- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Cut to the Venue of the Nazi Party.
Angel is through the door and out on a street. He
moves as quickly as he can among a throng of people,
all of whom are laughing. Some of the men
standing around are dressed in Nazi uniforms. There
is an opening in the crowd and then a cobblestone
steet. A motorcycle is parked, and Angel jumps on
it, kicks it into life, and he takes off. The men,
part of a massive audience of people in the square,
watch him for a second, and then they go back to
laughing, as Adolph Hitler, in German, continues to
give another of his vitriolic speeches from the
platform. He employs his best histrionics in
delivering some truly inspiring German rhetoric, and
the crowd laughs and laughs. He stops and is
suddenly overtaken by, what seem to be, literally,
punches of pain. So, he begins to speak again and
the crowd laughs and laughs.
Cut to the other end of the square.
Angel slams on his brakes, dismounts, and goes
through another door.
Cut to the interior of a Dumpster outside Ramona's
Restaurant in L.A.
Whistler sifts through the garbage and other various
discarded items of food. He opens a bag of garbage
and rummages through it. With stains on his pants
and coat, he is a mess. He is sweating, also, but
keeps his hat on. Giles looks over the top and
Giles: Do you specifically know what you're looking
Whistler: Maybe. I believe I saw it once. And the
more I think about it, the more I think I know what I
saw, but we need to be sure.
Giles: Well, what are you talking about? And who
are you, by the way?
Whistler: I told you. I'm a friend of Angel's.
Giles: Well, that could make you animal, vegetable,
mineral, or vampire.
Giles: Ah, yes. Okay, so what if you do find what
you're looking for?
Whistler: I'm looking for something the Slayer may
have ingested. A foreign substance that may have
been introduced into her food.
Giles: (with alarm) A poison?
Whistler: No, if it were a poison, she'd be dead by
now, and you'd be interviewing a new Slayer. I'm
Giles: And if you find it, then what?
Whistler: Then we'll know why the Slayer is not
recovering very quickly from her injuries. And,
then, too, sometimes you can tell a lot about these
potions if you can just examine the original
Giles: I see. So you think she was given some
chemical or drug which inhibits her normal
Whistler: Something like that.
Giles: Well, that would explain the bizarre report
Buffy's doctor gave to me earlier. Run down indeed!
But who, how, who gave it to her? Maybe if we
knew that, we'd know something about . . .
Whistler: I suspect her father.
Giles: Really? Egad! The cad! Really?
Whistler: Yes, but don't go getting all righteously
indignant. I know you're suddenly interested in his
ex, but calm down. If this is what I think it is, in
order for it to work, it had to have been
administered by someone who loved her.
Giles: Not knowing what he was doing?
Whistler: Not understanding, anyway.
Giles: Well, that's perverse.
Whistler: You don't know the half of it. Oh, wait.
I think I may . . . I think I smell . . . something
very familiar. It may be in this particular
He pulls a bag free, untwists a tie, and looks in;
then he inserts his arm very deeply and pushes the
things in the bag around and from side to side,
pulling the bag wider first in one direction, then
the other. "Oooh." He reaches in and pulls out the
empty vial. He holds it up to the light and yet cups
it at the top in his hand so Giles cannot fully see
it. He shows Giles that there is yet a little of the
yellow-colored liquid remaining in the bottom of it.
There is also a crude label taped to the bottle with
the letters "HCIHBSS?" typed on it. Whistler
unscrews the cap and, using his little finger, he
dabs a bit on his tongue. Giles recoils in disgust
at the very uncleanliness of the totality of what the
man has done. And while Giles is distracted by his
own squeamishness, Whistler removes the label from
the bottle and puts it in his shirt pocket.
Giles: (cringing and squinting at him) Is that
Whistler: Very likely. I'm afraid probably so.
Giles: What do you mean 'afraid so?' That's good
that you know what it is, isn't it?
Whistler begins to pick his footing and step back out
of the Dumpster. He heads toward a sliding door
along the side.
Giles: What do you mean okay? What is it anyway?
You seem to know something about it.
Whistler: Well, to be something with so specific a
purpose--let's say its only purpose is to inhibit the
special powers of a hyper human--a Slayer, for
instance--and render her physically normal or at
least less special, perhaps even weaker than a normal
human--it can only be one thing I know of: an . .
. imp potion--what is, in certain circles, usually
referred to, because of its color, as imp piss.
Giles: Oooh. Yes, I've heard stories of the many
legendary imp potions: all sorts of wild and
wonderful brews with weird and obscure effects; they
are, essentially, spells with a liquid delivery
system. But, it's almost as though each potion was
custom-concocted for only one or two specific persons
in mind. I've always wondered the inefficiency.
Whistler: Well, the imps just have a lot of time at
their disposal. A classic example of 'Idle hands do
the devil's work.'
Giles: But how do you know so much about the
Whistler: If you can keep a secret, and I think you
can, I used to be one.
Cut to a scene riding back in Oz's van.
Willow has gone back and is sitting with Buffy as Oz
drives. Willow holds Buffy's hand and wipes her
Oz: (over his shoulder without being able to see
Willow) How is she?
Willow: Hard to tell. Still unconscious,
Oz: You know, I've been thinking about that FiFi
Willow: (sighing heavily) Oh, yeah? What about
Oz: There's something funny about her showing up as
the new Slayer. Makes no sense. Unless it's like
L'Andrew. Do you know L'Andrew?
Willow: Okay, yes, I see where you're going.
L'Andrew--Star Trek--a computer that blindly
repeats the mistakes of the past without sensing that
conditions have changed. In our case, a new Slayer
being called when we already have a perfectly good
Oz: Exactly. And I ask myself the question, why are
we so willing to accept the idea that, all of a
sudden, the guiding force of the universe can MAKE A
MISTAKE and send us a superfluous, a redundant
Slayer? Had this universal intelligence erred
previously, I ask myself? No. Was Kendra's calling,
for instance, in error? I respond: no, there was no
error; Buffy was dead, fair and square, so go
ahead--call another. No error. So, then, now:
error? I say no. There should not be an error. So,
then, what gives? I say our François WAS NOT CALLED;
she has GOT TO BE an imposter, a plant. Spock would
have said, 'When you eliminate all possible logical
explanations, then what you are left with, however
implausible, must be your answer.' So, she's an
imposter. Pure and simple
Willow: But Buffy IS disabled.
Oz: Yeah, she is now. But she wasn't when Simone
first showed up. Willow, you stay away from her.
Even Xander thought there was something fishy about
her. Remember his Coneheads comment. The Coneheads
Willow: Let's try not to talk about Xander in the
past tense. I am praying for him. (changing
subjects) But you analyze the world in terms of
Star Trek? That's interesting.
Oz: Yeah, I do--the original, though, of course. I
believe it's like: we've seen each of those episodes
so many times in repeat syndication, that they've
actually become the morality tales of our generation.
Like our Mother Goose Rhymes or our Brothers Grimm.
And those were classic episodes which taught
morals and ethics and loyalty and friendship and
tolerance and, above all, clear thinking.
Willow: Well, Oz, I never looked at it that way, but
I suppose you're right. Also, I'll warn Giles about
. . . Michelle.
Oz: Just YOU stay away from her.
Willow smiles to herself at hearing him say that.
Oz: (continuing) Funny, but I keep feeling that
there's another contradiction somewhere in our Slayer
assumptions. But every time I think I'm going to get
a grasp on it, it slips right through my mental
fingers. Know what I mean?
Cut to a scene riding back in Joyce's car.
Joyce is in the back seat, sleeping. Giles drives.
Whistler sits in the front passenger seat, his
clothes still spotted and stained. Giles's nose
involuntarily twitches and he sniffs; he looks over
at Whistler and then opens his window a crack. But
it's difficult for Giles to hide his curiousity; he
looks a little anxious and then he speaks.
Giles: I don't suppose you are going to tell me
anything about what you are and where you've come
Whistler: No, I cannot discuss that aspect of my
existence. I am closely monitored. If I divulge too
much, I can be snatched out of here in a flash.
Therefore I do what I can, but I will be the
sole judge of what that is.
Giles: Okay, okay, thanks for your help, though.
(incredulously) But, then, you're saying, then, that
the only way to reverse the potion's effect is if
someone actually risks their life for Buffy. How can
Whistler: Not so loud. I don't want Buffy's mother
to hear. It's important that no one else know.
Giles: She won't hear. The doctor assured me the
seditive he prescribed would be strong enough to
allow her to get some rest, despite the pain of the
twenty stiches. So, she should be out like a light
for two days. Isn't she something? But, getting
back to what you said? Someone must risk their life
for Buffy in order to reverse the potion's
Whistler: Not exactly. I said a person must believe
they risk their life. They don't actually have to.
That, if I remember correctly, is not a prerequisite
requirement. So, not the same. See, these potions,
interestingly, are sensitive to emotions and various
frames of mind; they can be caused to operate, or
they can be disabled, by the expression of certain
specific human emotions.
Giles: So a person must believe they place their
life in mortal danger for Buffy, and that's the
antidote? But no one need get hurt?
Whistler: Yeah. That's it, essentially. They must
inject themselves with just a little bit of her
quote-unquote tainted blood, BELIEVING it may kill
them, but it won't.
Giles: Well, okay, then. That's okay.
(pause.) Giles drives, distracted, thinking.
Giles: Wait, wait a minute! I can't do it,
myself, now, because I KNOW I'm not risking my life.
Holy hell, the only way, then, that this can work is
if I lie to someone about this.
Whistler: Now you're catching on. See, the imps
always add a certain catch, a perverted twist--it's
almost like their signature--to all of their
handiwork; they will allow their spells and potions
to be broken, nullified, as long as SOMEONE is
corrupted in the process.
Giles: (angrily) Whaaat?
Whistler: See, YOU have to lie to someone, and when
you lie, at least to the extent this requires, your
relationship with that person is forever changed.
You can't relax for a moment thereafter--you have to
constantly remember the lie in order to keep your
story straight with that person. You can't
just forget about it tomorrow. As long as you care
about that person, that is. And, actually, I believe
if you don't care, the antidote can't work. I'll
have to verify that last point.
Giles: Well, I can't lie to these people--Willow,
Xander, Oz, Joyce, even Cordelia--I'm just so
terribly chuffed that they accept me as a
friend--wait, maybe I COULD lie to Cordelia.
Whistler: I don't see that you have a choice.
Giles: Right. Well, since, as you say, they don't
need to be hurt, perhaps I can muddle through
something. Let's see. I suppose I could play upon
the greatest delusion of the young: that they are
Whistler: Yes, that's the ticket.
Cut to Venue of the back seat of Conrad
Xander opens the door and begins to move forward but
he finds he has to duck very quickly and also he
finds he must step up; he ends up scooting into
the back seat of a car alongside a little boy and
girl. He looks back and the car door is actually the
other side of the door he has just passed through.
There is a man at the wheel, balding, heavy, hairy
forearms, short-sleeved shirt. He seems to be
driving down a highway with cars on either side.
This is rush hour traffic and the car ahead only
moves forward inches. The driver doesn't move quick
enough, and another car blows its horn. He still
doesn't move and he is struck in the rear, and at the
same time he is physically overcome with a searing
dose of pain. He moves. A woman sits beside him in
the front seat and intently switches the stations on
the radio, one after the other, non-stop. "Blare"
"(Non-descript Music)" "(Part of a news report on an
earthquake)" "(Part of a Beatle song)" "(Etc.)"
The children: (piping up in unison) Are we there
yet? (Twenty-five seconds later the children repeat
in exactly the same high pitch with exactly the
same inflection.) Are we there yet?
The Driver: Shut up, shut up, already.
The children: (intoning in unison) Are we there
The wife switches the radio stations one after the
other, after the other.
Xander: (timing himself to join the children) Are we
This Box is smaller and is on the ledge of the rear
window. Xander pushes the Venue button. Action
The Voice: Conrad Bettlesman was sane when he did
away with his wife and two children. Here he is on
their vacation to see the Civil War battlefields at
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His wife didn't want to go
there and his kids were bored after two minutes, but
he never considered their feelings. That was typical
of him. He has been driving this car (pause -
different voice) thirty-seven (back to
normal voice) years so far. This site won a
Golden Palm Award for Meritorious Merit.
Action begins again.
Xander: (joining in with another falsetto) Are we
there yet? (then he says to the children) Excuse me,
kids. (He climbs over them and goes out the other
door of the car.)
Cut to Xander in Hell at the Tree Chopping Venue
Xander comes through a door and finds himself not in
a room but in an endless forest of trees or, rather,
the forest is ahead of him. Behind him trees have
been cut down as far as the eye can see. What
immediately facinates Xander, however, is that the
door he has just come through is right in the middle
of an open space and it has only one side; Xander
examines it closely, reopens the door and looks back
into the Bettleman car, closes the door again, and
then he goes around behind the door where it is
totally transparent and doesn't seem to exits; from
the other side he can walk right through the same
space the door occupies and then it suddenly appears
behind him. Xander is eventually distracted by the
constant noise. The one lone lumberjack chops until
he stops, and then he is inflicted with a wrenching
pain, and so he starts up again and begins to chop
some more. This is the same exact site that Angel
was at, earlier, although Xander can't know that.
The lumberjack stops and Xander watches him force out
a "Hi," through waves of the pain that is so intense
it finally brings him to his knees. When it
eventually subsides, he manages to rise and begins
Xander: Hi. Say, excuse me, I know this is your
home and all, but there's something I've been wanting
to do for quite a while. Do you mind?
The man looks puzzled, but then he smiles. He points
to the trees ahead of him and waves his hand to
indicate a distance. Xander looks relieved and hops
away. After a while Xander returns. The man smiles
and points to his Box. It seems almost to be
suspended in mid air. Xander pushes the Venue
The Voice: All his life Bob Crandall loved our
friends the trees. He was what used to be termed a
quote-unquote Tree Hugger. And he truly hated to see
them cut down even under the most controlled
circumstances, such as in the harvest of timber by
responsible logging companies under careful mandates
by the US EPA. So he joined a group of environmental
terrorists and he hammered spikes into some trees
that were to be harvested. Two family men--with
small children at home--were killed trying to chop
down these spiked trees. Their power equipment hit
those iron spikes and kicked back and those men
virtually cut themselves to shreds. Now, none of the
trees Bob is currently cutting is spiked, we assure
you; that might add some novelty to his monotonous
task and we wouldn't want that. Also, you can bet
that no one will ever replant the devastation he is
causing because that, also, would probably please
him--a no-no down here. Bob has been chopping these
trees for (pause - different voice) eighteen
(back to normal voice) years so far.
Xander stands for a moment watching the man work.
The man: (looked over at Xander) She had a big
Xander: (startled; the he looks puzzled). Excuse
Bob: I'm Bob. Ever see a movie called The
Front with Zero Mostel and Woody Allen?
Xander shakes his head no.
Bob: Well (continuing to chop) part of the movie is
about the Zero Mostel character who has to admit that
he joined the Communist Party in the US of the 1950's
and he tells Woody Allen that he joined just so he
could get close to this girl with a big ass.
Seduced, you see?
Xander shakes his head, not understanding. He finds
the man interesting, though, as the man continues to
try to carry on a conversation even though shudders
of pain pass through him in irregular intervals.
Bob: And that's why I'M here. I was in this protest
group and I was trying to impress this girl with a
big ass and so I did something--to try to be bold
and daring and earn her admiration--and I spiked the
trees, only I really should have warned the
Xander looks up sympathetically.
Bob: Your girl have a big ass?
Xander: Not exactly. She IS one. Sorry, no, she's
not; she's nice--that's a joke. Funny, but I never
really thought of her as my girl before you asked me
that question. But maybe I should get another girl,
you make big asses sound so good. Look, (changing
the subject) have you seen another guy recently?
About my age, maybe a little older, not
quite as good-looking.
Bob: What's recently? Recently has a funny meaning
Xander: In the last day or so.
Bob: You're not from here, are you?
Xander: What makes you say that?
Bob: For one, you don't have the intermittent pain
shiver shakes we residents have, two, we don't get
ANY others down here with broken arms, and, three,
you're the first person I've seen in eighteen years
who had to go to the bathroom.
Xander: Nobody's perfect. Well, Bob, I guess you're
onto me. Yeah, I'm not quot-unquote assigned here.
I'm just here looking for a friend. And I may not
have a long time to locate him.
Bob: Reminds me of another movie, The Deer
Hunter. You must be an awfully good friend. How
long do you have to get him out?
Xander: Not long.
Bob: You'd better keep a close watch on the time.
Eternity is slow, but watch time passes very quickly
down here. I've heard other tourists complain about
it. Something about these Venues: the fruitcake
creators--they've got time rigged so that you
almost have to spend a third of a day viewing each;
otherwise you supposedly can't vote fairly for their
Xander: (looks at his watch and IS horrified.)
You're right. Almost a day and a half has gone by,
and to me it only seems like a couple of hours.
Bob: See what I mean? And yeah, I did see another
kid go by here. He was headed in the same direction
you're going but he had the usual pain cramps and
thing going on, so you should be able to catch
Xander: Okay, Bob. Thanks.
Suddenly the giggle begins again and Xander covers
his ears but can still hear it.
Bob: Say, is that for you?
Xander: I'm afraid so.
Bob: Well, I'd say you got the big guns out after
you. We don't usually get that kind of system-wide
broadcast unless there's a VIP down here.
Xander: No. I don't think I'm all that important to
Bob: You must be wrong.
The giggle begins again. Xander puts down his
backpack and pulls some cotton out of his first aid
pack. He squirts it with his squirt gun and inserts
a piece of it in each ear. The sound dies and is
gone. The man says something and Xander pulls his
cotton out long enough to understand that the man had
said, "Good luck." He listens and finds that the
giggling has stopped again, so he removes the ear
plugs. Then, Xander finds the other door and exits,
only to pass some a man heading in the other
The tourist: (to Xander, in passing) Comment
Xander: Chevrolet cou-pay.
Cut to Buffy's house.
Oz, Willow, and Cordelia sit on the sofa. Willow is
wearing one of her slouch hats pulled down on her
head. Giles sits in the chair across from them.
Whistler sits off to the side.
Giles: Mr. Whistler, who knows something about these
matters, has diagnosed that our Buffy has been given
a potion that prevents her normally-very-strong
recuperative powers from functioning. I have looked
this potion up in my books--which I'm certain Xander
would find amusing if he were here--and have verified
that such a potion--an imp potion--is known to exist,
and Mr. Whistler pulled a vial of it out of a
Dumpster situated outside the restaurant where Buffy
ate. So, we seem to know that much. Are you with me
Cordelia: Oh, that's why this poor man smells this
way. Sir, may I suggest my uncle's dry cleaning
establishment. I can let you have some loaner
clothes in the meantime--you're about the same size
as my father.
Whistler: Sounds good. Thank you, ma'am.
Cordelia: Okay, Giles, continue.
Giles: (patiently, acknowledging he has the floor
back) Okay, so as I was saying, Buffy has been badly
injured, but it's nothing she wouldn't shake off
in a day or so under normal circumstances, but since
she is under the influence, SPELL, of this potion,
her injuries are fairly--no, VERY--serious,
and she could even die because of them. I've had a
doctor I know look at her, here, and he says she's
stable for now, but she's not improving; I'm not
certain how safe she would be out in the open in a
hospital, so we don't have much time. Now, there is
a way to reverse the effects of the potion, and I'll
tell it to you because I believe this knowledge
effects all of us in our fight with
Buffy against the forces of evil here in Sunnydale.
Buffy's affliction can
be reversed if someone her age will inject themselves
with this blood that
has been withdrawn from her. (He shows them a
hypodermic needle with blood
in it and places it back into a plastic case, which
he then sets aside on a
lamp table.) Now, there's a small chance that this
may prove fatal, but it's
just a small chance and the risk passes in an
instant, kind of like Russian
Roulette. Now, I'm going to put this in Buffy's room
Cordelia: I can't stand it any longer. (She stands
up.) I just can't for
the life of me fathom it. Why, answer me why,
Willow, do you insist on
hiding your richly-colored, natural, long,
wonderfully-straight hair under
these horribly unbecoming, misshapen hats? (She
turns and removes Willow's
hat, hands it to her, and smoothes Willow's hair
down.) You have a nicely
shaped head. The only thing is, possibly, you could
use some height here
(she points to the very top of Willow's head) which,
I think, we could fix
with some strategically placed curlers left in
Willow: Really? And you would help?
Cordelia: You bet. Since we've become associates,
I've decided to make YOU
my special improvement project. I've been thinking
of subtle things we could
do to enhance your . . .
Giles: (fuming) Cordelia, sit down. Did you even
hear what I said?
Cordelia: About what?
Giles: About helping Buffy get better.
Cordelia: Oh, yeah. Someone's got to inject
themselves with her bad blood,
there, and it may kill them and it may not. Well,
so, if there's nothing
else, I've got to go. I've got an appointment today
to have my car detailed-
-isn't that going to be neat?--plus this is the day I
have MY hair done.
Giles: (clearly flustered) Okay, then, run along.
I did want to talk about
this Xander thing, though.
Cordelia: Okay, I guess I can stay a while longer.
For that. Go ahead.
Giles: I talked to Xander's parents and recovered a
book that Xander had
borrowed from me; it offered several theories on the
composition of hell.
Now, evidently, from what Oz told us--after having
talked to Xander in the
Master's Lair--and what we've learned from Xander's
parents, he bought two
heavy leather travel belts. And then he visited his
parish priest Father
Clemons--to whom I talked on the phone--and it seems
Xander tried to obtain
from him some consecrated hosts. See, the old theory
was that hell could
only confine Jesus Christ for three days and then he
got ejected. Now, in the
Roman Catholic liturgy, the belief exists that,
through their doctrine of
transubstantiation, the ritual of the mass changes
the communion hosts--those wafer things--into the
actual body of Christ. That's Xander's belief. So I
believe that Xander probably filled his travel belts
with some of these
hosts, thinking that his belt would, likewise, pull
him out of hell in three
days. There IS a potential problem for even him,
though, beyond the obvious--which Xander doesn't know
about. You see, when the priest would not give
Xander what he wanted, Xander
took his hosts from Buffy.
Willow: But, why is that a problem?
Giles: Well, because, he didn't know this but the
hosts he took from Buffy
had not yet been consecrated. I had an arrangement
with another priest and
we were going to have them sanctified in a mass next
week. So, his talisman,
charm, whatever, is simple bread--nothing more,
nothing less, and nothing special about it. So,
his plans, tenuous at best, have another very
significant glitch in them. Xander may just be stuck
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Commercial
Unbecoming2: Lies Told by a Child (Part 3 of 4)
Shortcut Links to the Unbecoming Episodes
Links to other sites on the Web
Back to Maverick's Home Page