Synopsis by Brian J. Dillard
Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and the Scoobies hole up in the Summers' house and imprison Spike (James Marsters) in hopes of learning more about the unseen adversary who's been manipulating him. On a trip to pick up animal blood for the captive to drink, Willow (Alyson Hannigan) encounters incognito super-nerd Andrew (Tom Lenk), who appears to be the pawn of the same shape-shifting fiend as Spike. Soon, ex-lovers Xander (Nicholas Brendon) and Anya (Emma Caulfield) are joyfully interrogating the geek. The terrified Andrew is more than forthcoming about his encounters with the spirit of Warren (Adam Busch) and his murder of equally dorky former ally Jonathan (Danny Strong). But Spike reveals very little -- until another visit from the big bad turns him into a mindless, vamped-out threat. Ultimately, Buffy shackles Spike down in the basement but refuses his pained entreaties for a merciful death. Touched by Spike's true confessions about the tribulations he endured to win back his soul (and, less successfully, her heart), Buffy tells Spike that she can see the better man deep inside him. Just then, robed warriors attack the house. Buffy assists her friends in staving them off upstairs, but it's all a diversion: they make off with Spike, whose own spilled blood soon fuels the spell that Jonathan's murder was incapable of completing. Elsewhere, a zonked-out Principal Wood (D.B. Woodside) buries Jonathan's body, and the headquarters of the Watcher's Council blows up spectacularly. Originally broadcast November 26, 2002, on the UPN network, "Never Leave Me" marked episode 131 of the cult-favorite series.