A beach, close to sunset. Buffy walks, then stops and closes her eyes. The camera pans down Buffy's dress -- and I'm no expert on women's clothes, but this creation looks straight out of Sirens -- and a pair of arms encircles her waist. She clasps them to her, and the camera moves back up to reveal Angel. Buffy blissfully keeps her eyes closed. She asks him to stay with her, and he assents: "I'll never leave you, even if you kill me." Buffy's eyes go wide. She wakes up in a tiny studio apartment to loud city sounds. She walks to the window, and the camera pans out to reveal a street that's definitely on the wrong side of the tracks. A police car drives by, sirens wailing, and we get one of those music-less cuts to black from the earlier episodes that I so love.
Cue the kick-ass opening credits. Rocket launcher, Faith, cute shots of Willow, swordfight, tasty Oz, and several shots from this episode. Oh yeah.
Commercial for Practical Magic as Meredith Brooks's "Bitch" plays. I so did not need to be reminded of either of those things.
Buffy, in pigtails and a white uniform with a red-and-white-checked tablecloth pattern collar and sleeves and a red apron, waits on two trucker types in a greasy spoon. She instructs Trucker #1 to pay at the counter, and he offers to pay in trade, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Trucker #2 slaps her behind as she walks away. She pauses, and from the music we're meant to think an ass-kicking is imminent, but instead she walks to her next table, where a young couple is canoodling. The guy is dumb-looking and fairly cute, and the girl is Chanterelle, played by Julia Lee, from the second-season episode "Lie to Me," only looking much more like a street urchin. We see that Buffy is wearing a name tag that says, "Anne," and the couple have tattoos on their arms that, when put together, form a big heart. Each tattoo contains the significant other's name: "Rickie" and "Lily." When Buffy asks for their order, Rickie dumps some change on the table and asks what they can afford with that much. That's a major meta-shout-out on Joss's part, since David Arquette and Luke Perry did the exact same thing in the Buffy movie. When the girls first really look at each other, realization starts to dawn. Lily (I was going to call her Chantarlily, but it's too unwieldy, so Lily it is) starts to ask Buffy where she's from, but Buffy escapes to the counter, asks another waitress to cover for her, and hightails it out of there.