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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Checkpoint
January 23, 2001
5ABB12

 
Credits

Writer:
Douglas Petrie
Jane Espenson


Director:
Nick Marck


Regulars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn
James Marsters as Spike
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Amber Benson as Tara
Clare Kramer as Glory
Charlie Weber as Ben
Cynthia LaMontagne as Lydia
Oliver Muirhead as Phillip
Kris Iyer as Nigel
Kevin Weisman as Dreg
Troy T. Blendell as Jinx
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Cast:
Harris Yulin as Quentin Travers
Wesley Mask as Professor Roberts
Justin Gorence as Orlando
Peter Husmann as Mailman
Jack Thomas as Council Member #4
John O'Leary as Council Member #5

 
Synopsis

Buffy and company get a visit from the Council of Watchers, who possess insight into who (or what) Glory is. Unfortunately, they're refusing to turn over the information unless Buffy passes an exhaustive test of her skill, strategy, and methodology. To add to Buffy's stress, Glory pays a visit to her home to threaten her and her family, and the Knights of Byzantium attack her, declare themselves her enemy, and promise that legions of them will follow. Finally, it dawns on Buffy why everyone is targeting her — she has power over them. She shares this revelation with Quentin and the Watchers, calmly informs them that she's in charge, and orders Quentin to give her the scoop on Glory. He does — she's not a demon, but a god.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

Knights of Byzantium The knight Buffy defeated claimed to be a member of an ancient order, called the Knights of Byzantium. (See References.) Recognizable by a tattooed symbol on their foreheads, they appear to be human, and quite traditional in their armaments and methods, using swords and chain mail armor. Although Buffy faced just three of them, the defeated knight claimed that the order consisted of many hundreds of knights, and that they would send however many needed to defeat Buffy. Apparently, they believe that the key and its protector should be destroyed, presumably to prevent the key from falling into Glory's hands.

Also on the monster front: Glory, it turns out, is a god.

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Body Count

Anonymous Vampire
Staked by Spike in a cemetery.
Total: One
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Dialogue to Die For

Xander (about the Watchers Council): "Yeah, don't they have phones? (He attempts a British accent.) 'Allo, Buffy! Here's some stuff we know! Pip pip!'"

Buffy (to a vampire she's fighting): "Miss Summers! Some of us are here to learn, Professor! Maybe you would like to teach your own class!"
Vampire: "Who are you talking to?"

Jinx: "She's short, symmetrical, hair on top. Buffy something."

Nigel: "Well, I need to know a little bit more about the Slayer. And about both of you. Your relationship, whatever you can tell me."
Tara: "O-ou-our relationship?"
Willow: "We're friends."
Tara: "Good friends."
Willow: "Girlfriends, actually."
Tara: "Yes, we're girlfriends."
Willow: "We're in love. We're... lovers. Lesbian, gay-type lovers. (She puts her hand on Tara's leg.)"
Nigel: "I meant your relationship with the Slayer."

Spike: "They didn't put a chip in your head, did they?"
Buffy: "No."
Spike: "Be funny if they did."

Buffy: "You guys didn't come all the way from England to determine whether I was good enough to be let back in. You came to beg me to let you back in. To give your jobs, your lives, some semblance of meaning."
Nigel: "This is beyond insolence—" (Buffy hurls the sword at him, which he must jump aside to avoid.)
Buffy: "I'm fairly certain I said no interruptions."
Xander (quietly): "That was excellent!"
Buffy: "You're Watchers. Without a Slayer... you're pretty much just watching Masterpiece Theater. You can't stop Glory. You can't do anything with the information you have, except maybe publish it in the Everyone Thinks We're Insanos Home Journal. So here's how it's gonna work. You're gonna tell me everything you know. Then you're gonna go away. You'll contact me if and when you have any further information about Glory. The magic shop will remain open. Mr. Giles will stay here as my official Watcher, reinstated at full salary."
Giles (pretending to cough, muffling the word): "Retroactive."
Buffy: "To be paid retroactively from the month he was fired. I will continue my work with the help of my friends—"
Lydia: "I-I-I... don't want a sword thrown at me, but-but civilians — we're talking about children!"
Buffy: "We're talking about two very powerful witches and a thousand-year-old ex-demon."
Anya: "Willow's a demon?!"
Phillip: "The boy? No power there."
Buffy: "'The boy' has clocked more field time than all of you combined. He's part of the unit."
Willow (quietly): "That's Riley speak."
Xander (quietly and with pride): "I've clocked field time."
Buffy: "Now. You all may be very good at your jobs. The only way we're gonna find out is if you work with me. You can all take your time thinking about that. But I want an answer right now from Quentin. 'Cause I think he's understanding me."

More quotes from this episode...

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Dialogue to Bury

Glory (about Buffy): "Baby, if that girl's the only thing between me and my key, I don't need much time."

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References

  • Lydia (about a statue): "Its removal from Burma is a criminal offense, and when triggered, it has the power to melt human eyeballs."
  • Burma is a developing, agrarian country in Southern Eastern Asia (bordering Thailand and India) ruled by a military regime. The country is slightly smaller than Texas in land area. More info can be found here.

  • Professor: "Now, Rasputin was associated with a certain obscure religious sect."
  • Rasputin was a Russian monk at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, who belonged to a religious sect that believed the way to salvation was to sin. Rasputin was well-loved and respected by the Czar and his wife, because they believed he was the only man who could help their only son, who had hemophilia. When the Czar became embroiled in WWI, he left his wife to run domestic affairs, and Rasputin gained effective control over Russia. Other aristocrats, who hated and resented Rasputin's influence arranged to have him killed in order to return Russia to their control. More info can be found here or here.

  • Buffy: "There's also near-consensus about Columbus, you know, until someone asked the Vikings what they were up to in the 1400s, and they're like, 'Discovering this America-shaped continent.'"
  • Christopher Columbus was regarded for a long time as the discoverer of the North American continent, although many historians no longer think this is true. However, European colonization of the continents of America only began due to his discovery. Setting sail from Spain, he first made landfall in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492. More info can be found here.

    The Vikings were warrior seafarers from Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Sweden, etc. Their seafaring navigation methods were the most advanced of their time and there is evidence that the Vikings may first have discovered the North American Continent as early as A.D. 1000. (See Goofs and Gaffes.)

  • Professor (to Buffy): "What was it you were going on about last week — the mysterious sleeping patterns of the Prussian generals?"
  • Prussia is an area of land now part of Germany and Poland. Prussia used to be a great power in the 1700s and became the most important part of German in the late 1800s and early 1900s when swallowed up by that state. Prussia was very militaristic and Prussian generals led most of Germany's armies until Germany lost most of the region after the Second World War.

  • Anya : "Born on the fourth of July — and don't think there weren't jokes about that my whole life, mister, 'cause there were. "Who's our little patriot?" they'd say..."
  • The fourth of July is the USA's Independence Day, the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress (July 4, 1776) from the British Empire. Although Congress actually approved the resolution of independence from Britain on July 2 and the Declaration was not publicly read until July 8, it was on July 4 that the Declaration was drafted by Congress. More info can be found here.

  • Quentin: "We assume you're familiar with the Japanese name for the Aikido and Jujitsu moves?"
  • Jujitsu is the weaponless martial art of the Samurai warriors, and dates back to about 2,500 years ago in Japan. It is often described as "The Father of All Japanese Martial Arts" since other arts have been derived from it, including Judo and Karate.

    Aikido, another derivative of Jujitsu, was created by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). Aikido employs holds and locks and uses the principles of nonresistance in order to debilitate the strength of the opponent.

    Timmy from Passions
  • Spike: "Passions is coming on."
  • Passions is a one-hour daily soap opera heavily targeted towards teens. It's relatively new, having only premiered in July of 1999, and is known for its far-out storylines (even by soap opera standards). One such storyline includes that of Tabitha (Juliet Mills), a mean witch, and Timmy (Josh Ryan Evans), a doll she brought to life.

  • Orlando (identifying himself and his cohorts): "The Knights of Byzantium, an ancient order, and now your enemy."
  • The name given to the Eastern Roman Empire and its inhabitants in the middle ages, although they called themselves Romans. The capital of Byzantium was Constantinople (modern day Istanbul in Turkey). Byzantium's existence is typically considered to have been between the 7th century and 1453 when Ottoman Turks conquered it. Byzantium was a staunchly conservative and Christian Empire, and produced several crusades against the Muslims.

  • Buffy (to the Watchers): "Without a Slayer... you're pretty much just watching Masterpiece Theatre."
  • Masterpiece Theatre is the longest running prime-time drama series on American television, and mostly shows productions of contemporary and classic plays and works of literature.

    Ladies Home Journal
  • Buffy (to the Watchers): "You can't do anything with the information you have, except maybe publish it in the Everyone Thinks We're Insanos Home Journal."
  • This would seem to be reference to the women's magazine Ladies Home Journal.

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Continuity

  • Into the Woods

    Buffy mentions that her mom still isn't 100%, referring to her recent brain tumor, which was successfully removed in "Into the Woods." Reference is also made to Riley (and his sweater), Buffy's (ex-)boyfriend who left in the same episode.

  • Triangle

    Xander's arm is in a cast, due to the solid beating and breakage he received from Olaf the troll. Also in that episode, Giles went to England to ask the Watchers Council for information on Glory. And thirdly, Willow and Tara were working on the "ball of sunshine" spell that Willow explains to Phillip.

  • The Wish

    Anya makes much to-do about having been a vengeance demon, which she was (she granted wishes of women to gain revenge on men) when she was first introduced in "The Wish." Her escapades in that episode resulted in her being trapped in the human body of a teenage girl.

  • Helpless

    Buffy refers to the life-endangering test that the Watchers Council put her through on her 18th birthday. After the test, Quentin Travers (who was first — and last — seen in that episode) fired Giles as Buffy's Watcher.

  • Who Are You

    Buffy refers to when she and Faith switched bodies, resulting in the Watchers Council kidnapping her, thinking she was Faith. When getting her to England proved to be too much trouble, they tried to kill her.

  • No Place Like Home and Shadow

    These are the two episodes in which Buffy was "within slaying distance of Glory" and got her ass kicked. Also, the fact that Dawn is the Key was revealed and explained in "No Place Like Home."

  • Primeval

    Xander refers to the spell the gang did in "Primeval" to create a Super-Buffy, of which Xander was the "heart" part.

  • Something Blue

    Spike's obsession with Passions was revealed in "Something Blue." (See References.)

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • Buffy mentions that the Vikings discovered this "America-shaped continent" in the 1400s; actually, they may have discovered North America as early as 1000. Of course, one could argue that Buffy simply got her dates mixed up.
          Spotted by Lori Ann Curley.

  • In the first scene, the sleeves on Buffy's shirt continually move back and forth of their own accord.
          Spotted by Lilith.

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Notes

  • According to Willow, Dawn is in Junior High. Since she's 14, she's likely in 8th grade. (Additional note: Later in the season, in "Tough Love," Dawn indicates that she's in 9th grade.)

  • Though the female Watcher's name was never spoken, the shooting script (available at The Buffy Shooting Script Site) refers to her as Lydia.

  • According to Anya, the identity she created for herself includes a full name (Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins), a birthdate (July 4th, 1980), and a birthplace (Indiana).

  • According to Nigel, there's some sort of accredited institution for witches, which he presumes that Willow and Tara should be registered with (they're not). He also makes reference to a "Magical Proficiency Level" (which Willow and Tara have never heard of), quite possibly given out by the aforementioned institution.

  • Joyce shares Spike's passion for Passions. Dawn seemingly does not.

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Comments

Soupytwist:
This shall ever be known as the "Girl Power" or the "B/G Shipper" Episode of BtVS. Buffy finally realized that she's the one. I also think that I am a closet B/G Shipper. It's what I get for reading Jacqui's well-written fanfic! I loved Spike in this ep. He was so flirty! James Marsters should be bronzed and put in my living room. His entire interaction with the Watchers and his taking in Joyce and Dawn... I love that this character is now three-dimensional. But Giles gets all of my lust in this ep for yelling at Quentin Travers. Dawn is stupid for getting all sassy with Buffy in front of Glory. I loathe the stereotypical spiteful 14-year-old girl act. However, the Scoobies... fabulous, especially when Willow and Tara said that they were "lesbian gay-type lovers." HA! After all the fuss over Willow's statement in Triangle very little has been expressed about this on the forums, I wonder why? Xander and Anya really shone during the play-by-play from the shop loft. The story about Glory is getting better and better. I like that there's a secret Army of Byzantium. How very Foucault's Pendulum! The much talked about importance of the Key is finally being represented in the action. Yea! This was an amazingly solid episode. Lots of plot development, lots of action, lots of great dialogue and no loose ends. Doug Petrie and Jane Espenson should write together more often. (10/10)
Elliot:
I liked this episode, although not as much as many other people seemed to. The addition of the Knights of Byzantium to this season (since I'm sure we'll see them again) seemed a little over the top – I don't think Buffy needs anymore rivals, Glory is quite enough. And I found the knights using swords and chain mail and those shiny disco sticks to just be silly. Didn't anyone in Sunnydale notice three Camelot rejects clanking through the town centre? Glory was also kinda irritating in this episode, what with the whole "I could squash you like a bug" blah yawn blah — hasn't every villain in every TV show ever said that? No wonder Buffy was less than impressed. And her first scene was pointless (OK, we know she needs human minds, we get it already). Jinx was fun, especially in his ever so slightly condescending chat with Ben'sync. Ultimately those elements aren't important since the main point of this episode though was the Watcher's Council, and they were suitably boo-hiss, mostly because of Quentin, who quickly became the colossal prick we all suspected he was back in "Helpless." Too bad all of his Watcher friends were less villainous than a pantomime Captain Hook — except Nigel. I liked him. Lydia though… Anyway, I suspect this could well be the last we'll ever see of the Watcher's council; now that Buffy has whipped them into line, their story arc seems finished. My favourite part of this episode was probably the interrogation of Buffy's friends. Anya in particular was very funny in her scene, and the whole sequence was well directed and edited, how it cut back and forth from one set of friends to another and finally to Spike, with his brilliant line about how Buffy pays him in blood. It was a good episode, a fast paced episode for once — a change from the previous few (if anything, there was perhaps a little too much going on), just not a great one. (8/10)
Jamie Marie:
Firstly, let's just acknowledge that Quentin Travers is the most condescending, pretentious wanker ever to exist. Please, Joss, keep him off of my TV screen so that I don't punch it through. Luckily for my television, I was satiated by the abundance of likable people: I adore Jinx. He should be a regular — he could be Spike's minion. I liked Lydia, the female Watcher, mostly due to her scene with Spike and her "I don't want a sword thrown at me." As usual, I love Anya — her nervousness and overdone cover story were classic, and "Willow's a demon?!" cracks me up at every viewing. Glory was also enjoyable; Clare Kramer's delivery of "Oooh, I like her, she's sassy!" makes me giggle, and keeps it out of the "Dialogue to Bury." Then, of course, we've got Buffy's realization of the power she has, and the supreme Girl Power speech. Far from being Spice Girls rubbish, I found that it actually made me proud of a fictional character. Much of it is, of course, due to the script and Sarah's acting, but it's really the whole shebang that does it — the gang watching from above and cheering Buffy's success, Giles' "retroactive" cough and that adorable proud smile after Quentin's submission (which pushes me over into slightly-teary-land), the reactions of Quentin and the other Watchers, etc. It's one of few scenes that I feel I could watch a nearly infinite amount of times. One complaint about this episode: Who's idea was it to put Dawn in that terrible jacket in Spike's crypt? I think I'll need to block it from my memory to avoid trauma. All in all, a supremely enjoyable episode, though perhaps not quite the achievement of some of my favorites ("Hush " comes to mind). (9/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
January 23, 2001 3.1 87 of 135
June 06, 2001 1.2 111 of 134 (tie)

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