Credits. No Oz, and only one shot of Giles. And people wonder why I don't give a crap about this show anymore?
UC Sunnydale. Willow waits outside a classroom and excitedly runs after Tara when she emerges. Willow: too damn upbeat. Tara: far too glib. Willow laughs too much at a throwaway comment from Tara, which is supposed to endear her to me but really makes me want to box her ears. "So this is becoming kind of a regular thing -- you and me after class?" queries Tara. "Only this time you stuck around." Willow isn't quite sure if she's busted for stalking her ex and makes an uh-oh face, but then Tara quickly inserts, "She's just a friend." This is in reference to the girl that bussed Tara on the cheek in the last episode. Willow invites Tara out for coffee, and Tara agrees that she's free tomorrow. Suddenly Willow and Tara seem to have been replaced by huge, anthropomorphic chickens in bad outfits -- what with all the head bobbing and squawking -- as they have a little stupid misunderstanding about whether they meant that they could bring dates to Caffeine Summit or if they are each other's dates.
Streets of Sunnydale. Buffy and Dawn walk down an open-air shopping promenade. Buffy suggests that they browse in a store, but Dawn nixes that idea, because it's one of the eight million places that Dawn stole things from -- in this instance, a toothbrush. Buffy razzes Dawn about the inherent uncoolness that is stealing tools of dental hygiene before they engage in a sisterly fight about who gets to drive the blame train for the whole affair. Buffy suggests visiting the pet store, and in response Dawn quips that she can't go there either because she stole "a pocket full of goldfish." Which was almost funny. Dawn is down on the puppy-captivity featured at the pet store, but finally agrees that they should check it out, since it's the only store around she can "show [her] face" in. Buffy expositions that it won't last forever, since Dawn has returned all of the merchandise that she'd nicked, "and we're paying for the rest." "I'm paying for the rest," asserts Dawn earnestly. Yeah? With what? You have no money. You have no job. As far as I can tell, you neither earn an allowance nor do anything that would allow you to earn an allowance. Unless you're going to shave off that shiny hair of yours and sell it to a wigmaker like Jo did in Little Women, you should either cram it or work in a reference to babysitting. Blah, blah, blah. Dealing with long-dangling plot points has never left me so bored.
Legion of Dim's Underground Lair. Jonathan is doing something with the stolen disk, utilizing one of those made-for-TV chemistry sets with the vials of different colored liquid and the squiggly tubing. I wonder if there's a whole cottage industry dedicated to these scientifically useless set-ups? Warren is in a big hurry, but Jonathan won't be rushed, because "if something goes wrong it's gonna surge and we'll be deader than an ex-girlfriend." Warren asks him to repeat that last bit, and Jonathan snaps something about trying to get some work done. Warren tries a different tactic, calling him "Short Round" and placating him with the possibility of the world becoming his evil oyster if he'd only let it. Jonathan doesn't seem swayed, telling Warren that after this particular mission is complete, they're going to go their separate ways. Warren wanders off to the background to talk to Andrew, who is wearing a shirt plastered all over with girly goldenrod and cornflower blue needlepoint flowers. I know! He must be wearing one of those magic chameleon shirts which blends into a background, and he was just sitting on an awful fugly couch. It's the only logical explanation. Andrew tells Warren that Jonathan has that "same look on his face -- the one that he had that time I highlighted in his Babylon 5 novels." Realization explodes onto Andrew's face as he continues, "Right before he told his mother on me! Warren, I don't think we can trust him." Warren coolly says that, luckily, they don't have to "for that much longer." "Is it gonna be that soon?" asks Andrew with a sad tone in his voice, making it clear that Andrew and Warren have already talked about getting rid of Jonathan. "It's gonna be soon," promises Warren. Of course, there was some sort of dairy joke in there that went over the heads of Andrew and the viewing audience, minus the residents of Wisconsin. Ah, dairy humor. The hallmark of every well-crafted show.