Ah, the end of season two. You know, I love recapping Buffy, but sometimes I wonder why I didn't just pick a really, truly crappy show that would be easy to tear to shreds. Oh that's right, I did. It was called The Others and the psychological scars are just beginning to heal from writing only four recaps. Anyway, fill in the usual season-two disclaimers that it's hard to be funny about an episode this sad. Because I don't thank people enough: thanks to Sars and Wing, to Sep who is a stupendous writing partner and even better friend, and finally, a shout-out to the Buffy board regulars for all your insight and humor.
Buffy is in the Sunnydale High library, kneeling over Kendra's body, when two police officers burst in with their guns drawn. The male officer demands that Buffy "freeze!" because that's what cops on TV are contractually obligated to say, and the female officer checks for Kendra's pulse. The male officer asks about the status of "that one over there," and Buffy notices the unconscious Xander for the first time. She makes a move to run to him, but the cops detain her. Fuck tha police, and Buffy says it with authority. The male cop hustles Buffy out into the corridor, where she encounters Snyder, who doesn't believe her protestations of innocence. Nasty words are exchanged, and the cop begins cuffing Buffy and reading her Miranda rights. He doesn't get far, however, before Buffy smacks him in the face and flees down the corridor. The cops follow.
Aw. The last time we'll see the season-two credits.
Hospital. Sad music plays as Buffy sneaks in, wearing an oversized coat and black watch cap pulled down low. Sort of an obvious disguise, but what can you do with someone whose fashion sense is as damaged as Buffy's? She checks medical charts and tries to appear inconspicuous. Xander walks up behind Buffy and taps her on the shoulder; she spins and hugs him tightly. Aw, poor Xander has his arm in a cast, which he lightly refers to as a "souvenir." Buffy asks about the others as some cops round a corner in the hall, so Xander grabs her in another tight hug until the cops have walked past. Buffy joshes that Xander was "copping a feel," but his sad face alarms her.
Willow, looking sallow and quite convincingly unconscious, lies in a hospital bed. Xander explains that she has head trauma and could wake up at any time. Buffy expresses regret that she allowed Willow to try the curse. She reaches out to smooth hair off of Willow's forehead as Xander stands by, fiddling gently with the blanket. Oh, man. You know, I've seen this episode a million times and I would have thought myself immune, but here I am already with tears in my eyes. Well, it's been a hard week, folks, and having just seen a powerful exhibit of art inspired by the Holocaust doesn't help. Anyway, tissue break for poor Willow and sad guilty Buffy. Parents are rare in the Buffyverse, and apparently Willow's are out of town, but Xander has called them. As he leaves to call Oz, Cordy enters the hospital room; she and Xander hug. Cordy explains that she ran from the library and "made it through three counties" before she noticed no one was in pursuit. When Xander asks if Giles is with Cordy, she says she hasn't seen him. He's not in the hospital either, and Buffy looks terribly concerned.
Giles lies unconscious on the floor, and as he begins to wake up, we see that Angelus is lounging next to him. He's excited that Giles has come around, and he hops up, telling Giles that he plans to torture him; Angelus is all excited because "the last time [he] tortured somebody, they didn't even have chainsaws." Giles staggers to his feet and spies the overgrown garden gnome, Acathla. In a manner I would describe as nonchalant and which Ash called fey, Angelus explains that he's tried to wake Acathla, but gotten no results, and so wants Giles to tell him what he's doing wrong. He finishes by beetling his brows even further down and growling that he's really looking forward to torturing Giles. Looking at that Neanderthal face and partially unbuttoned satin shirt is torture enough, buddy.