Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Checkpoint

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Season 5, Episode 12
Airdate January 23, 2001
Production Number 5ABB12
Written by Douglas Petrie &
Jane Espenson
Directed by Nick Marck
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Blood Ties
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Five

Checkpoint is the twelfth episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the ninetieth episode overall, and returns to the Glory plotline with the Watchers Council's discovery that Glory is actually a god and not a demon. But this information doesn't come without a price; the Watchers have lined up another test for Buffy.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Clare Kramer (Glory), Charlie Weber (Ben), Cynthia LaMontagne (Lydia), Oliver Muirhead (Phillip), Kris Iyer (Nigel), Kevin Weisman (Dreg), Troy T. Blendell (Jinx), Amber Benson (Tara), Harris Yulin (Quentin Travers)

and Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers)

Co-Starring: Wesley Mask (Professor Roberts), Justin Gorence (Orlando), Peter Husmann (Mailman), Jack Thomas (Council Member #4), John O'Leary (Council Member #5)


Plot Overview

The Watchers Council arrive in Sunnydale with information about Glory. However, rather than give it to Buffy, they put her through a rigorous review to see if she is prepared to deal with it.

Things become worse for Buffy when Glory visits the Summers' home regarding her Key, and later discovers that she's in the cross-hairs of someone else prepared to do anything to stop Glory.


Monster of the Week

  • Unless you want to consider the council or the knights a "monster of the week," there was none due to the episode being mainly plot driven.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Spike Staked Graveyard

Arc Advancement


  • Glory: Glory discovers where Buffy lives in this episode.
  • Knights of Byzantium: The Knights are introduced in this episode. They are dedicated to stopping Glory from obtaining the key by destroying it. They vow to kill Buffy as well for crossing them.
  • The Watchers Council: Giles is reinstated as an official watcher and Buffy has returned to the ranks of a full fledged Slayer in the eyes of the Council.


  • Dawn and Joyce: Dawn and Joyce are moved into Spike's crypt in order to protect them from Glory.


  • Helpless: Buffy refers to the time when the Watcher's Council weakened her in order to put her through a test which nearly killed her.
  • Who Are You?: Buffy refers to the time when she and Faith switched bodies and was nearly killed by the Watcher's Council.


The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Aikido and Jujitsu: Jujitsu is a martial art most often utilized by Samurai. The art is weaponless and is often described as "the father of all Japanese martial arts" because major other arts have been derived from it (including Judo and Karate). Aikido is a derivation of Jujitsu as well which is based on holds and locks to fight. The idea behind Aikido is to use nonresistance and Daoist theory to use the strength of the opponent against him.
Travers: We assume you're familiar with the Japanese name for the Aikido and Jujitsu moves?
  • Byzantium: Byzantium was the name of the Eastern Roman Empire throughout the middle ages. It existed, roughly, between the 7th century and 1453 when it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. The Empire was staunchly conservative and Christian; it was responsible for several of the anti-Muslim crusades. Byzantium's capital was modern day Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople.

Memorable Moments


  • When Glory is talking to Jinx, you can see the shadow of a boom mike behind on the wall and then see in the mirror it follow her.


  • Buffy: Arrive? They're coming here? Now? W-why do they have to come here?
Xander: Yeah, don't they have phones? "Allo, Buffy, here's some stuff we know, pip pip."
Buffy: Yeah! Phones. See, I'd like them on phones.
  • Buffy: (about the Watchers' Council) They put me through that test, and almost killed me. And then, when I was Faith, they almost killed me again. Honestly, I really can't handle almost being killed right now.
  • Buffy: (about Dawn) She was listening.
Willow: Does it matter? I mean, is she really going to set the junior high-school buzzing with, "Ooh, there's a delegation a-comin'."
  • Lydia: There are some very potent elements here - focusing crystals, runic artefacts, an Amulet of Coldis. Also this statue. Its removal from Burma is a criminal offence and when triggered, has the power to melt human eyeballs.
Giles: In that case, I severely under-priced it.
  • Giles: You all stand around and look sombre. Good job.
Travers: You used to respect us, Giles. You used to be one of us.
Giles: You used to pay me. If you recall, firing me was not my idea.
  • Buffy: Spike, why did you do that?
Spike: Not for money, if that's what you're thinking. Your heartfelt gratitude's plenty. I expect I'll be getting that any moment.
Buffy: Gratitude? For getting in my way?
Spike: G-Getting in your way? I saved you.
Buffy: I was regrouping.
Spike: You were about to be regrouped into separate piles.
  • Giles: (about Travers) I should have set you loose on them, that's what I should have done.
Buffy: Giles, that Travers guy is, like, 60. I can't hit him. Can I?
Giles: I suppose not. Well, I could. I think I will.
  • Anya: Anya Christina Emanuella Jenkins. 20 years old, born on the fourth of July. And don't think there weren't jokes about that my whole life, mister, 'cause there were. "Who's our little patriot?" they'd say, when I was younger, and therefore smaller and shorter than I am now.
  • Willow: Questions. Great.
Tara: W-We can answer questions.
Nigel: Well, I need to know a little bit more about the Slayer, and about the both of you - your relationship, whatever you can tell me.
Tara: Our - Our relationship?
Willow: We're friends.
Tara: Good friends.
Willow: Girlfriends, actually.
Tara: Yes, we're girlfriends.
Willow: We're in love. We're... lovers. We're lesbian, gay-type lovers.
Nigel: I meant your relationship with the Slayer.
Tara: Um... just good friends.
  • Philip: So, you have no special skills, or powers, or knowledge that you bring to the mix. Neither of you.
Anya: Just enthusiasm for killing the demons. Go deadness for the demons.
Xander: I don't have any powers, but I do help.
Philip: How? Be specific.
Xander: Last year, uh, Willow, Giles and me combined our essences with Buffy, which isn't as weird as it sounds. We merged, and I was the heart part of a super-Buffy. Again, let me stress the not-as-weird thing.
Anya: I'm told it was all very professional.
  • Joyce: I love what you've, um, neglected to do with the place.
Spike: Just don't break anything. And don't make a lot of noise. Passions is coming on.
Joyce: Passions? Oh, do you think Timmy's really dead?
Spike: Oh, no, no. She can just sew him back together. He's a doll, for god's sake.
Joyce: Ah, what about the wedding? I mean, there's no way they're gonna go through with that.
  • Xander: Look at them. Big tough Council members pickin' on the books.
Willow: Fascists.
Tara: Why doesn't Mr Giles put them all out of here?
Xander: Because if they deport him, they're not just destroying his career, they're... condemning the man to a lifetime diet of blood sausage, bangers, and mash.
  • Buffy: You guys didn't come all the way from England to determine whether or not I was good enough to be let back in. You came to beg me to let you back in, to give your jobs, your lives some semblance of meaning.
Nigel: This is beyond insolence.
(Buffy throws the sword at the wall, just missing Nigel)
Buffy: I'm fairly certain I said no interruptions.
  • Buffy: You're Watchers. Without a Slayer, you're pretty much just watchin' Masterpiece Theatre. You can't stop Glory. You can't do anything with the information you have except maybe publish it in the Everyone Thinks We're Insano's Home Journal. So here's how it's gonna work. You're gonna tell me everything you know. Then you're gonna go away. You'll contact me if and when you have any further information about Glory. The magic shop will remain open. Mr Giles will stay here as my official Watcher, reinstated at full salary.
Giles: (coughs) Retroactive.
Buffy: To be paid retroactively from the month he was fired. I will continue my work with the help of my friends.
  • Buffy: We're talking about two very powerful witches and a thousand-year-old ex-demon.
Anya: Willow's a demon?
Philip: The boy? No power there.
Buffy: The boy has clocked more field time than all of you combined. He's part of the unit.
Willow: That's Riley-speak.
Xander: I've clocked field time.
  • Buffy: Just tell me what kind of demon I'm fighting.
Travers: Well, that's the thing, you see. Glory isn't a demon.
Buffy: What is she?
Travers: She's a god.
Buffy: Oh.