A big yellow school bus is parked in front of the school. Wood gets a power-walk moment as he strides in with the troops behind him. He hero-talks, "Welcome to Sunnydale High. There's no running in the halls, no yelling, no gum chewing. Apart from that, there's only one rule: if they move, kill them." Well, I guess it's a nice twist that Sunnydale High's final principal is there for the final battle. Buffy steps up next to Wood and starts giving out orders. The Junior Misses are to follow Faith and Spike to the basement. Xander reminds the girls to stop for a bathroom break now. Kennedy takes Willow's supplies to start setting up their location in Wood's office, right over the Hellmouth. Wood explains that everyone else upstairs will be guarding three strategic areas against the possible escape of the Notsies who get by Buffy and the Misses. Giles and Wood take the lounge, where the vamps are most likely to head. Buffy asks Xander to pair up with Dawn, and they head for the atrium. That leaves Andrew and Anya guarding the north hall. Man. These just don't seem like the most effective teams. Oh, Anya. Sniff. Anyway, Andrew is happy to die for the cause, and Xander encourages Anya to use him as a human shield. Andrew wants to read a speech he's prepared, but Anya mercifully drags him off before he gets too far. Dawn tells Buffy, "I'm going to check out our field of engagement," and whirls off towards the atrium. Buffy hurries after her, but Dawn stops her, saying, "Anything you say is going to sound like goodbye." She walks away. Buffy ignoring Dawn completely since "Help" really robs this scene of much of its emotional impact, so I think really, really hard about my own sister and how much I love her and how much I liked the Buffy/Dawn interaction back in Season Five so that I can feel a little something here.
Dawn having departed, Buffy returns to the gang. It's just the core Scoobs now, standing in a circle, with all the various riff-raff they've picked up over the years jettisoned. Xander, Buffy, and Willow start an animated, overlapping dialogue about going to the mall tomorrow. Y'know, after the world has been all saved. Giles comments that he feels invisible. He must've been reviewing his appearances this season. The kids walk off, and Giles mumbles, "The Earth is definitely doomed." Huh. That didn't really work for me. As much as I wish that the Scoobs had more in common with their former selves, the fact remains that they aren't those people anymore, and you can't just shove them into those old shoes. I would've appreciated that scene more if I felt it was informed at all by who they are now, rather than just parroting a punchline from Season One. Ah, well. Won't have to deal with it again after the next twenty-eight minutes. Oh, right. I'm being Happy McRecappy. Sorry, it's fading. I liked the first half better.