Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Becoming (2)

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Becoming (2)
Becoming (2)
Season 2, Episode 22
Airdate May 19, 1998
Production Number 5V22
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon
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Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Two

Becoming (2) is the twenty-second episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the thirty-fourth episode overall.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Special Guest: Max Perlich (Whistler)

Guest Starring: Seth Green (Oz), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Robia LaMorte (Jenny Calendar), James G. MacDonald (Detective Stein), James Marsters (Spike), Juliet Landau (Drusilla)

and Armin Shimerman (Principal Snyder)

Co-Starring: Susan Leslie (First Cop), Thomas G. Waites (Second Cop)

Uncredited: Roger Stoneburner (Vampire)


Plot Overview

With Giles being tortured by Angel to reveal the secret to awakening Acathla, Buffy is in a race against time. Even with an unlikely ally helping her, Buffy will have to face heartbreak and hardship along her way to face Angel alone.


Monster of the Week

The loose ends of the big bads of the season are all tied up in this finale. Giles is tortured by Angel, who hopes that he'll spill the ritual to bring Acathla back to life but fails to produce any results. Spike has Drusilla manipulate him into giving up the secret, that the blood to activate the seal needed to be his own and not that of a sacrifice's.

Whistler explains that Acathla taking a breath in this dimension would create a vortex to suck the world into hell and that Angel's blood is the only thing that can open or close that portal. He tells her that one blow will send both of them back to hell, which is something that she follows through on. In the end, Angel's soul is returned, both he and Acathla are sent to hell, and Spike and Drusilla both escape for destinations unknown.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Buffy Staked Her Home
2 Vampire Buffy Decapitated Mansion
3 Vampire Buffy Staked Mansion


  • "Full of Grace" by Sarah McLachlan: The song that plays at the end of the episode as Buffy leaves Sunnydale is "Full of Grace" by Sarah McLachlan. The song first appeared on her 1997 album Surfacing. The album was a breakthrough record for her in many countries, including the United States, even though she had been performing popularly in Canada since the late 1980s.

Arc Advancement


  • Conspiracy: Snyder's loathing for Buffy was apparently never personal. When he finally expels her from high school, he calls his superiors to inform them that he has "good news" for the mayor. It seems that the Mayor, for reasons which are not revealed until the next season, does not want Buffy around the Hellmouth.


  • Angel: The entire reason why Whistler brought Angel to California was so that he could stop Acathla and redeem himself. In the end, he regains his soul and does stop Acathla by being the key to stopping the portal from expanding and taking the dimension with it.
  • Buffy: After being expelled from school, kicked out of her home by her mother and sending her one-time boyfriend to hell, Buffy decides to leave Sunnydale by bus and start up a life somewhere else.
  • Joyce: Buffy comes clean with her mother about being the Slayer, which Joyce does not take well. She reacts angrily to the years of lies and throws Buffy out of the house.
  • Spike: Spike develops beyond a being of general evil and plays a role in saving the world. He speaks of his fondness for Manchester United and human culture, as well as for Drusilla, which leads him to betray Angel. During this brief stint as a good guy, he's also invited into Buffy's house and not immediately shut out again. During Buffy's sword fight with Angel, he takes Drusilla and escapes for parts unknown, as per his agreement with her.


  • School Hard: Spike and a cadre of vampires attempted to kill Buffy while she was at a parent/teacher conference at school. At one point in the fight, he had the upper hand against her, but was stopped by Joyce who told him to "get the hell away from my daughter."
Spike: You hit me with an axe one time.


The Show

  • Mutant Enemy: The monster in the title card at the end of the episode says "I need a hug" instead of the usual "Grr Arg."

Behind the Scenes

  • In order to get into a "tortured" frame of mind, Anthony Stewart Head cut up pieces of chillis and peppers and popped them in his mouth for his torture scenes.
  • International: Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been dubbed into many different languages and the title translated for each different international version. Some international translations of this episode's title are:
    • French: "Acathla - 2ème partie" ("Acathla - Part 2")
    • Italian: "L'inizio della storia - II parte" ("The Beginning of the Story - Part 2")
    • German: "Spiel mit dem Feuer" ("Playing with Fire")
    • Japanese: "変貌 パート2" ("Henbō Pāto 2" - "Transfiguration, Part 2")

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • When Buffy returns to the library all the bookshelves are standing upright with all the books on them. However, due to the vampire attack in the previous episode, some of the bookshelves were thrown down. It's unlikely that the police would have reset the shelves.


  • Angelus: You know, I can stop the pain. You've been very brave, but it's over. You've given enough. Now let me make it stop.
Giles: Please.
Angelus: Just tell me what I need to know.
Giles: In order to - to... to be worthy... you must perform the ritual... in a tutu. Pillock!
Angelus: All right, someone get the chain saw.
Spike: Now, now. Don't let's lose our temper.
Angelus: Keep it out of it, Sit 'n' Spin.
Spike: Look, you cut him up, you'll never get your answers.
Angelus: Since when did you become so levelheaded?
Spike: Right about the time you became so pigheaded. You have your way with him, you'll never get to destroy the world, and I don't fancy spending the next month trying to get librarian out of the carpet.
  • Giles: You're not real.
Xander: Sure I'm real.
Giles: It's a trick. They get inside my head, make me see things I want.
Xander: Then why would they make you see me?
Giles: Oh, right. Let's go.
  • Angelus: You're going to Hell.
Buffy: Save me a seat.