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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2, Episode 3: School Hard, Original airdate: 9/29/97

It’s a typical morning at Sunnydale High, except Buffy is sitting in Principal Snyder’s office along with Sheila, the only girl in school to make as much trouble as Buffy. Snyder insists that Buffy and Sheila are both very close to being expelled, but he is giving them an opportunity to incur his good will. The two of them are to run the Parent-Teacher Night on Thursday. If they do badly they will be kicked out of school. Buffy recognizes what is at stake and assures Snyder everything will run smoothly. Sheila doesn’t seem to care at all.
Sheila’s nonchalant attitude continues after the meeting when Buffy starts trying to plan with her. Sheila simply shrugs her off and leaves. Xander and Willow overhear and come over to talk to Buffy. Xander tries to comfort her, assuring her that all she has to do is make sure nothing bad happens on Parent-Teacher Night. This comment upsets both Buffy and Willow, who are convinced that Xander has jinxed the event. Now something bad is sure to happen.

That night a speeding car crashes over the “Welcome to Sunnydale” sign. A vampire with a long black trenchcoat and bleach blonde hair gets out and lights a cigarette. He smiles to himself and announces “Home, sweet home.”

The Master’s old minions are gathered around the Anointed One in the factory discussing who should take The Master’s place. They decide that whoever kills the Slayer should take control of their ranks. One of the vampires says he can do it since the Day of St. Vigius is coming up and on that day vampires are at their peak strength. A laugh rings out from behind him. It is the vampire with bleach-blonde hair. He mocks the vampire intent on killing the Slayer before knocking him out with one punch. He then introduces himself as Spike and addresses the Anointed One, insisting that he can easily kill this Slayer. After all, he’s killed several before. As Spike starts to tell of his exploits a mysterious-looking brunette woman wearing an old-fashioned white dress drifts into the room. The moment Spike sees her, his whole demeanor changes. He becomes gentle and loving. The woman, Drusilla, is clearly very strange and shows signs of insanity and possessing a sixth sense. She is also physically ill which makes her relatively weak for a vampire. Spike tells the Anointed One that he and Drusilla are going to be moving into Sunnydale. He will kill the Slayer for the Anointed One, as long as the Anointed One promises to keep his flunkies out of Spike’s way. The Anointed One agrees, leading Spike to ask about the Slayer. Is she tough?

Buffy stands in front her mirror moaning over the pain of brushing the knots out of her hair. Her mother walks in the room and tells her that found out Sunnydale has a Parent-Teacher Night. Buffy’s mom interprets Buffy’s failure to tell her about the event as an indication that she isn’t doing so well in school. Buffy insists that she is trying; she is just under a lot of pressure. Her mother laughs, “Wait till you get a job.” After her mom leaves Buffy opens a drawer full of vampire-slaying supplies and frowns to herself in a mirror. “I have a job.”

The next day Willow and Xander help Buffy paint banners in the school lounge since Sheila is a no-show. Buffy decides she needs to cram for French that night, but Willow reminds her that they were going to the Bronze because Angel said he might be there. Afraid Angel will show and meet some other girl Buffy decides to study French at the Bronze. She insists that she can balance hanging out, schoolwork and running Parent-Teacher Night just as long as she doesn’t have to do any slaying. Just then Giles and Jenny come up to inform her that Saturday is St. Vigius’ Day. Buffy blows the warning off, insisting that she needs to get through the week first before she can worry about any weekend slaying. Before Giles can lecture her too much Snyder comes over, causing Giles and Jenny to scurry off. When Snyder sees that Sheila is not there, he insists his going to expel her. Buffy lies and says Sheila’s been helping for hours, she just ran out for supplies. Just then Sheila stumbles in looking hung over. Buffy covers for her and Snyder leaves.

That night Xander dances alone at the Bronze as Buffy and Willow attempt to study French. Buffy isn’t doing so well and is disappointed that Angel hasn’t shown up, so she is more than happy to join Xander on the dance floor when he asks. They drag Willow with them. Spike emerges from the shadows and watches Buffy dance for a while. He then goes over to the Anointed One’s lackey whom he bested earlier and orders him to go eat someone. The vampire leaves and Spike starts making a loud fuss in the Bronze about a big guy outside trying to bite a person. Buffy hears and heads outside to fight. Willow and Xander run after her and after getting the stunned almost-victim away, Xander runs back in to get Buffy’s stake. As Buffy fights the vampire he begins shouting threats and mentions St. Vigius’ Day. Buffy gets the upper hand and the vampire calls out for Spike’s help. Just then Xander throws Buffy the stake and she dusts the vamp. Spike emerges from the shadows of the alley to taunt Buffy and inform her that on Saturday he is going to kill her.

Sheila walks out of the back of a bar with two tough looking guys. She flirts with them, walking a few steps ahead but when she turns to look back at them, they’ve disappeared. Suddenly Spike shows up and insists that he is a way better catch than the two losers she was with. He struts off into the dark with Sheila following. She doesn’t notice her two dates dead in the trash pile next to her.

Giles, Buffy, Xander, Willow and Jenny all gather in the library to research Spike and plan for St. Vigius’ Day. Angel shows up and seems to have a personal knowledge of Spike. He tells the gang that once Spike sets his sites on something, he works until he gets it, killing anything in his path. Buffy is happy to see Angel and starts to flirt but talk soon turns back to more serious matters, such as preventing Buffy’s mom from meeting Snyder on Parent-Teacher Night, and avoiding dieing on Saturday. The gang turns to Angel for more help but he has already left.

In a basement room of the factory, Drusilla plays with her set of china dolls. All of them have their mouths bound with red ribbon. Sheila is also gagged and tied up in the corner. Spike comes down and begins talking to Dru. Spike wants Drusilla to eat and reminds her that soon the energy of the Hellmouth should restore her health. Plus in a few weeks the stars are going to align and all of Sunnydale will suffer. Dru is happy about this but urges Spike to go meet with the other vampires and help them with their St. Vigius’ Day preparations. She can sense that the Anointed One doesn’t trust Spike. Spike agrees to go help but only if Drusilla eats. He unties Sheila and hands her off to Dru who glad goes in for the kill.

It’s Parent-Teacher Night and the whole gang is preparing weapons and researching for St. Vigius’ Day, except for Buffy, who is chopping up vegetables. She realizes she didn’t get punch and leaves to make some. Willow finds her a little while later in the school lounge ladling out lemonade into cups. Now all Buffy has to worry about is keeping her mother and Snyder away from each other for the rest of the night. Just then Buffy’s mom walks up. Buffy sees Snyder staring at them and gets Willow to whisk her mother away. Snyder demands to know if that was Buffy’s mom. Buffy admits it was but lies and tells Snyder that her mother doesn’t speak English. Buffy glances at the clock. It’s 6:15 pm. 8:45 pm rolls around and Cordelia emerges from the library complaining that they are still working on weapons. Willow reappears with Buffy’s mom who points out that she hasn’t managed to meet any of Buffy’s teachers yet. Just then Snyder walks up. Buffy’s mom introduces herself as Joyce Summers and Snyder insists he needs to talk to her in his office.

Back in the library Giles finally digs up some information on Spike. He is young, barely two hundred, but he is also accomplished. He got his name from his propensity for torturing his victim with railroad spikes. He has also fought two slayers in the past hundred years and killed them both.

Joyce and Snyder reappear. Snyder is triumphant and Joyce is angry. Just then a gang of vampires jumps through a large window into the lounge. Spike is their leader and he addresses Buffy. “What can I say? I couldn’t wait.” Buffy grabs her mother’s hand to pull her out of the building, only to find all the exits blocked by vampires. Spike yells to his minions that nobody should be allowed to escape, especially “the girl.” In the ensuing panic Willow and Cordelia make it to a utility closet where they lock themselves in. Buffy herds all the adults into a classroom and Giles, Jenny and Xander rush out of the library to see what is going on only to rush right back in when they realize Spike is in the building. As the people in the classroom and in the library are barricading their doors the lights shut off. A minion reports to Spike that the vampires have cut the power and no one has escaped, but he’s not sure where the Slayer ended up because he saw three girls and he doesn’t know which one was Buffy.

In the library Giles remembers that there is boarded up cellar behind the stacks. He tells Xander to escape that way and get Angel. Back in the classroom the adults try to figure out who is attacking them. Snyder seems especially panicked and insists they are a gangson PCP. He tries to escape through a window but Buffy stops him saying that if he leaves he will be killed and he’ll create an opening into the room that will get the rest of them killed too. Snyder demands to know why she is giving orders and Buffy tells him she is the only one who knows how to handle the guys attacking them. Joyce is scared by Buffy’s bravado and insists that no matter how much Buffy fights in school she can’t go out and face these guys. Buffy tells her she isn’t going out, she’s going up. She proceeds to boost herself up into the ventilation shaft in the ceiling. Spike paces the dark halls, calling for Buffy. He says that if her finds one her friends first, he’ll kill them. Cordelia and Willow can hear him from the utility closet and Cordy starts to panic but Willow silences her. Spike’s minion hears something and urges Spike to listen, but it is not Cordelia he hears. It is Buffy crawling above them. Giles has also heard Spike’s threats and he grabs a battle axe and begins to un-barricade the library doors. Jenny demands to know what he is doing and he insists that as Watcher he must make sure Buffy is safe. Just then Buffy breaks through a ceiling tile and drops into the library. She loads up on weapons and reports on the situation to Giles. Since the vampires have split up to guard the building, she has decided to sneak up on them one by one and take them out. She gives Giles the job of getting her mother and the others out of the school through the cellar entrance. She then heads back up into the ceiling.

Tensions are high in the classroom. Joyce and Snyder are at each other’s throats and another one of the adults is panicking. He opens a window and starts prying off one of the metal slats that crosses it. Snyder ignores Joyce’s objections and starts working on another slat.

Outside a vampire attempts to break down the door but can’t. Then Spikes shows him a fire axe hanging right next to him and he starts to hack through the door. Spike moves on to the two vampires trying to break down the door to the utility closet. He pulls one of them away to another task. In the classroom the men begin to work more frantically as the axe starts to break through the door. Soon they pull off both slats and the first man starts to crawl through the window frame. The moment the front half of his body is out there is a fearsome snarling and his legs start twitching. Soon the rest of him is yanked through to the outside. Snyder freezes in shock so Joyce runs up and pulls him away. She puts the slats back into the place and closes the window.

In the hall Spike and several vamps listen to Buffy crawl above them in the ceiling. Meanwhile Angel and Xander make it to the school only to find the dead man’s body in the yard. Xander asks Angel what his plan is and Angel grabs him by the throat and drags him into the school. The pounding on the closet door stops. Cordelia wants to try and escape but Willow is afraid the vampire might come back. Cordy asks what they should do instead and Willow answers, “Pray?” Buffy is still crawling through the ceiling and Spike is still listening to her movements. He and a minion both start jabbing metal poles through the ceiling tiles. The poles nearly stab Buffy.

The vampire hacking at the classroom door finally makes a full hole. He rushes around the corner to tell the vampire trying to break down the closet door to guard the door to the outside. The humans are about to make a run for it. The axe vampire rushes back to his task only to have Buffy burst through the ceiling and stake him. Joyce sees Buffy through the hole in the door and urges her to escape. Buffy tells her to hang on and goes to deal with the vamp guarding the outside door. Suddenly she sees Sheila walking through the hall. Sheila asks what’s going on and Buffy tells her that there are men trying to kill them all. Sheila picks up the fire ax where the dusted vamp dropped it and finally seems ready to help.

Spike is still stabbing the ceiling with a pole when Angel walks in with vamp face on and Xander held tight in a headlock. Angel and Spike greet each other like old friends. Spike asks for the low-down on the Slayer and Angel tells him that she’s tough but not very bright. He laughs about how he’s convinced her that he is tortured and now she doesn’t hunt him. From underneath Angel’s arm Xander insists that he always knew Angel was a liar.

Buffy tells Sheila to stay behind her, unaware that Sheila is now a vampire. As Buffy raises her stake to kill the guard vampire, Sheila raises her axe to kill Buffy. Giles, however, is looking through the window on the library door and shouts a warning to Buffy. Buffy quickly disarms Sheila and slays the other vampire in several swift strokes. Sheila runs away in fear. Buffy then runs back to classroom and gets her mother and the other adults out.

Spike asks Angel why he hasn’t killed Buffy himself. Angel seems offended by Spike’s question and Spike tries to calm him by offering to drink with him. They both lean towards Xander’s neck. At the last moment Spike punches Angel. He begins screaming at Angel for trying to trick him. He knows Angel actually is tortured and this angers him. In his rant he refers to Angel as his “sire.” Spike grabs a metal pole, and with two minions in tow, charges Angel and Xander, who run out the door. Spike stops short in his chase though when he realizes Buffy is standing behind him with the axe. After a mutual agreement not to use weapons, they begin battling, while outside Angel and Xander fight the vamps that continued to chase them. Meanwhile Giles leads the adults to the exit in the library, but Joyce is reluctant to go. Both the inside and outside battles rage on. Eventually the two vampire outside grow afraid of Angel’s prowess and flee, but Buffy and Spike’s are more evenly matched. Spike is finally able to knock Buffy to the ground. He grabs a two-by-four and is about smack Buffy with it when Joyce bashes him over the head with the axe screaming, “Get away from my daughter!” With Buffy upright and Joyce menacing him with the axe Spike decides to simply run away.
Once the police show up, a detective begins talking to Snyder about the incident. Jenny and Giles leave the school together and Giles tells Jenny he would understand if she started avoiding him, but Jenny shows no signs of wanting to. Xander and Angel meanwhile have their own heart-to-heart. Angel explains that he had no backup plan to save Xander if Spike took the bait. He also refuses to explain what a “sire” is. The detective and Snyder continue to talk. The detective needs a story to give to the media and ask if he should go with the usual story of a gang-related PCP incident. Snyder insists that is the only option. They can’t tell the truth. Buffy and Joyce also talk. Buffy wants to know what Snyder said about her. Joyce said that Snyder said she was troublemaker, but now Joyce doesn’t care. Tonight he saw how brave and concerned with others Buffy is and that makes her happy no matter what dumb teenage of stuff Buffy does. Back at the school Willow and Cordelia sit in the utility closet. Cordelia is still praying.

Daybreak at the factory is not happy for Spike. He didn’t expect a slayer to have family or friends and he is disappointed he did not kill Buffy. Drusilla comforts him, insisting that he’ll get her next time. Spike goes to offer penance to the Anointed One for acting so rashly but then gets frustrated and simply grabs the Anointed One and locks him in a cage hanging on a pulley. Spike then uses the pulley to hoist the Anointed One into the daylight where he burns up. Spike and Dru head off to watch TV.
 


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Updated 12/29/07  

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