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"Never Leave Me" is the ninth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 131st episode in the series. Written by Drew Goddard and directed by David Solomon, it was originally broadcast on November 26, 2002, on the UPN network.


TRIGGER HAPPY — Spike is kept tied up in the Summers' house as Buffy attempts to interrogate him. Willow bumps into Andrew, now the remaining member of the Trio and drags him back to the house for his own interrogation session, run by Anya and Xander. Off in England, the Watcher's Council seems to be falling apart and no one knows where Giles is.[1]


Xander works to repair the living room window while Dawn, Willow, and Anya clean up and discuss the potential danger that is Spike.

Walking the streets in a trench coat, Andrew listens as a vision of Warren coaches him 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.

In the Summers residence, Buffy ties Spike down to a chair while trying to offer comforting words to him.

In his office, 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 Watchers Council, trying to track down Giles, although 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 having tasted so much human blood, his thirst is 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. Outside, he runs into Willow, spilling his purchases on the ground. He runs from Willow, but she catches up to him. Willow takes advantage that Andrew believes she is still dark and frightens him with threatens him. She takes him back to Buffy's house, pointing out his suspicious behavior 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. Anya uses a more violent approach and slaps Andrew in the face. Xander drags her out of the room, and, behind closed doors, the two rave about how well their "easy way/hard way" performance went.

Meanwhile, 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 tells her how he was able to get his soul back, and how he now believes that Buffy was using him because of her own self-hatred; after falling in love with her and acquiring a soul, he had come to hate himself.

Xander returns to Andrew and uses a polite approach. 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 accidentally 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 vision of a second Spike appears and talks 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 bites him. Buffy pulls Spike off of Andrew and knocks Spike out with a kick to the head.

Downstairs, Buffy talks to the gang about Spike's 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 Sunnydale High, Principal Wood is leaving his office. He goes into the basement, where he finds Jonathan's body laying atop of the seal.

Buffy goes down to her basement to clean up Spike's wounds while he lies 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 is not something she's prepared to handle, and taunts her with details of his past assaults. 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. The gang fights them and most of the figures end up disabled or killed. In a deserted location, Principal Wood buries Jonathan's body.

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 working for the First Evil. 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.

Meanwhile, Watchers report to Quentin about the numerous attacks on the Council around the world. Quentin confirms that the First Evil is responsible, and he tells the group to prepare for battle. The Watchers Council headquarters then explodes.

In the school basement, Spike has been strapped to a wheel and the Bringers are cutting symbols into his 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.


  • Anya questions if stabbing Spike in the chest isn't something the Scoobies do when one of them goes rogue, in reference to what Buffy did to her in "Selfless."
  • Buffy still has the clothes and a cut on her arm from the time she fought the vampires Spike sired in the 634 Hoffman Terrace house in the previous night ("Sleeper").
  • Spike warns Buffy that she should tie him tighter to the chair; the last time she tied him was in "Pangs," when Spike complained that the tight ropes "pinched" him.
  • The pig that Andrew cannot catch will be seen again in "Storyteller," still in the basement.
  • Andrew fears Willow will punish him as revenge for Warren killing Tara ("Seeing Red"); the last time they saw each other, Willow was still intent on killing him ("Two to Go"). He's also aware that she killed Warren by skinning him ("Villains").
  • Buffy wonders when Spike's chip stopped working; Spike still felt the pain it caused him when he punched Peter Nicols in "Help" and Xander in "Sleeper," but it didn't harm him while he's under the influence of the First Evil ("Conversations with Dead People" and "Sleeper").
  • Spike tells Buffy about the Demon Trials he endured for his soul ("Two to Go"–"Grave").
  • Spike mentions that Buffy told him that she was using him during their past relationship, which she said when she broke up with him in "As You Were."
  • Xander attempts to scare Andrew by telling him that Anya is a vengeance demon, when in reality she lost the position in "Selfless."
  • Andrew says that he once saw Anya having sex with Spike, in reference to when the Trio watched them through a secret camera in "Entropy."
  • The First triggers Spike once again by singing "Early One Morning," as seen twice in "Sleeper." The song will trigger Spike one last time in "Lies My Parents Told Me," when he overcomes it.
  • In reference to Spike singing, Anya considers that "maybe it's another musical," relating to the events in "Once More, with Feeling."
  • When Xander explains what a sleeper agent is, Willow asks if Xander's knowledge of sleeper agents is "left over from [his] days in the army," in reference to Xander turning into a soldier in "Halloween."
  • Andrew is identified as "Tucker's brother" for a second time, after "Gone," despite Spike not having a reason to know who Tucker is ("The Prom"). This is a continuation of a long-running gag where nobody except Buffy seems to remember Andrew's name. The joke is repeated with Dawn asking "How's what's his name?" after Spike attacks Andrew and also near the end by the First Evil (in the form of Spike) saying "You're the one who couldn't take care of what's his name."
  • Buffy recognizes the Bringers and their association with the First from her encounter with them in "Amends." It explains the "people" Willow and Dawn saw in "Conversations with Dead People" and Spike's "ghosts" since "Lessons."
  • While Buffy will encounter the Turok Han in the next episode, "Bring on the Night," she'll only defeat it in "Showtime."
  • It's later revealed in "Dirty Girls" that Caleb was responsible for organizing the attack against the Watchers Council headquarters.



Organizations and titles[]





Death 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[]



  • "Never Leave Me" had an audience of 2.8 million households upon its original airing.[2]

Deleted scenes[]

  • This line where Xander plays the good cop was cut:[3]
    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[]

  • Andrew mention the film Ghost (1990) when he talks to the First about corporeal and non-corporeal forms; in Ghost, Patrick Swayze appears to Demi Moore in a non-corporeal form similar to the First.
  • Andrew says that Babe 2: Pig in the City (1998) was an underrated movie. When he jumps to kill the piglet, he shouts: "That'll do, pig," a famous line from the movie Babe (1995).
  • When Andrew is at the butcher shop, the butcher calls him "Neo," the main character from The Matrix franchise who wears a similar trench coat.
  • The scene in the butcher shop is 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.
  • Xander says he learned about sleeper agents in army movies, where in the end the agents either kill themselves — The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Telefon (1977) — or steals a submarine — Eye of the Needle (1981).
  • 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, paraphrasing the final two lines of the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley with the lines: "We are still masters of our fate. We are still captains of our souls."
  • Anya asks: "The horse?" when Xander says "trigger," a reference to Trigger the Horse, famous from American Western films.


  • The scene with Spike tied to a chair has the camera tracks visible 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.


International titles[]

  • Armenian: "Երբեք չլքես ինձ" (Never Leave Me)
  • Czech: "Nikdy mě neopouštěj" (Never Leave Me)
  • Finnish: "Erottamattomat" (Inseparable)
  • French: "Le sceau de Danzalthar" (The Seal of Danzalthar)
  • German: "Boten des Bösen" (Bringers of Evil)
  • Hungarian: "Soha ne hagyj el!" (Never Leave Me!)
  • Italian: "Non mi lasciare" (Don't Leave Me)
  • Japanese: "独りにしないで" (Don't Leave Me Alone)
  • Polish: "Nie opuszczaj mnie" (Don't Leave Me)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Jamais Me Deixe" (Never Leave Me)
  • Romanian: "Nu mă lăsa" (Don't Leave Me)
  • Russian: "Никогда не покидай меня" (Never Leave Me)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Nunca me dejes" (Never Leave Me)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Nunca me abandones" (Never Leave Me)
  • Swedish: "Lämna mig aldrig" (Never Leave Me)


  • The book Chosen: The One includes a novelization of this episode, along with all season 7.


Behind the scenes[]



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?"
Xander: "Usually the operative completes his task and either blows his head off or steals a submarine."
First Evil: "I was going to bleed Andrew, but you look a lot better with your shirt off."
Dawn: "I just wanted to tell you that Buffy won't be coming in today. She's really sick."
Principal Wood: "Oh no."
Dawn: "Yeah. Last night she was vomiting and this morning she was vomiting some more and then... just as we thought she was done, she started vomiting again."
Principal Wood: "Yeah, we got that stomach flu going around."
Dawn: "Her exact words were 'I got stuff coming out at both ends.'"
Principal Wood: "Thank you, that's very... helpful."


  1. "Season 7." Craig's BuffyVERSE 4ever. Retrieved on December 18, 2021.
  2. "Nielsen Ratings for Buffy's Seventh Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 19, 2008.
  3. "Buffy - Never Leave Me." BuffyWorld. Archived from the original on November 12, 2017.