Sunnydale High. Wood sits at his desk, doing paperwork. Buffy clomps up to the doorway and leans against the jamb, simpering to him, "You look better." Arggh. Buffy's shirt is hanging out below her jacket -- I can't STAND that. Of all the sins she has committed, this is the worst! Wood says he'll be okay if Buffy refrains from beating him up. And she actually jokes that she considered it and made "doodles." She then says they're "on even ground," and I cannot even imagine what sort of self-control Wood must have not to get up and slam the door in her sanctimonious little bitch face. She reiterates that she doesn't "have time for [his] vendetta." As if he was going to forget that message. She does leave out the part about having her vampire minion kill him this time, though. Then she tells him she wants him on her side in the fight, and asks if they're "good." Wood agrees that they are and then tells her, "You're fired." Thank you! I cannot imagine how much of princess Buffy must be to think she could tell her boss she'd be party to his death and still show up to work her next shift. Joyce left some serious holes in this girl's education, let me tell you. Buffy: "You're firing me? I just refrained from kicking your ass!" Bitch, please. Wood diplomatically refrains from reminding her what a shitty counselor she is, and doesn't even bring up her repeated threats of violence towards him. Instead, he says that "there's nothing here for [her]." He references the unseen phenomenon of many people leaving town and kids not bothering to show up for school. Excuse me, what? Why are people leaving town? Is the First doing something we haven't even heard about? Is Buffy helping these people? Why are kids not showing up for school? They closed the Seal of Danzig, so why are there still problems? And more importantly, if Sunnydale is suffering from some sort of mass panic or problem that actually BREAKS THROUGH the citizens' years of WILLFUL blindness, shouldn't we be SEEING that something? Was the budget to hire extras all used up on the Junior Misses? I'm baffled that ME thinks that throwing out a vague reference to chaos in Sunnydale every fifth episode constitutes valid storytelling. Wood and Buffy discuss the upcoming war against the First. Buffy frets about the Junior Misses dying, and Wood recommends that she "test them" in battle. Buffy changes the subject by trying to cutesy her way back into her job. Wood fires her again and reminds her, "The mission is what matters." Buffy looks crestfallen, because she's supposed to be the one with the cutting rejoinders.
And now we bring you tonight's feature: Spiking Faith, a Cinemax original movie. Sensuous, bold, and porntastic! Faith hurries down the basement stairs to escape what sounds like a herd of hamsters being tickled to death. She sits on the bottom step and lights a cigarette. She's startled when Spike speaks to her from his bed across the room. So much for Slayer sense -- good thing he wasn't trying to kill her. Faith walks across the room to give Spike a smoke, and we can see that he's lounging shirtless on his bed with a sheet covering his lower half. Spike as odalisque. The inert recipient of -- the female gaze? Not mine, but perhaps that's what they're going for here. Faith notices the chains on the wall over Spike's bed, and launches into a story about a guy she used to fuck who liked her to dress up in a schoolgirl outfit and wield a bullwhip. Faith's torso does some interesting maneuvers as she demonstrates holding the whip. Spike interrupts to tell her that the chains were from when he got "dangerous" after getting his soul. There's some serious eye contact as Faith tells Spike that him being "repent-y" takes the fun out of trying to kill him. Then we get some more torso gymnastics as she stretches an arm over her head and complains about the Junior Misses being hyped up on too much caffeine. She says she had enough female company in jail, and then Spike gets to point out what the writers for Angel were happy to imply, but the writers for Buffy of course have to make explicit (because the audience is comprised of morons): "You had the power to break to walk away at any time. Nothing to stop you." Faith points out that she stopped herself, because she got "dangerous" for awhile. As Spike asks if she's over the dangerous, Faith writhes out of her jacket and then stretches both arms over her head, with maximum chest-thrustage. I keep waiting for the bom-chicka-waa-waa music to start playing and for a clueless pizza guy to wander into the basement, but no such luck. Instead, Faith just giggles that she "pull[s] for the good guys now" and then gets waaaay porny as she leers at Spike and tells him she's thinking of looking up the bullwhip guy. Spike smiles back and tells her she can do better, as schoolgirl outfits are "old hat." Faith agrees and explains, "Every guy's got some whack fantasy." Or, in Xander's case, some utterly un-whack and banal ones. Faith can't beat the fantasies, so she joins them, making sure she stays on top. And this scene has officially gone on too long and is beginning to bore me.