Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996–2003)
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The Mayor takes Willow prisoner after Buffy and her friends steal away a box containing demonic energy needed for Ascension Day.


James A. Contner


Joss Whedon (created by), David Fury | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Michelle Gellar ... Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon ... Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan ... Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter ... Cordelia Chase
David Boreanaz ... Angel
Seth Green ... Daniel Osbourne
Anthony Head ... Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Kristine Sutherland ... Joyce Summers
Harry Groener ... Mayor Richard Wilkins
Alexis Denisof ... Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Eliza Dushku ... Faith
Armin Shimerman ... Principal Snyder
Keith Brunsmann Keith Brunsmann ... Lackey
Jimmie F. Skaggs ... Courier
Michael Schoenfeld Michael Schoenfeld ... Security Guard #1


Nearly all the gang is admitted to colleges, Willow even Oxford; only Xander plans to tour instead. The mayor gives Faith a precious weapon as reward, and the mission to intercept at the airport the box of Gavrok, a container of mystical energy he needs for his demonic ascension. Mother Joyce hopes Buffy goes to Northwestern University, near an aunt in Illinois, but the watchers doubt if her slayer-duties allow any long absence from the Hellmouth; maybe if she first prevents the ascension, therefore Giles agrees to seize the initiative once they know more, quickly done ignoring Wesley's caution by the Council's book. Angel helps Buffy steal the box from the town hall, but Faith takes Willow hostage, only Wes would refuse to exchange her. First Willow kills a vampire guard and consults the Books of Ascension; at the meeting of both sides, the box is dropped, spilling some of its spider-scary content... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Joyce phones Buffy's Aunt Arlene and refers to "her family", establishing that Buffy and Dawn have at least one other cousin in addition to Celia from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Killed by Death (1998). See more »


When Buffy gets attacked by a spider, it zooms in on Xander and Angel, and you can see Xander clearly smiling at the intense situation. See more »


Willow: [explaining why she wants to stay in Sunnydale when she has other choices available] The other night, y'know being captured and all, facing off with Faith... Things just - kinda got clear. I mean, you've been fighting evil here for three years and I've helped some. And now we're supposed to decide what we want to do with our lives. And I just realized that's what I want to do. Fight evil, help people. I mean, I-I think it's worth doing. And I don't think you do it because you have to. It's a ...
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References The Godfather (1972) See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Performed by Nerf Herder
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User Reviews

Can Buffy sacrifice a friend for the greater good?
17 May 2018 | by TweekumsSee all my reviews

Buffy has decided that it is time to take the fight to the mayor so when she learns that he has acquired an artefact, the Box of Gavrok, that he needs for his ascension she decides to take it and destroy it. She and her friends come up with a plan and, despite a minor setback, they get the item... unfortunately one of the gang is captured. Buffy and the rest of the gang must decide whether to return the box in exchange for their friend or whether the threat to the whole of Sunnydale outweighs the life of one person. Away from their supernatural worries the young protagonists muse on what they will do next year; Buffy has been offered a place at a college outside Sunnydale but is told she can't leave because of her duties; Willow can go just about anywhere she wants, including Oxford and a number of Ivy League universities and Xander plans to travel the country rather than study further.

This was a really solid episode that progresses the story of the mayor's ascension and raises interesting moral questions. There is plenty of action and some good tense moments; a particular highlight is seeing Willow stand up to Faith even though the latter is wielding a particularly vicious looking knife... Alyson Hannigan and Eliza Dushku are great in this scene. There are some good humorous moments; Armin Shimerman provides the best laughs as he interrupts the exchange between Buffy's gang and the mayor; learns just what horrors are contained in the box and then ponders why they can't be dealing drugs like normal kids! The discussions about what the various characters will be doing next year may seem superfluous but sets up the whereabouts of the characters in series four. Overall a fine combination of action, character development and story progression.

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