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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 3, Episode 19
Air date May 4, 1999
Written by David Fury
Directed by James A. Contner
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"Choices" is the nineteenth episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the fifty-third episode altogether. It was written by David Fury and directed by James A. Contner. It originally broadcast on May 4, 1999.

Synopsis

Buffy launches an offensive to shut down the Mayor's plans for Ascension. Willow chooses among colleges while Xander plans a road trip. Buffy and Angel cannot see a way around the obstacles to a successful life together.

Summary

File:319 Choices1.jpg
The Mayor gives Faith a knife for a gift in exchange for an errand he asks her to handle for him. Buffy and Angel are fighting off vampires at the cemetery. They then discuss their relationship and how it seems to be going nowhere. Joycefinds out that Buffy was accepted to Northwestern, but Buffy is reluctant to make any plans for leaving because of what she'd be leaving behind. Joyce doesn't seem to be hearing a word of it and goes to call family members in Illinois.

At school, Principal Snyder is on a drug search, and even searches a student's lunch. Buffy and friends discuss their college futures and Buffy mentions that she did get accepted to the University of California, Sunnydale. Willow on the other hand has been accepted to every school in the country and some out of, including Oxford. Xander has plans to travel around and find out what his future may be since college isn't posing as much of an option. Cordelia arrives for long enough to insult everyone based on their college futures. Buffy tells Wesley and Giles that she wants out of Sunnydale. Her job as the Slayer, however, is too much of a problem for them to just ignore. Buffy then decides that if she takes the offensive against the Mayor, bringing the fight to him, that she could defeat him, stop the Ascension and then be able to go away for college.

File:319 Choices2.jpg

Later that night, Faith is there to meet the box at the airport, killing the courier and taking his hand off to separate him from the box. Buffy watches from the bushes as Faith arrives in a limo and brings the box to the Mayor. After the coast is clear, Buffy attacks the courier and forces information about the box out of him before staking him.

When Buffy returns to the library, with information about the Box of Gavrok, Giles and Willow bring maps of City Hall so that they can plan to infiltrate the building in order to take the box from the Mayor. The box, which is being kept in a top floor conference room is protected by magic -- which they plan to have Willow handle so they get to the box. Xander is sent off in search of supplies for the ritual that will destroy the box. Wesley is annoyed that no one will listen to him, and feels that they are rushing this too much.

On his shopping trip, Xander spies Cordelia in a clothing shop. He stops in long enough to give her his best comeback to the insults she provided him the day before but she shocks him with her acceptance letters to several very important colleges. That night, Wesley and Giles drop off Buffy, Willow, and Angel at City Hall. Back at the library, Xander and Oz follow Willow's instructions to prepare the ritual to destroy the box.

File:319 Choices3.jpg

After Willow performs the spell, she leaves and Buffy gets ready to take the box. Angel lowers her through the skylight to take the box. After she gets the box though, an alarm goes off and the rope gets stuck. Buffy is left hanging as two vampires enter. Unable to get Buffy free, Angel leaps into the fray and the two fight the vampires. After tearing up the conference room, they escape and hide in the bushes while Giles and Wesley cause a diversion.

The Mayor is extremely angry that they got away with his box, but he suddenly becomes very happy when he finds that Faith has captured Willow. The gang finds out about Willow's capture and they're all very upset, especially Oz. Buffy decides that they will trade the box for Willow. Wesley is strongly against it and tells Buffy that she was right to take the offensive against the Mayor, and that by giving up the box they are sentencing all of Sunnydale to death. Everyone fights over the issue until Oz ends the argument by smashing the pot needed for the ritual and Buffy tells Giles to set up the meeting.

Willow tries to escape from the room she's locked in, but only succeeds in attracting the attention of a vampire guard. He tries to taste a bit of her blood, but she levitates a pencil and stake him before he can take a bite. Willow sneaks out of her room and finds the Mayor's office.
File:319 Choices4.jpg
Inside, she finds the Books of Ascension, which she reads until Faith discovers her. Willow tells Faith that she's made her decision and that it's over now and they fight for a bit until Faith brings out her knife.

The meeting takes place in the cafeteria where everyone meets the Mayor and his crew armed with weapons. The Mayor gives a speech about how he doesn't think that Buffy and Angel have any future together. The trade is made, but Principal Snyder shows up with security guards before anyone can leave, expecting to find drugs in the box. One of the guards opens the box and a large beetle-like creature crawls out and kills him. Another beetle breaks free and the two manage to attack The Mayor and Buffy. Both beetles are killed, one with the knife the Mayor gave Faith, and the Mayor leaves, box in hand, with Faith following behind, reluctantly leaving behind the knife.

At the library, Willow tells everyone her story, then presents Giles with a few important pages which she tore from the Books. Wesley reminds Buffy that the Scooby Gang are now back exactly where they started, with no way to stop the Ascension. At school the next day, Buffy comes to the conclusion that she's never going to leave Sunnydale. Willow tells her of her plans to go to UC Sunnydale because she wants to keep helping Buffy save the world and continue her study of Wicca. That night Buffy and Angel talk about Buffy's future and she says that everything will be okay.

Quotes and trivia

  • Buffy: So this is our future? This is how we're going to spend our nights when I'm fifty and you're... the same age you are now?
[A vampire growls behind them.]
Angel: Let's just get you to fifty.
Buffy: Liking that plan.
  • Buffy: Well, I don't think I can talk any slower, Wes. I want to leave.
Wesley: What? Now?
Buffy No, not now. After I graduate, you know, college?
Wesley: But you're a Slayer.
Buffy Yeah. I'm also a person. You can't just define me by my slayer-ness. That's... something-ism.
  • Faith: Give me the speech again, please. "Faith, we're still your friends. We can help you. It's not too late."
Willow: It's way too late. You know, it didn't have to be this way. But you made your choice. I know you had a tough life. I know that some people think you had a lot of bad breaks. Well, boo hoo! Poor you! You know, you had a lot more in your life than some people. I mean, you had friends in your life like Buffy. Now you have no one. You were a slayer and now you're nothing. You're just a big, selfish, worthless waste.
[Faith knocks Willow to the ground.]
Faith: You hurt me, I hurt you. I'm just a little more efficient.
Willow: (stands up) Aw, and here I just thought you didn't have a comeback.
  • Xander: (holding Jack Kerouac's On the Road) Everything in life is foreign territory. Kerouac. He's my teacher. The open road is my school.
Buffy: Making the open dumpster your cafeteria?
Xander: Go ahead, mock me.
Oz: I think she just did.
Xander: We Bohemian anti-establishment types have always been persecuted.
Oz: Well, sure. You're all so weird.
  • Snyder: You... all of you. Why couldn't you be dealing drugs like normal people?
  • Mayor: What happened to the courier? I was supposed to pay him.
Faith: Hunh. Made him an offer he couldn't survive. (takes the money)
-- a reference to The Godfather.
  • This episode marks the first time that Buffy and the Mayor actually meet, even though they were in the same room at the City Hall press conference in "Gingerbread" and crossed paths in the sewers in "Band Candy".

Music

  • The Bangles - "Walk like an Egyptian"
  • Christophe Beck - "Into the mayor's lair"
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