Mad props to keight, owen, Linus and Ace.
Boy, I'm a little rusty after that four-week break. We start the show with the previouslys: Spike tries to bite Willow but can't; Buffy and Riley bemoan having to lie to each other; Buffy and Riley "out" each other's secret identities; Riley tells Buffy, "I guess we have to talk."
The previouslys segue into the opening scene of the show, with Buffy and Riley sitting in Buffy's dorm room just as we last saw them in "Hush." Buffy is wearing the most true-to-life college-student apparel I have seen her in so far, a boring pink shirt and faded blue jeans. She and Riley sit staring at each other, not speaking, for an extended time. Buffy looks at the ground, then at Riley, and then glances away. She finally says someone should speak before "one of us graduates." Another pause, and Riley rises from Willow's bed and begins to pace the room. He turns to Buffy and says, "What are you?" She and I both give Riley a disgusted look, and Buffy quips that she's a Capricorn. He apologizes for his tone, but explains that he's shocked by Buffy's fighting proficiency. She interrupts with some zodiac lingo and then asks who he is. Riley says he can't tell her and Buffy stands up, hands on hips, and blows his little macho secret by telling him he's part of a military organization that catches demons and vampires and hands them over to scientists who experiment on them, rendering some incapable of violence. When she asks Riley how she's doing, he looks amazed and says, "A little too well." She then gets chiffy and accuses him of only pretending to be Riley Finn, "corn-fed Iowa boy." He insists those things are true and then reminds Buffy that she's also been hiding a secret. She sits on her bed, telling him that he should have figured out her identity by now, but I guess she's putting a little too much faith in the Slayer publicity machine, because when she tells Riley she's the Slayer, he just looks blank. She repeats "Slay-er" again and gets extra snotty that he still doesn't recognize her secret identity. "Ask around. Look it up. Slayer, comma, The," she huffs. He again mentions her fighting skills and says he's a walking bruise and makes some mention of her seeing him with his clothes off that I guess was supposed to create sexual tension. It created tension in me, but not the sexual kind. Buffy claims she's suffering damage as well, but Riley disagrees. He asks what they are going to do and Buffy tells him that she thought he was a "nice, normal guy" and that she needs some space to think things over. Riley agrees, and as he prepares to leave the room Amy the rat begins to squeak wildly. The room shakes, and Riley pulls Buffy under the door frame of her closet. Riley gushes about experiencing his first earthquake but Buffy looks disturbed. My cat's earthquake sense must be broken because during her first one she gave me a "would you please just knock it off" look, and during the second she sat nonchalantly in a doorway.
In Xander's Demon Shag Shack, water drips onto Spike's orange chair and he explodes, "My sodding sleeping chair's bloody -- sodden." Xander brings over a bucket, mentioning that the quake just loosened a few pipes, and he tells Spike to get a wrench and fix it. When Spike protests, Xander calls him a "big mooch" and says he has to get to work. He dons a striped shirt as Spike sneers that Xander is employed "delivering melted cheese on bread." Xander reminds Spike that he buys the plasma, and Spike should help out around the place. Why is Spike still at Xander's, anyway? Wouldn't it really work out better for him to stay at Giles's? Xander turns his back on Spike, bitching about how he could do some laundry, and behind him Spike attempts to hit him with the wrench. He's wracked by pain, of course, and Xander leaves, unaware of his close call.