Dawn walks into the kitchen, spies a cluster of syrup bottles on the counter with Buffy manning the grill, and hesitantly asks if they're now an "International House of Something." Buffy chirps that it's just a "breakfast kind of morning," and asks Dawn what kind of syrup she'd like on her pancakes. "Syrups have kinds?" is Dawn's response. How can someone know about IHoP but not about flavored syrup? Buffy ignores this and suggests that they stay in for some sister time this evening. Dawn "ums," and Buffy worries that she's turned into the mom that tries too hard. Dawn's lip gloss is really, really shiny. Blindingly so. It's as if she decided that, since she doesn't have a character arc like last season, the shiny hair must not be cutting it, and she has upped the shiny ante in an effort to get more screen time. Dawn suggests that, instead of Buffy hanging with Dawn at home, that Dawn go patrolling with Buffy. Buffy sarcastically nixes the idea. In response, Dawn brings up the fact that the gang used to patrol all the time when they were Dawn's age. Instead of pointing out that by the time she wasn't that much older than Dawn, Buffy had DIED to save the world, and that patrolling isn't all shits and giggles, Buffy just reminds Dawn that she's really only eighteen months old. Dawn protests that all the bad stuff in the world is going to find her one way or another simply because of her family connections. Buffy doesn't point out that creepy things are usually drawn to Dawn through her own stupidity. That and the big neon "I'M A POTENTIAL HOSTAGE, AND NONE TOO BRIGHT TO BOOT" sign that follows Dawn around.
Espresso Pump. Willow fills Tara in on the penis monster from "Doublemeat Palace." Willow sums the monster's appearance up with, "If I wasn't gay before." Oh, right. Willow. Gay. They didn't mention that for, like, at least five minutes. I almost had time for the searing pain of the last anvil blow to my head to fade. Anya wanders up, and her hair has gotten much worse than last time we saw her. It's like the stylist told her, "Now tilt your head down, Emma honey, I just want to dry it a little underneath," and then forgot her under the dryer and got engrossed in the sixty-five-minute process of shining Michelle Trachtenberg's hair. Willow hugs Anya for some reason I can't explain, since they always seemed to kind of hate each other. ["'Kind of'?" -- Sars] Anya waves her hands around a lot and mumbles before sitting down. Willow makes a hollow "if there's anything we can do" offer, but of course she made it to Anya, who jumps right on that train. "You're lesbians so the hating of men will come in handy. Let's talk about Xander."