Will this scene never end? Pa McChoad asks, "Who the hell are you?" and Buffy, with all the Scoobies ('cept Spike!) arrayed behind her, quietly declares, "We're family." Tara gives a bleary smile to Willow, who smiles back. Gee Dub McChoad can't stand all this smarmy happiness (and I can't say as I blame him) and sputters, "If you don't get in that car, I swear I will beat you down!" His tiny impotent display of manhood is quickly smushed by Xander, who promises him, "You're going to break something trying." When Beth sneers she hopes they'll "all be happy hanging out with a disgusting demon," Anya cracks me up by raising her hand and inquiring, "Excuse me, what kind?" At Beth's confused expression, Anya blandly explains that there are many kinds of demon: "Some are very, very evil and some have been considered to be useful members of society." She and Xander share a smile. Well, technically, you're an ex-demon, Anya. And you're only just on your way to being a useful member of this show, so don't get too cocky. As Tara's family fumbles for an explanation of what kind of demon Tara is, Spike has a revelation. "Why don't I make this simple?" he inquires and promptly smacks Tara in the nose. Immediately, he grabs his head in pain and shouts, "OW!" Buffy and Willow realize the import of this as Spike explains, "There's no demon in there. It's just a family legend, am I right? Just a bit of spin to keep the ladies in line. Heh. You're a piece of work. I like you." Pa McChoad looks constipated, and Gee Dub McChoad looks confused. Tara and Willow share a happy moment, and Giles tells Pa McChoad to get the hell out. He tries one more time to command his daughter, but Tara gently says, "Just go." As she leaves, Beth sours, "Are you happy now?" but it sucks to be her, because apparently Tara is happy and a grin spreads across her face.
Tara's birthday party at the Bronze. It looks like a damn "Faces of the WB" party in there with everyone dressed in their finest. Laughs are shared; Dawn runs about enthusiastically until stopped by Buffy; Tara unwraps a crystal ball from Giles, who beams until his face is obscured by the broom Dawn gives Tara; Willow, Tara, Xander, and Anya play pool as Buffy looks on. Missed someone in all this? Someone like Riley, perhaps? Yeah, me neither, but he chooses this moment to show up, apologizing for being late. Guess he had important bar-stool-warming business to take care of elsewhere. Or maybe he needed some quiet time to hone his jealousy of his girlfriend's destiny. Or nurture his love-hate relationship with the military institution that cared nothing for him and used him like so much one-ply toilet paper. Buffy and Riley kiss. More party antics; Willow approaches Tara for a dance. In their clashing floral baby-doll dresses, they look like a bloody explosion in Courtney Love's dressing room circa 1996. Way to use clothing to de-sexualize the teen lesbian Wiccas, Fashion Nazi. Willow and Tara slow-dance as Willow chides Tara for not telling her about her awful family. Tara admits that she thought her family would make Willow not want her, but Willow assures her it just makes her love her more to see how far she's come. Tara sweetly says that Willow always manages to make her feel special. A heterosexual couple on TV would kiss at this point, of course, as would any couple of any sexual persuasion in the real world, but these poor girls have to settle for dancing close and resting their heads on each other's shoulders. They dance slowly and then rise up into the air, floating and slowly spinning. I projectile vomit all over my carpet and wonder what sort of pod alien replaced Joss Whedon and wrote this piece of crap ending. I have never seen Buffy be so blatantly and unforgivably sentimental. Where's the snark, Joss?