This episode scored a 3.5/5 in the overnight ratings.
This episode ranked 6 out of 10 UPN shows for that week.
Anthony Stewart Head (Giles) returns in this episode and stays until the series finale.
Ranked 88 out of 131 prime time shows.
All three of the potential slayers in this episode were well-known Disney Channel stars at the time. Courtnee Draper starred in Disney's original series The Jersey
and the original movie The Thirteenth Year
. Clara Bryant starred in the movie Tru Confessions
, and Iyari Limon appeared in Double Teamed.
Giles: Sorry to barge in. We have a slight apocalypse.
Buffy: Giles, this is bad, isn't it? A new kind of bad.
Giles: Just in time for Christmas.
Buffy: You know, I didn't even realize it was December. Maybe when we get home, we should decorate the rubble.
Buffy: I'm beyond tired. I'm beyond scared. I'm standing on the mouth of hell, and it is gonna swallow me whole. And it'll choke on me. We're not ready? They're not ready. They think we're gonna wait for the end to come, like we always do. I'm done waiting. They want an apocalypse? Oh, we'll give 'em one. Anyone else who wants to run, do it now. 'Cause we just became an army. We just declared war. From now on, we won't just face our worst fears, we will seek them out. We will find them, and cut out their hearts one by one, until The First shows itself for what it really is. And I'll kill it myself. There is only one thing on this earth more powerful than evil, and that's us. Any questions?
Willow: Yeah, my search isn't turning anything up either. Are you sure this thing called itself The First?
Buffy: Pretty sure. It claimed to be the original evil, the one that came before anything else.
Anya: Please, how many times have I heard that line in my demon days? "I'm so rotten, they don't even have a word for it. I'm bad. Baddy bad bad bad. Does it make you horny?" Or terrified. Whatever.
Buffy: The seal could've been activated. I bet that's what the First needed Spike for.
Andrew: That wasn't there before. I had nothing to do with that.
Xander: Thanks for clearing that up because otherwise we might have thought you were up to no good here at the satanic manhole cover. You killed your best friend!
Giles: (about The First) How to defeat it I... honestly I don't know. But we have to find a way. If the slayer line is eliminated, then the hell mouth has no guardian. The balance is destroyed. I'm afraid it falls to you, Buffy. Sorry. I mean, we'll do what we can, but you're the only one who has the strength to protect these girls... and the world against what's coming.
Xander: But no pressure.
Andrew: So, how long have you followed Buffy?
Xander: I don't follow her. She's my best friend.
Andrew: Huh. She seems like a good leader. Her hair is shiny. Does she make you stab things?
Buffy: Oh, um, I'm sorry. What were we talking about?
Teen Boy: Only my life. You're just like all the others.
Buffy: No. No, no, no. I'm different. I'm hip. I relate to the young people.
Xander: Hey, junior slayers, don't look so worried. I mean, sure, we don't know where Spike is, or how to fight The First, or if and when the super style vampire is gonna attack us all. However, house-- boarded up. Now all we got to do is trap this UberVamp in a pantry, and it's game over.
Willow: Xander, newbies. Let's ease them in to the whole "jokes in the face of death" thing.
Xander: Who's joking? That pantry thing could work. Are you saying M. Night Shamalayan lied to us?