Today is Buffy ~feelings~ day, apparently, so confession: Potential is the only episode of Buffy that’s ever made me openly weep. (This is because I’m the kind of person who would watch everything in order, but openly skip The Body.)
But seriously, everything about this episode.
“Remember when I said I was special? I’m not. But the thing is, you are […] it’s something you were born to do.”
There are so many beautiful, well-constructed episodes of Buffy, but I’m not going to call this one that. What I am going to say is that the entire B-plot about training the potentials was worth it for that moment when Buffy’s lecturing the potentials, and you realize how much Dawn already knows. How suddenly the girl who just last season was too weak to stay at home alone is suddenly powerful, instinctively, practicedly doing all the things that the potentials hide from. Purely a civilian now, no power, no magic, and she breaks the flagpole on the table, lights a fire in the science room. It’s not inheritance, and it’s not calling. Dawn made her choice long before Willow and Buffy changed the rules. She already chose to be strong.
“They’ll never know how tough it is, Dawnie. To be the one who isn’t chosen. To live so close to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me […] you’re not special. You’re extraordinary.”