Library. Cordy is telling Willow that her parents acting like teenagers was fun at first, but then her mom started trying on her clothes. "There should be an age limit on Lycra pants." Word. Xander: Clunky line. Willow takes a book from him, and the contact of their thumbs is enough to start up The Guitar Of Infidelity. Good God, just do it already and give my ears a rest. Cordy asks her if she wants to swap, and Willow is understandably startled, because if she's anything like me, she's only heard that word in reference to the events of The Ice Storm. Turns out Cordy was talking about the research books. Thanks for that guitar-shaped anvil.
Factory. Buffy and Giles give Ethan chase. Finally, Ethan seems to have lost them. Giles is out of breath, and Buffy chides him for smoking, because even in an episode busy with adults acting like teenagers and having public, possibly unprotected sex, there's always time to remind us that smoking is evil. Buffy tells Giles to be quiet, as she hones the super-hearing we saw demonstrated earlier. She spins and kicks through a wooden crate, finds Ethan inside, and beats me to the punchline: "Look. A box full of farm-fresh chicken." Hee.
Snyder and Joyce sit and wait and eat candy. One of my favorite throwaway moments ensues. Snyder, trying to sound casual: "So are you two kind of, like, um, going steady?" Joyce manages to roll her entire body along with her eyes, and walks away. Ha!
Buffy asks Ethan what's going on, and informs him he's in a "talk or bleed situation." Giles tells her to hit him. Ethan explains that Trick hired him to provide cover while Trick and his goons collect a tribute for a demon. Giles hilariously keeps acting up. Buffy asks which demon, but Ethan says he doesn't remember. Pop! Buffy hits him, and Giles jumps up and punches the air in glee. Hee. Ethan revises that the demon's name is Lerconis. He goes on that the tribute is something so big that people would never consciously let them take it. Buffy asks where Trick is, but Ethan really doesn't know the answer to that one. Buffy says it's time for the bonus question, and that a wrong answer will cost him "all his points." Giles grins goofily. I notice, only now, that Giles is wearing a hoop through his left earlobe. Mrow. Buffy: "What's the tribute?"
We get an answer to that question as some vamps enter a hospital and steal some babies out of the nursery. Oh, please.
Buffy, on the phone, tells Willow what she's learned. She says she doesn't know what the tribute is, since her source is "all tapped out." Snyder laughs that Buffy kicked Ethan's ass (although he doesn't look any worse off to me at all) and says he took tae kwon do at the Y. He throws some shadow kicks and punches that actually aren't half bad, but ends in a pose with a goonily hysterical expression. I must say that the adult actors really seemed to have a good time with this episode. I'd also like to point out how much stronger this show was when it had solid tertiary adult characters. Joyce gives a much more subdued eye-roll, and blows a bubble. Ethan notices a crowbar on the desk in front of him, and picks it up and stealths toward Buffy, whose back is turned. Giles comes out of nowhere and presses the gun to Ethan's neck, and Buffy smacks Ethan to the floor. For some reason, I just find it disproportionately funny every time Ethan gets hit. It's sort of like how Krusty explained the pie-in-the-face gag to Cecil on The Simpsons: "It's only funny if the sap's got dignity!" Buffy takes the gun from Giles and gets the phone back from Joyce. Willow and Oz have discovered the exact details of the tribute, saying it's a ritual feeding that happens every thirty years. Buffy says they have to go, but Joyce asks about Ethan. Buffy says they'll need something with which to tie him up. Joyce makes Buffy's trip to Therapyville a permanent stay as she slyly produces a pair of handcuffs. Ha!