Guest Starring: 
 Tom Lenk: 
 Iyari Limon: 
 Clara Bryant: 
 Sarah Hagan: 
  12. Potential.  
  The Scoobies discover that Dawn could be a potential slayer.  
  Great quotes:  
Dawn, who might be a slayer!
  • Spike: “These two are dead. Why?” Rhona: “Cos the black chick always gets it first?”
  • Buffy: “You’re all gonna die, it’s the cooler word for being human.”
  • Andrew: “Plucked from an ordinary life and handed a destiny.” Xander: “Say ‘Skywalker’ and I smack you.”
  • Andrew: “I hate my free will.”
  • Xander to Dawn: “You’re not special, you’re extraordinary.”
  Fantastic moments:  
  • There’s a nice post-modern moment when Anya recaps some previous plots; when Willow says that Dawn and Buffy share the same blood (in reference to Dawn’s creation as ‘the key’ and as an explanation for why Dawn is a potential slayer), Anya notes that she “... never really got that.” Get in line with the rest of us Anya.
  • Almost everything Andrew saws is pure comedy genius. From his defence of his own defection to the ‘good side’ in search of redemption to his strangely exuberant descriptions of womanly power that slayers represent, you can tell that the writers simply love penning his dialogue.
  • Xander’s moral-boosting speech to Dawn about her own unheroic heroism is a great bookend to the episode, an episode which has been entirely about the valour inherent in special abilities ends with Xander telling everyone that it’s harder to be the guy who gets left out of the limelight.
  Duff Bits:  
  • There’s a good 100 seconds of ‘previously on’ before the episode gets going. That’s too much.
  • When Dawn is ‘revealed’ as a slayer early on in the episode, Xander tells her that she’s “... important now.” This contradicts him later telling her that she’s extraordinary just the way she is.
  • Get Clem off the screen now!
  • If Amanda was outside Buffy’s front door and walking home, how does Dawn meet her if she is also leaving the Summers’ residence? Maybe she lost some spatial orientation after her encounter with Willow’s spell?
  Dean's comments:  
Xander and Willow make big plans for Dawn.
So this is season 7 part 2 then? With the skirmishes out of the way the series seems happy to settle back down into a few episodes of story of the week before getting into stride for the big finish. Well that’s not quite true, as ‘Potential’ is all about whether Dawn is going to be one of the potential slayers. Although this easily could have descended into a nightmare world of badly-written fan-fiction, the episode quite neatly avoids being this season’s irritating ‘Dawn show’ and becomes a discussion about the fact that you don’t have to have superpowers in order to be worthy. The episode is well-structured; Buffy gives a speech to the potential slayers about how special they all are – the implication being that Dawn isn’t special – before everyone’s behaviour around Dawn changes when they think she might indeed be a slayer. Dawn then has the opportunity to prove her bravery and worth by realising she isn’t a potential, before coming to terms with this fact. It’s all about believing in people and seeing them thrive off their own confidence, Buffy and Spike leave the potentials to deal with a vamp, Buffy finds faith in Dawn’s powers, and Dawn then tells Amanda that she has faith in her abilities; each of them then finds the power within themselves to defeat personal and real demons. Then Xander comes along and gives everything a heart by telling Dawn that she’s amazing regardless of how ‘super’ the people around her may seem. All anyone needs in order to succeed is a little bit of confidence and belief from their contemporaries.
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