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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide

Season 5, Episode 9

Listening To Fear

Original Air Date: November 28, 2000


Joyce is in the hospital for more tests. She is scheduled to have surgery in two days. Buffy and Dawn are hanging out with her. Joyce wants to know if Buffy needs to go patrolling, but Buffy says that Riley and the Scooby Gang are taking care of the vampire slaying for her so she can have the night off.

In fact, Riley ditched Willow, Xander, and Giles. They manage to slay two vampires on their own, but it is clearly difficult for them. In the meantime, Riley is off in a dark room, letting yet another female vampire suck on his arm. (By the way, this is probably an appropriate time to mention that vampirism is a common metaphor for illict sexual activity. It is especially clear in this scene, where it appears at first that the vampire is fellating Riley.)

Back at Joyce's hospital room, Willow has stopped by to drop off presents. Buffy and Dawn are about to leave with her when Joyce suddenly gets angry and babbles some nonsense. After a moment, she returns to normal and doesn't remember the things she said. Outside the room, Buffy tries to reassure Dawn by saying that the brain tumor may make their mom act strangely. As they walk away, a man who is clearly insane points at Dawn and begins to rant about there not being "pictures on this one". Ben, the hospital intern, tells them that the man is being released because of over-filling of the psychiatric ward.

Willow and Tara see a meteor fly over them and crash into the ground not far away. A strange alien creature climbs out of it and attacks the crazy guy from the hospital, who for some reason was wandering around in the woods.

Joyce and Buffy convince the doctor to allow Joyce to go home until her surgery.

Willow and Tara have rounded up the gang to go look for the meteor crash site in the woods. They find the meteor, and since it is broken open and empty, it is obvious that something has come out of it. While looking around for the meteor-creature, Willow finds the dead body of the crazy guy. Riley notices some strange goo in the man's mouth and stays behind to call the Initiative while the rest of the gang goes to do some research.

At the psychiatric ward of the hospital, the alien attacks another mental patient, killing him by spitting goo onto the man's face.

Joyce is still acting a little crazy, but Buffy takes her home. Joyce goes upstairs to sleep, but comes downstairs again shortly. Buffy and Dawn find Joyce in the kitchen, where she spouts more craziness, in the process calling Dawn a "thing". Quickly, Joyce returns to her senses and goes back upstairs.

In the woods, the Initiative has shown up. They do a chemical analysis of the goo and then try to find the alien by following its radiation trace.

While researching, Willow and Xander discover that people in the Middle Ages summoned demons called Quellers that arrived in meteors to stop plagues of madness. Willow calls Riley, who confirms their belief that the demon is killing the mentally ill - there are 5 corpses in the psychiatric ward of the hospital.

Dawn hears Joyce talking to herself, but turns up the music, assuming that Joyce is just ranting. Joyce, sounding increasingly frightened, says "I don't like the way you are staring at me!" The camera pans up to show the Queller demon suspended from the ceiling, peering at Joyce. The demon attacks Joyce, who screams, prompting Dawn to run in and yell for Buffy.

The demon runs out of the room and pounces on Buffy, who has come upstairs. They roll down the stairs together, and Buffy goes to the kitchen for a knife. While trying to find the demon, Buffy runs into Spike, who had been stealing things from Buffy's basement. The demon attacks Spike and then Buffy, who kills it with a knife, just as Riley rushes in with the rest of the commandos.

Ben the intern tells Glory's minion that he summoned the Queller demon to "clean up Glory's mess".

At the hospital, Joyce is getting ready for her surgery, and confides to Buffy that she suspects that Dawn is not really her daughter. Buffy confirms that Dawn is the Key.

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