Some Assembly Required



Buffy sits on a gravestone, idly playing with a yo-yo, waiting for it’s occupant to rise. She is startled by Angel sneaking up behind her. Turning away from the gravestone, she faces him.  He’s still a little cranky about the “dance” Buffy had with Xander, as they bicker, she fails to notice the newly made vampire rising behind her. He jumps at her, knocking her into Angel who falls to the ground. Getting up, she turns towards the vampire,and with a few well placed punches and kicks, soon knocks him to the floor, and reaches for a stake that she cannot find. The vampire recovers, Angel rushes him, but, picking up a nearby shovel, he swings it at Angel, knocking him back. Buffy tackles him now, wrestling the shovel off him, she stakes him with the handle. As he explodes into dust, Angel picks himself up and they continue their bickering. Angel walks off, and Buffy storms after him, only to fall into the open coffin in an open grave.

Angel returns to help her out. As Buffy climbs out of the grave, she notices track marks leading away from it. This was not another vampire rising, but a grave robbery. Following the tracks, she finds a discarded shoe.

The next day at school is sunny and bright. Buffy and Xander arrive at the library to find Giles practicing asking Ms. Caldendar out. After giving Giles some expert dating advice, Buffy fills him in on the last night’s events, and he suggests that Willow might do some research into the grave’s previous occupant, Meredith Todd, while he researches some theories.

Willow is to be found signing up for the school science fair, where she is disturbed by, Eric, who snaps a picture of Willow before chasing after another girl to do the same. As he goes, another student, Chris Epps, approaches to also sign up for the fair, Willow taking a little too much interest in his application. It seems that Chris, if possible, is even smarter that Willow, as he always places first and she second. While Chris gives Willow some tips, Cordelia arrives to also sign up, which she makes clear is “under protest”. Participation is, apparently, mandatory. As she turns to leave, Eric flashes the camera in her face, much to Cordelia’s dismay. Chris remonstrates with Eric as Buffy arrives for Willow and Eric snaps a picture of her too.

Willow leaves with Buffy, soon followed by Cordelia, leaving Eric and Chris by the science fair stand. Left alone Eric, tells Chris that Cordelia would be perfect for them, appalled, Chris tells him not to be an idiot, Cordelia is still alive, and walks off leaving Eric to his probably rather disturbing thoughts about Cordelia.

In the library, Willow gets to work at the computer as Cordelia approaches to ask for help with her science project, “The Tomato: Fruit or Vegetable”, without looking up from her work, Willow remarks that it is a fruit as Cordelia turns away dramatically, to explain that she would have asked Chris for help but it would have brought back too many memories of Daryl. The group continue to look at the computer, ignoring Cordelia as she deals with the loss of her former beau. Willow has learned that Meredith and two other girls died in a car accident, no sign of vampire involvement at all.

Giles happily, has some theories, flesh eating demons or possibly voodoo practitioners making zombies. The next step – grave-digging party!

That night, Giles and Xander dig up a grave, while Buffy and Willow sit nearby, eating snacks and gossiping. Buffy tells Willow about her encounter with Angel the night before and Willow fills Buffy in on the Cordelia/Daryl love story. Daryl was Chris’ older superstar footballer brother who died in a rock climbing accident, Chris and his mother have not been the same since. Meanwhile, Giles and Xander have reached the coffin and Buffy opens it to find it empty.

Back at the school parking lot, Cordelia and two other cheerleaders make their way to their cars after practice. Cordelia leaves the other two and makes her way to her car. She hears a noise, turns, nothing, making her way to her car a little more hurriedly now as she scrambles for her keys, shaking she drops them, reaches under the car to grab them, she sees two feet approaching. She runs, a shadow comes around the car and walks slowly through the car park. Cordelia appears from inside a dumpster, looks around, finding the coast apparently clear, she starts to climb out, only to find herself face to face with Angel.

He tells her he is looking for Buffy, Cordelia fills him in on her whereabouts and he realsies she has lied to him about her plans. As Cordelia tries to make her way out of the trash, she finds herself caught on something, reaching behind her she grabs on to something caught in her clothes, it’s a severed hand.

Buffy, Willow, Giles and Xander arrive back at the library, to find Angel reluctantly comforting Cordelia. She clings to him as the two groups exchange awkward greetings and then fill each other in on their findings. Buffy and co have discovered two empty graves, while Angel and Cordelia have discovered a lot of body parts, but not enough to make up three whole girls. Leaving the question remaining, what are the body snatchers doing with the remaining parts? The gang are back to square one.

They manage to narrow potential suspects down to five students in the science club, and Willow, as being the only people who might have business at the school and the skills to surgically dismember bodies. They decide they need to search their lockers, Cordelia however, declines to help, she needs to go home and bathe and she needs an escort. She leaves, dragging a reluctant Angel along with her, Buffy remains behind looking dejected.

At home, Chris’ mother sits on the sofa smoking a cigarette and watching videos of Daryl playing football. Chris enters the room and tells his mother he is going out, she never takes her eyes from the screen where Daryl is being hoisted up by his team members who all cheer for him.

Back at the school, Buffy and co are searching lockers. Buffy takes Eric’s locker, while Xander finds some incriminating evidence in Chris’ locker, including a newspaper featuring the death of the three girls, and Buffy finds a collage of a woman made from various different pictures taped to Eric’s locker door.

Meanwhile, in an old science lab, Chris and Eric are at work. Chris works at an operating table where the form of a body lays underneath a sheet, the stitched up legs sticking out, Eric approaches singing “My Girl” and clutching the still dripping photographs of the girls he had taken earlier that day. He hangs them up on a line to dry, revealing pictures of Buffy, Willow and Cordelia.

Next day at school, Buffy, Willow and Xander try to figure out why Chris and Eric would want to make a new girl from parts, as they approach Giles, who is looking out for Jenny.  Jenny is to be seen maing her way through the school yard which has Giles rather flustered, Buffy gives Giles another dating pep talk and the kids leave him to it. Jenny catches up with him and they walk into the school, Giles not quite being able to get his words out before the bell goes and Jenny has to get to class. Just as Giles is about to leave, she pops her head round the door and invites him to the football game. A date is set. As easily as that. Giles leaves with a spring in his step.

In science class, Willow is still trying to figure out how Chris and Eric could reanimate a stitched together corpse as Xander goofs around. Buffy arrives with the news that their prime suspects have not turned up to school. Before they can worry too much that the project might be complete, Giles arrives with the news that the police have found three heads. The new girl is not yet complete. They still need a head.

Back at Chris’ house, Chris and Eric are running out of time and they still need a head. Eric tells Chris that they can’t just wait around for another accident, they have to be proactive, but Chris is not happy with this solution. He turns away from Eric, still talking, saying he cannot do it, as a figure approaches from behind a curtain. It is the reanimated corpse of his dead brother Daryl. Daryl comes forward, telling Chris that he made a promise, that Daryl would not be alone.

Daryl, still in his Sunnydale High football kit, and Eric work on Chris, trying to persuade him to kill in order to get a head. Chris relents as Daryl begs him to find him a mate.

Eric lays out the pictures he took before Daryl. who  immediately picks out Cordelia and Eric resumes his singing of “My Girl” as he cuts around Cordelia’s head, ending at the neck with a quick snip of the scissors.

Back at the school, Willow figures out why Chris and Eric didn’t use the heads of the girls they already had. Formaldehyde accelerates the decay of the brain cells, they will need a really fresh head in order to complete their girl. They quickly figure out what this means and get to work. Xander and Willow to Eric’s house, Buffy to Chris’ and Giles to his date at the football game.

Buffy arrives at Chris’s house to find his mother in the same state we saw her before, she silently allows Buffy in and goes back to sit in front of the TV, where she is still watching videos of Daryl’s games. She tells Buffy about the game, talking animatedly about her dead son, while avoiding questions about the one that is still alive. Buffy notices the door to the storage room and goes in, leaving Chris’ mother to it.

She looks around the dark room, sees the pictures spread out on the table, and soon finds a drawing of a body, with Cordelia’s face stuck on the head just as Daryl approaches her from behind. A noise startles them both and Buffy heads out of the open window.

Back at the school, Cordelia is in the changing rooms getting ready to cheer the game when Chris appears behind her. He distracts her while suddenly from behind a sack his thrown over her head and she screams. Buffy arrives to find Eric struggling with a tied up Cordelia on the ground, a swift kick sends him flying and she bends down to tend to Cordelia. Eric runs off and Buffy helps Cordelia to her feet. The sound of the band can be heard announcing the start of the game, Cordelia composes herself quickly and rushes off to perform her cheer leading duties, leaving Buffy in the changing rooms.

Buffy looks around the seemingly empty room, she calls out to Chris telling him she knows what he is trying to do. Eventually he comes out from behind a locker, telling Buffy that he has to do this, that he is all alone, and he needs somebody. Buffy at first thinks he is talking about Eric, but soon realises who he really means.

Back at the storage room, Eric has arrived to give Daryl the bad news. Daryl does not take this well, smashing the room up then grabbing Eric by the shirt, lifting him up. Eric assures him it is not too late, and that they can still do this. Daryl relents, puts Eric down and they leave to find him his head. Buffy and Chris arrive too late. Eric and Daryl have already left.

Back at the school, the game is play and cheers are in full swing. Giles and Jenny arrive, Jenny waxing lyrical on her love of football as Giles carries many drinks, snacks and flags, they make their way to their seats as Xander and Willow arrive with the news that they found nothing at Eric’s. Giles tries to tactfully get them to leave, but they climb onto the seats in front of Giles and Jenny and settle down to watch the game. Underneath the bleachers, Daryl is hiding, watching the game with sadness on his face, he sees Cordelia as she breaks away from the field and walks passed the bleachers to get some water. Daryl comes out and grabs her from behind, her screams are drowned by the cheers of the crowd. Buffy and Chris again arrive just too late.

At the old science lab, Cordelia is strapped, blindfolded to an operating table, which is placed next to the one with the headless corpse laid out on it. Eric is getting to work while Daryl leans over Cordelia and gently removes her blindfold. She sees him and screams.

Back at the school, Buffy frantically looks for Cordelia, finding her discarded pom pom, she quizzes Chris as to where they would have taken her. Chris gives her the location and she races off, leaving him to find Xander and Willow and fill them in on the details.

Back at the lab, Eric busies himself with the preparations while Cordelia tries to reason with Daryl. Eric picks up a rather blunt looking scalpel and approaches Cordelia just as Buffy kicks the door in. Eric turns and throws the scalpel at Buffy who catches it in one hand. Eric makes a run for it, and Buffy now tries to reason with Daryl as Cordelia begs for help. Daryl now grabs a knife and makes for Cordelia, Buffy lunges for him and they fight, Daryl connecting with a punch that sends Buffy into the gurney holding Cordelia, pushing it back and into a table on which is a a gas cannsiter which topples over and starts spilling its contents on to the floor. Using this distraction Eric tries to make a run for it put Daryl grabs him and throws him across the room, leaving him unconscious. Buffy gets up and they continue to fight, and now Buffy kicks Daryl, sending him into a table containing a lit Bunsen burner which also topples to the floor, igniting the gas.

Xander arrives just as the gas is starting to really take, Xander rushes to free Cordelia as Buffy continues to fight Daryl. Finding a bottle of chemicals, Daryl hurls it into the fire causing it burn even more fiercely, as Xander strugles to free a wriggling screaming Cordelia, Daryl grabs Buffy, lifting her up, she struggles in his grip. Giles and Willow arrive and drag the still unconscious Eric to safety, Buffy still struggling to free herself from Daryl, Xander decides to make a dash for it, pushing the gurney hard with Cordelia still attached he rides it out of the room and to safety. Buffy frees herself only for Daryl to pick her up again and slam her to the floor, with Buffy dazed, Daryl picks up a table and is about to slam it onto her when he hears Chris yelling his name. He pauses and turns to see that Chris has arrived with Ms. Calendar. Turning back he sees the other table, with his headless girlfriend still on it, now engulfed in flames. He runs towards the table as the wall of flames surrounds and engulfs them both.

Outside a crowd has gathered as fire crews finish up. We find Buffy comforting Chris as Angel arrives a little late to save the day, Giles and Jenny arranging a second, hopefully less exciting date, and Xander giving a very thankful Cordelia the brush off as he and Willow wonder why they never get dates.

Later that night, Buffy catches Angel up on the days events as they walk through the graveyard and Angel finally confesses to his jealousy of Xander, who gets to do all the daytime things with Buffy that Angel can’t.. They share a moment, no words needed, and then and walk home hand in hand.


  1. Angel reveals his age in this episode 241
  2. This is the only episode where Angel is seen in a tan jacket.
  3. This episode marks the destruction of the “old science building”, which was the last remaining structure of the old school after the 1937 earthquake.
  4. This episode marks the return of the opening prologue “Into every generation…” which is now narrated by Anthony Stewart Head.


  • As Giles is trying to ask Jenny out, an Asian girl with glasses is seen coming out of a door in the background. As Jenny is leaving the scene, the same girl comes out of the same door again.
  • When Cordelia drops her keys, she drops them directly on the floor, but then has to reach underneath to the car to get them where they are a full arm’s length away.
  • The dead cheerleaders were from Fondren High, however the newspaper article shows them wearing sweaters with a letter J on them.


Angel: Hey is this a bad time?
Buffy: Are you crazy? You don’t just sneak up on people in a graveyard. You make noise when you walk. You stomp or… yodel.

Buffy: Being called an idiot tends to take people out of the dating mood.
Xander: That actually kinda turns me on.
Buffy: I fear you,.

Buffy: You also might want to avoid words like “amenable’ and ‘indecorous’, you know? Speak English, not whatever they speak in, uh…
Giles: England?
Buffy: Yeah.

Giles: Grave robbing? That’s new. Interesting.
Buffy: I know you meant to say gross and distrubing.
Giles: Yes, yes, yes of course. A terrible thing. Must, must put a stop to it. Dammit.

Cordelia: Darn, I have cheerleading practice tonight. Boy, I wish I knew you were gonna be digging up dead people sooner. I would’ve canceled.

Willow (and later Buffy): Love makes you do the whacky.

Xander: Y’know, this might go a lot faster of you femmes actually picked up a shovel, too.
Giles: Hear, hear.
Buffy: Sorry, but I’m an old-fashioned gal. I was raised to believe that men dig up the corpses and women have the babies.

Willow: Are we hoping to find a body, or no body?
Xander: Call me an optimist, but I’m hopin’ to find a fortune in gold doubloons.

Xander: And speaking of love…
Willow: We were talking about the reanimation of dead tissue.
Xander: Do I deconstruct your segues?

Giles: I just think it’s rather odd that a nation that prides itself on virility should feel compelled to strap on forty pounds of protective gear just in order to play rugby.

Cordelia: What you did in there was really brave and heroic, and I just wanted to tell you if there’s anything I cold ever do…
Xander: Do you mind? We’re talking here. S, where were we?
Willow: Wondering why we never get dates.
Xander: Yeah, so, why do you think that is?


  • My Girl – The Temptations (sung by Eric)


Episode Guide © Cider 22/09/2018

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

Author: Cider

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