Buffyverse Wiki
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 7, Episode 9
709 NeverLeaveMe.jpg
Air date November 26, 2002
Written by Drew Goddard
Directed by David Solomon
Episode Guide
"Apocalypse, Nowish"
"Bring on the Night"
"Habeas Corpses"
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Emma Caulfield Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg Dawn
James Marsters Spike
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Guest Starring
Danny Strong Jonathan
Adam Busch Warren
Tom Lenk Andrew
Cynthia Lamontagne Lydia
Oliver Muirhead Phillip
Kris Iyer Nigel
Harris Yulin Quentin Travers
D. B. Woodside Principal Wood
Co Starring
Donald Bishop Butcher
Camden Toy Übervamp
Bobby Brewer Hoffman
Roberto Santos Grimes
Rob Nagle Robson

"Never Leave Me" is the ninth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the one hundred thirty-first episode altogether. It was written by Drew Goddard and directed by David Solomon. It originally broadcast on November 26, 2002.

The Scooby Gang begins to realize the magnitude of their peril. The Summers' home gains two captives: Spike and Andrew.


Xander works to repair the living room window while Dawn, Willow, and Anya helped clean up and discuss the potential danger that was Spike. Wearing a trench coat, like Spike's, Warren coaches Andrew to continue playing his part in the game. Warren explains that because he cannot take corporeal form, Andrew's a crucial player in their "plan". Warren then morphs into Jonathan to continue the encouragement. Andrew stresses that he can't kill anymore, but Jonathan doesn't consider that to be a problem. Buffy tries to offer comforting words to Spike while she ties him down to a chair.

Make it tighter—the knots'll give. I get free, someone's gonna die.

Principal Wood lectures two students about damaging school property, convincing them that they're better off cleaning up their mess. Dawn interrupts the meeting by informing him that Buffy's too sick to attend work. Back at the Summers' home, Buffy calls the Watcher's Council, trying to track down Giles, although Quentin Travers informs her they've had little contact with him since he left Sunnydale. He promises to look into the matter, and upon hanging up he tells the group of Watchers in the room that Buffy knows nothing. He adds that they need to find Giles, and quickly. Buffy returns to check on Spike, but, after tasting so much human blood, his thirst was getting hard to control. Although he remains tied to his chair, he vamps out and snaps at Buffy. Outside of the room, Willow offers to get Spike some animal blood to help ease his cravings.

Warren coaches Andrew on killing a pig, but Andrew lets the pig escape. Instead, he resorts to getting the blood they need from a butcher. At the butcher shop, Andrew orders an array of meats and pig's blood, but as he leaves, he literally runs into Willow, spilling his purchases on the ground. He runs from Willow, but she catches up to him. Willow, knowing Andrew believes she is still "evil", takes advantage of the situation and frightens him. She's able to take him back to Buffy's house, pointing out his suspicious behavior and purchase of animal blood to the rest of the group. Xander and Anya interrogate Andrew while tied to a chair, but he's unable to provide any useful information. After Anya slaps Andrew in the face, Xander drags her out of the room, and, behind closed doors, the two rave about how well their performance with Andrew went.

Upstairs, Buffy gives Spike some of the animal blood Andrew bought, and it calms him down. He tells Buffy that he still remembers very little, if anything, about his killings. He also explains how he was able to get his soul back, and how he now realizes that Buffy was using him because of her own self-hatred. At that point, after falling in love with her and acquiring a soul, he had come to hate himself.

Spike attacks Andrew.

Xander returns to Andrew and changes his tactic to politeness. He unties Andrew and offers him water while using Anya's ability to hurt men as a threat. Anya comes charging in and attacks Andrew, intending to beat the knowledge out of him. When Xander pretends to try to pull Anya away, she turns around and accidently slaps him. She apologizes silently and then turns back to beat up Andrew. Buffy leaves Spike momentarily to investigate Andrew's cries for help, though Xander and Anya reassure her that all is well. While Buffy is away, the hallucination of Spike reappears and starts to talk to the real Spike. Buffy hears Spike talking and humming a song through the door, and when she opens the door, she finds him acting different. He asks for blood, but as soon as she turns away, he breaks free from his chair and knocks her down. In the next room, Andrew is finally revealing some information about the Seal of Danzalthar. However, Spike punches through the wall, grabs him, and viciously bites him. Buffy pulls Spike off of Andrew and knocks Spike out with a powerful kick.

Downstairs, Buffy talks to the gang about Spike's strange behavior. Based on Buffy's information, Xander concludes that some sort of evil is using a trigger to activate Spike's killer instincts. Buffy instructs the gang to begin researching so they can figure out what they're dealing with. At the high school, Principal Wood is leaving his office, but curiosity gets the best of him, and he goes into the basement. There, he finds Jonathan's body on top of the seal.

Buffy goes down to her basement to clean up Spike's wounds while he lay chained up to a brick wall. While she wipes away the blood, he wakes up, and tells her to kill him, claiming that she has never seen all of what Spike is capable of. Spike also says he was not something she was prepared to handle, and taunts her with details of his past assaults and person insults. However, she is undeterred by his words, and thinks that he's changed; she's not ready to give up on him yet.

Suddenly, the windows and doors break all over the house as robed figures attack the Scooby Gang. In a deserted location, Principal Wood buries Jonathan's body. The gang fights a vicious battle with the robed figures that attacked them. Most of the figures end up disabled or killed, but they didn't come for Buffy and the gang: they came for Spike.

Down in the basement, Buffy and Xander find Spike nowhere to be seen. Buffy recognizes the faces of the robed figures as Harbingers of Death (aka "Bringers") working for the First Evil, the entity that attempted to coerce Angel into killing himself in "Amends". She then discovers that the ghosts haunting them, the games being played on them, and the impending danger that would come from beneath are all connected to the First Evil.

The Watchers Council HQ is destroyed.

Meanwhile, Watchers report to Quentin about the numerous attacks on the Council around the world. Quentin confirms that the First Evil was responsible, and tell the group to prepare for battle. Seconds later, the Watchers Council headquarters explodes. In the school basement, Spike has been strapped to a wheel and the Bringers are cutting symbols into Spike's chest. The First talks to Spike -- in the shape of himself -- and blames him for the situation he's in. The First then morphs into Buffy and continues taunting Spike as the wheel is raised up to the ceiling, turning him face-first over the symbol on the ground. As Spike's blood falls onto the symbol beneath him, the seal begins to open, allowing a real vampire to emerge.


  • The headquarters of the Watchers Council was destroyed, killing many of the Watchers, including Lydia, Nigel, Phillip and Quentin Travers. It is later revealed that Caleb was responsible. However, Wesley refers to the Watchers Academy being in Hampshire rather than London, so presumably the organization is not entirely destroyed.
    • Prior to the destruction of the Council headquarters, Travers hears reports of their satellite offices all over the world being hit in a coordinated attack; with one Watcher estimating that they've been "crippled." Though Travers offers reassuring words, it's plausible the Watchers Academy was among those hit, either unreported or reported off screen; and the explosion at the London headquarters was the final death blow of the Council.
  • The first Turok-Han vampire is released by the First and will be a major threat against Buffy for a few episodes.
  • Andrew is also tied up, knocked out, and bitten by a vampire in this episode as nearly every Scooby has.
  • Anya refers to Spike's singing with the words "Maybe it's another musical," relating to the events in "Once More, with Feeling."
  • A long running gag about Andrew is his insecurity over other Sunnydale High students only remembering him when he is described as Tucker's brother. Spike also doesn't know who he is until he is described as Tucker's brother despite Spike not having a reason to know who Tucker is.
  • The pig that Andrew cannot catch is later seen in “Storyteller” by Buffy and Principal Wood when the Seal of Danzalthar is causing chaos. Wood hopes that it is not a student who was turned into a pig.
  • Andrew says that he once saw Anya having sex with Spike, which he saw in "Entropy" through the secret cameras the Trio had in the Magic Box.
  • When Xander explains what a sleeper agent is, Willow asks “Is this left over from your days in the army?” in reference to Xander turning into a soldier in "Halloween." However, he denies this and says he just knows this from every army movie he's seen.



Organizations and titles[]




Body Count[]

  • One Harbinger of Death, killed by Xander
  • Two Harbingers of Death, killed by Buffy with a dagger
  • Quentin Travers, killed in the bomb explosion by Caleb
  • Lydia, killed in the bomb explosion by Caleb
  • Phillip, killed in the bomb explosion by Caleb
  • Nigel, killed in the bomb explosion by Caleb
  • Unidentified watchers, killed in the bomb explosion by Caleb

Behind the Scenes[]


  • This was the last episode to feature Harris Yulin as Quentin Travers. It was aired on the same night as Yulin's first appearance on 24.
  • Willow's enormous powers, even if she is not fully in control of them, forced the writers to figure out a way to keep her from being part of every fight. Here, she is immediately knocked unconscious when the Bringers attack. The same plot device is used in "Get It Done".

Deleted Scenes[]

  • This line where Xander plays the good cop was cut due to length:
Xander: "I know. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I get that. But they don't. They need your answers. It does seem suspicious, you know, you buying the blood."
Andrew: "That blood wasn't for me. I was just buying meat."

Pop Culture References[]

  • The title is derived from the refrain from the English folk song "Early One Morning," which is also the subliminal trigger that causes Spike to kill people, overriding both his soul and the pain chip implanted in his brain.
  • Andrew references the 1990 film Ghost when he talks to The First -- in the guise of Warren -- about corporeal and non-corporeal forms; in Ghost, Patrick Swayze appears to Demi Moore in a non-corporeal form similar to Warren/The First.
  • Andrew and The First, in the guise of Warren, again provide us with no end of Star Wars references.
  • As Andrew jumps to kill the piglet, he shouts "That'll do, pig," a famous line from the movie Babe.
  • When Andrew is at the butcher shop, the butcher says "This is a butcher shop, Neo, we don't sell toothpaste." The butcher is referencing The Matrix and Andrew's new "look", reminiscent of The Matrix's hero, Neo's, typical dress. The scene itself may be patterned after a convenience-store scene from the 1973 film American Graffiti in which a teenager tries to buy alcohol by slipping it into a list of unrelated items, much as Andrew attempts to deflect attention from his buying blood.
  • The Bible passage quoted by Travers before his death is Proverbs 24:6.
  • Quentin Travers makes a reference to a speech by Winston Churchill on September 9, 1941. He was paraphrasing the final two lines of the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley with these lines: "We are still masters of our fate. We are still captains of our souls."
  • When Xander is explaining what is happening to Spike, he says "Trigger," and Anya responds "The horse?" This is a reference to Trigger the Horse, famous from American Western films.

International titles[]

  • French: Le sceau de Danzalthar (The seal of Danzalthar)
  • German: Boten des Bösen (Bringers of Evil)
  • Italian: Non mi lasciare (Don't leave me)


Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors[]

  • When Buffy leaves her bedroom to check on Xander and Anya, she walks out of her bedroom and onto the landing, then enters Dawn's bedroom from there. However, as seen in previous episodes, there is a door connecting their two bedrooms.
  • It is revealed that Buffy's basement has a cellar door. This was never seen when Xander and Cordelia were stuck in it in "What's My Line, Part Two" and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", in which they were hiding from the Bug Man and fleeing from a love-obsessed mob, respectively. It is likely that it was bolted shut.
  • About 9 minutes in, the scene with Spike tied to a chair, you can see the camera tracks in the bottom left corner.
  • When Principal Wood is burying Jonathan's body, after he's pushed the corpse in the hole, the actor's eyelids flicker. Also it's obvious that the actor playing Wood is not picking up a lot of dirt with the shovel.


  • This episode is Spike-centric.
  • In classic Whedonesque irony, The Watcher’s Council is wiped out right as they come to the conclusion of their series-long arc. Just as they realize their duty is providing the Slayer with support instead of telling her what to do from afar with no regard for her personal safety — and are about to travel to Sunnydale to finally take on their intended role — they are destroyed.
  • Vampire blood must be much more potent than human blood in regards to magic, as Spike shed just a little bit of blood onto the seal in contrast to all of Jonathan's, and yet the Seal opened with Spike's and not with Jonathan's.
  • Vampires don't breathe and they don't bleed. Their heart's aren't beating therefore not pumping blood through their veins. Thus Spike is not the creature to carve up.


Buffy: "He's been feeding on humans for weeks. Having some pretty bad withdrawal. I think we need to get him some blood."
Willow: "Want me to kill Anya?"
The First: "I was going to bleed Andrew, but you look a lot better with your shirt off."
Xander: "Usually the operative completes his task and either blows his head off or steals a submarine."