Buffy, in the doorway, starts laughing. Angel and Giles exchange a look, and follow her out of the office. The scene that follows could be considered the crowning achievement of SMG's career. I can't do justice to the level of emotion that accompanies these words, but five and a half years after it aired, I still watch this entire scene with a lump in my throat. Buffy: "So that's it, huh? I remember the drill. One Slayer dies, the next one's called! I wonder who she is." To Giles: "Will you train her? Or will they send someone else?" Her voice breaking now: "Does it say how he's gonna kill me? Do you think it'll hurt?" Angel moves toward her, but she yells at him not to touch her. Turning back to Giles, somewhat accusingly: "Were you even gonna tell me?" Giles says he was hoping to find a way around it, to which Buffy says she has one: She quits. Angel says it's not that simple, but Buffy isn't hearing it, and says they can find someone else to stop the Master. Giles start to talk about the signs of the apocalypse, but Buffy screams, "Read me the signs!" She throws a book at him. "Tell me my fortune! You're so useful sitting here with all of your books! You're really a lot of help!" Giles, in a small voice: "No, I don't suppose I am." Anyone else want to break my heart fifteen minutes in? Thank God David Boreanaz can't act his way out of a paper bag. Speaking of whom, he tries to tell her they'll figure something out, but Buffy says she already has, and frankly, I think she has a point. How do they know what would happen if she just holed up with Mr. Gordo and a box of Snackwells for the night? Giles tries one last time to tell her how grave a situation it would be if the Master were to rise, but Buffy cries, "I don't care!" She softly repeats that, and utters the now-famous line, "Giles, I'm sixteen years old. I don't want to die." The Tinkly Piano plays. She throws her cross necklace to the ground and stalks out, leaving an utterly defeated Angel and Giles to look at each other.
Willow, at home, regards a picture of herself and Xander. Significantly -- and again, subtly -- Buffy is not in it. Willow calls him. He's lying on his bed, upside-down from our angle, listening to Patsy Cline's remake of "I Fall To Pieces." Very nice choice. He picks up the phone, hangs it up, and takes it off the hook.
Buffy, in her room, looks through a photo album. Some cheesy song that I can't be bothered to look up plays, the only false musical choice in this episode. Joyce enters and asks what's wrong, having noted that Buffy didn't eat anything. Buffy hopefully asks her mom if they can go away for the weekend. "We can talk about all the embarrassing things you love to bring up." Aw. Joyce says she has to work, and asks about Spring Fling. Buffy says that someone asked her, but -- "not the right someone," Joyce finishes. She apologizes for the timing, but happily opens Buffy's closet to reveal a pretty full-length sleeveless white dress, saying she saw Buffy eyeing it. Buffy's stunned, and says they can't afford it. Whereas they can afford Buffy's fourteen hundred leather garments? Joyce says it's okay, and opines that Buffy should wear it to the dance. She tells a very endearing story about how she went dateless to a dance in college, and that's where she met Buffy's dad. She succeeds in making Buffy smile for a minute, but then Buffy notes that Joyce had her whole life ahead of her. Joyce agrees. Buffy: "Must be nice." Sniff.