Little liar. Buffy is talking on the phone and typing "evil" into an internet search engine. That's her best plan ever? The world is lucky it wasn't destroyed long ago. She gets 900,517 hits and tells whoever she's on the phone with that she's going to narrow down the search. Just as she hangs up the phone, Principal Wood looms up over the side of her cubicle. "Manifestations of evil?" he reads curiously. It sucks getting caught surfing the internet at work, so I can sympathize with Buffy for a second there. Okay, second over. Buffy types quickly so that her search now reads "manifestations of evil in the movies." Buffy explains that she likes evil movies. Me too. Especially ones with evil in right the title and starring Bruce Campbell. Buffy doesn't have the taste to name those, though, and instead offers up The Exorcist and Blair Witch as examples. Blair Witch was only evil in that it stole my $8.00 and didn't provide anything remotely resembling a scary moment. Principal Wood seats himself at Buffy's desk and delivers a little lecture about how he's not a "fan" of scary movies, because sometimes they "go to a place that [he] think[s] kids could stand to avoid." He's obviously delivering a message here, but I can't for the life of me figure out what he's trying to tell her. Buffy assures him that she's not looking up the "scary movies" for the kids, and he fires back, "I'm only saying that once you see true evil, you're gonna have some serious after-burn, and then you can't unsee what you saw. Ever." And I can't ever unsee the horrible, horrible things this show has made me see, like Spike air-humping in "Gone" last season. Plus, Wood, baby? "Unsee" isn't a word. An educator like yourself should know better. Buffy contemplates what the principal has said to her, although I think she has no inkling of the subtext in this scene. Probably because she can't hear The Somber Synthesizer Of Suspense the way we can. As Wood leaves, Buffy asks him what kind of movies he prefers. Without turning around to face her, he replies, "Mysteries." Oh yeah, because mysteries never have evil in them, what with the murdering and robbing and greed and other sins they usually involve. He continues, "I love finding out what's underneath it all at the very end." Aw, we have to wait until the end of the season to find out his deal? Shoot. I find him a tiny bit interesting. Wood gives a mysterious smile and walks off.
Oh, blah. Fauxsilla is still fauxing its jabbering head off to Spike. One of Spike's eyes is swollen up like a plum, and he looks appropriately cranky at having to listen to so much empty talk. Fauxsilla wants Spike to choose a side. I kinda think he already did, Faux Dru, what with the soul-getting and all. Spike is mostly silent in this scene, so I'm able to be on his side. Fauxsilla chuckles about how Spike loves a "good wriggle and a giggle and a squiggle" as she squirms her torso about and waves her ropey, plucked-chicken arms in the air, and oddly, Spike remains able to resist this lyrical and tempting call to the dark side. I always found Dru pretty annoying, but I don't remember her ever being this dopey or banal. Apparently, Spike doesn't either, because he does manage to quite calmly explain to her, "You're not Drusilla." Faux Dru laughs, but when Spike explains, "[Dru] was crazier than you," she gets all whiny and calls him "Daddy." That's just wrong. Angelus was Daddy to Dru because he sired her. She herself sired Spike, so it's either terrible writing for her to trot that out, or purposeful writing to show how the First isn't getting the Dru voice quite right. As I said earlier, there was a day when I would have given the writers the benefit of the doubt in a situation like this, but that day is long past. Anyway, the First is just continuing to degrade any menace it might have accumulated in "Conversations with Dead People" by being incredibly stupid in its attempts to turn Spike. It dunks him, it has him beaten up, it prances about and whines in front of him, and now it seems to be offering itself sexually to him. Yeah, I think even a tortured vampire with a soul could resist that approach. There's no subtlety or psychology there. Why not work on convincing him that he'll never be able to be good, or even if he is that he'll never be accepted and loved by Buffy, so he might as well give up? Why not try to trigger the anger at Buffy he must have somewhere still inside him that led to his assault on her in "Seeing Red"? And why does it even want Spike to be consciously turned to its side, when it had the power to control him? Between you and me, I'm just pondering all these questions in order to avoid having to continue with this scene. Shudder. Okay, Spike doesn't feel tempted by Fauxsilla's offer of being "bad," so he gets a clout in the head from Notsferatu. Faux Dru declares Spike a "bad daddy" who needs a caning, and I grind my teeth again at the use of "daddy." Any more of this and Mutant Enemy is getting a bill from my dentist for the damage these scenes are doing to my molars. More waving of ropey arms and torso from Fauxsilla, and more smacking of Spike's head. Faux Dru wants him to chose the side of "delicious" evil. The only way Fauxsilla would be delicious is if she would SHUT THE HELL UP. Spike tells Faux Dru to "get bent." More punching. So. Very. Boring. Can we rest now? First, can we rest?
Sunnydale High School. Buffy rinses her face in the sink and winces at her bruised lip. She then inspects some bruises on her arm, hissing in pain. Someone touches her arm, and suddenly she's in her room at home and Joyce is with her. Joyce wants to know what happened to Buffy, and then stops herself from giving Buffy a guilt trip. She wants to get some ice, but Buffy says she doesn't have time. Joyce admonishes her that she must heal and then asks, "Are you worried about the sun going down?" She says Buffy can't control the rising and setting of the sun, but Buffy frets, "Everyone's counting on me." Joyce says Buffy's friends put "too much pressure" on her, and then tells her that evil isn't coming. "[Evil]'s already here. Evil is always here. Don't you know? It's everywhere." Buffy dutifully replies that she must stop evil and Joyce, almost rhetorically, wonders how she will do that. Then she says that despite Buffy's friends' expectations, evil is a part of everyone. A wonderful natural part of everyone that can't be stopped. It took me a few viewings, but now I'm pretty sure Dream Joyce is not on the side of the angels, so to speak. A bell rings, and Buffy wakes up at her desk at work. She's fallen asleep while talking to some poor kid, who sulks off, saying she's just like all the other mean adults. Buffy rests her head in her hands and doesn't see that Principal Wood is watching her from behind his mini-blinds. It looked more mysterious than it sounds when you have to use the word "mini" as part of the description.