Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 7 Episode 12


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Jan 21, 2003 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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  • "Potential" is a decidedly mixed bag.

    Although I liked more than I didn't like, the episode just didn't come together for me. Surprisingly, though, the Potentials themselves aren't what pulled this episode down. It actually makes sense to focus on the Potentials for an episode. Its downfall is really the split focus between Buffy training the Potentials and Dawn's hope, fall, and renewal of her self worth. Oh yeah, and Amanda's thrown in there somewhere. While each aspect individually does a decent job, I don't feel they connected with each other very well; I felt like I was watching several entirely separate episodes at times.

    The episode picks up right where "Showtime" [7x11] left off in regard to its theme of changing the game on the enemy and taking the fight to them. Buffy takes full command of the Potentials here, where before she was unsure of what to do with them. Buffy's comments to them about the nature of the Slayer, based on her own experiences, is very cool to see. She says, "Death is what a slayer breathes, what a slayer dreams about when she sleeps. Death is what a slayer This, of course, harkens back to a major theme of Season 5. Remember "death is your gift?"

    This is a Buffy that has seven-plus years of experience and knowledge behind her and is imparting that information onto the next generation. It's all good knowledge, but I'm not sure Buffy's approach is the best it could be. It seems she's going with the overly authoritative style of leadership for the time being. I have to admit that I think a more casual conversational style would have probably connected with the Potentials more quickly and ensured a more dedicated group. As it stands now, Buffy's training these people in a very workmanlike manner, which is not going to inspire their good graces. Of course, it could be argued that this is a good thing. In my opinion, though, I don't think this situation warranted it. Points for effort though!

    Apparently the First is in remission because of the Ubervamp's dusting. I have to say that this reeks of a serious lack of writing creativity. Blatantly telling the audience that the First is out of the game for a little while may buy the writers some time to not have to top themselves in the doom department for a while, but all the tension that has been built up has now just left the room because of it and it makes me a little more than sad to see it. All the momentum accrued since "Conversations with Dead People" [7x07] has now fully disappated, when it should really just be continuing to ramp up. This may have even been a good time to throw Caleb into the season. Regardless, this is a big plotting mistake that I think largely perpetuates this mid-season slump.

    As I mentioned in the introduction, each piece of "Potential" pretty much works on an individual level. In particular, I really enjoyed the training excercises Buffy put the current group of Potentials through. The opening scene, using Spike as the predator, was fun to watch, as was Buffy having trouble keeping herself away from getting a little too cozy with Spike in front of the trainees. Later in the episode, there's a well edited sequence where Buffy's pummeling a newly risen vampire and giving some good strategic fighting techniques while Dawn and Amanda are using their environment and ingenuity to fend off a vampire of their own.

    Maybe it's because I enjoyed the actress on Freaks and Geeks so much, but I like Amanda. Although not amazingly well developed here or anything, we get enough of a background to want her to survive. More importantly, though, I was happy with how her situation with the guy who picks on her somewhat parallels what Buffy went through with Spike last season. Amanda asks Buffy "Is it weird? We're mean to each other, and we like each Buffy's entertaining response is "Well, it depends. Sometimes that's how people relate. Being mean to each other. Even mortal enemies. Then with the- And that leads to no good, absolutely no good. And much confusion. And then it's over. Absolutely, seriously, definitely over. And that's confusing too. The over part. Which it is. Over! So, This gives us a little bit more insight into what's going on in Buffy's head in regard to Spike. In a nutshell, there's "much

    Probably my favorite aspect of the episode is how the situation with the Potentials affects Dawn and her sense of self worth. This is a wonderful little character aspect that is thrown into the plot. Our first hint that Dawn will even be remotely important in the episode is when Buffy tells some Potentials that "you're all special. Most people in this world have no idea why they're here or what they want to do. You do. You have a mission, a reason for being here. You're not here by chance. You're here because you are the chosen Immediately following this speech, the scene quickly cuts to Dawn looking sad, indicating that she feels she is one of those people Buffy is referring to that isn't remotely special or needed; Dawn is not

    Having us believe Dawn's the new Potential really works, both from a plot and a character perspective. First of all, it kind of makes sense that she might be a Potential, what with her sister being the current Slayer and all. But, even more importantly, it makes sense on a purely character level. For a short time Dawn thinks she has what she's always wanted -- to be special and to have a reason to more actively be involved in Buffy's life. There's this divide going on between the Potentials, or "the important people," and everyone else. One thing I love about the episode is that it turns this notion on its head. Yes, the Potentials are important, but so is everyone else. Each contributing person is important in their own way, which is what the end of the episode so beautifully summarizes.

    Everything comes together when Dawn hands her weapon -- her power -- over to Amanda. Xander, doing what he does best, properly props Dawn up because of this selflessness. I know Buffy's busy, but she could at least devote a little bit of time to having a heart-to-heart with Dawn and make an attempt to appreciate what it's like for her. Thank God Xander's around to fill in this role for her! His speech to Dawn at the end of the episode is simply sublime, and very reminiscent of an inspirational speech he gave to Buffy back in "The Freshman" [4x01].

    Xander tells Dawn, in the stand-out moment of the episode, "Yeah. They're special, no doubt. The amazing thing is, not one of them will ever know, not even Buffy. ... How much harder it is for the rest of us. ... Seven years, Dawn. Working with the slayer. Seeing my friends get more and more powerful. A witch. A demon. Hell, I could fit Oz in my shaving kit, but come a full moon, he had a wolfy mojo not to be messed with. Powerful. All of them. And I'm the guy who fixes the windows. ... I saw what you did last night. ... You thought you were all special. Miss Sunnydale 2003. And the minute you found out you weren't, you handed the crown to Amanda without a moment's pause. You gave her your power. ... They'll never know how tough it is, Dawnie, to be the one who isn't chosen. To live so near to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody's watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You're not special. You're

    This wonderful dialogue not only sweetly gives Dawn a bone, but it also summarizes Xander's life as one of the Slayer's best friends for seven years. Dawn, in response, gives Xander some due kudos as well. She tells him, "Maybe that's your power. ... Seeing. I think Dawn nailed it. What a very 'final season' insight into our flawed yet beloved Xander. When Dawn makes that comment, the many times Xander has been there for his friends come flying through my head, from that speech to Buffy in "The Freshman" [4x01] to his insightful outlook on her relationship with Riley in "Into the Woods" [5x10] to his world-saving speech to Willow in "Grave" [6x22].

    In conclusion, I have to reiterate what I said in the introduction: "Potential" is a mixed bag. The episode doesn't mesh its various components together very well and it seriously silents the tension that had been built up. There's also several other plotting mistakes that just have no reason to be there. On the positive side, though, there's some wonderful character work for Dawn along with a reasonably entertaining plot involving Potentials in training. When all is said and done, though, "Potential" has its moments but just doesn't quite gel.
  • Dawn' ep


    The Good;

    Amanda, by far my favourite Potential, love her to bits, the way she talks is rather reminiscent of Dana Scully from the X-files. She comes just ahead of Vi who is also great (so nice to have Felicia on Dollhouse), they both remind of season 1 Willow. Great stuff from Dawn too, fun training scenes and the final scene with Xander is too wonderful for words.

    The Bad;

    How can Spike attack the Potentials? What about his chip? Equally he can kill the Bringers, are they not wholly human?

    Best line;

    Xander; (to Dawn) "You're not special. You're extraordinary" (how true!)

    Women good/men bad;

    Andrew refers back to the female legacy of Eve. Actually we'll soon see where the real legacy of the Slayer began and it's not too empowering for the girls in question.


    Amanda wants to unleash the vamp on the marching band?

    Kinky dinky;

    During the training session Buffy ends up straddling Spike and feeling him up beneath his shirt. The Potentials comment that 'That's hot' and ask if they're expected to make out with the vampires? They also wonder how Buffy knows that Spike's crypt is comfy and seem to be peeking at Xander whilst he's in the shower at the Summer's house. What a load of saucy minxes! Amanda thinks that a guy who picks on her is quite cute. A sadomasochistic fondness for bad boys who make her miserable? All the makings of a Slayer RIGHT THERE! She just needs to get tied up and knocked out a few times. Buffy obviously thinks the same as she draws a comparison between Amanda and her tormentor and her and Spike. Rhona says she likes the feel of wood in her hand (Joss gives 15 year old girls this kind of dialogue? Worse than Dawn's 'Meat party in my mouth' line). Andrew says he hate's his free will. Dawn may have injured 'something she'll need later in life' whilst climbing into the school. She considers Xander's army training sexy and get's a kiss from him at the end (awwwww!).

    Captain Subtext;

    The obvious subtext here is that Dawn finally has a house full of girls of her age but they're all special because they're Potentials and she's not, Buffy is spending all her time with them and giving them her attention and she's excluded even though she's already killed a vampire and a demon. So close but so far. Dawn admires a girl in her gym class as a 'glamazon', interesting phrasing! She also considers being a sailor as she likes the water, well you know what all the nice girls like? Vi says the demon bar is like a gay bar, has she been to many? Clem once again resembles Buffy's gay best friend whilst Xander is referred to as the one who sees which will have greater significance later in the season. Buffy and Spike getting closer and closer.

    Guantanamo Bay;

    Buffy and Spike lock the girls into a crypt with a vamp, awfully like the Cruciantenam? But 5 to one with weapons and Spike and her waiting just outside

    Apocalypses; 7,

    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 4

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 2

    Dawn; 4

    Spike; 2

    Scoobies knocked out:

    Buffy: 20

    Giles: 12

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 15

    Will: 9

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1


    Dawn; 4

    Tara; 1

    Spike; 1

    Kills: Spike kills a Bringer as does Buffy. 1 vamp for Amanda and 1 vamp for Kennedy (although that's more of a group effort)

    Buffy: 118 vamps, 60 demons, 6 monsters, 10 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 8 vamps, 2 demon, 1 human/1 god.

    Will: 6 vamps + 3 demons +1 fawn+1 human.

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 6 vamps, 2 zombies, 1 a demon, 2 humans

    Anya: 1 vamp and 1 a demon

    Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons

    Spike; 9 vamps and 6 demons+1 human

    Buffybot; 2 vamps

    Tara; 1 demon

    Dawn; 1 vamp + 1 demon

    Kennedy; 1 human+1 vampire

    Amanda; 1 vampire

    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 4

    Anya; 1

    Dawn; 1

    Buffy; 1

    Spike; 1

    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 4

    Tara; 1


    Spike; 1

    Anya; 2

    Recurring characters killed: 13

    Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara, Joyce, Katrina, Tara, Quentin Travers.

    Sunnydale deaths;


    Total number of scoobies: Add Amanda so 13. HOWEVER where is Chloe this week? (doesn't look good for her) Or Molly?

    Xander, Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Anya, Spike, Giles, Kennedy, Molly, Vi, Chloe, Rhona, Amanda

    Xander demon magnet: 5(6?)

    Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?), Dracula?

    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Riley; 1

    Buffy; 1

    Tara; 1

    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

    Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny and 3xDraccy babes?

    Buffy: 4 confirmed; Angel, Parker, Riley, Spike. 2 possible, Dracula+RJ(?)

    Joyce: 1;Giles, 2 possible, Ted and Dracula(?)

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 2;Oz and Tara

    Riley; 3; Buffy, Sandy and unnamed vampwhore

    Spike; 2 Buffy and Anya

    Anya; 2 Spike and Xander

    Dawn in peril; 14

    Dawn the bashful virgin; 9

    What the fanficcers thought;

    No shortage of Dawn the Vampire Slayer fics out there. Also Dawn and Amanda are a pretty popular slashfic couple, try The Circle

    Questions and observations;

    Bloody long teaser, almost a mini-ep in itself. Rhona comments that the 'black chick always gets it first'. Actually one of the points of the Scream series was that black people were very seldom the victims (possibly because most slasher flicks are set in small, middle-class rural towns with an overwhelmingly white population). Buffy once again shows her mettle as a general, her training of the Potentials is masterful. She makes first reference to the big dessert at the end of the meal, believing in heaven and telling the Potentials to expect their big reward, very Christian. Dawn warns the Potentials to be careful with their crossbows hinting at Miss Kitty's fate. Love Dawn's little smile when Amanda says that people say Buffy is a high-functioning schizophrenic, again the Slayer an open secret. Dawn seems very innovative fighting the vamp and the Bringers, she's a regular MacGyver. Dawn seems to remember Oz and gives another little smile when Xander mentions him. Adore Amanda, Sarah Hagan is wonderful (was so proud of myself when I spotted her as one of Ally McBeals childhood friends in a flashback). You should check her out on IMDB, she's really blossomed, looks like Katy Perry now.

    Marks out of 10; controversial I'm sure but I love Amanda, I love Dawn, I love the final scene and I love this ep so 10/10 from me.

  • "Most people in this world have no idea why they're here or what they want to do. You do. You're here because you are the chosen ones." - Buffy

    Buffy believes in Spike, but does she believe in Dawn?

    We open with a traditional graveyard scene but for once Buffy is not fighting alone; using Spike as a sort of crash test dummy, she trains the Potentials as she was once trained by Giles, as she promised to train Dawn. If (the now absent) Giles made up for Buffy's absent father, it seems the Slayerettes are now lil' sister substitutes and Dawn feels her place in the world is negligible, a key to open a lock that is now redundant. TFE-as-Joyce was right, Buffy has chosen Rona, Kennedy and the excruciatingly accented Molly over Dawn.

    When she was the key, Dawn resented being coddled and protected and special, but now she seems to miss it. She is starting to see herself as an Andrew type – useless and not allowed to join in the slayer training; she wants to be a Buffy, but, as we shall find out, she's a potential Xander, the heart of the group.

    As the gang grow up, other people slip into the same roles. Buffy is the new authority figure (Giles), Vi the kooky redhead (Willow), Andrew too has the potential to be a Xander and it seems natural that Dawn could be a Slayer, the new Buffy. She is the same age as her sister when Buffy was called, she sneaks out of her room at night to hang around a dark, deserted school and she takes the initiative and the protective role when classmate Amanda needs help. But this being BTVS, there is a twist and the girl she wanted to defend ends up looking after her.

    Of course, we've already had hints that Amanda is no ordinary schoolgirl. In Help, we discovered that despite being pretty scrawny, she was in trouble for beating up a boy and in this episode she tells Buffy that she fancies a guy who picks on her and she on him, which Buffy immediately relates to herself and Spike. Spike also features in a clue – in the earlier training fight in the graveyard, Buffy ducked a lunge by Spike and he fell and knocked his head. Amanda, reporting on the vamp that she trapped, says that she "kinda dodged it and it kinda hit its head." Dawn may not be the next Slayer, but we see her sister's influence as the two fights – Buffy and the Potentials vs a vamp nest and Dawn and Amanda vs random vampire – take place in tandem. Buffy notes that a slayer should know her environment as Dawn uses equipment in the school lab to attack the vamp. Buffy tells the Slayerettes that "Every blow has got to be part of your plan" as Dawn stabs the vamp with a broken flagpole. But we also see the double edged life of the Slayer as the Bringers attack Amanda and not Dawn, she is not a Chosen One, she doesn't have a divine purpose in life but at the same time, she will live a life, she won't be attacked or killed by supernatural beings and her life will not be all about death.

    It's no coincidence that this episode is similar to The Zeppo. The Potentials congratulate Amanda on having taken out a vamp solo, yet we know that she would have never done it without Dawn's help and inspiration and selfless desire for Amanda to fulfil her potential. She literally handed over the baton (the broken flagpole) to Amanda as she told her "This is your battle".

    Xander too remained quiet after he saved the world and he gives a beautiful speech to Dawn about how difficult it is to remain under the radar, "to live so near to the spotlight and never step in it". In a series about power (and, specifically female power – Xander, the traditional man, is the one who is powerless whereas even Andrew sees the essential femaleness of the power: "It's almost like this metaphor for womanhood, isn't it? The sort of flowering that happens when a girl realizes that she's part of a fertile heritage..." Amanda too sees the menstrual metaphor, talking about being "dizzy and discombobulated" and wondering what the hell is going on), to be powerless is to be in danger, yet Dawn sees Xander's secret power - "seeing and knowing" and realises he could be her hero just as much as Buffy is to the Potentials. We see that Dawn is growing up; instead of sulking or being resentful of her lost opportunity or Buffy not paying her enough attention, she hits the books to research The First. "You're not special, you're extraordinary", Xander tells her.

    We also see Buffy being a little too cavalier with her power, telling the Potentials that her death could make any one of them the next Slayer. Forgetting anybody, Buffy?
  • Dawn the almost slayer, that was sorta sad!!!

    This episode is one of those rare "growing-up and learning" episodes that make the show sooo Unique!!! Dawn almost a future slayer, then finds out it wasn't her, no thats a reallllllll teary moment!! Buffy training them, that too was amazing!!! Vi and Rona, "these two are dead!" !!! The comical part really gave me a laugh!! But the best part was the Xander speach!!!! I can realate to that toooo much!!! Just how he said it and the moment, it was ALL perfect!!!! Dawn really grows up, especaily when she helps Amanda. Even when she thinks she a potential slayer. This episode had some great clasic talking!!!! LOVED IT!!!
  • The scooby gang discovers a potential slayer is right there in Sunnydale but they don't know who it is. Willow casts a locator spell and it points to Dawn.

    Originally I didn't like Dawn. I found her to be a spoiled brat. But over the years, she became one of my favourites.

    In this episode, I'm reminded why I like Dawn. She's strong willed, selfless, and smart. Yet, she's got no superpowers, which is rare on the show.

    Dawn constantly is ignored by Buffy and Buffy never quite takes the hint. WHen the new potentials started arriving, it was as though Dawn was a nuisance once again to the slayer, even though she was all grown up. When Dawn thinks she's a potential slayer, we see her inner turmoil. She likes to feel special and knows that Buffy will pay more attention to her; yet, she isn't sure she wants the life her sister has.

    As soon as Dawn realizes that she isn't the slayer, she doesn't stop to take a breath. She tells Amanda, the real potential slayer, what her purpose is. Dawn so-to-speak, hands over the crown. She doesn't complain or even tell Buffy what she was going through. She deals with everything with grace. I love how Buffy seems to be the only one on the show who doesn't have that kind of grace...and I love how this episode shows that grace could be just as important as superpowers.

    Common to the show, only Xander sees this. He truly sees everyone as they are and he's the only one to acknowledge Dawn as she is "extraordinary". Likewise, Dawn mentions how insightful he is and we understand how Xander truly feels, being an outsider in his own group of friends. He too shows grace, and for that, this episode is a favourite.
  • Potential

    Potential was a perfect episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and really connects with viewers because we all have the hidden untapped potential. This episode was very entertaining because we got to learn a little more about the new potential slayers, but also because this episode had a lot of character growth for Dawn. She has been through a lot since arriving in Sunnydale, and being a Potential meant a lot to her, though it turned out she wasn't. I think this episode showcased a great range of character and emotion while telling a great story. I can't wait to watch what happens in the next episode!!!!!!!
  • Nearly a slayer.

    Ok this episode is really good but also really really annoying. I think Dawn should of become a Potential for continuity, i mean they spent the whole of the 5th Season saying that she was made from Buffy thats the reason why Buffy jumped off the platform at the end of The Gift she figured out that to stop it she needed to die as her and Dawn were more or less one of the same! So surely that means that Dawn should also be a slayer? Or maybe I am getting the wrong end of the proverbial stick but thats my opinion. However, I love that Dawn is not a Potential mainly because I love Xander's speech to her it makes the whole episode wonderful and for the first time you fully realise Xander has had to watch in 7 years all his friends have a purpose in life been "extraordinary and special" (which I don't believe is the case and in fact believe and always have done that Xander is more extraordinary than any of them) and he has not complained, nor get depressed about it.

    This was a wonderful episode because of the character elements and the blossoming FINALLY of Dawn and seeing that she isn't an annoying brat and is a Potential Xander.
  • Dawn - The Vampire Slayer?

    The next generation of slayer is trained by Buffy with a little help from Spike.
    Meanwhile the coven has found that another Potential lives right there in Sunnydale.
    Willow tries a locator spell, that seemed to backfire until Dawn is hit and becomes all glowy. Is she the new future Chosen One?
    Terrified by that possibilties Dawn skips out and runs into Amanda, a girl from her school who has the strangest night.
    In the course of events Dawn realizes that it is not her but Amanda who was chosen.
    Instead of being all whiny and childish, Dawn finally behaves mature and hands over the cepter to Amanda.
    She has the fullest sympathy and respect from Xander, who knows how hard it can be not to have a special power.
    Another good, but not great installment of the show.
  • Is Dawn one of them too?

    The episode brings a lot of new stuff to the show. The potential slayers keep on coming to the Sunnydale home, and it was interesting to see how Dawn copes with the fact that she is one of them. It was weird and complicated, but she really had shown initiative and the strength. I guess hanging out with Buffy and the Scoobies really does pay off.

    The episode was interesting and thrilling (much more interesting than the previous few) and although Dawn turned out not to be a potential, she is still very powerful, maybe even more than all the other potentials.
  • Has a spell gone wrong or could Dawn be a potential slayer, too?

    I loved Dawn's storyline in this episode! It was really strong and I feel so sorry for her in about the present situation. First, she feels neglected, out of the loop and alone. Then, all in a sudden there's this slight chance she might actually be one of the potential slayers. She gets scared and you can see her wish she was back to the meaningless non special self from before. And faster than the eye can see she takes the new destiny that she thinks has been laid on her - just to find out that she isn't special after all. It's really kinda sad and I especially loved the scene with Xander at the end. The way he felt for Dawn and gave her comfort and then when he told her that she wasn't special, but extra-ordinary: that was sooo amazing. I love this scene!
  • I give this score only because of the last scene between Dawn and Xander...

    This last scene was a wonderful scene, who explain a lot about Xander caracter and his mind during all of the show, and, also, this episode show the accomplishment of Dawn, little baby girl sister to a fresh grow up woman...

    All of the Dawn quest finally ends here, she find herself human, with no powers at all, but this is exactly what make her so special, just like Xander, who is the bravest of all the gang. Gilles, got his books and knowledge, Willow her powers and Buffy's a slayer. Xander is us. A human. And you need a lot of courage to jump face to a monster (or a vampire, or a demon, ect, ect...) when your only power is...well, a good heart. He is the strength of Buffy, as she says herself on the last episode, he's also us and the human part of the show (and probably a lot like Joss Whedon). For him and all the rest, his journey was amazing.

    A wonderful episode.
  • Dawn continues growing, this episode has some great things. I like Buffy's lessons and ofcourse the classic Xander speech. The downside are some very annoying lines and unnecessary scenes.


    The big problem with this episode is that it's impossible to re-watch it many times. It has many boring moments and annoying lines. The Buffy training the potentials were yawn worthy. The good things were Anya's lines and Dawn's character development. and of course the emotional end of Xander telling Dawn how proud he is.

    Cut to Rona and Vi in the cemetery and Spike attacked them and he knocks Rona out and he grabs Vi and he says he killed them and he says he doesn't care if it was fair but it doesn't mean they aren't strong. Buffy tells them they have to potential and they have to use it. Buffy asks what their instincts told them and both say that it told them to run. Buffy tells them to make their fight their own and Spike's instincts told him to kill and then Buffy shows how and how she could kill him and he says he's fine. Then Buffy continues teaching them.

    the credits start

    Cut to the addict and the girls are there and talking and then Buffy makes them concentrate. Buffy says that death is what a slayer breathes and her death could make them the next slayer and Dawn is watching. Buffy tells them to be away for a while and some of them will die but they are all special and that most people don't know what they want to do but they have a mission and are there because they are chosen ones and tells Dawn to go to school. Cut to Buffy in school talking and a girl named Amanda arrives to talk to her and she talks about that people think she is weird. She says that a boy picks on her but she thinks he's cute. Buffy says that sometimes by being mean at each other and that's how they relate. Buffy kinds goes to talk about Spike.

    Cut to Buffy going home and everyone is fighting. Willow comes and she takes Buffy to a table. She says that there another potential in the town. Willow tells Buffy to train the girls and they will find the potential. Cut to the kitchen with the girls and weapons. Buffy and Andrew come in and Andrew talks about Dragon Ball Z and Buffy takes the girls and Spike goes with them. Cut to Dawn, Willow and Andrew doing the spell and Dawn asks who it could be. Then they do the spell with Anya and Xander and it smells really bad. Something comes out and Dawn goes to open the door and the light hits Dawn and they think she is the potential.

    Dawn thinks they made a mistake. Dawn says it doesn't fit in her head and the only way for her is when Buffy dies. They continue talking about her life and Andrew arrives and he makes some dumb jokes again. Dawn tells the gang that her mom told her that Buffy wasn't going to protect her. It's too much for Dawn and she goes to her room. Dawn listens above and they say that Dawn's life will be brutal and short and Dawn opens the window and goes outside. Cut to a demon bar and Buffy takes them. Then they see Clem and Buffy talks to him. and introduced him with them and he scares them. Cut to Dawn dumping on Amanda and Dawn sees blood on Amanda's head. She says that in the school there was a guy and it scratched her head and his face was messed up. Amanda wanted to get Buffy because she might be in a gang.

    Cut to Amanda and Dawn in the school and Dawn is a little spooked out. Amanda doesn't want to kill it but Dawn wants to. They arrive to the room but it isn't locked anymore and they go inside and Dawn says it got out but it's above them and it comes down and it attacks them but they run away but the door for outside is locked and they are trapped. Amanda and Dawn run away. Cut to Buffy and the potentials and where a vamp lives. They find a vamp. Cut to Dawn and Amanda running and they arrive to a place and they have to barricade it. Dawn has a plan. Cut to the crypt and Buffy fights the vampire and she says that they have to do what to do and know how to use the things around and they can't make one mistake and Buffy then leaves the potentials alone with the vamp and locks them in.

    Cut to the gang at home and they open the door and Dawn is gone. Cut to the school and Dawn hits the vamp and then bringers come in and they want to kill Amanda and Dawn realised that she is the potential and Dawn then almost kills them and she escapes with Amanda and she tells Amanda that she isn't special but she is and that it's her fight and then Xander comes and sees what Dawn says. They begin to fight and Amanda kills the vampire while Buffy kills the bringers and Dawn says that she is the potential slayer. Cut to the house and the girls are saying how they killed the vampire. Then Kennedy asks Amanda how she did it and Dawn listens. Buffy calls up the girls and they leave but Xander begins to talk to Dawn and that they are special and they will never know how it is to be the rest of them. He has seven years working with the slayer and all his friends were powerful but he fixes the windows. He has been so close to the spotlight but never stepped on him. Nobody is watching him and Dawn isn't special, she’s extraordinary. He gives Dawn a kiss and she says that maybe his power is watching and he says that maybe it is and leaves her alone in tears.

    Black Out
    Best episode quotes:

    Spike: OK, these two are dead. Why?
    Rona: 'Cause the black chick always gets it first?
    Vi: Ow!
    Buffy: What was that, Rona?
    Rona: I'm dead because he's a vampire. I don't have slayer strength, slayer speed- i-it wasn't a fair fight.
    Spike: Vi, do you think I care about a fair fight?
    Vi: No, no sir. You don't play by the rules, and I have learned a valuable lesson of some sort. Ow!
    Buffy: OK, Spike. You're right. You don't have slayer strength. But that doesn't mean that you're not strong. You have inherent abilities that others do not have.
    Molly: Not like you do.
    Buffy: No, not yet, but it's there. You have the potential. You have strength, speed, instinct. You just have to learn to trust yourself. Rona, what did your instincts tell you to do just then?
    Rona: Block his attack, keep him off balance, gain the advantage...?
    Buffy: No, they didn't.
    Rona: They told me to run.
    Buffy: Vi?
    Vi: They told me to run. They're still sort of telling me to run.
    Buffy: Don't fight on his terms. Your gut's telling them to run, run. OK? Regain the higher ground. Make the fight your own. Spike, what did your instincts tell you to do just then?
    Spike: Hunt. Kill.
    Buffy: Come at me, full speed. He needs to kill to live. That tells you everything you need to know. Instinct. Understand his, but trust yours. You were chosen for a reason. Are you OK?
    Spike: I'm... fine. Couple of ribs ain't quite set right since- I'm fine.
    Buffy: Lemme see.
    Spike: No, it's just-
    Buffy: Spike.
    Spike: I'm gonna be OK.
    Rona: That's hot.
    Molly: So, we're supposed to, like, make out with them or something?
    Vi: Careful, Buffy. Just when you think it's part of the lesson, he'll hurt your arm.
    Buffy: Molly, Kennedy, let's go. You're up. Next lesson.

    Buffy: You're all gonna die. But you knew that already. 'Cause that's the cool reward for being human. Big dessert at the end of the meal. Don't kid yourselves, you guys. This whole thing is all about death. You think you're different 'cause you might be the next slayer? Death is what a slayer breathes, what a slayer dreams about when she sleeps. Death is what a slayer lives. My death could make you the next slayer. Oh, goody. Rapt attention. I love that so much. Now, where was I? Ah. If we go with what Anya's resources are telling us, then The First is in remission for a while, which we think means advantage us.
    Rona: Well, what does that mean? About The First?
    Buffy: As best we can tell, he- or precisely "it"- was putting a lot of stock in that UberVamp thing, the Chaka Khan.
    Dawn: Turok-Han?
    Buffy: So when I kicked its ass, the whole Firsty circus decided to back off for a while. Good news? Means we probably don't have to worry about it pulling Spike's strings for a while. Here's the half-empty. Time away means time to regroup. And part of that regrouping is coming back stronger than ever. The odds are against us. Time is against us. And some of us will die in this battle. Decide now that it's not going to be you. I know you're all tired, far away from home, anxious. But you're all special. Most people in this world have no idea why they're here or what they want to do. You do. You have a mission, a reason for being here. You're not here by chance. You're here because you are the chosen ones.

    Buffy: He's not evil, but when he gets close to it, he picks up its flavor like a mushroom or something.
    Andrew: But I'm reformed. I'm like Vegeta on Dragonball Z. I used to be a pure Sayan, and now I fight for the side of Goku.
    Buffy: Still not coming.
    Andrew: It's not fair. Spike just killed people, and he gets to go.
    Buffy: Spike didn't have free will and you did.
    Andrew: I hate my free will.

    Willow: Dawn, are you OK?
    Dawn: Maybe y-you did it wrong? Was it a-ambiguous in any way? Did you maybe say potential sailors? 'Cause I-I do like the water.
    Willow: I did it right.
    Xander: Wow, she- you're a potential. You could be the next slayer.
    Dawn: Whoa.
    Anya: Wow, it's like one second you were this klutzy teenager with fake memories and a history of kleptomania, and then-then suddenly you're a hero, a hero with a much abbreviated lifespan.
    Xander: This is huge. We have to think about this.
    Dawn: I-I can't think about this. It doesn't fit in my head.
    Willow: A slayer. Makes sense, I guess. Remember that thing about they share the same blood or whatever?
    Anya: Yeah, I never got that.
    Dawn: She has to die. I mean, if I was ever the slayer, it would mean she died.
    Anya: Well, it's a lot like being the Pope in that way, except you don't have to be some old Catholic.
    Willow: I've got to call Buffy. She's gonna be so excited.
    Xander: No, we can't. She didn't bring a cell phone.
    Dawn: Well, sure, 'cause all the important people are with her.
    Xander: You are important now.
    Dawn: Wh-wha-what happens now?
    Anya: Well, you could start by maybe sitting still for a sec.
    Dawn: I-I cant. I-I need to know what happens to my life.
    Willow: Well, I guess Buffy trains you.
    Dawn: Right, I train with the potentials- other potentials. Learn to do the stuff they're learning.
    Anya: Right, we also have to protect you from the, uh, eyeless guys, the ones with the sharp, sharp knives.
    Dawn: Bringers.
    Willow: It's OK, we'll protect you.
    Dawn: What if they saw the spell?
    Xander: Saw the spell? Dawn, they can't see flashcards. Big ones.
    Dawn: We did a big orange powerful spell. What if they sensed it? What if they're on their way?
    Andrew: Are we gonna replace the microwave? 'Cause I was thinking some Orville Redenbacher with fresh butter flavour- What's going on?
    Anya: Dawn's gonna be a slayer.
    Andrew: Holy crap! Excuse me. Plucked from an ordinary life, handed a destiny-
    Xander: Say Skywalker, and I smack ya.
    Andrew: Does Buffy know?
    Xander: She didn't take her phone.
    Andrew: Incommunicado.
    Xander: Well, we'll tell her soon as she gets back.
    Dawn: Let's not.
    Willow: What? Dawn, she has to know.
    Dawn: I-I know, just not right away. Guys, when mom appeared to me, she said-
    Willow: Dawnie...
    Dawn: No, please. She said something about Buffy, and I'm thinking... I'm just not so sure Buffy will be happy for me.
    Willow: Of course she will.
    Dawn: Will she? I mean, I'm not even sure I'm happy for me. Everything's different for me now.
    Anya: That's because you're a part of something larger. Like being swallowed. By something larger.
    Dawn: This-this is too much for my head again. I can't. I- I need to be-
    Xander: Nice job with the "getting swallowed" analogy.
    Anya: Well, it is a mixed bag, you know. If she gets to be the slayer, then her life is short and brutal. And if she doesn't, then it smells of unfulfilled potential. My swallowed analogy looks pretty sweet right now, doesn't it?
    Willow: It's not like that. It's like, she's part of this huge power. I know what that feels like. It feels wonderful.
    Andrew: Yes, Willow so captured it. It's like- well, it's almost like this metaphor for womanhood, isn't it? The sort of flowering that happens when a girl realizes that she's part of a fertile heritage stretching back to Eve, and-
    Xander: I'll pay you to talk about Star Wars again.
    Anya: This isn't about womany power. This is about the fact that Dawn just might have bought herself an early death.
    Willow: We don't know that.
    Xander: Right, all we know is that everything just changed.

    Vi: They're demons! It's a demon bar. It's like a gay bar, only with demons.

    Buffy: The question is never "what do you think," it's always "what do you know?" You gotta know it. If you don't, if you make one mistake, it takes just one vampire to kill you. So you've got to know you can take him. Know your environment. Know what's around you, and know how to use it. In the hands of a slayer, everything is a potential weapon. If you know how to see it. When you're fighting, you have to know yourself, your brain, your body. Know how to stay calm, centered. Every move is important, every blow's got to be part of your plan 'cause you make that one mistake, and it's over. You're not the slayer. You're not a potential. You're dead. What do you know? Right now, the only thing you know for sure is you got me.

    Dawn: Amanda, listen to me. Remember when you said I was special? Well, I'm not. But the thing is, you are. This is your battle, Amanda.
    Amanda: No, I can't.
    Dawn: You can! You've got to. Look, I've got your back, but this is something you have to do. It's something you were born to do. Here, this belongs to you.

    Dawn: What's up?
    Xander: Aw, I'm just thinking about the girls. It's a harsh gig, being a potential. Just being picked out of a crowd, danger, destiny, plus if you act now, death.
    Dawn: They can handle it.
    Xander: Yeah. They're special, no doubt. The amazing thing is, not one of them will ever know, not even Buffy.
    Dawn: Know what?
    Xander: How much harder it is for the rest of us.
    Dawn: No way. They've got-
    Xander: Seven years, Dawn. Working with the slayer. Seeing my friends get more and more powerful. A witch. A demon. Hell, I could fit Oz in my shaving kit, but come a full moon, he had a wolfy mojo not to be messed with. Powerful. All of them. And I'm the guy who fixes the windows.
    Dawn: Well, you had that sexy army training for a while, and- and the windows really did need fixing.
    Xander: I saw what you did last night.
    Dawn: Yeah, I- I guess I kinda lost my head when I thought I was the slayer.
    Xander: You thought you were all special. Miss Sunnydale 2003. And the minute you found out you weren't, you handed the crown to Amanda without a moment's pause. You gave her your power.
    Dawn: The power wasn't mine.
    Xander: They'll never know how tough it is, Dawnie, to be the one who isn't chosen. To live so near to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody's watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You're not special. You're extraordinary.
    Dawn: Maybe that's your power.
    Xander: What?
    Dawn: Seeing. Knowing.
    Xander: Maybe it is. Maybe I should get a cape.
    Dawn: Cape is good.
    Xander: Yeah.

    Story: 10
    Acting: 9
    Writing: 7
    Picture: 10
    Gripping: 8
    My Rank: 9
    Total: 8.8
  • Poor Dawnie

    Okay, I'll admit. I love this episode because of the opening scene with Buffy, Spike and the Potentials. I love it when Buffy is sitting on top of Spike and she tries to see if he is hurt and she starts to lift up his shirt. Just a glimsp of his abs and that really lovely trail of hair on his stomache...as the Black Potential said (right now I am blanking on her name)That was hot!

    So this is the episode were Dawn is feeling left out of the whole potential movement and she is unsure of her place/role with in the whole Scoobie gang dynamic.

    And Willow does a spell to find a local Potential and a misunderstanding leads everyone to believe that Dawn is a Potential. And although she had mixed feelings about it, she was willing to stand up. But she finds out that it is not her and that she is not so special after all.

    Then comes one of the loveliest speeches said by Mr. Xander Harris. He tells her that he understands what it is like to feel like you are special being surrounded by so many special people. And then he goes on to tell her that she is the heart, just like her. Only much prettier sounding.

    It was pretty close to making me tear up. But I held on until Touched and Chosen.
  • The One Where Dawn's a Slayer (for About 5 Seconds)

    As you would obviously guess from the title, this episode is all about the potential slayers. Or as I like to call them: the annoying talentless so-called actors who do nothing but complain or whine for hours and hours.

    Potential has Buffy continuing to train the next generation whilst Willow casts a spell to find a potential that is currently in Sunnydale. The spell, which engulfs the potential in a yellow light, hits Dawn and everybody believes she is a potential too. Whilst trying to come to terms with her destiny, Dawn runs into Amanda, a girl at Sunnydale High. Although, things may not be as they seem...

    This episode is extremely annoying. The training sequences go on way too long and the fact that Dawn fails in killing one normal vampire whilst we've already seen her kick Bringer ass and help slay a bunch of soil monsters in past episodes show that the writers seem to of completely thrown continuity out of the window.

    Thankfully, the writers have created a potential slayer who doesn't make you want to rip your eyes out in Amanda. She's a tall, gangly girl portrayed brilliantly by Freaks & Geeks star Sarah Hagan, who made her first potential-free appearance a couple of episodes back in Help.

    The final scene is truly heartbreaking as Xander gives a perfectly timed speech about being an outsider in a group full of slayers, witches, werewolves and other paranormal people. Nicholas Brendon has been underused so much this year and this one sequence makes you really remember how brilliant an actor he is.

    An episode which makes the viewer wish that the closing credits will come on as soon as possible, Potential is a dull hour which serves it's purpose, but takes a hell of a long time getting round to it.