School Hard



Another sunny day at Sunnydale High and Principal Snyder is doing what he loves best. Giving a scary lecture to the two most troublesome students in school. Sheila, who sits nonchalantly, slouching in her chair and chewing gum, and Buffy, who Mr Snyder seems to be having the desired effect on. We learn that Sheila has recently stabbed a teach with pruning shears while Buffy is still trying to live down the minor incident of burning down the gym. Which really could have been mice.

Luckily, Mr Snyder has a way that they may redeem themselves, the planning of an exceptional parent-teacher night, or else expulsion awaits.

Later that day, as the school bell rings, Buffy and Sheila leave school, Buffy full of plans to make parent-teacher night a success, Sheila on the other hand, is happy to leave the planning to Buffy as she runs off to meet her rather charming boyfriend, “Meat Pie”. As Sheila leaves, Buffy is joined by Xander and Willow who fill her in on just how troublesome Sheila really is. Ever the comforting one, Xander reassures Buffy that she will be fine, as long as nothing really bad happens between now and then….

That night, the Sunnydale sign sign proudly displays it’s population of 38,500 and wishes that you enjoy your stay, until it is mown down by some rather bad parking. As the black cadilac slams to a halt, its door opens, a black booted, long coated, bleach blonde figure gets out, turning to face us, we find he is a vampire, he lights a cigarette, takes a deep pull and exclaims “Home Sweet Home”.

In the factory, the vampires are gathered around The Anointed debating who should take the place of the Master, whoever can kill the Slayer seems to be the perfect choice and the main vampire, let’s call him Big Ugly (because that is what he is called in the script), puts forward his plan to do just that on the forthcoming night of St Vigeous, when a vampire’s power is at it’s greatest. His boasting is interrupted by the blonde vampire, who barges in and, waxing lyrical about his time feeding on a flower person at Woodstock, knocks out Big Ugly with one punch, thus gaining the interest of The Anointed. He introduces himself as Spike and gets to bragging himself, claiming that he has killed two slayers in the past, he is in turn interrupted by the arrival of another vampire, waif-like and dressed in white, she approaches. Spike senses her and immediately stops mid-brag to turn towards her, face morphing back to human he goes to her, calling her Drusilla.

Drusilla walks towards The Anointed, sensing his power, she is frail, weak for a vampire, and not making a whole lot of sense. She turns back to Spike who covers her with his jacket, reaching up with her long fingers, she runs a nail down his cheek, drawing blood and then licking it off. Their heads turn towards each other, about to kiss, before they do, their faces turn back towards The Anointed, heads still touching, as Spike announces they are moving in. He promises to take care of their Slayer problem, both to the Anointed and to Drusilla.

The Slayer herself, meanwhile, is de-tangling her hair before bed when Joyce arrives to announce that she has received her invitation to parent-teacher night which Buffy has somehow failed to mention to her.

The next day in school, Buffy, Willow and Xadner diligently paint banners while Sheila is a no-show. Weighing up whether she should study or go to The Bronze that night (the fact that Angel might show throwing a spanner in her studying works), Buffy decides she can do it all, study, party AND plan an amazing parent-teacher night as long as slaying duties don’t get in the way – which is where Giles and Ms Calendar show up with the good news about St Vigeous night. As Giles tries to impress on Buffy the importance of her Slaying duties over her social life, they are interrupted by the appearance of Mr. Snyder. Giles and Jenny make a hasty exit while Mr Snyder notices the lack of Sheila which gives him the great anticipation of an expulsion to come. Buffy tries to cover for her when Sheila herself shows up looking very very much the worse for whatever she had been up to the night before. Snyder leaves them to it.

That night at The Bronze, Buffy is studying French. Badly. Angel did not show which is distracting her. Xander approaches and persuades them all to get up and dance. Which they do. As they get up, Spike appears from the shadows, circling the dancefloor watching the Slayer and her friends. Eventually he approaches Big Ugly who is also in the Bronze and tells him to get something to eat, Big Ugly leaves and Spike approaches the dancefloor, speaking loudly enough for Buffy to hear,  he announces that  he needs to call the police, someone is trying to bite someone outside. Buffy immediately takes the bait and leaves.

Outside Buffy arrives just as Big Ugly is about to chow down on a girl’s neck, she throws him off and they fight, Big Ugly throwing Buffy into wall, she recovers just as Xander and Willow arrive. Spike watches the fight from the a doorway as Buffy pounds the vampire and Xander rushes back into the Bronze to fumble through Buffy’s bag for a stake. Big Ugly gets the upper hand and throws Buffy to the floor, he leans over but Buffy kicks him in the face and the fight resumes as Xander appears and throws Buffy the stake; she catches it and he’s dust.

As the ashes fall to the floor, Spike appears from the shadows slow-clapping, applauding Buffy for her work, he lets her know he intends to kill her on Saturday.

Meanwhile, outside Sunnydale’s rather more grungy nightclub, The Fish Tank, Sheila exits into an alley with two boys in tow. One by one the boys disappear, leaving Sheila confused and on her own. She turns around to run straight into Spike, who sweet talks her, she follows him as we see the bodies of her two friends laying in the gutter.

In the library, Buffy, Giles, Willow, Xander and Ms Calendar are at the research and discussing Spike when Angel arrives with the news that yes, Spike is worse than any other creature she has faced and he will not stop until everything in his path is dead. Giles turns to ask him more, but Angel has gone.

In the factory, the vampires chant, while in her room, Druisilla approaches a row of old fashioned china dolls, all of whom have gags on their faces, she reaches one and turns it to face the other way, scolding the doll who she calls Miss Edith. Spike approaches her from behind, encouraging her to eat something, an incident in Prague with a mob left her almost dead,  but, the Hellmouth will restore her and then they will party. As he leads her back towards the bed, the pass a bound and gagged Sheila. Drusilla persuades Spike to go and get chanty with the rest of the vampires to earn the Anointed One’s trust, and Spike reluctantly goes, but not before he has thrown a terrified Sheila at Drusilla, telling her to eat. Drusilla obliges.

Thursday has finally come, and a banner announcing parent-teacher night is proudly displayed above the school doors. In the library the gang, including Ms Calendar and Cordelia are preparing weapons, while Buffy chops crudites.

In the hall, Buffy ladles out punch as parents and teachers mill around. Joyce arrives and Buffy’s plan to keep her away from Snyder begins, starting with a tour of French class just as Snyder arrives. Time moves on and parent teacher night is drawing to a close, Willow returns with Joyce, having successfully managed to show Joyce around the whole school without bumping into a single teacher.  Buffy’s luck has just run out as then Snyder approaches and takes Joyce into his office.

In the library, Giles has finally found some information on Spike, formerly known as William-the-bloody and having earned his nickname by torturing his victims with railroad spikes. In worse news, he has fought two slayers in the last century. And won.

Back in the hall, Snyder and an unhappy looking Joyce, return from Snyder’s office. Joyce and Buffy turn to leave and Snyder (with a smug look on his face), begins switching off the lights, as he does, a window smashes and Spike and his vampire friends come crashing through it. Buffy and Joyce turn towards the window to see Spike flanked by four vampires, ready to attack.

Panic fills the hall as parents, teachers and students try to run from the vampires, Spike approaches and Buffy picks up a chair and throws it at him, stalling him for enough time for her to grab her mother and rush her to safety. Taking charge, Buffy gathers her mother, Mr. Snyder and a group of others, while Willow grabs Cordelia and takes her in another direction. Cordelia is grabbed by a vampire, but Willow, grabs a handy bust of Mr. Flutie and smacks him over the head with it, rushing Cordelia into another room. Buffy and her group reach the library just as Giles, Xander and Jenny come out to see what is happening, Buffy yells at them and they race back into the library, while Buffy ushers her group into the science class, making sure all the doors are secured, just as all the lights go out.

In the library, Giles, Jenny and Xander have also boarded themselves in, but Giles knows of another way out and sends Xander off to get Angel. Back in the science classroom, Snyder announces that they are being attacked by a gang on PCP, panicking he starts trying to get out of a window, but Buffy grabs him down, telling him if they don’t do what she says, everyone will get killed. Joyce tries to stop her but Buffy, makes her exit up through the roof tiles. In the hall, Spike walks slowly, calling for the Slayer and making threats, while Cordelia and Willow hide in a closet and up above Buffy crawls through the roof space. In the library, Giles is about to leave and help, when Buffy comes crashing through the ceiling. Gathering up some weapons, she fills them in on her plan and gets back into the ceiling. In the science classroom, things are getting heated, Joyce and Snyder face off while the other parent starts to panic and opens the window, removing the blinds to get out, Snyder follows and starts to help.

Back in the hall, Spike and the other vampires are trying to break down doors, using the head of one of them, Spike smashes open a glass box containing an axe, he takes the axe and gives it to the vampire, who starts to break down the door, while Spike grabs another vampire and heads off in another direction. In the classroom, the axe starts to come through the door, while the parent finally manages to make a space big enough to get through the window, as he does, he is pulled through by a waiting vampire on the other side, Joyce rushes to the window and quickly secures it again.

Outside, Xander and Angel arrive to find the body of the teacher, Angel grabs Xander around the neck and drags him off, while in the school, Buffy crawls through the roof space above the impatient Spike, who starts to hit at the ceiling with sticks, one going through, just in front of Buffy. Buffy herself makes it back to the hallway outside the science classroom and stakes the vampire who was about to make it through the door. She reassures her mother through the hole in the door, and heads off down the hall, about to sneak up on the vampire guarding the exit, when she is interrupted by Sheila. Sheila picks up the abandoned axe and follows Buffy.

Near the other exit, Spike is still hitting the ceiling when Angel arrives, dragging Xander along with him. Spike turns and immediately recognises his former buddy Angelus, and the two, both in vamp face, catch up. In the other hall, Buffy cautiously approaches the vampire guarding the exit, stake raised and ready, behind her, Sheila raises the axe, in full vamp face. As they pass the library, Giles sees what is going on through the window and yells to Buffy just in time, Buffy spins round and grabs the axe, knocking Sheila to the floor with it, she swings it at the other vampire, who ducks, the axe hits the wall, but as the vampire rises he finds that the stake hit it’s mark. He implodes as Buffy turns to Sheila who makes a run for it. Buffy leaves her to it and rushes to get her mother, Snyder and their group out to safety. Back in the other hall, Spike and Angel are still catching up, Angel holding Xander, ready to take a bite, as the remaining vampires, gather behind Spike, who appears less than convinced at Angel’s story. Spike and Angel lean in to take a bite of from Xander’s neck together, but before they can reach it, Spike sucker-punches Angel – the gig is up! Grabbing a stick, Spike makes for Angel and Xander, who make a run for it out of the exit, but Spike is distracted, as the others run after Angel and Xander, he turns to find Buffy standing behind him with the axe.

He drops the stick and approaches Buffy, in turn she drops the axe and the two face off and then the fight begins as outside Angel and Xander fight off the other vampires. Spike and Buffy trade blows, seemingly pretty evenly matched. Buffy slams Spike with a volley of punches, but he grabs her and sends her slamming into the wall, he goes in for a punch, but Buffy ducks, sending Spike’s fist slamming right into the wall, she gets in another kick, before he removes his fist, pulling out a beam from the wall with which he knocks Buffy to the floor. He approaches the prone Buffy, raising the beam about to strike, when the axe hits him from behind, sending him to the floor, he looks up to see Joyce standing holding the axe, Buffy jumps up to join her. Spike rises, and, defeated this time, he jumps out of a broken window and makes a run for it. Buffy and Joyce stare after him a moment before hugging.

Outside the police have finally arrived, Snyder approaches the Chief as they discuss how they will cover up this latest series of inexplicable murders: gang related; PCP. Obviously.

The next day, the sun rises as usual over Sunnydale. Inside the factory, Drusilla comforts Spike as he complains about the slayer having family and friends. Approaching the Annoying One, Spike appears to be making nice, but suddenly he rises, grabs The Anointed and slams him into a cage on a pulley, locking the door, he pulls on the chains, raising the cage up and into the daylight. Smiling he takes Drusilla’s hand and they walk off to watch TV.


  • In the original script Spike’s car was a Cadillac, however the care shown in the episode is actually a Desoto Sportsman.
  • James Marsters has revealed that he played Spike has having an attraction to Buffy from the start, which can be seen when he watches Buffy dance in the Bronze.
  • In this episode we learn that Buffy’s mother is called Joyce.
  • While pulling items out of Buffy’s purse in the Bronze, Xander pulls out the Yo-yo she was playing with at the beginning of When She Was Bad.
  • The Anointed was meant to be the Big Bad of Season Two, however, the actor’s growth spurt over the summer meant that he had to remain seated for all his scenes (becuase vampires don’t age or grow!) and was killed off in this episode.


  1. Buffy and Willow study French in the Bronze, leaving notes all over the table, however, when Xander returns to the table, the notes are gone.
  2. When Buffy and Cordelia talk about Joyce, Cordel’a arms change from being crossed, to being on her hips and back again.
  3. When Drusilla cuts Spike’s cheek with her finger nail, the tube the blood comes out of is visible.
  4. When Spike walks down the school hallway, his reflection can be seen in a glass case.


Big Ugly: When I kill her, it’;; be the greatest event since the crucifixion. And I show know, I was there.
Spike: You were there? Oh, please. If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would’ve been like Woodstock.
Big Ugly: I oughta rip your throat out.
Spike: I was actually at Woodstock. That was weird gig. I fed off a flower person and I spent the next six hours watchin’ my hand move.

Spike: Yeah, I did a couple o’ Slayers in my time. I don’t like to brag. Who am I kidding? I love to brag!

Spike: A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn’t in the brochure.

Giles: For three nights, the unholy ones scourge themselves into a fury, um, culminating in a savage attack on the Night of St Vigeous.
Xander: Does anybody remember when Saturday night meant date night?
Cordelia: You sure don’t.

Willow: She was already smoking in fifth grade. Once I was lookout for her.
Xander: You’re bad to the bone.
Willow: I’m a rebel.

Cordelia: [praying] And if you get me out of this, I swear I’ll never be mean to anyone ever again. Unless they really deserve it or if it’s that time of the month, in which case I don’t think you or anyone else can hold me responsible…
Willow: Ask for some aspirin.
Cordelia: And can you please send some asp – Hey!

Buffy: Do we really need weapons for this?
Spike: I just like them. They make me feel all manly.


  • 1000 Nights – Nickel (plays in the Bronze and Willow tutors Buffy.
  • Stupid Thing – Nickel (plays in the Bronze as Buffy, Willow and Xander dance)

Episode Guide © Cider 29/09/2018

Characters and Story © Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy & 20th Century Fox

Author: Cider

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