Choices (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

"Choices" is the nineteenth episode of season three of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was written by David Fury, directed by James A. Contner, and first broadcast on May 4, 1999.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 19
Directed byJames A. Contner
Written byDavid Fury
Production code3ABB19
Original air dateMay 4, 1999
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Prom"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 3)
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The Box of Gavrok is due to arrive by courier at the airport; the Mayor offers Faith a knife in return for intercepting it. Buffy tells Wesley and Giles that she wants out of Sunnydale. She offers a deal: if she takes the offensive against the Mayor, defeats him, and stops the ascension, they could afford to be Slayerless for long enough for her to go away to college.

That night, Faith kills the courier, and separates him from the box by taking off his hand. Watching from the bushes, Buffy sees Faith deliver the box to the Mayor. After the coast is clear, Buffy forces the driver to disclose information about the box before staking him.

The gang plan an attack on City Hall to steal the Box of Gavrok. First, Willow will remove the magic protecting the box so Buffy and Angel can take it. Then, Xander and Oz will prepare the ritual Willow will use to destroy the box.

Wesley and Giles drop off Buffy, Willow and Angel at City Hall. Everything goes fine until Buffy's guy rope sticks and an alarm goes off. As two vampires enter, Angel drops to Buffy's rescue. After a fight, they escape with the box. The Mayor's anger and the gang's relief reverse when it is discovered that Faith has captured Willow.

A library discussion ensues: is Willow's life worth those of the many thousands who would be saved if the box is destroyed? Oz settles the matter by smashing the pot containing the potion needed for the ritual. Buffy tells Giles to set up a meeting to exchange Willow for the Box of Gavrok.

At City Hall, Willow escapes from the room she is imprisoned in and examines the Mayor's office. She is reading the Books of Ascension when Faith finds her. Giles's call comes in time to stop Faith from killing her.

The meeting is in the school cafeteria where the Mayor tells Buffy and Angel that they have no future together. They make the trade, but are disrupted by Principal Snyder and his security guards, bent on drug-busting. One of the guards opens the box and a large beetle-like creature jumps out and kills him. Another beetle breaks free and the two attack the Mayor and Buffy. Buffy squashes one and Faith kills the other by throwing her knife and pinning the creature to the wall.

Back at the library, Willow presents Giles with a few important pages she tore from the Books of Ascension. Wesley counts the cost of her rescue: the gang are now back exactly where they started, with no way to stop the Ascension.

At school the next day, Buffy and Willow talk again about their future. Buffy knows she can not leave Sunnydale; Willow now knows she does not want to leave because fighting evil and studying Wicca are what she wants to do. Both will attend UC Sunnydale.

Cordelia is shown working in a dress store and enviously holding one particular dress.


Noel Murray of The A.V. Club described "Choices" as "an exciting episode, marked by an especially rousing score and some of the best fight scenes I've yet seen on the show". He went on to praise Willow's character development, and the way the episode "reinforced its theme in nearly every plot point, line of dialogue and set dressing".[1] A review for the BBC criticised the plot, particularly Willow being kidnapped and staying to read the Books of Ascension rather than escaping, but praised the character interactions and Alyson Hannigan's performance.[2]


  1. ^ "Buffy The Vampire Slayer: "Choices" / "The Prom" / "Graduation Day: Part 1 and 2"". Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  2. ^ "Episode Guide: Choices". BBC. Retrieved November 7, 2016.

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