A Handy Weapon - Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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Recap

Giles chastises Buffy for wanting to try out for the cheerleading squad. She visits tryouts and watches as a girl, Amber, bursts into flames. She puts out the fire and saves Amber's life.

The Scoobies determine Amber's fire isn't a vampire problem. They plan to do some investigation to see what caused her human combustion.

Buffy tries to share her cheerleading with Joyce, but her mom is too preoccupied.

Amy messes up during cheerleader tryouts and knocks Cordelia over. Amy worries that she won't live up to her mother's legacy; her mother was a former star cheerleader. Cordelia confronts her in the change room and threatens her that if Amy's mistake causes her to not make the squad, things will go bad for Amy.

The tryout list is revealed and Buffy is made first alternate while Amy gets third alternate. Buffy invites her over for a brownie night but Amy leaves upset.

A witch is placing a curse on Cordelia. They put a doll in a bubbling cauldron pot and finish the hex.

Joyce shows her high school yearbook to Buffy and pitches the idea of Buffy joining the yearbook committee. Buffy declines and Joyce gives terrible parenting feedback.

Xander gets the courage to ask Buffy out on a date, but Willow is hesitant for him to do so. He tries anyway and fails miserably as Buffy runs off to check on Cordelia.

Cordelia can barely see during her driving test. She drives through a fence and nearly gets run down by a car before Buffy saves her. Cordelia has lost her vision.

The Scoobies discover that a witch caused Amber's and Cordelia's attacks. Their top suspect is Amy since she was the most upset about not getting on the squad. A test will be performed to discover if she is the right witch they're looking for. The test is a success (Amy did the magic). However, another girl in their class has been attacked.

Amy is aware that Buffy and her friends stole a lock of her hair for the witch test. She has stolen the bracelet Xander gave Buffy and plans to enact a bit of her own revenge.

Buffy acts strangely in the morning and shrugs off her mom's apology. As she takes part in cheerleading practice, her behavior gets erratic and she hurts the cheerleading captain. The captain kicks her off the squad and makes Amy the new cheerleader.

Giles determines Buffy's behavior is due to a blood curse. Unless he's able to stop it, she will die in a few hours. The two head off to Amy's house in search of her lair.

Amy isn't the witch, it's her mother Catherine. Catherine has switched bodies with Amy to relive her cheerleading days.

Giles thinks he can reverse all of Catherine's spells. He finds the spell book and he, a weakened Buffy, and Amy head back to Sunnydale High.

While Catherine is cheering at the basketball game, Giles's reversal spell is working. She stumbles from the pyramid and charges through the school to find him. Xander and Willow try to stop her, but she knocks them out.

Giles reverses the spell. Amy is transported back to her own body and Buffy survives the attack.

Buffy and Catherine fight. Catherine aims a curse against Buffy but the attack hits a mirror instead, redirecting itself toward Catherine. She is defeated and disappears in a wall of light.

Amy is reunited with her father and living at his place now. Catherine, meanwhile, is cursed to live forever, trapped in her old cheerleading trophy.

Show:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season:
Episode Number:
3

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Buffy: So, this isn’t a vampire problem?
Giles: No.
Buffy: But this is funky, right? Not of the norm.
Giles: Quite. Spontaneous human combustion is rare and scientifically unexplainable. There have been cases for hundreds of years. Usually all that’s left is a pile of ashes.
Willow: That’s all that would’ve been left if it hadn’t been for Buffy.
Xander: So, we have no idea what caused this? That’s a comfort.
Giles: But that’s the thrill of living on the Hellmouth. There’s a veritable cornucopia of fiends and devils and ghouls to look at.
[They all look at him confused]
Giles: Pardon me for finding the glass half full.

Buffy: What the...?
[Amber dances and smoke appears]
Willow: That girl’s on fire!
Cordelia: Enough with the hyperbole.
[Amber’s hands burst into flames]