Previously: Angel paid a lurky visit, Xander got a case of syphilis from a vengeful Indian spirit, Buffy cooked Thanksgiving dinner, and Lor turned me into an Inner Goddess. THANKS, LOR.
Kirsti: We open with Willow standing in the dark in Oz’s bedroom while the Piano of Feels plays. She sits on his bed looking teary, and sniffs then hugs one of his t-shirts. We cut abruptly to Buffy walking through that random area full of sofas where all the students seem to congregate. Riley is helping some girls to hang a banner, and Buffy stops to…appreciate the view, I guess, based on her head tilt. Or maybe she’s a little jealous, because she gets a relieved smile on her face when he flips the banner down to reveal that it’s for the UC Sunnydale Lesbian Alliance. He tells her that he’s planned out the picnic they were talking about having, and Buffy’s all “Uhhh, whut?” And then Riley channels me with “So, was that a conversation I actually had, or just one I was practicing?”
Sweeney: Interacting with people is hard; practicing is necessary.
K: The sad part is when people refuse to go along with the lines you’ve assigned them in your head. SO RUDE. Buffy’s less than thrilled to learn that he thinks she’s intimidating enough to rehearse their conversations, and WOW. There’s some kind of half curl, half crimp thing going on with her hair, and it’s really not flattering.
Lorraine: It kind of reminds me of waking up after having sweat out a fever. That’s the general look.
K: Accurate. Anyway, Riley calls her beautiful, and she gets all warm and fuzzy, and I have to say, this is making me VERY uncomfortable considering how she literally just spent an entire day in bed with Angel. I mean, I know she can’t remember it, and TECHNICALLY it didn’t happen now that the day’s been taken back, but still. There’s a squick factor for me. (L: Nah. I’m fine.)
The conversation ends with Riley asking her to go on a picnic, and we cut to Buffy and Willow walking through the cemetery at night. Buffy fills Willow in on the Riley happenings, and mentions how daylight dates are a new thing for her. Except for that one time five minutes ago when you and Angel sucked face by the beach in LA… Anyway, Willow’s all “YAY” about it, and Buffy has joined the Riley’s Arms Appreciation Society. I tried to find you a picture, but apparently they put Riley in a lot of long sleeved stuff, and I couldn’t be bothered searching any further than the first page of Google Image results, so here. Have Jeremy Renner’s arms instead. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Lor: I will channel Buffy and say those are good arms to have.
K: They really are. Buffy worries that something’s missing from her potential relationship, and Willow points out that maybe it’s “He’s not making you miserable?” Yup. That’d be it. Also, Willow appears to be wearing an actual tea cozy. I have no words:
Sweeney: You said tea cozy! I’m pointing it out so I get to say it too.
Lor: Hey! You said tea cozy because Kirsti said tea cozy!
K: Tea cozies all round! Anyway, Buffy wonders whether a relationship with a nice boy can have the same passion and intensity as her relationship with Angel did. She continues: “Part of me believes that real love and passion have to go hand in hand with pain and fighting.” A vampire appears, and she stakes it without thinking. “I wonder where I get that from…” she says in a genuinely clueless tone. Roll credits.
After the credits, Buffy’s interrogating Spike, who’s chained up in Giles’ bath. He tells her the Initiative guys looked human, and that the lab was underground, and that he can’t remember anything more than that. Giles walks in carrying a mug, and hands it to Buffy. She holds it within Spike’s reach.
Sweeney: I love that Giles owns that mug.
Lor: I ain’t looking at the mug.
K: After he tells her she can’t be grossed out because surely she did this for Angel, she pulls the mug away and tells him the kitchen’s closed until he gives them some helpful information. Giles steps in, and I’m going to give you the full conversation, because LOL:
Giles: Look, look, Spike — we have no intention of killing a harmless.. uh, creature.. but we have to know what’s been done to you. We can’t let you go until we’re sure that you’re .. impotent —
Giles: Sorry, poor choice of words. Until we’re sure you’re, you’re…
Spike: You are one step away, missy.
Buffy: (sarcastically) Giles, help! He’s going to scold me.
There’s some more Spike taunting, which Giles eye rolls at. He leaves the bathroom and walks into the living room as Willow suggests that they use a truth spell to make Spike talk. Giles agrees, and Willow leaves to go get supplies from the magic shop. Giles heads back into the bathroom where Buffy’s feeding Spike again. He says that Willow seems better about Oz leaving, and Buffy agrees. Spike, who’s apparently the only perceptive person in Sunnydale during season 4, says “What, are you people blind? She’s hangin’ on by a thread. Any ninny can see that.”
Sweeney: I’m annoyed by Buffy’s failure to see it. Talking about other stuff with Willow is fine, because sometimes that’s good and helpful, but to not even see it is another matter. Also, even though B can be self-centered at times, this feels a bit OOC for her.
K: Exactly. Especially when they live together! With that, we cut over to Willow in Oz’s room again. But this time, it’s completely bare. The camera zooms in on Willow’s hurt expression, and then cuts to the Bigger on the Inside Dorm Room, where Willow’s crying to Buffy about how Oz sent for his things and isn’t coming back. She feels like she’s missing half of herself. Buffy’s…not particularly supportive.
Lor: I wouldn’t say that! There is only so much you can say to that, though, and I think the point is that Buffy knows this having been in that position on so recently.
K: You’re right about there being only so much you can say. But would it kill her to give Willow a hug? The following morning, Willow hasn’t turned up at Giles’ with the ingredients for the spell. He leaves a worried voicemail as Spike yells in the background that Passions is on and he has to find out what happens to Timmy, who’s trapped down the well. I laugh hysterically. (S: +1. I LOVED THAT CRAZY SHOW. When I was homeschooled in middle school I rarely missed an episode.) (L: I WATCHED IT ALL THE TIME. That shit was crazy.) Over at Contrivance U, Buffy and Riley are picnicking. And talking about driving, which seems strange. But it allows her to mention that Buffy and driving don’t mix, which gives me warm fuzzy memories of Band Candy, so I’m okay with it. Mopey Willow interrupts, and things getting a little Awkward Third Wheel-y.
At the Bronze that night, Xander is all “Whoa, Oz just sent for his stuff without calling??” while Anya’s had her hair cut off, and I’m confused because the Bronze have replaced their standard indie girls with noserings bands with Blink-182. (S: This also gave me major middle school flashback feelings.) (K: Way to make me feel old, Sweeney. “All the Small Things” came out the year I graduated high school…) (S: WOMP.) This allows Willow to jump around like a maniac on the dance floor. Apparently she’s decided it’s time to stop moping and instead get drunk. I was about to be confused again because she’s drinking light beer, and how the hell do you get drunk on half a light beer, but then I remembered that light beer means something different in the US. Carry on.
Buffy’s all “BEER BAD”, and thanks for reminding us about that epic suckitude, Buff. She points out to Willow that feeling better will take time, but Willow wants insta-pain-removal. And so she gets up in the middle of the night, gets out her witchy supplies, and sits on the floor of the communal bathroom (EW) surrounded by candles and casting a spell. When she casts that from this point on, her will be done. The candles get super flamey and lightning crashes.
Sweeney: Because I am so good at TV, I know that this is never a good sign.
Lor: I also love that she did this all in the dorm bathroom. Hope she locked the door!
K: The next morning, she tries willing her heart to be unbroken. When that doesn’t work, she moves on to smaller things, but they also don’t work. She declares the spell a bust. Giles arrives and is all concerned surrogate parent-y. Things quickly descend into a fight, which ends with Willow saying “You don’t see anything!” Her eyes do a flashy thing, and Giles takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes. He leaves in something of a daze. Back at his place, he tries to do the truth spell on Spike, but is having trouble reading it. He stops to rub his eyes again, and drops the key to Spike’s restraints. While Giles is distracted, Spike unlocks his chains, pushes Giles aside, and escapes into the night.
Back in the Bigger on the Inside Dorm Room, Willow’s cleaning out Rat Amy’s cage while moping to Buffy about Giles being unsupportive. She makes a comment about how Amy’s the only real witch, and says “I mean, first she’s a perfectly normal girl…” and her eyes flash. At that, Rat Amy (who’s on Willow’s bed) turns back into Real Amy. She looks ecstatic, but Willow continues: “…then poof – she’s a rat.” And Amy gets Ratted again. Whoops.
Sweeney: Poor Amy. But also: LOVE this throwback.
Lor: Favorite!! I yelped when I saw real Amy. Poor Amy.
K: Giles rings to let Buffy know about Spike escaping, and she packs up her stuff to go track him down. Willow’s hurt because she thought they were going to have a girls’ night, but Buffy says duty comes first. As Buffy leaves, Willow flashy-eyes that she’ll probably find him in two seconds. Obviously, Buffy and Spike bump straight into each other and both look confused. But then Spike realises that they’re in the spot where he escaped from the Initiative. He starts banging on the ground trying to find a door, and Buffy’s all “PFF, LIAR.” She drags him back to Giles’. Giles is in the bathroom putting eye drops in while Buffy and Spike bicker in the hall. Cut over to Xander’s basement where Willow’s moping about Buffy leaving. We cut back and forth between bickering Buffy and Spike and moping Willow until Xander says that Buffy needs Spike to help her find the Super Secret Soldiers. “Well, fine. Why doesn’t she just go marry him?” Willow flashy-eyes.
With that, we head back to Giles’ where he walks out of the bathroom to find Spike proposing to Buffy. LOL FOREVER. Buffy accepts, they kiss, and Giles is all “NO, SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCK????” while Buffy waves her newly ringed finger at him as we fade to black:
After the Not Ad Break, Willow’s still sulking. Xander tries to be supportive friend guy, but Willow decides that it’s the perfect time to reflect on his romantic history, calling him a demon magnet. Back at Giles’, he leaves another voicemail for Willow because everything has gone horribly wrong. Buffy and Spike discuss wedding plans, and then kiss some more. Giles begs them to stop. Buffy asks Giles if he’ll give her away because even though her dad’s not that far away, Giles is her real family. Awww.
Sweeney: This was precious. It was also nice grounding for this. I liked that we had both zany magic lolz and an actual sincere Buffy/Giles moment in the middle.
Lor: It’s like the writer was thinking, “they’ll probably be laughing. Let’s give a swift and quick, little kick in the feels.” Nicely done.
K: Because, you know, we haven’t had enough feels around here lately… Giles gets all squee-y before coming to his senses and pointing out that clearly something is affecting them all. There’s some more bickering over wedding plans, and Giles stops them to tell him that he’s completely blind now. Spike says that seeing as Giles is practically his father-in-law now (LOL), he’ll do a reversal spell. Buffy sets off to the magic shop to find supplies, kissing Spike on her way out. “It’s alright. I have more scotch…” Giles says.
Sweeney: Season 4 Giles basically seems to be explaining all of our thoughts, with his nods to the value of sarcasm and alcohol.
K: A+. Cut to downtown. Buffy heads out of the magic shop and then gets distracted by the convenient bridal store next door. She’s staring at dresses when Riley appears. She tells him that she wants them to stay friends, and that she’d like him to be there on her wedding day, and can he believe it?! “I don’t think ‘no’ is a strong enough word…” he replies. There’s some confused back and forth, and it can basically be summed up as Buffy’s crazy and Riley’s hurt. Over at Xander’s basement, he and Anya are about to have some sexytimes when a demon bursts in. Conveniently, ex-demon Anya can identify it instantly and knows how to kill it. So she and Xander drown it in the laundry trough. But then another demon breaks in through the window. They make a run for it.
Back at Giles’, Buffy’s singing Wagner’s Bridal Chorus while marching a cake topper up Spike’s arm. Giles is unimpressed on account of HE’S BLIND PLEASE FIX NOW. But apparently they were out of an essential ingredient, so it has to wait until the next day. Buffy and Spike kiss some more and Giles yells “Stop that right now! I can hear the smacking…” There are so many spectacular lines in this episode. I mean, seriously. (S: Hilarious script for Giles in particular.) Luckily for Giles, Xander and Anya burst in. Buffy wonders if the demons that are suddenly turning up near Xander are related to Giles’ blindness. At that, Xander waves his forked fingers in front of Giles’ eyes, leading to another genius line: “Please stop whatever you’re doing. You smell like Fruit Roll-ups.”
Lor: I’m impressed that Giles can identify the Fruit Roll Ups smell.
K: Apparently his other senses compensated for his lack of sight REALLY quickly. Then Anya notices that Buffy and Spike are holding hands. When Buffy tells them the big news, Xander’s response is “How? What? How?” to which Giles replies “Three excellent questions.” Buffy and Spike suck face some more, and Xander would like to be blind too please. But then he makes himself useful and joins the dots back to Willow.
At that, we head over to Mopey Willow walking into the Bigger on the Inside Dorm Room. A demon grabs her around the head, lightning flashes, and they vanish. The gang enter shortly after to see a giant burnt patch on the carpet. Welp, there goes that security deposit! (AGAIN) (L: SOME MORE.) Anya says that D’Hoffryn, who made her a demon a millionty years ago, clearly opened a portal there. Cut to a dark nothing-y space. D’Hoffryn tells Willow that her pain is like a scream that pierces dimensions. She says that she’ll try and be in pain more quietly in the future. But he hasn’t kidnapped her to shut her up.
Over in the cemetery, Anya fills the gang in on the whole becoming a vengeance demon deal, and then Buffy decides that a particular crypt would be the PERFECT location for wedding photos. So when a demon approaches, she tells it that they’re going to fight to the death without destroying the foliage. Uh, sure?
They fight briefly, but three more demons appear, and the gang run into a crypt to escape. Spike and Buffy barricade the door with sarcophagus lids while Anya starts summoning D’Hoffryn. Back in the dark nothing-y space, D’Hoffryn assumes that the spells Willow cast on her friends were intentional, and offers her a job as a vengeance demon. Over in the crypt, the demons break through the door and attack the gang. Cut back to D’Hoffryn, who can apparently make a cross-dimensional TV screen appear between his fingers. (L: Best demon power yet! This is even better than that one time on Angel when a demon had his own built in jewellery.) He uses it to show Willow what’s happening back in Sunnydale, and she’s horrified.
She says that she doesn’t want to be a vengeance demon, and D’Hoffryn is disappointed, but leaves her with his talisman in case she changes her mind. LOL. In the crypt, Xander and Anya are fighting off demons. Spike gets knocked to the ground, and Buffy stops everything to see if he’s okay. This ends in them kissing. Again. Lightning flashes and Willow pops back into this dimension. She breaks the spell, and the attacking demons vanish. Buffy and Spike come to their senses and start gagging:
Buffy: Oh, ugh!
Spike: Oh, bloody hell!
Buffy: Spike lips! Lips of Spike!
Later, at Giles’, Willow is attempting to make things better by baking batch after batch of chocolate chip cookies.
Sweeney: This is usually how I avoid the things I need to do. I’m glad to see that cookie baking really can be productive.
Lor: I really feel bad that all said and done Willow is the one super apologizing. Yes, things got out of her hands, but she had a good point (earlier to Giles) that her friends weren’t being as understanding as she needed them to be. They truly weren’t seeing her and the difficulty she’s in, and here we are again where it ends up being about everyone but Willow.
I’ll hug you, Willow.
K: Giles’ vision is back, and Spike’s tied to a chair again. He wants to know if he gets a cookie too, which DAMMIT WHEDON. We literally just established in the last episode of Angel that vampires definitely don’t eat, and now Spike wants a cookie? Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!
Sweeney: IT’S LIKE THEY ACTIVELY DISCOURAGE CONSISTENCY.
Lor: Maybe cookies are the magical trans-supernatural species food. Everyone likes a cookie!
K: I’m pretty sure that Spike’s the only vampire that ever eats. It’s an annoying inconsistency. He says he needs it because his mouth still tastes like Slayer. “You’re a pig, Spike,” Buffy says, and he replies “Yeah, well, I’m not the one who wanted Wind Beneath My Wings for the first dance!” The gang turn to stare at Buffy in horror, and she beats an embarrassed retreat to the kitchen. Willow shoves a cookie into Spike’s mouth with a glower.
Buffy suggests a forgetting spell may be in order to help her get over the “Ew I made out with Spike” factor, and then freaks out when she realises that Riley thinks she’s engaged. Cut back to Contrivance U where the best explanation she could come up with was “You thought I was serious??” Riley’s still weirded out but thrilled to hear she’s still single. She says that he has a lot to learn about women. He cups her face in his hands and says “You’ll teach me” before walking away. Fade (slightly randomly) to black.
Lor: Riley update: BO-RING. Seeing her even pretend to be with Spike confirms that B has more chemistry with just about anyone else on this show.
K: Indeed. This episode’s pretty random, and comes with an added dose of Willow/Oz feels, but it’s the Spike Appreciation Show again so I love it.
Lor: I think it’s a fun one to revisit given that we all know Buffy and Spike eventually happen. There will come a time, I imagine, when lips of Spike won’t be so icky for you, girlfriend…
K: Truth. It’s kind of like in the pilot when she met Angel and was all “I DIDN’T like him”, and I LOL because YOU WILL, GIRL.
Next time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Some seriously creepy villains and a shiny new character! Find out what and who in S04 E10 – Hush.