Checkpoint (Jane Espenson and Douglas Petrie)
Episodes like this leave me a bit stuck for words: the Watchers' Council has that effect. The bizarre "Englishness" of the characters doesn't help (maybe Joss as an Old Wykehamist hasn't actually met any ordinary Brits) and if you are going to hint strongly about a paternalistic organization why not go the whole hog and stop foisting female Watchers on us. And if a Watcher is paid then why isn't the Slayer?
The highlight of the episode is the amusing montage of interviews in which Willow actually manages to be cute. It's a well worn but fun device next seen in Entropy. My favourite bit is when Tara makes an inspired guess at level five.
Poor Amber getting saddled with lines like this: "Are you sure they're English? I-I thought English people were, um, gentler, then, uh, normal..."
And a big hello to the Knights of Byzantium.