Zoom in on Buffy staring at her as we hear the ambulance doors close and footsteps approaching.
Pan down Joyce's torso. She wears a knee-length skirt but it has bunched up a bit and her slip is showing.
Buffy glances anxiously toward the door, goes over and pulls Joyce's skirt down to cover the slip. She turns and goes back to the doorway separating the living room from the foyer.
BUFFY: She's in here.
Two male paramedics enter, carrying equipment. Buffy watches anxiously as they put their stuff down and check Joyce. The first one puts his hand on Joyce's throat.
PARAMEDIC 1: I'm getting no pulse.
PARAMEDIC 2: Let's lay her out.
They lift Joyce onto the floor. Paramedic 1 has a stethoscope and a flashlight.
PARAMEDIC 2: (to Buffy) How long's she been like this?
BUFFY: I found her, a-a few, few minutes.
Paramedic 1 checks Joyce's eyes. Paramedic 2 attaches some wires to Joyce's chest.
PARAMEDIC 2: Was she conscious?
PARAMEDIC 1: I'm bagging her.
PARAMEDIC 2: We're gonna intubate. Just trying to get her to breathe, all right?
Buffy nods. Paramedic 1 reaches for more equipment.
PARAMEDIC 2: This your mother?
PARAMEDIC 2: She have any serious physical health problems, any history of heart disease?
Pan across Paramedic 1 by Joyce's head, to Paramedic 2 by Joyce's waist, to the EKG machine showing a flat line.
BUFFY: I mean, there, there was a tumor, (Paramedic 1 inserting a tube in Joyce's mouth) a brain tumor, but she had an operation and she's fine now. She, she's been fine.
Shot of Joyce's face with an oxygen mask covering it. Paramedic 1 holds the mask in place while Paramedic 2 is doing chest compressions. The machine makes a rhythmic breath-like sound.
Paramedic 2 checks Joyce's wrist for a pulse, resumes chest compressions.
Suddenly Joyce begins to cough and gasp. Paramedic 1 removes the mask.
PARAMEDIC 1: I got her! My god, we got her!
PARAMEDIC 2: Let's get her on the truck now. I'm calling ahead.
The two paramedics stand up as Buffy rushes forward. Joyce opens her eyes and looks at her.
PARAMEDIC 1: (faintly in background) Never brought one back this stiff.
BUFFY: I'm here.
Shot of the top of an ambulance, lights flashing, siren wailing as it rushes down the street.
Cut to Buffy and Joyce in the ambulance with the paramedics.
PARAMEDIC 1: It's a miracle. That's what it is, a beautiful miracle.
Cut to Joyce in a hospital bed, Dawn sitting on the bed beside her, Buffy and a doctor standing next to the bed.
DOCTOR: Good as new.
JOYCE: Buffy, thank god you found me in ti-
Zoom in on Buffy as Joyce says this.
Cut back to the living room as we realize this was all in Buffy's imagination. She is still standing there watching the paramedics work. Utter silence except the sound of Paramedic 2 continuing CPR.
Shot of the EKG machine still showing flatline.
Paramedic 2 stops CPR and turns to Paramedic 1.
PARAMEDIC 2: She's cold, man.
Shot of Buffy staring wide-eyed.
PARAMEDIC 2: Call it.
Paramedic 1 looks grim, begins to pack up his stuff. Buffy's lower lip begins to tremble.
Paramedic 2 stands up slowly and walks toward Buffy. He appears blurry (from Buffy's perspective).
PARAMEDIC 2: I'm sorry.
BUFFY: (OS) Wha-what do we do now?
PARAMEDIC 2: I'm sorry, but I have to tell you that...
Buffy staring up at him wide-eyed.
PARAMEDIC 2: (OS) ...your mother's dead.
PARAMEDIC 2: It looks like she did die a good while before you found her. There's .. nothing you could have done.
In the background we see Paramedic 1 packing up, removing the wires from Joyce's chest.
The camera shows Paramedic 2 from around the nose area to mid-chest; his eyes and the top of his head are off the top of the screen.
PARAMEDIC 2: I'm guessing it must have been a aneurysm or some clotting. Some complication from surgery. She probably felt...
Buffy staring at him with tears in her eyes.
PARAMEDIC 2: ...very little pain. I'm gonna call it in. The coroner's office will come by and take her in, and they'll determine the cause of death conclusively.
Buffy continues to stare at him. We hear the ambulance radio.
RADIO: Dispatch 7, we have a 206, what's your status?
PARAMEDIC 1: We're moving.
RADIO: Location is Beaumont and 9th, your gig is on the street, go now.
PARAMEDIC 1: Okay. We gotta fly.
PARAMEDIC 2: All right. (to Buffy) I'm gonna call this right away.
All of this takes place offscreen while the camera focuses on Buffy's stunned expression. Now it switches again to the shot of the paramedic's lower face.
PARAMEDIC 2: Now the coroner's office may take a while. In the meanwhile, I think you should sit. Have a glass of water, and try not to disturb the body.
Buffy still staring up at him.
PARAMEDIC 2: Do you need anything, is there someone you can call?
BUFFY: (softly) Someone's coming.
In the background Paramedic 1 walks to the doorway carrying his stuff.
PARAMEDIC 1: Let's go.
Paramedic 2 turns to pick up his stuff, turns back to Buffy.
PARAMEDIC 2: I'm very sorry for your loss.
BUFFY: Thank you.
He exits, leaving the front door open. Buffy walks to the door, still holding the phone, and looks out.
BUFFY: Good luck.
Sound of the ambulance doors closing, engine starting, driving away.
Buffy turns and walks back inside, still holding the phone, still looking dazed. She looks toward Joyce. We hear the ambulance siren starting up.
Buffy turns and walks toward the kitchen, putting down the phone on a table. She gets to the back of the living room just before the kitchen door. Suddenly she falls to her knees and vomits on the floor. We hear the sound of wind chimes over the retching noises. Buffy is at the very bottom of the screen with the majority of the picture showing the wall, a small side table, and the open window in which the wind chimes are hanging.
Buffy stands up slowly, her back to the camera. She puts a hand on her stomach, walks through the kitchen to the back door, opens it and looks out. We hear birds singing, distant voices, ordinary city noises. Closeup on Buffy's face, sweaty and pale. She stand there for a moment, then turns back inside, leaning on the door for support. She looks at the kitchen island, goes over to it and takes a bunch of paper towels off the roll. Leaving the back door open, she goes back into the living room and puts the paper towels over the spot on the carpet where she vomited.
Lingering shot of the paper towels on the carpet as the moisture begins to seep through.
GILES: (OS) Buffy!
Buffy turns. Giles stands in the front door, panting.
GILES: What is it? Is it Glory?
BUFFY: (stands) I'm waiting. The, the coroner's coming.
GILES: What? (takes a few steps inside)
BUFFY: (looks down, thinking) I have to tell Dawn. She's at school. (looks up) I'll go there.
GILES: I'm not sure...
Giles looks to his left and sees Joyce for the first time.
GILES: Oh god.
He rushes toward her, out of the frame.
BUFFY: No. No. Don't. No, it's too late.
The camera moves down the hallway (Buffy's POV) as she rushes after Giles.
GILES: (OS) Joyce?
BUFFY: They're, they're coming for her, no, no, we're-
Buffy rounds the corner and finds Giles bending over Joyce, shaking her.
BUFFY: (desperate) We're not supposed to move the body!
Giles turns to look at her. Buffy looks aghast, puts her hand to her mouth as she realizes what she said.
Giles gets up quickly, goes over to Buffy and puts his arms around her. Buffy stares in shock past Giles's shoulder at Joyce.
Shot of Joyce lying on the carpet. Her eyes are still open.
Open on overhead shot of Joyce being zipped into a body bag. We only see the hands of whoever's doing it. They pull the zipper up over her face.
Cut to: Dawn leaning against a wall, crying.
DAWN: Oh, god. I can't believe it.
GIRL: (OS) It's not that bad.
DAWN: (disbelieving) How can you say it's not that bad?
GIRL (OS) I just don't think it's that big a deal.
Sound of a toilet flushing.
DAWN: Kevin Berman called me a freak in front of everybody. (shrugs) No, that's no big deal.
A door behind her opens. We see that she's standing in a bathroom. The door that opened was a toilet stall door. Another girl (Lisa) comes out of the stall and walks forward.
LISA: He didn't say you were a freak.
We see that it's actually a mirror behind Dawn; Lisa is in front of her, reflected in the mirror. Lisa goes over to the sinks, which Dawn is standing next to, and begins washing her hands.
DAWN: Forget it.
LISA: He just said you were ... freaky. Which, you know, freaky can be ... sort of cool.
DAWN: Oh yeah. Real cool. (teary) I'm a suicidal head-case.
LISA: You know it was Kirsty. She was telling people how you were into cutting yourself, and how you-
DAWN: That's such a lie! I got cut. By accident. One time.
Dawn walks into the toilet stall and takes some toilet paper to wipe her face. Lisa takes some paper towels from a dispenser to dry her hands.
DAWN: Now Kevin thinks I'm a-
LISA: Well, that was when you were wigging out about your family, and of course Kirsty's gotta turn everything into a story.
Dawn comes out of the stall wiping her eyes. We see her reflected in the mirror next to Lisa.
LISA: She was telling people that you were adopted.
DAWN: What a prima bee-yotch. I swear, if I could make her head explode using only the power of my mind? That's what I'd be doing right about now.
Lisa nods. Dawn wipes her eyes more and sighs.
DAWN: (teary) Great. Now I look like a wet rat.
LISA: Yeah, you know you can't go out there looking all cry-faced. That'll just give Kirsty more ammo.
A bell rings.
DAWN: You know? My big sister could really beat the crap out of her. (Lisa nods) I mean, really really. (Blows her nose) Okay. What do you think? (Turns to face Lisa) Can I show my face?
LISA: You're good to go. We're gonna be late anyway.
They walk off.
Cut to: the two girls coming out of the bathroom, backpacks on their shoulders. Shot of a typical school hallway full of kids.
LISA: Kirsty alert.
They pass a couple of blonde girls who smirk at them.
KIRSTY: (sweetly) Hey Dawn.
KIRSTY: How you doing, you okay?
DAWN: Good, thanks for asking.
Dawn and Lisa continue walking, rolling their eyes.
DAWN: (sotto voce) Bee-yotch.
A bell rings again.
Dawn and Lisa enter a classroom. The walls are glass from the ceiling to about three feet off the ground, so we can see into the room from the hallway. It's an art classroom with rows of easels set up. Dawn stares wide-eyed. Shot of a cute boy (Kevin) at the back of the classroom.
TEACHER: Okay. Remember, we're not ... drawing the object.
Dawn and Lisa go to the back and take easels on either side of Kevin. Dawn looks nervously at him. TEACHER: We're drawing ... the negative space ... around the object.
We see the teacher standing beside the model, which is a 2- or 3-foot high statue of a naked woman.
The students begin to draw as the teacher's voice continues.
KEVIN: (not looking at Dawn) Hey.
DAWN: (trying to be cool) Oh. Hey Kevin.
TEACHER: ...and then give me a sense of the spaces around ... the space in-between.
KEVIN: What's goin' on?
DAWN: Um, negative space. (nervous smile)
KEVIN: (smiles) Yeah, what's that all about?
DAWN: (scoffs) Yeah.
KEVIN: (looks at her paper) That's pretty good.
DAWN: (smiles) Thanks.
Behind Kevin, we see Lisa holding up her pad of paper, on which she has written "HE WANTS YOU!" Dawn gives her friend a scolding look, then turns back to her drawing.
KEVIN: So I heard you, like, had a freak-out and cut yourself.
DAWN: Uh, no, not even. It was a whole ... it was so not...
KEVIN: I've felt like that before. (Dawn looks surprised) Things get so crazed, you know, you just feel like you wanna do something ... extreme.
DAWN: Yeah. I just ... I had a lot of intense stuff going on. (Kevin smiles, returns to his drawing) A lot of people don't understand that. Pain.
DAWN: Then Kirsty's gotta blab it everywhere, 'cause she's-
KEVIN: Kirsty, man. It's like she thinks, "I'm so hot, everybody should just bow down before me." And I'm like, whatever.
Dawn smiles and laughs. Behind her we see Buffy in the hallway, looking at Dawn.
DAWN: She's so superficial. Everything's always about clothes, or who likes who, and... (Buffy enters the classroom, goes over to the teacher) there's just way more important stuff going on. There's a lot of ... crucial ... you know ... stuff.
DAWN: Uh, this one time in history, uh, (Buffy begins walking down the aisle toward Dawn) she had this book called Annals of History, and she didn't know how to say the word "annals" (Kevin looks surprised) so she kept saying-
Dawn turns, still smiling. Buffy stares at her.
Dawn stops smiling.
BUFFY: I have to talk to you.
Dawn looks apprehensive.
Shot of a hand drawing a piece of charcoal across paper.
Shot of the teacher watching.
BUFFY: (OS) What?
Shot of Lisa looking over. Shot of the statue.
DAWN: Can it wait? I'm in the middle of a class.
BUFFY: I know. Please come with me.
Shot of Kevin and Lisa watching.
Dawn puts down her charcoal and walks with Buffy toward the door.
DAWN: I thought Mom was picking me up.
Buffy closes the classroom door behind them as they exit into the hall.
DAWN: What's going on? Something's going on.
BUFFY: Let's go outside.
DAWN: No. Tell me what's going on.
Shot of Kirsty and her friends in the hallway, looking over.
BUFFY: It's ... bad ... news.
Dawn crosses her arms anxiously over her chest.
DAWN: Well, what is it? What happened?
Shot through the window of the classroom. Lisa and Kevin are watching. Lisa begins to walk forward.
BUFFY: It's bad. Please, can we-
DAWN: (loudly) Where's Mom?
BUFFY: (teary) Mom ... had an accident. Or, um...
Lisa walks toward the window, staring.
BUFFY: (OS) ...something went ... wrong from the tumor.
Closeup on Dawn's face. She has tears in her eyes.
DAWN: Is she okay? Is she ... but she's okay? But ... it's, it's serious, but...
Shot from inside the classroom. We see the two of them in the hallway through the glass. Dawn slowly begins to cry as the news sinks in. She puts her hand over her mouth. We can hear her, but very faintly, as we hear it through the glass.
DAWN: (faintly) No.
She shakes her head and backs away from Buffy.
DAWN: (faintly) No, it's not true. No, you're a liar, she's fine!
Dawn crumples to the floor sobbing.
Shot of Kevin watching, looking away. Shot of the teacher.
The teacher and the other students move toward the glass and watch as Buffy kneels, trying to comfort Dawn.
Pan across to Dawn's half-finished sketch of the statue.
Overhead shot of Joyce lying on a metal table. Hands wearing rubber gloves come into the picture and unbutton her blouse, then begin to cut away her camisole with a pair of scissors. Joyce's eyes are still open.
Shot of Tara's face, a window behind her.
Shot of Willow standing in her dorm room next to the closet. She wears an undershirt and is holding a blouse on a hanger, but she's staring at it without really seeing it. Willow doesn't move. In the foreground we see Tara's shoulder and the back of her head.
Shot of Anya sitting in the passenger seat of a car, looking out the window as the car moves down city streets.
Shot of Xander driving the car.
Total silence through all of this.
Overhead shot of the car pulling up beside some other cars that are parked by the sidewalk. Pan across the sidewalk and up. We see a grassy lawn with some people walking around. The camera pulls back and we see that it's shooting out through Willow's dorm room window. As we pull back, we find Tara standing by the window, looking out. She turns.
TARA: I think they're here.
Cut back to Willow still frozen holding the shirt. She reacts, returning from her thoughts, looks at the shirt, turns and tosses it onto the bed. We see a pile of clothing there already.
Cut to Xander and Anya in the car.
XANDER: Do you wanna come up?
Anya looks around, looks at him.
ANYA: (softly) You're double-parked.
XANDER: (opens his door) Let 'em give me a ticket.
They both get out.
Cut back to the dorm room. Willow takes two more shirts out of the closet and turns to Tara.
WILLOW: What do you think? The, the, the purple, right? 'Cause, 'cause it's somber?
Shot of Tara standing by the window.
WILLOW: No. No, it's too depressing, i-it's like, um, a ... funeral, god, I ... (holds up the other shirt, which is yellow) Well, this is, this is cheerier, maybe, I-I wanna be cheery, like, like everything is normal?
Tara just watches.
WILLOW: No, that's rude, that's, that's disrespectful. "La la la! I don't care!"
She tosses both blouses on the bed with a sigh.
WILLOW: If I had that blue one - (turns back to the closet, then back) Jo-Joyce really liked the blue one. She told me one time. You, you sure it's not in your room?
TARA: (takes a few steps closer) I-I-I could look again.
WILLOW: No, no, I-I, I should, I should wear the purple (picks up the purple blouse from the bed) The purple, I, I, I think the purple, it's just that it's so, I don't know, (looks at Tara) i-it doesn't mean something bad?
TARA: I think it's, um ... royal. Purple means ... royalty.
WILLOW: (tears running down her face) Well, I can't see Buffy at the morgue and be all royal! "Oh, I'm the king of everything, I'm better than you!" I have to be supportive, I, Buffy needs me to be supportive, I...
She begins crying as Tara looks on with concern. Willow picks up another shirt.
WILLOW: God, why do all my shirts have such stupid things on them? (tosses it back down) Why can't I just dress like a grownup? Can't I be a grownup?
Tara comes over and puts her hands on Willow's shoulders, rubbing her shoulders and neck.
TARA: Shh, darling.
WILLOW: (crying) I can't do this.
Tara kisses her on the forehead, then on the mouth. Willow returns the kiss. Then Tara leans her forehead against Willow's.
TARA: We can do this.
They both nod. Tara continues rubbing Willow's shoulders.
WILLOW: Okay. We can be there for Buffy. And Dawn. (crying) Little Dawn.
TARA: We can be strong.
WILLOW: Strong like an Amazon?
TARA: Strong like an Amazon, right.
They both smile slightly.
WILLOW: Okay. (nods, sniffles) I wish I had the blue.
Cut to: Anya and Xander climbing the stairs inside the dorm.
ANYA: So ... what do we do?
XANDER: I'm not sure. We'll, uh, talk to Giles.
Cut to: Anya and Xander coming out of the stairwell, walking down the dorm hallway. Various students are roaming around or standing in the halls talking.
ANYA: Xander, what will *we* do? What will *we* be expected to do?
Xander looks at her but doesn't answer. He walks up to the door of room 213. The door is slightly ajar. Xander knocks, pushes it open and enters. We see Tara against the far wall. Willow appears from around the corner. She wears a greenish shirt with a red cardigan over it.
Xander and Willow hug while Tara and Anya stand there looking uncomfortable. They pull apart.
XANDER: How you doing?
Willow shrugs, shakes her head and rolls her eyes, hugging herself.
XANDER: I know the feeling.
WILLOW: I'm afraid I'm gonna start to cry again.
ANYA: (softly) Xander cried at the apartment. It was weird.
WILLOW: I-i-it's a, it's a thing we do.
Overhead shot of the four of them standing there. Each is in some way holding onto him- or herself (arms folded, etc.).
ANYA: What's going to happen?
WILLOW: Well, I ... I guess we're gonna ... meet them at the morgue, (whispers) That's where they were ... taking ... her.
TARA: Um, Giles said that he, he was gonna go with Joyce, and Buffy was gonna go to ... the school to ... tell Dawn.
Xander looks upset, closes his eyes.
TARA: Do you know how to, how to get-
XANDER: Yeah. It's at the hospital, it's a wing. We do morgue time in the Scooby gang.
Willow looks anxiously at Tara.
WILLOW: I have to change.
She removes her cardigan, tosses it aside, goes off to get another shirt.
XANDER: What else did Giles say?
TARA: (shrugs, shakes her head) Not a lot.
XANDER: Are they sure this was ... natural? I mean, Glory.
TARA: Uh, Giles was pretty sure that it wasn't, wasn't her.
XANDER: But, I mean, she said she was gonna come after Buffy's family.
TARA: I don't-
XANDER: I mean, we should be going after her. I mean, she coulda done it, and, and, covered her tracks.
Anya looks confused. Willow reappears, now wearing a pink turtleneck.
WILLOW: Why would she? She'd want us to know.
Xander looks upset.
XANDER: I'll tell you what it is. It's the frickin' doctors. I mean, they just let her out, you know? Clean bill of health. Dig a hole in your skull. Here's a band-aid. Next!
Closeup of Tara looking concerned and upset.
WILLOW: (OS) Xander...
XANDER: They should have checked her over, they should have had her in. Well, don't we have enough monsters in this town, the doctors gotta help 'em out?
WILLOW: Xander, I-I don't think it was ... any ... it just happened.
XANDER: (looks around at the three of them) Things don't happen! (frowns) I mean ... they don't *just* happen. (Shot of Tara looking concerned) Somebody... (shot of Willow) I mean, somebody's got...
WILLOW: Okay. (puts up her fists) Let's go. Come on, you and me. Come on.
Xander stares at her, then sighs. He walks over to her, kisses her on the forehead. Tara watches sadly.
XANDER: You know I can't take you.
WILLOW: Damn straight.
Xander moves back a little.
ANYA: Are we gonna see the body?
WILLOW: (shocked) What?
Xander looks annoyed, turns away.
ANYA: Are we gonna be in the room ... with the dead body?
WILLOW: (hugs herself, uncomfortably) I don't know. No.
TARA: But I guess we should take over patrolling and all that.
WILLOW: Oh, yeah.
TARA: For however long.
XANDER: You know it.
Willow looks at herself unhappily, then at Tara.
WILLOW: I can't wear this.
She turns to change again, turns back.
WILLOW: I, I really should have the other. Joyce liked it so.
TARA: Do you think you coulda left it in the laundry room?
WILLOW: (frowns, nods hopefully) Maybe.
TARA: I'll go check. I'll, I'll just be one minute.
XANDER: We're cool.
Tara walks out of the room.
Anya walks around the room a bit, aimlessly, then turns back.
ANYA: Are they gonna cut the body open?
WILLOW: (horrified) Oh my god! Would you just ... stop talking? Just ... shut your mouth. Please.
ANYA: What am I doing?
WILLOW: How can you act like that?
ANYA: Am I supposed to be changing my clothes a lot? (looks from Willow to Xander) Is that the helpful thing to do?
WILLOW: The way you behave-
ANYA: Nobody will tell me.
WILLOW: Because it's not okay for you to be asking these things!
ANYA: (desperate) But I don't understand!
Willow and Xander look at her in surprise.
ANYA: (crying) I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she's, (sniffling) there's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore. It's stupid. It's mortal and stupid. (still teary) And, and Xander's crying and not talking, and, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why.
She stops and puts her hand over her face, crying.
Willow has tears in her eyes too.
Xander goes over to Anya but she pushes him away, goes and sits down in a papasan chair by the window. Xander goes back to the doorway.
WILLOW: (to Anya) We don't know ... how it works... (Anya wiping her face with her hands) or why.
Willow goes and sits on the bed.
Xander paces back and forth in front of the open door. In the hallway behind him we see various students passing by. There's total silence.
Shot of Willow sitting on the bed.
Shot of Anya sitting in the chair. There are a bunch of pillows on the chair and one is poking her in the back. She turns around and pulls it out. It's a stuffed animal with a blue sweater wrapped around it. Right beside the chair is a clothes bureau with the drawers slightly open. Anya tucks the blue sweater into one of the drawers and sits back holding the stuffed animal.
Shot of Willow staring at the floor.
Suddenly there's a loud banging noise. Willow and Anya jump, look up.
Shot of Xander in the doorway with his left hand stretched out, obscured by the wall.
XANDER: Sorry, sorry, some ... pent-up...
WILLOW: (getting up) Xander...
Willow walks around the corner and discovers Xander's hand is buried in a hole in the wall.
WILLOW: Where did your hand go?
XANDER: As I was saying, some frustration, and now, uh ... I appear to be stuck.
ANYA: My god. (ducks under his arm to get to the other side) Is your hand okay?
XANDER: Pretty much. I, I'm really sorry.
Willow examines the hole where Xander's fist has broken through the wall.
ANYA: (angry) You could have hit an electrical... (gestures vaguely) thing!
XANDER: And once again with the sorry.
Anya crouches down to look at the hole from underneath.
WILLOW: Did it make you feel better? (Anya looks up at Xander)
XANDER: For a second there.
WILLOW: A whole second?
XANDER: In my defense, some crappy wallmanship.
WILLOW: Yeah, you can hear everything next door.
Willow and Anya pull at Xander's arm trying to free it.
XANDER: Who did the drywall in this place?
WILLOW: I always forget to ask.
Tara appears in the doorway.
TARA: Did I miss something?
ANYA: Xander decided that he blames the wall.
WILLOW: Can you ... turn your wrist?
XANDER: Hold on.
He twists his arm and pulls it out of the wall. His knuckles are covered in blood. All the girls go "ooh" in concern.
XANDER: It's okay. (flexing his hand)
Anya looks pensively at Xander's hand.
Shot of the bloody hand as Xander flexes his fingers. Pan up to Tara's face.
TARA: It hurts.
Xander looks at her. She gives a small sympathetic smile.
WILLOW: Here, wash it off.
Anya leads Xander over to the sink.
ANYA: (to Willow) Band-aids?
Anya looks under the sink for band-aids as Xander washes his hand. In the foreground, Tara turns to Willow.
TARA: I couldn't find it.
WILLOW: (shrugs) It doesn't matter. We should get there.
WILLOW: I, I wanna be there for Buffy.
XANDER: (OS) You're right.
Shot of Tara and Willow facing each other in the foreground. In the background, Xander with his back to the camera, as Anya tends to his hand.
XANDER: The avengers gotta get to the assembly. (turns to face the camera, with a towel wrapped around his hand) We'll go. We'll deal. We'll help. That's what we do. We help Buffy.
He puts the towel down and goes out. Willow and Tara follow. Anya follows behind.
ANYA: How are we going to help?
They all go out. Anya closes the door behind her. The camera stays on the closed door. After a moment the door opens again and Willow rushes in.
Shot of Willow's red cardigan on the table by the window where she tossed it earlier. She grabs it and leaves again. We hear the sound of the door closing again as the camera pans across the table to the window. Outside, on the street below, a police officer is putting a ticket on Xander's car.
Open on an overhead shot of Joyce lying on the table. She is (presumably) naked with a sheet covering her up to the shoulders. She is pale and her eyes are still open. A pair of hands, wearing bloody rubber gloves, is attaching a small bandage to the side of Joyce's forehead. Then the hands remove the gloves.
Pull out to find Dr. Kriegel (same doctor from "Listening to Fear" and "Into the Woods") pulling the sheet up to cover Joyce's face. He turns off a lamp that's hanging over her, turns away. We see that he's wearing a rubber smock over his blue hospital scrubs. He removes the smock and puts it in a hazardous-waste can as he moves out of the morgue, picking up a clipboard. He moves into an office area, puts the clipboard on a desk, picks up a white coat and puts it on as he exits the morgue, closing a door behind him.
He walks down a dark hallway, passes an orderly pushing a cart. The hallway is full of folded-up gurneys, boxes, cartons, etc. Dr. Kriegel emerges into the hospital proper. He comes around a corner and sees a waiting room where Giles, Dawn, Buffy, and the Scoobies are gathered.
Tara hugs Dawn as Xander hugs Buffy.
XANDER: If there's anything we can do.
DAWN: Glad you're here.
Xander hugs Giles as Willow hugs Buffy.
Willow pulls back to look Buffy in the face.
WILLOW: Love you so much.
BUFFY: I know.
DAWN: (to Tara) They're not telling us anything.
Giles is looking around when suddenly Anya hugs him. He looks surprised, then hugs her back. Over her head he notices the doctor.
Everyone looks over at the doctor. He walks forward. Buffy, Giles, and Dawn come forward to meet him. The others stay behind in a little group.
DR. KRIEGEL: Okay, I've examined your mother's body.
DAWN: Can we see her?
BUFFY: Dawn, not now.
DR. KRIEGEL: The on-site report seems more or less accurate. Your mother did have what looks like an aneurysm. A sudden hemorrhaging from a ruptured arterial vessel near the, uh ... where the tumor was removed.
BUFFY: Shouldn't we have known about that, that ... was a danger?
DR. KRIEGEL: Sometimes these things are detectable, and sometimes they're not.
Close shot of Buffy's face.
DR. KRIEGEL: (OS) Joyce was aware of the possibility of a rupture, and the effects. She didn't even get on the phone, so clearly this was very sudden.
Shot of Dawn staring at the floor.
DR. KRIEGEL: (OS) She, uh, may have felt a little nausea, and probably passed out as it happened.
Close shot of Buffy's face.
DR. KRIEGEL: (OS) I doubt there was much pain, and ... even if someone had been by her side...
Flash: Joyce in the living room, Buffy by her side. Buffy takes Joyce's hand in concern as Joyce sits on the sofa.
JOYCE: My head...
Flash: Buffy, Joyce, and Paramedic 1 in the ambulance.
Flash: Dawn, Joyce, Buffy, and the doctor in the hospital.
(the above two flashes are the same as from earlier in the episode)
DR. KRIEGEL: (OS) ...it's doubtful that this could have been dealt with in time.
Cut back to closeup of Buffy's face.
Shot of the doctor looking sympathetic, looking over at Giles.
GILES: (nods) Uh, thank you, Doctor.
BUFFY: (OS) Are you sure...
Closeup of Buffy's face.
BUFFY: ...that there wasn't a lot of pain?
DR. KRIEGEL: (nods) Absolutely.
The doctor's mouth continues to move, but what we hear is what Buffy is thinking, not what he's actually saying.
DR. KRIEGEL: (in Buffy's thoughts) I have to lie to make you feel better.
Closeup of Buffy staring at the doctor.
GILES: What, uh, (clears throat) what, uh, needs to be done now?
DR. KRIEGEL: Well, there, uh, there'll be some forms, and some decisions you'll need to make.
GILES: Uh, Buffy, why don't you let me handle those as much as I can.
DR. KRIEGEL: (to Buffy) We will need you to ... sign a couple of release forms. GILES: Yes, thank you, Doctor.
The doctor nods, starts to move away.
GILES: (to Buffy) I'll, uh, figure out which ones you need to see.
BUFFY: We'll be here.
Giles goes off with the doctor as the others approach.
XANDER: What'd the doctor say?
BUFFY: Nothing. Uh, it's, you know, it's what we thought, the tumor.
WILLOW: Why don't we sit down?
Willow takes both Buffy and Dawn by the hands and leads them to a sofa. She and Buffy sit. Tara sits on Buffy's other side. Anya, Xander, and Dawn remain standing.
BUFFY: Giles says he's gonna go over the paperwork.
XANDER: Man, if there's one day they should *not* give you homework.
WILLOW: Dawnie, do you wanna sit?
Dawn shakes her head.
BUFFY: (to Dawn) I don't think we're gonna have to be here very long.
DAWN: What about... (stops)
BUFFY: What about what?
DAWN: Nothing. I have to pee.
BUFFY: Do you want someone to go with you?
DAWN: (sullen) No. I still remember how to pee. (turns away)
BUFFY: Do you know where it is?
She walks off.
BUFFY: I think maybe she's ... mad at me or something.
WILLOW: 'Cause you were the one that told her?
XANDER: How'd she take it?
BUFFY: Meltdown. She just wouldn't believe me. I still don't think she does.
ANYA: (a little too loudly) I wish that Joyce didn't die...
Everyone looks at her.
ANYA: (more quietly) ...because she was nice. And now we all hurt.
XANDER: (embarrassed) Anya, ever the wordsmith.
Anya looks hopefully at Buffy.
BUFFY: (to Anya) Thank you.
Xander looks a little surprised.
WILLOW: (to Buffy) Do you want anything? Something to eat, or ... soda?
BUFFY: Honestly, I ... couldn't tell.
WILLOW: Well, I-I think you should try to eat something.
BUFFY: Yeah, maybe Dawn could use a snack.
WILLOW: I'll, I'll find something. (gets up) Xander, do you have any money?
XANDER: We'll come with.
WILLOW: (to Buffy) We'll be right quick.
Willow, Xander, and Anya go off.
Shot of Buffy and Tara sitting on the sofa next to each other. They look at each other, then away.
BUFFY: (softly, speaking to the floor) I'm sorry ... you have to go through all of this.
TARA: You don't have to worry about me.
BUFFY: Everybody wants to help. (Tara looks at her) I don't even know if I'm ... here. (Tara looks away) I don't know what's going on. Never done this. (pauses) That's just an amazingly dumb thing to say. Obviously ... I've never done this before.
TARA: (softly) I have.
Buffy looks over at her.
TARA: My mother died when I was seventeen.
BUFFY: I didn't know. I'm sorry.
TARA: No, no, I didn't mean to ... (sighs) I'm only telling you this because ... I know it's not m-my place, but ... (pauses) There's things ... thoughts and reactions I had that ... I couldn't ... understand ... or even try to explain to anyone else. (Buffy looks down, pensive) Thoughts that ... made me feel like I was losing it ... or, like I was some kind of ho-horrible person. I know it's different for you ... because it's always different, but ... if you ever need....
She trails off. They sit there looking at each other. Then they both look down at the floor.
Buffy looks back up at Tara.
BUFFY: Was it sudden?
BUFFY: Your mother.
TARA: No. (thinks) Yes. (pauses) It's always sudden.
Cut to: Dawn coming out of the bathroom. She looks around the corner into the waiting room, sees Buffy and Tara talking. Pan over to the door that leads to the morgue. A red sign on the door reads "AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY." Dawn goes over to that door.
Cut to inside the hallway. Dawn opens the door and enters. It's fairly dark. She looks behind her, begins to walk slowly down the hallway. Utter silence.
Overhead shot of Dawn walking down the hall.
Pan down the hall from Dawn's point of view. She can see through the second door to where the doctor's desk is.
Cut to inside the morgue, camera showing Dawn's face through the window in the second door.
Cut to Dawn's POV, shot of the interior of the morgue with several sheet-covered bodies lying on metal tables.
Dawn opens the door, goes inside, turns and bolts the door shut. She turns back and walks slowly past the row of bodies covered by sheets, toward the one at the end. Complete silence.
Dawn walks up to the last table, farthest from the door. She stares at the shape on the table, closes her eyes, opens them. She reaches out a hand.
Closeup on Dawn's apprehensive face.
Closeup on the sheet-covered head.
Dawn pulls her hand back without removing the sheet, takes a step back, swallows with difficulty.
Behind her, on the farthest table (closest to the door), a body suddenly sits up and removes the sheet covering it. Dawn doesn't notice this. Still complete silence.
Closer shot of the person on the table sitting up. It's a male vampire. He looks around, sees Dawn, smiles slightly and puts the sheet aside, swinging his legs over the side of the table.
Long shot of Dawn's back. The camera is at floor-level and in the foreground we see the vampire's bare leg. Dawn is in the background of the shot, still staring at the sheet-covered body.
The vampire's other leg comes into view as he walks unsteadily toward Dawn.
Closeup of Dawn turning, seeing him, beginning to draw breath for a scream.
Cut to Buffy and Tara sitting on the sofa. Pan over to Xander, Willow, and Anya returning with their arms full of soda cans, junk food, and coffee cups.
WILLOW: We panicked.
BUFFY: (looking nervously at all the stuff) Uh-huh.
WILLOW: Have anything you want.
ANYA: The sandwiches are meat.
BUFFY: I'm just not hungry.
WILLOW: What about Dawnie? (comes to sit beside Buffy)
XANDER: (looking around) Is she still in the bathroom?
BUFFY: (frowning) I guess. (gets up) You guys wait here.
Buffy walks over to the hallway, looks at the door marked "Women," then looks across to the door marked "AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY." She goes to the second door, opens it.
Buffy walks down the dark hallway, first slowly, then faster. Distant sound of a scream.
Buffy comes to the second door, looks through the window and sees Dawn struggling as the vampire is behind her and has her by the arms. Dawn shrieks and struggles.
Buffy shoves the door but it is still locked. Buffy throws herself against it and it bursts open.
The vampire pulls Dawn up against him and bends his head to bite. Buffy runs up behind him and grabs him around the neck, grunting. Dawn yelps and continues struggling.
Buffy pulls the vampire back and he loses his grip on Dawn, who goes flying forward, crashing into the gurney. As she falls to the floor, she accidentally pulls the sheet so it falls down a bit, exposing Joyce's head.
Buffy struggles with the vampire, he hits her in the stomach and she loses her grip, stumbling backward. He grabs her by the neck, growling. They struggle. Buffy tries to reach his face but can't, so she knees him in the groin. He spins her around and slams her into a table covered with medical instruments, which crash to the floor. Buffy and the vampire also fall to the floor.
Fight noises continue as the camera moves to Dawn recovering, lying on the floor. She looks up at the gurney. Shot of the corner of the gurney from Dawn's POV; only the top of Joyce's head is visible.
Buffy is on the floor with the vampire on top of her. She punches him in the face and they roll over so she's on top. As they struggle, she reaches out and grabs a medical instrument that looks like a short saw. She puts it against the vampire's throat as he grabs her face. His hand falls aside and Buffy shoves the saw through his neck, cutting off his head. He explodes into dust and Buffy falls aside, lying on her back, the saw clattering away.
Buffy lies there for a moment, staring at the ceiling with a small frown. Then she rolls over.
Buffy sits up halfway, stops when she sees Dawn. The camera pulls back to find Dawn still crouching, staring up at the gurney.
Slowly, Dawn pulls herself up to a kneeling position so she can see Joyce's face. Joyce's eyes are still open. We stay on this shot with Joyce in the foreground, Dawn immediately behind her, and Buffy in the background still sitting on the floor.
DAWN: (not taking her eyes off Joyce) Is she cold?
BUFFY: (whispering) It's not her ... it's not her ... she's gone.
DAWN: (frowns slightly) Where'd she go?
Dawn lifts her hand and reaches out, very slowly.
Close shot of Joyce's head with Dawn's hand moving slowly toward her cheek.
The picture goes to black just before Dawn's fingers touch the body.
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon.