Somebody loves Kool-Aid! So much so that he keeps huge casks of it in his basement. That looks like Tropical Punch flavor to me...what's that? It's supposed to be wine? Oh, man! Somebody in the prop department was skimping on the red food dye. I suspected that UPN has Buffy on a tight budget, but c'mon! They couldn't spare the $2.99 for enough dye to make this "wine" look convincing? And who is our imbibing buddy with the hot-pink wine? It's Preacher Malodorous from the teaser. As if the misogyny thing weren't enough of a tip-off, now we have his penchant for Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill to tell us that this guy is evil. Could you have telegraphed it any more clearly, ME? Preacher Malodorous sips out of a plastic cup and muses on Christian theories of transubstantiation. I had enough of this in seventh grade confirmation class, I must tell you, so I'm glossing over his empty-headed babble about white wine turning into lymph. He muses about his constant questioning leading to him never staying in one "parish" for too long. Parish, huh? Did he do a lot of wandering in Louisiana? Oh, no, wait. He must be referring to a religious parish. Would that make him formerly Catholic, or, more unlikely, Anglican? I'm not familiar with which other denominations use that term. Out of my head and back on Buffy, the Reverend Malodorous seems to be talking to himself. Psycho. Oh, wait. He's talking to someone in the shadows of the wine cellar, someone who helped him to stop "looking for the Lord in the wrong damn places." Hey, sing it with me: "Sooner or later, the Lord is gonna get ya, sooner or later, Mal, the Lord is gonna win." Except not. Because this is a Joss Whedon production. So, misogyny, Boone's Farm, and the Grass Roots (or Johnny Lee, take your pick). Hazel Motes, he ain't.
First Evil Buffy stalks out of the shadows and creeps me out, because she has the Angry Arms just like Supposedly-Good Buffy had earlier in the episode with Faith. What are the Angry Arms? They're one of the two Sarah Michelle Gellar acting tics that are starting to drive me nuts. The other one is the Sad Hands (picture her cradling one hand close to her chest, like in the scene with Spike at the end of "First Date"). She does the Angry Arms and the Sad Hands all the time, and I have a hard time taking her seriously in scenes where they show up. Add the Angry Arms and Sad Hands to your Buffy drinking games! The Sad Hands usually are accompanied by the Anime Eyes, so I think they're worth a gulp. And a snigger. First Buffy wants to know if Reverend Malodorous "thinks [she's] God." He does not, being way beyond such mundane matters. First Buffy flirts that he "still wears the outfit" (referring to his preacher collar) and then pirouettes, asking if he likes what she's wearing. Reverend Malodorous gets the full episode title when he says she looks like "just another dirty girl" who must've died, but is prompted by the First to look more closely. Stepping closer, he realized that her guise exhibits "strength" and "the loneliness that comes with real strength." The First gives me the willies by referring to her/Buffy's "pert and bouncy…hairdo" (and I think that SMG's hair is all that's left on her frame that might qualify as bouncy), and Reverend Malodorous cottons that he's viewing the form of the Slayer. He reaches out to touch First Buffy's face, but his hand passes right through. Then it's time for an exposition break as Reverend Malodorous fills us in on a few details: he's never seen the First take Buffy's form before, despite having done things for the First such as blowing up the Council of Watchers, "organizing the Ray Charles brigade," and "sticking all them splits." "Them splits" being the female potential Slayers, for those falling behind on the nasty euphemisms being slipped under the radar here. Why oh why didn't I get a gig recapping a fluffy bunny show like Gilmore Girls or Smallville? The writers for those shows don't spend hours thinking up offensive misogynist slurs just obscure enough to get on the air. Sigh. Also? I'm so tired of the blathering evil. Less evil talk. More evil action! Reverend Malodorous is sure he'll be seeing Buffy soon. He plans to play on her womanly weakness of curiosity. Blah blah blah apple-Eve-cakes.