Willow wants to know if Buffy is interested in Wood (heh -- coming from Willow, you could misinterprete that), and Buffy simpers that she's not sure. She describes Wood: "He's solid, he's smart, he's normal." I would guess there's no chance for him then, because her last lover doesn't possess any of those qualities. Buffy dithers about whether she's attracted to Wood because he's possibly "wicked," and Willow declines to comment on Buffy's obvious mental problems in that area. And then, adding to my obvious mental problems, Willow suggests that dating Wood would be a good way for Buffy to "move on," and Buffy snaps, "Why does everybody in this house think I'm still in love with Spike?" "Still"? When was Buffy ever in love with Spike? Is that what we were supposed to be seeing last season, because gack! It was hard enough sitting through that story of mutual abuse last season when I got the impression that it was supposed to be a Bad Idea. A retcon that abuse like that equals twoo wuv is just vomit-inducing. Does anyone involved with this show ever THINK anymore? Willow stutters that she meant Buffy should move on from her "super-self-reliance" and "let somebody get close." Because everyone should be an emotional weakling who requires an adoring partner to shore up their damaged self-image like Willow. Also because the stable, long-term closeness of loving your friends and family is entirely insignificant in the face of embroiling yourself in another overly dramatic sexual relationship that's almost certainly doomed to failure.
Speaking of being doomed to failure, Xander pops in the front door. "Guys, guess what happened!" he bursts out, and Willow responds, "Buffy got a date!" Xander's all confuzzled and stands there, patiently waiting to talk about himself, as Willow teases Buffy about Wood being a real youngster compared to her usual guys, and Buffy teases Willow back about "holding hands" with Kennedy under the dinner table. They finally remember Xander standing there, and he explains that Ashanti and he will be going to coffee. She's definitely a demon if she responded to his creepy come-ons at the hardware store. Any human woman would've walked very quickly to her car and driven away. Xander doesn't get to explain much, though, before Giles and Chao-Ahn also arrive, laden down with shopping bags full of clothing. Giles rants that he hates the mall because "the shop assistants are rude and the food court is sticky." Well, in my experience, a British person should know from rude shopkeepers, so the Sunnydale retailers must be pretty bad. Oddly addressing no one in the room, Xander delivers a little exposition about how "rough" it must be for Chao-Ahn, yanked away from home so suddenly and without an adequate wardrobe. He's been hanging out with Buffy and Willow way too long. Giles agrees (about the difficulty, not the need for many and varied outfits), and explains that he was worried about his Mandarin being rusty, but it turns out Chao-Ahn speaks Cantonese, which Giles knows not at all. Allow me to cede the floor to Sep, our little linguist: