Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Potential

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Season 7, Episode 12
Airdate January 21, 2003
Production Number 7ABB12
Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner
Directed by James A. Contner
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The Killer in Me
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Seven

Potential is the twelfth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the one-hundred and thirty-fourth episode overall. Buffy shows the potentials around town to spots like the Demon Bar and a vampire lair. Meanwhile, Dawn comes under the impression that she's a potential.

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

and Alyson Hannigan (Willow)

Guest Starring: Tom Lenk (Andrew Wells), Iyari Limon (Kennedy), Clara Bryant (Molly), Indigo (Rona)

Co-Starring: James C. Leary (Clem), Sarah Hagan (Amanda), Felicia Day (Vi), Derek Anthony (Imposing Demon)


Plot Overview

Buffy and Spike are teaching the potentials the art of fighting vampires. Although none of them have slayer strength or experience, they all still have instincts that most people do not possess. Spike and Buffy take the potentials to a crypt where they find a vampire who attacks Buffy. Buffy explains the art of fighting while she herself is fighting this vampire. Then she and Spike leave the crypt and lock the potentials in with the vampire.

Meanwhile, Anya learns through her demon sources that another potential is in Sunnydale. Willow does a locator spell which will make the potential glow. The spell goes towards Dawn while she is standing by the door and so they believe she is the potential slayer. At first she is freaked out, and so she leaves to go on a walk. She runs into a classmate, Amanda, who tells her she has been attacked by a vampire at the school. Eager to test out her potential, Dawn goes to the school with Amanda. While fighting the vampire a group associated with The First come in and attack Amanda. Spike, Buffy, and Xander show up in time to kill off this group. Dawn realizes that Amanda is the potential and gives her the wooden post to kill the vampire, which she does.


Monster of the Week

  • There's no monster of the week in this episode, as it deals mainly with the new potential.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Bringer Buffy Stabbed Sunnydale High
2 Bringer Spike Stabbed Sunnydale High
4 Vampire Amanda Staked Sunnydale High
5 Bringer Buffy Snapped Neck Sunnydale High

Arc Advancement


  • Potentials: Another new potential is discovered in this episode. This time it's Amanda, a girl from Sunnydale High.



  • 7x09 - Never Leave Me: Andrew refers to the time when he tried to catch and kill the pig in order to get enough blood to activate the seal. He failed pretty miserably.
Buffy: Killing pigs is just so wrong. And also hard.
  • 6x14 - Older and Far Away: Dawn had a problem with shoplifting that was exposed in a season six episode. Her life of petty crime has since come to an end.
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.
  • 5x22 - The Gift: Dawn and Buffy are of the same blood due to the fact that Dawn wasn't a real human. The monks who crafted her used Buffy's general genetic makeup to create the physical embodiment of the Key. This theory is proven when Buffy stops the destruction of reality by allowing her blood to be spilled and not Dawn's in the fifth season finale.
Willow: Remember that thing about they share the same blood or whatever?
Andrew: Are we gonna replace the microwave?
  • 2x06 - Halloween: In the second season, the gang's halloween costumes transformed them into representations of their costumes (i.e. Willow became a ghost, Buffy a princess, etc). Xander became a soldier temporarily, and retained that knowledge for a while, in this episode.
Dawn: Well, you had that sexy army training for a while, and—and the windows really did need fixing.


The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Ball Z is an anime series about superpowered aliens who fight back menaces that threaten the universe. In this series, Vegeta was the main source of evil for the majority of the series. There are several parallels that can be drawn between Vegeta's progression in the series and Andrew's, but they are likely coincidental.
Andrew: I'm like Vegeta on Dragon Ball Z. I used to be a pure Sayan, and now I fight for the side of Goku.

Memorable Moments

  • Buffy fights the vampire while lecturing the potentials before closing them in with him.


  • Buffy: You're like a small dog dancing for Snausages.
Andrew: You don't want me coming along 'cause you think I'm evil.
Vi: He doesn't seem evil, exactly.
Buffy: He's not evil, but when he gets close to it, he picks up its flavour, like a mushroom or something.
Andrew: But I'm reformed. I'm like Vegeta on Dragon Ball 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. You did.
Andrew: I hate my free will.
  • Xander: Wow. She... (to Dawn) You're a potential. You could be the next Slayer.
Anya: Wow, it's... it's like one second you were this klutzy teenager with fake memories and a history of kleptomania, and then suddenly you're a hero. A hero with a much abbreviated life span.
  • Willow: A Slayer. Makes sense, I guess. Remember that thing about they share the same blood or whatever?
Anya: Yeah, I never got that.
  • Andrew: Plucked from an ordinary life, handed a destiny...
Xander: Say "Skywalker" and I smack ya.
  • Willow: 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 realises 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: Want me to kick down the door?
Xander: Anya.
Anya: What? It'd be funny.
  • 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: 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 realises 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.


  • Overall Grade: no reviews yet
  • Review Breakdown: A+: 0 A: 0 A-: 0 B+: 0 B: 0 B-: 0 C+: 0 C: 0 C-: 0 D: 0 F: 0
  • This is a very solid episode which deals a lot with Dawn and how she feels in this world where she is constantly surrounded by people with powers while she has none. This is in addition to being a key without a use any longer. Eventually her and Xander bond because they both share this world that they aren't a direct part of. While I didn't like the new potential, I did like how we got to know the other potentials a little better than we had been up until this point. --MateoP 21:00, 10 June 2006 (EDT)