Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Touched

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BtVS - Touched.png
Season 7, Episode 20
Airdate May 6, 2003
Production Number 7ABB20
Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner
Directed by David Solomon
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End of Days
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Seven

Touched is the twentieth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the one-hundred and forty-second episode overall. Cut off from the group, Buffy plans to quit her slayer duties until she is approached by Spike who convinces her otherwise. In the meantime Faith finds herself in charge of potentials and learns the leadership skills that Buffy has harnessed for years.

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

and Alyson Hannigan (Willow)

Special Guest Star: Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Eliza Dushku (Faith), Nathan Fillion (Caleb)

Guest Starring: Tom Lenk (Andrew Wells), Iyari Limon (Kennedy), Sarah Hagan (Amanda), Harry Groener (Mayor Wilkins)

and DB Woodside (Principal Wood)

Co-Starring: Felicia Day (Vi), Dania Ramirez (Caridad), Lisa Ann Cabasa (Injured Girl), Lance E. Nichols (Middle-Aged Man)


Plot Overview

With Buffy gone from the group, Faith finds herself as the leader of an army that is about to fight in an apocalypse. With Giles as a guide, she learns that like Buffy she must assert her position in order to get anything done. Spike returns from his reconnaissance mission with news that Caleb and The First are hiding something. When he finds out that Buffy is gone he gets into a fight with Faith before leaving to find Buffy.

Faith and the potentials kidnap a Bringer and force him to talk about their plan. Using information obtained they go to an underground location, find a stash of weapons, and battle with some Bringers. They think they have found the secret, but end up learning that it is all a trap when they uncover a bomb which is about to detonate. In the meantime Buffy shows up at the vineyard alone and evades attacks by Caleb. She manages to escape down a hatch and find something that appears to be the source of power she had predicted in the previous episode.


Monster of the Week

  • There's no monster of the week in this episode, it deals with Buffy and Faith's plans to find an advantage against The First.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Bringer Kennedy Stabbed Alleyway
2 Bringer Caridad Stabbed Alleyway
3 Bringer Giles Slit Throat Basement
4/5 Bringers Kennedy Stabbed Tunnel
6 Bringer Vi Impaled Tunnel
7 Bringer Faith Stabbed Tunnel

Arc Advancement


  • Sunnydale: Sunnydale continues to be a lousy place to live. All electricity is gone from the city because the people who work for the power company have fled.
  • Deus Ex Machina: In addition to ancient Sumerian, Dawn apparently also can read and translate Turkish.
  • From Beneath You: The bringers are building weapons on the edge of town and they don't think that the potentials have any chance at all of stopping them. Of course, this is a trap that leads them to a bomb. Meanwhile, Buffy comes back to reclaim the thing that Caleb is hiding from her, which turns out to be some kind of crazy golden axe.


  • Buffy and Spike: Spike gives another one of his "I love Buffy" speeches, but their relationship remains distant. Or at least more distant in comparison to all the other relationships in this episode since apparently everyone gets laid in this episode.
  • Faith: Faith continues her long string of nailing Buffy's love interests by sleeping with Robin Wood. She also is clearly still following her philosophy of "get some, get gone."
  • Xander and Anya: Anya and Xander rekindle their relationship yet another time since it's the end of the world.


  • 3x21 - Graduation Day (1): Buffy stabbed Faith in order to save Angel's life and to attempt to get to the Mayor before he followed through with his plan. This wound ended up putting her into a coma for several months.
Mayor Wilkins: All she needs is an excuse, and she'll finish what she started when she stuck that knife in your belly.
  • 3x22 - Graduation Day (2): The Mayor calls Faith by the nickname he gave her prior to his attempt to ascend into demon form. This is also what her mother used to call her.
Mayor: I'll always be with you, firecracker, in everything you do.


The Show

  • Music: The song that plays in this episode is "It's Only Love" by Heather Nova.
  • Final Appearance: Although he did die several seasons ago, this episode marks Mayor Wilkins' last appearance in the series.
  • Comic Book Crossover: The weapon that Buffy finds at the end of the episode is the Scythe, which prominently appeared in the Fray comic series written by Joss Whedon on Dark Horse Comics. The story chronicles the life of a Slayer in the distant future.

Behind the Scenes

  • Filming Date: This episode was actually filmed after the series finale despite airing before it. This was in order to accommodate Eliza Dushku, who was filming the pilot for Tru Calling at the time.
  • Translated Title: This episode was titled "Die Quelle der Macht" in Germany. This loosely translates to "The Source of Power."
  • Fun with Censorship: On the BBC airing of this episode in the UK, the sex scenes were cut in order to be able to show the episode earlier in the evening.

Allusions and References

  • Little Women: The Mayor/First references an 1868 autobiographical novel by Louisa May Alcott about life with four sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy) during the American Civil War. The book has been adapted into nearly a dozen different movies.
Mayor Wilkins: Or... who was my favorite character in Little Women? Meg.
  • The Spanish Inquisition: Spike references a sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus known as the Spanish Inquisition. In the sketch, the cardinals attempt to torture people into confessing to heresy using a comfy chair.
Spike: That diabolical old torture device, the comfy chair.

Memorable Moments

  • Faith breaks open a box in the tunnel, only to find a bomb ticking down. The bomb ticks to the end as the executive producer credits roll.


  • Anya: We're all on death's door, repeatedly ringing the doorbell, like maniacal Girl Scouts trying to make quota.
  • Xander: Yeah, I'll get the magazines and start ripping out the letters now. “Dear Mr First, if you want your Bringer back... well, we'll be surprised because you've got like three million of them so please disregard this letter. Yours sincerely...”
  • Wood: That's exactly what the First does. Finds your Achilles heel.
Faith: Nah, it just talked to me. What? It does a heel thing, too?
Wood: Um, it's a - it's a phrase. Your weak spot.
Faith: Oh. The school thing. I was kind of absent that decade.