Sunnydale street. Exterior of the Magic Box. Wish I could skip this scene. Xander walks in with a box. Anya is cleaning knick-knacks when Giles bugs her about a register receipt from January. Anya's hair looks like chicken-fried crap. It's fine hair to begin with, and they have it long, thinned at the ends, bleached, and then feathered back on the sides. I am so very tired of the flat, damaged, ironed-hair look. Some people of the forums have compared Anya's hair to Farrah Fawcett's, but I remember Farrah's hair as being very big, curly and feathered, not all flat. Anyway, Anya and Giles bicker about Giles treating Anya so badly as he prepares to leave them. Then they get into a slapfight over some effigy he plans to take with him. Pathetic. Xander breaks it up and expositions that Giles is leaving the store to Anya when he goes. Giles corrects that he's not "leaving the store to anyone." He's going to England and will be a silent partner. Oh, man. How much would I pay Anya to be the silent partner? One million dollars if she'd shut her ingrate mouth. Xander follows Anya to the back of the store, where she explains her petty problem. Giles keeps saying he's going to leave, but he never does, and Anya lusts for the power of being in charge. Can I get a yawn? I am not at all interested in sitting through an "Anya in charge of the store" story arc this season. Oh yeah, and Anya's also frustrated because Xander won't let her tell anyone about their engagement. She wants to announce it, as it's "happy news," but he doesn't think the time is right. He asks her to wait until after the big events of tonight. Anya planning a wedding = Monica Geller planning a wedding = Ace not caring and weeping into her cat's fur.
Nighttime. The Summers home. Dawn tells babysitter Spike that the 'Bot was a smash at Parent-Teacher Day. He suggest that it was because the robot is predictable, and snarks a little about schools being "factories spewing out mindless little automatons." He then tries to blackmail Dawn into going to school by saying, "Buffy would want you to." I wonder if they've used that a lot on poor Dawn the past few months to keep her in line? I feel sorry for her. As a teenager, being guilted like that would have made me want to do the opposite of whatever was being suggested. Spike gets up to get cards for a game, but Dawn tries to get him to leave. She insists she's not in danger, because either she's not the Key or she doesn't open anything anymore if she is. Have they tested that out? How do they know that? Seems like a big assumption to make, and I'm betting they haven't done any rituals to make sure. Spike slams the cards down on the table, hard, and grimly insists that he's not leaving Dawn alone. Yeesh, Spike's babysitting science isn't so tight. He's still feeling guilty about not protecting Dawn on the Pylon of Perdition and is also still honoring his word to Buffy. "I'm not leaving you to get hurt. Not again." Dawn silently acquiesces and reaches for the cards. Wait. Who was watching Dawn during the opening scene of this episode? You know, the one where nobody in the gang, including Spike, was at home with her?