Suddenly Willow gets a text message. It's from Xander, and it's in code, but Willow can't remember if it's the code for "I just got lucky -- don't call me for a while" or "My date's a demon who's trying to kill me." Wolf, one of our brilliantly funny posters, postulated that Xander's ambiguous message must have been I M FCKED. More importantly, how did Xander send this message? With his penis? This episode hangs together like it's made of nothing more than wet string and chewing gum. In response to the numerous queries about exactly how Xander managed to message Willow despite being bound to a giant wheel, Jane Espenson, the writer for this episode, commented that there was probably a point after Ashanti had revealed her evil intentions but before Xander was tied up that he became conscious in Ashanti's car and managed to message Willow. Oh. Thanks for clearing that up. Y'know, when the plot goes from C to X, the viewers actually need to see a few of the letters in between. I find the comment by Jane very telling, for two reasons: (1) even the writers have been reduced to fanwanking, and (2) the surprise expressed by Jane that the viewers thought this was a plot hole means that there is NOBODY looking at these scripts to make sure that they even make sense. The gang agrees that it's statistically far more likely that Xander is getting eating alive than getting lucky. Spike again says that he wants to go get Buffy, but Willow again says she'll call her. Ooops -- Buffy's left-behind phone rings from the chair next to Willow. "I'll go get Buffy," offers Spike for the third time. "I can probably still track her scent," he adds in an obvious voice-over as he leaves. It's that vanilla shower gel that stinks up the town, I guess. And no, that's not a wound on Spike's back. It's a red circular logo (or design) on his shirt.
"Oh my god," gushes Buffy, "that might be the best thing I've ever had in my mouth." Snerk. Poor Spike. Wood feeds Buffy another bite of dessert, but as she's taking a bite, she tilts her head to see Spike looming over the table. "It's Xander," says Spike.
Xander, meanwhile, is trying desperately to talk Ashanti out of killing him. He argues that she hasn't thought her plan through completely. "The seal opens, and a vicious feral vampire creature comes out," she retorts. So how does this thing work exactly? You can use human blood (except for Jonathan's, for reasons I have never understood ["I believe the reason given was that there wasn't enough, because he's little" -- Sars]) or pig blood, and I'm assuming that if you get really desperate you can just string the Kool-Aid guy up and have him bleed cherry Kool-Aid all over the seal. Then once the blood hits the seal, a super-powerful ur-vampire pops out, kinda like an evil Pez dispenser? And anyone can do it? Whatever. Ashanti wants her own little pet, because "the end is coming" and it's time for all creatures to align themselves with either good or evil. She picks up a ritual knife and thrusts it deep into Xander's belly. Blood drips down the blade and runs onto the seal. If that was Nicky's stomach in the close-up, I'd like to send him a thank you for not waxing off his cute belly fur. I was going to write a whole section here about the extreme trauma I suffered last night by agreeing to attend a bachelorette party at a male "exotic" "dance" club, but I think I'll spare you the pain. Let's just say that nearly naked (but wearing knee-pads and comfy Reeboks -- how come lady strippers don't get these perks?) guys with semi-muscular chests and goose-pimply buttocks flailing their units arhythmically don't do much for me. Oh, and I'm baffled by "exotic" "dance" routines apparently based on the theme "Drunken Cholo." "Low Rider" by War has been ruined forever for me. Oh, sorry. I guess I didn't spare y'all my pain after all. But it did distract me from my intended rant about how this humiliating subplot for Xander is a complete dead end in terms of continuing plot. They just whipped up this little scenario to shoehorn Ashanti into the show, and all of Xander's butt-monkeyness leads to nothing. It might have been nice to see him make a key discovery or have a heroic moment to ameliorate the mortification.