A few moments later, Anya explains that she experienced an Ascension eight hundred years previously; a sorcerer became "the demon Lohash" and then destroyed his village within hours. Within hours? Big deal. Demons of yesteryear were so inefficient. I mean, any demon today worth his salt could go through a town in an hour and then take out a hamlet or two for dessert. Swallowing nervously, Wes tries to assure the group that "four-winged soul killers" like Lohash aren't "that fierce," but Anya quickly corrects him. According to her, all the demons currently on Earth are some sort of human/demon hybrid, but in an Ascension, a "human becomes pure demon." If I ever get that 1969 Pontiac GTO of my dreams, I think I'm gonna name it "Pure Demon." That or "Self-Indulgent Money-Sink." Can I help it that I'm pragmatic? Anya says that the pure demons are "bigger." Insert your own eyebrow waggling here.
In the school courtyard, various people are setting up chairs and decorating for graduation as Snyder leads the Mayor on a tour. He describes some particulars of the ceremony; the Mayor assures him that it looks fine. He continues that Snyder must make sure all the seniors come to the ceremony, and then tells him that he's done a great job as principal. He thanks Snyder for keeping the school in order and concludes, "Sunnydale owes you a debt. It will be repaid. Yessir, we'll mark that invoice paid in full." Snyder must have caught the Mayor's ambiguous tone, because he doesn't look at all pleased.
Wes, Giles, Anya, Xander, and Buffy are discussing the Ascension (Anya says that the Mayor isn't preparing to become Lohash) when Oz and Willow enter the library holding hands (aw). "How come evil girl's in the mix?" whines Willow, but accepts that Anya is there to tell them about Ascensions. Buffy asks if Anya has ever heard of the box of spiders the Mayor needs to eat (Box of Gavrok), but Anya hasn't. Suddenly, the doors of the library swing open and the Mayor enters, running his fingers along the check-out counter. The gang reacts with terror; Giles and Wesley stand up, and Oz backs Willow behind him (still sensitive after her kidnapping in "Choices"). I remember how terrifying this scene was when I first saw it, and it still packs an anxious wallop due to the great acting and the creepy score. Phew, the Mayor was a good villain. He doesn't do a single violent thing in this scene and still manages to be scarier in a few minutes than all of Glory's season-five scenes put together. As the Mayor walks up to the group, Buffy quickly hides the paper with the headline about the professor's killing. Affably, but with an undercurrent of menace, the Mayor says Faith told him that the library was the gang's "inner sanctum." With a slightly crazy laugh, he says it's nice to see that some kids are still reading. He picks a book up off the table and intones, "The beast will walk upon the earth and darkness will follow. The several races of man will be as one in their terror and destruction." He coos that the theme of different races coming together is "sweet," and Buffy sasses him for being so into the sound of his own voice. A giggle from the Mayor, and then he addresses the clench-jawed Giles: "That's one spunky little girl you've raised. I'm going to eat her." It's left unsaid, but there's a deep undercurrent here of the Mayor feeling that Giles has raised Buffy, and comparing that to his affection for Faith. Cool. Giles suddenly grabs his fencing sword off the table and plunges it right into the Mayor's heart. The Mayor stumbles backwards but then steadies himself, the sword bouncing gently. He accuses Giles of being "thoughtless" and carefully draws the sword from his chest. He chides Giles for setting a bad example for the children, and slowly wipes the blade clean. He tells the gang that "some of [their] deaths will be quick" and chuckles, "See you at graduation." Apparently his commencement address will be "one heck of a speech." He tosses the sword back to back to Giles and walks out of the library, smiling.