Willow lies in her hospital bed, talking to Buffy on the phone as Oz hands her a bowl of Jell-O. Yum -- there's nothing I love more after a life-threatening blow to the head than a bowl of crushed animal hooves artificially colored red. That's good eatin'. Willow baby-voices that she's okay and Buffy, in her kitchen, apologizes for not being with her in the hospital and says she caught a "lucky break" in their search for Giles.
In the living room, Joyce sits uncomfortably on the sofa while Spike sits nearby in a chair and studies the walls. Joyce takes a sip from a glass, and I hope for her sake that it's a good stiff drink. Long, silent pause.
Buffy is still in the kitchen and now she's talking to Xander, who is still in Willow's hospital room. What kind of crazy visiting hours for concussion patients does this hospital have, anyway? Buffy tells Xander that Angelus is based in the old mansion and that she's going to head over there at dawn. Xander offers assistance, which is turned down, and then asks if she thinks Giles is still alive. "I think he is, " replies Buffy. "I just wish he was here to tell me what to do." Aw, the room's gone blurry again.
Joyce and Spike are still sitting in the living room. Finally, Joyce turns to Spike and asks, "Have we met?" "You hit me with an ax one time," he replies honestly. "Remember [gesturing as though holding an ax], uh, 'Get the hell away from my daughter.'" Joyce makes a sound like she recalls the incident, but I don't think she does. It's that old Sunnydale magic. Oh, and Spike's referring to incidents from "School Hard," the fourth episode of season two, wherein he and Dru make their debut. Spike is spared from Joyce's forced attempt at small talk when Buffy finally comes into the living room. She assures her mother that Willow is fine and then gets down to cutting her deal with Spike. Spike says he'll help kill Angelus in exchange for getting to leave town with Dru. In the background Joyce asks, "Angel? Your boyfriend?" but she's ignored. Buffy says Drusilla doesn't get to live because she killed Kendra, to which Spike replies, "Dru bagged a Slayer? She didn't tell me! Hey, good for her!" Nasty look from Buffy, and Spike continues, "Though not from your perspective, I suppose." Hee. So empathetic, that Spike. Joyce is relieved to hear that Buffy didn't in fact kill Kendra and Buffy snaps, "Of course not." They get into a discussion about whether Kendra "explode[d]" like the vamp outside the house, but Spike is impatient and draws Buffy aside. "Honey, are you sure you're a vampire slayer?" interrupts Joyce. Spike ignores her, insisting that he'll take Dru out of the country. Buffy agrees, and Joyce again interrupts, "I mean, have you tried not being a Slayer?" I love the clever subtext in those two lines of Joyce's. Buffy sends Spike on his way, telling him that if Giles dies, she'll kill Dru. Spike leaves, and Joyce whines something about Buffy's "father figure." Buffy snaps that being the Slayer is just fate and her mother should accept it. This is the point at which I think some understanding and gentleness on her part would have considerably eased her mother's distress, but it's entirely realistic that Buffy, as a teenager, wouldn't have much consideration for her mother's feelings. Mom Summers wants to call the police, and they argue their way into the kitchen. Joyce can't accept the whole new unexplained world that has opened before her and tries to pick up the phone to call the cops. Joyce, don't you know 911 is a joke? Buffy slams her hand down on the phone, insisting loudly that only she can fight forest fires, er, I mean demons. "Just have another drink," snots Buffy; Joyce responds by throwing her drink aside and yelling that Buffy can't "dump" this thing on her and "pretend it's nothing." Buffy insists she doesn't have time to explain. Her mother snaps that she doesn't accept that Buffy is a vampire slayer, and Buffy chides her for ignoring all the fights she's been in, the blood on her clothes. Joyce tries to issue an ultimatum, saying Buffy has to stop, but Buffy yells that it can never stop. She insists that she never chose to be this way, and would rather be gossiping about boys or even studying instead of saving the world again. She tells Joyce to "chill," but Joyce says she won't let Buffy leave the house. They get into a shoving match, and Buffy opens the back door. "You walk out of this house, don't even think about coming back!" barks Joyce. Buffy just looks at her and then walks out the door. Poor Buffy -- parents just don't understand. Joyce slumps, her head in her hands.