The Witch

Episode #3

Written by: Dana Reston
Directed by: Stephen Cragg

This episode was originally broadcast on March 17, 1997. Transcribed by: AleXander Thompson


~~~~~~~~~~ Prologue ~~~~~~~~~~

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.

Sunnydale High School. Cut to the library.

Giles: (upset) This is madness! What can you have been thinking? You are the Slayer! Lives depend upon you! (begins pacing) I make allowances for your youth, but I expect a certain amount of responsibility, and instead of which you enslave yourself to this, this... (stops pacing) Cult?

Buffy: (wearing a cheerleader outfit) You don't like the color?

Giles: I d... (exasperated) Do you, um... (puts some books on a cart) Do you ignore everything I say as a, as a rule?

Buffy: No, I believe that's your trick.

Giles pushes the cart to the counter. Buffy skips in front of him and poses.

Buffy: I told you, I'm trying out for the cheerleading squad!

Giles: You have a sacred birthright, Buffy. You were chosen to destroy vampires, not to... wave pompoms at people. And as the Watcher I forbid it. (goes back to the table)

Buffy: And you'll be stopping me how?

Giles: Well, I... (sits on the edge of the table and crosses his arms) By appealing to your common sense, if such a creature exists.

Buffy: I will still have time to fight the forces of evil, okay? I just wanna have a life, I wanna do something normal. Something safe.

Cut to the witch's attic. The camera moves through the dark space. There are flowers and herbs hanging upside down from the rafters to dry and personal items with identification tags. The witch moves around in the darkness. The camera follows her to the cauldron. She waves a pendant on a chain over the brew, then pulls it back. She goes over to a rack and yanks off a doll hanging there by its neck on a wire.

Cut to the gym. Cheerleader tryouts are about to start. Girls are stretching and practicing, doing back handsprings, cartwheels and walking handstands. One girl does a roundoff followed by a back handspring. Buffy, Willow and Xander come through the door.

Willow: Giles didn't approve, huh?

Buffy: He totally lost his water. We haven't seen a vampire in over a week. I'd say he should get a girlfriend if he wasn't so old.

Willow: Well, we're behind you.

Xander: People scoff at things like school spirit, but look at these girls giving their all like this!

He notices Amber doing the splits between two chairs.

Xander: Ooo, stretchy! Where was I?

Willow: You were pretending that seeing scantily clad girls in revealing postures was a spiritual experience.

Xander: Who said I was pretending? (to Buffy) Oh, hey! Here's a good luck thing for tryouts. (hands her a bracelet)

Buffy: What's this?

Willow: What's that?

Buffy: Oh, how sweet! (reads the inscription) 'Yours Always.'

Xander: I-i-it came that way, really, they all said that!

Willow: (exhales)

Cordelia: (approaches them) Just look at that Amber. Who does she think she is, a Laker Girl?

Willow: I heard she turned them down.

Joy, the cheerleading squad leader, steps up with her clipboard and calls for everyone's attention.

Joy: Okay, listen up! Let's begin with (checks her clipboard) Amber Grove. If you're not auditioning, move off the floor.

Willow: (to Amy) Amy! Hi!

Amy: (comes over) Hi!

Willow: I didn't know you wanted to be a cheerleader! You lost a lot of weight.

Amy: Had to.

Willow: Do you know Buffy?

Amy: Hi.

Buffy: Hi.

Amy: Oh, how I hate this, let me count the ways.

Amber begins her routine. It's very athletic. She starts off with a needle-split lift followed by a double spin and a jumping double spin. After landing, Amber launches herself into an aerial and a cartwheel. Jazz slides are then followed by a single spin. Everyone in the gym is intent on watching her.

Amy: (to Buffy) She trained with Benson. He's one of the best coaches money can buy.

Buffy: They have cheerleading coaches?

Amy: Oh, yeah! Don't you have? I train with my mom, three hours in the morning, three at night.

Buffy: Hmm, that much quality time with my mom would probably lead to some quality matricide.

Amy: Oh, I know it's hokey. But she's really great.

Cordelia turns her back to Amber with a look of contempt on her face.

Cordelia: Hmm!

Buffy and Xander watch Amber in amazement. Amy and Willow are impressed, too. Amber's hands begin to smoke.

Buffy: What the...?

Willow: That girl's on fire!

Cordelia: (facing away, not seeing the smoke) Enough of the hyperbole!

Amber's hands catch fire. She drops her pompoms and screams. Buffy reacts. Amber flails her hands in the air. Buffy jumps up onto the stands and pulls down a banner. She runs back to Amber, knocks her down and snuffs out the flames with the banner. Everyone stares in shock.

Buffy: (trying to comfort Amber) It's okay, it's okay, you're gonna be... okay. (to herself) God!

Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 1 ~~~~~~~~~~

The library. Buffy is pacing. Willow and Xander are sitting at the study table.

Buffy: I've been slaying vampires for more than a year now, and I have seen some pretty cringeworthy things, but... nobody's hands ever got toasted before.

Giles: (comes out of the cage) I imagine not.

Buffy: So, this isn't a vampire problem.

Giles: No.

Buffy: (turns to Giles) But it is funky, right? Not of the norm?

Giles: Quite. Spontaneous human combustion is, is rare, and, and scientifically unexplainable, but there have been cases for hundreds of years. Usually all that's left is a pile of ashes.

Willow: That's all that would have been left if it hadn't been for Buffy.

Xander: So, we have no idea what caused this. That's a comfort.

Giles: But that's the thrill of living on the Hellmouth! (sits on the edge of the table) There's a veritable cornucopia of, of fiends and devils and, and ghouls to engage. (everyone looks at him) Pardon me for finding the glass half full.

Buffy: Any common denominators in cases of spontaneous combustion?

Giles: Uh, rage. In most cases the person who combusted was, was terribly angry or, or upset.

Xander: So maybe Amber's got this power to make herself be on fire. It's like the Human Torch, only it hurts.

Buffy: I need to get the skinny on Amber. Find out if she's had any colorful episodes before. (starts to go)

Willow: That means hacking illegally into the school's computer system. At last, something *I* can do!

She and Xander get up and go over to Buffy.

Xander: I'll ask around about her.

Buffy: You guys don't have to get involved.

Xander: What d'ya mean? We're a team! Aren't we a team?

Willow: Yeah! You're the Slayer, and we're, like, the Slayerettes!

Buffy: I just don't like putting you guys in danger.

Xander: Oh, huh, I laugh in the face of danger. Then I hide until it goes away.

Buffy: Okay, just walk softly, at least until we know a little more. I mean, what if Amber isn't causing these problems herself?

Giles: Well, then we have to determine who or what did, and, uh, deal with it accordingly.

Cut to the kitchen at the Summers house. There are several wooden boxes and crates. Joyce is trying to pry one open with a crowbar. Buffy comes in.

Buffy: Hey!

Joyce: Hi, how was school?

Buffy: Mm, a reverent joy. What's all this?

Joyce: It's for the tribal art display.

Buffy: Cool! (examines a piece) We had tryouts today.

Joyce: Oh, great! How'd it go? (exhales)

Buffy: I didn't actually get to try out. There was an accident. Pretty fierce competition, though.

Joyce: Oh, I know you'll do fine. Keep on pluggin', just have to get back on the horse.

Buffy: Mom?

Joyce: Yeah?

Buffy: What was I trying out for?

Joyce: Oh, uh... (stops prying at the crate and looks at Buffy) Some activity? I have no idea, I'm sorry.

Buffy: That's okay. Your platitudes are good for all occasions.

Joyce: (exhales) I'm distracted. (starts prying again and exhales) Got a lotta inventory to go through here. (exhales) This is my Gallery's first major show. (exhales and gives up) You know, it might not physically kill you to give me a hand here. (goes to check her clipboard)

Buffy grabs the lid of the crate and effortlessly tears it off.

Buffy: It was cheerleading.

Joyce: Oh good! I'm glad you're taking that up again, it'll keep you out of trouble.

Buffy: I'm not *in* trouble.

Joyce: No, not yet.

Buffy is hurt. Her mother looks up from her clipboard and notices.

Joyce: I mean, you stopped cheerleading just before the trouble, so it's good you're going back.

She goes back to the crate and partially lifts out a statue.

Joyce: Oh, dear.

Buffy: What?

Joyce: The fertility statue, you don't need to see it.

She replaces the crate's lid and goes back to her clipboard.

Buffy: Y'know, there's this girl, Amy, and, um, she trains with her mom, like, three hours a day.

Joyce: Uh-huh.

Buffy: Sounds like her mom's pretty into it.

Joyce: Sounds like her mom doesn't have a lot to do.

She walks out of the kitchen with a piece of art. Buffy lifts the crate's lid a little bit and looks in.

Buffy: Jeepers!

Cut to the gym the next day. Tryouts have resumed.

Joy: (pacing) Despite the terrible thing that happened yesterday we still have to pick new cheerleaders. If you make the team you'll find your names posted in the quad after lunch. Let's begin with group performance.

Amy: (to Buffy) Why do my hands have to sweat when I get nervous?

Buffy: (to Amy) Don't worry. You'll do great.

Joy: (loudly) Five, six, seven, eight!

All: Sunnydale! Sunnydale! We never fail! We never fail! Jump and Shoot! Swish and score! The other team is such a bore! Yeah!

Amy blows the cartwheel and crashes into Cordelia. Cordelia yelps as she falls and then quickly gets up.

Cordelia: You saw that, right? That wasn't me! You saw that, right? (looks at Amy and back again) Right?

Cut to the halls. Amy is admiring the trophies in the case with a longing look. Buffy comes up next to her. Amy notices her, smiles and points to a picture in the case.

Amy: That's my mom!

Buffy: No! (reads the inscription) Catherine Madison. Get down with your bad self!

Amy: Her nickname was 'Catherine the Great'. She took that team and made them tri-county champions. Y'know, no one's ever done that before, or since. She and my dad were Homecoming King and Queen. They got married right after graduation.

Buffy: That's kinda romantic.

Amy: Well, he was a big loser. Never made any money. Ran off with Miss Trailer Trash when I was twelve.

Buffy: Okay, that part's less romantic. My folks split up, too.

Amy: Drag, huh? Uh, he left my mom with nothing. She put herself through cosmetology school. (smiles) Bought me everything I ever wanted. (shakes her head) And never once gained a single pound.

Buffy: (walks around to face Amy) Uh, she sounds really great, Amy, but, um... it doesn't mean that you need to lock step as far as this cheerleading thing.

Amy: She was the best! And I can't get my body to *move* like hers! I choked in there so bad!

Buffy: No, Amy, you did fine.

Amy: (dejected) I'm gonna get changed.

Buffy: Wait! No...

Willow: (walking by) Hey, Amy! (comes over to Buffy) Is she okay?

Buffy: No, she's, she's wiggin' about her mom, big cheer queen back when.

Willow: Yeah, her mom's kinda...

Buffy: ...Nazi like?

Willow: Heil. If she gains an ounce she padlocks the fridge and won't eat anything but broth.

Buffy: So, mommy dearest is really... Mommie Dearest?

Willow: There's a bitter streak. But Amy's nice. We used to hang in Junior High. When her mom would go on a broth kick, Amy'd come over to my house and we'd stuff ourselves with brownies!

They start down the hall.

Buffy: Hey, any word on Amber?

Willow: Nothing thrilling. Average student. Got detention once, for smoking. Regular smoking... with a cigarette, not, like, being smoky.

Buffy: Hmm.

Willow: All pretty normal.

Buffy: So we just have to wait and we'll see what happens. Maybe nothing will.

Cut to the girls' locker room. The camera shows the showers dripping. Cut to a row of lockers. The camera follows them around a corner to Amy alone at her locker. She hears a noise and turns to look. Nothing. The showers keep dripping. Amy closes her locker and starts to go, but is surprised by Cordelia.

Cordelia: I have a dream. It's me on the cheerleading squad, adored by every varsity male as far as the eye can see! We have to achieve our dreams, Amy. Otherwise we... wither and die!

Amy: Look, I'm sorry about...

Cordelia: (cuts Amy off) Shhh! If your supreme klutziness out there today takes me out of the running, you're gonna be so *very* beyond sorry! (smiles) Have a nice day.

Cordelia turns and leaves. She throws her scrunchie into an open locker and slams the door as she rounds the corner, but it doesn't stay shut. Amy leans against her locker, apparently shaken.

Cut outside. Willow and Xander are walking along the colonnade.

Willow: I told Buffy about Amber.

Xander: Cool! Was she wearin' it? The bracelet, she was wearin' it, right? Pretty much like we're goin' out.

Willow: Except without the hugging or kissing or her knowing about it.

Xander: So I'm just a figure of fun. (exhales) I should ask her out, right?

Willow: You won't know till you ask.

Xander: That's why you're so cool! You're like a guy! You're my guy friend that knows about girl stuff!

Willow: Oh, great. I'm a guy.

Xander: Oh, hey, they're posting the list!

He runs off to check the list of names for the cheerleading squad. Cut to the crowd in front of the bulletin board. Buffy and Amy are at the back. A girl rushes away in tears because her name is not on the list.

Amy: I can't take this.

Joy steps away from posting the list on the bulletin board. Lishanne sees her name on the list.

Lishanne: Yes!

Xander comes up behind Buffy and Amy.

Xander: Cover me, I'm goin' in.

He pushes his way through the crowd and looks at the list. Cordelia comes out of the crowd.

Cordelia: (to Amy) You're lucky!

Amy: I made it?

Cordelia: *I* made it!

Xander comes back out of the crowd and gets hit on the way.

Xander: One of those girls hit me really hard! You should test for steroids. Okay, not only did you make the team, but you, Miss Summers, are the first alternate, and Amy's number three.

Amy looks at Buffy, badly disappointed, and leaves.

Xander: And what a better way to celebrate than with a romantic drive through...

Willow: Xander, alternates are the ones who didn't make the team, they
only fill in if something happens to the ones who did.

Buffy: Excuse me. (goes to console Amy)

Xander: (downtroden) For I am Xander, King of Cretins. May all lesser cretins bow before me.

Buffy: (catches up with Amy) At least it's over. And you know what I think we should do about it? Brownie pig-out, my house, after school.

Amy: It's just how many more hours a day can I practice? Y'know, how much more can I do? This would never happen to my mother. Never.

She walks off. Buffy stares after her.

Cut to Amy's house. The camera closes in on the brickwork outside of the attic. Cut inside the attic. The camera pans from the wall across a bunch of tagged personal items that she's taken from people. Cut to the cauldron. Amy stirs the pot.

Amy: Give me the power. Give me the dark.

She goes to get another doll from her rack.

Amy: I call on you, the laughing gods.

She yanks one of the dolls off of the rack.

Amy: Let your blackness crawl beneath my skin.

She wraps Cordelia's scrunchie around the doll's head.

Amy: Accept thy sacrifice... of Cordelia. Feed on her.

She drops the doll into the brew.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 2 ~~~~~~~~~~

The Summers kitchen. The toaster pops up, and Buffy pulls out a freshly toasted half of a bagel. She takes it to the island in the middle of the kitchen for more preparation. Her mother comes in.

Joyce: Look what I found. It's my yearbook from junior year. (finds herself) Oh, look! There I am.

She puts the book down on the island and goes to get a cup of coffee. Buffy looks at the picture.

Buffy: Mom, I've accepted that you've had sex. I am not ready to know that you had Farrah hair.

Joyce: This is Gidget hair. Don't they teach you anything in history?

Buffy: Well, it's really cool, but I gotta book.

Joyce: Well, I was thinking. I know the cheerleading thing didn't work out... Maybe you should think about joining the yearbook staff. I did, it was a lot of fun.

Buffy: Not really my tip, mom. (opens the refrigerator)

Joyce: I was, uh, photo editor. I got to be on every page, made me look much more popular than I was.

Buffy: And have you seen the kids that do yearbook? Nerds pick on them. (walks to her bag)

Joyce: (insulted) Some of the best times I had in school were working on the yearbook!

Buffy: (faces her mom) Oh, this just in: I'm not you! I'm into my own thing.

Joyce: Your own thing, whatever it is, got you kicked out of school, and we had to move here to find a decent school that would take you!

Buffy is hurt. She takes her bag and starts to go.

Joyce: Honey, uhhh... (Buffy leaves) (disgusted with herself) Uhhh! Great parenting form! Little shaky on the dismount.

Cut to the hall at school. Cordelia walks past Willow and Xander in a daze.

Xander: Cordelia, you haven't been mean to me all day. Is it something I've done? (to Willow) Okay, see how she has no clue that I'm even a mammal, much less a human being?

Willow: (takes the pen from her mouth) I see that.

Xander: This is the invisible man syndrome. A blessing in Cordelia's case. A curse in Buffy's.

Willow: (closes her locker) You're not invisible to Buffy.

She chews on her pen some more as they start to walk down the hall.

Xander: It's worse! I'm just like a part of the scenery, like an old shoe. Or a rug that you walk on every day but don't even really see it.

Willow: (takes her pen out of her mouth) Like a pen that's all chewed up, and you know you should throw it away, but you don't, not 'cause you like it so much, more 'cause you're just used to...

Xander: Will, yeah, that is the point, you don't have to drive it through my head like a railroad spike. I'm gonna take your advice and not beat around the bush.

Willow: Or I could be wrong! Maybe you should beat around the bush more.

Xander: Nah, I gotta be a man and ask her out. Y'know, I gotta stop giving her ID bracelets, uh, subtle innuendoes, taking Polaroids outside of her bedroom window late at night, that last part is a joke to relieve the tension because here she comes.

Buffy comes out of a classroom and walks toward them.

Xander: Okay, into battle I go. (quickly turns to Willow) Would you ask her out for me?

He grabs her by the shoulders, startling her. Buffy sees Cordelia trying to work the combination on a locker. Xander pulls himself together.

Xander: No. Man. (lets go of Willow) Me battle. (to Buffy) Buffy! Would you like to, uh...

Buffy: (reaches Willow and Xander) Is that even Cordelia's locker?

They see Cordelia give up and continue down the hall.

Xander: Huh? Oh, I don't know. What I'm saying is accompany me Friday night...

Buffy: (watching Cordelia go and cutting him off) Xander, I have to, um... (faces him) We can make this up later. You don't mind, do you?

She gives him her book and follows Cordelia. Xander whistles the sound of a bomb falling and exploding. Willow looks at him and continues chewing on her pen.

Cut outside. Buffy comes out of the hall and looks around for Cordelia. She sees her and starts to follow. Cut to Mr. Pole, the Driver's Ed. Teacher. He's waiting impatiently for Cordelia. He turns and sees her coming.

Mr. Pole: Nice of you to join us, Cordelia. We didn't keep you waiting or anything, did we? It's your turn to drive. (to the others) Okay, people, let's buckle up.

Cordelia: (goes around the front of the car) I don't wanna drive today, Mr. Pole.

Mr. Pole: You've flunked Driver's Ed. twice already. Show me some moves, or you'll be taking the bus to college.

He gets into the car. Cordelia gets in last. Buffy watches from behind a school bus.

Mr. Pole: Okay. Check the brake. Check the mirror. Start the engine.

Cordelia turns the key and the engine starts, but she seems out of it.

Mr. Pole: Hello? Put the car in drive.

Cordelia struggles with the shifting lever.

Mr. Pole: Let's move forward through the cones with a gentle even turn to the...

The car takes off backward, crashes into some signs and stops. Cordelia gets it in drive, and the car races forward, burning rubber.

Mr. Pole: Slow down. Slow, slow, turn right! Turn right!

Cordelia loses control as the car races along the course, knocking down cones and signs. Buffy begins running after them.

Mr. Pole: Brakes! Brakes!

The car crashes through a fence and bushes and careens out onto the street, where it comes to a sudden halt. Another car just manages to swerve around them.

Mr. Pole: Everybody out!

They all get out. Cordelia is in a daze, and she walks into the middle of the street. A delivery van is coming the other way, but it doesn't slow down. Buffy comes running. Cordelia turns to see the van coming and screams. Buffy leaps over the Driver's Ed. car and grabs Cordelia, pulling her down and out of the way. The van takes out the open car door as Buffy and Cordelia roll to a stop.

Cordelia: Oh, my God, I, I can't see anything!

Buffy: It's, it's okay, it's... (sees Cordelia's eyes) Oh God!

Cordelia: What's happening? I can't see anything!

Her eyes no longer have irises and are completely white.

Cut to the library. The team is sitting at the table.

Giles: Witchcraft. Blinding your enemy to disorient and disable them is, it's classic!

Xander: First vampires, now witches. No wonder you can still afford a house in Sunnydale.

Giles: Why should someone want to harm Cordelia?

Willow: Maybe because they met her? Did I say that?

Giles: And setting Amber ablaze?

Xander: Yeah, those guys don't hang...

Buffy: They're both cheerleaders.

Giles: Someone doesn't like cheerleading.

Buffy: Or likes it too much.

Willow: Amy!

Buffy: Amy!

Xander: So, you guys are leaning towards Amy?

Buffy: She's desperate to get on that team, and I've got this feeling she'd do just about anything to make her mom's dream come true.

Giles: Uh, let me make sure I have this right. This witch is casting horrible and disfiguring spells so that she can become a cheerleader?

Buffy: I think you're underestimating the amount of pressure a parent can lay on you. If you're not a picture perfect carbon copy they tend to wig.

Willow: Cheerleading was kind of her mom's last hurrah.

Xander: Look, we still have to stop Amy. We should grab her and...

Giles: (interrupts) I think we should be sure she's the witch before we arouse her suspicions. She's, she's capable of some fairly unpleasant things.

Buffy: Okay, alright, (gets up) so, you're in high school, you are desperate to make the team and please your mom, so you turn to witchcraft. What's the first thing you're gonna do?

Willow: Check out the books on witchcraft!

She and Buffy go over to the computer to access the on-line library card catalog.

Xander: Uh, no! No, that would be the *last* thing you would do! You don't wanna leave a paper trail. Forget that!

Willow: It'll just take a minute.

Xander gets up and stands behind them.

Xander: We don't have a minute! Cheerleaders are in danger. Buffy's in danger. (to Buffy) You were the first alternate, you are on the team now that Cordelia's out. You could be next. We gotta get you to a safe house.

Willow: Xander...

Xander: Yeah.

Willow: (exhales and reads the monitor) 'Witches: Historic Roots to Modern Practice.' Checked out by Alexander Harris.

Buffy: (reads also) 'The Pagan Rites', checked out by Alexander...

Xander: Alright, alright, it's not what you think.

Willow: You like to look at the semi-nude engravings?

Xander: Oh, well, uh, I-I guess it *is* what you think.

Giles: Have you all quite finished? We have to find a conclusive test. There may be something in here... (pages through a book) Yes, this should do it. You'll need some of her hair, a little quicksilver and some aqua fortis.

Willow: Well, that's just mercury and nitric acid. You can get that in the science lab.

Giles: (reads) 'Heat ingredients and apply to witch, and if a spell has been cast in the previous 48 hours, witch's skin turns blue.' Hmm. (shuts the book) Oh, and you'll need some Eye of Newt.

Cut to science class. The camera shows Dr. Gregory holding a frog as reflected in a mirror propped up on a stick above him. It pans down to show him holding the frog up for the class to see.

Dr. Gregory: Those of you in track one may begin your dissections... now.

He indicates where the students should cut their frogs. Cut to Xander trying to take his frog's eye out with tweezers.

Dr. Gregory: Those of you in track two (cut to him) take your hydrochloric acid and your ammonium hydroxide and carefully pour them into your beakers.

He begins to pour. Cut to Xander still struggling with the frog's eye.

Dr. Gregory: Now slow, slow...

Xander: I can't.

Willow grabs the frog and takes out its eye.

Dr. Gregory: ...capping one, I'm being safe. And you get...

Willow: (drops the eye into the beaker) Eye of Newt!

Cut to Dr. Gregory. The ingredients in the beaker react and begin to bubble and smoke.

Dr. Gregory: ...that.

Cut to Xander.

Xander: How's Buffy doing with the hair?

They look toward Buffy. Cut to Lishanne at another lab table.

Lishanne: (to Buffy) Isn't this exciting!

Buffy: Oh, yeah! (to Amy) Amy, help me. Um, which is the hydrochloric acid and which is the, uh, ammonium hydroxide?

Amy: Well, the bottle that says 'hydrochloric acid' is usually the hydrochloric acid.

Buffy: Read the bottles. Good concept! (laughs nervously and drops her pencil) Oops.

She crouches down to pick up the pencil. She reaches into Amy's bag and pulls some hair off of her brush. She gets up and tries to pretend nothing happened. She glances at Amy to gauge her reaction. Amy smiles back weakly. She noticed but pretends she didn't. Buffy waves her pencil and smiles back. She heads back to her lab table with an expression of
relief at having avoided a close call. She puts the hair on Willow's bench as she walks by. Willow picks up the hair and mixes it into the concoction. Amy looks back at them to see what they're doing. Willow and Xander look back nervously.

Xander: (in a low voice) Wave 'Hi' to the nice little witch!

Amy overhears and gives them another quick look. Willow takes the beaker and pours some of the liquid into a test-tube.

Willow: All set. (hands the tube to Buffy) Do you have a plan?

Buffy: Spill it on her. Try 'n' make it look natural.

Xander: We're right behind you, only... further back.

Buffy slowly makes her way over to Amy.

Dr. Gregory: Lishanne, can you tell me why these chemicals have this reaction?

Buffy pours some of the mixture onto Amy's arm and feigns an accident, drawing in her breath. She sees the liquid turn blue on contact.

Dr. Gregory: Lishanne?

Amy apparently didn't notice the spill. She's looking over at Lishanne.

Dr. Gregory: Are you... Oh, my God!

Buffy looks over at Lishanne now, too, and sees her shaking her head violently. She turns to the camera, and everyone sees that she no longer has a mouth. Buffy stares in amazement. She looks back at Amy, who looks amazed, too. Willow and Xander are also stunned.

Cut to the halls. Buffy, Willow and Xander are discussing the result of their experiment.

Xander: Did you see? Amy was as freaked out as the rest of us.

Willow: So it's not her?

Buffy: The test was positive! She's our Sabrina. I just don't think she realizes what she's doing.

Willow: Well, should we talk to her?

Buffy: Maybe we should talk to her mother. I wonder if *she* knows what she's created.

Cut to Amy's house. She walks through the gate with determination. The gate has a gargoyle face on it. Cut inside the house. She comes in and looks around for her mother.

Amy: Where are you?

Cut to Catherine. She quickly turns off the TV and gets up. Amy sees her.

Amy: Another productive day in front of the TV?

Catherine just looks back.

Amy: I got a history report due tomorrow. (drops her bag) Write it!

Catherine can only keep looking and exhales.

Amy: (considers) I should be on that team by now. But instead Miss *Buffy* and friends are sneaking around stealing bits of my hair.

Catherine shakes her head. Amy opens her hand, and out drops Buffy's bracelet.

Amy: I'll be upstairs.

Catherine watches her go.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 3 ~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning in Buffy's room. It's a bit of a mess. The camera pans through it and stops on Buffy still sleeping. The alarm clock goes off. She slaps it with her hand hard enough to smash it with her strength.

Buffy: Oh! Oops! Oh... (sits up) Mm...

Cut to the kitchen. Joyce is making fresh-squeezed orange juice. Buffy comes dancing in singing and wearing her cheerleader outfit.

Buffy: Macho, macho, man! I want to be a macho man. Macho... Oh, hey, juice! (grabs the glass and drinks) Mm... Quality juice. Not from concentrate!

Joyce: (glances at Buffy) You're in a good mood.

Buffy: I am! I'm on the squad, which is great, 'cause I feel like cheering and leading others to cheer. Ooo, hey, juice!

Buffy takes the second glass and drinks again.

Joyce: Listen, honey, about yesterday, I really...

Buffy: Mm! That is totally yester. Besides, it's not like you were wrong, y'know. I did get kicked outta school. I'm just wacky that way!

Joyce: Still, I just want you to know that, despite the problems you've had, I really...

Buffy: (cuts her off) Mom, you just don't get it. And, believe me, you don't want it. Y'know, there are just some things about being a Vampire Slayer that the older generation...

Joyce: A what?

Buffy: It's a... long story.

Joyce: Buffy, are you feeling well?

Buffy: What? Oh, I'm, I'm fine, y'know? What, like, I can't be in a good mood? Is it, like, a new house rule? Fine, y'know? It's just fine, fine, fine, 'cause... (sings) I'm a macho, macho man! I want to be a macho man! (bobs her head) Macho, macho man! (leaves the kitchen) I want to be a macho man!

Cut to the gym for cheerleading practice. Buffy is positioned next to Joy in the lineup.

Joy: (loudly) Five, six, seven, eight!

The cheerleaders begin practicing a routine.

Buffy: Turn up the music!

The routine continues until Buffy accidentally stomps on Joy's foot.

Joy: (yells) Ow! Get it together Buffy! We have a game in less than four hours!

Xander and Willow come in.

Buffy: (jumping gleefully) Willow! Xander! My buds are here! I love my buds! Hi! (notices everyone staring) Hi... Oh...

She gets back in line, and the routine continues.

Xander: (to Willow) Is it me, or is Buffy a bit looped?

Willow casts a worried gaze. The cheerleaders continue with a series of assisted cartwheels.

Willow: We better get her outta there.

Xander: Yeah, before she...

Buffy overthrows Joy's aerial, sending her crashing into the gym wall.

Xander: ...hurts someone. Ay...

Joy gets up as Buffy comes running over.

Buffy: Did I do that?

Joy: (pushes Buffy) You are *so* out of here!

Willow and Xander come running up and each grab one of Buffy's arms.

Willow: It's not her fault!

Xander: She's on medication.

Buffy: (to Xander) What?

Joy: Well, obviously not enough. Who's our next alternate? (sees Amy behind her) Oh. Amy, you just made cheerleader.

Buffy: No, no, no. You don't want her, she's a wi...

Xander quickly puts his hand over Buffy's mouth.

Xander: A wise choice indeed!

He and Willow pull Buffy away, nodding and casting nervous smiles at Amy and Joy. Amy stares after them.

Cut to the hall outside the gym. Willow and Xander are supporting Buffy between them as they come down the hall.

Buffy: She's a witchy!

Willow: Buffy...

Buffy: I just got kicked off the team, didn't I?

Xander: I don't think it was your fault.

Buffy: Hmm, I know you don't, that's 'cause you're my friend. You're my Xander-shaped friend! (leans her head on his shoulder) Do you have any idea why I love you so, Xander?

Willow: We gotta to get her to a...

Xander: (stops Willow with a gesture) Let her speak!

Buffy: I'll tell you! You're not like other boys at all.

Xander: Well...

Buffy: You are totally, and completely one of the girls! (to Willow) I'm that comfy with him.

Willow smiles widely.

Xander: That's great.

Buffy: Any other guy who'd give me a bracelet, they'd... wanna date me, and be like a...

She begins to feel woozy.

Buffy: Oh! I, I don't feel so good.

Willow: Buffy?

Buffy collapses into their arms.

Cut to the library. Buffy is lying back in a chair with a wet cloth on her forehead. Willow supports her head and keeps the cloth in place with her hand.

Willow: We've gotta get her to a hospital!

Giles: They can't help her. This is a bloodstone vengeance spell. (takes her pulse) Hits the body hard like a, a quart of alcohol, and then it e-eradicates the, uh, immune system.

Xander: A vengeance spell, like she's trying to get even with Buffy?

Buffy: 'Cause she knows I know she's a witch.

Giles: The others she just wanted out of the running. You she intends to, um...

Buffy: Kill?

Willow: How much time do we have?

Giles: Oh, uh, I'm sure, uh...

Buffy: Truth. Please.

Giles: Couple of hours... Three at most.

Xander: Well, how do we reverse the spell?

Giles: (gets up) Well I, I've been researching that, and, uh, we can reverse all the spells if, um... (takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes) ...we can just lay our hands on, on Amy's spell book.

Willow: And if we can't get a hold of it?

Giles: Well, the other way is to cut the witch's head off. (puts his glasses back on)

Xander: Show of hands! (raises his hand)

Buffy: It's not Amy's fault. She only became a witch to survive her mother.

Xander: (to Buffy) Look, I don't care why, I just care that you go on breathing.

Buffy: Giles, where would she be casting these spells?

Giles: Oh, she needs a, a sacred space. A-a-a pentagram, um, large pot.

Buffy: Her home. Okay. Help me up.

Xander and Willow help her up.

Buffy: We'll just go to her house and we'll get her book.

Willow: Okay, we'll go with you.

Buffy: Uh, no! You guys stay here and keep an eye on Amy.

Giles: (takes Buffy from them) And keep her away from the science lab. We'll need it to cast our counter-spells.

He and Buffy go. Willow and Xander exchange worried looks. Xander exhales.

Cut to Giles' old car pulling up to Amy's house. Cut inside. Catherine has a plate of brownies on her lap and takes a bite out of one. Giles knocks on the door. She looks up, startled. Giles knocks some more. Buffy looks very tired and out of it. Catherine slides the plate under the coffee table and gets up. Giles knocks again. Catherine opens the door.

Catherine: Who are you? Wha, um, uh, is there something wrong?

Giles: Mrs. Madison, we need to talk to you about your daughter.

Catherine: I'm not allow... You'll have to come back later.

She tries to close the door, but Giles prevents her and pushes his way in.

Giles: Excuse me!

Catherine: What?!

Giles: (turns to help Buffy) You alright? (looks for a place to sit her down) Um, in here. (leads Buffy into the living room) (to Catherine) Your daughter is meddling with something very dangerous, are you aware of that? (sits Buffy on the couch)

Catherine: Uh, I don't know what you're talking about.

Giles: Oh, I think you know only too well.

Catherine: You've got to go. She's gonna be home soon, and you...

Giles: (interrupts, indicating Buffy) This girl is very sick. (very angrily) Now you will shut up and you will listen to me! Your daughter has access to some very powerful magicks, and somehow your obsession with cheerleading has made...

Catherine: (interrupts, incredulous) I don't care about cheerleading! It's not my fault she's doing stuff.

Buffy sees the brownies and begins to realize who Catherine really is.

Giles: As her mother you should assume some responsibility for her actions.

Catherine: (laughs) Well, you know, these kids today! I... (calms down a bit) She's out of her mind. Ever since dad, her dad... left I can't control her.

Buffy slowly gets up.

Giles: You're afraid of her?

Buffy: Amy?

Catherine looks at Buffy and realizes she's been found out. Giles looks at Buffy, still puzzled.

Buffy: Are you Amy?

Giles: (looks back at Catherine) I don't understand.

Buffy: She switched! She switched your bodies, didn't she?

Catherine looks down, defeated.

Giles: (the truth dawns on him) Good Lord!

Buffy: She wanted to relive her glory days.

Catherine: (looks back up) She said I was wasting my youth. So she took it.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 4 ~~~~~~~~~~

The living room at Amy's house. The camera pans to them sitting on the couch.

Catherine: (distraught) I didn't know anything about her powers. I mean, when dad was here they would fight and yell and he would... call her a witch and... I mean, I would, just thought he meant... Oh, God, when he left I wanted to go with him. But she wouldn't even let me call. She went crazy, I mean, she'd lock herself upstairs for days, and she was always coming down on me, telling me I didn't deserve to have it so easy, and that I didn't know... how hard it was to be her, and... I guess she showed me, huh?

Buffy: (takes her hand) Amy, it's gonna be okay.

Catherine: A few months ago, I woke up in h... her bed! I didn't know where I was, and... then I looked in the mirror...

Giles: She locked herself upstairs?

Catherine: Yes.

Giles: Where?

Cut to the attic. Giles breaks in the door, comes in and starts to look around. Catherine comes in after him.

Catherine: (tries to stop him) Don't! If she finds out I've been here she'll kill me!

Giles walks around the cauldron to the rack with the hanging dolls. He sees the two dolls bound together for the body-switching spell and takes them in his hand.

Giles: My God! (exhales) I believe we can reverse your mother's spell. Well, all of them, in fact. (lets go of the dolls)

Catherine: You could? Really, you could?

Giles: We need to find her books. There'd be specific volumes she'd need for this kind of casting.

He begins to look around some more. He finds a trunk and knocks off the things on top.

Giles: Collect those dolls, and, uh, any other personal effects...

As he starts to open the trunk, a black cat jumps at him and surprises him.

Giles: Ah! Nice kitty... (calms down) Let's see what you were guarding. (opens the trunk) Ah, yes! (takes out a book) This is it.

Cut to Giles and Catherine coming back down the stairs and going into the living room.

Buffy: Did we find?

Giles: We found. Come on.

He helps Buffy up from the couch. She's gotten weaker.

Catherine: But where are you going?

Giles: We're going to school.

He realizes Buffy is too weak to walk and picks her up in his arms.

Giles: And you're coming with us.

Cut to the gym. The Sunnydale High basketball team comes through the doors and runs onto the court. The camera pans across the court, then back and across the cheerleaders, stopping on Amy. Amy's clearly very happy to be there. Cut to Xander and Willow in the stands, watching Amy.

Cut to the science classroom. Giles carries Buffy in and lays her down on a lab table, knocking everything off of it in the process. He takes off his coat.

Giles: (to Buffy) I'm gonna stop this. I promise.

Buffy looks up at him. He folds his coat and puts it under her head as a pillow. Her vision is blurred.

Giles: You just hang on.

Buffy moans. Giles goes to the box of books and other things Catherine has set on Dr. Gregory's bench and reaches in to get Amy's spell book.

Catherine: (concerned) How is she?

Giles: We only have a few minutes left.

Cut to the gym and the cheerleaders.

Cheerleaders: Go, Sunnydale go! Go, Sunnydale go! Go! Six, seven, eight! Go Sunnydale go! Go, Sunnydale go! Go, Sunnydale go! Go! Six, seven, eight! Go Sunnydale go! Go, Sunnydale go! Go, Sunnydale go! Go! Six, seven, eight! Go Sunnydale go! Go, Sunnydale go! Go, Sunnydale go! Go! (yells from the cheerleaders)

The camera focuses on Amy in slow motion. Cut to a slow pan across the crowd. Cut to Amy with a smile on her face.

Cut to the science classroom. Catherine is cutting an eye from a frog, and is squeamish about it.

Giles: Right! Here we go!

Cut to Buffy. She's getting weaker. Cut back to Giles. He recites as he mixes a potion.

Giles: The center is dark. Centrum est obscurus. The darkness breathes. Tenebrae respiratis. The listener hears. Hear me!

Cut to the gym. The cheerleaders are doing a counting chant. The camera focuses on Amy. She stops chanting and looks startled. Her vision flashes to what Catherine sees in the science lab, the book and the frog. She's back in the gym and takes up the count again, but has a worried look on her face. Cut back to the lab.

Catherine: Oh, it's... it's working!

Giles takes the book up from the table and reads.

Giles: Unlock the gate. Let the darkness shine. Cover us with holy fear.

Catherine staggers back and covers her face.

Giles: Show me...

The lights go out in the classroom.

Cut to the gym. Some of the cheerleaders are lifting Amy. Once up, she thrusts her fists into the air and gives the crowd a big smile. Her smile fades as she has another flash to the lab, where she gets a glimpse of Buffy. She comes back to the gym and begins to lose her balance. Xander and Willow watch. The cheerleaders supporting Amy struggle for control, but they collapse. The crowd reacts to the fall. Xander and Willow see everything, too. Cut back to Amy.

Joy: Amy, what's your problem?

Amy shoots her a dirty look. Joy is taken aback. Amy gets up, looks around and runs from the gym. Cut to the lab.

Catherine: She's coming!

Giles looks worried.

Cut to the halls. Amy violently pushes open a door. Willow stops her.

Willow: Amy!

Amy: Get out of my way!

Willow: W-wait! I-I-I need to talk to you, I-I can help you.

Amy: Help me? With what?

Willow: Uh, well, y'know, all your witchcraft! I, I know this really good cauldron.

Xander sneaks up behind Amy.

Willow: Do you actually ride a broom?

Amy twists around, growls and holds out her hand like she's grabbing Xander's neck. His hand goes to his throat. Amy makes a fist and twists it. Xander collapses to the floor, choking.

Willow: Xander!

Amy spins back around and punches Willow hard in the face, knocking her to the floor. She starts running to the lab.

Cut to the lab. Giles is holding up his arms and chanting.

Giles: Corsheth and Gilail! The gate is closed! Receive the dark! Release the unworthy! Take of mine energy and be sated!

He plunges his hands into the mixture he's concocted.

Cut to the halls. Amy slams through another door and continues walking to the lab with a determined look on her face. She tries the door, but it's locked. She yanks at it. Cut inside. Giles takes his hands out of the brew. Catherine looks at the door and sees it's being yanked on.

Giles: Be sated! Release the unworthy!

Cut back to the hall. Amy stops yanking at the door and finds a fire axe in a glass case. She breaks the glass with her fist and takes out the axe. Cut inside to Buffy. She can't keep her eyes open and is just rolling her head slowly.

Giles: Release!

Amy begins to chop down the door.

Giles: Release!

Buffy lies prone. Amy has made a hole, reaches through and gets the door open. She marches in, axe in hand, straight over to Buffy.


Amy starts to wield the axe, but stops when there's a flash of light and the spells are all broken. She is herself again. She looks around, a bit confused, steps back and lowers the axe. Buffy has her strength back and gets up from the table. Giles sees that she is okay.

Amy: Buffy?

Buffy: Amy?

Catherine lunges at Buffy from the side and tackles her to the floor, knocking her out. Giles advances, holding his arm out and pointing.

Giles: You... you...

Catherine growls and looks at him. She uses her powers to force him back and push a table against him, knocking him down and out. Amy just stands there watching, still holding the axe in both hands. Catherine gets up and confronts her.

Catherine: You! You little brat!

Amy: (holds the axe threateningly) Mom! Please!

Catherine holds out her hand, and the axe flies from Amy's hands to hers.

Catherine: How dare you raise your hand to your mother! I gave you birth. I gave up my life so you could drag that worthless carcass around and call it living? (swings the axe into a lab table) You've never been anything but trouble. I'm going to put you where you can't make trouble again!

Buffy: (jumps up behind Catherine) Guess what?

Catherine turns to face her.

Buffy: I feel better!

She punches Catherine, and she flies through the air, lands on a lab table and rolls off, hitting a shelf full of bottles along the way. She quickly gets up.

Catherine: That body was mine! Mine!

Buffy: Oh, grow up!

Catherine growls, holds her arm out toward Buffy and uses her powers to send her flying against the wall. Buffy hits the wall and falls to the floor. She gets up, craning her neck. Catherine begins to cast a spell.

Catherine: I shall look upon my enemy!

She looks up at Buffy, and her eyes have become pitch black.

Catherine: I shall look upon her and the dark place will have her soul!

Buffy looks around for a way to stop her. She sees the pole holding up the mirror above her.

Catherine: Corsheth, take her!

Buffy does a standing hook kick, knocking the pole out from under the mirror and letting it flop down. Catherine's spell leaps from her hands and is reflected by the mirror back at her. The power of the spell envelops her as she screams. The energy twists around her and disappears with a roar, taking her with it.

Buffy surveys the scene. Amy is badly shaken. Buffy sees Giles unconscious on the floor. He wakes up.

Giles: Well, that was, um, interesting.

Buffy gives him her hand and helps him up.

Buffy: You guys okay?

Amy: I'm fine!

Giles: I assume the, uh, all the spells are reversed. It was my first casting, so... (inhales) I may have got it wrong.

Buffy: You saved my life! You were a god!

Amy: Well, I didn't think you'd pull it off.

Suddenly Xander comes rushing in and grabs Amy tightly.

Xander: I got her! I got her! Cut her head off!

Buffy: Xander, what are you doing?

Xander: Saving you?

Buffy: Get your hands off of her.

Xander: But she's evil.

Giles: It wasn't exactly her.

Amy: I was my mom.

Xander: Oh! (releases her)

Now Willow comes running in, too, wielding a bat.

Willow: Where is she?!

Xander: Uh, hey Willow! It's cool!

Willow: It is?

Xander: Yeah, I took care of it.

They all just look at each other.

Cut to Buffy's room. She scoops her smashed alarm clock into a wastebasket. Her mother comes in.

Joyce: I don't get it.

Buffy: What?

Joyce: I've been doing a lot of thinking about... where you're coming from, how to relate to you... and I've come to a very simple conclusion: I don't get it.

Buffy: I'm inscrutable, huh?

Joyce: You're sixteen. I think there's a, a biological imperative whereby I can't understand you because I'm not sixteen.

Buffy: Do you ever wish you could be sixteen again?

Joyce: Oh, that's a frightful notion. (exhales) Go through all that again? Not even if it helped me understand you.

She smiles at her daughter, and Buffy smiles back.

Buffy: I love you, mom.

She jumps up and kisses her mom on the cheek, then runs from the room.

Joyce: I don't get it!

Cut to the school halls. Buffy and Amy are walking together.

Amy: My dad is *so* impossible! He doesn't ever want me going anywhere! He wants to spend total quantity time together. And I'm, like, 'Dad, I can go out, it's perfectly safe!' But he's got all this guilt about leaving me with my mom. And he's being a total pain.

Buffy: You're loving it.

Amy: Every single minute.

Cut to another part of the hall.

Amy: This Saturday night he wants to stay in and make brownies. Well,
the brownies were my idea.

Cordelia: (comes up behind them) Hey, I'm really sorry you guys got bumped back to alternate. (reconsiders) Hold it, wait... No I'm not!

Amy: Well, I know that I'll miss the intellectual thrill of spelling out words with my arms.

Cordelia: Ooo, these grapes are sour!

Buffy and Amy stop at the trophy case while Cordelia continues on.

Amy: (to Buffy) Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot that you wanted to be on the squad.

Buffy: Oh, hey, that's okay. Cheerleading's just a little too hairy for me these days.

Amy: (takes a breath) That's for sure.

They go around to the front of the case and look at Catherine's picture.

Amy: Catherine the Great.

Buffy: And there's been no sign of her?

Amy: That last spell... She said I'd never make trouble again. Wherever she is I don't think we'll have to worry.

They both look at Catherine's cheerleading trophy.

Buffy: Twisted.

They turn and go.

Amy: I'm just happy to have my body back. I'm thinking of getting fat.

Buffy: Y'know, I hear that look's in for spring.

The camera closes in on the cheerleading trophy. Catherine's eyes are looking out and she's making muffled noises.

Unnamed Characters:

Amanda Wilmshurst as Senior cheerleader