Before the actual episode starts, we get an "Intro to Buffy the Vampire Slayer" clip montage that runs for a whole minute and twenty seconds. I guess the WB is expecting new viewers this season? Anyway, under the lettering reading "season premiere," we see flashes of fire, the Master, a black-and-white photo of a seated woman, and Buffy taking out the cross Angel gave her in the first season. "I've changed a lot since I first became the Slayer and I'm still changing." Shots of fifth-season Buffy, and then of her sleeping and looking at Giles's pocket watch from "Restless." WB Announcer Guy: "She was chosen to lead the fight against the forces of darkness." Buffy snots at Giles from the first episode, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?" WB Announcer: "With the help of allies," and we see a shot of the Scooby gang with (sigh) Oz in the lead, "and the sacrifices made by friends," and for some reason this part of the voice-over coincides with Riley slurping on Buffy's face and untying her shirt (some sacrifice!), "Buffy Summers has answered her destiny as the protector of the night"; shots from "Restless," including the first Slayer, and Buffy fighting Adam from "Primeval" Giles does his spiel about a Slayer being born into each generation. WB Announcer growls on, "But the path of the chosen one is a long initiation." Even more scenes of the First, and Buffy explains, "Ever since we did that spell where we called on the First Slayer, I've changed a lot." WB Announcer: "Tonight, destiny will bring Buffy face to face with the greatest vampire of all." The Count lisps at Buffy that he feels her hunger. "Buffy will begin to unlock the legacy she has yet to fully understand." Tara and Dracula both say, "You think you know, what you are, what's to come. You haven't even begun." WB announcer concludes, "Buffy meets Dracula, and now the WB presents the season premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, followed by the season premiere of Angel."
There's a new Buffy logo that consists of the letters B, S, and V swirling in from the foreground and interlocking with a clang.
Buffy lies awake in bed and tries to get comfortable. She looks over, possibly at the clock, and then to the other side of the bed, where a shirtless Riley sleeps next to her. She makes a decisive face and gets up. Next, we see her fully dressed and running through a graveyard. She's chasing the usual dopey-looking anonymous vampire; she hops onto a headstone and tackles the vamp with a flying leap. Some kicks, general fighting, a fairly tidy cartwheeling move, and the vamp is staked. Well, it's the first episode with the new stunt coordinator and Buffy doubles, so I'll forgive all the strange shots that show her fighting only from the shoulders down, but I hope we don't see obvious dodges like that later in the season. Buffy looks charged with energy. Then we see her back in her pajamas, creeping back into bed with Riley. She snuggles close to the big spud and closes her eyes. Judging by the headboard, I'd say Buffy is sleeping with Riley in Ma Summers's house, and that serves to remind me of the irony of being the eldest child in my family. The first college boyfriend I ever had cause to bring to my parents' house for a few nights was made to sleep on the fold-out sofa in the family room. A few years later, however, there was no problem with my little sister and her boyfriend sleeping together every night for two weeks in the living room. There were always rules for me that no one bothered to enforce for my sister by the time she encountered the same situation. Why do I muse on the annoyances little sisters can bring? Well, read on.
The old Buffy logo is still in the credits, but many of the character shots have changed. On the plus side, there's some very cute shots of SMG, Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendan, and James Marsters. Hee -- Spike flips off the camera British-style. On the down side, all visions of Seth Green as Oz and even that big clunk David Boreanaz have been removed. I miss those guys. Also, my most favorite shot of all, which I think I even mentioned in a recap this summer, of the Scooby gang carrying the rocket launcher box has been cut in favor of a shot of Buffy opening a door. Joss hates me.