We're back from commercial and Giles menacingly says to Ethan, "You have no idea how much thrashing you is going to improve my day." Ethan tries to make a break for it and Giles knocks him down. Giles is about to punch Ethan but Ethan weasels out of it, saying he has important news for Giles.
Giles and Ethan have retired to a nondescript booth in a local bar. The waitress sets two glasses of beer in front of them. Giles tells Ethan to get to the point, but Ethan meanders, wondering where their friendship has gone. Giles starts to get up but Ethan stops him, saying that something in the dark world is happening. He asks Giles if he knows about something that's harming demons, something other than the Slayer. Apparently something called 314 has them frightened. Ethan says that this new power is upsetting the balance between the worlds and they're headed "quite literally toward one hell of a fight." Um. Let's assume that Riley is indicative of the average Commando with his seventeen hostiles bagged. How many other Rileys must there be if the entire demon population is more frightened of the Initiative than the Slayer?
Speaking of the Slayer, she and Riley are sparring playfully in the gym. They circle each other, getting off assorted punches and kicks. Actually, Buffy is kicking and punching and Riley is mostly blocking. He grabs her from behind and asks if she's holding back. She fires the question right back at him and he coyly replies, "Maybe a little." Buffy does some move that causes Riley to spin in the air before falling on the mat, saying, "Maybe a little too." They agree to go all out, and Buffy handily kicks him in the chest, which knocks him a good twenty feet over a vaulting horse and across the room. She runs to him and apologizes, but he tells her he's fine (dammit) as he rubs his chest. Maybe his heart is in shock and -- oh never mind. A girl can dream, though.
Back to Giles and Ethan, who have gotten progressively more soused; shot glasses and pint glasses are strewn across the table. Giles starts complaining about Maggie, but Ethan is busy hitting on the waitress. Giles laments that the world has passed them by. Ethan tells him that he won't have to worry much longer as he's poisoned his drink. There's a tense moment until Ethan says he was just joking and bursts out laughing.
Willow and Tara are in Tara's room (presumably). Willow places a red rose on the ground (oh yeah, that's subtle). Willow says that they'll start out slow as they join hands over a symbol on the floor and close their eyes. Tara asks what they're doing and Willow explains that they are going to float the rose and pluck each petal using the magics blah blah blah wiccacakes. Someone must have turned a spiritual fan on, because Tara's hair is blowing all around. The rose floats (in an embarrassingly cheesy effect more worthy of a crappy show like Charmed), and just as they get ready to try plucking off the petals, the flower zings around the room wildly, coming to rest sans bud on the symbol on the floor. Willow wonders what happened, and Tara says, "I don't know but, uh, the petals are off." I'm still in the "Tara is way cute but rather creepy" camp.