What follows is a montage of scenes, all set to the "wacky" hippo ballerinas music, in which Anya tries to get Dawn, Willow, Tara, and Buffy to wish something awful to happen to Xander. Hey, gang! Isn't it funny the way Anya is attempting manipulate Xander's closest friends into making his penis to explode or his "brains and guts to go blooey" by exploiting some of the gang's worst fears? Isn't it even more of a thigh-slapper that if one of the gang fell for this ploy, these awful things would ACTUALLY HAPPEN to Xander? Oh, yeah. That's comedy. In HELL.
Anya gets frustrated and gives up on Tara and Willow, shrieking, "God, what kind of lesbians are you? If you love men so much, go love men!" Oh, okay. That's funny.
Skip to Anya on Buffy's porch. Anya is at the end of her tether with trying to get Buffy to wish unspeakable pain on one of her most stalwart friends. Dontcha just feel for Anya in this scene? Anya pouts about how much Xander hurt her. Can't we talk about my pain for a moment? Specifically, the pain caused by Buffy's flared pants with squiggly designs down the side? I guess this answers the age-old question of what to get the toreador-slash-marching band enthusiast who has everything. Buffy is just about to sympathize with Anya by wishing for something when Xander wanders up. I wonder -- if Buffy had wished that everything had worked out between Anya and Xander, could (or would) Anya have been able to grant that wish? Xander seems to want to talk to Anya, but she stalks off after snapping bitterly, "Well, congratulations! They all still love you even after what you did to me." Xander wants to go after her, but Buffy stops him, telling him that Anya needs time to cool off. Xander throws a small fit and kicks the crap out of a little gnome hiding in the hollow of Spike's Stalking Tree (I think. There may be more than one tree in the front yard). Buffy's attention is drawn to the gnome, wondering how "that creepy little thing" got into her front yard in the first place and quipping that if she had known it was there, she would have crawled out of the grave much sooner than she did. Xander bends down to clean up the pieces and pulls a camera out of the gnome's hat. He says, "Looks like someone's been keeping an eye on all your ins and outs," and I snort, "Um, yeah, that would be Spike. But he's not the one who planted the camera." Xander can't hear me, of course, so he jumps to the conclusion that, given Spike's past behavior, he was the one who planted the gnome-cam.
"What's this?" sighs Spike, holding up the gnome-cam and wearing a god-awful patterned shirt last seen in an mid-'80s Phil Collins video. Remember that whole 1980s paisley revival? Well, first it was the Paisley Underground, and then it went mainstream, and you youngsters have no idea what Granny Ace is babbling about, do you? Buffy's brought the camera to Spike in his crypt; she's facing him with her arms crossed and a particularly disappointed schoolmarm-ish look on her face. She points out that the item in question is a camera and then tells Spike it was being used to spy on her home. Shuffling off a little responsibility, she finishes up by saying that "Xander thinks" Spike planted the camera. Spike has a few choice words for Xander, then catches Buffy's continuing sour-lemon face. He groans in disbelief that Buffy would even think he would spy on her. Yes! How dare you, Buffy! Spike would never spy on you! And he never, ever has! Never, ever has he stood all night in your front yard, or followed you around on patrol, or snuck into your house to poke through your drawers, sniff your clothes, and steal your underwear. Nope, never. Buffy points out the ridiculousness of Spike trying to claim the high moral ground here, and he backpedals a little. "I don't hurt you." And unbelievably, Buffy agrees, "I know." Jesus, someone have Willow whip up some more of that antidote from last episode, because Buffy's still just a little insane. I guess Spike, Buffy, and the writers just want us to forget a couple of episodes called "Crush"and "Intervention," and more recently, "Smashed," "Dead Things," and "Normal Again." And in fact, wasn't the high-blown and not-at-all clichéd theme of "As You Were" that You Always Hurt The Ones You Love? Or maybe I imagined that. It was many long weeks ago.