Willow and Xander walk together through a cemetery. Willow asks Xander a "what if" about someone having a secret, and he dryly tells her that "everyone" knows about her and Tara but that he would be happy to hear a "naughty" secret about them. I'm getting cranky watching this scene, because there seems to be something wrong with my cable reception. In the lower right of the screen, in the vicinity of Xander's orange Hawaiian shirt, I keep seeing tiny flashes and sparkles like Tinkerbell on meth is zipping around down there. Jesus God! I just realized Xander's Hawaiian shirt is bedecked with sequins. Which I guess makes him the Tinkerbell. The Fashion Nazi strikes again. I know plenty of men who wear Hawaiian shirts, but not a one who would wear one covered in orange sequins. Xander and Willow wander on to look for Buffy, as Willow toys with revealing the secret Giles told her not to tell anyone.
Buffy's still chatting with Count Suckula. She asks if he's really Dracula and continues, "And you're sure this isn't just some fan-boy thing? Because I've fought more than a couple pimply overweight vamps who called themselves Lestat." Hee. The Prince of Dorkness starts to butter Buffy up, telling her he came to Sunnydale to check out the world-famous Buffy Summers. Buffy is more than a little pleased by this description, and they share words about her power being "rooted in darkness." Buffy snarks that she feels bored, and she's not the only one, but I also feel horrified by the enormous dimension of Dracula's forehead. Buffy moves to stake the Count, but he vanishes into mist. He appears behind her, but when she spins to try again, he dissipates. As Buffy sulks that the Dork Prince is "cheating," Willow and Xander wander up. Buffy demands that they leave, but with utter lack of self-preservation instinct that I think would have gotten them offed long ago in Sunnydale, Willow and Xander just stand there and look bland. Dracula appears behind them, and Xander mocks him for having a case of "Dark Prince envy" and a Sesame Street accent. Willow, on the other hand, stares transfixed at the Transylvanian twerp. When Buffy tells Xander she's sure that's Dracula, he darts behind her and apologizes. Dracula is bored with this little scenario, I guess, so he flaps off into bat-form and dive-bombs the kids a few times.
Later, at Giles's, Xander, Buffy, and Willow are excitedly recounting their adventure. When Buffy gushes, "I mean, can you believe that? Count Famous heard of me," Riley grouses, "I couldn't believe it the first twenty times you told us, but it's starting to sink in now." Shut up, Riley. I get the feeling that's not the last time I'm going to say that this season. Buffy and Willow titter about how sexy Dracula was and about his penetrating eyes, and Xander waxes fan-boy, wondering if Dracula knows Frankenstein. Hey, I hope not, because Adam was enough Frankenstein's monster for me. Tara asks Willow, "You thought Dracula was sexy?" in a doubtful way, thought I'm not sure if she's confused by Willow finding a vampire or a man attractive. Anya, who I really wish would wear a bra once in a while, smirks that she hung out with Dracula "once or twice in her demon days," causing Xander to claim that Drac was "no big whoop." Giles finally pipes up that he's sorry he missed the encounter, but he actually sounds like he's sorry these damn kids won't leave him alone so he can pour himself a nice single-malt Scotch and watch that Letty The Lusty Librarian tape he has hidden in his nightstand. Willow tries to play up Giles's importance in a sweet but clueless fashion by saying she had wished he was there. The gang decides they need to research Dracula in order to defeat him, but Riley wants to take the direct approach and "go after him now." Xander agrees, but Anya assures him that Dracula is "too slick to fall for the usual stuff." The plan then is to hold off on encountering Dracula, and I'll spare you some stupid insecurity on Riley's part and door-matty reassurance of his ego on Buffy's part. Willow and Tara are dispatched to research "Vlad the Impaler" on the Internet, and Giles goes to hit the books. As the gang disperses, Riley claims, "If the Initiative was still around, we'd be able to find everything on this guy in a few hours," and I want to know what the hell show Riley was watching last season. I think if the Initiative was still around, they'd insist Dracula was an "animal," ignore Buffy when she tried to suggest research, and then unleash a completely boring and ineffective green latex plot device on Sunnydale before thoroughly getting their asses kicked and their compound filled in with concrete. I know Forrest meant a lot to Riley, but I thought he was off that whole "truth, justice, and the Initiative way!" kick. Buffy instructs the gang to meet again at Giles's in the morning before she and Riley discuss their plans for the rest of the night. Buffy is tired and wants to hit the sack, and suggestively suggests that Riley accompany her, but he declines, saying he's "wired." He promises to meet her in the morning with doughnuts, and Buffy grins, "See? A little sugar and I'm all yours. Dracula schmakula." ["Riley had better watch out for Count Chocula, then. I heard he's the Big Bad this season." -- Sep]
Xander and Anya walk together outside. Anya muses that Dracula most likely wouldn't remember her; Xander ignores her, as usual. As they walk past the Expresso Pump, we see that a wolf is on the roof, watching them. I guess the wolf rental fees were higher than the fake-plastic-bat-on-a-string fees, because we don't see Dracula take this form again. When Anya wants Xander to mention her name to Dracula the next time they see each other, Xander suggest that she just go to a graveyard and "flaunt her neck cleavage" so she and the Dork Prince can "talk private." They establish that he's jealous, but Nick Brendan plays it more as "annoyed," so I got confused. Anya declines his invitation to the Basement of Debasement because "it's whites day" and the "bleach smell makes [her] nauseous." She takes off, and Xander continues on alone. As he walks down a particularly dark street, Dracula appears suddenly before him, concentrating on sucking in his cheeks and looking as gaunt and broody as possible. Xander makes with the courageous, challenging Bland the Impaler to a round of "old-fashioned fisticuffs" and generally babbling until Dracula intones, "Silence!" Xander promptly replies, "Yes, Master," but then shakes his head and tries to regain control. Suckula does a little hand-waving motion and informs Xander he will be his "emissary." He promises Xander, "I vill make you ahn immoooortal. A child ov darkness that feeds on life itself. Ohn bloooohd." Xander grovels in excitement, and Dracula actually cracks me up by telling him, "You are strange and off-putting. Go now," before vanishing. Xander gives a servile little, "Heh. Heh. Heh," laugh and hurries off.