The Mayor gets in Angel's face, saying that he's selfish for keeping Buffy from the life she should have. "Is that what you came back from hell for? Is that your greater purpose?" No, he came back from hell for his own show. Causing Buffy misery is just slumming. The Mayor disgustedly tells them to go ahead with the trade. Angel brings the box forward. Faith shoves Willow away and takes the box, but Snyder busts in with a couple of cops. Unnoticed at this point, the Mayor slowly backs up, contemplating his next move. Snyder says he thinks there are drugs in the box as he takes it from Faith. She draws her knife, but Buffy tells her to wait. Sensing that the situation's getting out of control, the Mayor steps forward and addresses Snyder. Snyder sees Faith's knife for the first time, and looks scared. He apologizes to the Mayor. The Mayor says he's the one that's sorry, and that he should explain. I really would have liked to hear what he was going to say, but unfortunately one of the cops starts to open the box. The Mayor warns him not to, but it's too late. With a high-pitched shriek, a large black beetle-like creature jumps out and attaches itself to the cop's face. Dude, catch up on your mythology. Don't open forbidden boxes!
The cop yells and struggles with the bug, until a large pool of blood emerges from his head and he goes silent. The other cop tries valiantly not to be sick. The bug scurries away. It sure looked to me like the cop blinked after he was supposed to be dead. Everyone tensely looks around for the bug. Snyder orders the cop to open the door, but Giles yells that they can't let it out of the room. The Mayor looks up, and the bug drops onto his face. Faith moves quickly to chuck it off as another bug emerges from the box. The Mayor, a bit dazed, sits up. He has welts all over his face, but they quickly heal, which horrifies Snyder. The Mayor advises them to shut the box. Buffy quickly complies, chopping off a third bug's legs. One of the other two drops onto her back, but she falls backward, squashing it. The dissonant, jangly music adds to the creepiness of the scene. Faith turns toward Wesley and draws her knife. He screams like a little girl, but ducks as she lets the knife fly. It impales the other bug on the wall. Faith and I are all, "There was a bug there?" It's like that Simpsons Halloween special where Homer blasts zombie Flanders with a shotgun, and then is like, "He was a zombie?" It's a cheap laugh, but I'm not proud. The Mayor picks up the box. Oz asks if that's all the bugs, but the Mayor says there are about 50 billion left. As smug as he's acting, I wish he had to eat all of them. He gloats, "Raise your hand if you're invulnerable." The Mayor summons Faith, but she shakily looks at the bug stuck to the wall. After another look around, she walks out. They really got me when I first saw this episode -- I thought Faith was going to return to the good side before the finale, and in a way more tangible than that shared dream with Buffy, especially given the symbolism of her leaving the knife behind. Buffy asks Snyder if he's okay. Snyder: "Why couldn't you be dealing drugs like normal people?" Heh. Buffy retrieves Faith's knife. Wesley ponces.