Der Zauber Kasten. Buffy picks her demon out of a line-up, and Anya explains that the Denorex demons cause a "localized temporal disturbance" as well as some scalp tingling. Hey! How do you know that, Anya? How do you know ANYTHING? While I'm sure that Anya has probably seen a great many demons in her day, I find it hard to believe that she paid attention to any that were not her. I think my opposition to this scene can be summed up thusly -- shut up, Not Giles! Buffy is convinced that Warren is involved. Willow asks how she can be sure, and Buffy answers, "You always hurt the one you love." For some reason, Willow accepts a trite cliché instead of actual reasoning. It's probably the drugs. Er, magic drugs. Oh, whatever. From the background, with absolutely no expression on her face whatever, Dawn pipes up, "Does this mean you're not going away?" Buffy gets up to reassure Dawn that she's staying, but Dawn does the teenager stomp out of there. I really do sympathize with Dawn, what with her whole identity crisis, mom dying, watching her sister commit suicide in front of her, and the fact that she's not even allowed to read a book or have a cup of damn coffee without everyone getting up in her grill about it, but I swear, every time she flounces away I just want to POUND HER INTO THE GROUND. I hope that doesn't make me a bad person.
Cut to Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew in their new Lair of Lame. Warren gleefully reads to the others from a website containing the coroner's report that Katrina's death has been ruled a suicide. Oh. I guess Warren just logged onto www.sunnydalesuicides.com to find that out. Updated hourly! I don't even want to know how a body found in the river that had sustained blunt trauma to the back of the head HOURS before being dumped in said river would be ruled a suicide, but the less I try to think about things, the more my brain likes me. Andrew: "We really got away with murder." Beat. "That's kinda cool." Oh, Andrew. I had such high hopes for, as well as a tiny little crushlet on, you. That's all over. Jonathan echoes Andrew's words, but it's clear that he's less comfortable with the thought of being an actual villain rather than a comic-book crime lord.
Summers house. Tara sits on the couch and tells Buffy that there's absolutely nothing wrong with her. This semester, one of the classrooms that I'm in has lights that are hooked up to a motion detector. No matter what I do, I can't seem to make them turn on when I enter the room. This morning I stood on a desk and did a little jig. Nothing. Twenty minutes later, another person comes in and they don't get two feet before the lights blip on. Strange. I'm kinda beginning to think that maybe I came back wrong. Granted, I haven't been recently pulled from the netherworld, but I did take a short trip to L.A. this summer. That's not exactly heeee-a-ven (more like the onramp to the apocalypse), and I'm not sleeping with any serial killers, but I have noticed a strange lethargy in certain areas of my life. I haven't been doing my dishes right after I finish eating. Sometimes they sit there for whole hours at a time. Anyway. Buffy asks in disbelief, "Then why can Spike hurt me?" Tara summarizes: There's nothing wrong with Buffy, but she is different, in that the spell altered her "on a basic molecular level," leaving her with a "deep, tropical, cellular tan." Let me get this straight. All of Buffy's molecules did the electric slide one proton to the right, and now the chip is confused enough to label her not human? Oookay. I'm also a little surprised that Tara would be able to find that information in a musty book with decaying pages detailing magic spells to raise the dead. I guess there was a little asterisk and the text, "Warning. Some proton shifting can occur. Contents may settle during transport." Buffy looks deeply upset at this news, and her eyes fill to the brim with tears: "This can't be me. This isn't me. Why do I let Spike do those things to me?" "You mean hit you?" Tara clarifies. Buffy looks away, and Tara gets on the clue train. Buffy begs Tara to keep this info to herself. Tara promises and tries to comfort Buffy, but Buffy refuses to be consoled. "Tell me that I'm wrong. Please don't forgive me," she begs as her head falls into Tara's lap. Neato. I love that there's nothing concretely "wrong" with Buffy. Maybe now that she doesn't have that crutch to lean on, it will force her to confront the choices she's been making lately. I can only hope the same thing will happen with Willow and her magic-addiction meta-farce.