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Buffy begins work as school counsellor, and tries to save a girl who has predicted her own death.
- An Aesop: You can't save everyone, but you need to keep trying.
- Arrow Catch: Buffy catches a crossbow quarrel just before it kills Cassie -- who then dies of a heart attack.
- Bait and Switch: Ominous music plays as coffin lids rise...to reveal Buffy and Xander hiding inside so they can check out a funeral home for vamps.
- Cassie has forseen her death by heart attack, not some supernatural menace.
- Big Damn Heroes: Spike with his flaming torch.
- Bond One-Liner: The Scoobies comment on how peaceful the woman in the coffin is.
Woman: (eyes opening to reveal vampire eyes) I am not peaceful!
Buffy: That, I can help with. (dusts her) I always thought closed caskets were more tasteful anyway.
- Bound and Gagged
- Bully Hunter: Amanda comes to Buffy about being bullied. Buffy tells her she needs to stand up to the boy. Amanda admits that's why she's there -- because she pounded his face into the pavement and should she do it some more? Buffy, a long-time bully hunter herself, is at a loss for words. The scene becomes even more ironic when we eventually discover that Amanda is a Potential Slayer.
- Call Back
- The fraternity in "Reptile Boy" also sacrificed women to a demon in exchange for wealth.
- Joyce Summer's death, which was also due to natural causes despite Buffy's attempt to discover a supernatural menace behind it all.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Booby Traps. Subverted when they fail to kill anyone.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Cassie will return as a ghost who communicates with Willow in "Conversations With Dead People". Amanda is revealed to be a potential Slayer in "Potential".
- Comically Missing the Point
Wood: Talk like that was taken pretty seriously where I come from.
Buffy: The hood?
Wood: Beverly Hills... which is a hood.
- Continuity Nod: Xander is very interested when Willow mentions she used to write love poems. Willow replies, "I am over you, sweetie" referring to how she fancied Xander in Seasons 1 & 2.
- Curse Cut Short
Buffy: You need to show this bully that you're not gonna take any more of his sh--guff. Uh, any guff.
- Cut Himself Shaving: On seeing two familiar puncture wounds on a corpses' neck.
Xander: Maybe she cut herself shaving and then died naturally of embarrassment.
- Kill It with Fire / Defeat Equals Explosion: Buffy uses the flaming torch to set fire to the demon, which then explodes for no apparent reason.
- Face Palm: Buffy's reaction to a student who says he believes he's gay, and who wants to test that theory by asking Buffy on a date. She's still in the same position when dealing with Dawn.
- Foreshadowing: Cassie tells Spike, "She'll tell you. Someday she'll tell you." Buffy will finally tell Spike she loves him in the Grand Finale "Chosen".
- Grave Marking Scene: Willow places stones on Tara's headstone.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Willow discusses Doogie Howser, M.D. fanfiction. A couple of years later there'd be a show that had Willow and Doogie.
- Human Sacrifice
- I Don't Want to Die: Played heartbreakingly straight.
Cassie: Believe me, I want to...be here, do things. I want to graduate from high school, and I want to go to the stupid winter formal... I have this friend, and it would be fun to go with him. Just to dance and hear lame music to wear a silly dress and laugh and stuff. I'd like to go. There's a lot of stuff I'd like to do. I'd love to ice skate at Rockefeller Center. And I'd love to see my cousins grow up and see how they turn out 'cause they're really mean and I think they're gonna be fat. I'd love to backpack across the country or, I don't know, fall in love... but I won't. I just never will.
- In the Hood: Good for Dressing as the Enemy.
- Mandatory Line: Averted with no Giles, and a scene where Anya accidentally counsels a woman seeking vengeance was cut.
- Meaningful Name: Cassie. As in, CASSANDRA? (although Buffy takes little convincing to believe her).
- No Sympathy: Peter gets bitten by the demon he summoned.
Peter: Help! Help me, please! I'm bleeding!
Buffy: Sorry. My office hours are 10 to 4.
- Open Says Me: Averted
Buffy: (pressing doorbell) Buffy the Vampire Slayer would break down this door.
Xander: And Buffy the counselor?
Buffy: Do you know why I came back to Sunnydale High?
Boy: To creep me out?
Buffy: To help. I'm a counselor here because I wanna help. I know what it's like to walk these halls and feel lost, alone. I just want to make things better, connect. (stands up) And I'm going to connect with your face if you don't stop wasting my time and help me do my job.
- Reality Subtext: The boy worried about his brother joining the marines because he might get killed.
- Reveal Shot: Buffy is counselling a student who's complaining about her control freak sister -- it's Dawn.
- Running Gag: Another pointed comment by Dawn re her 'big' sister's height.
You know, I'm not the shortest one here. I don't know why I had to be in the kid coffin.
- Secret Circle of Secrets / Ominous Latin Chanting
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Cassie is depressed because she knows she's going to die, so the boys pick her for their Human Sacrifice because when she disappears everyone will assume she killed herself.
- Self -Harm: Buffy stops Spike from punching himself in the head in punishment for trying to rape her. Later Spike is fighting the boy who's trying to kill Cassie, but his chip is inflicting pain every time Spike hits him, so he keeps right on hitting.
- Shout-Out: Cassie is shown reading Slaughterhouse-Five, a book about a man who knows exactly when and where he's going to die and has accepted it.
- Technology Marches On: Xander assumes "Have you googled her yet?" is an Unusual Euphemism.
- Tempting Fate: Buffy is ridiculing the boys lame-ass attempt to raise a demon...like the one that's just appeared behind her.
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: The students Buffy is counselling.
- Tear Jerker
- Viral Marketing: The website showing Cassie's poetry was recreated online (the site is now defunct).
- You Can't Fight Fate: Oh, the many ways that may end up with Cassie dead and then a simple heart attack gets her.
- Your Days Are Numbered