Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Episode: “Revelations” (November 17th, 1998)
Synopsis by Jason Henderson
Buffy’s been hiding Angel, but there’s a new watcher in town with an agenda all her own, and Buffy’s secret is blown. Will Xander and Willow’s secret go with it?
Screenplay: Doug Petrie
Direction: James A Contner
Buffy: Sarah Michelle Gellar
Cordelia: Charisma Carpenter
Angel: David Boreanaz
Willow: Alyson Hannigan
Xander: Nicholas Brendan
Oz: Seth Green
Giles: Anthony Stewart Head
Faith: Eliza Dushku
We open at the Bronze, where Oz is playing a gig and Xander and Willow are practically destroying the place trying not to touch one another; their nervousness is becoming obvious. The gang is obsessing over where Buffy goes every night. New boyfriend? Buffy says no, but she’s going out tonight.
Buffy and Faith open up a can of vampire whoop-ass in the graveyard while Giles sips his coffee and watches, and when its done, out from the stones strolls a stranger: Gwendolyn Post, who pronounces the work “sloppy” and claims to be Faith’s new watcher.
Turns out Ms. Post comes from the veddy English Watcher Council, and she’s supposed to be checking up on Giles, as well. She unnerves Giles by criticizing his book collection and accusing him of becoming too American. She’s also brought a quest: there’s a demon called Lagos coming, and he’s looking for the legendary (of course) Glove of Mynnigon, a nasty, metal, scaly, clawed contraption that attacks itself permanently to its wearer and bestows great power.
That night, Buffy and the rapidly recuperating Angel do Tai Chi and pant at one another determined not to kiss. Angel warns Buffy about Lagos, the demon who’s coming to town.
Back at the library, Xander and Willow are trying to help Giles find material on Lagos and the Glove, but he’s irritable and their unusually hormonal. A swell kiss nearly gets them caught, and the pressure is becoming intense. When Giles finds the location of the glove—in a crypt at Restfield cemetery, Xander is so flustered from nearly getting caught kissing Willow he volunteers to go look for the glove.
Out in the street, Faith tells Buffy she’s always been a “loser magnet,” and since then her philosophy is “get some and get going.” Buffy dodges questions about Angel before the girls part ways.
At Restfield, Xander is shocked to see Angel, alive, carrying the glove from the crypt and away. Xander follows Angel back to the mansion where he holes up, there to see Angel and Buffy making out. Buffy backs off, determined that the two must control themselves. (“Shame on you,” she tells Angel, helpfully.)
Back at Giles’ place, Ms. Post is driving Giles to distraction with her constant attacks (she’s even irritated by the way he pours tea.) Bad goes to worse when Xander shows up with news about Buffy and her returned boyfriend.
Next day, Buffy walks into an ambush in the form of an “intercession meeting;” all the gang gathers at the library. Buffy says she found the glove and it’s at the mansion, but the gang is ahead of her. “We know Angel’s alive,” Giles says. “You need help,” Willow offers. Everyone’s convinced that Buffy’s been harboring a vicious killer, even if, as she claims, “he’s better now.” But for how long? They ask, since Angel started out a swell vampire hunky guy last time, before losing his soul after going to bed with Buffy. “You know what you were doing is wrong,” Giles observes, “or you wouldn’t have hidden it.” Ultimately, Giles sends the kids away, saying all in all he can understand Buffy’s reasons.
Privately, Giles sweetly, calmly tears Buffy a new one. “Be quiet,” he says. “I shouldn’t have to remind you that Angel tortured me. For hours. For pleasure. You have no respect for me or the job that I perform.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Post is poisoning Faith against Giles and Buffy, whom she considers profligate. “Why does he let her socialize so much?” Post asks.
Willow doesn’t give Buffy too hard a time because the whole secret thing fascinates her: “I understand. Secrets are normal. Better than normal. Good. Secrets are good!” Buffy fails to find this suspicious.
Xander plays pool and fills Faith I on Angel’s return, and even though “Buffy says he’s clean,” Xander is ready to help Faith slay the vampire.
Meanwhile, Giles has found a way to destroy the glove, and incidentally how to make it work. Post, having learned what she wanted to know, smacks Giles upside the head with a small statue and heads for the mansion.
Willow and Buffy stake out the mansion, waiting for the demon to appear, and Willow nearly tells her secret. But the demon interrupts them and Willow backs out after Buffy slays the demon, and Buffy fails to be suspicious once again.
Xander and Faith find Giles knocked out. Faith leaps to the conclusion that Angel is at fault here and moves on, but Xander knows that doesn’t make sense (no bite marks) and waits with Giles for EMS.
Buffy and Willow come back to school to find hurt Giles and Xander. Giles comes around long enough to tell Buffy to destroy the Glove, but she’s more concerned when she learns that Faith went off to destroy Angel. Buffy heads off to stop Faith.
Back at the mansion, Angel is performing the rites to destroy the glove (which also, apparently, switch the glove on), when Ms. Post appears, claiming to have been sent by Giles. She knocks Angel out, briefly, then grapples briefly with Angel before Faith comes in, jumping to the rescue of her watcher. Faith nearly kills Angel but is interrupted by Buffy.
Buffy and Faith duke it out with vicious ferocity since they’re both practically invulnerable. They don’t notice Post as she puts on the glove, calling its demonic powers from the sky. Willow and Xander show up in time to be targets of the powerful bursts of energy the Glove yields, and Angel saves Willow from one. Buffy and Faith stop fighting when they realize Post is a bad guy. Faith draws Post’s fire while Buffy disarms Post, literally. The powers of the sky destroy Post utterly, and the gang turns to destroy the glove.
Next day, the gang wonders how they feel about Angel. Xander still doesn’t trust him, and especially worries what will happen if the slayer and the vampire have sex again.
It turns out the Post was a former watcher, kicked out for abusing the black arts. “I swear there was a memo,” Giles winces.
Buffy and Faith, though, are not “five by five,” as Faith would say. Faith has been burned again by trusting someone, and her relationship with Buffy is strained. “I’m on your side,” says Buffy. “I’m on my side,” Faith responds. “That’s enough.” Buffy offers, “not always.”
First off, the single most stunning part of the episode is Giles’ sound chastisement of Buffy. The watcher is completely dedicated to his slayer, and it’s fascinating to see him confront his anger at the disrespect of this girl that he must serve.
Next there’s, “I assure you I’m in complete control of my slayer.” These are the words of Giles, who is being chastised about letting Buffy run wild, as it were. This whole Buffy Universe watcher concept intrigues me, and I’m more curious than ever what the deal is with the watchers—surely they must be general-purpose occult-supervision types, because no way could there be a “Watcher Council” and all if all they watch is Buffy and Faith.
I enjoyed watching Willow wrestle with her secrets, nearly come clean, and back down. The amusing bit is that Willow is so guilt-ridden that she hints broadly throughout the episode about the secret affair, so broadly that she may as well be wearing a pin that says, “Hi! My name is Willow! I’m secretly making out with Xander!” In fact, Oz gives her a skeptical look or two at the Bronze, leading me to wonder how long this is going to go on. Not that I want the tension to end. The Powers that Be will have a real challenge when Willow and Xander can finally hold hands in the sun, as it were. Right now, the romantic tension, the furtive glances, the snuck touching of fingertips, the risky kissing, the heart pounding near-misses, all make for an exciting storyline. How will they beat that?
Of course, with friends like Willow’s, it’s easy to keep secrets. For her part, Buffy is so narcissistic that she’s not even curious what Willow is hiding, which I suppose makes her a nearly perfect friend.
On guilt’s gentle touch
“Hey, Giles, here’s an idea: why don’t I alleviate my guilt by going out and getting myself really, really killed.”
(Xander, who runs from a tense situation by volunteering to go into demon territory.)
On Willowy goodness
“I consider myself a good person. Floss. Do my homework. Never cheat. But lately… I want you to be the first to know… there’s a demon behind you.”
(Willow, nearly getting it out.)