Season 5 Episode 12 - Checkpoint
The Scooby Gang is meeting at the Summers' home. Buffy apologizes for the mess; Joyce still isn't 100%, and Buffy has been too busy to pick up the slack (or the living room). As she's clearing space, Buffy comes across a sweater that used to belong to Riley. Xander wisely shifts attention to the meeting at hand. Giles announces that the Watchers Council is coming, but Buffy adamantly doesn't want them to come. The Council almost killed her twice. Anya is concerned because they don't sound very ex-demon friendly. Dawn walks down the stairs, and she hears the group talking. Joyce sees Dawn and tells her to go to bed. Buffy freaks about Dawn listening, and Dawn insists she can get a snack. Giles insists that if the Council knows something about Glory, it may help the gang get a grip on her.
Glory is lying on the floor of her apartment looking terrible. Dreg and Jinx, another of Dreg's brethren, force a mailman into her room and help Glory drain his essence. Once she's okay, Jinx informs Glory that the signs of the alignment are moving faster than expected, and if she is to use the Key, Glory must act quickly. All Glory needs is the Key, and the only thing standing in her way is the Slayer.
Giles is giving advice to a customer of the Magic Box when Quentin Travers enters with his entourage. Giles offers Travers a tour, but Quentin sits at the large round table as the various members of the Council's group poke about the shop. They state that most items for sale are harmless: incense and dime store trinkets. However some items are potent, even dangerous. The Council orders the "temporary" closing of the Magic Box. Giles is outraged; Travers intended this to happen "for the duration of the review." Anya is upset by the disruption in business until she realizes that the newcomers are from the Watchers Council. She tries to leave, and when Travers questions her, she starts in with a story about being from Indiana. Giles excuses Anya and demands to know about this review. Travers explains that the Council's resources have yielded information about Glory. However, due to the sensitive nature of said information, the Council needs to review the Slayer's methods to insure that she is prepared for it. Giles assures Travers that Buffy has become quite focused.
Buffy is yawning through class and persistently dropping her pencil, until she disagrees with the professor on the death of Rasputin. When she stands to make her points, he belittles her in front of the entire class.
Later that night, Buffy takes out her frustrations on a vampire. The vampire gets a lucky hit, and before Buffy can strike again, Spike jumps in and stakes the vampire. Buffy demands to know why he did that. He says it wasn't for money, just her heartfelt gratitude. When she is annoyed rather than grateful, he becomes angry and taunts her about no one being able to help her. He mentions her ex-boyfriends running off, and he hits the proverbial nerve.
At the hospital, Jinx asks Ben about the Slayer. After hearing the description, Ben realizes that Buffy is the Slayer. Jinx relays Glory's message to Ben demanding help. Ben says he has a message for Glory.
Giles is describing Buffy's hybrid fighting style to the Council members when the Slayer walks in. Seeing Travers, she tries to slip out, bemoaning her bad day. Mr. Travers and Ms. Summers greet each other stiffly. Giles explains that they're staying longer than anticipated, and the entourage starts describing the review they're going to conduct: examining her procedures and decisions, observing her training, and talking with her friends, because she still takes them on patrol with her. The Council is concerned because Glory is powerful and dangerous and the information they have is highly sensitive. They need to make sure Buffy can handle the information. Buffy is reluctant, and Giles is decidedly pissed off, but Travers threatens her by declaring that if she doesn't comply, the Council can and will shut down the Magic Box and have Giles deported.
Jinx timidly enters Glory's apartment and shows her the message from Ben: his own bruised and battered face. Glory confesses that Ben drives her insane. She embraces Jinx and tells him he is the only one who understands, "probably because I haven't sucked your brain out, yet." Finally Glory admits that she'll just have to find the Slayer herself.
Buffy and Giles realize they are powerless. The Council really can pull strings and have Giles deported. Buffy worries about passing the review, especially the questions about her decision-making. Plus, she still hasn't beaten Glory. Giles goes into father mode and tries to comfort and encourage Buffy, even though he's humiliated that they're coercing her with his "bloody green card." The Council certainly knows where to strike; Buffy admits that she can't lose Giles. She wonders where they'll begin.
In Xander's apartment, Anya regales a Council representative with a yarn about her past: born on the fourth of July, etc. Another Council hack questions Tara and Willow. When he asks about the Slayer, and them, and their relationship, the two witches first state they are friends. Then they gather more courage and reveal the true nature of their relationship: they're lesbian lovers. The Council man states, "I meant your relationship with the Slayer." Oops. "Just good friends." Back at his apartment, Xander emphasizes, "best friends." The three of them have been together from the start: Buffy, Willow, and him. They go on patrols and help with the research. When the Council man asks if Xander has mastered any fighting styles, he has to answer no. Yet Xander punctuates his importance to the Slayer and the group, and he even mentions he played the role of the heart in a spell to make super-Buffy. Council man asks if she needs that help often. Flip to Willow vigorously shaking her head and emphatically answering no. The scene continues with the Scooby Gang obviously being so uncomfortable with the fact that the Council is so invasive. The Council even asks Spike some questions, although he's better at handling them. Despite the cross and crossbow being aimed at him, he too falls prey to revealing more than he wants, as they wonder why he would want the Slayer to cry on his shoulder.
Later, to demonstrate her skills, Buffy is supposed to protect a dummy set up in the training room, while she is blindfolded, performing whatever moves Travers commands. He commands moves using their Japanese names. Giles tries to translate, but that slows Buffy down. Eventually she does the demonstration her way, but ends up cracking a rib of the Council member fighting her. The dummy meets a worse fates, as he winds up with an axe in the head. Flush with failure, Buffy is informed that the review will continue at 7:00 that evening.
Buffy enters her home to find Glory there waiting for her.
While Glory chatters on about the house, her search for the key, etc. Buffy tries to grab a fireplace poker for a weapon. Glory cheerfully disarms her. She's come to talk and make a deal: hand over the Key, or else. During the exchange, Dawn enters the room behind where Glory is seated. Buffy tries nonchalantly to tell Dawn to leave, but Glory senses the teenager and orders her forward. Glory tells Dawn that Buffy took her Key, and asks if Dawn know where it is. Buffy protests that Dawn doesn't know anything, but Dawn insists that she knows "some stuff." Before stamping out of the room, Dawn tells Buffy, "I"m going to figure it out, you know." Glory threatens to torture and kill all the Slayer's friends and family and force the Slayer to watch. Glory leaves. Joyce enters the room, and Buffy orders her to pack a bag.
Spike is stunned awake in his crypt when Buffy opens the door and lets in the sunlight — and her family. She asks him to protect Dawn and Joyce. He reluctantly accepts, and he and Joyce sit down to watch "Passions."
Travers et al are waiting at the Magic Box. The Scooby Gang sits in the loft and ponders Giles' future if he's deported. Travers points out to Giles that Buffy is more than twenty minutes late, and counting.
Buffy is rushing to the shop when she is waylaid by three knights in full chainmail and armed with swords and metal javelins.
The Slayer handily disarms and defuses her attackers. She pulls the chainmail hood off of one and makes him tell her whom he is. The Knights of Byzantium are a large order, and are now her enemy because she protects the Key. They are not allies with the Beast, a.k.a. Glory — they just want to destroy the Key. If Buffy kills him, legions will follow. She doesn't kill him, as he is human. Buffy orders him to go, but keeps his sword.
Buffy dazedly walks into the Magic Box. When Travers points out that she's late, she says, "Yeah." Buffy lays the sword on the table pointed directly at Travers, and she informs him that there will be no review, and no interruptions as she continues to talk. In the last couple of days, others have gone out of their way to tell Buffy she's unimportant. She's finally figured out the reason why: power. She has it; others don't. Buffy talks about Glory's visit, and how civilized it was, because Buffy has something that Glory needs. Buffy points out that the Council didn't travel all the way from England to determine if Buffy was good enough to be let back in; they came to beg the Slayer to let them back in. When one of the Council members tries to disagree, Buffy throws the sword at him and narrowly misses him. After all, Buffy continues, a Watchers Council without a Slayer is pretty much just watching Masterpiece Theatre. They may have information on Glory, but they can't act on it without the Slayer. Buffy lists her demands: The Council will tell her everything they know; then go away. They will contact her only if they have more information about Glory. The Magic Box will reopen, and Giles will be reinstated as her official Watcher with full salary, retroactive from the month he was fired. She will continue her work with her friends. When one of the Watchers points out that her friends are civilians, Buffy points out that those "civilians" are two powerful witches, a thousand year old ex-demon, and a boy who has clocked more field time than all of the Watchers combined. Buffy asks "Quentin" for an answer, and he agrees to her terms. Travers asks Rupert for some of the Scotch hidden behind the incense. Buffy interrupts, first wanting to know what kind of demon Glory is. "She's not a demon," Travers says, "She's a god."
Buffy is stunned. "Oh."
— Synopsis written by Lori Ann Curley.